Mirror Mirror on the wall


As bloggers I am sure all of us have wondered and carefully considered how much of ourselves (our true selves) do we want to reveal on our blogs and how much do we want to keep for ourselves. After all, our blogs are in the public domain and for consumption by the general online readers, and I am sure that all of us have our own self-defined limits as to where exactly we want to draw the line with our blogs.

Having said that there are more than enough elements in our blogs which provide hints to our readers, either explicitly or implicitly regarding our personalities, our likes, our dislikes, the genre(s) in which we blog, the topics we are passionate about and write about. And these likes are reflected in pretty much every aspect of our blog. This post will try and discuss the rationale for some of these elements in my blog per se.

The URL – When I started blogging, anonymous blogging was the way to go and I therefore chose a name which reflected what I felt my posts in those days would be – boring. And then when I migrated from the blogspot platform to WordPress, I went ahead and chose the same URL for the sake of continuity.

The blog header and title – To be honest, the only reason for my blog title being what it is today is because I wanted a word that would go with Mahabore (which itself is dictated by the URL chosen). Given the limited choice of interesting words that begin with M, I went ahead with Mumbles as it somewhat represented my ‘boring’ posts via my ‘mumbles’.

Layout – I have always believed in functionality being accorded a higher place than looks and this mindset translates into my choice of templates as well. I almost always opt for templates and layouts which highlight my content rather than the other odds and ends that decorate the sidebars.

Sidebars – Apart from the (almost) mandatory Social Media connectivity buttons such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ links, most of my sidebar widgets revolve around Calendar Archives, Latest Posts, Top 5 Posts, etc. Once again, the idea here is to highlight recent posts, posts which have seen some traffic and also provide easy access to my older posts as well.

Some of the other widgets I use are the GoodReads widget (given the number of books I read) and some other smaller badges declaring my affiliation to blogging groups that I am part of.

Now, the question is whether the URL, name, the layout and widgets reflect my personality? For which the answer would be resounding YES. All of these reflect a part of my personality which have a relatively compulsive need to be organized and methodical in my approach to life in general and blogging in particular. While the entire blog might not make too much sense aesthetically at first, as I had mentioned before, I always place a high premium on functionality rather than beauty and I believe that shows in my blog’s layout.

Of course, a huge disclaimer to this post is the fact that since I use a WordPress.com hosted blog, I live with the limitations imposed by this choice.

It would be wonderful if readers took this opportunity to describe the reason behind their own choices when it comes to their blogs. What is it that made you choose the particular template you have for your blog? How much of your personality is reflected in your post and on the blog itself? Go ahead and leave behind your reasons in the comments section.


This post has been written for Project 365 : A post a day where the intention is to publish at least one post a day based on the prompts provided. Today’s prompt was “Think of your blog as a mirror: what does it reveal? Consider your blog name, theme choice, design, bio, posts… what does every element tell you about yourself?”

Humble Beginnings – An origin story


I know I have provided an origin story of my blog in the ‘About the blog’ section, but then for the sake of newer readers and others who have not checked out this section, let me indulge you with the origin of Mahabore’s Mumblings (or Jamster’s Jams as the blog was known in its earliest avatar).

My blogging journey began in June 2004, due to the constant prodding of a new batch-mate of mine at IIM Indore who would go on to become a good friend of mine as well. He was this techie who was always at the cutting edge of the latest gadgets and trends and back then was when Blogger, now known as Blogspot was still independent of Google and was just about making its mark.

Impressed with a few of my longish posts in pagalguy.com, an online forum for MBA aspirants, he poked and prodded me to start off a blog with the sole intention of disseminating information about life at IIM Indore for other MBA aspirants in the future, as well as to enhance the online reputation of the fledgling institute (at that time).

Apart from these reasons, another important reason for me to start the blog was to let my friends back home at Bangalore know what life at Indore was like and what the grind at a B School entailed. It is a different issue altogether that none of them even bothered to come online and read my blogs, due to various reasons, primary among them being that these were days when broadband was just about seeping into various corners of the country and was still prohibitively expensive in those days.

While the first two years of my blogging (Jun 2004 to Jun 2006) almost exclusively dealt with life at Indore, the occasional trips back home to Bangalore during the semester holidays, the frequency of my blogging took a lull when work caught up with me in 2006. I used to sporadically blog between 2006 and 2013, mostly posting reviews of movies I watched in those days with quite a few random posts thrown in between. These were days when I was either shifting residences in Hyderabad or going mad with crazy busy schedules at work and with household chores.

