In which trupz writes 10 blogging tips for newbies and beginners

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A few weeks back there was an interesting post on Twitter by @IndiBlogger where they asked to share blogging tips with fellow bloggers.

There is so much content already on this topic and so much new that is being written with every new development in search engines and digital marketing it’s hard to come up with a single tip that would make a difference.

The initiative by Indiblogger got a lot of response from the Twitter community: MyBloggingTips

Learning from my own experiences, I decided to put together my top 10 tips that have helped me get back to blogging. I encountered the world of blogging since 2005, at that time it was more of a personal blog on Blogger (blogspot) which I somehow got bored of due to its limitations in UI and design. Around 2008 I started with my WordPress blog and that’s how the name ‘blawghh” originated. I did write regularly but a full-time job and growing work responsibilities kept me away from blogging for a long time. Finally, in 2018, I got my own domain and here we are today.

Top 10 blogging tips to grow a successful blog for newbies and beginners

Before you start writing a blog, go over these tips and work out your own regimen. By experience, I know that it is very easy to get stagnated and if your intention is earning money from your blog, then you have to treat this as work and be very professional in your approach. There are many enthusiastic folks, who wake up one day and decide “I want to write a blog” and then they directly jump to reading articles about “blogging for money”. What happens is that because you don’t have a clear direction, you end up not fulfilling both your desires of blogging and earning money through blogging. To succeed in blogging and then generating an income from it, I believe that these 10 tips are very crucial. In this post, I have touched upon SEO and digital marketing very briefly, a detailed post on digressing SEO for blogging better left for another day.

So summing up my top 10 blogging tips to grow a successful blog for beginners and newbies:

  1. Define the purpose of your blog
  2. Use tools to get organized
  3. Create a blogging schedule
  4. List down your blog topics
  5. Study Basic SEO
  6. Research about your topic
  7. Keep your language simple
  8. Use visual aids
  9. Understand what your readers like to read
  10. Be interesting, intriguing and informative

One of the reasons why I love blogging is because I get to learn so many new things, like creating this infographic! Do let me know how you liked it and share your own tips as well 🙂

In which trupz talks about lies, rumors, fake news and what you can do about it

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A famous quote goes, “A lie can travel around the world, while the truth is still wearing its shoes!” This quote has such major relevance in today’s time, especially when we have the means to share fake news or (mis)information so easily. If you are one of those people who believe that you never participate in spreading rumors, then you are absolutely wrong. All of us at some point in out lives have done this, may be not intentionally but we have. The fact remains that everyone spreads rumors, now whether it is some sizzling office gossip or a WhatsApp message for a sick child that says if you share the message some company will pay for the treatment, that can be situational!

Have you ever wondered how rumors spread? Rumors have some characteristics, that make them interesting and people get excited about them which why they spread so fast.

2 important characteristics of a rumor

1. A rumor should be informative:

A rumor is usually about something recent that people are interested in. so, if you are able to add more information to what is already true, you’ve just added that desired cherry on the cake.

2. A rumor cannot be verified

This is extremely important, because if the source of the rumor can be verified then point 1 automatically gets nullified. This makes it necessary for whatever (mis)information to have no source to trace it back to.

Now that we have these 2 points clear, lets look at why rumors spread?

4 reasons why rumors spread:

1. Uncertainty:

The explosion of information in the internet age, circular reporting, almost makes it impossible for people to know whether they know everything. Since people find the same information from all the common and well known sources, at times they are intentionally seeking an alternate view which satisfies their uncertainty.

2. Anxiety:

Uncertainty often leads to anxiety. Since we are looking for answers to come to us faster than the speed of light, there is a raging eagerness to know everything right now. People dont have the patience to wait for the right answer, they just need some answer now.

3. Negativity:

Have you ever heard of a positive rumor? A rumor that has been started for the benefit of people? I still haven’t found any such attempt. The intent of widespread of (mis)information or rumors is usually a negative one. They are used for sensationalism, creating a divide with a potential risk of playing with emotional psyche or sentiments of people often religiously motivated these days.

