Archive for the ‘In The Bug’s Mind’ Category

So the CBSE results are out again, and as the divine souls of Social Media would have it, marks don’t matter posts are trending all over our timelines with full vigor. This isn’t very different from the ‘Happy Mother’s day (and it’s opposite, I hate people who post Happy Mother’s day) posts’, or the ‘Arvind Kejriwal is a retard (and its opposite, AAP is the future of India) posts’. 

It sounds very easy to become subject experts on Facebook or Twitter, since big studies are just a Google search away, and one can always take his time coming up with well crafted replies (much like this blog post.. Umm.. Well.. Oops). But being someone who finds Facebook activism a waste of time (personal opinion, because I’ve observed that we simply vent our anger, and barely achieve anything out of it), I usually keep myself away from online debates. But when we talk about CBSE results, or anything like that, we’re talking about an age group that can very easily be influenced, so I felt this needs to be said. 

To put it in a concise manner, ‘Marks do matter’, if you’re investing your time and money in something and not achieving anything of it, you did fail, and don’t let these comforting thoughts tell you otherwise. Just to be clear, I’m not saying that marks are the only things that matter, or that you should go on cramming up facts to go on a factual diarrheic mode in the exam and score well, but if you plan to do something in life that will take your marks into account, please don’t let others tell you that it’s okay to fail, unless you are phenomenally good at taking risks. 

We have all kinds of people in our society. Those who don’t study and those who do. Those who take the road less traveled and those who don’t. It’s not a shame in doing any of that, it’s a choice one consciously makes. It’s not a shame to fail either, we’re only human. But the shame lies in the fact that even before failing, you make your peace with the fact that it’s okay to fail. And that’s where the problem begins. I’ve been both a topper and a failure in my life. And I don’t feel proud of my failures. I also know that I could take those risks, because that’s the path I’d consciously chosen for myself, but maybe it’s not the case with you, maybe you need those marks, so before you tell yourself that marks don’t matter, give it a shot, maybe they do. 

I agree, our education system is all sorts of wrong. We produce more engineers every hour than Mexico produces drugs. It doesn’t give the kind of encouragement that is needed to arts, sports, research, entrepreneurship… But then, there are thousands of people who still passionately take them up and are good at them. And they may or may not be scoring well, point is, it won’t matter to them. What it shouldn’t be is the other way round. Where a poor score in engineering or a failed start-up or a dead end IT job pushes you into these things. And you keep telling yourself that marks don’t matter, failures don’t matter. Because they do, and here you’ll find hundreds of people doing better than you. 

So if you’re young, yet to start your career, or even if you’re old but open to hear an opinion apart from yours, consider this. Try to be good at what you do, or take a risk and don’t do it, instead do what you’re good at. Yes, marks do matter, if you don’t know where you’re going, if you do see yourself making your career in a traditional field competing with a million more, these marks do matter. It’s not the end if you didn’t score well, but be prepared to work harder, this isn’t the time to relax. 

“Dream is not that which you see while sleeping it is something that does not let you sleep.” These are the words of one of the humblest, most intelligent and intellectual human beings I’ve ever met. Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam, the man who gave us the vision 2020, is not with us anymore, and to me, this news was a bigger shock than one can imagine.

It was around 10 PM yesterday (July 27th) when I switched on the television only to know that we lost one of the most amazing scientists our country has seen. For a moment, I couldn’t believe my eyes, it was hard for me to accept the fact that someone I, in fact the whole world, admired so much is no more. Later that night, I was afraid to even look at my social media feeds, I was sure that they’ll be filled with people saying RIP and telling how much they’re going to miss him, and while some of them will be genuine, most will just be following this never ending social media fad of posting anything and everything that’s in the news. But more than my intolerance for things like these, it was the child in me who was afraid of even hearing these words again, that Dr. Kalam is no more.

Dr Abdul Kalam Abuginmymind

I remember my first encounter with him, it was his book ‘Wings of Fire’, I was in class 10, and it was the first autobiography I ever read. As I was just 10 pages into the book, I could actually imagine all those things happening and Dr. Kalam actually narrating that to me. And why not, I had been a big admirer of him since I was 6 (but my knowledge about him was confined to the fact that he was a Bharat Ratna awardee who was able to make everyone understand what science is and give India an all new scientific outlook). Now that I was getting to know so many new things about him, I never wanted that book to end. But it did, and left an ever lasting impression in my mind. I used to keep the book with me whenever I traveled, it was always on the top of my favorites’ list, not to mention that I always mentioned it any of the conversations about books I had with anyone.

