A Sixer

102 Comments

On August 20 2004, Random Thoughts of a Demented Mind was born. Now many of you readers, the regulars and definitely the drive-bys might consider this silly or borderline kooky that someone would consider the anniversary of a blog worth remembering and devoting a whole post to. But for me  this entity made up of bits, suspended in the conceptual space called the Internet, populated by my thoughts and supported by technology has assumed a life of its own as I fuss over it, worry about how it looks, change its clothes from time to time, clean the dirt that trolls and advertisers leave behind, fret about illnesses brought about by server crashes and spend days, months and years just watching it grow. And so in this vein of anthropomorphizing, blog birthdays become significant events if only because they serve as an excuse to stop awhile, cut a cake and blow a candle. Or six.

Ever since I was in high school, I have wanted to write. But I took up engineering since good Bangali middle-class boys did that. Six years ago, I had graduated with my PhD but my career as a writer was as happening as Uday Chopra’s acting progression as a Bollywood hero. Virtually ever unsolicited article I would ever send would be rejected. The prospect of having a book published, far less for it to go on to be in the Bestsellers Lists [Link and Link], was as distant a possibility as of Anil Kapoor ever walking onto the stage during an Oscar presentation.

It was then, when my dreams were all but dead, that  RTDM came into my life or my life came into it. Whatever it be, helped to a large extent by luck (after all connecting with a large audience is largely a matter of providence) the blog attained some popularity. Media opportunities started coming in. In 2008, Harper Collins approached me to write a biography of Mithun Chakraborty. Since such a project, serious as it was, would need an extensive presence in India requiring interviews from people like Mrinal Sen to Kanti Shah, something I was not able to do given my present employment, I had to beg off with regret. Instead I pitched the idea of “May I Hebb Your Attention Pliss” and sent in two sample chapters. Harper Collins commissioned the book and the most exciting year of my life commenced, incidentally just around the time Mr. Hirsute Kapoor did walk the Oscar stage, showing once and for all that God does have a sense of humor.

I had thought of MIHYAP as an experiment wherein there would be no central story and the narrative would be a mixture of fact and fiction. Each chapter would showcase a different style of doing humor, styles I had acquired while blogging at RTDM—-the bullet list (National Terror Strategy), the diary (Morocop and Poltu), the flashback (Sexual Frustration), the fable (the Kasab story), the personal experience (Indian wedding), the stand-up style rant (Five Things That Piss Me Off), the how-to manual (the Management Institute), the simple story (1-900-Hotties), mock pedantry (Gunda and Loha).

The effort was appreciated by many [Link, Link , Link and Link] and also savaged [Link].  Here also it was my experiences at RTDM that helped me take the praise and the virulent criticism with equanimity—-after all every post gets the same treatment does it not?

And here it is that RTDM has had the biggest effect on my life.  Not only has it given me a chance to live my dream, but it has also changed me as a person—-given me some of my best friends, taught me to better structure my thoughts, allowed me to be more level-headed in front of conflict and criticism and matured me as a person.

So it is today I say thank you to everyone here at the RTDM community. Silly sentimentalism. Perhaps. But indulge me a bit will you?

It is also today that I announce that for my second book, I am going be as different from RTDM as possible. No there will not be a sequel to MIHYAP, despite the temptation to repeat what has worked commercially.

Horror, like humor, has always fascinated me because they both produce very visceral reactions despite being stylistically poles apart (only geniuses like the Ramsay brothers and Harinam Singh can fuse the two, albeit unintentionally) .

And so horror-thriller will be what I will be attempting next, which I have been told is a significant risk for me as an author since it is not the genre I am associated with.

The working title for the book is The Mine. It is yet unsold to any publisher. I am half-way through my first draft with the plot already fully articulated.

Here are two concept art pieces produced for The Mine—first one by Saurav Mohapatra (ignore the Summer 2011…this book will not be ready before 2012) and the other by me.

Wish me luck. For the Mine and for the journey ahead.

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102 thoughts on “A Sixer

  1. Congratulations in advance, and all the very best Dada. looking forward to whatever you hv got to offer to the world…

  2. Congratulations. For the six years, the accolades and the fully articulated plot.
    I do so hope your next book is made into a movie.Not just any movie. An RGV movie. That is the pinnacle of success for all horror stories.

  3. Commenting after a really long time on the blog.

    Thanks for all the fun!

