Friday, October 31, 2014

What do you do when you're given ₹ 5000 to shop for free?

In this era of online retail, it is such a huge relief to be able to shop for all kinds of necessities, no matter how big or small, from the comfort of one's home. Given Delhi's extreme weather conditions, rarely interspersed with pleasant days, going out for shopping has become such a Herculean task that I absolutely abhor setting foot in crowded markets and prefer buying all I possibly can from the Internet. Now there is quite a lot of competition in the online buy-and-sell market, but I believe Quikr.com is fast outclassing its competitors to become the ultimate one-stop shop for anything and everything you wish to buy or sell, from used stuff lying around your home to that car or pet animal, right up to commercial products that you own a business of.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Book Review: Wings of Courage by Sanjay Kumar

It's been a while since I wrote on the blog. Let not that make you believe I haven't missed writing. It's just that, whenever I had a story idea in mind, my internet went for toss. And when the internet was working, I'd no longer have the time or inspiration to write. I had all but given up on this blog, when along came motivation in the form of a book review that I lunged at to break free of this spell of literary inactivity. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Humans of India - Show some humanity towards the elderly, could you?

It was a cold winter night in the middle of January. I'd been trying to settle into an early-to-bed-early-to-rise regime for some time and my body clock was taking its own sweet time falling out of the erstwhile awake-all-night pattern. So despite having been utterly exhausted and lying in bed for well over two hours, I was wide awake when, at four in the morning, I heard a shuffling sound in the room. I opened my eyes and looked up somewhat cautiously. I couldn't see anything at first, but as my eyes gradually adjusted to the faint light of the AllOut, something came into view. A tall white figure was roaming around tentatively. For a couple of seconds it loomed large over my head like a wraith. My blood ran cold. I stayed as still as I could under the blanket, my eyes fixed on the figure all the time. It seemed to have lost its sense of direction; I heard it bumping into pieces of furniture twice before disappearing behind the curtain into the lobby.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

For teeth that sparkle White, try the power of Black.

The last week was full of fanfare and excitement thanks to BlogAdda and their #WhatTheBlack campaign that unfolded one teeny little hint at a time. It all started with an e-mail in my inbox that said I had been selected for the activity as part of which I'll receive one never-seen-before item at my doorstep for each of four days starting 31st July. Each item was to be a hint to help unravel what the final day (the 5th) would bring to my door. Needless to say, I was instantly intrigued and stirred out of my self-imposed moratorium from social media and blogging.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The top 5 things on my #WHATTHEBLACK List

BlogAdda has come up with the perfect contest theme for me to write about. #WHATTHEBLACK ! I have always had a special connect with the colour black. There was a time when my wardrobe was completely black. I always liked the mystery and elegance that anything black exudes. Over the years however I've come to realize how much the colour black has affected my personality and thoughts. I've since shifted on to a more colourful and vibrant attire and choice of colours in everything, but that irresistible appeal of Black remains.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Goa Diaries - III

It's been four months since the Goa sojourn, and yet the tiniest of details are as fresh in my mind as if it were just last week that I was lounging on Baina beach. Over the years I've been on trips and holidays to different parts of the country, with everything planned and all things in place, yet somehow I have come back disappointed and not very rejuvenated from some of those trips. This one, however, was a class apart. The beautiful weather, the sun and the rain, the sands and the sea, coco-palms and the cool breeze - they don't seem ready to leave my thoughts as yet.

Monday, June 2, 2014

My first blog Award - better late than never!

I am a bad, bad person. Really bad. Because ages and ages ago (in March last year, to be a little more precise), a pretty (and?) sweet fellow blogger Priya Nain nominated me for the Liebster Award on her blog here. Thank you so much, Priya, for the honour. It was a great feeling to know you'd been following my blog and considered me worthy for the nomination.


Monday, May 26, 2014

Tech Review: State.com

Rising above the clout of social networking sites like Facebook, Google+, Myspace and the likes, a new media platform is currently creating silent waves in the deep ocean that our social media community is. It is being launched in India for the first time and a select few bloggers have been given the opportunity to join it, experience it and review it. I'm happily one of those few. :D

So cutting directly to the chase, State.com is a new media platform that changes the way you use social media to state your opinion. It focuses on your opinion and helps you connect to like-minded people based on similar opinions on things. It gives no importance to the number of friends in your friend list or the amounts of likes you get. It has a simple logic - you state your opinions on the platform on anything and everything under the sun that means something to you. It could be a gummy bear candy, a political coup or a form of sports, you may state your opinions on any topic just by clicking on the 'STATE' button at the top of the screen, selecting appropriate word(s) for it and making a comment underneath. It is as simple as that to state an opinion, no matter how trivial or how vital. Even if you don't find a topic that you want to opine on, you can simply create a new topic and let others state their opinions on it.

Book Review: Far Beyond the Dead End - Saikat Baksi

After a long time I have finally come around to reading novels again. I recently started reading Nine Lives by William Dalrymple, but midway through it I received the book 'Far Beyond The Dead End' by the author Saikat Baksi. I was apprehensive about taking it up, given my self-imposed sabbatical from book reviews for a long time. But the theme of the book compelled me to give it a chance. And I read it in one go - literally.

