Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Why Do We Blog Anyway?
And a lot has happened since my last piece on Aila and Sector-V.
Apart from the proverbial "I'm a year older" (which is a given), quite a few things have occurred this past year and they have been rather interesting "things". Well most of them at least... and most of these "most of them" have been positive "things". Of course there have been the few negatives as well. And there are the few unsettled-still-not-done-and-dusted issues that have merrily rolled over from the previous year to the current one.
No, I'm not here to compile a list of my achievements and failures since my last blog-time. I'm not that kind of a person actually. What's mine is mine and not for everyone to know. My list would probably bore the death out of the casual reader anyway.
But it is funny how some people I know have converted their blogs into a daily diary of sorts. And they have no qualms about vomiting out in detail stuff regarding their love life and even their sex life. It makes for interesting reading to be honest, and hey, it's not my duty to say what's right and what's wrong to them. It's their choice - freedom of expression using whatever medium they so desire.
There is this one blog which has left me totally totally fixated, almost to the point of obsession. A young woman who's name is Radha - she's an air-hostess flying with Singapore Airlines. And yes, she's Manipuri, just like me.
I don't know her personally. She most likely graduated from Bangalore - and we had exchanged scraps a few times on Orkut during her stay there. She had this really interesting profile, this apparently excellent taste in music (rock obviously), and she was hot and very attractive. So being the weirdo male that I am, I scrapped her. And she scrapped back... we exchanged the odd scrap for 2-3 weeks. Then she probably got bored of me.
And that was that :)
Well, I thought so at least...
For some reason (call it the Curious George syndrome), I happened to re-visit her profile. I guess to check out her photos again (ya ya I know!), but my luck, she'd deleted all of them from her Orkut album.
But she did have this link to her blog. And I decided to check it out, since, as you all are well aware of, I am a blogger too (otherwise you wouldn't be reading this shit).
And what I read from her blog was nothing short of edgy, gripping and gut-wrenching. Not to sound over-dramatic, but it has left me a changed person.
For most of you who aren't aware, Manipur is a small teeny weeny state situated in the North-East of India. It's kind've locked between Myanmar and other hilly states like Meghalaya, Nagaland and Mizoram. The capital city of Imphal is predominantly a Hindu belt. And when I say Hindu belt, I mean hard-core Hinduistic! Liberal, open-minded house-holds (to my knowledge) are few and far between. Especially so since most families are of the Hindu Undivided Joint Family type - so that would mean 2-3 families (maybe more) living together with a typical patriarchical figure-head acting as moral/local guardian for everyone residing under the same roof. The young generation doing their "thing" is looked down upon by the elders of society. And the young generation, in my opinion, reach a point where, when they do manage to leave Imphal and break the shackles of society, automatically get afflicted by this "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" syndrome - and this leaves them undergoing a sudden transformation in lifestyle and beliefs. Principles and values and other moral lessons that had been shoved into their brains seem to get lost or they undergo a complete re-working after their so-called-freedom is attained.
Am I rambling?
No I am not. But let me elucidate some more...
For me, having been born in the USA and then having spent most of my "educated" life in this big bad city Kolkata, the rules and regulations of life in Manipur were never an issue for me. I've lived my life colorfully, the way any city-bred guy would live. I've done things which I would never blog about, I have gone to extremes on many an occasion, and there are certain incidents in my past that I certainly do not look back upon with pride. I obviously cannot run away from my past or my present. So hiding is no solution. But learning from my past is. And this I try to do, sometimes with success, sometimes not so successfully - but yes, I try. Of course each day brings about a new challenge. And we do new things, meet new people, have new experiences - so all I've seen, all I've done, all I've experienced, all I've learnt has hopefully made me a more mature and wiser person. And liberal too. Modern, open-minded and liberal.
