Sunday 30 April 2017

6 books which you should carry along on your trip to the Himalayas

Himalayan Sunrise  - Living in the Himalayas, Travel to the Himalayas

Whether it is a journey by toy train from Kalka to Simla or a road trip from Chandigarh to Ladakh, you always get fascinated by the sky-kissing snow-covered mountains and stupendous landscape of Himalayas.

A cool walk on the mall road of Simla, or a view of the snow–covered peaks in Manali or mountain sports on green surface surrounded by evergreen deodar trees in Khajjar or a bike trip through Rohtang pass, all are capable of helping you lose your worries immediately.

All these are reasons enough which make the travel to Himalayas a must for every individual at least once in his/her life.

Once on a trip to Himalayas, I walked around the whole day taking view of the dangerous cliffs and the deep valleys, I was on an exploring spree so I climbed a lot with my back pack and all the necessary mountain gears. 

The mountains of the Himalayas have such a positive effect on you that you feel a kind of never-ending stamina in your body for the whole day and you keep moving ahead & ahead.

However, by evening I got tired and therefore I decided to come back to the hotel. In a few minutes I was sitting in the balcony of my room with a cup of tea in my hand enjoying the landscape covered by the evening mist with a cool breeze ruffling my hair.

It was a total divine experience for me with my trust strengthening in almighty, thanking the creator of the nature from the bottom of my heart for making the Himalayan region so full of nature. 

My room was at the 10th floor and the good thing of my room was that the balcony overlooked the snow covered mountains of the Himalayas. The view was enough to provide an exhausted mind a feeling of bliss.

In that feeling of bliss, I picked up a book lying on the coffee table just to take a cursory look and found out that 2 hours passed but my attention didn’t divert, not an inch.

What was it?

I could never imagine my concentration to be so robust. Till date, I believe it is the combination of the pristine beauty of Himalayas, pure cool breeze and the book I picked (I will mention the book later)

So, whether you are on a tour of Manali and spending half the day sitting by Beas River or you are on a trek to the tall mountains of Kedarkanth, visiting the Himalayas will not be perfect unless you carry a book with you.

A good and healthy book will not only make your time in the Himalayas memorable but will also elevate your divine experience to the highest level.

So, here we go with the books that you must carry on your trip to the Himalayas –

#1 . The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale

The fresh Himalayan air has the potential to unlock the hidden powers possessed by you. You must make use of this opportunity to bring an effective change in your attitude.

Today, with the emergence of Internet, the confidence level of an average human being has risen up.

But still if you introspect, you will find that there is a wide scope of strengthening it.

The Himalayan region and the happiness it brings to the mind

In this book, the author Norman Vincent Peale has beautifully described a few simple things which if followed can do wonders to your personality and fill your life with joy and prosperity.

The essence of this book is to teach you to believe in yourself, to enjoy positivity and confidence, so can there be any place better than the snow-covered peaks upfront to read it.

Great things are achieved through partnerships. Norman Vincent Peale, therefore, has stressed in this book to make god your partner in the process of everything you want to achieve.

This book will teach you to introduce firm belief in your prayers, will encourage you to pray every day, will strengthen your belief in almighty so that you start believing in yourself and develop a positive attitude. This book is surely one of the life changing books.

Our souls get a divine feeling in the presence of nature so imagine the experience you will get while reading something that is encouraging you to pray in the pristine nature of the mountains. 

#2.  Mega Living by Robin Sharma

Planning to grab the breathtaking view of the the Himalayan range just to get rid of your hectic work schedule and bring some peace to mind? Well, then this is the book you must read on your trip.

You will get to learn how to add years to life. By years, I mean longevity + Joy + Prosperity.

Robin Sharma has efficiently instructed nurturing the importance of life in your mind, to tap its potential and learn about the powers within.

If you have ever been to the Himalayas then you will agree with me that the air of the Himalayan region has some kind of magic.

Once it ruffles your hair you feel as if the clogged pores of your brain are opening to embrace the light of life.
Read & remember it as a book that changed your life

The reason I told you this is because everyone battles the presence of negative thoughts erupting inside the mind. Sometimes, they just debilitate us.

