I want to start 2018 with the word ‘Change-maker’ I don’t want to be routine and mundane. I want to bring about some change and touch some lives

What do I want from my life? #MondayMusing #Goals2018

“Resolutions are meant to be broken!” this is an adage that I firmly believed in and hence never made any resolutions! Yup, not one in the last 30+ years! It just felt like a fad and something that people did to put on Facebook or Instagram or wherever. It just didn’t appeal to me, but something changed last year.

Till last year, I was always busy with something, earlier it was education, then job, then home and then kids. But last year, my kid asked me ‘Who are you?’ Apart from being my mom?

Now, let me take a step back here – My daughter and her friends were discussing what their mom’s do! Most of the children had their mom’s working or doing some kind of business and my child was not aware about the words freelancer or home-maker, so she was a bit lost, when it came to explaining what her mom did! She worked yeah, but not in the typical sense of picking her bag and going to office, nor did my daughter go to a day-care to complete the picture (her words, not mine!)

Explaining Freelancer, was the toughest thing that I have done till date and I am not quite sure she gets it, but terming my desk ‘home-office’ have solved the problems for now. But it made me think, ‘Who am I?’

Instead of going for a long quest and founding some religion, I chose a simpler path and focused on my ‘blog’ I wanted to make a difference in some way or the other and thought my blog will help me do that. I started 2017 with ‘Focus’ as my word. And as I did a #Rewind2017 post I realized I had a lot to be thankful for.

I want to start 2018 with the word ‘Change-maker’ I don’t want to be routine and mundane. I want to bring about some change and touch some lives

I want to start 2018 with the word ‘Change-maker’ I don’t want to be routine and mundane. I want to bring about some change and touch some lives! I want to light a thousand sparks that will keep someone warm and show the way to someone who is lost! #LearnNotEducate is one such spark that I wish to spread in 2018.

Linking my post with #MondayMusings

Are you ready to fight Chikungunya and protect your family?

Chikungunya is a latent threat that most of us are unaware of and extremely ill-equipped against. You might wonder, why am I being so dramatic, but sadly there is more truth here than drama.

I too was a part of the major population that assumed such cases only happened to those who weren’t prepared or those who lived in shabby places. But when my in-laws suffered from Chikungunya last year, I was in for a rude shock.

Let’s look at some of the facts

  • In just three years chikungunya cases in India have increased by 390 %
  • The states that top the list of maximum reported cases of Chikungunya are Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Delhi.

I came across this information while reading up about the disease and I was shocked and scared for my family. These are well-developed states in the country and yet they were the places where maximum cases of Chikungunya were found! There was something terribly wrong here!

What is Chikungunya?

Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne viral disease with the first recorded outbreak in southern Tanzania in 1952. It is an RNA virus that belongs to the alphavirus genus of the family Togaviridae. The name “chikungunya” derives from a word in the Kimakonde language, meaning “to become contorted”. A person suffering from this diseases experiences acute joint pain.

Symptoms of Chikungunya

The major symptoms of Chikungunya are abrupt fever accompanied by acute joint pain. Apart from this there could be rashes, nausea, headache, and fatigue. As this is similar to symptoms of dengue there is a probability of misdiagnosis. However never ignore abrupt fever and always get timely medical help. The joint pain is often very incapacitating, but usually lasts for a few days or may be prolonged to weeks. The recovery might take longer with old age. Most patients recover fully, but in some cases joint pain may persist for several months, or even years. If you have other complications like diabetes or heart diseases the doctors might want to keep you under observation.

Care and Precaution against Chikungunya

There is no vaccine or medicines to treat Chikungunya. The medicines help manage the symptoms and avoid any other complications; hence it is extremely important to take precautions against this disease. As this disease is spread by mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquito to be specific, ensuring that there are no mosquitoes in and around the house is the first step.

  • Always use a mosquito repellent at home, even during the mornings, as Aedes Aegypti is most active during early morning hours.
  • While going out use fabric roll-on’s or patches to avoid mosquito bites.
  • Clean surroundings and don’t let water stagnate around your house. This mosquito can breed even in small amounts of waters, so watch out.
  • Regularly fumigate surroundings and grow mosquito repellent plants like lemon grass in the balconies.

