DIARY OF AN ONLINE SHOPPER

He is a great companion. He is always there with me. He goes wherever I go. He helps me with cooking and fixing almost all my problems in a jiffy.  Whether I want to watch a movie, go to a particular place, I just take his help. He never gets tired of my shopping (you read it right- NEVER). Nor he raises an eyebrow whenever I talk or chat with anyone. My kids go gaga to see him, though I don’t like if they get close to him. He had been my saviour many times. I just cannot imagine my life without him. And, before you come to any conclusion, just hold your horses.

I am talking about my smart pal- my smart phone. Yeah, life has become hell lot easier since they have entered into our lives. No one did ever think that these smart phones would impact so much and will become so endemic, especially during this pandemic. 

So, my favourite apps would be the shopping ones which help me every now and then. Amazon, being the most sought after, for most of household shopping, then Flipkart; Myntra, Nykaa Fashion and Firstcry for exclusive clothing. Nykaa for make-up and cosmetics and 1mg for medicines. So, in short, my world revolves around online shopping. The best part of shopping online is that you have the ease of choosing many products, shop instantly or build up your cart till you are ready to pay. You also have the access to the other apps and you can compare the products and deals and discounts too.

So, for me online shopping is simply the best choice and my favourite pastime too. I am also an e-window shopper. Who doesn’t like window shopping after all! Wink! Wink!

Stay safe and shop online.

HELP IN NEED, HELP INDEED – APP

As I grew older, I have noticed the evolution in every aspect of life. It may be the first love proposal, dating, courtship, marriage, performing duties as a wife, mother, and daughter-in-law, and many more. With time, we all have changed. Some in a better way and some in a different way, that can be better for a few and worse for others. It’s only the perceptions, we acquire according to time.

The same changes are seen in the writing field. When I was in my twenties, my uncle (who was a government official and a writer too) suggested me to keep a pen and paper or notepad with me always. So that whenever any idea or quotes or poems or stanzas come to my mind, I can note them down. This idea is still with me as a best practice and good luck. I started keeping a small pocket-size notebook always with me from that day onwards. It was like a part of my handbag. Including keys, tissues, and other kinds of stuff. When I travel if I feel like writing something then I can write at that time.

Gradually the mobile phones were replaced by smartphones. Firstly I was using it for messages, pictures, and calls. Then it stepped up one with Orkut, then Facebook, yahoo mail, etc. just 10 yrs back. After seeing others on WhatsApp and then Instagram was in use. After using the smartphone and WhatsApp, I decided to use the phone less. It’s like a disturbing element. But after the lockdown, my teaching and making ppts, worksheets, and others were done by the smartphone. Till that time I was not addicted or nothing was so much nearer to my heart as I am always an old-school guy with pen and paper.

During the lockdown, I started writing poems again after almost 18 yrs. I was writing in between these years, but very few. Still, those are in diaries. But since 2021 January I started full-fledged writing as I got one idea of clicking pics and putting my thoughts on it by editing. My first addiction and favorite is the Pinterest app. You will find anything in this app. That become my lifeline, helped me in creative ways, and get new ideas.

Then, I got to know about the writing app Your-Quote… and it just turned my life a complete 180°. A writer wants to be read by his/her readers. Or else there’s no point in writing if you cannot reach at least one person as your reader. I started putting my edited pics on Pinterest, then writing started flying high with Your quote platform. These two are my all-time favorite. For writing and editing, reviewing the write-ups, the Notes app is needed too. It’s like the storehouse.

Among these three apps, I am really thankful and in love with the Notes app as it’s the storehouse and can send any write-up to any platform, can store the Zoom links, can write and pin the important writings. Just copy and paste at your desired platform and the magic touch is there.

As a writer, I prefer the Notes app.. easy to handle, ongoing writing can be done. Just life is beautiful and easy now.

The things we have already, we ignore many a time. But these old things stay with us lifelong.
Use it and keep your things safe.

