2 years, 202 posts, 1,46,401 words…

Image: http://thegoodheart.blogspot.in

It’s celebration time on My Favourite Things as it turns two today. 😀

A celebration of a blogging journey that began tentatively with a post on the Bandra Fort in Mumbai on 2 June 2010. A celebration of a journey whose last (more confident) halt, was a post on bloggers met, almost met and not yet met on 31 May 2012. The posts in between have explored all the things that I am passionate about: travel, books, musicmy beloved Mumbai, and much more. In other words, My Favourite Things. Initially, I found my hastily named blog and its URL highly unoriginal and silly. I mean, who would name their blog “My Favourite Things” ! But today, I feel that I could not have chosen a more apt name as this blog truly reflects all my favourite things and multiple things I am interested in!

Join me as I take you through my blogging journey of 2 years with a focus on the highs and a couple of lows of year two, with some trivia thrown in as well. 😀

Blogging has been an incredible journey of self-discovery, expression, communication, and interaction. While the first year of this journey was one of tentative exploration of various topics, the second year was more focused as I had got clarity of what I wanted to write and what I did not what to write. Therefore, this year, my blog posts were more focussed (or may be my categorisation and tagging was better. I still haven’t decided which), and I posted on travel & photography, and books the most. Thanks to the Blog Adda Book Review Programme, I got to review quite a few books, and got to keep them too. It really was a literally a case having my cake book and eating reviewing it too. 😀

Since I had set myself a goal of posting twice a week, it inculcated in me a discipline of writing something every day. Though, I did not always like what I wrote (the many unpublished posts in my drafts folder are proof of this), the habit of writing developed in the two years has held me in good stead. The unending cycle of observation→ thought→ writing→observation→thought→… writing made me look at the world around me more keenly and always with a fresh outlook. The everyday and the mundane, the special and the bizarre, the popular and the forgotten… they have all made their way into My Favourite Things in one or the other categories that I write under.

I liked the idea of writing on a particular series and that is how Travel Shot, Mumbai Lens and My “Now” Song series emerged. The posts in these series not only served as a filler between longer and more serious posts, they were great fun to write. This year, the Museum Treasure series on artifacts that have intrigued/interested me during visits to museums over the years was introduced. The response to this series has been surprisingly gratifying. The Guest Post series, also introduced this year, not only got me some fantastic posts from people who had great experiences to share, they also gave me a much-needed break from blogging. Thank you so much Ashabanu, Ajinkya, Aditi, Srinayan and Puru for your posts. I am honoured that you agreed to contribute to My Favourite Things. (PS: I also got the opportunity to write my first ever guest post for The Cyber Nag.)

Recognition for my writing came in different ways. The first was when my post on From B&W to 3D colour won an IndiSurprize at the “HP Take Flight with Colour Contest”. Then came the time when the Mumbai edition of DNA newspaper picked up my post on The Asiatic Library for their “Around the Blog” section. They followed it up by featuring 4 more of my blog posts—Haji Ali DargahThe Shoe HouseThe zodiac window, and A Sunday morning walk in Mumbai. The third instance was when fellow bloggers tagged me with the Versatile Blogger, Leibster Blog and Kreativ Blog Awards. Thank you so much Deboshree (Of Paneer Pulao and Pune), Meera (Meera’s Musings), Priya (Aalayam Kanden), Suresh (Life is Like This), and The Burnt Map. I always feel very happy when someone comments or appreciates my writing. But recognition from peers is always the best. The best really. On a different note two of my photographs (Chembur Skywalk and Regent’s Mosque) got picked up for use in international publications.

At this point, let me (re) acquaint you with some of the posts, which mean a lot to me or which others have found interesting. This part has been “inspired” from Zephyr’s post on Links and Tags.

The post I like the most: No contest here. It is the one I wrote on Appa (my father) shortly after he passed away. It was an emotional post certainly, but strangely and comfortingly not a difficult post to write at all.

The most popular posts: Two posts fit this category. In terms of comments received, it is The Nosy Passenger, which was submitted for a travel writing contest. As far as viewership is concerned, it is The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2012. The popularity of both the posts continue to bemuse me as they are in no way great posts.

The posts that I am proud of: This is a difficult category as quite a few posts can find their way here. But I will try and restrict myself to two posts in each of the following categories:

The posts which surprised me: The reaction to The wandering pianist has left me stumped. There is nothing unusual about the number of comments received; what was unusual was the number of emails I got from people wanting to share their unusual captures of street photography. I am still wondering what is it about this photograph that led to such a flurry of mails.

The posts which didn’t get the attention they deserved: Again, there are quite a few posts in this category, and most of them are my early posts.

