According to Wikipedia there are 1.17 billion people living in India. There are more than 2,000 ethnic groups who speak 29 different languages. And don’t even get me started on how many types of curry there are.
Point is, you’d be hard pressed to find a more diverse environment and multi-layered culture than India’s.
So why does eM sound exactly like every other 28-year-old American I know? Maybe because she lists her three favorite movies as Reality Bites, Girl Interrupted and Dirty Dancing. Aside from the very occasional Indian reference, this blog could be authored by any upscale wasp living in Dallas or Cleveland or Sacramento.
But that’s not to say that it isn’t well written, because it is.
eM is the blogname of Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan, who, I suspect, is quite famous in India in a chick lit sort of way. She published a book last year and is working on another. She was interviewed on NPR last October for a story featuring popular blogs around the world. She comes by her writing chops naturally—her father is a well-known writer and her mother is an editor.
However, it's eM's blog that's our concern today, not her family tree.
eM’s writing is clear and grammatically correct. She started blogging in 2004 when she was only 22. In those early days she wrote sweetly about growing up, boy friends, her work as a journalist and drinking and smoking with her friends. There was more of the same in 2005 … and 2006 … and 2007 … and by now you get the picture.
There just isn’t a lot of growth. Compare these birthday posts which are years apart.
Am now the grand old age of twenty-three.
Twenty three isn't that old in the larger scheme of things, I'm sure some of you, who have passed that mark will look upon me as a mere fledgling. But still, it's the oldest I've ever been, in that, this year I actually feel my age. All these years, I've felt younger than I actually am. But now I'm 23, I feel 23, even if I may not look it. Kinda sad actually, because I would love to revert to 19 or something. At an age where I can still look around and say, "Where are all the grown-ups?" That's not happening anymore, coz, ohmygod, I am a grown-up. *scary*
If you know me, then you know my birthday is possibly the HUGEST DEAL IN THE WORLD to me. It's true. In the past, I began talking about it in like August, because I was so excited and now, I'm not much better, though I have managed to hold off till at least November before I make plans. People are amused, because, well, at 28, you expect someone to take a chill pill already about turning a year older, but it's so exciting! And it's a day all about meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! And more meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! How can you not love that?
So here’s the deal, eM —- I can’t take you to task about your writing. But can we talk about content? Honestly, can we have a little less meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee and a little more youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu? I realize that you’re catering to a certain audience…keeping up a certain persona. But the only word that comes to mind is shallow. You’re 28 now—old enough to notice the world around you.
You have a voice. You have an audience. You have a platform. Maybe once every few months you could write about something other than yourself.
For your writing skill, I give you
For your complete self-absorption, I give you
And if every single Paris Hilton wannabe in Mumbai hates me, so be it.