Irrational media consumption


Fall-Sky-Moon and Fall by Mayank Chhaya


This morning I was planning to report the way my mind jumps from consuming one media to the next and leaping from one sensory indulgence to the next. Some day I intend to do that in greater detail but for now it is sufficient to give you a glimpse of what I mean.

I began the morning reading Pankaj Mishra’s op-ed in The New York Times titled ‘Modi’s Idea of India’ in which in so much as I could understand his underlying theme is how Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rise also marks the reemergence of the assertive Hindu cultural revivalism. I could be wrong in my distillation but that could be easily explained by my general failure comprehend much about the human race.

Even as I finished reading it I began thinking about how a depiction of the Fall colors in a painting that I did yesterday (below) originally changed into a very different vision (above). In the original work, I was going for how the advent of Fall mimics the colors of fire. Fall makes flora look aflame.That is why the original painting looks like, as separately pointed out by friends Tina Verghese Clark and Chintan Oza, a wildfire. They are right but that was not what I had in mind.

Prompted by their observation I began reworking the original by erasing nearly 50 percent and giving it the blue backdrop of a Fall sky. I then added a few birds and stuck the moon in the left hand corner. With those changes the final painting has a much calmer and more optimistic personality.

That was the second part of my sensory indulgence.

While I was thinking about it I was also browsing the net where I came upon an entertaining session at the just concluded Mumbai Film Festival. It featured a discussion around ‘Parinda’, a 1989 Hindi movie made by Vidhu Vinod Chopra. Even as I was watching the session conducted by filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, for no apparent reason I began singing “Chaman mein rang-e-bahar utara” by Ghulam Ali. I had no choice but to open a fourth tab on Chrome and play that on YouTube.

From Pankaj Mishra’s characteristically scholarly op-ed to my Fall series to ‘Parinda (The Bird)’ to Ghulam Ali’s ‘Chaman” it betrays a mind that never really settles down. The Internet is at the heart of it all because almost everything now is just a question of opening a new tab on the browser.

I think I may have unexpectedly nailed the cause of my frequent migraine attacks. It is irrational media consumption.

P.S.: I even noticed that in the URL to Mishra’s piece, a NYT web designer had misspelled Narendra Modi’s name as Nirandra Modi (


About chutiumsulfate

South Asians can infer from my name what I am. View all posts by chutiumsulfate

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