    And best wishes for whatever you want to do in the future!

  4. Now the comment:

    I haven’t come across any other blog where readers vie to be the first commenter. This in itself is a big achievement as a blogger that Arnab is today. The blog turned 6 today. But Great Bong had long being one of the finest bloggers.

    I know it is unfair to demand from him to write posts on this or that. But he is so good that sometimes, you just can’t resist the temptation of doing so. I hope Arnab understands that as well. :-)

    Wish you many, many years of success with your writing. Thanks for sharing with me a snapshot of your upcoming book — Mine. I liked it very much. Only this time, find an enthusiastic… (You know what).

    And, forget about being an engineer and tech research scholar. You had always been a writer, isn’t it?

    My best wishes are with you, always.

  5. Congratulations!
    Ur blog is definitely one of the most popular ones I know of. I have always been a fan of your writing – both style and substance.

  6. Congrats GB on the six years & thanks for all the overtimepass you’ve provided for readers like me!

    By the way, do think about doing that MC biography (sometime after The Mine) plisss … I’ll be the 1st one to buy in my city.

  7. Good luck Great Bong!

    You blogs have given me and my friends plenty of joy and lots
    of material to chat about. Happy memories!

  8. Hi GB – As a reader of your blog for the last few years, I congratulate on sticking to it for 6 years! I have enjoyed and laughed heartily reading many of your posts …. I bought your book and found that as a blog reader, it was a repetition, but a good read for ppl who have not read u before … I will await ur second book. All the best for that.

  9. Congratulations boss! You have had an amazing journey for sure. From Akash Sen to MIHAP. And you have definitely changed as a person. And your writings and the comment thread have changed many too. We live in GreatBong times. Cheers!

  10. Congratulations, Arnab! Looking forward to many many years of reading RTDM. You’ve inspired many people I am sure… I certainly am one of them! :)

    As I mentioned earlier, I am eagerly looking forward to “The Mine”. Best wishes!

  11. Congrats sir for completing six years of unlimited fun …. we fans have every reason to wish you many many years of blogging so as to feel cheered when we are down and out,feel inspired when things around us are gloomy,feel nostalgic when everything old is being shattered down and now we also have one more reason…to feel spooky when your new book will be out…..already getting chilly sensation down the spine…..wish ya a great year ahead…..

  12. Hi Arnab,

    I am very impressed with your achievement and I think you are a role model for Indian middle class boys- who takes up a career different from what they had dreamt about as a child. Both your blogs have inspired quite a few people to take up writing. It is also a great achievement to write best selling books. Wish you the best for the next one.

  13. happy Birthday to RTDM….Many many congratulations and best wishes Arnabda……Thank you for all these wonderful blogs and the book…..My office hours are a lot better because of you:)….best of luck with your next book…eagerly awaiting it(already:P)

    Loads of good wishes,
    Leena

  14. Hi Arnab
    All the best ! keep posting and writing…reading your post always brings a smile to my face and gets me thinking…

  15. Congrats! I started pretty early, then left it, then came back then … :) It has always been a pleasure reading your posts, though the quality went down a little bit for a while.

    Would your new presentation: Mine, have “taash-ke-tirpanwe-patte” spouting Satru bhaiyya (ala Kala Pathhar)?

  16. Dear Arnab,
    I have been a rather regular reader who has agreed and agreed to disagree with your views for the last 3 years or so. Congratulations!

  17. Congratulations to you and your blog to making it into the bookmarks of a multitude of like minded human beings :D Best of luck for the book. Cheers.

  18. Congrats GB ! this is to many more years of blogging,winnign more Indiebloggies, writing more books, more fun and absoluely more of everything thatu seek :)

    ——— a big Fan

  19. Cover art reminds me of The Descent (the Neil Marshall movie, haven’t read the Jeff Long novel with a similar plot device). Will there be a graphic novel version?

  20. Anil Kapoor walking onto an Oscar stage – yes, we never saw that coming either :P

    Congratulations for the past – all the best for the future :)

  21. Congrats Arnab.
    Am one of the relatively new readers, following u for just a year. Am still reading some gems from your archives..

    Blog on..

  22. Dear GB,

    Congratulations on your successful journey so far ! I am sure you will surpass our heights of expectations with many more wonderful literary pieces in future. I have been a regular through your blog and appreciated your well-researched articles on various topics, not to mention the superb craftsmanship with words. I personally enjoyed your satires more than the serious blogposts though. I believe it takes more than just an unbiased view to do justice to the topics like gaza-conflicts, naxals or kashmir.

