Saturday, December 12, 2015

Chandigarh Diaries

"Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe" Abraham Lincoln
See how subtly Abe Lincoln told us about the importance of planning. India is a colorful country and having traveled across its length and breadth, I claim to have seen many of its colors. Probably if our founding fathers listened to Abe Lincoln, they could have 'created' far better color combinations that what we have today. 

A prime example of a planned-colorful Indian city. Having visited Chandigarh on many occasions I always admired its network of roads. But its not only its road network, but the entire city seems to be a futuristic event planned by Le Corbusier and his team.  Just to give you a glimpse of what Chandigarh means, it is a city with third highest forest cover across the country. 

Imagine driving cruising along the pothole-free roads in a city while every road divider is made of wild green trees playing hide and seek with the skyline. That is Chandigarh. 



The vision of Le Corbusier and also the political powers that be who thought of building the first Indian planned city certainly deserve to be called #MadeOfGreat. 

This city drives you crazy. No, not the way it drives you crazy in Bangalore or Hyderabad. The traffic is planned, the roads are constantly monitored by a huge pool of traffic constables. Nobody is over-speeding here because you just can't. City drive limits have been fixed at 60kmph in the day time. Nobody shoots high beam head light in your face. Anyway, why would you need high beam when the entire road network is powered with solar lit panels?

Arguably the greatest visionary of our times, Steve Jobs believed that design is not what is just looks and feels like but design is how it works. Chandigarh is a prime example of perfectly designed artwork that not only looks good but works just as good.  It boasts to be one of the few cities in our country that have completely solar paneled offices. Not one but three. We have heard of the concept of twin cities but this Chandigarh design takes it one step ahead and enables it to be connected seamlessly with two more cities. See, I told you this design feels good- works good. 

With a population of more than 2 million (tri-city) if this city still boasts to be a planned city, it surely is appropriately connected. The traffic signals don't fail here. People don't drive as if they are participating in hell race. With two IT Parks of formidable size and many other industries dispersed all across the city, Chandigarh is certainly a well managed and a connected city. Unlike other cities in India, you don't have to stop at every junction and look for people telling you directions. There are milestones, maps and boards all across the city. At every junction and there must be over 100 such junctions. 


If Chandigarh model can be replicated all across the country, our country would certainly its lost glory which we often hear on TV debates that once belonged to us. 
And no city is great if not for its people. To quote the visionary artist Walt Disney, " You can design and create the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality."

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Ekla Chalo Re!

If they answer not to your call walk alone
If they are afraid and cower mutely facing the wall,
O thou unlucky one,
open your mind and speak out alone.

Ekla Chao Re! is a phenomenal poem written by Tagore. I wonder will he ever get to know that this poem has insired milions of lesser mortals to dream and never give up.

And those who walk alone, against all the odds are undeniably #madeofgreat

As Zig Ziglar once said,'Motivation is like bathing. You'll need it everyday'. There are people around us who religiously followed their dreams and passion and made a great change to the lives of people surrounding them.

Its like that Arjuna's story from the Mahabharat. Aim at the eye, forget everything else. That's what defines people who are #madeofgreat. They never let their goal disappear even for a second from their sight.

And I have been fortunate enough to meet such people who have dedicated their entire life to make a positive change in the lives of people of Himachal.

I met Jodie and Sarita accidentally and those accidents have turned out to be inspiring for sure. 

Mission Clean Dharmshala

A young British lady walks down the colourful yet filthy streets of sleepy town of Dharmsala. She finds nothing but a great disregard for nature and that hurts her deeply. What she did next had blown away thousands of young brains across the state of Himachal.

She picks up a broom and starts cleaning those filthy streets all by herself. Within two years, her little revolution brings all sorts of people to the streets of Dharmshala.

But it doesn't end here. Local politicians get her thrown out of Dharmshala. Her NGO was disbanded. Does hat stop her?


She moves to another beautiful yet filthy town, Dehradun. Picks up a broom and starts cleaning again. Today that lady is known as the Garbage Girl. 

Jodie Underhill, the garbage girl needs no introduction today. Her two ventures, Mountain Cleaners and Waste Warriors are a household name in Himachal and Uttarakhand. Despite being a British National, she was awarded the Young Indian award by a prestigious Indian conglomerate.

A Lone Warrior in Slums

Sarita Vaidya was facing two major problems. The first one was her husband's injured back that restrained him to the confines of their house. The second problem was walking 5km(one side) to her workplace. 

Teaching kids, in a slum, where no parent was willing to send their kids to the school, was just a minor problem for her. Kids, she says, are always willing to learn. And if you are a good teacher, they will come and sit in the classroom. 

It took her six weeks to bring all the kids, 18 in total, to her classroom. And once all 18 were inside her classroom, she made it mandatory for parents to attend the class with their respective kids at least once a week. 

