Soumyadip Twitter
Internet, Lists, Technology, Videos

My #2013 on Twitter

My bio on Twitter begins with “Internetaholic,” but the rehab treatment in the form of a two-year-old son has been very effective. These days much of my non-work (I work for a website) Internet use happens only when junior is asleep (like now) and this also includes Twitter.

A look at my timeline will almost instantaneously tell you that @soumyadip isn’t much of a twitterer (both in quantity and quality) and it also reflects in my follower count.

But these guys at Vizify make my year on Twitter appear to be much, much, more exciting then I thought it was. Watch this video (that they created, and which I edited a bit) and see if you too share similar thoughts.

And here, dear friends, is a list of my top tweets of 2013 (Dr Batra wouldn’t be too pleased).


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Cigarette
Consumer Awareness, Random Stuff

From anti-smoker to smoker to non-smoker: My King Size journey

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@anirbanchow, a good old friend, still remembers the kick that landed on his butt as a result of his adamant refusal to kick the butt. A decade-and-a-half later I have realised that kicks cannot make someone quit smoking. Getting your heart into it can.

During my school and college years I detested smoking and in the interest of my friends cajoled, even threatened, them to keep their lips away from the tantalising ends of cigarettes. There also have been a few stray incidents of violence, as mentioned above. Did any of my friends quit? No. Instead, I, a few years later, turned smoker.

As a child I was very curious, as children usually are, and I and my friends experimented with many kinds of smoke – rolled-up paper to dried plant stems. Thankfully these were only stray experiments and didn’t turn into a habit and my childhood was otherwise smoke free and so was my teens (I was a rabid anti-smoking agent then).

It was my twenties that drifted away in a tobacco smoke-filled haze. As usual, it began with a few puffs of a ‘cool’ new brand that a friend insisted I must try, and soon the puffs multiplied into packets. You need no laboratory to tell you that nicotine is one of the most addictive substances known to man. Ask any smoker.

It wasn’t that I never tried to quit or that I wasn’t aware of the dangers associated with this grievous habit. Quitting is tough, very tough. But possible.

A quit resolution was soon followed by a marathon movie watching session that was usually accompanied by bottles of beer and of course, cigarettes. By the time I finished watching the Godfather trilogy for the third time, a 20s pack of King Size cigarettes was also finished. And so was my short-lived resolution.

Things started to change when I became a father. My concern for my son‘s wellbeing also led to the realisation that his wellbeing was closely associated with mine. To give him all that I wanted to, I had to stay healthy and quitting smoking was the best start that I could make.

After the start, the rest of the ride has been smooth. My smoker colleagues have also helped in a way ignoring me when they went out for their smoke breaks.

I was apprehensive at first, thought my willpower will wither away. But each time I see my son smile, it only gets stronger. My secret was to associate it with something very close to my heart.

It has now been a few months since my last puff. I don’t remember the date. I don’t want to.

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Announcements, Family & Friends, Photographs

Meet Googool, the Chaiwallah Jr.

It’s been two-weeks since the last post on Cutting the Chai, and the reason for the pause is the arrival of Googool, the new member in the Chaiwallah family. He entered this world, and our lives, on 20.11.2011 (November 20, 2011).

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Those of you who are in touch with me via Twitter or Facebook would have already got the news. The experience of fatherhood was so overwhelming that I just couldn’t get myself to type a blog post.

Now that I have somewhat mastered the art of nappy changing and am making steady progress in deciphering baby cries thought it was about time to introduce the Chaiwallah Jr. to Cutting the Chai readers.

The name (rather nickname) of the apple of my eye is Googool, inspired by, but not to be confused with Google. We also pronounce it a little different (Goo-goo-l).

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Nicknames, I believe should not necessarily have a meaning. They are affectionate sounds where the only meaning is love. In fact, the Chaiwali and me had decided on the nickname for our expected child (irrespective of the baby’s gender) early in her pregnancy. With a technophile for a father, it was expected (or atleast this is what friends tell me).

Children have always fascinated me, and I’ve been a favourite uncle to my nephews and nieces. But having a child of my own is an altogether different experience. With Googool I am reliving my infancy days of which there are no traces in my memory. The smile on his lips is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

Now on a milk-only diet, I hope he develops a taste for chai later in life.

The biggest challenge now is choosing an ‘official’ name for Googool. The name that will appear in his school records and other places. I have been flipping through the pages Maneka Gandhi’s Book of Hindu Names, but without much success.

The reason why we are stuck is because of four self-imposed conditions: The name that we want for our son has to be not-so-common (it will therefore also easy for him to get the username of his choice on online services); the sound should have a nice ring to it; it should have a desirable meaning; and it shouldn’t be very long (the Chaiwali insists).

If you have some suggestions (origins and the initial letter are not a condition) please help us in our quest to find a name for Googool.

Till then here are some photos that I, whenever away from him, browse through numerous times a day.

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