Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Digital India - a dream , a vision, a plan!

Digital India - a dream, a vision, a plan! Image Source

The Government of India recently came up with an initiative to integrate the different sections and departments of the Government and the people of India.  The ultimate goal is to ensure the availability of the government services to people through the electronic medium. The initiative labelled as 'Digital India' also aims at  establishing a high-speed internet network zone in rural areas. Of course, change is inevitable  but to see a change certain actions have to be taken. The government of India has rightly started the Digital India programme to digitize India by making good use of technology to enable  access of services from Government sectors to the citizens. Be it Banking, Education, Healthcare, Agriculture or any core sector  for that matter  is the key focus area under this programme.  It is chaired by our honorable Prime Minister. 

“Today, when diagnostic machines have replaced the doctor’s expertise to a large extent, I want companies to come to India and manufacture expensive equipment needed for medical treatment, I want FDI to come into the sector. If hospitals like this are part of the network providing medical advice through telemedicine, quality health care can reach people living in remote areas for which Digital India can come in handy. I want the Digital India initiative to be effectively used for improving medicare and education."

- Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India. 


He has a great vision for the benefit of the nation and its citizens. The concept of Digital India is also linked in establishing various smart cities in India. With a booming economy, great innovations and advancements in technology, we need to act responsibly and smartly to ensure that we reap useful things from what technology has to offer us.  It is also tipped that in the upcoming next few years this would definitely prove beneficial for consumers, business and society. The ultimate value add that it has to offer is to connect the market and the 
consumer through a digitized system.  But there are few points that need to be highlighted to attain a Digital India dream. 

1. Facilitate and ensure affordable access with easily available data enabled services in form of Internet plans. Implementation of a channelized system such as mobile wallets that involves digital transactions and easy payments. Mobile wallet could be an ambitious plan and it would definitely work positive for the citizens. Low cost internet and internet enabled devices will always help! There should not be a disconnect between Rural and Urban India in terms of digital infrastructure facilities. High speed network coverage is a must in rural areas in order to give life to the Digital India plan. Also the government should motivate and incentivise Telecom players to provide cheap and affordable data plans.

2. Online distance education plan that provides free education to everyone wishing to avail education. We should feed our nations dream of 100% literacy and this point would prove beneficial to achieve this dream.

3. An e-governance mechanism to facilitate all stakeholders to function effectively

4. Ensuring an environment that allows consumer and market to  venture and connect with each other

5. Creating a digital workforce.

6. Creating awareness among  people residing in rural India emphasizing the advantages of Internet and thereby educating them to enroll in various digital education programmes. 

7. Connect tier 1,2 and 3 cities by harnessing the potential of the internet.

8. Creating a common access channel for public access to internet. Internet has always been acting as a messiah since the last 2 decades and a lot has been said about it. One needs to harness the best out of it!

9.  Create a  repository of personal data in forms of certificates and belongings through a private  secure cloud network. A unique pin or an identification number would be generated for a person. Using this digital identification number , the person can access his private cloud network that would have access to all his details. So during important government activities, he or she doesn't needs to provide the entire list of documents. They just need to provide their unique cloud identity number that would contain his document details.

10. All transaction and services to be done from online and mobile. Digital India aims  to provide governance and services on demand. All the different departments of the Indian Government would provide online facilities to people to connect.  Another important goal or vision is to make financial transactions electronic and cashless. Few of the above points has already implemented such as  online  and mobile banking. It seems to be an ambitious project and a lot of efforts  have to be taken to bring this into reality.

Let's talk about the different areas or sector  that can be coupled with the dream of having a Digital India. Healthcare, Banking, Education, Judiciary , Agriculture  are few of the areas that can be considered under the Digital India programme

1. Healthcare
The healthcare sector is lagging in our country. A comparison with the Western countries reveals great facts. Being a healthcare consultant, I am very much aware of how healthcare can be a golden fish and help in raising the standard of the nation. US has various reforms  such as the meaningful Usage MU2 and others that have various facilities and provisions to citizens. Unfortunately, we are lagging behind with this. A large population of our country resides in rural areas where medication facilities are sub standard.  Electronic Healthcare is ambitious, but it provides hope to raise the standard of living. How about developing  online clinics with the help of technology. A patient record  through means of a unique Medical Record number could be stored in an Electronical Medical Record system which is basically an online storage repository to store patient medical  and health details. All the details could be stored in the online cloud created for the particular patient. Through an online clinic, the physician would get access to all his patient records. In case, the physician  or the doctor needs to prescribe medicines to the patient, then he could prescribe medications through the EMR that would send the medications details to an ePharma tied up with the eClinic. The ePharma would send the medicines to the patient's house and the amount would be deducted through  the patient's electronic money wallet. All the records would be available in the cloud and the doctor would be having access to the cloud. This concept is actually complex and is  ambitious. There are lots of disconnects when it comes to delivering health care and a better access to quality healthcare is everyone's  right.  


