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.


Blogger Yours Truly...Conman said...

Yeah... this year has gone by really fast...
Seems like just yesterday...

22 October, 2005  
Blogger Yours Truly...Conman said...

And what story? Tell me about it. Can I read it online somewhere?

22 October, 2005  
Blogger the cowlick said...

...a lot of who you are I think depends on where you are.
Absolutely! Places change a person completely. I've seen a perfect example of it recently when a friend visited from Bombay. He just can't seem to get enough of that place.
PS: glad you're back to blogging

23 October, 2005  
Blogger writer-in-egg-style said...

Somehow, somewhere... impulsive spontaneity still reigns. That's a relief.

Space may have something to do with it, sure. But why this distinction between mind space and physical space? If "headroom" is space for both, then Delhi would actually outscore Mumbai.

Okay, Mumbai has some spaciously warm new glass-n-steel constructions, and Hollywood (or LA, rather) gave us that thoughtfully awesome cinema set in "The Truman Show". But by way of inspiration, if "freedom" is your thing and "reality" is the question, Delhi's architectural splendour from centuries ago is worthy enough for both.

Depends on space in one's own mind, I guess, ever-expansive as it is supposed to be. You may have outgrown that "magical feeling" of early commemorations, but with luck, your "just another day" shrug could be a sign not of apathy, but of passion...

Passion for a real paradigm buster.

24 October, 2005  
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