Thursday, 17 December 2015

Pyaar karthe, Ya na karthe... Jinda rehte, Jee na paate...

Hum tumhare bin, Tum humare bin... Reh toh lete, Jee na paate...

Dil ke dhadkhan toh, Bas yeh kehte... Umr bhar hum, Saath rehte...

Bus yehi hum, Gungunaathe... Aur phir kyun, Tehar jaathe...

Pyaar karthe, Ya na karthe... Rab se kyun na, Pooch lethe...

Yaad aathe, Bhool jaathe... Jinda rehte, Jee na paate...

Raat bhar hum baath karthe the... Aur subah ko phir chup ho jaathe the...

Saath chalthe the, Saath rukte the... Do badan, Ek jaan kehte the...

Woh bhi din the, Kya woh din bhi the... Soch paate, Na soch paathe...

Rab ka sindhoor, Suhagan ki bindiya... Maang mein teri, Hum jo barte the...

Laadli bankar, Godh mein mere... Ek pari banke, So jo jaathe...

Dekh ke tumko, Hum yun hasthe... Aur shahad bhi, Hum pee jaathe...

Pyaar karthe, Ya na karthe... Rab se kyun na, Pooch lethe...

Yaad aathe, Bhool jaathe... Jinda rehte, Jee na paate...

Tumne jab maanga, Bas mujhe maanga... Rab kyun itna, Hai khafa tumse...

Humne jo maanga, Usne humko toh... Sau guna se bhi, Sona de diya...

Ab toh tum yeh, Jaan lo na... Bus teri hi, Khushi maangte hain...

Mukhiloan ki, Ghadiyoan mein hum... Chodkar sab, Tumko sambhalte...

Teri muskuraahatein, Dekhkar hum... Jinda hote, Daud pate...

Phir kabhi kyun, Chup ho jaate... Bichad ke hum kyun phir, Toot jaate...

Pyaar karthe, Ya na karthe... Rab se kyun na, Pooch lethe...

Yaad aathe, Bhool jaathe... Jinda rehte, Jee na paate...

Ghar toh hai tera, Mere dil mein hi... Laut aana hai, Tumko yahin par...

Sada Suhagan banke, Sab khushi paake... Tumko rehna hai, Yehi dua hai...

Tumne Jaana hai, Humne maana hai... Sirf ek janam ka toh, Rishta hai na yeh...

Saath le pheere, Janmoan Janmoan tak... Saath rehne ka, Vaada humara hai...

Ek rishta yeh, Ek bandhan yeh... Misaal hai yaara, Yeh hi kehte the...

Phir kya humne, Aazmaaye... Toote rasthe bikhare sapne, Jaane kahaan le jaaye...

Ek humari manzil thi, Aur sapne the... Ab hakikat mein, Inko badalna hai...

Ek naya saal, Saamne hai... Ik nayi subah, Saath ho jaaye...

Pyaar karthe, Ya na karthe... Rab se kyun na, Pooch lethe...

Yaad aathe, Bhool jaathe... Jinda rehte, Jee na paate...

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Chennai Express - Yeppadi iraka, Nalla iraka... A saga of rains, brains and drains...

"Only a fool like you will leave Bengaluru, and move to Chennai", are perhaps the first set of words that I heard from almost anyone who got to know that I was moving to Chennai, leaving behind my family at Bengaluru and job at Copal Amba, to search for something that I had no idea about. When CRISIL made their first offer to join them at Chennai, I was very skeptical. I told them that I'd love to join, but not at Chennai. The answer was they could offer me a position in Pune, but for logistical reasons, it didn't make sense. Later on, I was considered for a position in Mumbai, which I thought could be a better option (for Mumbai being the finance capital of India, and all those who want to make it big in the world of Indian Finance end up in Mumbai ultimately), but it was a bit premature for me to move to Mumbai.

Often I have wondered why I considered this option to move to a different location, especially when all my family and friends were in Bengaluru, and I am not a person who makes new friends easily. To my surprise, when I look back at my life, post SSBJ, I have hardly made a few friends. I can only name a couple of people from my college, where we were 400 students, and from 7 years of working, I can perhaps name a couple of them with great difficulty. May be, I never felt the need to make friends, perhaps because I had one best friend in my life who was like 100%. With time and age, people start building new priorities, new dreams and thus, new lives, and in the process, the older ones start getting lost. They say, if you can live with your best friend all your life, there's no one luckier than you. We often thought that we would, but things did turn otherwise. Of course, we were prepared for it, and I'm lying. It was a jolt that I couldn't take for long, and may be, this hasty decision was a result of that. But then, in some way, it wasn't a wrong decision either. CRISIL offered me a better role, and Chennai would be a good way to explore, considering I have been living in Bengaluru for long now.