Happy reading.

WHAT’S IN AN APP?

Have you ever looked at something which was not always with you and thought “How did I ever manage to live without this?” Well, I look at my mobile phone and have this thought many times… Ok, I know what you are thinking. I am not that old… The mobile phone has been around for quite some time… But the apps inside them… they are even younger…

Can you count the number of times you open WhatsApp? I can’t imagine making a plan without making a WhatsApp group, where everyone will decide and then undecide and then re-decide a simple plan of meeting for lunch with friends. Makes me wonder how did I manage earlier? How did I complete my missed classwork as a kid without someone posting on the class group what was taught today…

How did families manage to keep in touch with their uncles and aunts and cousins and nieces and nephews without wishing all of them Good Morning every day on WhatsApp?

So if I go with the most used App on my phone WhatsApp emerges number one and is closely followed by Facebook and Instagram…

If I am sitting or standing idle even for a minute with my phone within hand reach by default my fingers will pick up the phone and pay homage to WhatsApp, Facebook, and Insta in quick succession. Guys don’t judge I just don’t wanna miss out on any latest happenings.

Another guilty pleasure I have discovered on my phone recently is Amazon Prime App… I have binge-watched all my favorite shows of the early 2000s and 2010s… Grey’s Anatomy, House, The Good Doctor, Mentalist, Sherlock Holmes, NCIS etc., I binge-watched all these and more on the Prime app. No waiting for the next day for the next episode, no waiting for 6 months for the next season… I can consume as much as I want. This is my small window into another world. I am loving it. I get transported into their world. I watch and wonder do doctors really talk so much about their personal life while doing an operation? How are the houses of these murder victims so clean and well kept… if the police enter my apartment in an emergency will they judge my housekeeping skills?

Okay don’t laugh don’t such thoughts occur to you too at times…

Check out your phone and see which is your most used app and do share in comments…

MY FAVOURITE APP OF ALL TIME

It was in 2012 when I got my first phone. It was a feature phone meaning it had a keypad. I was so excited about having my first phone. It had a very small screen, just half the size of a passport-size photo! Today when I looked at my smartphone, I wonder was it me who was using that feature phone?

Even after using so many smartphones and high-end mobile applications, my first mobile phone is quite special. It was a Motorola flip handset. Though there were a few applications that allowed me to call and text people, it was still the best. There were no games applications on my Motorola phone. One of the best things about that phone was that in case, I received a message or a missed call, the tiny screen over the outer side of the flip, used to blink. There were tiny icons for showing battery life, messages, and calls.

I was so fascinated by this feature back then, that I would often ignore my incoming calls just to see the missed call icon blinking. After using it for over a year, I switched to a Samsung Champ handset. However, this was for a short time as my father lost it in a crowd. The reason why I switched to the new phone was that I wanted to experience what it was like to use a touch-screen phone. Once I asked my uncle to buy a new phone for me and he agreed and bought a Samsung Champ.

The Samsung champ had an in-built gaming application that was all about collecting diamonds. I often played that game and it was one of my favorite pastimes. Now since it was my first touch-screen handset, I loved playing that game by scrolling through the screen.

But no other game can compete with the Zombie HQ game that I started playing when I was pursuing my graduation. Back then I was using one of the Motorola smartphones. The game was so interesting that I could play it for 2-3 hours at a stretch. The game was all about hunting down zombies and killing them with some high-end weapons and collecting points. At first, the game seemed a bit difficult to me but then I aced it.

While killing the vampire, my fighters used to yell and grunt and I liked it. This is when I realized how games and other applications make us addicted to them. Soon, I uninstalled the application. This is when my friends persuaded me to use Instagram as it was the thing that allegedly made us cool. Eventually, I started using Instagram and I still use it.

Still, I am not a big fan of Instagram even though I use it every day to watch cute dog videos and scroll through my news feed. The only application that I genuinely admire was Hike Messenger. Its servers were shut down this year in January and trust me, I miss Hike every day. It was such a cool application but it didn’t get as much fame as WhatsApp and Instagram enjoy.

