Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Mellifluocos Mostafacetiousnoxity of Old Kolkataux Dangarella

Long time, no posts, but this winter Drighangchoo is planning another issue. The third issue was well recieved, and we got in touch with some more friends who've tried (this time successfully) to wake us up from our by now proverbial lyaad.  Many have asked us to be more regular, but (er)regularity was always one of our strong points- we hate conveyor belt compulsions that much!

As always, submissions are most welcome this time.

And finally, a year and half after its appearance, the first issue of Drighangchoo has ran out of stock.  So here's the prophetic edit piece that went along with it, along with the cover image. We've decided to upload the first issue online as soon as we locate the pdf lost somewhere in the dark hard disc and compact disc caves that make up our collections...

We have discovered (hello, 1, 2, 3, check…) a few yellowed pages of an aborted attempt in print, quizzically named Drighangchoo, miles below the ash-heap of a place where a supposed ‘centre for excellence' was situated 200 years ago. Records say that in April-May 2009 metropolitan Kolkata was sweltering in denotative and connotative heat. Project Drighangchoo, as we will call it for the time being (NO, I'M SPEAKING IN A SEMINAR, DAMMIT!), consists of graphics and words assorted in a loose narrative pattern in print, somehow similar to an arcane form called comics-no, not exactly hentai- prevalent during those days.

It is herculean to figure out what Drighangchoo means. Experts opine that the word belongs to a Sanskrit-rooted language. It might be a Bengali word, the language precariously predominant in that mad metropolis and used in the discovered pages. (GLUGGGH!). Existing dictionaries don't help much. 'Drigha' might be a misprint or anagram of 'dirgha', meaning 'long, extended'. We are trying to figure out 'angchoo'. There is a hunch (ahem) that the phrase/coinage might be suggestive of something lewd, bawdy. While linguists are brainstorming /thoughtshowering / mindf^@!ing over the word, we will probably be able to shed more light on the word in our De gret Maltinashonal University’s next Kooltural Studies and Ethnographix conference. 

Archaeologists opine that these quaint pages might have some correspondence with the situation prevailing in the summer of 2009 in Kolkata (Raymond Zizou, Dec. 2191). Existing visual archives show that the city overbearingly resembled a ‘comic book’ during those months. Panels, mainly rectangular of varied proportions made of paper, textiles or polymer were strewn across the city, not advertising consumer products but ‘characters’ and ‘collectives’ engaged in a communal circus called the parliamentary elections which was performed every five years, or less. These panels consist of faces and figures and sentences resembling rudimentary 'thought balloons' used in comic strips. Sketches of women in form of caricatures, photographed men looking like cartoons, languages engaged in a humongous conversation ('conversation' ki 'humongous' hoy?), with non-photographic logos and insignias abounding. It is difficult now to discern if Project Drighangchoo was actually associated with this enormous redesigning of the city-space which curiously ceased to function by the end of May (but resurfaced again circa 2022).

But historians argue that such extrapolations might be farfetched. Sequential art predominantly in black on white featuring texts of varying lengths might not have been the dominant mode of expression during those days in Kolkata. At least there is a dearth of substantial evidence supporting this view. The medium was largely consumed by juveniles in the previous decades (see Panchoogopal, Feb. 2209). Though there was much development in the West, static sequential art in print was not considered viable, effective, expressive or respectable as a medium of artistic expression in Bengal in the early decades of 21 century (ibid). Dependable records say that no awards, luminaries or university syllabi (almost!) dealt seriously with such a mode. Bengali intelligentsia or culturatti chiefly considered specialized forms of verbal and written language as their modes and visual culture was not very strong. (Shit! Shit! Shit! Goddamn microphone…

(Hmm) Project Drighangchoo might be considered a waning of faith over language in a climate when mediocrity was the chief marker of specialized and expressive language, when sophistication of poetic diction succumbed to the most banal of political endeavors, when graffiti gave way to manufactured images, humor lost its bite in a culture saturated with sentimentality, and the human imagination didn't have much time for animal forms, or, as experts argue, the mode of 'fables'…

Zizou , Raymond. Look Within: The Mellifluocos Mostafacetiousnoxity of Old Kolkataux Dangarella. Tlon: Cauliflower Press, Dec. 2191.
Panchoogopal, Gechhodada K. Shishura keno Knaade? Protnotottwey Komix'r Hahakar O Onyanyo Probondho (Beng.) Bot Tola: Looptu Press, Feb. 2209.