Seeing is Believing

Hate is a strong word isn’t it? Especially when it comes to things you do or get done in a day. I hate none of what I do. I love my job. I like the people around me who work just like me. We have a fun time. I love my home or whatever of a ‘Home’ we’ve made it into. I love my dog. I love my wife and doing stuff for her.

The only thing that ails my soul and which I think is entirely a waste of my time (some may argue it isn’t) is driving to and fro my office. I feel that hour and a half is the least productive time in my day and the best period I can use for my writing if someone drives my vehicle. It isn’t fruitful to my health for all the smoke and dust that enters me, sticks to me, and makes me look like a villager on either end of the journeys. It doesn’t exercise a single muscle of my body and if anything raises my blood pressure. 

And therefore, I want my robot to be a car that drives itself. I know they are still building on this technology and I may never be able to afford one for myself for it may never turn cheap and I know I’ll end up driving my car for my whole life whenever I own one, I want to nurture this dream. I know a lot of you may argue against me sleeping late and waking up late but because we’re talking solely about my comfort, this will be the pinnacle of the technology I wish to own.

The entire commute must get reduced to small phrases – “Driver, drive to my office” or “Driver, drive to my home”. Something voice activated and startable only using a password and it then does all the work itself while I commute hasslefree inside a clean cabin, undisturbed to write all I want. This way I’ll get a thousand other ideas to write about too by simply looking out of the window.

Some may argue, why not take a bus instead which will be cheaper? I say, I hate being around people. Crowd and bad smells simply tick me off. This when clearly, people are my best source of inspiration for thoughts and writing. Every living body feeds my brains with things and teaches me stuff that no books or internet can.

Seeing is Believing“.

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Spam Comments

How many of you have suffered this way? You get a comment as below –

Greetings! I know this is kinda off topic however , I’d figured I’d ask.
Would you be interested in trading links or maybe
guest writing a blog post or vice-versa? My website
covers a lot of the same topics as yours and I believe we
could greatly benefit from each other. If you happen to be interested feel free to shoot me an e-mail.
I look forward to hearing from you! Wonderful blog
by the way!”.

As you can see, the only ambiguity in this comment is the email address, which isn’t provided. There are no grammatical or spelling mistakes or there may be one in “I’d” but I for one, found it very easy to go down this dump.

I got excited and all worked up because the link on the name took me to Wall Street Journal, Indian Edition – well that Kind of blew some part of me away for a night at least. I get up in the morning and the first thing I do is shoot an email at the given address in the comment and BAM! There’s a delivery failure.

OOOOOHHHH I lost sleep over this one?

This is a such a waste of everyone’s time. Why do this? What does anyone gain from this? Is there any way to escape them apart from the Akismet given by WordPress that does an all-time-amazing job at keep us unflustered in our blogging experience?

And if you Kate Johnson are a real person, please send me an email at samirmishra_05@outlook.com.

Thank You for all the nonsense you’ve created this morning!

Riding the Tides

You know, there are things that we do over and over again for a considerable period of our life and then, someday we stop doing them, for whatever reasons. We never know if they were for good or bad, for they in their time never held any meaning. Then one day we stop doing them. All  they give us are memories, some cherishable and some not so.

The one thing I’m doing ever since I learnt to control handles and balance, is ride. Ride, to and fro, carrying people at my back.

The 2-wheelers that I’ve used are –

1. BSA SLR – Bicycle.

BSA SLR Image

2. Kinetic Luna Super Star – A bicycle with an engine, a clutch and accelerator.

luna

3. Hero Puch Shakti 3G – A mini demon. The smallest geared bikes with the smallest of engines – a mere 65CC.

Hero Puch Shakti 3g

4. You’ve all already met my 4th companion, Bajaj Pulsar 180CC – One of the oldest and proudest giants in the history of Bajaj sporting bikes in India. Without it, I’m lost.

