Dedicated to Bob Dylan.

This post is dedicated to Bob Dylan- Cheers to this Nobel Prize winner winner!! ❤ ❤bd-1024x614

Don’t think twice, it’s all right by Bob Dylan

It ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, babe
It don’t matter, anyhow
An’ it ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, babe
If you don’t know by now
When your rooster crows at the break of dawn
Look out your window and I’ll be gone
You’re the reason I’m trav’lin’ on
Don’t think twice, it’s all right

It ain’t no use in turnin’ on your light, babe
That light I never knowed
An’ it ain’t no use in turnin’ on your light, babe
I’m on the dark side of the road
Still I wish there was somethin’ you would do or say
To try and make me change my mind and stay
We never did too much talkin’ anyway
So don’t think twice, it’s all right

It ain’t no use in callin’ out my name, gal
Like you never did before
It ain’t no use in callin’ out my name, gal
I can’t hear you anymore
I’m a-thinkin’ and a-wond’rin’ all the way down the road
I once loved a woman, a child I’m told
I give her my heart but she wanted my soul
But don’t think twice, it’s all right

I’m walkin’ down that long, lonesome road, babe
Where I’m bound, I can’t tell
But goodbye’s too good a word, gal
So I’ll just say fare thee well
I ain’t sayin’ you treated me unkind
You could have done better but I don’t mind
You just kinda wasted my precious time
But don’t think twice, it’s all right

Courage like a child.

I wish I were a kid again.

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No matter what you do when you are young, you are the best in that. Well, you do wait for appreciation once you are finished, even if you don’t get it.. it really doesn’t matter. You forget about it after some time,as you have so many things which can engage your mind that .

As you grow up, you shy away from things. The very thing that you thought you were best at, when you were a kid.. you get to know that there are many people who are better than you. In short, you are not good enough!

Now you are shy to sing, to dance, to paint, to build because you are not good as THEM.

I wish we could all go back to who we were when we were kids and think how you would have behaved given a situation.

I’ll give you an example from my life. I dread making food for someone. That is am not a terrible cook but am not good as THEM mentality have taken shape in my mind. Growing up with the same thinking for long time, makes you believe in it quite strongly.

Child like confidence to believe in themselves just because you are doing it and because it  feels great. Dear Readers, try to find that courage in yourself( as am doing it myself),let it be in very simple impromptu situations. Don’t let the age make you old. Hey! It’s just a number, some wise man said.

Stay childish! Stay blessed!

Hampi, City of ruins

I have never been the one to appreciate monuments. Don’t get me wrong..Oh Yes! I do appreciate history, but somehow i have always been a person who like green more.

But snuck away in a small village Hampi, the ruins of the ancient city does remind one of the glorious times, it had seen in its days.

Musical pillars, Gold trading markets, stone chariots and temples dedicated to different gods makes one think about the people who would have once walked those paths, who had been there thinking they are in the safest places of all. And I ? Well, I stood there filling in the intricate designs, the creativity and plain genius of the architects.

If you are one of those people who loves monuments, you should go to this place.
-Siji

For history of the place , Click here  🙂

Twisted ordinary

Carpe Diem!(Latin aphorism, usually translated as “seize the day”)

I always have felt that life turns out as you look at it. Offcrse there has been times in my life when I found it very difficult to come in terms with reality of it. But more i think of it, the more I come to realize that no matter how bitter I was … Those little things actually carved me to what I am today.yes! I used the word ‘carved’ , because we all are made slowly slowly with what happened to us in the past.

You can look at the world as it is or choose to see it in your colors. Now I don’t mean that you start living in your own bubble. The most perfect example will be- how a photographer captures a picture in a frame which we find very fascinating,though we might be passing by the same image everyday over and over again; yet, we fail to realize the beauty that he/she captured in his frame.

Source: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/photography

These pictures are so beautiful but are you sure.. we would have given these people a second thought if we passed them by?

The joy in the boys’ smile, the mystery in the girls’ eyes and the colors in the vendors’ shop. Pity us! that we need a picture to make us realize the beauty in these everyday things!

On the other hand, most of us will definitely see the below if it happened in front of us(though not in the majestic way the photographer pictured it).

the-independence-day

Source: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/photography

Our mind recognizes things  which may harm us, mostly it recognizes anything which differs from the pattern of the routine. This is the time when we crave for the calm of the routine and cringe from the unforeseen aftermath which the calamity may leave behind.

