Wednesday, 19 November 2014

#Lucky6 to pump up your luck!

We all know how big a role luck plays in shaping our lives and our destiny and it is a general maxim that all you gotta do is to give luck a chance. But when it comes to getting lucky on money, either you need to have one helluva luck to win in lotteries which can have really vague selection mechanisms which might even be a gambit, or you need to be an intellectual with a high appetite for risk and a high analytical quotient to bet on the bourse. Ones who can't get over the equity phobia would go for derivatives and funds which never earn enough even to be considered as things that can accentuate your luck. But what if you get a simple and subtle way of trying your luck at the exchange without getting embroiled in all the details. And what if you could do that at the comfort of your smartphone in a game like fashion, which does away with all the nuances of a trading portal. Well, Fat Cat gaming(  just did that with Lucky 6.

In what is an ingenious and a revolutionary way to try out your luck, not predicated on notions of luck alone but also mixed with instincts and knowledge, Lucky 6 is very simple and effective. You know your favorite brands, you ought to pick the six you think are going to rise the most on the exchange on a given day(read game day) and you place your bet. If the stocks of your brands see the highest surge on the game day, bingo! It can literally change your life. And you would not believe that the prizes include everything from large cash sops to exquisite holiday packages. 

What makes Lucky 6 stand out of the clutter is one, the easy and perspicuous way in which even a greenhorn is allowed to bet on the markets while bypassing all the intricacies and vagaries and two, that despite being an adaptation of the intraday trading method, you really aren't getting muddled in the never ending loop of buy and sell transactions with margin money. Another added advantage that really makes this a pathbreaking platform is that you make your new financial instrument on your will, at your discretion, and all on the go. So if you ever felt that a product you could envisage which would be an amalgam of some of the most robust stocks on the market and some of which, if combined into a cumulative investment would return an even better yield, then Lucky 6 is just what you were waiting for. 

I simply cannot wait to get going on this shrewd platform to test out both my brand mettle and my luck. This very well could be the chance you were always waiting for. The game gets into the world with India and hence you too can get going straightaway. Try it out here ->Fat Cat Gaming

The truly socially responsible FMCG brand

You can bring about the change in the lives of millions of kids, thereby showing your support for the Domex Initiative. All you need to do is “click” on the “Contribute Tab” on and Domex will contribute Rs.5 on your behalf to eradicate open defecation, thereby helping kids like Babli live a dignified life.

When I came across this wonderful initiative by HUL's Domex and delved into the information that was provided pertaining to the malady of open defecation and its repercussions, I was truly appalled by the current state of affairs and decided to do my bit by providing you all a quick exposition as to why you should share this initiative with at least 10 of your friends. 

1. There are more than 597 million people defecating in the open

This fact truly belies all our claims that we and our leaders make from all sorts of platforms that we are truly moving in the direction of being an ultimate superpower. Truth is, our claims are just as vacuous as our attempts and determination to remove disparity. While on one hand we talk of people putting up exclusive fittings in the bathrooms like Jacuzzi, there are more people than present in United States and a few more countries combined, who are forced to abjure their basic self respect and excrete in the open. Children who grow up in these circumstances, literally begin to repudiate all notions of equity and soon become mired in the connotations of the gloom that their future shall bring upon them. In this sense, open defecation is truly a blot and a slap on all those boisterous claims and dreams of becoming a utopic country.    

2. An anathema for sound health

This stigma brings with it a host of health problems. As the  the crowded sections become filthier by the day as there are no proper disposal mechanisms, disease spreading bacteria simply keep piling up and the area becomes a deadly breeding ground for all sorts of infections and diseases. In country a majority of whose population it proudly vaunts as being young, what promises of a stellar future can we make when we can't even provide them what is apparently the bare minimum? Not only do these diseases take a toil on their health and growth, they also ensnare them in despondency regarding their own view for their future. We may be indolent and apathetic towards this but that one single act of defecating in the open is much more bad and execrable than we can think.

3. A clarion for protecting women's dignity

And the very fact that women, the protection of whose dignity and self respect is one of the foremost responsibilities of a nation, too are subject to the egregious and blatant compulsion of not even having a basic facility to defecate in, truly renders our current claims as specious. All our claims of being a progressive nation are no more than a ruse and gambit if we can't even ensure this one basic right that the women rightfully possess. Not only does this leave them bereft of any respect for their position as an individual, it also brings with it a host of malicious diseases which can be really dreadful given that women are to be provided extra care. 

