This is a post on thoughts that lost their way and never got converted into blogposts. In the early days of blogging, I was eager to post everyday and kept my antennae up for bloggable ideas and that was a phase when posts rolled out even without many ideas. Over the years, after reading so many good bloggers, a kind of self regulation has developed and I don't rush to post just about every idea that springs in my mind. Sometimes I find other bloggers have developed the idea better and hence no need to repeat the same, sometimes I lose interest in the idea but most often I forget the idea. I would have liked to give the impression that my brilliant ideas have been lost to blog readers because of my forgetfulness and leave it at that but no, Eve had to expose me. She wants to know all these ideas that never got converted into posts. So here are some:

Often, I get ideas for posts from certain interesting comments on some of my posts.
For example Souvik commented on a recent post about the tedium of long marriage ceremonies. He said:
3 hours... & not even a single jhatka song to break the monotony...its worse than a Karan Johar multistarer

I thought of the possibilities if marriages were to be given over to event managers with sponsorships of the various events: kashi yatra sponsored by amity university offering the best options for higher studies
oonjal ceremony sponsored by "Swingers" dealers in best quality traditional oonjals and modern swings
Saptapadi sponsored by some jewellery/ sari shop or better still a foot cream product?

Then there was this comment by Raj on the post on child labour:
I am intrigued by how our collective consciousness suddenly gets raised. 10-15 years back, child labour was accepted, as normal. There was no hue and cry over Sivakasi's child labour. Now, we find it abhorrent, and rightly so.

What are the other practices that we accept as normal today but we will realise as completely wrong, when someone raises the consciousness?

I am sure there are some. Many changes that have taken place in traditional gender role stereotypes are examples of this. Younger woman do not seem to take to the idea of cooking as natural or normal feminine role . And younger men do not seem to expect it either. This is a minor example but I am sure that quite a few other practices will become obsolete when we realise how absurd or wrong they are. I need to give this some thought and do a post. Raj has touched upon the issue here in his post.

I saw the film Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal and came back thinking of our recent obsession with being victims of racism in other countries - how much of it is true and how much of it is just perception and shilpaesque manipulations? Rather than an effort to integrate more with the culture of the country of choice, these experiences seem to be breeding a reverse racism from the immigrant communities towards one another as well as the natural citizens of the country. And how practical it is to expect people from different cultures to understand and accept one another without any value judgements? Who is to make the first move? And is all this possible at all especially in today's context dominated by terrorism on religious, ethnic and ideological grounds?

After a spate of "entertainers" from bollywood and Tamil filmworld, I was wondering about the willingness with which we allow assault on our commonsense and intelligence in the name of entertainment. While sensible entertainers seem to break even , the biggest blockbusters are those that dish out massive amounts of trash amidst expensive settings and spectacular special effects by super heroes . I can understand poorer sections of population being attracted towards these glamorous dreams but what is in these that the educated and informed find so entertaining? And how come they are willing to accept racist, sexist remarks and vulgar double- entendres as entertainment and not be outraged by them?

While on the subject of Indian films I also wanted to do a post on male menopause - you know the kind of symptoms and behaviour displayed by the big Bachchan's roles in films like KANK and Nishabd ?

I visited a friend last week - she is 62 and her husband died last year leaving her with lots of happy memories of their 30 years of life together. She cannot speak three complete sentences without bringing him up - I can see how tough it is for her. The children live abroad. People say that one of the reasons for marrying is to have someone for you in old age. It seems that married or single, we are all ultimately alone in old age. I had so many thoughts on old age and loneliness on the day I returned from her house that I will convert into a post when I have confronted the issues mentally and consolidated them.

I also had an interesting discussion with asha on tolerance being a virtue or a dirty word. her take was:
Mere tolerance is a negative thing - it has such shallow roots and can be destroyed or swayed by any provocation. Its base is so fragile - it is just something we have told ourselves to do to avoid conflict, it is not based on any deep conviction.

When we take the trouble to know and appreciate another religion, to fathom its rich depths, to find out the reasons why they behave differently or have customs we do not approve of, the roots go in deeper.
If we have not done this, perhaps our secularism is based on indifference, and therefore extremely fragile?

