Feb 28, 2015

Upgrading My Car

This post is for Indiblogger Happyhours. If you were to replace your existing car with something better, how would do so using Quikr NXT?

Selling a car always looked like a Herculean task to me. The reasons being:
1. Getting over the sentimental attachment to it
2. Which shop to approach?
3. How to get the genuine customer
4. And the most important of all whether I will get my desired price.

Approaching the local shops for disposing my car looked like a good option, but frankly I didn’t have enough time to get off my seat and pursue the matter. I looked around for an online solution to this. The latest online Quikr site has launched this incredible ‘apps’: QuikrNxt. This ‘apps’ allows buyers and sellers connect with each other in real time. Chat with multiple buyers and sending images looks a lot easier. The notifications sent when offline helps getting back to discussion at own convenience.

As soon as I put up my car for sale calls and notifications started trickling in, first slowly then the number of responses gained momentum. I gathered some basic info of the customers about their location then zeroed in on 10 probable customers giving priority to those who stayed near to my location. The car had no dent and photographed well highlighting its good body condition. Next came the major task of fixing up time for test drives. All the appointments were done through chat. The chat history made it possible for me to give different slots to all. It was easy to reschedule their visits. It was easy to delete and block all unwanted conversations. Finally a deal came through and all this in a span of 3 days. That was indeed quick!

Here too, my experience was overwhelming! The number of pictures of used cars I was flooded with was beyond count. Those that were within my budget too exceeded my expectations. When I started conversations with some of the sellers I could sense their aggressiveness in their words, very promptly I steered away from them. Now I am the customer, I am the king and I will make my decision! There were several cars of different make but of my favorite color. The sellers of couple of cars I liked were located far away. One of them agreed to get the car to my place for test drive. For some reason I couldn’t get myself free and asked for time. I went through the chat history of sellers of similar cars. The price quoted looked reasonable. Later I fixed up the time again. The seller had got all the necessary documents. I took the test drive. The pics shared weren’t deceptive at all. It was a smooth drive, purchase and transfer of money took place with a few clicks and I was the new owner.

With Quikr Nxt, buyers and sellers can immediately connect with each other through chat across Quikr's mobile app, mobile site and even its desktop site. This feature will transform India's online classifieds market as it enables users to communicate with each other at their convenience and request more details about the product or service, without requiring a single phone call.

Faces of India - 202

Slightly willing, slightly shy… she could hardly make eye contact with me when I asked for a photograph. Till then she was enthusiastically interviewing me about my Bishnupur experience as a tourist. It was part of project work for her course in tourism.

Faces of India, a series through which I intend to portray the various characters of my country whom I met during my travels. See more here.

Feb 27, 2015

The Church of Rotunda, Thessaloniki

An ancient place, Rotunda is definitely worth a visit.It is very much within walking distance from the big Byzantine churches and other heritage monuments. Wiki mentions it was built in 307 AD by Galerius with intentions of it being his mausoleum. His remains got buried in Serbia where he died in 311AD. Constantine later converted this monument into a church.This is the oldest church of Thessaloniki. Some Greek publications claim it to be the oldest church in the world. If it is so I feel I am extremely blessed and lucky to been able to visit it. The interiors were then decorated with beautiful mosaic work, parts of which have survived centuries of wear and tear.

 After 1200 years of use as a church it was converted into a mosque by Ottomans and called as the Mosque of Suleyman Hortaji Effendi. Only recently in the last century, in 1912 it was recaptured by Greeks and converted back in to a church. The minaret is a reminder of its past identity as a mosque.

Rotunda with a minaret, this pic for SkyWatch Friday.

Arabic script over the doorway

The 1978 earthquake couldn’t damage it much luckily. It is a robust structure with 25.4m dia, 34m high and the walls are more than 6m thick. When we saw it in Dec 2014, the interiors were being repaired. Whatever mosaic work is visible is very impressive. In its days with its designs complete with colorful mosaic; it must have looked grand, one can only imagine! .


Feb 25, 2015

Roussanou Nunnery, Meteora, Greece

A picture of Roussanou Nunnery in Meteora; the weather God was kind to us during our visit to Meteora. It was a bright sunny day. All the Monasteries and Nunneries looked grand and glowing, bathed in sunlight. I think I was really lucky to get this frame of Roussanou Nunnery, bathed in bright white clouds. The sight stayed for a short while. Only a few lucky tourists like me could witness this sight. As the sun went up there was no sign of such low clouds. (Click to enlarge and see.)

Thursday challenge: BRIGHT, SUNNY

Feb 23, 2015

Agios Dimitrios - Biggest Chruch of Greece

Agios Dimitrios is the biggest Byzantine church of Greece. We were there on 26th Dec morning and being the day after Christmas there was a good crowd, prayers were on and we stood listening to hymns for some time. The stories about this church and the tons of history associated with it urged us make the visit.

 The church is dedicated to Saint Dimitrios who was tortured and put to death for his disgust to idolatry. During 3rd century AD when idolatry practices were still being followed, he secretly got himself baptized. He was the son of a wealthy military commander, the story goes like this... when his father died the king ordered him to chase Christians of Thessaloniki and kill them. Agios Dimitrios refused to follow the orders, so he was jailed and tortured to change his beliefs. Dimitrios was martyred by Galerius, yes the same Galerius whose arch still stands tall in Thessaloniki. Before he died in their hands he distributed all his wealth to the poor and needy. His sacrifice made him a saint!

In 324AD the emperor Constantine the Great ended the prosecution of the Christians and made Christianity the official religion of Byzantine Empire. A small church was built on the place of the martyrdom of Agios Dimitrios. Pilgrims believe His grave to be miraculous. The crypt of the saint can be accessed by a staircase behind the sanctuary. It is believed to be the same site where the saint was killed by the Roman soldiers and buried. This was converted into museum in 1988. I regret having to skip seeing this museum due to lack of time. (The crypt opens at 10.30AM.)

During 629-634AD the church was rebuilt as five-aisled basilica, the same form has continued till today. More history: In 1493, during the Turkish occupation, the church was converted into a mosque. During the period of Ottoman rule the crypt got filled up with earth and forgotten. In 1912, after the city was liberated, it became a Christian church again. Unfortunately in 1917, the church was destroyed by a fire and rebuilt according to the original plans. The crypt was rediscovered after this fire of 1917. The church started to function again in 1949.

Below are some of the pictures of the interiors of the church that I could manage to take without causing any disturbance.