Moved

Uh, perhaps you know it already but still, this is for those special 23 email followers who had been following this blog:

I’m now here – http://writtentomorrow.tumblr.com/

Thank you πŸ™‚

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The 50th Post – 1 Year of Blogging Here and a Silent Goodbye

Come this December 26th, just a day after Christmas, this blog would be one year old. It’s a week from now, but I thought, what the heck. Why wait so long? πŸ˜‰

Mine’s a silent little blog and quite obviously it’s a silent anniversary here. I’m not sure if anyone would get to read this but one year of blogging has taught me so many things – not just about the very aspect of blogging, but about life itself, in general.

Consistency (or the lack of it), unexpected visitor counts, good-will, hasty blogging, and emotional outbursts – the list looks endless. ScribbledHere has taught me more about myself than anyone ever has – and has proved my fears right about myself. As a person, I’ve degraded, come down and in fact fallen flat of my values.

This blog is a decent replica of what I am in this world – little, known-to-a-few, unknown-to-most, often silly and stupid, sometimes funny and humorous, scarcely thoughtful and most importantly, normal. I see myself as friendly but I can hardly be a judge of my own characters so I let people around me decide that.

As far as the blog goes, it sure is friendly to those who are ready to read something – just to spend the time they’ve got!

Here’s the tale of the blog, and my relationship with it over the year.

The History of this Little Blog

It all started in the name of God. I being an atheist, that should somewhat be surprising, but if it isn’t, never mind πŸ˜‰

I started the blog on the Tumblr platform. I loved the simplicity of blogging there.

Over there, what began as a mirror of incidents of my life soon turned out into a storyboard for my thoughts on various things in our lives. A little later, it transformed into a humorous (if you’ll permit me to call that) account of little things that happen around us.

Oh, I also blogged about what I am, and how it affects my life.

It was only in the month of October that I migrated to WordPress – a decision that I continue to regret. WordPress is great, and I mean nothing against it – but it’s not my cup of tea. I love lean, simple and minimalist things. In comparison to Tumblr, WordPress is heavy and complex.

The Stats

I never tracked my blogs visitor-counts when I was on Tumblr, even though I used to track other blogs before. But moving to WordPress provided a built-in insight regarding the number of visits this blog gets everyday.

As of now, the count stands at 457 (total) – and that’s excluding my own visits to my blog. The 457 is from October of this year, which means something thrice of that (1200+) could be the total visits to the blog (both on Tumblr and WordPress).

At 50 posts an year, that’s a little above 2 blogs-posts every month. A bi-monthly affair, eh? πŸ˜‰

The IndiBlogger Experience

Of all the things that felt nice about blogging, getting to be a part of the IndiBlogger network is something that I will cherish forever. I happened to attend their Chennai Meet, I happened to get more blogging friends and I began tweeting a lot. Those things have slacked down for now, but I hope to be back on the scene sometime soon.

Lazy Facts

I have been very inconsistent when it comes to blogging. There have been months when I haven’t posted anything (April and May) and there have been months I posted up to 8 stories here. Here’s some lazy stat you could go after, if you’re bored to the core πŸ˜‰

  • September was the most productive month, with up to 8 posts that month.
  • October arrives second – with 7 posts that month.
  • November and January get the third place with 6 posts.
  • Of all the posts, the first post remains my top favorite, followed by A Tale of Special Siblings (a relation that I cherish to this date and a person I love the most, despite all odds arising out of my stupidity). I also love this post here which was in reverence to three superstars – Rajni, Rahman and Sachin.
  • The Great Secret Behind Chennai Roads (posted when the blog was running on Tumblr) fetched me about 50 Facebook likes and for a moment, it spread like wildfire after Iyshwarya, Arunan, Paulson and Sudhir liked it. (This was a time when what a person likes showed up on the news feed of their friends). In fact, the spread was thanks largely due to Arunan’s and Iyshwarya’s share on their profile.
  • The blog recorded the death of the kittens and the solitude of Chute – the grey kitten that has now become a cat but still cradles in our laps in the mornings and evenings.
  • The month of June was the most emotionally challenging one – and the blog seems to reflect it bluntly.

Rather than calling WordPress a reason for quitting Scribbled Here, I should rather term it as my incapacity to cope up with the slow and needless formalities of this platform. I am moving over to a newer blog soon, on Tumblr for sure.

