Saturday, September 15, 2012

HP - Hatke People, Hatke Printing!

I was lazing around on a Sunday afternoon when Nakul called me. “Hey Nelton I heard you won a printer.” “Yes. Cool man, can I have a look. I just take an hour, that’s it.” “Sure, no worries come over.”

In a few minutes Nakul was at my place. The detective in me felt that he called me on my phone standing right below my building. But anyways that’s me and my wild thoughts. On seeing the printer Nakul went like anyone would...”WOWWWWW, this is so cool. Awesome. You bloody won an AIO? Printer Scanner Copier that too just by tweeting”.

“Yes, the cool part is not that I won, the cool part is what this beauty can do.” “Like what?”  “Ask what it can’t do. Trust me this is probably where you see dream printers taking shape. The next stage would be food printers. Probably HP would get there first too. HP or “Hatke People” is how I like to call them are and have always been in the forefront of innovation. The Ink Advantage line of printers is one such innovation.” “Innovations huh…like what?”

“Ok, what do you think a printer can do at most?” “That’s a no brainer – Print.” “That’s it?” “Yes, at max print wellJ” “Well that’s there but also a lot more. The Ink advantage line of printers can print what you want wherever you want it and whenever you want it.” “What??? There was a lot of wants in there.” “Let me break it down for you. With HP wireless printing you can simply send an email to your printer and it would print it for you.” “Are you kidding me? I wish I was but no. That means even if you are on vacation somewhere far you can share pictures with your mom and dad who are not so familiar with computers or social networking. Also you could be smart and give your girlfriend a surprise by keeping a greeting card ready when she comes home. You can ask her, can you get me the document I printed? Nice na. Think of the surprise.” “Man, now you’ve got me thinking.” “Also you don’t need to print all the attachments in the mail, you can pick and choose which files to print and which to leave.” “Wow, so simply said its printing without a PC.” “Yes, and since its wireless you don’t have to bother about sharing the printer, everyone has the control. It is its own hotspotJ. And since the every printer has an email address you can send your files to print anywhere. Means you can mail the printer at your workplace so your files get there before you. It’s productive too.”

“What else tell me more?” “Well you have a touchscreen smartphone right?” “Yes.” “Do you think touchscreen’s have made life easy?” “Definitely yes. Punching in keys is so boring. I can type much faster on my phone than the PC. It’s so easy to use, so damn good.” “You know HP printers come in touchscreen models too.” “What? Touchscreen on printers?” ”Yes, so now its tap tap print.”

“What about the printing quality and cost, I would have asked you about the printer cost too but since you have won it I can’t.” “Well, thanks. But I can answer that too. Where the printing quality is concerned I’ll answer it like this. Close your eyes and dream of the most beautiful place you would love to be in. Now open your eyes and print it using the HP Ink Advantage and you’ll be there. It’s so life like. In fact let me show you. Which is your dream city?” “Melbourne, I simply love that place. I long to go there.” “Yes, that’s indeed a beautiful place. Here’s a pic of the Yarra river bridge. And here we go Print. Melbourne here we come.” “Whoa, that was fast and so amazing too. And this printout is nothing short of a dream. So perfect and the ink has dried up completely so no smudging. Life like colours and great depth. Isn’t this too costly per age wise?” “You may think so, but in Rs.450/- cartridge if I can get 600 pages it’s not even a rupee per page.” “Really? Yes, how much does this machine actually cost?” “Trust me you can get a great HP inkjet printer within 10,000. It’s perfect for home use, fast and economical. There's no need to go for any other or even a laser printer for instance. You can go bonkers and print greeting cards, labels for your files and books, documents, recipes, anything. Try even Tee shirt your own stuff. If you want to blow people away then print some famous paintings by Pablo Picasso, da Vinci, Van Gough among others. Then like the Renault ad you flaunt them saying this is my 1978, 1965, etc.” “Hahaha. I'm already blown away. I can see where you’re going. HP are seriously Hatke people.” “Yes.”

“How did you win this thing?” “I won it through BlogAdda’s blogger meet. I met some wonderful people, met lovely ideas, had fun, and munched on some lovely snacks too. In short I came back with my stomach and hands both fullJ. Blogadda is a great way to socialize and have fun. Looking forward to their next meet. “Why don’t you say looking forward to winning something big again?” “Hahaha.”

“Great, Ok then I’ll take your leave then.” “You’re going so soon? It’s been only 15 minutes since you came. You said you would stay for an hour.” “Well yes, but now I’m so impressed by this printer that I’ve decided to go straight to the mall and buy a HP Think advantage printer myself.” “You’re a fast learner smarty.” Laughs…

“Lemme know when you’re back. We can do some wireless printing thenJ” "Sure. Cya." 

