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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Just Another Month is Going to Finish

The month of May is finishing. It has been a very tough but successful month for me. I had to do a lot of works but not writing. I had to guide a team to get good traffic in our main blog, South Asia Blog. Now, when I look at the blog, I can find 58 followers and this month, we have been able to get nearly 370,000 page views. I am expecting 390,000 page views at the end of the month. Also, our all blogs have already got more than half million (500,000) page views. Thus, it has been a record breaking month.
It was a very hot month and the weather was very hot in my city. I have to work many extra hours to look after the team. I am sort of the editor of South Asia Blog. I do all the research and then write some too. My health almost became ok but then, it has become very weak again because of trying day and night for the blog.
Still, I am very happy because my efforts are finally paying off. I read a lot in the last 4 years about blogging.
I wish that some day, I can try the same way for this Literature blog. Today, I found that this blog has 25 followers and I felt happy that some people found something interesting in this blog.  

Friday, May 21, 2010

Life and Death

Yesterday, someone close to me died. I went to his home and paid my last tribute to the dead body. Naturally, I had a very heavy heart. Now, I am thinking about the poem, Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard written by Thomas Gray. Of all the poems that I have read in my life, it is the best when it comes to talking about death. The message is perhaps very simple and clear but Gray could touch the heart of millions of readers with the simple but very powerful message.
Death closes all- this is perhaps true. If I die tomorrow then everything is closed for me forever. On the other hand, it is important to make good use of life and lead an honest life. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Absolute Write Blog Chain May 2010: Two Songs

I am writing this entry as a part of Absolute Write Blog Chain 2010. The topic for this blog chain is: What does your story/character(s) sound like?
I normally do not miss any blog chain as I enjoy taking part in it and I have been taking part in blog chains for nearly 4 years (Since 2006). However, when the chain started then I realized that I did a grave mistake for two reasons. First of all, I am not exactly a musical person. I do a lot of humming all the time but when I am writing then I try to disassociate myself from all the sound around me and listening to a favorite song is perhaps the last thing I would like to do while writing. It simply destroys my focus.
The second problem that I faced while taking part in the blog chain is that I am from another part of the world and my first language is not English. So, English songs are not a part of daily life. Yes, I like Beatles, John Denver, Cliff Richards and Neil Diamond but they are not inseparable part of my life in the way the songs of Rabindranath Tagore are.
A few days ago, I uploaded a short in this blog: Humiliating Triumph.
The Hero and Villain both are teenage boys. They are 15 years old. The hero is Ripon and he is a gentle boy and I think that he would like the following song:



Here is the meaning of the song in English Language
The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day
runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures.

It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth
in numberless blades of grass
and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.

It is the same life that is rocked in the ocean-cradle of birth
and of death, in ebb and in flow.

I feel my limbs are made glorious by the touch of this world of life.
And my pride is from the life-throb of ages dancing in my blood this moment.


On the other hand, John is the bad boy and he would most likely to be fond of this song:

By the way, both the songs are from my language (Bengali).



The participating Blogs are:

Monday, May 17, 2010

Back to Full Time Writing Again

It is great to be back in full time writing after so many months. To me, blogging has become synonymous to writing because this is what I have been doing for the last 4 years. Many people would like to put a difference between them but it is fine with me. Blogging has brought financial stability and that is something that has been absent for most part of my life.
Living in a third world country with financial instability is a very bad curse. There is no credit card to buy some things when things are desperate. Hunger is real even for a person of middle class background. Sometimes, I feel that a lot of blame goes to me too. I always had a larger than life feeling and sometimes, dedicated for the wrong people. Then on the other hand, these real life sufferings, failures and mistakes are great materials for writing.
I know that when I will write about sufferings in a short story or novel, I know what I am talking about it. Yes, I have experienced some of the sufferings and worries first hand. Few days ago, I read Tragedy and the Whole Truth of Aldous Huxley. If you have time then read it.
If you read this blog regularly then perhaps you have become tired of the matter that I repeatedly said for many months that I was sick and I had no energy to work. In the last 3 months, I was some away from Blogging and I did some other projects. Fortunately, the health has recovered to a great extent. Yesterday, my health took a very bad kind of beating but fortunately, 12 hours of rest has helped it to get much better.
Today, when I woke up, I had still some headache and weakness but there is a lot of hunger for work at the same time. So, here I am back to a new beginning.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Month of May is very Tough

If you live in Europe or America then May should be a great month for you. It is Spring Time and you enjoy the weather. However, the country I live in, May is the toughest month to deal with. It is the hottest month with hardly any rain. Going out becomes a nightmare and nothing short of a disaster. If I go out one day then I have to rest for the next day or sometimes two days. At the same time, I have to look after the blogs. It seems that at last, good time is coming for me in blogging as there has been a huge improvement in traffic for one of my blogs in the last one week.

