I walk on a road lush with dreams,
a road of forgotten and veiled dreams,
sometimes slowly, sometimes gaily,
sometimes lost, sometimes profound,
I walk a road of unknown mysteries,
fervently finding my way through the endless path.....

Thursday, April 19, 2018

A friend in need is #DefinitelyPTE indeed!

Soon after completing my graduation, I was offered an opportunity to study abroad. I was extremely excited and optimistic about it all.
The idea of living in a new place, amidst new people and learning about them, was beginning to proliferate in my heart and got my blood pumping with ecstasy!

I was reminded of all those movies where the protagonist would back off their bags and leave to explore untraveled territories and learn new things.

Those amazing foreign universities which were brimming with opportunities and avenues.

With a heart full of optimism, I began my endless strife to finally reach my university of choice.

Little did I know, that nothing was served on a silver platter in today's era.

The challenges seemed endless. The paper work seemed like I was writing all my semester exams together!

Everyday, when I had a talk with any of my seniors, they would start off with another set of 'To-do's' and again a week would go by in tracking appointments and managing documents.

I was beginning to give up hope with every passing day. Trying to convince my heart, that India was equally good in terms of education and opportunity.

Now, when I look back upon those days, I feel so naive. Giving up on my dreams because of these trivial challenges would have been the most foolish thing to do.

The problem is, in times like these, you need people who can help you in keeping up the optimism. Like those movies, which project only the positive side.
After weeks of paper work, visa inquiries and a lot of appointments that had gone futile came the time when I had to take my compulsory English test.

I had almost prepared myself for another round of confusion and worry. I made a call to one of my seniors and to my delight and relief he told me about PTE. 

English being a universal language, one is supposed to attain a certain level of score in it to be able to join majority of universities abroad. So, someone wishing to go abroad needs to give a language based test and get a desired score.
Needless to say it is one of the most important aspects of one's journey abroad and specially if one is going for the purpose of education as your score plays a significant role in your selection to a particular place.

So, I was obviously anxious about the whole process ad confused as to which test should I chose. 
I eventually chose PTE and #DefinitelyPTE was the best choice.

Pearson Test of English Academic or PTE academic is a computer-based language test that offers candidates the fastest, fairest and most flexible way of proving their English language proficiency for immigration and student visas.

PTE has a shortened and simplified pre and post-test process and is designed to minimise the stress.
Needless to say that it is a computer based and chances of human bias are negligible. 
The results are so quick, just within 5 working days.

PTE exam structure is quite intelligently designed and is not just user friendly but authentic too. 

PTE exam structure

I am sure many of you might be worried about how to prepare for it all before actually giving the test and being able to score good.

So, PTE has prepared mock tests and preparation packages for those of us who need to feel fully confident before preparing for the test. 

I used ptepractice and took timed mock tests which helped me perform much better in the real scenario. Apart from online practice test, they also provide books for in-depth and detailed  preparation to improve ones score. So thankful to PTE for this as it genuinely improved my scores.

Comparson of PTE scores with IELTS and TOEFL

Now, recognition of PTE was as important as anything else. And to my happiness, PTE is identifid by all the major universities throughout the world.

Most of the major universities of Canada, Germany, China, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, Malaysia, Poland, UAE and UK accept it. Not to mention the prestigious institutions such as Stanford University, Harvard University, and Imperial College London.
PTE is also accepted for visa purposes in Australia and New Zealand as well. 

The amazing thing is that you need to take the test just once and then on you can send your score directly to any number of universities an countries you want!

I also remember that during this process of preparing and making all documentations correct, I had another set of problems that I faced often.
 They were : Clashing of appointment timings for two things like maybe a test and visa inquiry. 
Another was inflexibility of schedule which lead to chaos on many occasions.

With PTE I never had to face any of this. Thanks to the availability of test which is about 360+ days in a year and 5+ days a week, And it can easily be booked online or through phone. 
The details of which is available on their website HERE @ English Language Test.

The test centres are located in more than 50 countries worldwide and with multiple centres in each. 
In India, it is available in states like New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Punjab, Chennai and many more. 

Inspite of all the information available, PTE understands that an exam creats lots of confusion in everybody's mind and if one knows clearly what to expect at a test centre, it eases things to a great extent. So, PTE has released this video which is wonderful and detailed at the same time.

Do check it out to know, what to expect in the test centre.

#DefinitelyPTE helped me in getting a good score on the test and apply to the university of my choice. It came as a friend when I needed things and situations to be understanding and easy for me.

I this span of few months of preparing to go abroad I learnt a few things. One of them was that never give up on your dreams just because you can achieve something else easily.
Also, when we seriously and genuinely set off to achieve our target, it may happen that initially we feel we are alone or helped by no one but as we move in the directions of our dreams, friends and well-wishers join us and guide us. 

