The Last Mile Paradox. A Traveler’s Escapade

An early alarm. A hot cup of coffee. Getting ready. I looked out of the window, no sunrise yet. I had a train to catch at 5 30 am. I was very excited. It was the day my travel would begin. I would go from Bangalore to Mangalore but not as a straight journey. I had decided to visit several places along the way, to experience and enjoy nature and peace to its fullest.

This trip meant a lot to me. I would be away from traffic, away from noise and pollution and most importantly, away from all the stress. I am a happy traveler. I adjust to whatever comes along the way and I don’t get upset or complain because something did not work out as I had planned. After all, this travel was to relax and not to add more stress to myself. My itinerary had a few places along the way that I hadn’t visited before like Lion Safari near Shimoga, dams and rivers and other historical places.

Travel is so much more easier now with the internet helping us all along the way. Just with a few clicks, I was able to book my train tickets, book a room and get some information on places I could visit. I boarded the train to Mysore, my first stop. I reached there by 8 am and headed straight to the K.R.S dam. This dam built across the Kaveri river is majestic. being a weekday,  crowd was literally non-existent. I stood at the tip of the dam staring into the vast amount of water stored. Water that would sustain agriculture and life in that region. birds soared high in the air and I just stood there with the breeze brushing past me.  After a while, a walked through the Brindavan Gardens. I watched people fixing the fountains there. Probably preparing it for the musical fountain show they host  on the weekends. One of them told me that its a spectacular event to watch. As I walked on, I found it satisfying to watch the canals that ran the length of the garden with the dam hanging in the background.

I saw the Mysore palace on my way to the Chamundi Hills. That palace never ceases to fascinate me with its rich heritage from the king’s era. How amazing might have been to stay there and rule a kingdom. I had been to the Palace before so I decided not to go there this time.It was noon by the time I reached the hills. It was very hot and wished I had come sooner. A huge statue of the demon Mahishasura and the towering  Chamundi temple stood there at the peak. It was very cool inside the temple. No air coolers or air conditioners, just remarkable architecture that kept the temple cool. I had an amazing lunch there, the traditional South Indian meal on banana leaf. I sat down by the temple side for some time and then resumed my journey.

I then went to the railway station, en route to my second stop which was Shimoga, the gateway to the Western Ghats. These days, Domestic Airlines are highly affordable but I prefer train as most of the train journeys allow me to witness some great scenery through jungles and hills. It was night by the time I reached Shimoga. I checked into the hotel, thankful that it was exactly how they had described  it online. I was up early the following morning, ready to cover all the places I had in mind. I first went for a Lion Safari. Its where the forest department  would take tourists to see wild animals(mostly lions)  in the sanctuary . the excitement we had died down as we  found only well fed lions and elephants that just slept  in the shade. I was a little disappointed with that. But it was a king cobra that suddenly appeared that managed to get everyone’s attention, including our guide’s.

I then went to Sagar, a small town near Shimoga and known for the Jog Falls. By the time I reached  there, it was drizzling and the the water falls were partly covered by clouds. But the rains had filled up the Sharavathi river and it roared as if fell into the chasm. I felt so powerless being in front of this majestic source of energy. The clouds soon cleared and the view was spectacular. I walked down the steps that took me to the bottom  of the falls and the lower I went, the cooler it got. the staircase goes very close to a small waterfall where people usually sit for sometime and let the mist from it soak them. Its very relaxing. At the very bottom, the roaring sound of water falling  was deafening. A huge mist cloud was formed and I got curious as to whats behind the  waterfall but the very thought of me drowning got me to just stay where I was.  This was the best  place on my trip so far and it definitely was for the rest of it.

From Jog, I joined a group of people and went to Honnemaradu, a modest settlement on the backwaters of River Sharavathi. It was very quiet there. We hired a boat that took us to a near by island. We sat on the boat’s edge and tried our had at fishing. I wasn’t fortunate enough to catch one though. It was six in the evening and I decided to go to Thirthalli and halt there for the night. Its a small village on the banks of river Tunga and the last place before I had to climb down the ghats to the coastal region. The following day, I caught the first Minibus to Udupi. The journey on ghats terrifies me.  And this was the Agumbe Ghat, one of the steepest roads I’ve been on. I was extremely alert the whole way and kept checking in and out to make sure nothing seemed out of place. Finally after slow, scary thirty five minutes , we are out of the ghats and at sea level.  People say Agumbe is one of of the most beautiful place to see and the scenery  along the way is breathtaking.  All that is fine but what people won’t tell you is that while you keep staring into the world outside, there is a chance the bus falls off the cliff killing everyone. Nope! No scenery is worth dying for.

