I swear

Until March of this year, my vocabulary had limited swear words, uttered sparingly and with extreme caution. Using the F word in any gathering that’s not your bosom buddies was a thing to frown upon, and you might even get a talking to from strangers and colleagues alike. It’s not uncommon for people to mutter it under their breath, but it was certainly unsuitable to say out loud.

Seven months on, and I now live in Australia. Though my swear vocabulary is still rather limited, I hear them in conversations around me countless times a day, in varying pitches. For instance, my non-Australian housemate, who’s lived here for four years, walked into the kitchen one morning.  I was peeling papaya. He hey-ed at me, and I, him. He then opened the fridge and went, “Oh, fuck.”

That’s how we roll here. Most words deemed uncivilised and unfit, even for domestic use are casual and overused in Australia.

You hear these words in places and in situations that have no reason to have them. The reason my housemate said what he said when he looked into the fridge that morning is because there was some food leftover that he’d forgotten about. It was still good enough to eat, though. Besides, it’s not as if he worried about wasting either. Regardless, that situation warranted swearing.

My point is, swear words are so common that they’ve melded into everyday colloquialism. I knew it even before I got here, though. Refer to any website offering travel advice, and you’ll always have a note about says how heavy swearers Australians are.

It’s not just the F word. The  C word gets around quite a lot, too. Chances are, you can’t and won’t have a regular conversation with any (or most) Australians without hearing the swear words a fair few times.

I’ve been here a while now, and it doesn’t bother me as much. I’ve come to realise that in Australian speech, these—and the many other swear words I don’t recall—are meant as emphasis words. Like literally in place of figuratively. Like actually, honestly, really, very, and all other adverbs that all writing guides cast away as unnecessary.

It doesn’t bother me since I’ve been here a while now. But I can imagine how gutting it would be for someone new—like my mother, for instance. Once, ages ago, burnt out after work, I swore in front of my mother. Recalling that incident, she asked me a couple of days ago if I’ve stopped swearing now that I’m no longer under the same stress.

“Of course, ma. I don’t swear at all nowadays.”

Well, at least that puts her mind at ease.

What I Learnt from Fast & Furious

Fast&Furious

Sometimes you learn some great lessons when you’re least expecting them. I was watching Furious 6, and this particular dialogue hit me hard. Not only the truth in it, but also the conviction with which the character delivers it.

That’s when I realized; in all my stories so far, I have never been able to create a character so strong and powerful as this one. It’s one of the things that make a character stand out, and be remembered. It’s the self-belief, the conviction, and – to an extent – arrogance that defines a character.

Between a character like this and a character that remains silent in that exact situation, I’d always prefer this one.

That’s a writing lesson I’d never forget; for a character to linger, she must display powerful attitude.


What say you guys? Any other lessons from movies?

It’s the Time, to –

It's the time

I have had enough.

Enough of peer, and enough of pressure.

More than enough of awareness.

And also of social conformity.

 

It’s the time, to step down

From the pedestal, and accept

the harsh truth. For acceptance,

is the first step to recovery —

or so they say.

 

But —

I have had enough.

Of pointing fingers, and

of ‘sharing’ responsibilities

I respect family — they adore tradition.

It was my duty, they said

To care, and cure — and nurture

The future of our country.

 

Why should I make a home —

When my richer counterparts

party? After all —

We are all 19.

 

It’s the time, to make a stand

To step up — and step out

To a future of my choice.

Yet Another Face of Poetry

Slam poetry, sometimes also called spoken word poetry is something I’ve already written about. Here’s another one, a slam by a teacher. The name’s Tylor Mali.

What do teachers make?

I have always been doubtful of our education system, but even I can’t deny the work of teachers. I have laughed at the thought of being a teacher, because I never thought they mattered. I know better now.

I’ve had had a few teachers who were much more than what they were paid to be. Those teachers changed my view of teaching. They make a difference. But not everyone, not everyone who’s taught can be a teacher. That is probably the most annoying thing about the profession.

Teachers do make a difference, and a god damn good one too.

Anyway, here’s Tylor Mali himself slamming.

Here’s the poem in cartoon form. From Zenpencils | “What teachers make

Another Face of Poetry

I am utterly surprised at how useful Quora is. I love poetry, and though I may not be the greatest of amateur poets, I enjoy the company of good poetry. It was all thanks to Quora that I discovered this new form of poetry, (OK, it’s not entirely new; it’s just so to my knowledge. (Though that reminds me to be a bit more mindful of the things that interest me. #NoteToSelf)) that they call ‘Spoken Word Poetry’.

I’ve heard poets narrate their works, but this is different. It’s not about narrating a poem that fits on a paper so well; this, is something that cannot be recorded (and is ineffective) on paper. It’s the ultimate power of speech merged with the art of poetry. A little bit of digging into the topic made me realize that it is indeed a long-existent form of poetry and that it is I who was stuck in the medieval age.

I must say that I enjoy this form, as much as I appreciate the written form. (Though I have to admit, nothing beats the smell of print (fresh or old) on paper!))

For your auditory pleasure, here’s Sarah Kay, delivering her poem “If I should have a daughter” on TED Talks. (The poem is only a segment of her speech.)

Enjoy!