Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Alternate Is The New Mainstream

You know how everyone’s today either a writer or an artist? Look around you and you will not see a single doctor or an engineer. If there’s an emergency there will not be a single person around you who will be able to help you. During an earthquake people will start updating their Facebook walls with ‘feeling confused’. It’s true. Majority of the people I met after the Nepal earthquake, they thought they were too drunk and were just imagining it. And if someone gets injured they’re going to upload pictures on Instagram with #blood #life #bloodgroup #help #me #going #craycray. And I’m sure you will find a ‘music producer’ who will start recording some ‘samples’ during a Tsunami. It’s like there’s been a mainstream education holocaust and all so called regular courses have been gassed to death by the emerging sect of new age careers.

New age is a funny word. It’s as if writing or designing never existed and the likes of Chetan Bhagat invented it or something. It’s like everyone’s ignored the whole of history and Shakespeare and Mozart and Picasso and others who I don’t even know. I may be ignorant and not remember their names but at least I have the basic courtesy to acknowledge their existence. These ‘alternate careers’ have become so common that there’s nothing alternate about them any longer. Imagine a world where 90% of the population becomes homosexual, the straight population will be frowned upon. I do that any which ways given the rate at which they are breeding.

All of this makes me really afraid of the future. I may not be too afraid of death or watching Deepika Padukone’s Piku, but I am really afraid of a world where there are more writers and designers than doctors, engineers, bankers, etc. Twenty years down the line I’m afraid we will be in a situation where nice designs for buildings will be created but will remain on paper. Beautiful hospitals will be conceptualized and will remain in that stage forever. And currency notes will be hand drawn with images of Snoop Dogg and Yo Yo Honey Singh.

What happened all of a sudden? Why did people become so anti mainstream that they went ahead and made alternate the new mainstream? Why is it that whoever I meet today is either working in an advertising agency or is designing something. They’re either clicking photographs of poor old people or writing how crappy phones are. Doesn’t anyone anymore wants to make the world a better place by actually doing something rather than just writing about it or ‘expressing’ themselves through art?

Sadly, I’m a part of this madness too. For me it probably was just an easy way out to escape years and years of studying after 14 years of torture while in school. And honestly, I was never good at academics. But I was never good at anything at all, actually. I don’t know if I’m still particularly good at anything any longer but I somehow manage.

It’s a strange litte world we live in today and I’m quite excited to see what lies ahead for all of us. I shall save this blog to refer back to 50 years from now to see how wrong I am today. Till then, keep reading and keep sharing. I’m a writer after all.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Apna Kaam Banta

You know how the rest of this saying goes, right? No? Then you have either studied in a British School sort of a place where the fancy kids only spoke in English and went to school in cars or you are a Madrasi. And by a Madrasi I do not mean a South Indian. I’m not as ignorant as a Sardar in Delhi. But I’m not even referring to a Tamilian. I am simply referring to a human person who does not speak / understand the beautiful language of Hindi. The sort of a guy who struggles each day in a place like Delhi and can never understand the logic behind giving genders to things in Hindi.

A classic example:

Train ka Dabba = Male
Train ka Engine = Male

Join the two. And it becomes female. Dabba aa raha hai. Engine aa raha hai. Lekin Train aa rahi hai. It’s like a gay couple adopted a girl child. I’m like full power man! That’s the way to go! Anyway. Back to the topic.

It looks like this saying has gone global. It seems as if every young fellow today adheres to it and solemnly abides by it. You know it’s the new Vande Mataram. It’s the new Karo Ya Maro. It’s like the new Didi Tera Dewar Diwana… Exactly. It doesn’t make any sense at all!

What I’m basically talking about is the emergence of this new career goal: Startups! It’s the new slut in town. Everyone wants to do it. Everyone wants a piece of it. Some go on to become its pimps, they own it. And some are just happy getting some action on bean bags. But everyone’s today in it like it’s Orkut from 2005.

Earlier it used to be like people fighting on Orkut saying:

“Man I got 4000 scraps on my scrapbook man!”
“Naw man I got 8000 scraps!”

And today all I hear is people being proud about stupid bean bags.

“Man we got 8 bean bags in the office man!”
“Only 8? We got over 25 bean bags!”
“You both are losers man. I work inside a bean bag. It’s the shizz.”

This is not the world any ‘90s kid was ever told about. Back when we were kids, people were becoming doctors, engineers, pilots. Imagine a pilot telling you today: “Man I’m gonna start a low cost airlines and we’ll just have bean bags in the plane man!” I mean it’s a great idea but I don’t want my pilot to be dozing off midway or feeling too lazy to get up to land the bloody plane. We all know how uncomfortable those big ugly bags get and how sweaty your ass becomes after a 15 minute sitting. You know you’ve always pulled out your underwear from between your buttcheeks looking here and there hoping nobody would notice. But don’t worry, we all do it. Some of us even end up smelling our fingers after we do it.

And startups are not something very new. It’s like a new term they gave to businesses. You’re simply setting up your own shop. One guy is selling spoons to middle aged women in Karol Bagh and the other is helping the same person sell it on a website. Eventually you are still selling crappy spoons.

I’m a middle class hard working man. I got a paunch, I drink almost everyday, I save very little, I slog for 14 hours on a daily basis, and I come home too tired to even play with myself. But I’m proud of this extremely averagish persona that I carry with me. I’ve worked hard towards creating this masterpiece that will never lose the rat race. I mean there are a billion other rats like us, I’m sure there’ll always be someone worse than you. I mean, if you do come last, if you are the worst, then you, sir, are the real winner.

So we haven’t got it easy. When people come up to us and tell us “Man you should do you own thing man, be your own boss man, that’s real man!” I’m all like “Oh yes. I was just waiting for you to come say this to me. Wait, let me go to my boss and tell him I’m quitting and then I’m going to start my own startup. By the way, where can I get the cheapest bean bags?”

I mean, I’m all for people who’ve created something cool, added some value, made some change in the world around them or in people’s lives. Even if it means making one person happy at a time. I mean, I do it almost every night, at a micro level, by making myself happy. That’s the only startup experience that I have!

But I don’t sometimes get it when people do it just for the heck of it. They’re all like “I’m my own boss and I’m my own man. I don’t work for nobody and I don’t take orders form nobody!” Agar unki ma ne bachpan mei ek thappad maara hota na to aaj ye din dekhne ko nahi milta.

So boys and girls, start a startup to actually start something new. Add some value. Bring about a change. Cure cancer. Cure stupidity. Don’t do it just because your daddy has some money and you have some time to kill. And even if you do it like that, so be it, just don’t come to me and tell me how you are a self made man. I’m sorry, mai apni do waqt ki roti ke liye mehnat karta hu, and you are nobody to tell me that it’s no good in front of what you do.

I’m going to go and sit on my bean bag now. Adios.