Interview – “I Can't Promise to be Gentle or Generous or Vicious”

Ms. Manika DhamaConversations with a Delhi writer on her first personal blog.

[Ms. Manika Dhama works in media. She is also a writer for The Delhi Walla; interview and picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

Ms. Dhama, what prompted you to start your new blogsite?

I had been musing about it for a while. Sometimes I pen down the arbitrary thoughts that come to my mind in a diary. With a blog there is the option of putting your thoughts out in the open for people to read and perhaps react to. Of course I don’t know if people will read the blog or enjoy it! I’ve just begun, fingers crossed and all that. (Smiles)

Why the name Myriad Musings and More? What’s the theme?

The name happened some months back. It made a lot of sense. This blog aims to particularly deal with thoughts that flit through my mind. Sometimes one thinks a lot and perhaps it’s a good idea to get these random musings out of one’s system. I probably shouldn’t make it sound so frivolous, but like Lord Henry says in ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ , “…if I weren’t so flippant, I would kill myself”.

What kind of articles should we expect?

The articles will be personal ideas about things I like or detest or just have an opinion on. That actually covers just about everything. Books, music, movies, dogs, friends, family, food, news…like I said, almost everything.

Will it have stories on Delhi?

If I muse about it, then yes (Smiles)

Nothing has been typed in caps lock in your site. Any special reason?

That wasn’t a conscious decision to begin with. But a friend who read the fist post suggested that ‘no caps lock policy’ might be a great idea for a site that is so personal. And I couldn’t agree more. It does give a breezier feel to it.

You co-manage a website (Defeating War & Peace) and have written articles for The Delhi Walla. How has been the experience?

Collaborating with an established writer and blogger like you was a great learning experience. The challenge of meeting self imposed deadlines and serving up something palatable for the readers of these sites was exciting. This was actually what prompted me to start something personal and new.

Which are your favorite websites?

Google and Wikipedia are my most visited search engines/sites. Apart from that I usually read blogs. Sometimes I visit for news, to check out videos and to clarify arguments with friends over grammar usage, pronunciation etc.

Do your family, friends, and colleagues have reasons to worry you may muse on them in this (public) website?

(Laughs) I’m not sure. I can’t promise to be gentle or generous or vicious. While sometimes it becomes difficult to control the direction of the musings, how I write about them will be strictly monitored by me. Perhaps I’ll put in footnotes stating that names have been changed to protect identities.

Any new blogsite ahead?

Not at the moment. I’ve just begun this new blog and it will take time to settle. And I’m aware that I haven’t contributed any articles to The Delhiwalla or Defeating War and Peace in a while now. That can’t be good news! However, as always, there’s hope of better things to come. Who knows? (Smiles)

Thanks for talking.
You’re welcome, Mayank.