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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Tic tic 2: Black Newspaper #Whattheblack

For all of my posts on #WhattheBlack is going on go to this page.
Now this is intriguing. I got a black newspaper today for #WhattheBlack. here are the pics:




Lets be the Sherlock Holmes and try to decode this mystery. In all there are 13 news items. Some having no connections with black. I am posting pics for all the items here.

















Can't describe how excited they have been keeping me. Hope I am successful in transferring the same to you :)
Keep coming here for next clues.. tadaaaaaaa

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tic tic 1: Black Egg #Whattheblack

Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers
Here's an exciting contest by Bloggada #WhattheBlack. I have written an entry post for the contest here.
But what is unique is the way they are building up a suspense. For four days some shortlisted bloggers will receive gifts from www.whattheblack.com. Nobody knows what this is about.
Each time the clue will be closer till the final clue on fourth day. Isn't this exciting?


Gladly, I am among the lucky ones. And today I got this little cute black packet home delivered on a boring wednesday morning. Though I was at office but I couldn't control my eagerness and asked my husband who had the packet to open it. He sent me these pics of the packet and a blackened egg having chocolate inside.
Interesting right? Even I thought so and marveled at the ingenuity of the mysterious marketing team of #WhattheBlack.



For four days I am hooked now to this thrilling adventure and I am already bugging everyone around to help me crack the code - what do you think it could be? Don't worry there are plenty of prizes for everyone :)

Will post about each day here. Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The (Black) List

"This time your painting has not come out fine. Minions are not looking cute. This one looks sad, that one looking sleepy and this looks terrified!", exclaimed my husband looking disappointed. I was painting a poster for his office on his request. "Wait for some time till I put some magic on this", I replied in a confident tone. Then I opened the magic potion and started doing the outlining of the colorful Minions highlighting their facial expressions. When I finished all of them looked nothing but happy and cute. "Wow, this is really magic. Today, I accept the power of BLACK!", said my husband looking elated.



For me I have submitted to black ever since I learned to draw and paint. As an artist I realize the importance of black as an enhancer to beauty as my paintings would come alive only after I had applied Black to background or foreground or outlining. Black, the darkest color, has a mystique charm, elegance and secrets associated with it.

I am proud of my black hair, eyes and dark skin. And my wish list for expensive materialistic black is endless - black watches, luxurious limousine, a sexy outfit, smudge or smudge free kaajal, but here I would take this contest as an opportunity to list down some impossible yet powerful Black things which will prove that black not only symbolizes sadness or protest but it is also a giver to light for if it was not black we would have probably never known the importance of light!

1.     A Black Hole: You read it right. I want to own a black hole. A black hole defines the supremacy black has on our existence. I believe this is the ultimate wish anyone can have. And why not? Even light cannot escape its power. Once I have control over a black hole, I can send all the evil in this world to be consumed by it leaving only goodness on our earth. There will only be love and peace everywhere.




2.     Toothless: I wish fantasy could be for real. For I just love ‘How to train your Dragons’ and the message of love it gives. And when they showed the powerful, dangerous creature Nightfury, as black as night, is in fact, a very innocent adorable being - it was love at first sight for me. I was smiling, laughing, crying along him. Oh ! How I wish it was real and my friend. I would ride on him to all the beautiful places and soak in the air and feel the freedom.

3.     Black Money: Though it is not colored black, but the money stashed illegally by greedy guys is commonly referred as Black money. Most of the problems faced by my country is due to poverty and the widening rich-poor gap. So yes, I would desire to get all the black money back to the deserving people of my country. I wish all the greedy people soon realize that true happiness comes when everyone around us is happy and prosperous.
  

