Saturday, December 7, 2013

വരയനെ വരച്ചപ്പോള്‍ (When the Artist became the subject)

പ്രിയ അനിയന്‍ റിയാസിനെ വരച്ചപ്പോള്‍ - നല്ലൊരു കലാകാരനായ റിയാസിന്റെ വരകള്‍ ദാ ഇവിടെ കാണാം 

A drawing of dear brother Riyas. Riyas is a highly talented artist and blogger. Take a look at his drawings and blogs here 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Parenting


As a parent, I cannot help being disturbed when I hear about some unfortunate incidents. These days the news of children committing suicide is on the increase. Every time I come across such news, this question pops up in my mind - what ails our children? Alternatively, is it the parents who are to be blamed? 

Let me share with you a couple of incidents here - both are real incidents, but I have tweaked the circumstances/details a little bit, so that the identity of the people are not revealed. 

I was returning home after purchasing some vegetables and groceries when I saw a paper lying in the elevator. I do not know what tempted me to pick up the piece of paper. May be it felt so out of place in the normally spic and span elevator that I picked it up. As I opened the paper to glance through it, I was thinking that someone dropped his or her grocery list or some other lists. However, as I read the content, I started to panic -

Dear Papa,

I am fed up of this life. Mom shouted at me again today. She is always angry with me. Whatever I do, how much ever I do, and she is always unhappy and shouting at me. I cannot take it anymore. I want to be free from everything...

How I wish I had died instead of you. Then Mom and others would have been really happy. That would have been one less problem for everyone. I wish I had been there with you that day and died along with you... I love you a lot Papa and I miss you very much!

Why did you have to go leaving us alone? I hate Mom and I don’t know what to do. I too want to die. So, I drank the solution of my contact lenses. I want to join you soon - and mom will be more than happy to get rid of me from her life....

I love you Papa!
Your loving daughter

I was shocked to read it - someone, most probably a teenage girl (the language and the writing indicated that much), has written this as a suicide note - I thought. 

As I thought about it, I became more panicky. How do I deal with it? How can I find out who this girl is, without creating a scene or difficulty for her and her family? There was absolutely nothing to go ahead other than the information that the girl's father is no more. How does one track such a family from an apartment complex where hundreds of families stay? As soon as the lift stopped at my floor, I got out, dumped my purchases at home, and headed to my neighbour's flat. Though both of us were fairly new at the place, we had developed a friendship and I couldn't think of anyone else to discuss the matter with - firstly, the matter in the letter was serious issue; secondly, by attracting unnecessary attention on it, I didn't want the girl to be humiliated or disturbed.

So, we set out on a secret mission to locate the girl. Since it was a near impossible task, we took the help of another friend, who was a member of resident's association. Soon, by using the clues in the letter, we found out the identity of the girl. The story was heartbreaking - the father died in an accident, the mother was bedridden and the family (or what was left of it) was really breaking apart. The girl and the mother did not share a good relationship - not an uncommon scenario in a household with a teenager. The mother didn't like some of her activities - and the girl resented the mother's intervention in her activities - a verbal war was a routine at their home. 

It turned out that the girl was in the habit of writing such letters. When we told the mother about this, she was more or less indifferent. Perhaps, after going through the greatest trauma of her life, this didn't seem like a big deal to her - or else, all said and done, she knows her daughter a lot better. I was a bit surprised, if not shocked, when she took the matter lightly. 

Clearly, there was a lack of communication in that house. I felt that perhaps the mother should have taken the help of an expert and improve her relations with the daughter. But who am I to suggest such things to anyone?

In another case, the parents were upset with their son for not performing well in class. To add to the problem, the boy wasn't taking care of his belongings and the parents found one of the books in the toy box. They got angry and told him to go out of the house, saying that they don't want a child who is not responsible and act his age. Here also the child was a teenager. The child got really scared and went out of the house, as ordered.  

