Two Seconds of Fame

If you’re either Indian or Pakistani, I’m not even going to ask you what you did last night, you were in all probability busy watching the Cricket match, with your #BleedBlue/Green T-shirts and popcorn. We, won the match. And I was expecting regular updates and cheerful comments about how well Virat Kohli played. And my social media didn’t fail me. There were jokes, memes and some outright mean things that were said. But I get it, we love our cricket far too much. It’s all good.

What I wasn’t expecting was a certain lady who goes by the name Qadeel Baloch to monopolise my news feed. She was everywhere. I had to find out who she was and why she’d overthrown the #IndvsPak match as the No. 1 trending topic on Facebook. Now if you don’t know her, good. The curse of the Internet skipped you. 

Turns out, Ms Baloch had promised to strip nude (on camera I’m assuming) if the Pakistani team defeated the Indian team in the ongoing 20-20 World Cup. To be more specific, the Pakistani model (?) has sworn to strip dance for ‘her country’ on camera and dedicate it to their captain Shahid Afridi. If only Mr Afridi needed more controversy! 

The matter on hand isn’t the cricket match or the result. It’s about aspiring female entertainers across the world thinking that the only thing they need to do to earn a quick buck here and there is by nudity. Let’s not be unfair, long before Ms Baloch had made such sensational claims, there have been ladies who’ve done it. Larissa Riquelme, Suzy Cortez, Arcelia Bravo and Poonam Pandey. India has representation, yay. I’m all for women celebrating their bodies, their confidence and their curves. More power to them. I’m not some washed up religious fanatic who thinks women should wear ‘appropriate clothing‘ and that ‘rape is a woman’s fault‘ and all that crap. No. Scroll through my blog, you’ll see evidence. In fact, I’d say, with utmost respect to those ladies that if they believe they have a penchant for undress and seduction, they should join the porn industry or the strip-dancing one. That’s a more respectable profession than doing nothing at all. You’re not a model (cue air bunnies) by posting semi-nude selfies on Instagram. I have immense respect for pornstars, they have the courage to admit what they’re doing. And they’re confident and proud of it. They’re not prudes like some ‘model’ making tall claims of stripping if Afridi hits one over the boundary, for crying out loud. Why do some people feel the need to take their clothes off to become ‘popular’ or ‘famous’? Why do some others actually support that? I’m not saying you should cover your body, don’t wear anything if you don’t want to, but don’t use your body as a weapon to garner eyeballs. 

I blame modern society. I blame the role models we establish to look upto. You can’t complain about being fat when all you have stocked in your refrigerator is Nutella and cheese. Ms Baloch must realise that this isn’t going to catapult her to fame. I’m going to right one article about her, and then, she’s going to be yesterday’s news. And I’m an amateur blogger. You think the New York Times is covering her publicity stunt? Or ‘The Sun’? Hardly any one cares, and soon enough, no one will. Yes the extremely desperate ones will be watching your mini-clips on Instagram for a long time, but if that’s all you want- single guys jerking off to your pictures and going to sleep thereafter, head over to Pornhub gurl. I’m not slut-shaming her, or calling her names. Every woman has the right to do what she wants with her body and mind. But my only grouse is commodifying the human body. Can we really afford to influence more girls? Instead of telling them that it’s their confidence and their independence and drive that attracts men, telling them it’s only their body? Do we really need more girls to feel this way? Young girls growing up in Pakistan, looking upto someone like the lady in question, thinking it’s alright to say things like these? Young Boys thinking that the only way a woman can be ‘used’ is by enjoying her strip dance? The only reason I’m giving this lady, who I’m sure is a nice person, the light of day is because I need you all to understand the point I’m trying to make. Ladies, I trust all of you to set yourself the right role models. Your mothers, who’ve brought you up to be strong women, sportswomen, actresses, activists, singers breaking barriers and achieving real, concrete, material respect and success, not two minutes under the Spotlight. And as for QB, If you’re reading this, don’t flatter yourself. You’ll be recycled faster than plastic bottles in a third world country. 
That was that. I hope I didn’t offend anyone. This is only my opinion. I’ll see you soon. I have some fun collabs planned for the coming weeks. 

Advertisements

Blogger of the Month

Now you have to believe me but the last thing I like to do on here, is sing my own praises. After all, I’ve maintained on the blog on the pillar of my self-deprecating humour. But I’d like to share with all of you, my feature in Youth Inc magazine, where I was voted ‘Blogger of the Month’. I’ve recounted how I started to write, and my blog, my inspirations and my love for any one who writes.My premature apologies if that turns to be as boring as I made it out to be.

