Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Kesar's - Not Just Sweets...

Kesar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Rocky and Mayur have ventured out to explore food from all parts of India and curate videos on Askme.com  I'm contributing my part by relishing my favorite dishes at Kesar's and sharing my views with you all!
You can also upload your video review on AskMe and stand a chance to meet Rocky and Mayur.



 ~~~ 

This weekend, I gave up on my kitchen.
Yes, I did.

Why, you would ask.
Who likes to cook early in the morning, that too on a Sunday, I would ask! :)

So, that is when I decided to give the routine sweating in the kitchen, a miss and we headed straight to a recently opened outlet of Kesar's in our immediate vicinity.



The outlet in Rajouri Garden is the second of its kind, with the first one established at Pitampura in North Delhi.

With their Breakfast Special Menu knocking on our door, with our morning daily, we decided to make a beeline and try something different for breakfast, this sunny day. :)

We were greeted by the outlet's manager, who greeted us with a pleasant smile. Also, the spacious interiors along with the autumn leaf floor motifs caught my eye, at first.

Since it is a new kid on the block, in our neighborhood, the restaurant has limited food items on offer, for now.

Down to what we ordered from their menu offering delights on the breakfast plate.

छोले भठूरे for the better half and पूरी सब्ज़ी, one each for the daughter and me.

Here, have a look.


This platter consisted of बेदमी पूरी, accompanied by potatoes in a buttery gravy, with a sprinkle of lemon juice. Alongside, were onion rings, pickle and a whole green chili as accompaniment. :) 


छोले भठूरे were served in the conventional style, accompanied by the same sides, as above. 

The cherry on the cake and the pleasant surprise however, was this Sweet Lassi, sprinkled with pistachios, which was served after the meal to sweeten the taste buds. 


The better half, however, felt like savoring some Indian Street Food, and we ended up ordering one portion of गोल गप्पा, consisting of five pieces, and the regulars - सौंठ चटनी, जलजीरा, इमली का पानी. 


The entire outing proved to be economical enough for me to pay a second visit. 

As for the sweets section, I ended up buying the मलाई घेवर, रेवाड़ी बर्फी, and Milk Cake, as it was the first time, I was buying sweets from Kesar's. 

You could have a look at the variety on offer. 


I have tried the घेवर and the बर्फी as of now. Frankly speaking, while the बर्फी met my expectations, the घेवर's crust was a tad bit too soft. Giving honest feedback makes room for improvement, I believe. 

All in all, it was a good visit to Kesar's - Not Just Sweets! :)

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

An Evening With The Missile Man Of India...

Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers

~~~ 

Yesterday was ominous.
All of us know why I am saying so.

The Missile Man Of India,
The People's President. 

Bharat's Ratna,
A True Indian. 

Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam aimed for the heavens, yesterday, with his wings of fire. 
An inspiration for millions, the luminary breathed his last while pursuing his passion - delivering a lecture, to guide the students at IIM Shillong, on the subject which most interested him and his envisioning of 2020 - 'The Livable Planet Earth'. 

I had been fortunate enough and feel honored to say that I had attended one such conference, as yesterday's where Sir spent his last moments, albeit at the Teen Murti Bhavan on October 30, 2014. 

While I had found those photographs in my portable hard drive just last week and planned to chronicle the same sometime around now, I had not, in my wildest dreams imagined that the reason to pen the post would pursue a different course altogether. 

While it is a matter of pride that I had spent a significant sixteen minutes that day, listening to, and admiring Sir's oratory skills - the time which has come to a standstill for me, I now realize that living in the moment is a priceless experience. 

For, it is at the moment that you're able to cherish the incident. This is a fact, which holds true for those students and Sir, yesterday, as well as for that day, when Sir had graced the inauguration of the exhibition, "The Nobel Prize: Ideas Changing The World".

It was heartening to see that Professor George Smoot, a Nobel Laureate, had flown down for the occasion, and Kailash Satyarthi, who was at that time, yet to be awarded the Nobel Prize, had chosen to grace the gathering as well.

Alongside the inauguration, there was also, a seminar based on 'How Can Scientific Creativity Deliver The Greatest Benefit To Humankind?'

I feel that Dr. Kalam was the best person to speak about the importance of science and technology and its benefit to mankind. There couldn't have been anyone better than him to delve on this subject.


It came as no surprise when he stepped on the dais.

There was pin-drop silence as he began to speak with the facade of the historic Teen Murti Bhavan as a humble backdrop.