The best thing about Hike was that it had so many stickers. I mean you could type a word or sentence and you may see stickers in the auto-suggestion. The chat theme of the application was so vibrant. There were plenty of chat themes and they were undisputedly beautiful. Not only this, one could hide their private and important chat through the Hide Chat feature. The feature kept the chat hidden and no people could find it except the user himself/herself. The notification ringtone along with the feature to send offline messages was so good.

Even today I wish for the makers of Hike to make a comeback and start afresh. I haven’t uninstalled the application from my phone and I don’t think I would ever like to uninstall it. However, when I change my phone, I would be erasing all my data from my current phone, and then Hike will be gone forever and this makes me sad.

My friends often ask me to just let go of Hike and I don’t know why I am still not ready to do this. I know this is stupid. But I prefer holding on to this hope of seeing Hike back on the Google Playstore.

How true it is, that we hold onto certain things in life even when we know they don’t exist anymore!!! Does this make you wonder and ponder about it?

Well! Then keep doing that…

WRITE ON THE GO, LITERALLY

Year 2003, the first-ever mobile phone that came to my hand had no apps apart from a game named, ‘Banana’. Yeah, there will be monkeys on my trees as well as the bot’s. We will have our turns to throw bananas on each other to let the monkeys of the opponent fall off the trees. I won’t look at that game now even though it was my favourite pastime then. There was nothing else in that B & W phone apart from a Contact list, Clock and SMS.

Soon came Samsung Bar phone. ‘Bowling‘ was my favourite game. It was again a no-apps, but coloured phone. Soon came ‘FM Radio‘ in the next-generation phones and that took my heart away.

Later, the desire for better grew. Greed crawled freely wearing a mask of Need in my heart and mind. I aspired for a touch screen big phone named, Microsoft Lumia, the first-ever window phone. And I achieved it by hook or crook. Finally, I got a phone with something called, APPS. And the favourite app of that phone was a daily devotional app called, Our Daily Bread.

Soon everyone in the world went up the Level of Unsmartness and became smart enough to hold at least the cheapest Smart Phone in their hands with all the minimum apps in it. Now, presently, I am holding maybe, the 12th phone of my life and it has almost all the latest apps to get addicted to. So let me come to the main body of the article, “My Favourite Phone App“.

What do you think would be the best app for a writer?

Maybe, an app of a Writers Community but there’s not much or I don’t like them. Maybe, an app for bloggers and most of us are using WordPress.com. But let me tell you what is my favourite app.

It’s a very lightweighted and offline app and doesn’t consume much of your phone space. It’s highly user-friendly app. It is called – “Writer Plus (Write On the Go)” If you want to jot it down something quickly with a title, you can rely on it. Type it out and leave the phone, the text will be there, saved automatically. You want to organise and arrange each note or article in different folders, you can do it easily by creating different folders. Keeping a back-up of all your notes is extremely easy. Simply safeguard the app folder and copy it in your laptop and you will have everything intact when you reinstall the app later.

For more information on the App, you can look into this video, HERE:

Demo on WriterP mobile app

This app taught me one lesson, and that is – “Efficiency can be achieved with simplicity.” The machine, the app or the person him/herself doesn’t have to be very sophisticated or complex to achieve something big. Simplicity does impact and bring about good enough results and changes in life too.

I have been using WriterP for more than 5 years by now, to record my sermon outlines, articles, thoughts, ideas, valuable information. When there’s no internet access or laptop or paper or you don’t have mood, this app in our mobile phones come handy and extremely effective.

There are many other apps which I use more than WriterP app but this one is my favourite.

Friends! Download it, use it and remember me.

Stay Blessed!

