I start blogging in April 2005. That makes it 8 years and almost 1500 blogs. It all started like this. It must have been circa 2003 when I realised that the proverbial 'pockets' I easily dug into whenever extra funds were needed were emptying at the speed of light or even faster. All the people one knew had been tapped and thus it was time to seek new pastures. At that time I was slowly discovering the magical word of the world wide web and it must have been around then that the first pwhy website went on line. Actually 2003 was quite a fateful year. It was the year when Utpal fell into the boiling cauldron and entered our lives; when two of our creche children died in strange circumstances and we discovered the apathy of the police who never wanted to register a case; when we were successful in raising funds for Raju's open heart surgery. It was also the year when we were at the top of our page 3 days and the darling of many who organised stunning evenings and balls to help us raise funds. It was also a time when we were at the height of our fairy tale existence. It was also at that time that someone suggested I join a social network called Ryze. I must confess that I had a tough time building my page and it looked very puerile. But I managed to get quite a few contacts and thus began the pwhy network that is so precious to us today. We had a website that was not quite what I would have liked and I realised to my horror what the cost of maintaining would be. I had 2 options: not to have a site at all - not really an option -, or learn how to maintain it myself. I cannot remember how many nights it took to learn a new language - HTML - but I did. The other things I began doing was sending individual emails to all the people I knew. I had not yet discovered mass mailing or just BCC option. That is when a kind person - God bless him - suggested I start a blog. It would change my life forever.
It was a hesitant beginning
but I had a forum where I could share the life of pwhy, the stories of our kids, the little things that happened everyday. I thought of it like a sea captain's logbook that would preserve the chronicles of pwhy. True it started being just that but somehow mutated almost insidiously into a record of happenings in India viewed through a different prism: that of someone passionately in love with her country and often at a loss in comprehending the stark inequalities between rich and poor, the hidden agendas and corrupt games of the powers that be, the dignified and touching survival modes of the poor. The project why stories took on a larger meaning and I found myself writing about issues I felt important. The tone became harsher, the criticism more acerbic and the mood somber.
Simply making a difference in the lives of the hundreds and more children who came to project why was not enough. True it was important as it was tangible and thus valorising but I felt the need to add my voice to those of others fighting for causes I empathised with. And slowly the fairy tale like stories of project why became far and few. There were more important issues to address.
For me this became a platform to share my thoughts, my anger, my distress, my anguish, my horror and my opinions to aberrations that seemed more the rule than the exception. I wanted to be heard.
In 2009 I began writing my second book. This one was about the project why story. Once I again I opted to write it in the form of letters to a child and entitled it Dear Popples II. The bye line was 'then project why story'. I wrote about 100 pages without any problem in a very short time. And then one day I simply could not continue. The story stopped circa 2004. It was a strange writer's block that refused to go. I tried many times to pick up the threads but to no avail. I decided to let it be till the time was right.
It is only a few weeks back that I found myself opening the abandoned file and reread what I had written and see if I could move on or if not at least figure out what had happened. It took me some time to realise that my pen had stopped at what I call the fairy tale years and that somehow the approach that seemed right for the first 100 pages did not and would not work for the remainder of the story. The bye line could not be 'the project why story' but had to become something like 'India song 20??-2013. I had two choices either rewrite the whole book or make it in two parts. I opted for the later as only this way will the reader fully appreciate the dynamic and organic nature of project why but also share the changes such an experience has on a human soul. For I cannot shy from the fact that I am in no way the same person I was when it all began. Have I changed for the better? I do not know. I do miss the naive and trusting being I was then and something do not like the bitter and splenetic woman I sometimes seem to have become. Maybe the truth lies in between the two.
Even though I will have to sneak time to write the book, I will continue to blog, as blogging is an immense catharsis for me and I need to rant and rave or else I would blow a fuse, but I what I would really like is people to react to what I write. Sadly my 1500 blogs have only 800 comments!