Thursday, 19 October 2017

How I learned to #CleanUpCashOut

My dad was eyeing my old laptop for quite some time. Just like me, it was sleek, efficient and fully functioning. The laptop and I had a special bond, so much so that I came to affectionately call it my “Lady” This led to a series of jokes among me and my friends about me ‘spending too much time with my Lady’, or me ‘lying on the bed with my Lady on my lap.’
Lady was over five years old and I felt it was time for a change. As soon my new laptop arrived I decided to sell off Lady.
Although the thought of my Lady being used by my father caused me to cringe, I still gave him a right of first refusal. He proudly pulled out a Rs. 2,000 note from his pocket and handed it over to me. I looked back at him with utter indifference and walked away.
I logged on to an online classifieds platform and created an advertisement for my laptop. For over ten days I was pestered by people asking about the condition and features of this laptop. Some of them made offers of one or two thousand rupees. Most, just abruptly ended the conversation. One or two of them made offers above Rs. 2,000, but asked me to throw in freebies like headphones.
Finally, after ten days of torture, I finally closed a deal with somebody at Rs. 3,000/-. The buyer was a girl named ‘Aayesha’ and she had a cute display picture. I’ll be honest with my readers that the prospect of hooking up with this cute buyer was an added incentive for which I agreed to the low prices of Rs. 3,000/-. After a flirtatious chat, we decided to meet at a small coffee shop in Goregaon, the coming Sunday morning.
Sunday morning I packed my laptop and made my way to the coffee shop, which happened to be located in a pretty isolated area. When I was just one minute away from the shop, a white van with tainted windows swirled towards me and stopped next to me. The next thing I knew, my head was in a black bag and was being taken away. About twenty minutes later the van stopped and I was dragged till a chair. When the mask over my head was pulled off, I realized I was in an abandoned wear-house and sitting in front of a forty-year old bearded man.
“Who are you?”, I asked.
“Don’t you recognize me? I’m Aayesha.”, he replied and exploded with laughter.
“What do you want?”
“Listen, take this phone and call your father. Either your dad pays or you die.”
I dialed my dad’s number and returned the phone to my kidnapper. The phone was on speaer mode.
“Hello?” my dad answered.
“Hey! I have your son. Transfer Ten Lakh Rupees to my account in the next two hours or he dies.”
“What? Who is this? How do you have my son?”
“I kidnapped him when he was on his way to sell his laptop to me.”
“Oh! So you are the one my son is selling his laptop to? Keep my son and keep his ‘Lady’!” Saying that my dad cut the call.
“Hello? Hello?” my kidnapper looked at me with sympathy and despair. He told me that he had a disappointment of a father too. We bonded over our dad-stories for hours. By the end of the day he finally let me go, realizing that I already had things going pretty bad already.
I came home, tired. My friend Rohan came to my house to meet me. I apprised him about what transpired. He pulled out his phone and in 60 seconds he sold my  laptop for Rs. 5,000/-. He used a website called ‘Cashify'. It was hassle-free and in a couple of days I got my money and my phone was picked up from my house.

From now on I’m only going to use Cashify for getting a good price and also to avoid getting “catfished”. Suggest you guys to #CleanUpCashOut too. Use coupon code CLEANCASH on Cashify to get an additional Rs.250 on the sale of your gadgets.


Monday, 18 September 2017

Royale Atmose – Breathe a Sigh of Relief in your home

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When we think about air pollution we imagine smog emitting from chimneys or gray smoke from the exhaust pipes of vehicles.  There are no exhaust pipes or chimney-openings inside our homes, so the air in our homes should be much safer than that outside, right? Wrong! A study by the Science of the Total Environment has revealed that indoor pollution may be several times worse than outdoor pollution.

In reality, some paints, varnishes and cleaning agents contain harmful and toxic chemicals. Certain paints and varnishes also cause fungal spores, which pollute the air even further. Thus, the air indoors can be 5 times more polluted than the air outdoors. Here are some tips to keep the air in your homes fresh and pollution-free:

