Friday, September 09, 2005


HP, Indian Express Building, Bangalore

The first diary i wrote was more than a dozen years back. I do not remember what inspired me then to continue it meticulously for a year, for there was nothing secret about and in it. The diary was meant to be accessible to all, and contained factual descriptions of a lot of things that happened around me - cricket scores at our ground, visitors at home, sometimes newspaper headlines, and so on.

That also happens to be the last daily diary of that i wrote. Again I do not remember hoiw it suddenly ended, though i would like to beleive it as a time when i decided i've had enough of being too regular. The problem with conventional diaries is that the blank pages in between expose how idle you are. Maybe I did not want to have blank pages, and ended up having no diary.

Soon postal letters took the place, and i really enjoyed them. Now the reader was no longer anonyous, and i could tailor the facts accordingly. Maybe it was the first time i started thinking about what others would love to read. The feedback for your words would come in the reply, and it was eagerly awaited. The scope was much greater- . the letters had in them the past, the present, and the unknown future, with the facts sometimes adulterated and decorated. They taught me to use words with sensitvity and emotion and i enjoyed the exercise.

A couple of years later, and i was doing my bachelors then, the number of letters that i wrote and received started coming down. Most of the time were spent with friends around and there were a lot of interesting things happening. Letters written then would have been much more eventful and colourful, but as it happens almost always, you are too much immersed in life to have any time to record it. There were oments of regret too, as i realized that i was oving farther from the old freinds at an interesting stage in life. However it could not be reversed and in my final semester there, i did not write a single letter.

Then, we came to Bangalore's IT industry and the email came to us. Simple and powerful. Instantaneous delicery. The quick replies. Less effort. The flexibility - choice of how may and who to send to, the groups, the forwarding. There was a slight loss of individuality however, the hand-writing and the corrections, but it was more than compensated by the fact that people, who had never written letters, started writing emails and some of them were quite a joy to read. I loved the variety in the words and became an ardent fan of diversity. There were emails of love and hatred, of importance and mischief, of facts and fiction, of fun and gloom, of dreams and reality, of boredom and excitement and so on. Contacts with many old friends could be re-established and reading and writing emails became fun and an integral part of life.

But unlike the letters and the diary, the email had a much shorter life. Rarely were the emails re-read, and it became difficult to search and locate esome of the more interesting ones given the quantity of emails that were in the inbox. Also it was a time, in my final semester at masters, when i'd re-started serious reading, and my love for words was growing. In an attempt to preserve some of my diary-like emails, i put them on a webpage. By this time, the reproduction of event in words had gained an identity which was quite different from the event itself, and there was always distortion of facts in an aim to make it interesting.

Last week, two years after the webpage, i got an email saying that the server which hosted the pages will no longer be available. It is a signal for a change, and so here i'm blogging for the first time, and hoping to enjoy it. Looking forward to writing more and getting some comments too. I plan to put some old ones, which were on the webpage that is no longer there, with the correct dates if possible, so you might find some blogs dated older than this one.

That's long enough for the first!



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