"A writer and nothing else: a man alone in a room with the English language, trying to get human feelings right. " ~John K. Hutchens, New York Herald Tribune, 10 September 1961

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Finding the center of gravity

Interesting conversation at the dinner table, today. Apparently, according to my mother, two sisters shouldn't sleep with each other (no, not like that - head out of. Gutter. Now.) on the same bed, because of the parentheses. I said the brother-sister union is one of the usual cases of incest, and then of course, the most common one came up - father-daughter. That started a further discussion how in some shows (most notably, Law and Order: SVU) they've shown twisted cases of each, including mother-daughter relationships. Yes, we often talk about incest on the dinner table.

But sarcasm notwithstanding, it brought up an interesting side issue: my mother and sister feel such insane, psychotic events shouldn't be depicted on TV for common, public viewing because it fills your mind up with things you wouldn't think of, otherwise. I disagree. I think it's an excellent way to create awareness - to let you know about the shit in this world - and the fact that you need to be wary of the realities of these situations, and the possibilities that they can and do happen in thousands of cases across the world. After all, if we hide them, how will we help get rid of the social depravities?

This kind of thinking has permeated through to our culture at large - hide it, subjugate the hidden truths - and yet, we turn our noses up in disgust about incidents similar to these when they happen in our vicinity. It's hypocritical.

I have a cause, and I firmly believe in this and it's among the reasons I write. Sure, in the beginning it was all about the story, but my recent pieces have been fueled by something else entirely.

Numb has restarted, thankfully although the style I'm writing it in is completely foreign. If I was worried about falling into the same snarkalicious one of yesterday, looks like I won't have anything to worry about. Or well, hopefully.

So just to clear the air: I'm not one who just talks and talks about writing on different subjects, and doesn't tackle them in an effort to better understand. I do, and I plan to continue doing it.

And if there are people out there, most notably members of my family, who think things like these shouldn't be addressed, I'm here to say: Tough. I owe something to society, or it owes something to me. In either case, I feel it incumbent on me to write the humanity of things, even if it isn't as pretty as we'd like to think it is. Or...well, I'll admit: Especially then. Some members of my conservative family don't like my tendencies on the Shi'a-Sunni-sectarian issue. If people ask what I am, I prefer to say I'm just a Muslim without classifying. Some people actually think this is a dangerous way of thinking and needs to be corrected, asap - I kid you not.

Yes, the fire of activism burns in my soul once again, alive and well. Nice to know.

As for DesiWritersLounge.net, it is my sincerest wish that it launches itself to become among the best independent desi magazines this country has to offer, gives the upcoming writers a place to flex their muscles and encourages thinking. Challenging, always - a place for independent judgments. Because if we're just going to create another breed of intellectual slackers, we've failed and my vision for the site and forums is lost.

Back at the dinner table, conversation's end found me locating the center of gravity of a fork on my finger. An appropriate end to the story, don't you think?

2 comments:

Khaver said...

Well said. I agree with the fact about addressing issues. The human mind is quite strange and often wanders to dark corners. Whether evil is shown on TV or not, I think TV does create awareness. A good example are the AIDS awareness ads on the telly these days. No not the Pakistani ones, the Indian ones. They're a regular on NatGeo and are a great example of awareness creation.

mp213 said...

The Indian AIDS ads are an excellent step in the right direction, I agree. After all, if we don't talk about it, who will?