The most important aspect of this book is it makes you learn how to deal with negative thoughts, beat them down and fill your mind with only positive thoughts.

So, I recommend you to try it out in your next trip to the Himalayas, even if you have read it already; just get ready to see the magic when you read it there.

Also, this was the book which I mentioned about, in the beginning of the article. Give it a shot and I am sure you will surely remember it as a book that changed your life.

#3. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

The feeling of the present cannot be ignored. Imagine the difference in the feeling when you dreamt of receiving promotion to a higher designation and when you actually got it.

When you dreamt of being a topper in your class and when you actually became one or take an example of your travel to the Himalayas, when you imagined yourself trekking in Himalayas, booked your tickets and when you actually trekked there.

All these signal to the power the present has and that is why, they say ‘Live in the present’.

I know that you have heard this phrase a bunch of times in your life, and you read it often in your social media news feed but does your soul actually knows the meaning of it?

The mountains of the Himalayas will make you live in the present

Even you have vowed in the past to ‘live in the present’ but mind tends to give in to the first negative emotion aroused by not-so-good circumstances. This negative emotion then interferes with your way of living and prosperity.

But, you can realize the true meaning of this phrase through the concepts stunningly presented by Eckhart Tolle in the book ‘The Power of Now’. The ideas provided in this book can truly help you transform your life by killing stress and grasping the energy of the current moment.

The most beautiful thing about this book is that Eckhart Tolle has given a lot of breaks in between the chapters, where you can just go over what you read to deeply absorb it in your mind.

So, if you are fond of living life to the fullest and your Himalayan trip is a part of this fondness then this book should be in your bag. Believe me, if you trust a little in finding the life in a book then grab a copy of it on your trip to the Himalayas.

#4. A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson

This book became a big success when it was released and you will be astonished to know that it was the first book of its author.

Marianne Williamson, in this book, has stressed that love is the true spirit of life.

Instead of love, mind tends to embrace fear when things seem to be insurmountable which results in a corrupted soul. Then the other sins such as greed, selfishness and anger make their way in slowly.

This book provides several anecdotes which can help you give up on fear and embrace love. It will teach you that the inner peace or the bliss can be obtained not by achieving status or wealth or power but by adapting and sharing love with the people of the world.

Replace all negative thoughts with Love teaches this book

#5. The Art of Happiness by 14th Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler

This book is an illustration of the interview of the 14th Dalai Lama taken by Howard Cutler.  Cutler has supported the wisdom imparted by the Dalai Lama in this book with his own research.

It too answers a very vital question of life which is - 
'What do you mean by happiness?'

The Dalai Lama, in this book, says that the happiness of a person totally lies in his own hands and is not governed by external events and circumstances but is generated from the state of his mind.

The book talks about feeding the mind with affirmations, analysing the thoughts and emotions, paying attention to the thought process, training it on a regular basis so that it develops a state of mind better known as ‘Happiness’ in this world.

What do you mean by happiness? Find the answer in this book

It tells you that if you are more socially active, focused and creative then you tend to be happier than the people who are self-centered and unsociable.

The deeply explained philosophy of achieving happiness in this book makes it another good choice for reading with an amazing landscape in front of you.

#6. Tuesdays with Morrie By Mitch Albom

I am certain that this book is capable of making you fall in love with self-help books.
Mitch Albom met his college professor who was also his childhood mentor nearly after 20 years and found out that he was fatally sick.

There were things which still remained entangled for the author and on finding his professor after so many years; he would go to his study every Tuesday to take life lessons.

You might fall into tears by the time you reach the last page of this book.

If you are also in a predicament at this moment and planning to travel to the mountains of the Himalayas to find some answers, take this book with you. I bet it will surely deliver.

Wrap Up

It is an unquestionable fact that we go to the Himalayas to enjoy ourselves in nature, restore our confidence in ourselves, and kill stress so that we can feel the next Monday as the first day of our life.

Though on your trip, you will be living in the Himalayas for a very short time of your life but it is enough to bring in peace to the mind which is self-sustainable for an entire year or two.
Within this process, whether you are a reader or a non-reader, you cannot ignore the importance of the books. You cannot imagine the impact reading books can have whether you are sitting in the balcony of your hotel, watching the view or resting in your sleeping bag after a tiring trek.

