Vysnu

And so, just like that, Unchecked Ramblings gets into another munchy avatar. Permit me some nostalgia: UR One was born early in my days of web logging – early in the days of web logging when it hadn’t grown to quite the fad it is now, but then I was four or five years younger. It was all grey and white and with a cover page I believe (and it was all tables,) but it was still the UR that gave birth to Two and Three – swankier, better versions where I learned a bit more about funny things like HTML, Javascript and CSS.

It got a bit funnier in Four and Five since I learnt things like prefixing X to things (XHTML) and lengthening and confusing the expansions of some others (ECMAScript) and of course, my dear sweet PHP, and sweeter CSS2 and swankier tableless layouts which Tresni first introduced me to. Some might say that Four and Five are retarded brothers of their predecessors – they are right in some ways, but I tend to now think that Less is More.

Clean shiny layouts don’t break under stress. Fast Forwarding from Four, UR stagnated for a while, till I found Koal (which is a CMS I’m still developing) and then it got an XML frontend. Of course, Real Life changed many things. I met some new friends, made a new site, a new log, and then I even bought myself a new domain.

Not forgetting lesser cousins, this is Avatar Seven of Unchecked Ramblings, and sadly I’ll let the name slide. Welcome Vysnu into your midst.

What can you expect?

Daily updates for one. I’ve no excuse now and that’ll help me a lot<g> Vysnu is powered by B2 and that makes for damn easy post composition in a very sleek interface. I sort of really like it. Till I can get Koal up and running the way I want to, I’ll hack the B2 code to get things done. Aside from that, some more content. I know I’ve dropped some hints around here that I write a bit. I do, and I’ll post some of my stuff here, soon. Those stories would probably make me still weirder, but what the hell, I’m too happy about this to care.

Writing

Its wonderful. Good writers are like good painters: they are both artists, they work hard at what they do, and they produce things that people like, and both of them leave a lot to Imagination so that the reader (or the viewer) call fill in the gaps in their work.

But what makes writing special is that you don’t have to have “a way with words” to produce good works. Grammar, syntax, style, word-ordering, alliteration, spelling: all this doesn’t have to be accurate for a work to be good. I’ve read many mispelled works on the net that could have
the caliber of professional works once they are polished up. There are so many people who can write, but there are so few people who actually do. Somebody calculated that if you write two hundred words a day (half an A4 side) you can write a novel a year, and that is as much healthy writing as people should tend to do.

Writing is a craft that is a natural progression from reading. If you read a lot, you can write. And if you read a lot lot lot, you can write well. And introspective writing is the best kind. And writing fiction about the places around you is the hardest kind. Writing a good novel also means being sensitive about your reader audience. That in itself is a kind of a contradiction: You write because you want to, but your stories are so because your readers can understand and appreciate it. I struggled with that for quite a while. Most of the stories at Devart are the kind that are vague. People think being deliberately vague is cool: making the reader guess is something you should do. I don’t agree. Using hazy words don’t tend to make your story strong. It just makes you lazy. Details are the spice of life. The more the details the merrier. And tailoring your work to fit the reader is also not a crime. Good writing always means adaptability, though not at the price of a complete U-turn.

Take it from me, writing is a lot more fun than writing about writing. Some links to help you along:

Deviantart Prose |
Deviantart Poetry |
Small Spiral Notebook

Ione

A photo of Ione, my server.

Ione serves me. Well, I might add. Uselessly too, since I’m not running anything on my server right now. It downloads pretty well though – Shareaza attends
to all my P2P needs, and Wackget is a very good download accelerator (based on the Unix wget, which could be the best download manager of all time) serves the
rest of my web download needs. So Ione is a download beast. For now.

Marriage

A photo of a bride and a bridegroom in a Hindu wedding.

Holy. And that word conjures up something effervescently multicolor. But that isn’t exactly what marriage brings to my
mind nowadays. (Actually, it wasn’t ever like that, but for the divine purpose of this post, it will be conveniently forgotten.)
I had the pleasure and pain of being a party to an arranged marriage recently. My opinions on this, as my opinions on many topics
are, were until recently very obtuse – I’m obstinate about love and I’m practical about money. But “to marry a person whom you’ve never
even met and to spend the rest of the life with her is crazy!” (Kudos to Vivek, who puts it across very bluntly and effectively.)

Will I ever succumb to the evil that is an arranged marriage? I would like to say NO NO NO outright, but I won’t. Some years ago,
a friend and I had a talk with DP about this. She was of course arguing for something simply because she could, but practicality cannot
always stand firm in the stead of idealistic youth, and so as a parting shot, she lashed out at my friend and told him that she was sure
he’ll land himself in an arranged marriage, and to add insult to injury – that he will engage in something that I’d like to call money grabbing.
To my surprise, and to DP’s, he didn’t deny it outright. Idealistic youth does die in front of practicality.

So does mine, though it should die much harder. Unless of course… 🙂