I like you only little little * Kuch spicy khane ka mann kar raha hai * Aur bata, hows work? * I had got the highest marks in Marathi, in school * Geddata karo Sir, Get Data karo! * Tichi shitti wazli * Bhaiyya ek Mango cone aur ek Anjeer cup dena * Clocked 160kmph for the first time and what stability! * No Boss! * Mangoes kyun nahin aa rahe market me? * 1 M = 10 Lacs * Can Sir Ravindra Jadeja finish the game for India? * YOLO * How many zeroes did you put in the Crore? * Akka – S.I.S.T.E.R. – Sister, Nakka – F.O.X. – Fox, Kukka – D.O.G. – Dog * I got a DELL, no Lenovo for me :( * Naat, scootera * Is it Quora as in Kora, or Quora as in Que-ora? * Check out Amelia Boutique Hotel in Bukhara * Behind Harley Davidson showroom in Banjara Hills * I saw 17 peacocks today, including 4 peahens. KBR Rocks! * Usse Gujju mein baat kar, life set ho jaegi teri *Can you please call the pest control guy? * It is Jaliyan-wala Bagh not Jallian-wala Bagh as taught in Maharashtra Board History text books * Yippe * I am scared * I think we need to learn Telugu, no, they need to learn some Hindi, come on! * I want to study, please ask me Fill In The Blanks or True/False * Last day kab hai? * Chal futt * That defining moment when a spec of dust gets stuck under the “Ctrl” or “Alt” key on your laptop’s keyboard * I won’t let you guys go till you dance with me * Where do you stay? Dilshukh Nagar? Wow, that must be far! * Samba! * My wife wants to visit Serengeti *Yaar mere ghar pe phone ka network nahin aata, landline pe call karna * Somehow whenever I take such by-lanes, I always end up at a dead-end, and you are always able to find your way out! * Repu? Sayantram? Aaa * 2 people voted up your answer to the question: “What do people eat for breakfast outside of the US?” * Aee namak shamak, namak shamak, aa-haa-haa * So much pending work, so many things to do, procrastination is a terrible thing * Tu agle janam me kya banegi? Non-living things bhi chalenge! * Nigella is food porn. She isn’t just food porn, she is also, porn! * Bol Raja * There is a ban on eating rice * Sahi, congratulations :) AK kya bola? * Aaj tu fir lights off karna bhool gaya office jate time * Dear Aditya Ji * You don’t like pan? You mean Paan? * I thought you were in LA, that is Los Angeles. I had no idea it meant Learning Academy! * There are some new sushi restaurants in Hyderabad * Is this your iPhone5? It was lying in my room! * Please dial 1 for banking, please dial 2 for credit cards. Sorry, we did not understand your input. Please try again, else hang up * Do you want an input? * Chal bye *
There is this quaint little place in Banjara Hills, Hyderabad, called “LaMakaan”, where you can find me almost every other weekend. You may find me there with a cup of Irani chai, a plate of samosas, a dish of khatti daal, a camera, or just my phone! You may find me there with my family, colleagues, Twitter friends, acquaintances, photographers, bloggers, random people, or just by myself! That place is so pretty, it is almost perfect – perfect for conversations – with yourself, with anyone! If you are the kinds who converse only on GTalk or FB, LaMakaan is still the place to be. Ask why? Because, Free WiFi!
When I was a kid, I was a complete introvert. It would not just get tough, but rather uncomfortable for me to strike a conversation with anyone, forget a stranger. I think I was in that mode pretty much till I graduated from college, and a bit into my first job. I would generally stay away from ‘people’, and much to my own self. Today, I think, I am in a much better position. I think I need to thank social media for that! Facebook, Twitter and the likes, make it easier to connect with people you share similar interests with. Similar interests means something to talk about. No? I think yes.
Everybody is talented. I learnt this at college. What talent each individual has, is best known by that individual himself. When I meet people, all I look for is their talent, all I see is their talent. Recently, I’ve come across a lot of people – at work, at parties, at social gatherings, at meetups, on Twitter, etc. All of them are awesome. Seriously! Now I know a bunch of people who bake great cakes, who write awesome blogs, who click awesome photographs, who know awesome restaurants, who travel to awesome places, who play awesome music, who are awesome fitness freaks… and the list goes on. You know, each of you is awesome! And a good conversation with any of you makes my day.