4. Sharing important (mis)information improves social status:

Lets not kid ourselves, we are all vying for those likes, retweets and comments on social media. However, at times we do fail to realize in that bargain of achieving social stardom, you are participating in falsehood of some kind. People do go to extreme length to achieve a social status.

As children, most of us have played the game of “Chinese whispers” and had a good laugh at the end of it. If you have to digest the above points more subtly then let me tell you spreading rumors is nothing different from playing Chinese whispers. Till the time this was all talk it seemed pretty harmless. People would talk behind others peoples backs and everything would seem quiet and hush-hush. The advent of the Internet and social media has now provided a means that now people can read, see and share everything they see and read. The rumor or (mis)information has escalated to the stature of “Fake news” and spreads like wildfire.

5 fake news messages I received on WhatsApp:

1. Indian national anthem declared the best in the world by UNESCO

TRUTH: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/unesco-india-national-anthem/

2. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared best PM by UNESCO (again)

TRUTH: https://www.hoaxorfact.com/politics/unesco-declared-modi-best-prime-minister.html

3. New notes of Rs. 2000/- have nano chips inside them which will enable tracking them!

TRUTH: https://indianexpress.com/article/technology/tech-news-technology/nope-rs-2000-note-does-not-have-a-gps-nano-chip-inside-it/

4. WhatsApp to start charging you money to send messages

TRUTH: https://faq.whatsapp.com/en/android/28030005/

5. Rare photograph of India Prime Minister as a sweeper

TRUTH: https://www.huffingtonpost.in/2016/01/21/modi-photoshopped_n_9035576.html

These very popular but false WhatsApp forwards satisfy all the criteria that define a rumor as well the reasons why rumors spread. As long as these Chinese whispers were non verifiable it was fine, but the good part about the Internet is that there are now websites which help identify fake news. More mainstream news websites are joining in to contain the situation and inform the people that these are fake news, just Google any of the above 5 and you can see the result for yourself.

In India, in the last couple of years there have been incidents which were incited due to such rumors or fake news. People lost lives. Angry mobs of people took law and order in their hands. This is not good for any city. state or country. Fake news must be contained. People need to educate themselves and those around them. But the question remains, how do you spot fake news? Here is a very helpful infographic by IFLA that teaches some basic fundamentals of how you can verify news as true or fake

Source: https://www.ifla.org/

There are no dedicated sites for India that help identify fake news, so here’s a video by Dhruv Rathee that explains how to spot fake news in India

Few steps you can follow before sharing any message you received on social media

  1. Don’t believe everything on social media, Facebook and WhatsApp will not ask you to forward or share anything
  2. Just Google IT: There is sufficient evidence if the news is true or fake, you can tell mostly from the 1st page results if you search some of the key terms of the message.
  3. Check the source. Is the source creditable? If you have doubts simply don’t share or forward
  4. Is the news helpful or positive? Or will it cause more sensationalism? Is it playing on your emotions? This is upon your logical reasoning where you can decide what you do next
  5. Use social media responsibly: Evelyn Hall has said, “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” It is not necessary for everyone to agree on a subject but it is important for everyone to be tolerant of others opinions, beliefs and sentiments.
  6. Educate yourselves and those around you about spreading, sharing anything without verifying the authenticity.

Do share if you have any more instances when you received fake news on email or WhatsApp in the comments.

Some popular websites that bust fake news worldwide:

  1. Hoax Slayer – https://hoax-slayer.com/
  2. Snopes: https://www.snopes.com/
  3. Hoax Fact: https://www.hoaxorfact.com
  4. Urban Legend: http://urbanlegendsonline.com/

In which trupz remembers Pu La Deshpande

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Today started as usual. a quick round-up of the latest news from Alexa while sipping some chai and reading the advertorials in the newspaper. I picked up my phone to check what the latter chatter was on Twitter with Kim Jun Ung and Donald Trump meet up in Singapore, that tweet thread caught my eye. Today, 12th June is the 18th death anniversary of the Pu La Deshpande.

I was immediately taken to my younger years when knew him as the “funny man” in Marathi, and for some reason, my father had loads of tapes of him. It was much much later that I figured out what an icon of Marathi literature he was. Literature, music, acting, orating Pu La Deshpande has many facets to his body of work and one cannot argue that he excelled at all of them.