Within one year, her classroom was reporting 100% attendance. And that included weekend special classes too. 

And meanwhile, she calculated, she had walked almost 2000 kilometres to make her classroom full of inquisitive students. 

These stories of people who singlehandedly did what they aspired to do are the catalysts of change in our society. Out society is undergoing a huge social churning, the end product of which would be a vibrant and shining India. 

Such stories remind us that it doesn't need a Christmas to call for a Santa. 

Look around carefully, you could be somebody's Santa. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Go Portable with Tata Sky Transfer + - The Power in is in Mobile

Remote Control is a divisive force. It divides families and sometimes even leads to great wars within the family. I've been the victim of Remote Diplomacy within my family many a time, and I can assure you when the other party is your wife or your kid, it certainly isn't a good experience. 

However, the power centers have changed, and changed for good. :)

The handheld device in your hand is the new power center. Irrespective of the make of your mobile phone, irrespective of your location, the little devil in your hands controls everything. The world of entertainment and information is evolving fast. We only have 12 hours in a day and that's just not enough.

Tata Sky +Transfer has given us what we want. This new transfer box helps us take our recorded content portable. So you don't have to stick to your TV set to watch your favorite wrestling show or the finals of US Open. With the help of your iOS or Android device, you can now pair it with the Set Top Box and there you go portable with all your recorded data. 

You want to stay updated with the ever changing world of share markets? Cool!

You want to analyze the US Open final between Federer and Novak and feel sad about the legend that once ruled the Tennis world? No problem!

You want to see the Prime Minister of India delivering inspirational speeches world over and inviting the Industrialists to invest in India? That's absolutely fine.

Or you want to laugh your heart out to silly but funny jokes of Kapil. Whatever be your choice or orientation, Tata Sky + Transfer will help you. 

Here's my Top Three programs that I'd love to watch with my Tata Sky + Transfer

1. WWE - No animals hurt, absolute fun, great acting. I'd not be shying to admit that even till date, I'm a WWE Fan. Back home it becomes difficult to keep track of this program. And moreover all the 'grown ups' in the family hate WWE. So with all the action happening in my mobile, It'd be great fun to watch the legendary wrestlers cum actors pull new stunts. Wouldn't it be? 

2. Tennis -  I never played the game. But that's the point of professional sports, you don't have to necessarily play it to watch it. But the game starts late and keeps you intrigued as late as 0400 Hours in the morning. Sometimes, you even lose track of time if it is a Djoker - Nadal face off, and end up sleeping in the office. I don't want that happening. So, Sky + would be of great help. 

3. Epic History - They show interesting stuff. They even talk about my hometown Himachal almost every week. I'd always love to watch people talking good about my home. So I would watch it every single time on the TV and on my mobile phone as well. What the heck! It's my hometown people. :)

How It Works?

All you need to do is to login to your mobile Tata Sky Mobile App and go to transfer. Then pair the device with your wi-fi and there you go. Everything that can be recorded with your Tata Sky+ will be available in your mobile too. Have Fun watching. 

Watch this video to get a little more clarity about the amazing transfer feature. With Sky+ your family wouldn't have to fight over the control of remote like these Transferkars. Everybody literally owns the remote with Sky+

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Airtel 4G - The Fastest Network Ever

Image: Airtel

A couple of years ago I was trekking in the foothills of the Dhauladhar Himalaya in Himachal Pradesh. At 12000 feet, all of a sudden, I heard a weird sound coming from my backpack. For once, I thought it to be an Earthquake. But it was not. It was my mobile phone ringing on vibration mode. 

Receiving a call at such heights in that terrain is surely a surprising thing. But Airtel did make that happen. I've been using Airtel since 2010, it's been five years on a single number since then. Like real friends, we've had our good and bad moments together, but our bond only grew stronger with time. 

With the launch of Airtel 4G, this bond is only going to be stronger than ever. Airtel being the first service provider in India to upgrade from 3G to 4G services is a welcome move. With the size of data being exchanged on the Internet increasing with every passing second, it makes sense to roll out the fastest available technology in India. 

With such unbelievable speeds under my hood, I can think of so so many activities that can just be done in time without no hassles. That will make life better beyond imagination. 

Faster Videos No matter how bad it sounds, the world has moved on from reading to viewing. That's what I have come to believe. With Airtel 4G services, it's going to be great fun watching your videos streaming faster than you can ever imagine. Also, uploading videos would be just a cakewalk. 

Faster Social Media Life There is no denying that the virtual world of Social Media has become a real part of our 'flesh and blood lives'. Airtel 4G will make it even easier to connect with our friends and families. With lightning speeds, that it promises to deliver, it's gonna be great fun watching your loved ones live online. 

