Thursday, December 24, 2009

Customizing Wordpress Blog

For those people, who are self learners of the online medium , that is-- the computer and the internet, figuring out things like CSS, JAVA, HTML can be the biggest nightmare of their lives. It took me 4 months to configure blogger!
I managed to do it after I watched a video on youtube( that site is such a blessing!) I even learnt how to zip and unzip files from there. I now want to set up an online portfolio and custom design my WordPress blog. I checked youtube( it provides the best online tutorials) and found, Word Press blogging tutorial by Chris Abrahams, the tutorial is good, yet, it does not answer all my questions. I’m still looking for a good solution, to put all the relevant tabs on the blog. I might finally move over to blogger as I know how to configure blogger now.
You won’t believe it, but, I learnt to copy and paste HTML codes from all these banner ad sites, some of them are so good, they even tell you where exactly to place the HTML code.
In fact, I have configured this blog all by myself( isn’t that something to be proud of?) considering the fact, that, every time I hear the word technical I go blank. I still wish, I could find an easy solution for my Word Press online portfolio. It doesn’t even allow me to configure the header free of cost. I couldn’t find a place that would allow me to customize the fonts.
Any good Samaritan, who is reading this entry, please feel free to contact me, if you can guide me by either leaving some tips or leaving a link to some good online tutorial. I really love those articles with hyperlinks, you don’t have to type on the address bar( This computer is making us all so lazy!!) Anyways, more musings later, my quest for a WordPress tutorial is still on....

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How to build your network on Linked in

Linked in is a powerful tool, in the world of social networking sites. The reason for this could be the way it functions. It seems to be a fine blend of seriousness and fun. While other networking sites have the risk of unwanted elements forming social groups, the same is not true about Linked in.
It has some strict rules in place about networking. It encourages you to connect with people you know and of course friends of friends, which is a great way of building your network, but, online networking is also about building your network and your business by connecting with unknown business prospects.
How do you ensure that you build a great network without connecting with unwanted people? By this, I mean, the negative kind of people who spend time, breaking down other people’s network. I’d suggest that you join groups that are based on principles of open networking , yet they do not force you to connect with people you do not wish to connect to. Join groups like Top Linked and Open Networkers or Linked In Open Networkers. They have discussions that allow you to introduce yourself to the community, and yet you do not force yourself on people. In your invitation you write, “if you choose not to connect please archive, do not IDK” this ensures that you connect with people who want to connect with you.
One of the super-connected on Linked in, Steven Burda( he has some 34,000 connections in his network) has some great networking tips to offer. I’m using his tips on networking for the benefit of all with his permission.
He says, the purpose of networking is to establish mutually beneficial relationships. The reason is it will lead to better opportunities, increased revenue and of course stronger and better friendships. If this comes from the guru of networking one should just follow his tips blindly.
He further advises that one should dig one’s well before one is thirsty. One of the best ways to be prepared.He further advises you to communicate and participate within the Linked in community and give all your support and be ready to share your knowledge.
Here are some of his dos for networkers
Do connect with “real world” friends, colleagues.
Do keep your profile current/updated.
Meet new & exciting people = be an opportunist!
Be likable, friendly & approachable.
Have confidence; not arrogance.
Be an optimist; not a pessimist.
Follow-up, introduce others, facilitate discussions.
Brand yourself – get known, be heard, & recognized!
Personalize your requests & approaches!
Do have fun doing it!!
Here is a list of his don'ts for professional networkers
Don’t presume anything while meeting new people.
Don’t assume people have to help/owe you.
Don’t be a salesman, even if you are!
Don’t think “ME!” but “them!”
Don’t ramble or go-off track.
Don’t spam or bother your network!
Don’t abuse your network; Don’t ignore others!
Don’t give up!
Don’t do it just because you have to!
These could be some of the best tips for connecting, specially as they come from somebody who has figured in the list of super connected for the month of Sept’2009. One sad thing though is he is no longer allowed to form any more new connections. This means that only few people can benefit from his knowledge of networking and not everyone. Let’s hope Linked in removes the cap on his profile and allows him to connect with as many people as possible so that all benefit from his wisdom on networking.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Degrees and Life

