Some Very and Some Not So Very Useful Sites

~~~ Learn how to cook Indian crab curry in the Hobbies section.~~~

About Me

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A freelance writer by profession, I have been blogging now for about two and half years. My other interests includes SEO. Blogging motivates me to learn about new things happening on WWW and also out of it. I would like to update my blog on a daily basis, but more than that I would like to write about the latest... fastest.

Dec 31, 2007

Happy 2008

One more year has passed. And like every year, while wishing each other, I expect a few people to say, "Years are passing so soon". This is one common line used and re-used every year.

And talking about new year a mention about the new year resolution is fair enough. I really do not wait till new year to make resolutions but then again I am not too famous for making resolutions either. And to sticking to it is another story in itself.

But this year I want to make a resolution; to be more cool and stay happy, no matter what comes or what doesn't. Simple as it sounds, hope I can actually make it happen. And before I wrap up this post... I extend my new year wishes to all, with the following message I got from a friend.

Wish you a fabulous new year,
May peace break into your house and thieves steal your worries,
May love stick to your face, like your skin... and laughter assault your lips,
May the problems you had forget your address...
May 2008 be the best year of your life, so far!

Oct 26, 2007

A punishment that deserves praises

With one eye turned blind and a disfigured face, 18 year old Renu, probably would have got some signs of justice coming her way. A Delhi trial court has rightly given a life term imprisonment to the villain of Renu’s life, Yashpal.

Yashpal chose to ruin Renu’s life by throwing acid on her face because she chose to turn down his advances. Such instances are common in India but what is not common is the punishment given for this crime. Lot of such horrible creatures that have spoiled, innocent girls lives; have walked home free without any punishment or with minor punishment, especially in Mumbai.

When one goes to find, there will be many cases, where a girl’s life has turned upside down after a brute threw acid on her. Some minor and some grave to the extent that can send a chill down the reader’s spine. As in the case of Fatima who succumbed to the injuries caused after her husband poured acid on her and also made her drink it. So far, this is the worst case I have come across.

Two questions hit my mind. One, what is the ideal punishment for making a person’s life so difficult and ugly? Secondly, should Acid be so easily available? If I had my way I would say, the ideal punishment is tit for tat. Do the same with such mindless creatures; let them too face the scar, for life.

And acid should never be made available easily. One should be made to apply for acid like for passport, a person buying acid needs to get his address verified in the police station. It’s no joke… involving the police may instill fear in the person, if he is taking it for a wrong act and also the time taken to get acid may change the person’s mind.

Oct 10, 2007

Sensex at 18000 points, moving towards 19,000

Last one week, saw a sudden rise in the Sensex figure. As much people are rejoicing the trend, there are varied assumptions made for the near future of the stock exchange. While a lot feel this trend will continue further, some are afraid that this might be the silence before the storm. After a few days, it might just come banging down.

To understand the Stock market has never been so easy. Experts have been giving their timely opinions and advice, only to discover something different happening. To know what the close future of the Indian stock market is going to be, one need to know the reason for its remarkable leap to the 18000 mark.

According to a source, Foreign Investors are looking towards India for safe Investments. With other country’s stock market not too stable, India provides the required stability. If this truly is the reason for the growth of Sensex, then it is very obvious that the growth will continue further.

Other reason for the leap could be manipulation by Internal or External investors. This has been done more than once in the past, so could be possibly done once again to increase the share value for personal benefit. As much one would like to think that this may not be the reason for the increase stock market is witnessing, it could be the reason.

It is very difficult to determine what the real cause could be, however it does matter to know, if the healthy trend will remain this way for long or not. My take on it is, considering the serious political crisis, surrounding the nation today; would the Foreign Investors really choose this time to invest in India? Generally, any such situation dampens the stock market, so how come this time it has instigated it instead?

If all this has happened genuinely, then is nothing less than a miracle. But then isn’t India known to be a miracle country!

