Monday, April 30, 2012

HUNDRED – NOT OUT!


I may not be Sachin but  this post  is very special to me- it marks the completion of my “century” on the blogging field !

I don’t know why but I am a bit reluctant to post it. I have been putting off for a while now… I finally decided to face my fear – the fear that probably no one will read it- that may be it will attract only half a dozen comments?

I started blogging in September 2010- a  rather unpleasant  personal experience got me into it. I am sometimes shocked about how I could write so publicly about that ! But at that time I was not bothered about readership. I only wanted a forum where I could express myself. If you browse through my first few posts ( which in my opinion are some of my best pieces of writing) you will hardly find two or three comments- most of the comments being from friends who wanted  to encourage me ( thanks Deepa and Christopher- my only cheerleaders those days!)

I don’t know how or when the readership increased but with that I would say came the desire to write about issues that would be of interest to others! I sometimes wonder, if I am doing justice to myself when I do that because writing to me is a form of self expression and my heart tells me often  to write about what I want to irrespective of whether or not others would read it! Yet, readership is addictive- those few lines of a comment give me a sense of satisfaction that I have reached out to someone with my words. 

Over the last two years, I have realized that there are readers , readers and more readers . I could classify my readership into the following categories – those who comment only so there is that back link to their blog and I would go there ( thankfully there are only few of these), there are those who probably comment only if the issue is of interest to them, then there are friends from face book who sometimes comment when I post a link on my wall,  and finally  there are the “faithful” who visit me irrespective of what I write- to this last category of people I am extremely thankful!  They are the fuel that keeps the fire in me burning and also the desire to write.  I also visit their blogs regularly and I must say that their writing is  good!

People I work with are sometimes surprised that I do not write about poverty and other development issues. But to do that would be like a “bus man’s holiday”- I write about those issues as part of my job. This  is my own personal space where I would like to write about issues beyond that .. I write about personal experiences, larger issues and how they affect me personally and sometimes professional problems. I try to avoid the later after that first instance but I find that when I write about something that is bothering me,  it is very cathartic!

I have traversed other blogs and I follow those which I like. I usually like blogs where I get a sense of the passion and emotion that lie beyond the words that appear. Sometimes the English is not so great but if I get that sense of feeling I read on. And there are other blogs which are so mundane that I am amazed that posts on them get as many as 100 comments!! “Jealousy” you mutter in your mind? No! I am truly intrigued  because it tells me that I probably do not know how to reach out to people strongly enough!  Blogging tips tell you that one should reply to every comment that one receives. I do that but I often club them together into one comment. May be I should start replying to each one of them so that if I get ten comments it would show up as twenty!!! But I do not believe in cheating anyone –least of all myself!

I would be a fool if I were to say that I am happy to just express myself. What is expression if it is not able to reach out to someone? It is like speaking a strange language which no one understands!

I am now seriously considering a career shift into writing- primarily fiction writing. That was how Kaleidoscope was born. It is one of  the most challenging tasks for me. I often struggle  to come up with plots. The stories are probably too long for a blog. I tend to get a bit descriptive in my writing. The few followers I have on that site have been most helpful in giving me tips and I am trying to follow their advice and cut down some of the length. But the feeling of fulfillment that I get after I complete a story on Kaleidoscope is something completely different from the sense of catharsis that the Chronicles bring about. It is almost like giving birth – the weeks of labour- thinking about the characters, giving the story form and finally pressing that “PUBLISH” button!  I don’t like to advertise Kaleidoscope much – I would rather it gets noticed on the strength of the quality of its stories. Some one told me that the style is similar to R. K. Narayan’s and someone else said that it is similar to Ruskin Bond’s.. I don’t know. I still need to evolve my own style there. I am less than 30 posts old on that blog!

I  sometimes wonder what would happen to my blogs if I were to die suddenly? Who would update them?  Or would they die too I wonder….! But there is a fourteen year old who has agreed to keep this alive should something happen …

I am reluctant to sign off.. because it would mean the inevitable – posting this and then I would be tempted to do what I DON’T want to do- count those comments!!!

