Tuesday, November 14, 2006

X r e a t i v i t y

Most of the good stories are written about travellers. Whenever a culture meets with another, a new story is born. May be I can generalize and say that, all good stories are about the meeting of two places or cultures. Sometimes, the second party in the meeting will be the audience themselves, the first party being the protagonists. For example, this happens with a story set in the future or in a fantasyland.

The problem with the current generation of writers is that very few people seem to notice this fact. All the great writers of old have spent considerable time traveling. Somerset Maugham has wandered throughout Europe and in the Far East - his stories are weaved from those travels. Roald Dahl has found most of his creative inspiration from his experiences in the second world war where he has served in the Royal Air Force. O Henry writes a considerable section of his stories about the Mexican neighbours to his south, and the rest of his repertoire are about con-men bitten by wanderlust. Even the great epics of the past - Illiad, Odyssey, Ramayana, Mahabharata etc. are about the travels of people or the meeting of cultures.

One of the reasons why Bollywood keeps churning out soulless jibberish ad infinitum is because it has forgotten this recipe for a successful story. Instead, it keeps trying out weird formulae such as boy meets girl, girl's father dislikes boy and so on ..

There is no culture without creativity, and there is no creativity without crossing cultures together. So I call this xreativity.

India probably ranks first in the world with respect to cultural diversity. But nobody seems to take notice. Logically speaking, there should be a huge number of TV programs about the travel & life in several parts of India, made for several Indian languages. India is so big - we can have TV channels such as Discovery, Animal Planet, History channel, AXN etc. which are restricted to only within India.

Even in universities, we do not have the tradition of celebrating cultural days. In US campuses, people celebrate China day, Singapore day, India day etc. Why not hold a Telugu day, Gujarathi day, Bengali day in a similar manner within India ?

Indians are a very inquisitive race by nature and are pokey about other cultures. Write a story about a Kabuliwallah parading in the streets of Calcutta, and the whole of India takes notice (This happens to be a lovely story penned by Tagore). Indian writers are currently doing a pathetic job in milking out this diversity for nice stories.

Where is the story about a Punjabi truck driver roaming in Karnataka ? Where is the story about a Rajasthani software engineer working in Hyderabad ? Where is the story about a Tamilian school teacher living in Bihar ? Where are the stories about Malayali armymen serving in Nagaland ? ...

Another thing glares at me now. I wanted to write stories in this blog. Instead, I have been posting brainwashing articles for the entire last year. What has happened to me !! ?

So friends, there will be no more lectures from my side. I will try concentrating only on writing short stories.

4 comments:

Santhosh said...

Hey Vakibs,
your lectures are equally interesting as well.

"xreativity" reminds me .. have u seen BORAT ?
(It wont get any better)

Our desi-movie industry is one clear reflection
of our creativity or lack there of.

"Where is the story about a Punjabi truck driver roaming in Karnataka ? Where is the story about a Rajasthani software engineer working in Hyderabad ? Where is the story about a Tamilian school teacher living in Bihar ? Where are the stories about Malayali armymen serving in Nagaland ?"...

I like these premises. Hope to see more movies on these.

AFAIK, telugu movie industry started covering
stories of telugus in another states since a couple of years.
Though it brought some freshness to them, but the plotlines
are more of the same :(

Reminds me : what happens if NTR jr. lands is Kerala : he becomes singamalai :))



Keep writing.

mOby said...

yup!! start writing.. eagerly waiting for ur stories..

the one u wrote abt the village and the rule was truly a classic . u shud get it published

mOby said...

yup !! start writing.. eagerly waiting to read. The one u wrote abt the villages, the rule and them dying is a classic... shud get it published or something

renu said...

hi annnayyaa.. am very seriously waiting for all those stories to come back with new colors.. go ahead!! :)