Tuesday, September 23, 2014

What YOU missed at the BigRock Indiblogger WordUp meet

I cannot believe it has already been 5 years since my first ever Indiblogger meet. I can distinctively remember it was 15th August 2009. This makes me feel old now. Back then blogger meets were attended primarily focused around
1. Free food
2. Freebies
3. As an excuse to nagging parents forcing you to attend your uncle's nephew's neighbour's son's mundan ceremony. Yours truly was no different and subsequently added to the list was Free Wi-fi. (I sense techies nodding their heads in agreement.)

So this was my probably my 5th blogger meet since I started blogging and I've been on and off. The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Lewis Hamilton meet is the last I attended and so was looking forward to this meet. Location: The famous resto-pub The Blue Frog at Lower Parel and time of meet : 9 am. 9 am? Who goes to a fun blogger meet at 9 am?! However I went and the early getting up bit was made up with a rocking concert by the IndiBlogger band. Who would've thought a rock concert at 10ish in the morning! Awesomesauce.

Now the real fact this meet was more awesome – was I was gonna meet bloggers like me. The only difference was they had made a cool living by blogging. Back in 2008, when literally everyone had started blogging -yours truly included- one never imagined it to be a full time profession. Why, even the mere thought was incredulous. And then the boom of social media happened and suddenly Content was King. The meet started with IndiBlogger's Anoop as the emcee followed by Vinit Goenka delivering the keynote peppered with diplomacy.
Speaking next was Amit Agarwal from labnol.org, who was blogging since 2004, like the Jurassic era of blogs advocated using wordpress.org over blogger.com. His thoughts made a lot of sense as wordpress was more search engine friendly and had more analytics features. He also spoke about never giving away content for the lure of freebies.
Next up was the literal YouthKiAwaaz Anshul Tewari who relentless struggle and belief in his socially aware idea catapulted during the Arab spring of 2011. Cannot believe he does not have a single ad placed on his website.
Varun Krishnan, the founder of FoneArena.com gave an insight on monetization on blogging. He spoke about how important it is keep focus on the content while the money will follow.
Chai with Lakshmi Rebecca can give a KJo a run for his Koffee. Her tete-a-tete along with Sumit Singh of Cleartrip, was refreshing. Lakshmi advised hiring your own help for editing content for video blogging while Sumit gave due importance to maintaining a clean, easy to navigate and responsive template for Pcs, Tablets and mobile devices. Sensible. Harsh Agarwal of shoutmeloud.com highlighted more technical aspects of blogging with primary focus on SEO. Who knew search engines can be picky!
Uber cool Sherezade Shroff described her dislike for writing and love for fashion. She reminisced her experience when a brand approached her to review facewashes and rejected them outright because of her affinity to Medimix soap. Story ninja and Tea sommelier Snighda Manchanda narrated a sweet story of how she discovered her liking for Tasting Teas and weaving wonderful stories. 'Ideas come and go, Stories Stay' So true. Also, I truly liked her 7 basic story idea plots. CS Krishna highlighted their run in with the law for turning up the heat with Mrs Gandhi and Mr Singh video. Their video got a million likes, but the Sec 66A IT Act was breathing down their necks.

Overall the day long meet was supercharged and even better that it ended on time with a bang. Like literally, headbanging.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Missing (Part 8)

This is part Eight of a story that I am writing in collaboration with some very talented writers on Blogadda's Game of Blogs. Our team name is 'Tete-a-ten'.

