Videobuilder.io – My Honest Review (No Affiliate Links)

Videobuilder.io is a recently released cloud-based app to create ‘3D & Animation videos’ (according to the makers). Since I bought the app on the first day of its release, I want to write a quick review (with advantages & limitations) of Videobuilder.io¬†app from my experience of having worked with it for a couple of days, so that you can make an informed decision.

The most important thing – the jaw-dropping low price of around $30 USD (when I bought) and $35 USD (at the time of writing this article) does not include rights to sell the videos. If you want full rights to make and sell videos to clients with 3D avatars & text-to-speech, which is important for many, be prepared to buy their deluxe & agency plan also.

I paid around $130 USD (one-time first-day launch pricing) for Regular, Deluxe & Agency plans. Once I bought the regular plan, the other two were upsold to me immediately afterward. I was told that I will get extra templates every month, I can make videos for a longer duration (which is 6:00 min for the Agency plan – for the regular plan it’s 10x lower, it seems) and I can sell videos with 3D avatars to clients.

Now let me come to the actual utility. I am surprised that a 3D animation video maker app doesn’t support keyframing!! It does support tracks (similar to layers) which will allow you to create a basic animation/movie using the built-in photos, videos, background, 3D avatars, music, etc. But I feel keyframing is extremely critical for an animation app. Hope they’ll include this feature in the near future. Also, you cannot draw/move objects over time.

There are a few intros, outros, text effects and other templates that are useful. But right now there are just around ten to fifteen in each category. I would prefer a more exhaustive collection. Their other product (Viddyoze – I assume it is theirs) has a much better collection. They have promised to include a few more templates each month – let’s see.

I am really impressed with the 3D avatars, text-to-speech technology and lip syncing. If you have some application for this, buy this product without hesitation. Since I do, I don’t regret my purchase and am not going to use the 30-day money back guarantee. But if you want to make custom animations, I am not sure how helpful this app would be. The timeline supports just basic animation.

I am impressed with the text to speech feature and the voices included with this app are quite good. I wish the 3D avatars could be exported using a transparent background. Of course, I can upload my own videos (after compressing them with HandBrake) but I prefer working on other apps for animations.

Professional explainer videos will demand voice-overs by professionals, but since my videos are of a more casual nature, I am fine with the polished robotic voices. They have included multiple speakers in many languages, which is great. I wish I could export just the voice without the avatar.

I am using this app in conjunction with two more video creation apps – one desktop-based and the other cloud-based. Frankly, I like the desktop app more because there are no delays associated with uploading/ downloading/ rendering, etc. But most apps nowadays work in the cloud and we are expected to get used to the delays. However, Videobuilder didn’t freeze while I was working on it – I have experienced a few that have, before. I mailed the support on when one of my videos were not rendering. It was sorted in a few hours. So the support, at least for now, is responsive.

Altogether, a decent app for the launch special one-time price (Agency plan). I wish they were frank upfront about all the three plans they offer, cost, limitations. Why intimate clients about the limitations of the basic plans in the last minute? Also, I guess it’s fine to ignore the exact time left for the offer to end, on their launch page. The launch offer is still On even after a couple of days now while the timer indicated 1.5 hours left for me!!

If you are creating and selling videos, and if you have an application for the 3D avatars to narrate a few parts instead of using just text, this app will be useful to you.

Destination Infinity

Double Action

Yesterday, just for fun, we made a short video using the cloning/double action feature of Hitfilm 4 Express. Actually, I am learning that software for 3D Composting and VFX, but since I learned that I can also do a video edit with double action, I thought why not try making it and put some scene on FB… Here is the result –

This was my first attempt and video editing is totally new to me. I saw this tutorial and quickly finished shooting and editing in just more than a couple of hours on a lazy Saturday evening. It was easier than I expected.

