OMG: Cleavage show !!! Relax, it’s a compliment…

If you jumped to this piece expecting some more hormone-pumping pictures and videos, you’re at the wrong place. Just leave…

There is no cleavage, there is no show and certainly no “exposure”. If you want exposure, I’m sure Google can help you out. No wait, don’t Google it. Google Search will give you too many options and you will be spoilt for choice.

Check out The Times of India. It is the fastest emerging soft porn website in India with a different market positioning. I salute their efforts to bring to the fore the grave issues that plague our country today – someone’s cleavage, someone’s “assets”, a salacious kiss from an upcoming movie, the lingerie choice of celebrities and the latest MMS scandal.

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Apple fans are dumb…and so am I

Ever since the unveiling of the new iPhone, people have been going crazy on the internet, trying to mock Apple fans and users and criticising Apple for their apparent lack of innovation, which was once their forte. The internet has flooded with memes, trolls and technical comparisons between Apple and every other phone maker to show how the new iPhone is uninteresting, shockingly expensive, un-innnovative and remarkably late.

The day after Apple’s launch of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Watch, I had an interesting discussion with a friend.

Me: Hey, saw the new iPhone?

Sam (sung): Yea, it’s pathetic.

Me: Really? Why?

Sam: Yea man, nothing new in it. Huge waste of time and money.

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5 lessons I learned from blogging – Part 4

In the final part of this series, I will cite how the most important lesson of blogging is not about writing, but about reading. I already stated that a blogger receives encouragement from the community which is created by the innately passionate bloggers building on top of each others’ ideas in a manner that the reader understands because of its structural prowess.

My friend, in a comment that triggered this series of realisation, cited the benefits of blogging as he observed. He wrote:

However, I do realize it has potential other benefits as well:

1. Improves ones ability to structure, articulate and present thoughts (This is true man! I had to revise the structure of this reply multiple times so far to think what I was actually intending to write :D

2. The process of writing a blog creates the need to read/brush-through many journals and blogs, thereby improving knowledge and awareness

5. Reading is a pre-requisite:

Before we write, we always have to read. This is not a luxury; it is a necessity. It is a necessity because to express our opinions onto the world, we first need to know something about what we intend to communicate with the audience. For that, we need to read.

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Source: Grammarly

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5 lessons I learned from blogging – Part 3

My previous two posts (cited here and here) in this series stemmed from a comment on my post about blogging, which made me realise my learning through blogging.

In the first post, I cited how the blogging community has always been very encouraging of peers and seers, and in the second, I highlighted the importance of forming communities on top of each others’ ideas created by innately passionate bloggers.

In that comment by my friend, he also raised some benefits of blogging as he had observed. He wrote:

However, I do realize it has potential other benefits as well:

1. Improves ones ability to structure, articulate and present thoughts (This is true man! I had to revise the structure of this reply multiple times so far to think what I was actually intending to write :D

2. The process of writing a blog creates the need to read/brush-through many journals and blogs, thereby improving knowledge and awareness

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5 lessons I learned from blogging – Part 2

My friend’s comment on my post about my early days of blogging started my thought process about what I had learned from blogging. I stated in this post (also the first point my friend made) that the blogging community always encourages others, be it newbies or veterans. That is also my first lesson from blogging. This learning led me to my next point, which deals with communities.

2. Community creation is vital:

Every blogging platform – WordPress, Blogger or any other – thrives on the creation and sustenance of communities. Communities are built when ideas are expressed openly without fear of retribution and others build on those ideas. If one person puts forth an idea, there should be at least ‘n’ number of people who have something to say about the idea, where n > 1. When that happens, ideas and content are built on top of each other.

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Source: Rework Engine

People may agree or disagree, but the point that a point has been made and others have something to say about that point triggers an expression of a new point, using the previous one as a reference and source. This new point made might act as a trigger for a further rebuttal or expansion of that idea, ultimately creating a network effect that is the underlying foundation of everything social in our lives. This leads to a networking circle of idea expression and community building.

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5 lessons I learned from blogging – Part 1

When I wrote about my journey of writing, learning and blogging, I relived my experience of entering the world of blogging, learning how to go about it and venturing into the vast world of content publishing, while clawing at the tips of the iceberg known as freelancing.

A close friend commented elaborately on that post, highlighting how blogging made him feel and what he had realised about the blogging community in a very short span of time.

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Writing about football, are we ??!!

The odyssey of camaraderie took some time to start. But once it had begun, there was no going back. I could not stop a missile that was already launched and was in motion. I’m not Tony Stark.

So, the only way for me was forward. The journey had begun and the march would have to go forward, no matter what. The freelancing journey had taken time but it was gradually taking shape. I was in search of that one assignment that would be a long term commitment to work and learning.

