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.]