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Yeah, quite like a million others on the globe, my phone malfunctioned. The right function key and the volume up keys not working frustrated me to the extent of seeking ‘professional’ help. So, I searched for NOKIA Care centers and found the closest one in Defence Colony, Delhi. Went in with high hopes of getting my pricey E71 back in pristine condition – what was I thinking? When the guard at the door flashed the million dollar smile, I should have guessed that something was gonna go wrong; but I smiled back little knowing that he was actually smiling AT me 10 mins into the future.

After filling a form, I sat in front of a girl who ‘informed’ me that the phone was out of warranty. I said whatever and she charged me Rs 110 as ‘Inspection charge’. Told her the problem which she communicated to the shady tech guy sitting behind her. That man took the phone in his hand, played with it for exactly 5 seconds, touched the keypad twice, and returned the phone into my hands with an estimate of Rs (wait for it) 2,850! Just two keys blown, and he doesn’t even open the cover to know why, and gives me an estimate equaling his month’s salary. I smile View full article »

cant tell u how much i miss hearin ur voice
cant tell u how muchi miss hearin u breathe on d phone
cant tell u how much i miss listenin to u talk endlessly tryin to make sense of your wonderful little world
cant get enough of u telling me how much u love me
just cant have enough of falling in love with you
when you ask me if this is love, i ask you, can it be anything else?

So, here I was logging into Orkut (an initially promising social networking site popular in countries like India and Brazil; now as useless as Prez Obama) after a long time (months and months later… my last status update being in January!)

This message pops up on my home screen asking me if I would participate in a survey to make Orkut better! I almost had a tear in my eye realizing that my long asked wish (of giving Orkut people a piece of my mind) had come true!

Here’s what I wrote and I think most of you reading this would agree:

“Orkut stinks. I mean it guys! With all the expertise that Google has, I wonder how it has managed to hire complete jackasses (don’t turn your head… I am talking to you! All of you!) to look after a major social networking site like Orkut.

I mean people like the current administrators and members of design team are such rare gem that it makes me wanna spit on them and polish them with a dirty cloth till they shine brighter… but wait… coal doesn’t shine right?
Oh! But you don’t have to listen to my insults because you know what… you can sit back and relax while FACEBOOK constantly and endlessly kicks your ass, leaves you with hordes of sexually-frustrated men as ‘users’ who have nothing better to do than make fake profiles.
You’d be buried sooner than M.J. people, you hear me! So search for better jobs because this mistake called ORKUT (still beta isn’t it now?) is going down real soon!
Peace!”

For God’s sake men! It’s been there for more than five years and it’s still in a BETA (testing) phase! I mean, my nanny could design a site faster than that! Come the hell on….

As for Facebook, the one thing I like best about it is the sheer interactivity it has! I mean, the minute you publish (post) something up, it’s on the home page of all your friends (or community members) and you start getting their views on the issue. It’s as live as live can be!

Also, NO (and THANK GOD) it doesn’t have THEMES. It’s simple and cool. No strain on the eyes. Look where MYSPACE is headed with all that glitz on the user profile pages (an eye-sore if you ask most sane people)!

Also, Facebook has revolutionized the application space just as Apple has done with it’s App Store. It’s just everything you’d ever want to waste your time with and more!

So, I say this again: Put ORKUT to sleep Google, because social networking is much better done by Facebook than you ever could.

BUT THAT’s JUST ME! If you feel angry/f**d in d rear/happy/ecstatic after reading this article, do let me know by commenting below. Also, leaving your real email address might help you get to know more about what the girl/boy next door to you thinks about the whole thing!

Need Help!

Fyi, I’m not asking for any money, so don’t run off just as yet.

So, I am another confused youngster, at yet another crossroad of my life. This time however is different. Normally it is “how do I get to something meaningful in the least time and effort possible?” This time it is: “how do I do something that does not involve any monetary incentive”

I know that you are not getting a word of what I’m saying right now. Let me make myself clear. I wish to tread a few miles on the path of nobility. I want to comfort this aching head which is a constant reminder of the path I should have taken and did not.

I had wanted to be a doctor for a reason, however cliched it might sound – to help people. I did not want my profession to be one of “measuring” value of life in Rupees or $. Now that I’m deep in murky waters and better aware of the workings of my profession, my biggest worry is that all I’ll do for the rest of my life to see hundred patients a week, only to figure out the ‘best way’ – of treating obviosly AND also of getting the most money out of his/her situation.