A sample e-healthcare system - Source 

Various departments of the Government could act as interfaces and help in easy transaction! Suppose in rural area, a woman is pregnant and has delivered a baby. Her financial condition is tight and later on such a crisis situation it would be dificult for her to manager her children. In such a case, the child welfare department could store all the new born details on its database. The finance department or an  equivalent ministry could provide money to the family so as to help in the growth of the child. Thus in such a way healthcare sector can be digitialized.

2. Education
Everyone knows that the education system in India is complex and it needs to be reviewed and revived. Through the Digital India programme, a  digital university could be set up that would work in unison with the various universities, schools and colleges across India. It would be connected through broadband and free WiFi services could be provided to the schools and colleges. Digital Literacy is something that is good from a long term perspective.  Countries like the USA, Singapore, China and Japan have already adopted this!  Through various multimedia and interactive learnings, students develop a good interest level in studies.  eLearning and eEducation should be given high importance as it could be the next big thing. A Digital Library should be set up by the government that will enable access to documents and high-quality materials. Its high time to switch from Traditional Educational system to a Digital System
Image Source - here 

3. Banking
Banking is an important core  sector in India. Most of the key banking features such as online and mobile banking has already been made online but still this needs to be actively used by rural population. However they need to be mentored and educated about how to Bank through internet and mobile. They are still lagging and eBanking is something that would help.


Bank Online - Image Source 

4. Agriculture
It would be great to couple technology and agriculture. Farmers  have been struggling in India since the last few years due to lack of finances and many other issues. You must be thinking how technology could help them.  Real time price information,provision of online cash and loan facilities needs to  implemented for farmers. 


Mentoring Farmers  - Image  Source 

The public grievances and concerns redressal system should be made online. It should contain a utility to map the different sectors, associated officials and geographical location with the concerned ministry. Thereby necessary actions could be taken against the corrupt officials.

A large number of Digital workforce has to be established like I said earlier. This would create  various job opportunities. People from villages could be given job through proper training and mentorship programmes. 

The Road and Transport ministry could also contribute to the Digital India programme by ensuring that a commuter is safe on his journey. A timely reminder about different journey routes, timely region specific traffic updates on SMS basis could also help. 

The Railway Department  has been setting up a good example for the Digital India programe. Through IRCTC, the Indian Railways aims at providing railway tickets to its users. Manual efforts could be reduced. A lot of infrastructural upgrades in terms of large number of servers, managing transactions during  peak ticket booking hours should be addressed. This is a great revenue generating department and hence a lot could be done if things are properly implemented.

The  Income Tax department provides online payment of taxes and filing returns. The Passport and Election departments have their online presence too. 

Recently the Government of India has launched a platform to connect with the citizens so as to provide ideas and plans  as a medium of interaction with the common person. It is called MyGov.in. Do join this and see for yourself. It is a one-stop portal to get access to various Government departments. 

There are lots of advantages of the Digital India Programme. It is indeed an ambitious project. The road to success is never easy. Our country is rapidly developing and every developing economy needs to pay emphasis on technology. Implementation is one of the major challenge. This is a large scale programme and a lot of effort needs to be put in order to materialize it! If everything works well, then our nation would be a digital one. A lot can be said and a lot can be done too! As a citizen of this country , I only think for the betterment of this nation. A technology driven system is something  that could do wonders. 

If the words, programmes and projects  translate into actions, implementation and reality, then one day our country could be a digitalized country. I dream of a Digital India!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Story of Tublu - A Book Review


Title - Story of Tublu
By line - An Amazing Journey called Life
Author - Jahid Akhtar
Publisher - LiFi Publications
Genres - Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Coming-of-Age Fiction
Year - 2015
No. of Pages - 204

***
Life is the sum of all the choices that we make. It comes up with lots of surprises and memories that are  associated with it. This is a story of love, relationship, friendship and an amazing journey called Life. It gives a glimpse of the life of  Tublu - from childhood to boyhood to  manhood!

***

One fine day a  father son duo of Bipin and Tanmay alias Tublu, displaced by a mighty Brahmaputra flood lose their livelihood and house; land at the Mr. Sharma's place. The Sharma's being kind and benevolent, provide them a way of life.Being their only ray of hope, the Sharma's - Mr. Sharma, Mrs. Sharma, Paplu and Sujata Sharma alias Maina get closer to Bipin and his son. An introvert Tublu develops geniune affection, a secret crush for Maina at a tender age. As the story paces up,  his feelings grow stronger. This takes you through the different phases of Tublu's life - School , College, Degree college and Work. 

