The Internet is NOT Free !

Time and again I face this question or rather answer from reputed people that,

Things will happen after all the Internet is FREE

Ideally these people are rated very high in the business circles because of the success they have had in their various sectors but achieving success in one field does not make you a champion in all the other fields automatically. But how much does Sachin Tendulkar knows about the technicalities of the Ferrari F-50 Spider ? Probably next to nothing and that’s what my answer is to all those people who feel that “Internet Is FREE”.

Recently we have been meeting a lot of people, some of them high profile businessmen, some IIM-Grads and some of them who have non-Internet startups. Though most of them quite senior to me but some of them also also fall in or near my age group. Initially I thought that people in the age group > 45 do not understand the power of internet and hence they say. But when I saw that people even on the other side of the above mentioned age group not understanding the situation I had alarm bells ringing in my head that clearly said ‘this is not going to be easy’, in fact “it’s going to be very tough”.

I guess you are still wondering what that blog post topic means. Let’s get to it straightaway. Ok the internet for you is free in office, maybe at home you spend some 800 INR and get that connection working and since then you assume that it’s free.

Let me ask a very basic question, When we start our machines, what is that we do? Open our mailboxes, open some social networking sites, search for something which we require, a restaurant or a new mobile or some place or some person or anything of our interest. Now let’s say that there was no Orkut, no Facebook, no Twitter, no blogs and no Google. Then what do you do? No don’t say, if no Google then I use a Yahoo or a Bing. My question is if there was no website where you would find the information, what worth would the internet be to YOU ? If there is no content to read or browse then what do we do ? If there is no facebook or orkut then how do I stay in touch with my friends ? Obviously I can’t call everyone ! So no content results equals to no internet. Now even if you spend 800 bucks on that connection you won’t have anything to do over the internet if there’s nothing to read or see.

My point is that the Content is King, not internet. Internet might be free but it’s the content that costs. Any blog post that has been written, it requires time and effort to be written. And what I am trying to explain is that time and effort equals Money in the real world. The day labnol or mashable or chrisbrogan stop earning money from their blogs, why would they do it ? Why would starbucks do a twitter or a facebook campaign for their patrons ? Why would someone bother to answer a bad review for a Dell that a customer made on their website or somewhere else for that matter. All these things require time and effort to be put in and obviously TIME and EFFORT are equivalent to MONEY if spoken in the Layman Businessman’s language. So how could you term the Internet Free if it has no value without the CONTENT.

Well those are my views let me know what you feel, would love to engage in discussions.

How a bad Advertisement timing can spoil your Brand Value

I recently came across an advertisement in The Economic Times, a national daily newspaper arguably read by each and every businessman across the country. The ad started with the words :

Kind Attention CMD’s, CEO’s, COO’s and top management

Following the address, it had information regarding the program which was succeeded with a 2 line statement about advertiser’s background. Now I guess we can imagine how much information can be dispensed in a 3″x4″ ad. And hence as a result of which the ads are always suffixed with a website link, an email id and a contact no, assuming the advertiser and the addressed people have enough technology exposure. You must be thinking so what’s wrong in this ? Nothing ! Absolutely correct.
The website has a single page and that page contains nothing more than a 1 paragraph information of the company. There are 4 other links on the website, one of which links to a related external site, good enough. But out of the other 3 links, 2 do not work. The last one says “News”. Hoping that this will have information at least about the ad, I clicked that link. And guess did I see.

This post has been deleted.

I assume that, okay, the website might be having some problems so I pick up my phone to call on the given number. You can’t believe what reply I got,

Please check the number you have dialed !!!

What my first reaction was, I probably cannot write here.  Still assuming that IT’S OKAY,  there might be a printing mistake, I gathered  some courage and clicked on the only link that was working (the linking to an external site). That website, though functional,  also did not have any info about the advertisement. Somhow I found a landline contact no and I had full confidence that atleast this should be working. Alas! it was not to be. No, the numbers were correct, but none of them was recieved. I dialled both the numbers but to no avail.

Harms caused by bad timing
Harms caused by bad timing

Can you imagine what sort of impression would this sort of campaign do. It’s done more damage than you can imagine. The website’s not ready, has no information, the news section says post deleted, the mobile numbers don’t exist and nobody is bothered or responsible enough to recieve the landline calls. Waaaoow ! I am impressed. And in case you forgot, then I may remind you that the post was addressed to CEO’S, COO’S and CMD’S. No, I am not anyone of those, but yes I do own an organization or rather a startup I should say and the advertiser is connected to me due to previous background.