Later, when the parents cooled down a bit they opened the door to let the child in. But to their horror, the child was not to be seen anywhere. They assumed that he went to play with friends in the neighbourhood and started searching for him at the usual hangouts. Soon, it was clear that the boy is not at any of his friends' home or even in the colony. As they asked the gatekeeper, he was positive that no child went out unaccompanied. Confused, panic and grief stricken, the parents started doing rounds of the neighbourhood. As the night set in, the boy walked in from outside. No sooner did he saw the parents he started crying and tried running away. But the parents managed to get hold of him and took him home.

It turned out that the boy was so upset with the parents that he wanted to run away. He went to a shopping mall few kilometers away and after spending sometime there, didn't know what to do and so he came back. Once he saw the parents again, he was reminded of the early incident and he wanted to run away again. The parents, of course, were relieved to find the boy and more than happy that he returned unharmed. When they came to know that the boy had gone so far all alone, they were horrified too.  

When I heard of this incident, I felt bad for the boy. Did he commit such a crime that he had to be sent out of the house? After all, he is only a boy of 13 or 14 years of age. 

In this case, it is the parents who were more to be blamed. They could have kept their cool and made the boy understand his fault. They could have been more patient and understanding. It got me thinking like never before. I couldn't help evaluating myself as a parent. And here is what I felt. 

Very often, parents tell their children that if you will bring so and so marks, we will give you this or that. Of course, all parents want their child to be the best. But in the process, we end up making our children think that we love them conditionally. We give them an impression that we will love him only if he tops his class or scores good grades in school. 

Children are delicate - they need to be nurtured with care and love. Let us make our children understand that we love them unconditionally. It is not their marks that matter in the real sense, but their attitude and effort.  We love them for what they are, and not for the marks they bring back from school. Let us not evaluate everything by marks and grades. Let us help them to nurture their interests and not impose our will upon them. 

Of course, we may have to guide them and be stern with them. But, as parents, let us not drive them away from us for some silly mistakes. Asking a child to go out of the house or telling him that we don't want a child like you is one of the cruelest words that one can tell a child. Even spanking or hitting might not hurt him that much. By using such words, we are telling him that he doesn't matter to us - what matters is the marks and good words that he brings from the school. There cannot be a more hurting thought than this.

So, as a parent, we need to understand that the children are individuals with their own aspirations and abilities. We should not impose our unfulfilled dreams on them. We are only caretakers and have to see to it that they are nurtured in the best manner. Let’s love them and care for them. Let’s help them know good and bad, right and wrong. Let’s not complicate their lives with our aspirations and dreams. Instead, let’s give them the courage to aspire and dream and to fulfill those dreams. 

Of course, we need to make them strong enough that they don't fall easily. They need to know that setbacks are not the end of life. As parents, we need to let them know that we are there for them, no matter what. Though we all want our child to have everything in the world, let’s not forget to tell them that some of us have only limited means and that it is not a shame not to have everything. 

Many of us have reared our children in such a protective environment that at the first setback, they think of suicide or other such drastic measures. We have very often said 'yes' to all their demands - whether just or otherwise - that they can’t take 'no' for an answer. By instant gratification and indulgence, we have corrupted our children. There is no point in blaming them when we have shown them the wrong path in the first place. 

Parenting in the modern times is a tough job - but not an impossible one. All we have to do is listen to the children. Apart from the luxuries and other needs, let us also give them more of our love, time and care. Let them know that their parents are there for them - always. Then perhaps, the children will not take the extreme steps. Perhaps they will think a moment about us and our love, and it might pull them back from such decisions. If a child commit suicide, it is also a parent that dies. I hope that such a tragedy occurs in no house. For that, lets learn to be more loving and caring. I am hopeful that our children will know that we love them and will stand by them and help them overcome their difficulties. 

Let the number of such happy households multiply. 


Let me end this with what Khalil Gibran said about Children:

 Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts, 
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, 
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, 
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, 
and He bends you with His might 
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, 
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Wishing all the parents out there happy parenting!



Sunday, September 29, 2013

Good Bye!


