Skip to main content

Why My Blog is Called gaelikaa's diary

Image by Werner Moser from Pixabay 

I began blogging around 2007. My kids were aged between 4 and 12 (they're now between 17 and 24). I was swamped with caring for the children and trying to manage a marriage that was pressurised by a long commute. My husband travelled to the next city every day. I also had a lot of pressure from the in-laws. They had full control of the household. They watched everyone closely.That was difficult for me. The youngest had started school and once a week, I used to visit a friend of mine who lived in the city centre. I always arrived home before the kids came in from school, but my in-laws didn't like that. In their eyes, a good woman stays at home and has no desire to step outside. There was a lack of privacy and personal space which was suffocating. I'm not saying they were intentionally being mean. Because they were from another culture, they were probably caring for me the only way they knew how. But it wasn't easy to adjust with this. As I'd always loved writing, it became my outlet. I started a blog and poured my heart and soul into it, sharing a lot of the pain in my daily life. Amazingly, people read and responded. I had a message from a woman whose mother was Irish and whose father was Indian. The family had ended up returning to Ireland and this woman was now married to a resident of central Europe. That's where she was living. She told me that reading my blog had opened her eyes. Until reading it, she had never realised how difficult life had been for her mother in India. 

Image by William Iven from Pixabay



Blogs were Anonymous

Back then, blogs were anonymous. I had a bit of fun crafting a blogging name for myself. Because I'm Irish or more correctly, 'gaelic' which is a more ethnic label than a nationalist one, I wanted my blogging name to reflect that. Back then, a lot of popular names for girls in India ended with 'ika', like Sonalika or Ishika. The previous generation, 'ita' had been a popular name ending (names like Sumita, Amita). Sometimes, because of the popularity of numerology, some people added an extra 'a' to their names. So the writer Shobha Dé became 'Shobhaa Dé'. So keeping all this in view, I came up with 'gaelikaa'. If you can take it that 'gael' means a person of gaelic extraction and that 'ikaa' means a feminine name, 'gaelikaa' could mean an Irish woman, Considering the 'ikaa' is Indian, it could mean an Irish woman in India. It could also mean a Scotswoman. Scots are also gaelic, or 'gallig' as they call it. But a Scotswoman might prefer gallikaa. Or gadhlikaa.

Image by 377053 from Pixabay


Two Blogs and More

The first blog was simply called 'gaelikaa'. I always kept the first letter small. I was never 'Gaelikaa'. Only 'gaelikaa'. I liked it that way. I also pronounced that final 'aa' as if it was just one 'a'.  Then I got adventurous and started playing around with layouts and headings. That first blog which contained long, reflective posts was ultimately called 'gaelikaa - Out of Ireland, into India'. However, I got tired of long, reflective posts and began to enjoy  writing  shorter posts. So I started 'gaelikaa's diary', which was meant to have shorter, daily posts. This blog has been a nice place to discuss the differences between the two cultures in which I've lived. It was abandoned for a long time too but I always meant to come back. The original 'gaelikaa' blog still exists, but it's been inactive for a while. It's time to remedy that, I suppose. I reposted a lot of the material, duly treated for indiscretion, on this blog. There's also the book blog, where I haven't reviewed books in ages. Not to mention the writing blog, where I'm trying to get people interested in my content writing skills. I even have a blog about religion.There are about three posts on it. They could all do with updating.

Image by 8212733 from Pixabay 

Google Lifts Anonymity

Once Google lifted the anonymity on blog writers, it was time to drop the 'gaelikaa' pseudonym. But it had served its purpose. I retained the name on the blog, though. I put too much thought into this name to throw it into the dustbin. As long as this blog remains, the name will too.


Thanks to Pixabay for the Images

Please visit the other group members.

The other five bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are  Ramana, SanjanaPadmum,  RajuShackman, Srivatsa and Conrad.  This week’s topic was suggested by Conrad. 

