Posted in Of Life

Of People being Mean on the Internet

Friends, I have officially arrived on the internet. You have spoiled me for years with your niceness and lack of a dislike button. I have been doing some singing on YouTube, and I have had my very first hate comment. Actually, hate is too strong a word, so we’ll use “critical.” But hey, the rule is that when someone says something mean about you in a social media post that has been liked by some people, it means you’ve made it, right? Well, it seems that I have. Finally.

Someone watched my “My Immortal” cover on YouTube Shorts and said this, “U r missing beats and rhythm. Pathetic. Plz practice.” Here is the video in question. You may also check out my channel here.

Now if anyone has been inspired enough to browse around my channel, they might have read the “about” section that states: Singing and dancing for the heck of it. I, in fact, started the channel as a joke among friends when they praised some videos I had posted on our WhatsApp groups. I may lack self-awareness in other things, but I am deeply aware of my abilities as a singer, considering I’ve spent my whole life trying to understand if I’m any good at it. And I’ve watched enough American Idol to permanently have Simon Cowell’s voice seared in my brain any time I try singing Mariah Carey outside the shower. Actually, he would probably use the word “pathetic” too.

The point is, I know I’m not about to get signed to a label and sell a million records or something. Even if I did have the talent, being in my early thirties means I’m too old for that. I know my voice can carry a tune if needed, that it’s pretty deep for a woman, and if I get vocal lessons, I could probably get a bit better. But, I still ain’t gonna have no record deal in this lifetime hun, even though artists such as Bob Dylan and Madonna have existed. And I’ll tell you why. I have spent my life LOVING popular music to know exactly how it works and Amrita is not going to be the next mononymous popstar, even though that is what she has secretly desired her whole life.

Also, my first critic on the internet did not know she’s talking to someone who is never too fazed by criticism because she’s quite comfortable in the self-loathing she lives and breathes in. Of course, I’ve received a ton of criticism in real life for all sorts of things. And being a perfectionist, highly self-critical person myself, I almost always criticise myself more than someone else criticises me. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever had “hobbies,” because I always get serious and obsessive when I do something that I intended to do for fun. Even for a deliberately joke channel like this, I record take after take, while dripping in sweat because I need to keep the fan off. Doesn’t mean I’m asking for praise as I share this exclusive, behind the scenes information with you. Just that it is in my nature to work towards perfecting something before releasing it to the world, which is why despite having some talent in other areas, I rarely have much published output. Doing “fun” and “silly” on the internet is something I don’t even think of, because I know just how “unfun” it would be for me.

I also happen to be an eternal optimist. I would have felt worse had she not told me, “Plz practice.” Which means ah, she does think I can get good enough if I practise! And to be fair to her, it’s not like she told me my nose is fat or my existence itself is pathetic or something more unpleasant as people being mean on the internet generally tend to be. She critiqued my singing as she should. And I ended up thanking her for the feedback though liking the comment, I felt, would have been a bit too much. Liking would have been agreeing and to tell you the truth, I don’t see myself practising “My Immortal” again unless, you know, a record company executive does “discover” me and says I’m the next Amy Lee. In that case, just erase everything you’ve read so far from your minds. And go and buy my album and concert tickets.

I’ve talked about this a lot before on this blog. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to translate likes and dislikes on the internet to something reflective of the merit of anything I’ve posted. Say I posted a video of myself playing with my nephew. Do I really want to be concerning myself with how many dislikes, or even likes, that video gets? If I post something I’ve made, like a piece of writing, a film or even a singing video, no matter how silly or amateur, I completely understand that people should be able to like or dislike it (though I’d still prefer ignoring it in the latter case, as people do on WordPress and I believe Instagram too) and preferably share their feedback on the work.

I was, in fact, having a discussion about something similar with some friends of mine over the Hungarian Oscar-winning short film Sing (Mindenki). I won’t spoil the film for you, but one of my friends said that everyone, and especially children, should be allowed to pursue what they want. I tried to differentiate between pursuing, such as singing in the school choir or in class, and singing competitively, which only those who’ve worked at it and have considerable talent should be doing, especially if they’re representing a school team with limited slots. My opinion wasn’t popular in our group, but I still believe the world is a hard place and children should be taught to learn to accept rejection and failure and work at the things they want to achieve. That we should not cease to learn and improve even at things we are skilled at or have training for.

