I Brag: For moments that inspired me

This post is being written for Blogjunta BRAGBIN

At first when I saw the title I brag, I gave a smile to the editor for choosing this topic. In general many people hesitate to brag about themselves and I am just one amongst them. But since I am left with no choice I want to blow my own trumpet for 'My diaries.. My thoughts' which is an offshoot of my thoughts.

Now when I go back pondering about my childhood days, I realize that a dormant writer was inside me. I had the habit of reading comics like 'chacha chowdhary', 'Nagraj' etc, so one day I thought well what the heck.. why don't I write my own stories. This is how it begun and I admit my first book was just 5 pages long and it was a cartoon book which was handwritten and hand drawn by me when I was 10yrs. But however I was too shy to show it to my parents or any of my friends. I preserved that book under my bed as if it were a treasure. After that there was no looking back, I wrote another same book but now I made sure to write at least 15-20pages. After I grew up more I started reading news paper and collecting nice stories they used to publish in sunday times. At that time 'Times of India' was publishing a series of articles every sunday about one country. They published about china, Japan, Australia, Norway etc and I collected each of their piece and made a journal. I however, decided to write in my own words and write about stuff that I understood. I still have that diary and whenever I turn its pages it reminds me of how creative I was in my own ways! I think I wrote about 8 countries and then I stopped.

I don't have the habit of writing or maintaining a daily diary but somehow I thought about writing something online or make a Microsoft office document. I came to know about blogspot by 2007 and then I created this blog of mine. However, I didn't do much justice to it until 2010 when I started writing constantly and nourishing my writing skills. So, these are all the memories that inspired me to be an enthusiast blogger. In the beginning I was not focused about what I should write but with the network of my blogging friends I realized that blogging is an extra ordinary tool if used in a better way.

These are my two blogs: My diary.. My thoughts
My diary of world cities

I recently started the second blog as a memoir to my journal where I collected information about various countries. Enough writing about the blog. Now, I think I should talk about who I am.

So, hello everyone. I am Varsha Purohit. I am a software engineer by profession but totally into creative writing and painting. I like reading books, reading blogs, painting, cooking etc. I am an ardent painter and have painted at least 100 paintings on paper and around 10 on canvas. I like the Art field and it is growing as a passion inside me. I secretly want to be a creative writer or an editor :) I don't know what's there in store for me but for now I am a regular blogger. My favorite authors are Chetan Bhagat, Sidney Sheldon, and Agatha Christie. Few of the books that I like are '2 states', 'The best laid plans', 'Chicken soup for the soul series' etc.

Apart from this I love travelling, adventure sports and photography. I dont' have a photography blog yet but planning to create one pretty soon. Here is a glimpse of one of my picture taken at Grand canyon, Arizona.

I constantly post my regular articles on the blog-o-sphere and got some nice friends who follow my blog and comment when & where required. I also read their blogs which inspires me always. Most of my articles on the blog is related to recent news or fictional story. I also frequently write about my opinions about particular things that I see in the society where we live. Even though I am outside India I feel connected with my own people on Blogjunta and other sites through their posts and opinion. As far as Blogjunta is concerned I make sure to login everyday here and see what's happening with the group discussions or just read the recent entries by the fellow bloggers.

I believe in one thing 'A pen is mightier than the sword' so I would like to request all my blogging friends to blog for a social cause every now and then along with blogging for contests or daily posts. I hope I bragged enough about me and my blog so I am ending my first post. Thanks for sparing sometime from your day to know about me :)

P.s. You can read this post on BlogJunta.

A fresh comparison between iPhone 4s and Atrix 2

Gone are the days when people used to buy iPhone just because they want a touch screen or Talking Tom Cat application. There are touch screen phones everywhere in the market.

iPhone 4S has grown over Talking Tom and they have come up with Siri app that does more than just talking. iPhone 4S has released in USA on 14th Oct, 2011 and till date it has sold around 4 million phones. There are 3 carriers for iPhone At&t, Verizon and Sprint. They are selling both white and black iPhone simultaneously in the market, so that the customer doesn't have to wait for the white phones. Let's see the main eye catching features for the iPhone 4s that has lured the customers.
Courtesy - Bestbuy images
  • The dual core A5 chip that can now handle fast web browsing, graphic intensive apps, and extended battery life along with multitasking.
  • iOS 5 operating system that has efficient power management for outstanding battery life, reminders and notification center etc.
  • Siri voice activation - This is the eye catching feature for most of the customers as Siri is like the personal assistant that guides you for whatever questions you have. It understands speech and responds accordingly. It is integrated with location services and built in apps. It can make calls, send texts, set alarm/reminder and much more. Siri understands most of the english accents spoken world wide. However, local accent(place where you live currently) is the one that works just fine.
  • 8.0MP camera - This is a bumped up camera version compared to iphone 4. It has advanced optics, advanced hybrid filter, increased sensitivity and face detection etc.
  • 16GB/32GB internal memory - iphone 4s comes with these extended memory options compared to the older ones that came with basic 8GB storage. In addition to this you can subscribe for the iCloud storage to store music, photos and documents.
  • It gives upto 14 hours of talk time with 200hours of standby time. This is a huge improvement for a smart phone.
  • Dual antennas - It has dual antennas for both GSM and CDMA support and this makes it a world phone.

