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How does our life revolve?

The Indispensables

30+ texts, 100+ authors, professors, designers, 4000+ pages encyclopedia. This has been the journey of a noble cause initiated by Interactive Design Foundation (IDF). interactive design logo

What do they do?

IDF works as a team to provide free educational material to everyone and especially those who cannot afford education from premier colleges. IDF aims to share content for free which is communicated by the slogan  ‘Knowledge wants to be free’, embossed on the logo. Their content includes books, CDs, images, professional connections, workshops, conferences, wiki tools and another innovative component. That component is a ‘Knowledge Tour’.

Knowledge Tour

This tour has been planned to travel around the world to give away educational material for free. The tour is designed to use bikes for eco-friendly reasons and has set of other interesting tools to complete the expedition. Track more about the tour on

My favourite Hobby

With the current trending in the education space, words like exams, fear, depression, nervousness and tension have become synonymic in usage while referring to EXAMS. All this darkness arises during exams because the meaning and purpose of examination has diluted to a pre-requisite for a certification.

Intent to hold exams

The basic intent behind conducting examinations was to allow a student to self appraise and allow the tutor to use it as an evaluation tool. In the ancient time, examination was one of the tools used by a teacher to evaluate the students’ level of knowledge, skill sets and performance. However, in the current era, sadly, examination is the ONLY tool to evaluate a student.

It is time for teachers to expand their ways and means of assessing a student’s ability, skill, knowledge and attitude. With the rising need to approach an exam differently, students also have to re-orient themselves towards exams.

Exam fever at different temperature

The exam fever takes a different avatar depending on the importance of the exam in one’s life, extent of using the results as an evolutionary determinant and impact on one’s persona with a trepidation to disapproval.

For instance competitive exams like CAT, MAT, GATE and so on are screening tests or more of an elimination round for the assessors to pick the best from the crowd. However, each competitive exam will have its hidden criteria to select the right candidates for a given course or job.

Similarly, the main motive behind conducting term-wise exams in schools is to ensure that children and in sync with the pedagogy and are acquiring the necessary knowledge and aptitude required by their age. But now the purpose of conducting is not this anymore. Schools conduct more and more of these exams and tests to check their status of churning out more number of education board toppers.

With this we can infer that the true motive of holding exams is meant for progressive reasons. Hence, it is good to revisit our approach towards writing and preparing for exams.

PREFACE – 91 notes


“Perseverance, focus and goal orientation are commonly heard from people who like talking about them or who are most obliviously seeking for them.” These words can make quite a jargon.

We do not know when these attributes have manifested themselves as US, apart from being just an experience. They are keys to open all the secret lockers in your heart. When we open them, we move towards self realization and this, only our mind realizes. The mind always takes care of comprehension and our heart of one’s experience.

Biography and life stories about J.K.Rowling and Shri Parthasarathi Rajagopalachari have been instrumental in writing this story.

Experiences from my personal life have been influential in weaving this story.  It is purely fictitious yet very close to every person’s life who is trying to balance it. Music, cat race in career building have influenced my decision making and various choices in life. You may find shades of these in this story. All through the story there is one question that the hero, Vaibhav finds unanswered “when and why should I listen to my heart? And when and why should I listen to my mind?”

It is for you to see if this is answered or is it for you to answer?

91 notes

The aaS in Cloud Computing

Cloud computing as a concept has changed the face and revolutionized the way organizations deal with database management, storage, IT systems‘ integration, virtualization, change management, project management and employee engagement.

Cloud computing is the smart usage of network but with a lot of aaS es in it. These are not the asses, we know as a donkey, but aaS – ‘as a Service’ tagged to all the functionalities that could be used on a cloud.

Here is a list for you:

AaaS – Application as a Service

AaaS – Analytics as a Service

BaaS – Backend as a Service

DaaS – Database as a Service

IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service

PaaS – Product as a Service

SaaS – Software as a Service

MaaS – Monitoring as a Service

CaaS – Communication as a Service

XaaS – Anything as a Service

Social Media Recruitment

With the swirling buzz about social media, there is another branch added to its tree. Recruitment as a function is being executed effectively through social media platforms, Linkedin being the topper.

HR executives specializing in the recruitment vertical are sprawling  all over social media platforms. These platforms have set a stage to focus on the specific skill sets and leverage to engage with the right guys.

What are the verticals opening in this space?

Quite a few HR processes are replicated into online processes and are being deployed effectively.

Employee Engagement: Salesforce an early entrant in cloud computing has built systems to enhance employee engagement. The ecosystem of social media networks like facebook and orkut are replicated in these organizational social media networks to allow employee engagement and get a pulse of trends running in the organization. On these platforms certain features are customized for the needs of an organization.

Recruitment: HR recruiters are smartly engaging on different social media to identify candidates who best suit their organization’s requirements. These managers engage in building their network and replenishing their human resource bank with potential candidate contacts.

Interviewing: The stereotypical picture of a recruiter asking questions to a potential candidate across a desk is being substituted by skype calls, facetime and chat rooms. Now people are more and more getting accustomed to virtual habits and hence are using virtual tools to make interview calls and recruitment decisions.

Social media allows the management to know more about an employee’s social life and track their personal references without literal head hunting and investigation.

Parents in India

After the World War II, we saw that the yester-generation in India was motivated by a government job. A person who had a government job was considered successful and fathers were ready to give their daughters in marriage to young men with government jobs. In those day a private job was seen as a risky affair.
After introduction of LPG and Y2k massacre, the trend changed. Success = to having a private IT job. Children were sent to special coaching classes to become an engineer or doctor. This became an educational bubble a kid’s smartness was determined by the course chosen after 10th standard. Commerce and Arts turned invisible to parents, who themselves were treated as kings sometime back. Now, these commerce and art graduate parents pushed their children towards their glorious future as an engineer or doctor. After a few years, parents were also bit by the MBA sting.

What is the parental attitude now? Parents see their children as future CEOs and entrepreneurs. Now, children are encouraged to be innovative and to create new things. The next bubble is growing towards entrepreneurship.


Why should I have a hobby?

Pursuing a hobby is always an unknown and oblivion act to enhance and develop one’s personality. We indulge in a hobby that represents our personality. People on the softer side choose music, dance or painting as a hobby. People with an adventurous instinct choose wild hobbies like mountaineering, underwater diving and so on. Similarly people enjoying heritage or who like exchanging and networking involve in collectibles.

Sometimes people deliberately choose a hobby to communicate about their likes and dislikes, about their personality and about their choices.

Why should I pursue a hobby?

Stress-buster: For those who engage in busy careers, pursuing hobby becomes important. To vent out their emotions and set aside a space for themselves, people indulge in a hobby. Some such stress busters are cooking, pottery, bird watching, swimming, etc.

Instills a sense of appreciation: When we immerse ourselves in gaining a skill set, it involves practice. With practice, we hone our skills to pursue our favourite hobby more artistically. By involving in ardent practice, we can understand  and empathize with another hobbyist and the effort it takes to deliver the same. Though this is a long process, people with a hobby instill in themselves a sense of appreciation.

knowledge enhancement: A hobby cannot always be pursued in solitude. It requires knowledge sharing and team work. When we start advancing and gain acumen pertaining to a hobby, we need more and more relevant information. For this we engage and network with other hobbyists. This allows knowledge enhancement.

