December 15, 2013

Worries of a Woman

I feel scared. Scared of those eyes.
They penetrate right into mine
Should I look away? Or should I stare back, pretending fearless?
For god's sake, take those shameless eyes off me.

What, now I cannot even wear knee length jeans?
Why do they make the decent piece of clothing look so disgusting?
Is it really my fault that I want to look beautiful
Or is it their filthy morals that should be blamed?

I hesitate. Unlike before.
Think hundred times before you take that stranger's help
He could be too good to be true.
Maa, is this what being independent meant?

How does it matter if I am his daughter's age
Or maybe a grand-daughter for some
Crime has no ethics, does it?
Old or young, all have the license to evil.

 Turn to the newspaper today. Now.
My bet : Every third item you read will be crime.
Not just crime, crime against women.
Rape. Harassment. Dowry. Acid. Femicide. 'Honor Killing'

Frightens me so that I be cautioned.
Makes me sit in the 'Reserved for Ladies' seat only.
Tells me that I need to reach home before 9.
Gives me enough reason to confuse restrictions with safety.

As I lay awake on my bed, there are things I never will forget
Those memories which instill fear in me,which weaken me
But think good, good will happen. So I try let it go
Like a computer, I press the delete button and wipe off those slimy memories.

After what seems like forever, sleep slowly creeps in
Yet those pictures revolve, revoking the fear in me
The silence of the dark is cut by the clock ticking loud
And the question haunts, Am I safe in my own house?

November 29, 2013

It happens only in India

Lately the series of 'Atithi Devo Bhava' ads have been on a roll across all TV channels. Amir Khan telling Indians what sort of a negative image do they portray by simple day to day activities.

Ever wondered what common people like us abroad think about when they first hear 'India'? Just like when I think America, I think of a typical day from the beloved American sitcoms we watch. When I think Australia, I am reminded of Masterchef Australia :P

Anyway, here are a few interesting (rather peculiar) reactions I got from people in Europe and South Africa when they first came to know I was from India:
  • Grocery Store Owner near Eketragaten, Gothenburg
    My younger brother and I enter into this little grocery shop to be greeted by its Swedish owner. He promptly recognized our origin without us uttering a single word. He asks, "Do you watch Bollywood?"
    Dumbstruck, we say Of course yes!
    He starts addressing my brother as Shahrukh and calls himself Salman Khan. Furthermore, he tells us that he regularly watches our bollywood masala movies. He defines regular as once a week! (Wait what? Even I don't watch bollywood once a week!) His love for bollywood was mainly for the mindless songs that pop in out of nowhere and the dance steps we choreograph. He mentioned a few favorites here and there.
    While I was leaving the store, I casually asked him, "How well do you comprehend the dialogues?"
    He says, "Well I don't understand, I just watch them for that."
  • Church Priest at Varvaderstorget, Gothenburg
    It can take me an entire blog post to describe this wonderful human being we met in our journey. The moment we enter the really tiny church, the Priest welcomed us with a warm smile. After learning of our Indian nationality, all he wanted to talk about was food! He wanted a pinch to digest the fact that some of us are vegetarians, have never tasted egg/chicken/pork or any other sort of meat.
    According to him, we survived on chocolates and salad only! :P
    We invited him on lunch thrice during our stay and finally he accepted that a vegan diet can be delicious too! He totally fell in love with our puris, parathas and laddoos ("really very sweet candies" as he would call them.)
  • Random lady next door in JohannesburgSouth Africa, thanks to their British rule boasts of a large population of people from Indian origins. Their great grand parents were shipped to SA as slaves during the British rule. As a result, these people today consider themselves to be of Indian culture. Our next house neighbor was one such lady. For the first 10 minutes she went on and on about how much she appreciated the culture we hold. The festivals we celebrate, the rituals, the sanskaar we instill in our children, the superstitions etc. We were ecstatic to hear about her enthusiasm towards our culture.
    In the end when we were about to leave, she asked my mum why she wasn't wearing a bindi and pointed out to the red dot on her forehead instead! She wore it as a mark of having an attachment to our land, to our culture, truly mesmerizing.
  • A fellow female passenger in the tram, Gothenburg
    The Swedish are really fond of their music. So much so that this passenger in the tram after finishing the detailed inquiry about us, she sang us a song in Swedish. Till date I never across that song again. She wasn't even ashamed singing aloud in front of the other passengers. In fact she sang it merrily and announced dedicating it to us!
  • A traveler in the train, ZurichWe were travelling from Lucerne to Zurich, a long distance via train. It was almost lunch time and our stomachs were growling of hunger. We Indians have this knack of carrying small packets of snacks along with us, wherever we go! We searched our bags and found our packets of namkeen and farsaan. This lady on the opposite side of the aisle asks me, "Do you have some bhujiya?" It took me seconds to understand that she was actually asking for bhujiya. I nodded in affirmation and handed over a handful. She ate it with delight as she recalled tasting it the first time she had been to India.
  • Owner of the hotel in Lucerne
    I was in contact with the hotel owner in Lucerne since I made the booking. He would give me weather tips, holiday destinations and helped me out with some sightseeing. During our departure, my mum casually asked him to visit India sometime. Instantaneously, he says NO.
    Whaaat? Why!?
    From his hallway, he removed a particular painting form the wall. He opened the frame to remove another photograph kept behind it. He looked at the photograph and said, I am scared of experiencing this, I will not be able to handle it at all. I myself was left shocked after seeing the picture:
    We explained that such scenarios don't exist now and besides, he needn't travel by train at all. But he refused to listen. The photograph indeed had a deep impression about the population explosion in his head.
  • Cute guy we asked the directions to some place in Paris
    Okay it is not very rare to find cute guys in Paris, but this one was weird. Paris actually is not a tourist friendly city. People generally refuse to communicate in English and when you ask them for directions, they ask you for the map. :\
    Okay, so to this guy we asked our destination, with a little bit of 'tout droit' and '√† gauch√©' he gave us the right directions. Then he moved on to ask the nationality. I said 'indienne' in his accent (I was up for a lot of fun :P ) and he said, "Oh Pakistan?"
    I resented, "No. India. "
    He repeats, "India - Pakistan, it's all the same right?"
    I was thinking really hard what to say. India and Pakistan have not been well known for their relation and this crazy guy thinks they're the same country. Would it be good to tell him?
    I smiled and said, "Is France and Switzerland same? No, right? The same way India and Pakistan are not" and left rather unhappy with his general knowledge.
  • Cab driver in Johannesburg
    This cab driver was the first person we met after we touched the South African land. Since he was the driver all my dad's colleagues called, he already had been with Indians for the past many years. After we reached home, out of desperation from the 12 hour flight travel she stormed into the kitchen to make tea. Before she could even offer, Frank says, "I would love some masala chai. It's the best part of people form India. Nobody here can make that way." Consecutively for the next month, whenever he came by, my mum made tea for him specially.
  • Bakery Shop in Paris
    I could not overcome the temptation of eating that soft, creamy and shining mousse in this Bakery Shop near the Eiffel Tower. I asked him the price for three pieces, multiplied it by 70 (Euro was 70 INR back then) and agreed to shell that out. He asked me if I were from India. And I said yes. Without any thought, he turned to his fellow baker and said something in rapid french (I tired hard translating but in vain). The other baker went to the computer, did some clicking and in no time was Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge playing. I really couldn't resist smiling. He boasted of having a lot of hindi song collection in his computer and mentioned how happy he was to see me! :D
  • Random lady in a mall at Cape Town
    Cape Town is full of posh malls and shopping areas. Each particular area would always have a Nelson Mandela Square. The South Africans are very proud of this great leader who fought for their country. But at the same time, there are an equal number of Gandhi Squares!
    We had taken a break from shopping and took some rest near one such Mandela Square. A lady, out of nowhere came and asked us our nationality. We were used to this and told her that we're from India. She sat down besides us, and started thanking us. Thanking for what? She was a total Gandhian, a person who follows Gandhi's principles to the core. It made no sense in her thanking us, because we are in no way connected to Gandhi. But it was her respect and love for that country Gandhi belonged to. As a memoir, maximum I could do was handover a 10 rupee Indian note I had with Gandhi's picture on it.
  • Passerby in Norway
    This was the funniest perception of India I ever came across. This fellow, asks my father, "You're from India?"
    "Yes" my father says.
    "Your wedding must have cost you a fortune! You cannot even divorce your wife ever."
    Apparently he had come across documentaries in which he saw the big fat Indian weddings we have! He really needed to confirm if we actually spend that much amount on our weddings. With that nod my father gave, and the comments he passed, we still laugh on his idea of being an Indian!
We never really realize, how little things affect. But yes, small incidents also embed deep and lead us to form perceptions about everything - even a vast country like India.

