Do you remember me?

I’m back!

“Where did I go?” I can hear voices. THREE months of banishment!!!!!!

Banished?

Well yeah, sheer laziness has crept in!! 😐

I’ve become a sophomore!

I completed 1 year at Cognizant on Feb 23 2012. When I look back and recollect the time when I stepped into this C world, I had this benign sensation of the butterflies flickering inside my tummy reminding me of the newness around me – the unfamiliar environment, the ODCs and air-conditioned buildings reeking sudden unfamiliarity, the posters of Cognizant trying to fit the letter ‘C’ everywhere possible like in the body of Cheetah, in the human fingers, in the boat rowing in a sea etc etc,. I had to admit that this is going to be my life forever. Though I felt like a shy bahu entering the in-law’s house post marriage, I slowly started getting used to the aroma of the environment around me. I started feeling myself to be a part of it and Cognizant to be a part of me – each of us within ourselves.

I was consciously walking around the corridors and lobbies with the Identity card dangling around my neck. But now I’m Cognizant of things around me – the cognizance acquired out of association with people here. They have given me a good dose of ‘Feel at Home’ syrups. I am now feeling transformed, an out of transient state and no more get a sense of awkwardness settling in my stomach.

***                                                     

Lawns, Elevators & WCs

It’s been almost 2 months, MEPZ welcomed me into its happening campus, sprawling its lush green flora & fauna and its ‘colorful delights’ into everyone’s hearts so placidly and soothingly. I’m kinda loving this place. It has professional lobbies to so so breezy lawns, you forget that you are in a corporate setting and will never give a thought to stretch your legs and hands reclining in a comfortable position in the lush green lawns, chatting away with your bunch of friends, equally adoring the chill evening breeze, caressing your facial muscles & hair strands, during the evening tea break, which relaxes you from the tiring job or a stressful work which you have been carrying out all day.

One of the few things which brings in a small frown is the 9 floors, plus the ‘wait’ that we had to religiously do by pressing the UP or DOWN arrow and blatantly stare at the orange LED which shows the current position of the elevator, also worrying about the probability of the cute chick, who will be waiting along, getting a space in the same lift. There have been instances when there will be ‘no more space in the directory’ of the elevator and that one chick has to step back giving an uneasy glance to the techies onboard, leaving me in a claustrophobic metal enclosure, ascending me up and up and up the floors!

Talking about enclosures, reminds me of one more of the uncomfortable zones in MEPZ – they are the blessed Restrooms. I wonder why those WCs are enclosed in a pretty open build – guess they misunderstood it for open source. I see no closed ceilings and there is a big gap at the top and bottom of the door. When I see the big picture, I realize that they have built 4-side cardboard wall like structure around every WC, the walls being well elevated from the ground. Come on, I sense my privacy intrusion there. It’s a devastating breach in my right to excise posterior duties and such open environment will reveal the aural reverberations associated with it, which will create unnecessary repercussions in the neighboring WC mate’s ear drums and nasal cavities. The claustrophobic elevators are de-claustrophobed by such WCs. Now I believe the existence of matter and anti-matter theories of particle physics!

***

Well, nothing much…I’ve done some good to my photography side as well. I’ve loads of snaps. These three months of idleness have put my blogger side in a sleep mode due to which I’ve gained heavy amount of laziness and some gymming made me loss a quite an amount of flab. It gives a good feeling. My BMI is in a safe range.

Alright folks lets catch-up in my next post. Until then happy blogging!

100 posts of blogging!

OMG I didn’t realize my previous post was the 100th post & I’ve been awarded. This is the best thing that can happen to a blogger! All along I’ve been blogging one post after the other without noticing the post count or the comments count.

I would like to thank each and every one of you for patiently reading my blog without much bothering about me nagging you sometime or the other to read my blog or the story which I’ve scribbled. Without you and your encouragement and some discouragement from few other people, it wouldn’t have been possible for me to reach this milestone in blogging. My heartfelt thanks and gratitude to each one of you – random strangers, frequent visitors, and dedicated followers to have helped me reach this height.

As all of you and I myself know I’m very much lazy, I just wondering how can such things happen. See 100 posts is not just some target. It needs some constant source of persistence and patience to consistently think and write things.