Things they lost from all this :

Trust :   Confidence :   Loyalty :   Growth/Business (for a short term and with some concerned people at least) : and the most important BRAND VALUE, if they had any.

Lesson to be learnt : If your soldiers aren’t ready, don’t FIRE !

This is a perfect example why you should synchronize your advertising and marketing/branding campaigns. Probably they should have waited at least till the date the website is ready. Since a bad impression lasts longer in the human brain, I guess next time such or may be any ad from the same organization, wouldn’t be treated trustworthy or would get the response it expects.

By the way, after all this, I didn’t bother to try the email id.

How to create your Brand-The Rakhi Sawant way

Update : I have intentionally put this update at the top. I have got a lot of people who have made comments on this article, no don’t look at the comments section, but to me personally on mail and calls, that they were not happy with this article. Let me be clear; I thoughtfully chose a topic which had a clear sarcasm in it. Rakhi Sawant is a gossip material and that’s what this article is meant to. In NO WAY do I promote the methodologies adopted by her to promote herself . The reading should be treated as things NOT TO BE DONE if you are a marketing or a branding person. For others the post is a pure fun to read.

I know I may be hated by the readers by writing about it, but believe it or not we can learn a lot of things from the Drama Queen.

All, ohk probably most, of us want to be a brand and become famous but are not able to do so. We have the skills but seeing this recent talk of the town I guess we have a point or two to learn.

First and the foremost thing is that talent alone is not the sole criteria, its publicity that plays a major role that will make you famous. Skill is a necessary condition but it is definitely not the sufficient condition. In my previous post I wrote about marketing your talent. Yes, that’s a very important point but I want to take your eyes to the tactic that Rakhi has used and used it better than enyone else. Get media publicity the WRONG way. Hardly people knew that the girl who did a couple of music videos and few movie item songs was Rakhi Sawant. But now, she’s a household name. Sometimes we have enough talent but don’t get the right/enough opportunities to show it. She made use of every opportunity. If I am not wrong, she shot into fame with the Mika Kiss Scandal. Got publicity on all those news channels who have more masala than news and eventually got more dance offers from movies and got a few TV reality show appearances as well.  Mission Accomplished I would say.

Result : Gets famous in a day all of a sudden, rules news channels for a week or so and in some cases gains public sympathy as well as anyone who cries on screen can easily get some emotional Indians sympathise her.

Second, if you can’t win, cry Cheating ! Everyone admitted that she was a good dancer, but when she was ousted on public voting in a reality show, she cried foul over the organizers claiming that the “votes were tampered”.

Result: Even though people like me who didn’t watch the show came to know about her and her dancing skills as it was again on all the masala-cum-news channels. Dancing skills proven, she starts getting more dancing offers in films, shows and no wonder her bank balance skyrocketed. Ofcourse she was famous by now !

Then comes third step and rather a mindblowing one. As people have a short memory and tend to forget things quickly, she comes with an ulmitate move, setting up a Swayamvar for herself. Marrying a person on a reality show! Who would think of that ? Are you Nuts , was my first reaction when I first heard of the show. Man, can you believe it ?  I don’t know whether it was all framed or real but bottomline is that the show managed to even get NRI’s to fight the others to marry her.  And guess what, the NRI wins ! Not sure whether the marriage will actually take place or not and the fact is who cares.

Result : Purpose of the show is solved. The show gets high TRP’s, especially because there were no cricket matches around the time of show being aired. Initially I also refrained from the show, but once when I saw it, I just couldn’t stop laughing. It was meant to be serious and emotional but it turned out to be absolutely foolish and idiotically funny and which was why even I watched it. But what surprised me more was that when I got back to work, logged into twitter, there were people who were updating about the show. News results all over the place. Ofcourse the masala-news channels had BREAKING NEWS. HAHA, I guess these news channels would run outta money if they don’t show this stuff. Everyone watched the show for various reasons and talking about her as well. Positive or negative but the point is SHE GOT PUBLICITY. I wonder what will up in those newspapers, but I guess being in Bangalore I can assume they won’t give her more than a small 5th or 6th page column.

Whatever ways she adopts, bottomline is she gets famous each time and does not let people forget her. Quoting a friend who just updated his facebook status which reads :

Rakhi sawant is a real celebrity , Hilton beware rakhi is coming, A real drama queen at it’s best on NDTV imagine ! don’t miss it

Update 1 : Latest news is that she even made it to the twitter trending topics.

