Author Archive Jayanthi

ByJayanthi

Why are arranged marriages in/from India successful?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Before I start my talking on the above topic, let me refer you to my post on what are “arranged marriages“?  As you can understand, in arranged marriages – the boy and girl have no clue of each other when they get married… to sum it, in an arranged marriage:

a. we don’t know what the would-be likes/dislikes(apart from color etc)

b. perception towards life

c. his/her younger days

d. financial habits

e. how the family/family members are

I don’t know how this type of relationship works or why it works – but it works till this day… ๐Ÿ™‚ 

When we first got married and moved to the US, “our arranged marriage” was the first thought hitting people all around us….

This was one popular quote: “I heard in India, they get married in a different way called “arranged marriage” – did you get married that way?”!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Even though I was pleasantly surprised to hear the query, I was proud that “our” unique way of getting married was world renowned…(and remember the Internet was in its infancy then)

So, why are arranged marriages in/from India so successful? (or atleast more stable than other countries)

It is not that India does not have divorces, but according to a report from India today, the divorce rate in India is less than 1%! (Source: https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/gk-current-affairs/story/india-has-the-lowest-divorce-rate-in-the-world-1392407-2018-11-20)

For most couples, after the honeymoon phase of 2-3 years in any marriage, the reality of life will start. Maybe the biggest difference is always how we are brought up with our varied backgrounds. These differences will rise and fall but the Indian couple always stays together through it all! ๐Ÿ™‚

So, how and why do arranged marriages survive? Here are some of my thoughts(not sure whether they are right or wrong)

  1. We are brought up that way and conditioned that way too. From a very young age, we know that our parents, in-laws, brothers, cousins all have only had an arranged marriage and it seems to work wonderfully for them – so it should work for us too! ๐Ÿ™‚ To put it simply, we just accept it for it is…
  2. We just accept the changing personality of each other in a marriage…
  3. When we get married in India – we not only get married to the person, we get married to the “whole” family!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Parents, in-laws, brothers, sisters, everybody will be part of the marriage and will definitely prod you along if things  are not working great(it works other way around too, unfortunately)
  4. Women not being totally financially independent might be one of the reasons too(many women continue to work after marriage – but very few can be totally and completely financially independent)
  5. Maybe the men in India are very adjusting to their wife and her family.. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  6. Maybe the women in India are very adjusting to the husband and his family too… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Bottom line, arranged marriages are working and still continue to work in India…if you can think of any other reason on why they work, do let me know!

 

 

ByJayanthi

Mysuru, Karnataka, India

Reading Time: 6 minutes

After having visited various wonderful destinations in the #XploreBharat blog train and having visited Mumbai yesterday, today we visit another exotic and equally fun destination, Mysuru!! ๐Ÿ™‚

As a Tamilian and having lived close to 23 years in my homestate, it was by chance that lady luck brought us to Bangalore or Bengaluru after a long US stint. Now living in Karnataka for the past few years, we have explored the length and breadth of this great state with full gusto! India is such a great country with awesome culture that changes every few hundred kilometres.

In that sense, we have dived into Karnataka culture by visiting the various places and Mysuru or Mysore is one of them. Join me as we visit the different places in Mysuru which is located in the state of Karnataka in India! 

First off, where exactly is Mysuru in India?

‘Mysore’ was rechristened as ‘Mysuru’ in 2014 and is located in the southern state of Karnataka. It is only about 145 kms from Bangalore or Bengaluru but with the traffic it might take close to 5 hrs or more!

 

Brindavan Gardens:

This is probably the first place that comes to mind when anybody thinks of Mysuru. Brindavan Gardens as the name suggests is a beautiful garden with wonderful water fountains. It lies close to the KRS(Krishnaraja sagar) dam in Mandya district of Karnataka. The KRS dam is built across the river Kaveri. With such beautiful scenery, Brindavan Gardens is the place for many Indian movie picturizations. 

Brindavan Gardens keeps the visitors enthralled with its musical water fountains and a walk around the garden itself is mesmerizing and relaxing. The garden is huge and is spread across 60 acres. There are eye catching topiary and other plants and flora which will definitely be a botanists dream.

