The Hexacoto

Listening to the sound of one hand clapping

Tag: disappointment

Veni, vidi, left with no Pokemon

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It was a geek overload over the weekend: not only was there the New York Comic Con, but it was also the launch of the new Pokemon game, Pokemon X/Y.

Let’s talk the Pokemon launch.

There was a launch event going on from 8 PM to 12 AM, where people in line can get their hands on the game. I’ve been waiting a long time, even obsessively checking Reddit forums for all the spoilers about the game (I effectively knew all the Pokemon there were in the game even before the game was officially released). I was most definitely going to the launch event to get a copy of the game.

I met up with a couple of friends, where we decided to play some Mario Party before going to the event at the Nintendo World store at Rockefellers Center. Friendships were broken inevitably, as people who play Mario Party are wont to do, but we left at 8 PM.

The queue had already circled around the block. Thankfully, but virtue of us being ninjas, we managed to ninja the line (cut the queue) just a tad.

So from 9 PM, we stood there, as I racked up so many Streetpasses, the Nintendo 3DS feature that allows one to exchange profiles with each other that can be used for the 3DS’s minigame, Mii Plaza, and I spent about 3 hours of non-stop trying to clear the Streetpass — it was honestly the first time I felt exhausted by it, when ordinarily I’d have been thrilled for any Streetpass.

At midnight, the line started moving. Rejoice! I was physically closer to getting a copy of the new Pokemon! Getting closer now, cleared a couple more Streetpasses, turned the block, great, is that the facade of the building??

Alack! Just as we were about to reach the front, someone came up the line with this news:

“I’m sorry, but from this point on, you’re not going to be able to get the game tonight.”

My heart swelled up from excitement, and promptly shattered into a million pieces.

I waited three hours in line with all that hype and was to leave the place empty-handed? There were mixed messages floating around as another person said that it is likely those in line with us would get the games, provided we wait perhaps another three to four hours or so. Meanwhile, those who had been waiting in line since 5 PM were gaily enjoying their stupid Pokemon games and stupid Pokemon launch event swag.

In consolation, they gave out Pokeball game card holders and some posters. I was not very consoled. But I left anyway, because I haven’t had dinner.

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Experiencing Darshan?

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I went to the exhibition “Darshan” at the Clampart gallery. The word “Darshan” means “sight” in Sanskrit, but it is used in the context of receiving “spiritual vision,” or the moment of theophany. It is a way of being able to see the divine directly through a medium, be it art, sculptures, landscapes, or great people. Some call it “divine inspiration,” but I like to think of it as the moment of being in awe  in sublimity in the presence of great spirituality.

It can be akin to being taken by the Holy Spirit in Catholicism, a sort of event that happens in the consciousness.

I went to the exhibit hoping to receive that experience, where it claims to recreate that connection one gets in a Hindu temple through the images, incense and invocations, but sad to say I was sorely disappointed.

The pictures on the wall were highly masterful, that’s for sure. All but one of the pictures was not photoshopped or digitally touched, and every element in the frame was the result of real people posing and the arranging of props. That was highly impressive, and the attention paid to detail was delightful.

However, it failed on delivering anything close to any experience I’ve had physically stepping into a Hindu temple.

There were incense urns but not incense lit, and the gallery room was sterile and too white. There was not even anything of the sounds one encounters in a temple, and the gallery felt claustrophobic. Temples are usually designed to impress by vastness of scale, with high ceilings elaborately decorated and such.

Image credit to Wikipedia

Very often, it is the gopuram of a temple, or its monumental tower at the entrance gate, that begins the process of darshan for me rather than just the idols itself.

To think that the darshan of a Hindu temple is received solely through religious images is highly lacking — it involves the sights of the images and colours, the smell of incense and the age of the temple, the sounds of other devotees and occasionally prayer but also the sound of tranquillity, and especially, the touch of cold stone against the bare feet, the grind of dust against one’s foot.

Also, I think that using that faux-devanagari (Hindi) script was a let-down. It’s like using faux-Asian scripts in Chinese restaurants or something.