Self change happens: Unknowingly as we progress in exploring a hobby, we change with the changing level of skills and obviously changing perception.

Self development: We develop our personality and the aura around us, which changes the world. Though this sounds spiritual and ethereal to hear, a person who has pursued a hobby sincerely for over 5 to 6 years would agree with this aspect of improvement.

Community help: A hobby has its own network and ecosystem due to which it exists among us. This existence helps a community in an indirect way. It provides employment and avocation to people who are unemployed and idle.

Costs you lesser than a penny and gives you a world of fun! Learning a new language has never been a more attractive choice than it is today. With the virtual world shrinking and more and more people associating themselves as global citizens, a trend fuelled by increasing travel, there has been a growing interest and curiosity to learn about more than one’s own culture.

It is a matter of pride to be multi-lingual and is a hot skill these days. It is helping many job seekers to land in a job easily, when combined with other regular skill sets. As learning a new or foreign language is widely touted to increase critical thinking skills, creativity, and flexibility.

But as a hobby too, learning a new language is an interesting proposition. With all the resources available on Internet, it renders itself as a beautiful and enjoyable journey that connects one to new cultures and help in becoming more eligible citizens of this new global society!

Here is a simple and effective plan that helps you get started on this neo-journey,

  1. Decide on what language to learn. Preferably a language you are a little familiar with and want to become fluent, or a totally new foreign language to enjoy the fun of learning something completely novel.
  2. Establish different stages for the whole learning experience – Initially, you may want to learn the language just to be able to understand movies and get a peek into that country’s culture. Later, you may want to be able to speak in that language with your friends or envision building a profession, or you may further want to become a language expert that requires you to read and write as well.
  3. Look up on the internet and try to design a learning program that would help you make use of all the available resources. This may include, enrolling on websites that sends you a daily dose of learning or some animated exercises that lets you learn in an interactive way or finding a native speaker that can spend some time talking to you, be a part of forum where your learning is made more holistic.

When you start making progress with your learning, it is also a great idea to start using what you learn in your day-to-day conversations. This hobby is quite contagious and may soon land you up with some company from your own circle, bringing in that extra bit of fun!


Malnourished education in rural India

Few decades ago good quality of food and grains and nourishment to the children in backward areas of India were the attention seeking topics while planning the budget and five year plans. Government has shown progress in solving these issues and now it has new issues to tackle.

Education provided to children is inadequate. Though the number of rural children attending schools is on a rise, the quality that they receive is disappointing.

Rural education problems in India

Fewer committed teachers: The school’s administration and teacher’s work culture is not good enough for schools to attract committed teachers to rural schools. Multiple classes are consolidated in one room and the teacher teaches the same topic to all classes.

No proper textbooks and learning material: Government is making efforts to provide good material but it is poorly implemented. Children are not receiving enough aids for their intellectual growth.

Difficult choice between earning money and free education: Though government schools are available for free, it is difficult for people to below the poverty line to choose between engaging their children into an occupation for livelihood versus engaging them for futuristic benefits into a school.

What is the solution?

Parent network: Parents who can spare time can come and add to the teaching force. This network has to increase to generate better quality of content and teaching methodologies for the children from the rural areas.

Alumni network: Students who have made it big can contribute back by adopting one of handicapped schools as a visiting teacher. This instills interest in the children to meet this new person periodically. The person’s personal background would add value to their learning.

Teacher network: Teachers form different schools could work on a teacher exchange programme for a couple of months to share ideas, teaching aids, classroom feedback and so on.

Solutions mentioned above have taken the aid of networking. It simply expands the world, which otherwise limits us from exposure.


This title may sound promising and inspiring, but I have opted to write about something you may not want to read. A gruesome act, that is rapes in India.Why am I writing about this? This is a reaction to what happened last year in December at Delhi. After hearing her story in the newspaper, I was not ready to watch any news about her nor see pictures related to the incident. The newspaper article shook me enough that I could not take it anymore.

I am still surprised and shocked  at how the victim could handle while the act happened. I couldn’t even handle a story that happened somewhere away from my city. Recently I gathered courage to read more and more about her story. I realized that her story made it to the headlines but, there are millions of such stories hidden under the blanket of society and civilization.

Since, HCC writes for students, colleges and companies, since its focus is on the education sector, I thought I should use this platform to bring a difference and change myself. Women are supposed to be bearing the progeny of this nation, of this world. We need women to cook food, to create homes, to expand our family and dynasty . What happens when we are indulging in an act so cruel? What happens to our sanity, civilization and education when we look at a woman?

When I investigate the cause of rapes any where in the world, I see only one reason – US, or rather I. We as fellow beings have never shown empathy towards strangers, neighbours or even our family. Parents don’t understand what children want to say. Children don’t understand what parents have to say. As students, it is a learning that we have to work towards changing ourselves before changing the world. Teachers are looked up to as FACILITATORS not as propagators or preachers. Hence, there is no right for teachers to state that this generation has to change. We should change as teachers. We need to build a work culture for SELF CHANGE at our companies.

Am I better than what I was yesterday? Do we ask this to ourselves everyday? We all join the blame game enthusiastically. When the media flashes the question on the TV screens “Who is responsible for this state of affairs?“, we see a panel discussing about how the Government is incapable, how the ministry has not paid attention to women issues, how the police and security in the city is reducing, how men are treating women at their homes, how eve-teasing is growing day-by-day and a lot more for people to talk about. Nobody raises the finger backwards and says “I am to be blamed”.

How many of us stop our GUY friends from passing filthy comments about girls? How many of us stop ourselves from passing filthy comments? We say this is a GUY THING. It is the GUY THING to talk about girls like that. I would be saddened to hear about the GUY THING, because if that is the what guys are all about, then what are they capable of. Here I don’t represent the entire community. I am only referring to those who are proud about the GUY THING.  How many fathers tell their sons, to be empathetic to people around them? There are fathers who encourage them by saying “this is the AGE, when will he look at girls, when he is 70?”.

Where does all this lead to? A simple inference that our attitude should change. We should change. We should tell ourselves today, make a promise that ” I WILL MAKE AN EFFORT TO CHANGE MYSELF TODAY”.


Careers in Marketing

careers in marketing

This maze of letters has 15 marketing careers hidden in it. Look for them and feel free to post your accomplishment in the comments section.

When do you see the need of planning finances as an ENGINEER?

As a student, though your parents may make major efforts to pay your college fees, you as a student would have to plan your finances. Right from paying for a paid seat in college vs a free seat to funding your fresher party ticket amount, your parents take care of it. The accepted culture in this aspect is ironical. When parents face this task of spending money, they crib yet pay for their children. Once it is paid somewhere a false ego of parents bloats and the act of paying for such merry gets justified. This note is for parents and students who want to state a difference and are ready to approach finances practically.

  1. Personal finances: Planning personal finances at college seems next to impossible. When we inspect into the money we spend on various things and prepare a log of it, we understand how much mismanagement of money takes place. Especially in urban India, youth are not introduced into the habit of recording expenses. However, inculcating this habit would prove purposeful and useful in your career days.
  2. Further education: The herd trend among engineers in India is that, after their engineering course, students either tend to pursue MS in a foreign country or get into a job. Irrespective of, whether you are following this trend or not, you need to plan your finances for further education which could masters in science, MBA or PhD as you proceed in life.
  3. Your future and Career: Most students who step out as engineers engage is different worlds and turn out to be something fascinating. Youth at this juncture are seeing dreams with eyes wide open. To fulfill these dreams you need to get into the habit of financial planning.
  4. Contingencies may manifest in any form. Sometimes they are harsh to handle. Spare some money aside to handle them boldly.