Him, A.R. Rahman, Amitabh Bachchan, Sachin Tendulkar and Lata Mangeshkar, these five people, in my opinion, are above likes and dislikes, good or bad, religious or any other communal boundaries. And I so badly wished that I get to meet them at any point in my life. Thanks to my Alma-mater, a part of that wish was almost realized when Dr. Kalam visited MNIT Jaipur. I couldn’t talk to him, but I got to see him from a few yards’ distance, and I still remember how ecstatic I had felt that day. His speech that primarily concentrated on how we can transform the world around us by transforming ourselves, is something that changed a part of me that day.

I personally haven’t seen anyone who’d say that he doesn’t like Dr. Kalam, or doesn’t respect him for what he did. And there’s a reason for that, in the 84 years that he spent with us mortals, he actually lived a life that was worth a thousand years. Apart from his unending achievements and an unprecedented scientific aptitude, he was a man with a superhuman endurance. He is probably the only person for whom being an ex-president of a country is just another small point in the bio, for many of the other things he did, including the conceptualization of mission 2020 and the Agni missile, were no less than miracles.

I had no intention of telling the world how much I’ll miss Him, or to add another RIP to a billion that are already there, but he was one of those people whom I can never forget in my life, whom I admired almost religiously, and probably that’s why it was important for me let it out.

I’m sure the heaven needed some good science teachers, and I’m sure Dr. Kalam will be happy getting to meet Dr. Sarabhai there. All I can say is, there are some things in life that we can’t change, but if we could learn and apply what he taught, even half of it, in our lives, and ignore all this politics and communal hatred that’s eating us away, we’ll be living in a much better world.

I’d end it with the words of Mary Elizabeth Frye, for nothing could fit this situation better.

Do not stand at my grave and weep.

I am not there. I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.

I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.

I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush

I am the swift uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry;

I am not there. I did not die.

Update: This post is now the winner of the #OyoXplorer activity from Mumbai. 🙂 Check out: Indiblogger

29 states and over a billion people, if you can never grow tired of one thing in our country, it’s travelling. In India we have such an amazing mixture of cultures, languages and seasons that no time of the year is bad to simply take out your backpack and go for a hike. But that isn’t everyone’s cup of tea either. It isn’t just about travelling, you also need to know which places are the best, what are the attractions of the city you’re in and most importantly, you need a place where you can crash in and give a perfect finishing touch to your travel experience. A good hotel stay is one of the most important and often overlooked aspect of any holiday. Personally, I’ve had my share of hotel troubles while visiting any city and I’m sure you’ve had it too. So when I heard about OYO Rooms and their fantastic concept of bringing economical rooms to you, I couldn’t resist but to sign up to know more. So here goes, my experience of the day I became the #OYOXplorer!

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Ok, I promise I’m never making this face again.

I could tell you how I’m not from Mumbai and how I literally explored the city, but first things first, let me introduce you to the Oyo App.  Barely 6 MB in size, this is a must have App if you like to travel and don’t want to waste much time in thinking about where to stay. The OYO app gets you a comfortable room and all the facilities you’d want in the best prices possible! Don’t believe it? What if I told you that the OYO room in one of the most centrally located places of Jaipur is available in 999 INR a day?

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Courtesy : Google Playstore: OYO App.

So what do I have to do with this? Well, thanks to OYORooms, Indiblogger and my supercool blog, I got a chance to experience all this first hand and live my dream of exploring Mumbai. It’s a shame that even after living so close I never actually went out and explored the city on my own. But never mind, OYO gave me that chance.

I entered the OYO Rooms, Juhu at 12 PM on the 30th of May. Despite being the least punctual, I was the first one to reach there. So I simply went to my room and used the spare time to watch a movie and take a nap afterwards. And what’s not to like once you enter the room, the AC, the TV, the clean bathrooms, the speedy Wi-Fi, and the delicious food that is just a call away! I made sure I check out every single thing inside.

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The awesome double bed.

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The oh so fine TV.

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And my personal favorite, menu!

But this wasn’t it, after all, you don’t invite the best bloggers in the town just to make them sit in a room, right? There were many tasks that we were supposed to do. 10 bloggers, wandering on the streets of Mumbai finishing up the challenges as they go! And this was probably the toughest for me, since all the other bloggers were from Mumbai, they had a definite advantage.

