Ashwina and I

And it’s a decade of blogging!

Yesterday marked the 10th anniversary of this blog. What started as an experiment to check out a new blogging tool called WordPress back in 2003 has become an integral part of my life.

I completed my engineering and worked as an engineer in one of the leading engineering companies from India. I then went out to do my MBA, became an investment Banker and relocated to London.

And, I married the most beautiful woman in the world. And even went on quite a few holidays!

Ashwina and I

WordPress became an integral part of my life as well. My theme became famous and my plugins have a fantastic user base.

And, I have plans to make this better!

How long have you been blogging?

Gateway ID Series

So what is ajaydsouza.com all about?

This blog has been called lots of things: excellent, good, fun, enjoyable, and even boring, monotonous, horrendous (ok not this one). The most recent comment has been “boring”.

So, why was it called boring. Because, it has been a while since I made a personal post.

This blog sees two types of visitors, viz. those who visit my blog for the personal posts and those who visit my blog for the WordPress related posts, plugins and the theme.

When I started ajaydsouza.com in October 2003, I had only one thing in mind, blogging about my life. In fact, even till today, most of my posts are still filed under Personal.

Over time, things evolved. I got into WordPress plugin development, released my first and only theme and then started blogging professionally. So, little surprise that this blog moved away from the traditional personal blog to a blog that targets multiple audiences, those who read my personal blog posts, those who come for my plugins, those who read my reviews and those who come for the jokes.

And, I try my best to please them all.

So, what determines my blog posts?

It’s always been the life that I lead. When I was in engineering college, a lot of this was visiting restaurants, watching movies and trying to pass engineering.

When I got into work life, it revolved around visiting restaurants, watching movies and working my heart out.

When I got into MBA, I stopped blogging that frequently. This was primarily because MBA life didn’t give me a minute to blog.

In the second year of MBA, life eased out a bit. I was able to take up blogging professionally again. I also revived Techtites, which was dead for nearly a year before that. In fact a lot of my “free” time today is spent on planning posts on it.

Now, in my current day job, it seems a lot similar to MBA life when I didn’t have time to dedicate to my hobbies. However, if you’re tracking me on Facebook, you’ll realize that I do my best to do something besides work.

So, to wrap up this post, here’s what I have been up to recently:

Vincent and me when shopping for a new laptop he needed to buy. We ended up picking up the Gateway ID series laptop.

Gateway ID Series

It is a really beautiful high-end laptop at just about 50K. As for me, I’m a Dell person. This December, my beautiful, but now old, Inspiron 6400 should get a much needed cleanup. I hope Dell support is as good as it was a year back!

We also attempted to visit the Pizza Hut in Forum, but they are under renovation. So, we ate at the Sahib Singh Sultan, which in my opinion is really out of place in a mall like forum. The restaurant was really delightful.

The restaurant is a tribute to a bygone era and everything from the interiors to the culinary experience is reminiscent of a mix of the traditions of Indian royalty and the British Raj.

The restaurant will transport you to the year 1853, when the first Indian train made its run from Bori Bunder to Thane. Much care has been taken to recreate the feeling, with the tastefully done décor, silk tapestry, and exquisite silver ware.

From one end of the wall to the other, there is a Pullman-style carriageway which makes you feel like you’re dining inside an actual train.

On the technical front, I have moved this blog to Media Temple. I’m not sure if this is the best option! In my bid to cut costs, due to limited income, this seems to be a compromise. I also need to work on optimising this blog, which is painfully heavy for some strange reasons. If anybody knows why please do let me know!

Now, it’s time to hit the sack. I begin a new week in a few hours. But, I promise to blog really really soon!

I’m alive!

When someone decides to message you all of a sudden and grumble that you are not blogging, then it is an indication that it has been a while. Well, I know it has, considering the last post was a month back. However, my life is so full of work, that I honestly, don’t have much to blog about.

Anyway, as an update, I have been working long hours all through the week and the concept of weekend is a blur. e.g. I worked till 1.30am on both Thursday and Friday! Weekends that do come along are spent with me resting all day long.

