Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Frederika Menezes - Unforgotten!

It was an amazing ride.

For a book less than a hundred pages long, a novella, it took me quite a few months to read, despite the fact that I usually go through 1000 page novels in weeks.

Because the first few pages took me to a cloud of crazy fantastical writing, where each word was beautifully crafted and well adjusted to the other, so well adjusted in fact, that I have never seen such writing before.

Your immediate thought in the beginning is that the writing is an allegory, related to the author's life in some way.

Then you slowly realise that she is not actually talking about herself, she is actually writing in the voice of a man, and not even a Goan, a Britisher called Ian. I mean, yes he is a writer, but that is where the similarity ends.

The references to Goa are so fleeting, that you could miss it, but there are great insights, which are worth pondering on, like the multilingual nature of Goa and where the hospitality exists and where it is going.

Straight-away I could identify with the protagonist, although it was after the first few pages.

From floating in a cloud, the next few pages bringing you to ground so hard, that you find yourself landing running, like when you jump from a moving local train in Mumbai, which seems to have no intention of stopping.

The pace then gets so frenetic, that you realise that you don't want to do anything, but finish the book to the end, if only to know if Ian actually finds Clarisse or not.

Of course she seems like a ghost, like an unbelievable dream come true, with all the necessary baggage that entails.

The book suddenly gets so mature from being so whimsical, that you start questioning what's real and what isn't.

The concept of going after your first love is so enthralling, that it makes you wonder if it is possible for you too.

Maybe it is.

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Jaguar's #Goodtobebad commercial - The Perfect Commercial and Concept

I truly loved Jaguar's "Brits make the best villians" commercials.

  1. It plays on the fact that the British, have actually been one of the biggest villains on Earth, using strategies such as Divide and Rule. Even today, a typical British tourist will appear really nice, but the truth is that they will be causing all kind of trouble, which will inevitably lead to them getting their way and you losing out.
  2. The irony that Jaguar today is an Indian company, owned by Tata Motors, makes the whole "Brits make the best villians" concept even more funny. Imagine that a country which was ruled by the British as a colony, buys off a British company and then makes commercials saying "Brits make the best villians". It just looks to me like making an Englishman eat his own hat.
  3.  The size of the videos, ranging from 22 seconds in actual content to 2 minutes, are actually perfect for India, since even with a really bad rural landline connection, you can still be able to view the video in a few seconds.
  4. The irony that Ben Kingsley, who is known to Indian only as the man who play Gandhi, is considered as the best villian, is another priceless hint, too good to pass up.
  5. The car itself, is truly villainous, hence here we have the perfect message for the perfect car. 
Update 27th October 5.30 a.m. : I just saw the commercial on the TV, and it looks glorious. Much to be said about review on small screen and view on big screen.

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Sore eyes- Conjuctivitis: It's treated worse than AIDS or Ebola

Sore eyes or Conjunctivitis, is the most misunderstood disease, even among doctors.

First the cause, people believe it comes by looking into the eyes of someone with conjuctivitis.
Wrong! That almost sounds like death rays coming out of someone's eyes to zap you.

I lived with my whole family having the disease for nearly two weeks and never got the disease despite that.
The reason I got it, was because I used the blanket used by my cousin. So you can get conjuctivitis through secretions.

The reason I didn't get it for so long, was because I was using different towels and bathrooms from them.

Now the cure: Suggested cures varies from rose water, to coriander water, to antibiotic drops to Urine (I kid you not!)

Actual cure is to keep washing your eyes with cold water and wash your hands everytime you touch your eyes.

Why do people who have sore eyes, wear Sunglasses!
1. Because it prevents them from touching their own eyes and passing the infection on.
2. It prevents secretions directly impacting those around the infect person.

Yesterday, after getting a clean chit from the doctor, I started roaming around the whole day with sunglasses, at night too.

