Just A Smile: Conversations

Hey folks!

Did you know we post word prompts every two to three days a week on our Instagram page? We were extremely delighted to have an entry from Nawazish Sayed for conversations. This blog post is an anecdote of Asad and Zyra’s first encounter on a train. 

Sayed is an aspiring writer who lives in Mumbai. 

This is her story!

word prompt 6


 

Returning to my hometown after 6 years was one of the happiest moments of my life. Travelled all over the world, I had forgotten the fragrance of my hometown. However after so long I decided to get back where I started from. Booked my ticket and soon I was off on my trip to my hometown. Travelling through flights I chose to get through train this time.

Moreover, it was my first time traveling on a train all alone. Being a traveler I was pretty sure I would get along with this trip all alone. Eventually, the day arrived all dressed and ready for my way back home I reached the departure counter, checked my seat and sat in my berth. Slowly, my journey started and near me were people whom I wasn’t quite aware of. My neighbors looked similar to some T.V. actors. A group of people yelling, screaming their heart out and enjoying their games and music but among them was a guy close to my age; seemed all shy and quiet in a corner of a seat sitting still, not uttering a word. I wondered why he was so quite amongst his companions. My journey was going to be interesting viewing these characters but I was more curious about that shy guy.

The regular vendors entered the compartment with tea and pakoras. I glanced my eyes over at that guy, and something caught my eyes. There he was staring at me with a cute smile. At first, I was a bit shy but I looked back with a smile and I saw his cheeks turn pink. There was something he wanted to tell me and I could sense it. For a few times, our eyes exchanged glances and eventually, he came up to talk to me. For the first time, I was a bit nervous.

My personality changed from a confident young lady to a shy person. What was wrong with me? I thought back in my mind.
He came near my berth and asked, “Lady, can I have a tea date with you here?”I was shocked not knowing how to react, I was asked for a date that too on a moving train. I looked back with my eyes looking straight into his and spoke, “Excuse me, have you mistaken me for some other girl?” He replied, “No” He turned back, bought two cups of tea and smiled. I was still figuring out, inexpressible and there he said, “Travelling alone for the first time is always fun” I smiled back taking the tea in my hand and replied, “Do not share experiences without sharing names”. He again smiled and replied, “ASAD” I smiled back and replied, “Zyra.”

Our conversation ended with that smile. He walked over to his berth and me back into my sheets for a nap.

The train halted at a station at 2 in the night. My stomach crumbled as I was hungry and I decided to get down to look for something hygienic to eat. Before that, my eyes rolled to look up for Asad, but he was nowhere to be seen.I walked through the compartment door and there he was standing at the entrance looking up at the stars, engrossed. I interrupted him and he excused me with his smile. I questioned him as I was way too curious to know, why he smiles back at me secretly every time I look at him. He replied, “Zyra words cant express what a smile can. The time I smiled for the first time at you I saw the reflection of my smile in your eyes through your trembling lips. “No matter, his words touched my heart my lips couldn’t utter words because I was so engrossed in his words. I forgot about my hunger and got back to my seat. Asad was still at the door but I went to sleep thinking about what he had said to me.

Early next morning when I woke up he was standing near my window seat holding a kerchief so that the disturbing sunlight does not disturb my sleep. He looked back with a smile and all I could do was smile back engrossed in his smile. He said,”It was nice meeting you, time to leave.” I got up all confused with questions about the smile, the secrets, the inexpressible words and curiously asked him that does he smile back to everyone like he did to me. He looked down with blushy cheeks and replied, “A friend like you will always be memorable…This smile happens when these eyes see you.” There I was, for the first time blushing for a guy who was just a friend whom I had encountered a night before. I replied,”You will always be a memory to me. Just a smile.”
He walked back as his station arrived, as he left, he turned back looked at me and said,”Have a safe journey Zyra..” and walked away with his smile hidden with secrets and slowly I saw as he left.

I wanted to stop him. I wanted to ask him the secret behind his smile for me. I wanted to know his hidden words which weren’t expressible.But he was just a smile which I had felt and continued my journey just with the smile he had given me. In this world of technology, we got so engrossed with the secrets of our smiles that we didn’t bother to exchange numbers or information about each other. It was just our smiles that talked, that we remained in our memories forever and ever as strangers who met in a train and at last my journey to my hometown ended with unanswered questions and secrets but eventually just with a secretive smile.

The Mysterious Case of Cassandra Evans

Maid Cassandra Evans was easily in her middle ages, and had worked in the Manor House for almost 20 years, and was perhaps the senior most maid in the entire of the Manor, but she didn’t care for all that. She had a job to do and a Master to take care of, her own master that had saved her from what should have been instant death and misery.