They didn't call him as the People's President, for no reason. Without any air about himself having been a former President of the Nation, the effortlessness and the pleasant smile with which he greeted all those who were present at the gathering was admirable. 

Even afterward, when all the dignitaries and the members of the audience were led into the main building for the inauguration of the gallery of exhibits, he was ever-so-involved, praising the course the Nobel Museum had taken and the numerous revolutionary ideas, it had felicitated over the past years. 


The moment to be 'freeze-frame'-d was however yet to come. As I approached Sir, with my Book and a Pen for him to sign, in hand, he intently told me that he would sign that page with his own Pen. 

And, am I thankful to heavens for that? I sure am. Even the INK from such an illustrious individual's PEN is an invaluable gift. 

Signed,

Greetings 

APJ Abdul Kalam



What you don't see in the image, however, is the fact that the final stroke towards the edge of the page has done a full curve around the rest of the pages of the book, and come back to the current page. 

It is like the underline did a full orbit, like a real Missile and landed back on Earth. :)

Such was Sir's perseverance and dedication towards his passion, that it reflected even in ink. 

As I close this post, I leave you with the oration delivered by Sir, at the occasion.

It is a sixteen-minute long audio recording. It is a prized possession for me, especially now. 

May your soul RIP, Sir. 




Sunday, 26 July 2015

Curiously Smart, Kiddo!

My maiden collaboration with Women's Web  and they along with Kid Social Shell find my post deserving of the Third Prize.


Thank You for giving me an opportunity to pen this post. :)

~~~

"Children today are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food, and tyrannize their teachers."

I will never be able to know what went around Socrates' mind when he was prompted to make such a categorical statement which is devoid of any relation to the coordinates of time and space.

Well, it holds true universally and is as prevalent as the concept of 'Generation Gap'.

I guess the human psyche is wired to behave in the jaunty manner that it does.

It is blatant and in-your-face, more often than not, as thus.

We are our own masters and enslaved by none. Free-spirited dreams govern our horizons, discovering the nuances of life as our own! 

I would be kidding my own self, if I were to say that my own daughter was a prim and proper, well-behaved kid at all times. 

No, not at all. She was a brat at times, lady-like at times. The kid in her amazed us all. 

My daughter, is a case in point, to reinforce the fact that kids were, are and would continue to be curiously smart. 

You would believe that I have outgrown the phase of toddler parenting, as it has been two decades since the apple of our eye stepped into our house. I would beg to differ. 

Parenting is a tricky business. Jovial pride, uncanny reasoning, adamant disagreement, clever negotiations, baffling discoveries, all are part and parcel of life as a parent. 

You never cease to be a kid with your kids, they say.

Nor being a parent, I add. :)

I always believe that kids are able to present a never-seen-before perspective to us adults, who tend to the world around us on face-value, for granted, in any situation. 

Kids commit the most outrageous crimes while belittling them with a straight-faced - 'Did I do that? Are you blaming ME for the ruckus?!' :D

It is this innocent outlook which wins hearts. They are an angel to call our own. 

Well, let me warn you, by adding that they are more devious than you can even think of, too. 

~~~ 

It's a small world, they say. More so now, owing to the eternally connected world. 

I believe that communication is a tool which zeroes in on the distance factor. 

With such vastly spread means of communication, it comes as no surprise that toddlers who are barely learning to walk have acquainted themselves well, with the quintessential 'smartphone' and every detail of its functioning, with toothless smiles! 

I remember distinctly when I spent a good fifteen minutes chatting with my colleague. 

Five minutes later, I received a call from her princess! 

Turns out, she had sneaked in the phone from her mother's reach and accidentally swiped her finger on my name in her last called log. 

This is how the children of today are exploring flashy gadgets and bright screens on their own. :) 

~~~ 

Back to when I was acquainting myself with the nuances of parenting, we were also welcoming the Internet in the 90s.

The retro telephone with that round dial, which used to go clunk-clunk on dialing the digits, those televisions which used to go 'five colored lines' if the signal went wary, and those cassettes with reels which had to be rolled using that pencil were still the norm. 

The computer with its Windows '95 OS and the blue screen which signified a terrorizing system failure was a new addition to the house that time as well. 

With that massive desktop machine, the words Compact Disk and Floppy Disk too made way into our vocabulary. 

Unlike today's ultra-slim, wafer-thin gadgets, the technology of that time was arduous to the tee and cumbersome to a certain extent too. 

From that blue screen which symbolized terror on the Win '95 command prompt to a violet colored template on the GUI of Windows 8.1 which means perfectly normal, the technology in our house has come a great way!
  
The stereo from BPL Sanyo with an accompanied cassette chamber, ranging from 1-2-3 A-B-C to Indie Pop songs from Leslie Lewis and Hariharan has been replaced by the sleek iPod. 

Those VHS cassettes with which we as kids used to discover joy, on having documented numerous birthday parties over the years has made way for a single DVD player and multiple CDs. 

The concept of the reel driven Kodak camera, which used to surprise us on the development of every 'negative' is now obsolete. 

From those video game parlors to game applications 'apps' on the smartphone, technology has taken gadgets in its stride and evolved too. 

The BPL Sanyo, The Kodak Reel,
The Nursery Rhymes, The Past's Feel!


