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  • The Bacon Pate - The food arrived at the table, she fumbled with the lens to get the first shot. "Leave it, lets taste first." said M, wiping his brow, and looking around...

Monday, 20 October 2014

Journey Through Game Of Blogs….The Game

As a blogger I happily volunteered to participate in Game of blogs to #CelebrateBlogging organized by BlogAdda

The game was to create a fictional story around five characters created byBlogAdda. It was to be a team effort of ten members where each blogger would post one part of the story to be continued by the next blogger of the team. The race was to create a best fictional story that would materialize into published work.

I didn’t know a single blogger at the beginning of the game but I found myself in a team of six active bloggers. Seven was the minimum entries to qualify, but we were short of four members. We requested for set of ten members and three more members were added to our group after few days who missed the initial introductions.

Everybody was excited and a big confusion followed. A conference call was made between members where the story was discussed in details. I was unaware of the conversations the group had, because I had got disconnected after few words. The real conversation took place between three members where by the story was discussed, team leader of contact chosen, editors selected, blogger judged from the traffic the bloggers recieved on their blogs.

I was happy to interact with my team members and found all of them intelligent and creative. They had great ideas and fabulous stories to share. The only problem was that it was difficult to coordinate with them on common platform because of their own personal busy lives and finding a common timing to communicate was difficult. A WatsApp group was formed for discussion but most of the members were communicating amongst themselves on a private chat.

What was amazing about my group was that in round one, the story was creatively written with no proper planning, no proper storyboard, no clear idea. It was started with one member writing a story from her own personal viewpoint. The story moved forward picking up ends of the previous post to create a new scene. Every segment of the story was made on the spot, where the previous blogger had left the track. I didn’t know where the story was leading or how it would end. But I played along. It started off well, it was a game, after all, when suddenly the story took a steep turn with protagonist having a disease called Munchausen syndrome by proxy. That took members by surprise and sent us on Google search to do the study of the disease, and that was when the confusion began. Some members refused to go with the flow and wanted the protagonist to be efficient and intelligent. There were temper outrages and lots of disappointments, with some member knowing not how to carry the story forward and rejected the story outright..

But luckily, we also had some very talented writers who happily took up the challenge to carry the story forward. The story shaped into beautiful plot and I was quite impressed with the story.  At the end of round one, three of the members, who could not cope up with the challenges and the time that it demanded, dropped out of the game and we were left with six members.

One new member was added in round two (following the story midway, might have been difficult for her, but she turned out to be an excellent story teller) I was very happy with the way the story was unfolding. During this game, I met wonderful people. We chatted, we joked and we had long private chats. Everybody was willing to edit each other’s work, help each other, and the interaction was healthy too and we worked late nights to create a beautiful story. I wish we had time to edit and connect the story well, we could have easily qualified for the final round.

At the end of round two, we reached the position 12, we missed it by just 2 points.

It was great experience. Nevertheless, I feel sad that there was not much ‘updates’ on twitter about this event. I had created a list on twitter of the participating members of other teams on #CelebrateBlogging, to keep abreast of their activities and their challenges, but there were not much feedback. I wanted to know how the other participants were performing, I wanted the organizers to interact with me, but there was lack of communication.

Moreover, I didn’t know it would eat away so much chunk of my time. Participating in such event demands too much concentration and attention. My other blogs were getting neglected too. It was not just writing one post per week, editing and planning the story was tiresome too.

My team wanted to continue through round three too, but I thought it would be waste of time. Winners were already inside inner circle. I had no inclination to go for round three because I had other priorities.

Let the best win. I opted out.

I have learnt that in the game of blogs, coordination and cooperation is very important but it is difficult to demand loyalty from strangers. It hurts when team members walk away midway when their egos are hurt.

I am glad I met some wonderful batch of bloggers and some of them will remain in my friend list for long time in future.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Redevelopment - 4 Re-locating

This was the last picture I took before I moved out from the house I had lived for many years. It was not easy. Although it looks a mess, it was not always like this, sometimes it was even worse. Nevertheless, My house was comfortable, cozy and had positive vibrations and every visitor felt the same the moment they entered my house. Its strange how we spread our tentacles and claim every corner of the house as our own possession. It is difficult to let go. But then, everything is perishable.

I had begun to clear up my house one month ahead.  But clearing is a slow process. I didn’t know that I had collected so much junk. I was not aware of the dirt that had accumulated in dark corners. So what was my helper doing, regularly charging me for cleaning my house? She could never tolerate late payments. The minute I would change the page of the calendar, her eye-brows would arch in askance of her salary. I have learnt now not to depend too much on helpers and a personal touch is required from time to time. Maybe I had got too lazy or maybe I was too involved in other activities and trusted my helper too much. Or maybe my eyes were shut to the dirt that I saw sometimes. I should have shifted furniture from time to time more regularly, I should carried a broom too.

