Why you should book movies with Niki. And tell your friends to do so too!

Are you a movie fan? Who isn’t, right! We at niki.ai are too, and so when we started working on building the Movie Booking Service on Niki, we were adamant to build the best experience there is. And finally we have made the service live to enable easy movie bookings on chat! Now you can search, explore, filter, choose and go on to book any movie running near you. Swagat nahi karoge humara  😀

So what’s the big fuss and why should you use Niki to book your movies, and not other platforms?

In short, the AI powered chat experience is much faster and convenient through easier discovery and tons of options.

Faster Experience

Say you and a couple of friends decide to watch an action movie today in the evening. Everywhere else, you will search for the running movies, then filter by genre, then filter by city, then filter by language. You will then select a movie that fits these filters. Out of the many theatres & the corresponding times it is playing at, you will browse through all the options to select the ones near you and the ones that have a show in the evening. Maybe no option fits, so you go back to the main screen and select a different movie. Do the filtering & browsing again. After the long, arduous process you will finally get a show where the location, time and movie all match your likings.

With Niki, all you do is type ‘Show English action movies near me after 8PM for today’. Done!

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Easier Discovery

What if you wish to watch a Shah Rukh Khan movie. Or if you want to check movies running near your locality. Or you can only watch a movie that is running on Wednesday after 8 PM. Or you want to watch a movie in Malayalam. There are tons of limitations and preferences that we have while booking, and exploring, movies. Niki makes it extremely simple to work around these, and presents you with options that best suit your needs. Simply text Niki all your preferences and Niki will understand them all. For example, just text Niki ‘Marathi movie in Andheri after 7PM’.

Everywhere else you SEARCH for which movie, when & where. With Niki, she TELLS you which movie, when & where, depending on your preferences.

Innumerable options

Powered by BookMyShow, Niki can search and book shows pan India, in multiple languages and at almost all theaters. So it doesn’t matter which city or town you live in, which language you watch you movies in, who your favourite actor is or what your budget is, Niki can surely help you out. Fire the app, punch in your preferences and voila! Niki will present movies you like to watch aapke najdiki cinema gharo mai (in theatres near you!).

Some exciting movies, like Bahubali 2, are almost here. And many more are coming in the next few weeks and months. So what are you waiting for?! Update the app now & start booking! Kyuki kafi pictures dekhni abhi baki hai mere dost 😀

P.S. – We have a mouth watering, wallet filling introductory offer for you! Refer your friends to the Niki app, and get Rs. 25 cashback for EVERY movie booking ANY of them does!

Epic 24 Hours Adventure in Bangalore – II

This is part 2 of a 4 part series on epic 24 hours in Bangalore. The part 1 can be read here.

Saturday 12 Noon : Now that we were full of (slightly) fresh air and Vitamin D, it was time to get indoors. So what can we do? Instead of having a useless tussle for an hour filled with overambitious plans and lethargic implementation, we decided to ask Niki! Just text her what are some events happening near you, and bingo! Niki will tell you what’s happening around you. Rumour has it that even if 3 rats meet to feast over a silly cockroach in the hidden dark dungeons of Bangalore’s sewer lines, Niki will know about it. Niki did tell us about a feast, but thankfully it wasn’t at the lakeside restaurant in the Sewer dungeons but at Yauatcha in MG Road. Within minutes we booked 5 slots in the event on the Niki app. And then she booked us a cab as well real quick. Smoooooth!

 

Saturday 1 P.M. : As the ‘Taste of Yauatcha’ Event we booked was at 3 P.M. we had a couple of hours to have fun. Priya said we go bowling, and we all said no. I mean who does bowling on a Saturday lazy afternoon? Priya then challenged us all, and proclaimed that she will win with ease against all of us. Which meant we went bowling, of course. Competitiveness is addictive. We went to Amoeba at MG Road.  

 

Saturday 3 P.M. : Guess what, I won 2 matches out the 3 we played! I tried really hard not to do the smug face but couldn’t help it. Even though my points were half of what the guys at the next lane had accumulated, I did my victory dance and proceeded to mock the rest of the pack all the while we walked to Yauatcha. Victory is sweet, no matter how small and insignificant.

