Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Radhika Budhwar

I finally finished watching Dumb Drunk and Racist (not Dead, Drunk and Racist).  

During the credits, they listed the four Indian stars. I paused the program so I could do some stalking.

I love Internet stalking.

I found one absolute treasure.

One of the stars (Radhika Budhwar) has a blog about the show.  

I actually didn't know who she was at first, because when I watched the show I didn't really pay attention to the names.

It took a little reading to figure it out.

The blog is great.  Radhika is insightful and hilarious.

It's also a great reminder that reality TV is not entirely real.  I mean it's not necessarily fake.  But it's heavily edited and gives us only a tiny glimpse of a much bigger picture.

Radhika says: It moves so fast in the 1st episode I just saw! The tightest editing possible. 50k miles of experiences and footage condensed into a few minutes- the edit suite must be full of really determined talented scissor-hands. 

Radhika had adventures that were not shown in the program. For example, she did the shark dive thing.  And she had some lovely Chai tea moments at her hotel.  

The other thing that my brain knows, but often forgets when watching (I'm sure it's the same case with a lot of other people): the trip wasn't a five person thing. It wasn't just Joe, Amer, Mahima, and Gurmeet.  There was a crew.

On this post she has a photo. There are five extra people.  

There's the director, and other helpful people. 

It's one of those illusions of television.

I used to do a lot of video and editing back when Jack was young. I'm rarely in the videos, and it looks like I was hardly around.   

There was one video in particular.  We were in Florida. The three of us went to get breakfast at the hotel.  I edited the video later, and it ended up looking like a lovely father-son bonding time. It looks like the mom went off to get her nails done or something.  

In reality, I was totally there.  

Then there's the question of whether reality TV provides a true portrait of someone. 

I didn't dislike Radhika on the show, but I didn't particularly like her. She didn't really seem like my kind of person.

Her blogging personality is a totally different story. She's totally my type of person. She's adorable and hilarious.  I love her writing style.

Was this a case of bad editing? Or is it simply a case of different sides of one person's personality? 

I'm very different on my blog than I am offline.  The blog is more me.  I let my hair down. I'm more relaxed.  

I went through a stage where my offline me began to resemble my blogging me.   But that's died down a lot.  

I think the only person who gets a more true-to-form relaxed version of me is Jack.  ALTHOUGH.... that me is quite different from the blogging me. The blog gets the pour-my-heart-out version of Dina.  Jack gets the very-silly version of Dina.  Both of them are really me. It's not like one side is fake.   It's just different sides of me.

The rest of the offline people get a very tiny proportion of me.  I feel guilty about that sometimes, but they seem totally fine with it.  So I shouldn't feel guilt. At least not on their behalf.    I think they prefer another version of Dina: quiet, reserved, helpful, good listener....maybe somewhat mysterious. I get the feeling that they're not big fans of Blogger Dina. 

I wonder if people who read my blog on a regular basis would like offline Dina. Would they prefer that side of me?  Or would they dislike it?

I liked blogging Radhika better than the documentary Radhika. I wonder if other people felt the opposite. They night see the program and think she's adorable; then read her blog and become disappointed. 

For those of you who blog.....

Question:  Do you feel your blogging self is very similar to your offline self?   If you feel you're very different offline, do you wish that wasn't so? 

Who do you like better?  Your blogging self or offline self?  


  1. Blogging provides an outlet for me to express everything I repress offline. Far too literal, wordy, preachy, arrogant, frustrated by the stupidity of leaders and managers... Nobody wants to listen to that in real time. I can blog and put it out there and nobody is trapped, people are free to read or not read, and I don't have to feel guilty for speaking. Most of the time I can edit and censor myself online.