So here’s the list of tasks that we were given.

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And I’m so happy that I managed to do it. But that’s not what makes me the happiest, the better thing was that instead of staying close to the hotel I was staying in, I managed to go quite a distance and feel the heartbeats of the city that never sleeps.

Take a look at how I completed the challenges.

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The check-in selfie, the rider selfie, the selfie with a story, the vada-pav selfie, the happy kids selfie, the uniform selfie, the keeping yourself cool selfie and what not! These are just few of the challenges that we did.

But two of my best challenges were these, which I’m pretty sure no one else did! 😀

In one of the challenges we were supposed to take a selfie with a movie poster. And I chose the movie of my favorite star Lauren Gottilieb, Welcome to Karachi. And guess what, right after I tweeted this, Lauren Retweeted it herself. What else do you want when your favorite star shows some love to you and OYO!

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And the second one that I personally found quite challenging was to reach out to another OYO Room and take a selfie. Now it was made quite easy thanks to the OYO app that took me to OYO Andheri and I clicked this.

Bad expression Ver.2.0

Bad expression Ver.2.0                  But hey, can you see another OYORooms at the back? 😀

As you can see, here I am posing with so many things and so many people, it was a real exhausting task. And to top it all, we had to keep tweeting about how we were faring in the challenges. And not to mention, the activity was not just taking place in Mumbai but in 4 cities across the country. Now it is worth a mention here that yours truly stayed on top of the social media rankings while doing it. Take a look yourself:

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From the OYO rooms on Juhu beach to Churchgate Local station, then the Gateway of India, then Andheri to checkout another OYO Rooms and back to Juhu to finally retire in my OYO Room, I seemed to have lost the track of time while travelling all those places. And the best part was, that after so much activity and a hectic day, I got to get a good night’s sleep in an amazingly comfortable OYO Room.

And when I woke up, I couldn’t have asked for a better morning!

Perfect AC: Check
WiFi: Check
Newspaper: Check
Clean bathroom : Check
Delicious Breakfast: Check.

Two of the many Idlis I ate that day!

Two of the many Idlis I ate that day!

So tell me, what’s not to like in this? If you haven’t tried them yet, do install the OYO App and try it out. You can thank me later.

You can find OYO here:

Website – www.oyorooms.com
Twitter – @oyorooms

I’ll probably be back with some more stories of the day, till then, have a great time! 🙂

Once upon a time, there was a guy who loved to do whatever his heart told him to. He used to travel, write, attend concerts and irritate people with his poor puns, an activity he enjoyed the most. And then came a time in his life when he had to put all that to a pause, because, you know, job and stuff! But as they say, never say never. Well, they actually don’t say that since the day Justin Bieber said it. So that pause finally came to a pause and that guy got to know what his real self used to be like just a few years back.

Now you definitely know that I’m pretentious enough to make sure that I’m talking only about myself here. But what you don’t know is what happened which made me blabber that nonsense. So let me begin from the very moment it started. Indiblogger, one of the best portal for bloggers in India keeps organizing various activities and meets for the active bloggers. I happen to be one of those unlucky people who never had a chance to attend one. So when I saw that there was an event specifically for the people from Mumbai and Pune, I didn’t delay a second and registered. Little did I know that there were hundreds of people registering for the tiny window of 24 people. I said the last line to brag, since I made it to the lucky 24 who were going to be a part of an extravaganza.

So what was that special event you ask? Take a look thy self master!

I felt like the A Team for a moment!

So here’s the deal. You go to the Tata lake house, you test drive the latest Nano, you eat, play and have fun and come back home with a lot of goodies. And that was just a rough idea of the event in my mind and something too awesome was in store for us.

For those who were with me on twitter, you’d know how excited we all were. For those who weren’t, take a look at the awesomeness yourself.

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Let me now take a moment and speak about the reason we were all there, the Nano GenX. It was my first time inside a car with auto transmission. So I called shotgun and decided to lead the team, giving the steering to the only female player of our team, Rohini. And man did she break the stereotype! I’d give her a 10/10 when it comes to driving. Coming back to the Nano, I must say the car is one of its kind. I’m not a seasoned reviewer when it comes to automobiles so my take is going to be from a customer’s point of view.

