Top

May 12, 2011


It was another Saturday. During the Physical Training session, our Teacher told us that a troupe of acrobats will be giving a performance for us.

As it was, Saturdays used to be enjoyable. There would be a prolonged and relaxed Physical Training session, Head Master’s address and then our P Competition. There was an old Behda (Terminalia Belerica) tree in the playground, which had thick snaky exposed roots spanning several feet and with several holes due to years of use. If you aimed for one the P would travel underground and appear several feet away from you. Depending upon discharge, it could emanate five feet away or twelve. Nice subject to compete for! After this session, there would be a crafts class and then a period which usually featured magicians, acrobats, bicycle travelers, sketch artists and similar such who had trotted the whole country and wished to share their experiences.

As a custom. we used to be seated in rows, but not today. We were made to seat in a circle and the acrobats were to perform in the center. Unlike other troupes, this troupe had a number of members – Male and Female. They were all said to be from China, a friendly neighboring country that was discussing Panch Sheel (five principles for good living) from our book and were travelling from village to village, school to school presenting their skills. However, they were in no mood of playing at length the acrobatic show. Instead, they took out Tops from their gunny bag and started spinning them one by one. In the beginning, the size of Tops was about my fist, then my head. Finally, they reached a size of full-grown red Pumpkin. The spinning chords graduated to ropes. The elder troupe member started placing the spinning tops on to our palms, then a taut string held by two of the performers, on the head of one of their girls who brought them down one by one via her forehead, nose, neck, chest, stomach, legs and finally toes. The tops on the string were thrown about, afloat and around and caught back to rest on the string while still spinning. In all, there must have been about thirty odd Tops of all sizes, shapes and colors, spinning at a time, every top immersed in its own separate world. We were speechless. ‘This is what the Top Spin is!’ – we all thought.

 

The troupe disappeared in the thin  air and nobody saw them in the town after that performance.

Naturally, everybody of us started dreaming of becoming a Top-Master, or Spin-Master. The only top I had was of a size of a ground nut. This was a scale model of a Top some relative had gifted.  It could well have been a drawing pin. Unquestionably, it was useless for any of the tricks I saw that day.

I started my mission alone. I surveyed the shops to find if they sold a Top. None had any.  “It is not the season or vacation time” was the explanation. I started begging with the senior friends if they had any. One of them spared one which was battered on one side, of a very soft wood, but had a good steel pin. I had no idea then that this Top would eventually become my trade mark and a surefire instrument for pulling my leg in any verbal quarrel.

Next Sunday, I started very early and went to the newly opened timber mill which had a section for fixing steel rims over timber cart wheels. It was an amazing experience to watch steel rims being hammered from steel ingots, then heating them in coal and cow dung cakes, the manual work in preparing hard timber spokes of cart-wheel section, meticulous assembling of these sections, covering the perimeter of assembled cart-wheel with white-hot steel rim, dipping it immediately in a temporary water puddle and whoosh … steam volcano.

“Want a cart-wheel?” Somebody in a scarlet coloured beard and moustache asked.

I blushed and said, “No, a simple toy Top.”

“No chance when we have enough cart-wheel orders. It is racing season. Don’t you know? Go buy it in a shop. Or bring a chord strong enough to spin the cart-wheel and I shall give you one of these free”

“There are none in the shops!”

“Is it?…. Let me see…. Do one thing. Get you wooden top fabricated from ‘That person’. I shall then fix for you the steel pin.”

‘That person’ was a carpenter who was turning wooden cots and tables. He was squatting, holding his manual lathe between his feet and his wife operated it with her hands. I watched him for a few minutes. He had also crafted a rice pounder, a shallow utensil, a big spoon and a doll.

“Want a cot?”

“No, just a simple toy Top” I said.

