I have been off blogging for over a month.
But this was not because life took over or I got tired of blogging. It was not even the writers' block that I dreaded so much.
Instead, I would say my life got somewhat simpler, though not as simple as I wanted it to be. I even took my first holiday in almost 18 months, somewhat making up for my aborted Munich trip and somewhat as a part of the plan to try to shift to Spain, but a holiday nonetheless.
I also wrote quite a bit. I started keeping a diary, something I did several years ago and which now make very interesting reading. I wrote up a page a day, usually rambling about life in general, but that definitely was effective in keeping the habit of writing.
So here is the real reason why I did not write the blog: I was preparing.
I am at a significant point in time in my life. I am almost fifty now, and this presents an important existential question. I have lived most of my life through compromises: Now I don't regard compromises as a bad thing - as some people, believers of perfect individual life, do - and I don't have any regrets about the compromises I have made. However, the existential question is whether I should look to live differently, once the mortality question, when the fence becomes visible and I know that years left ahead are less than the years left behind, is right in my mental horizon.
One thing leads to another: I know I have goals in life, of belonging to a community to idealistic individuals, of living a creative life and of enabling a creative community. Every year, I measure myself on how much I progressed towards those goals. Indeed, there were ups and downs in my journey, but whenever the chips were down and I settled for a compromise, I kept my head steady knowing that I was making progress to that goal. But, I have probably done that a bit too often and bit too much lately - or indeed it could be a function of my age - that I have started feeling that I am not really progressing but rather going in circles.
It's a strange feeling because it is so antithetical to my usual optimism. I have always done various things and almost all the things pretty well, but I started getting the feeling that it was not believable anymore. In some associations at least, the unspoken question is that if you are smart and did all these things, why are you not very rich already. A fair question and the answer that I haven't somehow focused on that being a rich part too seriously doesn't really fly. Therefore, in my day to day living and conversations, compromises become the headline and my goals just unachievable, a non-serious chimaera.
So if I kept silent for a while, it was to contemplate what matters and how must I now rearrange my life. I have been withdrawing and resigning from various engagements over the last few months, and in other areas, even if these would have been interesting at another point in my life. And, indeed, I kept agonising over two significant commitments that I want to make - one is to do a PhD charting the course of nationalist thinking about Indian Higher Education and the other to get an Education App off the ground to help students prepare better for the workplace. At this very moment, though, I am ready to commit - to both these projects, and to get serious about my writing - and this is what this new blog post is meant to signal.
As I do this though, the business of history just got interesting. India and Pakistan are not just trading words, but waging a limited scale Aerial conflict while talking about 'non-military' engagement. This is indeed all for the Poll prospects of Narendra Modi, who is battling for his political life. Everything is low key at this time and no one is really expecting things to get much worse (a few servicemen dying on either side would change the lives of their families, but politicians in these countries do not care), but this is exactly how large scale conflicts get started. Indeed, the big wild card in the room is China, which may strategic reasons of its own in encouraging Pakistan to engage with India and distract the United States. And, going by my Facebook feed, Indian middle class is largely ignorant of any such consequence; Their historical amnesia conveniently protects them from any real understanding of what war involves. This is the precise point of my long term goal: Connect up with likeminded people and help create a citizenery who are more aware, engaged and responsible.
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