Once Again…

Once again, I’m trying to start blogging. Egged on by my darling wife Archita, and the amazing(knock wood) weather that we have at Bangalore tonight, I decided to write a blog.

As usual, I’m not sure of where this is headed, just that the car is out of the parking lot now. Well, to start off, plenty has happened in the past few days, no wait, months, since I last wrote. My parents made a short, week-long visit to Bangalore from Jamshedpur, we adopted a beagle, named him Skye, and bought my boss’ car, a nice silver Zen Estilo.

So there, that’s from an update perspective. Hmmm… so what else has happened? Oh yes! We’re celebrating our first wedding anniversary next Sunday, on the 7th of April. Nothing major planned as such for the date, except that the run up for it has been a massive choona applying activity from both of us to each other! (Apparently my share of choona has not been applied yet.)

Well, having written all this, I must come to the conclusion that one mustn’t wait for something major to happen before one writes about it. Touch chala jaata hai. And then it’s like trying to clean the Ferrari all over again to take it for a spin. Okay fine, Estilo, not Ferrari.

The next post I promise is going to be about Skye. And will be full of pictures. So, as our silly mailers say, ‘please watch this space for more.’ ūüôā

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Once Again…

Guts

The other day, a car revving hard, possibly sans the silencer, in front of my apartment building was stopped. The stopper was an elderly gentleman, and the stopped was a boy in his late teens, you know, hot blooded and brash, a regular revver in my locality, I’m sure you’ve seen the kinds. But this exchange was something that one wouldn’t expect.

The gentleman calmly stood in front of the car, didn’t budge an inch. He asked the driver to turn off the engine, and step out of the car. He spoke with the voice of authority, the kind that a military background brings. The boy turned off the engine, hesitatingly stepped out of the car, and asked, “What’s your problem, boss?” The gentleman, earlier placed in front of the car, walked over to where the boy was standing, calmly put his hand on the boy’s shoulder and asked, “Who has outsourced racing activities on the streets to you?” to which the boy replied, “I’m in a hurry to get somewhere. But I didn’t crash into anyone, did I?”. The gentleman tightened his grip on the boy’s shoulder and said, “Crash? CRASH? Boy, I’ll crash you so well that you won’t be able to drive this car ever again.” And it sure looked like he meant it. The rage in the man’s voice was blistering, and cold as ice. The boy was visibly shaken.

And that was the end of that.

I wish more of us had the guts to do something like that. To stand up and speak up and to tell it out when something wrong is going on. 

To really show some guts and gumption when it comes to righting the small wrongs we see every day. 

Why must we leave everything to the system? We are the system. And we gotta fix it. One person at a time. One situation at a time. 

Well, I always sound preachy, but seeing that incident that day made me want to do something. I hope reading this makes you want to do something as well.

To get back briefly to the incident, the gentleman could simply have stepped aside, muttered something under his breath, and let the car pass, but he did not. He righted a wrong that day. Because he truly believed that doing so would make the world a better place, at least by that infinitesimally small amount.

Do you stand for something, or would you fall for anything? I implore you to go ahead and make that move against something that irks you. Grow, for the lack of a better word, guts.

Guts

Smelling Books

“Why do you keep smelling the book all the time?”, I ask my wife as she takes yet another sniff at the book she’s reading sitting beside me. “Are you writing your blog or are you looking around?”, she replies, chuckling.

This sets me thinking; how distracted am I? And is this cutting into my productivity? Every time I sit down to do something, I get distracted. Agreed, the human mind has an infinite appetite for distraction as Huxley has rightly said, but what does that translate into in real life terms?

Someone who is as distracted as me will open his/her email, Facebook, and 9GAG. Facebook posts would be replied to, random pictures liked and shared on 9GAG, and all the windows would be closed, the email that is to be sent in the first place would be forgotten, only to be remembered after shutting down the computer, and if it is important enough to be sent, then the computer would have to be restarted all over again, and something which ideally ought to have taken just 10 minutes, would now have taken about an hour.

And to what avail is this distraction, be it in the form of emails, or funny imageboards, or social networks, or chat boxes? A few laughs, a few moments of blissful ignorance? Or the perception of ourselves by others of being Always Available?¬†Do we feel reassured when Outlook is always open, or the Blackberry is always on emails, so that we can reply to those messages as and when they come, leading to supposed “customer delight”?¬†

Is this “delight” really worth all that it is made out to be? Would we perhaps be better off logged off from all these distractions, and simply closing the more important task at hand and getting it out of the way, hence servicing people better who are on the current window, if you know what I mean.

Alt Tab is totally screwing with our lives, ladies and gentlemen, and while it is sometimes necessary to Alt Tab one’s day through work, one must use one’s discretion in knowing when to save data and close the app, keeping only the important one on, so that the eyeball doesn’t tend to roll towards that blinking Outlook icon with its tiny envelope indicating the arrival of new email.

Perhaps it’s time we took back control of our lives from technology, our supposed customers, and got it sorted out the right way so that we can use technology better and service these customers better.

Smelling Books

Cloud Atlas

Last night, completely on impulse, we went to the Koramangala PVR Cinemas to watch Cloud Atlas, and I can say, without being partial to the Wachowsky brothers, this is possibly one of the most ambitious, audacious, ballsy movies I’ve ever seen. (To be honest, I had understood absolutely nothing of it from the trailer, just like Inception. So I had also thought that I would have to explain it to my wife, Archita. But, surprise! Wifey dearest already knew about a similar¬†concept to this before and she was the one explaining the story to me!)

The sheer scale of the storyline is mind boggling to say the least. Spanning centuries, and geographies the story proceeds at its own pace, multiple actors in multiple roles, with brilliant make up, mirror each other all along, completing the karmic cycle culminating in a grand climax. 

One leaves the theater with a feeling of awe, that such movies are still being made, that people are actually thinking about life enough to produce masterpieces like this. Hats off to David Mitchell for smoking up whatever the heck he is, and kudos to the Wachowsky brothers for bringing in Matrix-level epic content on to the screen.

In the movie, Halle Berry wonders how we keep making the same mistakes. The context is different, and she (probably) doesn’t realize how true her words are, and how true they remain to be across ages and places. Mankind continues to be a slave at the hands of a few powerful beings; some visible, some hidden, but always puppets to the puppetmasters.

Do go through the infographic for something similar to how we are likely to be(or probably already are) controlled, as shown in a part of Cloud Atlas. 

Cloud Atlas