Hey, you!

Yes, you. Do you realize how incredibly funny it is for me, seeing your IP address pop up every week in my visitors list? Just saying!

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On blogging and commenting…

It’s a funny business – this blogging. Especially our kind of blogging, where we write about general everyday stuff that’s not of earth-shattering importance to anyone.

When I was an active blogger, I used to average a couple of posts a week. That meant spending at least an equal number of hours writing, and many more reading different blogs.  The two usually go hand-in-hand, at least for me. Naturally, many posts I read struck a chord somewhere, or were just so funny or well-written that I had to stop and comment. Commenting on other blogs is the best form of publicity for your own blog I have found. Some call it networking, while a lucky few form genuine friendships on the net. Again, of those who network, some do it intentionally, some inadvertently, and for many it’s a mix of all these (I think), as is the case with yours truly.

Whatever be the reason, when I was an active blogger (and commentator), I had dozens of comments on every post. And now that I rarely find the time to write on my own space, leave alone on others’, I feel happy to get even a couple of comments here. Not that I am blaming anyone. But it’s a vicious cycle, this. The lesser number of comments I get, the worse I feel about my blog and the tougher it gets to feel enthused to work on my writing.

I think it’s time to break the cycle. For that, it’s important I realize exactly why I am doing this.

I blog because I like to write. I am not very good at networking or forming friendships online. Very rarely, I blog to vent out my frustrations or fears here. But mostly I just enjoy playing with words, trying to create something meaningful out of them. And I am particular about my spellings and punctuation and grammar. I re-read my posts multiple times to check these things. Have I repeated a phrase too many times?  This sentence just does not sound right! Is that paragraph too long? I can spend hours polishing a post till it sounds just right.

Does she think she writes all that well, I hear some of you say! Perhaps not, but I do enjoy the process thoroughly. And it’s time I appreciated the simple pleasure I get from creating an honest and well-written post from the jumble of thoughts in my head.

After that, if a kind soul takes the time to comment, well, that’s just the cherry on the cake, isn’t it?

A for Apology, B for ….?

Err… B for Baby? Or B for Blogging! Either way, the two don’t go hand-in-hand it seems. At least in my life!

Okay, so let me spell it out. First things first – a huge apology and a very big thanks to all you sweet people who kept checking on me the last few months. I am truly very sorry I had to go away without any notice. But I had a very good excuse you see…

Yes friends, I am P-R-E-G-N-A-N-T! Yoohoo! 17 weeks pregnant!

And the baby, who seems to have a mind of its own already, did not care to see me blogging  at all. Nausea, tiredness, food aversions, sleepiness, sleeplessness, headaches – each day seemed to bring a symptom of its own with it! And I struggled just to get through the day, especially at work. But all that’s in the past (hopefully). Or for a couple of months at least I think!

I am feeling much better now. All the symptoms have gone, and except for an occasional headache and of course the always-there heaviness, I am fine. And am logging in to catch up with everyone the first chance I get. Just hope there are a few folks still reading this!

Actually, I feel so good, the husband and I sneaked in a small babymoon trip this past weekend. We traveled to the Finger Lakes area of upstate New York to see the fall colors. Our first trip after the big news. Needless to say, it was fabulous! I’ll leave you with some pictures. And a promise to try and be more regular from here on. Ta!

Cornell, Ithaca

Taughanock Falls

Fall Colors

If I could post while taking a shower…

… you’d find a brilliant new post here every other day!

Why, oh why, do all my best and brightest ideas come to me in the shower, or when I’m traveling, cooking, dreaming or doing just about anything that doesn’t involve staring at the laptop screen? I think up entire posts in my head, complete with the wittiest of punchlines and the most profound ideas only to remember nothing when the blank laptop screen confronts me!

So in case you’ve been wondering, now you know why this space doesn’t get updated as frequently as before. Any ideas to beat this brilliant-post-but-only-in-my-head syndrome?

It’s been raining awards!

And I have been beaming like a cheshire cat ever since!

best-movie-review-postI was pleasantly surprised to know I had won the Best Movie Review award (runner-up) at the Avant Garde Bloggies Awards. Many of you voted for me I hope! So a big thank you to all you wonderful folks then!

premio-dardos-award

Then it was Jira’s turn to bestow this award on me. Google translator informs me this means ‘darts prize’ in Spanish, but that doesn’t give me much of a clue either. So I’ll take Jira’s word for it when she says this is an award ‘acknowledging the values that every blogger shows in his/her effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary and personal values every day‘. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Thanks Jira!

