Tuesday, 31 March 2015

#DigitalIndia for a more 'intelligent' education system.

We all grew up studying in an educational ecosystem that was touted as pretty comprehensive and replete. After constant improvements over time in the way different boards created the content, disseminated the knowledge and the carried out the assessment, India finally had, maybe for the first time, a partially robust education system that was here to stay. Moreover, with time the efforts of the government and various not for profit organizations has brought more and more children under the ambit of primary education, thereby heralding an era of ubiquitous education which is so pivotal for the future generations to succeed. While our system as a whole is progressive, adaptable and not comprising of Luddites who resist change, there is still quite some scope for the education policy makers to embrace modern technology, thereby catapulting the progress towards this universal millennium goal to a whole new level. This is where technology behemoths like Intel can collaborate with various authorities in ushering this much needed revolution in education. It's about time that the untrammeled wave of #DigitalIndia transcends the boundaries of this realm as well. 

One of the most exasperating things that most of us have witnessed during our own educational pursuits are these long and unnerving queues. Go to a school for admission, and your parents have to stand in queues for hours to get to the counters and get something as basic as a form. Before that, apply for a transfer certificate from the current school, which again puts the application on a queue with many others. Move to a college and you need to join the queues to get forms, make payments, get documents verified and for almost every step in the process, you're compelled to stand in a queue. In short, you and your parents end up spending a substantial amount of time and energy in swerving from one queue to the other, just to gander at another queue, till the point of time you get into a habit of literally inhabiting in queues. 

Source - India Today 


While our education system can't be seen as an avant garde for adoption of technology, it is pretty rife for inculcation of mechanisms and systems which can substantially improve the current systems by felicitating various processes. Just imagine a system where every student's entire record is maintained in a central database, owned and operated by some central competent authority, where all information pertinent to his/her academic performance and assessments is maintained against a unique identification, say their Aadhar Id. In that case, with access to the central information provided to any requesting authority, any new schools or educational institutions can simply ask for a verification request citing this student's unique Id, and they'll get a complete picture of his overall performance and that too throughout his tutelage. And all of this shall happen without anyone having to go through the reams of paperwork and without anyone have to stand in those stultifying queues for hours. For new admissions to colleges students now just have to make payments and the colleges can access anything from marks in any qualifying examinations, to even extracurricular achievements that could be logged into the system. Moreover, as more and more people get access to Internet and Internet banking, most of the applications too could be moved online. Hence everything from applying to payments to subsequent evaluation can now be carried online, and queues shall vanish in thin air. Poof! 

Taking the first set of initiatives forward, and extrapolating it across all educational and other institutions, the resumes of candidates will later on become redundant. Consider another situation where every bit of academic performance is already logged into the system. Now if the system is extended to include any co-curricular or extra curricular achievements, once again logged after verification through any organizing bodies like Olympiads or school committees etc, then there wouldn't be anything that the record of a student shall not have. Hence any greenhorns right out of the campus can now be scrutinized purely on the basis of their thorough records. Now no resumes are to be mailed or sent, and no one needs to carry a bulky folder holding all the documents and certificates together, because all of that has been verified already. Finally, extend this further  to the corporate entities. Just imagine if they too could simply append an employee's performance and appraisal records(Organizations like NASSCOM already do this) to their overall academic records, and any company looking for any kind of candidate now requires access to one single file to find out anything about the candidate, in and out. Further, a candidate himself/herself could be provided limited access to their own profile, wherein they can add information pertinent to their interests, hobbies and projects worked on, and now the resumes too shall vanish in thin air. Poof again! 

Source - TweakYourBiz


Finally, there is a lot of information which educational boards and content creators have got access to. These are what form a part of the bibliography and reference section of various textbooks, which despite various students having an ardent urge to go and read about, are something that remains inaccessible largely. It's about time these authorities could create large repositories of all the available material which they own the rights for, and to put that online. It is believed that the amount of content in a textbook titillates the curiosity and the grey matter of a child's brain, but most of the follow up reading is something that the textbook alone cannot provide for. It is here that these colossal knowledge databases could be made and could be provided access to, for free or a nominal cost charged from schools themselves. With an increasing number of students now preferring online learning as opposed to the more banal and trite book based learning, use of multimedia and interactive modes of teaching could further accentuate the potential of this paradigm. Now hours and hours of searching for the right books and content would also vanish in thin air. Poof, yet again!

Source - ITU INTL. 


