Thursday, June 19, 2014

It's time to get connected!!!

It all started with a fight. I wanted more money for shopping. Nah, I am not interested in clothes or accessories but wanted to bring some more books in to my library. My husband was fed up of spending a huge sum every month in to books. Well, it is understood he is not that in to books. So, difference in opinions, difference in preferences and difference in choices lead to one big fight. Who cared about the fight, I was only disheartened for not getting sufficient money to spend. “Who asked you to take a break from work” my mind reminded at the wrong time. Frustrated when I logged in to Indiblogger, flipkart vouchers were floating everywhere. Being new to Indiblogger, I wasn't sure if I should really take part in the contest. The website “carconnect” did appeal to me (as I love cars) but the flipkart vouchers looked even more appealing as I always bought books through flipkart on discounts (Proud to be an Indian). Finally, after two days I decided to give it a try and hence, www.carconnect.in occupied my laptop screen. One more disappointment was on its way. It asked for a facebook log in only. And I had logged out of facebook about one and half years ago for lots and lots of personal reasons. I tried and searched for other log in options but my bad, nothing popped up on my screen. I gave up. Joining facebook was impossible for me; hence carconnect and those flipkart vouchers looked miles away.



Five days passed and every day I would log in to indiblogger, look at those flipkart vouchers, make a list of books I wanted to buy and even open facebook log in page only to close all the windows simultaneously. Finally, on the sixth day I took the pain of reactivating my facebook account and created my account in carconnect.in ready to take the next step. A step towards my voucher! Honestly, I cared less about carconnect imagining it would be like other websites comparing car prices, giving some reviews and explaining car’s overall performance. How different it could be, I asked myself. But something else was waiting for me.

The moment my profile was created, I knew what I had to do next. Share my driving experience and never log in to carconnect after that. Being honest here!!! But before doing that, I took five minutes to decipher carconnect. It definitely looked different than most of car comparing websites. It looked like a social networking website for car lovers. Now that is something creative and different. My instant reaction was “viola, I have found something nice here”. So my sharing of long drive experience got postponed.

A quick walk through carconnect :

What is carconnect?


Carconnect is a networking site exclusively for car lovers. Like most other sites, we get to know about the new launches and compare cars and read some interesting news about cars but the added bonus is people can share their experiences of long drives and happy moments associated with cars. For people like me, who love reinforcements in life, there are badges to earn by sharing experiences. It is pretty cool, haan!!!
Initially, I thought this website will take all my energy in decoding it. But thanks to its user friendly design, everything was in control of my fingertips.

Home page looked user friendly and easy to comprehend. 



So what to do next once the profile is created?

For a person like me, who loves reading I took some time and started enjoying other’s long drive experiences/car experiences. Some of the faces and names were known to me through indiblogger, hence wanted to promote their post. Only if this website gave us an option to like and promote other’s posts it would have been blissful.

We can also add people through facebook and have our own friend’s circle here. We get to know what they drive, what they want to drive and all their driving experiences.
MAKE CAR FRIENDS!!!

The next part is my personal favourite. Leader board is the progress report card of sharing experiences. Here people are ranked based on the number of badges earned. The moment we log in to carconnect.in and create our profile we earn a bronze badge. To earn a silver badge we need to submit five posts regarding our car experience or long drive experience. After sharing ten experiences we get a gold badge, after fifteen experiences a diamond badge and the final is platinum badge after successfully posting twenty beautiful driving experiences.

SO WHO IS ON TOP TODAY???

The next section is for long drive lovers. This section has all the information related to different routes and lots of posts regarding specific places. Easy to search! If you want to know how people coped up in Ladakh, then just click on Ladakh and you have got all the basic details for your next drive.

I PICK LEH!!!

Is it Mahindra XUV or Honda CR-V?  Which one should I buy? Then here is a way to know the most suitable car for you. Under compare cars section, you can select any two cars of your choice and a detailed report of comparison reaches your email box within 48 hours. You name it; they will evaluate and send you the details to help you make the best choice.

WHAT IS YOUR PICK???

The next segment is car news. If you like to know all the hot happenings of car world then this is your destination. You get all in and in information about different cars, where cars are getting manufactured, which company has stopped manufacturing a particular car and lots more. It is a trivia for cars and from now on, you won’t miss a single detail.

