Saturday, May 16, 2015

Shake It Baby #MyAirtelApp

#MyAirtelApp the first thing that I uploaded when I bought my new smartphone. A smartphone is a gift to humanity. You can have everything you need at your finger tips. The best part if you can do a little coding is that you can design apps for your own utility yourself! imagine how amazing that is? Isn't it. Not just your calls but you can email, send pictures, do skyping and best of all when asked a question or in doubt, just google it. 

However all of this isn't possible without the one thing that is central to a good mobile phone facility, and that is a good service provider which ensures you are always in network. Being tired of bad services from other providers I decided to go for Airtel. Its network was good and my phone was immediately activated. At the store they gave me one important instruction "please download the app, it will help you a lot" and so as soon as my world opened to the sea of immense possibilities with a smart phone, I downloaded first my #MyAirtelApp. 

My original motto behind downloading the app was to have basic utilities like, a quick recharge and a tab on my internet data and balance usage. However what it provided was even more. Here is why you should subscribe to an Airtel internet connection and download the app first.

1.     It works just on a shake and gives you offers of the day: Unlike the disturbing sms notifications that keep coming and disturbing all the time from other service providers Airtel gives you offers when you need. You are coming to an end of your balance, just shake the app. You will see offer of the day, the best plans that suit you and this well just help you decide what is the best offer for you, not in seconds but in mili-seconds. Shake it when you need it! And even if you shake it for fun, you might just grab what’s hot that day. You might just find yourself getting free data someday or a full talk time recharge. Are you still thinking?

2.     Keeps You Up Before Its too Late:  The most common mistake we make is procrastination. Never recharging your phone before the last “click” and you realize your balance has ended. With the App one gets notifications about data usage and balance regularly. One also doesn’t have to remember the USSD codes to check balance each time. All of that can happen just with the app.

3.     Keep All Your Family Contacts At One Place: You can add your family contacts to your account, recharge for different numbers and for all the frequent numbers that you regularly recharge for you have an express check out. This saves a lot of time compared to searching the contact each time and then doing their recharge online.

 So what are you waiting for?? Go to http://www.airtel.in/myairtel, know all about the app, various benefits, download the app, save your time and money and hey, shake that thing! You can also watch this video and decide:


Sunday, May 10, 2015

#ShareTheLoad

Family is all about sharing the good, the bad and the work. The way children are brought up in Indian families it is perhaps not so. Where a female child even in families that believe in education and equality is taught all the household chores, a male child is always the prince at whose command the world works. Well that did work with the generation of our parents but no more. It is amazing to see that men though brought up differently have now seen the change and having equally professional siblings have aided the cause.

Citing my own example, my baby brother is eight years younger to me. While we were at home everything was taken care of by the maid monitored by our mother, however that was a small town and we were a family. As we moved out and started the struggle of our career, standing on our own feet such luxuries are rare. Of course the kitchen training has helped women survive better in hostels with bad food, maintaining themselves otherwise with clothes etc. Men too after a year or so out have learnt the lesson. So I realized when my baby brother who is no more a baby now visited me in Delhi two years ago. I was in the third year of my doctoral studies and work had just picked up. The stress was huge. So when he had summer break and since we hadn't met for an year, I invited him here. 

I couldn't take leave as that wasn't possible. I had to manage someone else other than me for fifteen days and that thought was enough to give me nightmares. So I began thinking and planning. However hard I tried after a week there was a day when I just couldn't manage. I was too tired waking up at 5:00 AM every day, cooking, leaving for work so that I can be back early and going out every evening thereafter to do things on his "to do list". My brother realized this as I delayed the plans with phone calls every hour, extending every hour. And I landed up dead tired at 11:00 PM. I had just managed to get there with nothing but an apologetic face. I thought we would order food and that was what I could do to save the day. Worst, the weekend was spend going to visit the Taj so the laundry was pending and so was the cleaning.

What I saw next has been the best memory of my life. The house was clean. The clothes were washed and hanged. He had made cold coffee for me which was served with ice-cream which he got and not just that. He had kept the room ready with woofers in a theater mode, made popcorn and ordered food from Dominos which landed 10 minutes after me. When I asked him "how did he learn to do the laundry", he just responded, I saw some videos on Youtube and found it manageable. I realized one thing that day, our generation has its own style but it does know how to spend the little quality time they have really well. 

That evening , rather night was the best I ever had and my brother coming to visit me now is a luxury for we care and share the fun and the load.  “I am writing for the #ShareTheLoad activity at BlogAdda.com in association with Ariel.” 