~~~ 

Kids today are so receptive to technology that it makes me wonder - 'Where will we go from here now? What next?' 

The next step might be to make the child realize that the page of a book does not zoom in on its contents and that the television screen does not respond to touch! :)

It is the hyperactivity of today's kids which has led them on to be Einsteins and Newtons of their own little world!

There is a little anecdote of curiosity concerning one of my colleague's two-and-a-half-year-old. 

The other day, she was recollecting how her husband had gone to the girl's school to complete the formalities concerning the tiny tot's admission. 

She was joyously proclaiming to him that she would also be able to go to school, like her mother.

The fact being that my colleague and I are teachers, the little one was surprised on not finding her mother in her school, the next day.

When she returned from her first day in school, she ended up complaining to her mother.

'Mumma, I went to school today. Where were you? You were not in school. You don't go to school! Where do you go?' :)

She does not realize yet that there is no one school in this world. It will, of course, dawn upon her in due time. 

As goes for self-discovery, today's kids have mastered that art. As parents, we must flow with the tide and learn with our little ones.

These children of today's generation are growing up in the world where it is imperative to explore oneself and the happenings around oneself to ensure a witty survival. 

The realization of this fact and the ideology of the survival of the fittest, ensures for them a well-rounded personality, as they embrace their future with open arms. 

Being 'Curiously Smart' is what lends an edge to the GenX persona, Kiddo! :)

~~~ 

There is something to the kids of this time,
#AajKalKeBacche

Ousting the parents they call their own,
Who exclaim "Kids Today!"

Queries which put up disagreement,
Adamant eyes which desire a reason

To put their curiosity to rest,
Pair what you know, with the art of persuasion

#AajKalKeBacche, whose adventures find no end,
A love-hate relation with interactive discoveries

Stressed out parents, mischievous kids,
Hand in hand, the explorer never takes a moment to sit

Ripping devices apart, assembling them together,
Discovering the unseen, unheard, are #AajKalKeBacche

Being tech savvy, gadget friendly,
Comes with its concerns of safety

Parenting is an art, to continuously evolve,
Ensuring the ring of security in the cyber world too

Explore the world together with your child
True bliss, would then be known  :) 

~~~ 

I am participating in a Blogging Contest, organized by Women's Web

This blogger contest is supported by Kid Social Shell, a unique digital parenting platform with 11 gaming-learning apps. Use it to play 3D nursery rhymes, counting number games, shapes games, fun math worksheets, coloring games and more! 

It is a unique digital parenting platform that bridges the gap between parents and their children as it offers kids oriented learning content and rich productive parenting tools.

Some of the benefits offered by the Kid Social Shell platform are:


  • Learning with gamification
  • Monitoring your child’s performance.
  • Interacting with like-minded parents
  • A secure hub for kids


The app consists of 11 gaming-learning applications such as 3D Nursery Rhymes, Counting Number Games, Math Worksheet, Shapes games, Coloring games and 6 others.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

#HIQTravellerMeetup Moved The Howrah Bridge To Delhi!

Baluchi - The Lalit New Delhi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

What?
The Return Of HolidayIQ's #HIQTravellerMeetup.

When?
Friday, 24 July.

Where?
The Lalit, New Delhi.

A tryst with the HolidayIQ community, yet again. Why, didn't you read about the first one, on the blog?

You must, but only after you read this one, reminiscing the ethereal experience that was yesterday! :)

"You shouldn't miss our Traveller Meetup at The Lalit, New Delhi that promises a unique Kolkata-inspired culinary experience! And, you get to meet top travellers from your city, listen to untold stories and share your own."

Thus spoke the invite, prompting me to experience the epicurean rendition of the Kolkatan cuisine, thanks to the Executive Sous Chef at Baluchi, Chef Ishika Konar, coupled with an array of travel anecdotes, from fellow travelers.

