Sunday, June 29, 2014

Happy Birthday Tulips and Me..





Today is a special day for my blog. A year ago, on this day, I had christened it 'Tulips and me' and published my first post on it. Confused, without any objective, it was just another step to ward off boredom.

I have come a long way from there.

I have completed 154 posts, 34200 pageviews and gathered 36 followers on Google connect, 180 followers on Google plus, 71 likes on facebook, 232 network connections on Indiblogger, two contest wins, an Indirank of 78/100.

Statistics make me happy. I believe that is the left part of my brain speaking.

My right part of the brain is equally happy. My creativity is on an all time peak. I got so many amazing friends through my blog, whom otherwise I would not have ever met.

More than that I have evolved as an individual during the last one year, all thanks to my blog.
Join me friends in the celebrations..

A song that is close to my heart..I have a dream...





Have some cake too..:)

Image courtesy




Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers

Friday, June 27, 2014

Shopping at Baggout with Bittu Sharma of Comedy nights with Kapil

Bittu Sharma with the dreaded women in his life. (Dadi, Mrs Sharma, Pinky Bua and Palak)
Image courtesy: ComedyNightsWithKapil
Mr. Bittu Sharma glared at the long shopping list he had in his hand. The first part was from Dadi, second part from Bua and the third part from his whining wife.  When he looked at the last part, he swore. His meddling neighbor Palak had also listed her requirements. Dadi’s list contained cosmetics, Pinky Bua’s had tops and Salwars, his wife had listed various brands of slippers and Palak, bags and purses.

“Huh, what do these ladies think? Do I have no other job?” said Bittu, pushing the list back into his pocket. He had just voiced the reality. He was jobless.

The disgusting foursome had started a boutique at his home, much to his despair. His guests were declining to come for interview. They visited their boutique instead.
The women had given him enough money to purchase all the gods. He couldn’t understand from where these ladies had got all the money. He suspected the influence of the Mahila Jagaran Samiti to be the reason behind the financial independence of the women in his life. They no longer depended on him but ordered him around for purchasing things they needed.

“When will some men join me to form a Mard Jagaran Samiti?” Bittu murmered. He hurled curses at all the innocent passers by simply for existing. He had to go to ten shops and had almost 50 items to pick. His commission was a mere 2000 rupees with an extra 500 thrown in for the transportation.

“Oye Bittu, Why are you standing here with that murderous expression on your face?”
It was Siddhu ji, who had become busy once again in the cricketing world. He was coming out of the Mc donald’s shop which stood at the entrance to the mall.

“Don’t ask Siddhu ji. I am planning to file a domestic harassment case against all those females who are ruling my house currently,” said Bittu.

At Siddhu’s behest, Bittu narrated his sob story.

“Necessity is the mother of all inventions Bittu. Have you tried online shopping? These days they do home delivery. There are websites like Flipkart, Myntra, Jabong who does excellent work.” Said Siddhu.

“But Paji, they want so many different things. It would have been good if one site itself had all the details,” said Bittu, his laziness seeking to find the easiest way out of the easy ones.

“Try Baggout then. It is just the site for you. You can access all the various shopping sites from there.  You get cash back on all deals. No one needs to know a thing,” said Siddhu winking at Bittu.

“Ha..Now you are talking sense. Explain to me how it works,” said Bittu, his face lit up with a 1000-watt smile.

Baggout.com


“It is just four steps dear. Here it is,” said Siddhu pulling out his tab and showing the procedure explained on the baggout site.

Baggout.com

“Hurray, Ladies, here I go. From today, only Baggout. No bags out. Only Bags go in. And cash back goes into my pocket. Eeehahahaha,”cried Bittu, clicking the join Baggout button on the site on his own mobile.

“Oh, Yes. So that was the plan. Wait till I tell memsahib about it,” said Raju, emerging from the shadows and presenting an evil smile that would have impressed even Mogambo.

“Hey, what are you doing here?” asked Bittu, sensing the danger he was in.

“Memsahib sends me to spy on you. She doesn’t believe you,” said Raju.

“Arrey, why can’t we be friends?”asked Bittu waving a Rs.500 note at  Raju.

