Veteran journalist Krishna Vattam thought he had a time management problem. As Mysore’s senior-most working journalist (pushing 75, I reckon) Mr Vattam attends to the daily grind of running an understaffed, cash-strapped Mysore Mail; spends time catching up with developing news to do his regular column for a Kannada daily. And as a local celebrity he gets invited to preside over school functions, university journalism workshops, seminars, meetings of local heritage committee. As a very visible senior citizen Mr Vattam is occasionally asked to join civic deputations to press for clean water supply, cleaner environment or protest against unauthorized street-side hoardings that ruin the city’s heritage look.
Home at usually late in the evening he takes in a TV serial, of which Mr Vattam is a self-confessed addict. How could he do all this, and still find time for blogging? This was his contention when I first talked to him about it an year ago. I felt he had much to blog about his long innings as Deccan Herald correspondent and the subsequent public life he has been leading.
But then Mr Vattam, till the time I talked to him, didn’t know what a blog was and how it worked; nor did he seem to care. Presumably, he shared the preconception of middle-aged Mysoreans, who thought of blogging as a teenage thing. Senior citizens in my city see a computer as an in-house post office, where they could check/send mail. The more informed among computer users Skyped their children living abroad.
Mr Vattam wouldn’t have probably gone in for a computer had his daughter not presented him with a PC. And then, his school-going grandson, spending summer vacation at grandpa’s place, put Mr Vattam through a crash course on how to work the mouse, cursor, and the keyboard. That was when I started exchanging e-mail with Mr Vattam and sending him links to my blog posts and web articles on issues of mutual interests.
If Mr Vattam has anything going for him, it is keenness to learn and a willingness to learn it from younger generation, particularly, grand-children, of whose caliber he is justifiably proud. The idea that a blog would enable him to network with the likeminded and facilitate sharing of ideas and life’s experiences with others appealed to him. That was how Mr Vattam set up a blog. For some reason, probably the time-management issue, the blog remained blank for a while, with his friends leaving comments asking how long do they have to endure an empty blog. This prompted Mr Vattam to file a few posts.
He then lapsed into silence (couldn’t, presumably, come to grips with the time-management issue) till the other day when he sought my help in reviving his blog, of which he had forgotten even the URL. We fixed the problem through a Google search. But I couldn’t help wondering why his sudden interest in revival of the blog. During a recent Bangalore visit to his daughter’s place Mr Vattam learned that his 15-year old grand-daughter, with flair for writing, maintained a personal journal that made interesting reading. That was when he decided to revive his blog-in-coma. “I wish I had kept a journal in my younger days,” said Mr Vattam.