Incredible India and its Incredible Indians!

Traveling in sleeper class ain’t easy, specially when its a journey from West Bengal (Kolkata) to Bihar, two of the poorest and states in India. But it is far more interesting than difficult – people trying their best to accommodate more people than the number of reservations, authentic village lingo, and the aroma of that ‘freshly’ made ‘ghar ka khana’. But then again a pretty normal scenario. So what was different in this journey?

LEG SPACE.

Yes, leg space. That beautiful blue floor of the train compartment meant for urgent visits to the not so very well kept toilets, were occupied with plastic chairs, drums of 20 lts of paint, plastic water tankers etc.

Now think about it. Why would someone lug such things for over 500 km’s, when they can easily procure it within a  5-50km radius from their homes?

Me whose Kindle Reader & iPhone both were out of charge, and having no other source of entertainment decided to find the cause. So here goes-

The problem lies with the psychology of the mob. They have this notion that, whatever they get far away from home would be,

1) Cheaper 2) Of a better standard

I can’t argue much on (1), though I personally believe that the price difference on these things is never too much. However as far as (2) goes, well, its the bloody same product! “Asian Paints” emulsion being sold in Bihar has to be same as the ones being sold in Kolkata & “Supreme” chairs have to be of the same quality everywhere!

Now why do they carry things like on their way back home?

I get a little insight on this from the staff at my father’s restaurant. Many of our workers in the Andaman Islands are from Bihar. When they return home after earning a considerable amount of money, they make it a point to take home something for their family and friends! It is a kind of a ‘moral obligation’ on them. The Same happens when you go out on a vacation, a gift for every loved one becomes compulsory. Since they belong to the lower income group, their spending power is naturally very less. They cannot really think of fulfilling their wants, so they just match their needs (think of those economic lessons taught in college).

Now when returning home (harboring a moral obligation of taking home something) they just take the things they need and ignore their wants and truthfully I respect their psyche!

Thank you, Snehal Kanodia for editing the post!

My Smartphone app list

I’m a smartphone productivity evangelist and I do everything to get the best of my smartphone (currently an iPhone4). I recently shed some dollars on getting the best apps on the phone and all I can say is – it’s simply worth it.

What I do on my phone?

  • I respond to most of my emails on phone – Apple Mail App
  • Take beautiful pictures and edit them using awesome apps. – Instagram, Camera+, Hipstamatic
  • Personal Social Networking – Facebook for iPhone & Tweetbot
  • Take Notes – Evernote
  • Write blogs – iA Writer
  • Read blog feeds – Reeder
  • Reading articles bookmarked on web – Readability
  • Since I own a startup, I use Hootsuite on mobile sometimes to manage twitter feed and listen to “saved search”
  • Track Google Analytics – iSPY Analytics
  • Track MailChimp subscriptions using the app

The idea of the post is not to show off an awesome phone, but to throw some light on things you could do with a normal smartphone. You have a smartphone, use it smartly rather!

How can Social Media help organise better college fests?

We at Dept. of Management, St Xavier’s College successfully organized a management fest and we made maximun possible use of social media. Let me tell you how we did that?

We had a challenge – A very tough competition – another society with huge fan following!

So basically we had to create a huge fan following or least some traction among students and get them familiar with just an year old fest.

How did we use social media? We only used facebook.

  • We thought like a normal student who has 30 minutes to spend on facebook. We would want to speak to his friends, converse with them and it would be irritating to receive requests to like a management summit facebook page.
  • Thus we created an interest group – based upon marketing and called it “Mad Over Marketing” and since we did a balanced branding of the page with the fest name it was easy for everyone to understand the brand. While at the same time we kept the fan base engaged in what they wanted to see – awesome marketin!

On being absurd

“Only those who attempt the absurd…will achieve the impossible.” – M.C. Escher

I came across this quote on my twitter feed & like every other quote, I yelled “wow” in my head & carried on. But there was something different about this!

I was able to relate to it very closely. But why?

Quenching on my thirst, I created a timeline of my life in my head – from my childhood till today. Compared it with those of my friends. I found a peculiarity – “utter absurdness”.

I mean seriously – who on earth would not enjoy his childhood for making bills in dad’s restaurant or not enjoy this teenage for designing websites (entrepreneurial stint) ! ME.

I have been absurd all through! Even today, my psyche simply stops me to do everything everyone else is doing.

All this obviously does not mean that I have a achieved the impossible, but yes it definitely assures that I’m on the right track – achieve the impossible.

Somehow I can’t believe that there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four C s. They are curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy, and the greatest of all is confidence. When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.

Walt Disney

Let’s backpack & explore India!

I was looking at my college calender a while back & just saw that I have holidays in May & June. I always knew that I have holidays in May, but the moment I saw it – engines in my brain throttled up! Plans, plans, plans…

Idea: Backpacking India like a tourist – Explore & work at the same time. Like a Digital Nomad. Fun! Target: Explore a minimum of 10 states – mostly visit villages. Time: 15-20 days Budget: Very tight. Remember – Backpacking! Note:

  • Say no to Flights – Only trains (preferably sleeper class – you are more likely to get talking with the fellow passengers in this class, than in 3-tier A.C.)
  • Don’t miss on tractor rides in village farms. They have a different charm.
  • Try to stay in homes of villagers.
  • Make a mark in their life – do something remarkable for them!
  • Food – eat their staple diet. (I can still choose to be vegetarian)
  • Work during travel. Plan your day accordingly so that you can steal out some time to work.
  • Blog every day – tough one!
  • Click Pictures – lots of them.
  • Carry only one backpack – no frills packing!

I want to do this very badly. Let’s see I can work upon this one. I need to decide on the region I would like to cover. I have two choices in mind at the moment – up north around the Himalayas or down south. Both seem to adventurous and exciting!

Feedback/Suggestions/Ideas – please feel free to post in comments below. 🙂 

Ten reasons to date an entrepreneur

  1. Their sense of possibility. To date someone who accepts no limitations means that there is no end to how much they are capable of loving you.
  2. They see things in ways that others don’t and understand the power of thought and faith to offer an entirely fresh and inspiring view of a challenging situation.
  3. They know the true meaning of commitment and persistence to an idea – a love – far bigger than themselves.
  4. They attract and draw into their world new people, experiences and opportunities that make every day of being with them a continual adventure.
  5. Their vision for the world extends to a vision of long-term relationships and family life no less important than their cause, but as equal to and intrinsic to working together to contribute to the betterment of humanity.
  6. They have seen failure and know that it is never what defines a man or a woman. It is their ability to get back up, with integrity, humility and service to a higher cause that builds the character and loyalty necessary for life-long commitment.
  7. They are passionate souls with tonnes of energy and a great love and just for life…..and we know how important that is for the more, erm, intimate areas of a relationship…..!
  8. They know the value of partnership in getting things done, the power of teamwork necessary to build something of mutual value.
  9. They know how sometimes you just have to hang in there, work really hard and keep trusting the original love for the vision/person and what drew you to it/them in the first place……and it will turn out with way more blessings than you can imagine.
  10. They are visionaries who understand the power of love over fear.

Source – http://love-not-fear.org/2011/12/02/ten-reasons-to-date-an-entrepreneur/