Are we entertain-mentally challenged?

Most of us in Kashmir don’t live life; we just breathe

SERIOUS THOUGHT

EJAZ AYOUB

In order to maintain a healthy balance between our body and mind we have to provide an outlet to our natural instincts by involving ourselves into ethical pleasures. We as humans need a break from our daily routines and if this break is not taken in the form of entertainment then most of the times our efficiency and performance in other dimensions of our lives along with our physical and mental health get affected. Since the amount of veela time with Kashmiris is comparably more (keeping in consideration the concentration of working people into aaramdayak government services. For our business houses it’s no demanding either and they too follow a 10.00 - 5.00 routine), therefore the need to address the leisure time is equally important.

Current mental scenario of Kashmiri population:
It is a matter of fact that the current generation of Kashmir has been exposed to some seriously traumatic situations and human rights violations in the recent past ranging from bloody landmine causalities to tsunamic state wide protests. Most of us have spent our childhood under the shade of barbed wires and army green bunkers and we have so well accustomed ourselves with the situation that we have adopted this tacitly burdened stress and depression as an indispensible part of our lives. We have been brought up by our parents in an environment where safety is valued more than anything else (entertainment was never in the list). With survival topping our priority list it is quite obvious that our entertainment industry was confined to only passive means of TV, Internet and Radio and active means of entertainment remained a distant dream. If we keep entertainment index as a measure of quality of life then compared to rest of the world, most of us in Kashmir don’t live life; we just breathe.

Pre 90’s Entertainment avenues in Kashmir:
Life in Kashmir before nightmarish 90’s used to be a lot different and people were involved in a number of activities in their leisure time. Some of the regional activities that people in Kashmir used to enjoy on a regular basis were Wanewun, Rouf, Bande Pather (Kashmir’s roadside Theatres), Ladishah (Kashmiri Satirist), Sheen Jung, Swimming, Shikara rides, fishing, hunting, tea parties at Baadam Waer etcetera; and apart from local entertainment forms there were a number of modern means of entertainment used by people like cinemas, exhibitions and circus at Numayish – The Exhibition. Unfortunately, the current generation, with genuinely depressed brains, which requires entertainment as more of a life saving drug than a luxury, have unfortunately a poor set of clean entertainment avenues to choose from.

Repercussions: Drug to Gossip
A recent revelation from a telecom company tags Kashmiris as the most talkative people in India. This statement is a very interesting indicator of some deep unnoticed facts. Fact is that we are afflicted with a disease, a disease of entertainment deficiency. The symptoms of this disease can be easily visible in the form of our increasing addiction towards cell phone gossips, social networking sites, daily soaps etcetera. We have been conditioned to live life within four walls and we tend to satisfy our entertainment needs through unconventional passive means of telecommunication and satellite TV. Humans (particularly youth) are loaded with energies of different intensities and if these energies are curbed for long they can come out in the ugly volcanic forms of drug abuse, crime and violence. And this entertainment deficiency is someway or the other responsible for increasing drug abuse and crime rates in our society. Before these energies come out in a wrong way at a wrong time, its better we proactively provide a better reason to channel these energies.

Current Entertainment Profile:
The current list of activities that we do in our leisure time include TV, radio, and internet on a regular basis; and sometimes a drive to boulevard on weekends. Similarly, in summers more entertaining weekend visits to Gulmarg, Pahalgam, and Sonmarg top our list. Although priceless beauty of our Kashmir is always a treat to had, but then hasn’t it become too droning? Since childhood we have been given this single source of occasional entertainment doses of going to mountains, glaciers, gushing streams of clean ice cold waters amidst deodars. The format is so standard and stale that even the pattern of spreading picnic sheets and having Natte’ Batte’ is ditto across the valley. Honestly speaking this is so monotonous and unentertaining, and it seems as if we have entered into an invisible contract with ourselves that these are the only ethical means of entertainment and there is just this mode for picnics which nobody dares to challenge.

Possible entertainment avenues:
Keeping the 10% contribution of “Tourism Sector” to our state GDP, it does make economic sense to start developing a clean, ethical entertainment industry so that Kashmir offers more than just natural beauty. Some of the possible entertainment avenues can be introduction of amusement parks in city, organizing seasonal festivals (e.g. Snow Festival), Go-Karting circuits, horse riding courses, identified hunting grounds etc. It doesn’t require huge outlay of funds but a little organizing ability with clarity of vision and above all a willingness to welcome change.
Although we have golf courses, stadiums, theaters (Tagore Hall), polo grounds, museums, wildlife parks (Dachigam), exhibition grounds (Kashmir Haat) etc. but what percentage of our population plays golf? Are we allowed to enter our stadiums? When was the last time Tagore Hall hosted a play? Have we ever witnessed Polo being played in Polo Ground? Why we are not allowed to visit Dachigam on weekends (For weekdays you require a pass from Tourism Department)? The list of questions is quite long and it’s time we addressed them, or else the repercussions of entertainment deficiency can take a toll on the health profile and intellectual capital of our Kashmir.
Author is risk analyst with J&K Bank.

Lastupdate on : Fri, 7 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 7 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 8 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST




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