Wednesday, 28 March 2012

A time to make amends

In starting this blog, I am undertaking several risks. The first of these is what you'd term as self- dignity.

Flashback to January 2009. It was my first quizzing trip, to Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology (MNNIT). Somewhere along the journey, on the bus to New Delhi, I had the definitive opportunity to meet a real life blogger. Until then the concept of writing for no cause seemed to be as pointless as a half-fry without bun-butter.

I must emphasise the importance of what follows. To give you an idea, let us momentarily skip back a few centuries to the Renaissance. When Leonardo da Vinci was toiling over his brass horse, he made it using the standard practices of the day. Making any brass sculpture was preluded by an exact clay replica which contained all the little details the artist wanted to incorporate. In a literal sense, therefore, you need to know where you’re going. Sometimes you get an exact replica, quite often you have to make do.

Even the greatest artists needed a model to train themselves over.

And that applies for us mortals too- we like to have a model in front of us, only that it takes the shape of ideals and morals, role models and ambitions, and other remnants bestowed by our evolutionary predecessors. 

So here's a snippet of the ensuing conversation:

Battula: Hey, ra, so how's your blog doing?
Murtha: Pretty good. It's getting more popular by the day [sic].

In case you're wondering about the veracity of that statement, check exhibit A. 

That day, that singular moment convinced me at heart never to write a blog in my life. I have only managed to get over this stubborn resolve after 3 years of living on.

Then there's the whole issue of content. The question is, why would anyone read my blog? What can I add to the simply overwhelming body of literature, of science writing and of philosophers and pun-sters that can allow me to carve out my own niche? 

Some very close friends tell me that their blog is their own personal diary which they maintain for the sole purpose of keeping hold of their thoughts, something like Dumbledore's pensieve. Then why do they keep it public? Why don't they maintain it on Word or in an actual paper diary? Surely, you can't write all your thoughts in the public domain. No one does that. Your thoughts then are in grave jeopardy of being lost for eternity. 

Why does one maintain a blog?

I've spent several years mulling over this question. In this time, I have consciously avoided all further blog posts from my friends, a few occasional peeks notwithstanding. I've seen enough to know people who load their writing with heavy deadweight words, others with a queer style of old school English and, to be fair, a few good reads by people I hold in high esteem.

I think I have an answer now. It has something to do with the Rime of the Ancient Mariner. You need to tell your story. You need to unload your experiences to someone. Being a recluse offers scant comfort to the part of you that wants to grab the attention of the masses.

This then, shall be a brief account of my life's story. I intend it to be a blog which carries more information in it, something which I am sure Shannon would appreciate. I would also like it to function as a critique of the expansive amount of literature that I read daily and also to include other things that interest me. This is a space devoted to you, reader, whoever you are. It is time to set the record straight. It is time to make amends.