DAMN!! NEVER KNEW ALL THIS!!

The final section is about new launches. Planning to buy a new car then maybe you want to wait for a while and study the new market releases. Who know if you wait for another three months you might be able to afford a better upgraded version for the same amount. And for all those car fans who like to be updated with the new models and their specifications, you have hit the right place.

THIS KEEPS ME UPDATED!!

What did I do after studying this website quite closely?

I have been on so many long drives. I didn't know which one to write as my first post. 

SHARE YOUR PRECIOUS MOMENTS HERE!!

Finally, after a long discussion with myself I wrote the most memorable long drive experience with my husband (who was just my friend then) and was pushed back in time. Thinking about past events, opening up those old folders and looking at those pictures always makes you feel special. My anger towards my husband, which was silently hidden in for almost a week, vanished in seconds. Immediately I messaged him and told him, he could sponsor for my books alternate months. I would call it, power of love or may be power of memory. Carconnect in fact gave me a way to connect with those sweet memories and made me pen them down. I was only glad that I decided to write for this competition.

Few negatives about carconnect

Every beauty comes with a black spot and indeed carconnect has some. Like I said before I wanted to promote certain posts and make them popular so that many more people could read them. Well, these options are not available in carconnect. However, we can like some posts via facebook.
My post took a long time, more than twelve hours, to get published (at this point, it is still under moderation). I only hope they quicken this process so that we get the pleasure of seeing our posts published and stop checking the status every hour!!!
I wished the log in was through google plus also. I do agree half of the world is in facebook. But there are people like me, gotten bored of facebook or tired. So if they enhance their log in information, google will be more than happy to serve I guess.

My thoughts about carconnect

It is obvious by now that carconnect has gathered all the car lovers under one roof. It has given us a home. It is not about comparing two cars alone, it is a much bigger platform for all those car fans, long drive admirers to do something more exciting in life. It is not about what you share in a post but what you have done in your life to get qualified to write them. You will start feeling a rockstar when you earn a platinum badge, not because it is the highest medal given but you have a life worth a platinum badge. People say, experience makes man perfect but I say experience makes a man complete. Have new experiences, share them and try living other’s experiences too. Audi R8 is my dream car and I am waiting to read a post on it in carconnect. May be I will never buy it (fingers crossed) but I will be more than happy to read the feelings of a man who drives it. This is why I liked this website the moment I spent five minutes on it.



My take on carconnect

You all car fans out there go and check out carconnect. I am not promoting it or maybe I am but I believe in the slogan “pehle instemal karo phir vishwas karo” (First use it to trust it). I am sure you will all love it.

Don't connect only with cars but also, with people who share your interests!!!

P.S:  Everything was done to earn those flipkart vouchers but more than that I want that platinum badge and my photo beneath the first man who earned it in carconnect. 

Find it interesting? Then check it out at http://www.carconnect.in/

This post is written for indistuff, as a part of indblogger, in association with carconnect. 

HAPPY DRIVING!!!

Monday, June 16, 2014

"Do you understand my pain?"

Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers
She asked him often, “Do you understand my pain” and he gladly nodded his head to say yes. Upon his response she looked at him rather surprisingly wondering, if he even knows what that ‘yes’ meant to her. It definitely meant her world, her kingdom which she has been chasing for so many years to conquer, to grab her butt over that relinquished throne. She asked him again and again hoping for a change in answer, but things seemed no different. It is not that she enjoyed this topic over a bucket of popcorn with some diet coke; she heartedly hated it. She knew she was scratching a wound relentlessly to make it a blister and then in to something that can never be healed and if healed, to leave a scare for life. And there he was, making her believe he understands her pain. For once her heart let out an instant spark and it smiled thoroughly after long miserable years, comforting it said “he understands you dear” but immediately she realized may be his words were coaxing her heart in to liking him. May be he never even tried to understand it.


She had concluded even before meeting him that nobody can even remotely relate to her pain or even come in a zone of understanding it. She never shared as well, not a crime though. The fact was, the instant she had turned this knob everybody’s gaze would change. May be from hatred to misery to sympathy to anger or at worst the look of a lawyer, when he knows for sure his client is guilty but he has to support him to feed his hungry stomach. So she never shared. The only person who came so close to her pain, instead of the expected weird statements, he said, he understands her.