For your career, at a later time, you will feel that your world has expanded. You need more to survive. You opt to join a job to accomplish many personal aspirations as well as those coined with your family’s aspirations.

  1. Career learning: As you start your career, you would realize that the skill sets acquired at college are not enough for you to excel. With this realizations starts your second round of learning. This includes certification courses, management programmes and other professional courses. This again demands money.
  2. Living: In Indian culture children and parents are together irrespective of age. Now the trend has set in where girls and boys are building their mini forts by staying on their own to pursue their career in different cities. With this you become the owner of your life, which means you will have to pay for your living expenses like food, water, utilities, telephone and so on.
  3. Your family: One fine day you have to take complete responsibility of your family and that is the day you will be proud that this article prepared you to plan your finances. You family will demand your presence as well as your material assets. So watch out and preparing from today.


Financial Engineer

Engineers face a lot of trouble when they know that they are getting into Banking and Finance domain at their company. Especially the team leaders and HR managers of IT firms face, engineers cribbing about staying long in this domain to develop. With the introduction of this career, if you are an engineer, you will understand the magnitude of scope of engineering in FINANCE!
What is Financial Engineering ?
According to Zvi Bodie, financial engineering is the application of science-based mathematical  models to decisions about saving, investing, borrowing, lending, and  managing risk.
Financial engineering (FE) involves creating functional financial devices – convertible bonds, warrants, synthetic CDOs, etc.  All of us invest our money at some point into bonds, options and stocks.  FE is the science behind determining these investment options and come up with a sound formula for a safe investment avoiding volatility.
This is simplest form of understanding FE. Finance, mathematics, business, statistics are some of the key subjects one needs to study in the course of FE. Just because this is more to do with stocks and trading, we cannot ignore the science aspect. A person who chooses a career in this field have to be adept at computer programming.
Further career prospects for a financial engineer
  • Quantitative analyst
  • Financial analyst
  • Options research
  • Asset management
  • Consulting
  • Derivatives research
  • Risk management
  • Data Analyst

Some of the listed roles above require additional knowledge and qualification.

Top 10 hobbies that fetch the most in India

India is an eventful country and that provides umpteen opportunities for teenagers and students to capitalize on their hobbies for pocket money. Some hobbies would fetch more than just pocket money. Those hobbies are listed here for students who are already pursuing them:

Design and Illustration: If you are good at digital design and illustrating ideas into figure forms, you will have loads of options to earn your money. Apart from design houses there are many corporate sector digital needs which could be a right fit for you to work with.

Photography: You can focus and have an eye for detail, photography suits you best. It is good to work under a professional before contracting assignments on your own.

Web designing: This is an extension to digital and graphic designing. Web designing involves programming, developing and designing. To pursue this, you will require a team to handle the scale as you grow.

Writing: There are very few, truly able professional writers who can actually sell a story to their audience. The corporate world has a dearth for good writers and they require people who can speak on behalf of a firm through their writing skills.

Event management: As mentioned in the beginning, in a eventful country like India, events always happen. There are a lot of resources to be gathered, deadlines to be achieved, processes to be monitored to host an event. In the urban areas, event management is a good part time avenue.

Choreography: Dance studios, weddings, corporate shows and entertainment shows require dance troops to perform on specific themes. Your dancing and creative abilities could be tuned to fit their requirements are create a unique dance piece.

Tutoring: School children, hobby learners, skill learners require tutors in their areas of interest. If you are good in a subject matter and at tutoring, this hobby could fetch you a reasonable monthly income.

Cooking: This hobby need not be limited to your kitchen. You could spread the aroma by catering food to small parties and gatherings. This would help build your network and culinary skills.

Music: Like dancers, singers and instrumentalists are required for professional reasons. Singers have opportunities on radio, for advertisements, entertainment reasons and so on. Same is the case with instrumentalists.

Bridal make over: Weddings are on a high in India. Big fat wedding is a popular fad. With the country getting, we can see ostentatious weddings. This trend has provided opportunities for people who have make up as a hobby.

Earn money! Learn more.

Perfect 10

Top 10 hobbies

A Journalist’s skill kit in 2013

Journalism has gone through a cosmetic surgery over the years, in terms of the skills required by a journalist. A diploma or degree in journalism is not enough for a person to have a strong career as a journalist.

Some obvious skills and acumen required by a journalist:

  • Writing
  • Investigation skills
  • Exploratory approach
  • Courage to present the truth
  • Speaking

Skills apart from those:

  • Design sense
  • Graphic designing
  • Programming
  • Entrepreneurial
  • Photography
  • Video editing
  • Social Media
  • Networking


Which brand is Dhoni endorsing? How long did Sania stay in the transit airport? Who are the members in the team selected for the next world cup? Will Saina will the next badminton tournament? Which sports star will be the next brand ambassador for the most popular sports shoes?

These are the questions you will be investigating and answering as a sports journalist.

Sports and journalism feels weird as a combination when we hear it for the first time but it makes a great career. Those of you who enjoy writing and sports equally can make a great career in sports journalism.

At college what should I do to prepare for this career?

Sports Journalism

1. Follow sports like you breath

2. Practice writing everyday

3. Promote or join a sports magazine at college.

4. Join an internship programme where both are possible.

5. Read a lot about sports and do not miss any opportunity to meet a sport’s celebrity.

What are the skill sets required by a journalist in this era? Read here. 

IT expanded as Information Technology

Information Technology

The 100 Best Jobs – 2013

Courtesy: US News

All jobs aren’t created equal. In fact, some are simply better than the rest. U.S. News 100 Best Jobs of 2013 are the occupations that offer a mosaic of employment opportunity, good salary, manageable work-life balance, and job security. Some careers offer just the right mix of these components—for instance, our top tier is filled with tech and healthcare jobs—but the list also includes strong showings from occupations in the social services and business sectors. Even construction jobs enter the fray this year. Read more on how we rank the best jobs, and check out our full list.

Read further:

Spice up your cooking with a hint of innovation!

Cooking can get really boring if you look at it as a mundane chore. Yet most of us cannot do without it. There is some good news though. There are hordes of innovative ways to spice up this task.  For people pressed for time and cannot afford to spend hours in the kitchen, let us try our hand with a few quick fix strategies to pep it up.

 Do some homework, set a menu! And plan your week ahead

Decide on what type of novel recipes you would like to explore in the week – a side dish, or a salad or any dessert! It could be an absolutely new variety of salads you have never tried before or an interesting global cuisine that you came across on a food show or a variety of soup recipes you found on the internet that claim to go easy on your tummies and give your dinners a healthy boost. Just make sure they are absolutely new on your menu. Make a day –wise planner for the entire week. Pick up those recipes that that do not mess up your calorie conscious diet regimes and take less time to prepare.  This is to ensure you come back to such fun activities in future.

Stick up the recipes of your choice on your kitchen’s cabinetry or fridge!

