Monday, November 2, 2009

Diwali2009 trip to Rishikesh - Nainital - Corbett

This Diwali (17th - 24th Oct.) we went to Rishikesh, Nainital and Jim Corbett National Park. The trip was quite adventurous and enjoying. We were accompanied by Priyank and Vibhuati at allthe locations.  

As said earlier, we started our adventure right from Ahmedabad Railway station. We had booked the tickets from Ahmedabad to Haridwar. Our Delhi to Haridwar tickets were confirmed but the Ahmedabad-Delhi was in waiting list. We checked online status till the last moment but the waiting list didn't moved due to Diwali rush. In the end Miti and Vibhuati secured places in general bogie while me and priyank floated between AC coaches to bribe the TC. After Mehsana (2hr. from we took off) we got a confirmed seats and we started shifting. It took us three stations to shifts our luggage and our better halfs. Finally after two and a half hour we made it to the seats (thanks to the bribe system - I love my India). Delhi arrived at  5.30am and we shifted to our new location since we already had confirmed seats for that location.

At 12.30pm we arrived in Haridwar. We hired a cab/taxi (Tata Indigo) and went to Kodiyala via Haridwar and Rishikesh. We stopped at Laxman Joola, BharatDevi Mandir etc along the way. Our journey was also halted by a landslide on the way. Finally at 6pm we reached Kodiyala. It was a good hotel on the River Ganga. Our rooms were facing the river. We got ourselves some Rum and huddle around the camp fire as it was very cold.

Next day we checked out in the afternoon and headed for River Rafting from Shivpuri. We had one level 4, two level 3 and few level 2 rapids. We also jumped into the Ganga for swimming along the current. It was great workout and the water was very cold. After that we even did cliff (30 ft. high) diving. It was scary and it took me 10 min. to make up my mind and plunge. After river rafting we had our lunch and headed back to Haridwar (this time in personal Chakda – big auto ricksaw at damn cheap cost).

At midnight we had our train from Haridwar to Kathgodam. Before we reach our destination, a station before Kathgodam  – a taxi driver came to our bogie and gave the taxi rates. He told us to get the cab a station before the destination as it will be cheaper and faster (this is what I call aggressive marketing). We took the cab (Maruti Alto – yes 4 ppl. + luggage + driver) and went thru the snaky roads to Nainital. Those crooked roads made Miti to throw up several times along the way to top.

Finally after couple of hour’s taxi we reached Nainital. Our Hotel was fab. We had to take ropeway (cable car) to reach our hotel since it was on top of the hill. Our hotel was an old governor rest house and now converted into a heritage hotel (from 1920s). We had the best view of Nainital and Himalayas mountains from our place. We roamed around the Naini lake and street of Nainital for next one day. We had good Vodka and camp fire in the evening at our hotel.

Next day we left for Corbett in afternoon and reached there in couple of hours (this time our taxi was a nice Toyota Innova). We stayed 14Kms outside Ramnagar (town were all the booking and trip to jungle begins) at Bailparaw. Our resort was very good and it was spread out into 5acres land. It had a nice swimming pool (which we never used due to cold), camp fire, gardens, landscaping, ducks with other wild lives, service staff and restaurant (except the GM of the hotel – who made us pay very high for our elephant ride and gave misleading advices about the safari rides). Next day we took an Elephant ride into the outer areas of the jungle and in the afternoon we had a nice Jeep safari ride into the jungle from Jhirna Gate. Unfortunately we didn’t see any tiger but some monkeys, deer, sambars. Overall the Jungle experience was great but the wildlife was disappointing. We were accompanied by a nice Ahmedabad based doctors during the jeep safari (which also brought down our expense).

Next day after breakfast we took a train from Ramnagar to Delhi. In Delhi we took Metro to Rajiv Chowk/Palica Baazar and then took the Metro again for New Delhi railway station. Next days early morning we were back to Ahmedabad and thus finished our nice adventurous trip.

