The Life's Way - A Lifestyle and Technology Blog By Aashish Rai 

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

5 Years of Life in #Johannesburg #SouthAfrica #6YearsofTheLifesWay

Hi Friends, 

It's been 5 Years in South Africa since I first landed at O.R.Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg from Gurugram, India. I was so much anxious and excited about coming to this country and the city after hearing a lot of news items on the Internet. But as I remember, one of my friend I asked before I traveled, told me that it's good to try out the new city rather than going back to London, UK. I made my decision to come to Johannesburg and here I was on 2nd November 2013. The day was Deepawali, the festival of lights and I had no SIM card, no way to contact my parents and family until I reached the place I was assigned to stay by my employer. The roommate allowed me to call my family back home and then cooked food for me. I was busy getting my stuff in the almirahs as I celebrated Diwali alone as he went out with friends.

My first day at Standard Bank office in CBD was meeting some of the important people and getting the access card and laptop sorted. I continued to be amazed by the cleanliness and the infrastructure of the city. During my initial days only I came across Fordsburg - H.K. Superstore which continues to be my supplier of Indian groceries ever since. Dosa Hut was one of the places I would visit to get my South Indian food in the evenings. I continued to eat at a Pakistani eatery daily during my lunch time for some months till Sai Amrit restaurant which was a better one started its business in CBD. It's still one of the best tiffin/snacks kind of restaurant on Marshall Street.

By the end of the first week, my company moved me out of Roodepoort to Morningside, Rivonia Road and I had to start my life afresh. I got a friend as one other associate directly came to those apartments and we hired a car and started exploring the office and the city together. Soon it was December and I went back to India to meet my brother and family who came from the USA after a while. It was too fast of a trip but I could do some of the blog posts as my Indiblogger rating fell in November as I didn't have any Wifi or Internet connection in South Africa. I also won some of the contests and wanted to bring the prizes back to South Africa for my entertainment.

Over the next few months, I took the internet connection and started watching all the TV series which I had never seen earlier like 24, Game of Thrones, How I Met Your mother?, House of Cards, Homeland amongst others. It was constant watching starting on Friday evening till Sunday night. Sometimes I won't even go anywhere outside the home to eat food or meet people. I used to continuously watch episodes after episodes of 24 (All Seasons) and was able to finish them in a month or so. In between, I used to do some blog posts and tweets which will earn me some of the great invites and prizes. I used to ask various brands for their PR companies contacts and slowly and steadily, I became a part of their lives. There are still many brands which I am not part of and still trying to reach there.
5 Years of Life in #Johannesburg #SouthAfrica #6YearsofTheLifesWay
In the last 5 years, my biggest achievements will be getting 2 promotions at work, winning Samsung Bloggers Challenge which I always wanted to win since the day it was announced, winning Canon Instagram Engagement Award, winning Huawei Best Photographer (Jan 2019) and Huawei Mate 20 Lite, became debt free and start earning for the future, broken many relationships and making new ones. I have learned a lot and worked hard to achieve where I am now but this year I will take a break and relax a lot. I am not going to do any press releases as it takes time and benefits are not there at all. I will create my own content and blow my own trumpet to relearn what has been lost in translation during the last 5 years. I got so many gifts, tickets, show invites, launch events to attend and literally traveled around the city in my little Fiat 500. I love going to Montecasino, Silverstar Casino and many such places for their entertainment value.

Social media wise, when I came and contacted one Smartwatch company for their product review, they said I only have 50 followers on @TheLifesWay and now the same has crossed 8000 followers and increasing daily. The Instagram handle @araijain also was having around less than 1000 followers and now it has crossed 10k followers. The blog also crossed 2.16Million pageviews on 18th Feb 2019 and daily increasing along with the blog posts. I started my profiles on social media channels on Tumblr, snap chat, Pinterest and many others. This year I started focussing on Youtube channel too and soon there will be a lot of videos on the same.

Family wise, my wife started working as a permanent resource with a local company and my daughter loves her school and friends. We were blessed with a new baby boy who has just turned 1 last month. It's great to watch him grow as I missed the same with my daughter as I had to go to London, UK and they could not accompany me there. It's not easy to be constantly checking on the kids and sometimes I get irritated too but overall a smile from the boy gives me the courage to carry on.

