Category Archives: Voicebox

SXonomics in DNA AfterHours: ‘ These Bands Are Giving Out A Strong Message In Music/

I’ve been relatively quiet this month, on the blog. But the words have been hard at work. My collaboration with Dr.Ishmeet Nagpal, SXonomics, has gone on to the next level. We decided to take January to take stock, figure out where we wanted to go next. And maybe as a sign from the universe, we’ve started getting noticed and counted in some very flattering worlds.

DNA reached out to us for a chat about our work. It was so heartening to know that someone somewhere thinks we’re doing something right, and not being foolish to do what we do. They featured us in a story about performing bands using art to further social messages. Do we do that? Yes, yes, we do and not just with music. But sometimes, you need the world to tell you that it sees you, as you are. Thank you, Dhaval Roy, for seeing us for our true work.

The story is ‘These bands are giving out a strong message in music‘ and we’ve been quoted as saying,

“Spoken word feminist party SXonomics use satire, improv, poetry, music and audience-inclusive performance to project feminism as a fun and relevant way of life, while sparring with “patriarchy, toxic gender roles, relationship politics and mental monsters”, like founders Dr Ishmeet Nagpal and Ramya Pandyan tell us. “

“SXonomics, on its part, is alarmed by the things that have been passed off as culture, romance and poetry. “Problematic messages in Bollywood where a woman’s consent is not respected — like, ‘Tu haan kar ya na kar’ and many other such things are a matter of concern. Films are a huge influence on the common man’s way of thinking,” says Ramya.”

For SXonomics, the goal of their caricatures, poetry and collaborations is to prompt people to think about the current state of affairs in the country. “We want to create reference points in our listeners’ heads and make them realise when something wrong happens. Many of them have come up to us and said that our pieces like Shaadi Ka Laddu and Chaar Log (a satire on chaar log kya kahenge?/ what will people say) keep coming up in their daily lives,” says Ishmeet. Ramya adds that many of their listeners (including men and women) have told them how their performance has been an eye-opener to many aspects that existed in their lives but they were unmindful of.

Ishmeet says that when a message is propagated through music or any other art form, it is likelier to stay longer with people and make an impact.

We’ve been quoted alongside bands like Kerala’s black metal caste protest band Willuwandi, Buddhist Dalit rights activist rock band, Dhamma Wings, McLeod Ganj’s JJI Exile Brothers who sing about Tibetan freedom, Imphal Talkies‘ work on North East India’s insurgency and Aisi Taisi Democracy‘s satire. It’s a privilege, an honour even, to be counted among people who are crusading for these causes using art and performance.

Thank you every one of you who has listened to, read, clapped/snapped for, sung along with, commented, liked, talked about or even thought about what each of us has had to say. You make what we all do, possible. You make it a world that can be shaped by artists and love and passion, not just guns and politics. You allow us to believe the world can be made a better place, one song, one poem, one beat at a time. Thank you.

SXonomics is on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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*If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram

Copycat: Jignesh Thakkar’s Theft From XX Factor

Yet another copycat!

Here’s my post called ‘Inherited Relationships’, posted on 24 March 2011.

And here’s Jignesh Thakkar doing a repeat of that post on 1 April 2011.

Note now that the post ends with (in tiny lettering which is the online version of fine print),


Now here are some things to think about:

  1. Jignesh Thakkar did not ask for my permission to copy the post. That alone makes the ‘courtesy’ a laughable matter.
  2. The link on Jignesh Thakkar’s post does not go to my post but to the blog in general. For someone who took the effort to copy-paste an entire blogpost, including the title, this seems like a deliberate lapse.
  3. I am a writer and my content is literally, my living. I’m paid to write and distribute my content online. Copy-pasting my content is the online equivalent of picking up merchandise and walking away without paying for it.
  4. I don’t see how Jignesh Thakkar benefits from this action. This is the internet. The original article can be found with a simple Google search or even a click. Why would someone want to read copied content online? What’s more, what would a reader think of a blogger who cannot even post original content? And at the other end, the copied-from party, me is hurt too. The same content popping up in multiple places affects SEO, thus devaluing the entire article.

