February 15, 2015

Blogging Is A Gift That Keeps On Giving - 6th Anniversary Post

Blog,Blogging,Blogger,Writing,Mona Lisa, Liebster, Indiblogger, Blogadda, SEO
Some Images That Have Defined My Blog

"I wanna start blogging with something funny...something...that is indeed...'Politically Correct' "!

I started blogging with this amateurish, grammatically iffy and an ellipses laden line on February 15, 2009. The article was a satirical take on an engineer's dilemma on assignments, and was also published in a college newspaper. An interesting anecdote about this post is that it got that college newspaper, that I also moderated at the time, shut down! The management specifically quoted this post, while telling us how unhappy they were at the jokes and the satires against them and the system, being published.

Quite an entry to the writing world, wouldn't you agree?

I, unlike many others that I have met, can pinpoint, exactly why I became a blogger. In the aftermath of the 26/11 attacks and the public apathy that followed, I just had to write.  I was young, frustrated and informed. That's a lethal combo.  My first blog Politically Incorrect, was opinionated, fearless and quite true to its name. When I wrote "This Time I Will Remember", about the attacks, I got my first feeling of catharsis, through words. I had finally found an outlet to express my emotions.

Those were easier times in blogging . Yes, really easy times. No one cared about SEOs, keywords, sharing across social networking platforms etc. Everything was, literally, just word of mouth.
In October 2009, I launched Me and My Darkside. I haven't sat peacefully since then. And I love it!

I am not a dark person as my posts might suggest. Even though the first poem I ever wrote, was about my own death!

But I do have a very simple philosophy while writing. I try to imagine myself outside of a scenario and then write from a detached point of view. Perspective is important in my genre. Nothing is absolute and hence, I should be able to tell a story from every standpoint. That's why there's always a story in front of me and I just need to pinpoint the voice, I want to narrate it in.

6 years is a long time. I have grown into a different individual than the one who started blogging. Yet, writing is an aspect of my life that has remained, a constant.  I have been very  fortunate to have found a very supportive, and if I may say, a very loyal reader base. I have never met them, and I probably never will, but I feel, I can count on them. Some of them are fellow bloggers who are virtual celebrities. But we all come together as a community and that's the part I love the most. If I ever needed an online campaign for a significant cause, (not for votes in a contest mind you) I know who to DM!

A few of them very graciously accepted my invitation to say a few words about me and my writing.

"I am a reader of your blog since I started blogging. Your posts are honest and straight from heart. I have always admired the underlying note in your posts. There are few posts which left an indelible impression - poem that was featured on a radio show and the post for which he won a contest, about your grandma's letter. What I don't like - you don't post regularly. 

Prateek - Write more and write often :)"

"My first recollection of Prateek is his comment chastising me for a story I'd written about a woman who seeks revenge from her abusive husband. But that's Prateek Mathur for you, there's nothing that he doesn't take seriously. His unflinching honesty reflects in his writing, whether it's a heart-wrenching account of a two year old battered girl fighting for her life [Let Me Go] or the 'TheMisfit' - a harsh commentary on our society or 'Memento' - a touching dedication to the special bond he shared with his grandmom.
On the sixth anniversary of Me and My Dark Side, I wish Prateek many more years of blogging, viral posts that are as hotly discussed as the AIB roast and bestselling books where he'll thank me for my unwavering support in the prologue. "  

"Mathur is a gifted writer. He has very good command over language and a better one on emotions. I am particularly fond of his short stories. Because they are full of very strong emotions and most of the times they make me feel as if Mathur has felt all that first hand. His stories never feel like a work of imagination , they are so real."


Blogging, Anniversary, Blog, Blogger
My Birthday Cake should be big - my blog told me !
"I was never a blog reader until, after college, when you forced me ( yeah you did ) to read your blog. I just read it as a friend. But the next time I read your new article, I read it because I wanted  to. Your blogs were fresh and I could very much relate to it; They were lively, in fact,  are lively. It's just, so, me! Your blog : There Is Something About Mary(s)  is my favorite because , like all, I have a Mary too :). Keep writing;  It keeps a person like me lively and helps me to think emotionally or gives life to my emotional side ! Cheers!"


Prateek Mathur’s has always been a very dear friend and is part of the gang. Being so close to him, I frankly never thought he could right so well. But he has proved me wrong with each and every post of his and I am very pleased with that.
You have thoughts but how well you organize them when you pen them down is an art. Prateek knows that art very well. His articles prove that he is a keen observer. I loved many of his posts. 

On his 6th Anniversary of blogging, i could only wish for him to write more and more. Keep them coming buddy, we want to read more.

