Time flies when you are having fun. Or when you are having pitched battles on comment threads.
On August 20, 2014, this blog turns ten
I never thought I would be saying this, when ten years ago, on a cold Detroit evening, all alone at my first job, away from the comforting shelter of graduate life, I had started typing into the dark. I had never thought there would lie in the future, book deals, writing opportunities in places I could never dream of writing for, and many many great friends. There is a life lesson here, something about taking that first step and not holding back, but I will save the details for a TEDx talk.
So thank you. Thank you everyone. Thank you, the Himesh worshippers, the “SRK is god” olytes, the ipod-wanters, the Internet Hindus, the sickulars, the haters, the Gunda cultists. Thank you, Luck, for giving me an audience. Thank you Wife for giving me the time. Thank you Life for keeping me alive.
Far more deserving have not been so privileged.
In celebration of these ten years, I have compiled a list of ten posts. Ten posts that capture the essence of this blog. The selection algorithm was the exact same as the one used to rank Indian engineering colleges in popular magazines.
That is, there was none.
So in no order, except that of randomness (for isn’t that what this blog is all about), I give you:
1. Hottie Hottie Bong Bong: The first of my posts that got some attention, this is me writing on one of the toughest subjects in the world, namely Bengali women. I have written about Bongness in general subsequently (and I prefer this piece personally in terms of the writing) but the first one always has the charm.
2. Mithunism the religion: The post that made the blog.
3. Gunda: Gunda and Kanti Shah have gone onto become cult. I would like to think this post contributed a wee bit to that. Something that I should say here that I have wanted for a long time. This post is not *really* about Gunda. It’s a critique of criticism (cinematic as well as literary). How? I will explain when the blog turns twenty.
5. The Day We Won The Cup: Reminiscences of 1983. Thoda sentimental. For a more mordant read, allow me to recommend Walking With The Men In Blue which is my take on how Arundhati Roy would have written on the 2011 World Cup triumph.
6. The Great Wall Street Meltdown: Multi-part series on the Wall Street Meltdown. One of the greatest compliments I received was someone saying that he ace-ed a GD solely based on this 3 part series. I realize he may have been exaggerating but still…
7. Kaho Na Massacre Hain: A few days ago, I had written a post with pictures and single lines. Someone on Twitter said something on the lines of “Inspired by Buzzfeed?” (twitterspeak for: so desperate you are copying Buzzfeed style). The post linked here was written in 2006. This was before Buzzfeed was popular. So the answer is “No”.
8. A Letter From Andaman Cellular Jail: The people who brought you freedom. People like my grandfather.
9. The Killing Fields of Nandigram: I have written serious political posts many-a-time on this blog, (including recent multi-part deconstructions of Modi and Kejriwal) but none of them got 667 comments. On one single post. Around 2007, I had written a number of posts where I had prophesied the kind of government Mamata Banerjee would lead (captured succinctly here in this post on the death of Jyoti Basu) and now that I have been proven right, allow me my moment of “I told you so”
10. I am going to cheat here. Your favorite RTDM post. That’s the tenth.
Is there anything else I have to say?
Of course there is.
I may have tweeted this many times before but I realize I have not mentioned this on my blog.
My third novel “Yatrik” comes out September. Here is the cover, an endorsement, the blurb and a link to first few chapters of the book.
Please do buy the book. And do keep coming back to the blog.
Till the next ten.
Arnab Ray’s novel Yatrik is a fascinating, fast paced read about looking back at life from the threshold of death, at secrets that surprise us. The novel mixes realism and the fantastic superbly, and gives us characters that we learn to love in spite of their flaws.
– Chitra Divakaruni, author of Oleander Girl and Palace of Illusions
‘Anushtup Chatterjee, I am really sorry to have to tell you this. But you have died.’
Anushtup Chatterjee is thirty-two years old.
He hates his mother. His job is a dead end. And his girlfriend has left him.
Then one silent moonlit night, he wakes up in a deserted field in the middle of nowhere, with no recollection of where he is or how he got there. His wallet is gone. So is his cell phone.
He is not alone though.
There is another man there, a stranger with a gentle voice and a humble mustache, who has something rather unbelievable to say to him.
That he, Anushtup Chatterjee, has already died.
Mysterious and achingly poignant, Arnab Ray’s Yatrik is a story about hope and aspiration, love and regret, of the choices we make and those that life makes for us.
Releasing on Kindle and in print September 2014.