It is best to visit Brindavan Gardens in the early evening hours to see the garden in natural light and stay back after sunset to enjoy the musical and well lit fountains. Many hotels and resorts pepper the gardens to enjoy the view of the fountains from the room itself. 

Sri Chamundeswari Temple:

The Chamundeswari temple sits atop the Chamundi hills which is about 13 kms east of the city of Mysuru. It is situated at an elevation of 3489 ft above sea level. Goddess Chamundi or Durga of the temple is the presiding deity of the Mysore Royal family. Goddess Chamundeswari is also known as ‘Mahishasure mardini’ for having killed the demon ‘Mahishasura’. This is the event that is the backdrop for the very,very popular ‘Dasara’ festivities in the month of Sept-Oct in Mysuru. Goddess Chamundi is also supposed to be an incarnation of Goddess Parvati(consort of Lord Shiva)

Enroute to the temple, we can see a magnificent Nandi statue(which is of monolithic architecture) and a statue of ‘Mahishasura’. 

The temple has its origins going back to a 1000 years. The  Chamundeswari temple was a small temple initially but after the Mysuru Maharajas and the Wodeyars gained power in 1399 AD, it was developed more and it assumed greater religious prominence. We can reach the temple easily by car and buses operated by the KSRTC(Karnataka State Transport corporation)

The entire city of Mysuru can be beautifully seen from the hillock. Prayers and offerings continue for the Goddess till date everyday. 

 

File:India - Chamundeswari Temple 03.jpg

                                                                                         (PIC: Creative commons)

Srirangapatna Fort:

No discussion of Mysuru will be complete without talking about the ‘Tiger of Mysuru’ -‘Tipu Sultan’. Tipu Sultan was the ruler of Mysuru between 1782 to 1799.  He was one of the few rulers who stood up against the British rule and waged many wars. He is known for the very popular saying “It is better to live like a lion for a day than to live like a jackal for a hundred years”.

Srirangapatna Fort was first built in 1454 in Indo-Islamic architecture. It underwent many changes first done by the Wodeyars and then by Tipu Sultan.  

The walls of the remaining fort are strong and is built in double enclosure. The Srirangapatna Fort is the second toughest fort in India.

                                                                                   (Pic credit: Wikimedia Author: Chithra Sivakumar)

The Srirangapatna fort has bastion gates, dungeons, gun powder houses. It also housed the ‘Lal Mahal’ which used to be the house of Tipu Sultan.  Unfortunately, the ‘Lal Mahal’ was razed by the British and now, only a board serves as a notice to the above.

Mysuru Palace:

You know the Kings and Queens that you read all your life? They come alive in Mysuru Palace.  If you visit Mysuru, the Palace is one of the “must” places to see and drink in the royal architecture. It is supposedly to be one of the beautiful places to visit in India after the Taj Mahal. It is home to the Wodeyars who ruled Mysuru for close to 500 years. There were 25 kings till Mysuru joined the Indian Republic in 1947. 

The Palace was built between 1897- 1912 by architect Henry Irwin. The initial cost to build the palace was 41.47 lakh rupees then! The palace has three entrances(East gate, West gate and South gate) The East gate and West gate are only opened during Dasara festivities. The palace is also surrounded by a huge garden and has three major temples housed within.

Mysuru Palace during Dasara:

The Palace is a visual treat during Dasara time. I need a separate post to talk all about the glory of the Mysuru palace during Dasara! ๐Ÿ™‚ In short, the palace is illuminated with 97,000 bulbs for all nine days during Dasara.  The roads leading to the palace is all lit up during Dasra and it feels like a magical wonderland! (much like Christmas time in the US)

We had visited Mysuru several times before but visiting it during Dasara was a special treat and one which we would never forget. The nine days in Sept or October are known as ‘Dasara’ or ‘Navarathri’ dedicated to the Goddesses.  It signifies the victory of good over evil. Mysuru celebrates this by decorating the palace and having various festivities. 

 

On the last day of Dasara, known as ‘Vijayadasami’ ‘Jamboo savari’ is held wherein Goddess Chamundeswari is placed on a golden howdah on a decorated elephant.

