My newsletter is fodder. I discovered a long time ago that I needed a space which wasn't crowded. I needed a space to just help people become better, wise and love me for what I do for them(is it too much to ask?) :P
And I found Substack. And a few groups on FB and more newsletters here, with all the propensity of knowledge mongering, every time I hit send, I feel- I have made a mistake or two(god forbid, five!) And that this newsletter needs structure.
To structure sentences, it hasn't been a problem for me. Nor has the thought of restructuring. But, structuring an execution of a ideation and the seemingly brandisation of my ideologies and me, which largely comes from-
I am dedicating a short space as a Feature space. For Artists, Content creators and people who own small businesses. I will make it a point to showcase their hardwork here to pay my respect for their undertakings which comes usually from a place of despair and hope both. I know because I float the same boat. “ Support Passion”. You meet a person, an absolute no body maybe, someone who carves or paints or stitches things and you never think of etiquettes, equal pay or that they are humans too, requiring more than just your support in form of flattery or your discerning indifference to their living. But you meet a CEO or your IT Boss who is mostly doing what you don't understand and is probably less concerned about your living than his and you bow down like flunkey veins. Who are you fooling? Obsequious.
So my first feature was my favorite Cartographer Sagar a delightful find! The precision! You can DM him and get Maps for yourself. You must.
Today, I must tell you about Yash and his talent. Yash is a miniature artist on the creation and discovery of some really cool artifacts and
Discovered him on the bylines of multilingual DMs which I receive. I know this won't add up to much but I spend my time in going through everyone who DMs me, their business, bios and sometimes, date of birth (You know I love astrology, you freak). I know so many people who try to find a small tribe and they float. But I have a belief that we need tribes and then we need those who are also CEO's and Lawyers and doctors, because we need them. Some will earn and pay these creators too. So it's all a pyramid scheme. Artists are like little pieces in the puzzle of hierarchy where they lack recognition but not having them would disturb the ecology in the scheme of the living .
Pay for the future by paying creators today.
I feel despondent as an artist, as a writer and more so as a human being in seeing how Art is looked upon in our society. How commercialization, capitalism fails us as a society. How every Indian parent wants their kid to rank 1st in a country where in a hackneyed, worn-out attempt, generations suffer, ages after ages, contemplating what age is bad age for marriage and fighting about Shame and their piece of glory. There can't be 1 million MF Hussainis. Or even 10. That's how bad it is. And the 99.99% of us we are barely acknowledged. How I remember my parents used to joke (were they really joking? They seemed dang concerned) about kids not getting into a good science school and rather going for Arts because they were poor in studies or lost and how they reminded me my fate when I used to read Twilight hiding behind HC Verma (You know the crook) . I now condemn this upbringing of mine. I have had my share of protest before my parents gave up. As time went by they realized, in an obsolete attempt to know me, that I was in love with English Language as an artist as a writer. I loved words. I was always hungry for words. And stories. And I now know, they did their best to not see their kids, painting by the side of the road in Munnar or selling Fafdas in a shop, which they assumed is what would happen. It's bad but it's not THAT bad. And if not for their perseverance and sacrifices, which are bigger nuggets to skin in terms of feeding bs into our minds about Arts and Artists, I would surely be shooting needles up my arm and saying I was an artist without ever creating anything. I remember dad scoffing, that Bollywood is for druggies. And that's all I knew till I didn't. I then secretly harboured the desire to enter Miss India contest, (that one criteria which didn't make me pack my bags and go for the audition was my height. I was barely 5’6) till I knew, druggies are everywhere, even in IITs. Well-meaning adults can easily destroy a child’s love of reading, as rightly said by Gaiman, I feel it was and is still my fight when I work for me, read for me and when I don't take up a job offer I get which will take away the only thing I value more than anything- Freedom. To be. In all retrospect if you have read till here, thank you, I feel I am whispering these things….thank you really… so, I'll let you know first thing when I find a job which lets me breathe and not feel like I am getting leeched. My objectivity lies in beheading the insipid subjectivity of living in less, happy and stress free (loan free, which is a topic I will talk of on length.. How I never took a loan out but my dad had 8 loans in his lifetime to pay, some running up till 35 years, we even celebrated the last one out of the wazoos just today and I realized rather guiltily that I didn't take out loans because Dad did in retrospective to save me from the burden of it and I never had to worry about anyone but mostly me).
In my school, we had an excellent library. Small, but excellent. The library's focal point, sitting at the entrance was a meek lil fella, a balding sweet librarian who loved to see me come and read. He watched me reading and he always saved me a seat (the library space was rather small, a 12×12 at most). He was a peace maker in between me finding books I liked and I didn't. I read Devdas and Ramanujan on his recommendation. I read books which he kept for me, especially, groping the ends of a bent cupboard. I distinctly remember that many books were gifted and there was a mention of ‘In memory of…’ or ‘With best wishes’ scrolled in the index or a note in between pages of many a poetry books which I read, whenever I could. I remember skipping lunch. Skipping Sports Day rally practices and even classes which I could, to read books I wanted to. My librarian lied for me to my friends. He became one in the end, when I had a few left. He gave me freedom. Let me say it out loud. My school library gave me freedom to be. My first form of freedom and escapism.
As exciting as all this sounds, there’s nowhere you can go and nothing you can do to escape the emotional challenges of freelancing. My early career was plagued by fear, worry, and dissatisfaction. The more people told me I was living the dream, the more pressure I felt to keep achieving. I spent years ricocheting from one project to another, never getting time to think deeply enough or build for the long-term. No matter how hard I worked or how impressive my accomplishments, I could never shake the feeling that my business might come crashing down around me at any moment. - Lauren Razavi
I was chatting with a friend who said, At the risk of saying too much (clearly I'm in a state where I'm feeling like it), I can find charm in intellectual intercourse, but I'm so far unshakable of the opinion that the best book can't beat an average fuck. You think so too?
Here's a random picture from my run today morning. I went too far.
I am a “I need to know, everyday” person so here goes 10 Links I enjoyed the most :
Like am not even kidding you when I say that Trouts can get addicted to Meth (Trouts can be me!) P
When I read Sarah Manguso's 300 Arguments, I fell in love with her. That's a master piece. And now I am hooked on to her writings.
Another socially awkward article of the week on the bane of pandemic
The latest trend within Instagram’s literary community has only increased in popularity, but it may risk alienating readers through its promotion of consumerism.
A great thread to go viral in 80 ways(I feel pathetic after reading this so there's that too)
A Mother’s Deceit: What Happened to Timmothy Pitzen? (Watch Disappeared series on Discovery + if you can must!)
Bonus: How to Organize Books by Sector in Iowa Review
For someone who loves writing, there's so much I dislike about the slog. But the nature of the industry I'm in makes it ever so difficult to solely write as a career. There are skeletons in every published writer's closet — skeletons of white papers, technical writing, website copy, all the unglamorous writing that, well, pays the bills. But we hardly ever see the skeletons — we see the glam, and that's enough to throw me back into despair. - Samit Basu
Don't forget to stay put and wear masks. ❤
That’s it for this issue!
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