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 Bloggingly

Of Going, Like, Totally Missing

Shakespearetoblog

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 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 rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

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”

Posted in Of Life

Of Dancing By Yourself

adolescent adult black and white casual
Elvis. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I’ve been watching this YouTube channel called Grackle, which is a channel by a 21-year-old bakery student called Grace Booth. She mainly makes food-related videos and has an enthusiastic and hilarious personality which is completely authentic. She also seems to have incredible metabolism, given by the amount and type of food she eats and managing to still look like a runway model, which she actually used to be. To be fair, she is young and 5’10”, so she has the energy and tendency to stay slim. But, I think the secret to her success in this respect also boils down to a particular activity she indulges in from time to time – what she likes to call, “A Boogie Sesh.”

That is, a boogie session. Or what can be more plainly put, dancing by yourself, maybe in your bedroom, to songs you enjoy. Continue reading “Of Dancing By Yourself”