Sunday, August 30, 2015

A TinyOwl Experiment and My Travel tales with Food


The tiny owl, stepping out of its nest , wanders across the open skies, amidst the moonlit darkness, fluttering its wings, in search of a delicious food (prey) for the night, hooting its way through. It may take several hours before it could find something worthwhile to eat .Sometimes even nothing. By then it may even lose its energy to swoop down on the prey, fight and get its reward. Things one has to do, to find food ! 

Until now, it was no different being a bird or human. Both roamed the city wide and far in search of  good food and ended up with almost nothing everyday or something that you were forced to eat with no other option


If only the tiny owl knew that there was a mobile app in its own name, which did all the hard work of finding restaurants, picking up the food, package it nicely and have it delivered to your home within the hour. That could probably save all its energy for the night, as it can peacefully concentrates on its hooting now

Some really live on the motto of "We travel for Food”. I have seen people travel far and beyond to try out new cuisines and food varieties. I pride myself of being a passionate member of such a community of people who can go up to any extent to get their food.

I don’t settle for just any other food that’s available at the moment and certainly don’t mind waiting a bit to get that food experience. For some eating food is an hobby, for some food is a daily ritual to just survive.

For a person like me, food can be a divine pleasure that I relish and relive the moments when I get to eat it. Being called only a “foodie” can definitely be an understatement as it doesn’t define exactly the enthusiasm and the craziness level I can achieve when it comes to food. Despite a vegetarian it hasn’t restricted me to try out global cuisines from Chinese, Italian, Mexican and even Thai which has their own variety of Veg dishes. So food to me is like an addiction which I can’t live without and the same kind of food can certainly bore me fairly soon

So here’s the list of the food fixes and cravings I’ve had since childhood and places I’ve gone to just get a taste of it

Andhra Food

The sound of an Andhra Thali can really fire up my taste buds like no other cuisine . The enormity of the rice , the variety of side dishes that accompany the rice and of course the crispy crackers they give makes it totally an enjoyable "unlimited" meal, all for just Rs.50
I remember the times during college, when after a consecutive 4 hours of classes in the morning, we used to skip the college canteen/nearby hotels , take a bus and go find an authentic "Andhra Mess" which was located at least 8-10 Miles away. All for that typical Andhra food experience . The food fix I can get out of such a meal can be totally something



Office Team Lunches

Once in a quarter we have the benefit of going out for a nice team lunch . We'd carefully select a restaurant that serves a buffet with at least 8-10 starters which is more important than the main course.. Somehow a meal without a decent array of starters would never give that satisfaction irrespective of how good the meal is. The first thing that comes to the mind would be the Barbeque based restaurants, which specializes in a huge list of unlimited starters on the table.
A starter based food fix is something I always crave for, even if the main course doesn't live up to the expectations
The important thing about such a lunch is ,we'd starve ourselves from the previous night to ensure we do full justification for such a meal



Roadside Dosas

When we finish off a evening show movie or a casual outing , I'd expect to have a quiet and a quick dinner, preferably not in a fashionable restaurant but rather in a small roadside eatery. I always have a mind map of my favourite roadside joints, that provides hygienic and tasty food like Dosa , Vada, Poori etc and also very easy on the wallet. I'd argue for hours with anyone to say that one cannot get the taste of this hot piping Dosa anywhere. That Dosa fix is something I totally crave at nights



Madras Filter Coffee

I am of the opinion that the best way to begin a day is by not doing Yoga or running in the beach or reading the newspaper or working out. Hands down, the best way to get that "morning fix" is to have a steaming cup of strong Madras Filter coffee preferably in a silver or stainless steel tumbler that adds to the taste and brewing smell
The shot of caffeine in a filter coffee form is something I'd totally recommend to get the absolute morning "fix" one would definitely need .
Key point to be noted : Do not mess with anyone who hasn't had their morning fix of a filter coffee yet.



Chats and Pani Puris
Yes the mere mention of Gol Gappes, Dahi Papdi Chats, Samosas and Bhel Puri can be enough to arouse the tastebuds. The sweet and spicy mix of water dipped Puris, the curd dipped Papdis and the Alu stuffed Samosas is something every should experience in a local Chaat corner once in a while.


