Transition of Thoughts

Weaving thoughts into words

Month: July 2010

Roundup of social media /mobile media news for the week (21st – 28th July)

The following is my first attempt to create a roundup of social media news for those interested in the world of social media / mobile media but not able to catch the weekly news. The reference for this is Mashable ( Would aim to do this weekly or bi – weekly. Looking for your views on what you think about this and how helpful it is.

Latest happenings from the world of Social Media

Farmville cash invades supermarkets nationwide – The social gaming giant FarmVille has teamed up with Green Giant to put Farmville Cash coupon stickers on select produce in 4,000 stores nationwide

Two new Facebook scams making the rounds – Hot on the heels of the Coca-Cola Facebook scam, which promised to reveal the “truth” about Coca-Cola (but in reality simply aimed to get a hold of your personal info), are two more spreading via Facebook status updates

iPad’s social media magazine, Flipboard launched – Flipboard, which is now available in the iPad app store, is a start-up that calls itself the “world’s first social magazine.” It connects to your social media accounts — primarily Facebook and Twitter — and utilizes that information to create an interface that will feel familiar if you’re a magazine lover. It officially launches today.

Facebook among the worst in Web Satisfaction survey with the worst being MySpace

Time – lapse Twitter visualizations shows America’s moods – A group of researchers from Northeastern and Harvard universities have gathered enough data from Twitter to give us all a snapshot of how U.S. residents feel throughout a typical day or week. Not only did they analyze the sentiments we collectively expressed in 300 million tweets over three years against a scholarly word list, these researchers also mashed up that data with information from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Google Maps API and more. What they ended up with was a fascinating visualization showing the pulse of our nation, our very moods as they fluctuate over time.

Farmville users plant 310 million virtual organic blueberries – Organic foods maker Cascadian Farm, situated in the foothills of the North Cascades mountain range in the state of Washington, was once known mainly for its high-quality organic foods in the real world — until it became part of Zynga’s wildly popular game FarmVille.

Facebook has removed the ‘Most Recent’ News feed option for some users

Facebook has reached 500 million members

Oldest Twitter user, Ivy Bean dies aged 104

Linkedin is now worth more than US$ 2 billion based on investments

Seesmic Web supports Facebook and Linkedin – Seesmic has just updated its Seesmic Web app to include support for Facebook and LinkedIn

Twitter shows photos and videos – A new Twitter setting called “Tweet Media” has rolled out to some of Twitter’s users, strongly suggesting that the company will soon embed videos and photos in the stream

Facebook thinking of adding a dislike button

British monarchy joins Flickr after Twitter and YouTube

Latest happenings from the world of Mobile Media and Technology

Yahoo starts Testing Bing in search results – Yahoo search users may soon start seeing results served by Bing. According to Yahoo’s Vice President Search Product Operations Kartik Ramakrishnan, the company has “started testing organic (also referred to as algorithmic) and paid search listings from Microsoft for up to 25 percent of Yahoo! Search traffic in the U.S.”

Google buys 20 years worth Wind Farm Energy – Google has just signed a contract with an Iowa wind farm to purchase clean energy at a set rate for the next 20 years.This move is in keeping with Google’s strong environmental stance; with specific regard to energy consumption and wind-generated energy, the company has been championing PowerMeter and has invested $38 million in wind farms this year alone.

Google Image Search gets an overhaul – Instead of lines of images with text, Google Image Search results now display larger thumbnails with very little text through a hover effect. Text information such as file names, file size and URL are now included when you hover over an image.
Finally, Google has announced a product for advertisers: Google Image Search Ads, a new image-based ad format for Image Search.

Apple has said that even Nokia Mini 97 has death grip issue

Android devices get video calling via Adobe

Foursquare reaches 100 million checkins as more and more organizations are realizing the need of this tool

Ford to unveil 2011 Explorer on Facebook – Ford Motor Company is breaking with tradition in a big way. The company has been leaving digital breadcrumbs on the Ford Explorer Facebook Page, and in just a few days they’ll take to the web — instead of an auto show — for an all-day Facebook event to unveil the redesigned 2011 Ford Explorer.

