Tuesday, December 30, 2014

In love with Melbourne... why!

Cosmopolitan, elegant and chic, Melbourne has a passionate soul and a welcoming heart. From thrilling world class events and renowned architecture, to café-lined streetscapes and verdant parklands, there’s always something new and exciting to discover in Melbourne.

"Which of these places would you want to visit in Melbourne and why?" One winner will get Rs. 500 voucher.

So hurry up, check out the videos in the above link and start commenting about your favourite destinations and flying reasons for a visit to Melbourne. It doesn't get better than this, mind it! ;)

P.S. -- "Come Alive in Melbourne" videos, and Tourism Victoria website link.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

पुस्तक समीक्षा: कैसे चंद लफ़्ज़ों में सारा प्यार लिखूँ - दिनेश गुप्ता

लेखक दिनेश गुप्ता 'दिन' ने अपने इस नवीनतम काव्य-संग्रह में पिछली पुस्तकों की तरह समाज के प्रत्येक पहलू को न छूकर, उसके सबसे सुन्दर पक्ष 'मोहब्बत' को प्राथमिकता दी है। 'कैसे चंद लफ़्ज़ों में सारा प्यार लिखूँ' में कवि ने प्रेम-रस को जो भावात्मक अभिव्यक्ति प्रदान की है, वह भले ही साहित्यिक मानकों पर खरी उतरे या न उतरे, किन्तु पाठकों को प्रेम के मार्मिक स्पर्श-बोध से अवगत कराने में कोई कसर बाक़ी नहीं छोड़तीं।

पुस्तक में प्रस्तुत कवितायेँ सीधे ह्रदय को मोहित करती हैं, अतः यह कहना अतिशयोक्ति नहीं होगा कि कवि का श्रृंगार-रस कौशल पाठकों के मन में एक अद्भुत अहसास छोड़ने में पूर्णतया सक्षम रहेगा|

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Book Review: God is a Gamer by Ravi Subramanian

Caption: Is revenge a crime?


What happens when you cross gamer, banker, politician and terrorist with virtual money?

From the bestselling author of 'If God Was a Banker' comes the first ever bitcoin thriller. 'God Is a Gamer' is a world where money means nothing, martyrs are villains, predators are prey, assassination is taught by the ancient Greeks, and nothing is as it seems.

Moving from Washington's Congress to Delhi's finance ministry, the beaches of Goa to the corporate boardrooms of Mumbai, this is Ravi Subramanian's most gripping novel yet.


The novel begins with a background of the emergence of bitcoins, the virtual currency promising anonymity to its online users. The novel runs in two parts parallely - one in the United States of America and the other in India. How the assassination of a US senator and seeming unconnected heist puts FBI in slow motion towards solving the crime forms the basic agenda of the one part of the story. But how could a Ravi Subramanian novel be complete without the involvement of a multi-national bank at the crux of the story! So the part of the story running in parallel in India involves an ex-banker Aditya, and his newly incorporated BPO business and his two long time colleagues Sundeep and Swamy.

How the death of the bank's Indian chief puts into motion the flurry of events involving her daughter who is in a relationship with Aditya's son, who is looking after his latest venture into gaming, forms the rest of the story lineup involving bitcoins, banking, politics, unexpected heists, murders, and master plans. It's then the real thrill starts as FBI and CBI join hands to decode who is behind what, but
.......... Do they get successful in apprehending the real culprit behind actual crimes committed for virtual money?
Well, get your hands on this international thriller in true terms and start reading it right away, because if you are not, you are missing at undoubtedly one of the best Indian thrillers ever written.

In author's own words, this is world's first bitcoin thriller and he is damn right but I would like to term it as a gaming as well as bitcoin thriller. Because even though there isn't any direct connection between these two aspects of the novel, the climax will hit you hard when all will be revealed. And the ending will leave you flabbergasted, that's for sure.

Novel's main positive is that it's a simple and breezy but engaging read, and the story travels at a comfortable pace for the reader to soak in everything as it moves forward. Nothing seems forced just for the sake of it in the whole book. Each bit of every scene is connected properly to the bigger chain. Sometimes, too many characters dull the reading experience a bit but it goes away as soon as it's encountered without leaving you irritated, nonetheless, as you progress.

Final say: Ravi Subramanian has already established himself as a top notch thriller writer among India's current brass of authors as far as his previous works are concerned, of which I have only read and loved The Bankster. With his current book, he once again commands his supreme authority with a totally new theme and a class of a thriller, as he beautifully interweaves seeming invisible threads of gaming, bitcoins, love, family, betrayal, politics, murder, banking, heists and assassination in God is a Gamer, and comes out with an entertaining climax and gripping final chapter. I feel privileged to read and review this one. Thanks, BlogAdda!

My rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

P.S. -- This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Monday, December 1, 2014

How I missed it!

It goes without saying that when an opportunity knocks on the door, we have to be well prepared to grab it with our best efforts. And the confidence comes when we are feeling good from inside. And for that we need to be looking our best in terms of appearance as the first impression made is sure shot the lasting impression.

I recall an incident when I was in college for my B.Tech. and in the final year, one renowned multi-national company has arrived short of notice and I was selected by our Training and Placement cell for its interview just after 5-6 hours. Although I had enough time to shave my stubble but that would have meant a loss of half an hour of crucial preparation exclusive to the written exam and the interviews afterwards. Hence I thought it best to prepare better instead of looking better. And it was rewarded when I cleared the written as the result was declared almost an hour after. But in that time I was prepping up for the technical interview and wondered to get a shave after that and just before my HR interview would begin, as derived from the observation keeping in mind the previously held interviews on the campus for last one month.

But the tragedy played its hand when just after the technical interview round, I was asked to go straight for the HR round. And God knows, I don't look good even in a three day old stubble. And the HR was a suave lady and I messed up in creating a good looking impression and could not clear the round. I just missed the chance when I had it. After that incident, I have made it a habit to take better care of how I present myself before others not only at crucial junctures but in normal day to day life as the opportunity could present itself anywhere and it doesn't take time to lose it or grab it.

P.S. -- 'This post is a part of #WillYouShave activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette'.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Fun with Nursery rhymes

One of the best part of our childhood are the rhymes we learn while in Kinder Garten classes. Kids Hut has come up with beautiful, simple and exciting kid special videos of all these rhymes and much more for today's kids to help them visualize these inseparable part of one's childhood and have fun, in other words - watch and learn the fun way.

One of my favourite videos is - Twinkle twinkle little star. I still remember how I used to cram it up and then sing it forever whenever mood happened. Such a beautiful rhyme which when still heard makes us wanna go child again and wonder again what that twinkling shiny star is, up in the sky. The video illustration below is superb and I bet children will love it and wanna watch it repeatedly. Even my neighbours have to play this rhyme whenever they are feeding their kid because without hearing it, he doesn't even get ready to eat anything.