There she was repenting the action of sharing vivid picture of her childhood. “You were young, helpless and harmless. Anybody could have taken advantage of you. So why do you feel guilty?” he had asked the first time. She was perplexed by his statement and replied, “You are not in my shoes so you don’t know the feel of a shoe bite or even worse, not being able to wear one for few days”.  Not even for a single second she felt guilty but sad. Over years the sadness faded and blossomed as a thick thorn which kept pricking and made her prick others by actions, by words, by choice. She was rude, sarcastic, right on your head kind of a person without any emotions but was she to blame for it? 


He asked her, “why can’t you just let it go and live like it never happened?” and she said, “Because it did happen and you won’t understand the touch of a stranger in the strange places of my body in a strange way when I was in living an age of Alice in wonderland. Trust me, it wasn't a good wonderland”.


Even today, she probes in to her past to know if she had missed an opportunity of becoming the front page news years ago by keeping her tiny hole of mouth shut. How world would have whirled around her if she had become the top news? How she would have survived then? Did she make a mistake by not letting the secret out or was this the only way to live? Over and over again she walks down that lane trying to empty out the baggage, only to realize she was shoving in some extra weight with her each visit. 


While all these hefty calculations were cramming her head he puts in some more thoughts by saying he understands her pain. May be he wasn't so sure. May be this was not his final answer. May be she would ask him again tomorrow if he truly, willfully, honestly and most important, respectfully understands her pain. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Character certificate??? I am confused!!!

Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers
I didn't want to write about "Virginity", may be I thought there was nothing to write about. But I have been constantly reading all the posts and sharing my views on it. There seemed a discrepancy, not in the thought process but with a title itself. hence, thought of sharing a few words.

What are we highlighting here? The title only spoke about women losing virginity being regarded as her character certificate but it's not mentioned under what circumstances.

1. She could be a divorcee or a widow
2. She could have been raped
3. She could have been cheated by man/men in the name of love
4. She could have done it under the pretext of having fun

and so on..

So, multiple possibilities for one topic. Which category are we highlighting here? Considering the Indian mentality especially that of our elders, men do not like women who are touched by others. The moment a girl loses her virginity, she has been certified as impure and no man wants her after that. Yes, they all give a character certificate. Pretty much was being shown in bollywood movies as well, be it Ram teri ganga maili or aapka dil hamare paas hai. Rape, molestation is also not given a pass. These girls, didn't even lodge complaint in police station fearing their image would be at stake. The first question would be, who would marry them??? It isn't that they have been given special importance and men stand in queues to offer them a better life. I live in a town, not a village or a metro. The mentality here is mostly, middle class. And their attitude too. I have seen how divorced women are treated or how men use women to get them to bed only to dump them later. I call it rape by mental manipulation. It happens often here. And may be in your cities too.

Now coming to the 4th point. I believe India is a modern country yet our roots are firm in Indian culture. We believe in modernization but not crossing the level of decency. Losing virginity might not give a character certificate but if a woman or man is involved in one night stands or involved with multiple partners, then their entire attitude and mind set gives a character certificate. What was the necessity in involving such acts would arise as the first question?? May be they are too spoilt or may be they didn't have the right up bringing or may be they are suffering from depression. Yes, if it is because of a genuine reason, then that has to be targeted and resolved and even they should be given a chance to lead a normal life. But if it is only for fun, that is their personal choice but they should ideally never lie or hide it before marriage. A person with their mentality will have no issues with it.

It is a modern world, girls are wearing mini skirts instead of saree doesn't mean that they can walk around naked :) There has to be a limit and there is. But an individual has to decide what they want to do. And yes, their character will be decided based on what they do or most importantly why they do.

(Whatever I have written applies both to men and women.. Just that, women can't hide but men can)

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Incredible India :)

I had a bad day yesterday!!!

My hormones were agitated giving me a restless mood. Through out the day I read about the status of women in India. While I was proud about some women, the talks about rape, molestation literally crunched my heart. There were silent tears flowing defining my inability to do anything about these situations. There was anger, fear, frustration ranging in my heart, all at the same time, making me extremely low. All day. I wrote in my blog, commented on posts, read their articles yet, there was no change in my mood. And after marriage, all these mood swings, by default has to be burdened over husband. But as my husband is thousand miles away, I waited for him to call.