Today’s post is inspired by a fellow scribe’s written work, where, she stated that though we do not realize it, but, somewhere we use the knowledge we gained as a student pursuing our degree throughout life.
The passionate manner in which she expressed her thought, made me realize, that, what she said made perfect sense. The years spent pursuing a degree, or working in an office, mould our personality, in other words, set the trend for the future.
It is often said that our formative years often set the design for years to come. I know many of my friends will disagree with me and say, "this is totally wrong, 'I never studied but see how well I’m doing now”, or “I come from a poor family and see how rich I’m today", what they completely miss is the fact that those years when you did whatever you actually did, in a way set the design for your future. A person who has seen a lot of hardship due to one reason or the other actually has an ambition or a burning desire to change things.
They may choose different alternatives, or do things differently to succeed, because they so passionately want to get away from the past. A person who did not complete his/her education, realizes that he or she has a handicap so they go out of their way to succeed, similarly, those who have a degree in any subject will definitely be using it at some level-- directly or indirectly-- whether they agree or not.
Let me know what you think. Please keep the comments rolling in...

Monday, December 14, 2009

How to avoid IDK on Linked in

Social or business media is a powerful tool for people who want to expand their business online. Imagine you have built a nice network on Linked in and one fine day you discover that your account is suspended. Panic may set in and you may wonder what to do.
Firstly let me explain what IDK is and how your could account be suspended. Linked in has certain policies in place that the user has to  follow and one of them is not to connect with people you do not know. If one followed this in principle, one would have very few people in one’s network unless you are one of those who are super social or super connected, so what is the way out?
Charity begins at home-
The first principle to follow is if you want others to be nice then be nice to others. This does not in any way mean that you accept every invite that comes your way, certainly not, use your discretion, but if you do not wish to connect just archive that invitation instead of hitting the ‘I do not know this user button.’
If you have accidentally ‘IDK’d’ somebody make amends, go to the list of invites you have blocked and accept the invitation and if still do not wish to connect remove the connection later on. So this way you will ensure that you have a reputation of being a nice person.
The next and most important point you can follow is send a mail prior to sending an invite, asking may I connect with you? This way you are not sending unsolicited invitations and you will have only people who want to connect with you or people you want to connect with in your list.
Each social or business media platform offers you the option of limiting or expanding your network. Even on Twitter you can choose to block a person or add the person to your list of friends.
So build your network sensibly and make the most of the best social and business media tool the internet has to offer.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Paid Freelance Writing Gigs

During my six months tenure as a freelance writer to find paid freelance writing gigs has been one of my pre-occupations. In my quest to find a few paid freelance writing gigs I came across quite a few and I even registered for them. Please check the list of writing gigs that I have found for you.

The best part about most of these article directories or freelance writing job sites is that they do not expect you to be an established writer. As long as you have knowledge of the English language and can express your thoughts, you are in. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Let me start by listing some of the most common ones, that are known to most people. One is of course http://www.associatedcontent.com/, this site pays upfront as well as shared revenue but to be paid up front you need to be a resident of the United States. Payment is by PayPal

Another one that I have a heard a lot about is, http://www.hubpages.com/they also pay on shared revenue basis and a PayPal account is required.

The next writing gig that pays upfront but wants you to qualify by submitting a sample article is http://www.brighthub.com/ . They pay upfront as well as on a shared revenue basis. Payment is by PayPal.

If you are a resident of The United states then http://www.helium.com/ is also a well respected writing site and they have a writers market that is growing in popularity day by day.

http://www.bukisa.com/ is another upcoming writer’s site that pays on a shared revenue basis. The payment is made through PayPal.

Register with,http://www.constant-content.com/ as they allow you to sell your articles at a price you want. They have lot of orders in queue. Clients even get paid more than $75 per article. You have to however submit one article as sample which has to be approved by the editorial team. Payment is by PayPal.

