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2012, What a Year!!

Seriously guys, 2012 was/is and will be the kind of year I love to both cherish and hate. I quit a job and ventured into uncertainties. Co-founded a start up with less than Rs. 10,000 in my account. Yes, you heard it right. That was the most crazy thing I ever did and could be the best as well.

2012 is the bitch that took a bosom friend away and i am never going to forgive and forget that incident. Getting closer to Taj Mahal was my dream and when I was living that dream, my phone rang fetching me the most saddening news-the death of my bosom friend, a real fighter. The glory and wonder of Taj, all vanished into thin air and I was engulfed with deep sorrow.

About the business I co-founded,sheer luck is the one word that defines it.

I joined and rejoined gym a few times. Sleepless nights and irregular eating,  I put on a few pounds (no its not few pounds, I do have a real big pot belly now. ) And my bank balance  has slightly improved.

2013, sleepless nights, hard work and gyming. Looks like another roller coaster ride :P


A Day in the Life of a Content Writer

Every boss is like a child who never settles down for less. S/he is not happy with the ‘surplus production’; s/he always longs for ‘surplus+’ :)

I call myself an evolved content writer, not because I write evolved web content or product descriptions, but because I had many transitions in my job profile. I had tasted the hectic life of an Ad copywriter who had experienced 9 am to 3 am work schedule for more than two years and always imagined that the life of web content writer is going to be an easy one.

Curtain Raiser 

The drama starts at around 10 am (In fact its 9 am officially). I switch on my computer, check mails and then my article writing schedule. There are two battery clients and I’m fed up writing ‘basic facts’ and ‘safety tips’ for them. Agonised by the thought of writing SEO content for waste removal services, I decide to write a service page for our own website-- Travel Writing. 

Content writing before lunch 

Its 11 am. Keeping multiple browsers opened, I start surfing for information.  Extensive research is much needed you see! I identify a few keywords that give the copy the flair of a ‘travel writing service’.  I process the information and I pick up a few points and copy pasted them into the word file named Travel Writing Services. I struggle a bit writing this 300 worded service page. I reread, make a few changes here and there and send it across to my boss for review.

The review takes no time. I can make out that the boss is not really happy. She wants a service page expressing the inexplicable joys of travelling. I know I have broken many rules of content writing here. When I try to squeeze keywords into the copy, it lacks logical flow. When bring in logical flow, it either lacks keywords or jammed with excessive ones. I put aside the copy since I know that today is not the right time to write a travel writing service page.

Its lunch time!

Content writing post lunch 

After lunch and smoke, I sit contemplating which clients to choose for writing articles. I pick the battery ones. Need to write four articles, two for each. All again I put myself through the writing process- keyword identification--topic research--writing--review--editing--finally publishing it to the site and article directories like Ezine. It’s already 5.45 pm and I managed to write only three articles.  

Ah! I’m supposed to find out a few brochure and business card designs and some site enhancement elements. However, the reminder says it’s time to update Blog/ Articles in our site to Facebook page.  (You see, I had already dismissed the reminder thrice). 

Hmmm, tomorrow is another catch up day for me.


9 reasons why Berly’s 9 reasons are not reasons at all or who is afraid of Prithviraj?

This is a longish post and might soon drive the reader to the point of absolute boredom. Still, I am attempting to venture on a somewhat boring dissection of Berly’spost on the Malayalam star Prithviraj. Since the author gave 9 reasons in favour of Prithviraj, I am offering 9 disagreements to these 9 reasons.

Prithviraj is not the first public figure who is subjected to abject sms-jokes or virtual criticism. We have an entire session on Seedi Haji which can even be qualified as a separate branch of literature. I don’t even want to start here on the number of Rajani jokes most of us get on an hourly or daily or at least weekly basis. Since someone attempted to lay out 10 (in fact 9) reasons to hate Prithviraj which in turn serve as a criticism to those who spread jokes on him, let me think on my foot and share with you my random thoughts!

I want to make a distinction here which is my disclaimer as well. This is not a post for or against Prithviraj. This, on the other hand, is a post on a post on Prithviraj.  I am not a die-hard Prithviraj fan. Nor am I an ardent-Prithviraj-Hater. I belong to that group who likes a good laugh. I belong to that group too, who stand tall for people who seek justice when their privacy and honour are violated. Since Berly’s post doesn’t kindle either of the emotions in me (for that matter, any), let me do a matter-of-fact analysis of the 9/10 existing reasons he has so humorously articulated.

As I already said, this is not an absolute “for” vs. absolute “against” write up on the star in question. Instead what I am attempting here is to offer 9 reasons why the 9 reasons the author gave are not reasons at all. These are my disagreements with the banal nature of the reasons the author gave.

One can take this also as an exercise of commonsense. What I share here is the opinions that many of us expressed while laughing such jokes off over a coffee or over office breaks.

