An Open Letter To Those Who Write Me Closed Letters

Dear everyone-who-emails-me-on-blog-related-matters,

The single greatest benefit of blogging for close to eight years (whew) will undoubtedly remain the friendships I have made through RTDM. In many of these cases, these friendships have been initiated by an email. In addition, I have, over the years received, through email, many life-enhancing and horizon-expanding links (mostly to Youtube videos) and also thoughtful retorts to my blog posts, typically from those concerned that critical comments in the public space might be deemed combative. And of course the type of communication everyone likes— pats on the back.

Because appreciation remains, as always, the biggest incentive to write on a forum where I make no money.

To all the above senders of email, a sincere thank you. Please do keep writing.

There are however some others to whom I feel a collective response is in order. Hence this post.

First of all, I do not give out Apple products (iPads, iPods etc) to the first commentator on a post. Nor for that any matter any product. It is a bit of an inside joke among long-term frequenters of this blog and explaining the origin of this rather silly but somewhat endearing tradition is not the point here. Just that, please do not ask me to send the iPod you have “won” to your boy-friend at so-and-so address. Much as I appreciate the love you both share, the chances of getting a thing out of me are slimmer than getting any Indian political party to reveal their source of funds. In a similar vein, please also desist from the “Are you so desperate for comments that you offer iPods?” missives. Why? Cause I do not give iPods.

Second, I am not Himesh Reshammiya. I cannot give you a “break” nor do you dream every night about my voice. I have no idea why Himesh fans mistake me for him but at least, with the downturn in the fortunes of the H-bomb, I have not received these mails for some time now. But who knows when he comes back and the ‘I love you Himesh janoo” messages of adoration start pouring in once again. Hence this preemptive prayer.

Third, I am the only person who blogs here. Please do not send requests to “guest-post” on my blog especially on topics like “geriatric health care” which have absolutely nothing to do with RTDM (unless posts on AK Hangal gave you the wrong idea).

Sometimes, people make comments of a particular nasty sort here and, in a fit of reckless abandon, put their real names above it. Years later, while Googling, (perhaps before a job interview), they find something they said which might make people judge them. Slightly. So they write to me, in a state of arrogant panic, “Remove this comment I made in 2007.” Then, when they realize that there is a dissonance between my priorities and theirs (perhaps because of the rather commanding nature of the original mail) and they believe they are not being attended to, they send an even more polite mail “Remove the comment or I shall be forced to complain to your superior”. A bad idea. A very bad idea.

Almost as bad as an idea as sending me an email that says ” Your blog sucks. Visit my blog to see how blogs should be written” and then following it up with a “I see you did not comment on my blog.”

And now, dear social media mavens/digital marketing/SEO gurus. Read the following line closely. Twice.

My blog is not a free billboard for the products you and/or your clients are hawking.

Which means no mails with attached 10 MB-sized posters of your mobile phone service that I am asked to “put on my blog” because it will “provide value to my blog-readers”. (Unless the posters are of Yami Gautam or Shakti Kapoor I am not interested.)

Which means no attempts to reach out to a “blog opinion leader” whose name you mis-spell so that my opinion may be solicited for a client marketing campaign.

Which means no “strategic value-based partnership” proposition by which you shall try to drive up your client’s Google juice by plonking links on my blog , in all perpetuity, in exchange for you submitting my blog to search engines and directories.

Which means no multiple attachments that contain press-releases of your amazing client’s products with a terse “Upload this on your blog” command.

Finally, nasty mails referencing my physical appearance, the language I speak, the state I belong to are not appreciated.

Thank you


53 thoughts on “An Open Letter To Those Who Write Me Closed Letters

  1. The first thing in the morning that I read.I nearly spilled my cofee laughing. Very nicely written. There were only 3 blogpost in june. We hope that there are more in this month. Keep writing

  2. 2nd comment, so an Android atleast…. #AmNotChoosy

  3. Damn….third ;-( off to reading it now.

  4. Dear All-Whose-Comments-Have-Not-Been-Deleted,

    I am Arnab’s senior from college so I can take the mantle of being his ‘superior’. You can send your complaints to me. I will admonish him and force him to take appropriate action.

    *edik odik takiye astey korey* Iye Arnab, Yami Gautam-er poster keu pathalo?

  5. I wonder how you managed not to review GOW ! πŸ™‚

  6. I think its an privilege with the popularity you have, I would ever be within the first 10 to comment on your post.. But looks like it’s happening.. Your blogs have always been a discussion topic for our coffee table talks…i have not read this one yet though, I am sure I am going to like it.. I will keep it for the day to have some good laugh. Cheers.

  7. Mistake!!
    * a priviledge

    Sorry to have taken another slot, guys.