Many years after my father had passed away, I chanced upon those cassettes and the curiosity to know Pu La Deshpande better led me to read his books. My most favorite of his writings is called “Mhais”. The essay paints a picture of a State transport bus en route to Chiplun in Konkan, Maharashtra and the happenings of the travel journey which are dictated by the ‘Mhais” (buffalo)

The beauty of Pu La Deshpande’s writings is in his unique characterization.  I distinctly remember how he had sketched the “Inspector” from a village arriving 0n the scene in a Jeep etc his mannerisms, how the people would react to the arrival of the Police. The dialogue “Diiiriver kone”, read by Pu La himself in a deep, husky voice has me as one of the people traveling on that bus with all those people. His description of the surrounding and the situation is so vivid that his words make the character and the scene come alive. Another one such essay I absolutely love is “Raosaheb”, or as I like to imagine Raosaheb as a gentle giant, whose innocence and love would melt your heart.

One of the greatest gifts Pu La Deshpande had was the ability to laugh at everyday problems. There was no huge plot or a climax that was revealed at the end, but it was a reassurance that if you take problems not too seriously, they are quite comical and easy to handle. Very few people have this talent, I believe through Pu La Deshpande’s works he intended to pass this on to his audiences.

Years later, when YouTube arrived, I was hooked to watching Pu La Deshpande’s ‘kathakathan’, an equivalent of stand up comedy in those days. The only difference being it was apolitical, devoid of using any expletives with clean content. The audiences also I believe were much tolerant, one of his humorous essays “Mumbaikar, Punekar Ka Nagpurkar?” I’m sure would have rubbed off otherwise in today’s day and age. I’m sure though that if someone would have protested to his views, Pu La would’ve converted that also into some more writing.

While I am writing this, I am listening to “Mi ani mazha shtrupaksha” and am left wondering what Pu La Deshpande would’ve written about the world today? In his birth centenary year, it only seems apt that a biopic commemorating his life is being made by Mahesh Majrekar. One can only hope that he does justice to the marvel that is Pu La Deshpande.

 Pu La Deshpande books and other works I have read: 

  • Marathi Vangmayacha (Galeev) Itihas (मराठी वाङ्‌मयाचा (गाळीव) इतिहास) 
  • Hasavnuk (हसवणूक)
  • Batatyachi Chaal (बटाट्याची चाळ)
  • Khilli (खिल्ली)
  • UralSural (उरलंसुरलं)
  • Purchundi (पुरचुंडी)
  • Vyakti Ani Valli (व्यक्ती आणि वल्ली)
  • Batatyachi Chaal (बटाट्याची चाळ) 
  • Asa Mi Asami (असा मी असामी)
  • Varyawarachi Varaat (वा-यावरची वरात)
  • Ti Fulrani (ती फुलराणी) based on Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw

Pu La Deshpande: Raosaheb

Pu La Deshpande: Mhais

Pu La Deshpande: Mumbaikar, Punekar ka Nagpurkar?

 

Here is also a brilliant Marathi blog “Pu La Prem

In which Musical Weekend Part 2 – Pune Wine Tasting and Bacardi NH7

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After revving up last Friday night in some Hindustani Classical Music, the line up on Saturday was even more interesting. I had been observing my twitter timeline being tagged with “#NH7” for whole of last week. It was only after I saw the advert on TV I could correlate, and it was impossible to believe that such an event is to be held in Pune!!!! That to in Koregaon Park, i mean give me a break ….! Plans were on for saturday afternoon, the girls and I were to attend the Pune Wine Tasting Festival, which was held in Koregaon Park again, yeah baby, KP was hot and happening for 11/12th December.

The line up for Wine tasting was great and who would not like to spend wintry Saturday in green lawns sipping on some of the best wines available. I usually like White wine and stuck to Sauvignon Blanc, Jacob’s Creek being one of my favorite. Though I was surprisingly addicted to Chenin from Vinsura and healthy variety Biowine which contains Ayurvedic hebs and tastes awesome, although some may think of it as typical medicine, but one has to acquire taste for wine. Poonam (_alps) as she is better known, Prutha and myself had decided to meet up for this event. It was a fine afternoon, when we reached the venue the atmosphere was in equally great spirits!!! I was meeting Poonam for first time and we had a lot of catching up to do :).