Keep watching this space I’ll provide you more useful information about freelance writing

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Popular wisdom on relationships says that men change or turn away after sex. I believe this notion stems from grandma’s wisdom that men are only after one thing( the much maligned men). Is this really a fact? I’m not a psychologist, nor have I done any kind of research on the topic, this is a notion prevalent in India and I believe elsewhere too.
The popular idea that the girl is too easy or the girl is too cold or frigid? Does it all stem from the fact that both the sexes are just seeking self centered goals or self gratification in a relationship, though they claim to be in a relationship which is all about caring and sharing? I’m not offering a critique on society or men or women for that matter, I’m just trying to figure out the dynamics in this case? Is it really about fitting men or women into certain prototypes or  is there more to it? Are people genuinely trying to figure out what is the cause of a person’s behavior in a certain manner or situation?
I once knew a person who told me that men like you more after sex because they feel accepted. Her statement I’m sure came from her experience as she had been married for many years. How far is this true? Very few married women actually make this kind of a statement, so do people just repeat what the other person has said or they try to analyze things?
I would love to hear what your take on this is.Please feel free to leave your comments. It's okay to leave your comments anonymously if you are not comfortable disclosing your identity.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Zodiac Signs and Personality Traits

I'm sure everybody has read one or the other book on the occult sciences. I do not wish to dispute the veracity of these sciences but I do wish to know how relevant are they? Every time I have attempted to question somebody who has a vast knowledge on the subject or those who practice or follow, the sciences, I have either found people who try to confuse you when they don't have an answer or try to exploit the fear factor.

Is it really possible to divide the vast humanity into twelve signs? Are there just twelve types of people? Just think about the zillions of people who inhabit this planet, are there just twelve characteristic types? Let us imagine for the sake of argument that they are just permutations and combinations of the sun sign/moon sign and ascendant. But what about animals even one cat behaves differently from the other and yet they are same in some ways.

I recall reading George Bernard Shaw's statement where he had written that all human beings are almost 90% the same and just about 10% different and it is this 10% that they focus on and assume that they are different from the rest.

I recently saw a movie called What's your Rashi( Zodiac Sign) where a boy is looking for a bride based on the twelve zodiac signs, does he marry based on that, the answer is no, he does not. He finally marries the girl who appeals to him.

Please write about your observations and experiences on this topic as the traditional Indian wisdom is very much based on that, but it exploits the fear factor and as usual can't answer intelligent questions.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Putting yourself in the other person's shoes

I guess this is an often repeated phrase, please put yourself in the other person's shoes and see if they pinch then it probably hurts the other person too. Well said! But to be honest how many people actually practice that? Most people rarely bother to put themselves in the other person's shoes and more often than not they just don't care.
Let us discuss interviews for instance, now most interviews that I have attended, start with the question, "tell me something about yourself?" The next question that follows is why BPO's? Now what do they expect as an answer, it is the best job in the world! Or I love staying awake through the nights?

I do recall attending an interview where the handsome interviewer( that is the only thing I recall about him! his questions spoke nothing about his knowledge) asked me, why have you applied when I advertised for MBA's ? I replied, Sir, you had already seen my CV, my qualifications and work experince and this is the second round, why have you called me?
I never got any reply to that!!
I would love to ask all the HR's of this world what do they have in mind when they are hiring?
If a person is exceptionally qualified chances are he/ she got selected in the campus interviews itself and perhaps is drawing a fat salary from day one, for the rest of us mere mortals, we have to keep answering the same question 500 times, tell me something about yourself!!
More musings some later, I have to brush up my interview skills...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

US/ Uk Native Writers

Today I blog about something that I come across everyday in my line of work, mind you, I'm not an established writer, no degree in journalism or some great assignments to my credit but I manage to make two ends meet and that is enough for me at this point in time. I keep seeing threads posted in forums where either the buyer says US/ UK native writers only? Or service providers post a thread stating we are a team of US/ UK native writers. What I wish to ask from these buyers is, why do they seek native writers? Would an American write an article for $1? How much would it mean to him or her? I had even asked a lady who claimed to be a native of CA and was haggling over $15, how far would $15 go? She did not reply to my question, instead she counter-questioned me, " have you ever been to USA?" I replied," No." but All I want to know is how far would $15 go in America?
If the job posters are genuinely Americans or Britishers then, I want to ask why do they ask for US/UK native writers? Is it because they feel an Indian or any other third world country citizen would not know the local idiom? I'm just trying to get to the bottom of this US/UK writer thing no hard feelings for those posing as US/UK natives, I guess they think this is the best way out. For writers who claim to be US/UK native I want to know they are a native of which country THE USA or THE UK? I guess enough for today ...more musings later.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Copywriting and testimonials

