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Showing posts from 2014

Exam chronicles

It's 5:30PM and I'm supposed to be studying for an exam that I'll be writing in 16 hours time. It's the last exam of the semester and I can't find the motivation to bring myself to study for it. It's that time of the day when I like to sit in front of my open books, deep in contemplation about how expertly I'd managed to waste the past 3 days doing basically nothing other than reading tweets from random celebrities and posting some tweets myself. Of course, no one probably read any of those tweets but that's the weird thing about twitter. If you're someone with thousands of followers, it's a great medium to share your views. But when you have fewer than a 100 followers, it's basically like shouting at a wall in a very noisy room because eventually, not only is no one listening to you but also, you can't hear yourself amidst all the confusion the other people are creating BUT, you still do it anyway. I slap myself a couple of times reg…

Diwali: Be a Hero

In India, we celebrate a lot of festivals. We celebrate so many festivals that at times it is difficult to keep count of what we're really celebrating. Different people look at this differently. For school kids, it means plenty of holidays. For their teachers, it means less time to complete the syllabus. For employees, it means a day away from work. For their employers, it means a drop in productivity. But there is one festival that really stands out in a calendar year. For years, I've been told it's the “festival of lights” but that isn't an accurate description of what it is any more. I'm,of course, talking about Diwali. The story is familiar to everyone. (For those who aren't familiar with it, there's a VERY concise version here : The Diwali Story). Diwali is, like almost all other festivals, a time to celebrate. And at least for as long as I can remember, it is also the time when environmentalists everywhere feel like they have the most hopeless job…

Anonym: Part 1

Disclaimer: The following story is purely fictional. Any resemblance to any persons, living or dead, is coincidental and unintentional.

“Ravi, either chop down the coconut tree or have those coconuts plucked before they fall. If another coconut falls on Javed's house, I will book you under section 307 of the Indian Penal Code. Do you know what that is?” I asked, sternly. “No sir. It won't happen again. I'll make sure of it.” Ravi replied, scared by my quoting the Indian Penal Code. Having served on the police force for 34 years, I'd learnt that the easiest way to resolve trivial matters was to quote some random section of a penal code that I'd never read. As usual, the simpleton was fooled by quasi-intellect and pseudo-power. In reality, the police really had no jurisdiction over such matters as non-existent boundary disputes. But in a town where nothing of great significance ever happened, coconuts falling from one man's compound into another's gives the …

Pareidolia: Finale

"What?" Issac said, snatching the file from Sarah's hands in disbelief. "Flat No 2204! That's the house on the top floor! I knew it! Lisa, dressed up as Martha, killed Purva and then put us off track with the
statement about Tony."
"Why did these two want to kill Purva in the first place? And how did she even know Tony?" Sarah asked."The adoption papers don't name the person who adopted that child. But, there is a clause in it that Alex and Lisa could ask for custody if they get married within 2 years of the adoption",Issac said.
"So you think it was Purva who adopted the child and she refused to give him back?" Sarah said.
"Possible. But the neighbours said that they haven't ever seen Purva with a baby." Issac said. "We've to find Lisa. That's the only way we can find out what happened. We've got to search that flat. Let's go"

At Redwood Trail apartments, armed with a search warrant the…

Goodbye iPod Classic.

Only a few hours ago, I was writing the introduction to my previous post and I happened to mention the various industries Apple has changed with its brilliant products over the years. One of them, was the Music industry. The iPod truly changed how people listened to music. Sometime in 2001, the iPod took the world by storm. That iconic, inimitable click wheel that let you scroll through your songs was an instant hit and it stayed a hit for more than a decade.

I will keep this post short not because there isn't anything to say about the iPod but because it speaks for itself. Many competitors tried and failed at challenging it and that speaks volumes for the superiority of the iPod.
But now, after many years of loyally serving music enthusiasts around the world, the iPod classic has been retired by Apple. Other variations of the iPod have taken over the baton from the classic and proudly carry on its great lineage but for Apple fans like me and many many others around the world w…

Inherently Apple...or not.

Every now and again, Apple likes to shake up an industry. What makes Apple special is that it's not just one industry that they've changed forever.
Apart from the Macs changing the way ordinary people interacted with computers, the iPod changed the way people listened to music, iTunes changed the way people bought and sold music, the iPhone
changed how people viewed and used mobile phones and the iPad brought a major shift in the capabilities of a "Post-PC" computing device.
With every launch Apple did what they did best- what they, in the immortal words of Steve Jobs, had set out to do- Put a dent in the universe.

Recent developments in the world of technology have made that more difficult. Apple's competitors in the smart phone market have adopted aggressive marketing ploys to wrest control of the market space from Apple. To a large extent, they've been successful too. Apple, historically, has valued user experience above all else. The competition looks…

Analysis: Why premier league is England's route to World cup glory.