“No chance. Too busy; since the snake breeding season is on and people want cots pronto. But you can do one thing…See that timber stall there? Bring a cube of the size you want your Top and I shall make one for you”

‘That timber stall’ was a giant timber depot, not a baby stall. It had huge piles of logs and neatly sawn blocks that nobody could have held in his grip. I wandered and wandered around, hiding from the watchman and looking for a small cube. The watchman caught me eventually.

“Want a log?” He made fun.

“No. Just a cube about this size for my Top,” I showed him my fist.

“Ha, Ha. Not here kid, this is a teak wood depot. Not Top-Wood depot”

“So, what wood do I need for my Top?”

“Any jungle wood, which is hard and dark.. almost black…Acasia, Khair, Tamarind. Not this expensive variety meant for furniture and roofing…. Go to a fire wood depot. You can have waste wood there”

“And where is that?”

“Vegetable market! Where else?….Why don’t you try with ‘That’ cart wheel factory?  They always have cut pieces.”

“But he told me to come here”

“Naaa….Go there.” He closed the subject.

I went back to the cart-wheel factory, this time however hiding from the red beard. Indeed there were blocks of size I wanted and of dark colour. I picked one when the red beard came running.

“Drop that. That is for the wheel centre… What did I tell you? Go there!”

I recited to him the lathe-man and depot-man story.

“Is it?” He said thoughtfully. Then said, “You were told to search it in the fire-wood shop, right?”

“Yes”

“And where can you find the fire wood?”

“In the vegetable market!”

“Wrong! Go to your house. You use fire wood for your stove or not? You will find it there. No need to go to vegetable market.”

Perplexed with all the confusing reasoning, I must have made a stupid or sad or both face. Because the red beard picked up a piece of red wood, threw it while hollering to the lathe-man asking him ‘to do what I was telling him to do’ and smiled at me.

“Get it turned. Bring the top here to fix the Pin”.

Lathe-man was now compelled to turn out my Top. He did it, after all his pending work was over, constantly complaining that his turning tool will need double sharpening tomorrow because the wood was too hard. Once completed, I held the top in my hand, not believing my luck. It had such beautiful red and brown grains spanning the periphery and a bitter scent of freshly turned wood. Must be Acacia. I would need the rope to spin it, not chord, I thought. It was a good two pounder Top.

“Cant make any smaller with this lathe…What are you looking at?…. You got the best top in the world without paying a single paisa!“ said the lathe-man.

This payment part I had not accounted for until now.

The Red Beard gave the top to his assistant for fixing the Pin and then told me to hold his finger. He took me to the back of his workshop where a kid smaller than me was playing with five or six Tops. None had any Pins. He asked me to wait there until he fixed my Top. I went near to the kid but he took no notice. Immersed in his own thoughts he was crudely spinning the Tops one by one and making circles with his fingers replicating the motion. I clapped, started imitating him, but he did not even look at me.

“Dumb and deaf; but fond of Tops just like you. He can play for a whole day like this” Red Beard said watching me.

“He should go to school?”

“School? He can not speak!”

“So what? Let him come”

“That would be too much for him. He does not recognize we parents, leave aside others”

I tried to touch the kid in a friendly way. He promptly retracted himself.

“You can come and play with him, when you have time. He is Rehman….. I suppose you are not paying me anything for you Top.”

He handed over my Top. I thanked him and inquired about the price as if I had money in my pocket.

“Leave it, leave it” He said.

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The household was on fire when I returned back. Nobody knew about this errand. My friends had told Grandma Tai that they had seen me near the Behda tree in the morning, but not after that. Nana Uncle was searching for me the entire day but had no premonition that I would be around Red Beard’s workshop. Most of Tai’s friends had concluded that I had been abducted by the infamous “ghost of the Behda tree”.

Nobody wanted to look at my precious Top. Nobody had any interest in my project; not even the fact that I had not eaten anything for the entire day. Instead, as a punishment, I was banned from visiting the Behda tree; on school days as also on holidays and during vacation! Quite a sacrifice!

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I carried the Top in my bag the next day to school. The pin was so sharp, it tore my bag at more than a few places. Friends were wonderstruck by the sheer size of the Top. They immediately banned this Top from all competitive games.

