Word of the Week #132:

Bide

Think of a profession. Any profession.

No, I am not going to guess which one you are thinking about. That is not what I do here…

No, think of a good profession, one that you wish was yours.

Okay, turns out, I will be guessing…

I guess a common answer would be a professional athlete. That is fun, after all, right?

Well, I agree, playing for money does sound fun. But think of it this way. Is every aspect of the profession fun?

Now, I am not talking about the mental aspect, just yet. Being able to take a pressure, the weight of expectations of your fanbase may not always be fun, but some people are still better equipped to handle it than others, right?

No, the parts that nobody would enjoy are the more mundane ones. Things like the incessant travel. Nobody wants to take a cross-country flight after every game. But, it is something you cannot avoid.

It is the same for musicians, singers, comedians and such. You have to travel before you get to perform.

Lawyers have to do lots of unglamorous things, like examining briefs and filing motions and visiting jails. It is not all courtroom drama.

Now, I don’t know what part of being a doctor is fun… I do not understand that profession, to be honest.

But, you see, that is how all professions work. You need to do some of the annoying stuff in order to do the stuff you love.

It is like eating on orange. Nobody enjoys peeling an orange. But if you like eating an orange, you have to endure peeling it.

Being a writer is the same. There are so many parts that drive me so crazy: Editing, querying, marketing, dealing with publishers… None of it is really fun.

But you are done with all that, you get to do what you really love. Just sit back, and keep writing all day.

That’s the dream, right?

Well, I look forward to the day it comes true, once again…

Of course, I remember a time when my Mom would peel the oranges for me. A convenient system, you know.

If only I could find an agent to handle all the peeling for me, now…

HWAITING!

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Word of the Week #130:

Facsimile

Let me start off by asking you a question. Did you know what Fax actually stands for?

Well, not much anymore, right?

Such cheap shot… I know…

Anyway, let me tell you something I really do not like. No, I’m not talking about copy machines. I have nothing against them. After all, the ability to copy dozens of chapters worth of notes in a matter of hours is nothing short of divine.

Do you know how many of the 50 highest grossing movies of all time are not an adaptation, sequel, prequel or spin-off of an existing piece of art? 5!

Sounds ridiculous, right?

Well, of those five movies, three were created by Disney, one of which was inspired by Hamlet.

The other two of those five, which also happen to be the two highest grossing movies ever, were Avatar and Titanic, both written by James Cameroon. And even Titanic was based on real life events, right?

So, how many of those 50 movies can be called truly original? 3? Is that not insane?

Still, I can accept that adaptations are more than just copies. They do add a lot to the original artwork. After all, Hermione was always a memorable character, but Emma Watson’s performance made it unforgettable.

What I truly cannot stand are these reboots and remakes that keep popping up and ruining something wonderful. And this is especially palpable among live-action adaptions in animated series.

Let us take an example. Have you seen Death Note? Well, for the uninitiated, let me just say that Death Note is one of the best anime series ever made. It follows the life of a young boy with extreme intelligence, ethics and discipline, and how his acquisition of a divine object leads him down a dark path.

Good story, right?

Now, Netflix decided to make a live-action adaptation, and they had to make a few changes to the plot to make it more palatable to American audiences. Is that difficult? Apparently not. Eliminate the intelligence, ethics and discipline from the protagonist, and you have an American-style plot ready for production.

And this is still not the worst of the worst. But let us not go down that particular rabbit hole, or we will be here all night.

Let us just bunker down, and prepare to weather this torrent of faecal remains of the things we know and love…

What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again;
    there is nothing new under the sun.

— Ecclesiastes 1:9

Word of the Week #129:

Supernumerary

You know what I truly dislike about this country? The labour laws… Or perhaps the seeming lack thereof.

How many hours is an average person expected to work in a week? In most reasonable parts of the world, the answer is 40. 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. As I said, reasonable.

In India, however, the answer can jump up to 60. The law actually states 9 hours a day, 6 days a week, but who cares about that, right?

In most parts of the world, every employee gets around 35 days of paid leave every year. Plus weekends, which gives us roughly 140 days a year. In India? 25… So adding a lone Sunday each week, we get around 80.

Add to that the geographical size, lack of affordable and reliable transportation, and the high concentration of jobs in urban centres, odds are you would not get to visit your home more than twice or thrice every year.

And, as I probably do not even need to mention, the pay is far from stellar.

Growing up, I was always led to believe that we work in order to live, but I do not see much evidence of life around here.

Knowing all this, one might wonder just how this can continue, right? Why do we, in India, tolerate such treatment for so little compensation?

Well, the answer is simple. If you don’t, someone else will.

We are a nation of many people. Too many people. Way too many people.

And as the workforce keeps growing, the employment opportunities struggle to keep up. It does not take a genius to realise this system is built to implode.

I just hope I do not get caught in the aftershocks.