My Not so Good Foody Tales:
As with so many good memories on the delicious meals we have had, there are equally number of forgettable memories we've had in restaurants. Some of these include

1. Rats and Cockroaches roaming around freely in the restaurant floor causing instant panic among the people
2. Unhygienic conditions while cooking can make the meal a complete disaster. One can lose their appetite as well as the desire to eat at that restaurant anymore
3. Poor service : With 20 tables and only few waiters, it can really take a long time for the food to come and one can definitely get irritated
4. The wrong food : It is partially ok when you dont get what you ordered, but what's not acceptable is being served non vegetarian food when you specifically asked for a vegetarian dish
3. More than anything , an incorrect bill presented to you can totally tick me off and take of the whole experience you' had

The Ultimate Food Solution : Tiny Owl

So just when I was thinking how difficult it is to travel around to different restaurants and order various things, TinyOwl launched their app in Chennai like a blessing
The click to order system in their app is literally child's play . They offer a huge load of restaurants for every cuisine possible, one can simply choose the desired meal and click order . Make the payment upfront if you prefer and your order is already getting packed and on its way !
No more hassles of going around the city in search of a a meal or even a particular dish..
The location is auto detected with GPS, surrounding restaurants are filtered, I scan through the interesting menus of all the restaurants, add the items to my car , and the best part , apply a nice coupon code for an awesome discount (I'm sure you can find one in one of the coupon sites) and le behold. The order is confirmed and you get to munch on your favorite meal soon enough

Couple of years ago who would have even thought that ordering food from different restaurants and having it delivered with no extra charge ( in fact with even a discount in some cases) would be like a hassle free experience and can be done with a few clicks in an app inside a mobile phone !! TinyOwl represents that pinnacle of technology when it comes to a Food ordering experience !

Pic Source : TinyOwl IB Page

The Tiny Owl Experience :

Having installed the app , I was quite eager to try out this and I should say the experience was quite something . Even a dinner at a 5 star restaurant may have not matched the experience,variety,price , taste of the food items and the quick delivery service of the TinyOwl guy right to my doorstep

I was able to filter out the best restaurants in my surrounding areas, choose all the cuisines I liked , namely (North Indian, Italian, Chinese, Mexican and of course South Indian)
Surprisingly I got some hidden deals that popped out when I was considering some Pizzas  (which included a Buy one Get one Free offer!!) and it was an Italian Dinenr treat indeed that day !

The biggest enjoyment in life is not reveling in luxury , travelling in expensive cars or staying in 5 star hotels. Pure enjoyment comes from eating what you like and when you like . Period. The food fix one gets while eating their delicious treat can really mark a positive memory for them.
And this is what TinyOwl offers. An experience of Food !


Download the TinyOwl App from the below links based on your device :

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

BNLF - Mumbai 2015

Despite the rise of microblogging sites like Twitter gaining huge popularity among the masses , one should admit that the power of mainstream blogging can never be replaced.

Blogging can express and bring out innovative ideas from almost anyone in the world . You can get to read about product reviews, travel tips, fashion ideas and much more..

Even if one were to choose a car ,the first thing one does is visit an automobile blog to read expert reviews and opinions on the cars before making a purchase. Such can be the power of blogging and its influence on consumers ,especially over brands

Indiblogger, one of the pioneers in this industry and also one among the world's biggest Blogging Directory and Platform is yet again trying to create a major impact in the blogging sphere.

They have recently announced a completely innovative and disrupting blogging conference called, BNLF ( Blog Now Live Forever) which can basically be the benchmark for the blogging industry

One can also safely say that this is the only congregation of global speakers from various walks of life on blogging, hosted in the Indian Subcontinent. The congregation offers a very distinct experience to all its participants as it provides a healthy mix of bloggers, Content creators, Agencies, Speakers and Investors in blogging. Such a combination of multi industry people coming together on one platform with an even more distinct agenda can certainly be quite a life changing experience



The most impressive feature of this conference however is the speaker list with certainly some surprise elements. The list includes Anshul Tiwari , Arnab Ray ( the man behind the popular handle - TheGreat Bong , Preeti Shenoy etc.. However the main guy to watch out for is the popular rockstar Bruce Dickinson.