After several hours of thinking and speculating about the source of inspiration and determination to write 100 posts, one thing that clearly hit my conscious which was none other than my blog reader’s and my friend’s encouragement and criticisms that throttled me to achieve such things. I sincerely bow to you all for giving me an opportunity to explore the inner self and unveil or rather unearth my talent to churn out stories and random thoughts that sway in my brittle mind.

Here are some stats

Graph representing number of visitors in each month from Jan 2009 to June 2011

Number of visitors in each month from 2006 to 2011

Average visitors per day in for each month from 2006 to 2011

Hmmm!

In this occasion, I would like to give you all some insight on my blogging experience till date.

How it all started?

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Are you bored blogging?

In this fast moving world, things run faster and we need the fastest of everything – Bikes, Washing machine and Internet. People have really become lazy to find time for things. So at one point of time, they either become tired or become bored. Boredom is more vulnerable than a radio active element. So many of us started blogging to kill that boredom. But in the due course of time, few get bored of blogging too. Blogging is one hell of a good pass time. But it can turn you off like an uninterested girl friend when you run out of ideas. So what are we supposed to do, to always have the inertia of blogging? Here are my 50 cents to help out all you bored bloggers out there.

Time constrain!
Always, try to allot some time religiously for blogging daily. I know many working professional who are tied up with their work and repent due to non availability of free time for blogging. One hour of your daily time will suffice to blog. You need not write a full post in that one hour. Sit and think. Think about topics which you can blog about. Write down the topics. Classify based on your interest. Write down them in a text editor or your personal diary so that you don’t forget them after sometime. In this way you can work on your thoughts dedicated for blogging. Once you get the topics you can always write down the ideas around which you are going to build the topic. It is a very planned process. Once you get the ideas, write down them one by one and decide which content should go in which paragraph. Any images or quotes if you would like to add, do mention that also, the web address or the file name will do for the initial setup. See you have gathered ideas and topics. You are ready to go now!

Topic constrain!
Now that you found some time for you blog, now comes the next major obstacle – The topic! Now all of us have to understand that, our blog is just a reflection of our thoughts. So it is not always mandatory to write about politics, a book or a movie review or a technical blog. You can write about anything under the sky. You can gather topics from your day-to-day life – Any funny incident in your office. your baby started speaking out words, an incident which affected you the most in the city bus when commuting to some place, a blunder that you happen to do when cooking last night. Anything, anything you feel that can be converted to a small article that can be blogged. Be open to ideas, Watch out for interesting things and happenings around you. You will get more than enough topics to blog about. So why worry? Keep your eyes and ears open to information around you. There you are….

Comments constrain!
Another big problem for bloggers!

“I don’t get comments for my posts. No one is reading. Why should I blog. ugh…am bored….”

When you ask any of the bloggers who stopped blogging for a time being, you can encounter the above said words. I should say, comments under a post doesn’t really judge your writing or the blog. Your thoughts and the usage of words is all matters. Do not worry, there are techniques to invite visitors to your blog.

  1. Enroll yourself into blogging forum and communities and share your posts, your posts will speak from there on.
  2. Share the link in social networking sites, tag your friends and invite them to read your posts and ask their opinion.
  3. Twitter, Buzz and many more media is always there. Follow people and make a good set of friends there. You can tweet/buzz your posts there. Link your blog to twitter so that it will automatically tweet whenever you write a new post in your blog.
  4. Come up with interesting stuffs which means a lot to all those reading your posts.
  5. Have a pleasant and professional theme which is soothing for the eyes and to browse through the content. Select a suitable template for your blog.
  6. Participate in blogging contest and nominate your blog for voting.
  7. Always be proud to share you blog address to your friends or to your colleague.
  8. If you have an invitation for guest blogging, do participate and write for them. It will be a good experience to write for others and get featured in their blog! 🙂
  9. Do update your blog frequently. Do not leave your blog untouched for long time. Your last two or three updated post will tell you how frequently you blog.

And this list is endless.!!

Blogging not only helps you to write but also it helps you to control your thoughts and streamline its flow. It helps in knowledge sharing and helps you to interact with people around the world. It increases your vocabulary and helps you to come up with important and useful ideas in a public forum. It gives you a platform to get yourself exposed to the society.

Blogging has always been fun and at the same time, it can be a downside too. Few points to help you make blogging a fun.