Nasa uses space lasers to map the world’s forests – NASA scientists have used data collected by the ICESat, Terra and Aqua satellites to create a topographical map that shows the height of forests around the world, from the rain forests of the Amazon to the redwood and sequoia forests of Northern California. They say their efforts have produced a collection and visualization of data that is the first of its kind

Nook for Android has hit the market

A new pluging will let you know whether Google is watching you – Another rad browser plugin called Google Alarm hit the Internets this week, which alerts you every time your personal info is sent to Google’s servers. How? Via notifications, a running tally of dangerous sites and, naturally, a super annoying, vuvuzela-like alarm.

Dell streak Tablet says yes to Android Froyo and No to T – Mobile – Dell has confirmed that its Streak tablet will get the Android 2.2 operating system (Froyo) later this year, but it will not run on T-Mobile’s 3G network.

Google Docs have added a translated feature

Steig Larsson first author to sell 1 million books via Kindle

Yahoo Japan has signed a search deal with Google

Ask Q&A reinvents itself – The beta version of comes with a new interface and is designed to provide a more semantic search experience. It includes a Q&A product that pulls from 500 million indexed questions and answers and queries appropriate users for their answers. It will be released to users on an invite-only basis beginning today.

Yelp testing Daily Deals feature

Google App adds government addition – Google Apps has already landed a few big customers in the public sector — including the City of Los Angeles — and today the company forwarded its drive into the space by launching a new edition of its app suite: Google Apps for Government.

iPhone has reached 17 more countries as of Friday, 23rd July

India has developed the world’s cheapest tablet at US $ 35

WikiLeaks publishes Afghan war reports – A website called WikiLeaks just published secret documents related to the war between the U.S. and the Taliban in Afghanistan. The documents detail deals, armed conflicts, strategies, politics, intelligence operations and some casualties from 2004 and 2010, painting the most complete, publicly available picture of the Afghan War yet

Amazon Kindle 2 sold out

Tinychat boasts 500 million minutes of usage and 300,000 news users every month – Not so tiny after all: Tinychat , a simple text, video and audio communication platform, is growing by leaps and bounds. First launched in February 2009 as a simple way to create Web-based chat rooms, Tinychat today is a full-blown chat system with lots of bells and whistles.

General happenings in the world of business in new media

Apple posts record earnings and calls iPhone 4 as its most successful product launch – Apple has just posted its Q3 earnings for fiscal year 2010 and the company has once again bested its own records, this time reporting an astounding $15.7 billion in revenue and a net quarterly profit of $3.35 billion.

Google mobile search and ads growing rapidly in 2010 – Not only has Google’s mobile search volume grown more than fivefold over the course of the last two years, but the click-through rates for its click-to-call mobile ads do 6-8% better than search ads without a number or URL associated with it, according to Mike Steib, director of emerging platforms at Google

Free iPhone case to cost Apple US $ 175 million

Paypal adds 1 million accounts per month – eBay Inc. has released its second quarter fiscal results, posting gains largely because of PayPal’s accelerating growth.

Nokia’s killer smartphone hurts earnings – It’s no secret that Nokia’s failure to compete in the smartphone arena is hurting its business, and it shows in the company’s Q2 financial results.

Allure to give US$ 725,000 worth of products through Microsoft Tags – Allure magazine has partnered with Microsoft Tag for its annual Free Stuff issue this August, allowing readers to use their smartphones to participate in $725,000 worth of beauty product giveaways, which are awarded on a first-come, first-win basis

Microsoft sells 175 million copies of Windows in 7 months – Microsoft wiped away any doubts about its fiscal outlook with a record-breaking Q4 earnings report, primarily driven by sales of Windows 7 and Office 2010. In fact, Microsoft is reporting that more than 175 million copies of Windows 7 were sold in just nine months, making it the fastest-selling OS in the company’s history.

Windows 7 and Office 2010 drive Microsoft to record revenues – In the most recent quarter, Microsoft generated $16.04 billion in revenue, a 22% jump from last year’s $13.10 billion. This is a Q4 record for the technology titan. Income also rose from $3.99 billion to $5.93 billion, an eye-popping increase of 49%.

Old Spice sales double with YouTube campaign – Old Spice sales have increased 107% over the last month in part to the viral video campaign on YouTube

Disney has acquired Playdom for US $ 763.2 million – Disney has officially acquired Playdom, the makers of popular social games like Social City and Sorority Life, for $563.2 million, with an additional $200 million that could be paid out based on performance.

