Walking Tall & Walking Away…

“Maturity is learning to walk away from people and situations that threaten your peace of mind, self-respect, values, morals, or self-worth.”

Whoever said/wrote this quote is definitely and intellectual of life, people, and things. It’s something which I’ve struggled with for myself for a little while – relying on certain individuals for they have uplifted me for a good part of life (for which I am extremely grateful for), but can’t seem to let them go when things take a turn-around…

Life is about facing what is and learning from the lessons it provides you. If you choose to ignore lessons that have been gifted to you – you are bound to repeat the past mistakes.

This quote to me means there is an opportunity to avoid all that unnecessary drama simply by loving one’s self and being with other who love you just as the same. It is always easier for the company that you so wish to keep to bring you down instead of you uplifting them.

So, it’s important that you recognize that your friends reflect you.

This quote made me reflect on the situations I have/and am going through. I’ve had to walk away from several as an act of love. Sometimes it’s ok to fight, it shows perseverance. Other times the kindest thing you can do is walk away.

The pain of discovering that all I had invested had been on vain. The only way I managed to pull myself out of the pity party was to accept I was not perfect, draw on any lessons learned and forgive myself and any others involved. As a result, I am beginning to see that the raging passions of the self have to be controlled and tamed as we become mature adults because not every battle has to be fought. Sometimes it is easier (and better) to walk away.

The more that you pay attention to your surroundings, the wiser you will become. When you begin to see the association between the company that you keep and how it affects your life, you’ll start to change.

Be with people that work to make you a better person instead of making you struggle in your own decisions. Once you make the switch, you’ll wonder to yourself why it took you so long to change in the first place.

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Life Is Short – The Art of Not Caring About What Others Think

It should be clear by now as an ABPD – I’m as bold as we can be. This being said, our ‘being bold’ may cause others to look at us with disparaging eyes.

I’ve fortunately/unfortunately have been the center of circles where there’s an individual or two who will try to disparage me from being with people who do believe in me and of course, doing what I love.

Initially, yes – it hurt. I couldn’t fathom as to why I was being singled out, but then I recall reading upon this quote:

“Take control of your destiny. Believe in yourself. Ignore those who try to discourage you. Avoid negative sources, people, places, things and habits. Don’t give up and don’t give in.”

– Wanda Hope Carter

Though what may seem like common sense, it boils down to learning how to not care so much about what others think, and also, conversely, understanding what goes on in their minds. In ignoring those negative energies, I’ve not only began a new self-appreciation for the self, but for others who appreciate me and my entirety.

Your passion is a priority.

A lot of people go through the motions in life, not doing what they love. They end up constantly looking back, asking themselves, “What if?”

Whether people support you or not, do you really want to look back in regret one day down the line? To not know what could have happened if you tried to do what you really wanted to do?

This love of yours is one of the most important things in your life. Follow your heart, and not the words of others just to live up to their expectations.

Life is short.

It may be a little disheartening to have people around you discourage you, but remember, life is short.

Do you really want to spend your time feeling down over others’ words when they’re completely unwarranted, baseless, and probably not making any kind of sense?

Do you really want to pull back on following your dream or doing what you want because of others, and start living a life that probably doesn’t fulfill your potential?

Remember that life is short, and it will be easier to stick to your own convictions when other people disagree with your choices or put you down.

Others may not fully understand.

People who don’t support you and discourage you may not actually be bad people who intentionally want to destroy your dreams.

Sometimes, they just don’t understand why you do what you do, so they voice out their concerns, which may make them seem dissenting.

I personally try not to take it to heart when people discourage me. I see it as they need a little education and explanation. Or sometimes, I just ignore them.

If anything, since they don’t fully understand, I don’t see why it’s something to be upset over.

Sometimes others are insecure.

Sometimes when people don’t support what you’re doing, it may be more about them than you.

It could be plain ignorance or even jealousy, but some people tend to attack things that are new to them.

So again, don’t take their words to heart. If their criticism isn’t constructive in any way, they may be discouraging you because of their own fears and insecurities.

Remember anything is possible.