With the dust slowly settling on the 2014 FIFA world cup and people's schedules going back to normal, it is time for most teams to summarize the reasons for their dismal world cup performance. At the top of that list for atleast a decade now, has been the English football team. Including  the golden generation that boasted a midfield featuring the likes of David Beckham, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard, a strike force of Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen and a defense that had John Terry, Rio Ferdinand and Ashley Cole, the English team has never fared well at the biggest stage of them all. The big name stars have never been able to play to each other's strengths and adapt to a kind of play that would bring out the best in them. Multiple managers, themselves big names, Sven Eriksson, Fabio Capello and now Roy Hodgson, haven't changed the team's fortune much. Different combinations of midfielders, striker and defenders, all big names, hasn't helped either. What then, i…

Mobile Phones=Rapes?

A house committee of the Karnataka legislative assembly has recommended that the state government ban mobile phones in school and colleges. Why? The committee has concluded that the unprecedented number of rape and molestation cases are directly linked to the use of mobile phones. The committee goes on to suggest that ''the youth shouldn't be allowed to use mobile phones until they become majors and attain maturity''. (As a side note, I'd like to point out the ''becoming majors and attaining maturity are two completely unrelated events. Proof of that, is that this extremely immature conclusion(to ban phones to prevent rapes) came from fully grown adults).

The committee points out that mobile phones are being used to lure girls to remote places so that they can be raped. That is a perfectly good argument, except that  mobile phones aren't the only way to lure anyone to remote places. Rapes have happened before mobile phones and that see…

The big fat mallu wedding

Marriage is a major event in one's life especially if one is Indian. That's the reason for the ''Big fat Indian wedding'' being so fat. In almost all of India, this grand celebration lasts many days.
Kerala, is a little coastal state in the south of India where that isn't true. The only ''ceremony'' in a Malayali wedding is the groom tying a gold chain with a pendant around the bride's neck and the exchange of garlands and bouquets. The whole process takes roughly 150 seconds. But what the wedding lacks in duration, it more than makes up in grandeur. Malayali weddings, despite being considerably shorter than their north Indian counterparts, aren't any less ''fat''.

The first step in planning a wedding, my aunt once told me, is to invite everybody. The first problem you'll face, she continued, is that even after inviting everybody, someone will tell you that you forgot to invite them. So you invite everyone and m…


It must've been a couple of months ago. I remember sitting at this desk and looking out of these glass doors in my balcony. As the dusk enveloped the earth, I could see the sky turn a lovely shade of orange through the branches of a mighty silver oak. Two gulmohars flanked his either side and more silver oaks stood majestically beside them. They waved their branches in response to a breeze from afar. The sky looked beautiful in the background with the silhouette of the silver oaks and gulmohars dancing in the foreground and little birds learning to fly, somehow trying to get home. The air was bursting with life. No TV, no display, no HD screen could ever recreate that scene. Humans think they can make anything with technology. Ever tried sitting amongst trees and breathing in the freshness? the sound of nature's orchestra of trees, animals and life playing a beautiful composition of peace and tranquility.
No technology can create that.
We're not smarter than everything aro…

Traffic woes- Bangalore

Bangalore is a wonderful city to live in. I'm not the first one to say it and won't be the last. But there's always a caveat to that sweeping statement. Bangalore is a wonderful city to live in. BUT the traffic drives me crazy.  Again, I'm not the first one to say it and certainly won't be the last. With a huge  population that is only growing, the traffic situation in Bangalore is only going to get worse.

Many months ago, I decided to do a satirical piece on Bangalore's traffic. And so I began observing it closely. And slowly I began to understand that this wasn't an issue you could laugh away. Somewhere in the mad rush to success, development and modernisation, Bangalore's traffic has gone from being accidentally maddening to being deliberately cruel. People have lost the ability to judge right from wrong. There is only one rule on Bangalore's roads- the one that suits you.

Jumping signals, drinking and driving, motorcyclists riding on footpaths, …

Bangalore's Shame.

There are things worth getting upset about. Like the state of the nation. If you're not getting worked up about where this nation is headed, it's time for some introspection. In any case, I'm no one to judge. There are other things worth getting upset about. Like how utterly unconcerned your fellow citizens are about the future of the nation.