How do you protect your family from diseases like Dengue, Chikungunya and Malaria? What steps do you take to get rid of mosquitoes? Do share in the comments below.





Is RO water purifier really necessary for your family?

Clean water which should be a basic right, is something that we are struggling to provide our families today. The ever increasing pollution, stress on natural resources and meaningless wastage is adding to the woes. According to a report, published in hindustan times 63 million Indians do not have access to clean drinking water. But this is just scratching the surface, as this data is related only to rural India.

Have you ever given a thought to consider if urban population is receiving clean water? The cities are ever expanding, thus putting immense pressure on the meager resources. The water bodies that are present in the cities are being polluted, then how can we assure clean water to our future generation?

Quality drinking water is one of the key concerns in the modern era. Pollution is on a gradual rise, which makes it necessary to ensure proper purification standards to safeguard health of our family members. Gone are the days when simple filter was enough to clean the water. The old filtration methods cannot tackle impurities like pesticides, heavy metals and THM hence the need for an RO water purifier.

What is RO Water Filtration?

RO (Reverse Osmosis) is a water filtration process that uses a semipermeable membrane to remove molecules and other particles from the water. In this process dissolved inorganic salts and other solids are removed by passing the water at high pressures from a semipermeable membrane. This process can remove impurities like fluoride, chlorine, detergents, lead, pesticides etc.

Why is RO purification necessary today?

As the cities expand, the fringes rely on tanker or bore wells for water supply. This water is not necessarily fit for drinking. Having an RO purifier at home, helps you keep a check on the quality of water that your family is consuming.

Investing in clean and healthy water is the need of the hour. But what kind of filter should you look for? Here are a few things that you should look for in an RO filter, before making your purchase decision.


An RO filter should offer atleast three stages of purification

Sediment Filtration

RO Membrane

UF and UV filtration

If a filter offers Mineralizer and anti-scalant cartridge then that’s the best RO water purifier to have as anti- scalant increases the life of RO membrane by softening the water and mineralizer adds minerals and manages the pH value of the water, which not only improves the taste of the water but also makes it healthy. Do check if the company offers replacement of the RO membrane within the warranty period as that is a major contributor in the cleaning process.

Livpure’s RO purifier is equipped with an extensive purification process that filters all-possible impurities from the water and offers replacement of membrane within the warranty period.

Source of the report


Disclaimer – This is a sponsored post, however the views here expressed are my own. I have done the necessary read-up and the information provided is true to my knowledge.


Karva Chauth, a story of faith – #writebravely

Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

Karva-chauth a story of faith

She got up before sunrise and went  to meet her mom-in-law,

Hesitantly, her mom-in-law gave her the Sargi.

She had been fasting the whole day, like she did every year, but this year was different

While she went about her daily routine, her ears were glued to the radio set in the kitchen.

Every ring on the mobile, saw her rush towards the phone and a second later witness her crestfallen face.

She smiled as her toddler hugged her, but the worry lines never left her face,

She was decked up like a new bride, but the happiness was missing.

A look at her and her mother-in-law had no words,

She simply hugged her daughter-in-law who was now more than a daughter to her.

She prayed and begged in front of the Gods, but

This Air-force wife refused to lose hope

It had been more than 24 hours since the chopper crashed in the mountains, with no updates about the crew on board.

This Karva Chauth was more about faith than a ritual

My salute to the brave wives and families of  our armed forces.

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How to optimize your real estate website for Search Engines

How to Optimize Your Real Estate Website For Search Engines

Starting this Friday I am starting a series called #FreelanceFriday. This will have tips from successful freelancers, guest posts about certain topics, ideas, inspirations and a lot more. We start this series with an SEO and Digital Marketing consultant, Dhiraj Shetty, who shares his knowledge about Optimizing the Real Estate websites to have greater impact and reach.

Search Engine Optimization(SEO) is the only method where you can multiply your website visitors by more than 5 times with 1/4th of the costs that are spent on Display Advertising. The only drawback to this method is that it’s not instant.

In a highly competitive market such as the Real Estate vertical, businesses struggle to get their real estate website ranked for premium rankings on Search Engines. Here are a few simple tips to optimize your real estate website for Search Engines.

