Minor Milestones….Major Changes.
So my blog has finally celebrated its sixth birthday. It’s now a frisky six year old kid. And I am the proud papa. Whoa. What a wake-up moment. I am now waiting for people around to tell me to act more responsible and grown-up as I am in charge of a six year old and shouldn’t set a bad example. Ok. With that, the proxy child analogies are out of the way and let’s get to the meat of it, or the bone of it or the whatever of it. Six years of running a single blog non-stop (or very nearly) is quite an individual achievement for me, because I have this unfairly deserved reputation of not sticking around anything for long. Hey don’t blame me, if I get bored I move on. Anyway, I remember my day challenging me long, long ago that “you will not last in a job for three months with your mouth”. Nothing wrong with my mouth of course, it’s just that when younger I was famous (or notorious- depending on whom you talked to) for mouthing-off. I had a comeback dialogue for every situation. I was a screen writer’s delight with my casually speaking punch dialogues. I always had to have the last line, the last laugh. All of which made me a hazard in the job market. And hence my dad’s pessimistic take on my professional prospects.
But hey, I grew up, I learnt to keep my mouth shut and allow the dialogues to just scroll through my brain and I finally fought the temptation off to have the last word. I learnt to let go. Which is a very valuable lesson to be taught to any six year old. So if my blog was a kid I would say to him “Son, it’s ok to sometimes laugh at absurd people inside your head, you don’t have to laugh out loud at them every time. So learn to control your emotions”.
Another lesson I can tell that six year old is that you need not be what you set down to be when you first started off. When my blog first started off it was, to be honest, a celebrity gossip site. I was one of the original brat pack of the millennium and was hell on wheels. The set I used to hang out (and party with) in those days were all celebs of a sort and even through the haze of my party fuelled lifestyle I couldn’t digest some of the things I saw taking place all around me. Which made me start up my blog as a kind of snarky, catty, gossip site where I could laugh out loud at all the absurdities I had participated in the previous night. That didn’t last long – neither that phase nor the tenor of this blog.
As I said earlier, I grew up, turned different and I decided to use my blog for more serious purposes like pontificating (on everything) to anyone who happens to come around for a visit. Nowadays I have an opinion on almost everything (yeah, this is where you call me an opinionated a**hole) and I use my blog as bully pulpit to mouth off. So my blog has now gone all respectable that I might even show it proudly to investors and ask for venture funding. Or show it to any prospective in-laws and ask for venture funding. Which is the same thing considering that ultimately I would be seeding control of the 51% (of my life) and get to have only minority vote in both cases- matrimony or angel investment. So that is another lesson to tell the kid “Son, things change fast and what you set out to be might not be what you end up as. Accept it and work with it”.
In the middle-thirds of my blog life, I wanted my blog to be unique and have an identity. Like every three year old I wanted attention and did my best to attract it. That’s when I discovered the lure of writing erotic stories and the amount of attention it would bring to my blog. Typical three year old behavior. And so I labeled my blog as “Chennai’s First Erotic blog” and started writing spicy stuff. That didn’t last long too. Writing erotica is fine when you do it for yourself, but to be constantly censoring it to make sure that no traces of your friends can be identified in the stories (face it, we all use our friends as characters in our stories don’t we?), well that was simply consuming too much time and sucking out the creativity. And like any three year old with a short attention span, that phase passed too and I simply stopped caring about statistics or page views or even who reads my blog. I simply write for myself now and yeah, before you ask it, that too- I read myself whenever I want to read an “intelligent and amusing” blog. Now go psycho-analyse that. Anyway that’s one more piece of advice to the kid “Son, it’s not what people want from you, it’s what you want out of life which matters in the long run. So stop preening to attract attention.”
And now to go back to the beginning of my blogging career. I used to read a lot of blogs even before I started blogging. I still do. I enjoy reading blogs because they give me the vicarious pleasure of living a dozen lives at once. I travel with them on travelogues, I eat with them on cookery blogs, I view movies on film review blogs and I go through all their emotional triumphs and failures in their personal blogs. Making friends, through regular comments on others blogs is an optional extra. Just the fact that I can lurk around and read them, helps me to walk a mile in their shoes and by broadening my vision, makes me take a good long look at my own life journey. As they say – wisdom is gained from others experiences and where better to get those experiences straight from the horse’s mouth than to read first person blogs? So that’s something more to tell the kid “Son, look around you. People teach you more than books. Learn to listen to different voices”.
And finally, through reading all those blogs I did realize something else. That educated people are not automatically wise people. There are lots of blogs with perfect language, grammar and diction, where you expect the blogger to be a highly intelligent individual but the blog is full of hate-spewing against others. There is a particular female blogger (from the garden city) I chanced upon a few years ago, a self styled feminist blogger who spewed hate against men all the time in her blog. Even in innocuous film reviews, she somehow seemed to find fault with the director and lead actors because they were born men. I even expected her to announce on her blog that she had killed off her dad (for being born a man) or her boss (for being born a man) or even assorted men who walked down the streets- for just being men. But I guess all the hate was just reserved for the blog and in real life she must have good relations with the men folk in her life. Likewise there are many other bloggers who show their prejudices online while pretending to be well balanced individuals in real life. So that’s a lesson to the kid “Son, don’t believe everything people say. Sometimes they just say it to impress or to shock, so develop a healthy skepticism. Take everything with a pinch of salt”.
I guess that’s all a six year old would have the patience to listen to, on one single sitting. So the lessons are over for the day and you are free to go outside and play.