This way you have the ready reckoner available and you know what you plan to cook. It

Today's menu

Today’s menu

should also help you shop accordingly. Shop for all the ingredients you need in advance so that you don’t foil this fun assignment half way through.

Get the soup boiling and record the fun experience!

Take a quick look at your note every morning when you enter the kitchen. Look forward to that day’s menu and the episode of fun that comes along.  Start cooking and get the fun trip rolling. Take some random pictures all the way long right from when you start shopping till you lay them down on the table. It’s a beautiful experience when you look back once the activity is over. If it enthused you more than your expectations, get people to write some comments on the pictures and stick them up on your cabinetry of refrigerator for a few days. You can even post them on your blog too.

Try doing this activity once in a while. Makes one and all happy!

Copy writing vs Content writing

Content writing is a trend, journalists and writers are happy about. However, it is not something every writer can opt for. It involves an extended set of skills to work as a content writer.

What is the difference between Copy writing and Content writing?

Copywriter is a common job role found in advertising and marketing functions. Especially copywriters are indispensable resources in the advertising field because they initiate ideas and builds concepts for the ad campaigns to run. They write copy that suits a client’s branding, marketing and advertising needs. A good copywriter carves out his/her niche with their lucid writing skills, comprehension skills and creative ability.

Content writers on the other hand, deal with a wider scope. Most people relate ‘content’ to ‘text’. They both are considered synonymous. However this is a glaring misconception people live with. The definition of content is not limited to text. Content means any resource used to communicate and convey an idea. In marketing, content is majorly used to run branding campaigns.

In this context, CONTENT includes TEXT, IMAGES, STORIES, VIDEO, INFOGRAPHICS and a lot more upcoming categories. Therefore content writing includes design, programming, presentation, speech, scripting and directing apart from writing. Writing can be substituted with the other abilities depending on the content we plan to generate.

This simply expands the scope of content writing. Hence, if you want to pursue a career in content marketing watch out for the other skill sets mentioned above. If you don’t have any them, start learning them before you are labelled as an out date.

Biotechnology: Biology + Technology

Do you move restlessly in your bed trying to solve biological problems with technology? Do you feel living systems can be made better by the use of technology? If your answer is YES to both the questions, then you should explore biotechnology.

What is biotechnology?

Biotechnology involves working with living systems and bringing in technology where ever improvement is possible those systems. A sequence of biotechnology, bioinformatics and bioengineering is used in the life of a bio-tech product. Biotechnology is used in healthcare, environmental studies, crop production, agriculture and food production.

Skills required to pursue a career in Biotechnology

Basic lab skills, administration, inquisitiveness towards solution, problem solving, technical communication skills, decision making and creativity.

Courses in biotechnology

  • Bachelor degree in Biotechnology
  • B.E/B.Tech in Biotechnology
  • Masters in Biotechnology
  • M.Tech in Biotechnology
  • M.Phil in Biotechnology
  • MBA Biotechnology
  • PhD in Biotechnology

Career opportunities after you pursue Biotechnology:

Application of Biotechnology

Biotechnology as a study, can be applied in the following fields:

  • Marine Biotechnology
  • Medical Nanotechnology
  • Neurosciences
  • Agriculture Biotechnology
  • Industrial Biotechnology
  • Food Processing
  • Bio Processing Industries
  • Chemicals
  • Pharmaceutical and Drug Industry
  • Environment Control
  • Energy
  • Waste Management
  • Public Funded Laboratories
  • Genetics
  • Arms and ammunition
  • Bionic architecture

College is a cool playground to implement your start up ideas. This will also be encouraged by the management. To start a business at college you need to identify a niche market, where you can sell a product or service. Once you identify the market, make a list of resources you require. Form a team with your seniors, peers or juniors. You could involve one of your professors as a mentor. Your customers could be students, tutors, management or parents.

  • IDEA 1: Stationery store – Start a stationery store at subsidized rates for colleges. Your college could be your first customer. Colleges require basic stationery items like pens, markers, chalk, notepads, papers and so on. Apart from that some electronic items like headphones, mouse, usb sticks could be added to your product catalogue for sale.
  • IDEA 2: Virtual learning – Colleges are hubs for learning. To develop a ecosystem to educate each other is always a challenge. Create a virtual learning support system for your college and involve other colleges eventually. Manage your college community and engage with other colleges to build an interactive and supportive ecosystem.
  • IDEA 3: Personal tutoring – Few students at college require personal attention which not be possible in a classroom. Professors and lecturers may not be accessible all the time for students. If you are good at a subject you can capitalize this opportunity. If you are a smart kid, help your peers and tutor them one-on-one. You could charge a nominal fee for spending your time with focused attention on the student.
  • IDEA 4: Sports education – Though college is centered on academic learning, sports will definitely be a part of the curriculum. Cricket, hockey, basketball or any other sport that rules your college could be a great source of income. Conduct innovative games and introduce new game methodologies for students to enjoy sports and apply them during tournaments. Coach your juniors and peers in college sports. Bring in seniors as sport mentors.
  • IDEA 5: Notes on my back: T-shirts are a common wear among youth. T-shirts with academic notes could be your unique selling proposition (USP). This will inculcate easy learning among students. Your t-shirt will have a new piece of information for your friends to learn and you will have other t-shirts to learn from. This could be a good learning methodology. You can sell to other colleges by customizing their logo on it.

For those who can’t afford to go through a regular course, at a regular college, yet want to pursue education and gain a degree, distant education is perfect choice! Distance education is also referred to as ‘education by correspondence’. Distance education in India is governed by Distance Education Council (DEC). 

Who chooses distance education?

Everyone cannot afford to join a regular college due to time constraints, family obligations, gender discrimination or lack of monetary support. For such people India has many courses to offer through distance education. Sometimes for various other reasons a student drops out of a regular college. Such discontinuation could be renewed by a distance course.

What should be my approach when I choose a correspondence course?

This is more challenging than a regular course. In a regular course, students get the support of  tutors all the time, engaged in various college affiliated networks to share knowledge and also have the support of placement cells.

In a correspondence course our five senses have to be open to draw information from any where and everywhere. Typically, students are supported with study material, counselors, contact classes and online help. These elements are very basic for a student to groom into an industry person. To gain all that a regular student receives, try to adopt the following:

  • Read more books, apart from your study material.
  • Engage with a mentor who can connect you with the upcoming trends, pertinent to your course.
  • Chalk out a plan to explore new things for each subject.
  • Join networks that talk about your course topics
  • Create or join a group of like minded people who are pursuing your course. Exchange thoughts, ideas and knowledge with each other.
  • Participate in contests and fests at a college close to your locality.

Share this article with your friends who are facing trouble, while pursuing a correspondence course. All the best folks!

Here is a link to colleges in India that offer distance education:

You can’t stop yourself from penning down or typing your thoughts as soon as they hit your mind. If you have this syndrome, then you could channelize your symptoms to become a writer!

Writers adopt their own style after few years of practice. They feel comfortable within a segment that matches their writing style.

Different writing styles

Reporting: Most journalists working in the current affairs segment use this style of writing. Here, one needs to witness or investigate a case. Then analyse it and report it to the readers. Personal opinions are avoided in this style. This is used to report an incident to a group of people. Business writers also use this style.

Descriptive: Authors, fiction writers, whitepaper, film directors presenters use a descriptive style. They provide a detailed picture through their words. They communicate every detail, hence scripts with a descriptive style are lengthy.

