Saturday, August 28, 2010

Blogging with Boundaries

Last week, I read a post Code of ethics for Blogger written by Saroj, one of the most prolific bloggers. I started to write a comment on her post, which got way too long; thus decided to mail the same to her. But I kept thinking about the whole post - thus this one.

As the title of her post suggests, she wrote about whether one should write opinions freely on blog or not, or there should be some code of ethics to be followed while writing a blog post or commenting on a blog. She even mentioned about how people stay anonymous so that they can freely express their opinions about personal as well as professional life on their blogs without getting judged by people in their professional circle.

Now this got me thinking. The first question was - why do we blog? Talking about personal blog strictly, we blog to express our opinions, or to share what we experience, or to vent out and rant about various things happening around us and such. Apart from these reasons I (and few of you) write about people as well. If you read me regularly, you would know that I have written quite a few posts on people, bloggers and pseudonymous blog identities. But my intention behind writing those posts is never to hurt anybody. I merely express my views there. I do get replies too - a contradicting one from bloggers who disagree with me. They even write a post as a reply to me or a bashing one :P. But it's all done in a fun way. We enjoy this game of bashing being played on our respective blogs.

This again brings me back to the topic of blogging ethics. Saroj and a few of her readers in the comment form mentioned about people being fired from their jobs due to what they wrote on their blogs or updated as their status on social sites like facebook and twitter. Now, ain't these sites supposed to be a part of our personal life? Firing a person because he insulted you in 140 characters is a bit harsh on the employee. But I may react the same way if I were the boss. Well, you may never know!

It is fine to blog about your thoughts (even WITH your real name), but I feel it is wrong to defame somebody. Especially when that somebody happens to be in the position of power to fire you from your job. As they say, bosses do not have a sense of humour. In fact, I have had a similar experience a few days back when a blogger misquoted me and then denied doing so completely. She had copied lines from my post and said that she never aimed that post at me. Well, blog about me - I do not mind. But my problem was with the interpretation that she made of the meaning behind my post.

I write about blogs, bloggers and people only when I know what I am talking about. I make sure I do not hurt the sentiments of people. If people are extra sensitive and they feel bad about my post which is never aimed at a specific person, then well, God can only help you! But once you blog about something, then I somehow feel that you should not delete it. After all, you write what you feel about a particular issue or a situation or a person. It is your personal opinion and you should respect it first.

The post is too heavy already I guess. Kavita, a blog friend asked me whether I am planning to write a fiction or not. Well buddy, I do not usually prefer to scare people with my write ups. But I will for sure try and write one soon (don't promise when). 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Classic Mistake

Classics - when you hear this word, don't you remember all those things which may have become old but they still remain fresh in your memory? Yes, we call them classics. The word "Classic" is a kind of honour you give to a particular thing, person or even a song for that matter. You spot a separate section for classic stuff in stores as well; and you can always find me there :P

I love old hindi songs. My friends even call me an oldie by heart as I sing such songs at any time and any place and not only when I am drunk. When we have a karaoke party, or singing songs when we have the mood, or play them while travelling - I prefer old sad songs and they hate them at least when we are going on long drives and spirits are high! :Sigh: 

Call me oldie, or a typical desi by taste - I somehow cannot bring myself to listen to "popular" songs because others like them. A few months back, somebody happened to ask me whether I like Justin Bieber (Hope I have spelt it right) or not. And I was clueless about who he was. He was the trending topic on twitter at that time, but I was not so curious to know who he was. She was pretty shocked when I told her that I didn't know who he was, maybe someone unimportant who is not worth knowing. I am sure she must have screamed on the other side of the computer as her reply to me was pretty much rude and hurt. She said that he was the ultimate teenage sensation and the hottest looking singer she'd ever seen! "Hello, I am not a 'crazy for Bieber' teenager my darling". After that reply, I have not seen her on my timeline. She blocked me I guess.

