First, at last!

12:00:01 a.m. on 1st January, 2012.

This should officially qualify as the world’s first blog post of 2012.

(Unless there are loners like me who have nothing better to do on New Year’s eve, in New Zealand, Australia, Japan or in any country where the year dawned earlier.)

Imagine, no one in front, millions following.

Guess this is how leadership feels. It’s true what they say, it’s kinda lonely at the front. Hello…hello…hello…anybody here!

The first in WordPress. The first in the blogosphere. Perhaps, the first in the whole world wide web, too.

What if the world froze or ended just now.

By virtue of this being the only post, the only written document, would I bag all the World’s Best Blogger awards? Maybe even the Nobel prize for Literature?

But let me confess, I am not much of a victory-stand guy.

Forget finishing first, I’m not even into starting or doing anything first. It’s scary, that’s why.

What if the craters on the moon were man-gobblers? Not even the strong-arm tactics of the US would have saved poor Armstrong. Mid-way through his famous one-liner, he would have disappeared forever. The first man on moon, the last man ever.

It takes guts to be the first. How the hell did Sir Edmund Hillary know what he’d encounter on Everest? What if there was a 4000-year-old naked Yogi meditating there? “Excuse me, what era is this?”

Or worse, what if it was actually the abode of Hindu Gods and Goddesses as mythologies say? In heaven before death? God knows what the heavenly laws say about illegal immigrants.

My fear of the First is not unfounded. I have many bad experiences. The worst of those was in my first job.

The agency was taken over and the new management sacked our old bosses. About ten of us decided to rebel. We marched to the new Chairman’s office to protest. We marched down the road, up the elevator, through the plush corridor, past his corner office, into his room, towards his table. I stood triumphantly waving my resignation and shouting slogans as planned. It sounded meek, croaky and familiar. Of course it was. It was my lone voice, not a chorus as planned. I was the only one standing there. Others had been stopped at the reception by security. What made it worse was that he readily agreed to all our- sorry- my demands. Everyone rejoiced. I was the only one who had to look for another job that week.

There’s too much uncertainty around the first, too much responsibility on the leader, too much spotlight on the No.1 and too much pressure on the winner.

Crowns give me a headache. The throne is such an uncomfortable chair. And permanent fame can get as agonising as Sachin Tendulkar’s 100th ton.

Which is why I, at best, accept only fleeting fame. Enjoy it, and let go of it before it becomes a burden.

Cinderella taught us this lesson many years ago.

I now run only the first 100 m of marathons. I bolt off the block like Bolt himself, while others are ambling. For a full 100 m I am the one that the onlookers first see and cheer. Some even discuss if I am the dark horse who is going to leave even the Kenyans behind.

By 150 m I am panting and others are catching up. By 200 m, I snatch a free drink and go home. Like they say, the time to quit is when you are on top!

Look at this space now. In a matter of minutes thousands of blogs, pokes, tweets, posts have flooded what was just a while ago solely my domain. This post looks like a speck in an ocean already. Hundreds of bloggers have gone ahead. Most, I am sure, are bigger and better. New firsts, winners, leaders will emerge from them. That’s the way life should be.

But this year, if you ever get to the hot-seat and are asked the million dollar question “Who was the first blogger of 2012?” make no mistake.

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