Another video which I got to remember only while browsing through a plethora of interesting rhymes at Kids Hut youtube channel can be seen below. Learning to count / remembering numbers was a huge task when we used to be in Nursery/KG in school and this rhyme even made it harder, that because numbers mentioned in it are easy and the phrases attached to them are so difficult for any child. But still I used to like this rhyme and I was one of the rare ones to do so. I liked how the numbers used to rhyme with the sentences and that made it interesting for me, and maybe, just maybe this could be one of the founding reasons of me becoming a poet now. Ha ha!

So people, do watch more of these videos on the youtube channel of Kids Hut by T-series and make the learning a fun session for your kids. Cheer them up!

P.S. -- This post is a part of Kids Hut activity at BlogAdda.com

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Healthy child, healthy home

Life has changed, or should I say lifestyle has changed a lot. And this changing lifestyle has brought forward the need to strengthen one's immunological order in order to protect oneself from the drastic effects of pollution, one of the major by-products of today's progressive world. There is pollution everywhere and in everything - in the air we take in, in the water we gulp down, in the ground we teeter-totter. And the toll it takes on one's body to deal with all this and much more can't be put in words. In better words, it brings forth the shower of basic diseases once immunity power gets weakened in the process of fighting these miscreants (pollution).

As a weak and tired soldier can't fend off powerful warriors for a long time, same way our weakened immunity power struggles and surrenders to the mighty germs - bacteria and viruses - present everywhere. Then how to protect our younger generation whose immunity system is still in the building stage from so much. The first answer that comes to mind is - cleanliness. Apart from that, I am going to list down some important tips:

  • Proper balanced diet and lots of water between meals. Avoid junk food early into kids' lives.
  • Maintain kids' hygiene. Put them into habit of washing hands after toilet use and before eating anything.
  • Proper breast-feeding of infants provides essential antibodies from mother's milk to the baby which improve immunity factor in baby's body.
  • Regular sleep time for infants and kids is approximately 14 hours and 10 hours minimum respectively.
  • Put children in exercising mindset.
  • Before going to sleep, everyone especially children must take 1 tablespoon of Dabur Chyawanprash with lukewarm milk to build stronger immunity.

Image source: https://www.liveveda.com/daburchyawanprash/

At a time when germs like bacteria and viruses are everywhere, your immunity system needs strengthening to be able to cope with various infections and diseases. Chyawanprash, a time-tested, age-old formulation has a number of herbs like Amla, known to be one of the best antioxidants, Giloy (Guduchi), known to have immuno-modulatory properties, and has more than 40 other natural ingredients. Dabur Chyawanprash has anti-oxidant properties and helps to strengthen your body's internal defence mechanism - the immune system - thereby protecting you from day to day infections such as cough, cold etc. 
  • Dabur is the first branded Chyawanprash in the country
  • It is the highest selling Chyawanprash with more than 60% market share
  • It is scientifically proven to provide 3 times immunity that helps fight virus, flu and infections
  • Dabur Chyawanprash has been consistently voted as the power brand of the country and is a trusted remedy for cough and cold for a majority of Indian household.
  • It has been endorsed by celebrities like Sreeram lagoo, Amitabh Bachchan, Vivek oberoi, Virender Sehwag, MS Dhoni and now Madhuri Dixit
  • Has a sugar free variant for calorie conscious people
  • It is also available in 2 new exciting flavours mango and mixed fruit flavor
  • It contains natural Ayurvedic ingredients, which are being consumed safely for ages.
Dabur Chyawanprash’s magnificent brew of Ayurvedic herbs strengthens the body’s natural defence mechanism by stimulating your Natural Killer cells. NK cells assist in fighting with virus and bacteria in your body, thus giving us increased immunity from various infections. Recent scientific studies conducted on Dabur Chyawanprash have proven its immunomodulatory and anti-allergic potential.

P.S. -- This post is in association with Happy Hours contest of IndiBlogger.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Free Shopping Fiesta #ShopQuikr

When BlogAdda announced this contest in association with Quikr, I was a little skeptical about applying for it. I wasn't sure that even if I get selected, would I really want to go through time and energy consuming barter process facilitated by one of India's leading sites meant for the purpose. Still I applied for the contest though quite unconvincingly and wasn't really looking forward or much excited to get selected or to buy as per T&Cs of the contest.

As for the festive season last week, I was visiting my hometown when I got a mail from BlogAdda that I had gotten selected for Quikr Free Shopping Fiesta. I don't why but I was exhilarated at first. And then I thought and thought deciding whether I should go for it and grab the opportunity presented or just let it go. Again I decided in favour of my eternal adventure spirit and downloaded the Quikr app a day before Diwali. The app was ready to use on my smartphone in few minutes. I logged in and started browsing through random ads at first in order to get an idea which all things are available at the Quikr platform.

The various filters to select from various categories ranging from Mobiles & Accessories to Electronics & Appliances, to Cars & Bikes, to Home & Lifestyle, and so on. This instantly delighted me as I could then choose the options in accordance with my needs and the Rs.5000 budget limit sanctioned to me. Outweighing most of the options I was left with Mobiles-Accessories-Tablets. Selecting that and sorting the price from low to high (within Rs.10,000 range), I started sifting through the ads but nothing could interest me much.

Next morning on the D-day (I mean, Diwali day :D ), I spent 3-4 hours at a stretch with my new crush, i.e., #ShopQuikr [:P]. I already own a Micromax Canvas HD whose earphones got damaged accidentally. So looking for the same, I found one person selling it for Rs.400. I connected with him on WhatsApp and let him knew about my interest in his offer via Quikr ad and we settled on Rs.200. The 4% of my mandatory allotted budget got utilized then and there, but it was still a mystery what I would be shopping using the remainder of the big chunk of money still left. I was disheartened a bit as I couldn't think of anything which I could purchase depending on my requirements and lifestyle and voila, once again the thought creeped up in my mind to let go of the contest, phew! :-/

Then during twilight, I encountered a Mentos moment which lit up my Dimag ki batti in sync with the Diwali diyas being alighted by my family members. I wondered why not purchase a second-hand tablet and gift it to my parents (they reside in Faridabad) who would be left all alone by themselves again as usual as I would leave for Bangalore after Diwali weekend and my younger brother to his college and hostel life. And the idea that struck was the Tablet bought through this fiesta could be then used by my progenitors for video calling via Skype on Airtel 3G internet connection, and it would be a great upgrade to our mutual voice calling conversations in effect at present.

And it was then I apprehended the grander practical application of Quikr service which wowed me as I opened my brother's laptop (and not the app on my phone, for quick and expanded search) and started looking for android tablets as can be seen here -->

Initially, the ads regarding Micromax Funbook tablets (several variants) interested me a little. I even messaged several of the sellers who had put up their ads, asking them if it's still available, but most of the items were already sold out. I only preferred this brand because of its super-awesome smartphone range, one HD model of which I am personally using since last 10 months with almost nil regrets. But I had no idea about other branded tablets, hence I took to Smartprix.com for comparison and Flipkart user reviews to familiarize myself with this section of the modern technology. After acquainting myself, I realized that Micromax tablets are not for me and I switched to Quikr again to find relevant ads, out of which 3-4 posts caught my undivided attention and got positive responses from the sellers too via Whatsapp and phone calls. After requesting the individual sellers for the model numbers of their to-be-sold items and technical specs and online comparisons and reviews, I shortlisted a few and bargained with them for the price.

