Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Smart Suraksha Tips

So, having seen what awaits you if you are let your guards down and a bit carefree towards your security, let’s have a look at what all can we do to make sure we are safe. Some tips, for the ladies:

  1. Install Smart Suraksha - keep it ON at all times when travelling alone.
  2. Carry Pepper spray - in your purse
  3. Carry a small knife - in your pocket
  4. While travelling, dress modestly - If you’re going to a party, carry your dress and change at the venue. But while travelling, change into something which doesn’t attracts attention
  5. Be extra careful around the ATMs - Before you enter an ATM just look around to see if there is any suspicious element lurking around. Do not count your money outside of the ATM. Put your money in your purse and then come out of the ATM.
  6. Be “aware” about the place you are going: If it’s a new place, check it online, on Google maps. Note the major public places around - restaurants, markets, hospitals, cinemas. Note their phone numbers. Specially note the banks and ATMs as they have security guards.
  7. Maintain a confident and composed outlook: Look confident, stand straight. Even if you are afraid, do not give it away.
  8. Note the number of the rickshaw or the cab that you are getting into. Call one of your friends and say the number and the name of the driver aloud. Once he knows that people are aware of his details, we would refrain from doing something wrong.
  9. In Metro & Local Trains, if the female compartment is deserted, sit in the general one. It’s better to be with the general crowd, than be alone in the ladies compartment.
  10. If i you are stuck in an elevator with a sole man (or a group of men), press buttons for floors between your origin and destination floors. With lift stopping by at multiple floors, the men won’t try something nefarious.

Stay alert. Stay safe.


I am sharing my Smart Suraksha Tips at BlogAdda.com in association with Smart Suraksha App

Friday, 25 October 2013

The Tablet War

With the release of Nokia Lumia 2520 the battles of the tablet has heated up even more. Just a month back Microsoft had announced it’s updated versions of Surface and Surface Pro tablets - the Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 2.
Apple’s iPad created the tablet market and has ruled over it since then. Even now, when the Android based tablets, collectively, have a larger share than Apple’s, iPad is still the single most popular tablet in the world.
I have been meaning to buy a tablet myself, but refrained from it because of limited functionality they offer. Yes. I am tempted by iPad but being writer, could not see myself writing my blogs on a tablet. Though it’s good as a consumption device - for browsing the web, emails, watching videos, some social networking through the apps. But not creation. Content or otherwise.
I can’t say about others but for my needs, Microsoft’s Surface 2 looks perfect. Apart from offering all the other features - that other tablets offer, too - it gives me the ability to write, like with a keyboard ! I have seen the videos and it actually looks awesome ! Microsoft Surface 2 comes with Microsoft Office pre-installed. MS Office is the most widely used suite of productivity apps in the world. Come to think of it - 90% of users will be happy with a lightweight computer that allows them to do whatever a regular tablet does, PLUS MS Office. In fact, the more I think of it, the more it becomes clear that apart from MS Office, I don’t really need other desktop apps !
I have been toying with the idea of getting one as soon as it lands up in India, when I saw the news of Nokia’s tablet - the Lumia 2520! And IT IS BEAUTIFUL. Yes, it truly is. Plus it has GPS, and LTE - that’s cellular connectivity. The keyboard is also there, although Surface’s keyboard looks more integral part of the tabet than Nokia’s. But yes, it has definitely caught my fancy.
Now waiting for either of these to land up in India so that I can go to a store and touch it and pick the one that I like.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

That Night . . .