Update 2 : Over 15 million watched ‘faisle ki raat’

Things we can learn from Rock On!

Some times even movies can teach us a lot. Probably everyone of us has seen the movie ROCK ON, here are some things which I thought we can learn from it.

1. Talent must be MARKETED, if properly shown to relevant people, it can reach new levels and set new benchmarks. (Joe, a great guitarist, does not want to tell people and give auditions)  If people don’t see your talent, how will they value it ?

Arjun RampalRock On
Market Yourself

2. What we’ve learnt must be shared with others and must not end if we end, it must go on. A true leader always always creates a 100 more leaders (Joe and KD started a business of nurturing new talent) .

Rock On Arjun Rampal_Promote new talent
Promote new talent

3. We all make mistakes but the point is do we learn from our mistakes and move on keeping in mind that we won’t make the same mistake again. (Joe realized that Aditya was not wrong, it was the situation and the circumstances that made him feel so,  which he understood and came back).

Rock On_Magik reunited for that second chance
Magik reunited for that second chance

4. Life does not offer a second chance to everyone, but if that chance is given do we grab it with both hands ? I guess most of us let that chance go ! (Magik grabbed that chance and performed once again on stage, and I don’t need to say that it did remarkably well).

5. Money is not the only criteria to be successful and happy in life. (Aditya is very successful and has everything in life what an ideal person would want to, but was Aditya happy living that life? All of us know the answer, there are other things in life that are important in life to keep us happy.

Rock On Farhan Akhtar_Criteria for success - Money?
Criteria for success – Money?

6. You must set your priorities right, there are a 100 different things to do for everyone at an given point of time, it’s WE who have to take that correct decision based on the importance. (Rob could have met that producer whom Anu Malik wanted to meet him, but he knew his priorities – Magik).

Rock On Magik compromise_Learn to Compromise
Learn to Compromise

7. We all have to make compromises in life at some stage, we should LEARN do that, sometimes a successful compromise can take us a long journey (Had Magik completed their first album according to the director’s needs, the album being a HIT, they would have dictated terms from the next album, unfortunately, they DIDN’T) .

Rock On Farhan and Arjun_Learn to forgive
Learn to forgive

8. Sometimes even our “bestest” friends do something bad to us, but they don’t do it intentionally, we should find out the reasons, and best part is FORGIVE them. No point in carrying a heavy heart all through your life. Needless to say, your friend should be worth the forgiveness.

Rock On Farhan, Arjun, Purab_Friends Forever
Friends Forever

9. Best friends are forever, no matter how good or bad the times we face, real friends will always be at your side.

10. When resources are less and we really need something. that’s the time when we have be INNOVATIVE (Magik really needed the money and Aditya was innovative enough to sing old songs with Rock Touch).

Rock On Dandiya_Learn to innovate
Learn to innovate

Last but the most important point, Live your Dreams ! Someone has correctly said

Dreams are not those which you see while asleep, but they DON’T let you sleep

In order to ROCK ON, you must have a Dream !

Rock On Dreams_Live your dreams
Live your dreams

Well, those are the things I learnt, it’s not an exhaustive list, probably you can something more. Drop in your learnings in the comments section. Highly appreciated.

The future of SLAM BOOKS

Yesterday at a friend’s place I happened to come across a small tiny piece of notebook which most or rather I should say all of us would have come across at some point of life. Farewell time in schools or colleges is when these notebooks come out and then get filled in a weeks time, probably faster than any other notebook in a students life. If you’ve not guessed uptil now then I must tell you that I am talking about the Slam Book. Our favourite book which all of us get filled or fill for someone else when we leave our institutions or in better words when we leave our friends.

The ages old Slam Book
The ages old Slam Book

Yesterday when I came across another such book after quite a long time and as I went through an empty page just reading the questions I realized that what would be the future of these slam books. Lets see what would the questions turn out to be :

Name would be : Profile Name, Orkut Name, Facebook Name.

Instead of Address, there would be options like, twitter link, linkedin profile link, orkut link, facebook link and not to forget the email id. Maybe there would be added columns of telephone number.

Friends would be replaced by the number of orkut friends or better with the way twitter is growing, it would be “twitter followers”.

“Favourite phrase” would become “favourite tweet”.

“Favourite place” would become “favourite URL/link/website”.

“Favourite relative” would become “favourite orkut friend”.

“Hobbies” would get changed to “favourite applications used on orkut/facebook“.

“Favourite game” would look like “favourite gaming site”.