One of my friends had a near death experience… a very major case of typhoid.  While most of us will wither away…not her ! Offcrse she was scared of whether the treatment will work or not. She held on.. kept it going for her. Later, when I met her, she would tell me her experience of walking to her office after she was cured. She noticed for the first time, the morning breeze,the sun rays and saw the people walking past her in hurry. She said now I live everyday observing the little details of life. It doesn’t take much time to see these things but we forget to look around when everything is going well.We take it for granted. Why to always wait for a near death experience to feel the importance of life? Why a roadblock to make us realize the blessing of a smooth road ? Why a calamity to feel the calm of everyday routine ?? Not everything has to be differentiated into black or white.

I think that is a the key to life ..to see everyday things from a different angle or perspective. This is what philosophers meant when they said to live everyday like your last.

“Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.”~William Martin,The Parent’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents

Look at the world with your good eye and you will see the difference. Likewise, every situation in your life- good /bad will pass in time and believe it or not, tomorrow, you will be better person because of it.

-Siji

Too busy to see clouds today!

Couldn’t have said it better than this excerpt:

How small and neat and comically serious the other men looked, with their grey-flecked crew cuts and their button-down collars and their brisk little hurrying feet! There were endless desperate swarms of them, hurrying through the station and the streets, and an hour from now they would all be still. The waiting mid-town office buildings would swallow them up and contain them, so that to stand in one tower looking out across the canyon to another would be to inspect a great silent insectarium displaying hundreds of tiny pink men in white shirts, forever shifting papers and frowning into telephones, acting out their passionate little dumb show under the supreme indifference of the rolling spring clouds.” ~Richard Yates( excerpt from Revolutionary Road)

 

 

What’s in a name?

 

Hi, I am Siji and my name doesn’t have a meaning.

Almost always without fail I’ll be asked the question.. what’s the meaning of your name? When I was young, bombarded with this question and not able to answer , left me embarrassed on most occasions. Why couldn’t mom and dad just google a little bit more and keep my name. I always felt mom dad must be playing scrabble one day and the next day i popped out and hence the name. I  felt envious of people whose names were simple enough to explain- adarsh, priya, palak etc. everyone will explain their names’ meaning and sit proudly , while I will say “I don’t know” and be laughed at. I will sulk and retreat to the corner.

This may sound weird to many but I spent most of childhood rebelling with my parents for a name change. I used to yell at my mom -“wait till I grow up..and I’ll keep a much better name than this”.  My mom will always say “whats in a name?”. I’ll say  “easy for you to say.. you have an excellent name “Raichel”- not only did it sound nice, it’s also a biblical name!”

So when I was in 5th I pledged to have a meaning for my name. I came up with a meaning on my own “Gods grace”as it couldn’t be verified *wink*. Ha! Now every time someone asked my names’ meaning, I’ll hold my head high and tell them this and they nodded in approval and gave me a smile as if to tell my mom and dad ‘Well done!’.

But as lies goes. The feel-good factor din’t last long.

Then I came across a book “Namesake”-by Jhumpa Lahiri. It’s about a child whose dad kept a name “Gogol”for him. The boy feels embarrassed during earlier stages of his life and changes his  name. Later, after his dads death, he comes to know that his dad was saved by the book written by that author “Gogol” when he had a near death experience. So the name was reallyyyy close to his heart.

No, nothing like that for my parents.

So why am telling you all this? Because by reading this book I came to know, IT REALLY DOESN’T MATTER – -the name you get from your parents. What sense does it make if your parents gave you a name ‘Sundar’(adjective in hindi signifying attractive, beautiful, good, handsome or nice) and you are not !

What happens if your parents gave you name ‘Daya’(word in hindi stands for compassion, sympathy) and you don’t feel kind on most days.

Or ‘Kush’(word in hindi stands for happiness) and you don’t feel happy most of the time…

I thought to myself –better to have a name that doesn’t have a meaning than having something ..you are not. Fast forward few years , am in consensus with my name and I have officially  made peace with it– literally! I spell out my name to people who don’t understand it ” S-I-J-I”. I repeat my name slowly to let them grasp my name.

Taking an excerpt from a book by Lewis Carroll:

Must a name mean something?’ Alice asked doubtfully.

