Time flies when you are having fun. Or when you are having pitched battles on comment threads.
On August 20, 2014, this blog turns ten
I never thought I would be saying this, when ten years ago, on a cold Detroit evening, all alone at my first job, away from the comforting shelter of graduate life, I had started typing into the dark. I had never thought there would lie in the future, book deals, writing opportunities in places I could never dream of writing for, and many many great friends. There is a life lesson here, something about taking that first step and not holding back, but I will save the details for a TEDx talk.
So thank you. Thank you everyone. Thank you, the Himesh worshippers, the “SRK is god” olytes, the ipod-wanters, the Internet Hindus, the sickulars, the haters, the Gunda cultists. Thank you, Luck, for giving me an audience. Thank you Wife for giving me the time. Thank you Life for keeping me alive.
Far more deserving have not been so privileged.
In celebration of these ten years, I have compiled a list of ten posts. Ten posts that capture the essence of this blog. The selection algorithm was the exact same as the one used to rank Indian engineering colleges in popular magazines.
That is, there was none.
So in no order, except that of randomness (for isn’t that what this blog is all about), I give you:
1. Hottie Hottie Bong Bong: The first of my posts that got some attention, this is me writing on one of the toughest subjects in the world, namely Bengali women. I have written about Bongness in general subsequently (and I prefer this piece personally in terms of the writing) but the first one always has the charm.
2. Mithunism the religion: The post that made the blog.
3. Gunda: Gunda and Kanti Shah have gone onto become cult. I would like to think this post contributed a wee bit to that. Something that I should say here that I have wanted for a long time. This post is not *really* about Gunda. It’s a critique of criticism (cinematic as well as literary). How? I will explain when the blog turns twenty.
4. Boy Prince: I love writing stories. I love writing about politics. Sometimes I do both together. (This post had a sequel too)
5. The Day We Won The Cup: Reminiscences of 1983. Thoda sentimental. For a more mordant read, allow me to recommend Walking With The Men In Blue which is my take on how Arundhati Roy would have written on the 2011 World Cup triumph.
6. The Great Wall Street Meltdown: Multi-part series on the Wall Street Meltdown. One of the greatest compliments I received was someone saying that he ace-ed a GD solely based on this 3 part series. I realize he may have been exaggerating but still…
7. Kaho Na Massacre Hain: A few days ago, I had written a post with pictures and single lines. Someone on Twitter said something on the lines of “Inspired by Buzzfeed?” (twitterspeak for: so desperate you are copying Buzzfeed style). The post linked here was written in 2006. This was before Buzzfeed was popular. So the answer is “No”.
8. A Letter From Andaman Cellular Jail: The people who brought you freedom. People like my grandfather.
9. The Killing Fields of Nandigram: I have written serious political posts many-a-time on this blog, (including recent multi-part deconstructions of Modi and Kejriwal) but none of them got 667 comments. On one single post. Around 2007, I had written a number of posts where I had prophesied the kind of government Mamata Banerjee would lead (captured succinctly here in this post on the death of Jyoti Basu) and now that I have been proven right, allow me my moment of “I told you so”
10. I am going to cheat here. Your favorite RTDM post. That’s the tenth.
Is there anything else I have to say?
Of course there is.
I may have tweeted this many times before but I realize I have not mentioned this on my blog.
My third novel “Yatrik” comes out September. Here is the cover, an endorsement, the blurb and a link to first few chapters of the book.
Please do buy the book. And do keep coming back to the blog.
Till the next ten.
Arnab Ray’s novel Yatrik is a fascinating, fast paced read about looking back at life from the threshold of death, at secrets that surprise us. The novel mixes realism and the fantastic superbly, and gives us characters that we learn to love in spite of their flaws.
– Chitra Divakaruni, author of Oleander Girl and Palace of Illusions
‘Anushtup Chatterjee, I am really sorry to have to tell you this. But you have died.’
Anushtup Chatterjee is thirty-two years old.
He hates his mother. His job is a dead end. And his girlfriend has left him.
Then one silent moonlit night, he wakes up in a deserted field in the middle of nowhere, with no recollection of where he is or how he got there. His wallet is gone. So is his cell phone.
He is not alone though.
There is another man there, a stranger with a gentle voice and a humble mustache, who has something rather unbelievable to say to him.
That he, Anushtup Chatterjee, has already died.
Mysterious and achingly poignant, Arnab Ray’s Yatrik is a story about hope and aspiration, love and regret, of the choices we make and those that life makes for us.
