All posts by Chandana

The Final Episode – and I met him

When I started my matrimonial search almost 2 years back, I didn’t know this journey would be so interesting. It took me two years to meet him but we do have a small history to share. During my initial struggling days with matrimonial sites, I did sent him an interest and guess what, he pinged me back. It was not a yes but it didn’t sound like a no too. He messaged saying he is in talks with someone and though he finds me pretty, he wouldn’t be able to take it forward. So, I was officially rejected over someone else. But that message kind of touched my heart. I have rejected so many and many has rejected me but none of us have been generous enough to leave an explanation. This is how, the boy leaves his first impression. More than a year passed and I literally forgot him when I read a message in office about someone saying ‘hi’. He claimed that I have sent him an interest in the matrimony site, I do not deny because the previous day I blindly sent interest to many. You can imagine my level of frustration and pressure from loved ones for marriage. I still don’t get it how things used to revolve only around my marriage all the time. I did respond to his message but I had no clue that it is the same guy who rejected me a year back. It was next day morning when my mother told me that he is the same guy. The Hyderabad guy turned to a complete Delhite in just a year.

The next day evening we talked over the phone for an hour. Yes, our first phone conversation was hour long. We talked about school and college, mostly his college and finally hung up with a date to meet. No, it was not a date, just a date to meet. Sunday evening it was when I waited for him near a cafe and Mr. Delhi comes 7 minutes late. This was good enough reason to piss me off, but surprisingly, I was in a good mood. We went to an old school cafe lounge. We (me sipping green tea and he enjoying cold cafe) talked more. He kept talking about his love for sports, his adventurous rides and Delhi and food and Picket and food and Hyderabad and food. After almost an hour, someone called him and he walked away to take the call; another not great impression but I surely was in a good mood to ignore that too. He comes back from the call and proposes for dinner. Along with being in a good mood, I might have been hungry too because I did say yes which I usually don’t do. We went to a Biriyani place for dinner. We talked a little more about food. After dinner, we went for a walk. I should call it ‘the walk’ because it was during that walk I made up my mind to see him again. Post the meeting, we went for many walks which eventually led us take the decision of getting married. Its been almost a year since our first walk and next month, I am getting married to him.

Strange isn’t it. Great first impression over a message, 2 bad impression during first meeting and I still decide to marry him. I didn’t even like the t-shirt he was wearing on the first day. Then what made me fall for him? May be a few sparks. I asked him ‘why is he opting for an arranged marriage and he replied who said? I might be opting for love.’ He remembered that I like Biriyani when he chose the dinner place. He pulled the chair for me. May be he smiled with his eyes when he looked at me. May be I managed to figure out the child behind the 6 feet tall man in the very first meeting. I don’t know the reason for choosing him but I feel I have made the perfect choice.

They say ‘marriages are made in heaven’ and I think they say the truth.

A Special Note for the 3rd Floor Guys

3rd Floor, Main Building, Portea will never be complete for me without mentioning Mayank, Siddu, Sumbul and Shruti but I must say, everyone in this floor is awesome. I will miss you all and before I say goodbye to meet you again sometime, here’s a few lines for few of you.

Brian – The perfect gentleman

I always wonder how you can be so well-behaved and well-spoken all the time. You are such an inspiration and it’s always fun to work with you.

Surendar Ji – The cool man with a desi heart

You were one of my first lunch partners and someone who made me feel home when I joined Portea; thank you. I used to love listening to your stories about Riddhi. Your bond with her is so special and it reminds me of mine with my father 🙂

Runam – The Super Woman

How do you manage everything with a smile? I feel the clock competes with you. I will miss you during breakfasts 🙁  I still owe you a top from Siddu 🙂

Karthik Selvam – The Rude Boy

I will miss you. I am sure, we will be in touch. At least invite me sometime for lunch at your place.

Paridhi – The Ever Ready Bride

I love your straight on face answers. You are adorable the way you are 🙂

Reeshma – The Craziest Girl I have met

You are so crazy and that makes everyone love you more. I can never forget anything about you..be as you are always. I love you 🙂

Amrut & Sharad – The Cool Dudes

You both will be kids for me and I am fine with you both calling me Aunty 🙂 Boys, be good and always stay happy.