November 21, 2013

Jack of all trades

I was in the fifth grade when my teacher after reading through a lesson in BalBharti mentions, "Don't be like him, he was a jack of all trades but sadly a master of none" thus introducing us to the new idiom. It was put up as the thought for the day for the rest of the week high up on the blackboard.

I'd read it every morning, trying to figure out which master was I going to be when I grew up. I definitely didn't want to end up a loser like the fellow in the lesson. Confused, yet determined, I knew I would be great at 'something' one day.

Look at me today. I boast of having my own blog, I love playing violin, I am so happy I end up coding well, I can cook decent ( while most of the other girls of my age suck at it), I get above average marks, I sketch portraits, etc.
For people who are acquainted with me, often compliment "You're multi talented!" "Wow! You can do that too!" As I speak of this, I bet you can think of atleast 3 people of similar traits you think are good at everything, all-rounders as they say.

It is only I who knows how brilliant some bloggers exist out there, I play the violin only when I am alone at home to avoid the unbearable tune that follows, I absolutely suck at algorithmic coding (read: actual coding), cooking is something I definitely don't wanna do the rest of my life, I was way better at academics when I was in school, I cannot sketch a female portrait (yes, all attempts in vain).

Left me what? Something I didn't want to be - Jack of all trades, master of none.

For peers, its complex giving only for a while. Its tough for people like me to win in competitions of a particular skill. There are always 10 people who are masters of that art, bagging away the prize rightfully. All we are left with is the so-called great essence of participation everywhere. The metaphor applies to bigger things like coming across an interview too!

It is interesting to note how this phrase was not meant to be a derogatory term at all. Earlier it was the very positive context that a Jack of all Trades was refereed to. I don't even see the reason why:

  • Variety is the spice of life, isn't it? Why stick to a particular area and keep exploiting it till you get bored? And when you feel you're done, its too late to step out.
  • Steve Jobs was definitely not a better programmer than his Engineering Head. But what made him Steve Jobs was the overall knowledge from programming, designing and marketing fields.
  • Jacks of all trades are up for a show anytime. They are far more sporty than a master of one because I bet he would have tried at that performance sometime before in his life.
Well often these are just reasons I keep giving myself owing to the category I belong. The truth is, the world is too specialized to see that. The blinders of their area of mastery allows them to think only in One Direction (No! Not that band!).

In fact, it is not only me or that teacher of mine who sees this as a bad trait. The world today demands a 'specialized' person in every field. Tremendous respect and fat salaries await individuals with a specialization. Practically jacks of all trades are more or less treated as average mediocre crowd with no distinguishing factor at all. They have no reason in the word to be famous as things they do are ordinary.

What is it like BeingAJackOfAllTrades?
Honestly, when its showtime, we know we rule. But when it comes to making decisions, that's where we falter. If we knew what held more importance in our lives, we would left trying to do everything at once and set ourselves on the path to master that 'something'.
Precisely that is what happened when I was supposed to select a 'stream of study' after 10th grade. I could have managed with any field I could have taken. That is what is happening now, I fail to figure out if MBA or MS or No Masters would be the best choice for me. While its so easy for the others to pinpoint their line of action, its with considerable envy I say its too tough for me to decide. And then in the end, our choices, it doesn't even matter. Because whatever we choose, at the same time, somewhere we are polishing ourselves to improvise on the other choice too.

While it sucks to be stuck in such shoes, I cannot help convince myself that the reason why "Generals" in a Military force are called so because they see the bigger picture, innovate, plan, predict and ultimately climb to power the fastest.

November 17, 2013

Doing what we love

I had a very productive day filled with work, social media, studies, games and sitcoms at the same time!

The chances of a Mumbai University student saying that is as good as the odds my mum will thread the needle in one go.
Because honestly when its a regular day at college, we attend the office hours 9-5 followed by an event of some sort and by the time we are home, hardly anything but the bed will attract. Its not even that the syllabus is offering anything close to productivity. And if its a day in the Preparatory Leave, don't even ask! The guilt of not studying doesn't allow you to do anything and the fact that there's plenty time doesn't allow you to study either.

Anyway! For a change, my day was perfect today. And I started with this new post, ditching the 40 pending drafts because I realized something. This realization made a hell lot of a difference on a very delicate part of me - my emotions.

It is not rare that I criticize the social media and whatsapp groups for making me feel so isolated and shut to the "fun" world out there followed by those crappy lonely feelings and why I need to have people constantly asking me 'How are you doing?' or 'What's up?'

But you know what? There's a stop to that, there's a way to not let yourself enter that horribly tangled maze of thoughts which result in nothing but convincing you of how meaningless your life is - Do what you want.

Productivity as a third person sees, would be the amount fruitful material one is able to produce. Fruitful to? Fruitful to (of course) him. Simple as that, it'd mean how much of use you are to him. So when, you as the first person measures productivity, why do you look at how yielding you are to that third person who sees you as some sort of a manufacturing machine!

Productivity is and should defined by us. We define what value a particular activity holds. So when we are doing what we want, what we like, we are naturally doing something that is more useful to us.

Do what you want - with complete dedication, with all your focus, put in all your efforts
I don't need to say that, do I? Because doing what you love generates passion and passion is the key to those elements of success striked above.

