The following is a peice of conversation I had close to a month ago:
‘You’ll get many more comments on your blog if you’re more controversial. All this Mother Teresa stuff…,’ says my friend with a shrug accompanied by a cut-throat gesture.
‘Yes, because everyone writes for traffic and comments. [eyeroll] I don’t want my blog to be diluted like all those youtube videos & I don’t want haters and idiots on the site.’ I say, passionately. ‘That’s why I will never advertise it. I love Mr. Bachchan’s blog. Do you think he writes for comments and traffic?’
‘Umm… you’re not Amitabh Bachchan, Shilpa.’ He says, eyebrows raised.
‘Do you think that’s what he tells himself when he wakes up in the morning? When he’s brushing his teeth? I’m Amitabh Bachchan! All majestic-like?’
‘But he is. You’re just starting this stuff. Maybe you should try to write stuff that’s interesting and ignites conversation.’ He replies, making a heated gesture like he’s trying to lift up an imaginary career. I looked at him, amused by his theatrical gesturing.
‘Sure. Sure.’ I say, taking a long sip of coffee. I slowly put my cup down.
‘Look man…I don’t want to inspire conflict or simulate interest. If there is one thing I’ve learnt from my father, it’s that you have to do what you think is right. At the end of the day, when I get that random person telling me that they read my blog or that my words inspired some little thing, that’s pretty darn awesome. Words have a way of traveling. It’s just a matter of having faith in them. And that, I very much do. Intent will get you where bribery fails…’
‘Are you thinking of running for office eventually? He quizes.
‘What? Where did that come from?’
‘Well you’re great at speeches…’
I picture pouring the rest of my french roast coffee on his white shirt. I mentally smile.
‘Thanks, I hope you’ll vote for me when I do.’ I pause, hopelessly trying to change the subject. ‘Did you see the news? The bombings?’
‘Oh I know…’ He begins another lecture about what’s wrong with the world.
You are right Mr. Downey Jr.
So, very right.