Page views increased almost 6-fold in the last year—from around 11,000 in May 2011 to over 62,000 today. An interesting set of search terms bring people to my blog. While search terms like “kala ghoda festival 2012” or “the immortals of meluha review” or “vishrambaug wada” are among the more common ones, some strange search terms also get viewers to my blog. For example, “katrina kaif favourite things“, “favourite things of ranbir kapoor” and “dalai lama young” (clicking on these search terms will take you to the posts in question). But the strangest, and also worrying search term, that gets quite a few visitors to my blog is “naked little boys” because of this post. To say that this initially puzzled me and then distressed me to no end is a bit of an understatement. One knows that there are a lot of perverts around, but seriously…

I hit a couple of low patches this year. The first was when a photograph from my post on Pallankuzhi: An inheritance of love got picked and placed on some other blog without permission or credit. Though the blogger in question rectified the “mistake” when contacted, it was with a “you-are-making-a-big-issue-about-nothing” and “this-is-not-plagiarism” attitude. The second, and in my opinion a more serious one, was facing writer’s block, which has lasted for nearly 2 months now. It has been a period where I hated my blog and even replying to the comments on my blog was a chore. Worse, I did not want to look, read or even comment on the blogs I follow and read regularly. I struggled through April, where a couple of guest posts saved me, but the month of May was virtually a dry month. Writing the 4 posts in May was sheer torture. I don’t know what brought this writer’s block on, but it has been a horrible hollow feeling. My blogversary today has given me the encouragement and hope that this phase is something that I will and can overcome.

So dear reader, this journey of 2 years, 202 posts, 1,46,401 words, 17 videos, 905 images, 62,230 page views, 3,420  comments and 5,616 spam comments … will grow and continue with your wishes, comments and suggestions. Blogging continues to be an enriching experience, a stress-buster, a comforting and a humbling one too.

PS: This is second of the 2 posts I have written on the occasion of my blogversary. Click here to read the first post on “Of bloggers met, almost met and not met…”. Do also check out the other posts linked here and let me know which are your favourites. So don’t feel shy, do let me know. 😀


The Blogging Journey… Year 1 | Year 2 | Year 3 | Year 4 | Year 5 | Year 6 | Year 7 |


60 thoughts on “2 years, 202 posts, 1,46,401 words…

  1. I have enjoyed reading your posts that somehow appeared to overcome the distance. Wishing for many more years of blogging.

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  2. Wow, Sudhagee!!! Ok, let me start properly…HAPPY HAPPY BLOGVERSARY!!! MAY YOU BE GRACED WITH MANY MORE WORDS, PHRASES, RHYMES AND IMAGES! MAY YOU BE DELIGHTED WITH MANY MORE COMMENTS AND EMAILS AND LIKES AND VIRTUAL HUGS!
    Now, on to the content of this lovely post–it gives me the sitemap to your blog. Thank you for letting your readers know which are the post that you like and are satisfied with. I now have a list-to-read from My fav things!

    62,000 hits is a lot of traffic and 3420 comments is like wow!!! And how come you have so much of spam. I hardly get any (I feel like Jena in 30 Rock who felt loved only when she was stalked:(!

    Yes, I agree, blogging enforces a certain discipline which I love. You have been through a lot through your blogging journey–thanks for sharing. I am new to this so this is helpful knowing others have been through it and come out. Thanks for being that role model.

    So much love, Sudhagee!!! So many more wishes! Awaiting your next blog…

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    1. Thank you, thank you, and then again thank you Bhavana for your wishes, hugs and wonderful comment. 🙂

      WP has a stats counter for genuine comments and for spam comments and thats how I know about the numbers. As for the former half of them would be my replies to the comments, so only about 1710 would be the “real” comments over two years.

      Would love to have your feedback on the posts that you have earmarked to read.

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  3. Sudhagee, forgive me for the belated compliments, yet, here is wishing you Thousands of posts, Millions of comments and Billions of page hits! I went through many of the posts and loved them again: The Nosy Co-passanger et al. I also remember your invitation for writing a story on that (surprise) post of yours-The Wandering Pianist.

    I was, and will be, deeply touched by Appa, again, and every time I will read it.

    PS: Do read the My son, must I stay? that I wrote in my father’s remembrance.

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    1. That’s an awesome bunch of wishes, Umashankar, and thank you so much for the same. 🙂

      I loved “Ghostwalker” and “My Son, must I stay”. Both these posts moved me so much (partly because of the emotions I could connect to and partly because they were so well written), that I could not comment in public. That is why I sent you a separate mail. Ghostwalker is on my list of all time favourite poems, Umashankar, and I have yet to come across such a hauntingly poignant poem on this topic.

      PS: I am still waiting for that guest post 😉

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  4. What wonderful posts you have written on the occasion of this 2nd blogversary! Loved both of them! Wishing your blog many, many more anniversaries!

