Thursday, October 27, 2005

Look what I stumbled upon

A blog, apparently Bipasha Basu's. It's on rediff, and it announces at the outset that it is going to be used to promote Apharan, a film by Prakash Jha, in which Bips plays a deglamourised role. No doubt the handiwork of some smart PR person, who realised that blogs have a way of spreading the word and a film like Apharan will probably need the word of mouth. There are just two posts and can you guess the number of comments? 196. Some, as expected, obscene, some just the usual fan rantings and of course all these people actually believe that it is Bips writing and editing and maintaining that blog. Got the link from here, by the way.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

And oh yeah, another birthday...

This year all the birthdays in my life (my own and my blog's) have been non-events. There are some people who believe that a birthday is just another day. You should enjoy each day. Maybe I'm turning into one of those people. Of course one of my blog loyalists pointed out that my blog had turned a year (it actually hadn't occurred to me) and I still didn't react, until today, because I have the time, and more importantly, a free head. A big story that I was on has been published, and it's amazing to see how life changes in 365 days.
I just went back to my very first blog, called Hiya, posted on Oct 12. I was living in Delhi, had just quit journalism after 7 years and joined British Council as a corporate communications manager. Oh, my God! The entire blog was about why I'd quit the line and why I called my blog what I did, and why I'd be a writer nonetheless.. blah blah. But one thing I have to say. I worked in British Council for just three months, but those three months gave me some very important things. Firstly, the freedom in every way, to start this blog, because I felt the need to keep writing, one way or another. The second, it made me go back to reading books. Something I had totally stopped doing. Here I had the time and the access and I haven't stopped since.
And how my life has changed. I went back to being a full fledged journalist who is now living the 11 to 11 life (not 9 to 9 or 9 to 5), and today I'm sitting with my first really big story out and I'm elated and I'm remembering what my boss said to me when I was quitting, about how she failed to understand that I couldn't see how much of a news person I was. She actually wrote in my resignation 'bad decision' but 'good luck'. Plus, I changed cities, from Delhi to Mumbai. A new life, a new place, from the comfort of your own car to a train. From some level of snobbishness to absolute humility in the floods... plus a big (and my first) trip outside the country. I don't know... It's just been a year and how my life has changed.
And the most important, my chanting, and my SGI. Which I think has had greater impact in my life than I realise and which I could never do in Delhi, though I tried. Delhi, as someone told me once, gives you physical space, but Mumbai gives you mental space. And as much as I bitch about this city, I must say, for this I salute it. I have never felt so free, and so safe and so mentally unfettered... in spite of the trains and the muck and the jams... there I go again.
Every physical space, every location has a vibe and it imparts a feeling, and you cannot remain unaffected by it even if you try. So a lot of who you are I think depends on where you are. How relaxed or upset or controlled or enraged... it does depend on where you live. So am I softening to Mumbai or is Mumbai softening to me? I don't know. But if it were a person, I'd give it a bear hug right now.


This is crazy, this is absolutely crazy. The entire point of a blog is to be able to write what you feel like, in an unhibited manner. But if, like Gaurav Sabnis and Rashmi Bansal, one is going to be villified and sued then one will really have to think about what one writes. The idea of a blog is to be able to put down the stuff you can't put down in mainstream media or mainstream public domain, but if companies are going to be pressurised and people are going to have to lose their jobs, then it's really pathetic. We'll all have to start using codes -- now I know what that ridiculous thing called the 'P' language was invented -- to get over their heads. Hmm....

Here is where Gaurav has posted the mail IIPM sent him.