“Okay. But keep your promise. Otherwise, I will go to them and reveal your plans,” said Raju, grabbing the Rs. 500 note.

“Okay Bittu. All the best with your shopping,” said Siddhu and left.

Settling onto the seat near the Mc Donald man, Bittu selected the goods listed from the Flipkart, Jabong and Myntra. The trending page on Baggout.com, helped him choose the most popular goods. The user-friendly site was easily navigable and hence the shopping was over soon. No more dragging heavy shopping bags and no long wait at checkout counters.

“Hail Baggout,” shouted the two before leaving happily for home.

The goods arrived at the house of Siddhu, who had agreed to help, the next day. Bittu collected it from there and the cash back flowed into his account.

Bittu and Raju made sure that the women knew nothing about it. But were they be able to keep the ladies in the dark for long? Only time can answer that.

This post is written for a contest organized by Baggout.com

Image Source


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Web Portal for Car Lovers

Trust Indiblogger to come up with innovative contests and introduce us to new websites and brands.

This time, they have introduced us to a unique website, which aims to bring together car lovers. Don’t we have at least one in each home, who wants to brag about his/her favorite companion, their cars?

I have many in my family, whose favorite time-pass is researching or browsing about their dream car. One very mad cousin has a huge poster of a Lamborghini pasted in his room that is the first thing he wants to see when he gets up. Forget about Deepika Padukone or any other hot female. Lamborghini is his femme fatale, who gives him adrenaline rush.

When I logged onto Carconnect.in with my facebook account, I found many such youngsters who had shared their car experiences and long drive memories. I knew then that I have to write about this unique website which aims to bring together car lovers and provide them a platform to share (brag) about their love for their four wheeler.

About Carconnect.in:

Carconnect.in is a portal that lets you enjoy the ultimate car experience. You can share your car experiences, compare the latest cars, find cars that fall right under your budget, become updated with the latest and changing trends of the global automobile industry and above all, interact with like-minded people who share a passion for cars just like you.

Unique Features:

·        Create your own profile page: You can create a profile page by logging in with Facebook. It takes just a few minutes to create your profile page. Once you create your profile, you get access to the other features of the site.

·        Find friends on the portal: If you have your friends registered on car connect, you can join them in sharing your long drive and car experiences. You can also compete with them to earn the badges. The below snippet explains how to earn badges and what each badge entitles you to receive.




·        Share Experiences: This tab allows you to submit your experiences. You have two options. You can enter your Car experience, where you describe your experience driving a car you own. You can write about Long drive experiences, where you get to describe a memorable long drive you made in a car where you may have been the driver or might have been a passenger. The posts undergo moderation and my posts were approved within a few minutes after my submission.

My long drive experience


·        Leaderboard: On the leaderboard, you can find all those who have earned the badges before you got your chance to join the battle for the badges.

·        Long Drive: This tab provides you the best long drive experiences explained by members tabulated under various destinations. When you click on a destination, a post, which gives a detailed explanation of the route of the journey and the experiences along the way, opens up.


·        Compare cars: Using this tab, you can avail the service of experts, who will send you a detailed pdf report of a comparative study of two cars you want to be compared, as an email within 48 hours.



·        Car news: This is another unique feature, which provides you with the latest car news from around the world, with focus on India.


·        New Launches: This feature announces the latest car launches in India with details about the on- road- price, launch date and the venue of the launch.


·        Chat Room: There is a chat room where you can join your friends and other members of the portal, to chat about cars, cars and more cars.



The portal is user-friendly and doesn’t make you scratch your head much to navigate about or find the various features. The layout is elegant and simple.

Suggestions I have are:
1.     They can make it a touch more colorful with Car photos and stuff on the home page.

2.      The layout of the experience column and the photos that are uploaded can be given a better layout. Now the photos are embedded at the end of the post, which makes the experiences long text columns. If they were interspersed with photos, the experience would be more expressive.

Sharing my experience on Car connect made me go down the memory lane on many nostalgic trips. Thank you Carconnect.in for the opportunity.