We were greeted by the Founder of HolidayIQ himself, Mr Hari Nair and the lady who supervises over all such Community Engagement initiatives with an invisible aura of cheer around her, Nihal.

Acquainting ourselves with like-minded wanderers was so absorbing that it did not take long for us to lose track of time.

An interesting story was elucidated by Hari, wherein he told all the attendees how HolidayIQ had begun as an Excel Sheet, yes the humble MS Excel, and today had grown to a community, 11 Million strong! :)

Thereafter, we were greeted by the General Manager of The Lalit, Mr. Vivek who offered a brief overview into the concept behind The Lalit, and to take us on the trail of an all artist's paradise of sorts - the art gallery which had been established, in memory of Mr. Lalit Suri.






The Baluchi welcomed us for a delightful culinary experience...



We were led onto the in-house wine cellar, access to which had been procured exclusively for members of the HIQ Community!

The restaurant boasts of certifications from Zomato and Mouthshut too. 

Yet another innovative addition to the place, is an in-house Naanery - where हिंदुस्तानी Breads are prepared, not in a clay layered तंदूर, but an iron-clad one! :) 

The choicest of Wines from the cellar were paired with exquisite breads from the Naanery

We relished a few unique preparations, while being seated in a round-table fashion around the Naanery itself, and introducing our respective self to fellow attendees. 

See the preparation in action! 

The Breads have been rolled, ready to be cooked. 

Assorted selections from the Naanery! :)

Have a look at our excellently curated Menu for the day, thanks to Chef Ishika Konar. :)


~~~ 

I will let the food story take over from this point on. :)







Authentic Kolkatan cuisine, curated by a Sous Chef who has her roots in the same food heaven, coupled with the most enthusiastic travellers from my city, a community which loves to host us and the most pleasant hosts in the form of the hospitable staff at The Lalit! :)

What more could you possibly ask for?

One thing.

Being captured in a single frame with the lady of the evening, Chef Konar, who is one of the very few ladies of her kind, to be enjoying the position of an Executive Sous Chef in leading hotels of the country. 

Here you go! :)

~~~ 


Of course, the customary groupfie, follows. 


Standing right next to me, is the Chief, Mr Nair, and the GM of The Lalit, Mr, Vivek. 

I could not thank the entire team of HolidayIQ and The Lalit enough, who put in so much effort to ensure for all of us, an unforgettable experience, which would be cherished for long! :) 

As is customary, we had some HIQ memorabilia to take home, along with a token of gratitude on behalf of the folks at The Lalit. 






A Present From Our Hosts... 


Stolen Childhood Of A Lost Spring...

Fourteen Posts, Adjudged WOW!

~~~

Rag Picking. 

An activity which strangles in its clutches, innocent children. 

Children who have no choice but to confront the demon of hunger, abandoning their dream to study.

~~~ 

Yet, there are some children whose hearts long to embrace the angel of knowledge. 

There remains an unanswered prayer, a hope to be freed from the shackles of labor. 

~~~ 

It is this suppressed desire which longs to obtain a medium of expression. 

It is this want, which is nipped in the bud. 

~~~ 

Whenever the thought of such children crosses the mind, I am reminded of a stolen childhood. 