Up until now, I had no choice. I had to finish my graduation (medical school) and start earning money. Not that I needed to earn money ‘as soon as possible’, just that it is a discomforting thought to live off parents’ money for too long. But now, as I’m about to graduate in less than a month, I see the light. I see sanity after a long time.

I need your help guys. I need to prove that young people (anyone under 60) today have a lot more in them than a zeal to work like zombies. That we actually are alive and sensitive to other people’s needs.

I need helping hands in an endevor I’m planning to undertake. I’m planning to do some social service, primarily through a new NGO. It’ll be for the most neglected section of our society, the HOMELESS. I can not bear the hundreds of handprints of hungry children begging at intersections and trying to make us aware of their condition by knocking on our car windows. I can not bear any more the idea of thousands and thousands of people sleeping without any roof over their heads in this UNFORGIVING WINTER. You shudder when you walk out of your car to the door of your house wearing 3 layers of woolens. They have the same thread of a t-shirt from last summer.

This is the time to be grateful, to return the favor to the society.

While we spend countless green notes in new year celebrations, some people did not have food to eat on the last night of 2009, or the first morning of the new decade. Let their fate be a little different this year. Be the change they need.

I quote a poster I saw in New York Metro this fall/winter: “Give the Homeless the Change they Need” – i.e. one penny/rupee will not suffice any more.

We have a few people agreeing in principle with this idea. Please write back in case you have any suggestions. WE ARE ALSO OPEN TO THE IDEA OF JOINING AN EXISTING NGO, so if you are already doing what we want to do, please mail/tweet/skype me asap.

A million people have by now written or are now writing about the year past, and the year staring nonchalantly at us. Some would go on summarizing the goods and bads of 2009; some go on debating if there was anything the new year expects us to do? So statistically, the chances that I’d write something you have not read before are abysmally low. Glad I got that off my chest. ;-)

After writing hundreds of email and much waiting for a reply, I now have the pleasure to interview Mr. New Year.

Hello Mr. NY.
Hi everyone.

So you are here now. How does it feel?
I’ve heard a lot of things from my seniors about how the world treats us. I am anxious. It is a lot of stress to be awaited by billions of people with so many expectations.

What is your motto for the new decade?
All I can say is: ‘Enjoy responsibly, children of men’. Hope this decade doesn’t signal an end to humanity; hope it brings more peace and less sufferings.

That is good. Almost identical to what your predecessor emphasized on. What is so different now?
Last decade was good but too violent. But we will be a decade of introspect, and new balance. Things will change for the better. People would become more responsible. Sufferings will rise, but so will the vastness of noble hearts. People will begin looking inside to quench their thirst for truth. A new balance between good and bad will be established.

Mr. NY, that sounds interesting. What makes you so optimistic?
I’ve heard tales from times past. I have seen the rise and fall of civilizations. There are just two ways forward from where you stand now. Unfortunately, only the optimistic way leads to a future which still has humans.

Is that a threat?
I am much too humble to threaten you. You are your own biggest enemy. Threat is from the inside.

(Still very shaken from the ‘kind’ words.)
(Smiles, and continues talking) You see, this is not the first interview a human has had with a new year. It is funny to watch you gaping in horror at the prospect. However, I know for sure that you’ll forget everything the minute you finish the interview. Humans will never learn.

But…. Sir…. Is this the end? Should I start packing my bags? Because, I don’t see any optimism in my version of future.
There is no running away. What will you do now that you did not do earlier? Where will you run away to? Even the child who sleeps hungry on the footpath is optimistic about next day’s bread. Why are you losing hope?

I see blood all around. Brothers gunning for each other. Society crumbling under the weight of misdeeds of the past. Humanity disappearing. Who knows when there’ll be a World War 3?
Do you not see millions of people helping the needy every passing second? Not the scores of people keeping the fabric of society intact? People across the world helping without expecting anything in return? Does that not cheer you up?

What if one day humanity loses the battle? Chaos supersedes sanity. Hatred overpowers love?
That day, my child, will be the day of my visions.

(Silence in the studio)

(Recording stops. Interview is officially over.)

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