I like to move it move it (2) !!

January 19, 2012 Leave a comment

We discover and understand ourselves in the relationships we keep and fulfill… with self and others – friends, wife, husband, parents …and by extension the society. And these learnings and experiences sums up our idea of “life”. So life is a “movement” in one’s relationships. And this movement shapes us everyday.

And as often known to man, when emotions fly high in a relationship is when one develops attachment. This attachment , philosophically, denies the movement of life. But denial of this attachment itself, breaks the  mental structure and understand of who you are and by extension all your relationships. In short – your idea of self, the “I”. It is easy to see why, relationships have changed and molded more humans than any revolutionary idea, influence or culture!!

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Foot.. err hammer in mouth!!

January 19, 2012 1 comment

A hardware store is the last place you want to see someone bring their kids along. Especially the ones that make you want to pull your hair out .. or the ones on a constant mission to kill themselves. Now you see i don’t hate kids, i love my niece. But there are tv commercials featuring an incessantly stubborn kid making a scene at a supermarket for a bag of chocolates – in a condom ad … for a reason!! Let me explain …

Kids have phases of “likability”, if you will. When they are between “oh i just popped out” to about 8-10 months they are this little eating, sleeping and pooping machines that are notoriously accurate at communicating everything to their mothers through …just a wail. Between the ages of 1 to 2 , is when they start walking around wobbling, and start learning their first words… this is a phase when they are the most fun!! Between 2 and 3 is when they become insanely restless, put a dozen things into their mouths all while trying to eat and speak at the same time. This is also the time when the whole world is under their magnifying glass. You make up more stories than a man will ever need for his entire lifetime just to keep their minds occupied. And about everything too… even a little button on a frock… if thats what it takes to get them distracted. Ever tried hiding something.. like a cellphone … from a 3 year old ? Dint even try.. ! Because you have better odds of keeping something away from a russian spy than the little diaper wearing toddler who can barely look over a table. No matter how good you are … they will find it! Even if your hiding place was a cave on the moon!! Its also the phase where they can help you build an incredible amount of patience.

While i was running down this story with my mother, contrary to my belief she had something rather surprising to say. She quoted numerous occasions, at which she believed that I shouldn’t have grown older at all. She believes i was more manageable when i was three or five, very innocent and obedient. And i see what she means, when i look at my six year old niece. Give her a bowl of cereal or a bar of chocolates and put her in front of a TV or her aquarium … that pretty much is all there is to baby sitting her these days. An occasional check to see if she is working through her food and not the fish food makes even a guy like me … look like the best baby sitter in the world!!

This was all very confusing …. because there was proof from personal experience that was shooting holes in my funny theory about kids.

Several minutes “of staring at the roof” later
and some more
something dawned on me…. that being young is something we secretly crave all the time. Not because it gives us an escape from the insufferable idea of being old or being responsible … but because it lets you be innocent and ignorant. In innocence alone , we have no worries, or sorrow or sufferings … though we have had a thousand experiences a day. Its not the experiences that disturb or corrupt the mind, but what they leave behind – the residue, the scars and the memories … these accumulate over time and pile up… and that is when sorrow begins!! And this, is what we are constantly trying to run from in our “adult” life.

So here’s thanking the kid trying to shove the head of a claw-hammer into its mouth today, helping me figure this out.

Wishing everyone a very happy, prosperous, an innocent and a “residue free” 2012!!

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Kolaveri indeed!!

November 23, 2011 3 comments

Its been an amazing last 3 weeks to say the least and the long weekend hasn’t even started. I say that because i have just finished “Steve Jobs”, by Walter Isaacson. And NO, i am not going to review the book here … (go read it if you are curious … well worth your time!).. or affirm him being a narcissist, or speculate the aftermath of an over stimulated social media phenomenon making him look God-like!

But there are insights into his personality, style of thinking , way of leading a life and values that will immortalize him for the foreseeable future. And some of his quotes leave an impression on you… especially something like .. “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

This quote.. very obvious that it may seem now, back when i first read it .. was enlightening..atleast personally. It was like discovering the right arrangement of words to describe a thought or an emotion you were trying to articulate all along.
Somehow it couldn’t make more sense, because looking back at everything i have held dear (emotional value apart) so far, i now realize … was because it was a result of great design.