Now, I do listen to John Denver, Billy Joel, Cliff Richard, MLTR, Air Supply etc. too; but Gulzar songs are always my first preference when it comes to listening to music. Same is the case in case of movies. And serials too - I love CID classics! But when it comes to reading books, I prefer thrillers over classics. I have read Jane Austen, Gabriel García Márquez, Ayn Rand (all time favourite) and a few more authors, but the meaning of classic novels and classic authors is changing. Don't believe me? Then take a look at the picture below:

The thee mistakes of my life by Chetan Bhagat makes its way to the "classic" section of Crossword. Hmmm, interesting right? I guess, books like Gone With the Wind, or Pride and Prejudice have walked out of this section themselves as i did not find them anywhere even near the classic section. Not that I needed them, but still, somehow I am used to see those typical books on the shelf with "classic" label.

Reason behind this post - This happens with me a lot of times since the time I have started blogging. Whenever I spot something interesting, I want to share it on my blog. My mind starts thinking about the topic to write on so that I can add the interesting bit in that post and share. No, not for maximum hits, but I like to go back to my old post and read what I wrote then and what was going on in my mind. It kind of helps me to realize many things about me. If I write something when my mood is bad, I realize the kind of flow my post reflects. The subtle humour reminds me that on a particular day, I was happy. I don't know whether it happens with all of you or some of you or I am the only weirdo around, but this is the major reason I like to write about things around me. They get me thinking most of the times. I start looking at them differently - from a writer's point of view. No I do not and cannot become poetic as I am pathetic at it, but yes, they do make me a bit creative.

Does this happen with you as well? What inspires you to write your blog posts? Things, people, mood swings or just another habit?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Belief and Destiny

Today, I met a very close friend of mine after two months. Now, it may not be a long period for not having met your friend, but for us, it was indeed the longest period since we met last. From first year of commerce college to last year of law school, we used to meet almost everyday and spend at least five to six hours talking about various things. The strange thing was that we never exactly knew what we spoke so much about. Our discussions varied from intellectual to philosophical about opinions and mindsets of people, from academic during exams to mutual admiration ones about how we cleared without studying a word, from lame movie to an interesting book -  we discussed almost everything without getting bored even for a second or without realizing how time passed by.

This went on till 2007, when we were relatively vella in life. After becoming lawyers on paper, we settled in our respective professions - I joined a law firm, and he a hypnotherapy institution. But we still managed to meet and talk almost everyday. When I actually count the number of years I have spent in college, it surprises me and I am sure it will make many of you jealous too. I have enjoyed 11 years as a college student and 12th year is still going on. In these 11 years, I have completed my bachelor degree in commerce and law, master degree in commerce and first year of master degree in law. PHEW, I am a double graduate and almost a double post graduate. I do deserve to enjoy so many years as a college students!

Enough of boasting for one post I guess. Coming back to my friend and our discussions - give us one word, and we can spend days talking about it. And mind you, not those boring, mindless and pointless discussions; but profound, philosophical, sensible and fruitful discussions. To an extent that my friend came up with a website and a book on it. The topic was - Destiny. We must have spent at least two to three months discussing about this one topic. I would have killed him if he had not put those discussions in use.

Many of us think about Destiny. The question starts with - whether you believe in destiny or not. Now again, destiny is like God. It is there if you believe in it and it is not there if you don't. an atheist does not die earlier than the believer of the god, nor a non-believer of Destiny remains poor. Long discussions, a lot of research on the subject, case studies, books, interviews of experts and referring to every possible source available to us (read google), we came to the conclusion that Destiny indeed exists. but not in each and everything around us. There are certain things which are within our control, while certain things are beyond our control. But the function of Destiny does not depend on our capability of doing or not doing something. If we are destined to get something, we get it no matter whether we deserve it or not. 

Now, this theory was not making sense to us at all. We all know that life does not have an "undo" button. We have even experienced that whenever we are determined to do or achieve something, we do so successfully. Then what role does Destiny play here? The next theory was - Belief. We can get anything and everything in life if we strongly believe in it. Sounds illogical? OK, how many times it has happened with us that we wanted something; that something was too small to remember, so we wished for it and forgot all about it. But our subconscious mind registers such things. I will not go into detail; but when we got that thing, that time we suddenly remember that we did wish for it once and now we have it. Have you ever thought about why we got it? We got it as we believed that we would get it. In our mind, not even once the thought of "not getting it" came, there were no negative thoughts whatsoever about it. But our belief was there all along; without our knowledge. Thus, it's ours now. Things we need very badly - we may get them or we may not get them. The reason is simple. We keep thinking about those things - usually negative thoughts. If the force of negative thoughts is greater along with less efforts, we do not get them; but positive thoughts with less efforts - and it's yours :)

Most of us confuse the function of Belief with the outcome of Destiny. According to me, there are only three things which are destined - Birth, Death and Marriage - as these three things result into a birth of new being. Birth - as you are born, Marriage - as a new life is born and Death - as the moment you die, you become a part of soon to be born being; the kid in a female's womb - the day she conceives it and not the day it is born. It can be in a human or non human form, but it does have a life.