I winced in agony
As I walked away, 
For I knew your eyes
And heart will refuse;
That they are broken,
In my expectation...
But, I have no way
Than to walk away
To spare you the misery
Of unfulfilled piety
The heartache of loss
The distress of loneliness...

Cry, for now, you may 
Soon you'll forget my way;
In that hope I walk away
To save you from agony...
To help you let go now,
And lead life anew.
Life is but a short journey
Which has to end hastily,
In my heart I hold you 
Closer than any I know.
Shed not a tear for me,
As my path is before me! 

Picture Courtesy: Google Images

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

If Only.....


If only I could read what is in your mind,
I could either cry in sorrow or happiness...
If only you could say those magic words,
I could let the whole world know the news

This silence is killing me from within
I know my life has changed, if anything...
Having met you and fallen in love with you
I discovered a host of possibilities anew

Now if you will leave me here stranded
Life would turn a journey hard to be lived
My dreams and life, I weaved around you
Will be meaningless and shallow without you

If only I know how to spend these days
In anticipation of your unsaid answers
Life would have been simpler and beautiful
With you beside me, everything's plentiful

Now, speak your mind and spare me this agony
Come to me and hold me in your arms honey;
Whisper those sweet little words to me
Let us discover a new world of you and me...

Picture Courtesy: Google Images

Friday, June 28, 2013

Flooding Thoughts

I had been struggling against many odds - there was mountainous work to tackle, many pending chores, some friends asking me to help them with some small write-ups and what not! Having tried my best to get everything done at once, I discovered that I am no super woman to do them all. As that wisdom dawned, I set about finishing the tasks one by one...

It was during one of the breaks (more frequent than work, I must confess) that I watched in horror the extent of devastation by floodwaters in Northern India. Though I was born and brought up in the southern part of the country and has spent most of my lifetime here, I have had the good fortune of spending a few years up north as well. So, as my fellow Malayalis were actively discussing the 'solar issues' (for the uninitiated, it is a scam that has created more heat in Kerala than even the sun could in this monsoon season!), I couldn't help worrying more about my compatriots who were unfortunate enough to be caught in the cloud burst and flash floods. 

As the flood intensified, I watched in disbelief the buildings collapsing like a pack of cards (literally)! As they tumbled one after another and the strong currents of the river carried them away, all I could do was feel helpless and dumbstruck! 

I remembered that it was only the other day that a friend had posted a picture of himself on the Ghats of Haridwar, enjoying the serenity of the Holy Ganges. I was worried for him and his family. I was also worried for the thousands of people who was washed away, trapped or stranded. It did not matter that I know none of them. However, I could suddenly feel that I am nothing but a small worm in this vast universe.

Here is humankind, who repeatedly boasts of having won over everything on earth. And it takes only a nano second for the nature to prove us wrong - and we are left clueless how to tackle the situation. The more I think of it, the more I realize how insignificant I am in this grand scheme of universe!

And what followed was the usual dramas - politicians playing dirty games for political mileages, media competing with each other to bring us the real story from ground zero, respective state governments demanding their citizens be rescued, doling out of inconsequential compensations and the like. The only people whom the country looked up to were - thankfully - our armed forces. Stories of selfless services and courage poured out from the disaster zone and once again, the nation bowed in respect and gratitude to its guardian angels. 

And my heart goes out of all those people who have suffered losses that are beyond words. Losing one’s near and ones, house, livelihood and all that matters in a wink is something that takes a lot of time to get used to – for anyone. Perhaps the scar of this tragedy would live forever – both in the minds of the victims and in the places where the flood created a havoc. Thousands are suffering and we are told that the real impact of the disaster is yet unknown.

The channels and other media are full of discussions and some blame games are already on. It is being said that the impact of this disaster was more due to insensitive actions of ours. Due to our greed and shortsightedness, we have created ecological imbalances that even a small rain and a swelling river bring nightmares to us. People have already aligned themselves into different groups and are animatedly arguing for their cause – some say that for development we will have to sacrifice something; while the other says it is pure greed and apathy of people who matters that has created such a situation.

