Parents Reaction to first time Traveller

Soon after arranging tickets and stay for this trip, just 2 Days before from my trip start date (13th Dec,2013), I informed my parents about my trip in little vague manner with little details like I’m going to Ahmedabad with my office colleague(which was not the case), so I was questioned like I did some Lafda(Crime) or something.

I answered some of the critical questions of parents:
0. why are you going?
1.When you are leaving?
2. With whom you are leaving?
3. where do you live?
4. when you will be back?

To all above questions, which I handled them very carelessly and it resulted into suspicion about my plans into their minds, as I answered like this.

0. why are you going?
: To see new things because its my wish to see.
they said, you go to where we say and we can suggest you some good place.
I said , No sometimes I also want to make my own choice.

1.When are you leaving?
:I said on Friday night directly from office, then Mom said : then how can you take some food for night.
I responded, I don’t need that.

2. With whom you are leaving?
:Previously I said, my office friend who’s from Ahmedabad will accompany me and now I was saying, that he may or may not accompany me, and then the fury started, parents responded that you won’t go alone and I declared my decision of going there

3. Where would you live?
: I answered like I will stay at a Office friend-Friends House, and will be back in 3-4 days without any exact info.

4. When you will be back?
: I answered in unsure tone of 2-3 days sometime and then 3-4 days sometime.
So this all created a bit tension and suspicion on my plans for them.

But I can’t postponed this once in a life time trip.

On Next day,i.e Thursday, Mom said both parents are bit ill and in tension after I declared about my trip and they want me to go where they want me, not where I want to.

But they reacted in similar manner, when I first said them that I’m starting Bagtag an online store and they advised me to focus on my Job.

I’m still firm on my decision to make this trip, because all things are set well for this trip, like:
1. Cool Trip Route.
2. All route tickets got confirmed.
3. All Hosts at each location are ready to help me, may not allow me to stay at their place, but will surely assist me in getting some place.

Due to this, I somehow got this belief in me, that even My lord wants me to take this trip, to come out of the Pond, in which I’m just surviving,not yet Living.
where we just run to attain some imaginary path to Success, which will be like a small fire shower like we have in Diwali at the end and then every one don’t even give a damn about it.
So its just a Life circle which everyone needs to complete and most live by how others want them to live like with a secure day to day life and no one is understanding that they only got one life to experience what they never did till now.

So Just 3 hours before leaving from Office with my packed bags towards Gujarat,here is what I wrote in mail to self:
Current State Before Leaving for first Train of Route:
“Initially , I was travelling Ahmedabad to stay with some stranger friends,then as family was not agreeing on my idea of this trip, I changed my first halt point to Baroda, as my Relative Mama was staying there and I will be OK with them.
hence by this, I given them a Sense of Security that I will be secured and in this activity I found this common characteristic:
If I make people mindset cool down with a sense of Secure future, they can be made agreed on anything, even if initially they were afraid of some what similar path, but due to pre-conceived notions, they take late decisions which sometimes limit the growth of them and same thing people learn in future by some or the other experience.”

 

Tickets and Stay arrangements

Merely Deciding to pursue your Dream is Important but very small step of your jouney. your comfortable life will soon be filled with many difficult questions about we gonna do it.
Similar thing happened to me when I made my mind to pursue solo trip. I thought I can easily handle trip planning and parents reaction also.
Various questions pop-up in your head like where to go for trip? Is this place or that place? is it risky? how much to spare on each place? how much budget I have? where will I live in those places? what all things I need before leaving? ohh and the main thing the tickets?
when I was planning what destination to travel, one thing was sure to keep costs low and complete this trip in low budget. I took care of this while choosing those destinations, I promised myself that I will decide the route which may offer unexpected experiences where to reduce shelter and food costs I willl stay at unknown strangers if possible. Next question was, where I would stay if I decide on travelling from Gujarat-to-Rajasthan-to-Punjab-to-Agra. So on googling and on quora sites , I found the most relevant option to try is: couchsurfing.org site. So next obvious step I registered there and composed my Stay request message that I broadcasted in zones of Ahmedabad and Ajmer communities on CS site, and also sent 1 to 1 requests to few selected hosts who’s profile sounds decent to talk by reading the references made for them by previous guest travelers.
Initially, I had an anxiety to try this couchsurfing site, but then a simple realization made my decision making simple in this whole journey. That simple realization come from a fact that: If foreigners can roam around in my country freely without knowing any Good guide, then also they get through India with some of the memorable experiences, due to this they ruled for 300 years on India because they are not afraid to take a chance on something unknown and its reverse characteristics are very prominent which are taught to most Indian children’s like : don’t do this and that, it’s risky and it won’t do any good to you, try this thing as Choonooh uncles son did this and he’s richest in our society currently. Due to this fact, I got tired of comparisons, they just breed negative personality and being in positive frame of mind becomes difficult due to this society comparisons.
On couchsurfing site, I waited for a month before even a single response come to my requests for stay, this first guy from Ahmedabad replied to my broadcasted request was:
“hello dear,
Welcome on CS. I will be more than happy to help you explore Ahmedabad. Just gimme a call one day before you arrive. I can be reached at 9898***9898”
After this message, I called him and kept in touch with this new stranger friend who was a CA in Ahmedabad, and was quite busy due to its exams at that time, so I didn’t got the place to stay at his place as he was also a First timer to CS community. But he promised to assist me by arranging a short stay at his PG friend’s flats.
After this, as workaround stay for Gujarat was arranged, I searched some people in Ajmer, and gradually found one profile of Uniformed forces officer who also displayed its contact number and as usual contacted him in next early morning in December 10 days before my scheduled Trip start Date (13th).
On the phone, that officer sounded really helpful and after a day as he didn’t had any place for me to make stay, so he inquired in local hotel near Ajmer rail way station at cheaper cost, as I asked him to help me in keeping this trip low-budget.
So now after these all Jugad’s (Hacks), I had some places to keep my bags while travelling to so many places in this manner:
– In Gujarat, new stranger friend from Ahmedabad was ready to make some arrangements.
– In Rajasthan, new stranger Officer friend from Ajmer helped in getting some budget hotel stay.
– In Punjab, I arranged a stay at one of the office colleagues home who was native of Amritsar.
– In Madya pradesh, I arranged stay at cousins home at Gwalior which is 2 hours away from Agra.

