Photography my stress buster

Photography is not about perfection, but about catching the eye. Personally, it is the best stress reliever I have felt. Few years ago, I would waste hours in front of the computer doing nothing. The internet was a distraction that ate into my valuable time. I needed an alternative to keep me active and I got to thinking as to what I could do! This is when I started photography.

I started by going to nearby temples, shopping malls, parks, beaches, etc. Wherever I went, I would go capture few pictures and analyse them on my computer. When we look at images on the computer screen, it looks better but not perfect. Couple of years back, I learnt about DSLR cameras and grabbed one. After struggling initially to use the DSLR, one of my neighbours taught me about how to use it. The moment I understood the basic functionality, I started exploring. I attended workshops at the Nikon School and then just started on this amazing journey of photography!


Since then whenever I feel that I am stressed, I drive along with my DSLR and click. It clears my mind and the landscapes, portraits, colours, and whatever else I click brings me great joy.


Fun things to do in Chennai

If you’re new to a city, clubs and groups are a great way to get to know the place, and to meet people with similar interests. If you’re a local, groups are also a fun way to discover a new side of your city.

Whether you enjoy curling up with book or exploring the great outdoors, namma Chennai has something for everyone.

The Great Outdoors:

If the idea of exercise makes you happy, and trekking through jungles is your idea of a perfect holiday, Chennai has many clubs to choose from. The Outdoor Activities’ Club is for anyone who loves the great outdoors. The Club offers trekking, hiking, bicycling, kayaking, angling and bird watching activities. The group has great opportunities to explore nature, and organizes frequent camping trips. Located on NH5, the club is great for week end activities.

Attention Bookworms:

There are clubs for those of you who prefer to stay in the warmth and the comfort of the indoors, curled around a book. Book Buff Company is a group that meets regularly to discuss, and review various novels, exchange books and talk about anything literary, over cups of coffee.

Curtain Call:

Chennai has a vibrant theatre culture. Unleash you’re inner drama queen by joining one of the many theatre groups in the city. Theatre groups such as Madras Players, Theatre Y and Crea- Shakti offer you a chance not only to act, but also to volunteer in production and direction as well.

Lights, Camera, Action:

If you hope to direct your own film someday, Refractions (RefrACTIONS) is the place to start. The activities of the club are inclusive of the various aspects of film making, such as production, direction, script writing, acting and even film criticism. With notable speakers offering input and expert advice, this club is a great opportunity to hone your skills and showcase your talent!

Head’s up shutterbugs:

Chennai has plenty of groups and clubs with regard to photography. The Photographic Society of Madras is one such group. The group conducts regular classes, as well as organizing photography tours regularly. Another great club to join is the Chennai photographers models group. This group is for both aspiring models and photographers. Apart from the occasional photo shoot, they also arrange for regular photography camps.

B Factor:

If you’re planning on starting your own business, Chennai has a host of clubs to choose from. The Startups Club is a group that provides support for the practical aspects of business. Whether you have vague business ideas, own a company or plan on starting out on your own, the Chennai Entrepreneurs Meetup Group offer industry advice regarding business and entrepreneurship. Members of the group meet to network, brainstorm and share resources in order to get over common obstacles.

Cracking the code:

A variety of clubs teach members the basics of computer languages, coding and operating platforms. Groups such as Chennai Titanium, Chennai Embedded Linux Networkgroup, Analytics for Business and Chennai Electronics Design Technology Meetup provide members an opportunity to hone their existing software skills, and acquire knowledge from industry experts.

123… Mike Testing:

Toastmasters is a club that teaches public speaking and leadership skills. It helps individuals get over stage fear, and enables people to present themselves more effectively. There is a Toastmasters club in almost every locality in the city; it’s a great way to meet new people, while developing one’s communication skills.

Surf’s up:

Every surfer remembers their first wave. The Bay of Life – First Wave surfing school offers lessons to people of all ages. The organization offers a variety of both short and long term courses. Bay of Life provides members with the surf board, and accessories. In just a couple of classes you could catch your own wave. Given Chennai’s great beaches, it‘s a fun club to join.

