Now that's a difficult task, considering I barely spend time on my own blog these days, leave alone read others. But I do read, once in a while, something here and something there. Mostly I stick to reading people I know: getting to know them better is any day more worthwhile than trying to peep into the mind of a stranger. Occasionally, however, a stranger does grab your attention, but soon the stranger joins the list of people you know. So you are back to reading the people you know.
But there are blogs I would never want to read, such as the news and views ones. Perhaps as a professional journalist, I don't feel compelled to read a blogger's take on news and events. I don't know if such blogger's are popular because they are prolific, or because they are prolific that they are popular; but what I know is that it is easy to be prolific when you sit in front of the computer, every morning, with the day's papers and start nitpicking or sermonising. It is also easy to be prolific when you write Guess-what-happened-to-me-last-night kind of stuff.
It is, however, not easy to record the impact that the simplest of things make on your mind. For that, you need to have a mind that is sensitive. And blogs that show such sensitivity turn me on. During my year-and-a-half of blogging, I have come across many such blogs. The owners of some of them escape my memory, while the rest figure on my friend's list. Atul Sabnis, Reshma, Arundhati, Prerona, Paresh, Deepa... I read them whenever I can. Shankari's verse makes me jealous. Then there is Kornershopgirl, who was born to be a writer but became an obgyn. And the others. It would be unfair if I chose my favourite five from among them, because they are 'friends' and equally dear to me. I could, however, choose from among the people who don't figure in my list but whose blogs I relish:
1. Gauravonomics. That's Gaurav's blog. No, I am not really returning him the favour, even though such a gesture is naturally in order. If you read him, you'll know why he is a favourite. He writes about the same emotions as I, albeit with greater elegance and flair. Reading him gives me a feel as if we were two friends in a previous birth, working in a small town in a very boring office and who, whenever they went to the city on assignments, would indulge in sins with a gusto -- from drinking in roadside dhabas to whore-hunting in seedy streets. What do you call that: deja vu?
2. Maanga. That's Nilu's blog. His is the only blog whose comment box is as interesting as the post itself. Reason being he blogs with a pin, which he pokes at the bottom of everyone who reads him -- and everyone means everyone. There are people who love him, and who love to hate him, while I watch the fun sitting on the fence. When he is not puking on others, he is writing about economics and erotica. He excels in writing the latter, trust me.
3. Starryeyedwanderer. She is someone I do not know, but I wish I did. I am partial to anyone clining to their twenties, because that was my principal occupation a few years ago. Now I cling to the 30's. Anyway, the sensitivity she displays is as if she has been around for many more decades, and how she articulates that!: Raindrops glitter on my window pane. Like diamonds. And I wonder who's crying this time. Another post moans the lack of 'smart men', and men who consider themselves smart should read that, though let me warn you: she is smarter.
4. Wickedly Yours. That's Anna's blog. I have known Anna for a short while, professionally, and I know she is a bright kid. Her posts, obviously, are not written in a deliberate style for people to read and appreciate: and that is what I like. They are more of a raw diary, recording to angst of someone who has just stepped out of her teens.
5. Compulsive Confessor. I happened to read her because her URL has been forwarded to me, time to time, by various people. Perhaps because the stuff she writes is bound to tickle the Indian male reader, myself included now. But that does not take away from the robustness of her prose. She is very, very good. Makes you think -- if you want to think, that is.
Gaurav, you owe me a drink now.