Two Neat Promotion Tools for Blogspot Bloggers

Blogger has been my platform of choice from the time I started blogging. There have been a couple of times that I regretted some of the changes at blogger, but by and large, I have not had to regret my choice. With the blogger in draft becoming the default editor interface for everyone, I thought it would be helpful to look at how change can be a friend. This post is a quick look at two new features that are especially useful for bloggers who are not so tech savvy. These are the ability to create custom URLs and the ability to include a search description for individual posts. Both of these are critical SEO tools, but the way blogger has included them makes it easy for people like me to understand and use them to get the most out of them.

Two women that I am indebted to - Kajal on the right and Subala on the left
Search Description for Posts
I get stumped by terms like meta keywords and meta description that most SEO tutorials speak of, but one easy way that I understood it is that it is the main words and ideas that describe what you are writing about. These help search engines and directories to correctly categorize and display your blog and blog posts. As bloggers, I am told, it is our responsibility to help search engines do their work properly. Usually these words and ideas can be built into the html templates of your blog. In blogger, till now, it was easy to do it for the overall blog if you were ready to try a little html editing. What you could not do easily was to have meta descriptors for each individual post. Now with the new features, this has been made possible.

The Natural Diet: Is It Possible?

“You will thank me later.” – Adrian Monk, former homicide detective, SFPD

One of the reasons that this blog is called Jejune Diet is because food is one of the focus areas of my efforts as a blogger. Not just recipes and writing about food, but the food that we consume in other ways, the books we read, the music we listen to, the films we watch, and the thoughts and ideas that we pay attention to.

My goal is to help readers feel better about what society might call a jejune diet, one devoid of titillation and spice, one devoid of gossip and controversy, and one devoid of malicious conflict and hatred. My desire is to awaken in readers the realization that what is truly worthy of being included in our mental and spiritual diet is usually not what the media insists you have to consume.

As one learns to savor the tranquility of selective attention, of deliberate living, one discovers the true joys of life, freedom from ignorance, greed and anger, and is able to appreciate the magic that life is all about.

This post, however, deals exclusively with food as in what we eat to stay alive physically.

Almost all food that we recognize as food is life in another form. The act of eating is an act of using the vital energies and nutrients contained in another life form in order to sustain ourselves. It is an act of destroying life in order to sustain our own. And this applies to plant life just as much as it applies to animal life. Even if you are a hard core vegan, you are still consuming other life forms to sustain your own.

In addition to this is the fact that not all that is kept on the “food” shelves of the stores is really natural and organic food. Close your eyes and visualize the food aisles of your favorite supermarket, and you will realize that most of the items there are processed foods with liberal doses of preservatives that prevent them from behaving like organic food and break down. The process of creating and packaging food products involves steps that rob them of both their natural flavors and their natural appearance. Therefore, taste enhancers and colors are added to make them attractive and look and taste like food. So what you end up eating is really several times removed from food.

For urban dwellers like me, there are certain very powerful barriers to being able to eat natural. Availability of natural produce, time, and opportunity top the list, at least for me. With time and attention, I have been able to break down some of these barriers, while with others, perhaps it is easier to learn to live with them and compensate with goodness elsewhere.

Here are some easy ways that you can develop a natural and healthy diet without compromising your lifestyle. Most of these tips are built around the two basic acts of procuring supplies and preparing meals.

Countdown Expired

We set the countdown as soon as the doctor gave us a date. The sound of your heart beat made us smile foolishly at each other. We waged our wars silently against ourselves and against the world. We made lists of names, lists of things you would need.

When they told us at six months they were worried, we kept faith and prayed that you would be fine. We looked back at all the obstacles we had overcome to be able to have you and determined that life would not keep us apart.

How to Write a Winning Resume

One of the more frequently neglected aspects of job seeking is the resume or curriculum vitae. Having a resume that communicates one’s abilities and intent objectively, accurately and appropriately can decide whether your profile will get past the very first level of screening which is in fact called the resume screening. Even during subsequent assessments during the recruitment process, your resume can set you apart from the rest of the people being considered. Here are some of the things that you can look out for to give your resume the edge it deserves.