Tublu, a brilliant student,  excels at different stages of his life, be it his - college, exams or job. He gets an handsome job and during this process he befriends several people.  His campus life would make you nostalgic as I believe everyone of you must have gone through that phase. But even then at every moment, memories of Maina haunts him time and again. Unable to digest the fact about Maina's relationship with Ikram, her college senior, Tublu wishes for her happiness. As the story sails slowly like a cruise on an ocean,  Mr. Sharma develops lung cancer and  he has a wish to get her daughter Maina married. Out of haste, they get Maina married to Suraj, a professor at the Delhi University, who kicks the bucket soon. Maina, pregnant with Suraj's child,  moves to Berlin as a part of her company assignment for a long term basis. 

Tublo's life revolves around different cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Berlin and New Jersey and he never stops thinking about Maina. His longings and cravings for her is beautifully expressed in form of words.The story ends with Tublu getting married to his childhood crush that brings to the closure of the book. 

***

Story telling is an art. Jahid Akhtar seems to have mastered this art of story teller. This first time Author has this unique knack of story telling that is a key to entering a Readers mind. The greatest skill of a writer is to make a reader imagine instead of reading. The characters should wander around in front of the readers eyes and Jahid has done this convincingly. Simplicity is something that connects a story to  its reader. The language and  narration is  very simple! It flows neat and smooth. The closure of the book would definitely remind you of the young Tublu with his father at Mr. Sharma's gates.

There are many people who enter our life and there are only few who remain forever with us in this journey of life.  Such special ones are like jewels, a precious one! Its natural to preserve them. This book has love, relationship, friendship, longings, drama, college humor, cigarettes  and almost everything that you are looking for!

This gift could be a perfect gift for someone whom you love, an old friend from school or college or anyone who has marked an impact in your life!

I give 4/5 for this book - for its simplicity and easy connect that it has to offers. It touches the heart and I could almost visualize the characters and I completed the book at one sitting!

About the Author

Jahid Akhtar is a software developer by profession. He was born and brought up in Assam and resides in Bangalore with his wife Anjali and their little daughter, Jia. Jahid enjoys writing about some unforgettable moments, in his blog titled Flashbacks.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Destiny’s Game!

Destiny’s Game!
Short story

It was September 29th 2012, an ordinary day in the life of an ordinary individual who knew nothing apart from work. I was busy engrossed in my Test Case designing task. I was going through the review comments that I had received from my onshore technical architect regarding few of the test cases that I had written. He wanted a walk-through review meeting and he assured me to close all the comments and he even informed me that he would give me additional scenarios.

I rested my head on the desk and looked at my workstation. I stared at it  wondering if lady luck would bring good fortunes in terms of good hikes and onsite opportunities. Every engineer craves for it! At the same time, Sheetal pinged me on Smart talk messenger, the one used in our office.

Sheetal – Dude, tomorrow there is a recruitment drive at JP Morgan.
Ravindu – What? Seriously?
Sheetal – Yes Ravin, I got to know from my friend who works there and they are looking for people with 3 plus years of experience.
Ravindu – Yes, we fit in well…Lets go for it.
Sheetal - :) Yo
Ravindu – Cafeteria in 2 minutes?
Sheetal – Okay... 2 minute starts now.
She locked her system and left for the cafeteria. I too locked my system and switched off my monitor screen. I silently walked towards the ODC gate so that no one gets hold of me.  I rushed to the cafeteria and by the time I reached, I saw Sheetal gorging on the wada pavs.

I ordered lemonade and sat next to her.
“Dude, not done... you are 5 minutes late,” she said, some part of the food she was eating was stuffed inside her mouth.
“Listen, I will meet you tomorrow at Malad railway station sharp at 9 am.” I said.
I took a sip of the lemonade I was drinking and said, “Will they give us 30 % hike?”
Sheetal gave me an ugly look and said, “Ravin, it’s a big organization dude. Expect at least 50%.”

We spoke for few minutes about different testing related concepts and got back to our respective floors.
I stopped doing my test case writing work and quickly opened allinterviews.com and started searching for interview related questions.
“Difference between Regression testing and retesting?” I read the first question on that website.

I knew the answer. In fact I had been doing that since the day I joined the project.   Regression testing is testing the additional modules other than the impacted modules of software so as to find any bugs that got introduced as a part of a defect fix! Yes, I knew it! I said to myself and moved on to the next set of questions.  For 5 hours, I religiously googled for different testing interview questions. By the time I left for home, I had known most of the important interview questions.

The next morning was an important day for me. I was going to attend a job interview after 2 long years. It would be a great learning experience, I thought.  I had set an early morning alarm at 5 am. I revised few concepts. By the time the clock struck 7, my confidence level had grown strong. I decided to perform my daily morning rituals of brushing, shaving and showering.  Some say the first impression is the best impression. I had to look dapper and smart. I quickly gulped my breakfast that included an obligatory toast and coffee. Yes, I’m a coffee person!