  1. Never be harsh on anyone or for any comments. Be polite and accept fault in case its in your side. You have approved their comment and so you have to answer them.
  2. Never try to justify that you are always correct.
  3. Don’t be under emotional lockup when writing content for your blog. Your emotions may mask your original flow of thoughts or sometimes hinder you from getting new ideas. Sometimes being under emotion helps you to speak your mind so freely and you can end up in a very emotional write up!
  4. Never talk bad about any public figures, great personalities and about your country. None of us are perfect. We all have imperfections. By blowing someone else’s balloon, you ultimately end up blowing your own negative image.
  5. It is always advisable to spell check your content before posting, a small spelling mistake may ruin the whole article.
  6. Always moderate comments. It helps you to control what appears in your blog. Moderation keeps you away from spams.

So that is all. Keep these points in your mind whenever you have an idea to write. Happy blogging!!!!!!

Guest Lecture on Future of Blogging & Twitter

A week back in my office, when I was busy doing the testing for one of my applications, an email popped up which said

FUTURE OF BLOGGING AND TWITTER

Guest Lecture by KIRUBA SANKAR

This caught my attention and I was so eager to attend this session. I was just curious to know what the content would be under this topic. If someone can really forecast the future of this blogging and twitter, then he must be a magician! I finished all the testing tasks, putting off the documentation work after the lecture; I started towards the seminar Hall.

Before writing about the session, let me give you a small intro on Kiruba. Well, he is the CEO of Business Blogging, Board Member of Rang De, Founder of F5ive Technologies and Columnist of Business Standard. So he has so much of titles in his pocket!!

I found two of my friends waiting outside and three of us joined the crowd and settled in a comfortable place in the hall. Without much delay, the session started. As usual there was this introduction by one of the MC and there the Collar mike occupied a comfortable place in the suit of Kiruba Shankar who enlightened us with the world of Online Social Media.

He was obviously different from the umpteen number of guest lecture folks, who used to come and start the session right away. He was trying to make us comfortable. In the hall in which we were seated, we have a computer monitor in front of every seat in the audience side, behind which many of the folks found a comfortable abode for the session.

He rightly caught the mind set and asked us, “So this hall is well designed for a lecture is it? Dim lighting, spacious hall and a monitor to hide your face so that you can sleep happily throughout the session, isn’t it? Can someone please switch on the lights please, so that I can see all of their faces?”

I liked this attitude of his. He was so concerned on everyone and he wanted everyone to listen. I obviously became curious.

The ice breaking session was really fantastic. We were made to mimic and jump as a duck and were asked to do becka-becka-becka loudly jumping!!

After the audience is set, there went the first question,

1. How many of you out here have a blog?

A few of the hands rose in the air and few were down. There came the next question.

2. Why do you think, you don’t have a blog?

He was expecting an answer from us. Since many of them had blogs, there was less probability of getting an answer. At last one guy from the crowd spoke, “I did not see any need to have one”.

One more reply was, “I do not get any comments in my blogs. Nobody reads it, so why should I simply right something?”

After some interaction with the folks, he gave an example of a three legged stool of sticking to some decision.

A stool with a single leg cannot stand.

A stool with two of its legs still cannot stand.

A stool with three legs can stand with a decent balance

A stool with four legs can stand well with a good balance

Similarly, to start blogging, think and come up with solid three reasons. Why should I start a blog? Ask this question to yourself and find three answers. If you are able to come with an answer, then stick to it and start blogging. Daily spend an hour to write down things and put in blog. Maintain it for a few days. Even after doing that, if you feel dissatisfied, then you can just leave it and stop blogging. You need not get back. That is perfectly fine!!

Tip: Start blogging

Then came the next question

3. How many of you have a personal email id apart from Gmail and Yahoo?

Again there was only one hand coming up. Then Kiruba gave his Gyaan on email ids. He said, “I’ve an 8 year old daughter who has an email id. She uses that for her personal use. So what makes the difference between you and her?”

This question made me really ponder on the topic. He says, “First of all, stop using all the Gmail and yahoo emails. Buy a domain first and get a email ID in your name. Something like yourname@yourname.com. Like suresh@sureshgopi.com. This gives you a dignity in the social media and it silently gives all people out there, a hint to look into your website that’s sticking after the “@” symbol in the email.”

He also asked us not to use wordpress and blogspot and other free blog hosting sites for blogging as we are just promoting their product. It is wise and professional to have a website or a blog in our name. So every time you send out a communication or an article in the Newspaper. You can attach the email ID and in turn that will carry your website name as well. This may increase traffic to your website and also it gives a professional touch to your online presence.

