Thursday, March 31, 2011

Meet The Bloggers - Ricky Singh

Ricky Singh is one of the sweetest persons I have had the pleasure of knowing! As much as I know of him, there isn't a mean bone in his body... He has tons of friends and takes the pain to keep in touch. He found the love of his life recently and I wish him years of bliss with The Cute Mrs. H! (In his words)


Personal Info


1.       Your Online Name – Ricky / Seventeen Tomatoes
2.       Your Blog Link - http://www.seventeentomatoes.blogspot.com/ and after ages I tried to visit my original blog http://seventeentomatoes.rediffblogs.com that started it all, only to find that rediff discontinued that service and suddenly it feels that like a huge part of my life has gone missing. 
3.       Your Real Name (in case the two are different) – Ricky Singh
4.       Which country do you live in - Canada
5.       What do you do for a living – System Analyst for local government

Blogging


1.       When did you start blogging? Now that my original blog is lost, I don’t know the exact date but sometime in 2003
2.       How did you come to know about blogging? I read about it on technology sites and found it to be a way to express myself but it turned out to be much more than that.  For me it was a way to meet some of the most wonderful people from all around the world that shared my thought process. 
3.       What was your first post about? I started writing reviews of books that I would read but I didn’t know the power of blogging.  So, I used to read a book, create a blog, write its review and then next time create another blog for another book.  It was when I wrote about a real life incident where a girl of Indian descent was murdered in city of Victoria, BC, Canada that I started to get comments from people all around the world asking me about it.  And then I read another book by an Indo-Canadian author, Seventeen Tomatoes by Jaspreet Singh, and wrote its review that became my online blog identity and my first official post. 
4.       Did you refer your blog to answer the previous question? (Be honest here guys, this is not an exam!) – No, I did not as the story of my first post is etched in my memory even though the bits and bytes are missing. 
5.       Why do you blog (or did, if you are no longer active)? – I was reading a lot of books at the time I started blogging and always wanted to share my thoughts on the books I read.  I found blogging to be a perfect place to write my thoughts.  I wasn’t expecting people to read those posts and comment on them but one thing lead to another and my blog evolved from there.  My blog became a place to not only share my thoughts but meet people who shared (or not) those thoughts.
6.       Do you have a blog related memory you cherish? – My favorite memories are making friends from all around the world with people who I may have never in a million years met me in person.  An unforgettable incident during my blogging days was when me and one of my blog friends (she is now based in UK), arranged an online blog meet on yahoo messenger on India’s Independence Day.  We weren’t expecting much participation but a lot of people joined and we all sang patriotic songs.  Truly unforgettable. 
7.       Who are the other bloggers you read? Anks (one of my favorite story writer).  Most of my other blog friends have stopped blogging. 
8.       Which is your favorite piece of work? (A blog post written by you):  I think my favorite piece will be a post I wrote where I told the love story of my grandparents.
9.       A blog post by another blogger that you like a lot:  Actually to me blogs was more about knowing the real person writing those blogs than individual blog posts but one story that I remember even today was the one you (Anks) wrote, Progatihttp://ankstellsherstories.blogspot.com/2005/11/progati-tale-of-progress_23.htmlThe characters of that story were very strong and are still etched in my mind. 
10.   Do people you know in real life (friends, family etc) know about your blog? Some do most don’t
11.   Do they read your blog? My wife has read some of my posts. 
12.   What do you think of the recent blogging phenomenon of category blogging like ppl who blog about technology or fashion or travel or food only?  To each his own.  I think blogging started with people writing random posts and that was the most exciting time for me.  Today I visit mostly technology blogs related to my work field and that’s very good but it doesn’t hold any emotional interest for me like before. 
13.   For those who no longer blog, why did you leave? Most of my friends either left blogging or started blogging sporadically and I got busy with my personal and work life.  To me blogging was more about people behind those posts than the posts itself, so when the people left so did my interest. 
14.   Anything else you would like to share? I started blogging as a way to share my thoughts and ended up meeting (mostly online) some like-minded people that became good friends in real/offline life.  I also met couple of the bloggers in person and they seemed an extension of their blogs which was fantastic to know.  I personally think I know a lot about some of the bloggers than friends from my other life.  Blogging has been one of the most expressive parts of my life and I do intend to write again though this time it will not be about making new friends but a way to express myself creatively and maybe bring back some old friends to the joy of blogging.    

PS:  I really loved doing this exercise although it made me a touch bit sad to find out that my old blog is dead and buried.  It reminded me of old times and old friends. A word about Anks – You have been a great friend, Anks.  I met you much later than my other blog friends but it has been great knowing you through your blogs and chats and few phone calls (and a memorable phone call).   Not many people may know this but you have a big hand in my life (Hint: JS).   There is more than a good chance that I would have never met you if there was no such thing as blogging and yet here we are.  Please do keep writing, you are one of the very few friends who still write (even if sporadically).  Thank You for waking my blog memories J.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Meet The Bloggers!