There are many more issues that don't meet the eye but I guess even with the seriousness of the problem notwithstanding, an initiative like this can truly bring light and can truly set the tumbrels for a revolution which is long awaited. Together we can root out this evil which remains a very nasty deterrent for true and equitable human progress, without which even hopes of moving ahead as a country stand fatuous and whimsical. So, do your bit and spread the word. 

About The Domex Toilet Academy
Domex, HUL’s flagship sanitation brand, currently runs the Domex Toilet Academy (DTA) programme. Domex Toilet Academy was launched on 19th November 2013. It aims to become a sustainable and long-term solution to provide sanitation that benefits the local community and helps stimulate the local economy. The Toilet Academy makes toilets accessible and affordable, while promoting the benefits of clean toilets & good hygiene. Our effort has resulted in bringing the change in the villages of Maharashtra and Orissa and we aim to build 24000 toilets by 2015 in rural areas faced with the problem of open defecation.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Crowdsourced post #2: "A writer's life does get exposed"

So in the latest moderation, wherein I had to go through quite some ideas to finally zero in on one, I found this one to be really incisive and deep. Disha Shroff, who seems to be a writer herself given the veracity and tenacity in her suggestion, suggested I coil a piece around "Be it fiction or non-fiction, a writer's life does get exposed". After some initial contemplation I thought I might be a little too inept for a topic like that but then I recollected some experiences on how people figured out what's going around just by my posts. So here's how it works. 

The change in style

Authors and writers keep experiencing this. At times you write with amazing alacrity with words assuming a rather secondary position and your eagerness to tell the story becoming the main objective. This is when you're in that exultant state, when things are going your way and when writing becomes a tool to share the splendor and fervor with others as well. On the other hand, at times your posts smolder as you write, your grit breaks up from place to place, and you write down something that squeals, shouts and prowls in agony. Your words become more surly,and your energy definitely goes down. You want to world to witness what you'be been through and you want partners for your plight. And almost instantly the world knows you're going through some turmoil.

The choice of subjects

Your choice of subjects not only reflects your beliefs and values, it also represents what you want to be, what you couldn't be or what you are on the way to becoming. There are tonnes of these memoirs blogs in which people write about something morose - like how people treat each other. Once you read multiple posts or write ups on that same theme, you instantly realize that the writer himself/herself had to face that whammy and is now extremely cautious about who to befriend with. On the other hand, someone who unearths scams on their blogs all the time and is actively involved in opprobrium and censure for the culprits, is one who maybe suffered big or saw someone close suffer big because of these stigmas. It always comes out. The readers just have to seek patterns. 

The intensity

Words are one way of seeing this and frequency and depth of posts is another. A writer who is on track, who is accomplishing and who is full of zest and flair, will write with sheer passion, knowing how each and every word will be comprehended and how the reader will connect. However, a plaintive writer, struggling in maybe love, will use writing as a gateway to vent out the gnawing pain. She/He will not realize until it's late that in an attempt to share their story, they flooded it with emotion which no one else can truly interpret. You'll be chided for being so broke, you'll be upbraided for wasting their time and some readers will even empathize. But your life, your own space, are now out in the open as an exhibit. 

The general character

Blogs get posts over time and authors keep rolling out books. Initial works are experimental to see how good an idea plays with the crowds and how much they can associate with it. However, even this initial idea is linked to some deeply held belief that comes out as a missive when we write. As a writer progresses and keeps writing, this belief gets engulfed by other surrounding ideas, people's praise and criticism, but it still stays there at the core of every piece. And no matter how circumspect you are, you always let that belief become your identity. You may believe you escaped that but your readers are wiser than you think. Once again, your flank is exposed and you read out a major verse of your life out in the open. 

So, Disha, don't forget to send in your feedback on this one and all the readers/writers out there, please let me know what you think of this by posting a comment using the Google+/ Facebook tab below. And if you have an idea which you'd want me to write on, you can either put it as a comment here or follow the instructions on ->

Sunday, 9 November 2014

A layman's gateway to Ayurveda.

Looking at the staunch and fit folks from a generation or two ago who continue going strong, I realize that no amount of gymming or exercise is going to get us that far. They're not only fit from the outside, they're extremely salubrious from within as well. While we get rotund bellies, excessive sugar and a host of ailments by the time we cross 30, they continue to remain undeterred and face only the problems that age brings with it. It's true that they inhabited the planet when it was far less polluted, with sprawling greens all around and breathing the freshest of air and that they also didn't have to make do with veggies and poultry grown up through injections. However, there is one thing that they did and we don't really do - to rely on nature for our health. 

