Thank you!

1. Though you need to be grateful to :

2. WordPress: automattic team, authors, admins and social media platforms along with friends and followers.

3. I need to blow a tooted up horn :

4. I was a student in an online blogging University course provided by WordPress in 2015, August and September.

5. I came up with the idea for the forum.

6. Three of us joined to become admins.

7. I worked hard to develop this forum as a founder, author and promoter.

8. Many authors joined hands: some of them being:

Kristina Van Hoose

Pam Krist

Rashmi Menon

Meg Sorrick

Oneta Hayes

Iambic Pentameter

Sandeept aka Ankit Dhakal

Piyusha Vir

Vishakha Luxme

Paul

9. My presence was found to be intimidating and I was asked to step down from the post of admin. Some people complained about my misusing my admin privileges to correct grammar of people. Copyright policy etc.

10. The forum became deadpan. No activity at all. Merely a directory where names continued to add up.

11. I requested to be added up. Pam Krist was acting as an admin then. She deleted 60 of my posts within a day when I wasn’t able to respond to Gmail very fast.12. I

12. I raised the issue and I was given a co-admin status by Pam Krist who stepped down. Sandeept was given original privileges by WordPress for some mysterious reasons.

13. Rehan Kazi from Mumbai, India joined the forum at the time I was made admin. He turned out to be a prolific poster. The forum was revived.

14. My original contribution to this forum is more than 3000 posts at any rate. Still, I am happy to be able to score 500 in this second Life of Blogger’s World where very little has changed since its technical support was framed.

15. It’s also my twitter anniversary and I recently completed 1000 posts on another blog. If this one was too egotistical for you: you know very little about how hard I worked here and how everything was lost one fine evening when two ladies conspired behind my back on Gmail.

#automattictactoeuvrevuuennobledzappleinsoffinnishin, #blogging101alumni, #logos, #memoirs, #wordpress

Welcome back!

1. I knew Catherine. I used to visit her site in those days. She maintained her site very well. She has a wonderful sense of humor.

2. I know Vishakha who commented today. You should change your profile picture Vishakha ( 😂 ): it has been four years.

3. Another Visakha was a companion of Vikram Bishla and Piyusha in the epic ‘Bhaalu episode’ after which i was asked to step down:

It happened like this:

We used to chat and joke around a lot. It always takes time and energy and almost always makes some people jealous. Some of my comments were not liked by Piyusha and she taught me that i should first make fun of myself. Later, Vikram’s interaction with Visakha got bitter and Piyusha wanted me to take an action against Vikram. I left it on discretion of two of them. The event resulted in my stepping down from admin as well as leaving this forum and later on i deleted couple of my blogs.

4. I knew Jackie well. Hello Jackie! We interacted a great deal. You used to contribute regularly.

5. Collate Bates took my side. There can’t be any doubt about it. Along with admins, Meg, Pam and Oneta she was one of the members i can never forget. She fought for me when Paul(now deceased) was also voicing his opinion in my support. I was disappointed to hear the news of his demise. It’s true that language used by some of the members including Paul wasn’t upto the mark. Yet, i can’t thank Collate enough for her support. Thank you! 🙂

6. Ankit Dhakal was name used by Sandeept. I asked the meaning of his name as i used to ask everyone else. His post on Hanuman being mutant did seem like a new perspective and idea and i appreciated it. Even used to discuss it as an idea with others in offline discussions. He was a regular contributor in the beginning and later i also saw him on Twitter. Then he changed his name to Sandeept. I also changed names from Vibrant to Anand to Dancinglightofgrace.

7. Among other regular contributors here: Ananya, Ishita, Meg and Wannatalkevanescent are missed. Even Shine Ferrer aka Sandra. The 13 words story was initiated by a suggestion from Keith Garth the poet who wrote a verse about ‘squint’ as he was jealous of some character. He suggested us to use iambic pentameter. Recommended sites where we can count syllables easily.

8. There are many people i miss. I would keep recalling them. Especially mysterious Kristina Van Hoose and her cat Smore. Pam, Rashmi and Piyusha.

9. If we continue to be active here: power struggles regarding how the forum should function are likely to happen. I would ensure the forum doesn’t die unless WordPress stops hosting it. As long as i have resources. If my posting activity here since October 16th is used as a hint towards how i felt towards this place or forum members in general: you know i always wanted this place to be vibrant. It was a mistake to let Kristina host the site. It was a mistake to write an email to her. It was a mistake to trust Rashmi who joined hands with Piyusha and Kristina behind my back. Therefore: i would be totally transparent. Not interacting with Sandeept or any other admin via email. Let everyone know what’s going on.