My Ride

During my schooling and engineering, my brother rode as my pillion. They were fun times. Nothing except the rides changed over the years. From bicycle to Luna to Shakti, that part of our life is one the longest case of the association between brothers and their rides. We rode for long hours and I don’t remember him, even once, asking me to let him ride. He was happy and content, at the back, watching the world and giving all sorts of running commentary, describing the surroundings. Watching girls, eateries, escaping seniors, riding in the rain – through love and through fight, those days will forever remain fresh.

There was one instance when while returning from our school, it was raining really hard. I decided to have some fun and starting riding through puddles of rainwater, which soaked all of his shoes from the inside. I kept doing it, when in a fit, he opened his water bottle and emptied it straight into my shoes, and all this 60 kmph. We laughed all the way to our home. One of the happiest memories I have with him.

We’ve had our share of accidents as well, when in all the occasions, he jumped off well before the fate hit us. He is thankfully smart in those situations when I’m not. Twice in those accidents, I hair-cracked my left shoulder. But they never deterred me

Then my ride changed to Pulsar and the speed at which I normally rode changed. I remember once, when he was in Bangalore, spending time on bench in his company, I used to drop him to his office. We used to take the ‘Nice’ road. It was one clean and zero traffic road, 16 kms in length. We reached 120 kmph one day. He simply closed his eyes and felt the speed while I just enjoyed the fastest that I had ever ridden, things passing by me in time smaller than the blink of an eye. I miss those moments.

Then came my wife, and so changed my speed. All she ever has said about my riding is – “You are the only one with whom I don’t try to balance the bike”. I clearly am her favorite!

Riding is also the time, I think about my life the most. I contemplate all serious issues, when I’m seated on my bike. I have my commentary running for all that while. “Government must ban all women and old drivers”, “Why the fuck does everyone change their lines at the last moments”, “What happened to them indicators” yada yada.

And then there’s my favorite song by Joe Satriani – “Ride” – that defines some philosophies of my life –

This clearly is my favorite daily ritual!

Idea! :D

I have an idea for WordPress. They can develop a reminder in the notification area on the top right hand side, to remind the blog owners of unattended comments. Give the owners the ability to turn this feature on or off, so that those who think that it interrupts their normal function, aren’t disturbed. But I think not many will keep it off, for it’ll only make the functioning easier and hence, swifter. That way, no owner will miss a single comment and a sense of sincerity and appreciation will prevail!

Currently, if the owner has a set it to check only once if the commentator has a WordPress account and to auto-approve all later comments, the newer comments may get missed. I’ve never tried any other setting for my current setting is my comfort zone. But just a suggestion! 😀

What do you think?

Inhale-Exhale

OK… go slow! Breathe in, then breathe out!

I know I’m disturbed. The entire last weekend has thrown me off gear. All my ideas have gone for toss. What made the matters worse was, how Daily Prompt changed and became rather unpredictable in nature. Now I don’t know what to expect from the daily prompt. I don’t know what kind of traction will my post receive. I started writing for Daily Prompts about 4 months back and received my best audience with this medium. I found some great friends, and I still keep finding them. Daily Prompts had become my tool to interact socially but not any more. Earlier I knew how many people will at least take a look at my post when I copy pasted the pingback links into my posts but not any more. Now I just put my post out there and wait for things to happen, like everything is out of my hands.

Frankly this sucks! Without traction, a person with a busy day like mine and such limited number of hours in a day and no access to WordPress during office hours, will lose motivation and that’s precisely what I am, unmotivated!

I need to find more avenues and extra hours to write those extra posts and try to always be on it, to meet a lot more of you, read a lot more of you and write a lot more during my free time. My Saturday nights earlier included just pizza’s and TV, but they must now also include writing for reading simply isn’t enough.

But I’ll receive all this as a positive change. I needed to start writing a lot more anyways – to improve my quality, vocabulary, grammar – and long consistent writing is the way to go. Just that the WordPress BS about how pingbacks are used for bumping the good posts and dumping the bad ones, isn’t acceptable. You really have to grow up and see the writers from a different perspective. We are people with lives apart from our work too.