Creative: Creative style is the bestselling style. Story writers, marketeers and fiction writers adopt a creative style to sell their words. However, not everyone can be successful creative writers. Write-ups with a creative style are meant to captivate the readers. This skill is a gift of the rare.

Narrative: This is close to reporting style. A narrative style is adopted to communicate about incidents, stories, conflicts, happenings and so on.

Expository: Expository writing style is useful when the author wants to stick to a specific subject matter and elaborate on it for its audience.  Here again the writers avoids opinions and personal feelings about the subject matter. He furnishes the article with more facts pertaining to the subject matter.

Persuasive: Persuasive writing is completely opposite to expository. This style is mainly adopted to convince the readers about the author’s viewpoint. This style may get very influential at times. Most marketeers, politicians, business men and celebrities use this style to communicate their thoughts and influence their fans or readers.

  • My Lingo (

School for life – learn life skills

We read and write everyday.

How much of our time is spent in reading and writing words? This includes watching movies with subtitles, reading books, talking to professionals, watching television with ads in it, glancing bill boards on the road or surfing the products displayed in a retail store. The world has adapted to a system, that advocates – to live a decent life, literacy is indispensable.

How did this happen? At school a child is introduced to science, maths, language, social science. All these subjects are introduced only through reading and writing. Is this the best technique to teach a concept? If not, then why is note making and lecturing given so much importance?

Why can’t a concept be taught using craft, pottery, music, dance, acting or sports? Schools in this era, in India have become uni-dimensional. 6 or 8 hours spent by a student at school is into listening, writing and reading. This provides very little opportunity to know and learn life skills.

With this argument, we can conclude that, now the purpose and objective of current school system is adrift. What does a school actually do? Why should children go to school? What are they becoming after they step out of school? Some students are definitely proving progressive and contributing their efforts to the society. But this proportion is very small. How about the rest of them who are being taught  to follow the herd game without purpose? Who will take onus of this situation?

Is it the school, parents, government? I would say the system. The current system in which we are all comfortable, oblivious of the weeds in it.

What should the children be taught? Balance, respect, clarity, truth, belief and most of all the art of learning.

A child spends 10 to 12 years in a formal school. Some graduate with laurels and others as mediocre and few others as nobody. While a student stays in school for so long, is it not possible to teach a few basic things to live life. A school’s definition is condensed and narrowed to ‘a  literate generating institution’. When will it change to a life renewing system?


Jack McGourty of the Columbia Business School talks about the Venture for India programme, after which students are guaranteed a two-year placement in New York

Jack McGourty, director of community and entrepreneurship at the Columbia Business School, speaks to HT Education about the school’s collaborations with India and a threeweek workshop that will culminate into a two-year placement in New York City.

VFI will place fellows in companies related to their fields of interestPlease elaborate on the Venture for India programme.

Venture for India’s (VFI) fellowship programme gives graduate students the opportunity to attend a three-week entrepreneurial workshop conducted by Columbia Business School (CBS) in New York City. The workshop is followed by the student getting placed in a company for a minimum of two years. After the two years, students go through a capstone simulation where the top performing student over the two years will get over and above entrepreneurial mentorship and support from VFI to start his/her own venture. Venture for India not only aims to develop the entrepreneurial environment in India but also generate jobs by helping companies expand and train graduates to become business builders and job creators.

What kind of students are you looking for? Is there an eligibility criterion?

VFI has a detailed application on the website which students must download, complete and send to We are selecting graduate students with a motivational drive to become an entrepreneur. Although good academic standing is important, it is not the deciding factor for selection. Ideally, students from 22 – 28 years of age will be selected.

What made you choose India to collaborate with?

India is a hotbed for entrepreneurship. Along with having a great demographic dividend in which the majority of India’s population is below the age of 30, entrepreneurship is necessary to sustain the economy and creating new jobs. This brings us to VFI’s mission: create jobs and help the economy.

What will the selected students be able to experience?

Venture Fellows, through interactive lectures and selfdirected assignments are guided through all elements of the venture planning process in a modular format. Each module will help the participant develop a comprehensive new venture plan. The five modules are: opportunity, strategy, innovation, leadership and execution. At each stage of development, participants are exposed to critical terms, tools that support research and decision making, and explanations of how each major planning activity fits into the business plan. Fellows will also be visiting start-ups throughout their stay in New York City.

When you say ‘guaranteed two year job placement’, how do you place this guarantee? What kind of jobs are we talking about?

VFI has tied up with Angel Investors such as Mumbai Angels and TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs). We have also tied up with early-mid stage companies to provide a platform for students to gain experience in the working world, after the programme. It is imperative that students get experience working in the field before they start their venture. Hence, VFI places its fellows in a company which is related to fellow’s area of expertise to unfold maximum exposure.

Make up and Maths – Beauty with Brains

Beauty with brains (BWB) is a rare combination. People who are characterized as BWB can be accessed only on cloud 9. Beauty with brains in other words is someone who has the ability to groom and present themselves as well their intellectual abilities.

Makeup and Maths is not a common combination found among people. But, but, but, it is found in people with an achiever’s DNA. One simple example with which we all connect with is the movie “LEGALLY BLONDE“. Reese Witherspoon, a blonde proves her mettl by getting into Harvard Law School to get her boyfriend back.

Is it possible for all geeks to be glamorous and the gorgeous to be brainy. There is no rule that denies this from happening.

Let go of your inhibitions. 

For Geeks: Use all your intellectual ability to understand and be aesthetic. Meet more people who are inclined to groom. Make it a habit. Block some time in your calendar for the SPA! Study beauty, cosmetics and diet as maths, physics and chemistry.

For Gorgeous: Use your detailing and organizing skills to understand a science concept. Problem solving involves creativity. Creativity is something most design oriented people have. Use it for a different reason. Get smart!

Green up life in apartments with Houseplants!

Pets are great stress busters! It is a well known fact. Equally true is the fact that plants do the same and often much more. In today’s fast paced life with limited leisure, it is very vital to make those few hours you spend at home a quality deal!

Let us take a quick look at how cultivating a small garden in your home helps you refine your limited living space.

  • House plants clean and purify the air in the house. Every little aspect helps given the growing pollution levels in metro cities these days.
  • A little greenery in and around the house boosts your spirit or soothes your worked out nerves after a long day’s work.
  • Houseplants generally come in different shades of colors and most of them are flowering plants. They decorate your house with vibrant shades from god’s very own palette.

Start it simple! Make use of old plastic mugs or containers that allow plants to breathe a bit. Place them where they receive ample amount of sunlight. Window sills or balconies are ideal spots. If space is unusually limited, you could create wire hangings from roofs or rails around. Choose herbs to kick start the hobby. Coriander, Mint, Spring Onions, Salad Greens, Tulsi are easy to grow.

Depending on the type of plants you choose, over time you may even get to revel in the luxury of a meal made from your own kitchen grown vegetables and herbs. Imagine whiffing that fresh scent of mint in the morning!

You get perked up when you get to feel your first fruit of the effort. A cup of fresh mint or tulsi tea from your garden or dressing your curries with a bunch of freshly cut coriander from your own little plants grown with so much of love and attention.

The beauty of this hobby is that the efforts are not only yours. God contributes to it in a great way too. Your little plants do their bit in making your life a little more enjoyable.