Coding a dream project or simply reading a short story that boosted your morale or just scribbling down a few random thoughts in your head or trying out a new combination of mayonnaise and garlic in the kitchen is WORK. Work is not assignments. Work is not an upcoming deadline. It is not what our teachers or our bosses ask us to do. It is not just material things.

Once we realize what is the worth of the work we do, we tend to feel productive. Because we manage to define 'productive' on our terms. And then that amazing feeling of your ass being on fire, just aggravates the passion even more! We stop caring about how many followers we have on Twitter. We don't give a shit if the phone's on silent. It hardly matters if we have had food for the last 8 hours. It is all a continuous cycle!

What a toll on emotions. That same sulking old fellow who cribbed for attention now lives a life. He is carefree. Fun and work mean no different to him. He loves being called a workaholic because it exactly rhymes with awesome. The deadlines now seem as the challenging competitor rather than a dreadful burden.

If there's one quality that I could pick up from Hank Rearden (Atlas Shrugged) it would be his attitude of loving every bit of one's work. The feeling of not giving a damn to anything propelled in naturally. No regrets for his unkind behavior to the social protocols at all. It is actually living that "Like a Boss" life.

People, I have often read say that its not easy to do what we love always. But trust me they lie. They say that to excuse themselves for the guilt of not having had that courage to select the right kind of work. And who the hell says you can't fill your stomach by doing what you love? In today's world, everything sells. Products, services, talent, ideas, everything. Like magic? Be a magician! If you believe in it enough, things will make their way out. You won't need to deliberately show your audience how good a worker you are, it will be automatically visible. Meager hassles like a cunning competitor (blah) or politics at appraisal will shoot their way out of your life.

Doing what we love and not loving what we do is what differentiates between an uplifted mood and a pessimistic mood. Our emotions indeed are puppets to the choices we make in life. Our emotions are a complete reflection of how proud we are on making those choices and living a life we always only dreamed of.

As Confucius rightly said,
Choose a job you love, and you'll never have to work a day in your life.

October 11, 2013

Dil toh bacha hain ji...

I wrapped my earphones and paid 19 bucks to the rickshaw and walked towards the main entrance of the complex. It was about 9:30 in the night and every inch of my body ached as I dragged myself towards the gate. “I wish Ma’am would have appreciated my work. All efforts down the drain, this is not fair.” I was still thinking about the bad day at college, too preoccupied to notice the shimmer around the play area of the complex.

I lift my head to see little girls dressed up in their traditional ghagra attire. Vibrant colored clothes, mirror studded jewelry, bright red lipstick with a hint of kajal in the eyes, dupatta covering the little heads, oh god, those days! I could visualize the little me with my sister enjoying the festival to the fullest like we did every year. Nine different sets of clothes for the nine different days with matching necklace and matching bracelets. Despite the exams every year, we would act carefree and get dancing with the crowd. Then as the clock would strike 9:30, mum we would start hiding ourselves in the crowd. And god knows how, mum would find us in a second showing the clock ticking fast. “Go home! You have to get up for school. Remember you have an exam? Play as much as you want on Saturday. Come on now, get running.” And then we would make that puppy face pleading her to allow 5 more minutes.

Someone, get me a time machine. I want to go back to my past! I feel like a senior citizen already! Bloody hell, I it took me five days to realize that half the festival had passed away already. I follow the news every day, don’t I? I know where the gold is heading, I know when Narendra Modi came to Mumbai, I know about the latest facebook app update, when did I miss this?

Probably I was too busy catching up with the “more important” things in life. Probably I was working my ass off to earn that one extra mark on my project. Probably I was preparing myself to become a better a professional. Or should I say probably I was just trying to act adult?

This stage, the nineteen going, the twenty coming; the giving up on the word ‘teen’ from the age; the transition from not giving excuses but taking the blames; the losing out on the childhood forever in every possible manner is not easy. It’s hard. Harder than any physics problem I have tried to crack. Parents, teachers, everyone around expect us to behave like them, as adults. We are expected to meet deadlines, give commitments, not only give but complete them, make the right decisions, erase every chance of a mistake, be perfect in the worst of times and emerge victorious always.

Such circumstances make me hate the process of growing up. All that growing up meant as a kid was wearing high heels, getting my own mobile phone, not study, earn lots of money and spend them on cars. and it’s nowhere close to reality! And what has it given me so far? Apart from testing my patience to things I cannot tolerate, growing up has taught nothing. It has taken away the joy in little things like eating ice-cream and has taken away my liberty to cry because apparently I am big now.

Ask yourself, isn’t it pretence? The act of not getting affected when people call you names, the showing off of how strong you are by being calm when someone provokes you for a fight, the taking up of unwanted responsibilities of work we would hate to do, feeling apprehensive to take help (thanks to the big fat being adult ego), difficulty in accepting mistakes because as adults we never can make any, feeling embarrassed when friends sing a birthday song for you – is it not all fake being?

I fail to understand, what is it that appeals to us in “behaving” like an adult. Bacho jaise mat karo yaar, is what everyone says. Arre! What is the problem in being a kid? Don’t kids do their work efficiently? Don’t they put in their best when it comes to completing a task? Don’t kids finish their homework? Don’t they learn new things every day?

Difference is we, adults take things too seriously. Way more seriously than it needs to be taken. And then we treat its existence as the end of the world. Everything will strictly revolve around it.  Sometimes it makes me think: Are we just jealous of their happiness? Is that the reason we restrict them? Is that the reason we ask them to grow up all the time? The reason why they are smiling, laughing and ‘kidding’ around always is because they find joy in what they do. They are show what they are. Basically, they don’t know what the word tension means.

Even we can take our lives easy. Maybe not unnecessarily add stress to what we do. Just be content with what we have and keep doing our work with sincerity and dedication. Not worry about the return but the investment of our heart in what we do. Why can’t other adults around us be like that, make others feel the same and set a new trend? Makes think of saying them in a weird American accent of a dude “Why can’t we just chillax?”

Is growing up really that bad? Will it be full of pretentious days and hiding our true feelings? Will it just be restricted to a bunch of adults who will work like robots to accomplish their dreams? Will we never laugh on a silly joke? Will we never kick a football lying on the wet field again for the fear of clothes getting dirty? Will I ever get a chance to play on the swing freely?

October 03, 2013

Will it be the same?

“People come, people go – they’ll drift in and out of your life, almost like characters in a favorite book. When you finally close the cover, the characters have told their story and you start up again with another book, complete with new characters and adventures. Then you find yourself focusing on the new ones, not the ones from the past.”

We laughed, we played, we sang, we danced, we attended boring lectures, we ate in the canteen together, we gave birthday treats, we played pranks, we watched movies, we debated over silly things, we chatted, we bitched about people, we discussed long philosophies, we solved long problems, we took pictures, we encouraged, we mimicked each other, we bunked class, we did last minute studies, we planned our careers - we did it all, together.


10 years down the line, will it really be the same?

