Friday, January 22, 2016

For someone special

A teenager's blog needed an updation for sure. From dial-up speeds in a obscure place to a regular life in an Indian metro, this is some upgradation for sure. About to be 30 and wiser. Yes, 30 and wiser. This is when nostalgia strikes you in its best form. Surprisingly, the only thing that I remember are so obscure that people who knew me then will now refuse to remember me at all. What do I remember?
Smell of an early morning examination's question paper? Typewritten letters on paper that resembled more of a blotting paper than anything else!

Yes, you got it right. I was joking. Then, what else do I remember? you! you who is reading this blog now and wondering whom I am talking about. It's about you. The one with the craziest of laughs (yes, when you sound like crying is when you laugh). Can I put a smiley, here? I guess I can't. Probably, I will have to do with just words. You are awesome. Yes, you are and I have never felt better than with you.

May the force be with you! Happy 26th!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Social Media as an advertising platform

That the entire social media and online businesses thrive on advertising revenues has never been a secret. So, it wasn't really surprise when I got a mail from Pinterest in which they have taken great pains to explain why they are moving towards being an advertising platform. Ohkay, the words are not so direct. Some of the points mentioned included the usual platitudes of ads being tasteful, relevant and constantly "improved" based on user feedback. The netizens might argue, " what's new in that? Haven't we seen the same with Facebook and Twitter before that?" Of course, Google is the holy mother of all advertising platforms.
Major points of contention here are:
  • Will the user behavior and usage patterns get affected by ad displays?
The site currently has 70 million users with 30% of them pinning and repinning in June '13. that's not a sizable number when you compare with the likes of FB, twitter etc but still substantial enough considering it has been only 3 years since its inception.

  • Will Pinterest be able to generate the kind of advertising revenues that some of the other social networks have been able to do?
  • Businesses might lap up the idea of ads (initially they are free and Pinterest hasn't really clarified whether businesses will have some control over their ad displays as of now) but will the users bite the bullet?
Both the above questions depend primarily on whether Pinterest is able to extend its user base beyond the American shores who currently constitute 79% of its user base. Amazingly, around 38% of Business accounts on Pinterest are Chinese. It is a huge number considering that the site isn't even localized in China.

Will the numbers grow positively for the site? A lot depends on how soon the user base grows exponentially and the users see the site having its own differentiating factors rather than more of a me-too look and feel. I would leave you with the following pointers form the mail that I received from Pinterest detailing their advertising plans:

I know some of you may be thinking, "Oh come the banner ads.” But we’re determined to not let that happen. While we haven't figured out all the details, I can say that promoted pins will be:
  • Tasteful—No flashy banners or pop-up ads.
  • Transparent—We’ll always let you know if someone paid for what you see, or where you see it.
  • Relevant—These pins should be about stuff you're actually interested in, like a delicious recipe, or a jacket that's your style.
  • Improved based on your feedback—Keep letting us know what you think, and we'll keep working to make things better.
For our first test, we'll promote a few pins in search results and category feeds. For example, a pin for a Darth Vader outfit from a costume shop might be promoted in a search for “halloween.” Nobody's paying for anything yet—we want to see how things go and, more than anything, hear what you think.
Thanks so much for all your support these first few years, and we hope you'll keep pinning with us for many years to come!

Thursday, February 21, 2013


27, yes. I am sleepy yet again. exactly the same way i have always been on my birthdays. So three years back it wasn't an aberration then. Was it? By no co-incidence, i am back in Bombay and still looking for answers to questions of life. Over thinking has always been an issue and now I am not really bothered by it. A year ahead, this better be good. A startup, an idea, I just hope it, welcome 27 & you, 26, thanks a lot for all the memories :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Another January is in. An another February beckons. He still exists. Contrary to all his wild & equally vivid imaginations over the years, he still exists. He is not the same though and all he can do is wonder whether he wanted to be the same? The surroundings have changed and so have the people. But this always happens. All the time. But he has just stopped making fuss over it. Like the naked kid on the footpath whom he meets daily & who is least bothered by his gazing eyes, he has learnt to be totally unconcerned as well. He just walks by, barely concealing a half-smile, barely pretending to be unconcerned while getting the same response from the urchin. the kid is just way too busy racing his imaginary Honda cars across the glass right next to the pavement where he is learning the ropes of his life. He walks by, still gazing at the kid, & counting his imaginary millions while someone called fate just chuckles at their expense.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Romancing the un-romanceable

