Of all the over-used, catchy new terms of the twenty first century, this is probably the most illusory. How can we claim to be a village, a single community in which all residents are not only interconnected and interdependent, but share meaningful relationships of communal feeling, when the world we live in is torn apart by strife and difference? Only a few days ago, through C’est la vie, we shared the story of Aylan Kurdi, the little Syrian boy whose water-logged body became the representation of the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe. Here we are, shutting our man-made borders to those fleeing for their life from beyond them, and in the same breath we dare to speak of our world as one where borders do not matter, where boundaries have dissolved in the face of the thriving monolith known as the internet. The Utopia we like to speak of, I’m afraid, does not exist.
But I believe it can.
Just the other day, I was Whatsapping a Saudi Arabian friend now based in Malaysia. We were talking about Aylan’s story. I know that she shared the poem around with her friends. Her friends responded with statements and concerns of their own, which we talked about on Twitter. Another friend from the UK liked and retweeted the post, while several from Australia and Kenya, if my blog analytics are anything to go by, appear to have shared or at least read it through Tumblr. I have a Turkish follower on Tumblr who shared the post on her blog, although the post indirectly indicted her own country. And there lies the source of my perhaps vain hope.
I don’t think the power of social media is in doubt any longer. Any multinational giant or media professional will tell you of its immense power, the virtually inexhaustible potential it allows one to harness in terms of outreach. But I don’t know any of that. I exist in a very small, very quiet corner of the internet- the corner right here on C’est la vie, and I can only tell you of how this corner exists in a third space beyond all physical boundary lines that anyone has ever drawn. I can only tell you about Delaney, my friend from the US who designed the posters for our project Goddesses, and how she is a part of our corner despite my never having physically met her. I can only tell you about Alix and Daphne, my friends from France on Twitter, who I bonded with over a mutual love for books and Doctor Who. I can only tell you about Astha, the blogger-poet from Punjab who I share a soul with. And I can only tell you about the wonderful things we’ve accomplished together, writing, creating and discussing issues as diverse as Game of Thrones and the disease of love to losing our musical virginities, on the internet, and right here on C’est la vie.
And therefore, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, despite all the odds that stand in our way to achieving this (Donald Trump possibly being elected President being only one of them), I still believe in the vision of C’est la vie: that the world can, and will one day become what it claims to be- a global village, a place where people like Aylan won’t have to find their homes in a world beyond this one. Perhaps this makes me naive and ridiculously optimistic, but hey, if cynicism was the hallmark of Gen X, obscene hope is probably Gen Y’s to hold.
And you know what the best part is? It is already happening, in little droplets in the vast ocean of the interweb, and it’s happening right here on C’est la vie. Who said ridiculous dreams can’t come true?
To oneness, infinity, and beyond, then. See you around for Melodies tonight.
Post written for the blogging contest arranged by Kolkata Bloggers at the American Consulate. As Arjyak put it, it totally f*cked with the continuity of Melodies, but hey. What can you do.