However, the choice of books also plays an important role and that is what was in my mind when I thought about writing this article.

So, have you read any of the books mentioned here  before? And which of these books would you like to take with you on your next trip to the Himalayas?

Is there any book you would like to add to this list?

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Also, visit our 24X7 online used books store to sell,buy and exchange books with people around you

Sunday 16 April 2017

Calling all engineers : 9 effective tips to follow during and after graduating engineering

9 effective tips to follow during and after graduating engineering

According to the internet, 1.5 million youngsters become engineers every calendar year.

It might interest you to know that in the year 2015, 16 year old adolescents when asked which career they want to take up, as much as 82% replied ‘Engineering’, according to a Times of India report.

Of course why won’t they?

Due to the emergence of the IT industry, getting job has been much easier in the previous and current decade compared to eighties & nineties.

Also, IT industry pays you enough to afford a house in Tier-3 cities.

And then comes theories and rumours from so-called pessimists, self-proclaimed realists and negative thinkers that IT industry has reached its point of saturation and is no longer going to grow.

There is a simple solution which comes from the positive thinkers and the bullish investors of the stock market that as long as there exists technology (impossible to remove)  in the world, there will emerge new challenges in the form of problems.

And who better can provide the solutions with extremely skilled labour and inexpensive prices than the Indian IT industry.

A contradicting Fact

Despite known worldwide as one of the most talented workforce, it is a bitter fact that only 20% of the engineering graduates are employed and 80% of them find it hard to secure a job in the early stages.

The situation of the 80% employed doesn’t seem to get any better.

When a bunch of Companies from diverse sectors (not just IT) was surveyed, a new concern surfaced that they often find a major chunk of these 80% graduates lacking in basic engineering skills and sometimes not fit for the job.

The above points may sound harsh but they are the facts.

My Personal Experience

During my graduation period, I observed a thing which appeared very relaxing and comforting at that moment.

Most of us would always seek to find questions from question banks that appeared in previous semesters and would focus preparing them.

Well, I must say this helped us a lot because we were able to clear all the semesters without fail and scored well too. J

But, if I retrospect now, I notice that I hardly studied anything. Had I really studied I would have had at least a piece of it in my personality.

Right now, I don’t even remember the names of most of the subjects.(I bet my condition is the worst J)

The bottom line is that Engineering has become very much examination-oriented rather than idea-oriented.

If you are an aspiring engineer or already an engineer, you would agree that most of your friends and colleagues just look forward to clearing the semesters and cracking campus-interviews rather than actually asking a simple question to themselves –

‘What is the purpose of studying engineering?’

Well, I would rather leave it to you to ponder over it.

It is very necessary to keep in mind a few things while pursuing engineering so that it actually makes sense to study it, feel it and embrace it.

So, in this post I am sharing few tips from my own experience that will help you to study engineering well and developing a good skill set for the rest of your life –

#1. Bygones are not bygones

When you move from one semester to another, I strongly don’t recommend you to forget what happened in the previous one.

That is why it is recommended to make notes every semester and try to connect what you study in the present with the topics studied in the last semester.

Whenever you get time, just give a superficial look at the topics you studied previously to build a strong knowledge foundation.

Always remember connecting topics will give you immense exposure and a great engineering experience.

It should be kept in mind that the next semester is an augmentation of the previous one and not something totally different.

#2. I am proud of my language but English is also necessary

English language creates and impression

Nobody can separate us from our indigenous language ‘Hindi’ and mother tongue or weaken our love for them.

We have been and will be proud to speak our own languages.

But, since Indian companies or foreign enterprises in India that employ our engineers get most of the business from the west hence I strongly recommend you to develop a grip over ‘English’ from as early as the first semester.

From my own experience, spoken English is always given very less importance but is the most important skill when it comes to cracking interviews and even after that on the job.

If you speak good English with confidence, without using fillers then you can create a great first impression on your bosses and colleagues in the corporate.

This skill can effectively disguise your weakness in any other skills and make you a shining star in no time.

#3.  Programming

By programming, I am going very much specific to IT and computer science engineering. But if I widened the scope by using the term ‘hands-on’ it would apply to other engineering branches as well.

