Sunday, July 31, 2011

Photograph and the Shoe

She says she has a photographic memory. But that is not to imply that her memory is very good. It is good indeed but not as good as a photographic memory. Nevertheless, she uses the word because she feels it fits her aptly. She remembers incidents like a movie made of a thousand photographs. But then she also imagines with photographs in her head. So, the claim of a photographic memory is wrong. She is just influenced into looking at the world through a lens!

So one not so fine night an idea popped in her head and evidence of it was that she had an imagine in her imagination. So to her it was time she wrote about it. She opened her blog and clicked on "new post". Before she typed anything, she went to look for a picture. She found none. She found many. Yet she found none. She did not find the perfect picture of a delicate foot in a light shimmering pink home-sewn ballet shoe posed in the air just about to touch the cold stone floor with the base of her big toe.

So she went on without a photograph to describe that posed foot.

She lifted her foot off the cold stone floor. It was almost a relief for her muscle that she did not notice. The cold had permeated through the sole of the cloth shoe, and the cloth of her sock to her bare foot. But in the air it released just for a fraction of a second before the muscle was taut again. Taut with nervousness and anxiety. She knew that in some countries they had a name for this "problem" and could be treated with drugs. In her country though, if a loved squeezed your arm it worked like magic, but you could deal with it yourself if you took a deep breathe. That's what she did. She took a deep breathe in and exhaled it out, releasing the muscle for the second time in the short fraction of a sec. She let a moment pass when she remembered all the steps she took before in toughness and pain, not to scare her but to calm her and give her the will and intent. She let the fraction of a second pass as well. She looked down at her foot. The pink color was so subtle it could look like her own skin except for the shimmer it had. Specially stitched for her own little foot. The little lace bow made her smile. And that's how she smiled in the last fraction of a second before she put her foot lightly on the cold stone floor. All it took was one second!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Do YouSee ?




Activity: UCDS funds and hand holds NGO's in specific projects. Its projects include:
a) Free health services -Chennai.Partner- SSHT.
b) Project for rag-pickers-Indore -partner IGS.
c) Sponsoring IT education for destitute girl children- Bhubhaneshwar-partner PUSS.

UCDS likes to morph its approach along the learning curve. Currently they are interested in taking up projects which adopt Integrated development models for providing services to urban poor. They firmly believe that integrated approach has the potential to sustain the out comes of the development projects in the long term.



Support: Primary, literacy for adults, vocational and technical education, hospitals and health care centers, medical research, primary health care, environmental education, pollution control, training & capacity buildings, livelihood promotion.


Note: UCDS promotes a unique funding model for Social development financing. They call this Post-paid donations. UC provides its donors an opportunity to evaluate results of social development projects before they want to make a donation. In this way, potential donors are donating for results and not in anticipation of them!! To put it in simple words UC knocks away the guess work in the process of donation by giving the donor a choice to assess the results and figure out if it is worth donating for this cause.


This post is a part of BlogAdda's Bloggers Social Responsibility (BSR) initiative. |
| I am exercising my BSR. You can too with three simple steps. Visit and support the NGO's. |

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Stay! Stay with me!



Is he going to die?
I know I am not supposed to move him!
You came back? Would like something to eat? Shut up Olive!
Mrs Letham had the bluest eyes!
The greatest artist of the 19th century!


A thriller like I have never seen before. Get inside the head of a guy going through the guilt and trauma of killing his parents, turning him suicidal till everyone who could help him are too late. A movie that makes you think more than Shutter Island or Inception. A movie that makes you think and question reality!



Sunday, July 24, 2011

Lame Brand Wars!



They say no one fought like Coca Cola and Pespi.

A long time ago when Pepsi came out with this commercial:


And then Sprite came out with this commercial:



Then I was a teenager and it seemed silly but funny and anyway the brand positioning was silly and funny and had teenagers it seemed fine and in good spirit.


And a few years later, these two commercials came up:



Honestly!
It sounds so stupid for grown up people to be hitting it out at each other like this.
It makes Dhoni look like a snobbish teenager and makes UB Group look like its run by a bunch of sour losers including the big man himself !

