Tuesday, June 09, 2009

I'm terribly upset right now.

Upset, for being stupid enough not to have secured one thing in hand; instead chasing two uncertain ones.

Upset, because I know I tried my best.

Upset, because it wasn't my fault.

Upset, because I am to blame.

Upset, because I am still new at this.

Upset, because both things went bust, in spite of having the sense to have a back-up.

Upset, because life isn't fair at all. And the realisation sucks.

Upset, because I can't Ctrl+Z life.

Upset, because some people get away with doing nothing.

Upset, because that's all I can do.


Sunday, June 07, 2009

If you think you're Shakespeare, please get away from my sight

Those who know me reasonably well, should also know that I hate pretence of any kind. People who spend half their life putting up an image for God knows whose benefit, physically tire me. Perhaps that's one of the primary reasons I'm sick to the teeth of all those folks who think they're born to be writers, especially the ones who think they were born mumbling Haikus or Sir Philip Sidney's sonnets. You see such species everywhere. At least I do. They burst into poetry like it's a spate of bad words or quote great authors like one would say 'How do you do?'

Ok, let's start at the beginning. Anyone is allowed to think they can write; it's a free country. But can these kind, gentle folks exercise their fundamental rights a little less vehemently?

Still don't get it? Let me explain.

Fine. So you think you can write. Congratulations. But can you not keep harping on and on about it, and try and keep it personal? So if you're still as thick in the head as I think you are, you can do the following and let me move on with my life:

1) Don't refer to your writing as if you're carrying Shakespeare's legacy forward. Which means you're not allowed to say things like, "I'm not inspired enough to update my blog" or "Like William Golding says, my writing is ". You should be clobbered and made to feel a little stupid, in case you're waiting for divine intervention to come up with a mere blog post. Next time, try laziness as an excuse. Far more believable.

2) Don't write idiotic, pseudo intellectual "poetry". It does nothing for your writing, except maybe make you sound batty in addition to demented. Also, don't try camouflaging utter rubbish under 'modern verse'. Doesn't fool anyone. Examples of said "poems" are:

I walked through the maze.
Looking for him.
Will he come? Will he go?
I laughed to myself and came out of the blinding light.

Sorry. But what are you even talking about? If this is poetry, then even I can come up with some:

I looked at the ice-cream shop, wistfully.
Ice-cream beckons, said the voices in my head,
I stared hard at the hamburger in my hand.
Who took a bite of it when I was wasting my time thinking of ice-creams?
Boy, I must really be stupid.
A blinding flash of light, sudden silence.
I had been standing in the middle of the highway.

See? It's that easy. One and a half minute is all it took, to come up with modern verse. And if I can do it, it's not art. Wake up from your reverie and get a job, please.

3) Don't ask for feedback as far as possible. Unless, you really are prepared to hear someone (me) say "I don't think this is making any sense." If you still do come and ask for an impartial critique of your piece, I will not criticise your work in a way that makes you think about your life. I will cite exact reasons as to why your piece of literature isn't working for me. Trust me, I take feedback in the same spirit (if I've asked for it, of course). But since most people begin to mouth the word 'bitch' in their heads the moment I say something like "I think you could have worked on this in another way", I refrain from giving feedback. You can shove your lovely little pieces of writing where the sun don't shine.

4) Don't pretend you have read the entire collection at The British Council twice over, when your "Books I've read" list consists solely of Chetan Bhagat, Dan Brown, Sidney Sheldon, The Godfather, Paulo Coelho and The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. It's all ok to have read them on the side, but if those are your list, you are in serious trouble. Don't even bother writing.

5) If your punctuation is terrible, you need to go to school. There are no two ways about that. Frequent use of '.......' isn't cool either. It displays a clear lack of vocabulary or an inability to connect two sentences together. If both, punctuation and vocabulary, are a problem, kindly don't venture near pen and paper. And while we're on the subject, if you think blogging or writing in SMS language is cool, please go and write SMSes. ONLY.

6) It would help if it ever crossed your mind, that even the best pieces of writing may not be as amazing as you think they are. Your first draft cannot be your final draft (in 99% of the cases). Don't go about thinking that whatever you throw up on paper is going to be perfumed. Be open to the idea that it may stink and you can only do something about it, if you accept the possibility of it stinking. Also, edit and re-edit. Too many typos are extremely uncool.