However, people often don’t know what their talent is, or they knowingly misuse it. Those are the kinds of people that worry me. These are people who don’t know where they are going. People who don’t know what they want from life. Okay I know that Great people discuss ideas. Average people discuss events. Small people discuss people. However, the people I am discussing here, are even smaller. Tiny, really lost in the vastness of the universe. These are the people I meet and wonder how lucky I am. These are the people I pity. These are the people I meet and wonder:
You changed your travel plan only so that you could come and stay with me for a day? You cared to go out of your way only to get my favorite perfume from Istanbul? You took me around the city when I had just moved in? You RT’ed my tweet when a friend’s friend’s friend’s wife needed blood in Srinagar? You replied to all my emails asking for help? You made a difference to my life! :)
You managed to lose 15 kilos last year? You have a baby and a full time job and also party every weekend? You climbed some of the highest peaks in the country? You fought a miscarriage? You sang a beautiful song? You made a difference to my life! :)
Talk to me about food, places, photography, health, technology, religion, history, policy, or just about anything under the sun! And I will figure out a way in which you would end up making a difference to my life :)
You all get a warm hug :)
And all you lonely people? Yes, you’ve made a difference too! You’ve taught me to be more cautious. You’ve made me realize that I can’t read people very well in the first interaction. And you’ve given me a chance to do my homework, sharpen my skills and be a better judge. You too, made a difference to my life :)
At the end of the day, it is the people you meet and the people you interact with, who shape the person you are! So, shall we catch up at LaMakaan? :)
Hello friend. How have you been? I saw you uploaded an awesome photograph of a lonely girl standing on a pristine beach with white sands and blue waters, with arms wide open! You look so pretty! Oh, and I saw your Twitter profile, wow those bangles in the background photo look amazing! Sad, we don’t see them much in the markets these days. Where did you get to buy them? And who took that picture?
You ‘liked’ that picture of the Phantom Sweet Cigarettes, doing rounds of ‘sharing’ on Facebook, didn’t you? Looks like you are an active member of this group called “Proud to be an Indian”. What fun it was smoking virtual rings of those sweet Phantom Cigarettes, scaring shit out of the elders. Cool yeah, long lost memories, good to have them refreshed.
Oh by the way, did you know that that image was actually created by me, from one of my photographs? Yeah, I searched high and low all over Pune to find those Phantoms. Eventually I had to mail the CEO of Harnik Sweets, Mr Gautam Harnik, asking him where I could find them. Here, you can read more about that story and also see the photograph on my original blog post. Go ahead, feel free.
Okay. Did you see that same photograph? Here it is again in case you felt too lazy to go and read the blog (I know you must be lazy, clicking “Like” and “Share” is easier than right-clicking on a link and reading it in another tab while you are at something else).
What I actually want you to see is that fine script at the bottom right end of the photo. You see that? It states that I hold the copyright for this image. Also, the disclaimer on my blog prohibits you from picking stuff without attributing it to me. Here is the link for that:
Essentially, you have violated my copyright by using my content, without attributing it to me. Worse, you even went one step ahead by cropping out the copyright line from the image. Well, you did not of course do it. Someone really smart must have done it, someone who knows how to use image editing tools too! You just promoted it further, you just shared it with an even larger audience. You just hit the “Like” and the “Share” buttons on Facebook. Simple for you, no? Not for me.
This is really trivial. It is a photograph that represents sweet memories of my childhood. But not just mine, it represents memories of millions of you, who are almost my age, who have lived during the times of the Phantom Sweet Cigarettes. I would be more than happy to share this with you, share the photo, share the stories, whatever you wish. I am happy to see that my photograph makes you happy.
Unfortunately, the story does not end there, I am pretty sure it won’t. This is not about sharing memories, this is about lifting content, without attribution or permission. I do not even get a link back to my blog, not even a ‘Thank You’ note. Some days later, the same FB group would have millions of followers/members and maybe even advertisers. The same FB group could use content uploaded on its page as its own for any kind of activity – marketing, political unrest movement, stalking people, anything – I am scared to even think of this. Content created by me or thousands of bloggers like me who use original content, gets shared across thousands of social media networks, groups and forums. Passing on links to the original content is acceptable, downloading and uploading as your own is not!
