Let's see how this goes. You see, back in school, I was not really into writing. I mean, my school was ICSE, and the standards in English expected of you were rather high. But apart from my assignments (which I avoided whenever I could), and an essay for the English Language paper at the end of every term (a detective story that was exactly the same every time, except for tweaks in plot to fit the question paper), I never wrote anything. Well, almost never. There's always a few exceptions now and then. Until that is, I reached the fag end of my last year in school - Standard Twelve. And then a strange thing happened. I started writing.
The Indian educational system is marvelous. I have been a software engineer for about 4 years now. Up till now, my duties have never required me to know the periodic table, or how to integrate something up to the nth degree (or whatever the hell it was), or the exact scenario when the total kinetic energy produced by a bomb is zero (and, no, the answer is not "when it doesn't explode"). Software engineering requires logical skills, communication skills, and certain other qualities like doggedness, etc (you know, the standard stuff that stands you in "good stead in life" - fill it in yourself).
What it DOES NOT require is the crap that was shoved down my throat during Plus Two. But to get a good job as a software engineer - which is what I wanted, as that subject was just about the only thing I enjoyed (with the exception of my English classes, but that tells more of the wonderful man who took those classes than anything else) - your best bet was to get into a good engineering college, and then take it from there (maybe this has changed now, I don't know). And to get into a good engineering college, you had to do well in maths, physics and chemistry - the aforementioned "crap". Which I didn't. I think I digress.
So, anyway, as the public exams and engineering entrance exams approached, the pressure to do better in those subjects mounted. And to escape all that, I started writing. Mostly attempts at humour, that I'm too embarrassed to share with anyone now. So, what is the point? Is there a point? If you think there isn't a point, could it be a very subtle one that requires reading between the lines? Why should you bother to read between the lines, when there are other ways you could occupy your time? Well, these are all questions that concern you, and as such is not my problem.
Where were we? Ah yes, I started writing. Notwithstanding the last paragraph, I think the point is rather obvious. In fact, I think I did mention it in the last paragraph. So much for reading between the lines. Humph! Writing was a way to get away from my responsibilities. And now, after a long hiatus of several years, I've started again. Why? Will it be temporary, like the last time, or will it last? What responsibilites am I running away from now? Am I running away from any at all? Could there be other torments wreaking havoc on my soul? Or is this just a random whim? Who knows? Maybe time will tell. Maybe it won't. But it'll tell for sure whether it'll tell or not.
That's long enough, no? Before I sign off, though, I guess I have to address this one fear of blogging, or any kind of penning down of thoughts for posterity. That of mediocrity, or worse, the "so bad that it persists for centuries" thingy. You know what I'm talking about. The Edward Bulwer-Lytton or Ed Wood kind of fame. This struck me as I was thinking of something cruel to say in the comments section of a post of a friend of mine. (A far better wordsmith than I ever will be - but then, what has that to do with anything? Does the fact that no one on the planet can wield the willow better than Sachin Tendulkar stop the petty brickbats all too often thrown in his direction?) I think I digress again.
So, paraphrasing myself... "I'll give you a good reason for not blogging. You know people like Robert Frost whose words are quoted admiringly decades after their death? What if I turn out to be the exact opposite? What if, ages and ages hence, after a discussion on "The Road Not Taken", the professor says, "and now for something completely different - Fronkensteen - if you think you've read bad writing, think again; read THIS"?
So, here I am. Boldly marching, head held high, going where only a select few have gone before, staring the possibility of ridicule through the ages dead in the eye. Look at the bravery! The steel! Here is a man to be admired - wish the same could be said of his writing, though...
P.S. - If anyone is thinking of posting a comment along the lines of "Wake up and smell the fresh air (or is it coffee?) You're so full of yourself. Blogs are everywhere. No one's going to remember yours any more than an anonymous grave amongst the millions. Mediocrity's pain is obscurity, not everlasting ridicule;" then I will have to politely ask you to stuff it. Come on. Give me a break. I like to display a bit of bravado now and then. Don't go and spoil it. :D