The X Factor

For those of you who believe that Life is either a daring adventure or nothing, Chennai has a lot to offer. Everest Base Camp Trekking – We Ramblers is a community of enthusiastic members looking for daring adventurous activities world over. The club organizes treks to Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Ranges and Zanskar Region, bike rides along some of the world’s most perilous roads, scuba diving in the Arabian Sea and much more. Touchwood Club is another group that also regularly organizes trekking, biking and other adventure based activities.

Dirt Track:

If you are passionate about biking, Madras Bulls is your ideal club. Madras Bulls regularly undertake long road trips across the country, and members are expected to participate in the rides and events. The club members typically ride the bullet series of motor cycles from the Royal Enfield stable. The MadBulls meet at 7 PM on every second Saturday at Maya Motors, LB Road, Adyar.

No matter what your area of interest is, there is a club for you. These are just few of the many activity clubs in the city, so choose a club and join, as groups are a great way to unwind and relax.


App solutely outlandish

Smart phones are common news these days, and by virtue of that, so are Applications or Apps – as they are commonly known, for these phones. Apps have become an integral part of our daily lives and it is impossible to imagine a life without them. There are apps for everything, be it food, lifestyle, gym, news, music, education, games and what not. There’s no doubt that they make our lives not only more interesting, but a lot easier. As amazing as these apps maybe, there are some that should not have been invented at all.

Here is a countdown list of some really sily apps invented:

Number 10:

Annoying Sounds:

Have you imagined unwinding to the sound of a jack hammer accompanied by the sound of nails scratching against metal? “Annoying Sounds” offers over 50 sounds that you can annoy your friends with. From the sound of multiple crying babies and screeching metal whistles to the sounds of people retching and screaming. This is a sure way to lose your hearing and your friends! The application is available both on the Google Play Store and the App Store.

Number 9:


“Yo” is an application that allows you to communicate easily with friends, family and colleagues. Forget about long text messages and emoticons; with this app all emotions and ideas get compressed into a two character message – Yo. The only possible form of communication with this app is Yo. For instance – you want to say, “This app is crazy”, all you can type is, Yo. This app gives your fingers a rest from all that texting! “Yo” is available on both the Google Play Store and the App Store

Number 8:

My name is:

Remember the days when people used to wear identity cards at conferences, to help with easy identification? Those days are now over, “My name is”, is an app that functions, exactly like how an ID card does. It has over 20 fonts and background colour options, making it highly customizable. So the next time you‘re going for a meeting, wear your smart phone around your neck, like a tie. It’s the new must have accessory! “My name is “, is currently available only on the Google Play Store.

Number 7:

Is it dark outside:

“Is it dark outside”, uses your GPS location, date and time, and then proceeds to compare it with the expected sunrise or sunset time in the area, to let you know if it is dark outside. This is the perfect app for those of you, who are uncertain about whether it’s dark outside at 12 noon; or if you plan on moving into a closed cardboard box. This application is available both on the Google Play Store as well as the App Store.

Number 6:

I am Rich:

If you dream of becoming a multi millionaire, “I am Rich” can help you achieve that goal. When launched, the app displays a glowing red “diamond” and the catch phrase “I am Rich” in the background. Originally available on the App Store for a whopping 999.99 US dollars,   “I am Rich”, is now banned in the App Store. However, a similar version of the app, with a blue “diamond” is available on the Google Play Store. Though if you can afford the app, you are clearly on the right path.

Number 5:


Have you ever felt like catching a few minutes of sleep, right in the middle of a busy work day? If you have an office space with a door, the “iNap@Work” is the perfect app for you.  This app makes office like “productivity sounds”, ensuring your co-workers hear a constant din coming from your office space. Even though you’re snoring, colleagues will hear office sounds like typing, mouse clicks, papers being stapled and even human sounds such as clearing your throat or sneezing. You can adjust the settings on the phone to pick the sounds you want to imitate, and customize the frequency of the sounds to create the illusion of a busy or relatively free work day. However if your boss decides to do a surprise check, the app can’t save you. But hey, at least you caught up on your sleep! For now, this app is available only on App Store.


Anti Mosquito:

Bzzzzzz…. mosquitoes bothering you?  The “Anti Mosquito” app, promises to repel mosquitoes and other small insects, by emitting high frequency sounds. The frequencies are believed to be higher that what most humans can perceive. The “Anti mosquito” app is available on the Ovi Store, the App Store and the  Google Play Store. All the same, don’t throw away those mosquito nets just yet.

