The other day, I stood in my tiny lawn looking up at the avocado tree. It has managed to stay put and grounded in such a narrow space. The trunk lengthening and going to obscene heights so that it can get its share of sunlight. The leaves, they renew completely every year, and the tree despite losing two large branches last year, stays steadfast and resilient. It may not bear too many fruits this year. Last year it gave us a bumper crop, perhaps that’s why. Of course, it needs its rest time. What can we say? She takes nothing from us and keeps giving us loads.
The tree or nature around us shows us how to live without complaining and how to face up to whatever life throws at you. You know, we crib incessantly. From our privileged entitled positions, we expect everyone to make things better for us while we hardly wish to move a finger. Whether it is adults or kids, we are all constantly ranting. Now we don’t only rant in our groups of friends, we have twitter feed, FB walls and WhatsApp groups to do the same. Unintentionally, we are all building up rage within us. Rage about politics, sports, the next-door neighbour, pollution, the noisy kid. I don’t know if there is a way out or will this be a status quo forever? Now, everyone and their mother is constantly on their phones and devices. Who stops the adults? Kids don’t listen anyway. It’s not as if the parents don’t try, but it is not simple. It is also so much easier to pick up that phone and do something mindless which involves no conversation. We are scared of being bored, of being looked at as doing nothing. So, when we have a little time at hand, why not pick up the phone and hide behind it?
I’ve never understand the joy and ownership so many people feel in forwarding incessant stream of messages and videos on WhatsApp. What’s the point? I don’t open most of them. It gives me anxiety to see all those unread messages. Am I the only strange being? Apparently, people have loads of time and inclination to read everything that is sent to them and even comment with emoticons. I am not saying that some memes and jokes are not really witty. But most content is trash and propaganda. And I don’t feel like opening it. I have told my friends that if it something of use to directly send it to me. Forwards sent in groups lose my attention. Why are there so many groups anyway? It is insane. I don’t know why we are complicating our lives so. How do we protect some shred of sanity in this scenario?
I love to read. Deep, insightful stuff. Light, silly stuff. I love to read emotional pieces. I love to read rational pieces. But, these days I struggle to read. My mind is getting pulled in so many directions. People I loved to read (especially among bloggers), so many are writing rubbish. SEO, monetization, mindless collaborations have sucked joy out of reading. Then there are those opinion pieces, I am cynical about them. People peddle agendas. All writing has been vitiated. Where is the joy left? I ask again.
In a couple of weeks, this blog will turn 11 years old! Just the other day, I was reading a post that I had penned about my father, reading through the comments made me so nostalgic. Each one heartfelt. Now, blogging has lost its shine. As my friend, Nabanita, shared in one of her tweets today, where are the spontaneous posts? Why are such few people writing from their hearts? As someone who monetised my blog, a long time ago, I have been there. The highs and lows of being courted by brands and PRs. I have struggled to maintain the balance of honesty in my content. Today, you will see very few posts on my blog that are paid. I hate it when brands push their way and make you do inane content. I just can’t do it. I know money is a lure, but shouldn’t there be a limit to how much and what you should peddle and how many stupid events you should attend? How does a good blogger draw that line. Some of us are spending a lot of money in keeping our blogs smoothly purring. Of course, we expect returns. How do we not sell our souls in the process? In my opinion, it is by going back to your purpose. That should be your guiding light. Blogging was always for me an outlet to write and share. It was about community, of people who cared about each other, of friendships and shared laughter. And I turn back to those.
My kids complained that I wasn’t writing many parenting posts or personal posts. They were right. Last year, I was barely writing anything on this blog. It was not for the lack of having ideas but because I felt bored and dejected. A knee injury and some personal circumstances made me hit rock bottom emotionally. Something was broken and I needed to fix it. I am slowly getting back to writing more of how I did earlier. And seriously I have never wanted to be a part of any rat race. I am happy just writing because it gives me joy. Wistfully, I wonder if we can bring back that kind of content. What do you say? What should we do to encourage those who are still writing because they like writing?
My avocado tree tells me to hang in there. Seasons change, leaves fall but they renew. Branches are lost but new ones sprout. And while the fruits may be sparse today. Tomorrow is a new day. Maybe, we can hold on to what is dear for us and even make it better. At the moment, I really have no clue.