Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Alok Nath in & as Beena Ji Wo Mar Chuka Hai.

Yesterday, as sardonic tweets on Mr. Alok Nath went rampant over the Internet and left billows as the trend died, I decided that it's about time I leave this pugnacious demeanor for a post or two and pay my tributes to the living legend by virtue of my own blog. Quite often my indolence deters me to indite things at short notice, but the revered actor has done enough to force even someone like me to compile something to serve as a fitting commemoration for his contribution. So here it is, a rare piece of text that will enunciate the true character of one of the finest actors Bollywood and Indian Television have ever seen - The Forever Dukhi Babuji

It's not surprisingly astonishing to know that this guy served as a Kitply employee for about 2 decades. Just like the adhesive the company started manufacturing in the late 90's, Kitcol, this guy too had the propensity to stick to something and that too ineffectively. He unfortunately decided to stick to the same character for the rest of his screen life. The good old hackneyed role of a man with a panoply of unmarried daughters bungling while trying to portray the histrionic amounts of Sanskars that their father had vested in them. His craving for lingering onto something doesn't end here. He even kept donning the same attire and seemed to have acquired his characteristic subdued look ever since his birth. Same role, same clothes and despite the same ensemble being depicted again and again, film makers always found a way to cast Mr Nath in yet another role of his choice - The desolate doctrine enforcer from the 30's. 

Okay, now coming to the point of the title. We, as kids, often find our own indigenous ways of associating certain elements to certain entities whom we find worthy enough taking note of. Now Mr. Nath was exorbitantly prevalent on the Indian television during the late 90's and he was literally omnipresent with all channels airing a show or two of his at almost the same time. It seemed he shot for all those progeny of K soaps simultaneously, while at times seamlessly switching between one show and another like a multiprocessor running a multithreading environment over a multitasking operating system. No force in the world could have stymied the barbaric and inimical Babu Ji at that time. And it's times like these when people come up with what they call their Magnum Opus. So did Mr. Nath.

I still remember how much I rejoiced those moments with the rest of my family when we used to witness Mr Nath repeating the same old dialog again and again in every episode of that television series Thodha Hai Thodhe Ki Zaroorat Hai. With due respect to the makers and entourage of Mr. Nath, the TV series was extremely apposite and same was applicable to all his co-actors. They all were given roles that they performed with extreme subservience but Mr. Nath once again landed up with a tacky appearance wherein he was made or allowed, shall I proclaim, to repeat the same action again and again. Mr. Nath, who enacted the father of the main protagonist, who in turn was depicted as a dead man in the first few episodes itself, was left with the sole responsibility of providing his wife with some closure. And Mr. Nath did it in his own tarrying way. 

He would show some lament on his face and when the wife turned irascible on the prospect of their son coming back, Mr. Nath would utter the same dialog again and again - "Beena Ji wo mar chuka hai". And above all, he even seemed to say it in about the same tone and with the same thrust in voice. Whereas others including Beena Ji showed utmost capriciousness in their emotions regrading their sorrow for their filial loss, Mr. Nath managed to bring a kind of routine and mechanical element to his role with his single dialog always succeeding in putting an end to a burgeoning flow of emotion. One thing was the iteration of the dialog and second one was the fact that the man appended a "Ji" while addressing his own wife, and that too while exhibiting an outburst of angst. It may have appeared gaping to a few but we simply couldn't stop laughing witnessing such an incongruous and anachronous spectacle. We as a family adored the series as well as its concept and hence we kept coming back for more. However, Mr. Nath with his resplendent acting while delivering that same dialog and perhaps his sole dialog, forced us to recall him and his prowess every time we thought of the show. Till 1998, a year since the series commenced, I even kept a count of his repetition of that dialog. He had uttered the same thing a whopping 95 times ! Quite a lot of redundancy for a modern TV script, I guess. Nevertheless, we eventually forgot the name of the show and became so accustomed to the eternal dialog that we started calling and speaking of the show as "Beena Ji wo mar chuka hai". I can't help but smirk as I recall those splendid times.

I am in no way questioning the adroitness of Mr. Nath but I am simply amazed by the way all his roles have had a striking resemblance to each other. Now since a lot of these movies or TV serials became runaway successes we can't put a lot of blame on Mr. Nath. He seems to have done just as well as he was asked to do, but knowingly or unknowingly, he did the same things. Maybe the times simply needed one guy to come up and portray one such character on the screen again and again or maybe it was Mr. Nath's inner craving to enact the same thing again. Whatever it was, we're done here with expressing our own account on our first association or confrontation, in a subtler way, with Mr. Nath and his incessant Bapu Ji avatar. Like a jocular tweet says "When Mr. Alok Nath was born, the sisters rhapsodized, Mubarak Ho, Babauji Hue Hain". 

Monday, 30 December 2013

The Scientists.

Long ago, not long enough to prevent you from conjuring the scenes, cataclysmic forces were at work in all parts of the world. These men, whom everyone believed to be the harbingers of malicious deeds, were often subjected to public ignominy. People abhorred them and despised them, not only for their deeds, but also for their unkempt appearance. ”I hate that unclean stubble” enunciated the Queen of Krakozhia as she once ordered execution of one such guy. Some elite even denounced these men as messengers of Satan. Whatever the world said or believed, these men were not that repugnant. They never had any mala fide intent. They simply sought to do things differently. Amidst the tumult and protest, these men decided to change.

They knew they had to do away with that desolate appearance to amalgamate with the “common man” of the times. Hence off went the stubbly beard and the strangled flocks of hair and on came the look that made the perfect camouflage for chicanery. Now, no matter what these guys did, it went unnoticed as everyone perceived them to be normal, unsullied as they now appeared. Slowly and slowly, the hubbub went away and the demoniac existence of these men was forgotten as everyone believed them to be extinct. No one sensed the magnitude of what was coming towards them.

Once all opposing forces had perished, these men resurfaced as the suave looking guys and manumitted the world from all encumbrances. Their ingenuity led the world towards enlightenment and their ways and methods enthralled everyone. Slowly and steadily, these men assumed the noble positions while replacing those whom once vilified them. As the tide went in their favor, the world got its catharsis and entered the next renaissance. Today, these men are popularly known as “The Scientists”. 

Tags and Acknowledgements : Someone is SpecialHeenaTarunJyoti and Priyanka

This post was written as a part of Protest Against Unclean Stubble Activity in association with BlogAdda.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Hope lies in heresy!

In the recent past, the entire world has witnessed a panoply of political turnarounds. We've had the middle east where demagogues reigning over ages were ostracized from their thrones as well as states, and we've also had an indigenous example in the from of Delhi where the reminisce of a revolution out-powered the hardened stallions and emerged as an untrammeled force to reckon with. Barring the respective locations, all these revolutions and the ensuing results had one thing in common - Excessive impact of social media on creation of awareness.

The entire Arab Spring commenced when the news of sacrificial self immolation of a youth spread over the Internet like fire. The authorities tried to keep the news discreet, but it was all too little and all too tale. The public demeanor had already assumed the character and the proportion. They all needed a change and the only change they collectively perceived possible, was ousting the existing anarchy through brute force and sacrifice. On the other hand, Delhi saw hope in an alternate political solution. They considered handing the bastion to a nascent but promising party which they considered worthy enough of giving a chance. Both revolutions gathered massive impetus from an outrageous promotion strategy on social media. The youth was all revved up with these prospects of heterodoxy and all that controlled social fanaticism culminated in people taking control of of their future and making things act at their behest. Eventually, it was technology which polarized people and brought them at the fore of bringing the change they always dreamt of bringing. Now as we approach the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, I guess it's time when we take that phenomenon a step ahead.

The aforementioned premise is extremely germane given the current state of Indian politics. We have anti-incumbency but we still have odious voter turnouts. We have enthusiasm amongst the youth, but we have a entire host of people who don't know about their local contestant. In a nutshell, people are either not aware of the solutions they have at their disposal, or they are not even aware of the very inimical powers that this grand democracy of ours has vested in them. Term it indolence or remiss, but people certainly are far far away from being at a juncture where they can make judicious use of their powers and prevent their own alter egos from cribbing the system for the the entire tenor of the government. Despite mediums like television and newspapers, we still have people who don't vote or don't know whom they are voting for. It's about time we make them a more comprehensive part of the whole scenario than just merely asking them to come out and vote.