Releasing on Kindle and in print September 2014.
41 thoughts on “Ten Years Of The Blog”
Best of luck for yatrik…insist on paid online version
I have been more of a silent reader of your blog for many years now, but I must say that you are one of the few who keeps humour alive in the over cluttered blogosphere. I will personally pick “Hottie Hottie Bong Bong” to be my favourite among the ones you listed 😛 Also among my favourites are your earlier posts about your JU days, jheel paar and the Kolkata that was 🙂 Looking forward to Yatrik. Keep writing and hope the 20th year gets much bigger than this 🙂
Everything that launches on September 9 at the Apple event.
Well, I have been reading ur blog from last year but I have read almost each of ur post partly to make up for lost time and partly out of never ending hunger to laugh, get amused and yess, to ponder!! In fact, readers like me should thank u.
But there is one complaint, after being avid reader of your blog, I look at every other funny or amusing blogger as ‘ wannabe Greatbong’.
My favorites are reviews of ‘ great’ movies and other than them your blog on your 30th birthday about conversation between the 20 u and the 30 u. It touched some random chords of the heart!!
Best of luck for the future!!!
Letter from Andaman Cellular jail still the best Arnab. Thanks for all the posts and hope to see more.
Wish your blog a Happy Birthday and many many returns.
Your post about the 1-900 number – the post through which I became familiar with this blog. I would include that as the 10th post. Very funny and real.
Congratulations on 10th year and wish you many more.
Congratulations on reaching 10! My favorites are all your posts on nostalgia and 90’s. The “Basic Instinct’ one, desibaba, baba sehgal, Kalipujo… Keep writing…Please can we have another book on the same line of ‘MIHYAP’ ? ‘The Mine’ was way too disturbing…
Congs Arnab. I thank an evening at a bookstore/citycenter kolkata some 4 years back for having introduced me to MIHYAP and a few months later on to meet you at the same place. As always,may Prabhuji (of all) bless you and your circle.
Having read the first 25 pages of the Yatrik,I can’t wait to dive further when it releases.
Congratulations Arnab on completing a decade of top notch work.
I’ll confess to having lived under a proverbial Internet rock, as I only started following RTDM last year. And that too, via what I think would’ve been an unconventional route. I picked up ‘The Mine’ one random evening, a book which turned out to be a personal favorite but which also got me to following your twitter feeds and your blog posts. Your posts have made many a boring office afternoon brighter, many a dull evening lighter. Some posts, their comments and rebuttals by some fantastic followers too that you have here have made many a ‘flaming’ topic clearer and myself, less ignorant (even the trolls have provided mild amusement). Here’s to another 10. All the best with your next book, am sure it will do spectacularly well
Happy birthday to your blog! 🙂 And best wishes to your forthcoming novel.
Happy birthday RTDM…..blog that gave a voice to our generation
Congratulations man. I have been reading since 2005 after one of my friends forwarded a post. You have been the one constant in my ever changing life.
The people who brought you freedom.
*The people who brought us freedom. (Unless you already count yourself as an American).
Apart from that thanks a million for 10 great years of reading your blog.
When people say apples are good for you they mean for us. So ….
Congratulations, Arnab. 10 years of good writing.
Though mostly a silent visitor, Mithunism, Gunda and humor are the factors which attracted me to the blogs and yours was the first one. Like few other visitors MIHYAP was my first ever flipkart, rather online purchase, I couldn’t believe when the book was actually delivered in remote rural area via Indian Post. Many good memories. All the best for the next 10, 20, 30 years. Eagerly waiting for Yatrik.
Happy birthday, blog.
Atleast on the 10th year celebration you should have put up Gunda and Kanti Shah specials . They have been the pillars of success for this blog isnt it ? looking forward to the adda in Kolkata
Miss the Parnab post among your greatest hits (& your archives).
But we will always have this – https://www.facebook.com/groups/170719289629818/
Many congratulations on completing the first 10 years. A decade of writing is an achievement! Your writing has been fantastic and it’s been such a pleasure reading your thoughts. I haven’t been a vocal reader but believe me there are times when I have reread your articles for the sheer pleasure of it. Your article on the “attack” by terrorists on Kolkata and their subsequent plight as they get stuck at Great Eastern and in the badh etc has been my absolute favourite.
we share a lot in common – same city, nearly same school, same age group, same passion for films, for writing and for humour. I often feel that its only because you and Diptakirti wrote everything I thought of before I could verbalise it, I never did get to start my own blog. 😉
My commendations and congratulations once again. Best of luck for the next 10.