#Equality Is #Sharing The Load

Equality in the twenty first century also means sharing responsibilities equally. A home now a days means a place where people care and share, the joys , sorrows and also the chores. Laundry is one of the biggest chores. People of the generation gone by (our parents) are now beginning to see the changes in their lives and learn from the youngsters. This is an example of my cousins family and the most significant one I know of, of sharing the load.

My cousin brother went for studies to UK. He fell in love with a girl there and got married with the blessings of the entire family. The couple was the most handsome you ever saw, for in their eyes was not just love but a strong commitment to stand by each other come what may. Something that is rare in very young couples but I adored them for the maturity in them. Right from convincing the family to accept her, to planning the wedding, they did it all together. It was amazing to see them finally as life partners blessed by the Gods. After giving them a good space of honey moon I went to stay with them for the five days they had left in the country before they went back to their life in UK. My sister-in-law was crowded by visitors and taught the Indian ways, how's and why's. My brother just kept glancing at his beautiful bride meaning "don't worry you will do it well" and she did. The load , the pressure was on her, but his constant assurance was like he was taking it all too, like an equal partner. On the other hand there was so much work that the servants were over burdened. So after everything ended at night, the couple would help their mother manage it all. Sometimes they worked so that my aunt who was getting old could rest. 

 But Alas! two days before they had to leave the maid fell ill and all the clothes of everyone staying there plus the couple were yet to be washed and packed. They were all just piled up to be washed on that particular day. My aunt went crazy and tried calling every possible maid from the neighborhood but nobody would do it knowing the house just witnessed a major wedding function and relatives were still around. That day my brother just asked his mother to calm down and did what he would have done if he would have been in UK. They did the laundry together. And without a machine. They did it happily, with a smiling face, occasionally throwing water at each other. The house that had been in chaos half an hour ago had just rattles of laughter. It was so addictive that all the children joined them and helped them put the washed clothes on a rack and so on. A calamity was the best part of their wedding season. However what happened next was a moment in history. My ultra-orthodox uncle, who wouldn't even pick up his spoon post dinner, who never helped my aunt, also joined the washing. We all the just gaped. Nobody could tell him a word, even that of surprise but he said it himself " I thought your generation didn't know half the time what to do, but you both have set an example that the smallest and biggest moments are better when you share them with your partner, I hope to be a better husband now on". And from that moment my uncle looks forward to  the maid being ill so that he could help his wife for all the years he missed and my aunt out of habit doesn't let him do much.

Who of the two is a better couple I seriously doubt. If this story made you smile, share the chores with your partner and discover the moments of togetherness within them.  “I am writing for the #ShareTheLoad activity at BlogAdda.com in association with Ariel.”

Moms Knows It All...

A mother is the best friend one can have. I am lucky to have a cool one with whom I can share all my secrets. Be it your first rank in school, a competition you won or even when you said something wrong to someone and later felt bad, the person you want to first convey it to is your mother.

Once it so happened that I hit my friend. It was not planned. I just did it. She did something wrong I got angry and I did it. For how could I tolerate anyone teasing my little brother. I wasn't shocked when she was doing that. That emotion never came at first only the one of a sister did. And so I gave her what she deserved, one slap across that cheek, a reminder to never do that again. I did not regret it, I said when my mother came to know about it. She scolded me badly and made me say sorry to my friend. I wasn't sorry yet I said it for my mother thought that was the right thing to do. I hated all the elders at that moment and their sense of justice, for in my opinion I was right. I was sad and my mother knew it, she just told me one thing "let your brother fight his battles, you wont be there always" and I realized that she was right of course. Today we all live in different cities and everyone has to fight it on their own for their survival, I am glad my brother can handle it on his own, credit goes to mother of course.

First crush is something secretive. Something you don't even tell the person you have it on. Unless they can read it in your eyes, or the way you cant take your eyes off them. Contrary to many of my girlfriends who would giggle amongst themselves, I went to my mom and said "I like this guy, do you think he is good?". She was surprised at first for sure for I was only 14 then, but then it is the time when it all starts and my mother told me just see if you feel so for a very long time. She was right, It was only a crush after all and after a few days when I saw that the guy I liked for his looks and intelligence mock a poor child, just because he had a hole in sock, just because unlike this guy, his father didn't have a lot of money I lost all my respect for him. I lost it in a moment, the crush, I just wanted to trash him and I did walk up to him and said "its not your money, what you dance on".  There were a lot of issues I created for myself then, I had practically called for trouble but since then I always follow my expert mom's advise "See if you feel so for a long time". Moms are always right.