‘Of course it must,’ Humpty Dumpty said with a short laugh: ‘my name means the shape I am — and a good handsome shape it is, too. With a name like yours, you might be any shape, almost.’

How thoughtful! isn’t it? You can be anything you want to be and not restricted by ‘labels’ parents placed on you when you were born. That’s the beauty of name which has no meaning. 😀

Now, I smile and tell people that my name doesn’t have a meaning.

 

 

Put Anger to rest

Recently I watched a movie, AMU recommended by one of my friends. I think, each movie we see changes our perspective of things around us and about things which happened in past. Well, this particular movie clearly will, for better or for worse. 🙂

The plot circles around the concept of ’84 riots which happened in India. After the assassination of Indira Gandhi by two Sikh (Satwant Singh and Beant Singh), the countrymen turned against all the Sikhs present in their vicinity. It pains me so much, to think of all the people who turned into murderers that day.

The question which come to one’s mind is “How can one kill someone who was your acquaintance just yesterday?” Though the assassination was an atrocious crime to commit but was seeking justice by turning against each and every person who was Sikh, correct?

Being angry is natural but acting logically is a choice. There were people in those regions who were not Sikh but were willing to risk their life by helping fellow Sikhs to seek shelter in their homes. It’s not about win or lose, it’s about applying your head to understand that not everyone was guilty and not everyone needs to be punished. Break some dishes or glasses or burn the biggest bonfire ever, if you want to display your emotions and rebel, but taking lives is never an answer. As rightly said by John Steinback:

War_JohnSteinback

Reason given for the behavior was that they were brain-washed by politicians. Now i will like to comment here that politicians and power buffs remain in power for a reason, there are people to support them. There are people who are influenced by them. It is vital for people to understand that they are the power and they should act against their better judgment of what could be right or wrong. I will like to iterate that it is not only about India or Indians, the same follows for all the nations around the world. There are instances of cruelties done in every part of the world, terrorism is just one of the examples.

Instead of interpreting everything in dark, I pray let people see light, and see the better way of dealing stuff instead of reaching for innocent hearts with a dagger. I’ll end with a famous quote by Kimberly Jones:

Peace_Kimberly Jones
Quote by Kimberly Jones

You can find the movie at this link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMl7j00pDTg

 

Letter to a friend

LetterToAFriendRecently, one of my friends lost her brother. I wanted to tell her how sorry I was and imagined on hugging her tightly to ease her pain. But when I met her, the only thing that I was able to phrase was “How are you?”

We talked about her brother for a little while and then changed the course of conversation to a much lighter tone about movies and books as if nothing has changed. Maybe she changed the topic so that I can be comfortable being in her room with her. ‘I am comfortable with the pain you are in and I want to comfort to you’, I wanted to say. But all I was able to do was go along with the flow.

How do you comfort a person (stronger than you) who has gone through such a major loss? How do you fill the gap piece by piece so that the whole frame won’t fall apart? Is just sitting quietly in one room enough, conveying the message that I am here for you?

Apparently there is no hard and fast rule on how to make other people feel better, it gets harder if that friend is one of your dear ones. I told her to keep busy so that she can’t spare any time for her pain. Sorry friend, but this was only way I could think of comforting you and keeping you away from your aching thoughts.

I wanted to tell you the other time to share with me everything so that you can feel light. Tell me everything about him so that I can know what he was like as we have never talked about him till now. I traced my steps till your door many a time after the first meeting but was not able to enter the door thinking I might disturb you in some way and may cause you more pain, in my carelessness.

Yet, next time we met, all I could do was pass a smile to let you know that I am there for you.

4 ways in which Musicians can use music streaming

When free music is available at the whim of the user, why will someone pay for a music streaming? Paid music streaming concept is emerging, with many industries bringing in more and more apps into this industry. Has the industry already reached its maturity or is it still in infant stage? Is it profitable for companies to keep harboring on this niche segment? What is the scope of this industry? How music streaming can help musicians?

Today if you want to listen to music, you have two options- download it or stream it. It can be downloaded from either authentic musician sites or pirated versions from other music sites. On the other hand, music can also be streamed on YouTube Music Key, Spotify and the like, without havinMusic Streamingg any physical copy of the same on your hard disk. The playlist is run online. If you don’t want any advertisements to interfere then you go for subscriptions. When it comes to music, it’s hugely depends on the customer base and the way people prefer listening to music.