Prutha at the Grape Stomping

The grape stomping was the highlight of the evening, and organisers invited the guests to partake in this fun activity, although it was tempting I preferred to get the grape juice only in my stomach and not on my clothes. lots of chatting and sipping, _alps and I, finally called it a day as I was to go for the NH7 event later in the night. Now whoever said Pune is a laid back and boring city, was surely not at these places in December 2010!!

As the weekend approached, the buzz of NH7 was almost becoming a scream on twitter, one such was mine also which was heard by @dhempe and he managed to get me passes for both days…woooot, unexpected this was. So flushed from the wines I made it to NH7 venue, where 2 guest passes were promptly waiting for me. The highlights of this event for me were the performances by Indian Ocean and the Raghu Dixit Project. I enjoy music tremendously for them both. Indian Ocean I had watched them at Mood I in IIT Mumbai when Kandisa was just released and it was a rage. Seeing them again after almost 8 years was a resurrection. Before them was a fusion band lead by Susheela Raman, who played some kick ass numbers never heard before and although she sang in Tamil, it was superb fusion. Rise it higher and Mamavatu, I hope I got the names correct were mindblowing.

Indian Ocean
The most awaited band and aptly the close of event at the Dewarists stage were Indian Ocean, in between the change of bands after Susheela Raman finished on the Black Rock Stage we also got a slight glimpse of Raghu Dixit and what was on offer from them next day. Public demand asked for Hey Bhagwan and they did not disappoint, with a promise that closing on NH7 on Sunday will be a rocking one. Indian Ocean did not waste any time and had the crowds tapping their toes and then jumping around almost as soon as they started, Bandeh, their infamous song from Black Friday putting everyone in a trance. Going on to “Maa Reva” and some more songs from their soon to release album, the band ended on the all time favorite Kandisa, the song which plummeted them to glory.

Magic Numbers
On Sunday, I missed the band Swarathma, they are quite hot on the music scene now, and very highly recommended by a music buddy of mine. Rock bands like Midival Punditz and Asian Dub Foundation were to playing on the Eristoff Arena, but I chose to stick to Dewarist’s stage as the atmosphere was good and so was the crowd. Reached early before Raghu Dixit was to be on, to catch the closing of Magic Numbers, an alternate rock band from UK. They 2 pairs of brother sister duo and one of the sisters on the electric guitar was literally smoking it. We have often heard of Indian bands travelling abroad to phoren lands and getting appreciated there, this is what exactly happened to magic Numbers also. I was surprised to see an evolved audience and people who had hear them before. The band members announced that it was the best concerts ever at which they have played and great audience too, flattered yes but he was just being too modest.

Raghu Dixit
The most awaited gig of the evening was Raghu Dixit project, having seen a a dekko of them the previous evening, it was but the most appropriate close to the mind blowing weekend that NH7 had become. RDP came with their kitty full, and didnt waste any time in gearing up the audience with their most popular tracks, “Hey Bhagwan”, “Ambar”, “Mysore se Aayi”, “Gudugudiya Sedi Nodo” . They did have the new song about Mumbai too, but seems like will take some time to grow on me. My favorite among this list were Amber, Hey Bhagwan till i saw their Electronic Violin player who went like crazy when they sang “Mysore Se Aayi”. It was a fast paced 60minutes and not one boring moment throughout. Vishal Dadlani too joined in the crowd and Raghu made sure he acknowledged him in the crowd and thanked him for giving their folksy band a chance to bring out from the pandals to world stages, you will be surprised to know that RDP is 2nd most downloaded artists on ITunes in World Music Arena.

Overall the NH7 was superbly managed, the sound was world class and the stages was nothing like i have ever seen before, matching all norms of international standards. Each and every artist mentioned the hospitality and the arrangements that were made for them as awesome. We know that when going to a concert you dont want to be bogged down by lack of infrastructure and technical glitches, to keep an audience happy you simply need great music as promised and you bet this event lived up to its reputation. With a promise of being back again soon, the Dewarists arena at NH7 brought its curtains down and Pune witnessed a history in making.

