Saturday, June 24, 2006

One

2x3x7 turns one year old today.

*cue stirring music and montage of black and white newsreels*

Exactly one year ago, on the stroke of the midnight hour in some time zone or the other, I made a tryst with destiny. Destiny may claim that it wasn't a tryst and that we just happened to meet at a party where we had mutual friends, but she's just trying to be coy.

I had a dream. Ich bin ein Blogger. I would write blogposts on the beaches, I would write blogposts in the fields. I would hold to the truth only if it was self-evident. I would not be amused.

It was a big step for me personally, though a minor flexing of toes for Mankind.

***

Writing birthday posts for blogs, is, of course, a well-formalised art.

Step 1: You start by being all self-deprecating and humble.

I'd like to thank all the people who read this blog regularly. All 1.264 of you. I, of course, am just a modest little blip in a firmament of stars burning as bright as Blake's tigers.

You may now jump to the comments section and tell me how I'm being too modest and I'm actually so great and how much you love me. (I know you're out there, I've seen you on sitemeter).

Well? I'm waiting.

Oh, come on. You read this blog. You KNOW I'm insecure and needy.

Right. That's more like it.

Step 2: Next, you wax nostalgic about your original vision for the blog. And how you think you've fared with it.

I started 2x3x7 with two aspirations, both negative.

1) I did not want to be classified - slotted into one category or the other. I did not want it to be a lit blog, or a personal blog or a humour blog, or a blog that linked to other blogs / MSM articles. I wanted it to be none of those things and all of them.

2) I did not want to take myself too seriously.

I'd like to think I've done okay on the first. I've slipped up a few times on the second, but I'm trying. Really, I am.

Step 3: Next, you talk about the ways in which blogging has surprised you. The things you didn't expect. The things you found out about yourself, etc.

More navel gazing. What fun.

The thing I didn't anticipate when I started blogging (aside from the complete lack of eligible women beating down my door to mate with me) was how demanding blogging would be. It's as though someone gave you a magic lamp that you could rub and have a genie pop up to do whatever you wished, but if you wished for the wrong thing (or asked for it in the wrong way) the genie would tell you so, in no uncertain terms and in the voice of your 5th grade geography teacher. It's scary how much blogging has taken over my life. There are days when I feel like my life is a squealing piglet being slowly swallowed by the boa constrictor of this blog.

Ah, well. It wasn't that much of a life anyway.

Step 4 (optional): Talk about all the wacky searches that have led people to your blog.

The three most searched for things that led to this blog:

1) Bakke vs. the University of California
2) Puff the Magic Dragon
3) Platonic / asexual relationships

So basically, all I've achieved in the last year is give the impression that I'm a) a lawyer b) a dope-fiend and c) impotent. (none of this is true, btw.)

No wonder the path to my door remains unbeaten.

Step 5: Make resolutions for what you're going to change going forward.

Ah, this is the fun part. let's see:

1. I shall try not to use footnotes [1]

2. I shall not bandy words with people in the comments section. I shall be calm and Buddha-like. I shall not react to people who are total #$%*ing morons and don't understand the brilliant things I'm saying and can't figure out, though I've said it repeatedly, in plain english, and it's obvious to begin with, that all I meant to say was that a) it isn't...oh, dear.

3. I will carefully scna each post for typos

3b. I shall not mix up its and it's. Thats just silly.

4. I shall finally resolve this whole white font on black background business.

5. I shall write more posts about the Universe - which has the lowest count among all my categories. (Humour tops the list with 78 posts. Clearly, I've been living up to my name)

6. I shall travel more so I have more posts about my travels to put up (see what I mean about my blog taking control of my life.)

7. I shall try to write stories that do not focus on how life is a meaningless hoax, relationships invariably end badly and we are all trapped in a world where purposeful action is impossible, even though all this is inherently true (as shall be explained in all these Universe posts I'm going to write - see point 5 above).

8. I shall pay close and grateful attention to all the feedback I get through your comments.

9. I shall pay no heed whatsoever to what you're saying in the comments section - I'm a free spirit who writes for self-affirmation and not to pander to the tastes of you readers.

10a. I shall try and respond to every comment I get

10b. I shall not check the blog every 20 minutes to see if I have any new comments to respond to.

Step 6: Close with a few cliched metaphors about how it's been such a spectacular journey, such a roller-coaster ride, etc.

