Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Pooja Kochar, the founder and CEO of 30ish and PhotoblogHER

Up Close & Personal: Pooja Kochar, the founder and CEO of 30ish and PhotoblogHER

Pooja Kochar is the founder and CEO of 30ish and PhotoblogHER. She clicks. She writes. She believes in the power of being fearless.
Pooja has had a fantastic journey from being in a safe cubicle to a digital nomad. She worked with India’s IT giant for almost a decade before taking the biggest risk of her professional life.
“I have been very lucky to have such a fantastic career foundation,” she believes “it’s my biggest strength as an entrepreneur. This venture is a, ‘Bet on Myself’.”
Let’s hear about the fantastic journey of Pooja’s life, 30ish, and PhotoblogHER,
"I am the founder and CEO of 30ish (Blog) PhotoblogHER (Photography Blog). Both these digital brands challenge stereotypes through words and photography (art). I am also a ‘body positive activist’ and conduct workshops across schools in India to spread the word about my cause."
What did you make leave your job and start blogging?
It was a personal call to give up my safe corporate cubicle and chase entrepreneurship. There was a part of me that needed a voice to express and hence I started by blog 30ish which led to a massive positive change in my life.
Photography, traveling and blogging: How did they combine?
Art is an expression which cannot be limited to any one particular stream. Photography is a natural extension for my blog 30ish, when words are not enough images express help me to communicate better.
My fight is to keep blogging real, I combine art with activism and present stories that have much more depth and reach.
About 30ish:
"30ish is a voice of a generation, we tend to be very tough on ourselves; the blog helps me connect with my readers and talk about issues affecting this age group. (25-40). 30ish has a large readership base spread across India, US, Europe, APAC and UK. I write about stories that need a voice, it is a personal journey and I am committed to making a difference."
Are there particular issues you write about?
I write about social issues, women empowerment, entrepreneurship, travel, fitness, and inspiration.
Do you arrange workshops and seminars?
Yes, I do. I conduct workshops for women entrepreneurs. I connect them through my community building network and discuss various aspects of a start-up. It is an active think tank of women who want to learn and grow together.
The best subject you wrote about till now:
Women Empowerment Issues and Body Positive stories
Here is the link to the website, Poojakochar.in
and you can also contact me on 30ish Blog - Breaking Stereotypes
About PhotoblogHER :
"PhotoblogHER is my attempt to talk about ‘positive body image’. It is about challenging stereotypes through photography, workshops and words."
Do you write on live examples?
I am inspired by the people I meet during my workshops and seminars.
Tell us about your other projects:
I am doing work on a lot of projects that empower women at the grass root level. If women want to change their condition then we need to raise very strong girls, who are confident and independent. These workshops involve a lot of activities that encourage girls to think big and dream about a positive future.
"I am a frequent traveler. I love diverse cultures and based on that, I choose my subjects. India, China and Australia have been the most adventurous destinations for me till now. I am also writing my first book based on my travel experiences across the globe, it is a very overwhelming experience."
Your message to the world:
"Beauty is fearless, not flawless"

C4N India congratulates Pooja for her initiative, her vision, and efforts. We wish her all the very best for her upcoming projects. May you have a many more Golden Feathers added in your cap!

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Anxiety, anxiety attack and it's symptoms

Anxiety, in a simple language is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.

Anxiety attacks can feel awful, intense, and frightening. Because they can be powerful experiences, it can seem like we are helpless to control them.

What do anxiety panic attack symptoms feel like?

Symptoms of anxiety attacks include:

  • A feeling of overwhelming fear
  • Feeling of going crazy or losing control
  • Feeling you are in grave danger
  • Feeling you might pass out
  • A surge of doom and gloom
  • An urgency to escape
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitations
  • Trembling
  • Sweating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pressure or pain
  • Turning pale
  • Feeling detached from reality
  • Weak in the knees
  • Burning skin
  • Pins and needles
  • Hot and cold flushes
  • Numbness and tingling sensations

The above anxiety attack symptoms can be accompanied by:

