Friday, January 20, 2012

The Bloggers Guilt

By a blogger for a blogger

Diary Entry – 40

Life has been hard the last few months. I have several things to juggle - application for masters, Project work and other things which keeps my hands full. But what I do instead is login to bloggers and type away some crazy shit like this. When I am blogging a voice inside my head says the following:

“Yeah go ahead. BLOG. They should write a management book, about prioritizing, based on your life” *sarcasm*

So what happens is I feel terribly guilty about blogging and close my browser half way, with the hope of doing something useful and productive but end up watching an episode of some soap opera. Previously the voice in my head had only good things to say whenever I blog, but all that changed when I attended this job interview.

Interviewer: What are your hobbies?

Me: I write sir. (Nothing else actually counts. Watching television, texting your text buddies no no)

Interviewer: Oh what do you write?

Me: Sir I have written for my college magazine, I have been an editor blah blah

Interviewer: That is not really an example if you say writing is your hobby. Hobby is when you do something in your spare time.

Me: I also have a blog. (What else was I supposed to say?)

Interviewer: Oh you have a blog? How much time do you spend on this Facebook?

Since when did Facebook become a blog? And how will you answer that question? Sir I visit facebook once a month? He asked me a question that had no right answer. So I said:

Me: Sir. I don’t have a Facebook account.

When the results of the interview came out, I knew that was not the right answer. I have been thinking how blogging is productive and how it is different from facebook, ever since. That is how the guilt started.

But you shouldn’t take the word of an old man on technology. It is the problem with people who are in their sixties. They confuse shit. You will often find someone that age, tell you that blogging is a waste of time. They will have no idea what it is to begin with. The other day an uncle who lives in my colony told my mom that he wanted me to come to his house. He had something to teach me. My mother thought he was going to give me lessons on spirituality. She kept bugging me to go. This is what happened when I went there,

Me: Hello Uncle. How are you.

Uncle: Oh hey. I wanted to show you something I learnt in the computer. The computer is on, come on.

He is going to show me something on the computer that I don’t know already? May be he is a SEO or a web designing guru. Wow I never knew.
I went and sat near his computer.

Uncle: You know how much I love videos and music?

Me: Yeah?

Uncle: I found this awesome site which has so many videos and songs. It is fantastic.

Me: uh?

Uncle: It is called Youtube.

Me: :| (WOW)

Uncle: I will show you how it works.

Me: Uncle I know how it works.

That is when I realized uncle was deaf.  He could not hear a thing I said.

Uncle: These videos will cost me some 60 – 70Rs if I got them as CDs outside. Here I can get it for free.

Me: I see. :| (Shaking my head)

Uncle: You know you can download these videos also.

Me: Yeah I know.

Uncle: I will show you. Here is a thing which is called IDM.
For the next half an hour he explained how to search videos in YouTube, how to play them and then download them. We spent the next half an hour watching videos of old Hindi songs in HD. I should be given a medal for patience.

It will be fun to be an old man who tortures his grandchildren with long lectures about Youtube. But just hope you are deaf so that you cannot hear your own grandchildren cursing you.  

If we become old and tell our grandchildren that we had a great blog when were young, we can expect a reaction similar to the one I gave my colony uncle when he told me about Youtube. It really is no big deal to have a blog. What is so productive about it? Maybe it is unproductive to a lesser degree when compared to watching soap operas and facebooking. But it is still a waste of time none the less.

I still chose to write shit like this over doing something else, because it is fun. But the guilt that comes with blogging when you have other important things to do is equivalent to the guilt a married man gets when he is cheating on his wife – you are not supposed to be doing this because someone (or in this case something) is more important than this. So an hour ago I took this questionnaire about blogging, that a fellow blogger made me take. There was this question on how important the number of readers were for me. It used to be very important for me before when I started blogging. But with the kind of comments that some of you give to my blog post, I think why in the world you people exist. I write a blog post about something and one blogger will give me a comment saying “Nice”, as if my blog is a girl’s ass or a costly sports car. People like that usually don’t read anything  other than the title. They expect you to read their blogs in return for the great comment they left. If you have a blog with readers like that, you should feel even more guilty that you are writing stuff for such losers to comment on. 

But I guess life is all about doing what you love and what makes you happy and if blogging makes you happy like it does in my case then that is reason enough to feel good about blogging.

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

How to get rich quick

Diary Entry – 39

Ever since I grew my teeth and started to eat solid food, my parents have tried everything to try to teach me the value of not wasting food. At first they tried to be strict. They wanted to see their face in my plate after I finished eating. I sat there from afternoon till evening. My mother finally asked me to move because she was worried I will start attracting flies.

They brought god in next to help make me eat. I was told people who did not waste their food became intelligent because god himself is inside ever grain of rice. That failed to convince me because the fattest guy in my class always got the last rank. Persuasion, intimidation and even hope for divine intervention had failed. Guilt was the next thing they tried on me. I was told sad stories about children in Sudan and how they struggled to get even a small grain of rice. Though it did nothing to make me eat, I started to feel bad for people who beg and live without food.

So when I see people begging, I tend to drop a coin. I have to travel by an express train everyday to go to my project place. Begging is so common there and you will find a lot of people with sticks and black cooling glasses singing sad songs. When I saw one of these beggars in the train, I dropped a ten rupee note in his bowl. My friend came close to my ear and whispered, “ARE YOU CRAZY”. I explained to him why I hold on to my coins because the bus conductors threaten to throw me out of the bus when I don’t have proper change for the ticket. My friend asked me if my parents did not tell me to not entertain beggars as they are all a bunch of frauds and crooks. I told him how my parents made me listen to depressing sad stories of children from Sudan during every meal. He told me stone faced that India was not Sudan. I realized what he meant during dinner.

That day was the last time I gave money to a beggar. During dinner, my mom asked me if I knew the price of rice. Another vain effort of hers to try to make me eat properly, I thought. She told me that the price of ration rice in Chennai was 2 Rupees per Kg. She told me that with the amount we eat, we could last for months with just four or five rupees if we got ration rice. Did I just give that beggar enough money to feed himself for a year then? I did a calculation of the amount of money they make per hour and was blown away. The people who I thought were starving in the streets, make more than an engineering graduate.  

Just in case you are considering begging as a possible career option, let me point out to you that you can make even more money as an entertainer. Along with the beggars come people who sing songs or play flutes. They don’t pretend to be blind nor do they wear tattered clothes. They just play their song and go their way. They get twice the number of coins the beggars do. But how much you get depends on what song you sing. Last week, one guy sang the Tamil or should I say English song which the whole world is crazy about. I swore not to mention the name of that song in my blog. You probably know what I am talking about, unless you were in a coma for the last couple of months. Anyway that guy was singing this song and everybody was tipping him. These are songs that anybody can sing like a pro. But make several thousand rupees with it in a few hours? You will richer than Yesudas without even singing half as well. A get rich quick scheme for those who have the balls to sing aloud in public. You don’t even have to pay taxes. 

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