The Journey So Far…
“We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibres, our actions run as causes and return to us as results.”
Herman Melville (American Novelist)
Our blog is twenty days old and we thought it would be a good idea to share our blogging experience- not just the technical details about registering on the blogging site, deciding on the templates and reading on search optimization, but about the responses we received, both positive and negative, our pre-occupation about inviting friends and colleagues to write in the Guest faculty section and co creating the different sections and articles on life, love, society and of course lateralviews.
There is this saying that during recession people either plan a family or get an additional college degree. Since both of were confused on the first and did not have the money to pursue the latter, we decided to go on a different tangent- write a blog. It all started with 2nhalfpegs.
Boi was trying to figure out when is that we shed all our inhibitions and become honest. The context was not of course when subjected to a lie detection test or when hypnotised but when drinking. Now different people have different capacities but we were trying to determine what we normally call ‘the inflexion point’. Below two pegs you are just warming up, shedding a bit of your reservations, becoming a little more verbose (though there are some who become quieter with each peg) and argumentative, a little more honest, a little more reflective, and a bit more happy. More than three pegs you become unpredictable. Either you start getting overtly emotional or maudlin and talk about your lost love, unrequited love, your lost opportunity or your humungous success or you start with a long story of your life and you forget in between your narration which story it was or you ask everyone to hear you out and then forget what is it that you wanted to stay or you start barking, braying, mooing, neighing, snoring, slurring, purring, growling, laughing , guffawing ,screaming, blabbering and displaying all sorts of animal behaviour.
2nhalfpegs it is, came the verdict. This is when you are most honest. This 2 ½ discovery was as magical as Harry Potter finding his 9 ¾ platform to Hogwarts.
So we created this domain called 2nhalfpegs. But it was difficult to spell out the domain address to friends and 2nhalfpegs could be spelt as twonhalfpegs, 2andhalfpegs ( and multiple other combinations ) and was so much open to interpretation that we decided to re-register ourselves as lateralviews, all within a couple of days.
The response to the blog has been optimistic. We have had 1200 views so far (without counting our own visits to the blog). We were really touched by the encouragement we received. When we started writing we chose topics which were closer to our heart and involved Society, life, corporate world, Economy and India and were more broad-based and not just a peek into our lives. We both have different passions and that got reflected in the articles we posted. In fact ours is a rare blogging site which is managed by two friends and this gives a wider depth and width to the topics we cover. A lot of you liked this combination.
One of our friends Ayaskant wrote the following in response to the blog –
Saw your blog (stumbled upon your linked in status update). Nice and interesting, this idea of two people pairing up lends more credibility, richness of content I guess; Star guests like Sarika are a treat!
The hardest thing is to keep it going, and hopefully you have more time to devote for some time to come.
True. The idea of sustaining the blog is more difficult than creating it and posting the first few articles. That’s where a contribution in the Guest faculty section is handy. It gives a different style of writing and increases the scope of the topics which are discussed.
All the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Nothing gives us more joy than when the reader is able to relate to the topic and hence in turn enhances our understanding of the topic through their comments. In response to the article ‘There is sweetness in pain’ Vipin Naik writes
Now to create excitement and rise above ground zero level you move towards pain…. although u know the state you were in earlier was lot more peaceful…..these actions subside the momentary pain and boredom but no sooner do you walk or work you are reminded of earlier state of comfort…a new pain. Same with physical pain, emotional pain and all. All the great things of life come in pairs of major contrast – yin yang.
Another friend of ours who did not want to get named felt certain sweetness in the emotional pain she felt when broke up with her boy friend in a relationship which was not working out. We think this is our irrationality at work (for more on the subject please read the book review on Predictably Irrational). Reminds us of the German term ‘schardenfreude’ thought it a slightly extreme example. The point is rationality and irrationality and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde both reside in us.
Must confess though, not all the comments have been encouraging. A friend’s wife recently asked – Why blog. Now the shorter the question, the more difficult it is to answer. I mean we have had a fair share of comments on some articles – how articles posted in the section ‘2nhalfpegs’ ought to be more funny, how one of the articles did not meet the standard quality, how we should not compromise on the quality of the articles, create a pool of articles, change the headings of some of the articles etc. It’s easier to take note of these comments and factor in the feedback in the subsequent articles. But if some one asked you questions like – Are you happy, what’s your happiest moment, what’s your purpose in life, 90 % of the times, we are stumped. Not because we do don’t think about these questions but because these are the most difficult questions to answer and the solution to these questions is the way to the elixir of life. Some times the shortest of the questions require the biggest of explanation.
There are of course the most obvious reasons of blogging.
- Its a nice way of sharing what you feel of subjects which are closer to heart
- It’s a nice place to discuss and think about variety of topics
- Most importantly it forces us to read, do a bit of research on different topics because we do not want to be factually wrong and thus enhances our knowledge on a variety of topic
- It helps us share experiences (we think this is the single most important reason why blogging would survive. Because in spite of all information being available on the net, we still would want to read about others personal experiences/ views. Remember movie reviews and how you end up choosing which movie to watch depending on your favourite critic’s review )
- It helps us realise that every small topic / incident is a potential live wire which can be dissected and discussed
Now that we have given the most obvious of reasons, we will come to the most important one. There is no denying that there was a selfish motive of looking for a bit of adulation and a bit of differentiation. But then these die with time. There was also this selfish reason of getting positive confirmation from people about how we write and how we write well. Believe us it dies the moment you get a negative comment. So what is the main reason? It is to Connect.
Connect? Is that it? Connect with what? And for what?
Connect, not because human beings cannot live by themselves alone, but because as Herman Meville says, we cannot live for ourselves alone. We have to connect with people, who share similar thoughts and care about the things we care. It is like creating this grand picture where there are random dots situated all across the globe and we are joining the dots through these indivisible and invisible threads and completing the picture.
This is the raw truth. We are looking to create, co- create in a way which helps every one.
So why are we writing this long post. Is this post-hoc rationalisation or justifying the existence of our blog, now that we have posted a few articles.
No. We are more committed than ever to continue to join the dots. And what we are looking from you is to come and participate, to put your comments on what you liked, what you disliked and what you felt like sharing. Do not wait to structure your thoughts. Just do it.
Prithwish and Boi