Sunday, September 30, 2007

Who was my best childhood friend?

I wouldn’t have thought if not someone asked this. But thanks to David, who asked and confused me by this simple question.

I thought of the many different things.

Was it the nice ball that my uncle has given me? I was delighted after getting it and played many years with that football.

Was it the cricket bat my father gifted after passing class I? Not to mention cricket was and still very close to my heart. We couldn’t live without playing cricket, be it small or long, we had to play everyday.

Was it the sets of kites or the ducks in the ponds, I used to see by my window in leisure times?

Was it the solitary banana and papaya tree in our house? The fresh guava, coconut, palm, mango, jackfruit, and pineapple we used to get/stole from the neighbouring areas climbing the trees.

Was it my drawing board I used to paint anything and everything? Especially I used to draw sceneries.

Was it my mirror, where I used to check how much I had grown up and always feeling scared as I thought, I will die soon if I grow too much?

Was it my dairy, where I used to write some funny things, small poems, cricket scores and paste the paper cutting pics of sportsmen?

Or Was it my strange thoughts and imaginations? I was crazy sometime and behaved abnormally for these thoughts.

Or the imaginary structures we used to make with dirty clays and sands?

Or Was it the fairy tales of “Thakurmar Jhuli”/ “Gopal Bhar” / “Sujon Harobola” or “Ramayana” and “Mahabharata”, two of my favourite TV serials I used to see in my childhood.

I am totally puzzled. Ten choices, and I don’t know what my favourite thing was, whom I can call my best friend. Which is why, I took some time to answer this question.

I decided to think again on my childhood. Closed my eyes for five minutes and got the answer.

I can see, With Him, I am playing funny games like kith kith, Langra chor (have to touch other player by running in one leg), hide and seek, football and cricket, sometime customized TT and hockey in the adjacent areas of our house in Kharagpur. I was never alone. He was always with me, from the day my first cell formed, from the moment I landed in this earth. He accompanied me each and every moment in my childhood, starting from going school, to play in the evening, from stealing the mango pickle in kitchen, to study together, we were together even when we fell sick.
I really miss his presence now. He was my best friend and still he is and will be. I love him.
He is no one but my Twin Bro :-) my best childhood friend.

PS: Both the pics are drawn in MS paint, I was conscious while drawing the first one, so personally second one is better to me.


Update on 01st Oct 4:00pm - This post is mentioned as one of the Top Posts Of The Day in Davids blog and another good news is, our project in Greece has gone live today successfully. So I am happy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Chak De, Chak De and just Chak De

The Chak De effect is still on.

Yesterday India won first Cricket World Cup Tewnty20 final in Johannesburg. It is a great moment for us Indians. I want to congratulate Dhoni and Indian team for a spirited and wonderful performance. Special thanks for defeating arch rival Pakistan two times in this tournament, both the time they kept their nerve cool in close nail biting contests. We are now the World Champion and nothing can make us happier than this.

Yes, I am happy, happy the way the boys fought, the way they kept their temperaments cool, demonstrated perfect attitude and gesture. I am happy with the captaincy of Dhoni, an honest and cool Captain. He apologises in front of media for his mistakes (done after first match), donate t-shirt to his fan(after final), and cheer up the weakest member of the playing eleven(Joginder Sharma). What more we can expect from a new young captain.

He is not rigid like the wall, not whimsical like mr chappal, not tensed like the pakis, not arrogant like the Freddies. I can remember those days when he used to come to Kharagpur to play small tournaments which was played with tennis balls. He came from a lower middle class family of Ranchi, Jharkhand. Jharkhand state is close to my home town Kharagpur and one of the local don (Ram Babu – who is now enjoying life time imprisonment) used to organize cricket tournaments at the time of Durga puja. Dhoni played one innings brilliantly and DRM (Devotional Railway Manager) promised him a group IV (lowest rank) railway job, his father is also a group IV railway worker. That small boy is now the leading the World champion team.
Thank You Dhoni. You are our ideal leader, inspiration for millions of youths.

Thanks to Yuvi (the most aggressive player of the tournament, six 6s in an over and fastest fifty, 2 MOM), RP (My man of the series – I don’t know how Afridi got it!!), Pathan (Hero of both the Pak match), Rohit (MOM against SA), Gambhir (highest scorer of final, second highest of the tournament), Uthappa (for 50 and bowl out pak in first match), Sreesanth ( for agressiveness and outstanding against Aussies), Joginder (for two great final overs), Viru, Bhajji for their mature guidance and whole team India (except Agarkar – who virtually turned India’s game to other side couple of times in this tournament). It was a dream journey for the young team. Thanks for entertaining us.

