why i do, what i do


(Just as I was going to publish this post, I got an email from a reader asking me to get back to being my "funny self". That's going to be a little hard for me at the moment, because I feel like I've been punched in the stomach by one of those machines that spits out a gazillion tennis balls a second. Except that the machine is spitting out soccer balls. And I'm standing right in front of the machine. But, I will pick things up. I promise.)

I think its time I explained why I blog. Or why I blog the way I blog. I haven't stopped to think about the kind of impression I make online, but trust me when I tell you, I think before I write. And I think before I do.

So, first, I'm proud of who I am. I've gotten several emails from Iyers around the world, some of who have asked me to stop 'shielding' my 'heritage'. They feel I'm trying to be someone I'm not. Which is not true. This is who I am, I'm just not what you expect. I think all of us are unique in our way, and the way I express myself is based on who I am. I've lived in several places around the world, and in my attempt to fit in, I've grown. I've molded. I've adapted. And, now I'm this hybridized invidiual who at his roots, is an Iyer. So, for those of you out there who're concerned I'm tainting our image, or I'm not carrying my heritage proudly, tell me what you'd rather have me do. Because I don't want to stop being myself.

Second, I want to express myself. I want you to know who I am. It's instinctive for people to associate last names, or race, with a specific image that they have in mind. It's inevitable to 'bucketize'. I was going to quote something from a study I'd seen, but then I'd have to get permission from the author of the study, and blah... There're quite a few very pragmatic indiviudals who will not judge people, but there're a lot who will. And I don't want that. For example, I was sitting at the sushi bar at Sansei in Honolulu, and I started to chat with this invidiual about his Steelers jersey. He'd pegged me as someone who accidentally walked to the sushi bar and didn't know sushi, and wouldn't know anything about football. He said that himself. And I don't blame him, at all. And fortunately, as I continued to engage him in conversation, he was open to understanding more about why I am the way I am. For those who care, Kanpachi is my favorite type of sashimi, and I grew up idolizing Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas and Andre Reed of the Bills. Something about a team losing in the superbowl 4 times...

Third, I want to exercise my "freedom to be transparent". 'Sofites, and those of you who're familar with our (Microsoft's) evangelism mission, know what this means. Basically, we want to be a transparent company. We want you to know who we are and how we work. A lot of companies mandate the way their employees blog, but I've never been asked to 'curb' anything. My blog is hardly technical. There're zillions of better blogs out there with better, more technical content. To me, I want to you to understand the human behind the blog.

Fourth, I love writing. I really do. I spend almost 10 hours everyday either writing, or thinking of writing. Most of it does not make it to my blog.

Fifth, I LOVE music. If I could marry music, I totally would. If you were to draw an 'a.i' piechart, it'd comprise of music, sports and writing. Some of you know I always have a song playing in my head, and I want to express it through my blog. On some instances it's reflective of my mood, most times, its just something I happened to listen to first thing in the morning. My music selection varies, I grew up listening primarily to Hindi music, mostly RD Burman's stuff. Thanks to my sister, I started to like WHAM! a lot (I know this is going to come back to bite me in the rear). And how could anyone not like MJ in the 80s? Over the last few weeks, a lot of nursery rhymes (thanks to my niece). And now, its everything. I scout for all kinds of music online today, lot of it through myspace. (If you haven't heard Josh Radin's music, you're missing out.)

Why am I telling you this? Because I want you to know why I do, what I do. I know I don't need to defend my actions, and I don't spend every living second being concerned about what people think about me. But I really care about what some of you think about me and the opinions you form. So, that's that. We're a new crowd. Our generation (and the ones to come) shouldn't have to peg people based on race or last names. I think that's what makes us exciting as humans, as invidiuals.The lack of predictability. Be you. Define yourself.

Currently playing in my head : 'E Ajnabi', from the soundtrack of 'Dil Se'

"ai"

Comments (12)
  1. Keith Cash says:

    Your style sounds some what like mine. I will start reading.

    Slainte / Cheers

  2. Ram says:

    Anand,

    If you remember, I sent you an email long time ago teling you I don’t know your motivation, but you’re making Indians everywhere proud. Especially what you’ve done with gnote is really marvelous.

  3. Shiv says:

    I had emailed you once a long time ago. I am an Iyer and I have lived in Jamaica all my life. I don’t think I’ve once outwardly spoken about the fish I eat (I’m a vegetarian) or the shoes I wear. I think you’re trying too hard. I don’t think I understand your persona, and I think in an attempt to be transparent you’re confusing your readers. I can’t tell you that I know you, although I have been reading your blog since January 2005.

    Just my thoughts. If I were you, I would focus on one thing, like cricket, and stick to it.

  4. Ram,

    Thanks for the compliments. I appreciate it. Honest.

    ai

  5. Shiv,

    I’m not sure where to start, but I’m not sure I buy your argument. You start talking about yourself, and then you somehow relate that to me.

    If I were you, I would focus on one thing,

    like cricket, and stick to it.

    Well, therein lies the issue. There’s more to me than just the one thing. I’m not sure I’m confusing all my readers, I’m pretty sure I would know if I did.

    ai

  6. Ravi says:

    Anand,

    Hmmm…Good start for the year 2007 !!.

    -R

  7. Jinu Johnson says:

    Hola chief, you are who you are.. period.. that should not be up for discussion in the first place… have a great year ahead…

    rgds,

    J.J

  8. BM says:

    Anand, good blog, keep it going as you like it.

    For those who complain about your roots…. If you think you are an Iyer but not a priest or not living like they used to do couple of hundred years ago, then please look into yourself. Eveybody has roots, nobody forgets roots, everybody moves on from thier roots.

    What you think the roots are just a way of life you are born into with a stroke of blind luck, you could have born into a rag-pickers family.

  9. Hey Jinu,

    Hola chief, you are who you are..

    I wish everyone got that.

    have a great year ahead…

    Thanks man… You too.

    ai

  10. Hey BM,

    Anand, good blog, keep it going as you like

    it.

    You got it…

    ai

  11. Mario Sundar says:

    Hey Anand,

    If you’re into music, you must check out: http://hype.non-standard.net/ or http://www.pandora.com/.

    Have you tried them yet?

  12. Hey Mario,

    If you’re into music, you must check out:

    http://hype.non-standard.net/ or

    http://www.pandora.com/.

    I’d heard of pandora.com, but the hype machine looks interesting… Thanks for the link!

    ai

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