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Thursday, November 03, 2011

Post poll stock-taking

Well, I am writing with mixed feelings. 140-odd people apparently read my blog regularly and like it; as many as 85 have even done me the courtesy of calling the blog ‘educational’: that is most gratifying as far as it goes.

At the same time, I wonder a) why the number of members is so low still, given that so many people know me and so many people visit – what makes people so shy of publicly acknowledging that they visit a certain blog? It’s neither a crime nor a socially dangerous activity! b) why so many of the current members (there are more than 200 right now) didn’t vote at all, though I gave them almost forty days, c) why there are as a rule so few comments (I am comparing with some blog writers I know – not even celebrities either – whose every post attracts scores, even hundreds of comments), d) why certain posts that I write with great earnestness, whether it be a story or the essay I wrote just before this one, draw almost no comments at all, despite being visited hundreds of times, e) why I cannot attract more visitors to my other blog, and lastly, f) why some people visited my daughter’s blog eagerly when I announced its birth, but have since decided not to visit it again, or even if they do, never to comment on it. It would have been such good encouragement to a girl who is doing something better than what most girls of her age and social class do, which is nothing much beyond wasting their time and their parents’ money…

When there is no material expectation involved, one writes purely for the pleasure of sharing one’s most sincere and evocative thoughts with some friendly people. I write because I cannot help it: I have been writing all sorts of stuff ever since I was a little boy. But I wrote for a reading public only for a relatively short while, when I was into journalism. Since quitting that, writing has always been a private hobby, to be shared, if at all, only with a few interested pupils, family and friends. I got back into the public domain with blogging only because some old boys had urged me to make a beginning, saying that it would be a very nice way to communicate with a lot of people scattered around the world who want to keep in touch but cannot think of any other way – physical visits are rare or impossible, while conversations over the phone, necessarily brief and often abrupt and unexpected, are quite unsatisfactory. I did think it was a good idea (look up my second post) and took the plunge. I never do things half-heartedly, so – as should be evident – I have been at it assiduously all these years, writing not too much, but not too little either. And now I am beginning to wonder. Especially when I think of the paucity of comments, and when ex-students call or chat online and I get to know from them that they haven’t visited my blogs for ages. Is it time to give this up as a bad job, from which nothing much more can be expected? 

Give me a little encouragement, people, to show that my initial hopes were not wholly unfounded. If, that is, you really want this blog to stay alive. Otherwise, it will probably go the way of my orkut community, which is to say oblivion.

18 comments:

The Warlock said...

Respected Sir,

I am an incosequestial blogger who happens to have a motley group of followers. I believe one of them is a follower of your blog, and it is through her/his "Blogs i follow" list that I first came across your blog (about six months ago).

Discovering your blog has been serendipitous to say the least. For the past six months I have avidly read your blog. I started with your post "The World we are making for our children", one which I believe you posted in 2007. I have been gradually working my way up and am catching up fast!

Several times, I have had a compelling urge to comment on your posts; But, since most of what I read were written about 2 to 4 years from the present, I am unsure if you will ever read my comment(s). Even if you do, I am not sure if anything more than a precise "I Agree" would come out of whatever I write, since I tend to agree with your posts (i.e. the ones that I have managed to read so far) almost always.

I have therefore, till date preferred to be a shadow-reader who silently appreciates your writing than to come across as a sycophant.

However, having said that, I do understand the agony and rage of knowing that people read your writings, yet balk at voicing their opinion about it. It is tantamount to intellectual theft i believe. Therefore, i would firstly, like to thank you for providing me this wonderful read (i.e. this blog of yours) and, secodly, apologize for not being an active audience till date.

I have however made my parents( ecpecially my father who treasures reading), my wife, and a few of my friends aware of this corner of the electronic world where a man keeps sending out a perennial Morse code to the world to wake up. I vouch for them when I say that unknown to you there are at least six pairs of eyes scanning your blog, taking their hat off to the work that you are doing.