Read the previous parts of the story here:Missing-Part 1

Missing-Part 2
Missing-Part 3
Missing-Part 4
Missing-Part 5
Missing-Part 6
Missing-Part 7

Still groggy from his sleep Cyrus looked at Roohi and then turned his gaze towards the people surrounding her. He wore his spectacles and was still adjusting his eyes to the bright light that shone from the warehouse ceiling when he clearly noticed the small mob of people. Looking at the mob gathered shook Cyrus back to his senses as Roohi tugged him further towards them. 
He looked at the woman in front and the man right behind her and realized they are Roohi's parents. A multitude of thoughts ran in Cyrus' head. Why are they all here? What are they thinking? Did they think he'll harm Roohi? Would they hurt him? Should he run? Where would he run?  He noticed various expressions were across their faces – anger, disgust, nervousness, concern. This made Cyrus nervous. Very nervous and uneasy. Beads of sweat had now formed across his forehead. He felt weak in his knees, his hand now slipped from Roohi's grip and without realising his body was now swaying, about to give away. His head spun. Closing his eyes he held his head in his hands and winced. In less than ten seconds Cyrus Daruwala fainted at the Ballard estate warehouse floor.

“He's fainted !” Tara exclaimed as she and Shekhar took a few steps back sensing the impact of the fall.
“Cyrus! Cryus!” screamed Roohi and looked at her mother. “What happened to Cyrus mom?” Roohi seemed genuinely concerned with tears now welling up in her eyes.
Tara scooped Roohi closer and away from Cyrus and towards one from their friends' group. Shekhar and his friend moved closer to Cyrus lying on the floor. Cautiously they approached him and saw his face clearly now. His big thick rimmed spectacles were now skewed across his fair skinned face. He looks in his early twenties Shekhar thought. Isn't he too young to be a kidnapper? he further thought. Without wasting any more time, Shekhar animatedly exchanged glances with his friend near the door and signaled to call and inform the police.
Roohi realised what was happening and was now crying inconsolably and was making repeated efforts to approach Cyrus.
“Now, Now Roohi dear. Please! Sweetheart Please!“ Tara tried to hug her tight and comfort her, but in vain. 
She wiped the tears from Roohi's face but Roohi howled “I warned you Papa! You don't listen to me! I told you he would get scared if we all went together! I told you !!”
Tara saw her husband approaching a fainted Cyrus.
“Be careful now, Shekhar” voiced a concerned Tara who was now trying to console Roohi. Now Shekhar searched Cyrus' pockets and hands for any concealed knives, drugs, firearms. He checked the area around him. He got Cyrus' wallet and a note: “Mission Roohi : Do it today!”
Shekhar's head spun. He looked closely at the note, read it and reread it again.
What was this note? Why was Roohi's name over this? Why Roohi?
From a distance Shekhar could hear the screech of tyres coming to a sudden halt. Doors snapped to a close and footsteps echoed in the night. The eerie silence across the warehouse was broken as the doors opened with Inspector P N Kamble entering with his troop of constables.
“Where is he? Kuthe aahes toh? ” said P N Kamble in chaste Marathi.
He marched in and signalled his constables to the usual drill.
“Ek minute saheb. Thamba. Please wait! ” said a soft but commanding voice that came from behind the Inspector.
Little did everyone notice Dr. Sneha Phadnis walking in and said “Yes, that's him...he was missing..."
Stars dance in the moonlit skies,
Figures prance around and around
Dreams glow like fireflies,
Moving from lost to found.

Somewhere in the mischievous mind,
Images float on a horses hind,
In the gardens of endless surprise,
Laughing nights and the happy sunrise.

Figures roam in the darkness of shadows
Hope hangs within the gallows,
Moving clouds and singing rain
Butterflies on the ramp again.

Farther than the running man
Snowcapped mountains on the ceiling fan,
Dreams drift into a sleepy thatch,
Reality closes a delicate latch,

Angels sing and fairy's tell,
Hundred stories in a sea shell,
Bells ring and time to fly,
Roohi's eyes wave goodbye.


Read Part 9  Missing (Part 9)

“Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at BlogAdda.com. #CelebrateBlogging with us.”

(P.S. Feature Poem Credit: www.gyanban.com)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Book Review: 60 Minutes

‘The mightier they are, harder they fall’ goes the adage. Truly, the powers of the corporate world with the rapid ascent and rapider descent are definitely not for the faint hearted. Read on as I write my review on the new thriller authored by Upendra Namburi : 60 Minutes.