    Offline I'm a watcher and a listener. And lazy. Very resistant to doing anything that doesn't interest me. It's now 2 am and I should be preparing bits of paper for when we have our tax returns done this afternoon. [Nothing motivates like a really, really tight deadline. Moody. Unable to control my emotions. Most often I only speak up to joke or get a laugh, because otherwise I'm too slow to organise my thoughts or censor myself. Still too literal. Occasionally become wordy and preachy... til I realise I should shut up.

    Otherwise, my values are the same in both worlds. I vacillate between preferring my blogging self and preferring my offline self. Sometimes both selves irritate me.

    I like the blogging Dina, and would probably like the silly Dina as well. Quiet people make me nervous.

  2. I think I have always been very self concious, right from when I was a kid. Bit of a case of, I can't do that, because of what someone might think. I was brought up like that. What others thought was important. I am much less self concious in my blog. But as I have come to know people via my blog, I try not to write anything too offensive as I am concious of what readers think of me. Blog writing was much more fun when I didn't have any readers, haha. In real life, I am fairly quiet, especially until I know someone well. And the real me in person is never offensive and always super polite.

  3. Hi Dina,
    I never thought of it like this, and it is such a great insight!
    I think I agree that it is various aspects of our personality. The people who spend time with us and are there during filming see at all, and I think the people at the ed suite can see a lot of the complete picture too, esp if you're miked-up and being filmed literally round the clock... but so much of it gets filtered away in a show like DDR. Actually that's one reason for this blog- there's just so much left to say for me- those DRR 3 hrs were just the tip of the iceberg for me- my personal experiences still have to be shared, and my learnings often began only after each experience we went through.
    Easy to see how it may seem like totally different personalities :)
    I'm glad you like the blog me, because that would be a more complete picture. The DDR Radhika is also truly me- but in reaction to a situation/ experience. The blog me is an un-edited me :)
    I love your blog!I'm a bit honored to be there!
    X Radhika

  4. I just shared your blog on facebook. Expect sudden Indian traffic :)


  5. Fruitcake: I can relate a LOT to what you've said. So I guess we're alike in that way. Mostly the part about being too slow to organize thoughts. I'm horrible at telling stories and trying to explain things. So the less I talk...probably the better.

    I agree that it's better to blog thoughts and opinions, because you're not holding someone hostage that way. They can choose if they want to hear it or not.

    Andrew: Like also remind me of me. At least in this comment.

    I'm VERY self-conscious too. I worry what people think of me.

    I'm less so with my blog, but still excessively worry about it.

    Do you feel the offline you is more the real you? Or do you feel both sides of you are equally real?

    Which you do you prefer? Which you do you think most other people prefer?


    Hi! I'm seeing the traffic. That's awesome. Thanks for mentioning my blog on Facebook.

    I'm so honored to get a comment from you. I think it's the first time I've gotten a comment from the subject of my post.

    I love that you have a blog and we get a deeper view of you and Dumb, Drunk, and Racist. I hope you continue to write more posts.

    I think as humans we're all extremely complicated. We're never going to see a full true person in 3 hours of edited television.

    I think life and relationships are like television. We may be our true selves with people, but edited versions.

    The only person who knows the fully unedited version of me is me. But some other people have a less edited version than I show other people.

  6. I suppose the offline me must by definition be the real me. You are perhaps aware of V who occasionally comments on my blog. She is a long time personal friend. She is the only person pre blog who I have told of my blog. I warned her in the early days that my blog was somewhat of a theatrical performance and to not take it too seriously. There would be embellishments and half truths and twisting a tale to make something more interesting. That did not last long. My blog is fairly truthfully me. I expect people would prefer the blog me. Shyness and self conciousness can be construed as being stand offish, which I think I am perceived as at times. I'll just say I am cautious about people until I get a handle on them. R calls me a control freak. Ok, I concede that.

  7. Andrew,

    Yeah. I remember seeing that disclaimer on your blog. I wondered.

    I'm glad that you've become more truthful in your blog.

    I wonder if I'd be happier (blogging-wise) if I had done what you did...not tell family/friends about the blog.