Vodafone Foundation launched Mobile for Good Awards 2015

Vodafone Foundation launched the fifth edition of their flagship initiative ‘Mobile for Good Awards 2015’, in partnership with NASSCOM Foundation. The Awards recognize and support emerging talent and innovative ideas & mobile solutions from NGOs, foundations, 'Non-profits' and ‘For profit’ enterprises that facilitate community empowerment and inclusive growth. The company will pick 11 best innovations this year, from the two categories - Leading change maker (NPO) and Leading change maker (For-profits). Innovative mobile driven solutions in four critical areas of Health, Education, Agriculture & Environment and Women Empowerment & Inclusive Development will be selected from both the categories. 

Madhu Sirohi
Madhu Sirohi, Head, Vodafone foundation India, Speaking at the event.

The five winning NGOs/NPOs will receive Rs.1.2 million (INR) in addition to mentoring, monitoring and impact evaluation support from partner institutions. All winning projects will also get featured on Vodafone's Social Apps Marketplace, which will launch soon.

The Mobile for Good Awards 2015 initiative is led by the Vodafone Foundation; powered by NASSCOM Social Innovation Forum as Implementation Partners; Grant Thornton India LLP as Knowledge Partners and NextGen as Mentorship Partners. The Mobile for Good Awards aim to recognize, support and promote mobile innovations for bringing social change in the country.

On the launch event, which was held in Mumbai on June 25, 2015, Mr. P Balaji, Director- Regulatory & External Affairs, Vodafone India, quoted:

“This year, ‘the Mobile for Good Awards’ a marquee proposition from Vodafone Foundation, enters fifth year of its successful social initiative to recognize innovative mobile solutions in the country. Our mission, in line with the government’s vision of Digital India, is to build a platform for these innovators, recognize them and support them further for scalability and sustainability through funding and mentorship. This year with a new partnership with NASSCOM Social Innovation Forum, we intend to reach out to the mobile innovations across India and provide them with the necessary help for a greater impact.”

Shrikant Sinha, CEO, NASSCOM Forum said:

“We are glad to collaborate with Vodafone Foundation to enable the most powerful tool in people’s hands today, help improve their lives” He further added, “We are hopeful that Mobile for Good will act as a catalyst to bring forward break through innovations in mobile technology from across the country and these innovations will help integrate social objectives with technology to fuel social development in India.”

Applicants from NGOs / NFPs and for profit organisations can submit their entries on the portal www.vodafone.in/mobileforgood until 31 July 2015. 2. The final winners for the 2015 Awards will be announced on 3 December 2015 in New Delhi

Book Review: Love Lasts Forever By Vikrant Khanna

The book I picked up this week for reading was ‘Love Lasts Forever’ by Vikrant Khanna. I bought it a month ago but never read it and eventually forgot about it. After reading some of the books from my priority list, I found this one lying in my cupboard and picked it up as my next read. I remember the day when I ordered this book online, I’d just came across it and on finding that the protagonist of this book was a seafarer (just like me) and the author himself is a Captain by profession, I started getting an urge for reading it. It hardy took a minute and I ordered it online, since then it was kept in my cupboard along with other books.

love lasts forever vikrant khanna

When I picked it up, I thought that I’ll finish it by a week or so (keeping my reading habits in mind) I usually read slowly and only for an hour or two, I read a few chapters and then leave the rest for the next day. However it took me three days to finish ‘Love Lasts Forever’ and the reason for that was the story. It was a total page turner and I wasn’t able to take my mind off of it. I ended up leaving the book the very first day I started reading it, I read a couple of chapters and left it for next day. On second day the story took its turn and I wasn’t able to let the book go, I finished around 70 percent of book on day two, then I came to Part III of the story and forced myself to get some sleep (I usually read late nights) – though it was hard to let go of the book but I wanted to build up some suspense. Third Day, I read the entire Part III and finished the book, FYI I just finished the book and am writing this review.

The Plot of Love Lasts Forever (No Spoilers)

The plot was simple and exciting, a guy named ‘Ronit’ meets a girl named ‘Aisha’ at his naval pre-sea training graduation day. She is the sister of their batch mate named ‘Priyank’ or Priyanka as they like to call (Ronit & Joe Singh- his batch mate and best friend). Priyank is a guy who used to get bullied and was a regular victim of Ronit & Joe Singh’s pranks. At first sight, Ronit falls in love with Aisha and decides that he’ll marry her. After spending time together while they were dating, Aisha & Ronit, both fall for each other. Ronit proposed Aisha a couple of times, but she refused every time saying that they’re too young to get married and should wait for some more time.