Faster Transactions If you make financial transactions on your mobile, you certainly need a good connection. Even faster than the 3G network. And that's where Airtel 4G fits the bill. Banking sites have to be secure and that probably needs a good connection that doesn't give up just when you are transferring funds. With 4G services, it's going to be a lot more easier. 

Here's an online video doing rounds showing what all Airtel 4G has to offer. Have a look yourself. Initially, 296 cities are to be covered and if you are active on Twitter, you even have a chance of getting the 4G sim delivered at your doorstep. Just use the #GetAirtel4G tag and have it delivered at your doorstep.

It doesn't get better than this, does it? 

Don't wait, take your chance. Happy Browsing. :)

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Twin Duo of Manali and Kullu: Things to Know before You Go!

Incredible Rohtang, 50 km from Manali
Manali! The Queen of Hills, that's what we I believe. Some argue that it's not Manali but Simla that deserves to be the Queen. But close proximity to the mountains and infinite travel possibilities that Manali offers to men and women alike, deservedly makes it the Queen. 

Manali is not a place to just see on a weekend trip from Delhi or Chandigarh. Instead, it is a place to feel and soak in the spirit of doing the things you always wanted to do. Savor the delicious pahadi food, volunteer with NGO's or local monasteries, and cherish the joy that closeness to Mother Nature brings. 

The sleepy town of Old Manali might bring you close to your inner self. If nothing, you'll surely associate yourself with the brotherhood of #HappyTravellers.  

Whenever one talks of Manali; its twin Kullu, often gets sidelined. Today, we shall see Manali and Kullu as sister Himalayan Towns and go through what all they have to offer to a tourist; who could be a honeymooner, or a backpacker, or just another guy trying to find himself in the wilderness.
Manali – Where is Snow?

Manali means snow. Doesn’t matter which tourist category you belong to, the first thought that comes to your mind when you think of Manali is of snow. Finding snow in Manali in peak summer season is little difficult as it is a crowded town that attracts hundreds thousands of tourists.

But within a day's travel from Manali, there are many snow points that will bring out the little child in you, who always wanted to bombard others with snow balls. Other than this, Manali offers a little something to all types of travelers.

Things to do in Manali

  • Take a stroll along the Mall Road. A tiny market bustling with people from all walks of life. A true manifestation of different colors of Indian culture absorbed in the warmth of the mountains. 
  • If you are a bike enthusiast, hire a day bike, you will find many rental services. Take a ride to close-by places like Vashishth, Gulaba, Naggar Castle, and Kais Monastery. All these can be covered in a day. And you can park your bike anywhere. No parking hassles.
  • Old Manali means food, dance, and music. Indulge in delicious organic food, talk to strangers, walk along the tiny rivulets that flow all along the length and breadth of Manali. Cherish the freedom!
  • Hike all the way from Mall Road to Hidimba Temple and observe how Manali has still preserved it cultural heritage. Not just the temple but ancient buildings surrounding the temples will tell you the same story. It's just a 2 kilometer walk. If nothing, you will at-least breathe fresh air coming straight from the towering Deodar trees ;) 
  • Help Locals Takea souvenir back home, like a handcrafted shawl or a pahadi topi. These clothing items are made by various cooperative societies comprising mainly of women of Manali and near-by villages. What better way to empower women of the mountains! That's what the spirit of #SheThePeople tells us. 
What Not to Do in Manali?

If you are travelling by public transport, make sure you have made all your bookings well in advance. The state owned buses are reliable and have frequent service between Delhi and Manali.

Kullu – A Forgotten Wonder

The Incredible Valley of Kullu 

What would you do if you have been driving in a crawling lane and all of a sudden you see a diversion wide enough to accommodate all the mad rush of tourists heading towards Manali?

You will take a diversion, Right?

That’s how you miss the incredible town of Kullu. The town of ancient wooden temples and homemade Kullu shawls.

Of late a few monasteries have added all the more to the charm of Kullu Valley. One such monastery is located right atop the hill overlooking this entire valley.

And if you are fond of trekking or hiking, Kullu has to offer you even greater heights.

Where to Stay?
Mahindra's White Meadows, Prini

If I were you and I'd have to choose between Kullu and Manali, I'd take Manali every single day. Why? Because Manali has that magical charm associated with it's weather and it's people. And of course, there is no match for Manali's hospitality.

Mahindra's White Meadows at Prini are a great place to find solace from the mad rush of the city life. Right beneath the towering rocky slopes of Hampta Pass and Shring Tungu Peak, this luxury resort is worth giving a try. Try it, you won't regret it!

Is Manali Safe for Women Travelers?

You'll find many desi and videshi female solo travelers in Manali. Tourism in small-towns like Manali has certainly helped Indian women to follow in the footsteps of their western counterparts. However, a cautious approach will always keep you out of trouble's way.

