Dear fellow avoider of eye-contact,
Happy Valentine’s Day. Are you planning a surprise dinner for your partner? Or are you single and getting ready to indulge yourself at a spa? Or are you scouting for lovers in your area, while carrying hockey sticks? I hope you find success in whatever you are trying to achieve by tonight.
I dislike Valentine’s Day, not because it is a ‘western import’—which it is, as is our lust for English-medium education for our children of Bharat—but because of how commercialised it is, has always been, and continues to be.
Some saint… something something… love… something something… ‘Your account is debited by Rs.14,576/-. Please keep spending.’
Ugh. Why da? Why?! I hated it even when I was 21. Today, at the grand old age of 35, I roll my eyes to the back of my skull. What happened to the good old days of long walks against a setting sun? What happened to chaat and chai at your favourite tapri? What happened to hiding from relatives/neighbourhood aunties who, upon spotting you with the opposite sex, tattled to your entire family that you were a 🥁drumroll🥁 slut?!
My wife is indifferent to 14th Feb. That… makes me feel romantic.
Just so you know, ‘Valentine’s day is commercial’ is probably the most outdated opinion in the world, closely followed by ‘Cheese dosa is not dosa’. Also, I’m very outdated. I hope my pet pigeon delivers this email to you on time, and poops on a cheese dosa.
Now for some technical news
Do you notice how this issue of Sunday Slant appears a little different? No? OK, but it is. I’ve changed my newsletter provider from Revue to Ghost—the platform on which my site is hosted. I had been wanting to do this for a while now.
When I used to write ‘every day’ in early 2021, the homepage of my website appeared active (posts were no more than a few days old). But now, the only thing I publish regularly is Sunday Slant. And it is found under the ‘newsletter’ tab on my site, two clicks away from the homepage.
If you are subscriber of my newsletter, then no problem, you read this in your inbox (also, you are amazing). But when a non-subscriber/lurker/stranger/murderer stumbles upon my website, they probably only skim through my blog posts from months ago and move on, not knowing that I have more recent posts under the ‘newsletter’ tab.
So with the changes I’ve now made, every issue will sit on the homepage of my website, alongside other blog posts. In effect, the newsletter is now ‘just a blog post that gets emailed’. This keeps the website active and is something that seasoned bloggers have been doing for nearly two decades.
There were two things I had to consider before arriving at this decision:-
- How it affects others: When a stranger visits my site for the first time, am I okay with them reading my newsletter first? (which is essentially written in a few hours, not very serious in nature and littered with jokes that don’t land). And have them go, “Ew, what the hell is this?”.
- How it affects me: Will this change, affect the tone of my writing? Writing in a journal that no one is going to read is different from writing straight to inboxes which only a few are going to read, which is different from writing a blog post that anyone landing on my site can read. Each is progressively less intimate, even if it all still is ‘personal writing’ (ummm… intimate… personal… is it valentine’s day or what?!).
After much deliberation, I came to the most obvious conclusion: I cannot control what others think, and so I should care less about that. Poof. Problem solved. Also, I realise that people aren’t exactly falling over themselves to visit my website. It is tucked away in a corner of the internet, amidst only a million more.
I also gave my site a new theme, and in place of a logo, put my own face—show me someone more self-obsessed. Visit my site.
That’s all for this week. Go thrash some love birds, should you find them holding hands in a park, bothering no one. As the famous Bengali saying goes, Happy Ballantine’s 🥃
I’ll see you next week,
P.S. : I'm still house hunting; I may have a surprise for you next week. *wink wink*