Saturday, March 29, 2014

Ahoy! JiFi is here!

Kotak Mahindra Blogger meet experience 

 One fine day blogger Renu Sethi had whatsap'ed me informing about the multi city Kotak Mahindra blogger meet which was to be held on March 23rd. Considering my tight timeline and schedule, I was a bit sceptical about  attending the meet. The Sprint Activities at Office were about to end and the workload seemed to have increased a bit. With one QA short at office, it was becoming difficult  though I managed my best effort. But I had promised my friend that I would be attending the meet. All went well and I planned to attend the meet for which I had  registered for the event. So  Kotak Mahindra was launching its new service called Jifi. The event was organized at Cafe Zoe in Lower Parel and it was also held at two other locations - New Delhi and Bangalore.


It was a fresh Sunday! Ankit, Renu, Monica and me had planned to meet at Andheri Station from where we were supposed to start for Cafe Zoe. On the way, we met Vikrant. Neha was supposed to join us too but she came late. We met few other guys at the Lower Parel railway station. We walked all the way till Cafe Zoe. When we walked inside, we met few other bloggers. Free drinks were provided to us. It was flooded with guys and girls who went there to get their drinks. My gang of friends were seated at the upper floor. We walked upstairs and  smiling faces greeted us. We met Dee, Tapo Kumar, Karan, Rohan, Vaisakhi and Fatima there. I had also met many of my other blogger buddies whom I had not met for months. Finally we all got settled down and by then the twitter games had started. The Emcee for the day Anoop Johnson from Indiblogger made sure there was good entertainment. Not to forget Vinit. He was cool too!


 Kotak guys had occupied most of the seats at the top floor where our gang was seated.  Anoop asked us to guess the chief guest for the day.  There was a wide gamut of guesses made by bloggers from actors to writer. My dear friend Renu who was seated next to me  shouted - "Hey! It is Jifi himself" and I was like "Hey Renu! Isn't Jifi supposed to be an application."  But by the chief guest had already arrived. Chetan Bhagat's presence graced the launch party. The other city folks were also updated with activities happening in Mumbai.  People could  greet their friends in other cities via the Webcam. I wanted to wave hello to my friend Aparna who had attended the Bangalore meet but it just couldn't  happen. Chetan started by promoting '2 states' a movie which was actually an adaptation of his book by the same name. He went on to invite Mr. Manian, the country head for consumer banking at Kotak Mahindra. Bloggers actually tweeted their questions related to Jifi  for Mr. Manian which was answered by him. Tweets flowed in from the different cities. They provided an insight about Jifi by showing presentations and video. The Bloggers from Delhi and Bangalore witnessed the events at Mumbai via webcast.  We head for lunch. A sumptious meal awaited us, though there was nothing great for vegetarians. Meanwhile, Anoop had announced a contest. It was called Kotak Premier League. The bloggers across the three cities were divided in a group of 6. We fell in group 6. We were asked to write tweets about  jifi and it was also announced that the winning group across the three cities  would be getting vouchers and free googies.  Also, the shutterbugs had started clicking  pictures every now and then - sometimes a selfie and a sometimes with group of friends. Selfie  reminds me that there was even a selfie click activity announced earlier the day. The selfie with maximum number of people were given free vouchers. Alas! our group didn't win. We couldn't manage a good one though! It was actually a good meet  especially one happening after a long time really made me feel good. Sadly, I was found sporting a formal outfit that made me look as if I had come to attend a job interview. Karan had already  poking fun at me :P 


Indiblogger has been organizing good meets since last few years and this was one too good. Meeting Mr. Bhagat was something awesome! We finally bid adieu to everyone!Not to forget the free T-shirt given at the end! Thanks Indiblogger!

Now I spoken about my experience at the meet. Now its time to give some insight on what #Jifi is ?

Jifi is a new innovative and creative concept by Kotak Mahindra which aims at bringing Banking to the next level. It aims at collaborating social networking and banking! With the new service, you could actually enjoy the services of knowing balances and other services via Twitter. You could query for your balance by  querying the Official Kotak handle and they would provide you with the balance through Direct Messages (aka DM). Isn't this amazing? Also a wide variety of features are included as a part of it too like referring friends could fetch your reward point and so on. Why wait? Log on to www.KotakJifi.com and start Jifi'ng now. Open a Jifi account and enjoy the awesome services! Signing off. Enjoy the photographs!