Finally I reached Udupi. The  city famous for the Krishna Temple. It had been two beautiful days so far and I was on the last leg of my travel. Each time I go somewhere , time just flies and just before I reach my destination, I get this feeling of  ” This cannot be the end of my travel, I should go more”. I call this my “Last Mile Paradox”.

I visited the Krishna Temple. The priest told me fascinating stories about the temple and gave me a book about its origin. After a meal there,  I left. On my way to Mangalore, my final destination, I realized I had to book a room to stay for the night. Thanks to internet, I went  though a list of available rooms and booked the one which had very good reviews.Online booking is truly one of the best things to happen to travelers. I stumbled upon the International Flights section while booking my hotel, and man the air fares were very cheap. I thought to myself that the next trip I take should be out of India  .As I traveled to the end of my trip,  I put my earphones on and soaked in the memories I had from the past couple of days.

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Why you should try guest blogging and guest posting

As a blogger, one of the main aims would be to become better at it and grow each day. Growth  and success of bloggers depends on their own beliefs and objectives. Growth can be increased viewership or followers or it can be increased revenue from the blog or a recognition for a unique form of writing. Irrespective of  the variations in the meaning of growth, there are certain ways in which it can be achieved. And that is through  Guest Posting and Guest  Blogging. This article is not about how to guest post or guest blog. It is only to convey the benefits of making use of  opportunities to progress as a blogger.

Guest blogging is where you as a blogger, write  a blog post for other renowned blogs.  This is an advantage for any blogger whether an amateur or someone blogging since years. Guest blogging provides a window  for a new set of readers to have a glance at your work. It allows you to spread your writing, possibly to a new group of people to whom you couldn’t reach. so if you are an amateur blogger, guest post where ever possibilities, not only does it give experience in writing and  tips to edit posts but also get a wider recognition.If you are an experienced blogger then with many topics you can guest blog and get paid for it.

Guest posting is restricted to people with a good blog which is regularly updated. It also needs to have a good number of viewership. With a blog like that, you can accept posts from other bloggers and post it on your blog. This too has many advantages. Your viewership increases wen the person who guest posts shares this news on his social media. Though there are blogs who pay for guest posting, you can also get paid. So, both way works. But for you to be paid by someone to publish their article on your blog,  your blog must be very well known.

So, why not give this a try? It is more like  a network of bloggers looking out for each others, growing together and sharing the experiences.  At the least, what you would get would be to get to know a new fellow blogger.

I would like to share a few of my personal experiences  for this topic. I intialy started this blog and only after a year of regular blogging i started to guest blog for international tech blogs and websites. I wrote technical articles to websites like TheNewStack. I wrote Linux tutorials to website like Howtoforge. I got a lot of experience  from writing those posts. It showed me how i can become better at it.  After two years of blogging, I guest posted articles on my blog. It was mainly about internet security and e-commerce.  Though t might seem a little hard to find blogs related to your niche, keep looking and the ones that is suited for you will emerge one at a time.

Image src : phd2published

A Smartphone Journey with the New Moto E

The depth of my love towards technology cannot be described. Probably, it is as deep as the Mariana Trench (for those who don’t know, Mariana Trench is considered to be the deepest part of the world’s ocean, and yes there are many more geographical and scientific references coming up 😛 ). The very first thing that attracted me towards technology was NOT phones, but elevators.  I remember being amazed at this wonderful creation that could go up or down when someone would ask it to. But I didn’t stay a curious 6 year old for long. The moment I wrapped my head around the concept of elevators, I lost interest in it. All of them were the same, only the size differed.

But then there was something better, moving stair cases or as people call, “the escalator”. I was fascinated by its working, but then again, when I knew how it worked, I lost interest in it. The point I am trying to make is that, having love towards technology kept me looking for more advanced machines, but the moment I realized how it worked, it ceased to fascinate me and I would go about looking for something better.  It was this quest of mine that lead me to discover many new things and soon I found 2 specific gadgets that I remained interested about for years. It was the mobile phone and notebooks. But I still do have the “losing interest syndrome”, not as much as before though. My adventure with the notebooks is a completely different story. Sticking to the topic, I’ll share my escapades in  the world of mobile phones.

