This is a post that was not easy for me to write. For various reasons. For the last several days I have been really thinking hard on whether to write this post or to simply let it be. Yes, I have been in something of a quandary. Let me explain.
I begin with the picture above.
Today, this picture speaks to me of much that has been bestowed upon me in the last several days/weeks in my a-little-more-than-a-year-old blogging life. So many good wishes, so much goodwill, so much appreciation and yes, several nominations for blogging awards. All that has lit up and made my blogging experience joyful, much like this beautiful chandelier in its very natural, organic and earthy beauty.
Today, this picture also speaks to me of a very specific feeling. Feeling of hanging in the air. That's where the quandary business comes in. You see, I am deeply, deeply thankful to all the bloggers who have nominated me for the awards (I will list them at the end of post), and truly acknowledge the honour they have given me through these nominations. And yet at the same time, if I want to stay true to the purpose, my purpose for which I started this blog I must humbly decline the awards. Hence the quandary, and hence the difficulty in writing this post. And hence the feeling of sort of hanging in the air.
This may need a bit more explanation.
This blog, for me, is a work that I do purely for the joy of writing and becoming better at it. It is inspired by my love and devotion for the Mother and Sri Aurobindo, and I constantly try that everything that I write here is in some way connected to, influenced by, or is touched by my admittedly limited understanding of their highly profound Vision for Life, Learning, Love, Beauty, Knowledge, Individual, Society, Nation, Future, World, Humanity, Divine, Everything. I don't and will never claim to know much of their infinitely wide, deep and high philosophy and wisdom. Their published works alone comprise 54 volumes, some comprising of more than thousand pages each, and each one of them filled with profound truths and thoughts. I am only a lover of their works, and especially those words that help me un-learn and then possibly re-learn a few things about some aspects of life and knowing that are important to me at this point in my journey. These are the ones that either have a connection with my personal life, my inclination, temperament, nature (as I am beginning to understand it), or have a bearing on the few specific areas that have shaped my intellectual journey in my educational and academic career. That is my entry point into the Vast Ocean of Wisdom of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo. I have merely tasted a few drops so far, but that has been enough to convince me that each drop carries an endless ocean within itself.
And this blog is merely one small way to help me make a deeper sense of the little that I am beginning to understand of all that I have been reading and reflecting upon in the last several years. As someone who has spent most of her life in the world of learning and teaching, researching and writing, I have learnt one thing about myself. That is, that when I express or communicate something to another in writing, a real or an imaginary reader/listener, I know better, I learn better, I think better. That's how this blog came to be. So that I would keep up a regular habit of writing and articulating more clearly - first to myself - what I am learning, reflecting, thinking, understanding. [And this is also the reason why I feel I need to write this post - to know better for myself why I write this blog, and why I want to continue to write this blog.]
Even though this blog is inspired by the Eternal Words of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo, I have tried my best to not make this blog into a mere compilation of their words and wisdom that have touched me. Rather my attempt has been to express my understanding of those words and wisdom as applicable to the Life and World "out there" or/and "in here." It is the constant interplay of the outer and inner lives that we live, the outer and inner worlds that we inhabit that has been my primary motif in almost all of the writing I have been sharing on this blog. For many of the posts on this blog, the connection between my inspiration, as felt by me in the words and thought and vision of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, and what actually appears as written text here may not be fully obvious to the reader. But to me it always is. Otherwise I would not post it on the blog. That is one simple criterion I am trying to follow on this blog. And yes, this is also true of all those posts in which I share some music, film songs, or something about some movie (which reminds me, there is a post coming up in the near future about a movie, the idea is still brewing up in my mind :))
So why am I writing all this long explanation? This brings me back to the blogging awards matter.
Any post that I may need to write about the blogging awards, accepting the award, nominating other bloggers, etc will not fulfill the one simple criterion that I have stated above. It will lead me away from the deeper and truer reason for why I work on this blog. And I have a feeling that all those very kind and well-meaning blogger friends of mine who have so kindly and generously nominated me for the awards will not like to see that happen. I am quite sure I am right in feeling this way.
On two separate occasions in the past I had politely declined the blogging awards by writing individually to the bloggers who nominated me, giving a brief and simple reason. Today I felt the need to write this longer post for two reasons. First, as stated earlier it would help me know better why I should decline. And second, it helps me express on this public space my sincere thanks to those who have nominated me.
Let me once again express my heart-felt thanks to my blogger friends for appreciating my work, liking it, supporting it and commenting on it. Let me also offer my sincere apologies to those who have nominated me for the blogging awards, because I won't be able to accept them and do the needful that is part of the award acceptance procedure. I also offer my sincere apologies to anyone out there who after reading this post might have felt, in any way, some kind of hurt or offense. That is not my intention at all. I am merely writing this to express and share my point of view and a decision I have made for my blog. And that decision is simply that this is an awards-free blog, as of now.
Thank you everyone for reading this yet another long post. [Next one will be a short and sweet one, I promise :)] I need to learn from Damyanti how to write short posts. I bring up her name here because she wrote a post about the blogging awards some months ago. And if I remember correctly, that was the first post on her blog on which I commented. Perhaps because it spoke of something that had been on my mind even back then as I had already politely declined two award nominations. And going by the number of comments on that post, perhaps this issue has been on the mind of many other bloggers too. It would seem that way.
This post, as the title says, expresses strictly my personal take on this issue of blogging awards, as applicable to me and this blog that I write and why I write it. In no way does it try to be anything other than this very subjective explanation of my personal choice and the reason behind it. And I hope I have been able to do justice to my point of view.
One more thing. I am really grateful and happy that even though this blog started out with a very personal motivation, some of what appears here has been resonating well with many readers out there. Perhaps there is an over-arching universal Truth found in all wisdom traditions, spiritual philosophies and deeper thought that acts as an inner, invisible thread bringing together like-minded and like-hearted seekers of life and learning, regardless of their outer diversity. I pray and hope that such a resonance continues in future too.
Thanks once again!
Here are the generous bloggers who have nominated me for blogging awards. Please visit their blogs and read some of the cool stuff they write about a variety of topics ranging from daily life, college memories, fairy tales, personal challenges, life struggles, social issues, movie stars, festivals of India, good deeds, book reviews to many more things under the sky including some drawing and painting.
Usha Menon: Sunshine Award
Ananya: Sunshine Award
Vishal Bheeroo: Sunshine Award
Michelle Stanley: Liebster Award
Birgit Bedesky: Liebster Award
Preethi Venugopal: Liebster Award
Usha Menon: Liebster Award
Anusha Judith: The Versatile Blogger, The Most Creative Blogger, Reader Appreciation Award, Most Influential Blogger
I am tagging this post under the ongoing series on my blog - Reminders to self, for the obvious reasons as explained in this lengthy post.
To see the previous post in this series, click here.
To see all posts in this series, click here.
Linking this post with ABC Wednesday Q: Q is for Quandary