In this age when the cyber space rules our lives like the kings of a foregone era, Carconnect.in has enough material to make in-roads into the life of all car enthusiasts.
Check out their website here: http://www.carconnect.in/
This review is written for Indistuff, part of Indiblogger in association with Carconnect.in


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Indiblogger Rocks

Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers
Indiblogger

Life on my blog before Indiblogger, was like a cold winter night, where loneliness reigned. All I wanted to do was pack my bags and fly to a place where the sun greeted me with a warm smile and a friendly hug.  With Indiblogger dawned a day, which welcomed me like a spring morning, shining bright, thawing the ice of loneliness. Never was I alone again.

Here I go, summarizing the Before and After story for my blog.

·   Readers: Before I joined Indiblogger, the main reader of my blog was just me. I didn’t even share the link on my social networking sites.  Visitors who accidently came upon my blog left without a word.
After I joined Indiblogger, I began to get feedback on my writing and art. I made new blogger friends and visited amazing blogs. Many inspired me and I found friends who shared common passions and ambitions. The number of page views on my blog has gone up from a mere 1000 to 32, 000 within a short span of 7 months. I had joined Indiblogger in November 2013.


·   Blogs galore: Before I joined Indiblogger, the number of blogs I frequented was two or three, which too I visited googling for specific subjects and spending confusing hours online.
With Indiblogger which keeps a detailed and separate directory for the type, region and subject of the various registered blogs, it is just time that is not enough to visit the many number of blogs that I want to visit daily. 

·   Inspiration: Before Indiblogger, my literary activity was limited to the journal that I wrote. It was never a craze.
After Indiblogger, the many number of prompts through the various contests and Indispire urge me to write and read more on each topic that does the rounds on Indispire.

·   Rewards: Before Indiblogger, the last time I became a winner for my writing was while in college for a short story competitittion.
With Indiblogger, I have had two wins till date. Winner for the second half story for Tata Capital- do right campaign and runner up for Go further to get closer. 
Read my winning entries here.

·   Indirank: Before Indiblogger, my blog didn’t have a rank to boast about.  Its moz rank was zero and I didn’t know about Alexa rank or anything about SEO.
With Indiblogger, I get a monthly update about how my blog is doing online and like a mother to a erroneous child, it corrects the brash ways I lead my blog through. When I become lazy, it lowers my rank and when I am active, I am rewarded with a rank that makes me smile.

One thing I miss is the Indiblogger meets, which unfortunately I have not been able to be a part of when it was there in Bangalore. I wish another meet came to Bangalore soon. I so wish to meet my fellow Indibloggers.

Verdict:  INDIBLOGGER ROCKS… It is the guardian Angel of my blog.

So bloggers, what you say? Indiblogger rocks…Right?


This post is part of  Indispire by Indiblogger




Tuesday, June 10, 2014

How safe are you online?




Months ago, one of my relatives (a teenager), showed me the photo of a girl on his laptop. When I asked who she was, he smiled and said, “I don’t know, an actress I guess, but I use her photo to fool my friends.”

When I demanded explanation, he confessed he was having huge fun online. He had created a fake Facebook profile using this girl’s photo as profile picture and posted genuine looking updates. He signed in to show me the home page of the fake profile. There were 142 new friend requests mostly from young boys, 2500 plus friends and more than a 100 unread messages. He claimed to have fooled all of his classmates and made them come and wait for this girl at random locations. He showed me chats of a few of my other unmarried cousins who were vying for the girl’s attention bragging about their non-existent cars and foreign trips. It seemed fun. But was it?

It is illegal to make such a fake profile, using a photo that is not your own, and if detected, the fun he was having would end him behind bars. From what I know, many young boys have such ‘innocent’ fake profiles, which I guess, portrays a disturbing trend. What if these so-called pranks, created irreparable damage to the persons involved? We do read about social media related suicides and even murders.
When I threatened to tell his parents, he reluctantly deleted the profile. He might have cursed me and his loose tongue.