Finally, when I spoke to him, unable to explain my twitching mood, (once again by default) I started pin pointing all the wrong things he has done so far. Yes, the call ended in a fight!!!

Bad mood plus a huge arguement with husband is no bonus. I wept and I wept for hours. I didn't know how to satisfy myself. For a minute, I dreamed about being the prime minister of India and making the life of women so much better that every foreigner would want to stay here. Next moment thought of writing an email to Mr. Narendra Modi and explaining the situation of women (like he doesn't know already). When  my mind was devastated by the current situation in India, my phone beeped. Thinking it would be my husband's buttering message I looked at my phone scorning. One of my ex-colleagues had sent me a video. After watching that short video my tears had dried, my love for the country was born again and a smile appeared on my face only to turn in to a laughter. There were so many funny moments (though it's not exactly funny) and I continued to watch it laughing whole heartedly. I do not know who made that video but I wanted to share it the moment I saw it. I have seen many such videos of this kind but this made me a little extra happy, I guess!!! This video shows how intelligent Indians are and how well we use our available resources to make the best of the lot. We don't need luxury, we don't need money, we don't need equipment, we don't need machinery. We have our brain and rest, is manageable. There are certain other things, which indeed happens ONLY IN INDIA :)

Watch it and share your laughter with me :)

video

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Being molested...

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

An old man on the street, who often winks at
A conductor, charges more than money for a ticket
A friend on bike, breaks often complaining bad roads
And a cousin, kills the innocence before it blooms




Colleague blocks the way, rubs the shoulders rough
Boss gives a perfect hundred if he gets a hug
That french beard stranger whistles as if I am deaf
His group of friends just find my trail like a pug

That uncle brings home chocolates to stroke my back
Neighbour for a mere sketch, crosses the dignity track
My brother's friend teaches me more than history
Boy friend often wondered, when shall be his victory


And there was the policeman, thought would save
He too looked lustful, like past vengeance in eyes
Finally, after running from all, at home feeling safe
They ask me, 
"What clothes you wear? how do you walk
Can't you look down? Can't you just not talk?
If they touch, can't you disappear in the crowd?
Don't tense us, three more girls and we are not proud"



I gulped it down, the bitter fact of life
I couldn't scream, spit and not even cry
I knew, the night was falling shattering me every single bit
But I had to sleep, to be prepared for the next day's molest

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Silent conviction

First time when her scent veiled his nose buds, he had no choice but to look around. There she was. Cladded in a red satin drape, pleated neatly she looked no lesser than a fairy itself. Those pearl beaded jhumka and a long golden necklace over the deep neckline enhanced her womanhood.  She was smiling, a cute one, he defined. The closer she walked, more divine she looked. The sound of her bangles, felt called out his name. That moment, without a second thought he knew she was the one. His soul mate. He closed his eyes and visualized her again from different angles, in different outfits and she looked pretty without any doubt. Finally, when she let out an infectious laughter he was infected, lethally. He had become hers, forever.



But before the love story began, there was a question about her identity. It was his distant relative's engagement. So she belonged to his family tree, from some branch. He was certain. Being the same caste, his future marriage would move in a smooth fashion without any oppositions from his family. But he had no idea who she was. He had to ask her. Walking towards her, braiding the next sixty years of his life with her, he let out a meek smile.

She was surrounded by a bunch of women, all chattering and giggling and glittering. He didn't know how to break the 'chakravyuh' to reach her. But he managed, power of love. When he stood right in front of her, looking in to her brown eyes he was speechless like he had a stroke and paralyzed for life. Not amid the crowd, he thought. He silently made his way towards the corner and kept gazing at her. Waiting for her to be alone, waiting to open his heart, waiting to love and be loved. That evening, the only thing that mattered him the most was her approval.



He was scared like a child entering school the first time. He was aware of the fact, he wasn't handsome. The probability of her "no" "get lost" "are you mad?" were flying to reach the sky. Scared. Hopeful. Hopeless. Nervous. He stood there all alone, waiting for her. The engagement, the family gathering, the joy of being together didn't grab his attention that day.  He wanted to talk but fear of rejection kept pummeling him making him lose his confidence. He followed her wherever she went and stood at a corner. Life was only about her. At least on that day. Today, after twenty three years, when he looks at his wedding album, he only thinks "May be these pictures would have looked even more beautiful".