Lost Spring, penned by Anees Jung, is narrated thus. 

~~~ 

'Sometimes, I find a Rupee in the garbage'

“Why do you do this?” I ask Saheb whom I encounter every morning scrounging for gold in the garbage dumps of my neighbourhood. Saheb left his home long ago. Set amidst the green fields of Dhaka, his home is not even a distant memory. There were many storms that swept away their fields and homes, his mother tells him. That’s why they left, looking for gold in the big city where he now lives.

“I have nothing else to do,” he mutters, looking away.

“Go to school,” I say glibly, realising immediately how hollow the advice must sound.

“There is no school in my neighbourhood. When they build one, I will go.”

“If I start a school, will you come?” I ask, half-joking.

“Yes,” he says, smiling broadly.

A few days later I see him running up to me.

“Is your school ready?”

“It takes longer to build a school,” I say, embarrassed at having made a promise that was not meant.

But promises like mine abound in every corner of his bleak world. After months of knowing him, I ask him his name.

“Saheb-e-Alam,” he announces.

He does not know what it means. If he knew its meaning — lord of the universe — he would have a hard time believing it. Unaware of what his name represents, he roams the streets with his friends, an army of barefoot boys who appear like the morning birds and disappear at noon. Over the months, I have come to recognise each of them.

“Why aren’t you wearing chappals?” I ask one.

“My mother did not bring them down from the shelf”, he answers simply.

“Even if she did he will throw them off,” adds another who is wearing shoes that do not match.

When I comment on it, he shuffles his feet and says nothing.

“I want shoes,” says a third boy who has never owned a pair all his life.

Travelling across the country I have seen children walking barefoot, in cities, on village roads. It is not lack of money but a tradition to stay barefoot, is one explanation. I wonder if this is only an excuse to explain away a perpetual state of poverty.

I remember a story a man from Udipi once told me. As a young boy he would go to school past an old temple, where his father was a priest. He would stop briefly at the temple and pray for a pair of shoes. Thirty years later I visited his town and the temple, which was now drowned in an air of desolation. In the backyard, where lived the new priest, there were red and white plastic chairs. A young boy dressed in a grey uniform, wearing socks and shoes, arrived panting and threw his school bag on a folding bed. Looking at the boy, I remembered the prayer another boy had made to the goddess when he had finally got a pair of shoes,

“Let me never lose them.”

The goddess had granted his prayer. Young boys like the son of the priest now wore shoes. But many others like the ragpickers in my neighbourhood remain shoeless. My acquaintance with the barefoot ragpickers leads me to Seemapuri, a place on the periphery of Delhi yet miles away from it, metaphorically. Those who live here are squatters who came from Bangladesh back in 1971.

Saheb’s family is among them. Seemapuri was then a wilderness. It still is, but it is no longer empty. In structures of mud, with roofs of tin and tarpaulin, devoid of sewage, drainage or running water, live 10,000 ragpickers. They have lived here for more than thirty years without an identity, without permits but with ration cards that get their names on voters’ lists and enable them to buy grain. Food is more important for survival than an identity.

“If at the end of the day we can feed our families and go to bed without an aching stomach, we would rather live here than in the fields that gave us no grain,” say a group of women in tattered saris when I ask them why they left their beautiful land of green fields and rivers.

Wherever they find food, they pitch their tents that become transit homes. Children grow up in them, becoming partners in survival. And survival in Seemapuri means rag-picking. Through the years, it has acquired the proportions of a fine art. Garbage to them is gold. It is their daily bread, a roof over their heads, even if it is a leaking roof. But for a child it is even more.

“I sometimes find a rupee, even a ten-rupee note,” Saheb says, his eyes lighting up. When you can find a silver coin in a heap of garbage, you don’t stop scrounging, for there is hope of finding more. It seems that for children, garbage has a meaning different from what it means to their parents. For the children it is wrapped in wonder, for the elders it is a means of survival.

One winter morning I see Saheb standing by the fenced gate of the neighbourhood club, watching two young men dressed
in white, playing tennis.

“I like the game,” he hums, content to watch it standing behind the fence.

“I go inside when no one is around,” he admits. “The gatekeeper lets me use the swing.”

Saheb too is wearing tennis shoes that look strange over his discoloured shirt and shorts.

“Someone gave them to me,” he says in the manner of an explanation.

The fact that they are discarded shoes of some rich boy, who perhaps refused to wear them because of a hole in one of them, does not bother him. For one who has walked barefoot, even shoes with a hole is a dream come true. But the game he is watching so intently is out of his reach.

This morning, Saheb is on his way to the milk booth. In his hand is a steel canister.

“I now work in a tea stall down the road,” he says, pointing in the distance. “I am paid 800 rupees and all my meals.”

Does he like the job? I ask.

His face, I see, has lost the carefree look. The steel canister seems heavier than the plastic bag he would carry so lightly over his shoulder. The bag was his. The canister belongs to the man who owns the tea shop.

Saheb is no longer his own master!

~~~ 

This post is a part of Write Over The Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.


Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Canon's imageRUNNER Forays Into Print!

What?
Canon's Launch of imageRUNNER Color Printers.

When?
Tuesday, July 21.

Where?
The Oberoi, New Delhi.



To foster the colour printing market in India, Canon India Pvt. Ltd launched their new range of A3 and A4 colour Multi-Function Devices (MFDs).

The products which have been launched in the A3 segment are ImageRUNNER ADVANCE (iR-ADV) C3300 series, comprising of iR-ADV C3320/C3325/C3330 and ImageRUNNER ADVANCE C350i in A4 segment, deliver high quality output, low maintenance cost and enhanced media handling up to 300gsm paper with A3 plus paper size. With this launch, Canon aims to span its horizons into the commercial sector. Also, these machines are designed to meet the expectations of the SME’s, corporate and government sector with the inbuilt security facilities.

