Mutter With Megha

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[GB says: We interrupt our regular programming to bring you an “interview” Megha Murthy and I did in “honor” of my winning Indiblog of the Year at this year’s Indibloggies. Debashish who coordinates the award asked for an interview and well…just read on. This post is mirrored at Indibloggies and at Meghalomania]

In light of the Greatbong’s unprecedented landslide victory in the Indibloggies, the powers that be felt that winning an award (well actually, two) wasn’t enough of an ego trip. So they decided that one should do an interview with him as well. Perhaps a more serious, ‘getting to know the man behind the blog, his passions, his drive’ type routine. Of course, if seriousness is what one wants, one shouldn’t ask the resident flake of the blogosphere to do the interview. But now the deed has been done, and it’s time for the public to pay the heavy price for it. So here you are. Styled after her idol K-Jo and his koffee, and channeling the I-will-get-husky-voiced-for-no-reason-at-all Simi aunty, here’s Mutter with Megha. In conversation with Greatbong.

[A spotless white set. Megha in spotless white, sitting on a spotless white couch, holding a spotless white coffee cup filled with split-pea-soup, just one spotless white towel short of becoming Miss Chamko. (This part of the program sponsored by Surf.)]

M: Good evening! It is lovely to be back. Though the show has a new look (it is finally visible) the flavor of ‘Mutter with Megha’, much like this soup, remains unchanged — monochromatic, bland and with the inevitable queasiness of eating too much plant-protein.

So let me introduce our guest for today — his intellectual humor and ability to quote Neruda has the ladies swooning, but this legend of the industry is a dedicated father and especially loves to take his kids on long trans-Atlantic plane journeys. Belying his macho image, he is gentle and romantic. Oops, sorry. Wrong script. Um, say hello to .. [looks down at paper] .. Greatbong.

[Greatbong comes in through the spotless white wicker door and sits down as graciously as his suit will allow, while trying to appear all cool and award-winner-like. The spotless white couch behind him glows in the spotlight. (This part of the program sponsored by Rin.)]

M: [with a gentle toss of her flowing hair and glowing dupatta, careful not to turn her split-pea-soup into spilt-pea-soup] How does it feel like to be the Indiblogger of the year?

GB: [looking away SRK style at the ceiling and back at the camera with a shy smile] It feels good, Megha. After all at the end of the day it’s the opinion of the public that matters.

M: [with a completely straight face] Dealing with any performance anxiety, are we?

GB: [SRK-style aaahhh] Maybe you should ask my wife! [smirk at the joke made and looking into the camera self-assuredly] (This part of the program sponsored by 30 Plus.)

M: [sighs sadly at the mess on the spotless white couch, where a joke just died] So, tell us. Is there pressure to write better?

GB: Yes definitely. You now have something to live up to. You are no longer the underdog. Not everyone is rooting for you any longer. Yes, [pauses for effect] I would be not entirely truthful if I said that there is no pressure. But as Sreesanth said, pressure and pain are my best friends. Especially after I have had a can of …err mutter.

M: [sigh] Okay, time for a serious question ..

GB: Yess… you know me Megha… apun life ko zara light leta hai… [looks to side]

M: Stephen King advises writers to write to, or for, one person. Do you? And if so, who?

GB: Oh very simple. I write for myself. I write stuff which I would laugh at if someone else had written it. When I write serious stuff, I write stuff I would like to read but find no one has written it yet.

M: So, do your readers ever determine what you write? Do their likes, dislikes and expectations ever influence what gets written in your posts?

GB: [SRK-ian glance at the camera] If you mean do readers influence the topics on which I post, then no — I write exactly what I feel I have to express. If I have nothing to say, I stay quiet. However if you mean whether readers have influenced the way I structure my arguments, then yes. Without being intellectually dishonest, I give a little more thought before writing something than I would have done maybe 2 years ago. That inherently is not a bad thing though. Sometimes when I look at my old posts I go — eeeks I said that!

M: That almost sounds like the GreatBong is trying to be more politically correct of late. But we all know better than to believe that?

