The Essence of Diwali

Is it just light? 

No. It’s also about the dark in it. 

Like two sides of a coin, Diwali too is a prima donna example of what life has to offer. 

Happiness ~ Sadness

Glory ~ Shame

Pride ~ Prejudice

Success ~ Failure

And many more…..

As we celebrate the festival of lights, can we look beyond the shimmer and search for the darkness within? 

For only if we embrace the dark, we truly can appreciate the light! 

This Diwali, let there be light (only if you are willing to see the dark).

Happy Diwali! 

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The Walk To My Funeral

#PeaceOrNot

The crisp moonlight, that lit up so bright

Every face showed tears, Every heart cried

The walk was heavy, But had to be done

The walk to my funeral, you take a few more steps

For it had just begun..

I don’t wish no bright day, no running streams and no sunny bays

Don’t want the birds chirping, And I don’t want the curtains swirling

Don’t dress up, not for me instead, I gave you your chance

But now Iie dead.

Show up if you feel like, and make my funeral come alive

I wish it all to be dark, standing beneath the gloomy arc

Stop those tears, stop them right away, look what embraces you night and day

For as long as I can hover, I want to endlessly stay as your lover

Words have no meaning now, I’m gone, and our time O’Love, its forgone..

Yes you made…

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How to choose better passwords?

Passwords are the keys which we use everyday to access our phones, computers, social media accounts, bank accounts and virtually everything (pun intended) which needs to be protected from the outside eyes. Passwords are all that which stands between our personal world and the eyes of vicious nexus of cyber hackers and criminals.

Imagine if someone sitting in a remote corner of the world, unknown and oblivious to you, gets hold of your confidential information – one simply don’t want to believe this happening to them. Even the thought of cyber crime can make us shudder in disbelief and no one would every want to be a victim. The question arises – are you smart enough to secure yourself?

Cyber crime is a blooming industry, with more than 400 million people being affected by cyber frauds and online scams, the need to take your safety in your own hands is stronger than ever. The first step towards cyber security is choosing stronger, better passwords. Worrying about how to do so? The following tips will get you started on the road towards cyber safety –

1) Change Old Passwords : ‘Old is Gold‘ – this saying might hold true for most, but not when it comes to passwords. Many of us millenials are still using the same old passwords which were set when our email IDs were created. For you to increase your security, it is strongly recommended to change your old passwords. Want to know how? Read On…

2) Use Non-Random Patterns : Cyber hackers, are just like us, using latest technology to break into private information. They too are smart, educated and have access to common words and phrases, famous quotes, movie dialogues, dictionaries etc. If you wish to set up a strong password, use special characters and symbols to make things less obvious and more secure. You can also add certain patterns to make your password more complex. For example – 2ndtonone4[you] is an interesting way to use numbers, characters and patterns.

3) Choose Longer Passwords : When it comes to passwords, the longer it is, the stronger it is. Most cyber criminals use advanced softwares to crack passwords, thus a longer password simply has a better chance towards security against such tools. For added strength, you can use numbers, symbols, uppercase and lowercase to your existing passwords too. Make sure that your password is atleast 8 characters or more.

4) Combine Multiple Words : This is an effective way to create better passwords which are not only secure but are also easy to remember. The key is to combine a memory or an event which you will remember easily. For example – itriedparaglidingandilovedit OR ilovetorideahorseonweekends

5) Use Multiple Passwords for Multiple Purposes : Imagine if a hacker gets hold of your password. What’s worst than having all your accounts hacked because you were lazy enough to choose the same password for each one of them? It is recommended to choose multiple passwords. The best way to do this is to set up passwords like categories. for example – your ‘social media‘ account(s) can use one password, your ‘professional/work‘ account(s) can be secured with a dedicated passwords and your ‘banking/savings‘ account(s)  can be protected with a seperate password.

Until face-detection, retina scanning and fingerprint access become household technology, passwords are our only bet towards a safer, secure tomorrow. What’s good is that our safety lies in our hands (quite literally) and anyone can use the above mentioned tips to create stronger, better passwords and protect themselves against the malice of cyber crimes and online phishing scams. As the old saying goes –

“Choose Wisely, Live Well”

This blog post is in association with Indian Cyber Army – an organization which is dedicated towards the cause of fighting against cyber crimes and promoting awareness for the betterment of people.