What wasn’t expected, though, was what was seen in the main lounge of the Manor house.

From the ceiling, there were 2 ropes hanging down, both of them tied up into the Chandeliers. Both of those ropes had 2 bodies tied onto it, via the necks, or at least one of them. One was the body of a steward and a driver, in his black and white dress but with enough blood on him for it to splatter on the ground, and the other was the pale, broken figure of Cassandra Evans, with a lot of cuts and other types of marks against her skin, her eyes black, and her lips split. From what was seen, her body was tied via her legs, and she was alive, shuddering and shivering, her breath coming in gasps and her eyes already having run out of tears. Her nose was bleeding and so was her stomach.

The peaceful life of Manor house of Mr. Penton was shaken up with the shocking double murder of his driver and his senior-most maid, Cassandra. There seemed to be no clear motive for such a horrible act of violence.

The Chief of Police, Mr. Free, has taken up the task to find the one responsible and serve justice.

Will he succeed in doing so or will he be too late??

This blog is a book blurb of a novel written by my dear friend, Mohammed Ayya. He currently lives in India, with his wife and child. An author of tragic fiction and children stories, he is known to have a penchant for solitude and philosophy.

To read more about this mysterious case, download the ebook. CLICK HERE 

Write to him at mohammedayya@gmail.com

Follow Mohammed Ayya on Amazon click here.

The Power Of Imagination – Back to books #2

Hello, lovely readers.

Let’s take a quick mental field trip today…..into the land of the ever imaginative Roald Dahl. Yes, the guy who wrote Charlie and the Chocolate factory! And no, it was not just a movie, it was a movie based off of the book! Crazy right?

Anybody who has watched the movie is so enamoured by the set and design of the visuals. I mean, chocolate rivers and candy trees; Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory is a dream come true! That Golden ticket is every fiction baby’s fantasy (except you know, our Hogwarts Letters :P), and the chance to live in that world would be so exceptional.

To anybody who has also read the book, this mystical factory is even more magical. And in there lies my disbelief! How is it, that words affect my imagination to grow more than the actual visual right in front of my eyes? How do I get so wrapped up in the words that I can actually see it unfold in my mind?

Dahl’s writing abilities are mind boggling. And that’s where our lesson lies. The main ones being that writing is an art. A writer is an artist and it is the job of an artist to imagine the unimaginable. To be unafraid, to be free and downright crazy. And to build our words into the very soul of the reader.

Roald Dahl was my early childhood….and now when I go back to his words, I can see the power he had. His power was simple, he transported his reader to his world, with and without pictures. And speaking of pictures; there lies our second lesson.

Illustrations and photographs, if chosen correctly can absolutely elevate your content to the highest of highs. Use them wisely and use them often, just like your favourite Roald Dahl books. Just remember to back up the visuals with great content!

Good day folk.

 

What Makes Email Marketing Sought-after?

Email, back in the day, fascinated most of us because digital letters could be sent to someone or anyone via the internet. I was in school when the thrill to have an email ID stood above and forth other milestones of making friends.

Yahoo! was a thing back then, and chatting with a supposed ‘pen friend’ living across the country’s borders was cool.

We have changed and diversified how the internet is working for us. Especially, when it comes to emails, the origin of marketing via email, has become a norm for businesses and companies.

Most of us have our emails configured and synced with all our devices- Laptop, iPad, Smartphone and Wearable Gadgets. That being said, companies and businesses have a potentially huge audience which receives emails.

Which makes having an email ID like having a passport. The two reasons why having an email ID important is;

  1. It is easier for any company’s website to trace back the user.
  2. The email ID received as an authentication to access service, downloads, configuration, or newsletter list, gives any company’s website permit to send emails to users who have willing consented.

Knowing how interactive the concept of email is; email marketing is about creating engaging email campaigns for clients, users, and people online. When I say engaging, it involves all my favorite elements that make a great quality email – good branding, well placed CTAs and peppy, catchy content.

To get started, an online email marketing service will help and guide newbies to create followers and client lists; the online email service company also have great bundles of template designs for emails and an integrated report system to track user behavior, conversions and open rate of emails.

Amazing that now, we are able to find all kinds of solutions to interact with clients and followers. Email marketing isn’t just that. Communication even if happens through a company channel shouldn’t be obnoxious, pompous and superficial.

The idea is that content of emails should flow unhindered, like a conversation that continues with consistent emails, either every week or every month.

Mailchimp is a profound online email marketing service and there are many others which can be used for creating eye-candy emails.