From flying planes, owning an aviation company, hosting radio shows, writing novels, Bruce has literally tasted success in many of his success and not just being part of the world famous Iron Maiden Band.. and how would it be for someone like him to talk about converting a simple audience to a major fanbase? For a more detailed info on him, check out : https://www.indiblogger.in/bnlf/bruce-dickinson

Another impressive speaker I'd definitely highlight is Christoph Trappe of http://authenticstorytelling.net , a digital content strategist who speaks on blogging, building brands and more importantly in conveying the right stories
a content and digital branding strategist based in the United States - See more at: http://authenticstorytelling.net/#sthash.0SpBCwOq.dpuf
a content and digital branding strategist based in the United States - See more at: http://authenticstorytelling.net/#sthash.0SpBCwOq.dpuf
a content and digital branding strategist based in the United States - See more at: http://authenticstorytelling.net/#sthash.0SpBCwOq.dpuf
a content and digital branding strategist based in the United States - See more at: http://authenticstorytelling.net/#sthash.0SpBCwOq.dpuf
a content and digital branding strategist based in the United States - See more at: http://authenticstorytelling.net/#sthash.0SpBCwOq.dpuf
a content and digital branding strategist based in the United States - See more at: http://authenticstorytelling.net/#sthash.0SpBCwOq.dpuf

This is certainly one conference that I wouldnt miss it for the world and would head out to Mumbai on that day despite any other schedule that may come up

The Indiblogger BNLF Blogging meet is happening in Mumbai on Oct 31- Nov 1st (9-8PM) at The Lalit hotel.
For more information on the conference , check out : https://www.indiblogger.in/bnlf


To buy a ticket , just head out to  :  https://www.indiblogger.in/bnlf/tickets and block yourself one..


Friday, August 21, 2015

Airtel 4G - The Fastest Network Ever!

Back in  2000, we all waited patiently with our bulky desktops for those 3 blinking lights to appear in our modem as it makes a slow dialup connection to the ISP and tried logging into our Mail , which took another eternity just to display the Login page. Browsing websites was actually a luxury and all one could hope to see was its low-res HTML version. Media downloads was out of the question as the download speed was around 4KB/Sec. So downloading an audio MP3 track took anywhere between 30-45 minutes

Movies were strictly confined to DVD’s from the nearby store or rather feel content watching a relatively old video in TV. Thankfully the IT revolution caught up much quicker than expected, to significantly boost internet speeds from dialup to fixed line connections to broadband, WiFI and even WiLan in some places

The mobile internet technology caught up in parallel as well from providing on demand “pocket internet settings” which advanced to 2G, 3G and finally to the most advanced next gen technology has arrived, namely 4G. Most technologists would however agree to the irony that the rate of smartphone adoption was nowhere close to the roll out of high speed internet features by the telecom providers. Not just smartphones, but phones that would even support 3G or 4G were just gaining popularity as people began to realize the power and potential of such blazing speed internet connections. They finally ditched their “buttoned” phones and migrated to touch screen smartphones that can support a seamless connectivity of a 3G/4G technology.

Incidentally, Airtel is the first company in India to offer the fastest mobile internet technology, 4G to its consumers and I should admit most people are already excited about it. It’s been simultaneously rolled out in 296 cities The connectivity and the blazing speed of downloads offers an unlimited potential to its consumers

So if I were to get my hands on this 4G technology in my phone , here are the list of the things I would

