So little time… so little to do

December 4, 2010

The gadget lust

Filed under: arbit,geeky — Priyam @ 3:37 am

Oh boy!!!… has it been a while since my last post. I think I have been a little busy with a lot on my plate most of that time. But seriously, is that even possible. If anyone told me that, I would not believe it. So I take that to be the case even for me. As it seems, it should get crazier from now on. But that is on the professional front. I digress. Let’s come back to the topic of this post.

Lately, I have been following a few gadget blogs which allow me to keep abreast of many of the cutting-edge electronic devices being leashed onto the world. Understanding the technical aspects, to some level, of many of them, I wonder how many of them even make a quick buck. I guess that is where marketing steps in. Being of the technical mind I can personally shove aside the longing lust that many feel for a shining well-marketed gadget. But when I lust for something, it has to have that technical as well as aesthetic appeal. Introducing the attractively addictive Android-based Adam tablet, a brainchild of a start-up called Notion Ink ( site), hailing from a special corner of the world – my motherland – India.

I have researched many products before buying them, seldom repenting the electronic purchases. But when I say I lust for this device, it should mean a lot. I have been following the exploits of this small company for many months now, with an ever increasing appetite. And now, it is very close to delivering the promised device. Too bad that that I have only been following it from the sidelines, being a mute spectator without active cheering (pre-orders limited to people who have commented on their blog posts at http://notionink.wordpress.com). On a positive note, Rohan (the CEO) is now to keep me (us) updated twice a week. Irrespective of the feeling of being left out of a Christmas self-gift, I feel actively updated about the whole building process, especially since it is a software-hardware start-up out of India. I hope and wish for the best for this device. And for me to get my hands on it.

A special request to the team at Bangalore – make it happen… fast… please. I now understand what my wife feels looking at an awesome outfit. Nah, still can’t fathom that. 🙂

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July 17, 2009

Back on the block

Filed under: arbit,sentimental — Priyam @ 11:42 am

Either I am not inspired enough, or my inspirations don’t end up making their way to this blog. You can thank Facebook and the likes for that, I guess. With that finger pointing, I dissassociate myself from the frequent irregularities of my blogging. What usually gets me back on this block is a post or a blog of a friend or acquaintance that reminds me that I might have something to share. And usually, by the time I start typing in words, the whole subject of the post becomes lost. Lost, either in the rather large number of items that I would like to get off my chest, or the lack thereof. This is usually followed by reading the few sentences that I have written back to myself, deciding it’s no good, and then a select all and a firm punch of the delete key. Today, I decided to skip the last step.

My parents just celebrated their stepping into their 31st year together. I kept reminding myself of the date to take the time to wish them on the feat. Needless to say, come the day, I totally forgot about it and remembered while on a general phone call with my Mom, unfortunately only after a generous serving of hints from her. Shame shame. Strike two. Last time it was her brithday.

Usually on such occasions, I gift them an enjoyable dinner at my (financial) expense. This year, they decided to take the whole extended family along. I can well imagine the cacophony of voices of varying age groups. As they say : Having multiple generations at the table together – Priceless. In my quest to pursue who-knows-what, I find myself constantly missing such get-togethers, important ones and otherwise. I end up questioning the wisdom of staying away from friends and family for a better life. Better? Says who? On my part, I would gladly endure the static herd of vehicular traffic, or the lack thereof on a bandh day, to be able to enjoy the comfort of the joint family. But here I am, gathering a collection of iPhones and Blackberries and large screen TVs, caught up in the world of material comforts, perhaps trying to fill that void that some say is the American dream. Why is it lost on people that the phone we are talking on is worthless compared to the person on the other end, the TV unimportant compared to the people around it. Perhaps enjoying the comfort of both is the best of both worlds, but given a choice between the two – I choose to be a people person.

July 31, 2008

Mr. Hot-head ?

Filed under: arbit — Priyam @ 1:30 am

Ok, I am talking about myself in this one. For those who know me, know perhaps a particular part of me depending on which time interval they have interacted with me. For those who have known me for a longer period of time will perhaps shed more light on my character that I think I will be able to describe a bit here.