When I want to buy a car, given the kind of place we live in, I’d look for these three things: 1. Mileage 2. Comfort and 3. Technology.
With a mileage of 21+, the Nano GenX beats all the others in its segment out of the waters.
So I’ll just skip to the comfort part of it. When I say comfort, I mean a car that gives me enough leg space to fit in, enough space for my luggage in the back, a decent shock proof ride and an AC that can keep me cool. And let me tell you that by fitting in a 6’2.5” giant like me, the Nano definitely proved that it can accommodate even the mountain. Since we were driving on the streets of Pune in 2 in the afternoon, you can imagine if the AC was bad I’d have gone at it with full force, but it was too good!
So that leaves us with Technology. And it looks like Tata was just accumulating nerds in its backyard to make Nano a techno buzz. It has Automatic transmission and the Easy shift technology and my favorite Creep mode. So if you like to switch gears on your own, simply turn to manual and if you like to make things peppy, go on the sport mode! And if you’re stuck in traffic, just manage the brakes and the creep mode will take care of it. With a mammoth 24l fuel tank and an ePas technology (Electronically powered assisted steering), the Nano is truly a GenX car!

Courtesy : TataNano_Tweets

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So that was about the latest Nano. So what did we do in the event? I must have narrated this about a hundred times to different people now, but here I go again. So the event was in the Tata Lakehouse, which is a beautiful place with lots of trees and a serene atmosphere. I was the second person to reach out of the 24 participants. So I waited there and had my breakfast. Things took pace when the bus from Mumbai arrived on scene with all the awesome bloggers who were going to be a part of this event. With a small presentation we were explained everything about the Nano GenX. And then started the real game. We were all divided in teams of 4 and every team had their own Nano to enjoy. There were hundreds of people ready to throw challenges at us from twitter and every team had to complete the challenges in order to win. We were #TheNanoKnights, also called the Team D ( 😛 ) and it was up to Rohini – the charioteer, Lance – the knight, Shubham (Me) – the captain and Pranav – The navigator, to simply kill it.

#TheNanoKnights blurred version 😛

After the flag off, all the teams started on the path that could be tracked live on the Indiblogger website as we went. We kept doing the challenges, some of which you can see here:

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Fun, isn’t it?

To make sure no one got tired, we stopped for lunch and refreshments and then got back to our sweet rides and reached the Tata Motors destination. And there I witnessed this awesome track, which Rohini had no issues in covering. And then we went back to the lakehouse where another awesome surprise awaited us.

Apart from the serene environment, this time the Lakehouse had Taal Inc for us! So it wasn’t just a soothing atmosphere, it was some really cool music. And no, we didn’t just listen to it, we literally created our rhythms! Take a look:

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Wasn’t it awesome? The best part was, I, along with my 3 awesome teammates and 20 plus bloggers, roamed around the city in a scorching heat doing the weirdest of things including dancing on an open road, didn’t even notice it and simply went on with it enjoying every moment. I could just go on and on about it, but I’ll let my tweets do the talking. And oh, there were cupcakes!

And some too good goodies!

My camera does take some cool pics! 😀

A special mention to the Tata Nano and Indiblogger team for the amazing event and for pulling it off quite successfully just like they always do.

Some moments give your life a whole new meaning, this one reminded me of the one I’d almost forgotten. If you remember the line I began this blogpost with, that pause is now over! 🙂

Before I begin this post, I want you to quickly do a little exercise. Hold your breath, cover your nose with a hand so you cannot breathe and open your mouth. Now start inhaling and exhaling from the mouth.

Did it feel a little uncomfortable? I’m sure you’ll easily do it for a minute. How about 5 minutes? Or let’s make it an hour. Most probably it will feel like your lungs are collapsing. Do you think you’ll be able to do it? How about a whole night? Is it possible to sleep without breathing through your nose? Now imagine doing that for two and a half days. And to add to the misery, imagine that happening on the New Year day. The imagery you just conjured was how I spent the last two days of the last year and first day of this year.

About three months back I went home for a few days. Unlike most of my trips that happened because of my craving for homemade food, this one was for some urgent works. Little did I know that I was in for a surprise! I had been suffering from a cold for over 2 weeks…. Blah Blah Blah… long story short, I was told that I had to undergo a nasal surgery. I could tell you the name but you better know it as the one Leonard goes through in The Big Bang Theory. Before the surgery all I knew was that I’ll be back to normal in a few days and will get back to work. What I didn’t know (or was stupid enough not to ask) was that I’ll be getting a packing inside the nose that’ll keep it covered for over two days. So talking, breathing and eating, all through the same little mouth. Imagine the pain, can you? To add to that, the surgery went a bit longer than planned, maybe causing more blood loss because of which my resting period increased dramatically. For a private IT firm employee like me, that period isn’t counted in number of days but the number of Casual leaves it will be causing.

