Here’s a Ten on Tuesday on a Wednesday!! Of course, I can do that! 😉
Ten Commandments for Commenting
There is a similarity between blogging and a stage performance. In a show or a live performance, the appreciative applause, claps, whistles, catcalls, shouts, and sometimes rotten eggs, tomatoes and shoes are the barometers of a performance. When these whistles, catcalls or rotten eggs translate into words, they are known as the comments on our blogs.
Oh, there is no denying to the fact that we all love to receive comments on our blogs. Yes, even those, who say that “I write for my own self”.
We love to see the growing number of comments on our blog posts. A comment has the power to uplift our mood or to give us that happy feeling… or it can also make us cringe or even grimace! I am sure, we all have experienced these at different points of time. Based on observations and experience of reading and commenting on various blogs, I share the Ten Commandments for Commenting.
- Thou shalt read before commenting. You will not comment after just seeing a picture or the title of the post. By commenting without reading you are fooling nobody!
- Thou shalt comment sensibly. Your comments on a blog are like your business cards that you leave behind. They speak a lot about you. So, exercise your choice responsibly.
- Thou shalt add to the conversation. A ‘Good post” or “Agree completely” are the things of the past. Sharing what you liked about the article or adding an example from your own experience is a good idea.
- Thou shalt stay on the topic. Ok, you may like to comment about the grammar or the spelling errors, but it is important to connect with the post and be on the same topic while commenting. Starting your own discussion which is irrelevant to the post is not done.
- Thou shalt write comments that are easily comprehensible. Since, one can’t see your expression or your tone while you are commenting, it makes sense to comment in a language that is easily understandable. Using short forms of words like ‘l8r’ or ‘beta’ or commenting only with emoticons can be avoided.
- Thou shalt respect : You have all the rights to disagree with the views shared. Agree to disagree, respectably. Remember, when you’re commenting on a blog, you are actually a guest in their home. Your comment on a blog should be akin to your discussion you have with your friends while chatting over coffee.
- Thou shalt be creative : Agree sometimes, it is very easy to give in to simply write, “Beautiful post!” or “A great post.”, as you can’t find something better to comment on a post. That’s the time to don your creative hat! You are a creative blogger, isn’t it!?
- Thou shalt refrain from overdose of flattery. I guess, this is self explanatory.
- Thou shalt not spam. Please (see, it is a request!) refrain from sharing ‘Vote for my blog here’, ‘Read my latest post’ or ‘Visit my site’.
- Thou shalt proofread. It is better to fix the typing errors while commenting. Remember, your comments are your business cards…
Agree with these commandments??
Let your comments flow! 🙂
Ten Things I Hate about Hotels
- The unhygienic practices : This is my major grouse. Right from a 7 or a 5 Star hotel to a regular hotel, a guest house or a camp site to a home stay, the unhygienic conditions that prevail everywhere is abominably revolting. A report revealed that fecal bacteria was found on an astonishing 81% of the 18 surfaces analysed!! I remember seeing a cart full of towels and bed-sheets, and accidentally the towels fell on the ground (of course, they didn’t fell in a neat pile, so that one could discard the one touching the ground!). The housekeeping guy, simply put them back in his cart and unsuspecting customers like us would use them lovingly to wipe our faces… In yet another super luxury hotel, while the lunch of a large group was in progress, a housekeeping boy with his small fancy broom and dust pan was cleaning the food etc that fell on the ground. I had this ‘wow’ feeling and thought to myself that the hotel does not want to have its property dirty even for a few minutes. While, I was still enjoying this feeling, the very next moment, the cleaner, started cleaning the food that fell on the buffet table with the same broom and dust pan. His broom touched the plates where the serving spoons were kept and he also brushed the lids of the buffet chafing dishes! I had difficulty in swallowing my food after that!
- Cleanliness in the wash rooms : I was in this 5-star property and admiring myself in the mirror and just then a housekeeping lady enters with a small white napkin. She entered the stall no. 1 and wiped the toilet seat with that napkin. Then she moved to stall no. 2 and wiped the seat with the same napkin. I was shocked and disgusted. After her repeat performance in the next 2 stalls, I told her that she is not cleaning but spreading the germs from one place to another. She responded with a blank look!
