Explaining the Lull in Writing

I had been writing pretty regularly from 2010 onwards till 2013. I have hardly written anything this year, and whatever little I have written, I have not posted it on this blog – sumit4all.com . Many of my friends have asked me to start writing again, and have questioned me time and again why I have stopped writing. To be honest, I have been asking the same question too. I decided to write this article to better formulate my thoughts on this topic, but now I have decided to post this online for all to read and know.

So the question first – Why haven’t I been writing anything lately?

Well, there are two big reasons for that, and I will try to elaborate on them below, as clearly as possible.

1. I didn’t have much to say

I have always tried to be very honest in my writings, and always written what I wanted to say. I have written because there was something I needed to communicate, and not because I ‘should’ write an article on my blog regularly. But there are a few events in life which alter the way you view life so drastically that even you can’t believe it. On the outside, everyone thinks you are the same person, and expect you to behave like you have always done. But inside, you are in such a conflict that you are just hoping to figure it all out. You don’t see the world the same way, don’t think the same way, don’t believe what you used to before. I was in such a state after my mother passed away. I could not resonate with whatever I had written previously, as my thinking, beliefs and actions had changed suddenly.

I did not write anything because I had nothing to say. I read my own articles and poems and they felt so alien now. I was not interested in the ideas and projects I was so excited about before. I shut off CricketRadius.com – the start up I was working on, moved back to Delhi and got back to a job. I wrote a few articles here and there, but the frequency was nothing like before.

2. Coding and Photography

Once I moved back to Delhi in Nov 2012, I stopped my involvement in every social project or tech startup I was involved with. I had a new job in a new city, so I just dived back in all the tech stuff and computer programming/coding, which I still enjoyed. A few months later, at an office off-site, I brought along my DSLR, which I had bought in Bangalore 3-4 years earlier, but never used it a lot due to work or some other project I was so occupied with while in Bangalore. It would not be wrong to say that I haven’t put the camera down after that. I have always loved photography right from my childhood, but over the last two years, I have connected with my camera like never before. It became a medium for me to hide behind and communicate to the world in a totally different way.

A sunset in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan

A sunset in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan

Over the last two years, I have traveled and taken my camera to places all over the country. For Leh in the north to Rajasthan and Pune in the west, to Sikkim in the east and to numerous other places near Delhi. Apart from these travels, I have taken my camera out on the streets of Delhi and captured some candid street shots. After a lot of gear hopping which resulted in two new cameras and another set of expensive lenses to go along, I am getting the feeling that I am just getting started in a new way of communicating – via my photographs.

Looking ahead, I am not sure whether this is just a phase or this is something that will last for long. Well, time will tell. As of now, I am looking to start a photography specific blog where I will write less and try to say more through my photographs. I will also keep on writing on this blog whenever I have something to say, whatever the frequency of that be, in the future.

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”
— Ansel Adams

A candid street scene in Paharganj, New Delhi

A candid street scene in Paharganj, Delhi

Anil Kumble’s 10 wicket haul in my cricket archives

All his victims that day

All his victims that day

If you have to pick the top 10, or even the top 5 cricketing moments in India’s cricket history, you can not miss the 10 wicket haul by Anil Kumble. His 10 for 74 in the second innings at Delhi vs Pakistan remains only the second instance of a bowler taking all 10 wickets in an innings. And boy he deserves it, for I have not seen a harder trier on the cricket field. And perhaps, he was won India the most test matches by any individual player. One important fact which many people miss is that he took those 10 wickets in one spell of 21.3 overs, conceding only 49 runs in the process.

It was a chilly February morning (8th Feb, 1999) and I remember watching the match on TV with my family members. At first when he started picking wickets and his deliveries started to zip and sizzle out of every crack at the Ferozshah Kotla, it was no surprise. But when he took his 7th wicket, I remember I jumped up and exclaimed, “Abe saari lega kya?” (Will he take all?) After all, I was a 15 year old back then, and didn’t even knew that someone has already taken 10 wickets once in history. It was like an unbelievable and unforgettable burst of emotions all over the place when he finally took Wasim Akram as his last victim.

The celebrations at the Kotla

The celebrations at the Kotla

As I had written in my previous post, I used to archive cricket stories and news coming in newspapers and magazines back then. When I was digitizing my archives a few months ago, I could not miss reliving that moment as I found cutting newspaper after newspaper cutting marking the historic day. You can see some of them in this post.

Kumble's Homecoming

Kumble's Homecoming

These images, more than anything, captures the man Anil Kumble was. He did not stop after this record breaking feat, instead he went on to reclaim almost every Indian bowling record. He became India’s first spinner to take 300 wickets in both Tests and ODIs, ending at 619 wickets only behind Muralitharan and Warne. He played many important knocks with the bat also, and no bowler could claim of getting his wicket easily.

To conclude, he was as much a player as he was an artist with the cricket ball. He relied on metronomic accuracy and steep bounce and change in pace off the pitch to tame his opponents. He, more than any spinner, relied more on bounce and change in pace than spin. His character and humility also makes him the wonderful person that he is, and he demonstrated that when he got the captaincy of the team in his last few years on that controversial Australian tour, and later as the captain of the Royal Challengers Bangalore IPL team.

Political Adulation

Political Adulation

My take on Bangalore

The Ulsoor Lake - One of the Numerous lakes in Bangalore

The Ulsoor Lake - One of the Numerous lakes in Bangalore

Eighteen months after moving here,
I feel much better off than before!
Looking in hindsight I feel,
I am glad I came to Bangalore!!

It is a brand the world has noticed,
And come to recognize India for!
The whole software / investment boom started here,
And I am glad I live in Bangalore!!

With our cheap manpower and outsourcing,
The city is not only a noun anymore!
Bangalored is now a verb used to indicate a layoff,
When jobs are moved offshore!!

Me having come from Delhi,
I can say one thing for sure!
When it comes to how to treat women and elders,
Those from up north can learn a lot from locals in Bangalore!!

Some people stretch it too far,
And call it India’s Singapore!
But let us not forget the mess,
With traffic, pollution, and garbage galore!!

Infrastructure, or lack of it, is a big problem,
Which you will realize as soon as you step outdoor!
With the speed of urbanization in the last two decades,
A lot of catching up needs to be done, wake up Govt of Bangalore!!

Bad Traffic is one of the issues,
Which critics of B’lore point out to level score!
But then it is a common problem in all Indian cities,
And it is unfair to single out just Bangalore!!

But the weather here is like a silver lining,
When wind blows and the clouds roar!
You should forget everything,
And just be glad you are in Bangalore!!

I do miss the winters of Delhi,
And the various hangout options are difficult to ignore!
But for me, given my state of affairs,
I will anyday choose Bangalore!!

P.S. – This poem reflects my personal opinion about Bangalore and hence no offenses to other cities and people living there.  I have just tried to put into words my current take on Bangalore 😉