After seven years or dating, finally she accepts his proposal and they get married (of course they struggled convincing their parents and others), So finally they’re married but the love starts wearing off right after they get married, after a week of tying knot, they’re wondering ‘Why the hell they got married in first place?’ – The situation worsens and after four months of marriage, their relationship comes to an edge of divorce. Ronit frustration takes the sky and he decides to leave the house, so that he can get a break from household affairs. He takes an assignment on a ship and leaves.

The seven year old love turns to hatred just after four months of marriage. Ronit decides to divorce her wife, as soon as he goes back.

After two weeks of boarding the ship, their ship gets hijacked by Somalian pirates. Now he is trapped on a ship with ghoulish, in-human creatures, for whom killing people is like scratching their balls. Will he survive? Will he be able to save his marriage? Will love last forever or he’ll end up divorcing his wife? What will happen next? Read the book for answers.

My Review for Love Lasts Forever

So that was the plot, from here I will start my review for the book. Please Note, from this point I will talk about the events which took place in the story, I might talk about the suspense and twists, so if you don’t want to hear spoilers then go read the book first and then continue reading this review. This was just a warning, after this I’m not responsible for ruining this lovely story for you :P

First of all the story was well written and was beautiful. I thoroughly enjoyed reading each and every page of the book. Initially it seemed like any other love story but once it took shape, it was difficult for me to even keep the book down. I loved the way the author penned the story, it was such a delight going through it. However I found some parts to be poorly written and inappropriate, I would’ve loved if those parts weren’t so exaggerating. Overall the story was a page-turner and did well. The Author used an easy language which was fun to read, he explained the situations very well and you can almost feel like a movie running in front of your eyes.

The main characters were strong and had a great presence, I felt that Joe Singh’s involvement in the story was low and would’ve loved to see more from him. Priyank definitely sounded gay. Ronit played his part well and at times Aisha sounded like a bitch, but still had a strong presence. My favorite characters from the book were Shekhar & Shikha. I was more hurt seeing Shekhar & Shikha separate than seeing Ronit & Aisha. Overall I loved the characters, each had a dark side and played an important part in the story.

At some points in the story, the author tried to add some humor and punch lines. They were good but at a point I think the author overdid them. For example the Toothpaste-in-Ass part. This happened four times throughout the book, the first time was hilarious, the second time it was cold revenge, the third time it was again ok but I didn’t buy the fourth time (I’ll come to that later). Other things which I think author overdid were; Aisha’s sudden behavior change after marriage. Right from the point she said “When are these clowns going to leave?” she sounded like a bitch. Then the things got exaggerated with the Honeymoon, I agree she had here plans which got ruined, but that is no way of behaving with husband. She had objections all the time and the way she snatched Ronit’s wallet for taking money and the way she burned his hard earned cash on useless things, I hated her. The things worsen when they came back home, the fights etc. I thought the author overdid it. I know it was important for the story but I think still it was a bit too much. I felt it to be at a point above which it would’ve started looking unreal.

When Aisha demanded Gold and Ronit brought her ‘Gold Biscuits’ because he thought that it was a great investment. I laughed uncontrollably. Seriously it was one of the best punch lines from the book.

The best part of the story, if you ask me, was the love story of Shekhar & Shikha. I was really touched by their story until it took the ugly turn, I was heartbroken then.

It was a pain reading the part when Shikha started behaving rudely with Shekhar. I felt like it was happening to me, there were questions popping out of my head, how could someone behave like that to a person who is madly in love with them? How could someone forget everything they had and start behaving like they never knew each other? And a lot more... Anyways it ended in divorce, I was shocked at that. I found the reaction of Shekhar very natural and hated Shikha for doing that to him.

When the story took its final turn and Ronit got Shikha’s Diary – I was really emotional after finding the real story behind Shekhar & Shikha’s dispute. On hearing she died after two months of separation, the rest of the story was predictable. Even I predicted the role of cancer or any other deadly disease which made Shikha take such harsh steps. I even convinced myself that she was having an extra-marital affair but as the truth unfolded, I was very touched with Shikha’s part.