A friend of mine shared this image on my wall a day after I got operated. That’s pretty much what happened to me, just a little better. (Courtesy: The Big Bang Theory Wiki page)

And did I tell you why am I writing this? Because I had nothing better to do. Because I felt that it was a one of a kind experience that I need to share with you people. So what do you do when you can’t breathe how it was naturally meant to be? You breathe how it was unnaturally meant to be… I mean, that’s one thing you can still do with your mouth without the fear of ending up in jail… erm… did I say too much? Anyway, while you do that, what do you do when you have to eat/drink something? Technically, for the duration you swallow the food, you don’t breathe… and trust me, even though the procedure sounds similar to the normal one, it isn’t. Soon your throat starts aching along with the head and they seem to play some weird tune in an irritatingly cool rhythm.

I know this whole procedure is quite normal and many people go through that. So I’m definitely not trying to scare those who will someday have to go through it. (Don’t do it… don’t do it!!) And that’s why I’m also going to tell the positive side of it. While I went through all of that, not even once did I feel sad/depressed or any other crap like that. The reason is simple. I had a lot of cetirizine… No, that’s not what I had to say… the reason was that I was with my family… my friends… people who love me and care about me. I got to eat the same homemade food I could die for and since I was on bed, I didn’t even have to get up to get that! For three weeks, I didn’t have to worry about what’s going on at work and how will I manage things there. It was a painful time, but it prepared for the times to come and since it wasn’t the first time I got operated, I knew ways how to recover faster.

It took me a lot of time to get back to normal. Most of that was spent at home. And now that I think about it, I could never do that on my own. There were many times when I was almost on the verge of giving up (I couldn’t, I only had one nose) but I didn’t because I knew there was always someone there for me. Most people think of a family get together or an auspicious occasion when asked about their most memorable days, but for me, it was the day I went through this surgery. It gave me the right amount of pain at the right moment. In fact I loved it so much that I’ll probably go through it once more. (The worst part is that I’m not even kidding.)

Hope you liked it. This was my story of being #together with the loved ones that gave me the power to look up and the motivation to move forward. Thanks Housing.com for the prompt. 🙂

You can never appreciate motherhood the way it deserves until you see what a mother has to go through everyday right in front of your eyes. That’s a sad but true fact. I’ve never failed to appreciate the women in my life though, but at the same time, I was yet to see a few miracles.

Now that I’ve intrigued you with the word miracle, let me tell you that I’ve been blessed with a baby nephew a few months back. As exciting as this news sounds, a few of us were also worried if my sister was ready to face all the troubles that come with being a mother. It wasn’t wrong to be worried either, this is the first time I was seeing a kid in my family and I had never imagined my sister doing anything that my mother used to do for us when we were kids. But as they say, it is a gift that is there in every woman and comes out alive when she sees her kid for the first time.

Much like other kids, my nephew loves to keep us all awake at nights. I kind of feel he would become a batman fan. He will shout, he will cry and if nothing works, he will use the strongest tool at his disposal and poop!  And night isn’t the only time when he does it. His bowels are as unpredictable as the weather in Mumbai! He’ll do it anytime and anywhere.

So what do you do when you have to do everything you used to do in your life, but only this time with a kid who needs you to be there for him 24×7. And not only he needs you, there is no chance in hell a mother would willingly go away from her kid even for some time anyway! From what I saw, there is a lot you need to learn when you have a kid. And to make sure he is clean, well fed and sleeps well are the most important requirements of all!

But our little devil is not the kind who’ll sleep just like that. It’s a whole hour-long (or sometimes two-three hour-long) program that you need to undergo. It begins with changing his diaper into a fresh one that is soft enough to make sure he likes it and is comfortable and at the same time, absorb the moisture and keep him smiling! Well thankfully after a few failed attempts, we found Pampers! So that’s one thing done. Next up is the music therapy. No! You don’t have to sing, he does all the singing. You just need to provide the background score. For that we have the “Old Macdonald Had A Farm” rhyme that he loves! You just play it on the phone and he will be lost in it and keep singing till it lasts. But every good thing has an end and so does the rhyme. So what do you do next? Here comes the good old fan for rescue. Now this is something very exclusive to my nephew, he’s a fan of fans! He loves them so much that he will watch a fan moving circularly with such a concentration that sometimes the fan will stop and blush (or maybe it’s the power cut, who knows!).

