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Month: April 2016

Zillion Challenges- #AtoZChallenge

Zillion Challenges- #AtoZChallenge

zZillion Challenges in our daily lives! We all face them. But how many of them do we give our complete best?

When I decided to take up the A to Z Challenge, little did I know that it wasn’t just about blogging every single day of the month. My initial thoughts were..OK… here is a challenge that wants me to blog everyday for a letter of the alphabet. Now that isn’t all that difficult! As I got on with the challenge, I slowly began to realize how wrong I was. Writing everyday for an alphabet was just a small portion of it. There was much more to the challenge.

I have always believed blogging is a community activity. The A to Z Challenge is no exception to this. Apart from just writing everyday, it is important to read, exchange notes and interact with other bloggers. Soak in a bit of them, ’cause it is the best way to grow and learn as a blogger.

The first week of the challenge went by pretty smooth. Of course I had my blogs scheduled. But then began the issues. With a toddler, a school going kid, two elderly parents and a husband constantly travelling, juggling my home chores, my other editing work and the posts for the challenge became quite a herculean task. I was tired by the end of the day without even having an idea of what I was going to post the next day. There were many a times I thought I should quit the challenge ’cause I felt I wasn’t really doing much justice to it. But I trudged on.

By the third week I once again became a little comfortable with my posts and schedules. But here was a new problem. I was way behind in reading some of the wonderful posts floating around. Nor was I able to respond to the comments on my posts.The only way I could handle this was read a few blogs in the time I got, bookmarking the others for a later read.

“Life has many ways of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen all at once.”- Paulo Coelho

I am glad I pushed myself to do the challenge. There were a zillion things to tackle. The challenge ends today. But for me it is just a little pause, a sort of breather space. For the next month, I have the second bit of the challenge-to read as many of the lovely posts as possible, ones that were part of this brilliant challenge.


Yippee for the Yatra!! #AtoZChallenge

Yippee for the Yatra!! #AtoZChallenge

yYippee!! I just won a “ticket”- not a lottery or a lucky dip, but a rail ticket!

The best way to get to places in India is through our very own Indian Railways. Train journeys well become the reason to travel many a times, especially when you have small children, who enjoy climbing up and down the narrow blue berth. The Indian railways is the third largest passenger rail network in the world, comprising 115,000 km of track over a route of 65,808 km  and a whopping 7,112 stations.  


..Unless you plan your journey four months in advance.


With an approaching long weekend, I decided to travel to Amritsar with family and friends.  Amritsar located around 450 odd kilometers from Delhi is a perfect weekend getaway with the Golden Temple and the close by Wagah Border being the main attractions. And the quickest and most comfortable way is to take the overnight train that would cover the distance in 6 odd hours.

There are around 10 trains from Delhi to Amritsar, yet on none of the trains I could get a confirmed ticket. Booking of railway tickets open 120 days before the departure date. Seats fill up pretty quickly, leaving last minute journey planners, such as me, with waitlisted tickets.

Sometimes these waitlist numbers could well run into hundreds. Which means the chances of getting a confirmed ticket is possible only if all hundred people before you cancel their tickets!!The frustration is real and your whole journey depends on these waitlisted numbers.

And then comes the savior, the knight in shining armor – Tatkal reservation. If you thought this was an easier option to get a ticket, you sure are making a mistake. Tatkal (or instant reservation) opens 24 hours before the day the train leaves its origin destination. The bookings for these tickets open at 10.00 AM on the previous day. You would need a fast internet connection and enter the entire set of passenger details to get a confirmed ticket. Hold on… all to be done in less than 5 minutes!

The situation at railway counters is far worse. Commuters are forced to sleep at railway stations overnight to have a chance to buy a ticket. There are frequent altercations between commuters and touts and a lot of pushing and shoving in the queues.
It’s like a lottery. Tickets are sold out in minutes.

Travelling by train always holds this element of uncertainty- of whether one is going to travel or not. And if you do have a confirmed ticket in hand, u better undertake your journey, because you never know when you would get your next confirmed ticket!

And yes I did manage to get a confirmed ticket to Amritsar. After nail biting seconds in front of my laptop, I successfully booked my tickets through the Tatkal reservation.

(E)Xpress Delivery Online! #AtoZChallenge

(E)Xpress Delivery Online! #AtoZChallenge

x(E)xpress delivery of practically anything online is possible these days. Seriously, what was almost unthinkable a few years back seems to have become a norm these days. We could get goods and services from the world of the web, with a click or swipe on our handheld gadgets.

Mrs Dixit, our Customer Support in charge in office, recently invited us for her husband’s 50th b’day celebrations. She wanted it to be a surprise party for him. Hence all her planning, from the guest list, the food, the present et all… were done in secrecy during office hours. At 40 something years, Mrs. Dixit has never really been the gadget kinds. Nor did she really use the internet, except for the compulsory browsing and checking of emails that work required her to do. She often commented on how we youngsters spend the whole day on the internet, wasting away precious hours. And shopping on the internet? OMG! It meant compromising on quality.


Anyways coming back to the surprise party she was throwing for her husband. It all had to be kept hush-hush. And it wasn’t possible to do it after office hours, as her husband would be around. So Mrs. Dixit, on our stenographer Sarah’s advice, took to the online mode of planning. The gift, an iPad for her husband was brought from Flipkart, delivered to the office address. The cake for the party, was ordered from a popular baker in Vasant Kunj. The dinner was booked using another popular caterer’s website, from Nehru Place.

Mrs. Dixit was surprised at the ease with which she actually planned the whole event. All online and her husband hardly had any idea about it. Anyways the party was a big success. Her husband loved the surprise. The person beaming more was Mrs. Dixit, who proudly announced that anything could be done online.

At that moment another gentleman at the gathering announced that he had been taking piano lessons online. He had a piano at home, he signed up online, learnt at his pace and convenience and ended up saving a lot of money. Wondering if this was thinkable even 3-4 year back.

 Ah!!! The way the world has changed…. Is there anything else that’s going to be online? I am thinking…