This is not my first review of Upendra Namburi’s books. I reviewed his first book again through BlogAdda’s Book Review Program which you can read here
It’s has been two years since I reviewed 31 and now the next in the triumvirate series is 60 minutes. Hope to review the third one too: 8 hours due in 2015. (Mr Namburi, autographed copy next time!) So obviously I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a certain level of excitement and expectation out of this book and further reviewing it Ican assure you, is not a let-down.

Right, getting down to the brass tacks. The author has created the main three characters to be strong, determined and powerful to the level of self-destruction. The story revolves around Agastya and Sailesh the CMOs of two MNCs that are at loggerheads to gain market supremacy for the launch of their respective products. One is a ambitious, suave and brash maverick while the other is a brilliant, calculative and experienced veteran of the high profile corporate world. How their commitment to propel their respective companies to the helm of market supremacy while deeply discounting on the matters of their personal lives is what the plot is about. Maithili is the third strong and ambitious character who is determined to create a permanent turbulence in the lives of not one, but many.

The design of the main story is woven into 26 chapters with each chapter alternating between events unfolding every five minutes and what delves deeper into the past of the lives of the three main protagonists. The 361 pages are written in lucidly and has a nice flow to it. Even to novices like myself on the aspects of stock markets and the terms are explained in a simply but descriptively. Moreover, it throws some light over the inner workings and dealings of the corporate world with political associations, the media glare, treachery by inner intelligence team and sabotage by to arch rivals.

Thrilling and pacy, I was hooked to the book right till the end, always trying to figure out how the story is going to come to an end. Will all hell break loose? What would you do when you have to choose between the devil and the deep sea? 60 minutes -promises you the adrenaline rush of the play in the bourses, the emotional upswings and romantic escapades of the protagonists and the power of the high and mighty while battling for survival in the corporate jungle-has the right mix of ingredients for a corporate thriller.

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

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Making my House a Home

Everyone loves to be their own interior designer. When you're at you're creative best, you can visualize and design your own elements which can lift the look and feel of the place you live. Especially when it's you're comfort zone, your home.

Makemyhome.com has this exciting challenge to decorate your home with any three of their items from their catalogue whilst sticking to a theme.

Personally, my aim is to declutter and as much as possible retain the living spaces. Hence I've selected my individualistic style as 'Contemporary'

The three items I've chosen and why are as below:

Living room, as the name depicts is the place where you 'live' most of the day or so as to say, carry out various activities. Hence the lighting needs to be impeccable during the day as well as night time.

This painting I've chosen as my first of the three items would liven up the blank and empty wall above the sofa set in my living room. It's what I'd like me or people entering my home to take notice of. Not only will it brighten the walls up, but also a touch of a red in a painting brings out the creativity in any person.

I always wanted to use eco friendly earthern lamps rather than electric ones. The only time I use earthern lamps is during Diwali. So why not have one all throughout the year that will also immerse the surroundings with the fragrance of lavender oils. I will place this oil burner in the favourite corner of my home. At night, one would not require the lights to be switched on and one could just bask in its luminescence and eerie glow that it would cast not only in the entire hall.

Frankly I'm not really a morning person but if I do get up early in the morning, there's nothing like glancing at nature. This mural poster is bright and lively with warm colours having birds fluttering around amidst tree branches. Just the kind of thing I want to get inspired to start my day ahead. I would place this right above my dining table.

So, there you go, those are my ideas to brighten up my house 

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

Monday, August 25, 2014

Book Review: Private India

Now here's a book those mystery-thriller novel lovers would love to read. It's a fast paced, page turner one would really like not to put down. The 447 pager Private India book by James Patterson and Ashwin Sanghi  is now mine to review. Read on...

