Sunday, 22 May 2016

The Last JOURNEY Together

It was love that kept us together even when we were miles apart. I had never thought that a bus journey will have such everlasting impact on my life. It has been three years since we first met on that memorable walk and I still remember every bit of it. Our third anniversary was approaching and we had decided this time to celebrate it together. Nothing could ever match a place like Goa and we both agreed to meet there. 

It took 16-hour long train journey to reach Madgaon from Bengaluru. She was supposed to arrive from Delhi the same day in the evening and I had little more than three hours to plan our stay there. I wanted us to spend maximum time on the beach and so booked a resort near Colva. The name of the resort, 'Colva Kinare' aptly characterised the place 'cos of its closeness to the beach. I waited for her to arrive but the great Indian Railways delayed our evening plans and when she came it was too late. However, the next three days were entirely ours and there were nothing that could bother us there. 

The plan was not to roam like sightseers to every tourist spots but spend some quality time together and so we began our morning quite early with just two of us walking on the beach, barefoot and holding hands amidst sea waves. I don't know how far we walked but in no time, we were soaked in water 'cos of the playful tide. A careful start of the day soon became carefree and we ended up going for all the water sports activity which began in the afternoon. It was fun but we were hungry and had to take a break. The search for a good place to eat commenced and since she is vegan I had to go for veg as well. Eventually, we found a place, 'Sagar Kinare', as the name suggests it was not very far from our stay.  It became our usual stop for food till we stayed. However, we preferred dining out on the beach. It was so good to sit together and watch sun getting drowned in the vast sea. Every time the sunset reminded me that we now have one day less to be together and I wanted to capture all of the moments with her. In the next few days, our routine remained similar though it was very restless the last day. Neither of us could sleep and we were awake all night. I saw how the darkness of night turned into daylight and I yearned if somehow I could stop it from happening. She had to go first and I realised how the time passed so quickly. It seemed just yesterday day when I was waiting for her to arrive and here I watched her go. This time her train was on time and I waited restlessly for mine to come.  

I was alone there on the platform and the entire episode was playing relentlessly in the back of mind. As I boarded my train to Bangalore, I never knew that it would be the last of our togetherness. This time, I felt like it was one of the longest journeys I ever had in railways. It is uncomfortable to sit emotionless among many for sixteen long hours when a lot is going on your mind. I wanted to go home, close my room, cry out loudly and should rather have preferred Airlines to get back quickly. 

The Last JOURNEY Together

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

GAIL - Indian Speed Star: An initiative to strengthen the sport of athletics

GAIL (India) Limited has embarked on a grassroots athletics program GAIL-Indian Speedstar, which is aimed at unearthing young talent across the length and breadth of India. GAIL (India) Limited and National Yuva Cooperative Society (NYCS), launched a grassroots athletics program GAIL Indian Speedstar on the 22nd of March, 2016 at the Constitution Club of India, New Delhi.

National Yuva Cooperative Society has tied up with Anglian Medal Hunt Company as its Technical Partner for The GAIL Indian Speedstar project. The persisting, epoch-making attempt before - focused grassroots program aims to create a pool of athletes with knack which will possibly bring honor for India in track events at the highest echelon of sporting events - the Olympics 2020/2024.

The reason to launch this program is to identify, select and nurture the hidden talent in athletes. The targeted age group is 11 - 17 years in 100m, 200m and 800m track events across.

A panel of eminent sportspersons like P.T Usha, Rachita Mistry, Anuradha Biswal & Kavita Raut have been appointed to the selection committee to guide coaching camps. As members of the selection committee their role would include creating the selection criteria or the GAIL-Indian Speedstar program, and developing the training plan and module for the selected athletes at the National Level.

‘Legendary athlete P.T. Usha launched the initiative alongside the organizers Dr Ashutosh KarnatakDirector (Projects), GAIL (India) Ltd, Rajesh Pande – President, National Yuva Cooperative Society Ltd (NYCS) and Maneesh Bahuguna - CEO, Anglian Medal Hunt Company.

District trials were conducted under the watchful eyes of coaches and selectors, appointed by the selection committee. The selection of the athletes was based on talent identification and selection criteria set by the selection committee.