Blogging is a gift that keeps on giving. My works have featured on a radio show, won a national contest and got me nominated for Liebster award. All these are tangible achievements that I am proud of. But the comments that people leave on my posts, stating that something that I wrote, made them think or relate to, 
is the biggest recognition of all. Believe me, nothing can top that.

I hope nothing ever betters that quiet sense of achievement, even pride, when someone leaves a positive comment or that slight sense of relief when the blogcounter shows one higher number than the last time I checked it ! These are small victories of blogging that have kept me active in the game for 6 years.

Here's to blogging ! Cheers !

February 7, 2015

10 Reasons Why Arvind Kejriwal Must Lose

arvind kejriwal delhi vote
"I just need my muffler back, and then off I go- The return of the Mufflerman"
Source - The Hindu

I had been in India for only 10 days, when on December 8, 2013, Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Admi Party (AAP) swept the Delhi's Assembly Elections. It was only over an year ago, but it now seems like a different time and age. The time when we, the commoner, the real  aam admi, felt empowered, emboldened and capable of bringing a change that was long overdue. Even though it was the catch phrase of "the messiah", the one who shouldn't be disregarded on the sacred space of the internet, it felt as if the "acche din", would be brought to us by Kejriwal. The image of my domestic help, a young Bengali migrant in Rajasthan, being excited and hopeful for a Delhi Assembly election, is a hard one to forget. 

However, we are in a different time now and things have changed, for the better, we have been told. 

And this time, Arvind Kejriwal must lose. It doesn't matter who wins but that muffler wearing, influenza spreading, hatch-back driving, Naxal socialist shouldn't come back to power.  It's not that he can't win, it's just that he shouldn't. Period.

And here's why -

1) We prefer democratically elected MPs who enter our private matters to the extent of asking  us to have 10 kids, rather than the ones who ask us to read bills and ordinances. In other words, we would rather have them do our family planning than us play an active role in deciding country's policies.

2) We do not want to think how the national parties manage to afford full page advertisements in all the national dailies, on a regular basis. Or how would a news outlet be fair in reporting, if it has sold even  the mast head to a political party for campaigning. We just do not want to think about it.

3) We cannot see our dynasties fall. We have a rich history of rulers and being ruled. We would like to keep it that way, please!

4) We do not fret about re-electing MPs with serious criminal records, including murder and rape, but would definitely probe the ulterior motives of every candidate who is educated and who should rather be in USA making millions than toil in the rural areas trying to bring a change.

5) We would still rally behind a candidate who has not only switched her political stance twice in two years, but has also retracted her most well known folklore of towing a PM's car. She, being an icon of an independent woman,  has also endorsed the organization that thinks women get raped because they wear jeans. However, as very mature voters, we should look beyond this, towards the abyss that is going to be her political career! But she is so educated that she will go back lecturing in Harvard and Oxford, like she gives a damn!

6) We look at a chaiwalla, meeting, greeting and hugging Obama and bhabhi ji, wearing a "signature-d" suit, worth millions, and we roll in pride of a rags to riches story. It makes a perfect recipe for a Bollywood potboiler - great spectacle with little or no substance.  And what is politics, if not a spectacle! Quite simply, we like the pomp and show, and you got to flaunt it, even if you don't have it or don't want to! Simplicity has no place in the politics of a poor and developing country.

7) We have a censor board for movies. We can't celebrate Valentine's day.  We can't laugh at or poke fun at the "you-know-who" on any public forum on the internet. We can't use the word "Bombay" even in songs and now we can't laugh in or at a You Tube video.  A woman editor of an Urdu daily is in hiding and a Tamil literary laureate has given up writing. Yet, the discussion shall remain how Deepika Padukone flaunted at a party! This is the way it has always been and this is the way it shall remain.

8) We want the black money back.  But only if a certain political party gets it for us.  If anyone else talks about it, they are either not sincere or lying. And if that party totally ignores it, once they win the election, campaigning for it, we are fine with it. Yes, we are!

9) Despite being a country, which is famous for excelling in computers and technology, we have decided to completely ignore the fact that memes, internet trolls and funny internet videos are used as a device for propaganda and , in no way, are a measure of a person's popularity. We still form an opinion by how a candidate is depicted on social media, by anonymous people spewing hatred.

twitter arvind kejriwal aap
It's trending! Also, it's paid!
Source @babaglocal on Twitter

10) We have a short memory. Not just weak, we are talking, like Ghajini short.  So we have already forgotten how many points were promised in the beginning of this article. Just like how many things were promised in manifestos in 2014.

But we shall never forget how Arvind Kejriwal betrayed the trust of the people by not yielding and resigning in just 49 days.


P.S. Somewhere I know, this discussion would turn communal and party-specific. Consider that a bonus point # 11 !

Suggested Reading -

About Shireen Dalvi - The Silenced Urdu Editor
About Perumal Murugan - The Tamil Literary Laureate