Today I'll talk about something that hits us everyday and for somebody like me I wonder do such people get any returns. Now, before you hit me with Laya what are you talking about, what hits us everyday and who are these people? Just hang on...here goes, as a kid or teenager who grew in a small town, Pune to be precise, I used to watch all these infomercials on TV and wonder wow! all the good things are sold in America, then started the phenomena of the internet and we again found similar advertisements that say, things like, I'm going to present to you, an extremely successful formula to get rid of that fat from your belly, now we all have that secret desire to lose fat and have a flat belly that resembles those models we admire, and many of us get hooked on but after trying some methods and realizing that none of them work, do people still go for these programs?
Take the example of anti-aging creams, now all women young or old have that secret desire for a luminous, healthy skin but do any of the creams deliver it? Especially the ones sold in those infomercials with all those testimonials..I can say that it is extremely entertaining to watch those ads but we already know that such super-successful formulas have not been devised then why do these people keep making similar copy-ads? Are they successful? Do they get enough returns or they just do what somebody else has done and hope to imitate their success. If anybody is listening I'd like to hear from you.....

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Making People Wait

We all hate to wait, more so, when we know we are being made to wait. I have been to a number of offices and often have found that the person incharge is never at his desk they are either on the mobile or chatting with friends or smoking, are people hired to do all this and wouldn't it be nice if these people were subjected to the same treatment, the moment they were at the receiving end. What if the bank employee the moment he steps out of office is made to wait by the parking lot attendent, while he talks on his mobile.
What if they found that their account had problems just because the other employee was careless and they have to fight a losing battle.
It is said that charity begins at home, do these people ever think this way?
Have you ever been to those interviews where you know that the person interviewing you knows nothing and if the questions he is asking the candidate in front of him were asked to him he would fumble and become as nervous or maybe more nervous than the candidate in front of him.
Often you are made to wait for 1-2 hours before the receptionist lets you in and then, how long does your interview last, maybe just about 10-15 minutes! Isn't it high time companies changed their practices and start believing that not just their time but the time of others is precious too and it is not always about acting important but often about hiring the right person for the job, who is not a person who verbalises a long agenda of what he will do for the company but actually puts that agenda into action.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Do you distinguish between dilemma and confusion? Is dilemma the same as confusion? As per the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, dilemma is a situation which makes problems, often one in which you have to make a difficult choice between things of equal importance. So, is it the same as confusion? One can be confused about anything, life, choices, relationships but are we also in a dilemma at the same time? I think dilemma can arise out of confusion. Confusion can result from unclear thinking , maybe one is thinking about something else and has not paid attention to what is at hand.
A friend of mine stated that Hamlet was doomed because he was confused, I personally felt that he was in a dilemma because his near and dear ones were involved and he did not want to take an action without proof. He was doomed is another story maybe because he failed to take action when required and even when he saw the reality he did not face it. How often have you been confused or faced a dilemma? Life offers us choices at every juncture, is it always difficult to make a choice or does the dilemma arise because we want only perfection? We may know our decision but we know that every decision has some risk attached to it and maybe we want to avoid the risk? Enough musings for now ......

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Reaching out to Indians

How many of you watch the show Zayka India ka on NDTV India. Vinod Dua takes us all around the country and introduces us to the local flavours of India. I watch even the re-runs of the show. I love the little local flovours of the show. He does not focus on the five star hotels rather always eats at the roadside restaurants, it could be the local dhaba or the chai ki dukaan( tea vendor) or in Chennai he had hot sambhar and wada and hot sambhar and idli (yummy!) the best part was it was raining outside.
These are Indian flavours. Does anybody recall having those special concoctions like Horlicks biryani, fried Maggi noodles, hot masala dosa etc. I recall having masala dosa in my college canteen and though it was oily, it was cheap and those of us who were from families where our needs were fulfilled but our wants were not catered to, can very easily undersatnd that eating at such places was fun. At a time when you have more choices and less money to pick one, these kind of eating joints provided their own unique flavour.
I recall once I was travelling with my brother, he stopped the car at a roadside chinese stall where we had Hakka noodles and Chinese Fried Rice, it was one of the tastiest Chinese meals I  had ever had.
If you travel to India then you may stay at a five star hotel but try checking out these local flavours because often they are unique, the cook is not trained to cook low fat food but manages to impart a unique flavour to the food.
Bon Appetit!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Reading is it still trendy?