Mr. Kazutada Kobayashi, President and CEO, Canon India Pvt. Ltd said,

Innovation has always been a driving force at Canon and our new series of colour MFDs reflect our commitment  towards offering world-class technology, ease of use and high quality to meet the customer expectations. India is a land of rising entrepreneurs and we would like to play an active role in increasing the opportunities for them in the colour printing domain. Our newly launched products shall add value to SME’s and government sector’s demand for cost-efficient, secure and high-quality printing solutions.

Canon has always been committed to presenting innovative and cutting-edge technology to its consumers. The company is looking at widening their market share by reaching out to the tier-2 and tier-3 cities where such printing solutions are witnessing growing demand.



Speaking at the occasion, Mr. K. Bhaskhar, VP - Business Imaging Solutions Division, Canon India said,

In India, we currently have a market share of 26.8% in A3 colour segment and with the latest addition to the colour MFD series, we are expecting to gain an additional market share of 3% in this category. This new range of colour MFD’s is well equipped to meet the expectations of the ever evolving SME sector. We are also envisaging this colour series to play a key role in meeting the demands of the short run colour prints requirement in the commercial segment.


Vivid.Vibrant Is V Squared Color

Canon is making printing easy and accessible. With the introduction of this new printer range, printing jobs can also be executed on the go. Mobile printing is available on these newly launched MFD series. With several firsts to its credit, the products are also synchronised with an onscreen Walkthrough Video, providing step-by-step instructions to guide users through consumables replacement.

Canon claims that with the new iR-ADV C3300 Series, enterprises can derive greater employee productivity and improve user workflow through functions such as Universal Send. The series also comes with ‘Mailbox Simple’, allowing document storage on the device.



The iR-ADV C3300 series offers an on-screen Walkthrough Video, a first in the industry, providing step-by-step instructions to guide users through consumables replacement. With this new feature, employees need not spend additional time and effort, allowing them to focus on more important tasks instead. It also comes standard with the remote operation kit, which allows IT administrative staff to resolve users’ issues in a timely, accurate and effective manner.

Security is an integral part of the iR-ADV C3300 series. A first in the industry, this series is equipped with a Reminder LED light on the automatic document feeder that flashes upon scan and copy jobs completion. This reduces instances when employees leave confidential documents behind and prevents information leaks.

The new series also provide added security features such as User Authentication to assist enterprises in managing user access or restricting certain functions to specific users. The iR-ADV C3300 series also ensures ultimate document security with the standard Hard Disk Data Erase feature, which automatically overwrites and erases data as soon as the job is complete, thus reducing the risk of compromising sensitive information.

During The Question Hour

A first in the industry, the iR-ADV C3300 series has an optional 3-in-1 Inner Finisher. On top of the normal stapling finish, users can leverage the Staple-on-Demand feature to staple their original documents together after scanning or printing, without needing to walk back to their desks. The environmental-friendly ECO-Staple option enables users to bind a maximum of five sheets of paper together staples-free. Employees can then easily shred documents without having to remove any staples, improving workflow efficiency.

The user can print on-the-go, whether it is from the desk, on the smartphone or even the tablet with the Canon Mobile Printing available on Android mobile devices.

The ImageRUNNER ADVANCE C350i Series, on the other hand, is a compact A4 color multifunctional device, designed to integrate seamlessly within existing print fleet for optimal operational performance. Packed with many business-essential features, from quick speeds and exceptional print quality to smart output management and collaboration, it is the ideal print solution for the output needs of busy workgroups.

All in all, Canon has unveiled a promising range of devices at this event.
I am looking forward to more such innovative endeavours by Canon, thus striving to be better and better always.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Called Upon By The Species...

"The invitation has been sent out. We are expecting one representative from each of the 8.7 million species on the face of the planet in attendance."

This was the piece of information, being communicated to the Species General, at the United Species Organization.

The USO had called upon its 8.7 million Member Species for a conference focussing on the Universal Declaration of Species Rights.

An SOS had been sent to the USO by some fifteen species of the Indian subcontinent, recently.

The entire zoological framework had been called upon to address the reason of distress among the amalgamation of fauna in India.

Mind you, the Homo Sapiens had been summoned too.

After all humans are social animals.

The ones who have evolved from apes fail to realize that society is defined not only by what you create but also by what you refuse to destroy!

Ironically, the Species General of the USO, is a homo sapien too. Fortunately or, unfortunately, it is only they who have been equipped with the skills of language, articulation, and expression.

