Interview with The Pakistani Spectator:
Would you please tell us something about you and your site?
I am Awais Aftab, a doctor and aspiring psychiatrist. My blog A Myth in Creation (http://awaisaftab.blogspot.com) has been the repository of my intellectual, artistic and literary explorations for the past six years. It has a definite philosophical bent, which has become more prominent over time.
I'm wondering what some of your memorable experiences are with blogging?
The most memorable experiences have to do with interacting and meeting with other bloggers, some of whom went on to become very dear friends and have significantly influenced the course of my inner life.
If you had to describe life as a blogger in a Twitter message (140 characters) what would you say?
I would borrow the words of Maverick Philosopher, with some modification to fit within 140 characters: blogging is a vehicle for the relentless quotidian questing for sense and truth, without which some of us would find life meaningless.
What do you think sets your site apart from others?
I think the philosophical and quasi-philosophical outlook sets it apart from others within the Pakistani blogosphere. (To be honest, I am no expert or academic in this regard, and my blog cannot compete with various international blogs devoted to philosophy. I am a self-taught student of the subject, and my blog is a means for me to reach out to those with a similar interest with no other pretensions.)
If you could choose one characteristic you have that brought you success in life, what would it be?
I feel I’d be a poor judge of my own success, and I do not consider myself to be a ‘success’ in life, not yet anyway. The little I have accomplished is a result of steadfastness, a striving for authenticity and the invaluable help of well-wishing friends.
What was the happiest and gloomiest moment of your life?
I have been the happiest and gloomiest in love.
How bloggers can benefit from blogs financially?
Paid advertisements appears to be the most convenient way, but it really depends on how much traffic a blog gets. For most bloggers it is not sufficient enough to be of significant financial value.
What role can bloggers of the world play to make this world friendlier and less hostile?
I have written this elsewhere as well. We cannot suddenly and radically transform a society; nor can we create a society out of nothing. We have to work with what we have got, and what we have got is a small but significant sphere of influence. We have to begin with changing our micro-cosmos and building our lives, whatever we can, as much as we can.
Who are your top five favourite bloggers?
Ah, tough to pick. Wouldn’t make a rank list, but these are five blogs, among many others, that I regularly follow, can relate to and appreciate.
Maverick Philosopher: http://maverickphilosopher.typepad.com/
Qasim Aziz: http://qasimandbeatles.blogspot.com
Is there one observation or column or post that has gotten the most powerful reaction from people?
My posts on religious criticism (Muslim Feminism, recently) generally get the most reaction, but that, I feel, is because it is a topic that many people are drawn into discussing, in contrast to possibly better posts on philosophy that may be too abstract for popular taste.
Have you ever become stunned by the uniqueness of any blogger?
Karachi Khatmal (http://karachikhatmal.blogspot.com/) is pretty unique, I'd say. I can mention two more blogs: Zunn (http://bhaichod.tumblr.com/) for it's aesthetic quality and Iblees (http://iblees.wordpress.com/) for the splendid humor.
What is the future of blogging?
The blogging culture has witnessed a tremendous increase and one can reasonably expect it to grow more in future. I suspect that the shape and manner of mainstream blogging will change, given the rise of twitter and tumblr. However, I am sure the conventional blogging format will continue to exist, even if it no longer remains the popular format.
You have also got a blogging life, how has it directly affected both your personal and professional life?
The influence on my personal life has been tremendous, primarily because the interaction with other bloggers has provided me with much-needed, like-minded company, and some of these friends have significantly affected my worldview. Blogging has given me more confidence in myself and at the same time more humility by making me mindful of my fallibility.
What are your future plans?
I will continue to learn more about philosophy and related subjects; the blog will continue to serve as a reflection of my intellectual development. Professionally I plan to specialize in Psychiatry, preferably from abroad. Personally I hope to be with the girl I love and whom I am currently engaged to.
Any Message you want to give to the readers of The Pakistani Spectator?
Live authentically because a life is more convincing than an argument.