Nobody can predict the future for certain.

The people who don’t support you might paint a gloomy picture of what’s to come if you do what you want to do.

You don’t know the future either, but do you want to listen to others instead of believing in yourself?

Don’t let objections from others become your truth and limit you from creating what you want in life.

Anything is possible if you believe in yourself and work hard.

You can do this without their support.

It’s natural to want support and encouragement from the people around you, but it is possible to do what you want to do without it.

Just think of how many successful, inspiring people took the road less traveled.

You’re a very powerful being, just by yourself. Believe in that, don’t give up, and you’ll go a long way, whichever road you take.

You can’t please everyone in life.

You can’t. It’s impossible. And a lot of people forget that.

If you try to please everyone, it’s going to be next to impossible. So don’t bother. Keep your focus on what you want to do and why.

In an ideal world, we could constantly surround ourselves with positivity. We can’t do that, but we can work on ourselves so that we stay committed and positive.

Personal Healing

“The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to healing of the world.” – Marianne Williamson

There is always going to be a desire to create an ideal world where everyone will be happy and free from suffering. What I personally have noticed is we have this habitual tendency to look around us and find out what’s wrong with the world and then try to “fix” it.

There is always going to be horrible things happening around us, but to transform this world we live in – we have to start with us. We can only be the change we seek in the world if we start with our individual healing

When we heal (not mend), a part in ourselves, we heal the world. In order to heal however, we must utilize the power of forgiveness.

If I’m going to be open with all of you (and this may come as a shock to some), there are nights where I break down and feel how much I had been hurting myself with my persistent negative view of my world. On the outside, I carry this level of “everything’s going fine” vibe but really, internally – I’m broken.

I believed I wasn’t good enough for the world – to have and enjoy the life that I wanted, that I wasn’t enough to meet my respective partner, or that I would never reach the ability to fulfill my potential.

In observing those around me – I learned to feel guilty for all the good as well as the bad that occurred in my life. I also learned to blame others when appropriate and that life is just as well as struggle for everyone.


It took years, but I realized and felt what I had been doing to myself and how damaging this was – physically, mentally, and spiritually. With this realization, I would burst into tears and then, naturally, as I explored how to heal, initiated a process of forgiveness.

I would hold onto myself for hours on the edge of the bed, curled up in a ball, and I recall all the times I had unintendedly hurt myself by thinking and believing the negative thoughts about myself… but then I forgave myself.

I forgave myself for each item as it came to mind. I began to write and dance until there was nothing left inside me and all my sorrows and woes had been bled out. I wholly and completely released myself for the guilt and pain that I created in my life.

I had also recognized that no one in my life had hurt me except me. I decided to take responsibility for my feelings and my life and put an end to my suffering.

Other people can and could hurt me if I allowed them to – if I believed their words and actions were reflections of who I am, rather than a reflection of how they feel about themselves.  I essentially became aware of this cycle of pain and forgave and released myself from those old, negative behavior patterns. Consequently, I also forgave all the people who I had felt hurt me.

Much of the pain we experience in our everyday life is self-created through our thoughts and beliefs about our circumstances. We then project this suffering into the world as external experiences which we often try to “fix” by making changes or building walls in our external affairs.

When we accept the responsibility for our experiences and feelings, we learn that we have more control over our lives than we thought. We may not be able to control what’s happening in the world around us, but we can choose how we interpret and interact with it. Cleaning up our thoughts and forgiving ourselves is a great way to start.

While forgiving others on its own won’t end global suffering or create world peace, creating peace within will better enable us to find and enact solutions to the larger problems we all face. In healing myself, it will create a ripple effect across the universe which will allow me to help others heal.

Why #MeToo

Every couple of months, a sexual assault will appear in the headlines and as the topic is ‘trending’, everyone gets very angry and passionate to do something, but only for a few days… then of which we resume back to our day to day lives and forget all that is going around the world.