In which Trupz decided to speak up and speak out

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This post was selected for Tangy Tuesday pick on BlogAdda

 

 

This post was selected for the Tangy Tuesday picks on Blogadda

A freak of incidence and I ended up taking the PMT bus from Warje to Pune station via Swargate (just like most other buses this one too had a number plate illegible to the naked eye). Loaded with 3 bags (my laptop sack, a purse and an extra cloth bag – more on why i was carrying so much in next Blawghh post) I climbed into the bus which was more brown than the “laal dabba” (red box) all thanks to the continuous rains.I had got in at the very first stop and was much disheartened to see almost all the bus full. Also given the Sunday afternoon I was sure the frequency of buses was poor and it didnt make sense to wait for the next one.

I spotted a lone empty seat, was just making my way towards it when an atrocious man who had no shame whatsoever, jostled and made way to it before me!!!! Forget about chauvinism, the dude didn’t even to say Sorry or for that matter give me a second look. Little did I know it was actually a Run for the Seat. I didn’t want to spoil my taste for the day after the awesome lunch and  kept mum.

I turned around and saw that there were 2 more seats “Reserved for Ladies” occupied by these dudes ( looks like Warje is a place filled up with “DUDES”). SO politely and as nicely as I could have asked i said to the 60 year old pair of dudes occupying the first seat.”Excuse me, this is a ladies seat” – yes of course I said this in Marathi, “ही लेडीस सीट आहे“, confused and out of sorts as if he had committed a sin, he apologized and said that he didn’t know, as he could not read and no one else bothered to tell him, he sat there with his partially hearing impaired friend. Now, this duo was carrying some huge parcels wrapped up in a cloth, we would usually call them “बोचकी“:colloquially. Considering the crowd in the bus already,these elderly and physically challenged  folk standing in the aisle would have been a worse inconvenience to everyone than me with the 3 bags.

So I asked them to sit tight, and cursing my bad luck I looked at my 2 victims (i reveal that these guys suffered exact 2 minutes later), and said, “”ही पण लेडीस सीट आहे“” (this is also a reserved seat for the ladies and push off really, i mean really cant you read, that is what my brain was ranting) – I got an extremely unconcerned look back from one and  the other pretended not to hear me at all. Just as i was about to repeat myself, another lady passenger came in and approached this same duo with same request as mine and received a similar response back. Now i was pissed, may be it was time to take off the Sunday attire and show these guys some real punch. You can almost imagine what followed for next 6 – 8 minutes was a verbal battle that was filled with language that was difficult to decipher for both dudes, with me and my partner in rhyme (lets call her lady in pink) lashing at them in English, cursing them down for having no Education and behaving like illiterates (come on they could not read ” for ladies ” – “महिलांसाठी”), having no decency to talk and behave with women and largely for citing examples of how they abuse/insult women everyday they travel in “शिटी” buses from their locality ( i.e they occupy such seats and apparently no “ladij pyassenger” has ever complained or raised a voice) and get away with it.

The tempo of this EPIC word fight reached its height, when for some reason, me dressed in jeans and a T-shirt was much an issue for this one goon, since he went to the extent of passing a lewd comment like “when you are dressed as a man, why are you asking for a ladies seat!!”

Now was the time for the Mumbaite in me to step out, and give this guy a piece of my mind. For those who know me well, and are well aware of my vocabulary skills in all three, English, Marathi and Mumbaiya, you can imagine the dialog; with me using up all of everything i know in the abuse department and creating some new ones during a very heated and one sided conversation. For those of you who don’t know me, tickle yourself,think what you would have done if in my shoes (especially if you have been there before). After about 3 minutes of verbal lashing (it would have been a physical one – with my right hand imprint on his cheek but thank god i was carrying the cloth bag with it) that included the mention of, brains, bones and teeth and lots of comparisons with poultry and farm animals, insects and birds, another slightly older man approached me and said , “बाई माणसान अस बोलू नाय!!” (it is not good for women folk to speak like this (loosely translated)), to which i politely asked him to Shut up, if he can’t help.