The best price I could get close to my budget limit was the ad for Asus Fonepad 8GB+WiFi+3G being sold for Rs.6000. After an intensive and exhaustive Quikr search, I also found that same person has put up the ad for same model one month ago for sale at Rs.7,500. I guess the price was lowered due to not-so-positive response, maybe. I found my opportunity and contacted him. The seller told me that he had purchased it last year for Rs.14,500/- approx (bill attached in the pic below) and he needed the money urgent to pay his EMI in bulk for the latest tablet he has purchased just a couple of months back. After coming back to Bangalore after Diwali weekend, we set up a rendezvous meet and I with my cousin went to take a look at the tablet which was to become mine in a day, all thanks to BlogAdda and Quikr ;)

Meanwhile, I had already established the supremacy of Asus Fonepad online and when I met Mr. Rushikesh, the seller, he also gave me a go-through demo of the product on the spot. He also notified me of the one and only probable drawback that the tablet might need unnecessary service repair for reboot if its battery was allowed to drain completely carelessly and the tablet would then enter auto switch-off mode permanently as the same happened to his friend once who also owns another variant of the same model. Thereafter, we finalized the deal for Rs.5,500 ultimately.

Since the guy had to backup his data and pictures etc., he asked for one more day to deliver it to me with factory reset. Next day evening, I met him again and exchanged his tablet with my cash.

My experience with the tablet has been pretty awesome for last two days since it came into my hand. At this price, it's nothing less than a wondrous surprise to my friends and colleagues whom I told about the deal. And even I couldn't believe my luck when I found out that the tablet was accompanied with a screen guard as well as relatively new case cover.

Here's the tablet resting on my bed while I capture its pristine beauty on my digicam for this blogpost [:P]

Hopefully, my parents will also love to learn the use of this technology and the best of all, since I am getting married within next 3 months, this tablet will be a boon for the us as a couple, as my wife would then be able to video chat with me using this beautiful piece called Asus Fonepad whenever she would be away from me, either at her in-laws' place or my in-laws place in the initial months of our marriage.

It has been an unexpectedly wonderful journey for me to shop via Quikr for the Free Shopping Fiesta. I totally loved the experience and the great outcome... Achhe din aa gaye! ;)

P.S. -- This post is a part of Quikr.com activity at BlogAdda.com.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Book Review: Private India by Ashwin Sanghi & James Patterson


In Mumbai, seemingly unconnected people are dying, strangled in a chilling ritual and with strange objects carefully arranged with the corpses.

For Santosh Wagh, head of Private India, the Mumbai branch of the world's finest investigation agency, it's a race against time to stop the killer striking again.

In a city of over thirteen million, he'd have his work cut out at the best of times, but this case has him battling Mumbai's biggest gang lord and a godman who isn't all he seems.

And then he discovers there may be an even greater danger facing Private India. Hidden in the shadows is someone who could destroy the whole organisation - along with thousands of innocent Mumbai citizens...


I have become a huge fan of Ashwin Sanghi over the years as I got to read his ever-increasing intense mytho-mystery novels. I picked up this book with those same expectations, coupled with James Patterson's fame in the thriller world. But the book failed to create that same kind of magic which his previous book weaved through intricacies concerning Indian mythology and its greater impact in today's world. Well, that doesn't mean that his every book should put forward their plots in exact same manner, but I found the charm of India's top thriller writer missing in this novel.

Private India, it seems, has been written just for the sake of being written a thriller. It contains everything that a thriller reader requires out of one - good character development, solid twists and turns every few pages and as such it makes a decent thriller, the likes of come out in plethora every year. James Patterson got heavier on Ashwin Sanghi in this one as Santosh Wagh, head of Private's Indian branch, with his team of hi-intelli-tech people races with time to stop and solve the seemingly unrelated murders.

First thing... how in a country like India a private investigation agency, that too not Indian but international, could be allowed to investigate a case and not the police or crime branch or CID, that's a big, big question in the start itself. And when you put such a totally unbelievable setting in a book, the rest of the things never fully touch a chord of sense-of-belief deep down with the reader. And what makes a thriller a super-read is how it makes the aforesaid connection between the book and the one holding it and eyeing out every page, every sub-plot, every heck of a neck-bending twist or a subtle turn one after the another. And the book greatly fails in that regard.

That said, I shall also reveal that it's not such a bad book to pick up. Regular thriller lovers will like this book I am sure - for its Indian-ness, how Santosh Wagh along with his gifted team and their international boss Jack Morgan (who out of nowhere is showcased as carrying the whole burden on his head in the climax in such a way that it makes it hard to digest) connects the dots and dashes in pattern with Indian mythology - that's where we see our own favourite Ashwin Sanghi propping up in the nick of time to save this piece of work from falling out of grace. But that's so short and very less often that it's unable to propel it to one of his much-loved books in the genre. And all the effort falls mediocre.

Final say: Read this book but just as a regular thriller, uncoupled with heavy expectations attached with the guy who held nation's breath with his The Rozabal Line, Chanakya's Chant and The Krishna Key. It's not a master-craft but then every book can't be. A decent thriller - Private India - read it and put aside. You won't be able to savour it like the previous three masterpieces of one of most celebrated storytellers of our generation.

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

P.S. -- This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Monday, September 15, 2014


उतरा हूँ सूरज से 
तेरा तेज हरने को 
टपका हूँ चाँद से 
तेरी शीतलता वरने को,
                       तू है ही इतनी ख़ास!

रातों को निकला हूँ
नीरवता तेरी पढ़ने को
दिवस विचरा हूँ तेरी 
चंचलता पकड़ने को,
                              हर पल में तेरा आभास।

शामिल हूँ साँझों में 
तेरी कल्प उड़ानें लिए 
झिलमिल हूँ सितारों में बन
तेरे ज्वलंत रम्य के दीये,
                              आतिश है मेरा प्रयास।

साथी हूँ वात का 
तेरी सुगंध के सायों में 
हूँ बन्धु वारि का तेरे
ओष्ठ रसास्वादनों में,
                                    मेरा है आवरण तेरी श्वास।

तेरा मोह समझने को 
हूँ शिष्य जज़्बात का 
प्रेम तेरे में दमकने को 
हूँ अंकुर विश्वास का,
                                      तू मेरा संपूर्ण सत्व सारांश।।


Sunday, August 31, 2014

UniverCell pioneers to Sync digital experience

Soumya Menon, VP, Brand Strategy, UniverCell describes her Sync model somewhat like this - 

Sync is a new technology experience store we have created. Smart phones need a new kind of ecosystem in which customers can experience them. In our stores you will find different experience zones. These experience zones are not categorized according to the brands but according to the experiences they offer. It's a new concept.