    On a lighter note, some commenter already requested before, will you ever think of jotting doing your God’s biography ?

    Wishing you much success as a writer.

  23. wishing greatbong.net a happy 6th birthday. I am not a fan of horror stories – you could have written something on Mamata Banerjee instead. Nevertheless, wishing you the very best for your 2nd book.

    BTW, Saurabh’s cover design was better. The kid’s picture was scary.

    Regards,
    Sowmik

  24. Congratulations GB!!.
    Thanks for the immeasurable joy your writings have given me.
    Wishing this blog celebrates many more anniversaries.

  25. What a nice straight-from-the-heart kind of post…very rare modesty from the Greatbong…really enjoyed it :)

    Congrats and all the best for the second book – looking forward to it, the first one didnt do you justice I felt!

  26. Hey GB,
    Congratulations! Horror story? Are you going to put shady pictures of shakti kapoor (that you shared on twitter) and scare us? All the best nevertheless :)

  27. Congrats on the achievement.
    Keep on reviewing more movies from the 1990s , maybe it would be amazing if you provide a link to all the movies which fall into the category of Gunda ,Jaani Dushman – Ek Anokhi Kahaani, which you reviewed.

  28. with all the acrimony etc….ur blog is ubercool maaan…becomes like a part of life for everyone in it…actually may be responsible for changing reality/history as we know it in a strange kinda way…without u even realizing it

    cheers dude and long may this exist

  29. Happy Birthday, greatbong dot net!

    Arnab,
    Have been following your articles for some time now, but am yet to read your book. (Hope to get my hands on it when my wife joins me in a couple of months. She’s read it and is all praises.)
    If it is anything like the blog, I’m sure it will be a great read. Plenty of stuff in the blog that I can connect with, being quite middle-aged myself.
    Thanks, and keep entertaining and educating.
    Like Bollywood.
    bb

  30. Congratulations GB! Reading RTDM has become a part of our lives now. Thanks for spreading laughter and joy and healthy cynicism all around. You are the original Gunda.

  31. Your decision to shift genre is laudable. Horror is the genre that is a must have in the resumes of masters, be it Kubrick or Polanski or Vikram Bhatt (sic). All the best.

  32. I read this post on Amazon website when I clicked on your Book Link..Amazon the process am working in..couldnot comment then and there as could not access the any website other than few chosen from office workstation!
    Well infact have set your Pic as my Wall paper ;) Saved it from Amazon,the only site we are suppose to access..
    Made sure that every one of my team read your post even I asked my Process trainer ..So This goes without saying Everybody Loved it :)
    Congratulations ..Arnab..and Thankyou For the wonderful Posts..I love them ..Makes my day even I browse all your old posts when at office ;)
    A nice way to pass my time ;)

  33. Congratulations GB and happy anniversary to RTDM …. I have only been reading your blog for about 6 months and it has been a most pleasure-filled experience …… am still browsing through the archives ….. it has become a regular way to procrastinate at work for me (I am a PhD student so …) ….. I find your posts funny, entertaining and relatable (being a bong, a pointer and jadavpurian myself) … good luck on your new book and keep blogging !

  34. Congrats Arnab. Your blog continues to be one of those rare members of the blogosphere that effortlessly combine biting humor with insightful commentary. As Taran Adarsh may say “Both masses and classes like it.”
    I read your first book which- just like some of your best posts- was a thoroughly entertaining affair. Even though regular readers like me found many familiar parts in it, it was still fun reading them again and the new chapters were just uproarious.

    The cover arts for your second book is quite good. Horror is probably as far a genre from your oeuvre as I could have imagined. To my mind, it is as if Charlie Chaplin decided to take the lead role in The Shining, the role which the old Jack played with such spooky intensity. Considering Charlie’s talents, he may well have pulled it off as well as Jack. I know a lot of other people are telling you how risky a venture it is, but I guess as a writer honest to your craft you have to listen to your inner voice first. I am sure it will turn out to be another proud achievement for you. Good luck with the effort.

  35. Hey gb,
    This blog has been and will be part of my daily life. It gives me immense pleasure to lurk here. Cheers to moar of this!

