Sunday, December 21, 2014

Why I love Internet!

I keep reiterating that the major problem solver for me is internet. Any issue or a problem or a question that I face with, I first type it on Google for it to look up on the internet and my problem gets solved usually in the first click, and a few times in a few clicks. While it is amazing how Google finds out right link to the solution for me, it is amazing how people all over the world have already faced such a situation and patiently documented their problems and solutions. Indeed the most useful and amazing innovation!

- My mother messages me 'paap means sin, punya means?'; and I Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V on google on my mobile phone and I find the answer in the first link itself :) And I type the message back to my mother - all happens in 3 mins time.

- A Motorola phone of mine stopped working, it just doesn't switch on. I try my best to do something with the available buttons on the phone, I ask a colleague of mine. Then I type it on Google, the first link is a forum where people have discussed this problem and also have suggested solutions that have worked for them! I followed the most talked about solution and it worked in the first attempt!

- I was working normally when suddenly wherever my cursor goes, it would select everything I click. I didn't know what to do, I opened a new tab on my browser and just wrote 'cursor selects everything, and didn't have to even click and go to the respective page to get the answer - problem solved!

- Eggs in one form or the other are a part of our breakfast usually, till about some time back it was usually the boiled ones. We used to boil the eggs normally in a small steel vessel. I was tired of the same and looked up in Google if we can boil eggs in a pressure cooker, the answer was yes and its been 3 years or more I guess now that I boil eggs in a pressure cooker.

- My pet Bruno was unwell the other day with bad stomach. I knew there is a medicine at home in his first-aid kit, but the strip of tablets was torn and I could not see the name of the tablet to be sure that is the medicine I should give him. I could see the end portion 'dal' on the strip. I wrote on google images 'dog bad stomach dal', and I got the tablet strip images with the name 'dependal', the strips were exact match of what I had with me. I gave the medicine to my Bruno with confidence and he was alright the next morning!

- Most of us would have seen the last Google Search Ad, the famous 'jhajhariya' one. I had a similar experience. I had a colleague long time back, whom I completely lost touch with. I had made a lot of attempts of asking people, common friends and colleagues at various time periods about her whereabouts. Out of the blue one day I thought let me try Google. I typed her name alone, no luck. I typed her name+school+<place I knew she was in>, the school link came up with her name as some head there. I clicked and saw a picture of her's in an event group picture. I called up the school and through that I got her mobile number. I called her to find her astonished and saying 'tumne mujhe kaise dhoondhaaaaa!' - this was before the jhajhariya ad :) I found her after almost 8 years :)

- I had my in-laws come in and they were watching a programme on the television where some random guy rattled a long sentence claiming it was his own creation. I had heard it before and I knew it was not his creation, it was a meaningful dramatic dialogue that is made of the movie names of Amitabh Bachchan. I had a cassette of Amitabh Bachchan songs that started with this dialogue. I wanted to look up for the same because it was quite fascinating. I looked up randomly putting some names of movies as I recollected from the long dialogue, it took a few iterations but I did get it and felt really good :)

Long live internet, people who actively post content on the internet; and Google!
The few things that could make it even more powerful is translations (currently, they are not very accurate - I used many dictionaries English to English, English to Hindi to English, English to Telugu to English, Hindi to Telugu to Hindi, English to Gujarati to English - it is fascinating to use a dictionary, feels very knowledgeable and intellectual, but I very reluctantly now use Google); and identifying songs by the music when someone is humming (I found that there are a few websites for this for English music, I think it will be great to have this for Hindi music as well - going forward I guess it would be very useful).

Monday, December 8, 2014

Lyrics - where are they going!