How to optimize your real estate website for Search Engines

SEO Audit for Real Estate website

The first place to start off on your road to SEO success is to audit your website. The audit report will provide you insights about the common issues that websites have.  The SEO report can be classified into 2 main categories, On-Page Optimization which describes how well the pages on your website are optimized and the second is Off-Page Optimization which is the ranking factors outside of the website.

There are a number of free SEO Audit tools available like SEM Rush, Moz.com, HubSpot etc. You can even hire a SEO Consultant for free to audit your website.

Device Compatibility

Make sure that your website is responsive and accessible across all platforms. If your real estate website cannot be viewed on mobile devices then you are losing more than 50% of your visitors.

SEO Effort

40% of your efforts have to be on On-Page Optimization and the other 60% on Off-Page Optimization.

 On-Page Optimization

Keyword Research

One of the most important elements of SEO is to target the right keywords based on your target audience.  In a highly competitive vertical such as real estate, it is important that you find your niche in the real estate space. Don’t target every real estate keyword that you come across, instead create a category for your real estate business.

For example:

If you are a real estate developer from Bangalore who is selling Luxury Apartments, your primary keyword would be “Luxury Apartments”, now add the location, which would be “Bangalore”, specify the kind of apartments that you are selling “3BHK or 4BHK”. Your final keyword may look like this “3Bhk Luxury Apartments in Bangalore”.  You can dig deep and make it area specific because 90% of serious buyers would type in the long tail keyword on Google.

Now expand your keyword list based on your primary keywords.

Competitor Analysis

List out the competitors in your location who are selling similar properties, look at their keyword strategy and their rankings on Google, this would give you a strong indication of what’s working and what’s not working

Property Categorization

If you are a real estate developer who has multiple categories in multiple locations like Luxury Apartments, Luxury Villas, Row Houses, Budget Homes etc. It is extremely important that the Information Architecture of your website caters to the needs of these Keywords. A website with a strong Information Architecture can target multiple real estate keywords based on your target audience.

The Top 8 On-Page Optimization factors are:
  1. Page Titles
  2. Meta Descriptions
  3. Meta Tags
  4. URL Structure
  5. Body Tags
  6. Keyword Density
  7. Image SEO
  8. Internal Linking

Off-Page Optimization

Local SEO

Google with their last algorithm update focuses a lot on having a strong local presence for websites. The 4 most important elements for having a strong local presence online are:

  1. List your real estate business on Google Maps. Also, list your properties with the relevant property specific keywords.
  2. Claim your “Google My Business” page. Optimize your business page for search engines by creating a profile with the relevant keywords. Upload as many posts you can with images and information about your properties.
  3. NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number): One of the important factors is to have the local citations consistent across platforms including your website, social media etc.
  4. Local Reviews: Build credibility by focusing on getting a lot of reviews on Google reviews and other review platforms like Yelp. These reviews can have a direct impact on your search engine rankings.

Image Source – Webvisitors.co.in

Social Media Engagement

One of the key factors of Off-Page optimization is Domain Authority which tells Google about the popularity of your website. The popularity of your real estate website is determined by external links from highly authoritative websites. Hence it becomes imperative to have a strong social media presence which will help you to grow your business and also get you more backlinks.  Social Media Engagement also helps in building a strong and loyal community which helps in referrals, which is how 60%  of the property inventory is sold.

Link Building

There are more than 200 factors that affect search rankings, none more important than “Link Building”. The majority of your SEO efforts should be focused on Link Building. Build high-value links over a period of time using the following platforms.

  1. Social Media sites
  2. Social Bookmarking sites
  3. Blogging
  4. Video Sharing sites
  5. Forums
  6. Directories
  7. Article Submission
Golden Rule

No matter how desperate you are to list your website for premier rankings on search engines, build your SEO organically using White Hat SEO techniques. If there’s one thing that Google absolutely hates, then it is using Black Hat SEO techniques.