Social mobile apps have a role to play in this fiasco we have. We have mediums like loudspeakers whose only job is to spread din, and then we have these omnipresent social mobile apps which allow us to communicate precisely and concisely and in various modes like text, pictures and even clips. This makes such apps like WeChat extremely conducive to promoting your agenda. For a crowd with heavy social mobile apps penetration, just imagine the kind of coverage we can expect. Instead of having loudspeakers spread cacophony, we will have media messages clearly communicating a 3-4 minute agenda of a contestant's local as well as the broad agenda of his/her party's political ideology. With the kind of location sensing capabilities we now have in our mobile networks, we can even have targeted messages such that a political party simply has to broadcast various media messages pertaining to each of their individual contestants, and the relevant messages shall reach the intended recipients automatically. We obviously need some intervention from the social mobile app in itself, but the process is very simple.

Social mobile apps like WeChat will have to ask various political parties to submit to them a list of their official accounts on the requisite platform. WeChat, say, will have to verify such accounts just like verification takes place in Facebook and Twitter for public personality accounts. Once this is done, WeChat will leverage on its location sensing ability to suggest every party's local WeChat verified account or the regional/national account(If a local account is not present) to the various WeChat users when they look for friend suggestions. A social mobile app could also choose to place such suggestions on the top or send notifications regarding such verified political party accounts one time to every user in order to create a larger impact. The pecuniary aspects should be elucidated just like they are done in case of election rallies. Hence by opening verified accounts, various political parties would get another relevant medium for reaching their audiences. 

Coming to the realm of such a promotion and awareness strategy, let's envisage the benefits it shall bring. One, only a paltry percentage of the voter base attends an election rally. People are either too engaged or too afraid to attend such rallies full of commotion and plagued with not so convenient features. Hence such people would now come under the ambit of a political party's message as now even they would be aware of what their local leadership has to say about their problems and their prospective solutions. Secondly, we live in a world where we have more affinity towards "Push" medium than "Pull" medium. "Pull" media includes generic advertisements which we tend to ignore. i.e a Congress or BJP advertisement aired on a TV or radio channel has nothing to do with what's pertinent in your very region and hence sees much less an impact than what can be reached. On the other hand, the "Push media", courtesy of individualized messages customized for your own locality and covering problems prevalent in and around your own residence, would be much more efficacious than the former. Not only a user offers more attention span to an individual message, the process also helps the user get acquainted with possible solutions for problems more relevant in his/her own context. Hence this will be a win-win situation for the parties, which now would be able to expand their reach, the people who now know more about their options, and eventually, it will be a pro for the democracy whose very purpose is to bring people closer to the contenders they have to choose from..

Like every thing else, this system too would be susceptible. One thing is that certain parties might surreptitiously try to send messages which lack truth and hence go unnoticed and thereby effect capricious voting in the death stages of a voting process. Secondly, some effort should go in making sure that once the tenure for promoting a candidate has finished, then in accordance with the election code of conduct, such messages would have to come to a cessation. This shouldn't be very difficult as such accounts relating to parties can always be treated separately and hence their accesses and permissions could be seized and revoked as an when it's needed, Thirdly,the whole intent for doing this exercise should be to make sure we get higher and more impeccable turnouts than without it and hence every party's verified account should be mandatorily made to send certain generic voting related messages which would do nothing but make people aware of the repercussions of not casting votes. In fact, this whole approach could be made more effective by allowing the Election Commission too to leverage the ever growing reach of social mobile apps and hence bring more thrust to its primordial purpose of making more people vote through targeted communication. Once implemented, such a scheme can do wonders in ensuring higher voting percentages and hence a more effective democracy.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

If neo took the red tablet after following the white rabbit ?

Okay, before you proceed with reading all frivolous fanaticism that follows, I'm legally entitled to tell you that the title was used for the pure purpose of tempting you to follow the link and land here just like a lecherous neo followed the white rabbit and ended up in a fracas. However, you should be thankful enough to god that you have landed in a much better place, one whose posession is marked by fiduciary like me. This by no means is a transgression or contravention, neither is it chicanery or subterfuge. It's one plain, simple and veracious and free of malaise attempt to make you read this. Now that you've already read so much, why not read all of it.

Let's get it straight. The title did have something to do with the primordial content of the post but it was deliberately made equivocal to serve the purpose and trounce you. Oops ! I shouldn't have let that out. Anyways, the "tablet" in the title was a symobolgical manifestation of this awesome thing the benevolent gods bestowed us with. A tablet computer. While having transformed from the overwhelmingly bulky ones introduced by Microsoft in 2002 to being ones like Lenovo Yoga that stand for splendid legerity and bamboozling features, tabs have become a part and parcel of our life. Now as a panoply of people would have told you, Customer Is The King, so he or she gets to decide what a tab ought to have and what it ought not to. So here goes a comprehensive yet by no means exhaustive(yes, that's utterly oxymoronic) list of features that every tab should have. After all, having been an aficionado in this realm for quite some time and having tried my hands on every tab, the list deems some legitimacy as well as applicability.

 Food Proof

And despite being a connoisseur of tabs, I'm also a gourmand, not just a mere gourmet. How many times have I spilled ketchup on a tab screen only to find it later on that the mouse, in this case a literal organic one, enjoys the interface as much as its modern electronic counterparts helped my older alter egos to work on computers.A tab needs to have an auto detection mechanism to find out if anything apart from human skin has touched its surface. If there's any paltry stain of water, oil, or as in my case ketchup, on the screen, it should wipe it off automatically. How you tab companies do it, that's your choice as you know it best.

 Alternative Energy Sources

We all know the limitations of batteries so we won't overburden tab makers with putting more impetus and currency into R & D and coming up with better battery life. However, what can be done is that they could leverage on alternative sources. They could go for small and cherubic hydrogen fuel cells. If T1000 from Cyberdyne systems Cybernetic organism division could run on two hydrogen powered fuel cells and carry enough energy to travel through time, why can't a tab have a hydrogen fuel cell with enough energy to run without getting charged for a lifetime. 


Although with Yoga, Lenovo has done its bit in making tab usage more pliable and easy, tabs still have a long way to go in terms of surviving the test of time. One good thing about our predecessors was that they made things that were meant to last forever. The Ashok Pillar at Lal Quila in Delhi is a classic example and so are the plethora of monuments erected across the planet made for a variegated set of purposes. Whatever they might have been, they still persist. But that's not to be as far as tabs are concerned. You drop them by chance and they are so vulnerable that off goes the screen. We now need a tab whose integrity is strong enough to sustain a blow from a Spartan cavalier. We need a tab that could simply stay long enough after we're gone, holding reminisce of what we did as a testimony to our awesomeness.

     What's with the RAM

Having been someone who has run Windows 98 on a whopping 64 MB of SDR SDRAM with a mind boggling 8 MB of graphics memory, I know what kind of revelation mankind has experienced by the benevolence of our all powerful and magnanimous friends back there in silicon valleys. But still, why can't we  at least have as much RAM in a tab as much HDD space I relished back in 1999. I'm asking for a mere 8 GB. I guess it's time we stop being boastful about laptops carrying that much of RAM and smartphones carrying that much of data card memory. We now have transcended those bounds we made when we were stupefied enough by our complacence. Just a little more application of Moore's law, a little more R & D, a few more Steves, Bills, Shockleys and Ritchies, and we'll just about be there. And alongside will come another revolution in graphical memory. Not far away are those days when 1 GB of graphics memory would almost become ubiquitous in tabs.

Nuke Resistant

And last but not the least, the minimum you can expect a tab to do for you, a basic desiderata that it can fulfill for you, is that a tab has to be resistant to radioactive radiations and energy that is emanated from a billion megaton nuclear explosion. A tab should not have the propensity to melt away amidst the billions of kilo joules of energy produced in such an explosion. Instead, it is expected of futuristic tablets to be able to tap in all that energy and save it for being used as a fuel later on. They shouldn't restrict it to energy usage for running the tab itself, but one must also provide provision for using that same gargantuan behemoth pile of energy to run entire homes for years. Similarly, a tab should also have an ancillary feature of tapping and storing energy that results as a result of thunderstorm lightening. Likewise, tabs in the future could also come up with features to store in energy produced by other natural sources of viable energy like storms, earthquakes, and whirlpools. 

In order to conclude this otherwise suggestive post with my own parlance, I would recommend addition of another feature in futuristic tabs that would serve both an egalitarian as well as a scientific purpose. Tabs should be equipped with a tuning fork or some other resonating frequency generating equipment which could be directly brought in touch with ground in case of an earthquake and could be used to guage the exact magnitude of the implosion within the ground and within time, it could be used to produce waves exactly of the same frequency but in the opposite direction so that the impact of the earthquake could be curtailed if not fully taken care of. Imagine a world where every man was equipped enough to save a billion men's lives. Imagine a world where every tab was conferred the status of a hero and every user of a tab too felt like a hero. And last but not the least, imagine a world where all the lackadaisical conjuring mentioned above manifested themselves in reality. 

Friday, 6 December 2013

If it's Aromatic, it's AmbiPur !