You see a kid doping on the side-walk. You see a woman puking out her lungs after a drink too many. You see a young teenage girl smoking like there's no tomorrow. You see an old man making out with a college kid... you know, stuff which society frowns down upon. My folks would have a fit if they saw some of the things that I'd seen. Most of my relatives in Manipur would have passed out from shock for sure. Hell, getting a tattoo is like a big deal to them.
And that is normal, ain't it? Because these people haven't come across such scenes in their lives. And they do not know how to handle incidents like these - the normal reaction would probably be to look the other way and ignore, pretend you hadn't seen anything. And of course you also start to dig deep inside your mind, looking for past references to lessons that would give you direction and help allow you to handle such scenes. Chances are though (if you are in their shoes) you won't find any such references. So you start to invent labels. Labels for each person involved in each act that you find is a violation of your principles and values.
Values are important. If you don't have any, you couldn't classify yourself as a human being. We all have them, as do rapists, murderers, dictators, anarchists, everyone (even though their value system pretty much has no resemblance to ours, you can bet on that). Values are what guide you through your daily life till the day you die.
So yes, I've seen stuff, done stuff, blah blah blah. I've had the opportunity to edit and modify my "value" system on a few occasions. So when I see a kid doping or a young woman smoking or whatever, I don't freak out. I do have the sensibility and intelligence to understand what is going on around me. And I don't need labels to make things easier for me. What is happening around me doesn't always need to be black or white, because there is enough gray in this society of ours to provide me with suitable explanations to all the things that we get to see and experience in our society.
Does that make me an open-minded, mature, liberal person?
You betcha it does.
But sometimes you come across people, or in this case, a person (and a virtual person at that!) who's life experiences and life-style totally baffle you. Blows your mind away. Hits you like a sledgehammer. And then you start to understand why the older generation freaks out when they see things that they don't relate too. Yes you suddenly find yourself in their shoes as well. You start frantically searching for references inside your brain and you find nothing. Suddenly simple equations which you thought you knew blind-folded don't seem to make sense anymore. And you then start to question the liberal open-mindedness that you seemed to be so proud of.
I do not know Radha. Scrapping a person a few times does not amount to "knowing" a person. I have never met Radha. And I probably never will. She is a complete zero in my life. And yet everytime I read her blog I can't help but feel for her. It's like I want to look her straight in the eye and tell her to get a grip on her life! To push her off this self-destructive road that she seems to be treading. To just shout, "WAKE UP WOMAN!!!"
I spoke of young adults breathing a fresh air of life once they leave their home Imphal behind - and how they change into something that they were so not what they were - well, this young woman takes the proverbial piece of cake. Probably nothing in her wildest dreams would have allowed her to know how her life path would take the course that it is currently on.
I think myself to be open-minded, liberal... and yet what this Manipuri "leishabi" has experienced and done, I'd probably need a ladder to reach her level. And the worst part? Reading her blogs you can feel her pain, her awareness that what she is doing is wrong and totally "NOT" what she would have been doing if she was back home in Imphal. And it's like she's trapped in this vicious cycle - not knowing how to break free from it... and sadly, it doesn't seem like she wants to break free from it either.
My whole point in writing all this probably got drowned somewhere after the 1st few paragraphs. But let me go back a bit before I end my long "come-back"
Like I was saying, many things have happened in this period since my last blog. And as I said, I am not the kind of person to list them all down here in my blog site. But there are people who consider a blogspot to be just that... a place where they can vent their feelings and emotions, for lack of any other mechanism to do so... a place where things can be safely said, since such things cannot be expressed publicly or explicitly for fear of repercussions... or just a place where the blogger sends out a silent cry for help - silent, since he or she knows that no one is going to respond to their cry.
But whatever, I am back. I like to blog and hopefully I shall continue to do so at regular intervals.
And I shall also continue to follow Radha's blog and feel her pain from a distance. A pain that is sure to increase with each passing day in her life.
I hope she proves me wrong and I wish her the best
Her blogspot, if you are interested:
Wreck Of The Day