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I’m blogging for #YouMakeMeWIN to honour a blogger who has influenced me and deserves to be nominated at WIN15.

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Blogging is a solitary activity, but it draws on experiences, observations and opinions that relates to a larger context, often including others who are part of the author’s social network. This makes it as much a group activity, whilst leaving enough room for the individual to also leave his/her stamp behind. Many inspirations come to mind when I think of my foray into the world of blogging. A vast repertoire of writing in English and the vernacular languages has invariably left a mark on my creative palette but one that comes foremost to mind as a much more direct influence is from the blog posts that I have been reading over the last couple of years. Of the many blogs, Wanderful by Balaka Basu has been a key influencer that has inspired me to take to blogging in a much more focused way.

I know Balaka for over twenty-five years now, since she was a fourteen-year-old in pigtails, full of genuine schoolgirl charm, gushing over handsome Bollywood heroes and a wide-eyed innocence of someone just discovering the ways of the world. Those days blogs did not even exist and if somebody had ever remotely suggested that this girl would be my inspiration someday, I’d have laughed it off. Strange, but true – that today, with over 150 million active bloggers around the world, I remain indebted to Balaka for being here blogging about all and sundry and glad that I’m nominating her!

I discovered Balaka’s blogs quite by accident, while looking up the differences for the words ‘wonder’ and ‘wander’. Her blog Wanderful, just opened up a veritable pandora’s box through her very interesting posts on travels, of the exotic and the sundry kind, of wonder and wander with her tiny family of three, and how the meandering turns of her life kept her imagination and her writing skills shaping up beautifully.

Her lucid prose was a delight for me as it was invariably laced rather generously with humour and an innately Bengali charm of those choicest vernacular phrases that could never be matched by their English equivalents. Through her blog posts she has diligently maintained contact with her readers keeping in touch with them at regular intervals.

Balaka effortlessly straddles between varying genres, and draws as much from her knowledge on local and international travel as much as critiquing books through her reviews, when not presenting mouth-watering recipes or blogging about summertime activities for 5 to 10 year olds with perfect ease, as if it were cake walk. She has earned the trust of her readers by demonstrating her commitment time and again by regularly posting valuable, honest articles on her blogs.

I owed it all to the distinct charm of Balaka’s blog posts, when I gave in to the nudge and push from within and decided to create my blog. Of her, I can truly say, that the power of a blog to educate, inspire, and bring like-minded people together has made blogging a great way to reach out to a cross section of people across the country and beyond.

I am therefore happy to nominate Balaka Basu at WIN 15 and request that her blog be nominated in any of the categories in order to qualify for the same.

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