10. Many people here wanted it to be a private forum like it was in the Blogging101 Alumni class. I wanted it to be a public forum.

11. The simple logic why nobody else other than me wrote here more than on their personal websites: i considered it my forum. They didn’t. If others write here as much as i do: it would mean greater activity, more life and more interaction.

12. This doesn’t mean that we should betray original intention behind the creation of this forum: which was to let new bloggers find a place where someone(maybe not as romantic as i was) might be available to say hello or help them learn basics to improve their blogging skills. But without any vibrant activity there remains no life in a place and all hope for helping anyone dies. That’s why i wanted it to be friendly and interactive like our class was.

13. Having tasted bitter and sweet i no longer aim to help all people all the time nor do i believe i can be superhumane but i would try to be normal. Sharing posts that i like. Being myself. Not intentionally hurting anyone but yet being earnest in interactions.

14. I had no intention of becoming an admin in short or long run when i joined this forum on October 2020 but i certainly wanted more activity here. It’s my baby. It’s our baby and it’s alive.

#admins, #blogging101alumni, #code-of-conduct, #members, #memoirs, #reunion

Happy Birthday Ranjana!

1. In our training batch of 29 or 30 people in October 2009, in Chennai, there was a girl. Or a woman?

2. “Chutki bhar sindoor ki keemat tum kya jaano…Ramesh Babu..” she was so full of dramatic talents.

3. She used to sit on the front bench on the left hand side, just besides Naresh.

4. Mind you: she knew programming. She could code. I was happy to absorb air conditioned air. I used to absorb plenty of it:” kal ho na ho aaj hi le lo.”

5. She was very sensitive.

6. She inspired my post “Shit Headed Guy.” It was an email and i used to beg people to read what i wrote. She called me that and i made art out of it.

7. Our destinies were woven together. For a while. I was fortunate to roam around with her, Sudeshna and Monica. They were all too dramatic to be true. While I was playing Ramana Maharshi and Vishwamitra by turns they were playing ‘Chal ranjo’ and ‘Chal Monu’ by turns. Sudeshna Roychowdhury was a wonderful singer. We sang many songs but verses from Gulzar’s Aandhi appealed me most in those days.

8. As we were looking for apartments for them. We walked a lot together. We were new to the city of Bangalore after having been in the darkness of Chennai- “another country” as per Vyas.

9. It was then: she said “if I didn’t have a boyfriend in Bihar i would have made you my boyfriend.” Aha! Nobody said that to this poor guy before! Even Roychowdhury affirmed. Then I knew they were not just playing. Roychowdhury was a sincere girl. She worked hard. We were together in the first team. She was cute. Ranjana was not cute. No.

10. She was a lady devil with histrionics. She had dramatic talents. She taught me how to bitch. But in the end this happened:

11. Once we were taking a coffee break just outside the ODC(Offshore Development Centre)

{ Brian Adams plays in the background: “those were the best days of my life aye aye….tring tring…}

Oh i bought a guitar. I saw one recently and it reminded me of 7000 rupees investment i did in those days. It resulted in nothing.

12. Control! It’s about Ranjana.

Her employee ID was Jhara. Can you see that meant: jhaadoo laga di…

13. Outside the ODC: it was Aman’s friend. I was talking to her in a way which showed that we were chums. She didn’t like that as she was looking towards her future prospects with Aman. A marriage on cards. They married and became immortals.

14. She had asthma. Had dark circles below her eyes. She was from Bihar as well as Bengal. She called me ‘Chocolate Baba.’

15. I learned it from her for the first time that girls keep two boyfriends at least. One onshore another offsite. I was too far behind them- having devoted all my life in pursuit of moksha or liberation. They were enjoying cafe mochha. Anyways, we had nice ginger breads near the guest house of Cognizant.

16. Even Ravneet had a boyfriend at a far off place and she was romancing with Vyas. Upasana shared a number with me surreptitiously. I couldn’t comprehend what the fuck was going on there. I told that to Jhara and Realized that sweet and sour soup and lemon soda salted was all i was supposed to have. Botalon se kya gila hai doston…bhaag me pauaa mila hai doston…

17. It was her who told me that she saw someone on back of my bike. I dropped Prakriti once. It was enough to create talk. Debashish used to live nearby. They weren’t blind. They knew what was going on.

18. It was her who told me that I had a very disarming aura. That nobody can be inimical to me. That I was an Arhant. She confirmed it to me but then a lot happened. Like that telephone wire.