 

Other places of interest in Mysuru are the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens and Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary.

Best time to visit:

The best time to visit Mysuru might be the cooler months from July onwards. The Dasara season is a great time to visit too but there will be huge crowds which are adequately managed. The peak summer months of March, April, May will be hot for outdoor travel and viewing.

Before we leave, we should not forget to shop for Mysuru’s specialities of Mysuru silk sarees, soaps, sandal talc and of course, the sweet’Mysore pak’!! ๐Ÿ™‚

The map below shows the various locations in Mysuru.

 

 

 The next stop of this #XploreBharatBlogTrain is Varanasi with Pallavi.

XploreBharat

This post is a part of the #XploreBharat Blog Train hosted by
AditiEshaMaheshwaranPraGunPreetiSabaSanjotaSoniaSudipSuhasiniSupriya

And a big shout out to our sponsors KAIV and FABZANIA for taking this Blog Train experience even further.

KAIV

KAIV is a personal grooming accessory and appliances brand offering a wide range of world-class products.

FABZANIA

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ByJayanthi

Realities of life in the USA

Reading Time: 3 minutes

After writing about ‘Myths about US’ I thought I should write about realities of life in the USA before all my memories of my once “home” ebb out…after all it has been 8 years since we returned and my stories still continue! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Layoffs are real

         Oh, yes – they are absolutely and totally real… India also might be feeling layoffs but not as pronounced as the ones in the US. I have seen my neighbours in the US being laid off and waiting for their next job… which is why, in the US – one is always advised to have 6 months of living expenses on reserve (mortgage expenses, bills etc) White collar jobs, blue collar jobs, best education – anything can be axed at any point of time!

  •         Indo-Pak grocery stores are real too 

              This is always nice to see in a foreign land…

  • Many people get stuck in the USA for prolonged period of time too(like 5 years or more)

            They would like to come home and visit India – but there is always something coming in their way like visas, parents visiting, in-laws visiting, immigration issues and other reasons. Many cannot return back to India even for a small visit for more than 5 years or more!! ๐Ÿ™

  • Many couples have their baby alone

          Maybe I was very old-fashioned but I found this very odd – I have seen plenty of couples have their baby with no parents and in-laws to support them. Either the parents/in-laws are too sick to visit them in a distant land or their visit is deemed to be too expensive – either way, many couples welcome the next generation with limited pampering and love and no family at all… (Of course, they take the baby to India when the baby is 4-5 months old)

  • You become independent

          Once we move outside India – we become more independent with our needs and wants. We learn to cook our own meals, clean our own house inclusive of the bathrooms, mow the lawn, shovel the snow, even do our own woodwork and construction! All in all we reduce our dependence on manpower as manpower is expensive or it is not there at all!  

  • We learn the names of our distant cousins and families in a foreign land! ๐Ÿ™‚

       The saying “Distance makes the heart grow fonder” is absolutely true in a foreign land. We might hardly know our distant cousins and families in India – but once in a distant land, the very same distant families and cousins will be a good connect! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Politeness is a beautiful feeling ๐Ÿ™‚

         “Please”, “Thank you”, “Have a good day”, “You are welcome” , “How are you” and politeness of every possible way is visible all over the US and you are always greeted with a smile, whether we know each other or not.. 

  • ‘Where do I belong?’ is an all too consuming feeling that overpowers you after you stay there for a prolonged period of time…

     After you achieve all of life’s goals in the USA and you have stayed for more than 10 years, it is the next question that comes automatically. When we visit India – we feel India “has” changed in a lot of ways and “hasn’t” changed in a lot of ways too. We feel we cannot fit in with families and the ways there.

When we stay in the US,  we cannot merge fully into American culture either. We become a new generation of “Indian Americans” who preserve a lot of Indianess and adapt to our new country too!

  • And yes, many do return to India after staying close to 19-20 years too! ๐Ÿ™‚ (like us)

These a few of things that I could remember… have I missed anything?

