Saturday, September 23, 2017

It's all because of blogging!

It's all because of blogging!

I agree that blogging has got in lots of significance in my life. Of course, it helped me in making my life less boring. I started blogging at a time when people didn't know the definition or perhaps the idea of a blog. In fact, when someone asked me about my hobby, I would smirk and find out ways to get rid of this question. Blogging was my hobby. I would research during my leisure time and find interesting stuff to read. It was during one of those leisure time that I discovered the idea of blogging. I agree it was no fun but yes I saw the emergence of new blogging communities that tried to build up a model conceptualizing blogs. Of course, many of these communities grew big and minting good money. For once, I never thought that blogging would be a good business for many in future. I come across people compiling stuff from multiple websites, changing the verbiage and constructing a brand new post out of it.  That is the new world of blogging. Some tag it plagiarism. Originality is something that has gone for a toss. No longer people love original stuff. 

Talking about the good old days, I really didn't know how and why I started this blog. This question perturbs me even after 11 glorious years of blogging. WHY? I had no intentions of making money out of it nor I did want to impress people or may be transform into a big writer or make a living out of blogging. No, I had no such plans but still why I chose to blog?  It was a random experiment. Just that I was good at writing essays during my school days and kids (my schoolmates) used to nag me to write compositions and essays. Since childhood, I never had this habit of saying NO. I am learning to say NO but I simply can't. That is one of the strength that I mention during my interviews when the Interviewer asks about my strength.  Well, the idea is simple. I write for myself. I love it, so I do. Isn't that simple enough?!

By the time I stepped into my final year,  I saw an unusual trend. People who used to mock at the very idea of blogging started creating blogs and I even know many who are successful at it. Brands started approaching these so-called Online Blogging communities and started paying them big to make the bloggers write about topics.  I somehow believe that the blogging started to get commercialized during this period. I witnessed a healthy rise in the number of active blogger participation in these contests. Some of them even crossed boundaries and limits to ensure they won the contest. I remember the days where whenever I logged into Facebook, I would get chat messages on the messenger asking me to write nice comments on their blog posts and share them on my profile.  I admit I did this for some but eventually, I got irked. It was during that time that I, with my two other friends started an online community blog named 'The Writers Lounge' that advocated collaborative writing and it was created for the love of writing. People who loved writing and reading good articles were always welcomed. Our doors were always opened for them and Sandeep Balan and Asbah Alaena played a vital role in it.  We grew up into a good team but as they say that everything has an end. Our dearest Lounge faded too quick. I have many fond memories associated with that web space. Be it the creation of Sandeep Malan or the StepMan, a spoof series based out of co-founders Sandeep Balan and yours truly (StepMan for Ste) or be it Excellence in Writing or any other creative writing, we loved it all. I would find the opportunity to come online and visit that place even if I had a limited internet access.  Oh, Wait! there was fun too. 

But I started abhorring the idea of writing for brands then. It felt like dictating terms and conditions but yes, I stay guilty too. Even I have participated in many of those contests and even won some. My first even blogging victory was some Surf Excel contest where I won a consolation prize of a wireless mouse that I still have! The idea of genuinely writing comments on blogs dimmed. I gradually started growing into a butterfly from a caterpillar as I stepped into the corporate life that welcomed me with lots of challenges. I understood that this was a different world and to make most of it, I had to focus less on blogging. But still, whenever I had an opportunity, I did write and made the most of it. With each passing day, I started getting more chat pings on Facebook, with people asking me to write comments, like and vote for them. Some would even tag me on their facebook posts. Many unknown strangers would send friend requests on Facebook and the very next moment they would send invitation to like their Facebook Blog page. Amazing, Isn't it? Some would get more creative and tag a bulk of bloggers on Twitter. Thanks to Twitter for lifting the character limitations on images and some bloggers make good use of it. Some bloggers do have their own Bloggers broadcast list on Whatsapp where they would regularly update by sending messages whenever they posted a new blog story.  I should agree that bloggers get more creative. We, as bloggers, should learn to explore opportunities whenever available. 

The entire essence of blogging as an area of improvement for writing has collapsed. Blogging may fit into a category of media but remember that blogging is something that is going to be the best thing in future. Brands will keep flooding, looking for bloggers, shelling out money. That's how blogging has evolved from the early 2000's till now!
Never stop pinging me to like your blog posts or read it, I admit I'm busy these days but that doesn't stop me from reading your stuff.  When I look behind, I laugh at myself that something I started as a random experiment has earned a lot for me in these years. I have met the best of people, best of writers, earned great contacts, made best friends and what not.  It's all because of blogging!

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Sunday, October 05, 2014

Crowning Glory - Life's Game - Chapter 19

Crowning Glory - Chapter 19 

Want to know what happened before this?  Please read the previous chapter here

He stood next to her and listened to what Jennifer was saying.
“Life has changed a lot after that incident.  But that phase of life had taught me great lessons.”   Jennifer said.
He wrapped his arms around her shoulder and soothed her as tears streamed down her cheeks copiously.  Photography was something she embraced and it was something that made her forget her disastrous past.  After seeing Aryan with Tara, she believed that the ghosts of past had come back to haunt her once again.  She had reached this position after lots of struggles.  She was never at work for a longer period of time. She changed jobs quickly.