All said and done, these endless debates will not make the wrongs right. It will not give us back what we have lost. The only thing we can do now is learn from our mistakes and take steps not to repeat them ever again. Let us not forget that there are generations to come after us, who have an equal right over the earth and its resources. Let us leave something for them as well. After all, when we are washed away in a flood, or are buried in an earthquake or are blown away by a tornado, we cannot take all the money and our belongings along with us. Also, while leaving this world forever, we cannot anything with us. So, why be selfish and create a hell on the earth?

What is disheartening in this whole episode is the apathy with which common man is being treated. Stories are doing rounds that the instructions were to rescue VIPs first. It is also being said that various states were demanding that the people from their state be rescued first. If such news are true, then that could be the worse than the disaster itself. For, a nation’s strength is derived from unity and not division. The day that we start thinking I am a Malayali, Tamilian, Kannadiga, Gujarati, Hariyanvi, Punjabi, Bengali and the like, the idea of India disappears from us. If we think along such narrow lines of divisional thoughts, the whole idea of India goes for a toss. Especially during tragic times like these, one need to rise above all such narrow mindedness and work together as a nation – we are Indians. Period.

And while we all worried about the safety of the people from our states, we conveniently forgot about the locals. Thousands have lost their lives and many have been displaced. They will have to start their life anew, with the losses leaving a permanent scar in their lives. Kindly spare a thought for them as well.

As the efforts are on for a mass burial of the dead, I hope that such a disaster will happen never again. Agreed, we cannot control the nature – but we can at least try to live in harmony with it. All said and done, if such disasters do strike again, we need to rise above all discrimination and work together as one nation. Perhaps it is the time to refresh our memories and remember one of the earliest lessons that we learned in school – Unity is Strength. Let us all unite for our country, especially when our compatriots need us.

For all the selfless soldiers who are battling the odds, here is a BIG SALUTE!!! The entire nation is proud of you. Jai Jawan!



Picture Courtesy: Deccan Chronicle, Google Images

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Take Me Back...

I wish to travel back in time
Into the childhood of mine
When life was a peachy ride
Of many many a joyous tide.

Take me back once again
To the wonderful reign
Of innocence and love, 
Unbridled, and on the move...

Oh! how I wish to turn
A toddler once again
And rest my head gently
On my mother's lap lovely..

As I feel the warmth of her touch
I would feel pure love, as such 
And there I would remain forever
As if life has not moved ahead ever!!!

Precious are the moments of past;
As I look back, I feel lost!
For, Life has given me everything
But not the joy of my naive being!

Take me back yet again
Into the colourful lanes of teen;
Let me live my life once more
In the rainbow filled times of yore....



Picture courtesy: Google Images

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Cownomics



Kerala society was an agrarian society till recently. The paddy fields, the coconut groves, the river, sea and other water bodies were integral part of the lives here. Another significant part, though not a direct one in many cases, was played by the cow. Cow? You may ask. Yes sir, the humble cow (and the bull).

So, what is the big role of this ordinary animal in our lives, one might wonder! To start with, the cow gives us milk (someone recently said - no it doesn't we have to extract it; which is technically right, but let’s not get into that right now). Now, in spite of the White Revolution and the Operation Flood, pure milk is something hard to come across. As the cow sheds have disappeared from the house compounds, so has the accessibility to pure milk. And those who are used to drinking fresh milk, right from their own farm, finds it hard to adjust when even litres of milk don't suffice where a few glasses would have been enough for the entire family's needs.

Coming back to the topic, let’s see the Cow's part in sustaining the economy. First, it provided the family with fresh and pure milk - which helps to enjoy that hot cup of morning coffee / tea (as the case may be). The women of the house sell a part of the milk to the needy neighbours (thereby earning a small income for themselves) and use the left over milk to produce curd. Now, the curd can be used as such or it further gets converted to butter milk - after some amount of churning - with delicious butter as the by-product. Now, the butter is carefully stored and is turned into ghee - or clarified butter, as it is sometimes called - and is stored for various uses. Moreover, being the far-sighted women they are, the ladies of the house also sell butter milk and ghee in the neighbourhood! Not only does this add to their earnings but also eliminate the need to buy these from the market, where they are sold at higher rates. 

