Welcome!

What is called halt? When time stops? Life is journey and we all keep on moving; someway or other way.  

2007 is WELCOMING the 2008. And as the New Year is approaching we are pretty excited what would coming year have for us.

Welcome!

Every year has own surprises, and though every day is new we always look forward for new year. Other than New Year, 24th Dec will add one more year in my life!  

Let’s make a brand!

There is so much talk about Social Networking as hottest thing in 2007, even a network (Orkut) chosen as MTV youth icon 2007. It’s like making YOUR presence, staying in touch with people either for personal or professional growth.

And there was Time magazine (early 2007) cover page saying ‘Person of the Year is YOU’.
Recently I read an old article ‘Brand you by Tom Peters.
That made me to recall a quote by Isabel Allende “
You are the story teller of your own life, and you can create your own legend or not.

Quite true.
Whatever you are doing (or going to do) is reflecting in your personality.
Either the way you dress up or the way you hold the fork. Your very individualistic style to signature to the favorites programmes on T.V. Everything is composing you.
It’s not a simple system. One might feel it’s a single entity, but it’s a whole complex system that is composing the YOU.
And as Mr. Peters the management Guru says, there is no way to escape from the Me Inc. One has to create own brand. Now up to you how you do.
So,

How to get BRANDED?

 The Brand You. How to stand out in similar looking crowd! Picture taken by Paavani

Compile- Strengths, Weakness, Power, External factors, Risks, Time (very important).
Just to make you stay focused on goals, how to achieve that.

Compete-
Learn & Improve, Keep yourself updated.
What you learnt was past. Think future, work in present scenario. And for that updating skills and being informative is a need.

Stay Tuned
–  Meet others, Talk, Discuss, Argu, Laugh & Enjoy.
Express yourself. It not only gives attention but makes you happy too. And getting noticed among in crowd is important if you really thinking of Branding yourself. So either blog or upload a video on youtube but do something to shine.

Balance-
Work, Family & Networking.
Don’t be you only, be the complete person. Know how to equilibrate everything. Getting the right rhythm to balance everything is making the real you.

Rejuvenate- Mentally and Physically.
Pamper yourself either with music, books or join health club. Keeping fit will make you more fresh and full of energy.
And come out with new innovative visionary ideas. After all you are the brand. Be Brand new in every stage of life.

There are so many How would you rise and shine in same and similar people.

Independent India

Independent India- Picture by Paavani

Is being free citizen our destination
& being independent without discrimination
Where there is no place for cast & creeds
With people respecting each other and doing deeds!

Or do we ask where is love, respect in our nation
With so much hatred, pain and suffocation
Casting shadows of pessimism
and saying follow the Gandhism!
Let’s starts a new vision
Be a true progressive Indian!

 9:12 pm, 13th August, 2007

 India is celebrating the 60th year of Independence.

A call: on Mobile.

It has been long time since I blogged about anything. What was it means: nothing new happening or was I so busy that didn’t get time. No, nothing like that. It was just that when there was over information flow, one get lost what to talk.
Silence is golden at times. )

BTW I was quite active in my Flickr (earlier I was not), I even wrote a guest blog article for Ping Mag (one of the best design blog, from Japan).
In my work place, I am learning many new things. And try to understand much more.
Any way, what’s happening in World? Especially in Design sector, that too in India? Always make more sense to Indian Designers.The Digital design experience or people in User interface design would be happy to know about Nokia’s first satellite design studio in India, Bangalore...will explore a range of design trends and themes, including detailed research into colour and material trends in India. It will also study use of mobiles for Internet in India and its implications for design, and examine innovative new features and uses for mobiles.
[Source : Hindu]

I expect, soon I will get a handset for elderly. Last month only I was looking for a mobile for 60+ in not so urbanized area, which has basic functions and easy to navigate interface. Sorry to say I didn’t get a single mobile handset which fit the bill.

Talking about mobile:

I would like to say– few models are so sleek & smooth that it can look good only on an executive hands. While a field worker continuous sweating hand will make it uncomfortable to hold.

So many features- do we really need it? Few don’t even want to send & receive SMS.

Price range versus features. If it is a 2K mobile, is it really helpful in getting what one want? Don’t compromise quality by adding too much.

So many models, with little difference, so much of confusion. From Samsung to Nokia to new Bleu. A sliding cell phone with similar looks.

Total money expenditure- a 3G phone with cool features. But your current service provider gives you all that good service to operate those? If yes, how costly is it? Or you have to change your years old mobile number.

Even if you browse internet on your blackberry and check emails after every 10 min. Is it comfortable or just leave you more frustrated?

