It’s your Birthday
We gonna party like it’s yo birthday
We gonna sip Bacardi like it’s yo birthday
And we don’t give a f*** it’s not yo birthday.
Well it’s my birthday. My blog’s birthday. My blog turns one year old on August 20.
Last year around this time, I was passing through a particularly low point of my life. Which is why I decided that it would be a good idea and a pleasant diversion to blog. Get everything out my system—that is.
So this blog started out aiming to be a personal journal— “I-did-this-and-that”. If you look at my first post, you will see that it endeavors to be a “Dear Diary” type of thing. Which is also why I started off by not blogging under my real name but under a pseudonym.
A word about “Greatbong”. This is not a statement of Bong parochialism—as some humor-challenged anonymous commenter on CSF thought. The “Bong” has two meanings—of course the “Bong” as in Bengali and the second one “Bong” as in a instrument for smoking cannabis. Not that I endorse drugs or have ever tried it myself, but because “cannabis” is related to “ganja” which in Bengali also means an embellished story. So basically a teller of tall tales.
Now ok that takes care of the Bong part. What about the Great ? Well the name “Greatbong” was a derisive epithet given by a non-Bengali friend of mine to refer to all Bengalis who thought too much of themselves…..and so when I was looking for a moniker, I could think of nothing better than Greatbong.
After writing my first post, I realized that noone was interested in what I did and where I had my lunch. Most importantly, I was not interested in it myself.
When I was in Stonybrook, one of the most pleasurable ways by which I would spend time would be to have shouting sessions with my friends that went into the wee hours of the morning where we would hold forth on life, politics, movies and how basically everything pisses us off.
In a new job, in a new city, alone and cut off from these stimulating discussions—the blog became my new friend.
I got to tell you—-I am not among those kind of people who write only for the pleasure of writing. I do like it when people read what I have written and spend the time to comment—a regular readership is definitely a big motivation.
Initially, my blog had no readers—–I tried some shameless publicity….slipping it into my email signature, sending links to my old Jadavpur University mailing group and relatives—-but the returns on my spamming was poor. In other words, as I once mentioned my comments section resembled an untrampelled, virgin forest.
A digression. Getting people to read my stuff isnt something I just started doing last year. I have been doing it for years now. I got off to a good start, but from then onwards, I kept on sending my work for publication to different places and got only silence in reply—-with the exception of a few reviews that made it to Rediff.
My blog solved everything. No need for me to get “published” (not that I still dont want to go mainstream), just press the button “Publish Post” and it’s out to the world.
But yes not much of the world came to read it. I kept on posting and persisting—-a mention or two on Sepiamutiny followed, Suhail Kazi introduced me to the CSF gang, Amit Varma linked to me and I had crossed the tipping point……I was getting read.
My frequency of posting increased. People were coming and commenting—I was getting into comment wars with them—–and before I knew it, the world I thought I had lost in Stonybrook was alive again.
Its not been all plain sailing—-I have had my share of misguided and unkind feedback—some of it (like the one below) on second thoughts, may have been totally justified.
In a post I had pointed out the weird Google search strings that brought visitors to my blog like “DPS Dhamaka” , “Suhaag Raat–what to do?”, “Kolkata Hot Girls” etc etc upon which an Anon visitor exploded:
bull shit…everyone who has basic knowledge of web knows that internet is used for 3 key things1. e-mail 2.Sex 3. Google Search No one can use your blog for email and second best thing to divert people to your blogger is sex,.
Bloggers like you and many organsiations are misusing and putting the latest sex related stuff as comment in there web sites to drive visitors. What is wrong with trying to find a sex clip…but people like you have made it impossible as there are millions of sites without clip and pain for people doing search….Sick, yuck yuck
Someone seems to have caught onto the trick us bloggers use to drive up our site traffic.
My blog has also been called by another Mr/Ms Anonymous as “the Net’s worst blog—long boring posts full of misogynistic crap”…..which let me point out was an honor.
What would have sucked would have been to be called “the Net’s second worst blog.”
At the risk of beginning to sound like an Oscar-acceptance speech (or worse like Dharmendra at the Filmfare Awards), I would like to thank all my readers, commenters and flamers for their continued support………
The music has started playing…….and I must now take my leave.
But before that let us raise our imaginary glasses to another glorious, opinionated, politically incorrect, “misogynistic” year of unadulterated blogging !