It is an oft repeated statement that in this age of digital media, electronics has changed nearly every aspect of our lives, including the way we communicate, the way we write, and even the way we read. Smartphones have replaced the old phones, and kindles, and tablet readers have converted many old-fashioned book readers to e-book readers and many authors into self-published authors. The devices that brought e-books into the mainstream are book readers like Amazon’s Kindle or Barnes and Noble’s Nook. Kindle is by and far the most popular e-book readers and is one of the Amazon’s best-selling products. The word Kindle means ‘to ignite’, hence it is an apt metaphor for the intellectual enlightenment associated with reading.
Articles by Somali K Chakrabarti
Selfie – a word that was sparsely used even till 2010, has gained widespread usage over the last 3-4 years. The fact that ‘Selfie’ was nominated as ‘word of the year 2013’ by the Oxford Dictionary proves how the selfie has infiltrated into our daily lives. The concept of selfie is not exactly a new one. Self- portraits or clicking one’s own picture with a camera have been around since quite some time. The early incarnations of selfie, were taken by people experimenting with their new cameras to see how their images would turn out. When the use of cameras became widespread, selfies were generally taken by those who would be travelling alone. The advent of smartphones, however, has made it much easier and quicker to take selfies. Unlike the first generation selfies, selfies today can be instantly shared with friends and family or even publicly.
Úde jab jab zulfein teri’, Ýeh Reshmi Zulfon ka..’ Yeh reshmi zulfe yeh sharbati ankhe’ The common attribute for the three songs mentioned above is the word ‘Zulf’ (meaning hair). Yes, hair has featured prominently in a number of romantic Hindi songs and poetry. Not so in case of English songs or poetry…maybe the reference to hair as a romantic expression is more specific to Indian culture. Hair also finds reference to Indian mythology. River Ganges was released from Lord Shiva’s hair to meet the needs of the country according to Hindu mythology. But why all this fuss about hair? The simple reason is that by the end of the week hair turns frizzy and we had gathered to find a solution for dealing with the frizz of hair.
It was 7 pm. I hurried into the restaurant, somewhat excited at the prospect of meeting Oli. Finding a seat for two, I seated myself comfortably. Soft music played in the dimly lit restaurant. Oli, my ex colleague, was in town for a week and we had decided to catch up for dinner. I was to see her after a gap of 16 years to be precise. In all these years she had metamorphosed into a self-proclaimed diva and had acquired a quasi-celebrity status on the social media, posting pictures taken on her birthdays, anniversaries, and every other occasion that one can think of. Innumerable pictures of hers including close-ups of her face, exotic shades on her eyes, trendy hairstyles and bags, her cat, her hubby, friends, as well as the leftovers in her food plate flooded the social media. Her immense success on social media could be measured in terms of the FB likes and comments that followed the posts.
A few years back, when my daughter was growing up, one of my favourite weekend pastime was to go with her to Crossword bookstore. Dropping in at Crossword lifestyle bookstore on the way to the super market was integrated into our weekend schedule. We both would go to the respective sections of our choice, browse through some books, read a few chapters and pick up a few that we wanted to purchase, have some snacks and then leave. The well-lit stores with books neatly stacked on smooth wooden racks, soft light instrumental music playing in low volume in the background provided the perfect ambience for getting lost in a book. The demarcation of different categories made it easier to spot the books in a particular category. Most of all, I loved the Crossword Recommend Section.
History has always foxed me. My love – hate relationship with the subject has ranged from levels of extreme boredom while trying to remember the lengthy answers from the school text books, to intense engagement while reading Amar Chitra Katha, while watching historical movies like Sikander, Mughal-E-Azam, The Last Emperor, Gandhi, Braveheart, Gladiator, or while seeing historical monuments and trying to unravel the stories behind them. The enigma of forts and palaces never fails to fascinate me. I like to uncover the mystery behind the stones, which having witnessed many a battles, echo the war cries, tell tales of valour, mourn the loss of lives, reek of treachery, and speak about the opulence and the lifestyle of the rulers of the bygone era.
It is human nature to trust recommendations from those who they find credible. When I plan a journey, I often reach out to my friends who have previously been to the place, for recommendations on places to stay, food and transport etc. The same holds good before I make a new purchase. Probably that is the reason why it doesn’t come as a surprise to me when a research from Nielson indicates 92% of consumers trust recommendations from other people — even someone they don’t know — over content created by a brand. Perhaps in the same way, when people share their experiences, opinions and ideas online through blogs, those become effective source of recommendation. No wonder, blogs are fast emerging as a potent platform for promoting brands!
‘Stationery is the lifeline of any office’ Does this sound like an exaggeration? Think of it. Much like fuel is needed to keep a car running, stationery is needed to keep an office running. When you own or manage an office, buying office supplies invariably happens to be one of the most tedious jobs that needs to be done regularly without fail. You certainly would not want to run out of cartridge when you are just about to print an important letter that needs to be urgently dispatched. Likewise, you would not want to feel exasperated when the marker stops working while you are making a presentation to your client, and you don’t find another one handy. Huh!
Catching up with friends over a cup of coffee is a delightful proposition for most people. Realizing the need for young people to hangout in an ambient atmosphere, the brand that pioneered the café culture in India is Café Coffee Day or CCD (as we know it).