Sep 1, 2007

Get all your favorite websites under one web page

We all know about bookmarking, it’s a wonderful tool to reduce the pressure from our memory cells. Like a site? Bookmark it under favorites or under bookmarks and keep checking regularly, to see if anything new is added to the site. Now wouldn’t it be better if you get to know whether anything is updated on the site, even before you open the site?

This is exactly what RSS feeds does for you, it brings your favorite sites to you, saving your time going to it and wasting time if there isn’t anything new stored in for you. But, if you have many sites that you want to check out, your browser is mostly likely to get crowded.

So to take it a step further, Google reader (even yahoo and msn reader) lets you save all your favorite sites on one page. Like you log on to your gmail and check if you have any new mails, you can log on to Google reader and check if there is anything new in your favorite sites.

Viewing your website in a Google reader is different from viewing it on the site, on Google reader you will only see the contents with any attached image that it may have. All the other features of the site won’t be present; to view that you will have to visit the site.

The site you want to add should have the RSS option in it. The most common icon for RSS is this

To understand the use of Google reader better, listen to Google engineer Chris Wetherell.

Log on to Google reader with your Gmail id and save your valuable time.

Aug 25, 2007

Blog Layout

Hey you…. Thanks for visiting my blog! The visitors are the life and blood of this blog. I try and gather useful information and put up here in an interesting manner. I’m constantly working towards making my blog a source of authentic information. However, I still feel that there is a lot more I can achieve; so if you have something to tell me on how I can do it better, use the ‘comment’ feature to reach me.

Many people visit the site, read the contents and just walk away. Please atleast let me know, if what you read was of any use to you or no. It will take your few moments but will help me to a greater extent.

Recently, I have been working to change the look of the blog and make it more refreshing and lively. Don’t know how far I have been successful in it, so please be the judge and tell me if you like the existing layout or the new one. While the existing is the one you can see here on this page, for the new design click on “Poem-pleasure” or on the below link.

I did the designing with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and it was both fun and challenging. Initially, I was going crazy but as I understood how to use the code, it became very interesting. I feel, it is one of the easiest tools for developing a blog design.

Jul 31, 2007

Sketchcasting... The brainchild of Richard Ziade

Don’t blame you, if you have still not heard of sketchcasting. It has just about arrived on the net. Sketchcasting is to sketch and cast, simple… isnt it? Hmmm… okay! Let me explain.

Sketchcasting is when you draw to explain a process, like you would do on a white board. This you can either do using a Tablet PC or with a Digi Pen. And for those who love to draw with a mouse (really gifted ones), can make the most out of sketchcasting.

Before you begin to draw make sure you have put the sketchcaster on (sketchcaster records onscreen action). Once done, save it under the avi file option. Upload it on any of the videohosting sites like youtube and put the link on your blog.

Unlike a text blog, there are some expenses to bear, if you would really like to try sketchcasting. Mainly on the Tablet PC, but if you have already got one, then you should definitely give sketchcasting a try. Even otherwise, a Digi pen and pad is an economical substitute for Tablet PC. Also, you will need Mic and speaker to explain the activity.

For the other requirements namely Screencaster, Drawing Progam you can avail the free versions from Internet.

This kind of a blog can be very useful for people associated with Designing, Movies (story board), Business developers/ Planners, Educational sites etc. There can be a thousand more uses of sketchcasting, but it remains to be seen how well its implemented in the cyber world.

The following video will give you some practical insight into sketchcasting.

While using this concept remember a few things;

• Keep the video size short.
• Before recording write down what you want to say and how to say, to avoid any kind of interruption in between.
• Google doesn’t index video files, giving sketchcasting negative points for SEO, hence let a brief write-up on your sketchcasting post, follow the video.

Jul 25, 2007

Last date extended for submitting UTI Lifestyle Funds forms


UTI lifestyle Funds

Understand the simple logic behind the potential growth of UTI LIFESTYLE Mutual Fund. With more disposal income in hand, Urban India is all set on a shopping spree like never before. Research indicates this trend is only going to rise in the coming years. Analysing this principle, the success of UTI LIFESTYLE Scheme is quite evident.

