Sunday, October 28, 2012

100th Post: Celebrating four years of blogging

Before I start, I must ask you to first wish my bloggy a very happy 4th birthday. This is the first time her birthday is being celebrated and she's very particular about being compensated for all the neglect so far. You will, I'm sure, help me in making her feel special. And that's simple actually. We both are pretty undemanding people (asking you to read long posts isn't asking much, is it?). Just say 'happy birthday' with a big smile. My blog, like me, loves people who smile a lot. Say it, c'mon.


Happy Birthday :)

With only 100 posts, 37 followers and just 18,000 page views in 4 years, I know I haven't much to be proud of really, but pride is the last thing on my mind right now. This celebration is not of my achievements, rather this post will be all about the importance of writing, and the very important role of blogging in my life. Hell yes, this blog DOES mean a lot to me.


 I was still in school when writing manifested itself as a 'need'. It was during the peak of my adolescence-problems and in retrospect, had a major role to play in maintaining my sanity. But it was as unexpected as it came. I mean, I had been writing and enjoying writing, since always, but never had I felt this urge to pour my heart out on a sheet of paper or a blank screen. I had always been the English teacher's pet but whatever I used to write never came across, to me, as 'it-had-to-be-written-for-me-to-continue-living'. I was a good writer for my age and had won a couple of district level essay competitions, apart from the many school level ones, but it was for the first time towards the end of 2008 that I started discovering another part of me that cared only for writing for herself. I became regular in writing journal and instead of noting down everything that had happened during the course of the day, I focussed on a single event/emotion/person. Gradually, I realised I had been writing superb tear-jerking material and felt good while re-reading my entries, the sentimentalist that I am.

Then came into my life this person who introduced me to the blogosphere. Debadrita was her name and though I'm not in touch with her anymore (she disappeared from orkut and facebook and that's where we had came to know each other) I still count her as the sister I never had. Apart from doing many other things that have made her, for me, what she is, she not just encouraged me rather pushed me into starting a blog of own. This was because, believe me, she was impressed by a comment of mine on one of her blog posts!

Now I didn't make a very good job of my first blog post. Or the first few. I blush when I look at the blog posts in my first 2 years of blogging, both due to the writing style and the choice of content. But I'm also amazed at how beautiful the journey has been. Outwardly, I may not have achieved much but inwardly, I know I have grown by leaps and bounds. On a second thought, if you look at the right sidebar, you will realise that 48 posts of the 100 have come in 2012. Also, I started advertising my blog only last year (Before that I guarded the web address of my blog zealously for reasons I'm not inclined to say aloud.)
That might explain the not-much-to-boast-about figures. Anyways, this blog has chronicled and also been one of the contributors in my coming of age. 'On-a-journey-of-discovery' was the theme of my 1st post and that, I realise now, is also turning out to be the theme of this 100th post.

In moments of extreme emotions, this blog has been my single, devoted companion. In moments of agony and in moments of ecstasy, it has seen all my colours and has shown me all my colours. I have confessed here; accepted unacceptable feelings here and I have dared to love myself here. Here I have been given reasons to believe in myself. And here it is that I came to discover myself.

Earlier the posts were all journal like. At some point in life, suddenly catharsis had proved itself to be super therapeutic for me and catharsis in front of an audience that didn't have set ideas about me was liberating. I didn't mind writing down silly stuff that no one would read. Some people must come across it randomly and must happen to read, that's all I knew. And I knew the few people who were reading me didn't know much about me to be shocked by what I wrote. I didn't have to be the elder daughter of my father or the good girl in the school when I blogged. That was all the fuel I needed. Now I didn't really write anything very provocative but going by the need for approval I had developed in those last two years in school, it was daring to write the things I did, when my family did have chances to chance upon my articles.

Juggling PCMB in 12th with addiction to literature with expectations of getting through AIPMT wasn't easy. Blogging suffered, expectedly. And then too many things happened too soon. A slew of unexpected events followed the bleakest two years of my life and most noteworthy of all, having cleared PMT prelims without coaching, I was given the ticket to 'life'.
I landed in Delhi University to study Psychology (read: to prepare for civil services).
The wounded soldier that I was, I set about drowning in my subject to firmly plant my feet in academics and show the doubting Thomases of my extended family that I still had some little interest in studies left. I topped college in 1st year and was reinforced in my hard work. I was back into blogging, yes, but was still cautious of not wandering too much.
But a little birdie, one fine day told me that a particular person used to follow my blog. At that point of time, this was exactly the kind of incentive that was needed. I started writing with more consistency and even advertised now, having realised during the fest season in the university that I was actually a good writer. A website (Critical Thinkers; now dead) accepted my application and things started looking up.

 When it couldn't have been any better, I topped the university in 2nd year, and with a margin that told me I could multitask without guilt after all. Closely followed the association with SoundSmartAbout and the discovery that I could write the kind of articles I find myself writing for them now. I started working hard for my articles, in doing research and actually editing and re-editing several times, and I definitely like knowing that I can write more than melancholy poetry or syrupy love stories or angry social commentaries. To go by Divya's words, who is one of the founding members of the website, and one of SSA's ex-editors, and a good friend, "I am surprised. In an absolutely refreshingly good way. Reason: Sudha used expletives! and duh! and entertaining snippets! It's good to find that you've got a Bad-ass instinct throbbing behind your empowered pen."

Hence has my writing evolved; hence has writing chronicled my evolution.
Or blogging should I say? Yeah, that would be more accurate.


In this journey, I had the good fortune to get acquainted with some really good writers (and human beings) who also read my works and made me feel good about my writing. I got to read soulful poetry, thought provoking social commentaries and unforgettable fiction. I learnt a lot, from these people and their works and grew as a writer and a blogger. Some have become friends, and some, more than friends.

That this blog could connect me to other people and could get me support and inspiration in times of need is what separates blogging from writing for just myself.


Right now, as I conclude this post, the only word playing in my mind (alongwith a heady cocktail of many different emotions) is CHANGE. The beauty of unpredictability, the genius of God, the serenity in having faith that things will turn out to be good in the end, and the sheer enigma of destiny...for the first time in life, it is now that I experience the intoxication of going with the flow. And my blog will keep you updated on whatever noteworthy happens in the life of this favorite child of destiny.

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”

If right now I'm in love with life, it is largely due to the magic of WORDS. My blog, hence naturally, means so much to me.

6 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday Sahoo's ambitious blog :D
    Yea, that's a transferred epithet. How could the transfer not be apparent? ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My ambitious blog says thanks :D
      And your transferred epithet remark reminds me of your question to RK Ma'am and her answer: "Just being cute" :P

      Delete
  2. Your writing is but "Jewel a treasure indeed" that on the stretched fingers of the time sparkles forever....:) O:) Keep wielding your golden pen.......:)

    ReplyDelete
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Hey there! Your comment might prove to be just the push needed for me to write more frequently and with a bit more thought and planning. Do take out a minute or two and tell me what you felt about this blog or this post of mine and any suggestions you think might prove to be useful. Your comment is highly awaited...