After seeing these features one would definitely tempt to go and buy iPhone 4s however there is more. Lets see the features of Motorola Atrix 2 that also came into the US market on 16th october, 2011.

    Courtesy - google images
After the huge success and appreciations of Motorola Atrix 4g; Atrix 2 is now released in the market. The unique features of this phone are:
  • 4G speed - This is the smartphone that has 4G internet speed. It offers quick and easy connection speeds.
  • Android 2.3 Ginger bread OS.
  • 4.3" color high definition touch screen and easy navigation of phone features. Yet the phone is light weight.
  • 8.0MP digital camera with autofocus for taking still images. It shoots 1080p video at 30fps with stabilization for clear video. It has VGA front camera.
  • The downside compared to Apple is the talk time which is 3hours and 10days standby time.
  • Doesn't feature memory, need to have a microSD card for storage.
So, for whatever reason Apple iPhone 4s is clearly the winner among the general public.

#BAD11:To eat organic or not?

This post has been featured as Editor's choice on Blogjunta. You can read other entries here.

Today on the occasion of world food day, I would like to write an article to create awareness for organic food. World food day is the day which focuses the world's attention on food. In association with BAD all the bloggers have united to contribute something about food. We all like eating food and that's why there is no reason why anyone cannot write about food.

Food is the integral part of our life. Like a saying in India " Three things are necessary for a man - Food, clothes and home". But these days due to increase in world population, there is a scarcity of food which will be intense after few years. So, there is a need to take one pledge that we should not waste food as much as possible. However, I am not writing about that topic. In my article, I am focusing on the choice of either eating Organic food or not?

What is organic food?

Lets start with the basics. What do we exactly mean by organic food. Organic products are something that are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, genetically modified organisms etc. Organic meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. However, USDA defines organic as " The food produced by the farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations". Pretty different definition isn't it? Lets stick to our original simple definition for now.

Nowadays, all the stores have both organic and non organic sections. For the vast majority of agricultural history, farming was done organically until 20th century where there were discoveries of synthetic fertilizers for farming. There is a difference between organic farming and natural farming. Apart from the definition of organic food, organic farming practices are designed to conserve soil and water resources. Farmers who grow organic produce and meat don't use conventional methods to fertilize, control weeds or prevent livestock diseases. They use natural fertilizers like manure or compost to feed soil and plants. Because of all these extra care organic products are usually seen to be bit expensive than conventionally grown produce. Also, organic farms are usually smaller than conventional farms and so do not benefit from the economies of scale that larger growers get.

So lets come to the topic and see why we should eat organic food. Many factors influence the decision to choose organic food. Sometimes we select organic food because of the way it is grown. Because of the environmental reasons organic farming practices are designed to benefit the environment by reducing pollution and conserving water and soil quality.

There is no solid reason to claim that organic food is more nutritious than conventional food. But some recently published studies have shown that organic food has higher nutritional value than conventional food. Taste is definitely an individual matter, but many chefs across the world are choosing organic food as they feel that it has superior taste and quality. Since organic food is grown in well balanced soil, it makes sense that these healthy plants, fruits have great taste. Because of these beneficial reasons even doctors are recommending patients to consume organic food in order to heal quickly.

The image below shows some of the food which we should shop organic.
But whether you choose organic food or conventional ones, there are few key points to keep in mind.
  • Select variety of food from variety of sources as this will a better mix of nutrients.
  • Buying seasonal fruits and vegetables will compel us to eat fresh produce.
  • Read food labels carefully as just buying organic food is not enough.
  • Wash and scrub fresh fruits and vegetables thoroughly under running water before consumption as this will wash away dirt, bacteria and traces of chemicals from the surface
There is so much to write and explore about organic food but I want to limit my post here. My main intention was to draw some awareness among everyone.

This post is written for Blog action day #BAD11.

R.I.P Dennis Ritchie

Dennis Ritchie, a pioneer of C language and the UNIX operating system died on Oct 8th, 2011. The tributes to Dennis Ritchie won't match with those of Steve Jobs who died last week due to illness. As a matter of fact half of the world won't be even aware of Ritchie's name. But I am writing this article as a tribute to what he has done in the computer world so far.

