Twitterific

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Watching NDTV’s We the Tweeple was fun if not for anything else but because one got to see a few familiar faces, people I have met in real life (@samitbasu, [His latest book, from what I have heard and based on the sample chapter provided, is a must-read] and @nilanjanaroy)  and also because one got to hear India’s most famous anchor, someone known to never take herself seriously, concluding the segment by saying that the lesson of Twitter was not to take ourselves seriously. I felt this was also as good a time as any to do a post on Twitter, one that I have been meaning to do for a while.

The question I have been asked the second most number of times during my book tour  (the first one being of course “Do you give ipods for the first comment?) was why I do not follow anyone on Twitter.

When I joined twitter, I felt there were two options open to me with regards to my follow policy.

To be truly equitable, and to make the social interaction be based on “friendship” rather than the  rather weird-sounding follower-followee (I am the only Prophet type) relationship, I figured I should follow back everyone who follows me. That however would simply flood my time-line leading me not be able to read most of what was coming on the stream.

The other option would be to do what most people do—–follow a selective few.

Given how “personally” people take the whole concept of “following” [much more than say subscribing or not subscribing to someone’s blog feed], I figured that this selection would essentially make a very public distinction between two kinds of people—-those whose opinions I think I want to hear and those whose I do not want to (even though they want to hear mine). This I felt would be kind of impolite.

And so I decided to follow no one.

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A Very Quick Birthday Post

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News update 1: I am one year older today. As to how old I am, you should never ask a thirty-four year old guy his age.

News update 2: I will be in India (New Delhi and Kolkata) in the month of March from the 1st to the 29th [dates finalized]. Tentative book reading dates are the 6th of March (New Delhi) and  the 20th of March (Kolkata). Hope to meet a lot of you there.

News update 3: This is still not the cover. Just something I made to pass the time.

Have a happy new year everyone.

The Greatest. Period.

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It was in 1984. I was sitting in front of the TV when the pre-Grammy awards program came on. In pre-MTV days, state-controlled Doordarshan had almost no Western pop/rock programming except some horrible Europop that acted as fillers.

So I had absolutely no idea as to what I was going to see. I did not even know what the Grammies were. Good Bengali boys were supposed to listen to Rabindrasangeet and not even think about the devil’s music.

And then I saw him.

I did not know his name. I neither understood the lyrics. Even if I did, I doubt whether as a seven year old I would have understood a song about an illegitimate child.

But I was blown away. By the man in the video. The tip-toe stand, the twirl, the way he moved his jacket. The walk. The beat. And the pavement glowing as he put his foot on it.

Who was this mystery man?

My maternal uncle (mama) had just come back from the US. He had a wondrous cassette  player and a few cassettes. One of them was “Thriller”. It was then, over endless loops of that album, that I fell in love with what we then called “Western fast” music (as opposed to the slow Beethoven).

And I also fell in love with the man whose album it was. A man whose name I, and my generation,will never forget.

Michael Jackson.

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The 25 Things About Me You Were Better Off Not Knowing

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In the spirit of this silly day dedicated to St. Valentine, I copy the viral “25 random things about me” note from Facebook.

1. I do not like driving. My official “oh ho” reason for that is when I was 8 years old, I was involved in a bus accident that killed the people I was with and I escaped death by falling between dead bodies. For which I have an excessive fear of dying on the road. Now you are free to believe that reason. Or just call it an excuse.

2. I studied in Presidency College for one day in the Economics department. I guess I was trying to follow my father’s footsteps. Didn’t last long.

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This Blog Hits Four

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Random Thoughts of a Demented Mind turns four on the 20th of August. And to commemorate this occasion, I, as a proud father, join voices with Prabhuji Mithunda, as he sings, in his very own voice , the following song.

“Aaj mere Munne ki saal giraah hain”

Four years in the turbo-accelerated Indian blogworld is like forty in the real considering the sheer amount of change, both in terms of the number of blogs and overall readership, one has witnessed over these years.

If on August 20, 2004 someone would have told me that in August 2008, people like Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Ram Gopal Verma and Karan Johar would be blogging I would have laughed him off by saying: “Yeah right ! I can just see the future. Amitabh Bachchan, who we know for his strong silence and aloofness, would be using his blog, perhaps twice a day, to take swipes at every Tom Dick and Harry who criticizes him. Aamir Khan would spend his keemti time informing us of the name of his dog (which happens to be Shahrukh) . Ram Gopal Verma would be justifying his questionable creative decisions through his blog. Hah ! Dude no way is that happening in four or four hundred years. What stuff are you smoking?”

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