Or may be I just grew up!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Lend A Hand - Mentor Together !



Join and help someone in the right direction.


Activity: According to the Confederation of Indian Industry, about 69 percent of unemployed Indians are educated but lack skills. Thus, the formal education program alone is not imparting employability skills. These problems are only compounded for the large segment of the youth who come from underserved communities, because they do not have the socio-economic partnerships to mitigate these circumstances.
Mentortogether runs structured mentoring programs, with curriculum for soft and hard skill development, which also utilise the knowledge and experiences of carefully selected volunteer mentors, and provides a channel of empowerment to underserved youth.

Mentoring Program:
  • Targets improved written English and basic computer skills via online mentoring platforms.
  • Targets greater interpersonal and social skills via face-to-face mentoring.
  • Aims to broaden mentee knowledge with respect to academic and career opportunites by matching mentors to mentees based on shared academic and career interests.
  • Aims to achieve the goals of Education for Sustainable Development by encouraging mentees to think about the relationship between their families, their local community and their country, and also their role as a future empowered citizens.
  • Aims to engender knowledge and experience sharing in the mentor pool, and institutionalise a mentoring culture amongst volunteers.

Mentortogether ran a pilot program from November 2009 to April 2010 in Bangalore with 20 high-school students of a private school for the urban poor. They are currently running our first full-length year-long mentoring program with 21 girls of a Government Home in Mysore.

Support: Primary, Secondary, Higher Education, Remedial and Special Education, Computer Literacy

Note: Primary, Secondary, higher education, remedial and special education, computer literacy


| This post is a part of BlogAdda's Bloggers Social Responsibility (BSR) initiative. |
| I am exercising my BSR. You can too with three simple steps. Visit and support the NGO's. |

Thursday, July 21, 2011

9kms turn 24




The last year I practically went underground for my birthday in spite of being around people. I removed it from Facebook LinkedIn Orkut Extranet and any other site. So only my family and a few (read 5 or 6) friends who remembered it from the good old days of no birthday reminders wished me.
This year however, I was out of station with no internet or even a mobile phone. 

I travelled by train with my family all night and woke up on my birthday in Tirupati. And we walked up the 9kms of the hill up to an extremely crowded temple and out. Ate lots of laddus, tired and beat I feel asleep. Another day later I came back home to god knows how many facebook wishes it made me remember a birthday in IIT days when I was so enthu to read wishes on my orkut account.

It was nice to know so many ppl wished. I thank all of you. I also thank all those who sent me emails and fb msges :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Bhumi - for under 30 vols


Activity: Bhumi is one of India's largest independent youth volunteer non-profit organisation. The volunteers work amongst orphaned and underprivileged children in Chennai, Thiruvallur, Bengaluru and Chandigarh with the aim of providing children with quality education and enable them to become responsible and productive citizens of the future. The efforts of the volunteer force consisting of over 300 students and young professionals under the age of 30 benefit over 2,500 children every year.


Details: Kanini Computer literacy programme involving teaching of basic and advanced concepts based on the children's aptitude levels.


Support: Education, Children, Environmental Conservation, Mentorship


Note: Bhumi is an under-30 youth volunteer organisation, and to be able to reach out to more children, they need volunteers (like you) who can spend 2 hours every weekend to teach at an orphanage near your residence. Check it out.


|This post is a part of BlogAdda's Bloggers Social Responsibility (BSR) initiative. | | I am exercising my BSR. You can too with three simple steps. Visit and support. |

Monday, July 11, 2011

Blog This!

Blog This! : Communicate - Google Chrome Help

This chrome extension is making life too easy!
Now you can count on increased blogging speed :)

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Gifted!

Primetime Television Trips!

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.com. Participate now to get free books! It's actually pretty fun. BlogAdda sends you a free signed copy along with a nice little note!