Ritu – The Beautiful Girl

When we first met to discuss about NA badges, least that I know, we will be friends. But the more I came to know about you, the more I admired you. Ritu, you are a beautiful person inside out 🙂

Shafali – The Photo Ready Girl

You are mad and you know that. Be in touch and please take care of yourself. I love you 🙂

Yeshu – The Man with an Iron Hand

Whom will you bother now for content and creative..Just kidding. Be as you are always…loud, clear and bindaas. Love for both of your daughters 🙂

Famous – The Taunting Boy

Enough of all the taunts, now let’s remain friends. Thank you for tolerating me for two years and you should thank me too for doing the same. You are a nice boy and a better friend. Take care of yourself and Sreedevi 🙂

Kushal – The Cool Kid

Yes, you are a kid. Last few days at Portea were better because you were sitting beside me. I came to know you more and knowing you was fun. Keep in touch and stay random 🙂

Kingshuk – Awwwww

Kingky, you still owe me chicken curry. I will be in touch with you for lab tests for sure.

Priyanka – My Nutritionist Friend

You are beautiful and always fun to be around. I will follow your diet as I want to look better for my wedding and after. Stay happy and cool always as you are.

Siddharth – World’s Nicest Boy

I know you are not but I love calling you that. Sorry for being rude most of the times. Trust me, I am not that bad outside office. All the best 🙂

Kotha – The Teacher

I wish you joined few months earlier so that I could learn from you more. I hope I can still call you to learn new things. You are a great team player and a great addition for the marketing team.

Vaatsalya – The girl with a golden heart

I have so much to learn from you. You bring immense positivity and I think I am a better person when I am around you. You have this habit of bringing the good out of people. Always be the way you are. I love you Vats and I will miss you 🙂

Kavita – You are special

Last but not the least, thank you Kavita for giving me an opportunity to work at Portea. All managers realize when their reportees are upset but very few dare to ask; you do. Half of my issues in the last two years were solved just by talking to you. Thank you Kavita for all the learning and support.

Goodbye all till we meet again, soon.

Episode 3: The One with Blue Blood

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Yes, what an achievement for me. One blue blooded prince showed some interest on a commoner like me 😛

He told me he is from a Royal Family and his ancestors were kings and queens. I asked him, ofcourse sarcastically, if I should call him prince. Unfortunately, he didn’t get my sarcasm and instead replied ‘yes but not much of a royalty these days’. He was a tall, good looking man. Yes, a man and not a boy – at least he talked like a matured man.

He talked to me twice and chatted not more than 5 times. Our usual conversation was always centered around how much I eat. He was slightly on the heavier side but does that mean food can be the only topic of discussion between us. After a point, I was tired of explaining that I can survive without having dinner and at times, breakfast. That won’t kill me  and it’s fine.

I didn’t find him interesting but he was a well spoken man and a man with a huge pay cheque which kept him quite high on matrimony level. But our royal prince was still a prince and not a king. He wanted me to meet his parents before he could meet me. I found it weird but as I was visiting my home, I said okay. Before the grand meeting with parents, he did matched our horoscope and checked if I am a suitable match. I guess ours matched and that’s how I cleared through the first round of interview with the royal prince.

A simple looking old Assamese couple waited for me in the Guwahati Airport along with my father and sister who came to pick me up. Every mother thinks her son is the most handsome man in the world; even K JO’s mom does but she could have spared the praises for her son’s good looks. I was not impressed with his good looks as much with his speaking abilities. The queen and the king scanned me and my nervous father; I think my sister too. The king treated us with a cup of chai and some snacks from the Airport café. We left in half an hour but those thirty minutes were good enough for them to reject me as the bride for their handsome son. I guess they didn’t like my petite physical frame, the car my father came in, my father’s nervousness, my smartness or my complexion or just all of it. I didn’t care much but I do hate the prince for ruining my holidays. All 10 days, my mother kept talking about the royal family and kept guessing my not likeable traits that might have made them reject me. I kept consoling her saying, ‘matches are made in heaven maa’. Thus happened my first rejection in the matrimony front.