Well, folks, the last year has been a real roller-coaster ride. (Oh, wait, I hate roller-coasters - they make my nauseous)

Well, folks, the last year has been an incredible journey. (What kind of journey though? I get motion-sick in cars and sea-sick on boats. And trains wobble too much. Dammit, there must be some mode of travel that I like. Ah yes)

Well, folks, the last year has been an amazing transatlantic flight. (Hmmm. )

Look, it's been fun, okay. There. I said it.

When I started this blog on 24th June 2005, it was because my life was a joke and I had nothing better to do with it. 365 days and 429 posts later, it's still a joke. But now it's a joke that other people get. That's what I call sharing. That's what I call personal growth.

Step 7 (as afterthought): Invite comments

Comments? Questions? Suggestions? Wishes? Curses? Magic Spells? Brickbats? WMDs? Home videos of your toothless 5 year old singing Heppy Birday To Djou? Inspiring Quotes from Great Men? Offers of intercourse? Suicide tips? Certificate for a lobotomy? Mastercard?

[1] Except where absolutely essential, of course.

46 comments:

hatshepsut said...

woo hoo. congratulations :). we do enjoy your blog. so - thank you.

and if my vaguely german-accented, pugilistic (i mean there's gotta be an explanation for why he's still toothless), toothless five-year old did not have me transfixed in horror by his rendition of "edelweisthh", then maybe i could consider such things as beating a path to your door, or dismantling the refrigerator for fun.

but that's not a luxury we have now is it?

it's 1:15 am there- do you know where YOUR children are?

-h

Cheshire Cat said...

The best blog anniversary post I've ever read. You really are a whiz at the list form. Artifact of the management training, perhaps?

We demand more posts about World Cup soccer, more posts on poetry, more funny posts, more posts on nothing at all, more posts for which the comments section has a gladiatorial feel to it... More posts full stop

May the boa contrictor never release its hold!

Supremus said...

Well, 1 is just the begining... err.. umm I hope :D.

Though I've discovered you quite recently (dont know if desi blogosphere is THAT big, or I am just lazy...), but nonetheless, have come to enjoy your humor articles the most :D (hint hint - more such plz)

Keep inkin. May the force be with you!

Suyog

Sony Pony said...

you are four months older than me. And one of my first(genetically-unrelated) additions to my newly minted blogroll. 2x3x7, what is that anyway?

Very nice post:)

confused said...

Falstaff,

First, congratulations :) It has been a great journey and reading you has been a pleasure, well not always, I mean sometimes you do leave me intimidated as to how this guy can write so damned well about almost anything! And then I go back to my worthless blog, and wonder should I even bother writing?

Yes, we demand more personal humor posts. And yes, we also demand more rants and more posts about current affairs. And thank you for always responding to comments. A lot of prominent bloggers don't do so.

cheers
btw, my blog anniversary is around the corner, could I steal some ideas from here please? :)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Falstaff...:-)

Krithi.

Shuchi said...

Falstaff, I am a regular reader of your blog though I don't comment that often. Congratulations on its first anniversary.

Repeating what others have said countless times before me: you're a wonderful writer. I look forward to reading a book by you someday :-)

venkat said...

Congratulations! and here's wishing you many more hits with the search term "impotent+lawyers" ;-)

dazedandconfused said...

Don't you think you should list your favorite people/customers in the comments section? :)

Is it Mockturtle, Heh heh, Shoefiend, Veena, Confused? (obviously, Patrix, Ash should be excluded due to conflict of interest...)

The ramblings of a shoe fiend said...

Happy birthday! I think you should give away a prize to the reader that checks your blog the most. Like a holiday in St. Barts or a promise to use less footnotes. KNowing you, I'm sure you'd prefer prize option no 1
*prepares to click on Falstaff's link 1000 times*

And d&c :P

confused said...

D&C,

And why not D&C? Maybe Falstaff can just say those who are confused and we both can be happy..:)

Veena said...

Certificate for a lobotomy? Hmm..how about "Mr. Falstaff's muse is not fettered by such inhibiting factors as taste." ?

Happy anniversary. Agree with Cat, if there's a particular kind of post in which you seem to have no competition whatsoever, its the numbered lists. Looks like the Firm trains its sons and daughters well. (And then ofcourse, let them loose on the unsuspecting public)

Oh and you mean none of these women who proclaim true love on your comments section actually knock on your door? You poor thing you.

Primalsoup said...