Samsung Galaxy S new ad mocks iPhone 4

eWise raises US $ 12 million for Online Payments Technology – Online payments company eWise has raised $12.1 million in funding led by Balderton Capital with Total Technology Ventures , and Allen & Co. participating in the round.

19th Commonwealth Games – 68 days to disaster!

The 19th Commonwealth Games is going to be held from 3rd October – 14th October in Delhi. It’s the second time that these games will be held in the Asia (after Kuala Lumpur in 1998). There were two bids for these games – one from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and the other from Delhi, India. Delhi won the bid (46-22) on the premise that it would provide US$100,000 to each participating country along with boarding, lodging and support. The fact that India had conducted a successful 2003 Afro – Asian Games was also responsible for them getting the nod.

But since then the preparation has been beset by problems galore. In 2005, the Indian Olympic association vice – chairman expressed concern that the preparations for the games wasn’t up to the mark. In 2009, a government of India report showed that 2/3rds of the venues weren’t ready. And this six years after winning the bid. Off late when the Commonwealth Secretary, Mike Fennel expressed concern at the delay, our dear Indian Olympic Association, Mr Suresh Kalmadi engaged in a war of words with him. Finally it seemed like he just wanted to win the battle of words and didn’t bother a bit about the Games.

A large number of roads, stadiums, lanes, highways, expansion of the airport etc had been planned. But till date that is even today, 68 days before the Games, most of the things haven’t been completed. An MOU has been signed to make this the first Green Games ever. But instead thousands and hundreds of trees are being cut in the name of construction. Entire roads have been dug up across Delhi in the name of the Games. Terror threats and such a shoddy Games preparation has scared of many top athletes like Usain Bolt etc. Workers have been exploited with poor wages, accidents, improper safety, shoddy working conditions etc. The most interesting aspect recently was the collapse of a couple of stadiums because of few minutes of rains. How amazingly we have built the venues. This rain caused blockades of hours around Delhi. You may ask why? Because of it being entirely dug up. All the politicians involved are bothered more about their publicity rather than India’s ability to hold a successful games. It’s all become a game.

I really don’t care whether Suresh Kalmadi. Shiela Dixit or Achantha Sharath Kamal (India’s best table tennis player – Ranked 76 in the world) say that the Games will be the best ever. The way we have horrendously prepared for these games, we don’t deserve to hold such sporting events ever. The only thing we can and will always hold is the Cricket World Cup, Indian Premier League, Champions League and all things related to cricket.


Meetup with Ahmed Faiyaz – Writer of Love, Life and All that Jazz & SIBM Pune alumnus!

Ahmed Faiyaz is at the far left. This pic is from one of the earlier book launches and not of the event which I attended

For the uninitiated Ahmed Faiyaz is the writer of Love, Life and All that Jazz, a fairly recent novel about 6 friends and how their lives change after college. I had reviewed this book in one of my earlier blog posts ( It is a really easy and sweet read about friends and the best part about it is the fact that it doesn’t include any of the usual sex, intimacy and things like that.

I must admit that I did pick his book because he is an alumnus of SIBM Pune. The fact that someone after doing CA and MBA would get into writing excited me a lot. And I myself being an avid blogger, twitter addict and aspiring novelist, I was really interested to meet him. So when the opportunity came along, I grabbed it with both hands. A week back he sent me a direct message on Twitter asking to attend a discussion on the book at Landmark, SGS Mall, Pune on 23rd July if possible.

Finally I did reach the venue on time. Interestingly, that was the first time I had been to Landmark in Pune ;). All the panelists in the discussion were personalities in their own way; Deepak D who became a children author at a pretty old age because he didn’t have his heart in his job, Abhijit who was in the same batch as Ahmed and followed his dream of becoming a musician, Sahil who has become an entrepreneur at the age of 21 itself with a restaurant called Yolkshire in Pune and being a part of Tossed Salad – Pune’s Lifestyle Portal and Ahmed itself.

The discussion started off with a few songs by Abhijit. Then it moved on to discussing Ahmed’s book. Things like how he came up with the idea of the book, about following one’s dreams, the biggest difficulty for a writer, which character he associates himself with etc were thrown at him by the different panelists and the small audience. Ahmed answered all the questions in a very affable and friendly manner which was the first thing I noticed about him when I met him. His way of communicating with the audience was as simple as his book.

