Tuesday, June 20, 2006

pArAdigm shift!



'Pa-ra-dime. Yoy never heard of the paradigm shift?
Example: you see a man with his hand up your granny's ass. What do you think?'

'Bastard.'

'Right. Then you learn a deadly bug crawled up there, and the man has in fact put aside his disgust to save Granny. What do you think now?'

'Hero.'

'There you go, a paradigm shift. The action doesn't change - the information you use it to judge does. You were ready to crucify the guy because you didn't have the facts. Now you want to shake his hand.'

'I don't think so.'

'I mean figuratively, asshole,' he laughs.


This is an excerpt from 'Vernon God Little' where Lally, a media man explains to Vernon little what a paradigm shift is.

Lets take this discussion to a more practical setting and try driving home the point.

A black gangbanger - frustrated, edgy and armed - is about to do something stupid at a restaurant where he's having coffee. The waitresses are white, the service is indifferent to coloured ppl and ppl stay at more than an arm's length from blacks. Our man has made up his mind.

Just then a white waitress walks in with his coffee, smiling at a funny joke her boyfriend just cracked over the phone, lost in her happy thoughts, but looking at him while she serves him. His faith in people suddenly stands redeemed and is exemplified by this beautiful, smiling white waitress lovingly serving a black gangbanger coffee. Maybe the waitress hates blacks, maybe she loves them. But thats beside the point now because at that moment she can't be proven racist.

Closer home we encounter paradigm shifts all the time. Our hero robs, cheats, maybe even kills but all is excused when we learn that all this is for a reason and a noble one at that. There's this 'boodhi ma, jawaan behen' and what not. Our sympathetic juices start flowing unhindered. His actions stand vindicated.

I'm not saying this is flawed or anything. What I'm hinting at is this :
Positioning of facts and motives is everything.

What we see in movies, or read in books might be dramatised but reflects reality nevertheless. There's no such enity as a total thief or a perfect gentleman. If you're caught in the wrong place at the wrong time you better come up with a damn good alibi to escape.

I can hardly wait to see what Rahul Mahajan is going to come up with.

1 comment:

PritS said...

Nice one.