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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Chp 277. Chastity.

She left him.

Like a cold gust of winter wind, she left him, drowning in his own pool of self pity and grief. He had always wanted to spend the rest of his life with her, growing old together and naming their grand children. She loved him back, he thought. All those whispers of sweet nothings and gentle caresses had been nothing but a sham. The day he lost his inheritance, he lost more than he ever imagined.

She walked out, neither uttering a word nor shedding a tear.

She convinced herself that she did the right thing. Like many young women in her town, she wanted a future. She wanted stability and security. He was the most eligible bachelor in her town, coming from the most affluent family. And she thought she had it all when he proposed to her – They made love that night, even though their community was vehemently opposed to premarital sex. She said yes against her will and closed her eyes.

She knew they were committing a grave sin and breaking a sanctimonious traditional law. But she didn’t care because the future blinded her and muddled her judgment. She thought she loved him, until a week later his father discovered he was not really his son and in a fit of rage cut him off from his will. He threw him out, along with his mother, banished, never to return.

It was then that she suddenly realized she had never loved him. With the riches and glory gone, there was now suddenly a large eerie void. She couldn’t believe how foolish and naïve she had been. She felt sorry for leading him on. She regretted sleeping with him. She contemplated and felt dirty. Extremely dirty.

She moved to the city the next day. She couldn’t take the gossips and whispers anymore. The venomous stares that seemed to follow her everywhere she went. Deep inside she knew they were right and that she deserved to be judged harshly. But she also knew she made a mistake and that she could not ruin her life just for the sake of “being true to her lover”. A lover that she didn’t even genuinely love. Life is cruel. And the only way to rebuild her life was to go on an exile from the maddening town.

City life was definitely different.

She stayed with her uncle and aunt. They didn’t question her or mention anything about “the” incident. They knew.

Her uncle was a pastor and she found renewed faith in God. She prayed every night and asked God for forgiveness for that one night of sin.

She found a job as a librarian through her uncle’s influence, and in a month she was back on her feet, cheerful and happier, but more importantly, wiser.

She worked devotedly every day in that library, catering to University students and professors. Very soon, all the regular library visitors knew her on a first name basis. Some of the students even had a crush on her. She dismissed their advances sportingly because they were not what she’s looking for. Being wiser, all she wanted was true love. A perfect match.

And then one day, a new He stepped into her life. He was a research assistant. Working on his thesis. Handsome. Smart. Polite. Suave.

After a few days and many smile exchanges later, he asked her out. She nodded with a blush. Their first date was at the University canteen. Tea and momos. They connected immediately. He wasn’t rich, but he came from a respectable family. 42 cousins and a sister who was a renowned gospel singer.

Within a month, she got to know all 42 cousins. His parents absolutely adored her and she was on cloud nine. She imagined what her life would have been like had she remained with the other person. No love. No money. No family. Just plain misery.

She thanked the good Lord that night. Three months passed by. She had never felt this strong and passionate about anyone before. Neither had he. They went to Church together. They went to picnic spots with his family on weekends. Everybody around them could feel the aura of love surrounding them.

Like most men, he of course made his advances when they were alone. A hand gently slipped below or a quick grope. She politely declined and he smiled. He was not persistent. He respected her. She whispered to him that she was a virgin. That she was saving herself. That she was a good Christian afraid of God. He beamed with pride and whispered back that he too was a virgin. And then, he proposed.

As they hugged in joy, she cried. Not tears of joy. She was overwhelmed with shame for lying.

She brushed aside her shame. She convinced herself that some things were best left unsaid. She didn’t want to throw this away. It was too perfect.

One week before the marriage, when all the invitation cards had been sent, her uncle and aunt left the city to attend a pastoral conference. They promised to be back before the wedding. She enjoyed the blissful solitude and dreamt about the wedding once again. Then the phone rang.

She answered. It was her cousin. Two minutes later, her whole world came crashing down. She slapped herself to see if it was all a nightmare. One horrible nightmare she wanted to wake up from.

