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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Just a few reasons why I love Flipboard and Instagram

For the last few months I find myself increasingly fascinated by Flipboard and can easily spend a couple of hours creating my ‘personalised’ magazines, then enjoying reading them whenever I have time to spare.

Pic- Courtesy Google

While the world's first social magazine app has been turning heads for a few years now, what is new is that this popular e-zine reader for iPad is now available on the iPhone as well. The same great look and feel of Flipboard isn't sacrificed at all on the smaller screen.

With the mission statement clearly defining what they are about, ‘Our mission is to let people discover and share content in beautiful, simple, and meaningful ways.”Headed by Mike McCue, former CEO of Tellme, and Evan Doll, former senior iPhone engineer at Apple, they have succeeded in providing hours of interactive and most importantly, ‘free’ reading pleasure for millions worldwide.

What I really like about Flipboard is that one can flip content into it from any web site--which is a must-have feature--on a computer. That makes it easy to author blog entries, web pages then flip then into an e-zine of your own creation, such as one for work. Thereafter, you really don't have to worry much about creating a visually appealing layout since it's done for you.You can also choose to tweet content as you "flip" into an existing e-zine, so that's a neat feature.

Flipboard is truly on a quest to transform how people discover, view and share content by combining the beauty and ease of print with the power of social media. It was on Flipboard that I recently discovered that Steven Meisel did not shoot Vogue’s latest fashion spread. There were no backlights, no beauty dish.

Instead, the austere fashion publication took to Instagram for a special Fashion Week photo shoot. With that Vogue has created a very interesting and fun act for all others to follow and if they try hard enough, better them in the act.

“I thought this time around during Fashion Week in New York we could try doing a shoot that shows clothes you can buy in stores right now,” explained Sally Singer, creative digital director at Vogue. Vogue then posted the shoot, calling it 'VogueInstaFashion' on its website.

The spread features top model Hillary Rhoda in scenes all over New York City - Times Square, Central Park - all shot with just an iPhone by photographer Michael O'Neal.

According to Singer, Andrew Gold from Vogue’s photography department had been following O’Neal’s work on Instagram and thought he would be great for this project.

As far as I'm concerned, it is clear, more than ever before, the power of social media is growing every hour of every day and since I’m a strong believer in Instagram, this just proved it how influential really Instagram is.

(NB This piece is a part of my column 'My Take' originally featured in Muscat Daily.)

Friday, May 15, 2015

A new and improved communication tool- My Airtel App strikes the right chord

So I've just gone ahead and done it. Downloaded the 'My AirTel app',  the simplest way to manage all One's airtel services through One's handset as well as Get amazing offers on recharge.and am Now sitting back, very pleaseD with my effort.

You see, I'm a satisfied  Airtel customer for the last few years and on all my trips to India, I've relied on Airtel to see me through my time here- including the many hours we have spent on road travel. 
So in keeping with their Tagline of "Airtel here for you", followed by 

"What you want, where you want," 

I'm really looking forward to seeing all the fun, goodies and infotainment that is supposed to come my way when I recharge- lets say in the coming week itself .
Going through the website, this is what I've been able to gather and am positive that it will make for a whole new level of improvement in the level as well as quality of communications 

With Cash back

Free Data 

Full Talk time I am positive that things will  look up and how! 

  • With other great features like a  friendly and intuitive interface, real time bill tracking, a personalized user experience as well as coming to you from the well known from Bharti Airtel Limited, a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa. Headquartered in New Delhi, India, the company ranks amongst the top 4 mobile service providers globally in terms of subscribers. In India, the company's product offerings include 2G, 3G and 4G wireless services, mobile commerce, fixed line services, high speed DSL broadband, IPTV, DTH, enterprise services including national & international long distance services to carriers. In the rest of the geographies, it offers 2G, 3G and 4G wireless services and mobile commerce. Bharti Airtel had over 324 million customers across its operations at the end of March 2015.


Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Watershed Moment- A Short story

Nitin and Varsha were invited to Varsha's  best friend's Sulekha's birthday party. Starting off as a leisurely lunch on Sunday, the 26th of April, it was meant to progress on  to tea and who knew, the possibility of the cocktail hour loomed large as an exciting prospect as well.

But things don't really change very much and  as it happened, today was no different. Nitin was ready, dressed in his 'Sunday best' while Varsha was still in her nightgown.True, she had already bathed and her clothes lay neatly on the bed. Nails varnished and make up applied, all she had to do was change, run a brush through her hair and she would be ready to leave.But what about all the household chores?  There was a mountain of laundry to be tackled, she had to sort out all their clothes for next week's ironing and the groceries had to be ordered.

Suddenly it was all too much for her and Varsha felt overwhelmed. The last week at work had been really tough, she had completed a very tough assignment and handed it over to her boss who had taken a cursory look at it and in a few words, told her it wasn't upto scratch. Net result- she would have to go in tomorrow and start it all she had all over again. To top that, she had the beginnings of a splitting headache and despite the painkiller she had just taken it seemed to be building up.And how..

"I really must lie down for 15 minutes", she thought. It was just past 10 and they had to leave by 1230 in order to get to Sulekha's place in Andheri East.

The thought had barely crossed her mind when she did exactly that. 5 minutes later, or was it just two, she was lying in her soft, and comfortable bed. 

Fast asleep...


"Hey Varsha, we will be late", called out Nitin from where he was busy watching the IPL unfold on television. 

"Come on lets leave soon Varsha"

"Or at least as soon as you get ready"

 No response...

Another beer and 15 minutes later there was still no response and that was when Nitin decided it was high time to look into the matter. Driving to Andheri wasn't going to b e easy, even on a Sunday and he wanted to be sure they made a whole day of it.After all, it was the weekend, wasn't it?

Grumbling under his breath, he went towards the bedroom, everything was silent.

What the? he muttered and opened the door.

Looked in and saw Varsha stretched out on the bed.

Fast asleep.

Looking around, he could clearly see the signs of all her work in progress. The laundry basket with the dirty clothes, neatly separated into whites and coloureds lay on one side while another basket held the clothes that clearly needed to be ironed.

And Varsha looked so small..and tired.

He felt his heart melting and in that split second, he realised what a male chauvanist pig he was! In the two years that they had been married, she had borne the brunt of running the household, He was ashamed to recall, the many, many times ( just like today) when he had treated his "weekend" as sacrosanct and made the most of his time off.

" Chilling out" he called it- a couple of beers, good sex with Varsha followed by the evening out. And to him, it was all perfect- Time out for both of them 

But something had to must change now,he told himself sternly. 

He wasn't going to be his father all over again.

Sitting with his feet up and relaxing while his mother, also a Professor at a leading women's college, worked hard through the week and then worked hard during her weekend as well. Cooking, cleaning and getting the house organised for all of them..



Oh God, have I been sleeping? Varsha woke up with a start.

She felt rested but she also felt worried. She still had to tackle the laundry, the ironing ..and...and..

Looking around, she could see that something was different. The room was neat and there was no sign of the piles she had made some time ago.

And what was that sound? 

Could it possibly be...?

the washing machine?

That was when she saw Nitin come into the room. Very quietly so that he wouldn't disturb her.

"Oh you're awake? I hope I didn't.?"...

And in a flash, Varsha understood.

Understood why everything looked so neat and clean.And why she could hear the sound of the washing machine in the background.

It was all because of Nitin.


Coming up to her, Nitin stretched out his arms and drew her in gently.

"I'm sorry," he said.

She could see the glint of tears in his eyes and knew that it was a watershed moment.

Life had changed for them today.

And she was convinced, life was going to stay that way.

“I am writing for the #ShareTheLoad activity at in association withAriel.”