The thing with me singing and dancing is that they are some of the few things that bring me true, unadulterated joy. I know of too many people who do them too well for me to take myself seriously. It is not that this person was critical that caused me to reflect so much on this. It is that the video got as much attention as it did in the first place. It is a very small channel, and even my near and dear ones hardly subscribe to it or watch it. Therefore, I do wonder sometimes what if I become someone who does have a sort of “presence” among people she doesn’t know. What would that be like? Would I ignore all unpleasant feedback, even though there is something valuable in them? Or does being narcissistic actually help, because then you’re motivated enough to keep pursuing something you love, instead of spending a lifetime mired in self-doubt. I mean, legit singers get dislikes and critical comments too. Loads of them. Maybe, getting only one and a few dislikes here and there isn’t too bad. It certainly doesn’t make me want to stop posting videos, and it will never make me stop singing for my own pleasure for as long as I live.

What do you make of dislikes and critical comments you receive on the internet? Do you also believe in and practice the same?

Posted in Of Life

Of It Being A Really Rather Long Time

I’ve gone rogue here. I’ve started typing on WordPress after REFUSING to take an interactive tour of the WordPress Editor. No, thank you. I was here before you were born, son. Well, technically, I did exist before WordPress was created. But, what I meant was that I was publishing hundreds of posts for more than five years here before this fancy schmancy editor came into being that I honestly don’t understand most of as I look at it from the corner of my eyes. No, focus on the words here, Amrita. You haven’t even written a grocery list in days, let alone anything creative.

Yeah, so it has been a really rather long time. To be fair, I did this blog (don’t think “wrote” is enough of an action, considering all the thinking, feeling, writing and other things I did when I, uh, wrote this) in a dedicated manner from 2014-2016, and then became more and more sporadic as time went by. But, the last time I posted was June 2020. I have wanted to come back and drop a line (and now this does feel like a legit “comeback” instead of just releasing another album in less than a year and hyping it up) but as I write this, I’m beginning to wonder: is there anyone even there to come back to? Have all my readers also similarly exited the blogging life, and am I trying to show familiarity to people who have never even met me before? I can’t claim to know I’ve met all my previous readers, because not everybody left comments or engaged personally with me. However, I know I had a small but solid group of people who dropped by every time I felt I needed to connect to the universe in the only way I can.

Of course, I’ve missed this. I’ve taken my self-loathing to a whole new level thinking that what I did here was sacred and I should not mess it up by posting more: it was sincere, it was pure, it was me without the noise of communicating with real life people. Okay, so that last part doesn’t sound so good, but what I mean is that all other communication is anticipating reaction from either a specific person or a specific kind of people. Here, in this blog, I choose not to worry about any of that. It is me pretending to myself that no one will judge me here even if, you know, it’s open access and once upon a time, hundreds used to read it.

I mean, someone else would probably have tripled their output here in the last year or so. I have thankfully been employed for all the time we’ve been going through what we’ve been going through, but I have had plenty of time staying at home all day. I was surprised to see my daily stats rise up and all sorts of posts getting read; clearly people were discovering and finding comfort here and who knows, posting more regularly might have reinvigorated this space and my enthusiasm for it. Taken it to places I never anticipated before, and brought some positivity to my life that has especially been lacking it in 2021.

But, yeah, I did none of that. It felt irresponsible, for one thing. I know many have created ongoing narratives as this thing happened to us, but I felt like it wasn’t my place to add to it when I had nothing useful to say. My panic would have done no good to anyone, though that maybe why so many people dropped by, because so much of this blog has been about coping with the uncertainty of life.

I also, especially, felt that this was done in a certain way and it was better to preserve what is good than to add another boring, banal chapter titled The Pandemic Diaries or something. What can I say? For the past one and a half years I have been safe, somewhat functional, and serious illness free. Emotionally I have been all over the place, unable to process how much of my life has been minutely affected by what’s going on. I’ve had to put on hold a career and residence change and it seems as though 2020 was the height of productivity compared to how 2021 has been for me. If I had posted through all of that, you would have had some regular, unimaginative whining. Much like today.

But, as OG readers will know, I’m not a complete Debbie Downer. If I haven’t posted my pretentious musings on everyday life for over a year, I have been posting some spontaneous dancing to Dua Lipa’s “Levitating” and making my neighbours hate me as I sing Evanescence’s “My Immortal”. (This is the point where I plug the channel and ask you to subscribe to it here )

And doing it has brought me joy: something I wish to cultivate more of as I’ve had one of the most miserable years of my life that I can remember. I’ve so much to share, so much to unpack with you. Who knows, I might even enjoy thinking again as I write to you, and get out of this stasis.

