On Story Telling

Got this gem from Natasha Badhwar, who is a gifted story teller herself, on Twitter (follow her now). The quotes below are from Steve McCurry‘s (of the iconic Afghan Girl photo fame) wonderful blog.

The story was the bushman’s most sacred possession. These people knew what we do not; that without a story you have not got a nation, or culture, or civilization. Without a story of your own, you haven’t got a life of your own. — Laurens Van der Post

People did not wait until there was writing before they told stories and sang songs. — Albert Bates Lord

To be a person is to have a story to tell. — Isak Dinesen

Reminded me of a chapter from the wonderful book, “Soccer in Sun and Shadow” by Eduardo Galeano.

Have you ever entered an empty stadium? Try it. Stand in the middle of the field and listen. There is nothing less empty than an empty stadium. There is nothing less mute than stands bereft of people.

At Wembley, shouts from the ’66 World Cup which England won still resound, and if you listen very closely you can hear groans from 1953 when England fell to the Hungarians. Montevideo’s Centenario Stadium sighs with nostalgia for the glory days of Uruguayan football. Maracana is still crying over Brazil’s 1950 World Cup defeat.

At Bombonera in Buenos Aires, drums boom from half a century ago. From the depths of Azteca Stadium, you can hear the ceremonial chants of the ancient Mexican ball game. The concrete terraces of the Nou Camp in Barcelona speak Catalan, and the stands of San Mames in Bilbao talk in Euskera.

In Milan, the ghost of Giuseppe Meazza scores goals that shake the stadium bearing his name. The final of the ’74 World Cup, won by Germany, is played day after day and night after night at Munich’s Olympic Stadium.

The stadium of King Fahd in Saudi Arabia has marble and gold boxes and carpeted stands, but it has no memory or much of anything to say.

Why backup?

I should have known better!!

When I became the webmaster for the ISB Student’s Blog, the first thing I did was install the WordPress DB Backup plugin. I also tested it then, and it worked. So I assumed all was fine.

Anyway, last month our hosting ran out due to non-payment of fees, and the email alerts went out to people who are no more at ISB anymore. Since the account was not renewed the hosting was canceled. It was during the exam times in Term 4 and not many noticed.

I wasn’t too worried since I thought I had a backup and would be able to get the blog back up from it and running in no time. But lo and behold, the backup plugin did not work anymore and the scheduled backup did not work. Now we face a daunting USD 150 in renewing and restoring the old setup 🙁

Learnings from the incident:

  • Take regular manual backups, and do not depend on plugins for that.
  • When using a hosting account, ensure that the registration is done via a mailing list which includes people responsible for maintaining the hosting, and the blog, and update it every time people leave.