4.     Black Clouds : Remember the romance of Shahrukh and Kajol in the rain in Kuch kuch hota hai. Well, rains are not only romantic but necessary. Also known as Nimbostratus, black clouds have a significant role to maintain the ecological balance. Too little or too much of rain is equally destructive for any region. I belong to north India where the monsoons are getting scarce, and I stay in Bangalore where sometimes people are wary of rains. I wish the magic of these clouds has a fairer distribution everywhere and every body can enjoy the joys of rain-dance.
img src www.hikingfiasco.com/


5. Black Belt: I wish it was not required. But alas the alarming increase in crime against women and children, I wish I had a black belt in one of the martial arts. I want to feel confident of protecting myself and my l'll one should I ever be alone in a tricky situation. Not only me, I feel every mother and her kid should a black belt trained.

     I know some of these are abstract, but I am a dreamer and believer in the possibility of the impossible.

This post is a part of #WhatTheBlack activity at BlogAdda.com


Saturday, July 26, 2014

The enlightenment of Evil - Short Story


"When people see some things as good, other things become bad."

What new can be said for the rivalry between the Good and the Evil? For, it has been there from the beginning of nowhere and it will always be to the end to nowhere. But there happens an uncertain-unrecorded time in the past or present or future, when there ensued a showdown between the manifestations of the two. 

The Evil, tired of so many fights, confronted the Good. "For eons, I have been fighting you. But you face my entire wrath with this composure igniting the flames of hatred in my heart for you even more. Every time when it appears that my nuisances are about to bear fruit of your defeat, you manage to turn the tables and win. But listen to me dear brother; I will come back for the last time not to defeat you but to finish you forever, for I am tired. I know you can never eradicate me for you portray yourself too noble to even think that but I promise to end this misery. I will, as always drink this poison of sin and eliminate you from everywhere. Not even a minuscule detail of your silly goodness will be left in the complete Universe"The Good melancholy replied, "If only you could understand, that is not possible".
img courtesy www.desktopnexus.com
From that day, Evil drowned himself to create the darkest of all curses that can destroy Good present anywhere. It took all his energy and power and the cosmos trembled while witnessing his hard labor. He toiled all through the days and nights and finally the powers had to bow down to acknowledge and bless his weapon. Thus, armored with his lethal gun the Evil called upon the Good. "Pray to me. Be like me and accept my greatness or I will vanquish you". "You can never destroy me", was the Good's reply. Evil gave a wicked laugh and bring forth his weapon shining like lightning. All the world stood still in horror for the impossible about to happen. Fear found a place on Good's face who stared at the weapon and before Evil could launch his attack, Good cried, "Just a last wish brother, please". Evil's happiness knew no bounds to see his impending victory on Good's fearful face. "Tell me". Good smiled mysteriously and asked, "For one last time, show me what all is getting eliminated because of me". Evil smirked on Good's foolish request and opened a channel with his weapon filled with images of all that had even a faintest of Good in it and thus, about to be executed. He gave a look at the channel and proceeded to finish the deed, when suddenly he stopped looking aghast. "How is that possible?" He opened the channel to confirm again. And lo behold! There in one corner it saw a flicker of good inside an image. An image he could not ignore. The Good answered pensively, "You see brother, even the act of allowing my last wish proves there is some kindness in you too, that is the reason neither of us can be finished." 

Hence, Evil realized there is no such thing as a complete victory. Neither of them could be finished, wherever Evil goes Good also percolates.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Triggers of My Zest

Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers
I am an eternal optimistic romantic at heart. There is this insatiable restlessness in me I find difficult to control emanating from the desire to experience the world. There are many things which can trigger this wave of energy for me, drifting me like a kite with no strings! 


<img courtesy www.eatwithjess.com>

It is difficult to quantify all of these, but following is a short bucket list of things which will always make me hop, jump and scream with excitement!

#1. My two kids running around 
Number one in my list is watching my 2 kids - my darling daughter and my hubby ;) - running around. Seeing them playing with each other and getting excited at re-discovering little joys of life makes me wanna do the same - always!