I was proud of the Top eventhough it became a museum piece. I had to use for competitions the borrowed, weathered Top which soon became a laughing stock, because either it would not spin or spin according to its whim like a drunkard and would lose each and every competition.

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I did not forget my promise to Red Beard and visited Rehman when ever I went that side. He never showed any signs of recognition until after he was some fifteen years old. He had by now acquired a perpetual saintly smile.

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The India-China war broke out not much after the Chinese Top Spinners had visited our school. Naturally, people remembered them in every heated discussion. Some called them spies, some said they could have come from Indian North East Frontier region and not from across the Chinese side. Nobody talked about their spinning skills.

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Image Credit : Google Images

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(Readers are encouraged to read about Autism. I am now convinced Rehman was Autistic.)

Lizards are for ever

December 5, 2010


The mosquito nets arrived much later.

Before that, one had to get accustomed to the domestic lizards bungee jumping without cord straight in to your bed during wee hour of night, straight from the 30 feet high tiled roof. They would lie flat on the blanket or on their (and/or your) stomach with amused eyes as if nothing special had happened. While you watched with bated breath if it was dead or faking death, slowly they would start crawling to where your face was. If you were smart, you had already covered your face with the blanket. If you were not, you would shake the blanket like a Shakespearean actor throwing his robe. If you were aunts, you would bring the house down with your petrified cries. If you were grandma, you would just shoo the lizard off.

These were really annoying creatures with impeccable ability to surprise you consistently, real horror movie stuff. If you were in a mood to use study table, one of them would suddenly materialize to inspect if you were really serious about your studies- more often, there would be two of them chasing each other for your fun. If you were happy that they had gone to sleep; they would start crawling on your bare feet and continue upward journey; making you wonder what was their destination. And that cold, pin-ny, soapy feel…best not experienced.

If I was serious about my home work, I would sit away from all the walls, in the middle of the hall, not under the wooden trusses, not very near the lantern and not without a stick in hand. Near the lantern would flock the insects, and to catch them, the lizards. Even then, you would hear Grandma saying, ‘So, what is today’s game? Home-work or lizard chase?’

Curtsey Google Images

During the first rains, the entire house would be full of the newly born flying insects with disproportionate wings and a horde of lizards savoring them with mechanically opening and closing mouths. An entire inch by inch moth would disappear in a matter of seconds in those perennially hungry tiny jaws. If the menace became too much, and usually it did, Nana uncle before  dinner would take all the lanterns in the verandah, keep them side by side, let all the insects and lizards gather there and then methodically slaughter them one by one. This was yearly ritual. And it had to be done. If not, snakes would be the next, chasing after the lizards and… dhup…. in your bed.

There was a saying those days that if one killed a cat or a lizard, you had to pay back a cat or lizard made of gold to a deity in Benares. Nana uncle usually said that he will have to gather his weight in gold if he were to repay all those killings in Gold.

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There was demise in the family. Visitors were served the porridge on the 10th day ritual. The hosts thought that the guests will disperse the next day. They did not. Most of them stayed back for the 14th day ritual. To cope up with the situation, the woman of the house kept on stove the other day’s leftover porridge for warming. A lizard was seen swimming in it. She did not care. She just fished (or lizarded) out the lizard and served the porridge to guests. Most of them went sick for two days, since there was no medical help in our small town. They blamed the stale porridge, not the woman. After a period, out of guilt, the Lady of the house confessed about the lizard business and invited silent wrath of the clan. But she did not forget to add that the guests should not have overstayed in the first place. The lizards and the anecdote gained a cult status in our family because of this incident.

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When I graduated from engineering school, I had to register my name in ‘Employment Exchange’ so that I could get job offers from government establishments. The employment office then was a rickety old unkempt building. On my first day at the exchange, I had the standard questionnaire in my hand. At a particular query I stumbled and looked up to think about the answer. Surprise!! I saw a massive-massive congregation of lizards; on the walls, under the tiled roof, in the corners. There must have been close to five or six hundred of them, climbing over each other. The office staff was working right under them oblivious to their presence. It was no wonder there was not a single woman officer in the building.