Maybe because no one in my Facebook timeline has published a ‘double-action’ video like this, it (sorta) went viral after I uploaded it yesterday. So I thought why not share it on my blog too. Hope you like it, despite our instantaneously unprofessional attitude towards film-making ūüôā

Destination Infinity

Dropouts make better Entrepreneurs? Absolutely.

Dropouts and below-average students at schools/colleges make better entrepreneurs and businesspeople. Period.

The Indian education system is… Forget it, education system anywhere is designed to produce disciplined slaves who are good at following rigid systems to complete tasks assigned to them. That’s exactly the trait expected of an employee.

Entrepreneurship is a different beast altogether that requires totally different skillsets. Foremost of them is the ability to take risks, not being afraid of failure and trying out new & innovative ways of doing things. These are exactly what education curriculums in schools and colleges discourage.

The prominent argument against this is: For every dropout who is a successful businessman, there are thousands of failures. These people, I feel, don’t realize that the crux of business is failing. And discovering newer ways to overcome failures.

A good businessperson, I feel, should not be able to stand nonsensical lectures and meaningless memorization to excel in useless examinations. No wonder good business people drop out. Or at least fail in exams.

I wish I too had dropped out of high school. Or at least college.

Sigh ūüôĀ

Destination Infinity

Best time to book for Indian travellers’ favourite summer destinations

  • Book 24 weeks in advance for a European summer
  • 72% of Indian travellers don‚Äôt know how to get a good deal on flight tickets

New Delhi, 10th July 2017: Leading global travel search engine, Skyscanner has analysed two years’ worth of travel search data from over 60 million monthly users to answer the one question that always puzzles travellers: when is the best time to book flights?

A recent survey of Indian travellers revealed 72% do not know when is the best time to book flights. Skyscanner’s survey further unveiled 69% of travellers incorrectly estimate the best air fares can be found less than 12 weeks before departure, when in fact the best deals are snapped up by travellers who plan in advance. Traveller’s eyeing up Bali for their summer trip can save up to 51% on flight tickets by booking 25 weeks in advance or risk paying 27% more than the average fare when they leave booking to the last minute.

The same trend appears for air fares to Indian traveller’s favourite summer destinations, traveller’s looking to vacation in Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok can grab flights for 35% and 33% less than the average fare, respectively, when booking 24 weeks prior to departure.

Skyscanner recommends booking 24 weeks in advance for travellers venturing to Europe or the USA for their summer vacations for savings of 22% and 18%, respectively.

Skyscanner also reveals the most inexpensive months to travel to visit some of Indian travellers’ favourite locations. November is the cheapest month to travel to Bangkok when flights 10% cheaper than the average fare, while visa-friendly Bali can be best enjoyed in April with a 10% saving on the average fare.

Commenting on the findings, Reshmi Roy, Senior Growth Manager, Skyscanner India said, ‚ÄúWe hope Skyscanner‚Äôs data can provide travellers with clarity on how and when to get the best deal on flights and what to expect if booking is left to the last minute. After reviewing flight prices from the last two years, we can clearly see that it pays to plan. Booking at the right time can make a huge difference to one‚Äôs expenditure on their trip, up to 51% in some cases.‚ÄĚ

skyscanner

About Skyscanner

  • Skyscanner is a leading global travel search company, providing free search of flights, hotels and car hire around the world
  • Founded in 2003, Skyscanner helps over 60 million people each month to find their travel options
  • Skyscanner is available in 30 languages
  • Skyscanner‚Äôs highly-rated free mobile app has been downloaded over 60 million times
  • Skyscanner employs over 800 staff and has 10 offices across the world: Barcelona, Beijing, Budapest, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Miami, Shenzhen, Singapore and Sofia
  • Skyscanner is part of the Ctrip Group

For more information, please visit https://www.skyscanner.co.in/bttb/best-time-to-book-in

Media Contact: Courtney.Lee@skyscanner.net

 