But there are couples who remain childless - one may argue that. Thus we cannot say that marriages result into a birth of new being. But there again, the belief system plays its part. And it's proven. Now now, how does that work, how to make it work etc. questions we can take care of, but not on the blog. There are different ways, different therapies and treatments that help you get your belief system in place, to make you realize how you can achieve something you have worked for. But it is not my area of expertise. I know a little bit about these things as I have spent days and years discussing such subjects, what we call in general term - philosophical topics. But philosophy can be interesting for those who learn it. As for you readers, if you are reading this line after reading the whole post, then either you liked whatever I have written (even a bit will do) or you are an avid reader who can read anything and everything that's in front of him/her :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I wish opinion was not for free!

My current facebook status message says:
The ability to speak does not make you intelligent!
And this got me thinking. This is not the first time I have updated a normal status message that people have made controversial, an ego issue or taken personally. Well, I am quite used to it by now; bu don't you think I am entitled to my opinion?

The status message point is a small one. In fact I quite enjoy the comments I get on those - they are witty, provoking, irritating, aggressive as well as interesting. Each one expresses one's own opinion. That's democracy right? Then why are we questioned for updating what we want to?

We all express our opinion different ways. sometimes through status messages, sometimes through a post and sometimes through comments. But these days we mistake opinion with bashing. I am merely a year and a half old on blogger, but it is a well known fact around blogsphere that if you write a post about your opinion, people will take it personally and bash you left-right-center.

The irony is that many people do not even bother to read what you have written! They will read the first few lines, last few lines and couple of comments; that's all. and they fight with you for the point you have not even mentioned indirectly or minutely!

I can link ten such posts here - mine as well as others' - whereby the author has been given free advice he/she never even asked for. But this place is purely for the purpose of expressing my opinions and thoughts, rather than giving free publicity to anybody.

Most of the times, people give their opinion on about something which is not their genre or field. I blog because I want your feedback; I blog because I am ready to take appreciation as well as criticism; but I do not blog to take your frustration. If you do not like my post; either you should not leave a comment there or unleash your anger on your blog rather than provoking my regular readers or shooing them away! And yes, unleash it in style, rather than misquoting me just to get publicity or make your own blog famous at the cost of my name! (It has happened with me!)

There are times when people comment negative on others' post and blast them in the case where either their ego is hurt due to the brutal honesty published by the author; or they are guilty of the crime. If you fit into none of these categories; then simply comment why you agree or disagree. You have no right to comment on one's credibility at all.

And those personal comments! People do not like personal questions being asked to them; but some will always try to know what are your vacation plans, how many kids you have, when did you have a break up etc. all. Give us a break guys. If I want the whole world to know that I am going to Switzerland for my honeymoon, then I will specifically mention it. When I am keeping mum about it, it simply means that I do not want you to know that!

Now after reading this post; they will say why do I blog if I cannot tolerate their comments? Well, this post is not about me at all. It is my general observation. By grace of God, I have been blessed with wonderful readers who read my blog and leave a "normal" comment. But I know a few people who write normal stuff, but they get s#!t comments on their simple posts.

I wish bloggers would at least read the post first rather than reading first or last line only. What do you think about those?

PS: Hope you guys do read this post entirely rather than reading this post script first and then the last paragraph. I would like to know your views about the entire topic and not merely on the last paragraph.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Reforms in Family Law Part 4

Prevention of Dowry System 

Dowry is a social evil that ruins two families. Where Dowry is demanded, endless conflict starts between the parties and ends with death of the bride or divorce or unhappy married life. Almost all the persons play double role, a father of a bride, searching for bridegroom for his daughter, has different thoughts from the father of bridegroom and feels that dowry is the biggest disease. Contrary to this, the father of bridegroom thinks in different sense, and has a tendency to have maximum Dowry. This is a highly social problem. To solve this, we made it an offense in 1961 and thereafter drastic change in 1983 took place by amending the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Indian Evidence Act to deal with dowry death and cruelty by husband and his relatives by Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1983.

The Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961 says that any person who gives, takes, or abets the giving or taking of dowry shall be punished with imprisonment, which may extend to six months or with fine up to Rs. 5,000 or with both. Dowry that started off as a practice to give away presents to the departing daughter, usually some resources to begin her new married life, slowly assumed extraordinary proportions and turned into a social evil. Brides were expected to bring the "gifts" regardless of their personal willingness. The bride's family could no longer have an individual say; lists were prepared and sent to the girl's house before the final agreement between the two families. The condition being that the boy would marry the girl only if the demands were met. Such a custom is being practiced not only in India but also in other countries like Bangladesh and Nepal. The reason behind this custom is the poor economical condition of the people along with a lack of education; unawareness of legal rights among women and a general bias against the women.

Crimes like rape, kidnapping, eve teasing and indecent exposure can be grouped as crimes against women. Rape is the worst crime against women after murder and the maximum punishment under the IPC is life imprisonment. An abortion or miscarriage due to natural causes is not an offense. Therefore, the law does not deal with it. However, violent and forceful abortion is a crime. Sections 312 and 316 of the Indian Penal Code deal with abortion as crime. Section 313 deals with abortion without the consent of the woman. The punishment could even be life imprisonment.

The Hindu Succession Act gives male and female heirs almost equal right to inheritance. Section 14 says that any property possessed by a female Hindu shall be held by her as full owner and not as a limited owner.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Reforms in Family Law Part 3

Abolition of Polygamy

Before independence, polygamy existed in all the corners of India, whereas it was an offense punishable under Section 494 of IPC, except due to applicability of the customs. In India, law of marriage is governed by the personal laws. The Muslim law restricted it to four marriages at the time, where there was no any restriction under other personal laws. Christian Marriage Act, 1872, Parsis were restricted and made punishable under Section 494 of IPC, by Section 52 of Parsi Marriage Act and Divorce Act, 1936, and Hindus were restricted to one marriage by section 5 of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. Similar restriction is imposed by Section 4 of Special Marriage Act, 1954. Presently, this is the big problem indicated by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in  Sarala Mudgal's case. It issued some directions to the Government of India to frame Uniform Civil Code under Article 44 of the Constitution. Unfortunately, the Government has not taken any step.

Section 494 of IPC clearly states that Whoever, having a husband or wife living, marries in any case in which such marriage is void by reason of its taking place during the life of such husband or wife, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Exception - This section does not extend to any person whose marriage with such husband or wife has been declare void by a Court of competent jurisdiction, nor to any person who contracts a marriage during the life of a former husband or wife, if such husband or wife, at the time of the subsequent marriage, shall have been continually absent from such person for the space of seven years, and shall not have been heard of by such person as being alive within that time provided the person contracting such subsequent marriage shall, before such marriage takes place, inform the person with whom such marriage is contracted of the real state of facts so far as the same are within his or her knowledge.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

About Names and show off

People! Just this word makes me wonder - there are so many different types of them around me. Few crazy, few abnormal, few psycho and a few weird; but none - normal. Now before you guys feel offended about not being called normal, well, face it guys. Are you 100% normal as per my definition of being "Normal"? No, you ain't!

I have written about people much more than I have written about myself. I love to observe them, their various traits and write about the most interesting ones on my blog. My intentions are never to offend anyone. I write simply as they amuse me. And whenever go back to my old posts, to read them or just to refresh a few memories, such posts always bring a smile on my face.

Some time back, I came across a very interesting kind of people. These people shorten your name no matter what. A friend of mine, Amrita, she has this habit. My name is pretty short - Neha. She will still call me Ne, or N or Nehu, but not Neha! I am sure many of you with long names would be having plenty of such short names given by people.

I, on the other hand never prefer to mess up (?) a name. No matter how long a name is or how irritating it may sound, I will address that person by his/her original name only, even if that person is really close to me. of course there are exceptions, like some friends were introduced to me by their shortened name and I got to know their real name pretty much late, but that's fine. I somehow feel that a person may not like it if I address him/her with the name other than one's original name! I think a lot!