First I must confess, I am neither a Ashwin Sanghi loyalist nor a James Patterson fan. However, I love mystery or detective novels. Be it Agatha Christie's Poirot Series, Miss Marple series, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes series- the classics. So thanks to BlogAdda, I landed with a signed copy (yaay!) of the Private India book. The 'Private' series by James Patterson is a very popular series and die hard Patterson fans will swear by how captivating each book is and Private India is no less. The main protagonist is an ex-marine Jack Morgan and the mystery solving is up to him. Private is now in India and is based in Mumbai. This book describes the city's hustle bustle well, especially the strategic and popular locations like Colaba, The Tower of Silence, Shakti Mills, Chowpatty, Kamathipura,  ...woven well into the storyline and plot

Do not want to give too much away, but here are some of the deets. The storyline revolves around a series of murders happening across the length and breadth of Mumbai. Victims of these murders are seemingly unconnected. Santosh Wagh, the chief of Private India, is contacted by Jack Morgan to crack the serial murder case. Santosh has his own personal tragedy -revealed later in further chapters- and lives with a limp with a cane (which reminds me of Dr. House). Santosh's co-workers Nisha, Mubeen and Hari help him to crack the case open and their characters too have a significant role to play in the plot. Up to date techniques are depicted in order to solve the case. The writer builds the story in short, well woven chapters with every chapter having a cliffhanger at the end so much so you will want to turn the page.

What I really like about the book is that it has a well connect to Mumbai's history and geography and can be easily understood by anyone well acquainted with the city's current events. Involving the characters of an underworld gangster, head of a begging mafia, a terrorist outfit, a godman, etc. makes the story more exciting and interesting to read. Moreover the best part for me was how the secret is unveiled and the connections are made.
Little more details could have been used to describe the motive of the murderer behind the crimes, however this can be overlooked by the fact that there are monologues in between chapters that sneak a peek of what goes on in the murderer's mind.

Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who would love a good, quick read in the thriller, mystery, detective category. Go grab your copy and uncover the mystery!

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

Sunday, August 3, 2014


This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 48; the forty-eighth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

No matter how, no matter why, its never too late to apologise.

Sorry for the time I broke your glasses while jumping on the sofa.
Sorry for stealing your makeup and putting the blame on bro
Sorry for sneaking out behind your back to my bestie's place
Sorry for yelling at you when you gave me a peck on the cheek in front of my friends
Sorry for lying to you about bunking college when I was at a friend's place
Sorry for ruining your favourite white embroidered kurta while ironing it.
Sorry for not listening to you when you had warned me to carry an umbrella
Sorry for getting drenched in the rains against your warning and then getting the flu
Sorry for making you worry when I didn't answer your 7 missed calls
Sorry for not calling you back even when I was free from work
Sorry for making you stay up late when I returned home well past midnight from my fresher's party
Sorry for snapping at you when you called me in the middle of a meeting just to ask me if I was OK
Sorry for making fun of the way you pronounce certain words
Sorry for being stubborn countless times for no reason at all
Sorry for making you cry on my wedding day
Sorry for making you miss me
Sorry for not loving you enough

It wont suffice, this apology of mine. For I might not COMPLETELY realise how important you are to me. Maybe only the time when I become a MOTHER.

Thanks Mom, for everything. I love you!

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Participation Count: 05

Monday, July 21, 2014

Back from the (almost) Dead

Yes. I am back.
After (almost) two years of silence on this blog, I am back, for good. Am I? Yes, I am.
As I look at my dashboard, I see "Last Published: Oct 27, 2012". Damn! Its been (almost) 2 years already? I really cannot recollect the last time I typed a post, or what the title of my last post was!
The only recollection of the existence of my blog were the spam comments that used to get delivered directly to my inbox. Yes, spammers, thank you for once.

It was as if someone hit the fast-forward button on my life, the last (almost) two years zipped by with many personal and professional milestones. Somebody hit the breaks! is what I think now as I look back.

And as you have your plate full with work, marriage, responsibilities, etc. you look around and ponder- 'Hey, I used to write, pour my thoughts into a repository for the unknown to read. What happened to that? Where did all the free time go?' -and then stop staring into space and push it to the back of your mind while waiting for the next local train home.

Now, however or whenever I mean to post my thoughts here, I will.

After all, I'll write. No matter after how long, but in the words of Mr. Schwarzenegger..

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