So, I will not jump on the bandwagon of this #MeToo… for we shouldn’t have to ‘out’ ourselves as survivors…

For men have *always* seen the gendered violence happening around them (and/or being perpetrated by them) — they just haven’t done anything about it… Because it shouldn’t matter how many women, femmes, and gender neutral & non-conforming folk speak their truths…

Because it shouldn’t be on our shoulders to speak up. It should be the men who are doing the emotional labor to combat gendered violence…Because I know, deep down, it won’t do anything. Men who need a certain threshold of survivors coming forward to “get it” will never get it.

Because the focus on victims and survivors — instead of their assailants and enablers—is something we need to change.

This #MeToo has been used by millions of individuals  some survivors, some are not, but I say that most of them have no idea that the hashtag evokes a deep personal fracturing for many, including myself, and because of that I can’t join them…

How can one reduce the trauma of what they’ve faced in life to a mere hashtag?

This push to disclose sexual harassment and assault on social media, though admirable in spirit, feels more like an ultimatum than a choice… saying something feels impossible and saying nothing feels untenable.

I don’t know whom #MeToo is for, but it sure as hell isn’t me…

I want someone else out there to know that it’s possible to be more than just a hashtag, it’s more than the nightmare, more than the recovery, more than the way you feel when you see sexual assault in the news, again. I wish there had been someone to tell me that it’s okay if the only thing you can handle is trying to be okay. Plenty of people talk about how brave it is to speak out, and they’re right. It is brave to speak out, but that doesn’t make you a coward if you don’t.

Silent or not, activist or not, we are all worthy, and we will be just as worthy when #MeToo stops trending and actual appropriate actions to the stories we hear take place.

 

 

Gun ‘Controls’ America

How many more people have to die before we have a REAL conversation about gun control in this country? How many days must we wake up to the news announcing another tragedy… another massacre?

This is just so heartbreaking. Absolutely heartbreaking…
People live in fear of Islamic terror when they should be looking at themselves…

More Americans are killed by firearms roughly every five hours than are killed by terrorists in an entire year… Statistically an American is at least twice as likely to be shot dead by a toddler than killed by a terrorist. Some of the stats discovered are unbelievable to the mind.
Any way you try and slice or dice it, this is home grown terrorism and we NEED to finally do something about this. Those people did not deserve to die.

How long must we walk this earth with fear and paranoia of the worst? Why must we live in such a vicious world where we have to constantly look over shoulder with a third eye on our forehead in order to move forward with our lives? When will this end… when will those with the upper hand realize that a change needs to be made? Not a rash one, but a well deduced, appropriate one?

 

*This blog is written in relation to the events of the Las Vegas Massacre that occurred on the 1st of October.*

For up-to date news and information of the event,  click here.

 

Is India Becoming the Melting Pot of Cultures?

What is culture? Culture is like a multi faceted object, whose every side has something unique and different. The word culture has different meanings for different people. Culture of any kind and any place is something vibrant, dynamic, thriving, mutating, deviating all the time. Similar to the U.S., India has become a melting pot of many cultures and traditions and to think otherwise can be considered destroying the promising upliftment of new generation cultural norms and ideas.

Indian culture is so diversified – we can preserve it only when we realize that the next person has the right to his beliefs and traditions as much as we do, irrespective of religion, creed or caste. Otherwise, we’re just insulting what we have in our hands.

In the evolutionary system, based on democratic values and of course human and environmental compassion – progress is made by facing the facts and truth than to turn your back and trying to run the other way around.


Today I am forced to say it, but to my utmost grief the varied Indian heritage is facing a threat not from any foreign body or element but from its own people. We ourselves are slaughtering our own culture by embracing the new so called “modern” culture. By doing this we are putting an end to this hereditary saga which has been passed down from several generations.
The traditional Namaste and Namaskar have been slowly replaced by the hollow Hi and Bye. Today’s generation lacks the values which were once found in every Indian family. What else can be the best example other than their treatment towards the parents?
Today’s youth look up to their parents as a resource providing medium only meant to satisfy their whims and fancies. And when they grow old and it is their turn to repay them and take care of them they draw a blank. It is often read in newspapers about bereaved and senile parents abandoned by their young children.