From the times of colonialism and industrialization, English has emerged as the second most spoken language in the world until now. Apart from that it is the most used language on internet and hence we all see new virtual species developing like SEO, content marketing and so on.

Which is the most spoken language in the world? Mandarin. China with the largest population in the world and Chinese crossing borders, Mandarin has emerged as the most spoken language in the world. Hindi, Spanish, Russian and Arabic following the list by popularity and usage.

With these statistics how far is it justified to judge a person’s COMMUNICATION SKILLS only based on English? This is what happens in most interviews in India. Here, interviews do not refer only to business and employee interviews. Even school interviews for children stress on the child’s English speaking abilities.

We have to decide if it is promising or sad to know that English speaking ability is a compelling parameter for a person to be recruited. A simple reason for this trend to be born is, for the interviewer to test the interviewee if he/she has the ability to communicate and present his idea with clarity.

Testing the communication and presentation skills could be done using any language. Why is an Indian language not used to make decisions in this area? Communication skills has become synonymous with ENGLISH in India and among Indian recruiters.

Is this a healthy trend?

It is for the trend setters and thinkers to react on this subject. Hindi is the third most spoken language and Bengali ranking seventh. With these statistics shouldn’t we pay more attention to Indian languages and allow candidates to be evaluated in these languages too?

Content marketing map

Content marketing has climbed a steep peak in 2013. For those who want to pursue a career in content marketing, HCC has provided a map to understand this space better.

Content marketing map














How to read this map?

On the x-axis, horizontal spread, in other words potential of content marketing across the globe is represented. This signifies that content marketing is at its peak only in English. With the growing ubiquity of internet, content marketing specialists will have to prove their skills in other languages. We already see this with French, Russian, Chinese and Spanish. In countries like India where more than one language is spoken, multi-lingual content writers will be on the rise. 

On the y-axis, vertical spread across media and presentation represents the growth of content marketing and writing in different social media platforms. Eventually, social media specialists will emerge and a writing style specific to each media will be discovered. Apart from this the scope and definition of CONTENT will enhance and grow.

In this context definition of CONTENT is “text, image, video, audio, slides and infographics”. From this year onward, a content writer has be an all-rounder.

Skills required

To do well in this space you need the following skills and personality:

  • Writing
  • Marketing
  • Avid reader
  • Research
  • Comprehension skills
  • Networking skills
  • Blogging
  • Learning

Happy Women’s Day

We wake up everyday, get ready and set on the move,

to clean, to speak, to work, to mentor, to love or to prove


We rush to meet everyone’s needs, fulfill their wishes and believe we can stand

We believe we can do that. That belief is our magic wand.


We give, we surprise, we cry, we share,

midst all the hustle do we know who we are or even care.


Step back for a while to see who I am?

I am myself, I am a woman.

Happy Women’s Day

The CEO of today was a college dropout” makes great headlines, but to most of the aspiring entrepreneurs it is very misleading. It is mostly interpreted in two ways:

a) The CEO was considered an idiot at college, made it big later on.

b) The CEO realized building a company is exciting and easier than acquiring a college degree.

Neither of the interpretations are genuine. These statements are only an output of emotional eruptions and frustration in life.

Then how should it be perceived?

Let’s consider a few examples to understand the true perspective of a CEO letting go of a college degree.

Mark Zuckerberg is fits this title the best. Let us understand his background a little more.
File:Mark Zuckerberg at the 37th G8 Summit in Deauville 018 v1.jpgBefore being known as an Internet entrepreneur and inventor of FACEBOOK, he was an achiever at school. He won many competitions in science, mathematics, astronomy, physics and classical studies. He can read and write four languages apart from English. It was only at Harvard he made a choice between a college degree and being the CEO of FACEBOOK. Though he did not get a degree, he earned things more precious that through his career.

Micky Jagtiani of Indian origin, has been a serial entrepreneur is the retail space of leisure, lifestyle and food. He started his journey as a businessman with a family owned business and is now the owner of LANDMARK retail stores. He joined a London accounting school and we know how the story ends. He dropped out of that school. Does that make him dumb, NO. He was smart is buying stake at the right time and marking his brand.

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are few others to name who have a consistent achiever’s record and a sound background who fill the Famous College Dropout list.

Some resources that will give you more clarity in your perspective.

Related articles

Music got twisted with the discovery of ROCK and got tangled with Linkin Park. People just loved Linkin Park from the day they hit the stereo with Hybrid Theory, selling about 4.8 million copies. Their success meter stretched a scale with their next work ‘Meteora‘. Linkin Park got social in promoting a couple of songs from their album, ‘A Thousand Suns‘ on MySpace.

Who is Linkin Park?

With all the success and spotlight they tasted, it is hard for them to come to India. Though Linkin Park claims to have a fanbase in India, it is tough time to convince sponsors who can host Linkin Park for Indian audience. Linkin Par have come up with an online petition as a solution for this problem. Read more about the petition here –

More about LINKINPARK for ardent lovers

Twitter – @linkinpark

MySpace –

Facebook –

More videos –

Good news from Financial Budget 2013-14

Some good things to be heard for education and skill development sector in India. Excerpts and observations from the Finance Minister‘s speech.

“We have set an ambitious target of skilling 50 million people in the 12th Plan period, including 9 million in 2013-14. We have to pull out all stops to achieve this objective. Funds will be released by the National Rural Livelihood Mission and the National Urban Livelihood Mission to be spent on skill development activities,”

1000 crore for youth skill development, to increase employability.

“A large number of youth must be motivated to voluntarily join skill development programmes. I propose to ask the National Skill Development Corporation to set the curriculum and standards for training in different skills. Any institution or body may offer training courses. At the end of the training, the candidate will be required to take a test conducted by authorised certification bodies. Upon passing the test, the candidate will be given a certificate as well as a monetary reward of an average of Rs 10,000 per candidate. Skill-trained youth will give an enormous boost to employability and productivity,”

“On the assumption that 10,00,000 youth can be motivated, I propose to set apart Rs 1,000 crore for this ambitious scheme. I hope that this will be the trigger to extend skill development to all the youth of the country,”

Other positive vibes

Nirbhaya bank, exclusive for women.

NSDC announced that it is conducting a six month training capsule for educated youth. Learners will be coached in basic computing skills and an aptitude required for lower clerical skills in a bank.

Rs. 1000 cr slotted for youth skill development

Courtesy Hindustan Times: Finance minister P Chidambaram on Thursday allocated Rs. 1000 crore to develop job-oriented skills among youth.
“Assuming that 10 lakh (one million) youth can be motivated in one year, skill-trained youth will give enormous boost in employment and productivity,” Chidambaram said while presenting the federal 2013-14 budget to the Lok Sabha.

The finance minister allocated Rs. 1000 crore for the “ambition”, saying that it would be a “trigger for skill development in the country”.

The National Skill Development Corporation would be asked to set the curriculum and standards for training in different skills.

Trained youth who pass a test at the end of the training period would be given a monetary reward of Rs. 10,000, on an average.

Does a COLLEGE DEGREE define me?

Before we elaborate on this topic to understand whether or not a college degree can define a person, let us understand the purpose of both ‘a college‘ and ‘a degree‘.

