Oh No ! Not again.

Those were the first thoughts of Mr A when he woke up at 10 PM.

Now what I am going to do the whole night? Wait, all shops would have already started to close now, what about dinner?

Sensing the reality of the dinner situation, he lit up a cigratte and went out. Night was cold as Bangalore had started to feel the chill. This year it is late. Mr A is in bangalore since 2014. Most of the time, cold weather starts after the Durga Puja itself. But this time, it is late. That means coming summer will be worse than what it was this year. He came out of his residence and started walking, step by step, puff by puff. He decided it is not a wise decision to sleep anytime of the day other than the night and he is not going to do it again, purposefully.

His go-to food shop is closed. Shop next to it is also closed. The entire lane which offers decent food for the North India homesick stricken people are closed. Dhabas are also closed. Mid level food shops, too. Wait, something is wrong. He said to himself. Very less commotion at this hour is not common in Bengaluru especially if you live anywhere nearby Tech Parks and all Tech Parks are on the Outer Ring Road. Something has to be wrong. He took out his phone and fired up the Twitter to see if anything relevant to this situation is there or not. Modi had made 500/1000 rs note illegal. This was trending for past 2 hours. It is a master stroke as all money laundering shops like jewelry shops, appliances shops, etc were either closed till now and were about to close down for the day. He thought, that’s why everybody had closed the shops earlier. Wait, I have one 1000 rs note. Thank God, I didn’t withdrew money today. Being lazy has it’s own advantages. He consoled himself for being a lazy lad. He has great gift of self assuring. Sometimes this gift comes handy. But now he has to figure out how to buy dinner and how to exchange his 1000 rs note because instead of standing in queue to get it exchanged, he would rather hold onto it as a token of memory. He is incorrigible in his approach to situations when he has to do some physical work.

Something must be open, with this hope he started walking. Then he found a shop. Small, family store which accepts cards. He thought of trying to get rid of the notes first before going full card mode. It isn’t 12 so there is a chance he can get rid of them. There has to be someone who doesn’t watch news and is oblivious to the happenings around them. He had learnt it in a hard way that people don’t like keeping up with the news. He started going up the ladder to see if shop is open or not. He has some bizarre experiences so he doesn’t know when shop is open or not for sure . There was this girl coming out of the shop with maggi packets. He asked her shop is closing or is closed? The girl replied what’s the difference and left. Mr A thought what a horrid bitch and reached the shop. He has a soft corner for tall and odd girls. Normal run of the mill girls doesn’t attract him. He tried dating two of those kind and failed miserably. He believes sane girls will not be able to cope up with his insanity. There were 2-3 people in the shop. He entered and started finding something to eat which can be termed as the dinner. He took some maggi packets and fruit juice and went to the billing counter. The girl there said we aren’t accepting 500/1000 rs notes and if we want to use them, we have to do shopping of that amount. Okay 1000 rs note means around 80 packets of maggi. So he asked what more can be done here? She said shop for 500 min and they will be fine. Mr A had stopped eating maggi but now he had no other option. So better collect it, will use it when required, he thought. So he took 10 packets of maggi and two packets of Marlboro with a hope that he will take at least 1 week to end them. He is not addicted but he needs something when he is bored. Previously it was food, then it was cold drink and now it is cigrattes. It needs to be controlled, he thought. And after due payment, he came out of the shop only to find that tall girl again. She was standing near the stairs , probably waiting for someone . He will never know the reason. He smirked at her and she doesn’t gave a reaction. He thought she must be having high standards. For him, high standards means high maintainence. So he left but there was something odd about that girl. On the way back, he was thinking about that. She was no doubt cute and no doubt a smart one too. Verbal skills and eye movement gives out the real brain behind the people. People say “still” posture people are the intelligent ones, but no suckers, they are the retarded one as they think they know and control their surroundings. That happens only in books and movies. In real life, if you are “still”, you are about to be fucked off the limits of stupidity. 

Then he realized something is odd about this year only. He recollected his memories of past years and saw all those years gave him something good and something bad in balance with each other. He didn’t figured it out then, but now everything is clear. But this year, not a single good thing had happened. If getting to know the real faces of the people is a good thing, then he may some good things for the recollection of this year in the future.

