Notisbod notis:

Pembelian karya-karya Nurul Syahida kini boleh didapati secara online melalui ejen Mohamed Feroz atau melalui Karangkraf Mall. Setiap pembelian membolehkan anda mendapat tandatangan dan ucapan khas penulis.

Whatsapp/Hubungi: 019-2254910 (Abg Long)
Berikan (nama)(alamat)(nombor telefon)(kuantiti buku)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Reason Why Sometimes I said "Hi, I'm a Subtitlist" rather than "A Novelist"

Don't get me wrong. I love my job. It's my life. I have loved writing since the moment I can write. It's in the blood.

But the thing is, there are three types of people that I hate and they are everywhere in this world. They are the ones who will be the weirdos every time you are introduced as "The Novelist".

i. The Smirkers
These are the shallow people who smirks instead of smiles when you are introduced as the novelist. Why? Because they may have one of these thoughts:
a) "My God, someone who makes money from day-dreaming. Whatever."

b) "I don't read books. They're stupid."
c) "Oh, she must be too poetic, clingy and dramatic. I better stay away."
d) "A fiction writer. Oh, not as important as myself, who actually DOES something for the world and not dreaming of naked dudes on horses."
e) "Ugh, imaginative people. They are not needed in this street-smart world. They're too idealistic."

You can almost always detect a smirker when you shake their hands. It's always the same conversation.
"Hi, this is my friend Syahida."
"Hi there."
"She's a writer."
"Owh, I see." (smirks slowly creeping up the face like a ringworm on fire) "What kind of books do you write?"
"Fictions, usually love stories."
"I see. So you're a novelist, eyh?" (high-pitched voice)
"Yes, I am indeed."
"So I can get discounts for books the next time, right?" (nudge nudge like an idiot from a 60s TV movie with the same smirk on that face)
Here is where I giggle/smile and raise both of my eyebrows. And if you ever saw me doing that, it's a sign - I am annoyed.

ii. The Poetics
They are the ones who will start to be all words-of-wisdomy with you without any apparent reason. Usually it comes in a form of lonely guys who go;
"Hi Syahida, I like to write poetry at night and when it rains."
(and I needed to know that.... why....?)
"Hi Syahida, the moment I saw you, I thought to myself there is a reason I found you on my facebook." (son, the reason you found me in facebook is because there is a box for "People You Might Know" on the right-side of your news-feed. I'm quite a realist. I don't recommend you to read too much into something)

EVVVVVerytime I met a man who knows that I am a novelist, they turn rigid. It somehow makes them scared (because they think I would be wearing white gowns and throwing roses while riding a pink pony in the savannah field or something), or try to be what they are not (because they read "Plain Jane" and think I must be loving all plain joes of the world and so they can court me because I'm the go-to girl who doesn't care about looks and wealth) OR... they turned into this poetic monster.

Here's a story. I have an aunt, who was once courted by a guy, and she dumped him after he showed her the moon and said, "Cuba Esah tengok bulan tu, cantik kan?". And that was in the 60s.

I am a novelist, yes it's true. Eminem can be such a cuss-monster but he loves his daughter like any proper breeding man. Don't you think I might have an alter ego too?

iii. The Internationals
The I-am-better-than-you-because-I-only-read-english-novels. And you think them being all cocky about it is because they read James Patterson, or Paulo Coelho, or Mario Puzo, or even literary geniuses such as Austen and Hemingway. But when asked, they tell you "I read Sophie Kinsella."

(cue Nurul Syahida, Zara Amani, Liza Nur, and the lot rolling down the floor laughing).
Honey, don't be all cocky with us if you read Madeleine Wickham, Alexandra Potter, Sophie Kinsella and the lot. Truth be told, if you turn their books to malay, they're just us.

See, every one of those writers have a formula. With Kinsella, it is always a bumbling half-lunatic-but-still-witty heroine who almost always does something outrageous and stupid in which she will find the guy who is going to be the love interest. The hero is always good-looking with great abs.

Lauren Weisberger always write the same things that revolves around bad bosses, branded stuff and fashion. AND handsome heroes.

Plum Sykes always write about the socialite world. AND handsome heroes.

How are they different from us? Because it's in english, the so-called elite language in Malaysia? Read French, and then we can talk.  

And that is why sometimes I introduced myself as my other job. It's "Hi, I'm Syahida the subtitlist." or "Hi, I'm Syahida the movie reviewer" or "Hi, I'm Syahida the translator." I am not embarrased by my job. I'm just embarrased by the lack of knowledge the world around me have about my profession.

This is a shout-out for o you writers out there who are being victimised by people's shallow-mindset.


Zara Amani said...

I am thrill to kick the number 3's arse. They make all the quality turns shallow.
I mean...
Lbb? Hellooo????

shai said...

kalau ko baca little black book, baik tak payah berlagak. hampeh je. kekekeke