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  5. whoa!!! what a journey!!! and so well documented!!!! and how on earth did you count the number of words??????? but seriously, its been so much fun reading you… and meeting you, of course!!!! hearty congrats!!! may you write more and more and more…..and incidentally just heading over to your earlier post. as usual, i missed that and headed over thanks to your link 😀

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    1. Thanks once again, Anu. It was while I was taking a back-up of my posts that I discovered the words for each post. After that, it was a simple thing of adding it up. 🙂 And then the number of images amd videos posted was the next logical step (for me at least).

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  6. Congratulations !!! Yours is one of the blogs which I always stumble upon when wandering in the alleys of Internet. And I love being here 🙂 … Your Lucknow Post is one of my favorites and the one about a stroll in the lanes of South Mumbai.

    So now can I ask you for a guest post ? 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much, Puru. I like the Lucknow post too. In fact, I think I like most of my travel post, though I really struggle when I am writing them. 😦

      Of course, you can ask me for a guest post and I would really love to do one. But the point is whether I can write one now with writers block and all that. Will message you about ideas and timelines and lets see. 🙂

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  7. congratulations is a very small word…but Sudha, congratulations….and here’s to many more milestones, blog posts…wish you could wave a magic wand and get me off my three years’ of writing block!!!! I couldn’t even do a guest post for you….again, sorry is too inadequate…but sorry!

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    1. Thank you, Jayanti. For your encouragement, for reading, for commenting, for everything. And I can wait for that guest post. I know that it will happen soon 😀

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  8. Congrats for completing 2 years of blogging:)
    And trust me this popst will is very helpful for someone like me who has recently started reading you 🙂
    And yes, the posts for which we sweat the most always remains under appreciated and it is the average ones which get the max hits! Strange na?

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    1. Thank you so much Smita.

      I find it the disconnect between what we perceive as a good post and what others perceive as a good post very interesting. But then what is a good post—the number of comments received or the number of page views or the quality of discussion generated or the quality of comments or your own perception of the work put in or something else altogether?
      While quantitative success is easy to guage and analyse, qualitative success is very subjective and open to interpretation.

      So right now, if readers are telling me that they like something I belive them and gently nudge them along to what I think is good too ! 🙂

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  9. WOW! 2 years, and you certainly have achieved much. I have much enjoyed reading your blogs and connecting with you virtually and live. I love the fact that you kept to the discipline in the frequency of your blogging which is certainly something I need to pick. Congratulations once again and we shall celebrate this!

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    1. Thank you, Richa. Can’t believe that its been 2 years since I started this blog. And if I hadn’t stuck to the discipline, this blog would have folded up in no time. And when are we meeting to celebrate? This Saturday?

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  10. Congratulations, Congratulations, hugs and best wishes. My favorite things is my favorite blog simply because I’m a little biased. i have met the author and she is an awesome person and that quality shines through in every post she writes. I am wishing, hoping and praying that you write for many, many, many years to come. And you may want to consider drishti sutti podufying your blog to prevent future writer’s block.

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    1. Thank you so much, Meera. I am really touched by what you have said and will always cherish these words of yours. As for drishti sutti podufying, I asked my mom to do it, and she looked like I’d gone crazy. I have to find someone else to it.

      PS: Will you do it?
      PPs: If you can’t do it, can I do it for my own blog?
      PPPS: How does one it?

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  11. Of course, ‘my favorite things’ is an apt title for your blog and it sounds awesome!!

    Wow, you got so many awards!! Clap clap clap!!

    Spam comments are the best. They make me feel like an accomplished writer :D.

    There are quite a few links to check. Will come back and go through them.

    And happy anniversary, keep rocking (learnt it from a spam comment :D)

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    1. Thank you, thank you, Deb. Sure, “My Favourite Things” is apt, but it does sound rather commonplace, doesn’t it? The spam comments I receive never have words like “Rock on” 😦 They are always telling me to improve my SEO, or giving me links or selling me stuff I don’t want.

      Do read the links given, some of which you may have read. Would love to know what you think of them.:-)

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  12. You must be mad at me for commenting so late on such momentous post. But I know you are a sweetheart and will forgive me this delay. Congrats on the achievement and god bless you. As with other posts, this one is so comprehensive and well put together, even if it is only a sort of compilation of the entire journey. I am glad you picked up the tag from my post and also linked it.

    As for the drishti suthifying, I will do it for you with your homepage open and remove all ‘buri nazar’ from the blog, ok?

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    1. I can never be mad at you, Zephyr. If you didn’t know that before, you know that now.

      Thank you so much for your wishes and also for doing the drishti suthi podafying. 😀

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    1. Welcome here,Mom of A and a. Delighted to see you here and thank you so much for your wishes. Hope you enjoyed reading my other posts too. All the very best for your blog 😀

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