It was on January 1, 2001 that the website called Virgin Endeavour was first uploaded to the Internet. One whole year of online presence that meant a lot: the first in my class to have a website of my own, the first among all acquaintances to have a website of his own…. Pride. A particular self-belief. A message. And lots of satisfaction. So what did I gain?
There are many things in life which you do not do for any tangible material benefit. Love. Laugh. Play. Spend quality time. Read. Enjoy a good film. Share a few exciting and emotional moments with your girlfriend. Give that first gift to some dear one from your first salary….Did I write up most of my poems for payback? In that case I should have, perhaps, published a book and copyrighted my poems. Why should I publish my own intellectual property in public domain for free? Why indeed! First, that I don’t think I have enough material for a published book. And second because I thought that writing a book was still some way off. While, I may have to reconsider the second point one year later, I believe that most material online should be free. And so, here I am displaying my wares for not even a penny. But what things I can claim!
While it remains my misfortune that I haven’t received any sort of patronage, I have slogged through even busy times to keep my passion burning. I haven’t received even one mail saying that, ‘Well, Mr. Rahul, your poems are wonderful. I liked them. Keep up the good work’. And to be honest it is not the lack of quality that is the reason for this callousness. I am a student of literature, and my friends at the university are students of literature. I am not sure if even two people from my class have visited my site. Under such uninspiring circumstances keeping up a cheerful heart remains difficult. Another website that I made later this year [Aishwarya Palace or Ashpalace at http://ashpalace.tripod.com] met with the same fate. How can a person deny dejection under such repeated show of scorn? I have hallowed company in Shelley and Keats, and I can console myself. However, it’s not so much a question of consolation. For my part I am happy that I did a good work, proud that I am the only person to do such a thing among my friends, and happily complacent in the firm belief that coming years shall see a reversal of fate. It’s not so much my dejection that matters, but the fact that friends and relatives can be so ungracious, so uncongratulatory. It was, after all, for those few words of praise that this website exists in the first place. More than for myself, I feel sorry for them. They have let themselves down in my eyes.
And running this website has meant some concrete sacrifices. It’s unimaginable how many dozens of hours I have had to slog with my computer in works related to the website. While many of those efforts were abortive attempts that did not see the light of the day, the fact that Virgin Endeavour has come this far is a testimony that the site has seen improvements. One year back this site, at best, could have been called amateur. I cannot make tall claims for myself, but considering that I had only myself to cheer me, considering that I have never done any course in web designing, considering that all I learnt, I learnt by myself, this is not a bad prize. And I hope the next one year will see more improvements, although I remain skeptical if there shall be any difference in its reception.