Monday, October 26, 2009

The Curious Case of "Amari's Prejudice"

'Prejudice', 'Bias', 'Preconception'....No, I ain't rattling off some random words from the dictionary but rather teaching myself how I should not be a victim of these words in the future! I write this post as I just finish watching a Reality Show on American television....

I've always been a lover of the Idiot Box! Since childhood I have always loved the TV! Be it the cartoons while I was a kid, be it the movies & sports while I was growing up or be it the spate of new-age sit-coms or reality shows through my youth, I've loved watching them all. I count myself among the category of people who appreciate good content, originality or for that matter innovative programming. I know most of us do, but in addition to that, I also find myself fascinated with everything that exists on earth & question how everything works the way it works i.e in a word 'Curious' :-). And it is during this stint with TV, that I realised how biased I was! Thanks to the mighty television, I now know :-)

Back home in my country, without a single iota of doubt I believed we had some of the best creative gurus at work on television. Most of the programs that were being churned out caught my imagination.

I was amazed as to how beautifully these shows were being made! Though I did read critics slamming some of them saying that they were a rip-off from shows telecasted in other countries, I didn't pay much attention or rather refused to believe that we were lacking in the area of 'Creative Programming'! My line of argument was simple. 'The shows are 'Inspired' and not a straight 'Rip-Off' so what's wrong with that? See, its ok to be inspired by someone or something, we all at some point in our lives look upto a role model to take us through the path of life, isn't it? So what's wrong? But well, a straight outright copy or rip-off? Isn't that a brilliant medicine for putting our minds to sleep? Yes it is! I believe we are a country of creative brilliance so what happened? Am I being patriotic,fanatic or simply being ignorant? I don't know! An example for television programming, read on....

Column1:The Original
Column 2:The Rip-Off

Celebrity Get me out of here-> Iss Jungle Se Mujhe Bachao
Big Brother-> Big Boss
Megan Wants a Millionaire-> Rakhi Ka Swayamwar
My Antonio-> Splitsvilla
Are you smarter than a 5th Grader-> Kya Aap Panchvi Pass Se Tez Hai
America's Got Talent-> India's Got Talent
American Idol-> Indian Idol
Dancing With the Stars-> Jhalak Diklaa Jaa/ Nach Baliye

etc etc etc....Uffff! I've lost count! There are juz toooo many of them to put them all here!

I never quite took it this way before I watched the originals. Come what may, I usually refuse to believe what I read or what critics say until I take a look myself! For the simple reason that critics are not always fair & all what you read on the net may not be true! I am shocked! For all the great history we have, for all the 1000s of years of civilization, are we making a mockery of ourselves?

We have had some amazing people from various fields of creativity like Satyajit Ray, Bimal Roy, Rithwik Ghatak, MF Hussain, Rabindranath Tagore, Vikram Seth etc who have not only time & again proved their creative brilliance but have also ensured our country got its due share of International Recognition! So what happened along the way????

Have we lost our creativity or the ability to innovate? Are we giving in to commercial interests thereby killing original creativity? Are we simply scared to put our feet into untested waters? Are we victims of TMI i.e Too Much Information at our disposal to actually sit down and think innovative? 'Google' may be the best thing to have happened in a long long time in an era of technological revolution but has this revolution slowed us down in our ability to get curious or work hard to get information by making it so easy to have answers to anything on earth! Yes, No, I don't know! Depends on how we use it for our growth! Like they say 'TMI can either make us or break us'! Lets get the best outta it than allowing it to render our neurons useless!

Now you may ask me why I have such a title for my post? Why I have the word 'Prejudice' out there? Well, before I opened my eyes & ears to what other countries are doing or rather how far ahead they have gone, I thought we were the best! I thought we were unique & did most of the things better than others. I got angry whenever someone had something nice to say about other countries accusing them of not being patriotic. But little did I know 'Patriotism' is not just about loving your country but doing something that stands out! Not saying that we don't have people out there who are accomplishing great stuff but let the numbers increase and that starts with each one of us!

The other developed countries have proved that they are brilliant, the fields may be different for each one of them but they are definitely innovating & coming out with amazing stuff! We are brilliant too, so why copy? Why not learn from the experiences of what it took for them to reach this level & turn around our country too?

My apologies for all the prejudiced, biased, mindless, immature statements I made till now.I realize I need to think more liberal, give credit where it is due, gain more knowledge, and yes, definitely stop being 'Prejudiced'!!!! :-)

So let's get creative folks, for once, why not just 'THINK DIFFERENT'!


Anonymous said...

Nice one...time for you to start thinking different :-) for all the things in life......

Preeti Kashyap said...

yea so damn true...we have lost creativity and innovation along the way just to make money and getting trp using celebs(who r btw making a fool of themselves). Well...u may copy one idea or two...not everything!

Amari said...

Yeah right Preeti, I so much agree! Celebs are like mighty dents in the ladder of creativity! Just hope someday people realize that & try doing something different for a change!