Alas. It was real.

She sat down. The bedroom spun forever. She ran to the bathroom and vomited. The past came haunting back, with horrendous fangs and fiery breath ready to devour her. In those two minutes of phone call, her cousin told her everything. The guy she left, turned to drugs and led a wasteful life. And then a few days ago, when he heard about her upcoming marriage, he quietly tied a rope on the ceiling and ended his perpetual misery.

But not before releasing a few photographs on the internet. Scandalous photos of the two of them. Taken from his mobile phone camera. Of that one fateful night she regretted. Just five photos, but enough to defile any reputation. Bare bodied. Intimate. Provocative. Straight out of a tacky porn film. A minute after sharing the files online, he took the extreme step.

She felt both anger and pain. Angry for what he did, and pain for what he did a minute after that. She was confused. And most of all, she dreaded how her fiancé was going to react. She had lied to him about her sexual past. The ultimate lie according to any guy - Where male egos frequently clashed.

She called him a hundred times. He didn’t answer. News spread fast, especially in their small community. Internet. MMS. Pen drive. All the fires of Hell burnt slower than that.

She couldn’t eat. And being all alone in her house made things worse. She forgot God. Time ticked slowly. She cried over and over again until she felt dizzy. She didn’t have the courage to go to his house.

And then, just around midnight, her doorbell rang.

With a weakened effort, she meekly opened the door. It was him. Eyes bloodshot with a stench of cheap alcohol. He staggered in and sat on the chair. No words spoken. A deafening silence.

She sat beside him and cried. He looked at her and broke down too. He hugged her and she reciprocated. No matter what the bitterness had been, the chemistry between them soon exploded and he kissed her with strong emotions and fervent desire. She returned the passion in multifold. From there, it was one oiled mechanism smoothly operating one after the other. The shirt. The blouse. The pants. The undergarments. One by one they fell to the ground, all inhibitions shed.

Still no words spoken.

She had never felt such heightened ecstasy before. Mixed with fear and anticipation. She moaned as he entered. It felt like a hot steaming nuclear explosion of pleasure one after the other. Minutes turned to hours. Hours turned to endless waves of ceaseless satisfaction. She felt genuinely complete throughout. She could feel the tears roll down his cheeks and realized how much she meant to him. The past was just the past. He wanted to move on. They had a fantastic future ahead. She held him tight and dug her nails deep into his back as she felt an orgasm brewing one more time.

The next day, he left her.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Chp 276. Velvet Lounge, Mumbai - Review.

Every now and then, as an active blogger, we like to give our feedback or review on a movie, restaurant, book, pub etc if our experience was really amazing, or dissatisfactory.

Sadly for me, last saturday’s party at Velvet Lounge, Powai, Mumbai, was one of utter disappointment.

Errr… ok the above is a completely different Velvet Lounge [source: mu design] I spent 3 hours online looking for their logo and couldn’t find it.

There were a lot of things I liked about the place, but the negatives clearly outweighed them. Let me start with the positive aspects first.


Being a 5 star hotel (Renaissance), the ambience and surroundings were truly elegant and breathtaking. But being a 5 star hotel, that cannot be labeled as their USP - It’s a part of the whole “5 star status” package (except for, maybe, the beautiful Powai lake view).

The security was tight, and although it created some inconveniences for people getting in, it was quite reassuring for us Mumbaikars, if you know what I mean. And the sniffer dog was extremelyyy adorable. It licked me lovingly and I really really really wanted to dognap kidnap the cute little mongrel.

The service was great too. Before going to the discotheque, I searched online and people wrote about the bad service and how the bartenders didn’t live up to their expectations. As for me, I think the bartenders did pretty well. I had only beer but my friends tried out all sorts of concoctions and they were all made to perfection. They were very polite and courteous, and most important of all, remembered my drink when I went for a second or third amidst the blaring music.

Entry cost – 1200 for couples and 1500 for stags, which again was not bad since they were entirely cover-charge. (But definitely not worth it if you’re a teetotaler).