Your mobile is more of FM/ Camera to click pictures secretly or more to mobile blog?

Once you are comfortable with your current handset. It got stolen/broke, and you switched to new model of same company. Do you feel ease to operate it? If no, why so much complexity to understand all navigational system of a handset.

Why mobile buttons are so small? Why no models catering to those who don’t have such sleek fingers to press the right tab?

Regional language settings are there- but how many really needy use it?

There are many more concerned areas; these are many more simple questions other than styling & color of cell phone.

I am really disappointed when I visited Nokia exclusive showroom and did not get a cellphone which display text/numbers in good contrast on a reasonably good screen size along with basic features that work in a small town. Like FM. I hope, new Nokia design studio work in more user friendly way and come up with designs that really cater to the person who need it for basic functions not a gizmo. As number of mobile users in India are more than other parts. And these maximum numbers of users don’t work in corporate offices of a metro.

End of summers: Monsoon Calling.

When the canvas of life is becoming faded and dull and one is eagerly looking for a thrill; what could be better than adding few strokes of water with the long paddle brush and a palette called Kayak.
Go adventurous was the motto this weekend. And with our office team we went for River Rafting. Expedition was expended with rock climbing & trekking on the next day.

 Shivpuri, uttranchal.

White water rafting along the Ganges in Shivpuri near Rishikesh, Uttranchal was the agenda. We were supposed to cover 12 Km and do grade 3 & grade 4 rapids.
Through it was not a favorable season to do the rafting as water current was high and rapids could through you.
As I do not know swimming so I was among the afraid all group and was hesitated to do dip and being more adventurous. But when you are already inside the deep water, and paddle as a life line in your hand and you are just blindly following guide instructions than there is so much to have fun.

Preperation-river rafting Life jackets & helmets
We started from Silver sand beach and moved forwards in lush green when sun rays were perfectly accurate to brighten up the mountains in golden hues. The real adventure happened when at the 3 blind mice rapid 3 people from our 2nd boat fallen down! When boat went upside down and 3 persons were not found on right place on the right side. One of them was pulled back immediately, 2nd was saved by kayak and 3rd one who seemed to be panicked was also pulled by the life guard after few minutes.
2 pairs of slippers and 2 paddles were missed and other boat went back to get paddle while we rested on the side. Then our journey started again. I was asked to sit in front as we accommodated 1 more person from the other boat. Sitting in front of the boat, and when waves hit my face occasionally and I got thrilled with every up & down. It was a different experience.
Kayak RiderTents on silver sand beach

Next morning started with drizzling. And when I woke up and saw the awesome view of nature where the pure nature water accumulated on the balcony railing, and small white clouds were trying to push each other on the dark green mountains and translucent green Ganges was floating with little higher voice.
All that made me feel energetic to go out and capture some nature luxurious, soothing musical moments into 2-D, silent frames.
 What a wonderful morning! 
Rock climbing was not going to happen still we wore our comfortable foot wears and started journey towards the mountain peak. In that narrow round & round lanes I got tired number of times, feet slipped but there were will to climb. It the halfway like wanderers we all got dispersed and after certain period of time I realized lets go back and do some more clicks while getting mesmerized by nature beauty.

After a quick lunch we proceeded for Haridwar, from where we had train to Delhi. And we reached with an exhilarating experience to kill the Mondays blues and show more of creative and adventurous side.

Check more pics.

Wear it naturally

Crafty Story -II (A series on Indian Crafts)

Have you ever noticed what are the colors used for your favorite blue shirt? Are they natural or synthetic and artifically made? How much are they harmful to the enviroment or our body? Yes, I am talking about the colors and its impact on health and environment.
Dry colors, vegetable colors or natural dye colors are more skin friendly, and good. Its more like a family, region based business for making colors and implementing the same on products like-carpet, toys and printing etc.
The color that you are wearing, using will not only have colors to soothe your eyes but fragnance of the ingredients will also smells nicely. Colors derived from nature have some depth which chemical dyes lack.

China, Rome, Brazil, East Indies, France and many more countries are coloring the world in natural way. In history, India is painting naturally approximately since 327BC and has been a metaphor of excellance.

Natural colored dyed and handspun Carpet.
Natural colored dyed and handspun Carpet from nomadrugs.com

These natural, hand made, eco-friendly dyes are biodegradable and non-carcinogenic. They are obtained from dried flowers, leaves, seeds & barks and from stones at times from insects also! These are soft and low toxic colors generally non-allergic.
And use for dyeing of Textile like fibre, wool, yarns or garments etc. Paper coloring, on Toys and other Wooden products, making handmade Soaps, Candles; possible areas are unlimited.
From Indigo dye used in ‘Ikat’ (textile from Orissa, India) and food colors added in the form of Indian spices like Turmeric.
Nature colors.
Natural colors and dyes are extracted by the process of fermentation, boiling, and treatment with chemicals. Colors can be obtained from a single dye by the use of different mordents with which the fabrics to be dyed are treated.