Panic attacks, food poisoning, dengue, hairline fracture. This year was a disaster to him. This year destroyed everything he had : his body, his mind, his beliefs, his relationships and his life. He believes in karma but never truly believed in it. He had lived his life in arrogance. Committed a lots of mistakes. Rubbed a lot of people in wrong way.

May be this year was his year of reckoning. It may be, it may be not.

Who knows?

Only time will tell.

 

Okay , enough. Now videos which got me hooked recently.

 

 

 

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Inkaar

Everytime once in a while , you come across a movie which you end up watching more than 7 times in a week. Many times , the situation is you are in love with a character . This happens with DC IPs , Marvel IPs and some movie series . But when this happens with a simple experimental movie ,with no major starcast and marketing , it becomes an experience which screams to told and shared.

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Inkaar came out in 2013. I didn’t saw it that time with Preetam because I had different taste at that time and life was hellfire then. Now when I look back at those times, I feel I was stupid then. But who knows, maybe I am stupid now and was wise then. Leave it , once what is done, is done; lamenting isn’t going change anything, I assume.

 

Inkaar was a movie with Rashomon story telling technique. It has multiple interpretations . This is my version. You may have different. And different versions breeds discussions which can lead to a wonderful evening of talks. Siddhant, are you listening?

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Sudhir Mishra is a gifted film maker with an uncanny knack of making movies which can force you to think about the subject. His movie Inkaar is a treatise on corporate life, office politics , love and Sexual Harassment. While preparing for this movie , he was, I assume, in awe of the series Mad Men. He ended up writing a fan fiction account of Don Draper and Peggy Olsen.

 

Mishra and his team had done a brilliant work in setting up the characters.

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He chose Arjun Rampal to play Rahul Verma , proverbial Don Draper. Smart , Charismatic and Arrogant, a small town boy who is not shy to let this achievements speaks for him. He is shown to worked on his attitude to shake off his small town complex and compete with the bullies from the metros. He is feared by the Upper Management as he is the brand of the agency KK & Doyle and loved by the subordinates for his support and grooming of talent by putting them at the right place at right time.

 

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Then there is Chitrangada Singh as Maya Luthra, proverbial Peggy Olsen. Small town girl, ambitious , talented and bit-too-emotional. Don’t take quoted emotional in negative sense , it is an asset when your day job is to sell things to masses.
This is a story revolving around them which can be summarized as : “At a leading ad agency, the battle for the top job between Rahul Verma, the advertising CEO, and Maya Luthra, his ambitious protégée, takes an ugly turn when Maya files a sexual harassment complaint against Rahul.”

 
But is it that simple ?
No , it isn’t. It is a movie about the dark side of corporate culture. The corporate world is more or less like a black hole which sucks an individual into it with such force that an escape becomes impossible. As the individual is sucked deeper it becomes more and more difficult for him/her to lead a normal life. The relationships suffer as one fails to attend to the needs of the loved ones. And by the time one realizes that he/she is surrounded by more strangers than friends ,it’s too late.

 

The greatest challenge is to draw the line between flirtation and harassment. Once that is taken care of the next challenge is to fathom the reality that, contrary to the popular belief, both the sexes are equally prone to sexual harassment.
And that’s where the subjective element comes into the picture.

Who’s the victim? Who’s the accused?

The movie starts with the proceedings of the committee formed by the agency to sort out the matter internally without drawing much outside attention. As the hearing progresses, it becomes more and more difficult to discern who is speaking the truth and who is not. While the versions of Maya and Rahul only differ slightly there is enough deviation to perplex the most astute of minds.
The manner of proceedings, though completely alien to Indian cinema, is strikingly similar to Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa’s groundbreaking masterpiece Rashomon (1950), which is widely regarded as a cinematic treatise on the subjectivity of truth. In Rashomon, Kurosawa had highlighted, for the first time in cinema, that discrepancies can actually exist among the different versions of the same event (as narrated from the perspective of the different parties). These discrepancies testify the subjective nature of truth. This is sometimes also referred to as “The Rashomon Effect”. In Inkaar, Misha succeeds at several fronts (mostly from the cinematic point of view), but he fails miserably in one regard. Inkaar fails to remain true to its core theme, that of sexual exploitation. The typical Indian film audiences are not accustomed to shocks and surprises. They want to be spoon-fed and are easily agitated by a filmmaker who tries to test them in any manner. Maybe this is the reason why movie is not mainstream among audiences.