#24HoursInBangalore
Bowling Alley

Saturday 5 P.M. I wish I could tell you more about what happened in the last 2 hours, but I can’t remember a thing. That is because the 4 course meal was soo out-of-this-world delicious that it drained out my ability to focus on anything which is not edible. I cannot do any justice to the food with anything I can say, except that it is a ‘Michelin-starred restaurant’.  Later, I realized that I just enjoyed savouring delicacies at a restaurant recommended by a bot, Niki! The future really is here.

 

Saturday 6 P.M. : We were completely full for the second time today. So full that our body moment was being hindered. We were walking, well not walking. hopping, like astronauts on the moon.  We decided to wander and shop for some tidbits at the commercial street. But we will need some cash for that, so we asked Niki for the nearby ATM. Thanks to AskLaila, with whom you can now chat on the Niki app, we found the ATM in a jiffy, loaded some cash and hopped towards Commercial Street – The Mecca for shopaholics.

 

Saturday 7 P.M. : I will admit that I enjoy shopping from time to time, but Commercial Street can be an addictive drug for anyone. It is a mad treasure hunt, where you have to search, discover and bargain like crazy to unearth priceless items at ‘less-price’ tags. After an hour of James bond-ish chase through crowded streets and crammed shops, we had bought silver jewellery, Jootis, an antique pen holder and what not. Such a zig zag-avoid the crowd-hen run brought us memories of Chandni Chowk. Which meant there was a craving for Gol Gappas. And everyone knows that nothing is stronger than the craving for Golgappas. Except an Apache AH-64 Helicopter of course. An Apache AH-64 Helicopter has machine guns and missiles. So we pinged AskLaila on Niki to search for the nearest chat bhander, and dribbles our way to the place for an eye watering Golgappa eating session.

 

This is part I of a 4 part series on epic 24 hours in Bangalore. The next post in this series will be posted soon.

Epic 24 hour adventure in Bangalore I

An hour by hour narration of the most epic way to spend 24 hours in Bangalore.

Sunday 7 A.M : As the cold fresh morning breeze blew across our faces, we sat down to enjoy a jaw dropping view of mist artistically spread over the farmlands and small rocky hills. The symphony of clouds, mist, plains and hills with a special appearance by the sun was staggeringly pretty. And thankfully we had lost the ‘loud music playing’ crowd behind, so we could all sit in peace reflecting on how epic, & fun packed our last 24 hours had been. Right from a heavy authentic breakfast & a Pub crawl to Interesting Events, A Shopping expedition and a stroll in a flower garden, capped by the beautiful views at Nandi Hills. I sincerely think you should take this #24HoursInBangalore Challenge.

So let’s rewind and go hour by hour on this journey.

Nandi Hills #hills towering through the #mist at #sunrise

A post shared by Aditya Khanduri (@aditya_khanduri) on

 

Saturday 7 A.M. :  Have you ever had the feeling when you wake up as if you had just closed your eyes for 2-3 minutes, but infact you had been sleeping for 4 hours? As I came back to my senses in my comfortable OYO room bed, I remembered what a great evening it had been. After a fancy evening at Church Street Social (Special shoutout to Keema Pav \m/), we went to Rasta cafe. While coming back, it was late and we were really tired. If you are tired, it is late at night and you want to crash at the nearest bed, OYO room is the best solution any day! We quickly asked Niki for OYO Rooms hotel near Rasta cafe, and booked it within minutes all on chat! We got out of bed quicker than ever before, and got ready. Today was going to be a long day!  

 

Saturday 8 A.M. :  We all went to the legendary MTR (or Mavalli Tiffin Rooms) on Lalbagh Road. It has been killing the overnight hunger of people since 1924! So you can imagine how absolutely sublime the food is going to be after decades of tinkering and perfecting. The Idlies are so soft it feels you are eating a bite out of a fresh white cloud. The Vadas are just so perfectly crisp that scientists are thinking of keeping ‘1 MTR vada’ as the benchmark crispness index for all elements on earth.  We were so immersed in savouring our food, just like the vada was immersed in the Sambar, that we didn’t have much time to have any conversation.

