Monday, July 12, 2010

The Princess and Merlin

Firstly, no thats NOT me with the princess. I know post headers can be misleading. Thats the crown princess Victoria with her newly acquired husband Daniel Westling. This post is named as it is because this POST talks about 1. the princess and 2. the name Merlin :P And I look much better than the guy :)

I have this bad habit of blogging about events and happenings ages after it has happened. Now don’t give me that sour look, I know I would have fared miserably in a tabloid or newspaper. Which actually makes me wonder, did I really want to become a journalist/TV anchor/theater actor at some stage in life? ROFL. Look at the geeky me now. I don’t think I’d have done justice reporting about stuff ages after it happened just because, well I was lazy.

So the event that I ponder upon now happened last month. Crown Princess, HRH Victoria got married. I know, its not a big deal for most of you guys, but I was certainly excited. I’ve never really witnessed a royal wedding before. Nope, I wasn’t in the church, the princess did invite me personally a number of times to attend the wedding, but you know how lazy I can be, so I just chose to watch it on TV :). And she was totally adorable! She was not the usual uptight, up-in-the-air royal you usually see. She was totally excited throughout, nudged and shoulder pushed the groom a number of times during the archbishops never-ending monologue, winked at him when the priest said “you should have eyes only for each other” and squeezed his hand when the choir sang some romantic songs. She seemed more the young-girl-in-love-and-excited-about-getting-married than a crown princess tying the knot. She also insisted on having her father “giving her away” which caused quite an uproar in Sweden for a month, as the Swedish church thought it was a very sexist thing, well, to me it was much ado about nothing. She also wore a very modern, sophisticated and simple wedding gown, not the usual glamorous stuff you’d expect royalty to wear. Well what can I say, I have this thing for down-to-earth celebrities and I thought she is a very adorable crown princess!

I know that there has been talk about the kind of money being spent on royals, and on royal occasions like the weddings. Well, if you dig down deeper into the kind of value that royal ambassadors like Victoria add, it may justify some, yes only some of their cost. Victoria actively takes part in various social, political and charity oriented agendas on behalf of her father, the King of Sweden and the state of Sweden. Having studied at Universit√© Catholique de l'Ouest in Paris and Yale, Connecticut, she is extremely well educated, smart, intelligent and has a very wide knowledge of international issues and concerns. She tours Sweden often, and lends an ear to the troubles that people have, in Sweden and internationally, working incessantly as an ambassador for the country. She has worked to promote Swedish tourism, design, music, environmental sustainability, and gastronomy in a number of countries, visited Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to help out with aid work during the Tsunami. Looking at her track record, unlike most young royals, she has kept away from any major scandal or controversy, except the media created ones like her “giving away” ceremony and her “marriage to a commoner” which I think is going a bit overboard. Well, I think shes adding more value than some of the politicians and “ambassadors” in India and Sweden on whom we are “spending” more money on, and who are doing much less for the nation. I also think we need smart young people like her who have fresh views and opinions, and even as a figurehead can take their responsibilities very seriously. I am a tax payer in Sweden, and at 40%, its not a meager amount. But I understand if a country wants to spend on preserving something that it considers a heritage, royalty to me is as much of heritage as any heritage building or artifacts that a country might have. But of course, that is my opinion, its more of an outsiders perspective, I don’t even have the emotional or patriotic attachment a Swede might have towards their royalty. And as for the discussion about spending money more productively towards removing poverty etc, well, we can have that discussion for everything the government does. And some of them are more relevant, like, can they stop buying arms and manufacturing arms and spend that money to removing poverty (believe me the money spent on arms must be 10 times that spent on a royal family)? No I am not a social activist, nor a social commentator, actually I’m quite a self centered guy, so I cannot comment on that kinda stuff, but its just something I wonder about. There are more important issues to bother about than money spent on royalty, who happen to be the pride and heritage of the nation.

Too many serious topics on my blog drive me nuts. So here is something that I have been reading about, and wondering about, and its kinda funny.

So there is this absolutely insanely popular celebrity blogger who has been writing about how insane it is to have anonymous names on blogs, exactly like mine. Urm, there is no direct offense, but of course you do get the drift. Its hilarious actually, to think of the people you know in real life having those absurdly weird pseudo names, like Emotional Atyachar, Lady In Love and Chocolate Kink. Erm... to think of it some of my more serious boardroom colleagues will have quite a laugh on Merlin as well. But I need to remind this insanely popular blog celebrity of a few things that differentiate more mortal souls from the likes of celebrity bloggers who use their own names:
  • Anonymous blogging gives me HUGE advantage of expressing my opinion without having to bother about what will be acceptable for me to say in a social circle. In the blogging circle that I maintain everything is acceptable!
  • I work in an industry where our online presence can be tracked and I don’t want my acquaintances to read about my personal life and opinions.
  • I also happen to be the face of my company towards a lot of outsiders, and when I blog about professional topics, I don’t want my views to be confused with my company’s opinions.
  • I know that using ones own name brings a lot of known people to ones blog, family, friends, acquaintances, colleagues and some unwanted people as well, which in turn makes one very conscious about what they write. I want to write without thinking what the “people” will think.