When I was young, I clearly remember my excitement with each new mobile phone that I got to see. There would be a cycle: first, I would think it’s the best phone on the planet, then go through all the features it had, find things that make it better than the other phones, declare it  isn’t the best phone in the world, play games, check out the ring tones, try to test its breaking point, get yelled by my parents and finally lose interest in that model. This cycle continued, and now that I have grown up, the cycle remains, but the checkpoints within it has changed, or I would rather say, “My curiosity cycle has matured.”

I remember playing with the old Nokia phones, the one with black and white displays, with only 5 to 10 ringtones and “the snake game” inbuilt in it. For the readers born in the 21st century, “yes, there existed such a phone and its specifications were, 1 inch black and white display, weeks of battery life, no music player and people did find that fascinating”. Coming back to the point, that phone was like heaven to me. I remember playing with it, pretending to be calling someone, and talking about it with my friends.That was the time when I chose to start my life as a mobile game player. Well, those were the times when people were smart and not the mobiles they carried.

Stepping a bit further in time, I would like to tell you my story with a company that changed my perspective of what mobile phones looked like.  I personally have a strong connection with this company, probably as strong as a chemical covalent bond ( google it up! :P) , and I’ll tell you why I feel I have this deep connection.

Years ago, I was in love with that company. It was Motorola. It was the time when Motorola was not just a leader but also a majestic driving force of technology. For those of you who don’t know about Motorola, here is a small composition about their innovations. They made the world’s first rectangular color tube for a TV way back in the 1960s. They made the world’s first 2 way pager, the world’s first Digital HDTV Technical Standard, world’s first GSM cellular network. They freaking brought the world’s first Commercial Portable Cellular Phone. And the world’s first list goes on. Such was their greatness.

Motorola had brought out a new phone, called the “Moto Razr” and soon followed it with “Moto Razr 2”.  I was awestruck. It was a phone so sleek and gorgeous yet powerful. I hadn’t seen anything like it. My friend had one, and I remember borrowing it from him, whenever we had time and using it. The buttons were of the same level, there was a glowing design, kind of etched on as circular rings that glowed when light fell on it.  The best part was the clicking sound it made when the display was flipped back. It was an amazing experience. This was the phase when I chose to start as a technology enthusiast and I  knew that this was my passion. This is why I love Motorola, for showing me what innovation can do through technology.

But soon, Samsung flooded the market with android phones, the love for moto diminished, there were much cooler things a phone could do and I got trapped into the new era of phones that were called “the smartphones”.  Before I could realize, the connection with moto I had was faded.

But Motorola is a true leader. It has proven to people like me what it is capable of. It has now bounced back with a new avatar called “Moto” and is back innovating and driving a niche filed of economic smartphone availability. I am guilty that I had lost the precious connection that I had with a company like moto and I do apologize to anyone, who was working extremely hard to resurrect Motorola. With the release of the new Moto E, all I can say is that, moto has now made the “world’s first complete smartphone”.

Some might ask, why would I say that the new Moto E is the world’s first complete smartphone?? Afterall, there are many others who provide better features at economical rates. Well, to people like that, here is my answer: “the other economical smartphone providers deliver inferior build quality and hardware. It is more like judging a book by its cover. It is not built to last long or to be useful. It is just built for the users to show off that their phones have some cool features, most of which are below acceptable rates. They are all built out of compromises to meet the economic level of pricing a phone”

But the new Moto E is eccentric. It’s rare to find someone providing something that is more than what it is worth. And that someone is Moto and that something is the new Moto E.  While the other economic smartphones are built out of compromises, the New Moto E is built out of innovation.

 I believe in keeping or owning things that I need and is useful and not just because “I might need something someday”. This is why, to me, the new Moto E is the lost connection to the company I admired. It has all the required features (which you will soon know), it has amazing build quality and it’s extremely economical, which means it has a strong potential to percolate to the remote places of India and among all kinds of people thus connecting a large part of the Indian population and indirectly support growth.

So, coming to the present, I am in the phase of my life where I start to discover myself, my career, my passions and I know that I have a whole new set of possibilities that are heading towards me and I would like to share some of the things that I choose to start with the new Moto E as a virtual companion:

Being a writer and a student is hard work. I have multiple things to do at once. My usual path of life makes me go through college and get a degree where as I love to write on the things that I learn on my own. I love writing on technical and technological advances. I like writing about things that I come across in life. But here lies the problem. Being a student I am restricted by budget on my spending and being a writer I need all the time that I can have to come up with something good. Being an affordable phone packed with so many features, it suits my budget and having a big enough phone like the new Moto E, I can write easily and literally write anywhere: During commute, break times, when I am stuck in traffic or at my leisure. Utilization of time is of the utmost importance and I believe that the new Moto E is the key to do that. With the improved battery, I needn’t even worry about the charge running out very quickly.  So, this is me choosing to start writing on the go!