Drinks cost – Again for a discotheque of this class, the drinks were not ridiculously overpriced, unlike a few other places I know. 250 bucks for a pint of beer, and most of the “usual” hard liquor started from 350 for a small (30ml). Advice: If you aren’t the Sultan of Brunei, stick to beer. And do what the rest of us commoners do – Drink before reaching the venue.

The glow – I loved the glow all across the very lengthy bar. Very night-clubbish indeed.

[image source]

The smoking section – I went out to smoke quite a number of times, and not even once did I catch a whiff of marijuana in the air. Don’t you just hate it when people start smoking up right next to you at a pub or disc and run a risk of police raiding the place and throwing you in the police van for being present at the “scene of crime”? I have nothing against people who smoke up. I just hate spending the nights in jail.


I think those are the positive points about the place.

Now onto the bad.

First of all, the loo was freaking dirty. Made me sick every time I went to pee (and pee many times I did as I was having only beer). There were no attendants in the restroom, something very hard to believe for a 5 star hotel stature. And hey, even if there weren’t anybody there, how about sending somebody every 30 minutes or so to clean the mess some idiots made? Every time I went to pee, there was a line of guys complaining about the dirt.

Next – the dance floor. Hah, dance floor my ass. There were 10 of us in our group that night, and we all went together to the main dance floor excitedly after a couple of drinks at “the other side” of the lengthy discotheque. How disappointed we all were! I think I counted just three disco bulbs meekly rotating around the place. One section was completely dark, as the lights weren’t working. Considering the great ambience outside the discotheque, that was a real bummer. An anti-climax. It’s like you paid for a Benz and they delivered a Nano.

What is a discotheque without proper lighting effects? Trust me, our college hostel parties were way better than the place! My friends complained that the dance floor was uneven too. I didn’t notice that but the smoke effect was really sad. Reminded me of those failed chemistry lab experiments with dry ice back in school.

Music – I thought the dance floor was the lamest thing I had ever seen, until I heard the music. No offence to the DJ, but the quality of Deejaying that night was in extreme poor taste. I used to hang out a lot with my DJ friends back in Hyderabad and B’lore, and believe me, they spun way better.

First of all – no we do not want to hear your voice every 1 minute. Sure you may want to make an announcement or there are indeed some important announcements to make. But every time you speak, the freaking music stops. And that screws up the entire rhythm for us. When you’re in the middle of a motion that you truly enjoy, you wanna keep going right? And if something disturbs you, it’s very hard to get back to that frame of mind and find your rhythm again… ok some of you naughty minds are thinking about “it”. Point made.

Sure, you may need to pump up the crowd with clichéd lines like “Party people, let’s make some noiiiise” or “this is for all the ladies in da houseeee” etc. But that should happen at the beginning of the track or in between tracks, not in the middle of it. And that too at such frequent intervals! Being disturbed frequently – Epic FAIL definitely.

Secondly, go easy on the remixes please… We have more than enough of remixes of popular club numbers. And it’s no rocket science remixing a song, what with the number of softwares “freely” available today. Of course the quality that people like us make will not be as good as a DJ’s remix. Hence I can understand if the DJ slips in a remix or two here and there among the other popular original tracks. But playing the remix of every song was not cool. And I could have sworn some were remixes of remixes.

Third point regarding the music – You’re not even scratching. At least get your sequences right. One time hiphop, suddenly followed by trance, and then bollywood, followed by club, then back to hiphop. Aaargh. Are we playing musical chair at a kid’s birthday party? I paid good money to unwind on the dance floor after such a tiring week in office. I love dancing regardless of the kind of music playing. But no DJ ever changes the genre abruptly. You gotta move gradually from one type to the other. There has to be a flow so that we don’t lose our rhythm.

