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diversity-in-books

This is why Diversity sucks

Though the concept is great – it still sucks for my kind.

It conjures up images of glitter and happiness with the glitz and glamour of a chocolate advertisement but tough luck if it makes up your very identity.

Though I don’t mean to sound cruel (even if it is) here’s a reality check for you – crickets will be getting more attention.

Diversity – such a great buzzword with the oomph of a derelict forgotten martyr even the history books couldn’t be bothered teaching us about. Everyone’s talking about it.

Diversity this, diversity that but that’s about all that’s happening.

Everyone’s saying it because it’s the cool thing to say, what the in crowd’s talking about but no one’s actually doing anything about it or even understands what the hell it’s all about.

Diversity sucks but only if it’s part of your core and more importantly, only if you revel in it, brandish in it with all the glory you can possibly muster.

I’m a writer – perhaps a self-declared one, but a writer nevertheless. Perhaps a mediocre one, but a writer regardless and I’m what many would term as a lucky struggling writer because it’s a great time for someone like me to be born apparently – a great time for a diverse writer.

But what does a diverse writer even mean?

That’s a great question because though most know what diverse writing means (as opposed to diverse authors) – very few actually bother about my type.

I’m not going to lie, it’s quite annoying existing in an age where there is so much hoo-hah about diverse characters (many of which are fictional dare I say) when no one really gives a crap about their very factual diverse creators.

This is mainly due to two reasons – one, authors are rarely as interesting as the characters they create (I can attest to this personally) and two, most diverse characters being created aren’t really being written about diverse authors in the first place.

Because let’s face it, who would know better about a brown girl coming to a foreign land and dealing with all the trials and tribulations of modern day western world attitudes and stereotypes against the backdrop of very real cultural boundaries than a white writer?

As a “diverse” author who has written a novel (or a poorly cloaked semi autobiography) about just that (hello people, welcome to my life), do I find it torturously disconcerting that many of the countless literary agents I have reached out to say that my story isn’t quite real enough?

Of course I do.

In fact, I find it so agonisingly painful I actually pondered on writing a thank you reply to the one literary agent who responded by saying that though the premise was good, it just wasn’t the right time for my “type” of tale when adult colouring books were all the rage in the literary world. I thought it would be presumptuous to send him the dictionary book definition of literature when I actually like colouring in.

Others said my book just didn’t strike a chord with them because my main character was too well, normal.

Of course a “normal” brown girl is just out of the question because who would want to read about a normal diverse character? Um – maybe diverse readers like me.

It’s unfortunate that during my teenage years I had to choose between a normal white girl to relate with or a crazy, brown one with a horrific juxtaposition of identity crisis’s that outnumbered the amount of times I change my underwear (which is regularly by the way).

Clearly there are no normal brown people on the planet because we all wear hijabs, struggle daily with radicalism and have a secret life our parents would commit suicide upon discovering exactly twenty two point five years later. And let’s not mention finally participating (while not in undercover) in romantic relationships after securing our parent’s reluctant consent upon finding out about our blatant “western influenced” unlocking of our chastity belts in our late teens. Please note, this is actually supposed to be sarcastic.

Being diverse and actually understanding what that truly meant for many of us diverse teenagers growing up in a world where no one really got us is what continues to make diversity so sucks.

“Normal” for us diverse, immigrant children meant tepidly tip-toeing the tightrope of immigrant versus adopted land issues every single day. It meant explaining why your parents had to meet your “friend” before they let you date him before he even asked you out. It meant you’d get tired of hearing your own voice every time you droned on about how “discovering” yourself after high school on that once in a lifetime gap year before you joined university was never going to happen if you wanted to live past eighteen.

You won’t find novels on how you spent the better part of every weekday morning airing your school uniform out of that undeniable, wicked curry smell that lingers like a bad memory days after you devoured it. Or why you can use your forehead to corkscrew even the mightiest Foster’s beer bottle thanks to the countless afternoons you spent rubbing the elusive bindi off after your weekly prayers. All this just so you could rush off to see the latest movie at the cinemas without having to explain the red dot on your forehead for the millionth time. You won’t even find stories on the absurdity of forgetting French kissing when your people came up with the manual on having sex.

