PayTM shockingly disappears from Apple App Store

PayTM shockingly disappears from Apple App Store

PayTM, India's largest mobile wallet app disappeared from the Apple app store owing to a bug that was reported. Both the iPhone and iPad app had bugs and therefore had to be taken down.

Honestly, this bug sends a chill through my spines! I have over Rs 2000 in my PayTM wallet right now and with the PayTM's policy that they aren't responsible for any lost of cash due to any circumstances, it is high time to move out and use other means of payment. Oh wait.. there's no other way but PayTM :/

I haven't had cash since November first week and have been using Cards, PayTM and Internet Banking for everything and notably paying more than I should. For a Rs 180/kg chicken, I had to pay Rs 320/kg online a couple of times. The local chicken shop doesn't accept online mode of payment and he never will. I had to pay 2% extra to buy a mobile from a local store using my card. Thanks to transaction charges and the list goes on. 

So much for going cashless; everything will become expensive as transaction rate ranges from 2-5%.

Last week, I was in CP and had no cash. My battery died. It took almost an hour to find a charging outlet for my iPhone and book a cab to go home. Many times, I have had to walk away after ordering food because PayTM didn't work and there's no other mode of payment. It reminds me of the good old IRCTC days.

When multi million dollar funded company like PayTM can have bugs; what is the probability that someone would hack into it and withdraw the money is anyone's guess.

Good luck and good bye PayTM Wallet.

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Manipur burns in hell - This is how it started!

Manipur burns in hell - This is how it started!

Nagas, Kukis and other smaller tribes inhibit the hill areas of Manipur, India. One of the highly neglected North East states by the Central Government. Meiteis inhibit the valley (Imphal, the capital city). There's a small percentage of tribals who live in Imphal and a small percentage of Meiteis live in the hill areas as well. 

To understand what's going on; we would have to go back a little into the history. I'll try to be brief as possible. I know, nobody wants to read a long article anyway.

What really started this incident?

Kukis have been demanding a districthood for a very long time now. They even went on to block the roads for 4 months which is a life line for daily goods to the valley from other states such as Bihar, UP, etc. The economic blockade threw the city into a total chaos then. The Manipur Govt was forced to sign an MOU and agreed to declare Sadar Hills as a districthood much to the dismay of the Nagas. You could read a little about this economic blockade here and how the Meitei people and the tribals living in Imphal valley were hurt: http://iitian.me/blog/imphal-manipur-a-desperate-cry

How are Nagas involved?

Land, the root of all tribal problems. The Nagas claim that parts of the proposed 2 districts; Jiribam and Sadar Hills district belong to the Naga people and a chunk of the Naga ancestral land would be carved out and given away. This proposal is unacceptable to the Nagas and the protest in the form of economic blockade began under the banner of the United Naga Council (UNC) on October 30, 2016. The Manipur Govt arrested the UNC leader but the economic blockade continues.

Imphal, the capital city is not self sustainable

Sadly, that's the truth and daily supplies depend heavily on the goods brought in from other states and passes through the Naga and Kuki areas. With no alternative roads, prices in the valley began to shoot up as the roads are blocked. Economics 101. Petrol began to be sold at Rs 200 and the rest of the essential goods, I leave that to your imagination. The Imphal valley is once again thrown into a chaotic situation with limited stock and high prices.

Amidst all this, the Manipur Government decided to give 7 new districts instead of the proposed 2 districts. A lot of the Nagas are happy with this new decision. The Kukis had nothing to lose and so are the Meiteis except the few Meitei population who lives in the hills and will now come under the different districts. The Nagas decided to intensify the stir!! The tribal insurgency groups went to the extend of attacking army convoys killing a few Indian Army jawans.

Meiteis grew impatient and rightly so

Since a lot of tribal villages depend heavily on the goods and services from Imphal, the Meitei people in the valley decided to start a counter-economic blockade. A strategic move. They blocked all the commercial vehicles from Imphal to the Naga tribal villages as a form of protests against the Nagas' economic blockade. This adds fuel to the fire but with no results. The Kukis are happy. The Nagas are still upset. The Meitei people in the valley grew extremely impatient. The government failed to bring a viable solution. The meitei people instead of understanding the situation of the Nagas and help urge the Manipur Government to find a solution went against the Nagas and took matters into their own hands.

What's happening now?

The Meiteis intensified their counter economic blockade against the Nagas travelling between Imphal and their villages for Christmas holidays. Thousands from the villages come to Imphal for Christmas shopping during December every year and the Meitei protesters did what they did as shown in the national media today: Bombs are thrown at some strategic Naga leader houses, some churches are burned and shut down, tribal vehicles are torched and damaged, new clothes and all items including food items for Christmas are thrown about and burned, tribals are stranded, internet is shut down in most parts of Manipur, etc etc. It is the classic case; "an eye for an eye". Meitei people now targets every Nagas travelling and not just the commercial vehicles.

Where's the solution to the Manipur problem?

With the coming elections; the Chief Minister of Manipur, Ibobi Singh from the Congress party has been in power for the last 15 years. However, several prominent Congress leaders have resigned in the recent months citing one reason or the other (to join BJP stating the obvious). Money talks during elections. He is desperate to win another election.

Talks and compromise would be the only solution however, nobody seems to be interested in it; Nagas, Kukis or the Manipur Government. If the talks between these three parties come to an agreeable solution; the Nagas would withdraw their economic blockade and the rest falls into line.

Update: It has become evident that the UNC would not stop and would continue the protest through the Christmas and New Year which is the most important festival of the Nagas. Looks like a tough time awaits the people of Manipur. UNC has clarified time and again that their protest is against the Government of Manipur and not the Meitei people or the tribals living in the valley. 

PS: Please excuse any typo. I'm blogging this from my phone.

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Why I decided against buying a car for myself

Why I decided against buying a car for myself

I have been driving since 2006. Yes, it’s been 10 years now. I started driving without a Driving License like everyone, no points for guessing. My first drive was my sister’s Maruti Zen in Hyderabad and the passion for driving escalated within no time. I’ve driven cars from the humble Maruti Zen to Mercedes Benz/Audi and oh yeah, Ferarri included on the list for a few minutes if that counts. I have driven up to a maximum speed of over 180km/hr and pretty proud of it; life threatening as it may but one doesn’t think too much in such situations. I’m a responsible driver now.

Coming to the real question as to why I decided against buying a car is for the fact that I don’t travel much. Here’s some refined reasons that would most likely change your mind:

A humble car today cost about Rs 5,00,000 and after about 5 years, you can sell it off for about Rs 2,00,000. So you actually spend Rs 3,00,000 on your brand new car. Estimating that, you spend Rs 164 per day for 5 years. Go read the next paragraph unless you are interested in the details. The yearly insurance for your car is roughly around Rs. 50,000 for 5 years put together which means you are paying Rs 27 each day. For a daily commute of roughly 30 km in a city with a mileage of 15 kmpl, the daily fuel costs (petrol/diesel or CNG) you spend around Rs 100 and of course, Rs 0 on days you don't drive. Looking at the quality of our Indian roads, one is forced to change the tyres and the battery at least once in 5 years. So, that will cost you around Rs 15,000. Hence you spend Rs. 8 per day. Car owners in India know the fact that automobile dealers give a false fact of "Zero Maintenance Cost" for 3 years or 50,000 km first and one ends up paying about Rs 3000-5000 per year. This is roughly Rs 10 per day. Never buy a car by taking a loan, it is a very expensive affair but if you are a salaried person, how else would you be able to afford a car? The interest for car loans at 9.70% on Rs 5,00,000 is Rs 132 per day. You can perhaps get a better deal but I'm taking this as the current market rate for SBI and calculating it based upon it.