In short, we just need to imbibe technology in various ways in our current system and the benefits at avail could be pretty enormous. Education has always remained a fascinating domain where technology has been used to good effect with innovation in teaching to improve the overall quality and standards. It is about time that India took another giant leap to completely transform its current system into one that will be both contemporary and consistent, and one that'll go a long way in making sure that every party stands to benefit. It is about time that the #DigitalIndia wave ameliorates our current education system of all its drawbacks and makes it accessible, affordable and convenient. 

Thursday, 26 March 2015

5 people you won't believe were responsible for India's defeat maybe because they're not!

Our nation is flooded with ingrates cribbing and whining about something or the other all the time. So while the real issues and problems either escape public attention or become victims of the chauvinists and jingoists who assign absurd reasons like 'Chow mien' being responsible for a surge in incidents of abuse and molestation. We on the other hand have a brigade of analysts who always like to contempt and censure someone who failed, at the drop of the hat, without knowing they've been failing throughout their lives themselves. So while the white clad but not so white experts on news get their turn for blaming the most preposterous of things for a problem maybe they're responsible for solving, I thought why not give their game a try! 

1. Kamal R Khan 



Why? Well because if there is a man who is so idiosyncratic, imbecile and pugnacious that you'd sermonize pagan gods to bring the apocalypse, it's this guy. So just like Indian traditions deem it auspicious for any ritual to commence with prayers to Lord Ganesha, everything stupid should actually commence with a mention of this cretinous lunatic! 

2. Ramdev 



Some very reliable sources say that our team secretly adulates Ramdev for his agility, his Yoga prowess, his stellar hairstyle, his impeccable sex appeal, and even his oratory finesse. But just a couple of days ago Baba committed a big mistake by getting into money making by rolling out Patanjali's entire FMCG umbrella and misled Indian players into thinking that money is everything and hence Ads and IPL matter more than anything. Alas! The same principles of Baba which helped the players get so good, made them get lured by the moolah and they lost. 

3. This girl from MRF ad


I guess memes from all over the Internet explain why Virat, who took up this ad because of the aforementioned reason perhaps, couldn't really get out of the screenplay and decided to do what was asked of him. Apparently Rohit Sharma too went back quickly because his Maggi got burnt on the simmer. 

4. Alexander Graham Bell


Surprised? Well this scientist invented the phone which was in a way the predecessor of the modern age smartphone which this girl in the ad above used to call up Kohli and asked him to be back in 5 minutes. So you see I'm getting into the "God level reasoning" mode already. I'm gonna give those wannabe experts on news channels a run for their money. 

5. RSS


So this sounds a little too waspish, doesn't this? Roping someone in when they're not even remotely connected to the case in point. Well, you can't fool me now. Never before has any discussion of similar character got over without someone pointing fingers at RSS so why not me. Maybe just like the discussion and arguments should commence with a mention of KRK, they're always supposed to end with RSS being held culpable. It always works that way!


I wrote this little pastiche of a post to vent out my frustration. I too am full of despair that we lost but I'm in no way angry. Our team did much better than we all imagined they could in such testing circumstances and they deserve all credit in the world for it. So the next time you decide to side with a blatantly moronic celebrity like RGV who says he's happy India lost, or bring any of the players in the line of fire, spare a thought on how big a dunce you'll look like. And yes, the title of this post was sardonic because it was a crack at all those blogs who are also responsible for perpetrating similar notions all the time. Get over it, everyone! We've got to get ready for the WC T20 now. :) 

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Singapore - The proud perdition of the gourmand.

There are some places in the world still worth living for and there are some materialistic pleasures which even a stoic will find hard to resist. While the hedonists and nihilists are maligned for their overindulgence, there continue to be treasures all over the globe which if you've not indulged in during your lifetimes, you've not done justice to your human form. So what if I was to tell you that despite our rickety lives, our raucous masters, and our somber struggles of everyday, there is a nirvana, so supreme and so rapturous that it's worth shelling out a fortune for? Well, Singapore is what I'm talking about!



For someone who badgered his family to go for a top of the table HD subscription on DTH just so that he could view culinary delights from all over the world in their most pristine display of exuberance, Singapore has long been the destination that I wanted to head out to. While being a country which has a bequest of cultural magnificence and is a modern corporate powerhouse, it was their delectable and rather evocative cuisine that captured my attention for the first time. And boy would it be some consummation if I do get to finally devour some of those spectacular dishes I've been drooling over throughout these years. 