 Indigo Dye and wool dyed
Indigo Dye and wool dyed in same. Pictures taken from http://www.aurorasilk.com/

Naturally Printed.
Fiber has cellulose and it will easily absorb natural dyes. Indian textiles are famous for naturally dyed cotton cloths. Gujarat, one of the major center for dyed and block printed textile. Rajasthan tie & dye (Bandhini) is worldwide famous so are Kasmir carpets that have interesting patterns by using vegetable dyes colors and Bihar Madhubani paintings painted delicately in natural colors.
Both western & eastern coast of India have beautifully printed cotton but technique is bit different. If south indian artists uses brush to paint then Gujarat uses wooden blocks for printing nice patterns.

Techniques
Printing blocks are made of teak wood, on one side design is etched. Other side has a wooden handle for holding and drilled cylindrical holes to pass the air and allowing the release of excess colors. New blocks are soaked in oil for 2 weeks or so to soften the wood grains.
In south a bamboo pen is used. That’s how Kalamkari- kalam (pen) and kari (means Work) method of painting on cotton or silk happen. Andhra Pradesh in India is famous for Kalamkari work.
Natural Dyes are supposed to use but gradually artificial and chemical colors are replacing the Indigo blue and Turmeric yellows.

Fabrics
Images courtesy- http://www.fabindia.com/craftsProfile.asp

Dyes making
Most of natural dyes are produced in situ means the coloring substance is extracted form the raw material and used. Which has disadvantage of non-reproduction, mass production, storing is also limited and it’s not standardized.
If techniques are used to produce in powder form than these drawbacks can be remove. Power would be available for long period of time, easy to carry & use and can be standardized by following the guidelines. Color variations in different lot can be also minimized.

Chemical Connection.
One side Natural dyes are organic, eco friendly, bio degradable and much more alive other side synthetics or chemically composed colors are inorganic, flat, and dead. A quick difference can be seen by checking the tonality, depth of naturally dye fabric to flat and unchanged artificial colors used textile.

But natural colors are now fading towards artificially made commercialized colors as it’s easy to get, ready to use. It is impractical to restore all our age-old practices with the versatility of man-made products still it s more about making a right choice and going nature way. To create a good and healthy and more alive work, natural dyes made work is better any day. It is not about saving time and producing quantity its more about retaining the craftsmen identities and making a greener and eco friendly choice.

Tags: Natural dyes, Vegetable colors, Indigo, Indian natural dyes, eco-friendly colors, handicraft, craft, Textile

We don’t need Reservation.

I am a aam insaan means (a common man). I walked a not-so-short journey from a small town to getting used to living in a metro and working for one of the best company. The path was not so easy as I had to remember that, for ordinary people, getting even a mark less in entrance exams disqualifies from admission in prestigious institutes. The same holds for jobs where reservations are made for SC / ST and others.

 

I am not writing something very new and this has been told numerous times before but the No office day today still prompted me to voice my concerns. As usual, I woke up early and was all set to catch the cab only to find out later about Dilli bandh! Yeah, and the reason for Bandh is because of the violence and Gujjars’ demands for reservation. The state of Rajasthan and Delhi have been affected the most, and the unrest is felt all over the country. Last week also, we had to rush back early on a day from office because of the protests in Delhi and National Capital Regions (NCR).

 

Why people need all this, why did they choose to place their demands at unreasonable places affecting common people who believe in working hard and not necessarily can take the shelter under the umbrella of resevations? Why do we get into a situation where the more productive plants, capable enough to grow into strong trees, are suppressed by saplings and parasite!

 

Stop Reservation. Believe in yourself. Be what you can be else go back home and let us WORK!

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Crunchy Crispy flavors*added.

Potato chips are all time favorite junk food. Earlier there were classic salted. Now more flavors are added. Even by considering the Indian spices and tastes. If MacDonald is making burgers in different choices by adding naram panner and tandoori chicken. Than our plain salted potato chips are also learning.

