Dues. Paid. *drops mic* [Till August 2014]
Guest Post by Anon.
Let me begin at the very beginning, I met Snobster— Cineaste. Cybernaut. Bad Bitch. The greatest person you’ll ever meet. And the worst — 4 years ago (shit.), and she let me hold her bass when I was dressed like a slutty schoolgirl a la Britney circa ‘Baby One More Time’, and even took a picture. #JustFreshmanMistakes.
Cut to 6 months later- we’re in a basement in Lajpat Nagar, she’s come prepared for the cuties looking fly as hell, and I, the unsuspecting sophomore came looking, quite simply, like hell.
Since that day we’ve seen, in a companionable bitchfaced collective, just about everything. We’ve mapped out grossly incestuous family trees and stuffed our faces with all kinds of unmentionables, just not the right kind. She has seen me through several mental breakdowns, 2 rejection letters, 3 acceptances, absconding tutors, cute pianists, cute drummers, cute guitarists, cute vocalists, and my complete inability to talk to any of the aforementioned gentlemen. And I’d like to think I’ve seen her through her Amphibian Phase, through graduate school and that I’ve talked her out of making bad white girl decisions where boyfriend material is directly proportional to paychecks, drivers’ licenses and functioning automobiles. There was also the unforgettable cameo by a real turtle-who if I may say so myself , was incandescent as Anakin the Legit Saanp-, a weirdly surreal birthday party, and for a time her barometer for validation was the Grammy awards.
A comprehensive listing of Anisha’s Grad School activities is in order, I suppose, for one to fully appreciate the impetus that fuels this paean. While in graduate school, Anisha created several visual media based narratives — one, an introspective monologue on life, the universe and everything, narrated from the vantage ground afforded by the venerable façade of knock off sunglasses when worn indoors; another about a socially awkward, airhead litterateur; and one about disgruntled, over caffeinated white-collar employees trying to understand the importance of a grossly colonial holiday in a postcolonial world. Let us not forget the non-fiction motion picture event of the year, the magnum opus that never saw the light of day. And I think we will all remember this heartbreakingly staggering work of genius.
Amid these tragicomic circumstances, grad school hurtling towards its inevitable denouement, it hits her — she’s got no job. Obviously, the realization is enough to send her spiraling into an abyss of debilitating self-doubt, and the next six months are all about, “…But who will hire me?” — she laments, on the phone, on twitter, on facebook, on instagram, on her blog. Where there is room for expression, even 140 characters worth, discontent is aired. Still blissfully unaware of the extent of the academic job market rut, this remains an alien concern. I remain fully convinced at this point that there are enough jobs for all 500+ of my classmates, without questioning the warped logistics of this weirdly skewered teacher-student ratio.
Regardless, resumes are sent out, old friends are called, placements are sat (given? taken? I don’t know.) and in the midst of the nationwide job hunt, somehow, someone manages to convince her take the JNU entrance for Cinema Studies. Pros and cons lists are made, and after deliberation befitting a nuclear missile crisis, across a myriad of social networking platforms, it is decreed that the test shall be taken, and the outcome shall be of no consequence. “Besides, what will I do at JNU anyway? I can’t even clear the NET. *insert self deprecating laugh*”
As graduate students are wont to, Anisha graduates. She has great grades, as per usual. She also has, not one, or two, or three, or even four, but FIVE offers of employment. (Somebody please shoot me in the face right now.) On behalf of all her prospective employers, I would just like to say that some of these jobs were unfairly dismissed. For instance, one was rejected on grounds of being too far away from home — I think you should defs move to The ‘Bay, Anisha. “NO”. And then again, “My life sucks monkey balls, I have no job and my vajayjay has cobwebs.” But, wait… you already got a job… in Bombay? “GOD Karen, you’re stupid. That doesn’t count.” Okay then. Then there was the one that was a window dressed internship — “I haven’t put myself through Jamia so I can be an intern. God, Karen.” And who can forget The Nightmare in Okhla Industrial Area, “HOW CAN I RUN A BUSINESS FOR IDIOTS URGH!!!” And so our self-confessed gourmand extraordinaire, the formidable connoisseur of sabudana vada finds herself in the offices of one Zomato.com.
To the layperson, it’s a match made in heaven, but to Anisha, it implies rides on the metro, a form of transportation she finds particularly repulsive. In her defense, it does smell a bit like a landfill in the summer, and the commuters aren’t really known to have the best metro manners. Populated almost entirely with the stuff of lampoons, the average metro traveller encounters atleast one of each of these Types as they traverse the styx into the very bowels of hell, aka Gurgaon — the aunty who cannot mind her business enough and reads all your texts over your shoulder, the aunty who is a borderline sociopath and say creepy things like, “nice ears, beta.” or worse, “you look like a naughty sort of girl.” (wtf, aunty), the breastfeeding mothers and their wailing spawn, the too loud college kids, the infuriating and inevitable “please adjust…” (delivered as both an accusation and a plea, the ellipses pulsating palpably throughout the compartment as 20 other heads swivel belligerently in your direction in tandem) ; and the sibyllic toddlers, who emerge from the womb in a state of Wordsworthian omniscience, possessed of divine knowledge of the capricious job market situation, and use the poles on the train to practice their exotic dancing. Now is perhaps as good a time to drop all false modesty, and enumerate my own varied skill set. Besides my herculean capacity for incessant whining, my distinctly bleak outlook on life, not to mention my thoroughly misinformed opinions on everything from literary postmodernism to chicken wings, I also happen to be clairvoyant, in a totally, my boobs can always tell its gonna rain kind of way. (No, I cannot put my whole fist in my mouth. That’s disgusting.) And I’d like to take credit for calling this way before it actually happened. So I’m as far from surprised as one can possibly be when I wake up one fateful Sunday afternoon and find that this has happened.
I. Fucking. Told. You. So.
So having recouped the academic vigour that undoubtedly wanes while working towards a mercenary procurement of a master’s degree and during a stint working for The Man, she arrives reinvigorated to the lush academic shores of JNU, and the rest, as they say, is history. Or atleast will be.
(PS — Contrary to popular belief the original thesis statement for the MPhil. had absolutely nothing to do with the attractiveness of its subjects. Promise.)
(PPS — The proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back wasn’t the metro, it was actually the self imposed Bedtime, and a consequent existential crisis.)
Long, long ago; when all of my blogs weren’t scathed with academic rant, I used to be a mock-practitioner. Mock, you ask. I say, a hipster filmmaker in-transit. Over a strange turn of events, I landed up in the midst of making a slide show for today’s Dissertation Seminar on Postmodernism and Parody and that brings us to date.
For those of you who are unaware, for my impending thesis, I’ve proposed to work on tracing the genealogy of the epoch ranging from post-cable television to the arrival of new media in India. Naturally, this commands for my personal genealogy to be stated astutely. This also requires a fair bit of introspection and reading to account for all that went down in 2014. I can’t bring about dropping a large bucket of narcissism on everyone so an unnameable friend decided to do it. The writer owed me this as a part of Christmas (as quoted, ‘in honour of your favourite holiday’) amongst other goodies. Gretchen Weiners got more Christmas presents than I did. I, for one, have joined the Matheletes club. Ultimate social suicide is anxiety attack on a Friday night, writing proposals; for approval infront of the faculty as opposed to penning pop-culture sonnets for the beloved (I swear to the Lord in heaven, Brutus is just as smart as Caesar).