 

Saturday 9 A.M. : Our stomach was full to the brim. But pleasantly full. Next stop in our epic route was, no prizes for guessing, Lal Bagh. Getting to Lalbagh isn’t tough, but in Bangalore, any journey can turn out to be a challenge. Thankfully, we could easily book an Uber on the Niki app with 2-3 text messages and were on our way.  Uber/Ola are (still) an under-appreciated boon to our generation.

Flowers at Lalbagh
Flowers at Lalbagh

Saturday 10 A.M. : Lalbagh is a deceptively pretty place in the middle of a bustling city.  It is like a National Geographic Episode set, with all the actors like Mynas, Egrets & Parakeets in their character along with hundreds of guest appearances by the flora. A great hour walk amidst all this nature after a tasty heavy breakfast on a sunny winter morning – In theory life doesn’t get much better than this.

Saturday 11 A.M. : We sat for half an hour under a tree, eating fresh fruits from the stall. There was a lot of random gossip, the highlight of which was that Ali says he would love wearing pink shoes. He may not have said ‘love’, and the story might be a bit exaggerated but heck who cares?! It was fun pulling his legs adorned in pink shoes and maroon /ghungroo/.

This is part I of a 4 part series on epic 24 hours in Bangalore. The next post in this series will be posted soon. It covers a 4 course meal in a Michelin-starred restaurant and a shopping expedition! So follow the blog to not miss any of the posts.

 

IPL Helped Niki Grow And Learn To Be An All-round Performer

Sunrisers Hyderabad moment of crowning glory at Bangalore brought down the curtain on another successful IPL season. And man, have we not had enough entertainment this time!

Right from Dhoni’s elegant finish to Gambhir’s funky test match field, from Gayle’s storm to Bhuvi’s blitz, from cutting’s monstrous six to Raina’s astonishing catch, from Bravo’s champion to Shamsi’s epic bus driver’ dance – we already have a treasure of unforgettable memories to cherish till the next season.

But the man who kept the excitement in air palpable for whole season – Virat Kohli. Well, he was not scoring the runs, but he was bossing the tournament. Rewriting the records by his bat he set a new benchmark for T20 cricket.

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For all of us, this was 9th edition of IPL. (ohhh! Don’t feel too old). But for Niki it was her first. Right from understanding the chaos of people hitting a ball for no reason to becoming a die-hard cricket fan, she had an awesome cricket journey.

As they say, cricket is a sport with I-was-there moments, certain occasions that remind us that it is more than just a game. With most of the action happening in small hours it is tempting just to ignore it completely. Being a fan, Niki understood this trouble that you have way before this season of IPL even started and her fruitful mind came up with a solution to become “world’s first cricket chatbot”.

chat-bot

By starting ‘live cricket score’ feature, Niki provided the way to follow IPL matches live, ball by ball, that too without compromising with your work. Providing fastest updates, she literally revealed the secret of teleportation by taking you to the stadium. You just needed to ping her anytime, anywhere. As we all expected, the response to this feature was overwhelming.

In order to maximize the impact of this service, the message was needed to be communicated across all possible channels. Hence right after the launch of the service, we ran dedicated marketing campaigns on all social networking websites including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, to educate our users about it.

#myIPLbahana stood out as the best among them, where we gave an amazing opportunity to IPL fans to share their excuses to bunk school or office or avoid any other plans just to watch IPL. The campaign immediately became a hit, when users started commenting as well as inviting friends to comment their bahana. We rolled out exclusive gifts to the winners, which gave the campaign more push. Facebook’s algorithms are designed to provide maximum organic reach when there are more comments on your page, which was also one of the reasons we focussed on comments and not share or like. Through this campaign alone, we were able to reach more than 250,000 people and received more than 14,000 likes and 450+ comments to our posts. Through small incentives and gifts in the form of Niki credits, we ensured the conversion of participants into loyal Niki users.

No time has passed before Niki got her much deserved media attention. By creating sufficient media hype we were particularly able to target those people who were not following social networking sites. To try out this new feature, people installed our app. And our time saving, easy to use platform assured their retention.