Here is my complete sit-down with Pearl Mathias of Youth Inc:

Growing up in a household that celebrated individuality and opinion, I was bound to be a strong-minded person with my set of beliefs, ideals. As much as my parents valued silence, they taught me to stand up for the things I consciously believed in. Ever since I can remember, I gravitated towards words. My mother recollects having walked in on me forming letters of the alphabet as a two year old, long before I’d started Montessori. Approximately a decade later, while my friends were challenging each other to PSP trifles, I would be absorbed in a parallel universe, where the Secret Seven brainstormed in the base,met, sipping lemonade. Where Nancy Drew jet setted across Europe solving crimes. Where Birbal earned Akbar’s admiration and the courtiers’ envy.

 I’m still the dewy-eyed boy I was back in the day, engulfed with fascination for characters, stories, lives. While I’m enthusiastically pursuing a degree in Chartered Accountancy, I’ve made it a point to keep writing. My current blog, called ‘Akash Kumar’ (A+ for creativity) was launched almost two years ago. Social issues like Feminism, Religious Tolerance, Bullying and Homophobia were my priority. But 2015 was revolutionary for me. Almost like a light-switch, I decided to put myself out there, out of my supposed comfort zone. I ventured into fashion, fiction and challenges.

  

 

The publishing industry in general, and the Blogging community is an extremely supportive one. I find myself wondering just how many articles I would have managed to put out had it not been for the kind words of so many of my peers. I remember after I wrote two articles in particular, I felt like I wasn’t making much of an impact. That it’d be smart to quit while I’d just begun. You know, no one gets hurt. And I’d abandoned ‘Akash Kumar’. About a month later, I received a message on Facebook, from an acquaintance who I’d met through tuition class. She said to me ‘Your writing is quite fun, why haven’t you updated?‘. It was simple. ‘It’s not getting much traffic, I think I should stop‘. Her response changed my life. ‘You’ve gotta be kidding me. You’re 2 posts old, and you want a fuc*ing Pulitzer. I like your work, and I’m sure people will too. I didn’t take you for such an idiot‘. 

Subtlety wasn’t her strong suit. Weeks later, I would write an article titled ‘Horn Ok Please’, which would receive 2000+ views in its first day. The radiance of positivity transmitted has inspired me to connect with people doing the same thing. One of my most memorable professional experiences was the ‘Collaboration Fest’ I conducted all November, where I collaborated with online creators- co-bloggers, YouTubers and poets to curate content.

 Writing can be an isolated job, more so blogging. We’re often mistaken for creepy people who don’t go out in the sun, typing away furiously on their computers. We are all of  that, but more. But to meet and interact with people who do the same thing, fight the same battles, stand up for the same things is refreshing and awakening. It encourages me to reach out to my adopted ‘family‘, especially those who’re just starting out and to let them know, not whether they can make it or not, but that there is place for all of us to flourish and success. We don’t have to be at loggerheads. 

I can’t force someone to start writing or get them to make a WordPress account. If I could get people to do things that’d be the last thing I would get done. (I would get free food from then, get your head out of the gutter). But I hear so many of my gifted friends talk about the lack of time to start a blog and commit to it. And I don’t really get that, if you’re passionate about something, and have something to share, you need to get off your self-pitying posterior and start doing it. When I started writing about social issues, the blogosphere was redundant. Now you may say it was only two years ago, but that’s a lot of time on the Internet. (No for real, haven’t you heard ‘Internet Years’ is actually a measure of time now). No one was writing about social issues, fashion yes, style yes, movies yes, but social issues and lifestyle was not on the cards.But I kept at it and over time, I’ve had a loyal group of readers, that provide me with feedback that keeps me afloat. As long as you have a voice, you’re going to be heard. Regardless of the genre, if you have a relentless fire burning. At the end of the day, it’s not about how many people comment or the highest number of likes. The target has always been different for me- to inspire people, to be the reason why someone took to writing, to be remembered.

So that was that. If there are any of you that want to start a blog or a YouTube channel or anything creative and are hesitant, please come to me. I shall straighten you up. I hope this serves an inspiration to anyone who needs it. Thank you to all those of you who read my work regularly, and those of you who visit once in a while. While I’m nowhere near where I want to be as a writer, by my own admission, I can sense the evolvement since my first post on here. This might seem quite histrionic and dramatic to you, but my weekly column/article is my getaway and makes me very happy. Thank you for making me a blogger, thank you for helping me be the person I’ve wanted to. Many more to come. I’ll see you next week. 

Also, I have some good news. I love having fellow collaborators on the blog. And so it gives me immense pleasure to announce my dear friend Disha Sodha will be hosting a monthly fashion round-up on the blog, come April. I’m super excited. Be good, kids.