What I realised is that people have an unwarranted fear, a form of racism if you please, that means that people will not sit next to you. Another thing is that people will stay away from you at a distance of 5 feet.

This just shows, how badly an unwarranted fear can spread, even faster than an actual disease could.

Unbelievable? Believe it.

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Harassment by Security Code: Linkedin, Gmail and Microsoft

Did you notice that lately your normal email provider or social network (not necessarily the same), are now blocking your access on mobile phone browsers, by saying that "You seem to be accessing your phone from a suspicious location".

Then, they say that they have sent you a code to an alternative email address and if you use a normal phone like a Nokia Asha 200, like me, it means you have to close the browser window, then open the email window to copy the code.

Then when you go back to the browser window, the window has expired and they then give you another code for you to enter, which is again mailed to your alternative email address.

Then, I get another message on my email application, saying that my native email application will be discontinued by 21st November.

What the fuck!

Why are they doing this?

Because all these providers, want to force users to use the internet on a desktop and use applications when you are on a mobile phone.

The loophole is:

For phones like the Nokia Asha 200, that doesn't have a Linkedin Application, a Whatsapp Application (Yes, you heard me right!) and no Outlook application, there is no option.

So Fuck you Linkedin, Whatsapp and Outlook.

And love you Facebook(Yes, you heard that right too!).

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Tripadvisor has its' days numbered!

Why do I hate Tripadvisor so much?

Exactly... because these days, all that you see on Tripadvisor, is Hate.
I mean, most people who take trips, travel to places like Goa, where Internet is not even easily available. So even the place where you stayed at, might not even have a decent internet connection (especially not in the monsoons) to even respond to your rant on Tripadvisor.

What does this mean?

This means that most of the complaints, come from developed countries and cities where the internet connection allows them to monopolise the internet and hence Tripadvisor, thereby creating a huge hate bank to vent whenever a case seizes their attention.

What is the impact?

Well, it just means that about 20% of your visitors, choose to rant and rave and appear to speak for the remaning 80% of the population, who don't even have a voice.

So, rather than look at a place and it's value from a local point of view, we are subject to a foreign view of a land we live in.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Why the PC internet craze never picks up in the village.

Because people don't have the time to sit in one place.

In the village, there is a routine set up for the entire day, which may involve as many as five different locations.
People here, are used to first reading the newspaper, or maybe even five newspapers, when they start their day.
But this won't necessarily include the internet, atleast not for 85% of the population.

Then they are on the move the whole day, on the mobile if you will.

Most messages I see on mail, are typically from a mobile device like the iPad.

That's why website related services, will never actually work outside the city.

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Friday, July 04, 2014

The Pwefect Phabbit

With the Pwefect Phabbit, it's all about looks. As the Russians say "You are judged first by how you look, appear , then by what you know."
Therefore, the first Rabbit, is all about first impressions, about how you entice the reader, the viewer, the watcher, the voyeur.
For it is with the eyes, that we first start sensing things around us. Hence the first rabbit, is very focussed on how he is perceived, whether on the streets or on the internet.
Because if you don't watch out for your reputation, there are always those, who seek to create and therefore cement their version of your reputation.
Imagine if the Pwefect Phabbit, went for a job. His future employer, will first check with people around him, the references provided, then he will search for news around the Pwefect Phabbit online.
Now the Pwefect Phabbit, has been smart. He has been constantly writing blogs, putting his best pictures and making the right connections on professional networks.
Oh, the employer is so happy, he hires the Pwefect Phabbit the next day.

How did he do it?
What makes the Pwefect Phabbit so perfect?

The first thing, is that the Pwefect Phabbit first listened and watched. He read blogs by various people online, watched their photographs, viewed their videos and slowly started engaging with them to understand them better.
The more he engaged with others, the more he was clear on who he wanted to be.

