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Showing posts with label Indiblogger happy hours. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Indiblogger happy hours. Show all posts

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Quikr just got Better !!

If you have ever had the chance to sell your stuff online, then you would have come across folks who agree on a set price over the phone but once they come over to check the goods in question, short term amnesia sets in. The expressions on their face range from anything from alarming to accusing to even disbelief when you mention the quoted price. Having faced such a situation earlier, I can tell you that you tend to feel pretty outraged during such moments. And I guess even some of the genuine buyers might have faced such a situation at times. But Quikr being a leading player in this classifieds segment has puts its finger on the exact problem and come up with a great solution in terms of Quikr NXT.

Unlike phone calls which cannot be recorded (unless you happen to be one of the detective types) and every minute detail memorized, this chat feature has a great advantage that every conversation is recorded in the form of a chat history. This reduces the chances of a mix up occurring when one is negotiating with multiple buyers/sellers. And one can also share the additional photos (if required) during a chat session in case an interested buyer asks for it. I once sold an old Microwave on Quikr and an interested buyer (a lady) was very particular about the temperature, cooking modes, preset cooking menu settings on it. But since I had clicked the photo at a distance, these details were not clearly visible and I had to spend a lot of time explaining the things to her over the phone. And when I saw this latest feature on Quikr, I realized that it could have saved me a lot of trouble had it existed back in 2012.

Since one can immediately connect with others using the chat App, it nixes the chances of any buyers/sellers calling you up at odd hours. This is something that can get very annoying at times especially when people call you during a meeting or even when you are catching up on your beauty sleep on a Sunday morning. One can log in at one's convenience and connect with the desired folks. However after logging off, one does not have to wait endlessly for any callers or even worry about missing a call.

Apart from the above features, the number privacy feature is something that is most desirable when you are a woman. It ensures that your phone number does not fall into wrong hands which reduces the chances of any prank callers disturbing you later. Definitely a great feature when it comes to ensuring the safety of women. This feature is also very effective when dealing with people who tend to play the gender card when striking a bargain. For example, when the seller is a woman, people think that they can try and avail more discount. To test this theory, my husband and I had uploaded pictures of the same TV using different email IDs. Though we had quoted the same price initially, there was a difference of a thousand rupees in what the buyers were willing to pay us. And needless to say, they were ready to pay more in my husband's case. This problem is effectively solved by the Chat feature where one can carefully choose an neutral/unisex login name .

Three cheers to Quikr for introducing three awesome features !! This post is written for Quikr .

Saturday, December 27, 2014

When unspoken words weighed heavy

Some years back when I had just started working, I got my first posting in Mangalore. A beautiful place close to the sea and the newly found freedom made for a magical concoction. It was the first time I was staying away from my parents and the protected life that I had always led. The 'no deadlines', 'no parties', 'no boyfriends' rule had been relaxed and I wanted to make the most out of it as did the others in our group.

Beaches, ports, a nearby fort, city malls, we visited everything worth seeing. But Mangalore being a small place, we felt that we had seen everything within a span of two months and were hungry to explore more. Hence on an extended weekend, we planned a trip to Goa. Even though the hotel and bus reservations had been made, I was scared to mention anything about the trip to my parents. I was scared that they might stop me.

I called them around an hour before boarding the overnight bus and made some excuse about having a late night call. I told them that I might not be able to call them after getting back from office as it might get too late. We boarded the bus and some of my friends fell asleep almost immediately. But sleep kept eluding me all night as I thought about my parents and the lie that I had told them. It being a full moon night, there was much scenic beauty to be enjoyed. The bus took us through a hilly area and then along a road that was almost parallel to the sea. The rising waves looked ethereal in the moonlight but I could not enjoy the sights.

It was a glorious morning when our bus finally reached Goa. A short trip to the hotel was followed by a quick shower and breakfast. We set out immediately to enjoy the famed beaches of Goa. For some time atleast, I forgot about my guilt. After splashing around the water for a few hours, all of us were hungry. We made it to a beach-side restaurant near Baga beach for a sumptuous Goan meal when one of the waiters inquired if we had tried out any water sports. The owner of the place owned some speed boats, banana boats and some parasailing stuff, and offered us a good bargain. But since we had just had lunch, he told us to roam around on the beach for 1-2 hours and do some shopping to burn it off before trying anything adventurous.

After all of us had done a few rounds on the speed boats, we decided to go for a group activity. Zeroing on to a banana boat, we were feeling a bit skeptical but decided to go ahead anyways. Though it was tough to balance the boat at first, all of us got a hang of it and had ventured quite deep into the sea. It was a magical ride with clear blue water, cloud dotted skies and the fish jumping all around us. That is till we encountered an unusually big wave which overturned the boat. As I fell into the water, my first thought was that my parents were in the dark about this trip. Though I had a life jacket on, morbid thoughts filled my mind as I realized that they would be shocked to no end if anything unfortunate happened to me in Goa. It stung more than the salt water which had gotten into my eyes. I made a silent resolve that I would call my parents immediately after reaching the shore.

