Being Under the Influence

In class, we were told, that as students the Department wanted to mould us. Some in my class assumed this incorrectly. I, perhaps due to my ignorance and (to an extent) passive listening, accepted this without much emotion. However, like most other concepts, brought forth to the seventeen of us, this too was misinterpreted as the trend permitted.

Conflicts aside – yes it is none of my concern so as long as no one is physically hurt – nearly ninety days in to the course, I begin to see the reality of this.

I speak for myself and shall refrain from using the word “we”.

I begin to look at everything around me, in a postcolonial context. I found racial discrimination in “New Girl” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. Yet, I constantly try to remind myself – as my teacher rightfully pointed it out – it is only one perspective to looking at something. I must ensure that I am not swimming in it for my own good.

I also see how the concept of my ‘identity’ has been greatly shaped by the colonial /postcolonial hangover we dwell in. I have multiple identities, multiple histories, and according to a recent book I read, multiple futures as well, with Asia at the centre of it all.

We are told constantly that most ideas cannot be defined as their meanings are plural, fluid and relative. I don’t know how Homi Bhabha or Ania Loomba did it but I am still looking for answers to the questions formulated by excessive exposure to poststructuralism, deconstruction and postcolonialism.

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