Why would we forget the lips in the Kama Sutra people – really, why?

Why don’t you find common day stories on the very real, normal lives of brown people?
Because there’s no way that a white author has been cursed with our version of normality. Normal, non-brown people think this is comedic which is probably why Mindy Kaling’s The Mindy Project has done so well.

Poor Mindy had to fabricate a normal Indian girl’s life as a comedy when most of us brown chicks know that there’s nothing funny about Mindy’s life – it’s just our version of normal.

Maybe that’s what it is.

Perhaps my premise in Un-Belonging is too real for the mainstream. Maybe all I need to get a literary agent’s attention is to tag a “normal typical brown girl problem” joke at the end of each sentence so that the general public can make a parody of my protagonist instead.

Maybe that’ll get over her not wearing a hijab bit.

Photo Credit: Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash

I’m Sorry …

… for being so absent lately.

Though it isn’t an excuse, I’ll fall back on that dismal aspect of human nature and attempt to absolve myself of any wrongdoings by providing you with an adequate 3 point resource on how it’s really not my fault.

Point 1 – I’ve been so busy that if I were a Troll protecting the make believe bridge to Narnia I just made up right now, well, Narnia would no longer be Narnia – it would be the next best holiday destination. I have been writing though, about an article a week but woe is me, much of my time is taken up in maintaining active social media accounts for work.

You need a Twitter, Facebook or Google + guru right now, don’t look at me. I’m fresh out of ideas.

Point 2 – I have seriously pissed karma off and I don’t even know what I did. The amount of minor mishaps I have had with my skeleton over the past month would be enough to fill up a small encyclopaedia. Seriously. From toe injuries to wrist massacring’s, it’s a wonder I still resemble a human body. Fine, maybe not an encyclopaedia but a good weekend read in a grubby motel off Highway 5. At least.

Point 3 – I blame Trump because well, why wouldn’t you?

I don’t think history has ever provided us with such an apt “he is the cause of everything that’s wrong in this world, my life and this entire solar system really” excuse, people. Ever.

I am not kidding. It’s every man, woman and child for themselves and I can’t even copyright this one. Take it. Run with it.

I’ve been busy because Trump exists.

With that being said, I make no promises except an absolute true declaration – I have missed all of you. Truly.

I’ll try and make it up for it and write some more, or at least be more present if my fingers remain from that biyatch injury infliction.

I hope you’re listening karma. I’m a Hindu and I ain’t going anywhere so let’s try and be friends, okay? Or at least civil.

See you soon my peeps xoxo

And the Most Embarrassing Award goes to!

Everyone pretty much knows that I have been faced with many potential options in this lifetime but I honestly have to confess that confining a single interlude in my life as a token of what I like to eloquently term as ashamed bashfulness is in all truth, quite ludicrously impossible.

Now c’mon everyone, we’re all friends right? Considering most of you know about the expeditions that have dotted my wonderfully bizarre journey, I know for a fact, none of you are disagreeing with me at the moment.

If I didn’t know better, I would bet my life on the undeniable fact that the Universe is sending me unfashionably cloaked cryptic messages on Embarrassing being my real middle name instead of Pradip.

Contrary to popular belief, some of my seemingly meaningless ramblings do have a purpose, and so does this one, albeit uncharacteristically. You know you don’t have to agree with everything I say, don’t you?

I have very humbly accepted the Daydreamer Award from the wonderfully talented Pomad, partly because I thought this would seriously have to be the easiest post I have ever completed considering writing what you know always is, but mostly because I have an insanely embarrassing crush on the awesome dudette.

Anyway, I digress. Please don’t block me Miss. Pomad, my love and adoration is restrained and just stops short from the psycho stalko stage … I reluctantly promise.