From the last decade to the current year, the situation hasn’t much changed. More stress is given to theoretical learning and a very little importance is given to hands-on activities.

The above line has been written in reference to most of the colleges of the country and not IITs and NITs where a student has to score good in laboratory examinations as well.

Implementation is what is required to become a good engineer
I consider this as the major reason of the companies complaining of engineers lacking in basic necessary skills.

IT giants expect computer-science and IT engineers to enter with basic programming knowledge which most of them lack because not enough importance is given to it during the entire 4 years of engineering.

So, if you think that the current engineering system is not serious about thorough hands on in its curriculum, make sure that you gear up and develop great programming skills or hands-on skills relevant to your engineering branch.  

#4 Participation in events

A lot of tech-events take place across various cities in the entire calendar year and also on different websites. I would strongly recommend you to take part in them.

There are a lot competitions held in those events such as bug-tracking, algorithms creation, robotics, building circuit boards etc.

Even if you like to be in the organizing committee it’s well and good. Why?

Participate in as many technical events as possible

Since, you would unintentionally started working on your managerial skills at a very early age.

The only feeling which could stop you from participate in these events is ‘I don’t know anything, how will I do it?”

Well, Please Please Please ! Kill this feeling.

Even if you could do very less in those events doesn’t matter, but the kind of exposure and experience you will get in such events is totally incomparable and will strike sense in your head of what engineering really is about.


 #5 Learning must not stop at the job

Never Stop learning even after you get the job

Don’t think that once you got your first job, it’s time to totally chill. No!

What you studied in engineering acted as a ladder for you to get the job. Now, your attitude towards your job will act as a ladder for your retirement life.

Therefore, keep yourself updated with the latest stuff in your technology area and keep harnessing your skills.

Do not stop learning from books as well as from your seniors. The more you dig in, the better your future will be.

#6 Be creative

Engineering is all about simplifying manual efforts.

So, as a computer science engineer if you feel that a small program could reduce your effort by even a tiny amount just write it.

If you are a mechanical or an automobile engineer try to develop your interest towards machines and engines right from the start.

Engineering is all about creating and developing stuff

Small inventions done by you that can reduce the effort of you and your family can make a big difference.

This activity will make your mind addicted to creating something new every now and then and of course, you will learn something out of your own experience.

Boosting your creativity will make you understand the real meaning of engineering.

#7  Handle individual projects

A major chunk of your learning process depends on working on individual projects.
So, if you are an undergraduate assign yourself 3 projects per year and start working on them. If you could form a team that is well and good, however, if not then start solo.

With Google getting stronger, you can get help on the project topics from a large number of websites.

Projects give you an edge over fellow students or colleagues
To name a few you can start with building an android app, or an online store etc.

Flying drones are becoming increasingly popular these days and you cannot imagine the happiness you will receive when it will fly for the first time. 

Working on individual projects is closely associated with being creative.

Also, listing projects in the curriculum vitae can play a key role during your job interviews as the interviewer will automatically drift his questions towards the projects you have worked upon.  

#8 Networking starts at an early age

Build a string network of good and hard working engineers

The success of all the social media sites suggest how powerful networking is in 21st century.

Hence, I would suggest you to start building a network of efficient, hardworking and good engineers as early as possible.

I never had such a network but I consider myself lucky that I was able to secure a job at the right time.

The value of networking can be realized both in the times of strong job demand & job crisis.

Companies often conduct referral programs in which they ask their own employees to refer their own friends or acquaintances for the open job position.

And if you are good such referral programs can land you a good job in top MNCs.

#9  Seek alternate guidance

As I stated earlier that companies often complain of new recruits lacking in basic skills.

Well, the blame must be shared equally between the faculties and the graduates themselves.

It points out that somewhere something is wrong in imparting technical education. Of course, this post is not about what is wrong in that area hence we won’t dig more into that.

However, this signals the need for the undergraduates to seek guidance from other sources too.

The other sources can be your successful seniors, engineers from your own family, books, faculties from your own networks, blog posts (like this one) and many education websites.

Effective guidance is very much necessary because it shows you the path to your goals and then comes your choice of walking on it and achieving them.

