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.