I am active on three major social networking sites. Google plus, Facebook and Twitter. I was active once upon a time on Orkut as well. I think twice before posting anything online, especially Facebook or twitter, as they are more popular and accessible, but lacks privacy. An innocuous post may spur a controversy or even result in disaster or deaths as evident from the recent tidings in our country.

With the advent of the social media, not much seems a secret anymore.
People post their best photos, share their moments of joys, brag about their achievements and even uses it to promote their brand or business effectively using many online tools. But does it actually reveal all about the person? I believe No. No wonder Facebook is nicknamed Fakebook and twitter is flooded with fake profiles of celebrities. The virtual world is so plastic and negative at times. I cringe seeing some posts and even think about quitting. Posts that seem genuine turn out to be trash and negative sentiments trend, setting ablaze countries, destroying lives.

Online wars between politicians or rulers are the new cold-wars that precede actual wars. Whistle blowers create uproar with a single tweet and controversies spread like wild fire from a single photo. Many sadly forget that the social media is the most powerful weapon of this age. A joke intend to bring a smile ends up shattering a hundred lives.

There is infinite fun out there online. It is mostly a happy place for youngsters, especially boys. Girls, as in real life faces restrictions and real danger, online too. Many fall victim to blackmail, photo manipulations and online racketing. However, these of course are the rare few.

Would it be not wise to act a little careful while we are online? Even though no privacy setting is 100 percent foul proof, it still is a deterrent when it comes to the layman. Therefore, it helps if we adopt some small precautions while online. These are some of the guidelines I follow:

1.     Post or re-post genuine articles or news, else you invite controversy.

2.     On Facebook, set the privacy settings for profile photos to the option ‘friends’ or ‘Only Me’. (Do not set it to ‘friends of friends’ or ‘Everyone’, you never know who is going to view your photos, use them and for what?). For albums, also there are similar settings. On Facebook, in account settings set your privacy settings for each section of your profile, especially the personal information section and phone number. Google plus also have similar settings.

3.     Cover photos on your profile page on Facebook is always public. It can be downloaded by anyone. It becomes public property the moment you post it online. Act wisely.

4.     Check the app settings before you sign up for any app. Check the review of the app on google apps or playstore, otherwise you might end up in a mess. An app which promises to tell you the number of persons who visit your profile per day might be using your account details for some other purpose.

5.     Do not accept friend requests on Facebook from unknown persons even if you have many mutual friends. If you accept, put such persons ‘on probation’(J) in a separate list as ‘acquaintance’ and share your private posts only among friends minus these acquaintances. If he/she appears genuine then give them a promotion to the ‘friends list’.

6.     If you have a public page, it is better to keep your page strictly public. Never post personal information there.
7.     On twitter, if you want privacy, protect your tweets and set your privacy settings to maximum.

8.     On Google plus, do not add any stranger on chat. I love the invisibility mode.

9.     Social media eats up your precious family time and even affects your work output. Reduce the time you spend online. Focus.

10.  Do not blindly believe anyone online. You really do not know if the person on the other side is genuine. It might be an impersonator or worse, a hacker.  

11. This might sound vain, but Google your name. You never know what you might find.

12.   Never delete suspicious information or mails that come to you. Handover these to the cyber police, it will be used to seize the culprit.
 In case of anything suspicious, contact the cyber police. These days we have strict laws governing the cyber space. Keep yourself updated about these rules and the help lines available.

Check these links of Cyber police Bangalore for more information.

General rules for E-Security

Cyber Crime



 Linking this post to Project 365, A Post A Day

The open prompt this time was, 
How much of "the real you and your lives" would you like to reveal online?


Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

10 perks of being a Mother

When five years ago, on a cool November day, a little bundle was placed next to me, it marked the end of a long wait. The longest ever till then for a single goal. The goal was to become a mother, the most sacred being in the whole universe.

Though tired after the long struggle of birthing, I was happy to become the member of the elite club of mothers. From that moment on, I began to discover the special privileges entitled to a member of the exclusive and royal the club that I had joined.