1st it was Frito Lays which come with flavors like Spanish tomato tango etc. After countries they brought the flavors of Indian chat – like golgappa style chips.
Fritolay – India’s followed by Uncle Chips, Kurkure (quite popular, now going to launch in
USA), Lehar Namkeen and Chittos (which were very famous among children as they came up with a new pokemon character gift with every pack). BTW Frito lays is owned by Pepsi Co so definitely in terms of marketing and advertising they would not leave behind. Either its brand ambassadors like Cool Saif Ali Khan and Pretty Preity Zinta.
And there latest launched is wafer style chips. In India, potato chips are made at home by cutting potato slices and keeping in salted water and then drying in sun for few days and when want to eat fry them. There are many more version and methods to make chips in Indian kitchen by Indian Grandmothers.  

Frito lays wafer style- paavani.jpg Lays chips 

Now come to the latest ad of Bingo- if you have seen the advertisement either on Television or heard on FM (and yes, not to leg behind on web world too they launched website). You might not understand what this ‘Mad angle’ is. Yes, there ads are ‘no confusion, great combination’. After SunFeast biscuits and pasta, the company is now venturing into the Rs 2,000-crore fast-moving branded snack market. They say: “Chips come in experimental flavours such as bindas masti chaas, chatkila nimbu achar and tandoori paneer tikka. Yet another product launched is “Mad Angles”, which according to the company, is inspired by the Gujarati snack khakra and comes in tomato and chilli flavours.”

Even Parle (a very old name specially for Parle G biscuits) is now bringing different flavors of cheese with a new brand name Musst bytes which have flavors- Tangy Tomato Or Garden spices.Let’s see in battle of crispy, spicy chips who won. I heard a mixed review about Bingo, where Paneer tikka is not at all advisable to taste. But people are trying different flavors for different type of ads, names and punch lines like ‘aajkal yeh bahut chal raha hain’ (for Parle Musst bytes) which means roughly – Now days very much in demand.

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Need an earthy treatment!

Our earth, our home has a day – 22nd april to celebrate and think and do some good actions. It was started by US Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970.

Someone is asking for help badly. Yes, our dear earth is in pain and need help from her 6.5 billion children. But are we listening, and / or doing something?

earth day- designed by Paavani

Not many of us have really thought of what we can do other than having long discussion or talking about ‘green design’ or sustainability to global warming etc.
Well, you can do some really basic things: 7 days and 7 tips !

1. Think about plants & trees as your lungs, whenever you smoke!2. Use your brain when trashing garbage or even a coke can.
3. Carry your bag when going to buy grocery.
4. Use technology but don’t let technology consume you!
5. Show your creative side, reuse the products.
6. Have/use water as it the most expensive liquid.
7. and last Being gadget freak is geek, going green is coolest!

After all, our earth is not well and we all are doctors and it’s high time that we show dedication for this single yet precious patient!

Vroom in Green!

Now a days I spend lots of time in traveling. And I think at times how much conscious are we towards our environment.

Driving clean means going green or improving the environment quality. As CNG started getting grown as a major fuel source more and more car making companies giving option for CNG model. Compressed Natural Gas or CNG is a substitute for gasoline/petrol or diesel. It is an environmentally “clean” alternative to fuels. It contains methane (CH4) extracted from natural gas and stored and distributed in hard containers (cylinders). CNG cylinders can be made of steel, aluminium or lightweight composite (fibre-wrapped plastic).

cng-Vijay Abdul Kalam- duplicate of India President

In India few cities have only CNG based public transportation system. Like in capital (New Delhi) it was implemented by Supreme Court in 1998 that all auto rickshaws & Buses in and around city would be CNG or LNG fuel based. According to a study issued by the Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi, by 2002 all diesel city buses, 3 wheeler auto rickshaws and taxis in New Delhi have been converted to CNG and air pollution levels are noticeably down.
With the opening of more and more CNG stations and easy way to go CNG, private vehicles are also changing to CNG. The Delhi Transport Corporation now boasts it has largest fleet of buses in the world that use a clean fuel like CNG.
Natural gas burns cleaner than other fossil fuels, such as oil and coal, and produces less greenhouse gas per unit energy released. For an equivalent amount of heat, burning natural gas produces about 30% less carbon dioxide than burning petroleum and about 45% less than burning coal.
CNG-propelled autorickshaws are green and yellow in colour and buses have green & yellow colors stripes. By following cleaner and greener impact of CNG public transport other countries are also going CNG, like, Pakistan (Punjab) and England, Bangladesh etc.

So are you ready to pick a green fuel vehicle ) BTW Delhi has DTC (Delhi Transport Corporation) buses- which’s the world largest pollution free chain.
Read about CNG and CNG kit here.Â
Ps: The picture used here is of a CNGÂ Auto rickshaw driver, who is Duplicate of A.P.Kalam. Image is (C) 2007, Paavani.