I’d like to pass this award on to Indian Homemaker, Ugich Konitari and Mampi. It seems as if the award description was written with these wonderful bloggers in mind, so how could I not choose them?

awd21

Thank you IHM! The best part about this award is the beautiful words you use to describe my blog. I’d like to pass this on to Priya, her posts are always honest and straight from her heart I think.

proximidade_blog_awardAnd then there is the beautiful Proximity award, that ‘is given to a blog that invests and believes in PROXIMITY – nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement.

Thanks so much Mama-Mia, Mampi, Pack of Jelly Beans, M and D! I feel exactly the same about your blogs too. This one I’d like to pass on to everyone in my favorite blogs list. I think you all deserve it, so I won’t even try to pick and choose!

Shameless self-promotion

… should be allowed once in a while, what say?

Specially when there’s a milestone AND an award (nomination) just around the corner. So my blog will celebrate it’s hundredth post very soon and one of my posts has been nominated for the Avant Garde Bloggies Award in the movie review category today. Is that cool or what?

On this (ahem) momentous occasion, I have two requests to make of you.

I have written ninety nine posts so far and have been blogging for a little more than a year now. The experience has been fabulous for me but I have no idea how YOU think about it. I am looking for some feedback friends.

Please leave a comment telling me how you feel about this blog – what you like and what you don’t. Are the posts too long? Boring? Vague? Too personal? Can you relate to them? Any sort of feedback is welcome. Lurkers, regulars, friends, foes and passers-by – everyone – please don’t leave without a comment today.

Once you do that, check out my nominated post for the award and if you like it, please vote for me here. (Of course, you could vote for me even if you don’t like it, but I won’t push my luck!)

Go on, make my day please!

Brilliant little you and me!

First D, then Mampi and now Chakli and Priya have tagged my blog with the Brilliant Blog Award. Four of you find my ramblings brilliant? Wow! Thank you friends, both the blog and I feel humbled and honored! What more do we say? We are somewhat overwhelmed at present. Let us bask in our newfound glory for a while please!

But before that, I need to complete the tag by passing on the award to seven bloggers I admire. Hmm… just seven? Let me skip my regulars then. You guys know how much I love you already, don’t you? Perhaps its time to come out of the closet and name some of the brilliant blogs I usually only lurk around at – it feels so embarrassing to keep saying ‘Great post!’ and ‘I agree!’ and add nothing to the discussion, you know.

So here’s my list. A lot of these folks are blogging celebrities and I know they may never get around to seeing this, but if Mampi can tag Mr. Bachchan, surely I can tag Baradwajrangan and The Mad Momma!

Baradwajrangan – The best Bollywood movie reviewer today, in my humble opinion. I simply MUST read his reviews before and after watching a movie – that way I get to enjoy it thrice!

Memsaab – I never thought I’d meet an American who was madly in love with Shammi Kapoor. And Hindi movies. Her movie reviews are total masala entertainment! And the screen snapshots are to die for!

The Mad Momma – Her blog and Usha’s AgelessBonding were some of the first blogs I was hooked on to, they lured me into the blogosphere so to speak. Candid, fiery, passionate and giving-as-good-as-she-gets, her crazy-about-my-family attitude and cool parenting style is an inspiration to me and her confidence and sense of style is something I wish I could emulate … We keep having our disagreements but her posts are still the first thing I check when I log on to the internet – I love her impassioned writing plus her comment space is a complete entertainment in itself. AND we share our birthdays too!

Usha at AgelessBonding – Around this time last year, Usha was sweet enough to comment on an unknown newbie’s blog (mine!) and encourage her to continue. Thanks so much Usha, I might not have got to this 85th post of mine without that kind gesture. I have to keep reminding myself this is a woman of my parent’s generation when I read her posts, it’s so easy to forget otherwise. But does it really matter? Warm, friendly, funny, naughty, well-informed, wise and totally open-minded – you couldn’t have chosen a better name for your blog Usha – AgelessBonding it is!

Sunayana Roy’s Sunny Days – Sue is exactly my age but so much wiser! And she’s the most straightforward blogger I read. Be it a post on kicking the smoking habit or narrating a husband-wife spat or offering her two cents on handling the in-laws – her writing is always honest but never sensational – the reason I like it so much perhaps.

Boo – What a name! And a what a blog! Trust Boo to find humor in the most mundane of situations – she can pick up something that happens everyday in our homes and only ends up irritating us and turn it into fodder for her next rolling-on-the-floor kind of rolicking hilarious post!

Indian Homemaker – I came across her blog only by chance very recently and am I glad I did! A passionate feminist, she manages to say a lot of what I only think but can never put in words and helps me make sense of the jumbled thoughts in my mind. Plus I get the impression she truly cares about the stuff she writes and that makes her writing doubly appealing to me.

You guys are all brilliant!

And now with that done, we are off to gloat!