When I look back and think I feel it was for the good. I am a smart, independent girl with a decent career and income. A girl with a slightly feminist heart, too much love for her parents and a little too frank – a total misfit for a royal family. Besides, I wouldn’t have looked good with the handsome but fat prince. Yes, he was not slightly on the heavier side, I was just trying to be nice.

He kept visiting my profile often even after the Airport episode. May be he liked me but sorry Prince, you are no king to make your own decisions. Good luck to you in finding your princess 🙂

My 8 Favourite Diwali Ads, this year

Round Shaped Lanterns

Hope you had a great one!

Every Diwali, we come across various television commercials but all of them have the same flavor and we hardly remember any of those after just a few weeks. But from last year, we have seen a change in the approach. This year too, some of the brands have come up with warm commercials that leave a mark on your heart while subtly talking about the brand. Here are few Diwali ads from year 2016 that I really loved and would definitely remember for few years. Though not each of them connected with the brand that well, the impact was quite strong and memorable.

Meri Pehli Diwali by Bajaj

Daag ache he by Surf Excel

Is Diwali Traffic mat karo, Pay TM karo

How Citi Card gives an awesome idea to make Diwali extra special for loved ones

Is Diwali, kuch badal k dekho with Pepperfry

Diwali  wale din kurta pajama nhi pehna to kesi Diwali says Manyavaar

Dil bada to Diwali badi by Reliance fresh

This Diwali, Unbox Zindagi  with Snapdeal

So, which one is your favorite? Leave your comments and feel free to add more, not included in this list.

Episode 2 – Mr. Cold

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When I mentioned cold, I meant it literally and was not referring to other adjectives like being cool or chilled out. Sorry for being brutally honest but I found him quite cold.

Matrimony thingy is a complex affair. Even though few of us might be introverts, we need to speak up to let the other person know us and understand us to make a wise decision. Dude, if you are cold and mum..how do you suppose me to know you; forget about understanding you.

Mr. Cold was a decent looking guy with a decent income and seems to come from a decent family. All three decent thingies for me to give it a shot. We started chatting which was nothing less than answering a questionnaire for a nutritionist for me. What to you eat, what do you exercise, what do you like, where do you work and bla and bla. Oh yes, he did ask me ‘Are you a party person?’ My reply was honest; can’t help being one. I answered ‘I am not a party animal but I am okay with few hangouts once in a while. However, every weekend partying is not my cup of tea.’ I think he didn’t like my reply. Well, good for him.

The chat before we met was quite interesting indeed. He pinged me on a Saturday morning asking let’s meet up for lunch. I was like I did tell you that I just lazy around on weekends but that obviously doesn’t give you the right to plan a meet in few hours. I might have been busy which I think I was but more than that, I wanted him to tell me at least a day in advance. At least till we are someone to each other. I told let’s meet on Sunday..he bluntly replied no, I am busy. I said cool.

Mr. Cold repeated the same thing the week after and as usual, I was pissed off. I left him a lengthy message making it clear that I don’t want to meet him as I don’t feel any connection or seriousness from his end. For the first time, he seemed persuasive and he convinced me to meet. I so wish I was not convinced.

Mr. Cold invited me to a Starbucks few kilometres away from my place whereas there was one just a few steps away. I reached at exactly 5 pm when he casually pinged, I will be 10 minutes late. I gave him minus 5 for this stupidity. He came in late and I was already sipping a horrible tasting cold coffee by then. At the first glance, I just felt he was slightly warmer for his decent looks but he was not. He was cold, really cold.

Mr. Cold claimed to know Salsa dance form. I felt wow but I wish he could do the Ganpati Bisharjan step or some fun Bollywood steps. Strangely, I don’t remember anything much except his cold smile. He was like a food platter well garnished but without any strong feel of spice. He just need some life to his face, some spark and the urge to breathe and be himself. I just wished he could have been more human and less robot.

