Tuesday, 25 March 2014

A Year of My Blog

Today, March 25, is Norman Borlaug's birthday. I think of him as the Mahatma of my lifetime, perhaps the greatest human being who ever lived. Others certainly think so. He is best known as Father of the Green Revolution. Here is an excellent essay on him, in Forbes magazine.

By sheer coincidence, I wrote my first public blog on March 25 last year, about two men who made possible an earlier Green Revolution - that of artificial nitrogen fertilizer. Like the Ajivakas and Alfred Russel Wallace, these men Haber and Bosch are substantially forgotten. Unintentionally, somewhat forgotten people and events and monuments have become a mildly recurring theme of my writings in this blog. Incidentally this is my 100th blog, more a personal narrative than my other essays.

I came to India in 2000, intending to be a screenwriter of English and Tamil film scripts. In that field, as in most others, I am a dismal failure. My other aspiration was to write fiction and non-fiction in book form, which is a more substantial failure! I had resolved at one point not to blog, in that I would intend only to write for money, as a professional. I had been writing emails and my long SMSes are popular among a small circle of friends.

One of these emails, prompted Badri Seshadri, to urge me to blog publicly. The Badri effect is powerful: the vast number of people who read my blog come from his website, so says Google Blogger's stats. My essays usually garner 40 views, the more popular ones about a 100. When Badri linked to my Tagore-UVeSa blog, viewership went to 300. There are other influential people with significant networks of friends reading this blog, but only the Badri effect is measurable.

I don't know if blogging prevents me from writing other things more effectively. It is better that I write a blog than not write at all, I suppose.

Writing brings some solace to the tumult and turmoil of disappointments and dashed hopes. But the delights of life and all Nature, the creations of Man, and the miracles of science, the aesthetics of art and prose and thought and humanity, are far too numerous, and far too fascinating to repress the curious mind: and I am extremely fortunate to have it, and be a Rational Optimist, in addition. A riot of thoughts are running in my mind. Let me continue this rambling later.

For now, Norman Borlaug, salutations. And fervent thanks.

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