I thank Misbah-ul-Haq for being the tragic hero and making both the Indi-Pak game so close and exiting. He lost his nerve in the nail biting contest. My sincere sympathy is with him but not with Pakistan team, whose captain claims that “All Muslims of the World” are Pak supporter. Probably Shoaib Malik forgot the hero of the final is an Indian as well as from the same religion. I don’t know when they will grow up.

Even our Chak De hero Shahrukh Khan was there ( in New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg) who represent India and not any community. It is a matter of great coincidence or a deep influence or utter surprise I don’t no, Indian emerges triumphant in three major tournaments in last 2 month, Neheru Cup Football, Asia Cup Hockey and Now World Cup T20 Cricket, after the release of movie “Chak De India”. They simply outplayed opponents in these championships.

Prabhjot, Rajpal, Tirkey, Baichung, Pradeep, Subrata are our heroes and it’s the time to cheer for them. But I doubt how long they can keep their consistencies.

It is not possible that a movie will influence the performance of a team, but can motivate some players. Last year we came across same kind of situation when the student mob protested in the “Rang De” fashion against the Indian Govt for anti-reservation issue. Similarly there are discrete incidents where “Lage Raho” rejuvenated some of us for 'Gandhigiri'. But I think one movie can not change the society or nation or team drastically. What do you think?

PS: This pic is not taken by me. source: ABP news paper.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Couple of pics in MS Paint

In a charming sea
Sailing a solitary boat
Like the flying birds, it is free.

The setting Sun
A lady is waiting in a rowing boat
Deeply embedded in nature with the melancholy tone

PS: Recently I am enjoying Microsoft Paint (Programs->Accessories-> Paint) like as the early days of my computer usage. Though I can not make the lines perfectly in paint (like the face of the lady in second pic) still enjoying it. Nature was always my favorite subject of painting in childhood. I guess the same thought is coming back again while using this tool.

And here goes the link with some more imaginations.

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Piece of bread

A small shop
Few items to buy
In hurry bread dropped

In the lane
The beggar sat on a corner
Next to a street dog, together


The lad smiled
What a nice gesture
He must remember me for ever

PS: pic is drawn in MS Paint in 2 min, so bit of imperfection, Guess whom I tried to portray in the left one

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Few more aspects of Blogging

I discussed many features of blogging in my previous posts, and some of the interpretations have been agreed by other bloggers. Here I am writing about another interesting aspect of blogging - words used in comments and tagging, back linking.

Why choosing of words are delicate? It is sensitive because of the cultural difference and word interpretation by non-eng speaking bloggers.

We are not playing any world championship in blogoshpere, not competing to each other like liberal and conservatives. So, if you don’t like a blogger obviously you will not tag him/her and will not write abusive posts. Your rigidness can make you infamous, so everyone try to be polite in his or her blog.

But sometime it may happen that a comment, constructive criticism can be taken wrongly. Even a positive tagging can be inerpreted in different way. For an example I tagged one friend analyzing his/her blog “simple” .. and excellent. The word “Simple” created a mess and s/he interpreted it wrongly. I feel sorry for that. I like the blog and that the reason I tagged. This confusion happened because of language issue. I strongly feel if English is not your first language you have to be careful in choosing words. For an example last Friday I have seen one status message of one of my friend’s gtalk - “Again Friday”. It sounds like “oh no not again” – though what he meant was completely different. Basically he translated from his mother taungue and achieved this phrase.

But the most important thing is the cultural difference. Let me give an example, last year I wanted to invite one old colleague (she is older than my mom) in our house. We thought its better to go and knock her door, rather call her for dinner. That’s what we do in India, but not in Europe. Basically we disturbed her that we realized later, she felt offended and we apologized. There are many delicate examples like this where simplest behavior, small gesture matters most. These are nothing but cultural difference of different society.

Thus when you are commenting/replying any comment or tagging/back linking others its better to keep in mind about these factors. We have to appreciate each others culture. Words like thanks, nice weekend, Namaste matters. Try to reply the comments from other bloggers if s/he has given some elaborate feedback, coz s/he can expect your reaction against the comment. Even a small :-) smile can make us happy.

I have read some of the posts regarding Tagging. So we all know its importance and do not want to discuss it now. Similarly back linking is important (tagging a specific post is called back linking - You can track tagging or back linking by Technorati or by setting->comment->enable backlinks in blogger service). Don’t forget to back link if you are writing your post based on someone’s basic thoughts.

PS: this pic is the back view from our apartment.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Post of the Month : David's Tips for Free Writing.

There are many aspects of blogging, one of them are obviously to enhance our writing skills, but if we get ready made tips in a series of posts, that’s really helpful. Yes, David Mcmahon a Melbourne based journalist, photographer and bestselling novelist, came up with a series of amazing posts in his blog for aspiring writers.