Causes for Extinction of Fancy Pigeons in Bangladesh

This is a guest post by Ashraful Kabir, Department of Biology, Saidpur Cantonment Public College, Nilphamari, Bangladesh. E-mail: ashraful.mission@gmail.com

 

Summary: Out of 9 characteristics observed for the causes of fancy pigeons extinction in Bangladesh, natural causes account for 33.33% and artificial (man-made) causes were 66.67%. These nine characteristics and their probability of occurrence (in %) are:  Unequal squab Р40%, Aggressiveness Р50%, Homosexuality Р10%, Feed Р70%, Lack of farmers’ knowledge on pigeons Р80%, Bad collection Р80%, Non-selective breeding Р10%, Overall management Р80% and Diseases Р80%.

 

Introduction

Animal psychology is called zoo psychology. Birds as well as pigeons show lot of stereotypic characteristics during rearing. Pigeons have peculiar features.

Tumbling, a kind of morbid curiosity is found in tumblers pigeon. Lotan is another breed which rolls with slight shaking. Lotan has abnormal flying. Highflying is very ancient characteristics of pigeons.  History says that when tumbler lost its flying it shows parlor rolling. This parlour roller in Asian subcontinent is called lotan (ground tumbler). In England this roller rolls automatically when it attempts to fly.

 

All fancy pigeons have evolved from rock pigeons. Due to its ancestral trait for living on trees sometimes indigenous pigeons live on trees with rock pigeons. Many rearers keep pigeons in unsuitable environments. They do not clean their farms regularly or properly. They do not take suggestions from the experts.

 

Diseases are also a cause for pigeon death.  Aggressive behavior in male pigeons is very dangerous. When female lays eggs and farmers try to catch the female or touch the eggs, it inadvertently flaps its wings and that results in breakage of eggs.

 

Most rearers don’t know the ideal marking of their desirable breed or not try to know the exact features of fancy breeds (Kabir 2014a). Their mode of non-judicious breeding is another cause or loss of its purity (Kabir 2015).

  

Methodology

For this observation the breeds were indigenous, tumbler, lotan, fantail, mookee, Australian red (in Bangladesh this is called parvin), capuchine, montauban (in Bangladesh this is called bombai) etc. were considered.

 

Results

Natural causes

Homosexuality: Pigeons pair with Male-male and female-female. In cases of male-male pairing, there is no egg. Female-female pairing results in eggs. But when these eggs are laid in different times,  rearer can’t understand which of them laid eggs. Due to homosexuality, its numbers are decreasing.

Unequal squab:  Pigeons and doves produce unequal squab naturally. One is more/seriously week by birth. So, in many cases, one dies within a few days. This is a cause for its extinction.

Aggressive behavior: Males are very aggressive with female, other squab, even fight with other males. During the time of feeding these incidents are common. Due to its captivity for a long time also this may happen. After laying alternatively use of those pairs could get rid of such problems. Also, by providing less energetic feed this bad situation may disappear. Squabs in nest are victimized by adult males. Attacks have been observed on the head and eyes. Hand reared pigeons show lot of attachments as well as bad habits (Nice 1950).

 

Artificial (man-made) causes

Lack of knowledge:  Most rearers of Bangladesh have no real knowledge on fancy pigeon but have been rearing pigeons for a long time. Most have outdated ideas about pigeons. Moreover, in Bangladesh, this is just a hobby. People buy a pigeon and when it dies, buy again.

Collection: In Bangladesh rearers collect pigeons by seeing external features like colour and size. They can’t match the bloodline with its parents. They don’t know the ideal markings of fancy pigeons. There is a need to maintain a grading system for fancy pigeons while buying (Kabir 2014a).

Feed: Most rearers supply low-quality feed which is not good for its health. Pigeons need different feed, depending on the time – egg laying time, hatching time, juvenile and breeding time, etc. The feed ratio/quantity should also be varied. Rearers generally supply same quality of feed.