GB: [brows knitted] No not politically correct. Absolutely not. That is one thing I will never be. In fact ever since I started writing this blog I took a decision that I will say exactly what I want (an opportunity you rarely get in the real world of mice and men) — even if it is not often the most fashionable stance to take. But yes, the ceaseless process of feedback and debate has influenced the way I structure my points.

M: But does this process of debate and feedback ever change your stand on an issue? I guess I’m asking — does it only make you a better debater, or more amenable to seeing another point of view, as well?

GB: [calm unemotional voice] Yes it has made me more open to opposing views and I believe that as a person I have become much more tolerant and patient than I was two years ago. I remember the first time on a Ganguly post, someone called me a moron I felt really hurt. Yes I was that immature. Now I can smile it off and even say, ‘Yes that guy really has a point!’ Not that I still do not lose my temper but I am working on it. [mutters inaudibly]

M: [glad that he is taking the name of the show very seriously] Would you describe yourself as a person who doesn’t back down from an argument?

GB: A year ago, I would have said “yes” with a thundering boom. I will still say ‘yes’ but I have also learnt to recognize some arguments that have no resolution… Which does not mean I will not debate but I also know when it is fruitless dragging it on. More importantly I have learnt to understand that staying silent after some time in a debate is not a sign of defeat. I had a bit of a problem accepting that before!

M: A more balanced, less-feisty GreatBong. Your fans will not like that, for sure?

GB: [pouting] Well we will just let my readers decide about my feisty-ness.

M: Absolutely. At the end of the day, it is the opinion of the public that matters, as someone said a little while ago.

GB: Sahee… John janata janardhan.

M: Tararam pam pam pam pam, indeed. Speaking of the public that mutters, um, I mean matters, your comments section has seen several ugly wars. Yet you keep it open and unmoderated. Why?

GB: Simple, Megha-ji. Without comments, RTDM becomes like first-day first-show of Mr Prime Minister. My comments and readers add a lot of value to the content here, like doing karva-chauth while doing group dance enhances quality of pati-dev’s life.. [looks to the side]

M: [looks to the side wondering just what is so fascinating there] On a lighter note, lets talk about something you are famous for. Not that precious Indibloggies trophy you are holding and not your animal magnetism either. But humor. Do you think humor gets its due in the Indian blogosphere?

GB: I would think so. Otherwise where would yours truly be!

M: So Paresh Rawal can hope to win the Best Actor award one day?

GB: Who cares about winning Best Actor, ma’am, when you go home to Swaroop Sampat? Winning, like many other things, depends on your POV.

M: One hopes, for your sake, that Mrs Bong likes being compared to Ms Sampat.

GB: I hope, for my sake, she likes the fact that I want to go home to Ms Sampat.

M: Speaking of Mrs Bong and Ms Sampat — with your frequency of writing, and the number of comments you get, where do you find the time for a life outside the blog?

GB: Simple. I do not have a life. Of course Mrs. Bong is not pleased with that state of affairs but I deal with her like I deal with anonymous commenters: I pretend not to hear. Incidentally I always, before publishing, read out the post to her and religiously listen to her feedback.

M: Okie. Now for the real stuff. An interview with the Greatbong and no Mithun questions? People must be wondering what the hell I’m smoking.

GB: Yes we all wondered what those clouds in your blog are for… now we know.

M: [tells herself that he is supposed to be a funny blogger, put humor on the Indian blogging map and what not. Realizes that it is best to pretend to laugh at the funnies he attempts, and produces customary chuckle] So onto Mithun. What’s the worst Mithun movie of all time? And why, of course.

GB: The worst Mithun movie of all time is Citizen Kane because it did not have Mithun in it.

M: Now that you are a fancypants-bigshot-blogger, is there going to be an official animal for this blog?

GB: No thank you ma’am… the only kind of animals that are kosher at RTDM are already “cut” and in “a meat” form.

M: Heh heh. Now that sounds much more like a Greatbong sound-byte. It is unfortunate that it also marks the end of our interview. It was a pleasure having you on the show, Greatbong! May your blog doodho nahaao pooto phalo. (Translated: Take bath in milk and produce many fruity baby-blogs.)

GB: Thank you, Megha. It was fun to be here!