I called Sheetal wanting to remind her of the job interview.  It occurred to me that she was still sleeping.  I realized that she was not taking the interview seriously. But even then I was already tired of advising her time and again. I anyhow wanted to grab the opportunity and get the job! All my attempts of calling her actually seemed futile. But anyhow I managed to inform her and she got ready too. As promised I met her at the Malad Railway station. Early morning almost all railway stations on the Western line are flooded with people. We both witnessed a sea of people and we had to struggle to reach the West side of the Malad Railway station.  We hailed an auto rickshaw to reach the Mind space office of JP Morgan. On my way, I called my Boss Mr. Khurana to inform him that I was not well and hence I couldn't come to office.

“Ravindu, say something,” Sheetal said.



“What?”
“I’m sorry I didn’t pick your call,” she added.
“It’s okay!” I said and looked at my CV.  Sheetal was my best friend at office. Usually people don’t make best friends at their work place. But for me she was someone with whom I could share all my secrets. I couldn’t remain angry on her for a long time.
We reached the Mindspace office and filled in the form that was given to us by the receptionist. Sheetal gave me her friend Kanika’s Employee code that we were supposed to fill on the Referrer’s details. We waited for our turn and finally our call came. The interviewer arrived with his colleague to interview me.

He looked like a middle aged man of around 34 – 36 years old. He asked me about myself.  I answered him everything.  He asked me from requirement analysis to planning and from defects to execution.  The interview went on for 45 minutes. The HR asked me to wait.  My friend Sheetal’s interview went good too!  We both sat next to each other. She was to my left.  It seemed that we both had cleared our first round.  We both looked at each other and we experienced our initial Eureka moment!

“I’m so happy, Divya…Very happy,” I heard a voice next to me. It was a girl, a candidate like me and Sheetal. I stood there speechless for a while after I saw her. She was excited and it was clearly evident from the conversations she was having with her friend.  She sat next to me, towards the right and my nervousness grew more. She looked at me and smiled. My mouth refused to open up. I wanted to ask her about her interview and what all questions did they ask. It seemed my tongue was tied up.

She was too cute, I thought! I kept staring at her. From her discussions with her friend, I derived that she had cleared her 2nd round.  How could god make such pretty women? She looks so cute, I said to myself.

She had a neatly braided hair, middle partitioned. Her thick brows made her look good.  Her eyes, almond shaped, seraphic and magical hid the eternal universe. It was an Ocean of grace and one could plunge deep into it.  A cute nose, pink lips adorned her face. An attractive mole sat in between her lips and her nose that defined her beauty. It was the most riveting part of her face.   What was I doing there? Wasn’t I supposed to think about my interview? For once I completely forgot my interview. Sheetal was waiting for her next round. She wore a formal blue shirt and a trouser.  Her elegance won my heart and I had already started to like her without talking a single word.  She was neither a Queen nor a princess but yet looked like one! She was an ordinary looking girl like most girls. She wore no special make up – no mascara, no kohl’s.  If my eyes were a camera, I would have captured every single moment and preserve it forever. But unfortunately, my eyes were just made of tissues and blood vessels.

I mustered enough courage to talk to her and by the time I opened my mouth my friend Sheetal interrupted.
“Hey, what did they ask you?” Sheetal asked the girl.
“Just general testing questions. Priority, Severity, Smoke testing, Sanity and so on,” she said and smiled at my friend.
I loved the way she smiled. I had never seen a woman smile like that before.  No, not exaggerating!

My mouth was shut by my friend when she interrupted me and asked her that question. I too wanted to ask her the same.  The HR had come to call me for the second round. I was confident that I would talk to her after my 2nd round gets over.   My 2nd round was easy as compared to the first. But somehow my mind was strolling across the girl whom I saw for the first time.  I wanted to talk to her again and befriend her. But by the time, I came out from the cabin, my eyes hunted for the girl! I scanned across the reception and the waiting room. She was gone! May be destiny didn’t want her to be my friend. But I had liked her too much.

That night I couldn’t sleep. Whenever I closed my eyes, she appeared in front of me. If her name was known to me, I would have found her on Facebook and LinkedIn. But unfortunately I didn’t know any details about her.

Who was she? Why did she attend the interview on the same day as I did? Why did the thousand butterflies flutter inside my stomach when she sat next to me. I never knew her but still I had hots for her.  I had no reason to fall for a woman I had never met before but it was not love! It was instant attraction that grabbed my heart. I couldn’t stop thinking about her. Her face flashed in front of my eyes. Destiny had played a big game with me.  Days passed and I got back to my business of testing applications. Eventually her memories faded away. I shared everything to Sheetal .She asked me how was it possible to like a girl without knowing her. I had no reasons, no answers! May be she was a passing cloud in my life who entered my life, poured showers of happiness and quickly dispersed!