Pictures of this trip can be found at:

Saturday, October 31, 2009

IIM-A grad launches subzi mandi on laptop

Surat: Your daily aloo, baigan and bhindi will soon be just a click away. No more finding your way through the filth at your neighbourhood subzi bazaar and haggling for prices with rude vegetable vendors. An IIM-Ahmedabad graduate has brought the mandi right on your laptop.
City-based Akrosh Sharma, who passed out of the elite B-school in 2004, is all set to launch an online vegetable store after running a vegetable retail business for the last couple of years.
The website will create an online mandi where one can “see” the fresh vegetables, check prices and place orders. “Apart from purchasing daily vegetables, one can gift fruits using the web service. We are launching the concept of gift-packing fruits and vegetables as a ‘healthy gift’ option,” says Sharma. Sharma feels it will be a hit, especially among working couples in the Hazira industrial zone who seldom get time to shop for fresh vegetables everyday.
  “Once the order is placed, customers will get the vegetables at the time specified by them,” adds Sharma, who grew up in Vadodara and joined IIM-A after getting an engineering degree from MS University. His stint at IIMA landed him a lucrative job with a top MNC and was based in Surat. But Sharma, apprehensive of getting into a comfort zone, left his job to tread a different path and go on his own. He launched his vegetable and fruit business in 2007 in a 10 by 10 feet shop. 
“I competed with the mandi and not the big stores. I created a subzi bazaar-like atmosphere in terms of product display that had well-behaved staff members dealing with customers, high sense of hygiene and no haggling,” said Sharma. Currently, his “mini mandi” concept has crossed Rs 1 crore in annual turnover.

“New concepts like these will lead to improvement of the market where the customer will have better options. An institute like IIMA can encourage entrepreneurship in a big way. We wish it is not only IIM grads but even other entrepreneurs should come forward with innovative concepts like this,” says Vardan Kabra, who was Sharma’s classmate at IIM-A and had opted out of the placement process to launch his own school in Surat.

Source: The Time Of India

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

End of Geocities

Yahoo has officially shut down Geocities.The company has said that it did not count the property among its priorities, so it is simply getting rid of it. Yahoo has shut down about 20 services in less than a year. 

We learned that Yahoo would be closing the door on GeoCities back in April, so users have had plenty of time to migrate to other services. Earlier this year, for example, MSN partnered with WetPaint to allow people to create "fansites". After Yahoo's announcement, Wetpaint took the opportunity to announce a "bailout plan for foreclosed GeoCities properties," which it called the "GeoCities Asset Recovery Plan (GARP)."As it shuts down GeoCities, Yahoo itself is now plugging its own $4.99-a-month Web hosting service.

Ok, so there are other options for GeoCities users, but is just shutting down a community that still attracts so much traffic the right thing to do? Yahoo's way of going about it has been widely questioned. According to Compete data, GeoCities has still been seeing over 10 million unique monthly visitors as recently as last month. Why would Yahoo want to just shut that down?

"Then there's the fact that Google, not Yahoo, appears to be responsible for the lion's share of GeoCities referrals, sending about 31.45 percent of the site's traffic its way," noted Doug Caverly upon Yahoo's original announcement. "Yahoo's only behind of 16.89 percent of all GeoCities visits. So by closing GeoCities, for which it paid $3.6 billion in 1999, Yahoo seems to be turning its back on a large amount of traffic. Moreover, it's turning down free traffic from its biggest competitor."

"Carol Bartz may be trying to get Yahoo's costs under control, but it looks like sticking a 'for sale' sign on GeoCities would be at least one preferable option compared to a closure," he added.

But alas, it looks like the sign reads "closed" rather than "for sale." So say goodbye, and in the words of Richard Marxx, "hold on to the memory."

It seems unwise from a business perspective, but what about the users? Does Yahoo have an obligation to its users who may have spent years using their GeoCities site only to have it pulled from the web? Should Yahoo provide a forwarding web address for GeoCities users? After all, it was the GeoCities users that built their sites, promoted them and put up with sometimes annoying ads. A simple forwarding of their GeoCities url to their new home would be appreciated! 