Apart from that, mothers would agree that milk is one of the must have items in kitchen - it is used not only for coffee/tea, but also for innumerable food items like Kheer (the humble payasam, which could be palpayasam, palada or even the easy to make semiya), paneer, khoya, halwa and what not! The cream of the milk is said to be one of the best moisturisers and those who are beauty conscious can use it as their own personal beauty secret - with no side effects at all! (Ever heard the story of Cleopatra, the most beautiful Roman Empress, who used to bathe in milk?). And money saved is money earned! 

Before heading out of the kitchen, let me tell you this as well - that little leftover from yesterday's menu need not be dumped into garbage. You can put it in the bucket (every house with a cow has a bucket dedicated for it - wherein one pours the strained water after cooking rice, banana peels, vegetable skin etc etc) and give the cow a stomach-full of healthy water (called kaadi vellam or simply kaadi in vernacular). The banana leaves from the small feast, remains of jack fruit, even the leftover rice goes into this water and the cow is only happy to chew and drink them all... The end result is that there is no decaying food waste in the compound, which could be the breeding ground for disease spreading germs. That means less money is spent on medical bills! 

According to Hindu customs, Cow is the symbol of prosperity - it is regarded as 'Gomaatha' - the giver of all riches. Perhaps it is a title well deserved. Apart from the milk and its by-products, cow gives us dung and urine, both of which are excellent manures. Believe it or not, but the cow dung is said to possess anti bacterial and anti radiation properties and was used in the early days for purification purposes. In fact, it is being said that the Russians have even resorted to putting a layer of Cow dung between the metallic layers in the Space shuttles to protect the space travellers from harmful cosmic radiations. 

Back home, when the tragic gas leak in Bhopal killed more than 20,000 people in 1984, it is said that people living in houses with cow dung coated walls were not affected. Atomic power centres in Russia is said to be using cow dung to shield radiation. As far as my memory goes, the floor of our homes in the villages used to be smeared with cow dung. Every two days or so, the floor would get another coating of the dung - thereby keeping out the harmful bacteria... That means a safer environment to live in!


Some studies have even revealed that 'Agnihotra', a Hindu ritual performed using cow dung and ghee has negated the nuclear radiation effect. Panchagavya, a major constituent of Hindu rituals, is also derived from cow. It is a mixture of cow dung, urine, milk, curd and ghee, in prescribed proportions. This mixture is said to have great health benefits. It is also being widely used as fertilizer and pesticide. Ayurveda also recommends Panchagavya for various ailments. You might be surprised to know that it is even used as a base in certain cosmetic products. (Another reason to throw away the expensive cosmetics and save some money?)

Apart from these, the Ayurveda also recommends urine therapy, wherein distilled cow urine is used for treatment of flu, arthritis, bacterial diseases, food poisoning, indigestion, oedema, and leprosy among others. (An easily available cure - perhaps less costly as well).

Agricultural activities of the past also centred around the cow. There were bulls as well - to plough the land, as well as for transportation purposes. (That was an added advantage in the olden days when the vehicles were not ruling the roads).

The 'Holy Cow', as you can see, is called thus for a reason. Ever since we started regarding it as a mere pet animal, which was not a necessity, our lifestyle and lives have taken a turn for worse. We have not only lost the touch with cow, but also with our roots, agriculture and ourselves. For a cow is not merely a cow. It is a lot more than that, as the term Cownomics suggest - it is a whole economy in itself!

Disclaimer: Some observations regarding the anti-radioactive properties of cow dung has been mentioned based on some reports that I had read earlier - when Google-ing was not the order of the day - so I don't claim to know it all!!!
Image Courtesy - Google images


Friday, April 5, 2013

Take a break, Will you???

