Time spent on the interwebz is a constantly fluctuating thing with me. There are weeks of unplanned abstinence, with getting online reserved only for uploading/sending off work stuff, while life goes on offline. I think the internet woes of the past six months weaned me off a fair bit. It’s hard to stay online when there’s a cake that needs baking, a garden that’s waiting to be watered, and a workout to rush off to. Travels and visiting friends tend to take you out of the house and into the world. All told, I haven’t been reading too much online these days. I access feedly on my iPad, and one fine day I noticed I have been serially marking most blogs on my bursting-at-the-seams list “read” quite thoughtlessly. Just ticking them off without reading them, save for a handful that I click through to. I don’t know when I had accumulated 180+ blogs, even though I seemed so disinterested in following up on most of them. That’s a hoarder for you.
So I did what any borderline obsessive-compulsive person would do. I sat down and sorted out my reading list. I filtered all my blogs down. In true OCD fashion, my feedly has categories and sub-categories. Amongst my favourite sections, I noticed I had more mommy blogs than food blogs — haha! I wasn’t reading 80% of both sections, so I stripped it all down to just the ones I hungrily hop over to and visit, the ones I wait for days on end to find a shiny new update. I’m now down to a dozen+ food blogs and 2 mommy blogs. I realised I’m not so much into fancy writing when it comes to personal blogs, much like I’m not into glitzy over-styled food photography when it comes to food blogs. Simple makes me happy. Simple makes me go back for more.
Suddenly feedly felt light and sparse, and I asked around for reccos. New, interesting stuff I could add in, because I think a big reason for mass-ticking everything read was because I have outgrown most of the blogs I had accumulated. I do not revel in reading about the minutiae of peoples lives as much, the only food blogs that make me long to go back are those that have honest stories to go with the recipes and food rather than just a super styled picture of what was made for dinner on any given day. Mommy blogs that were once fascinating and simple have now become tiresome and many, sanctimonious. News and current affairs don’t seem to go beyond the elections.
Boring, overall. But here’s a few new finds that I have enjoyed over the past few months. The few blogs I added discreetly, and the few websites I don’t gloss over but actually go look, read, mull-over and share. This is what I’ve been reading:
Peppercorns in my Pocket: This is Pia’s wonderful world of nostalgia, food, stories from the life of her Chotto-ma. It comes with a lot of simple, honest writing, a generous pinch of good books, heart-warming food and some gorgeous pictures. Also, she’s from the world of advertising, like me, and I think that drew me in in some part.
A Brown Table: Quite simply, this is a food and photo journal. There’s usually a story for every post, but it is short, simple, to the point and the recipe and pictures do most of the talking. I admire those who can chisel away at their blogs on a daily basis, without letting things go stale or sound pretentious — and Nik is one of them. Also SO frequently updated, with a lot of do-able stuff. AND he has an adorable dog!
Enzo the Baker: I was fascinated by this blog that was apparently started by two people when they lived in separate cities. I thought it was a wonderful idea, because food really does shrink distances and shorten time for me. This is a fairly new find off the Homegrown list that I was also featured on, but one that I quickly added onto feedly knowing well that I would always go back for more. Gorgeous simple pictures, home-cooked food and bakes — totally up my alley.
Ashish Shakya: You probably already read and guffaw at this blog, because Ashish’s columns are really widely circulated on every social network around. The thing that always makes me want to click and read every update is that he is as OTT as he is relevant. If there were ever something that combined the two, Ashish’s blog is it. Ridiculous happenings in our country, meets popular culture meets film and TV updates, meets politics, meets a hilarious commentary on the life and times of our society. After years of reading him whenever I stumbled on a link shared by someone, I decided it was time to add him in.
Newslaundry: If like every other Indian, you’re sick and tired of the news churned out on TV and in the papers, Newslaundry is a good place to go take a break. In their own words, its a website where the world of news turns a mirror on itself. Where sabki dhulai happens as you watch it. Whether its an interview with idiots like Subramanian Swamy or a refreshing take on why the election isn’t a total wash-out — I’ve found a lot of interesting, entertaining and eye-opening content on this website. Also, plenty videos on the section called TeeVee — which is such a good medium for news.
The Ladies Finger: A new women’s magazine that’s equal parts light-hearted and fun as well as thoughtful, issue-based and sincere. Their about page had me hooked with the words: Pop Culture. Health. Sex. Fun. Music. Books. Cinema. We do vaanthi. We like kranti. We write what we want to read.
Also, cool name no?!
That’s not all I’m reading though. In the last few weeks I have finished High Fidelity, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues and am now reading The Gifts of Imperfection. All loved, all devoured and must be written about as soon as I can get myself out of this holiday hangover.
Which holiday hangover?