So in total, you are spending a minimum of Rs (164 + 27 + 100 + 8 + 10) = Rs 309 when you are driving. If you aren't driving and have your car park outside, you are still paying Rs 209 per day!

If you take a loan, you are adding an extra Rs 132 and hence you are spending Rs (309 + 132) = 441 on week days and on days when you don't drive, you still pay Rs 341 each day.

PS: I’m considering that you don’t get into any type of accident or get into trouble with traffic laws.

Is taking Ola or Uber a viable option then?

I get them within minutes and they are pretty cheap as compared to other private means of transport. Sure, there’s auto/bus and metro but with these guys, I can travel wherever and whenever I want. Yes, there are frustrating times dealing with the drivers but driving your own car and negotiating with the other drivers on the road is a LOT more frustrating experience.

An American friend once said, “You have to be drunk to drive in India” and I laughed but over the years, I realized how serious and truthful he was. It is a nightmare to drive in India when you compare to driving elsewhere.

Also, parking is a lot of problem in metro cities. One could end up negotiating with your neighbour’s car everyday. As frustrating as dealing with cab drivers!

If you book a cab for a 30 km ride on Uber Go or Ola Micro/Mini, you spend about Rs 350. It gets a bit cheaper if you opt for Uber Pool or Ola Share. Yes, it doesn’t make much difference if you take a cab everyday on these apps as compared to having a private car but personally, I don’t commute as much. I spend just about Rs 500 per week or less since my office is at a walking distance and most times, I work from home.

However, if my office is located 15km away and I have to commute 30km everyday, I would prefer changing my job or move closer to the office than drive in a congested traffic filled roads. Driving is a pleasure when one is driving a luxury car but even then, not so much when it becomes a daily chore.

What about quick weekend getaways or long drives?

In such situations which happen rarely, I like to rent a car from places like Zoomcar or Volar. One can easily book a decent car for Rs 2500/day or a luxury car that cost over Rs 30 lakhs for just about Rs 5000/day. It’s simple and straight forward assuming you don’t get into accidents.

Let me end with this:

If you drive more than 30km per day for whatever reasons or have a family, it makes sense to get your own car. I can’t argue with that. Buying a second hand car also makes a lot of sense in my opinion if you really want a car. You could check out Spinny for certified used cars.

However, with Delhi NCR traffic problems, I wish the government could do more with regards to road conditions and public transports. Pollution is another factor we have to keep in mind. Having said that, there’s so much a government can do unless we do our bit.

If you think owning a car is a social status, you better own a Ferarri.

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"Don Hazaar Rupaiye" - Rs 2000 note has a possible typo!!

"Don Hazaar Rupaiye" - Rs 2000 note has a possible typo!!

Have you notice the possible printing error on the new Rs 2,000 note? As reported in the Hindi website, Satyagraha, the back side of the Rs 2,000 note has a possible typo!

As reported in Scroll and TheQuint, if you notice carefully there are two places where "Don Hazaar Rupaiya" is written in Devanagari script. "Don Hazaar Rupaiya" is Marathi for two thousand rupees apparently, so the first time it appears correctly.

However, in any note, Marathi is preceded by the value written in Konkani. Which in the case of the new Rs. 2000 note is written as "Don Hazaar Rupaiye" as well. Two thousand rupees in Konkani is written as "Doni Hazaar Rupaiye."

Two Weeks = "Doni Vaaru" in Konkani. However there are conflicting version that it can be "Don Vaaru" too. If that's the case, there's nothing to worry about and one can consider the Rs 2000 as valid and without any error.

The "Do Hazaar Rupaye" written vertically towards the left is correctly spelled in Hindi. 

So after all the long queues and exhausting wait, if it turns out to be an error, RBI must withdraw all Rs 2,000 notes which is already being circulated. Citizens specially the lower income group across the country are already seen abusing our PM Modi in various videos due to the great inconvenience brought upon by this decision and any withdrawal of the new notes may most likely spark further panic and further complicate the demonetisation process.

I really have no words to say. I hope I'm wrong. I hope Scroll and TheQuint is wrong too and so are the thousands of twitter users who pointed out the error. We are in one hell of a ride if this is indeed an error.

Will update as and when there's update from RBI. Do share your feedback in the comments below.

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3 Tinder tips for Indian men to get more matches

3 Tinder tips for Indian men to get more matches

Before you start on using Tinder, know that Indian girls use Tinder and recommend it to their girl friends just for the sheer joy of rejecting Indian men. How do we match and get ahead of this "game" where the Indian problem of a surplus men is real?

What made you think I'm any better or why I'm writing this blog? Let me explain. I have a classmate from IIT Delhi who makes over Rs 15 lakhs/annum and never had any girlfriend in his college days. If you look at him, he's the definition of the most innocent guy; he's the kind of guy every girl wants to marry and spend the rest of her life with but there's a catch. However, innocent and decent he looks, he has a darker side like every other guy. He asked me to help him with Tinder. I tried.

Let me guide you as I've guided him got a few matches and his story is just the beginning. Unlearn everything you know; this blog is your religion, the playbook to your life, the exact rules to follow so the sun could rise on your turf.

1. To begin, let's talk about your profile picture

My friend is a good looking guy, really smart and has almost everything a girl wants except that he's not very approachable in person. Typical IITian. Upon seeing his profile, I noticed that he has put five pictures. All selfies; one taken at home with his parents (this is not so bad), taken in his car, with two girls in his office, in the gym and a group picture!! The biggest mistakes in the book of Tinder. Girls like to see a normal guy. Not a guy without a life or friends to take pictures of him.

What did we do? We change all his pictures. His first picture was of him with blurry mountain showcasing himself as a smart sophisticated guy and has an air of approachability and friendly looks followed by a picture taken at a rooftop bar in Hauz Khas village with a beautiful backdrop. The rest were decent pictures of him taken by friends with decent backgrounds. NOT a selfie. It should never be a selfie unless it's a great selfie :D

2. Change the job title and college name!

He didn't update his facebook job title and didn't even add his college. So the corresponding Tinder title came to "a shitty old job + a random school" nobody heard about. We changed that to his latest job title which is pretty fancy and obviously, added IIT Delhi as his college. Yeah, girls may get turn off or so they say but deep down, the brand name suggests, "stability". I know it's not a great marketing tactic but let's get real. Girls who aren't in their teens look for future securities and not some boys with 6 packs. Okay okay.. I'm kidding on that one as long as the guy doesn't show his body at a gym as a piece of meat with no brains attached.

3. The profile bio on Tinder! The toughest of them all.

How do we set ourselves apart from thousands of men from the girls who loves to swipe left and reject men as their hobby? How do we stand out in the crowd? Most girls I've spoken to on Tinder said the same in unison, "You have 3 seconds to impress me after I click on your picture. If you look like a super star, that's a different story but if you are just above average looking guy without the profile bio, that's a guaranteed 99% left swipe". 

You are in India and most girls are very conservative even on Tinder and their only purpose is to reject you. So, keep it short and sweet. Make it known that you are a simple, fun, unassuming and sociable guy. Don't brag and it's not okay to be superficial as a guy. Think from the girls' perspective while writing about yourself. Short but enough to build a curiosity. A fun, outgoing, adventurous guy is a plus in every girls' Tinder book. 