Anyway, to hell with it…. ! Let me do what I set out to do –write to express myself. If people do not want to read it then it is their problem. I am giving alongside a video clip  from the film “Pyaasa” which is about a poet whose work gets published only after he is presumed dead. So he shows up at an awards function held in his honor reciting these lines  “Yeh  Duniya Agar mil bhi jaye to kya hai..”! (So what if you get the world?)

31 comments:

cbentrance said...

Aw, this was a really quality post. In theory I'd like to write like this too - taking time and real effort to make a good article... but what can I say... I procrastinate alot and never seem to get something done.
Cbse Entrancei

Arooj said...

so you start blogging in 2010...
you maintained really am attractive writing slot in last two years.

you know the same thing happened to me,the first 3 posts of my blo(2009)
couldn't attract anyone.or may be none visited my space at that time.
but now i have very good readers/friends.
and you are one of them .I always find something new in your writing.
Best of luck for your writing ventures.

Meera Sundararajan said...

@ Arooj thank you so much!You are one of the old timers on my blog and I missed you during your absence. Glad that you are back!

@ Cb entrance- welcome to my blog. I am sure you can write much better. Does not require much preparation -just be spontaneous and feel for the issue- the words will come by themselves!

Rahul Bhatia said...

Best wishes for striking more centuries! I completed a 100 just sometime back and am still to reach a year mark! Lack the experience which so many more have:)

anilkurup said...

"I sometimes wonder, if I am doing justice to myself when I do that because writing to me is a form of self expression and my heart tells me often to write about what I want to irrespective of whether or not others would read it! Yet, readership is addictive- those few lines of a comment give me a sense of satisfaction that I have reached out to someone with my words."

This is absolutely true with any blogger who is willing to speak from the heart on the subject he/she blogs. I agree with your contention of blogs being ,"our personal space.." .

As for the Kaleidoscope , I suggest that you must desist from comparing your writing with Ruskin Bond, RKN or others. Would it not be better to carve our your style than be known as a tag on of another? I'm sure you will agree.

I remember a blog where the blogger splashed ( majority votes say I write like Jame Joyce" I felt pity. honestly.

I do sometimes think of my blog when I'm gone. Will it matter.?
So keep going forward with your inimitable style. Good luck!

Gayu said...

Hey that's wonderful Meera...100 posts:)
For me, your work is like Sudha Murthy's. You talk about issues in a very practical way, that's what I like the most.

I strongly feel that there will be a day when we read your published book "Meera tales (Short Stories by Meera)"

All the best...:)

Gayu

Jack said...

Meera,

What you said in the concluding paragraph is what I too feel. One should write for own satisfaction to express what one feels strongly about. I do not say that number of readers or comments do not matter, they do as an encouragement but should never be the criteria to continue with writing. Please do not ever think of giving up. Looking forward to collection of short stories by you in the near future. I will navigate to read you earlier posts in a day or so.

Take care

specs buffy said...

Meera, straight from the heart and the feelings are easily understood because I stand at the threshold (which you have mentioned at 2010)
where comments are few and not coming as you want them to.
it is indeed very disappointing when I publish a post, all I get are some votes, ( they too are valuable no doubt) and the most looked forward to feedback, goes missing.
I know the reach is not there as I dont spend quality time on reading good blogs ...

happy that I chanced across yours and believe me I have become an ardent follower:)
wishing many many more years of blogging to keep us entertained.
surprised that you have already successfully annointed a successor to carry forward the wonderful writing skills!

Kameshwari said...

Congratulations on the spectacular event of your hundreth blog.

As a U.S. citizen who has traveled only to Europe, Canada and barely into Mexico, I find your blog posts to be eloquent in description and interesting in topic. It is your passion about each topic that seems to catch my attention. The physical appearance of the notebook format, gives me a sense of reading someone's personal views. It is very affective. Or should I say effective? Maybe the words can be interchanged in this context.