David emphasised in one the post that – “This series of posts is not just for people who are writing novels or other books. It is for writers of any description - essayists, those doing creative writing courses, or any of the many niches for writing, photography or blogging.”

He has discussed following topics in his blog so far. I find all of them extremely helpful, may be helpful for you also. I thank David for sharing so much valuable experience in free, helping and motivating others and cheering us constantly.

How Do I Get A Monopoly On Query Letters?,
So You Feel Like You’ve Hit A Brick Wall?,
Don't Drive Yourself Too Hard,
Gotta Go With The Flow,
Let Me Help You With That Book You're Writing.

Here go some of the tips I liked most in his Telling Write From Wrong series.

“To those writing books or novels, my first piece of advice is to write a short synopsis. When I wrote my first novel, Vegemite Vindaloo, I started with great momentum. But I didn't write a synopsis, so I got derailed very quickly. I could not figure out where the plot was going.”

“First sentence ain't happenin'? No worries, just start with the first thought that comes into your head.”

“Recognise a moment of inspiration. Write it down. And when you are back at your computer, allow it to guide you. Sometimes these ideas ``write'' themselves, but sometimes they need a lot of sweat and toil to translate into words on a computer screen.”

“..there is no "correct" wordage on a daily basis. A steady output works for some people, while bursts of frenetic writing interspersed with several days away from the plot works for others. You write what you want to write, when you want to write.”

This is my choice for best post for the month of August-September 2007.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Hits and Comments in Blogs..

How important is to read other blogs?

I will say, it is extremely important. Otherwise there is no meaning to be in blogosphere. I conducted a poll in this blog few weeks back and 85% of the voter claimed that they read more than 10 blogs per week. This is amazing.

Reading others blog is important because if you are not a good reader you can not be a good writer, something like, to be a good speaker, you must have to be a good listener. Another point is to know different dimensions and mindsets of bloggers. Believe me you will not be biased by other bloggers, you will learn a lot, will know many different things, like photography, innovative way of expressing yourself. It will basically widen your thoughts.

To read others blogs you can use Bloglines or subscriber or reader. I guess this is much better than blogrolling, as you will see the update instantaneously. You should not have to click manually to every blog.
But sometime blogrolling is good, to let others know about your choices, to access your favorite blogs directly.

What blogs to visit regularly is depends on you, but recently I found one funny thing, that most of the bloggers prefer to visit the blogs of opposite sex. Initially I thought it is my personal trend, but gradually discovered it’s a common trend. However there are exceptions. Just see your comments or last visited blogs, you will have an fair idea about it. In my case the proportion is 60:40 (sometime 70:30).

How important is to have comments and hits in your blog?

If your quality of blog is good, it is obvious that you will have huge no of hits. But its not going to happen in a day. You can track no of hits in many ways like feed burner, site meter.

Hits and comments are important for inspiration. One of my senior told me each of us needs a bit of motivation for next step, except few great men like Buddha. Thus every blogger is concerned about hits/comments and its trends. See the comment below from Chewy – (wrote to me against my last post)
"Some people try blogging because it's the "in thing" to do. Then they stop because they don't get any comments.I've learned that if I visit other people's blogs and leave a comment they will most likely return the visit and leave a message."

I have seen some blogs where there are huge no of hits but limited comments; it’s mainly because they don’t comment in other blogs. But commenting is very delicate matter in blogosphere. Comments like “Nice post”, “Thought Provoking Post” are not very interactive way of communication or putting your opinion. Try to write something elaborately about what you like and dislike. But I think its better not to write what you dislike strongly, because it can hurt the blog writer. We are in a digital community where everything is being judged by words and images. So try to encourage others and avoid putting hard and abusive comments. If you are a blogger never use anonymous coating.
Constructive criticism is most important thing in a comment. You must put your thoughts which reflect your personality. But many blogger can not accept it easily. It happened to me as well, I get bit depressed when I got poor rating in my pictures.But I still I like negative comments as it helps me to improve and it reinvigorates me.

You can have many hits from different types of Internet users, but very few of them will put comment. If the reader is not a blogger, he hardly gets interest to put comment. Thus even though you write well and don’t comment others, you are not going to have a proper reflection of your post. You may think this is superb, but most of the readers may not like it. I think a post without criticism means nothing. So if you feel to comment others post just write it, but never do it for shake of writing comment. I read almost all posts of my co-bloggers, but don’t comment in all.

Tagging and back linking are another interesting topic in blogging, I will write in another post.

PS: This pic is off the topic, of my niece (my sister's daughter) was taken when she was only 1 month old, now she is 3 months old. I am missing her.