Always seek alternate guidance

Wrap Up

The world of engineering is unlimited. It starts with the basic idea of simplifying manual efforts to automating the entire production process of a giant automobile company.

It is the time to set the germ inside the mind of exposing yourself to the creation side of Engineering rather than just thinking always about securing a job.

The message is do not limit yourself. Expose your mind to different dimensions of technical education and you will see the results.

So, do you agree with the tips mentioned here? Have they made a little difference to your thought process?

Do you have something more to share with us that help India produce better engineers?

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Monday 3 April 2017

7 incredible tips to protect yourself from the stray dogs that chase you every night

7 Tips to protect yourself from stray dogs

Has it happened to you that while riding your bike to home in the night, a pack of dogs has chased you?

When you drive a car you enjoy the security which the doors of the car provide but such is not the case while riding a motorbike.

Obviously, when a dog chases you, bound by your survival instinct you are left with no option other than panic! 

You just loose composure, pull your legs up with your feet set just parallel to the petrol tank and your bike starts curving in the opposite direction of the dog attack.

This reminds me of an interesting incident when I was a teenager.

#The Nightmarish Incident 

My friend would visit my house every evening to study. 

We would study for about 2-3 hours in the compound of my house.

A small digression here –
2-3 hours included lots of breaks for eating and discussing the ongoing stuff in college. So please don’t get surprised!

Coming back to the subject, every night it would get too late for him to leave and most of the time the streets would get deserted which happened to be the correct time for the stray dogs to come out.

One night, just after 5 minutes he left, I heard the rev of the engine of a motorbike getting louder with each passing second and suddenly I saw him totally panicked in front of the gate.

He told me that on his way he met a pack of dogs in an aggressive mood, with their drooling sharp teeth seeming ready to rip anything apart.

Suddenly, they all started barking and moving towards him to which he panicked and had no other option than to drive like crazy and get away.

However, to his luck there was another safer but longer road which he took and got back home and he got so afraid that he would daily take the same road home burning almost twice the gas.

#A Dog Bite can be Costly

The problem with the stray dogs is common in almost every place, and in some neighborhoods it is worse.

As good and responsible inhabitants of this lovely planet, we, in no ways, mean to hurt dogs but self defense is a need we cannot ignore too. 

Dog bite is a thing we fear a lot. In fact, it is something that must be taken seriously and we should adapt all necessary measures to avoid it as much as possible.

If a dog bites man, the wound must immediately be taken care of and also the infected dog bite symptoms like nausea, anxiety, nervousness need to be checked upon in order to find out if the wound may prove fatal in the future. 

This post is about how to handle stray dogs

Infected dog bite treatment can be costly and may involve taking 14 or more injections in the body to protect you from the diseases caused by the bacteria which prevail in dog teeth.

Rabies is the most serious disease that one can get from an infected dog bite. In some cases, it takes years to come into effect. 

But when it does, if affects brain by producing unwanted fear of water. In most of the cases, Rabies has proved to be fatal and is generally caused by the bite and saliva of an infected dog.

Doctors say there is no need to worry when a dog is vaccinated. But, experts reckon that you must not ignore any dog bite and seek immediate medical attention.

Dog bite can also cause Staph Infection. It is spread by the bacteria found in dogs and other animals’ saliva which can cause skin and lung infections therefore, the dangers of a dog bite cannot simply be ignored.

#Let’s Get Started

So I am listing down a few good tips which are definitely going to help you know what to do when a dog chases you. Following and practicing these tips will make you protect yourself from dogs which chase you every night when you ride your bike to home.

The perspective here is to create a win-win situation in which both the dog and we escape out safe & unhurt. 

1. Do not run

Our survival instinct definitely triggers the signal to run which we follow unquestioningly when we see a dog or a pack of dogs chasing. But this is not a solution in fact, running from dog can prove costly to your health as it may instigate the dog to bite you in the leg 

It’s the time to regain your composure and not run.

If you don’t run you are just not provoking the predatory skills of the dog and in almost 99% of the cases you escape safely by staying still.

So, the next time when you are riding bike and you see a pack on the side of the road watching at you, just slow down.

Slow down, relax and calmly drive away from them at a very gentle speed. It is a common and obvious fact that speed provokes a dog’s predatory skills. 