For more of my India-US stories visit the link below:

ByJayanthi

What is Cryptojacking?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

It just feels like we hear something new about  cryptocurrencies everyday, but let us delve into the concept of ‘Cryptojacking’ in this post.  Having blogged about cryptocurrencies and blockchain before, here are a few facts about them:

  1. ‘Bitcoin’ and ‘Blockchain’ are two entirely different concepts
  2. ‘Bitcoin’ is a cryptocurrency while ‘blockchain’ is the underlying technology powering cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin 
  3. Blockchain is a distributed, immutable and shared ledger
  4. Transactions on a blockchain cannot be edited
  5.  ‘Bitcoin’ is one of the more popular cryptocurrencies based on the ‘Blockchain’ concept. 

Bitcoin’s energy consumption:

Since bitcoin is based on the blockchain concept, where there is no central authority directing the stakeholders(or miners in Blockchain/Bitcoin lingo), the only way a new block(FYI – a ‘block’ is where transactions are recorded) can be created and agreed upon is by means by of mathematics. This is called ‘mining’, which uses humongous amount of energy. Bitcoin mining can be done by simple software and specialized hardware.

Bitcoin’s current electricity consumption is 46.74 TWh!!(Terawatt hours) (Source: https://digiconomist.net/bitcoin-energy-consumption) To put this into perspective, according to one study in April 2018, Bitcoin’s energy consumption numbers were equal to the energy consumption of an entire country like Switzerland! (Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/shermanlee/2018/04/19/bitcoins-energy-consumption-can-power-an-entire-country-but-eos-is-trying-to-fix-that/#116123d81bc8)

Having understood that bitcoin mining is heavily energy intensive, we can understand that cyber criminals will look for alternate means to mine cryptocurrencies.

Cryptojacking:

This alternate and malicious way to mine cryptocurrencies is by means of a concept known as ‘Cryptojacking’. ‘Cryptojacking’ unsuspectingly makes use of an innocent person’s computer, tablet, phone or any other connected device to mine cryptocurrencies. The innocent individual is lured by means of suspicious email links or online ads which then runs the mining code in the background and drains your energy for wrong purposes.

The unsuspecting user continues to use his computer/connected without knowing that his connected device is being used for malicious purposes.

What do criminals gain from this?

They get bitcoins or any other cryptocurrency with minimal effort and electricity usage on their side. They can then use these cryptocurrencies to buy things that they wish.

How do we detect that cryptomining code is running on your computer:

The only way that we can detect if the cryptomining code is running on our computer is when the computer gets slow or gets heated up. 

How do we prevent cryptojacking?

We can prevent ‘cryptojacking’ by installing ad-blocking and anti-cryptomining extensions. Users should also turn off Javascript in the browser and be wary of phishing emails. It is also necessary to keep up with the latest in the security realm and install all patches as and when they are released. 

Future of cryptojacking:

The current damage caused by ‘Cryptojacking’ may only be slowing down of the device but this malicious attack may evolve further with time and pose a risk to personal and financial information. According to this report from eset.com, cryptojacking may not be slowing in 2019. So, it is necessary to take note of this attack and be knowledgeable about it and guard against it.

 

ByJayanthi

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!!

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The title of this post either makes you smile or feel puzzled – either way, welcome to the musings of one of the sweetest times of my life… reading children’s books! ๐Ÿ™‚ Once I had moved away from worrying about whether variables were static, private, public or private and whether methods were overloaded or overridden – there was a special time when we used to visit our local library to find children’s books and read them with great happiness! ๐Ÿ™‚ Now, join me as I go to the kingdom of pure and gentle thoughts! ๐Ÿ™‚

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!!

As you may have guessed by now, ‘Chicka Chicka Boom Boom’ is the name of a children’s book to be read to very young children. It used to be a classic for children as young as 2 and it was quite a rage then. My then, 2 year old son used to adore it and I did too, as I read it with him(now he is 17 and he might find it blasphemous that I still remember it!! :))

Children’s books have to be written in a special way to keep the little readers glued to it. The book should not have too much of content and have pretty and enticing  illustrations. The content should be engaging such that little readers don’t lose their little attention span(this of course, goes for all writings!) and move onto the next activity….

This book does that excellently by teaching the alphabets of the English language in a special and fun way.  It goes like this: “A told B and B told C, I will beat you to the top of the coconut tree…” (anybody, care to finish it? :))There are videos on Youtube illustrating this beautiful book too.

