What should you wear during Durga Puja and Diwali?


Durga puja and Diwali, both major festivals are over. I had a ball of time with family and friends and hope you did too. Festivals in India area mark of spirituality, oneness, ecstasy and DRESSING UP like never before.

Even the thought of writing a fashion blog puts me into splits but then I felt like writing one. Still, I thought of writing down a fashion blog on the trends that I followed which you can as well next time. Durga Puja is a four-day festival while Diwali is five days. I am going to talk about all four days of Durga Puja and Diwali night.

Shashti night: Durga Puja starts from Shashti night during Navratri. I opted for an

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Shashti Night Look

orange Kurti (Shrishti) and cream colored Palazzos (Delhi Haat). I matched them with grapes like earrings that I bought from an art fair. Shashti night may be the first day of puja but it is not as grand as Ashtami so I will recommend simple Indo western wear for the night.

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Jewelry

Saptami day and night: The day starts with giving Anjali to mother goddess and I would strongly

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Saptami Day Look

recommend another simple attire. If you are married, sarees should be no less than a mandatory Indian dress. If single, you can experiment as much as you can. I chose a black cotton Kurta (from Reliance Trends) with red shiny pajami (ordinary shop) and silk dupatta (North East festival). I basically mixed and matched. Coming to accessories, I wore red colored Jhumkas with red beaded necklace. During night, I was out on Pandal hopping. I wore sleeveless Jacket Kurta (Jaypore) and clubbed it with leggings (Marks & Spencers). For accessories, I wore black Jhumkas. Keep Shashti and Saptami simple yet elegant and keep the best dresses in stock for Ashtami and Navami.

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Saptami Night Look

 

 

 

Ashtami day and night: The best day of Durga Puja is this. I wore a silk saree (by a supplier from West Bengal) with mango prints and a sleeveless blouse. For accessories, I wore a red and golden heavily beaded necklace. The day time is exhaustive, so I would recommend people to try lighter sarees and makeup. A lot of married women wear traditional and famous red bordered white saree which is also called Gorod. I have even noticed women wearing gold jewelry.

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Ashtami Day Look

If you are married, go for it and drape the saree in a traditional way and let the heads turn at you. For night, I wore a Bangalore silk saree (by a supplier from West Bengal) which I clubbed with yellow terracotta jewelry (taken from art and craft fair). The entire look was very vibrant and apt for a night like Ashtami. Go for a saree that has colors, prints and shine. A lot depends on your comfort level too.

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Ashtami Night Look

 

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Jewelry 

Navami day and night: The last day of Puja is heavy on heart yet full of vigor and joy among people. I wore a long jacket kurta (by Vishudh) and white pajama (by Reliance Trends). I wore matching blue colored Terracotta jewelry. The look was very well accepted by people and appreciated. It gave a classy look all together. For night, I wore a pink colored net saree (by a supplier from West Bengal). The saree was exceptionally pretty and it made look all traditional. For accessories, I wore golden earrings that had south Indian design.

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    Navami Day Look

     

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    Diwali Night Look

    Diwali day and night: Bengalis observe Kali Puja on Diwali night. The day time, I wore a Kerala saree. Since, north India doesn’t appreciate a white saree so I complimented it with a printed green blouse. The blouse had boat neck and was lengthier than usual blouses. For the night, I wore a floral printed maxi dress (by Missa More Clothing) matched with orange palazzos (from Janpath). I wore orange beaded necklace and earrings. What a delight it was to eyes!

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    Diwali Day Look
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    Diwali Night Look

     

All those fashion bloggers, hope this one doesn’t offend you. Hope, I was able to elaborate on the days and nights of festivity at best. Wear that is comfortable, unique and most importantly unique.

 

Now click the “buy” button on Google to shop online


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Google comes up with “buy” button in its search results to make users for more ease.

Here is a big news for all the people who love buying online. Google is coming up with “Buy” button that shall show up right next to the specific search results. It is big wave for the ecommerce industry. As per the chief business officer at Google, Kordestani, users shall be encouraged more to do online shopping. Despite the fact that ecommerce giants like Alibaba, eBay and Amazon, a meager 10% of online commercial transactions take place. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Shopping

As per the reports, the users will get to find the buy button along with the paid advertisements which appear at first before the organic results under a heading i.e “Shop on Google.” Upon clicking, the user will be navigated to Google Shopping website. This is where the users will come to know in detail about the product and transaction. Google is not directly selling anything as it is going to associate with retailers who take the responsibility of orders and shipping. On the other hand, Google keeps the information regarding payment away from the retailers. http://www.google.com/ads/shopping/

Google will be giving important information like email IDs, mailing addresses and other details only if the customer gives consent. Google shall be earning from the money received from the advertisements listed at the top of the search engine results. Google aims to earn not from retail items but the ads. Go online today!

Pic courtesy – Google

Why content writing should be a contract based job?