As a matter of fact, we humans are the only species which have been consumed by greed to such an extent that we have turned blind to the fact that we are gradually sawing the branch on which we sit.

The fifteen species in focus, however for the Save The Species round-table, were flummoxed by the negligence and oppression they have had to face in the past, over varied factors.

Be it habitat destruction due to receding green cover and intensifying concrete cover or overexploitation, or climate change, or even the hot pursuit of population explosion, the diminishing numbers of these irreplaceable treasures of fauna had every attendee gaping in astonishment!

Just like prioritizing your tasks in hand is vital to achieving success, so is concentrating on the extent of criticality to the existence of certain species in the world.

The USO had been quick enough to realize it and had decided to abide by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature to address the complaint of the species which had been weakened by all brutality.

IUCN Red List category abbreviations (version 3.1, 2001)

Of the fifteen species which had to be pacified, the USO put forth the idea of focusing on one each of those which had been classified as 'Vulnerable', 'Endangered', and 'Critically Endangered' in the interest of equitability to all. 

The Right To Existence had been endowed upon all Member Species of the USO, as a fragment of the Universal Declaration of Species Rights. 

Keeping in mind the paucity of time and resources, (which had been attributed to the human race, yet again) it was agreed upon to present the opportunity to three species out of the fifteen, for the time being. The USO further proposed to roll out a Save The Species Campaign, keeping in mind the gravity of the situation. 

Presenting to you, the proceedings of the conference as a representative from each of the three species put forth their case. 

~~~ 


"I am the one-horned Rhinoceros, representing the Rhinoceros unicornis at this conference. We have been listed as a vulnerable species and have Assam and West Bengal in India, and the Terai region in Nepal to call our habitat, now. We once ranged throughout the entire stretch of the Indo-Gangetic Plain, but excessive hunting has reduced our range drastically. 

We, the members of the  Rhinocerotidae family are supposedly the fifth largest land animal. We are also the second-largest living rhinoceros, behind only the white rhinoceros. 

We are characterized by our thick grey-brown skin with pinkish skin folds and a black horn. Our upper legs and shoulders are covered in wart-like bumps. We possess very little body hair. 

Our prized possession is our horn and it comes as no surprise when I stand here to profess that poaching for our horn became the single most important reason for our rapid decline. 

In 1910, hunting us in India was prohibited thereafter, however, the unabating changes in climate and breakneck habitat destruction due to severe invasion by alien plants into grasslands affecting some populations; demonstrated reductions in the extent of grasslands and wetland habitats due to woodland encroachment; and grazing by domestic livestock haunt us continually and have confined us to captivity."



"I am the Indian Hog Deer, representing the Hyelaphus porcinus at this conference. We have been classified as an endangered species whose habitat ranges from Pakistan, through northern India, to mainland southeast Asia, which inhabits much of the Indo-Gangetic Plains of Pakistan, northern India, Nepal, Bangladesh, southwestern Yunnan Province in China, all the way to western Thailand. 

We, the members of the Cervidae family get our name from the hog like manner in which we run through the forest with our head hung low so that we can duck under obstacles instead of leaping over them like most other deer. 

Our coat is quite thick and generally a uniform dark-brown in winter. During late spring, the change to a summer coat of rich reddish brown commences. Many of our comrades may also show a dark dorsal stripe extending from the head down the back of the neck and along the spine. Our tail is fairly short and brown but tipped with white. 

We are threatened by hunting for our skin and antlers and by habitat loss and destruction. Poaching us for our obsession is driven by a desire to seek adventure and thrill, by crushing poverty of daily wage laborers, or to take advantage of the business opportunity of supplying lucrative trade."



"I am the Gharial, representing the Gavialis gangeticus at this conference. We have been identified as a critically endangered species who are native to the Indian subcontinent.

We, the members of the Gavialidae family are one of three crocodilians native to India, the other two being the mugger crocodile and the saltwater crocodile.

We once inhabited the lands ranging from the Irrawaddy River in the east to the Indus River in the west. Our distribution is now limited to only two percent of our former range.We inhabit foremost flowing rivers with high sand banks that are utilized to bask and build nests.

We are characterised by our extremely long, thin jaws, regarded as an adaptation to a predominant fish diet. We also owe our name to the resemblance of the nasal growth to an earthen pot known locally as घड़ा.

We are dark or light olive above with dark cross-bands and speckling on the head, body and tail. Our dorsal surfaces become dark, almost grey-black, at about twenty years of age. Our ventral surfaces are yellowish-white. Our fingers are extremely short and thickly emarginated with webs.

We are threatened by the increasing intensity of fishing and the use of gill nets throughout most of the present gharial habitat, even in protected areas and the loss of riverine habitat to dams, barrages, irrigation canals, siltation, changes in river course, artificial embankments, sand-mining, riparian agriculture, and domestic and feral livestock.

We have been reduced to relying on in-situ initiatives and captive breeding to save ourselves from extinction."

