Category: Others (Page 2 of 5)

The Wash Bucket Challenge

Like every month, when all plans were in place for the trip, I searched up my wardrobe to fill up the travel bag. It is kind of the only time I end up looking for clothes with so much importance. You need to figure out what kind of clothes to carry, how many to carry and most important of them all whether there are any washed clothes or not.

Sadly, this time around, there were hardly any!!

The trip was a day away and I serious;y needed to wash ‘em up. Giving out to a dhobhi  wasn’t an option. It was late-night and even if I somehow managed to  give it off early morning, there was no way, he would return it to me before the my train leaves for Kerala.

Finally, I had to take the plunge. I decided to wash them on my own.

Ariel wash Bucket Challenge

With Ariel Matic and a bucket full of necessary clothes, I put them all in the washing machine.

It is not like I do not wah my clothes, but it takes a lot of effort you know. I mean you need to take these clothes, wash them, then dry them out and not to forget the fact that sometimes, it ends up raining, and all your efforts are gone down the drain. Down the terrace pipe, to be precise.

But the fact that once, it all is done, you feel happy. Happy to have done something productive.

In particular, washing with Ariel Matic was a delightful experience. It requires very less detergent and the clothes just get rid of all the dirt they might have accumulated over time.

Finally, I packed up all my stuff for the Kerala tour.

Ariel wash Bucket Challenge

This post has been written in collaboration with Blogadda for Airiel’s #WshBucketChallenge

I also nominate Sarabjeet, Akshay, Shreya, Shreesha and Preethi for the #WashBucketChallenge

Let’s help the School Boat Sail

Traditional vs. Contemporary thinking. These two have for long been placed at the opposite ends of a lot of debates. If you happen to be inclined to one side, or your lifestyle seems to infer that you are, you are branded like one. Call it tradition, fundamentalism or the often used tag of “backward”. People who hold onto their traditional slash religious slash cultural practices are more often painted with the same brush of supposed “backwardness”. A Modern lifestyle doesn’t necessarily mean that their thinking has changed as well.

India is a land of traditions and culture and for long this has this has acted as binding glue to shaped us the way we are today. The Guru-shisya Parampara has long been part of these traditions, and is not just limited to just Hinduism. Christian Missionaries have also been very helpful in promoting education in different parts of our country. Although Madarsas have been only part of the religious teaching, but over time contemporary subjects of Mathematics, Social Science and even English have found their way into syllabuses as well. Of course, people for who propaganda is bread-butter continue to be skeptical about it all.

All of these are not about leaving traditions, but modifying the practices to accommodate the contemporary thinking. Having said that, there’s nothing wrong in even the Traditional ways of learning as well. Knowledge of any nature is always helpful. It is what makes us human and wiser. Illiteracy has been the biggest roadblock in the development of our country along with rampant corruption. An educated India will help not just in the growth, but also in making sure that other obstacles in our development are removed as well.

The Journey of Doing Right for the NGO Guria under the leadership of Ajeet  Singh is slowly helping in the magical transformation of Varanasi.

Varanasi School Boat

 

(Image Courtesy: The Week)

Varanasi, the place known for its traditions and religious fervor, has long been a victim of Illiteracy. But a unique concept of Varanasi Boat school is now slowly becoming the torch-bearer for removing illiteracy from the place. After a regular day at school, they are given a boat ride of 2 hours to teach, without any pressure. This unique way of keeping children off the streets where they waste their time into other activities and end up losing interest in studies, is proving really helpful. This method of no-pressure learning to focus more on studies is a stepping stone towards removing illiteracy. They are not limited to tools of regular schools and this method provides an ideal learning environment for them to learn without any added pressure.

We all can contribute towards the cause by helping them raise funds for the boat school scholarship. Let us Do Right by devoting our resources for these kids, the learning environment they deserve. Do Right.

 

Asus Indiblogger Meet 2015

Blog events are fun. (More so, when you get free food too :P).

Venue of the meet was ITC Gardenia at 5.30 PM. Thankfully, my office is just round the block and my (super awesome) btwin cleared the traffic in a jiffy. Pedaling my way to the venue was tiring but the mood at the meet surely got me all excited.

And whatever little rustiness was still theer, the opening music act got me rid of that too.

Best part of any Blogger meet is to be with the community. It feels the right place for you to belong, surrounded by bloggers all over the place. It gets even more amazing as you end up meeting new folks. It’s the place where you become friends with the bloggers as well as the place where those blog become faces.