Also, lethargic as i am, your blog propels me to go back home from my work and write my own posts.

You are the sort of 'gadfly' that Socrates believed society needs. Please keep up the good work.

Sincerely,
Saptarshi Moitra

Shilpi said...

Hullo. Suvro da, I don't know whether my word counts or matters here - but you really have to keep your blog.

I would have sent a more thoughtful comment (at least I didn't send out a barking and alarmed comment right after reading this post) but your blogs are what I look forward to every week (sometimes I hurry the week on just so that a new post will appear). I'll send a more thoughtful comment later, and I can't speak for the other 200+ members who follow your blog or the other 'followers' who aren't members (I've seen that Mountain View button glow so many times, and I've gotten curious) - but I know your blogs make a difference. They make one think, reflect, and live a little better, even if they don't always make one write....As for Pupu's blog I wondered what happened to the early commentators as well.

This is just an semi-immediate comment. I didn't try to answer the questions you raised.

Shilpi

Debarshi Saha said...

Respected Sir,

Warm regards.I am deeply hurt by this fact that you would have to make this post..when every post of yours says so much and means even more to me..As with all good things,Sir..people fail to appreciate them in time..Sir,I will leave a comment or write to you by e-mail concerning every post you have ever made..but please do not stop this blog..It gives me happiness,a sense of conviction in my beliefs,and a feeling that I can remain so close to you..bridging the physical divide by the portal of words...When I read your works,Sir..its a beautiful experience for me...your posts evolve and present different aspects of Life to me in a way that touches my heart each single time..

I remain foolish and hungry for more..I remain bekarar for your posts,Sir..

Yours obediently,
Debarshi.

Rashmi Datta said...

Dear Sir,

Please do not think of closing this blog.

Speaking for myself, I know that I have failed to be consistent in commenting on your blog as well as Urbi's blog and I apologize for that. It is mostly due to lethargy and a habit of procrastinating things and I am ashamed of it. But, every day I try to inculcate consistency, taking inspiration from Urbi, Shilpidi and you (both Urbi and you write a new post once in a month and once in a week respectively without fail and Shiplidi consistently comments on all the three blogs apart from writing on her own blog).

Sir, I never had the good fortune of being your student directly but I have learnt much more from you than my school teachers. It wouldn't have been possible without your blog. For me, this blog is educational, thought provoking as well as entertaining. It gives me different perspectives of things and keeps me sane and happy in an insane world. Your blog has helped me to develop the ability to distinguish the right from the wrong, the profound from the superficial and the phony from the genuine.
You set the appropriate standards to assess myself and force me to think clearly and help me to become a better individual.
I know you have been blogging for more than five years with only our interest at heart and I have seen how quickly you forgive us and welcome us back after a long gap. Thank you for everything.

Sir, please do keep writing.

Warm regards
Rashmi

Debotosh Chatterjee said...

Sir ,
Though i have almost become alien to your blog in the last couple of months , after joining college , i still try and visit it every time i get access to the net . I know how important your blog is for me and the rest of the society , and so it is my request that you keep on writing in this blog .

shrestha pal said...

Dear sir,
I know many people including my friends who like to read your blog but are reluctant to comment either because they can't express their thoughts into words or they are afraid that even if they do so they won't be able to do in proper grammatical sentences.They now realize that they have not given their 100% in your class.I too have failed to be consistent in commenting on your blog and I
apologize for that.But sir its my earnest request that you keep writing in this blog.

Suvro Chatterjee said...

Thank you, Saptarshi, Shilpi, Debotosh, Debarshi, Rashmi and Shrestha for those genuinely sympathetic words, though you can all see just what I lament over: in four days, only so few have 'found time' to write in, if only to say "I like reading your blog regularly, do keep writing"! Does even that much need great skill with the English language, Shrestha?