Very often in life, doing something for the sake of it takes the fun out of it - blogging is no different. Now, I am not for a moment suggesting that I am fed up of blogging or am not enjoying writing in my blogs... What prompted me to make such a statement is what I read in some other blogs. Now, what did those blogs contain to make me feel like this? Well, that is the gist of this post.

There was (rather, is) this blogger with a good command over language, who used to write on different topics. Whenever I read those posts, I used to find something unique in them. The thoughts came along with ingenuity and sincerity. One could feel that the author has poured his soul out and the joy of writing too reflected in those lines... Even when the posts were sometimes about nothing in particular, it used to exude a certain degree of freshness.


But now when I read the same blogger, I find that the person has lost it... Gone is the way with words, the freshness and the sincerity... Every post of recent times felt as if they have been forced out. They sounded as if the blogger had deliberately written a post when he was in no mood to write one. Just to keep the blog going, I guess... Now a days, mistakes and artificiality is increasing in this particular blog; I have not been able to enjoy reading them. If the blogger continues this way, I may not even bother to read him anymore. I tried telling the person about the loss of special touch, but I think it fell on deaf ears!!!

Blogging is both freedom and compulsion at the same time. While it gives one the freedom to express the ideas and creativity, at times it also compels one to write just for the sake of writing. Though I have very limited experience in blogosphere, I have come across people who would do anything to increase the likes and comments and followers... not to mention the visitor count. And surprisingly, many a times, it is the average blog that has maximum followers. I have been pained to see many good quality blogs being ignored by the readers. Is it because of poor marketing techniques or is it because of a general feeling of insecurity among the bloggers that the good blogs get ignored is a question for which I have not found the right answer till now. There is a prevalent culture of "I will scratch your back if you will scratch mine" in blogosphere and one cant help laughing at some of the antics that go around here.

Now, coming back to this particular blogger that I spoke of, I would advice him to take a break - one need not feel compelled to write; it has to come from within - and comeback strongly. Taking a break would not only give him the time to introspect, but also get rid of the artificiality and the need to stick to certain timelines. Once he frees himself from the clutches of compulsion, I am sure he will regain his lost touch and bounce back even more strongly...

As a parting thought, I would also confess that many a times I am also upset that in spite of my wanting to write, and ideas being formulated in my mind, I am not updating 'Random Thoughts' as regularly as I would have loved to!!! But, I have, to a large extent succeeded in throwing off the compulsion to write for the sake of writing. If you think I have not, here's is your chance to tell me so...

Image Courtesy: Google Images

Thursday, February 21, 2013

For the newbies - some tips on blogging


First and foremost, this is not about how to write a blog. I am of the opinion that one should write according to one's own style and language, should not imitate anyone else. Each writer has a unique style and his /her aim should be to continuously nurture it. 


The other day I happened to come across a comment on Facebook. A blogger had written that nobody reads him and so he has lost interest in writing. The first question that came to my mind was: 'why should I read you?’. I checked the blog of that person and found nothing much interesting (as far as I am concerned) in the few posts that I read. I would probably not return to that blog again because of the feeling that there is nothing in it for me. 

I had, in fact, written such a response to that person - but then deleted it; I did not want to hurt his feelings. And it got me thinking. The result is this post. Though I am not a veteran or an acclaimed blogger, here I am trying to highlight some tricks of the trade or tips that would help one survive in the blogosphere. Most of these, I have learned from my own experience, as well as from other bloggers and blogging groups. I do hope that at least a few people would be benefitted from this post... So let’s see what can help us stick to blogging:

As a newbie, one is filled with a lot of enthusiasm and writes posts after post - just like a factory churning product after product. The problem is that, one forgets about the audience (rather readers) in this excitement. It is purely from the writer's point of view that the posts are written. What will happen if a factory produces products that do not suit the end users? Nobody will be interested in buying them! Same is the case with blog posts. Most of us enter the blogosphere with our ‘personal diary experiences’ – if I may term them so. Though it might seem a great thing as far as the writer is concerned, the reader might not find anything for him. And believe me; if you are not an Amithabh Bachchan or some other celebrity, nobody is interested in reading your personal anecdotes. So, the bubble is burst sooner than one likes it… That is lesson no. 1 – blogging should not be a digital version of your personal diary. It must have something that appeals to the reader, something that would bring him back to your blog every time you write something. A lot of thought should go into the topic.