This is not the only reason why it makes sense to invest in this scheme, besides that the other reasons are as follows:

1. Investor can redeem on the first five business days every 6months from the offer closure date. Maturity date is however, only after three years from the date of allotment.

2. Scheme is open for all Resident individuals, Institutions as well as to Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs).

3. You can invest starting with a nominal amount of Rs. 5000/- only.

4. One can either opt for the Growth Option or Dividend Option with Payout and Reinvestment facilities.

a. Growth Option: Allows you to sell the units at an increased rate, during the redemption period.

b. Dividend option: Investor will receive dividends as and when declared and there will be no changes in the unit price during redemption.

An upward moving graph in India's Outsourcing market has encouraged the buying power of Indian consumer hence, the possibility of high profit is much more in LIFESTYLE Mutual funds than with Mutual funds that invests in equity.

Fill the form and along with a copy of your pan card, submit it in the nearest UTI office.


Locate a UTI office near you:



Jul 17, 2007

How reliable is Wikipedia?

While researching on the Internet, search engines play a vital role. Among search engines Google, Yahoo and MSN are the most common ones. Personally, I use Google and Yahoo for lot of my research work.

During such search, I noticed that for almost all my searches Wikipedia was seen on the 1st page of the search results. And I was left wondering if that was a good thing or no. Some may feel what possibly can be wrong with it, but I beg to differ.

Many regular surfers know that the contents in Wikipedia can easily be edited by anybody. Although there are editors who watch over the contents, firstly their credibility is doubtful and secondly it is difficult for the editors to keep a watch over the contents on a daily basis. Imagine,I edit a certain section today and the editor sees it after a week, in between all those visitors would accept the information put by me as true.

Once I was searching information on an Indian King and was dumbfounded on the things written about him. This was when I was not aware of the fact that the contents were editable by anyone. And I ended up believing the information to be a fact! I am sure there are still many others who may be collecting information from Wikipedia considering it to be a reliable source. As I mentioned before anybody using search engines are likely to land up on Wikipedia more often since it mostly appears on the 1st page of search results.

Isn’t this a cause of concern? We have school / college children using Internet for school projects. Moreover we are also at a great risk of knowing and spreading wrong information.

It wouldn’t be right to say Wikipedia only has distorted facts, many times the information given there may be right, however how are we to make out if the facts are correct or not? The only solution then is to cross check before taking any information to be true.

Jun 25, 2007

The Agony of a SIFY customer

We have now finished our 2nd anniversary to the subscription of Sify internet connection and it’s high time I publicly reveal the agony we have faced in this time period.

For about a year we had the Rs. 410 package and on the suggestion of one Sify employee, we switched over to a more expensive package… Rs. 791 to be precise, in the hope that atleast then the connection will show some signs of a broadband connection. But as our bad Karma had it, there was absolutely no difference! The connection can disrupt once a while that’s completely understandable but the connection working fine once in a while, how does that sound?

Recently, there was a slight rainfall for a day or two and our connection disappears for 5/6 days. If this was not annoying enough the girl at the local sify office has this “I am getting my salary what do I care if you have the connection or not” attitude adding fuel to the fire.

We all know Mumbai had a heavy rainfall on 23/24 June but our Sify connection had gone on leave from 21st onwards. In June I doubt if we had even 5 days of proper connection.

However it would be wrong to say that the connection is bad all the time, the days of the month when its time for them to collect the rentals it’s working super… no interruption and no slowdown! That’s the time of the month when we realise that ours is a broadband connection.

Almost every month in these two years we had a percentage of our phone bill coming from the calls made to the Sify call center and local office.

Worst affected are ones who do online share trading, when the market goes up and you want to sell or when the market goes down and want to buy, you will be on the phone talking to one of the Sify Customer care executive.

And someone earning a livelihood from Internet, deadlines are missed…because Internet connection remains dead. Once in a while this can be told to the client but not always, as a result you lose out on opportunities!