Friday, September 14, 2012

My most memorable day the Formula One way

There something common between Lewis Hamilton and me and that's how we play. No matter what the world may say about us we play hard but never compromise the rules. Probably that's the reason we have so many things in common eg: our birth month, we're both Mad Over Donuts not forgetting our fan following. Below is a recount of my day which was no less than a high profile Grand Prix. J

A lot of excitement had been built for this day but for me it was a tense thing. I had participated in an inter-school state level group discussion and after 2 qualifying rounds was in the final. The final were to be played out in front of the Chief Minister and various government dignitaries not forgetting to mention school principals and a massive crowd of 5000. It was my first ever final and it had to be a cracker. I had my whole school counting on me. My mentor helped me construct a fine armory of points that would get the adrenaline to flow and put me in the forefront. My pit team (my teachers) all backed me up and kept my hopes high. The finale started with a warm up lap introducing all the 5 participants. Each of us looked at the other. We needed no introduction. All we knew each other’s potential, talent and prowess. In the end one of us would be crowned the winner. Would it be a case of Linkin Park’s – I tried so hard and got so far but in the end it doesn't even matter was to be seen. Getting a podium finish (top 3) was important but the title supreme.

The debate started with each one leaving nothing to chance and making the most of our moment. Psychologically the positions in my head had been formed. Some tried to put in their weight in and sneak in through a corner (a slight amount of silence) but those in the lead were holding their ground very well. I was lagging a great extent and had to make my move fast. I decided to take it one by one. When my nearest competitor was being heckled by the one ahead of him I made my move. I got him to believe that I was on his side and then made a switch. Something like gave him an impression was going to overtake from the left and then overtook from the right. Feeling that the ground below him had vanished he lost his lead.

Having one behind me I concentrated on the person in number 3. I got right behind him as he was trying to overtake the 2nd. Using a bit of piggybacking I overtook him and landed in 3rd position. Seeing my dream run the crowd got behind me and gave me a lift. My pit team gave me signs that I needed to take a pit stop and re-strategize. I took it to recharge my batteries. In the break I changed my tyres (approach), brake oil (restraint) and power (aggression) to go all out.

Being in 3rd I had 2 more to beat who seemed to be going great guns.  But I too wasn’t going to give up. The temperature soared, the debate got intense, the smell of burnt rubber could be felt in the air. The time was slipping away, in 5 minutes it would be all over. I prayed for a miracle and hoped for some divine intervention.  Fortunately for me fortune favors the brave. I stepped on the pedal and got into an overdrive. Sensing my charge my opponent fumbled and made a wrong move. He went too close to the forbidden zone and scratched the walls. The judges ruled him out followed by dissent and silent expletives.

Now it was just me and my all-time competitor. The result would decide who would be called the best. I was lagging by a whisker. I had to use my lethal weapon to win this. So I crossed his point and used my flair not stopping for anything on this world. The sudden surge of words and quotes gave me a nitro boost and rattled my opponent. He went lost for words. It was down to the last minute. I could see the excitement on the faces of my crew. All of them sniffed success and it showed on their faces. My opponent gave it all but I too wasn’t going to let him have the cake. I charged and made sure he didn’t have the slightest chance. The chequered flag was waved (final bell) and I was announced the winner marked by a grand standing ovation by the crowd and dignitaries present.

I was lifted by my school mates and congratulated by one and all. I was called up to the podium and awarded the prize with confetti thrown all over and flashlights going berserk. The sound of claps refused to die down. I still remember and feel that moment to this day.

I shall Soak No More!

I woke up in the morning, it was a Monday,
The beginning of another week, the start of a new day,
Forcibly putting myself in gear, I soon realized I was running late,
Oh! Dear, not again, I cried at my ill fate,
My clothes were not ironed, nothing was in place,
The corn flakes were over, no other breakfast food in trace.

So I picked up myself, took my eyes off the floor,
I’m gonna make this day count, I’m gonna soak no more.

I made a dash for my bus, used all the strength I had,
Crisscrossed traffic, people and bystanders...escaping looks bad,
I saw my bus at a distance, harder I pushed myself,
My feet couldn’t carry me fast enough, how I wished I had an elf,
Continuing the trend of the day, the sky above roared,
Raindrops pelted down on me, cutting me like a sword.

Once again I picked up myself, fighting my destiny like a wild boar,
I'm gonna make this day count, I’m gonna soak no more.