 

Many breeders of Bangladesh separate their pigeons in October and join them for mating in April (Kabir 2013b). Crossbred is good as meat (Kabir 2013a). ‚ÄėTop quality‚Äô and ‚Äėquality‚Äô – these two types of feed are needed to ensure better lifespan for pigeons (www.teurlings.com). Squab or parental stock selling is more profitable (Hazard 1922). There is no alternative for pigeon milk but 16% blend chicken crumble may be provided for squab in morning and night (Casey 1988). Good feed ration during pre-laying/hatching/suckling stages is corn 6 kg, wheat 4 kg, rape 2.5 kg, Japanese millet 0.5 kg, broiler feed 1 kg, mustard 250 g and green pea 0.5 kg (Kabir 2013a).

Non-selective breeding: Non-scientific breeding is very common in Bangladesh. That’s another reason why pigeon breeds are losing their purity (Kabir 2015).

Overall management: Every pigeon breed requires a different management system. Broiler pigeon, fantail pigeons, pouter pigeon, tumbler pigeons and indigenous pigeons all are different and need different management approaches. Sometimes non-mating females lay eggs at any place of the chamber (Craig 1913). Male always initiates for egg laying, nesting and incubation (Levi 1941).

Diseases: Very narrow space, lack of flying, poor ventilation, lack of cleanliness is the main source of several diseases (Echols 2010). Diseases are one of the major problems for pigeons in Bangladesh. Rearers don’t take enough help from veterinary doctors. In winter season lot of pigeons die due to diseases. In Bangladesh, twisted neck and salmonellosis are two serious diseases affecting pigeons. When pigeons are sick they are treated in common/traditional ways which are mostly wrong (Kabir 2014b).

 

 

                                            

                                              Figure: Indian Fantail (both are male)

                             

 

 

Diagram 1. Showing the causes (%) of pigeons’ extinction

  

References

Casey V. 1988. Hand feeding fancy pigeons. San Martin CA.

Craig W. 1913. The stimulation and inhibition of ovulation in birds. Journ. Anim. Behavior 3: 215-221.

Echols MS. 2010. Captive bird welfare and enrichment (part 1-4). AAVAC/UEPV Annual Conference Hobart 129-200.

Hazard FA. 1922. Profitable pigeon breeding. American Pigeon Journal Company.

Kabir MA. 2013a. Productivity of crossed indigenous pigeon in semi intensive system. Basic Res. J. Agric. Sci. Rev. 2(1): 01-04 pp.

Kabir MA. 2013b. Productivity, management and marketing of pigeons in pet shop. J. Agric. Econ. Dev. 2(4): 147-153.

Kabir MA. 2014a. Grading system of ten common fancy pigeons of Bangladesh. Integrated J. of British 1(1): 19-26.

Kabir MA. 2014b. Symptomatic treatments of some common diseases of fancy pigeons in Bangladesh. Acme J. of Animal Science, Livestock Production and Animal Breeding 1(1): 1-4.

Kabir MA. 2015. Selective breeding of pigeons in Bangladesh. Journal of Advanced Studies in Agricultural, Biological and Environmental Sciences 2(2): 1-6.

Levi WM. 1941. The Pigeons. (R. I. Bryan Co., Columbia, S. C.), 512 pp.

Nice MM. 1950. Development of a Redwing (Agelaius phoeniceus). Wilson Bull., 62: 87-93.

Gharial (GAVIALIS GANGETICUS) Update in Bangladesh

This is a guest post by¬†M Ashraful Kabir –¬†Department of Biology, Saidpur Cantt Public College, Bangladesh.¬†E-mail: ashraful.mission@gmail.com¬†

At three zoos¬†in Bangladesh, there are a few gharials but they are living with the¬†same sex. In Gazipur Safari Park it’s almost the same scenario. In some recreational parks, there are Gharials but are not productive.

If we ensure in-situ conservation in zoos and safari parks via captive breeding, there is a good chance that their numbers will increase. 