Here's what you can do to make your Manali sojourn an unforgettable experience.
  • Plan Well Random is good, without any doubt. But a well planned journey will always keep you out of harm's way. For instance, avoid walking down from Vashisth Hot Springs to Manali in the dark. That area is dimly lit. 
  • Communicate Around Manali, there are numerous short day hikes. And a traveler will always be fascinated to head into the wilderness. Always, communicate with your hotel staff or family about your plans for the day. 
  • Seek Local Input There are certain places and even villages too where women wearing western attire are not welcome. Sounds crazy, but that's how it is. While in Manali, do as the Manalians' do. Always seek local input before visiting a remote village. 
Incredible White Meadows of Manali

Everest 2015 Trailer - Reliving, Into Thin Air

Into Thin Air was a great book by Krakauer. It had all the elements of a thrilling read. And in the end, like every other great work of such a scale, it too was surrounded by controversies.

This movie is set to release in 2015 and reliving the experience of book on a big screen is surely gonna be fun. Are you as excited as I am?

Don't know? Watch this trailer and share your thoughts in the comment box.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

My Airtel, My App!

Mobile phones are no more the virtual world. The world of mobile phones is the real world. From paying your bills to connecting to your near and dear ones, the mobile world enables and empower you to save your time, money, and energy.

So, Let's shake it!

Don't take me otherwise. I am talking about My Airtel App. And why am I asking you to shake it? Let me explain in this post in the shortest possible way. 

Because that's how it works. You shake it and it throws at you amazing offers, customized plans, mind-boggling data packs, and a lot many surprises. The App Interface is simple and doesn't confuse you with too many details. You need a recharge, enter your number,  enter amount and get done with it.

For special occasions like your birthdays, it offers you surprises and special packages. 

The second best thing is adding tasks/actions to I Want To feature. With an App like this, you can do multiple things like recharging your mobile phone or taking care of your DTH connection. I Want To feature helps you to save your favorite actions at one place so that you can save time and cut to the chase in case you want to speed up the recharging process. 

A one stop solution to all your daily need tasks. No need to go through the tedious process of logging in, entering amounts, and then waiting for the browser to load. Single click solution. 

Last but not the least, the Calculator feature is another gem. Depending upon your usage, you are allowed to choose your data plan. And how exactly you calculate your daily usage? That's what this Calculator does. It asks you various inputs like the number of web pages you browse on a daily basis, number of songs/apps/games worked online on a daily basis. And then it performs some arithmetic and the best suited plan according to your needs is what you are told to take up.

So let the app do all your math while you enjoy your web experience at the best rates. 

So you read 50 odd articles in a day, listen to a couple of songs on music apps, and watch few videos online, My Airtel will calculate your approximate data usage and offer you the best available plan according to your needs.

Why spend more than you actually need to?

The App doesn't even occupy much space on your mobile phone and is quite light to handle even on the basic smartphones. All you need is a sound Internet connection and rest all will be taken care by the app.

In a nutshell, My Airtel App is the simplest way to manage all your airtel services through your handset. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

#EkNayiLeague with Kapil Dev!

The man who got us our first Cricket World Cup is inviting us again to join hands with him. A grand venture of sorts. Just that he wants us all to guess before he formally announces what his venture is all about.

He names it #EkNayiLeague. It all started with Kapil Dev asking celebrities to guess about his New League on twitter. He invited sports-persons and celebirities from all walks of life to be a part of his league. He just fell short of inviting the Prime Minister of India to join his league as well.

So now what this New League would be all about?

A sports league on the lines of IPL? Or a TV Series show where Kapil will invite celebrities to share their stories with him? Or some new online show where people will participate by means of Social Media Channels?

Before we make our guesses about this new league, let's have a look at a video where Kapil Dev talks about his new league.

All our lives we have been told that if you put your heart to your work, nothing can stop you from achieving what you want. Even Kapil Dev has said the same on numerous occasions, while commentating or while being interviewed by various channels.

However, while giving us clues about the new league, Kapil Dev clearly mentions not to khelo dil se because if you do that, you lose.

The Subtle Hint

However, there lies a subtle hint in the image shown above. Kapil is pointing towards his head. So what does that mean? 

My first guess would be a Quiz Contests of the celebrities. Most probably related to Cricket in particular or Sports in general. So you don't have to be emotional while you play this league. All you have to do is to apply your brains and think real deep so as to win this league.  

And because the word is Ek 'Nayi' League, most probably all the money involved will go to charity. My optimistic guess would be donating all the prize money to the victims of natural calamities across India. That's what would make it a new league for sure. 

My second guess is about the involvement of general public. A quiz contest between the celebrities and general public. Wouldn't that be innovative and fascinating? If public wins, they take their prize money home. If the celebrity wins, they donate all their money to the victims of natural calamities. 