I managed reaching office, heads turned as I walked,
People whispered amongst themselves, has this person got lost?
We began with promotion review; the performance of all was discussed,
The increment carrot was dangling; in my work I had full trust,
My efforts were totally sidelined, wasn’t even given a glance,
My hopes blew up in thin air; I had lost my only chance.

I lost all hope in myself; I was shaken to the core,
I needed some moments of peace; I could soak it no more.

I boarded the bus for home; I cared less for anyone,
In my own world I was lost, I was angry with the holy one,
The traffic got on my nerves, all I wanted was to go home,
But silly me, life had plans of its own,
After three hours of madness, I reached my lovely abode,
The day had ripped me apart, I was angry, I was tired and I was bored.

I went straight to bed without eating a morsel or doing any chore,
Maybe not today, but definitely tomorrow I shall soak no more.

Melbourne – where life takes a whole new meaning

In many ways than one Melbourne is very special. For a strange reason it’s like my second home. Not because I own some property there or I have lived there for sometime but on my last and only visit there I got lost in a mall called Melbourne Central – one of the largest in MelbourneJ. The strange part was that even though I was lost and my family was running helter skelter in a frantic search for me (which I obviously came to know later) I was at total ease checking out each store and item as though it was my own city. This is why I call it my second home – the feel, ambience and spirit never lets you feel like an outsider.

It’s this same Melbourne that taught me a very valuable lesson - not all Pakistanis are bad as they’re projected to be. If not for the help given to us by a very kind and friendly neighbor we would have never reached our hotel in the dead of the night. You can read that story here.

I visited Melbourne with my family in the winter (Australian summer) of 1999 - 2000. You may say that’s a long time back but I feel like it’s just a recent visit – after all the feeling just stays. The memories I have brought back are for life. My Melbourne sojourn started with the welcome we received – a never seen before 4 seasons in a day spectacle. Yes Melbourne has the innate ability to surprise you. You touchdown at the Melbourne International Airport and its bright and sunny, if that brings a smile on your face think again. By the time you’re done collecting your baggage you are welcomed by strong winds that promise to blow you away. (Don’t worry, it’s just getting started) Putting up a brave front you say bring it on but what comes on is a heavy downpour. Just imagine you standing there will your entire luggage hoping the blessings from above would abate but it doesn’t, it just keeps pouring. Finally your prayers are answered and things become clearer now. All set to go eh? Na, then it gets chilly. You might stop to wonder what on earth but esp. when you’re at a southern part of the southern hemisphere you ought to get the ‘Down Under’ feel, so just go with the flow that’s it. For many people that’s about it and they detest it. But for me Melbourne is a place of amazing architecture, open spaces and most of all a place where the dress code is strictly formals. I don’t remember seeing any person in casuals. For a formal clothing agency it’s a delight. For formal lovers it’s a live exhibition.

Amongst the must see places there is the MCG, but that’s what we kept away from on purpose, all thanks to the Indian Cricket team that just played the Boxing Day Match. I would like to describe Team India’s performance like this - they came, they saw and kept seeing the match go away from them right from day 1 to 4. There was no need of day 5...such economical and sensible cricket could have only been played by us Indians, we must give it to ourselves.

As we continued to make our way around in the sparkling ‘W Class’ trams at a pace suiting the easy going nature of the city we were astounded to see a palace in the middle of the street. We were surprised to learn it was a train station called Flinders Street Station. When we entered it we realized it was the Victoria terminus of Bombay – both in terms of managing the entire central suburban network an also the usage. The fantastic canopies and arcs seemed taken off the pages on the architecture during the Mughal dynasty and put it right before our eyes. Galaxy note types – Cut, Copy and PasteJ.

Exploring the rich flora and fauna of Melbourne was an enriching experience. The little multi-colored flying insects at the Royal botanical garden added colors to our day and brought the child within us out. Basking in the cradle of nature relaxed us and connected us to a part we missed most in Bombay – a green expanse. The green carpet all over took away our troubles and gave us a fresh lease of life.

As the sunset on this beautiful city it became even more beautiful. Standing on the Yarra river bridge we saw the natural lighting turn off and the artificial lighting take centre stage. The river glowed with the lights and brought back memories of the Gold Rush era days.

As we left Melbourne to visit another part of Australia we felt as though we were leaving a part of us behind but yes taking along with us a host of pleasant and magical memories. The memories are so fresh in my mind that if I wish to visit it again I just close my eyes and I’m right there in Melbourne – where life takes a whole new meaning.

