In a world where complexity often reigns supreme, I find myself drawn to the unapologetically simple these days. I come home after a long day's work, flop onto the couch, and indulge in the guilty pleasure of watching Hindi skits featuring stick figures, making crass jokes that serve no purpose other than to entertain. My roommate joins in, and we laugh uncontrollably, pointing out the uncanny resemblance between the skit's characters and someone we know. It's all in good fun, and it's perfectly fine to admit that these jokes are, well, just jokes - no deeper meaning, no profound insights, and certainly no critique required.
It's quite a departure from my previous self, a time when I would have scoffed at such seemingly mindless entertainment. Back then, I held the belief that indulging in such simplicity was beneath me, a derogatory insult to my intelligence. I would've questioned why I should waste my precious time on something that didn't expand my horizons or provoke thought. But, here's the revelation: there's a profound reason why this type of mainstream entertainment works, and it has everything to do with the evolving nature of our lives.
As the years pass and our lives become more complex and riddled with greater anxieties, we inevitably become more serious about life itself. We shoulder the burdens of responsibility, ambition, and the overarching need to take life seriously. When you become the director, producer, and lead actor in the ongoing drama that is your life, there's often not much room left for the pursuit of intellectual depth in the form of intricate, mind-bending, and layered works of art.
In fact, sometimes, life itself becomes the grand canvas we study, a fascinating exploration of existence and living. We find ourselves engrossed in this epic story, striving to understand it, live it with grace and beauty, and exercise patience in the face of its many challenges. Like a responsible adult, we navigate the complexities of life, making choices and decisions that bear real consequences.
In such a scenario, the thought of diving into another complex character nestled within a mind-bending script, all in the name of vicarious intellectual stimulation, can seem more like a daunting task than a delightful escape. We find ourselves yearning for simplicity, for those moments when we can just laugh without analysing, and where the greatest challenge of the day is guessing which stick figure will deliver the next punchline.
This inclination towards mindless entertainment is not a regression into ignorance but rather a testament to our adaptability as human beings. We seek balance in our lives, and sometimes that balance necessitates a healthy dose of light-hearted amusement. It's a reminder that life doesn't always need to be about grand intellectual pursuits, profound revelations, or soul-searching quests. It can also be about moments of unadulterated joy and laughter, even if it's at the expense of stick figures making crass jokes.
So, let's embrace these moments of respite, where we set aside the weight of the world's complexities and let ourselves revel in the sheer simplicity of mindless entertainment. In a life filled with demands, responsibilities, and challenges, finding joy in the uncomplicated can be a necessary and precious escape.
(The writer is a mental health and behavioural sciences columnist, conducts art therapy workshops and provides personality development sessions for young adults. She can be found @the_millennial_pilgrim on Instagram and Twitter)