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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"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 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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