Expecting all bloggers to come up with staggering prose is actually expecting a little too much. And if you think that those who cannot really write all that well should not start a blog at all, you are wrong again. Basically, blog is not meant for the writers because writers write books and articles. Blogging is like a personal space in public view, an open diary. Blogging is an engagement far more personal than any other kind of writing. It is essentially meant to showcase the outsides of the writer together with the insides of his private being. No novel or autobiography can achieve that feat for a simple reason that in a novel the reader knows that much of it is imagination with the sprinkling of truth a little here and a little there. And there is no way to sieve the truth out of the fiction. An autobiography, on the other hand, is a condensed account of the writer’s life as he sees it. It is loaded with perception of the writer and it is he who chooses as to what he feels is more significant. Naturally, an autobiography of a 60 year old legendary figure simply cannot be a day to day account of all those years. But a blog can be.
Every single day is important in itself and a blog records it all allowing the readers to make their own choices about what to take from the life of the author. The readers become the judges instead of the author. The author becomes more of an author and less of a pre-writing editor of his own writing.
However, a blog that’s excessively self-absorbed interests nobody except for a circle of close friends and acquaintances. The best approach to blogging would be to see and express the person in the backdrop of the larger reality of one’s times.
I am still not sure how to look at Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan’s The Compulsive Confessor because though it is intensely personal, it takes its colour from the fact that the writer is a young girl from urban India with her ‘liberated’ lifestyle on generous display. Therefore, a social background is automatically provided to Meenakshi’s very personal and rather irrelevant life, which is why The Compulsive Confessor clicks with the readers. Meenakshi’s blog simply draws vivid sketches and the reader fill in their own colours. Therefore, some see her as the bold new face of Indian youth, while others consider her the symbol of a decaying civilization; an indication of our misplaced values and withering cultural foundations.
First published on my WordPress Blog on August 28, 2008.