The Solitary Writer is a blog which started as a hobby.Here you will find stories, poems, satirical posts, humour, photography and almost everything. This blog is the alter ego of a Technical guy who loves to be called as the Solitary Writer. Others call him Ste. He works as a Senior Quality Analyst in a leading Organisation and loves to break the codes and he likes to  do things differently. Did you like this post? Get The Solitary Writers updates via Facebook or Twitter, better yet, subscribe to it via RSS Feed. It’s easy, and free!Also you can discuss in the Forum. Comments are just another way to let me know how you feel.Don't forget to comment.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The 'Curious' case of a Shopaholic!

This post is a part of the Shop, only to Save More! Activity by GoPaisa.com in association with BlogAdda.com

<!Note - All the images have been taken from Google Images. All credits to the respective site owners from where these images are borrowed> 
 Technology has changed human lives. Every day researchers and  scientists are busy working on theories and inventions. Three decades ago no one really thought that there would be great inventions that would make human lives easier. Ask your parents or those who lived in the 70's and the 80's era. My key focus area for this post would be to discuss on shopping and its impacts on human life. So who here doesn't likes shopping! Everyone here loves shopping in one or the other sense - may be different people are attracted to different things. Women basically shop for beauty/makeup items or bags and clothes etc while men would prefer gadgets and devices. Such things depends on person to person. Earlier people would physically go to market places by taking efforts, walking down the stairs - step by step! I used to accompany my beloved mother to the nearby market. Those were the younger days of my life. She was an expert in bargaining! I sometimes admired her bargaining skills. How to buy a 500 worth hand bag for 175 bucks? Well take a bow,my mother will teach you. She would be the right person! ANYWAYS, the deal would be a win win for both the parties.  Here both the parties refers to me and my darling mother. Of course, the shopkeeper  would have been busy cursing us inside his mind for buying his lovely 500 Rs product for 175.  I am sure there must be many who could relate to this. Everyone has their own style of bargaining! But the ultimate purpose of doing this is to save  money. Of course, who would not want to save money!


I could never inherit this trait from her. Trust me its a god gifted talent and not everyone possesses it. Internet came into being in the early 90's and lots of new websites came into picture. Internet refined itself with the course of time!  People never had to visit markets and stores to buy products and things. They could sit in front of their PC or laptop and order things at the click of  their mouse button. Later  tabs were introduced and the same thing could be simulated from tabs. But the ultimate thing still remained the same.  Now lets see who is the curious Shopaholic!

Do you Google for some stuffs and land up at a shopping website?
Do you see the left side bar of the shopping site for discounts?
Is your eyes sensitive towards words like bargains, discounts, cash backs,vouchers and coupons?
Do you take more than 5 minutes to make a decision whether to buy a product or not?


Congratulations, you are the shopaholic referred in this post. Women are demanding by nature. So to woo their attention and interests, online stores offers you a wide variety of offers and discounts. Which MEN would say no to their lady love when she asks him for a royal embroidered saree or a Diamond ring? Now a  loving husband would at least think twice before saying no to her or may be he would foul play by substituting  the diamond ring or the costly saree with a cheaper stuff. He would still make his lady love him. If you don't or you can't then await World War 3 at your home! Why do people bargain? Aforementioned every one wants to save money. If you save some grands  in some shopping transaction, you could rather utilize the remaining in some other transaction. The concept of discounts were introduced. Well discount is an old term introduced in markets to lure customers. Who would say no to a vendor who sells a product at 10% discount. Of course, no would say no when they are getting the product at a slightly cheaper price. Never say Never! Discounts actually have benefited a large number of shopkeepers.  While strolling down the market lane, your eyes would easily come across one banner or board with some fascinating texts written on it - "Buy 5 shirts, get 3 free at 500 Rs". This is another method of selling your product. This is in the game! Discounts are not just limited to physical shopping. In most of the online shopping websites, you could find the discount slider bar somewhere on the left  on the product listing screen. It actually helps the customer in some way. In what way? Well we all know! It helps the customer to save money. This post is going to revolve around  one theme  - TO  save more! *evil grin*


Then came the era of coupon codes.  There was a guy who used to work with me at my previous organization. Everyone used to call him a dealer. He  used to get product for people at a discounted price. Guess how? No, he is not  a kingpin of  the online shopping world. No , he is not even a privileged customer of the website.  He used to  get coupon codes for people. No one really knew how and from where he got those coupon codes from. He rather remained mum when anyone asked him about this secret. Once he revealed this secret to my friend,it was no more a secret! My friend proved to be his tough competitor. They both used to Google coupon code of the day.They would provide this coupon code to the others who knock their door for help. In short they played the role of virtual  shopping vendors. Of course, they accumulated large points which further helped them in getting  products at discounted rates.  These days most shopping websites came up with the concept of deal of the day and other innovate concepts which only facilitated customers. Who doesn't wants a smile on their customers face?