At that part when Ronit realizes his love with Aisha and decides to give their marriage a second chance, I was really hoping for that to happen. Then after surviving eleven months of torture with Somalian pirates, finally he goes to Aisha for a second chance. I hated the expression of Aisha, she behaved rudely (obviously unaware of the hijack, she thought that his husband forgot her as he never called in eleven months) and even after knowing about the hijack her response seemed unreal.

“Oh, Really?” was her reaction, I was expecting that she’ll hug him tight and sob but nothing like that happened.

She looked cold hearted. After all that drama, she sat down on the couch and kept the cold expression, still no reaction from her side. I felt bad for Ronit, even after going through such harsh times, torture, no proper food and almost got killed, he was still the one begging to Aisha to come back in his life and Aisha looked like she didn’t give any shit. I agree that Aisha needed an apology from Ronit but what Ronit did, it looked like he is begging her and she isn’t buying. I wondered why she didn’t felt any pity towards Ronit, he already went through a lot and she is still mad at him. At last she agreed but still needed Ronit to pay a price. Yes the fourth Toothpaste-in-ass episode happened here and not only toothpaste, this time the recipe also included chili and other hot spices.

Are you fucking kidding? What the hell was that? First you behave rudely to a person who already went through a lot, then you make an already troubled person beg, then you trouble him even more by shoving chili and toothpaste up in his ass! What kind of thing is that?

I seriously didn’t liked the end. I don’t think Ronit did anything for which he deserved such a punishment. I agree Ronit wasn’t very supportive after marriage but Aisha wasn’t even right either. If she complained that Ronit didn’t call her in eleven months then even she hadn’t called him during that period, so I don’t think Ronit deserved that abuse. An apology and a bit of pleading would’ve been enough.

I think the author exaggerated this part too.

Also what I didn’t like was the forcefully added “Joe Singh’s relationship with a Chinese bar dancer cum prostitute” – This again seemed unreal and too stupid to be funny. He could’ve made him fall in love with some regular girl, like his neighbor or some old friend etc. Why Chinese prostitute? That part was again stupid.

Priyank’s got married to a manly girl! Again a desperate attempt of making it funny, I didn’t find it funny at all.

Anyways Aisha and Ronit once again were together and I was happy for that. The end wasn’t as I expected but anyways it ended in a happy ending and I was happy for that.


So this was my honest opinion about the book, this is what I felt like after reading the book, the feeling might be different for you. I don't think myself capable of rating a book because every book has some emotions and every reader feels them in a different way. I may like it, you may not and vice versa. So lets talk about 'Love Lasts Forever' - I loved reading it. One of the reasons which made me glued to the book was the atmosphere on the ship, since I'm too a seafarer, I can understand how it feels to be trapped on a ship under life threat of pirates for years. I can understand what the characters might be going through while the ship was hijacked. 

Instead of dragging this review more, I would like conclude it here. You can go and enjoy this amazing story. If you still want me to rate it on a scale of 5 then Love Lasts Forever will be a 3.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Book Review: Manan by Mohit Parikh

I'm sorry guys that I took so long to Review this book, actually I was busy in some other things and didn't get time to read this book, I finished reading this book yesterday and here I am, with the Review of Manan by Mohit Parikh. If you are a regular reader of this blog then you might be knowing that HaperCollins India sent me a copy of this book for review (Yes, I didn't buy it) so before I review it, I would like to Thank HarperCollins India and IndiBlogger for giving me this opportunity to review Manan.

Manan Mohit Parikh

Book Name: Manan
Author: Mohit Parikh
Publisher: HarperCollins India (Harper imprint)
No. of Pages: 200
ISBN No: 9789351363149

My Rating out of 5: 

A Little Info About the Book

Manan is a beautiful short novel about a guy named Manan. He is a tenth grade student and looks way younger than his friends and that's because he hasn't hit puberty yet. He sees the world in a different way and most of the time is lost in his imagination. He has a crush on a girl named Hriya and has an elder sister, with whom he is very close and they often play, fight, pull each others legs etc. The story of Manan revolves around the guy himself, growing up in late 90's in a small town of India, in a middle-class family, Manan sees the world through his own vision which is way different from others. He is often found on the terrace of his house where he spend hours staring at the sky, lost in thoughts about Hriya. He hates the fact that his friends are taller, hairier and mature than he is, but on finding the first official sign of puberty, he knows that soon he will be able to understand all that. Throughout the book he will talk about the behavior of his friends, parents fighting all the time, Tauji, Taiji and his sister, who no longer has time for him. So this is a story of a guy, living in a conservative middle-class family in a small town.