By now, a lot of writers have had good number of job switches. No regrets though! Each job has conferred the writers with lessons worth life. But, the frequency of job switches has given enough fodder to our critics. Jumps in jobs take place due to multifarious reasons. This blog of mine concentrates on the jobs related to SEO based content writing. I strongly advocate that this particular job should be contract based.

 

Writing is a consistent process of evolution. One learns and reflects the same in his work. As one keeps learning, he understands the core aspects of writing and becomes mature with the passing time. SEO in this regard is an utter fail in disguise for aspiring writers. But then if a job is what your prime criteria, then getting started with it is fine. Search Engine Optimization or SEO is a methodology which helps businesses rank high at the major search engines such as Google, Yahoo! And others. This online revolution has given a huge limelight to the small and middle scale entrepreneurs as they are able to make it big on an international platform. A lot of small and medium level organizations are able to spread their work across the globe. How they are doing it? SEO companies are assisting them at shoe string budgets. This is where SEO companies in India come into the picture.

 

A lot of UK and US based companies are outsourcing their SEO projects to India. This outsourcing has brought meteoric rise in the Indian job market. At a point when writing meant Times of India or The Caravan, today writing has come to SEO content writing phase. A flood of SEO companies have opened up in the country to an extent that you can find them in one room set or even mushrooming at homes. Offering at budgets which are highly cost effective for west, Indian SEO companies have gone berserk in bagging the projects. And with this, comes a wind of content writing jobs. Over the years, a lot of people have started their careers with SEO content writing. Many have attained success and have learned things in abundance. I am one of them who discerned and embraced each lesson.

 

I must mention that the content writing jobs are highly uncertain. Considering that mediocre level organizations approach India for outsourcing, their ambitions are quite short lived. So are the projects. As a result, the moment the companies manage to achieve ranks at Google, they do not wish to continue the SEO project anymore. They do not look forward to invest anymore as the ranking has been accomplished already. This leaves the writers and also the SEO executives with lesser projects to work upon. Consequently, the writers are often shown the door due to lack of projects.

 

On that note, I suggest that SEO based content writing job should be a contract based. The contract period can be for six months or eight. This will help the writers in realizing when they can look for further opportunities. Knowing that the probability of the SEO projects is less, writers can easily participate in interviews. It is a highly pressurized job which calls for writing for projects in a marginal time. On top of that, writing rich and qualitative content is a challenge. I know a lot of writers who were left in lurch the moment their projects paused. They were asked to leave in no time. This leads to switching jobs in sizable short time periods. This scenario also causes negative impression on future employers. I believe that writers doing a job like this should not only be respected for their contribution and but also justified with proper timing. I Hope, I made my point.

Chumbakiye Bharat!


ImageThere is this India which is playing on tablets and then there was that India which was contented with Doordarshan. Somewhere in the middle of a revolution, I wonder if we lost our charm, the very Indian charm. Those days when sunbathing during winter was divine and eating pakode by mother was all that we wanted. By then, momos didn’t replace our things and touchscreen didn’t fiddle with our talks. We listened, we chatted and roamed to places – we weren’t confined to our walls.

I was just in the middle of this chaos when I wondered the entire magic of being a typical Indian might fade away. At the pace at which we are aping the west, and embracing technology, we will be mechanized and camouflaged Indians soon. Rather we already are. In the middle of this westernization, I came across ‘Chumbak.’ An organization which has made a mammoth step to retain that appeal of India through various materialistic ways such as stationery, stickers, apparels and various other items.

What is so special with them?

Designs & themes: Indian! Everything is Indian out here. The designs and themes have been inspired from those little things we often come across and don’t really acknowledge at a larger level. For instance, a mobile cover with scooter theme or a key chain in the form of a sardar. Characters like neighborhood aunty, classical dancer, and similar more can be seen which you can easily relate with.

Vibrancy: Across the products when you take a tour, you realize, it is all colors. So colorful and so appealing. Real Indian I must say.

Chumbak has enhanced its spectrum to a level where you can find chat stickers on Facebook.There you may find animated characters and themes like Bollywood, a Rajasthani guy with a turban doing a namaskar and some more funny characters. And again, yes, Indian. From cushion covers, notebooks to apparels, you name it and you get it. In all shapes, sizes and designs, you get what you have been looking for. I am planning to get something. Aren’t you?

Photo courtesy: Chumbak

Guidelines for all the burgeoning writers!