One day, while casually browsing projects to apply for, I saw an employer looking for people to write football articles on his website. That felt like a dream come true… I love writing and I am very interested in football. Moreover, I was going to get paid for combining these two passions. Writing on a topic I follow and love, with the scope of learning tremendously about both the sport and writing drew me to it like mice to cheese. What more could I ask for!!!

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Challenges China’s Tencent faces as it tries to bring more Western games

China has always been a challenging market for businesses. Many large companies, including Apple, Facebook and Twitter have been witnesses to this. Apple had problems with sales of its iconic iPhones, which had local competition from “copycats”, amid reports of mistreatment of employees at Foxconn, Apple’s assembler in China. Facebook and Twitter have their own Chinese versions and have minimal, if at all, presence there. Google also withdrew from the country in 2010 after failing to make headway into the market dominated by local player Baidu.

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Source: The Telegraph

The more recent phenomenon, however, is that Chinese firms are luring Western talent to bring in their expertise to customise content for the Chinese market. Tencent, one of China’s internet behemoths, has been trying to bring more online and mobile games into China, despite the high rankings it enjoys in the app stores.

The rapid growth of mobile devices and proliferation of smartphones in China have resulted in a surge in mobile and online games. However, as the size of the pie increases, more players are vying for a larger share of the pie. Tencent faces stiff competition from internet giant Alibaba, which has its own local and global expansion plans. Its impending IPO in the US and its series of US start-up acquisitions lend credence to its strategy.

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Thank God It’s Friday !!!

We often evolve and change over time. But some things remain the same. I noticed that something I had penned down a couple of years ago is as applicable today as it was then…

After a gruelling week during which I had to undergo a training in the morning, have a quick bite in the afternoon for the mere purpose of sustenance, slog through the afternoon trying to make sense of ubiquitous lines of code that demanded to be put in logical sequence, attend client calls in the evening and report the status of my work and pose questions on the next day’s tasks, and finally start working again to try to complete the day’s tasks and prepare for the unmatched repetition of the next day, I found respite in the Friday. TGIF, as they say !!!

Thus, after five gruelling days of hard work, I found some time for myself, to dismiss the idea of work and indulge in myself. After all, the weekend is as much a necessity for me as oxygen. It began pumping on the most wonderful day of the week – Friday. It is truly wonderful because it brings with it a lot of plans, sentiments and anticipation. I’ve noticed that what seems so boring on a Mundane Monday does not seem so on a Frolicking Friday. Work gets done remarkably quickly, productivity levels shoot up, sincerity takes precedence over laxity and procrastination is almost thrown out the door. People begin to transform on a Friday, apparently.

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The odyssey to the odyssey of camaraderie…

I realised pretty late in my life that I could write. As a matter of fact, I realised it just this year, when I started this blog to pen down whatever came to my mind. I had been an English-enthusiast all along, having excelled at English in school, whenever the teacher could comprehend what I had scribbled in my ‘calligraphic’ handwriting. But those flashes of brilliance had only been limited to academics, given my pedantic nature.

Earlier, I did not even have an inclination to pen down my thoughts, but when a friend introduced me to the world of blogging, I took to it immediately. Before long, I was writing about a host of topics that I cared about. Initially, I worried that I might not be good enough for the blogging community, but as I kept on reading and writing, I realised that the community does not care whether you are good or bad. The community is not judgemental and does not treat blogging as a competition for survival. Most people enjoy writing and write only for the purpose of writing, with a tinge of reverence to the writing community. It felt wonderful to connect with them.

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‘Crush’ed… Am I in love ??!!

I recently had an opportunity to interview the elusive Mr Heart, who has been evading interviews for a long time. Thankfully, after a lot of prodding, Mr Heart agreed to an exclusive interview in which he allowed me a peek into his world of love and emotions. Here is the full transcript of the first ever interview with Mr Heart.

Me: Mr Heart, thank you very much for your time today to discuss matters with me. I really appreciate the opportunity.

Mr Heart: You’re welcome. In fact, I decided it was time to come out of my shell and let the world know what I really am and felt about.

Me: Yes, I am glad you want to discuss this with me. I’ve been informed that you wanted to talk about Her.

Mr Heart: Well, not specifically, but I wouldn’t mind. I guess it is that time of the age cycle when everyone realises just how valuable I am.

Me: So Mr Heart, you’re saying that you are in love, again?

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Change The Game… Are we ready to do that just yet? – Part 2

In the previous part of this post, I expressed concern over the general lack of infrastructure in India in the field of sports other than cricket and how that is manifested in India’s dismal performance in sporting events.

In this one, I will cite a couple of incidents which will highlight my point to the glaring difference in the perception of football in India and England.