1.      Author’s reason: Prithviraj (hereafter referred to as P) publically announced that he is not in love with a journalist and later married one. He didn’t seek blessings or fall at the feet of his fans/audience

My disagreement: I don’t think it matters much to the Malayali audience whether P married a journalist after having denied such a relationship before. What P wants to share with public and what he doesn’t is a matter of his personal choice. At this point in history, we all do admit and adore personal choices and freedom. But what appears as unacceptable is that while denying this, P made a seemingly intellectual allegation against media. He brought in issues of media responsibility and media ethics which were unnecessary. One can deny or hush up one’s personal affairs, love life and personal secrets in an urge to protect one’s own privacy. What’s wrong in it!! But why a story-length unnecessary verbal exercise on ethics and responsibility? Isn’t that gimmicking something that pisses people off?

2.      Author’s reason:  P speaks good English

My disagreement: He speaks English well; many of us do. Good or bad is a question of relativity. But I genuinely don’t think most people have a problem with that. We are accustomed to stars speaking English. Take a good watch at the full-length-drama filled Coffee with Karan series!! We have veteran scholars like Narendra Prasad. Not to mention young stars like Reema Kallingal, Archana Kavi etc etc!!!And we have stars who went abroad, settled there for a while and later came back. And stars who went abroad and never came back.  Who is jealous of abroad-return stars? Who is afraid of Metro bred stars and abroad-educated ones? If we have to compare P only in relation to stars who do not speak English, that is reductionism. If we look at the larger industry picture, then there are stars, speaking English left right and centre. And nobody makes a case for those who speak English. Nobody makes a case for those who don’t either! Why should the author? One a lighter note, has anyone ever applauded, off screen or on screen, the pronunciation accuracy of Suresh Gopi!!!!

3.      Author’s reason : P has a good body

My disagreement: Of course he does. We enjoy watching good bodies on screen. We lament when our so called superstars’ beer bellies came jumping off the screen. That is not a trend initiated by P, neither in Molliwood nor in Bolliwood. A good body is the demands of the current industry so that one will not be shown the door. P is only doing what he has to do, to keep himself in the industry. Also, aren’t we used to watching six-packed-stars, increasingly now that the Bollyood-Kollywood-Molliwood or whatever wood division is being eroded?

4.      Author’s reason: P answered questions with clarity and exhibited general knowledge.

My disagreement: Are you referring to the same interview that many of us watched? If yes, then our standards of clarity and general knowledge differ. I am persuaded to think that mutual ego massaging is considered as clarity and general knowledge in some parts of the world.

5.      Author’s reason: He filed a case against those who “stole” Urumi

My disagreement: The idea that piracy is staling is long been thrown out of the window. Piracy is something that is set into motion with a particular digital culture.  Piracy culture is not seen as “bad” or “good” these days. On the other hand there are arguments that go in favour of piracy as piracy is an act of releasing something that is considered as “privately regulated”. There are views that see piracy culture as posing a challenge to the state regulations. Also piracy is the cyber way of negotiating with digital spaces. Why reducing piracy to good or bad question at all? There are Intellectual Property laws to protect one’s copyright interests. P made use of it. Well and good. Why should the author bring in a moral comment on that?

6.      Author does not have a 6th reason. So don’t I.

7.      Author’s reason: P reads books and talks about books

 My disagreement: I agree with the general argument of the author here that there is a particular way we are tempted to look down on people who read and talk about books. But let me be case specific. What P chooses to read is his personal interest. What P reads does not place him above or below anyone. That cannot be a general standard of sophistication either. I might find P interesting because he reads certain books. Another person may find a star who is into real estate interesting. A third person might find an actor who is into dancing interesting. What’s the big deal?  Why should we think that it should be a general universal criterion? “Fan-hood” or “Fan-dom” as they call it these days does not operate based on such standards of sophistication at all. Also, why should we glorify the personal reading habit of someone who is an ardent advocate of personal space and secrecy? Just as much his marriage should not matter to the general public, his reading habits should also not!!

8.      Author’s reason: He is into industry for the last 10 years and not even 30 yet!!

My disagreement: Come on, look at Daniel Radcliff and Emma Watson. They are into industry for 11 years and not even 25 yet!!!

9.      Author’s reason: He continues to give interviews despite the anti-Prithvi- wave!!

My disagreement: Cinema is his bread, man!! If he has to continue in the industry he has to ignore such things, which he is doing. What is so great about it? This is what all our stars did in the past and are doing in the present.  Haven’t we seen stars who went through great scandals and extreme stigma and yet chose to fight and remain in the industry? That is no news!

10.  Author’s reason: Aged stars and Torrent Downloads

My disagreement: The point about piracy culture is discussed in one of the p points above. I shall not detail it again.

About the “aged” stars acting as youngsters and college goers! One of P’s celebrated arguments is that stars should choose roles that suit their age. That point is well taken! He can even give examples of Robert Redford and Richard Gere of whoever! But let me point towards the short-sighted-ness of P’s argument here. His criticism is always based on the male stars. What about female stars who can’t remain in the industry because they lost their charm/youth? If Richard Gere or Robert Redford acted at the age of 40/50/60 as aged characters, there were equally aged Merryl Streep and Demi Moore who supported the plot. Does our industry give a space to female stars who get aged so that they can be on-screen companions to our aging super stars?  Why does P, who is so concerned about the male actors acting young, not talk about such gender biases? Is the author really too short-sighted to see this?
At the end o all this one question remains, who is afraid of Prithviraj!!!

Note from the blog authour: For a change I am allowing a guest post ;)