Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Have you been roasted recently?



I weight in three digits. Probably not as fat as Tanmay Bhatt but still not as slim as Arjun Kapoor. I fall somewhere in between. When you are fat, you are eternally roasted with different people, most common includes the pregnancy joke (how many months pregnant are you, spoken by 3227 people since I started counting). There are people who take offend to that, there are some who do not. If you are someone who takes offend to that, I will suggest never travel to the top-four states in North. Perhaps if you are living in there, you do not know to respond to someone using expletives against you. While this issue was being dragged, one old man tried to sneakily touch a girl in a flight, but how dare the girl? She went against our culture and disrespected the elder.

When AIB started as a radio show, it was funny. Yes it was but I couldn't open it in office, it started with a NSFW tag with their B. The show was filled with crass against different things that was passed as comedy. Was I offended? No, because they never asked me to watch it. It was an on-demand internet radio show that I chose to watch. Did I like it? No I did not like it as much.

But all hell broke loose when they decided to take the comedy forward taking a few consenting adults to throw expletives on each other and it went viral. A lot of people decided to catchup with them after their daily re-run of Tarak Mehta ka Oolta Chasma, which promotes eyeing your neighbours wife as a harmless activity and is a family entertainer, centered around children but that's accepted in our 'culture'. These people were offended obviously because of the words used but did nothing.

What happened next was a few more 'culturally' apt people decided to catch up with their daily 'let-me-see-what-offends-me' on the internet thing after watching an episode of Comedy Nights with Kapil. This show promotes jokes on a drunk old woman's loniless and an unmarried middle aged woman's desperation. Not to mention the insecurity of a family bread-winner, who gets all alpha-male around him dressed as woman, but that is part of our 'culture' as well.

They decided to complain about this to their wife, who were contemplating what they saw tonight in the episode of their favourite daily soap. That episode usually includes a external woman trying to snatch the male in the relationships and couples who get separate in an on-off marriage (not divorce mind you, thats against Indian culture).

The two mutually decided that this content was too abusive for their young child, who was doing normal childlike habits like singing bollywood songs like

ABCD padhli bohot
Ab karunga tere saath
Gandi baat...
Gandi-gandi gandi gandi gandi baat

Which means I spoke too much english, now I will talk dirty. Or the more 'cultural' song by Yo Yo Honey Singh,


Which means you come close to me, I don't get 'chance' everyday. I want you my baby, give me love dose (whatever that means).

The fact that 93 women are being raped in India everyday or that 53% of children are abused in their childhood, these songs do confirm the 'cultural' lineage of the country.

They were offended and decided to take action about it. How dare someone do something wrong about the proud culture they were trying to preserve. The insecurity of a great culture is so profound that sometimes even a single tweet can bring it down to its knees. So they took to every place they could find, including the courts. They took to Twitter that this is wrong. This was national shame. How dare consenting adults throw expletives against each other in full public view? They were not standing on Nizamuddin railway station, it was South-Bombay.

They complaint, they protest, some people decided to file a FIR in a country of comedy. The AIB team in all their glory and the freedom of expression, decided to do what every Indian Housewife, mother is doing for the last thousand years. Removed the video from YouTube and posted an open letter for everyone. It is understandable to be scared, no one likes to go to jail. You don't get to come out often from jail except if you are Sanjay Dutt.

But lets face it, if you are offended by something the logical solution is to protest against it. Not decide that since you don't like it, it should be shut down or pushed under the rug. The amount of attention this silly issue has generated, if only ten percent of it was focussed on rape cases, we would have made a lot of progress. Don't you think?

Stop wasting time on what people post on YouTube and do some good work.

Sorry for the long post, here is a grumpy potato.





Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Start a New Habit Open a Blog



"Hi, I am very new to this can you tell me how to start my blog?" "I want to write a novel, do you know anyone who can publish it?""I have an idea, can you connect me with a publisher" and the list goes on. The amount of queries about first time writing increases even faster than the 'friend' request my recruiters on Linkedin.