I am not going to write down the entire story here. Get up and see it . You will not regret it. If you regret it, tell me as that will be the time to talk about the future of our friendship or any relationship we have.

The lead actors get good support from the supporting cast.

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Deepti Naval cameo is a major highlight of the movie.

 

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Vipin Sharma’s Guptaji is a person who can be found around us very easily.

 

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Kaizaad Kotwal shines as KK, a spineless named partner of the agency who is shit scared of the current happenings in the agency.

Inkaar is a movie for people who watches movies to broaden their perspectives.

Video Section:

 

Potpourri! 

Life is a bliss since last post (sort of).

Office Blues

Not in a fixed project, so have the power of going to and coming from office at anytime I desire but with one condition : Fortnightly average should be 9 hours. Cognizant was a good place to be at when I joined back in 2014 but with recent hiring of Infosys’ guys, it is becoming a Nazi Concentration camp,  month by month. That’s not good. You can’t just change your culture for the sake of some good for nothing MBA’s hired from a company which I have hated since childhood. I kinda liked Wipro but Infosys was a big no – no.

Kindle Unlimited

Amazon’s and Flipkart’s annual sale ended few weeks back.  Didn’t found anything worth buying. But got a very good deal for Kindle Unlimited. 50% discount for all the Kindle Unlimited subscription plan.The Kindle Unlimited library has 10 millions + books. Thanks to the deal, I ended up reading a lots of books in just 2 weeks. Average would be 1 book in a day. That’s cool even for my reading speed standard. 

Kindle Unlimited is a nice online library sort of service. You can go to the Kindle  Unlimited catalog to select the books and at max, you can take only 10 books to read and after that return one to get a new one. Just hoping Amazon to give me a nice deal when my subscription ends next October.

Here is the complete list of all the books which I consumed so far.


Observations:

  1. India has surely come a long way since Chetan Bhagat and Durjoy Dutta days. Ravi Subramanian and Vish Dhamija are leading the pack. Their writing is a goal for the all the aspiring writers. Ravi Subramanian and Vish Dhamija are the only contenders to be the India’s John Grisham. Very detailed and absolutely no plot loopholes.
  2. Self-help books are shit books. They aren’t useful. Main thing is to listen to your heart but take a step forward by consulting your brain only. Your heart can take you to the drainage of your locality.
  3. Trying out new authors can be a tricky situation as most of the books are bound to be shit like the Sachin Garg’s, ” Come on Inner Peace! I don’t have all day!”. The worst book I have read in my life so far. I thought maybe this book is bad but when I inquired some of my friends about Sachin Garg’s other books, reviews were quite similar to mine observation. His books are shit. He just writes to capitalize on the recent trends. Above mentioned book is a capitalisation on Breaking Bad. Inshort, Sachin Garg is worse than Chetan Bhagat. Rest you can figure out if you have ever read books apart from courseworks.

 

Why do I write? 

Somewhere down the line I realized that complete strangers were frequenting my blog and sharing their views with me. I started receiving mails from people who sometimes agreed with me whole heartedly and sometimes were at loggerheads with me. This was fun. Blogging had suddenly become a means for intellectualization, for debate, for arguments and for agreements. But somewhere around this point things started going wrong. Vanity they say is the Devil’s favorite sin. I started getting a kick out of the fact that my blog was receiving around 100 unique hits daily. Checking the site meter and net traffic records became an obsession. The simple reason for which I had started my blog was lost. I just wanted to share my life, my views and my thoughts with my friends. But I will not give up blogging. My blog, since it is essentially about my life, might seem like an exercise in ego-feeding to some but to me it is the only way of communication with my friends. So I will continue blogging in the same way I have been for the last 16 months. No site-meter, no net traffic records, just blogging. I have enjoyed the discussions that resulted from my blog and I hope my writing inspires further discussions. In all of these, I noticed a strange thing. Strangers are more interested in talking about my posts than my known people. They just ignore whatever I write. I don’t know the reason.

