Blogging for life

After a very very long time, I feel the urge to blog today. Not because I have news to share or need a channel to vent. But to re-establish what was once so dear to me.

Blogging was an integral part of my life. A mechanism to channel my thoughts. A mode to meet new friends, likeminded or otherwise. And a passion that gave words (sometimes paragraphs) to random musings. And with my increasing absence, it remains a journey half complete.

This I refuse to accept.

What started as an online record of my public-personal life, which also was one way of fitting in, to an ever growing spectra of social networking. Slowly, it became more than that. It was my own space on the World Wide Web. My own little identity. Blogging was beginning to be fun. Slowly the number of bloggers who I interacted with increased. At one point, every post had nearly a 100 comments. The tags, challenges, awards – Blog world was buzzing. The race to be the first comment on a post was what mattered. Who cared about another rat-race called life. For me, blogging had changed. It was now about meeting new people. Making new friends. But how this impacted my blog, I only realized later. The desire to get more visitors to my blog was now the key. The unsaid rule was ‘you comment on my post, I comment on yours’. The game had changed.

I was no longer blogging for myself. I connected this blog to my Facebook account and every post was flashed there. Who was I blogging for? Time to separate both worlds. Blogging and Facebook have to live two independent lives.

And maybe that’s why, I was lost in my journey. And as a result, I lost my passion to blog. Lost some good friends along the way. Some are just an obscure memory. Others a comment on some old post. And a select few on my friend list of Facebook.

Time was my best excuse. It still is. I got busy. Work got the better of me. Life was moving on. Why wouldn’t it? Isn’t that what life does. It moves on. And so did my life.

I was only a 26 year old bloke who had just relocated to Dubai and about to get married, when I started this blog. Today, I am 33, and father to 2 lovely kids. It took 7 years to get here. Where did all that time go? Seven years! Oh well, let me leave the nostalgia for another post.

Though it was this day, 7 years ago, that it all started. So here’s what I am gonna do. This space, this little logically obscure collection of my life, will not bite dust anymore. I vow to get back. Not for any one but for me.

Time to catch up and regain some lost ground. This time for real.

Dry days one too many

The last few months have been rather dry for me as far as blogging is concerned. Not really sure why. And I am not able to change that, as much as I am trying. I can’t even get myself to blog-hop anymore. Surely somethings wrong with me. My last post was on Oct 25th. Yes, its been close to a month since I’ve posted. But that’s not bothering me. Oct 25th 2010 marks my blog’s third birthday. And I forget to celebrate it. I even posted that day and yet it did not strike me. I am a little ashamed. Not too long ago, this blog was were I spent most of my time. Now, I barely drop in once a day. Let alone post something. It’s like I’ve run out of things to write about. Is that even possible?

One reason is time. I always blogged from work. Never from home and never on weekends. Always managed to take out some time during the day to post, reply to comments, blog hop etc. But ever since I’ve taken up this new role at work, time has become a luxury I can’t afford anymore. I feel bad about it. More so because I loved blogging and everything that went with it. And not being able to blog leaves me feeling guilty and a little unfulfilled. I feel disappointed. I feel I am letting you all down as well.

Is it time to shut shop? :(

Lots happening, Good times, Eid Mubarak

It has never happened that I have neglected this blog for so long without taking a sabbatical. Not sure why but I just don’t feel like blogging anymore. But anyways, to counter that, I’ve decided to write a post forcefully. Maybe even at the cost of boring you all to death. But what the hell.

Life has been hectic lately. Mainly because during the holy month of Ramadan, the working hours here are reduced to 6 hrs. Yes, that is really cool but this also means we only have 6 hrs to do what we normally do in 8-9 hrs. Eitherways, Ramadan is about to end. And then we have Eid holidays from tomorrow till Sunday, though Eid is expected to be on Friday. So after what looks like an eternity, I will finally have my favorite latte from Costa on Monday morning! :)

Lots of stuff happening on the work front but I can only tell y’all this much now. More as things unfold in the next few days.

Ibrahim on the other hand has made sure he’s not left far behind in this rat race of life. If I measure up and put everything that’s happening in my life on one hand, he alone is enough for the other. He is a year and 8 months old now (Man, that’s how fast time is flying!) and is already a riot. He is shouting, running, throwing stuff, breaking things, not ready to eat, not ready to sleep, hurts himself while playing every day, you name it and he’s onto it – that’s his day in a nutshell. And to think of it, he’s our only child. What happens when we have a few more like him in the future. Jeez!

September is a good month for us. My wife celebrates her birthday this month and so do I. And so does my mom and my sis-in-law. Lots of cake. And lots of it on that waist line too!

Which reminds me, my diet has gone for a toss. Big time. And so has my workouts. Gotta hit back to the track from next week. Sheesh, I can almost hear my bones creaking!

And I need to get back to my reader! I think it is ready to explode.

All from next week though. For now, I am just waiting for the next 30 minutes to pass by uneventfully and I can take off from work. Only to be back on Monday after a long weekend of festivities and fun. Eid is our biggest festival and more so welcome because it comes after a month of fasting, prayers and spiritual introspection.

Wish you all a blessed Eid. See you on the other side of the weekend. Cheers.

Making it count

Its been a while since I posted. Not that I am terribly busy or something. Just lazy. And have been neglecting this blog and the blog world as well.

But a jolt woke up me. And that too from the blog world.