As a youngster I used to read a lot. I can say that by the time I had crossed the 10th grade (high school). I had read several literary classics and luckily literature for us never meant just English, Hindi, Russian or any particular kind of literature. I read literature from all parts of the world. Most works were of course translations but it still provided a perspective to a different socio-cultural pattern of life. Like all good literature they represented some universal values.
I recall reading Pride and prejudice when I was in the ninth grade and I could understand and relate to the characters whose way of life was totally alien to mine.
I even recall reading Chitralekha, a Hindi novel by Bhagwati Charan Verma, which questioned the line between love and lust and by means of its principal protagonists managed to convey that the line between good and bad is thin and at anytime one can cross it.
I think reading these kind of books gave me a broader perspective on life. I wonder if this kind of love of reading still exists with the current generation. Even when I was in school I can't say that I had many of my classmates showing the same love for books as I had. But yes I did have some friends who had this kind of love for reading.
Among the present generation I don't find even one person who has the same love for books! I recall communicating with a youngster who stated that he would throw all books in the dust-bin; he seemed to have forgotten that without books he wouldn't be in a position to even express those thoughts. Through books we learn our basics. Please respond if you are a book lover it is quite pleasant to come across a like minded person.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

SEO content for websites !

Its been a long time since I updated my post. Let me write about my life as it is now.
As a content writer I'm constantly faced with job assignments where the client asks me to write articles that are keyword rich. I can say not very difficult. Keyword density required can be 2-2.5%. What is difficult is they want it to flow naturally with the content. At times this can be done at times it is difficult. Content should be full of information and all this for a payment of $1.
To add insult to injury(unsure whether I have used the most appropriate phrase!) they want it within specified time on topics which you know nothing about! The article should be original, it should not be plagiarised! Nobody specifies how are you supposed to write on gift items available in the USA, when you know nothing of their culture. You will have to borrow ideas. Even Shakespeare borrowed plot.
You have to do all this in 1 hour. Phew!
But I guess this is the case with any profession. Do this and that and that and I'll pay you peanuts and those peanuts I'll delay for as long as possible.
Well enough cynicism for today........More musings later.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Which animal do you identify with and why?

Have you ever wondered which animal do you identify with and why do you identify with that particular animal? This question was put forward in a group discussion once and each member who was participating gave one example. One guy stated that he identified with a dog as it is loyal and faithful, always eager to learn and a great companion. One gentleman said that he identified with an elephant because of its size and the fact that it looked majestic. One person said he identified with a lion and he would like to tame it and keep it as a pet.
One of the participant's even stated that she identified with a cat as she was a female and the cat is a feline creature, she further added that a cat is clean , elegant and graceful just like a female and the cat nurtures and lets go again like a female. Interesting answers! have you ever wondered why there is this trend to liken human behaviour to animal traits?
Recently I read this article about how one can attract all kinds of readers to one's blog. There too readers were grouped into animal types. It made for interesting reading and I'll try and summarize what I read. The writer had divided readers into four types:
The first type was of people who always look for what they can get out of reading that article. More like what is in it for me? this kind was called the cat type.
The second type was of the kind who learn by practice, trial and error; such people would thrive on there being activities for them to do. This type was called the dog type.
The third type was the analytical type, so for them there should be illustrations and examples, for this class of readers you should sound like an expert so that they can repeatedly come to you. This type was likened to rats.
The last type was the monkey type of readers who ripped the writers work and made it their own. This kind of readers according to the writer were always interested and would always leave interesting comments.
The writer summed up his article stating that no reader was predominantly one animal type most had the traits of all types. The best way to attract readers is to have general discussions leave a few loose ends for others to comment on...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Why are Birthdays special?

