Surfeit of frivolity
WE HUMANS are described as a bundle of wants in theory of economics! We are continuously wanting or desiring something or the other! Human needs and wants are essentially classified as necessities, comforts and luxuries, depending upon the priority to satisfy various requirements for survival, sustenance and then growth and development.
But, of late, in last few years, there has been incursion of another category of goods and services which really do not cater to any specific need rather pander to vanity of individuals. This category or class has gained significance due to consumerism and globalisation and can be termed as frivolities !
Take for instance mobile phones, which liberated mankind from shackles of fixed land line instruments and made communication and information exchange so very easy and simple. But the core function has been sidelined and mobile phones are being touted for many frivolous features and functions. There are offers and allurements to download ring tones, songs, videos (many of them vulgar or even pornographic) tempting invitations to chat with unknown numbers, etc.
Further there are features like games, TV and even inducements for gambling all of which are encouraging thoughtless, idle and even hazardous pursuits. And then the “Selfies,” one of the most enchanting but highly perilous features of mobile phones! Many mobiles are simply selling on the USP that the camera is ideally made for selfies. The communication aspect has vanished into oblivion and mobiles are being purchased for clicking innumerable selfies. It is well known how craze for selfies has taken large toll of human life.
Yet there is passion for such frivolity which is pinnacle of stupidity.
A model of laptop advertised that they provide changeable outer covers which are colour co-ordinated to match dress of user! Also a Television brand offered a smaller TV free with an expensive Big Screen model. Now are these pronouncements worth LOL (Laughing out Loud). How far can frivolity be stretched!
TV soap operas, talk shows, reality shows, crap comedy shows and even news channels are getting increasingly tepid, repetitive and inane, highlighting undesirable and distasteful happenings and features. The intense frivolity of TV programmes makes one wonder if the channel owners think viewers as morons and zombies?
Wedding celebrations and feasts nowadays are getting obnoxiously ostentatious. Whether serving lunch or dinner the number, variety and nature of items in the feast are so mind boggling that guests and invitees are often confused and bewildered and end up eating a hotchpotch of items rather than proper food. The menu invariably contains many types of junk food and tongue ticklers, which receive much patronage, rather than focus on proper meal items. Guests are tempted to consume frivolous items.
Children are also made targets by marketers who induce them to buy confectionary items packaged with so called toys. The real value of the items (toy and chocolate/ sweet) may perhaps be 1/10th of cost/ price paid for it. But kids get enamoured by frivolous gifts and force parents to buy the item.
And have you not noticed young boys and girls going around attired in deliberately and strategically torn and tattered “fashionable” garments! They have paid a fortune to buy such rags and tatters in vogue so that they are looking cool and chic! Is it not surfeit of frivolity? Contextually, it will be relevant to quote what Mirza Ghalib said, centuries ago - “Hazaron khwahishe aisi, ki har khwahish pe dum nikle, bahut nikle mere armaan, lekin phir bhi kum nikle!”