4. If you aren't getting matches after doing everything possible mentioned here, don't get disheartened. Give it time. Perhaps, ask a close girl/guy friend to help you edit your "resume" on Tinder. There's no shame. Really. When your parents can put up your name in the newspaper classifieds, what's wrong with this one, right? Be on Tinder and Proud.

5. Once matched, don't act too desperate to meet her and have your way. Most Indian girls on Tinder aren't there for what you think they are there for. Remember that most of them are on Tinder to reject you and laugh at your expense. So be nice. Try to have a normal conversation. Give her a chance to ask about you too. You are doing it wrong if she's only replying to what you ask. Pivot Pivot Pivot. It is essential to give her time and get her to ask about you as well. If she responds with only one word answers multiple times and doesn't show much interests, simply writing something like, "One word answers.. I seem to be killing it today :D" or "One word responses.. I'm usually not that boring :P" always help. Be super patient, stay cool and don't try too hard. She owes you nothing.

Let me conclude by saying this; If the conversation is going great, set a plan to meet up. Don't wait too long. People in our lives would come and go as per their will and convenience. Don't have hard feelings if they unmatch you and very importantly, don't get too attached to anyone easily. If they say "no", don't dig further. A No is a No. Respect that.

Happy Tindering and good luck finding someone special :)

Edit 1: A girl friend asked me if we really do this much to get matches on Tinder?! She was shocked :P

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How I bought a brand new iPhone 6s for $199, unlocked.

How I bought a brand new iPhone 6s for $199, unlocked.

Yes, that’s barely Rs 13,500 in India. A new iPhone 6s - 16gb model costs about Rs 40,000 online at flipkart or amazon and even more expensive in the physical stores. When I told this to a friend of mine, she said, “It’s probably fake or stolen. iPhone 6s cannot be purchased at $199 unless something is wrong with it”. Yes, I initially thought so too. I had my reservations but as I unpacked it from the seal boxed, unlocked it via AT&T website and put my SIM on and made the first call, I realized it’s as legit as it can ever be. I’ve never been more excited to have iPhone 6s after my iPhone (it’s embarrassing to even name the version) pick-pocketed by some group of guys in Vasant Kunj about a couple of weeks ago! That’s for another story

A few weeks ago, I was talking to my childhood friend, Dr. Shawn who is based in Kansas City about a possible iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s sales during or after the launch of iPhone 7. I asked him to go for it if the sales happen and is below $400. Logistics will be taken care of, I thought to myself. A few days later, he went to a store to buy an iMac for himself and noticed something unusual: $199 for iPhone 6s 16gb model while $299 for the 64gb model was put on display. On further enquiry, he realized that this was a flash sale and it happens on a yearly basis in select stores across the US. He immediately called me and without a doubt, I gave him the green signal to go for the 16GB model since the 64GB model is rose gold (pink). I should have asked him to go for the 64gb model too. Some regrets huh? He bought 3 iPhones immediately: One for me, one for his sister and one for himself. 

He went home and as instructed, got online and unlocked all the 3 iPhones via the AT&T website without a glitch. Checked the IMEI status at the Apple website and it’s done. He went back to the store and bought 3 more iPhones for friends and relatives the next day. Sadly, those were the last pieces. Until next year!

My good friend, Prashant who is with Uber and touring the US then brought my beloved iPhone home and here it is in my hands, still in shocked but slowly recovering from it with the biggest grin, an unlocked iPhone 6s for $199 :)

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How it all began: Freelancing as web developer in Delhi

How it all began: Freelancing as web developer in Delhi

Computers have always fascinated me right from the very start. I remember going to the computer room at Tiny Tots’ Unique School in Imphal, the first school I went to which has computer as subjects and I would often score 90+ marks off 100 and not knowing anything about it LOL

Workspace of Ningning Niumai It was in my 7th grade that I first had a computer connected to the internet. It was a PIII with 800MHz CPU, 128MB RAM, 20GB HDD, 800x600 pixels CRT Monitor. WOW! My brother introduced me to a great online GUI tool, Geocities by Yahoo! Inc that can help build websites without learning any codes and thus my journey began.

After a few months into it, I realized geocities was not good enough. I needed things done. Wanted certain designs made which was beyond what geocities could do. I had a 30 minutes session to learn Photoshop from an awesome guy name, Akinato who was doing his masters at HCU back then and I started learning how to use the software on my own thereafter. I also started learning MS FrontPage (bundled with MS Office) which could create designs and also code at the same time. It was at this juncture that I started learning HTML/CSS and javascript to truly do things on my own. 

Slowly, I started learning ASP & Access, PHP & MySQL database as one couldn’t truly create websites without the use of these server side languages. I abandoned ASP for lack of good free hosting a few months later. 

I remember creating a form using ASP that could send emails without actually logging into one’s email account. I would often play pranks on my friends by sending emails to each other without them realizing what’s happening. They would then come to me for help resolve their “hacked” email accounts. Good times hahaha.. 

PS: The script still work and if not for gmail detecting as “This email is not generated by the sender”, I could still send emails using that old form I created back in high school days. Want the codes, anyone?

As luck would have it, I was approached by a student at HCU to create a website for their department fest, School of Management studies. I did it and thus realize what the Joker said 10 years later, “If you are good at something, never do it for free”.

I have come a long way now. This blog is doing extremely well and is on top of most search engines when potential clients look for freelance web developers or designers in Delhi although I’m not taking any new projects for lack of time and since I’m focusing on my startup, greymeter.com currently. I don’t have much content and I don’t advertise except on my facebook wall, this website gets over 50 unique visitors everyday from around the world, mostly India and the US.

Thanks for taking the journey to my past. I know the recent blogs have been pretty boring but hold your breathe, there are interesting ones coming up pretty soon ☺

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Making a wooden cradle for my nephew in JNU, Delhi

Making a wooden cradle for my nephew in JNU, Delhi

I’ve been blessed with a third nephew, Joey and pretty much like his uncle, the naughty blood runs through his veins. He loves to crawl and my sister was a little worried that he might get hurt and thus wanted a cradle. Put him behind bars if that doesn’t sound politically incorrect. A well built cradle made of wood cost nothing less than Rs 20,000 INR and somehow I felt I could get it done myself. I’ve made several almirahs and other carpentry wood work at home in Imphal before.

The weekend finally arrived and I drove out to Munirka, South Delhi to buy wood and equipment. Sizes of wood required were already drawn and measured, carpentry equipment was easily available and its actually cheaper than in Imphal. Work began the next morning at my sister’s place in JNU. People gathered around to ask and see what I was upto. The kids in the neighbourhood were even more curious. Jethro, now 5 years old brought his friends along as they discussed about how I’m making a prison for the naughty kids to be kept as punishment. The news spread and many more kids came to see if they could jump out or find a loophole in the system. They discussed about the strength and how it won’t hold against them. Overheard a kid saying, “My dad will come to rescue me and he will beat your uncle”. Tired but a great day to remember as I spent listening to the young stories while at the same time, cutting and cleaning the wood.

The next day, the frames were cut in its measured sizes and by the end of the day, I had it assembled with the help of my brother. By now, my body was aching, my right arm was cramped and I was thoroughly exhausted. However, to see the completed project is a time well spent. Ever felt that awesome feeling when you’ve done something with your life? Well, I did and the spoilt was enjoyed by my nephew as he slept peacefully in the new cradle with toys and balloons hanging.

