Mi amiga, Alexa

This year is turning out to be certifiably C.R.A.Z.Y. A wonderful trip with my friends to Bangkok, another epic Bombay-Pune trip, two best friends getting married, on my way to setting up a home with K from scratch, and finally, tying the knot myself! Oh my gosh, holy cow!

And to make this year ever crazier, I am stoked to announce that I will be taking part in BlogChatter’s annual campaign #MyFriendAlexa. It’s their fourth season, and mine. Super proud of this. I couldn’t believe that this would be my fourth year with them, actively blogging, reading and sharing. I couldn’t help but take a quick trip down memory lane, glossing over my posts and the lovely comments that warm my heart.

Back when I first started, it took me some time to understand the concept of Alexa and how to utilise the many tools at my disposal. A web-based application, Alexa ranks websites ona global and all-India basis, highlighting traffic data and analytics. Every website is assigned a number, and lower the number, higher is your rank.

In 2018, I began the campaign with 2,692,091 global rank, but this year, I am at 3,062,392.

The numbers clearly say it. I haven’t been all too disciplined when it comes to posting content, and pushing myself across the vast spaces of the internet. But, what I really love about this campaign is that it makes me work hard to set a course for myself. Consistency is indeed the key when it comes to blogging, and garnering a higher Alexa rank, and #MyFriendAlexa is the best I have come across to make me pull myself up from the blogging trough.

Here are a few things that I LOVE about #MyFriendAlexa campaign:

  • It is not as exhausting as the A to Z Challenge. I have completed the AtoZ challenge two years in a row and I know how stressful it can get. It gets hectic and with all the sharing and commenting, it can really weigh you down. But, with BlogChatter, one has to post a mandatory eight articles over the period of four weeks. It is much easier to plan this out. But what can be tricky is the compulsory sharing and reading of around 10-12 blogs per day. It might seem like an overwhelming task to begin with, but once you find your groove, maybe schedule some social media posts, you’ll start to settle in well.
  • The #MyFriendAlexa campaign has always, always helped me get out of my writer’s block. There is enough pressure to get my fingers to dance away on the keyboard. And it is a wonderful feeling, isn’t it? When you’re in a steady flow of thought, wanting to type or write or record everything that flashes through the mind. To constantly be thinking of ideas on your way to work or in the shower, and mentally take notes on potential topics for posts. A heady feeling, this.
  • There’s always help a click away. I know sometimes when I need help understanding something, be it related to Alexa and all the tech aspects, or something related with the intricacies of the campaign, Team BlogChatter is easily approachable and quick to revert. I have never felt as if I am type type typing away to glory in ‘silos’. I am part of a thriving community, and help and support can always be found.
  • See your Alexa rank soar. Well, of course you have to work hard for it, but once you’re in the groove of blogging regularly, see the numbers drop. There is obviously a lot of science behind it, but it feels like a miracle. Like my blog being woken up from deep slumber.
  • Make new friends, and reconnect with old ones! This month will be all about reading and sharing others’ works. And discovering the vast talent and creativity out there. Trust me when I say this, read as much as you can, because this will help fire brain activity and push out more creative content.

This campaign is perfect for first-time bloggers to take the plunge, while there is space for the veterans to mingle in the new crowd and push their boundaries even further. If you want to join in on the fun, here’s the link where you can register and get to know more about it.


Bhaunri – A tale of obsession and endless desire

Human emotions are difficult to decipher, predict or even analyse. We’re complex beings and constantly evolving. Nothing brings this point to the fore like the tale of Bhaunri by Anukrti Upadhyay, who spun a story so wonderful in the desert lands of Rajasthan, it left me thinking for a long time even after I was done with it.

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​Dare Eat That – Challenge your palate

​​Those who know me know my crazy love for food. And Dare Eat That – A guide to bizarre foods from around the world by Divya Anand was just the book for me. For the better part of my life as a young adult, I have feasted on a lot of travel and food related shows, and this book brought the great Andrew Zimmern to mind. But I must say, I have never come across a book that dabbles in the unknown and deadly of the culinary world as well.  

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Call Me By Your Name – A sensuous read

There are times when I want to travel to exotic lands, sup on different cuisines and waltz away my time lolling under the sun. And since I cannot live such a life in reality, I tend to reach out for a book. This time, it was a beautiful story set in Italy narrating the powerful love between a boy and a young man in a town referred to only as B in the novel, Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman.

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Kokni Canteen – An ultimate Goan experience

Goa is a raging tourist destination, with travellers landing up at its shores and transit centres throughout the year. The sticky humidity or bellowing rain clouds deter no one, and it certainly is one of the most sought after spots in the country.

However, I must confess, even after having visited the idyllic locale at least three times, never had I once heard of Kokni Canteen. And I wonder why. Everyone knows about the usual Britto’s at Baga beach or Souza Lobo in Calungate or even Antares (which caught fire earlier this year). But if you yearn for authentic Goan cuisine at a restaurant that offers a homely and warm ambience, Kokni Canteen is the place to be.

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