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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Literary Agents In India

The concept of literary agents in India has not really taken off so far even though there are now some well known agencies whose presence cannot be ignored. But frankly if the number of agencies is lesser than the number of publishing houses, it can be surmised that the slush pile at the literary agencies will be much bigger than that at the publishing houses.

WritersNet gives a list of 50 Literary agents/agencies in India. However be informed that the list is created by self-submission and is not validated, therefore if you are going to pick from the list, you do it at your own risk. I am not saying that they are not legitimate, I am just cautioning that there may be scam artists in that list. As a general guideline, anyone who is charging a reading fee should best be ignored. Agents are not supposed to be charging money, they take a commission out of your royalties after they sell the book. But otherwise, try to google the name of the proclaimed agents/agencies on the list and see if you can find any references on the net.

Beyond that amongst the literary agencies which ahve their own website and have some work to show for are as follows:

Jacaranda at Bengaluru.

Red Ink Literary Agency at New Delhi

Siyahi at jaipur

Osian's Literary Agency at New Delhi

Of the above four only the Red Ink literary Agency accepts synopsis online. Siyahi wants a query letter before you send any submissions, Jacaranda and Osians want the proposals by snail mail in hard copy. They also indicate a time of between 8-10 weeks for reviewing the proposal and if your proposal is liked you may be asked to send the entire manuscript, which in no way means that your work has been accepted, which will again take a similar period for the decision to be made. So you can safely assume a period of about 20 weeks before you are accepted or rejected. Wow! In this day and age of fast communication 20 weeks seem like years.

So then comes the question, Do you really need a literary agent? Afterall the agent/agency is going to take about 15-20% of the deal and irrespective of the modalities the money ultimately is going to come through the author dues. There are certain advantages to having an agent, one is that the first round of editing is done by the agent and they make your manuscript look more presentable. They also know the norms of the industry and of course the right people and hence know what your manuscript is worth and will hoipefully get you a good deal. The publishers also, for obvious reasons, look more optimistically towards the manuscript which has come through an agent and the chances of your manusvcript picked up faster are definitely there. The biggest advantage of having an agent yet is that the agent takes care of the formalities leaving the author to do what he does best i.e. write.

There are pitfalls of looking for an agent. As stated previously the time taken by the agents is just too long. Almost the same as thot taken by publishing houses. And considering that there are limited agents available the situation is not going to improve in a hurry. Most agents or the people working for the agencies do have a past with the publishing world, so the chances of the author being short-changed can not be ruled out. Jacaranda has got into the publishing businees themselves, Red ink is an offshoot of Bahrisons, or India research press and Osians already has a publishing division, so you can imagine who gets the first look for your manuscript.

In spite of the benefits of working with an agent as portrayed in the media, don't waste time looking for an agent. The way out is, sending your proposal to multiple entities including publishers as well as agents. The time taken to respond by both being similar, if the publishing house accepts your manuscript, you save on paying the agent. Any good lawyer worth his salt will be able to advice you on the legalities of a contract. If an agent accepts your book you can save yourself a lot of hard work.

If you are a first time author, which I presume you are since otherwise you wouldn't be reading this, grab at anything which comes your way. The money, the terms and conditions, the contract etc is all secondary. Get this fact straight; It is difficult, near impossible, to get into publishing, especially fiction, so if you are getting a toehold, throw yourself in.

First published at http://enemyintheranks.blogspot.com/2009/06/literary-agents-in-india.html


First Time Author From India

It was in 2005 that I started writing a book, fiction, every living person's desire. Everyone has a story or two to tell and if the want is there he/she can definitely pen a book out of the story, but more often than not the story remains untold because of their own mental blocks and sometimes because writing a book or a novel becomes an overwhelming task after the first ten pages. It requires a great deal of motivation, perseverence and hard work to write a book.

Anyway, I, for one, had too many stories floating in my head and there was only one way to free up the memory, get it out of my system. In 2005 I took the plunge and two years later I had finished my masterpiece. I think everyone who writes his/ her first book thinks that it is a masterpiece.