I yelled out at the other passengers for being by standers, and acting as though it was not their problem, how they like being extras in a movie, to the other women who sat in reserved seats(there are 5 such seats in every bus) for not supporting female passengers and informing other passengers to sit else where, to the conductor especially,as he kept printing tickets all this while at the far end of the bus – refusing to interfere and check out what the ruckus was. And mind you all this while the bus was halted. I demanded to see the conductor, and by now surprisingly a lot of other passengers (who suddenly found their lost b&||$ and sanity got up and asked the rioting goons to vacate the seat. The lady in pink, by now managed to drag the conductor forward and threatened to report him if those 2 goons were not thrown out immediately. There was a huge opposition from them but eventually the chaos and noise was alarming and the driver stepped in, he told the 2 goons to step out of the bus if they were not going to be quiet and as per the rules, only female passengers should occupy the seats in question, otherwise they can find themselves place in next bus for the same route which was right behind. I thanked god for sending in this driver because with all that high pitch screaming my larynx was about to burst. Much against their liking the duo stepped out, giving me the “LOOKS” and finally the bus moved.

This was about 5 hours ago and I am still not very proud of my actions, the aftershock of going through such a vociferous and stooping-down-zillion-levels-of-tolerance and conduct to duel with some random person is shuddering. The nerve on my forehead was ticking like a bomb and my heart was panting so loud that I could not hear the grinding sounds of the bus. Many questions came to my mind, as to why this situation came up, was I wrong anywhere? Was the guy who pushed me away to race for the seat correct? Was i incorrect at letting the elderly man take up the first seat, considering his age and baggage or was i wrong at taking on the second pair? Apart from learning a few new Marathi cuss words I realized what the mentality of some men folk is like, especially those who are “supposedly” illiterate (naturally they cant read) and devoid of any reason. A simple seat in the bus, common decency in addressing women and a basic civic sense was lacking in them. They had no fear of rules, of authority and if people (other passengers in the bus) would have remained oblivious to their actions they would have got away with their misbehavior. On top of this, there was this other DUDE, who was more concerned about my demeanor than that of the goons and expected that i should be quiet ??

I was not upset that I would have to stand with 3 bags to carry, their attitude towards Women in particular, the arrogance and the pride in being the way they were, ticked me off. In the end I did no wrong, I voiced against injustice, big or small, I made a point very clear that unlike many other “ladij” they encountered and oppressed, I refuse to be party to that. Whether by choice or force or by pressure LAW has to be enforced and RULES must be followed. I don’t know what lesson those goons took away from this, but out of some of the things i learnt, such parasites in society have to be outnumbered by the anti bodies like me: it is important to let people know you need their help, in my case the passengers heeded; may be in a small number but that is all I wanted!! That is all it took to scare off the goons. Sometimes people don’t have the courage to rebel for fear of being left alone, but once they know the numbers are growing and more people supporting, they will join in. Secondly the more you let someone get away with a miscreancy, the more you encourage it and increase the chances of them repeating it again So don’t be afraid to speak up and speak out.

A complaint was lodged by me against the conductor who did not step in and take necessary action, it is too shameful to quote here the reason for his abstinence.

In which trupz writesAn ODE to MJ

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Ill Be there YouTube video Slow dancing on the tunes of “I’ll be there”, feeling every word of the song…. This has been my favorite song for ever since I can remember. All I had was this cassette with some mixed tracks of Billy Joel, Culture Club and this one by Jackson 5. With no […]

In which trupz writes I – the awakening

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One of my favorite writings, fueled with emotions and a keen sense of achievement. I came up with this verse on the eve of my graduation. For the first time ever in my adult life an accomplishment that raided my head, these are a few lines I hold very close to my heart.

