Priya Malik says negative comments on ‘I Am Not A Cool Girlfriend’ are biased: When did caring and giving undivided attention to your lover become uncool?
Priya Malik’s slam poetry ‘I Am Not a Cool Girlfriend’ was not received well by a bunch of trollers on Twitter. At the same time, her straightforwardness and honesty received ample amounts of appreciation as well. The teacher, poet, actor, host and writer throws light on the incident.
“It’s a clear example of what happens on the internet when people don’t have full information, and they start getting angry about what they see on a very little clip of what the actual reality is. It’s almost a three-minute poem and their reaction is on a 30-second clip that doesn’t encapsulate the entire notion of the poem. But this is what got circulated and faced the heat. Selective information is a dangerous thing,” she says.
Priya shares that the poem is actually pro-women and talks about how we as women are quickly labelled as clingy or possessive or ‘psycho’. This happens because women come across as caring and need their basic requirements met and are a little too forthright in a relationship.
I Am Not A Cool Girlfriend talks about how two people can love each other differently. In fact, in one of the main lines of this poem “I will love you as I love you, but I will always be open to receiving your way of affection”, the girl is telling her beau that she will be unapologetic about the way she is and the way she love, yet she is open with the way he loves her. In fact, in one of her earlier poems titled “Jaise tum pyaar karte ho”, Priya wrote, ‘Zaruri nahi jise tum pyaar karte ho, tumhara premi thik vaise hee pyaar jataye’, which means it is not necessary that your lover loves you exactly the way you love them.
“This has been my philosophy throughout and that is the most non-toxic view that I have towards any relationship. So the poem is written from that lens. But obviously, the internet is known for not knowing the entire truth and making judgments and passing comments. All my poems are an extension of me and my thoughts. I’m a feminist and in a happy relationship myself and would never promote anything toxic. There are plenty of examples of my poems on YouTube, one can easily understand my approach and thought process via them,” she adds.
Another of Priya’s most famous poems is ‘Main 2019 Mein 1999 Dhoondh Rahi Hoon’. In this one she talks about being open and forthright in loving the way we used to be back in the day.
“The modern-day and technology have made us really afraid to say the words ‘I love you’ because we think it is too soon or it’s too much. But I believe that love and relationships should be simple, the way they used to be. When did caring and giving undivided attention to your lover become uncool? I am unapologetically myself in all my relationships. I would not apologize for loving someone too much, because that’s the way I love but at the same time endeavour to understand and appreciate the difference in the way they express themselves,” she explains.
Priya encourages everyone to watch the entire poem, not just 30 seconds of it. After all, poetry is never literal.
“Poetry has a beginning, middle, and end. So, until all of that has been looked into with an objective lens, not a subjective lens, you haven’t understood the point. During my shows, I have had women and men come up to me to tell me how this poem changed their lives, and how this poem has made them accept themselves for who they are. I believe that is the biggest compliment that I can get for my art. If this poem has done that for even one person, although there are more than 600 positive comments on this poem on YouTube, I’m not going to worry about the six tweets which are against it,” she says.
Among the many positive comments, one user shared how her girl is similar to the one mentioned in Priya’s poem, there is another (Abhinav Kumar Chaudhary) who wrote, “She does not realise that she is the coolest girlfriend one could ever have.” There are still many others who showered love. Another user, Ananya Sonowal, commented. “It seems my favourite Priya Ma’am has portrayed me in this entire masterpiece… this is what exactly I am… sending this to my love asap.”
“This poem is about being vulnerable, being honest about your feelings and is against the modern world rules that tells us to play by the roles, not be the first one who texts or makes the first move. I don’t believe in that, I believe in old-fashioned relationships and love from both sides. And I think it is absolutely cool to be in love, to care for someone, to call them and ask them about their day or what they have eaten. That’s just the love language I use and if a vulnerability is labelled as toxic, then we live in sad times,” she ends.