The reasons may be on these possible observations:

  • they are too primitive to understand these things.
  •  they actually have a life which I know they don’t. Suckers.
  • Some are too busy in their ego-feeding and false superior thinking that they just can’t appreciate some original thinking. (Jealous Assholes)

 

Better to ignore them and carry on blogging, amigo. May the force be with you!

One thing good has happened in all these blogging years and I am quite happy about it.Thoughts are getting converted to words more easily these days and there is a new clarity in my thinking.

 

 

Dengue-fied! 

Yes. A lesson was learnt the hard way. Mosquitoes were definitely there, but due to my carelessness, I thought I will buy the mosquito repellent in the coming month as it is only 5 days away  and what worse thing could happen in mere 5 days? But what happened completely blew away my mind. 

Prelude :

Office work was less so thought of going back to pg early and have some fun as it was Friday. So complete plan was set for booze and chicken. And they did happen as planned. 

And then the main thing happened. I started feeling severe body pain in the evening. I thought the chicken was bad or was badly cooked, so it was happening due to gastric issues and it will be over soon with eno and digene.  But then things worsen further. I was burning like a coal furnace due to high fever, so again I became doctor and took paracetamol. I couldn’t sleep that night due to fever and headache. Somehow the night passed. Next morning, I had to attend a blogger-meet-up at M G Road so popped two paracetamol and attended it. Writing blogs is a serious business and people are doing it full time with 100x more effort than me. And there is me who just writes because he has to write twice a month. I am incorrigible. When I was returning from meet-up, body pain and stomach pain began at full pace. So called my mom to know further about medicines which can be taken in this scenario. Mom told to call uncle and go to hospital.I have never liked hospitals. Since childhood, my grey cells have associated disease, pain and suffering with these institutions. On a conceptual level I understood that hospital is where people are cured from diseases. But the irrational side of my brain viewed all hospitals with great distrust. I decided to give it a night and to decide further actions in the morning. But wasn’t able to sleep that night due to body pain, stomach pain and fever. Everything at once. Gosh, that was painful. It felt like someone had broken all the bones of my body. Somehow passed the night and called my uncle first thing in the morning and told him that I need to get to a hospital. Till then, I didn’t had any rashes on my body, so nobody (including me) was thinking about dengue. He gave Dolo 650 and till evening I was getting better and was ready to get back to my normal life from Monday. But that night, again everything came back to haunt me with their new friend. Next morning I couldn’t even stand/sit properly due to weakness. So I was rushed to Columbia Asia emergency room where they put some fluids on me so that they can give me medicine. I was not in a position to eat due to stomach pain and the medicine were of high strength/power so I needed food for them. Meanwhile they started all the tests. Typhoid and Malaria came back negative but Dengue came back positive with my platelet count around 85000. Doctor wanted me to get admitted but I said NO and decided to get back home and follow the treatment from there. But due to body pain and stomach pain, I wasn’t able to eat anything. So in the night, when I went for my platelet count check, I asked to get admitted. And got a decent corner bed with two injections always injected in my body. So not much sleeping positions were left. But that was least of my concerns then. Thanks to the medicines and fluids, I slept that night and in the morning, my blood platelet count was 65000. My mom flew to Bangalore to be with me. In the evening, it was 60000. Next day it was 30000. And doctor asked me to be ready with the blood donors. I called up some of my friends and somehow managed up some donors from my office. I expected friends, but rescue came from office. So I really need to think about the peoples with whom I am spending my time. Bastards. Some changes are now necessary with the people I hang out with. I was tensed at that time as I didn’t have fever anymore, body and stomach pain had subdued but the platelet was on a downward spiral and doctors were not explaining anything so I lost control and ended up shouting on doctor even though she was cute. After shouting some explaination came. Next morning the platelets shot upwards to 50000 and that evening it was 55000. And that was enough for me to get discharge from hospital. My sister also came for the weekend. Shalini was also there. It was a potpourri of emotions at home at that time.  After some platelet checks, I came to Jamshedpur for my much needed vacation. I am on loss of pay, so don’t feel jealous of my vacation. 