The comment I left on Friday has seen no response. I emailed Jignesh Thakkar at the address on his profile but I’ve received no reply there either. So today, I’ve been tweeting about it.

I’ve experienced copycats before, both in the offline and the online world. Online is where it struck me as most stupid, considering how easy it is to track down the original. Oddly enough, each of those times, I was advised to not make a big deal of it, to drop it and even to take it as a compliment since someone wanted to copy my material.

I don’t understand this. Would you be honoured that someone saw fit to steal from you? Would you take it as a compliment if someone came and kidnapped your child? My writing is my creation and hence no less important to me than a child would be to a parent.

So yes, I am choosing to take a stand on this. Stealing my blogpost is not permissible. If you agree with me, leave a comment here, at Jignesh Thakkar’s (copycat) blogpost, tweet about it, RT my tweet, blog about it or add your voice in whatever way you see fit.

Here are some of the people who already have:

Update: I tweeted about Jignesh Thakkar’s copied post. It got RTed, a number of people shared their experiences with content theft. Also a couple of people (some friends) thought I was making a big deal out of nothing and that such things were ‘commonplace’ online.

Update 2: Following the advice of two friends in the know, I notified Google (since Jignesh Thakkar’s blog is hosted on Google’s Blogspot). I did this by using the ‘Report Abuse’ menu in the topbar. Google sent back a notification of my complaint being registered.

Update 3: Exactly a day later, I received a notification from Google that the copied post was no longer on Jignesh Thakkar’s blog. They must have found a way to get in touch with him too (which I wasn’t able to) since I received a reply to my email. He also put up the following posts (1, 2) apologizing for the post he took from my blog and also announcing that he was reviewing his blog to clear it of any such cases.

Waylcum, Welcome!

Greetings, aloha and welcome to the new XX Factor!

To those of you who’ve followed my ranting, male-bashing, pseudo-feminist rants for awhile, I only apologize for neglecting this blog for sometime. This move has been long in coming.

As you can tell, I haven’t quite got it in shape yet. Some hostess, huh? Bleh, I never claimed I’d be a good home-maker. So The XX Factor, just like my offline home will be its messy, unvarnished-and-chipped-nails self. If you’re a friend, you know where everything is. And if you don’t, well don’t just stand there – get up and do something about it!!!! 😀

I’ll be tinkering around with the template. The first question someone asked me was,

Why pink?

Doesn’t quite go with the ball-breaker image, does it? Ah, times change, kids grow up and I, true to my womanly self change my moods and my mind (about a zillion times a day!). Well, I’m going to end this rant here.

To the people who got here via my email, I’m sorry for the gargantuan blunder of a wrong URL (shuffling feet and trying to look elsewhere). I’m just being harum-scarum but hell, I’ve put together this blog all on my own, without any techno-assistance!!!

Okay, the Superbiatch/Cat/Vixen will be back soon. Toodles..

A New Home

We now have a new home!!! Come check out the new XX Factor!

XX Factor is closed for renovation.

Please do check back shortly and I’ll be back. Alternately if you shoot me a mail at ideasmithy[at]gmail[dot]com, I’ll mail you when I come back online.

Thank you for dropping by and we’ll see you soon!


No More Stupid Comments (Spam)

Apparantly my sense of humour has managed to rub someone the wrong way.

I’m having a real spam attack on one of my idea-toon-posts titled More answers to stupid questions. Akismet doesn’t seem to be catching it and I am getting tired of having to login every hour or so and clear it away. Hence I’m locking that particular post away and hoping the problem will vanish. The post will be back shortly. In the meantime, any help/ advice on how to tackle this would be much appreciated.

Plizz to not take the title of that post too seriously! 😀

Notice and demand

Does this blog still have any readers left? This is for them then, if they exist.

I haven’t written anything really meaty in a long time. I know, I know! No, it isn’t writer’s block. I’ve got a few idea-toons swimming about, more than enough male bashing stuff for the Rude n’ Red section and plenty of girltalk.