Friends, as we call them have led us through everything in life as if it were a cakewalk. While the rest of our peers were busy giving us pressure, they told us how "chilled out" our lives were.
I need not elaborate about how graciously our lives get affected by the little things they do for us. I need not tell you how big a deal my friends are for me when I know your's are equally integral part of your life. I need not describe how easily we cling on to them, eventually depend on them.

In fact, sometimes this scares me. It instills fear, a deep fright of what will I do without them?

Ranging from a wide range of personal problems to notorious ideas to serious discussions I rely on them. Little things that matter much and big problems that were ignored, all are discussed without hesitation. Honest feedback and consolation both are expected at the same time! Imagine how impossible it will be without them!

I am aware, I still have a year to go with these people. I have a lot of time to collect more memories. It's a long way, really long way! It was yesterday I realized how quickly did 2 years pass by. Won't the same happen again? Even the next two years will pass by swiftly and that long way will just seem insignificant and tiny. On top of that the mere thought of separation scared me. 

But why am I finding this so difficult now?
I passed out of school, an institution with the same set of friends for more than 10 years however good or bad they were. I spent 2 years preparing hard to get into a good engineering college (Read IIT) with a new set of excellent friends. I am thoroughly enjoying every moment of the engineering course with again, a new bunch of crazy 'items' ( :P ) Perhaps, after a year, I will be going with the flow with different graduates in another company or B-school! Simple as it should be, it isn't!

I still remember how apprehensive I was about finding my kind of people when I joined junior college. Contrary to my hesitations, things rolled so smoothly! It hardly took me a few days to get accustomed with them. In a few months, we felt like we knew each other since years! And then when we went separate ways - different colleges, different cities, tears built up saying goodbye. It was difficult, impossible to imagine living life with the same enthusiasm post them. But whoa, what happened later? I got a new atmosphere, new things to worry about, new opportunities and new people with the same old me. Now I feel indifferent to those changes, as if I was so stupid to have encountered such feelings! Yet sometimes, I wish I could carry them all along wherever I went. Yet sometimes, I feel how awesome it'd be if we all worked together!

Same will happen now I assume. It's not that I won't get friends later on. It's not that they won't be good. It's not that I won't miss the old ones. By saying that I know I am merely convincing myself to believe that life will be good without them, that things will change only for the good, that going separate ways will only give us more things to discuss about and of course, progress on an individual level.

Perhaps where the problem lies is - we invest so much in relationships. Look at companies, governments, institutions - they have departments which 'look after maintaining relationships'. How much more can that explain what I want to say! As humans we have this inseparable urge to connect to people emotionally. Which makes them more important than us at times! There are times I often question if such a high level of involvement is needed. And ironically,  I end up attaching myself the most with them! However, I will talk about that sometime later..

The point now is
10 years down the line, will it make a difference? Or are my concerns today just like those yesterday and I will only feel foolish to have encountered them years later?

Probably I need to forget such uneasy thoughts as a bad dream and live the present to the fullest awaiting the surprises the future has stored for me!

Hopefully these were ramblings and rantings of just another human, who gets attached to another easily, but carries the spirit of embracing changes with enthusiasm minus fear :)

September 06, 2013

When redundancy strikes..

There was a time when ideas were new
They only meant to be nurtured and brewed
Look around, what do you see?
A chaotic clueless crazy crowd
"Big Daddy" is what all are trying to be

I was so naive and gladly joined one
Contributing to the rat race I was taking my run
Turn my back, and what do I see?
A ravenous rapacious rampant rabble
Waiting to outrun and eventually vanquish me

Why so serious? What's the big deal? 
What's in name, what's in the stamp and seal?
Splash some water and what do I see?
A serious senseless shortsighted swarm
Working for ego - the smallest possible fee

We could work together, united make it large
But we chose to get a separate power, our own charge
Open my eyes and what do I see?
A pretentious pompous phony pack
Whatever it will be, their ego will be

That's exactly when redundancy strikes
Nobody cares about what the mass likes
I gather myself from the mess, what do I see?
A floating frantic frenzied flock
Hence they duplicate in order to dodge the mock

Perhaps there people just like me and you
Not liking the artificial bizarre few
Lets get together, what can we hope to see?
A lustrous legitimate logical lot
Who fought the shrewd legacy and harmony was bought

June 17, 2013

The price to education

Hardly done with the 10th grade when people started questioning me if my choice was commerce or science (Poor arts, always treated as an underdog when it isn't one!)

Oh, science is it? Will you prepare JEE? (Oh my God, it sounds tough already)

Engineering, computers only na? (Extc/Etrx for the ones who missed Computers and Mechanical, oh no you're a girl. And if you happen to mention the other branches, "Oh it is a separate branch now?")

And come second year of Engineering to an end, people are already asking, MBA or MS?

Whaaaaat? Already? Give me a break! Am I supposed to decide it right now? Isn't it too early?

Early, did you say? Look at your classmates, your peers all have joined classes already and you're yet to decide. Huh, not expected from you..

People just come, taunt and go! They'll make you feel horrible for the stupidest and silliest things on earth and you'll keep cursing yourself for something so unnatural. You have got to agree with me, there are countless decisions we have all made just because we saw our peers do them. And often such a decision taken in haste is unworthy and disappointing later in life.

Forget that, have you seen the new trend - JEE preparation from the 8th standard. In that age, I didn't even know what engineering meant. It was some some hosh-posh word to me. And imagine a child's future decided just like that! I have seen kids, literally Nursery kids go for tuition. What do they do there? Practice ABCD?

And my heart just melts to see a similar situation arise here with the onset of GRE and CAT classes. I remember they had tuition classes for Engineering studies too. At times it humiliates me. Either I am overly over confident of my capabilities or this is just mindlessness. Genius mindlessness, I'd rather say! It would have taken considerable efforts to set up a tuition where it isn't needed, right?

Those days aren't far when we will design kids as per needs just like they had in Man of Steel. Decide what the child will do before he is conceived. Perhaps a system like in the fictitious land of Meluha.

Well it roots down to the point, education is no longer a learning process. It has become a money making process. Look at the fee we are being charged, and the Indian parents pay them happily for the sake of their children's future. What thought could be worse? The fact that we are being gladly fooled by this system or that we are unknowingly(perhaps even knowingly) supporting them. How many of us really challenge such high fees or point out the nonsense carried out in the name of "extra" classes? Instead, we sit and join one ourselves.

Don't they call it "Education Sector" while referring to big MNC's in the education field on news channels? We have IPO's of different schools and classes coming up. There was a time when knowledge was divine, considered heavenly to be passed on from one generation to other. Today, it's a paid distribution of bookish knowledge.

Honestly, how many of us remember what was the chemical formula of some big polymer or what is each pin on a particular IC called or what is the integral of arc sine? Simply waste of time and energy, and of course, money in this case. The real purpose of being taught all of that is lost. We learnt the chemical formulae of compounds to ease the remembrance of structures, reproduce them and not complicate our lives by memorizing them all. We learnt about the pins of an IC to understand how they function in reality and not "rattofy" and vomit in the paper. Why did we learn integration and differentiation is still a mystery to me!