Sync is more than just a store of latest gadgets and gizmos. It is a digital experience store where you don't just buy, you experience technology, you touch it, you interact with it, you live it before you own it. It's the home to latest digital trends, the coolest tech toys. It's new edge. It's edgy. It's personalized technology.

Housing the best brands, the latest in technological trends, it is a glimpse into our digital future. A future that's made of pixels and windows. And this is the window to experience it all - UniverCell.

UniverCell Sync commits to enrich our digital lifemanship in a number of ways.

There is   for the business consumer there is the work and play segment where one can be connected to work even at home; and a children’s exclusive zone called Junior Sync where kids can get a tablet pre-loaded with edutainment content — all this with a view to bringing a wholesome experience with personalized care to the consumer.

UniverCell, in its Sync concept, has introduced unique need-based accessory bundles to enable range selling.

Music Zone
The music zone with music phones, music accessories and apps paired together

Points to look out for an exclusive and enthralling music experience on your phone and for that good music accessories are a must.

The above pic depicts the Sync checklist for the multi-tasker who wants an overall great digital experience

Point & Shoot
The point and shoot for cell phone photography and selfie enthusiasts (in the recently opened stores). This section boasts of great picture accessories like pocket printer, etc. when bundled with your best picture quality phone give the picture enthusiasts a fulfilling and enriching experience.

Smartphone exclusive section

Tablet exclusive zone

UniverCell is differentiated by the value additions we intuitively create to make the customer’s life easy.

Introducing Sync Squad value added service- your 
personalized smart phone trainer

-This is a post purchase support at a 
customers’ doorstep 

-Helps a customer load and sync 
content from different devices

-Sync different devices like tv, laptop, 

Work & Play
This Zone is a mix of Productivity and Gaming. The best phones for work, loaded by the best productivity apps bring alive how a smartphone can really power up your life. Phablets and Tablets with exciting gaming apps lets you experience how you can play while you work. This zone also brings alive all kinds of accessories that takes multitasking to its absolute limit.

The bloggers and customers present at the UniverCell Bangalore on Sunday, 24th August 2014

P.S. --This post is a part of UniverCell Sync activity on Indiblogger.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Recreating my home

It's not an exaggeration when it's quoted that he four walls of our home are the silent witnesses to our laughter, cries, anxieties, and the celebrations. Each corner of our home has its own stories built in brick by brick. Therefore, I consider home decor as an emotional decision for me. I don't prefer any particular style for my home decor, it's generally Casual for me that works. And I would like to chose the following 3 items for the purpose:

1. Aapno Rajasthan Peacock Wall Mount with Hand Painted Work -- Regarded as a symbol of majestic beauty since time immemorial, the Peacock style is considered to be an ancient but elegant way to embellish a wall. This wall mount décor with antique finish with white embossed highlights is sure to add royal beauty to my home. It's crafted in wood and hand painted with beautiful enamel colours of blue, red and olive green, thus giving it a beautiful look. Both the front and top views look really great.

2. Aapno Rajasthan Lantern -- Looks mesmerizing. With 23 K gold embossed lantern with Meenakari and Kundan work, it's a masterpiece in marble! It's beautifully adorned with subtle stokes of gold work to add brilliance to my home decor. This lantern comes a with light attachment though I would have to purchase the light bulb to ornate it to produce light.

3. Style Homez Football Bean Bag Purple & Red -- Although not a big Fifa fan, I really like this piece of bean bag as I am sure it's eye-pleasing as well it will suit my home and bedroom right away. The twin colors contrasting each other make it the most wonderful combinations in bean bags I have ever laid my eyes upon. The XXL size is a perfect fit to have ultimate resting fun on this decor piece of my home.

P.S. -- This post is a part of Makemyhome activity at BlogAdda.com

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Kotak Jifi

post coming tonight...

P.S. -- To know more, don't forget to visit http://www.kotakjifi.com

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Inspire a Fragrance!

post coming soon...


What the Blackkkk!!!

Here continues the list started in my previous post regarding the utmost black things I love or yearn for:

(1) Black Hole: One thing which has always fascinated me since childhood when we learnt about it in science class in 9th standard is Black Hole. Although I had a vague idea about Supernova from my favourite tv series Captain Vyom, but when I got to know about the whole physical phenomenon I was spellbound. I have always been much intrigued by Astronomy and Space mysteries which keep unravelling newer every week.

(2) Black shoes: I am fond of formal black shoes. It's just the most preferred colour which looks your feet elegant when worn. So many sleek and sexy designs available with every shoe manufacturer and international brands, but the best as well as economical black shoes I like are Liberty Gliders Men's Black Formal Shoes. The amount of relaxation and comfort it provides to the soles of my feet is just amazing.

(3) Mobile phone: I equally like both the white as well as black editions of smartphones. Thus, I bough myself Micromax Canvas HD A116i (white) and got my fiancee Micromax Canvas 2.2 A114 (black). And I must say, although the user interface of my phone is better but the slim design and sleek contours of my fiancee's phone can take away anyone's breath for second. Before I had any smartphone, i.e., before December 2013, all my feature phones had been black Nokia ones. Black just seems to be a natural colour for mobile phones.

(4) Black aviators: When it comes to aviators, the name most easily comes to mind is Ray Ban. The darn uber cool look one gets while flashing black aviators over his eyes gives a sense of machoism over and out. Have yet to buy one of these, damn!

P.S. -- This post is a part of #WhatTheBlack activity at BlogAdda.com

What the Black!

When BlogAdda says 'A lot of the ​best things in this world are black', I agree. In fact, here I am going to list down my favourite black things.

(1) IBM Thinkpad: Purchased during my college sophomore year, i.e., 2006 and utilized lavishly till 2011, this ultimate black piece of computing now lies obsolete in one corner of my home, but still preserved like a valuable antiquity. ThinkPad models are revered by technology enthusiasts, collectors and power users due to their durable design, relatively high resale value, and abundance of aftermarket replacement parts. ThinkPad laptops have been used in space, and was by 2003 the only laptop certified for use on the International Space Station. The ThinkPad has introduced innovations, including the TrackPoint, ThinkLight, Active Protection System, roll cage design to minimize motherboard flex, stainless steel hinges, a biometric fingerprint reader, Client Security Solution, ThinkVantage Technologies, and drain holes to help reduce damage to the keyboard and components from accidental spillage. A motherload of all these classic innovations in my prudent hands transformed me into what I am now.

IBM Thinkpad R60 

(2) iPad Black: This is one thing I don't have yet and possess a sinful desire for it (not in the literal sense). iPad and the Smart Cover (intense) black make a really smart pair. Magnets inside each align for a precise fit. A soft microfibre lining keeps the display clean. When you open the Smart Cover, iPad wakes up. Close it and iPad goes to sleep. Fold it, and you have a stand for reading, viewing or typing. And the Smart Cover tops off your iPad with a touch of colour - the intense and brooding sensational black.