Published by Random House India in 2011
Pages: 294 | Price: Rs199

I completed reading the book within 24 hours of receiving it. This is mostly because I am jobless and do nothing all day but surf the net and watch TV. But the idea of this statement is to imply that though it is not a book that you cannot put down (it’s not exactly a suspense thriller now, is it?), it definitely is a book that you don’t feel like putting down.
Her writing style is easy and flowing and twisting and turning (not the plot but the words). The comic essence of this book can nearly be defined as brilliant. The sarcasm and play of words showcase the author's grip on the English language and her sense of humor. May be one just accumulates this sense of humor over years of exposure to the goof-ups described in this book and also the interaction with the various characters. Sometimes evident and at other times subtle, the comic relief stays as an undertone throughout the book, even when the situation is a serious one.

Plot
I like the way the book begins and I love the way it ends. I did love the twist in the tale of Jassi. Though not unexpected, it definitely adds a touch of class. But overall, the plot is rather sketchy. There actually isn't a strong one at all. But then, the book is less about a story with a plot line, a beginning and a climax, and more about the life one leads in the industry. It's like a television serial that goes on and on about the life of its central character and the last chapter might as well be the first chapter of another book, the difference being that this book never touches 'boring'. At times, the story seems ridiculous but not unreal. Oh and did I mention funny?
The introduction of the characters was fun. It's almost like a Bollywood rom-com. "Zoom into a handsome SRK playing basketball. Freeze. Voice Over: Yeh hai Rahul, college ka sabse popular student." type of intros. So the book begins with our Rahul (though not the protagonist), and about how he makes the most beautiful PPTs (at this point I think, is there no industry that doesn't use PPTs?). I almost laughed out. But then, unlike the Bollywood rom-coms, the book flows into the story smooth and slow and you would not have realized the transition.

The Characters
The character portrayal of Harish was amazing. It is the most hilarious and easily imaginable character, the short, plump sweaty 'yes man' of Rahul (the MD).
Rahul, too was portrayed as a smart handsome man who doesn't really know what he is doing but charming enough to get whatever done.
The character of Tania seemed too hazy and difficult to picture, most importantly because the book seemed to indicate that she is probably the only smart and hardworking individual in the firm while the rest of them are either stupid people or smart people who don't care about work. She seemed too out of place, maybe she was meant to, I don't know.
Aditya on the other had come off well as a witty guy who doesn't work but knows how to give you the impression that he does.
Bose came off exactly as described, the creative genius who learnt how to fake a brooding soul searching angst well, except he didn't seem attractive (but then the protagonist is not attracted to him so it works fine).
Rajneesh was beautiful done with his "I am the nation" attitude.
Vrushali Salve: OMG! Really? Do people talk like that and get to host talk shows? This is probably the craziest character in the book, almost the antagonist and worse than Charlie Angel (no, not Charlie's Angels, this one is a character in this book)! I must appreciate the author for being able to pull of such a character and make her speak such bad English. If she really does come across a lot of people like that, I pity her.
The rest were just passing characters and the author didn't lay too much stress on the others, except for maybe the romance of Biplab and Neha!

Honestly, it really is a not a book to be analyzed. If you want to, you’ll just end up looking up YouTube videos of Persian cats saying “Mi-a-ow” and Googling up the different kinds of black, like ebony-black and grungy black .It simply is a book to be read. Isn’t that what books are supposed to be?

To conclude, I would say it’s an absolutely enjoyable book. It is a perfect read if you are a big shot consultant bad mouthing your client inside your head while you put on your picture perfect plaster smile and are taking a flight long enough to read a 300 page novel. Why? Because it will remind you that it's not just your job that's shitty. Also because it will make you smile, chuckle and may be even laugh out loud, making you forget all your worries.

PS: From the title of the blogpost [Trip (v): to make fun of, to laugh at something]

Friday, July 08, 2011

Add Color to Lives !

Yet another Friday and yet another NGO I bring to you!


Activity: Colorss is working with disadvantaged children focusing on education and to integrate marginalized population into mainstream through various programs like martial-creative arts, vocational training and psychological and social guidance.

Support: Children, Disabled, Youth, Urban Poor, Rural Poor.