It's been more than 30 odd days since I installed an AmbiPur Set & Refresh Thai Dragon fruit in my not so redolent room, one that's marked by misplaced wafer wrappers, partially bitten biscuits and all sorts of reminisce of what were once proper edibles. For someone new, my room was a total blasphemy, with disorder and chaos being the apparent themes, ones that I had learnt to live with long ago. Despite ardent efforts by everyone in my family and our maids to restore some order, all they could do was issue calumnies against me after they all failed. This nuptial relationship I have long served with unorderliness and tardiness is a hard one to break. But alas ! I too had to bear the blunt for being so very indolent. My room had become a total demagogue, turning me subdued because of all sorts of odor and all sorts of lame shades. I needed someone to palliate this plight, something to bring my room some light. And finally, they sent AmbiPur Set & Refresh. And what a transformation it has been since then.

One of the things that impresses me the most about this cherubic, handy yet extremely efficacious device is the magnitude of blissful redolence that it can produce despite its small size. Like they say, don't go on size. You just have to follow the instructions and have to fit the main fragrant liquid holder in the outer chamber and the device starts pouring scents all over the room. Its effect becomes evident in no time with it being extremely effective in not only removing the bad odors that otherwise marred your mood, but also replacing the same with enchanting aromas that titillate your senses. Another intriguing thing is that once you've set it, you simply forget it's there. It's so small and needs so little intervention that after you've set it, you simply recall its presence only after the sumptuous scents enlighten your senses and enliven up your mood. But was the device able to sustain the tyranny that I'm known to produce ? Let's see.

AmbiPur Set & Refresh in action

Courtesy of mine having the mindset of the regular Indian customer, probing and testing some good till its veracity has been duly tested and even dignified, I don't feel comfortable. So although this small little device did good enough to wipe out the nasty pungent smells from my room and was able to fill it up with brilliance, I truly wanted to test it out. So, I placed some wet sprouts in the room and let them to rot a little. I wanted to see how effective the Set & Refresh can be in preventing that bad odor from engrossing my room. When the sprouts were at the penultimate stage of their repugnance and had started to produce that foul smell, I left the bowl of sprouts in the room and left for a commitment that would take 2 days. I was pretty much certain that 2 days later, I'd be confronted with a smell so ridiculous that I'll have to cover my nose before moving in and getting the bowl out. The intention was just to check out this device before recommending it. I usually am very careful before doing so. Recommending a not so impressive consumer good to someone who wants every penny worth of their hard earned money can have severe repercussions. So, I had to be extremely confident.

2 days passed by and I was back in my room, just about to open it. I just then recalled the sprouts experiment and thought that maybe the sprouts hadn't spread enough rampage to intimate the rest of my family who already are scared enough to open a room that's full of mysterious artifacts and inexplicable entities. I knew it would be tough, those nasty smells. I knew I'll have to walk a few feet before I make it to the sprouts bowl that had enough firepower to knock a man with a working nose down. But I had to do it. I opened the room and to my surprise, the smell of the sprouts wasn't as widespread as I had expected. In fact, the smell was contained within a few inches of the sprout bowl. Then, it was just a question of disposing off those sprouts in my neighbors' backyard, letting them rot a little more before it filled their entire backyard and provided them a chance to inhale those luscious vapors. But this small device turned out to be quite something. Maybe the placement was strategically good or something like that, but the room smelled absolutely normal except for that small section where the sprouts were placed. Maybe the vapors released by the device have the propensity of producing aroma as well as suppressing smells arising from elsewhere. Whatever it was, the device did work very well.

Before you get one, I need to tell you that it's not a room freshener which immediately fills up your room with scent fragrance once you spray that whiff of aerosol. That lasts very less but produces immediate impact. This Set & Refresh is a new phenomenon that works as a complimentary device to your usual air freshener cans. This one does not produce any immediate intense impact but works at a stretch for quite some days, spreading pleasant smells in your rooms, and at the same time acting as a drain out for bad smells, without you having to do anything. You just have to deploy it and forget it and then it's this small device's responsibility to ensure a lively ambiance with light and pleasant fragrances that simply rock. A pairing of an AmbiPur Set & Refresh with an AmbiPur Air Effects air sprays will make sure that your home and your office are always providing you a lively atmosphere. If it worked in my room, it just has to work in yours.

Visit this link for more information and thank me later.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Stakes you own in your own future !

Having spent a considerable portion of my life on social media platforms, one thing that I've come to know of, is the prowess of certain wizards in trendifying things. Be it Twitter hashtags or Facebook shares, these people have made people swear in to oaths, to certain new practices, to new ways of life and what not. Basically, social media can be used in very ingenious ways to tap into the collective social conscience and create a cascading effect for effective follow up action. Man is a social animal and will always like to do things that keep him a part of the herd. Modern man does not have a lot of time to get into matters that seem trivial in the beginning because of the absence of ostensible direct impact. He simply follows the voice of the society, which in various cases consists of merely his friends, and in others. consists of an entire population. Whatever it may be, the net result is the prevalence of trends and cults. And these trends, cults and supposed beliefs have already resulted in freeing of a baby elephant trapped in a secluded island, the rooting out of an anarchist regime and massive support for victims who succumbed to iniquities. It's now time to use the same platform to bring the youth closer to what at the first place makes it a part of the democracy - The right to vote.

A subset of the entire social media realm is the cohort of social mobile apps. Social mobile apps are defining the way we largely communicate today. One reason for specifically leveraging on these apps is that we remain connected to them all the time. Be it an IM messenger like WeChat or a social media chatting platform like Facebook chat and GTalk, we are always ready to respond to what comes in and we don't have a specific time window in which to cater to messages directed towards us. Secondly, social mobile apps have an enormous capability of both message broadcasting and unicasting, which means that more general messages could be broadcast and the age specific or messages pertaining to a demographic parameter could be unicast or multicast. Hence we have multiple modes to share our messages. So if there is a generic message urging everyone to vote, we can have a single message sent to all the people of, say, a constituency or a part of a group, requesting them to vote. On the other hand, if we are urging people of a particular institute to vote, the message can always be sent on the multitude of groups to make people aware. Although apps like WeChat and others are laden enough with features to make the job possible, we need some more provisions to make it an optimal solution.

      Group of Groups

All social mobile apps have the option of creating and subscribing to groups. However, network infrastructure and app algorithms post constraints on the size of groups. This means that effectively, one message would need human gateways to get transferred to other groups. So, one person receives a WeChat message on a group or on personal message inbox, he/she likes it, and he/she forwards it to other groups, in which some other person would like it and then accordingly forward it to other groups and personal conversations. So essentially, human intervention is needed to transit messages from groups to groups and massive broadcasting is not deemed possible. What's needed to resolve this is a group listing. Usenet, the Internet discussion platform that became very famous  in 1996, allowed individual Usenet groups to register to discussion threads and hence every single Usenet discussion group had the choice of receiving messages that were broadcast to all groups that had registered to that topic or news item. Effectively, it was nothing but controlled broadcasting, something that is conceived on social networks like Facebook by liking a particular page, whose all updates are then broadcast to only the follower base. 

Hence by group listing, we'll be allowing all smaller groups, to enumerate through their respective group admins, the list of group topics that they wish to subscribe to. Hence a small youth group can subscribe to the general youth topic and an engineering school group can subscribe to the engineering topic. For our purpose, we can allow groups to subscribe to the politics discussion topicwhich will have some witty and tacky description like "Your switch to your future" or something like that, which links them to the magnitude of the matter at hand and acquaints them with the immense power vested in them. All groups listed in this directory shall be allowed to send messages from their entire group to the whole group of groups. The admin(s) might be given the ultimate authority and discretion in selecting which messages shall get the right to be posted on the entire list of groups and individual members shall be given the right to post such messages to the group just like any other messages. Then, it would be left upon this same poster of the message or some other person in the group to promote this message to the admin with a request that it may be posted on the general directory of groups. Subsequently, it's upon the admin to take the message to all the registered groups or to deny the request. This whole phenomenon is nothing but MMS. Massive Messaging Service.

What this will do is that effective messages within a group, that can be very effective or thought provoking or which include some very relevant factual information, could be used to produce the same kind of impact in all groups that are interested in the particular topic of democracy/voting. Moreover, the request clause and the admin's judgment shall act as filters to ensure than this does not result in spamming and that only genuine messages are multicast. Secondly, it will also be ensured that every message shall have an option of being reported and any group posting too many biased or arbitrary message shall be warned and eventually removed from the listing in case reported multiple offences were committed in this regard. Hence, with this additional flexibility, we can bring to the social mobile apps an array of possibilities that help in mobilizing and cajoling the youth to vote and to be an active participant in democracy. It will effectively be mimicking the kind of effect which massive social network movements caused during the Arab Spring, If they can be powerful enough to expose tyranny and result in a massive political upheaval, just imagine how efficacious they can be in making voters become more aware of their power to exercise vote and bring change and also the consequences of failing to do so. We've seen how individual opinions merge to form the social opinion and how social opinion often drives positive action on part of the individual. These social mobile apps can just do that for us. Just imagine that day when voter Id cards held much more value than just as an identity and address proof, and when they were used for their paramount purpose - Changing your future. 