He then nibbled at this. He first put up a picture of a bird he liked, which he had taken with his camera phone.. Then he took a picture of his water glass with a tubelight behind it and posted it.
Nothing great, but atleast it was all original.
As he spoke with more people online he was more sure about who he liked and didn't like.
Similarly, he was more clear about which parts about him, he liked more. So what did he do?
Well he focussed more on the parts he liked. He started building a profile about himself, talking about what he liked, what he didn't like, what he thought about the world at large.
He also focussed on the world in small.
So what happened?
Well, as more people started talking to him, and his profile had more about him, there were even more people who wanted to talk to him.
So the Pwefect Phabbit, started putting more in his profile, slowly working it, to try to get more hits on his profile.
He realised that the more he talked about the things he liked, the more likely he was to find others who liked the same things.
And the more he found people who liked the things he liked, the more interested he was in finding more about them.
Some had done a lot more with themselves, while others had done a little less. But everything was different, because people were different.

So the more Pwetty the Phabbit looked, the more people came to look at him.
And the more he looked at others, the more he found things he could improve in himself. To figure it out better, he started looking for real role models, people with high levels of popularity
who he could relate with. Obviously, the more popular the role model, the more likely that the role model would be very well connected and aware of different skills of communication.
So the Pwetty Phabbit just kept up conversations with his role models and tried to understand them better.
The more he understood them, the more he understood himself.

So he started step by step. First pictures of his eyes, then his nose, which really got a lot of reviews from the crowd and then onwards to the full picture, with options.
First one fluffy ear, then his long point teeth.
When he reached his little bobby tail, then he felt comfortable.

Of course, when he looked pwetty enough, he looked for other pwetty rabbits to converse with.

Spy Rabbit

The spy rabbit, was the ultimate journalist. He wanted to know everythign there was to know about every body. Of course, that also meant, that everyone was also very interested in knowing what he knew.
So he started building a little fortress, where his little burrow was made more and more secure. The first thing he realised, was that he didn't want everyone to know where he was.
So he first changed his name.
He created a pseudo name, a pseudonym. The beauty of this pseudonym was that no one else had the name, so he could keep using the same pseudonym whereever he went.
He didn't have to worry about remembering a different pseudonym everytime he went to a new club, or college. Every pplace used the same name, so he didn't have to
keep a separate book with all the pseudonyms, which someone else could steal.
Once he figured out the pseudonym he wanted to use, the next step was the password. he realised that initials with a number was a secure form, but that he had to keep changing it, because different places
required a different form of password. So then he tried to create a universal password, which would work with most clubs and communities.
The next thing he realised, was that he couldn't waste all the effort he made in making the pseudonym and the password, by having others find it.

So he made sure that no one would be allowed to remember his password, even those who promise to take good care of him and keep him safe. For he knew that all the club wanted
was to take him in, but never to let him go.
So he made sure that all his visits were brief and never were he to let his guard down.
For those around him, were eager to know more about him, to steal it if they had to. For the only way they were able to keep a control of him was to keep a control on all he knew.

Once he was sure, he then double checked. He realised there are traps being laid everywhere for him to sacrifice his privacy.

First thing, was the credit card, he realised that it was so easy for someone to just take his number and use ot to book their own purchase using his money.

So before he chose what he wanted to do, he had to choose who he wanted to do it with.

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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Why adults don't wear the Smart Watch

For the longest time, people thought that watches would go out of style, because everyone could tell the time using their mobile phone.
Well, they didn't and people still use their watch to tell time, and pay their watch repairman obscene amounts of money to ensure that it continues to do so.

But anyway, the truth is that smart watches were never really built for adults, the same way in which iPads were never really built for the hacker.


Smart watches have been around for years, and they were doing a lot of nifty things which phones have just started doing:
  1. They were the first digital diaries, being able to store 40-50 numbers at a time.
  2. They were the first calculators, and also the devices with the first dedicated numerical keypads.
  3. They were the first remote controls.
  4. They were the first learning remote controls.
  5. They were the first thermometers.
  6. They were the first devices to sync up with the computer.
And who was using them?
Kids, teenagers.