Like most people, I am on my journey to find many things that I like to do. The things that complete me and things that let me explore, discover and express myself. Artistic views are said to be present in each one of us and I want to find mine. One of the things that I have wanted to do is capture people I meet. Hear out their story.  With the high availability of the internet, people are becoming active virtually rather than meeting real people. I had an idea to use the internet itself to encourage people to make real connections with others. I wanted to capture the moments with the people I meet and hear out their story. Then write about them.  The second door opening to start something new with the Moto E is capturing people. I can easily take pictures of people I meet, record conversations, shoot their creations if they have one, and share their story on a blog. I believe this way people can read it, watch it, hear them out and find the joy that I get by having true connections with people around me or the people we meet where we go and try doing the same. So this is me, choosing to start sharing, the true joy of human connections.

While I write I bring in my imagination, my creativity and the knowledge that I have together to create something that I feel is beautiful. But there is only so much that I can write, until I face a block.  The secret to have a continuous flow of thoughts is to keep feeding the brain and the soul with newer thoughts and things to ponder about and questions that make us think deeply. The only way to do it is to read.   Reading is indeed the stone to sharpen one’s mind.  I read, but I cannot always. Carrying books around is a real pain and an extra luggage. But with a smartphone like the Moto E, I can overcome that unnecessary bit of effort that needs to be put in.  With a new smartphone I choose to start a virtual library, with tons of books that I want to read or re-read, from where ever I am and whenever I want. With larger display, better battery and much increased storage, I can’t help but to stop thinking about all the books I can store and then read and learn from. I want my life to be a journey of discovery and visiting places I haven’t been before. As Dr. Seuss once said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn the more places you’ll go”. What better way than to have hundreds or probably thousands of books with me on my journey, for who knows what I’ll learn, what I’ll share! To me, this is one of the greatest things that I choose to start, reading without any hurdles, reading with hope!

 So, it is clear to me that having the new Moto E will be a start to a whole new set of experiences and I do hope that I get a chance to start new, start afresh and never look back.

Now coming to the geeky bits, the phone specifications:

PROCESSOR and RAM: The new Moto E has a 1.2 GHz quad core processor with 1 GB RAM. Trust me with my technical knowledge, when I say, “this is awesome”. With this much of power, app switching, graphic intensive gaming, usage of memory hungry applications is a breeze.

CAMERA: the new Moto E sports a 5 Megapixel primary Camera with autofocus. I am really excited about this one as, the older Moto E had a decent camera without auto focus but now with this addition makes it a level higher. Also an amazing addition is the secondary 0.3 Megapixel front camera. No one can complain that they cannot take selfies anymore.

STORAGE AND CONNECTIVITY: The new Moto E now has double the storage compared to its predecessor, making the total internal storage to 8GB and an amazing external expanding capacity up to 32 GB. It also has support for the Superfast 3G connectivity, placing it in par with many of the high end smartphones.

DISPLAY: It has a qHD 4.5 inch display. It is a bigger screen with sharp, crisp and bright display. You now know why with this phone, I choose to start reading and writing on the go. A  LCD display like this one, gives a fresh feeling and doesn’t stress your eyes too much, allowing you to watch great high quality videos.

BATTERY: The new Moto E now comes with a 2390 mAh battery, assuring long lasting availability upon mixed usage. This is significantly higher than the previous model, making this phone way better.

OTHER COOL FEATURES: The corning Gorilla Glass on the screen makes it a tough, water repellant surface and protects it from damage. The smudge proof coating keeps the fingerprint away. One of the coolest features is that, it now comes with the latest android, the Android Lollipop OS which means it has the latest software running making sure everything feels new.

Finally, coming to the cost, the new Moto E, costs Rs.7000 only. Now, for the readers who aren’t familiar with the Moto concept or the Moto E concept in specific, the above mentioned price isn’t a typo. The phone does cost only Rs. 7000. Isn’t that great? And for the people who know about the Moto E, I am sure that you are as excited and surprised as I am, that with such a large amount of improvements, the cost remains the same. This is truly wonderful and worth it.

So coming back to my declaration, I think almost all of you who disagreed earlier, will now agree that the new Moto E is the “world’s first complete smartphone”.