You see? Then why do we study? To pass. To qualify our "EXAMS" with good grades. First you give exams which test nothing but your memory power and on top if that later be judged on how well you fared there. I'm pretty sure the first school to hold an exam didn't have this on their mind as they materialized the concept of a test. It was made for teachers to know the grasping power of their students and for students to know how well were they soaking in knowledge. And now, they just humiliate the low scorers. What is the entire purpose of putting up results on a huge notice board? Mindlessness, like I said.

Everyone wants to move forward in the rat race we are made to compete in. And everyone wants a head start! That doesn't mean you start before the whistle even goes off. God knows why all kids want to behave as grown ups, study more than needed when their age suggests them to enjoy. I am not saying one shouldn't be focused. But that focus shouldn't be mistaken for all work and no play.

In the end it is always going to remain a circle, a cycle where you keep thriving to move forward. The path is infinitely long and we, we are unsatisfied, always, whatsoever.
It's like that joke I heard once. In our tenth we were told to study hard so we could enjoy twelfth where we were told to study hard just once more so as to enjoy college. Then at college we are being told to work hard just to get a good job. I'm pretty sure my boss is going to tell me, work hard to get an appraisal. Like I said, in-exhaustive.

June 01, 2013

The bright feathered bird

There are times when all I see is darkness. Darkness so much so that I feel afraid if I'm seeing anything at all. And then I question myself, are my eyes even open? Vulnerable to such situations, I feel like running away. Running away to some place carefree, where no one gives a damn to what I do. A place where I can be who I am. Who I want to be.

What am I bound with? Tied with this concept of society, relationships, fine lines of mannerism and behavior, unnecessary interest in social things around and keep track of favors and gratitude. It's like as if these obligations have made me a slave. A servant who blindly follows what his master commands. A slave whose own wishes are diminished against the godly wishes. Just learn to adjust, sacrifice and quietly do as asked to do. Gulp everything down given to you like medicine. You never know if that medicine is gonna do some good in the future but for now, it's a bitter liquid. No complaints - not allowed. Just acceptance.

What do I want? Freedom perhaps? Freedom from these conventional thoughts. Freedom from these "patterns" of stages in life. These patterns are being carved out since ages with little reference to the need and more intake from what-has-been-happening-to-everyone-will-happen-to-you. And we are just randomly being incorporated in this design. Lost with no identity. The only identity is that of the pattern. That has and always been lime-lighted, awarded the prime importance. And hopes shatter. Once inside this maze, there is no help given to find a way out.
But then, just like it happened in the movie The Shawshank Redemption - Hope is good.

"I have to remind myself that some birds aren't meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice. But still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they're gone. I guess I just miss my friend."

I have to remind myself that some birds aren't meant to be caged.
When Morgan Freeman said that in the movie, it blew my mind. Literally I was stunned to how positively a dialogue like that could fill up my mind. Maybe someday, someday they'll realize some things are best when left free. Maybe someday they'll know I am not someone they can keep confined. Maybe they'll all know then that my nature demands freedom, that I cannot be caged. Just like Andy - nothing can keep me in prison - neither the warden, nor the high walls, nothing.
Just clinging in to the hope that they realize it sooner. Sooner than I decide to leap forward and break those barriers away. Their feathers are just too bright. Perhaps they'll know I deserve that leap and hand it to me rightfully.
And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice.
So eventually those birds will end up freeing themselves. With or without their master's will. And what could be better than being not regretted and grieved upon. Free of guilt. Perhaps they'll feel good, feel proud that I dared to attempt something that nobody else had done. Tried doing things that were not convetnional. Did things that pleased me, that bought joy to my heart. And that happiness in the sinful part of their soul will bring peace to my soul.

Maybe people need to learn that 'Set things free. If they are yours, they are bound to return back with your right.' Infact I'll be glad to get things rolling back after I am given space, given comfort zone.

With these warming thoughts, I do go back to bed with a sense of satisfaction. Because with me I have Hope. Hope is good. Deep down I know, if I try things will be as I want them. If the ppotter will not take efforts and shape the pot, it will only be a dry brick of mud - useless and worthless. If I thrive, thrive just like Andy did, keep myself engaged in living, perhaps I will get to see the light in the tunnel.
I know it all sounds like perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.. Waiting for a magical sway of wand from the sky and the scenario changes. Just doesn't work in real life. What works in real life is :

Just like Andy said, Get busy living or get busy dying. Choice is ultimately ours.

May 28, 2013

End of the jumping jampang!

So, with no IPL match to look forward to I had no choice but dig into my pending novels to read. Sending me back to some constructive work, eh? And there it triggers my reasons-why-I-did not-like-IPL6 list:

  1. Ate up my study time
    This realization has just struck me. All this while with engineering semester exams on, I hardly missed a match because I had a paper the next day. One because the matches would end early, by 12 say and two the paper would be in the afternoon. Whatever be the case, agreed that IPL ate up quite a lot of the time that could have been spent studying!
  2. Spot fixing
    No doubt, this was one of the major reasons all of us hated IPL this year. Not denying the fact that there were speculations of spot fixing every year but seriously, who likes to hear about 3 cricketers getting arrested when the matches are still going on! Then those stories of the bookies, Vinndu Dara Singh, Pakistani Umpire Asad Rauf floating in the newspapers. Just stole the mood away! Matches won by the teams I would not support seemed like were fixed earlier.
  3. That fight
    Gautam Gambhi and Virat Kohli. I was absolutely disheartened when I saw the two captains duel. It had reminded me of that scene from the movie Chak De where Shahrukh as the coach, awakens the hockey players that their description was one word - India. They were not individuals and captains from different states. Now that IPL is over, consider Gambhi and Kohli playing as the Indian team in International cricket. How on earth are they supposed to be brought back from Kolkata or Bangalore and play as a team? Humans, we won't forget grudges in a day.
    Possible, is it?
  4. Opening Ceremony
    IPL 6 had the worst opening ceremony so far. Truestory. Agreed. The start kicked off horribly. With Pitbull giving me the creeps of Justin Beiber perform, I was unsure if what begun horrible would end well. Sharukh, Katrina and Deepika were just fine. The ceremony was a complete bore. Thankfully Jennifer Lopez was dropped! Check this link out for a fun read :D
  5. No Pakistani players
    Love them or hate them. Admit it that Pakistani players were missed for their colorful show. Despite the Pakistani Cricket Board trying hard, seems like the Mumbai terror attacks could not have been easilu forgotten. Sureshot controversies were avoided by neglecting Pakistani players as a part of this IPL season.
  6. Favourite players retire
    Hard as it is to digest the fact that quite a few of the players I have loved watching cricket for have announced retirement for forthcoming seasons. The thought of the next season without Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid doesn't really excite me!
No doubt the main motive behind IPL is building some quick cash - for the team owners, cricketers, the sponsors, all of them!
Either way, no doubt I have enjoyed the season. Let the criticism flow along. But times placing bets with your friends about your favorite teams and pulling legs when their teams lost always cherished. In fact I'll miss Gayle's spectacular play, Pollard's surprises and the rise of so many young cricketers.

