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!”

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