Hence as I was new to Booking railway tickets, one of the office colleague helped me in understanding Irctc.co.in portal and explained its worst experiences and workaround which I can take in case of no ticket availability and with this help, In all I booked tickets for routes like:
1. Ahmedabad to Ajmer (Passenger train).
2. Ajmer to Amritsar (Superfast train).
3. Amritsar to Delhi, then Delhi to Gwalior (Super fast train).
4. Gwalior to Mumbai (Super train).

In these all bookings, I didn’t booked my first ticket from Mumbai to Ahmedabad, as one of my office colleague said that, he would accompany me on the day I planned trip start date as he also stays in Ahmedabad. So I relied on him.
But, But, But, he cancelled a week before the trip start date , so I have taken his guidance on how he book passenger General bogie tickets and what care to be taken as I was travelling alone for first time to strange place.

Like this, Tickets and Stay arrangements done.

Product Photography DIY

In order to run eCommerce store successfully, most important thing that I realized was the need of clear Product Photos as they are helpful for customer decision making process.

Hence when we needed product photography for Bagtag.in, we asked some college friends who were professional photographers for help. however they proposed such a inconvenient option for us like we need to carry all our unique products like 50+ initially to their location which was 40km away and we need to pay around 25000 INR cost as it would be whole 8 hours shoot with creative people with their expensive equipments.

 

As a first time founder and day job doer with not much savings to bear such expenses at the start only without any profit earned in business, it was a difficult decision.

Hence I took down this hurdle as learning opportunity, in which I learned how to do this using what I got at my disposal like:

-Building photo lighting stands using pvc pipes ,

-CFL bulbs with butter paper for getting soft focus light on products,

-Arranged white back drop from backside of scrap vinyl banner of local store,

-Plastic string to hang the lightweight products on ceiling fan,

-Low cost tripod brought from online store at discount,

-Point-click camera of canon and

-Licensed copy of Photoshop.

 

Using all this, here is the one Final Product and other products you can see on Bagtag.in :

product photography sample

Post event evaluations and learning’s

We had saved the failed event by making interactive challenges for new buds. Other vendors who participated in this event returned with an unhappy mood due to low or nil response, because as an ex student, I was only aware of how engineer students behave when less known names do marketing stunts in front of them.

Continuing the previous day’s workarounds to make interactive sessions for students, we attended a Hacking workshop organized by a well known government security agency named SkyNet. Obviously, we declared our live challenge in front of students: Hack our website – Bagtag.in. In the back my mind, I had some uncertainty that if they crashed the portal, then we need to build it again from scratch which may take up to 2 weeks of day and night work. But as the Risk loomed over, we took the risk in hope of if they fail to hack, then we can market the way we have the built website with optimal security standards.

Scene at the hacking Lab was like this: We announced the site URL to try hacks on. Their hacking teacher also explained some ways to hack it and he gave it a try himself.
Students jumped on the website in quick seconds and started thinking of various ways to turn it upside down. After 10 minutes, the site host went down and all said that they have made DDSL attack. In next few minutes, I found some lost connection to our host due to frequent connect-disconnects. Thankfully, due to our site lockout security feature helped us in these naive attacks and for next 2 hours students continued to try automated SQL injection attacks using their sophisticated software. They also skipped their lunch time to crash Bagtag.in.
Finally, at the end after two long hours, we were saved by our security wall, and courageous students’ efforts looked vain to them. We took a quiz on security with the help of their teacher and chose three winners to whom we honored with a free bag from BagTag appreciation certificate and a special discount coupon.

During this session, I met some of the extremely dedicated students. We shared some of the best security resources on the internet.

At a good note, we ended this session by announcing special self-earning opportunities, where we give 66% part of the profit to students, who can solve the problem of low quality bag by the educational institutes.

At last to call the day, we gave away customized TSECian bag from Bagtag for each event organizer and winners of their respective events.
Learning from this event – Help as much as you can and put forward real challenges to learn new things and help others with the same.

Event Response and Interactive Sessions

On Day 2 of the event (actually the first day), we boarded a fast train in a congested luggage bogie of a Mumbai local train to our college. During this journey, we got almost exhausted due to hot weather and a huge bag stock to take care of.
After leaving the totally-crowded train, we got down at the station and boarded a rickshaw from middle of long queue of passenger, skillfully skipping the eyes of the traffic hawaldar.

Once we reached the college, we started preparing our stall with banners, stock and some stationary, while still wearing the sweaty attire.
After getting fresh and waiting for next one hour, some girls started visiting our stall after taking a fair glance on some ‘girly’ teddy bags on the table. Once we said the cost, they turned away, not because we had a high cost, but because the cost was lesser than the market price.

Like this for next few hours, people visited the stall but no one brought anything. After the tiring wait, my chemistry teacher turned up to the stall and happily bought a bag for her little daughter.

As the day proceeds further, we started hijacking each event in this tech fest like: In android workshop for first year students – we threw a real challenge of building commission calculator using the basics which they have learned in that session. At end of the android workshop, we also took Android quiz to make it more interactive and finally honoured them with appreciation certificate from BagTag as a souvenir of their efforts they invested to make this workshop end at a fun note.