In Bangladesh, development-related activities are the major cause for the decline in gharial population. River bank erosion and Sand mining beside the river induces fear in gharials. River traffic and fishing should be restricted to conserve gharial of Bangladesh. If possible we should introduce modern technology immediately to see its number increase.

A big seminar, symposium, and meetings don’t often lead to a¬†solution. Insecticides and other chemicals in fields are¬†another cause for the extinction of gharials. Lack or research fund is also a¬†problem. In Bangladesh, a few independent researchers are working towards conservation of gharials. Awareness, which is currently lacking, should increase in this field.

Table 1.Male-Female ratio (1:1) Gharial in Bangladesh

Gharials Male Female Total
Rajshahi 3 3
Rangpur 4 4
Dhaka 4 4
Gazipur 1 1
Total 5 7 12

Source:  ProthomAlo, 20 April 2016

Discussion

Gharials belong to the order crocodilia and are the only member under the family gharialidae. These are the largest animals in crocodilian, their average length being 11-15ft.

In Bangladesh, due to environmental pollution, their number is decreasing and only 5 of them were found in 2015 (red data book, IUCN Bangladesh). We need to immediately take effective steps for conservation of this nice animal. In our zoos, if we arrange for its captive breeding surely its number will increase.

Gharial and False Gharial (Tomistoma) are genetically close relatives (Janke et al 2005). Taxon is found in padma, jamuna and tista rivers in the northern parts of Bangladesh (Khan 1992; 2015). Estimated total population in 1957-1990=52, 1991-2000=32, 2000-2002=1 young (sarker et al 2003). Padma river of Rajshahi in the year 2009-2010=9, 2010-2011=7, 2011-2012=5 were found (Rashid et al 2014).

Females lay 10-96 eggs (average 60), hatch 72-96 days at 32-340 C (Daniel 2002). This is both diurnal and nocturnal. Gharial telemetry project was initiated to investigate 2007-08 mass dying of gharials – 110+ individuals in the lower Chambal river, large basking aggregations form in December and January. This 2007/08 die-off of 113 sub adult in Chambal C riverine of India was mainly due to nephrotoxin (Whitaker et al 2008).

In late June 2008 with assistance from WWF-India, the Madras crocodile bank trust and the gharial conservation alliance received ministry of environment and forests and state government’s permissions to capture, radio-tag and monitor up to 30 wild gharials. A subsequent tagging in March 9 resulted in 10 animals being tagged. Another 10 were tagged in November 2010. At present 5 gharials are still being tracked into 2013 for the 2010 group.

Its mating season is mid-February. Nesting is late-march to early-April. Eggs incubate for 2 months and hatch early-mid June. Eggs/hatchlings mortality rate is over 50% at most rearing facilities. Wild hatchlings indicate that they benefit from pre-monsoon ambient temperature and begin feeding on live fish after hatching. There is a need to accumulate accurate knowledge on gharial ecology.

Toxicity in fishes and cold weather are among the causes for its death (Lang and Kumar 2013). Fishermen kill crocodiles and monitor lizards eat its eggs (Stevenson and Whitaker 2010). It is one of the largest living crocodilians (males up to 6 m, average weight 160 kg).

It is one of the largest living crocodilians (males up to 6 m, average weight 160 kg) (Densemore 1943; Wilis et al 2007). Adults do not have the ability to walk in a semi-upright stance as other crocodilians do (bustard and Singh 1978; Whitaker and basu 1983). The presence of the species in the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar has also been reported (smith 1931).

The ghara of males are used for mating with females (Martin and Bellairs 1977). Females get maturity once they grow upto 3 m long.