On being asked as to how did get time to write a book despite having a very taxing Consulting Job with Dubai Health Authority (DHA), he replied that he used to take out nights and even weekends to write. That factor shows the determination in him to follow his dreams. He could as well have been happy with the amount he would be earning with DHA. Truthfully speaking I was surprised hearing his decision to get into writing full time. But I am sure he must have thought over it for a long long time before deciding it because it surely isn’t easy to leave a high paying job for something you don’t know whether it will succeed or not. One more thing I liked about him was the fact that he agreed to say that he relates to the main character of the book, Sameer. I doubt if many writers really tend to accept that. Instead they end up saying that it’s “A true story”. Now who really knows what’s true and what’s false?

All in all it was pleasing to talk to such a person. In India, it’s one thing to be allowed to follow your dreams and it’s another to really follow despite being allowed to follow. Whatever may be the end result of his books, Ahmed Faiyaz has aimed to be different and I surely believe he will create a legacy wherever he goes. It was awesome meeting you yaar.

Maan I really do look up to you especially for 2 reasons –

1. You are from SIBM Pune
2. Despite everything you followed your dreams of writing.

The best part of the evening!!! – As we were leaving, I asked him about when his next book is coming up. Instead he asked me, when’s my book releasing. 🙂 🙂 🙂

India and Pakistan – What are we trying to prove by TALKING?

At the outset, I would like to point out that I am neither a Congress supporter or BJP supporter or even supporter of the thousands of parties present in our country. Neither do I hate any of them. I would not like to waste my readers time in talking about the history of India and Pakistan. But would instead come directly to the point.

Why are both our countries TALKING? I am not a person who says that we should go to war. But what is talking or so called “diplomatic talks” helping us in. Every time our foreign minister goes to Pakistan for so called next round of “peace” talks and have “constructive” discussions. And what are the so called constructive discussions? They bring the topic of Kashmir, of India fomenting trouble in Baluchistan and how India is targeting Pakistani interests. What do we do? We listen nicely without doing anything and then in joint press conferences say that “Yes! Yes! Progress has been made” and blah blah. After a few days, a bomb attack happens and we again say that we’ll do this and that, take action, mobilize our army and what not but after a few days everything is forgotten. Why should we hear Omar Kureshi “rape” our foreign minister SM Krishna verbally? Even Krishna hadnt come on a “leisure trip” sir! But do we care? The disaster started with Agra 2004 and history repeated itself in Agra 2010.

From the attack on the parliament in 2001 to the Mumbai attack on 26th November 2008, we have said the same things about Pakistan supporting terror groups, ISI being involved and it being used as a state policy – but has anything been done at the ground level? NOTHING. After every attack, we mobilize world opinion against Pakistan. Even America says something. But since it knows that Pakistan’s hand is needed to kill Osama, it sends dollar after dollar. Instead of using to kill the terrorists, each dollar is used against India. Guys! Everyone looks for their own advantage. America doesn’t care about India but its own interests. Its just that so called “diplomacy” has to be shown and that’s it.

The Indo – Pak situation is similar to that of two friends A and B. If A yells at B for something bad B has done and B still doesnt bother to talk to A, so A comes to B and says sorry despite the fact that A knows he is right. Here India is A and Pakistan is B. As one of my friend says, a clap doesnt happen with one hand and a car doesnt move with one set of wheels. We talk about being a superpower and all that. But I feel that till the day we are not able to convince the world of what exactly Pakistan is doing and make the developed countries take some action, we would not be fit to call ourselves a world power. There could be a lot of options other than talking, such as economic sanctions, reducing loan packages from IMF etc. But the will has to be there to do something.

Otherwise we will always be known as a SOFT STATE!

PS – I am not against the Pakistani people. I am sure they must be good. Its just that policies which the Pak leadership has of using terror as a state policy which makes me burn with anger!

Book review – Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Baghdad’s Green Zone – America’s true story in IRAQ!!!!!