About the Author

Dhiraj Shetty is an SEO and Digital Marketing Consultant for various real estate companies. With 10+ years of experience within SEO and digital marketing, Dhiraj has a deep technical knowledge of SEO and organic search ranking factors. He has worked with some of the best real estate developers in Bangalore helping them rank their website for the No.1 position in Bangalore for relevant keywords. You can connect with him on dhirushetty@gmail.com for a free site audit or know more about him on Linkedin

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The day we understood – #DaanUtsav, the joy of giving

Every year India celebrates #DaanUtsav , the festival of giving and people from all walks of life come together to make it a grand success. Every year we donate clothes, books and toys that we can to this noble cause and it’s heartening to see it is growing bigger and bigger with each passing year, with more corporate’s pitching in.

However, I am not writing about that, I am writing about the time when my daughter found joy with #DaanUtsav, the festival of giving. As Diwali is nearing, we took our kid shopping. Diwali means new clothes, sweets and fun. My daughter was looking forward to it. While we were shopping, my daughter came across this #Daan Utsav poster and carton full of clothes, books and toys.

She asked me what was this all about and when I explained her the concept of Daan Utsav, she suddenly looked around in wonderment. So you mean to say, so many people have given their toys, books and dresses so that others too can have a happy Diwali? She asked. When I nodded in affirmative, she ran to her father and insisted on going home. We assumed she might be tired and came back home.

The next day, when my kid came back from school, she had already sorted her dresses, books and toys. When I asked her what she was upto, she replied “These are the things that I am giving away this Diwali! I have even told my friends and all of us will be donating our things” Isn’t Diwali all about joy of giving? She quipped.

These wise words from my primary schooler made me proud and happy. My daughter had not only understood the real meaning of Diwali gifting, but had also found the real joy in life through #DaanUtsav

UBUNTU and the Patterns in Indian education system

Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

Today I saw a Marathi movie – UBUNTU. While I had planned another post today for writetribe the urge to write about the movie was such that I canceled the scheduled post and started writing this one. The movie is about a topic that I am passionate about – Education. I believe everyone should get some kind of education that will help them lead their life with dignity. I am not solely for bookish knowledge. Any work that can later get you a livelihood is education for me. But the choice to leave the school books and learn the skill should be the child’s choice and not a burden.

UBUNTU movie poster

The movie UBUNTU starts with a school in a really small village where getting a meager 35 children to attend school is a big problem. The teacher is shown striving hard to keep the school running. As per the government guidelines a school with low attendance points towards non-enthusiasm of students to learn and hence the school will be shut and those interested in learning should go to the nearby village. While someone from a city might think logistically this arrangement makes sense and if parents really want their children to learn they will send the students to nearby village. The reality is not that simple.

Just a month back I was a part of conversation relating to schools in rural India and those discussions coupled with the movie put forth a Pattern. A vicious circle that needs to be attended to now, to have a future generation that is inquisitive, educated and visionaries. I personally know atleast three villages which are facing this problem of having to shut down the local primary school for lack of students.

  1. Most rural primary schools teach in vernacular language. Parents who can afford to send their children to the close-by towns prefer sending children to English medium schools.
  2. The students who do go to these local schools are children of really poor backgrounds and the only reason bringing them to school is their will, free meals and a hope that they might be able to create a better future as compared to their parents.
  3. The parents of these children are least interested in education as they believe after primary they will have to shell out money to educate the children, which they don’t have. They prefer having another farm hand instead of an educated, but useless family member.
  4. The education of maths and science for them is limited to daily calculation and street smartness.
  5. The parents who do know the importance of education, cannot afford to send the children far off. My maid doesn’t want to go back to her village as there is no school and she can’t send her small children to far off schools.
  6. The government can’t afford to spend on schools where there are no children.

So while all the adults think about logistics and economics, the children miss out on an independent and respectful future. Is it really necessary that our children only read, get good marks and become engineers, doctors or mathematicians? Don’t we need clever farmers, specialists in animal husbandry, poultry or florists? Why can’t the rural schools have freedom to decide their curriculum or part of curriculum that will also teach children life skills? Everyone might not be a scientist or a doctor but every child will have some skill that can be crafted. This way the parents will relate the education, to immediate source of livelihood and not wonder if education is necessary. Is it time we looked at alternate education systems developed by people like Sonam Wangchuk to keep our rural children in school?