Whenever they fell sick in a not so exigent way, they didn't simply gulp the antibiotics. They resorted to the magical powers of Ayurveda to get back on track. They also didn't rely on synthetic health supplements and capsules to accentuate their health and buttress their immunity. They relied on the magical elixir endowed by the nature itself - The Chyavanprash. While we start focusing on health only when tenebruous diseases begin to take over us, they used to do that from day one. 

As long as we grow, the body exhibits enough activity from within to curtail the ill effects of all that it has to wade through. A natural shield of immunity is always there but there's no guarantee it will be there once the process of growing up stops. When the phase transition finally arrives, a few lucky ones continue with the gift of nature - their innate resistance, but a large part simply gives it away. It so happens because we do nothing to assist our body during the forming years and afterwards in restoring that natural flair and ultimately the system becomes a little too decrepit and fades away. The only option which we're left with now is to cure all those diseases that we inherit because of that inveterate exploitation of corporeal limits and taking no care whatsoever of how the immunity is to be preserved. 

Hence we all too need an ingredient that keeps the inhered bulwark of the body alive - our first and foremost line of defense against all sorts of bacteria and viruses. And this becomes all the more important as these deadly organisms now become more and more fatal and are now quickly adapting to leave present medicine and vaccination inadequate. It's only the inner strength that can guard us against it, and Chyavanprash still remains the best way to get it and keep it alive. While in the olden days, the days of our old but sturdy folks, Chyavanprash was prepared by the local vaids. Now, Dabur has taken up the job to bring the same goodness of nature which will see us through this battle against all those malignant enemies. 

Dabur's Chyavanprash brings to you that same age-old formulation which comprises of some of nature's most powerful and effective ingredients, the benefits provided by which are simply unmatched. With Amla, Giloy and 40 other such health emboldening ingredients, Dabur's Chyavanprash provides your body the extra mile in setting ramparts for defense against all enemies of our body. It's maybe that one single thing which can bring us back in our battle against these deadly microorganisms which are present all around. With life becoming more and more complex and our habits become more and more devolved, health is the first thing to take a hit. Dabur's Chyavanprash is there to let that prospect not loom upon you for a long long time. 

You can now get your ticket to good health online as well -> Dabur Chyavanprash

To those messages you never read!

To those messages you never read,
For what do I tell them was their fault,
Reaching out to ye but yet no heed,
Made me look peevish, made me a dolt,

Craving for your attention, a speck of your life,
Moments passed but nothing but the tick,
With schisms, doubts and harrowing strife,
Nothing but just faint giggles to pick,

I saw you in my thoughts; saw you all the time,
Pristine, full of zest, lissom and lithe,
Your voice seemed merrier than even the chime,
And off went my dreams, dreams so blithe,

I woke up to realize the ticks now said seen,
Awaited moment finally arrives, and I shiver,
Answers ready for “how have you been”,
And I’ll have an entire story in the quiver,

Waited with bated breath, for she will surely reply,
Wait grew big; faith grew weak, and belief macabre,
All she had to do was to turn back and say a mere hi,
And never again were I to believe I could have her,

Frail with lost hope and with time putting a big dent,
But I could sense my anxiety was now surely freed,
I went from being forlorn and restless to now fervent,
And went back to all those messages you never read.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Crowdsourced post #1: "Is individual opinion dead?"

It was more than a month ago when I opened my blog and invited suggestions from the readers and the occasional visitors on what they'll like me to blog on. As expected, the scheme was a sham with such a poignant outcome that for the first time since buying a domain, I had to infuse capital into the blog. I went for Google AdWords and a few hits started popping in. I was hopeful I'd get the kind of ideas that will make me wade through the upcoming writer's block which I just felt was on the way. Finally though, on all interaction modes combined, I got a whopping 6 entries as against an expected 25 which I thought was the bare minimum to come as a result of the innovative move and the campaign. I needed a motley all right but I needed a few ideas to come from multiple people so that I could be sure about their presence as a real thing to blog on. Damn did I imagine a joust between the different ideas, hundreds of them, vying for my attention. Nonetheless, Joanne from Prague did come up with a very interesting suggestion. She just happened to be searching for free online publishing platforms and my blog showed up. She seemed to be very frugal with words and suggested the entire idea in one line. "Is individual opinion dead?"