Three months later….

“Sheetal, it’s the same girl whom we met at the JP Morgan interview.” I pestered Sheetal to look at the girl whom we met at the interview.
“I don’t remember her face, Ravin,” she replied.
“Go and talk to her …Please, please, for me...” I joined both my hands and pleaded her. My lost happiness came back once again.
The girl looked behind and I realized that it was not the same girl. She was someone different.  The clouds of happiness receded away and disappointed haunted me once again.

I assured myself that someday I will meet her again, walk across the corridors and talk about the day when we met. Yes, I was very much sure about that!  And that day I will let her know how much I liked her! I plan to be a good friend to a woman I never knew!

It’s said that ghosts of past do haunt us in future. But in my case it was not the ghost, it was an angel!

( To be continued soon...)

Singaporean food: Delighting taste buds!



Being a Fashion Designer, I have to travel  across  different fashion destinations  for the  various collections – be it Spring/ Summer or  Fall/ Winter. Of course, at times a designer tends to get tired and so do I! They have their own ups and downs! But even then there are lots of perks of being a Fashion Designer. I have strolled across the globe in order to imprint signature clothes at various cities.Not to brag, when I look at people wearing the clothes designed by me, it brings great joy to my heart! There is happiness bubbling within me. My amour with fashion dates back to my glorious old days. I should say that I have met many people from different culture. The Latino's love me! It amazes me for the amount of respect and value they have for my work. Every time I visit Brazil for the Sao Paulo and the Rio Fashion week, I often get greeted by different gorgeous looking models and different designers. This journey had been difficult but has been incredible! I had been walking through a rocky road with lots of challenges on my path. Several times I feared defeat and disappointment but every time I fret, there was something graceful that happened. It's the love and the blessings of the people and almighty that keeps me motivated and encouraged. It feels awesome to be accepted by people across different walks of life! What  beguiles me is that every time I visit a place, they come to me and discuss about different fashion trends. Sometimes they would even advise me on my various designs.

 Currently I'm in Singapore! It’s been a very hectic weekend and the agency wants me to  to do a  Spring collection. In such a short notice, it generally becomes difficult for anyone to assemble things. I hadn't slept last night. I had to give a successful show today! I had been researching about the Singaporean Fashion culture for a long time now! But somehow with the help of Sarah Wong I somehow managed to put a really good show. Sarah Wong is a popular Fashion consultant in Singapore. The agency had asked her to assist me. After an amazing show, the agency was happy and so were the guests who graced the Singapore Fashion Week with their presence!

"Singapore Spring collections 2015 - We nailed it Sarah," I said, my lips curved into a pleasant smile.
"Yes, we somehow managed to put a great show," Sarah Wong replied. She acknowledged me with an equally pleasant smile.

"I need to ask the agency to book my tickets back to India." I said and continued, "It's been a terrible month and I desperately need some break."
Sarah smiled and said, “that's not done! There are lots of things to  be explored in Singapore."

"I agree Sarah but ...." I riposted.
"No buts! Go home after 3 days. You need to explore Singapore."  She said.
"Oh common Miss. Wong! How many times should I remind you that I am very much aware of Singaporean culture and places?" I winked.
"Allow me to be your tourist guide, Stephen!"  She took a sip of coffee and said,
“You might be aware of it but you are yet to know the best side of our country!" Her face brimmed with extreme happiness.
"And what is that?" I asked, curiously.

"Entertain your taste buds, Stephen! It's high time; you need to explore Singaporean food!"


I thought for a while and after few minutes I decided to postpone my return to India by 5 more days.  She was blessed with the gift of gab and almost convinced me in staying back. It was a kind of a mini vacation for me before I head for a big vacation in India. I returned back to my hotel after visiting few stores in Singapore. There were many talented Fashion designers in Singapore and I'm awed by seeing the quality of their work! I had promised Sarah Wong that I would transform myself into a foodie for few days. It seems she was hell bent in transforming a designer to a foodie! But in either case I loved it!
The next morning Sarah's call woke me up! It occurred to me after few minutes that I had over slept. I was supposed to meet Sarah Wong at the Chinatown Food Street. I quickly got ready by completing my shower. I dressed in a floral printed shirt and a blue Jeans!

"Nee Hao Stephen, Dzao!" Sarah greeted me in her local language as I met her.
"Is that Singaporean?" I curiously asked her. "That's Chinese!"  She grinned.
"So whats our plan for the day?" I asked.
"We will be having our breakfast now and we will walk through the different food streets and may be try out the different cuisines. I hope you are not a vegetarian like most Indians," she continued.