  • Choking sensation, tightening throat, it feels like your throat is closing, it feels like something is stuck in your throat
  • Confusion
  • Depersonalization (feeling detached from reality, separate from one-self, separate from normal emotions)
  • De-realization (feeling unreal, in a dream-like state)
  • Dizziness, light-headedness, unsteadiness
  • Emotional distress
  • Emotional upset
  • Inability to calm yourself down
  • Knot in the stomach, tight stomach
  • Nausea
  • Panicky feeling
  • Pounding, racing heart
  • Butterflies in the stomach
  • Sudden urge to go to the bathroom (urinate, defecate)
  • Vomiting
  • Feel like crying
This list is not exhaustive. As you can see, there are many physical, psychological, and emotional signs and symptoms of anxiety attacks. For a more comprehensive list of anxiety symptoms and descriptions of what they feel like, see the following:

Anxiety Symptoms (including Anxiety Attacks, Disorder, and Panic Signs and Symptoms)

There are over 100 anxiety symptoms and signs for anxiety, anxiety attacks (panic attacks), and other anxiety disorders including symptoms:
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Headaches
  • Neck tension
  • Stomach upset, nervous stomach
  • Pulsing in the ear
  • Burning skin
  • Fear of impending doom
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Electric shock feeling
  • Shooting pains in the face
  • Heart palpitations
  • Weakness in legs
  • Feeling like you are going crazy
  • Inability to rest
  • Sleep problems
There is a long list of signs and symptoms of an anxiety attack. But because each body is somewhat chemically unique, anxiety affects each person differently. Consequently, anxiety attack symptoms can vary from person to person in type or kind, number, intensity, duration, and frequency. If your symptoms don’t exactly match this list, that doesn't mean you don’t have anxiety attacks. It simply means that your body is responding to them slightly differently.

For example, one person may experience only a few minor signs and symptoms of an anxiety attack, while another person may experience all of them and to great severity. All combinations and variations are common.
For example, one person may experience only a few minor signs and symptoms of an anxiety attack, while another person may experience all of them and to great severity. All combinations and variations are common.
Because there are many medical conditions that can cause anxiety-like symptoms, such as the strong sensations and feelings associated with anxiety attacks, it’s wise to discuss them with your doctor. If your doctor has attributed your attacks to stress and anxiety, you can feel confident that your doctor’s diagnosis is correct. Anxiety attacks are relatively easy to diagnose and aren't easily confused with other medical conditions.

How long can anxiety attack symptoms last?

Anxiety attacks and their symptoms can last from a few moments to many hours. The length of attack is generally determined by how frightened a person is and how they react to what it is they are afraid of and/or their anxiety attack. The greater the reaction, the longer the attack.

Are anxiety attack symptoms serious?

No. Even though the symptoms of an anxiety attack can seem powerful and even out of control, they aren't harmful. Anxiety attacks and panic attacks are the same.

Anxiety attack symptoms in men

While it may seem like men and women experience different anxiety attack symptoms, they don’t. Since each person is somewhat chemically unique, signs and symptoms of an anxiety attack can vary from person to person, and even from men to women.

Anxiety attack symptoms in teenagers

People of all ages can experience anxiety and panic attacks, including children, teenagers, and the elderly.

Anxiety attack symptoms v/s heart attack

Anxiety attacks symptoms and heart attack symptoms can seem similar because their signs and symptoms can be similar. But most medical professionals can quickly tell the difference as heart attacks have distinct symptoms that aren’t anxiety-like. If you are unsure of which is an anxiety attack symptom and which is a heart attack symptom, seek immediate medical advice. If the doctor diagnoses your symptoms as anxiety attack symptoms, you can feel confident the doctor’s diagnosis is correct. Therefore, there is no need to worry about a heart attack.

Can you have anxiety attacks symptoms at night?

Yes, anxiety attacks can occur any time, even at night.

