The Indian Economy Blog

October 30, 2007

Life Is Maya

Filed under: Business,Entrepreneurship,Humor — Prashant @ 7:35 am

Lalita Aloor Amuthan, who blogs on entrepreneurship at Business World sent us this guest post:

I was at the New York aquarium last week, which was somewhat unusual, given that the only fish I like are the ones that come with chips. Even more unusual: I stood in line for thirty minutes to transform myself for six minutes, into a deep-sea diver and experience the depths of the ocean, all via a 3-D show.

That’s why this Times Online article struck a chord, about people in India queuing up to experience a flight that doesn’t really take them anywhere. Only, this is not a 3-D effect, it’s a proper plane. Sans one wing and half the tail, but a plane nevertheless. There are stewardesses (if you can call them that) who move up and down the aisles offering drinks. And even a fake pilot with announcements about the turbulence in the sky! I asked myself if any of the “passengers” experienced air sickness? That might be pushing it though — after all, how much can one expect for just Rs 160 (USD 4)?

“I see planes passing all day long over my roof,” Selim, a 40-year-old tyre mechanic was quoted as saying. “I had to try out the experience.” [link]

This raises a question: how is Second Life doing in India?

1 Comment »

  1. The world may be ‘maya’ but I am not.

    And there’s nothing strange about us Indians finding our own escape from reality (reality of the relative kind or ‘maya’) through virtual or simulated experiences.

    We see it in the quoted example of the ‘flight to nowhere’ as much as we see it in the queues for films, video game parlors. Isn’t this also similar to the ‘simulated’ world we create with the help of stimulants like alcohol or other stronger substances?

    And I don’t believe this is an Indian phenomenon alone. You see it in the hugely popular MMOG worlds ( that millions of addicts disappear into across Eurpoe and Asia. Or the virtual or digital pets that people keep, which I think is largely a non-Indian phenomenon (as of now at least!). Or even the escapism of the more than 9.8 million users of Second Life. Or the identities created (many of them artificial) in the popular social networking sites.

    Selim in India, and ‘Slim-Jim’ in the US, are only living out their fantasies/desires/agendas in the various worlds out there! Which is the real world and which one is ‘maya’? You tell me :-)

    Comment by guruprasad — November 2, 2007 @ 1:41 pm

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