During the process of writing and then subsequently after finishing it I was always scouring the Internet for resources for the first time author. There are hoards of websites for the first time author to take cues from but somehow there are none from India. No author experiences, no trends, no tips/advice, no elaboration on the procedure and the almost nothing on the publishing market. I wonder why Indian authors hesitate to talk about the travails of getting their first book published. Everyone here has behaved in a manner as if they were God's gift to the literary world and did not have to face any difficulties having their first book published. Read any Interview and you get the Impression that the man or the woman was always meant to be successful.

No wonder the new authors or the first time authors aere totally clueless about the publishing world and don't know the first step towards entering the world of publishing. The competition has become pretty hot here in India with all the major publishing houses establishing shop in the country with Hatchette, harper collins and Penguin leading the way. Add to that the Indian players like Rupa etc the market is open and one would presume that it would be easy to get published, but it is not. None want the first timers unless the book is good enough. So how does one make the good enough if he does not have any one to help and without any experience. All the publishers are looking for a fail safe option. So the chances of someone finding a publisher are next to bleak.

There are many forums and blogs where Indians are putting there creativity to test and I must say there is a huge talent. But this talent will keep languishing in the dark unless someone shows it the way. Not our successful authors. I get the feeling they do not want any competition in the market and hence they keep shut. Not the literary agents in India, who are so few that they themselves do not have time for any more work load than they already have. Not the publishers, oh!!! they got enough stuff coming their way already and as long as the non fiction category is selling and meeting their targets who wants stories.

Originally published at http://enemyintheranks.blogspot.com/2009/06/first-time-author-from-india.html

Selling A Book - Pre-requisites

Okay, You have written your masterpiece. Now, how do you go about selling it to a publisher? There are some pre-requisites that are must-haves before you start even approaching the publishers. They are Cover letter, Synopsis, Sample chapters and Chapter outline.

Every publisher will ask you for at least two or more of the above, and it's best if you prepare these in advance to avoid wasting time later.

A cover letter is self-explanatory. It should be short, crisp and to the point. Introduce yourself, introduce your book by way of a blurb on what it is about and pleasantly ask them to consider it for publication.

Next comes the Synopsis. This is the most important marketing tool you have as an author when it comes to selling the book. The synopsis is what is the face of your book and will either the close or open the doors of the publishing house to you. Therefore pay utmost attention to the Synopsis. It is no easy task by any means. Especially for the author since he has done the painstaking work of writing the novel and more often than not thinks that it is just impossible to fit the entire story in such a short space. But that is what you have to do precisely. Don't bother about the nitty-gritties, put all the major plots and subplots and please don't make it a teaser. The entire story should unfold in the Synopsis including the ending. The publishers usually have submission guidelines for everything including the synopsis. Follow them. In short even though it is cliched I would like to say that make it like a skirt, short enough to maintain interest and long enough to cover all the details.

Next is the Sample chapters. The publishers or their editors want to see your writing style and for this reason they ask for sample chapters. Therefore pick up a couple of chapters and polish them like you were going to print straightaway and keep them ready. These along with the synopsis will ultimately help the publisher decide whether your book is good enough for them.

Lastly some publishers will also ask for chapter outline. This is to see if your work flows in a rational manner or not. This is also a complicated task because each chapter needs to be condensed into three or four lines without really losing the plot and the flow of the story.

There are many resources online which give tips on how to go about producing the above pre-requisites of selling your book. Go through as many as possible and then take a call about how you want to go about it. If you are a first time author be very particular about these things because this is what will decide if you are ever going to be a published author.

Originally published at http://enemyintheranks.blogspot.com/2009/06/selling-book-pre-requisites.html

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Michael Jackson Greatest Hits - Download MP3 Songs and Albums

Everybody knew Michael Jackson as the greatest Pop star, The King Of Pop, in the music world. His music was an instant craze with all the public. He became famous for his dance moves that drove the youth into a frenzy to try and imitate his unique style of break dancing. His Moonwalk was something that not anybody could replicate with ease.

