Sunday, October 29, 2006

Auto Rickshaw! Dilli Chalo

I have been to Delhi a few times but have never lived or worked here. But the wide roads and the greens, much unexpected of an Indian city, have been the main attraction of Nayi Delhi. So here I am, after much deliberation, leaving a comfortable job where I had established myself as critical and rejecting a few other Better paying jobs.

The roads are as wide as I remembered, and the trees as green. eM’s TC as she had described…music that I love… Hmm.. But I reached on Diwali and how would I have known that Delhi is Dry and closed on Diwali… After roaming all over Delhi, someone suggested that Ashoka must be Open.. Food was good, drink was no different, but Man, the sofa were all torn. Why would the government run a Hotel, I don’t know? At least mend the Sofas..

I am liking Dilli, so far.. And as an Icing, we are having a Blogger Meet where a Manipuri Blogger will be present. 5th November, most probably… River and Shivam will be announcing it soon.

The only thing irritating about Delhi have been the Auto Rickshaw wallas. You have to bargain wherever you want to go.. Hyper expensive says the dilli old hand who has been guiding me.. But when we do reach the destination, I don’t think the auto-walah overcharged at all. The distance seem quite far for the fare. Only I met a cheat the first day who left me midway saying his auto have run out of gas, and he pushed it awhile and then calmly drove away.. And to think that I pitied him asking how he would push all the way to the gas station. Looks like this is a common trick many autowallahs turn on unwitting travelers when they don’t want to go as far but willing to only go halfway. Hmmm… Oh met Gera at, where was that, Saket? Resourceful that he is, he gave me a self addressed post card to the Delhi Police or something which one could use to complain about Public transport drivers. I haven’t used it so far.. I don’t know if I could put up a face enough to threaten a seasoned Driver.
Dilli Chalo.
Forgot to mention the cold.. not chill yet, but cold. It's been ages since I have felt cold... The climate is amazing... yeah yeah I know about the summer here.... Lemme enjoy each day it comes.


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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Gandhigiri in Manipur

6 years and still fasting. This iron willed Woman from Manipur, Irom Sharmila Chanu has been fasting for the past 6 years while we were amused by the antics of Munnabhai and circuit. If India can be so moved by Munnabhai re-living Gandhijee, Who is is this innocent who has been following the footsteps of Gandhi asking for such a small thing as the right to live as a free Indian, without the fear of getting dragged out in the night, or an armymen pushing the Muzzle of a gun up your chin for as much walking suspiciously.

Oh by the way Indians living in manipur can be shot to death on mere suspicion, and there will be no questions asked. One maybe arrested without as much as an arrest warrant. All because of a Law enacted by the British to quell Rebel Indians during the British Raj, Called the Armed Forces Special Power Act, or AFSPA. The same law is being enforced in a Free Indian State, and all Sharmila Chanu has been fasting for is for the removal of that Draconian Law.

There was a nice editorial on Monday's Times of India on Sharmila, Gandhigiri and AFSPA. I couldn't find the link on the TOI site, such user-unfriendly site .

By the way, on other opposite pole of Gandhi, Subhas Chandra Bose's Indian National Army hoisted the First Flag of a Free India in Moirang, Manipur.

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Friday, October 06, 2006

Start Exercising Man!

And Why the hell did I buy those Yoga Videos if I wouldn't play them?
Oh, I guess I played them once.. But then I needed to practice what was being played eh!

Controlling weight by diet is fine, not that I diet, but the best way to good health is eat well and exercise the fats away. But who has the time sigh!!!

One would rather blog in their free time than Exercise har har har....


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Thursday, October 05, 2006

SEO tips for Blogs and Bloggers!

We all know that Google Just loves Blogs.
Fresh content, Links, Anchor text title headers and what not.

It has been a few months since I discovered SEO and it has opened up a Huge door. I have spent long hours pouring over Forums posts, blog posts and what not starting at Wikipedia.

