The Modernity Conundrum

What is modernity? Do you know for sure? Well, I don’t and hence the following worries…

Modernity? Is it a state of being? Or existence?
is it really what you’re seeing? What’s its substance?

Is it a conundrum, an enigma? Or just a mirage?
a completely incomprehensible miasma, of an unknown visage .

Modern is supposedly the new, departing from the old,
I wish that I really knew, but that’s what I’ve been told.

Or is it reshaping of tradition, casting in a new mould?
a new sort of rendition, of what’s actually quite old.

Is it new wine in old bottles? Or is it old in the new?
frankly, the mind boggles, I really don’t have a clue.

When did modernity start, from whence did it arise?
from where did it depart, can we fairly surmise?

Did it originate from the new visions of great visionaries?
or was it caused by the missions of fanatic missionaries?

Did modernity originate through economic transformations?
or was it due to  misdirected maritime perambulations?

Did it originate in a peasant’s field, or in a city factory?
the answers such questions yield, are not really satisfactory.

Disdaining the past is one of the aspects, of what I know as modern,
while improving humanity’s future prospects, is its self-proclaimed burden.

The newness of modernity, are said to be its differences,
it’s a different kind of serendipity, altering all of our preferences.

Modernity’s mantra is progress, a forward looking ideology,
so  it can never retrace, from its overwhelming teleology.

Its post-enlightenment, say modernity’s European genealogists,
and on this firmament, it has created its own unique apologists.

Pre-modern and modern, such binaries we repeatedly establish,
race to reach this turn we’re told, or stay ossified and languish.

Modernity is mechanical, typified by newer technologies,
obliterating the traditional, demolishing all with no apologies.

Modernity has cultural specifics, on that there is no doubt,
here only what’s nouveau sticks, the rest have to move out.

But one thing that I can conclude, of that I can be sure,
modernity often tends to exclude, those who are poor.

To those whose belief is very firm, that all around is modernity,
I say, for me modernity is still a conundrum, now isn’t that a pity?

3 thoughts on “The Modernity Conundrum

  1. Rajat Datta says:

    I am sorry but I can’t seem to follow your argument.


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