I moved to Chennai in the first week of November, and I was accommodated in a hotel during the first 15 days of my stay. I had decided to start a new life, but a lot of things started turning the same, and soon, towards the end of November, life turned stale, and by mid of December, life's back to what it was a couple of months ago. Bringing about change in life is an uphill task and when historical happenings keep repeating, it often gets impossible.

The first week at work was amazing. It was a new place and a wonderful work environment. The office is located in a cozy location with the sea on one side and a river on the other side. The city looks awesome from my desk and I was absolutely loving it. The first weekend at Chennai was simply awesome. I spent time with a friend, sorting out several issues. We went out, and had great fun together. And then, it started raining. The rains were here for the entire day, entire night. It was time for Deepawali, and I went to Bengaluru to celebrate the festival. It was a big dream for me to celebrate this Deepawali in a big way but it didn't get possible. However, we did a Honda Dio at home.

Life seemed to have started and exciting things continued to happen. There were some discussions that yield fruitful results, and it all seemed perfect. But then, perhaps, even God too doesn't like perfection. After all, he wants to be the only perfect person in the universe. It started raining heavily in the city, and it became a nightmare to travel. On a couple of days, we were stranded in the office premises all night. The roads next to my office had water logged to waist levels and vehicles just didn't move. The situation was even miserable in other parts of the city where people were struggling to survive. The adventure began. On the next weekend, I decided to go to Bengaluru, and there was no transport option available. I just went to the Koyambedu bus stand, and got on to a rescue bus, which dropped me till Hosur, from where, I headed to Bengaluru. It was a good night, after watching Tamasha, and then dinner. I loved drinking honey after a long time. Its my favorite drink, and I feel heavenly when I do. It was a an exciting morning as I embraced the braces that were gone, and then, I shopped for some dresses. And then, life came back to normal. I headed to Belgaum with my friends to attend Santosh's wedding.

While life till now in Chennai has been exciting, it has been equally disastrous too. As always, I don't know what the future has in store, but I am sure, its going to be great. Someone rightly said, "You may lose anything and everything in life, but one thing that will never be lost is your future. It will always be there for you". Some of my biggest dreams are about to come true, but there is a bit of regret in catching up to those dreams as I have to replan them against the way that I had plan to live them before. I'd soon be heading to a new place to begin a newer phase of life, and hopefully, this beginning will really be a new beginning.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Turning 30 in the next 500 days... 30 things to do...

Turning 30 is one of the biggest moment of life as it shows us that we have just completed the first half of our lives. We build several dreams, take up some responsibilities and work to have a good career. Post 30, the focus slowly shifts towards family and also the responsibilities at work increase. So, they say, you ought to live your life before turning 30. There are several things that people plan to do and also suggest us to do before turning 30. I read this list on Travel Triangle, and perhaps, this is one that I am going to follow to add some memories to life's journey.

  1. Party in Goa: Sunburn music festival in Goa
  2. Trek to Triund in Mcleodganj for an incredible experience
  3. Dwell in the Valleys of Ever Changing Srinagar
  4. Conquer the fears of water with Scuba Diving in Andaman
  5. Ride on the Leh-Ladakh Highway and camp under the stars in Ladakh
  6. Explore the ghats of river Ganga in Banaras
  7. Stay overnight at Marine Drive in the never sleeping city of Mumbai
  8. Trek in the jungle trails and spot the myriad wildlife of Binsar, Almora
  9. Explore the Scotland of the south – Coorg
  10. Kolkata to Color Yourself Red in Durga Puja
  11. Explore The Caver’s Paradise – Meghalaya
  12. Volunteer with the monks in Sikkim
  13. Visit the 7th Wonder of the World – The Taj Mahal in Agra
  14. Enchant your spirit in Kerala
  15. Camp In The Arid Thar Desert
  16. Listen to the qawwalis at Nizamuddin Dargah, Delhi
  17. Solo trip to Kasol
  18. Walk On The Living Root Bridges in Cherrapunji
  19. Face The Unknown At The Bhangarh Fort
  20. Drive Through The Forest of Bandipur
  21. Explore The Ruins Of Hampi
  22. Spectate At The Dhuandhar Falls, Jabalpur
  23. Celebration for Colors in Mathura
  24. Travel To The Salt Lands During The Kutch Festival
  25. Beat Your Fear Of Heights – Go Paragliding In Solang
  26. Visit Golden Temple in Amritsar
  27. Travel To The Dangerously Beautiful Red Corridor, Orissa
  28. A Wildlife Trip To Dibru Saikhowa National Park in Assam
  29. White Water Rafting in Rishikesh
  30. Kalka to Shimla in a Toy Train