Monday, 25 November 2013

This belongs to you !

Quite often it so happens that life brings you to a juncture where all the melancholy, all the palpable deterrents subside and allow you to witness that first spangle of success, that first moment of pride. It seems that for a moment, all the apprehensions, all the speculations get halted only to enliven your spirits once again. For me, ladies and gentlemen, that moment is now as I hold in my hands the most pristine and those most priced possession a blogger is ever likely to hold in their hands - the coveted and the revered Blogadda Award.

For those who have a penchant for blogging, for ubiquitous RSS syndication, for direct publishing and for blogging on almost any and everything around them, this award is a manifestation of this world's belief that yes you matter and that your contribution transcends the mere kilobytes your posts acquire on the server. It also tells you that no matter how much your blog lags behind in terms of traffic and visibility, the very fact that you blogged something so vivacious, is what justifies everything you ever blogged.

Quite often I questioned the veracity of blogging as a mode of expressing myself and my ramblings and often found a lacuna, a lacuna of an impetus to drive me forward. I needed some virility to carry on, to tarry on, and to keep blogging amidst all the chaos and cacophony surrounding our lives, and just when I was about to give up, I found resort in a face that was authoritative enough to command all the actions I was going to take afterwards. This achievement is a testimony to the inimitable and inscrutable inspiration which that one single face and the interactions with that one single girl endowed me with. This is to thank that girl for making a quixotic future look so certain.

A blogger is not another man, inditing words after words just to let the world know he's there. A blogger is the one who defies the disappearing lines of demarcation between blogging and social networking. A blogger is what defines the source of information for the future. If it wasn't for bloggers, the world would have never known what it feels to be in a variegated place that is so evasive for the rest of the world, if it wasn't for bloggers, the world would have never known what it means to sprinkle Aloo Bhujia over noodles and turn it into a feast and if it wasn't for bloggers, the world would have never known the fallacies of a new mobile phone or OS. So a big big quarry of gratitude for all those bloggers who alongwith me share this figuratively nuptial relationship with the cyberspace.

Pen-ultimately, here's thanking all those people whom I've ever met or seen, or bumped into a densely packed crowd or shared a smile with, because consciously or subconsciously, all that I ever wrote was derived from the reminisce of those very interactions and those very confrontations. You all may not have realized the validity of their importance but life makes things happen for a reason and maybe the reason in the aforementioned cases was the propensity of me to blog on all that I learnt from you and saw through you.

And last but not the least, a big big thank you to all those who had the time to go through these wayward, lackadaisical and not so properly structured accounts just on the premise of a feeling that maybe they hold some value. For all the seclusion my blog faced on the cyberspace, you all compensated by not only reading my posts and liking them, but also commenting on them. You need to know that a blog runs on a fuel, and that fuel is you. And thank you Blogadda for considering me worthy enough of conferring with the highest honor in the realm of blogging. Here's signing off with the promise that my blog will continue to bring to you the visages of this planet, as and when I witness them. Thank you, once again.

This would be My Winning Speech on being rewarded the BlogAdda Blog Award!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Dussehra: Shortened Effigies, Elongated Speeches !

Every thing changes with time, and so do our customs and traditions. W are not taking about literal transformations but about small evolutions which eventually culminate in noticeable changes. Dussehra, our annual festival marking the triumph of good over evil, could not escape this phenomenon. What we've seen in this regard is a combined effect of changing credos and preferences. Initially, setting of the 3 effigies on fire was considered just a consummation of the 10 day carnival. During those times, what was more important was the way in which the Ramleela was conducted and the Ravan Dehen was just celebrated as a final touch to the histrionic epic's replication. That was the time, when people were more amazed by seeing the multifarious ways in which the actors replayed the most defining moments of Ramayana on the stage because till then they had only read it in books or had heard it from others. That was the time when actors too considered it their utmost responsibility to literally get into their corresponding roles and then ardently portraying them. At that point of time, Ramleela was not just a mere means of entertainment and getting acquainted with the tenets of the story, it was also a means of congregating in you soiree and enjoying the nights of the Navratri festival to he fullest.

The first change came in when other modes of entertainment began to supersede the grandeur of the Ramleela and diminished its entertainment quotient in the modern context. Though Ramleelas kept on going and go on even today, the cult associated with them has lost its intensity. For people who once had a penchant for witnessing the Ramayana every year by means of the Ramleela, certain other modes like the movies and the TV shows appeared more resplendent. Moreover, these modern modes of depicting the Ramayana and other epics manumitted the people from the esoteric terms and verses which were so characteristic of the traditional role play. Also, people started having lesser and lesser control over how they spent their lives and the number of people who preferred to go nocturnally active for 9 days, substantially went down. This was a transition phase where Ravan's and other effigies assumed gargantuan proportions and the way in which they were finally lit, marked the success or failure of a, what they call, Ramleela Committee. People fought their way to witness this final spectacle because that's precisely what meant Dussehra for them. The awe of the viewers became directly proportional to the size of the effigies and the grandiose of the final ceremony. An entire atmosphere marked by enthusiasm and a volition to see the villains burning, was build by using slogans and small role plays to provide impetus to the pre-existent acrimony towards these evils. 

And then we have our times- times marked by the enormous avidity of seeing your icons setting effigies on fire(something that is no longer risky as laser beams are used as the source of heat). We have local politicians, directors of various associations and in the high profile areas, we have regional and national stars from various fields doing what is considered adept to be done only by them - blowing the trumpet of victory. Irrespective of what these people achieved, it's believed that only an achiever should actually perform the auspicious task of setting the effigies ablaze so that victory could be commemorated and celebrated. I don't know how many of the commoners would acquiesce with the underlying belief but at least that's what the organizers believe. So, as it turns out, these events are marked by variegated role plays imitating the final defining moments before lord Rama defeated Ravan. But more than that, it's the scintillating fireworks which are launched at regular intervals for about an hour, in some cases after a breathtaking dialog was delivered or after the chief guest had just arrived or said something. What amazes me the most is that even though most of what these supposed statesmen utter is ridiculously redundant and hackneyed, their adulators and sycophants leave no stone unturned to impress upon them and make them feel like real gods. Anyways, what suffers is the length of Ravan. Courtesy of the excessive funds and energies put into the entire ceremony, the associations are often left with lesser to spend on erecting the effigies. Moreover, the entire market always seems to be hit by inflation and hence even otherwise smaller effigies are available. To counter that, we often witness theme based ceremonies and pandals where a fourth effigy is erected which in some cases symbolizes a national evil like corruption or inflation or in some cases is put up there just to compensate for the shortening of other effigies, it seems.

 Whatever it may be, Dussehra still continues to titillate us, in new ways and in new dimensions and what's important is that it never loses it's essence,not even a bit. The triumph of good over evil still holds the paramount importance and hence the festival continues to enlighten us with the celebrated dictum every single year in the same savory and grand manner.Happy Dussehra people. May the goodness vested in our intents and actions continue to nullify the evil that resides within and outside. 

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Paranormal Activity 5: The Final Déjà Vu

As a blogger, one of the most chagrining of things is the absence of a stable Internet connection. Some vague idea strikes your conscience and the next moment, you’re looking for your blogger dashboard to allow you to turn that wry visage into a new post. You simply loathe those moments when you’re not allowed to do so. Anyways, here I am, once again, in a place and a time that are not the most conducive and favorable of parameters at this point in time for blogging, but I simply had to blog it out, so what if the post shall ostensibly see daylight at some later stage. I’m travelling in a train and I've witnessed a Déjà Vu by not getting access to the Internet for a prolonged period of time, especially in a place that was so trite and subdued that you desperately wanted it. This is not an exact replica of the situation described in A day without the Internet, but this one has some indelible reminiscent of it. So, while I witness this Déjà Vu, let me tell you the story of a man who witnessed a Déjà Vu in a train like me. His had to do with an entirely different set of considerations but he too witnessed it in a train, nonetheless. The biggest difference though is the fact that it was the last one he was going to witness in his life.

