Joined: 29 March 2012
What is your definition of feminism? Would you describe yourself as a feminist?
To live my life on an equal footing as my male counterpart and to be judged with the same standards that he is judged with. Yes.
What is your definition of equal rights? In your opinion, are equal rights possible between a man and a woman (especially in an Indian / Asian society like ours)?
To have equal opportunity, to have my voice heard on the same platform and to have my view weighed with the same seriousness as my male counterpart. It's definitely possible, but at the moment, fairly unlikely even in our generation.
What does religion mean to you? Does the caste system have any place in your life?
Faith in God. I don't particularly subscribe to any religion per se but I have never renounced any religion either. I admire the teachings of all the religions that I have encountered as there has always been some teaching or the other from each of those religions that speaks to me or that I have been able to relate to. I adopt these and try to practice them in my daily life. Similarly, I also believe that religion is the single most misunderstood and misused practice of our era. I firmly believe that all religions are pure and good, it is us humans who corrupt religious practice for our own evil purposes and/or misguided notions.
Unfortunately, yes. My parents had a much opposed intercaste love marriage, the stigma of which never quite faded over the years. In an endeavour to protect my brother and I from this stigma, my parents kept us carefully shielded from anything and everything Indian and we grew up never really understanding our roots. There came a time when this carefully erected barrier between us and the real world got forcefully torn down and I couldn't decide if my parents were right or wrong about trying to shield us from the caste issue. On one hand, I had lost out on my language, culture, religion and even pop culture because of their over protectiveness. But on the other hand, I grew up without the insecurity of my mixed caste heritage and learnt to value myself for who I am and what my achievements are as an individual rather than for where I came from and what my forefathers did for a living. I still haven't figured out if my parents were right to keep us hidden from the caste issue but I have learnt to accept that it's what's made me the way I am today and the way I am today isn't too bad so I suppose things turned out fine in the end after all.
What is an adequate punishment for someone who abuses a child? Or who assaults a woman?
Death, in the most nasty, inhumane way conceivable!
Do you believe in the death penalty? If yes, why? If no, what is a suitable alternative?
Honestly, no. (I'm contradicting myself, lol.) I believe in the right to life and I refuse to accept that the law has the right to snatch away this right. But, when I come across certain unspeakably cruel crimes, I take great pleasure in picturing a gruesome end to its perpetrators. In conclusion, the lawyer in me does not subscribe to the death penalty, but the human being in me subscribes to vigilante justice where it is called for.
Joined: 29 March 2012
Do you have a strong support system within your circle of family and friends? Who is the one person who keeps you going through it all?
Unfortunately, no. Lol. My family is always pushing me in the directions that they think a young Indian woman of my background should be headed. For the most part, I just go with the flow until they realize I'm failing miserably on the path I've been pushed onto. Then they just throw their hands up in despair, give up and proclaim "Do lah whatever you want, as long as you're happy". And then, I merrily make my way along the path I've chosen for myself and prove to them just how wrong they were to pressure me to be what I'm not. Lol. But they never learn and each time, the battle begins afresh. *sigh* Among my group of friends, I'm always their one woman support system, but I rarely let anyone close enough to be able to depend on them. I am my own support system and I keep myself going through it all. But I have to give credit to my mum and my best friend of 7 years who do try their best to bear with me and be there for me when needed. Thank you Mama and bestie, I love you both.
What does friendship mean to you? Are you a social butterfly or do you limit yourself to a close knit group that sticks by you through thick and thin?
Friendship, to me, means "You don't have to remember me during the good times, just don't ever forget me during the bad times, I'm right here with you and for you, just reach out to me and although I may not be able to fight your battles for you, I'll be right there alongside you cheering you on while you fight your battles, rejoicing with you when you win your battles and helping you pick up the pieces of your life when you lose your battles, and I will stay by your side for as long as you need me".
Social butterfly, hell no. I'm terrible at meeting new people and making friends with them, I cannot, for the life of me, comprehend how to make small talk and I have a tendency to switch off when I'm in a group setting. I'm usually the one dragged along to keep everyone in line and to make sure no one gets into any trouble, my role is that of the watchful parent or babysitter. *sigh*
I have half a dozen close friends who I stick by through their thick and thin and I have 1 bestie and a couple of other close friends who stick by me through my thick and thin.
What in your opinion is an ideal marriage?
An ideal marriage is a utopian dream, lol. I do not particularly believe in the institution of marriage. I have not encountered a truly happy marriage or a couple who have never had any regrets about being married to each other. In my peer group, marriage has become the license for physical relations and the excuse to have a lavish dream wedding. I believe that except for having legitimate children (a concept that is dated and rooted in antiquity), there is nothing that can be achieved in a marriage that cannot be achieved without marriage. I, however, believe that you do not have to carry a child in your belly for 9 months to be a mother, you just have to be able to carry a child in your heart lifelong to be a mother. And I know I'm capable of the latter and it has been my lifelong dream to adopt. If I ever do get married, it will be to a man who I trust can and will be a good father to my children. So for me, an ideal marriage would be a union between 2 friends who are determined to be the best co-parents they can be to their kids.
What were you like while growing up? As a child? As a teenager? As a young adult?
Generally, I was and still am in a never ending battle against the pressure to excel by my family, and against being a complete misfit amongst my peer group. As a child, it was coupled with meek acceptance, as a teenager, with angst, muted rebellion and passive-aggressive behavior. As a young adult, with quiet strength, determination and some sort of enlightened acceptance.
Are you the product of a traditional and orthodox Indian upbringing? If yes, how did it impact your life?
