NIP is a weekly podcast hosted by Shuveb Hussain and me. We pick vague topics and then, talk about (no prizes for guessing) nothing in particular. But I am sure that there is something in there for you. And you. And especially you there – looking as though someone just ran over your puppy. I hope that we can be a part of your car rides, water-cooler conversations, lunchtime discourses and late-evening introspections.
It is true that all good things come to an end. They simply must. Otherwise, bad things will happen. And then, we will be running around, as though fire ants were snacking on our brain tissues, wondering where it all went wrong.
If it weren’t for birds, I wouldn’t have met any of you. This blog is almost two years old. Some of you have been visiting me since the beginning. It’s the second longest relationship I have ever been in. I don’t know how special this has been for you. But, it has meant a lot to me.
I may not know all your names. Not everyone stops long enough to leave behind a comment. But a WordPress widget lets me know that you exist. And I am thankful for it.
At times, birds fly away quickly too. Even before we consciously share something beautiful together.
I remember a conversation I had with a friend about blogging a few years ago. I was making light of my attempts during the mid-2000s. In hindsight, I realized that I had made a few assumptions. One was that my older blogs were failures and the second – that the current one is a success. The third involved my friend’s nasal hair. I doubt if that is either a matter of interest or a point of concern for anyone else but him.
I jumped on the bandwagon sometime in 2004. For a decade, only a handful of people knew of it. I rotted away in digital elephant graveyards. I kept pretending that the lack of readership didn’t matter. I convinced myself that blogging was just a playground for writers.
A quiet place where we showcased our love for language. Shared our eccentric opinions on life. As if readers were predisposed to give a crap about it.
I used to write about birds and deduce parallel conclusions in relation to our lives. Lately, it’s been the other way around. I have been focusing on our dreams. The love we borrow. Some of the obstacles we face. The evil we are capable of.
I have shared a lot from my personal life too. The little things I do that makes me special; whatever I have been through that makes me so precious. Ugh. I just want to hug myself so tightly. So eagerly that I fall off the bed, or down a flight of stairs – like a panic-stricken Smeagol, and collapse into a smoldering heap of pain and despair.
But I will be okay. I know that karma can be cruel. I shifted the subject matter from birds to human beings. It’s only fair that now I have to drink soup through a straw for two weeks.
A few days ago, WordPress disabled my blog without any warning. It was gone and replaced with a tactless update about how I may have breached the terms and conditions. I cussed under my breath and wrote about five emails to WordPress Support. I had no idea why it happened. I thought perhaps they had frowned on the fact that some of my posts appear on Medium – a competitor in the free publishing platform industry.
After exporting the backup file to save my content, I went to the terrace to calm myself down and wait for an update. As the bluing skies hijacked my gaze, two things occurred to me. One is that I am jealous of my neighbour’s mango tree given the Rose-Ringed Parakeets it seems to attract. The other is that WordPress – as a free publishing platform – sucks.
As writers, we sometimes feel like members of an exclusive club. We can’t wait for others to ask us about what we do for a living. We wait, in baited breath, to nonchalantly talk about ecstasies and erroneous ways of being writer. We want people to believe it isn’t a big deal. However we secretly hope that they do.
At times, we get lost in our delusions of self-grandeur as a writer to the point that our writing abilities take a backseat. We stop trying to fine-tune our skills, and better ourselves in the process.