Here was this guy, whose story is somewhat unfathomable and yet so revealing. His name cannot be found in any books or records because he was another one of those multitudes of Indian guys born in indigent families with the minimal of resources. He was born in one such family which found it hard even to attain the desiderata. Just like the other majority of Indian youth born in such families, he thrived through the odds and became another part of that cohort which has shaped itself through constant struggle and a living marked by sheer niggardliness and parsimoniousness. From that juncture, people of his group choose different courses. Some take up petty jobs, some continue to be jaywalkers for the rest of their lives, and some, who have gathered erudition at being a cozen or a top notch thief, choose the easier yet risky way of getting their pecuniary needs met. This guy we’re talking about, chose the latter. He became an exorbitantly erudite thief. His skills of deception were impeccable and immaculate. He was also very good at cajoling prospective targets at falling in his trap and conniving prospective partners whom he often ditched after he was done. He used his skills almost everywhere - markets, cinema halls, public transport, but his magnum opus, shall we say, was his stint of burglaries in palatial luxury trains. This was where he found his biggest targets and this is where he worked at his optimum.

His strengths were his looks that never seemed specious and his veracious joviality that never seemed suspicious. His overall attitude never seemed murky and even though his persona emanated brawniness, he still appeared as a palpably nice gentleman. He had the clothes of a common Indian man of those times and he was quick to learn some of the most characteristic inveterate habits of these men as well. No one could have guessed that this man sitting right beside them is not another passenger but an extremely adroit thief who was either commuting without a ticket, or was travelling with an untraceable identity. He was an expert. He was quick to sight his prey. Normally he targeted a passenger who was travelling alone but appeared to be travelling with some hefty luggage. He usually targeted the first class to get the maximum out of his efforts. He also preferred families who appeared to be carrying some jewellery and cash with them. For someone who was an expert at their job and someone who knew the nerve of the common Indian, he could spot such prey easily. The anxiety and trepidation on the very faces of such people was what made it outright palpable to this meticulous burglar. He had a variegated set of burglaries to his kitty, having robbed people of watches, spangles, cash, expensive clothes and what not. And then that one day, here he was, on that train.

It was no different from the other trains that seemed so lucrative to him. It contained the same class of people, travelling in same numbers with the same prospective stuff. He once again found his target with ease. A group of 2 businessmen who were going to alight the train at the final stop. His talk never seemed gibberish; rather it exuded the confidence of a well aware man. That’s precisely what made people divulge essential details to him. Within an hour of sitting beside them, he found out what they did, where they did it and their purpose of visiting the place which the train was bound for. He immediately figured out that they would be carrying some cash and then silently waited for the people in that bogie to go to sleep. When it did happen, he punctiliously searched the accessible pockets of the bags of these businessmen and after finding nothing, he searched for money in their not so impressive carry bag. He found some cash in there. It wasn’t worth the effort he had put in. So he patiently waited for the men to change positions so that he could dip his fingers into their pockets. He had to wait for 20 minutes and he finally found a note bundle in the chest pocket of one man. It had enough currency to keep him going for a month, at least. He took all the available cash and after collecting his stuff, he moved towards the train’s nearest gate. His planning was so superb that he precisely knew when the train was going to slow down. Within minutes of him approaching near the gates, the train lost speed and he gained it as he jumped out of it. The mission was accomplished!

He never had any avidity of staying abreast with the latest news but here was a piece of news he simply couldn't have ignored. It sent shocks all across his body but he was quick to recover. He knew the repercussions which expression of his awe and intrigue could have had. He had a secret identity to maintain and he couldn't have let the fact that he too was present in that train, come out. In fact he always pretended never to have traveled in any train to simply stay out of circle of suspicion. But after stepping away and going to a secluded place, he contemplated what had happened. He simply couldn't help but feel restless. He soliloquized for the next few moments but then set off. For the next few days, there was no need to jeopardize anything.

The money lasted longer than he had anticipated. He did not have to go out hunting for 50 days. But now, the pockets were shrinking and the urge to get the next buck was building up. He got his tickets booked. This time, the destination was different, but the train was the same royal train, just plying to a different destination. He was there, waiting at the station, standing near people who apparently were going to sit in his bogie. It was imperative that he took less time to set his eyes on the prey so that things never look fishy. He was analyzing people and their demographics just when the announcer announced that the train is running late by 3 hours. This rarely happened for such trains but due to some stoppage at a construction site on intermediate section, it inadvertently got delayed. He thought about ways of spending time. He couldn't have done a lot with magazines and books whose letters wouldn't have even seemed legible to him. So he finally decided to sleep on a bench. The platform was sparsely crowded and hence no one would have bothered to displace him from there. He set an alarm on his wristwatch due to ring in 2 hours and 45 minutes, just in case, you know. The climate was good and it proved to be extremely soporific that day. He fell asleep in no time. 

The honking was not only cacophonous, it was nerve jabbing. The guy jumped from his seat when he heard it. He knew that the next train due on the platform was his. The train seemed to be picking up speed so he simply gathered his belongings and ran towards the nearest bogie. He was fortunate enough not to get hurt while displaying his celerity. But he just had to, he had no option. He obviously climbed on the wrong bogie and he knew how much distance he had to traverse to get to his. He looked out to see a few people on the platform yelling at him, including a railway constable. “Cretins!” he thought, and started moving towards his bogie.10 minutes and he was at the door of his bogie. When he opened the door, he felt something eccentric and peculiar.

He, for a moment, thought if he was back in time to a place where he once belonged. He had done a plethora of train robberies so it actually obviated any consideration, but this was somewhat different. The overall setup somehow seemed resembling to some setup in the past. He tried to recall but he couldn’t. He kept moving forward. Suddenly, he felt an unusual warmth. All the people he was striding across were smiling at him. He felt an anxiety building within him. He simply kept moving towards his seat. As he inched closer, he noticed that people from the seats he passed started to accumulate behind him, with their crochet smiles. Droplets of sweat tickled across his forehead, partly because of the effort he had put in of late and partly because of the situation he was in. He knew he was in some trouble but he had too many things running in his mind. That Déjà Vu seemed fallacious and truthful at the same time. He tried hard to recall where he had seen such people before but he failed. Then he gathered the courage to move towards his seat. At the same time, he had a grip on his knife to take care of some people who were now moving towards him. Grotesquely, the people didn't seem to attack him. They simply kept smiling and they also stopped when he stopped moving, as if waiting for him to make the next move. As he finally moved to his seat, before he could pull off the curtains, his wristwatch rung an alarm which he had literally forgotten about. Now he was in the train for 15 minutes and he had set an alarm for 15 minutes before train’s revised due time. That means he boarded a train that came 30 minutes before the train he was supposed to board! But how was that possible? In India, 3 hours late can become 4 hours late but never does the delay go down by 30 minutes. And there wasn't any other train due on that platform. He now recalled that those people yelling at him on the platform were doing so because he caught the wrong train. But what train it could be?

 As he stood there, thinking what to do next, the train’s lights started going on and off again, and the whole train started trembling. This was something he surely didn't expect but things were becoming somewhat clear now. He somehow knew what resided behind the curtains and yet he slid them to welcome it - his own fate. He also smiled back at the people near him and they smiled even more. He finally pulled off the curtains to see devastatingly distorted bodies of the same two gentlemen whom he had met just 52 days ago, and robbed 52 days ago, and then he looked back at all those people who were now standing behind him, all of them in their distorted crumbled avatars, marred by the odious train accident that claimed the life of every single one of them in the derail which saw just one survivor - the robber! The train, which he alighted after getting his job done, had derailed moments after he came out of it. Each and everybody present on the train died a gruesome death. The robber was lucky to leave the ill-fated train on time. This was the news which had shocked him early on. He now knew what was coming his way. As he moved ahead to witness his final moment, one of the businessmen uttered, “We missed you! We’re here to take you back”. The other one said with a smile, “Our fates were sealed my friend, you somehow escaped it. But fate finally finds a way”. The robber smiled at all of them. A small girl, who probably had the worst of blemishes over her face, offered her hand, and so did another guy from the other side. He smiled and joined hands with them as the train started careening even more wildly. He shut his eyes and kept his ears open to hear that rattle and that long overhaul which eventually tore apart all the bogies and claimed the final survivor.

The railways authorities as well as the police authorities were all surprised to find the severely damaged body of a man whom some people at a nearby station witnessed boarding an unknown inexplicable train, at the precise spot where that first train got derailed and the place which saw such a massive mishap. They also did some investigation to find out that he was the thief they had been looking for. They decided not to file any papers recording these events because they would have got a hard time explaining the case of the mysterious train which no one else claimed to have seen at the previous or next stations. A train that started between two stations and disappeared midway! They thought it would be better to leave it unexplained and they discreetly set the thief’s body to pyre, which smoldered away the final reminisce of that trail of events- something which only I and you know now. 

Date - 12-10-13
Place - In Transit, somewhere in MP
Time - 00:42 AM IST

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

5 associations Rahul Dravid has in the mind of a 90's boy !