Recently I thought it was time to get stylish and I decided to streak my hair. I was always a studious person and every part of my personality, even my clothes depicted that. Now I needed to experiment with myself and get a cool look. Since my dad is really old school I had no other option but to get my mom on my side. So I asked mom and she refused too. I sulked and mom felt bad, for its rare I asked for things. But we were conservative and then just two days before my mom came to me and literally dragged me with her. She to my surprise took me to the salon, took out these beauties , the color sachets of Godrej Creme Hair Color. She had to my surprise all the colors. I hugged her before choosing the burgundy, a shade I love and that was how my mom let me do it with the only brand she trusts, Godrej. You can also check out a whole range of their colors available in all shades at
http://godrejexpert.com/single_used_pack.php. Choose your favorite and leave the rest as it is a brand mom trusts.

Watch this video for more details:

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Chronicles of Urban Nomads

Title:  Chronicles of Urban Nomads
Author:  Anthology
Publisher: Readomania
Date:  2015
Price: Rs. 225
Pages: 175


Chronicles of Urban Nomads is an anthology of short stories, sectioned into two parts named "Imagine" and "Musings". The stories that are selected have a common ground, not a theme but the narrative style, whether the narrator is a third person or an object or something deeply hidden within. The stories differ
 as some deal with different kind of relationships, father and daughter, lovers, couples in an arranged marriage and sometimes even a stranger. Here  are the stories that left a mark on me: 

 In section one "Imagine", the second story entitled  The Blue Slippersby  Kirthi Jayakumar is a perfect example of little dreams and bitter realities of human wants and nature. Being human itself is a limitation and this story puts the thought so simply that it hits you directly. The picture of the girl with the blue slippers is sure to have a lasting impression on your mind for a very long time. 

Fate has a funny manner of expressing itself and prophecies can fall true sometimes in a manner unthinkable, this phenomena is beautifully portrayed by Deepti Menon in A Little Nugget of Fear.  However there is a greater player called "Reality" and sometimes it can strike one hard, when one suddenly realizes something so prevalent yet unseen by the folds blinding your vision. The happy realization coming with a jerk is just one aspect, the manner of story telling, the planning, the conversation, all of it couldn't have been better than what has been depicted in EFIL by Bhaswar Mukherjee. After reading his second story from him in Crossed &Knottetd, I can confidently say he is a writer to look forward to.

The book also has some interesting attempts at story telling, stories otherwise regular made interesting by choosing an inanimate narrator or the vantage point of observation, giving the writer scope of creativity is what Ayan Pal has tried in Confessions of a Benarasi Saree, by telling the saree's tale and thereby the character's. This is one story that truly justifies tha title as it talks about the common problems of Urban youth, confusion and indecisiveness. My Soulmate by Jenneker Lawrence again attempts a similar strategy and so do a few more stories in the book.

A Vicious Battle by Aravind Sampath is a story of learning the meaning of true love, amidst fame, success and popularity. The Wait by Ashay Abbhi could have been written better with a more poetic tone to make one feel the character's plight, lying in wait for death.

The next part "Musingsbegins with a heartbreak with a very powerful story The Last Letter, about a father- daughter relationship by Dipankar Mukherjee. A Shackled Destiny  by Sharavya Gunipudi is another equally powerful, heartbreaking though not unheard a story of a mothers search for her lost son.

Bizarre happenings find their way into this section entertaining the readers with  Pradeep Moitra's, The Face on the Canvas. It being open ended story of a woman traveler, stuck in a small village and mesmerized by the face on the canvas. Arranged Marriage by Japneet Boyal is a touching tale of how sometimes contrasting circumstances can form the bond between strangers that marry as arranged by parents. While Hopes & Promises by Rahul Biswas , on the other hand talks of humorous ways of fate and second chances at relationships, Hide and Seek by Niranjan Navalgund, is the strange game of two writers in love.  Mandira by Anupama Jain presents an irony of a character being modified into the very person they hated.

As is with every anthology, there are a few stories that amuse you, a few that entertain, a few that tear you and some that have a lasting impression on your mind. There are definitely some that do not impress you but this anthology has more of those that left me amazed. EFIL and  The Blue Slippers are a must read. Mandira, A Little Nugget Of Fear and Arranged Marriage fall next in line.

If you are a fan of short stories, pick this one for a good, light read. 