Write

My advice to all the one who want to start a blog, write a book or take a career in full time writing- write. write and write. There is nothing else you can do other than do this over and over again. Write. You will start with bad English, you will start with stupid things but eventually you grow, eventually you discover the inner writer and that's when your writing takes place.

Read

Obviously you can't just write, as a writer you have to read a lot too. I personally don't read any specific genre but there are people who like certain genre. First step of being a good writer is being a good reader. And you don't have to be ashamed of what you read or what you want to write. You could be a fan of thrillers, a fan of Chetan Bhagat or prefer reading 50 Shades of Gray, it doesn't matter. People will judge you but don't worry they will judge anyone anyways. Read what you like to read and write what you want to read.

Open a blog and accept feedback


A good writer listens to his or her readers, a great writer knows who the true critic are. With the Internet, everyone is a critic. Learn to handle criticism positively, and best way to do that is open a blog. It's easy to open a blog and has no money involved. You don't have to be grammatically perfect to start one. Just take the first step. You will learn eventually.

No one is born a Stephen King or a John Grisham. Writing takes patience and hard work. Take the first step, the rest follows.



Saturday, March 7, 2015

We are sorry Nirabhaya



Dear Nirbhaya, 
We have never met but I would like to start off by saying we are sincerely sorry. We are sorry because you paid the price for our mistakes. We are sorry that you had to die for our mistakes. Even in your death we could not give you peace, even in your rest we denied you peace. We are sorry for the fact that we agitated and protested for gender equality but we stopped after the rapist were caught. We came down on streets braving the curfew, the band the water canon and we struggled. That struggle was nothing compared to the struggle you were facing. 

We are sorry for the fact that we never stopped or protested against the uncles when they asked our sisters to be more 'gharelu'. We are sorry for the fact that we never argued with our mothers when they explained to our sisters the geometry of round rotis.

We are sorry for the fact that we came home expecting cooked food expecting it to be our birthright. We are sorry for not stopping our parents when they were giving out the matrimonial ads for a girl who could manage the house. We are sorry for not stopping our father when they called our girlfriend characterless because she drank alcohol with us in the pub. 

We are sorry to not have protested against the colleague who would boast of about having a 'Chudayi' and a 'Lugayi'. We are sorry to not stop the office gossip about a girl just because she smokes at the Tapri. 

We are sorry Nirabhaya for mothers not scolding theirs sons when they disrespected other woman. We are sorry for wives defending their husband in all sorts of wrong deeds. We are sorry for woman who support the men in controlling, withholding and setting up the framework for girls. We are sorry for the couple who choose to produce a boy over a girl. We are sorry for our sisters, wives accepting the vile words of the lawyer AK Singh that he can confidently talk about burring his own sister in front of the whole family.

We are truly sorry,  Nirabhaya, for if the men in the country had an ounce of bravery that you displayed in fighting against what was wrong, we would not have to face a scoundrel shame the whole country on global television. We are truly sorry, Nirabhaya, for if the woman of the country had an ounce of courage you showed while fighting the six assailants, we would be outraging over some other issue. 

In our defence however we did force the government to work on improving rape laws. We are waiting for them to be hanged but all these are reactive knee jerk measures. We are truly sorry for not taking measures proactively.

We are sorry Nirabhaya, because even though 93 woman are reported to be raped everyday, we still don't talk about it because we fear what will others say. Perhaps that's the reason majority of people are appalled at the idea that the rapist could have similar thoughts as some members of the the family. The family members have not committed any rapes, I am sure, but they did give a solid excuse to the rapist.

I am sorry Nirabhaya for calling you India's Daughter, because you were brave in everything that you did. We the people from India perhaps are not. Yet.

Have you read my book yet?

Have you read my book yet?
An epic adventure across space and time