I also do a little bit of photography in my spare time. I make sure that I upload images with copyright information / watermarks only. However, I do not use tactics such as putting a huge watermark that covers 75% of the image. I think that really reduces the quality of my images and the appeal they carry. But I do expect you to respect the fact that I own the content I create – the photos I take and upload on my blog, the articles I write here, and anything I put on Facebook and Twitter. To think of it, Facebook and Twitter are turning out to be massive problems for people concerned about safety and copyrights. I never know when the photo I clicked of my beautiful friend will be downloaded from my photography page by a stupid girl only to upload it back as her own profile picture! People like you are shameless enough to put beautiful photographs as your cover photos on Facebook or background images on Twitter. Yes, websites like Pintrest scare me. It makes me wonder if the price of information and content on the internet is really zero!
A lot of bloggers are up in arms against this free lifting of content from our blogs. Read stuff that the Idea-Smithy has written on similar issues http://ideasmithy.wordpress.com/?s=copyright .
It is sad to know of such practices. Show some creativity guys, show some maturity. Show some decency to acknowledge the fact that you do not own the content you have uploaded. This does not go out only to you, but all the news reporters, and editors, and wannabe media people – You CANNOT lift images from someone’s blog or Facebook page to use it in a story or campaign of your own, without permission, or attribution and at times without paying a royalty.
Even as I publish this blog post, I am aware that there could be some content on my blog that is not created by me, for which I have failed to provide attribution. I am going through all my blog posts to check for those and make this blog a cleaner place.
Three years of dreaming and planning to visit this beautiful city, finally culminated in the most wonderful week long trip early this month! Roshnai and I visited the ancient and beautiful city of Istanbul, in Turkey. Not intending to give you the Wikipedia description of Istanbul here, but Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and the only metropolis in the world to be situated on two continents – Europe and Asia. Having a rich history of more than 2000 years, it was earlier known as Byzantium and later Constantinople. The historic old city areas around Sultanahmet were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Today, Istanbul is known for its history and historical monuments, architecture, ancient bazaars, the Bosphorus, delicious food, and vibrant cultural life. Go ahead and get a glimpse of most but certainly not all of that in our pics below.
Below is the map of Istanbul (from Google Maps) – as you see, the entire metropolis is split in three by water. The main strait Bosphorus divides Europe and Asia, while European Istanbul is further divided into north and south by the Golden Horn. The southern tip was the location of the old city of Constantinople, and has most of the historical monuments and tourist locations.
The Eyewitness Travels’ guidebook on Turkey was very helpful in making the most out of the trip but Saudi Arabian Airlines deserves a special thanks for providing really affordable non-low-cost flight tickets – almost 40% less than the current market rates. So far, I’ve had the best airline food in Saudi Arabian Airlines, even better than Emirates and Etihad, and for the price I pay to fly SV, I would not mind flying with them again!
I typically do not take photos from the aircraft, but found it difficult to resist the amazing Cumulus mediocris cloud formation!
Once in Istanbul, we first walked straight to the Blue Mosque. It was the first mosque I ever entered, and also the most beautiful one!
The dazzling Iznik tiles give it the name of Blue Mosque, and is considered to be the last great mosque of the classical Ottoman period
Right in front of the Blue Mosque, stands the much much older Hagia Sophia, or Ayasofia. Hagia Sophia, was a church from around 400 AD to around 1450 AD when the Ottoman emperor Sultan Mehmet ordered it to be converted to a Mosque.
In 1931 it was secularized and converted into a Museum. Today what you see inside is unmatched to anywhere else in the world. Christ and inscriptions of Allah in the same building!
Completed in 1660, the Egyptian Market or the Spice Bazaar is one of the largest markets in Istanbul. What you see inside is hundreds of shops selling pretty much the same stuff – all kinds of spices, sweets, nuts and dried fruits. Since the bazaar now focuses on tourists, if you go a little outside the market into the by-lanes, you can get better rates ;) and more variety.
The Grand Bazaar, completed around 1700 AD, is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the whole world. You will find around 3000 shops selling a large variety of things from carpets to lanterns, t-shirts to magnets, porcelain to gold, and many more things. It is a shoppers’ paradise but you need to be smart while spending and learn to haggle. Again, you would get the best deals if you venture out of the market and into the by-lanes – you will find a lot of whole-sellers, who would give you much better rates that would not require you to bargain.
On the other side of the old city, the New Mosque and Suleymaniye Mosque adorn the landscape, and are two of the most prominent features of Istanbul visible from the Bosphorus.