How have you been? Share whatever you like in the comments. Let’s get chatting.

Posted in Of Life

Of Being Communicative

woman falling in line holding each other
Photo by mentatdgt on

It’s not going so good. But then, long-time, or as the kids say these days, ‘OG’ Of Opinions readers will know, I hardly ever talk to you if I’m feeling fantastic. No, this is the brand here, moaning, and it’s what you came for. What you pay for with your time, energy and brain power. You rely on my consistent self-pitying, and with what the world has been for months, we could all do with some reliability.

However, what is equally part of my brand, if not more definitive of who I am, is communication. Whether you’ve met me or not, known me for two minutes or twenty years, seen me as a shy, awkward mess retreating to a corner at a party, one of the top five, nay, three things you’d say to describe me is, “this girl likes to talk.” She writes essays for text messages. If you’re working together on a project that requires spontaneous decision-making, she’s probably thinking aloud with you in what seems like a conversation as she comes up with, and dismisses most of, at least, ten possible solutions. She flirts, and she’s good at it, but then, she flirts with aunts and grandmothers and a lot of people she has no sexual interest in. You wonder, can someone who talks so much, to almost everybody, even listen, yet alone remember anything you said to her five minutes ago? But, she does, because she is endlessly curious, asking you a LOT of questions and picking up on your non-verbal cues as well. She’ll come and surprise you with something you had said five days or five years ago and well, your mind will be blown.

I seem to be tooting my own horn here, but that is not the point of this blog post. If you’re an OG reader, or a friend that I catch up with irrespective of blogging, you won’t be surprised with most of this information even if we’ve never met. The above, however, is external. One of several things that I’ve realised in isolation is how much I need communication. How much I need to just to talk to people I meet everyday, whether they be strangers, acquaintances or ‘close’ people. How much I need to just smile and nod at someone I exchange maybe twenty words with in a year. Even if I do run into them, neither of us can even see each other smile now, and we have to make do with the laughter in our voices to express our genuine pleasure in running in to each other.

And, I don’t know about you, but I’ve been bored and even annoyed by video calls since, I don’t know, two months now? I mostly can’t be bothered in making myself look presentable, I turn off ‘video’ mode if I can anyway, and it just never seems real. Sure, I’d made video calls all the time before, but it never had a sense of desperation. I never felt, especially when talking to family, that I didn’t know when we’ll meet again. I miss the ability to promise, to anticipate. And I am the sort of person who sticks to plans, who follows up and yeah, I’ve also been going slightly mad at not being able to plan things anymore. But, that’s subject for another blog post.

I try to make do. With video or even phone call communication, you don’t get any non-verbal cues as such to get an overall idea of what you’re trying to communicate to each other. You also, due to bad network, don’t even get to hear everything clearly. So, I text more than usual, both in frequency and length. But, that doesn’t aid effective communication either. So many discussions are also on hold for when I shall meet the other party “in person.” Will the urgency or even perspective be the same when we do, if we at all get to anyway? Hey, I am all for thinking things through, taking your time etc. And especially with a couple of people I’m mad at, I even like how I’ve had time to cool down and shift my ‘hurt’ energy to something else. Just like a piece of music would not work without the right, creative balance between notes and rests, communication can also benefit from, to quote Alison Krauss, “when you say nothing at all.”

But, I still need it. I often tell myself, why don’t you start blogging again? You definitely have the time for it now. If you’re going to be all ‘social media optimization’ about it, then people are more likely to read you because they have more time too, and some of the things almost everyone is experiencing for the past four months are right up your street. There’s nothing much novel about this anyway because, being a germaphobe and a hypochondriac, you always have hand wash and hand sanitizer in your bag or about you all year round. You’re anyway not too fond of touching people you aren’t close to and a big fan of verbal greetings such as “Hi” and “Nice to meet you” and leaving it at that.

However, even writing this makes me nervous because though the above paragraph is for comedic purposes, I still find myself unable to joke about what has been going on for over six months. Nothing allays my confusion, fears and anger and normally what would have helped is going out and meeting a person I love, catching a movie and some good food and well, can’t do that. Can’t even talk properly, can’t even communicate with the entirety of my being and expect that back. You might say people made do with letters back in the day, but can you honestly say people write letters in the same manner now? And what about all our communications where we couldn’t write letters, or even text? I didn’t realise before how much I need my twenty second interaction with the person who attends to the lift/elevator in the building, or the teller at the bank. or who helps me out at the grocery store. I won’t claim to be an absolute saint who knows all their names and their lives (or that they know mine). I’m not sure everyone is interested in revealing that much information about themselves either. But, I miss being my normal, communicative self. I depend on these interactions for my own well-being, without often realising it.

