It is one thing that the VHS cassettes and audio cassettes of my childhood are now obsolete and even unheard of, but it is when something that was introduced to me when I was already a mother goes obsolete that I really feel lost. Has it really been that long? Has that brand new world I discovered crumbled already? Whatever happened to the Indian blogging community?
It is spring cleaning that does all the damage. When I spring clean my room, I unearth books I bought with intention of reading and never got around to. Some of them find their way behind silk saris and some behind a pile of DVDs and it is sometimes almost a year behind I realize that I bought a book which seemed exciting when I first bought. It always makes me feel inadequate and inefficient. Can’t I even read?
Last month I decided to spring clean the “my folder” in my computer which is filled with PDFs and word/text files. Spring cleaning of digital data is something I hardly ever do. Wow, what a task that was. Like any decent human, my to-read, to-watch and to-do are bigger than have-read, have-watched and have-done. So far so normal. But the way a spring cleaning session can pull you into a different period of your life and shove the to-read list of another age is something else.
I had this list of blogs I was following with Google Reader. When Google decided to end the Reader’s unappreciated life, I downloaded the feed list and kept it aside until I found another feed reader. I even tried to use apps like Feedly to keep track of blogs that interested me. But that did not work out and the text file of blogs remain forgotten. I continued to keep track of a few writers like Baradwaj Rangan and Seema Goswami. But the other blogs were soon forgotten.
Some bloggers seem to have abandoned their blogs after other platforms like Twitter and Instagram seemed more happening. Some just ran out of topics to discuss. Others, no doubt, just gained more interest in the serene offline life that does not involve an Internet connection and a smart device. A handful of them even deleted the entire blog.
Other bloggers persist and I am glad that they do. Twitter always seems to resemble a crowded room where everyone is trying to showcase their talent and none is willing to listen. Facebook is like attending the wedding of a close relatives. It is where I politely smile and enquire after the health and whereabouts of friends and acquaintances. It isn’t a place I’d get too comfortable in.
Instagram felt like visiting a fair with different stalls and booths. It is okay, I guess. I uninstalled in about a week.
Blogs have a more lived-in feel to them. To me reading a blog is like visiting a personal garden with an open gate. Is the owner planning to show me his/her movie reviews or book reviews? Are they going to show how well they write poetry or their photography skills? Are you going to hear about their little precocious child’s growing years? You don’t know. You step in. You look around. I sit in a bench and breathe in the atmosphere they decided to cultivate there. Sometimes you decide to visit again. Sometimes you hate the aura, but still want to keep an eye out for the place. Sometimes you know that it wouldn’t be worth your while. Sometimes it seems like you have made a friend. It is then that you decide to ring the doorbell and let the blogger know that it was fun visiting them and you’d visit again if they kept writing.
I am listing some of the blogs I visit(ed) frequently. Some of them are good and some are so-so. One of them often feels like a train-wreck that I am unable to look away from. But each blog has its own unique feel to it.
Nothing can replace the blog world for me. Baradwaj Rangan’s blog always feels like home and my own blog is just a small flowerbed that I am experimenting with. But I love it when visitors drop in and notice. I love it when they consent to play my “Guess the song” game with me. I have visited non-Indian blogs. But I never frequent them. I never know why. So do you like my list? What do you think?
The Blogs that are still active
The Blog Roll that used to be active