Beyond technology, Its true in art as well…. I mean that in a way of an artist relentlessly agonizing over the tiny details, stripping down the unnecessary bits until the only thing left is what truly serves the purpose of art .. which is … itself! Christopher Nolan comes to mind. Before going any further, i should say I am huge Nolan fan! His work like Memento , Prestige, The Dark Knight …Inception .. they are just amazing. There is attention to everything … what each character is doing, how each one is supposed to look in every scene … I am yet to find a scene that each of these movies could have done without … they are perfect is so many ways.

While wrapping my head around the “idea” of “Design” … something strange happened. An invite from a friend to view an album she had shared on picasa. Excited at how well the pics had turned out, i was all eager to leave a comment. But then it turns out that i had to be on Google + to comment on them…. UNCOOL!!!…

I had a few questions …

Q : Why do i need to be G+ to be able to comment ? These are on picasa .. wait,have i logged into picasa ?
A : Ofcouse i had! Oh .. right , because it was shared on G+ and not picasa directly.

Q : No, that still doesn’t makes sense. Because G+ uses picasa to host images… and i am already on picasa ?
A : Hmm…. ( …i begin to a draw blank at this point … )

Q : Does G+ needs to know who i am, to better manage the comments on these pics in G+ because they were shared from G+?… in which case, should someone outside G+ even be able to see these pics ?
A : Hmm…

Q : Picasa is now the photo management tool for G+. Will this mean in its new found role, its own existing users need to jump more hoops… just to belong?
A : Hmm…

Q : Does this behave differently if i were paying to use picasa ? What about people who have upgraded their storage ?
A : Hmm…

There were many more… and no matter how i tried to rephrase the question to see if i was even seeing it right… the answers were no different.
Now many things present themselves while i ponder further … amidst them, services being free, worrying about digital footprint or privacy is certainly not the ones i consider important.

Here’s why … I am not sure if my digital footprint worry’s me anymore…( if there is such a thing as being inconspicuous online at all these days … u shud tell me how)… because there will always be this incessantly obsessed person u don’t like , a foe, a stalker, your ex, or someone u annoyed when u were three .… out there lurking… no point fighting it.

And about it being free… I won’t agree to the “Beggars are not choosers” philosophy in this case. The success of these online products or services is infact driven by the “free-loaders” … the user adoption of these services is a measure for a business to validate what they are doing. You build something nice and are not sure if people will like it .. so u put it out there for free, people think its cool and make it really famous by talking about it and adopting it. You then see if you can make it really cool enough to put a price tag on it .. Its a two way street… BUT, you always have to walk it first to entice the customer in.

Lets look at it another way …for the sake of this argument, if you were paying to use picasa and then you realized you need to pay to be on G+ to be able to use what is otherwise a picasa feature, just because picasa now found a new role … wud you ? unless the value add is important or relevant to you, you would ask them to get lost!!! Got a flickr pro account ?? makes sense ??

So do i think integrating picasa with G+ is wrong. No .. i don’t think so ..not even for a minute. Its right for Google to look into their own kitty to find what they already have and use it , rather than building something afresh or worse.. buying out someone. But then , have they really thought this through ? And if they have, what is the relevance of picasa users in this integration ? If this seems right ( .. help me understand how .. ), then every time i share an album to someone not on Google ( oh .. trust me there are …), i would need them to first get a google-id/ and then get on G+ just so he/she can leave a comment ??


Music : Why This Kolaveri Di.. ( Yes!! Totally lame yet freakishly catchy .. (: … )

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Thats all folks! – Steve Jobs

August 26, 2011 Leave a comment

If you have ever owned an “i” product ( chances are you might be reading this on one … ) or have known someone who does, or even held one on your hands briefly, then you must already know what this post is all about. While the news was the hottest trending topic all evening and this morning , there has been an unfamiliar lull here at the office. This is not a wildly unexpected move , everyone knew this was coming … considering his previous prolonged medical leaves. And its no surprise that Tim Cook, the next in the line of command was named the CEO, considering how he had already been handling the responsibilities in Steve’s absence… but everyone hoped that it wasn’t time … just not yet. As I tried to understand this, I slowly began to understand the denial. Its how we go through our lives everyday actually ….especially when we are having an amazing time, we know all good things come to an end, we know that the day is coming when it will end yet we live with the hope that it will go on for just a day longer… and when it truly does , the show still must go on …. its the exact same feeling.

