Karachi Photo Blog

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Pijjit lets you subsidize your travels

Looking for a creative way to subsidize your next vacation?  Try Pijjit.com, a web site accessed through a cell phone.  Pijjit.com lets you make a listing about where you are going and what you can carry for how much.  Say, you are traveling from San Francisco to London.  Create a listing on Pijjit.com indicating your travel date and how much weight you are willing to carry for how much.  Other Pijjit users in need of sending stuff to London will contact you through Pijjit (without knowing your true identity), and you may end up making money carrying their stuff.  New Pijjit users are wary of security issues, but members quickly realize there is no obligation in any of these dealings.  Pijjit only hooks up potential shippers with potential carriers.  If a potential Pijjit carrier does not like a particular shipper, the carrier can contact the next shipper suggested/matched by Pijjit.  The best part is that you can make money on your own terms.  Pijjit is an excellent service for backpackers taking international flights.  Most airlines let you check in two bags, on international routes.   If you are a backpacker who seldom uses the check-in bag facility, you can make money carrying stuff for people you meet through Pijjit.  Consider a recent listing on Pijjit where a Bay Area man is willing to pay $200 to anyone who can carry a bag full of baking supplies to Karachi, Pakistan.  A carrier utilizing this opportunity will end up saving 15% on their $1300 return air ticket.  Not bad at all!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Sonu Nigam's 'Klose to My Soul' Concert Helps Eradicate Blindness

Sonu Nigam's 'Klose to My Soul' Concert Helps Eradicate Blindness

The ingredients of magic were all there: a singing and dancing Sonu Nigam, one of the most popular figures in South Asian showbiz; a 33-member orchestra, flown from India; professionally managed concert lighting in company of theatrical fog, producing spectacular light-fingers; the wonderful setting of SAP Center San Jose; and over 10,000 fervid fans.  And magic they produced!

The Memorial weekend concert was arranged by the Sankara Eye Foundation, USA.  

To a very large extent the entertainment program was about sight.  I tried to find a single blind person in the audience, but I did not find one. 

All my life I have lived with loved ones suffering from RP (Retinitis Pigmentosa), a degenerative eye disease.  I have seen people pushed into depression when the tunnel of their vision shrinks, and one day even the last beam of light is gone.  I consider myself as familiar with the difficulties associated with blindness, as a person of sight can ever be.  I can clearly 'see' a world of complete darkness coming alive only through sounds, smells, tastes, and touch.  People, It is a world of great handicap—it is not where you want to see anyone, ANYONE.

Sankara Eye Foundation's mission is to have 20/20 vision by 2020—the foundation wants to completely eradicate curable blindness in India by 2020.  It is a lofty goal, and a very commendable one.  Sankara needs our complete support to make this dream a reality.

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Saturday, May 10, 2014

OPEN SV Forum 2014, Santa Clara Marriott, May 10

For the last several years OPEN Forum, OPEN Silicon Valley's annual showcase event, has been held at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.  Under the leadership of Shahab Riazi, current OPEN SV President, this year the venue was changed to Santa Clara Marriott.  With programs running in three parallel tracks, OPEN Forum 2014 kept around 300 attendees busy for over 10 hours.