I have been actively blogging for just over a year now. It was in the spring of 2013 when weather-happy fingers found a topic a day to pore over and then pour out and onto my online space I call ‘Between Write and Wrong’. I was so regular with writing whatever came to mind that some months down I wonder if it’s age, stage or a combination of both that has made my posts' flow go from a broken barrage to one which is manned and optimized to about two posts a week. Be that as it may, this is my 180th post. And after writing on whatever became visible under the shining Sun, today I sit for the first time to see why the top posts on my blog are the ones which are. Should be quite telling about what readers like to read, or what I am good at.
In descending order of popularity, here they are:
1. Sounding the Red Siren Against Sexual Abuse – this post was written to add my voice to Protsahan and Unicef’s fight against sexual abuse. I had shared a personal experience of meeting a sexually abused girl in a Jhuggi Jhopri Shishu Mandir I taught in while still in college.
2. Oh Chetan Bhagat! Read what you write – A rebuttal post to Bhagat’s published opinions about women, men, work, home, cooking, marriage, children, you get the drift! Yes, I was disagreeing with him.
3. Book Review – Sita’s Curse by Sreemoyee Piu Kundu – This book review of a feminist erotica was written a few weeks back but seems to be grabbing enough eye balls to be the third most popular post. Not just sex, talk of sex sells too, it seems.
4. An Open Letter to Educated Indians – One of my favourite posts from my pen. An opinion editorial as a civil servant’s wife, talking about how the rot is not just in the bureaucratic “system” but within us as citizens seeking services too. As honest as it could get!
5. The Tamasha of Birth and Death – The most spontaneous post on my blog. Ringing true like a personal rant and talking about the circus (of rituals and superstitions, terms and conditions) Indian society surrounds birth and death with.
What is common to all these posts? Opinion. About society hiding faces of sexual abuse or about citizenry bribing the tax collector while cursing corruption at India Gate. About a book which talks of sex or a man who talks about everything cooking in his head and serving it semi-baked. Opinions, all. And they seem to be read the most on my blog. Liked or not is a different matter, but then, that is the power of any opinion – it sells, nonetheless, takers or no takers.
We all have an opinion about anything that can be opined about, which in turn means everything. And why not! Free speech, free thoughts, freedom to express and free air time are some of the molecules that complete the structure of free will. It is good to have an opinion. It means, primarily, that we can think, we can reason, we can look in all eight directions, raise the grass in pincer clasp and release it to know which direction the wind is blowing from. And then, tell the world that it is blowing from the right or blowing totally wrong. Our opinion is like our gold star on a popular pavement, not as unique as our fingerprint, but ours.
However, is it that easy to be pregnant with exclusive opinion? To be able to turn down the volume of screaming masses around or disconnect the social headphones altogether and think on your own? In an ivory tower, or at your desk, reading-researching-recording the real stories and our thoughts removed from the voices spoon feeding our heads? Feeding – in the name of fashion or populism, conformism or revolution, nurture or membership, rebellion or discipline? It’s not easy, perhaps almost unnatural to even expect so from our own selves. They say nothing in this world is original and also that man is a social animal and …
… and a complete animal sometimes in how he dispenses with these opinions, some formed mostly borrowed – in words or through action. Over drinks in a drawing room with body language going down the flush or discussions on Twitter with Arnab in the background and 80-120 threatening to burst open the aorta, while the art of “gathering” an opinion has been honed to perfection the artistry (also called civility) of speaking it out is fast receding into loud chaos. Almost as if we cannot let another speak, because we do not want to hear a different point of view or even our own point of view from a different mouth, for how dare he echo me! It is becoming increasingly difficult to be challenged in our thoughts, because we think "we opine, and therefore we are". That opinions make us, form our complete identity. But then, doesn't how we spread them seem important too, as does the intent behind the cussing? Such a strange thought comes to mind and says the ‘how you say it’ is the shoe and the ‘what you say’ the man standing inside it. And the whole arrangement needs to be polished. Know what I mean?
And look how I opine, about opinions. I am no less. So now, laying the blame on the top 5 posts on my blog and the yarn of thoughts they spun, off I go to switch on the television and see who slapped whom, and who all are slapping each other in celebration of it. I promise to sit through it and try to chew my own cud. Sometimes, I too cannot swallow it and call it 'opinion-I-ate-it' but itch to spit it out in the form of another opinion post and a tiara we all proudly wear - called 'opinionated'!
Maybe it will make it to the top slot too, one day?