It's still a struggle to earn some income from my blog or any of the social media channels but I will reach there soon where I can ask for my price. I am working towards the same and the changes due to my decisions will be visible to everyone. I am enthusiastic about all the time I am able to get as I could focus on important stuff rather than putting effort to post Press Releases on my channels and promoting it later for free.

Last 5 Years in Johannesburg, I have seen a lot of places in and around the city and still, I fall in love with the city as and when I travel in my car every morning or evening. I fall in love with the city when it's raining or when the rainbow comes after the rains. I still love going to Sandton City and visiting all the Indian Restaurants in the city. I love going to Fordsburg and going to Lion and Rhino Park too. I love my travel to Suncity and Hartbeespoort. I have made so many friends and so many people became my friends for life. I might have not seen South Africa completely too but I intend to do so in my next year of existence in the City of Gold.

That's my journey in the city and I continue to enjoy the rainbow nation! Not only my hairs have turned grey but my heart has turned more Red as I fall in love again and again with this beautiful city!

Cheers!!!
Contact me at thelifesway@gmail.com to collaborate on your products, events, and services. #TheLifesWay #PhotoYatra!

21 Years of #Engineering Degree #TheLifesWayReviews #6YearsofTheLifesWay

Hi Friends, 

My life has been a constant roller coaster ride and as I think back of the time when I started preparing for the Engineering Entrance exams and then finally being a student of Class of 1997-2001 of Bachelor of Technology in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra, Haryana, India. It was a long dream fulfilled and the awareness level at that time was way too low as I came from a small city in Haryana. It might be my excuse for all the mistakes I did during those times and later too but overall I did faced a lot of hardships as well as fun times during those engineering years. 

Engineering is one of the most sought after career stream in India after CA and Medicine. People do try to enter Civil Services or any kind of Public Sector jobs after completing their graduations in Arts and other streams. For Engineering as Graduation studies, you need to have been a good student of Science subjects mainly Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry. I was never a great student of Chemistry but in other 2 subjects, I could manage myself well. I wanted to be an Engineer but never thought about the branch of subjects, I wanted to study. My family made that choice for me to take up Electronics Engineering as at that time people were looking forward to enter the technology market and electronics and computers were picking up speed. 

Engineering was the first chance when students comes out of their comfort zones into the college and stay at hostels and PG's accommodations. Ragging is another thing that used to happen in those times behind the scenes and you always try to run away from the same. After a while you will understand that there is no running away and will become a part of the same. I was a day scholar for the first 3 semesters and used to daily travel to my uncle's home some 60 kms away. It gave me an opportunity to meet some new friends and experiences never sought after. Experiences like running after a Trolleys (tied to Ox/horse or Tractors) and catching them to go to the Bus station, even sitting once on a container truck without anything to hold to and most of the time walking several kilometers at one go. 

I met one of my best friend and I am still friends with him and it's been more than 21 years that I have met him on and off from time to time. I miss the time we spent together understanding student life and life afterwards at IT Corporate sector. I was not able to clear my first semester exams in Physics and Economics. Economics I could strike off after the re-evaluation of examination paper but Physics took me to my last attempt in my 4th Semester where I had to clear the same by all means else I would be sitting with my juniors in their classes from 5th Semester onward. One of the my teachers, joked about the same in the classroom and that was the turning point in my career to take studies seriously and from then onward, I cleared all my examination in the same semester only. Finally, I got supplementary in 3 Semesters (1st, 3rd and 4th) out of total 8 in 4 years which I still think as an achievement. It could never have been achieved if that teacher didn't enticed my mind to think out of the box and what my life has been? I will be eternally grateful to him through out my life.
21 Years of #Engineering Degree #TheLifesWayReviews #6YearsofTheLifesWay
Life in the last semester is more about the placements or the future exam preparations for GATE, CAT or GRE. Most of the people choose any one of these and keep their extra time devoted to the same and me myself kept preparing for CAT examinations throughout but never wrote the exam itself when I was in last year. I don't know what happened there but I was interviewed by Wipro Infotech and selected but final joining letter never came in 2001 slowdown. I was not aware about directly going and sitting into the TCS walk-in happening in Delhi and other students also didn't tell me. I felt so sad and took a wrong course selection to do VLSI Design Diploma from ERandDCI (CDAC) Noida which didn't fetched me any kind of job. They wanted to make me a teacher there but I was not thinking of becoming one as Corporate life always attracted me.

