So as I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve joined a sketch-writing class. Our first homework was to find a pet peeve of ours, develop a character who embodies that irksome quality, and then to write a sketch revolving around that character.
I find a lot of things irksome, but the one I picked was people who read too much between the lines of books and movies – classic thing where when the author says ‘The curtains are blue’, they try interpreting that in various ways, when all the author meant was that the curtains the room were coloured blue.
Then I had to come up with some sort of a character sketch for a person with this character, so I created Abby, who is a sixteen-year-old girl, sort of like the older sister in Ten things I Hate About You, top of her class, considers herself more mature than others, reads a lot, cut her baby teeth on Ayn Rand, wanted nothing more than Kafka and Nietzsche for her fourteenth birthday, dates an older college student who moonlights as a hipster barista, considers herself real deep, aims to study Literature at Harvard, draws inspiration from second-wave feminists like Gloria Steinem, always enters any argument with ‘If I may chime in as a woman…’, resorts to grammar nazism when all else fails… the works.
Now for a funny situation to put Abby in… I thought it’d be fun to have her come face to face with the artist whose works she overanalyzes. I first wanted her to read too much into Disney/Pixar movies, but then, the interpretations would have to be suitably ludicrous, and I somehow didn’t feel up for that. It was finally a tie between Tarantino and JK Rowling. The problem with Tarantino was, he himself weaves in layers of meanings into his movies, what with tributes and parodies and whatnot. I somehow couldn’t come up with theories ludicrous enough to have him go ‘Say, what?!’, though this one interpretation of Pulp Fiction was really awesome – Marcellus Wallace has sold his soul to the devil, and the suitcase is what he has to give the Devil to get his soul back. For more on that, ask me later; I’m too tired to type that out right now.
So JK Rowling it was. I scoured cracked.com for crazy Harry Potter interpretations, and got some nice suggestions off Tuna and Surabhi, the biggest HP fan I know. And I had a ton of things worrying me during this whole week that I could finally manage to get things written only in the hour before I had to run to class.
And so… here it is. It got a few laughs when I read it out in class. There were a few edits suggested too, which I might take up on and rewrite this sketch. Apologies for having it as a PDF, but writing it in the screenwriting format using rawscripts.com (I initially started off writing in LaTeX, but time crunch meant I ended up using something more WYSIWYG), I can only export it as a PDF so far.
Hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it
Our blog turns seven today.
I really don’t know what to put in here which I haven’t already said in the past seven years. This past year has been the one year where a lot of things have changed in my life. I think I can say the same for Tuna. Consequentially, we haven’t been blogging all that much as we used to before.
My life has gone way past the point where I can blog as an outlet for all my frustrations with life. Because the things irking me are more complex, and there are more people involved. The stakes are higher. I don’t like to share much these days. As for the nice things, I’m discovering the pleasures in experiencing a moment and not taking the energy to document it. I don’t even click that many pictures these days.
I had a very harrowing few months since this blog turned six. And then my life took a huge turn and I moved to the other end of the country. I discovered improv, I took (and will be taking more) writing classes. I’m gainfully employed after much efforts in that direction. I even have a Master’s degree now, after way much more effort in that direction. I’ve done things I would have never dreamt of doing a year ago. I’ve confronted various demons, and gained much strength. I’ve never felt more alive.
I find I don’t write as much. At all. I used to think it was writer’s block. But, earlier today I sat down to write a post I’d been meaning to write for a while now. The quality obviously was lower than my average, because I’m so rusty. But the words, they flowed easy. It isn’t for lack of words or time that I don’t write. I just don’t anymore feel the need to justify myself, even to myself. I’m trying not to ruminate too much about things as well. It is great to analyze things, but it is also great to not do it all the time. I don’t feel the pressure to document my every happiness and sadness anymore. There’s simply too much happening that any chronicle will be chronically incomplete.
Or maybe life has wearied me. I know I talk like an old woman who’s seen it all. I certainly haven’t, and nor have I been irreparably scarred and my hair whitened by shock and trauma. But when your goals for now are complete, and you’ve done everything that has been asked of you, and there’s no red hotline on your desk lighting up which you’ve to pick up and say “Yes, Commissioner, I’m on my way”, there doesn’t seem to be any point in being meticulous and pressuring yourself the way you’ve been doing for the past many, many years. I think I’m in a place where I’ve earned the right to break the rules I’ve drawn for myself, and ease off routine and do only things that make me smile. And when I’m in a place like that, I don’t anymore need to resort to writing to blow off steam.