ASUS Indibogger meet, Bangalore

ASUS Indibogger meet, Bangalore

This one was organized by ASUS for the launch of its new sleek devices or as they call it, Sleeek. Yes, with an extra “e”. The theme was #GoSleeekAsusExperience which featured ASUS’s All-In-One PC ET 2040 and the sleeek EeeBook X205.

I have been a fan of ASUS, right from the time I got my laptop. The one on which I still write without any trouble for the last 3 years of continuous hard-core usage. These amazing people had even gifted me their amazing zenfone 5 for this blog. Talk about being awesome. This Asus guy even agreed to take a selfie with some of our folks too.

IMG_20150130_201111

The meet had an amazing host in the form of Anoop. We bloggers indulged in a little “beg, borrow & steal ” of sorts, by asking for persona belongings from each other. It was fun. More than the activity it was fun meeting lots of new people.

We also ended up performing as the “Pirates of the Caribbean” with the theme of blogging. I personally liked the act of another team which performed on Bollywood dialogues. There was an act on Gangnam style and 300!! Spaartaa as well.

After it all ended. It was time for food. Yes, the biggest attraction 😛

One guy honestly even told,that it was the sole reason for his attendance.

It was an amazing expereince like always to meet fellow bloggers and spend time to meet people who are equally crazy.

In the end, this picture sums it all up beautifully.

.. and it was amazing...#IndiBloggerMeet

.. and it was amazing…#IndiBloggerMeet

 

Thank you Indiblogger and ASUS for this. Looking forward to many more. 🙂

 

 

Remembering RK Laxman

Every morning, before handing over the newspaper to my Grandpa, I used to check out this page in the newspaper. Among all the other things I used to check, there were these cartoons which always topped the list. It was very rare that I understood those. But I made it a point to read and understand them.

Much as I miss handing over the newspapers as well as I miss my grandpa, I also miss the joy of once-in-a-blue-moon feeling of having understood those cartoons. Most of the times, it was grandpa who would try to help me out in understanding them.

 

The name of RK Laxman is synonymous with those cartoons. It was then; it is now and will be for a long time.

A picture speaks a thousand words. His cartoons spoke more than that. Over the years, they have explained the plight of the common man without the paint of biased viewpoints which the media of today reeks of.
rk laxman
The appeal of those cartoons is not limited to any age-group but catered to one and all. They brought out the plight of a common man. The problems of the common man, just with the help of his cartoons.

His name is synonymous with these cartoons which he began in 1951 in the cartoon strip, “You said it”.

His cartoons were a very important part of his famous brother, RK Narayan’s Malgudi days adaptation on Television.

RK Laxman, you’ll always be remembered. RIP.

2014 in review by WordPress.com

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 8,900 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

6 months after I started working

Friday.

Last Working day of this month. The penultimate month of the year is about to end. I have my confirmation letter in the drawer beside me. Oh yes, completed 6 months on the job and can officially throw away the trainee tag out of my Job title. (Aah! That feeling 🙂 )

The weekend is almost there, right when I’ll step outside the office, the anticipation growing, while I type this. Work has been roadblocked by the absence of one of my boss (Oh, I have 5 of them) and the urge to write something instead of continuing to work for the day.

There’s a lot to be said about what’s my work like to me, but with the lack of any comparative standard (as this is my first job), I’m at a loss of words (actually, appropriate words).

I’ve prepared this list of things that I’ve got to do, and things that I’ve done. The list stares at me in the board of my cubicle. It’s a long list of things. But the post-its on top of that elusive list tells me, If I can do those, I can kick the others’ asses too :P.

It has been years since I’ve regained my confidence. Getting it back has been the biggest achievement for me in the last 6 months. To categorize this as having “proven myself”, will be too much of an exaggeration but yes, would love to brag that the road has been chosen (chosen wisely). Sometimes, I wonder how thing would have been had I taken the Sales job offered back then. But then, I am thankful for this one.

 

t-marketer-concept

A lot of credit goes to how things went during my MBA days. And this includes both good and the bad (Ohh, real bad!!). Somehow, the way things fell in place only makes me understand the beauty of Allah. I mean with every day, I become more mesmerized of his blessings. I’ve been really lucky in a lot of things.

One other chapter (I call them as chapters too) that I’ve added to my life in these months is fulfilling my desire to travel. It is not just about the places which I travel to, but the journey itself. My one-trip-a-month has been going on right since I joined this job. I do look forward for many more such trips, especially now when I’ll get to have more leaves (Permanent, you know 😛 ). While Pondicherry was the first time I travelled, explored and immersed in a place. Mumbai, with its charm and Mangalore with friends had its own magic. And of course the bike trip to yelagiri was another way to catch up with nature, myself and falling in love with the road.