It is 7:30 a.m. Early morning by any standards except, for the way he was brought up; when 7:30 was already late in the day. Oh yes, I am talking about am not pm! But, more on that, a little later. Moving onto now, at this hour, when he is into his daily scampering routine while carefully negotiating the sidewalk potholes on one side and, a maddening traffic on the other, he wonders aloud, 'all this for what?' To catch a creaky, noisy aluminium shell that everyone calls a bus. Mind you, this is not the voice of gods speaking to him from heaven above. His questions are never meant to elicit a reply. He has long accepted to not being taken seriously at all and, at times, he too feels like the cold steel rail in this aluminium box. Standing still, just like life that refuses to move. He looks at the form infront and gazes with a strange fondness. To him, it is straight out of the Seventies and the Eighties- decades reminiscent of the license raj, Hindu growth rate and of Amitabh Bachhan. Even he has now re branded himself as the BIG B- sign of changing times, eh? where a 15 letter name is as anachronistic as these rickety boxes plying on the roads with 'BEST' inscribed in bold onto them. Displayed prominently on either sides, sometimes, jostling with pictures and posters of characters from the latest soap and/or a new Friday release, seem to have  more life in them than in a normal Mumbaikar. A blast from the past, is it? Naah, it is the present reality.

The other option? well, the ubiquitous locals famed for being the lifeline of the city. So what, if they are teeming with people like a jug of milk filled to its brim, which cannot take even a single extra drop without overflowing, save for water of course. But unlike the unaccommodating lousy jug, these poor trains have a much larger heart. Black or white, rich or poor, male or female and of all the contradictions, she is willing to take them all. Creatures of all hues and appearances are most welcome in her already overflowing heart sans any discrimination. Care for everyone she does but, she cannot show it for her own poor state. Of course, this care does not come free. State charges a minimal sum for it and bestows upon its own people- the common man, the aam aadmi- as they have been named in keeping with the customs of these days, its largesse. Often claiming the ownership of something which rightfully was never conferred upon it , in the first place. But, custodians metamorphosing into owners is a phenomenon not restricted to the current generation of the guardians of the constitution. Neither their tribe is restricted to the present time or only to this country. It is only the unabashed brazenness that has its parallels in the most corrupt of the regimes and yet, we call ourselves the modern country on a fastrack growth highway and a heir apparent to the decadent developed economies of the first world countries. Long live the dream. The claims and the self-pats on our backs sound more hollow than the large, yet already hollowed heart of this motherly form with a serpentine appearance that chugs along throughout the day and for most of the night without even seeking a morsel of gratitude.  

And to think of it, Its only 7:35 am yet.

to be continued..

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Of dates, days and years

21-2-12. turns out it was a palindrome. 26th is just a number. haven't given up writing, not yet. Its just a pause, a pause that has extended a little longer than usual. But, I'll be back just the way I said. At least my thoughts ll remain faithful to me unlike people :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


“Jaaalebiiiiiiiii”! , she screamed at the top of her voice. Accustomed to my own inner silence it came like a bolt from the blue. There she was, in the middle of the street, her fists clenched tightly in mine, the other hand tugging at my shirt but with a twinkle in her eyes and excitement that came out of her lungs at full burst. I felt like I had gone back twenty years in time where a piece of jalebi meant joyous celebrations, where we didn’t have ads on television asking ‘kuchh meetha ho jaye’ and in the process, trying to change the whole definition of ‘meetha’.

“Kaku, chalein?”, she looked at me with the loveliest of expressions that only a heartless wretch could have ignored and well, let’s say, she tugged at my own weakness for sweets and we just ran across the street like two little kids. Although, in her defence it can be said that she is a little kid and at that moment her 25 year old kaku, who otherwise wouldn’t have wasted time in lecturing about excessive sweetness and lack of hygiene etc etc ,didn’t mind being a kid himself. First bite and a sound of “yummmmy” coming from across the table made me chuckle and I realized that I wasn’t the only one with that expression on my face. Most of the people around me were watching her with identical expressions that could only be construed as pleasure even if vicarious.

“kaku, 2 aur. pleasssssse”(2 more please). Ever mindful of the female folk at the house that included our mothers who would surely accuse me of spoiling her, I wanted to say no but ended up saying “kisi ko batana mat!” (don’t tell this to anyone). Though I knew that wasn’t surely going to happen. She would go home and give everyone a description of where we went, what we did and most importantly, how many things she ate. Sounds funny but that’s how she is. Oozing with boundless energy and infecting everyone with happiness wherever she goes, she never fails to remind me how we should be.

That we have to work and work hard to chase goals, most of which, are more dear to us than our dear life itself, shouldn’t be an impediment in being happy with oneself and who we are. That it took a four year old to remind me of the pleasures of life isn’t quite surprising. It has been almost twenty days since I left college and I have had the opportunity of being with kids of my cousins. Although, I didn’t have much time in Mumbai but whatever little time I spent with them made me realize that each of them have an experience of a lifetime in them. Words have a habit of being exaggerated, especially when one happens to speak of things very close to one’s heart but happiness isn’t a utopia, something that I knew very well but just didn’t know where to look for it, all the while forgetting ever so comfortably, that it was all within me. After all, learning is a continuous process :)

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