~~~ 

All the representative species stood united to acknowledge the fact that these species were the most needful of rescue from the clutches of extinction at the earliest and 'Save The Species' now echoed through the walls of the conference hall. 

It is pivotal to the existence of mankind to realize that it is all about ensuring 'ecological balance' and not 'egological balance'.

Save The Species, heralds species. 
Aids a cause, united, not in pieces.  
Values the co-existence peaceful...  
Encourages rebellion, opposes evil   

Traces the trails of threat, immense 
Haunts, the security of future tense 
Eco, not Ego, is the moral defense...  

Save The Species, save mankind...  
Persevering as one in sight, hind...  
Expect all harmony to prevail once...  
Collective efforts to quit all hunt...   
Inspire GenX to follow your suit...   
Embrace that nature, being its own...  
Shun isolation, embody coevality atone. 

For you wouldn't want those animal documentaries on wildlife channels or on the silver screen, those pictures printed in wildlife journals, or those episodes of recall to your future generations to remind you of these gems of fauna. 



It is an age-old adage, 'Better Late, Than Never'. It is high time that we face the reflective introspection in the mirror which cautions us as thus. 

"अरे, रुक जा रे बन्दे 
अरे, थम जा रे बन्दे 

कि कुदरत हँस पड़ेगी, ओ! 
तेरी कब तक चलेगी ओ!"

 ~~~

P.S: 

Factual information regarding the species is attributed to IUCN Red List, here

The illustration towards the end is the blog's copyright. 

I am participating in the Save the Species contest for the book “Capturing Wildlife Moments in India” in association with Saevus Wildlife India, read the reviews for the book ‘Capturing Wildlife Moments in India’ here.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Zenfone2 Takes Social Media By Storm!



It was only after attending the launch of ASUS's Zenfone series (Zenfone 4, Zenfone 5 and Zenfone 6), did I decide to chuck my old phone and go ahead to buy a smarter myself a smarter companion in the form of ASUS's flagship product. And, I am proud of my decision. :)

My decision was not only based on listing my expectations from the new phone, and checking reviews on gadget forums, blogs, or e-commerce sites, but also on the fact that I had personally attended the launch of the Zenfone series, which had been attended by the officials from ASUS, including the Global CEO, Mr. Shen, Intel's Debjani Ghosh and Bollywood's sensation, Arjun Kapoor.

Not only the Zenfone series, I have also had the pleasure of witnessing the launch of Zenfone2, at the Kingdom of Dreams amidst the star-studded company of the Nawab of Pataudi, Saif Ali Khan, photographer Dabboo Ratnani and singer, Aditi Singh Sharma.

I was awed by the skilled craftsmanship and the sleek design of the device that is ASUS Zenfone2, and was equally impressed by their social media marketing strategies, which had brought all the outstanding specs and improvements from the previous design, possessed by ASUS Zenfone2, into the limelight.

ASUS India has aimed to captivate the Indian audience's attention by focusing on the marvelous heritage of the nation, in line with the Incredible India campaign by our Prime Minister. The citizens of India have the means to 'Let's See The Unseen', with the India Unseen Project thanks to ASUS India.

Being dubbed as the top-notch Agent Z, the ASUS Zenfone 2 with its 13 MP PixelMaster Camera, and Dual-Color Real Tone Flash, Agent Z is bound to present you with the perfect clicks, thanks to the enhanced sensitivity, even in the two modes - low-light mode and night mode, without doubt.

Agent Z is the dream machine, the ultimate device. Its lightning fast 4 GB RAM and Intel Atom Processor add to its impeccable performance.

ASUS has made sure that they enable their clientele to focus on the numerous capabilities of ASUS Zenfone2, with many popular campaigns on myriad social media platforms.

Another such campaign to promote the photographic power of the device is the ASUS Zenfone2 Night Walkers. A group of over 150 Instagram users from the millennium city, Mumbai had been called upon to see what others can't see with the incredible ASUS Zenfone2.

I am thoroughly impressed with ASUS as a brand, with my Zenfone 5 as a device, with the newly launched Zenfone2 and with all their captivating social media marketing campaigns.