MySpace isn't exactly at the peak of its popularity, but there are still tons of people who use it. What if they just pulled everything? What if Google bought Facebook and decided to kill it? What if your Tweets vanished? Sure these things seem unlikely now because these services are still fresh. Well, GeoCities was once the "it" thing too. Granted, most GeoCities sites I have seen are not much to look at now, but that doesn't mean people aren't getting use out of them. They're obviously getting page views.

Here's what Yahoo is telling GeoCities users to do if they want to keep their sites:

On October 26, 2009, your GeoCities site will no longer appear on the Web, and you will no longer be able to access your GeoCities account and files. If you'd like to keep your web site, you'll need to move your site files to another web hosting provider.

We recommend moving to our award-winning Web Hosting service, which works a lot like GeoCities but includes a personalized domain name (such as and matching email, terrific new site building tools, unlimited disk space and bandwidth, premium customer support, and more.

Perhaps it's not worth it to users to go throgh the hassle of migration, but it has been nice to have their GeoCities site at least remain in tact. Well, tough luck. I hope you've gotten what you wanted away from it before Yahoo obliterates it. There are some sites out there that have not yet been shut down, but it appears that is only a matter of time.

source: by Chris Crum

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Only In Japan: Burger King Offers A Windows 7 Whopper
If you listen close enough you can probably hear the arteries of hundreds of Japanese people clogging as Burger King has unveiled the Windows 7 Whopper.

What is a Windows 7 Whopper you ask?
Well, it’s just like the ordinary Whopper… only with 7 patties of meat and stands over 5 inches tall. As far as the price goes, the Windows 7 Whopper will set you back ¥777, which translates to about $8.55, which isn’t that bad when you think about the quantity meat you’re getting.

Only the first 30 customers per day can take advantage of the special ¥777 pricing, each patron after that will have to pay ¥1,450, which is about $17.10. For those interested, the promotion runs from 10/22 - 10/28.

Source: by By Jeremy Muncy

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

'Jail bhajiyas’ on wheels

The wait to savour fries of Jail Bhajiya without going to its stall at Ellisbridge is over. The Jail Mobile Bhajiya kiosk will start visiting different localities in the city after its inauguration in Gandhinagar on Wednesday. Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Balwant Singh and Chief General Manager of State Bank of India (SBI) TCA Ranganathan will do the honours. 

Locating the mobile kiosk would not be an uphill task. You just have to dial a mobile number (9638972154) to spot it. 

The mobile bhajiya van is a brainchild of IG (Prisons) Keshav Kumar. He mooted the idea a year ago. 

“I was very excited to implement the scheme. It took a lot of time and efforts to execute the plan. My dream came true since the SBI showed keen interest in it,” said Kumar. 

“The unique project is not aimed at making profit. Its objective is to reform and rehabilitate prisoners,” he added. 

Ranganathan, the Chief General Manager of SBI (Gujarat Operation), said: “This is a unique thing. One has to think out-of-the-box for this kind of schemes. I was excited after learning about the plan and agreed to lend a helping hand for a social cause. This is an effort to reform and rehabilitate prisoners.” 

The mobile bhajiya kiosk will visit different localities with three inmates of Sabarmati Central Jail and two police personnel. There will be an autorickshaw driver, too. The jail inmates will make bhajiyas, while the driver will steer the vehicle to different places.

Source: AM

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Biggest Online Jigsaw Puzzle

Lipton has put up a World's Largest Online Jigsaw Puzzle. You can also win iPods, Bags, prizes. Take Part.....nice website.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Movie made for $70 wows Cannes

Cannes: Amidst all the glitz at the Cannes Film Festival, a British Film Colin made on a shoestring budget of £45 ($70), is set to become a surprise hit amongst the heavyweights in the French Festival.Director Marc Price, shot the zombie movie on a camcorder in Swansea and London over 18 months. He persuaded all the actors and make-up artists to donate their service for free. 

  It was by advertising for volunteer zombies on social networking sites, borrowing make-up from Hollywood movies and teaching himself how to produce special effects that helped Price make the film for less than the price of a zombie DVD box set.Price shot and edited the feature—which ingeniously spins the zombie genre on it’s head by telling the story entirely from the zombie’s perspective—over a period of 18 months while working nights and part-time as a booker for a taxi company.In keeping with Price’s beg and borrow approach, most of the zombie make-up in the makeup artists’ cases was inherited from other movies. “One of our make-up people came off X-Men 3, so we were having the same latex that was put on Wolverine,” he said. The 97-minute film had its first Cannes screening on Saturday and has already caught the eye of film distributors. Two Japanese film companies have made a bid to distribute the movie and the Price is hoping that more offers will start coming in.