“I’ve seen so much in my life and I fear looking back,” Jennifer said, wiping her tears.
“This camera is my only solace,” she said, smilingly, pointing at her camera.
“Cheer up!” Cyrus said to her. He asked her to be strong.
“Ghosts of past may come to haunt you but you don’t have to worry. We both will tackle it together.” Cyrus said and they both hugged each other.
Cyrus soon called the reception and ordered them to get tea.  He looked straight into her eyes that had million unanswered questions. She felt good talking about her past with Cyrus.

“But I don’t understand the connection between Tara and Ahuja?” Jennifer said.
At the same time, the door bell rang. “Must be the room service guy,” Cyrus said and went to open the door. He offered tea to Jennifer and asked her, “Why do you think so?”
He sipped the tea and continued, “How could they be related?”
“Ahuja is a dangerous man, Cyrus,” Jennifer said, “I have seen him and he is very dangerous.” She said, looking at him through her fiery eyes.
“What?  Are you known to Ahuja? How?” Cyrus bombarded Jennifer with several questions.
“Ahuja used to visit the Bibiji’s house at Kolkata quite often,” she said and continued, “He was her right hand.”

“And I think Tara and Ahuja know each other very well,” she said, “but I fail to understand the connection between them and Kolkata.”  Cyrus endorsed her views too.
He drew his eyebrows closer and riposted, “We need to find the missing link, Jenny!”
“Yes and I suspect it had got something to do with Tara’s sudden rise in fame and career.” She added.

Tara was an enigma, she thought as she placed the tea cup on the table nearby.  She seemed to her like a deceiver and Jennifer too got deceived by her.
“I need to find the hidden secrets of her life and ...” Jennifer said.

“We need to…”  Cyrus interrupted her before she could complete the statement.
She looked into her eyes and smiled at him. “Thank you so much, Cyrus!”
“I’m not helping you to earn a thank you from you,” Cyrus said,” You mean a lot to me, Jenny!”

Jennifer rested her head on his shoulder and said, “I don’t know what to say now.”
“We both will unveil the mystery behind Tara and we both will expose her dark secrets.” He said.
Cyrus went on to attend an important phone call and Jennifer was glancing through the magazine placed at the book stand.
Cyrus came back and apologized for the break. “Sorry, that was a call from an old friend.”

"It's okay!" Jennifer said.

"Between ,I have a news for you." Cyrus said.
" Tara Dutta is filing a divorce from Shekhar and has even asked me to prepare a will for her." Cyrus  added.

"Such a strange women she is!" he said.

"Indeed! That's why I call her a mystery woman , an enigma to be precise!" Jennifer said and contiued, "I never knew you even handle divorce cases." 

"Yes, I do, do recommend me to your friends," he said, laughing at her.Jennifer inquired about his job and life. Her eyes came across a visiting card lying on the table. Swiftly she started digging her bag. 

“Between, see, this is what I found from Tara’s house.”  Jennifer said, rummaging through her hand bag.

She handed the card to Cyrus and said, “The Dutta’s were busy attending the guests at Roohi’s birthday party and I did something what I was good at!”  She winked at him.
“You talk like an agent, huh!” Cyrus joked.
“Aashakiran  Anathalay!”  Cyrus read the name mentioned on the card and got to know that someone called Mrs. Nayyar was the in charge of the orphanage
“This orphanage can answer a lot of our questions. We should visit them,” Cyrus added.
“Perhaps, this can help us to close the gaps,” Jennifer retorted.
“Let’s go there tomorrow.” Cyrus replied, “Let’s meet Mrs. Nayyar.”

“And what do we say?”  Jennifer said, bewildered.
“You are a journalist, boss and not me,” Cyrus said, “You work for Marie Claire, not me!”  Cyrus displayed a straight face.
“So, tomorrow we are going.” Jennifer confirmed with Cyrus to which he nodded a yes.
“Listen, we need to disguise ourselves. I plan to work here at Marie Claire for a longer duration. I can’t risk anymore.”  Jennifer said.
“I thought taking risk for you was like eating Rusk!” Cyrus joked to which she grimaced. Jennifer punched him, clearly indicating her displeasure. Cyrus told her that he would come to pick her up the next morning.

The early morning alarm bloomed violently breaking Jennifer’s sleep.  It was morning 8 AM and by then she had already snoozed the alarm several times. She finally woke up and looked at the morning sky. The sun had just bid adieu to the moon and she smiled at the little birds cheerfully warbling at her.  She rubbed her eyes and checked her mobile phone. She learned that Cyrus was trying to reach her through.
“Hey Cyrus, Good Morning!” she greeted him on phone.
“I will be at you place in another 45 minutes. Get ready!” Cyrus replied.
“What? So early. It’s just 9.”