Time however, has been a constraint. And yes, I’ve been focussing on the new blog for a good while now. A little more patience…my lurrves and I promise I’ll be back with a bagful of XXFactor goodies!

In the meantime,

Great things are afoot..

as Slartibartfast would say. Who? Oh never mind, obscure reference….but I could lurrve the man who designed Norway. 🙂 So yes, coming back, changes are underway. And in the meantime, I continue my quest to understand who reads this blog and why. Tell me, talk to me, show me your face(s), please, please, pretty please?

Or…or…I’ll vanish this blog to another URL and not tell you!!!!! How’s that for a goonda-girl threat? Huh? Huh? Huh?

*Sighh* Tell me who you are mes cheries, I know you’re out there and listening to my craptalk (how else is my Stats section continuing to build?). So speak up, say something, leave a comment, mail me. I’ve spoken for you long enough, now it is your turn.


Maternity leave

Yes, I realize that I haven’t been posting here for awhile. I’ve been busy tending to the new baby. And in response to anantha‘s question….patience, patience and I’ll deliver (again!)… 🙂

Fikar not, there’s plenty more up the XXFactor sleeve, I haven’t run out of things to say (!) but I’ve been short of time. I have a few new ideas that I want to try out with this new year coming up. In the meantime, once again, I’ll open this forum out to comments and suggestions from you, my dear readers.

1. What do you like about the posts on XXFactor? And yes, what do you hate, loathe, detest, abhor, dislike?

2. What else would you like to see on this blog? Look/feel, themes, writing style, issues?

I continue to be surprised by the readership that this blog enjoys just as I’m stumped by the anonymity of its readers. You’ve been a part of this blog and my life for 3 years now. Come over and say hello! Drop me a line, post a comment…say hello, say anything!

I’ll leave you for now with something the Best Friend sent me today to perk up my Monday morning. Enjoy!


Once more, if the words aren’t quite visible:

He didn’t like the curry
And he didn’t like my cake
He said my biscuits were too hard….
Not like his mother used to make.
I didn’t prepare the coffee right
He didn’t like the stew,
I didn’t mend his socks
The way his mother used to do.
I pondered for an answer
I was looking for a clue.
Isn’t there anything I could do
To match his mother’s shoe
Then I smiled as I saw light
One thing I could definitely do
I turned around and slapped him tight….

Like his mother used to!!!!!!

Time out

XXFactor and the many faces of this woman need a face-lift. Or a kickstart. Or brakes. Or just some time to think.

Oh, don’t bother betting, I know I’m going to be back. Not even denying it. But huff…puff….give a woman a chance to breathe, will ya? This much unwarranted attention gets even to me.

Came back and edited the post after hitting ‘Publish’. Okay, I’ll tell you what I need the break for. I need time to think about where this blog is going and what I’m going to write about next and how. Why don’t you tell me?

So my dear readers, who have so loyally guffawed, snorted and sniffed at my posts, tell me what draws you here. Tell me what sort of posts you like, what you don’t like and drop a suggestion or more about what you’d like to see here next. All feedback, positive and negative is completely welcome.

And oh…in case you’re wondering, the Idea-toons take a break as well so don’t worry (at least for the moment) about being plagued by the little Asian girl. I’m all for listening. For real this time.

TALK to me.


Click on the image to see the full strip.


Yes, I am back. Enough with the betting, I’m not a race-horse. But I don’t have to stop talking because of a few gamblers. I am fairly upset with the kind of behaviour I’ve had to deal with, as a result of this blog. I had a thought this evening though….I’m not (as some of my perceptive women friends say) a woman who loves men. I’m simply optimistic enough to keep looking for a man who’ll prove me wrong on all of my well-established-and-based-on-concrete-observations theories on men. So likewise, I’ve decided to stay an optimist and keep writing hoping that at least some of my readers won’t use this blog to torment me. If you’re reading this (which I am sure you will, eventually), you know I’m referring to you. Have the good grace to leave me alone and find your entertainment elsewhere.

On that fiery note, I’ll end this morose post. I’ll be back later this week with my brand of female fire.