Exhibition tamasha

Disheartened by the bizarre exhibition & its gatekeeping by Tofu, the exhibition-aspirant stopped to converse any further & turned to walk away from the scene as he was convinced about inside going on a mere routine tamasha, and nothing new.
Representational Pic
Representational Pic

A suburban exhibition, outside northeast corner of a city, was daily mounted in a big exhibition hall that accommodated stalls of many but routine exhibitors. A gatekeeper, Tofu was employed by the exhibition-owner, a royal baron, at its only gate to check & monitor ingress of the exhibitors. It was only those exhibitors—showstoppers, hangers-on—who had exhibition permit directly from the exhibition-owner or affiliation with retinue of other royal barons & powerful chieftains of the king who were able to gain admittance to the exhibition hall. Their entry to the exhibition hall was always guaranteed under the approved policy of the owner-baron. Additionally, the other requirement for making entry into the exhibition hall was introduced by Tofu himself in his vested discretion which was to see if an aspirant to the exhibition had red cheeks. The aspirants who had red cheeks would happily find favours with Tofu for making their entry into the exhibition hall. Those avant-garde, who didn't have any such permit or affiliation or red cheeks that was prescribed for sure passage to the exhibition hall, having though works of art and other items of utmost interest, innovatively, progressively & informatively unusual, to display to the visitors were, therefore, denied entry by Tofu into the exhibition hall. It was only the exhibitors with permits or affiliation or red cheeks who unexceptionally & repeatedly came with their usual repeated items to showcase & demonstrate invariably in the exhibition hall but, without anything considerably new about them. Only they dominated the exhibition tamasha. 

One day an aspirant to the exhibition came to seek his entry into the exhibition hall to set up his own small but impressive stall to display his splendid articles of art & craft that he had been manufacturing with great labour of love over so many days. He held, however, no such permit or affiliation as mentioned. Nor were his cheeks red to attract Tofu's clearance. He believed in himself, his great skills of art & relied heavily on the quality of his stuff he had brought with him, with artistic zeal & zest, to offer to the visitors inside the exhibition hall. He thought that on that quality alone he would be judged to get permission from the owner-baron or his gatekeeper to display his work of art inside the exhibition hall. But his perception about the whole exhibition tamasha was innately flawed as being completely slanted towards the red cheeks & permit or affiliation holders. 

He said to Tofu: "I've come to have a space inside the exhibition hall with many distinctive artworks in my possession to demonstrate to the visiting public". 

"That I understand but you can't be given entry inside the hall ", replied Tofu. 

"But why? ", asked he. 

"You don't have necessary permit or affiliation as ordained by the owner-baron. Nor are your cheeks red as loved & required by me in my discretion as only gatekeeper of the exhibition hall", replied Tofu. 

"Permit or affiliation, which I haven't, I can understand thatconfirms the owner's green light on the holder's unchecked berth inside the exhibition hall. But what cheeks of an exhibitor, an artist, have to do with the exhibition affair as such, fail to understand?', inquired the aspirant who was apparently baffledby the words "red cheeks".  

"Yes, yes, I'll tell you, red cheeks, we like, & want in the larger interests of our exhibition which is, as you know, but a show, tamasha, or a business only. Red cheeks generally attract attention of the visitors, add colour to the allottee's exhibiting slot. The visitors often get lost in looking at red cheeks of the exhibitor just as the common people are carried away by the names & labels of men, while least caring about their reality. So, it is like that…..", answered Tofu. 

"True, mostly people cling to shell ignoring kernel. It may be putrid inside, or just an empty shell, but people don't crack it to know it", said the exhibition seeker.  

"Philosophical, the way you like to interpret it, ………?",replied smiling Tofu. 

"What I understand your stress is on red cheeks of the exhibitors, and not on originality of their work. So, those without red cheeks or permit or affiliation can't make it to the exhibition", responded the aspirant. 

"Yup, in a sense, you may think so", said Tofu. 

"When weight is given to the form without seeing the content, only formal ignorance prevails. If same product by same hands is repeatedly prepared & allowed to be put to sale with little change here & there in its design, look or colour, it is like selling old wine in new bottle, a mere exhibition tamasha held to beguile the visitors into buying old work under new names",  said the exhibition aspirant. 

Tofu didn't respond any further as he was busy with his job of vigil-keeping & verification-doing of permits, affiliations & red cheeks of the exhibitors on gate of the hall. Disheartened by the bizarre exhibition & its gatekeeping by Tofu, the exhibition-aspirant stopped to converse any further & turned to walk away from the scene as he was convinced about inside going on a mere routine tamasha, and nothing new.


Related Stories

No stories found.
Greater Kashmir