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Selfie: Deciphering the notion of self through a short film

By Sreyashi Mazumdar

A mere look at the term Selfie takes us to the hubbub trend of clicking pictures and swanking it on the most sought after social media platforms. Social glitterati (avid social media users) in their attempt at garnering applauds and pumping up their deflated notion of the self, have been parading social media platforms with their ostentatious pictures or rather selfies for quite a while now.

Be it the drabness of the cremation ground or the flamboyance of a wedding ceremony, social peeps are on a constant race to capture themselves amid vivid backgrounds. In an attempt at decoding the popular culture, one might run into a breeding malice. Is the new trend an antidote to the existential crisis or in a more nuanced sense a counter-poison to the gnawing inferior complexity?

Tuning into a similar line of thought, Ramchandra Gaonkar’s short film Selfie tries to essay the notion of inferior complexity with a plebeian touch to it. His short film narrates a story of a common man aboard a bus who being marred by his seething complexities takes to self-criticism.

Decried by a co-passenger and marred by the piercing glances of passerby he starts reading into their gestures. He ends up questioning his integrity, his credibility. He emulates gesticulations that would fetch him social credence. His constant struggle with the stilted notion of the self end up stifling him.

Doomed by his reveries, he ends up experimenting. He makes his fellow passenger go through a similar episode of condemnation. Satiated with the fact that his experiment fetched him the desired result, his face gleamed with a conformity, a conformity that he is not the only one. However, a smile on his fellow passenger’s face despite the maltreatment left him stupefied.

Yeh Bhaisahab mujhe Goregaon se jante hai …par main apne aapko bees saal se janta hu,” says the fellow passenger with a smile surging his face.

The climax does judders each and every one of us who find it hard to recognize our true self, a self that is bereaved of egotism.

Since our inception, we have been fighting an unremitting struggle, a struggle that gnaws at our existence, ramifying our attempts at decoding the varied facades we take to eventually. Laying off our ethereal identity, we end up donning inflated ideas and notions wielding credence. The entire gamut of who we are gets imbued with variegated notions of what is right and wrong. A persistent depravity of self- awareness when concocted with a muddled notion of life gives way to complexities or rather gives birth to ego- a fudged notion of the self.

Espousing Ayn Rand’s take on the ethereal definition of self, “To sell your soul is the easiest thing in the world. That’s what everybody does every hour of his life. If I asked you to keep your soul- would you understand why that’s much harder?” one requires to excogitate on the principal question of Who am I. Instead of getting impaired by pomposity, we need to excavate the inner self that would inevitably fend us off self-criticism and complexities.

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