A shortened name works fine with people you know. But sometimes strangers address you by shortened names! I know quite a few people around blogsphere who have this habit of shortening names. I even know those victims who hate such abbreviations of their names :P

Going completely off the track now as I want to show off a bit. I am going to teach from tomorrow onwards. I have to teach Business Law to B. Com., BMS and CA PE 1 students. Their syllabus is more or less the same. I am nervous. Quite nervous. I am going to be taking my first ever lecture. I have always aspired to be a professor, and finally I am taking my first step. So yes, I am very very nervous. And people around me ain't helping me either. They keep telling me that I myself look like a kid, what will I teach to college students? Sigh! Friends!!

By the time, most of you read this post, my lecture would have been over. But I will let you know how it went anyway.

So people, back to what I started with - my name is pretty short. Don't make it Nehu please!!!

Friday, August 06, 2010

Reforms in Family Law Part 2

As promised, Part two of the post is here. To read part one, Click Here.

Restriction on Child Marriage

In our society, the marriage of the child was solemnized in his/her childhood. In fact, at the time of marriage spouses were not aware about the meaning of marriage. The Society has taken serious measures in order to reform this unprincipled custom by restricting the child marriage. Hindus, Christians and Parsis have introduced in their personnel laws that marriage of a boy below the age of 21 years and girl below the age of 18 years as not a valid marriage and hence it is voidable. Muslim law also provides that spouse at the time of marriage should be at puberty. The Government of India has restricted the child marriage and enacted Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929, which considers the act of child marriage as an offense and hence punishable.

According to the provisions of the Act, a child means a person who, if a male, has not completed 21 years of age, and if a female, has not completed 18 years of age. In 1978, certain amendments have been made in the Act, through which the definition of child was redefined, some offenses were made cognizable and further provisions were made for such offense to be tried by the Metropolitan Magistrate or Judicial Magistrate of First Class.

Thus, The Child Marriage (Restraint) Act (CMRA) was enacted in 1929 to prevent the customary practice of child marriage. According to the CMRA’s statements of objects and reasons, the main purpose of this law is to create a check on population growth as it would result in a lower fertility rate, since it reduces the time period of marriages. It was also passed to eliminate potential dangers to the life and health of female children, who cannot withstand the stress and strains of married life, and to avoid early deaths of minor mothers. According to the provisions of this Act, a child marriage is a marriage wherein either of the contracting parties is a child. However, the criminal provisions of this Act do not apply to children.

Some of the significant provisions of the Act are listed herein under:

Section 3: Punishment for male adult below twenty one years of age marrying a child –

Whoever, being a male above eighteen years of age and below twenty one, contracts a child marriage shall be punishable with simple imprisonment which may extend to fifteen days, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.

Section 4: Punishment for male adult above twenty one years of age marrying a child –

Whoever, being a male above twenty one years of age, contracts a child marriage shall be punishable with simple imprisonment which may extend to three months and shall also be liable to fine.

Section 5: Punishment for solemnizing a child marriage –

Whoever performs, conducts or directs any child marriage shall be punishable with simple imprisonment which may extend to three months and shall also be liable to fine unless he proves that he had reason to believe that the marriage was not a child -marriage.

Section 6: Punishment for parent or guardian concerned in a child marriage –

(1) Where a minor contracts a child marriage, any person having charge of the minor, whether as parent or guardian or in any other capacity, lawful or unlawful, who does any act to promote the marriage or permits it to be solemnised, or negligently fails to prevent it from being solemnised, shall be punishable with simple imprisonment which may extend to three months and shall also be liable to fine.

Provided no woman shall be punishable with imprisonment.

(2) For the purpose of this section, it shall be presumed unless and until the contrary is proved, that where a minor has contracted a child marriage, the person having charge of such minor has negligently failed to prevent marriage from being solemnized.

PS: Part Three is going to be about Polygamy. Stay tuned :)

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Reforms in Family Law Part 1

This post is on a Legal topic. there is going to be a series of these posts. I will explain about one topic at a time so that it is easy for you to understand. There are total eleven such reforms and I am planning to cover them one at a time in each post. It is going to be useful to many. And for the rest, you know what to do right?