Thank you for your time. This brief blog touches upon bits of email marketing. If you wish to know more about email marketing and creating email campaigns, post it in the comments below.

The Importance of Blogs, For Companies

Many companies are doing it right in the virtual world. Most start-ups find investing in content management and marketing essential for their business. And that is because they have understood the momentousness of keyword density and customer relationship.

Drawing examples from two Indian companies; Fedena and Zeta have proliferated their company’s potential multifold. Now, why does content unlock doors to businesses has been a key question for many.

To answer justifiably, what holds the first enhanced user experience on any website is the graphics, responsiveness, and content of the homepage. However, on a limited desktop screen, any particular website’s homepage that is being showcased of a business or company is comparatively little.

Now brands or companies who look for a potential clientele off the internet, exclusively maintain an outbound marketing budget and thus, exercise their sales and purchases accordingly.

For ones, who know that they will likely find leads online, look for stable schemes of marketing, and thus find promoting through inbound marketing slow, but effective in yielding results.

An average website may have a substantial bundle of 20 pages or likewise. But what brings forth customers or clients to checking those pages out is awareness.

Awareness in the virtual sphere can be spread exceptionally through videos, graphics, posts, images and blogs. But substantially, blogs generate faster, satisfying results.

Why is then that blogs are important for business? For starters, they exuberate consistently, the following for a business

  • the brand voice
  • its values
  • keywords
  • what’s new and trending
  • information

A content marketer knows the value of publicizing a business or company, consistently. The repetitiveness and the context of producing fresh content on such topics that mostly answer a client’s inherent questions regarding a product or service, by far, is done superiorly by blogs.

And sometimes, the human scanners who trod upon many websites unknowingly, find themselves, astonished with:

  • The information that blogs impart,
  • The enhanced value of a product or service that is described,
  • The unique urge to enquire about a product or service that blogs create,

That effect of content, that delivers a quest for knowledge, an exposure to a unique product or service and lastly, the possibility of that human virtual onlooker to convert into a lead.

Fedena and Zeta do justice to their readers; inferences that can be drawn about a blog’s importance starts with such companies.

Stability and tolerance must be there to hang in, for content to deliver distinctive results, is a gradual ongoing process.

The human quests for knowledge. Thankfully, the internet is here, at everyone’s fingertips. And thankfully, companies are here to conquer the value of generating stable, consistent content for readers online. And largely, the importance of well researched, informative content that helps many, to enlighten themselves with teeny-weeny morsels of information, consumed through companies’ websites.

Christine Ray’s Titbits On Growing Your Site and Audience

Practical advice from new blogger Christine Ray on growing your site and audience.

via “Brave and Reckless” Advice: Five Tips for New Bloggers from Christine Ray — Discover

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Start Writing A Blog

My writer’s brain tells me to stop obsessing about content and speak about blogs instead. I am cool with it and will try giving an honest opinion about it. Or blogs per say.

Being thoroughly annoyed by Grammarly corrections interrupting my flow of thought. A pro tip: never install the chrome extension of Grammarly on your device, ever. 

Somedays are blog days, and those days you write. Here is a list of fun facts of blogs.

BLOGS-

  1. Are fun to read. 
  2. Tell you so much about the author
  3. Is partially informative
  4. Most blogs are patterned, structured rants
  5. Are amateur writers’ online journal
  6. Sometimes pretentious
  7. And redundant
  8. But they target keywords
  9. And become more important than ever for content marketing
  10. A unique style matter
  11. I love lists
  12. But, importantly, they keep readers engaged
  13. And hooked to the value of content
  14. However, Entertainment Companies get more visitors, likers, hater, trollers for the blogs they write
  15. Because Gossip is everyone’s go-to

WHEW!

Anyhow, contemplatively, blogs are important. To discover a niche in the virtual world, blogs build repetitive, often times intrusive, but a permissible cycle of client engagement.

Start Writing A Blog.

 

Why You Should Read To Write Well

Where most students straight out of my high school knew what they wanted to do with their lives, I was perplexed. I never had the clarity nor the sensibility to establish an ambition for myself. I didn’t know back then, but now when I think about it I had crazy Existential thoughts and life questions;

  • Like what is the purpose of it all?
  • How can choosing a career or making money empower me?
  • If my destiny is driven by nature, how is living a stable life under my control?

On some days, I wished I could make a career out of reading books if that was even possible. I thoroughly wished it was an option on job listing websites. I don’t have an achievers’ story here, but I will tell you this,

I figured writing can be my forte only because,

A. I think in a weirdly structured manner.

B. Each thought in my mind processes itself into Pros and Cons.

C. Writing is substance visible as content for the world to read and interpret.

D. I LOVE TO READ

Which brings me to tell you that good reading habits can pave the way into expression, either in the form of content or context.

