I am not Amit Varma

by sidin in

That is not one of those existential angsty type statements. "This is not a pipe." That sort of thing. No.

I merely wish to reiterate to the world that I AM NOT AMIT FOR GODDSAKE!

Amit Varma is possibly the most famous (also popular) Indian blogger out there. A very popular question at blogger meets is "Where is Amit?"

Also one can consider oneself to have arrived in the world of blogging if one can start an intellectual anecdote, dirty joke or mental whimsy with the words "I was talking to Amit Varma the other day and he was telling me about this fascinating electric inflatable doll..."

Or some such thing. Also Amit recently, and famously, won the Bestiat Prize. This award is a renowned prize in Journalism. Most famous for the fact it is merely two letters away from a sexual pervert most weird. Not to say that Amit is anything but most ordinary. I may have caught him in a delicate situation with a Doberman once but he assured me it was platonic. So you should let him be.

And me too!

Every once in a while I get welcome emails from people who want me to write for them. Newspapers, magazines, people who want a kind word written on the blog. That type. This is all quite exciting of course. For a struggling freelance writer nothing fuels the ego like people wanting you to write and willing to pay for it too.

But I have increasingly begun to notice that half of these emails begin with the salutation "Hi Amit!" or "Hi Mr. Varma!"

I am not Amit Varma.

My theory is this. The party concerned decides to link up with the half dozen or so more popular blogs around. Amit, obviously, ranks up their right at the top. I come just below him, merely three hundred blogs between us. So the party whips up an email addressed to person number one on the list, i.e. Amit Varma, and then cuts and pastes it to everyone else on his list. Without changing the salutation.

So this means, more often than not, I get an email addressed to Amit Varma offering big bucks, if seen from very very close, for my modest writing abilities. This deflates my ego so. I feel crushed and belittled. And then I reply in the affirmative because I am an MBA and my priorities are very clear.

Nonetheless I am not Amit Varma. Stop sending me emails like that.

Unless of course you are the Bestiat Prize people sending out the prize cheque. In which case I am Amit Varma! Here! Me! Yes!

Otherwise no.

(Update: The book synopsis is currently being reviewed by publishing house no. 1. Fingers crossed. Latest rediff column here. Over and out.)