To find out more  awesome stuff about the New Moto E head over to http://www.startwithmotoe.com/  or click here

Happiness lies among the simple little things!

#IAmHappy

A smile,  a giggle , a roaring laughter. The warmth, the comfort, the sense of togetherness. These are the perspectives of happiness. To me, happiness isn’t the joy that comes by merely  possessing  materialistic things. That kind of joy is temporary and often delusional. True happiness lies in the moments spent with the people you love and the memories that you create and cherish from time to time.  Its the process that gives a person happiness and not the end result of doing something.  Every moment of your life well lived adds on to the happiness in your life. we can consider happiness to be a treasure trove,  filling up with the feelings, memories, experiences, that we have on a daily basis and before we know it, this treasure trove  transforms into a driving force that pushes us to do better in our lives and to pursue our passion and live our dreams.

The beauty of happiness is that, it is something that fuels people’s lives, so one cannot reach happiness and declare that is the end. It’s a continuous process and it stays with us, helping us until we die. The happiness that I have felt  in my journey of life are plenty. I have realized that my most happiest times are those that arise from the simple little things that people do, or the things that I do along with others. I vividly remember some of the best moments of happiness I have been a part of, and here I am, given a chance to share them. So, here is my meaning of true happiness, straight from my treasure trove:

  • happiness is eating a large bowl of chocolate ice cream.
  • happiness is returning home from a long trip.
  • happiness is finding a person with the same kind of problem that I am facing and knowing that I am not alone in this.
  • happiness is finding the missing bus ticket while on the bus.
  • happiness is choosing a new dish in a restaurant and that turning out to be delicious.
  • happiness is making a new friend.
  • happiness is sharing secrets with my best friend.
  • happiness is eating together with old friends, reliving the old memories.
  • happiness is succeeding in convincing a teacher, not to take a class.
  • happiness is convincing a friend, to jump into the pool.
  • happiness is planning and trying hard not to let my friend know  that we are having a surprise party for him.
  • happiness is the relief that I get upon knowing that me and all my friends have passed the exam.
  • happiness is going on a long ride outside the city.
  • happiness is learning something new, may it be driving or the art of talking to a stranger, without looking creepy 😛
  • happiness is waking up and realizing that  I am late and then realizing that its a holiday.
  • happiness is spending time with kids. Its pure bliss to hear them out, play with them and to capture that sense of true joy that they emanate and spread.
  • happiness is completing a task that initially seemed impossible.
  • happiness is feeling the true love shown to me by my friends and family.
  • happiness is making fun of each other.
  • happiness is scoring a goal in football or watching a match of your favorite team.
  • happiness is my family telling me, failure is not an end but a beginning.
  • happiness is the fruits of working hard.
  • happiness is helping others in which ever way I can.
  • happiness is playing my favorite music on my guitar.
  • happiness is knowing that there are people out there, reading things that I write, and some among them who like it and relate to it.
  • happiness is going to meet grandparents and enjoying the time spent with them and the food they make.
  • happiness is looking at things that I have created, though not significant, I know that it has been made by me.
  • happiness is coffee. to me its more than just happiness. Its nirvana 😛

I am sure that if I  don’t stop, then the list might form a book on its own. But these were  the sparks happiness that is going to remain with me for a long long time most of which will recur. Now that I have the best of them here as a blog post, I know for sure that even if my memory fades, these will help me refresh the best times I had.

I would like to thank Coca-Cola for giving me this awesome opportunity to share my moments of happiness. I must say, it was a true joy writing this post. Head over to http://CokeURL.com/96jnc, to find more happiness. #IAmHappy

Always remember, share your happiness, share your Coke 🙂 Here is an amazing  video, to get your happiness started

We are Together!

Time flies when you spend time with the people you love. The happiness involved transforms a regular day into a magnificent one. Its the warmth, the feeling of being safe and content that comes with being and involving in something that you all love tot do. The most memorable day for me  is a special day  in college. #Together

It was my final semester in college. All of us would soon graduate, and move on in our separate lives. We would soon be engulfed by the real world outside and would have responsibilities on our shoulders. I am sure most of the students in this phase of their life think about it. I did too and I was hoping that there would be enough memories captured in my mind from these amazing years.

I love my friends a lot. They have supported me, helped me, and we have had the best of our times in college. All of use had our fair share of happiness and sorrows and a lot of new discoveries. we were meant to be #Together. I remember that particular day where all of us spent the best time ever. Well, at least for me. It was 25th of February. My birthday. I was joyous and excited, I had turned 21. I was oblivious to what was coming.