I have been blogging since December 2004. That makes this blog almost 6 and a half years old! Agreed, there have been loooong periods of inactivity and the blog has undergone many transformations in terms of content, but it still remains an outlet for my thoughts and words. A remark about the change in my blog by an old blog buddy got me thinking about the days gone by and what good times we had. Those were the days when blogging was new, bloggers were new and blogs were a collection of random posts about everything under the sun! In my group, you found book reviews, movie reviews, travelogues, recipes, song reviews, poems, political rants, office cribs and stories... lots and lots of stories. Some were real, some were figments of the blogger's imagination, but each one was brilliant! Time passed, life happened, ppl moved to other cities, got new jobs, got married and genrally drifted apart, coz a lot of them stopped blogging or became very irregular. Daily interactions grew to a few odd comments...

And then, Facebook happened! The bloggers were reunited as the network grew... I have kept in touch with a few of my blog buddies and am good friends with them. Several of them are on my facebook and twitter. I can now put faces to their names and know what is happening in their lives. And yet, there are others who I know nothing about... I wondered what happened to them... I then thought about the friends I gained, and wanted to get them all together again. My first thought was a VBM ( a Virtual Blogger's Meet) but the chance of finding a timeslot when all of us cold be accommodated would be next to impossible. And hence, this idea was born - Meet The Bloggers!!!

yeah, I saw Meet The Fockers that weekend and hence the name, but i like it! So, I asked a couple of questions to all my blog buddies and now I proudly present them to you...! Watch this space for more....

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Some Pics

Those of you who know me would know of my mild obsession with photographs. Yes, its mild and yes I am in denial! Here are some of my pics...











Hope u guys enjoyed them!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Jamaican Farewell

Today is another country music day for me. My all time favorite has to be Don't Cry Joni. A close second is Jamaican Farewell. What I love about these kind of songs is the focus on lyrics and singing and soft melody. Sharing the lyrics for you. You can hear Jamaican Farewell here

Down the way where the nights are gay
And the sun shines daily on the mountain top
I took a trip on a sailing ship
And when I reached Jamaica I made a stop

CHORUS:
But I'm sad to say, I'm on my way
Won't be back for many a day
My heart is down, my head is turning around
I had to leave a little girl in Kingston town

Sounds of laughter everywhere
And the dancing girls swaying to and fro
I must declare that my heart is there
Though I've been from Maine to Mexico

CHORUS

Down at the market you can hear
Ladies cry out while on their head they bear
Ackie rice and salt fish is nice
And the rum is good any time of year

What is your favorite country Number?


Monday, March 14, 2011

Giveaway alert!!

Our very own Ikki is hosting a giveaway at her blog. Check it out here. Head over to her blog to meet her and her awesome buddy Zorro (of the canine sorts) who will rip you apart if you call him doggy or bow wow... how cute is that?

:)


Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Lifestyle Deal Experience


Hello girls… all of you must have seen the snapdeal ads on TV unless you’ve been living in oblivion. The 60%, 70% and 80% off on things like restaurants, spas, gyms are pretty tempting na? I got tempted too and me and hubs being the net junkies that we are, we searched for more of such sites and came across Koovs.com in addition to snapdeal.com and bought a multitude of deals. My experience has been mixed and there are a few learnings too. Let me start off with my experience at the Magnolia Spa, Gurgaon (Koovs.com)

Img Source: Koovs.com

You can see that the deal is quite tempting. And I snagged it up even though this salon was quite far from my place. Kuhu fell ill the weekend I was supposed to go and the coupon was due to expire. So I called the owner and she agreed to stretch it for me.

When I finally reached there, my first impression was UNKEMPT! I figured this place to be at least a decade old and later on when I chatted with the owner, she told me she has been running the place for sixteen years now! So, the place could do with an overhaul…. There was seepage on the walls, the paint was peeling and the place did have a general air of disintegration. When this place would have been new, it might have looked quite posh. There were stylish cut mirrors, wood paneled booths and a separate area for haircuts and separate for wax/facials etc. But the years had taken their toll.

Coming to the service, I have mixed feelings. The staff was courteous and polite and checked up on me twice or thrice if things were going well. There was an attention to detail like putting cotton in my ears before the shampoo so that water does not seep in, a foot and leg massage post waxing and so on. At the same time, another girl just lifted the magazine I was reading from the arm of my chair and handed it to another customer. She did not even bother to ask me!! How utterly rude is that????