Dennis Ritchie was a notable American scientist who developed C language and helped creating UNIX operating system. He developed C that evolved from the language B which he developed at first in the Bell labs. He used C language to build UNIX. The original UNIX kernel was written in assembly language but later it was developed with a higher level language. Something that gave them more control over the data that spanned across the OS. He developed C programming in early 1970s which is still popular now and UNIX is the operating system on which most of the devices in this world are build on and that includes the Apple empire once overseen by Steve Jobs.

Pretty much everything on the web uses C and UNIX. The browsers are written in C. The UNIX kernel on which the internet runs on is also written in C, if not in C then they are written in other high level languages derived from C. C is the basic language for all the high level languages like C++, C#, Java etc. If we say that most of the modern internet architecture and economy is built on the work that Dennis did, then it won't be an overstatement. The UNIX operating system and its off shoot Linux, is widely used today in corporate servers, cell phones, set top boxes and other devices.

Even Microsoft windows was once written in C, while now its based on its derivatives like VC++. UNIX under pins Apple's Mac OS X and iOS which is used in iPhones and iPads. But Steve Jobs was the visible king while Ritchie was a dormant contributor to these. Ritchie built things that are used by the technologists to build core infrastructure that people don't see underneath, but they use it everyday.

Ritchie died at the age of 70 at his home in New Jersey, USA. I wanted to write an article for him so that the world knows about him and his noble contributions to the technology sector. He is truly an inspiration to all the software engineers across the world.

You can read his biography on Wikipedia.

The phone call

One fine morning Lucy woke up from her bed and suddenly she remembered to call her best friend Becky. It was a beautiful Sunday morning and Lucy wanted to discuss something very important. She hurriedly searched for the phone and started talking continuously.

Lucy: Becky, How are you? You know I have been wanting to talk to you about something that is happening to me. I really need your advice on this. Okay lemme give you the background of my concern.

(And Lucy goes on talking about her latest crush Ben...)

There is this cute guy in my class. I think I really love him but I don't think he thinks of me in this way. (She makes a sad expression.) I mean whenever, I see him or think about him I start blushing and there is this big smile on my face.

You know sometimes he sees me smiling and he smiles back in return. That's when I feel butterflies are flying in my stomach and my knees become jello. I totally think that he is cute and adorable. But when I went ahead from the smiling phase and one day I fell on my knees and he came to me asking if I am okay. He is so caring and considerate sometimes I feel may be I don't deserve a guy like him. I feel he is too perfect. He has this good sense of humor, great hairstyle and a dashing attitude.

When I look at all these girls who fall for him, I feel I could never be one of those. They are all so pretty, bitchy and charming. And here, look at me.. I don't even have a good dressing sense. But whenever I think of him my heart tells me that he is the one for me and I can be very very happy with him.

Now, one more thing I didn't tell you is this. One day he called me about homework. I will tell you how I made a complete fool of myself. I got so nervous hearing his voice that I started stammering and talking gibberish. I stuttered the whole time. But he was so sweet that he just kept on talking and calming me down.

He is just so perfect Becky, I don't know if I really deserve him. But whenever I pray in front of god I always keep wishing that one day he will notice me.
(Lucy gives a big pause after this, hoping for Becky's reaction to this)

Lucy: Becky? Are you listening to me? tell me what should I do?

Voice from Phone: Hmm.. this isn't Becky.
Lucy: Ohh.. I am sorry. But your voice sounds similar to me. who are you?

Voice from the phone: This is the same guy who's smile turns your knees to jello and whose presence makes you go out of your mind!
I just wanted to say one thing. Everything you just said, I've been wanting to say this since I met you in the class.

Lucy turned all pink and felt happy for dialing a different number than Becky's. The phone call did the magic!~

This post is written for sunday scribbling
Images taken from Google images and Pam's clip art.

The Photograph

I have published this work @induswomanwriting. It can be viewed here.

After a long time Grandma entered that room. Apparently, it was being ignored as many memories were associated with her life. She slowly entered the room holding a lantern since it didn't had any lights. Slowly, her legs moved forward and her eyes searched for something she desperately wanted to see. She was moving, holding back her excitement and suddenly a trunk came in her way. She fell down and screamed. Her grand daughter Ishika came running.

"Dadi, what happened?" asked the little one.
"Are you okay? come let me help you" she said.

"Thanks beta for coming" she said. "What are you doing here dadi?" Ishika was curious since she came to the room for the first time and as a child she wanted to explore everything around there.
"Ishu, come here I want to show you a surprise" Grandma's eyes were wide open.

She slowly pulled a photo frame that was dusty and hiding behind a safe since years. She used a cloth to dust off the dirt and brought the lantern near the photograph.

"Woww, dadi who is that" Ishika exclaimed.
"Ishika, today I want to tell you all about it" Grandma said.

Long long ago, there lived an ambitious girl. She wanted to have a glamour picture that would impress the Bollywood directors and she could be one of those actresses who would be remembered for years and years. So, she was roaming in Mumbai with the hope to find the best fashion photographer who would help her to get to Bollywood.