Image Courtesy : Google Search
Content Source : anxietycentre.com

Monday, 7 December 2015

For a Biologist-Turned-Photographer, a Beehive Becomes a Living Lab

You’ve heard about immersion therapy—but what about immersion photography? When Anand Varma was asked to photograph a story on honeybees for National Geographic magazine, he knew he was going to have to take a different approach to capture new views of one of the world’s most photographed insects.
As fortune would have it, Varma struck up a friendship in his hometown of Berkeley, California, with Alice Rosenthal, a local beekeeper. Rosenthal had a hive that was struggling to survive during the winter, so she proposed a solution: She and Varma would move the hive into a shed in his backyard. The hive would stay warmer, and Varma would get to know the bees inside.
A new honeybee emerges from a brood cell.
This image is composed of 23 digitally merged photographs.
“Being able to actually watch them in the hive, you get to observe the things you read about or are told about,” he says. He recognized that the opportunity added a unique element to the execution of the assignment. “That was a real privilege that I wouldn’t have gotten had I just gone to the lab or just read the books or papers,” he says. “I got a lot more excited about bees, because I was able to watch them make their living.”
To get this up-close view, Varma made some modifications to the hive and to his workshop. First, he and Rosenthal took two frames of comb out of a hive box and slid them into observation cases—imagine a Connect Four grid made of glass. Then, he drilled a hole through a boarded-up window in the workshop. That way, the bees could come and go as they pleased, but their hive would stay warmer through the winter.
Bee larvae develop into pupae.

Thus, the workshop, which yielded a sort of hive-within-a-hive, became his practice field. “I was able to experiment with different lighting techniques and figure out what ways I could make bees look interesting in a photograph,” he explains, “and then I used those techniques in these different science labs to take the photographs that I needed to for this story.”
But even with this intimate perspective, Varma realized that there was something he still couldn’t see—the full development of an egg into an adult worker bee. After the queen bee lays a single egg in a cell of the comb, the worker bees feed the egg for a few days until it hatches into a larva. The larva continues to eat and grow until Day 10. Then, the worker bees cap the cell, and 11 days later an adult honeybee emerges. Varma was captivated by “this crazy transformation, from one nasty-looking grub thing into this crazy-looking insect.”
Pigment develops in the eyes of a bee pupa.

So he got creative. He’d already been photographing at a lab at UC Davis. The lab had a refrigerator-size incubator that could match the perfect conditions for honeybee development—including the temperature and humidity levels inside a capped cell. This way, when worker bees would cap a brood cell, Varma could cut away the capping without harming the bee’s development. He set a small piece of brood comb in the incubator, and rigged up a contraption that would allow his camera to photograph the same cell for a week at a time. “I couldn’t really photograph one bee for the whole 21 days of its life cycle, so I broke it up and I tried to capture each transformation that happens,” he says. As with any experiment, there were challenges. The first few tries, the humidity levels weren’t right. And then the first time-lapse he got revealed an ant infestation—all he had were photos of ants eating bee larvae. “Once it started to work, I was like, ‘Oh my god, this is going to be the coolest thing ever if I can show every part of this process.’”
His tenacity paid off. After dozens of tries over six months, Varma got enough footage to compile an incredible time-lapse video of a honeybee’s development.

Bees begin to emerge from their cells, in this still photo taken from Anand Varma’s time lapse video of bee development. 
In addition to perfecting his lighting and techniques, Varma found that keeping bees in his backyard gave him a sort of street cred with the scientists he collaborated with. “The thing is that the people who research bees all tend to be very passionate about bees,” he says. “Because I had gotten excited and learned about bees myself, I think that was helpful. Even if I was not the most experienced or effective beekeeper, I think having gone through that experience helped me relate to the scientists better.”
Unfortunately, with the end of the assignment came the end of Varma’s venture as a beekeeper. The already-weak hive swarmed, and the remaining bees fell victim to an ant infestation. As a full-time photographer with a hectic travel schedule, he has decided that now isn’t the time to restart.
While Varma expected to figure out technical processes, he didn’t quite anticipate the emotional connection he’d develop through taking care of the honeybees. “That was the coolest part!” he remembers. “I could see the queen wandering around and laying eggs. I could see the bees coming in and doing their waggle dance to teach their sisters where there’s food. There was all kinds of drama that I had no idea goes on in a hive!”
Content and Image Source : http://proof.nationalgeographic.com/

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Are we using the system properly?

You may have heard people criticizing about the system and government. You could be one of them. 

Yes, limitations are there. But have you ever thought if facilities provided by the system are being used properly? Are YOU using it properly? You don't need to recall too much. Don’t need to go too far. Just look around, observe and you will find the answer in a very short period of time.

Let’s go further with a very simple observation:

In the cities like Ahmedabad, bus services like BRTS, AMTS and other city buses are provided to the citizens. They have a few seats reserved for women passengers, senior citizens, and freedom fighters and handicaps.