More Children’s books:

The other children’s books that I(or rather my kids!! :)) fondly remember reading are:

  1. “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle
  2. “Brown bear, brown bear what do you see?” by Eric Carle
  3. “A House for Hermit crab” by Eric Carle
  4. “The Cat in the Hat” by Dr.Seuss
  5. “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr.Seuss
  6. “Jamberry” by Bruce Degen
  7. “If you give a mouse a cookie” by Laura Numeroff
  8. “Goodnight moon” by Margaret Wise Brown
  9. “Is your Mama a Llama” by Deborah Guarino

The Eric Carle series and the Dr. Seuss series of books for children were always winners. I couldn’t even imagine that such beautiful lines could be created by the move of a pen!! “Chicka Chicka Boom”, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”, “A House for Hermit Crab” and “If you give a mouse a cookie” are my all time favorite books. Even though it has been a very,very long time that I read them last – their sweetness and innocence is etched in my memory forever!

As my kids have grown and gravitated away from children’s books into teen series like Roald Dahl and more(for the daughter) and technical books like Java and Information security(for the son), I miss the innocence of the young age…I have also moved away from the blissful, innocent days into the serious horizons of Information security and beyond… 

Were/Are your young readers reading these titles too? 

ByJayanthi

Do the Zodiac signs define you?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Astrology, horoscopes all play multiple roles in the Indian scene. Like it or not, we mostly abide by them. But the Zodiac signs are something that are prevalent all over the world. I have observed, listened and read about the various Zodiac signs from my younger days and safe to say most of us must have done it at some time or other too.

The 12 Zodiac signs – Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces are supposed to define each of us in some way. There are water signs, earth signs and fire signs and air signs. They are also supposed to  define compatibility between spouses and other relationships too!

Aries:

Aries is the first of the Zodiac signs and Arians are those who are born between March 21st – April 19th. They are characterized as fearless, energetic, fun and free spirited and wanting to be independent. They are represented by the ‘Ram’.

Taurus:

Taurus is shown by  the “bull” and those born under this Zodiac, have their birthdays between 20th April and 20th May. They are known to be stubborn, stable and persistent.

Gemini:

Geminis or the ‘Twins’ love people of all kinds. They can talk non-stop with almost anybody. They are characterized as sociable, communicative and ready for fun. Their birthdays fall between 21st May – 21st June.

Cancer:

Cancer or the ‘crab’ have their birthdays between June 22nd and July 22nd. They are characterized as being moody, compassionate and devoted. 

Leo:

Leos are represented by the ‘Lion’ and are supposedly  strong willed, assertive, egoistical and love to be in the center of attention. Leos have their birthdays between July 23rd – August 22nd.

Virgo:

Virgo the Virgin are those whose birthdays fall between August 23rd  and September 22nd. The personality of Virgo is supposed to be a mix of intelligence, giving attention to detail and common sense.

Libra:

Librans are those who are born between September 23rd – October 23rd. The symbol for a Libra is the scale and Librans are supposed to be charming, loving, indecisive and lazy. 

Scorpio:

Scorpios have their birthdays between October 24 and November 21st. Their symbol is the Scorpion and they are supposedly strong willed, passionate, charismatic and secretive. 

Sagittarius:

A Sagittarius is supposedly curious, vibrant and exciting and their birthdays fall between November 22nd and December 21st. The Sagittarian symbol is that of the archer.

Capricorn:

Capricorn is the goat and most goats are loyal, rigid and very hard working. Their birthdays fall between December 22nd  and January 19th. 

Aquarius:

Aquarians have their birthdays between January 20th and February 18th and are supposedly humanitarian and philanthropic . Their symbol is the water bearer.

Pisces:

The last of the Zodiac sign is the Pisces or the fish. Pisceans are those whose birthdays fall between February 19th and March 20th. Pisceans are characterized by vivid imagination, being selfless and at times being carried away by a string of emotions.