A college as an educational institution has been established to impart specialized knowledge and skills and to educate the students in a holistically, to excel in a stream of study. A degree is further used to certify the level of skill sets and knowledge a student has acquired during the course duration in a college. The question to be answered here is, ” does the purpose to study in a college and acquire a degree, sustain even today?”.

Candidates who are prospective employees in an industry are evaluated by the degree they carry on paper and not what the person is really capable of. To beat this inefficient evaluation method, recruiters are constantly on an innovation spree trying to realize ‘THE CANDIDATE’ for their company.

Here is how the evolution took place.

  • Employment Exchange
  • Newspaper ads – Interview – Placement
  • Referrals – Certificationscreening – Interview – Placement
  • Online recruitment portal screening – Recruitment drives – Interview – Placement
  • Social media recruitment screening – Interview – Placement
  • Online & Offline Networking – Engaging with potential candidates – Being proactive for screening – Inviting candidates (Interview) – Placement

We can also see a parallel trend evolving which is – catching them young. Recruitment firms are now in a neck tight competition to engage with students and strike a relationship for a long term association. In India this trend is interestingly upside-down. We all know the potential is at the Bottom of the Pyramid but industry and institutions, who are pretty much the organized sector, are  not attempting to reach the potential from bottom. Catch them younger to beat the heat.

Why is this not happening?

This is not happening because the labour force at the bottom are large, huge in magnitude and number. This is impeding efforts to reach and make them a part of the organized sector. What is the way to make it happen? The answer to it is, ” COLLABORATION OF INDUSTRY, GOVERNMENT AND ABODES OF EDUCATION FOR SKILL ENHANCEMENT AND ATTITUDINAL SHIFTS”

When such a congregation is possible with smart execution, India will deliver anything and everything with finesse and perfection and build a new age.

Does a College Degree define me?

The answer to this questions still remains abstract. After engaging with the thoughts above, a person might be influenced to say ” A college degree does not define me.” It definitely can’t define or judge a person, but it should be considered as a valuable and authentic instrument to understand the potential of a candidate. Again, people who use a College Degree as the only instrument to evaluate will encounter fallacies in their judgement. It could be used as one of the parameters to understand the abilities and anticipate potential of a candidate.

For students who are scrambling to get a degree may find this thought process useful.

Soft is Big

What the hell is this title?

Why is it so important to pursue a hobby or keep your OTHER SIDE active? Have you watched the movie “Social Network“? One of the dialogues uttered by Mark is, “I don’t want to earn through advertisements. I don’t know what it is going to be. It could be the next big thing.”  These words show that he didn’t adopt convention though it was well proven. He adopted passion.

So the soft side of FACEBOOK is PASSION.

Similarly, MOBILE PHONE wasn’t created for marketing and mobile agencies to advertise or create mobile apps or be a bridge for internet access. It was meant for better COMMUNICATION.

Here, the soft side of MOBILE PHONE is COMMUNICATION.

Move on and analyse innovations and brands that made it BIG. They remained focused on the SOFT SIDE.


One can add more to the list.

This era’s new mantra now would be ‘Soft is BIG’. To make it big one needs to pursue their soft side, attend to their inner needs.

You could be a housewife, student, working professional or CLUELESS. No matter who you are, each one of us has another side that is yet to be discovered or already discovered.
Share what your other side is.
If you connect strongly with any of the hobbies posted on the blog or want to share something new, feel free to submit your other side in the comment box. Hobby Troops will surely connect with you to hear your other side.

Perplex pottery lovers




Music Mantra

Every movement in life generates music. Hustle of leaves, drops of rain, thumps of herds in the forest, bees buzzing, cricket croaking, whistle of the cop, pace of a car, as we type on the keyboard, a baby’s cry, an owl’s hoot, heart beat and the list goes on depending on the sensitivity of the musician.

Music started as means of entertainment and has now evolved into a therapeutic science for ailments and has been accepted as a divine gift for humans to realise god. Irrespective of the cultural endorsements, music in its basic sense is all about rhythm and notes.

Majority of the musical traditions compose using seven basic notes and a variety of rhythm calculations. All that differs is the style the cultural influence. Apart from the song, the type of instruments used in the composition is influenced by the cultural background. Music originated from Spain, Britain, Egypt, China, India or any other country tune into similar notes but harp, veena, violin, guitar or flute is what adds to the flavour of the song’s recipe.

The genre starts from western classical, carnatic, hindustani, folk, devotional and stretches to rock, pop, comteporary, fusion.

The list of musical instruments is not finite, the instrument could be a conventional instrument which requires formal training or a simple tool to create music extempore. They could be persussion, wind, stringed or electronic. A long list is available on wikipedia. List of instruments.

Music is magical and depends on who and how it has been created. Kudos to the inventor of music.

Happy Sankranthi – Rangoli Designing

This festival is celebrated to signify the first harvest. Like any other Indian festival people get busy with food preparation and religious ceremonies. However there are two key features of this festival. One is about flying kites and the other is about adorning homes with RANGOLI.

Rangoli by definition is an intricately designed geometrical figure with shades of bright colours filled to depict an important life form, ritual or custom of the festival. Rangoli is made in front of people’s homes, as a sign of welcoming powers of deities. Styles of rangoli differ by region and culture.

What is used to make rangoli?

Rangoli can be made by chalk powder, rice powder or white rock powder. On festive occasions  synthetic colours are used to add more beauty to the design. Some opt to use natural colours like vermilion, turmeric and flower petals.

Rangoli in different provinces. 

Rangoli is found everywhere in India but is referred differently.

Kolam – KERALA

Aripan – BIHAR

Purna – Uttar Pradesh

Muggu – Andhra Pradesh

Alpana – Maharashtra

Alikhtahp – Kumaon

What is required to learn this art form?

One needs to have the ability to make sense out of geometric figures. Basic skills of drawing, creativity and lots of practice is required to to develop in this art form. To start with, we need to practice small designs with dots in an odd and even arrangement.

Some reasonably difficult designs look like this. One needs to mark around the dots and form these designs. Few other designs require marking on the dots and making comprehensible figures which pertain to deities and festivals. Rangoli in different regions have mythological and religious significance.

Some useful resources

How to use wordpress to promote your band?

WordPress could be an interesting platform for you to showcase your band. Soundcheck theme allows you to embed audio, video, calendar and twitter feeds.

Rockband freaks can follow this link :

Light up your hobby mania – Candle making

Candles were used for religious and basic living needs. In the recent times, use of candle has been translated to decorative and festive purposes. Getting down to the heat of the hobby, candle making has developed as a little science in itself. Now a days, in the metropolitan cities we find a lot of children, teenagers and women exploring this hobby.

What is the basic infrastructure required for this hobby?

Do you have kitchen? Then you are ready for to try out this hobby. This requires you to take a lot of precautionary measures.

Apparatus required for candle making:

  • Paraffin wax
  • Bee’s wax
  • Aluminium tray
  • Blunt knife
  • Wicks
  • Molds
  • Wax colour
  • Designer cutters
  • Any other junk which could be used to hold wax for a candle
  • Wax scented oil (optional)

With these things you are ready to begin the hobby. Depending on the occasion you can create appropriate candles. Few to name are, tealightsvotives, pillar candles, diyas, gel candles and so on.

