When I first started publishing to this blog, it was meant to be just an outlet; somewhere to vent and rant and rave; really, a diary of sorts. And it was fun, for a while, feeling smug about the fact that I was writing about stuff and people around me and they had no idea; even if someone did stumble upon my blog, they wouldn't know who it was; the whole point of writing under a pseudonym.

But after a while, things got, well, a little boring. The whole deal of having no one know about my blog also meant that no one visited. The whole fantasy of people coming across it and marvelling at my literary skills and prowess with the written word began to fade fast.

So I told one person. And it stayed that way for some time. Then I happened to mention to another that I had a blog and they 'forced' the URL out of me. And then another and another and yet another. So now, a fair number of people have knowledge of the presence of my blog.

Which is good; but it also means that the original purpose of the blog is lost. I can no more write exactly how I feel and what I think; I have to tone it down a notch since these readers of mine also know, or can hazard a fair guess as to what/ who I'm ranting about and it may not sit well with all.

So what do I choose? Anonymity and the enormous power that comes with it? The means to write what I want, when I want, about whatever I want; all the while hidden safely behind the all protecting shield of my nom de plume? Or do I let everyone know who's behind the mask and let them feel compelled to reply and post comments so I can feel pleased with the fact that I do, in fact, have some readers and my pages are not relegated to the dusty, hard-to-reach, virtual upper shelves of cyberspace's library of innumerable blogs? Tough one.

And I'm not the only one who ponders this dilemma; I think all start out with the need to publish anonymously, moving on to the want to be read and finally reaching a crossroads where they must decide which way they want to head. Whether the desire to be heard outweighs the requirement to remain safely hidden in the shadows.

For the time being though, I think I'll be content with just a few, loyal subscribers of my prose while keeping my true identity a secret from the masses.


U no wat rly irittes me? Wen ppl use sms-spk in situations dat dnt warrant it. In emails n in ltrs n othr plcs. Ive got nthng agnst shrtning wrds n using acronyms; in SMSs, whr dey blong n help u sv a few buks or mayb evry once in a whl, whl IMing 2 sv tim or jst b qk.

Ppl cnt seem 2 difrntte btwn wen its alrite 2 use it n wen its absolutly 4biden. Ive seen ppl use it in apps n on thr blogs n jst about evrywhr dat dey employ da English language as a means of comm. It jst reeks of wannab-ness.

I no da language is evolving n changing wid tim. Ppl r even bng alwd 2 use dis 4m while writing exams n now u can rd ntire novels in dis 4m; its supposed 2 b a new, progressive 4m of literature. I never did get art n stuff.

Its nt dat its hard 2 decifer ( alrite, it is kinda ); I enjoy bng able 2 fathom wats bng said n occasionally its fun usng sum of da clvrer shrtnings of wrds; bt always? It jst seems so boorish n ilitr8.

Wid all dis incrse in bnwidth n dcrse in csts, ud tnk ppl wud tk da opportunity 2 b more verbose bt den life is often counter-intuitive.

For those of you who couldn't figure out what was written above:

You know what really irritates me? When people use sms-speak in situations that don't warrant it. In emails and in letters and other places. I've got nothing against shortening words and using acronyms; in SMSs, where they belong and help you save a few bucks or maybe every once in a while, while IMing to save time or just be quick.

People can't seem to differentiate between when it's alright to use it and when it's absolutely forbidden. I've seen people use in applications and on their blogs and just about everywhere that they employ the English language as a means of communication. It just reeks of wannabe-ness.

I know the language is evolving and changing with time. People are even being allowed to use this form while writing exams and now you can read entire novels in this form; it's supposed to be a new, progressive form of literature. I never did get art and stuff.

It's not that it's hard to decipher ( alright, it is kinda ); I enjoy being able to fathom what's being said and occasionally it's fun using some of the cleverer shortenings of words; but always? It just seems so boorish and illiterate.

With all this increase in bandwidth and decrease in costs, you'd think people would take the opportunity to be more verbose but then life is often counter-intuitive.

You Said It!

What is the difference between the American and Indian democracies?

In America, you can kiss in public but not pee; in India you can pee in public but not kiss.


From Contrapunto, The Times Of India Delhi issue dated 16 May 2007.