(3) My fiancee's hairdo:

The rich and swanky free-flowing black mane of my to-be just makes my world go crazy. A special poem from my heart I dedicated earlier to my Valentine [:-*]

Lady of My Dreams

Blissful face, and eyes dreamy
blessed nature, tresses dispersed
A single view of yours for me
is a vista of the whole universe

Gracious grin and divine smile
charming tone of the seductive voice
Your walk stretches heaven's guile
not-being-in-your-awe ain't a choice 

In your shadow, my spirit gleams
takes over me an aura smothered
If you ain't here, lady of my dreams! 
living a lie, I don't bother 

Your existence solely in thoughts even
maketh my day glimmer;
To meet you on earth or in heaven 
awaiting that moment for ever 


(4) Mercedes S-class Black edition:

A rare ingenuity - the epitome of luxury and impudence, Mercedes S-class Black edition gives your eyes a classic visual treat.

P.S. -- This post is a part of #WhatTheBlack activity at BlogAdda.com

Monday, July 21, 2014

Zest III

Here continues the third list in continuation with the two already posted regarding what keeps up the zest in my willingness to live extraordinarily, as ordinary is just not for me...

(1) Lost - TV series: I credit it to be the best thing ever happened to me. That one late night of endlessly searching college LAN to look for some movies to watch when I discovered some episodes of Lost shared by someone's pc. That was the day my life changed... for the better. LOST has everything - the purest form of adventure, mystery, suspense, human behaviour, hope; in other words, Life in every moment of it, the graciousness of which can be implied by the fact that till today, I have watched whole 6 seasons of this series ten times at the least. This zesty point of my life can only be understood after watching this magnum corpus called LOST.

(2) Sleep: The best tension reliever and natural stress inhibitor, sleep I love to. My personal record of continuous sleeping is 19 hours at a stretch. The foremost yet underrated first love of every person, sleeping is the only primary ingredient which keeps the zest justified in one's day to day life.

(3) Astronomy: Ah! Those stargazing nights of summer sleeping on the roof and looking for the trail of constellations, satellites and ISS. My primary hobby which has been now propelled into lifetime ambition of penning down a top class Space fiction novel, as I am directly inspired by Jules Verne and Carl Sagan.

(4) Making others happy: The best zest booster. I feel double happier than the person whom I try and get success in making him/her smile and bring out a good laugh.

(5) Sunrise Valley, Wayanad: The awesome natural place I have visited till now. Serene, calm, composed yet deep view of this valley is imprinted in my mind and whenever I recall the moment of my visit there, it practically calms me to a ground level as then I get to admire that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.

P.S. -- This post is a part of the #ZestUpYourLife activity in association with TATA Zest and BlogAdda.com

Zest of my life II

Following continues my Zest for Life points:

(1) Ghar ke kadhi-chawal: Everyone has atleast one culinary item which they like cooked and deliciously savored at home. In this respect, my favourite dish is home made Kadhi-Chawal. Whenever I visit home, this is one dish my mother never forgets to specially prepare for and serve to me.

(2) Cold coffee: I am not much into junk beverages, though I like indigenous drinks like nimbu pani, coconut water, lassi. But cold coffee is just one exception which is not Indian. It soothes me in a manner no other food item can, though I must admit the craving is never satiated and I always want more of it.

(3) Blogging contests: Well, these new additions to my online life have certainly developed into a special zest for my offline life. Always on the prowl to look out for interesting blogging contests at BlogAdda or other similar websites, what interests me most is the complimentary vouchers for each posts of ours. Well, this has certainly become an exciting avenue in recent years for me.

(4) Music: There is nothing better than music to alleviate and ascertain whatever you are feeling inside. Most of the times even when I feel numb, I never fail to appreciate the corresponding music as soon I play it. Good music is the best zesty thing that can happen to anyone.

(5) Movies: The mass entertainer plays a deep role in the pumping of the individual. Inspirational movies always leave filled with determination and conviction to better play out my life and to pursue what I want to achieve. It maintains my zest on regular basis that I just have to make good use of time and opportunities besides enjoying every moment living on the Earth.

To maintain zest in life, these are just a few points apart from the ones already mentioned in my previous blog post.

P.S. -- This post is a part of the #ZestUpYourLife activity in association with TATA Zest and BlogAdda.com

Super zest of my life

Following are a few of the things which add great zest to my short life on the Earth:

(1) Badminton: Everyone has his own way of meditation; mine is Badminton.
Playing badminton is the only time when I am utterly focussed on one and only one task. Rest of my time, if not sleeping, is spent multi-tasking. Badminton calms my external being and soothes my internal being, thus bringing the best amalgamation of myself.

(2) Cycling: One can understand this zest only when he or she has cruised the wind at a speed of >30 km/h bare-faced. I have loved bicycling since my school days, making way through tar roads without holding handles in the morning time when rush is less, half-pedalling with caution on water-flooded roads during monsoon only to reach my intermediate school 13 kms away from home. But since then, I could savor cycling during college holidays when I used to come back home and visit old friends cycling all the way to different parts of the city. Unable to hide my passion for any long, recently I purchased my first mountain bike (MTB) Scott Aspect 640 on which I have completed more than 1000 km till now. And the latest fever on my mind is to become a Randonneur by completing 200 km in 13.5 hours. Thumbs up!

(3) Reading novels: This is one ultimate pastime when I don't want to do anything else. Just lie down in my cot and go on savoring wonderful lives, different worlds, amazing personalities infinitude. I have finished reading more than 100 novels as of now and have now also become an occasional book reviewer.

(4) Adventure: Now if there's one word which describes me to most extent, it's Adventurous. Every breath I take if devoid of adventure feels heavy and dull. Being adventurous imparts liveliness to the moments present as well as those when it pops up as a breathtaking memory.

(5) Poetry: The window of one's soul, poetry completes my emotional being by pouring my eternal or situational feelings into rhyming words. I just don't feel relaxed at the night unless I create atleast a two-liner before retiring to my beautiful sleep.

मेरी कविता क्या है! ... सच्चाई के दो मोती हैं
एक खुशी की परछाईं का, एक दर्द की गहराई का
विकास प्रताप सिंह 'हितैषी'

P.S. -- This post is a part of the #ZestUpYourLife activity in association with TATA Zest and BlogAdda.com

Friday, July 18, 2014

Celebrity Wedding Planner

Oh well, it seems I have been appointed as the wedding planner of my favourite celebrity, Amrita Rao. She has been my favourite actress since her movie Vivah in which she perfectly depicted the portrayal of an Indian bride.

writing the full post by tonight...

P.S. -- This blogpost is for a contest at Baggout.com.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Skip to Antarctica

Commercial overflights to Antarctica are limited - a handful of operators offer flights from Sydney, Melbourne, and Punta Arenas. These flights typically visit Antarctica and spend several hours flying over the ice. Passengers in most seating classes rotate their position in the row halfway into the flight, to give everyone a window or one-over-from-window seat for half of the time.