Why I Owe Didi Big Time

I am celebrating a psycho-therapeutic coup of sorts. I have been freed from two of my longest-standing complexes at one go.

The first is my complex about being a blot on the fair name of Bongdom. I don’t know my Bankim from my Manik, and I live happily without my daily fish. I cannot chat online at lightening speed in Bangla in roman script and I don’t burst into a Tagore song for every occasion. I can stay continent when I hear someone speaking Bengali in the supermarket aisles of New Delhi or Bangalore and I don’t hand in my resignation if my leave application is turned down during the pujas.

I take pride in being a Bengali, but given the generic pan-Indian definition of a good Bengali, I keep my pride, “if you really want to know about it,” a little hidden.

My second big-time complex is that I am not Shah Rukh Khan. Shah Rukh embodies my subconscious aspirations in many ways. Rising to stardom through sheer merit and hard work, being irreverently witty and outspoken, getting to own a cricket team and a Palm Jumeirah home, becoming the brand ambassador of Bengal, and being the dream of millions of young women (and men) across the globe.

However, this terrible duo of complexes that have run my life for decades has been successfully “banquished” by the developments in Bengal and New Delhi over the last few months, thanks to the winds of change and the presidential elections.

How to Set Boundaries for Toddlers Without Stunting Their Curiosity

As parents, we must all straddle a fine line. We need to set boundaries for the behavior of our kids, while at the same time be careful to avoid stunting their curiosity or need to explore the world. This is especially true for toddlers. If you’ve been wondering how to find the right balance, read on to find out what Chelsea Pearson has to say in this guest post.

1. Physical Boundaries
Toddlers need to have tangible boundaries set for their physical movement. This is a great way to minimize intellectual boundaries. For instance, toddlers have to know that they can get burned if they touch a stove, or they can get run over by a car if they go outside the fence. Similar to how we teach babies not to run off the top steps or they will fall, toddlers have to know their physical limits as well or they could get seriously injured or hurt. Toddlers will normally give you an indication when they want to push the boundary. They do this because of curiosity. If you constantly reject their need to explore, they will likely develop resentment toward you, but if you talk to them about new limits and explain the reasons why they have those limits, they are likely to settle down and accept this. Be sure to provide fun, stimulating activities for their room, playpen or wherever they are confined.

2. Behavioral Boundaries
Behavioral boundaries must be set with toddlers too. This is going to teach them how to behave and function in society one day. You have to remember that you don’t want to instill a fear of uniqueness or eccentricity, and you should always encourage your children to be different and question societal norms. But, you also want to make sure you’re preparing them for the real world. This doesn’t mean that you let them do what they want, but you have to let your toddler know that the consequences are for their actions and that you will follow through.

Hyderabad Indi Bloggers Meet - June 2012

The Hyderabad Indibloggers meet was held at CCD Lounge, Road No 12, Banjara Hills, on Sunday, June 17, 2012. In attendance were bloggers from Hyderabad, Secunderabad, Cyberabad and nearby areas, such as Chennai. The meeting was organized and announced by Indiblogger, the premier networking platform for bloggers in India and nearby areas such as Hamilton, New Zealand.

Here’s what happened. The last time Indiblogger had a meeting in Hyderabad was in 2010. With exciting and educational meetings being held in other cities, one would frequently see threads on the forum wishing there was an Indi meeting held in the city again. Halfway through summer 2012, a meet was finally announced on Indiblogger. Though it was conceived as a small gathering (in numbers, not spirit), the last minute saw some of the attendees dropping out due to personal emergencies, some due perhaps to the torrential rain that began just around when people would have been leaving for the meeting.

Disclaimer of Onerous Property

I have received my share of hate-mail and nasty comments in the course of speaking my mind on this blog. I checked with a lawyer if I needed to put in some kind of a disclaimer. My respect for lawyers comes a distant second to my respect for corrupt politicians. My lawyer said there was no need. So, here it is.

"Ascetic" 2015 Oil on canvas board, 8" x 11"

1. All the contents of Subho's Jejune Diet, other than guest posts and unless otherwise specified, arise out of Subho’s own peculiar brand of madness, one that he believes is essential for the survival of our species.

