Dear Ms. Romila Saha,
This blog post is with reference to your article in the Indian Express July 1, 2006 edition where you refer to my blog thusly:
But for most Indians, the blog functions as a forum to connect with others. Take, for instance, blogs like greatbong.blogspot.com where Bengalis from around the world write in.
Now there is a little bit of confusion as to what you mean by “writing in”.
Let me make things clear. For those who do not know what blogging is (and I am sure you are not one of them), there are two distinct concepts in a blog—-1) the blog post ( the original content posted by a blogger(s)) 2) comments (reader’s reactions to the blog post).
When you meant “writing in”, you could have meant either of these two things:
1) Bengalis from around the world comment at greatbong.blogspot.com and the said blog serves as a forum to connect these Bengali commenters.
The problem with this assertion is that my commenters are not all Bengalis—many of them have a net Bengali vocabulary of “Bhalobashi” and “Kemon ache?”
As a matter of fact, some of the commenters actually do not like Bengalis.
Of course, that still does not refute the above interpretation because you never said “only” Bengalis come to this blog to connect.
However the impression it does convey is that there is something intrinsically Bengali about the “writing in”s at greatbong.blogspot.com.
However that is hardly the case—-most comments have nothing to do with Bengali life.
Even more important is the fact that the commenters (Bengali and non-Bengali alike) do not “write in” to the blog to connect with each other. This is not a “social networking site”, nor is this Calcutta chat room on Yahoo. Noone says “a/s/l”, nor do the “commenters” try to make “franship” with each other. At least not here.
They come to read the posts (many of which, may I repeat, have no connection to Bengali life and the Bengali experience) and they come to read the opinions of other commenters. In that way, greatbong.blogspot.com is about as “connecting” as the message boards on Indian Express or on TOI or on Rediff.
2) Bengalis from around the world write posts at greatbong.blogspot.com and the said blog serves as a forum to connect these Bengali post writers.
Last time I looked, I was the only person who wrote posts at greatbong.blogspot.com. Now I have gained a few pounds over the years and you could be forgiven for thinking I am two people. At the most. Actually 1.3 people to be fair.
But Bengalis all over the world? No Ms. Saha— I need a few more hotdogs and cheeseburgers for that.
Of course it might also be that the “greatbong” name is a facade for multiple personalities encompassing the gamut of Bengali identities, all trying to desperately connect with each other inside my brain by “writing in” under one moniker.
So while physically I am one person, mentally I am…
Muha ha ha haaa………..
And oh my site is http://www.greatbong.net—-the blogspot blog has been defunct for many months now.
[PS: There was a shorter post covering roughly the same points that was online for about 40 minutes (comments 1 to 11 are based on the older one, if any of you want your comments to be removed because of the change: do tell)—-I have replaced it with a fuller discussion, based on some of the comments, so that the point I am trying to make is more clearly expressed.
PPS: Actually it was another greatbong who wrote the shorter post. This one has been written by the real one.