I had to go there a several times to take calls (one at a time). Invariably I had to wait for my turn. I started using this spare time to sketch the lizards  with ball point pen– with open and closed jaws, resting, leaning, running, baiting, biting, heaping. Their colors varied between glistening pale green to muddy grey to striped to grossly ugly brown or black, textures transparent to opaque.  How they were living in harmony was truly awe-inspiring. May be during day time they discriminated their duties towards the staff and visitors and in the nights they showed their true character.

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Marriage brought to me my wife, in addition her fears about lizards and the horrified shrieks when you were least expecting these.

On a Sunday, I removed by bike from under the staircase, felt something on my back, but overlooked it because of the rush. I went to the laundry, my back was now having a good amount of exercise because there was something slithering inside the tucked in shirt. I requested the launderer to have a look. He did, jumped back but said there was nothing special and I should immediately go straight to home and change the clothes. I went home and requested my wife to have a look. Her shrieks confirmed my doubt. I hurriedly removed the shirt and there it was – a full-grown green one who had taken free ride on my back. Later on, the launderer told me that the lizard was peeping out all the time from the collar.

The other saying about lizards is that if they fell on the clothes you were wearing, you got new clothes to wear in near future. As expected, nobody gifted to me a shirt.

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Curtsey - Google Images

Recently, our permanent residence was closed for five years. When we returned, it was not our home but to a colony of lizards. They had even distributed rooms between themselves. We spared no efforts to throw them out; even pest controlled the entire house many a times. But they promptly returned to their respective rooms.  I had an all obsessive growing feeling that this was not our house any more. It was theirs and we were guests in it at their mercy. How best can you describe? You want to sleep and there is this couple resting above the head-board. You wished to write and the table would be already occupied by one of them. You wanted to wash utensils and there was one picking at us in the sink. The kitchen platform, couches, TV cabinet, nothing was beyond their reach. And that element of surprise! We spent sleepless nights just to make sure where their abode was today so that you were not surprised the next day if it came out of your coat hanger. But they always foxed you and appeared at different places every day, and night. One particular bedroom was their pet. So I plugged all the holes there, but to no result.

Painting done, when I was shifting a couch, 30 kgs held high on my head, wife spotted one roaming around the entire surface area of the couch. A big one. Imagine. I am holding the couch high and the lizard making an F1 circuit over it. I am worried that it will come down my arms. Wife is screaming behind you in most horrified soprano….I just dropped the couch on the newly laid tiles and damaged a few… and the Lizard vanished as if nothing had happened, to reappear the next day promptly. My wife now was confidently telling every visitor that she is indeed more courageous and I was more afraid of the lizards than she was.

Come pest control guy, sprays the whole house with liquid of nasty odor that brings about bouts of wife’s asthma. He disappears. The painter has painted the house with plastic luster paint.  The lizards are not killed but temporarily paralyzed behind the furniture. They come out and cannot climb the walls because the walls are too smooth for their nightly activities. Frustrated, they start racing all over the house on floor tiles. With them my wife, and because of her sound effects, I. Days pass, lizards take their rightful places, we name them by looks and beauty and we keep watch throughout the night with their horoscopes in hand wondering where they will probably rise the next morning.

I had to kill a few. The tools? The floor duster, grossly inadequate. They would just bear the blow and start moving ones again. Then we tried the domestic insect killer spray. The lizards would faint but start moving ones we were sure that they were dead. Wife would ask to throw them as soon as they fainted. As soon as I went to collect, it would start moving and before that would start her shrieks behind my back making it an impossible task. Finally, she said that I am coward and if  I killed one – means really killed one – she would herself throw it out. One did die. However she waited until the house-maid arrived the next day and asked her to dispose it off. When the house-maid went to collect it, it started to move. But our housemaid was braver. She eventually caught and disposed it off.