Have you ever wondered why birthdays are so special? We all worry about aging, whether we say, "I'm young at heart"or pretend to be immune to the ravages of time. One sentence or the other in our conversation always belies the truth. Inspite of all this I have yet to see a person who doesn't feel a wee bit excited on his or her birthday. We all wish that there was somebody who remembered and somebody who would make this day special for us.

One can perhaps say that as we love ourselves and life, birthdays are perhaps a celebration of being born on this earth. They are a celebration of the life force. Well that is true indeed but there are so many other things that celebrate the life force. Why is it that our birthday is that special to us?
I have always tried to figure out this mystery. When people are so scared of the aging process why do we celebrate birthdays with such elan?Perhaps it is one of our impulses that loves a contradiction. This to me seems to be the only reason. I know that the most age conscious amongst us remember their birthdays and celebrate it in great style. Some people would say that it is the child in us, well I'm not too sure about what it is that makes us celebrate birthdays and yet worry about aging and it is not always the fear of imminent death that makes us scared of aging. I guess this will always remain a mystery like all other things in life. More musings later...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Does Connecting on Social Networking Sites Help Professionally?

Recently I started a discussion on Linked in to gauge whether connecting on Social networking sites like Linked in or Facebook or Twitter etc did really help them professionally. I got a lot of response from people. I'm going to put all their comments here and then we shall salute such sites for making serious work possible and lifting networking from the realm of meaningless dating sites.
Me: The link between jobs and connections on Linked in. A fellow networker Monique Fritz found a job on Linked in. Has anybody else found a job on Linked in? How does Linked in or networking help in getting jobs and is there anybody who has got more business through contacts or through networking groups?
Roger Toennis: My two prior jobs one employment and one contract were found through Linked in.
Mathew Keanne : I have had several good leads come from jobs on Linked in which is good, for my personal search I use the jobs here and on several other sites/ services. Try indeed.com for an aggregated search service across all the main job sites.
Jackie Ernette Z Athey: I received a small contract through Linked in. I had lost touch with a previous client and found him through Linked in. By Serendipity, right after I contacted him, I received the OK for the contract and contacted me.
Well lucky for you Jackie and she has tips for us too.
Jackie Ernette Z Athey: You still have to be active though and not think that because you are connected to x number of people you can just sit back and wait. This is true of any networking group.

The next comment by Allison Simmons will definitely tell you that all is not hunky dory as far as networking sites are concerned and you have to be circumspect like with all things in life.
Allison Simmons: So far I have not received any leads through Linked in, although I have received some good feedback on my resume as well as some good ideas. I remain optimistic, but have also found that there are a LOT of network marketers here (and I wish them all the best of luck and good fortune as well as a LOT of links to jobsites and fictitious jobs that are posted by affiliate marketers. Unfortunately, this group has found the unemployed a great target and are sending us by the droves to their websites and even jobs that are not legit........
The nest one is a self employed professional just like me, lets see what she has to say,
Marianne Weidleinn: I'm self employed and live in a small rural community that cannot even support my minimal income needs. Therefore I need Linked in...........
I have been active on Linked in for two months and I have two new clients and some are interested. I have connected with many old friends..........
You need to be clear about your intention with Linked in, determine specific goals and how to use Linked in features to further those goals............
Rick Peterson: I have found several partners for our project To Bring Back the American Dream http://www.bringbacktheamericandream.com/

I had several other inputs but most did find networking helpful and I think this should drive home the fact that when you set out your mind to do something and have a clear plan of action you find several helping hands along the way. More on my musings later please keep those comments coming...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Overland, A Love Story with the Russia-Afghanistan Conflict as a Background