Saptarshi (why Warlock, I wonder?), many thanks for not only reading yourself, but finding me more readers. I have just been exploring your blog. 'Inconsequential' may mean different things to different people: I found it riveting, besides the fact that we seem to share many likes and dislikes, as well as dreams and ideals. I have become so enamoured of it that I have already joined as a member, put your blog on my list titled 'Blogs I visit', and I propose to comment on several posts one by one.

The Warlock said...

Sir,

Thank you for fixing my typo for 'inconsequential'. I hated to see it linger on your blog page for the past four days!

I went to Don Bosco school, Liluah where I was priviledged to have a small group of knowledgable English language teachers (Miss Ratna Halder and Sir Thomas Dias to name a couple of them). These human beings encouraged young minds to read (much like you do).

While at the school library, I once happened to pick up a book titled 'Warlock' by Wilbur Smith. This is one among a series of books that this author has written based on a mix of well researched Egyptian history, and a lot his own imagination. The central character of this book is a eunuch magician called 'Taita' who is entrusted with protecting the life of a very young pharaoh.

I guess, when you are 16, that sort of thing easily fascinates you, and refuses to leave your mind when you have grown up later to know the difference between fact and fictions. Hence, the name of my blog.. The Warlock. There is no further underlying meaning attested to it.

I am glad that you have found my blog of interest. If you see the 'comments' (or rather, the paucity of it) on the articles I have written, you will immediately understand that I commiserate with your disappointment which in the first place induced you to write this post.

I will silently keep trying to introduce more people (the ones with the right kind of head on their shoulders) to your blog and elicit an educated response out of them.

Meanwhile, happy writing !

Saptarshi

Nishant Kamath said...

Dear Sir,

I read about three or four blogs in all and yours are two of them. I had almost forgotten about Pupu's blog and I remembered about it one of your blogs when you referenced it. I apologize to you and Pupu for that. Of late, I have been very lazy.

I am sorry about the paucity of comments, either in the form of responses or arguments. I do hope, on behalf of those who read your blog and comment regularly, that you continue writing. This is probably sort of a selfish request, but if you aren't too unhappy about the response, and do keep writing, I would be really glad.

Sincerely
Nishant.

Suvro Chatterjee said...

Thanks for the note, Nishant. You see, it's not the likes of you that I am sad about, because you actually take the trouble to keep in touch, not only via this blog but over the phone, and email, and invariably visiting whenever you are in this country. My complaint is about the hundreds of so-called readers who never bother to let me know that they are reading, or indicate in any other way that they are still interested in keeping in touch. Think of Ankan, Shrikant and Raunak in your own batch (and one of them lives half a kilometer from my house, too!). Yet I fear that these are the types who complain most vociferously that I have supposedly grown cold and aloof! This is one sense in which life's been rather unfair to me...

sayantika said...

Dear Sir,

Please continue with the blog. I like reading your blog a lot, not just because it is interesting and educational but all the more, because whenever I become idle ( a habit I am ashamed off), it is your blog that pushes me to think about many varied issues and shake off my lethargy. It makes me read more and use my time more effectively. For example, just after reading your essay on India and its future, I began to read the book 'India after Independence', so as to gain a better insight before commenting on your essay.
I am sorry for commenting so late. I had been away on a holiday in Madhya Pradesh for three weeks, and logged on to the internet since a day before yesterday.

Thanks and with regards,
Sayantika

Suvro Chatterjee said...

Thank you, Sayantika. I'm sure you had a valid reason, but I do wonder about my hundreds of other so-called readers - did all of them have equally strong reasons for not logging in and writing a cheering comment for me in the span of a whole week? At this moment, I notice, there have been six hundred-plus visits since I put up this post, and only eight including yourself have bothered to write in so far. I really must draw some conclusions now.

ginger candy said...

Dear Sir,

My apologies for not writing to you sooner. I hope you forgive me for this. I have no other excuse to offer other than the fact that I was being plain lazy.

