Tag Archives: Facts

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

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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 🙂