SkyScanner will fund my forward and return trip via one lakh credits available. And rest I will take care of. I would like to visit:

South Pole — needs no introduction

Southern pole of inaccessibility — the furthest place in Antarctica from the Southern Sea (in other words the hardest place to get to in the world), home to an abandoned Soviet station, which although covered by snow, still bears a visible gold Lenin bust sprouting from the snow and facing Moscow (if you can find a way inside the building, then there's a golden visitor book to sign)

Mount Erebus — world's southernmost active volcano, on Ross Island right next to Mount Terror!

Anver Island / Anvord Bay — if any part of Antarctica is "touristy," this is it, home to Palmer Station (U.S.), the museum at Port Lockroy, Cuverville Island, and the only two cruise ship stops on the continent: Paradise Bay and Neko Harbor

South Shetland Islands — another set of major attractions on the Antarctic Peninsula cruise ship circuit, including: penguins and hot springs at Deception Island, Hannah Point, Half Moon Island, Aitcho Islands, Artigas Base (Uruguay), and the ever friendly Polish researchers at Arctowski Station

McMurdo Sound — McMurdo Station (USA) and Scott Base (New Zealand) on the mainland near Ross Island

Mawson's Huts — the small encampment of Sir Douglas Mawson's ill-fated Australian Antarctic Expedition, of which he was the sole survivor, at Cape Denison, Commonwealth Bay

P.S. -- This post is a part of Skyscanner travel wizard activity at BlogAdda.com

Bermuda mystery trip

Bermuda is exactly like how all Caribbean islands should be – attractive pastel coloured buildings, beautiful beaches and a fabulous climate. But in fact, Bermuda isn’t anywhere near the Caribbean, it’s actually way out in the Atlantic. Here's my imaginative mystery trip along with my buddy SkyScanner.

SkyScanner takes me to L.F. Wade International Airport, Hamilton, Bermuda in just Rs. 55,000/- forward and return.

The island is one of the points of the so called Bermuda triangle, and many people still think that the waters surrounding the island are filled with mysteries. Perhaps that is why there are so many shipwrecks surrounding the island. Once reached I hire a speedboat there. Loading everyday essentials on it I then embark onto the Bermuda triangle waters with an air of mystery.

Flight 19, made up of a fleet of five Navy torpedo bombers training over the Atlantic in December 1945, disappeared halfway through their training exercise more than 100 miles off the cost of Florida. A search and rescue plane sent to look for them also disappeared. A slew of planes disappeared in the area known as the Bermuda triangle between the years of 1945 and 1970, including one plane with 32 people on board that was never found.

My aim would be to look for anything related to these flights so as to solve the ongoing mysteries. On my PDA, I will keep SkyScanner app ON so that if I see/find something or get in trouble anywhere enroute, I can ask for helicopters through its app to save my soul. If I get to discover anything there, then it would be a great thing for me and great news for the world. If I don't I would have taken the solo Atlantic tour by myself at the least, and will then fly to my home with the remaining due credits.

P.S. - This is just my far imaginative cry to get out of the worldly duties.

P.P.S. -- This post is a part of Skyscanner travel wizard activity at BlogAdda.com

Grand ride to Canyon

Me: Air ride over Grand Canyon. SkyScanner, please help me!

Skyscanner: We allow to find the cheapest flights to Grand Canyon Pulliam Field (from hundreds of airlines including Delta, United, American Airlines) without having to enter specific dates or even destinations, making it the best place to find cheap flights for this trip.


The Grand Canyon is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in the United States in the state of Arizona. It is contained within and managed by Grand Canyon National Park, the Hualapai Tribal Nation, and the Havasupai Tribe.

The Grand Canyon is 446 km long, up to 29 km wide and attains a depth of over a mile (6,000 feet or 1,800 meters). Nearly two billion years of Earth's geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted.

With the help of SkyScanner, I reached Peach Springs Grand Canyon West via Las Vegas airport which is just 120 km away, in around Rs. 55,000. There I stayed in a budget hotel at Grand Canyon National Park hotel under Rs. 8,000.

I experienced more than a dozen of the Grand Canyon's most treasured landmarks during a fascinating Grand Canyon airplane tour hosted by Papillon Helicopters, America's award-winning sightseeing experts. Depart from the Grand Canyon National Park Airport at the South Rim aboard a luxury Vistaliner, a sightseeing aircraft equipped with specially-designed windows that offer unobstructed scenic views. In-flight narration reveals fascinating facts and lore about the awe-inspiring aerial views.

Zuni Point was recognizable because of its impressive red canyon and cacti-carpeted plateau, as was the Zuni Corridor, where the Little Colorado joins the Colorado River. We flew near the Desert View Watchtower, a replica of a prehistoric Indian tower, and the Painted Desert with its rainbow-colored terrain and impressive Petrified Forest. There's fascinating historical information from our narrator as we crossed over the Navajo Indian Reservation and fly toward Temple Butte, the Grand Canyon's geologic mystery. Your Grand Canyon airplane tour takes you over the grandeur of the Canyon's North Rim before moving on to the Kaibab Plateau and the Kaibab National Forest. In the Paiute Indian language, Kaibab has the intriguing meaning: "mountain lying down."

Before our airplane tour flight returned to the South Rim, we visited Imperial Point, the highest viewing area in the Grand Canyon, and Dragon Corridor, the widest, deepest, and most open point. In all, this grand tour was one of the most rewarding and memorable hours spent in America's natural wonder. All thanks to SkyScanner classic search and booking options.

P.S. -- This post is a part of Skyscanner travel wizard activity at BlogAdda.com

SkyScanner 2

It's my childhood dream to visit Mauritius some day. Now the opportunity has presented itself in a fantastic manner by SkyScanner. To and fro ticket for Mauritius, as verified at SkyScanner, will cost me around Rs.40,000 out of available one lakh credits if I chose to fly by Air Mauritius.

My staying point would be --> Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel - Port Louis (Mauritius)

Five minutes from the financial and business centre of the Mauritian capital, Port Louis, the Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel is ideally situated on the Caudan Peninsula within easy reach of the Pailles International Convention Centre and the Cybercity. It will cost me around Rs 30,000 credits.

Renowned for its traditional elegance, distinguished service, luxurious comfort, high profile conferences and world class cosmopolitan cuisine, the Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel has established itself as the leading business hotel in Mauritius. Located in Port Louis in the heart of the Caudan Waterfront, the 5 star hotel is adjacent to the financial and business centre of the city and close to convention centres, ambassies and major tourist spots.

Once accommodated, using rest of the credits, first I will visit the Grand Bay, which was the first area of the island to fully experience the tourist boom. A shopping and leisure paradise, Grand Bay is also where Mauritians go when they want a fun-filled night out (restaurants, bars and discos). Recently renovated, La Cuvette beach is well worth a visit.