#2. My husband's culinary experiments
This one is a secret. My hubby has a flair for cooking. But he does not like to follow a particular recipe. Instead, he picks, chooses and edits and adds interesting flavors and aromas to everything he cooks! And when he does, it just fills me with immense happiness (and my stomach with a wonderful meal). (Sometimes a disaster and tragedy in kitchen and a trip to nearby Pizza place - but shhh :D)

#3. Onward Travel
They say that our best journeys are those one towards our home. For me, I love the going part. The pandemonium of travelling, the preparation, the packing, the cab to airport, the flight, the sight-seeing, meeting lovely people, making wonderful memories - the very idea of all this fills me with euphoria which I possibly cannot describe in mere words. All such trips add to lifetime memories and experiences that cannot be taken away or destroyed. 

#4. Fridays
I just said onward travel - there is one exception. The idea of travelling back to home after a short day at work on a Friday evening is a return journey I always cherish ;) I feel like a kid on a vacation though only for two days but who cares. Friday comes every 7 days. It means more sleep, movies, reading, lazing, cooking, painting, dancing, singing…  my list is endless. Oh! I just love Fridays.

#5. Long drive on a scenic route, beautiful weather, good road and no traffic
I love driving. I have earned that love by not giving up on learning how to drive till I succeeded. So I enjoy every moment of my drive even in traffic. But a long drive on a good road, without traffic and a smooth car is definitely desirable. And if a Friday ends up in a impromptu trip to someplace scenic with my family with a great weather to match with, breeze flowing through my hair - and myself in a driving seat of a powerful car - need I ask more for a Zestful life! vroom, vrooom, vroooom!

This post is a part of the #ZestUpYourLife activity in association with TATA Zest and BlogAdda.com


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Nanny Hiring - A Short Guide

For all those parents out there who look for Nannies for their little hearts, here's my article on Nanny Hiring on Parentous. After having different kinds of experience both good and bad, I have come up with a list of 10 points which we should take into consideration while finalizing a person for this important job.

Here's a short snippet and I hope it will be helpful for you. For the complete guide please visit the link:
http://bit.ly/WjMpq1



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Perfect things

Some things can't be replaced. Parents, childhood, close buddies and recently I realized- Pihu's pink Sipper :)
During my vacation at my hometown, I was pleased to notice that my purchase of Phillips Avent sipper is perfect for my sweetie pie. She would roam around here and there singing, carrying her cute sipper pausing now and then to take little sips of water. Its handles gave her the sense of independence that she has began to understand. I need not had to worry about it falling and its spout getting dirty as it has an attached cap which would protect it from direct touch to anything. And the sucking mechanism was so good that water never leaked from that pretty container.

Why I am writing so fondly about just a sipper on my blog? Well, it so happened that at last moments while leaving my parent's place I forgot the precious sipper in the refrigerator in hurry. Since then, drinking water was not as much fun for Pihu as it was before. We tried other sippers. But some would leak, some had separate caps. Pihu had to be careful while placing it, which obviously isn't possible given her toddling age. After some weeks we finally decided to buy another Avent sipper.

It arrived today and this time we got her a green one for a change. Pihu is as happy as ever though she say mum-mum when she notice a pink sipper belonging to some other kid!

 Ask a Mommy and she'll tell that some things can't be replaced. They are just perfect :)


Disclaimer: Happy to write an honest, non-sponsored review of the product purely based on my experience :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Winners IOFW 2014

Out of 2 Lakh Artists and 120+ fashion institutes across the country, 15 Fashion Designers, 20 Models, 5 Photographers, 5 Make-up Artists and 5 Hair stylists have been shortlisted to be mentored by Fashion Icons and Celebrities, like the gorgeous Yami Gautam.

Monday, July 7, 2014

IOFW - The Evolution of Online Fashion

Online shopping has finally arrived in India. Thanks to ventures like Jabong which are taking creative measures to ensure they are not to be missed by shoppers. A unique Innovative Online Fashion show, which is a launchpad for aspiring Designers, Models, Makeup Artists, Hair Stylists, Fashion Photographers is taking place.

Love in a Glass Bowl

It was the first month of my wedded life. After a hectic month of marriage celebrations in our hometown, I was in Bangalore. Mr. H had all the home setup from his bachelor life thanks to his mother. I had still not joined my office but Mr. H had resumed work after marriage vacation. 

