I grew up watching the comedy series of Mr. Bean. I used to be too much engrossed in watching, that I forgot since what time had I been watching. The character of Mr. Bean was well-played by the actor. I and all those watching it obviously enjoyed the funny acts of Mr. Bean. But there was something else that appealed me. I could not recognize it in my childhood. But now, whenever I think about it, I can better understand my feelings.
The thing that appealed to me was the delights of living in the first world. Well-dressed people walking in exhibitions, clean and airy roads, little amenities of life that everyone could enjoy, tasty pastries that Bean could buy from a road-side hawker (at least here in the third world we call him by this name) just by paying some coins. There was an idea of comfort that I enjoyed watching. The comfort arising from consumerism.
The kind of comfort that I couldn’t find in a third world country. Soon there came a time when I watched Mr. Bean not as a comedy serial but as a travelogue series that let me see a first world country. Which country, I did not know and did not even care to know. I just fulfilled my aesthetic appeals by watching it.
Now when I have grown up enough to identify the differences between a developed and under-developed country, I realize that I was appealed towards the consumerism of the first world. The idea of lavishness. I could identify the differences that exist between countries. This never let me enjoy the series to the full. I used to see people laughing out loud on comedy acts of Mr. Bean but I could never enjoy the series in that way.
There was a sore in my heart that had developed due to friction of these differences. This sore still resides there and now yearns for more soreness rather than cure. The inequality that exists in the world has been there since always and will be there forever. The minor differences that used to exist in economies are now extending and increasing, creating gaps that will take forever to fill up.
The soreness, the friction that is there makes me question the realities. It keeps me alive and shows me the mirror. It helps me to perceive reality. And most of all, it never lets me satisfied. After all, how can a sane mind be satisfied in such a set of circumstances?
But one thing will remain the same forever, one side of the world will remain the show-stopper forever and one side will always be the audience. Now I think of Mr. Bean as a metaphor for the superpowers who make the world laugh through their amusing acts. But such acts often turn out to be disadvantageous for themselves instead of anyone else.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Dunya News’ editorial stance.