Lalita Lekhana

Elegant writing to mask mundane rubbish.


The art of elegantly writing nonsense is the vāmapanthi’s forte.

There was a time when men of culture and taste wrote words that resounded through the ages; majestic and irreplaceable were their thunderous roars, captured and encoded into alphabets and scripts.

To the critic of societal values this was an effective weapon, to him there were few other means which could have held more sway among the influential and trendsetting class of men. Not only did he merely adopt it, over the years he made it all his own,

This control did not stop with simply churning out acceptable lines of thought or guidelines that shape the road towards entropy, it expanded, into twisting existing streams as well. Such was his proficiency that it did not take long before the finer pursuits of art, music, theatre, etc. became the refuge of those who sought to uproot culture and replace it with bland strains of Universalism.

Today, we open the pages of what are considered great literary magazines, and we find beautiful words strung together to yield the most inane and meaningless of platitudes and analyses. Art which flash brightly but do not inspire thoughts. Theatre which shock the senses and invoke tepid applause. Music? The less said the better.

Fine arts existed for their own sake, to invoke in people feelings that differentiated them from beasts. That is what our ancients called as Rasa. The inner emotions being evoked in response to synthetic stimuli which hinted at our inner impulses, whilst now we have political posturing that have completely enwrapped themselves around such expressions. These expressions, create more problems than they solve, but when they fail they are salvaged by the No True Scotsman card.

They ask us to be ashamed at all turns, they raise the phantoms of privilege when they notice even a hint of a spine. Thus has writing, become a tool to shame and exalt fault-lines. To make it more palatable, we see words of immense beauty, and techniques of tremendous skill being copiously employed. The usage of words having vague origins in place of precise terms. Tremendous and torturous ways of read in between lines, even in those places where there are only white spaces.

It is no surprise that they are awarded and praised, appreciated for metre, rhyme, tempo and texture. The same group praising each other in turns, adding layers of drivel to further obscure their simplistic origins and content.

When shall we see again, the lalitakāvya-s, brihadkathā-s, rasayukta nāṭaka-s, nādamaya saṅgīta? Will they ever be resurrected in our high tongues and vernaculars alike?

Our stories once taught us morals. Now they validate our shortcomings. It is time new itihāsa-s are wrought, before all that remains is debris.

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