Now that I’ve given away a few secrets to what we do, I feel lucky that he can’t read them yet. Otherwise he’ll find new ways to not keep calm! Which is fine by me, I’m not the one who has to make him fall asleep, but my sister does. And lately she hasn’t been mean to me so I’ll try and do the same 😉

In case you too have a latest copy of a son or daughter, here is summary of the bedtime rituals I’d suggest from my observations.

  1. Diaper change. (Keep a few handy, you never know when you’ll need more!)
  2. Powder application. Because who doesn’t love the smell of baby powder!
  3. Singing a lullaby (Or playing one on your phone)
  4. Switching on the fan. Or you know, anything that works!

Two things will happen after reading this. Many people will go “Aww!” and others will laugh. I know, happens to me! To make sure to convert everything to the good old ‘aww!’, let me post a cute picture of the Protagonist of this post 🙂

PS: Now that I pretty vocally said the name Pampers, it would be mean if I don’t tell you about the place you can check out to know more about it. So check this out:  http://www.rewardme.in/tag/Pampers

Also, take a look at this video, cute, Isn’t it?

As soon as you hit the age of 13, you become a teenager and with that begins a never ending war between your age and your mind. As we grow up, in that phase of age there are multiple challenges that we face, the most common one being… board exams! I know, but here I am going to talk about something less difficult and more annoying; Pimples. They’re very common in that age and mostly go away with time, but sometimes when they don’t, they can be a real pain.

I remember how much pain my sister had to go through to get rid of the pimples. That constant pain, going to different doctors, trying hell knows how many home remedies, Ayurveda, Homeopathy and what not! It was like a maze with apparently no exit door. I was a kid when she went through all of that, so I couldn’t appreciate her efforts in that, but soon when I had to go through it myself, I could imagine how difficult it would have been on her.

Pimples just change your looks a bit, or at least that’s what it looks like, but to think about it, they can put down someone’s confidence and bring about a change in personality. Pimples, aren’t just spots on your face, they can also be painful and can sometimes make your life really hard. There’s so many remedies available that people on the internet won’t stop bragging about, Apricots, orange peels, Aloevera, wheat grass juice and thousands of different kinds of Facepacks and lotions… In my experience, or more correctly, in my sister’s experience, they all need something else with them to work, and that is strength. No orange peel or fruit is going to get them out overnight, what you need is a determination that will get you through that face and a will to do it yourself. I do remember seeing her prepare the different solutions and try those on her face, and jump happily when the marks got even a bit lighter. (I may be exaggerating a bit here, I am almost double that age now, can’t help it!)

The point here is, she managed to win it. So did many others. But I am sure they wish they had a better way of doing it which didn’t involve so much of work. Well, I can’t say I’ve used it myself, but from what I’ve heard from the one experienced person at my home, the Garnier Pure Active Neem Face wash seems to do it. The word pure neem reminds me of my own experience with these real life antagonists known as pimples. I was around 16 when I got a lot of them. Before they could become a permanent decoration of my face, my sister warned me to take care of them. But I couldn’t do all that she did! Not that I couldn’t handle it, I was just lazy. So my mom told me that Neem leaves are very good for blood purification, which is basically what we need to cure pimples. I didn’t think twice and started eating fresh neem leaves every morning. Yep! When every other 16 year old was having bed tea, I started my mornings with 5-10 bitter neem leaves. The surprising part is that went on for over a month till my pimples were almost gone (I don’t know that happened because of the leaves or with time, but I like to believe it was the leaves.), and I didn’t mind eating those; which also gave my parents a reason to believe that I was the soul of a devil.

Erm… coming back to the point, I’d not be endorsing something if I had a slight doubt that it wouldn’t be something right. But after listening to so many, I can safely say that this is definitely right. If you too have Pimples, you don’t need to make your face an experimental site or start your morning on a bitter note, just use Garnier Pure Active and you’ll be fine.

                                    Credits to AnimationExpress for the pic. Sunny paji for the win!

