Sunday, October 23, 2005

Crappy stories

I know nobody reads tamil magazines anymore unless they give free bottles of water, but has anybody noticed the really crappy stories they publish now?
One story called Masala Dosai (in Vikatan) was about a divorced woman who hooks officers at work to spend a night with her by offering Masala Dosai.
The Masala Dosai was supposed to be a very smart allegory of - you got it - SEX. Ignoring the implications about divorced women and their tendency to jump in with anyone, this story was the worst written ever! Here is Vikatan, after boosting the careers of the likes of JeyaKanthan - now publishing Masala Dosai.
Then there is Kalki - my magazine of choice - vastly improved, beacon for new writers. At least 5 pages in the magazine are gone to the teachings of different gurus. Kalki's short story competition last year awarded the second prize to a story about two former lovers who marry different people. The female marries a good guy, who understands her. The male marries a bad female. All the females in the story are unsure and talk a LOT. The men are either wise or harassed by their women. And this story was written by a woman!
Here is my problem: Writers in the whole wide world are good when they are liberal. Conservative comedians and conservative writers suck. But somehow tamil magazines (except for Kumudam) seem to publish stories with conservative values again and again. This is not just limited to story writers. Kalki's position on the dress code controversy in colleges and Kushboo's virginity comment was anti-women and anti-rights. None of the magazines come out and take a liberal position on any issue.
The field therefore is left to literary magazines like KalaChuvadu, Uyirmai and Theeranadhi. But how many people read these magazines?
Coming back to crappy stories, why is every story about bad sons and their sad parents?
There was this guy, Shankar Babu who wrote some really cool stories in Kalki. I wonder why he does not write anymore. One of his stories - Pinnorgal - is a comedy classic.
Anyway, I am not any closer to getting myself published. I guess I should write a story called Idli. Tamils like stories about food items. That is how you reel them in. Remind them of food and get them to read. Most ancient Tamil literary works are filled with references to good food, I think.
Anyway, Idli it shall be.
It will be about this old couple who always make Idli for their son. He eats them all. They would starve. Then he gets married. Ill-treats his parents. Then finally Idli somehow makes him come to his senses. I don't know how, but it will come to me.