To sum it up all, it’s not exactly a happy ending but as the saying goes, we choose to see the brighter side.

Qualities that I held dear have diminished in me. I have become more of what I don’t want to be – but all these things are clear only because I have had a glimpse of what I have been through, via the blog posts I’ve written.

It’s a silent reminder that I still have a lot of things to work on. Yet, that’s a silent celebration.

There are hundreds of people to thank. Mentioning names would certainly mean I will miss certain names – which I feel would be the gravest mistake I could ever commit. Yet, I am tempted to mention the names of people I would like to thank very much for making my blog – and the experience of blogging – a pleasant one.

Gayathree, Iyshwarya, Sudhir, Arunan, Rakesh, Geetha M, Paulson, Athulya, Vijay, Arun, Jignesh, one more Sudhir, Sujan, Thamizhinian, Felix, Vinoth, Rohit and more. As said before, there are plenty more – and I am really grateful and thankful to each one of them.

It’s time. Goodbye Scribbled Here.

Of Colleges, Accreditation, NAAC and our Idiosyncratic System

I am no administrator. I am not a professor either. I dont belong to a management of any educational institution. But being a student is sufficient enough to speak about the fantastic, brilliant and amazing method of accreditation of our colleges through NAAC – the expansion of which escapes my memory, but which is something like the National Academic Accreditation Council.

Last week, the college where I happen to study (read do data-entry work for the department I belong to) had the long-due NAAC accreditation process. For starters, it’s the way UGC credits the colleges based on the college’s achievements, performance and overall status.

There are quite a lot of parameters and variables that go into the decision of accreditation. An A+ with five star rating means an excellent college, while there are other accreditation grades which actually mean “useless, should be closed down but we’re giving you more chances” but are put decently as “potential for exceptional growth” or something diplomatic like that.

There’s only one damned question I have in mind. What’s the point in inspecting a college through a NAAC committee (comprising of principals, vice-chancellors etc. from various other colleges / universities of different states) when you have already alerted the college about to be accredited?

I mean, it’s plain simple and obvious.

 

You know what happens actually? The moment you say, okay we’re gonna send the inspection team on such-and-such date, preparation for the inspection starts!

The whole college suddenly begins to work! And for what? Not the students, not man-making education, not for the sake of learning. But, merely, for the inspection team!

This is what happens every time!

There was this physics teacher in my 12th who used to say, dont give me false statement. We used to laugh at the grammatical and funny aspect of the phrase he used frequently. But when you actually see what a college does in front of the inspecting committee, that phrase suddenly seems so bloody true.

So, hey you NAAC fellas! You are fooling yourself, and we are fooling ourselves – and in the end, a college that’s half-immersed in internal politics, mis-management, and improper vision gets a good rating – all because it had earned a great name way back in the past.

How in the hell do you expect our students to take up research, to take up philosophical thought and be innovative if this is the method you follow? It’s all an eye-wash!

With all due respect to your committee, to the proficiency of the members of the committee and the whole idea of informing the college before you inspect it (to test the reality of the college’s performance and functioning) – eff off!

Am I That Bad?

I know I’m bad, Grandma. But I hope I am not as bad as you made it out.

They called me a cold sob. I didnt care.

They called me an aloof, and because back then it was partly true, I didnt mind.

They called me old-school and stupid. I didnt care, again.

They called me the bloody naasthikavaadi. I never minded – because that’s precisely what I am, at times.

They called me indifferent, heartless and opportunist. I just didnt care at all.

They even told I was full of false-pride and ego. In the past, may be I really was. I believe I am different now, but still the chanting continues – I didnt mind.

And then, I enquired about your health and well-being.

I dont know why you responded the way you did.

You didnt say a thing. Oh you chose not to. You did not look at me in the eye and smile. You chose not to. You did not even acknowledge the question. You chose not to. You just muttered a stern and cold “mmm..” which made it clear that you didnt even want to respond to me.

And I felt bad. Very bad.

I have remained away from my paternal relatives for long, yes. I dont exactly mingle a lot with many of these people. But I respect them all! I like my cousins and I gladly want to help everyone when they ask me a favor. I am okay with being just a useful instrument when they require me. I respect my dad’s siblings, a.k.a your kids. But I keep a respectful distance at all times. That’s what I am. I certainly dont intend any ill-will, but I dont want to interfere. I am not the ekkedaavadhu-pogattum type. I am edhu-nadandhaalum-nalladhukkaaga-nadakkum type.