7) Don't ask for advice from friends who don't read. Quite often, they will bloat your ego to the size of a spaceship by repeatedly using the word 'SUPERFAB!' in connection with your writing. This causes you to think that you know it all and there's no room for improvement. It is never the case.

And before I'm done with the bombardment of DONT'S and hence, the post, one word of advice for the person doling the feedback. It's very easy to sit there and poke holes with the piece under consideration, but difficult to produce it. So, be gentle. Don't just discard something as worthless without having the patience to impart constructive criticism (if the person is willing to listen to you, of course). If you can't do the latter, you've no right to do the former.

P.S. Nowhere do I claim to be the best writer there is. Heck, I don't even think I'm good. So, if you look really carefully, nowhere have I implied to be the Tolkein of our times. If anything, the post is to have aspiring writers (or people who believe they're already there) to stop making me feel like a bitch, simply because I think you write badly. So if I get any comments questioning my integrity to dole out advice, I will impale you. I promise.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

The tag where I could lie, but it'd be stupid to...

I've seen quite a few tags in my short life, but none as nosy as the one I'm about to jump into. And since I'm an extremely nosy person myself (Sheesh, you weren't supposed to know that!), I'm getting a perverse sort of pleasure in doing this tag. So without further ado, ladies and gennemen, I present to you, the 30 nosy question tag!

1) When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
Man! I look horrendously sleep-deprived. (Ok I may not have said horrendous, but I'd like you to think that I even think big words in my head)

2) How much cash do you have in your wallet right now?
Approximately Rs. 400 odd. What? You didn't expect me to get up from here and go count, did you?

3) What’s a word that rhymes with DOOR?

Core. Soar. Lore. Tore. Pore. Pour. Sore. Gore. Whore. Take your pick.

4) Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?
Bindu, my colleague from work. Although how this information enriched your life, I can't fathom.

5) What is your favorite ring tone on your phone?
Love will come through by Travis.

6) What are you wearing right now?
Shorts and a tee.

7) Do you label yourself?
I think I should, since I'm extremely clumsy and might lose myself somewhere.

8) Name the brand of the shoes you’re currently own?
Let's see. There are those five pairs of Oshos I own, one Converse, my Adidas gym shoes and the tons of other junk chappals I keep buying. Again, take your pick (but don't borrow).

9) Bright or Dark Room?
An empty room

10) What do you think about the person who took this survey before you?
I thought he (The White Phoenix) was my best friend, until his blog tells me otherwise and irreparably breaks my heart.

11) What does your watch look like?
It looks like a really nice Fastrack watch. That's all there is to it, really.

12) What were you doing at midnight last night?
I was already one and a half hour into blissful, sweaty sleep.

13) What did your last text message you received on your cell say?
I don't think I can reproduce it here. Next question, please.

14) What’s a word that you say a lot?
Bullshit. Fuck. Amazingggg!

15) Who told you he/she loved you last?
I told myself that, since nobody else did.

16) Last furry thing you touched?
Dad, when I gave him a fat-ass hug. :P

17) Favourite age you have been so far?
83. Although 59 wasn't too bad, either.

18) What was the last thing you said to someone?
Please pass me some cashews. (To dad)

19) The last song you listened to?
American Boy by Estelle feat. Kanye West

20) Where did you live in 1987?
Before March 22, I was in my mother's womb, after that in Mumbai.

21) Are you jealous of anyone?
Of anyone who manages to remain thin, in spite of eating like a goat.

Is anyone jealous of you?
Oh, loads of people. I'm quite the diva.

23) Name three things that you have on you at all times?
My iPod, cell phone and kajal

24) What’s your favourite town/city?

25) When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?
About two years ago, when Shivani and I used to write to each other. Days before she got a cell phone.

26) Can you change the oil on a car?
Isn't being able to drive it, enough?

27) Your first love/big crush: What is the last thing you heard about him/her?
He is happily in a relationship for three years and is completing his engineering.

28) Does anything hurt on your body right now?
My ring finger. I think I've pulled a vein somewhere and made it turn a poisonous green colour.

29) What is your current desktop picture?
A picture I'd clicked of the Murud Janjira lake.

30) Have you been burnt by love?
No, not yet. And I don't want to be, either.

Now that I've completed that, here's the fun part. I tag:

1) Lyandra
2) Mani
3) The Golden Retreat (if you ever return to my blog)
4) The Nicest Geek (I know he won't do it, but what the hell....)
5) Sreejit
6) G@K