M: And now, before we bid adieu, the customary gift hamper — Grandma’s not-so-secret recipe for split-pea-soup, a packet of Surf, and a photo of the fascinating spotless white wall on the side.

Allright, that’s all for now folks! Be good and give peas a chance!

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37 thoughts on “Mutter With Megha

  1. Pingback: A walk in the clouds.. » Mutter with Megha

  2. wow!! I never realised u take blogging so seriously … that you seriously think about what and how you’d write, read it out to the wifey and take opinion, etc …

    that’s jolly hard work 🙂

  3. @Kailas: So any comments after reading it?

    @Innervoice: Too old for anything rapid.

    @Bonatellis06: Oh yes I do. Quality family time. The trick to stay married and keep blogging is to involve the missus somehow. Let that be your lesson for the day.

  4. Hey GB, you are the best !!! We all feel humble that we get to read so nice stuffs for free. The fans are always ruthlessly demanding .. may it be Indian cricket fans or RTDM fans – irony.

  5. Hmmm.. Since I read both your and Megha’s blog, I had set an expectation about how your interview would be even before reading the entire post. Glad to say that all my expectations were exceeded.! 🙂 Thanks for a ‘irregular programming’ post between all the pointless discussions in the past couple of weeks over an over hyped, under performing bunch of losers.

    Regards,
    Gangadhar

  6. man….you are now a ‘closet megalomaniac’…if I may be allowed to use such a tacky term…you try to make fun of it….and refuse to recognise it….but it is creeping up on you and it is showing (megalomania i.e.)…
    Not that its something wrong…but its probably both you and us…your readers…do not yet want to see.

  7. Arnab, I suppose the congratulations on yet another good post are in order first — so well written! 🙂

    Have you ever considered realising the “wannabe politician” part of your about me section?

  8. This was too good! I can’t find words to describe your writing abilities… It was as if I could actually see that show happening in front of my eyes! But two questions:

    1)Was Greatbong wearing a spotless white suit too? Or was he wearing something like the guy in the picture?
    2)What was he looking at? The spotless white wall at the side?

  9. The worst Mithun movie of all time is Citizen Kane because it did not have Mithun in it.
    Vintage GB…
    Oye Oye Mithunda….

  10. Hi GB. I really know what it takes to write so regularly and at the same time balancing it with ur profession and family. I really appreciate u because blogging is a thankless job and u r even sacrificing family life for that to illuminate minds across the cyber world. really great work.

    But my friendly advise is u take ur family life seriously. Because ultimately ur wife will be the one who is going to stay with u until death, share ur responsibilities, and take care of u. I suggest u blog twice daily and allocate the rest of ur time to ur family. Take care buddy.

  11. Checked out that arnabray.googlepages.com
    What an awful stodgy pix.
    That person who writes papers on something called embedded systems with someone called R. Cleaveland CANNOT BE our bhery bhery apun GB.
    It must be this stodgy person who dreams of going home to Ms Swaroop Sampat.
    Our GB dreams of going home to a Mithun movie.

    I wonder if all those people who work on embedded systems (why do i keep on thinking about CNN reporters and winnebagoes with beds?) and collaborate on papers, are they aware of the Strange History of Dr Arnab Ray and Mr GreatBong?

  12. good work GB !
    about being closet megalomaniac, i think just about every person is one… ego is a good thing. 🙂

  13. YOURFAN writes:
    @GB:
    I was all along wondering why haven’t u written anything about the indiblog awards. But I rationalized that your penchant for cricket is the reason for not having any post on this. Anyway it is better to be late than never.
    As usual the post is excellent and it also gives us the readers who take the time to comment on your posts some recognition – however little they be.
    “Simple. I do not have a life. Of course Mrs. Bong is not pleased with that state of affairs but I deal with her like I deal with anonymous commenters: I pretend not to hear.”
    Hey, u are not only good in writing but also quite good at working out a marriage – I must add!!!!
    “Incidentally I always, before publishing, read out the post to her and religiously listen to her feedback”. Mrs Bong is a lucky lady indeed! So all those who scramble to make the first comment: you guys can never be the first!!!!
    “M: So, do your readers ever determine what you write? Do their likes, dislikes and expectations ever influence what gets written in your posts?
    GB: [SRK-ian glance at the camera] If you mean do readers influence the topics on which I post, then no………”
    Well, if at that point of time your wannabe politician self prevented u from telling ‘the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth’ then I do understand. But I honestly don’t think u have that short a memory span!!! Well I am not writing this as a grouse – it is my kind of humor which may be hard to understand!!!!!
    One more point: I felt like sending the link of Telegraph of 29th March, 2007 (on the issue which I am referring to now) to your specific post for some of your readers who made some not so nice comments about certain aspects of expectation regarding physical intimacy of marriage but did not as I didn’t feel like raking up the issue. But it vindicates my point. Just thought that I should mention this as this is relevant to the above quotation.