This is the state of Indian culture today. Here the question arises whether culture can co-exist with the changing trends. Well, if this question was put to me, I would reply, why not? This great titan among cultures has been adapting to the changing times. It suffered but patiently bore all the assaults heaped on it. It flourished and prospered during the medieval periods. Once again today it has found itself in shackles.

Is this the end of this great saga? Has the time come for this great culture to be lost, forever, never to be regained?
My reply to this would be a solemn no. I am sure that if we act now and embrace it like never before it will survive. It has faced several onslaughts like this in the past. We need to preserve this glorious heritage and add all we can to it and pass it on enriched with traditional as well as modern qualities to the next generation.
To preserve something so unique we need to understand that every culture should be given its own space and at the same time ensure that we do not put our religious and personal interests before the all important task of preserving the secular and sovereign fabric of our country. But not every culture is meant to be preserved like a spicy mango achaar (pickle), or monument. If any culture has strong base and values, it will withstand the test of time, but if it’s not willing to open up to ideas that may enhance the culture, it will collapse.

A culture is only as good as its progress, its tolerance, love and people. With the element of time, some traditions and values change and this is a concept that will never change. Change does not mean that we will lose our traditions. It means correcting our wrongs and eliminating those things in our culture that may hinder human development, human rights and humanity.

Defining Humanitarian Assistance

Why should you do good deeds?

Whether you call it random acts of kindness, paying it forward, or good deeds, they are very powerful. That is why almost every religion and culture values and rewards the performance of good deeds. There are many benefits to doing good deeds. Some of these benefits may be very obvious to you, while you may not have considered some of the others.

Help Someone

“The smallest good deed is better than the grandest intention. ” -Anonymous

When you do a good deed, you are, of course, helping someone. The homeless person down the street has food to eat, thanks to the kindness of various passer-byers. The person who is the receiver of a good deed or random act of kindness has gotten some help.

However, he received more than just a meal or two. In addition to getting food, he also received the message that he is important and worth helping. This good deed warms his heart as well as fills his stomach.

Help Yourself

“Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression.” – Dodie Smith

Besides helping someone, doing a good deed warms your own heart and makes you feel good. If you are unemployed or retired, it gives you something worthwhile to do to pass the time. It is a social activity for those who may feel isolated and alone.

Helping others gives you a new perspective and keeps you from focusing on your own problems. By focusing on someone other than yourself, you are reminded that you are not the only one in the world that has problems. In fact, it is possible that there are many people out there whose problems are much worse than yours.

Show Values

“Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds.”- George Eliot

When you perform a good deed, there is a possibility that someone may have seen you, or may have been told about your good deed. You develop a reputation as a good moral person. Sometimes some of your other flaws are wiped out by the good deeds that you perform.

When you share your money, talents, or time with others, you may find that the rewards are so great, that you will share even more. You will be naturally become a more giving, caring, sharing and honorable person.


Governments, international organizations and individuals have joined hands to give aid, comfort and hope to the people whose lives had been shattered by an storm, a disease, a cause, etc.

There is a line, however, between genuine charity work and publicity hype that individuals sometimes cross. And when they do, good taste flies out the window.

Ordinary people like you and I who do not make millions of dollars a year or live in a big house, also help people on the scale that big named celebrities does, but those people are not called humanitarians because they know they are and it does not need to be recognized for the deed is bigger than the recognition.

I am one of those people you described…I am a humanitarian. If you do those things you too are a humanitarian. Why do you think everything has to be large scale to be a humanitarian? I can’t give millions of dollars but I have raised enough to change a life. I cannot afford to travel those places yet but I can send supplies. I cannot change the world but I can change a few opinions and I do so for the good of mankind…and in doing so, I am a humanitarian.

Being a humanitarian is not something you have to risk your life for. It is putting the good of human kind before your own selfishness…

ABPD Diaries: In Full Bloom

Whenever someone asks me “What are you?”, I once hesitated to answer… pretending to be unaware of the underlying question they’re asking (What ethnicity are you?), I typically would reply with the truth: I’m American. This usually elicits a , “No, but what really ARE you?”  After making the asker think twice about the irony of this exchange, I’ll give a more nuanced explanation, “I was born in Washington, but my parents are South Indian”. Then I’ll get the confirmatory nod of approval.