After such planned execution of the campaign, it didn’t came as a surprise to see total 15% increase in chat sessions. Thanks to #IPLBahana, we got 16% increase in our orders during this period. To increase the hype even more we actively pushed our exciting refer and earn offer through different ad networks which resulted in tremendous increase in our user base, 40% rise to be exact.

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We as a company believe that a startup is all about learning, reinventing, pivoting and sharing your experiences. We all have learnt new things this IPL season. IPL taught us that ‘the best player can win you matches, but only a best team can win you the trophy’ while our IPL campaign taught us  ‘the planning and management of successful strategy’.

Take a bow Warner and company, you really deserve it for braving Gayle storm and Kohli thunder. But no doubt Niki, you are worthy of a standing ovation too, for your all-rounder performance this IPL.

 

No More Long Queues As Niki Makes Electricity Bill Payment Easy!

It’s that Monday morning of the month when the scorching heat rises the temperature of your mood. You’re getting irritated with every little thing especially the innocent green shirt a man is wearing. The queue adjacent to yours seems to move faster than yours. But as soon as you shift from your queue to another the pace reduces drastically. You start believing the person who says “the queue moves faster on the other side.”

Yes, you’re standing in a queue to pay the most important of all, “Electricity Bill”. You remember that one time when you forgot about the due date and they cut the electricity at home. Your wife complained about the summer, your kids couldn’t study in the dark and you could not watch the football match. This flashback motivates to you to never repeat such a mistake again. You continue to wait in the queue and think about all the less important things.

Before Niki (2)

You think about the colour of the woman’s hair standing behind you. You count the number of shades she’s got and then an awful smell distracts you. You look around to find a man scratching his armpit that create awareness about his negligence through the smell. While you’re doing nothing to pass the time a woman tries to break the queue and stands in front of you. You politely ask her to go back but she begins an argument. You’re already irritated because of the summer yet, you try to reason with her. When she doesn’t understand you shout at her and she goes back throwing curses at you.

Half your day has been wasted standing in the queue accompanied with a lot of stress. After 3 long hours of restless waiting finally, your turn to pay the bill has arrived. You silently rejoice but not for long as the person at the cash counter shows you a board reading “Lunchtime.” You try to protest but your efforts go wasted to his deaf ears. You give up and consider taking a break yourself but then the trauma of again standing in a queue stops you. You just want to get done with the payment and go back to living a peaceful life.

Your plight has been prolonged as the lunch break has been extended by another hour. You are not just irritated now, you’re hungry too. The person arrives at the cash counter and you successfully pay your bill. But, ( yes there’s another one) there is a power cut and you have to wait again to get the receipt of your payment.

We will all have such stories to narrate to the coming generation of kids. This could be your story to narrate about your plight, patience, and responsibility. But then you don’t have to if you don’t want to, you can change the plot of the story altogether.

electricity

Yes, now you no more have to stand in any queue neither worry about any proverb related to queues. Now you can have hassle-free electricity bill payment by chatting to the bot, Niki. You no more have to spend hours waiting for your turn of payment rather pay your bills while responding to nature’s call in the washroom.

At Niki App, you can quickly pay your electricity bills choosing from various payment options as per your convenience. You will also be reminded about the due date so that you don’t have to take the blame for power cuts due to late payments. Your life will be simplified as you pay your utility bills through Niki. You no more have to take the baggage of the stressful electricity bill payment at the counter.

Download Niki App to experince easy Bill Payments with exciting offers!

The First Step Of A Momentous Journey – Niki’s Life Story.

Right from the birth of an Idea to its first line of code to hiring the perfect talent, we believe that there is a story for each startup. A story with the essence of hard work and spirit of struggle. A story with the emotions of pride and satisfaction. Here is our story in brief. Hope you will enjoy it. 🙂

The Inception – One ‘pretty ordinary’ night at Udaipur, 4 friends gathered for their seemingly casual meetup. But, who knew this moment could change their lives forever. This was the night the idea of a Digital Chat-based AI powered shopping assistant, Niki  was born. They recruited a team and got down to work. Filled with nervousness and excitement, fear and expectation, they introduced their creation to people around. The bad reviews taught them. The good reviews spurred them on.