I think this is the best blog anniversary post that I have read, though I might have possibly said that on half a dozen other blogs too!
But 429 posts in a year? Wow! And most of it is so well written. Congratulations on the anniversary.

The Man Who Wasnt There said...

Congratulations Falstaff! You do indeed re define the word 'prolific'..not to mention many other words!:P

It's been a sheer delight reading your posts so far...and needless to say have read everyone one of yuors in this blog..like many others...and as 'confused' says appositely many a time have wondered how the hell do you write so well about any dman topic and also wondered whether I have to blog at all? (Oh btw it is not exactly due to lack of ability to write I havent written anything after my last post..)

Anyway looking forward to a lot more of your posts..and hoping you get over your indolence and your book too.

Anirudh said...

Congrats! Really love this blog.

Anirudh said...

Congrats! Really love this blog. Coming from a grumpy person who's critical of most things, this is high praise. Please be honoured. Pleeeese.

The Black Mamba said...

quotes from great men, ja?

42.

And thanks for all the posts!

mk said...

If the comment is going to make you write more than if it wasn't made, and not going to say it again :) but I like your blog because
a) it makes me think(more than most)
b) it makes me feel (really there's beauty there many times)
c)it sometimes leaves me dissatisfied (with me)
a, b and c makes me want to read and write.
Now that we are on the topic, but did YOU lurk a lot before you started your own blog? Were you shy?

Tabula Rasa said...

hope the dissertation's going as well ;-)

Falstaff said...

hatshepsut: Thanks. And that's all right. No offense, but pugilistic five-year old's I can do without.

Cat: Thanks. You don't ask for much do you? Oh, and I tend to agree with Veena - I think the list expertise is more thanks to the Firm than the management training. There's nothing like being a consultant to teach you to think in bullet points.

Supremus: Thanks. Though you should know I'm thinking of going over to the dark side. I would have already but apparently this involves getting together with Natalie Portman. And I'm not upto anything that sinister.

sony pony: Thanks. 2x3x7 = 42, which, as every Douglas Adams devotee knows, is the answer to Life, Universe and Everything.

confused: Thanks. And steal away. As for being intimidated - it's not exactly a contest, is it?

Krithi: Thanks

Shuchi: Thanks. I look forward to reading it too. It's the writing it that I'm less enthusiastic about.

Venkat: Thanks. And the way my love life is going, I think even being a hit with impotent lawyers would be a good thing.

d&c / shoe-fiend: Now, now, children. Don't fight. I love all my readers equally. Really.

That said, I suppose two special mentions are warranted: The first for heh heh for getting me started on this blogging thing in the first place. The second for my parents, whose habit of calling me in panic if I don't post for 24 hours is a big part of the reason for the 430 posts.

Oh, and a third special mention for all the anony-mice - those nobel souls who labour away at their task of love without every asking for recognition for their noble deeds.

d&c: as confused says, why not you?

shoe-fiend: Believe me, if I could afford a holiday to St. Barts, I would use less footnotes.

veena: Yes, yes. You realise the fact that you get Tom Lehrer references would have been more impressive if I wasn't the one who introduced him to you in the first place?

Oh, and as for the proclamations of love: given that you can't actually find my address on the blog, I suppose it is possible that there is a small army of women currently making their way through downtown Philadelphia knocking on every door and asking "Are you Falstaff?" (tensed to spring into person's arms if he says yes). But somehow I doubt it.

primalsoup: Thanks

man who wasn't there: Thanks. As I said to Confused - I don't see it as a contest.

anirudh: I'm very, very honoured. :-).

BM: Thanks. You're sure you like the posts? You don't think they're mostly harmless?

mk: Thanks. And no, I don't think I lurked. And I doubt anyone's ever described me as shy (well, except annoying relatives who I want to avoid, who have been known to say things like "Accha, bete, humse aake milna zaroor, haan. Don't feel shaiee."). It just hadn't come up.

TR: Die! Die! Why did you need to bring that up? Aaargghh!

Samanth said...

From a recent - but henceforth dedicated - reader, congratulations. That's 429 archive articles I will plough through steadily in the next few days. Callings of social life, cease and desist.

confused said...

Falstaff,

No doubt. I don't take part in contests I can never win :)

oops, what I meant to say initially was that the beauty of some of your posts, while it pleases so much does leave one thinking that one could also write so well...

I am sure this is a feeling a lot of your readers share. :)

n said...

fantastic way to finish a year!! I know that bit about checking for comments every 20 minutes. I've just started blogging and I do that all the time too. but in my case, its probably a lot more painful that yours, because the comments come onely once in twenty days :)

km said...

