I also opine on:

Thursday, June 28, 2012

How do you describe fun?

He never drank  or ate meat or smoked (or had fun, by extension)

This is one of the lines in Chetan Bhagat’s book Two States. I don’t think he meant it as an anti-South Indian sentiment, but as a general observation – if you are vegetarian, a non-smoker and a teetotaler, then you don’t have fun.
That made me wonder – when did I have maximum fun? As usual, I have a list:
  • 1.  Snorkeling with dad: Apart from realising that my serious dad could be cool, the parallel underwater universe was breathtaking to behold.
  • 2.   Standing under a waterfall: I don’t know if it can cure insanity, but standing under a waterfall should be a to-do in everyone’s list.
  • 3.   Treks: Not all of the treks have been fun, but two have been unforgettable. I can still vividly recall climbing hills in torrential rains, running from the leeches, watching the fireflies light up a tree and the welcome bonfire in the night.
  • 4.   The Terrace get-togethers and cousin outings: Who cares about the drink and food when the company is awesome?
  • 5.   Goa: We didn't drink in Goa (must be one of the very few couples to do so) – we went to farms, saw waterfalls, para-glided and walked along the beaches.
  • 6.   Watching a play, dance drama or a music concert: Watching a story unfold right in front of your eyes is difficult to describe and heavenly to experience.
  • 7.   Travelling in Mumbai Trains and Chennai buses: I am a sucker for public transport, and can't explain why I enjoy it so much more than autos and taxis.
  • 8.   Reading a book with Cup Noodles: That is my personal piece of heaven on earth.
  • 9.  Playing Catch with Ashwin: All couples have their own stupid games. :D
  • 10.Singing Nursery rhymes: I am not sure if the boy enjoys it, but I sure do – especially if they are the ones with action, like “Wheels on the bus” or “If you happy and you know it”.

None of the ten required drinking, smoking or eating non-vegetarian food. It is this thinking that gets all teenagers muddled up – smoking is cool or drinking is necessary. Not really. While I don’t condone any of the three habits (to each his own and all that jazz), please don’t make it sound like a prerequisite to have fun. In the same book Bhagat mentions the reason for the protagonist to become a writer:
Someone who tells stories that are fun but bring about change too.
In the quest for a larger change (promoting inter-state and inter-caste marriages), he seems to have let all the smaller things go. 


Kunal Chandra said...

When I read the article I thought i disagreed with Chetan Bhagat bashing but then I thought about it and realised may be u r right. Especially when he has a young audience who all or most aspire to go to IITs and IIMs like him he should be a bit more careful. On drinking and smoking well I have never seen it been forced from outside although I think that is the most popular myth. A person needs to have a germ for it within and then a stimulus can hook them to the habits. Personally I have never been forced neither in school nor college and nor in Europe or Africa. The most compelling argument I heard why I should start drinking was - It's a pity Kunal you are in France and you are not tasting the best French wine. May be it was a pity. Point I am making is that most times people who claim that they have been forced into habits mostly were always fertile ground for such things. (The comment is incoherent I know .... )

Archana said...

" A person needs to have a germ for it within and then a stimulus can hook them to the habits. "

I don't have enough knowledge to agree or disagree on that. As I said, I don't think drinking, smoking, non-veg etc is bad - not at all!! But I have seen teenagers defining "fun" as going to the bar and drinking and people in chennai cribbing that there arent enough bars to have fun in.

Nitin Warrier said...

Arch, all that you have listed as fun is certainly more fun and what i would do...along with a camera :)! but its not that people cannot do those 'other fun things' while doing these too. As standalone actions, smoking, drinking, eating are just functions! It's always the environment that makes it fun. People are free to do what they want to do.

Archana said...

:) I get what you are saying and you indirectly join me in Bhagat-bashing. It is not an action (like smoking, dinking) etc that describes fun.