3 years, 283 posts, 2,07,006 words…

3rdBirthday… later, its blogversary time. Yes, My Favourite Things turned 3 years old today and I feel a mix of pride, surprise, relief and so many other emotions right now.

You see, writing is not instinctive for me like music and art are. For me, writing is a laborious process and I have spent almost my entire lifetime avoiding writing beyond the essentials — homework, school essays, reports, letters, dissertations, etc. have been sincerely done. But that’s about it. I’ve never maintained a diary, even an appointment diary !

I must confess here that I’m quite envious of people who declare that they always knew they wanted to write, and also those bloggers who declare that it took them “just half-an-hour” to write a blog post.

So why did I start blogging? Mainly because I wanted to prove a point to myself by doing something out of my comfort zone, but also because I was bored. So Year 1 of blogging was all about getting comfortable with writing, exploring and experimenting with topics and writing styles, etc. Though writing still did not come easily to me, I had fun conceptualising and then writing post after post. It was hugely satisfying to see my thoughts take shape in the words I wrote.

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Blogger vs. Blogger

This is a true story.

Once upon a time there were two bloggers — Nilam and Sandy. Of course, these two were not the only bloggers in the world; just the protagonists of this story. Though Nilam and Sandy wrote about very different topics, they had the greatest regard for each others’ writing styles. They would visit and comment on each other’s blogs, and over time became good blog friends.

One day, Nilam asked Sandy to write a guest post. Sandy readily obliged and submitted a post to Nilam, who edited it before publishing it. The guest post was well received, which made both Nilam and Sandy very happy.

A year went by. It was a year which saw both blogs registering a substantial increase in appreciation from their readers. It was also a year where both Nilam and Sandy continued writing regularly as well as, reading and commenting on each others’ blog posts. Life went on.

Last month something happened to change all this.

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Ayyo Rama ! Chori pakdi gayi

Last week, I came face to face with the unsavoury and ugly side of blogging. I became the target of an orchestrated effort at harassment or cyber bullying because I dared to post an unflattering review of I, Rama: The Age of Seers by Ravi Venu. Among other things, I got accused of:

  • not having read the book at all,
  • author bashing,
  • Kutram kandu pidithe peyar vangum pulavar or seeking fame by means of pointing out or capitalising on other people’s mistakes,
  • writing a bad review with a catchy title for getting more traffic on my site,
  • being cynical and nit-picky to the point of exaggeration,
  • forcing my views on others.

And oh ! I also got called a hot-shot blogger/writer/reviewer. But since the tone was sarcastic, I can safely assume that the commenter did not mean what she said. :-) But I am getting ahead of myself, and as with all narrations please allow me to begin at the beginning.

Last Tuesday, I woke up feeling a little sleep deprived and, therefore, grumpy. The reason? I had stayed up past midnight to to finish writing and posting my review of I, Rama. The book, in very polite terms, was not up to the mark and I had struggled to finish reading it, and then write its review. Of course, it would have been perfect if I did not have to write a review at all, but since I had received the book as part of the Blog Adda Book Review programme, I had to write one.

A shower, a mug of coffee and a hearty breakfast took care of the grumpiness, and soon I was on my way to work. My 30-minute commute had me mentally reviewing my workload for the day and think about the review that I had posted. But, once I reached office, it was only thoughts of work and with my usual cheerful frame of mind I settled down for a regular day at my workplace.

Come evening, I wasn’t feeling cheerful or even excited as I usually do on the day I publish a blog post. Instead, I was feeling bewildered and a more than a little upset. The “Charge of the Harassment Brigade” had struck.

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2 years, 202 posts, 1,46,401 words…

It’s celebration time on My Favourite Things as it turns two today. :-D

A celebration of a blogging journey that began tentatively with a post on the Bandra Fort in Mumbai on 2 June 2010. A celebration of a journey whose last (more confident) halt, was a post on bloggers met, almost met and not yet met on 31 May 2012. The posts in between have explored all the things that I am passionate about: travel, books, musicmy beloved Mumbai, and much more. In other words, My Favourite Things. Initially, I found my hastily named blog and its URL highly unoriginal and silly. I mean, who would name their blog “My Favourite Things” ! But today, I feel that I could not have chosen a more apt name as this blog truly reflects all my favourite things and multiple things I am interested in!

Join me as I take you through my blogging journey of 2 years with a focus on the highs and a couple of lows of year two, with some trivia thrown in as well. :-D

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Of bloggers met, almost met and not met …

There I was minding my business in the blogging world. Writing posts regularly, replying to comments received on my posts, visiting other blogs, commenting on the ones I liked, promoting my posts on twitter, FB and whatnot. Mulling over site stats, etc. All waz well in my little blogging world.

Then one day, this self-made equilibrium in my blogging world shifted. I left a comment on a discussion thread in a blog forum. And got a response from a blogger I had been secretly admiring from afar. I responded. To which I got another response. And so on and so forth. Soon I de-lurked on her  blog and, I guess, she on mine. We started exchanging the occasional mail. One day, this blogger wrote to me saying that it would be nice to meet up and asked me if there was a chance of my visiting her part of the world. And as coincidence would have it I was due to visit her part of the world in October 2011. I said yes, and we fixed a mutually convenient date to meet up.

But then apprehension set in. Did I really want to meet a fellow blogger offline? Weren’t bloggers supposed to interact only online? And so on and so forth. I had second thoughts, third thoughts, and then some more thoughts as well. But then, curiosity to meet this particular blogger prevailed and if you had been around Dilli Haat in New Delhi on 13 October 2011 around 11.30 am, you might have seen me waiting for this blogger.

I was excited and nervous at the same time, and wondering how on earth I would recognise her as I had no clue as to what she looked like. Even though I was familiar with her rather distinctive Gravatar of a belan-wielding woman, I doubted if she would actually come to meet me with one. :-D Yes, I was meeting Zephyr, a.k.a. The Cyber Nag.

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1 year, 99 posts, 70,338 words…

A little over a year back, I started a blog. This blog, to be precise and on 2 June 2011 My Favourite Things celebrated its first blogoversary. :-)

Looking back, it’s actually surprising that I started blogging. You see, I didn’t have too high an opinion of blogs—I found many of them narcissistic, self-obsessed, and opinionated. But what irritated me the most was bad language and a complete disregard for spellings and punctuation. My dislike for blogs was so great that I got into a rather heated and completely unnecessary exchange with a close friend about blogging and bloggers. The poor guy had just started a blog and I jumped down his throat with a “Not you too!”, and said many things better not shared here. Once again, I’m sorry, Aniruddha.

My Favourite Things is actually my third blog, and currently the only active one. My earlier two attempts at blogging (you can read them here and here), were done under duress. Both were assignments as part of my postgraduate coursework, which I would have failed if I did not complete those blog assignments. I didn’t take to blogging happily. I grumbled and pouted and researched and cursed and wrote and rewrote and edited and re-edited and published blog post after blog post for the assignments. But something changed during those 3–4 months of assignment blogging. I discovered that I enjoyed writing, and what’s more, I could write too ! The grades and feedback that I received for the blog assignments only confirmed what I felt.

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