How can you be poor in India and have an internet connection? Why don’t you sell your internet connection and not be poor? I know, right? This is such a valid question. But for whatever reasons, there are those among us who are poor but they have teh internetz. They have internet connection but it is for an assembled PC which was built from donated parts. This PC is kept on the floor and is of such a nervous and high-strung disposition that it will freeze and shut down frequently and for no reason. These louly individuals like to read English books but can only afford to buy pirated books or stuff off the pavement. They have their ‘own place’ but this place is only 1 room with a very sad looking pillow which they call a chair. These are people who other people assume to be “rich” because they speak English. Some of these people want to make arts or maybe they want to sing English songs or take photographies or the philims. Some of them want to write in English. Many of them feel bad because sometimes their family members say they are a waste of rice. Let us tackle some common questions poor Indians with internet connections may have about writing.
1. Hai. I have an internet connection and sometimes I hang out in the online writing world and some people there say that I will never ever ever make it as a writer because I can’t afford to buy writing books or join writing courses or go to conferences where everyone drinks wine and wears sweaters. Is this true?
No. It is a false. These are badbad people and you should not listen to them. These people are bumholes. Sometimes these bumholes will turn around and say they feel sorry for you for not being able to afford books, courses or sweaters. These bumholes are the same bumholes who go up to people in wheelchairs and say, ‘Wow, it must really suck to be you because you don’t have legs so I guess that means you don’t have a life and I guess you probably wish you had my legs because my legs are awesome and you don’t have them and you can’t do anything without legs which I have and you don’t.’ Books, courses and writing conferences may help or they may not, I really don’t know. I do know that not having them doesn’t mean you can’t write. Teh internetz has places to read, places to learn, places to workshop, places to publish, places to find useless information, places to fight, places to make people feel suicidal and places to make yourself feel suicidal. It has unicorn porn, fundamentalists, suicide pictures, miracles, racists, homophobes, awesome people who have done awesome things and never told anyone, LOLcats, people who hate you even though they don’t know you, poetry generators, dreams, secrets, fantasies, made-up words, despairs, hopes, nightmares and recipes. And don’t forget you also have the real world too, though it may be hard to find some things in the real world like maybe it will be hard to find a ranting white supremacist in India or pornographic unicorns. But between the real world and teh internetz, you are having a lot of stuff readily available. Most of it is free, all of it is useful for writing, depending on how you use it. So tell the bumholes to go fuck themselves.
2. Hai. I have an internet connection and I’ve noticed in the online writing world, sometimes people argue about how poor they are and how this makes them awesomer writers and more creative and artistic and stuff. On the First World writing forums, I really want to step in and say I’m poor and I come from a Third World country, which means I should win, right? I’m the real-deal poor, right? Because all I have is a one-room house with a pillow that I keep telling everyone is a chair but I don’t think anyone believes me. I live on Milk Bikis and 2 rupee packets of jam and I once walked barefoot right across the city. At night. In the rain. For a week. Because I had no money for the bus. I am totally badass, right? My Third World poverty is like HELLA EPIC street cred, right? Right?
When it comes to poorness and the poverties, it is so important to remember two things- one, it is generally not a good idea to engage in the Whose More Poor? game because it is a stupid game. It’s the stupidest game ever. Two, you live in a country where people clean out septic tanks and sewage lines with their bare hands so I don’t think you can claim to be “real-deal poor” just because you don’t have a chair. The following things also do not necessarily mean you can or should claim Third World Poverty Street Cred.
1. Sleeping on the floor 2. eating chili beef from roadside stall 3. smoking beedis 4. riding the bus 5. walking 6. buying your marijuana from some little dude called Palani 7. saying ‘hi’ to lepers so you can tell whoever is walking beside you that said leper is your ‘good friend’
On the bright side, your kind of poverty will not get you mowed down by drunk rich kids and you will also not be harassed by white dudes from other countries who want to make movies about you so they can win Oscars.
Also, declaring Third World poorness in First World writing forums may not be as fun as you think. When playing the Who’s More Poor Game, confronting people with Third World poorness is a little like trying to show off you have a bigger chest by pulling out three boobies or showing off you have more dick by pulling out two dicks. It’s more but it’s not necessarily more in a good way. And it kind of shuts everything down because no one will know what to say to you.
3. Hai. I have an internet connection but I have a PC with this big clunky monitor that makes my eyes burn whenever I read something so now I have these huge dark circles around my thoroughly bloodshot eyes. I’ve joined an online writing workshop and everyone says I suck and no one thanks me for my reviews and all the really fuckall stories are the ones that everyone likes. I keep getting rejected by non-paying ezines that everyone else gets accepted into. One of my stories has been rejected 24 times. When I visit writing discussion forums, I don’t understand what they are talking about and I feel stupid. It takes me three months to write one paragraph and it still doesn’t seem right and everyone else writes 8 awesome stories a minute. Nobody ever nominates me for awards or talks about how awesome I am. Everyone is really mean to me and I want to go home. What should I do? You should give me all your money. Kidding. No seriously, give me all your money.
I will now quote someone who said this random quote to me. And I quote. “What to do, ma? It is like that only.” This is very true and it applies utterly and completely to writing. It is like that only.
If you feel you absolutely must do something, go to the “roof” of your “house”, throw your hands in the air and shout ‘I AM SPARKLY AWESOME INDIAN UNICORNPERSON HAVING SO MANY WRITING POTENTIALITIES!!!’ Say it again and again and again. Say it until the words stop making sense so you start mixing them up and saying ‘SO MANY INDIAN I UNICORNPERSON SPARKLY AM POTENTIALITIES AWESOME HAVING!!!’ Then go back inside because you are maybe causing so much disturbances for the common neighborhood peoples.
Onwards and upwards, you awesome poor Indians with internet connections! Go kill the world! (this does not mean that I am encouraging you to engage in acts of terrorism or violence, which may be associated with people with brown skin and unpronounceable names who come from countries starting with the letter ‘I’)