All set to travel, cause the time is now!

Friday, 10 July 2015

Stay fit, feel young. After all, the #HoneyDietIsHere

"Health is Wealth" they say and this perhaps is the biggest reason why we all chase health, aka its  form of wealth. We do all that we do to ensure that we lead a happy and healthy life. Almost every thing in out lives somehow connects to having a good health, be it work, be it family, be it money, be it exercising, be it food, or anything. Everything connect to leading a hale and healthy life.

As the world progresses into more commercial forms of life, we keep forgetting this whole goal. Someone has rightly said, "We spend all our health to gain wealth, and then we spend all out wealth to gain back health". This becomes so relevant in modern times where we live restless lives at a point of time when economics has overtaken the world and we keep calculating out productivity in minutes, and perhaps seconds too. In such a fast paced life, one often forgets to concentrate on several facets of life like family, love, social responsibilities and of course, health. So, what do we do? We often realize this once in a blue moon and start a diet. The world is filled with some gruesome diets like the GM diet, Cigarette diet, Cotton balls diet, Water diet, and so on, which claim that you will attain an instant nirvana on following them. However, neither following these diets is easy nor are the results sustainable. Often, we end up consuming greater volumes of food and break the diet in haste. 

When I got to about the Dabur Honey diet (, I was greatly impressed. Firstly, this doesn't need any additional efforts from us. Its just about replacing some kinds of foods with some other kinds. The honey penetration in our country is very low, despite the fact that it is a great food. In fact, the funniest part of human lives is that good food comes at a great price, and that's perhaps the reason why we end up consuming all the junk fund around us. A tender coconut costs Rs 25-30, a handful of dry fruits easily cost a hundred rupees, and so on. The Dabur honey diet is a wonderful program that insists that we replace the sugar that we consume with honey. The day starts with a spoon of honey with warm water, which is more than enough to add energy to hit the gym or go for a walk or a Yoga class. Pooja Makhija, a health and nutrition expert says that honey has all the properties in it to kick start our day and it helps in ensuring that our taste buds aren't activated for the wrong kind of food.

The website ( provides great deal of details about how this diet is not just simple and easy but also healthy and sustainable. The website has some great tools like a calorie calculator, honey recipes, advice from experts that Michelin star chef Vikas Khanna, tips on fitness, and the most important being the 3 step diet planner. This is a great initiative from Dabur that caters to the current generation which has started becoming more cautious about health.

I have always heard that there are 2 kinds of food. The first kind are the ones that are meant for the mouth, for the taste buds in other words. These are food like sweets, junk food, etc. which make us feel elated. These food should only be consumed in such quantities that they meet the needs of the mouth. The other kind of food are food for the stomach. They may not great taste but are great for our health (like green leafy vegetables, etc), and these must be consumed for the stomach irrespective of what the mouth feels like. Often we end in trouble when we feed the stomach with food meant for the mouth and vice versa. Honey is one such great food that falls in both the categories and thus it helps in a great way to achieve the goals in our fitness schedule.

Check out and explore the benefits of this food, and get started on your journey to be fit with a sustainable course or laid out plan which you can practice all life. 

Thursday, 9 July 2015

UC Cricket - the savior for cricket lovers #YuviSurfsUC

Cricket is perhaps the biggest single thing that unites India together. We all grew watching one man called Sachin Tendulkar change the entire landscape of this game. Of course, several other players have made great contributions to take the game to where it has reached now. It is definitely my favorite sport like it is for many Indians.