May 23, 2013


They stood right in front of that huge banner which read, “World class Kite Maker”. Even before their steps entered into the shop, Veer and Kusum could catch glimpses of the variety about to be served to them. Veer, 15 was a poor farmer’s son and Kusum; his younger sister had turned 8 only today. Their mother abandoned them shortly after Kusum was born due to ill health. Kusum’s eyes gleamed as the infinitely many kites in the shop made the big shop appear small. It was nearly impossible to see all the kites in one glance.

“Which one do I take?” Veer asked his little sister. His head was in a total mess. And he was not to be blamed, for the gentle red kite reminded him of the faint memories he had of his loving mother. While the huge yellow circular one looked exactly like their pot-bellied land owner. He was favoring the kite with beautiful flower designs as it stood for Kusum, the Indian meaning of the word ‘flower’.

After a lot of argument in her head, Kusum pointed out to a rainbow colored kite. It was the most beautiful kite she had ever seen with every possible color flaunting the patterns it made. The kite maker looked at the worn out clothes of the kids and with his eyeballs rolling from top to bottom of their dress he chortled to say, “Ah that! Kid, you will not be able to afford that one.”

Veer had managed to save about 76 bucks from his daily wages at the carpenter’s shop for his beloved sister’s birthday. Earlier this morning when Veer asked her for what she wanted, she promptly expressed her wish to learn to fly a kite. But to Veer’s agony, the first kite little Kusum pointed to could not be afforded by him. Of course, he thought in his head, what was I thinking? Everything in this world comes for a price doesn’t it? Last year to get a wage appraisal I had to work for 15 days straight at the carpenter’s store, missing my Night School.

Kusum immediately realized the situation and said, “Oh bhaiyya, actually that one is too colorful. Let’s take the plain pink one instead. I really like it.” Those words hurt Veer a lot. Compromise wasn’t a word his sister was supposed to learn on her birthday. Nevertheless without any choice, they bought the pink one and left silently.

The bright green pasture behind their farm was the ideal place to fly kites. The wind was perfect and the sun glowed enough for a fun filled afternoon. A couple of other kids from nearby farms were also kite-flying. Veer with a superior feeling took the kite in his hand and tied it to the thread for flying. ‘No sooner will we be flying it’ thought Kusum enthusiastically.

Veer held the kite in his hand close to his chest and showed it to Kusum. He then said, “Baba taught flying kites to me when I was of your age. You’ll be surprised on how this colored piece of paper reflects our story.” Kusum was standing still in bewilderment. He continued anyway, “You hold the kite like this, run a bit and set the kite free in the air, giving it a little push.” He demonstrated the push in the direction of the flowing wind and let the kite fly.

It’s just like our life, isn’t it? A small bit of motivation and Lo Behold! We are makers of history. Just that little "push" and we realize how limitless the sky is. How much our potential can stretch to fulfill the wildest of dreams. Anyway, the kite flew higher and Kusum was clapping louder than ever.

"Once set for flying, you need to constantly guide the kite using the thread. That is where the skill lies. Neither too tight neither too loose", said Veer as Kusum looked straight in his eye. She looked particularly amazed as if something had just struck her head and she smiled.

Hesitation - the thread tying our lives. And surprisingly, who controls this thread? It's us ourselves! Tighten it, keep clinging to your fears and you never seize a chance to move forward. Life is at a standstill with fear creeping your mind. Loosed it too much, and you become much of a risk-taker. The ego (which later turns a habit) of letting things free snatches away your reasoning capabilities. You donot think before you leap. The control should be just right. Right enough to allow you to grow and right enough to keep you secure.

"Oh look at that blue kite brother! I want my kite to higher than that!"

Ah, this is all where it starts getting nasty. You know you've overcome the fear, you know you've got it in you. Enter competition. Moments when you want you to out run every single chap out there, for what? For just proving you're no less. What does it give you? Satisfaction, err no really no! It's greed, you beat one. You wanna beat the next. You wanna keep climbing the stairs to superiority show.

Veer loosened his grip on the thread wheel, let the kite rise while he gave it directions to flow along with the wind. The kite soared higher into the sky till only it looked like a pink aircraft gliding smoothly. Both the kids were loving it. A few children even praised Veer for his efforts and you could see him beaming. As it goes, how long can it last?

A bunch of bullies from the other end of the field couldn't tolerate the heights at which Veer's kite flew. Swoosh, a black kite came in Veer's view. The siblings had little clue of what was happening. The intentions were becoming clearer as the black kite started crossing the pink kite Kusum bought. The evil kid was trying to tie his kite's thread around Veer's in order to snap it away.

People will try to put you down. For the weak one's rise only when they suppress the strong one's. The key lies in remaining strong-headed and focused. If others are trying to sabotage you, you know you have done enough to scare them. You're that great! Think of this and build courage to come out of such a situation. If you give in and run away, you've lost the battle.

As Veer thought, he swung his arm and put in his best efforts to untangle the kite. He managed pulling it away. In the process, the black one got snapped. "Deserved it", he muttered. You don't mess with people who have reached heights with their own efforts.

As the kite kept gliding away in the sun, it became a little monotonic. The kite acquired the maximum stability it could achieve just when... A sharp change in the winds was noticed. Wind was blowing so hard, it could pierce through the kite and tear it into pieces. Veer could not have afforded to let go off the kite. He had bought it after a lot of savings. He had to do something. He rose to his feet and steered the kite in the direction of the wind.

Sometimes, things are just not in our control. Destiny as we choose to name it. Whatever has to happen, will happen. Be it against your will. What are we to do in such situations? Well, just like how Veer did, adjust yourself in the situation. Find a way such that the situation gives you resources to grow. When Veer oriented his kite in the wind's direction, he simply used the wind's strength to make it fly higher. That was indeed a smart move. Had he been stubborn, the kite's true identity would be revealed - a thin piece of paper after all.

"That should be enough for the day", Veer called out to Kusum. They called the kite down slowly, wound up the thread to the wheel and headed home. Kusum was ecstatic after the whole kite-flying experience while Veer just was going home more mature a person after thought-flying...

March 31, 2013

The Violin Story!

Occasionally I come across people who say they are hardcore music lovers but when it comes to understanding the technicalities, they falter.
 Perhaps what they connect with is the lyrics which the singer sings – maybe the agony with which he expresses his love for a long lost lover or the ecstasy with which he announces his freedom. For them, they feel themselves in the song! If we observe, they sing the lyrics as they find some free time.
 While on the same time there are people who understand music - what is the underlying note/tune behind each guitar strum or each tingle that a piano key plays.  For them, the sounds send chills down their spines and they feel their blood flow with great pressure. While recollecting the song, they’ll always focus on humming the tune correctly. They generally find music instruments driving them to a high level of passion.