If you missed the post and the ad that triggered it, here is the post and below is the ad.

On March 17, 2012, when Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba collapsed on the ground at White Hart Lane in the match against Tottenham Hotspur, he was immediately taken care of by several medics who tried to resuscitate him, before he was taken to the nearby London Chest Hospital, where he was attended to promptly. Jonathan Tobin, Bolton’s team doctor, later said that Muamba was ‘dead’ for about 78 minutes (his heart was not beating for that duration). Andrew Deaner, a consultant cardiologist at the London Chest Hospital, happened to be at the match with his brother. An ardent Tottenham fan, he rushed down the stands to help Muamba. His help was considered a life-saver.

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Change The Game… Are we ready to do that just yet? – Part 1

Ranbir Kapoor’s Pepsi ad is amusing at best. The dismissive tone by Ranbir Kapoor at the start, when he mocks the kid for playing football, exemplifies the stereotypical Indian mindset towards football as a sport. To support his point, Ranbir further adds that cricket is a “gentleman’s sport” and encourages the kid to become a man by playing cricket.  However, as if to refute his opinion, the machine refuses to dispense a bottle of Pepsi. The young kid, who till then is quietly enduring Ranbir’s badgering, smiles derisively and uses his head, literally, to get the bottle, and tells Ranbir to play football at times. After all, it is handy occasionally.

The ad, obviously intended to promote sales and business, also takes a stand on sports as they are perceived in India, and poses a question that would only be answered with time. Promotion of football in India, especially by such large entities – PepsiCo and Ranbir Kapoor – at such a magnitude, is unprecedented. That is why this advertisement serves a purpose greater than mere publicity and business promotion.

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City, we rise; United, we fall…Lessons from Manchester 2011-12

The most watched football league in the world, Barclays English Premier League, undoubtedly had an epic finale to its 2011-12 season. The winner of the year-long battle for glory was decided and sealed in less than five minutes.

While at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland FC’s home ground, Manchester United reigned supreme and won with a goal’s margin, Manchester City produced a game at Etihad Stadium, its home ground, that can only be described as phenomenal. The title holder was to be decided between the two Manchester teams, with City needing a win at home to surpass United, who played away to Sunderland.

Towards the end of the ninety minutes, it looked like United were destined to lift the trophy for the twentieth time. Sir Alex Ferguson, United’s manager for over quarter of a century, looked confident of having done just enough to win both their final game and the title. While Ferguson just waited for the final confirmation of his success through the referee’s final whistle, Roberto Mancini, Manchester City’s manager, hoped for a miracle at Etihad.

As if He heard his prayers, The Almighty granted City that opportunity to prove to the world the existence of a miracle. Edin Dzeko, the Bosnian striker who moved to Manchester City in Jan 2011, emerged as that miracle in the 92nd minute of the 5-minute stoppage time.

A corner kick converted into a brilliant header by Dzeko put some hope into the Citizens. The long-awaited equaliser had finally come. There was still work to be done, however. City needed to win the match to etch their name on the trophy. As would be expected, with just a couple of minutes left on the clock, City attacked incessantly and out of the blue, Sergio Aguero, after the slightest of touches to get a clean shot, created history for City. City, the tortoise in the race, proved their worth at Etihad with late goals, driving Citizens crazy.

On the other side of the battle for the title, United had already finished their match and were awaiting news from City. But in a tragic quirk of fate that rendered him speechless, Ferguson could only wonder what had hit him when he heard the score and success of City at Etihad. He would have almost certainly felt those ‘so-close-yet-so-far’ emotions that give a sense of seeing the finish line of a marathon yet being unable to reach there first. Darkness had suddenly befallen the Stadium of Light, not for Sunderland, who were not in contention for the title, but for Manchester United, who had their victory snatched away by a whisker. United had already taken the shuttle to seventh heaven but were brought back. Manchester had changed colours – from glazing red to sky blue in less than five minutes.

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India’s Take on ‘Daylight-Savings’

Something I had penned down a couple of years ago still makes me wonder whether anything has changed. Here is the updated version…

Having had to deal with clients in the US for work, I’ve been accustomed to their switching time rituals every March and November. The concept of ‘daylight-savings‘, much-needed in places with hugely varying levels of sunlight, seems to amuse us Indians though.

Most Indians, I am pretty sure, are not quite aware of why the concept was introduced, what purpose it serves, when and why it is observed and so on. Some of us take the literal meaning of the word ‘savings’ and wonder what exactly is being saved when time changes twice every year. Then there are some others who know briefly what it is but are unsure of the rationale behind it and continue to live without any curiosity towards it. Finally, there are some others who are aware of it, follow it and know it in much detail, but just don’t give a damn about it.

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