Hello world!

Avignon

And so, finally, I have decided to take the plunge — of writing my first blog — and let it be all out there in the whole wide world for everyone to see and comment upon.

How does it feel, someone might ask. Very scary!!

  • As scary as taking the first dip in the cold cold waters of the fast flowing Ganges at Rishikesh in the chilly winter months.
  • As scary as entering the examination hall, knowing fully well that Chapter 9, which you had skipped revising, was part of the syllabus and would surely have questions adding up to perhaps 50% of the total.
  • As scary as being on the stage for the first (and you know in your heart of hearts that it is going to be the last) time with a Sukumar Ray poem that is all of three paragraphs long and all that you remember now is that the poem is somehow related to a duck and a porcupine.

Or perhaps even scarier.

I do not know how the idea of writing a blog entered my mind. Maybe the fact that technology today provides a relatively easy platform to publish whatever one wants to write with virtually no financial barriers to entry. Or it could be a latent desire to test if there is anything remotely connected to a writer in me. Perhaps it is the silent encouragement from a friend of mine who has ventured into short stories and novels and is doing an amazingly good job.

Writing in itself is not too difficult — at least not gob-smackingly difficult if the readership is limited to you. Penning an entry in one’s diary, for example. You know that you can pour your heart’s emotions on that white page in whatever way you want, grammatical and logical errors notwithstanding, and the page will ring absolutely honest and true, as charming as the pealing of church bells on a crisp winter morning in the town square, whether you read your entry the next day, month, year or indeed, at the end of your life. Writing in such cases is easy enough. What makes it difficult, grueling almost, is when you write and the entire world can read and comment upon it. I have seen a few videos uploaded onto You Tube by people in all sincerity, and the kind of scathing comments that some of them have attracted. These musical lovers would surely think long and hard before venturing to upload a few more examples of their musical aspirations, I presume.

On the other hand, it may not be as frightening as it seems at first — and that is because of the nature of technology today. Even though anyone can read your blog, it is not in the same league as public speaking, which, to quite a few, is akin to standing on a pulpit and getting ready to be pelted with rotten tomatoes and past-expiry-dated eggs which the local garbage dump had refused to accept. At least here, in the case of blogs, one can hide behind a veiled profile, and any pummeling by the general reader, if any, could be deftly deflected by the wall of anonymity. This is very reassuring and reassurance is what I need the most at this critical juncture. The feeling of bungee jumping without checking if the rope is securely shackled to a strong base seem to be slowly going away and I can breathe again!

There are probably hundreds of thousands of regular bloggers who have not graduated beyond a couple of posts with readership limited to close family members and friends, and who, gratuitously perhaps, sing paeans about the “hidden talent” of the blogger in question and how it now needs to be showcased to the world. Maybe mine will meet the same fate. I hope not, and I will strive not to fail, but strangely, the prospect of readers limited to family and friends seems quite comforting today. So slowly, tentatively, I will dip my feet in the raging waters and hope not to loose my footing immediately.

With that resolved, I need to decide on what to write about. I have no clue at all! I do not fancy myself as an expert in anything that has not already been dissected, discussed and explained to the nth level of granularity in innumerable papers, books and articles. My reading interests span from fiction (short stories, novels and mystery), and science fiction through to history, science, and politics. It is glaringly obvious that my writings will belie categorization. And it best remain that way. Perhaps a bit of this and that – a bit of fiction with a dash of nostalgia and a pinch of travelogue. A kind of mishmash of events experienced and emotions recalled in tranquility. Of expectations from the future. And of everything in between.

I am myself surprised at my audacity — I ring out loudly and confidently with a “Hello World”.  Welcome to my secret little garden. Let me tell you a little story….

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