What About Everything – A Long Personal Update


Nobody today writes blogs that give updates about their lives. Ok some of you still do but they are mostly few and far in between. There was a guy called ‘Ok’, so full of himself, like the rest of us, who used to update his blog with tidbits on when he slept, what he ate and who he thought about that day. We don’t do that anymore. Remember summer of 2008? Or maybe at the end of spring when it all started. Count how many of you were there? Maxdavinci, Anantha, Maami, NRI Maami, Shenoy, BPSK, Preeti, Mayth, Sthita, Nandini, Drenched, Rads, Arun Sundar, Chutney. People like buddy, Idling, complicateur too joined but that was a bit later in the year I think. I know where all these people are but the fun in the blogs and blog comments space is all gone like the rum. There was a recession at the end of the same year all over the world and who knew, it apparently affected blogs too. Like cutting costs in an institution, we decided to cut words and characters and shifted to Twitter. Hell, you know it’s arrived when even Amrita ends up joining Twitter! It’s great fun alright, but then like the mysterious Don Draper once said, “Nostalgia – it’s delicate but potent. It’s a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone.” More on this man later.

The actual recession ended up spoiling a lot of things. Not in the long run, just the immediate after effects. I did write about having returned to India around April ’09 but then deliberately avoided personal updates on the blog. There was a bit of initial struggle and things not working out for three or four months. It was a good time though to be back in India after about 2 years and enjoying all the royal treatment that usually follows. Around September ’09, you could say I got what I wanted. It actually turned out to be the best possible outcome after about 10 months of agony(Ok I didn’t exactly live in a closed room these months, but what’s there!). Things picked up from there and the general cycle of friends and movies during weekends, family get togethers etc. continued. It was like college all over again because most of the friends are here in Chennai and I just picked up from where I had left off. Around the same time, got an awesome opportunity to write for The Banyan Trees through Nivi. I’ve been writing a column for them monthly and we just completed one year with our latest issue. I got my first car.

This became a full fledged movie blog for sometime. I had the freedom with respect to time, that was lacking in grad school, so I made full use of it to exercise this undying love for films. The personal updates and nostalgia posts stopped(thanks to not being away from home) with the topic of films and film analysis taking over. This also meant I stopped reading. One of the first things I did on returning was become a member in Eloor Library at T.Nagar but that card was gathering dust till recently. I got into films and heavily into TV shows. Beginning with 24, which I got addicted to during my idle days in New Jersey, it was followed by Weeds, How I Met Your Mother, House, The Wire. The Wire! What a show that was! Like it has been said a million times before, it puts about 99.99% of television to shame. Much recently, Mad Men. Don Draper jumps off the screen as the coolest guy since James Bond.  Interesting that we track Don Draper’s life during the same decade when Sean Connery walked into Fountainbleau Hotel. He came across as an amalgamation of Bond and Hank Rearden/John Galt at first. But ultimately, Don Draper is an absolute original. I’ve hit the pause button on TV shows to get back to reading for now.

Twitter became big during this time. I’ve been on it since my Spring ’08 at NC State, but then I was only following the familiar crowd. But now it’s huge, almost everyone you meet on the road is on Twitter. A bunch of us here in Chennai got introduced to a gang we would have never met, if not for Twitter. That has gone beyond tweetups to weekly meets and cuts! I end up being with family or college friends sometimes, but I do drop in every now and then when I can. But all things considered, a great set of people to know, these guys. Only problem, I don’t do this often thanks to some sort of family based event or something that keeps cropping up at regular intervals. Now that’s another aspect which has it’s own pros and cons.

When I returned, I started living with my parents after a gap of six years. It’s great. We moved into a new home, one that we can call our own after living outside Chennai in quarters etc. for about fifteen years. To have mom’s food on everyday basis and just be able to do things together. But it can also be said that I got caught living with my parents in the wrong side of my 20s? I hope that’s not an irresponsible thing to say because I think it’s one of the  first stages in life when you want to get away. Also coupled with the fact that I got too used to living independent, all on my own. A tricky situation and I can bet two of you reading this blog would say, “Welcome to our world” or “You have a long way to go..Wait for it…”. I also know which two. One aspect am at the opposite end of the graph with my parents is the concept of savings/investments. I’ve just not been tuned to live like that. Most of the time I’ll be like Kathadi Ramamurthy in Ayya Amma Ammamma, talking about his father in law, “Adhu edho insurance form ah kuduthutu sign podu, sign podu nu sollitu irundhudhu“(Sorry, no translation, but you get the drift). Now I can’t go tell them that Don Draper says, “I live like there is no tomorrow, because….there isn’t one.” I’d be kicked out of the house. Who was it that said anything about being born alone and dying alone?