After the pathetic cold meeting, both of us mutually decided to ignore each other. Though my choice of words have been slightly harsh in this one, I hold no hard feelings for Mr. Cold. I wish him warmth, life and smiles for future 😊

I Wish

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I wish to Fly
I wish to Swim
I wish to Dance
But more than that I wish to Smile

I wish to See
I wish to Play
I wish to Feel
But more than that I wish to Breathe

I wish to Know
I wish to Learn
I wish to Relearn
But more than that I wish to Speak

I wish, I wish and I wish….

Episode 1: By Far The Best

May be it was the first time or is actually by far the best. My first meeting for matrimony thingy was simple and sweet till the end. Like a gentleman, he was already waiting for me in an old style cafe. Least that he knew, I hate all fancy coffees and cupcakes. I prefer a cutting chai or a cup of filter coffee more. Call me small town now, I don’t care.

I was wearing a white top with blue few things and a pair of dark blue jeans. I discarded my spectacles and was wearing contact lenses for the meeting. Not that, I look better without glasses but I don’t know why. And he paired up a casual shirt with jeans and sort of woodland shoes. Don’t ask me the colors, as I am afraid I don’t remember.

The entire 2-hr conversation was somewhat okay. At least, it was an interactive one and we both were participating. It was embarrassing when he asked me about few super seniors from my university and I didn’t have any clue who they were. That was the time when he realized that if not another generation I was years younger than him to remember his friends from my university. He spoke about varsity and the environment and I could equally participate. We had some fun laugh while I was struggling to gulp in the foamy cappuccino.

I think he mentioned about taking me out for dinner post the coffee meet. But me being ‘the me’, said no for the dinner. I bluntly lied about having a b’day party at my PG of some unknown mate. I found an excuse to leave early. The real reason was not that brutal though, but the fact that I was not used to going out for dinners with strangers. He of course was one; I was talking and chatting with him only for a week and there we were meeting each other.

I don’t recollect much from our okay conversation but I knew the guy liked me. I could make that out from his smile. The cafe was just a 5 minutes walk from my PG and when I was about to leave, the not so great ending happened. He just disappeared and I was shock or may be surprised. Left with lot of questions, I concluded he was slightly uncomfortable as we stood up. He was almost of my height or may be shorter than me. I gave the same reasons to my parents and later put it on my parents in front of him, as an excuse to not take the alliance further. However, I am not sure if it was the height thing or the selfish me who just wanted to meet few more people before taking the matrimonial decision for myself.

It’s been a year and half and I have met more people till now, had varied experiences. A few where the guy thought I was average and few where I thought the guy was not that great. However, after these meetings, I could definitely mark the first one as the best one.

And sometimes, I wish I was a little more matured at that time and a little less obsessed with tall men. I could have maKe it work and I slightly regret saying no to a matured good man. But as everyone say, marriages are made in heaven and so if it didn’t strike, it was not made there 🙂

My Weekend Trip to Shirdi

Shirditrip

Two years back on the month of December, it was the first time when I went to Shirdi. This year was my third trip to Shirdi but the holy place still continues to amaze me with its purity and grace. This small village located in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra welcomes hundreds of Sai Baba devotees every day. I am a Sai Baba devotee and feel an immense peace of mind when I am in the holy place. From the smell of fresh flower garlands across the road to the Sai Bhajans being played in the nearby shops, everything has a feel good factor about it. The long queue at the entrance of the temple looks tiring but each one in the row beholds a smile and Sai Baba faith at heart. I can continue to write on and on about this mesmerizing holy place, but let me give a pause and just take you through my short trip to the holy land.

I reached Shirdi at 8:30 in a Saturday morning. More than 19 hours of bus travel had brought a terrible pain on my back and I was dying to go for a warm-water bath. I and my friend took an auto that cost us Rs. 60 to Hotel Sai Grand Castle, our pre-booked hotel for the trip. The hotel was quite near to the temple and the staff informed us that they would give pick and drop facility to the temple by car. Without wasting much of our time, we freshen up for the day. The hotel car dropped us till the entrance of the temple. Both I and my friend bought a small bunch of flowers as an offering for Sai Baba and joined the long queue. It took 2 hours to get a glance of the Sai Baba idol and I wish I could explain my emotions when I reached there. After the darshan, we took a round of the popular Neem tree and collected Udi from the counter.