So here are the rules:

1) Thank the person who gave you the award. THANKS Pomad. Ahem, I love you 🙂
2) Complete the challenge they set you. I promise to make every possible effort to at least attempt to come up with something resembling sense.
3) Select a blog or blogs that you want to give the award to. (The amount of blogs you select in unlimited!) The wonderfully spectacular Herminia Chow. Seriously, she is so spectacular I think this version of Spiderman was  actually inspired by her 🙂
4) Tell them about it and set them a challenge. Herminia, I hope you’re reading this as well as any of my other amazing fellow bloggers who want to do this!
5) You can link my blog at the bottom (but only if you want to). In case you haven’t got it yet, insane girl crush on this lass😉

So, deep breath. Here goes. My MOST embarrassing moment, one that I have kept close to my chest for the days, minutes, moments that have hauntingly hunted me down since. I guess I will find out after my follower numbers are dissected into well, oblivion once this is posted if this was a good idea or not.

Picture this, class of one hundred students in a lecture hall for my dreaded Marketing class, day one. Complete with ooh, about 49% of the entire Bondi Beach drop dead gorgeous male population.

Task? Simple enough. Get up in front of the entire class and name your favourite fruit and your reason.

I had the perfect example, a mango because it’s refreshing and sweet rolled into one, just like me. I should have known then. The warning bells were blazing but my youthful exuberance (similar to the one that got me into trouble yesterday at my local café, but that’s another story)  wouldn’t let me heed the dire warning.

Why I would say what I did, till this day, like so much that surrounds my mouth, baffles me.

My answer? Seriously my hands are trembling on the keyboard right now was ..,

“A banana because it fills me up nicely” ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

I know, I know. Why? No seriously, why? I mean. Really? Why Dammit WHHHHYYYYYYY!?!?!

Let’s just say, none of those Baywatch inspired models would touch me after that. Even with a stick that had lost it’s shape thanks to the most poisonous Aussie snake venom infused bubble-wrap warped covering immersed in all the Echidna spikes you could find.

I did though, get relentlessly pursued by a few real psycho stalko ardent followers the rest of the semester who vowed that they would show me the way in all their illuminative grandeur -_-

So there you have it. One of the many ridiculously, excruciatingly, mortifying humiliating moments that have mysteriously tripped me along the way. I have finally got it out, for the rest of the world to see.

I hope you still kind of like me and that your “I have to keep reading even though it’s like watching a train crash head first into the Titanic” infused sentiment of my blog is still intact.

Anyway, here is my challenge to Herminia and everyone else.

Hello, are you still there? Crap. Oh well. Here goes:

Write about one profound experience that has changed your life which involves doing something for someone else

Why? After writing this, clearly no one will ever be able to surpass my level of embarrassment again and I feel like reading about someone who has done something good for someone else. I need to feel all warm and fizzy (I think I like this botched up version of autocorrect on fuzzy because lets face it, who doesn’t want to feel all fizzy internally?) on the inside.

See you around guys.

Please.

Why I’m so grateful to WordPress …

I was first introduced to this fascinating forum about 7 months ago when I finally decided to get off my derriere and start connecting with other likeminded (and some not so much) people out there tantalisingly housed within the deep, dark crevices of the blogging sector of the World Wide Web.

I didn’t expect to become entangled in the mysterious web of intrigue, deceit, fantasy, fiction, fact, crime, passion and supernatural imprisonments that I unknowingly crawled into, but similar to a junkie, I am not the least bit regretful that I did.

I’m going to be 100% honest – I first got onto blogging as a mundane effort to carry out the one aspect of novel writing I hate the most. Yes, you heard me correctly, even slightly more than editing. I know, what is wrong with me? Advertising – I can’t stand it, in fact I detest it with such a vengeance, I even considered writing a book on the inhumane concept but then I thought about how I’d have to advertise it and dropped the idea faster than I would a hot potato because even that’s more useful. At least I can submerge a hot potato in butter and devour it along with a few potentially required arteries, but that’s another story you would rather be spared from. Trust me.