Thus, there is good and bad news. Things look bright for me as far as blogging is concerned but at the same time, my health is taking a very bad beating from the weather and works. The good thing is that mental stress has dropped significantly. I see some kind of hope that I can start doing research and writing some short stories. It has been always a challenge for me to find time to do these things my life for many years consisted of just earning money and paying the bills.

Now, the best thing for me is that I can blog again if I am not sick. Last July and August, I had to undergo teeth treatment and it was very difficult for me. After the treatment finished, my health became very weak and I could not write at all. Now, I am almost back to my full capacity again and all I need is to finish some outside works and then I can again start writing.

Of the Victorian poets, I am a very big fan of Robert Browning and I am not that fan of Tennyson. However, it is Tennyson’s Poem Ulysses that gives a lot of mental strength and encouragement. I am giving you the last few lines here:

Though much is taken, much abides; and though

We are not now that strength which in old days

Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;

One equal temper of heroic hearts,

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

 

I am not old yet and perhaps not middle aged. I lost my physical energy in the last one year but I feel that I have my mental strength back.

 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

On the way to Make a Strong Comeback

It surely feels very nice to get back my health as I feel very fresh now a days. I can blog again and right now, I am reading a lot about different things. The sickness has become a blessing in disguise. I feel fresh and I had some break from work. More than everything, I found a lot of time to think and I feel that I have become matured as a person as well as a writer. So, I feel hungry for some blogging.

I also feel hungry for writing some short stories and doing some research. I have seen some ups and downs in my life. Most probably, it is the time to go up. Well, I must set some priorities and try to follow some rules. I should make a good plan. I am weak in this matter: making a plan and following it.

 

Sunday, May 09, 2010

When Life Becomes so Artificial: Mother’s Day 2010

I am not one of those mother’s boys as from childhood I had my own individualism growing all the time. So, Mother’s Day does not mean anything to me. Well, even Valentine’s Day does not mean much to me either. I cannot remember giving my wife any gift in any Valentine’s Day. It did not decrease the love in our couple life. In fact, I think we are among the happiest couples among all the people I can see around us. We never thought of any SMS and Quotes to make us happier.
That is why, I see that Mother’s Day is becoming an artificial thing and it is mainly meant to celebrate the selling of cards with famous quotes about mothers and mobile phone companies making some more money with sending more text messages.
Of course, it is the day of the gift shops too as they can sell many products. There is nothing wrong in selling products, text messages or cards. They help to keep the economy running in any country and it is very important. However, the main problem happens when people start to think that they can buy happiness by SMS, cards and quotes about mothers. 

Friday, May 07, 2010

A Book Hero and a Real Life Hero

We, the writers, create characters and try to make them alive. We try to make the characters exceptional and memorable in the mind of the writers, we make our heroes do impossible things or at least try to do. Sometimes, they get defeated but most of the time they win in life. They win not because they are heroes or heroines. They win because they are determined to win and they try with all their heart. Yes, this heart factor makes a difference in life in the end. They don’t make excuses, they don’t care for obstacles. They know that life is not rosy. They just try against all the odds.
Today, I was thinking of this matter because in my life, I need a heroic effort at this point of time. 4 years ago, I did something extra-ordinary when I started blogging. I got a blogging job and I had had little idea about this field. I was good in writing, I knew my field but I did not have any idea about how to make people read my content. In blogging, at the end of the day, this is all what matters and what it counts. No matter how good you write if it is not read by several thousand people a day, you cannot earn enough money to pay your bills. This was the reality 4 years ago, this is the reality today.
Four years ago, when I started professional blogging, I just tired with all my energy. I spent night after night working and for 10 months, what happened was that I woke up from sleep and then I sat on my PC. Then worked as long as I was awake and then I left my computer and then went to bed to sleep. My wife was very supportive and she used to cook and bring food and helped me with typing when my hands gave pain. We just got together after waiting almost 4 years in Internet. I know that it was painful for her as she never dreamt of a husband who would from first day sit on PC and just work. It was very painful for me too as it was not my dream either. However, we both knew that this was the only way to make our couple life comfortable.
As far as producing content or writing blog entries is concerned, I think that my skill has improved. I have become a better writer, better researcher. My health was bad but now, I am fine again. I feel that I have become a matured writer and with each passing month, my knowledge is improving.
Again, the problem is that it does not matter if I can write well or if I am improving a lot. What matters is that I have to get thousands of people to read my content. Without Paypal or any kind of credit card or online transaction facility, I am really against all the odds in blogging. In fact, this is the challenge in my life. If it was just writing everyday, I had no problem. I love writing and it is in my blood. Both my father and mother were journalists.
Well, as I said, a hero tries from his heart and with all his heart. I am happy that my health has improved a lot and I feel much natural. So, it is second beginning for me in blogging. It is again the time for a heroic effort. The economic recession and bad health have taken away a lot from me. I have to make my company successful not for the future of my wife and me but for the other 3 members of the company. I am just happy for one thing that this time, I have the skill and knowledge. I know what I should do. 4 years ago, I did not know what I need to do. I had to find my ways and I had to discover many things.
Of course, I am writing this entry to motivate myself but I guess that you can get some encouragement too if you read it twice. 