With the help of the men in our guide boat and the nearby boats, all of us made it to the beach. I had ingested some salt water as I did not know how to swim. But once I had thrown up that stuff and had some fresh water, it felt good. I immediately called my parents and told them about the trip. At first they were upset but when I broke down while narrating the banana boat incident, they chided me for behaving like a naughty child. Their scoldings made it clear that they had forgiven me. A heavy load had been lifted off my chest and I enjoyed the rest of the trip with a clear conscience.

Do check out this touching video which talks about the power of 'Sacchai' -

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Beauty Lies beyond Fear

Whether it is the fear of addressing a large crowd or the fear of looking down/jumping from heights or even something as common as the feeling of being stuck forever within a small space (also known as claustrophobia), each one of us has a personal Goliath that we would like to conquer. It keeps us from reaching greater heights and often doing things that we would love to do. Dragging us down into a vortex of self-doubt and ignominy, it makes life miserable till we decide to overcome it with sheer grit or will-power.

One of my personal fears was getting into water. Obviously not the crystal-clear aqua blue sort of waters that one finds along the beaches of Thailand or Maldives but the dark murky waters that make one fathom what lies beneath those. To my virile imagination they seem to hold a great many secrets in those churning waves and I only keep wondering about how many lives/boats they would have swallowed. That fear kept me from exploring places that I would have given a hand and a leg to visit.

It had to be overcome if I had to realize a long standing dream of exploring the beautiful Chilika Lake, the largest brackish water lagoon of India. Spread out over an area of 1100 square kms , it covers the Puri, Khorda and Ganjam districts of Odisha. It host a large number of migratory birds in the winter months and offers a whole plethora of scenic spots within the body of the lagoon. One such spot is the famed temple of Maa Kalee Jaee, the reigning deity of the lake. Legend attributes the birth of the Goddess to the appearance of the spirit of a young woman who drowned while traversing the lake to reach her husband's home situated on the other side of the lake. While her life was tragically cut short by the cruel waters of the lake during a storm which suddenly engulfed the boat, she decided to save others from a similar fate. To this very day, people offer their prayers to the Goddess while boarding a boat on this very lake.

This time however I decided to put my fears to rest and take that boat ride to visit the Goddess and enjoy the beauty of that lone island during the sunset hours. Most of the boats that ferry people to that island are old fashioned ones which lack even basic amenities like life jackets and a light. And my resolve almost gave away the moment I stepped into the boat and it started to sway wildly. But I held on amidst the growing nervousness as the boat moved away from the shore and the likeness of any civilization grew increasingly smaller. After around thirty minutes we reached a point where we were completely surrounded by water and there was no sight of any shore. This was the point where I was so taken by the glorious beauty of nature that I completely shed any lingering fear and started to truly enjoy the sights.

The sea fowl serenely sailing along the waters, a few birds swooping down to catch fish, some kind of crane/ergot standing on one leg on a protruding piece of rock and flocks of birds flying very low over the waters and the golden rays of the setting sun which had colored the lake in beautiful hues of green, blue and red were some of the rewards that I received in lieu of conquering my fears and making the journey. We reached the island just as the evening prayers (or 'aarti') was about to begin. My mind was at peace as the Goddess had already answered my prayers and freed my mind of fear. I made the return journey in a great state of mind and survived to share this wonderful experience with my readers.

This post is written for Mountain Dew . Check out their awesome video -

Friday, November 28, 2014

Kyunki Bolega Nahin Toh Badlega Kaise

Female foeticide/infanticide is one of the major problems that plagues India (and quite a few other nations too). Not surprisingly, it is a reflection of the status of women in such societies. The girl child grows up into a woman and is married off, and therefore she is hardly able to contribute to her parents' family. An additional burden is incurred in the form of her food cum clothing expenses, education and an evil called dowry. On the other hand, the male child contributes to the family wealth once he completes his education. An additional incentive is the prospect of his bringing home a handsome dowry if his parents are able to able to showcase his correct value in the marriage mart.

It somehow affects the standing of women in overall society with women receiving less pay as compared to men in some of the work sectors. Our Bollywood and Hollywood stars are a such an example with lead actresses getting paid lesser remuneration as compared to their male co-stars. This disparity is also apparent at the other end of the economic spectrum as is the case with the daily wage laborers.

It also affects our day to day life with Indian women doing the lion's share of the household work. The Times Of India recently ran an article which was headlined "Indian men spend a mere 19 mins a day on housework". Such negative attitude is so deep rooted in our minds that even working women do not get any help from their spouse or in-laws in completing the daily household chores.