Michael Jackson sang songs that hit a chord with the masses and he had a huge fan following, from kids to adults and the youth. His music was played in most parties as the latest dance tracks to groove to.

Everybody loved Michael Jackson in spite of his freaky appearance and crazy behavior. It was sad to hear about all the rumors and other bad things that he had supposedly done in his life. He disappeared from the spotlight after the media started hounding him. He turned from Black to White...But his true fans still love him for his songs and music and dance and will love him forever. He will remain in their heart forever...Black or White!

It is indeed a sorrow to have lost one of a greatest legends of Pop music. Read all about his death in this news report:
http://india-news.mywebdunia.com/2009/06/26/michael_jackson_funeral_video.html

Watch Michael Jackson Dead At Age 50 (June 25th, 2009)You tube Video: R.I.P. Michael Jackson, King of Pop!



For all his fans...Here is a compilation of some of his greatest hits. You can download his MP3 songs and Albums from here:

Michael Jackson Greatest Hits

The Ultimate Michael Jackson Golden Music Albums and Songs Collection

Michael Jackson Greatest Hits - MP3 Clips.




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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Rain Clouds and Rains Cool Mumbai - Monsoon Arrives in Mumbai



The temperatures really soared this summer in India all over. Mumbai was no different, with maximum temperature of around 34-35 degree Celsius and humidity thereabouts of 90%, left everyone sweating it out. To make matters worse, the last winter had not been cold at all and so it just felt like a very long extended summer for the residents of Mumbai.



For the last few days there have been clouds collecting in the sky with sporadic showers in the wee hours of the morning only making matters worse through the day, as the humidity rose and made it hotter. The weather got very stifling as there was no breeze at all.



Then yesterday, finally the much awaited rain clouds gathered over the horizon and soon it became overcast with huge black clouds that looked promising. The evening was very pleasant with cool strong winds bringing the much awaited rain shower at night along with the welcome sounds of thunder and lightening to accompany it.

Mumbai welcomed this rain showers with relief as it cooled down the heated earth and people too. The smell of the earth after the first showers is simply awesome and brings on nostalgic memories of all the earlier times spent in the rain.

Schools in Mumbai have reopened and the children love to get wet in the rain. Time to take out all the colorful umbrellas and the raincoats. Monsoon is here at last, it has been raining on and off today whole day and the skies are still overcast. The weather is absolutely wonderful, romantic and cool.

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Beat The Summer Blues With Romantic Bollywood Songs - Mausam Ke Suhane Geet



Indian summer heat is very different from that of the summer heat in the west, with temperatures soaring high upto 45 degrees Celsius in the North and upto 35 degrees Celsius in the western and southern coast. The summer starts in the month of March soon after the festival of Holi which marks the beginning of spring after winter. By end of March and beginning of April the heat begins to rise and lasts all the way till the month of June.

By the first week of June or mid June the monsoons arrive on the coast. After two months of sweltering heat and dry weather, the rains are welcomed with much enthusiasm as it cools down the earth and brings down the temperatures all over.

However, whatever the weather or climate may be in India, there are a number of Bollywood songs to suit the occasion. Bollywood songs are mostly based on romance and so these songs remain evergreen in any weather. There are some very lilting and melodious songs of the 60's and 70's era that describe the romantic mood of the weather (called "mausam") in Hindi and will definitely shake you out of your Summer Blues. I have tried to compile some of the most romantic numbers (there are thousands and thousands of them) from the You tube Videos. I will urge you to listen to each one of them completely and would wish that you could understand the lyrics of the song as that is what makes them so romantic.

1. Aaj Mausam Bada - Is a very romantic song from the Film Loafer starring the very handsome and dashing Dharmendra with the beautiful actress Mumtaz. The Playback singers are Mohd. rafi and Lata Mangeshkar. I would have certainly got swept off my feet if I were in place of Mumtaz...Ohhh..those were the romantic days.