19. Munishri Vidyasagar walks 33 kilometres everyday. He can win a marathon everyday. The news was published in Dainik Bhaskar in 2018. It inspired me to walk. All great people walk. Bradman, Vallalar, Gandhi, Vinoba and Munishri.

20. She once asked my opinion on her dress. Suman Chatterjee asked her to not wear revealing clothes as they both used to talk in Bengali. The guy used to touch women and throw flying kisses and here he was advocating abstinence. I told her that it was completely upto her to choose her clothes and i had no opinion on that. I didn’t consider Chatterjee’s suggestions as worthy of being taken into account unless she also accepted them.

21. Out of all three of them: Ranjana, Monika and Sudeshna: i got to spend most amount of time with Ranjana as she was a coworker. We sat near each other for many months. We went on treats. Monika was there but she was too self conscious of her charms. Ranjana was there as a friend and co-worker since we knew that there was nothing romantic between two of us. She was smartest among four of us who came from our training batch to Bangalore.

22. Happy Birthday Ranjana! Jhara! Bandhu! DRAMA QUEEN! Chutki bhar sindoor!!!!

( Her birthday is on 31st of December)

My Ramana Maharshi is likely to be very heavy on new year’s Eve: therefore I wish her health, wealth, bliss, peace and prosperity in advance. Aman. ☮️. Peace!

#birthday-wishes, #coworkers, #jhara, #memoirs, #ranjana-jha

My recruitment interview!

1. I have been to many interviews, here I am going to discuss the most lucrative offer that came from a multinational which had tags like “magic of doing big things early…” Its CEO was one of the youngest people to become CEOs of any IT firm.

The questions were on:

1. Topology: bus, star, mesh etc.

2. Did I know programming? No. Nobody did. We were communication students. I didn’t know electronics either.

3. I was taught by my friends to tell: I would master it as I was doing research in field of higher human intelligence or “accelerated learning” as Win Wenger PhD called it. What I actually did was to read his book The Einstein Factor and use it along with breathing to try to expand my awareness. I told him that.

He asked: ” who commissioned you to research?” I said: nobody. He asked that twice. I told him the same.

4. He asked about where people with surnames “Shukla” came from. I wasn’t aware of that. I said: they’re found everywhere. His answer was: they came from North. Aryan invasion!!!!!!.

5. My prospects of getting hired into HR department didn’t manifest because I tried nothing to learn about people or castes or gotras or not enough. Instead: I kept researching Astrology in my spare time. The company was becoming as draconic as current central government: it wanted us to record activity of every hour. Quite like how I might seem to my student Shri: when I ask her to keep records. Maybe not as I consider her to be my employer while I was an employee.

6. My team lead took me to a doctor. The next thing: I wanted to go to Netherlands for its laxity.

The post is inspired by micky2000’s second last post on his page. On this smartphone it’s difficult to copy links of bloggers and open multiple windows as the WordPress app only allows one window at a time. Thanks.

#aryan-versus-dravidians, #being-truthful, #hr, #learning, #learning-history, #memoirs, #micky2000, #recruitment-interview

What Stood Out Yesterday Night?

1. My valiant soul, mindfully made some comments on her blog, subscribed to her newsletter and also asked her about the process to get featured on that.

2. I practiced writing tiny letters once to increase powers of concentration as cramming was supposed to do that. It has brought me so far. How far is it, is anybody’s guess.

3. I was surprised to read a reference to JRR Tolkien’s characters and ring in Pam’s blog yesterday. I had written a post on ‘engagement ring’ and its relationship with Kundabuffer or Kundalini Yoga on my blog. These synchronicities happen all the time but when they happen via articles, verses or news reports you come to realize that everything is connected via what’s called Superstrings.

4. Now that i have mentioned Superstrings: i should also mention Terrence Lewis: an artist whose interview was being aired on Air India 100.5 FM radio some days ago. I was surprised by similarity of our ideas and struggles.

Terrence Tao is widely acclaimed as one of the greatest geniuses alive with an intelligence quotient above 250. William James Sidis had an IQ of 300.

Lewis came to my mind as i was in the toilet. Carl Lewis and Normal Lewis as i recommend Word Power Made Easy to many students since it was recommended to me by the training and placement officer Anuj Garg in Oriental Institute of Science and Technology Bhopal in the year 2005. Since then i became a regular subscriber to Michael Quinion’s World Wide Words until he underwent a knee surgery and stopped updating his newsletter. It was one of the best newsletters on etymology: comparable to James Harbeck’s blog.