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Female Writers are not Popular in Internet

This is impression I got looking after a list of 50 most popular women on the web. Not one of them is a writer. You can perhaps call Oprah some sort of a book enthusiast but she is not anyway a writer. So, I could not find a single female writer in this list. You don’t get any point to rightly guess that most of the women who made the list were actresses and singers who like to show their body parts much more than the average women even in USA.
Most of these 50 most popular women on the web are always seen with their make ups and they have no interest about education or studies. Still, you can find huge number websites and blogs writing about them because they are very popular and hot and sexy.
Seeing this list reminded me of the movie Alex and Emma. Emma is a very ordinary girl but she is a good girl. She is not a hot or sexy type of woman. Rather, she is a hard working and honest girl who can be a great girl friend of a wife. On the other hand, Polina is a very pretty and attractive woman. In the end, the hero, Alex realizes that happiness is with Emma not with Polina. I wish that most men could realize this simple truth. Then the world would have been a much better place.   

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Reading now The Study of Poetry of Matthew Arnold

I read The Study of Poetry of Matthew Arnold in 1996 in the third year of my Bachelor in English Literature. If you want to read the text then here is the link: http://www.bartleby.com/28/5.html
In 1996, it was some difficult for me to understand the text but this time, when I again read it, I liked it a lot. The Study of Poetry is a text that falls under the category of literary criticism. Here, Mathew Arnold has given some advice both to the poets and the readers. I don’t know why there is not any material or discussion about it. I think that it is an important text in the history of literary Criticism. Most probably, most of us do not like to read about literary criticism. I read it because I had to do it as a part of my BA in English Literature. Still, I liked the text for a particular reason.
I am interested about history of England and Mathew Arnold wrote this particular essay at a time when England was the most powerful country on earth. The Study of Poetry was published in T. H. Ward’s anthology, The English Poets in 1880. In fact, this essay appeared as to the introduction of this book. I intend to write another 2-3 entries in this blog about this essay. So, I am not going to discuss about the essay today. I just like to mention that I do not agree with Arnold about most of the things he said in this essay.  
Have you read The Study of Poetry? If so let me know what you think about it? 

Monday, May 03, 2010

I had a Dream to Become a Writer

One of the biggest problems in life is that when we suffer then we think that we alone are suffering. My whole life has been full of struggles for many years and sometimes I forget that I’m not the only person who is suffering in this world. Just think of the girl who comes every day and do all the housework in my home.
She does the cleaning, washing and cooking. Of course, she never dreamt that she would cook very tasty foods for another person but she would not have three decent meals a day. It is not that I am a cruel person but this is life. In fact, compared to most other people, I am much kinder with the servant. Still, I’m sure that she never dreamt that someday she will work in the house of other people and she would have to do it forever.
Compared to her, I’m very lucky because at a very young age I could stop doing jobs for others and enjoyed all the freedoms of a freelance person. Being a freelance or self employed worker has its own problems but the freedom is really amazing. Right now, I feel somewhat frustrated because I have to take care of so many things and sometimes, all the pressures put a lot of stress on my nerves. Still, when I think of the servant who works for me, I’m really a very lucky person in life.
I guess that this is one of the main benefits of studying literature in university. Literature opens our eyes and helps us to think better. Literature has taught me to think of other people and take a look of their condition. When I see most people around me then I feel that I’m very lucky because I have the job that I always dreamt. I have a very happy couple life with a very good wife. I have three students who are very dedicated and listen to me. Because of their efforts, I am slowly becoming a successful blogger.  
In the end of the day, I have frustrations, failures, stress but I have freedom, satisfaction, happiness and hope.
As soon as I can increase my income some more and get some stability in life, I can start writing books. I have many ideas about writing books and I am confident that I will become very successful as an author. The struggles of so many years have taught me many valuable lessons.
I can work very hard and I have acquired some very important skills like Doing research and taking interviews. I can find and collect information very rapidly. I have developed habit of browsing Internet and sitting with computer for long hours.
 So, I have developed many of the skills that are needed to become a successful writer. The only thing that I need to do is to earn some more money and focus more. If I can just forget everything for one hour every day and dedicate that one hour for quality writing then every month I can produce something that can bring satisfaction for me. In fact, from today I’m going to do just that and start to try to fulfill my dream of becoming a real writer.