Things

I am a keen observer of the current time and space which we live in and this series of paintings ‘Things’ are reactions to the observations, our relationships with man-made Things/Products/Brands. Our needs become ‘Things’ which in turn become desirables that forms the basis of the ecosystem of our living and behaviors.  All our intellectual, emotional, physical desires arise for the ‘Things’ that we create, consume and aspire to create more.

We have created a vicious circle and it is amazing to see our own behaviors arising out of this cycle. A consumer culture cannot survive simply on what people need. Instead, the market has to artificially create needs, and the creation of dissatisfaction. Companies are investing billions of dollars into creating desire for some new ‘Thing’ while also convincing what someone just bought is no longer valuable. This is an amusing interplay of human emotions and insatiable objects of desire.

‘Things’ become desires. Desires are multiple, infinite, abstract, repetitive and very much engraved in our social fabric. We aspire to have relationships with people who use certain desirable ‘Things’ or have more respect, adulation, admiration for them or wish to be one of them. ‘Things’ alias desires become conversation starters, gratification creators, intangible ways of feeling happy about ourselves.

This series of paintings is my attempt to express various layers of these thoughts, observations outlined above and in the process I realize that I have created more ‘Things’ !!

I am a commodity!

Who is not? If one is not a commodity, then he/she is useless, unusable, not worth living or probably dumb!!

I always asked this question to girls whom I dated, to wife and friends. “If  I did nothing in life, probably didn’t have any talents, didn’t contribute to anything productive, didn’t go to work, sat at home, roamed around for the heck of it without any money in my pocket, just lived…would you get closer to me? would you continue the friendship? you would have married me?”

The then few prospective chics who were ignorant and courageous enough (or probably dumb enough?) to say they would stick on to me and will do anything to be with me!! Probably they would have, but I know, not for a lifetime for sure!! Friends would probably would meet me once in a while, keep in touch which would deteriorate once they get busy with their respective lives.

The Wife was smart enough to repeat back the question to me in a similar fashion something like this: “If I were ugly looking, unbelievably overweight and did nothing…you would have married me?” I didn’t have a convincing answer either which made me retrospect into the marriage market.

Be it arranged marriage, love marriage, matrimonial marriage….ultimately everybody looks at each other as packages, products or commodities. Mr. Right or Ms. Right happens first on the basic factors like money, property, looks etc.,. then comes family, behavior, interests, hobbies as value adds to the whole package. And then conversations happen, castles are built in the sky and Love happens! Then the deal happens between two packages (which we call marriage, engagement, seeing someone etc.,)!  After reading this statement, definitely there would be some who are ready to violently argue on this  and kill me right now! Well, there are exceptions and they are very marginal. Also, the exceptions also have some hitch associated with them.

I  have few examples to cite on this. There is a guy (aged around 28-30) near to my place where I stay. He is handsome, speaks well, well behaved and spends his time roaming across the streets, watching movies, a favorite  among kids (coz he is always free to play with them). He doesn’t work, has done his 10th, helps the aunties around with domestic work and is generally always happy.  Why don’t girls love him? He is such a nice guy to be with!  Similarly there is another girl in her twenties who looks dark, raised teeth, skinny and takes care of her mom and sister. She is smart, intelligent, works in a school and is a bread winner of the family. Why don’t guys fall in love with her. There are many the so called eligible bachelors around her. Why didn’t I myself get attracted before I got married?  Because these kind of persona (the guy and the girl) are not the right packages!! or the right products!!

Needless to say, Even God is a commodity in our generation. Live Telecast of poojas, aarthi at famous temples are available on TV and Internet. There are various sponsorship issues within them and fights for air space which we often hear or see. These initiatives are again to polish the spiritual side of us being products so that we get some shine, some relaxation so that we can unwind, get refreshed and get ready for the next produce!

This is even more obvious in the corporate world or the job market which I don’t think I need to elaborate. Ultimately  we are sophisticated human commodities or products producing new products for our own fellow human products to sustain our productiveness!! This is the real Product Life Cycle (the term IT companies use invariably left, right , center, up, down..in all possible angles).

For ex: I brush my teeth with a toothpaste in the morning. Someone makes the toothpaste, another markets it, someone sells it to me. While I am myself involved in the digital marketing of these kind of products designing  E- commerce websites and selling it. So I am marketing it to myself in a way. Now If I don’t brush my teeth, I would get ridiculed by colleagues and my unimpressed seniors at work  wouldn’t  recommend me to higher promotions and I would become a stale product.  And I get paid well by being a good, sincere and useful product/commodity producing more and more products! That completes the PDLC (Oops! i.e Product Development Life Cycle)

Friends, this is how I think when I am cynical or probably practical! These are just my personal thoughts and not intended to hurt anyone. Feel free to comment or discuss.