PTE came to me as one of those and I will be forever thankful to it for that.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Thirsty times ahead - Save every drop!

'Why is there even a need to save water?' 70% of earth's surface is water after all,we will never be short of it.' I have heard a lot of people retort.

I wish I could make these 'geographically aware' individuals understand that out of this 70%, 97.5% is seawater unfit for human consumption.
Probably, if they had paid heed to what Samuel Taylor Coleridge said in his Rhyme of the ancient mariner- 'water water everywhere, not a drop to drink', they would have understood things much better! 

Water demand globally is projected to increase by 55% between 2000 and 2050. Much of the demand is driven by agriculture, which accounts for 70% of global freshwater use, and food production will need to grow by 69% by 2035 to feed the growing population. Water withdrawal for energy, used for cooling power stations, is also expected to increase by over 20%. In other words, the near future presents one big freshwater drain after the next. And both populations and temperatures are ever-rising, meaning that the freshwater we do have is under severe pressure. (Source : BBC report)

The situation is worth pondering upon, if one really desires that their future generations do not die of droughts and water scarcity.

Another news report by BBC suggested that human water use is about 18% more than it was thought and could increase to 20% in the near future.

Our water situation seems to be getting worse because there is excessive ignorance about it. We receive water as soon as we tap on our taps and as long as we need it. How is one suppose to know what lies beneath the iceberg?

According to various reports, each person uses about 80-100 gallons of water per day on an average. Quite surprising. Not even a handful of world's population would be aware of it.
So in terms of sensitization, we have a long long way to go. The catch is, situation seems to be going out of our hands at a much faster rate.

So, this matter should be treated as most urgent and rebuttal measures be taken as soon as possible.

Fortunately, there is a LOT that each one of us can do no matter, where we are and what we do, water conservation is something which can be done by all of us.

Source :HERE

Here's something which I plan on doing

1) Create Awareness - Like I said, there is extreme ignorance when it comes to water consumption and water shortage. This needs to be tackled first and foremost. 

2) In our day to day routine, there are many subtle ways of saving water like 

- Using showers instead of bathtub
- Closing the tap while brushing our teeth
- Checking for water leaks in flushes, taps and places
- Using washing machines, dishwashers etc. that use water judiciously

3) Water is indeed a necessity of life. But, with judicious use a lot of it can be saved on daily basis.

4) Ways to check on water pollution Especially pollution of fresh water bodies should be deemed criminal.

5) Rain water harvesting and other basic measures to re-use and re-cycle water need to be propagated more than ever now.

6) If possible, measured quantities of water should be used for daily activities like bathing, cooking, cleaning. This may seen tedious a first but don't we measure and use all things which we pay for? So why not water.
It's only when we consider a resource precious, that we can truly care for it.

7) Livpure, has started a very creative initiative called #cuttingPani to impress upon on importance of saving water. Such initiatives should be taken by other organisations and companies as well.

Water scarcity is equal troublesome for each one of us. It is not something which is restricted to a specific strata of society.

So, let's pledge here and now, that a resource as important as water will be considered precious by us. Sign the petition HERE and make this initiative a success. 

LivPure has also released a few advertisements  on this #CuttingPani initiative by them.
I liked this one the most. Do have a look. 

And all those who still question, why me? Bindi Irwin has answered your question beautifully 

"I want my children and my grandchildren to live in a world with clean air, pure drinking water, and an abundance of wildlife, so I've chosen to dedicate my life to wildlife conservation so I can make the world just a little bit better".

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The voice of Bose- making life Beautiful!

This is a page from my personal diary which I wrote to my younger self, overwhelmed and fascinated by Google VPA (virtual personal assistant) enabled Bose QC35 II headphones and how it has been instrumental in making my life easy and productive. 

But before sharing this page, let me give an insight on what exactly is Google's VPA and how Bose QC35 II headphones have harnessed this astounding technology in the best possible manner. 

So, Google's VPA is a virtual personal assistant developed by Google that is primarily available on mobile and smart home devices. Unlike Google Now, the Google Assistant can engage in two-way conversations.

Users primarily interact with the Google Assistant through natural voice, though keyboard input is also supported. In the same nature and manner as Google Now, the assistant is able to search the Internet, schedule alarms and events, adjust hardware settings on user's device, and show information from the user's Google account. Google has also announced that the Assistant will be able to identify objects and gather visual information through the device's camera, and support purchasing products and sending money, as well as identifying songs. (Source: here)

Google's VPA can even tell you jokes! (Image Source: here)

Now since interacting with a personal assistant is all about talking and listening, possessing a good quality wireless headphones are a must. 