5. I was surprised to hear about Ratan Tata being awarded by the Prime Minister. Yesterday evening as i was rushing towards this place : not many people stopped me on my way. Couple of outstanding people:

A. One of them had JMD written on his car. Immediately Jamshedji Nausherwan Tata came to my mind.

B. The second spat a huge amount on road after opening the gate of his white colored jeep. His car has “Bharat Sarkaar” written on it.

It was a clear message on behalf of Modi government’s representative:

We would paste walls with “Swachcha Bharat Abhiyaan” with Gandhi’s glasses and we would continue to paste streets, walls and those notices later with Khair. Red. Khair ab jo bhi ho jaane bhi do yaaron…

#anecdotes, #cleansing, #dancinglightofgrace, #memoirs, #terrence-tao

How dreary to be Somebody, How Public Like A 🐸 Frog!!!!!!!!!!

1. Kunwar Pratap Singh was a classmate in Government Higher Secondary School Number One. The school later became School For Excellence. It became a co-ed only after we graduated. What a pity! The best of teenage years were wasted in dry pursuit of academics under teachers who were draconian to say the least. They did give plenty of scope for humorous stories woven around each one of them as they had distinct personalities.

2. From P. D. Yadav(Mathmatics and file management), Dixit sir(variety shoes and chalk) to Harendra Singh(Amazing calligraphy!)Santosh Sharma(Periodic table, lab and terror along with volleyball) to Beni Prasad Chansauria(terror, discipline and volleyball) to Mahendra Khare who was a poet and used ‘great’ as his penname: there were likes of S. S. Khare(samjhe?) and principals Hanfi(volleyball team with Sharmaji against Chansauriya ji) followed by Mishra ji whose son Rohit was a hostler with me in Bhopal.

3. Coming back to KPS who came on a bicycle as we used to go to our tuitions in those days: after our PET counseling. He had got the same college and planned about staying with me in a hostel in Bhopal.

4. On our induction day with seniors in college, since he had difficulty with English ( English as a language was taught only from standard sixth in our schools-Hindi medium Madhya Pradesh board schools,) he solicited my help. His parents were probably farmers if I recall it right. They had no time to teach him English in his budding years. I had at least 4-5 years of headstart compared to him as I was in a convent school where they taught English since kindergarten. But I was not fortunate enough to study in kindergarten. If I was not born in indigent circumstances, if I had had a kindergarten education, if my parents and teachers were not so draconian, if in my eleventh and twelfth standards I had studied in a co-ed, I wouldn’t have developed complexes towards opposite sex. Complexes which took a long time to heal.

5. This post was supposed to be about KPS. No. This is supposed to be about someone else but I am beating around the bush to be enjoyable. KPS asked for my help.

6. I was APS. Always ready to help. I gave him an Urdu verse…just four lines:

“Kul Shahar Badhawaash hai is tez dhoop mein;

Har shakhsa zinda laash hai is tez dhoop mein;

Haare thake musaafiron-aawaaj do unhen;

Jal ki jinhe talaash hai is tez dhoop mein;”

It roughly translates as:

The whole city has gone mad in scorching Sun;

Every person is a living dead(zombie);

Oh tired and lost travellers;

Give a call to those who need water(of life.)

7. I didn’t understand waters of life in those days for I hadn’t tasted it. However I think: if instead of using ‘jal’ the poet had used word “aab” or “giza-e-rooh” it would have been consistent with Urdu in which he used words like badhawaas, shaksh and talaash etcetera. Anyway…

8. KPS went upstage: recited two lines. I had made him learn all four by heart. He had such a stage phobia that he forgot lines after two…his throat parched. I felt bad for him that day. I had worked hard with him. He remained depressed about English for long and even spoke about quitting engineering. He was technically sound but the medium suddenly becoming English was a great challenge. That showed itself in form of stage phobia that day. He recovered and got his degree as well as became a teacher in an engineering college.

9. I recited Kalidasa’s “Salutation to the Dawn” on stage. I had read its English translation by (Thomas Carlyle) Dale Carnegie in a book gifted to me by my uncle after my high school. It was one of the first books I read in that language along with Shiv Khera’s “You Can Win.” That book was ordered from Jhansi as it wasn’t available here. Though I also had stage phobia: I could render the poem on stage.

10. It was that day : I was facing North. Garima the bespectacled poetess was discovered. She recited Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s poem with a clear pronunciation. I thought I was hooked. Then appeared Swati who could mimick Ravi Shastri and Tony Gregg (Pretttai Good here!!!) I was instantly confused. You know who won!