Unfortunately even our teachers are not exempt from such thinking. Many years ago when I was in school, the class teacher had appointed the students to clean the classroom, scrub the blackboard and arrange the desks everyday before the first period begin. This was to be done on a rotation basis and boys were exempt from carrying out such duties. While everyone meekly followed her instructions, I was not too happy to toe along. My protests resulted in a punishment which involved kneeling down outside the classroom for the entire day. This brought the matter to the open as other teachers stopped along and questioned why I had been punished. It helped that I was a good student. Though not immediately, there was a change over the next few weeks. New housekeeping (we used to call then 'ayah') was appointed to take care of such duties instead of students doing the cleaning. That incident instilled in my mind that any change is possible if we have the courage to stand up and speak for ourselves.

This post is written for http://www.abmontubolega.com/. With the Swach Bharat wave sweeping India, let us all take the initiative to sweep out the dirt from everywhere including people's minds. Find out more about the #AbMontuBolega campaign on their Facebook and Twitter page. Afterall, this is your chance to speak up and be heard.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

More than Just Luck(y)

Gaming. Lottery. Social Networking. Competition. And a genius to bring it all together. Lo and behold. The first App that revolutionizes gaming is born. While it allows one to indulge in that secret desire that everyone nurtures, it makes 'Getting Lucky' sound much more feasible than ever before. And unlike lotteries which are never transparent, this one is simple and easy. What's more, one can also turn it into a much more enjoyable and productive pursuit by tagging some friends along.

For one to play the game, one just has to download it and pick the shares of six companies (all it takes is a few taps on your smartphone screen). If the chosen stocks register the highest gains, one automatically wins. With all the brands being renowned ones, it requires one to do minimal homework before betting on the most alluring stocks. Nothing that most stock crazy Indians have not done before. And for the first time in the history of gaming, the prizes involve something more tangible than the ego-assuaging chest thumping among one's friend circle. Yes, there's cash and holidays to be won for all the time and effort that one has put in. Sounds much better than buying lottery, doesn't it ?

But since this is a game that thrives on social interaction (read 'sharing') like all others, it needs the help of social media to make the most out of it. So, say adieu to inviting friends to play 'so& so' games, only to be ignored or turned down. This time around, your friends are going to be grateful for receiving such an invite as it allows then to play and win something big. And as a bonus of your magnanimous gesture, Lucky 6 rewards you every time a friend wins. And this reward is a good 25% of what your friend has won in the game. So, the more you share, the more are your chances of winning in this game. And add that to the goodwill that one gets from a friend who has won. Friends that play together, stay together. Isn't that super cool ?

Another plus is that 'Lucky 6' being a fun social game, it is completely free. There is no catch as with other internet games that get one addicted and make one pay to go through the higher levels even as one keeps competing among friends. Sadly there are no rewards for the free publicity that such Apps/Games get via the users playing and sharing them. But it is soon going to become a thing of the past with 'Lucky 6' and Fat Cat Gaming. Excited to be going the Fat Cat way with "He who shares,wins".

This post is written for Fat Cat Gaming. Do try out and enjoy their new game....Keep playing keep winning

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Healthy Kids Make for Happy Mothers

Ask any mother what she asks from God in her everyday prayers. Nine out of ten would reply that their foremost wish is the health of their children. Only when the kids are healthy and happy, would they be able to focus on other things. Whether she is a stay-at-home mother or a career woman, the ability to carry out her daily responsibilities revolves around her children.

A happy kid is a bundle of positive energy and has the ability to light up everyone's spirits. Whether it is turning the house upside down or leaving a mess in their wake, their antics become part of the family anecdotes. But on the other end, a sick child is like an endless pit for draining away any positivity and happiness. Whether it is the refusal to take food or the constant whining, it is heart-breaking and unnatural to see these innocent and hapless children in such a dormant state.  As a mother, I have experienced both extremes. Needless to say, I always hope for the former and try to avoid the latter. And I do take very possible measure within my reach to make this happen.

Starting with a diet that is vital for the development of his body and brain, I try to supplement it with health drinks and ayurvedic formulations. With the deteriorating environmental conditions, they are regularly exposed to pollutants and viruses that are becoming increasingly strong. And not to forget the problem of pollen allergies that is very evident in Bangalore. I believe that my child needs that 'extra' bit of care and nutrition to fight and overcome these external enemies. Hence I trust something like Dabur Chyawanprash which draws from the rich and ancient ayurvedic tradition of India and has proven 'immunomodulatory and anti-allergic potential'.

I remember my mother forcing me to take 'Chyawanprash'. As a kid, I hated those white bottles with the red cap and the sketch of a sage etched in red. I think if I looked hard, I would still find a few of those in the storage room. But looking back in time, I do acknowledge that it is very helpful in keeping away/curing minor irritants like a running/itchy nose, sore throat, cough or even sneezing fits (trust me they can be really irritating if they are as bad as mine used to be). Though she would sometimes forget it during the remaining year, my mother always made sure that I took those two spoonfuls of Chyawanprash in the early winter months. 'This is the right time for building immunity', she would exclaim. And I have kept the tradition alive. 'Like mother like daughter'.

[This post is written for Dabur Chyawanprash.]

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