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The battle has not stopped. We listen to advises and read articles about how best the lizards control pests and insects, how they are afraid of us and we should not be of them, but do wish in the end that they do not surprise us at least.

National Geographic channel these days showcased a person who fed the wild lizards rice from his palms. He even had a whistle language to announce to them the lunch time. One of my “Friends of Snakes” nephew routinely caught lizards with bare hands to feed his snakes; so was a tiny girl who was not afraid of befriending and taking them outside her house in her palm. My salutes to such brave-hearts/hands. But caution! Once you get married, you can be made to lose your courage.

After all, when I was a kid, the lizards used to be called the Laxmi of the house, the deity that brings in prosperity and not the deity that brings in bravado.

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Nana uncle one day told me that I would be going out with him during the night.

This was thrill. Because, the town used to be in the grip of darkness after around seven in the evening and children were banned from venturing out of the house after dark.

I took Nana uncle’s finger and was so ecstatic; I was dancing all the way. Nana Uncle was carrying a stick in his right hand to ward off snakes. On the left was I. I made him stop at various places, to see clear moonlit skies, to listen to the crickets by Motha Nalla, the big stream, the yet open restaurants clad in the pale yellow glow of lanterns, the old Hapton bus ( https://rajeevne.wordpress.com/2010/05/30/half-ton-to-st/ ) in grey slumber and the jasmine bloom at Phatak grandpa’s house. But I told him to tread quickly when we passed Doctor Grandpa’s house.

We reached river Khuni’s sand bed. It was today transformed in to an ocean of mostly men and a few women. The programme had already started. I could see the dias far away and hear the clear notes of Mridang, Ektari, Chiplya’s and Daf, although there were no loud-speakers installed. We went near to the stage.

The person singing was in tattered clothes, a cloth head-gear.

“Who is this?” I enquired.

“Tukdoji Maharaj…Now listen carefully to him.” Nana Uncle warned me.

So I listened.

“Lakadacha dev tyale aageecha bhev,

Dagadacha dev tyale panyacha bhev,

Sonya Chandicha dev tyale choracha bhev,

Dev ashane bhetayacha nahee re, dev bajarcha bhajipala nahee re…

And the chorus….Hey SSSS mani nahi bhav mhane deva male pav…..”

(The wooden God is susceptible to fire, the stone God is susceptible to the water, the gold or silver God is susceptible to theft. You cannot find God this way, He is not the vegetables on sale at the market place.)

Nana Uncle found his friends in the crowd and started talking to them. I fell asleep on his shoulders and he must have carried me back sometime in the late night.

As usual, I reported the night’s adventure to Grandpa Anna in the early morning after our BhagwadGeeta recital.

He questioned if I understood anything from Saint Tukdoji’s devotional songs and I said, “Yes, yes, a lot….We should not think that Gods are brave, because they are all afraid of something or else.”

He looked at me quizzically and said, “You indeed learnt a lot. Recite what you heard yesterday.”

I did whatever I remembered, and he said “Go, play now.”

It was summer and vacation was on.

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My Grandma, Tai, was extreme case when it was a question of fasting. Come rainy season and her fasts would start. As it is she never ate on Mondays and Thursdays. But during rainy season, she would not eat the normal food for four months. No water during day time and only fruits, milk or a little curd in the evening. As it is she was quite frail. After the four months of fasting ritual, she usually reduced to a leafless acacia tree. Many a woman observed fast those days, but Tai’s fasts were famous in the vicinity as real, ideal, total, fasts.

I dreaded rainy seasons because she was also committed to other two rituals which I had to carry out on her behalf.

The first! During the month of Shravan, on Mondays, I had to take a container full of curd, milk, honey, sugar and ghee mixture to the Shiva temple and anoint the stone Shiva Ling with it. She accompanied sometimes, but mostly it would be me alone.

