Sunday, 6 May 2007

Mousetrap - 101

This column made its debut on the 6th May, 2005. And this edition is number 101. Happy birthday, Mousetrap. You can send me cheques for that traditional Indian sum, Rs 101. No? Darn. Ah well, here’s your cheap return gift. A set of sites with nothing in common except that they have a “101” connection.

101 Cookbooks
The web’s full of recipe blogs, and the creator of this site can take a fair amount of the credit. or the blame. She started out in 2003, when she realised that despite the huge number of cookbooks she owned, she still wound up cooking the same recipes. As she says, “When you own over 100 cookbooks, it is time to stop buying, and start cooking. This site chronicles a cookbook collection, one recipe at a time.” It has grown beyond that, of course, and now also features original and contributed recipes, and a forum. She’s also a photographer, so you can look forward to delicious food shots. And the author had also turned out a book, thereby launching hundreds, if not thousands of hopeful bloggers on to the recipe-blog path.

Love, story
Cyberlove 101
So, is the web full of weirdos, or is it possible to find troo luhrve online? Check out this site before you make up your mind. A labour of, um, love, its creator says that the stories here are all true, gathered since 1998 in the course of her journalistic career. It’s both sides of the story: some end happy, some in tears, some are funny, some illustrate why Mommy says the net’s not safe for you. And if you get fed up of all that, there are a few links, poems, quotes, posters and, well, I’ll stop now. I gave up sugar some years ago, and I’m not used to so much sweetness.

B Skool
Business 2.0’s 101 Dumbest Moments in Business
This column doesn’t normally deep-link to a specific article on a site, but since it’s the one that got me going on the 101 theme, here you go. Business 2.0 makes an annual list (now in its seventh edition) that makes for delightful reading. And also makes you wonder how those companies stay in business, but that’s beside the point. Lots of giggle-worthy stuff here, which helps me ignore the fact that it’s a US list. I’d have preferred to link to a site that did a world-wide list, or perhaps one that focusses on Indian companies, but this one includes not a few multinats who have a presence in this country, so, enjoy.

Write Now
Write 101
Just as I was wondering how to fill in a fourth site, I remembered that in North America, “101” appended to the name of a subject indicates that it is basic course in a university. And, as a result, in daily speech, it refers to beginner level information. And if you have any writerly ambitions, this is as good a place to start as any. Some decent lessons, tips and links, some quizzes, and worth a look, though some of it is tedious. However, going by my inbox, a heck of a lot of newspapers, and some of the stuff I see on a writing forum I help run, more people need to be sent here instanter.

Reader suggestions welcome, and will be acknowledged. Go to for past columns, and to comment, or mail The writer blogs at

Published in the Times of India, Mumbai edition, 6th May, 2007.

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