A win win situation for all the stakeholders.

So that's what I think this new league would be all about. What's your guess?

You can mark your guess at EkNayiLeague and if your guess is any good, who knows, you might as well win 100,000. And a chance to meet Kapil Dev as well.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Redefining the Smartphone experience with Asus Zenfone 2

The world is inside a tiny little box called a smartphone, not virtually but literally. From paying your bills online to shopping online, a smartphone can do almost anything that you ask it to do for you. Probably the world of smartphones is the fourth dimension these Hollywood walahs often talk about.

The first time I saw an Asus Zenfone was last year when one of my friends was showing off his device. With all the cost vs features comparison done, I think he wasn't wrong boasting about his new phone that was literally smart. 

Image: Asus 
The company has fired another shot from its armory and this time they have come up with a heavy performer namely Asus Zenfone 2, an improvement over its predecessors.

How is it going to redefine my smartphone experience, let me explain in brief points in this blog post.

1. A solid and sturdy design has always attracted end users. We, as the end users, know it. Asus as a manufacturer knows it. They have done a major overhaul to their design, not that the previous generation was ugly, and that is one genuine factor to look up to this device. With the volume button pushed to the back and an improved screen to body ratio, this phone surely will redefine your experience.

2. So, is it one of those devices which look good but lag badly? No. It's a marvel of Power and Beauty, in the Lap of your Hand, that's how the company describes it and they ain't wrong about it one bit. Powered with a 64 bit quad core engine and backed by a 2-4 GB dual performance RAM, this phone just doesn't fly. Anything else, like running n  number of apps or working with a heavy photo editing software, this device can do anything.

3. In a small-town like mine, Asus offers post sale services. I wouldn't take a guess how effective these guys must be in the cities. Post sale services have often remained a major problem in Indian scenario. However, my experience with ASUS (in a small Himachali town) is beyond all expectations. Not even the other marketing giants could offer me what ASUS could. So, on that front too, this device is going to change your behavioral pattern towards service centers.

All said and done, Asus also intends to empower you with its accessories too. A loaded power bank and a stylish earphone set is just round the corner. Quite unlike others, you'll not be left alone after the launch.

So go ahead and take a chance. Redefine your smartphone experience with ASUS Zenfone 2.

The real zen has arrived. Go meet the Godsent. And do talk about your experiences because sharing happiness is what the learned beings do. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Day of Happiness

What does happiness mean to you? Tell us about the simple things that make you happy.
This question leaves many dumbfounded, looking for a perfect explanation. However, the question answers itself. It’s those simple things that you enjoy doing that lead to the happiness galore.

Image Source: Coca Cola
The greatest deception is that money makes one happy. By that logic, the natives of Qatar, Singapore, and Brunei would be the happiest. Similarly, people living in Andhra and Maharashtra would be called the happiest.

But is that so? The answer is NO. 

The answer lies elsewhere. Its those simple little things that we do on a daily basis that make us happy. For me, it's being with the mountains that makes me happy. It's being with my wife by the end of day that makes me happy. 

Believe me, there is nothing better than being in the mountains (the places you love) with someone you love. No GDP figure can beat that moment.

A couple of days out in the wilderness with your beloved can make you forget all the worries and pains of the monotonous 9 to 5 life.

And its not that you feel happy and contended only when you are out in the jungle. Happy moments lived together with your family and dear ones is the best thing that one can look forward to by the end of the day.

Personally, I love to spend time together with the family and when I am not with them, I always crave to go out and meet my other family; the extended Himalayan family that always greets me whenever I visit them.

Why I Love These Mountains?
George Mallory, the great British Mountaineer, when asked why he wanted to climb the Mount Everest, quipped, "Because it's there."

The divine charm of these mountains is something that can't be described in words. A casual talk with the mountain folks, a nice Himalayan symphony, a walk across the treacherous hilly slopes, a day spent in the lap of the Mother Nature; all these little nothings of life help us value our life even more.

The way mountain folks lead their simple lives and spread smiles among their visitors is something to look up to. Their lifestyle and their needs are minimal but the amount of happiness they possess is infinite.

All this, all little sweet nothings of life, which we ignore otherwise hold great importance in our lives. This TVC by Coca Cola summarizes the idea of happiness in just under 30 seconds.

Watch happiness dancing on your computer screens. And remember that it's sweet little nothings of life that count in the long run. The idea of happiness is not to run behind the mirage. Once we start valuing sweet little nothings, everything else falls in place automatically.

Be Happy!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Idea of #DigitalIndia

Technology helps every single stakeholder because it brings accountability into the picture. A document drowned in the ocean of files in a public office might take years to come out in the full public view but a comment posted on a Social Media Page, or an email sent to the Office Bearer is always traceable.