  36. I visit this blog at least once a day to check if there is something new…
    Congrats on your success, both as a blogger & a writer.I also wish u tons of luck with your new venture…
    P.S. on a lighter note… You have been listed among bestselling authors like Chetan Bhagat!! ;)

  37. All the best for the book Arnab – looking forward to it. Its quite a risk to attempt something that others don’t expect of you.It takes a lot of conviction in oneself to really move out of the proverbial comfort zone….hats off to you and your amazing blog – i’ve laughed,pondered and wtf’ed here more than anyplace else on the net.
    To six more…

  38. congrats bong i enjoy your words written with bhang
    they r like a song from ur heart
    it has been great 3 years of reading ur RT :)

  39. good luck arnab. and congratulations on your sixer :). i was introduced to your blog by a friend of mine some five years ago and have tried to follow it ever since often recommending it to my friends.. Needless to say, it has always been appreciated and even been passed on to various random people… when i got the book the first day, i was surprised that ppl i didn’t think had a reading habit knew about it and asked to borrow it… kudos !!

  40. Awesome blog! I wasted, err. spent a whole day on your site when I found it & then I wasted, (enjoyed… enjoyed…) another day on your book. (the very next day, it was)

    Keep up the madness on the blog, A! And good luck with the book! & any other experiments that you may choose to pursue :)

  41. You know how much I dislike horror movies, books and I have always said that I cant understand how anyone willingly wants to feel that terror in himself by reading a horror book or watching a horror movie!! Never in my wildest dream had I thought that on my own free will, I would be looking forward to reading a horror book! And never thought in a zillion years that I will pray for its success! You see, this is why I used to tell u from ur childhood, never say ‘I wont be able to do this or I don’t want to do this”!!! You see, life has a mysterious way of making one do what h/she doesn’t want to do – though this time I am truly truly happy to do it and that too on my own free will. To prove that I mean business, I want to comment on those two pics. I like the first one – I mean the first one looks more creepy to me.

  42. we have already called you to wish ur blog all the success that u, as its creator wish for it. but i forgot to tell u one thing. i wish your blog all the success of the world that u, its creator cant even dream of for it so that u can gauge how we feel about u as a writer!!
    God bless you baba.

  43. Dear GB, Best wishes on RTDM’s birthday. Looking forward to many more years here and many more books (made my parents bring me a copy of MIHYAP from India, but will pay the hefty dollar price for the next one I promise). Love and gratitude for many hours of entertainment provided.

  44. a fellow engineer who has switched profession as well, i can imagine the jitters you had to overcome … thanks and congrats !!

  45. a fellow engineer(nowhere nearly as qualified though!) who has switched professions as well, i can imagine the initial jitters you had to overcome before finally taking the plunge … as for your blog, thanks for effort you put in to make it such a wonderful read!! congrats n best wishes

  46. Hey GB, congrats on completing 6 yrs of this awesome site. Just an idea, why not publish a link having lets say, top 10 favorite posts of yours from RTDM till date. Believe me, it would be a blast to go through the top 10.

  47. Dear Arnab

    Congratulations for the Sixer and thank you for providing us with so many laughs and the occasional conscience awakening slaps….hope to be there when RTDM turns sixty!!!!!

  48. Pingback: On the Write Path « Gargi's World

  49. Congrats Arnab on turning 6 !!

    Your blog’s popularity is plinly a result of your talent and hardwork.

    Keep blogging….you make the day of many like me…

    Cheers
    Ganesh
    P.S: And of course, our thanks to your wife too for being a dear and supporting you to keep this up.

  50. Congrats, to the best and most popular Indian blogger, and the author of the most popular Indian blog. Arnab, there was a time when I thought you were just like me, with just different talents, because you graciously take phone calls, reply my emails and are as ever unfailingly modest (as when I said, “comments on your posts usually number over 500,” and you replied, “I haven’t received more than 128 ever, and anything over 100 is rare.”

    But good as a friend you may be, I know you are a smokin’ hot creative genius, that an ordinary guy like me just happens to know. This is just the beginning and these honors could not have been won by a nicer person than yourself. All the very best.

  51. I have enjoyed most of your blog posts over the last two years or so…especially the ones on Prabhuji and good luck in all that you do. However, I would write a screenplay instead of a book. More money, more glamor. M. Night needs a hit worse than a crack ho without molars :) . Cheers!