Medication for dengue :

  • Paracetamol. 
  • Papaya’s leaves’ juice (very bad taste) 
  • Fruits (Pomegranate especially) 
  • Liquids. About 5-6 ltrs in a day. 
  • Patience. You can’t understand blood platelet’s spiral movement with numbers theory. So it’s better to sit through it. 

The boring part just ended. So smile now.  Now to the 15 days at home. 

Tried to read AngularJs but that language is a complete ass. Never seen anything complicated like that in my life. Still figuring it out. It is going to take much more time than I allotted to it. It do reduces the front end development time but damn the difficulty level of first time learning is damn too high. But hey,  learning something new is always a good thing.

Movies. Lots of movies were in the to-watch bucket. Saw them. Mentioned below will be the worthy ones. Why would I write that I had watched Mohra, Gabbar is back, Special 26 and Tridev for the nth time? Huh! 

  • Baar baar dekho. It is more like Blah blah dekho. Trailer was so good and the movie was such a blunt piece of work. I had high hopes for this movie. It is one time watch and that too because of music and Sayani Gupta (she is love).  
  • Kapoor and Sons. It is the clear example of everything will turn out right if you get the ending right. The story was brilliant and the execution was just perfect. Shakun Batra is one of the thoughtful filmmakers in India today. His first movie Ekk main aur Ekk tu redefined the friendship among different genders and one sided love story among friends. Songs were not needed that much but Karan Johar can’t make movies without some tipping soundtracks. And in the process, he destroys them with Badshah and Neha Kakkar. Bastards. 

Seqoiua Hack 2016. Live streamed the entire event for complete 3 days through Periscope. That app is pretty awesome. Got to know tons of new things during the event in the domain of Product Management, Hiring, Retention, Design Thinking and general UI/UX use cases in rapid scaling of startups. NoSql session was just brilliant. Manak Taneja nailed it. I played with that few months back, but never actually figured out it’s actual use but now somethings are clear. Need to revisit it after I am done with Angular Js. 

Le eco le 2. Got this phone and due to dengue got admitted in the hospital. So didn’t got much time to play with it. So I played with it then. Camera is good. Decent detailing of the images. Your fb, instagram and Twitter feed pics will look great but don’t expect professional level photographs. Took a lots of pictures. Have a look on them with below link. If you have shaky hands and you find it tough to keep your hands still while taking pictures, OIS is there for rescue. But too much spot and point focus while clicking the image can jeopardize your OIS. So use it carefully.  Gaming is good. Minimum heating and was able to handle all the heavy graphics games like Asphalt and Injustice and Batman Arkham Origins. EUI gives you an iOS skin on android so it can be called 12k iPhone. Carrying Feel is good. Need to get a proper size cover for it as it looks like a pretty good looking device and I don’t want any more scratches on it. It is a good deal in it’s price range of 12k. The biggest low is the battery life. Check this snapshot. Battery is full charged nearly 3 hours ago and the remaining life is coming up nearly 4 hours more. That means total of 7-8 hours. And I was basically using it for Twitter, Inshorts and Amazon. 

In-built apps are not good functionality wise. If this is going to be your first phone, you will be delighted with their designs but if you are a pro, you may want to use third-party apps preferably the Google one’s like Google Play for music, YouTube for a cleaner video experience. I am using Piktures as my default image viewing app. Google photos is good but only if you are always online. Offline experience is not that good. So Piktures. For an always-an android user, getting used to this device may take some time. I still sometimes gets lost while searching for some apps and I am using it extensively since last 3 weeks. 

One plus one isn’t going to retirement any time soon. Both will be used. 

Two pics are of Bengaluru, 3-4 of Patna Airport and rest of Jamshedpur. 

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Birthday was well spent at home. After 6 years, I was at home for my birthday. So this is the silver lining of getting affected by Dengue. Atleast something good happened. 