I need to expend this energy of being genuinely interactive with people because this is who I am. My job also requires me to talk to people a lot, on a daily basis, and you can tell how dissatisfied I am with the only part I enjoy about it normally. I appreciate writing as communication, whether they be emails or messages. Or even the blog post which, as I’ve said before, lets me have my say about anything that crosses that overactive brain of mine without having to worry whether anyone will listen, let alone care to understand. But, it’s just not the same. I need that oxytocin I get, and maybe the other person gets it too, when we meet, laugh, crack a joke and feel good about ourselves because we tried to make someone else feel good. Writing maybe powerful, and video/phone calls almost close to the real thing, but it just ain’t the same.

There was some trouble at work a while back and, naturally, it caused me to be in a bit of a bad mood. A senior colleague who tried to comfort me said that laughter was my “brand icon.” Isn’t it wonderful when someone says something like that about you? I was still too pissed at the time to be thinking about laughing, but if that is what people think about me, I could die happy. And while most of you have never seen/heard me laugh, I really wish it is something we could do together, once we come out on the other side of this. Even if it is on ****** Instagram Live which, as you can tell, isn’t really something I’m into right now.

What do you miss most about your ordinary, everyday communications?

Posted in Of Bloggingly

Of Going, Like, Totally Missing


Ahem, ah, I’m sorry for barging in on you like this, wasting your precious time, and I haven’t even proved myself to be a totally dependable blogger, so I won’t be promising anything as big as an “I’m back” because I really don’t know if I am but….

I thought you needed an explanation. And at this point, maybe an introduction too. Continue reading “Of Going, Like, Totally Missing”

Posted in Of Life

Of Difference in Opinion

How can it be bullsh*t to state a preference? – Rob to Barry in High Fidelity.

I’ve lately wanted to rewatch all my favourite John Cusack movies. You know where, as much as Mr. Cusack hates the idea of it, he plays the John Cusack character that so many people love. Say… Anything, Better Off Dead, The Sure Thing, and films that continue that character into the nineties like Grosse Point Blank and High Fidelity. It was watching High Fidelity when I was eleven or twelve that started it for me, both my list of (definitely more than) top five John Cusack films. And my life of nerdist music discussion. Continue reading “Of Difference in Opinion”

Posted in Of Life

Of Peace

I sometimes think about the comfort of my little corner here on the internet. I won’t lie and say ‘often’, for you guys will catch me lying, and this is the sort of place I could tell the truth without having the need to please. Which is a contradiction, for in all performance (and writing is a performance), if you don’t have a sense of desperation about you, if you feel no need to please, why, you may as well not do it. If you want to do it, you want to do it well, Continue reading “Of Peace”

Posted in Of Life

Of Spirituality

I’m going against everything I believed, for I believed what I said about myself to others:

My spirituality is my business.

About a fortnight ago there was a crisis at work. Yours truly was being her usual expressive self when someone suggested to her, as in to me, to go on a meditation retreat. Without thinking, for how much do you think I think when I’m blurting out at sixty words per second with little punctuation when I said, “I’m not a spiritual person.” I had neither said it out loud to others before, nor said to it myself in any form. I don’t even know how true it is.

Which is rich coming from someone who has been obsessed with the ‘Hot Priest’ storyline in the show Fleabag. If you haven’t watched it, well you simply must. For now, here’s a taster of the priest in question, played by Andrew Scott: Continue reading “Of Spirituality”

Posted in Of Life

Of Work

flat lay photography of calendar
Photo by on

Work is more fun than fun. – Noel Coward

There’s this thing on the internet, perhaps you can call it a trend, called the ‘morning routine.’ If you’ve never come across it, good for you. If you have, heaven help you.

It’s one where you inevitably wake up at 5 a.m. sans puffy face or frizzy hair in your perfect IKEA apartment. You go for a run and watch the sunrise in shorts that expose half of your cellulite-free derriere. You come home and make your smoothie bowl or your avocado on toast. You also have your coffee, just to add a touch of sin to your certifiably perfect life. You give a kiss to your partner Continue reading “Of Work”