Wednesday, June 15, 2011

"Win the crowd, and you will win your freedom."

I do not want to be a narcissistic thick head but yes, I like talking about myself, giving a lot of importance to my ideas. Not all of them have to be "truly original" but you know, why take chances. Before anyone of you decide to leave thinking this is going to be such a waste of time, let me retrace my steps and tell you what I wanted to talk about. Not that this won't be a waste of time anyway but you know, either way, when you have to spend time somehow, why not do it reading to somebody else's attempt to be hailed the most-original-thinker-of-our-times. Done with the dose of bullshit; now let the drama begin.

How important is it for somebody, anybody, to sell himself? Okay, let me rephrase it, to market himself? I had read this amazing article on Dravid and the primordial difference between The Great One and The Intense One, as Rohit Brijnath put it, is basically sheer luck and how different their approaches to life and cricket are. But yes, marketing yourself for the mob is important too because that is going to make or break your myth; winning over the mob is all that is the difference between bland humanness and the glory of immortality. If there is a highest order of digression, this paragraph is it.

Okay, I need to get my sleep, so I'll illustrate to you what I've been thinking over without further ado. Let's say I'm the next greatest writer on the planet. And I have my small bunch of loyal followers who say things like, "There is a Marquez and now there is him." How I wish that were true. So, anyway, I don't market myself. I write my blog, a few of my friends read it and that's about it. And then there is somebody else who is not as good a writer as I am but knows all the right people, says all the right words and does all the right things. He gets covered by the media and he is the most popular Indian now after Shah Rukh Khan. Does it in anyway demean the status of the other writer and increase my nobility? Or is marketing yourself, telling the world that you exist and wish to be read also a part of being a successful somebody?

Is marketing beneath the nobility of art or is it an art unto itself? I don't really see what I'm trying to convey but the bottom line is that I want to know how true the adage is which says, Never seek popularity and it will seek you? Before a Kamal Hassan or an Aamir Khan made Saagara Sangamam/Akali Rajyam or Rang De Basanti/Taare Zameen Par, they made popcorn munching cinema. Is that the better thing to do or is sticking to the scholarly ideals of integrity and belief.

Hang on, isn't this the difference between a statesman like Dr. Manmohan Singh and a ruthless street-fighter of Narendra Modi. I have no idea what this was all about, but all that it ever was, it is here.

P.S: Like in Gladiator, is pleasing the crowd really a way to achieve artistic freedom?

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