Friday, January 20, 2012

A future for 'stillness'?

“Around the same time I noticed that those who part with $2,285 a night to stay in a cliff-top room at the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur pay partly for the privilege of not having a TV in their rooms; the future of travel, I’m reliably told, lies in ‘black-hole resorts’ which charge high prices precisely because you can’t get online in their rooms…”

I read the above lines in a recent and very timely article written by the expatriate writer of Indian origin, Pico Iyer, and sent over to me by an ex-student yesterday. Some other people are apparently also looking at the future, and thinking along the same lines as I do: heartening news. Do let me know what the article meant to you.


Anonymous said...

I find the prospects the article describes, at once, slightly terrifying yet thrillingly attractive. I don't quite like the idea of calling myself an internet-addict, but I must admit that I am hopelessly dependent on the same for a titanic proportion of all my readings and communications. At the same time, there seems to be a strange kind of appeal arrested in the idea of almost losing touch with the rest of the world - not having to know the 'hot' topics of the week, not having to bother noticing which 'friend' is vacationing in Miami, not having to care about whether you have remembered to 'like' a certain picture someone has very expectantly uploaded. There is a certain kind of lightness and freedom in that, I'm sure. And the absence of a television doesn't really affect me one way or another. Imaginative as I tend to be, the idea of this kind of an existence tends to make inroads for fantastic suggestions and fictional possibilities of an ultimate adventure of sorts - truly, it makes my mind race. It's a pity, though, that one should have to actually pay for comforts like these. Maybe they have become luxuries to be acquired with money after all.

Shilpi said...

I don't intend to be picky and quarrelsome, and it's not a badly written article, but I've been raising my eyebrow (with very good reasons) even though I won't go through a point by point critique (I could). An NYT article too, I see. That writer is obviously terribly rich (I think I could feel the sharp forks of jealousy and unmitigated anger on those grounds too, if I let myself) to move over to Japan from the US (he honestly could have moved to Lafayette if he wanted to walk), and he must have been feeling effusive and wonderfully hopeful if not manic-y while writing that last line (if he's talking about just an average child of tomorrow). I feel like saying, "...which child of tomorrow?" There might be one child and I keep hoping there might be a few children at least but otherwise I get the goosebumps thinking about the mass of children that Pupu writes about and you write about and the sort of children I could see around if I were looking these days.

But that's not my primary reason for raising my eyebrow. The following comes from your other blog, and it was written in 2003.

" does not become happier or more satisfying if we simply do things faster than our forefathers." And, "Why does the average man need to move so fast? Alexander and Hiuen Tsang travelled on foot, but they achieved in a few years much more than today’s common man will do in his lifetime..."

And that's just from one essay. To give just three more links, which readers might want to follow up.

A Simon and Garfunkel song liner with a change and with some of my own words thrown in the middle play in my head not infrequently. The song liner goes, "I get all the news I need on the weather report...." One can sing, "I get all I need to read...du-da-da-dum...taaa..." One feels sad and also smiles some, sometimes.

Suvro Chatterjee said...

Urna, thanks for reflecting on this post. And Shilpi, well, apart from the fact that you are evidently angry that Iyer should be enjoying the privileges of relative affluence and security, I didn't exactly get the point of your criticism, even after re-visiting those posts you had drawn attention to. I shall wait for some revelation...