I'm sure that while getting here, at some point or the other your brain would have registered the fact that this blog is titled "Darkside Daily". Next, your brain notices the black and white layout, the dark clouds etc. Then you may or may not notice the profile picture, the little black Batman-in-shadows picture. Then, through no fault of its own, your brain proceeds to 'deduce'. "Aha!", your brain tells you, "this guy sounds evil! I bet he's a tall skinny guy, with an evil countenance, a hip flask and a total badass attitude! He probably wears only black, has a ponytail and a beard, listens to Pantera and rides a black motorcyle with a flaming skull insignia on it!" And so you start reading, with the expectation that the content of the blog will reflect this mental image that your brain has so astutely assembled for you.
But wait? Christian music? A post about love? Videos of a headless piano player??
So then you set about writing comments about how I am some sort of charlatan for duping you into this little misconception, but really, is that my fault? Isn't it possible that I have a form of deep psychological issue wherein the colour black makes me feel 'whole again'? Perhaps other colours in the spectrum remind me of some traumatic kindergarten incident involving crayons??
Alright, perhaps I am stretching it a bit. Either way, I think it's time I explained the Darkside movement. Many moons ago, I wrote a post about my reason for blogging. However, I don't think I've ever mentioned where the whole 'Darkside' came from.
That story starts in India, when I went to join university. The place where I was studying was basically a student city, as it was filled with various different colleges and offered various programmes from engineering to medicine to hotel management and even - wait for it - jewellery management (don't ask). The two largest campuses belonged to the medicine and engineering colleges, which were often at odds with each other. The church I went to consisted of mainly medical students, and there was a friendly (and sometimes not so friendly) rivalry between the medical and engineering students.
You see, the medical students were considered to be intellectual book worms that spent long hours either in the hospital or in the library, speaking a language that could not possibly be English. Most of them were rich, and a large percentage were Indians who had lived in America all their life, thus turning them into identity confused individuals with loads of cash and annoying accents. Besides, being a medical student also entitled you to certain rights, such as the use of the 'doctor' aura which is accepted around the world as a way to walk with your nose a little higher and also entitles you to free parking. And don't get me started on their lab coats!
The engineering students on the other hand were different. They were generally not so affluent, neither were they as sophisticated as their medical counterparts. Instead they were into fighting, partying, smoking weed, blasting loud hindi music, cutting class, cheating on exams and generally being total idiots. Good natured, intelligent, practical idiots, but idiots nonetheless. Add to the fact that the engineering campus was considered to be somewhat alien territory to the medical students, and you may see where I'm going with this.
So among my church going friends, I was a bit of an outcast to begin with. I had subjects none of them had heard of, was involved in activities and labs that none of them could relate to and I had absolutely no understanding of any medical jargon they happened to use in conversation with me. However, instead of feeling alienated, I somehow revelled in being different. I'm not usually the kind of person that likes to stand out in a crowd, but for some reason, I enjoyed the aura of mystery and wrong-doing that was handed to me simply because I was an engineer. Engineers just handled problems differently, and whenever I mentioned an alternate solution they would say "Oh, that would only work in the Darkside...!"
Society celebrates people that speak their mind, but there is a subtle catch. When I look around, I find that the people that are 'outspoken' are all saying exactly the same thing; so really, what is the point? It has almost become fashionable to be cynical about everything under the sun while at the same time we are ruthlessly tolerant about other things. Yes, apparently being part of the 'minority' is also fashionable! We like to label ourselves as people that 'call it as it is' but really, is being a total jackass part of the job description? Having a hope for the future or for the present is just a bit too 'Dave Matthews' and not enough 'Dave Navarro' for us, so we turn into these venom-spitting 'rebels' that believe in values simply because it's the 'in' thing.
Being part of the Darkside doesn't mean you're against everything from celebrities to celibacy for the sake of image. I call it the way I see it too, but I'm not an idiot about it. When my medical student friends complained about the lack of preparation time before an exam, I used to suggest selective study and writing long elaborate answers to confuse the examiners; I didn't suggest burning down the exam hall and parading naked in the streets in protest against examinations.
Bottom line: it's time to change the world. But perhaps, it's also time we change the way we 'change the world'.