  8. I went to the Bangalore Railway Station yesterday and was browsing HigginBottoms, in the hope of picking up some pulp Hindi fiction. No such luck. But I spotted “The Mine”. Count me impressed and thank your publisher for being really on the ball. πŸ™‚

  9. MumbaiMeriJaan July 10, 2012 — 4:56 am

    “nasty mails referencing my physical appearance, the language I speak, the state I belong to are not appreciated.”
    what about polite emails obsessing about your physical appearance or observations of the state of the State you belong to (you meant the great state of the United States.. amirite?).
    or can u only GIVE IT ..with nasty (but hilarious ofcourse) observations of Dolly Bindra’s physical appearance (how dare you ..srsly.. !!).

  10. The problem MumbaiMeriJaan is that when you put yourself up in the film world where your primary asset is your physical appearance (Dolly Bindra was a one time “heroine”), it is one of the things that will get commented on. Just like you will comment on the quality of my English or on the maturity (or lack of it) of my opinions.

  11. When I was just 3 post old on my blog, I mailed you asking for your opinion of my blog. I was surprised , elated and grateful when you replied with your honest and invaluable remarks. And whenever I later grudged you for not replying to comments on blog or Twitter, I recall that and I feel thankful. So please have that much leeway for new writers who ask for your opinions. I understand that you have a busy life and that you can’t reply to all, but please keep that door open . It might help and encourage many.

  12. Sumit,

    Asking for opinions is one thing and then trolling when one doesn’t get it is another. I hope you understand that. I try my level best with new writers. Also saying “Your blog sucks. Look at how I do it” isnt really the best way to get a comment, is it?

  13. “when you put yourself up in the film world where your primary asset is your physical appearance”

    Actresses says that they want to show their acting skills. Not their ‘assets’. And they have equal right to attack your ‘vulnerabilities’ !

    You frustrated ugly fatso who could not screw girls in college. You will burn with anger when u see GOW as the hero has 4 wives of different flavors. LOL .

    its was a joke.

    You are definitely a fine person !

  14. @ GB ,
    Yes I do understand that, and hope trolls understand that as well. And do people seriously ask you these questions? I can only laugh. I hope that they now realize such behavior only makes an excellent post. Nothing else.

  15. “I love you Himesh janoo”!! Seriously, is there a snap of you somewhere, wearing a cap?? πŸ˜€

  16. You complete eight years of blogging and you don’t acknowledge Kanti Shah. Grumble.

  17. Irritated Monkey July 10, 2012 — 7:27 am

    I love you Arnab Janoooo

  18. Arnab – nicely written . I can safely say you have reached a pinnacle where there are lots of aspiring writers look upto you hence they may ask for an opinion so whats the harm in guiding them ? from my personal experience the person who introduced me to your keyboard imprints in Social Media ( Blog , Facebook , twitter) was excited that he had a discussion with you about how to release a book or approach the publishers

  19. Ha ha…you might want to mention the iPod/iPad thing in bold fonts!

  20. Probably the best open letter till date. Btw, people mistake you for Himesh? How in the world… never mind. People are capable of anything πŸ™‚

  21. haha .. the best part was mistaking u for Herr Himesh .. huhuhuh.

  22. Awesome post, as usual. But why would they confuse you with Himesh???? I just don’t get that one.

  23. Whoa, looks like you really scared people off! No “iPod please” comment for the first time in how many years?:) And now that you mention, you do bear a striking resemblance with Himesh, how could I not see this all through.

  24. You do have a wicked sense of humour! And it is only getting better with the years.

  25. i dont want ipod….!!!lol….!

  26. i love himesh too

  27. Trolls will always be trolls, they wont stop spamming you whatever you say or write …..but this was funny nevertheless…. πŸ™‚

  28. Good post. On a related note – this looks like the age of “open letters” πŸ˜› . I am wondering if we’ll see a response like “An open letter to greatbong’s open letter” and so on and so forth or rather “An opaan later to greatbong’s opaan later” :P:P:P

  29. hmmm….I don’t receive such emails….Looks like I have not arrived yet :-/

  30. Prasun Banerjee July 11, 2012 — 4:15 am

    Yami Gautam ???? when did that happen ? you didnt even review Vicky Donor !

    On a side note … i remember you posting some time back that you had a xbox … have never read any gaming related posts in here though ???

  31. Arnab_da,
    PC wants to become the FM again .

  32. Dont spare anyone, just because people expect a modicum of respect from you. And I truly mean anyone including your readers’ maturity or lack there of. Please publish more, you seem to have tapered of late

  33. Oh! i remember being heart broken about the Ipod thing many years ago… i had finally thought that this was no Spam.

    I guess internet trolling is part and parcel of blogging and the popular blogs all have a “you suck” fan who would put the comment on every post but not desist reading the blog. one could “not go to the restaurant you dont like” rather than leave comments that leave a foul taste. but i guess anonymity of the internet has made critics out of all of us.
    I agree with Mani and others you have not written as much in the last few months, is it the work on your new book?

  34. So you have put comment moderation on now??? good…

  35. Aparna, One comment passing into moderation automatically does not mean I have put comment moderation in.

    I don’t write not because of any book but because, as I have pointed out before, the ceaseless “You sucks” have just worn me down. I don’t feel motivated to write as much as I used to be.

