#THOF (The Having Of Fun, November 07, 2015):

Does Mowgli have fun? Why do we crack jokes? Why are spoofs enjoyable, & is having fun, fundamentally, an act of subversion? Does having fun require us to be innocent ‘fools’? Is fun the basic objective of human existence? What is it, then, not to have fun? Is it a fact of human existence that most of the time we are not having fun? Is pain the (obvious) obverse of pleasure? How can tragic spectacles be pleasure producing? How can an expression of sorrow, such as Blues, be enjoyable? Does the idea of fun primarily come to us in retrospect? Is having fun in the present often a contrived and laboured idea? Is the idea of fun intimately linked to the notions of spending, forgoing, & forgetting? Must fun be ethically driven? Why & how can (say) a musician sometimes refuse to entertain? Why do there exist self inflicting pain systems? How is the ‘crucified’ the model for human excellence? Why do musical concerts work, & can fun be manufactured formulaically? What is it to be an individual in a rock concert? Does one need the Other? Can ‘pure’ fun be utile and essential? Is the idea of life before marketplace the idea of innocence? SynTalk thinks about these & more questions under the metonym of fun using concepts from literary & cultural theory (Prof. Saugata Bhaduri, JNU, New Delhi), music (Vehrnon Ibrahim, FreeWillMusic, Mumbai), and poetry & film (Prabodh Parikh, ex-Mithibai College, Mumbai). Listen in…

SynTalk is pleased and privileged to have hosted the following SynTalkrs (in alphabetical order) on its #THOF show.

Prof. Saugata Bhaduri (literary theory, philosophy) is Professor at the Centre for English Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, where he also holds the position of Associate Dean of Students. His primary research interests are literary and cultural theory, popular culture studies, ancient and medieval Western and Indian philosophy, and translation and comparative literature studies. In his teaching career of nearly 20 years he has also taught at Jamia Milia Islamia, Calcutta University & Delhi University. He has also been a supervisor for 128 research dissertations (M.Phil & Ph.D.). Prof. Bhaduri has been frequently invited as a visiting faculty by various institutions across the world such as, University of Melbourne (Australia), University of Bergamo (Italy), Newcastle University (UK) & Julius Maximillians Universität (Würzburg, Germany). His three current research projects are on the seemingly varied areas of Computer Gaming, Performance and Gender, and on topic of  ‘Polycoloniality’. His latest book is Transcultural Negotiations of Gender: Studies in (Be)longing from Springer (2015).

Vehrnon Ibrahim (music, media) is Founder of FreeWillMusic, a system designed to help music artists make and keep more money and control. He has been the front man of Indian heavy metal band ‘Millennium’ since 1986. Currently, he is also a faculty at The True School of Music in Mumbai teaching music history & context, and music business. He also plays the role of a career coach for students of music business. He has been a Vice President of Programming for national FM radio networks in India including Red FM, Radio Indigo, and Radio One. He was a house music DJ and an event manager with D&PG Productions where, for 13 years, he managed the technical side of countless fashion shows and entertainment productions including the musical Starlight Express. He has also been an audio engineer (live & in studios), a music producer and song writer, a stage and lighting designer, an interactive television creative director, and also a regular columnist on music and creativity. Vehrnon was born in England, and then later studied (at The Valley School, & then Christ College) in Bangalore after his family resettled in India.

Prabodh Parikh (poetry, film, philosophy) is a Gujarati poet, short fiction writer, film curator and a visual artist. He retired as the Head of the Department of Philosophy at Mithibai College in 2005, and is currently Faculty In-Charge of International Art Literature & Culture at Whistling Woods International Film School, Mumbai. He completed his graduation in Philosophy from Mumbai University and post graduation from Oklahoma State University at Still Water, USA. His research interests include Buddhist philosophy, existentialism, contemporary Gujarati literature, comparative Indian literature, contemporary Indian arts, aesthetics, and aspects of Indian and Western philosophy. His book of poems, ‘Kaunsman’ (Between Parentheses/In Brackets), 1993, is a significant collection in Gujarati literature. It won him several awards, including the Best Poetry Collection of 1993-94 (Gujarat Sahitya Akademi) and the G.F. Saraf Award for Best Gujarati Book (1992-95). Some of his other published works include, ‘Mitro’ (a collection of poems), ‘Karan Vinana Loko’ (a volume of short fiction), ‘Priya Bhayani Saheb’ (selection of letters he wrote to Gujarati scholar, Harivallabh Bhayani), & ‘Kauns Bahar’ (essays on philosophy and Gujarati literature). [Note: Also a SynTalkr on #TLOPE (The List Of Permitted Emotions)]

Note: Any & all errors in the brief profiles above are SynTalk’s own.

#THOF mentions: Epicurus, Tukaram, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Rabindranath Tagore, Sen no Rikyū, Buckminster Fuller, Beatles, Eric S. Raymond, John Cage, & Janis Joplin, among others.