"I'm a hard core Non Vegetarian!" I retorted.
We entered a restaurant and ordered Roti Prata, Kaya Toast and Kopi O and Nasi Lemak.
"Roti Prata is kind of an Indianized food! The word Roti itself is enough to give you a clue!" she said.

The server served the breakfast. It was indeed incredible as my eyes scanned across the different dishes! I was assured of tasting various sumptuous delightful meals. Thanks to Sarah Wong!


Delicious Nasi Lemak Source -Click Here 

Interestingly we ordered two flavours of Prata. I ordered the Chicken Floss Prata and she ordered the Red beans Prata.  I also tried some from hers and it was equally delicious!
She also ordered Appam! I had tasted Appam in India.  But I loved Nasi Lemak. It was more kind of a lunch food but still I was hungry at that moment. It had some little bit of rice,beans, omelets or boiled egg, fish cake, prawns and fried fish with a touch of turmeric. It made me feel good! I gulped everything within few minutes. I also consumed the Kaya Toast, a spread with eggs, sugar and coconut milk, served with butter on a layer of toast. I sipped the rich aromatic black coffee. I loved all this. Sarah looked at me and giggled! I was going to witness the great Singapore Food Carnival in my 4 days stay at Singapore.

"Eat like a King, Stephen! Singapore won't let you down when it comes to food!" she added.
“The bill is on me!” She said and  didn't let me pay the bill though I didn't want her to!
We strolled and visited few flea markets. We walked across the different streets. Few locals identified me as a Premier designer who walked with hot models in fashion shows.

As we walked further, an old man said to me," Hey, I see you in Fashion TV....F TV... I see you, I see you talk  on Television  and walk with hot girls!"

I simply nodded and to avoid further embarrassment I walked further. Sarah couldn't control her laughter. It was lunch time. We bumped into the Jeol Robuchon! It was a popular restaurant famous for Chinese and French cuisine! We ordered Hainanese Chicken rice and Laksa. Laksa is a popular dish amongst locals and even Sarah highly recommended me to taste Laksa. It consists of noodles, fish, prawns, cockles, chopped red beans, sprouts served in spicy coconut based soup.  It is also served with sambal chilli garnished with laksa leaves. 

I digged a part of the  dish  with  a spoon and consumed it. I could experience something fresh and new. For a moment the prawns, cockles  and the  fish danced inside my mouth. It made me feel ecstatic. The red beans  equally contributed in this food jig as I enjoyed every bit of it. Tears of happiness rolled down my cheeks as Sarah looked at me.

"Hey, you okay?" She asked me.

"Yes, I'm! This food reminds me of my momma's food" I replied.

"See, Singaporean dishes also reminds you of your Momma's food. That's our specialty!" She winked.

And it also  tasted yum with Otak Otak!

Yummy Laksa - Image Source
For the next 4 days, Sarah took me across different places across Singapore to witness the pure Singaporean food! I was transforming into a perfect foodie. For the 4 days we tried many interesting dishes like - Ayam Buah Kelauk, Nasi Padang, Rojak, Chilli Crab, Redang, Hakka Yong Tau Foo, Bak Kut Teh, Satay, Carrot cake etc.

We also had different flavours of cheese cakes and mocktales. Singapore is indeed a food capital. Sarah had rightly called Singapore as the first stop destination for different kinds of food. I tried few and my taste buds turned hyper active.

Once jokingly I asked Sarah Wong if I could take one of those Chefs to my home in India so that he could cook me some great Singaporean food, to which Sarah laughed and for a moment she couldn't control her laughter.

“You will be responsible for my weight gain now." I said to Sarah on phone as I stood at the airport waiting for my flight. We spoke for another 25 minutes.
"Be proud that you got to taste Singaporean food! People do crave for such delicious yummy food!" she replied.
"I know that," I said and continued, " Laksa was delicious and so was Nasi Lemak.." I said.
She laughed and continued, "Do come back soon and you can have it!"

"Have a safe journey, Stephen! It was a great pleasure meeting you!" She said.
"Feeling is mutual, Sarah!" I said and wore the seat belt. " Bye," she said and disconnected the phone call.

I couldn't stop thinking about Laksa and Nasi Lemak. I could imagine the prawns, fishes, cockles and the beans dancing in front of my eyes. I desperately wanted to eat these two dishes again. Laksa and Nasi Lemak are food rich in proteins. By now they have been my favorite and I even noted the recipes from the Chef who prepared that dish. How I wish I could taste that again!

"Would you like Tea or Coffee, sir?" the air hostess asked, smiling at me!
"I would prefer Laksa with chillies and Nasi Lemak," I replied.
And she started laughing at me!
My love for Laksa and Nasi Lemak had grown new heights and boundaries!  But indeed Singaporean food is a great delight for foodies across the world.