Monday, September 10, 2007

What to post?

I read many blogs in a week, now it has become much easier to use this one as I started reading them by Google reader (see this video if you are still not convinced to use any reader).

The natures of posts are really varied in nature, quality and representations. Most of the bloggers posts observations about their own life or things associated to them.

But I doubt how many of us are writing the sensitive issues of our mind? Aren’t we afraid to post controversial issues? Like political, religious, erotic topics ..
Well its up to you, what will you post, post any topic in which you are comfortable.

But in order to attract wider audience your posts have to be versatile or generic. If you are an Indian and mainly post on India always how a person from UK will feel interested in your blog. Its natural. The topic should be interesting, not always in a politician’s voice, like do this, we have to do that etc.

Look and feel and innovation matters. The layout have to be colorful, posts should have relevant pictures to attract readers. No one of us have enough time to read each and every line, unless it is interesting or nicely written.

But the question I face from new bloggers is what to post?

My answer will be post whatever you want. In my last post I talked about blogging in a theme of your interests. And it at least helped one person.
Its important what you want, more readers, more hits, more comments. Then think of the bigger audience, post on the hot and burning but interesting topics. But if you are free bird, just post whatever you feel, its your own domain and you have absolute freedom of expressing yourself.
But be careful as well.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Why Blogging?

Because I want to blog, I want to make an identity, make a community, and share my thoughts and pics?

No, after certain point most of us blog because of our blogging syndrome.

We come here to write something, but at the end of the day end up in nothing. Because of work pressure, lack of innovation, not having good writing skills, not being able to put up the thoughts?

No. The main reason is we don’t know the reason why we are here. It has to be clear in bloggers’ mind.

Innovation does matter, but what matter most are the ideas. Ideas are basically thoughts of a particular direction; I mean to say of a particular topic or aim.

Skills and time are not big factors, you can accrue skills with time and you can always find time for your things of interests.

But if only blogging is your interest, you are gone. Soon you will suffer from blogging syndrome and haunt for topics.

Random thoughts can not keep your blog regular and ever lasting. It will die after few months/years unless you have extremely good skills. I am sorry for being harsh; I know how much we love our blogs, but this fact dear.

Then what can make your blog be exceptional, different from others?

One way is to attract your readers with some interesting tags. Keep a suspense tag which will invoke regularly and bloggers will come to your blog, just for it.

Another way is if you live with an idea and if your blog reflects that idea/dream then you are in the right track. The momentum, pace will come from your dreams. You should not have to haunt for subjects, because you know exactly why you are here.

Let’s come to some examples.
David’s Authorblog has many innovative tags to attract bloggers worldwide. Weekly blog rating (Aussiejourno's Weekly Blog Awards), Weekend Wandering, Post of the day etc. His blog will be ever green as he knows why he is in blogosphere (“Totally committed to encouraging excellence in others”).

There are many examples. Chewy, from Western Massachusetts, United States, just enjoys painting, this is her passion. And she knows why she is here.

Well, not everyone has a passion and that never means you should not blog. You can catch a theme of your interest. A good example if Niki’s blogs, a very simple but straight minded and excellent blog of an honest Japanese girl. The blog is nothing but her online dairy. So she enjoys every bit of it. It is important.

Blogging is a good addiction as long as you are enjoying it. Happy Blogging.

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 2, 2007

I donno what to answer

Dear dada,

Thanks for sending it such a good gift in my 10th birthday. I like Harry Potter very much. I am very happy dada. Missed you a lot in my birthday party. You know, I got a video games set from papa. Mom prepared lot of sweets and dishes yesterday.

All my friends came in yesterday’s party except Rahaman. I missed him too. I want to go to his house just to know if everything is well, but mom is not allowing me. She is afraid that I will eat something bad in their house. You know beef is prohibited in our society. Papa told Cow is treated as our mother in our religion. In our house we have a picture of God Krishna who stands with a Cow. Mom worships him everyday. She tells cow gives us milk, cow is our mother. Then why others eat it? They should not.

But then why we eat mutton! Last time we went to Kalighat temple in Kolkata, I have seen hundreds of innocent goats for slaughter. I asked papa why we are killing them. Papa told it is religious practice. I don’t know what religion is. But if religion asks my father to kill any man, will he do the same.

In Bengali New Year my papa worships fishes and then mom cooked it. We love fishes. But if we worship, it is also god. Papa told we can eat it as it is allowed in Hindu religion and I have to follow the same as I am also a Hindu by birth. But I don’t know other religion. Why can’t I choose my religion? I will be biased if I follow one religion. I don’t know. I only wish Rahaman is well and will join me today in football match. I love him.

And dada Love you too.
Yours’ Papu.
Posted by Picasa