Over the time, due to lack of time, it hasn't been able to catch up with the game. When the IPL is happening, there is a huge buzz and we somehow get to know the course of the tournament. In fact, the buzz isn't so high even when the World Cup is going on. When it comes to bilateral or trilateral series, the news isn't really there unless there's some earth shattering record being created. In fact, even that fails to get highlighted, and it appears like the game isn't happening.

When I had lost touch with the game, and wanted to keep a track, I decided to install a host of applications in my phone. However, again, these apps did not fulfill my purpose for various reasons. In the process, I once came across the UC browser (, which claimed that it helps to surf faster and the transitions are seamless. So, I started using the browser for web browsing and it really worked well. What surprised me the most the was UC Cricket, a space dedicated to cricket, which was so wonderfully designed. This page had details of all the ongoing cricket matches and upcoming tournaments too. The live commentary loaded at a real quick pace and the discussions tab was a fun filled center. I kept using this space, and over time, it has become the most visited place on my web devices.

When compared to other applications that provide live scores and live streaming, the UC browser does a great job in actually making things live. The other applications have at least a 5 minutes lag. This is where the UC browser scores the most. When we are watching the game on the phone, we want to be sure that it doesn't delay the scores as it would again lead us to the TV or some other place where the event is streaming live. The experience I have been having on the UC browser and UC cricket has been really fantastic and I hope this continues and becomes even better in the days to come. Great job guys, you've added a new dimension to the world by cricket by making it a seamless experience to catch the match on the phone and this is no less than a great blessing for cricket buffs like me. After trying all browsers available for a Windows phone, I must say here that it is not only the most downloaded browser (after IE which comes default), but also the best in its category. It makes up for several flaws that exist in IE, and the most important benefit is that it is a stable browser and easy to use.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Donating to #NepalEarthquake, PMNRF clauses, and other points

Update: Its clear now that the PMNRF will help Indian citizens who have been affected by the earthquake.

Like many, I have been wondering if the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund can offer help to Nepal, especially because of the 3rd clause in the T&Cs of the donation as copied below.
  1. Contributions from Government/budgetary support or from the balance sheets of PSUs  are not accepted in PMNRF.
  2. Conditional contributions, where the donor specifically mentions that the amount is meant for a particular purpose, are  not accepted in the Fund.
  3. PMNRF provides relief only to the citizens of India. Hence contributions wherein the donor mention that the amount is meant for the foreign citizens/calamities abroad, are  not accepted in the Fund.   
However, it is interesting to note that the NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) is working in Nepal and its source of funding is definitely Indian Government. Next, whatever help India is offering to Nepal also is funded by some source in India only. So, we can not be sure yet about how they account for these transactions and expenses. So, I'd just go ahead and donate to PMNRF and let them take a call on what they do. In any case, I can be certain that my donation will be used for a right cause.

So, where are people donating now? And where should you donate if you plan to?

This tweet by PM Modi doesn't clarify where the donation was sent.

Several companies are pledging funds to the PMNRF now. So, what I'd do is simply go ahead and donate to the PMNRF. The amount will definitely be of help, in some way. Moreover, I am sure that my donation gets used for a good cause. 

Just take that step now and donate. No second thoughts. Donate wherever to whomever whatever you can but take care to ensure your funds are going to a correct organization. 

Unfortunately, the world has vultures and scavengers who are ready to take advantages of adversities too. 

Personally, I wouldn't donate to any NGOs, especially considering the kind of outcomes we are seeing these days and also their dubious claims. If I, personally, would have to choose among NGOs only, the I would choose Sewa International, solely because I have seen their work.

Donate now, and #PrayforNepal

Here are some points taken from the PMNRF and PMO India websites for further reading.
  • The PMO has 2 funds, namely the PM National Relief Fund and the National Defence Fund. 
  • The resources of the PMNRF are utilized primarily to render immediate relief to families of those killed in natural calamities like floods, cyclones and earthquakes, etc. and to the victims of the major accidents and riots. Assistance from PMNRF is also rendered, to partially defray the expenses for medical treatment like heart surgeries, kidney transplantation, cancer treatment, etc.
  • The fund consists entirely of public contributions and does not get any budgetary support. The corpus of the fund is invested with banks in fixed deposits. Disbursements are made with the approval of the Prime Minister. 
  • PMNRF has not been constituted by the Parliament. The fund is recognized as a Trust under the Income Tax Act and the same is managed by Prime Minister or multiple delegates for national causes. 
  • PMNRF operates from the Prime Minister’s Office, South Block, New Delhi-110011 and does not pays any license fee. PMNRF is exempt under Income Tax Act, 1961 under Section 10 and 139 for return purposes. 
  • Prime Minister is the Chairman of PMNRF and is assisted by Officers/ Staff on honorary basis. 
  • Permanent Account Number of PMNRF is AACTP4637Q.