There would be my friends following me, throwing stones at the curd container throughout my pilgrimage to Shiva Temple. The priest would be definitely missing when I arrived. The school timing would be missed and I would be reprimanded by teacher for late arrival, would be made to stand on bench and tell the whole class why I was late. This increased the number of stone-throwers the next Monday.

The Second!! Tai had also devoted herself to swathe the Marai and Jakhai goddesses with curd rice every rainy season. For me it was a repeat ordeal, worse than the Shiva ritual. More so for Marai and Jakhai, because they had no priests to attend to them. They were there on a hillock, just standing under a tree in the open. As such, I had to carry out all the ritual by myself. They were ferocious looking goddesses, although in timber. They used to watch me all the time when I swathed them, and also, whether I was doing my job well. There was no chance for short cuts or slippage.

 

This rainy season I said to Tai that I will not help her. I said, “The new class teacher is very brutal towards latecomer. And most importantly, the stone God is afraid of water and the timber God is afraid of fire. What good is it to cover them with curd or milk or rice any way?”

As usual she went to Anna, complained about my refusal and he said that he would not press me to do this job. Tai was furious. She stopped talking to me. I did not mind that.

Come Monday, she placed the curd container in front of me. I did not look at it and went to school. As I was coming back, I saw Tai returning from the Shiva Temple, drenched in heavy rain. So what? I had Grandpa’s backing for my actions.

This continued for all four Mondays.

Tai did not request me after the first Monday and carried out the ritual all by herself…..and fell sick. Doctor Grandpa said she has grown anemic due to fasting and should not continue observing those, neither she should get wet in rain. As expected, she did not pay attention to this advice. Doctor Grandpa and Anna also did not press this point much, because they knew she would not listen to any body.

The Marai and Jakhai’s ‘no-moon day’ ritual eventually arrived. Tai had still not recovered. It was a no-school day. Still she did not ask me. Instead, she got up from the sick-bed, took head bath and started preparations in wet clothes. Looking at her pale and shaking body, I could not stay detached. I told her to stay put, took the curd rice she had prepared forcibly from her hands, went running in the rain and swathed the goddesses myself.

I scolded the goddesses all the time saying, ‘You wanted this? Take this!’ while applying the curd-rice plaster.

Next day Tai was up and running as if nothing was wrong with her health.

In the evening we had a dinner-conference.

Anna said, “Enough is enough. Next year, there will not be any rituals performed like this. Not if you are going to fall sick.”

“Why? Shiva is our family God ! ……And Marai and Jakahai my dear ones….. On the other hand, you family members should help me in maintaining traditions.”

Tai then said to me, “And listen, You. Timber or metal or stone, I do not mind. Why should anybody?…..Does anybody know why I perform these rituals or observe fasts?”

I said, “No. I do not know. Tell me.”

“You are a little skewed, that is why, and won’t listen to anybody”, Nana Uncle said.

“It is just to discipline my body, and to see how much I can endure, nothing more than that. If I am in difficulty, this discipline helps me. Gods do not, but my discipline does help.”

“And why were you sick yesterday and suddenly well today?” I questioned. Was that Goddesses’ doing?

“You were not ashamed to share my effort, which is why. And you went on to please timber goddesses just for me, which is why.”

Then I told all present once more in loud voice that I did not like Gods that are afraid. Further, that the Marai and Jakhai idols did not appear friendly but want to eat you up, the idols had deteriorated too much and all the curd rice that day went ‘inside’ the timber statues, instead of covering them, the idols were just leaning on a tree trunk, had no footing to stand on and the Goddesses appeared angry lame because of that.

Few days later I casually visited Marai and Jakhai abode, and to my surprise, I saw that the old idols had been promptly replaced with new ones, a bit smiling ones this time.

To that, Tai said, “Timber is Timber. Timber is afraid of fire and water and termite and decay. Not our Marai or Jakhai. They were in the old idols and are now in the new. And it is definitely useful when children are not afraid of the statues.”