Taj Mahal is for India,
Eiffel Tower is for France,
Statue of Liberty is for USA,
The Pyramids are for Egypt,
The great walls for China,
And for Singapore,

It is the great food that can rekindle taste back to your taste buds. It can entertain and redefine your taste! Delight your taste bud with great food from Singapore and rediscover the foodie in you! #FarMoreSingapore

And yes I love Laksa and Nasi Lemak! Yummmyyyyyy!













Note - All the Meme's have been created by me and shared in Twitter - @inGeniousty

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Redefine Smartness with the New Moto E

This post has been written for Moto E #ChooseToStart contest powered by Motorola and Indiblogger.in. Do Visit - > http://www.startwithmotoe.com/



The new Smart phone at an affordable price - New Moto E  Image Source here 


Smart phones have made human life simpler.  With a single click, you can get almost everything at your finger tip. Ideally, it’s been said that necessity is the mother of all inventions.  With too many inventions, human life has become simpler and easier. Thanks to technology! Smart phones open up the space to a new future where technology would speak louder than words and actions. Of course, all things would be technology driven by then! At this era, smart phones becomes a must have device! You could have the world in your pocket! With various phones being launched with different facilities and capabilities, it actually aims to make life easier.  The designers of the new Moto E aimed to open up a world full of possibilities for people everywhere, across the different continents.

"Smart phones should not be a luxury, it should be a choice to everyone"
  - Rick Osterloh , President,  COO of Motorola Mobility

Smart phones are considered as great assets and some consider it to be a commodity that is easily available. Commodities can be easily available but they should also be affordable. People often chase good feature phones and it’s obvious that great feature phones often comes with a great price tag associated with it. The principle idea behind the development of Moto E was to provide smart phones at an affordable price without any compromise on quality. Instead of shelling big amounts on high end smart phones that cost bomb, you could grab a Moto E for almost One Fourth its cost price. The ultimate goal of the Moto E creators is to provide a premium and a rich smart phone experience for people who don't want to spend more money. It’s perfectly engineered and designed to serve needs of people.  Of course, it is a phone that is designed to look great on your hands. A great phone should look great too!  It aims to provide rich user experience!

I have been a great fan of all the Motorola products. I had been using the Moto G 2nd generation and having said all this; I would like to add a point here that the Moto G 2 has been exceptional. It comes at a very handy price but possesses the same features that high end devices offer! Isn't that fabulous? I have a sister who makes DIY products and as a brother it’s my primary duty to guide her sell her products online.  Her DIY's have received phenomenal response and most people who admire her art work have advised her to start a small e- commerce website or a Facebook page.  With these, she would show case her DIY's and sell her stuffs. For that you need to display rich images of your products.


Products need to be highlighted. My sisters handmade DIY's!
A clutch bag made out of old denim and lace top.It would look
more pretty with the new Moto E's 5 MP Camera.
I would choose to start with the camera. The 5 MP camera of the Moto E is capable of clicking beautiful pictures. I would use it to benefit my sister’s DIY page where she could utilize the Moto E camera to flourish her business. It’s said that the first impression is the last impression. So you need to give your best in order to make it the best impression. For a long lasting impact, you need to emphasize more on the quality but along with the quality, even the presentation is important.  If I had a chance to grab this device then it’s obvious that I would choose to explore its camera first. And then I would explore the other features.

Moto E allows customization. It fits to your style. It has different color band that  provides unique ridged pattern that provides better grip.  It gives you a chance to embrace style. It facilitates a premium look as cool as a high budget smart phone.  It has too many great utilities, engineered to perfection.

If you love clicking photos like me, then this phone is for you.  You could take a selfie’s with the front cam and easily switch to the other camera view.  With a simple twist of your wrist, the Moto E handset gets into the camera mode. It is an ideal camera for all shutterbugs.  It’s a classic and an ultimate phone to start with! Embrace class, elegance and happiness with the New Moto E that will not only impress you but also take your breath away with its amazing features and various offerings! So isn't it time to say Hello Moto E!

Let’s see some Key features of Moto E and what all could you do with it?

1. Android Lollipop - for the smart user in you to explore the best of the latest features offered by Android Lollipop. Your eyes need change too. How long will you use the outdated versions? Moto E provides you the chance to embrace the Lollipop. With its really cool features and appearance it will surely make you feel good!


Image source 


2.  1.2 GHz Quad Core Processor - For an agile person like you who hates to wait. Now quickly switch between different applications. This is a cost efficient phone that you should be having. In this super fast world, even smart phones need to be super fast. What is the use of holding a phone that is as slow as a slug? The 1.2 GHz Quad Core Processor in the new Moto E will ensure that your device is fast!


