An ideal hate mail

OK, this isn’t exactly hate mail – in fact it’s kind of adorable in its sincere incoherence. (I still get entertaining hate mail from time to time, but don’t publish it because I know the writers just want attention. This, however, is so perfect I couldn’t resist.) Vijaybhan writes:

Sister naina ji
what ever culture you r fowling I don’t No. but Sri Ram and SITA ji is
your last hope to protect our culture and you are doing against it.
Hindu people are very much liberal and open mind but this kind of act
will make them to think like Islamic fundamentalist.
one thing you can do that why are you not make good movie only based
on SITA ji character with all spiritual cultural based theism..
getting popularity with shortcut rout is very essay, but it is very
heard make yourself as good person…
As you are also basically part of Almighty (Atama), this is my request
to not do such thing because hell and haven is with in the world not
out side of this..
so being a good INDIAN girl don’t spoil image of Ideal for All women hood
this humble request to you

The writer has a point – I’m really not a good Indian girl.


Author: Nina Paley

Animator. Director. Artist. Scapegoat.

13 thoughts on “An ideal hate mail”

  1. It’s not hate mail per se (like the stuff that plays on Saturday Hate Mail a-palooza on Daily Kos), but more like someone’s auntie giving them a hard time about being irreligious. So I guess you’ll just have to be a good Indian girl to make auntie happy…

  2. What? no death/rape/pillage threats ?
    I think you’re getting off easy if its just letters like this.

    The woman who directed “fire” (Deepa Mehta), and named the lesbian protagonist characters as “sita” and “radha”, didn’t have it this easy.

    Interpretation of religious mythology will always attract fanatics who think they own it and need to protect it.

  3. See, this is the nifty thing about Google Translate: you can write a sloppy text in Language X and then run it through Google Translate so your English-language readers can understand it.

    For example, if you translate “MAY ALMIGHTY ILLUMINATE YOUR INTELLECT TO RIGHTEOUS WAY” to Hindi and back to English, you get “Roshan is the righteous way May the Almighty your intelligence.” Do it again and you get “Roshan is the righteous way May the Almighty our intelligence.” A detour through Estonian and back yields “May the Almighty Roshan is good for our intelligence.” So much friendlier after it’s been squeezed through the wringer a few times, wouldn’t you say? Thanks, Google Translate!

  4. We used to do that in college! Just put the lyrics to a popular song through a couple of translations and see who can guess them.

    “Daddy won’t you please come home?” came out as “House Pop?” after a trip through French, Chinese, Hindi and Bulgarian.

    I just wanted to thank you for this beautiful work! I really enjoy it. So, thanks.

  5. Two things:
    Are you Indian at all?
    An unnervingly large number of Hindus do actually think like fundamentalists. Well, they aren’t as smart as the Muslims.

    I know this from your point of view is funny, but it seems rather more serious to me. (No offense really, I laughed when I was told Christian fundamentalists killed a doctor who performed medically required abortions because they didn’t know the difference.)

  6. Hi! I am a friend of Bill W. and his wife Mary out here in the San Francisco bay area. I loved your movie, as did my family. I’m of Indian descent but I’m now mostly Americano. I spent two years in India developing a research center for Apple Computers (while Bill was at Apple). I wrote a journal about it, and I would get letters. Boy would I get letters. Your letter reminded me a lot of the ones I would get…

    The real nasty ones are at the end 🙂

  7. Thanks Ashok! Yes, those letters at the end do look familiar. And you’re not even a female of pasty complexion! I guess no one is immune to the Troll Sena.

  8. @Nina
    Being an Indian, currently studying in USA, i found your movie to be awesome. I fail to understand why you are receiving hate mails.
    There are so many versions of Ramayana made just for fun and often involve different perspectives and many times humorous content.
    however when some “american” makes a good movie by same concept, Indians get loose reasoning ability and start writing hate mails i guess.

  9. Yes i agree with the letter you have done such injustice to Ramayana. I am not a Hindu no a Indian. One of the greatest epics of ethics, etiquette and morality interpreted in the most shallow way.

    In the Hindu mythology usually people who are labeled as being a demon are the ones who deals in human slavery. Ravanna although his many good deeds was a advocate of human slavery. In the Vedic culture spanning thousands of years slavery was not existent. In fact in there is no word for slave in the context of the English word.

    Its worth exploring other expects as well.

  10. I have an idea as to why the letter is written the way it is: it looks a *lot* like it was written using dictation software, possibly with the dictator having an accent that was giving the software a bit of a hard time.

    The `misspellings’ are the interesting bit: that they’re not mis-spelt, they’re spelt perfectly…. They’re just… entirely the wrong words; but they’re phonetically close (sort-of). Reading `Jabberwocky’ to these things gives a similar sort of result–quoting from Benjy Feen’s website:

    The Jabber Walk

    Was acrylic, and despite the toes
    Degenerate jubilant weight:
    All men seaworthy bar groves,
    And the mall rats upgrade.

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