As fate has it, as soon as I came to his house, all the previous domestic helps assumed that I would be an efficient house keeper and left the housekeeping jobs without informing. Before we could realize and get new helps, I was doing all the jobs. Mr. H felt really bad. But I was feeling super excited that I can manage everything. Finding it difficult to persuade me, he would often make some excuses to take me to dinners outside to best places. 

One day even the cooking gas gave up and I called Mr. H who declared that we will dine out. But my mind was scheming something else. I was sitting idle whole day when among the huge collection of Mr. H books, I had found Nita Mehta's microwave cooking booklet. 

At this point, I must reveal the other reason for Mr. H dinner requests. I was a terrible cook having no experience in cooking; being the youngest pampered one in my family. 

I quickly ran through the pages of the mini book and selected Microwave Veg Pulav. Among the other culinary adventures that day, it was the first time I was doing microwave cooking in my life and boy, I was really nervous of this experiment. I never used to like most of Mr. H's kitchenware as they were not maintained properly by the maids. But there was this glass Borosil bowl which was still in its pristine form.  It motivated me further to try. I followed each and every step of the recipe diligently. And I could also do other jobs meanwhile, one of the best advantages of microwave cooking.

It took just 30 minutes to prepare. There was no need to transfer the dish to another vessel as the colorful meal looked beautiful in the bowl.  The perfect transparency told a great culinary story of each grain of rice, draped in the colors of the spices along with the veggies & dry-fruits which retained the color and shape. The blend of rice, spices and everything else created a great concoction of colors and hues, only accentuated by the aroma which filled the house! I never had thought I could cook, let alone prepare delicacy as wonderful as the dish was looking! By the time it was done, I felt like being transported to a magical heaven. 

The bell rang, and I opened the door for Mr. H. Before I could say anything, Mr. H beamed up as he breathed in the whiff and headed straight towards kitchen to find the cuisine. He just said, 'How?' looking pleasantly surprised and I could see how proud he was feeling to marry me. I was elated with joy. But the real test still lingered. Is it only the aroma or the flavor too? Before I could serve him, he quickly got the camera to save the sight of my culinary achievement of lifetime.

We were really hungry by now. Looking at my concerned expressions Mr. H smiled to me and said, 'Don't you worry, dear, Pizza-hut is not far from here!' 

We both had a hearty laugh and commenced to relish our dinner. To this day, I remember it as my best culinary adventure and that charmed bowl, is still my favorite vessel. After all, I cooked with my heart and served my love in it!

I cooked this post for My Beautiful Food contest in Indiblogger.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The Clark-Kents of IT world



"Why testing?", asked my interviewer. "Why not testing?", was my response to him. I was attending one of the interview calls when I was looking for a job after my yearlong maternity break. He was curious that given my academic record why I was a tester. My response surprised me more than my interviewer. For a software engineer who was initially reluctant to do any testing project as she preferred development, it was a major shift of opinion. I was suddenly defending testing.

I have been associated with direct-indirect testing for nearly 5 years. But let me make it clear - I am not a Tester neither a Developer. I started my career with programming, then manual testing, then development and again testing. I am a logical mind and I love building logic. So be it writing test scenarios or writing a program in any language, I don't mind unless I am not enjoying what I am doing. As for becoming an expert in any one language- I am more of a software connoisseur who loves exploring anything if given the opportunity.

Everybody knows the good side of programming. But few give testing its due importance. Statistically speaking, a study conducted by NIST in 2002 reports that software bugs cost the U.S. economy $59.5 billion annually. More than a third of this cost could be avoided if better software testing was performed.[cited]

But here are some amazing reasons on why I believe anyone should be proud of being a tester:

1. Testing compliance means a satellite will not fail while launching. Just imagine years of hard work and money go waste just because a simple unnoticed bug proved fatal at last moment.

