Friday, April 20, 2012

Shedding My "Blogging Self-Respect"

I began blogging in order to express myself freely, hoping for feedback and comments on whatever (and I seriously mean anything) I post. I never thought what I posted in my blog could be subject to self-censorship as it is in real life. (Unfortunately, I can't be freely expressive in my everyday life, as reputations last a lifetime and I don't want a random comment to be misinterpreted by an acquaintance as being "batty" or "weird"...) I hate restrictions and I hate having to be politically correct in real life, hence this blog began. Yet I've realised that within a few months of having started this blog, I've made a few followers (thank you if you're reading this!) and now I don't want to lose them by talking too radically... I've formed and changed my opinion on many things since I first started blogging, yet I don't want to let down those that might have expected a 'certain kind' of writing from me.
Strange dichotomous position I find myself in... kinda like an indie musician who's faced with the choice of remaining authentic or selling out i.e. making mainstream music for money and profits... ;)

Image credit
<Looooonnng, pensive think.>

I can't do this. I've decided I can't be unfaithful with the express purpose of setting up this blog. If you dislike what I blog about, you are free to unfollow me and stop reading further. (I'm tempted to write: "The followers be damned!" in the spirit of "The money be damned!", but don't want this to be misunderstood as arrogance. It's not. It means I don't want to live up to anyone's expectations, and that includes followers/readers.)

<Finally feel freeeeeee!>

So here goes, some not-so-interesting-to-anyone-other-than-myself issues I really feel like writing about (longer posts will follow later, when I'm free!):

1) Being a nerd in high school and how I think it was a difficult time, in many ways. Love this essay by Paul Graham, here. There's a good debate (and critique) of the same essay in the comments of this blog post here.
2) Discovering that the guy I had a crush on is a 90%-confirmed a**hole and the only thing he suffers from is a superiority complex and a bloated ego (despite looking like he was a misunderstood loner). Instead of my sympathy, he is far more well-deserving of my cold shoulder, if not outright contempt. Simultaneous heartbreak and heartburn (and anger and fury and wrath and...)...!!! (Better let my temper cool before I write about this one!)
3) I support LGBT rights (and I'm neither lesbian nor bisexual myself so please don't assume that's why). I've been dying to blog about the rights of LGBT people but couldn't come around to writing a post...And why I support them is simply because I've read enough and watched enough movies to realize that love and meaningful relationships are scarce and if people find what they're looking for with someone from the same sex (like they did in Brokeback Mountain, or The Kids Are All Right or Beginners) then it's unfair to keep them apart to conform to 'social expectations' (that really are a set of stupid rules that don't amount to anything in the long run in anyone's life). I know many people in India disagree, and the social stigma remains, but I've decided I'm on the side of the LGBT rights activists.
4) I hate the current crop of politicians in India. I think this country suffers from terrible leadership. Mamta Banerjee is clearly the biggest bane at the moment. Why Time gives prestigious coverage to belligerent ministers like Mamta and Narendra Modi instead of Nitish Kumar baffles me! I don't know what will save us. Looking forward to fleshing out my case on this point SOON!
5) I hate marriage. If I ever get married, it will be for money/security alone. It will be an auction where the highest bidder wins. It can't be for love. Only kids and rich people should believe in love. For me at least, it can't sustain a relationship. Case to be explained soon.
6) I want to write something on the strangeness of my life and the broadness of human experiences. Will care to explain later.
7) Something on my grandparents. Before you go running for the box of tissues...let me clarify that they're about as loving as Sleeping Beauty's Stepmom or the what Evil Queen was to Snow White. So no sympathies. This is going to be one complicated real-life story on family politics and how Old is NOT Gold. Sometimes old people are just cruel, as my grandparents have demonstrated.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Wanted: A Reality Show on "Social" Issues Like Rural Poverty

Photo credit: Google
Okay - so we have the IPL, we have Bigg Boss, and we have MTV Roadies which have all been huge successes on Indian television (unfortunately!).

Why can't some enterprising TV producer come up with a mix of the three and have rich "team-owners" be responsible for transforming ONE destitute village each into paragons of good rural infrastructure, great support systems and help the villagers achieve self-sufficient employment? I'm sure the impoverished members of any village would be glad to participate in this social experiment if it helps them get food in their stomachs. The TV producers would be well off as the competitive game format would compel viewers to watch and vote for their favourite transformation. The team-owners (well-known public figures, who can have team members who are not as famous but have good domain-specific knowledge) would get chance to do something good with their popularity, as well as earn the goodwill of the public. I also hope that viewers of this show would have interesting out-of-the-box suggestions to offer their favourite team-owner, hence harnessing the power of ideas from all over India.

But the best part, for me, would be finally seeing the 'reality' in a reality show. 200 million people in India are still starving, yet no TV channel acknowledges or beams any show around alleviating this problem.

Even if we have just 10 teams, we'll have 10 fewer hungry villages.

This post was inspired by Wall Street Journal's six-part series, "Starving in India: The Forgotten Problem". Funny Gypsy is in no way connected to the authors of that article; was merely saddened and spurred into writing.
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