So, how do you start the day if you were there? Well, hold on to your hats because this hearty and feisty picture is rather overwhelming. There is so much to the aficionado's delight that it's more seminal than any work of art. While on one hand you find simplicity and wholesomeness of Kaya Toast dallying with the luxury and appeal of Pau and Teh, you actually have an entire array of dishes causing a mental mayhem inside because you can't choose one over the other. The overall sight of this picture is so eidetic and sumptuous that you can put it up on your walls and sob and then recover in soliloquy every night, telling yourself "I'm gonna get you one day". <This little bit of melodrama was not needed because the food is spectacular as it is. But every blogger uses it so why not?>


And then it comes down to something which instills a bit of anxiety just because I want to have it now. The Prata which is a more evolved form of Indian Roti actually takes the classic ubiquitous grain magic to a whole new level by contriving a sorcery of sorts. The Prata is apparently one of the most pliable and amenable of things I'm to witness in real. It's a very delicate and tenuous entity just like a burgeoning female star who hurts her ankles just by stuttering in high heels, but the analogy works because it's even as resplendent as that female cynosure. The Prata can go pretty well with crushed sugar or ice cream or maybe even Teh, and it creates such a formidable sensual paradise with the creamy sea flowing over the conical Prata, in its own unwavering fashion, only to be finally assimilated and digested. A sad ending but I guess the Pratas are mercenaries who're willing to lay down their lives for their human masters anyways.


Finally, I come down to this belle of the ball. While Chicken rice has been an inveterate part of my culinary regime(Just kidding! I eat whatever gets the heart beating a couple of notches higher), for some reason the very sight of this gets the guitars ringing in the background which indicates you're besotted by someone already. This belter of a dish looks so scrumptious, so majestic and yet in a way so blithe that it literally invites you to join it on a trip to heavens. While traditionally this one is all about a perfect medley of basic ingredients, the unique and tempting way in which the curry and the neatly cut supple chicken is aligned all over the plateaus of rice, is a little too seductive and phallic to turn a blind eye to. It seems like our travails and plights were simply worth it if this was our reward for all of that.


So as I put an end to our collective misery of being able to see all of this and not being able to savor any, I guess maybe someday when we get the chance to finally go to Singapore, we all know what's the first thing we'll headhunt for. And I swear I'll go there without eating a thing on plane so that I feel famished by the time I arrive and so that I can start spreading the gluttonous deluge straightaway. Hell yeah! I'll do that one day! But we can surely prepare ourselves for our ultimate gastronomical journey by discovering Far East Hospitality.
  

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Aaj ka nashta #KelloggsWaleGuptaJi ke ghar pe.

So what if I was to tell you that a scrumptious breakfast or a brunch need not be replete with calories and fat and is something that's at an arm's reach from you. Well, Kellogg's is just the kind of ingredient we were looking for all the time to make that utopic combination of taste and nutrition come true. With over 100 scintillating medleys of eclectic ingredients, Gupta Ji's family has already proven how easy it is to top up any of those delectable items from our usual breakfast menus and turn it into one smash hit of a dish. So while you're going to be spoiled for choices once you visit their Facebook Page, I'm putting up the three that really got me drooling. 

Chatpata Cornflakes Chivda

This is among one of the most breathtaking combinations of spicy conventional ingredients with a tinge of health and enigma. While the regular ingredients of Chivda give this that sulky mix of an umpteen number of flavors, the cornflakes add an unusual element of savory crispy delight which acts to buttress the overall appeal of this light and tacky dish as a part of your breakfast. This in fact is just the kind of snack which can go well anytime of the day with a cup of tea or even when you just wanted to munch on something light and wholesome.



Cornflakes Coconut Laddoo 

And this I believe is a stellar recipe where once again tradition blends with nutrition and crunchiness in such an immaculate manner that you'd kill to get one of these. While the celebrated sugary laddoo recipe remains intact and makes the core of them as mild and sumptuous as it gets, the outer crunchy layer of cornflakes shall add to perfectly complement the treasure hidden beneath and shall form a lethal combination that'll force to break your records of devouring laddoos like a diablo. 