Maybe it will make it to the top slot too, one day?
[WordPress Daily Prompts : 365 Writing Prompts. The prompt for today was - The stat connection - Go to your Stats page and check your top three-five posts. Why do you think they’ve been successful? Find the connection between them, and write about it.]
Their is a very thin line between having opinions and being opinionated. Most of those on television debates are unaccustomed to informed and reasoned disagreements.ReplyDelete
My opinion - I love your personal posts. No, I am not a voyeur but your sensitive pen takes the personal posts to another level.
I mirror what Alka has so eloquently put. Your personal posts are what gets "hit" and in turn gets "popular", because of the way you write them. Happy writing :)Delete
I agree with you, Alka. Very subtly, I was making the same point. I carry a baggage of opinions too and so desisted from preaching in this one at least. :DDelete
And thank you. You loving anything of mine takes me to cloud 9. Very few woman are as intelligent and dignified in their relationships as you are. I have seen it all, it seems. Will talk when we meet! :)
Thanks, Sid. I guess there is a bit of 'personal' in the most impersonal posts that I write too. It's just me. :)Delete
What is it that people like about certain posts...is it that it strikes a chord, or is does that exposes a sensitive issue with vigour....it may be for the clarity of expression too which some are gifted with like you Saakshi....but I guess the most important factor is the honesty...this touch of honest confessions straight from the heart really do impresses people...happy writing and wishes for many more to come between write and wrong...ReplyDelete
I have no idea what impresses you most about my writing, Chaitali, but reading everything you just said 3 times over gives me a lot of encouragement to keep at it. Many thanks for your good wishes. I will need them soon. :)Delete
I agree.. your opinion posts were the first that I read on your blog and they ensured that I return again...and again...and again :)ReplyDelete
And you do, Seeta, even when I barely manage to reciprocate the reading. Speaks volumes about you! Thank you for coming here .. again .. and again! :)Delete
Sounding the Red Sirens was one of ur first posts I've read, me think. And! It prompted me to re-blog something. Congrats for reaching the milestone as we get to learn something new every single. This one is a total hit, seems like something from the editor's desk..totally love it, the language, playing with words and a lil bit of brain-storming lil put of fun nicely put. Wish you years and years of blogging. I think I am done, Sakshi Nanda and m not good with words like you do:)ReplyDelete
Cheerz and happy blog buday:)
It's always good to know that something you wrote prompted another writer to write something too - in the same vein or in a different one.Delete
Thanks for liking this post and for being my regular reader, Vishal.
I once happened to see Two famous personalities (politcians) on this so called debate on TV in india and let me tell you I was appalled , I must admire the people who went out and VOTED for them inspite of hearing what they had to say.ReplyDelete
anyway I am not sure what post i read here first but , when i came over I did read a few of your posts before i started commenting ... I read because I like what I read.. and have been coming here since the first day here ..
regarding what takes the fancy of readers well everyone has their own mind, I simply like normal simple posts written that I can understand , some use words that I have not even heard let alone use..
Admire? The stupidity of people who vote them in baffles me. That 'admire' must have been a sarcastic addition there, B. :DDelete
I hope and pray to the Writing God that you keep coming here again and again.
I like unpretentious posts too, Bikram.
The last one was fraught with mistakes. Here you go:ReplyDelete
Sounding the Red Sirens was one of ur first posts I've read, me think. And! It prompted me to re-blog something I've seen in Mumbai on abused children. Congrats for reaching the milestone as we get to learn something new from you every single day. This one is a total hit, seems like something from the editor's desk..totally love it, the language, playing with words and a lil bit of brain-storming lil bit of fun nicely put. Wish you years and years of blogging. I think I am done, Sakshi Nanda and m not good with words like you do:)
Cheerz and happy blog buday:)
It's okay. I did not notice. Okay, may I did but just a little bit. :DDelete
In today's world where all of us are journalist in our own tweet or sweet senses, its absolutely important to have a genuinely honest opinion and to shout it loud first with personal experiences woven in. Opining is liberation of thoughts.ReplyDelete
Right you are. As difficult as it may be, it is important to know your thoughts away from the maddening crowd's.Delete
Good to see you here, Shweta. :)
We connected through your personal parenting posts. Your words have matured, your posts have touched even greater heights, but to me they always touch my heart...opinionated or not! :-)ReplyDelete
Yes, I remember connecting over parent talk with you, Rekha. What lovely things you say. Made me so happy. Happy to have you as one of my best friends here. :)Delete