From less than 200 gharials worldwide in 1974, surveys in 1997/98 in India and Nepal indicated total numbers had increased to around 1675 (ENVIS 1999), of which 436 were adults (anon 2006). However surveys in 2006 showed that the population had dropped to less than 200 breeding adults and the total population was estimated to be approximately 834 (Andrews 2006; data collected by RK Sharma 2005, 2006; Boullard and Cadi 2005; LAK Singh Pers. Comm; Tirtha Maskey, Pers. Comm.). Human influences on riverine habitat for sand ‚Äďmining, agriculture, irrigation, dam, barrage, to create loss of gharial habitat. From Bhutan ghariasl are extinct, some in India and in Nepal only 35 individuals

Human influences on riverine habitat for sand‚Äďmining, agriculture, irrigation, dam, barrage, etc. creates a loss of habitat for gharials. In Bhutan, gharials are extinct. Only a few are there in India and in Nepal – around 35 (IUCN 2009). No gharials are available in Pakistan, and in Myanmar, their number is not verified.¬†¬†In India in 1975-1982 released 879 gharials. It is hoped that the crocodile breeding and management training institute, situated at Hyderabad (

In India, surveys during 1975-1982 indicated 879 gharials. It is hoped that the crocodile breeding and management training institute, situated at Hyderabad would contribute actively in increasing their numbers (Rao et al 1995).

Recommendations

  • We should count the population of gharial (IUCN Bangladesh 2015 only 5)
  • Need to identify its habitat (only Rajshahi Padma river)
  • Make a plan for conservation (circular for wildlife conservation from various schools/colleges)
  • Through active action plan in zoos/safari park by in-situ conservation for captive breeding
  • Need large space
  • It needs pollution free water
  • Regulate temperature for breeding zone
  • Gharial expert
  • Emphasis on research
  • Interested teachers of various colleges could manage part-time jobs in their area of expertise
  • Apply for fund to WWF or IUCN

 

References

Lang JW and kumar P. 2013. Behavioral ecology of gharial in the Chambal river, India. IUCN-SSC specialist Group IUCN; gland, Switzerland.

Hornaday WT. 1885. Two years in the jungle. Charles Scribner’s Sons, NY, pp. 39-57.

Kennion IA. 1921. Crocodile shooting in Nepal. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 28: 291.

Khan MAR. 1979. Gharial extinct in Bangladesh. Crocodile Specialist Group Newsletter., 1:2.

Maskey TM, Percival HF, Abercrombie CL. 1995. Gharial habitat use in Nepal. J. Herpetol., 29(3): 463-464.

Rao CJ. 1933. Gavial on the Indus. J. Sind Nat Hist Soc., 1(4): 37.

Sharma R, Basu D. 2004. Recent reversals in the population trends in the population of gharial on the national Chambal sanctuary in north India; implications and a suggested strategy for the conservation one of the world’s most endangered crocodilians. In crocodile specialist group Crocodiles proceedings of the 17th working meeting at the crocodile specialist group, IUCN, Gland, Switzerland, pp. 180-186.

Short WHO 1921. A few hints on crocodile shooting. J. Bombay Nat. Hist Soc., 29: 77.

Singh LAK. 1991. Distribution of Gavialis gangeticus. Hamadryad, 16 (1and 2): 39-46.

Whitaker R. 1976. Ghavial survey report. Mimeographed report for the New York, Zool. Soc., pp. 1-19.

Whitaker R. and Basu D. 1983. The Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus). A review. J. Bombay Nat. Hist Soc., 79(3): 531-548.

Maskey TM. 1999. Status and conservation of Gharial in Nepal. ENVIS, Wildlife and Protected Areas, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra Dun, 2(1): 95-99.

Faizuddin M. 1985. Distribution, abundance and conservation of Gharials in Bangladesh. Tiger paper 12(3): 22-23.

Andrews H. 2006. Status of the Indian Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus), conservation action and assessment of key locations in north India. Report of Madras Crocodile Bank Trust.

Francis R. 1910. The Broad-snouted Mugger in the Indus. J. Bombay Nat Hist Soc., 20: 1160.