2. Kya Mausam Hai - I think anyone would relate to the feelings depicted in this very romantic song from the movie "Doosra Aadmi" starring the very popular dashing hero of the 70's Rishi Kapoor and Shashi kapoor (My personal Favorite)with the beautiful actress (also very popular in those days) Rakhi. The song was sung by the playback singers Mohd Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar. Oh yes....[b]Chal Kahin Door Nikal Jaaain.......[/b] sings my heart.



3. Ni Sultana Re - Now here is a complete romantic heart melting song that will compel your heart to give in to the mood, specially if you are suffering from those Summer Blues. The song is from the movie "Pyar ka Mausam" and starring the very handsome (everybody was handsome and dashing in that era) Shashi Kapoor and Asha Parekh sung by Mohd. Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar.



4. Mausam Hai Aashiqana - This very lilting, melodious and haunting song is sung by Lata Mangeshkar in the film "Pakeezah". Meena Kumari is the actress in this classic movie with Raaj Kumar. This is exactly what a person would want to sing when he/she is in love. This song is a call of the lonely romantic heart to the lover wishing his presence.
"Aee Dil Kahin Se Unko Aise Main Dhoond Lana....!"



5. Yeh Sama, Sama he yeh Pyar Ka - A very seductive romantic song from the early 70's film "Jab Jab Phool Khile" starring Nanda and Shashi Kapoor. Of course the melodious voice is of none other than the melody queen Lata Mangeshkar.



6. Dil dhoondta hai phir wahi - This is one of my favorite songs from the very romantic film "Mausam" in 1975 starring Sanjeev Kumar and Sharmila Tagore. The song was written by Gulzar whose lyrics were always so poetic. The song describes the romance of all seasons so aptly. Poetic Justice to all Seasons.



I hope that you all liked this list of Romantic Bollywood Songs. They are "Mausam ke Suhane Geet" which will remain evergreen forever. I am sure that each one of you will have your own personal favorite romantic songs that you might like to add to this list. Please feel free to do so in the comment section.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

God, The Soul, And Life - My Take on Religion



I am writing this byte in order to explain in a better fashion or elaborate more on what I meant in my comment about GOD and why I feel there is a conflict in everybody's mind about it. I have come to observe that the concept of GOD has always been discussed at great length by many here on Xomba and yet they never hit the nail on the head.

This happens due to incomplete knowledge about GOD, religion, and the whole essence of human beings. Now, I am by no means asserting that "I" have a complete knowledge either. No. In fact I haven't read any other "religious" book other than our own Hindu Mythological stories. But, I have been observing other religions from afar and their practices too and so can comfortably say that I find most of them to be "Male Centric".

I have been to a church sermon, to a Gurudwara and a temple and I have also had the occasion to observe the Islamic or Muslim religion by virtue of my Muslim friends. So I have seen the way they live and practice their religious beliefs in daily life.

Now here is my take on religion. Religion is a "faith" developed by Man so that he can follow a "path" to GOD and live a "good life". That was what it originally was. Now let me explain what this "really" means.

The path to "GOD" is very simply explained. The Hindus always tried to practice "Meditation" in the form of "Yoga" which is nothing but (in simpler terms) taking care of your body, physically and mentally to be in "good health". Yoga is a very good way to achieve a good healthy body and mind and also a good way to exercise. The term "Meditation" in Yoga means to sit in the Lotus position and bring your mind to a state of complete peace. This task is not an easy one, for the mind, by its own virtues is always in conflict and keeps flitting here and there. Therefore, its an art to control your mind and focus all your energies "inwards" that is to "introspect" your soul.

Meditation makes you focus on a single point near the center of your body called the "Chakra" and by doing this you are able to control all your "five" sensations (feel, touch, smell, taste and see) and bring your mind instead into yourself, your inner body...which is your soul.

Now, you are supposed to introspect. Seek all answers to your conflicts within your soul. Because your soul, inadvertently, knows all the answers. They are all there inside you. Your soul is on a journey throughout life and so it is what guides you in your life. Your soul seeks enrichment in the form of "experience and knowledge" that is "unique" and different for each and every individual. For eg..The journey of my soul would be completely different from the journey of another human beings' soul. So the answers that I seek cannot be given by another human being, but from my own soul.