 

I- the awakening
I am the mountain I am the sea
I am the wind and I am free
I am the sun burning and hot
I am not a coward that’s what I am not!
I am the bird soaring the sky
I am the jet plane flying high
I am the star shining and bright
I am David with Goliath’s might
I am the moon with its craters
I am good but I can be better
I am thankful for your nicety
I am not cold hearted if I don’t show pity
I am what I am; it is what I choose to be
I am not bothered about what others see
I am sporting if you are too
I am forgiving, so forgive me too
I am as frank as can be
I am sorry but that’s just ME!
– Trupti, May 22nd 2003

 

In which trupz writes about everything that can go wrong with air travel and more

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Everyone loves and lives to tell their travelogues – there is something unnatural that happens to everyone on their journeys; it could that you forgot to put locks on your check in bags or lost your luggage, missed your flight – or even leave your tickets at home and even disastrous one ‘Lost the Passport’. I for one am proud to say that I have been through all of these – not all at the same time of course- but every trip is full of stories that I would love to share here.
When I forgot to lock my bags
It was my first ever international trip – let alone that – it was the first time I was to step on any plane for that matter. Any hoo bubbling with all excitement I reached the airport said my long good byes to everyone – naturally I was to go for a year and a half for my higher studies to UK. SO sure and confident that everything is under control I walked to the desk – showed my ticket and put my bags on the weighing machine – 63 kgs exactly, well under the allowed weight of 64 kgs for students traveling. Whoosh I saw each of the bags drawn over the conveyor belt to accompany me on my flight. Proudly I collect my boarding pass and walk away to my next check post only to realise that the little locks that should have been on the bags are still in my pockets. DAMN!! No need to elaborate what happened ahead – it was a flight full of fear anxiety and excitement – big butterflies in my stomach – packed like a bomb about to blow off – luckily when i got my bags all safe and sound – it felt like my plane had actually landed
When Vandana left her tickets at home
In January 2004 Vandana was to travel to Denmark for 2 months for training through her office – she was a complete wreck as this was told to her only a week back – so there was not much time to pack etc – since she was the first of my clan to partake an abroad trip – we were clueless as to what could be in store. Her parents, my bro and mum were to drop her to the airport – for some reason i opted out and stayed at home instead. An hour and a half later i received a frantic call from my brother – I could make out there was someone yelling in the background- it was my mum!! Not quite sure what is happening I was trying hard to focus on he was saying and picked up a few keywords – ‘Vandana’, ‘Tickets’, ‘ At home’ – I almost sprung from my seat when it actually dawned on me what had happened. The lass had left without her tickets. I turned the whole house upside down looking for them; finally to find them nicely tucked away in an envelope on the bed. I wasn’t sure how it would be of any help with me finding the tickets – cause the flight was to leave in 2 hours and there was no way I could make it there on my own in the middle of the night. While I was trying to make any sense of this the door bell rang – I saw through the peep my neighbor – he knew what was going on and was ready on his scooty to drive me to the airport. Armed with our helmets and not ascertaining entirely how cold it would be outside -freezing, we drove. We made it in 45 minutes – it was a record!! All in all yes I handed over the ticket and the usual ‘rona – dhona’. Another point to be noted during your travels – check all your documents! Againnnnnnn !!!
When I lost mah luggage
Off to trip to OZZIe land, in December 2007, my flight was delayed at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus by 2 hours – Malaysian Airlines, to Brisbane – Via KL. I was getting a lil panicky as my transit flight from KL to Brisbane was due soon after I reach KL and I didn’t want to mess up my plans. Several enquiries and assurances later the Airline staff confirmed that arrangements for all transit passengers would be made. I landed in KL at the time when my transit flight was to take off – was rushed off directly from the runway to the waiting aircraft – like a swing airborne to airborne again. Happy that I made it I slipped into a deep slumber. Waking up at SYDNEY I was reminiscing what a flight I had – chatting up with some of my co passengers who had similarly been evicted. AS I waited for my luggage I had a weird feeling that something was wrong. And it was indeed – my bags had not arrived – they were still stuck at KL while I was being swinged away. It would take 2 more days for them to arrive and would be sent directly to my hotel – of course I was handsomely compensated for the grievance. I didn’t have much to complain as all my essentials were with me just my formals missing; but the compensation was more than enough to help me shop!! What a great trip – landed in Australia and the first thing that I do is shop.
When I missed my flight