Day three was suppose to be spent on painting but due to Holi, a colourful festival of the Hindus, all shops were closed for two consecutive days. My nephew couldn’t wait further and therefore has already taken shelter. It is still not being painted. Will have to do it sometime next weekend or the next or the next-next weekend LOL

The total cost estimate was Rs 2,550 which includes all the carpentry equipment, nails, screws, sand-paper, wood and plywood.

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Upgrading Macbook Pro RAM and SSD

Upgrading Macbook Pro RAM and SSD

I bought my macbook pro in the 2nd semester of my first year at IIT Delhi, 2009. Among the very first few who proudly owes and love flaunting it in the campus. I have had a long history of over 6 years with Windows laptops and trust me, macbook pro is way ahead of Windows laptops starting with unmatched hardware specially the touchpad and of course, the great looks and the OS. Yes, I do miss the easily available pirated windows software but hey, I’m not complaining. Macbook pro hardly EVER hangs. I spent zero hours repairing it too and use my time for well, more productive hours! 4 years now, it has hung up on me like thrice perhaps? My macbook pro which I bought from Ansal Plaza was the mid 2009 model. It is powered by Intel Core 2 Duo 2.26 Ghz, 2GB RAM and 160HDD with an external HDD for backup using Time Machine, another awesome mac app.

Honestly, Screenshot of Ningning Niumai's macbook pro it was getting painful to use the recently updated Photoshop CS3 and work on heavy image files and so finally decided to format and give it to my sister, get a brand new macbook pro for myself but oh well, she wanted a new one for herself too LOL. So much for my plans! I couldn’t think of getting a dreadful Windows because of my limited budget and thus the search began. 

I finally decided to upgrade to 8GB RAM and replace the DVD drive with the already installed 160GB HDD and have 128GB SSD in place of the recently moved HDD! Why SSD? Because it is so much faster than HDD. In total, I would have 160GB+128GB as the internal hard disk.

To begin the process, I needed Hard Drive Caddy Tray for Apple Unibody MacBook / MacBook Pro so I could replace the non-functional DVD drive (who uses it anyways) but it wasn’t available in India and the ones available are way too expensive at Rs 2500 or more from some unknown ecommerce websites when I could get it off ebay for $10 from trusted sellers and so I ordered and waited, a month and finally it arrived!

Once I got the caddy tray, I started comparing prices at flipkart for that’s the ONLY website that sells hardware these days and found the cost of RAM and SSD alarmingly high!! I drove to Nehru Place and bought two 4GB 1067 Mhz DDR3 Transcend RAM and 128GB SATA III Kingston SSD for they are the cheapest and matches my macbook pro configuration. Both the items cost me Rs 9600 and saved over Rs 1500 as per flipkart’s website. Flipkart is getting way too expensive unless you are buying a pendrive or products worth Rs 500 and below! I remember wanting to buy Epson projector and found Rs 3000 cheaper at Nehru Place as compared to flipkart!!! There has been complains of many buyers about fake items too from the sellers after they shifted to market place model. No more quality control. WS Retail is still a trusted seller at flipkart though.

Watched a few youtube videos on upgrading, excited and nervous at the same time. The RAM upgrade was a child’s play for I’ve done a dozen times before. The tricky part was carefully shown on youtube and as per the instruction, I replaced the DVD Drive with the new HDD Caddy and successfully place the old 160GB HDD in it, attached the wires so it can be used as a secondary drive. Threw away the DVD Drive happily and proceeded to place the SSD in place of the HDD recently moved. Note that the SSD and HDD are of the same size and looks the same. Thus, it was done. 

Breathe holding and quietly praying that it works, I turn on my macbook pro and voila!!! I saw the newly installed RAM and SSD. It worked ☺ ☺ 

I began installing the Mountain Lion in the brand new 128GB SSD. It took just about 15 minutes! My macbook pro now loads in less than 10 seconds and opens Photoshop and MS Word like Notepad in Windows OS even after 6 months!! Sometimes, I would open over a 50 tabs in Chrome and it works smoothly. Yes, it is that fast. The 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD upgrade to my macbook pro is a money well spent.

Let me know if you are planning to upgrade your macbook pro or have done so already!

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Valentine's day in IIT Delhi

So it’s the time of the year again when Delhi University (DU) girls are a common topic and laughing at the girls from Himadri or Kailash hostels in the name of being “not good enough” and yet secretly wanting.. Welcome to the junta of IIT Delhi. The place where the sex ratio stands at 10:1 and where a hundred boys goes crazy over one or two better looking girls among the lot. 

It Girls from IP College in IIT Delhi hostel is not uncommon for the young lover boys in the hostels of IIT Delhi to mock at girls amongst his peers, yet secretly have a hidden folder somewhere in his laptop named after her and pictures downloaded off facebook and whatsapp. Now now.. Don’t act like as though you have no idea of what I’m talking about. Admit it. “Be a man” as Russell Peters would put it.

Yes, it is also the time of the year when I’m most often approached by the boys to introduce me some “north eastern chicks” who likes to party and drink. The “easy” ones, they would say. These are my boys and showing them middle finger is a usual thing. Can’t change the mindset overnight. An auto wallah puts it, “No offense brother but the girls from your place do party a little too hard. Drink too much and do all sort of things”. I had to defend and so replied, “Be it a girl or a boy, irrespective of where they come from, time have change. Everybody drinks and party.” But he was quicker to his defense, “Look brother, I have lived long enough and ferried thousands of passengers. Don’t be mad at me but I’m only telling you of what I see everyday”. Yes, a few girls and boys do have a neck to party hard and unknowingly spoil the image of the rest of us from the North East. 

Anyways, coming back to the IIT Delhi campus, it is a freaking big deal to be able to talk to a girl. I remember sitting next to a girl and saying, “hi” and to which she turned to her friend and said, “isn’t this Ningning? How flirtatious”. Yes, it’s beyond believe. Its insane. Its impossible. There are however quiet a friendly ones to make an exception. Frankly speaking, getting into a relationship with the opposite sex here is a very big deal, an achievement if I may add. I'm surprise somebody hasn't put it on his resume for fun's sake. Who knows, the HR might like you for your creativity haha.. People talk, “she isn’t good enough for him. Look at her complexion, so dark!” or “he is such a jerk, she should have been with me” and goes the conversations. Almost all the students mock at the guys having girlfriends from within the campus citing their looks as the main reason but deep down, jealousy is a bitch.. Come on, if any girl shows interest, you would go for her with your tails wagging. Its IIT Delhi, you don’t have a choice. Beggars can’t be choosers. Yes, I know we live in the 21st century but damn LOL

This is also the time of the year when a few handful boys will try out the roads taken by many of the seniors before them. Tips and Tricks will be shared, spoils will be enjoyed as they drive out with money in their pockets. HIV on Valentines Day but convincing themselves that such a dreadful disease can’t get them. I’m not judging. As long as they are happy. Wait.. why am I saying this? I really don’t know. It’s my personal blog and I’m just sharing what comes to my mind. 

Yes, getting into a relationship is a mess, its painful, its pitiful from a different angle, its crazy but if you haven’t, give it a shot. You Only Live Once. Fall in love, have a heart break, fall in love again with another. It will hurt you more but it won’t kill you.  