Saikat Baksi's fourth novel, Far Beyond The Dead End is set in the Harappan era some 3,500 years in the past. The book is a brilliant piece of fiction, with intricately carved characters and a backdrop that depicts the lifestyle and town planning of the settlements that would have constituted the Indus Valley Civilisation thousands of years ago. The USP of the book is the fact that every page is a surprise, unpredictable and unique, because most of us haven't read a book of this genre ever before. There's nothing to compare it to. This single factor makes it a very interesting read.

Store Review: Elaborestore.com

I have this immense addiction to online shopping that I've been trying hard to combat ever since it got out of hand. I was making good progress and had almost overcome it for a long time, when it kicked in again with full force with the impending arrival of my two besties' birthdays back to back (they're both extremely gift-hungry I tell you).

So one day while checking my inbox, I found a mail from the owner of an online store called Elabore, that exclusively sells shawls, scarves and stoles, requesting for a review on my blog. I was intrigued and paid it a visit. And am I not glad I did! The store has the most splendid collection of scarves and stoles in all hues and designs. They come in a wide variety of styles - Jamawar, Printed, Embroidered, Stripes, Checks - and so on. I particularly liked the prints on some of the fine wool and paisley ones, as they were both offbeat and elegant - just the way I like my clothes and accessories to be.

Monday, May 19, 2014

'Achhe din' may mean nightmares for some.

It is freezing cold. The surroundings are cloaked in a dense fog; I cannot see my feet. The uneven terrain adds to the difficulty in finding the way. I pull harder on my jacket and trudge on, squinting to catch glimpse of safer footing. It has been raining for two days now; there are ditches and pools full of muck everywhere. We lumber on for a while, until the fog caves a little to reveal our destination. Endless rows of tents mud-walled, tarpaulin-roofed stand in a sprawl on a huge clearing. The place is desolate save for the occasional child skipping out, only to cast a shy sidelong glance at us before disappearing inside a tent again. There are animals too; I see a goat and a few hens in the distance. We turn towards the driver following us, ask him to park our traveller on the side of the narrow road, and start walking towards the nearest tent.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Time to Act. Finally.

Main bahut pareshan thi. Mujhse koi ladka baat nahi karta tha, mera phone kitne kitne din tak bajta hi nahi tha. Inbox mein bhi sirf MTS customer care ke messages bhare rehte the. Main apni zindagi se bahut dukhi thi.
Phir maine Facebook par account banaya, DP ki jagah ek model ki photo lagayi aur kewl language ka istemaal karna shuru kiya. Ab main sirf Yo, Frenzzz, Guyzzz and galzzzz ka use karti thi. Log mujhse baat karne lage. Ladke mujhe fraandship requests bhejne lage, aur to aur mere last status par 52 likes bhi aye the. Main bahut achha mehsus kar rhi hu. All thanks to Facebook! (y)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Sleep paralysis

There is going to be a time - probably that one lonely night - when all that's gone wrong with your life will come and haunt you dead. It'll all come back to you, playing out like a motion picture before your mind's eyes. All the things you've done wrong. All the wrong people you've been with. All those hurtful things people have done to you. All the problems that plague your wellbeing, crush your inner self and keep you awake nights. And in that moment, all the good things and better times would cease to matter.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Friendship that lasts forever

It is probably a little too late to be sharing this now, but what the heck. I'll go ahead and do it anyway.

Remember how I've written time and again about my college bestie Rose (a.k.a Sushmita) - about all the times we've had and the amazing birthday surprises and holidays we've enjoyed together during our 4 years at engineering college? Ever since the course ended last year, we have seen lesser and lesser of each other, not for lack of trying though, but generally owing to our respective career and higher studies commitments. Yet, every time we do meet, it is like the "us" from college, all over again, only calmer and more mature. But everything else - saying the same things at the same time, reading each other's minds, gossiping about the people in our lives or crow-watching - remains pretty much the same.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Goa Diaries - II

A big sorry to y'all folks for such an inordinate delay in returning with the Goa diaries. I've been really caught up, and am probably going to remain so for some time to come. But hey! Good news is that I've finally got a laptop and a decent Internet connection at my present location, so I now have the liberty to write whenever I like, from wherever I am. That's something to be upbeat about, now, isn't it?

Anyhow, coming back to the reason why I'm here today...ooh. Goa! I just sort of light up every time I think of that place and the visit that was. It's a lovely getaway from the sad, monotonous life we lead in the metro cities - away from ourselves, away from mother nature. It almost reminds me of Marx's theory of Alienation. But let's not get carried away.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Goa Diaries - I

There's nothing quite like a holiday in the sun while your fellow cityfolk ice up in the deep freezer that Delhi has become this winter. It is mind-numbingly cold here, and I'm practically chilled to the bone while typing this out. Thanks to my lovely set of parents, however, I was lucky enough to get to enjoy some sunshine, twice too, in the last few weeks. December took us on a getaway to the magnificent mahals and colorful bazaars of Jaipur. And this month brought for us a beautiful sojourn down south, to Bombay and then Goa, far far away from even the mention of a cold day.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Rail Gaadi

I sit on the top berth of an express train, lightly rocking back and forth to its rhythm, oddly reminded of the classic Ashok Kumar track that gives this post its title. The train winds its way to, um...who cares where it's going? It has different destinations for different people. But for me it moves in synch with my heart beat.