Source: AGENCIES and TOI

All IPL teams are making profits

If the IPL has stood all you thought you knew about cricket on its head, it’s done the same with finances too. In a year when franchisees were complaining about how shifting to South Africa would make a mess of their budgets, each one of them will end up with a profit. 

If that’s not strange enough for your taste, try this: The two finalists, Royal Challengers and Team Hyderabad, would make a fraction of the profits that bottom-of-table Knight Riders will even if you take prize money into account.The main reason behind the healthier bottomlines is a huge jump in the share of revenues from broadcasting. Last year, each franchisee got Rs 25 crore from IPL as its share of the central broadcasting revenue pool. This year, that has more than doubled to Rs 67.50 crore each. 

Franchisees won’t be the only ones partying. BCCI’s profit too, according to one estimate, jumped substantially to Rs 477 crore from Rs 350 crore last year. For good measure, broadcaster Sony Max is also likely to be in the black this year. 

Had the matches been organised in India, it’s likely the teams’ profits would have been even higher because of higher receipts from ticket and merchandise sale, which have averaged Rs 8 crore and Rs 50 lakh respectively in South Africa. In 2008, teams like Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians and Team Delhi earned around Rs 20 crore from ticket sales alone as the capacity of their home stadiums was large enough to accommodate over 70,000 and the crowds just poured in. Team Jaipur tops profit table 

According to a report by equity research firm IIFL, Team Jaipur will make the highest profit of Rs 35.1 crore in the group matches of the second edition of the tournament. Jaipur had also made the second highest profit of Rs 14.50 crore in 2008, including the Rs 4.50 crore ($1 million) prize money. 

Knight Riders, which finished lowest in the league table during the qualifying round in South Africa, will nevertheless end up with the third highest profit of Rs 2.8 crore in the second edition of IPL. Team Mohali, which also did not make it to the semis, will just beat Kolkata to second spot with a profit of Rs 26.1 crore, according to the IFL report. 

In fact, the only semi-finalist which also stands to make over Rs 20 crore in profits is Delhi. 

This is despite the fact that prize money in the IPL is a sizeable amount, with Rs 4.8 crore for winner, Rs 2.4 crore for the runners-up and 1.2 crore each for the losing semifinalists.For those who didn’t get past the league stage, the sums are correspondingly smaller — Rs 80 lakh for the team that finished fifth (Mohali), Rs 70 lakh for the sixth placed (Jaipur),Rs 50 lakh for the seventh (Mumbai Indians) and Rs 40 lakh for the lowest one. 

The healthy bottomlines are a happy change from last year when besides Knight Riders and Jaipur, Team Chennai just scraped into the black due to its Rs 2.25-crore prize money for the runners-up position, according to a highly placed IPL source.

Source: Prabhakar Sinha | TNN and TOI 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Evolution of Logos

Well, while i was trying out different logos and generating ideas for gagagiftz and I found this interesting piece of series called Evolution of Logos. Check out the history of logos for some of the well known brands.

So..... this means gaga can also evolve down the road... :)


MasterCard logo

VW logo

Shell logo

Boeing logo

GE logo

Saab logo

Yamaha logo

Nike Logo

Mazda logo

BBC logo

Mercedes-Benz logo

Kodak logo

Nokia logo

Reuters logo

IBM logo

Starbucks logo

Mitsubishi logo

Intel logo

Adobe Systems logo

Pepsi logo

Playboy logo

Audi logo

Motorola logo

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) logo

Fiat logo

Nestle logo

Apple Inc. logo

Ford logo

Xerox logo

Canon logo

LEGO logo

BMW logo

Google logo

LG Electronics logo

Microsoft logo

Renault logo

Siemens logo

Palm logo

WWF logo

Nortel logo

Source: Best Ad Blog

For Website Archive: Checkout this cool website

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Nice Chennai Super Kings Poster


Checkout this Nice Gladiator Chennai Super King Poster.