My Review

I enjoyed reading Manan, it was a completely different experience for me as I'm not into this genre. The best thing about the book was that it was light and simple, it explained everything well and stood to the point. There was humor, pain, awkward moments and total fun. Mohit Parikh did a great job sculpting this book, each section was crafted beautifully and everything was balanced. The book was a paisa-vasool but still there were some weak spots. 

The language used was difficult, I'm not say difficult to understand but to understand such language, one needs a lot of concentration and if your mind stumbles upon different things while reading then a lot of times you will feel lost. When I was reading Manan, there were times when my mind was somewhere else and when I concentrate back on book, I was lost and I had to read a couple of previous pages to understand whats going on. People who concentrate while reading will find the language interesting but people who take a lot of time to finish a book (half the time, mind somewhere else) will find it difficult to call back the story and will have to re-read a few pages to get back the flow. 

The final chapters of the book were really great, I loved reading the last two chapters and found it fast paced and energetic. I loved the way Manan spoke in front of his family when they denied the marriage proposal of his sister just because the horoscopes didn't match. I was expecting a happy ending but the end was very confusing, Obviously I can make out what could have happened after the book ended but I wanted to hear it from author. 

Overall the book was great, Mohit Parikh did a great job and it's hard to believe that it is his debut novel. I will recommend this book to people who love reading simple stories with strong characters, this book does not deliver the thrill but the feeling you are left with after finishing this book is tremendous. When I finished reading this book, I had mixed feelings about it because of the fact that I was expecting happy ending but what I got was a confused one and another thing was that since my concentration was low, it took me very long to finish this book, I had to read some pages again and again to keep up with the story and Yeah, I was expecting some romance between Manan and Hriya but that didn't happened.


By writing the above review, I'm not judging the book, It is just my opinion, It is what I felt about the book, your thinking may be different so don't waste time, go and get a copy now and start reading it. If I have to rate this book on a scale of 5 then I will rate it 3. 

A Special Gift from HarperCollins India and IndiBlogger

Being an avid reader, I try to get my hands on all the latest published books which I find interesting, normally I prefer eBooks, as they are easy to carry and since my job requires a lot of travelling, eBooks are the only way to carry lots of books with me. I do like reading paperbacks instead of staring at an LED display but that's just not possible. Still I collect paperbacks and read them whenever at home. Recently I joined the Get Published section of IndiBlogger and found a new interesting book called 'Manan' by Mohit Parikh. The book was published by HarperCollins India and they were giving away 20 copies of the book to people who are interested in reading and reviewing it. I applied for review but didn't expected to get it. What are the odds for getting one of the 20 copies which are being given away to all India bloggers?

manan mohit parikh book

After about 20 days of applying, one morning I found a courier man at my doorstep who delivered the package which said HarperCollins India. At a glance I knew that they sent me a book, but I didn't know which one. Since I applied for two-three books, I didn't knew which one they sent. On opening the package I found 'Manan by Mohit Parikh' in the package. I was really happy for the fact that I was one among those 20 bloggers who got a copy of this book for review.

I haven't read the book yet, but I'll do that soon and after reading, I will review it here on this blog. So guys stay tuned...

Thank you HarperCollins India, IndiBlogger for giving me this opportunity and sending this review copy :)


How I Braved Anu Aunty & Got a Signed Copy

You must be knowing that I like reading books whenever I'm not working on my computer of playing with gadgets. My usual reading time is before bed and I read multiple genre books, whatever I find interesting. Today I'm going to talk about a book which I just picked randomly and found really great. Not only that, the book was labelled as a national bestseller, which is quite an achievement. The book is about 'Entrepreneurship' and that might sound boring, but the author added some special ingredients like Humor, twist and turns, bully like Anu Aunty etc. which makes the book entertaining. 

Book: How I Braved Anu Aunty & Co-Founded a Million Dollar Company
Author: Varun Agarwal

How I braved anu aunty book

I bought the eBook version off Flipkart and started reading it, the initial few chapters were average, but then the story picked up and it started getting interesting. The final chapters were great and overall it was entertaining and light read. I really liked the spirit of Varun and how he stood up against Anu Aunty and did what he desired. Read my review here.