It was only in July 2013 when I shifted back to Bangalore and when my daughter turned two years old that I started blogging with renewed vigor. I joined a blogging group and the writing prompts provided by them as well as participating in the Ultimate Blogging Challenge in Oct 2013 ensured that I started churning out posts very regularly. Sometime in this period was when I had a renewed interest in Indian mythology and noticed that my initial few posts generated a reasonably amount of enthusiasm among readers. This encouraged me to read more and write more about Indian mythology and little known stories and incidents and slowly this kind of became a recurring theme on my blog.

Another genre which I started dabbling in quite seriously was to re-write storylines of movies which I had recently seen and enjoyed. And given that these were Malayalam movies and I don’t have too many readers on the blog who have actually watched these movies, they were also well received by readers and this encouraged me to try these as well once in a while.

Apart from mythology and re-writes of movie storylines, I also dabble with micro-fiction every once in a while and also publish book reviews of books that I read and enjoy. So today, the blog is a mish-mash of various genres with no particular focus area and to some extent has something for everybody. Does that bother me? Not one bit. And the primary reason for this situation not bothering me is the fact that it is only in the last six odd months that I have discovered new facets in my own writing style and narrative style. In original compositions and when rewriting popular narratives from Indian mythology and other sources, I have figured out that I have developed a distinct style of writing that seems to strike a chord with readers. What that style comprises of is something that I am still trying to wrap my hands around and in the process of figuring out. Until then, the readers of this blog will have to ‘suffer’ in silence while I keep experimenting with various genres of writing such as book reviews, movie retellings, mythological retellings and a few original pieces of micro-fiction thrown in.


This post has been written for Project 365 : A post a day where the intention is to try and publish at least one post a day based on the prompts provided. Today’s prompt was to state the reasons why I started to blog, and elucidate as to whether that original reason still held good or whether my blog had gone in a different direction than originally planned.

It would be great to read about why you started your respective blogs and whether it has achieved the purpose for which it was started, or whether it has gone in a completely different direction than was originally intended to do so.

Life and Culture – 2014

Today’s prompt was “It’s the year 2114. A major museum is running an exhibition on life and culture as it was in 2014. Write an introduction to the show’s brochure.

I took the liberty of creating a small poster / teaser for the exhibition under the assumption that the museum is located in India and the exhibition is India-centric.


This post has been written for the Open to All prompt of Project 365, where the objective is to publish at least one post a day based on the prompts provided.

Mutual scratching


Today’s prompt was “What makes a blog great? What makes you follow a blog or Like a post?” And in my opinion, in this day and age when ‘backscratching’ has become quite a formidable phenomenon in the blogging world, this is quite a relevant topic to discuss and this prompt provides me with an opportunity to air my views on the same.

For somebody like me who has been blogging quite actively for the last year or so (although I am a ‘veteran’ in the sense that I started blogging in 2004 well before blogging aggregators such as Blogadda, Indiblogger or blogging cliques such as Indiblogeshwaris came into vogue), the entire concept of ‘backscratching’ is amusing to say the least.

Just to make things clear, by backscratching I am referring to instances where I read the blogs of all the people who follow my blog and leave comments on the posts and in turn follow these blogs and leave comments on the posts on these blogs. This exercise is something that is done irrespective of whether I actually like the other blog, the posts there or not, and such non-judgmental following of blogs and commenting is what I term ‘backscratching’.

While I must confess to having indulged in this in the recent past when I was forced to do so when I was part of a blogging group (due to the rules of engagement in this group), the fact remains that this entire process got so irritating, time-consuming and ultimately pointless that I ended up discontinuing the same and as a result being kicked out of the group.

Today I have reached a stage in life, or a ‘place’ with my writing / blogging that I write for myself and my own consumption. Honestly, I don’t have an ‘intended audience’ in mind when I pen down my posts and write purely for the joy of the entire process of writing by itself. In such a situation, I simply don’t have the time, necessity or the inclination to indulge in the pointless exercise of following as many blogs as I can, read the posts and leave behind my comments on each and every post.

But I digress, and let me get down to addressing the actual prompt which asks me for my reasons for following a blog and liking the posts there.

To me, the main thing that makes me want to follow a blog and comment on the posts there remains content, style and the vibes that the blog and the posts there send off to me. First and foremost, the content dealt with in the blog and the way it is dealt with must resonate with me, my values, my thoughts and in general must be stuff that I like to read about. If somebody were to ask me for a clear-cut list of all the things that I like to read about, I will not be able to provide the same, but suffice to say that most of my reading revolves around non-controversial topics, personal rants and fiction in general. And it therefore follows that these are the type of blogs that I follow and the kind of posts that I like and comment upon.