No doubt, most every person of color in this country has experienced a similar exchange at some point in their life, whether it’s their taxi driver making small talk or a slightly ignorant new acquaintance.

Having spent most of my life in an rural, developing region, my cultural identity has not always been something I’ve had to defend. Growing up, though I was the only brown girl in a class of brunette & blonde ballerinas, I think back and reflect about how I never really felt my Indian identity inhibited me from being a full-on “American”. My parents sent me to swimming and kung-fu practices while also sending me to Bharatnatyam classes on the weekends and playing 90’s Mollywood/Bollywood songs on long car rides.

As I’ve gotten older and encountered more individuals and perspectives in the melting pot of America, I’ve found that what really identifies me is not just whether I am solely American or Indian but the intersection of both of my cultural identities; that I check two different boxes on my Visa application when asked for nationality and race, or that I appreciate music by Beyonce, Shreya Goshal, KS Chitra, or Vidya Vox.

Multiple cultural identities have reinforced my relationship with my American and Indian cultures. For many people, growing up surrounded by American culture has, in fact, strengthened their Indian roots by challenging them to rely on their heritage to help define themselves. Since most of our parents didn’t pass through Ellis Island, we look to our other identities to answer questions about our culture, history, and lifestyle.

Most importantly, the intersection of multiple cultures has endowed me with a platform to relate better with people of both of my cultures especially through dance and music, two art forms with a universal language and appeal. Studying Ballet and Bharatnatyam together at a young age helped me become better at each. Now, when I dance or choreograph, I always draw upon elements of each respectively to create something new. Musically, we’ve witnessed the immense popularity of innovative remixes between South Asian music and all styles of English music. This has opened up a whole new genre drawing in elements from two very distinct cultural backgrounds and appealing to both.

Instead of choosing one identity versus the other when it’s under fire, many of us who were born in the US with the benefit of a second identity have felt an urge to express the unique relationship we have with both – an identity of its own – through art. 

In looking at various competitive Classical, Bhangra, and Bollywood circuits in the US – thousands of dancers, musicians and performers have created a massive platform to express this unique identity. Why? Probably because we live in a country still trying to ascertain its ever-evolving identity. It would be inaccurate for us to identify with only one culture, so we formed a way to express our dual one.

At the same time, each individual’s experience with their various identities can differ. Take a look at some famous Indian Americans on TV today: Hasan Minhaj, Aziz Ansari, and Mindy Kaling. In interviews and some of their semi-autobiographical works, they address the issues of their own respective identities in very different ways.

Hasan Minhaj tackles the question head on in his most recent stand-up special, Homecoming King. He explicitly identifies the experiences that molded him into a Hindi-speaking Muslim growing up in Davis, California. Aziz Ansari, for example, addresses Indian American tropes on TV in his show, Master of None and features his own parents quite prominently in many episodes. On the other hand, there are episodes where you could replace Aziz Ansari with any white actor (perhaps one of the Chrises of recent infamy in Hollywood) and not notice a difference. But as the second generation of Indian Americans grows, it’s really Aziz’s character Dev who is a truer and more relatable reflection of my own experience.

Mindy Kaling, on the other hand, has come under fire for coming off as a “coconut – brown on the outside, white on the inside” on her show, the Mindy Project. I take pause with this criticism. If her own experience with her dual cultures was just the color of her skin and maybe the fact that once in a while, she put on a sari and went to the temple, then so be it!

An advantage of having a hyphenated identity is that there’s no right answer to where one should fall on the spectrum between the two. Just as identity is fluid, having multiple cultural identities is a balancing act. And though by no means is anyone responsible for promulgating this conflation, we do sit at a unique nexus, able to liaise between both of our identities with ease. The common theme among Hasan Minhaj, Aziz Ansari and Mindy Kaling is that they each own their dual identities instead of hiding behind a façade of either being fully American or fully Indian.

