Sunday, January 24, 2010

Our lives in Bollywood

Him+17 turned a year old this January. Thanks for all the cards and gifts! That package of string cheese and aged gouda? So clever … And the boxed DVD set of Season 1 of Cougartown? We’ll watch right after we get through our Netflix queue.

Speaking of movies …

We started this blog to get famous(!) or to get a book contract (!!) or to start thinking about material we could use in essays and eventually publish in literary journals in exchange for two contributor’s copies.

So far, we have not received two contributor’s copies of anything. Nor do we have a book contract. And if we are famous, it is only in India where, Vishnu willing, we are characters in a Bollywood film. Sheri is played by Raakhee. Michael, because no Bollywood actor wears glasses, will have to settle for the lightly-bearded Abhishek Bachchan.

It’s a leap to think of us that way, I know. But we have our reasons to suspect that somewhere in New Dehli, someone is working to put our life story on film …

Over the last year we’ve monitored our site using Google Analytics, which makes us feel a bit like Santa Claus or Dick Cheney because the app lets you spy on visitors to your Web site. We know, for example, that 1,500 visitors stopped by during our first year, and six of ten returned to look again. Most people who found us used a search string involving Stacey Anderson and Jimmy Heck, the cougar and her prey from the reality TV show that ran last year. We could even infer the timing of The Cougar’s concluding episodes in other countries because we saw international visitor spikes using those search words (we’re looking at you Cougar fans in South Africa and Sweden!).

The closest day we had to going viral was Oct. 16 when we had 129 visitors. Sheri had posted a link to our blog in a comment on a New York Times story about older women loving younger men. Lift off! And we also know that visitors from Canada read us longer than people from any other country. We love Canada.

Outside the 3,300 visits we’ve received from the United States, the country that has sent most visitors is India. This is no surprise given that India has the world’s second largest population (China is No. 1, but government authorities must have censored us – we’ve only received two visits from the PRC).

Now we explain the Bollywood connection.

Of our 102 visits from India, 82 came via search terms involving some version of “hollywood movies with affair between older woman and younger man” or “older woman younger boy movies.”

In our fantasy, these Googlers are aspiring Bollywood screen writers looking for a story. Maybe they want to adapt a film we’ve mentioned (The Reader, Harold and Maude, Cheri), but we’d prefer to think they see in our story something new. They peruse our posts, scribble notes or just copy and paste. “Brilliant writing!” one says.

“Yes, an ice skating scene …”

“Ah, the struggles of the woman meeting the future mother-in-law!”

“Dream messages from the dead boyfriend. How poignant.”

“Oh, ho! What if the boy toy meets the ex-boyfriend!” (That’s where the gunplay comes in).

Our imaginary Bollywood writer decides on a tale of a May-December office romance that must be kept hidden even though co-workers are experts in rooting out secrets – they’re all newspaper reporters. Even as our heroes struggle to keep their older-woman/younger-man love affair alive, the writer gets to work in the tension of a dying profession. The younger man becomes a, a, a blogger! And the older woman is an award-winning investigative reporter! Ooops! That’s already a Russell Crowe flick.

We’re serious. Next time you’re in Mumbai, check the marquee.


  1. Thanks for the peek into your stats. I have no idea how to interpret mine. Since I have a video component to mine, I have the youtube viewcount as well, which does not in any way jibe with what the stats-log tells me. The stats-log picks up robots and spiders (whatever those are), which accounts for most visits to my site (and 85% of the email comments, most of which are in Russian.) To complicate matters further, on my server there are two stat programs, and they vary wildly. One may tell me I had 900 unique visitors this month, while the other will tell me I had 16,000. My verdict is that our entire existence is a supreme fiction.

  2. "My verdict is that our entire existence is a supreme fiction."
    Exactly my point in this post. Someday we'll all be Bollywood characters.