Walnut cornflakes chocoballs 

And finally we come to the promise of a lifetime. This dish by the very looks and description of it, ushers such an exultant feeling that you'd feel like giving yourself in to absolutely any cause if you were offered a few of these spectacular chocoballs for your service. Once again you see a rather impish chemistry between two ingredients that brilliantly combine to produce the kind of magic which is surely worth getting bound by. Moreover  when it comes to the visual delight which many people now consider necessary for breakfast to be deemed complete and consummated, is also present aplenty. This one, while it remains healthy at the core, is also a bliss for those with a penchant for unbridled indulgence in pure luxury.



So now that their repertoire of secret recipes is out, what are you waiting for. Visit Gupta Ji's family once for breakfast and you'll price yourself forever for taking that decision. Here's your key to get to them. Visit this link to get a chance to meet them and secure your invite for a treat of a lifetime. 




Sunday, 22 March 2015

Your daily date with happiness.

Life is one big adventure and just like one, it's full of twists and turns. We are in constant endeavor to surge and progress among the ranks and we all carve our own landscapes as we go about doing it. We all witness the soaring heights when we accomplish unprecedented glory, and we all fester and smolder when we have our brush against torment and toil. However, there are still certain things that we keep doing because we know they're our dose of happiness. In fact the moment we realize the power and veracity of these as a source of glee, we embrace them and make them an inveterate part of our regime and existence. It is these things that comprise our daily date with happiness. And you do know how much you gotta price and nurture them further!

Sleeping

While most of our days are spend racing against time and chasing success, it's our slumbers which really set the tone for what is to follow. While most people don't give any credence to what we dream, it is in the annals of our deepest dreams that we truly relish the enigma of life and our own life stories, our people, our battles and even our victories. Sleep is the best tonic and can really do wonders specially in healing and making one feel happy again.

Just beguiling time with family and friends

Your closest circle of family members and a handful of friends forms the most formidable security net which you curl and cuddle under the protection of. The more the amount of time for which you just as much as even hang around in this circle, the more is the amount of alacrity and gumption with which you mold and melt in that eerie sea of collective happiness. Your conversations, your chats, your hangouts and your collective pursuits, all seem to point in only one direction. Happiness!

And the exact opposite

And while the presence of your social circle helps the extrovert bonhomie in you truly manifest itself, there lies a primate inside who just needs two things - adrenaline and a sense of existence. It's precisely that reason why one should actually spend some time alone. I do it when I go for long sprees of running or cycling or my bus journeys, where I plug in my music and seclude myself from the world. It is often in those desolate passages of deliberation and contemplation that you stumble upon the happiness that always lied within!

Pure pleasure

And while we all talk about not being hedonistic and nihilistic, it often makes sense to just indulge in some amount of pleasure and wreak some havoc by going guns on one of the seven sins. While gluttony is my favorite, courtesy of my extremely strong proclivity to savor and adulate all cuisine, I revere and crave for all forms of luxury that is attainable. It's only when we price what we can accomplish that we truly begin to admire ourselves and our fate. And it is only then when we genuinely feel happy about being who we are.

Don't forget to share your own route to happiness. And yeah, there is indeed another thing that makes me happy no matter where I am and irrespective of what I'm doing. One refreshing glass of Coca Cola can satiate and mollify most of your misery, specially during the sweltering summers when heat gets you in some real trouble. So here's to Coke and their latest TVC.


Friday, 20 March 2015

#ChooseToStart Wanderlust with the second generation Moto E.

So I turned 25 just a few days ago and I'm already inundated with ideas on what to do once my MBA gets over in a couple of months. I've got a good paying job in a revered chocolate company and I sure as hell am going to go places as a marketing graduate. I've always wanted to live my life like a vagabond; Not associated or anchored to a place and always in the lookout for newer and far situated abodes. I want to let go of all hooks, all apprehensions and want to go rabid on taking on life with the challenge of seeing most of it before I perish. Now, that the times finally augured my future in my favor, I was in the lookout for an apt companion. And it was then that I came across this brilliantly crafted amalgam of technology and design. I found all that I was looking for in the second gen Moto E. And boy am I excited about what we two are going to do next. 


Travelling is no longer about just hitchhiking and slipping away into the hinterlands. With a slew of ways in which you can get lost and with the turpitude of some local populace which may just want to see the whole world burn, you may have your excursions turn into nightmares. That's where I need a reliable device and one that I could really bank upon. The new Moto E supports multiple communication frameworks. Moreover, with it's stupendous 2390 mAh battery, once can be rest assured of the device to go miles. I still remember a long trekking trip where both I and my partner got into a spot of bother when both of our so called smartphones proved imbecile when with their modicum of backup, they drained out all power and we were nearly helpless. The Moto E would give me the much needed aplomb on that. 