While the above list is not exhaustive and having put just a small piece of information about each Zodiac, do you think it characterizes you? As I was researching this article, I felt some of the traits for some of the signs were getting repetitive. I have also observed that though two people may have their birthdays close together, and belong to the same Zodiac sign – they hardly exhibit any similarities! Which leads me to the conclusion that you may belong to a particular Zodiac – but your life experiences, family situations, financial situations shape who you are and how you change with life…

As I ponder whether my Zodiac sign is right for me… let me run now –  I think I have to find the next person to talk too… ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

ByJayanthi

What is ‘Steemit’?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Do blogging/writing and blockchain have anything in common? Yes – with ”Steemit’. What is ‘Steemit’? It is a blockchain based blogging platform. Imagine writing a blogpost and it being stored on a Blockchain namely the ‘Steem’ blockchain… so, next what is a ‘Blockchain’? To refresh, Blockchain‘ is a distributed ledger of information with no central authority(decentralized) The most popular application of Blockchain is of course, the ‘Bitcoin’. 

We have all heard about ‘Blockchain’ being used for the mortgage industry, car auction industry – but for blogging and writing content? yes, it is true – bloggers can write their content which will be  posted on the ‘Steem’ blockchain  and you ‘may’ even get paid for it. The ‘Steem’ blockchain is used for other decentralized applications as well like DTube (decentralized video platform), eSteem (Steem based mobile app)

‘Steemit’:

‘Steemit’ is a ‘Dapp’ or ‘Decentralized application’ which was started in 2016.One can upvote, downvote,comment on other’s posts (similar to other communities but with a difference , you get paid for it and it is on a blockchain)

Depending on the number of upvotes you get, you get paid in the form of digital tokens called ‘STEEM’. Everyday, STEEM tokens are mined on the ‘Steem’ blockchain and this can be used as rewards to different users.

 

 

Other points about ‘Steemit’:

  1. Users can earn money by creating content and if it receives generous upvotes – one can earn enough ‘STEEM’ tokens
  2. Users will also a receive a reward in another way. If they upvote another post and that post becomes popular later, they get rewarded with STEEM tokens too
  3. Unlike regular blogging sites, if an user loses his/her password/owner key, it cannot be reset! Hence, it is recommended for users to store an offline copy of the same. There are a number of keys too – such as owner, active, posting and memo. Since each account contains funds, it is critical for owners to safeguard their keys appropriately.
  4. Another interesting point about ‘Steemit’ is that since the content is stored on the ‘Steem’ blockchain – it cannot be deleted(though a blank page can be shown for the time the post is active) Since one important property of a blockchain is immutability(changes made to a block cannot be altered)   – all edits, comments are stored on the ‘Steem’ blockchain permanently.

Can ‘Steem’ be converted?

Yes, ‘Steem’ digital tokens can be converted to Bitcoin or to a country’s native currency or your local bank account. You can also convert it into other cryptocurrencies.

We saw the concept of ‘writing and blockchain’ merging in this post by means of the ‘Steemit’ blockchain…join me as I uncover most interesting topics…

Disclaimer: This article is to be used for informational purposes only. With cryptocurrencies being banned in many countries including India – it is up to the user to research and make decisions on the same.

ByJayanthi

2 years on a self-hosted blog…how is it?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Yes, my self hosted blog turns 2!! ๐Ÿ™‚ How has the journey been? (And, if you are wondering what is meant by “self-hosted”, just scroll down…)

Have there been only ups or only downs? Read more to know what I learnt or not…. ๐Ÿ™‚ It has been exciting and interesting journey and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in this world! It is almost like starting your business but at maybe 1% of the effort or size.

Graduating from writing technical blogs and creating e-learning videos for different organizations to doing it for my own website has been fun! During my technical writing stint for different organizations,  I wrote blogs or created the e-learning videos and each organization took care of the part that I was least interested in(digital marketing – ‘ugh!’)

Creating my self-hosted blog:

What is meant by “self-hosted” blog? In simple terms, I have a blog with a domain name without being tagged by the “wordpress.com” or “blogspot.com”(so, now it is “blogtech.online”) and I have to pay for it and can monetize it as well. Even though, I already had another free blog, ‘jayanthiweb.wordpress.com’, my self-hosted ‘blogtech.online‘ was my own space in the Internet. 