Most of the things I have thrown away. But the most difficult part was organizing books. I was able to discard many but there are some books that you cannot just give it away. How does one dispose away the cookbooks, fiction, art, religion, philosophy, memoirs?, There is unlimited variety of interests. I have found some room in the iron cupboards (lower shelf) and have stored it away in the new rented house. All the magazines I gave them away to anybody who wanted it, and there were many takers. Who would refuse travel, style and food magazines? Another challenge was disposing kitchen articles: steel utensils, crockery, gadgets, spices and food, what can I possibly discard? I have disposed off clothes, utensils, furniture and many other things. Didn’t sell anything. Moving from a bigger house to a smaller one means I had to reduce my possessions.

The last day of leaving the house was one big confusion; my furniture was transported out to the rented out, so I sat in the empty house, picking up the last remnants and disposing off the things that I didn’t need. House was filled with rag pickers picking up everything, they found of value. Building compound was filled with truckloads of packers and movers. All the packed furniture spread in the building compound, everybody conversation was on exchanging the new address and promises to come back after two years to a newly re-developed house with better amenities.

The building was in bad shape, we were asked not to remove the doors and grills of our house. I saw people removing taps, doorknobs, locks, lights, fans and some even electric wires and switches. Neighbor said he made Rs2500 only on sale of finer things of the house. Some neighbors secretly sold doors and grills too. I had no patience for bargaining on petty things and I gave away everything free. The rag pickers told me I am very generous. They didn't know I was lazy. Bargaining and selling used stuff is lots of effort.

But relocating to a rented house is tedious too. I rented out an empty house and brought my used furniture, but shifting the furniture has resulted in many scratches to my furniture. So here I am with painters, electrician, plumber, tailors, styling up my house to a better shape and trying to create a comfort zone of my own in my new place.

But I still miss my own house......

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Redevelopment - 3 Packers and Movers

It was time to move out of our homes to make place for redevelopment. We are promised swanky apartments in a high-rise building with all the modern amenities, a swimming pool, a gym and an impressive lobby. But that is in the future, right now it meant that we had to move out to a rented apartment.

Relocating means that we have to sort out our possessions, and decide what can be taken with us. There are many things I have been hanging on for years, hoping that it will come into use someday, now, that have to be disposed immediately. I realized that I had lots of junk coated with dust. I didn’t actually need them. Many of my possessions had occupied the cabinets, nestled in dark corners, hidden, ignored.

Now I needed help, somebody to help me sort, pack and then help me unpack. I needed packers and movers.

Research is important before taking any task, although recommendation helps. Friend suggested ‘Agrawal Packers and Movers’. I went to their site and discovered that they claimed to be the best having won number of awards, they could be trusted.. or so I thought.

I called them up to give me the quotation. I was actually moving just few block away, so I didn’t think it would be a problem. Moreover, I was not moving all my furniture since it was just from my bigger house to a smaller one. I had already disposed off the excess furniture.

A representative from ‘Agrawal Packers and Movers’ quoted a lump sum price of Rs32k. I found the price too steep, therefore hired a private person who agreed on 10K.

Most of my neighbors decided to move during the weekend. The building compound was filled with trucks of all sizes and shapes. Packed furniture lay scattered in the compound awaiting loading and transporting.

I was not able to track all of my neighbors, but the few that I met, I was quite impressed with their packing. The furniture was bubble wrapped, covered with brown paper and then plastic. Since I had employed an unprofessional person, he just moved my furniture uncovered, manually lifted most of the boxes and delicate articles were transported on foot.

But the packers and movers that mushroomed in my building looked quite impressive.

So what was the verdict?

Two of my neighbors had hired ‘Agrawal Packers and Movers’ and both were highly disappointed.
They claim to be number one but they are not.” Said my neighbors who used their service.

Agrawal Packers sent only few people to do the packing and when they complained, they send more people from outside the company who didn’t know to pack. Moreover the truck came in late at night instead of morning, and the family were shifting till 2am. This is very tiresome for the family with health problems and insensitivity shown was very disappointing. In addition to that, they had to hire their own carpenters to dismantle the furniture because such service was not provided by the packers.

Another neighbor used the service of ‘Metro Packers and Movers whose motto is " WE Have A Job To Do - And It Must Be Done Well” Metro movers promise exclusive customer support with their personalized moving service.
“Most of them promise a lot and then try to cut corners once you opt for them” said my neighbor who used their service. “The steel cupboards were not bubble wrapped therefore they got scratched”.

Excel Packers & Movers has emerged as a prominent packers and movers in Goa

Two of my neighbors used Excel service and they were very happy. They were impressed with their packing and they found the people quite courteous and professional and did good job. “Tough job well executed” they said.

Gurukripa Packers and Movers’ have their main office in Indore and they are in service since last 12 years. Two of my neighbors who used their services were very happy with their services. With just Rs16k their work was very efficient. “They finished packing and moving in one day and everything was packed and transported properly, they even unpacked for us and sorted it out as per room, making it easier to unpack in new house.” they said

One of my neighbors moved to the next building and I was amused to see him transport his furniture across the fence.

Getting a right type of help relieves the person of the burden of relocation but if wrongly selected, it leaves us exhausted and drained.

"I shall seize the fate by its throat....

"I shall seize the fate by its throat....
"I shall seize the fate by its throat....It shall certainly not bend nor crush me completely"

Out of Box


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