Happy Birthday Finely Chopped

What a coincidence, Finely Chopped Turns one today!

Today I was embarrassed to death as my Mom In Law did a dramatic reading of my post on her mother, Mamma (I pretended to sleep in the next room). I sensed cathartic effect the post had on them when Kainaz told me that they sobbed as they went through it. Mama (Mamma’s son) congratulated me once I surfaced and he then showed it to the relatives who came for the evening memorial prayers. I cringed through it but enjoyed it at one level.

I was very clear when I started the blog a year back that it will be a reflective and not a descriptive one. Through the year I have written about eating experiences, restaurants, recipes and memories. I guess there is a bit of everything in it.

In between all of this I also wrote the post remembering
Mamma when she left us yesterday and on my dad on his twenty fifth death anniversary.

These posts were big landmarks for me. I have grown up in old British school values which say that 'boys don't cry' and advocate a 'stiff upper lip'. So I have rarely expressed my feelings on very personal matters. I have a strong point of view at work or on impersonal issues. But my personal feelings are a closely guarded area.

This blog has given me a forum to go break this. I have not really kept my identity a secret but I enjoy the anonymity of expressing emotions to a computer screen rather than to people. What this has done is that it has allowed me to convey my feelings to people indirectly versus not at all.

Today was an example of it. I don't think I would have spoken the way I did about Mamma to the rest of the family ordinarily. And I did not beat my chest and cry buckets when she passed away. Some might find it cold. I would argue that it is a way of helping people be strong. But there are merits of expressing feelings. 'Being strong' is a fine line from being seen as cold. The blog helped me connect with my in laws at their moment of crisis which no amount of physically being there would.

And this was the second such instance. I have never spoken about my feelings about father with too many people. Definitely not to my mother or to my younger brother. Then I wrote the post on my dad twenty five years after he had left us. And suddenly I got this SMS from my brother saying how touched he was. I hadn't even told him that I had written the post. He is eight years younger than me and we have never really 'spoken' if you know what I mean. And then I got another SMS (we are not a very expressive, touchy feely family) from my mother saying how she felt that this the greatest tribute to my father.

Suddenly I connected with people who were close to me in a way I never had so far. I must thank the folks at Blogger and the marvelous person who thought of inventing blogs and to Kainaz who opened the blog account for me and named it too.

I wrote these on nights when I was alone by myself battling demons and dark thoughts. Writing the posts was cathartic for me and helped me confront, express and tide over moments of emotional turbulence.

The blog has helped me connect with what I really love which is to write. And it has been fun doing this after ten years of limiting writing to work emails, power points and other banes of eking out a living. It has helped me de-stress. For example, yesterday I was penning the tribute to Mama in my mind and in a way was avoiding buckling under the emotional strain of the moment. It also helps me switch off from the day to day machinations of work as I think up of blog posts and topics.

Finely Chopped is a bit like a first child to me. I have pampered it, nurtured it, given it a character and helped it grow. I started my travel blog, faraway diaries (again named by Kainaz) recently. I must admit that I still haven't got into the rhythm of things there yet. I guess one eats more often than one travels! But I am sure with time it too will grow in the footsteps of Finely Chopped.

PS The biggest thrill for me is when I see a comment on a post. So please drop in a comment whenever you can


Pavan said…
Many Many happy returns of the day!!
Keep eating & writing!!
Pavan said…
And also emphasizing the helpfulness of ur blog. i generally read ur blog if deciding on an eating out place.
E.g i had read about Cafe Basilico on ur post and recently took my brother & bhabhi there for a quick sweet bite.
Had blue berry cheese cake, chocolate brownie and tiramisu pastry
Kalyan Karmakar said…
Hey Pavan,

Thanks so much for writing in. Makes all the hours of toiling worth it. I am glad you had a wonderful time. Basilico is a nice place to treat someone. i am sure they would have enjoyed it.
Anonymous said…
Yes, we really enjoyed the food.
The ambiance is very soothing.
k said…
Congrats! It's my favourite blog ever.
Kalyan Karmakar said…
@Pavan: 'soothing' is a right way to describe Basilico especially since it is a fairly peaceful nook in mad mad Pali naka
@K: that's quite a compliment coming from my favourite person
Unknown said…
Congratulations on completing a year..Infact whats more appreciated is the fact that you have been pretty regular in updating it and so keeping readers curios to know what's comin next...And yes, this is just the beginning of the anniversaries I must say :-)

PS: Its 4.30am now when am writing this...you could guess how much curious I am to read this blog (esp when am allergic to reading)
Kalyan Karmakar said…
@Kashi: The idea of writing an anniversary post come from you. Thanks. Folks like you who have been regular readers from the beginning AND have shared their POV through comments have been my biggest encouragement.
Why are you up at 4.30 AM...look after yourself young man
Unknown said…
hey thats so true writing is a lot catharitic, and i can tell u from personal experience too.. i still remember my diary entries when i went thru that - I so agree with you - i did not cry buckets too then and probbaly did not "disucuss" too much with my folks too .. . anyways u'r article touched a chord somewhere - so I tht I must mention.
Anonymous said…
I think Kashi is up at 4.30 AM to do the dishes!!
Kalyan Karmakar said…
@Vanita: Having grown up on Adrian Mole, Anne frank and later Yes Prime Minister, diary writing was a big part of my growing up years. but was difficult to keep them secret!
@Pavan: or maybe cooking breakfast