Next I will go to Blue Bay — Bluest water and most amazing white sand beaches you will ever see... Take the trip across the island from Port Louis and see what this quiet place has to offer. Very busy with the locals on weekends. Try to go during the week. Glass bottom boats are an excellent outing. Part of Blue Bay has been designated a Marine Park, and the snorkeling trips by boat to this area, offered for sale on the main public beach, are well worth trying.

Flic en Flac — A local fishing village that has expanded to become a popular destination for tourists and expats. Flic en Flac has a very long white sandy beach stretching down the west coast to Tamarin which is enjoyed by both locals and tourists. Scuba Diving is a major attraction here with excellent diving just a few minutes from the beach. There is a reasonable supermarket and a variety of accommodations and restaurants to suit all budgets.

Then, I will go to get fascinated by Seven-Coloured Earth at Chamarel — A winding road leads from Case Noyale village to the coloured earths of Chamarel: an undulating landscape of different and contrasting shades of colours. The different shades of blue, green, red and yellow are apparently the result of the erosion of the volcanic ash. The neighbouring waterfalls of Chamarel rise from the moors and the native plant life. The site possesses a rare beauty. An adventure park has also recently been opened at Chamarel.

Last but not the least, what's the trip worth for is Scuba diving — When you dive in Mauritius you can explore coral reefs, multi-colored marine life, ship wrecks dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries, or some ships sunk more recently which create beautiful artificial reefs. There are numerous dive sites strewn all around the island. Mauritius is almost completely encircled by a barrier coral reef which is home to many sponges, sea anemones and a variety of brightly colored fish such as Damselfish, Trumpet fish, Boxfish and clown fish, as well as the orange Mauritian scorpionfish. Most of the dive sites are located on the west coast around Flic-en-Flac or in the north, at Trou aux Biches or at the Northern Islands.
Watch dolphins — Up-close in their natural habitat off the western coast (Tamarin) of the island.

I am sure travel assistance from SkyScanner will bring me lots of joy and budgeted holiday there.

P.S. -- This post is a part of Skyscanner travel wizard activity at BlogAdda.com

Mardaani 5

She was told that her place is somewhere else. That she should board the Ladies Only coach of the Delhi Metro then nobody would bother staring at her, and shouldn't ask the people sitting at Ladies' seat in general coach to vacant seat for her.

She shouted it's not his verdict where to stand, what to wear, and which coach to board as their present coach wasn't specifically labelled Gents Only. So, she could enter it without any other thought. It's him who should watch himself. ..it is wrong of people to complain that there shouldn't be reserved seats for ladies in other compartments when one is fully reserved for them. The reserved seats (2 in number) are in total for ladies, old people or people who need it more than you (pregnant or disabled people).

Most of us have seen people telling off girls who ask for seats in a compartment over bearing with men to go to their reserved compartment. No one willingly boards the general compartment which is full of prying eyes.
Those reserved seats signs were placed at the beginning when the metro started. Nobody has purposely put them even after there is an entire coach reserved now. If feasible, extend help, otherwise, don't. I have seen all the girls who board the general compartment always prefer to stand. Nobody has their eyes on those two seats.

I don't know her name but she was a Mardaani to fend off those men sitting on ladies' seat. Every girl should do the same in such condition - fight for what's right and what's their right. I know they can't improve the world by this but it makes a difference when a girl perceived weak shows her power in public so that no one gets to tell her again what she should do and what not... Hail Mardaanis!

P.S. -- This is written as a part of I am Mardaani activity exclusively at BlogAdda.com for Indian Bloggers.

Mardaani 4

What do you do when someone passes lewd comments to you?! Do you just listen praying inside and consoling yourself that he will stop in sometime, or do you take avatar of a mardaani and teach the errant a lesson?

He took offence when she refused to give her number, after a horror trip laced with lewd comments and inappropriate touching.

A 20-year-old girl was molested by an errant autorickshaw driver at a busy junction in the city. Shivani was returning to her PG in the evening. She hired an auto but was forced to ask the autorickshaw driver  to stop the vehicle midway and get down because she was fed up with the driver's misbehaviour throughout the journey. The last straw for Shruti was when the abusive driver asked for her mobile number.

But her tormentor didn't stop at that. He then started driving recklessly. Only when she threatened to report him to police did he stop the vehicle. She paid him the meter fare and had already got into another autorickshaw parked near the traffic light when he followed her and molested her. Not only did he touch her inappropriately while she was getting out of his auto, he also followed her on foot and pulled her hand. He also threatened the driver of another autorickshaw hired by Shivani to which the intimidated second driver even asked her to leave his vehicle. The abusive driver then pulled at her clothes.

Shruti just stood there frozen in horror for few minutes until she gathered the courage to slap the auto driver and called the police immediately about the situation and her location. A few people even came over to where she stood but on seeing the abusive driver, kept quiet but tried to summon a few autorickshaws which did not respond. But none of them had the guts to come forward and help a lady in distress. None of them is worthy of being called a Mard, but the victim showed how one should help themselves in such situations by waking the Mardaani inside them.

P.S. -- This is written as a part of I am Mardaani activity exclusively at BlogAdda.com for Indian Bloggers.

The village mardaani

This incident happened in my village few months back concerning my own extended family. As two of my nephews, aged around 8 years, went for nature's call as usual to fields some distance away from home, two unknown drunks grabbed them with their hands and started forcibly taking them with themselves. Amid feeble protests, one of them was able to free his hand and ran back to our village house. There he found only her mother and grandmother as all the male heads of the family either had gone to the plough-fields or on their respective jobs.

The boy, Vivek, explained while huffing and puffing everything to her aunt. Sumit was the name of the boy the goons still had with them. Her mother, my cousin sister-in-law, hearing that took the lathi used to drive farming animals with her and ran with the boy to the site. Few meters ahead they heard the cries of Sumit and charged in that direction. As soon as her son came into her view struggling with the goons who were slapping him brutally and mercilessly, power of Maa Durga soared in her veins. Running as if possessed she started raining knocks with the thick stick she brought with her and shouting at loud voice. The resulting commotion might lead to other people coming there and holding and turning them over to police, thinking they left the boy and tried fleeing the scene.

At this juncture of time, since my sis-in-law couldn't catch up with them running, she picked up and rained at them large pieces of bricks and dry mud lying nearby. A half-brick luckily and powerfully knocked one of the men's head and he tripped down. Till then, few people had gathered who grabbed the fallen, beat him and turned him over to the police. My cousin sis-in-law proved no less than a mardaani when it came to the safety of her children, as every mother would have at that time.

P.S. -- This is written as a part of I am Mardaani activity exclusively at BlogAdda.com for Indian Bloggers.

Mardaani 2: Lady Conductor

Do you know that Bangalore BMTC buses employs female conductors too? I don't think there are many cities in India where we see such a gender equality with respect to employment either in govt. or private sector. So last week when I was coming back from Sparsh Hospital towards Silk Board via Electronic City passing after my 2nd followup post tendon repair surgery in my left wrist, I boarded a Volvo and the bus started running in its intended direction.