Before, the blog went “live” I had a million questions. How would it work? What should I do first? What should I do next? Who was the best hosting provider? There were another gazillion questions in my head….and if you know me, you know I could ask a lot of questions to get my project started! ๐Ÿ™‚ Special thanks to two people who helped me find all the answers and made my blog go “live”! ๐Ÿ™‚

After all my questions were answered, I became the proud owner of a blog with a nice name that I thought reflected my blog’s writings at that time. I knew I would write about ‘Information security’.  But I knew Information security alone could not sustain my blog – which is why I made it a ‘Technical blog sprinkled with personal thoughts” ๐Ÿ™‚ I also had other interests like programming in Java,C and I knew my interests would meander even more with concepts like ‘Blockchain’ rocking the technical space…so the name ‘blogtech.online‘ stuck and it is 2 years since the day! ๐Ÿ™‚

I knew that all blogs need varied content from different styles of writing. I did get a few writers to write for me and once in a while,my husband and my son always stepped in to fit the writing shoes! ๐Ÿ™‚

Me and ‘digital marketing’ – a rough journey! ๐Ÿ™‚

After starting my self-hosted blog, I realized I needed to do everything now. Free blogs are relatively easy – we just write and publish it to the community and you have tons of traffic. But my self-hosted blog was different… I was swimming on my own now.

I have had to head and do a “not-a-so deep dive” into digital marketing. I have learnt a bit of ‘digital marketing’ from my technical blog’s perspective. What was “theme”? What were the “plugins”? What was “organic traffic” and “bounce rate”? And analyzing Google Analytics was fun too!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I learnt a little bit of the “digital marketing ocean” all by experience…they say “experience is the best teacher” – it is the “very” best teacher, I would say!

I cannot say I am a digital marketing nerd or anything remotely close to that, but it is good to learn it if you are anywhere in the Internet and want to be seen and heard! ๐Ÿ™‚

Blogging communities:

For a self-hosted blog to survive, it is definitely necessary to be part of blogging communities. Thanks be to blogging communities like Indiblogger, Blogchatter and BlogAdda, I have made great online friends whom I have learnt a lot from. Thanks also to Twitter and all my Twitter friends without whom my blog would not rise steadily today! 

sample post

 

So, what is the final report card?

I cannot say I have hit off the charts in Google search results, but my Alexa rank has finally dropped below the million mark! That itself, seems quite an achievement.. Interestingly, my Blockchain posts garnered more interest and attention than I thought! ๐Ÿ™‚ (which is always good)

In the 2 years, I have blogged about Steganography, access control, physical security, the CIA triad, top-down approach to security, NIST publications, ransomware, single sign-on, deep web, dark web, zero-day vulnerability and more on the technical side… 

To conclude, here are some of my best technical posts:

  1. Physical security
  2. Conflict resolution at work place(By: Mani Prithiviraj)
  3. Which is more secure SSL, TLS or HTTPS?
  4. What is “Dark Web?”
  5. What is ‘Ransomware?’

My personal posts bordered a lot on my India-US-India journey and I published an e-book on that too! In addition, parenting is a funny affair when we have grown kids and all those jokes go right into the blog! ๐Ÿ™‚ Here are my best posts in that category:

  1.  Myths about the US!
  2.  What is your social media personality?
  3. Are you a ‘helicopter’ parent?
  4. Why do we Tamilians not have a last name?
  5. Toughest job in the world
  6. How did I become a writer?

When I began writing 6 1/2 years ago, I did not know I would have so much to say! ๐Ÿ™‚ But I did and I still do… Thanks for reading and continuing to support my blog! 

Keep reading, keep commenting and warm wishes for an awesome 2019!

 

 

 

 

 

 

ByJayanthi

What makes me smile! :)

Reading Time: 1 minute

What makes me smile and what makes me happy? This was the theme for this ‘Write Over weekend’ by Blogadda and I decided to write away even though I am in the midst of so many other writing assignments. Come join me as I discover the things that make me smile and happy… ๐Ÿ™‚

smiley face

  1. My kids and my daughter’s quips (Read my  cooking incident quips) Those don’t just make me smile,  they make everybody roar with laughter! ๐Ÿ™‚
  2. Definitely talking ๐Ÿ™‚
  3. Shopping(every girl’s dream! :))  I am no means a shopaholic – but shopping is therapeutic..no doubt there… ๐Ÿ™‚
  4. Family and friends
  5. Visiting new places and more particularly historic places like Belur Hampi and places that are more in tune with Mother nature like Yercaud in India and Mackinac Island in US
  6. Writing both personal and technical posts. Writing is definitely therapeutic like shopping and looking at the end result of a write up is totally gratifying!