Times pass by and what's left is a reminiscent of what existed or what happened in the yesteryear. As we move into tomorrows, leaving behind the yesterdays, we leave traces to help us gather our ramblings and step back into the past and relive it once again. These vivid visits to the past are ephemeral, but they are precisely what makes the past so glorious and enjoyable. As Rahul Dravid, the man who gave walls a figurative sense takes leave from all forms of the game, it's time we commemorate a career with a surfeit of resilience, punctiliousness, grandeur and pristine unhindered and unadulterated passion for the game.

90's were unique in a number of ways and for cricket, we saw quite some transformation. We saw Lara transcending the realms of barriers and scoring a gargantuan 375, we saw Kumble getting a 10 wicket haul in a test innings, we witnessed Saeed Anwar scoring a 194, we witnessed Tendulkar singlehandedy leading India to victories, we saw the upsurge of the South African team, we saw the befuddling and devastating West Indian bowling attack,we saw the inimitable opening partnerships of Tendulkar and Ganguly, and the most defining moment - Aamir Sohail intimidating Prasad in the 96' world cup and Prasad knocking him off on the very next ball. But above all, we saw cricket shifting gears and the ODIs becoming the deal of the day. I still remember that during the Sharjah Cups of the late 90's the streets looked desolated and electronics shops had a tough time keeping viewers at the windows at abeyance. Amidst this transformation, one man stood the ground to bring glory back to test cricket. It was our very own RD.

So, as I recollect those moments and organize this potpourri, I recall how a 90's boy got acquainted with the magical game. It was 95' when I first realized that an over can have a maximum of 6 balls. It was 96' when I figured out that bats are waived when individuals reach 50 and not when the team reaches the milestone. It was 97' when Ajay Jadeja scored 3 sixes of consecutive balls and I found out what a hat trick is. And it was 99' when I found out what it means to not be in the final 4 of the world cup. It took me long to fathom the intricacies and vicissitudes of the game but it took me no time to realize that Rahul Dravid is a guy who is there just to play cricket and do nothing else. His focus was conspicuous and his determination was prerogative. He simply came out to stick to the crease and obliterate the bowlers to the last bit of their perseverance. He was rock steady, like a bulwark for the team. And then he slowly assumed the title of the wall and the notoreity of being too slow a starter in ODIs. The pressure lead to momentous capriciousness but he eventually became equally adroit at One Day cricket as well. The 145 in the 99' world cup at Taunton is a testimony to that. So, let's celebrate the cult of Dravid, the Wall with 5 things of paramount relevance that I believe define Dravid for me. Memories shape characters in our minds and memories help us conjure their past later on.

The 200th Blinder

So, as if to consummate a career embellished with a multitude of catches that took enormous perspicacity to grab, RD took his 200th test catch at slip in a fashion that flummoxed everyone in the usual way. His celerity seems to be unaffected with age and he still has the reflexes of a fox. 

The historic 180 at the Eden Gardens

The 2001 Kolkata test which set the plot for India to come back in the 3 match test series and topple Australia, thereby deterring it's string of test series victories and putting it to a halt, was perhaps something that every Indian would cherish for a lifetime. When all hopes seemed lost, the humongous partnership between Laxman and Dravid pulled India from the jaws of defeat and led it to triumph. Though Laxman's performance and Bhajji's 33 wicket tally and hat trick gained immediate recognition, Dravid's contribution was viewed as ancillary, but no one noticed that he meticulously held the ground to steady the ship and take it ahead, thereby letting someone else to move the sails. Nevertheless, the innings was another typical Dravidian innings characterized by focus and determination. The usual way in which he poured sweat from his helmet, is another thing which emphasizes the fact that he was simply born to play long innings. 

The Jammy Ads

And just like Sachin's Sachin Aala Re and Jadeja's Ooo La La  ads got exorbitantly famous, RD did it the contemporary way, introducing the culinary delight of jams and the ingenuity of Paratha Pizzas to the youth and its helpless moms who tried their level best to get them the right nutrition. The Jammy campaign associated the term Jammy with RD and the association soon became perpetual.

The 145 at Taunton in 99' world cup

India was reeling under pressure after giving not so impressive performances and it needed one strong performance to get itself back on track. The duo of Dravid and Ganguly took it upon their shoulders to deliver a performance that would not only flabbergast their opponents but elate the Indian crowds in a manner that was hard to imagine. 373 is what we made when even crossing 300 was considered to be an achievement. And the final result, we beat SL by 157 runs. Can you believe that ? 

I wanted to end this post by including a video of an awesome catch RD grabbed in the Castle Lager series against SA in 1996. He was not at slip but at silly point. I'm putting in my efforts for getting that video from cricket archives. Let's see if I succeed. He pulled off a catch which stunned everybody on the field. I still remember it because every single time a day ended during that series, the video summarizing the series included a glimpse of the catch. It was wonderful and so was the man on the field. I don't know if we'll ever again get a man who had the aura of an impeccable test player, the exquisiteness of perfect wrist play and the brevity with which he played his hook shots. Here's wishing RD the best of the times a man is likely to have for all the awesomeness he endowed us cricket fans with.  

Friday, 4 October 2013

How ridiculously plaintive drives became exuberantly invigorating.

Busybees all across the world are arraigned by the urbane for doing everything in their cars that they are not supposed to do. Everyone eats in their cars, but busybees gormandize, everyone avoids a routine cleanup of the car, but busybees avoid it for perpetuity and last but not the least, everyone doesn't want to switch a car for very long, but busybees are so busy that they normally use the same car for their marriage as well as those of their pupils. They are not niggards or parsimonious, but they are so busy that driving is nothing else but a requisite task inculcated in their tenacious and hackneyed schedule. For someone whose commitments are so tarrying and binding, it makes sense to convert these few minutes of drive into an experience that removes some of their subdue and at least palliates them of some of their banalities.

I happened to find such a bunch of busybees in my own neighborhood. They are a family of 4 and all of them are engaged in tasks which demand so much from them that they have 3 cars, all of which exhibit the aforementioned traits. I've asked them for a lift twice or thrice and although I always reached my destinations on time, the drive felt somewhat enervating. The atmosphere in almost all of their cars seems so engorging and subdued that you feel like you are present in one of those plots from George Orwell's 1984. You're almost afraid of some random insect or something coming out of some random place in the car. More than making you afraid, it chagrins you and even exasperates you. But at the same time, I also felt for the poor souls whose lives are so engaging, that they can't even pay notice to what has ensued in the internals of their car after years of operation.

Aroma is so endearing that the redolence can plunge you in a surfeit of bliss whereas odor is so odious that it can plummet you in a surfeit of gloom, thereby extracting from you every single bit of enthusiasm that you once possessed. Hence my neighbors were not only present in a state of predicament already, their usual drives were exacerbating the problem further, thereby gradually converting them into a set of pacified bricks who lost every single bit of their bonhomie. Hence, I took upon myself the mission of palliating them from this ordeal and manumitting them from this atrocity.

Ambi Pur has long been known for its innovative fragrance dispersal mechanisms and scintillating aromas but this case needed a device which was not only purposeful, but was assertive enough to sweep people off their feet.Coincidentally, their recently released Mini Vent Clip exudes just the same. With its cherubic looks and propitiating set of fragrances, it emanates a palatial grandeur which is inimitable. It enthralls you, titillates your senses, emancipates you from all the distress and produces a long lasting mirth. For my neighbors who had the inveterate habit of not resorting to the services of Ambi Pur's fragrances, it was apposite to gift them one and change their drives forever. The egalitarian Ambi Pur guys sent me a sample which I could test on the most incorrigible of subjects and guess what, it's hard to recognize them now.

I gave them this New Zealand Springs sample which I received courtesy of the #FreshNHappy campaign and to my surprise, they deployed the device on their AC vent without any delay. They seemed a little apprehensive because gifting them an odor eliminator simply articulated what I felt about the uncouth and unkempt insides of their car, but I told them that I,as a blogger, had received an umpteen number of samples and my job is to collect opinions from all those whom I give a device to. The gullible lot stood no chance in front of a veteran cozen like me. They bought my story. I decided to meet them a week later and take a drive alongwith them to see if it was of any help. As always, I held my hand out asking for a lift to the nearest bus stop and for the first time, the gate opened for me with an indelible smile !

