All that you never wanted to know

and more

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

All that surrounds you

When was the last time you actually touched a photograph? Or wrote a personal/casual email, let alone a letter? Or even tried calling up your long lost friend? Hell, you don't need to as you got technology on your side! Or rather "social technology". In this age of instant (and more importantly, convenient) gratification, you don't need to figure out who's who in a picture as everyone is already tagged (I somehow have an urge to tag all the pictures that have people I know). Writing a "wall post" is much simpler than writing an email. And why bother calling when you can see your friend's smiling picture on his page along with a status message that suggests he has had "the best day" of his life (even though this might be the nth such day)? The point is, our methods of communicating have changed and so have our needs.

I am no hater of technology. On the contrary, I devour with utter delight any new advancements in it. As a kid, the sound of the dial-up modem thrilled me (more so as I was using someone else's connection). Back then, msn/yahoo chat rooms were all the rage and emoticons were used generously. A document would be the only thing one could possibly download given that the phone doesn't ring. I used to frequently e-mail my aunt in the USA and eagerly waited for the reply, marvelling at this wonderful means of communication.

As we all know what happened with the advent of web 2.0, let me not bore you by being nostalgic any more. But the implications of a more powerful web were felt by one and all. All the things that deemed luxurious suddenly became essential in everyday life. Socialising, which was unimaginable without people being physically present, became the most revenue generating venture online. After all, visiting a persons virtual profile is as good as visiting his house. That's the reason why all of it comes so naturally and why it is the primary means of contact for many people. The ability to do tons of things which can only be done virtually makes it even more enticing for people to use the web for socialising.

In conclusion, I think in future, we will see newer and more innovative methods of socialising. Like it or not, physical contact will reduce and we may even celebrate festivals online by organising "events". People will opt for virtual children as they are low maintenance and you can choose their characteristics. Online karma points will be more valuable than what we do offline. Though all this seems absurd at the moment, it can very well be the definition of web 3.0. Let's brace ourselves for an even more involving Internet experience which is sure to change the face of socialising as we now know it. But the question is, "Are you upto it?"

Sunday, April 19, 2009

It's alive! Again!

Long time no see, eh? Nope. Been ages since I’ve been here. Why? ‘Coz I am all grown up now. Lame? Yeah, that’s exactly how growing up has been for me. Lots of stuff happened since I last posted here (concentrate on the letter ‘I’ in particular). Infact, the last post (‘Taare Screen Par’) was made at a critical time. Listing some of the more important events (in no order whatsoever):

1. Graduated from college

2. Started working

3. Parted from almost everyone I knew

4. Found ‘people’ to really care for

When I think about all this, an overpowering, unexplainable feeling sweeps through my guts. It’s like getting punished for moving on. And it stays on for quite a while. What’s worse is that it gives rise to other undesirable thoughts. Problem is, of late, its happening much too often.

The solution I’ve figured out is to keep myself busy which is working till now. As it is, I am working even on the weekends (and that’s where I am typing this from. Night shift does have its advantages). When not here, I am at home, sleeping most of the time. So you see no more ‘thoughts’. I’ve overcome my monsters.

Anyway, enough of these sordid talks. I now also own a powerful weapon to fight my gloom. A TV! Which reminds me that the IPL started today. Was a bummer. Why would anyone in SA care about the Mumbai Indians or the Chennai Super Kings? It pained me to see cricketing greats playing in front of such meager audience. Looked like a pimped up version of the Ranji trophy on international grounds.

I also discovered a few things on the net:

Mibbit ( – an online IRC client to beat office boredom.

Omegle ( – a rather weird service which enables you to talk to strangers.

Twitter! ( – my favorite of the lot. Micro blogging. Come be a follower.

More updates on my twitter…

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Taare "screen" Par

Seldom, you watch a movie that not only makes you think but act too. The one I saw yesterday made me think so hard that I almost burst out crying. And as for the act part, it made me write a film-review which happens to be a first of its kind for this blog. Although it might seem very biased at times and does not delve much into the movie’s story, I’d still like to call it that. For a better one, you can see any of the popular sites or refer to any of the morning papers.

