12th Blogversary | Blog Anniversary Gratitude Post
This June ‘The contemplation of a Joker’ completed 12 years of its existence. It celebrated its 12th blogversary on the 9th day of June to be precise.
I should have come up with this post earlier but because of some prior commitments was unable to and thought it would be only right to get this out in June itself.
I was going through the archive and realised last year during the recovery I missed the anniversary post and hence wanted to pen down one. It gives me an opportunity to talk about what all happened with and on the blog over the past year and an even bigger opportunity to express gratitude to all the readers and supporters.
April – June 2021 12th Blogversary
Last year mom and I contracted COVID during the last week of April and most of May and June went in recovery. I was COVID positive for about 32 days and that took a toll on my health as I suffered drastic weight loss and weakness. Although going by what many faced during the 2nd wave including my family, I am glad that both mom and I survived the scare. I have lost three uncles (2 Chacha and 1 Tauji) and a cousin to COVID. Hence the time became even more frightening as every time the phone rang it was to deliver some bad news.
People weren’t socialising, not even regular calls and the overall atmosphere was about gloom and death. I felt many of us from the community had not been writing and engaging much and wanted to do something to bring whatever joy the Joker possibly could.
During the first week of June, I decided to do something for the blogging community and planned a series of live-sessions with fellow bloggers and writers as a part of my blogversary. It was planned around the theme of ‘Celebrating Creativity, Celebrating Blogging and Writing.’
Initially, when I pitched the idea to a couple of close blogging buddies they immediately liked the idea yet hesitated to be a part of a Live-session. I then reached out to a bigger pool which I felt would be happy to come on a live with me. And some of them did oblige my request and graced the event. What was planned for a single day ended up being a three-day event with marathon non-stop live sessions. It gives me immense happiness to see that those who were scared and never appeared on a live-session are now pursuing it on a pretty regular basis.
July – August 2021
One of these live-sessions was graced by the talented poetry wizard, Namratha Varadharajan. Sometime later post the event we were chatting about poetry and how both of us wanted to start a workshop of our own. The thought of starting a workshop was lingering with me since the pandemic started and what better than to start in collaboration with an amazing poetess. That’s how Soul Craft Poetry came into existence and from Aug 2021 we have been regularly doing poetry workshops as well as contests and other activities around poetry.
Wave two of the pandemic also did one more thing – it stopped the transportation services related to the physical delivery of books. Till then I was only selling hard copies of ‘You, Me & the Universe’ but post wave two I had to work on the kindle edition. August was mostly spent in releasing the kindle edition and promotions around that.
For those who still don’t know that I have published my first poetry book around Dec 2020-Jan 2021. You can find more details here. This is when Soul Craft’s first workshop also took place.
September – October 2021
September gave me the first opportunity to travel after almost two years. I lost many close relatives and friends during the pandemic that the first destination that came to my mind was my maternal home. Mom’s visit was long due and hence September was mostly spent visiting ‘Nani ka Ghar.’ It also provided an opportunity to travel to Vaishno Devi with my cousin. I love visiting Vaishno Devi and was taking this trip after almost a decade.
The last part of September and the first two weeks of October went into promoting the book at Lucknow Book Fair and it gave ample opportunities to get an insight into publishing as well as distribution networks of books.
All this while the blogposts and poems were being published and the orders for the books were being fulfilled plus I was able to do a lot of cooking (which gives me a lot of delight).
November – December 2021
November was amazing. I was able to meet some of my blogging and writing friends while in Shimla. The whole feeling of meeting your writing buddies after more than two years was really refreshing. I was meeting some of them for the first time.
November also brought me my first big brand collaboration where I was approached by Hyundai for content creation for their Hyundai Explorer campaign. When I joined the team, after reviewing my work I was given the added responsibility of assisting in direction. This trip was a huge learning curve in all aspects of content creation.
I was interviewed for the first time on a podcast by our eco-warrior Prachi on her podcast.
Top Indian blogs list came out in December and was happy to see my name again there. Workshops, blogposts, and poetry all continued.
January – May 2022
I was traveling abroad for the first time since 2019, this time to Dubai along with my mom. Dubai was buzzing with the Expo 2020 Dubai and I didn’t want to miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. But the moment we landed, Mom contracted the second round of COVID and Sister with her first.
I extensively covered Expo 2020 over Feb and March and wrote and posted about it on the blog as well as Instagram. Was lucky enough to cover the newly launched the Museum of the Future. Read the full coverage here: Part 1 & Part 2.
I was able to cover a lot of newly opened places in Dubai and the coverage for all of them will be following soon.
The last year has not been easy for many and I know you are fighting so many different battles at the same time. I just want to tell you that to survive and just to show up is more than enough. If you are able to do that in the current scenario you should be proud of yourself.
Hopefully, the second half of 2022 will see a lot more writing, completing all the pending tasks and if all goes well more workshops, anthologies and books.
Heartfelt Gratitude to
- All those who participated in those live-sessions
- All those who have bought and supported my book
- All those who have appreciated and participated with Soul Craft
Shraddha Mukul, Prachi, Rashi Roy, Puspanjalee Das Dutta, Namratha Varadharajan, Dhanya S Nambiar, Pooja Kabra, Priyanka Joshi, Deepika Sharma, Harshita Nanda, Chinmayee, Aanandika Sood, Paresh Godhwani, and Atul Maharaj
And above all to all my readers and visitors of my blog, without them, the Joker won’t be smiling. I am sure I am missing a couple of names but each and every person who has read me, appreciated and criticized me and helped me grow in this writing journey – You all have a special place in my heart. THANK YOU ALL.
For all those who wished for my well-being,
For all those who have pushed my book,
For all those who have been a part of Soul Craft
For all those who have been a part of the Joker’s Universe
It’s not a good bye
But it’s a GOODBYE
Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul
Did you like the 12th Blogversary post? Do let me know in the comments how did you celebrate your Blog Anniversary.