What is a good design?

Art is subjective – what might be pleasing to the eyes for one, could be annoying for another. It is absolutely up to the viewer to judge whether a piece of art has merit or not. Quite often in the design world, a question props up – “Is this a good design”? A question often asked in retrospection and self doubt, albeit a straight forward question, yet there are so many layers of answers to this.

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So what exactly makes a good design? What is it about certain designs that they manage to win millions of hearts and inspire people? What differentiates a good design from a bad one?  If you often get lost amidst such questions, go on further, as this blog is aimed to unravel the secrets behind what exactly makes a design stand out…

To put it simply, a good design is a combination of various elements, each having their own quality, put together to create a harmony – from colors to textures, from lines to letters, from sizes to spaces, these elements are the building blocks to form a piece of art. People often attribute good designs to vivid imagination, intensive brainstorming of ideas, however, the truth lies in simplicity before anything else. A good design has to tell a story, it should be strong enough to move people and it should speak volumes, without even saying a word.

“Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication”

– Leonardo Da Vinci

Have you ever used a product which made you admire its beauty in awe? It is safe to assume that not only did the product was pleasant to the eyes, it also performed great too. Take for example – Apple. The modern day standard of eye catching consumer products which are a perfect amalgamation of sense and simplicity. Not only do they stand the test of time when it comes to benchmarks and real world usage, they also are eye catching and carry a mass appeal with themselves. So much so, they are the most sought after products when it comes to flaunting in front of the world around you.

“Design is not just what it looks and feels like. It is about how it works”

– Steve Jobs

Whether you are a design student, an amateur, a professional or a hobbyist, keep in mind the ten commandments of a good design as laid out by German product designer Dieter Rams who was responsible for designing the consumer products of Braun. This list lays down key points which are valuable guidelines for anyone who designs. According to Rams, the ten principles to a good design are :

  1. Good Design is Innovative – Good design does not copy existing products nor does it imitates existing norms. Innovation is the key to capture hearts and infuse confidence in your design.
  2. Good Design is Useful – What’s the point of designing something if no one wants to use it. A good design emphasizes the usefulness of a product, while disregarding anything that distracts from it.
  3. Good Design is Aesthetic – A design must reflect aesthetic sense in all forms. It is crucial to the usefulness of a product as they are used everyday. An aesthetic design affects our well being.
  4. Good Design makes a product Understandeable – What makes a design stand out is its ability to say about itself without having the user to comprehend it. Every product should be self explanatory, clearly expressing its form and functions.
  5. Good Design is Unobtrusive – Products are like tools. They are neither decorative objects, nor work of art. A good design must tread the thin line between being neutral and restraining – to leave room for the user’s self expression.
  6. Good Design is Honest – It does not make a product more innovative, useful or powerful than it really is. A good design does not lies, nor does it attempts to manipulate the user with promises that cannot be kept.
  7. Good Design is Long Lasting – it avoids being fashionable therefore never appears antiquated. Good design doesn’t date, it stands the test of time and is forever.
  8. Good Design is Details – It’s all in the little details. Paying attention to the smallest of details can transcend a ‘medicore’ design into something truly remarkable. Nothing must be arbitary or left to chance. Caring about the details is caring about the user.
  9. Good Design is Environment Friendly – What’s the point of designing something if it’s environmentally irresponsible and makes you feel guilty.  A good design conserves energy and minimizes physical and visual pollution throughout its lifecycle.
  10. Good Design is Minimalistic – Less is More, is a phrase designers often come across. A good design has everything that is necessary to make it harmonius. Concentrate only on the essentials, and let the complexity shine through simplicity. Back to purity, back to simplicity.

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Whatever you might be designing for, good design is making something memorable and meaningful. Your art should reflect your character, it should reflect your hopes towards creating something better than what is already existing and most importantly, it should mirror your inner voice which wants to contribute and create something exceptional.

“We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, but to create something that will.”

This blog post is in association with Photo Influenza