As many of you might know, the movie, “Taare Zameen Par”, is about dyslexia. In other words, it’s about a child who is very weak at studies and has trouble going about everyday tasks. Now the matter might seem very simple and the end, predictable. But not all movies are about complex storylines and unexpected climaxes. Some of them rely on intense acting and a pensive end. This one belongs to the latter category. Add to that, it potently delivers the message which also happens to be its tag-line; every child is special.

Talking about the performances, I’d just say that everyone was top-notch. The best thing was that the movie didn’t at all seem one-dimensional. The relationships, the environment and the dialogues were very realistic and somehow, I got nostalgic about my school-days. At one point, I felt like calling up my mom and telling her how much I miss being away from home. Unlike other movies which have an ‘in-your-face’ approach to sending across the message, TZP does that quite implicitly. All in all, I felt like applauding it at the end. Well that didn’t happen as I was busy clearing my face of the tear-drops.

My verdict: This happens to be Aamir Khan’s best movie ever. The cherry on the cake being that he directed it too. But this is definitely not a crowd-puller and those looking only for entertainment should stay put. This movie belongs to that genre which brings forth the true purpose of visiting the cinema. To get engrossed, enthralled and finally, enlightened.

P.S. Abhishek Bachchan features in a weird way in the movie. Watch it to find out.

Monday, November 26, 2007

I, Poet.

Those who have been to college know how boring some lectures can be. You just need a ways to amuse yourself. Some that I’ve tried are:

  1. Playing Sudoku, tic-tac-toe etc.
  2. Reading a newspaper
  3. Bugging your bench mate
  4. Writing a poem

The last one used to be my favorite in the third year of college. There was this particularly annoying lecture that was at 8 am daily. No matter how hard I try, I couldn’t get a word of what the lecturer was trying to explain. On second thought, I guess he wasn’t even trying. My first poem was born during such troubled times. No wonder it turned out to be premature. Let me give you a glimpse of what it looked like.


Why would one feel so lonely?
When one ain't even a bit homely.
Why should one feel so dead?
When one hasn't even yet felt lead.

This is just to tell ya what's it like,
To be a Gangsta' on the streets full of vice.
How would it feel to know that you've reached the end?
When you haven't even dreamt of reaching the helm.

But then that's not all what our life brews,
You think you've got all the right things when you book a cruise.
Still you feel so hollow inside,
`Coz you know your kids will never lead a normal life.

And then when it all ends in a hurry,
You don’t even get the time to worry.
Was this the death that you always dreamed of?
No one by your side when you are really in need of.

Now you know it was all a mistake,
Something that your son should never partake.
But it was never meant to be so,
As he goes about wielding a gun with a lot of gusto.

As you can see, it’s about a gangster who screws up big time. I agree it was a sorry attempt. All I cared was that every line should rhyme with the next one. In the process, the story telling took a beating. After all, it was all done in about 20 minutes. By the way, I am looking for a title for this piece of crap. Any ideas?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Myth-buster

The best part about any newspaper is its edit page. You can always find an interesting article in it as the editor makes it a point to include something for (almost) everyone. A day back, I came across a real eye-opener of an article in the edit page of the ‘Times of India’ (that’s the only thing I read now-a-days). And it was rightly titled ‘Myths about English’. The best thing about it was the inclusion of various anecdotes and facts and figures that really gave the true picture.

Though the article was wonderfully done, I would surely want to disagree with the author in some matters. For instance, the author said that learning English, though important, isn’t a must for Indians. It is a must for the development of the country. To support this, he provided the example of Japan stating that very few Japanese know English and yet, they are so developed and are continuing to progress at a steady rate. However, the author fails to see this in the Indian context.