Super Fast , smart phone with 1.2 Ghz Quad Core Processor


3. 5 MP Camera - The shutterbug in you should be given a chance to explore the various photography skills. Click amazing picturesque scenaries, wildlife and nature. If you are at a trip, click the trip pictures. If you are a birthday birthday, then you could click the cakes and the people around. Click pictures everywhere you go! Make sure you enjoy every moments and preserve each memory. You could even shoot best videos through it. The new Moto E 5 MP Camera could be your  next photo guide only if you wish to embrace it. Reinvent the photographer in you with the new Moto E.


Click your loved ones - Image Source

4. Expandable Storage of 32 GB – To serve your storage purpose. You need to save your precious memories in form of videos and photos in a special location and thus the new Moto E comes up with an expandable storage of 32 GB. Now you can share your outings photographs, your favorite songs, movies in your memory card itself.


Store and preserve wonderful memories with 32 GB expandable storage
Source Here 

5. Dual SIMs - To demarcate your office and your personal needs. You could use a dedicated SIM for your official work and a separate SIM for your personal work.  Classification is the need of the hour. Classify your SIMs and make life easier!
These are few of the features that highly impressed me. But I choose to start with the Camera with the new Moto E to facilitate my sisters DIY products page and then explore the other features one by one.


Classify your needs, use two SIMs. Image Source

With great phone come great features, features that add colors to the user's life. Who else needs a luxury phone when Moto E provides almost similar features at an affordable price! The new Moto E - a classic phone to start with!

You should also know that sometimes great phones come at smaller prices and what they show is more than greatness! To cut it short in one line - the new Moto E is a combination of class and elegance! It is the best smart phone that you should choose to start with!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Nashta with Guptaji's family!

Written for Kellogg s India! . Do Visit -> https://www.facebook.com/anaajkanashta.

I know of a family! They are hard core foodies who love experimenting with their food. Yes, you guessed it right. They are the Gupta's. The Gupta Family's love for food could be known from the fact that they have different kind of nashta's for every occasion. Of course, they love to celebrate every event! To name few - Lol wala nashta, date wala nashta, chugli wala nashta and so on!

Mrs. Shalu Gupta is known to make delicious breakfast using Kellogg’s. She is the master chef of  the Gupta family. She loves experimenting with the new Kellogg’s. Once it happened that the Mr. Gupta and his children  Rohan  and  Ritika  Gupta were fighting over a remote as each of them wanted to watch their favorite shows. Mr. Gupta wanted to watch Cricket while his son Rohan wanted to see some cartoon show and his daughter Ritika wanted to watch her favorite TV show.  Of course, wouldn't that be an apocalypse.  Mrs. Gupta decided to prepare a new dish that would distract the others so that she could watch her favourite TV show. Shalu Gupta  quickly mixed Kellogg’s cornflakes , Almonds, Cream,chocolate and milk in a blender and prepared a delicious milkshake. This surely attracted the other Gupta's taste buds. Mrs. Gupta offered them their milkshake and grabbed the remote from them. She called it as 'Remote wala Nashta'

And in one  occasion, when the man of the house Mr. Gupta was bitching about a class mate of his with his other friend, then Mrs. Gupta thought of doing something to shut their mouth. She prepared the Chugli wali Nashta where she cooked some chana's , tomatoes,  finely chopped onions and mixed it with the Kellogg’s cornflakes and served it to Mr. Gupta and his friend. They both start praising their friend instead of speaking Chugli about him. The Chugli wala nashta worked perfectly!

And then she invented a ‘Line Pe Lane wala Nashta’ which is a cheesy cornflakes recipe. When love is in the air, they eat the delicious date wala nashta. And at times when Ritika and her Papa have war of words, then it’s her Mother Shalu who comes as a pacifier with her innovative breakfasts. And this time she prepared a Choco Cornflakes muffin. And she calls it as a Lol wala Nashta filled with the goodness of chocolate.  And to spread smiles everywhere, they have a smile wala nashta.

Some say that early morning breakfasts should be healthy and one should eat food like a king at morning. This is because breakfast provides fuel to your day’s activity. It initiates the energy flow to your body as your day goes on!  A healthy breakfast gives a solid start to your day.  So it would be awesome if we get to taste different breakfasts every day. And look at the Gupta family. They are people who have a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy breakfasts every morning. So tell me one thing, when the Gupta’s are so much talented when it comes to preparing delicious breakfasts, who wouldn't go to their place for a Nashta? I have always been a great fan of Kellogg’s cornflakes  and I feel that it truly identifies a person’s calories and energy needs. If perfectly coupled with other food items, then you can create a wonderful recipe just  like Mrs. Gupta.  This is the main reason why I would love to visit the Gupta’s and eat delicious  nashta’s cooked by the queen of the Gupta family!