Hi, My name is Manan Ahmed and this is my blog. I started CM a year ago. When I started the blog, I was teaching a class and I felt a bit apprehensive about them finding it. I did not know what shape CM would take. So, I decided to become Sepoy. And, the rest is, um, history. But things have changed lately. I like writing CM. I love the incredible conversations and the people I have met through this. It should, and will, continue. At the same time, I do not feel that I can provide the same level of engagement. The elections really took the wind out of my sails and the looming dissertation defense forces me to be a bit more circumspect with my time. I also have another involvement with the super-blog of historians – Cliopatria – that I would like to honor.
Over the last month, I pondered the future of the blog with some friends. I didn’t really want to shut it down but I didn’t really want to have it die a slow, painful death that I have seen so many good blogs do. The only choice was to colonize. You may see the irony of the anti-imperial sepoy taking over other blogs and lives. I do not. I am a benevolent force for good. So, I decided that I will find people who share my interests and would like to hang out with me.
After weeding out my dopey friends [ding!], I ran an American Idol [Blogger!] type search. I was hoping that farangi wouldn’t make the cut but the man has been stalking me for 12 years and will not be stopped. He does happen to be a most brilliant writer. Getting him involved in CM has taken a lot of cajoling because he thinks he is Hemingway and Faulkner’s legitimate breed. But, in the end I prevailed. Fearless nadia, to be casually frank, is the diversity hire. The great Kevin Drum thought that my dismissal of women bloggers was trite, so I decided to be more inclusive at CM. She may quit from all the harassment but if she doesn’t, all of you are in for an amazing treat. Bulleyah and dacoit are famous and busy stars in the south asian galaxy. I was amazed when they said yes to joining CM. I am grateful that they decided to jump in and save it. Some more information about all of us is under the “authors” tag. But, I must confess that I am a bit wary of their collective and individual brilliance and if they try any hostile take-over attempts, I will call the blog-police on them. If any of you readers ever get the sense that their posts are better than mine, drop me a mail and I will cut off their access. I kid.
So, what exactly can you expect here from now on? CM is not a group blog, but a zine [remember those paper blogs?]. It has always been a historian’s blog and it will remain so. These friends of mine are akin to a crack team of feature writers. Dacoit will raise the south asia history roof. Farangi will share his thoughts on US politics/religion and, hopefully, his grandfather’s moonshine recipe. Bulleyah is our man on the ground in Delhi and his beat is the sub-continent. Fearless Nadia takes instructions from no man and I will just get out of her way. Me; I will do the same as I have done. Some history, some venting, and some silliness. Hopefully, we shall make it another year.
To all readers of CM, my humblest and deepest thanks. This blog remains a little niche, and a happy one at that. Now, let’s return to the regularly scheduled programming.