In India, the average broadband speed is second lowest in the world. We are country with a pathetic telecom infrastructure, for our leaders are too engrossed in devouring tax payers money and filling their Swiss Bank accounts. Now to stay connected and create decent enough online  content on our iPads and Tablets, it’s difficult and time-consuming. And then there’s work and the pay masters and wife and dogs to take care of.

Man! WordPress just made writing a lot tougher. I really had huge plans with Daily Prompts but I’ll have to chuck them till something better pops up. Till then, I’m going to spend my Saturday Nights writing and not partying!

This is the end of it though! I won’t crib about the changed Daily Prompt anymore and not let it be in my head and screw up my precious happiness.

Do you like the look of the new Daily Post?

This is my attempt towards something that stands destroyed because a user like me is unheard!

 

I Smell People-ish

My dad arrived home today. He’s come to say goodbye to the sixth member of our family who leaves for US tomorrow! Sounds so hunky dory, doesn’t it?

But, I killed it for myself. I’m running low on cash these days, for a lot of travelling and health bills were torn against my name this month. So instead of taking the more expensive option of auto rickshaw, I decided to use the Delhi Metro to reach the New Delhi railway station and help dad deal with the luggage that he was carrying. Well it wasn’t as heavy as I’d expected but it sure was difficult bringing it up to the 2nd floor of my house.

So, DELHI METRO! The pride and joy of Delhi. The only project in India that’s actually making profit. The guys worked really hard and it shows. Terrific infrastructure and great maintenance. Something though, didn’t feel very right yesterday. As I gathered myself from slumber, and walked to the platform, there were huge groups of people waiting to board the metro. Something was wrong!

The metro arrived packed to its capacity and yet around 20 of us managed to find a place to stand with people’s armpits on my nose and my armpits on someone elses and what not! Ugghhhh!

Now to make matters worse, there are close to 15 metro stations between the station that I boarded and the New Delhi railway station. Each time the door opened for passengers, when 2 left, 4 boarded. I had my headphones plugged in though and people weren’t really bothering me, just that I knew how I’d smell like after I got down from the train. People inside just kept making space out of nowhere and people from outside kept boarding till the last inches were used up. And then some more came in!

cwg-metro

Then a scuffle stirred up. A police constable standing right in front of me and next to the door, tried to stop passengers from getting in, for there was absolutely no space left in the coach. The counter argument from the outside was – “You get down as you are the public servant” and they started pulling out the constable nearly tearing off the sleeves from his shirt. The constable though had nowhere to go, for he was stuck inside just like all of us were, and so they even couldn’t pull him out, such was the agony we were all going through!

To be honest, I was enjoying this. This misery that people decide to put themselves through everyday, made me feel proud of what I had achieved in life and how my resolution to never put up with this kind of life always put me in a better place. I made a resolution very early in my struggling days that I’ll never use public transport for two reasons –

1. Those places are very vulnerable and I have too much to do in life than die in an accident or a bomb blast.

2. They are very risky, for Indians in general treat public transport like the transport system owes them something once they’ve paid for the ticket. What they don’t think of is, these are the same buses and trains they may need to take everyday for the rest of their freaking lives, and they are all responsible for its upkeep and smooth operations. But once they stop respecting the means, the means stop respecting them and so they start crumbling, till they are at the point of breaking and that’s when public transport becomes a danger. Case in point, was the taxi that we boarded, once my family members had arrived. That taxi sounded awful and when it started to move, I felt the wheels coming off every time we made a left turn!

Now back to the Metro. We were about to reach the largest station among all metro stations – Rajiv Chowk. Rumors started flying that the train will be half empty by the time we leave this station, and sadly ALL the passengers along with me were eagerly waiting for this miracle to happen, quite badly! And like all stories that don’t have a happy ending, luck didn’t favor me this time! No one got down and still some more found a way to get in. The next station was where I was to unboard. This was real tricky. For once in my life, I had to handle people subtly and that I did. I started cracking mean jokes that made people laugh and in between, I’d ask them to make some space to let me reach the door, so I don’t miss my drop station caught up in this hell hole. And I made it, just not on my feet though. The moment the door opened, I (125 kgs) was picked up in the air and helped down right next to a pillar. I have absolutely no freaking clue how or what happened. I just counted my lucky stars for the night, checked my wallet and my watch, and started to walk to the railway station.