Kabir MA. (unpubl). Research limitations in Bangladesh.

Anon 2006. Red list assessment for the gharial. Submitted to the IUCN red list authority by CSG.

Bustard HR and Singh LAK 1978. Studies on the Indian Gharial Gavialis gangeticus (Gmelin)(Reptilia: Crocodilian). Change in terrestrial locomotory pattern with age. J of Bombay Nat Hist Soc. 74: 534-536.

Boullard JM and Cadi A. 2005. Gharial conservation in Royal Chitwan National Park, Nepal. Dept. of national parks and wildlife conservation and WWF: Nepal.

Densmore III LD 1983. Biochemical and immunological systematic of the order crocodilian. Evolutionary Biology 16: 397-465.

ENVIS (wildlife and protected areas)(1999). Volume 2(1). Wildlife Institute of India: Dehra Dun.

IUCN 2009. IUCN red list of threatened species. Ver. 2009.1 (www.iucnredlist.org); viewed 30 September 2009.

Smith MA 1931. Loricata, testudines. In the fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma. Reptilian and Amphibian. Vol I. Taylor and Francis: London.

Willis RE. McAliley LR, Neeley ED. and Densmore III LD 2007. Evidence for placing the False Gharial (Tomistoma schlegelii) into the family Gavialidae: inferences from nuclear gene sequences, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 43: 787-794.

Rao RJ, Basu D, Hasan SM, Sharma BB, Molur S, Walker S, Editors 1995. Population and habitat viability assessment (PHVA). Workshop for Gharial. Study at Jiwaji University, Gwalior

Stevenson C and Whitaker R. 2010. Indian Gharial Gavialis gangeticus.

Being More Indian: Arranged Marriage

I consider arranged marriages to be an Indian phenomenon. Of course, it exists in other countries also, but Indian arranged marriages are unique – don’t you think?

As you all know I got married the arranged marriage way.

It’s not that I was against love marriage or anything. In fact, I fell in love as early as 5th Std. And that was the second time.

But the issue is, for a lazy guy like me, I expect a girl to walk into my house with a bouquet full of roses, knock the door, come inside my room and propose to me as I am working on my computer. Of course, I could turn my head towards her for a short while ūüėõ

Now you have an idea how unrealistic my expectations on this topic can be.

Obviously, with such unimaginable hopes (for others), ‘love’ never happened in my life ūüôā

So the only option available to me (practically) was arranged marriage. In this institution, the best thing I like is, the bridegroom doesn’t have to do much. Parents bring the profiles, I shortlist them. Parents talk to potential bride’s families, I just need to talk once to the bride. Parents fix engagement, marriage, etc., I just need to be there.

In many ways, arranged marriage was made for people like me ūüôā

Although there is this enormous risk of marrying and living with a person about whom you don’t know much, somehow the majority of the arranged marriages click. At least in our circle, it does.

I was also fortunate to get a wife whom I (later) realized was a very good match for me, without being sure about it before the marriage.

Marriage has made me a more balanced and a more confident person. In fact, my life transformed from black & white to colour, bubbles & bells – literally. Don’t believe me? See the short video below for proof ¬†ūüėÄ


Destination Infinity

This post was written for a contest sponsored by Lufthansa, the German airline company that owns the world’s second largest fleet of airplanes. As a part of their #MoreIndiaThanYouThink strategy, they greet their (Indian) passengers with a traditional namaste, they serve Indian meals & chai, they also provide Indian content – films, news & music to flight passengers. Have a look at their #MoreIndianThanYouThink initiatives from here. Also, don’t miss the below embedded Lufthansa TVC –

 

How to Keep Mosquitoes Away (Outdoor Mosquito Repellent)


Good Knight Fabric Roll On is a product brought to you by Godrej that’ll help keep mosquitoes away from kids (and adults), even in outdoors and large spaces. All you need to do is apply four coin sized dots of this liquid on any kind of fabric you wear – that’s it, mosquitoes will be repelled away from you or your kids for up to 8 hours.

