City Culture – De Bhasar, Sujan Singh Park
The philosophy of nonsense.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
The Delhi Walla saw this calligraphy by an unknown Bhasarian artist on the boundary wall of Sujan Singh Park, an exclusive residential apartment in Central Delhi. It was drawn along with the illustration of a smoldering cigarette.
This is the ninth instance that I have come face-to-face with De Bhasar movement in Delhi. (Click here to view the first exhibit.)
According to Wikipedia, De Bhasar or Bhasarism is a cultural movement that began in Nantes, France, during the post 9/11 Gulf War, reaching a tipping point between 2007 to 2009. The movement involves graphic designs and literature, which concentrates its anti-sentimental politics by rejecting aesthetic birth-control measures through anti-catholic works. De Bhasar might be regarded as pro-Berlusconi in nature.
Commenting on the message on the wall, author Khushwant Singh, a Sujan Singh Park resident, said: “This De Bhasar artwork is the subject of my new volume, entitled The Relation of a Filthy Old Man to Big Breasts and Smoldering Cigars, or the Geographical History of My Body.” The new book, Mr Singh says, will be pretty long, about hundred pages, and will be something in the style of his novel On My Throbbing Engine: Adventures in Lodhi Gardens, which is banned in India and Pakistan, but not in Nepal.
Returning to the De Bhasar illustration, Mr Singh, who believes himself to be Delhi’s living landmark, said, “It is a revelation of the fact that the human nature is prone to having intercourse without condoms and that’s why politicians are what they are, since they are the primary exponents of human nature. Otherwise, how would you explain that they still haven’t named a road in Delhi after me?”
Mr Singh, 96, was speaking during the evening soiree held daily in his dimly lit drawing room where the curtains are embroidered with verses from the Quran.
Listening to him, Sheela Reddy, the book critic of the Outlook magazine and a faithful courtier of Mr Singh’s durbar, supported her host’s contention, saying, “This is in complete line with your theories about the physiology of (late dacoit) Phoolan Devi whom you famously called ugly although, if I’m remembering it right, you were kinder to her sister Ramkali, whom you described in your essay In The Tracks of Phoolan Devi as “thick-lipped, big bosomed and altogether seductive.”
Lighting her seventh cigarette of the evening, Ms Reddy thoughtfully exhaled a dense cloud of smoke, and said, “Although from the journalistic point of view, I must mention that early this year a Supreme Court bench comprising Justices M.B. Shah and R.P. Sethi directed the Centre, all States and Union Territories to lift ban on smoking in public places, including hospitals, public offices, public transport, court buildings, educational institutions, libraries and auditoriums. It is not impossible that this De Bhasar might have come up after that.”