What happened after that was a life of struggle and pain day and night! Engineering was fun though as you were within the walls of education and learning. I would say to the young generation to take care of your studies and explore other opportunities and be always aware about the things going around you. Be close to your teachers or meet them every week with whatever problems you face in your student life. They are there for our welfare and we shall always think of them as our mentors and not afraid of them. They will guide you in the right direction as they know your strengths and weakness.

Always make a good and respectful relationship with the junior staff as by the time, you will move out of the college, they will become senior and hold posts in the various departments for your degree certificates and provisional certificates etc. Always be close to Admin, Principle office and finance guys too. It all about managing your business and getting things done.

Thirdly, you shall always buy your own books as soon as possible rather than lending from library etc and start marking all the important chapters and notes captured in the classroom and tutorials. Those will never go waste as you can always browse through them and read them before on your weekends. Always be prepared for those 7-10 questions which are always asked in your Semester exams to get good marks in your engineering exams. Keep asking your heart and mind, that if you know the subject thoroughly or you need more study in the same. There is always some bar which needs to be cleared to pass the exam and that's always known to your heart. Once you cross that bar, you will pass if not with flying colors.

What happened in my life after engineering will be in another post soon!

Cheers!!!
Contact me at thelifesway@gmail.com to collaborate on your products, events, and services. #TheLifesWay #PhotoYatra!

Friday, 8 February 2019

“LIFESTYLE” ON STEROIDS #TheLifeStyleFest 25-29 September 2019 #SouthAfrica

Hi Friends, 

As people we have very different concepts of the word lifestyle, yet none of them is hardly wrong!!!
Here is one event I would like to introduce you all - Lifestyle Festival; a new annual event that is created to celebrate life and talent in all aspects of life. The Lifestyle Fest is a 5 day event that will kick off on the 25th of September and end on the 29th of September 2019.

The Lifestyle Festival will be focusing on these 5 pillars:

1: FASHION: Celebrating young designers through a fashion showcase that will take place on the opening evening of the Lifestyle Festival (25 September). This fashion showcase will be followed by a Pop Up Mini Fashion Mall on the 28th and the 29th of September at the Lifestyle Festival grounds. This Mini Fashion Mall will be occupied only by fashion designers, both established and upcoming, and it will be the perfect place for designers to sell their creations. Stall requests can be made at festival@idreamsa.co.za

2: FOOD: Celebrating innovation in food and the passion for cooking, as this will be a cooking competition that will be streamed on YouTube leading up to the Lifestyle Festival. With this competition there will also be two Pop Up restaurants on the 28th and 29th of September at the Festival grounds. Details for participating in the cooking competition will be published soon.

3: DRINKS: The art of making a good drink has in many situations become the decider in whether an event is good or not, and the Lifestyle Festival will bring the best in the art of making and mixing drinks.
“LIFESTYLE” ON STEROIDS #TheLifeStyleFest 25-29 September 2019 #SouthAfrica
4: MUSIC: There isn’t much of an event without music, and yes the Lifestyle Festival will bring you a full on concert that will be split over 2 days (28 and 29 September). With these concerts, we will not just be focusing on gig celebrity artists; we are mixing things up with the introduction of new artists, giving them the perfect start to launch their careers.

5: SMALL BUSINESS AWARDS: What will set the Lifestyle Festival apart from many festivals around South Africa is the fact that when we decided that we will call this a Lifestyle Festival, we decided to include as many aspects of life as possible and Small Business in South Africa plays an important role. These awards will celebrate small businesses in 5 categories (Best Female in Small Business, Best Male in Small Business, Most Innovative Small Business, Growth in Small Business, Entrepreneurial Spirit Award).

This festival goes beyond just being an entertainment & music festival, but is one of the biggest platforms in the country that will bring the big names and upcoming names of many different industries in the country.

The festival venue that is in Johannesburg will be revealed on the 29th of March 2019.

Cheers!!!

Contact me at thelifesway@gmail.com to collaborate on your products, events, and services. #TheLifesWay #PhotoYatra!

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