The Spark to start a fire – Even the best weapons need ammunition. And for Niki that ammunition came in the form of funding by Mr. Ronnie Screwvala! Niki had made it to the Tech30 list and was being covered by many reputed networks.The active users counter kept ticking upwards. But the floodgates were opened by the front page coverage of Niki on Economic Times!

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Reaching new heights – Be it Lord of The Rings, Harry Potter or even Star Wars, every epic journey with a larger-than-life goal has a wise man who shows the correct way. For Niki, that wise man with innumerable tricks up his sleeves is Mr. Ratan Tata. He is excited about the idea, and has backed Niki to be an ‘Anmol Ratan’ of the startup world!

Unfogging the future – When the victorious past is your companion, you don’t need a crystal ball to know your fortune. Currently Niki resides on Android as an app. But going forward, Niki is going to be platform independent, plugged and used on any interface. And remember, the future is closer than it seems.

Thanks to our Users, Partners, Colleagues, Family and Friends, we’ve built a lot of great relationships already, and we’re looking forward to strengthening them even further.

We strongly believe that the only time one should look back is to see how far they’ve come! And as we turn ONE, we take a moment to reminisce about our glorious journey so far 🙂 ‪

#HappyBirthdayNiki‬

Tired of doing your laundry? – Niki to the rescue.

Everyone knows that a Rohit Shetty movie will have cars flying around in gravity defying motions. Similarly it is a well known fact that no-one has been able to eat just a single Lays from a freshly opened pack. Except Rajnikant, of course. It is also common knowledge that Kejriwal is still playing hide & seek with Modi’s degree.

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But something which is even more unanimously accepted by one and all is that doing laundry is the most boring thing in the world. Be it young or be it old, be it married or be it a free bird, be it male or be it female, everyone absolutely hates and loathes doing the laundry.

Everyone recognizes its importance and the necessity to keep their clothes clean. However, It is one of those things which completely saps all the energy and happiness out of you. Legend has it that Voldemort hated it so much that he just cut his nose off, so he won’t have to smell his dirty clothes again and hence avoid doing the laundry. 😉

Well, only if he had Niki. She understands this pain very well that you have. She too has to wash her codes and dry clean her machines and iron her wires. In fact, let me tell you a secret! Niki has bought a new breathtakingly beautiful dress, which you will soon see in form of a new UI! And to make your life even easier, Niki can now help you get clothes washed and ironed on chat! Doesn’t sound dreadful at all, does it?

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All you have to do is tell Niki to collect your dirty clothes from your house. Tell her a convenient time when to collect them and she will send a mortal human to collect. Later when your clothes are clean and dry, you can tell her when and where to deliver them back to you. For a change, it is easier done than said. It’s that simple!

And, there’s more to it as we are also running an introductory offer for a limited period of time where you will get Rs. 50 cashback on your first successful order.

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Now that doing your laundry is no longer the most boring thing in the world, I think that crown goes to where it should belong – The most boring thing in the world is to wait for a video to buffer on slow internet while stuck in traffic in a cab with two people chatting non stop in a language you cannot understand. 😉

Download Niki App Now to book your laundry through Niki.

A look inside Niki’s world!!!

Our lot of users are curious about the technology behind Niki, the AI-Fueled digital shopping assistant. So we thought, why don’t you take a ride inside Niki’s smart world ?

The introduction of AI technology holds the power to change the world’s E-commerce landscape. Conversational commerce is already being considered as the next big thing. It offers you to carry a digital personal assistant – Niki, wherever you go.

Human with Bot

If you want to order a burger, you ping her saying, “Niki, Get me a burger” and Voila! You are just one step away from the treat. But If you shoot the same sentence to a computer, probably it will never understand its meaning. Then how is Niki able to accurately perceive the significance of customers’ needs instantly? The answer is – “Natural Language Processing (NLP).”

The development of NLP applications is challenging because computers traditionally would require humans to speak in a highly structured manner which basically would mean that every human should speak in the exact same way about the same thing. However, that is not the case due to social context and regional disparity. So, to deal with this, a programmer does the coolest thing – Giving machine its own understanding, also known as “Machine Learning”.