Recently, news got viral where two girls fought with two boys for the seats reserved for women. They made those boys got up. And proudly took their seats. Quite aware of their rights those girls seem to be, don’t they? True, but what about others? When it comes to someone else’s right, do you care enough for them?

As per the recent observation, two youngsters were sitting in the seats which were reserved for senior citizens and two old-aged men were standing just beside them. Neither those men took any objection nor did those youngsters care. That was the same with seats which were reserved for women.

So, how can we complain constantly for the inconvenience and shortage of facilities when you are not showing enough concern for the existing facilities for yourself and for others? Why don’t we think twice before teaching government how to govern? Do we ever look at ourselves and think about our moral duties? Don’t ask others, ask yourself. I did.

Photo Courtesy : google.com

What a heck!

Imagine yourself stuck in a queue waiting for your turn to buy tickets or food or getting into the bus or train or pay bills in mall. “What a heck!” would be your immediate response, won’t it?
Acceptable. Not your fault. Population would be the first thing; immediately turned into an issue would come in your mind when you would find yourself in such situation.
I like to observe situations, people and their behaviour around me, whether it’s a shopping mall, a theatre, a restaurant or a vegetable market. On my way back to home, every time I think of writing on it. It can be shaped as “variety” of blogs.

When I was playing the role of cheese-ham in a busy bus and a domino when the bus immediately stopped, that was the first blog which was getting shaped in my mind.

Then a shopping mall on a fine Sunday when few people who were there for shopping genuinely and rest were there just for a troll and keeping their kids busy in some activities(Yes, on Sundays, malls become kids’ playground). I would find myself lucky if I make to the cash counter so easily! Getting out of the mall in fresh air strikes my mind and I determine never to go there on Sundays. And guess what, I always go on Sundays! Who can stop this heck now?

One more place where I would go only for genuine reason; a vegetable market. Always crowded, always screaming greengrocers. What a heck!

Three usual heck any average person would experience.
But my point is not the difficulty which we face in our routine. And you will agree with me in a short while. 

One thing which I noticed was a common in all above three incidents. And that kept me away from writing on it for a while. It kept my mind busy with so many thoughts.

When I got off the bus, I saw a kid who was near about 9-10 year old, was pulling a cart on which he was carrying a young girl who looked like her younger sister. 

When I got out of the mall, I saw a man, selling balloons on a cycle. A small boy was sleeping on a pipe near the handle of the cycle. He was not only selling, but he was begging people to buy the balloons from him so that he could feed his son.

While I was busy choosing the vegetables, I saw two young girls sitting on a stall and selling the vegetables, screaming the name, amount and price of the vegetables. 

In the last line of paragraph three, I have quoted Variety in “ “. But at last I found no variety at all. One common thing which is the strongest and most impactful was the “kids”.

These kids were alright themselves. You know why? Because they have never seen a better life. For them, their life is so usual. It’s their childhood, they are innocent. Whatever they are given, they take it happily because it is everything for them. They don’t complain. Their parents might understand but they are helpless. Rules are there to prevent issues like child-labour, child-neglect, child-abuse and many more. But why they stay only on paper? Who will implement them?

This thing kept my mind busy. It made me think again and again. Do I have difficulties in life? Really? Am I really considering a crowd, noise, busy bus so irritating that I feel heck in my life? Then what about these kids and many more like them?

The more I thought, the more I sank into it. What could have I done? Buying those kids bus tickets so that they won’t have to pull carts with their little, soft hands? Buying vegetables so that they get enough money for a day? I would have done this. But for today only. Tomorrow, you would do the same. Next day, your friend would do that. But is it an ultimate solution?
Many people have written about such issues. Me too. The question is WHAT NEXT? Sometimes words are not enough. Actions are compulsory. You also want a better India, right? Then think about it..

Photo Courtesy : google.com

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Precious Relations

We Indians care the most about the relations we have. We preserve them for the life time.

You may be a daughter or a son.
You may be a sister or a brother.
You may be a wife or a husband.
You may be a mother or a father.
You may be a grandmother or a grandfather.
You may be a granddaughter or a grandson.
You may be a mother-in-law or a father-in-law.
You may be a daughter-in-law or a son-in-law.
You may be a sister-in-law or a brother-in-law.
You can be a niece or a nephew.
You may be an aunt or an uncle.
You may be a friend.