Comments

  1. Fantastic. That ties so much together for me, always wondering how you constructed it and what was its meaning. I feel grateful for your candid explanation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Conrad. I was hoping to get an explanation about your 'Old Fossil' pseudonym today, but I guess I'll have to wait for another time.

      Delete
  2. Like Conrad I am happy to learn your backstory frankly the two cultures exist in seem somewhat incompatible and it is a wonder you have done so well in them I look forward to your future post

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Chuck. Once you accept the fact that the cultures invariably clash, everything seems to fall into place. That's been my experience anyway.

      Delete
  3. Lovely to be reading your blog's again Maria. You and Grannymar went beyond the blogging connect to establish a friendship with me. I lost contact with you but am still occasionally in touch with Grannymar through WhatsApp.
    The link with both of you is a reminder of the Irish nuns who were running my school in Chennai...they had a huge impact on us.
    Bless you and do revive your other blogs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Padmini. I'll ask the brother for your number if that's okay. I'd love to connect on Whatsapp.

      Delete
    2. I miss Marie a lot. Hope she comes back to blogging.

      Delete
    3. Thanks Padmini. I'll ask the brother for your number if that's okay. I'd love to connect on Whatsapp.

      Delete
  4. I had the privilege of listening to many of your problems during those early days of your blogging and knew the logic for the name of your blog. It is nice to see you articulating it as just you can do in your inimitable style.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It was easy for me to largley guess what your blog title stood for. I spent a lovely memorable eight months in Dublin and Ireland is such a distant but vivid memory.

    ReplyDelete

Post a comment

Thanks for visiting me. Please let me know you were here

Popular posts from this blog

Impatience

Many years ago, when I lived in Dublin, I met someone nice and started dating. I wasn't serious, I just thought we could have nice interesting discussions about India, which I found absolutely fascinating, as I was working in the Embassy of India back then. I had no intention of getting attached with a foreigner, with all the attendant cultural problems. I was happy living in Ireland and the idea of marriage couldn't have been further from my mind. We both thought we could just keep things in control. One day, after a lot of emotional turmoil and denial, it hit us both that we were in love. Truly. Madly. Irrevocably. To the point where we couldn't live without each other. I'd known about the Indian system of arranged marriages and when it occurred to me that he would probably be married off by his family as soon as he returned to India, I felt physically ill at the thought. We are both tenacious and patient people. We realised that bringing our two worlds together

Kipling Got it Wrong! Or Eastern and Western Culture - Reflections

What Is Culture? I’m opening this blog post with a question. What is that elusive concept which is commonly known as ‘culture? Culture is way of life. How we live. What our values are.  Our customs, attitudes and perceptions. And also, I suppose, how we express ourselves in art through, such as music, dance, theatre and cinema.  It’s quite a comprehensive area and not too easy to define, really. Travel between east and west is common nowadays The Journey I was born in what is commonly known as ‘the west’. I lived in Ireland for the first thirty years of my life. When I was thirty, I married my husband and came out to India to live here with him. That was the beginning of an interesting journey, which is still evolving. I must have had some east/west comparison stereotypes in my head. But in India, I found that the people I met had huge stereotypes in their heads about what they called ‘western culture’ and ‘western way of life’. Not long after

The Tale of One Kitty

The cat..... Those who know me already might say that they didn't know I had a cat.  I didn't, you know! Our dog, Duggu is such a handful, I didn't think we could take on another pet. But a few months ago, a beautiful cat (whom we eventually named Puggle)  arrived. She's not really ours..... Nope! She's someone else's cat who just went on what the Aussies might call a walkabout. My younger daughter Riya found her on the roof of our house, a pretty calico (three-coloured) cat. Riya was instantly smitten. Some milk was fed to the little creature and the deal was sealed. Puggle has been a regular visitor to our house ever since. And two days after she arrived, in mid-May, she gave birth to four kittens. We'd had no idea the kitty was enceinte. So what did we do? What can you do? If a single mom landed on your doorstep and gave birth in your house, what would you do? Try to help, obviously. As the cat bore no identification and had been roaming the colony unst