Machine learning is the ability of computers to analyze the data itself and identify the trend and pattern. In simple terms, this is just like you mastering the game of chess, playing every possible move from every possible position and noting down its effects.

Once the machine has enough data, it will form patterns and match words and phrases to their meanings. This will enable the machine to understand the human speech or text.

Human brain has always been amazed by the amazing prowess of computers. When Steve Jobs started working with computers, he acknowledged the fact “Computers are like a bicycle for the mind”, they are dramatically extending the capacity of our brains. Now computers can talk (siri/cortana), they can drive (self-driving cars), they can even shop on your behalf (Niki). So, there is nothing to be worried about, as long as they don’t start lying about how many burgers were actually delivered by Niki 😉

But, Undoubtedly the time has come to Hold hands with Niki and experience the future.

Mr. Ratan Tata gets on board with Niki.

It was again an ordinary day at work. We were working ferociously at our headquarters and as usual Niki was busy improvising consumer’s buying experience. And it happened. All of a sudden, Niki started shouting. Unable to determine the cause, we were standing with anxious looks on our faces (Damn these chatbots!! Can’t even control their feelings).

Finally after lots of counselling sessions, Niki was ready to talk. And then we lost our minds too! The news of course was very exciting. Mr. Ratan Tata had decided to invest in Niki! The International Business tycoon, the idol of a million entrepreneurs and the jewel in the crown of Indian Business ecosystem thinks that what we are doing at Niki.ai was worth his time, his mentorship & his money. It was a happy and proud moment for the whole team. And no doubt, the news became trending in leading newspapers including Economic Times, NDTV, The Hindu and many more. 

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There are very few sectors in India which the tata group has not left its signature on. So what makes this investment so special? And here comes the amazing part – This is Ratan Tata’s first investment into the world of Artificial Intelligence. And what makes us even more proud is the fact that Ratan Tata has never invested in a start up at such an early stage.

Niki has always been a wonderful cadet when it comes to adapting every user’s preferences and creating the ideal AI-to-human interaction. By taking advantage of Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning, Niki is designed to understand advanced communication and simple text-speak in order to revolutionise the buying experience as a whole. And Niki is fulfilling her expectations quite well, but driving force for a huge journey is constant motivation. While we personally are very excited about this, as a company we can now learn from the rich experience of one of the finest business leaders of our times.

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While we have grown to a user base of 40,000+ customers on our platform in a little span of 1 year from inception, we definitely have a long way to go when it comes to revolutionize the way an Indian makes purchases on mobile. We are determined to bring a lot more exciting features in near future. With better chat interface, Niki will be more personalized than ever. With more powerful and advanced algorithms, Niki will provide you with better recommendations than ever. And all this comes with extremely secure payments. And the future is much closer than you think. In Niki’s own words,“You just hang in there bud, there is nothing but good times ahead!” 

Live IPL Score delivered fast

The Indian Premier League. Just like that delicious chocolate cake kept in the fridge, you think about IPL most of the time and yet you pretend that you don’t. You have become so good at pretending that you have learnt to lie to yourself that you don’t care. But deep down you do care.  We all do. It is in our blood. The love for cricket is genetic for us Indians. There are times when we get nostalgic about the days when we used to get absorbed in the matches without a single worry in the world. Follow it ball by ball. The world seemed to stop when cricket was on. The roads were empty and the TV rooms were full. And then life happened and we all got too busy 🙁

Live IPL update on Niki
Live IPL update on Niki

What if there could be a way to follow the matches live, and yet not compromise on your work? What if you could be busy and yet be updated with every ball?! Well guess what, now you can carry on with your busy schedule and still follow the IPL ball by ball! How? Niki to your rescue, once again! We have developed the world’s first cricket chatbot! Now click on the cricket icon on top of the text input bar on the Niki App and get ball by ball live updates on chat. The scores are updated just as soon as they happen in the stadium. Any faster and people will start calling Niki as someone who can see the future!

Niki - world's first cricket chatbot
Niki – world’s first cricket chatbot

Just push the button anytime, anywhere and you shall be teleported to the stadium. Just the score and only the score. No spams. No Ads. Ball by Ball update delivered to you by Niki on chat. Life is good again 🙂