If you think that the dog is not stopping even at your calmness, quickly bring in to role what is mentioned in Tip#3 and Tip#4.

2. Feign bravery even in the case of fear

Suppose you encounter a stray dog on a street which looks quite aggressive and any moment can attack you.

What to do in such a situation?

Running from dog is not a solution to escape dog attack

Well follow the first tip first, do not run but it might only buy you some time before it attacks you.

Obviously, we are not mind scientists to know what is going on in its mind hence we can’t take the risk.

Therefore, pull yourself together and just pretend as if you are braver than the dog.

A reversal of Newton’s 3rd law can be applicable here –if there is no reaction there will be no action.

Stay still and nonchalant even if you are a bit scared from inside; once the dog loses interest in you slowly back away and sneak away.

3. Use a sheet or a purse to defend

When a dog is on a prowl, it would definitely satisfy its desire by biting. In around 90% of the cases you can get away just by following the above mentioned tips.

But what if you are one of the remaining 5% cases? What if the dog hurls itself towards you with its sharp teeth ready to grab the flesh?

The solution will be to break its predatory impulse and drive it down to zero so that you can get out unhurt.

Use a sheet or any long object such as your purse or your wallet or any long or a hard object available around towards its mouth.

The dog will bite it first which will give you sufficient time to escape and get behind a large object such as a car.

Remember, the key here is to distract the dog.

4. Keep cookies

In case, you are a night crawler or your work shift ends around 11 or 12 then you would be encountering a lot of stray dogs on streets.

Well, it’s their time to hangout and have a good time J

However, it would be better to keep a packet of cookies costing just 5 bucks in your pocket in order avoid any unwanted encounter with the stray dogs.

What to do if a dog chases you - Throw cookies to distract it

So, once you see a pack out on the road,  you take back home every day, just slow down take out a few cookies and throw them in the opposite direction.

They will jump after the cookies and you can then carry on and enjoy your night driving without worrying about dogs.

5. Use pepper spray

Another tip to handle stray dogs is using a pepper spray for distraction

I recommend it to be used in the worst situation possible. 

There are a few neighborhoods with a couple of mad dogs full of rabies. State’s animal care always take some time to arrive until which you cannot risk the safety of you & your family.

Using a pepper spray can totally frighten the dog and make him run away in case it jumps towards you to bite.

Somewhere I have read that you can make a dog run away just by using water spray on it.

6. Don’t make eye contact

Let’s say on your way back home, a couple of dogs chased you and following the first 2 tips you slowed down, stopped, are standing still now and the dog is just a couple of feet away from you.

The last thing you want to do in such a situation is making an eye contact with it. Making an eye contact may instigate its aggression and provoke it to attack you.

It is recommended to use words such as ‘go away’ with conviction to control its behavior. After all, the animal which can be trained best by humans is dog.

7. Carry a stick or act as if you are going to throw a piece of      stone on it.

This is a practice which I have seen a lot of villagers and cops follow.

They often travel at night on the deserted roads where they encounter a pack or two so they use the stick to scare them away.

You can also use the stick to distract a dog by throwing it in a direction and creating an urge in it to catch it.

A stick can also be used as a shield to protect when a dog jumps to bite. If you put it ahead of your body the dog will first grab it with its mouth.

Also, you can scare a dog by pretending as if you will throw a stone at it. Most of the dogs get scared away by this technique. If one doesn’t then you should immediately resort to one of the tips mentioned above.

#Wrap Up

There is a very interesting saying ”after a dog a book is a man’s best friend. Inside a dog you cannot see but inside a book you can.”

A dog can be a man’s best friend. It is a very loyal animal, protects you from thieves and can be your children’s best playmate too but you cannot all the time know what goes on in its mind. 
If on one side there is immense loyalty , on the other hand there are dangers of dog bite as well.

Therefore, taking precautions is necessary. if it’s your pet make sure that it is properly vaccinated. And if you happen to ride motor bike or walk at night on the street it is important to know how to handle stray dogs.

So, it is recommended to keep these tips in mind to get the answer to the question of 'what to do when a dog chases you?'.

Do you also live in a neighborhood where the dogs stroll more in number at nights?

Are you going to recommend these tips to your friend as well as follow yourself?

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