WordPress however, has turned into so much more than a useful marketing tool for writers, it’s infected me to the creative core of my soul by giving me the greatest gift any potential author could ever receive and that’s contact with the amazing talent pool, no scratch that, ocean of others who love the written word as much as I do, if not more. If I ever harboured any unsupported delusions of grandeur of how brilliant a writer I was before I embarked on this journey of shameless self-promotion, I certainly don’t anymore. No, I have been set straight, given a cold, tight slap across my cheek on how much I still have to learn if I ever dream, hope, clamber to be half as good as some of the writer’s I have come across in the WordPress community.

Alongside WordPress came Twitter & Facebook, other notorious examples of novel marketing and as I scampered across my path into the writing communities of these and other various social medias, I came to realise just how talented others were out there.

Does this depress me? Absolutely not, because I find that those I connect with are often so graciously willing to impart their knowledge and skills with me and help me in my personal battle towards self-improvement, I feel humbled and honoured simultaneously and instantly.

So, though I don’t say this nearly as often as I truly should, thank you to everyone I have connected with so far and I look forward to cementing and forging new relationships as I travel this path of atrociously torturous advertising for what I hope to be, at least slightly above mediocrely run of the mill.

It’s not me. It’s you.

Yup, you heard me correctly, sometimes it’s not me, it really is you.

I have struggled for most of my life (till date anyway) with worrying about what others think and feel about me. Deeply buried within the crevices of my soul, I know it shouldn’t matter, in fact better yet, I know it doesn’t matter what others think of me as long as I know it’s the right thing to do at the time and that most pertinently, I can look in the mirror every morning when I wake up without wincing (unless I’m having an abominably bad hair day). 😉

Sometimes in life though, you will sadly meet many individuals who seems to have made it their life’s purpose to bring others down, for no apparent reason whatsoever. To these people I like to use the “It’s not me, it’s you” comeback.

I urge you to do the same! I have come across some amazing bloggers here recently that are taking the time and effort to help you in your journey to not just making this world a better place but you a better you, which is the first step to improving everything around you!

Please do take a look, I promise you, you won’t be disappointed 🙂 See you soon my lovelies!

http://lightthelie.wordpress.com/

http://theinvictussoul.wordpress.com/

http://smilebuttercup.wordpress.com/

100 down and still going strong …

100postsApparently I hit the 100th Blog Post mark yesterday and I hadn’t even noticed!

It was one of those contented surprise moments because though I hadn’t planned it, I couldn’t have picked a better topic to write about than the one I mysteriously coincidentally had. After the initial rush had subsided however, I then proceeded to think about how on earth I had even had enough ideas to write 100 random facts about.

Firstly, my sincere apologies because “vivisection” on your very valued brains is a severe understatement when I look back through some of the posts I have published along the way and secondly, it would seem that my ability to ramble has struck my keyboard as well 😀

Here’s to hoping that you stick it out with me, I promise to at least try and entertain you along the way!

Image taken from Photobucket

One Lovely Blog Award from One Lovely Fellow Blogger …

Though I have no idea why I was nominated for this award by a very suave fellow blogger (who I am extremely grateful to for nominating me), Keep Picturing, I learnt fairly early on in life to run long and hard in the opposite direction (metaphorically and literally) when fortune strikes so … here’s me running!

Apparently, as a recipient of this lovely award, I have to bore you with seven facts about my semi interesting self (no modesty/sarcasm intended), so here goes …

1. My imaginary worlds are very real to me; they have been since they started infecting me at about six. Though bystanders looked at me with less suspicious disdain at six, their snickering and slightly fearful expressions did nothing to help me in masking my gleeful squeals of delight at what was unravelling in my mind in “real life” as I grew up – which isn’t very helpful in the dating world, but that’s another story.