Now I am giving it final editing and touches on my way back to Bengaluru. The entire post was written in 1 week. Everyday somethings got added and somethings got removed as they weren’t fitting well with others. Editing is a tough task but is an important thing. Some nuisance stuff is going on in the office. Stressful days are coming. Mail chains aren’t clear so will have tough days to figure out what the fuck everyone is upto. Really hate these guys. 
Music Video section :



Owning.

I own things. I also follow minimalism. And Minimalism clearly states “have only those which can help you live“. But I think I am allowed to have some indulgence as I am not a 100% minimalist till now. But one day, I will be.

Why am I writing this?
Because I am going to get me a new device. Le Eco Le 2. Yes, not a known brand. But I owned One Plus One and Micromax Canvas and Asus Zenfone 2 when they were not considered “good” and “not reliable”. I was wrong in the case of Asus Zenfone 2 though. More on this later.

Let’s chart the journey since the start.

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My first device was Nokia 2600 classic which my father gave me in 2008.  I used it for 3 years by repairing it 3 times. One time, it fell in the water, and 2 times, my anger took better of me. It had only 16 Mb internal memory and no external storage options. Camera was VGA and it didn’t matter much at that time as I was not into taking pictures. But listening to songs were an issue. So I used to convert all the songs to “amr” format and then transfer it to the device. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adaptive_Multi-Rate_audio_codec. 

The “amr” format songs are good for headsets but not for speakers. But somehow I managed it. Videos were converted to 3gp format. That format videos were bad, just bad.

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Then came Nokia 2700 classic in 2010 . I was a Nokia fan boy then. It was good. 2 MP camera, 32 Mb internal and 2 Gb external memory. It was the coolest phone at that time. But that phone stayed with me for a little period of time as my neighbor in the hostel stole it and I know you son of a bitch. Dude, the phone was just 6k back then, you could have bought it, not stolen it. I was in love with that phone, so I again bought the same phone and that stayed with me for 2 years. Even I took it with me in my Nepal trip. I took some pictures there and they aren’t bad.

Just have a look at them. They are pretty!
https://goo.gl/photos/QQHaekcnWhaUt2636

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Then came the beast. Samsung Galaxy Y Duos in 2012. 3 MP camera, 290 Mb ram, 512 Mb internal memory and 32 Gb external memory . Subway surfer and Temple Run were the reasons how I passed the time in the classes and the first time touch screen device, it was a bliss.

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Then came Micromax Canvas Fun in 2013. Slight upgrade but it didn’t disappoint all the time I used it and still it is working fine. It was and still is an awesome looking device. Many people used to confuse it with Lumia and that is possible if you just the Micromax symbol. I gave it to my mom when she needed a spare one as it was just laying at my home.
4.5-inch (480 x 854 pixels) TFT capacitive touch screen display
1.3 GHz dual-core MediaTek MT6572 processor
Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) OS
Dual SIM (GSM + GSM) with Dual Standby
10.1 mm thick
5MP auto focus camera with LED flash
0.3MP front-facing camera
512MB RAM,
4GB internal memory (1.25 GB user memory)
32GB expandable memory with MicroSD
3G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth,GPS
3.5mm audio jack
FM Radio with Recording
1500 mAh battery

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Then I joined Cognizant and bought Asus Zenfone 5. The phone was good but bad software updates and not finely tuned hardware made it a bloatware device. And as I was waiting for more than 3 months for getting Lollipop update and it met with an accident and died. Though the phone was one of the best configuration in 10k range, it was not able to run Asphalt and Injustice : God Among Us and that disappointed me a lot. When you have 2 Gb of ram and 1.2 GHz processor, your device should run these games flawlessly.

Then for a mere 20 days, I owned Moto G2, so I didn’t used it for a sufficient amount of time so can’t say much about the device.
Why did I buy it for 20 days?
I bought it for a long term but I got a good offer to get an One Plus One and I took it.

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Those who own this device, you have my respect for a smart choice. But I can’t say it for One Plus 2 owners as after 1 year since launch, the device is now a stable one. But One Plus 1 was kicking asses since day 1. A flagship killer, as was advertised by One Plus was completely true and it performed well.