Projects:

Project Enhance uses sport and the arts as tools to promote physical well-being while improving mental health.

Project Urja - igniting the fire within is our first vocational training program started in Baroda, Gujarat. The project aims at the empowerment of women.

Project 'Colors of Life' looks to provide an answer to one of our nation's most troubling problems, dropping out of school.

Note: Check out their Blog, Youtube Channel and Facebook page.

| This post is a part of BlogAdda's Bloggers Social Responsibility (BSR) initiative. |

| I am exercising my BSR. You can too with three simple steps. Visit http://www.blogadda.com/bsr/ and support the NGO's. |

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Like vs +1


Plusone ? What was Google thinking ? Whoever says "I plusone it"? It only reminds me of a plus one for a party. That makes me an extra. Bad wording!

But that's beside the point! This post is just another meek attempt to try and compare Facebook and GooglePlus.


Facebook was just like any other social networking website when it came. (Sure, it had the Harvard tag but I didn't know it then and neither did I know Harvard much then). I moved from Orkut to Facebook much like everyone else because it developed over the years to become better everyday. To begin with it did not have the features it has today. Simple things like the horizontal tab with thumbnails of tagged pictures on one's profile. Today, it is clean and understandable and gives us a good amount of control on our information.

Google is an innovative firm with amazing products and we all love Google. We waited in anticipation and expressed frustration when an invite got delayed. Basically, everyone just want to try GooglePlus because it was Google product. But whatever happened to Orkut ? Why would Google need GooglePlus when it already has a social networking website. Oh yes, Orkut died because it couldn't evolve as fast as Facebook that kept up with the pace of generations. So Google conveniently kicked Orkut out and launched a new website called GooglePlus with whatever Orkut couldn't have, Facebook's interface!


What does + have over fb?
CIRCLES: Well FB has it's groups but circles are more convenient to keep the feeds in different tabs. Though I have yet figured out how to juggle with the different tabs of feed. Aaaand you can share separately to each circle you want to ! Freedom !
Hangout: Is slow given my internet speed. Otherwise a good idea.
Sparks: Why do we need Sparks when we have Google Reader ?
Posts: which is like a wall but not a wall. But why do I need it when I already have Buzz? Oh wait, why am I repeating myself?
FRIENDS IN CIRCLES: This is the single most important thing that is PLUS for PLUS. You do not know in what circles you are of your friends. Dying to know? Well don't, because they don't know about your circles either. Also, if someone adds you to their circle, you need not feel obliged to add them to yours! This is complete control of information !!!


What does fb have over +?
Playdom! You can throw sheep, have your own mafia, dress yourself up and bitch slap other non sisters, build your little city, play poker, all this with real friends in virtual locations!!! And you can make stupid quizzes and throw them around!
I think this beats + totally and I don't see the larger global audience shifting to + anytime soon.


Basically, I like Facebook better than GooglePlus as of now. But I still hope that one day all my friends shift to a Google Social Network (dunno if it will be Plus) simply because I would like to consolidate my virtual life. I use every Google product that works in India (without monetary transactions) so it would make my life a lot easier if I used a Google Social Network !

Friday, July 01, 2011

A Car has 4 Wheels !


It is interesting what three women can do!

Activity: Three women with a passion for learning, understanding and working for economic, social and human devetlopment decided to enter the exciting world of entrepreneurship with their initiative of a corporate social responsibility (CSR) consultancy firm and research cell called 'The 4th wheel'. The name signifies the business sector in addition to the other three integral wheels. the state, civil society and non-governmental organizations, and international development organizations required and capable of driving the "car" of development.

Check out their blog and the photo stream

Support: Research, Advocacy and Consulting in Corporate Social Responsibility.

Note:

1) Help spread awareness about CSR

2) Highlight the socially responsible projects by Corporates

3) Share best case practices

4) Sensitive the youth towards social issues

| This post is a part of BlogAdda's Bloggers Social Responsibility (BSR) initiative. |

| I am exercising my BSR. You can too with three simple steps. Visit http://www.blogadda.com/bsr/ and support the NGO's. |