The latest concept to hit the market  is cashback. Cashback is a really innovative concept. It aims at delivering the same thing that discounts and other schemes offer. But its not instantaneous. You could get discount instantaneously but  cashback comes to us as a part of your monthly credit card bill - rather the cashback amount is credited back to your account. You have to make the payment using the issuing bank.  Shopping is actually fun. Online shopping is more fun. I came across a really cool website - gopaisa.com



GoPaisa.com has a mission to revolutionize the online shopping experience of Indian consumers and help them shop smart. It provides cashback and coupons on an extensive range of products and services such as travel, lifestyle, apparels, electronics & the list goes on. Well the list actually goes on.  There are actually different sections and retailers mapped to those sections. E.g Jabong, Infibeam etc for Megastores and books respectively. You need to visit the retailer via gopaisa.com and when you buy a product, a particular said cashback will be tracked on the gopaisa wallet. Isn't it simple enough. 

Oh my curious shopper, why  are you thinking?  You should try something,  that's new. "Market mei naya hai, jaldi forward kardo",  These words sound familiar to everyone. Thanks to the Whatsapp group jokes. Online shopping has actually made life easier. When everything is being provided to you at the single webpage and that too at the click of a single mouse button. Would you even ask for anything more? Trust me, even my darling mother stops visiting markets. She shops online!
Everyone loves discounts, coupons, vouchers, cashbacks and more importantly bargaining!

Go Shopping,

Go order your favourite  pizza,
Go order your favourite authors book,
Go buy your favourite brand,
Go get the latest mobile phone at a huge discount
Go get cashbacks and coupons,
In short,
Go Paisa  - and save more! for every one wants to save more. When I can, then you can too!


Aforementioned, shopping is now easier, affordable and smart. All thanks to Discounts, Coupons and Cashbacks. Now, shop only to save more.



The Solitary Writer is a blog which started as a hobby.Here you will find stories, poems, satirical posts, humour, photography and almost everything. This blog is the alter ego of a Technical guy who loves to be called as the Solitary Writer. Others call him Ste. He works as a Senior Quality Analyst in a leading Organisation and loves to break the codes and he likes to  do things differently. Did you like this post? Get The Solitary Writers updates via Facebook or Twitter, better yet, subscribe to it via RSS Feed. It’s easy, and free!Also you can discuss in the Forum. Comments are just another way to let me know how you feel.Don't forget to comment.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A Blessing in disguise!

 This is written for 'Go Further to Get closer' contest powered by British Airways and Indiblogger.in . Visit - http://bit.ly/1epU8Uj

I walked along the rocky roads of life; when I looked behind, I noticed that I was the lone warrior battling against life. For a moment I felt like I was bereft of basic happiness. Those whom I could call as my own  left me all alone. I was plunging deep into the sea of Solitude. Some would call it a state of isolation, loneliness and what not. I had been seeing skeleton in my own closet and nursing the brute’s wound. Some say, wounds with scars on heart leave behind an imprint which would not erase easily. This scar reminded of that gory night. I seemed to have been jinxed. Life had faded and jaded. Some say that life without loved ones is like a rudderless boat. I seemed to have been travelling solitary in this rudderless boat which was once filled with happiness. The boat would be filled with happy faces. I seemed to be struggling and I could not accept what life had to offer me. Now all that was left in my life was sorrow and my melancholous past often reminded me of something disastrous. I had lost my smile!  I had lost my family on that tragic night. My Baba, Maa and my younger sister Twinkle became Shiva's favorite when they had gone to Amarnath. They were swallowed by the floods in Uttarakhand which killed thousand others along with my loved ones.


