I can’t seem to catch much of anyone’s attention. But then again, I am everywhere like a parasite of information that nobody needs, or do they? I would never know; I just live in the hope that someone does use my visual “beauty” to their benefit.
Hello there! I am one of Bangalore’s (Big B) information supplier. “Big B” and I used to get along quite well before all the digital platforms tried to take over my job with all the fancy glossy glassy surfaces of LCD billboards, laptops, smartphones and tablets and whatnot. I don’t carry any fancy information; my existence is intended towards those lower/middle socio-economic class folks, living in Bangalore. I offer information on GST filing, PG accommodation for Gents and Ladies, missing persons, lease or rent accommodation, strange ‘wanted’ job opportunities, wholesale requirements etc. But now I wonder, do I really make a difference in the people’s lives who commission to stick me? Do they ever get calls from all those numbers that are presented by me? I sure hope my presence is of some use.
While I give utility-based information, my cousins the “Movie posters” churn out entertainment pieces for many Kannada and other regional films. We are very complacent in nature. We do not throw tantrums on where we should be seen, any surface will do. I have been stuck on to actual advertisement boards, to pillars, poles, junction box, random sheds, walls under the bridge, to any surface that gives enough space for me to fit. As long as I am being put up with those strong, thick, gluey concoction that will assure my stability onto the surface, I am simply content.
However, lately I have been feeling that my presence with “Big B” is in a juxtaposed state. It has become rather insufferable. I simply have to dispense my exasperation. It is mostly about how I seem to ‘appear’. I have a list of things I would like to bring to your notice. I understand, my capacity is to only give out basic information, but I do follow some rules of aesthetics. I am always aligned well into straight lines in A4 or A3 sized sheets with standard bold fonts in colours such as black, white, blue, yellow and red. However, in no time I find different versions of myself stacked and stuck, one upon the other with no regard. I am constantly bullied by casual bystanders, who scratch me out bit by bit oh so casually while they are talking on the phone. Some spit on me the bright orange beetle nut residue that they have been chewing on as they wait for the bus. While, some drunkards simply tear me off because they are bored and want to engage the strength of their nails and find dirty pleasure (literally) in digging out the filthy adhesive from under their nails. Children and teenagers vandalize me often before my actual expiry date. Stray cows and goats who wander around the city find me and my makeup (paper and ink) to be delicious for some reason hence, lick me and eat me up in small portions. Then, comes the person in charge of sticking me on the surface, who comes in regular intervals armed with hundreds of clones of me in his bag. He ruthlessly scrapes off whatever is left of me with those scraper spatulas to make room for more. Lastly, the weather wears me down leaving me in shreds.
Over time, I have been torn off in all angles making me lose all my shape and value and any of my original crispy aesthetics with which I came out of the printer. But I try not to despair, what good shall come of that? So just when I think my visual appearances have depleted, I find someone taking photographs of me. The individual seems to be interested in my appearance, I don’t know if it is for the bits information that is still left on me or because I am interesting to look at. So perhaps, reconsidering the idea of aesthetics is what will raise more value to its meaning. Therefore, I find a different kind of beauty emerging in my form and find myself becoming part of the cityscape, building its character through all the abrasive life experiences of mine.