What befuddled me more, was the fact that their car no longer had that chagrining odor which was so repulsive and pungent that you felt like putting a mask on. Instead, the car seemed like an Elysium where one is likely to indulge in reveries. The fragrance soaked the car in the aroma of New Zealand's flora and produced the effect of us driving in a convertible on an NZ highway. Boy, did the thing work ! Another flummoxing thing was that I had never witnessed the head of that family listening to any songs and on this day, I found that their car has an audio system! It was an old one but was still working. It all seemed so incongruous at first but then I realized that their vehicle had seen quite a transformation. The audio system perhaps became more conspicuous now. The lead guy was not only smiling while listening to songs on the radio, he actually appeared palpably elated while driving his car. Perhaps these were the first times after his marriage and him taking up this job that he was experiencing the same, but his happiness implies the fact that 1 week with the Ambi Pur Mini Vent Clip had changed their drives from a liability to an experience that is lingering. Now their drives shall be more pleasing than tarrying and will energize them for the day instead of sucking energies out of them.Mission Accomplished, I guess.So, when are you going to try this with your neighbor or yourself, in case you yourself happen to be a busybee ?  

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Frugal on Gadgetry!

Long before the present times, India was a land comprising of Luddites and jabbers who found nothing to gape on technology but were happy to live in their own closets with their own reveries. And to careen this aplomb and bring about a change to the way people perceive technology and its wonderful manifestations, came the television. Irrespective of the paucity of television programs, people bought TVs just because they saw one in their neighbor's living room and although there wasn't much to savor apart from Krishi Darshan to whom not a lot of urbane crowds could have related to, they still relished the amazement of watching a remote field come alive. The world has seen a plethora of technological revolutions in the past 50 or so years and palpably Indians have largely being receptive of them. There lies a section of nobles who can acquire any gadget at the snap of their fingers, courtesy of the opulence which was either endowed to them or because they were worthy enough to garner it. Then there lies a section which can still manage to buy a gadget by making the requisite arrangements via connivance or deception but is a little too apprehensive to indulge in these heinous and odious acts to acquire the capital. And finally, we have a category which is still content with what it has and would be the least likely of candidates to go for a gadget and then smolder every single time it falls or gets a scratch. I'm concerned about the second category to which I myself belong.

I have never tried to be a poseur of resurgence or never tried to be a renegade but as it turns out, I always find myself in a category which not a lot of people would even consider to exist. Whatever it may be, I consider it my utmost responsibility to unveil the mysterious presence of this sect and promulgate it to the rest of the world. So we as a community of a modicum of people, aren't really the kind of gadget critics you find on other weblogs and television channels and internet communities, but we still have something smothering us and keeping us from truly accepting these gadgets. We simply do not allow ourselves to be as pliable as others when it comes to allowing the cherubic devices with demoniac price tags to dominate our thought process. We seem a little plaintive with our outdated gadgets and are even considered supercilious and outcasts, but in reality, we are vehemently scrutinizing the veracity of these devices, their applicability in our case and their price tags before giving them a nod. So we are often lost in a stage where we are giving due consideration to going for a gadget but are at the same point of time making sure that the device is not one which makes you cast aspersions on the device company for the rest of your lives. The bottom line is, we consume a little too much time in this thought process and you know what happens by the time we've subsided the vacillation and have zeroed in on say, buying a gadget. It's already outdated.

So, as it turns out, we are not able to parry the trade off between our craving for meticulous cost benefit analysis and the rapidly evolving technologies. Now given the fact that some of the gadgets have become a desiderata of our lives, we just have to get a version of theirs no matter how specious it seems. We acquire a version which does not have the appeal of the high end products which we were giving a thought to buy but the version is viable enough to suffice for the originally intended purpose. What is palpable, of course, is that we are a little too parsimonious and niggardly in the way we look at gadgets. This is where the stereotypical superciliousness gets associated with us. We further exacerbate the situation by tarrying on to these devices because we simply get a little too associated with them. Moreover, these devices serve our primordial purpose as long as we haven't really made up our minds. What ensues is a vicious cycle where we are stuck between deciding upon devices, buying a device that pays off for the time being, and then consider buying the device from the next suite of gadgets, and we eventually end up buying another ad hoc device to keep us going. This phenomenon which resides because of some lobe in the brain which has an avidity for quibbling can be aptly termed as hyberpecugadgetrybudgetryovershooteryphobia and suitable references to the same could be found on the roads where there is only one person whose gadget looks different from the rest who are walking along with him. Eventually these guys end up in the first or the third segment and their existence in their original segment is largely dependent on their experiences during being in that phase. Some guys make enough money to buy a new house or a Mini Cooper whereas others get enough to spend on 2 more girl friends. However, some others do not have that memorable experiences because they are literally scowled and gloated upon by others for not adhering to what are considered as sacrosanct social norms. The segments maintain their percentages and even though perpetrators of massive ad agencies who are hired to market these high end products try to ripe off our segment via a massive advertising genocide, they fail to consider the fact that the world will always have its dose of rebellions and rebels go down but never go down without a good fight. There's no fate but what we make!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

What else to ask for ?

So on this pristine morning when I once again woke up out of a lovely dream wherein I was dating with a cherubic aphrodisiac, I was once again perplexed by the vagaries of human emotion and volition. Ever imagined how much a man dreams to achieve,accomplish and acquire ? Ever wondered what sins he is ready to commit to simply garner what he assumes to be his desiderata ? Ever thought over how many times he enacts as a poseur and pretentious player to make it appear that he has got all what he wanted to get ? Man is a very strange being, always engulfed by tangles created by no one but himself, always bothered by considerations beyond his control and always worried about a future that he is not even capable of envisaging. No matter what, his pedantic knowledge,his consummate virtue, his exorbitant intellectual prowess or his ruffian attitude when he doesn't make it, all of them reflect a web of a surfeit of virtual entities which weaves for himself. A man is a social animal so he is bound to quibble or bound to be worried but worrying on the most paltry of restraints is what makes a man plaintive, preposterous and perjury.

A man always has some options to resort to in order to get out of this vicious cycle. He can choose to smolder for the rest of his life trying to assert control over factors which even in his dreams shall remain evasive. Or he can choose to take the other way and transcend beyond the mere realms and bounds of mainstream living. Or he can also choose to live a life where he is not chasing a tangible proposition but a vicarious aim. Irrespective of what way a man chooses to live, he either lives long enough to see his erstwhile whimsical dreams become a flummoxing reality or he lives long enough to digest aspersions from a slew of critics.What ensues post the completion of a man's struggle may be different but what comprises his battle has a very inherent element which is responsible for him tarrying and lingering for it. It's what he conjures to possess if he triumphs. It's what he believes to be the very purpose of his existence. It's is what he assumes to belie all the malefactors of his life and all the deterrents of his path. It's nothing else but what he wants to have in his kitty by doing all that he is doing.

So, I thought that courtesy of me being a callow with a modicum of uniformity on my blog, why not employ the venturesome element on doing something inquisitive. So ladies and gentlemen, here's presenting a list of things a man wants to have before he witnesses his reminisce turning into ashes on a pyre. The list is by no means comprehensive - had to include this as it's considered a quintessential element of healthy writing ! So as I was saying, the list is only suggestive and additions and appropriate alterations to the content present herein shall be entertained if one has a surfeit of evidence or reasoning backing the veracity of their argument. Also, the list is always going to differ from person to person. For me, nothing matters more than the dream of being a gourmand whose culinary expenses are paid by the other gal on the table. But that may not be the pinnacle dream for a lot of people out there.Hence, within these notions and considerations, here's presenting the initial part of the list which may culminate into a complete version if I'm able to maintain this rare impetus.

1. Being a sinecure  

So, who doesn't want this? A job where you get to do nothing but just give orders irrespective of what could be the ramifications of orders being given by a cretin. A job where your monetary aspects are of more importance to your employer than to you. Why ? Because you're considered what they call "indomitable". You are not replaceable. Your division or business will fall into pieces in your absence. Your prowess and adroitness are unquestionable and any meddlesome element in your workplace shall be eliminated at the snap of your fingers. You are consecrated and sanctified not only because of what you have achieved(no one even bothers to check it as everyone believes in history), but because you have this enormous proclivity of making people believe that you are the answer to their problems. You are not doing anything or executing anything but you carry the aura and persona of a man whose very presence is considered to be a benediction. No amount of grandiloquence is enough to appraise you. People work just because they have you with them and they meet the targets quarter after quarter. You aren't really doing anything but without you the entire thing will be in tatters. What you get in return of this irrevocable aplomb in your organization is a paycheck that has more zeroes than you can keep hold of. You're paid for your eloquence, your yesteryear's achievements which no one bothers to verify, and for the very endowment of being with the organization. You're paid, revered, coveted, talked about with the highest degree of respect and all this for doing nothing literally. Yeah Baby !