Fourthly, I’d like to end my night at a discotheque with trance. Because, 1. You’re pretty tired towards the end and 2. You’re pretty drunk. And so you go on a “trance trip”. Don’t you just love trance trips? Sadly that night, it ended with bollywood music. We all left fuming and disappointed before the “last song”. If you are a bollywood remix lover, you can ignore this last point. Or maybe not, because my friend V loves bollywood and she said there are two types of bollywood remixes – good and bad. What was played that night were all bad bollywood apparently. I don’t know anything about bollywood remixes so no comments on that.

Valet parking – We waited a long time before our car finally came. Maybe it seemed longer because we were disappointed. But whatever be the case, the fact that I wrote half this review the moment I reached home clearly reflected the way I felt about the place. After all, how many of you actually switch on your PC and start blogging after returning from a disc at four in the morning?

Monday, November 09, 2009

Chp 275. Visions of Atlantis - Lost

One of my favorite symphonic power metal bands – Visions of Atlantis.

There are two vocalists, and the guy has a really melodious voice while the girl sings in mezzo-soprano range. Currently, VoA is my most listened band in my profile, while this song “Lost” is my most listened song.

I really hope you like this song. It’s the only decent music video of theirs that I can find online, and there have many other amazinggg songs like passing dead end, at the back and beyond, the secret, etc.

And here are some of the female vocalists of this amazing band, past and present.

The girl in the pic is Nicole Bogner and she’s the one who is singing in the music video above. She left the band in 2005 and was involved in two albums: Endless Eternal Infinity and Castaway.

The girl is Melissa Ferlaak. She replaced Nicole and later married the guitarist and they both left the band. Album made with band: Trinity.

And this is Joanna Nieniewska, VoA’s latest frontwoman. Haven’t heard her sing yet… Hope she’s good.

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Chp 274. The importance of referrals

A “referral”, when it comes to the online world, is a web page that has a link to your blog. Hence that page becomes a source of traffic to your blog.

Justify Full
And how important are referrals?

Oh, quite important, if I may say so.

Just like in real life where it is important to get good referrals, be it a doctor’s referral or employee’s referral (among many other things), in the online world referrals play an important role in analyzing your traffic and helping you improve your online portfolio.

Long time ago, people actually used to pay others so that they could be linked on different websites. Popular websites charged higher fees because they had higher traffic. There was also the popular custom of “link exchange”, where two individuals A and B would put up a link of the each other’s blog on their respective blogs.

I think all those practices died down after Google redefined its criteria for determining Page Rank and rewrote its algorithm. They finally realized it wasn’t fair to give a particular website a high PR just because of the high number of referrals alone, because as mentioned above, being referred to didn’t necessarily mean one is popular - It could easily be bought.

Enter web 2.0 and a whole new dimension opened up.

Today, referrals come in many forms and shapes and sizes. Ever since introduced a “Blog List” widget that shows the update of all the blogs you’re following, the number of referral visits to any blog has increased like Kim Kardashian’s derriere.

Yup, “Bloig List” certainly made life easier for those who aren’t subscribed to blog feeds through emails or feed readers and aggregators.

There are three main types of traffic you get on your blog.
1. Direct traffic
2. Search Engines
3. Referring sites

I’ve been blogging for 6 years now, and this is the first time my referral traffic is more than 50% of my total visits!’s “Blog List” widget is one of the main reasons for this, as I have never taken part in those “link exchange” programmes mentioned earlier above, or the many referral programmes that “pays you”.

[October 31, 2008 to October 31, 2009 Google Analytics report]

The reason I came up with this post is that yesterday, I finally completed one year with on my blog. In case you haven’t notice, there is a list of referring sites on my blog side bar at the bottom, which tells me how people come to my blog, in real-time.

Such data is important. Of course Google Analytics too generates such data (and one may argue – a more accurate one) but hey, I’m just trying to simplify this as much as I can for all my visitors. This post is about how you can analyze your incoming referral traffic and look for ways to maintain that clientele or look for grounds where you can create a new niche. I’ll talk about Search engine traffic and how SEO helps you achieve a high SERP rank etc some other time. This post is dedicated solely to referrals.