And last but not the least, the question we all look forward to :

“Lines for you”  would be replaced by “Testimonial” or maybe “Recommendation”.

And yes not to forget, I must say “my cool autograph” would look something like “my signature” and would have our fav one liners and our entire contact info, like most of us have on gmail.

Looks nice to me and would be more interesting is that really becomes a reality.

Originally posted here

Top 6 reasons to fire your employees in the IT slowdown

Are you the owner of an IT firm who does not have enough projects and are thinking of laying-off your employees, but can’t figure out the reasons to show them the door ! Read on to find out the top reasons which you can use to fire them.

Get Fired

Reason 1. You send too many mails. Reportedly India’s top firms are firing employees who send too many mails and believe it or not they say it’s “disciplinary action”.

Reason 2. You tapped that cigarette smoke on the floor. How dare you do that? Even though you are in the smoking zone, you cannot drop the ash on the floor. Any guys listening? beware.

Reason 3. You did not take the BUS-PASS. You cannot afford to do that my dear employee. Yes that’s true as well. Heard of a top-notch IT company firing its employees because he did not take the bus pass and was traveling in the company bus. Man, what a BIGG mistake was that. I am glad I did that just for 10 days and wasn’t caught. Phew! a narrow escape I guess.

Reason 4. Ask them to join the BPO. If there’s anyone who rates the sector which created hundreds of thousands of jobs in India then it’s an IT professional. So what better way to say bye-bye to them than asking them to join the BPO. Its like you don’t ask them to quit but still they will do it and your purpose will be solved.

Reason 5. Organize unnecessary tests. After so many years of studying and clearing those exams, one imagines that once we get into job we imagine and expect that we won’t have to face them again. But thanks to recession companies have started organizing tests and asking people especially on bench to take them and what’s worse is that if you don’t clear them, you will be FIRED.

Reason 6. If somehow you escaped from the above conditions even then you are not safe because this reason is something which will definitely fire you. IF YOU ARE FOUND STRETCHING YOURSELF (STRETCHING HANDS TO EASY OUT, READ AS “ANGDAYI “ IN HINDI) IN THE TEST, YOU WILL BE FIRED. This is something India’s top IT firm has implemented in its training center recently.

They are just looking for reasons, how impracticable they may seem, companies are least bothered. All they want is to see the staff off because they can’t bear them anymore.

Recently I met an employee in one of those firms and I’ll end with what he had to say, “They are just looking for reasons, even if you shit in a wrong manner, you will be shown the door”.

Originally posted here

My first blogger meet, that too in Bangalore

Indiblogger meet
Indiblogger meet

Though its been time now but I finally find time to blog about this. After thinking for so many days and missing out on a few events, I finally found time to go to the Indibloggers bloggers meet held at the Microsoft office on the last day of february.

Bangalore, though is not a much happening place but for those who have a presence in the online world, this place is not that bad either. Regular blogger meets/camps take place which is what i love. 3 of them i’ve heard about , 2 out of which been able to attend. Also came across a writers group meet, though I coudnt go even there.

My first meet courtesy the Indiblogger community was a good one. Though it was held at a place which is a hated place in my dictionary, still target being something else I went there. Although my image of the  Microsoft (read as M$ from now) even became more downgraded. Supposedly a bloggers meet it became a M$ Product presentation for most of us there.

It started well with the group introducing themselves and then trying to introduce everyone. We were given a timer of 1 minute and had to complete in that. Though some people had enough to say and made their presence felt in that minute, I finished off in a flash and had nothing much to say. It lasted only a few seconds, dont know why but I didnt gather enough confidence even though it was an informal meet I just cudn’t pull up the confidence. Anyways, had some interesting things to hear during that period.

The meet would have been awesome had the second session been held at the last, the windows 7 presentation. Bah !  As soon as it started people started leaving the room and as it went on and on it was really turn off. Normally I am not one of those who get out in the middle of a presentation as being a presentor I can feel how that person might feel, but even I couldnt control and got up to ask anwin that “how long is going to last and what is next on the agenda, because this is not what i have come here for!!”. Only thing he could tell me was there are no more sessions like this and there are there because they are paying for pizzas. Huh. Nothing much to say I sat down again and had to listen to one of the most arrogant presentors I have ever seen. Sorry fot that but can’t help it. Infact, there were two guys, 1 of whom I got a chance to interact with during the pizza time, actually told that even he had ubuntu on his laptop, though a dual boot machine.What an irony !