Now, some important questions and answers that PMNRF offers.

What criterions have been fixed for disbursal of funds held under PMNRF?
  • The disbursement out of the fund is made at the discretion of the Prime Minister, and in accordance with the Prime Minister’s directions.

Are contributions towards the PMNRF exempted from Income Tax?
  • Yes, all contributions towards the PMNRF are exempted from Income Tax under Section 80(G).

Who are eligible to receive money from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund?
  • The Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) is primarily utilized to render immediate relief to families of those affected by natural calamities like floods, cyclones and earthquakes etc. and to victims of the major accidents and riots. In addition to this, the PMNRF provides financial assistance to indigent patients for treatment of major diseases at Government/PMNRF empanelled hospitals to partially defray the expenses.

Now, the next big question is, Can a National Relief Fund be used to offer help outside India? 

  • The straight answer could be NO. However, there could be situations where the PM may use his discretion but again, that should in some way help Indian citizens.

So, what will happen to the funds that are donated to PMNRF for the purpose of #NepalEarthquake relief?
  • They could be used to help Indians stranded in Nepal or those who have unfortunately lost their lives due to the earthquake. There has been one situation that I have sighted below. Thus, we should await details on this.

Details of relief measures funded out of the PMNRF for purposes such as accidents, terrorist activities and communal conflagrations in recent years are as follows:-
S.N. Purpose Relief Measure
6. Bus accident in Nepal on 15-07-2012. Ex-gratia of Rs. 1 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased persons has been sanctioned. Rs. 37 lakh has been released for 37 death cases.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Breakfast with #KelloggsWaleGuptaji

Written exclusively for Kellogg's India

Verma: Hello Guptaji. Kaise ho

Gupta: Badiya Vermaji. Aap bolo. Bahut din se Golf course mein nahin dikhe?

Verma: Kya batayein Guptaji, health problems hain. Doctors se milne mein hi din nikal jaata hai

Gupta: Khaane pe control rakho, sab theek ho jaayega.

Verma: Ab aap ki tarah dieting toh hum nahi kar sakte. Rukha sukha khaana humse na ho paayega.

Gupta: Arey, main toh badiya aur swadisht khaana khaata hoon ji. Ek kaam karo, kal breakfast ke liye mere yaahaan aa jayo. Khud pata kar lo.

Verma: Theek hai, subah milte hain phir

Gupta: Jaroor. Jai Shri Krishna.

* * * 

Gupta: Sunti ho, kal Vermaji aa rahein hain nashte par. Achha sa kuch bana dena. Woh Kellog's ka kuch naya recipe mil gaya toh maja aa jaayega.

Mrs Gupta: Theek hai ji, dekhti hoon

Log on to

Mrs Gupta: Yeh kuch Tandoori Cheese Cornflakes aaya hai ji, naya wala.

Gupta: Tandoori Cheese? Badiya hai. Dekho na, kya karna hai, kaise karna hai.

Mrs Guptra: Yahaan pe poora list toh diya hai. 
  • 2 Cups crushed cornflakes
  • 2 Tbsp oregano
  • 1 Tbsp chilli flakes
  • ½ Tsp salt
  • ¼ Cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp Tandoori Masala
  • 2 Tsp oil

Directions :
  • Combine all the ingredients in a plastic bag, Seal and shake.
  • Toss till evenly coated and serve

Gupta: Arey dekho, video bhi hai. Click karo.

Mrs Gupta: Arey wah, kitna aasan hai. Yehi karte hain.

* * *

Verma: Namaste Guptaji.

Gupta: Aayiye aayiye Vermaji, bade dinoan ke baad. Kaise ho bhabiji.

Mrs Verma: Acche hain. Aap kaise ho. Bacche kaise hain

Mrs Gupta: Sab Bhagwan ki krupa.