Disclaimer: Before proceeding, I just want to point out that a 100% accurate result cannot be generated on anything that is digital. Even when it comes to visit counters, I use three popular counters simultaneously – Google analytics, sitemeter and stat counter. And they always give me different values at the end of the month, but they all come pretty close to each other.

Needless to say, there is a lot to learn from the referrals that you get.

For example, if you are getting a lot of referrals from Poetry websites, then it means people appreciate your poems and you need to keep writing and improve on that. If you get a lot of referrals from some of India’s most popular blog conglomerate sites like desipundit, mutiny, blogbharti etc, then it means your writing appeals to the average Indian and you need to focus on ways to go a notch higher. You have to look at other platforms too. Are you getting high referrals from Facebook, Orkut, Digg, StumbleIn, LinkedIn, Twitter etc? For each entity, you need to devise a separate plan to take it to the next level as they are all different.

Remember one very important fact: The average blog visitor DOES NOT comment on your blog. They read what you write. Whether they like what they read or not, most people do not leave a comment. So it is wrong to judge who your visitors are based on the comments you receive.

That is where referrals play an important role.

If you’re a marketing freak, you will be familiar with STP. That is – segmentation, targeting, positioning. How do you position your blog? You have to take so many things into consideration, and not just what you receive on your comments.

Around 70% of my referrals come from [8913], considered as one of the most popular Mizo community sites today. A couple of friends and I run this site and there is a side bar I update once every week on the website, where I list out all the popular Mizo blog updates. What this result shows me is that all the other blogs I update weekly on the site will get high traffic too, even though the people who visit such sites/blogs may not leave any comment.

Other community sites like lawrkhawm [708] and suankual [116] too give me good traffic. This shows that discussion forum visitors are extremely active and tend to click on external site links that they see (or recognize).

I got referral visits from all the social networking sites I have joined - Facebook [136], Twitter [161] and Orkut [115]. This means that people who read your social networking profile, tend to click on your blog link if they find your profile/scrap/discussion/tweets interesting.

Another useful information I got from my referral traffic is that I have just one popular post at Digg [994] and one at desipundit [156]. So all those traffic from digg and DP went only to those two posts. And I must confess, there’s nothing great about those posts, except that I wrote them at the right time, when everybody would be talking about it or searching for it.

Among the top 20 referrals, 8 personal blogs are in the list. The irony is that I got the highest blog referral from my ex’s blog This proves that you cannot hide from your past relationships. lolz. 195 referrals came from her blog, and since I was linked only once on her blog and that was to my Chor bazaar post, this means that 195 people looking for the infamous “chor bazaar” in Delhi landed on her blog, and then came to my blog from there. Ah. Cheap people. Just like me and my ex. Lolz.

This is followed by Pixie [154] who recently moved to her wordpress blog. Definitely one of my dearest blog friends, whose real life identity I do not know. But then, that’s what online life is supposed to be anyway, right? After her comes Sekibuhchhuak [137], Father_Sphinx [135], Claytonia Vices [119], Zaia [112], Sunshinejoy [111] and Chhangte [103]. Thanx a lot you guys, for being such a good source of traffic.

Last but not the least, Google [1515], Yahoo [967] and AOL [101] also feature in my top 20 result. But this is where e-referral goes wrong. I am getting search engine results too under google, yahoo and AOL referral result. They are supposed to be organic results only, which means webpages from google, yahoo and AOL that are not search results. That can mean yahoo mail, gmail, etc.

Because if search results are supposed to be included, then my search engine traffic is 15,384 during this past one year. The above three figures definitely do not add up to it, even if you throw in a few extra results for Bing, Ask, and other search engines. Like I said, you can’t have an accurate result, but if you analyze the result that comes closest to it, your job is done.

The most important thing is, don’t be a traffic whore, but if you are serious about blogging, then it is important that you start analyzing your traffic and understanding what your visitors want or like. Don’t depend on the comments alone. Cheers everyone.