I know you are disappointed about the paucity of encouraging comments. People have always been like that; apathy runs deep in our veins. Do kindly take heart from the fact that you have a small circle of faithful readers (including me, of course)- I have seen many wonderful blogs who don't even have one dedicated reader.

I hope you don't give up on blogging. Here's wishing you all the best. More power to your elbow.

Thanks,
Joydeep

Suvro Chatterjee said...

Thank you, Joydeep. But your one additional comment cannot, obviously, change my opinion about the readership in general, as I am sure you will agree. Besides, if, as I suspect, most of them are 'plain lazy' - but not, like you honest enough to admit it - there doesn't seem to be much point in writing publicly, is there? As bad as talking to a wall. I know, too, that there are many good bloggers to whom nobody responds: that doesn't raise my fellow humans in my esteem! Anyway, let us see. I might go on writing for my own entertainment.

Soham Mukhopadhyay said...

Dear Sir,
I'm sorry for commenting on this post so late. Our landline phone was dead for over a week and I had been on visits to Kolkata. On reading this post, the first thought which struck me was that you are sad. Sir, please continue writing on this blog. I love it very much. It helps me to ponder upon many issues in our daily life and to keep in touch with you. I miss those days when I was a student in your class and your words still echo in my ears. Nonetheless this blog inspires me a lot. Each time I read this blog, my heart is filled up with appreciation and respect for you. Please do continue with this blog. Once again, I deeply apologize for commenting so late.

With regards,
Soham Mukhopadhyay

Navin said...

Dear Sir,

I just wanted to let you know that I think your readership is quite impressive. There are some other blogs which I follow, which have more comments per post in general, but I think part of the reason they have such high visibility is because they often blog about topics which are neither so relevant nor no pressingly important. Coupled with the fact that most of the readers of this blog are ex students, I do not think it is a small achievement. More importantly, many readers of this blog have now travelled far and wide and have met all kinds of people. Despite having met so many successful people in their lives, most of these ex-students(certainly me) think of you very highly, and do care to comment on your blog because we consider you of great educational importance. This is an indirect way to tell you that you efforts have not been wasted even though people do not come out in admiration. In fact, I would rate your blog very highly simply because of the hate mail you get. It is difficult to hate someone, you do not give any importance to.

Also I think, many things you have written are like wine, which would only grow fonder as we grow old, and often the wisdom of these truths are not apparent to a hormone laden mind. You should keep blogging precisely for this reason, that there is an eternal value to the things you write about, and they are certain to affect people when the time is right.
With regards,

Navin

Subhasis Graham Mukherjee said...

do keep blogging Suvro. You bring the perspectives, passion and emotion in all topics touching our lives that need addressing and discussion. Your blogs, comments and debates on all topics are most welcome - but those on parenting and about coaching and preparing the next generation cannot be appreciated enough.

For those of you who can't see the value in what Suvro teaches, here's a scary story- Losing childhood: Rat race leads to dip in Indian kids' EQ

do we need to heed or read more like these?

Suvro Chatterjee said...

Thanks for the kind words, Subhasis, and for the valuable link. In that connection, you and other readers might recall that I have been harping for quite some time on this theme that children must be taught good feelings (sympathy, understanding, caring, sharing, fairness, love of beauty, decency) by example and exposure just as much as they need to be taught language, math and chemistry, and it has been a horrible development worldwide that for at least two generations we all, parents, teachers and governments have focussed maniacally on teaching practical and technical stuff alone, merely assuming they will learn to become good human beings more or less automatically, on their own. Hell, today's children don't even know to care for themselves... they are killing themselves joyriding on motorbikes on the highway (one of my 15-year olds died two nights ago, another is likely to become crippled for life) and gorging like pigs, so how can anyone but a madman expect them to care about others? So it is good to see that some people, psychiatrists and teachers among them, are at last beginning to wake up.