Tai did not give up her ‘discipline’ and I was not ashamed of helping her afterwards, since it was just for her and not for anything else.


I started posting on this blog on 1st April 2010. Two months have elapsed since.

I used Blog Stats, discovered the WordPress  features and have been fiddling with Facebook and Google links. The FeedJit link for live feed I could not establish, do not know what was the reason. May be WordPress does not support it.

The ‘ Stats’ and my two month journey was quite interesting.

1. Fact: Maximum hits are scored on Tuesday and Friday.

Most of my readers seem to be serious office goers that are subject to ‘Monday blues’ and ‘Start of Weekend mood’ (assuming my blog relaxes them). What do they do on Mon, Wed, Thur, Sat and Sun is anybody’s guess.

Learning:

Fact is a fact is a fact. Why tire yourself on the other days? Upload the new post on Sunday or Thursday.

2. Fact: Traffic is the same for both the months. The daily average was maintained.

 Learning:

Do not visit blog stats page unnecessarily. You are not going to find a bouquet or a bomb there everyday. Do not worry about the Daily and Weekly Stats. There are other important things in life than Blog Stats.

3. Fact: Spams make life hell.

WordPress Akismet module blocks all the spams. I had 6 spams until now. All were blocked by Akismet. But the 5th one has taught me a lesson. It was a smooth mail praising the blog. I was foxed. I opened it, read it and deleted it. Meanwhile it ate away my Vista Home. I could retrieve all the data, but had to freshly install Windows and now trying hard to get accustomed to 7. I suffered a 5 day black out.

Learning:

If Akismet terms it to be a spam, it is a spam. Just delete it. Don’t even read it. If you get praise from unknown quarters, do not believe in it.

4. Fact: There are a lot of ups and downs in hits

I had expected a trend suggesting steady rise or steady fall, whenever it occurred. Readers do have mood swings and periods – of inaction.

Learning:

Dont live in a virtual world! Accept that the sudden peaks and dips cannot be explained – except for Tuesday and Friday.

5. Fact: Number of hits has no relation to the quality of the post.

Learning:

Readers will make you fall flat on your face. They have an in built ability to surprise you.

6. Fact: Readers in general do not like to ratify posts, or comment on or discuss your post (barring a few respected exceptions).

I expected many a comments on some of my posts. I thought readers are very enthusiastic.

Learning:

Wrong!!! Nobody wants to type or click. Either all the readers are very finger-tired lot or Stephen Hawking is the only reader that you have.

7.  Fact: People do not like serious content.

I do not wish to believe in the above statement, but the stats say so. The hits just go down after such posts. Earlier on, I remained with bated breath in quandary whether the traffic on my next post also will be affected.

Learning:

What you think ‘Serious’ is ‘Not Funny’ for the readers. Do not expect that readers will read serious posts or discuss its relevance. They are as free as sharks and will do whatever they want to a caged writer.

8. Fact: The effect of automatic messages pasted by WordPress on Facebook, Google et al. remains for one day only.

 On the day your post is advertised, you get a spurt in activity. After that, the advertisement loses its charm. A day old post is “Really Old” or “Dead” butterfly.

Learning:

Understand this reality.

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Overall, the two months have been enjoyable.

There were many a personal comments on the first few posts. May be readers thought that I am writing an autobiography. I am Not.

Any and All critique is good. So, please reply and rate posts.

Nikhil and Ranjeet commented on almost all of my posts and kept me going in this initial period. An unknown admirer is sending feeds for my ‘Qawwali’ and therefore other posts from Twitter. Thank you.

I visited a number of hitherto unknown blogs which appeared automatically on my posts. One I have added to my blogroll so that it gets more exposure.

While reading other blogs, I am now considerate, give them respect, and make sure I write a word or two in discussion forums about them. That is what all the bloggers like I think.

Somebody should coin a term “Blego Surfing” or “Stego Surfing” like they have done for “Ego Surfing” – for people who spend half of their internet time on Blog Stats.