Diyas used in India

Make this a hobby

To start with a lot of DIY kits are available in the market for beginners. As amateurs it is good to use them with the instruction sheet within the kit. The basic method to make a candle is to melt the wax, insert the wick in the right portion and pour the molten wax into the mold. This is not it for all types of candles. Each type will have a different procedure which will come onto this blog later.

Culinary Masters – Cooking is my job

Soups, sauces, chutneys, starters, noodles, confectionery; this is how their course curriculum looks like. Yes, this article is going to introduce you to a rarely chosen college course. Chefs are the final product of these schools. Culinary skills are honed during this stint. Your office and work station is a kitchen.

Cooking could be opted as a casual vocation or a full-time occupation. Some training and structure would help the aspiring chef or cook to know their profession better. For those who think that this course is all about making new recipes and tasting food, may have to add some more subjects into their study hour.

Curriculum of a culinary course

If you are choosing a bachelor’s course, it lasts for 3 years. There are post-graduate courses also available with specializations like international cooking, bakery and confectionery, restaurant management, bread and pastry, oriental cusine, mediterranean cusine and so on. Below is a brief outline of a culinary course curriculum:

First Year

  • Orientation – Fundamentals of Food Production
  • Safety and Sanitation
  • Product Identification
  • Food & Beverage Service
  • Basics of Hospitality
  • French culinary
  • Basics of communication in English
  • Basics of Kitchen training
  • Basics of computer application

Second Year

  • Principles of Baking and Pastry making
  • Food & Beverage Matching-I
  • Nutrition & Food Science
  • Principles of Management & Organizational Behaviour
  • Basic Accountancy
  • Principles of Gastronomy
  • Regional bulk cooking
  • Contemporary Cakes
  • Desserts and Breads
  • Food and Beverage matching
  • Training and project presentation

Third Year

  • Culinary Art & Concepts
  • European Confectionery
  • Food & Beverage Matching – II
  • Labour Legislation & Hotel Law
  • International Baking
  • Materials Management
  • Sales & Marketing Management
  • Cuisine Facility Planning & Design
  • Advanced Edible Sculpture & Culinary Arts
  • International Visual Confectionery
  • Bread Art, Oriental & Far eastern Cuisine.

The curriculum listed above blends into both theoretical and practical classes. This course remains as formal as  any other known professional course. It includes project work and internship.

Where do we get placed?

For a not so popularly opted course, the next obvious question would be “what is my job?”. How do I earn a living after this course. After finishing this course students get placed in restaurants, hotels, catering service houses, food technology firms. Apart from these jobs, one may choose to be self employed, by being a food taster/tester, food critic (more to do with writing), independent chef, specialized chef, start your own bakery or restaurant or be a teacher for other aspirants.

In India chefs start with an initial pay pack of Rs. 1.5 lakhs p.a and grow depending on their specialization Rs. 12 lakhs p.a.

Current trends

Sanjeev Kapoor, Tarla Dalal, Anjum Anand, Vikas Khanna and Hari Nayak are some of the known veterans in this field. With a lot specialization and technological improvements, satellite tv shows have carved some time to host cooking shows and competitions to draw a common man’s attention.

Some useful links:

Craft Connection

Some people indulge into craft voluntarily and for some it is serendipity. All those who plunge deeper and deeper into any form of craft transcend as new persons. To some the medium is clay, to some it could be cloth or wood.

What makes a person feel different and rediscovered, is the person’s effort to bring out his/her creativity. Most people connote creativity with innovation and discovery; to me creativity is a result of the efforts made by a person to reach a new height. In the process to pushing one’s self to touch the next step, we realign ourselves and creativity ruffles down as a byproduct. The degree of creativity and its evidence is used to label a person to be creative or not so creative. But creativity as a quality exists in everyone of us; it is only exposed when one makes an effort to do so.

Craft as an activity exposes a person on this realm. I am listing some of the most liked craft forms for the readers to connect and choose one for themselves and walk on this path of self discovery. You can add more forms to the list below.

Paper Craft                                Pottery                                          Lamasa
Jewellry design                           Fabric painting                               Glass etching
Origami                                      Synthetic clay work                      Collage work
Flower arrangement                    Carpentry                                     Puppetry making
Bonsai making                            Shoe designing                              Doll/Toy making
Candle making                           Pot painting                                   Mechanics craft
Mehendi designing                      Book binding                                Fabric designing
Glass painting                             Bag designing                               Textile designing
Clay modelling                           Vegetable carving                         Ceramic design
Furniture designing                     Interior designing                          Animation design
Movie making                           Make up art                                  Soap making
Photography                              Digital art                                     Aeronautics designing

Some of them are pursued as a life time occupation and some are meant just as a hobby. They are all analougous to books but the life lessons we learn at the end of any reading are the same.

Enjoy crafting!!

My Lingo

Spanish, French, Chinese, Korean, English, Hindi or Swalihi – the language doesn’t matter. All that matters is your ability to express.

“Language is used by our mind to interpret thoughts. 
When thought touches the soul it brings out knowledge.”

Writing as a hobby

Writing is a medium of expression. With practice writing expands our spectrum of expression; we tend to use apt words in every context.

Mostly, writing as a hobby with purpose starts during teenage. Children at school choose writing as a hobby when they start writing for their school journals and assignments. A lot of children are inspired by great leaders, their family, friends, while choosing this hobby. There are also instances when children choose this hobby as a way to vent out their emotions or sorrow in life.

Age, however is not the only factor that decides such a choice. Lot of renowned writers are also born in response to compelling circumstances in their life. There is no one reason why a person chooses to be a writer.

Writing has been an intellectual and enjoyable avenue among the literates.

How to inculcate and enrich, writing as a hobby?

Sun is warm, the abandoned becomes warm in its proximity. 
Rain is wet, the pedestrain becomes wet under its umbrella . 
Good writer is a visionary, the reader becomes the vision.

A well written passage enhances the readers’ ability to visualise and imagine. Writers should always try to manifest the plausible reader’s emotions, thoughts, feelings and ideas.When a reader feels that a writing is close to his personality, he appreciates it.

A writer should know, prepare and equip with the following before he/she starts writing:

  1. Objective behind choosing to write something
  2. Subject matter
  3. Audience he aims to address
  4. Knowledge/ Information necessary for the topic
  5. Structure of the passage and content
  6. Writing style
  7. And ofcourse a pen and a book 🙂 (or a laptop ;-))

This list is not exhaustive. The list increases with the type of writer. The writer could be a journalist, author, poet, spiritual leader, teacher or anyone. The writing style differs from person to person. Purpose of writing and occupation of the writer influences a writer’s writing style.

Ways to enhance writing skills

  1. Read, Read and Read. Read a lot
  2. Make a conscious effort to increase your vocabulary
  3. Use any writing opportunity: This could involve helping your friend to finish an assignment, participating in a competition or writing a journal
  4. Make diary writing a part of your daily to do list.
  5. Speak where ever possible about your writings.
  6. Listen to various opinions and views on different subject matters
  7. Explore different writing styles.
  8. Get a critic’s feedback: Don’t hesitate to share your writing with others for feedback.
  9. Join writing clubs

Writing and poetry can be opted as a full time occupation. Lack of clear expression is the reason for the birth of writing as an occupation. This lacunae is capitalised by the creative geeks; they have adopted various styles to captivate people through their lucid expressions.

Some useful resources