This is my three hundredth post, in http://pareltank.blogspot.com alone. My first blog was an accident, in the sense it began as an attempt to post a comment on Shamuel Tharu’s post in INSIGHT JOURNAL, the link of which was sent to me by who exactly I don’t remember. Being a novice at blogging and being an absolute technoignoramus (Which I still am) I created a blogger ID because I understood/misunderstood that comments were allowed only by bloggers. My first few attempts at creating a blog failed but I soldiered on. Every failure made me more determined. And finally Http://pareltank.blogspot.com was created. And wonder of wonders, the comment meant for the Insight journal appeared as my first blog!
It was from my son that I first heard about blogs and then I started reading them. I found them very exciting ‘cos there was an honesty in the blogsphere that we don’t find in any other form of writing that occupy public space. I read blogs voraciously for sometime, not for the quality but for the peep it afforded into the life and ways of people of all age groups, all walks of life from across the world. It offered a window to the other cultures, a window which opened out to a view not available hitherto in the pages of fiction or nonfiction, or research writing or even in movies. There are many many bloggers who create a virtual world which comes very close to life as it really is - without pretensions.
And then I started blogging. I’ve always loved writing but for some reason couldn’t really get down to it - possibly on account of a lack of confidence in myself, of a feeling that I didn’t have that spark in me which converts writing to journalism. Suddenly I realized that here, in the blogsphere, I am the supreme empress. Can write what I like, how I like. Didn’t owe anything to anyone but myself. And so I wrote, paying little attention to everything about the English language that was a pain in the neck.
Soon I realized that blogsphere, alas, is not my domain alone. People who read my blog expressed displeasure at my not crossing the Ts and dotting the Is. My husband was the loudest critic. Being a perfectionist, he admonished me for the typos, the lower case after the period, the errors that creep in when the only editing one does comprises a quick running the eyes down the post.
I hate editing and spending too much time over a piece once it is over. And I found here in blogspace, I could bring out a reasonably acceptable piece, once it is put through a spell check.
My advice to blogger (having written 300, I think I qualify to do it) – if you want to be a prolific blogger, don’t be obsessed with a finely chiseled piece. A spontaneous overflow of powerful emotions sometimes results in rambling, or unusually strong emotions and feeling. Let them be. Don’t pare them down. Spunk and truth might get pared off as what you perceive as trivia. The soul of the piece might get lost.
Soon I had regular blog visitors, about each of whom I formed my opinion. I looked forward to their comments everyday. Some of the most insightful comments came from my daughter who sometimes startled me delightfully with her honesty. All my blog visitors had something new to add to my post, and often opened my eyes to aspects I had been blind to. Yes. The interaction in the blogsphere was an education of sorts.
And I had the pleasantly strange experience of meeting my blogger friend in flesh and blood. Crisgirl or cris seetha. She was everything I thought she’d be. And more. A a petite, smart and soft-spoken girl who created an online community called tidycity.org is now contributing her mite to keep the Trivandrum city clean by sensitizing the people about the need to minimize littering. I attended a meeting she and the Tidycity members conduct in the Museum every Sunday. I was impressed by the commitment of this young group to a cause. And crisgirl is the brain behind it.
Finally, what has blogging done for me? Has it changed me?
I guess so, for it provided a platform to debate and sort out issues which you turn over and over in your mind and can’t get away from. I find that once I have posted a blog, I move on. Even if no one chooses to comment, it’s ok. I’ve got something out of my system.
And it gives me immense happiness that I can share the lighter side of life with my blog friends. Not that those post will go down in the history of cyber literature as works of art. But if they bring a smile on one face, it’s mission successful.
I discovered with some surprise, that despite being a regular blogger, I’ve revealed nothing of the real me. I‘ve let the world know only what I wanted it to know. The real me is scrupulously kept out. Will I get the courage to write about it? Why am I so hesitant about demystifying myself?
Perhaps I’m afraid it’ll be like peeling an onion, and the loser would be none other than myself!