In school, I was always a hot headed guy. I was not the one to step down from an argument and sometimes have even resorted to let my hand do the talking for me. Not being the strongest guy in the block, this meant it did not always end in my best interests. But you would think that would teach me a lesson or two – No. Being in school meant mostly these things we easily forgotten and mostly got back to being buddies in a few hours, at max days.

However, a particular event when I got involved in something that was much over my head made me take a backseat look at my hot-headedness. I realized that not every fight was worth fighting and sometimes not caring enough for the topic or the person was the easiest way to distance myself from the invitations of an argument begging to happen. While this does not mean that I stopped getting worked up. It just implies that I stopped reacting to the causes. Consequently, I have stopped taking matters into my own hands (well mostly) and though arguing has not been totally washed away from character, I just don’t let it make me angry. Keeping my cool and reminding myself that I am arguing for argument’s sake and not for something that matters has allowed me to remain composed on most occassions.

However, this seems to not work when I am in debatable conversation with people that I am very close to. What choices does that leave me ? The only ways of avoiding such unpleasantries are distancing myself from those close to me or disassociating myself from the conversations ? While the former is something that I don’t want to do, putting the latter into effect is easier said than done. Specially when the matters being discussed concern me. Anger management. But how ? Why can I not be the happy-go-lucky character for all ? Maybe I shouldn’t take myself too seriously. After all this is life, and nobody ever came out of it alive 😛

July 3, 2008

Patriotism in question

Filed under: arbit — Priyam @ 12:43 am
Tags: , , ,

It is said that patriotism is the love for one’s country. I will argue more towards love for one’s countrymen, one’s culture and heritage. And pride, yes ! The latter is very important. You have to be proud to be Indian. But lately, I have been less proud of the happenings in the country. With election approaching, it seems like the country is being held at ransom by Ram, Shyam and whosoever can be an Indianised version of Harry. I have known people who have left India in search of greener pastures (read dollars and affluence); I have known people who have left India in search of better opportunities; I have known people who have left India in search of knowledge. In each of these classes many vow to return, many vow not to. I do not doubt the patriotism in either camp. However, it seems that such a question does arise in my mind about those who are entrusted with the reigns of the nation. Let me cite few reasons for my doubt :