For centuries, the Hindu sages have been trying to attain what is called the "Nirvana". In simple terms this condition is the one when your body, mind and soul are all in your control and you have achieved a state of complete "bliss" or exist in a "higher" plane by virtue of having completed your journey or found the "path" to GOD. So, GOD is nothing but the path to your "soul". In other words, GOD, is your soul. That is why they say, that "GOD" exists in each one of us. Which is true.

The soul is not "male or "female". It is just the "essence" of life. The reason why we are "alive". If the soul leaves our body, which is just a vehicle for it, we will die. The soul never dies. It just goes on in its path and seeks another fresh body to start yet another fresh journey.

Now having explained all this let me also explain why I feel that "religion" has been manipulated by man through the centuries and distorted and twisted the real meaning behind it. Quite simply, Man like I explained in my earlier comment, always felt inferior (in their subconscious level) to the power and strength that they perceived in women, the so called "gentler" sex. They feel inferior because of the knowledge that women were the true "Creators" of life by virtue of their ability to give birth to another life form which is in itself an act of GOD. (GOD the Creator)

Men have never been able to understand their true purpose in life and so they began seeking answers. They wanted to show their superiority over women and so began to "create" things so that they can also feel like GOD. If you notice even today, man is in continuous quest towards this very fundamental truth. Science is advancing today by trying to create babies outside the womb of the mother, in a test tube. Man has tried to "clone" life forms and create cells (basic unit of life) in a laboratory all in the name of science and advancement.

If you will look back at men's behavior through the centuries, you will notice that they never knew any of the answers that they were seeking. In Hindu mythology there are stories of the sages who went to the mountains or Himalayas "to seek the truth". In real life, (this is my interpretation) they were running away from their basic responsibilities of looking after their family, namely the wife and kids. As soon as the kids were born they would pack their bags and run, leaving the poor woman behind with a whole pack of kids to rear on her own. They would then return back home after many years (when kids are all grown up) and expect the woman to then revere HIM and treat HIM like GOD because HE has been meditating all this while on the Himalayas and becoming closer to GOD!

Women on the other hand have never "ran" away (they never had the chance) from their responsibilities, instead they quietly fulfilled the role of both mother and father for the kids and struggled through life trying to survive herself and feed the kids. The man was being fed through "begging" or what is called "Bheek" in Hindi. He did not have to work. (I am talking about those "sages" or Holy men).

Women do not need to go to the Himalayas to feel closer to GOD because they know all the answers already. They are always closer to their own soul by the virtue of being "emotional" in nature as compared to men. Now don't get me wrong here. I am by no means trying to say that men don't have emotions. Yes, they do, but the "range" of emotions that a woman goes through in life is completely different and on a different plane than what a Man goes through. Women experience a lot through their lives from childhood to adulthood by becoming a mother and nurturing her children. She goes through a range of feelings and emotions in childbirth and while breastfeeding. She also feels the deep pain and anguish associated with childbirth and a miscarriage. These are emotions that no man can fathom. Women feel complete when they fulfill their role as a daughter, mother, and a wife.

A woman in spirit knows the true meaning of "GOD" when she feels a sense of accomplishment by meeting the right man and loving Him and then having His child. She would do anything to protect Him and the child with her love all through life, if He remained true to Her love. Thus Love brings Her closer to her GOD! It does by no means "mean" that her "man" is GOD!

A man too goes through his own emotions (on a different plane) and he too will feel closer to GOD if he "surrenders" himself to his "soul" and seek Love and to Love equally and protect his other counterpart and his children.

I hope that I have been able to explain what and how and why about the existence of GOD. Therefore, GOD is common to all religions and generally preaches the same thing. But it has been distorted and misinterpreted by ignorant "men" throughout the generations for their own selfish reasons.

That is my take on religion. I would like to put a disclaimer here that I do not wish to offend anyone - male or female or any religion in particular. These are just my own beliefs and what I have understood about life and GOD through my own observations of different people and their religious practices. I apologize if I have hurt anybody's sentiments.