A job teaches you a lot of things. To manage yourself completely.  Learning to handle your finances, to look forward to salary day and yes to forget about everything related to work over the weekend!! (I’ve already forgot :P)

It has its share of frustrations as well. The work-cribbing, the bad coffee, bottle-necks, deadline pressures, work getting more technically inclined (you have no idea, from MBA in Marketing to being branded a web developer in office) and no system in place.

But when I look at things from a different angle, understanding of not looking at your bosses or work environment from the eyes of existing employees, necessary deadlines to make me complete work faster, learning technical things which any other Marketing job, wouldn’t have made me do and working like a one-man army without a constraint.

Did I forget something? Yes bad coffee?? They replaced the machine so its decent now. And even if not, there should be one thing to crib about your office right? 😛

Social media Bootcamp: My Experience

It is not every day that you get to sit, talk and most importantly listen to people having the same interests as you. I was literally bubbling with excitement, after getting to be there in the Social media bootcamp in Bangalore, on Wednesday, 15th October. 

The camp was organized by Helen Issar, who runs the Social media Management group called Penny Lane Social. Coming with a vast experience in this domain from the dawn of social media, she has a profile to be envy of. Making things happen digitally, making brands come alive and register themselves in the consumers mind, is what she had been doing. Oh Yes, I am envious.

The 3-hour long, with a little break of amazing biscuits and cakes in between, session started with basics of Social media. It would be rude of me to simply say that this part was boring, as this was basics, but it was. Nevertheless, it was nice to start this off to ease everyone in, on the big elephant everyone is looking to tame, i.e., Social media.

As the session went on, things got interesting. From nitty-gritties of social media to tips on how to take care of twitter/facebook/Youtube to stats detailing how the full scope of Social media in India is yet to be explored completely.

Targeting: The target user profiling on each of these social networks vary. The stats throw up a beautiful picture on how this can be done effectively. Filtering out your target is a very important step in starting off your campaign.

Content Generation: The content generation requires empathizing with the reader and customizing it to their liking. Different rules apply on different social media platforms. While the 80:20 Rule of Curated: Created content works for Twitter, a 70:20:10 rule of Created: Curated: Promotional content works best for Facebook. The correct proportion will aid in making the recipe of engagement on these platforms better, and give the ultimate dish a great taste.

One size does not fit all, and hence content tone varies across platforms. While a blog reader is expected to at least read 300+ words, a tweet message has to be contained within 140 characters. (Makes me wonder, are you still there reading this “more than 300 word blog”? 😛 )

Pictures work wonder on all the platforms and so, a picture + quote + small description is ideally the correct syntax to be used to code for Social media success.  

Create stories: The most effective way to capture an audience is to tell a story to them. This can be in the form of a picture flow chart (A How-to guide?), making your users share experience of their use or sharing your knowledge about what you do best to the world.

Read insights and statistics: Tailor the social media content through insights and analytics gathered from user behavior.

Brand all your content, make it your own. Pictures/Videos/pdfs should all bear your logo, wherever you share them.

It all boils down to one very important fact, Create content to build a community with an expectation to build it into a marketplace.

Important question is not why to use Social media? Question is How to use it to our advantage?

 

Happy B’day Api :)

The other day I was at Savoury in Dairy Circle, the first thing came to my mind was, that I was there with you.

Had gone to Jayanagar the other day, ate at Kedia’s, had coffee at Maiya’s and another time went for a steak at Flamenco’s too. 

Although visiting theaters was for a long time a regular affair with me, now it isn’t, I still remember going there with you and your friends. 

Most of the things I do, Bangalore serves as a reminder of you. ( Believe me, now it seems really really boring. )

I remember our late night little drives. Just when you felt like having coffee moments, or even walks around your apartments sometimes. 

Still remember getting scolded about watching too many Tv series’ even on weekends, on being called “Gadha”.

Miss watching you do all your decorating DIYs and being so excited like kids in showing me all the new ones every weekend. 

There are a whole lot of things that I end up recalling you for, (You know I’m bhulakkad like you), can’t recall all of them here at this point. 

I simply cannot imagine my life in college without weekends’s at your place. 

It’s not that only these years that matters. Right from the time i was a child, to this very day, you have been my most loved sister. I can still visualize myself crying near the door, whenever it was time to go back home after summer vacations. 

I remember how we used to dance, me on that little sofa and you taking me in your arms.Still remember your college chronicles that you used to describe before we used to sleep. 

