Lycaon pictus, the African Wild dog.

Lycaon pictus

An endangered species, Lycaon pictus is a canid found only in Africa, especially in savannas and lightly wooded areas. It is variously called the African wild dog, African hunting dog, Cape hunting dog, African painted dog, painted wolf, painted hunting dog, spotted dog, or ornate wolf.


I got on to Secret app a while ago. I did not expect to find anything unusual other than the rants about workplaces, brags about sexual escapades or vice versa. What disturbed me was the number of my friends who were posting distressing messages about being depressed, feeling sad or feeling hopeless. Some more serious than others. I have tried to suggest therapy to all of them but the most common refrain I heard was…

  1.  I don’t want to share my past and
  2.  It is a very slow process taking years.

No it is not so! It is not so specially if you go to a REBT practitioner.

REBT (pronounced R.E.B.T not rebbit) stands for Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy. Created and Developed by Albert Ellis, REBT does not focus much on your past events but more on your present state of emotions and disturbances. It has a very easy to understand model for psychological and emotional disturbances which is very aptly called the ABC of REBT. I first came across this model when I consulted Dr. Shishir Palsapure of MorphicMinds a couple of years ago for what I feared was a Major Clinical Depression (It was not. I was merely upset.) I was so blown away by the directness and effectiveness of the method that I started to study REBT as an interest to better understand how human cognition works and now I can apply its principles in almost everything I do.

So what is the ABC model?

A – Adversity or Activating event
B – Belief you have about the event
C – Consequence

Most people associate A – Adversity directly with C – Consequence. To illustrate, A: My colleague may not like me, consequently I feel the C: I am anxious/sad/depressed. If you look closely you will notice that it is not really a direct connection but it has a belief about the adversity that you hold interjected in between. The Belief is that my colleague must like me. It is this belief that she must like me that has upset you. It is also an irrational and rigid belief (iB). If you question yourself as to why is it a must that she should like you? You will find that the answers are either elusive or unsatisfactory.

The questioning of your irrational beliefs is the D – Disputing part of the model. You are taught in therapy to challenge your beliefs and try to replace them. A more rational belief (rB) would be, I want her to like me but it is not a must that she should! If you are successful at replacing your irrational belief with this more rational belief, you will then probably be just concerned and ask her if anything was wrong without going through all the unhealthy negative emotions.

This of course is a very simplified example but it works at all levels. The results are fast, you see significant progress in a few sessions which are typically a week apart. About 8 sessions are adequate for most cases in the hands of a skilled practitioner.

A few more examples of irrational vs. rational beliefs

Irrational Beliefs (iB’s)

  • Everyone HAS to like me; if someone doesn’t then life is terrible.
  • I MUST be good; if I do anything wrong then I am a terrible person.
  • I ABSOLUTELY have to be treated fairly or I CANNOT cope.
  • I HAVE TO get my way or the day and possibly my life is garbage.
  • If anything goes wrong then everything is TERRIBLE.

Rational Beliefs (rB’s)

  • I prefer to be liked, but can accept that not everyone will approve of me.
  • Some things that I do are bad, but that does not mean I am a bad person or beyond help.
  • I prefer to be treated fairly but I know that I will sometimes be treated unfairly and can accept it.
  • I prefer to get my way when possible but know that that is not always possible; when someone else gets their way instead, it is not a big deal.
  • Life is not perfect- stuff happens.

For past couple of months I have been attending what we lovingly refer to as Happy Hour discussion group at MorphicMinds. We meet each evening to discuss topics ranging from Depression to Weight management. I really enjoy my role as a facilitator, helper and avid student of REBT.

If any of my friends who are in Nagpur want to join in they are most welcome to do so. If anyone who wants to still remain anonymous but has questions – I am ‘swordfish’ on Anonyfish. I will try to answer your questions about REBT to be best of my knowledge BUT let me warn you I cannot be your therapist as I am simply not qualified to be one, also because one is not supposed to give therapy to friends.

eBird widget plugin for WordPress

eBird Widget plugin solves the problem of showing data from eBird on to a website which runs wordpress. First I should elaborate what eBird is – is a website which has a real-time, online checklist program. It does so by providing Global tools for birders which help in recording birds sightings, keep track of your bird lists, explore dynamic maps and graphs, share your sightings and join the eBird community and some more. The problem is that the sharing part is not too well evolved.