Recommended Reading:

The holy Geeta =: Srimad Bhagwad Geeta : Sanskrit & romanized text with English translation :

The Legacy of Yoga in Bhagwad Geeta

Yatharth Geeta =: Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta : the Geeta in its true perspective




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I Can Fly Like A Bird



I am soaring up to the sky. I suddenly feel so light. I can fly like a bird, but I don't need to flap my arms.

Oh, it feels great. I am passing tall buildings and can look down at the people who look like small ants to me. I am really flying. I find it hard to believe at first, but then the rush of air against my face and body confirms that I am indeed flying.

I feel a sense of freedom. I am free. I am exhilarated, thrilled and excited. Nothing can hold me. No chains. Nobody is pulling me down, not even gravity. I fly on, free as a bird, with no sense of boundaries. I can go where I want.

Suddenly a thought comes to mind as I pass a roof of another tall building. Should I stop and take a breather? What if I fall down suddenly. But, then I realize, I don't really need to. I feel very energetic. I am not at all tired. I could continue soaring this way forever. It feels awesome.

I am just beginning to enjoy myself and these incredible sensations of freedom, exhilaration, excitement and thrill when I feel a pull. I have to turn back. But where to, I protest. I feel like I am being sucked back.....resist, resist..!

I feel a sense of heaviness and then I see I am back in a room and being pulled towards a body that's lying on the bed. Nooooooo...

I wake up with a start. Was that a dream....?

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The Perfect Cure For Summer Time Blues - Try This!

Summer time blues? Why should anyone have blues during the summer is beyond my scope of understanding. Hey, come on now, isn't it the time of the year when everybody (and I mean everybody) is on vacations. Clear blue skies, perfect weather for some real cool and fun activities for the whole family, young and old.



So what if you haven't been able to muster enough money to book that perfect holiday to the Bahamas, Caribbean cruise, or even Hawaii? Hey, perk up guys, I know just the perfect activity to cure the summer blues away. All you need is a "backyard inflatable pool", and see what fun it can be. It won't cost you much either. You can get some cheap inflatable pools too.

Summer brings on the heat and makes people irritable and "hot" in no time. So the number one priority is to "cool" off everybody and the best way to do that is jump into a pool full of water. Yeah, throw away your clothes, put on some swimming trunks, suits whatever and just "jump" into your inflatable pool which you install just anywhere you like, indoors or outdoors right in your backyard. That is what I used to do with my son when he was a toddler. He would love splashing around in the pool. Kids go absolutely berserk when there is a pool to play in. Here is something that is lots of fun, building a homemade outrageous water slide which took seven days to construct, maybe you should try it. Take a look at this video:




Now, isn't that fun? I am sure Abmox would simply love doing this. All the neighbors would envy you having so much fun in your backyard, specially if it was a "purple alien" jumping into a pool and splashing away! But, I must warn you to be careful and do this only under "Adult supervision" as it has been reported that some of these "rogue pools" can even "attack" you. Here is the evidence, take a look:



What if you don't have a "backyard"? Well, that's a very valid question, as most people living in the city do so in flats and space is generally a very "luxurious" commodity to have there as is so much water to be able to fill a pool! So, not to worry or fret, just go to the nearest community "swimming pool" and I am sure you can have just the same, if not more, amount of fun. Playing in the swimming pool can also be lots of fun, if you take a handball and play with it in the pool. Or just take an inflatable bed and lie there reading a book or sipping some cool refreshing drink.

The other option is to go to a nearby "Water Amusement Park" with your family and spend the whole day there splashing about in the water and trying all the fun rides and slides. The only disadvantage of this activity is that you can't go everyday! So, I still say that the "backyard pool" is the best bet.

I hope you are off to buy the pool and all geared up for some real fun and games in your backyard. I call that "Rummy!" (Pardon the expression, I am reading a lot of PG Wodehouse)!

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I know You Love Your Dog, I Don't - Venting

I am just back from my routine walk around the block this evening and here are a few things that frustrate me every single day.