Having said this, I do have my favorite bloggers / writers who I have followed over the past year and will continue to do so, even if they churn out posts and content which don’t necessarily strike a chord in me. It goes without saying that every writer hits a ‘block’ once in a while and tends to pen down posts which are not in line with their earlier posts. Or it could also be the case that the writer has evolved both as a person and as a writer and has moved on to writing posts in a genre that I don’t necessarily enjoy. In such cases, I tend to stop reading such blogs and stop following them regularly. After all, I am sure that nobody misses one tiny reader and his comments on posts so much that they will go back to writing what I enjoy reading, will they?

In a similar vein, I have noticed that my blog also has its own share of regular readers and commenters and based on the content, quality and frequency of comments on my posts it is a safe assumption that these are readers who currently enjoy what I write, who resonate well with the thoughts that I present there and provide their genuine feedback and thoughts in the form of comments on the posts themselves. To these readers, here’s my heartfelt gratitude and thanks. When I started off blogging all those years ago, little did I imagine that there would be more than a handful of people who would actually go on to read and even enjoy what I have to write on this blog.


This post has been written for Project 365 : A post a day where the objective is to publish at least one post a day based on the prompts provided.




Today’s prompt was to write about a book which I recently read, the impact it had on me and the reasons for the same.

At the outset let me confess that it has been at least a month now since I have read any book, and anybody who has been following my book reading habits on Goodreads since the start of 2014 will know that this is the longest that I have gone without reading a book this year. A plethora of reasons have contributed to this long gap, but that is material for another post and not this one.

Given this background, I am not going to restrict my discussion to just one book which I recently read, but am broadening the scope to a genre which I thoroughly enjoy and have learnt a lot from – Indian mythology.

The advent of high speed unlimited broadband has meant that most of us spend more time googling for resources in topics and subjects that we are interested in, and to me, this means more time, bandwidth and resources to search for stories from Indian mythology. And one such source has provided me with access to some of the best English translations of the great epics, the Mahabharata, the Ramayana and other seminal Sanskrit works. To me, this has been a treasure trove of information on Indian mythological and religious texts.

As a child growing up in pre-satellite TV India, my primary source of Indian mythological stories were ones that my grandparents narrated to me as bedtime tales, Amar Chitra Katha comics and the BR Chopra TV serials – Ramayana and Mahabharata on Doordarshan. When I grew older, C Rajagopalachari’s abridged editions of both these great epics also provided a lot of information to me on stories from them.

However, the last couple of years have been quite an eye opener in terms of understanding the vast ocean of knowledge these epics were when it came to the lessons to be learnt, the characters in them, their stories, and the sheer variety of human emotions they dealt with.

Take the Ramayana as an example. While most of us immediately think of Rama, Sita’s abduction, Rama slaying Ravana and Hanuman’s exploits during the great war as the main points of this great epic, lots of little stories and incidents such as Kaikeyi’s motivation behind demanding that boon from Dasharatha, Vibhishana’s motivation behind switching sides in the great war, Sita’s travails after she is rescued by Rama, these are some parts of the epic that I read about only in the recent past. These give me a better, deeper and healthier understanding of the great epic itself. Further, reading multiple interpretations of the great epic, both online and offline also meant that I appreciate the nuances, lesser known tales and the human emotions behind the individual characters in these stories better today.

The Mahabharata still remains that formidable mountain range (notice I use the word ‘range’ here rather than ‘peak’ as the epic contains multiple stories within itself) which I still kind of struggle getting my hands around. Irrespective of the number of times I read about incidents which are popular like the Game of Dice, Abhimanyu’s death, the Palace of Illusions, I am left spell bound by the sheer depth of information and subsequent interpretative knowledge in this great epic. It is not simply that wise men of the past and present state that the Mahabharata is nothing, if not a lesson for all of us humans in how to lead our lives. All that we need in terms of knowledge, information and guidance are there in different parts of this great epic.

Another profound religious text that I have been introduced to in the recent past has been the Srimad Bhagavatham or the Bhagavatha Purana, one of the great Puranic texts of Hinduism, focusing on devotion to the Supreme Lord, Vishnu. This text provides so much of information about Krishna and other forms of Vishnu that it is mind-blowing at all levels. As is that wasn’t enough, there are so many other stories of deities, humans and others in this text that one could probably spend a better part of a lifetime trying to read, understand and imbibe the lessons here.

I could go on and on about some of the other epics that I have had the pleasure of having glanced through during the last couple of years, but I will restrict myself to these three for now. If, like me, you are a fan and aficionado of Indian mythology and religious texts, then you surely have to keep coming back to this blog from time to time to read up on some retellings of well known and lesser known tales in this genre.


This post has been written for Project 365 :  A post a day where the objective is to publish at least one post a day based on the prompts provided by the WordPress team.