… later, it is time for that annual blog anniversary post. The fifth to be precise, and about a blogging year that has been quite different from the previous years.
If the first year of blogging was an exciting time of finding my feet in the blogging world, then the second year was a heady and wonderful year of peer recognition. The third year of blogging was the year of reality check in the form of severe writer’s block and coming face to face with negativity and bullying in the blogging world. Year four was all about facing extreme blogging fatigue, wondering what to do, and slowly reclaiming the pleasure of blogging.
As for the fifth year of blogging, it has probably been the most relaxed year of blogging ever — barring a couple of mini rants here and there. I blogged when I wanted to, what I wanted to, how I wanted to, and even where I wanted to. Basically, I did what I wanted to. Blog-wise, that is. 🙂
But before I go into a little bit of details of that, I must share with you an incident that turned out to be the highlight of Year 5 of blogging. It’s not about the blog directly and yet it is. It happened on the morning of 19th October 2014.
It was a Sunday and I was woken up by the doorbell at around 7.30 am. Though I like to sleep in a little on Sundays, that rarely happens. Our housing society’s garbage collector, Suraj, has a rather perverse streak — on weekdays he collects the garbage around 9.30 am; on weekends he’s there before 8.00 am.
I stumbled out of bed, grumbling under my breath, picked up the garbage bag and opened the door to hand it to Suraj. But it wasn’t Suraj who was standing on the other side of the door. It was someone else.
Now, I have myopic vision and since I wasn’t wearing my glasses, I couldn’t make out who was at the door. It looked like one of my neighbours, but I couldn’t be sure. As I was trying to figure out who it was, the person spoke: “Sudha, you’re in the newspaper.”
I motioned to the person to enter, and went in to get my spectacles. Once that was on, I realised that it was Hema, one of my neighbours. She handed me a copy of The Times of India (ToI) pointing to an article on Page 6. It was about an abandoned water fountain in Mumbai’s Reay Road area — the same water fountain I had written a fictionalised account in a blog post in February 2012. According to the ToI article, my fictionalised account was 95% correct and they had mentioned me and this blog in the article.
When I handed the paper back to Hema after reading the article, she remarked, “So, you write a blog.” And as simply as that she, and soon my other neighbours, got to know of this blog. To this day, I can’t get over that morning discussion with Hema about my blog — in our jammies, bed hair and unbrushed teeth — in my living room. It was so bizarre and funny at the same time. 🙂
Other highlights of the year include an unexpected connection made with my father’s cousin and aunt, with whom we had lost contact through a post I wrote about my family history; a very sweet mail from a schoolgirl in Tripura who said that she got ideas from my Ajanta and Ellora posts for her school assignment and how she got top marks; meeting a woman priest at Daulatabad Fort; comments and mails by readers on their having visited a monument or picked up a book after having read about it here; and so on. I also got included in a couple of listicles on top travel blogs and wasn’t included in many more. 😛
Yes, it was a great year.
I turned down FAM invitations and offers to host/write sponsored posts and listicles in magazines.
I started doing restaurant reviews as part of the Navi Mumbai Foodies initiative and met some fascinating and interesting people in the process.
I travelled to North Gujarat and then to Shekhawati (posts to come!), read lots of books, but reviewed just two (I know, shameful!); and so much more.
Yes, it was a great year and I had a lot of fun.
Looking forward to Year 6 now ! Before I end this post, do let me share with you 5 posts that I think you should read — one for each year of blogging. They are not necessarily my best posts, but ones that I think you should read, if you haven’t already.
- Do you like winter?
- The exploitative Indian
- A special boat ride
- Of music and memories in Pune: 22 years on
- When I got spooked by Kali
So that was 5 years, 413 posts, 3,33,785 words, 43 videos, 1 audio, 2,436 images, 3,02,928 page views, 10,301 comments, and 80,925 spam comments.
In these 5 years I have shared with you all “My Favourite Things” and will continue to do so. Right now, I want YOU to share with me your favourite things here. Tell me about your favourite travel destinations, favourite books, favourite works of music or art, your special memories …
Go on, I’m waiting to hear from you. 🙂