Monday, November 27, 2006

Manipal: Between Scylla And Charybdis, Or, Something More

Manipal, the teeming academic metropolis situated on Udipi's hinterland is a cross roads destination for a bewilderingly broad section of humanity. It offers a view of a modern India caught up in aspiration.

For new arrivals from the West the place is askew. On the surface something of a facsimilie of similar places they know from home but lurking underneath is the Indian reality, much harder to grasp since it is simply not predictable for people used to settled patterns. It takes some considerable time but for those who do come to a sense of awareness there is the realization that this is much closer to the truth than the homogenized forms to which they were accustomed.

These two videos showing Manipal with more coarse production values do greater justice to the raw beauty of the place than the other more lavishly produced versions in circulation.

Most people confess a tortured relationship with the place, but no matter the sentiments expressed it does manage to insinuate itself in your consciousness and you find yourself forever changed: For better or worse, the choice is yours in this regard

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