2. Your obsession to throw it all to the wind and follow your heart after reading this blog will not pass.

3. Repeated visits to SJD will strengthen your obsession and compel you to take action.

4. Readers are advised to seek no professional help following the emergence of symptoms after reading SJD. The only antidote in such times is to reorganize and dedicate your life to the cause of helping people around you find true happiness.

5. SJD takes no responsibility for your happier and more meaningful life. 

6a. Any profit that you have made by virtue of this blog or this disclaimer belongs to you, and SJD would like to have nothing to do with it.

6b. A comment, a link, or a mention will be nice though.

PS: I am expecting my subscriber/reader/follower count to fall drastically after this post, but hey, you cannot save your ass and your face at the same time.

Do You Need More Time?

"Saving time and not using it is a bit of a fallacy, since once your time on this planet runs out, there is not much that you can do with the time you have saved. Spend the time you save with care. Spend it on things that are important in the longer run." - Subhorup Dasgupta

This post has been featured on

Each moment of our life is a gift from the universe. What we do with our time can be thought of as our response to that gift. Time is finite, as are our energies and personal abilities. The trick is to find the optimal way to use both of these- your time and your energy. The universality of this challenge can be gauged from the abundance of material both offline and online on time management.

As with most self improvement literature, I have discovered that a good portion of what is out there to read and learn from is largely a trap that keeps you from taking real action. You feel good about what you read, that good feeling keeps you from acting on it, not acting on it brings on guilt and remorse, and you go back and read some more. It is an interesting cycle, much like addiction treatment that starts you off with statistical evidence that most people entering treatment eventually return to drug or alcohol use.

In this post, I share some of my thoughts on time management and the how and why of it. These are opinions that I have formed through reading and living, and though they may go beyond the common and obvious, it doesn’t bother me, since they work.

How To Deal With Teenage Anger

Dealing with teenage emotions is perhaps a greater challenge for parents and elders in the family than it is for the teenagers themselves. A teenage boy or girl at home can turn life into a never-ending drama of anger, depression, apathy, and euphoria. Sometimes this is made worse by issues like low self esteem, lying, drug abuse, or pregnancy. While the teenager as a matter of course goes on to find balance and stability, the way parents and elders deal with this issue can have long term effects on the personality of the teenager as he goes into adulthood. In this post, guest blogger Angelita Williams returns to Subho's Jejune Diet to look at the three ground rules for dealing with teenage anger and tantrums.

3 Simple Ways to Handle your Teen's Tantrums

Teenagers - one minute they're laughing on the phone with their best friend, the next they're slamming the bedroom door screaming, "I hate you." Teenagers are moody creatures. They misinterpret emotions, don't understand consequences, and pretty much assume the entire world is against them. Talk about attitude.

While their anger and mood swings are frustrating, it’s not entirely their fault. Raging hormones and a work-in-progress prefrontal cortex - the part of the brain that controls our understanding of moderation, consequences, impulse control, and deciphering body language – are partly to blame, according to experts. But just because their temporary bipolar, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide personalities can be explained by science doesn't mean parents should just dismiss irrational behavior and give them a free pass. After all, the way they learn to deal with their emotions now will follow them in the future. That said, here are three tested tips to help you "deal" with your teenager's temper tantrum the right way.

A Wonderful World!

In life's lessons about Hills and Valleys, the sharpness of both pain and joy sometimes gets blunted out of perspective. Sometimes one comes across words or music that remind you of this sharpness. This morning was one of those times. So instead of my usual pop-spiritual rants, hackneyed lifehacks, or laughable attempts at satire, I thought I would share with you two uplifting pieces of creative work that found me this morning.

View of our balcony through our bedroom door, the first sight that greets us every morning

First, I re-encountered the poem by William Ernest Henley, (made famous by Morgan Freeman's rendition in the film of the same name) Invictus which were recently tweeted by a fellow traveler, Ratnakar Sadsyula (@Scorpiusmaximus). These lines have been looking back at me from a postcard-sized printout on my work desk for nearly two years, and have given me hope and courage during my darkest and most difficult times. I was reminded by the tweet that though I have been living out of the strength that these lines have given me, I have never shared this with the readers of my blog. Therefore, without any further delay, here they are:
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