When I reached the place, the owner was not there and I found the girls slacking off a bit. There were four ladies on the chairs to be serviced and all of them were waiting for something or the other. Two of them were even complaining! My attendant took an hour to wax my arms and legs… An hour!!! Even with the massage thrown in, that was way too much…

By that time, I was irked by the service. I had made the decision to not get my facial done and had told the lady in charge right away. Despite that, at least three different girls came and asked me if I was getting my facial done. My attendant told me that haircuts were done by the owner and she may or may not come. Now, I was pissed. I had called the previous evening to take the appointment and called the owner asking for directions as well. She should have told me she wasn’t gonna be available. But then, I was told that her son was not well and she had rushed out to attend him. When I called her, she told me that she would be there in an hour. She made it in an hour and a half and even though I had to wait a few minutes for her, I am glad I did! She set to work as soon as she came in, asking me what cut I wanted. I asked her to trim and get them into shape without sacrificing the length. She snipped and snapped and her experience at handling hair was evident. She casually chatted up with me while she cut them and advised me to do something abt the premature graying. I told her I use henna in summer. She said it wud spoil the texture of my hair and if I did want to use it, I should add lots of eggs to it! Now almost all stylists who have cut my hair have told me not to use henna, but no one told me about the eggs. Most get me to sell me the colouring services. This one told me I could even colour at home. It’s no big deal! I liked that she was not trying to sell me too many services. And then, when she was doing the blow dry, she asked me whether I wanted it curled in or out. She gave me a nice spirally sort of blow dry. I liked the end and I might say that the haircut was the saving grace of this deal.  I still have to see how it behaves when I have just shampooed it and left to air dry but I do have a good feeling about it. Not the best experience but not one to give me nightmares either.


And now, my wisdom from the various deals -
  1. When buying the coupon, look for deals close to your home, workplace or someplace you visit often. If the deal is disappointing, you wouldn’t feel about the time and effort spent in getting there.
  2. Always read the fine print carefully before you buy the deal. There could be some exclusions or conditions that the merchant will not relax.
  3. If possible, check out the place beforehand. If not, at least read some reviews on sites like mouthshut.com. Reviews give against the deal could be written by the merchant or their close ones and are generally glorious ones
  4. Even if the place does not meet your expectations, give them a chance (unless you feel it’s a shady place). They just might surprise you
  5. Always take an appointment before you land. This is especially true when the Merchant has two or more outlets and the deal maybe valid for only one of them. This happened to me with another deal. While taking the appointment, declare that you have a coupon and carry the coupon with you to the outlet.
  6. When you buy a restaurant coupon, taxes may not be included. Understand beforehand how the calculation works. A club we went to, added taxes to our food and beverage, applied discount on this total and calculated what we need to pay. Then they levied tax on the amount again! We had to pay tax twice!
Overall, I’d say that these are not bad and definitely worth checking out; we just need to be careful while purchase and be prepared for the possibility that one odd deal could be a disappointment. Even if you don’t get 70% - 80% off s in the ads, the effective discounts of 40% - 50% too are good enough. Now, will the makeup brands please wake up to such deals???

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Reliving your Inner Child

We took Kuhu to a garden yesterday. Spring is nearly here, the flowers are in bloom and I wanted some pictures of Kuhu outside home. Thank God, the whether did not play spoilsport :) It was clear and sunny and not too breezy. She enjoyed her day out and I had a field day clicking pics of her and of all the flowers. I was like a kid in a candy shop! Hubby played along, even though his leg gave him trouble. And then, when we were sitting down, two girls doing a promotion of red bull approached us. They handed us a can of red bull to try. Gosh it tasted like cough syrup!! But it did give a burst of energy...

And later, I thought about how happy I was while clicking the pics... some of them are mighty good if I may say so... that reminds me, i haven't shared any of my pics on this blog...hmmm... maybe i will... my blogging has been so random off late that I just can not categorise it. When I started blogging, only 2-3 ppl who I knew in real life knew about this blog. Some of them were regular readers, others were not. But as the social media exploded, almost all the ppl I know have an access to this blog. That includes my parents, my husband, my relatives, my colleagues.. even my boss! Back then, I could use this space to rant and vent out stuff but now, the fact that anyone will read it is always at the back of my mind. I watch my word now, lest I say something that is misunderstood or hurtful. Do you guys face this dilemma?



Thursday, March 03, 2011

6 Months

My baby is now 6 months old!!! By jove, time flies.... Hubby said he'll recommend me for a bravery award in August.... :) And she giggled.... so cute... Just looking at her sleeping peacefully induces so much love in my heart... now I know why they say motherhood is the bet experience :)