This was one hell of a ride, and I’m never travelling in a Metro again.  what’s tha God awful smell? Wait, I smelled  ‘PEOPLE-ISH’!

Smitten

bose_companion_5

It was a really dull evening, another Sunday with nothing done. I wasn’t so zealous back then and had grown incredibly fond of my credit cards! It was just another walk to the temple back in the days when I worshipped. It was yet another stroll to “The Forum” mall in Bangalore, Karnataka. My best friends girlfriend joined me for he was then in Mississippi. We were getting bored even in mall after our dinner when an idea struck my head. I had always been curious about the BOSE shop on the second floor. What was it that interested those surely wealthy people? We dived in.

They made us sit in a rather small auditorium (it was just a room full of speakers and woofers). We sat at the center and the sales guy started directing us – “Sir, I’m going to let you watch clips from some movies. Please tell us about the sound that you hear”. I can’t recall all the movies but “The Incredibles” was one. It was scene where the smallest child is running through the jungle and trying to save his elder sister and incidentally meets his parents. It was the HD print of the movie, a rather rare commodity back then. We listened and the sound came from all around us. Now remember the movies in your theaters. In an average sized theater, you have at least 8 large JBL speakers right besides your ears from both the sides giving you all the effects and the slightest of sounds. That was the only scene I could remember back then.

I was thrilled to say the least. The best part was yet to come though – “How was the sound Sir?” He was taking particular interest in me for some reason.

“Amazing” – The smile just wouldn’t leave my face.

“Which side did you hear the sound from, the most?”

“All around but primarily from behind us”.

“Just guess how many speakers were turned on for your listening?”

I pointed at a few from the front and the back and smartly included a sub-woofer as well to cover the bass.

He smiled sheepishly and spoke softly – “Sir, only the 2 in the front along with the sub-woofer were turned on”.

How the hell could I be proved wrong?? I demanded to watch the trailers again. The result was the same.

I was shell-shocked! Conceding, I left the room and started browsing other smaller equipments that they had placed for trials. The sales guy came to me again. Why the hell doesn’t he leave me alone? How much mockery and embarrassment more?

He said – “Wouldn’t you like to hear these?” pointing at the a set with rather small set of speakers.

I acted smart again and said – “No show me those” pointing at the ones with larger speakers.

I wanted to listen to decent sound. He asked me to plug my phone in the socket of the remote and I played a song at medium volume testing it’s range. I started to slowly raise it’s volume getting really serious at seeing these speakers beside my laptop. They were really impressive, would be an understatement. They blew my mind out. I was smitten!!

I immediately went out and leaned against the railings of the balcony. I couldn’t make up my mind if it was wise to max out my credit card buying this set. It would cost me a fortune and I wasn’t sure if I was ready for such an expense. She came to me and said – “Just gift yourself on your birthday!”.

That was just the reason I was looking for. I went home, got my credit card, swiped it, got the set packed and there it was – right beside my laptop!

I’ve never since rued my decision.

Daily Prompt – Generation XYZ

We-Are-the-Facebook-Generation

To understand a generation, we need to understand what generation means in the first place. A generation by a dictionary means –

The average period, generally considered to be about thirty years, during which children are born and grow up, become adults, and begin to have children of their own“.

Welcome to our generation. Our generation that grew up hearing songs on CD players hung by our belts, grew up to carrying mp3 players and then iPods. Our generation that saw an internet boom, fought Y2k. Our generation that’s seen wars breaking states and countries into two. We probably witnessed the rise and spread of a technology revolution so big that it now has changed the lives for every living being on this planet. Things are now small enough to be held on the pore of our fingers which once couldn’t be held in hand bag.