Judicial reforms are the need of the Day in the Country. And the Reforms in the Family courts are even more urgent. A person can continue living a normal life even if faced with criminal matter or been victim of crime in any fashion be it robbery or assault. However when faced with marital breakdown a persons life is put on hold till the verdict. Hence it is imperative that Marital Problem is given the highest priority and overhauling of system is important.

Judicial reforms is not about tinkering with a few process it needs overhaul in following direction

Change of Laws 
There are two many laws in the country against the husband in civil, criminal and quasi criminal arena which do not have standard procedures of normal laws applied to them examples are the Domestic Violence Act and the Section 498a. There are also multifarious laws for a same relief. There are five laws on maintenance for standard of living from a husband. This needs to change and complete gender equity, equality and fairness be brought about. The laws need to be harmonized and equalized by gender.

Change of Procedures, practices, presumptions and guidelines 
There are multiple procedures which tend to become procedural harassment of the husband and the family. This should change. The heavy procedure need to be lightened and made more litigant friendly. A key example is on handling cases where in a husband (wife) is from out of station. In such a case the standard practice should be to provide two or three continuous dates so that the out of station person can take leave etc. It has become a procedure for the cases to be transferred to the place of wife's liking. This should change and the convenience of a working person should be taken into consideration as there is far more stakeholders who need to be aligned for working spouse. To not allow more then 2 interim application would be useful guideline. There is a legal and social presumption which is best described by the Victim Women Criminal Men Syndrome which needs to change and it's time for the entire system to get out of this trap.

Change in the current Transparency on dates and estimated dates on the court cases.

In India getting a reservation or attending the courts at a short notice puts a burden on litigants and litigants are clearly interested in knowing when will I get my decision .It is imperative that within 2 months the courts provide a schedule of dates and activity that will be conducted so that the litigant is clearly aware of the stages and phases and prepare accordingly. The judiciary can very take the help of project management expertise of the Ex-litigants for this matter. SIFF (Save Indian Family Foundation) is willing to provide this expertise.

USE of the latest Technology
Involve litigants in defining the requirements of the computerization process.

Change in Attitude

The judiciary should not expect to be a great sermons speaking from Ivory tower. They should clearly be aware of the difference in Matrimonial relief like divorce or child custody. The shift in attitude for family related cases are more in the nature of I am here to resolve the disputes and allow the parties to live a happy life. Currently there is an attitude that is felt that one should use laws, procedure, guidelines, practices and spurious arguments everything against a husband seeking relief. 
Part two of the post will be published soon. Remind me please if I forget :P

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Team Tiger Trails – our journey so far

DISCLAIMER: This post is a special dedication to my teammates of BPL. Together we are called "The Tiger Trails". It has happened in the past that my personal post was quoted as a rubbish post by a blogger. This is my space and my blog. I am sure most of you will agree with me that I can write whatever I want to write here. Those who like the post, thank you in advance and those who do not like it, well at least do not blog about how rubbish I am. I already know that :) 

Can a team that’s supposed to have 8 members to write 8 posts in each round survive when two members leave the team even before the tournament starts? Can a team of 6 people who have never ever interacted with one another survive the first round? Forget the first round, we were doubtful whether we will even be able to write the skit that was assigned to us as a warm up post so that the team members could bond with one another.

With the Solitary Writer and Mubashir quitting the team even before the knock out rounds started, we were left with no choice but to play the very first round with six members on our side. Then came the first jatka – Debosmita was leaving for the Himalayas – the trip she had planned well in advance. And she was leaving on the day of announcement of topics! The theme for the first round was love. Now it’s so very difficult to write about love for an unromantic person like me. And I didn’t know any other team member so well except for Saurabh, who was a new member on our side. The topics were assigned as per the preferences and convenience of the members. Sudhakar (King sir) and I wrote two posts each, Arpita the poetry queen took up poetry, while Rashmi wrote a love letter. Somehow we managed to get 8 posts on board with six players playing. Pal and I were chatting about our chances of survival. Yours truly predicted that we would survive, but would be second last. Results were out and we had made it to the next round. King Sir had topped in both the categories he wrote for and tigers were in the race.