* * *

Verma: Guptaji, aapne to healthy breakfast ka daava kiya tha. Yahaan pe toh mukje Tandoori Cheese ki khushboo aa rahi hai.

Gupta: Haan Vermaji, yehi toh hai woh raaz. Kellogg's ne kayi saare naye recipes diye hain corn flakes banane ke. Isse aapko corn flakes khaane ka ehsaas bhi nahi rahega, aur taste ka taste bhi mil jaayega.

Verma: Accha. Yeh to badiya hai. Humko bhi batao isske baare mein.

Mrs Gupta: Bahut aasan hai. Bas Kellogg's pe website, ya facebook page, ya youtube page par jaayiye aur aapko saari jaankari mil jaayi. Sau se jyada recipes hain wahan pe.

Mrs Verma: Yeh aapne bahut achhi baat batayi. Kal se hum bhi shuru karte hai #KelloggsWaleGuptaji

Mrs Gupta: #KelloggsWaleVermaji

Verma, Gupta: Ha Ha Ha !!!

Times have changed and live too has changed. From a world where we had enough time to cook food and savor it, we have run into a world where we hardly have any time to eat food, forget preparing it. Further, the commercial world around us has been quick to catch up this mess by opening us restaurants at every corner of the street. The food consumption outside home has only been rising over the years. Its always a great practice to have food at home for several reasons. For those of us who are stretched for time, Kellogg's has come up with these brilliant options. Corn flakes have been turned into a tasty recipe and packaged in a different way altogether. Consuming ready food along with satisfaction to taste buds is a great advantage that this provides. Breakfast is perhaps the most important meal of the day. Let's begin the day with a Kellogg's meal.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

The small and simple aspects of happiness

Exclusively written for Coca-Cola International Day of Happiness

Happiness is perhaps the most hunted aspect of life. Everyone in the world wants to be happy, and wants their near and dear ones also to be happy. Happiness, for me, is to see the smile on faces of people around me. It makes me feel really wonderful when I can be the cause for that smile. Most time, however, it doesn’t become possible. A large number of things aren’t in our control and depend on several external factors.

If I were to list down all those things that make me happy, they appear to be very simplistic. However, I bet, these are the ones that are the most complex ones. Someone has rightly said, “It is more complex to make things simple”. Often, I am reminded of the story of the princess who had turned sad in her life. The king employed every method to make her happy. He got her a house, several friends, several pets, lot of jewellery and so on. When everything failed, he sent a word across the world that whoever makes her smile will win a reward. Many experts came in and tried their best to make her smile, which didn’t happen. Finally, one ordinary guy steps in with a big stomach and as he walks, his stomach falls apart, and ‘Phoolkumari’, the princess, bursts into laughter. It is such a small thing if you look at it this way that he had a pillow over his abdomen to appear bulky, and he makes it fall, as if to appear that his stomach has fallen apart. Yet, it was enough to get back the smile on the princess’ face. 

Many a times, it is these small things that bring us happiness, and the funny aspect of life is that these small things are difficult to find, especially considering the material progress the world is making. We hardly have access to chirping birds, peaceful atmosphere, greenery, devotional experiences, etc., that add those small bits of happiness to us. Our happiness is linked to buying best gadgets, which become out-dated in a few days; building relationships with best people, who change colours with time; seeking perfection, which never happens as there is always scope for improvement; and so on. So, each time, our aspirations get larger, and each time, it only becomes more difficult to attain happiness. While aspirations and dreams are must in life, we must learn to derive happiness from small things in life. There is happiness in everything around us, if we look it in the right way. We must learn to add value, instead of deriving value, and this is perhaps how I look at happiness. Our deeds brings us more happiness that our derivatives.

“Little deeds of kindness, little words of love, Make our earth an Eden like the heaven above.”

Sunday, 15 March 2015

A Memorable day #together

Written for

7th Feb 2015 is one of the most memorable days of my life. It was my father's birthday and I had been planning to celebrate this day in a great way. However, as I was running a busy week, I couldn't make any plans. Luckily, the birthday was on Saturday and it gave me some room to plan. I started planning in the morning.