How I braved anu aunty book

I really liked the book, so I wanted to keep a hard-copy version in my book collection. I ordered the book online and it took a few days before it was delivered at my doorstep. 

How I braved anu aunty book signed copy

The book was a newer edition and it was personally signed by the Author Varun Agarwal. Thanks Varun for sending a signed copy :) this made it very special. This signed copy is very special for my collection.

Xiaomi Mi3 Flipkart Sale : Log

Finally the day came, I was waiting for this day since a week now, today is the Xiaomi Mi3 sale day on flipkart. I registered for this sale 6 days ago and was waiting for this day when I will make my attempt to buy it. On this post I will post my log, starting for 2 hours before the sale and concluding with the results after sale.

Xiaomi Mi3
Source: CNET

Sale Day: August 26,2014

12:01 PM

The Mi3 sale time is 2:00 PM, which means 120 minutes are remaining for the sale to go live. I'm ready for it and have already logged in to my Flipkart. I know that I can do it a few minutes before the sale but since I'm working on my blog right now, I have kept the facebook page in one of the background tabs. I'm taking a peek every few minutes, seeing the countdown going down.

01:00 PM

Now the time remaining is 60 minutes and I'm really excited. The countdown is ticking down and seems slow (probably because of my excitement), I'm ready with all my senses and have shut down all running downloads, so that I can ensure good network speed during the sale.

01:45 PM

15 minutes to go for the sale to go live. I will update this log once I complete the sale. Once the phone is added to cart, I will checkout immediately and I will try to get it delivered in a day by paying extra, I don't know if it is valid for this but, let's see.

02:00 PM

I successfully got one device! It was added to my cart but due to high page traffic Flipkart told me to come back after 15 minutes, they said that they've reserved one phone for me and suggested to return after 15 minutes and complete payment.

02:20 PM

I returned to Flipkart and completed the checkout process, I chose cash on delivery option but unfortunately I didn't find any fast delivery options, they shipped it with standard delivery. 

On contacting Flipkart support, they denied shipping faster and also said that I'll have to wait for delivery.

UPDATE: August 30,2014

It took 4 days for the Mi3 to reach my doorstep, It was delivered before the expected delivery time but I'm still disappointed with Flipkart, they didn't provide faster shipping offers on this device and some people reported that the device reached them in 1 day even after using the standard delivery option (Yes, they do live in Mumbai) 

Anyways, I'm still happy with their service as the customer support was kind enough to help me and provided me with the package status, every time I got in touch with them. 

Paulo Coelho's Adultery Delivered!

About a month ago I pre-ordered the new Paulo Coelho book Adultery from Flipkart and they said that the expected release date of the book is 19 August 2014 and I will receive the delivery as soon as the book releases. I was really excited as the 50 lucky people who pre-ordered the book will receive a Hardcover version of Adultery signed by Paulo Coelho himself, I wondered if I could be one the the lucky customers, if not then at least I will have a paperback version of the book which I can read.

Adultery by Paulo Coelho

Book Delivery

I was expecting the delivery after 19 August (the day when the book was going to hit the markets worldwide) and was surprised to see a message from Flipkart mentioning that the book was shipped on 5th August, which was 2 weeks before the release date, I thought this was a mistake. The message mentioned that the book will be delivered before August 8. On the morning of 8th, a package arrived. I was still skeptical and was thinking that they might have sent some other book, so I was eager to rip off that fucking packaging. 

To make this moment memorable either with happiness or with frown, I decided to make an Unboxing video, in which I will open the package to find out what is inside. I knew that the video will either record the happy moments of receiving a book pre-release or will record few seconds of disgust and anger. Fingers crossed! I turned on my camera and started opening the package.

What was inside?

My hands were shivering and I was excited to find out the mystery of a package which was pre-delivered. To my surprise, it was indeed Paulo Coelho's Adultery paperback book. 

Here is the Unboxing video ;)

I was really happy to receive a pre-release copy of Adultery, I still wish if I could win the Hardcover-signed copy version of the book, lets see what the fate has to offer. 

Adultery by Paulo CoelhoAdultery paulo coelho

I will soon post a review of the book, as soon as I read it.

Price: Rs.240