Friday, March 12, 2010


"C+", someone graded me today, "Wit", "General behaviour", "Overall intellect", adding "What happened to you?"

Needless to say, I was a little taken aback since this came from someone who thought I was intelligent once upon. And if it indeed was once upon a time, I'd retort and fight and turn aggressive on them, or read, or do something to prove a point. I just got upset. "If you say so..", I said. The reason being, that particular compliment was doled out to me for missing a Pulp Fiction reference. The momentary blank out which happens, which shouldn't happen. Slap forehead, yes, but what to do? Am rusty around the edges.

For as long as I have known, the intelligent people have consumed everything that pop culture offered them: music, movies, books, tv shows. To be known as intelligent one has to have read/watched/had/devoured all those things, to be known as witty one has to bring out sitcom references right on cue, and occasionally twist them. So yeah, to have intellect, one has to be a glutton.
That awareness that I am such a shameless consumer, bothered me a bit. If at the end of my life, if the only thing I was left to speak of would be my experiences of consuming other people's experiences, I doubted if it would be something I could be proud of. What have I created? What have I produced? Do I have any thoughts I can call my own? Or nothing can ever be original.

So I set out. I stopped watching movies, TV shows, and for a while, reading. I set out to see what I could see. I set out to feel what I could feel. And see and feel I did. So if you speak of mountains, I can tell you how they are. Or if you speak of the quiet underwater, I can tell you how it is. Even if it was for a brief bit, that firsthand experience, that adventure will have me talking for many years to come, and was a lot more fulfilling than reading about the same things.
Only time will tell whether I've made the right choice or not, but I know for a fact that despite my efforts, I'll always be evaluated for how much I've memorized from creations of people who're truly original.

So yeah, to use a very popular blogger and dear friend's line-

Until next time, see plus...


Anonymous said...

Such pressure! If one starts to consume popular culture just to be able to prove one's intellect, I demand that I get paid for it. Pay me for watching the movies and reading my books and I will forever remember the references. Promise.


Mo said...


Yeah, agreed.

I know very few people who wont do a "Oh, you've never watched xyz" on you.

Ashwin said...

I see this similar to the minimalism movement. Getting away from everything non-essential.