Good Knight Fabric Roll On is a natural outdoor mosquito repellent made of citronella & eucalyptus oil that are known for keeping mosquitoes away. The company says since this product uses citronella & eucalyptus oil for mosquitoes, it is made using plant-based oils Рhence is 100% natural.

You’ll find some natural pungent when applied – if you find the smell a bit too strong, just apply it in areas away from the nose. The company says it is safe to use it on the skin as well, but it’s best to apply on a fabric. It seems the Good Knight Fabric Roll On doesn’t leave any stains on clothes and can be applied on any kind of fabric including silk, khadi, windcheater, and even bedsheets!

Family members might find it useful while going on outdoor trips like trekking, camping, beaches, mountains, etc. Or even in regular hotel rooms where mosquito repellents may not be available. It seems this product works even if you happen to walk in rains! It works on pets also – you can apply it on the collar fabric for dogs, for example.

Priced at around Rs. 75, one bottle is expected to last for 60 days if used on one person (four dots), every day. You can buy this mosquito repellent online from websites like Amazon or you can buy it from a nearby departmental store.

Good Knight Roll On

Why do ‘Modern’ Hospitals have ‘Centralized’ AC?

I understand that with modernity creeping its head everywhere, people expect more comfort nowadays at every available opportunity. But don’t you think having centralized Air Conditioning in hospitals is actually taking it too far?

I mean, I am OK with having centralized AC at hotels, theaters, malls, and even schools. But in ‘modern’ hospitals, where people come because they are sick (often with fever, flu, cold and other such ailments that are averse to anything cold), do we really need an AC?

These hospitals, irrespective of whether the doctors are free or not, make patients wait for 1-3 hours on average – even with prior appointment. If you’ve ever been to one of these hospitals, you’ll realize that after one or two hours, that AC can get really COLD. They don’t even regulate the temperature of the AC!

Frankly, we don’t go to certain movie theaters because they don’t regulate ACs and it gets too cold. That is during normal times. But having centralized ACs at hospitals and not regulating the temperature – don’t you think this is too much? Why can’t the ACs be restricted to ‘deluxe’ rooms where patients want it?

Destination Infinity

Is Durability in Mobile Phones NOT Valued any longer?

Don’t confuse durability with quality. All products need to be quality products to succeed in the market. ¬†Durability refers to the longevity of the product life. How long we are able to use the product, i.e.

A few years back, both quality and durability were considered important factors to buy a product. But with mobile phones and a few other electronic gadgets, I wonder if durability is valued any longer.

That is because, new phones with latest features and higher capacity is released so frequently nowadays that my mobile phone was already obsolete the moment I bought it!

Nowadays, at least once in a year, I look for reasons to upgrade to the latest mobile. I can just buy a new phone, but I — like many others — have this need to justify a new purchase.

Now, what if, the mobile phone stops working or develops some technical issue just after the first year of warranty? That would give me the perfect reason to buy a new phone – won’t it?

That’s why I have started thinking that durability, at least in mobile phones and a few other similar gadgets, may be a minus point.

Actually, I had one HTC phone that I used for almost 6-years. While I did not incur the financial losses of having to buy a new mobile, I did have to drop my face when everyone around me were showing off their latest mobiles with latest features. My phone was working perfectly, and hence I didn’t have a good enough reason to change it!

Same happened with my Toshiba laptop. While I wanted to upgrade to a better processor, RAM and storage capacity, the old one would just not stop functioning.

In both the above cases, losing my patience after sometime, I just went ahead and bought a new mobile and laptop although the old ones were working fine. That damn HTC phone is still working!!

If vendors can include an auto-kill switch or something in every gadget which will enable us to kill it at will, it will be great. That way, there’ll be no need to justify a new purchase to ourselves or others. What do you think? ūüėÄ

Destination Infinity