11. I veered from the main point. The main point was this(sorry for having wasted your time, energy and BW; that’s if you really read those points: you can advise readers to jump to the point number 12)

12. Kunwar Pratap Singh had a book of poetry. His sister was pursuing English literature. I hope it’s not the same lady who was in Sanskar staff in 2016 for that was a horrible experience. The book had a verse by Emily Dickinson. I had read the verse but I fell in love with her, all over again!

I am nobody;

Who are you?

Are you a nobody too?

Then(well then!): there’s a pair of us(yes.)

Don’t tell them(Shhhh!) They’d banish us!

How dreary to be somebody!

(mine: Indeed. How limited. Dry. Arid. )

How public like a 🐸 frog

To call live long day an admiring bog!

{ I had to look up live long, life-long? Hmm…bog? Ok. }

What a treasure. I might have read couple more verses by her but I got an app this year and there are tonnes of verses. I am in some kind of heaven.

14. But I really want to go to a heaven where Dickinson is! If not as a paramour, then as one of her close friends or pupils( if she teaches verse!)

15. If any of the angels reading this post have whereabouts of Emily: feel free to contact me or comment. I would make it one of my goals to pursue her heaven and reach it. (Hazaron khwahishen aisee…)

16. What kind of surname is Dick-in-son? No, really, who assumes such surnames? Like Phillip K. Dick. It’s a strange world indeed!

#authors, #emily-dickinson, #logos, #memoirs, #verse

Happy Birthday Swati!

1. If there were gems in our OIST batch: she was the brightest among them.

2. She looked handsome. Being from Carmal Convent she could speak English fluently. All boys were in love with her. All boys! No exceptions!

3. After not-so-good stint in the first semester where Amit Chaurasiya got first rank: Swati got a whoppingly huge score in the second semester. I got seventh rank. I wondered if she even knew about me.

4. Being versatile and dramatically talented-she used to get bored easily. She could dance(Nach baliye…) ; could mimic on stage(Irrfaaa…n pataan…) could command respect from everyone and could score well on CAT aptitude tests when it was no longer college academics which interested her.

5. Talented people get bored easily. I had no respite but to regularly attend college. OIST campus was beautiful and spacious. My attic on the first floor in Chhatrasal Nagar was not enough to make me feel serene. I used to meditate for many hours: day-after-day and year-after-year in that campus. Seeing her used to be the reward of my meditation.

6. The day they were ragging juniors: our batchmates: i went to library to show my passive resistance as well as to utilise my time well: to my astonishment Swati also came to library followed by Vyas(who certainly was jealous of me!)

7. She was the first one to wish me Happy Holi in the third semester. The words kept ringing in my years for many eons to come. Being a damsel she lived near Apsara Talkies. We had only couple of meetings in which i read some poems to entertain them. There were four of us that day: the day Jishnu declared I was going to be a new founder of a new religion.

8. She kept appearing in my dreams. She was bold. Truly a genius. I don’t think she was a great reader but definitely- she used to watch lots of TV. Had braces on her teeth for a while. When I used to take biography of Napoleon to class which Ankit Jain used to read with me: she also began reading some books. Like mobile ring-tones in the third semester: i don’t think it was a mere coincidence. She was reflecting our kinship.

9. It was only on the last day i looked at her face. I looked at it without shame or trying to hold anything back. Our head of the department and some other students were present. She laughed.

10. Strangely: she didn’t accept my friend request on Facebook later on. Maybe she never saw it. She was charitable and might have adopted a boy or a girl. She was ambitious: mocked our getting selected into Cognizant as “sadee see company mein ho gaya”: I was barely sustaining myself then. I thought to myself: “here we part.” She must be a millionaire by now!

11. Strangely: I can’t form her image in my mind. Only some memories. Mostly sweetest. She kept coming to my dreams. Did I say that already? She was Aditi Billore of our college. My enlightenment rendered me incapable of creating images. There’s no build-up. No sin. I can’t muster images.

12. I wish her a very happy birthday. Whether she liked me or not is as much of mystery as anything else. But she seemed to have it all: leadership skills, charisma, brilliance and beauty. May you reach the heights you aspired for wherever you’re!

13. This post might put me on radar of Vyasa, Gautama, Yogesh, her brother, her husband and other fans: but you know : I am past that phase. Have fun!

#angels, #friends, #happy-birthday, #memoirs, #swati