1.      Youtubing All day : I usually confined watching videos in Youtube only at home, in a Wifi connection ,thanks to my earlier slow 2G connection speeds and data limits. With the power of Airtel 4G, I would probably even switch to the 1080 or even the 4K version of videos to watch it stream effortlessly in the highest definition possible with no lags or buffering disrupts
2.      Movie downloads : Being a huge movie buff , I watched movies almost everyday. My usual process would include putting a movie to download overnight in my laptop and it would take its usual 7-8 hours to download a decent 1 GB print. But thanks to Airtel 4G , I can download this movie in less than 5 mins in my phone itself
3. Video Calling and Conferencing : With a HD  Front camera enabled smartphones, video calling can now be done free to almost anyone in the world and that too in a seamless way with no lags, thanks to the 4G internet speeds provided by Airtel
4. Browsing : Wherever I travel , I'm powered by the 4G connection and that gives me access to latest news, videos in my phone and also able to browse social networks including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc simultaneously
5. Creating Hotspots  : Sharing is the best thing one can do . So why not share my 4G speed with others too. With the Hotspot option in my phone, I'll create a Wifi Hotspot zone around me , and let all my friends revel in the 4G speed as well
6. Sharing Pictures : With a blazing download and upload speed, I'll be able to share my pictures and videos to my friends and also upload in social networks almost instantly
7. Increase Work Productivity : With the Airtel 4G Pack,  I can even log in through my mobile to office applications and start using my time effectively, thereby improving my work productivity
8. Start Online shopping : With a quick loading time, I can start shopping in popular sites like Flipkart,Amazon, Snapdeal etc and browse their huge range of collections from their respective apps aided with my Airtel 4G internet pack

What would you do given a Airtel 4G pack ? Do comment your answers

Thankfully to lessen the burden of their customers, Airtel is offering 4G at the existing 3G prices and all you need to get a sim car is to tweet them with  #GetAirtel4G  and you'll get a free home delivery of the Airtel 4G sim card. So what are you waiting for? 

Go try it out now  : http://www.airtel.in/4g/

Check the Airtel 4G Challenge down below : 




Thursday, August 20, 2015

Taaz Ki Dhamaka - MaxFresh Move

Ever since the video of Colgate's Max Fresh Ad featuring Allu Arjun and Anushka came out , everyone seems to be on their toes tripping on the dance floor to the song . I am certainly no exception to this and I should admit was quite addicted to this invigorating peppy dance number. The ad features popular Tollywood Star Allu Arjun waking up to this dance number and kicks off the wedding party in a grand manner making everyone in the venue stepping up for a quick move as VJ Anushka manages the audio console in the background spinning out the tracks. This innovative concept from Colgate featuring a dance video of two popular stars dancing to the Max Fresh Taaz Ki Damaaaka number seems to have been perfectly constructed. It has struck the right chord to all audiences making it a huge success
The dance number has indeed gone quite viral, especially among the youth and its playing almost everywhere I seem to go. The addictive song is now a hit among even small kids who seem to dance to their hearts out, the minute it plays on TV or on Youtube .
Below I have picturized a video of a small kid in the neighbourhood, happily dancing to the tune of Taaz ki Dhamaaka . Watch it here : https://youtu.be/VhGZeOkqZK0




Watch the popular ad of Allu Arjun dancing to the tune of Taaz Ki Dhamaaka here



I am dancing for #MaxFreshMove activity at BlogAdda. If you are not blogging, you can join me by participating in this #MaxFreshMove facebook activity.

Monday, August 03, 2015

Windows 10 - A Free Upgrade

How to do a free upgrade to Windows 10 ?

Microsoft Windows has offered their latest version of Windows for free ( yes , you heard that right ) for all existing (genuine) Windows 7 and 8  (Home/Basic versions) users ( Unfortunately not for XP or Win & Enterprise Users at the moment )
The following will not work if you are working on a pirated copy of Windows

Steps to get a free upgrade :

Ensure all the Windows updates has been completed
(if your system is on a automatic update option , you can ignore this, else read on )

Click on the Start Menu
-> Control Panel
       >-  Windows Updates

Click on Check for updates in the left hand side
This takes a while as Windows tries to check and install the latest updates

You will be prompted to install two kinds of updates
1) Important Updates
2) Optional Updates

Install both of the above options.. This process of downloading and installation takes atleast an hour or so to complete based on your internet speed and  the no of updates to be installed in your system
Once done, restart your system

You'll now notice a Windows icon right next to the system clock in the bottom right hand of your computer. Click on that icon .
Select -> Reserve free upgrade of Windows 10

You'll be notified once you get a slot post which you can upgrade your system to Windows 10 easily

Remember, there wont be any loss of data/pictures/music or any applications in your system and everything will be preserved the way it is earlier. So you have absolutely nothing to worry