lalita larking

An obsession with cryptic crosswords. Everything else falls in place.

Location: Kolkata, India

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Calling Erato

PC Erato

don’t move the mouse.
no, not just yet.
look a little longer
at the mating dance of
multiple polygons in random colors.

don’t open Word; New, not just yet

what do you have to say
that’s fresher than these polygons
undulating and pausing,
changing shapes and forms
coalescing, touching
and breaking apart
to a solo twirl, thrust, dance
expansion and fulfillment
touch again,
and break free
and again and again.

look at them.
multiple polygons performing ballet on the monitor.
don’t destroy the joyous meeting and parting.
don’t move the mouse, yet.

what will you write
that will echo the dance of the mating polygons?

why do you have to write?
because you can’t dance.

why do you have to write?
because you can’t sing.

why do you have to write?
to break the spell of the screen saver.

Feeling at a loss for words and inspirationally challenged is the worst thing that can happen to a blogger. Priya was complaining about it.

Indecision, feelings of inadequacy and wondering about reader response- all play their part towards a blogger considering closing shop. You read your archives and marvel, how did I write that? Why can't I find something to say now? Why bother? Who cares? Who am I kidding?

Then there is the worry if anybody other than crossword buffs and people with a nodding acquaintance with the classics will get what your title means. Am I writing for the whole world? I suppose I am, but isn't that tiny segment of world that understands and gets the joke my target readership, really?

It's enough to make one weep. The random blues are a bad thing. Of course, there could be other things going on in your life; other worries, loves lost and found, agonies too personal to blog about. But there is also the serious roadblock of running out of things to say.

Then there are the self-imposed constraints to consider too. I made up my mind I won't review books or talk about current events or politics and wax superior with opinions on them. There are topics I ought to bite my tongue and not write about; the family reads my blog, after all. While they won't comment, they will have plenty to say about it.

Looking at my site tracker's details only confuses. (I added the trackers because I wanted my blog to have the bells and whistles too, like other blogs that I read. And while it was a period fraught with frustration and a sinking sense of my own ignorance, it also helped me learn the basics of what young people seem to do off the top of their heads, without even having to think about it.)

I learn that people searching for massage in Kolkata, people looking for jokes to read in Tamil, people looking for the perfect omelette recipe all arrive at my blog, and read at least one post, perhaps several. My tracker doesn't care to elaborate. That is depressing. A post written in half an hour just to vent gets me more readers than what I thought and researched and laboured over.

Google or Yahoo! searches are strange, to say the least. It is amazing to think that people type in search words like 'hot lalita',' sexy lalita' or 'young lalita illegal'. Whatever are they looking for? 'Silk Smita' and 'curse words in Telugu' or 'what does neha mean' all bring me readers. How many come back to read another day?

But it is gratifying to know that people searching for cryptic crosswords, Araucaria's limerick puzzle, alphabetical jigsaw puzzles, Paul's prize crossword hints, Murphy's Law limerick also arrive at my blog. People who are searching for beautiful Telugu fonts, Telugu names are directed to my blog, by Google or Yahoo!

There was one surreal search, 'all nouns plural Inglish.' Good grief!

However, this trying to figure out what posts of mine garner me most readers has made me conclude I should keep writing about unisex beauty parlours and massage parlours in Kolkata and ponder about meanings of names. Sandwich massage, anybody?

Seriously though, I can't write about the latest Araucaria crossword until Monday, when the solution comes out, and I am clean out of ideas. Lack of inspiration or direction clams me up. Which of my ten regular readers is going to be edified by what drivel I write next? Knowing people read me is making me tongue-tied rather than expansive. Any suggestions, my dear readers?

Over to you, Priya. Blog on this.



Anonymous Ash said...

This is tongue-tied? You don't have writer's block, Lali. What you maybe going through is the blues.

Great poem. Limited, but still.

9:08 pm  
Blogger db said...

I agree .. Google has this amazing ability to throw up stuff you're not looking for ... but instead leads you to other places that can be mighty interesting ...

May you emerge from the blues soon ..

11:34 pm  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

Ash- Probably. The weather certainly is depressing.

Ram- Ah, yes. Serendipity. Amazing where Google searches can lead one. Thanks for the words of commiseration.

11:26 am  
Blogger Rimi said...

I demand a conference call with the other nine to decide on a PoA to Cheer Our Much Admired L Up.

Ladies and gentlemen, set up that call. In the meanwhile L, crib. Those are always fascinating to read.

11:40 am  
Anonymous priya venkateshan said... blogs offer much better tracking features..... like number of visitors per day, which posts get viewed everyday, number of people who read your rss feeds, which links lead people to your blog, apart from the search strings that lead to your blog.
what makes it better is that these are done on a daily basis so that you are not inundated with garbled data which you cant make much sense of.
blogger doesnt have to worry about having to close shop just 'coz people have writer's block.... most people blog about that, too!
and thanks to my college name in the title of my blog, most of my readers are people who stumbled on to my blog are people who type 'n i t k' [the spaces are to ensure no one stumbles here while searching for my college website] as the search string.... which means i cant write about anything that's controversial as far as my college is concerned. wotabummer.

6:04 pm  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

Rimi- You have already cheered me up. Wait for the next post. *smirks evilly*

Priya- Sitemeter, the free version that I use, offers most of those features for the latest hundred visitors, and sends weekly reports. I don't need more details than that, so it is fine for me.

But I was talking only about the referrals, which are sort of bemusing.

6:16 pm  
Anonymous Rajesh said...

Wow. A nice poem, Lali.

But youve just got random blues, not writer's block.

If you want a topic, tell us about your meeting K. That would be a great story, I'm sure.

10:18 pm  
Blogger Lahar said...

Hi, I got here through a complicated chain of blog links; I really enjoyed your first few cryptic crossword posts. Will return and go through the lot some day.

9:15 am  
Blogger Priya said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for embarrassing me, You Evil Woman. Now I shall have to attack these poor keys with the vengeance, just to prove you a point. Gaaahhh, just you whytt Missus Em, just you whytt:P

11:50 am  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

Rajesh- You got all you are going to get about it. Stop nagging. :-)

Lahar- Welcome, and thanks. I didn't know anybody read my early posts about crosswords.

Keep visiting.

Priya- *smirk* You are welcome, Dahling. Darling by name and darling by nature. :D

12:11 pm  

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