20 May 2017

Link Road, Ghatkopar

Purity For All 

Purity For All is the slogan the vigilante groups in Prayaag Akbar's Liela chant. While the novel is set in an imaginary future, the world that comes alive in the book that is filled with walls, divisions and conflicts between castes, religions and groups is not too distant from the things around us at present.

We are building walls across the city that has been a melting pot of people for years now. Here and around the world, as distances between people are reduced because of technology, cheaper transport and various other reasons, we are building and strengthening walls that we think will protect what is traditional, past that us real or imagined or the heritage. We are increasingly looking inwards as we are exposed to more things that are unlike what we know.

Prayag Akbar's book has many insights into what we have become and one of the many words that stand out is Purity. No doubt it is derived from the world around us today. Here are two pictures of two ads that I spotted today on the streets that talks about purity. They are ordinary ads but they represent a certain aspiration or fear (depending on how you look at it). It represents the erection of walls, ghettos. To me it represents looking inwards, a fear of the others. It seems like a step back while we move forward pulled by things beyond our control, these simple looking ads are like heads turned back as we walk into the uncertain future.


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