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Blogging Challenge 


YouTube Tips to get your Channel up and Running

YouTube is known as one of the major vertical search networks available today. Vertical Search means searching for a specific topic or category or industry. People come to YouTube to check for videos in a certain segment or vertical. While it’s not essential that you need to be present on all mediums, however, if you can make creative videos around your topic, then you shouldn’t miss it. Here are a few facts from SEMRush which will showcase the massive ecosystem of YouTube.

YouTube infographic and figures

YouTube infographic by SEMRush

YouTube Tip #1 – Optimize your video and channel

You might think this is really simple one, but this is where the gold mine is.  Before you create a video, identify the keywords that are being used in your niche. Use that as your base to create videos and then use those keywords in tags. Once your video is created, make sure you have a catchy and keyword rich headline, description, tags, and sub-titles. YouTube is owned by Google, so Google is interested in indexing and pushing its video content and if you observe even in normal search, a video ranks higher for a search term than text, so make the most of it. Put special emphasis on crafting a well-worded and keyword relevant description.

YouTube Tip #2 Brand your channel

Use keyword planner to identify good keywords. Add an eye-catching thumbnail. Either design one on your own or get someone to design it for you. An eye-catching thumbnail is one of the major deciding factors for a viewer to click. Brand your channel with a good cover and relevant themes. Add an end-slide to your videos and ask viewers to subscribe to your channel or follow your social channels at the end of the video.

YouTube Tip #3 Video Quality is important

Gone are the days when a simple home-made video became an overnight sensation. Though it is true in some exceptional cases even today, however with the sheer amount of videos being uploaded every day, it is tough for a humble home video to list in trending sections. YouTube has come a long way and so has the quality of videos that are being uploaded on the channel. Use good equipment’s like a better quality mobile, stand, tripod, mike etc. to give a professional touch to your videos and audio. Invest in a good mic and if you are recording yourself, then instead of just a casual ‘call from home’ look opt for a plain screen. First impressions are very important on YouTube.  Go Live, if it’s relevant, but ensure that some brand element is present in such videos too.

YouTube Tip #4 – Be Found

Though YouTube is a kind of search engine, the way it behaves and the way the user behaves with the tool is very different from a normal search engine. An important thing that separates user behavior on YouTube and other search engines is the suggested videos section. Once you start playing a video, a list of suggested videos pop-up on the right-hand side. The user usually scrolls through that to decide which video to watch next. View videos in your niche or topic, identify the keywords that are there in those videos. Create videos that are adding value to existing high ranking videos. Focus on being in the suggested list of YouTube videos.

Have you used YouTube for promoting your brand or do you have some questions about it? Shoot an email or ask about it in comments below. Will definitely try and help.

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Why small businesses should use Google Adwords

Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

The words ‘Google Adwords’ invokes mixed responses. Small businesses assume that you need huge marketing budgets to achieve any relevant results. They tend to believe that the CTR will burn a huge hole and consume their budgets even before they realize what can be done. While it is true to a certain extent, it is also equally true that a sharp focused strategy can get you meaningful results in limited budgets.

Powerful insights

Apart from conversions or inquiries, a big thing that Google Adwords gives you is powerful insights. Apart from Google Analytics, Adwords helps you understand what people are looking for and how you can design content to their queries or maybe add more landing pages to take them to relevant pages.


Adwords gives you the flexibility to adjust the amount to be spent and the timings during which your ads are to be published. This specifically helps if you are looking for calls from customers, but your store phone can’t be answered 24*7. You can target specific locations too hence if your ad is relevant to a particular city, you can still run Adwords and get conversions. The best thing is you can stop the ads anytime.

Precise Targeting

Did you know that you can run ads targeting a 2-mile radius? You can go that specific! Hence even if you are a brick and mortar store, with a limited area to service, you can still focus only to these places and run an efficient ad campaign. The local ads can also appear on Maps – ‘Near Me’ feature. This will help you showcase your products or offers right when the customer is close by and maybe looking for something similar.