  14. Hey man, that was some “mutter gasti” indeed! And this concept of Mrs. Bong and Ms Sampat (why is it Mrs and Ms, by the way?) reminded me more of Govindaji more than Mithunda.Shifting loyalties, GB?

  15. i loved the part where you look to the side every now and then! 🙂
    that was soo KwK. i love how these small details are singled out!

    you mentioned that readers don’t influence your posts and you always write only about something you feel you need to express… my question is: after you read the comments ( i mean ALL KINDS of comments) that you recieve on a particular post, does it or has it at any point changed your opinion on that particular post. what i mean to say is that the initial thought and point of view that you started off with while writing a post, has it ever changed after reading particular comments from ppl?

  16. Yourfan writes:
    @kallu: r u emulating your brother lallu who seeks sensation all the time? well u are quite good at it without even trying!!!!!

  17. @Vanessa: One is a trackback which is at the very bottom of the comments section.

    @Amit: Thank you for fanning my so-called megalomania.

    @RK: 🙂

    @Gangadhar: But sir…I am so much part of the blue billion..so allow me my obsessions.

    @Pchakra: Closet?Since you have so adroitly gauged my megalomania, how can I be in the closet?

    @Sudipta: I should mention…this was written by both Megha and I. So credits if any is to both.

    @Joy Forever: 1) Guy in the picture is Jackie Chan
    2) He was just trying to pretend he is SRK.

    @Kailas: 🙂

    @Somsuj: 🙂

    @Varsha: You cannot see Jackie Chan and Simi Garewal?

    @Kishor:

    “I suggest u blog twice daily and allocate the rest of ur time to ur family.”

    Blog twice daily ! And you think I would have any time left to even brush my teeth !

    @Asterix ::-)

    @Raj: Yes paapi pet ka sawaal as they say.

    @Swati: Professional picture…suit boot and constipated look. And yes my collaborators are all aware of my blogging activities.

    @Divya: Aah.

    @Amit Varma: Thank you !

    @Yourfan: Aah well caught. However when I replied to that question, what I thought was “Had I ever not written anything based on the possibility of adverse reader reaction?” And the answer was No. Yes at one point of time, I was loathe to write about the Domestic Violence Act but due to your encouragement I did write about it.

    Now with regards to the Supreme Court judgement, had seen it and had thought of that comment thread then itself.

    @Rima: Thanks

    @Bhopale: As in “Tum to dhonkebaaz ho, waada karke bhool jaate ho” types?

    @Toe Knee: It would be tough to get me to look like Jackie Chan. Or John Abraham.

    @Tarzan: Welcome

    @Rishi: Ahem.

    @Sang.Froid: No not really. I am pretty trenchant in my views. :-). What often does happen is that on reflection, I feel that so-and-so point in the post could have been better made.

    @Indranil: Sigh.

    @Kallu: Yes thank you.

    @JAP: Yea duh-ling…when we meet at the kitty party in May we shall share our kitties.

  18. Ordinary post. Over hyped Indian cricketers? How about over-hyped indiblogger of the year?
    Granted that nobody does humour so well oftener but that oftener is the key word here. Checkout
    http://www.bosey.co.in for some really high-class humour. That would loe out to greatbong.net only because of the lack of prolificity.

  19. You won ! Congrats !!!

    (I was out for quite a long time)

    Was this a joint collaboration between you and Megha ?

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