The show must go on, and it will … but the question is .. Will it ever be the same again? Not quite! I don’t think so, and here is why …. If you know Steve was going to look at your work , you would naturally try so much more harder…. Someone else? .. Not so much … and that right there is what this post is all about. Trying to humanize an otherwise cliched phrase : He is irreplaceable !! There is going to be tens and thousands of posts ( just like this one ) with millions of lines of digital ink over the next few days taking a stab at it, attempting to encompass his life, his work and the legacy he leaves behind … but in all likelihood falling short or failing even.

Its easy to see why. A brief look into the history of Apple, his work, or one of his keynotes even is enough to tell you that you are watching a remarkable man. In awe, I would wonder what makes him tick, what does it take to make something like this happen, what is he actually doing that is making it seem so right ? I never truly understood. One could speculate endlessly, but as I learnt it about five years ago, you really get it only when you have used one of the products he has created. What he has created… is a pantomime ….an extravagant expression of an emotion in a manner that excites you at levels you never truly understood or knew even existed. Relevance, simplicity and the “right”-ness resonates in every aspect of the product and in many ways they are every designer & geek’s wet dreams!

And in attempts to understand all this at the place where it all happens, I have learnt several things. But if there is one thing I have learnt here, and learnt well, is that “Motivated” and ”Love” are two loosely used terms to indicate the same thing at a workplace. But in reality they mean two very different things entirely … if you have truly understood it. We are all motivated to work, but we don’t necessarily love what we do. Period!

Yes .. I may be exaggerating , I may be incessantly obsessed by all things “Apple” …. But going be the sheer relevance of everything he has done during his time … for his time … creating a brand that is the highest valued today , a firm more valued than any another tech firm today or the most powerful government even … is saying something.

Above and beyond it all , … by far and away .. the whole business of marrying art and technology … hasn’t been so elegantly done since the days of … lets be honest .. Da Vinci. And praise doesn’t get higher than that!

Steve – Thank you ! Godspeed!!

Mirror mirror on the wall …..

July 8, 2011 4 comments

Life has our paths cross with those of many people over time…. , with several opportunities to create many relationships. But sooner than later, you realize that the most important of them all is the one you share with yourself. Its who you are versus who you think you are within your skin….

Its those 3 AM moments , in front of the mirror … when you are staring into the abyss of your eyes …. and going “What is the life lesson i am being asked to learn …. and what am i missing .. ” in your head…. that motivates this post.

And a quick realization hits you, that sums up well by the saying …., We are who we are, when no one is watching.

Mood : Deviousness …. ( watched Shaitaan earlier …. \m/ )

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Happy Woman’s Day!

March 8, 2011 5 comments

Life gives us several opportunities to experience various things around us and within us. And as i discovered lately, the rare yet intimate look at self probably stands out tall amongst them all. So here’s taking a moment to all the women that have helped me with that.. ( and then some for simply existing 😀 … and the rest for tying up enormous amounts of my mental resources… in moments happy /sheepish grin/ 😛 or otherwise! ).

All that at the same time, i am left with a thought that is best summarized by the quote :

Women: always in trouble with them, but can’t live without them.
– Ayrton Senna


Pimpin’ the desktop!!

February 24, 2011 4 comments

I am usually not bothered by the desktop background on either of my machines. Often its either a supercar, a fighter aircraft or (lately) a smart apple logo. Infact most of the times i have a blank black background which serves me well, especially when the desktop is cluttered. But earlier yesterday, helping a friend wit regular expressions i found a few shell scripts online that were rather simple yet impressive!! Suddenly my life had a purpose!

Oh look! Satish just tweeted!! 😛