Firstly, reading shouldn’t function like a chore but a habit that is indulgent and free from time constraints. The words of the book should engulf you into imagination. There is no such thing as skimming over a chapter or a few pages. When reading happens, you have to flow with the words. Avid readers never consciously read each word in their minds but devour the essence of the story.

Secondly, each book has a story. Whichever genre you choose to pick, the ethos will likely create enthral.

Lastly, the flow of words, sentence formations, and chapter distribution binds into homogeneity. Really good authors know what debunks chaos. It can be very distracting and frustrating to absorb content which lacks readability.

Which bring me to stating why you should read to write well. Besides experiencing the aforementioned, writing will make you conscious about the reader’s expectations of you.

Reading creates an understanding of words and how context can be divided into different paragraphs while writing. Or how phrases can be incorporated into content, or how building climax in writing can generate suspense into reading.

More so, the continuity factor of reading guides writers to create content which is decipherable or understandable. Like, fashion, writing can know no bounds in having a groundwork of desirable trends.

The obvious advantage I miss out here is Vocabulary. Reading devices a thirst for words and meaning.

Sure enough, this blog shall get you into writing or reading or both. If you are already an avid reader, then I hope you feel a connect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beginner Tips To Start Writing

Writing is an art you master only when you write consistently, every single day. It doesn’t happen overnight. To share my experience, in the beginning, I would become weak-kneed each time I would propel myself to write.

And, I think it has to do with me being an Indian; English is not my first language. It’s a language I have grown familiar with, understood it and have come to expressing it over the years. I speak fluently so to say but writing in English, is an endeavor.

As I happen to think in English with a sensibility of an Indian, I have acquired a uniqueness to my writing, which has greatly helped with fighting writer’s block. There are different types of writing, for different audiences; where each reader consumes information in an exclusive fashion. What I advice most beginners who see themselves forming a career into writing is to look out for the following traits within, to help tackle fallibility.

a. Patience

Why has writing been perceived as a daunting task, makes me ponder sometimes. Whether it is society or the education system,  or it could be the English Literature faculty at school? I will research deeper into this phenomenon and probably write an article on this website soon. We lose our patience way too quickly at the first stormy onset of writer’s block. Take a deep breath, be well hydrated and clean. Make sure your body posture is comfortable. Start away,

Think about a topic, situation or event you feel strongly about. Let, the comfort zone of your chosen topic soothe you to craft a copy which flows like water on a smooth surface. If, you are making grammatical mistakes or structural errors; don’t look back. Let that flow of thought find its way on paper or on your MS Word draft.

My tip, play a soft background song to soothe your nerves. Don’t let anything stimulate you towards distraction. Trust me, you will let go easily on paper. Continue, till you have reached the end of what you want to say. Then start proofreading and editing your copy.

I hope this sweats out the best out of you.

Start with the simple mantra: I am going to speak my mind and let my thoughts spray on a piece of paper without reluctance.

b. Belief In Oneself

Man! But you gotta believe in yourself. Shoo away the negativity and absurd thoughts. Know, whatever that is you write, will be taken in both good as well as bad spirit. There is no end to cynics and skeptics. Your people who love and appreciate you; will push you towards writing more often and will like, every silly, non-sensical tidbit you write. Don’t look for the audience right away. Write for you. Because your greatest motivator stays within.

c. Never Lose Hope

You will eventually land yourself in a good place. Being hopeful is key. Success knocks at the door of the ones who never give up. Be a hustler. Optimism in your spirit, mind, and thinking will reflect positively on your writing. Remember, You need to count on yourself for the world to count on you.

d. Make Your Own Rules

And stick by them. What making your own rules, do for you? To begin with, they are yours and are not dictated to you. You are the boss of your own content, writing or craft. By following others’ set of rules to write right; this is what you will likely miss out on-

  • Great flow of thought
  • Your writing sensibility
  • Your writing comfort zone
  • Your passion for words

Be unrestricted.

Be a writer.

Know What Inbound Marketing Can Do For Your Business

Inbound Marketing

You may have found this term floating around the internet and are not quite sure about what it entails and how you can use it. But again, marketing is a term you understand.

Inbound Marketing is precisely what you think it is. It is an umbrella term for all kinds of marketing, content creation and promotion done online; like Search Engine Optimisation, Social Media, Blogs, Websites, Discussion Forum, etc.

Whereas, Outbound Marketing is done through TV, Magazines, Newspapers, Hoardings and Sponsorships.