Now, when I am going for a walk, I would like a clean pathway where I can walk safely and take in some clean fresh air, after all that's the whole purpose of a "walk", isn't it? But, everyday I find this same pathway full of obstructions of some sort or the other. These days the pavement is being dug up to put in some drainpipes in preparations for the monsoons. So, one has to keep jumping from one hole to the next to proceed. That's hardly the kind of walk I like to take. Now, if this were happening just once a year, I wouldn't mind either. But, this keeps happening throughout the year on some pretext or the other. It's only when a "dignitary" is visiting the place that the roads and pavement are repaired to look smooth and clean. The rest of the time they are busy digging it and making "patchwork" kind of repairs that hardly look appealing and nor are they smoothed out. This is highly frustrating.

Then the second thing that adds to my disgust is the Dog walkers. Every evening I find lots of people walking their dogs on this same pathway (that was meant for us) and then they allow their dogs to poop just about anywhere that they happen to stop. Even if it is right in the middle of the pathway. So, I have to look down and walk, unless I want my shoes to be smeared with poop! Now, I would like to tell these dog walkers that I would rather look at the trees and the scenery around me than look at the path full of dog poop, when I go for a walk, thank you! Apparently, in India they don't have this concept of cleaning up after your dog and picking up their poop, just because you have paid an amount to the society as maintenance! But then so are we!

Also another thing that irritates me to the core about these same dog walkers is that just because they own a pet they seem to think that everybody else would love them too. So whenever you approach a person walking a dog, they seem to not care if the dog is coming towards you. They allow the dog to go around sniffing around your ankles and think it is very cute! Hey, I beg to differ...I know you love your dog, but I don't, so please keep your dog on the chain and to yourself and let me have my walk in peace. I have not come out looking to socialize with all the dogs of the neighborhood. The same happens in the elevator too. The dog owners seem to think that it is OK to let their dogs off the chain in the elevator. Again I would like to remind them that they may love their dogs but others may not. So, please keep your pets on a leash when you go out with them.

Another fact that frustrates me is that whenever I tell my son go go and play down around our building complex, some officer or the other is always around to stop them from playing, saying that it is not allowed. But every evening when I go for a walk I see all the buildings servants and their kids happily playing not only in the building complex but also in the garden lawn, happily plucking leaves, flowers and doing other such destructive activities that our own kids are stopped from doing! The best part is that I am paying a monthly subscription for its maintenance for my servant too. So, while my servant is allowed to use these facilities, my own son is stopped from playing there??? I don't see any officer coming to stop these servants!

Okay, Now that I have vented all my frustrations for the evening...I am feeling much better. Better go and have that bath. The shower is waiting.

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My Second Anniversary on Xomba – An Incredible Experience!

“Hooray, and three cheers”! I have just cleared another milestone, two years, on Xomba. And I must say that it has been a most incredible experience of my life. So here I am celebrating my second anniversary as a “writer” on Xomba. All Xombies are welcome to the celebrations. Have a drink on me!:-)

I must say that I learned a lot from my experience here on Xomba and am growing as a “writer” day by day. The Xomba staff and the community have become an integral part of my life and I love to spend some quality time with my new found family, that is ever growing. With Xomba one can never feel lonely. It’s the best place to voice your thoughts, give vent to your feelings, opinions, views, share knowledge and encourage new writers......All this while you make money! If you have not read my first anniversary report then read it here.

I am happy to report that so far I have been very successful in my goal of making money from this site. I have managed to get a cheque each and every month since the first cheque from Google Adsense, which means that I have been making > $100 every month without fail. I think that in itself is quite an achievement. I managed this feat even in the months when I did not do much work on the site. In fact, this year, I must admit that I have really not been able to work to my full potential as I had done last year, at least in the terms of quantity. However, I have noticed that my Adsense earnings this year was more stabilized as compared to last year. I did have a couple of months in between where my earnings suddenly shot up from $100 to >$200, >$300 and > $500 respectively.