Some of us, were working on our project, when one of my friends came to me and said, “let’s go grab a bite”. This was something that we did almost everyday so it wasn’t out of the ordinary. But when we wen’t to eat, it was different. All of my friends were there, waiting for me. I was thrilled. I had’t expected that and I was delighted. So, we celebrated. I  cut the cake, they spread it all over my face (Expected :P)  . They have given me some of the best gifts I’ve received in my whole life.

The reason this day is memorable to me is because of one particular gift that my best friend gave me. Having it in my hand, i felt the amount of effort and time that had gone into getting it done. It was beautiful and perfect. She always came up with unique ideas and all of those ideas would be extremely good. It was an amazing scrap book with messages from all my friends right from the first year and also  from lecturers of my department. It was alluring. She had picked the people who would write in that book a month before my birthday, and taken it to every single one of them and made them share their best moments with me. I couldn’t stop smiling reading each of the message. Some were encrypted, some shared the best memories we had, some talked about our friendship and how we stuck with it.

It was beautiful. All of my friends who had come, read the book together. We were laughing and picking at each other, and talking about the best times we had. The book had images, hidden messages, and messages from the most important people in my life. My wish had come true. I now possessed the memories from best of times and the best of times in a beautiful book, that I can keep for the decades to come and refresh my memories on these good old days. I smile each time I read the book.

It was this gesture that filled me with optimism and a feeling of warmth that the people I love have given me. I knew that I can now move on into the real world, knowing that I have them with me, supporting me for the days to come.

A big shout  to Housing.com , who have provided me this wonderful and amazing opportunity to share my story. Housing.com ,themselves have made people realize their dream homes with their loved ones and helped them start a new life #Together.Head over to https://housing.com/ , to find out more.

P.S : Here is the cover page of my scrap Book.
IMG-20150225-WA0042

 

 

Just Look Up

Sometimes, unexpected incidents leave a lasting impression. They tend to possess power to fill  a person with optimism and hope for a much better future. An incident occurred in my life that changed  the way I look at things and since then the journey has been extraordinary.   #LookUp

It was the beginning of my final year in engineering and that is the time when most colleges hold placement drives where companies and organisations come and recruit students. It is usually a big deal for most of the students. One of the first companies to come was a product based IT company, which meant out of hundreds of students appearing, only a handful would get selected. I wanted to get selected. The company and their product seemed extremely exciting and it just resonated with me. But like me, were at least a few dozens. I was kind of unsure as to what would happen and that if I was deserving of that job. Many things came to my mind, but I knew that I had to put in a lot of effort to prepare and crack the multiple rounds of tests and interviews. And so I started preparing.

The day of recruitment, a seminar was conducted by the representatives from the company, who discussed about the verticals they were into and I knew that that was the kind of environment I would like to work in. I cleared the first round of test and the second round of group discussions and then came the scary interviews. I remember having a few technical books with me outside the interview rooms where a few of us were reading all that we could. The initial round of people who had gone for the interview came out and told us how difficult it was. Only one out of every six to eight students were selected for further technical rounds. That was when my morale began to shrink, most of the people who were expected to clear were getting rejected. I got tensed and didn’t know what to do. I  felt uneasy as I knew that my turn was coming up soon. The thought of rejection and the loss of an opportunity stung my mind and it didn’t feel good. As time passed, more and more rejections were made. I knew it was getting very nervous and so I decided to randomly pickup some topic and read about it just to distract my mind. And I did so.  I read about sorting algorithms, I read about the various techniques involved in searching for things and concepts of databases and within no time my name was called.

I went in and the interview began. To my surprise, the questions that I was asked were on one of the topics I had just read. I was filled with enthusiasm and applied the knowledge I had to answer it in the best possible way I could. I did very well in that round and I got selected. This “unexpected incident”  as people would call it “a coincidence” filled me with such enormous amount of enthusiasm, that I did amazing in the further rounds of interview and was one among seven people to get recruited by the company.

That incident in the most tense moment of my life changed my thinking. From that moment onward, I started looking up to achieving greater things and believing that I could do it. It has been months since that incident happened, but  the optimism that was lit within me on that day, still continues to burn with glory.  So Its my message to anyone feeling not worthy , always look up to the best outcome that can occur, because there is an unexpected incident that is bound to make it happen.

