This blog is nine years old today!
It’s been a long, long time. Almost as long as the UPA has been in power, and decided to reverse all the decisions of its predecessor and tried ousting the NDA-appointed erudite, visionary director of NITK, who then realized he’s better off going back to IITD because, well, hostile work environment. Most people who google for ‘NITK’ these days and land up here would probably not even know that shameful bit of history.
It hasn’t been a plural ‘Numbskulls’ here for quite a while now, but I’m not sure I should change the name given all the stuff I learnt a long time ago at NITK about brand names and recognition and things like that.
That apart, what else is new? Well, I’ve changed. Or so I thought. Until the guy who’d inspired me to begin blogging ten years ago, who I’d lost touch with, got back in touch and said my style and opinions were the same as back then. I was kind of downed that so much personal development had gone unnoticed, but heck, I have a style? Who knew! Well, Allen Mendonca is no longer with us, but well, looks like I’ve followed the advice he gave me back in high school, I guess, and hope he’s happy seeing that from up there.
I’ve moved cities now. It’s a different life where I’m not blogging not because I’m out prowling the streets, but because the job I love keeps me busy. I discover I have multiple identities and I express myself in each of those in different fora, some of which don’t include this blog. It’s also gone from no one reading blogs, from there being so many different fora to promote your blog.
Content is now streamed, not organized in a way you find what you’re looking for. It’s really a new media from the niche RSS used to fill, and it does take some getting used.
I realize we’re all a lot more concerned about privacy and other things. As an undergrad at NITK, I really didn’t care about the attention, because any attention was good attention, and I was who I was. And if you were a student, everyone thought of you as a person, with dreams and desires and opinions and no one expected any conformity with any of that. I didn’t quite mind being recognized by people who I’d never met. The big bad world isn’t quite the same. People are judged, discriminated against and fired from their jobs for having opinions every day. You don’t anymore have control over who gets to see which side of your personality if you put it out online. I want to have a discussion with people about bayesian nonparametrics without them knowing my opinions on abortion and populism. I’d like to volunteer at an animal shelter without everyone I work with being aware of my being bitten by a dog in undergrad. People judge me for the lamest things in real life, and I’d rather that not have my blogger personality be a part of that.
BUT I realize the advantages my online persona has. I’m more assertive here than I come across in real life, and I usually find people who know me online first before meeting me treat me slightly better. I’d totally love to have some cred to reference whenever I’m meeting anyone professionally or for a hobby, but I might possibly not want my extended family to find my improv clips or the ladies I knit with finding some hard opinionated stuff I might have written a few years ago….. but if I’m submitting a piece to a newspaper, I’d love them to find the same opinionated pieces.
It’s a messed up thing now with no easy way to compartmentalize the different sides of your persona. But we live with it, I guess, with someone high up in the hierarchy breaking the ice with you with ‘So I hear you write sketches….’.
I’m really glad to have gotten into writing fiction this year, and I’m hoping it shows up in big ways in the near and distant future, because I realize I really enjoy spinning yarns and building worlds, though I’m not really that good at it, and it is a painful process to try when I can’t, but it feels really awesome when it does work out. Just like coding, I guess.
There’s very little going on currently in the realm of future plans. It feels like I’m where I’d planned to be, and that’s a great feeling. And there’s this feeling of ‘now what?’, that isn’t yet gnawing at me, and possibly won’t be gnawing at me for a while to come. I like this.
So what’ll this blog be now this year? Last year, I realized I don’t have much to blog about. This year, I kind of have fiction. And there’s more in the pipeline. That’s good enough for now. Watch this space for creative stuff. Or so I hope!