Now if you are wondering why am I discussing this with you instead of simply throwing away the connection? It’s to warn you against a major disaster, if you have any plans of getting a Sify connection. Nobody warned us and so we undergo all this mental torture but you don’t have to. If you are getting a connection just for timepass then it is alright but if you have serious work in mind then think again. You might just end up working full time to get the connection back.
Sify broadband
SIFY stands for Service Is Fully Yuck!

May 20, 2007

Mehandi / Hawsonia Inermis

Mehandi designs

From the time I can remember, I have always been an absolute admirer of a beautifully drawn mehandi and its soothing smell. A must in Indian weddings mehandi is generously and beautifully applied on the brides and many places also the bridegroom’s hands, followed by the close relatives and whoever else wants to. The whole marriage atmosphere becomes all the more auspicious with the delicate fragrance of Mehandi. With some, there is a custom of writing the groom’s name in a discreet manner on the bride’s hand; the name forms a part of the design. That later has to be found by the groom himself.

Like a Botanist would describe, when the leaves of ‘Lawsonia alba’ are grinded with water till a paste is formed, is when it gets the recognition of Mehandi. The modern approach is to first dry the leaves then powder it. It is very difficult to trace the origin of Mehandi; while some claim it was brought to India by one of the Invaders, there are other learnt ones who have evidence to believe its use existed in ancient India.

There are quite a lot of beliefs and practices associated with Mehandi. According to a certain tradition a newly wed bride is kept away from any house-hold work until the wedding mehandi in her hands completely fades. Therefore in the olden days large floral designs were put on a bride’s hands that would take long to fade, hmmm… planning and scheming started early!

It is also said that Mehandi keeps away all evil spirits and negative energies. While in some parts of the world Mehandi is considered to bring good fortune and prosperity and for this reason they apply mehandi on the main door of their house. In Egypt centuries ago, before the mummification process the hair, toes and finger nails of the bodies were brushed with a coating of henna.

Previously I only had a liking for its visual and fragrance effects however now I have also discovered the medicinal properties of Mehandi. Namely, it does wonder to minor skin diseases, works positively on dry skin, adds volume to hair. Apart from the mehandi paste, there are researches to prove the positive effect on joint pains from the oil extracted from Mehandi leaves.

It is undoubtedly one of the best gifts of nature with no negative effects, although a word of caution would be to stay away from black mehandi. It comprises of certain harmful chemicals that may damage the skin and never get mehandi applied from those sitting on roadside using block mehandi. They don’t use mehandi but some coloured liquid which may again harm the skin.

Last few decades have seen a rise in the interest of western countries towards this herb more for decoration purpose than its medicinal value. It is in the best interest of all to know about its benefits and make its best possible use.

For more information on this wonder herb and some excellent Mehandi designs check out the websites below.

Apr 10, 2007

My take on Indian Ads

As a kid, I found Advertisements more entertaining than actual programs that were aired. My mind was so much into it that I would visualize and re-create ads in my own way; god knows where that talent disappeared as I grew up. One of my most favorite was Hawkins Ad with Neena Gupta singing… Hawkins ki siti bhaji…siti hi siti bhaji Hawkins pressure cooker!! For atleast half an hour after that ad was over I would sing that song so very gladly, maybe that’s why I still remember it.

After I grew up a little we played a game similar to Dumb charades but instead of recognizing movies the opponent had to recognize Ads (forgot what the game was called). That’s when I started to remember all those ads that were rarely shown, so that our opponent team could never recognize the ads.

With the passing years similar to other changes that have occurred all around, the world of ads has also changed. The biggest positive change I observe today is that Ad makers aren’t shy of experimenting with new concepts. And the biggest negative change is rise in Celebrity ads, negative because common identifies with the common man better than a celebrity. Of course there are exceptions like Aamir Khan doing Coke ads that’s because the actor is so good with his work that for that moment one forgets he is Aamir Khan.

These days following are the top 3 ads that gets my award….

