I’ve been quoted in the media in stories on topics ranging from blogging to digital feminism to new forms of poetry. I started blogging in 2004, tweeting in 2007, writing professionally in 2009 and performing live in 2016. I am available for comment on these issues and other things at ideasmithy [at] gmail [dot] com. You can also drop me a message on my Facebook Page The Idea-smithy.
“When I was a kid, I remember a TV serial called Chunauti. It was trying to raise awareness against drug abuse. The Archie comic series that I read around the time also carried messages like, ‘Say No To Drugs’; I felt these were redundant messages. But, when I went to college and later to work, I realised they were a regular part of the world around me,” shares spoken word artist Ramya Pandyan, who goes by the name Idea Smith.
This week, Pandyan will be sharing her thoughts on drug abuse at a spoken word poetry event titled UnErase Against Drug Abuse.
Pandyan, meanwhile, hopes to share her thoughts on being startled at how “normal, everyday and invisible the addiction is – cigarettes that actually contain marijuana; detailed discussions among ‘cool’ people about the smoothest weed, the best rolling paper, etc. I’ve learnt not to judge the habit at face value. But I’ve also seen friends lose large parts of their lives to this addiction.”
“I think the viral nature of a poem gets people’s attention and has a snowball effect. People become curious and want more on the topic, if they find a piece interesting.
It’s just wonderful to see a more acceptable form of literature, storytelling and performance come into the world.”
“Ramya Pandyan, a Mumbai resident who has been attending open mics since 2009, says she started participating in blind poetry shows because they offered her anonymity. They also made her more aware of her craft. “The biggest distinction between the performing arts and other art forms is that there is no barrier between the artiste and the audience. With writing, you feel a certain safety behind the computer screen or notebook. But when you’re on stage, you are naked and vulnerable in front of the audience and their judgement. But a dark room levels this playing field,” she says.
“Andheri-based Ramya Pandyan, quit her corporate business consultant job in 2009 to take a sabbatical. A regular blogger since 2004, Pandyan was introduced to open mics and poetry recitals during this break. She is now known for performance poetry and spoken word.”
I conducted a workshop on erotica writing. Mid-Day interviewed me for a short piece about the event. Mumbai Mirror featured it on their weekend Events section.
I wrote a post commenting on how moral policing & politically driven communal harassment make Mumbai an extremely hostile city. DNA picked up an excerpt for their City section.
My blogpost on the real face of the most marketed location in Mumbai, Bandra sparked off quite a few conversations on Facebook and Twitter. DNA ran an excerpt of the article in their ‘Around The Blog’ section.
“Pandyan finds that it’s the issues she discusses, often those that have no easy answers, that attract offensive responses. “There are rabid ones that blame women’s liberation, working women and women in general for the downfall of society, the breakdown of marriage and even the increase in rapes. Expressing such sentiments in the real world would provoke severe reactions. Online, they are just shrugged off as ‘creepy characters on the Internet’,” she says.”
“Keeping the balance between accessibility and privacy is really tricky. Twitter and Facebook fell in my permissible range while Foursquare didn’t.”
“It (voice blogging) won’t replace my traditional blog but it can definitely add something to it. It might spawn a new movement for people who aren’t writers and feel more confident through speech.”
“Shine a halogen lamp into the dark corners, examine each drop of blood under a microscope, turn over every particle of dirt till you know each bump on its surface.”
– Campaign India Bookshelf, 14 April 2010
A televised debate on real books versus ebooks/Amazon Kindle.
On your marks, get set, write!
“Blogger Ramya Pandyan who is better known as Idea-smithy in cyberspace, is writing a novel set in Mumbai that revolves around relationships after the advent of internet and connectivity” She completed 50,727 words on Friday. For her the race has been a learning experience.
“I intereacted with other writers, shared the anxieties a writer faces and learnt about the latest writing software available.” says the writer who is halfway through her novel.”
– Times of India, 1 November 2009
Continuing the ‘Web’ feature for Marie Claire India, I contributed a feature to the October issue about online safety for women.
– Marie Claire India, October 2009
Scraps pip tweets
“Says Ramya, ” Most people still have to use a computer and browser to connect to Twitter. The numbers that drive Orkut probably don’t come online that often.” Looks like the scrap will be way ahead of the tweet for a while more.”
– Mail Today, 12 September 2009
“Reformed Net addicts Ramya (30) and Moksh Juneja (27) said that there is no need to have regulations. “Adults should be allowed to decide what is best for them. It is not fair to govern Internet use.” said Ramya, who restricted her Internet use because of neck pain.”
– Sunday Hindustan Times, 6 September 2009
I wrote an article about Twitter which was published in the September 2009 issue of Marie Claire.
– Marie Claire, September 2009
“I think addiction of any sort is bad. Internet addiction eats into time and energy that one would normally invest in other activities – hobbies, socialising and relaxing. The Internet is a convenient medium and gives us the illusion of having a social circle.”
– Mail Today
“I can count on my fingertips my friends who aren’t bloggers, Tweeters and Facebookers”
– South Delhi Plus
“..Mumbai- based blogger and photographer, R@my@ who has a blog called Ideasmith, says she knew someone who’s lesbian and was writing under a pseudonym, but she had to go underground when someone who knew her real identity exposed her. “I have had men telling me that my blog is doing well because I’m a woman”, she says. On a blog camp this January, R@my@ spoke about this problem. Her topic was ‘Anonymity is a game of identity’. She did find a lot of women who faced similar problems and were looking for solutions or ways to deal with such negative emotions.
But the most interesting part was when someone who attended the meet later started sending nasty comments on her post. He called me ‘a feminist’ and ‘a man- hater’. I can’t change that. But its immature to say the least, says R@my@.”
– Mail Today
The BlogAdda interview was also featured in a LiveMint video shot at Wordcamp 2008, Delhi and accompanied a Livemint story called ‘Slowdown and blogging’
In the midst of an economic slowdown, the blogging world is buzzing with action. But more bloggers don’t mean more revenues.
“Harassment of women gets virtual on the blogosphere”
– Hindustan Times
Wrongly quoted as “Idea Smith (as known in her blog), who refused to disclose her name, always loved Bollywood movies. But things changed when she got married.” For the record, I love Bollywood but I’m not married and certainly not to anyone who insists on reading my reviews before watching a movie.
“I love to write which is why I started my blog where I write about the city. One of my recent posts talks about the similarities between the Scarlett Keeling and Adnan Patrawala cases…My popular blog posts have been the ones where I write about love, relationships and friendship.”
“Says R@my@ aka IdeaSmith: “Blogging on the phone has no extra baggage that blogging on a computer carries: you don’t have to be grammatically correct and your blog post could be just any stray thought.”
– Hindustan Times