Here we are back again! When I started this blog, I had no idea that maintaining a blog was hard work; those who know me well also know that to me ‘work’ is a four-letter word. So there!
So what happens when you have a new love affair? You and the object of your desire are inseparable for the first days/weeks/months, whatever. The same thing happened with me when I started blogging. I wrote some 8 or 10 blog entries in some 2 months, which is a lot of work coming from me. Then after the World Cup in July, the passion kind of cooled off. The mind started to recognize that blogging is tough. Just like in an affair you figure out the object of your desire has warts, snores, has an irritating sniff early in the morning, makes a noise while drinking tea, and can’t pronounce Johan Cruyff right. So, bit-by-bit, reality hits. E’en so with blogging and me. The whole idea of having to think of an idea and then having to think of writing about it is a great thing until you figure that ideas don’t strike you every time you open up your blog space and stare at the empty comp screen.
There is something very intimidating about an empty comp screen, particularly when you have a deadline to catch. Even if it is a mental deadline for yourself – when the world will not come to end if you missed the deadline by a few miles, and even if the world did come to an end, good for it, and you hope it’s a good day for it. Blithe spirits like Douglas Adams may get by – he loved the sound of deadlines whoozing by, or so he said. But then he wrote Hitch Hikers’ Guide to the Universe, didn’t he? After such a masterpiece, I am sure all the publishers in the world were waiting for the time when Adams will unleash the next bit of deathless prose from his pen or comp or Dictaphone, and they could bid for same deathless prose by flaunting millions of pounds under his eyes.
Not me. I don’t have a publisher – actually I do have one. He published my book and launched it on July 19, and its doing reasonably well, thank you very much – as well as it can do for a biz book not written by an American management guru. Also, I am a poor man – hence there ain’t much PR effort going behind promoting the book. Back to the publisher. He’s a decent guy – really good chap. So he sent me my royalty cheque, and the sales statement. But he knows that while my book may sell a few thousand copies over time, it’s never going to get into the kind of numbers that impress bank managers and publishers. So, there are no deadlines from him, thankfully!
But that does not mean I have no deadlines at all. There are work deadlines – proposals to go, projects to be completed, invoices to be raised, and most important of all: bills to be paid. For the last two, there are no problems – I am great at them. By the grace of God, I don’t owe money except to banks, and they have enough of their own not to bother me with the tiny sums (relatively speaking) that I owe them. The first two – proposals and project reports – those are the killers. Long documents, closely argued, without a break in logic, and of course, to be delivered by a specified time – these give me the willies. O for the day, when I will have minions churning out the stuff by the yard, and I will glance through these documents, and tell them how much better I could have done them, but that I don’t want to do their job, and how important its for them to learn to do them right, and so they must do it again and again till they get it right.
There’s another thing about blogging, which is still holding me back from baring my soul and innermost thoughts to those of you who wish to goggle at them. The worry is this: by baring my soul and innermost thoughts to the world and its uncle, do I lay myself open to blackmail, broken marriage, and other dire consequences? I mean, if I were to write in the blog that I am totally in love with Sushmita Sen, and that the very thought of Naomi Campbell gives my thoughts (and other parts of me) a rise which you wouldn’t believe – would my wife rush to the divorce lawyers? Or would she smile indulgently and say something on the lines of “boys will be boys” and carry on with her cooking, database management and other household chores? I don’t know, and I am worried about putting it to the test in order to find out. I used to be a very bad experimental scientist during my student days: while I studied physics in my B.Sc days, I was pretty OK in the theory parts, but I had to work backwards from the desired results in my practicals. My failure as an experimental scientist was due to my inability to take a risk, according to the physics lab demonstrator. An idiotic statement if ever there was one. Suppose I mixed the wrong stuff in beakers and things, and put the wrong kind of current through a wrong circuit, and whole bloody lab blew up in my face, and other faces too, I hasten to add? Would the demonstrator then had congratulated me in my ability to take risks, or taken the skin off my back for ruining the lab, not to mention a heritage building in Kolkata?
Let me take an hour or two to think this through and figure out the stuff for myself. If any of you readers (for those of you who are churlish enough to comment on the plural – remember that I am an optimist) wish to guide me on the legal point of view on the issue of being sued based on material published on the blog, I should be much obliged. Historically, one of the biggest problems facing mankind has been the inability to speak your mind in public, without running the risk of being open to action under the laws of libel and slander. I would be glad to know the legal standpoint, before I confess my innermost thoughts to the blog.
In the meantime, I shall be back very soon, but with my customary reticence and modesty. Cheers to one and all!
(first posted on sulekha.com on Oct 24 2006)