Saturday, August 27, 2011

What is it to you?

I got back from an invigorating walk in the rain. I love walking out in the rain and getting wet. Usually, I don't bother with an umbrella because I find it an unnecessary encumbrance. Today, though, it was pouring away mightily. So I took one. It's almost a reflex - to twirl the umbrella and smile goofily as fat, cold drops of goodness fall on you.

The walk was lovely. I was refreshed and ready to tackle a pile of tough work. Then I saw a few emails. These were from people who apparently have been reading my blog for a while. Today, they decided to write in and let me know what they thought of it. A lot of what they said was also in keeping with what a stray friend had to say a while ago. Their main grouse was that the blog was too personal. In the past, I have written about the breakdown of my marriage which many found appalling. I have also written about phases of ennui and bitterness and my longstanding issue with temper. All this is washing the dirty linen in public and these people don't like it. So, they have asked me to stop. I, of course, will not. And here are my reasons.

When I started writing this blog, I did not want to exclude anyone from reading it. Not even those 'escort service' advertisements that inundate any open blog nowadays. But my gmail account was hacked and I was advised to put in a filter. That's why you've got to enter those funny characters if you want to post a comment. Other than that, I didn't want to keep anyone out. Not even trolls. I have received my share of flak for writing some things. Since I am extremely egoistic, I don't easily take the high road approach to criticism. It hurts. Even so, I value freedom more than my ego. Therefore, I had decided early on that this blog will not be hostage to my ego. If someone comes up here and decides to say that I'm a rotten writer, so be it. I do not discourage Anonymous writers from posting comments. Because if I have put something on a public space to read and you read it, you are free to comment. Just because you choose to not disclose your identity doesn't make you a coward. You are still equally entitled to voice your opinion as someone else who leaves a name and address. If I believe that you can't tell me what to write, then it's fair that I can't tell you what to think of what I have written.

So, my problem with whoever finds my blog impossibly personal and tacky is this - why are you reading me? It aligns with my value system of candour to write about my life. But if it is so distasteful for you, why read me? If marriage is sacrosanct and one's deepest emotions are sacrosanct and you would rather die than a stranger come to know of any problems regarding that, fine. I get it. But then why do you read of someones marital problems or emotional issues then? Is that not hypocritical? Of course, you have the right to be a hypocrite. Lord knows you'll belong to an ever-growing club. But you must realize that you are one. You are a person with many standards - some of them unfair.

It's like this. You don't like changing in front of people because you think it is cheap. So, don't do it because it's aligned to your beliefs. But if someone else is changing in front of you, why do you not look away? After all, she's doing what she thinks is right. But are you? Why do you stare and then comment on his or her cellulite?

I must say I do appreciate the letters. Some readers are sweet and kind enough to praise my writing. Some others are scathing. My problem is with those who are unfair.

To them, my final statement:Your benchmark, ladies and gentlemen, is not my prison. It's yours.







14 comments:

subbulakshmistoned said...

one of my classmates in 5th grade used to say, "what bothers of you!" to people who annoyed him. i found the sentence construction so funny. then on, i always remind myself about this dialogue when third party interferes in my matters.
just tell yourself, "what bothers of them!". it IS therapeutic.

Mukta said...

:-) "what bothers of you" is a great line! My friends and I would use words like 'proudy' and 'snobby' very freely!

Tamanna said...

The last line is a killer! You go girl! I love your blog and your writing, for whatever it is worth :)

Sush said...

Hey, I love your writing style and your blog, don't ever listen to people who think otherwise!

Aditi said...

yeah! you tell 'em, girl:)

Mukta said...

thank you!

I Thotso said...

You go, gal! You're a great writer and all great writers get "personal". And to all those who don't get you, ask them, "what goes of your pop's, men?"

Mukta said...

you grew up in bandra, I thot so? yes, right? I thought so. :-)) (come on!that IS difficult to resist!)

Vinita said...

You said it - if you don't like it, don't read it. A blog can be anything - it is the creator who decides what to put in it, the audience can choose to read it or not.

I hope the people who emailed you read not just the entire post (right till the end) but also everyone's comments.

Puneet said...

I love reading your blog, you write very well Mukta :)

vanderloost said...

I love reading your blog too

omnithere said...

yes. i loved the last line.. :) any lower levels of morality in me and i'd have stolen it.. :P

Anonymous said...

Hey Mukta..I'm one of your funs,you write beautifully and you're one of those bloggers who never bragg about yourself or your family or about your writing or your education or about how good you are at the language. I used to read just a couple of more bloggers and I stopped reading them coz in their bloggs you only find them bragging and then getting mad at those who comment and she call them trolls,cowards and what not..one of them are mad momma if you have ever read her..after reading max 4 of her writings I stopped coz it was not worth the time wasting on her writings. you on the other hand is so good and it's a pleasure to read you and please keep writing and ignore those who send you negative comments or emails. good luck and may God bless you with happiness and health. good luck and waiting for more from you to read :)
hugs

Mukta said...

@ omni - sure, go ahead. take the line if you like it. :-)

@ anonymous - thanks so much!