Just as I was thinking that I have become a pro at globe trotting another disaster struck. June 2008 I was traveling to UK for a conference – I did the regular check – my flight was on time – I did a web check-in, a window seat as usual. Packed well in advance I drove to the airport sans ADI who was in Goa with his office guys. Too proud to show off that I can do things on my own without him! Just as I made a call to the Airline to check my status I could feel the sweat balls become bigger on my forehead. The departure time for my flight read 0130 hours and I had literally translated that to 1.30 pm in the afternoon. What the customer service lady on the line was informing me was that I had already missed my flight!! Tears rolling down my cheeks I informed everyone of the mishap – BABA insisted that I should still go to the airport and check. Making desperate calls to the travel desk and customer service I was a nervous freak when I reached the Airport. On reaching I went in straight to the Airline counter who very patiently heard my situation – there was no way I could cancel this trip – the booking for the conference and the hotel etc had been done in advance and there was also no way I could cough up money to buy a new ticket. The airline guys first gave me some water and then said they could put me on another flight that was to leave in an hour if I had my bags ready. I only had to pay some ‘no show’ charges for missing the earlier flight. There was nothing else that could have made me happier as I had already typed my resignation letter in my head, if the unexpected happened. I ran out with new found legs and picked my bags and was soon aboard my missed flight!! An important lesson learnt is to never back away from adversity – there is always a way out, I would have been in more trouble if I had decided not to go to the airport.
Hehehehe – when I lost my passport
This was an unbelievable event – I actually laughed my way out of it – on my flight back to London in 2006 my passport fell off my lap in the airplane. I only realised this when I had to present it at the immigration counter. I checked my bags inside out and traced my way back to the security gates near the boarding deck. I was almost embarrassed when I told the officer there that I want to go back on the flight. Very surprisingly he quipped, “Don’t you like London!!” I explained what had happened and was amazed when expression did not change. All he said was “Are you sure!!”, and all I could say was “Positive”. He took me along some doors that read “Officers Only” and I found myself in the security zone. He made a few calls on his walky talky and made me go through the Metal Detector gate and frisked my bag – then another door and I was in the lounge where all Airlines had their desks. Suddenly I realised that internally the airport is a small managing unit just feels much spaced out!!! Any hoo I ran all the way to Airline desk where there was Q. Mustering up my courage and convincing myself that this was an Emergency situation I skipped ahead of the Q. Thanks to all people ever so considerate. As I approached the lady at the desk she told me to hold on for a minute. She picked up her mike and on the Public Address System I heard, “Attention all passengers just arrived by the *** Airways Flight ** ***, Miss Trupti Mulajkar, could you please approach the closest airline counter’ – this was repeated thrice. Not sure how but involuntarily I yelped ‘That’s me!!’ and she still continued to complete the announcement. When I finally went close to her – I saw the look on her face just like my mother’s and felt that a hard smack was on its way to my cheek. Luckily she just smiled and handed my passport. “You should be more careful with these things”. I breathed a heavy sigh of relief and thanked the security officer for helping me out – He said he was glad I can see London now and didn’t have to go back – of course I could see the sarcasm. If I would have not found my passport then we would both be traveling back home on separate flights!!!.
Such have been the amazing stories behind all the beautiful pictures and memories – they would have been different if all would have not turned out to be fine. But you know what they say “In the end everything is ALRIGHT – if it is not alright then it is not the END”. Rock ON!

In which trupz writes Words from the past

Scrummaging through some old papers I came across some of my earliest musings with poetry. You know those are the days when You can almost try your hand at everything. Anyhoo scribbled on a page torn from a notebook was this – it did not have a name then and I cant still can’t think of one now…

 

I saw a boat, rollicking alone
Fighting the waves on its own
That was no place for it to be
Lost in the vastness of the sea.

I saw a bird in its lovely flight
Going nowhere no nest in sight
Still shearing the wind and soaring high
carrying on, challenging the sky

I saw a tree standing tall
With leaves and fruits and flowers et all
Standing there how many years it must have spent
But no one saw how it was bent

I saw the sun the brightly star
and felt its warmth from yet so far
in its light the darkness hides
but the truth is its burning inside!

I saw a rainbow one morning
Sashaying its colors, glimmering and shining
the dark rain clouds it had shadowed
Knowing quite well its colors were borrowed

Everything I saw was somehow lonely
Living for others – but solo completely!

March 2000