This is the first book I have read about the American occupation in Iraq. Its gives the real picture of what exactly happened during the 2003 war and in the years ensuing that. Rajiv Chandrashekaran is a writer and reporter who stayed in Baghdad for quite some time before and after the war. This book contains a lot of narration and also conversations which he had with various individuals of the CPA (Coalition Provisional Authority) – the administrative occupation force, the police force, army and other citizens of Iraq.

The book starts off after the attack to overthrow Saddam was over. Even the false pretext of the invasion, the so called Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) aren’t spoken about much. The book is divided into two parts – Building the Bubble and Shattered Dreams. As the name suggests, one signifies trying to build Iraq and other talks about the terrorist attacks and complete anarchy. The book starts off with how the Americans had built a home for themselves away from all the problems, destruction everything, aptly titled “Green Zone”. It was fully replete with Burger Kinger, king sized life like in the US, Halliburton trailers, amazing houses etc everything. Its very high blast resistant walls made everyone realise each time the dangers they were living in.

To give a historical perspective, Iraq was one of the most developed countries in the Gulf in 70s and 80s. The Iran war and Gulf War had drained it off its resources. There were problems in Iraq like corruption but no terrorism and people were pretty satisfied. Jerry Bremer, the CPA head behaved like a dictator more than anything else. And this led to the ultimate disaster of what should have been the post conflict reconstruction period. People who didnt know anything about a particular field were put in charge of it. A man who didnt know a thing about finance was made in charge of the stock exchange. Privatization of all industries which wasnt even an important task was attempted with so much hurry.

The Baath party loyalists of which Saddam was a part were removed from every department including the army. Schools and colleges were destroyed and there were no tables, desks and chairs. Electricity production was decreasing by the day and there was only 10 hours of power in Baghdad every day. Even the so called governing council, elections and also handing over of power was all done to show the media that everything was hunky dory. The Americans wanted to write the constitution as well despite reservations by Ayotallah Sistani.

In hindsight the two biggest turning points against the Americans were –
1. When they started removing Baath party loyalists, it resulted in humungous increase in unemployment.
2. When they wanted to hold elections, instead of dividing the country into different constituencies, they made it into one and this way the Sunnis couldnt vote and mostly Shia’s came to power. This created a civil war.

The writer brilliantly moves through his narration and conversations with people at breakneck speed portraying the state of affairs in that country. I have always hated America for the invasion. But after reading this true account, my hate has grown manifold. He rightly says that these Americans lived in Emerald City and made laws and rules thinking if it works in America, it would work here too but they were hugely mistaken. The writer deserves a pat on the back for braving all odds to put this book forward which I am sure would have brought a lot of condemnation.


One Iraqi man’s comment sums it all – “We wanted them to support us so that we can rise again. But instead they came and occupied this place as if it were their property.

Rating – 5/5 (One of the best non – fiction books I have ever read)
For the uninitiated this book has got the Booker Prize for Non – Fiction!!!

Honour killings – An increasingly dangerous phenomenon!

Killing a family member (mostly female) for bringing so called dishonour to the family is referred to as honour killing. The so called dishonour is known to be brought by different factors – refusing divorce, marrying against the family’s wishes, not wanting to have sex with the partner or engaging in sexual acts with people from the same sex, wearing clothes which are not acceptable to the family etc. The people who decide the so called dishonour include people from the family, goons and self proclaimed social activists. United Nations Populations Fund estimates 5000 deaths due to this social evil every year. The unofficial figure could go upto 5-6 times this.

Honour killing is known to be prevalent in India, Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Yemen, and other Mediterranean and Persian Gulf countries, and also within migrant communities in France, Germany and the United Kingdom. In Saudi a women was killed because she dared to chat with a man on Facebook. In Pakistan, a women who refused to have sex with her husband because she was tired was mercilessly raped and killed by all her family members. In India, Rizwanur Rahman was killed by Todi’s man because he dared to marry the rich businessman’s daughter. In Iraq, more than 79 women were killed because they violated the so called “Islamic teachings”.

Its all the same everywhere. So why is this prevalent? There is a strong positive correlation between violence against women, and women’s social power and equality with a baseline of development, associated with access to basic resources, health care, and human capital, such as literacy. In a male-dominated society, there is more inequality between men, and women lose out not just physically and economically, but crucially because men who feel subordinated will often try to regain a sense of their authority in turn by excessive subordination of those below them, i.e. women.

