It was 7 years ago that I wrote my first blog post. Returning from a performance of Meera at Kamani auditorium, Delhi, I simply had to share how excited I was from the viewing experience. Living alone in a barsaati in South Delhi, friends who would share my tastes were not always easy to come by. So I ventured out writing about it all on the internet! I named my blog after my first book of poems, viz. www.lastbustovasco.blogspot.in.
As I look back on my first blog I feel the adrenaline surge through me as it did when I wrote the lines for the first time. I have not looked back since. With a modest 2 posts per month I was doing quite nicely. I drew my topics from the things I was doing. My Portuguese language classes at the Instituto Camoes spawned a blog post on José Saramago, the Nobel-prize winning novelist. A trip to Jamshedpur saw me posting my poems on Tatanagar and naxal-infested Dumka. ‘Goodbye Lalit’ was for Lalit an RTI activist who was murdered in Daltonganj in Jharkhand’s badlands and ‘Long Day’s Journey into Night’ was about a downspin when I could not sleep.
Sometimes I wonder what I would have written if I had started blogging earlier. With each blog post I wrote I grew in confidence. Knowing that I was ‘publishing’ my writing made me take it more seriously. I always asked myself, ‘Will someone learn something from this blog post?’ I never whined about things or people however gross they were. Down and out in my blog post titled ‘Until Yesterday’ I meditated on the safeda tree outside my room. Yes, my blog helps me to live life in a creative way. It is a diary which is accessible across the world. Some shrink from this realization, because it is like sharing your life with someone you do not know.
Queenie and me found each other through my blog writing. I am sure she read the anguish with which I wrote of my mum who passed away in ‘Happy Birthday Mum.’ We discussed my blogs together and she came to know the writer in me and the anchorage for my thoughts.
I always encourage others to begin creating and writing their own blogs. It’s a free service at www.blogger.com. I also write blog posts on topics which I think will benefit my students. In an open access e-learning world they are free to read it off-site instead of in the classroom. I’ve added recipes and book reviews, and black and white photographs of the family. Your own blog is a very convenient single source where you can archive your writing, your poems, and your thoughts.
FB and WhatsApp condemn people to be consumers of news. Blogging is more reflective. You hone your writing skills. You make the news in so far as it is relevant to you. You think for yourself. You don’t let others do the thinking for you.
Published in Gomantak Times Weekender St. Inez, Goa on Sunday 19 October 2014; pix source: www.prosperouscoachblog(dot)com