Rating: 3/5.

Crossed & Knotted (India's First Composite Novel)

Title:  Crossed & Knotted (India's First Composite Novel)
Edited by : Sutapa Basu
Publisher: Readomania
Date:  2015
Price: Rs. 250
Pages: 256

India finally has a composite novel to its credit thanks to the nascent publishing house called Readomania which this year launched “Crossed &Knotted”.  To begin with a composite novel is one where multiple writers together write a story complete in itself however the combination of chapters is a new story altogether completing one full circle. The interesting yet challenging part in the exercise if for the writers to begin where the former left, add the ingredients of their imagination but  justify the plot and bring it to a full circle in the end. The exercise needs immense co-ordination and is sometimes an impossible feat to achieve, a reason the task had never been attempted so far.
The story   "Crossed & Knotted"  was not a complete random flow of events but built on a pre-decided exoskeleton. The writers then were allowed to set their imaginations flow to explore into the lanes nearby, the lands far off.

It all begins with a simple man Sudip, who is madly attracted to Megha, a complete contrast to his personality. She being everything he wasn't, bold, confident and sure. Though she didn't fit the mold of the perfect "daughter-in'law" for his family, against every resistance, he marries her. The rosy picture collapses there as she discards her cover, only to reveal her true character: mean, proud and selfish. He is unhappy, his parents are ill-treated everyday but in the midst of all that they have a daughter, Shivi. Her presence makes him a little happy, but is the happiness truly for him? As Megha's tyranny continues, each day the sufferings of his parents worsen. She just takes over everything that is Sudip’s, his property and his soul. This continues till one day when she dies leaving questions behind. This first chapter by Sutapa Basu, sets a perfect essence for the novel from where the water is only murkier.


The second story begins with personally what is my favorite part in the entire book "The Diary of Joseph Varghese". Shivi, Sudip’s daugher finds this diary, only to be hooked to it, for the lead Joseph Varghese is a man who visits a graveyard of his beloved, Lily. The diary has irregular entries with  moments from the point their love began to his loneliness after her. When Shivi finds herself attracted to James, he discovers this diary only to enter later in it that he found true love again and hope he won’t have to do the same thing again. The confusion around "Who is Joseph Varghese?" "How did Lily die?" keeps one hooked to the book throughout. Ayan Pal's formation of this character is truly the flavor the entire book, the reader keeps craving for.

Sanchita Sen, the writer of the next story goes onto another lane, an important filler to set base for the next chapter by Arvind Passey. He with a clever word play knits and cuts a world where we meet the creator of Joseph Varghese or do we? This story just adds to the former plot in making it more confusing yet increasing the amplitude of the readers curiosity at the same time. It doesn't stop there as the enxt writer in line, Mithun Mukherjee brilliantly crafts the next plot. He creates a fact or fiction debate around Lily and her existence. The story being open ended will just leave the reader debating with themselves, making one read further hoping for a clue. This is the most crossed and knotted story of the entire book.


One then travels in the search of truth, unanswered questions and unsolved mysteries, through the lands of Afghanistan, for that is where the writer Avanti Sopory takes us with the story of Catherine, a  journalist friend of Sudip. The story of a woman fighting for education, children wanting to escape, isn't what you haven't heard of if you read stories set in the backdrop of these lanes. But these well written simple stories that wonder into what you think is wilderness, only to come back in a full circle is a commendable job speaking volumes of the crucial co-ordination and Bhaswar Mukherjee deserves the praise.

The next few chapters takes us through the lives of different characters, with the ingredients of love, trust, friendship, only to come back to Sudip's family. He is a happy man, lucky to have found love again. However, can past just vanish? Mysteries remain hidden? Or will there only be more to cover what happened? 
I congratulate Readomania, the editor Sutapa Basu for the mammoth task of compilation, editing and most of all the writers for the co-ordination to successfully bring out a gripping story from an exercise that began as an experiment. They have exceeded beyond expectations of the reader in not just completing the circle but also making smaller interesting circles within the crosses and knots. The stories are written in a simple, easy to understand language and each writer does stand out with his or her own writing style without tempering with the tone of the book. This journey across lands may get one confused as with each story there is a new character, but the plot makes one going only to smile wickedly in the end with the clever endings in some or touching ones in another. The book will get you hooked right from the first story only to keep you judging which one is the best. 

The book being the first in a composite novel category from India, despite being from a nascent publishing house, has set a high benchmark for anyone wanting to attempt such an exercise. One of the best books of 2015 undoubtedly and the most interesting one in recent times. A highly recommended read.  


