Saturday, October 17, 2020

15 Years of Ganga Mail

There was a time when this blog was all that I had. Facebook was still hiding in the future, my books were still in the womb of my ambition. I did have a column in the newspaper I worked for back then, and even though it was a slice-of-life column where I had a wide canvas, which I often painted with personal experiences, the voice was that of a journalist and not a writer.

It was this blog, therefore, that helped me find my voice as a writer. For several years I nourished this space like a sincere gardener, growing plants of several varieties. Today the garden has gone to seed. Thoughts are now shared on Facebook. Once upon a time I would pour myself a drink and expand on a thought — sometimes as mundane as the moon, or idlis, or touch — to produce a decent blog post.

Today Ganga Mail completes 15 years. I have nothing much to say on the occasion — there's a lot to say actually, so much that one is better off being reticent — but since the milestone needs to be marked, I am taking the easy way out by sharing a small portion of something I wrote this evening:  

In Chandannagar, some of the shops, sitting slightly apart from one another, happened to be tuned into the same radio station. Or maybe the whole of Chandannagar had just one station. The song that was playing, therefore, accompanied them for a while as they parked the car and walked towards the Strand: Gapuchi gapuchi gam gam, kishi ki kishi ki kam kam. A lightweight song — from the film Trishul, now a childhood memory — which still drenched him with youthful freshness.

‘I have a confession to make,’ she said.

‘Go on.’

‘I know the opening lines are silly, but I still love this song. As a kid, whenever someone asked me to sing a song, I would sing this.’

‘I love it too,’ he squeezed her hand. ‘And what a coincidence, only the other day I was reading about this song in a book. Sahir Ludhianvi wrote this song, and it’s not a typical Sahir song, but it seems the opening lines were given by Yash Chopra, who thought they would catch the attention of the younger generation. I think he was so right, because even today the song feels like someone handing you a chilled bottle of Limca while you are walking in the sun.’

‘Didn’t Sahir write the songs for Kabhie Kabhie as well?’

‘Of course!‘

‘I love every single song from that movie.’

‘I would like to tell you something.’


‘First let’s settle down by the river.’


Anonymous said...

Happy fifteen years, Sir!
Captivating blog on the occasion. Especially the excerpt!

Anonymous said...

Bishwanath Sir, readers still look forward to reading your blog on Ganga Mail.

doctorajith said...

Wow.This idea came after reading the book Sahir Ludhianvi" The Poeple`s Poet"!

Anonymous said...

BG this reads as fresh and unedited as it used to be. Looking forward to more.

Anonymous said...

Cheers to 15th anniversary of

Anonymous said...


idle musings said...

Sir, congratulations on completing 15 years of your blog! Hope you are well and safe. I have followed your work from the time you wrote for The Hindu - I used to eagerly look forward to those slice-of-life articles that appeared in the second page of the Saturday supplement every weekend. It was only later that I found your blog and I was elated to be able to read more of your writing, that too with the personal tone of a blog. Blogs were active sites of discussion and sharing before social media eclipsed this medium, but I do believe the former still retains its influence to an extent. I had noticed the vacuum in this space; please do post more on On the Ganga Mail, if possible, sir, perhaps by continuing this very promising storyline you have shared, or any other topic that interests you. I'm sure your readers will eagerly lap it up.

Nirmala Varier said...

Hi Bishwanath!
"‘And what a coincidence, only the other day I was... (after hearing from you after a long time on FB)- thinking that it was rather sad that you no longer post on the Ganga Mail- there's something so different about the mood and tone of your blog posts...

So today, I just came over and was pleasantly surprised to see your post...
Ardra/ Nirmala Varier