My take was that tolerance is not a dirty word because even when we have tried to "understand" differences with another culture, religion, belief and failed in it, we owe it to others to tolerate the differences and live in harmony. For example I do not "understand" homosexuality but I still owe it to someone with such a preference to share any public space with me . This is tolerance because I know he/ she has as much rights as I do. When I can extend this courtesy even when I cannot understand, it is a higher virtue and NOT to be equated with indifference.

I bet there are a few more that I have forgotten. But as you may have seen from the list above, there hasn't been any serious loss to blogsphere. I bet someone else has already written about them and written much better than I could have. (Well, that is your cue to protest and push me to write.)
Lavs, Please take up the tag. I thought you had done the tag on 7 weird things. If you have not, Please take it up too!
20 Responses
  1. Savani Says:

    jeez usha.. so many great ideas.. do write. you have a unique take.. no matter how many times the topic has been written on.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    'assault on our commonsense and intelligence in the name of entertainment'

    well, i started off enjoying films 'as is where is' in my younger days, went off them in my thirties and forties due to these 'assaults' and am back to 'suspending disbelief' and having a thoroughly entertaining time at films these days :-)

    had a hilarious time at surreal Shivaji and OSO (in bits)..

    what really gets me is the clone kannada soaps.. seem so sexist..such demeaning dialogue at times..such regressive ideas..i worry what kind of brainwashing is happening with these being delivered in such multiple, large and repetitive doses! it must be so in other languages too..saw a young man slapping a girl in a hindi serial while channel surfing a couple of days back..

  3. Unknown Says:

    Usha - wonderful profound tag . I did enjoy reading it . I share your thoughts on entertainment especially the suspension of disbelief at a certain age. I find my tolerance level has gone up where films are concerned.
    WhereTV is concerned I prefer the news channels to soaps.

  4. Hip Grandma Says:

    Good ideas then why delay?come out with your take on each of these topics.we'd love to read you.The loneliness of senior citizen who've lost their life partner is indeed sad and nothing to be done about it.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Please do write, would love to read your take on the topics you brought up.

  6. Preethi Says:

    wow.. you do have big ideas dont you.. why dont you write on all these.. you have a great writing style!!

  7. S! Says:

    "And how come they are willing to accept racist, sexist remarks and vulgar double- entendres as entertainment and not be outraged by them?"

    I had a an interesting discussion about a similar topic. Remember the Pan-India mockery forwards (Gujjus this, Tamils that, & Bengalis some other way). Well, this NRI person I met in the US was completely outraged by the nature of such things that pass as jokes. I do not know how much of one's sensibility is affected by living in a country with a sad & gory history of racism, & a maniacal inclination to be politically correct, & how much of it is society, family, personality etc but to start with my stance at the time was that such jokes WERE acceptable if they were funny & it is better to try and laugh at something than live in the denial of it.

    It is also one of the things that Raj was talking about - perceptions that change over time & geography.

    If you ask me, I'll say that we should probably not joke about our communal differences, but God forbid if you ask me to actually walk the talk in the face of something that really tickles me. And the same goes for our advocate of communal harmony above.


  8. Parul Says:

    Such good ideas...please do convert them into posts.

    Also, I am tagging you for the seven weird things tag!

  9. Raj Says:

    Usha, thanks for the generous mileage.

    I agree. Not every thought or idea can get converted to a blog post. For various reasons that you have correctly explained.

    It also depends on one's own style.

    On the question of how often should one blog, I remember Amit Verma of India Uncut citing some sage advice : “Write when you feel that you have something to say; not because you feel you have to say something”.

    I think you have been following that dictum well. Your blogging style is narrative, your posts talk about people that you met or read about and specific incidents that you were involved in. You engage your readers in a serious dialogue. You also faithfully acknowledge and respond to every comment. You do not merely link to other posts or articles, as more prolific bloggers tend to do. So, the frequency is understandably lower.

    My posts also tend to be longer ones. So, I consciously started on the shorter ones as in “RIP series”, “Dad-daugher series”. “Dear Diary” series, etc which act as good fillers, and give a break from the monotony. I suggest that you could try out this method too.

  10. hillgrandmom Says:

    came here from Eve's. Really wonderful ideas--the not posted ones!
    Regarding tolerance, I am totally agree with your idea.

