The terrible news reached me while I was still trying to come to terms with wakeful reality. It was my girlfriend over the phone, “Tumblr is sold”, she said, “to Yahoo”. We ended up having one of those conversations which trail off like the sound of an obnoxious auto-rickshaw with a blasted silencer slowly fading away at a distance.
I am the auto-rickshaw when I grumble.
I grumble when something terrible happens far beyond my reach but well within my immediate concerns.
In this entire world wide web I’m only a trapped paper fly.
Neither do I have a personal internet connection neither do I spread my fingerprints beyond certain web forums.
It is important to make my position clear now itself. As my limited interest in these internet phenomena, sellouts and mergers, takeovers and IPOs keep me miles away from the edge. However Tumblr was different. After a great initial reluctance to be maintaining any regular social profile whatsoever, I stumbled upon Tumblr.
I loved the dashboard bit where I could follow some of the most ingenious minds from Turkestan to Great Britain. It was the closest I could get to our generation. I loved the blog itself. Text, images, moving images…everything looked beautiful beyond words. For the first time in years I was about to embark upon an internet adventure.
Needless to mention, the high-handedness of fellow Tumblrians in matters both political and moral signified that they are a part of this social network only for its independence. I felt the same and never bothered finding the exact credentials whether Google or one of those are monitoring Tumblr as well.
This blog is quite some effort put in the last 2 years, and some more will go taking it down, picture by picture, word by word, filed away for future reference.
Meanwhile, Tumblr will be owned by Yahoo. A great tragedy, if only on paper.
The lack of political and spiritual sensitivity in today’s people is astounding. May be God has stopped making children in his own likeness any more, for all I see is an ocean of smirks, hanging without a face, shoulders limp and fingers rock steady, eyeing the next kill drooling saliva instead of tears.
Even fools like us understand the implications of monopoly. HG Wells, in his Short History of the World talks about Romans in great detail. According to him, Rome was ruled by a handful of rich families. Rest of Rome were its slaves. Today’s extended human civilization isn’t free either. All of us are slaves of money. And the money is mostly in the hands of a few.
One can spend a lifetime shooting these, one can spend a lifetime watching them.
the best the best and in a long time
If you want to know what the suburban life feels like, in the vicinity of Kolkata. Or, why even mention Kolkata. Places to the north of it. By the banks of the Ganga. Brick houses and walls moss laden with. A Hero Jet resting against it. A cat near the side stand of the bicycle. Hunched. Retractable claws. Grey eyes. And groggy you. Memories of last night’s debauchery, your tongue hanging limp. Mosquitoes. On the skin of a body soaking wet. Of water, of vapour, of sweat.
I pulled out Patna roughcut by its ear. From my masi’s bedside bookshelf in Patna where it sat pretty amidst Bengali alternative literature.
I read the first few pages puffing on a Navy Cut on the terrace and was nearing its end in the waiting lobby of a chaotic hospital in Patna’s Kankarbagh district. That is where most of the novel is set.
A half-night stand at best, Patna roughcut makes someone elses memories feel like your own. Without having a dog ear’s perspective on Bankipore Club, St. Xavier’s School…or for that matter the DU campus, I felt comfortably familiar with all surroundings. Genre-wise, it can be put next to Moth Smoke, where the local elements stay intact, in fact come out much stronger even if both the novels are written in English. Patna roughcut is delightfully pulpy. It is a novel but not a novel. It is like peering into someone else’s journal with a permit.