In lieu of getting great pictures, she thought why not buy a fashion magazine and contact photographers like that. A rich girl like her doesn't have to worry about money. She came through 'Jublilee photography' studio just like that. They had taken pictures of famous movie actors like Asha Parekh, Madhu bala etc and she wanted to stand in the league.

So, she went to the Jubilee photographer and paid Rs. 50 for taking a glamorous picture of herself. She was given a make up session and an outfit to wear. After the picture was taken it was kept for developing the film into a 4x6 picture.

Rakesh was developing the film. He was the owner of the photo studio. When he made the 4x6 print he couldn't keep his eyes off the picture. He thought "She is the prettiest girl I have ever seen". He sat whole night staring her picture. He was clearly smitten by her charm. Next day he parked his car outside her apartment and knocked the door. She was brushing her hair. She opened the door and a cool breeze flowed in the doorway. Her hair started flying and clearing her charming face.

Rakesh suddenly regained his consciousness and said " Hi Mam, I am from the photography studio and came to deliver your pictures". "You mean you have them already!@" she screamed with joy. After she saw her pictures she gave the fees. But Rakesh kept her staring and said "Mam there is one more request. Would you please give me an autograph on this extra large picture? So that I would be the first one to get the autograph of the would be famous Bollywood heroine" saying this he opened the big frame and showed it to her.

"Oh yea.. sure. I am flattered." She said.
"What do you want me to write?" she took the pen while asking him.

"How about writing this: To Rakesh who knows that you are going to be an actress in Bollywood.." By this time she gave a big smile to him.

"But also who in the meanwhile want to meet you everyday and be with you"

"Wait a minute!" she said. "I am running out of space"

"Okay to make it short. To Rakesh, who thinks that you are the girl of his dreams and he won't be possibly happy in this world without having you as his wife!"

Well the girl never made it to the Bollywood, so you might have never seen this photograph before. Also, you would never see it anywhere in this house.

"Who is she Grandma?" Ishika asked with curious eyes.
"Ahem... well" Grandma said.
"Is that you ... " Ishika jumped in surprise.
Grandma nodded her head. Ishika was so happy as if she found a hidden treasure in that room.

"But who was Rakesh" she questioned.
"Well, Ishika somethings you shouldn't ask me at this age." she winked at her.

"Then in that case Dadi, do you want to have a look at this picture" she said while hiding a picture in the back.
Grandma smiled seeing that picture. "Wow, this is just so cute. who took this picture?" she asked. Gradually she read the name "Rakesh" and she was shocked.
"This is the same Rakesh Uncle." she told her and took Grandma in the balcony where she saw Rakesh sipping a cup of tea in his garden. When Rakesh saw her with the enlarged picture, he felt like the girl came out of the picture. Then she stared at him with so many questions in her eyes.

Amazing Blogjunta Chat feature

Oct 4, 2011 On a nice Tuesday morning, I find myself online on BlogJunta. I was totally surprised. I thought of two possibilities, either I never noticed the chat feature (by cometchat) or its something new. Well lets reserve this question to the editor and the background team of BlogJunta. But it really drew my attention. Next thing I see is 'Mr. Editor' is online. Wow I thought in my mind. I never had a casual chat with the editor before. So, I started pinging him and we spoke casually for few mins.

At first, I thought that this feature shows people who are added in your list. That's how traditionally all the chat features are. But unlike that, I found many new people online on this chat and that's how I made couple of cool buddies who have amazing blog pages. I started discovering the chat features and found that it is unique and quite amazing.

The smiley options are common for all the chat utilities. But here I found other gadgets which I explored while chatting with online friends.

1. Play a game : This amazing add-on helps you to play a game with your friend online. It is somewhat similar to our yahoo chat but 'Dudeee' we are talking about BJ's chat app that is embedded in the webpage like Facebook's or Gmail's chat. I browsed through the list and found interesting games like Tic-tac-toe, Darts, Minesweeper and the famous Sudoku etc.
2. Show/Hide time: This is an important feature from my point of view. Since many chat windows by default show the time which is not needed always. I personally feel this is not necessary. So, BJ has taken a wise decision to include this tool.

3. Clear conversation: You can clear the conversation once you are done. No explanations needed.

4. Hand writing a message: It is kewl ain't it?? I tried this gadget and its pretty amazing. It is like a white board having options of selecting color, eraser and setting the width. What more do we need??
5. Other two are sending a file and view chat history. These two are again self explanatory.

I don't know why but I felt like writing it down and showcasing it on behalf of blogjunta. I didn't find any article on the website describing the chat feature. So, I wrote my own version here :)

Hope BJ users like the chat feature as much as I did.

P.S. Images are taken as a snapshot by me while trying this app.

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