Lights, Camera, Action! What does it mean when you’re not just the main character of your life, but also the cinematographer? Does the subtle art of romanticisation actually resolve all the mundanities of life, or does it only blur them to the point of denial? Read more as we try to make sense of this era of romanticisation.
“Half love, Half regret. Dressing up for polaroids and cigarettes.” This ménage à trois between cute outfits, aesthetic pictures, and sleek French cigarettes is the perfect escape for any DU student in today’s day and age. But does it really save you from despair, or is it simply eating up your storage?
To understand the exact set of emotions, lighting, and reasons that go behind explaining how “August slipped into a moment of time”, one either needs to possess a creative mind or be accepting of one. The art of making the mundanity of daily life feel like a Bollywood movie is not an easy one, but is it as rewarding as social media makes it out to be? You spend 30 mins selecting the best, most “aesthetic”, and Pinterest-worthy clips and photos. Another 1 hour goes into compiling them in the right order, adding the right effects, choosing the right music, and then posting this 2363574th masterpiece you’ve made on social media at the RIGHT time (yes, there IS a right time for posting) with the right captions and hashtags (because of the algorithm, niche, SEO, and other paraphernalia), curating the perfect Instagram feed. A total of near about 2 hours in a day. The distraction these 120 minutes bring in the life of a generally overworked, anxious, done-with-existence student can actually do wonders. The hassles of the excruciating deadlines, haggling seats in the metro, and waiting in long queues at Rajiv chowk effortlessly translate into a moment of bliss and peace when there’s a lens behind which everything seems less glib and the world feels a little less real. And so, the “era of romanticisation” takes the wheel of your life. Every metro ride, every day at the college, every date, and every concert becomes a potential reel idea!
Someone might see a leaf on the road, but you see the beauty of the rain and the nature tethered to the leaf that has fallen too far from the tree it was once attached to. Full Imtiaz Ali moment. The once “unrealistic expectations” from Bollywood movies feel a tad too realistic, now that you’ve tapped into your creativity. Maybe keeping the delusion alive is how you attempt to ape a life less ordinary. But that’s also exactly where Bollywood is to be blamed. The uncertainties of starting a new life in a new college in a new city with people you’ve never met before can’t all be washed away just by hitting the record button. It might feel like you’re trying to make sense of everything by this but it can take mere seconds for the cloudiness of romanticisation to fade. What is it, if not a coping mechanism? On some days the skies are pretty, the concerts hit a little too well, sunlight adorns the classrooms just right, the art date with your friends develops into a core memory, and the day ends on such a high that nothing ever could top it off. What follows is the next day where you’re in bed all day, just lying there and existing, while the sky out there is painted in grim hues of blue and grey. Or even the day when you have the abhorring realisation that your college fans don’t actually work. That’s when the yearning for another good day kicks in; the addiction of never having another dead day. That erstwhile feeling of contentment gets laundered by the echo chambers of your extravagant “carpe diem” needs. Your emotional, mental, physical, and GPay capacities all take the brunt of your #PinterestEra.
Enhancing this pantomime attempt to “romanticise life” is this baarish. Delhi might be literally flooding with the September rains but people are trying to make something out of this too. Great attempt, but just no.
When I look up, the sky is pretty and pink, and the tiny little droplets on my coffee mug, the metro windowpanes make everything all the more bearable and prettier, but that’s when I look down and realise my shoes are soaking wet in muddy water and an insect is trying to climb up my trousers.”
Rain might seem like a good excuse for all your chai-pakora, Mr-Darcy-saying-I-love-you-most-ardently, Barso-re fantasies, but only up to a certain point. After that, it’s just a menace and a week-long recovery from the cold you contracted because of it.
This subtle art of romanticisation could be a product of all the conditioning we’ve garnered as Bollywood or literature babies, or it could also be an artist’s eccentric take on life. Seeing that the realisation of the former will only bring us despair, so for the time being (as we struggle to meet the deadlines and maneuver our college lives), let’s just stick to the latter and pretend we’re all in a Karan Johar production of ‘Student of the Year: Delhi University edition’.
Read Also: Delhi Rains: Evenings of Nostalgia and Love
Featured Image Credits: Vidushi Sinha for DU Beat.