We turned 6 on 7th October 2013…Happy Birthday Finely Chopped

A couple of days back I realised that I had missed a significant date in the rush of the last few days. Finely Chopped had turned six on the 7th of October, 2013.

6 years. Phew…that’s quite a long time and boy has it been some ride or what? I won’t be exaggerating if I say that blogging has changed my life. Today Finely Chopped is an intrinsic part of my identity. When K opened the blog for me and named it I had no idea what lay ahead. i just knew that I wanted to write. Write about food. It was meant to be a stern blog when one was surrounded by food media which was very kind whether on TV or in press. The first few posts were rant posts and then with time the blog began to evolve. Finely Chopped became a diary of my life…centred around food…and yet sometimes going beyond it. I wrote about places I ate in, people I met, things that I cooked and then places I travelled to. The blog has changed with time. From pithy posts to long elaborate posts to possibly once again some pretty direct, cut to the chase, sort of writing. Perhaps it’s a function of age when sometimes I don’t have the energy to write for that long. Or maybe my writing style has changed, what interests me has changed. Plus with newspaper/ magazine article commitments and my internet column my writing time gets split.

I don’t explore restaurants in Mumbai as much as I used to. I can’t eat with the gay abandon that I could have when I was slightly younger when I started the blog. Plus the idea out of travelling out of Bandra often puts me off. And the docs say I shouldn’t eat as much. With all of this coming into the picture, often the new restaurants that I write about turn out to be the ones I go to when I travel. But then Finely Chopped has never had a fixed structure. I write about whatever happens in my life and the blog is a reflection of what’s happening in my life at a given point.

This is one of the reasons why I have stayed away from blogger events to promote restaurants. A concept which In any case I have not been comfortable with. I like to blog for myself and without an agenda and the thought of writing to help push a restaurant or a product turns me off. After all I had begun blogging as I was put off by media articles that seemed liked advertorials. Doing so myself would seem wrong. Of course staying away from events often cuts down one’s opportunity to network and that’s a tough call. It’s a question of striking the right balance.

My support equipment for blogging has changed, From using office laptops and net connections to my own laptops, net connections at home, iPads and iPhones, cameras starting with the Samsung and then Sony point and shoots to the Sony mirrorless and then the Canon DSLRs. A lot of the equipment gifted to me by K who has been a big source of support all through. She has patiently waited to eat while I photographed our food and has given me the time and pace to go and pound on the keyboard even when she is around or when odd jobs around the house had to be done.

Yes, Finely Chopped, is very much our baby.

Blogging has opened up avenues for me where I have written in magazines and newspapers, did some television, been part of groups of international bloggers such as Chowzters thanks to whom and the folks at Casa Asia, Spain, that I managed to make a trip to Europe this year as a blogger and to Jaipur the year before. Blogging has opened my mind, changed the way I have looked at things, given me such immense joy and satisfaction and a sense of purpose.

Probably one of the most amazing things to come out of the blog and the people I have known through it is the Finely Chopped Food Walks which has been a fantastic experience for me and has taken the blog to a different dimension.

I’ve met countless people through the blog. many of whom have become friends. Some have given me breaks into writing, TV shows, connected me with publishers, some have become very close family friend, some are people I turn to when I need a cup of cheer. I feel a great sense of satisfaction when people write in to me saying they read the blog or mention it when they bump into me. I have rarely been alone in my recent travels in India and even outside the country when I met people whom I know through the blog in places such as Jaipur, Bangalore, Delhi, Gurgaon and even Barcelona, London, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.

Yes, I owe a lot to this blog and to all of you who read it and have kept me going.

Here’s to many more birthdays.

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