Bengaluru. Familiar to most as Bangalore, the IT hub of India. Our very own silicon valley. The garden city (or what used to be the garden city). Home to the Royal Challengers Bangalore. In many ways, Bangalore is India in a nutshell. The diversity in it's population in terms of language and religion is a true manifestation of the diversity of India. One can not speak of Bangalore without speaking of two things. Bangalore's weather (Oh the beauty of it!) and Bangalore's traffic(Oh the terror!) . Bangalore is beautiful city with beautiful people.
But today, Bangalore deserves none of those accolades. Bangalore deserves a ra…

Voting Day

It's a beautiful summer morning. It's 7 in the morning- the sun hasn't woken up fully yet. Far, far away on the horizon, he's just peeping to see if anyone else is awake. In no time, he's going to be up and ready to warm the earth's graceful soil and thankless humans with his radiance. But for now, a soothing breeze has got here first. She flies around playfully, bringing some short-lived yet much needed relief to the people who don't realise how fortunate they are to be there and experience it.
By the roadside there is some activity, unusual for this time in the morning. People running around busily, wearing scarves and shirts that have printed on them symbols of political parties. Other people walking into a building, a school. Again, unusual for this time in the morning. Slowly the crowd increases. A young lady walks out of the school and smiles at me. I smile back. And then she showed me the finger. No. Not that finger. The one that was marked with in…

College Nostalgia- What? WHY?

This has happened to me a few times now- Random older person you're talking to discovers that you're in college. "Ah. College life. Don't waste them man. They're the best days of your life".
And I'm just standing there thinking, "Yeah bro. Cool thought. Want to write my record and observation for me? Due to tomorrow. 22 programs, algorithms and results". Then I thought about it. Why would anyone say that they miss college? So here's the top 5 reasons, according to me, why people tend to get nostalgic about college life.
(This post is entirely satirical. That automatically implies that no offence should be taken. Then again, I'm in college. I'm entitled to make fun of older people and get away with it).
 So here goes.

1) Their current job sucks.

     When I say that, it must be really bad. Let's face it, sitting in theory class is the most boring thing in the life of a human being. If you've landed yourself a job that's so…

Pareidolia: Part 4

Issac walked into the waiting lounge where Sarah was now sitting looking less dazed than before.
"What happened? Did you get him?" she asked.
"He's dead.Someone shot him. And there is no trace of the killer." he replied.
"Was it Tony?He got away? He's obviously the one behind Purva's death too then." Sarah deduced, hoping she was wrong.
"No. There was literally no trace of the killer. Like as if there wasn't a killer." Issac clarified.
"What? Ice. Go get tested.He's probably injected you with that drug too. How can there be a murder and no killer?" Sarah mocked.
"At every step, this case has thrown up more questions than answers. But some of it is beginning to make sense now. This new victim isn't Purva's killer. He's only an accomplice. His only job was to control the baby puppet from the terrace. The real killer was inside Purva's house all along." Issac explained.
"Hang on. That can't…

Internet Privacy- Is there such a thing?

There are people who care about Internet privacy and there are those that don't. This post is primarily for the former, but aimed at trying to convince the latter that they should start taking the idea of online privacy more seriously.
The Internet is a fascinating place. Or medium. Or system. You can call it what you want depending on what you use it for. In the relatively short time that it has been around, it has been one of those things that has truly changed the world. Everybody recognizes the impact that the Internet has had in arguably every walk of life. From politics to arts, shopping to traveling, education to entertainment, from governance to sports, the role of the internet can not be understated. In truth, the internet has become a basic need for billions of people around the world. It has reached the point where the debate now, is not about whether it is a basic need or not, but about if it should be treated as a basic right or not. One of the biggest plus point…

Search on.

By now, everyone has heard of the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. China has focussed 10 of its high resolution satellites on the gulf of Thailand, where the flight might be. A major search and rescue operation is ongoing with the co-operation of 9 countries. News Channels are beaming the latest reports as soon as they get them and people around the world are gazing at their TV screens wondering what happened to flight MH370. Turn your gaze to this.
Satellite firm DigitalGlobe is putting its Tomnod crowdsourcing platform to work in an effort to track down the whereabouts of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Volunteers are assigned a collection of satellite images to pore through and pin any possible clues or wreckage. It's your turn to do your bit.

If there is anything from that ill-fated flight that is lying on the surface of the earth, we will find it.
To solve one of the most intriguing mysteries of recent times, we must. The internet has power. It's time to show it.

Begging for love

The weather was vintage Bangalore. A cold breeze flirted with the otherwise warm atmosphere. A cute, shabby dog ran back into the safety of the house he belonged to, bullied by the barking street dogs. Crisp, golden-brown leaves sat on the road like a carpet laid out for god's children. The footpath was lined by flowers so tender that they'd been felled by a gentle passing breeze. There was almost no activity in the houses on either side of the road. There were cars parked on one side, still as water. An unfamiliar tune was playing in the air- that of a beautiful silence. Somewhere in the distance a trumpet played a more familiar tune, breaking the stunning calm that had engulfed the area. Holding a copy of some class notes in one hand and a pencil in another, I sat staring into pure nothingness. A couple of friends sat beside me, trying to study. It was the perfect weather for anything but studying. A wrinkled middle aged lady walked up to the car begging for money. She p…