I heard this song playing in a radio channel whose lyrics go like this - "....aa tujhe pyaar karoon sare aam baby...', and I am realizing the lyrics go like this:

Har shaam baby, tere hi naam baby
Aa tujhe pyar karoon main sar-e-aam baby
Hai intezam baby, kar ehtram baby
Iraade nek mere, na koi ganda kaam baby
Ishq, pyaar aur waar khule aam karoon
Main hoon mutasib tujhse
Dil ye tere naam karoon
Aaja meri baahon mein
Let me love you baby
Kahin tu mujhse ye na keh de

Je menu yaar na mile, mile.. mile..
Te mar jaawaan

How can anyone write these? Do they make any sense at all, how dirty & nonsensical is the language even to read!!! There were those lyrics once which said, 'tumhein koi aur dekhey, toh jalta hai dil...' and now these which say "....aa tujhe pyaar karoon sare aam baby..."!
Earlier the songs were mostly the voice and the lyrics, now it is the beats mainly, I learn that even voice is made up using technology. (I really like Alia Bhatt as the person she is and as an actress too, but when she came to Comedy Nights show for a film promotion and sung the song 'jugni, pataaka guddi', the notes she tried to catch were nowhere closer to what the song was and the rhythm was totally out of place, and I learn she has sung that song in the movie.)
Is it the lack of isolation and peace; or is it the less time spent appreciating the nature that people are not able to write well and still the song becomes a hit! This song was very 'catchy' apparently, I recollect my cab-mate almost yelling at me when I changed the channel on noticing this song playing :) "Arrey Sridevi, tum beats suno, itni emotional kyon ho jaati ho", she said :) I was at the parlour and they had incidentally played the Kishore Kumar's songs for a change, all amazing ones ranging from 'oh mere dil ke chain...', to 'zindagi ke safar mein guzar jaate hain jo mukaam...', to 'rimjhim gire saawan..', to 'ek ajnabee haseena se...', to 'koi humdum na raha...', to 'yeh reshmi zulfein..', after a few minutes most of the people there started humming those along. One thing is they are sung by the legend. But the more powerful thing is that there is such deep thought and meaning in those lyrics. They probably didn't write to write, they just got written it seems by their emotions!

Friday, October 17, 2014

My best friends!

"Best friend" is the one living or non-living thing in one's life that is the most amazing thing one can ever have.I have had very less number of friends in my life and a lot of circumstances led to me being an extreme introvert and not sharing anything with anyone usually, that made things worse by me almost not being able to call any human being 'my best friend' and I doubt if anyone could call me as theirs. I feel sad about this but when I think, I find that I did (and do) have three best friends <in the order I got/found them>:

1. Transistor:

We spent some years schooling at my grandparents' place in Vizianagaram. Vizianagaram is a very small town, the district headquarters that houses many good schools and colleges. There was a phase during that stay when we did not have a television at home. We had a very old transistor that was in a pretty bad shape, almost dead. But it used to play, with a lot of disturbance. Every evening, I used to wait longingly to play it, all my Maths homework and anything related to Maths used to happen during the 1.5 hours between 7:00PM and 8:30PM (which included dinner of about 20 mins also). 7:00PM was time for Hindi news for 10 mins, "Fauji bhaiyon ka karykram Jaimala" of Hindi songs used to start at 7:10PM, go on till 7:50PM. There used to be a break for 10 mins and at 8:00PM, another program of Hindi songs used to start, go on till 8:30PM. In between there used to be another channel from 7:50 to 8:10 that used to play some Hindi songs, I used to switch between channels very patiently and used to hear all the songs without a miss even with all the disturbance on the channels. And then used to start the boring time, I remember at 9:00PM, there used to be English news by someone called Vijay Danielle, I can't find this name now on the internet :) I used to sleep early and wake up early so there was just about 30 mins of time for me to get bored, during which I used to usually hear to my grandmother's stories and chats. I (we) could hear her for hours together. That 1.5 hours of time used to be so crucial in my life, radio was the device that made me familiar with most of the old Hindi songs. Normally the anchor used to say 'aaaiye sunte hain fauji bhaiyon (she used to read out the entire list of fauji bhais who made the farmaaish) ki pasand ka gaana x (male singer) aur y (female singer) ki aawaaz mein film z se'...I could tell from the names of the playback singers on which song was going to come. There were days when none of the channels played good songs, and that day I used to go into depression, very bad sleep, very low enthusiasm for school the next morning but followed by an exciting wait for the clock to tick 7:00PM again, to hear good songs. Almost all the singers I knew only through the radio, that's why I think I know the films and songs and singers but I don't know the videos and the picturizations of many, many. There are songs like 'muskuraata hua dil churaata hua mera yaar' from the movie Lahoo ke do rang starring Vinod Khanna and Shabana Azmi, it is a beautiful songs with very good lyrics but the picturization is extremely hillarious (not meant to be :)). Another such song is 'chalte chalte mere yeh geet yaad rakhna'. And many more.
I used to come home for the radio, I used to finish homework other than Maths fast for the radio so that I can do Maths during the radio time, I used to keep the radio attached to myself throughout the evening and sometimes a bit later in the night too when I wasn't sleepy, it used to be my life! I could not have existed without that device. It was indeed my best friend, till the time it existed at home and the time it became extinct, I miss it so much! Even now, I love to hear good Hindi songs, mostly slow and not too loud ones unless the song has really good beats and there are many more avenues available for the same, but that fascination is irreplaceable.