With music videos like “Lean On” by Major Lazer and “Hymn for the Weekend” by Coldplay and Beyonce, there has been considerable discussion around the appropriation vs. appreciation of different cultures. While I do think it’s important for artists to be considerate and not offend or demean other cultures, accusing artists of appropriation for simply featuring a form of dance or setting a music video in a different country will only serve to inhibit creativity.

At the same time, it’s ironic that wearing bindis to Coachella has become the norm amongst female concertgoers while it remains an aspect of the Hindu culture that many Indian-Americans were often made fun of (I recall way too many experiences with this). This conversation around finding a line between appropriation and appreciation plagues not only the Indian American culture but Asians, African Americans and Native Americans as well to name a few.

A better approach to this issue would be to open up a dialogue from somewhere in the middle. The most effective voices in the conversation won’t be the shouts from either end of the spectrum, but a more hybrid perspective from those who can relate to both aspects.

We should try and be centered around the belief that our identity is fluid, constantly challenged and redefined, but unified through art– no matter one’s career, interests, heritage, background or religion. Instead of comparing ourselves to one another searching for the right way for us to express our multifaceted identities, we should come together to create new and thought-provoking art that expresses our collective identity.

 

 

 

How my Productivity Became my Identity

Whenever I am not doing something or occupying myself with an event or networking with professionals – I honestly don’t know who I am. I don’t know who I am when I am not productively doing something.

Some may or may not relate, but to bare all and be truthful to myself and to you, I don’t have much of a real identity or a word that can personify my personality. Now you may be thinking, “what is she talking about? She does a multitude of things! An all-rounder!” but am I?

I am simply a hard-worker like my father, and as I get older and evolve alongside the world and it’s diverse group of people, I realize that whomever the higher creator is took this hard-worker personality and copy-pasted it onto me.

Though, I must say, in being the first-born child to two first generation immigrants – I carry a personality of grit which is something I guess I developed myself. In developing this personality, I felt it was my duty to make sure not only to impress my parents but my peers around me and thus; I started to become distinguished in my passion for dance, respected by my peers in terms of my work which almost always leads to people saying that I am over-qualified for the task assigned because of how I carry myself.

This isn’t at all a bad thing. I am simply a workaholic. I need constantly to work on something to keep my mind and body occupied. Every second of my schedule should be packed with tasks and mark checks all over the metaphorical and literal to-do lists.

I did say my father and I share this “workaholism”, but we are different in the sense, however, that my workaholism is there for a different and perhaps, even more sinister reason. My productivity is my identity. If I am not working, I am just a hollow shell that doesn’t have much of a purpose. Ever since I was in grade school, I always felt (and was told), that success was quantifiable. The number of extracurriculars I took part of, the amount of stages I performed upon and subsequently, the number of awards and certificates I procured displayed my worthiness. Each grade I got defined my intelligence and my ability to be successful. While other kids were carefree and could not care less about the award of extra gold sticker they got, I would be home almost heartbroken that I didn’t get that extra star than the other. While other kids were having fun, my mind would be burdened with how to work harder to get the extra gold star and the best grades the next year.

Slowly, because of that, my depression worsened. To try and make it go away, I would fill my schedule to the absolute brim – that way, I could, theoretically be better than everyone else… a habit I still try to do to this day….

But that just let me tired, still feeling inadequate and even more depressed. It was a subconscious vicious cycle that I could never really break free of. I would spend evenings upon evenings feeling worthless and every time my mom would bring up so-and-so’s kid’s success (obviously not to compare me to the kid but just sharing as daily news), a fire would singe in my chest telling me to continue to work otherwise I would never be worthy.

This is why I have tied my own worth and dignity to the ability to be productive. It is very unhealthy and painful but this is how I am wired. Like most parents of Asian descent, my parents would tell me, “you can be anything you want to be as long as you work hard and be the best at it.” Even though this was said with the intention to be encouraging, it almost reinforced the purpose of the vicious cycle of productivity feeding it more of a reason to exist.


I may be called the “jack of all trades” and “all-rounder” in terms of my work, and even though I work harder than most people I know – I am still never going to be close to being the smartest or most competent person in the room… and that is perfectly ok.