It was a tremendous pleasure sharing my story and I would like to thank Housing.com  for giving me this opportunity. Housing.com is providing a great new way to look up for finding your perfect home. So head over to https://housing.com/lookup and look up for a great new life.

 

Start A New Life

This is a story of various existing pieces in my life, all falling into place to create a path towards a new life.  #StartANewLife 

Almost two years ago, I was advised to start a blog to  document all the technical things I learn. I took the advice and started This blog, “See The Source”. Initially, there were very few readers and the feedback I got from them was bad. That’s when I thought, “This probably isn’t for me”. After all, all that I was writing was something that was already existing, nothing new.  At the same time, I was experimenting with a lot of open source tools, trying to build software to make my work simpler and more fun.  As I learnt more things, I would apply them using computer code and creating something that was useful.  Both the blog and building small software/ tools wasn’t doing anything significant in my life at that point of time. It was just something that I did, because I enjoyed doing it.

It was after a few months of irregular blogging that I started writing articles on what I had built or did on my own for people to view and hopefully benefit from. And it worked. Though there weren’t a significant amount of readers, the ones who visited started liking the articles and found it useful. That was the time I started realizing that something unique does catch people’s eyes, but still, I was hesitant to post just anything I did mainly because I was afraid of the  criticism and the judgement I would attract on the work I had done. Thus, I used to review each and every article I wrote very carefully multiple times to make sure it is something that people might like and only then post it. Though this was working out fine, there wasn’t any improvement and I spent a lot of time reviewing existing work rather than to focus on building more new things. At the back of my mind I was still concerned about rejection.

Eventually, I was in a situation where I started working on many things ,but stopped blogging frequently  as it took a lot of my time in reviewing it and anticipating people’s reaction to it.  I did feel like posting all of it but held back. So, here I was sitting over a pile of great work that people would love but not sharing it for I thought I would be rebuffed on an international platform.  That is when I decided not to succumb to those anticipated fears any more and started posting all that I had. I stopped caring about what people would  tell  about it and just went all in on using this blog I had. I hadn’t thought that it would be recognized. And soon after, the readership of my blog increased each day, people from all over the world started reading it. Though there were negative feedback, there was more positive feedback and that encouraged me to push for more.

At the same time I was looking for a platform to use my skills and many people recommended freelancing. Though I searched a lot, I didn’t find the right platform for me. Just as I was about to stop looking for more, I found Fiverr.com . A platform to sell what ever one is good at. My field was technical writing , so I thought of setting up a gig for writing technology and technical articles. But then again, my old instincts kicked in and I stared feeling that this would only reduce my profile and would give me a bad name due to the lack of experience in this work. But That is when I took the BIG STEP and without thinking further, published my gig.

Within the first week I got my first gig and wrote an amazing article on a field I hadn’t worked upon earlier. That gave me  the conviction to put all I got into creating good articles and I did. Soon, my profile started looking better with all the positive reviews and I also had my blog to show people the work that I had done and the fields I had worked in. They loved it and many people come back for more. So this is how I  started a new life as a “Technical Content Writer” , one which allows me to combine two things I love, Writing and Technology.

Taking a step back, I can now see all the pieces:  My Blog, The Articles, The experience I gained from my work , The platform I discovered to use my skills and the fear that I conquered ,  falling into place creating a new life for me, one which I am enjoying the most and hoping to grow more with each day. The message I have for people starting out now is ,  though it may look small or insignificant, do not stop, and do not heed into public opinion on things that you love doing. They are just pieces and will somehow fall into the right place at the right time, unlocking the right kind of doors and allowing you to #StartANewLife.

It was a great pleasure writing this article, got an opportunity to share my story and I thank Housing.com for this.

Here is an an energetic cool video on starting a new life with Housing.com. Enjoy!

 

My Story :How Microsoft has impacted my life and as a MSA, how I plan to make a difference.

Hello, I am Akshay Pai, from BNM Institute of Technology, Bangalore, and this is my story, on how Microsoft has impacted my life and how as a MSA I plan to bring about a change to the society.

Any software taken today has a lot of alternatives. A user or a developer gets to pick from various options. But, Microsoft has most of the time been the first one to develop and release powerful tools and services in the market. This being told, I can say that I have been impacted by Microsoft in two ways.