Click on the Image to enlarge

The inevitable ugliness of the IPL trophy

All right. It's time to talk about the IPL trophy. I've been resisting for a while, but we're inching closer to the semi-finals, everyone's hedging bets on their top four, and come May 24 one team is going to be holding aloft what might possibly be the ugliest trophy in the world, and newspapers everywhere are going to immortalise it in all its gaudy glory. Before this happens I think it's necessary to address not just the ugliness of the IPL trophy but the inevitability of its ugliness. 

Whenever I haven't seen it in a while, I think to myself, "Is it really that bad?" But then the camera pans across the shimmering surface of it, or a commentator says something about the imaginative artistry of this masterpiece, and boom, the beast is back. What exactly is imaginative about it anyway? I mean, how long do you suppose it took someone to sit down and say, right: IPL, ergo India; cricket, ergo man with bat; sponsors, ergo DLF. Clunk it all on a wooden frame, chuck an obscene amount of diamonds and sapphires all over it, and then for the sake of being symbolic, throw in eight rubies for good measure to represent the franchises. Oh, I bet they were patting themselves on the back for thinking of that. Really? Is this Incredible India? Is this the best we could come up with? 

On one hand I sympathise. It's not as if sporting trophies are the most inventive things. There isn't anything as iconic as the little gold man of the Oscars in the world of sport. We've got the Ashes, which are kind of like an enshrined stupa for the Australians and the English. Instead of an ossified Buddha's tooth you've got a burnt-up piece of bail. Great. We've got the green Masters jacket in golf, which is pretty different and comes with a wad of cash. That's nice. But by and large most sport trophies involve a ball of some sort, a man with bat/club/ball, or are plain old-fashioned jug-ears. So I can understand the need for departure, to do something special when the opportunity presents itself. Why have a boring old trophy when you see yourself as the purveyor of great change? Surely it would be an antithesis to radically alter the format of the game and to not have a suitably radical prize at the end of it? A trophy is a chance to say something big. I get that. But what exactly is the IPL trophy saying about India? 

The problem is, this trophy stands for everything typical of a particular elite echelon of modern India. It is ostentatious, crass, bereft of any redeeming aesthetic qualities, and unashamed of all the above. To me it screams of insecurity. "Look!" it's trying to say, "I'm going to show you who's the boss now!" Count up those diamonds baby. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for breaking off the shackles of colonisation and proving to the world that the money and ideas are where we're at. But I think it's pointless doing it without any sense of style. Especially when we come from a tradition where the very concept of beauty, or saundarya, has been codified and explored for centuries. I mean, this is a country where every context of beauty is covered, from the simple Kutchi village woman embroidering in her skirts, to a lovesick king depleting the state treasury to build a marble mausoleum for his dead wife. Beauty in India was in the day-to-day. It was not something artistic or out of reach, it was utilitarian. People surrounded themselves with ordinary objects of beauty because it was more pleasing to live that way. 

All this has changed with modernity in India. We have been assaulted by a massive attack of ugliness. We have not only whole-heartedly taken to plastic and mass-production, we also seem to have lost all sense of proportion and design and relegated all our concepts of rasa and shringar to dusty textbooks. Walk around any Indian city now and you'll see how it suffers from this malaise of ugliness. It's in the glass high-rises directly copied from a street in New York; it's in the billboards, the dearth of trees, the lack of civic consciousness, and worse, in the innate belief that beauty is something to be bought or borrowed. 

The IPL, which could have been a great platform for modern India to assert herself in an utterly unique way, has already chosen to take the path of commercial success over aesthetic glory. Fine. I understand that advertisers pay the bills. I'm willing to oversee those garish uniforms. I can tolerate any number of DLF maximums and Citi moments of success. But would it really have hurt anyone if, at the end of it all, there was a trophy worth its weight in gold to lift? To silence everyone just for a moment in a way that only something truly beautiful can?

Article By Tishani Doshi © Cricinfo