We must understand that India and Japan are two very different nations. Japan, has immense skilled labour and it is known as the ‘Land of the rising sun’ partly because it has contributed in a big way in a whole lot of innovations. Whereas India, on the other hand, has much history and culture to its credit to worry about inventing something that doesn’t cross it shores (no offence to the Japanese, but their products just don’t fit the bill for being recognized worldwide). Also, not learning a world-language serves as a huge handicap as far as global trade and commerce is concerned. And as you know, much employment in India is dependent upon outsourcing. All in all, I think any other country, but India, can do without English.

Nevertheless, the article was most unique and well-written. It even alleged that English proved to be a barrier between the different strata in the society. It also states that by learning English, we are unlearning Hindi amongst various other languages. Last but not the least; the author says that due to the craze of English, Hindi, our national language, has taken a beating as very few Indians, let alone foreigners are keen on learning it. I sincerely hope all that changes and in near future, even this blog is written in Hindi. Amen.

P.S. I can never imagine not giving a link to such a wonderful article. Click here if you have already not done so.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Read to Lead?

DO.Lead form the front. The next stage of India poised. If you read the “Times of India”, I am sure you must’ve come across these phrases almost a hundred times. This, I understand, is part of a campaign that the newspaper started on the 15th of August which marked the 60th anniversary of India. Since then, the paper is filled with snippets of patriotism and stories of how great leaders made a difference in the lives of their countrymen. And that is not all. Take a look at their Sunday supplement, Times Life, and you will see how India just got sexy at 60. How people are doing stuff they were shy of doing before. But the best part is the choice of the face of the campaign, Sharukh khan. Now how many of you know he’s a born leader who has changed many a lives? Perhaps, you should substitute ‘leader’ by ‘entertainer’ and ‘lives’ by ‘characters’.

Now I really like this newspaper. In fact, the Times has some of the best journalists and columnists of the country and they regularly churn out quite innovative content. But there are some things I can’t fathom. What good are these campaigns? What are they trying to achieve through them? The subject is pretty abstract and I can see no particular motive in it. As far as having a leader goes, I think we have enough of them already. We just need them to act like one. It’s an eyesore to read in papers everyday that India is progressing. They make it seem like everything happened instantaneously. The only thing that makes sense is publishing the articles about the various leaders of the world. Other than that, the whole idea seems worthless, even childish. India today doesn’t need a leader. A newspaper which tells it the way it is would suffice.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The English Patient

How many times have you come across a piece of literature that made you think, “This does seem to be written in English. Then why the heck am I not able to understand a thing?”? Now when this happens, there can be only two things; either you cannot read English or the writer cannot write in English.

It’s a widespread belief in India that using high sounding words or jargon or even obsolete ‘nigga’ slangs is the ‘in’ thing. And what’s worse is that even the so-called ‘language and speech’ trainers stress on this. Also included are putting up an accent, mugging up tough words, speaking quickly and my favorite, having weird expressions while talking. Some bright pupils go as far as using the ‘F’ word in multiple ways. It can be for joy, sorrow, happiness, exclamation, request, order and so on (there’s even a neat little sound clip which shows the uses with examples but it’s understood that it’s only for entertainment purpose.). Clearly, the Queen’s language has taken a backseat while people embrace the new, improved gibberish.

While doing all that, we have forgotten the basic rules which are of prime importance in any language. Grammar, spelling and phrasing of a sentence are rarely given any importance. Proper salutations and greetings are unheard of and people, more often than not, rely on ‘Waddup?’. The sms lingo, which was invented to save the labor of typing on a cramped keyboard has entered mainstream and there have been cases where school children have been using it in exams.

In my view, there’s an easy solution to all this. Reading stuff. Be it newspapers, magazines or even textbooks. Reading anything in which there’s minimal abuse of language will make you imitate its style and better your writing and speaking skills. You do not need to be a noble laureate in English but a correct knowledge of the language would suffice. Also, this will assure that you don’t go in an interview, hold up your hand and say ‘Waddup mate? Let’s make it quick and smooth’.