I shall try not to use footnotes

And what would be the point in visiting this blog?

Banish the thought.

alpha said...

enjoyed the read falstaff! Hope that took care of your first point. I'm volunteering to help the needy.

chandni said...

congratulations falstaff!!

joined the bandwagon pretty late...but since then, the journey has been wonderful!

what amazes me is how you can come up so much so consistently, and of such god quality!!

keep up the good work!

:)

Falstaff said...

samanth: Thanks. You realise of course, that this is all a plot to ensure that everyone else has as little social life as I do. *evil laugh*

n: Thanks

km: How about if I just put a [1] at the start of the post and call the whole thing a footnote?

alpha: Thank you. Thank you. As a next step, if you'll just get out your chequebook and make a cheque out to...

chandni: Thanks. Yaay! I have a bandwagon, I have a bandwagon.

dhoomketu said...

AAARRRGGGHHH!

Damn those feed readers, damn RSS, damn the internet.

I missed a party for Bloglines refused to update your blog and I thought you were being plane lazy, with vacation and all.

Happy belated birthday. If you are giving prizes away, then let me know. I have always liked return gifts.

Patrix said...

Congrats on turning one :) Always a pleasure to read you and certainly looking forward to tons more.

Did someone say return gifts?

Anonymous said...

HI..2x3x7...many congrats to you though kinda delayed for completion of 1 year.Happy birthday dude...the infant has turned an year old. Already so many of your enthusiastic fans have showered so much praise, what else can be said...Keep up the good work...and welcome back.

Just Mohit said...

If there are return gifts, I'll be in the queue as well!

Happy belated birthday to your blog. May it take over all parts of your life (i notice you're blogging while in delhi...so i guess it already has!)

May you have many more...

amit varma said...

Congrats Falstaff, much fun has come reading your posts. Keep blogging, and don't dump the footnotes!

Gaurav said...

Congrats on completing a year of superlative blogging.

Also congrats for your first ever phlegmbait. ;)

DoZ said...

Happy first, Falstaff! It's been awesome reading and I look forward to lots more. And *please* don't lose the footnotes.

Falstaff said...

dhoomk2: plane lazy? Pun intended?

As for return gifts - come to think of it, I do still owe you those pictures of me in a string bikini...

patrix: Thanks. On return gifts - see above. Sure you still want one. Also, wait, didn't I just write a whole piece for when DP turned one?

anon: Thanks. I'm not entirely sure what the welcome back is for, though.

just mohit: Yes, it has. And see comments above on return gift policy

av: Thanks. And on footnotes - don't worry. The whole point of making resolutions is to break them, no?

gaurav: Thanks.

doz: Thank you.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Congratulations, Falstaff! Here's to many more years of good writing.

uma said...

Congratulations! Keep writing!

J. Alfred Prufrock said...

Ummm ... many happy returns and all that, may you be the Venerable Blogger when my grandchildren gather by my knee and ask for the story of How the Great Falstaff Started, may your footnotes always be at least 47 scroll-clicks away, may you continue to rant about earth-shaking issues like perceived insults to Derrida and misquoting of Empson.

Long may you continue to intimidate with your almost-Jamesian-pedantry, your Daniel-Radcliffe-round-eyed earnestness, with your easy seguing from crusading to banter and with the sheer volume of your output [I swear I sometimes open Bloglines and find "2x3x7 (83)". Yeerrrkkkk!]

May your writing never dim in brilliance, may your posts never grow shorter, may your stray socks come back on their own.

And may your dissrtation write itself.

Amen.

J.A.P.

Neela said...

falsie:

am obviously tremendously late to join this party. but congrats on the anniversary. Perhaps you could bind all these writings and call it a dissertation??? If you have a couple of regressions in there am sure it would pass muster.

n!

Anonymous said...

Nice try, Dcubed.

Falstaff said...

dilip: Thanks

uma: Thanks

JAP: Amen. Especially the dissertation writing itself part. But Daniel Radcliffe?!! Really?

For some strange reason I now have the tune to forever young stuck in my head.

Neela: Thanks. Nary a regression. You think regressive arguments will count?

Karthik said...

Happy Birthday and thanks for all the great posts. Here's to many more productive years of blogging...

Anonymous said...

A WHOLE year of crap? you must be SO proud :)

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Anonymous said...

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