And I’m more acutely aware of the need for privacy now. I’ve seen enough people sit judgement on every trivial thing, that I don’t anymore want to expose myself to it. Earlier, I delighted in talking about mundane things that happened to me, and discussing trivial incidents with all and sundry, welcoming varying points of view on random situations, but now I’m more set in my views. I don’t want to have to explain every thing I’ve done to everyone who asks. Because I’ve done it only a few hundred times before. And most of those times, people don’t get it. It irks me, that people who know nought of anything sound cocky and confident. Nothing gets my goat more than someone confidently firing off an uninformed opinion or a wrong fact, like they’ve been researching that all their sad, uneventful lives. And talking in absolutes, at that. Acknowledging that you might be wrong is grossly underrated in this world. Everyone should spend a year commenting on stuff on Reddit. That way, they learn to make sure to be as accurate as possible and leave enough room to gracefully accept they are wrong, because there are atleast five million jobless people dying to point out your many mistakes.
Besides, blogging isn’t what it used to be. Our ways of consuming information might have changed to crazy amounts, but yet, interfaces for discussing a given piece with everyone including the author stay stunningly archaic. The amount of value you need to add in order to get a conversation going has increased manifold. Because people already get the mundane, personal points of view off Facebook and Twitter, that a blog is no longer something special, it is just another thing among so many others that demands your attention.
So the two main reasons I used to blog don’t hold at this point of time for me – I don’t need to write for myself, and it was never like I wrote for others (yeah, well, I did like the eyeballs this page garnered) that anyone else’s interest in my writing would make me write, unless they decided to pay me for it, and the interest that used to be a nice bonus earlier doesn’t exist all that much anymore.
I don’t know what will change next in my life, or when. I don’t rule out the possibility of getting back to liking producing and consuming art by expressing my feelings anytime soon. But right now, I’m just putting my feet up and calmly confronting everything that’s scared me for the past twenty-odd years in my own comfort zone, at my own pace, and trying to make every little dream come a little closer to becoming real.
Writing’s been great to me. Especially writing on this blog. It has made me known to an extent I couldn’t really have envisioned, I’m not shy to say. And frankly, given what a withdrawn person I’ve been, that’s not really saying much… I never really saw things happening like someone meeting a friend of mine and saying “Oh, you’re from NITK? I read the NITK Numbskulls” except in a very distant pipe-dream sort of way. I don’t know if you can call this ‘success’, but I believe this blog is some sort of way to prove to myself what I always suspected – that I’m a better writer than folks like Chetan Bhagat who call themselves writers and make a fat packet of money and fame off it. I don’t think it’s all that oblique that I am referring to people other than Chetan Bhagat here but whose names are too numerous for me to take here, plus I don’t want to add one more result when those sorry wusses google their own names.
It feels good to start the seventh year of this blog by saying goodbye to being apologetic about everything including my very existence – I notice a lot of women I know do that, and they need to stop. I’m hoping that now that I have the trivialities out of the way, I can devote myself to writing about other things. I’m starting on a sketch-writing class early next week, with Armando Diaz, and I should probably practice what I learn for the next eight weeks on this blog.
Usually, there is this long list of people I thank every year on this day, but this year, I choose to raise a glass to Tuna, for our joint seven years of fun and funda-putting and figuring out the strange world we live in.
Maybe I ought to acknowledge Tina Fey here as well, given that with her memoir, she’s suddenly become this huge influence on me. But in my heart of hearts, I think I probably wouldn’t like her very much should I spend much time with her. She’s too type-A for my tastes, and is too judgemental, moralizing and nasty. She’s exactly the sort of person I hate – the sort who get known for their acerbic insults… It’s all fun and games until you’re at the receiving end. I think being nice is underrated. Irrespective, some of her philosophy is inspiring, and heck, maybe Drama isn’t a bad major in college. And improv is fun. And being conscientious works. And heck, she’s funny and I like her sort of humour.
And as usual, Goddess Saraswati is prayed to. Things didn’t always go perfect on the front she’s responsible for, but at the end, things always come through. And here’s hoping they continue to.