The second thing that I'd do as a vagrant is to click the kind of pictures that'll really set my social network handles on fire. While the first gen moto E has already proved its mettle with so many of its users clicking and putting so many of their scintillating pictures online, the new Moto E takes the camera performance to an all new level. Its specs stand at a whopping 5 MP, 2592 х 1944 pixels. With the camera and the network capability combined, I'd be able to capture the most stupendous of all esplanades and escarpments that nature has to offer. And at the very sight of an internet connection I can stun the world with what I have to share. And I can't even begin to imagine how mainstream the current selfie culture would appear when I'd take selfies with the nature itself. I'll send all those who ever termed me stoic, right into perdition.


Another sparkling feature of the new moto E is that its stunning display and media performance. The 4.5 inch IPS display coupled with its playback and battery backup, it'll become a perfect media device for viewing all kind of content. While currently, I'm compelled to carry a separate MP3 player and even a tab for my audio and video needs respectively, the new moto E renders all of them redundant because its multimedia performance is immaculate and supreme. So while it'll be playing my favorite music to soothe my senses while commuting in an otherwise decrepit bus to a faraway place. Or be it watching an action movie, say Vertical Limit, at an altitude of 10000ft where the adrenaline would already be pumped up, the new moto E would be precisely all that I'll need to always be plugged into my senses. 

Another set of features which makes this cherubic device rather rambunctious, is it's overall application and internet performance. While most devices wither under the pressure of heavy usage, I've already seen and witnessed the first gen moto E perform with absolute elegance. And the new moto E takes it even further with Qualcomm Sanpdragon and Adreno GPU. Coupled with the other features of the phone, these two make the phone an epitome of optimal performance which makes sure that I'd get the best possible experience with all kinds of applications and browsing no matter where I am. In a world where there is an App or a website for almost everything, Moto E will just be the sine qua none that I was on the lookout for.



Now while my cravings for covering all contours of the world would be satiated appropriately by the sheer ebullience of the new Moto E, I still would require to make myself available for work in order to earn the money that will fund my travel(Unless of course a munificent patron like you decides to sponsor). The Moto E would kind of be a savior in that regard as well. The phone is ready for all office applications and email clients and I've already seen most of it work on all Moto E units I've seen in use till date. It's Java ready and with its sober body, it'll also not end up appearing like the device of a hipster renegade who just believes in nihilism. The Moto E would be a device that will seamlessly switch from being a travel mate to a office secretary in just a handful of swipes. Oh inamorata, where were thee al this time. 


So it makes a lot of sense to say that very seldom do you find such an all encompassing partner which suits your needs so well. The new Moto E is pretty much the package deal a wanderer in the making like me would lookout for. In fact if Moto E was a woman, she'd be that nuptial sensation who'd have to be fought for and won over. As classy and sassy as it is, I #ChooseToStart wanderlust with the new moto E, Check out the new Moto E here

Sunday, 15 March 2015

A requiem to those days.

It often happens that your spree of dreams derails because something or the other goes wrong and the output is miles away from what you wanted it to be. You get upset, you're full of contrition and you at times get so low on gusto that you even become sulky and morbid. Even when it came to the things that were still intact and that were still pretty much going ahead, you go awry because one single dent toppled your juggernaut and your hankerings no longer hold valid. It is precisely then where your biggest patrons come to your rescue.

At least for my generation, academic in India has witnessed such pernicious competition that the ones who sail to victory become demigods and everyone's idol, and the ones who miss out by even a whisker are branded lame losers. While I was pretty lackadaisical when it came to having a set eye for a specific percentage, I was on various occasions of my life seriously bothered if my parochial view was going to cost me heavily, sooner or later. Hence while I always stayed afloat, I always doubted if the situation might become untenable. And it was then when my family always came to my rescue and mollified my concerns like none else. 

In a scenario marked by some archetypal Indian parents specifically quoting a figure which their pupil have to target, I too was scared of sharing my proclivities thinking that it would sound a little too absurd to merit any credence. But almost always whenever the doddering pressure of academics or my own extra curricular interests resulted in waning of my academic performance, I was surprised to see how my family buttressed and emboldened my dreams, as opposed to garroting their own down my throat. 