Initiatory, in its first year, earlier this year with initial trials conducted in 55 districts across ten states in which more than 25,000 children participated out of which 850 children made it to the State level. 

Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Hon. Minister of State (I/C) Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dutee Chand, Anuradha Biswal and Purnima Hembram; selected ambitious young athletes from Bhubaneswar, Odisha. 14 children have qualified for the National level trials while Shri Dharmendra Pradhan Ji, praised and motivated the selected candidates for National level trials. The first State level camp and trial were organized on 27-28th of February in SawaiMaan Singh Stadium, Jaipur where 60 boys and girls participated out of which 4 have qualified for the next level. The state trials were held in Odisha (14 Selection), Delhi (28 Selection), Kerala (28 Selection) &Jharkhand(4 Selection)followed by Maharashtra and Gujarat in the last week of April.  The shortlisted children from the State trials will then participate in the National camp and selection which is scheduled to be held in May 2016 at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi. Shortlisted athletes from state trials will attend an intensive national level camp. At the conclusion of the coaching camp, final trials will be held. Winners will be selected based on the qualification criteria and their potential. The winners will be given extensive training throughout the year. The top 9 athletes will then be provided with a world class coaching for over a period of 5 years with an ultimate objective of one of these athletes to represent India at the Olympics.

It’s not the will to win that matters - everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters. Know more about #IndianSpeedStar #GAILRaftaar on Facebook

Sunday, 17 April 2016

#QuakerBowl with Quaker India

It had been a long time since I attended an Indiblogger meet, the last time it was in Bangalore but then I shifted to Lucknow and all I could do was to read frequent meets that happened and be envy about it. However, I landed in Mumbai for my internship and I was overjoyed to see that there is a Quaker Bowl Indiblogger meet scheduled for the coming weekend.  I waited patiently and finally the day came. 

It all started with a little contest from IndiBlogger and QuakerIndia where everyone had to tweet about the tastiest breakfast mom ever made and throughout the time till I reached the venue I kept thinking about it. It is tough to choose the best among the bests as I liked anything, everything mom made, however, the delicious omelettes in the morning were my all time favorite.  

The event started but came a little twist and surprise with the welcome tune of Taher Shah's Mankind Angel playing on the big screen. It was followed by entry of the mystical man aka Vineet Rajan taking the stage.  An icebreaker time where we all did our little weird but fun exercises to gel ourselves in the surroundings. Indiblogger had kept the biggest surprise of the day "#QuakerBowl with Celebrity Chef" under curtains and that was revealed soon with the entry of the man about whom girls go crazy and needless to say that my fellow classmate from college has a huge crush on him. It was none other than Michelin starred chef, restaurateur, and cookbook writer Vikas Khanna. He began with a little introduction and that was followed by a fun quiz. Though I didn't know the answer of any but it was good to learn certain facts like Pampore is known as Saffron Town of Kashmir!  

Like always the best thing was yet to happen - a fun challenge where one had to drink soup in one go from a tequila shot glass and tell its  ingredients within 60 seconds. I was among the one chosen by Vikas Khanna to perform the task and I could guess only two; Salt & Water. Nothing could be more embarrassing when you are the worst performer in a group but that was fun and moreover, I got a prize for coming last and it was given by Vikas Khanna himself that too on the stage. Yay! I had my first celebrity moment of the day and I also learnt an important lesson that one can make soup with Quaker Oats and was the main ingredient that I couldn't guess. It was followed by a team challenge where the task was to make a dish of our own choice with the available ingredients. I know nothing about cooking and that is very obvious from the ingredient guessing task and so all I did was to stand with the team and stare what they are doing that ended up making something that looked nice but tasty? that Vikas Khanna and his team had to decide and we didn't make it in the winning list.  

It was time for lunch and we all munched on the food. A tasty end to a fun meet that was followed by free gift. Yet again, Thank you Indiblogger and Thank you QuakerIndia for organising such an enjoyable gathering.  