Now, when one goes to the market to buy a product, what determines his buying decision? If there are two products with same utility, how does one decide which one to buy? Studies have revealed that in most cases, it would be the packaging that determines the purchase decision. To take simple analogy, if there are two products of same kind (say soap) on the shelf in a supermarket, people tend to choose the product with more attractive packing. Most of us have this idea that if it is packaged in an attractive manner, it should be good. In reality, the other product might not be inferior (sometimes it might be of superior quality as well), but lost out due to unattractive packaging. (Ever wondered why the ads say – now in a new attractive packet/jar? Most people fall for that, thinking that the product is also better). Coming back to the topic, it is not enough to have a good product; it is equally important to present it in the most pleasing way. If one writes a good post, but presents it in the most haphazard manner, then one may not get too many readers. So, the lesson no. 2 says that – the blog’s layout and look should be attractive and appealing to the eyes of the reader. (It will do us a lot good to remember the adage – first impression is the best impression)
 
Now, you have a product, but it does not say anything about you – how does that sound? Let’s consider this again with the example of soap – there are two brands of soap: X and Y. Upon examining the package, one finds out that X is manufactured by company A, and that there is no description about the manufactures of Y. It is but natural that one opts for soap X rather than Y. This is due to the fact that because of the details given on the product about the company, X carries a lot more genuineness than Y. Lesson No. 3 is that it applies to one’s blog as well. The ‘About Me’ section is very important for a blogger because that is one tool with which the reader tries to assess the genuineness of a blogger. It is said that the About Me page is the second most visited page, especially in case of a newbie (the first, of course is the home page of the blog).  
 
So, you have a blog, it is attractive and contains relevant posts – is that enough? If you thought yes, you are wrong! It is not enough. Consider our soap again. Company A produced soap X – a good quality product in an attractive package. Will the soap sell? No, unless the company takes it to the market and advertise the product to bring it to the notice of the intended users, the soap will not sell. No matter how good it is!!! Same is the case with the blog. So, Lesson No 4 is that blogs also need marketing. In this era of social networking, we have one of the easiest ways to reach our intended customers (readers, in this case). Get active in the social networks and spread the word. There are innumerable groups and sites and networks for the bloggers to join and exchange their views. Be active in them, read other blogs and leave comments wherever possible – Join all those blogs that you find interesting – soon you would see that your followers are also increasing. It is a give and take world – if you don’t read and encourage others, don’t expect them to do it for you! Ignoring other bloggers will definitely not help you in the long run…

Finally, Lesson No 5 – your blog is not the responsibility of others. It is up to you to keep it alive. It is true that the feedback, comments and other reactions of the readers play a major role in motivating one to stick to blogging. But, ultimately, it is you who have to cultivate the self motivation to write. As a newbie, one might find some comments not to one’s liking. Remember that there are people out there who might not find your writings good enough or amusing. There might be some negative comments as well. Learn to take them all in the right spirit. Blogging, like life is not a bed of roses – be ready for the brickbats as well. And if one can’t take genuine criticisms, and learn to ignore unjustified negativism that one may come across, it is better to stick to the good old dairy!!!

For all others, here is wishing you a wonderful stay at blogosphere!!! 

PS: These are some of the few tips there are many more like using pictures, writing on trending topics, cultivating reading habit and so on.... more about on all those at a later time.

PPS: Most of the lessons shared here are inspired from various websites and blog posts that I have come across during my blog writing - hence a 'Big Thanks' for all those who have inspired me in one way or the other - directly and indirectly. 
Picture Courtesy: Google Images