Well, that’s life of an investment banker. I knew the hours would be long, but didn’t expect it to be this long. Normally, this would have been a problem, if I wasn’t enjoying the work so much, I would definitely have hated it!

Talking about investment banking, as of yesterday, I completed two whole months as an investment banker! I know these two months have been simply amazing. The learning curve has been very steep, but I think I’m doing just fine.

What about my plugins, blogging and the rest of the world of IT? Well, it is there. I did put in a few posts at Techtites a while back when I had a full two days. Otherwise, Umar has been doing a good job so far. And, Shahrzaad’s occasional posts have been helpful in keeping the blog alive.

As for the plugins, sadly, they require a dedicated amount of time which hasn’t been a luxury I can afford. However, I have tried my best to support the same in the forums.

I am taking leave at the end of this month, as a break and also to take a trip back home. Hopefully, I should have the time to get in some coding as well!

The old AjayDSouza.com

A Week went by with some New Lookers

What better way for a blogger and a developer to pass his time than to blog and develop :)

That’s exactly what I have been up to this past week or so.

New Plugins

So, the past week has seen a new plugin added to my already growing list of plugins. Over, the next week I intend to continue work on the plugins. I plan on scrapping a few ones which have long since served their purpose as well as reworking others. The latest ones could also do with many feature additions. So stay tuned for a few releases :)

New look for Techtites

I’ve also been working on a brand new look for Techtites. With the help of Moin, I’ve been able to revamp the entire site to a much better template. Have spent a good portion of the week working on the template. The first and major step was making the theme ready for WordPress 2.7 commenting system.

There’s still much to be done, especially the sidebar. Better ad placements has also meant a better click thru and so a wee bit more income. Continue reading →

13 days later

No, I am not talking about the movie, but just the last 20 days of my life; life that has kept me so busy that you haven’t read about any personal updates.

So, here’s a quick round up of the last two weeks of my life.

The week from 19th to 24th of Jan was like any other week of my life. Spent all of it blogging, reading, eating, talking and sleeping.

23rd was the first and last test of this semester. The test was on Strategic Marketing. We were given a choice between a two simple questions and a case on TESCO. IMO, education should be practical and case based to ensure that people actually apply their minds to everything. A healthy mix of theory and practicals is ideal. However, MBA turned out to be primarily a learn by rote, which is something I simply can’t do. Hence, was forced to understand and write exams where results took a hit. No regrets on that, because I put in my best and did well so far :)

Aditya, Sneha, Namrata and me decided to go out for dinner on 23rd. After much pondering we went to Haka’s on FC Road, Pune. The food sucked completely and totally. Really felt like I was cheated of my money.

Took the early morning Volvo to Mumbai on 24th to spend the long weekend at home. I had to get the taste of the horrible Chinese food out of my mouth. So, I headed off to my favorite joint Dynasty to meet a friend. As usual the crab meat soup was delicious. We ordered the Seafood platter and it turned out to be sizzling and not dry, though I would have sworn it was dry the last time I ordered that.

26th is the Republic Day of India and so a public holiday. As a result the roads are usually empty and people stick home. This weekend was different because many had left the city for the long weekend.

Went shopping to Westside, near Opera House as it was the last day of their sale. Following this, I met a friend at 5 Spice in Bandra. We were seated at the Non-Smoking, Non-Alcoholic sections of the restaurant, which didn’t make a difference, since it was a dry day.

The service here was a lot slower, possibly because the design of the place is such. The however, remains delicious :)

I initially planned on returning to Pune on 27th, but postponed that to the next day. Spent 27th at home, working almost all day. Took the earliest Volvo I could to find my way back to Pune.

The last few days has been dinner at Tamanna, dinner at Mezza9, a class and presentation for Strategic Marketing. Looking at my mention of that subject you may tend to think I’ve shifted to Marketing. Well, no, I remain a Finance graduate. That is just one subject :)

I’ve given Techtites a new look yet again. So, will be spending tonight working on that one.