2. Termination of meddlesome entities

And before you can even plan of executing something comprehensive, there is this guy who comes in from somewhere. He not only intervenes and obliterates your plans of indulging in a reverie of thoughts that would lead to something transformational, he also makes sure you plan his extermination after he has left the scene. Such a shame that your involvement in contract killings attracts such a gargantuan penalty in India. You've no option but to elope away or to witness these lunatics even scavenging the leftover thoughts you may have. And above all, they believe their contribution was egalitarian. They consider themselves to be the ombudsman of a society that has paucity of intellect.And eventually, all your futile anathemas go in vain. Well, how badly I wish there was a secret brotherhood working for the constant demolition of this mighty community of imbeciles. 

2 down, maybe more 8 or 10 to go. As I plunge into this drive of eliciting the dream prospects of every man's life, I look deeper and deeper into the tribulations and ordeals of many a man's life. We are living in a world that is ruled by demagogues, run by banters, and monitored by surreptitious people with undulating ulterior motives. Life is not as simple as it may seem but I as a man am here to palliate your predicament a little bit. For who will help you, if not someone from your own fraternity. There is no fate but what we make !

Monday, 2 September 2013

Your next mission should you choose to accept it...

Mr X lives the banal life of your next door neighbor and your next cubicle executive. A usual plaintive expression with a dolorous morning greeting symbolizes a cult of pretension and parsimony around him. He appears to be staunch but placid. He seems to be a little too bothered about his success and one who never, not even once, tends to overlook his professional commitments to cater to a personal volition. Perfect compliance with company policy in terms of dress code and etiquette. A faithful chaperon to upper executives, a blue eyed boy to the conventional corporate chauvinists and a nugget to his contemporary counterparts. He always seems to be more of a machine. Set schedules, set amounts, no distinctiveness. Can a man's life be so vapid, so succinct and so certain.

As the dusk sets in on Saturday, Mr X drives his boisterous sedan back to his home, the sedan looks pretty incongruous on him. Or apparently even a second hand hatchback would have sufficed. Nevertheless, set schedules followed on the drive as well. Desperate traffic policemen could have issued anathemas to this man for being such a conformist of traffic rules when every other regular passerby at the stretch had at least 2 challans conferred to them. But not to be with X. X was impeccably careful about what he did. By a predetermined time, he was back at home. The sedan in the garage, the man inside, shower goes on and goes off/ A few moments later, kitchen lights go on and then the whole house blacks out.

A silhouette appears of a man holding some stuff. The man disappears towards the ventral side. A garage door churns open. But wasn't the garage door supposed to be in the front from where the sedan went in ? A light goes on, goes off, then a very strong light goes on and begins to drift sideways, into the driveway and now appearing to be coming towards the front. And before you could contemplate, its two of them. Two gargantuan beams shredding past the cornea and the beast zips past, wafting all the leaves and grasses in an undulatory rhythm.

The man who gave a modicum of smirk on a 10 lac increment in annual salary now smiled like a beast. Not your usual man anymore. Hair's all disheveled, clothing elegance has all gone for a toss, and the speed of the vehicle has now the least respect for the signboards. As Mr X drifts past the sturdy machine across the final milestone before a bifurcation, he slows down and takes the road which was rendered desolate years ago, courtesy of rumors of it being too weak a structure to travel on, when you're travelling right on the edge of a steep and high hill. Without any second thoughts, Mr X takes it.

The grin now turns into a complete smile. No providence in what's being done, no trace of any sanity in decision making. Driving at 110 Kmph on what the locals call the "Parallel Junk", not even once does X get any fears on the idea of traveling not on a road, but on bits and pieces of gravel held by the tipsy topsy hill surface. The adrenaline has started coming in installments. With the destination just a few moments away, X can't stop retrospecting the surfeit of elation he experienced when he completed this journey the last time. The same risk of toppling down every time, the same joy of succeeding yet again. And indeed, yet again Mr X and his prudent companion, his mechanical wonder. complete the journey as they stride into a narrow nascent pathway. The disconsolate guy is now brimming with energy. With amazing celerity, the vehicle moves into the narrow pathway. It's 11 in the night and it's so dark that this pathways can be termed as a black hole in its own right

As Mr X drives past the pathway again, he witnesses the same impediments to what one should assume to be a journey. An ordeal it's gonna be. Rocks, crests, spikes, dwells, leavened gravel, boggy clay, and a slwe of other hindrances to swallow you and your vehicle. But X, being the most venturesome of guys, just has to take the risk yet again. As the accelerator is floored and the machine beams forward, the rocks seem to ineffective, the boggy clay subsides, the gravel retreats, the spikes get demolished and as X leaves the stretch, it looks like a different place altogether.

And now comes the final road before X reaches what he's been looking to reach for the last 200 minutes of his drive. What would have been an fanatical and largely conjured odyssey for the layman, was a routine that X followed biweekly. Yes, this was more than just a journey for X. It's a desideratum. It's the fuel X seeks to invigorate his body and revitalize himself. Who would have believed that the office robot was in reality a maniac. But X knew the rules of the game. He knew the sedan would have been a reminiscent containing a few bits of metal and glass by now had he brought it to this part of the world. That's why he brought the most erudite and pristine thing he ever possessed. The most immaculate vehicle you're ever likely to possess.

As X ventures into the final road before the destination, he holds himself tight for now the two will take a plunge into a 40 degree vertical steep. The bossy vehicle gains speed and rolls down. But it was not a hassle. The movement seemed more like a hymn, or a verse maybe. And so did X feel as he was present inside this beastly machine. Amidst the bumps on the steep were some seriously large stones which X parried off with the whip of a movement on the ultra responsive steering. And reeling through, X and his partner finally reached the base of the cliff with their final attainment just a few miles away. What seemed like giving an adieu to yourself and your vehicle of course, seemed to be no more trepidation inducing than say, mery go round.

As X reaches there, he steps out of his tenacious machine - one whose appearance suggested that it was driving on a luscious grand prix track for the last few hours. Except for the few stains of mud, there was no blemish on the expedition machine. X brought out a large camping baggage from the boot of his vehicle and set it up. When he was ensured that the tent is properly set up, he went inside the vehicle, reclined the seat and slept under the tent. Actually the tent simply covered the vehicle, given the vehicle too merited that importance.

It's 6 in the morning and X didn't realize his somnambulatory faculties till the time he finds a splash of ater waking him up while he stands beside a water body. Soon he regains control and as he looks across the horizon, yet again he witnesses the spectacle he cherishes more than anything else. In front of X was the most resplendent thing you're ever likely to witness. A large mammoth of a mountain is covered with verdant pastures and graceful brown patches stands next to a massive stretch of river flowing at an exorbitant pace and the search for the river's immediate source culminates in a huge towering waterfall that looks like a colossus of a water source. The three of the most rewarding scenes synergized into the most exuberant of things to see, feel and sense. It was above imagination, it was nature's ,magic.

And just when you thought X's foraying into enigmatic avenues has ended, he walks back to the boot space and talks out three bulky bags and kits. Opens one of them. It includes a huge rope and clamps and pivots and what not. He keeps aside the other bags and fixes the ropes steadily on the hook of his vehicle. He gears himself in athletic outfits with the best in class equipment including everything from grip shoes to gloves to a costume that more or less resembles that of a cyclist. And when the stage is set, The heavy duty vehicle is driven to a suitable place and X starts rappling down the waterfall. As he ushers past the ferocious and voracious waters, he looks as if he's living a life for the sake of doing just the same thing. Then he followed this with a mountain climbing exercise wherein he yet again used his vehicle to hold the ropes. HE had a fair share of bruises and cuts and all kinds of orifices but he finally managed to nudge back. And now was the turn for plunging into the waters. The depth was less but the  flow was too high. Finally X decided that the river simply has to be crossed. But even with all the equipment he had, it was too imbecile a thing to even think of. But the river just had toe be crossed. And just then, the mighty machine came to the rescue again. This time, the time for ropes was over. X entered the vehicle and drove it across the river.

Throughout the day, Sunday it was, X didn't consume even a bit of anything apart from the natural ingredients that made their way to his stomach as he braced himself against the mighty adventures of the nature. X drove back his faithful companion back to the garage, ardently wiped out all traces of dust and dirt and as he walked past it towards the garage door, he moved to the front to touch the symbol of perfection - The T that not only stood for trust, but for providing tranquil in torrid tempestial times. It literally titillated him. And as he walked back, he looked at the quintessential and celebrated rear of the vehicle articulating the message - Tata Safari. As X walked back to office again on Monday, he yet again resumed his common roles and responsibilities. The same appreciations, the same grapevines, the same circumlocution, the same formal mannerism. But no one, simply no one except f or X himself knew what was going inside his hefty head. No one knew that behind the bulwarks of this office what he was actually looking for something else. And no one but X and his Tata Safari knew that he was waiting for the next Saturday to arrive soon. Mr X is no one but me, Mr X is no one but you. Redeem your life, now!