While my parents too have dreams on what they'd want me to foray into, after a point of time, they took it upon them to make sure they never let me feel the heat. Be it a not so impressive grade in a paper or be it a decision to participate in say theater or debate, I was never met with any skepticism. Instead I would spend my time discussing and deliberating with my parents on why I wanted in or out and they continued to guide me with their own invisible hand. They would keenly listen to me, would clearly process all ideas and would always come up with better alternatives and would also make suggestions that I've embraced on a whole host of occasions. My problems of days would disappear in just a couple of hours!

So today when I'm again on that juncture of my life when I'm about to foray into another rather grotesque and turbulent phase, I look forward to spending more and more quality time with my family because no matter how frail the situation could be, they always turn out to be the best consultants. So, here's to the power of doing it #together. 

#Together is powerful. Witness it at Housing

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

The hunt for adrenaline.

Back in 2011 just post completing my b.tech after a long stultifying 4 years, there were at least 6 months for which I’d have nothing else to do but to wait for my joining. It was the classic case of post recession trainee deployment or which new engineering recruits have to face the brunt even till today. So I knew I had a pure white canvas in hindsight and I wanted to paint the best possible escarpment to relish later on when I was to get indulged in the hackneyed life that was to follow. It was a surreal feeling for I knew there were no ramifications of what I was about to foray into, and I could have lived those 6 months on endeavors of a lifetime. And not surprisingly, that’s precisely what I did.

I was always considered a rather fastidious observant and there were a little too many things I could have written entire litanies on. So I tried to see how I could best share my ramblings with the world and that very pursuit brought me into the fabulous world of blogging. While this blog has by far been my most successful sustained blogging effort, the decision to take my writing online has and continues to provide me with a surfeit of opportunities and platforms.

Another thing that I literally implored myself into was to leave the sedentary lifestyle I had so come to crave. It’s okay that engineers and specially computer engineers are infatuated by PC gaming but I was a freak. So maybe for the first time I had enough blank space in front of me to get into real action as opposed to firing laser sabers in various gory games. And that was moment when I thought it was prudent to get my 1997 MTB bike out of its misery and get it back on its wheels.

While I started with 15-20 minute journeys initially, I soon became a pro who would have these entire hour cycling sprees where I would just cycle and have the whole world as my entourage. I never realized that this decision too was soon going to develop into a lifelong obsession for bringing out the energy and vigor and now, I’m in that state where I just have to spend a good 3-4 hours every week on some form of exercise. It’s quite amazing that someone who found the very prospect of exercising garroting, now has incorporated that in his regime more for fun than for the incentive of staying in shape.

Yet another change I ensconced in myself was to do away with apprehensions and to start talking and expressing myself. I realized that I was in that phase of my life where the more the number of acquaintances I were to make, the larger my cortege and caravan were going to be, and the more I was to truly savor life. So I went out of my way to initiate as many conversations as I could and my erstwhile debilitating reservations gave way to a more affable visage. And boy am I grateful to have decided to do that.

As I look back, that 6 month transition was all I needed to transpire into a more evolved being than I was before. With so many years of education constricting me in books and academia, I needed some breathing space before stepping into the professional realm. And when I got that, I truly began to relish and rejoice those rapturous elements of life I never dared to try in the past. Those 6 months changed me and only for the good of it. The munificence of those 6 months was all that I needed perhaps. 

Housing and their brilliant new ad below, inspired me to reflect on some of the changes that define my life and I was impelled to share this with you. So what you're waiting for. #StartANewLife. 



Friday, 6 March 2015

Born stud!

So a couple of years ago my brother and sister-in-law were blessed with a baby boy and since I was the only one in the family who had never even as much as held a baby in his hands, I was really up for it. It took me only a couple of days to realize that my nephew was a born stud who was so snobby that most of the orthodox things made him recusant. While normal babies are shown sleeping the typical curled sleep, he'd actually stay straight and would occasionally cross his legs like CEOs do when sitting on that grand chair behind a posh table in a lavish room located in a swanky office. The guy was born stud and that aspect of his demeanor has just got more fervid with time. 

So while he was still in crude infancy, he began to learn the art of claiming an eye for an eye. Cuddle him and he'll be indolent because he's so cool that cuddling was too mainstream, but howl on him for something and if he's in your arms he would post a tight slap on your cheeks with a rather inexplicable strength. Another inveterate trait from those times was his excessive obsession with only those dance numbers which one could gyrate on. While he was not even on his feet yet, he'd actually shake his body in excellent tandem and would whine and prowl when anyone as much as dared to tune the TV to anything else.

