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Thursday, October 30, 2014

I am still around, but changed. Or have I?

As everybody who visits this blog will have noticed, I have not written for an uncharacteristically long time. It was gratifying to hear from some of them asking ‘Are you alright, Sir?’ It was equally salutary to notice how many who gushed so much once upon a time – not always long ago, either – couldn’t be bothered. Keeping all such people in mind, here are some explanations and a notice of changes.

I stopped writing because I felt

1.      I had written a great deal already, and continuously for a very long time. Few bloggers except those who have kept going for more than a year at my pace will even begin to understand what that entails.
2.      I have discovered to my entire conviction that not many people were interested – in the sense of wanting to/being capable of writing intelligent and decent comments every now and then,
3. I have received a lot of bad vibes, in the form of irrelevant/stupid/offensive comments, not always from complete strangers, and everyone has a limit to his patience,
4.      My basic purpose all along was to keep in touch with ex-students, and after eight years (four of them overlapping with my orkut community), I know now that it doesn’t work, and it is not on the whole very rewarding,
5.      Now that my book has been published, just about anybody can have access to the full range of my thoughts for a mere three hundred and fifty rupees – and I am happy to note that it is selling slowly but steadily all the time.
6.      I have said this before: I have discovered to my chagrin that while most people never have anything to say, those who do, or think they do, lose all sense of manners and decorum when they communicate via the internet, and write in a tone they wouldn’t dream of assuming with me face to face without wetting their pants. I don’t like rats trying to act like lions, nor pinheads presuming to be thinking human beings. So enough.

And now to the changes. Anyone with half an eye cannot fail to notice that the number of ‘members’ of this blog has suddenly dropped drastically. Not an accident: I have been winnowing, and I am not done yet. I discovered that most of these ‘members’ are people I don’t know/have quite forgotten/have hardly ever written a sensible comment on anything at all. They don’t deserve to be here, nor do they have to be. Anybody can read this blog, it’s still in the public domain. But when it comes to commenting, I have changed my settings so that henceforth only members can comment, and I shall be very careful whom I let in hereafter.

Between 43 and 51, after having lived the kind of intense mental life that I have lived, one doesn’t really find out much that is new about humanity. This entire experience of blogging has only confirmed me in my conviction that most human beings are banal, flighty, opportunistic and insensitive at best, and wholly evil at worst. Oh, I have met some good people who have warmed my heart every now and then, but that has been so badly offset by nasty experiences – the worst of which has always been discovering that ‘nice’ people never meant a word of the nice things they said to me, at least for any length of time, that it has left me, if not deeply cynical, at least world-weary beyond redemption. As a (still-) favourite old boy recently said to me quoting the poet, if anyone comes to look me up now,

“they would not find me changed from him they knew/ only more sure of all I thought was true”.

And with this kind of gift from one who has been both daughter and pupil, what do I care about what the rest of the world thinks? Let it only be remembered that I am on the whole very deeply disappointed in my students who are all grown up now: that’s the gentlest thing I can say about them.