Anyways after the pizzas the meet continued and we had some brainstorming where everybody sat close and discussed about  blogging, twitting and all those things which regular bloggers talk about. I was a bit unhappy because the main topic that everything revolved was about how to earn from blog. I, on a personal front, dont blog for money. Its all about sharing experiences and things like that. Probably most people who came there were not there for money as well, but again it was the M$ guy who started all that shit and being the presentor previously, took advantage and had a substantial presence on the discussions. he even asked foolish questions as to “why should i use twitter??” Well answer to him is, as i could not say this there- “M$ guys can never think of sharing knowledge, what they want is to know how to earn the $$”. Probably now I am clear why M$ is the most hated company in the world as well. Apart from a few contacts and nice people and ofcourse a list of blogs of those who attended the list I found …

Phew, my summary of the blog meet turned out to be against a company, sorry for that but thats how I am, I write my experience and what I felt. Hopefully wont go to a meet that involves the M$ thing.

Till then cheers.

P.S. Pics of the meet here.

Original post

The ride of my life…courtesy Yo-Bikes

It was a bright sunny day and I was busy sleeping when Rahul gave me a wake up call and for the thrid sunday in a row promised to meet in the evening. The last two sundays he had kept me waiting on and on so this time I was in my usual ghar wala attire, calmly watching Guru, for the fifth time, with my parents when suddenly I heard the doorbell. It was five in the evening and I was almost shocked to see Rahul at my gate. The shock was because of two things, primarily because he was there, finally, and secondly because he was complete one hour before time. Anyways, I welcomed him with as much surprise as with happiness.

He even made a call to Maddy, who had to accompany us, from my house trying to prove that he should be on time at his place unless Amit, who was to meet us nearby, delayed us. After having tea etc when we thought of moving, you could hear cries of Oh Rahul……as he had lost the keys again, not a big deal for him as he was quite accustomed to it. Fortunately or unfortunately, he had left the keys in his bike itself, as we figured out later. I had the least of hints of which bike he had got. It was when we were searching for the keys then he told me that he had got a Yo-Bike. On enquiring, I was told that it was a battery operated two wheeler. “Yaar, fir ye to ye badi risky hai yar”, was the first thing I uttered on hearing. Then he went on detailing its qualities, “it gets full charged in a night’s span and then runs for 75 kilometres at a stretch, and in Kanpur you can’t drive more than that in a day, so its good enough and not at all risky”. “Hmm, in that case thik hai”, I said. “Aur han tum daro mat kyonki main abhi bhi usse charge par laga kar aaya hu”, he said proudly.
When I reached downstairs, I broke out into an ocean of laughter as I saw the bike. The manufacturers had forgot mentioning that it was meant for a single person only. I was still wondering how could it carry 160 kgs, as Rahul went on in continuation singing praises for the bike. He confirmed this as he told me that, he and his father had made a ride on it for quite a long distance the previous night, right from Panki to Barra, Kanpurites can figure the distance, crossing even a bridge. He asked me to sit to which I responded “Abe start to karo ” and when he said “abe start hai, baitho”, he had me in total amazement. There was absolutely no noise. Anyways as I sat, he pulled the accelerator and the bike infact the Yo-Bike moved, leaving me completely bedazzled. It attained a speed of 35 kph in no time but when its speed stopped increasing I put up the question up for Rahul and he emphatically answered “Are ye iski max speed hai”. And all I could say was “Waaaaaaaaah”.

Then we met Amit and I thought of moving onto his bike, a new Discover, but Rahul asked me to be with him instead. I fulfilled his wish and by the time we reached Maddy’s place I said only one thing to him, “Rahul, ye bike lane ki himmat tum hi kar sakte ho”, and I seriously meant that. We picked up Maddy from his place and then went to where Rahul had promised us to take, since a month, the Mascar Ghats. Maddy and Amit had never been there, so Rahul asked them to follow him, much to their embarassment. It was my second visit to the place, the first being on the previous night itself with Prateek and Yasharth, my school friends. We spent some time there and then planned to go to mall road, hardly 2 km from the ghats to have something, as Rahul was proudly said “maine tum logo ko apni placement treat nahi di hai to aaj wahi samjho”, but I had never thought that it would take half an hour to travel such a petite distance.