- The hard and the soft : The pillows and mattresses in the hotels come in only too varieties… as hard as a rock or as soft as a pudding. There is no in-between or the just right variety. You either get up in the morning with a sore back or with a sore back!
- No resemblance between real and virtual : Last time we decided to stay in a home stay at Shoghi, near Shimla during Aaryan’s school exeat. After scanning more than dozen homestays on the net, we finalized one. On reaching the property we were speechless. The pictures on the internet were so very different from the reality. The food was great and that was a saving grace! At another place, the pictures were that of a large luxurious pool, while in reality it was a swimming pool for kids. When an advertised product or a service is far from reality, it is truly annoying.
- WiFi with sky high prices : We are living in the tech age and connectivity is the buzz word. But the hotel’s rates for WiFi compete with the gold prices. And a few which do provide free WiFi have such poor connectivity that it is better to shut the laptop down than work on it!
- Electrical sockets so rare and precious! : Sometimes, I wonder, if it is a rule that the electrical switches in hotels should be at unreachable places. In one hotel, the charging point was near the entrance of the room. So, when the alarm rang in the morning, I had to drag myself out of the bed to stop its incessant ringing. What a wonderful way to start a day!
- Exorbitant room service charges: Even a regular bottle of mineral water costs ten times its actual cost. A club sandwich with taxes was presented with a bill of Rs 850 only! My friend had a mini heart attack. She said with Rs 850, she could have made sandwiches to feed an army!
- Bathroom fixtures to test your intelligence : Each hotel has its unique and complicated set of bathroom faucets. They are never the simple ones. You are in a hurry to get ready and you have to struggle to get the tap to function!
- Tipping woes : I always believed that a tip is a reward for good service rendered and should be at our discretion and is in no way a mandatory custom. But at some hotels, right from the concierge, to the house keeping guy to the guard at the entrance, or the driver of the cab, all expect you to pay a tip even if you are far from satisfied with their services.
- The ‘friendly’ staff : Smaller the hotel, bigger are the chances of meeting the most unprofessional, casual, uncaring and even rude staff. Expecting a friendly and a professional staff from a service industry is a tall order.
Do you have any hotel woes?
Image Courtesy : Google Images
Ten Reasons : Why I Love Blog Challenges
This is my 6th daily blogging challenge. While I did the first 3 in isolation, the last 2 were done in a group. The experience of the last 2 everyday blogging challenges has left quite an impression on me. So, here are the reasons why I love taking up blogging challenges…
- Camaraderie : I guess, this is the foremost reason for doing blog challenges now. I simply love and enjoy the camaraderie of these virtual community events. The support from fellow bloggers and fun of flocking at each other’s blog is simply amazing.
- Active grey cells : Thinking about a new blog post everyday keeps the grey cells active… very active! Everything I look at, is from a blogging perspective, during these challenges. Also, these challenges certainly push me to think out of the box.
- Keeps me motivated : With a fabulous group of fellow bloggers to support and cheer you, who wouldn’t be motivated and excited to read and write everyday!!
- A good daily habit : “We first make our habits, and then our habits make us”, said John Dryden. Doing something every day is such a powerful way to form a habit and nothing is more satisfying and enriching than developing a daily habit of reading and writing!
- Develop a new network : I discovered a new set of bloggers during the A to Z Challenge and some more during the FMS May Photo Challenge. It is interesting to discover new styles, new perspectives and newer like minded virtual friends.
- A learning experience : Everyday one learns something new. A new outlook to an issue, some new blogging techniques, a different presentation, some interesting interactions… During the A to Z Challenge, I was amazed that a blogger (Bhavya) wrote a story from A to Z, while another kept the readers busy by getting them to crack codes and puzzles….
- A positive and much needed bonus : Yes, everyday writing has some positive effect on the overall writing style, or so I like to believe. 😉 Also it gives me some more clarity of thought and helps crystallize the random thoughts better.
- Crazy fun : Brainstorming over the phone or chatting on Whatsapp or discussing in a forum, interacting on the blogs is some crazy fun which I simply love.
- Challenging self : Martin Luther King Jr said, the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge … and I agree with him. Only after we accept the challenges, we can feel the exhilaration of achievement and success.
- There’s something more… : The month long of blogging gives you some big and small, shiny and creative badges to display proudly on the blog. 😉
Do these reasons excite you to take up a blogging challenge next time?