For more visit

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

When Akbar called Anthony to go shopping online for Amar

The following is a true story. The names and places are real :)

Sunday was almost over and I was enjoying the last few moments before resigning to sleep to face the work week again. Suddenly the phone rang with Akbar's name flashing on it. "Bol bhai, wassup?" "Bhai, vhai chod, what we doing about Amar?" "What about Amar?" "His birthday is 2 days away? We're gifting him something or not?" "Aah, yes. I knew I was forgetting something. We in Bombay he in Vizag, how we going to do it?" "If we meet up and then decide on something and then send it will take ages. Plus next week I’m loaded with work and won’t have any time. It’s better we do online shopping. It would be the best - fast and perfect. Would get delivered well too.” “You have a point” “Meet me online soon.” “Ok.”

Soon Akbar and I were on our system's - he in Thana and me in Malad seeing the same product and giving our comments simultaneously over the phone. “Akbar have a look at this tie and cufflink set. It would do well on Amar.” “Yes, but wait, let me send you another link, I feel this would go better. Change the color to brown and see. Also if you zoom in you'll see how deep the design is.” “Hmm, right.” “This same thing can be found on another site and the price is cheaper too. Also they ship in 3 days. This is good.” “Where can you see it? I’m getting a Site under maintenance message.” “What?” “Wait, let me check.” “Oh, bloody hell, yes. What horrid timing.” “Now forget, lets choose from the options we have.”

Akbar and I scanned through the items available. “Akbar I think this one is good from the lot. Also since we have got this set quite cheap and well within our budget we can go for a wallet, what say?” “OK, lets do it.” After spending a few more minutes on some wallets we made a choice. Ordering was a breeze. We just put in our details, Amar’s address (which we quietly sneaked out from him in the pretext of sending him a friend’s wedding invite which was more than 2 months away) and our credit card number. There were many other options available like Net banking and Cash On Delivery, but we IT people love to flaunt our credit cards . Within no time we received the invoice through mail and a delivery date.

“Wow, just an hour of shopping and that's it, we’re done. Yes, after seeing 4 shopping websites I think I’ve had enough. In the process we have signed up for free and earned around Rs.3000/- each for our shopping, now how cool is that?” “Very cool. Plus we didn’t have to move a bit and thankfully not worry about the packing and sending it to him with additional charges.” “Yes, here we can get regular updates on the delivery and also act like we didn’t send any gift when Amar calls up.” “Yes, that would be fun.”

We informed out friend group in office and told them the plan. All of us waited patiently for the day to put our acting masks on. Unfortunately, after a few days, like as if from nowhere I received an email from the site we ordered.

“You are receiving this notification because one or more items in your order XXXXXXXXX have been cancelled.

We were not able to keep up with the overwhelming orders received and unfortunately have run out of stock. We deeply regret the inconvenience caused to a valued customer like you. Please come back and check for these products again.”

I showed the email to Akbar and he went, “Bloody hell”. That means once again tonight it’s online shopping time. Hearing this both of us burst into laughter. We got online, ordered an item even better than the previous time (lucky we), filled in the details, swiped the credit card and were done.

Soon Amar received his first gift which he thought was his only and thanked us profusely for it, even though we played as if we had got nothing to do with it. In a week’s time he received his second gift and was totally bowled over. This time none of us could control our laughter.

I have never shopped online before for whatever reasons may be, but this experience makes me very comfortable with the idea. The best part being Amar receiving 2 gifts in a space of 1 week – shocked first and then surprised.

Online shopping not only made our day and brought a smile on our face but also surprised, shocked and overjoyed one of our closest friends far far away. So what if we are not together, we are still linked heart to heart.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Etymologically if you go on to find the origin of the word 'Left' you will come across to 'Sinister' as its synonym. It not only represents our misconception of a word but also to the society which looked down upon a left hander and was doomed till the very distinct past.  But left hander’s persisted and now, is treated as equal to it's counterpart.  But to acquire equality it took centuries and it didn’t come easy as you might know. In one of my previous blog “Numerology: Number 5 people”,
I have discussed about  the link of number 5 people with that of a left hander. And if you follow the syllogism of the characteristics you would know when I say all number 5 males are left handed this doesn’t mean all left hander are number 5. Neither do I mean all the characteristics of number 5 people are applicable to only those who are number 5 or left handers. The most ocular feature of these left hander’s which garnered them to the status of equality, is commonly known to be “A Fighter”.

In India where cricket is termed as a religion and it seems the only bonding factor which unites one and all, I would take upon this opportunity to reach the mass by revealing the well known fighting spirit of few number 5 cricketers who with their fighting spirit not only silenced their critics but are also renowned in their workforce.