  36. Hi Arnab…

    Would you have any plans for launching audio books for “May I Hebb Your Attention Pliss” and “The Mine” ? Lolz… Since it is an open letter, thought I might make a sales pitch here πŸ˜‰

  37. Too tnyash to review Bhooter Bhobishyot?

  38. it seems that either you are angry or really hurt

  39. Though I have never commented here, I am a regular reader of your blog since 2007. But today on seeing your comment that you no longer feel motivated to blog I felt compelled to comment. You are really gifted and definitely deserve an audience. So please dont give up on blogging just because of the trolls. I am sure there are many silent readers like me who eagerly look forward to the next dose of your acerbic wit. Hope this makes you feel a little better. Happy blogging!!

    1. Totally agree with Silent Reader; a lot of us drop in and smile, ponder, discuss, chuckle furtively, bless u and go on our way. Frankly, your writing has made me feel lighter on many a morning when not all was perfect with the world; more imp, you’re that rare voice from Right-of-Centre camp who is articulate and counters popular beliefs effectively.
      This is one of your best posts in recent years. Cheers and mucho power to ur keyboard !

  40. Luckily, Arnab has thousands of fans, friends, readers & well-wishers but not sycophants or groupies.

    Otherwise, the GreatBong portal would end up like the Congress, where Arnab’s great-grandchildren would be expected to take over the family legacy, while TV anchors would be screaming for them to abdicate the “throne”. πŸ™‚

    Don’t believe me? Check this out:

    P.S: The best thing for Arnab is to go on Zee News and be interviewed by Swati Chaturvedi on the topic of those who write him closed letters. I feel Swati is a much better journalist (refined, well-informed, professional) than the unkempt ignoramuses Burkha and Saga-reek-a.

  41. It sucks to see you saying things like “trolls on my blog have worn me down and no motivation to write or whatever”. And it equally sucks that people like me never bothered to comment here or let you know how your posts over the years have helped us see different perspectives to a lot of issues (equal thanks to some of the people frequently commenting here) and provided us with a regular dosage of laughter during mundane work hours. Point is, if someone like me, being a die-hard avid follower of your blog doesn’t feel the need to comment in six years, I’m sure there are many like me or worse! That makes the count of people who read and silently appreciate your writing, several times more than the trolls, who still read your blog, and act smarty-pants by being cynical. So, keep writing, more often, if I may add!

  42. ShinigamiKirin July 13, 2012 — 7:07 pm

    Please keep on writing. I don’t always agree with you, but I check your page pretty often. Guys like you make the day for guys like me who have nothing better to do than surf the net while at office.
    You need to keep on writing man.

  43. You should write regularly. Don’t let few comments made by some losers come in way between your writings and our laughs. As your GOD would have said, Ai sala !

  44. I am in the sixth year of reading your blog, but have commented, may be, 10-12 times. I think there are hundreds of readers of your blog like me, who silently read and appreciate what you write. They don’t comment because 1) they don’t always have any particular thing to say and 2) they form their opinion about varied things from your blogs (and also the ensuing comments), rather than giving opinion. So it is my earnest request, please don’t feel demotivated. For every troll that says “You suck”, there are hundreds who feel “You rock!”.

  45. Keep writing man, you are not doing too bad a job πŸ™‚
    Love your style

  46. Keep writing mate. I am one of your silent admirers, regular reader (I open this site first thing every morning) but infrequent commenter. May be 6th or 7th year into reading this blog since I was introduced by a common friend and also by a student of your dad. Even then you had that much reach:).

  47. Yours truly is guilty of the accusation made by Indro “And it equally sucks that people like me never bothered to comment here…”. If it is any motivation, my copy of your book “May I hebb your attention please” is doing the rounds of the world (also and thus being guilty of impacting the sales)… Ever since I stumbled on your blog, I revisited (especially guruji’s movies) the movies I saw in my “Younger” days and am continuing to do so.
    –A silent Admirer of your scripts

  48. Nice post..sounds sincere and earnest. But its really dissapointing to know that u r not motivated enough to write, because of the “you suck” comments.
    I know a lot of people (including me ) who are great admirers of your writing but do not leave comments very regularly. Will try to be more regular on that if it helps you feel motivated :). Keep writing Arnab !!

  49. Hi

    I have been following your blog and am greatly entertained by it.
    Please do not pay attention to the “you suck” comments. Do keep writing.


  50. Hey Arnab,

    I think your blog really rocks. I may not always agree with whatever you say but I love your writing style and I really enjoyed “May I Hebb your attention pliss”. Don’t let negative comments bog you down. I hope you keep writing always!

  51. I agree with everyone above, don’t stop because of haters. Look at Aishwarya Rai, she is making pubic appearances inspite of nasty things said about her.
    I come here looking for a new-movie review. But they are few are far off late. Please keep’em coming.

  52. OMG! A bad typo in the above comment.

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