And, please write more often…
Perfect ranking, unfortunately there are only 10 positions. But I guess all the Sourav Ganguly posts (last bow, etc) would go in No. 10. Because I believe he was the best no. 10 that we ever had, although he could never wear it.
Hottie hottie … was the first one that I read, Gunda post made you a celebrity, but I still think the “Boy Prince” was the best one to read. Because, you are better in telling stories … That fairy tale badly needs another episode now ….
Oh, and Happy Birthday dear “greatbong.net” …
Congrats! Keep Going!
Happy Birthday Blog! Thank you Arnab for writing such articles and for being an inspiration to me for starting my own little blog. It was a pleasure to have met you at the last two book launch meets at Kolkata. Here is looking forward to many more from you…..
Keep the fire….congrats.
Thank you for all these years of humor & insight…I like too many posts to be able to just name a few…still some I recall from my early days of reading RTDM till now are your blogs on Mithunda, Kolkata, Dada, Recession, US presidential elections, Indian Elections, AK, Modi & Rahul Gandhi. As an avid reader I hope you come up with more posts on humor & politics like it used to be when I first started reading your blog in 2006 and write a little more frequently.
All the best for your new novel. Went through the link, it looks fascinating. Regards
Your blog gave me lot of comfort and cushion and allowed me to go easy on myself. Most of the time, what people attest as right practices or adages were mocked in your write ups and it was like healing lot of old wounds.
There are quite a few of your write ups which I like but the one which made me glue to your blog for the first time and made me go into the archives even more was the review on Arjun Rampal’ sAsambhav. That was amazing and thanks for tyhe tips you gave me on blog writing. Though not an active blogger, will revisit that for professional reasons and personal enhancement.
Look forward to the next decade!
Congratulations….must say it was the Gunda tribute which brought me to your blog.
Overall like your style and your presentation not to mention your analytical take.
On another note, cold Detroit evening….in August???
Have you stayed in Detroit?
Fortunately or unfortunately no.
Though spend close to 10 years in the Midwest (6 in in the Windy city alone); hence can (in some sense of authority) talk about the cold weather. August is arguably one of the most pleasant times you can have in the Midwest.
Congratulations! When I started following your blog, it was about to turn 5.
Number 10 for me is Urvashi ka Swayamvar, which was the first blog post that I read here. Looking forward to reading Yatrik 🙂
Congratulations. Feel good to know that I have followed you for most of these 10 years.
My personal favorite of your blogs were the one on IIPM and the letter from Andamans.
Congrats! Time flies indeed. Looking forward to Yatrik.
first post i ever read was on radio, himesh movie
god that was so hilarious 🙂
Belated happy birthday, Arnab! My 10th is coming up in a couple of weeks too, though I don’t know if I’ll do a special post for it. Seriously, who would’ve thunk way back then that such a day would ever arrive…
Trying to relive my dialup modem days, I stumbled onto your blog during my quest for that Cibola, Desibaba.com in 2004. Have been a fan eversince and enjoy it very much. Though I must confess, I miss the aggressive rants of Rishi Khujur, HH something, the measured tone of Kishor and that bong lady friend of yours. ..I forget her name. I thought MIHYAP actually was a code for PAYHIM! All the best for Yatrik,keep writing the blog though. ..I don’t think twitter does any justice to your brilliance!
Arnab Ray, also famous by his online persona greatbong, is a multiple times best blogger award winner. I have been following his blog for many years now.
Yatrik is something totally different from his previous books. May I hebb your attention pliss was collection of essays and perfect for a light read. On the other hand, The Mine was grim and scary. So scary that I never managed yo read it again even though I found it wonderful.
Yatrik is about looking back on life and find the moments that define us best. The moments which broke us, the moments which inspired us to reach for the sky, the moment which made us who we are. Anushtup gets a chance to look back on his life and watch the behind the scenes of the moments which defined him.
I had this book sitting at my table for three days while I was doing my corporate slavery. Finally this rain drentched Saturday, I sat on my balcony, feeds propped up in rain and finished this in one go. And I loved it.
I liked the style and narration of the story. The pace did not sag even in the emotional scenes. I was wondering why Anushtup only chose to see the dissapointing moments. Its only after finishing the book I realized that when we look back we only wonder what went wrong and a truly wise man would realize the magical moments he had.