The music listeners are also divided into segments: there are purists/audiophiles who will go through all the hassle of downloading music from authentic sites and then there are casual listeners who are passionate to listen to music but they are not particular about whether they own it or rent it. It has been observed that the consumers are moving more and more towards online channels from the traditional channels. According to IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry), the global digital revenues have increased by 6.9% to US $6.85 billion such that share of revenues is almost same for digital (46%) and physical channels (46%).

The musicians will get to use the statistics drawn from the music streamed by the individuals. The name, place, date, genre and the way the people listen to music can help determine the trends emerging in the music industry. There has been some serious debates regarding the revenues generated digitally by streaming channels for singers and song writers. So let’s see, apart from revenues, what’s in there for singers and songwriters:

Market segmentation– The Company can help the musicians to track the geographies in which their music was played and how often their music was played and its related ratings. The genre of the music listened most can also help songwriters and musicians in understanding that what is going wrong with their music and what is the tipping point in competitor’s music.

Demographics- They can narrow down on the age group listening to their music and also analyze based on data what type of music is preferred by their target segment. This information may help them to create music which has more probability to sell. I know, music should come from heart and everything but if there is an extra help to musicians to make their music sell then why not!

Medium: They can decide on the medium to channel their music. Taylor Swift recently pulled all her music tracks from Spotify as according to her,it was not doing justice to revenues that she would have got from other traditional channels. On the other hand, the new artists find the streaming service a huge opportunity for them to reach to a larger audience even though the revenue generated by it is comparatively lesser.

Recommendations: According to source, Pandora’s Music Genome project, which is a unique music catalog of more than 1.5 million songs, helps in creating plethora of recommendations for users. Although, they cannot change the choice of customer but to some extent they can influence the decision-making process. Songs recommended by the Spotify, Pandora and the like music streaming services are likely to introduce the user to some new songs in playlist pushed by these services. The singer can push their songs in these playlists, based on that they can gauge the audience reaction.

Companies such as Pandora, Rdio, Spotify, etc although still are in their nascent stage are leveraging on all the possibilities to benefit the user as well as the musicians by using various advanced data analytics and algorithms. Only time will tell whether music streaming is a dying industry or just a late bloomer.

Geolocation changing the face of Apparel Retail Industry

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 With online products at discounted prices at your doorstep, what  can the retail store do to bring customers to them?

Easy solution would be to provide shoppers with what they want at  a time when they want it.

Retail stores suffer losses everyday by the lack of information of the  potential customers who have visited their store (unless they have a  loyalty card) or have walked past their store. The customer if presented with the required discounts needed by them, they are twice as likely to buy the product. With re-marketing, Amazon does exactly that and numbers prove that it has been right decision!

Enters Geo location mobile technology. Apple’s iBeacon, BaySensors.com, StoreMode mobile technology and their likes are bringing brick and mortar stores to a digital reality. Retail/department stores can use Geo-fencing through which businesses can create a boundary around their premises so that consumers get a message which will make sense to them. It will allow the managers to get the information such as the peak traffic hours, sales personnel in each department at specific time, maximum purchases segment and impact on sales by using geo-targeting.

The customer enters the retail store say, VeroModa and the mobile app will provide them with the details of different section on each floor. When they enter VeroModa T-shirt section, customer gets a notification of the 60% discounts. They are more likely to buy it when they get the notification in real-time. The store representatives can push discount offers to the customer even when they reach home with the details of the purchase that was made by them or they intended to purchase. E.g. the new summer collection in summer.

i-Beacon by Apple is already been used by popular apparel chains such as Lord & Taylor stores in the United States to understand closely the psyche of the customers. This will send a Geo-targeted message, offers and coupons by using Bluetooth Low Energy to shoppers. Additionally, allow customers to view the product description and a 3D display of product when in a particular section. Taking a step forward, the Shelfbucks (using beacon technology) helps the shoppers to compare price real-time in the store which lets the user buy the product at best price. India, as a huge price sensitive market can reap huge benefits.

No doubt, fast forward a few years and it will be a turn-around technology for the industry as a whole. Though this will change the dimensions of customer experience but only if leveraged in the right way by the store managers, it can benefit the store otherwise it will be one more chunk of useless data in a pile of data already available.