“So what. I’m on my way,” he said and disconnected the phone call.
She went to the bathroom and took a bath.  As she looked at her in the mirror, she realized that life had veered drastically after Cyrus entered her life.  She slipped into a light blue kurti and got ready. She looked at the mirror at the main room and quickly combed her hair and clipped it.  Cyrus called her and was waiting for her near her PG. She quickly locked the room and left the PG.
“I thought you were a typical woman who takes more time for make ups.” Cyrus laughed
“I’m an exception!” she grinned.

They quickly hailed a taxi and indicated the driver to go to Santa Cruz, the place which was home to the AashaKiran Anathalaya. They reached their destination in 40 minutes, thanks to the heavy traffics at the Western Expressway.
They got down at Prabhat Colony and legged it towards the Orphanage. The watchman asked them for their identity and they both introduced themselves as journalists from Marie Claire and wanted to meet Mrs. Nayyar for an interview.
As they went inside, they saw few young kids playing hide and seek.  The kids were so adorable that Jennifer halted for a while and captured them in her camera. She nuzzled a little girl’s nose and planted a kiss on her cheek. Cyrus stood there and admired the sight.
“They remind me of my childhood days, Cyrus!” Jennifer said, “I just hope someone adopts these lovely kids and gives them happiness.”

 They soon met Mrs. Nayyar in her office.  She was clad in a cotton saree, neatly ironed. She looked young, her eyes shielded by a spectacles. Her hair was neatly tied into a bun and a smile on her face adorned her looks. She welcomed both of them and asked them to get seated.  She offered them tea.
“I’m so happy and excited that Marie Claire wants to write an article on us,” Mrs. Nayyar said, “I can’t thank you enough for this kind gesture.” She displayed a vibrant smile on her face.

They both introduced themselves as Jane and Leo. While doing so they sheepishly smiled at each other.

For the sake of formality they asked few questions to her. Cyrus noted her views on a diary to prove that they both were actually interviewing her.  Few minutes later, they both enquired Mrs. Nayyar about the high profile adoptions that happened at AashaKiran. Mrs. Nayyar, at first, hesitated but later on mentioned few famous celebrities name.  
“What do you do when someone comes to you and decides to give their kids for adoption?” Cyrus asked, smiling at Mrs. Nayyar.
“Good question.  AashaKiran serves as a home to all those kids who deserve support. It’s sad that due to certain circumstances some parents are not able to take care of their kids. Due to many unavoidable things, they are forced to bring their kids here. It’s unfortunate! “She replied.

They soon enquired about Tara Dutta to her.
“It was 9 years back that she came here.  She had visited our orphanage to give her infant baby to us for adoption. She had a charming personality and seemed to belong from an affluent family.”  Mrs. Nayyar replied.

They both cleverly cajoled Mrs. Nayyar to show their files. But what Mrs. Nayyar told disappointed them.

"The adoption didn't happen." Mrs. Nayyar said.

Mrs. Nayyar told them that they had sent the adoption papers to Tara Dutta but she somehow failed to acknowledge. Days passed and eventually even AashaKiran forgot about her!  Mrs. Nayyar told that she seemed to be a busy woman and all attempts of reaching her eventually turned futile. 

"May be should could have given her baby to some other orphanage," Mrs. Nayyar said to which both of them acknowledged with a frown.

“I think we have to find some other way,” Jennifer muttered to which Cyrus nodded in agreement.

“Can we click your pictures?” Jennifer asked, looking askance at her.
“Oh sure!”
“Smile...” she asked and Mrs. Nayyar passed a vibrant smile.
She sooner called all the kids playing at the garden and clicked a group picture with them.
“Thank you mam for all your time,” Cyrus and Jennifer said to them with the same breathe.
“We should thank you. At this moment we need support and you guys are incredible.”  Mrs. Nayyar said.

 Jennifer smiled at her as she spoke those words.  She reminded more of her in charge who took care of her in the orphanage where she lived during her young days. She waved bye to all the kids there! She left that place with a heavy heart and nostalgia struck her again, reminding her of the good awesome childhood days with her friends at the Orphanage where she lived.


You must be curious on what happens next, right? Why Fret? Go read here 

 Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at #CelebrateBlogging with us
A Quality Analyst by day and a dynamic blogger by night, Ste is an out-of-the-Box thinker whose thinking cap is never on the resting mode. The real feather on his thinking cap is his creativity which you can see in all his works, be it short stories, poems or sketches. He is a very big fan of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Most of his short stories are inspired from real life and things that fascinates him. His blog "The Solitary Writer" is a central repository of his entire creative spear." . Did you like this post? Get The Solitary Writers updates via Facebook or Twitter, better yet, subscribe to it via RSS Feed. It’s easy, and free!Also you can discuss in the Forum. Comments are just another way to let me know how you feel.Don't forget to comment.