Would you like to write about the things that make you smile and happy? Do check this link.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.โ€™ 

ByJayanthi

After Xth grade, what’s next(India)?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Having asked this question many times over from fellow moms, what better way to answer the questions rather than a blog post! ๐Ÿ™‚ After doing extensive research and interviewing a lot of parents to see what would work, these are my findings ๐Ÿ™‚ With rules and regulations changing quickly and new facilities appearing, it is good to keep researching continuously.

There are quite a few options to move forward if you are from one of the two popular boards ICSE or CBSE.

  1. ISC for 11th and 12th grade
  2. CBSE for 11th and 12th grade
  3. PU system if you are in a state that offers the same
  4. International Baccalaureateยฎ (IB) Diploma Programme (DP)
  5. Integrated programs(Allen, FIITJEE, BASE, Akaash and more)

Let us see each of them in a bit of detail:

ISC for 11th and 12th grade 

This is probably the simplest to understand. It is just a continuation of the ICSE syllabus and if you are already in the ICSE board till Xth grade, you might know how ISC for 11th and 12th will be!

If you are opting for ISC for 11th and 12th grade, it will also be better to pair it with other coaching such as FIITJEE, Allen, BASE etc to get professional help for competitive exams.

CBSE board for 11th and 12th grade:

CBSE board for 11th and 12th is also probably the easiest to understand – it is just a continuation of CBSE system. Students might initially feel a jump in 11th grade if you are moving from 10th grade CBSE, but it will all even out eventually. 

If you are opting for CBSE too, for 11th and 12th grade, it will also be better to pair it with other coaching such as FIITJEE, Allen, BASE etc 
to get professional help for competitive exams.

PU college for 11th and 12th grade:

PU(Pre-university exam) college is followed in Karnataka and I am sure in many other states. I do not have much experience with PU colleges and have not done much homework either ๐Ÿ™‚ so, I would suggest you to look up appropriate PU colleges in your area and see if they offer integrated PU programs or independant PU programs and what will be best for you.

future

International Baccalaureateยฎ (IB) Diploma Programme (DP)

The IB program is offered in many schools in Bangalore and is much more expensive than other programs. The study method might also be vastly different from the Indian education system. The IB program is mostly for children who want to pursue their undergraduate education abroad. (Note: It is not that kids who have not studied in the IB program cannot do well in undergraduate program abroad – the IB program just gives a head start) On the other hand, kids who do join the IB program “might” find it difficult to get admission through the normal college streams for India.

So, in this regard, if the child is planning to go abroad for undergraduate admission and if you do not need to dig deep into your pockets for funding – go for the IB program – otherwise, if your child is planning to study in India – my idea is to stick with the Indian boards.

Integrated programs:

Engineering and medical entrance exams and coaching were a rage when we studied and it is rage even today. 

Integrated programs offer both 11th and 12th grade classes and coaching for IIT/NEET etc. This is done by institutions such as ALLEN, FIITJEE, various PU colleges. This is expected to lessen the time for kids to shuttle between regular school/PU college and IIT/NEET coaching classes. 

These are some of the options for students to consider after completing Xth grade in India. Most of us parents have to do a lot of homework to see what works for best for us. Sometimes, we are attached to the school and sometimes to our friends circle -so,  as parents I would suggest to:

  1. Ask the child what he/she would like to do(like Physics, Chemistry, Math, Bio or any other subject) and that they are happy doing it
  2. Choose the corresponding school/college liked by both parents and the child
  3. Check whether the child want to study in India/abroad
  4. See if it fits our budget! ๐Ÿ™‚
  5. And lastly make sure it is legal

Hope these tips help you make the decision for you and your child!