The 7 AM alarm bloomed violently. I rolled on the other side of the bed, trying to reach the alarm clock. Finally I silenced the alarm clock and rushed to the kitchen to prepare tea and breakfast. Maa would not have allowed me to enter the kitchen if she was alive. Sadly life was not the same anymore. I belonged to an affluent Gujarati family. I had everything in life sans happiness. What is life without kith and kins? Life would surely be tragic without them and I had already been experiencing this feeling. I took a sip of the tea as my eyes reached the corner of the other room. Twinkle used to study at that corner. Tears welled in my eyes. I closed the door and left for my office. I started my car from the parking and drove out from my apartment. I drove the car towards the T- intersection. As I drove, my eyes came across a beautiful soul. She was selling flowers at a flower stall near the Saki Naka traffic signal. She smiled and greeted her customers who went there to buy flowers and bouquets. For some weird reasons that day she strolled through my mind. There was something strange about her. On my way back, I saw her again at the same Saki Naka traffic junction. This time she was at an eatery stall. She neatly transferred the Poha from the container to the plastic bag and handed to her customer.  The old woman blessed her and walked away. This time she seemed different. Those 2 minutes were the best period of the day when my eyes witnessed her for the second time. I had found the ultimate joy of my life. Days passed and I witnessed different shades of this beautiful girl - a flower seller, fruit seller, sales woman etc. 

 
Image taken from - Here

One day I stopped my car near her shop and thought of striking a conversation with her. She was Nabiya - an ordinary Muslim girl who lived an extra ordinary life. I purchased all the Poha's from her.  For a moment, it felt nice talking to her. I wanted to know more about her -her likes, dislikes and every minute details about her. I wanted to decrypt the greatest mystery in her life. We met every day and sooner we turned into good friends. During one such encounter she spoke her heart out. Perhaps, that was the day when I got to know more about her. All these days, I was of the opinion that life had done injustice to me. Her life was even more devastating. She lost her family in the 2005 Mumbai floods. We both had a similar fate and may be destiny wanted us together.  Amid all the sorrows, she lived a happy life, faking all the sorrows within.  I narrated my story to her. She felt sorry for me too just like I felt for her. Months passed and we got to understand each other well. We turned on to be great friends. She was lost in sorrow and I was submerged in a pool of melancholy. We both walked the same road as strangers. I sought happiness and joy in her friendly bonding. I loved spending time with her. I wanted this stranger to be my life companion. I mustered enough courage to let her know what I feel for her. She had no one for her just like me. She disapproved of my behavior at first. I asked her to mull over her decision for once. Weeks later she confessed what she felt for me.  It was then I realized that even she felt the same for me. We both got married. She was a blessing in disguise for me. I knew that she would fill the void created by my family in my life. She would festoon my life with beautiful colors. I was quite sure of that. Likewise she never disappointed me. We both lived for each other. During the early days of our marriage, she used to tell me about her dreams. Her dream of taking her family to Almighty's own backyard. She had saved all her money to take her parents to Haj! But her dreams didn't materialize. The Mumbai flood washed away everything - her home, her parents, and her happiness! She was the lone survivor in her family. I decided to fulfill all her dreams. I wanted to give her my share of happiness in her life. One day I decided to surprise her. We traveled to Haj which she believed was Almighty's backyard. I did this only for her happiness. She wanted to question almighty why he snatched away our loved ones from our life. After she entered my life, happiness knocked my door and joy multiplied! We went further far away from everyone, so far that we could not be traced back and got lost in happiness and joy. We got closer and were lost in pure love. Far away, I got closer to her and got to know many interesting things about her. After Haj, we went on for a Euro trip. I wanted to make her life special. She was a blessing in disguise for me! I loved her more than anyone could! I took an oath to fulfill all her dreams. She was the only happiness left in my life now! From now on there was no sorrow - only happiness! And we lived happily forever!
 
Watch this amazing video,



The Solitary Writer is a blog which started as a hobby.Here you will find stories, poems, satirical posts, humour, photography and almost everything. This blog is the alter ego of a Technical guy who loves to be called as the Solitary Writer. Others call him Ste. He works as a Senior Quality Analyst in a leading Organisation and loves to break the codes and he likes to  do things differently. Did you like this post? Get The Solitary Writers updates via Facebook or Twitter, better yet, subscribe to it via RSS Feed. It’s easy, and free!Also you can discuss in the Forum. Comments are just another way to let me know how you feel.Don't forget to comment.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Birthday Plan!


 This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.