1) Use Royale Atmos: So it turns out that the guys at Asian Paints are way ahead of the rest of us and have already concocted a paint based on Activated Carbon technology to solve our problems. Activated carbon is basically charcoal treated with oxygen. By doing this causes millions of tiny pores to open up between the carbon atoms, and the end result is a highly adsorbent material. But I won’t bore you with the nitty-gritty of the science behind Asian Paint’s Royale Atmos, any further. Here’s the bottom-line:
Royale Atmos is a line of paints that exponentially decrease harmful air pollutants and keeps the air fresh and pure. It absorbs liquid and gaseous contaminants. Chemicals like formaldehyde which are emitted from plywood and glues used in the construction of furniture, cause the air to become toxic and harmful. Royale Atmos takes care of formaldehyde too. But wait, there’s more! Royale Atmos also absorbs bad odours & keeps the air clean. 
But wait,.. there’s even more! Health benefits aside, the paint also looks amazing, like any all other Asian Paints. #CleanAirBeautifulHomes
And lastly, if its good enough for Deepika (did it just get hot in here?), its good enough for us. Furthermore, Asian Paints has always proven to be reliable, and their products are always of the highest quality.
I urge all my readers who care about the health of their loved ones and of their own, to use only Roayl Atmos in their homes. Its time to make your homes clean and colourful. I had applied it to all the walls of my house about five months ago, and I can feel a huge improvement in the quality of air. To learn more about Royale Atmos go here:
2) Air purifiers: These devices remove contaminants from the air and are especially good for those who suffer from allergies or asthma. It also reduces the risk of second-hand cigarette smoke.
3) Plants: I don’t think I need to explain to my readers the importance of good-old-fashioned plants in purifying the air.
4) Clean your walls regularly: Moist walls can lead to an infestation of fungi. It is recommended that one clean the walls regularly to avoid such infestation. However, this effort can be saved if one opts for Royale Atmos.
5) Vacuum regularly: A clean house means fewer dust particles, which in turn means cleaner air.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Why you should Judge a Book by its Cover

By my estimation I have reached the half way point of my life. I have been betrayed by people who have been my friends for years. I have seen people change so much that they can barely be said to be the same person (save and except that their physical characteristics remain the same.)
It takes years to really know someone, and even then you will most likely not truly understand them. I am being reminded of a dialogue in Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead”. I’m paraphrasing the same here -
“What’s the matter with you? Why such talk—over nothing at all? People’s faces and first impressions don’t mean a thing.”
Ayn Rand Fountainhead Judge Book by Cover“That, my dear, is one of our greatest common fallacies. There’s nothing as significant as a human face. Nor as eloquent. We can never really know another person, except by our first glance at him. Because, in that glance, we know everything. Even though we’re not always wise enough to unravel the knowledge. Have you ever thought about the style of a soul? … I think, that every human soul has a style of its own. Its one basic theme. You’ll see it reflected in every thought, every act, every wish of that person. The one absolute, the one imperative thing in that living creature. Years of studying a man won’t show it to you. His face will. You’d have to write volumes to describe a person. Think of his face. You need nothing else.”
“That sounds fantastic. And unfair, if true. It would leave people naked before you.”
“It’s worse than that. It also leaves you naked before them.”
The truth is, we do judge people by first impressions. To my female readers, I think you will agree that you avoid men who look, for lack of a better word – “rapist-like”.  On the other hand, we sometimes decide to give people, who look pleasant, the benefit of the doubt.
In the end, your first instinct is usually right and you tend to focus on those few rare instances where you by chance were wrong and conclude that’s it is wrong to judge too quickly. I agree it’s not ideal but it is a great time saving and labour-saving device, and only mildly less accurate.
So go out there, and trust your instinct, and pay attention to first impressions. You may find that your first instinct is usually right, and all the steps you painstakingly take to confirm your suspicions has been a waste of your time.


Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Accepting Mediocrity

Since we were in school, we were told to follow our dreams. But this comes with unexpressed caveats. Your dream can be a doctor or astronaut, but not to be a sweeper or waiter. Here lies the grand flaw.
Its true that society’s progress depends on everyone aspiring higher, but lets keep in mind Edgar Allen Poe’s words - “I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active - not more happy - nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago.”
A dialogue from the movie Lakshya can also be referred to here:
Romi's Dad – “Tum jo bhi karo achha karo. Agar scientist bano toh achhe scientist bano. Agar ghaas kaatne wale bano toh achha ghaas kaatne wale bano. Warna kya faayda?”
(Translation: Whatever you do, you must do it well. If you become a scientist, become a good scientist. If you become a grass-cutter, become a good grass-cutter. Otherwise what's the point?)
I would go one step further. It is not important that you even be the best at what you do. It is not even necessary that you do something. If you are happy dreaming your life away, then do it. After all, Y.O.L.O. and you should live the way you want to without being influenced by others.
Happiness is a choice. As long as you have your health, you can get happiness too.
I must differ from Friedrich Nietzsche as I believe that the happiness which is the fruit of labour is merely a different kind of happiness, but not necessarily, sweeter. We must stop pressurizing little children and make them all believe that they all will be President some day. On the contrary we must teach them that success is good, but not always necessary to attain happiness.


Wednesday, 4 January 2017

How Tradesmen Ruined the Sangam in Name of "Religion"

Triveni Sangam Allahabad
Triveni Sangam, Allahabad
I went to Allahabad for work recently, where I decided to go see Triveni Sangam, where three rivers meet -  Ganga, Yamuna — and the invisible Saraswati River.
First of all, the boatmen charge a bomb to go there. Make sure you bargain and not pay over Rs. 450/- if you are alone (Initially, they quoted Rs. 1250/-!). The boat ride itself is pleasant, but the duration is exaggerated. It takes only about 20 to 25 minutes one way and they tell you it takes one hour.
When you reach Triveni Sangam, you are made to sit before an eternally smiling Pandit, who will have you believe he works for God, when he only works for the ‘Gandhis’ in your pocket. He’ll perform the puja and make you also pay for coconut used in the puja. Although, he says that ayment is optional and we can give whatever amount we choose, that is absolutely a lie. If you give a 50 rupee note, he will say ‘50 mein kya hota hai!?’and he will force you to pay at least 200! Please refrain from sitting with these pretend pundits.
The actual difference in the water colour is something which isn’t that evident. Perhaps it can only be seen in certain light at certain time. The Saraswati river is supposed to be invisible and it is believed to be flowing under these two rivers.

