Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What to write about in your blog?

An acquaintance of mine asked me this question yesterday. And since I have been going through bouts of blogger's (as opposed to writer's) block, I thought I might as well use this question as a subject for the blog. If this is the frustration you experience, I'm not sure this'll help you find a solution. I'm writing this post out of sheer admiration of your problem. Yep, I'm clueless about the problem too, and at the end of this post, I'd know if what I suggest really works.

For starters, I think one should ask himself what does he want to achieve out of running a blog. For me, it's a training ground. I use the blog to strip my mind of all its mess, so that I can go back to writing ad copy (which happens to be my Brittania brown bread earner these days)afresh. So by publishing this entry, I deprive myself of these lame thoughts when I write copy subsequently. Works for me.

One should remember that writing a blog entry is also like writing an essay in school. A blog entry is more than just a set of random words. Together, the words should represent a single thought. So if 'If your name was homework, I'd be doing you on my desk right now.' follows, 'I'd hate to have a kid like me.', you'd be killing two jokes, without a thought. You get the drift, right?

One should always write a blog responsibly, because once you upload a piece, you stand to create an impression. Even a good one, sometimes. But then, just like driving under the influence of alcohol wont cause accidents in the back seat, writing under the influence of testosterone wont result in you laughing all the way to the bed. It may however, land you a writing job in San Fernando valley. So write at your own risk.

If you are trying to cater to an audience, be sure to write about a subject they can relate to. Waxing eloquent about some movie of the 60s that no one has watched, by a famous director nobody acknowledges today will get you neither hits, nor comments. Here's the proof. The only solution to this is back-linking to your previous posts, and the previous link is self-explanatory.

Speaking of the audience which is global, be realistic of the response you'll get. By marooing a PJ in Hinglish, don't expect a blogger in Sierra Leone to recommend you on Stumbleupon. He may however appreciate your list of the 10 most 'civil' war strategies of all time.

And most importantly, learn how to end a blog entry appropriately. It helps if you can qualify your headline and summerise your blog entry in the last paragraph. For instance, it may not help me if I choose to close this paragraph by saying "I still have no clue on what to write about on my blog". Suffice it to say, "This exercise was a failure."

Friday, April 23, 2010


Today, I have finally realised that my existence has been rather listless for too long. Therefore it is time to prepare a few lists.

Buy and Large

My visits to super markets have been mostly unsuccessful. Shoppers like me usually resemble Ms. Gratel looking for bread crumbs in a colossal cabootarkhana (Pigeon house). And more often than not, we step out with pangs of regret, for buying something we never needed, or not buying something we badly needed. So here are 5 things I desperately need to pick up the next time I step into a super market:

1. A note pad to maintain To-do lists.
2. A pen to maintain To-do lists.
3. A pinboard to put up To-do lists.
4. Pins, to pin up To-do lists.
5. A paper bin, to dispose off old To-do lists.


I have a weakness here. I do not read books I buy, and devour books that I borrow. So from now on, I've decided to gift books to friends, and then borrow it from them. Here Are the books I want to

1. Bone by Jeff Smith

2. David Boring by Daniel Clowes

3. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

4. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

5. Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

My way is the Highway

I've already spent 87.42% of my life sitting on what my proctologist loves to analyse, so it's time to get a move on. These are the five places I want to visit:

1. Hrishikesh

2. Dharamsala

3. Kanha

4. Ladakh

5. Garo Hills

Face(off)book status

That is my only piece of communication to all my 5079 friends in the world. So it better be a sufficient answer to their collective 'wassup'. This is a list that's working very effectively. My last status message of "THIS IS JUST TO SEE IF CAPS LOCK WILL GET YOU TO LIKE MY STATUS." has prompted Developers at Facebook set up an office at Hyderabad, and introduce a customised thumbs down option. Sometimes your abilities to communicate can indeed change the world for better.

For a definitive list of my status messages, just follow me on Twitter and Facebook. That's only if your life is as listless as mine.


The 10 readers of this blog some 10 months have gone on to do greater things in life, like give up reading blogs for good and get back to working on their Research Papers. So to inspire the next 10 readers, I hereby announce that this blog entry will end here, rather abruptly. And the forthcoming entries will neither have anything of significance, nor will it be of any literary or entertainment value. So kindly go back to Shashi Tharoor's Tweets, Mandira Bedi's Blog or Axxo's torrents. Peace.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Countdown to the Commonwealth Games

Before we begin, let us remind you that this report is late. Of course, you may have understood that the Commonwealth Games are a matter of national pride. Which is why, we have decided to incorporate a ‘desi’ feel to it wherever applicable. And a late report is therefore putting our best Kolhapuri-clad foot forward.