The struggle of working hard and never feeling adequate stems from insecurities that have never secured themselves into positivity, but have only been engraved into negativity. Every day I look at myself in the mirror and question my worth as a young adult. I realize that the more I care about my productivity, the angrier I will be. But for that day, I swallow my anger at my lack of quantifiable accomplishments and continue to participate in my stubborn, subconscious cycle of productivity. I just hope that one day I will gain the wisdom and mental strength to break free.

 

The Dying Indian Film Industry

Perhaps this post has a slight bias due to my personal investment in the Malayalam industry, but because of my bias; I can use it to my advantage. In no way am I a divulged expert on the industry(s) – Bollywood, Tollywood, Kollywood, Mollywood, etc. but in doing my thesis; I’ve discovered a few discrepancies which I shall divulge about in later posts.

Being a first generation Indian born in America to first generation immigrant parents; I grew up watching Malayalam cinemas. Mohanlal, Mammootty, Suresh Gopi, Dileep, Jayram, were my film idols before ever watching or hearing about names such Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Cruise.  Even though the films were/are 2 hours long (sometime longer), I personally never felt that it was too long because the stories were carried out beautifully and the actors/actresses did their part to move the plot forward.

Right now, present day… I can’t say the same. The video quality may have improved (as it should), but the same cannot be said for the storylines presented before us and the characters who attempt to portray them along with how the media decides to spin stories.

In being “behind the scenes” for a couple projects; I know teamwork is a must for a film to go forward – but also a plan that is meticulous to the finest details. I’ve noticed that most Malayalam short films attempt to carry this desire of being a full-fledged film but only come half way with their production quality; thus bringing the question whether conducting short-films are even worth it?

Well, the answer to that question in this present time is yes, for our attention span to watch a full 2 hour movie with a weak story line (or what we Malayalaees like to call “pynkili katha”/time-pass), and actors/actresses whose faces and names we hardly remember makes short-films appealing, yet if not properly done (which most are), then they too are killing the once gregarious industry of cinema. That being said however, short films are a way to get many aspiring creative talents together to produce a dream aspiration albeit through direction, acting, singing, etc. It’s the opportunity for individuals to dip their toes in charted (and uncharted) waters.


In recent observations via the various media outlets particular within the Malayalam industry; I’ve noticed the “ethics” of journalism and production of cinema has waned. I’ve been having far too many conversations with folks asking me what I feel of the present “scandals” that are flying about to which I will not divulge further because it’s not my place to – and neither is it yours.

The quality of journalism today is nothing of what it was during the last third of the 20th century. Yes, news organizations back then earned profits and the best of the networks poured enormous amounts of money into finding, developing and sending into the field thousands of qualified journalists to report the news but unfortunately that image and quality has made almost a 360-degree turn as of late and I don’t blame the journalists — but I do query as to why the butcher to quality and ethics….


Because I am active journalist; I believe in relaying the hard, factual truth no matter how gritty it may sound. I recall reading and listening to the news in India praising them for their boldness to report on those daunting stories that some readers/writers in America wouldn’t dare to touch yet now – it has become a mockery. They are reporting with a style similar to Hollywood’s TMZ where they are seeking for news that isn’t there… for months at end…

The South Indian film industry was relatively clean when it came to scandals (though of course they are aplenty) but rather, the news outlets would report and talk about the film, directors, the storyline, actors etc. If I look to the news outlets now; it seems to only shed a negative light on the industry with theatres closing down, the black money corruption and actor scandals and divorces. I understand that some of the news is necessary to convey such as theatres closing down and the corruption of the industry but to pursue actor(s) and actress(s) and procreating stories without fact and legitimate evidence is wrong.

Oh, and to return to the point about having less than memorable characters – quit casting people with half the talent and can make a name for themselves rather than relinquish their morals and pay their way into the industry. It’s as simple as that.


Change is needed for this industry to thrive again. I want to feel that excitement I once had when I film was about to release. I want to be able to appreciate the film, the songs, the director and the team – but until the industry repair’s its internal organs, the outer appearance will continue to disintegrate