We are the generation that believes that our future beckons to technology while we continue to value things that our parents taught us. We are the hybrids – the best of everything if we have our head in place and yet the worst of everything if we’ve lost it.

The generation that succeeds us, lets just say, gives up way too easily. They are weak hearted and weaker minded. They are affected more by movies and Facebook than their parents. Since I don’t have kids and I deride the next generation, ones that were born even a decade later, I’m going to talk about the generation that preceded us. We have tons to learn from them and yet tons to throw away what we learnt from them.

Our parents were strong for they believed more in human communication and touch. We learn senses. They weathered freedom struggles, wars of the worst kinds and yet survived to tell their tales. We learn toughness. They invented so much, we can’t help but wonder if we would still be the whiz-kids had they not laid the foundations. They invented bits and bytes. They invented memories. They gave the non-living, the brain to decide – yes or no. We can never waylay their contribution to the humanity.

My parents never failed to bring me in touch with that facet of their times. They taught me to see and think different. It’s a different side if I actually did it. But they tried their best. They cheered me up when I raised my first cricket bat. They were open-minded, for I was travelling alone in public buses responsibly taking care of my brother and his friend, when I was 8 years old. They taught me responsibility. Through the ups and downs of their lives, they taught me humility.

Crazy as I may sound now but our preceding generation tried teaching us society when they should have taught humanity. They taught us jealousy when it was competition we needed. They tried teaching us pride but all they really emanated was ego. We learnt to see the blackness in people first than embrace the truth of their deeds.

In this internet age, when the world is literally at our fingertips, we should try instilling hope, pride and humanity in our children than burn them early in their childhoods all the while suppressing their basic need for necessary freedom.

And I learnt this from my parents. Freedom if imparted carefully turns into responsibility much better than any other virtue.

What is ‘net neutrality’ and what is its future after US court ruling?


FAQ: What is ‘net neutrality’ and what is its future after US court ruling? – The Times of India
.

An interesting article. I had no clue ISPs could allot specific bandwidth for specific websites so some websites function faster. Well what do you think about it? Isn’t bandwidth everyones right to have? All should have it equal no matter what they do. What if I don’t work on YouTube at all and all I do is blog and read which requires minimum possible bandwidth? And what about torrents? How is bandwidth assigned to this? Also do websites themselves have any say in the allotment of bandwidth? What if YouTube asks for higher bandwidths from ISPs and starts paying them for it? Won’t it be the infringement of user rights?

Online Shopping Furore

Lately in my office, let me be specific and date it to close to 9 months from today, online shopping has become a rage. From things as simple as a pack of handkerchiefs worth Rs. 200 to smartphones and tabs worth Rs. 35000 and above, everyone prefers to make purchases online than go to market stores.

The reasons to buy online include the following –

1. Not having to actually go to a store. This is one reason I don’t  agree with for you are taking a risk being a lazy bum that you are.

2. Online stores taking “guarantee” of the well-being of the purchased goods. Well, you haven’t physically seen anyone taking a guarantee, have you?

3. Huge discounts. One such example was a 3 day offer on Nokia Lumia 920 when it could be bought at Rs. 18000, the real market price for which is Rs. 34000. Sounds unbelievable, doesn’t it? According to me, these cases only come when the product has a flaw that most people are ready to forgo but realize it only later that the problem is always there and noticeable. In the case above, please check out the weight of a Nokia Lumia 920 from its specifications.

4. Option of Cash on Delivery. Well this one spooks me out a bit. What if the guy coming to collect your cash isn’t safe? What if only a weak female is available at your home to pay? Would you want her interacting with a stranger who may start to feel comfortable at your own home?

Whereas on one hand, I find it very handy to make such purchases for it reduces a lot of pollution and fuel with fewer visits to the real market, on the other I find that you end up spending a lot of time and effort doing research for the product you want to buy. This also comes with the uncertainty that the product could be tampered with and the buyers expectations not met. For example, some smartphones come with extra accessories when bought from the market but those accessories are omitted while buying online which reduces the price.