As soon as we made our way back, at the first turn itself, the bike started to slow down. I got a hint straightaway and I
started shouting on the road itself “Abe marva diya yaar”. I asked him to switch the light off which increased the speed by a small but considerable amount. I straightaway started firing ……. on Rahul and he again made a proud statement “abe yar battery khatam bhi ho jaye to ye dus ki speed se chalti rehti hai”, another false promise which he had made in the bike’s praise. We asked Amit to reach the mall road and wait for us. Barely had we travelled one kilometer when I saw a cycle-wallah overtaking us and glaring us right from behind till the time he completely crossed us and in the mean time all I did was….. Laugh like hell. And Rahul, the proud driver had only one sentence on his mouth, “Abe Sahai mat haso be” and said it so sarcastically that anyone’s heart could have melted. Then we had a race with a cycle rickshaw carrying three passengers, and you won’t believe it, we won ! A little further and we started hearing voices which said, “There should be more battery, there should be more battery”, coming from the bike itself. And then it happened, the rickshaw we had defeated earlier, was now overtaking us and this time the three guys travelling on it were laughing like hell. I accompanied them and this time even Rahul didn’t have any other option but to ….. L.A.U.G.H. And we burst into a huge roar of laughter on the road itself.

The battery had virtually died when we reached phoolbagh and now I got off the bike and started walking along side Rahul, yeah he was driving and me walking. I guess you can understand at what rocket speed Rahul must be driving. He was doing for what he’s well known in hostel, driving in SLOW MOTION (his nickname in hostel). We reached a restaurant, me reaching first, hehe, not because of his speed but because he had to wait at the red light where, I must appreciate the guy for his guts, he emphatically explanied the qualities of Yo-Byke to onlookers who couldn’t resist asking him “yar tumhari bike me engine kahan hai ?”

We had a great treat from Rahul at the restaurant, the only good thing that had happened that evening. And then we decided to move. First it was decided to place his bike at a nearby place, Amit’s relative’s home, but on realizing the parking there did not have a charging point we had no option but to take it along. Rahul confidently said it would reach Maddy’s place easily, another false statement Rahul had made that night. So it was decided that Rahul should leave with Amit and me and Maddy would drive his bike to Maddy’s home. We were just being Rahul’s good friend at that moment. While they left in a flash, it took us almost half an hour to cover a distance of just over a kilometre and reach bada chauraha. It was there we realized that it was counting its last breadths and refused to move. First we thought of charging it at some place but, as expected, no shopkeeper allowed us to do so, even at the cost of cold-drinks that too two in number. Then I recalled one more quality Rahul had banked upon. “Abe charging point, petrol pump se zyada asaan hota hai dhundna, har paan ki dukaan par hota hai”, to which I had only replied in “abe paan wale kab se bijli ka bill bharne lage? welcome to Kanpur beta, yaha katiya se kaam chalta hai aur mujhe nahi lagta ki koi tumhe charge karne dega”.
Now with no one allowing to do so, I made a call to a friend hoping to charge at his place, but later we realized that it wasn’t a viable option either as there was no point in dragging the bike and then charging for merely half an hour, as it was already 9.30 by then. So first it was decided that I should leave while Maddy would himself drive as far it would go and then load it on a rickshaw to his place. But then suddenly his mood changed and he made a call to load it there itself. We booked a cycle rickshaw in twenty five rupees after some bargain and after explaining that the bike was actually not more than a cycle as it did not have an engine or petrol tank or anything of that sort. At first he laughed but then agreed to go. We loaded the immaculate Yo-Bike on the rickshaw and then both of us climbed on it from behind. People travelling by rickshaws must have imagined by now how the scene would be. On the way we were stared by many people crossing by which only led to Rahul getting all the abuses he deserved for his karnama that night, but it was when another rickshaw, carrying a couple of laughing guys passed, that Maddy uttered, “Abe has kya rahe ho, jab tumhara bhi Rahul Gupta jaisa koi dost hoga tab samjhoge”.