Image Source: Intel
The Public Officer Connect

A couple of months ago, I had to visit the local SDM Office for the routine task of updating my driving license. It took me three weeks to get the job done. I ran out of patience after one week and tried to meet the office in-charge, the Sub Divisional Magistrate. But he was outstation, as one of the ministers was in the town.

So, what did I do? I took to Facebook. 
The Facebook of the District Deputy Commissioner that was launched by the Chief Minister of the State only a couple of weeks ago. Within three hours, I was given the copy of my license.

Afterwards, the SDM himself got in touch with me and specifically asked me to help him setup an online page for his office as well.

Technology helps bridge such gaps, the gaps between the general public and the bureaucrats, the gaps which have unfortunately grown so wide that only technology appears to be the last resort of filling those voids.

There are many such stories that we come across various social media platforms, where government officials interact with the public. Ministers, Police Commissioners, Passport Offices; everything is online. The public can talk to those who matter any-time, all you need is a working Internet Connection.

There are online complaint redressal systems. One doesn't need to go to through the painful hierarchical set-up of meeting the clerks, babus, and Officers in person

Another example of how e governance systems work. Have a look!

  1. You have a grievance but want not to reveal your identity, file an online complaint.
  2. You want to raise a demand but don't have the time to visit the head office, file an online demand. 
A single click will do the job. #DigitalIndia is rising fast and we all are a part of this ongoing process. 

The Public Government Connect

And it's just not about the complaints any-more. It's no longer 'We against the Government' scenario any-more.

The moment new PMO Portal was launched, I wrote to the Prime Minister. And the reply was beyond my expectations, within 24 hours.
Such proactive steps help build trust in the governments. When the people trust its government and the government addresses queries, one common objective of Nation Building becomes achievable.

A cursory glance through the eGov website and you'll understand what I', trying to say. There are real people participating actively in the campaigns organized by the government. There are ideas flowing all around, which are being implemented by the government in the real time.

There are new things coming out of the closet of our new tech savvy government, like the Digi Locker. A one step solution for carrying all your documents at one place. Like the newly designed web-portal of IRCTC. With the ever increasing reach of mobile phones in India, technology is not only going to bring accountability but it will also help us save a great deal of effective man-hours.

In 2013, it was reported that the Indian mobile subscriber base was a whopping 795 millions, which was estimated to go past the 1100 million mark by the end of 2020. And with our new government rolling out a new interactive portal for public participation and opinions, things are going to move in the right direction only.

The first step towards a great relationship is trust. If the government and public relation is backed by trust founded on the strong foundations of technology, a bright future certainly awaits the Indian horizons.

A digitized India is going to be a reality soon. All it needs is active participation of each one of us.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Getting a Better Car with Quikr NXT

It's a never ending battle of making your cars better and also trying to be better yourself ~ Dale Earnhardt
With Quikr NXT, things are becoming much better than what they used to be. Like selling your old car for a better one the Quikr NXT.

A better doesn't necessarily mean a new one. This might sound little confusing but stay with me here, let me show you how it works with Quikr.

I have long fantasized about selling my  dad's car because that's quite an old make. It belongs to one of those species, which if kept standing inside your garage will rob you off your monthly savings. And if they are taken to the outdoors, they'd cost even more because panting and giving up is a characteristic property of such cars.

Basically, damned if you park it, damned if you run it. But there is always someone out there looking for an update.

What you have might not be good for you, but it certainly doesn't mean that it's not good for anyone.

If I were to replace my his car, I'd certainly make use of the vast buyer-seller network of the Quikr World. Here are four best things that you can do on Quikr.

1. Browse through hundreds of available models. You don't have to visit multiple showrooms to find your deal. It's your one stop deal. Any make, be it vintage or the regular Indian Car, everything is just one click away.

2. There is always someone who is willing to upgrade. Upgrade to a new car, or a new make, by selling his/her current car, which might be far far better than your current car. There you have it. All you have to do is to make the right connection.

3. You are on your own here. No pressure of the salesman constantly nagging with you. You like it, go ahead and buy it. You don't, you don't have to feel embarrassed of walking out of the showroom. Actually you don't even walk-in, so no question of walking out either.

4. The best part being, you can ask anything about the car, read about it, find customer reviews, and then make your mind.

With all these guidelines in the place, I'd like to trade off my father's car with someone who is willing to let his upgrade be my upgrade.

If I were to make my move, I'd buy an old car that's waiting an upgrade in the market. Such cars come off cheap and if it happens to be your lucky day, you might as well hit the jackpot.

For instance, sample this

A 2010 Dzire selling for just under 400k. And you have all the options of virtually looking inside the car, giving a call to the owner, or if your shy types, chat with the owner.