I started thinking about what would be the key need to make this a beautiful day. Soon, I realized that it would be to bring the family together. So, I called my sister, who lives in Mysore, and asked her to come to Bangalore. I started browsing for restaurants in the vicinity and checking for availability. Finally, I decided to book a table at 'The 13th Floor' in MG Road. Though the place was far, I thought it will be a great experience for all of us.

It was a big surprise for my dad when he saw my sister reach home in the evening. We decided to head to the restaurant then. On the way, I started thinking about what I should gift him. On thinking, I realized that he had been long planning to buy a suit. I checked with a couple of outlets over the phone and decided to walk in to Raymonds. The decision was symbolic with the company's tag line, "The Complete Man". There is one category of people who desire that if they buy a suit, it should be a Raymonds; if they buy a car, it should be a BMW; if they buy a home, it should be a Shoba, and so on. I guess I belonged to that category when it came to this decision. However, personally, I never have such choices and pick up whatever makes best sense.

It took nearly two hours for us to zero in a suit for him. After all, it was akin to buying an asset which he would treasure for a lifetime. He was excited, and all dressed for dinner. We walked in to Ebony on the 13th floor, which was right next to the Raymonds store, and the breathtaking view of the city from our table added more beauty to the day. As we started our meal, we experienced the love, happiness and bliss of being together. We rejoiced a couple of past experiences, including the famous birthday memory we had 7-8 years ago. It so happened that all of us had forgotten my dad's birthday, including him, as he had met with an accident and was living in my grandpa's home, which was near to the hospital. My sister and I were watching the TV in the evening, and in the serial, there was this scene. Son forgets father's birthday, and mother comes back harshly on him and says, "What kind of a son are you?". Just then, I was like, "Gosh, it is my dad's birthday today". It was already dinner time, and we rushed to the bakery, picked up a cake and a couple of candles, drove to my grandpa's home and celebrated the day. Really unbelievable stuff even today!

Families are such an important part of our lives. They are the motivation to do all that we do.

Home wasn't a set house, or a single town on a map. It was wherever the people who loved you were, whenever you were together. Not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go.
- Sarah Dessen

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Look up with Optimism

Written exclusively for Check them out at

Ants are perhaps the most optimistic species on this planet. I often get inspired by the kind of determination and hard work they put in to build their homes. They go travel such a long distance to collect each grain of sand or soil and accumulate them in one place. There is absolutely nothing stopping them. They work all the time until their home is ready. At times, rain or wind or human being destroy these creations without even their notice and again, ants go through the same exercise. They never give up. This speaks volumes about optimism in life.

Ratan Tata is one of the greatest inspiration for me and he is another great example of optimism. I have been impressed by the kind of work the Tata group has undertaken as well as the objective of social responsibility that they work on. However, what impressed me the most was that he delivered on his promise of a Rs 1 lac car for the common man. Considering the kind of costs that go in, I never thought this was possible. Working on the dream, responsibly and ethically, is the greatest learning I get from his life. Moreover, the kind of aggressive decisions he made regarding buying Tetley, Corus, Jaguar and Land Rover at a time when the world was deeply pessimistic speaks about the kind of optimism this man had in him. The acquisition of Corus was an all cash deal and he was criticized by many over the kind of aggression he had shown. He was the first one to start this trend. Until then, we had only heard foreign companies acquiring companies in India. He truly took India to the world. He is a visionary who made a large number of things possible due to his optimism. Many opposed the Tata's entering the IT business but TCS today commands the largest market cap in listed Indian companies. He is nearly 80 years old but still has so much energy and zeal in him. One example for his recent interests is his investment in He is the person that I look up to for optimism.

Further, I believe in learning good things from each one, be it whoever - a friend, colleague, acquaintance, celebrity, businessman. There is something you can learn from everyone. There is a Sanskrit shloka that explains this.

फूलों से नित  हंसना सीखो, भौंरों से नित गाना, फल की लदी डालियॊं से, नित सीखो शीश झुकाना।

meaning, learn to smile from the flowers, learn to sing from the bees, learn to bow from fruit trees. So, there is no end to learning in this world and there is no end to optimism. Whenever there is an issue, all we need to do is to just Look UP.

