Cultural appropriation is a very definite norm of the many influences that the human existence resides in globally. And while countless such instances of assimilation of traits of the many diverse ways of life the world lives in has been an occurrence since long back, there is a peculiar way in which the embracing of concepts has caught up to. Beyond the understandings of the cultural fore as well today are certain trends that influence the related happening in some unrelated sphere, as elements of change or of inclusivity or sometimes even one of inducement, wherein impacts crossover from the spectrum of awareness where they originated and go on to emerge as far greater or more rampant a phenomenon than what they had been in their nascent beginning.
The present day world is shaped indeed by a more distinctive line of influences running through it but amidst all such empirical basis of intermingling of identities and concepts and beliefs and practices has unexpectedly evolved a newer way of life dictated by the mood of the global coronavirus pandemic that has brought about a radical shift in the manner in which the modern era was going about its no holds barred approach to living. No only has the dictums of physical interactions been replaced by interface of conundrums wherein you no longer mingle and open up to others in pure literal terms but there also has been effected as radical an accompanying shift in the psychological realisations of mankind that has led to the emergence and build up of newer concepts of existence and newer ideas of life that hitherto seemed implausible. And one such remarkable notion that is currently doing the rounds in a world increasingly frustrated with the prevailing state of affairs is a certain getback to a primitive guiding aspect of life. Rooted in the very unsettling concept of ‘revenge’, albeit not in the mode of destructive fury that entails it, but resting still no less in the imminence of a future rather precarious is this tenacity of the modern day human limited like never before by the global outbreak of the health crisis that has them doing away with every semblance of reason and logic, as also perhaps fear and the perceivance of threat that has seen the emergence of a trend gaining popularity by the day as something called ‘revenge travelling’.
The premises of revenge travel might come across as rather new but in essence it is actually only an extension of the psychological manifestation that the human mind has come to reside in. Somewhat of an offshoot of similar other concepts that do not necessarily accrue also to the exact circumstances of today, revenge travel is marked by the flocking of people to tourist destinations, whether exotic or far off or local, in such magnitude of numbers and in such display of intense emotions of somehow embarking along the travel trail that they end up over crowding the regions, in a very ironic setback of what the COVID 19 norms expect us to conform to, allowing therefore the virus to take a greater control of our lives based however on the understanding that it is we humans who instead are extracting our revenge for a whole year of being confined within the comforting but ‘unhappening’ still four walls of one safe home.
This tendency though to somehow makeup for an entire year of days lost to COVID, that otherwise held the potential of ticking off a couple some destinations from our travel list, by indulging our wanderlusting spirits with a new found enthusiasm and optimism that even the emergence of newer, potentially more infectious variants of the virus have not been able to mitigate, might be an affliction rooted in the increasingly travel thirsty folks of the 21st century but nowhere are the ‘inspirations’ behind this alarming surge so modern an inclination of the human mind. The idea takes shape most definitely from an associated happening of the 1980s, that coincidentally or otherwise also made its presence felt first and foremost in China. Unfurling as a mass ‘movement’ of sorts after the decade long Cultural Revolution that significantly hampered China’s economy and constrained its people during its period of occurrence, revenge spending as a concept found full expression in the form of the pent up demand of the country’s populace who went all out in their pursuit of consumerism after the tumultuous period of chaos and poverty. Coined also as a term then, the COVID induced spree of revenge prefixed behavior also gained expression with this very means of profligacy once again in China as the epicenter of the health crisis started experiencing this surge in the desire to roar back to normalcy as early as in the second quarter of 2020 itself, with high end luxury brands operating there already beginning to report a pick up in sales figures after some few months of dwindling business. And while the frenzy surprisedly did not catch up globally as anticipated in the wake of the Chinese reaction, that which today has come to be the trailblazer of all related phenomena induced by the coronavirus, what indeed has begun experiencing a much stronger assertion of the revenge power is the year long ditched plans of travel that are being set out to fulfil in hysteria by travel crazy folks in a manner that leaves the world with very little chances of living a virus free tomorrow.
Revenge spending however seemed more plausible so as to say since retail therapy has already been ingrained into the facet of mindless- or mindful, who knows- human behavior that serves as a mood booster, something the increasingly depressed and deprived souls living in the COVID times sure could have done well with. But while this particular concept in exercising one’s free will stands limited by economic and financial concerns not limited just to one’s own, revenge travelling is bound to be more ‘sustainable’. Even with struggling economies and still limited options to escape to in quest for a better world, what perhaps helps the case of this new mode of travelling is the dual experience it entails. For one, spending on travelling is akin to ‘buying experiences’, something that the world has resolutely come to swear by having come face to face with the fleeting essence of a futile life. On the other hand, revenge travelling still delivers the many benefits afforded by ‘normal’ travelling escapades and is therefore sure to appeal to a mass of people living by the gallery of postcard shots meticulously uploaded to their social media to allow the world a glimpse into the enriching lives they lead. Whatever that might be, the fact of the matter is that revenge travelling have come to be the breakout phrase of 2021 even as the dark times of the preceding year have followed the world well into the new decade and will perhaps persist for as long as our revenge tenacity allows us to chase it in all and utter lack of realisation.
But travelling not being the only avenue where life had ceased to be during these endless months of the virus plaguing the world, it only is obvious that the revenge identity extends also to govern other spheres of existence. That pertains most significantly to the ‘exploits’ of eating, or more appropriately eating out that which had been such an integral mode of fostering and maintaining social connect in the pre pandemic times. In fact, analysis and reports touted revenge eating to be the phenomenon that would outrun the breakout of revenge travel, perhaps simply due to the fact that the former is more accessible a mode of modern existence set even within the limitations of the times. And revenge eating makes for an even more surprising conveyance of continuing in tandem with the times, with a two fold intention governing this approach to sidelining the pandemic. While this form of eating indeed is very naturally emerging from the desire to make up once again for the lost opportunities of socialising and indulging in food, an associated factor fuelling the ‘trend’ is what can be interpreted as a blessing in disguise that the global crisis has brought to us. With countries and regions prioritising their own citizens and the shrinking opportunities driving away migrants, there has been a tremendous mobilisation of people to their places of nativity, either willingly or unwillingly. And while the underlying implications and associated repercussions of this outbreak in what is yet another manifestation of multi dimensional essence of the crisis are graver than what we could ever imagine, a rather welcoming way in which this turn of events has affected human lives by impacting the revenge eating spectrum of inclination is by affording locals to rediscover their ethnic cuisine or even the less discrete but substantial still locally sold foods, the taste of which can be derived in all authenticity only in their regions of nativity. To that extent, the ravages of the pandemic has ushered in a more acute awareness of identity amongst the people as well as set in motion a certain process that relates more to the humaneness of humankind. And within the realms of it all, reasserting its superiority has been the primal desire of revenge amongst other such basic instincts that humans have sustained ever since their emergence on the face of the planet, making therefore the COVID 19 virus more than just a malady, rendering it perhaps significance as a necessary evil for humanity.