2. Book(s):
My mother was a very intelligent girl/woman and for various reasons, could not pursue her studies & career the way she wanted to. She was an introvert, not liking many people around her and always appreciated being in touch with books and always used to tell us to make a book our best friend. She used to make us 'read' (apart from 'studying') books as a part of our daily routine. My elder sister enjoyed it more than me, for me it was a bit boring at times and irritating too when my mother forced me a lot to read when I didn't want to. We were forced to read all sorts of things - essays, lives of great people, bed-time stories and what not! The first time I read some sort of a short story was in my 12th standard's English subject book of short stories. The first short story I completed I felt really good, I realized I was engrossed in the story so much that it was a surprise for me to find out where I was after I completed the story. I developed the habit of reading gradually but never actually took proper time out to read regularly. After I met my husband, I picked up the habit from him again and developed quite a bit as he reads a lot. Quite a few years now, I feel my mother was right in many ways, books are and can be actually very good friends of ours. It feels very nice and refreshing to meet them often. It is good to take time out for them. These are the friends always there with you, they will always have time for you and give you knowledge and information that become amazing tools to build all sorts of conversations. I truly admire people who write and every time I see any book stall or a depot or a big shop, I am left dumbfounded by the massive amounts of information/knowledge/recreation/entertainment that lies inside those infinite number of books. Hats-off to all the writers in this world!

3. Dog:
Read I as We (my husband and me)
What do I say after the universal saying about this best friend! I have this friend of mine with me for over 6 years now. And it is not that my parents got it home and I am just another member of the family. I got him myself, into my family and I take care of him myself. Long back I learnt speaking English standing the conversing in front of a mirror. I did study in English medium throughout and while I was theoretically perfect, I did lack in speaking skills. Wherever there was a mirror and I found some time with it alone, I used to whisper in front of that in English randomly. Now, it is not for practice that I do, but I think this friend of mine has replaced the mirror now :) No matter how much I speak, he listens to me. I was an extreme introvert who hardly uttered a word with anyone around. After getting him home, I have started speaking to people much more than I used to do earlier. He sleeps when I sleep, he runs around the house when he knows I am home and he can't find me around, he waits for me at the door when I go out in odd unusual hours (they recognize patterns somehow), he waits for me to talk to him, he waits for me to make something for him as he likes food cooked by me more than his regular food, the clock ticks 6:30PM and he starts waiting for me when he is left at his day care thinking I would come and pick him up any time (again a pattern he has recognized and concluded something logically). Emotional blackmail :) but I come home running from wherever I am because I know he is waiting for me. I give up dinners and any outings in the evenings to stay with him because I know he likes to be with me, I avoid as much as possible to keep him alone at home during the evenings because I know he doesn't like me going out leaving him alone at home in the evenings. I need not do all this, he doesn't demand anything nor does he create any damage when alone at home any time, but I don't know why I still do, with no pain or force. My best(est) friend indeed!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Reading print!