The only thing you will see for certain are people getting naked and bathing in the water to wash their sins, without even repenting them and tradesmen and “god-men” trying to exploit them... If you are religious, do go to the Sangam, but try to ignore all the things people trying to corrupt your religion. I think the State Government should regulate the fare charges and also the sums charged by the so-called “Pandits”. If this is done, the seren location will no doubt, become far more enjoyable.

Monday, 26 December 2016

Freshmenu – Food Review

Many of you may have heard of Freshmenu because of their aggressive advertising on Facebook. When I first visited the website I noticed that most of the food items were kind of over-priced. I ordered the most reasonable thing on the menu which was the Mongol Chicken Meal-For-One which contained Mongol Chicken Rice and Nutella Lava Cake (Eggless) for Rs. 360/-.
Customer Support and After Sale assistance: When the order arrived I realized they sent me a Strawberry-Guava yogurt instead of Nutella Lava Cake (Eggless). I called and complained about the mistake. They delivered the Nutella Lava Cake (Eggless) the next day and let me keep the Strawberry-Guava yogurt free of cost. So, as far as response to complaints, they are pretty good.
Quality of Food: The Mongol Chicken Rice was medium-spicy and delicious. The chicken pieces were tender and cooked in an amazing sauce. As promised, the quantity was enough for one person. The Nutella Lava Cake, was chocolaty, but could have been much better. The packaging ruined it and I’ll explain how, below. The Strawberry-Guava yogurt had a really fresh flavour.
Packaging: The Nutella Lava Cake and Strawberry-Guava yogurt came in cute glass jars. Now, for the yogurt, that’s fine. But a Lava Cake is preferably eaten hot but you can’t microwave it for more than 15 seconds, since the jar heats up. I was forced to eat it at room-temperature and it lost something that way.
Delivery: Delivery was on time. No complaints there.
Areas of Service: Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Gurgaon.
Payment options: Cash on Delivery, Debit and Credit Cards, Netbanking, Wallets such as Paytm, MobiKwik, Citrus, Freecharge, PayUmoney.
Website: Pleasant and easy to navigate.
Others: It’s clear that Freshmenu has inventory issues. The menu keeps changing within hours. What’s on the menu at one time may disappear few minutes later, due to unavailability. If this was rare, it would be excusable, but it isn’t when it happens so often.

Conclusion: I had a nice one-time experience, but I doubt I would order from here again, mainly due the price being a bit over-board. If they slashed prices by about 25%, I would definitely consider it. 
Food Review, Restaurant

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 - Gadget Review

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 - Gadget Review Mobile phone SmartphoneRating: 8.1/10

‘Xiaomi’ is known for providing smart phones which are value for money. Before purchasing the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, I was using the Xiaomi Mi 3 and that too had an amazing battery life and was reasonably priced. I bought Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 for Rs. 11,999/-. Had I bought it during the Snapdeal Unbox Diwali Sale, I could have got it for Rs. 1000/- off and also got 32GB SD Card absolutely free! Unfortunately, I missed that opportunity due to my own stupidity. Anyways, let’s review this bad boy!

Ø The Great Battery life is easily the best feature of this phone. Even on heavy to usage it can work for a day or day and a half. It also charges quickly.
Ø Functions smoothly and does not lag.
Ø It has an excellent and easy-to-use interface. The options to clean the phone, delete files, cache, app data, etc. and manage app permissions are quick to access.
Ø Fingerprint sensor works well.
Ø The phone is value for money.

Ø Camera does not work great in low light. One can easily can see the noise in pictures.
Ø No tempered or toughened glass.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 - Gadget Review Mobile phone SmartphoneIf a good camera is really important to you, this isn’t the mobile phone for you. Also, unlike the Xiaomi Mi3, this device does not have Gorilla Glass. I, personally, hate using covers or scratch guards since they ruin the look of the phone. The phone is also more delicate than Xiaomi Mi3.
Battery charges quickly and lasts long. All other features are good. Plus, using a Fingerprint scanner feels pretty James Bond-ish doesn’t it?
Xiaomi also has several service centres at Mumbai and these centres are really responsive and approachable. That’s the reason I chose this phone over the AsusZenphone Max.
So, is the phone worth the price? Definitely!

Mobile phone Review, Xiaomi Mi 3, Smart phones, Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, Gadget Review,