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?)