After our darshan of Shridi Sai Baba, we booked a car towards Shani Shignapur, another temple located around 75 kms from Shirdi. It being Sani Amawas that day, the crowd was huge and there was quite a lot of security. Cars were not allowed beyond a point and devotees had to walk around 3 km to reach the temple. We took help from a person riding a bike and it was definitely a fun ride. We completed our darshan in Shani Shignapur and returned to Shirdi to our hotel.

The holy place serves the best host with yummy and affordable food ranging from Paranthas to Varapavs and Idli and Dosa and many more mouth watering dishes available in every nook and corner of the place. After relishing pure ghee paranthas, we called the day off early, as we were planning to visit the temple again for the early morning aarti. Very obediently, we got up at 4:00 am, freshen up and reached the temple for aarti. The early morning darshan was mesmerizing and it took around 1 and half hours to complete the darshan. We visited few shops after the darshan and went back to our hotel. Around 11.30, we packed our bags to bid good bye to the land and moved towards the bus stop. While boarding the bus, I looked behind and made a promise to make a visit to the land every year once till I could afford. Jai Sai Ram and our bus journey back to Bangalore started.

Emerging Trends in Digital Marketing for 2015

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Staying in your toes is the only way to keep in pace with the fast moving digital world. This world is growing big time and so are the marketing techniques and strategies. Today, doing business means going digital. Maintaining an online presence is no longer a choice but a necessity for businesses to survive. As having business website is a must, bringing in digital marketing is crucial too.

So, what are you doing in the digital marketing front – Optimizing landing pages, running banners or doing PPC? Well, there’s more in digital marketing now and much more coming. In the same note, let’s have a look at the emerging trends in digital marketing for 2015.

  1. Quality Content1

First convince and then convert will be the mantra in 2015 and the coming years. Digital marketing is adapting quality as an integrity which was not that true, few years back. The idea is to build quality content in order to catch and convince the users and conversion follows right after.

“Conversion rate increases up to 60% with good quality content.”

  1. Content Marketing

Content marketing2 is definitely the next big thing. Not just developing quality content but distributing the same effectively is the main focus. Digital marketers are testing and investing really big in content marketing and thus making it an independent stream of marketing in the digital marketing sphere.

“68% of consumers spend their digital time in reading content from brands of their interest.”

  1. Paid Social Amplification

Paid social amplification is already happening and that’s just going to increase even more by 2015. Social media ads are run to reach out to a wider audience driving the conversion rate higher. Paid ads expose your business and content to the widest point making it irresistible to avoid. Besides, the present days no longer promises free reach, at least in the digital world. All this while, maintaining the thin line between engagement and annoyance.

“Businesses increased over 40.3% of their budgets in paid channels in the past one year.”

  1. Mobile Website

Mobile friendly content or mobile site as we say is another trend emerging by the day. Today, almost everyone uses a smart phone and explores the web world in mobile quite often. Your business needs to maintain a mobile friendly content in order to be with the target audience at their go. Besides, when the entire business world is being mobile compatible, you cannot afford to not being one.

“Mobile internet traffic witnesses 3.5% rate of increase per month and this is true across industries.”

  1. Ad Re-targeting

Last but definitely not the least, is ad re-targeting. You have often seen this working with you as well. There’s been more than few times when you might have purchased a product after clicking a re-targeting ad. Also, re-targeting gives you a better reach to your target audience.

“Re-targeting increases brand revenue by 33%.”

Besides the above five, there’s branding, user engagement, smart SEO and much more that will be trending in the year 2015 in digital marketing.

References:

Index:

  1. Quality content indicates good quality in all products and services that a business offers.
  2. Content marketing here includes marketing of different types of content including articles, blogs, ebooks, case studies, ebooks, infographics, research reports etc.

The Road Not Taken

Putting up the entire poem, just because it is my favorite 🙂

The Road Not Taken
– by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

  • Courtesty: wikipedia
  • Img Src: Google Images