No, I still cant justify why I have a somewhat “fantasy” name. It’s a very old pseudo name I was given, one of the many. The others are more ridiculous. And I have always been a bit of a “fantasy” guy, the sorts who was always interested in Harry Potter, Merlin, magic and the type. Laugh if you will, but that’s the other side of me which most serious people at work don’t get to see :).

So Merlin it will be. As long as I have the ability to write without thinking about what the “others” will think, I don’t care how ridiculous the name is. And you know how much of a Shakespeare junkie I am, and well, you know what Shakespeare had to say about names. For those who know me, well.. you know me and the name doesn’t matter. For those who don’t, well.. keep guessing :P.

Ciao and more later!

Photo courtesy: My good friend AC who took great pains to get a position to be able to capture this pose, sorry I flicked it from your Orkut :)


  1. Yeah, I am so much me when I am not me... my fave blogger didn't really bug me, mentioned that in passing, just like that... but being anon, ahh, freedom! :D

  2. I commented earlier, but I cannot see it!

    I read about the royal wedding on a couple of blogs at the time of the wedding ;)

    40% tax is way too much!! here, people do jhol so tht they do not have to pay 30%

    Anonymity - I know your suits you - fine! but I somehow cannot write anything under a pseudonym..I write my mind on my blog too..I have never cared about what people think about my blog/posts..

    I quite like the name Merlin. i am a Harry potter fan and I believe in magic..maybe that's why? :)

  3. the title (and the photograph) was surely misleading;)..
    anonymity gives you a freedom to express, do whatever one wants.. Not that I write anything sensational, but my husband doesnt know my blog (he knows that I blog) but he never tried to intrude into knowing the url (may be he had, but then anonymity rules;)):)

  4. "And I look much better than the guy" - Oh please. He looks better in that picture than the blurred face pic of you put on the blog. :P
    And you got to passionate about gossip to work in a tabloid. :)

    I did see the vid of the wedding ceremony on youtube much later, adorable indeed. The big deal about her being given away was of course an unwarranted feminist overdo like many other.

    I've tried my best to maintain an anonymous blog simultaneously with my blog - which I cannot abandon, but one or the other of my regular blog readers stumbles upon it and blows my cover away, not unlike Marilyn Monroe's dress on a windy day. *Sigh...someday!

  5. The title of this post was for sure misleading. For once I thought!! Oh so this is Merlin getting married to a royal. A celebrity blogger he is!....until I read few lines :-P

    Anonymity works best for few. Its not an easy feat to maintain it. As long as there are no problems, it should be fine!! Makes sense when you say it helps while talking about professional topics. That is one reason why I dont write about things at work. :-)

  6. :)
    Quite the Princess she is. I am mighty impressed.
    As far as the name goes, I don't know your real name, and it doesn't matter, and I quite like the name Merlin as a matter of fact...and as I think of "Merlin", I think about going to watch this movie called the "Sorcerer's Apprentice"! :)

    Anonymity is a boon at times. :)

  7. "I have this bad habit of blogging about events and happenings ages after it has happened"
    :) u cracked me up with that..

    I donno why, but I always felt the name Merlin was meant for a girl. As in I know about the Wizard and all that. But when I hear the name Merlin, I picture a girl :P

    P.S: Dont give me that look.

  8. Merlin, I wrote about the royal wedding and well, you know my views on that. I have absolutely nothing against princess Victoria or even our own royal family here. My problem is with monarchy being upheld, even if it is only in name. About Princess Victoria being a great ambassdor... well I grew up in the Diplomatic cirlces and know personally that they select outstanding officers to be the ambassadors for their country. So we don't need monarchs to fill the role.

    I pay also high taxes...I'd much rather it goes to helping a poor family struggling to make ends meet than the royals throwing lavish weddings. I am also against lavish weddings Indians throw.

    As for being anonymous. It does have it's advantages. I am sure I could write much more personal posts if I called myself Savitri or Swallow or Snowflake ..but well, I like it this way. It sort of also keeps me in check that I watch what I write. I had to remove a post I wrote recently because someone recognised who I had written about and it made me realise I need to be extremely careful.
    People have been fired because of what they blog about. A 21 year old guy recently got fired coz he blogged about his i do understand where you are coming from.

  9. the wedding and the crown princess have struck the right chord with me, maybe a positive word actually helps form a good reputation :)
    and i abide by the anonymous blogging, on all those points you mentioned and adding to that, if insane blogging trps is what one needed, then there would be too many comments to answer and life would have too much of an you said, its better to be lazy and creative :)