Also, check out this amazing blog where you get to know many things about skincare. Being a lazy ass that I am, I am not sure if I’ll be able to follow the workouts part, but knowing the female readers of the blog, I’m sure they’ll love that: bit.ly/GarnierPureActiveNeemWebsite ( bit.ly/GPABlogLinkIndiBloggerActivity )

Do tell me if you had any of such troublesome experiences, maybe we’ll complain about it together in the next post. And also, tell me your experience with Garnier Pure Active too if you’ve used it! 😀

1,200,000,000. Those of you who didn’t get confused while counting the number of zeros might have guessed, the number I just gave is the approximate population of our country. When we say that India is developing, we look at the 50 million people who are well to do and can live a good life, but to think about it, the 50 million, as big a number as it sounds, is just a small fraction of our population. What about the rest of us? There are people who can’t afford a car, then there are people who can’t afford any vehicle, then we have people who struggle to manage the basic necessities like food-shelter-clothing and then we have people who can only dream of having 2 meals a day. The sheer numbers of the children who sleep every night without a proper meal are disturbing. The only time they see a plate full of rice is their dreams. And that makes me think, what are we doing wrong? What is something we can do, given the oh-so-busy life we all have, to make sure that the kid you just imagined, would get to eat enough so that he can be the future our country dreams of.

I come across many organizations that do various things for kids to make sure they get to study and live a healthy life. And that, in my opinion, is one of the most important things that need even more serious attention from our government, right in line with stricter safety measures and well… lesser scams. Akshaypatra is one such organization, the name of which I am pretty sure most of the readers have heard. Their aim for an India where no child goes hungry and every child is educated. Tough nut to crack, I know, but I also know that with a support of 1200 million people, nothing is impossible. And who wouldn’t support this cause? Imagine a hunger free India, where every child is well fed and gets to learn just like a normal child from a well to do family would. What changes do you think there will be? No child labor, every kid able to read and write and demand his rights, no child sex abuse, a tending to zero crime rate in child trafficking, an aware India, a better India… sounds like I am advertising for a 3 BHK plot in heaven, I know, but it is achievable.

Long back, our first prime minister said that kids are the future of this country. He wasn’t wrong. But apparently there were more hungry kids back then, therefore their future became this kind of present where we still struggle with so many problems. I honestly believe that if we come together and take the matter into our hands, it is a matter of days when this problem is gone. I am writing this post to feed a child. This is just a beginning, a micro one at that. We can do more… a lot more. For starters, we could reach out to the government schools near our location and see if such cases are there. I am sure there are many who can spare a few thousand bucks and maybe shop one time less… trust me, that’s all it would take for you to sponsor a child’s meal for a full month. Doesn’t sound a like a bad investment, right? There are organizations ready to do the job for you, they just need your support. Physically, monetarily, with ideas, or with a combination of those, you could be the torch bearer to the change our country needs.

Here’s a video that ought to make you think deeply about this.

And oh, one more 🙂

I am going to #BlogToFeedAChild with Akshaya Patra and BlogAdda. Are you ready to do this?

I am sure many of us are familiar with the quote “In India, It’s not okay to kiss in public, but you can piss in public.” Although it was said with humor but there is a good amount of reality in it. And to think about our so many villages where there is still a long way to go to have proper furnished dwellings and sanitation systems, the heart cringes a little.

Recently I got an email from Domex, it said something about how one click of mine could help contribute towards a cleaner and healthy India. I didn’t know too much about this problem at that time except the fact that our villages do face problems of open defecation and it needs attention. But then I did some research and found some staggering results. In our villages this problem is not just widespread, it is one of the biggest cause of diseases and safety issues. 597 million people, which is almost half our population face the lack of sanitation facilities and do not have proper toilets to use! This amount is more than the population of many developed countries.

This was enough to make me think that we seriously need to do something about it. And being a blogger, spreading the word is the first thing I wanted to do. Needless to say I am glad that Domex and Indiblogger gave me that chance. The #ToiletForBabli initiative by Domex is a great way to tell the people like you and me about the hazards our people living in villages face on a daily basis. Starting with the basics, this is something that won’t take more than a minute of yours. You can bring about the change in the lives of millions of kids, thereby showing your support for the Domex Initiative. All you need to do is “click” on the “Contribute Tab” on www.domex.in and Domex will contribute Rs.5 on your behalf to eradicate open defecation, thereby helping kids like Babli live a dignified life.

Thank you Indiblogger.