Appear when people are looking for your product/service

The best thing about Google search Ads is the fact that your ad appears when the prospect is looking for your product or something similar. Having a good keyword strategy will help you understand the customer’s requirements and what exactly is he searching for. Also the fact that universal ads appear everywhere – right from search to videos and apps makes it a perfect brand launch vehicle that will skyrocket your brand awareness.

7 compelling reasons to use adwords

Drive traffic to various conversion touch points

While you might not have a budget to run Universal campaigns, what you can do is drive your prospective customers to various touch points on your site, via the search ads alone. Add site-link extensions like call now, contact us, locate us etc. to ensure that people reach you directly and you don’t miss any leads.

Be on the first page

SEO is great for long-term strategy. You need to focus on SEO and optimize your site so that you can come on the first page of the search results. However, if you wish to capture audience now, then the quickest way to be on the top of the list is via SEM (Search Engine Marketing) or PPC. This is especially effective when you are launching a new product or a website launch.

Follow your customer

Google and Facebook offer Remarketing option. With this, you can retarget your audience and keep the brand on top of his mind. Your ad can appear on the sites that he visits and the videos that he plays. If you are an e-com site, you know that a customer never buys in one go, but being on the top of his mind, while making a purchase decision will ensure that he chooses you over other brands.

These are few of the reasons why small businesses too should think about investing in Adwords. It is much more focused as compared to some traditional marketing methods and it is also highly measurable.

Have you used Google Adwords for your business or personal brand promotion? How was your experience? Do you have some more points to add – do let me know in comments below

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How to use Twitter for small businesses and personal brands

Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

I have always maintained that spreading yourself thin is not a great strategy. Find the social channels that work best for your brand and focus your energies on them. While Twitter isn’t as popular as Facebook or What’s App, there is a different set of audience who love Twitter.

Twitter works well in many areas like brand building, customer service or reputation management depending on your brand niche. Do a quick research about if and why your brand can leverage Twitter?

Here are a few statistics that will help you realize the potential of Twitter

Twitter has over 300 million monthly active Twitter users

80% of Twitter users use it on their mobile phones

Nearly 100 million users check and use Twitter daily

Twitter is one of the top 10 popular social media sites in the world.

Twitter marketing for small business

Post more often

You might think this is a dud, but simply posting more often will show you a quick growth in your follower count. Use tools like Crowdfire to identify relevant followers. Crowdfire also helps you with tweeting your existing content from your blog and also suggests tweets or posts related to your category that you can tweet. Schedule tweets throughout the day depending on the timezone and see a marked difference in the followers.

 Find your audience

Check your competition profile and find similar audience and follow them. But don’t stop at that. As this is an audience that is very close to your target audience, connect with them on a personal level. Like their photos, comment on their tweet or DM them with your site or contest links. This will help in building an engaged audience. Following people will just increase your follower number, however, engaging with them; will ensure an engaged and vibrant community who will eventually turn into your brand advocates.

Connect twitter to other social channels

 Use apps like IFTTT to cross-post tweets on Facebook or Instagram and vice-versa. If you are holding a Twitter party or live tweeting an event, cross-posting will help you reach a large audience.

Use Twitter to understand the Pulse

A Simple search with a related hashtag will throw up the kind of content being shared in your segment. Create posts related to it and tag people who showed interest in the topic on Twitter. Ask questions or answer questions that were asked by them with relevant posts. This will not only grow your traffic but also brand you as the go-to person in your niche.

Focus on developing Branded Hashtags

Branded hashtags might sound a bit overwhelming, but if your focus is clear about why you wish to use Twitter, branded hashtags will go a long way in establishing your brand image. If you use Twitter to offer helpful tips or educative posts then instead of random hashtags utilize branded hashtags and popularize them.

Host a Twitter Party

A twitter party is a cool way to rally a community around your brand. Weekly twitter parties/twitter chats help grow and engage your community. Promote your party details on your website, another social channel, and blog. Tag a few people who will find these relevant and then host the twitter chat. Keep a memorable and relevant hashtag for your party. While the twitter chat is on, search your brand hashtags and keep responding to all questions and chats to make the engagement livelier.

These are a few tips and tricks that will help you boost your Twitter presence. What are your thoughts about it? Have you used Twitter in some other ways that have helped you boost your presence?Do share in comments below.

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