DELIGHTED TO WRITE THE 1001ST POST

It is really unbelievable for me that finally we could cross this  Milestone of posting 1000 posts (includes articles, poems and quotes). When Candles Online was started in 11 July 2015 the 1st articleThank You” was written by Rajnandini and tonight the 1000th articleDon’t Turn a Blind Eye, Raise Your Voice” was written by Kuljeet Saini. And while achieving this feat we also had broke our previous records which were quite astounding when I calculated myself. Have a look at them as follows:

Articles, Poems & Quotes: 1001
Topics discussed: 122
Authors Contributing: 34
Comments left: 4153
Story Relays: 3
Countries Reached: Over 155
Followers till now: 2202

I praise God as He has been so faithful all these years because when we started, we were just 7 in the team and look now, we are more than 30 today. It started as a Webzine but now, I think we are a community where, there are many readers, followers and visitors who are being added to us, the authors of Candles Online daily. I feel so grateful to all my co-authors whom I call my angels who have been so passionate as I am till now.

I know, this is just the beginning and we will be going farther than this as we are growing rapidly fulfilling our objectives of:

 

  • Motivating and Inspiring a fearful, discouraged, depressed human…

  • Igniting the spark in a lost and passive soul to understand the meaning of life…

  • Creating Awareness about self, family, community and country as a whole…

  • Transforming lives lifted out from the pit of darkness to light of life…

 

Congratulations my dear angels! Let’s keep up the good work enthusiastically that we have started together as I am certain that God, who has begun the good work within us, will continue His work until it is finally finished.

Stay Blessed!!!

 

DO’S & DON’T’S IN STORY RELAY – TIPS FROM MY EXPERIENCES AND OBSERVATIONS

Dear Readers,

Greetings from Candles Online!

Hope you all are enjoying being on here and getting motivated by our articles.

As you all know, Story Relay has been a new initiation by us on Candles Online and it’s an absolutely new experience for the whole team. And all of us enjoyed writing a story together day after day till it finishes on the 7th day (14th day for the last relay) of the week. Moreover, the readers also appreciated the endeavor. Some of them also said that they could relate well with the stories that we wrote.

Till now we could write 3 stories in a relay format. And all three stories reflected the problems of females. The first one was of a frustrated married lady, the second one was of a desperate mom and the third one was of a single woman in despair.  My co-authors were amazing in building all three stories to bring out some moral out of them.

After the successful completion of these story relays I thought of jotting down few tips and observations for all of us to know and understand. These tips might be helpful for my co-authors as well as many bloggers and writers those who visit our sites regularly or occasionally.

  1. The starter of a story has to be absolutely bland in my opinion but it has to incite interests in the minds of the next writers as well as the readers to explore the openings creatively.
  2. The title of the starter should be such on which a novella can be built. The title should guide an extender to extend the story further.
  3. Each extension should contain maximum of two or three scenes… not more than that or else it will be very boring and confusing for the next writer.
  4. Each scene should be dealt well, realistically… not just in a touch and move ahead style. Each scene should be carefully explained with minute to minute details.
  5. Twists in an extension are good but it should always align with the theme of the starter or the title.
  6. Unnecessary twists are troublesome. And a twist is not always appreciable. In fact, a lead is more important than a twist.
  7. A story relay is not a competition between writers but a team work. Sometimes, a writer has to just extend the story further by detailing the same scene as left by the previous writer.
  8. Keeping the minute details in mind about the places, times, dates and days mentioned by the previous writers is of utmost importance.
  9. Never bring the obvious at an early stage, instead leave it open for the subsequent writers. Keep the suspense intact in your piece. Learn the art of postponing the obvious interestingly poised for the next writer to extend.
  10. At the end I would like to encourage you all to do little research about the scenario you are planning to write. You need to know “Why Research Is Important For A Fiction Writer“.  Follow the link and read the article written by my co-author Pradita. She has given some very valid points which can help in story relays as well.

I am pleased to write this article addressing you, my valuable readers on behalf of my team. And henceforth, I will keep in touch with you time to time through such bulletins.

Till then, Good Night!

Chiradeep