Rating : 4/5.

To know more about the book, watch this video:








Tuesday, March 24, 2015

How I Would #ChooseToStartWith New Moto E

A mother is a girls best friend. The person who is most of the times with you as you grow, who teaches you the first words that are uttered from your mouth, the finger that helps you take your first walk is your mother. As a girl grows she needs someone she can share her little joys, the small and sometimes big mistakes, the understanding of her biology as she grows, the feelings of first crush. When the friend is a mother who knows you inside out its a boon. Mother's tend to have an intuitive feeling with their children and so you don't have to describe yourself, she just understands you. So I wish to start a new life with my folks by my side with the new Moto E.

Living alone for your education has been a norm for people from the rural India and so is teh case with me. There is no option for where we belong there are no institutions of higher education. In my case, my town had only education up to std 10.  I wanted to do Science, and so at a tender age of 15, post standard ten I moved out of my house.

The education worked well and 12 years down the lane I am still studying to get the highest degree possible in my field, PhD. It has been a long lonely road. Friends fill up the space but nobody can be your parent, not certainly a mother. In my case, I am happy for what I have achieved but its only partial for what I have lost is the chance to be with my parents, watch my little brother grow and most of all missed my best friend-my mother. These were precious moments that never come back. You may record them as snapshots but you can't live them. The sad part is despite knowing this, I also know that I cannot go back to them to live with them for where I come from, there are no places to employ a scientist. So my happiness was like the crescent moon, it looked beautiful but it was never full. Or so I thought, till the time people of my breed into technology invented what is called as "A Smart Phone".

After Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, the first giant leap in technology was the internet. A combination of two, the smartphone can now achieve what has never been possible before, and the best thing before we invent tele-portation. You may think what might excite me so much about this? But if you are living away from your family, you will definitely understand what video calling from your phone anytime and see your folks, be at a distance from them but still have them there with the webcam on when you cut your birthday cake, find that special someone or need help in deciding a piece of jewelry you want to buy ( I am a girl after all) means to you.

At this stage when me and my brother whose growing up years I have already missed, are both away in different corners of the country, away. When it is a stage where they have spent all their time and attention on us, not being able to maintain their social life for our homework, exams , competitions etc. They feel so alone now. Moms especially being more emotional feels sad mostly and really looks forward to having us. However its just once a year for a week in my case. I have missed her while I try to cook exactly like her, while shopping, or discussing putative dating candidates. We do converse on the phone but its never like being there. 

My mom like most people of her generation, isn't comfortable with technology. It was difficult to convince her to use a mobile phone. Hers is a simple, Nokia 1100, non android phone. So is mine and therefore I choose to start my life by buying two sets  of Moto E for me and her, as we upgrade ourselves and get closer with a smart phone. I choose Moto E, for it has the following features:

1. It is user friendly: For a person like my mother, everything that she operates on has to be easily visible and she shouldn't spend too much time searching for it, else she gets confused. Hence this is the right choice.

2. Size: My mom and me is not a fan of large phones, she needs something small that fits into her purse and for me it should fit the pocket of my jeans. This 4.3 inch phone is the right size for her.

3. Sturdy:  It is a phone that doesn't break upon falling, like its cheaper counterparts.

4. The Brand Value: My best friend is using Moto E . He is extremely happy with Motorolla. We never have faced and hangup issues etc. so far. These are important for people of my mom's age who cannot troubleshoot with the ease we can and so all they need is a hassle free phone. We having seen it with my friends phone, have complete trust in the brand value of Moto, do not have to think of something else when it comes to buying a smart phone.

5. Camera: The phone comes with a 5MP camera, which is a good resolution, that can help her share the moments instantly with me on Whatsapp or Instagram. I can get her great insight on the guys I date especially;), or the jewelry, shoes etc. I chose. 



6. Dual Sim:  This will help her carry both Delhi Sim and the home sim when she visits me, saving us the trouble of misplacing it and buying a new one each time.

7. Value for Money: The first generation Moto E begins from 5999 INR and the second generation at 6999 INR, there can be nothing better than this phone's configuration for this price. 

I am all set to start a new life by connecting with my mom 24X7. Do you miss your mother? Join the bandwagon and #Start A New Life with Moto E.  After all as the Moto E  President COORick Osterloh  believes that "A great smartphone shouldn't be a luxury, it should be a choice for everyone."


Know more about the phone here : http://www.startwithmotoe.com/