The social media jubilation over the ISRO launch only reveals the paucity of centres (read oasis) of excellence in India’s public sector. Only if we had moonshots as far as feeding the hungry, a second green revolution and housing the urban homeless. A country of a billion and a quarter, has too few present day national icons to celebrate (read vent) our national pride. A civilisation state needs a few more moments of celebration than cricket world cups and PSLV’s? We even go gaga over a flicker appearance of an Indian actor in a trashy Hollywood flick.
If you pound the pavement, immerse oneself in a community, solidarity and stories flow, the digital pen suddenly takes up a form of authenticity. The entire mad rush for stories, to ‘build a portfolio’ mindset is the main reason for shallow writing. If there is a listicle site, you have a Caravan too. Written text is more than mere words, writing happens before the word is typed and after the word has been typed. Text is imagination, and takes up a life on its own once it is done as it is archived and is the realm of the scholar. The written work as visual art is quotidian politics. 140 characters or 5000 word long read, the art is there. Writer goes beyond the data, while the scholar is defined by it.