All my life I’ve had goals, or as my pater likes to call them, khayali pulav (imaginary pulav). And none of those dreams, have ever wanted for ghee. Become a Nobel Laureate. Write a best-selling novel. Share the stage with Bob Dylan. However, all these mundane pursuits vanished after one came across Orry, Gen Z’s Oscar Wilde. Ever since I saw him, I realised I too want to quit the capitalist rat race and only work on myself. I too wanted to be a liver and have minions who I can eliminate from The Relevance Room.
While I’ve always felt that Orry and Oscar Wilde are two kindred spirits, his recent tete-a-tete with Karan Johar reiterated that belief. The conversation deeply reminded me of one of Victorian England’s most salubriously salacious trials: Oscar Wilde vs Marquess of Queensberry.
For the uninitiated, Oscar Wilde used to wild it out with the Marquess of Queensberry’s son at a time when non-cis relationships were more frowned upon. This poked the Marquess – who came up with the rules of modern boxing – the wrong way. An angry Marquess left a card at the Albemarle, calling Wilde a “posing sodomite”.
A furious Wilde, despite his friends’ advice to let it go, filed a defamation suit against the Marquess. Now what followed was a full-fledged media trial where detectives and others went out of their way to prove that Wilde was indeed a “posing sodomite”.
During the trial, Wilde was cross-questioned by fellow Dubliner, childhood acquaintance, and Trinity College alumnus, Edward Carson QC. Letters reveal that Carson absolutely detested Wilde because he considered him a class enemy for frolicking with young men of lower classes.
When Wilde was asked what he thought about the morality of his art, he replied with his characteristic wit that “works of art are incapable of being moral or immoral, that they are simply good or bad, and it’s only brutes and illiterates who are incalculably stupid who discuss the morality of art”.
Today when I see people mocking Orry, I realise what he meant about brutes and illiterates, who are incalculably stupid and can’t recognise art when they see it. Of course, Wilde, lived in incalculably stupid times, as do we, to be bothered so much this young man.
Or perhaps, the real reason people are bothered by Orry was succinctly explained by another great thinker from from England, Bertrand Russell. The pacifist had argued: “Conventional people are roused to fury by departure from convention, because they see such a departure, as a criticism of themselves.”
Any nascent anger at Orry stems from not understanding him, and why he doesn’t have to follow the rules laid down for the rest of us. In a world where nepo kids – who could afford it but clearly didn’t go to film school – are launched by OTTs to ruin childhood favourite comics, Orry refuses to follow any rules of stardom laid down for stars. He doesn’t have to be in a movie because he realises the truth: life is cinema.
He doesn’t need to go on tedious shows where critics discuss unwatchable movies or act in misogynist Freudian skits masquerading as films.
In the old days, there were authors who almost lived hermit-like existences after their novels became successes, the likes of Harper Lee or JD Salinger. Orry, on the other hand, is the opposite of the hermit, he lives an existence that he wants and refuses to bow to any sort of societal expectations of how he ought to behave under the limelight.
Orry’s refusal to play by the rules laid down makes him a constant source of irritation. The great philosopher Ramadhir Singh had once explained: “Sabka dimaag mein apna apna picture chal rahi hain. (Everyone has their own cinema going on in their heads)”.
That’s true for all of us, but Orry has transcended that to the next level and embraced the cinema in his head to the extent that there’s nothing left to distinguish between his reel and real self. And we, mere mortals, are angry because none of us could ever achieve that entelechy (or, as the kids say, take the red pill) in our own lifetimes.
Disclaimer: The views expressed are author’s own.
Entertainment! Entertainment! Entertainment! 🎞️🍿💃 Click to follow our Whatsapp Channel 📲 Your daily dose of gossip, films, shows, celebrities updates all in one place