All the members were entitled to receive:

1. Unconditional Love:  All living beings crave for love. When one is at the receiving end of this special kind of love that is unconditional, it is the best reward of being a mother. Just being a mother, entitles you to receive a lifetime of love from the little person who starts to call you mother. Becoming a mother makes you realize that you are capable of giving unconditional love as well. No matter how much pain you under went to give birth, no matter you have lost count of the number of sleepless nights you have spend, you suddenly find yourself loving the miniature of you with all your heart. No complains or regrets at all.

2. Respect:  When you have a little person with you, you start to garner more respect. You are doing the toughest job on earth according to Oprah Winfrey. You earn respect the royal way. People get up to give you seat on public transport and when travelling with family you get the best facilities possible. All are eager to help you do your job. An unparallel sympathy hangs in the year. They all understand the sleepless nights and tiring days that you put in to raise your little one.

3.  Happiness: Starting from the first cry that you hear, every syllable that falls from your little one’s mouth fills your heart with joy. The meaningless babbles that makes you smile, the cuddles, even an unexpected pee or a poo become a source of joy. Watching him/her take the first baby steps fills your heart with joy and pride. When you watch them perform their first song on stage, you realize that there are tears of joy in your eyes. At every stage of their growth, you find a person whom you can take pride to name as your own. 

4. Friendships:  After becoming a mother, friendships become stronger. There will be most commonly that one friend that you become closer to, who is able to advice you at times of need. This friend is one who has gone through the slippery dance of parenting, where one slip can cost more than you ever thought was possible. That clever tip to wean your child, the tip to make him eat more and the recipe of that tasty dish your little one loves all have a common origin in her. She advises you about the perils that await you at each stage and you are well prepared to combat the little monster tantrums that you might find yourself trapped into suddenly. You find a venting point for your anger, your frustration and at times to bitch about your husband’s lack of brain when it comes to parenting.

5.  Humor:  There is no dearth for humor in your life. Most importantly, you learn to laugh at yourself and take life less seriously. The visits to the beauty parlor are almost ‘never’, the pediatrician is mostly on the speed dial of your phone.  You call yourself ‘the tigress who has earned her stripes’ showing the stretch marks on your tummy. When your husband tries to win an argument or tries to take credit for the intelligence or smartness of your kid, a small phrase “But I gave birth” ensures that the bragging ends right there.

6.  Follower:  No matter how many followers you have on twitter or on facebook, this one follower is enough to put them all to shame. When your kid follows you everywhere, you feel like a celebrity. When you do that impossible thing (mostly opening a jam bottle) with ease, you have earned a follower for life. They acknowledge to your husband “mommy knows it the best”.
When you tell them that a two added to two makes four, they believe it without questioning. They will surely argue with their teacher when she says that two multiplied by two makes four. What a silly teacher! Mommy is brilliant. Mommy has an IQ equal to Einstein. How dare anyone question that?!

7. Excuses: Once you become a mother, you do not need to rack your brains too much to find an excuse to escape out of a tricky situation. The presence of the little angel in your life is a lifesaver many a times. No one dares to suspect your justification. You have the perfect excuse to order a carton of ice cream or fried chicken because your little one LOVES it (?). Does anyone question that? Not even your husband..;)

8.  A free exercise regimen and health:  Starting with push-ups, jogs,jigs, fast-medium-slow running, various yoga postures and breathing techniques, you begin to master many exercises hitherto unknown to you, does wonders to your heart, lung and god alone knows where else. Your response- timing, hearing capability and sense of touch are at their best.  You owe it to your little baby.

9.  Hugs, Plenty of them:  “Mom, I want you to hug me so that I feel better” is a dialogue that is often heard in my house. A hug, it is the most calming thing in the world. It feels like magic. Not only the baby, but also you yourself benefit from this caring gesture. Scientists say that hugs are a form of communication. They say things which you find difficult to express through words.

10.Time Travel: Ah..I know you are puzzled. It is true. Becoming a mother makes you go on time travels. You can go to that moment you had first held your precious bundle, or to the time, he/she started to ride the bicycle, frequently alone and sometimes accompanied by other loved ones of your family. Memories start to become colorful. 


P.S:  To any new member of the club, Welcome... You need to read this more than once.:)

P.P.S:  Older members, Do share your favorite perk.
Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers

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