So, if ever I get lucky with my dad, I'd definitely go with the Quikr World. Where hundreds of buyers meet thousands of sellers. All of them looking for an upgrade. :)

And remember folks, an upgrade doesn't always mean buying a new one. Getting lucky on Quikr is the new up-gradation.

Go Quikr!  The best place for upgrades.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Valentining with Asus Zenfone

Let's cut to the chase straightaway, I do love my real valentine, but its equally true that without a virtual valentine, the love affair would be incomplete. Some may choose a TV, or some may choose a popular gaming device, but I'd like to go with something that sort of comes as an All in One Package. 

A multifaceted device, you see! 

What better than an Asus Zenfone as your first second valentine. :D

Here I write my 5 reasons to have the Asus Zenfone as my valentine of this season. And I'm sure by the time you finish reading my thoughts, you too will be head over heels like me drooling over the features of this amazing device. 

1. Love at First Sight
Its not possible to explain love in words, even difficult if it is love at first sight. I mean, looking at the figure, I mean specs of this amazing device, who wouldn't fall in love with this spectacular work of technology. Have a look at this classy gadget. Isn't it beautiful? 

2. Fun Camera, Great Memories
With great camera, comes brilliant photographs. Armed with a powerful 13MP camera, ASUS fone is one hell of a Memory Caretaker. And with all those stylish tweaks, you can add special colors and flavors to your memories. The camera stays with you, no matter how bad your mood is. The camera never complains too, no matter how ugly you look. Even if you are straight out of the bed, the camera will smile flash back at you, without complaining. 

3. Colorful Companion
A colorful companion with no mood swings. Style it, own it, and customize it in your own way. And it doesn't even look fat. There are more colors to this device than all your moods and shades combined. A great way to color your life beautiful.  :D 

4. Soda Lime Glass
It has nothing to do with the beverage you were fond of drinking as a child. It's the latest and the sharpest. Just like your alter ego. Crystal Clear like the bright blue sky on a sunny day in the winters. And all you need is a wipe cloth to keep it that way forever. 

No aging problems, you see! 

5. This
If they can make a love advertisement like this, think what would they have done with the device. This is one of the finest ads I have seen. The message of love and ASUS has been subtly put forward. Don't believe me, just catch a glimpse of this beautiful #UnconditionalLove Ad. 

Are my five reasons not enough for you to rethink about your valentine options? :D

I know it isn't a difficult choice, go ahead, take a leap of faith....

Sunday, February 1, 2015

No Fikar, Chat Quikr- Go Quikr NXT!

The world of instant messaging is fast, and unlike in the late 1990s when we used to waste our times in shady chat groups assuming ourselves to be anonymous, the new chat world is safe and secure.

Being anonymous and being safe are not the same thing. That's where Quikr Chat scores big. And Quikr App makes it convenient for you to have the entire Buy-Sell world in your mobile phone.

The app has been named Quikr NXT  and rightly so because mobile is the new virtual planet we are going to live at until our brains explode. Its the NXT Gen app that makes your online buying-selling experience as smooth as silk.

I downloaded the app and worked my way around it. Here is my take why this app is a brilliant idea.

1. No Guesses Please, Ask Direct Questions

I was going through a product listed on the site and not much info was given except for the name of the product and its make.

So what did I do? 

I simply dropped a message to the seller. And within minutes I received a reply from the seller and then we had a good talk about the product.

That is cool, isn't it? You want more information about the product, go ahead and ask the seller. And as a seller you want only genuine buyers interested in your product, you simply ask your prospective buyers to contact you over the chat.

Clutter free business environment. Quick and efficient.

You talk to the buyer as if you were chatting with your friend. Not all people are comfortable with the idea of chatting with strangers.

The chat features simplifies your options.

2. Want Details? See More Pictures 
The Quikr Chat enables you to share pictures of the product you intend to buy or sell. You want to see the inside of a book, go ahead and ask for a photograph. 

You want to see the IMEI number of a mobile phone as it is, go ahead and ask for a fresh photograph. That can't happen over a phone call unless you intend to make a video call to a total stranger. 

Chat helps you to think about the deal you are about to make. It gives you ample time to think and to respond. 

3. Can't Make Up Your Mind, Come Back Later
You can not only just chat but can also go through your chat history. Sometimes you just don't want the product but just the information. Over a phone call, you can't recall what was said by whom. But with a chat history enabled chatbox, its just a matter of few clicks to recall every detail. 

That gives you the option of coming back and never worrying too much about the details. 

4. Location Based Search

Want your options sorted down for you? Narrow your search options by specifying locations nearer to your place. 

Click on the sellers close to your place, where from you can either personally go and see the condition of the product you intend to buy or have easy courier facilities available.

Now click on the chat figure ans start talking. Ask as many questions and in as many words as you want. There's no word limit.   