After a hectic day at my JEE Entrance class, I sat on a fast local near the window listening to “Viva la Vida” by Coldplay. In my head I was trying to calculate my friends belonged to which of the either categories, what was their type. After a while I came down to assessing myself. Sweet mother of God! I was the musical! It dawned upon me that how affectionate I was towards the drums beating at the moment perfecto and how the cello’s soothing tune sent goose bumps all over my body. It was then I decided in dramatic style, I will not die without learning an instrument completely!

Well that was just like taking my feet off the ground to make my first move of entering into a new world altogether. A few days later I started a bit of research as to what I’d like to learn. Came across hundreds of choices, I would imagine myself pose with each instrument and try to guess how cool I’d look with each(although it’s the perfectly wrong way to determine which instrument you belong to) . I was almost convinced the guitar would be amazing: easy to learn, tutors available nearby, I have friends who play it damn well and will teach me too, Awesome choice!

Somehow I couldn’t find the right “mahurat” as they say to start off my journey. Most of the times I would be scared of the commitment I would have to give to do justice to the instrument. Will I be able to practice hard enough to reach a certain level of accomplishment? Will I be able to spare that much time considering the hectic life engineering studies give me? These troublesome thoughts did not allow me to move forward and eventually, I too forgot about it.

Come December 2012, people were ending the horrible year with newer resolutions, a fresh start. Of course there were speculations of the Mayan End of the World Story. I was reminded of my nautanki wala vow: the resolution to learn an instrument before I died.

In fact there’s this thing, I tend to always look for a 1st of any month or a Monday to give new things a fresh beginning. This is it! This new year I am off to learning a new instrument! I informed my mother of my intentions and pop comes her reply “Which instrument?”
“Of course, the guitar!”
“Guitar!? Isn’t it so common?” She listed atleast 8 people we knew who had the guitar skills.

Ah damn she was right, I need to find something else, something unique! My second favorite instrument being cello, I started reading the amount of dedication and devotion needed to learn the instrument. When I realized people in India, donot even know how to pronounce it correctly. Ouch! In vain, I knew I had to search another alternative. The closest of the family – The violin.

The connect was instantaneous. The violin is my instrument, I knew it. And my search for a tutor began the very next day. Thankfully I did manage to find a teacher who excelled at this rare instrument near to my home. I followed up with an enquiry the next day and fee payment the very next week. There! I was not even slightly worried of my sincerity. All the doubts I had in my mind suddenly vanished. Only that now I would have to miss SPQC every Thursday but kuch paane ke liye kuch khona padta hain na?
Without any delay I bought the violin from Sardar Flute, Santacruz. It was the first time I was seeing a violin in front of me. When I held it, I was unable to believe it’s a real instrument. It is so light! Handled with care, got it home.

All excited, I searched “violin tutorials” on youtube and started experimenting a bit. The strings screeched as I played and so I got a little disappointed with myself. “I’ll have to be patient till I start with my classes”, I thought and kept it away.

Came January 2013 and my classes begun. My ma’am began with the very basics, teaching me how to take care of the piece and maintaining it; how to handle the bow; how to ensure no screeches henceforth. Finally, some soothing sounds started flowing. The style is carnatic style. It is quite different from the Western Style of violin playing. You hold the violin between your shoulders and ankle as you sit and play it. And since it is a classical class, I started speaking Sa Re Ga Ma in no time!

As of today, not a great player but I am through with my basics, trying to adapt to newer songs and fingering positions. I am loving the journey immensely. I look forward to every class and whenever I find time, I make it a point to practice as much as I can, after all practice makes a man perfect.

Sorry to have written such a long post, I was so lost in the charms of the instrument that little did I realize how long the article’s been. It thus proves how much I love the instrument and how engrossed I can get when only talking about it! J

March 22, 2013

21st Century's Narova Kunjarova

Speaking of the truth may not always be easy and may not be the right course of action either. The ambiguous nature of the Universe first became apparent to me when I heard of this famous story:

Drona being a formidable warrior, it would be difficult to stop him and the only weakness that seemed to stop him was his affection for his son Ashwathama. Krishna hence works out a strategy and asks Yudhishtir to lie, to tell Drona that Ashwathama is dead and disturb his morale. Renowned to always speak the truth, Yudhishtir’s resistance to lie was overcome by Krishna in the name of rules of warfare. Meanwhile, Bhishma kills an elephant named Ashwathama and roars loudly, “Ashwathama is dead!” Hearing this, Drona asks Yudhishtir if what he heard was true. Yudhishtir says what Krishna asked him to and replied, “Yes Ashwathama is dead.” He pauses for a while and adds another sentence under his breath, “I don’t know if it’s the man or the elephant.” (Ashwathama hathaha iti, narova kunjarova)

Since Drona knows Yudhishtir never utters a lie, he believes him. Bowing his head, he chopped it off!!
I was dumbfounded by this excerpt from Mahabharata and it set me thinking. What is the scenario today? While we complain that we are outrageously being sacked by the competition in every field in the outside world, we simultaneously are trying to find out quick and easy solutions for the same. And, the best solution which lies within our capacity – The Half Truth.

Of course, technically speaking they are not lies. So basically you’re saved from the “guilt” of doing something wrong. If the correctly manipulated half is blurted, Bingo! Congratulations, you have managed to fool someone with your truth. And if you have had a bad day, Oh my my! Beware, you could easily get caught! You do not really need a Sherlock to figure out a half truth.

Evidently the Indian politics is a perfect citation of where such deceitful means work. Before the elections, the voices shout “Free laptops to college going children”. Once elected, only very few children get that privilege. Sadly, it still works. Another popular example could be of the Ad agencies. They highlight the prime features of the product in the fanciest manner and what the consumer forgets, the tiny little asterisk on the top inscribed in the smallest font, Conditions Apply! Let’s say for instance a washing soap bar saying Lemon Power. And the asterisk says, contains no lemons. Haha, cheated!! Social networking and internet also have given rise to such cases because often the truth is hard to predict online.

What I mean to say is, the half truth can be such a powerful weapon to get things done according to our whims. And men who are not ashamed to use this path improvise on their skills day by day. Falling a prey to this are innocent one’s who believe that the world works on trust. What a pity!

Now obviously you cannot have control over what others say but you can definitely have a stringent check on yourself. Accepting failures or mistakes simply doesn’t make you small. It in fact gives the opportunity to rise and learn. People do make mistakes and it is not the end of the world. Lying is nowhere close to a solution. People play such games under a false notion that their work will get done. However little do they realize it is only a short term saver.

And the half – truth saga has been a pain to people since ages, it has been a major reason for miscommunication. We as ethical people should try our level to stay away from using this destructive weapon. Otherwise, we may repeat history and lose combative warriors like Drona having the potential to amend changes which in turn, affects the growth of our future potential to grow as a community.

Hence as they say:
½ truth + ½ truth = 1 whole lie...

February 27, 2013

On switching to a smartphone

Until a week ago, I was using a normal-to-me "dabba" phone - Nokia X2-01. Then on my father's insistence I got myself a "Smartphone", apparently the one which is normal for everyone else! So here it is, how a smartphone is attempting to change my life..