Oh yeah. Restrictions, restrictions, restrictions. When I die, I would wish my epithet to read "She lived" but if I died today, in all honesty, my epithet would have to read "She breathed. And existed. And then, she died". *sigh* But I'm doing my very best to change that and I'm determined to live my life, my way here onward. (Parents, I love you both dearly, but please, lay off and let me does this Shree ishtyle!) Wish me luck peeps!
Joined: 29 March 2012
Progressive or Regressive? Why?
Regressive. I come from a fairly educated yet strictly orthodox family. A lot of what is shown in serials is what the women (read: daughters-in-law and granddaughters) in my family encounter in their daily life. When I stood up to certain incidents that happened in my own life that I felt were wrong, my grandma and 3 aunts always said, that's what happens in all Indian families, don't you watch serials, they show real life. Perhaps if serials are taken with a stronger sense of responsibility towards bringing about change in the mindset our society, women like my grandma and aunts would no longer have the excuse of these silly serials to hide behind and to rely on to justify their ridiculous actions.
What made you start watching serials? Which was your first serial? Any enjoyable serial so far? Do you limit yourself to Tamil serials or do you watch other regional serials as well?
Didn't have a choice, my grandma had full control of the tv remote control when she lived with us! First serial, Chitti. Enjoyable serial, of course our very own Vani Rani. I watch more Hindi serials than I do Tamil because Hindi serials are so cinematic, it can be brushed off as fiction rather than taken to be rooted in reality. Hindi serials for me is escapism, Tamil serials are heartache!
Best opening song in a serial to date? Serial with the best background score?
There was this one opening song called "JallaKridai" that Chinmayi recorded shortly after winning the reality singing competition that made her the star she is today. I never knew what that serial was about or on which channel it was broadcast because we only had Sun TV in Malaysia at that point of time. I heard the song when she performed it live when she returned to the reality singing competition on Sun TV as a guest performer in the following season. But I remember it gave me goosebumps, made my hair stand on end and made me want to jump up and give her a standing ovation. It is to date the most haunting thing I've ever heard from her and about a decade later some parts of this song that I only heard once still plays in my mind from time to time. Kannin Mani from Chitti and Ullagam Pirapathu from Annamalai are a close second. Serial with the best background score: Vani Rani.
Best scene or episode in a serial?
I described the best scene in a serial in the updates thread of VR this week, let me reproduce that here:
Whenever I feel frustrated with VR, I remember that one scene that turned me into a a fan of VR..it was in one of the episodes right after Swami destroys the water plant..Swami asks Rani "kotta kotta kuninjikithe irrukenne, yenna partha kasthamma illaya unakku"..Rani's reply to that for me is to date the most poignant moment of VR..the simplicity of her statement, the power behind it, the expression on Swami's face and the background score..simply breathtaking..if I had to pick just one scene in VR to relive over and over again, this scene would be it..and each time I feel like throwing my hands up in despair over Swami lately, I remember that scene and think, the writers cannot and will not let me down..there has to be a beautiful redemption for Swami..there just has to be!!
Do serials draw inspiration from real life and do viewers learn life lessons from serials?
Both, and both are equally horrid situations!! Need I say more??
Joined: 29 March 2012
Favourite music director? Favourite director?
ARR!! He burst into the scene at a time when people my age thought listening to Tamil songs was totally uncool and he grabbed us by the b*lls and hasn't let go in 2 decades. He's the reason I started listening to Tamil songs and watching Tamil movies and that's where I started developing my love for the Tamil language. ARR is my God of Music!!
It's difficult to name 1 favourite director as every one of them has enthralled me and let me down at one point or another. But the ones whos movies I have always admired are the stalwarts of modern Tamil cinema, K. Balachander, Barathiraja and Mani Rathnam. I have enjoyed Gautham Menon's recent works, he makes very relatable love stories. But if I absolutely had to name 1 person whos movies have never let me down, it would be an actor, not a director: The Aamir Khan!
Has Tamil cinema or serials ever portrayed a perfect male lead / an ideal man? If yes, who. If no, please describe this paragon of virtue and name the actor best suited to portray him.
Erm, I would love to be able to name a role, any role, done by Superstar or Thala, but sadly, none come to mind, lol. I liked Aamir's character in Taare Zameen Par, it takes a rare sort of man (and in this case, one with dyslexia) to understand the pain of a child and to remedy it with such sensitivity and finesse. An ideal man would be a family man, much like the one portrayed by Madhavan in Yavarum Nalam and I would love to see Ajith play such a role, a family oriented character showcasing him as a filial son, loving husband and protective father.
Favourite book? Favourite author? Favourite genre?
I read pretty much anything and everything, and very rarely do I come across a book that I cannot find something to like about. At the moment, I'm reading the Inkheart trilogy, I have a third of Inkdeath left to go and wow, has this series blown me away! In no other book have I come across a writer's passion for books jumping out of each and every word and character, a passion I myself share and relate to. So in honour of that, my favourite book: The Inkheart Trilogy, favourite author: Cornelia Funke and favourite genre: Fantasy.
A book that changed your life? A movie that changed your life?
His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman, specifically The Amber Spyglass. A very disturbing ending that left me frustrated for days after I finished. It taught me that there are many different takes to what constitutes a happy ending. A lesson that has carried me through in my life as well lately.
Seven. It opened up my eyes to the kind of depravity that exists in the world. And taught me that not every story has a happy ending.
Name something crazy you would like to try as a hobby.
Belly dancing and Pole dancing!!
Joined: 29 March 2012
Joined: 06 September 2013
Joined: 29 March 2012
Joined: 21 March 2006
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