There was only one thing that moved me to tears of late. My mom accusing me of brimming with false-pride when all I wanted to do was tell her I was not as bad as she made me look. I made my defense and in return, I was falsely accused.

I still dont know why my eyes welled up when you replied the way you did, grandma, but it sure made me feel bad about myself.

Probably it was the hope and trust that I always have had in grandparents; probably it was the belief that grandparents are more outgoing, forgiving and benevolent than even parents; or probably for that one brief moment, I suddenly trusted my mom’s words about me being one of your favorite grandchildren, not realizing that all grandchildren remain equal to your eyes.

Yes, I am bad, I know it, and I accept it completely. I am working on being good, too, even though failures pile up.

And I am sorry for whatever I did that made me so loathsome to you. I truly am.

– Your Grandson.

Out of Focus – How A DSLR Hunt Ended In A Digicam! Darn!

There was once a point of time when all I knew about cameras was the Yashica Electro 35 – my dad’s famed possession which he bought for some 2000 bucks way back in the 80s (or 70s, I’m not so sure). This was the time when he used to tell me how hard photography was – well, with that film camera, it sure was darn hard. It was a single-lens no-zoom kinda camera – but it sure got me hooked for a while with its self-timers πŸ˜‰

After that, I never gave much thought to cameras, photography et al but of late, I’ve been having – much like the generation I belong to – an enormous craze towards DSLR cameras. So, as is the usual case, the hunt begins.

Having handled pretty deftly (which, coming from me, should be read as awkwardly) some FujiFilm camera with good zoom and an EVF I began liking the EVF-kind very much. Yes, I still like these a lot as opposed to the LCD-only point-and-shoot cams.

Well, β€œthe hunt” began something like an year back – or.. oh fish! I don’t remember it. Must be late last year or early this year. I first took a look at those DSLR-like superzoom cameras and was like β€œWow! this is it! I am going to get one of these and zoom-in from different angles and look like a professional photographer and wowww!” None of it, eventually, was to happen.

So this was a time when I was a part-time work-from-home guy – with a rapidly deteriorating savings account (whose downward trend, even today, seems to be perfectly intact)! And so, I had a heavy budget of 10k-15k. For that budget, if you are on the camera scene, you’ll know, you get what DSLR-camera-owners like my buddy Sujan would call β€œa piece of sh*t.” Boy oh boy, I had lined up a few FujiFilm, Kodak and other cameras – with EVFs – and I also had some refurbished ones on Amazon bookmarked.

With money, my story has always been the same. If I save enough to decide to buy something I consider worthwhile, some or the other obligation comes up – and I end up having to put off things. It happened with my laptop. And it just happened with the camera too πŸ˜›

Well, all those things apart, here’s the kick. Someone who decided not to have the point-and-shoot ever just because he wanted the DSLR so badly turned up buying just the thing he would not want to have. And here I am with the Sony DSC S3000!

I like it, though, and that’s in the day. In the night, especially outdoors, I would rather not talk about it!

Yeah, this is a rant. A bloody rant with no other intention! πŸ˜› Well, let’s see. Some more work would probably mend my finances enough – and by six or seven months down the lane, we’d buy a good DSLR. We as in Rakesh and me πŸ˜› If you’re reading this Rakesh, I want you to make sure you too get ready for a May/June/July 2012 DSLR hunt! πŸ˜€

How Not To “Farm” Your Hair! – The Hair Care Tale

Yeah this is so so strange of me here. Me posting about hair care!! If my mom came to know about this, she’d first be rolling on the floor laughing and then look at me skeptically – giving me the death stare πŸ˜›

There are reasons for everything, though.

Dove

First off, this is my official entry to the Dove’s Love your Hair and it Loves you Back contest.

Secondly, my mom would give me the death stare because I take care of my hair like a lot!! (If you didnt get the sarcasm there, please do get it now) πŸ˜›

But all these things apart, the reason I am here, posting about this is out of my mom’s genuine concern for her hair. Now, dont get me wrong – she doesnt have a long, silky, soft, smooth and flowing hair. Most of that has disappeared after marriage – and more so after I started asking questions about life (:P)

My childhood memories are filled with my mom taking good care of my hair – yeah, my hair – with all of these:

  • regular, once-a-week, mandatory hair-wash with shikakai. Shampoos came very late.
  • applying oil to the hair every day – and it was not just applying oil. it was a 3-minute soothing massage that would often put me to sleep.
  • making sure the hair isnt disheveled (this was not just for “looks” but also to keep the hair-line in check :P)

And yeah, my childhood memories are also filled with one more important thing: How Not To Care For Your Hair!