1. Obviously Aamir Khan’s Coke ad ( Lagte hain hum alag alag par andar se hain --- same same mah) This ad in addition to being very entertaining has a deep message. If thought deeply it says so much about all human beings having more or less the same fears, problems etc but on so many occasions we are left thinking high or low of others.
2. Times jobs ad where the guy is inflated while working but when he gets his salary he feels so small. So true happened with me too.
3. Hutch ad that shows three cute small girls talking about their dog. Children are ruling the ad world; every second ad has a kid in it. And this is the cutest ad of all.

Feb 16, 2007

Happy Mahashivratri!!

Lord Shiva
While most of the festivals are celebrated during day time... Deepawali and Mahashivratri are two such festivals which gives more significance to night.

For those who aren't aware... story of Mahashivratri begins like this:
After the samundra manthan (Churning of the sea, thats another story altogether). Alongwith a lot of other things, came Halahala... a dangerous poison that could finish the entire universe. Before this poison could spread all over, Lord shiva drank whole of it and here's where the story of Mahashivratri begins.

Lord Shiva had to be kept awake that night to prevent the poison from flowing down his throat. Hence all the Devotees spent the night...singing songs in honor of Lord Shiva to keep him awake. This is why Mahashivratri is also a test of the true devotee.

Even to this day, on Mahashivratri people stay awake whole night (Jaagran) and sing Bhajans.

Talking about Bhajans... there is one from the movie Bhairavi --- OM NAMAH SHIVAYA. I had been searching for this song since long and now finally found it on cooltoad.

After I found the song... I wanted the lyrics however nowhere on the net it was available. So finally I wrote the lyrics for anyone searching like me. This song definitely has a soothing effect on the listener.

I had a tough time writing this song because of all the musical notes in between... and doubtlessly its going to be equally difficult to sing those notes unless you are a trained singer.


Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa...aaaaaaaaa aaaaa...

aaaaaaaaaaa..........aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.....aaaaaaaaaaa....aaaaaaaaaa...aaaaaaaa..... aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Om namah shivaye... shivaaaaaaye...namah shivaye....
Om namah shivaye... shivaaaaaaaaaaaaaaye...Om namah shivaye...
Om namah shivaye

Teen shabd mein dhristi saari... shristi saari saamaaaaaaaaaaye
Om namah shivaye
Om namah shivaye

gaaaa da pa ga re ga ga
sa da pa re ga ga
ga pa ga saa re re
pa ga re sa da sa saaaa

Pharbat pharbat kyun chade... nadi paar kyun jaaye
Pharbat pharbat kyun chade... nadi paar kyun jaaye
Jo milna hain yahin hain... jeen khoje wohi paaaaaaaaaaaaaaaye
Om namah shivayeeee... Ommmmmmmm namah shivaye


har sapna ek saap hain man se leepta jaaaaayi..... har sapna ek saap hain man se leepta jaaye
vish amrut kabho nah bane kaahe jatan lagaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaye

om namah shivaye

ommmmmmm namah shivaye

ga re ga pa da da

da da pa ga re saa

pa ga pa da da sa saa

da sa saa pa pa ga re

sa sa sare ga ga

sa ga ga re da sa

sa da sa

pa da sa

ga pa da sa

re ga pa da sa

sa re ga pa da sa



sa re da sa pa da ga pa re ga sa da saa

sa-saa re da sa pa da ga pa re ga sa da saa

sa-saa re da sa pa da ga pa re ga sa da saa

sa-saa re da sa pa da ga pa re ga sa da saa

sukh ke dafli rohi hain... dukh ke bansi gaye....
sukh ke dafli rohi hain... dukh ke bansi gaye....
bhakti meh shakti itni hain... dwaar swamyam khul jaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayee....

Om namah shivayeeee... Ommmmmm namah shivaye

Teen shabd mein dhristi saari... shristi saari samaaaaaaaaaye

Om namah shivayeeee... Om namah shivaye

Om namah shivayeeee...namah shivaye