Why B̶l̶o̶g̶ Write?

Was reading Sharma Radhakrishna Venkataramanan's blog and in one entry he asks "why Blog?" His answer is that "writing is a window to the workings of a person's mind," drawing on a few anecdotes. One of the anecdotes is about rediscovering something about his grandfather that his 7 year old self could never have.

This threw me on a tangent and I pieced together something my Cousins' Grandfather told me. (As a child he had run away from his village home in pre-independence India, lived on the footpaths of Lucknow while attending school, and -- to cut a long story short -- ended up a professor of literature at Kanpur University. We all looked up to him.)

Only times when I met him would be if our visits to that Aunt's home coincided. For a short period the frequency was enough to allow one routine: he would give me one life lesson or instruction. One, and no more. Of these, there's one that stands out and hasn't faded with memory. He said:

Write. For every book, poem, or serious article you read, for every speech or movie you hear or watch, write.
And the reasons he gave were simple, bordering on simplistic: it will help you absorb what you read, you can share the knowledge with the world, improve your own writing skills, and (according to him) how will the world know you are well read if you never tell the world you have read?

This last one particularly struck me as simplistic. While I am outgoing and talkative now, I was a complete introvert in my formative years, and in my heart of hearts, still am (from where I try to channel stoicism). So you can imagine that this was the least attractive reason for me, but it was the one he emphasized the most.

SRV's MatKarma blog neatly finished the puzzle grandfather left me: "if you don't write, how will the world know you are well read peek into my mind?"


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