(The song above is something I can relate to, the most. At any point in my life. So far.)


Fontainebleau Miami Beach


33 thoughts on “What About Everything – A Long Personal Update

  1. I remember those personal updates blog. When I started blogging,around 2005, those blogs were all over the place. It is nice to read about these updates about people you know about and care.

    Glad to know that you are having a great time. I am going to go all cliche and say, sometime it takes a bad phase to get in to a great phase. Having been there a few times myself.

    As for TheBanyanTrees, it has been nothing short of a great pleasure to have you write for us.Your column is one of the most popular and it does really put us on the map :) So thanks!

    Adi: Heh thanks for those kind words! But yes, the good phase is all the more sweeter when you come from a unimaginably bad phase!


  2. I miss the personal anecdotes. Gave so much insight into each person’s life. Made human observation so much more interesting. I know I sound like some stalker and I don’t care if people think I am. But I made some of my closest friends because I related to what they said on the blog.

    Its a different thing that :P while lamenting the loss of personal blogs, you’ve gone back to feeding your urge to write on Mad Men ;), yet another TV show/movie post :P

    Adi: I know, couldn’t resist :P


  3. I have read ur blogs for sometime. Yeah of late it has slightly become bbthots kinds of movie reviews but nevertheless its good fun.I love to read blogs where ppl update their life’s happenings :)

    I also had one gang of friends who used to read/write blogs and most of them are extinct now except me. I think they totally lost interest in blogging after sometime.

    Twitter is cool and You are Super active there :)
    Keep blogging !!!

    Adi: Thanks da! But no, am not that religiously watching movies like bbthots!


  4. I remember OK. :-)

    I remember those good times. Miss them, but i guess it’s okay for them to be in the past too.

    I thought I’d be okay with twitter coming back, but somehow it still seems like noise to me. I can’t imagine what I can say that would be remotely interesting to anyone at all!

    O well, am waiting for 2010 to wrap up, maybe this is my big slump year/phase/time.

    Adi: Of course you remember OK :P Heh, the whole camaraderie and insanely checking GReader everyday are gone.


    1. Hahaha, like that worked. :-D I remember this conversation though… You said you wrote to avoid being read and I retorted with “oh I write just to Be Red”… Think Don Draper may actually be right about the delicacy, potency etc of that thing called nostalgia??

      Adi: Oh look who’s here! Ahem, welcome!


      1. What ‘welcome’? like I haven’t been here before… your Rahman concert writeup (think I said something about Karuthamma, college, rain etc)…that post on Summer (the movie; over there, I’d shared the link for a book review of Love and Summer, the William Trevor novel)… Enna, semma obvious-a email id vechunda thaan recognize pannuvingalo?

        Or maybe you presumed that I’m (indirectly) thanking you for the Don Draper quote and therefore proceeded to clear your throat to say “welcome”? If so, that works just as well. :-)


  5. Any post that mentions KR in “Ayya, Amma, Ammamma” gets my vote :-)

    Enjoy the everything by-choice kinda lifestyle – the lifestyle by compulsion (aka you aint young no more) will come about soon enough

    Adi: :) Thanks for the warning!


  6. I think about it too. I didn’t think it was a trend though. When I was blogging around 03-06 all the blogs were personal, now all seem to be on movies/ books. And comments used to be from people who knew me personally, now feels more like people I know through the blog. It’s amazing this transition. But I had actually thought, it was happening just to me ;) :D *oh and living with parents on the wrong side of 20s is a theme I so relate to as well *

    Adi: I am not sure. I bet there are 100 blogs out there who are doing the same thing even now. A bunch of us have grown out of it. And you are definitely not alone!


  7. Great post ! I was still reading on to see if I have missed on any updates on your personal life but sad you scraped past it .But I am impressed with your versatile style and content of blogging.Thanks to you that I got introduced to the new space of blog reading and have inspired a few others to post blogs.

    Adi: Wait. What personal life update I scraped off?! That’s all there is :P


  8. Sigh. Miss those days! I remember being a compulsive anecdote teller on everyones blog. Most of them were terribly boring of course but they served as an avenue for reminiscing. My own blog was supposed to be a chronicle of my life (slightly jazzed up). Twitter. That’s the culprit. In my case twitter has more or less killed my blog. It still hangs on grimly but I fear for it.