Out of the many things I wanted to do when I got my salary was to take you out for a big fancy dinner. Sadly, can’t afford to go saath samundar paar for that now 😛 

It feels so amazing to see you happy and jovial as always, doing things which you wanted to. 

Happy B'day api :)

Happy B’day api 🙂

Wishing you a very happy birthday to you Api 🙂 

 

Happy B’day Moisha :)

First of all wishing you a very happy birthday Moisha Jain. 🙂

(Maybe this would let the secret out, that it’s your b’day 🙂 )

You are a nautanki for sure. The first thing that pops up in my head is, you knocking on the library window before your evening walks :P, the kind you make your face in the picture. (of course, not in the first one) , while I’d be busy in getting my grades in order. (CGPA 🙁 )

Of course that’s not the only thing. Life for two years (especially the drama that mine had :P) wouldn’t have been easy without you and the other kameena by my side. Miss both of you.Although both these pics were taken at the same time, yet if you see it this way, when we started Xime and when we left it. (And yes, even I did too 😀 )

Also, since its your b’day I’ll kick him out. Waise bhi dilli me aish maar raha hai Manager banke.

The only reason I’ve kept my Xime notebooks is because of the crazy chit-chats/doodles/etc we had. I even remember fighting over silly things (don’t even remember on what though), and also miss eating chocolates every morning in the class. And yes, even our “gossips”.

Okay, since I would be posting this on a public forum, not letting too much out. (Secrets are still safe: P ).

Wishing you a very happy Birthday, may God bless you Moisha Jain 🙂

 

…for one last time.. blogging from XIME..

For one last time, from the confines of the XIME hostel, I bring to you another blog. Yea, a little dramatic to start I guess, but what the hell, life here has been no less than a roller coaster drama for me.

Drama, you ask??

Well. The night is getting dark. It is already 1.30 AM and like the punctual XIME tradition goes, we’ll have to be up our asses by 9:00 AM for the rehearsal of convocation. Ohh yeah!! CONVOCATION, the reason we all are here.  And I cannot put in words how excited I am. Not only because it will be my first Convocation per se, but also coz this was the first time I have put in actual hard work to get my degree. (Yes, I was a super lazy ass, who took it very easy at first).

But, anyways depriving you of the little joys and loads of troubles won’t give me any good. So, I should share some of them with you. Shouldn’t I?

Audi-week. Roomies. Friends. Mess food. Coffee. DogB. Volga. Bismillah. Jumma Rush. Roll no. Blogger. Controversy. Passport. International tour. MST. Internship. Salesman. Report. Viva. CGPA. Dexter. Suits. Movies. Reviews. Meeting Farhan. Exams. VOS. Library. Results.

I can go on and on about stuff that can define my 2 years at Xime. They aren’t just words arranged in any sequence, but the story of my Xime life.  Something, which will swell up my eyes, the next time when I remember them again or maybe just read them. I won’t miss xime, I will miss people, will miss the bonding.

I’ll miss my roomies, I’ll miss my gang. Teasing and getting teased like anything and for everything. being called the “blogger” or maybe even the “reviewer”, will miss late night balcony talks, coffee walks, fights with friends over issues and non-issues, being awake all night, listening on to Drunk tales of friends, will miss HER, will miss taking awkward moment pics of people and posting them on fb, will miss being involved in a Modi discussion or even being called MODI, will miss exchanging chit-chats during classes, will miss getting worked up for not doing an assignment on time, will miss dragging people to give treat for random excuses., might even miss studying in the library. And, I’ll miss writing blogs sitting in these rooms of this hostel…

XIME, you’ll be missed like anything…

Signing off, from XIME hostel, one last time….

Life of a Social media Addict

“Good morning 🙂 “

Before the traces of sleep left the eyes, still curled up inside the blanket on a cold morning, a tweet was posted, the notification bar that lighted red across the blue bar of facebook was religiously checked upon, emails checked and various other notifications were duly unread from whatever the Smartphone displayed. The snoozed alarm rang itself for another time, vibrating right into my hands, and hence the day began.
The day of a social media addict.

 

Well, it is not a biographical account of a random guy, but a simplified and collaged explanation of how the day of a socially active species would look like. A day where each of the happenings on a daily basis, or preferably hourly, or even more frequently than that, knocks itself up on any of these platforms. The indulgence gets multiplied, and the social life over the internet appears to be more active than the actual “social life.” Without bothering ourselves about the pros and cons on which life is better, or which one isn’t or to engage ourselves in another useless discussion like the one frequently happening on social media, let’s just concentrate on the story that unfolds for this guy, which we are so indulgently talking about.