I stumbled upon a really amazing blog written by Vital. The blog postulates differences between Inbound and Outbound Marketing in good vocabulary.

Inbound Marketing happens in circles; to draw an example from a product based brand, diversifying across India: Chumbak.

Chumbak in 2010, started out as a small retail kiosk in Shopper’s Stop, Bangalore. The company hasn’t looked back. Chumbak acquired customers and received great feedback; their product philosophy was cherished as it was unique; colourful. What did they do next?

They built their e-commerce website and started extended their product range and stores in different locations of Bangalore. Today, they have stores in all major cities of India. They got the youth hooked online on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Customers receive updates about new product launches, sales, events and programmes through creative, quirky emails. Surprisingly, Chumbak doesn’t invest at all in outbound marketing.

What do they invest in?

  • Design, Concept, Colour and Illustration
  • Targeting the right audience
  • Branching out; Stores
  • Social Media
  • Word-of-Mouth Marketing
  • Email Marketing

Chumbak is growing since.

In the same manner, many companies and brands find investing in inbound marketing crucial for the growth of their business. Why is that? Because each one of us is a potential customer who has gadgets at their disposal to browse, locate and discover what is trending locally as well as globally.

Our immediate response or reflex to acquire information has become searching for it online, or to use the lingo, Googling it. Our brain and behaviour have channelled us to incessantly quest knowledge by browsing or reading feeds.

Fun stuff; audiences’ search behaviour and virtual existence can be tracked and located online. Which gives companies realistic figures about their marketing ROI.

What keeps companies and brands ahead in the game?

Content stays as the highest authority for Inbound marketing. But for prospects to convert into effective leads or customers, inbound marketing has to be strategic and planned.

Content relies on keywords, but not heavily so. The written copy must effectively and coherently speak to, talk to and relate to the audience receiving it. The company or brand must have a sure management strategy as to how it plans to attract a potential client. The content Marketing team should vouch for the content to be:

  • grammatically flawless
  • coherent, clear
  • audience specific
  • meticulous
  • well – planned

Inbound Marketing will have dominance over all forms of marketing in the near future. Businesses and start-ups who plan to grow steadily with an assured customer base should look for the best content strategy, right away.

The Psychology Behind Successful Marketing

Talking about my most treasured subject today: PSYCHOLOGY.

You may have crossed all milestones of setting up your business or company or even a start-up. But I bet, thinking about the psychological factors of effective marketing would not have crossed your mind.

Emotions are inherent and purely individualistic. Each person or being has his/ her own set of powerful reflexes and fetishes. We may have advanced in technology, as a society and not to mention education. But we, often times, have failed to embrace the actuality of emotional triggers.

To built the foundation of a great client base, we must, as businesses, understand and reflect inward on knowing how a particular product or service will be received by the masses.

Today, I share 3 tips that will boost your inner, impassive Shrink to reflect better.

  • Understand Enough To Explain Elaborately 

Because it is our business, our company’s service or product, we know what we are offering to our customers, word for word. But they don’t! Ensure, that your website, marketing collaterals, social media and other platforms of advertisements share that information in a direct, explanatory fashion. Your potential client will likely get interested with what you offer if, he or she is sure about the company, its goals and what it is providing.

  • Understand To Know

At shopping centers, you will find yourself drooling over a new flavor of ice-cream or in my case, I am glued to the attractive stationery section. What I try to say here is this – every subjective or objective thing if channeled accurately has the ability to trigger emotions. That play of feelings in our mind direct us to either buy a product, or read an informative blog, or check social feeds.

Facebook does this best. They have got the global audience hooked to their social media platform. How did they achieve such an inclusion so soon?

Think about it, they understood the psychological aspect of human behavior, that each person is inherently a social animal who loves networking and sharing all kinds of crazy daily tidbits with others. What trumps this interpretation is that they understand; besides sharing all that is to say and do with folks; people on Facebook can unwearyingly keep a check on others’ stories.

  • Trigger Those Emotions And Build A Connect

In my previous post on Boost Your Brand Voice I share my thoughts on how Titan Company builds a connect through well-illustrated, chummy stories.

But there are other ways of building catharsis. You need to find what works for your company or business. Answer people’s innermost questions. Connect your product or service through strategically and uniformly conditioning people’s mind by;

  1. Having catchy taglines
  2. Contributing towards a social cause
  3. Sharing your start-up story
  4. Sharing how you plan to grow your venture
  5. Why you, your company/business or presence matter in the larger scheme of things

And once you have this, my friend, you shall see slow but effective progress in,

  • Client Engagement
  • Readership
  • Leads

Most monumental companies know what ticks and clicks with their client/ customer base. It is high time, you should know too!