Country Metaphors???

So heading back home thru the art-form that is New Delhi Traffic, I caught the RJ* rambling on about how Manoj Night Shyamalan said that his latest movie – The Village could be seen as a metaphor for America.


As somebody who’s only spent 5 years in America and spent 25 years approx. hearing about it from one source or another, I struck me as true in some senses, but very simplistic…but then it’s only a 2 hour long movie.

So to escape the persecution of the “Outside World” these people break away, going to a place out in the middle of nowhere. Ok sounds like America somewhat. All of them have an awful story about the outside world, and how harsh it is. Then they get attacked by the “creatures” in the woods, which prevent them from leaving their self-centred isolated world, which of course turn out be self-created. Yes, that seems like America to me too. But of course, as self-sufficient as their village is, they still have to depend on the outside world for a few things – the quest to get medicine, for example. And the outside world depends on them too somewhat – those security guards that man the perimeter, they salary was probably paid by the the Rich owner(s)? of the village (most likely William Hurt still has all his father’s money). And even if one of these vilagers does venture out of their village, she’s the Blind one. She leaves the village with her single purpose, and so does not stop to try and get a sense of what the outside world is really like. Then she heads straight back home, to safety. Yep, sounds like the America I know again…

Steven Spielberg’s new Movie The Terminal has just released in India, and the above RJ says that this is also another metaphor for America. He quotes Spielberg as saying “All of America can be found in the shops, restaurants and offices found inside any airport terminal…like some sort of Nowhere Place”….alrighty…will have to see that movie for myself and decide…..

On the other hand…. one could look at a blank sheet of white paper and say it was a metaphor for a rainbow in some way or the other, so all the above could just be hot air….

So after all this rambling, I pose a question to anybody who brushes past this site –
What do you see as a metaphor for India?

To get the ball rolling, here’s my two paise:
I see India as a really really old and fragile vase, always on the brink of shattering. This vase has been shattered and put together quite a few times over the years. And each time it becomes whole, it’s never quite the same, because the shards that are glued together to make it whole come from entirely different sources – sources which one would never think of mixing together. Oh and it doesn’t have a smooth round shape. If you look at it from one angle, it looks kinda appealing. Turn this vase just by 1 degree and it looks ugly, misshapen, very badly formed. And each time you look at it, you will see something different.

Well there’s my contribution. Anybody else with a more interesting one?

*RJ is short for Radio Jockey. In India, People on the Radio are called RJs and not DJs, because here, the term DJ is reserved for those people who play the music at clubs/parties, and are part of that whole dance/hiphop/remix culture. Odd, but true.

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