The Suleymaniye Mosque and the Shehzade Mosque overlooking the busy ferry docks at Eminonu. Both these beautiful mosques were built by famous Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan around 1550 AD.
Other popular places in the Sultanahmet square are the Historical Turkish Bath, and the Hippodrome. The pillar in the image below (right side), is the Obelisk of Theodosius imported from Aswan, Egypt and re-erected in Istanbul around the 4th century AD. It is one of the only few structures of the ancient Hippodrome of Constantinople that remain standing today.
You may spend anything between 4 Turkish Lira (about 2 USD) to 200 Turkish Lira (about 100 USD) for a cruise over the Bosphorus, the strait that connects the Sea of Marmara (Mediterranean Sea) to the Black Sea and links the Asian side of Istanbul to Europe. One trip was not enough so we took two! You get to see beautiful palaces along the Bosphorus, Yalis (seaside house), Mosques, and some very interesting perspectives of both sides of the megacity!
One of the most interesting things about the city is the multiple modes of transport that it offers its citizens and tourists. It has a very good mix of old traditional trams, to the most modern trams, subway trains, suburban trains, underground funiculars (trains that climb inclines), buses, ferries, and taxis!
No trip to Turkey is complete without having a traditional Turkish bath and watching a live belly dancing performance. Unfortunately, constrained by time and budget, we decided to spend our resources on something else. Having said that, I will rephrase – “No trip to Turkey is complete without having traditional Turkish food and sipping cay (chai/tea) and salep at a traditional Turkish tea shop!”
All we had for 7 days was Doner Kabab, and Simit breads, interspersed with gracious amounts of baklava, Turkish delight and coffee. Even though we both walked almost 5 km every day, we ended up gaining 1.5 kg each!
Turkish people are pretty! Especially the women ;) Most of the citizens follow Islam, but Turkey is a secular and open-minded country. Wearing the scarf or going to the mosque is not compulsory!
I think I have more photos of myself in this trip than all of my photos every taken all put together! Of course we had a great time shooting each other (with the camera), different poses, different backgrounds – but unfortunately, similar clothes since it was cold and we had just a couple of winter jackets!
Overall, it was a great trip! Great place, great food, and great memories! Unfortunately, you cannot do justice to Istanbul in less than 10 days, and to Turkey in less than 2 weeks. We could not visit any place outside Istanbul – the amazing hot water springs, the white sand beaches, Cappadocia rock formations and balloon ride… hopefully we will visit again, and cover what we missed!
I cannot end this post without mentioning for my dear friends and readers who would now like to visit Istanbul, that it was a budget trip for us and our total expenditure (for two of us) was Rs 1,00,000 or USD 2,000!
Lakhotia, Ramya and the rest – thanks for dreaming about Istanbul with me, made my resolve to travel stronger!
Can you please stop tossing around? * Go 1.5 km ahead and take the right turn on to MG Road * Tomorrow I’ll make you breakfast * Let’s go and play Baddy * Sorry for the salt, I think I put it twice * I hate the leaking tap, why don’t you call the plumber? * No, you won’t eat any more cold stone! * Invitation – Party Tonight, my place * No, not Tsubasa again, can we please have some Pachelbel? * I hate your braking these days * Please call Mamma * Hawaya? * There is this very interesting restaurant in Secunderabad * Who’s that chic? * Bfast? * Phbbt * On my way to Kondapur, have you started? * I don’t know what that guy is up to * Idly for breakfast? * I hate Excel, but it is better than your Access * Hehe * I am not going to Talkie Town ever again! * Do you want coffee or tea? * When will you leave? * Guntur Idly Rs 45 * Oh no, why does she come so early? * Vinay Kumar to Hyatt, OUT, 129.6 kph, (Hotel) Hyatt checks in and departs immediately! * Stop your alarm please, let me sleep * Did you see the starlings flying outside? * Kaun aayaaaaaa? * I’m on the edge, of glory * Speed limit 120 km/hr * Let us also stop by Vac’s for a post dinner treat * Are you meeting your friends today? * Away-lable * I will watch vampire movie if I get to eat Caramel Popcorn * 24 Likes, 15 Comments * Hand-la glass-u, glass-la scotch-u, eyes-u full-aa tear-u * Thanks, I was waiting for your message *
This post was shamelessly inspired by the The Marriage of Symphonies