Then there may be cases when the product is faulty. What if the screen of the smart phone you bought 2 days ago, starts flickering? Whom do you contact and what would be the online stores turn-around time to get the product replaced? Did you pay 35000 bucks to wait for 7 days for it to arrive and then another 7 days after the fault occurs, to start using your phone? The incessant hassles that this procedure carries are sometimes not worth the efforts.

 

Then there could be cases, one that happened with me, that the courier services go on strike or are short of delivery men. I got my stuff in 16 days owing to this problem. There are too many middlemen in this process which makes it even riskier.

Some people even get duped when they haven’t done enough research on the product and the reputation of the online store. I have seen books getting delivered in 20 days. Smartphones being faulty and getting replaced. Someone had to get his glasses changed for the vision of the glasses didn’t match his own. The company had to send their doctors to match the vision and supply another pair of glasses.

Isn’t it better, at least for dearer products, that we go the market store than buy them online? Why not simply indulge in risk-free behavior? Buy the product, open it right there and check it for its quality. The shopkeeper is still fully responsible for the product and will remain answerable till you are satisfied. No confusion. Even if the product is faulty, replacement is assured on the spot. If another piece isn’t available, you may have to wait for another 7 days but then you can sit at home relaxed knowing that there is someone (not virtual) physically on your case. You have someone ass to chase down if required.

I just feel, online stores use our laziness to their advantage. They know that they can never be chased for they don’t exist, until they really show up and you have phone numbers and email addresses and then, the store address itself. Just taking guarantee of the product doesn’t cut the permutations and combinations associated to a faulty product.

Well that’s my opinion. Anyone else has a say on this?

Is WINAMP dead?

The world’s most favorite music player and organizer is on the verge of death. How I’ve always waited for an update that would bring unprecedented features. That awesome sound quality. That awesome music organizer. And of course the most famous line of all – “WINAMP WINAMP WINAMP… It really whips the Llama’s ass!”.

I remember when I first installed WINAMP, its version was 2.5. I had no clue how it worked then but it was so easy to use and it was way faster and efficient than the ever free Windows Media Player. It always made itself the preferred choice for a million other users. It then started getting a flurry of updates and got the modern theme and it could be docked and that’s when I realized, this software will remain my life long partner. This software forever changed the way I work on my PC. This is the first software I install on my PC, when I get a new one. I point it to my music library and it takes care of all my music on my PC from then on.

It’s always pinned to my taskbar. It’s the first thing I turn on when I switch on my PC. WINAMP is such a huge part of my music taste, I often discard a lot of other softwares for I find them cumbersome.

I was so dearly waiting for an upgrade of WINAMP that would work seamlessly as an app for Windows 8 but a few days earlier, I got the news that AOL would shut WINAMP down if it finds no buyer.

My request, please let WINAMP show the next generation of its software and impressing capabilities. I’ll miss it and so will a million others.

No Facebook Anymore!

Gave it up! I just couldn’t tolerate my habit of opening Facebook every chance I got anywhere. I have to admit it – I have no social circle. I can’t stand those pictures of supposedly happy people catching fish, rowing boats, flying planes, sky diving not because I’m jealous but getting productive is what I’m looking at.

Browse a wall for jokes, for funny pictures, for cricket related posts but not any more.

I’m now entering the part of the world which despises the Facebook for what it is turning us into. We are forgetting what smiling really is, what laughing really is all the while getting depressed at all the good shit that others are able to do but we are not. WELL WE DON’T DO IT BECAUSE WE DON’T WANT TO. Not because we can’t but we don’t want to. Moreover my Facebook had more become a trolling wall than giving any useful logic. They manipulate our thinking. We aren’t original anymore. A life manipulated by the website that is set up by one guy who creates all its rules and advertises us products according to our tastes and his loyalties, I simply refuse to abide by him.

Thank You Facebook for all that you have taken from me and given to me.