Time for the second round and Debosmita entered with a roar as soon as the topics were announced. She was all determined to compensate for her absence in the first one. Especially when Saurabh sent across a mail asking people about their availability for the second round and urging not to do “Debosmita” and leave for a vacation at the end moment ;) With Debosmita’s presence and Kanagu’s entry, we were a team of eight members – still one member short, a standby member. This time around, Debs doubled up. Posts were sent across to all the members for suggestions and we looked like a stronger team than how we were in the first round. Again, Pal and I discussed after the submission of the posts that we would survive this round for sure. Another prediction by yours truly that pal would win the individual category and I wouldn’t (I never win in a contest. Have I ever mentioned that?). And so happened. Not only Pal won, but we topped in five individual categories with Debs topping in two, Saurabh and Kanagu in one each, and the team was second overall. Not bad huh?

Third round was much more comfortable than the first two since beginning as the team was bonding well. We were interacting more, discussing more and suggesting more. E-mails were increasing by day, rapport was building by minute, Pal and I were as usual sure that the third round would be our last round. Ah, our discussion always started with this topic (now teammies, don’t run behind our lives! We were wrong always!). Now that I have spilled the beans of our discussion, second thing we discussed was quitting. One day I would say that I wanted to quit, next day she would mention that. We kept convincing each other that this round would be our last round in the tournament, but that never happened :P Magazine as a theme and serious topics, fantabulous posts by almost all the members and we topped the third round. Tigers who had been almost eliminated were toppers now. For us, this was the real victory. We didn’t care about anything anymore – whether we survived or eliminated – nothing mattered anymore. Yes nothing mattered as we had got a standby player for this round, who took up the challenge to write the crime fiction, and ditched us last moment. King Sir wrote a post in an hour. The standby member was made standby till the end without any communication. No there was no anger, there was a pure and simple understanding between us and her!

Fourth round – the boring most one for me at least. It was all about writing reviews. Only three teams were left now. Tigers – last round toppers, still very unpredictable. You never know when we perform and when we do not. I hated each and every topic to be honest and expressed my wish of not participating in that round. Our King Sir woke up suddenly. He asked us to take the round lightly and write whatever we felt like. That worked for all of us. This time around, we didn’t play to survive, we never did that, but this round, we made sure we wrote what we were comfortable writing. Another discussion between Pal and me. This time we somehow knew we had a fair chance of making to the finals. So we did. Another survival. Another miracle. Another round conquered and a big one.

The tigers were in the finals now, competing with one of the strongest teams of the tournament. They have topped twice so far. But tigers are still roaring. As I mentioned, for us, conquering the third round and topping it was the real victory. Not a single round for us was without struggle. We were either one member short or somebody backed out at the end moment, but we had survived so far like true tigers. Last round, five players. Final round and three players short. Our hurdles were far from getting over. GC people became even crueler this time around. We were supposed to choose the topics for ourselves this time. Four topics each team. Again the same process – mails, ideas, discussions, agreements and disagreements, pros and cons and every possible thing that could create confusion was done by us. At the end, topics were assigned to both the teams. Yours truly was writing on two topics and King Sir on two. We did not have any other option, with less number of players playing. Rashmi fell sick and could not write on her topic. At 7 pm on Saturday, I realised that today was the submission day. With Rashmi’s post missing, we had very less time to write another fresh post. Still, we are Tigers, remember? Never say never. The post was written by none other than me. :P One of the most boring write ups I have ever written, but still we managed to post the links on the GC wall at 11:55 pm, before midnight.


Finally, BPL is over. The submissions and the discussions will no longer take place. But the Tigers will survive. They have gained friendship, understanding and bond. We are used to those 50 odd mails each day on trivial things. We are used to the discussions that took place over the period of two months. The silence kills us now. If there is not a single mail from any of us, we feel restless. We will simply send a hello, but we have to exchange that in the group mail. In short, we are now quite used to one another.

We win or we don’t, we have made friends for life in this whole process of BPL. People say that they have found good bloggers thanks to BPL, but I believe most of the people blog or write because they are good at it. You will come across very few bad bloggers. Some become popular and some don’t; but almost all of them are good. But good friends – you will find very few. And I have found them in Pal, Sudhakar, Debs, Rashmi, Arpita, Kanagu and Saurabh. Together we Rock and Roar.