Monday, November 15, 2010

A New Beginning

In the ‘90s, after the Indian economy opened up post-liberalisation, several foreign brands found their way into the Indian market. In about 10 years, these brands dominated the market and spelled doom for most Indian brands. Today, we rarely find a Double Bull shirt, which was once a style statement for most men. Even people like us, who were born in the early 80s and grew up on a dose of Indian brands, never realised when Reeboks, Pumas, Nikes and Adidases, took over our wardrobes. What didn’t change, however, was the Indian mindset: the Indian way of looking at things. No amount of colouring or super-imposition of Western thoughts could belie what lay underneath: an inherently Indian way of understanding and expressing things. 

Most blogs, ezines, and the mainstream media have, in recent times, adopted an increasingly subversive tone: we are subconsciously made to believe that there exists little good in things and ideas that are Indian. In fact, it has, in many ways, taken us back to the age when Western writers meted out contemptuous treatment to individuals taking to Indian ways: “going native” was the term they used to consciously and abhorrently denounce works, ideas and practices borrowed from India or glorifying the country. This thing intrigued us for long, but we didn’t find a strong voice within us that egged us on to do something different. Then finally, things started clearing up; the voice became distinct, so much so that we could no longer ignore it. This was the genesis of ‘mediAcre minds’.

Our mission here is to bring to light events, individuals, ideas, projects, and researches that have been under/misrepresented or escaped attention of the mainstream media. India is a complex country; many in the West like to call it “a country of never-ending chaos”; but there is a method to this chaos: something that we want to highlight during the course of this journey at ‘mediAcre minds’. This is a place for positivism; our articles would give you positive vibes about the 5,000-year-old culture that we represent. But we don’t mean to say that we will never have a critical opinion about things; human nature is such that it is impossible to be uncritical about things unless you are a zombie. What we will not have is mindless criticism. 

This blog is not only about India but the world, too. We will try to bring you first-hand information about global events and how people outside our country see and feel things. We don’t want to turn our backs to the world and concentrate only on India, missing all the while where the world is headed. No, no, we will not do that.

Feel free to read the post titled ‘What is Mediacre Minds’ to have a better understanding of our content and what we seek to achieve. 

I have the pleasure of introducing you to our sheet-anchors: people who have built this ship and will man the sails. 

Dr Kavita Bhatt Saharia is our Consulting Editor-cum-Adviser. She is a dentist by profession and a blogger by choice. She runs a blog titled ‘My Room’, which can be found at www.kavitasaharia-myroom.com. As a blogger, she likes to talk about issues that tend to escape mind’s eye, and has an uncanny ability to turn mundane topics into ones of cerebral wonder. She hunts for stories in her backyard and always turns up with awe-inspiring tales of people and places hitherto unknown. Her special area of interest in writing is the Northeast: its different sights and sounds and way of life. She has been associated with a lot of ezines and community blogs. When she’s not working, she enjoys being a doting mother to her two kids, Gauri and Kaustabh, and a dutiful wife to her buddy-cum-hubby, Chandan. 

Manjari Chaturvedi is our Associate Editor. She is an independent researcher, a PhD scholar and a faculty-member of a Delhi University college. She likes to maintain a low profile and believes in the dictum, ‘actions speak louder than words’. A former NCC cadet, Manjari has the highest regard for the Indian civilisation and is extremely fond of the Hindi language. She has been part of many academic activities and made her contribution to a seminal work on the Revolt of 1857 titled ‘Operation Red Lotus’ published by a major Indian publishing house in 2010. 

Vikram Vishal is our Sports Editor. He is normally quiet, and hides his extremely sharp mind behind a pair of benign glasses. He juggled with several likes during his Hindu College and Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Delhi days, but then found sports as his true calling. A gold medallist in Hockey, Vikram is also an experienced Indian Express editor.

Cheyenne Miller is a graduate in military history, and our Editor-at-large. An independent researcher, Cheyenne is authoring a book on WWII veterans of Washington County, although she is really hard-pressed for time. She never ignores her family and loves to be a round-the-clock mommy to a two-year-old Angel named Carys. Cheyenne lives with her family in Iowa, USA and has a love for open spaces. Cheyenne is a rare person, for she belongs to the fast-diminishing breed of traditional-minded Americans: people we thought existed only in old American literature and Hollywood movies of yore.

And I am Mani, the Editor of this modest venture. I’m a postgraduate in History and was a TV screenwriter and magazine editor before joining the newspaper industry. I run a humour blog titled ‘The Random Express: Journalism of Wanton Courage’ that can be accessed at www.lordmani.com

Together, we know we have an uphill task at hand, but we are willing to try. We don’t subscribe to any school of thought; even if we do, we don’t know that yet. What we do know, however, is that we don’t have an ideological food chain. We are a bunch of independent-minded individuals with diverse backgrounds but with one thing in common—the desire to do something different and helping others find a positive voice within them, too. We are not eyeing records; we don’t claim to bring about revolutionary changes either; but we want to say things that have long bothered us and affected our collective conscience. 

We would love to have your feedback on this. If you think there is something that we have missed or should talk about, kindly let us know. Our address for correspondence is mediacreminds@gmail.com.

Keep the faith!

Mani

6 comments:

  1. thanks for sharing bio and mission

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  2. Thanks for your prompt response, sm! We hope you will continue to encourage us with your visits and comments.

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  3. would you be promoting traditionally indian writing/art? am a bit confused as you also say that this is not only about india.
    so is this blog about pure tradition from all over the world?
    whatever it is my best wishes!!

    cheers!!

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  4. Hello, magiceye! Thank you very much for your visit and leaving your footprints behind. Ours is an attempt to highlight Indian literature, art, entertainment...basically everything. Apart from that, we will also talk about global issues and share with you interesting titbits about nations, cultures and civilisations. We cannot really identify ourselves with any particular genre; neither are we saying that this blog is about traditions from all over the world. Our main emphasis is definitely India; but we are also not turning our backs to the world. Keep visiting us and maybe our content will give you a clearer picture of what we seek to achieve. Thanks again!

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  5. Oh am sure you will do very well under the able guidance of Dr Kavita Bhatt Saharia whose blog I religiously follow!
    She has a wide ranging mind with wonderful insights too.

    Cheers!!

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  6. A really honest and sincere effort. My best wishes to you and the team.

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