(I was wondering on the format on how I should have written this post, but I'll just go with this: The good versus The Bad followed by non-categorized thoughts, I am still wondering which folder to put it into.)

<!-- The Goody Folder-->
  1. Music Square
    The default music player on my phone has this feature called as the Music Square. With 4 different parameters to describe your mood - exciting, passionate, joyful and calm; I can decide the kind of songs I want to listen to by a swiping a graph. Cool, isn't it?
  2. Smart Alarm
    In the dabba phone, when I would set up an alarm, I would be awakened by the buzzing sound of the tone all of a sudden and ruin my sleep no matter how soothing a tone I keep. Here on the other hand, when I turn on the smart alarm feature I wake up less startled. Let's say I set the alarm tone as "Walk in the forest alarm" at 8:30 a.m. The smart alarm begins playing a "Fountain" tone 3 minutes just before 8:30 i.e. 8:27 onwards, a faint sound of fountain starts playing. Somewhere my sleep patterns get a hint of what's coming. And then at 8:30 when the alarm rings, I wake up fresh!
  3. Calendar
    Of course the dabba had a caledar too! In fact it very well reminded me of my Speakers Club timings, birthdays etc. However here the to-do-list is an excellent feature. I sort my to-do priority wise and keep them updated on the home screen. I always know what to do next! The interface - much much better!
  4. Email Connectivity
    Earlier, I could check my mail twice a day. Of course I am still not in the stage where I receive urgent and important emails but no sooner could that begin. Staying up-to-date with email is fetching it Brownie points. Not only can I reply spontaneously but also keep a check on latest updates.
  5. Apps on the Go
    Applications like let's say for instance dictionary have made life easier. I very well missed such an application in the dabba. Games like Logo Quiz, apps like GRE study, Sorting techniques, PDF Reader where I can read an Ebook is far better than forcefully listening to the neighboring lady crib about her husband's routine in the train journey!
  6. Health Care
    No, I am not talking of the "Count Calories" kind of applications, what I mean here is the health care by my phone when I increase the music volume. When I am plugged into earphones and increase the volume to 50%, a toast flashes "To lower the risk of damaging your ears, do not listen to music for a long time on higher volumes." Initially the first day when I came across this, I laughed. But only 5 minutes I realized I needed to reduce the volume. Ever since the toast makes me conscious.
  7. Screen Size
    The display screen is twice the size and I love watching videos here! Awesome. Finally I admit , size does matter :P
  8. Camera
    5 Megapixels, I thought I was gifted a new camera itself! Then there again, Dude anything looks better than having a VGA earlier! :D I love taking snaps from this phone.
  9. Contact Integration
    Joining a contact with gmail/facebook/contact numbers is quite a requisite feature. And the best part being, it automatically puts up a profile picture for each contact through either of these means; visual appeal rocks it. Sync is all thumbs up!
  10. Newspaper
    With engineering shcedule timings being too long and hectic, I would generally find no time to read an article from the newspaper that I might look forward to. Applications keeping me up to-date with news are a major reason why I liked switching to a smartphone now!

<!-- The Baddy Folder-->

  1. Games Addiction
    A few games have managed to pull me towards them like a magnet, the favorite one being Ruzzle. A word game, testing my competitve spirit and my flare with words, I go zesty whenever I play the game. The constant competition of who plays better is constant in my group!
    I hate getting addicted to games. They eat up plenty of my time without even making me realize what nonsense I am up to. And today if not one, next day the other, Endless games so as to endless timepass :|
  2. "Nothing is anything without me" - As quoted by Mr.Internet
    Android Market has a huge "bhandaar" of applications. With over 4 Lakh applications getting installed in mobile phones all over the world, the potential is HUGE! But-however-uh oh, we have a problem. Most of the applications work if and only if we have an internet connection. Now come on! Google goggles, searches a huge database, needs internet; zomato, restaurants price cards, from the internet; Justdial again the same. Quite a few many utility apps are over the internet. Agreed that they cannot be made online but then internet connectivity reduces the scope of its usage.
  3. Fancy Apps
    Certain applications, amazingly useful in my daily routine. However some I fail to understand the use for common people, students like me. For instance let us consider a Barcode/QRcode Scanner. I was initially so fascinated by the app. Tried out with shampoo bottles, chocolate wrappers, the computer department t-shirt, my college ID card, etc. After a certain limit, I was wondering what more can be done? No answer! Uninstall. Such apps great work but sadly no use to me really. I won't call it a disadvantage but it is not an advantage either.
  4. Handle with care
    treat it "like a lady" delicately! :\ Keep her dressed all the time
    Earlier my dabba was treated as a rough and tough piece, I would fling it from one corner to other corner of room without any worries. It would fall off great hieghts and sustain all injuries :P
    Ever since this delicate little model has been handed over, I have trouble treating it with care! My friends say treat her like a lady, with love and care :D
    Worst of all, unlike the dabba, this needs to be kept wrapped in a cover all the time. Seems the Lady looks better with her clothes!
  5. Typos
    Typinh errprs are crszy! Half thr tine I am busy correvting spellongs from the prebious senrence or keep pressibg "backspace" to avoud embarrassment. If by flule I get a spellong rifht, I wonder how did it actyally go rifht! Tge keys are tpp amall amd the wtong keys get pressed at qrong tomes.
    Tried the swipe festure, even tgat dodnot help :(
  6. Hang-err-force close-crashed
    A small poor little processor overloaded with more than what it can really handle, I pity the phone at times. Occasionally do I have to come across  an error message and wait for another 5 minutes waiting for it to settle down. Pain!
    PS: The above text may indicate I definitely go through the phone manual!
  7. Beep beep - Battery Low
    One of the major issues of using a smartphone is keeping up with battery drainage. Certain times there are certain applications which eat up the entire battery I would feed from home. And worst being, the percentage battery remaining keeps reminding when it's gonna go hungry again. Earlier, I would charge the phone once in two days. And now, its twice in one day!
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  1. Social Connectivity
    Exactly! You might have been waiting for this to spring up somewhere in the advantages, but ah oh, it did not make it there! Why has she not mentioned Whatsapp, facebook, etc yet!? She was missing this on her phone previously! Then why is lying here, like an unanswered question with no tag/label to go with?
    Agreed that I am better connected socially now than I was before perhaps but there is a flaw in what seems "awesome". Why, why do I need 24x7 connectivity on facebook? Why does any notification be seen that moment itself? Its not important (Of course, its facebook, how can it be remotely significant?), it can wait. Whatsapp, gtalk, if a conversation is thaaat important, why don't you send in a text message? Or if it is thaaat urgent, why don't you call me? What I am trying to prove here is that every-second social connectivity as buzzing as it sounds, is not really important. Hence just getting whatsapp or messenger does not simply imply I am doing something great, in fact I am simply wasting a lot of time :\

Perhaps I haven't really spent enough time with the phone to let it sink in my daily life but I can definitely feel the restless movements made before the earthquake it might give birth to later in my life!
Maybe evetually as I discover more I might change many views, but one is sure for now, 

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