"Why can't manage your own stuffs?" she asked, cleaning the table.
"Look at those cakes, earring and your mobile phone lying there."  She added.
“Where is the other one?” She said, pointing at the earring.
"Eat the cake, Mom.”
“But why?”
“It’s your birthday today!”  
Tears welled in her eyes. “Uff! This memory loss.”



Sunday, March 09, 2014

Now, travel smart!

 This blog post is written for the Travel Smart with Skyscanner contest powered by www.skyscanner.co.in and Indiblogger.in .


SMARTness has many meanings depending on the context in which it is used.  Lets talk about smart travel.  Since childhood I have a strong liking for a place called Malaysia whose tourism has a tagline - Truly Asia! Now, having said that Malaysia is my dream destination, I will have to  reach that place without any hassle. In short how should I travel smartly to this dream destination of mine. Well I would be sharing my idea of a smart visit/travel to a beautiful country like Malaysia. Malaysia has been a dream destination for many  people too. Its been said that Malaysians are kind and generous and a chunk of people there belong to India. A few of my cousins have settled in that part of the world.

What are the  basic things  that you do while travelling out of your country to an alien country? Research! Research! Research! Now Google is your almighty saviour who blurts out  minute details about any country in this world. You jot down  different exciting things about that country. The things which are popular in  that nation - food, culture, places to visit, nightlife, historic importance. Of course, these  things are done by anyone. Even your next door neighbour would be doing the same thing. Smart people do not do what others do! How to reach there? Well these days lots of travel websites allow you to book online flight tickets at a cheaper rate because of discounts  and offers. You need to navigate through the website in such a way that it would compare  the flights and their cost. So you should able to select the best  available option that too at an effective price.  There should be an online travel guide who would provide you with important details. These days many folks go for travel packages which involves many exciting features by the travel agents who  ensure that their customers have their best time out. That's one of the option which would contribute to your smart travel.  Skyscanner is an online website which provides you with an instant solution for travel issues. Its algorithm compares over 1000 airlines and online travel agents to find the best for you that too by spending less that what actually you would be spending for!  So before moving to any place outside our home , we would like to ensure that we find a place where we would spend our time. So, the next step that contributes to a smart travel is to find a best hotel with the best facilities.  So far we have been talking about smart travel, but when it comes to finding out a place to cool our heels at our dream destination, many applications and travel websites  comes handy! These are likely to be  featured in most of the travel package but also they charge a lot! So smartness is when you have an option to select the best stay for you with click of a button. Skyscanner is one such virtual abode where you could select from a variety of hotels ranging from your needs - from luxury hotels to budget hotels! Now thats what is called BLISS!  So this is  the SMART way to reach to a travel destination! Apart from this what would you do when you reach the Airport. Would you want to shell out lots of money by using services of the local cabs there  who charge relatively higher. Now, you have covered  some miles over the atmosphere via some airline which offered you great facilities at a reasonable cost. You have landed at your dream destination's airport! Next what! You need to reach your hotel. Simple enough, SMARTness again! Input your details and search for yourself the best available option. READ best available option.  Skyscanner does allows you  to do that.  This is the 'bestest' and the smartest thing which you could ever do! Now you are getting everything at the click of a mouse button,would you even like to think again? No thinking, only clicking! Job done! Now this is what you call smartness! I have already booked my tickets from SkyScanner! Malaysia - here I come to witness whats truly Asia!

So when you reach  your hotel, you should be right there on spot! No time wasting! A mobile application would do good that would actually give you feed wise information about the best destination on the basis of GPS tracking. So on whichever part of the world you are in, you would be having knowledge about the location. You can feel like a local even at that foreign land! All thanks to technologies that has made life easier.  So you could know whats good and whats not good! I have lots of plans already and one thing I can advice you is to be smart when you plan a travel. Everyone wishes a happy and a smooth travel.Be Smart,think Smart! Happy Vacation! Take Care!
 
 #TravelSmartWithSkyscanner

The Solitary Writer is a blog which started as a hobby.Here you will find stories, poems, satirical posts, humour, photography and almost everything. This blog is the alter ego of a Technical guy who loves to be called as the Solitary Writer. Others call him Ste. He works as a Senior Quality Analyst in a leading Organisation and loves to break the codes and he likes to  do things differently. Did you like this post? Get The Solitary Writers updates via Facebook or Twitter, better yet, subscribe to it via RSS Feed. It’s easy, and free!Also you can discuss in the Forum. Comments are just another way to let me know how you feel.Don't forget to comment.