Smart Suraksha.
I looked at the words and the description of the mobile app and my mind raced back one year, when I was in my first job. In Mumbai.
Mumbai. The city of dreams. Of Shah Rukh Khan. Of Gateway of India. Of Sea Link.
Coming from Delhi, I was extremely happy to be a part of a brighter city like Mumbai. I loved my work. I loved my colleagues. I loved my neighbours. And I loved the people of Mumbai. Everyone seemed friendly, spoke softly, and seemed to care about you. Everyone seemed good. Until that day.
It was a Friday. “Fridays are party days” - as people in Mumbai love to say. We partied till late in the Bandra suburbs of Mumbai. We had a reason to party - our company has just won a big award at a major award function. And the boss said the award was dedicated to all the new, young employees ! Yes, we were excited !
I don’t drink. Okay, that’s a lie, but that night I didn’t drink much. Because I knew I had to go back home late in the night. Mansi would drop me till Bandra station and from there on I will take a ‘Local’ for my home. Local - the local trains in Mumbai. Fast, safe, reliable. Even entertaining. “Dangerous” is not the word one usually associates with it. Not even when you are sitting at the top of the train, right beneath the high-tension electric wires. Not even in the nights.
When Mansi dropped me at the Railway station, it was 4 in the morning. Yes, that late. It was dark all over and a bit chilly, it being winter. Though to most of Delhiites winter in Mumbai is a joke, but 4 am is a good time to feel a little bit of chill. I folded my hands and entered the station. It was empty inside. So I sat on a bench, waiting for the train. The next one - the indicator showed me - was due in twenty minutes. I buried my face in my lap to save myself from the chill.
I’m not sure if I dozed off sitting at that bench, but when I brought my face up, the train was there - standing still on the platform. I jumped on my feet and got into it. As if on cue, the train started moving as soon as I took my seat in the almost empty compartment. Almost, because I could see another soul - in the otherwise empty ladies compartment. She was in blue, sitting at a distance, facing away from me, leaning against one of the walls of the compartment. It looked like she had dozed off. I could tell that she, just like me, was coming back from a party.
The train moved at a brisk speed and the air got even more chillier. The wind, now blowing through the windows and the doors was adamant on freezing me. I moved away from the coveted window seat, towards the center of the compartment where - I hoped - the wind wouldn’t be able to catch me. All in vain. The only sure-shot way of avoiding this chilly breeze was to sleep - as was evident from the girl in the blue party dress.
The next station came. The train came to a halt, and I took a sigh of relief. 15 seconds of no wind ! I was enjoying my moment when I saw three men getting into the compartment. The ladies compartment becomes a general one in the late nights, so I wasn’t really surprised. They looked at the girl in blue, and sat next to her. Now I was alarmed. The men looked in their late twenties and early thirties, and were wearing shirts. I knew they didn’t mean well from the moment I saw them sitting besides the girl when there was plenty of room elsewhere to sit. Next thing I know, the girl wakes up with a jerk. I’m not sure what happened, because we two were on the other ends of the compartment. The girl or the men, hadn’t seen me, yet.
I could see some movements there. The men were trying to talk to her. Then, suddenly, one of them held her hand. She began to shout at them. That didn’t help. All I could see was the men and the girl struggling with each other. I looked out of the window for help and realized that the train had stopped. Not on a station, though, but right in the middle of nowhere. I looked at the mess ahead in the train again. I wasn’t sure if the train stopping was a good thing or a bad one. But I couldn’t stay like this. I couldn’t keep quiet. I knew if I spoke even I’d be in trouble but if I don’t stand up of for this girl right now, I cannot expect others to stand up for me, either.
So I stood up and shouted - “Hey”.
There was a total silence for a few moments as the men and the girl realized there was someone else in the compartment too. Then the men left the girl and stood up. All staring at me. I looked at the girl - she was crying, tears rolling down her cheeks. And trying to smile, on finding me in that compartment. The men had mixed expressions. That of fear and anger. The expression gravitated towards anger as they slowly started moving towards me. Now it was my turn to be afraid. Just then the train started moving again with a jerk. The jerk made the jerks fall. And the girl got up and ran towards me. Through the fallen men. It was now the two of us, standing face-to-face with the three men, in a train running at a relatively slow speed.
One of the men jumped ahead and grabbed the girl. The girl slapped him in his face, so hard that he was completely disoriented for a moment. And in that moment the girl made a leap for the door. I knew what she was doing and tried to stop her. But before I could, the girl had jumped from the train. Everybody froze for a second. Then I rushed to the door. The train was slower than usual but not so much that one can jump off without getting hurt. I looked out for the girl. There she was lying on the tracks. Hurt badly, but alive.
I looked back at the men. With anger and fear. The girl jumping off the train had slowed them down. Collateral damage. They started moving towards me. I didn’t know what to do. I hurled my purse at them. It hit one of them in the face. And he stopped for a moment, massaging his face. The other two, in the meanwhile came ahead and held my wrists. The man who was hit by my face was pissed off. He moved towards me with eyes laced with anger, lust and hatred. I looked out for help, it was morning now. Though it was light, I couldn’t see anyone there. It was early morning and the world hadn’t woken up. Tears started rolling down my cheeks. I didn’t know what to do. Just then the train stopped at a station. There was no one in sight. “HELP”, I cried, in hope of getting some. “What’s happening?” somebody replied, in the local language. It was a woman’s voice. I smiled in hope. The men were startled. Two of them went to the door to see who it was, while one held me at the back of the compartment. And in just that moment, knowing I could get help if I could get out, I bit the hand of the man holding my wrist. He cried in pain and I dashed towards the door. The two men were standing there, with their back towards me. I pushed them, making them fall on the platform with me. I got up and saw a group of 7-8 women standing there. They looked like fisherwomen, a common sight in Mumbai’s trains. I ran towards them. They understood the matter and ran to rescue me. The train had started moving by then, and the men briskly got in.
I was saved. They took me to the an officer at the station. I told him the entire story. They sent a team to look for the girl in blue.
I was in shock. I had always read that in storied but never believed it would happen to me someday.
I keep on thinking of the girl who jumped off from the train. I hope she is alright. I wish she had Smart Suraksha with her. I wish I had Smart Suraksha with me.
I am participating in the Seeking Smart Suraksha contest at BlogAdda.com in association with Smart Suraksha App