The irony of using a broadband

When I packed my bags from Ghaziabad everyone put up the same question in front of me, “When are you coming back?” When I came home around a month back I was almost sure that I would be doing nothing in these two months time. With a dial up connection I was sure that I would be away from the world of spiders, I am talking about the World Wide Web or the internet as most people would call it. I knew it would be difficult to survive, because for a person who is so addicted to net that he changes his life cycle and lives it according to US standards, staying away from net for three complete months was going to be a huge in fact a Herculean task. I always knew that was impossible. The first day I was here, evening I was out at the café, no not the coffee one but the obvious one. Anyways, within a few days I thought that was it and with the help of my sister persuaded my father to shell out 1500 bucks and that too for just a month. My father spends money quite carefully, he simply said if that’s what you really need, then have it. I knew that it was not the ultimate requirement but to survive at home ….. just couldn’t help it too. I went to the sify distributor and came back happily that the next morning I would be back to normal business; little did I know that the coming month was going to be the biggest nightmare of my life.
Two people came to my house, one, the marketing guy and the second whom I assumed to be the technical person. The tech person took out an RJ45 connector from his bad put the wire in it and quite quickly I got the sign reading “Local Area Connection is now connected”. I was glad that this happened so quickly. Then as soon as the, so called technical person, sat on the computer chair and took the mouse in his hand I knew he was having even less knowledge than the girls of my college(not to hurt anyone’s sentiments if by chance you happen to be an RKGIT girl). Within a minute I asked him to move out and let me handle the system. I asked “what do want to do now?, you want to make a new connection ?” “Yes“, he said. And as soon as I opened the “make new connection wizard”, he had a question mark on his face. I knew this was no to be done. Then I came across a paper he was holding and when I saw that, I knew what was to be done. I opened the lan settings and entered the ip address and the dns settings. I said “yahi karna tha na?” happily he said, “haan haan”. Then he gave me a cd to install the sify broadband client. No problems with that. Then he said now you can connect. I connected to the internet but the internet explorer said, “Check your proxy settings” and then without asking him I put in the lan settings which he gave me and then retried. Same answer surprised me. I asked him why that was though I knew that it would be of no use, he said “Aap bhaiya ko call karlo”. He called him and fiddled with his bhaiya for 2 minutes before I took over the phone and told him what I had done and asked him that what port should I use for the proxy server, at first even he was baffled but then he showed great character and proudly said, “aap settings me jakar restore defaults kar dijiye”. Even he knows nothing, I understood in a flash. I tried to use the “direct connection to the internet” and thankfully for me it worked. Without saying anything more I hung up the phone, paid him the requisite amount and said goodbye to him as I was already late for a party, my placement party for my school friends. Hardly realized that this was the worst I made from my father’s money. Before leaving I even took his bhaiya’s number in case I have some problem. Giving me the number he said in a very confident manner, “waise aapko koi dikkat aaegi nahi”.

Later I returned that night and logged in, happily checked my mails, scraps and then went to bed. In the meanwhile I even clicked on to the gtalk icon but it didn’t respond and I said “forget it” and turned my system off.
The next couple of days I saw some operations malfunctioning but I never took it seriously until one day my system refused to start. I knew something was serious and that most probably it’s virus. Tried some ways but couldn’t help it. I tried everything but in the end was left with no other option than formatting my system, thus losing all my data…..really a great blow. Anyways I called the “bhaiya” and told him my misery citing the reason as his network for all the mess. He disagreed saying his network was perfectly fine and that my system was infected. No point in discussing with such people I reconnected and within some hours I found the virus again. That was it. I went to his shop and shouted about his problem. To my surprise he simply denied it again. Then I thought it was of no use, came back, installed Linux and thought that it might work. As expected, it didn’t work. I went to his shop again. This time the bhaiya was not there, a calm, cool looking black person was standing and said in a voice as if he was the owner of the shop, “bhaiya nahi hai kya kaam hai bolo”. Well, I said, can you tell me how to run the net on Linux? “kya”, “net chalana hai ? to ye kholo”, opened in a browser the page where the sify software download was available and pointed me to the line mentioning the client for windows. I said, “maine ye wala kiya hai”, pointing to the Linux client and the response he gave me was not shocking as I had expected this. He proudly said to me, “humne yaha dhai sau (250) connection diye hain, aajtak kisiko is wale ki zarurat nahi padi, aap anokhe ho kya?”. I said “aajtak kisine Linux use nahi kari hogi” , “liee-niks, ye kya hai, main yaha ka network sambhalta hu, sabka kaam is pehle wale se chal jata hai aapka bhi isise chalega”. Next moment I knew that it would my fault if I talked to him any further, so I opted for waiting for the owner, the bhaiya or the distributor. I put up the same question in front of him and as expected even he didn’t know it. But what he did was gave me assurance that he will find out and let me know soon. Its been 3 weeks since then but I haven’t fond the answer. Some people claiming to be sify technical team even had this question fired from me only to give me the same answer, “we’ll find out and let you know soon sir”.
The next problem I faced was within a couple of days only. My system started showing the network cable unplugged. I called him again and he sent his network engineer. First he tried to look for some problem in the system but when he couldn’t find any then he understood it was the connector that was troubling me. Within a few minutes he replaced it and we tried to connect. Then when I tried to connect it asked me to do install an anti virus. That was it. On asking he told me that his bhaiya had accepted that there was virus on his network and now he’s put an anti virus check for each system. My point was proved.