Afghanistan has been hitting the world headlines for almost three decades now, to examine where it all began we will have to move back in time-lets examine some historical facts. As per Wikipedia, The Soviet War in Afghanistan was a ten year long conflict, which involved the Soviet Union armed forces in support of the Marxist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan, at their request and against the Islamist Mujhaideen Resistance. The PDPA government was also supported by India. The cause of the Mujhaideen found support from various sources like USA, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and some Islamic forces. In fact the situation in Afghanistan at that time perfectly symbolised the Cold War.
The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan lasted for ten years, starting from 1979 to 1989. On December 24, 1979 Russian Para-troopers landed in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. The country was already gripped by a civil war like situation. After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan Dr. Najibbullah Ahmadzai was placed as the head of KHAD. He was a member of the Parcham faction of the PDPA. He was made President of Afghanistan in 1986. Later he was killed by the Taliban forces.
Those were days when the world was clearly divided into the capitalist nations USA, UK and the Communist governments USSR, plus the smaller nations that were part of the Non-Alligned movement. Some of the nations indulged in proxy war and Afghanistan was a perfect example of this.
An interesting love story written in the wake of the Soviet- Afghanistan conflict called ,Overland is available at http://www.amazon.com/ this book is the work of an upcoming author Mark Stephen Levy. Read more about this in my blog later...
To link directly click here to Amazon in UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Overland-Mark-Stephen-Levy/dp/143899625X/ref=sr_1_2?ieUTF8&s=books&qid=1250772198&sr=8-2
For Amazon US please click: http://www.amazon.com/OVERLAND-Mark-Stephen-Levy/dp/143899625X/ref=books&qid=1250772118&sr=8-1

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


On days when you are feeling low, disheartened and perhaps feel that nothing will work out right for you, has it happened that a sudden event or a quote that you happen to read has suddenly brightened your day and filled you with renewed vigour for life, even if the thought is as commonplace as, Winners never Quit and Quitters never Win."
I recall an incident that happened several years ago I was working in the sales field and the job was high pressure with daily targets that had to be met, the moment you entered the office the boss would ask, did you get any cheque? How much is the amount? On one such day when I went from office to office and couldn't get a single payment, I had become totally disheartened and was wondering did I complete my education for this kind of work? I went to an office where I was asked to wait at the reception and there on the receptionist desk was this thought....that ended with Winners never Quit and Quitters never Win , at the risk of sounding cliched I can say that suddenly I was filled with hope and when I went in to meet the company boss, I presented my product with renewed enthusiasm and definitely got better results.

Often in life when you are just about to give up this sudden moment comes that pulls you back right in, it could be a friend you meet, a stranger who gives you advice or even just a child who smiled at you.
More on life and times later....

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I was communicating with a famous American novelist, Mr Stephen Levy and he mentioned that he had visited India way back in 1985, that remark sent me on a trip down the memory lane. I recalled how relatively simple life was then. The communication media had not made a major breakthrough. The world was not a global village and media like television had just begun to make a social impact.
Life was comparatively peaceful and maybe a bit dull as well. Evenings were all about hanging around with friends. With no cell phones and even few landline connections, people communicated more on a one to one basis. The interactions were more humane. Celebrities were venerated as they made rare television appearances unlike today where you bump into them everywhere either in person or on one of the numerous television channels. Today people communicate with the western world on a regular basis, back then, it was limited to the odd visit to some foreign countries or if some professional would visit India to impart technical know how. Enough reminiscence for today more later.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Let me begin my blog by briefly introducing myself and the reasons why I forayed into the field of creative writing.
I have worked in diverse fields, starting from teaching, sales, the BPO industry and finally I have begun Content Writing. Most of my jobs happened by chance, that is, I was looking for something else and had to take up these jobs due to financial needs. Well I'm sure the cynic in everybody would say, "A rolling stone gathers no moss", I certainly won't refute that, but, it has certainly given me some enriching experiences. It enabled me to meet people from diverse backgrounds, understand them their views and most importantly the reflection of their background in their views. When I was teaching, I found people I was working with to be conservative, set in their way of life and they had fixed beliefs. It was a world of old people. You were always old, irrespective of your age as you were handling children.

Sales was of course about hardcore sales, aggressive marketing strategies and payments that took a long time to come through. As far as the BPO industry is concerned it is a young industry. Everybody is young, irrespective of their age. It is night shifts and hectic routines, high target pressure, FM in cabs, hearts breaks and love stories told and retold.To sum it up I can say that these experiences prepared me for the future.
I think my foray into the field of content writing is sure to enrich me further with more experiences. I hope to make my mark in this world and create a niche for myself.
This is just a beginning so see you folks around.