I couldn't come in terms with what she was trying to say. Individual opinion is everywhere to be found. In fact in a clogged up bus or a rail bogie, you'll find individual opinions in surfeit. I delved a level deep to see I was missing out on something. Joanne seems to be a taciturn as she refused to reply on the mail chain. Maybe she just wanted to get her idea across. Maybe she won't even be here when her post is published. Nevertheless, it will be published but mainly on what I could infer from the core idea. So what exactly  did she mean when she claimed individual opinion to be dead? Was it a metaphor, was it a literal observation, or was it simply something I wasn't capable of noticing. And with some contemplation, I knew it was the last reason. And maybe I and you were in the dark for the very ways in which maybe individual opinion, in the true sense of the term, was quashed forever.

Look around you. People are blabbering about why one guy is better able to run the government than someone else. Someone is flaunting their latest gadget, with conceit for it being better and more expensive than that of anyone else in that group. Someone is passing on a judgment on someone's attitude. And there is this guy, fluidly talking with the pretense of being squeaky clean, while chastising and pointing fingers at someone else. The question is, who would you believe in? The answer is, you've already believed someone or the other before you could even think about it for a moment. 

As the world becomes a more connected place, not only courtesy of webs and webs of technological networks, but even as social barriers and apprehensions go loose and people mingle more and more; influence has become the key. While initially an influencer was a person with commanding authority over a topic or matter, now he/she is just the most assertive figure in the circle. Why would you buy them? Well, because you don't have time to hunt for the truth yourself. And it seems like it's hardwired within us to be opinionated at the end. We just have to take a stand to save ourselves from the embarrassment if someone asks for it and we don't have anything to say. Even if the subject doesn't concern us at all. What matters the most is that you can't squat on any question. You just have to have an opinion. Sometimes you are close to the topic and you build one but on most occasions the topic doesn't concern you very much and you don't have the time to ponder. What do you do then? You buy an opinion from the omnipresent market available everywhere. And why bother when they're there for free!

Simultaneously, for matters that are big enough to sustain the wrath of those million other subjects vying for attention, collective opinion shapes out of the most substantial of the individual opinions that were formed in the beginning. In absence of anything that refutes this newly formed group owned opinion, people don't see any mendacity and go for it. And hence without any genuine premise, one initial stand and one initial opinion go on to become that of the masses. The opinion bypasses the frontiers of human judgment and scrutiny and by the time the more sagacious folks could raise their voice, the opinion has already grown prodigious enough. And now it's even larger than the very process of it being rebutted or questioned. The opinion of the group is now sacrosanct and for the easy goer who never really questions a lot, adopting this group opinion as against going for that of the newly emerged questioning pariah, is much more comforting. And thus before you could know, you form an individual opinion which you puff your chest for whenever you talk about it, believing it's purely yours, while you actually borrowed it from the human conscience, which took it from the initial group, which in turn took it from those first few influencers. Bingo!

What's critical in this entire process is the position and intent of the influencers. If the influencers are ardent followers of a prudent thought process, healthy opinions prevail and everyone benefits, as opposed to the discordance that used to exist in the past when even the unintelligible ones had their own conflicting opinions without knowing much about the reality or the subject. However in the wake of the smart businesses, a potentially disastrous scenario awaits. What if the influencers simply further their agenda? Well, they'll become gods out of nowhere! While many may have to bear the brunt of time and struggle to arrive at the zenith, these guys will soar to success in no time. All they need is one wild ride on the tide of their induced opinions. While their lack of experience will extenuate the situation because they'll fail sooner or later and will be evicted, it's imperative to note how the entire system will get infected with this set of extremely rapid risers. Those who'll conquer the frontiers of human scrupulousness in no time at all. Those who'll fool humans and then rub grime on their face. I guess we've got a few examples already. We've got many one time wonders who simply took everyone by surprise through their bravado and then faded away. Till now, they've been limited in number relative to those who really deserved their position. Imagine what will happen when the situation will turn around! 

I hope I did justice to the idea. It's there for Joanne to decide,who I guess could have already cleared her browser history to know which blog she accidentally hopped on a few days ago. Anyways, do pour in your opinions on what you think of this raucous rambling.

Want to contribute an idea? You're welcome to do so here -> Crowdsourcing on Disavowed

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Everyone's got their job in a network

To put some perspective behind this post, I'm sharing links to some of my previous articles which in a way form a premise for this final post, in what can safely be assumed to be a series of posts that represent my findings on a long social experiment. 

While staying true to the original purpose of this consecrated pursuit, I did deviate from time to time just to tweak up things a little. You are requested to read till the end before impugning or haranguing me. 