Tip: Have a personal email ID in your name and a personal blog in your domain name. Use it in your blog, Official communications. It will be really good to see your name and domain in the recipient inbox.

“How to promote your blog?” was another question in which various ways of blog promotion were discussed. Few of those were, putting the blog link in email signatures, clipping it along with the article that we publish in the newspapers. Yea, we can send in articles to the newspapers, which may appear in the editorial or in the supplementary columns. Even using it in the text messaging was one of the options.

Then came the discussion about how blogging has helped him and many of his friends, to come up in the life. Just a dedicated maintenance of the blog and constant content update will help one to reach unimaginable heights. It will help you a lot in the professional front.

The discussion steered on how blogging can lead to negative effects. He again narrated two incidents on how blogging has led to many problems. It seems he has written an article about the tamil actress Trisha scandal video that was in the circulation spree sometime before and that article which he wrote in his blog, came as the first result in the Google Search results. So when the cyber crime guys were into the hunting spree for the source of that video, his blog hooked up in the investigation as the article carried around 400 comments below which raised the page ranking and he was asked to report for an enquiry as it came in the top Google search results. Later he had to negotiate with them and explain them that it was just a blog and a small article that spoke and discussed if it was the real actress or it was a morph. Later he was able to come out of the issue without any problems. Thus simple things like this may create unexpected problems.

There was one more narration of an incident about Club Mahindra. The incident was about a single blog which devastatingly ruined their sales and revenue. That’s when it struck him that blogging is a powerful tool which can change anyone’s life. He also spoke about the problem he faced when he blogged about one issue about credit cards. The learning is that, anything we blog about, first thing we need to do is to get the data correct after verifying and validating for its correctness and credibility and only then it has to be put in blog.

50 cents about Twitter

Twitter apart from being highly informative and gives a “being-connected” feel, it can sometime pose menace to you. When people post twitter updates in their timeline saying I’m going to Bangalore, in airport now, going out of station for a week etc it can pose threat to your family. When you have put all your address and phone number in the website, any Tom, Dick & Harry can pose as your friend since he/she knows everything you do. The person knows your profession, what you do and where you go and where you are up to currently and all such information. Thanks to the social networking sites which gives anyone a full profile of yours and this gives an easy way to loot your house and not only that, anything can happen when you are away from Home. It is interesting to post updates about every activity you do. But it is wise to use it appropriately and usefully. So better be careful than sorry.

Kiruba recommends us to try podcasting, audio blogs – like you can record your voice describing about anything under the earth and post it in your blog. Normally we used to sit and write. In audio blogging or podcasting we can broadcast our thoughts, experiences etc visually and in voice. I’ve to admit that it was a scintillating session.

Then it was a question-answer session. So one guy shot the question, “Well about the future of blogging and twitter…”

“haha..errr..Well to my knowledge, twitter won’t last for more than five years. But in those five years, how to use all the social media to enhance your online presence is the point you need to focus.” This was his reply.

I guess, I’ve discussed most of the topics that were presented in the session. Though the session did not cover anything about future of things as such, but it did give an insight on the pros and cons of blogging & twitter. Moreover this topic is vast and it cannot be covered in the 1 hour time frame. I’ve kept the details short here since I want to keep this post a bit short, and so I’m concluding the post here.

Overall, this was the only session I was fully awake & interactive amidst all the sessions that I attended in my office.

Do drop in his site & find more details about Kiruba Shakar here in the About Me page – http://www.kiruba.com

Last but not least, He tweets here @kiruba

Thanks for the wonderful session!

Short Story: Crazy Simi

Prologue

Girls are crazy sometimes. I don’t want to make any general statements as I do not want to earn hatred from girls who are reading this.

I’m going to talk about a girl who wanted to be a guy!

She really did not mean it. But she simply wanted to be a guy because that may alleviate her from small troubles that she faces with the world around her.

***

The Chat

But seriously, if u write too much no one will have time to read and they may not know that u r leaving….” I pinged her.

She was a great blogger who writes real life incidents in an interesting way. All that amused her, impressed her, the things which made her weep, the ones which made her embarrassed, she writes everything. Life is to live and to learn things. And the best part is to share things. The late night talks with roomies with black coffee and tea. The daily late night TV remote wars and the all time menace due to unscrupulous maintenance of water supplies in the apartment which few girls share in Pune.

***

Click the “Read more…” link below to read the rest of the story

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