Raj's post inspired the post but this has been on my mind for a while.
Sometimes, when I am absolutely convinced I am living a loser's life, I cheer myself up using each of my places on the Internet. On a day, where all my reactions have failed and my supervisor has very candidly told me that my latest draft could be aptly described only in one word-horrible, I sit in a corner and read my own blogs.
It is a place to rejuvenate but sometimes I also become a bit schizophrenic and wonder who is the real me?
Fifty years ago, if someone said that fifty years from now people would be able to send their minds all over the earth without physically going anywhere it would have been sci-fi material. Today I have so many friends that I have never met and it does not matter one bit if I do not meet them ever! In the last few years, I have made friends at an alarming rate for the kind of person I am. There has been a steady increase in the people I actually meet and then make friends with but there has also been a rise in the number of people I have not met and I am good friends with. Fortunately for me, this is not through any of the popular social networking sites. It is through reading blogs and interacting with people who read my blogs. It has been an absolutely thrilling experience.
I am not really going to try and be humble by saying that I don't write to get noticed. I started writing as an experiment but when I realized that people like it, I was inspired to do it more often. I had been writing in the closet for a long time before I started writing publicly but I must accept that public opinion added a lot of depth, care and maturity to my writing. After the initial excitement of people liking what I write died down, I started following some blogs as well. I have met some of the most interesting people solely through their blogs. Gayatri is one of them. Now, she is almost like any of the best friends I grew up with but initially her writing inspired a lot of awe. The way her words do ballet in Marathi is truly inspiring. She has also been doing the proof reading for my Marathi blog for which I am very grateful to her. Alienknight (Dattatraya Gokhale) is another person who inspired me with poetry in the early days of my poetry blog. His art of expressing profound feeling in just a couple of lines has always made me challenge my own expression. Raj has made me laugh out loud with his Marathi blog. His style of writing always amazes me. I have grown extremely fond of his silly satire. His humor has a Puneri flavor to it and reading his posts sometimes makes you feel like you are having a goof-around time with a cutting chai on some Puneri Katta.
Mandar Gadre has been one such friend that I have not met as yet. His poetry and his photoblog are a collection of sincere and well crafted thoughts and images. Charu's photoblog has also inspired me. He is also one of those people I have met only once but know too well now. Shrirang Khandekar's photoblog is also one of the places that I respect on the Internet. I came to know of this because he was a regular in the comment box of my Marathi blog. One day I decided to track his page. I must say it was a humbling experience to realize a place like that exists!
Prasad has been one of the recent additions to this list too. His words are human and his writing never fails to move. Be it in anger or in innocence. His writings about Robindranath Tagore have revived the Banglamania in me during the last few months.
I have made friends with a lot of my followers too and I have reconnected with a few family members because they started reading my blog! My father has been my most consistent follower and this feeling always fills me up with a lot of happiness and pride. These days, my mom takes out time specially to follow my Marathi blog. So there has been a bit of family reunion in the space too.
People with families, living in their home countries might not realize how much of a solace this part of our identities gives us. Over these past two years I have known so many new people who have stepped out of their countries, their own comfort zones to try and make a place in the field of science. Most of my blog-friends are PhD students spread all over the world. Some of them are intrepid travelers. All of us are trying to come to terms with our own identities without following any prescribed ways to belong. Oddly enough, unknowingly we all want to belong somewhere. In my case, finding fellow writers and empathizing with their experiences is a way of finding my own closure. :)
Like the Bhagwad Geeta says in a somewhat weary tone, we have entered the age of hybrids. People traveling all over the world and expressing themselves from everywhere in their own language is one of the advantages of this cultural hybridization. In any case, I would really like to thank God for technology. Even though it is all man-made and designed, if you take a look at how humanity has evolved over the ages, it always makes me want to believe that it is a Divine intervention!