  1. Reservations in higher education : I admit that reservation has its positives and negatives. But reserving seats in portals of higher learning when options for even the general public is limited. The supreme court has made its verdict, but the ruling coalition seems to be of the opinion that this will not have significant impact on its vote bank. Hence, play a more populistic politics. What stuns me perhaps more is the silence of the opposition. It’s a known fact that opposing such a movement is not going to go down well with the minorities. Who cares if the country’s bastions of higher learning and pride are raped.
  2. Reservations for faculty positions : This is just mindless. Take into account that the minimum requirement for such a position is a PhD. So even after a PhD one would need the help of a crutch to further ones career. Does that not bring into question the quality of the education itself ? It becomes laughable when you consider the fact that the IITs find it difficult to fill in the required faculty positions even from candidates of “forward classes” since they are not ready to cut down on quality. The reservation however comes with a clause. In case the reserved seats remain unfilled for a whole year, they are dereserved. By which time the ruling parties can claim their victory in the election and the whole issue is forgotten. Who cares if the IITs have to make do with fewer (or even worse, lesser qualified) faculty ?
  3. Sections of the society are now fighting to be qualified as backward classes. Way to go. Does this seem like reservation taking the country forward ?
  4. The creamy layer is rightfully omitted from such favours. This I totally support and believe that economically driven reservations are needed to level the playing fields considering the fact that education provided in governments schools are rarely enough for most to make it to one of these IITs and the extra tuitions are by no means cheap. However, it blows my mind when the income cap is proposed to be increased to become 4.5 lakhs per annum. (Not to mention that some states from down south thought this should be 10-25 lakhs !!). I still remember that only a couple of years ago, the graduating class from IIT-Bombay itself had offers that hovered around the 2.5-3 lakh mark. 4.5L means that people with sufficient means can still take refuge of the soceital clutch while the really poor are still left to limp by. Good idea, bad execution.
  5. You think reservations are the only problems that I have ? Well, let’s now focus on other issues, but related to education. The center believes that more institutes like the IIT need to be opened to cater to the need of the nation. True, and this is not only of the applied sciences, I believe. Hence proper funds and efforts need to be channeled to deal with the setup of these educational centers. But the heads of our nation seem to be in a hurry. No prizes for guessing why ? The result – 6 new IITs created and made operational within months ! It would have been a plaudable effort but I somehow cannot come to overlook the real reason when I consider that some of these do not even have a campus yet. They will be run out of the various existing IITs. Not to mention that some of these themselves are undequiped to deal with the increased load that they will take on from this year. Creating opportunities is good, but it comes back to bite you when done in an unplanned haphazard way. It’s a sin when you have ulterior motives behind the goodwill !
  6. Ah ! Who can forget religion. Our country has been so successfully divided on this issue that this can just not be let go by our politican “brains”. Shrine board gets allotted land. Result – bandhs, curfew. Land allocation revoked. Result – ditto. And oh ! Have you heard ? The nuclear deal is apparently anti-islamic ( Read this).
  7. Coming to the India-US nuclear deal. It has come to such a serious issue that the government might crumble over it. The ruling party no doubt seeks to credit itself with the deal during its tenure. While the opposition and others not gaining enough momentum out of it are obviously opposed to the hurry. Again hurrying is bad. But somehow my trust has become so thin that I only see the fact that denying such a deal with be more of political gain than saving the country of a fiasco for these parties. Such a shame (if that is indeed the case).
  8. And last, but not the least, opposition parties acting in the true sense of the word. Crude oil prices have been rising alarmingly internationally and the government can only absorb so much of it. This results in inflation and growing food prices. However, India is not the only country affected by it. While this is a major political debate everywhere, I feel the opposition in India is going overboard by suggesting that the ruling parties have been unable to curb rise in prices. They have taken to the streets, forced bandhs and strikes on people. In the end, it is the people who end up paying more for the fuel, as well as not being able to earn the extra money to do so. Somehow this is not politics for the people. Certainly not of the people and least of all by the people. I obviously need not remind the readers that bandhs have already been outlawed by the Supreme court of India.

Even though I have been concentrating on the negative issues that have hogged the limelight recently, I must also point out that there are still achievements of my countrymen that make me proud to be an Indian. Sadly, these quarters of satisfaction are rarely provided by the “netas” of our country.

My patriotism is being tested. I revolt in the form of this blog. My voice (and likewise millions of my countrymens’) will obviously not be heard by the ones plotting their personal gains at the mantle of power. Thankfully our country seems to be doing well in spite of the government and the babus. Wonder how long that will last. Jai hind.

June 26, 2008

The story of stuff

Filed under: arbit — Priyam @ 11:46 pm
Tags: , ,

The next time you think that you need that new model simply because that is “in”, think about how you are being made a fool of and in a way contributing to the destruction of our planet. This I feel is much more important than your contribution to the growth of the economy through consumerism. Spare 20 minutes for enlightenment 🙂 . Who knows, the next time your better half nags you about the new shoe style, you might just be able to take a leaf out of this to explain to her the difference between need and want… the difference between life and something like it (in some other part of the planet). Check this out :

http://www.storyofstuff.com/

June 12, 2008

Santa Cruz on fire

Filed under: arbit — Priyam @ 2:36 pm
Tags: , ,

Smoke on a setting sun near UCSC

Unfortunately I don’t mean it in a rhetorical sense. But till now it has just been in and around Santa Cruz county and not in the small sleepy student town. The campus notices till now reveal little danger to the university campus, which means the town itself could be still safe. While riding back from school yesterday, one could easily see the mushrooming smoke that tried to camaflouge itself as a dim cloud. If one did not know better, one would easily assume the fire to be on campus. I hope this time the fire is not as destructive as the the summit fire (again near Santa Cruz) about a fortnight back. My thoughts go out to the people who are tensed about the situation worried about their tough earned property (which by the look of it can be ranging anywhere between half and one million dollars, if not more).