There are good SEO tips at many Blogs.. And you will find lots of resources at Darren's Problogger, Shoemoney and some other. Nearer Home, you will find good tips at Digital Inspiration.

First read them, and come back to read my post. Or maybe you can finish reading here and visit all the blogs that I mentioned.

Here are a couple of Tips.
I haven't read about these tips elsewhere so these are new, perhaps. I don't know, but they sure are helpful.

1) Link to each post:
Give a link to most of the posts on the front page so that Google bot finds a link to each post which in effect is a page, with Unique Header titles. You must have read from other sources, the relevance of Keywords in Post Titles from other sources. Make sure to keyword the anchor texts.

2) Optimising Archives:
I wanted Google to find a link to all my post so I first set the Archives at weekly. This is better achieved if I put a direct link to the post with anchor text ... Why did I say, Using Archives, then in the header?

The best way to set archives is by month. How? Your monthly archives becomes a page that Google Indexes.. Considering that you write a 30 posts a month, 30 pages have been made into a Hugely content filled Page, and Google has a way of mixing up keywords to match a Searched Phrase.

3) 50-60 Posts on Home page:
Set number of post on the Blog Homepage to the maximum. By the same logic above, you have Huge Home page Filled with Content. Very search engine Friendly, but a little slow to load if your Page is Image heavy. Since I have a fan following on one of my blogs, I have decided to make the home page Fan Friendly at the cost of google traffic, but if you Love Google Traffic, Loaded Front page is good for SEO.
Don't complain if you start getting traffic from people looking for a Pimp in Mumbai. Google will jumble up all the words to come up some interesting matches.

4) Choose a topic for a Month:
If your blog is not a Niche Blog and you cover a variety of topics, at least Blog on similar topics each month. That way your Monthly archived page will be targeted to a particular Topic.

5) Lots of categories:
If you are using Wordpress or MT, create as many categories as possible. More categories, more unique pages to index :).

Other Tips that you must have come across are,

a) Making the Post Title an Anchor Text. In blogspot it is not by default so you have add an HREF to the Post Title <$BlogItemTitle$> with <$BlogItemPermalinkURL$>

b) Keyword optimising the Title of the post. But beware, too much optimisation drives away regular traffic.

Etc etc..

If you think this post has been copied from somewhere, you don't have to say it. I am the same person :)

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India No 1 Exporter of Bribes, Beats China

India is the world’s top bribe payer, screams the headline today on the TOI.
I would just say Indians are.
Not to worry, perhaps bribery is the way to go.
Of the much talked about BRIC nations, 3 of the 4 nations held the top positions. Brazil is way below at the 8th position, tsk tsk.

Now everybody worth his salt have written or talked about that the BRIC nations are poised to become the world’s biggest nations by 2050, and if the list is any Indication, then India sure is becoming the most powerful nation amongst the 4. Simple logic, All 4 nations that are on the path to economic growth are willing to bribe their way to growth, and India tops the list. :)

Sarcasm apart, it is such a sad affair that India businessmen are exporting bribes along with the merchandise. Transparency International, the NGO which is publishing the Bribe payers index shows that Indian Exporters are willing to pay bribes even outside India to get the deal. We are out to spoil the world eh.

What was that joke?
Was it Japan who asked to lend Bihar for a year to change it to a place like Japan, and Laloo retorted that he can turn Japan to Bihar in a shorter time?

Bribing maybe bad, but perhaps it makes good business sense in certain businesses, commodities business and commodities exports for example. Whereas in businesses such as IT which require more intellectual capital than real capital, bribery doesn’t make much business sense.

We have seen two great companies in India. One is rumored to have bribed its way to the present billions, and the other was built without any such. The said second company, lets call it Wipro, had two divisions, still has. One is into IT, and the other into Commodities and such like. The IT arm today is a Billion dollar business and though the business may not be as big as the other company that was rumored to bribed its way to its billions, but then the owner is worth much more billions than the brothers, oops owners of the other company. Perhaps, not paying bribes pays off much better ;)
Oh, so the said division of this anti-bribe company that deals in commodities is not doing too well. So like I said, some businesses call for a certain amount of bribery, which is sad. But then, who are to blame. We can’t all be Azim Premji. We only aspire to be him, and revere him. But there are more people who want to be a Dhirubhai Ambani than Azim Premji. Sad Affair!!