Number 3:

Hold the button:

At least Candy Crush requires some level of thinking. “Hold the button”, is a game that requires you to hold the button that appears on screen, for the longest possible duration, without lifting your finger. Users can either challenge their friends, or beat their own previous records at the game. This game really tests your patience, will power and dedication. The app is available on both on the Google Play Store and on the App Store. Now that’s an intellectually stimulating app!

Number 2:

Hair Clinic:

If you’re developing a bald patch, and don’t have the funds for a hair transplant procedure, the “Hair Clinic” is your best bet.  This app generates various high and low frequencies, in order to promote circulation around hair roots, thereby encouraging hair growth. However, if one were to mistakenly place the device in the wrong place or, use it for extended periods of time, one could become completely hairy, like a Gorilla. Currently this app is available only on the App Store.

Number 1:

Send me to heaven:

There are many more bizarre apps, but the title of the most bizarre app goes to “Send me to heaven”. The goal of the game is simple, users have to throw their phones as high as they can, without breaking it .The app’s accelerometer calculates how far the device goes, and the results are uploaded to the apps’ leader boards. Despite having been banned by the App Store, “Send me to heaven”, is available in the Google Play Store .This app has inspired other games with similar ideas such as “Hangtime”; an app that records the time your phone remains in air, after it is thrown, and “How Tall “- which measures a person’s height, when the device is thrown from above.

Tempting as it is, avoid downloading theses apps as they can only lead to irritation and frustration, and you can never get back the hours you spent on them.


Bhumi and Paperman make trash useful

We celebrated World Environment Day not so long ago. A lot was spoken about the need to plant more trees, preserve green cover in cities and to regulate and control consumption of energy. But, what about waste management? In a city like Chennai with a population of 4.7 million people, in terms of waste produced, a staggering 5000 tonnes of waste is produced in a single day. Not a lot of thought is put into understanding how this can be monetized or recycled. The trash, if properly recycled, can be used to generate INR 15,000 crore. Some easy and smart methods can help reduce the impact caused to the environment.

Instead of throwing away empty plastic bottles, glass bottles or soda cans, used pizza cartons and cardboard boxes, recycle them. Recycling ensures reuse of these materials in various other industries. Glass bottles and tin cans are broken down into smaller bio-degradable components Segregating your trash and selling it to the local waste, paper dealers is a step in the right direction. There are a number of NGOs in the city that are working towards this cause, Bhumi is one such agency.

A Chennai based NGO, Bhumi, aims to build a cleaner and more equitable society through citizen initiatives. Some of their projects include Kanini – a computer literacy programme, Think Green – an initiative towards environmental conservation and Chennai Coastal Cleanup – a beach cleanup project. Recently, Bhumi has collaborated with Paperman to offer a door step trash collection service.

Established in 2010, Paperman is a city based social venture that aims to encourage the spirit and culture of recycling in Chennai. This organisation is an initiative to connect the informal sector of recycling with the community. Local kailaan kadai karan or waste paper dealers work with Paperman to collect trash from houses, offices and schools everyday between 10 AM and 6 PM. Paperman provides all authorized kabadi wallahs or scrap dealers with identity cards. The organisation offering its services to over 200 households, has conducted paper recycling drives in 100 schools in the city.

When it comes to environmental conservation, every step counts. You can make a difference; take the time to call 8015269831, and cite Bhumi as reference. Alternatively you can send a message, – “RECYCLE BHUMI YOUR NAME” to 7666440555. The trash will then collected from your house by a Paperman employee at a mutually convenient time. All trash is cleared and collected within a 48 hour time period. In keeping with the goal of reducing waste all bills are sent via SMS.

In collaboration with their doorstep waste collection drive, Bhumi and Paperman are working together on education projects for underprivileged children. Your used movie tickets, credit card receipts and restaurant bills can contribute towards the education of a child. 80% percent of the proceeds from this venture is utilized for education projects for under privileged children. This initiative aims at creating a better society for the future.

As of now this innovative venture is operational only in Chennai; however the scalable and replicable nature of its operations makes its potential, pan Indian.