On the 3rd stop after my boarding, as the bus was coming to a halt for any passengers to board, I saw a Kannada middle-aged couple fighting, the man was pulling her wife to get to board the bus while the woman didn't want to enter it. Since they were ranting in Kannada, I could not understand much but as per the situation it seemed the man wanted to travel in the Volvo but his wife wasn't willing to; maybe because of the skyrocket fare of this service. Volvo charges Rs 70 for around 15 km; while a regular BMTC bus charges Rs 25 in comparison.

After half a minute or so witnessing their fight as the man had entered the bus and was pulling her wife, the lady conductor of our Volvo charged towards them and shouted at the man. She snatched the wife's husband and asked him to board the bus alone if he wanted to or let his wife willingly board too. She said, as much as I could decipher, that if the man's wife didn't want to come in, then either he should get out or travel alone. Blasting these words to the guy, she asked the driver to close the automatic/hydraulic gates and start the bus. Seeing the gates closing, the man then went down blabbering.

I don't know whether she did correct by interfering in the couple's trouble, but she did it as a Mardaani and this post is dedicated to her. 

P.S. -- This is written as a part of I am Mardaani activity exclusively at BlogAdda.com for Indian Bloggers.

Awesome Update: 

Rani Mukerji recommends my post

Monday, July 7, 2014

Scanning not only skies but Space

After so many stressed and over-worked weeks, even Siri, his virtual housemate, has spotted the signs of burnout too. Without any instructions from him, she begins to compile journey possibilities that she knows he’ll love.

"Perhaps a trip to see Northern Lights, one of the seven wonders of the Natural world?" She adds, "Or Snorkelling at Khao Lak island waters in Thailand."

"Maybe something a bit more relaxing," he replies. "Siri, open SkyScanner for me. I heard there are rewarding a few with 1 lakh credit points to plan our travel. Let's see what destinations it has got for me, shall we?!"

Over the next 20 minutes, SkyScanner directs a virtual stream onto his third-generation Glyph TV, a curated cascade of inspiring images, words, sounds and prices calculated to get his travel juices flowing.

Finally, a stunning image of one of the new space hotels in low orbit over the heart-stoppingly beautiful blue-green curvature of the Earth makes him sit up and take notice.

"Now we’re talking," he murmurs. "Book me a seat, Siri. But don't forget to check out the budgeted prices for travel and hotel stay through SkyScanner. Or else, I'll be doomed mate'y."

To travel is to live a dream, but to plan a travel is a nightmare, for there are many checkpoints before you decide to jump on a bus/flight/train and go to your favourite location! The number of sites and portals that one has to look through to get the cheapest airfare, best hotel booking deals, car hires, bus bookings, etc. is overwhelming enough to dampen your travel spirit. Won’t you like if an expert came to your rescue and made all your travel planning easy before transporting you to your land of dreams? Skyscanner – the travel wizard – will make seem all the bookings and planning an itinerary a breeze.

P.S. -- This post is a part of Skyscanner travel wizard activity at BlogAdda.com

Mardaani @ NZM rly stn

Around a week before, i.e., Sunday 29th June, I was at Nizamuddin railway station (Delhi) at 6:15 a.m. as Rajdhani Express had dropped me there after 1.5 days of journey. From there I had to travel to Ballabgarh (Faridabad) via local EMU train with just Rs.10 fare with virtually no TTE/TC checking enroute or at the destination. But never travelling without ticket, I approached the ticket counter at the first floor of Station on the side of Sarai Kale Khan and was shocked and numbed seeing the scene there. Shocked because the queues were so long at each of the counters and numbed because my left hand was (and still is) under plaster due to an adventure bicycling crash.

Reluctantly I stepped forward and joined the last queue behind almost 50 people when I saw that that counter was meant solely for ladies, senior citizens, and handicapped people. Just after a few minutes a hoard of ladies, which was entertaining itself at the adjacent ticket counter till now, on suggestion of ticket seller jumped towards mine and instead of forming any line everyone started struggling to get tickets for herself resulting in a big chaos which a policemen brought under some control thus enabling even male passengers already in the queue to buy tickets with slightly difficulty.

In that untamed and roaring bunch of females, there I saw a lady around my age who was constantly nudging the chaos controlling policeman reminding him that the counter is a ladies special one and he should ask men to go to the other counters instead of forcing women to either form a line or not get a ticket strictly. After 3 quarters of an hour when I came somewhat nearer to the ticket window (and was certain that I have missed two of my locals by then), she even shouted at a bunch of us and then suddenly asking me at only a few levels below top of her voice if I was a senior citizen that I am in the queue. I had to show her my left plastered hand and pointed her to the Handicapped word written on the window to ward off the lioness off me.

I write her here as a Mardaani for her fearlessness and sheer courage to do what's right and even fighting people and the policeman to remind him to do his duty properly, all that while making a proper queue of ladies side by side. I was amazed then and there and thought of giving few words of commendation as soon as we get free of the queue but couldn't find her after coming out onto the flyover over the platforms. Nonetheless, I salute her as a Mardaani today by writing this post in memory of her courageous act.

P.S. -- This is written as a part of I am Mardaani activity exclusively at BlogAdda.com for Indian Bloggers.

Link to buy my new poetry anthology

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Vendor's righteousness

A vegetable vendor forced me to come out of my comfortable cooler room by knocking at the main door at intervals and asked to call out my mother. It was a really hot summer day even at 4 pm. As soon as my mother came out, the vendor, middle-aged on the lower side, handed her a Rs. 500 note while informing her that the note was lying just a few yards in front of her house and theorized that maybe some walkerby had dropped it without knowledge.

Since I was standing in the shade of the pomegranate tree in our home and listening to the whole matter, I asked him to keep it with himself as we certainly can't find the rightful heir to the fallen money. Who dropped it, when, whether he/she will come to know of it, will anyone return finding it, or would he be gone too far away to even be able to do anything about it rather than curse himself / herself... these were the questions quickly discussed while two more of the neighborhood aunties too joined in the discussion. All of them were in favour of the vendor keeping the money with him because he was very poor.

But he was too stubborn to listen to anyone in this regard. In those minutes of life, I encountered what principles meant to someone in practicality. The vendor won at last due to his steely righteousness as he convinced us to keep the money with my mother and wait till evening the next day if we encounter anyone looking for the found sum of money, otherwise he will come for his regular round in a few days and then he will keep the money, everyone decided.

After only an hour later when we children were gathering in the ground nearby to play cricket, we found a person who was walking in random steps with his head down searching for something. Without any delay I went to him and confirmed his fear and returned the note to him kept in my home. The vendor had a sense of fulfillment reflected in his smile when he got to know about it later. Since then he became a regular vegetable vendor in our neighborhood but vanished a few years after with no reappearance but not without being a role model to us children of the colony.

P.S. -- I am writing about #MyRoleModel as a part of the activity by Gillette India in association with BlogAdda.com.