Even in India, this is highly prevalent in patriarchial societies in the North. Unless we have a change in our values, women will continue to be supressed as always and considered a piece of dirt!

PS – Men are killed too in the name of honour but more than 90% are females and therefore my blog concentrates on that fact!

Movie Review – I Hate Luv Storys

I Hate Luv Storys (IHLS) stars Sonam Kapoor and Imran Khan. It is directed by Punit Malhotra and produced by Karan Johar. This is the first time both these actors are working in a Karan Johar production. The movie is especially important for Sonam who flopped miserably in Saawariya and Delhi 6 in terms of looks as well as her acting. Imran had a good start with Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na but came back to earth when Kidnap bombed.

IHLS is one of those cliched love stories where the girl loves the guy, the guy doesn’t believe in love and then falls in love with the girl by the end of the story. The story is actually as wafer-thin as that if you may want to call it.

But what makes it different is the treatment. The pairing of Imran and Sonam is really as fresh as a daisy. Sonam looks fabulous. She has never ever looked even 10% of this before. For the girls, Imran is as usual a treat to watch. One thing is for sure; Karan Johar makes his actors look amazing despite anything else. Their acting skills are nothing too great to look out for. Actually none of the side actors except Imran’s friend have much to do. Interestingly, Imran doesnt seem to know how to dance. Check out the title song for that ;). All the songs of the movie are melodious. Many of them are of chartbuster variety. My personal favourites are Bahara, Bin tere (All three versions), Jab Mila Tu and Sadka. The locations are amazing – interestingly this time its New Zealand and not Switzerland.

In the end, it all boils down to what you expect from the movie. IHLS never promised an amazing storyline or tried to impress the critics. It project itself as a simple youthful feel good movie about love and relationships. And truthfully speaking it does deliver on that front. Yes, probably the cliches like referring to DDLJ, K2H2, KAANK etc did get a bit too much. It did get a bit melodramatic at many places.

But all in all a sweet and romantic movie meant to be watched with the person you love – AT LEAST ONCE! You will surely feel good when you come out of the theater.

Rating – 2.5/5

Saina Nehwal – The torchbearer of women in Indian sports!

Move over Sania Mirza, its the time to welcome Saina Nehwal – the new torchbearer of women in Indian sports. Sania is Muslim, rose from a place where it is considered dreadful for girls to even work lest play tennis around the world with short skirts, became an inspiration for a generation of Indians and also stole a billion hearts with her good looks. But after her marriage, everyone wondered as to where the next torchbearer of women in Indian sports would come from. But over the last 2-3 years, Saina has risen the ranks in badminton at breakneck speed to reach the number 3 position in the world today.

For the uninitiated, Saina was born in Hisar, Haryana but has spent her entire life in Hyderabad. Both her parents were badminton champions in Haryana. In 1998, when she was only 8 years old, she used to go for practice getting up at 4am and travelling 25km to the stadium. 50km up and down everyday became a really difficult proposition. Therefore, in 1999 her parents decided to move closer to the stadium. But then the cost of her training and equipment went up miraculously and her parents had to draw all the reserves to pay for her training. As her rankings and game improved, the sponsorships from Yonex, BPCL and Mittal Champions Trust started pouring in.

She started winning junior tournaments left, right and center from 2002 onwards. In 2006, she burst upon the international scene when she won the four star Philippines Open entering the tournament as the 86th seed. From then on, she has many firsts to her credit. She became the first Indian girl to reach the quarterfinals of the Olympics and then went on to win three Super Series titles back to back while no Indian had won even one.

In a game dominated by the Chinese, Saina has sizzled like no other. If she keeps her head on her shoulders in this way, she could well create many more flutters in the World Championships, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games to be held this year and for many more years to come.

The number 1 ranking is within your reach Saina! You deserve it!!

And that’s one year since I started blogging and tweeting!

6th July 2009 was when I made my first post on this blog. I give the sole credit to Himanshu Bhagat (2008-10) batch of SIBM Pune MBA Marketing for “indirectly” bringing out the social media guy in me. A team called the Internet Communications and Blogging team was established a year back to maintain the Official SIBM Blog and the entire online communications of SIBM Pune. I applied, got selected and the rest is history.