Remember, “the most beautiful girl is the loneliest” – Charlie Sheen. Make a list and start from the top. Walk up to her and surprise yourself with something simple as, “I’ve fancied you long enough and would like to know you better. Join me for dinner tonight.” And smile. If she says “No. I’ve got plans already”, don’t sweat it out. Hurry up, you have the next girl on your list to ask out ☺

What about me, some self style love guru on the Valentine's Day be doing? Well, I’ll probably be taking my awesome 5 years old nephew, Jethro for shopping. Buy him the ironman costume he’s been asking for weeks now. Love for my 3 nephews, priceless. 

Photo Credit: The girls in the picture are from IP college, Delhi University perhaps on their way to attend "Socials" at IIT Delhi and taken from www.coolage.in

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A trip to Liangchi village, Manipur

A trip to Liangchi village, Manipur

It all began when our beloved Liangmai elder passed away in his sleep after a prolonged illness in the early morning hours. Mr Achong, the only special contractor and highly respected elder in my Liangmai community. He was one of the founding fathers of the Liangchi village and also one of the early members and initiators of the Liangmai Baptist Church, Imphal.

I was on my terrace practicing martial arts as usual around 8am when I heard the news from Vicky. I took a quick warm bath and left for his place with my Dad in Dewlahland which is about 2km away. There, I met my church youth and we all decided to travel to his village, Liangchi to pay our last respects along with his grandson. After taking due permissions from our respective parents, we started our journey driven by Vicky to Liangchi village which is about 110km from Imphal at about 1:30pm and reach late into the night at around 6pm to be greeted by the mourning village elders at the village community hall, the roads being pretty dusty and bumpy, we couldn’t drive faster than 30kmph! Sitting in the front with Vicky was Bambam, the grandson. Six of us sat at the back of the Gypsy. Christina, Khollung, Pipi, Livingstone, Belakbou and me. We also stopped at Benna village for a short prayer service which lasted about 15 minutes. 

After the prayer service in the community hall of the Liangchi village and his friends & families saying a few words, he was finally buried in the village cemetery located about 300m from the village. The night ended with a grand feasts from the family beside the bonfire. Spoke to his grand daughter, Kokko to give us a tour of the village in the morning and she agreed. 5 of us, boys, were accommodated in the church office. Bambam slept elsewhere. The two girls, Christina and Khollung went to their friends’ place. The village authority arranged us beds with clean blankets enough to keep us warm and cosy. The arrangement was way better than we had expected. It was a very dusty road and we needed to get freshen up before going to bed and so went to the water tank which comes directly from the hill top spring, it was just too cold. Pipi who went in first to have a head-bath exclaimed, “I can’t feel my head and hands anymore” and we all had a hearty laughed at his reaction. Oh boy, he wasn’t kidding!! We all came back together and after a good discussion about various topics with Belakbou and Vicky, we all went to sleep around 3am in our comfortable beds. Pipi and Livingstone who slept early woke us up in response to our LOUD discussion the night before. Revenge. Too little too late :D

After we got freshen up using that freezing cold spring water, we went down to the community hall. Lunch was already ready!!! 9am!! Yes 9am!! I was looking forward to check out the village. As we ate, I saw Kokko again. She’s beautiful. After the light lunch, we toured the village. It is not plain but not hilly either, sloppy at best. The church is located at the top and the pastor’s quarter is more than impressive. Most of the houses are built with wood and tin roofs. The timber business much to my dismay and horror seems to be doing well. At the far end of the village bottom lies the spectacular River Ahangki. I wanted to swim in it but oh dear, the water was freezing. Walking bare feet in the river for a few seconds was cold enough, swimming was beyond options.  

We then visited the grave again, took a few pictures and eight of us finally decided to head out. A long journey awaited us. We took off the Gypsy cover, stood up and sang some “fake” songs heartily along the road cautioning a bit at Kuki villages, took a few pictures along the road and finally reached Imphal around 6pm. It was 30 hours well spent. Oh Memories :)

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Winter holidays in Imphal, Manipur

Winter holidays in Imphal, Manipur

Wow! does not describe the awesome holiday this winter has been. It breaks my heart as I depart from this place again. Wonderful people, made a few new friends, late night bonfires singing tribal songs!!, fancied a beautiful girl who already has a boyfriend and another who is single but unavailable for me, courtesy my great looks perhaps, shot dad’s gun for the first time, ate many available delicious local delicacies, went driving to all the 4 corners of the state, tease some girls on the road as is the trend of the most local boys, read news about NSCN (IM) being chased away by the Sumi people which is a joy to the already joyous Christmas and a New Year and the list goes on.

Right now, I’m at the newly approved Imphal International Airport and my Air India flight has been delayed. The staff didn’t bother to inform me of their delay prior to my arrival else I would be happier at home although the girls in the airport today seems like a real feast to the eyes LOL! Last night, I watched the movie “United 93”, thanks to my good friend, Yaruiso who gave me a copy. It was a BAD idea LOL. For those who hasn’t seen the movie, it’s about the Sept 2011 attacked by the Al-Qaeda in the US soil and this particular flight crashed landed, thanks to the passengers who acted in time to save the terrorists from reaching its target which is probably the US Capitol Building. Nobody survived the incident. Hope the flight is pleasant haha.. If you are reading this, it means I made it back to Delhi haha

I would like to thank Pipi, Belakbou, Vicky, Nehemiah, Wilam, Christina, Andrew, Abang, my sis Asuang, Yaruiso, the girl in pink who must not be named, and the great church youth for the awesome December.

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The trip to Delhi that wasn’t

The trip to Delhi that wasn’t

Bid farewell to my friends and family with a heartbreak and finally headed out by auto to the airport since there’s nobody to drive the car at home, the brand new Imphal International Airport. Mum and Dad left for village to meet the long lost family clan the day before and there’s no network or phone connectivity there. In fact, there’s no proper road connecting those villages. I was suppose to go with them too as per the plan but the change in their schedule cancelled all of it. I was suppose to go hunting and had bought bullets worth Rs 1000, see the abandoned village my grandparents often talked about and see how and where my parents grew up. It was an excited plan. Oh boy!

I reach the Airport and the lady at the Air India counter politely told us that it would be delayed by about 2 hours reasoning the flight got late due to fog in Delhi. I got the checking done, got the boarding pass with 27.7kg as my luggage was filled with home food materials that aren’t available in the metro cities for friends, family, near and dear ones. Nothing for me! Bamboo shoot was over 7kg and Manipuri delicacy Ngari was 5kg in total to be distributed. I have a membership that allows me extra luggage room. We waited patiently and finally boarded the flight, took our seats and as luck would have it, I was surrounded by border security forces. Mostly Meena boys from Rajasthan and my my.. I don’t mean to sound rude but their body odour is something that isn’t to be desired. After a few minutes, my sensory nerves got used to it and began conversing as the flight awaited orders from the Aviation Ministry to allow the flight to take off. Apparently Imphal “International” Airport do not have clearance to take off at night, some security reasons!! 5pm is considered night!! The boys from the border security forces grew impatient and so was everyone. We were served 2 pieces of biscuit neatly packed in an aluminum foil and a drink, fruity. I had gotten friendly with the guys and began to feel at home again, forgetting the body odours! They were all flying for the first time and were pretty excited and asked several questions about flight security and what ifs. At 7:30pm, the flight crew finally announced that they couldn’t get the clearance and have to cancel the flight. We all headed for the exit without much delay. We just wanted to get out as it got really stuffy.