And it might happen that your seller lives just next door to you.

This post is written for Get Quikr NXT campaign hosted at Indiblogger. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Great Indian Litterbug

Aswachh Bharat Mision is our National Motto. That's what appears to be the hidden agenda of our Indian brothers and sisters. 

No, you don't have to confuse it with 'Swach Bharat Mission' initiated by the Prime Minister of India. He is new to the system, he will fall in line sooner or later.

Image: GreatIndian by TOI
But we, the sons and daughters of Mother India know our game pretty well. Those white skinned firangis ruled us for hundreds of years but even they couldn't deter our spirit of keeping our surroundings dirty and messy.

We like our streets dirty, our hospitals even dirtier.
We like our offices messy, our rivers multicolored, mostly black.
But we like our malls clean, cars even cleaner.
Also, we like our teeth shining, mobiles dust free. 
Although, this reads like a randomly written statement but it surely qualifies to be a National Song because that's what our reality is.

These days we hear about people asking for Bharat Ratna, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, and all other sort of awards. About time, we start awarding people of our great nation for what they do the best, littering every nook and corner of India.

So, I recommend  the Great Indian Litterbug Award to my dear brethren. Here's how you qualify:

1. You must keep your house, your car, and you mobile screen clean but not your streets.
2. You must throw your garbage outside the garbage bin placed in your residential area. You may as well start training your kids by asking them to shoot directly from your balcony so as to have multiple potential Indian Litterbugs Awardees in your family.
3. Spitting, which will be announced our National Sport within a decade, must be practiced religiously. You may as well organize spitting competitions, but only at Public Places. The crowded the place, better the chance of producing a future litterbug.
4.  Never listen to anyone who tries to put sense into you or your kid. Always confront whenever someone lectures you about keeping our streets clean. You may as well start throwing garbage out of your car on a busy street, and then pick fights with random strangers who don't do the same. This not only makes you popular but also adds to your Litterbug Quotient.

These five points are not just rules but they must be observed as commandments. Scientific studies suggest that Indians anyway follow all these rules, just that they need to work a little harder to be precise and consistent.

And when all these rules will be inculcated in our mind, body, and soul; nobody can stop us from achieving the greatness that once was ours.

The Great Indian will emerge victorious.
That's how our India will shine.
All hail the Great Indian Litterbug!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Quikr goes Bangalore!

Quikr has shifted its Headquarters from Mumbai to Bangalore. And that's welcome news for all Bangaloreans. Who wouldn't want India's largest classified company stationed in their home city?

All this reminds me of an old story! 

An old friend of mine wanted to buy a Yashica Camera. Actually, he wanted to surprise his father by gifting him the same camera that he had misplaced long ago. He waited for ten good years after he lost his dad's camera on a school trip. And guess where did he find the same camera? Yes, Quikr! :)

So we ran hither and thither in search of an old digital camera but it was not to be found anywhere. Surprisingly, during his stay in Chandigarh he came across Quikr and within two days he had the same old camera in his hands.

Quikr is that fast! So, as far as recommending Quikr is concerned, I will always say Yes. No middlemen, no fake promises, its all about two people interested in one thing, dealing one on one with each other. 

Image: The24Club

If I were relocating to Bangalore, I would certainly use Bangalore Quikr to my advantage. Having India's largest classified company at my disposal would be great. And now with their headquarters stationed in Bangalore, as a techie, I would prefer if they give me a job as well :D

Who wouldn't want to work for a great start-up like Quikr!

If I think about things I would need, If I were relocating to Bangalore, here goes my list.

1. A Bean Bag - What's life without a bean bag?
2. A Motorcycle - Moving around in Bangalore without your own vehicle is real pain. And buying a new one and then waiting to get all the clearance is even more pain. I'd rather buy an old one with a Bangalore number. So, Quikr is my best bet.
3. A Bed - I would like to sleep in Bangalore and surely that means buying a bed. Getting a fully furbished flat in Bangalore sounds nice but it also makes a huge dent in your pocket. There are techies moving in and out of Bangalore and they keep selling their stuff on Quikr. Finding a bed on Quikr is never a problem.
5. A Bride  Well, if luck works this way, why not give it a try! I have heard good stories of people finding their life partners through Quikr. Hopefully, Bangalore Quikr will bring some luck for me too :) 

Relocating to a new city is always a problem. You not only need new stuff but also need to know your way around the city. In that way, Quikr doesn't come across as an online trading platform only, but also helps you meet real people with real experiences. 

A Word About Quikr

4.2 million listings and 150 million replies. That's what Quikr means to India. A place where real people meet with real people in the virtual world and transactions happen in the real world. Quikr operations are spread over more than 900 cities across the country. So if you have anything to sell or buy, which isn't available anywhere else, Go Quikr!