2. There isn’t much that can rile me but when it does, Puff the Magic Dragon’s nostrils has nothing on the smoke that pours out of my ears when I’m seriously annoyed. I stand by the motto of live and let live, but I can’t stand bullying (predominantly because I have been severely bludgeoned by it throughout school), unfair treatment of those who have next to no voice, any discriminating behaviour that tends to end with an infamous “ism”, like racism, sexism, ageism, annoying-ism (or did I make that last one up?) and generally opening your yap when you have nothing worthwhile or nice to say. Don’t get me wrong, I am a strong advocate for freedom of speech, I just wish that the phrase had the words “socially responsible” latched on at the beginning of that statement.

3. I have been told that I am one of the best story re-tellers out there! This has nothing to do with any amazing abilities of capturing moments eloquently, or mysteriously channelling characters, but rather because if you’ve missed a television show or a movie I can make an one hour excerpt go on for double the time! I will recount everything, from the exact clothes people in the background were wearing, to when additional scenic music was playing along with the time and feelings the director (in my mind) was attempting to evoke, to meticulous dialogue parroting – the lot. Which reminds me, NO one has requested a movie/TV rendition from me lately – hmm, not sure why. I’ll have to ask around!

4. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is part and parcel of many aspects in my life – from cleanliness, fitness, love, writing, reading, working, everything really. Though I am trying to work on it, it was only a few days ago that it dawned upon me that I was getting OCD about relaxing! I will unfortunately stress about everything, even stressing. However, I am trying to work on it, without being OCD about it. I’ll let you know how that goes.

5. I am an absolute sucker for ethical behaviour, morals, socialism and humanity. I find a human being with these values and I am like a doe eyed puppy dog forever, basically I’m hooked for life. Nothing impresses me more and I’m going to be in love with you for the rest of time. Like stalker-ish in love that is most likely going to surpass one lifetime. Sorry, but you’re just going to have to deal with it.

6. Loyalty is a MASSIVE advantage/disadvantage (depending on the circumstance I find myself embroiled in at any particular time) when it comes to my friends/family. My trust is as strong as The Great Wall of China basically. Anyone can come to me at any point in time and tell me you’re the worst thing to grace the planet since Hitler came and went but I won’t believe a word of it, unless you tell me right to my face. Even if I see you in a compromising position, I’m going to ask you straight out, but once my trust is broken, that’s it. There is NO going back. Ever. I don’t care what happens, you could be writing your truthful apology in your blood and it’s going to have no effect on me. Okay, maybe that’s pushing it. I’m going to feel queasy, take you to the hospital, send you an obligatory Get Well Soon card and then never see your face again.

7. The MOST important thing to me in my life is family. I mean, if there is anything in this World I wouldn’t think twice about laying my life on the line for, it’s for those I love. When I love you, I ADORE you – and I mean suffocatingly, woefully, painfully, torturously, obsessively, love you. However, I am slightly apprehensive of people considering this fact as a rip off from number 6 so as a bonus, I’ll admit to being unashamedly, fiercely nationalistic. Patriotism for my India is very obvious to anyone who gets to know me, even slightly. My grandfather was a Freedom Fighter against the British during the invasion, so in true spirit to the popular saying, the apple definitely doesn’t fall very far from the tree at all.

…And there you have it. Hey! Wake up, stop snoring … please 😉

Now for number 4 of the elusive rule book (below), I am going to try and nominate 15 other bloggers but unfortunately the ones I know are far too busy as celebrities in their own rights to do this … but I’ll try anyway. For those of my readers who wish to do this, consider yourself honourably invited! 😀

The Risqué Rule Book:
1. You must thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog – Check. Thank you once again!
2. You must list the rules and display the award – Check.
3. You must list 7 facts about yourself – Check
4. You must nominate 15 other bloggers and comment on 1 of their posts to let them know they’ve been nominated – In Progress

Thanks to Christy’s wonderful French skills, I am feeling inspired, so … Au revoir mes cheries 🙂