My mom is unlike everyone else – rather than tell me how to do something, she’d tell me how NOT to do something. The underlying principle, I came to know of later, was that things are perfect as they are – till we enter the scene and disturb the balance.

So here are some simple ways on how NOT to do something that would affect your hair:

  • Dont fret too much about hair-fall: Strange as it might sound (or common if we go by my previous post), one of the first things you shouldnt do is worry. Scientists have linked “worry” as an important factor in hair-fall and that’s very ba(l)d. (note to self: now I know why my dad’s bald and my mom’s been facing the problem of rapid hair-fall – they probably mutually worry about how they could have lived happily had they not tied the knot πŸ˜›)
  • Never forget that coconut oil is the best remedy: Not for nothing do the Malayalis depend so much on coconut oil. It has powers that science has yet to discover/uncover. Sure, we have uncovered the coconut and found out many things inside, but the powers are hidden. Applying coconut oil everyday is something that you JUST CANT miss – I missed out on that and the result is my mom scolding me every morning – and a slight recession in my hairline 😦 πŸ˜‰
  • Dont wash your hair too often: I tend to see grooming your hair as a farming activity πŸ˜› Oh yeah, too much water spoils the farm plants, you know? That’s called flooding. The hair behaves much in the same way. Too much water, and it tends to fall even faster than you can imagine. Blink and there goes another bunch! πŸ˜› Once or twice a week is okay (yeah, mom mentioned it just now!)
  • If you are applying Oil, Shampoo, Nourisher etc., Do A Massage: Now that I think about it, one of the most important reasons why I skip applying oil everyday is because I love my mom massaging my hair when she applies it – which makes the scoldings kinda acceptable πŸ˜› Women today – most of them, I guess – are either rushing to the office or quite busy with other things. So all that happens is, pull some oil/nourisher out, rub as fast as you can (all sectors over the head covered, nevertheless) and then rush out. Well that is of “almost” no use, sweethearts πŸ˜› Remember your mom or grandma applying shikakai or oil on your head? Remember why it felt so good? It was a massage. You may or may not need it, but your hair sure does πŸ˜€

Phew, I seem to have written quite a lot (without actually having anything to write!). But here are some interesting posts – with a tinge of humor (like the way I like) from my fellow bloggers on IndiBlogger. Oh yes, you will get some excellent tips on caring for your hair – unlike my post πŸ˜›

That’s quite a large reading list, if you ask me. But if you’re serious about keeping yourself away from hurting your hair, I suggest you do read them all πŸ˜‰ Hair a nice day. πŸ˜€

Simple. Simpler. Simplest. And That’s Leo Babauta Philosophy For You!

Take a western guy. Mix Buddhist elements in him. Talk about self-realization. You get a curiously interesting mix of spirituality, productivity, time management, life management, zen – to cut short, you get Leo Babauta.

The last time I stumbled on his website – which was back then starting out as a small self-help type – was when I had dial-up in my home and my dad was paying the telephone bills. Back then, I was a kid.

Today I am not exactly a grown-up (who is, anyway? :P) but that is beside the point.

Leo’s ZenHabits website has turned out into a megaton of posts that deal with improving our lives in simple ways. It’s all the way about simplicity, the power of less and such “zen” kind of stories, anecdotes and personal experiences which he shares.

Yeah, the vastness of his website, the megalith amount of content he has produced over the years and the way he has inspired several hundred thousand people are all impressive enough. But you know what’s truly impressive?

His personal website homepage.

It defines, in my humble opinion, everything that he is.

Simple. Uncluttered. Concise. Clear.

I am reminded of this quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupery:

It seems perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add but when there is nothing left to take away.

If we learnt how to be all that at all times – simple, uncluttered, concise and clear – we’d probably be out of trouble most of the times πŸ˜› And in all probability, we’d enjoy life every moment – yeah, even the bad moments would be relished πŸ˜‰

If by any chance you happen to be reading this, take a look at this. πŸ™‚