It was around 1999 when my brother and I succeeded in pulling off a remarkable feat by being able to establish a 56K dialup connection on a sleazy mtnl line. I was too small to fully grasp the power of the mode that took everybody by surprise. Even back then there were networks, primarily in the form of usenet groups. I was averse to them as they appeared somewhat jejune and brash. I shut myself to networking till 2010, post which I thought I had enough time to plunge in and experiment. Those previous three posts clearly delineate how I engrossed myself in the chime of life by say, getting swept off my feet again and again,by a few cherubic drop dead gorgeous clique girls on the internet, who of course were acquaintances. I didn't even think of as much as platonic relationships. My messages and my communication were always plain and straightforward. I was the typical guy who was too lurid and yet too afraid. For some reason, I chose to be an observant. For some reason, the temptation to witness an online chuckle(which may have never been present on the other side) appealed more than popping up a proposal. The ramifications could have been very deleterious because the girl on facebook had a father who was a top notch offical in the police. So after dawdling around for so long and with her online presence becoming more and more morsel, the facebook project was called off with inadvertent failure. 

The facebook project was embellished with some ancillary activities including but not limited to sending out enough requests to belles and getting sporadic blocks, affirming my admiration for actresses online in the form of comments that were so innocuous that they got lost in the muddle of those "Friends I am blocked. Add me" comments, and last but not the least, pulling off patterns while studying online activity. I got a lot of insights and I try to use them specifically for designing content for the blog and posting links over facebook. However, my core mission of project facebook didn't result in anything substantial. I needed something that stayed with people all the time. And thus commenced the surreptitious, and in the eyes of conformists-murky, project WhatsApp. 

Having subscribed to a multitude of groups, WhatsApp is always abuzz with activity. I required subjects who were not addicts. Thankfully, I got not one but two, separated by a time span of about 6 months. Inevitably, the conversations never extracted a lot out of the other side. The laconic and reticent respondents were never expected to fill windows with verbiage. But through their times to type, through their status updates, through the associations between surges in activity and other changes they made in their accounts, I was able to elicit a lot of behavioral patterns, I was obviously enamored by their gravitas and demeanor but like in the last experiment, admittance was commensurate to effective termination or better worse, legal action (These ladies too had powerful contacts, presumably). I obviously appeared as a depraved, dallying, dodging, dabbling and occasionally dolorous but good enough not to block kind of guy. No turpitude, no brazen schmoozing, nothing to offend them, and nothing unethical as well. Just the default character play in absence of acknowledgement from other side. It should be obvious by now what was the ultimate result of this experiment. The number of two one on the other symbols that represent messages that were read but not replied to, had piled up miserably and project WhatsApp too had to be called off. But the two projects combined, provided one astonishing finding. And it took me 3 years of beguiling on the internet while attracting allegations to get that. 

"Everyone's got their job in a network." I might have come across to all those ladies as maybe a random sociopath who was to be empathized with and that's why I wasn't kicked out initially. Post a point of time though, my behavior might have seemed inscrutable and contemptibly confusing. Finally, I was a lost pawn in a flurry of online traffic. In short, in absence of effective acumen to charm women, I was inducing or maybe masquerading visages. My behavior was not a function of my innate capabilities or overwhelming confidence which penurious relationship analysts writing garish articles for newspapers like TOI consider to be a prime ingredient to spice up the match. My image instead was a function of the intensity received from the other side and hence it ultimately dwindled and got reduced to a bare minimum. In the process, I went on to be different people all the while, not able to be one person all the time. I was that overtly enthusiastic acolyte, I was that desperate minion, I was that indifferent guy, I was that attention seeker, I was that camouflaged helper and what not. In short, I was everything except of course being that one thing I gradually knew I would never be. And everyone of these people have their place on a network. While a two person interaction may seem as an isolated thing but I've got experience to be not that parochial. Despite it being a two person interaction, your perceptions on someone are always influenced by the amalgamation of all other perceptions combined. It's an amazing thing to sink in but no matter how dunce these extraneous people played by me may seem, they all are required for that one person(that I couldn't play) to succeed. Everyone's got their job in a network and that's a truth. 

I guess as curtains draw on one of my sub projects, it will be party time for my subjects because they'll no longer be smothered by senseless communication from a woebegone and petulant guy who didn't seem to get anywhere near as impressive as the one these subjects might have had finally. My best wishes to all of them. We'll continue to stay in touch. And for me, it's about time I delved in the realm of the unknown to unearth the next thing to look out for. Any ideas?