Education helps you to #StartANewLife

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Long ago, when I was in the school, I was one among the naughty and notorious lot. I was in the group, or call it gang, of students who were focused more over playing sports and having fun than studies. Books or classes hardly interested us. I played football, hockey, cricket and also participated in several athletic events. Things kept going well until one day the marks card showed horrible numbers. I, along with my friends, received bashing from all corners and were literally mocked over how we had dealt with life with so much ease. We were just about to complete schooling then and we didn't have an idea of what to do next. We neither had impressive scorecards nor so much achievement in sports that we would be admitted to good college based on those credentials. Soon, we all were headed in different directions.

It was then that I decided to start a new life. I went through one of the longest introspection of my life and arrived at the conclusion that education will help me #startanewlife. When I looked at people around me, I realized that most of them were successful and progressing in life because of their efforts in the college and professional courses. Of course, that was not the only reason for everyone. I came across many people who succeeded without formal education too. However, in the current era of knowledge, education was definitely the key.

So, I started taking great interest in studies. However, I also ensured that I keep up some focus on sports and other activities too. It was a really difficult thing to begin with. I, for one, had never gone so deep into the books. I had mostly managed my exams by reading a day or two before and the reference was only last 4-5 years of question bank and answers. Soon, I realized that professional education wasn’t going to be so easy. There was a need to build my body of knowledge. So, I burnt the midnight oil, worked really hard and thus, was determined to keep up this focus for all the years in college. The new life motivated me a lot and soon, I had a lot of friends coming up to me for discussions, clarifications and other study related activities. It was a very good feeling.

I continued on the same path and in a couple of years, I had my name sealed in the list of academic toppers. I ended up with a gold medal from the University for Academic Excellence. It was incredible for me to believe that I achieved such a distinction in my life.

Take those bold steps, make those moves, and just #StartANewLife…

Sunday, 15 February 2015

My ideal valentine #UnconditionalLove with the Zenfone

This post has been written for the Indiblogger contest

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Its that time of the year when we all sit down to think about the most important part of human life, love. We try our best to connect with the loved ones, especially that one person who is your valentine. The definition of a valentine is quite broad but in the practical world, we use this word to refer to that one most important person in your life.

Capturing the best moments of life

Life becomes beautiful with memories, and memories are captured with images. You never know when life surprises you. It isn't possible for us to carry a camera with us all the time to capture memories. The best alternative is to have a wonderful camera fitted in to your phone. The Asus Zenfone comes with a Pixel Master camera with auto focus, making it a superior bet. It helps in capturing those moments that will be treasured forever, with great resolution and sharpness. Further, the full HD video recording is an icing on the cake. It will be my best valentine, considering I love taking photos and recording moments.

I love things that look beautiful

The Zenfone's aesthetic design is something that I am in love with. Though simple, the phone's texture, structure, and the overall look is greatly done. When I hold it in my hand, I feel like I should hold it on forever. That's exactly what you feel when you hold your valentine in your hands. It is well built, edged appropriately, and the concentric design finish at the bottom is awesome. Further, the case colors that come with the Zenfone are so vibrant that one can easily fall in love with them. It is also possible to have a new color on your phone with the replaceable back covers, making you feel fresh about what you hold in your hands, at almost all the time of the day.

The touch and the feel

Another reason I would like to have the Zenfone as my valentine is because it offers a great touch experience. Touch sensitivity is perhaps the best and most important aspect of a smartphone, just like how understanding is the most important aspect of a relationship. When your valentine understands exactly what you communicate, there is nothing like it. When you have a valentine who is so responsive, life becomes easier and more interesting.

Long term sustainability is the key

When you are certain that your valentine is here for the long run, you become more confident. The long life battery of the Asus Zenfone is such a value addition. Considering it has a low power consumption and a very efficient internal design, it great enhanced battery life and I don't have to worry about looking for a charger at all the times. Having a charged up valentine all day is such a wonderful experience. These days we like to stay connected to the internet all day, either through wifi or mobile networks, and battery life becomes all the most important of the phone.

Being open is the key to having a close relationship

There shouldn't be any hide and seek within a relationship. Everything should open, clean and clear. It helps in getting closer, as inhibitions are shed. It adds immense value when all parties to a relationship are in a position to contribute to it. The open source android software is a live example of how contribution from multiple parties can create a great platform. Being able to access such a platform on the Zenfone is great. There are plenty of options to explore, experiment and experience.

In the end, I would love to have a Zenfone as my valentine this valentine's day. It makes a perfect partner that adds great value to life, making it better in several ways. After all, that's exactly what valentines do.