Ten Things about my Recent ‘Encounter’ with Auto-wallahs in Jaipur
- Recently, TOI conducted a series of workshops in our city and Photography was one among them. I immediately grabbed the opportunity to learn the tips and tricks of photography. The learnings and the experience of this workshop deserves a separate post, but this one is about the auto drivers, whose services I used to go back and forth the workshop venue.
- Some 50 meters away from our apartment complex, at the end of the road, there is this auto stand where 7-10 autos are parked at all hours of the day. During the day time, you will find them sitting in one auto and chatting away to glory. During the evenings you would see them huddled together around a small fire.
- You ask them, “Bhaiya, Tonk Road chaloge?” (Will you go to Tonk Road?) and the Act 1 of the drama begins. Half of them would turn away on hearing the destination, as if you are asking them to drop you on the moon. And this reaction is when your destination is in the centre of the city, which is a place buzzing with people and activities from morning to night and you are asking them to take you there at 10 am and not 10 pm!! The remaining 3-4 would push each other to take the “savari”. Listening to them say , “Tu iss savari ko leja” (You take this passenger) fills you with disgust.
- Reluctantly, somebody would agree and then Act 2 of the drama begins. You ask, “Kitna loge” (How much will you take?) And he says an amount which is twice the regular fare. You argue that you go daily to that place (even if it is the 2nd day of commuting to that place) and the fare is Rs 80. They turn back and go back to their conference room aka auto and continue with their agenda of the ‘meeting’. You leave the place and start walking on the main road and a few minutes later, an auto stops, you discuss your destination and the fare and surprisingly, these auto drivers always ask for a Rs 10 or 20 more than the ‘actual’ fare and agree to your ‘Rs 80’ immediately.
- Why you have to haggle about the fare is because these autos never go by meter, though they would start it as soon as you sit inside one. Their point is that the meter rate card is an old one and the price of diesel has increased. I wonder, if some action can be taken against them for not going by the meter!
- How does one arrive on the agreeable fare when the autos never go by meter and you are travelling by an auto after years! On the first day, you ‘interact’ ie do a market survey with 5-6 autos drivers and ask them the fare for your destination and then refuse all of them, one by one. After this interaction, you take the average of all the fares and arrive at an amount which could be the ‘right’ amount. You stop the next passing by auto and tell him what you will pay and voila! he agrees on the fare!
- The auto drivers in Jaipur city have to wear a blue shirt. Most of them never wear it before the start of the journey. Somewhere down the road they realise that the traffic cop would be visible, so they wear it over the clothes they are wearing and in turn either slowing down the vehicle or manoeuvring the vehicle precariously with one hand and using the other one to wear the blue shirt.
- Some of them drive at a break-neck speed, irrespective of the road. The traffic, the potholes, the speed-breakers just don’t mean anything to them. On a busy road, they will manoeuvre the auto so dangerously and sharply that you keep swaying to and fro on the seat. The jump over the potholes and speed-breakers ensure that all the contents of your stomach churn on their own. I wish there was some way of telling the muscularis externa in the stomach to take some rest and not to churn the food as the auto driver is helping to do just the same!
- Kumar Sanu would be proud of himself and would smile smugly to know that ALL the auto drivers (who have music systems in their autos) love him dearly! After ages I heard so many popular songs of Kumar Sanu with jhankar beats.
- Since these autos never go by the meter and the fare that you agree upon is a round figure and that too in denomination of 10, still these guys never have change. The fare is Rs 80, you give Rs 100, and Act 3 of the drama begins… they put their hand in that pocket which has no money and with a sorry face, they say, “Sorry madam, change nahin hai”. Now, where you stop is a corner of a traffic junction, and the only shop that you see is a pan shop which is also a few meters away. You try to get the change from the paanwala and he refuses without even looking from whatever he is doing. Mind you, it is your responsibility to get the change, not the Auto driver’s! And since you can’t be asking for the change from any passer-by (who will definitely refuse too), you part with your 100 rupee note without getting the change! A six day workshop and traveling exactly a dozen times in the auto, my travelling expenses were more than the workshop fee!
How has been your experience with the Auto-wallahs in your city??
Image Courtesy : Google Images