This is the 200th post on SloWord and yes, I’ve inflicted your timelines, your readers, your email inboxes 199 times already. Luckily, you’ve managed to ignore me successfully 199 times. Good for you! Now, however, this here 200th post is upon you. You can ignore it too. I mean, why spoil a perfect record of absenteeism? Wordpress also reports that this blog has been in existence for 3 years this month. So that’s another reason to mark this out as something special.
When I started blogging in earnest it was for a very particular reason. Between 1978 and 2010, I wrote nothing at all other than boring reports at work. Unlike many of my contemporaries at school and university I made no attempt to write and submit stories, articles or anything like that to the newspapers, magazines or other publications. When I moved to Canada in 1997, I lived alone for just over a year. Those were depressing days, alone in a strange land, with no money, no job and poor prospects and a wife and 2 kids a million miles away in India. On a quiet evening one day, I said to myself, for I talk to myself a lot, I said, “Ajesh, write.” After four different paragraphs of real rubbish came a poem of sorts and then another.
Now, I’d never been known as a poet. I don’t see myself as a poet. I don’t like to read poetry. I don’t understand any of it. So the fact that the end result of this effort were two deadly dull pieces masquerading as poetry caused even greater depression. I quit all attempts at writing. ( I resurrected one of those poems and you can read it here, if you wish.)
You may have noticed that when I talk to myself I use my real name. Maybe in this 200th post the time has come to reveal who I am. So here goes:
My name is Ajesh Sharma and I have a writing problem. It crept up on me gradually assuming control of my life. After I was laid off for the first time in my life in 2009, I took time off to wonder about myself. Then my My Beloved Bangalan said “Now you have some time on your hands, why don’t you write that book?” So I started. I did. It has a working title too. “One Bluish Egg”. It died even as it began, as the lack of writing skills became painfully obvious.
But then I found I was scribbling a line here and a line there. This turned into paragraphs. At first I convinced myself that I would write cutting edge essays about life, laying bare the absurdities of life and bring enlightenment and joy to my readers. On Blogger / Blogspot I created a blog called “The SloMan Wonders” to contain serious, sarcastic social statements ( not commentary, because the posts were short, very short.)
Soon however, I found Blogspot limited in it’s options, the fonts were deadly dull and layouts pathetic. The heady euphoria of having my words on the internet went to my head. I discovered WordPress and created a new blog there called “AjeshTheLastWord”. I posted personal pieces there, even the “Poetry” went on there. By now, the addiction had me firmly in it’s grip. The multiple logins and Blogspots limitations caused much pain so I merged the two blogs together into this one by applying the formula The SloMan Wonders + AjeshTheLastWord = SloWord. The blog before you.
SloWord is built around my memoirs. There are other posts but they’re basically jut fillers to the real business of writing my memoirs. But the main reason for this blog was to teach me how to write, to give me some practice. I have managed at the end of 4 years of trying to write 2 short stories and two acts of a play that lies currently unfinished. I don’t know if I will ever finish it. Early feedback has been of two kinds, missing or neutral-tending-to-mildly-negative. My own view of my work is that I do not have the skills to write sensitively, I am fearful of truly expressing how I really feel. Hence the flippancy..
There are a few folks I’d like to thank, strangers who’ve become friends, friends who’ve offered support.
Regular readers and correspondents, The Lady of the Cakes, The Mercenary Researcher, Tell Me Another, A.PromptReply, My Year of Sweat, SpunkyBong, Rough Seas in the Med, Everyday Asia, Mindful Magpie and An Englishman in Italy. Folks, I’ve enjoyed having you read my rubbish and I’ve been vastly amused and enlightened by your wonderful work. Thanks! Also, I wanted to thank Anjanadee, who writes real poetry and acts as my sounding board without getting bored which is no mean feat.
And to all those other faceless, anonymous or occasional readers, Seekers of Late Kate and those wondering if mustard oil can be used to season the willow of a cricket bat – thanks for bloating my statistics.
And now: I shall hit publish, else I shall go on rambling forever….
Yes, I know what you’re thinking – it’s too late to stop rambling now, Ajesh!
You’re probably right.
OK! Yes, you’re definitely right. I did ramble on.
It’s too late now, though..