  52. Congratulations GreatB!!!!
    Tum jiyo hazaro saal… saal ke din ho pachaa hazaar…
    i didnt knew that you are already in the best sellers list. ?? congrats for that too buddy…
    Horror is really a good idea.. waiting for 2012 to happen now… hope your book comes before the apocalypse in december :)

    thanks for the 6 years of entertainment. keep going and keep twisting your demented mind..

    Tarzan

  53. * Good to see that you said that there will be no MIHAP 2. QT also said that there will be no Pulp Fiction 2.

    * Also, now that you have your Droid X, I am a bit concerned…about your life. You know, text message maniacs often have accidents while texting and driving. So my request to you is that please do no look at ‘pictures’, ‘words’, especially at red-lights (not the Dhoni ones), and rear-end some car. But it also means that you are web-ebanbled all the time, to give us pics like Shakti- da wrapped in a towel. (People should really look at your twitter archive to look at that amazing, priceless pic. I mean that pic is just amazing). From traveling an hour in a crowded bus to look at pixels, to an age, where you have everything at ‘fingertips’, from those days of lusting after JU arts girls, to an age where any JU arts girl would happily lose a finger or two to sleep with you, you have come a long way baby. Ooops GB. RTDM Zindabad.

  54. Congrats GB on hitting a sixer.
    now aim for a half century.
    All the best for your new book.
    Also it appears odessey etc. dont keep MIHYAP at Delhi airport. I asked on 3 occasions but could not get it.
    Or perhaps it has sold out !!

  55. Your posts are thought-provoking and as a result the comments section also becomes an enjoyable read. Hats off to you, GB..keep up the excellent work!

  56. ohh wow a horror thriller next. long ago i remember readin a post on this haunted house, bout a brahmin cook lady, dying from a fire accident(??) and then the same incident repeating it self a few years later with a young couple that came to live in the same house.it really spooked me. so i think u`ve chosen well! good luck.

  57. Saurav’s artwork seems better….but instead of the clawing hand we could have the screaming face of your artwork into saurav’s artwork..the font that you have chosen for ‘What you fear lies deep inside’ is better and could be used on Saurav’s artwork…:-)

    congrats again for all your success…!

  58. Kudos Arnab !
    I am a fly-by reader at best, but have recently read and thoroughly enjoyed your first book. (I didnt know this blog existed before that).
    Pleasantly suprised and glad too, to know that you are switching genres – cant wait to read the next book :-) No pressure though! Please publish the level of fear (on a scale of 1-10) that will be caused by the book on it’s cover ;-) just kidding.

    Sincere wishes and Congratulations for the 6th anniversary! (belated)
    I can only imagine the effort required!

  59. Arnab,

    Firstly, I have to say I have enjoyed your blogs over the last few years. If I ever have a blog which achieves fraction of the success of your blog, I will be very satisfied. I have a few questions which I wanted to ask you over the last few months. Because most of the people who comment on the blog are its fans and well wishers they often leave kind messages about it, some criticize your stance but they never criticize its contents. So, I have the following questions for which I am hoping we will get a honest view of yours.

    a) I believe that the number of ideas which can be generated in a given period of time are limited. Since you have been concentrating on your book do you think your blog has suffered in quality over the last two years. I believe it has, but it is my opinion.

    b) Is there a pressure (implicit) to keep the posts coming. I would prefer quality few posts over many which are mediocre. My feeling is you may have reached a stage where, if I may draw a analogy, you prefer making “IMDB Top 250 movies” as opposed to quality “Indie movies” which stand the test of time.

    c) Over time the novelty factor of anything, including a blog, wears off and people lose interest in it. But I feel it is beyond that. I feel a good number of your earliest followers have stopped following the blog (atleast not as frequently) whereas at the same time it has attracted new followers. Do you think so? No offense to anyone but dont you think there is too much of hero worship going on. I am sure it is good for your book(s) but do you really enjoy it.

    d) Would you continue this blog (in some form) once you have achieved an independent status as a writer?

    Thanks
    Plato

  60. Plato,

    Without getting into each question, many of whom are loaded, let me say, without a trace of arrogance, that frankly I really am not too concerned if people leave or join or hero-worship or come to say “You suck”. The reason I am not too concerned is because I have no ambitions to be an independent writer and I do not depend, financially or in any other way, on the approbation of people like yourself. I shall take stances that I have been told are not “correct” for a person trying to establish himself as a writer and continue to write my middling content on my corner of the Web. You are free to of course judge me as you deem fit.

    Thanks

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