  11. Pradeep Nair Says:

    An amazing list, Usha... Would definitely like to see post on quite a lot of them, esp one on tolerance.

  12. Usha Says:

    dotmom: you are so sweet, thank you.

    Usha2: Please please tell me what you enjoyed in shivaji and OSO - these are some of the films that leave me all confused.
    As for soaps they are all the same - regressive and propagating ideas tendencies that woukld die a natural death if these producers did n't glorify them.

    Eve: All thanks to you. News is also becoming like a soap at times with these "human interest" stories.

    Hipgran: Will do them soon.

    2 b's mom:Thank you. will do , soon.

    Preethi: easy to have great ideas - the tough part is to do a postr. GRIN. But will try and thanks for the kind words.

    S!: I agree about being spontaneous about humor but I find it tough to laugh at travesties - e.g. when they cannot imitate a Tamilian' Hindi accent and try to make it funny. If you do it do it properly. else the humour is lost and it becomes irritating.

    Parul:Please see earlier post.

    raj: Thanks for the kind words. means a lot coming from you. Will try something like attempted conversations with husband. :)

    Hillgrandmom: Thanks for dropping by. I am a regular reader of your blog.

    Pradeep; Thanks. Will do, soon.

  13. usha,
    seriously...we need lengthier posts on each!

  14. Sumana Says:

    Oops Nice one usha. Keep these thoughts coming. Enjoyed it.

  15. Lavs Says:

    I shall take this tag up shortly Ushaji. Many thanks.

  16. Lavs Says:

    Done this tag. Will take up the weirds tag shortly.

  17. Fuzzylogic Says:

    All of them are great posts in themselves Usha. Would love to hear more about them.I think great ideas like these ought to generate more discussions!

  18. Unknown Says:

    Hey Usha,

    Though provoking post as usual! Good work.

    We've spoken on this issue before but in this post you've said it again and unfortunately in my opinion, it looks very wrong.

    Younger woman do not seem to take to the idea of cooking as natural or normal feminine role . And younger men do not seem to expect it either. This is a minor example but I am sure that quite a few other practices will become obsolete when we realise how absurd or wrong they are.

    I see absolutely no reason why women cooking in the household is an absurd/wrong idea. It is one of the major reasons why marriages are successful - appropriate division of duties. When two people live together, both have to do specific things which are 'assigned' to that person. It doesn't mean the other person cannot or should not do that job but it merely means that in the absence of any problems, the same person should do the assigned job.

    So the men fix the kitchen lights, climb roofs to fix stuff, repair/clean/maintain the cars, look after the bank accounts etc. and the women cook, clean, take the kids to school etc.

    Now the jobs may be assigned to either of the genders and is perfectly acceptable but what is NOT acceptable is the idea that men who don't cook are insensitive or MCPs whereas women who cannot/do not change light-bulbs or maintain the car/garage are perfectly all right. This basically moves to a view where the men do all the men's jobs and a part of the women's jobs in the house. Whatever is left (cooking, cleaning, washing) is done by the maids. Women can go chase their careers, neglect their kids and if anyone raises a voice, call them MCPs or what nots.

    I think its quite unfair.

    Just my opinion - no offence meant to anyone.


  19. Anonymous Says:

    Hi Ushaji,
    Love reading ur blog. Such wise thots tht young gals can learn from.

    Also i had read ur writing on the antique Ganesh that u had.

    Recently i had been to TN, chettinad & found a similar piece. That reminded me of u.

    Keep feeding us with ur wise writings.

  20. Mahadevan Says:

    I like the phrase 'bloggable ideas'. How I wish many of those 'bloggable ideas' had blossomed into posts!

    Though, today event managers manage the high society marriages, giving sponsorship to specific agencies is certainly imaginative particularly 'Saptapati' to foot cream producers.

    "Art" of any kind, entails suspension of disbelief, as Coleridge put. Therefore, this assailing on our commonsense has to be endured.

    The word "Tolerance" in relation to another religion or community,
    is certainly dirty. When we say we tolerate somebody or somebody, we assume an air of superiority. I 'respect' other religion or practices, and follow my own. I don't tolerate them.