So what do you know, who'll be using them again?
Kids, teenagers.
And who'll be paying for them?
Their parents.
Using online systems and dashboards :P

National Treasure - Goan Genealogy

Treasure is something from the past, which is valuable for two reasons; one because it is old and secondly because it has inherent value.
So, if our ancestors did something in the past which is valuable, then it is our duty to value it, by creating a story for others to value it by.
And, if it is valuable to the history of our country, then it is National Treasure.
So this genealogy, is it an art or a science, or both?
And what about genetics and this genetic profiling.
Genealogy, like History, to me, is an art, because it is a story on life past, where the description, is wholly dependent on who the story teller is. Hence, the perspective on how history, or our story, is told, is important.

It is, in a sense, like time travelling.
For as the child is the father of the man, so, to a large extent, who your ancestors were, defines who you are.
And, by that extension, a large part of who your predecessors become, is defined by how you have lived.
Imagine living through the world wards, through your ancestors, especially when they lived in the same house as you live today.

And then think of future generations taking forward the story which you write.

So, Genealogy is the art, where you write a story on what was and what will be.

Genetic profiling is the science, whcih defines what medical history you have through the generations and what sickness you prepare against, keeping life more fun, just by being prepared.

Genealogy by name : Where you identify people by the family name.
Genealogy by profession: Where families are identified by the work they do.
Genealogy by food: Where people are identified by the food they like and the food they liked to cook.

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Friday, June 06, 2014

Social Media Etiquette

There is only one bible with regards to social media, the Cluetrain Manifesto!
Nothing else will do.

Why do we need social media etiquette?
Because we think that just because we are on the information superhighway, we can build relationships at the speed of thought.
The truth, is that the internet and social media, is all about conversations, not about relationships.

Most social media interactions, are more with the platform than with each other, like how you first end up talking more with your mobile service's call centre before you talk with your friends/colleagues.
So it's more like talking with a bot, where being online, we think that this is some kind of software we can hack, that we easily turn every woman we meet online, into our girlfriend.

The most important lesson in conversations, is to first listen.
Understand where the person of interest comes from, what is it that they like and what is it that they are online for.
Once you think you understand what the person is about, then start conversing about a topic which you both share in common. Approach it step by step and voila, you are in conversation.
The more conversations you are able to have with different people from various walks of life, the more adept you will become at social media.

First read, then write.

In any conversation, as my grand daddy taught me, stay away from discussion are:
  • Sex
  • Religion
  • Politics
  • Money
  • Spouse
  • Race
  • Work

This will ensure that you start on a very neutral base, because since you're not chatting with someone facetoface, it's very hard to understand when you've hurt someone. The intention with social media therefore, is to maintain the conversation, not to break it.
People have had just way too much negativity in their lives, don't add to it with your own.

Direct the conversation to the other person, that way when your turn to speak comes, it'll be more as an invitation.
Social media is not a competition, don't try to fight over someone with someone else, there are just too many fish in the sea for you to worry.

Don't use greetings like "Good morning, Good evening or Good afternoon" unless you're absolutely sure about the time zone in which your conversational partner resides?

Tailor the conversation to the listener, don't blather on about computers to someone who hardly uses a phone. Similarly you wouldn't want to talk about bikes, to someone who prefers bus-rides, cars and trains to

Don't take yourself seriously, look at your past as a joke, if you do, you'll find lots of stories there to use to enthrall your listeners.

A good story, is one which actually transports the reader/listener into a whole new world, one filled with fantasy and intrigue.

Create  unique content, which will show more about you to the right people more as a creator than just a sharer.

Focus on your hobbies, it might become your breadwinner tomorrow.

Playing dumb is always a better option than playing smart. Playing smart would just leave you lonely.

Enjoy each conversation to the full, you'll never know when the conversation will end.

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