Just released the version 1 eBird widget for wordpress. Read the complete blog post

CakePHP 3 is coming

“CakePHP 3 is coming” I said, a colleague remarked,  “Why are you saying it like – Winter is coming?”.

We have been working with CakePHP almost since its inception nearly 10 years ago. We have survived the winter of converting from version 1.2 to 2.0 with great benefits and I am eagerly looking forward to using CakePHP 3 for greater benefits. The roadmap document clearly states that CakePHP 3.0 represents a significant break in backwards compatibility.

Wrote a short introduction about the upcoming CakePHP version 3 at the SANIsoft blog. Read the complete post

Live forever Atul!

Sometime 1998/99: “Sweetheart Mr. Atul Chitnis himself replied to your email. You are going to write a review of GIMP for PCQuest!!”

This was our first contact with Atul, Swati was very unsure as to what will she write but another email from Atul and she was fine. Atul himself had edited the first draft of that review and had said it was good to go!

Atul, in his own words did not hack code – he hacked people. How he did it cannot be explained in words. It was something which was meant to be experienced.

The ITCom 2000: Aasim was 3 years old, could barely talk in Hindi and he would go up to Atul and just look up at him sitting in the corner chair, in turn Atul would look at him equally at loss as to what to talk. Aasim kept returning to him for next 12 years.

2001: An idea before its time – he trusted us to build it. SugarTrade did not take off but that taught us to think big!

He was a demigod for me, who became a friend. His style was brutally honest, no mincing of words but it always made sense if you heard him out. He would hear you out too if you had it in you! I have flamed and trolled Atul publicly at least 3 times but I can confess that on a personal level things never changed.

Atul trusted me, not only as a coder but as a doctor. That was a burden I gladly took upon…. that was the least I could do…

Atul they tell me you are no more!? WTF they are talking about, Yeah your physical self is not there with us anymore – you abused that kit too much for too long, something had to give way but no more? crazy people these – you will live forever Atul!!

Some Premium WooCommerce themes that I like

WooCommerce is a WordPress eCommerce toolkit that helps you setup a WordPress e-com shop. While the plugin itself if free the add-ons to it are priced at various levels. There are several free extensions  for WooCommerce but when it comes to themes I just did not like any. After some searching I found a few premium themes which I have recently referred to a client.

The Builder – $55

Premium WooCommerce Themes

The Builder is a Premium WordPress theme that comes with massive and flexible features. Focused on bringing easiest system for user to build and modify their own site, both on content and layout/design! Create an eCommerce, business or personal site with your own style!

Demo & Download


Premium WooCommerce Themes
Kallyas is an ultra-premium, highly-responsive WordPress Theme built for today websites. It’s super flexible, clean design (and code), without no modesty, one of the … without no modesty, one of the most complete theme ever created.

Demo & Download

Mearishop – $55

Premium WooCommerce Themes

MeariShop is a clean and flexible WordPress theme that utilises the powerful Woo Commerce plugins to create a versatile WordPress-powered shop, with unlimited layout options and unlimited skins. MeariShopis powered by the advanced Hana Panel, which provides tons of options to manage and modify any aspect of the theme – it is well suited for both beginners with no coding knowledge and developers.

Demo & Download

Xing – $55

WooCommerce Premium Theme

Xing is a clean and modern WordPress theme designed for corporate websites and e-commerce ventures. The theme can be used for small to large business setups, online shopping stores, personal portfolio, or as an editorial blog. Supported with custom templates, widgets, short codes, and customization options; the theme can be a suitable choice for your business/ecommerce projects.

Demo & Download

Shoppica – $55

Premium WooCommerce Themes

Shoppica WP is a guarantee for a professional online presence. The clean and modern look allows you to use the theme for every kind of online shop. In combination with the powerful option to change the color of all elements, you will be given the possibility to make an unique e-commerce website that stands out of the crowd!

Demo & Download