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Why I started Petals! blog


Six years ago, I began to blog on ‘Petals’ with no idea about what blogging was all about. My only reason for blogging was to document the little milestones, the highs and the lows of an ordinary woman’s life, in a way that perhaps decades later, my son would be able to read and understand about the person that his mother was and struggled to be.
My son’s journey into my heart would probably tell him more about who his mother was as a person and as a spiritual seeker than as a mother – which is truthfully a very miniscule part of me.
At some point of time, my writings would also convey to him how deeply his mother cared and loved him even when she had to leave him when he was just three months old to get back to work.
It may tell him about a mother’s inner conflicts, her core beliefs and her little joys in ways that he may not have known about her directly as her son. This is the reason I began to blog – to share my world with him, to leave a trace of myself for my son and his children and their children to experience in a way that I had not experienced with my grandparents.
But the whole experience that blogging brought me completely transformed my little world. I found bloggers who enjoyed reading the scraps that I wrote for myself. Across the world, I received interesting responses to what I wrote from people who liked reading my blogposts. The maximum traffic that I get on my blog comes from the US, the UK, India, Australia and the UAE. That itself is interesting to me because I never write with an expectation of getting an international audience. Most of the time I write for my son.  
Among the blogposts that I have written, the one that got me tremendous appreciation was the one on the Ramayana and the Gayatri mantra. People from across the world wrote to me saying that they had never been interested in reading the Ramayana but after reading my post, they want to do so with a different perspective. The same thing about Gayatri mantra.
This year, I was deeply touched when three very different people e-mailed to me to convey why they liked reading Petals! No one had emailed me before to let me know this so it really meant a lot to me. Also, I did not personally know them too closely.
I read each of their e-mails over and over again because it touched me deeply that these strangers who are not a part of my life have somehow connected to the real me.
And when I go through some really bad days like everyone else, I read these three e-mails because they bring me a sliver of hope and joy. Everytime I read them, tears flow because each word, so warmly etched, fills me with a happiness that I cannot begin to describe. Like a child, I read each of these emails like a gift that is waiting to be unwrapped. And for the first time, I want to share it here with you because now, you are the one I am writing for on this blog called Petals!

First email reads like this:
Hello, 

Hope all well at your end. I was reading through your blog on petalsfromtheheart.. I really liked it and ended up reading most of your posts.. Great thought and Keep rocking.. Thanks for sharing your valuable thoughts through posts especially on prayer, tradition and family values. 
Best,
S.


Second email:
Hi Swapna,

I crashed into your blog while googling for Sai Baba's words on the Gayatri
Mantra, for a Muslim colleague who works on the same Production Platform as
me in Offshore Qatar.

Your posts reads like poetry. Fluid like water over pebbles in a mountain
stream.

Thought of dropping a word to say I liked the style & pls keep the stream
flowing.

There might be many petals among the flowers in the flowerbed of your heart, but hardly any time to look at them. I guess Malayalees have difficulty expressing appreciation to one among their own. Maybe that could be one of the reasons, few bother to appreciate your work.

The content in your blog is definitely one among the best, especially the fluidity and the way you connect the sentences like a string & make an offering of a garland with your petals. I like the fact some of them are as short & simple as those subjects deserve to be (unless you are researching on it). A balance in the writing is a welcome relief, especially coming from a woman.

The creativity in your words do not reflect in the layout & design of the blog. A few images and color thrown in can make it a pleasure to visit more often. Even for you. 

We can't fathom, the number of blog-like posts people make & share on a daily basis with apps like these. Pls add photos to posts Swapna. Lets accept it we're all visual to some degree.

Kind regards,
A.

Third e-mail: 

Hi Swapna,

I’ve bookmarked your blog because I really like the Malayalam movie reviews on your blog. Keep writing.

Regards,
V.

Thank you friends for writing in to me and giving me a real purpose to keep writing the way I do. 

Whatever said and done, a good word brightens up everyone’s day. Who are the people who have brightened your life with good words? 

Comments

Paresh Palicha said…
Congrats! Keep more posts coming. :)
Chatty Wren said…
Discovered your blog recently and loved the post on Gayatri mantra. taking time to read your posts, like your style. Keep blogging:)
Oldfox004 said…
emails like these are oxygen for a blogger! Keep blogging Swapna and I believe you will discover yourself in the process of communicating with your son:)
Shilpa Garg said…
6 years of blogging! that's super cool! Congratulations!
Yes, even I feel that my blog will help my son know the world of his mom, sometimes down the years!
Wishing you loads of happy times and moments as your share and express on Petals! :)
Anupam karn said…
Small things do matter keeping the spirit alive - Be it, a complementary mail or a valuable comment! Yes, diversity of content does matter - it might drop your pagerank but help get in touch with broad minded people atleast on web.

Liked your Talaash review; thumbs up!
Hey Paresh, it sure feels awesome to get encouragement from you - thanks a ton!
Hi Chatty Wren, I am so happy to know that you loved reading the post on the Gayatri mantra. Do keep visiting, I'd love to have your feedback again.
Hi Vinaya, thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I totally agree with you - emails like these are oxygen for bloggers.

Like a famous writer once said, "A writer's life is full of revisions." We keep learning and discovering ourselves in the process of writing.
Thanks so much for the encouragement,Shilpa. It means a lot to me. :)
Hi Anupam, Thanks for the comment. I had thought about your point on diversity of content. You are right. Initially, I'd tried hard to focus on one or two subjects but I find that it feels as though I am suffocating myself when I do that. The world is full of diversity. There is so much to discover, explore, share and write about. After all, time just flies by.
Reshmi V said…
Hi Swapna, I came across your blog when I was surfing the net. Congratulations!! I also am a mother and only when I had my baby did I realize...how about sharing my everyday experiences with the world? Parenting teaches you so much more, right? I then started Humpty Bumpty Kids: http://www.humptybumptykids.com/. Do visit my blog and share your thoughts.
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