When I am at leisure (actual leisure after I am done with anything to do with the many connected devices around me), the one activity that I really want to do is read something offline - print!
When I am reading a newspaper, invariably I come across something that is very informative and it has come to me organically without me looking for it. I am sure I would never have 'searched' for it and there are very, very remote chances that I would have been reading up something related so that I would have got this particular article as a recommendation; there is also very, very, very small chance that any of my friends/connections on Facebook or LinkedIn would have posted it - and even smaller a chance that I would not have missed it!

Whenever I go to the beauty parlour, I pick up a magazine from there (ranging from fashion to cinema to retailer to Outlook to anything else that's available there) and I end up reading at least a consolidated 15-20 pages of different articles which are too good - which I would have never found online, but I feel thankful I found them and read them. Not too sure if such a content is not there online, or I am unable to find it, or such good writers are not publishing and popularizing themselves & their work online. More importantly, it is somehow more relaxing also to read something in those magazines or any print version.

Today, for example I went to the parlour and read up 3-4 different articles from various magazines available there - one article on big data in online retail; another was an interview of Ajit Joshi, MD of Infiniti Retail; another article on hot coconut oil massage for hair :); another article on the changing trends in bollywood dialogues - the author thinks that the current audience is possibly not apt for the dialogues like 'jaani yeh chaaku hai, bachchon ke khelne ki cheez nahin, haath kat jaaye toh khoon nikal aata hai' or 'Saleem tumhe marne nahin dega aur hum Anarkali tumhein jeene nahin deenge' - but also puts a very interesting viewpoint of hers that probably there are no actors who can deliver those or such dialogues with that much depth and impact - very true I thought! And finally, I came across this hilarious cartoon depiction of the movie Ram-Leela, my Gujju friends would be able to appreciate the humour in it much better, but all would love I am sure, read page by page:

Each of the articles I read were extremely well written, they were all seasoned writers it is apparent; somehow online is more casual though it may have its own charm and definitely opens up the platform to many unseasoned writers to express themselves, but online has a long way to go and compete with print when it comes to impress people who really like reading, it may be another point that such audience might be slowly diminishing too.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

How it died!

I was driving my car to the nearby market for some usual work. There was this so called city-bus in front of me on the road, driving very slow and stopping every few seconds just 50 mts away from the market to pick many people taking advantage of the slow-moving traffic to get into the bus at their own pace & places of choice to avoid walking for the small 3-5 mts stretch.

There were two piglets (about 0.75 ft tall and about the same in height so they were not too small) trying to cross the road from the right side of the road to the left, running one behind the other.

1st second:
I notice these two piglets trying to cross the road and one of them quickly making its way to the other side just before the bus moves, and the second one, very confused trying to just follow the first one.

2nd second:
I stop, wanting to let the piglet pass before me in case it wants to since it was so confused. By then the bus hits it - not too hard but it is already touched by the bus, probably the front tyre which looked really giant in front of the little pink creature.

3rd second:
The piglet thinks it has escaped itself and tries to cross the road from the space between the front and rear tyres of the bus. The bus hits it and drags it for a fraction of a second. I hear and see the piglet's baby screams. It was shocked and didn't know what was happening with it, tried to get out of that situation but of course could not.

4th second:
The tyre crosses from top of it piercing it, and I see its stomach and intestines out in blood. The piglet could not scream anymore but it was alive, its voice was gone though it looked like it wanted to scream.

5th second:
It fluttered 1...2...3 for half a second and then it was still!