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Monday, January 4, 2010

4 The Buffalo-Man...full of Bull

So I came across this press report and itenerary for one 'Buffalo-man' on the Blue Frog's* notice board. He is apparently some Bangla bugger who claims to be into art. Now I dont have anything against artists, nor against banglas, but frankly this one looked more conman than cowman to me. Lets look at his modus operandi.

He says he was moved by the plight of some farmer types in Dhaka or Chittagong or wherever. These poor folk were neck deep into debt, and then the bank/moneylender/MFI snatched away even the household cow (/buffalo/bull. bovine livestock basically). You would know that there aint no tractors in those parts - its the humble beast which pulls the plough. So in desperation these poor farmers resorted to becoming human beasts of burden, pulling their ploughs themselves. Pretty sad if you ask me, but what does our Mr. Smartypants do? Exploits the situation of course.

He claims to be so 'touched' by their condition that he goes on a mission to try and feel being a human bullock himself. NOT by actually pulling ploughs, but by simply wearing a pair of horns and some threadbare costume and then touring the world. Heights of hypocrisy! Mind you, this is not some social activist trying to highlight the plight of some poor farmers, the man is trying to portray this as art. He claims that he is trying to feel the pain of the farmer this way. Bollocks! Where is the art I say? Was this some great piece of canvas-on-oil? Some poignant lament of a song? Nope. Just a jackass pretending to be a bullock by wearing horns and roaming hip art galleries. Pray, how is he going to feel the connect with that poor farmer when he is hobnobbing with Neetu Ambani or Parmeshwar Godrej?

I am sure part of the reason this wannabe bungla bungler gets so much attention is his exotic roots (the only other person I know from Bangladesh is Taslima Nasreen, and lets please leave the cricketers out of this). So my anger also goes out to the Indian versions of this man-beast, who surely exploit our own nation's poor by displaying 'art' like this in the Louvres and Metropolitan of the world. This is not art Mr.Buffalo, this is you feeding off your audience's penchant for wretchedness.

Now the disclaimer. I have done zilch research on this dude. Dont even know his name. Didnt even care for a cursory google search. Perhaps he is actually a real artist with some talent. But I truly disliked this particular tamasha he put, hence the rant. One might say I used him as a punching bag, practicing my blows. Or as a guinea pig. Only fair given his tendency to ape animals, wouldnt you say? :)

*Yes, the same Blue Frog in the uber-hip Kamla/Lakshmi/Sita Mills area in Lower Parel just North of Chinchpokli. The one right next to Zinze....oops Zenzi! For the sake of the Zee effect, should they consider renaming it Blue Gazelle? or Blue Zebra? I think I should stop now...

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