Depending on who you are, start at the appropriate paragraph.
Short version of TL;DR: Been busy. Another edition of SoCh and starting several new initiatives, striving to be the best of all I was intended to be. Do join us on Nov 1 at 5 pm at Our Sacred Space, Secunderabad.
TL; DR: One sparkling evening!! Launch of Neesah, an eclectic arts magazine, launches of two books, one by my Mom, launch of a program on increasing awareness of the importance of menstrual flow in the context of social health, a participatory dance dialog on the shanti mantra by all attendees, and of course SoCh-4. The books are crazy good, as is the magazine and the health intervention initiative. We think the “take-aways” will be seen as thoughtful as will the refreshments. Try not to miss the shanti mantra. Working on putting together this SoCh has been the reward and the speakers and their work will leave you utterly, utterly changed. We would like to start early, so do help out by being on time.
Now for those of us who are here for the usual trash.
Like all things in the universe, this blog and its owner, ying and yang, have their ups and downs. One of the here now gone tomorrow areas has to do with the early readership and nature of this blog. It was entirely a documentation of personal journeys to start with, as individuals, as creative artists, as aspiring apprentices. So it was for a long time.
Till about 2012. Couple of things happened. First there was the Hyderabad Bloggers Meet. The people who met went on to find and refine their own projects like Nivasini Publishers, Raed Leaf Poetry, Writers Carnival, BlendOfTea, and yes, SoCh, etc. All of these, naturally, became part of this blog. Then, the second thing that happened, there was the focus on search and content marketing that saw the readership multiply a few hundredfold, a lot of it from high quality, commenting and returning readers. On stuff that had almost no emotional relevance to my life or what was going on around me.
The trouble is I really do not agree with the marketing bit. I understand the logic and the joy of a spic and span home or a tightly run ship, but beyond that, if something is not inherently advancing the cause of peace and forward movement of humankind, (or doesn’t have sex or chocolate written on it in large letters), it doesn’t interest me anymore. So while I try to earn my bread and butter by telling people how to sell, I try and turn its on head and ask them why they need to sell at all. It is a battle of some scale.
Professionally, I need to explain what I intend doing ten times to ten different people before one of them thinks it okay to let me do it. The same thing reflected in my writing and in this blog. The readership of this blog moved into two clear (though often fluid) camps. If I wrote generic, and that is the most popular content on this blog, one group feels left out. If I wrote personal, the other group wonders why I waste their time. I know, from data and for example, that only about a quarter of those who used to read SJD six-seven years back still visit this blog. Over time, I guess, both camps have decided not to waste any more time with this blog or its owner. I should have listened to the segmentation advice years back. The chappie who gave me the advice has since died though he still shows up on my timeline as liking brands that would like me to like them. He was a teacher. I did not learn. Story of my life.
As a result, I mostly pretend I couldn’t care, and once in a while, I lock myself in the bathroom and cry like they do in those arty 70‘s left-wing films. Twice a year, usually around the time that I am slowly spiralling into madness, Nivedita drags me out to put an edition of SoCh together. Which is really not very bad, since she does all the running around, and I just take advantage of my senior citizen status (in today’s world, unless you are a Ronnie Woods or a Felix Dennis, 35 is like top of the hill, and I’m like three times that old – so what if I try to imitate Chetan Bhagat’s style) and offer to make tea while Asrar, Raj, Madhavi and she sweat it out.
And that is just one kind of up and down. If you are new to this blog, stick around. Glorious daybreaks lie ahead. This post is just a “quick note” to invite you to explore SoCh if you have not already done so. Here’s what you can do to help.
Please follow the SoCh Hyderabad Facebook page for updates, and the event page for #SoCh4 for event details and to RSVP.
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SoCh is a free event, since we couldn't think of a charge to charge, and we try to ensure we give all that we can to those who bless us with their presence and work. Help is always welcome in all forms. For details contact us.
You are a part of SoCh no matter where you are. You are at SoCh as you read this, even if you cannot physically attend the editions that we put together. As I am writing this, people are already putting their own SoCh together in different cities. How one explores SoCh unless you attend one edition is something you have to figure out, but going by the literature, it is not near as impossible as it might sound. The fourth edition of SoCh returns to Our Sacred Space, Secunderabad, at 5 pm on November 1, 2014.
Our speakers this time include a physician who has made it his mission to spread the correct understanding of life, health, happiness and society, a photographer who decided to feed her family chemical free produce, a hotel management graduate who became a farmer, activist and filmmaker, a record-holding para-cyclist whose presence will make you forget all your worries, and a young courier who delivers hope. In addition, we have performances and a few announcements. That last full stop was dictated to me. Back to top.