Category Archives: Voicebox

1AM on 1-1

All is fresh. All is new.
All is good.

Nothing exists yet.
Nothing has fallen.
Nothing has ended.
Nothing has begun.

I’m happy.
I’m hopeful.
I’m ready.

To fall in love
With the world
Again.

Bring it on, 2017.

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*Image via Micheal Ramey at Unsplash.

The Moody Artist Cliche

This great myth of the tortured artist, the starving writer, the moody creator needs to be debunked once and for all. ‘Artistic temperament’ if it is a thing, has to do with being sensitive to the environment and creating from it; not using sensitivity as an excuse to be a douche. Disrespect, cliquishness, sneering, condescension – all of these are hallmarks of very limited human beings. Creators of every kind are people who take civilisation forward. An artist’s role is to hold a mirror up to society, to examine the experience of being human. One cannot do that unless one is first and foremost, a stable, sane human being.
 
Years ago, at a music event, my friend Amit Ahuja told me that as an artist, one must respect other artists and the sanctity of the space/forum/platform that allows artists to create. Jai Ranjit is a painter who also supports music, dance and writing and I’ve only ever heard good things from him about other creators. So much of my love for Manisha Lakhe and Suniti Joshi comes from the fact that they were respectful and supportive of what I created even though when we met, I was a newbie writer and they were veterans.
 
My avoidance of hiphop comes from an obvious source who believed in putting down every other artist and art form around. I now know that such behaviour stems from extreme insecurity and what kind of artistic reflection can one hope for from such an incomplete person? Hiphop, like every other form of art is independent of its practitioners flaws.
 
And in more recent times, there are poets and performers who show up at events only to perform and leave immediately. Thankfully, the spaces I frequent discourage this behaviour and extend their welcome to all manner of artists. Alphabet Sambar has very strict rules about listening and supporting other writers, in addition to taking one’s own work forward.
 
I hope more creators will stop chasing a glamorous (unhealthy) ideal and focus on their art/craft instead. And please, if you are a reader, listener, connoisseur of any kind of art form, stop enabling this negative behaviour and help us make better art instead.

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

On Motherhood, Discomfort & Poetry

I’ve had a breather from work and life’s madness and I find myself able to write again. Surely you can’t have missed the volley of blogposts all of a sudden. Poetry is flowing again too. Here’s my scathing tribute to Mother’s Day. At all three places there were cautious claps and that uneasy sense of errr…umm ness. Good, I never promised you a rose garden.

I had a chance to perform this piece at three different places but this is the best of them all. Tuning Fork is fast becoming my favorite stage.

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

Celebrating Faiz – Poetry, Independence & Free Expression

The creative powerhouse called The Hive is hosting an evening commemorating the life and works of the poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz tomorrow. There will be film screenings, readings and discourse on the life of Faiz. There will also be a special poetry feature by six poets, including me.

I’ve been experiencing the power of poetry these past few months, how it allows a thinker to shape their deepest emotions in a way that touches other people, moves crowds even. Art, activism and social commentary are closely linked to each other and I’m privileged to be a part of the space in some manner.

Come and support the cause of culture and free expression. These are the details of the event:

On: August 16, 8 pm to 10 pm
At: Huma Mansion, opposite Ahmed Bakery, Chuim Village Road, Khar (W).
Call: 9820998790
Cost: Rs 200
Tickets available at the venue
Mid-Day ran a feature on this event today here.

A for Ask Me Anything

April’s here and with it the A to Z challenge! Here’s Day 1. I didn’t think too much and I’m not overpromising my month. Enjoy All Fools Day!

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Ask me anything, he says.A[1]

She thinks about how to translate that in her head, into the language of her. Does he mean “I know it all”? Mr.Know-it-all. Nobody likes him that much. But she always had a hankering for knowledge. For an information-glutton such as she, he would represent an eternal, endless cornucopia. But know-it-alls come with other expensive traits. Like ego. And the ability to forget entirely about the person at the other end of a phone call. That there is another person. That a conversation takes two, even if one never says a word.

She stops her thought-car, reverses and turns down another alley. Maybe he means, “I’m an open book”. Is anyone ever really one? Even books only ever open to two pages at a time. The others have to be flipped through, unstuck or deciphered from between dogearring, silverfishing, print fading, spine-breaking and food splashes. This says so much more about her than it does about him. One more turn, only a few degrees right this time. Are people who call themselves open book liars then? They imply holistic openness. But the truth is, even open book people decide which pages they want you to see, and those pages are usually masks.

She sighs.

“Are you there?” he asks.

She replies, “Yes, sorry. Can you tell me how to activate the new billing plan on my account?”

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Follow the April 2015 AtoZ HERE.

If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

Ideamarked 8-14Apr: Real Life Is Tragicomic

I’ve been in an indescribable frame of mind all week, well I tried anyway but couldn’t accurately put a word on it. There’s nothing really going on in my life. I don’t exactly feel depressed about it. Most  of the time it’s a nice kind of emptiness, one that gives me the space to fill it with funny, sweet thoughts. But when I meet other people, there’s an impending sense of gloom. There is much that is wrong with the world and the fact that laughter is not clean anymore, is the least of it. Here’s what was mirroring my mood all week:

  • #GenuineKoshan from the irrepressible twins to their mother: Finger Business
  • So bad it’s good from the 90s: Altaf Raja‘s Tum To Thehre Pardesi. Enjoy!

Catch the links as they appear on The Idea-smithy Facebook Page. If you’d like to see a link appear here, send it to me and I’ll feature it. Email me at ideasmithy at gmail dot com or
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Ideamarked 1-7Apr13: Long Stories

I’m test-running the Ideamarked posts as a weekly feature instead of a monthly one through April. Drop me your comments or Tweet to @ideasmithy, letting me know what you think. Also, if you see something you think should be Ideamarked, let me know and I’ll post it with due credit to you. You can also post a link to The Idea-smithy’s Facebook Page.

Here’s what I saw this week:

“Laughing on the bus, playing games with the faces
She said the man in the gabardine suit was a spy”

Ideamarked Mar2013: The Language & Poetry of Everyday Life

I’ve been zealous through March and done a lot of reading, listening and viewing. Earlier in the year (yes, a quarter has gone by and it’s fine to say that now!) I initiated a social media clean-up across my feed-reader, twitter following, pinboards and Quora following. I was looking for great content rather than multiple connections to the same people. This may be what has caused this outpouring of great reads, viewing & listening. I’m considering making this a weekly feature from the month of April. Also, The Idea-smithy’s Facebook Page is a community and not just one person’s broadcast. I’ll be happy to take on suggestions for posts and even guest posts. Let me know what you think of all this in the comments. Here’s what glorious March was like:

Ideamarked Feb2013: Love, Life & Work in a Connected Age

February was a month of a lot of aches and pains. I found mfy solace and R&R in some of these places.

I’ve made a small change this time, by also adding the Twitter ids, where available of the writers or the sites. This is what you’ll see linked to the ‘via XYZ’ section while the titles of the articles are linked to the sites themselves. Yes, I’m also very glad I managed to make one more edition of Ideamarked and didn’t fall off my new year resolution in month 2 itself. Hope, hope and we trudge on ahead. Enjoy!

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