Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Seasons in the Abyss

There is a part of town I live in that is even more hipster than the rest of elitist central I call my above ground home. This street is home to an Army Surplus, oriental gift stores, coffee shops frequented by the ones of the sapphic persuasion, and bookstores on metaphysics. It comes complete with a bike store, vagrant hippies and lunatic army vets. I once stumbled into a musky bookstore that was only a door on the street, and found that it housed quite the collection on witchcraft, pagan literature and rows upon rows dedicated to the "dark arts". What made things even more weird was that there was not a soul in sight, and the eery silence urged me to exit before some inter-dimensional portal sucked me away.

Not that it has anything to do with the victim of the day - Nikhil Narayanan, author of "Half an autobiography". Nikhil is a copywriter and is into hawking advertising. He says about himself - "The less said the better as familiarity is bound to breed contempt." So much so for an autobiography, and good luck with readers' contempt. The location, blog template screams Indian emo kid, but we'll do what Gandhi did - walk on with the other ass cheek exposed. Or something like that. I personally don't hate the template - it is simple, no bling or widgets. I've always felt that light text on a dark background can be easier on the eyes, as long as the contrast isn't black and white, as it is on Half an. Nikhil would be better served by wider columns and a different text color.

The latest post is somewhat interesting. We love stories here, and we get one right off the bat - about adultery no less. I had half a chuckle at the reveal, but it took far too long to get there - longer than the ride from Frazer town to Langford road. Since there is no formal intro. and I slacked off way too long to spend a long time on the review, you'll have read along as I make shit up.

I guess "autobiography" is one way to describe this blog - he does fuss about things that happened around him - even if it is about a team that hasn't done anything noteworthy in the last decade. There's introspection, isn't that what autobiographies feature? It wouldn't take much to dismiss this as part of the collective depressed lot we get from India, but it's better worded than most of his peers. I really wonder what's eating them, don't they have all our jobs? Still, a point for quoting from The Doors.

There's fiction and interviews, and you can't shake off the feeling that all this is just filler. Nikhil can write, but doesn't seem to be focused on a theme. It's hard to take a blog seriously when there are twopoems about "life" followed by a prank call to a bank. He has loyalties, strong enough to carve on his skin, but shows an unfortunate taste in clubs again (Manchester United? Really??). Nikhil ventures into fiction, and oh bother, it's getting really difficult to tolerate him at this point.

But every now and again, like Rooney playing once a season, he brings things back. I was reading this thinking "oh boy, another dialogue", when bam, there was raw emotion, real feelings, and effort. Nikhil, you can be funny and eloquent. But dammit man, why so serious? Why do I get the feeling you're just being lazy? Whatever brain cells you haven't killed from alcohol and nicotine seem to be capable of imagination and random humour but why serve stale ideas that you might have thought while on the can?

I had to dig through 2 years of writing to get to something linkable, something that caught my eye. You have things to talk about, causes to support and places to visit. So I must ask again, what's up Nikhil? You've been writing for five years now, how about some consistency and quality control?

Pour a drink, turn on some music and light one up. Get that shit out of your system and cheer the fuck up. You can think, you sure can write. Try harder, edit more and write more often. Stop trying to be clever and funny. Don't force it, and good writing will follow.

For general doom and gloom you get,

And for somewhat engaging writing two stars.


  1. At least this guy seems comfortable writing, even if he wouldn't know how to edit himself down if he had fifteen-foot paper legs and a pair of scissors.

  2. I've been a copywriter since God was a baby, and one of the things that makes blogging attractive to us is that for once we're NOT hemmed in page dimensions, 30 or 60 second broadcast spots or writing for billboards that will be viewed by people driving by at 80 MPH (seven words, max). He' probably just enjoying the freedom of exercising his vocabulary.

  3. Fair enough.

    Side note: does anyone else think that God might've been a really colicky baby?

  4. "he wouldn't know how to edit himself down if he had fifteen-foot paper legs and a pair of scissors."

    NJ You still fucking slay me, thank god you reproduced, that girl of yours is going to best you my friend.

    As for the reviewee, I didn't hate him. That is quite an accolade given the recent chain of fools.

  5. Blogger sucks ass. H an A didn't so much.

  6. @Raptor - Thank you for leaving me bruised, but alive to die another day. And as far as the choice of 'blogger' is concerned, you did find me lazy, didn't you? :D

    @Nutjobber - A pair of scissors would do me no good for sure. But I could definitely think of quite a few things to do if I could get hold of a sledgehammer.

    @Here In Franklin - Thank you. I am touched. In a good way of course. :D We have a majority here.

    @Miss Missives - Thank you for not hating me. That makes two of us.

    @RedPen Reaper - Thanks for picking me over blogger. I feel so much better now. :D

  7. Ms. Ives, the little one is already accidentally funnier than I'll ever be... she's teaching me some tricks, luckily.


Grow a pair.