looking back, taking stock

today, january 14th, ‘hamesha – the vignettes’ -this blog- is exactly one year old.

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it all began with a post on a lazy sunday at 8:16pm on january 17, 2007. and since then, surprisingly, the blog has not suffered the usual fits and starts that my other, more serious toned blog was paralyzed by. checking the months on the sidebar, there is not a month without a handful of posts. very unusual for a blog started and run by yours truly.

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i guess a big part of it has been that this endeavor, as the about page claims, is not so much a cerebral affair as just an outlet to the dizzyingly various and largely dark and shady thoughts that i did not have to ‘get into the mood’ to write about -and nor did i need to punctuate and capitalize properly.
most of all, i guess it is that self-imposed freedom from propriety -both of content and form– that has sustained this blog along the many ups and downs of the last year – and the last year has contained many of them…

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also, unlike my other blog, and many other blogs before that, this one did not undergo many changes in template and look. it kept its dark horse and gloomy look, topped by a header image i made early on by putting together segments of two paintings – one eastern, one western; also two halves of my pseudo-schizophrenic identity..

vignettes header image
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the about page makes grande claims about proselytizing hedonism. in reality, these scribbles are about nothing in particular, and everything particular, including, of course, cosmic nothingness. no single backbone theme to it. no agenda whatsoever.

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i wanted to keep this blog on the low-down. i wanted this to be a repository of the darker side of me, and of the brighter side of me, of free association and things i notice, and things i think about and things i dream about, and things i don’t like and want to complain about, and things i like and want to come back to, and things i am not willing to divulge to anyone… not even anonymously, and things i put down to share to everyone i come across…

a confessional, a true confessional..
a purgatory. a glimpse into hell. a view of paradise.
a view of the darker side.. and the bright one i stop myself from letting shine through..
and i think there is utility to this sort of thing – it has a cathartic, a purging effect.
and if we cannot do this in the era of internet and digital anonymity, then…

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hence no links on the sidebar, and barring a few incidental links now and then, no link references whatsoever..
(for this reason, there have been no more than a handful of incoming links or site references to this dark corner of the net)

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over time, however, the viewership has grown steadily enough that i have lost the freedom to post as freely as i used to in the earlier days. however, this is just fine by me.

here is the rise and fall of visits by month over the last year:
Hamesha Stats

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i tried to put in a sitemeter to aggregate viewing data, and i wish i had succeeded in doing it, because over the last year i have glimpsed some very odd and strange things in the dashboard -terms people have put in search engines that have brought them to this site.
in that sense, i guess this blog it has also helped me see the darker and brighter side of a lot of other people too… and in certain moments, these search terms have helped me, have rescued me from a feeling of cosmic loneliness – e.g. when things do not look bright and then i find someone else has ended up here by searching for “this is the worst day of my life, bar none…” (and they must have been really after something to page through so many results pages, because i gave up after page 4 after i still could not find a link for this blog), and when things look giddy and i get a search term looking for “simpsons naked” (must be that post i did on podcast and simpsons withdrawal).

and then there have been hoardes looking for poetry by sohrab sepehri and forough farokhzad – again two people who blogged about the darker and the brigher side of things through their poetry…

and that long persisting search term of all time for this blog – people looking for free downloads of the song ‘piya basante re’ by Ustaad Sultan Khan and Chitra (and there goes more hits… or should i say misses) this blog must be on the first page and the top links… my apologies to all the hundreds i have disappointed..

and people who stumble upon here looking for تاریخ بیهقی – sorry folks, i have scoured the net for it too, no luck. which is rather surprising, considering how much of a huge and important work it is.

and then there are those who are “afraid of virginia woolf”, and seek “jiffy lube”, and seek to find Margut Bickel, and …

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anyhow, here is some data i have aggregated from the dashboard for the past 365 days that this blog has been active:

vignettes stats

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and finally, a rough list of 13 search terms i recall having seen most often on the dashboard over the months:

1. تاریخ بیهقی
2. piya basanti re
3. akram osman
4. simpsons naked
5. movies about afghanistan
6. بوی جوی مولیان
7. megas alexandros
8. فقه در زیر درخت
9. extremely disturbing video
10. con toda palabra
11. this is the worst day of my life (in various combination with other words)
12. joox charlie wilson war kiterunner
13. فروغ فرخزاد

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there you have it. one year round up of hamesha – the vignettes.

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~ by safrang on January 14, 2008.

4 Responses to “looking back, taking stock”

  1. Thanks for sharing your stats and info–helpful numbers and thoughts for other bloggers. You certainly are far more diligent with your postings than I am–if I get one up every 10 days I consider that a triumph of discipline. Keep writing…and keep giving the rest of us something to shoot for…

  2. Happy one year! I look forward to reading your entries in the coming days. Whenever I start to write an entry.. I read it over again and just say “fuck it.” I dont know why I do that but I honestly write more often than I post.

    I’ve had some pretty weird search engine results too.

  3. Hamesha, whenever I have internet access, one of the first things I do is to read BBC and then your posts. It just has become a daily ritual. Keep writing.. sometimes when I read your posts, I feel: perfect, so that is how you express what you feel.. or I think I was looking for the same poem that you quoted.. and I find many pieces that I like and admire here.. thanks for all that..

  4. Dear hamesha
    Thank you for sharing all these Tekka-paarah-haa with us. The very atmosphere that these pieces create is uplifting. At first glance, the dark background of this page, permeating the whole outlook, seems depressing and negatively powerful. However, your words (in small fonts, white faces) always outflank such darkness. This is a real ” yak eshaarah” in which my strife was one of marring the innocence of my own ignorance, without any success in making any one think about any of those long “eshaaraat”.
    Keep it up and let us enjoy looking at moments through your lens.
    Thank you again.

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