This list can be longer than this.  But we don’t find it a loonngg list. These relations are an obvious part of our life.

It won’t be wrong if I say that somewhere we live for the relations. Just imagine your life without these people. You can’t, right? No Indian can.

A son would say that he wants to get educated and earn for his parents.

A girl would say that she wants to make a glorious career and make her parents proud. She wants to get married and wants to keep her family’s dignity.

 A married man wants to give all the happiness to his family.

This is us, Indians.

Each relation has its own beauty, crisp, and drama! In short all ups and downs. No relation can be constantly sweet.

You may have heard your NRI cousins or friend often that they are “shifting”.  They are leaving their parents’ home and will be living separately.

Such things don’t happen here in India until and unless it is highly required or a situation demands. Otherwise nobody wants to leave his/her parents.

Former Miss World and now Mrs Aishwarya Rai Bachchan once said in an interview, “We don’t have to make appointments to meet our parents on lunch or dinner in India.”

If you are a grand kid, then you may have experienced your bond with your grandparents. This is one of the cutest and "can't-be-explained-in-words" relations.

A kid may be afraid of his father’s strictness but he would always be fond of his grandparents. And the same thing happens with the grandparents too. They would feel more affection for the grand kids.  Grandparents are the best storytellers in the world. One said that a kid is the luckiest if he/she has had an opportunity to grow under his/her grandparents.

In the new age, grandparents are acclimatizing to technologies and changing world to walk with their grand kids. They may not have storybooks at hand, but they have found the new way; they are using technology to make the kids happy. They show cartoons’ videos on DVD or YouTube, pictures in WhatsApp, and Sanskrit Shlokas through audios. They want to pass on each and every possible lesson of virtue to their grand kids.

A relation is the highest-priority for us. For many of us, it is the ultimate goal in life. Nobody wants to hurt the loved one. The pain of your loved one’s grief is the most extreme.

Indians are emotional. We are family oriented people. Our emotions are attached to the relations. It is the safest feeling to be surrounded by “Our People”..

Relations are the most precious possessions in our life. They are the wealth which we inherit. They are the earning which we nurture for life time.

Holding on here for now with just two questions; what are we without relations? What is the meaning of our breath without their existence?

Imprint India Initiative

“Society is becoming technology driven. Important to understand the importance of this and look towards affordable technology. We have to think about how our institutions can set up their own incubation centers”,Speaking at the Visitors’ Conference at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.

"It is an Initiative to develop roadmap to solve technological challenges. The biggest strength of make-in-India is human capital. Skill development is extremely vital as I believe that Science is universal but technology has to be local".

'Imprint India' is an Inter Ministerial Group that is set up as a single-window mechanism to screen research proposals from India's research and technology institutes. The group 
approves projects and allots funds for them.

The Ministry of Human Resource Development(HRD), the Ministry of Defence,the Department of Science & Technology, the Department of Biotechnology, and the Ministry of Rural Development, among others, are part of 'Imprint India.'

The group has been set up to be a one-stop funding shop because many scientists and researchers said that bureaucracy was delaying projects and discouraging institutes from starting them. The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs)and the National Institutes of Technology are on board with the project that is being piloted by the Smriti Irani-led HRD ministry. 

The group has identified 10 areas where India is heavily dependent on foreign technology and where little or no research and manufacturing has been initiated. These include healthcare, computers & information technology, energy, sustainable habitat, nano technology hardware, water resources and river systems, advanced materials, manufacturing, defence and environment and climate change.

The IITs and the Indian Institutes of Science have helped identify these areas and have detailed the specifics of India's technology requirements for the next few years. For instance, in areas like nano technology hardware and diagnostic imaging in healthcare, almost everything is imported. The research areas will also dovetail with the 'Make in India' campaign to boost indigenous manufacture.

"The idea is to encourage a research environment and also drive institutes to take up research that is socially and technically relevant to India's needs across sectors. For instance, in Healthcare, India practically imports every single diagnostic machinery simply because it is not manufactured here and there is new research in India which can be scaled up. Through IMPRINT, we hope to change that," said an official associated with Imprint. 

Source : ibnlive.com, timesofindia.indiatimes.com