On a rainy day in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh state (central India). Photo by – Tony Tharakan

I am a 28-year-old online journalist living in Delhi since my birth. I took to blogging because I needed a language that broke boundaries of a regular news story or feature, where I could record my impressions about places and experiences that necessarily didn’t need a ‘peg’ or a concrete idea. Where there are no rules or style guides to stick to. Where I report to myself as a reporter would to an editor.

Blogging, for me, should be an exercise in the unrestricted flow of thoughts finding their form in words; a canvas that is atmospheric and transmigrating. Blogging should be outgoing, if it has to be experiential. Spending a couple of hours with your laptop can never match the thrill of going out and observing the world yourself.

I am a visual person. Mostly, I imagine a blog post in terms of pictures and writing to them is my way of telling a story. Halfway through the draft, I look for images through my big, but not-so-great archive so as to compensate for a lack, if any, my writing may reflect.

Inside the Humayun Tomb complex in Delhi. Photo by – Ankush Arora

My friends often encourage me to discard this cocooned existence and move to another city or a country. Point taken, but I am obsessed about this city, whose historicity – no less than that of several ancient cities of the world – never fails to let me down. And yet, I feel I don’t know this city so well. It is a friend to me, but not the best. It is a stranger to me, when I discover a ‘new’ ruin or a restaurant that smells quaint and warm. And blogging is our common friend, through whom I intend to reach out to this city that has many dichotomous characteristics: it is unpredictable, schizophrenic, often violent, and despite all that it feels homely at the end of the day.

Through the “Blogging 101” course, I hope to be able to learn how to blog better and get more audience. A better layout is much needed. I would like to connect with those who write about cities they travel to or live in.

After a little over half a year, I have written about Indian-Pakistani music, cultural events in Delhi, a moving obituary to a friend/former colleague, a friend’s coming out to me about her unwanted sexual experiences, a visit to India’s most haunted place etc. While my blogging focus will continue to be Delhi, I plan to keep my website a bit fluid so as to accommodate visits outside the city.

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