As I step out, the fresh air was a welcome change. A little disappointed, a little excited to be home again. My phone battery died as usual and my laptop battery had drained out from using in the flight. I found a good Samaritan by the name, Clinton and took his phone to call up my sis in Delhi for that’s the only number I remember. She called up my sis in Imphal to go pick me up. I was looking for an auto or a taxi but this is Manipur. After dark, such necessity isn’t available due to fear of police, security armed forces and insurgents. Not many people venture out after dark. My sis finally came to pick me up at around 8:15pm with my aunt driven by a friend and neighbor, Andrew. There was a lot of commotion in the Air India office. The Manager was obviously not available and his phone switched off. The only ground staff available is a lady who wasn’t able to help. I had earlier asked for a phone charger point and she simply said, “I don’t have it. You should have it. How can you not have it?”. Not wanting to argue as there were lots more to trouble her, I simply left. 

I finally reach home around 9pm and my.. it was great to have home cooked food again! It was tastier than usual. Pumpkin mixed with dried meat and a beef skin chutney along with boiled cabbage. Sweet. 

I reported back to the airport around 8:30am as requested and finally got the check-in done. This time, my luggage was 29kg! I had an extra packet. I requested the lady in the counter to allow the extras and she smiled. I had another request, “Could you also change my seat? The body odour of the border security force guys aren’t as pleasant”. She looked up at me, a little shocked and smiled again, “I’ll see what I can do”. Such a kid I am but I was all smiles to see that my seat is now 7C!  

Anyways, here I am waiting to board the flight surrounded by two beautiful girls, Gracy, a nursing student and Rinky Sharma, a B.Tech student who are traveling to Hyderabad and Guwahati respectively. Rinky is one among the most beautiful girls I’ve ever met! I’ll give her that.

If there’s nothing written below it simply means, I have reach safely and there’s no incident that happened further. Or I simply felt the blog had gotten too long!

PS: There are quiet a few good looking girls. Feasts my eyes haha ;)

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Sendra Resort in Manipur – Loktak Lake

Sendra Resort in Manipur – Loktak Lake

Not as much a resort but it’s a nice location to hang out and click a picture or two. Yesterday, the 5th of January was their first day at business and it was headlined by two bands, one of which is a friends’ band – The Gravity. They are good. Better than most bands in Delhi. The café at the hilltop was a disappointment considering their prices, I felt like I’m in the airport which cost me Rs 30 in a disposal cup and Rs 60 for my favourite chocolate bar – Snickers, twice the MRP! Pretty girls who came with the band too with great DSLRs. One of the girls, I gave a friendly smile and she shrugged and turned away! Hahaha.. She wasn’t pretty anyways (Yes yes.. grapes are sour hehe)

There’s nothing new otherwise in this so called Sendra Resort by the Classic Hotel! The roads have improved though, the lake looks clean and a few local kids trying to make money in the boat trips outside the “resort” gate was the only best thing there. Of course the circle of friends that came along is something to be cherished. I guess the fun was being with them and nothing more. The boat rides costed us Rs 200 and Rs 100. The latter one being the self-paddled boat.  

Some of the local Meitei boys who came on fancy bikes tried to talk to Christina, the younger one amongst us as we came out of the boat rides and wanted to take a picture with her perhaps to brag their friends later about the “fun” they had! Hahaha.. She declined. I hope they can photoshop later as most locals boys do with their favourite actresses :D

It was about 40km away from the city area and it took us a little over an hour to reach the destination considering the road conditions, it’s black topped but it still is dusty and very bumpy. We were 12 of us, 6 boys and 6 girls and we came in two cars. One was driven by Vicky and the other by me. The local food available in the local market was great. We were hungry and hogged on to the available food items there. I reached home around 7pm and slept without dinner. 

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The girl with a chimera tattoo

"Ningning, I'm happy for you" she said choking in her voice over the phone at 3:24am in the morning. Happy for me?!! I thought in my sleepy head. She dumped and left me high & dry as she walked out that door. She just comes back around after all these months with a guilty conscious seeking to start afresh! I could only imagine looking into her eyes with tears and in pain. That part of me was long gone. it was only a few minutes ago i was flirting with another girl over the phone on my hostel terrace when she called. I wonder if she knew I'm not her boy toy anymore.

Looking back, she was like my first video game. "You complete me", I often say. Yeah she did. We were great friends and we become more than friends over time. Everything came around naturally and for the first time I understood the meaning ‘made for each other'. We were awesome together in each others' wonderland.

Distance. Long distance relationship can turn sour and when it does, tattoooh boy, be glad you aren't there. The thought of betrayal, the thought of being cheated, the rumours and the lies that follows, it's an ugly sight. I thought i tried but time's a tricky thing and her phone was almost and always busy in the middle of the night. I knew it was time to move on but i didn't want to lose her. There was hope and hope is a good thing, they say. I stuck around until the minute she was proposed which I knew was coming and was coming soon. But damn, i didn't expect it that soon! 

Life's an experience and it has given us so much and yet we curse along as we move on. How insensitive of us, i know. Anyways, she was happy with someone else and no, unlike the movies, I wasn't happy for her. It was painful to think of her in someone else's arm. Her facebook updates with her new guy was beyond what words could describe. My blood grows cold everytime. It's like magic! The only difference being the fact that I'm on the receiving end and not the viewer enjoying every minute of the trickery nature played upon me.

Staying in the metro city could be hard when you don't step out of your room and for a guy who doesn't drink or smoke and naturally who doesn't party much, I end up spending my weekends with the single guys in my hostel which is mostly and sadly all of them. The ignorant virgins and their talks about how they would and could but choose not to and the guys who pay to satisfy their urges is one hell of a bunch to kill time on weekends. A good bunch. By the way, if you are a girl and wants to get serious, find an IITian. They are saving themselves for marriage. No kidding. On a great weekend, a guy or two or less from each hostel would score some dates with real Delhi University (DU) girls while the rest have imaginary DU girlfriends in their laptops. Horny engineers. Yes, IITians rock, I know.

It was a few months after the so called break up that I finally thought it was time and told myself, "hey! I'm single" but then again looking at the girls in my college, IIT Delhi, I didn't have much of a choice. The good ones are taken, the other good ones are, lets' say, not available. the available girls, I don't know them yet. The girls in my friends' circle won't introduce me saying, "You are a bad boy and will be a bad influence". Oh yes, the bollywood movies are a good influence! And No, it doesn't get better than that.

Time's important and whenever I go back to my room to kill it, the train of thoughts follow. She blame me for the break up!! Apparently, I was never there for her and she found this time of the year convenient to tell me this. only if. We could have taken the other road. We could have found a solution together but no, she found a new guy for herself instead and decided to walk back right in when her new relationship turned sour. I was sleepy but her choky voice woke me up. I hate it when people blame me but this time, it was different. I knew I had not treated the way she should have. Deep down, I knew everything fell apart mostly because of my fault but I hated her. I felt humiliated with the way she treated me beyond reasons. She dumped me for another guy and that thought just gets deeper into the head. My heart grew cold. 

Time heals everything and don't they say "patience pays"? A fine evening it was when I met this fine, charming and an extremely talkative girl who can talk about anything under the clouds.  Dressed in white tee with some funky colourful graffiti on it, grey hot pants, her kissable lower lip pierced and so is her navel which I found out later and three sets of different earrings with white & red stones, big beautiful hazel eyes with black kajal. Oh summer bliss. She was seasoned with a deep-inked chimera tattoo on the back of her right shoulder, pretty as she could be, very comfortable with herself. I was lost in my contemplations until she looked at me and smiled. She's neither the kind of girl I usually go out with nor the kind of girl I thought I'd fall for. Life is not the way I had planned but I would like to think I'm doing better than awesome, atleast for now :)

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Naked hairy men at IIT Delhi

Naked hairy men at IIT Delhi

Yes, most of us stay almost naked with just the boxers. No, we are not in protest or stripping for money using webcams. IITians stripping, anyone for a startup idea? LOL.. We are simply trying to survive the furnace like rooms in the IIT Delhi hostels with just a ceiling fan running 24/7. i.e until the electricity goes out. It's not a pleasant sight to see another man with hair in their chest but this is a hairy society and there's no escaping it. Opening windows in this heat is nothing but suicidal and therefore the doors are left open to let some breeze come in.