My second achievement that I can boast about is the maximum page impressions of >130000 reads in one day on a single post. I managed this Xomba Record on the day of the Super bowl 2009. This post not only made the Highest number of page impressions but also the highest amount of Adsense earnings in a single day for me, which was >$400 (doubled from last year). This same post made about >$200 last year which was also the highest for that year. This shows the advantage of grand fathering here on Xomba.

In the second year on Xomba, I concentrated my efforts more on writing xombytes than posting links as xomblurbs. I tried to put in more quality content in my bytes and am making an effort to improve my writing skills and attract more readers to my content as also to establish myself as a writer. Towards this goal, I think I have achieved some amount of success as most of my bytes were not only well received but also managed to make it to the Top of the Highest Rated Xombytes of the Week column. Here is a peak at some of them:

1. http://www.xomba.com/first_full_review_of_mahindra_logan_1_6_gls
2. http://www.xomba.com/tigers_of_india_save_the_tiger
3. http://www.xomba.com/the_nokia_n95_cell_phone_a_review
4. http://www.xomba.com/why_health_insurance_so_expensive
5. http://www.xomba.com/i_feel_like_an_instruction_manual
6. http://www.xomba.com/my_list_of_top_10_indian_women_of_substance_part_2
7. http://www.xomba.com/my_list_of_top_10_indian_women_of_substance_part_1
8. http://www.xomba.com/a_trip_to_kanyakumari
9. http://www.xomba.com/trying_get_some_sleep_saturday_afternoon
10. http://www.xomba.com/life_beautiful
11. http://www.xomba.com/eating_disorders_%E2%80%93_bulimia_nervosa_vs_anorexia_nervosa
12. http://www.xomba.com/life_spent_transit
13. http://www.xomba.com/today_learned_most_important_lesson_life
14. http://www.xomba.com/if_mia_can_do_so_can
15. http://www.xomba.com/hormonal_imbalance_and_weight_gain

While I am on the topic of writing bytes, another first on Xomba was writing in the category. I must admit that I have never before ventured into this sphere of writing and Xomba encouraged me to explore this option by hosting various contests in this category. While I never won any of them, I still feel proud to say that I did manage to start writing in this category and whatever I did write was also well received and managed to make it to the fictionHighest Rated Posts of the Week. Here are some of them:

1. http://www.xomba.com/i_believe_i_have_superhuman_powers
2. http://www.xomba.com/it_happened_one_night%E2%80%A6
3. http://www.xomba.com/romantic_moment_she_would_never_forget
4. http://www.xomba.com/romantic_moment_she_would_never_forget_1

I also feel proud to say that I have not restricted my writings to any particular category in the past two years and I wrote articles under most categories on Xomba. This allowed me to enhance my earning potential by tapping into a larger number of keywords. However, since Xomba has been growing steadily and becoming more focused as a writer’s website, we have the option of creating a niche for ourselves and becoming a feature writer in a particular category. Thus I am now exploring to write more professional articles in the Health and Medicine category of Xomba. That will be my goal for the third year on Xomba. I only hope that I will be able to live up to the expectations and high standards of Xomba.

The past year I have managed to strengthen the friendship and bond with the Buddies on my list, adding some more, and the list keeps on growing with writers from different parts of the globe. I have never before felt so strong a tie with a website than what I feel with Xomba. I am truly honored to be part of this site and am waiting eagerly for the new website design to be launched. All in all it has been a most incredible journey and experience of my life so far....And it is just the beginning.

If you really enjoy writing and are looking to make some money, then come and share this incredible journey with me on Xomba Here NOW!

Read more of my articles here:
http://www.xomba.com/user/rawnak

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

First Time Author From India

It was in 2005 that I started writing a book, fiction, every living person's desire. Everyone has a story or two to tell and if the want is there he/she can definitely pen a book out of the story, but more often than not the story remains untold because of their own mental blocks and sometimes because writing a book or a novel becomes an overwhelming task after the first ten pages. It requires a great deal of motivation, perseverence and hard work to write a book.

Post shifted to new blog and rest of the post can be accessed at http://enemyintheranks.blogspot.com/2009/06/first-time-author-from-india.html