It was in August last year, 29th to be exact, that I launched this blog. I chose the occasion of Onam, the biggest of Kerala’s festivals, to do it. It was due to the encouragement and help of Shikha that I ventured into this exciting and, to some extent, taxing venture. Shikha is also the one who told me about Indiblogger, of which I became a member, too. I did not know then how long I would be able to tread this path. But here I am, after a year, to declare proudly that I have completed one year of blogging. Sreejit, my son, commented after my first post, “You will love it”. And yes, I do love it. Except once, I have managed to upload at least one post every week during the past year. More than one, in some weeks. I thought it is a good idea to look back at the past year – the road I travelled, the people I met, the smiles I received, and the good wishes I collected. I made several more friends and renewed several old friendships.
I started with two posts on Onam, for those unfamiliar with the festival. These were followed by a post on the heavenly feeling of slow driving. A satire on the politics of price hike followed. It was then time for a few posts on my memoirs. The incidents on the uniform and that on my birth actually dripped from my heart. The three posts on neem (neem I, neem II, neem III) were addressed to those who are indifferent to nature that sustains human and animal life. Without nature, there is no existence for humans, however super they think they are.
I was surprised and happy to receive an invitation from The Writer’s Drawer to contribute to their website. The invitation came as a comment to the uniform. I contributed an actual story of the fight of a woman. The freak was prompted by a TV programme on children suffering from autism. I killed my daughter resulted from a personal experience. I was asked to prepare a proposal and then my boss slept on it for six months. I then withdrew the proposal. Monologue of an official is on corruption. Memoirs on Dr Akavoor Narayanan and Prof. Arithottam Parameswaran are my tributes to them. Both were my teachers without me being their formal student. They were also my close friends and guides and always encouraged me.
Wait for White was written several years ago, which was also published through The Writer’s Drawer. The poem I am a woman is a tribute to the victim of the December 2012 Delhi gang rape. I followed this up with another poem and three notes (one, two, three) on the same incident and related developments. An unusual gift is a story based on a true incidence where an actress let the birth of her daughter video-recorded for a movie. Minister without portfolio is based on a personal experience. I was invited to contribute an article which was later rejected ostensibly due to shortage of space, but actually, I believe, due to other reasons. The series of posts on Dr R.K. Pachauri (I, II, III, IV) were my personal experiences of working with him during my tenure of a little over 25 years in TERI.
My nephew Sujai married Ria who belongs to Kolkata. We had gone to Kolkata to attend their marriage. A note on this visit, my first to the city, was posted on my return. My first article is about my contribution of a small second-hand piece to our college magazine. This is special because that was the first time I ever saw my name in print. Posts on my memoirs included a three-post series (one, two, three) on my father’s illness (he suffered from cancer) and his passing away. Padasparsham kshamaswame is on the propriety to respect mother earth. The felling knife and the split personality are notes based on true incidents which made a sea-change in the protagonists’ character after an incident.
While most of the posts are my memoirs, I did try to respond to a few current social issues. Yes, this blog was initially conceived as a forum where I could post stories from my own life; stories that I have neither forgotten nor would forget even after several decades. In fact one of our old colleagues wondered if I was old enough to write an autobiography!
Initially my posts were normally read by people who knew me personally. But the small poem I am a woman, changed the scenario. It soon became the most popular post. But this was soon overshadowed by the posts on Dr Pachauri, especially the first in the series. This was more or less expected because I had sent the link to my former colleagues in TERI. After more than a year, this post has constantly remained the most popular.
I have been receiving very encouraging comments from my readers. The first-ever comment I received on my first post last year was from my nephew Vineet who has continued to put in his comments later too. I should specially mention here that Omy, my cousin and best friend, has commented encouragingly on several posts. Then there are several others who by comments, or personally, encouraged me. Many of them have said that even if they had not commented, they used to read my posts and encouraged me to continue writing. I would like to mention here that Mr Ramachandran Pillai, a published writer, happened to read my blog when Jayaprakash Bhatt, a mutual friend, forwarded the link to him. He used to call me nearly every time on reading a new post. Later on he started his own blog through which he teaches the correct usage of English language. Even now he remains my regular reader as several others. Immediately after going through the post, he points out mistakes, if there are any. I am grateful to him for his gesture.
The world of blogging is indeed a marvel for budding (at 58 years!) writers like me. You can express your views here which people acquainted with you, and sometimes even others, read. This is a comfortable way out, like thousands of other bloggers, who can’t expect to see one of their articles published in a newspaper or a popular magazine. There are stories of bloggers becoming published writers too. (Why should one be miserly while dreaming?)
May I now bore you with some statistics?
This has been a journey of 368 days, 67 posts, over 16700 page views, and over 520 comments (including my responses). I know this is nowhere near even a poorly popular blogger. But then, all freedom fighters cannot be Mahatma Gandhies, all batsmen cannot be Sachin Tendulkars or Donald Bradmans, or all social servants cannot be Mother Theresas!
Least views in a month (I am not counting the three days in August 2012) have been 991 in September 2012. After that it has been over 1000 every month. The highest number of viewers, 2442, was in March 2013. This was because the posts on Dr Pachauri appeared during February-March. I am glad and proud to say that Dr Pachauri, though unimaginably busy all the time, found time to go through the posts and also to comment on them.
All said and done, this has been a tremendously rewarding experience. And I plan to continue this as long as possible.
I hope to continue to receive constant encouragement from you.