No, this picture isn't taken at a railway station but the common room in the Karakoram Hostel, IIT Delhi. Students fight for space to sleep in this hall since there are two "legal" coolers. They bring their own mattresses and other bed sheets as it is IMPOSSIBLE to sleep in the rooms specially the 2nd and 3rd floors.

Come to think of it, this is the best college in India and ranked 152 in the world with a top class infrastructure! They say, "Infrastructure facilities at IIT Delhi are being regularly upgraded or expanded to meet the requirements and aspirations of its students." Last summer and the summer before that and the years before that, some students had gone to the authorities concerned requesting them to allow atleast air coolers in the hostel but they simply said "NO" with no reasons and the students came back disappointed. Some few more went with reasonable points and they said, "The entire wiring in the campus needs to be replaced which will run into few crores to allow air coolers and ACs." They simply refused to listen to our greviences. They come up with one reason or an excuse everytime. What is so hard to say "yes" and allow coolers and ACs? It isn't their hard earned money nor their papa's. It is the government's, yes, the corrupted government or so everyone's been complaining. Why not say yes and do something good for the students' welfare? The elected representatives are no good and they chicken out everytime before the higher authorities. They can never argue. Who elects them anyway? Us. Duh.

Life's like that all over again. Frustration takes over but there's nothing really that can be done. Some students have Air Coolers and Refrigerators in their rooms while the others suffer quietly waiting impatiently to graduate and get away.

One incident that I'll never forget about what happened in Karakoram Hostel last summer goes like this:

An M.Tech guy went to the caretaker asking for "written" permission to bring in an air cooler thinking it is legal since the guys in his wing uses it. When the caretaker refused saying, "it's not legal and allowed." He cooly replied, "My friend next door uses it." Yes, of course his friend was fined Rs 3000 and both of them had a heated argument that night. I was hoping fist would be raised but what a disappointment. This hairy society can argue but never really goes physical unlike the head hunting blood in us, the north easterners. Oh what a blissful summer night!

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And there goes my first blind date!

“I don’t think I can see you again. I wish all the very best in life. Btw, your million dollar idea is safe with me.” 

I responded to her SMS with a simple smiling smiley ":)" and that was the last I ever heard from her again. Yes, it was great while it lasted. How long did it last? Approximately 4 hours and 47 minutes.

My First blind dateGirls are the best wingman and one of my good old friend, Nitya introduced me to one of her best friends, Sonali. Yes, to repair her laptop that broke down a week after she paid Rs 1500 at Nehru Place to fix it. Sweet… laced with honey. Everything starts with a favour when it comes to my friends introducing a girl. She’s from JNU and was just about a 10 minutes drive away. A couple of days and a few facebook messages, she gave me her number without being asked and I thought, “she’s awesome” to myself.

Friday, a few days later: I was nervous!! Perhaps because I have never really had a blind date before or perhaps because I was out with the boys earlier and wasn’t dressed for the “occasion”. In short, I was at my worst: a white Louis Philippe shirt, black Woodland shorts and my favourite Nike slippers. As I reached her hostel, I saw her from a distance and my heart skipped. Dressed in blue jeans, black tees and matching sandals. She turned around, our eyes met and not being dramatic but I almost lose control of my car. Yes, she’s not bad at all in person ;)

We greeted and drove around the campus stopping at NorthEast dabha for a cup of ginger tea. Went to the infamous PSR Rock of JNU, watched the couples in the dark as they count the night stars like the young teenage couples in my college hiding away. I guess we all have our naughty childish sides in opportune moments. We just sat there and talked like as though we’ve been friends for a long time. 

For no particular reason, she wanted to go to India Gate! A long drive with a future potential girlfriend. Why not, right? I don’t remember much of what we talked about! Perhaps, it’s the tips from Charlie Sheen. A few keywords in between her sentences and reply as though I understood everything hehe..  She did mentioned about being not ready for another relationship. She had broken up with her boyfriend of over 2 years a few weeks ago and was an emotional wreck. Perhaps, I should have care to think how or what must be going through her. Everything’s a learning experience. She still had feelings for him and her facebook had his picture with “I miss him” written all over it. I should have known. She’s not the prettiest of the girls I’ve been with but she’s got a charm that one gets drawn to. She smiles and the world inside of you smiles along. She’s beautiful in her own ways.

I wasn’t expecting anything to turn around that night anyways. I had broken up with my girlfriend the week before and needed to clear my head. She was perfect. I had a great time and dropped her off to her hostel around 4 in the morning.

I was thinking of asking her out again in the coming weeks but my schedule was beyond tight for anything fancy. We kept in touch over the course of time through SMS and facebook messages. I thought it was going great. I don’t know what happened! Her first impression of me was probably her last or she found someone else better or to put it in my friend’s word, “You reminded of her boyfriend and he’s obviously way better than you”. We laughed. Deep down, I was hurt a little, told myself, “Life isn’t fair to have not gotten a second chance with her. I wasn’t at my best. She could have been mine.”

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Hunting locations in Imphal, Manipur

Hunting locations in Imphal, Manipur

The plan to go hunting got cancelled as mentioned in the other post, but I really had to shoot the bullets I bought. I needed to drive out and find a place where there’s no houses in a few kilometer radius. My dad had to go meet a few people in a place about 25km from the Imphal city area by the name Kanglatongbi and I thought, “Hey, this could be it”. With due permission from my mum, we headed out. Sadly enough though, there was no place to actually shoot a gun. The entire road and the area was inhabited and I came back disappointed. Although not before taking a few pictures in the River side and a dangerously hand-made bridge, not something to walk by everyday. It is however, the lifeline to many villages in the inner region and they walk by everyday! Kanglatongbi is a beautiful place no doubt. The River beside it is being used to supply sand and stones for house constructions in the city area. The NH 39 passes right through the area and so the road is pretty good. Liangmai, Kuki and the Nepali people live here.

As luck would have it, I couldn’t find a place to shoot. Time was running out and I needed to get back to Delhi. Waiting for a miracle was exhausted with all plans getting cancelled. However, “knock and the door shall be opened unto you” is what the Bible says and I went knocking everywhere. I made several plans with the Liangmai boys and girls but all fell apart. I found a true old friend who is also looking for a little adventure and do something different this winter vacation as well!

Yaruiso, my neighbor whom I grew up together with was pretty eager to shoot that particular gun. The place wasn’t decided but we agreed to go on Saturday. Anywhere! He wanted to drive his new Bolero and so we headed out towards the Ukhrul District where he believes we can shoot and nobody would even notice. As we reach Ukhrul District, the roads went up the hill. There were army patrolling the area with MP5s and M16s. AK47s are used in Manipur by any and every army men! The scene is beyond believe, a beauty. It overlooks the plain city area. We parked the car beside the sloppy road and walked up towards the top of the hill where we plan to make a target and shoot at the trees. No, we couldn’t find animals to actually hunt. After reaching the top of the hill, we realize there were some few young boys and girls who had come for a picnic at the foot hill on the other side. We could see and hear them talk but they couldn’t see us. 