There are more ways to help of course. Some that I could think of being; donating to the cause so that the people there can live in a safer and healthier environment, visiting one such village yourself one day to see the problems being faced by them, spreading the word so much that the government takes a step themselves. Do tell me what you can think of, I believe together we can bring the change everyone talks about.

I know this blogpost wasn’t the usual fun and crazy, but I also know that if I have even one person realizing the gravity of this situation through this, I did my bit.

In any case, do support the initiative and share it. Help Babli, she’ll be very happy 🙂

How many times does that happen in your life that you want to do something and out of nowhere an opportunity comes up giving you just that chance? I don’t know about you but in my case that number isn’t very large. But thanks to this stupendously amazing blog that I have, I got a few such chances this month. This is an account of something Blogadda and Quikr did for me this week. Being the kind of guy who rarely wins stuff on his blog, this was a refreshing change!

My relationship with Blogadda goes way back… I remember that time in 1857 when I used Blogadda to promote my posts about the Revolution… erm wait… we’re talking about the present birth! But five spicy Saturday and tangy Tuesday picks isn’t bad huh. So even in past two years, Blogadda people have been quite generous to me. But this time it was something different. Diwali had just gone and I was slowly getting back to blogging. I had just written “The plan” and went to Blogadda to submit my story like always. What I saw there was the Quikr contest… a contest where all you need to do is to buy something and they’ll pay you for that. Not to mention if the post is good, (like this one *coughs*) you’re in for even more awesomeness and awards!

So I applied and just the next day I got a call that I was shortlisted for the contest… amazing, no? Now comes the herculean task of buying something. As much as this contest sounds like a woman’s paradise, I am not very good at choosing stuff quickly. But as they say, behind every successful man, there’s a shopaholic sister. So my sister came to my rescue and suggested that I do something that I had been waiting for a long time. What’s that thing, you ask? It was buying a TV for my home. What!? You don’t have a TV!!! Well, we do, but it just isn’t the good old CRT. And apparently my parents’ love for their old TV hadn’t killed itself, the TV did though.

So here’s the thing. I needed a TV to gift it to my parents, one that gives the feeling just like the old one used to give. With the job and everything I just never got the time to go out and search… and hell knows how many shops I would need to visit to buy a TV at a reasonable cost! Sounded like a lot of work and being an engineer, it was strictly against my ethics. So here’s something I need, and here’s an opportunity, mix them up and what do you get? Wasting hours online to find a good product. Or at least that’s what I thought. And like Chandler would say, “could I BE more wrong!”

Quikr Advertisement

The original advertisement.

I had seen a lot of ads of Quikr on Television but I never checked it. Maybe the Indian mentality of “used products are always bad” stopped me. But to prove all this wrong, one experience seemed enough. When I went to Quikr, first thing I did was to select my hometown and find a TV according to my requirements. This is the page I set my mind upon: http://jaipur.quikr.com/TV-DVD-Multimedia/w15222202008 .
I was amazed to see that in every category so many ads were posted like every hour! I talked to around 7 people about my requirements and finally settled on one. It was not only close to my home but under my budget and in a great condition too! After I talked to the person who posted the ad, I gladly used my negotiating skills (How I wish they were useful in my company!) to bring the price down further and feel good about myself. Once it was done (which took less time than it takes me to make an omelet).

Once this is all done, guess what happened next? I’ll let the picture speak for me this time.

It's not the best gift, but the perfectly timed one for sure. Damn I can speak a lot!

It’s not the best gift, but the perfectly timed one for sure. Damn I can speak a lot!

I am yet to believe that this whole thing took barely two days. And most of the things I did were online. I could say I wanted to promote Quikr but with this experience I am pretty sure their work is promoting them. With such a gigantic user base, they don’t really need me to promote them. Now that this one is done, I have made a list of things I am buying next. I’ll just tell you all a few things to keep in mind if this is your first time buying/selling on Quikr.

As a buyer, don’t believe everything the seller says, do your research. Don’t pay up first and try to buy only from ads that look authentic. Rest assured, your experience will be awesome!

As a seller, make sure your number is verified and your ad has images, not to mention a good language. These were the things I noticed before buying something myself. Above all, be real, don’t cheat and keep the website just the way it is.

To end it, here’s the contest link, for those who were wondering: http://quikr.blogadda.com/.

Stay tuned to Blogadda, they just never run out of these things. And in case you want to know what I am up to these days, make sure you have liked this and followed me on Quora 🙂

PS: I guess by now you know: This post is a part of Quikr.com activity at BlogAdda.com