Somehow, nature seems to have a say and this dry patch of summer in just its infancy seems to be crying out loud. I hope this is not just a prelude to more of the red flower in the forests that surround the sleepy shores.

Updated news of the fire (with maps) can be found on the Santa Cruz Sentinel website.

May 12, 2008

My nightlife

Filed under: arbit,geeky — Priyam @ 3:53 pm

circle of my life

April 24, 2008

You’re Gonna Miss This

Filed under: arbit — Priyam @ 12:09 am

One of my favourite mottos, and something that I most often try to live by, is to live for the moment without looking back at the past and more importantly, not trying to figure what the future holds for me. Just do the best you can for today and have fun in the process. Some might just say that it is not necessarily the best thing to do, specially not planning for the future part. But surprisingly I have very little regrets of the course of my life. Sure I have had my good and bad times, but I guess that is there even for people who had a plan for what their life should be. I keep telling people who I care for to enjoy the journey and not just focus on the destination. I came across this country song which kind of treads on this territory, so thought of sharing it with people, and make a note of it for myself as well :

Artist: Adkins Trace
Song: You’re Gonna Miss This
Album: American Man: Greatest Hits Vol. II

She was staring out the window of their SUV
Complaining, saying “I can’t wait to turn 18”
She said “I’ll make my own money, and I’ll make my own rules”
Mamma put the car in park out there in front of the school
Then she kissed her head and said “I was just like you”

You’re gonna miss this
You’re gonna want this back
You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you’re gonna miss this

Before she knows it she’s a brand new bride
In a one-bedroom apartment, and her daddy stops by
He tells her “It’s a nice place”
She says “It’ll do for now”
Starts talking about babies and buying a house
Daddy shakes his head and saysAnd s “Baby, just slow down”

Cause you’re gonna miss this
You’re gonna want this back
You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you’re gonna miss this

Five years later there’s a plumber workin’ on the water heater
Dog’s barkin’, phone’s ringin’
One kid’s cryin’, one kid’s screamin’
And she keeps apologizin’
He says “They don’t bother me.
I’ve got 2 babies of my own.
One’s 36, one’s 23.
Huh, it’s hard to believe, but…

You’re gonna miss this
You’re gonna want this back
You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you’re gonna miss this”

March 19, 2008

Return to India

Filed under: arbit — Priyam @ 2:52 pm
Tags: ,

Sometime or the other, this question might linger in the minds of many an Indian in the US – perhaps in keeping with the saying “you can take an Indian out of India but you cannot take India out of an Indian”….. but yes, some might just beg to differ. For for the believers of the adage, here goes a beautifully written emotional ride in the minds of a NRI : Return to India – Wharton Special Report

Ghazals

Filed under: arbit — Priyam @ 2:40 pm
Tags: , , ,

Don’t know why I had been totally off the ghazals for the last few months. Maybe the reason was that they no longer resided in my hard disk or even my iPod. But more importantly they are back !! Needless to say, now my room speakers are filling the spring air with the melodious voices of Jagjit & Chitra Singh and Hariharan. In my quest to make up for lost time, I scouted around the net for some new releases and found a new album called Shafaq Ke Rang, and I really liked three of the songs. They now feature regularly on my ghazal playlist. Now I literally sleep to the tune of ghazals and wake up to them too….. albeit both at times when the sun’s presence is felt in the azure skies. Wonder how I had been out of the loop for so long. Maybe because there has been a recent spate of really good film songs churned out by the all too famous Bollywood industry or more importantly, a mere 1 gig is not enough to keep too many genres on the iPod which also doubles up as my car music player. Whatever be the reason, I am back to my cherished songs of eternal melody…. wonder when Kishore is going to call me back to his voice :)… but right now it’s Jagjit singing

Thak gaya mein karte karte yaad tujhko
Ab tujhe mein yaad aana chahta hoon
Apne hothon par sajana chahta hoon
Aa tujhe mein gungunana chahta hoon

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