Bose leads the market by integrating Google's Virtual Private Assistant into the headphones' features as the first ever audio headphone manufacturer to do so. The multi-function button continues to offer access to your phone’s default virtual assistant, like Siri for iOS users. One can control music, send and receive texts, and get answers using just your voice.(Source: here)

One must be wondering how easy and hassle-free life would be when Google VPA enabled Bose headphones have become a norm.

This page from my diary entry would give you an insight on the same...

Dear Diary,

What glorious days were those that went past us! Sans gadgets and worries we had such a amazing time playing outdoor games and enjoying carom and ludo indoors. 

I am sure you remember them vividly and gaily. 
But, as time picked up pace and I began to grow up, the days of fun and frolic slowly gave way to work and responsibilities. 
It's indeed an irony how time flies! And when I look back, sometimes it's hard to believe we are adults already. And of course, the society now expects us to be responsible, sincere and productive.
Work comes first and this vicious cycle of  managing personal with professional gets so tiresome at times, one just wishes that one had many more hands- both on the clock and attached to our shoulders.

Do you remember, how insanely I used to juggle between chores? There was hardly any time left for my own self or to pen down on my most beloved diary. I felt trapped in this everyday schedule and wished deeply for someone to help me ease my busy schedule.

I cannot tell you, when exactly was I transported to this world of being empowered with a personal assistant ( maybe it was a time when I got hold of Bose Quiet comfort 35 wireless headphones II) but one thing is for sure, my life has become better than ever!

Using them is the most natural thing for me and it's impossible to imagine a life without them.

I am so excited and keen to share with you, how immensely it helps me and and how heavily I happen to rely on this personal assistant of mine!

Like yesterday, I was out for grocery shopping.

I Wanted to locate cheap grocery stores, Bose enabled Google's VPA came to my rescue.
It patiently guided and answered all my queries from 'green teas for weight loss' to 'most loved perfumes for women'!

Then later when I was tired and hands all heavy with shopping bags, my VPA suggested me coffee shops nearby and we had a little chit chat too :D

Another way in which my personal assistant has helped me is when I am cooking and I need someone to direct and speak up instructions. Because you know how difficult it is to hold a ladle and grind spices and manually look up for recipe instructions. I tell you, it saves me a lot of time!

It has been helping me a lot in blogging. Be it translations or pronunciation, this personal assistant is a great Language teacher and Bose QC 35 wireless headphones II ensures highest voice quality!

Be it a book by any author or you need motivational/inspirational quotes to keep you grounded.

Interestingly, this lovely companion of mine keeps me entertained even when I am bored. Check out this conversation!

And I can go on and on talking to it and listening the suggestions for upto 20 hours at a stretch! yes, these wireless headphones from Bose have a 20 hours battery life. An advisory on lipstick shades as well. My makeup woes are sorted!

Do you remember how tedious it was to book tickets earlier? People had to stand in reservation lines early in the morning for hours, unsure still, if they will be able to get hold of a ticket or not.
Then online ticketing system came and things eventually became so simple and easy.
Any day, any train/flight and any time, one could easily navigate the ticket he desired and grab it.

But, with Bose enabled google VPA , you just need to speak out your preferences and voila, our tickets are confirmed!

Can it get simpler than this? Not only this much. It also suggests you lowest prices and can also keep a track on when the airfare is going down. All on my commands!
It will also search and book hotels for you and send you detail of various attractions you can visit at any particular place. 

Now, being a doctor, I happen to have a extremely hectic schedule. Managing between medical studies and seeing patients is quite a job you know.
Bose and google VPA has been extremely helpful for me here as well.

I just need to mention the name of any disease to start with and it can so easily narrate me the cause, symptoms and latest available research on the same. It also suggests related videos and cases, even before I can ask for it.

I so desperately wish, they had allowed these in the examination hall!

Also, I no longer need to write or type the details of my patients or search for long in the folders,trying to locate them when he comes for follow up. 
I just need to verbally feed the info through VPA ( which by the way, can be done even while taking the history of the patient and that too in his own voice) and then ask google VPA to reproduce it within seconds, as and when needed.
I can't even express, how much time that saves. And everything goes on so smoothly and accurately.

I really couldn't have asked for more. 

And obviously, having some free time means, catching up on entertainment. Suggesting movies, playing any song, booking ticket, playing videos, with Bose's unique noise cancellation quality, you can relax thoroughly.

Last but not the least, this amazing personality has a sense of humour too. Always ready to crack a joke or two!

Check this out..

I have no reasons to complain! I know, you must be curious to know, how do these astonishingly working piece of gadget looks like. Well, the wait for you ends here, go ahead and take a look

Beautiful, aren't they? Image Source: HERE

Interested in knowing more about them? Check THIS site. #BoseQC35

My lovely diary, it's time to part with you for now. But, I will be updating you frequently about these lovely companions of mine.

Much love and care!