Firstly, as a casual user or a non professional.  I remember using Windows as a kid. Without me knowing, Microsoft was running in the background helping me bring out my artistic skills, startling me with the possibilities of computer and computing and igniting the love for technology that has grown into my life’s passion. Without any prior training , I was able to use the OS for my routine tasks like, editing documents, browsing the web, listening to music or playing games or using Paint. The tools like MS Office, Windows media player, Internet explorer was there to serve me and I was immensely benefited by it.. But this was just the beginning, and it is for a lot of my generation.

Secondly, the more important way I have been impacted is, as a developer. The whole Microsoft developer’s framework has been a boon to me. It is powerful, and at times when the use of those tools would diminish, Microsoft would come back with much better ones. I remember the early days of developing GUI software with Visual Basics, or one of the first HTML editor, the MS Front Page for creating and administrating websites. Then, the Microsoft SQL server database was provided for data applications. Also, at times when I was using trivial IDEs for programming, my scope was restricted due to very limited capabilities and that lead to unproductive work and that was when I got Visual Studio, to create and maintain projects and work in a more efficient manner.

I have been blogging since a year now and Bing Webmaster has been there with me everyday to quench my thirst for data and statistics of my blog.It provides me with very useful data and it helps me by showing  my mistakes or  what I have done right and I act accordingly to make my blog a much search friendly weblog. Be it just the basic stats and view count or the advanced stats like the crawl error and percentage wise comparison of views or allowing me to create efficient site maps, its all at one place.

So yes, Microsoft has impacted my life as a casual end user and also as a developer. And I am glad about it.
“Let’s share, care and grow together!”  This is something I have always believed in from a young age.

IMG-20140303-WA0017                           A snap of presentation that I gave, on pattern printing.

 

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 organizers at the college tech fest

My plan as a MSA would involve the following key aspects:

Being a professional course, our syllabus does not, in any which way have topics or subjects related to mobile technology and could services/computing. Due to this, students aren’t industry ready.
So my main vision statement as a MSA would be: “Making sure that my peer group will be ready for mobile first, cloud first scenario”.

Microsoft has come out with the new Windows 8.1 OS for Mobile phones. These phones have a great amount of untapped market potential and students have the ability to create and develop applications for it and not only use it as a platform to expose their talent to the whole world but also tap the potential to their benefit. I want to take this as a platform to illustrate to my peer group that Microsoft is one of the few companies to have interoperability of software on various devices. That is, the Windows 8.1 is the same that runs on a phone or a tablet or a PC with minimal changes. So an app developed on one Microsoft device say tablet and can be run on other Microsoft device like Phones, touch PCs etc.

To make this happen, I would like to organise talks and bootcamps, which would be a jumpstart to a journey of developing windows 8.1 apps. Being a student, it’s an expensive affair to buy software required for development.  But Microsoft has given me tools like windows 8.1 enterprise Preview, Visual studio 2012 Express edition to learn and develop and test windows 8.1 apps for phones, tablets, and PCs alike and an account to host apps on windows store, and all these for free of cost and I believe that these things has to be taken to the students of my college so that they can do the same amazing things as well. I would also like to bring out the amazing resources present in the Microsoft Virtual Academy, and live stream when possible, the webinars that are held so that could help many of them to start with something simple and get advanced on it.

I have been immensely benefited by these tools and had lot of fun building a Windows 8.1 app. The app that I was a part of is Ratzap. It was lot of fun coming up with the idea, building a plot an UI and got lots to learn from it.
The world as of now is switching to more portable devices: mobiles, tablets are replacing laptops and the tool that will service all the needs of the user will be the cloud services. So as a MSA, I want to bring out the necessities of keeping up to date with the powerful cloud services that Microsoft provides like the MS office online, office touch for mobile devices and all the user data on multiple devices synced to the One drive.
Considering that, these days, even businesses and software/app development are being taken in the cloud, I would like to bring out the platform like SQL server database that helps many companies manage their data, so that students can get good experience on handling big data. And most importantly, showcase the elegant cloud platform, the “Microsoft Azure”. Bring it to the notice of the budding developers and entrepreneurs, as to how no matter what Operating system they like (be it Windows, Mac or Linux) or the platform they prefer (android with java, or python web development), they can develop, host apps or business on Azure. I look forward to spread Microsoft’s message with Azure which is to “Experience the best infrastructure, save on costs, integrate on data and build anything by using what you already know!”

We at BNMIT have capacities to come up with such out of the box ideas and being a MSA, I am looking forward to include my college into the Microsoft ecosystem and I am positive that I can take these messages to every student so that everyone at least gets to try and make a difference.

Thank you for taking your time and hearing me out. 🙂