As my first post says, I used to write earlier in bits and pieces like some articles in Times of Oman and had been a part of editorial teams at college. But my real writing began when I started blogging. Be it my love life, friends, political issues, social issues, economic issues, I began writing about anything and everything. While writing, I realised that there was so much I wanted to speak about but probably wasnt able to. So if one isnt able to communicate very well in terms of physical communication, writing is the best medium to reach out to the world out there.

As I went on writing, I also realised that if I was interested in something, I could write a post about it in just 20 mins. Many people have always asked me as to how I choose the topics for my blog posts. I would like to say that whatever I write, I strongly feel about each of those things. I never make a conscious attempt to think much before on a topic and then write. Whenever I get an idea to write on something, I just pen down my thoughts.

Interestingly on the same day I joined Twitter too. This was also too for the team work. But I did create my account because I was told to do so. Truthfully speaking I didnt know anything about Twitter before and had the usual question as to what should I tweet about. Till November I had just about 150-200 tweets. But then all of a sudden I started tweeting like crazy. As I started getting the hang of it, I realised the importance of networking. This is the reason I improved my Linkedin account to what it has become today.

And so today, I am connected to 280 odd people on Linkedin, have 12,600+ visits on my blog with more than 7000+ new visitors with a rank of 72/100 by Indiblogger and 550 odd followers on Twitter. The statistics apart, I have realised the importance of having a very good social media presence in these times.

There are a couple of things I know I still have to improve on my blog like the design, making it interactive etc. Its all a work in progress and I am sure with time I would able to improve a hell lot.

Lately I have began my biggest ever project ever – Writing a novel. I have miles and miles to go before I sleep and I really want to be in this field for a long run.

Book review – The Gamechangers

The Fake IPL Player (FIP) is back and that too with a bang. For the uninitiated, the FIP may or may not be an IPL player but his blog has become more famous than IPL. Be it his internal gossip about the different teams in IPL particularly Punjab, Kolkata and Bangalore or his different nicknames for the different celebrities involved with this hugely prestigious tournament, his popularity has touch sky high levels even in centers where people don’t watch IPL. He had promised to reveal himself at the end of IPL 3 but in the end just posted a video on his blog with his shadow saying that he is just a person who loves cricket and nothing more. And now he has come up with a book on the controversies he has generated over the years. I must say, its an amazing way to keep his popularity sky high.

The “Gamechangers” is about IBL (Indian Bollywood League) which happens at Lords, England in 2009 over 35 days. Some of the different teams taking part include Haryana Hurricanes, Rajput Rifles, Bangalore Bombers, Calcutta Cavalry etc. Each and everyone from Vijay Mallya (Raj Singhania) to Shane Warne (Sheik of Tweak) and even Sachin Tendulkar (God) is a part of this book.

The Fake IPL Player has paced this spoof on the IPL world amazingly. It is witty and humorous at the same time. No one has been spared. Appam Chutiya (Sreesanth), Abhimanyu Singh (Yuvraj Singh), Raj Singhania (Vijay Mallya), Lalu Parekh (Lalit Modi), Dildo / Sigwald Raees Khan (Sharukh Khan), Bhookha Naan / Jeff Bucaneer (John Buchanan) and many other nicknames manage to make one roll with laughter. But the most special treatment is reserved for Sreesanth. One of the lines which goes like “Attitude toh dosa ka deta hai par bowling appam jaisi karta hai” captures the true essence of his personality. The FIP doesn’t seem to like Sharukh too much. The way he goes around taking his case makes for quite an interesting read.

The money flowing, the girls everyone looks out for (a line from the book – Sheik of Tweak diving into three mammary glands), Raj Singhania’s opulent lifestyle, Srk’s messages, Sreesanth and Yuvi’s personalities, the internal politics in Calcutta (one of the lines goes like “Bhookha Nan will one day send his laptop out to bat instead of us players) – all seems so true to what actually happens in the real world. The way FIP has intermingled the fictional part of how PMS (Parminder Mahipal Singh) is assigned to search who FIP is with what is reality is awesome.

I am sure that FIP didn’t reveal his identity for a reason. Because he knows that the day he does reveal, the interest and curiosity factor in him will be gone forever. So its better to be anyonymous isnt it?

All in all a really interesting and funny read!

Rating – 3.5/5

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