 

  1. Research: There can be no content written without doing an adequate research. Be it any topic, try to ‘READ’, and deeply, study about it. Research will give you added knowledge, healthy understanding, and help you to make your content rich. Do not forget to read the client’s website you are writing for – there could be a lot of information which you are missing out.
  2. Target audience: Always keep in mind the audience you are writing for. Try to keep yourself at their place. Think what they want?, why they want?, how they want?, and where they want? Since, it’s online marketing, it is all virtual, and it’s important to understand the audience, and accordingly, develop the content.
  3. Sentence construction: At the online platform, no one has time to read Shakespeare. Avoid complex sentences, usage of tough words, and long sentences. Being simple is the thumb rule. Usage of longer sentences is permissible in rare cases wherein you are bound to cater two, or three messages in connection to each other.
  4. Thought process: Keep your thought process simple, and lucid. The simpler you think, ‘easy-to-understand’ will be your content. The buyer who is going to read your content would like to read, and learn about the product. So, justify the demand with your content.
  5. Informative content: Always write content that is rich in information. Each time a visitor reads your content, he or she should learn something new, and should be able to develop an interest towards the product.
  6. Grammar: It is the right arm of any content. Make sure, you use the right tense, verbs, adjectives, conjunctions, prepositions, consonants, and vowels. Keep a track on Renan Martin for Grammar learning.
  7. Read before sending: Before clicking the ‘send’ button, make sure you have read the content well, and checked on your mistakes. If you trace your own mistakes, half the battle is won.
  8. Maintain a strict time management: It is understood that writing is an extensive job. But meeting the deadline is equally important. Frame your timeline accordingly. For instance, give 10 minutes to read the website, and then write the content.
  9. Take a break between writing content: Take approximately 5 minutes of break between any two content items. Go around your desk, sip a coffee, or talk to a colleague. This suggestion is not intended to divert you but help you to rejuvenate, and keep mental exhaustion at bay.
  10. Be open to criticism: Always be positive to the feedback given to you. It is for your own good. The more positive you are, the more you will learn, and grow.

My take on content writing and development


I have been working in the domain of SEO content development for quite a good amount of time. Right from the time, I started working, there has been no end to the learning. I have learnt B2B marketing, Internet marketing, and corporate communication. With the job switches, and change of managers, professional life has always witnessed twists, and turns. While one of my first managers was a mentor in disguise, the others seemed to be representatives of agony, ignorance, personal turmoil, and frustration. I shouldn’t forget to mention that there has been huge learning from each one of them.

While working I realized, content writing is considered to be the most mechanical, and ‘just for the sake’ of job. The SEO executives would say, “deliver me 10 contents in a day on xyz content by the day end.” In addition, SEO executives have been seen quite ignorant of the content writing job’s pressure, and dynamics. Had the work been that easy, every writer would have been the highest paid professional in the world. Though, there are people who write a huge number of articles in a day. But, all is mechanical. They search, rephrase and paste. Their motive to meet the deadline by the day end leaves little creativity in them. On top of it, there is a consistent pressure of meeting the demands of the editor, or the quality managers.

Matching your senior, who is five, or ten years old in the industry may not like what you wrote. And there follows a strenuous journey of training, and grooming. I like that learning part. Sometimes, seniors are not satisfied because it wasn’t what they write. Writing widely depends on the writer’s experience, exposure, opinions, and lifestyle. Since, these differ from person to person there is always a clash between the writers, and the seniors.

I think efforts should be made to groom the writer, and not put pressure on him.  Moreover, a deadline of 8 to 10 contents may just cause a mental set back and take away the creativity.  Each content demands research, keyword integration, and rich vocabulary to meet the industry guidelines. Let me add, strategic keyword incorporation, less time, and delivery of different content in a certain time frame is not easy. Understand, content writer is a writer who is helping you to sell your product online. There is no point in sitting on his head, and pressurizing him to ape the senior’s writing skills. That will never happen. Accepting, and improving the writer should be the objective. Yes, while writing, a free mind is needed.

Professionals working in, and around with writers should empathize with their job. The seniors should understand, and accept the way the writer writes. But, yes, genuine mistakes are required to be handled in the right order. Look at those ace writers like Amitav Ghosh, Salman Rushdie and similar, they take time to write, and see how their books sell like hot cakes later. Understand, accept, channelize, and sell!

Work and its idiosyncrasies


Just a few days ago, I appeared for an interview where the interviewer claimed ‘scoring less marks is a crime, we do not entertain low scorers.’ Baffled, I was. Had everyone been a topper, the world wouldn’t have been this way. People are blessed with different talents, and they are required to be respected the way they are. I gave back, “I am good the way I am.”

In past several years, I have worked with many organizations. There have been different experiences. I have been hated, groomed, and grilled for my work at different intervals. Somewhere, down the line, I felt, I was not alone hated for my work. There were moments when lot of injustice happened at work places. I would like to add that people who switch jobs frequently may not have switched because of the work but that could have been due to:

  • Office politics
  • Bullying
  • Blame game
  • Jealousy
  • Bias
  • Personal frustration

People who are good or sweet get battered the most at work places. One cannot afford to be weak and fragile. You got to be strong. I was amazed to come across scenarios which dramatically came in the picture. Without my single hand in it, I saw myself totally in deep trouble. Not always, one is at blame. Somewhere HR efforts are required such as:

  1. Confidence building sessions
  2. Interpersonal communication between managers and team members
  3. Sessions on why and what is troubling an employee

There are times when employees fail to express their plight, and keep themselves in a shell. Most importantly, one should look at both the sides of the story. Until, you see both the sides of the coin, you never know what is exactly wrong. It is very disappointing how the weaker gets a kick.