The daily drama unfolds with the morning, bringing upon the overnight carry-forward social baggage with it. The Facebook messages, the likes on the recently uploaded pictures, counting the number of RTs the tweets have got, the endorsements on LinkedIn, and the list goes on. All of this carries along throughout the morning chores, the breakfast, newspaper; everything goes hand in hand along with the Tweeting and FBing garnishing the breakfast platter. Multi-tasking couldn’t have defined itself in a better way.
While pictures, with their editing of the breakfast food, tagged as “yummy”, “out of the world” or simply delicious” find their way to internet through Instagram, tweets describing, “the awesome start to the day, with the amazing Cheese Sandwiches” grace the Twitter Timeline, while perhaps a “Thank you Mom for the amazing Breakfast”, by tagging her there would update itself on Facebook. Thank you on the breakfast table is, so mainstream you know.
College starts with a Check-in on Foursquare update of “Your Highness” entering the premises and at the same post being shared on Facebook and Twitter. Notifications and Mentions pour in from the college brethren, as to the whereabouts of the hangout or why some of them won’t be coming.
The long walk to the spot, the head hung down, not in shame but latched with an ultimate concentration on the hands holding the powerful device. The walk itself is no mean feat, where dodging the passer-by and continuing to reply on the messages are a big achievement in itself. At least when the perfection is such, that an injury-free me reaches to buzz in a high-five with the buddies.
The hangout, of course, involves lots of chit-chats, banter, and discussions ranging from anything to everything. All along, something which matches the tag of being “funny,” “interesting,” and “weird” gets tweeted or posted to Facebook. The general rule is, everything which can be limited to 140 characters may find its way to Twitter, while stuff which is on the higher side of the humor/interesting quotient scale, gets updated on the facebook wall.
Classrooms of course, cannot be livelier than our “class contributions” in the form of WATSAPPing.
And just when things would somehow get finalized, an update on Facebook disclosing our whereabouts and plans for the evening, with the necessary tags would surface. (Open invite for stalkers if anyone wanted to). The update would also ring up comments, along with their sad looking smilies.
Interestingly, more than anything in the long-drive or sometimes a bowling session or just some food indulgence, it would be making sure that an adequate number of pictures giving evidence that we were there. Reminds of the time when people used to carve out their initials on Rocks or trees only to revisit those years later. This is the digitalized version of the same.
The only glitch comes, when with the amount of usage, the batteries in most of the phones, dies down slowly. With nothing much to update or tweet, we have to Talk to each other!! To our surprise, the talk builds upon the fun and the time way back home passes in a flash.
But, once all of them reach their home, the first thing that they all do, after getting a little scolding from either of the parents for being late, is to look for the Lifesaver- The Charger.
And then, the virtual life of the social media addicts are back with their tweets, updates, and uploads on the Internet.

Social Gaming: Are you Game ?

Candy Crush. Mafia wars. Farmville. If these names sound familiar to you, and irritation sweeps across your brain, than believe me you have a sizable company of people, including me, who would be willing to sympathize with you. And of course, a sizable one which would still continue to press the invite button on one of these apps, for you to donate a “life”, some points, or some crap which baffles our mind.

Image

And hey, welcome to the world of Social Network Gaming.

It is not a new trend, but is sure has re-invented itself over time, by fitting itself into the smart-phone dominated social networking phase quite comfortably and happens to be a considerable growth model when viewed with a combination of Mobile+Social Network+Game angle.

There are many companies which have utilized the opportunity of Social gaming with applications developed on the platforms of these socially notable networking sites like MySpace and Facebook. Zynga for instance was one of the early pioneers of “Social Gaming” with games like Poker and Mafia Wars designed to woo the traffic on their websites, to make users stay on them even more than Social networking. It did work and now Zynga is a multi-billion Dollar company.

Moving away from the economic angle, and replacing it with the present day scenario, where Mobile has spruced up the growth of Social network, and with it the Social games as well. The virality of the Social Gaming scenario doesn’t seem to be end. Games designed are not complex, rather are easy. But are fueled by the networking concept of including more people into the gaming fold. Requests, ranging from points for referrals to even Virtual life , are the driving force. The more your requests are accepted, the more levels you clear!!!

The level hierarchy and the competition involved make it highly addictive. More so, because the scores and rankings are there for the world to see. (At least, the Virtual world in our friend list), this concept has sure caught on.

The advent of these games are a new dimension to the whole Social network craze and has benefited not just the online gaming industry, where numerous developers have modified their gaming applications to be suited to these platforms, and as well as the Social networking sites, which have given one more reason for the users to stay on.

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