Firstly, we had to tackle security. From the maoists. From the militants. And even from Mamta Bannerjee. On the lady’s advice, farmers raised a hue and cry demanding their land back. As it turned out, the sporting facilities were being constructed on agricultural land. When the media contacted Ratan Tata for his opinion, the gentleman responded with a god-bless-your-souls tone, “The authorities will have a tough time in trying to derail Mamta Di’s forces. We’d learnt it the hard way. The government will have to beef up security for the participating nations.”

We then moved to the home ministry with the request. The response was far from ideal. “Our forces have been preoccupied. The forces have been assigned to various roles in Kashmir, North East, maoist-occupied India, states having their ‘annual’ elections and the venues of IPL matches. And currently, we are short-staffed. We are not able to match the employment terms of our rivals, and as a result there is a hiring freeze. We will have to look at other avenues.”

Desperate for ideas, our officials knock on the doors of Mr. Lalit Modi. After listening to the concerns of the committee, Mr. Modi astutely recommended, “Why don’t we move the games to South Africa. Anyway, you will not be earning so much of revenue from the sale of tickets as compared to television rights. Besides, it’ll save you several operational headaches. And most importantly, in the future, nobody will take your event for granted”.

Amazed at Modi’s presence of mind, our officials prepare to have talks with our counterparts in South Africa. But then Modi returns with another masterstroke. “Why don’t we just hold a bidding to decide the new venue of the Commonwealth Games. We’ll issue tenders to everyone who’d want to own the hosting rights of the Commonwealth Games. I’ll offer myself as the commissioner for the Commonwealth Games and deal with all interested parties.” We simply couldn’t believe their ears. We hadn’t imagined we’d been sitting on a landmine all this while.

The news was out. There would be a fresh auction for the hosting of Commonwealth Games, six months before the actual event. “If we could shift the IPL in a little under two months, I’m sure we could host the Commonwealth games three times in 6 months.", said a confident Modi.

The one clause that was added for the benefit of the host was that they could field a contingent by acquiring athletes from any part of the world. But they’d have to be suitably remunerated. This changed the dynamics of the games. Suddenly athletes from Australia, Canada, Britain and Jamaica who had expressed security concerns earlier, now expressed their availability to represent the new entity that would host the Commonwealth Games. The clause also stated that the new entity could only field one foreign athlete per sport, but had to fill the rest from their catchment areas. The definition of ‘catchment areas’ was then worked upon by a team of legal experts. Insider sources revealed that a catchment area would be a geographical area that had a population of at least 500 million citizens.

This prompted a huge response from prospective bidders in the BRIC nations. The European Union decided to form a consortium, since that would give them a strong entry into the Commonwealth games. The White House announced their interest, and President Obama and his team worked on yet another Cannes-winning campaign to garner public support in winning the hosting rights.

The team from Australia backed out. The Australian spokesman was heard saying, “We just do not have the resources to participate in the auction. We’ll have to settle with mere participation in the games. Also, we have to prepare for fresh competition from the new host. Our top position at the Commonwealth Games is no longer assured like in the past.” Teams from Britain and Canada followed suit, awaiting the results of the auction.

The auction proved to very competitive. The Chinese lost out because their delegates did not understand the English auctioneer. Brazil, Russia and the EU lost out to the might of an American and an Indian consortium. Eventually, the American consortium pulled the plug and forfeited the hosting rights to the Indian consortium; realizing that to cut operational costs, they would have to outsource operations to India anyway. The Indian team was triumphant. “The hosting rights was ours in the first place”, said an official proudly brandishing the tri-colour. While the Indian Consortium is still to reveal its members, the news is that it was a union of the Indian Home Ministry, the Indian Sports Ministry, and the IPL. “There was complete transparency in the entire process”, assured Commissioner Lalit Modi.

It was decided that ‘Mumbai Indians’ would be the name of the contingent from the host’s side, and that they are on a major recruiting spree. One Swiss Tennis player, one African long distance runner, one Russian gymnast and one American Golfer (who will only closely follow the pretty Russian gymnast out of an old habit) have already confirmed their participation with the ‘Indians’. Meanwhile, the Home Ministry is reported to be working overtime to address the security concerns of participating nations. Watch this space for more.

PS: This is a figment of the author’s imagination. If any real event bares even the slightest resemblance to the one in this article, kindly congratulate the author on his accuracy.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My daily bowl of Pai-sm

Yea, my new hobby is soon becoming an addiction of sorts. So much so that I've limited my thoughts to 140 characters.

Here are some of my favourite FB status messages:

An awesome creative exercise for budding copywriters - writing a new FB status everyday.

Always have a long and controversial status message. Only the jobless will respond.

Sudhir Pai is a semi-machine gun that resembles an MP5, of Norwegian Spirit, on its way to NY City! Just SHOOT ME!

Said Perf, "I keep waiting and waiting, and then if I still don't find a reply for my message,I know it's you".

I just failed miserably in the "How well do you know Sudhir Pai?" quiz.

Everything is fair in love and 'mafia wars'.

" Is there a face-Booker prize for the best status message?", asks VJ.