From a couple of years ago
As he grew up, the prospects of him becoming a churlish dude also accentuated. He was gifted a tab by the age of 2 and he became so engrossed in it that he'd simply start ignoring almost everything around. By this time Psy's Gangnam style had become one of his all time favorites and he'd actually start every day by getting up, using gestures for someone to unlock the tab(Which required some effort and hence he'd never do it), and then he would use a few smooth swipes to play that video at least 5 times in loop. And boy when it came to games, he was as choosy as anyone could get. Even the most bestseller of games failed to impress him because they had some logic. He finally settled on one car racing game whose only aspect he liked was to see the cars getting crashed. I clearly told his parents he was getting dastardly pernicious. But what could've they done. The damage was irreparable now.

Then came the time he was able to communicate his preferences in his newly found euphonious mellifluous way of speaking. He now had his own way of asking people to turn on the TV, to fetch him his toys and to east whatever his whims and fancies demanded at any moment. While in other things the man's proclivities grew gradually. In food he went on to become an aficionado and he likes to have only certain things and he has brand preferences as well. Take him to a KFC and he'll use his tiny fingers to point towards his particular favorite on the item list. Take him to a mall, and he'll recognize that there's an ice cream counter just round the corner and would immediately demand for that. And given the ramifications of not giving in to his demands, one's left with no other option but to accede.

From a few months back
Boyhood was a movie that garnered legions of applause from everyone because it is indeed quite an experience to see a fledgling evolve to become the stud my nephew has turned into already. One can only imagine what more fanaticism he's going to embrace as he moves further. My brush with babysitting gave me a chance of acquainting myself with some intricacies and I've to say that putting the wrong diapers on my nephew was another major reason why he slapped the person who tried to adjure him to stop crying. So if you don't want the ignominy and humiliation of being slapped in front of others by an infant, use Pampers. I've seen the magic with which their diapers do the job.  

And here's a video that vouches for the same. 


Thursday, 5 March 2015

Stay on!

Optimism is a rather quirky phenomenon. While it's absolutely clear that it's easy to be happy than morose, something obnoxious always turns up to make the latter more prevalent. It takes a lot of toil and a lot of torment for one to finally see success and for one to get the tide to turn in their favor. Having said that, optimism remains a necessary ingredient if one were to stay in stead for the better things in life. One can remain disgruntled and still succeed, but the optimistic person will be on a high that keeps him going even despite bloopers and failures that were giant enough to knock down the courage of many a men. So what is the elixir to retain optimism and to keep somberness at bay even in the wake of the looming crises?

I've learnt a lot by looking around people and seeing what is that one common motif of how they work and how they keep going. My quest for that continued across multiple cities and I've spent a tremendous amount of time looking for it in both Delhi and Mumbai. While both cities are very different in their flavors and culture and the ways in which people keep up with their lives, there is one thing I found in common. Smile! 

It seems so arcane at first and yet it's so very obvious that smile is indeed the key to unabated pleasure. It does not matter what their lives augur at a point of time, a smile is all it takes to go another mile and seeing what lies ahead from thereon. Be it the countless travelers of Mumbai local who have to spend a massive time of their day in a cooped up space in a cramped up coach to reach their destination, or be it the umpteen number of hawkers in the grand Chandni Chowk in Delhi who have to work onerously in some of the most testing of all conditions. All the really lighted ones do is to keep smiling. 

I found it rather cabalistic that what was the outcome could also be used as an ingredient for the same. And then I realized that  a hearty wholesome smile multiples because even if those around you are down and decrepit, your smile stimulates a sheer sense of ebullience all around. And while the world around you is actually no bereft of many of the problems that existed even otherwise, this new catalyst of hope spurs a magic that was otherwise missing. 

Another thing I've seen working is the occasional good gesture. While most of us are completely embroiled in the quagmire of our lives and too stuck in our daily chores, it makes sense to stay upbeat about the next such moment when we have to do another one of those routine actions to try and make life a little more engrossing than it is. This comes in many forms. A smiling shopkeeper, courtesy and light conversation from a cab driver or even some assistance from a random stranger who went the extra mile to get you to your place. I've witnessed them all and for some reason they were the pivot for how I felt on those days. 

So come explore some more happiness at Housing. I just watched their ad yesterday and even that in itself is so peppy and full of gumption that I cannot resist the temptation of recommending it.