I also want to acknowledge your incredible grasp of English. My feelings of inadequacy around my use of grammar, punctuation and spelling is enough to make me feel unworthy to post comments to your blog and to other blogs that I follow.

Since I enjoy your work so much, I'll have to pursue Kaleidoscope. Although I write a blog which feels to be quite without passion, I am not fishing for a followers here.

You have brilliant writing with a shining soul behind the pen.

With much appreciation for your blog entries,

Kameshwari-kate

Meera Sundararajan said...

@ Kameshwari thanks for your kind words- I look forward to seeing you on Kaleidoscope! And about the English- I wish I could write with such ease in Hindi and Bengali- the two other languages I love. I used to be able to do it about a decade ago- need to revive that skill!

Meera Sundararajan said...

@ Specs Buffy I like your blog too- one of the few unpretentious ones. Believe me the comments will come- it is just a matter of time! I also wonder if it is an age thing. Notice that all of us are about the same age- so probably we don't write things that interest the youngsters -and it is the youngsters who are always on the blogosphere!

Meera Sundararajan said...

@ Anil you vocabulary is one of the best I have encountered- I like your style- it keeps me focussed! Agree with you about finding my own style on Kaleidoscope!

@ Gayu- you give me more credit than I deserve!

Meera Sundararajan said...

@ Rahul - you are a far more prolific writer than I am - therefore you completed 100 within 12 months while I took double that time!Thanks for your wishes

@ Jack you are one person who always lifts my spirits - I think you are one of the biggest optimists in this world. Thank God for people like you!

Christopher said...

The numbers don't mean as much as the quality of your thoughts and the way you express them. I was one of those who enjoyed reading your blog even when I disagreed with you on occasion. There is always an element of insight in your blogs and that is what holds the reader's attention and interest. Keep writing and stop counting. One hundred is a small number for Meera!

Tomz said...

Hello Meera,

That was beautiful. I understand your intimacy to your blog, even I feel the same kind of feeling towards mine..

Congrats for reaching 100. I was writing for more than four years, and still have not reached that magical number. It is appreciable that you reached that number within a fewer years, that too with quality posts..

The concerns you have raised in your blog regarding readership and the number of comments are every blogger's concerns, even though it would look silly to an outsider..

I used to read your blog with sincerity. though sometimes laziness used to hold me back during some periods, but still I had tried my best to be one..

Now some detective works..I understand you have made some of your posts hidden. because in the archives not all posts appear..

All the best!!

KParthasarathi said...

Congratulations on reaching a milestone.
Continue writing without break.You are doing an admirable job.
Your chronicles bring out social issues in forceful,trenchant and sometimes hardhitting manner.The choice of subjects are varied too.
But to me the tales blog is dear.You etch out the characters well,the stories have good plots and you narrate in very good style.You tend to be longwinding and some abridgement can be done without loss of charm
As Anil said there is no need to compare with other eminent writers.You have a distinctive style of your own.Writing gets honed only by practice.
I visit your two blogs unfailingly because I am drawn to them by their content and appeal

Swapna Raghu Sanand said...

Congrats Meera! It's an awesome milestone to reach and I can totally understand how you feel because I too started blogging to express myself freely and the first two years, I had very few readers or comments. The passion, the creative inputs and the hard work - all of it deserves a high 5, so to speak!

Looking forward to many more posts from you!

Meera Sundararajan said...

@ Christopher, you continue to be my "faithful" reader-thanks for that.. Hope one day you would also write a blog and I can comment on that. You would definitely write far far better than this!

@ Partha, I need to learn the art of editing. Working on it Sir! Please give me time :)

@ Tomz, I like your blog- I like the youthful spirit behind and I hope some day you are able to fulfil your desire to be detective story writer.

@ Swapna, thanks dear- your blog is also one of the good ones- I prefer quality to quantity. I often do not comment on blogs with over 25 comments because I realize that it would not mean much to the writer

anindita said...