    Twitter. I’ve tried to de-addict myself several times but I keep going back.

    Adi: Oh we remember those anecdotes. I think a huge bunch of them are deep inside Drenched’s blog but the crazy girl would have deleted them!


  9. Those definitely were the good ol days :( Silly fights with OK and Drenched, Mayth and her personal stuff etc etc. Was sooo much fun! I’m still the same in terms of blogging though – I write to vent out personal stuff. BUT the thing is, noone replies. Though we don’t write to be read, it’s always nice to get someone else’s opinion (especially someone who doesn’t know you personally) and see what someone else would do in a similar situation. Now that noone does that, it’s like naa thaniya polambi ena, aduku id rather pick the phone up and crib to a friend! Since I don’t Twitter, it’s even worse for me.

    And living with parents at this stage? The lesser I say the better! :)

    Adi: LOL @ silly fights with OK. I know you still write, but dont worry, we are also still reading :P


    1. Preets, yeah good times! :) You should come on Twitter, the gangship is still intact there :D

      Adi: Hello, but you only give blink and miss appearances, like once a week. Not good.


  10. Actually, I think all of us-at some point of time this year- have wondered why all the blogs died pretty much at the same time.
    Like you said, the recession spread its tentacles into our blogosphere *melodramatic reaction*

    But I’m uber happy with Twitter.:) Its much better to have a dead blog with Twitter around than not.

    Adi: That is true though. At least you know everyone can be contacted and not entirely lost from the face of the earth


  11. Machi, it is funny how our professional lives paralleled each other’s around the same time, though we do have a little bit of a difference in terms of age. Recessionitis is what I called it and if you see anyone use that made up word, point them out to me! Hehe.
    But I am thankful for this group. I got in late, but better late than never. On Twitter or on GTalk, you guys are fun. Thank you.

    Adi: I know, really funny how that worked out. And even a couple of others who returned ;) And I’ve used recessionitis myself!


  12. As a reader/lurker of the blogs, twitter is no fun.
    Twitter isn’t easy to follow for on lookers.

    Adi: That’s true. Twitter is for instant gratification and for that, you need to be interactive!


  13. I miss those personal blogs too. I guess I am this dinosaur still doing blogs. But I refuse to join any twitter bandwagon.

    Btw is this how personal you can go?

    Adi: This na? Too much or too less?!


  14. Ha, it’s true, I was the last bitter stand to fall underneath the Twitter juggernaut. Remember when blogs first started and everyone was like, “Omg, blogging is for narcissists who can’t be bothered to read newspapers!” and now we’re micro-blogging coz we can’t be bothered to read or write blogs. Soon I guess we’ll just make emoticons at each other and go on with our lives the way we used to.

    At least then I might get some work done!

    Adi: Hahaha, so that’s what they mean when they say the world is shrinking to the size of a pea


  15. @Adi: Whoa! I am touched dude….Seriously. I have half a mind to reopen the blog and write stuff now..

    @Rads: I read all your stuff and advice about a month back:) You did some serious counselling:)

    @Preethi: I can still fight

    And look like I should join twitter stuff

    Adi: Heh, look who’s here!


  16. It’s very interesting that so many of you guys sort of have the same blog trajectory. I still write on personal stuff, because well, I am just a little afraid of talking about things I care about, I think.

    Not at all a twitter fan though :)

    Adi: You should try it, you know :) But true, a lot of us started together and found it less interesting together(I didn’t. I just switched genres and now going through the circle!)


  17. *sniff, sniff. True, we’ve all lost it haven’t we? I used to have Reader or my blogroll open always, lest I should miss something. Remember we used to fight to be the first to comment on new posts? Aah! Gone are those days aren’t they?


  18. Haha, I don’t know when my blog-addiction stopped. My morning routine included Gmail, Facebook and Google Reader for almost a year. I never really got into twitter, but “Reader” is now a once-in-a-while thing. Whenever I feel like catching up. I guess I got busy-er, and felt like I needed to use my time wisely.

    And living at home is a blessing and a difficulty. It’s hard to always have to account for myself when I’m so used to doing what I want when I want. But it is nice to have home cooked food, no rent, and my mom’s car! I’m glad you’re enjoying it though, and I am also glad that the employment situation ended up working out :)

    It was nice to get a life update after so long :)


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