We went ahead with the shooting plan. It was too late to back out after coming that far. The first bullet was a blank meant for celebrations. I took the lead as Yaruiso shot a video of it in my DSLR camera. Honestly, I was a bit nervous. Both of us had not used that 15+ years old gun before and it has not been used for shooting in about 10 years!! The gun as you can see is a customized gun without the butt.  

The first bullet went easy. It was loud but it was awesome at the same time. The excitement in the air. Oh boy. There was not much of recoil too as I had anticipated. I asked Yaruiso if he would like to try the next bullet. A special bullet for hunting and much more expensive at Rs 120/bullet, it has the iron pallets and could easily kill anyone at a close range. He asked me to go ahead again and that he would try the next one. I agreed.

The second bullet was much more powerful but my grip wasn’t as tight courtesy the previous shot being easy. We setup up the parameters and convinced ourselves that the picnickers won’t bother us as they didn’t even budge when the first bullet went off. When I finally pulled the trigger, the gun push back with all its might and hurt my right thumb a little. The reaction was inevitable. The smell of the gun powder in the air felt great for some weird reason. I felt like I had accomplished something in life! Haha! 

I now took the camera to shoot the video and Yaruiso tried his hands on the gun. He pulled the trigger a few times to get comfortable with the gun without the bullet and as he finally got ready for the finale, I could see he was nervous but excited. I gave him a few tips and he finally pulled the trigger. 

We both hit the target.

After taking a few pictures at the hill top, I finally took the wheels and we drove home. Bought pork sausages by the roadside at a place called New Checkon to celebrate our safe return.

PS: To hunt in Manipur, you need to go to the interior forests of the jungle alteast 50km away from the city area. I won’t recommend it unless you are a native of that area since it’s infested by insurgents with automatic rifles who won’t have a second thought to see a stranger with a gun.

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Dating a Non IITian girl

"Love before first sight" ..I thought this one liner is my original and kept teasing it to one of my best friends, Anweshan with a girl he's been hinting on for ages and never really thought it would hit me back, hit me back real hard. 

I had seen her pictures and was longing to see her in person. Several months went by and when I finally saw her for the first time, I felt a weakening sensation. There was charm, there was beauty, there was elegance in the way she carried herself. I knew I wanted her and introduced myself. How amazing it is, everything went slow-mo right there and then!! "Could anyone be as beautiful as her?" I thought. She was dressed in white tops, orange hot pants and matching sandals. Beautiful she was and I loved every part of her body; her smile, her skin, her hair, her legs, her voice.. We parted our ways after a bit of talking but somehow couldn't stop myself as I walked away and turn around optimistically. I found her looking at me. We smiled.

She was the kind of girl I wanted to show off as my girlfriend proudly and feel the superior being for nailing the hottest chick IIT Delhi has ever gotten. Funny. I know but this superiority complex feeling is in almost every IITian's blood when it comes to walking around the campus with a girl. Any girl, with a "Ladki hai toh chalega (if it is a girl, it'll do)" attitude. Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, they say. And interestingly enough, these are the eyes of the desperate IITians and therefore any god damn girl who walks the campus suddenly becomes very beautiful. Any girl turns head in the IIT Delhi campus!

Coming back to my love-before-first-sight story, my heart skips every time I see her (Lets say, in one of the churches) but my schedule was tight and I couldn't go to church often. Weeks turn into months and I grew impatient and desperate. Believe me, that's the only place I could see her. Anyways, after a few phone calls to arrange a meeting with her through friends and family, I finally got her number at a dinner hosted by a generous awesome cousin and called her a week later for a movie but she couldn't receive my called for some reason and SMSed me instead. A deal breaker, I know. 

I grew up hearing "Time and tide waits for no one" and therefore I finally gathered the courage to ask her out for dinner once again. Had decided the place and time, car washed and so was everything else. All that's left was to ask her. Not the brightest of ideas to take the dream girl but I would like to think my first date was at the KFC followed by a very long drive occasionally looking at her and feeling good about her being next to me smiling all the way but "Oh dear dear" as Sheldon Cooper would say it. Reality hits hard. The spark or whatever that's called, I could read her mind, was missing. 

Several weeks went by after the imaginary date and the imaginary kiss. I don't know if it is hormones acting up but I couldn't just give up on her and so I called one fine evening again, one last time and so it happens, my number was missing from her phone. Wow. I heard lies she didn't have to say. Nothing felt more insulted. I don't remember anyone turning me down to such a low level as that. Obviously as it should, the cupid's arrow literally went through my heart. Something inside went nuts wanting to know about the other guy she's kept ahead of me but to save the pain, I left that part of myself to die. This episode finally turned off all the lights.

I do see her sometimes with awkward hellos and she's still stunning as ever. I know I didn't get a fair chance to show her my other side but I guess some things are never meant to be. I concluded and found peace in the fact that she's a completely different person and never meant to be mine. It's a shame, she used to be such an inspiration for everything I do and there was nothing that I won't do for her. Times are hard. "There's more fishes in the pond", I told myself and found solace with the lie that she's not good enough for me. 

 

PS: I would like to think this is a work of fiction except for the first paragraph, my friend is real and is not co-incidental. He is living, alive and kicking great :P

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Desperate attempt for a DU Girl

Desperate attempt for a DU Girl

"I'm in love with you and I don’t know how it happened. Deep down, I know you feel the same for me too… Shall we make this official?" 

I could hear the excitement in her voice. It was a definite "Yes". My first official girlfriend and I proposed her over the phone standing on my terrace in Hyderabad. She was hundred miles away and yet I was on top of the world. I got in under my blanket, took the extra pillow, hugged it and had never felt better in my life that night. The memories of the evening is still so fresh in my mind. It feels like just yesterday. Time and Hormones for a 17 years old is a tricky thing. I thought I would wait for the perfect moment with her by my side but somehow it slip my tongue and I went ahead without the countless number of romantic ideas I thought of over the few weeks before. It just happened and I loved it.

I woke up everyday with new blinking messages from her in my cellphone. It was always a Christmas morning. Every SMS beep made my heart beat faster and my knees weaker. Her voice, her laughter, not to forget the complains about me being an ass and not calling her or messaging her enough is a memory I still cherish. People often caught me smiling and I would give the same old excuse, "something happened" with a grin.

She made me feel complete. She made me feel wanted and valuable. She made me work harder. A few months later, I finally got into IIT and had given Delhi my first preference for that’s where she stays and still do. 10 minutes ride was the distance between us and the excitement to finally see her again was beyond comprehension. She got into Sri Aurobindo College, one of the colleges in Delhi University, South Campus. We were headed for a legendary relationship or so I thought. Everything was packed and ready, all that remained was one week and the 21 hours train journey. Come to think of it, that was one very long journey. 

Life’s a bitch. I lost touch with her a few days before the start of the awesome journey. The last time I heard her voice was when she said, “I want to talk to you” and since I was busy then, I told her I would call back. I did a few hours later but my calls, emails and SMSes went unanswered and never got any reply. It was over but the so called teenage love is a tricky thing. I was completely broken inside but I didn’t give up. I tried desperately and waited for a miracle to happen. Day after day, I waited impatiently losing hope by the minute and by the hour until one fateful evening about a month later walking past the Aravali Hostel with my best friend, I got an SMS from her. It was official. She had moved on with another guy.

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