09/09/2015 8:15 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Why The Nation Needs To Go Hybrid

Arvind Passey

There is hardly anything that exists as a single entity. Look at what we study in university and you'll know why adding mathematics to even economics makes sense or why reading science gives a student of literature that edge. Petrol and diesel vehicles say namaskar to CNG, capsules encourage different molecules in their womb, finance ministers use poetry to put forth a fiscal point, allopathy, homoeopathy, and ayurveda attend the same party... the world has one massive hybrid existence. Look at clothes and their cross-gender borrowings, watch the acceptance of Hinglish by publishers, or applaud bloggers using prose, poetry, and even hand-drawn illustrations to communicate.

If hybrid is a combo

To club me and Rambo

In a limerick

To click

I'd say, 'Go ahead with the show!'

What's wrong with bringing diverse facets together to make sense? To hell with Hitler and his Nazi-jihad... who is bothered about pure races anyway? The world is travelling and people from different nations are falling in love with people from other nations. You have a problem with this?

Or popping a limerick in a prose essay to make sense to all sorts of readers. You have a problem with this?

Even I'm part human and part... I'm not sure what the remaining part is, but I guess that part is also a mix of unknowns. Embracing hybrid forms has always been with us though some of us stubbornly refused the existence or validity of such things. There is a theory that says that we all were born of ancestors in Africa and thousands of years after moving out of there, we allowed our bodies to accept changes.

"Purity too exists but invariably wrapped in vulnerability... even gold needs a hybrid intervention to become stronger."

Purity too exists but invariably wrapped in vulnerability... even gold needs a hybrid intervention to become stronger. What are physics and mathematics if they refuse to solve problems in an applied avatar? Listen, even the alphabet doesn't exist forever in its purest form... it happily forms words, sentences, and paragraphs and helps us transform an intangible thought or idea into a readable and shareable format.

Life isn't purity standing aloof refusing to mingle

The same words that come together to form a jingle

Can also bring tears to eyes as a dirge

Every interpretation comes with a jab and a tingle!

Well, we live in a world where hybrid fruits and veggies are as acceptable as Sebastian Faulks paying a tribute to P G Wodehouse by borrowing Jeeves for his own novel. Hybrid writing isn't about copying a writing style but about adopting it with ease while your personal style makes its appearance in a guise... and if you can hop from one style to another you're a true master of hybrid stylisation in the world of writing.

Look at bloggers and you'll know what I mean. They are the ones who read other blogs, get impressed, pick up a bunch of styles, mix them up and present their own post. I've experienced this in the writing of many... and I lovingly call it the risotto school of blogging. Give it a prosaic name like hybrid, if that is what thrills you.

The writers here need not really think they escape from this infection. The other day I got a mail from a published writer and the work he described was a complete hybrid, with tragedy, comedy, and intrigue coexisting. He wrote: "The book is part funny, part loony, part tragic tale, set in the world of Indian advertising where nothing goes according to plan. It's a high drama of love gained and love lost that builds up to a completely unexpected end. But not before the three main protagonists are forced to confront their deepest, darkest secrets!" Hmmm... I thought as I read this, writing is become so like Bollywood movies now.

Yes, Bollywood adopts this hybrid culture best and brings together every possible genre in movie-making in three hours or less. Our TV anchors too are bitten by a craze for hybrid expression and you see some even breaking into song as they debate issues of national importance. Hybrid is the new buzz-word. It is so silly and so boring to be discussing an issue seriously without enlisting the assistance of slap-stick jokes, warped logic, and sometimes even melodrama (switch on any panel discussion to see what I mean).

"This is probably why our esteemed parliamentarians decided to induct actors, cricketers, snooker players, scientists, journalists, writers, poets, and lots of lawyers... but remained unhappy until the criminals entered."

Mix it all up and drink this hybrid concoction... and the politicians love it. This is probably why our esteemed parliamentarians decided to induct actors, cricketers, snooker players, scientists, journalists, writers, poets, and lots of lawyers... but remained unhappy until the criminals entered. True hybridisation in politics was finally achieved...

So if any of you wants to write a novel and has no idea about two-line rhymes, join Twitter and read my rhyming tweets. Now that my marketing agenda is done, let me just say that the human mind has this strange habit of hopping from one mood portal to another... it is wallowing in grief at some perceived loss one moment and is giggling for no reason seconds later. You get what I mean. Therefore, writers who are successful have done their in-depth analysis of the movement of moods and adopt it in their writing. Their writing doesn't take a guffaw break for no reason... they are following a generalised mood pattern and banking upon the hybrid way of writing to ensure that the reader isn't lost.

Remember that "hybrid" as a concept isn't contemporary and good writers did it all intuitively. They either followed mood patterns or forced them to remain loyal to the pattern they were creating. The former is much easier to adopt, and evident in the work of writers like Chetan Bhagat. Literary fiction is an altogether different journey and has the power to trample over fickle moods. The best writing prefers to play the pipe and let the moods follow them. But hey, most of us aren't anywhere near the best. So come to terms with the mediocrity of your expression and adopt the risotto style of writing before you end up producing some crap that reviewers like me will massacre.

Let me end by saying the nation needs to go hybrid.

Do read my posts on my blog: The Real Fiction

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