Dear Friends, Namaskar…
I will be off blogging for a period of time…primarily due to some fairly intense professional commitments that require my entire attention and effort. While the blog is in ‘hiberation’, all comments have been disabled (you should still be able to read the earlier comments though)
If you want to be alerted to any new post(s) that I write without having to actually visit my blog everyday please subscribe to my feed of new entries by clicking here.
Alternatively, subscribe by Email if you prefer that.
In the meantime, you may occasionally find me on twitter!
Thank you for your encouragement, support and patience, as always. जय हिंद, जय भारत!
P.S. You may still find me occasionally on twitter..
Dear Friends, from early next week, I will be ‘downgrading’ my engagement with facebook…It has been five years since I started the ||Satyameva Jayate|| facebook page..During that time, what started as another channel for my blog posts and thoughts has gone from strength to strength, attracting several thousands of members…Sometime around last year though (2013), I began to notice early signs of something being wrong…Earlier this year, my fears were confirmed..
Courtesy, The three types of specialist, this excerpt from a passage of Kurt Vonnegut’s “Bluebeard” (emphasis added):
Slazinger claims to have learned from history that most people cannot open their minds to new ideas unless a mind-opening team with a peculiar membership goes to work on them. Otherwise, life will go on exactly as before, no matter how painful, unrealistic, unjust, ludicrous, or downright dumb that life may be.
2 separate incidents last week forced this update..
I missed a message in my facebook inbox from a close friend – and ended up not being able to see him even though we had not met in years. The second was an email from another friend asking why I do not post anything on facebook. A few of you have commented on my “conspicuous silence” on fb in the past. I felt it was time to clear the air.
In spite of my fascination for all things tech (and a masochist tendency to try all *new* things), I was a somewhat late – and reluctant – entrant to fb. For one, I preferred staying in touch with friends on the phone and in-person, rather than watching their updates in a “stream”. Two, I did not feel there was anything so exciting going on in my life that the whole world (or all my friends) needed to know about it..
What I did care was that the whole world – or as large a number of people as possible – hear, discuss and debate some of the ideas that I had been writing about on my blog – on Indian politics, history, culture and contemporary issues.
Facebok for me was therefore an extension of my blog and online presence. Due to its rapidly growing popularity (the medium & my page), I decided to make my page the “online hub” for all my activism (related to politics, systemic reform etc). For a period of several years starting 2010, I spent a lot of time and effort on this medium. Not with my friends or family though, but on my page which some (most?) of you know about..
Thanks to your support, encouragement, good luck – and not least the efforts of subscribers/members and well-wishers – the page has close to 63,000 members today. The decision to opt for a page very early on was driven by the fact that facebook did not allow individuals to have more than 5000 “friends” on their personal network. I felt this was limiting. In hindsight, it was a wise decision.
More recently though, facebook has been acting funny. My posts which had a reach in tens of thousands are today seen by a few thousand on most days. This is far from ideal considering that the page has 63k likes. I know – or I should say, I can guess – the reasons behind this but that is a discussion for another time. I have since significantly reduced the time I spend on my facebook page.
For now, I just wanted to say, please do not consider my “silence” on facebook as a lack of interest in what you are up to (I am as curious as anyone else!). It is just that I spend most of my online time (outside of work) on my blog – and increasingly twitter. Ergo less time for fb – and a very high possibility that I have missed some of your most memorable/special updates. For this, I am sorry. But you should know I value your friendship. And I am sure the relationship is not so tenuous as an fb “Like”.
So, please please do not be surprised, or upset if I miss your updates, or forget to “Like” them. I do try and have a peek around whenever time permits – but that is rare. My fb login session is literally limited to updating my page every day and logging out almost immediately.
Most importantly, if you wish to send me a message, pl do *not* use fb messages. I have also just realised (with horror) the long pending messages in my facebook inbox - which I almost never check.
Pl email, SMS, text – or call! Of course, you are very welcome over at the blog, the page or twitter for comments/ discussion on my political activities/ideas. Thanks for your understanding – and happy “facebooking” to all of you!
P.S. If you have not done so yet, pl take a look at the page – and if you like what you see, go ahead, “Like” it and make sure to check “Get Notifications” (although that the page is unlikely to be of great interest to you unless you are keen on Indian politics, current affairs etc.!).
555am: I am packed and ready for the 10-hrs trip ahead.
Outside it is still dark. But the streets are already busy with devotees and people going about their day.
I make my way through the winding street to Dwarkadheesh.
Inside the temple, there is not much of a crowd and practically no queue.
I have my Darshan and it is still only 645am. Plenty of time for me to make the bus on the long trip today.
At the bus stand, the driver expresses surprise that I am taking this route to Ahmedabad.
He tells me I could have traveled in greater comfort and saved a few hours of the journey if I had taken the “fast” bus.
But it is too late to change.
Route map from Dwarka to Ahmedabad
The “fast” bus only accepts advance reservations. I take my seat next to the window then get down for a quick cup of tea.
Half an hour later, I am enjoying the cool morning breeze and an incredibly beautiful sunrise on the flatlands & salt pans.
Today is a long day. If all goes well, I should be at Ahmedabad by 530pm, well in time for my flight to Delhi at 7pm.
And then the train from Delhi railway station at 1130pm which will get me into Roorkee at 3am in the morning, from where I shall head to Haridwar.
The inter-connections are tight: barely 1.5 hrs between the bus and the flight at Ahmedabad and 2 hours between the flight and the train at Delhi!
But eleven Jyotirlingas later, I am far from worried, convinced I will complete this trip without hiccups…
This is an excerpt from my forthcoming travelogue of my “Yatra” covering the 12 Jyotirlingams….
..and here is the map of the 12-hour bus journey through one end of Gujarat to the other!