The news about IHM’s daughter, Tejaswee Rao, left me shocked and speechless. I could not believe it. This is so unfortunate. And it has been on the back of my mind all along. Every now and then, when it comes to mind, I am lost in my thoughts, often with a lump in my throat.

Last evening I revisited IHM’s last post and went through some of the comments and condolences. One particular comment really caught my attention. I did not read all of them so forgive me if there are more like these, but this one just stood out. It was from a person who chose to call herself  “Someone you know”. Here is that comment:

I’m there for you
August 13, 2010 11:48 pm

you have found so many daughters here on blogsphere IHM..we all are with you in your pain. not to shed tears, but to give you strength. We will never be able to take Tejaswee’s place, but we are there if you need us. this is the space where you will find us whenever you need us.

- Someone you know

A loss is a loss. No one can replace the loss of a loved one. But what IHM has done to the blog-world, by her posts, her messages, her thoughts, her values and her ideas, has helped countless others to look at life with a different perspective. Maybe even gather the courage to go out there and fight after all was lost. Not too many people can boast about that. Not too many have that kind of influence and respect amongst peers.

So it was not at all surprising to see someone leave a comment like that. I felt relieved and satisfied. Hats off to whoever wrote that comment for standing up at the right time and making it count. You have my respect.

May Tejaswee’s soul rest in peace. And may God almighty give you and your family strength to cope with this loss, IHM. God bless.

FB + Twitter > WP?

I think so. Over the last 4-6 weeks, most of my updates and social discussions have been either on Facebook or Twitter. And I have seen that trend for quite some time amongst bloggers.

Are bloggers moving away from blogging to other social networking platforms?

It is a rather sad and painful transition I must say. We bloggers have established such a fantastic forum of knowledge transfer (read: bakwaas & lukhagiri) and seeing that on the decline is quite upsetting. And what’s worse is that I also seem to be following the same path.

Is FB and Twitter eating up blogs? After all, twitter is considered micro-blogging. And with status updates on FB and subsequent comments, it isn’t too different from blogging. What do y’all think?

Edited to add: Is it even fair to compare them?

Real life and blog life – Are you the same?

The other day, I was having an interesting discussion with IHM and Sols on how different are we in real lives as compared to our virtual lives (or blog lives).

I think we live a dual life. Both could be similar or completely different. Why I say dual life is because our blog profile takes up a large portion of our time daily. It is very important to us. We give ourselves to it every day. We login without fail. We take out time from our daily chores and routines just for that. We make friends on blogs. We discuss stuff. We joke around. We have fun. And then, we logout and get back to our lives. To our families. To work. To the real world. Isn’t this like living dual lives?

In real life, we interact with people face-to-face, hear their voices, have physical contact, laugh out loud (in the real way and not just LOL!) while in the virtual life, we interact using only words and sentences. We send hugs and smileys and LOLs. We share our thoughts through comments that we can undo or edit if we want. Can we do that I real life as well? Would you walk up to someone you barely know and give him/her a hug? Or can we really speak out all that we write in comments?

So here’s a question to all of you. How similar are we to our virtual profiles? There are several bloggers out there who blog only through aliases. We associate that alias to that person. Are you and your alias the same? What do you all think? Lets hear it from the horse’s mouth. How similar are you to your blog profiles?

As for me, I think the real me, Masood Salem, and the blogger me, Logical Obscurity, are ‘almost’ the same. When I write a post, I write about what I think and what I stand for. IHM said it quite aptly “our blogs are a reflection of us”. I think that’s true. Where I differ is, in real life, I don’t speak up as much as I do on blogs and comments. For instance, on social issues, or on parenting, or on the global economy. I may hold opinions but do I have enough opportunities to express my opinion about these issues daily? I don’t think so. Plus, I don’t bother too much as well. Likewise when I meet different people. To many, I appear warm, funny and hospitable. But to many others, I may be silent, snobbish or egoistic. What I am trying to say is, in real life, our negative traits or characteristics, if any, are evident every now and then. But on blogs and comments, aren’t we making a concise attempt to reveal only our positive side, being all nice and sugar-coated?

Two years it is

Yesterday I completed two years of blogging. It’s unbelievable to think how far I have come compared to where and when I started. This blog was just a medium for self-expression (something that I never believed in before I started blogging). And now its an integral part of my life. Kinda like my virtual life.

Sometimes I feel I am actually living a dual life. One where I meet people with flesh and blood, and the other where I meet people only through words and comments. If something substantial happens in real life, it has to be updated on the virtual life.

Often wonder how similar are these dual lives. Am I too different in real life? Very few people know both of me closely. But I never really bothered to figure that out. Doesn’t really matter. As long as both co-exist peacefully.

I wrote a post last year on my first blog birthday. I summarized what blogging was to me then. So I don’t want to do a similar post this time. Rather let me think of what really changed from last year? Just one thing I guess. Ibrahim :). He became a part of my life. Being a father, a parent, has been the single-most important, the biggest difference from last year. And I don’t think anything else can override this one ever.

Everyone ends up saying the same things on such posts – thank yous and sorrys and we go about raving about how blogging has changed our lives and how we made such great friends through blogs etc etc. I’ll not say all that. Its been said before. And I have nothing new to add.

So lets just keep doing what we do. And keep having fun. And keep blogging away to glory.

Lots of love.