2. Saving Business: I have very innovative features in my website but in production it was painful to even browse the UI. Users left and went to other sites and my competitors hijacked my website's intelligent features. And now everybody call them pioneer in the technology. Well, it actually happened with one of the big client, I have worked in the past.

img courtesy http://cartoontester.blogspot.in
3. Testing is fun. The making, breaking, pulling and pushing a code written by a super-confident 'developer' becomes an enjoying experience if done with full interest. It’s like atonement.

4. Designing test scenarios can actually help the grey cells to be fit and healthy. It’s the SUDOKU of IT world. It helps retain the sanity of the human mind busy with machine interactions and coding complex solutions.

5. A tester is like superman who saves software life by ensuring its quality but he is happy to be known as a common man in the world where everyone else claims to be a hero. Simple living, high thinking :P

If you really want to enjoy the IT world, embrace both testing and programming as both are incomplete without each other. It will make you a super-coder, super-tester. While I believe that manual testing is a great activity but learning Test automation puts an icing on the cake. So, my advice to all manual testers is to have some nice experience in automation as well. It makes a tester complete. Now, Food for thought  - who will test the code for automation framework?? ;)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

To Bangalore, with love..

I am an Indian and all Indian are my brothers and sisters except one who happens to be my husband :P I have seen the length and breadth of the country except east. God knows when I will make the destined trip there. I feel proud of having made friends belonging to all the regions of my assorted nation. My engagements make me love all the populaces and their culture. Rajasthan made me fall in love with the colorful jest people of the desert have. The stay in Chandigarh gave me insights of vibrant Punjabi and Haryanvi ethos. The brief sojourn in Mysore ensured that I meet folks from Maharashtra, Bihar, and of course, the intellectuals from south at one place. Believe me, I adored them all. My encounters made me rich as I could see beneath different layers of region, culture, caste and beliefs everyone is same- a person with a pure heart and a wandering soul.

img courtesy www.funhappyquotes.com
Just like people, languages are also beautiful and express the cultural heritage of its people. I have all my respects to all languages. Having said that, learning new dialect is not my cup of tea these days. As long as I can do without it, I do. The problem is just like my various hobbies and interest, my linguistic graph was also going hazy. It was a childhood dream to learn different languages. But apart from Hindi, which of course is my mother tongue, and English since it’s the most spoken language, I could not be the master of any other. I tried. It started with a 3 years course in German in my graduation days. Then, I moved on to a different University in Punjab. The wonderful hostel life there took me away from practicing German. My Punjabi friends tried to teach me the rich Punjabi speech which I loved but again after 3 years I moved over to Mysore, then back to Punjab and again to Bangalore. My rhythm and efforts to learn new language broke several times owing to my movements to completely diverse regions. On top of that, the affluence of so many south-Indian languages overwhelmed me. In short, I have become anxious of learning new language. So, I decided against trying any new one for some time. It just happened that my stay in Bangalore has exceeded my past records.

 It has been 5 years here. My affection with Bangalore has grown. Recently, some native people have started asking me whether I understand Kannada, the native tongue of Bangalore. Every time I sheepishly say no. So how do I survive? I remind them that most people understand Hindi or English here. Still, they get surprised. The next question, one intelligent teammate put across-"How do you deal with maids, they are local?" "Well, these days I have a Hindi speaking maid. But with previous ones I would convey my messages in sign language", I replied proudly. In fact, one was only Tamil speaking. Thankfully, she could read so I would quickly translate my lines using Google translator and show her my phone. Our relationship was perfect. No gossiping and no arguments- only work. "Okay, but don’t you think that being in Karnataka for such a long time, you should learn it", said another. Now, I could not tell him my back story and my tryst with various languages. And I certainly did not want him to misinterpret my self-consciousness as a dislike for his revered mother tongue either. "You see, it never occurred as Bangaloreans are wonderful people. They make everyone comfortable and that's why it is the IT hub, the cosmopolitan Indian city. You make us feel at home here. :)"

Isn't that true? I am fond of Bangalore, its amazing weather, its charming people, its embrace.