My #QuakerBowl Moment

Friday, 15 April 2016

Haywards 5000 Hauslay Ki Udaan

A billion population, a billion dreams and of those billion there are few  dreams that desire to be the next business tycoon. However, many of those dreams die out before they even start. Haywards 5000 has launched "Haywards 5000 Hauslay Ki Udaan" - country's first start up reality program to give wings to those dreams and fuel the aspiring entrepreneurs. In its first edition, it received over 40,000 calls and a winning idea came out from among more than 500 entries that went through auditions. Last year the judges ranged from entrepreneurs like Sumit Jain – Co-founder & CEO,, Vivek Singh, CO-founder & CFO of Tone Tag, Naidu Darapaneni, founder CEO of, Santhosh Karnananda, CEO of to industry stalwarts like Sunil Subramaniam - CEO of Sundaram Finance. 

It has now entered its second season with a new TVC campaign - "Naa Se Haan Tak" launched by Haywards 5000 Hausla Buland Academy. The TVC showcases the challenges of an aspiring entrepreneur who even after rejected by everyone stays motivated to fulfill his dream and makes the business idea a reality.  The participants can register on Hausla Buland Academy to participate in the second season of “Haywards 5000 Hauslay Ki Udaan”. Auditions will be conducted across the nation in the following cities: Gurgaon, Faridabad, Jaipur, Pune, Nagpur, Kolkata, Bangalore, Secunderabad, Rohtak, Ludhiana, Amritsar and Mohali. This will serve as a platform for aspiring entrepreneurs to showcase their innovative business ideas and share their stories of unrelenting resolve.  The participants will be mentored by an interview panel consisting of well-known entrepreneurs and industry experts as well as Hausla Buland Academy professional counselors through online and offline mediums. The finalists will be selected basis a combination of factors including market opportunity, the uniqueness of the presented business idea, the growth potential, the strategy, the enthusiasm and passion of the participant, the knowledge of the industry, realistic goals and finally the total investment required. The winning business idea will receive a seed funding of Rs. 15 Lac from the Hausla Buland Academy. 

Haywards 5000 Hausla Buland Academy #NaaSeHaanTak TVC

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

AlphaDigest's Content, Branding and Marcom Solutions

A startup is a vision of the young mind that sees business into a reality. However, as it becomes a reality, an equally important but difficult task is to create a meaningful and trusted relationship with customers scattered across the places. A unique voice is very crucial at the beginning as it differentiates the startup from other firms already occupying a place. Keeping this in view a Bangalore-based premium lifestyle, entertainment, and technology portal,, has announced a strategic content offering for consumer startups in India. 

There is a growing trend of creative control and autonomy flowing unidirectionally towards content creators, and the right aggregators must create a supportive ecosystem for baseline contribution.”, says Shomprakash Sinha Roy, the honorary editor-in-chief.  

Automation is the keyword behind a sustainable content strategy, and we at Alpha (AlphaDigest) are working very hard to realize that dream for consumer startups.” says Gaurav Singh, Head of Technology at AlphaDigest. 

AlphaDigest has recruited a sturdy mix of specialist bloggers from around the nation. The list includes Forbes-nominated author and veteran content marketing strategist Shomprakash Sinha Roy and Former Femina Features Writer Tvara Mehta. Also joining their ranks are fashion and lifestyle bloggers such as Flescia D’Souza and Prerna Maynil, who happens to be officially recognized as Deepika Padukone’s biggest fan. This mix of veteran and young content creators have an extensive knowledge in the realm of brand content creation and marketing. It also welcomes guest bloggers and columnists to submit their content which then undergoes an editorial review before publication. In a nutshell, AlphaDigest represents the finest pick in the blogging world that is drawing elements of citizen journalism and brand-integrated content together thus building a unique value proposition for consumer-centric enterprises. 

As a premium online lifestyle, entertainment and technology magazine, AlphaDigest is currently available on the web, social and mobile (Android) platforms. It also has plans to go to print by end-of-year 2017. With an organic viewership of more than 50,000 readers in the lifestyle and entertainment space, it reaches out to a collective demographic of Indian millennials – early adopters, eCommerce enthusiasts, and technology lovers. The far-reaching knowledge of AlphaDigest in this segment presents a great opportunity for startups to get their words out. AlphaDigest has already created integrated editorial features for various organizations such as Uber, NestAway, HappyCook, Furlenco, Tinder and Treebo among others.