[image courtesy: pestaola ]

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Mumbai Salt Pan Lands to Open-up for Development

The Land Starved Real Estate Industry of Mumbai just got a breather. Privately owned salt pan land would be made available for redevelopment. The union govt have earlier opposed redevelopment of Salt pan land, but a recent high court order asking the Union Govt. not to create any legal obstructions for the developers seem to have given a fresh breath of air to the already land starved developers.

Some 2000 acres of salt pan land had already been bought by real estate developers for a long time now. Real estate developers seem to be most far sighted of all breeds, but then then eventually all land have be developed some time or the other. As Max said in superman returns, they have stopped manufacturing Lands.

On my way to work everyday for the past one year, when we approach Airoli from Mulund, and as we cross the airoli bridge, the vast tracts of Salt pan, with heaps of white salt piled in neat hillocks, have always been a treat to the eye. I had never seen salt pan before I cam to Mumbai, and would never have had the office not been in Mahape, Navi Mumbai. I always wanted to take some pictures, but I always forget to take my camera. If those land are also included, ugly building will now replace those beautiful salt lands.

It may not be such a natural sight to someone who have seen it all their lives, but to me it was different. Last vestige of natural beauty, in the concrete jungle that we are in.

Environmentalist, of course, have been saying that exploiting the salt pan lands for real estate development will be suicidal.

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Google Buy-Back :)

Buy-back of shares by successful companies is quite common place. Happens everyday, but how many times have we heard of companies buying back the garage where the company was started. But then, it was no surprise. It was Google after all.

Sergey Brin and Larry page started out Google in their Dorm in Stanford and later moved into this Garage that you see in the left. It had belonged to one Ms Wojcicki who now works for Google as vice president of product management, and works at the firm's headquarters in the nearby town of Mountain View.

In 2004, Hewlett-Packard which also started out at a garage, paid $1.7m for the garage where it was founded in the Californian town of Palo Alto in 1938.
[Source: BBC]
[Picture courtesy BBC and Associated Press]


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Sunday, October 01, 2006

Metro Sexual Men are Early Adopters!

.....of not just cosmetics!

"Come here baby!"
"Don't you shave everyday, I love your stubble!"

I have always wondered aloud, what the hell is a Metro sexual Man? And why would men suddenly start doing all those things that a Metro sexual man is suppose to do? Do they go for Pedicure? Perhaps a mud pack, or was it face pack?

Now I know! These so called metro sexual men are what we call "The early adopters"
in marketing parlance. What is it that they have adopted early? Not the mud pack!

Well, they have been early adopters of a Mindset, if the mindset be sold as a product. A mindset that Women now looks at a Men much as a Men does a women, for ages. "As a hunk, as a beautiful thing, something good to hook the elbow into." With women becoming increasingly independent and most of them doing very well financially, not having to look at a Man anymore for his BMW or the diamond ring, have now started to look at men for his looks, so says a report. Was in one of the Time of India supplement today.

And with more women in Marketing today, I am not surprised that the Mindset is being marketed successfully.
Who was the person behind that Shah Rukh Khan's Lux Commercial?

Feminists will be smiling, the hardliners will be screaming that they have always looked at Men like that. People at the Menarebetterthanwomen will be screaming bloody murder..

But the cosmetic marketers and the beauty parlor chains will have gained a new target market, and not a niche in that. Who doesn't want to look good anyway?

I am OK with men looking good (Shit! the competition has just increased) as long as Women don't start to look like cigar chewing cowboys. I hate stained tooth. Oh I wasn't referring to the metro cowboys..of the brokeback mountains and suchlike :)

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