Congratulations dear Meera.....and we love reading your post from both the blogs.

You leave us eaiting for more....

Congrats once again....

simply mee said...

I can so relate to this meera,becox i had written something similar last year,which i titled, 'BARING IT ALL!' Just as you highlighted about readers and commenters, i expressed my displeasure over some...how addictive blogging can be, and how i look forward to comments and counting it!..ahahhaa....m-e-hn! It also intrigues me how mundane issues get many comments, then i realized people like more of entertainment than intellectual thoughts...i mean, gossip, gist, tragedy...but if one writes an intellectual article on an issue, you would be surprised the comments are low!..ahahhaaa..i guessed maybe, people want something different from their dialy stress of living, to make them laugh, to make them feel they are not the only ones that have issues, and make them feel better.

But when i came back from my 'leave' i realized that it is better to have quality comments than quantity comments. The new style of comment box makes it easier to reply commenters which is encouraging on both part.

I do appreciate your visit to my blogs Meera.

simply mee said...

oh! I forgot. I had streamlined my blog roll. I follow the few meaningful blogs that i like. There is more in less than having so many blogs that seldom update, and does not have the courtesy to let the readers know they would be away.
Blogging is interesting when you have readers that encourage you with their matured or analytic comments.

An enjoyable posts that is thought provoking.

p.s what do you mean the unexpected ehn meera?? #don't like that type of talk#..we have many years ahead of us...ahahhaa {{hugs}}

Rachna said...

Congrats, dear! I have read your blogs off and on, but of late I've been more regular :). I quite enjoy your posts. Keep writing. To me blogging is always about writing what I want. It is nice to get comments but trust me like you I can see through the fake ones. One other benefit -- I've established some great relationships with some really good bloggers. Now, I wait for them to write irrespective of what they write :).

http://rachnaparmar.com

Meera Sundararajan said...

@ Simply mee you are a very friend - I may not be in Nigeria but I see life there through your eyes!

Meera Sundararajan said...

Thanks Rachna.. I guess with experience we can identify the false ones easily!

PURN!MA said...

err... you seriously shouldn't have said the "if I were to die" part... I am now wondering what will happen to my blog and Fb page!! God, I can be so lame at times!

Coming to the point, Congratulations on your 100 posts. It is commendable (let's give ourselves some pat on the back for tht) that we write. and so am I intrigued how people garner 100 comments for writing few and far. I do not mean the word count here... but I stumble upon many blogs that just lack matter consistently.

Anyway, why do I digress? I am here to encourage and congratulate you. I find your posts deep and very thought out. they aren't random or JLT posts. Even a light read post is well organised. There is a lot to learn from your way of writing.

Please continue writing and being an inspiration to many!

Cheers!

Bikramjit said...

A big big congrats to you on the century,, WOW, I remember when i wrote the 100th, it was a goof feeling although i made a joke of it and played a trick on all readers ..

Blogging has been so very good for me , I have made tons of friends so many ... I write what i want to write , on what i see and feel .. simple ..

All the best and hers more to come .. Take care

Bikram's

Rahul Bhatia said...

My sincere gratitude to you, Meera for those kind words! Crossing hundred was perhaps due eagerness to write and not any other reason in my case! You have maintained the flow like a quite flowing river:)

simply mee said...

Hello Meera, i gave you another LIEBSTER award, though, i knew you had one already, couldn't resist, becox i truly love your blog, and also TAG you in the game i call the ELEVENS..come on lets have fun in doing it..be expecting you.

Meera Sundararajan said...

@ Purnima- now you have given me another thing to worry about - what about MY facebook wall....!!


@ Bikram- thank you so much for your regular visits. I do visit yours regularly too but I am not as regular in my comments.

Meera Sundararajan said...

@ Simply mee, I am really touched! Thank you so much!

Kameshwari said...

I am enjoying returning to the You Tube presentation, Yeh Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaaye To Kya Hai .

Thank you for finding and including these treasures for us.

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