Can you recognize this Cricketer?
Not considered apt for the selection of under-19 squad (year-2000) for the world cup during his initial cricketing stint?
In spite of doing very well in domestic circuit he wasn’t considered worthy enough for national or international selection (2000-2003)
He was Dropped from the World Cup squad for the forthcoming world cup in 2007.
But today he is an indispensable part of India’s squad in all the 3 formats.
If you are still unable to recall his name here’s an easy one for all cricket lovers he wears a jersey 5… He is Gautam Gambhir.

I know I don’t need to elaborate on what he achieved in all these years but I would like to name a few, which includes Best Player in test(2009), the audacious 97 in the final of world cup 2011 and then winning a maiden crown for the Knight riders in 2012 IPL. The distinct feature of this number 5 cricketers is his fighting spirit which enabled him to achieve the glory where other’s might have floundered.

Do you remember him?
He was criticized of not being able to see the cricket ball which is above 90 miles an hour and was dropped from Indian team.
In spite of inculcating an attitude to dominate and leading team India to victories in foreign pitches which unfortunately no other could do till date he was dropped citing his personal form.
Known as the God of offside and father of comebacks, he is Sourav Ganguly

People can reach to great heights but only a true fighter can defy all and justify his position by retaining the top spot when one is scrapped from all his possessions.

Acknowledge this True fighter
In Modern Cricketing Era, he is the only Cricketer from India to Feature in 3 World Cup winning squad.
Not only did he feature in a winning squad, he was named as man of the series (Best Player of the entire tournament) in all the three instances. (Under 19 world cup 2000, T20 World Cup 2007 and Cricket World Cup 2011).

After being diagnosed with a rare cancer this true fighter defied the life threatening disease to come back to Cricket for which he is made for. It’s time we admire and acknowledge this True fighter Yuvraj Singh, for his brevity which goes beyond cricket and country.  He is a True Match Winner.

If you delve into chronology you would find plenty of such examples featuring numerous personalities in various fields which not only led to the acceptance of left handers but recognizing them as a boon to the society.
Now when I have emphasized about the acceptance of lefty's, it’s time to move into the main aspect of speaking all these things.
 I have already stated when I am talking of any characteristic of a person I don’t mean they are confined to only  the number 5 people or to lefty's whom I put forward in the lines above. But to the specific distinct characteristics of these people which differentiates them from the rest of the world. My intentions were not to let everyone know about the distinguishing quality of these people but a quality which we must adopt irrespective of their dexterity and profession.

Whoever you are or whatever situation you may be, always keep in mind it’s your spirits which will lead you through.  
You must acknowledge and implement the essence of these words to be victorious:

Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny

This piece is for all those people who have a good intention and are fighting in their lives to achieve their goal…believe in these words and act accordingly your life would turn upside down.
If you are down, on the verge of losing it all, remember it’s your thought which will perspire you to ultimately reach either the extremities. If you have a fighting spirit and you are determined to face all confrontations… You will win.

Don’t fight till you win a battle but fight till the other looses…
Even if your situation is deplorable always keep in mind no story is complete until and unless you give up…!!!

Sunday, September 02, 2012

The mouth watering Pineapple Upside Down Cake

This is one of my all-time favourite cakes. Fell in love with it when my mom made it years back. Since them i'm still in love with it.

1 cup (approx 250 gms) brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 can Del Monte pineapple slices

1.5 cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoon cake flour
6 tablespoon ground almonds
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1.75 cups of sugar
1 cup butter at room temperature
4 eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream

Its good to start by making the caramel topping. Take the brown sugar and butter and melt in together in a pan on medium fire until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbles. This should take several minutes. Don't stir after the sugar melts. Simply pour the mixture into a 10 inch diameter non-stick cake pan with 2 inch high sides. This would allow the mixture to settle well. Arrange the pineapple slices in a single layer on top of the caramel mixture.

Preheat the oven to 162 degrees C. In the meantime mix the flours, almonds, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the sugar and butter together until its fluid. If you have an electric mixer it could get the job done easily. Add the eggs one at a time, beating the mixture after each addition. Add the vanilla. Now put in the dry ingredients alternately with sour cream in 2 additions each, beating well after each addition. Pour cake batter over caramel and the pineapple in a pan.

Bake the cake for about 1 hour to 75 minutes. Cool the cake in a pan for 10 minutes. Turn the cake out onto a platter. You may take a couple of minutes and admire the sight :). Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 12 to 14 servings. Be lavish in your servings. Cutting small slices will break the cake into improper pieces.

If you have some time and wish to innovate you could try your hand at making a different topping depending on preference. The addition of a bit of chocolate takes the taste to a whole new level. Adding cherries with the pineapples improves the presentation.

For more wonderful recipes and tips visit
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