Since then there have been one problem which continues to haunt me apart from a single instance when I tried to login and the client gave the message, “you are already logged in”. Baring that instance, whenever I not online its because of the single problem that my system can’t connect to the gateway server. Too embarrassing, as the ping screen that shows “Request timed out” creates a desire in me to thrash the distributor, the bhaiya as whenever almost 90% of the times when that problem arose, his mobile is switched off and his shop closed. After 8 pm there’s no way I can contact him and more often than not that’s when the problem arises. Sometimes I’ve even tried to call the sify local customer care but they can’t help it either. The reason for the problem is the local network which is loaded with viruses.

All this makes me feel pity on the condition of the technical knowledge of these people. No one knows a single thing and claim that they are network engineers of technical team members. I think the Jagriti technical team which comprised mostly of second year students had more knowledge than these idiots. Forget the people who are using it because they even might not know the fact that the government of India has made it clear that a service can be called a broadband service only if they supply a speed of 256 k bps or more. While the connection I am using is being used by most people here and I guess none might know this clause. But they claim to be using BROADBAND service and are quite happy about it.

Its 15 today and my connection expires on 18. With the great services my distributor has provided I am in no mood to extend his worthy services for another month and spend half of the time abusing him rather than using the net. As far as the bhaiya and his network team is concerned, I had only I thing to say to them after which they could only keep their faces hanging down. I proudly said, “Pehli bar kisi engineer se tumhara pala pada hai

originally posted here

Its your Life, Make it Large

Last night an old friend of mine came to meet me. He is also doing B.Tech from the UPTU University. For a change, we were discussing our future plans and he, just as any other guy said, “I will go for an MBA”. When my turn came, I said “I do not know “, much to his and may be your surprise.

I joined RKGIT in 2004 in the Computer Science department. At that moment even I had the same plans, start my preparations from the second year itself, crack the CAT in the final year. Then obviously join an IIM and come out with flying colors with a big, fat package which, would help me make rest of my life luxurious. As time has progressed so have my thoughts. Now, my heart or my mind, for that matter, does not allow me go for the MBA or M. Tech or an MS. It says only to “Be Different”.

India’s population is increasing each second and in equal proportion are increasing the number of engineers that are graduating. The IT industry has boomed like anything and this boom is going to last for many more years. Everyone is getting jobs and once that is done they think they are through and settled. I know most of you might be thinking “YES” that’s what I have come here for! But in the real sense, ask yourself, “Is that what you came on earth for? Is the job you are getting, or going to get in near future, your aim in life? Or Getting through CAT or GATE and securing a 10 or 20 lac package your sole aim in life? Maybe some of you might be thinking of going to the US or the UK and then minting money there?” Well, some or maybe most of you might be answering in “yes”. But is that the goal of your life? My answer is a definite NO. That’s not what you are destined for.

If you have answers for the previous questions then let me put up the next question, “Why would or maybe should God waste time in creating lacs of similar human beings and that too in a single country forget about other countries? Is He a fool?” I am sure He isn’t.

He sends all of us on earth with some mission to accomplish and mind it, that mission is unique for everyone. He sends us messages, many times in our life, to make us remember that mission. It’s only a matter of time when we read His sms.

This uniqueness of yours which I am talking about can be found by your own self. Yes, each one of us is different in someway or the other. It’s only a matter of time when we discover our hidden talent and perform to our capabilities and find our true potential. Some one is good at art, other at music, a third one technically and the fourth at administration. Who knows you might be the next Bill Gates or Shiv Khera or a Kalam for that matter. It’s only a question of time. All you have to do is to keep searching for the uniqueness that makes your personality, the personality which will make your identity.

I have read his message and I want all of you, through this piece of text, get His memo. Try to do something unique, something new, something innovative, something that will make you happy from the inside. After all you don’t want to read this message when you are 80 odd years old.

It’s totally up to you, what you want to do in life. Get lost in the crowd or make your mark. “It’s your wish, you can be forgotten or you remembered as one of those noble few who MADE IT”. You decide what you want to be and let not others decide your fate. Try to rule the world and not get ruled by others. My advice to all of you is to start following your dreams and forget about the rest. Just try to be distinguishable and think or more importantly DO something that makes you and your well wishers proud of.

I guess you must have got the essence of my talks. After all “It’s your life, so why not make it large??? “

Was originally posted on my wordpress blog before i moved it here.