If it performed well, then why I am upgrading?
Many reasons.
It was the last and the only Cyanogen Mod device by One Plus. After that they completely switched to Oxygen OS which is one of the best modded Android out there. You don’t believe me, just go to a guy who owns One Plus 3 and see it for yourself. You will thank me. With total of 4 phones under its belt, I don’t think One Plus will continue to keep thinking about One Plus 1 as rest three of their devices runs on Oxygen OS. Updates will be there but I don’t it’s hardware can keep up with the software in the coming months. But updates sure will keep your device kick ass.
I have dropped my phone enough times in last 1.5 years. You can imagine what level of drops I am taking about if I tell you I had to change three back covers because of the damage. Still the Nokia habit, it seems. I am not disowning it completely. I will keep it with me. I love this device.

Now looking at this new device, a lots of new possibilities and experiences are looking in the coming days.

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Phew!!!

End of a phase!

Ah! Independence Day is coming and with it my 2 year long vacation is coming to an end.

For the first time in many years it is time to regain the kind of focus I was always known for in the past . I have slowly been feeding the monster of competitiveness which had been lying dormant inside me for the last five years. This is one side of me which most of my new friends have never seen and which most of them wouldn’t like. But I have learnt a very valuable secret in the last few years: I have learned how to tame this beast that I can become. However, I am unleashing it now and the world will have to live with this new change and accept me for who I am or else they can go to hell . This is the only way I can achieve the targets I have set out for myself. I will revert back to the good old vacation mode me as soon as this personal mission is fulfilled.

Paid vacation leave for 2 years.
This has been on my mind since 2007 but I never figured out how to go about it. So after college, I decided to go for it. I was in no relationship so there was no fuss-fuss and my parents were cool with my decision. So I had nobody to answer to.

Rules for vacation were clear :
1. No money from parents. Adjust with what you earn.
2. Try out everything whatever is out there.
3. Read. Read. Read.
4. Watch indie and experimental movies from all over the world.
5. Listen to songs other than commercial craps.
6. Met new and interesting people.
7. Eat. Drink. Everything.
8. Write. Learn to write.
9. Figure out what is minimalism.
10. Develop a philosophical support system.

I had a offer and took it and after shifting to Bengaluru started my vacation. Met new people, made some great friends, few relationships (one of which almost took me to the aisle) and tons of great experiences and worked only that much so that I can’t be fired from job because that could be a bad thing.

My paid vacation ended on a cheerful note. CTS Performance Consulting team was happy with me and I was sort of happy with them. The time spent there made me realize that I was an excellent engineer and the time I had spent in the classroom/blogs/hackathons/forums over the last 4 years hadn’t gone to waste. It however strengthened my conviction of not working in the field of Performance Consulting . It is good but it is not of much help to get me where I want to end up. But I am still at it and searching a way out and will find it soon as I have 2 years to catch up too before making any moves.

Life has been worrying me for some days now and I called up some of my friends to get some advice. They gave me some advice the other day which can be perfectly summarized by one of Cat Stevens’ song. I hope some day I am able to give the same advice to some who might need it.

It’s not time to make a change,
Just relax, take it easy.
You’re still young, that’s your fault,
There’s so much you have to know.
Find a girl, settle down,
If you want you can marry.
Look at me, I am old, but I’m happy.
I was once like you are now, and I know that it’s not easy,
To be calm when you’ve found something going on.
But take your time, think a lot,
Why, think of everything you’ve got.
For you will still be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not.

This vacation had its rewards but not without a good dose of danger.

I swear to return to the same relaxed boozed out one some day when I have accomplished the task set by nature.

Long time, no see? Must there be a reason.

Well there is no reason.

Actually there is. I have run out of ideas. Last month was tough, both mentally and physically. So didn’t went out much and seen something on which I can write.

Mentally , office work was all time high. Out of three projects in which I was involved (one alone and two with team), last one was the project which has maximum work and minimum learning. Previous two were brilliant projects, “work which involves learning new things” is always a good thing . But what is done, is done. Nothing will be gained by talking about it. Last project can be easily be a case study for B-Schools about how to not manage a project.

On the other side, I got sick and ended taking up a long leave. And that leave period wasn’t a good experience. You can’t enjoy anything when your body is in pain. So to keep myself busy, I ended up revising three complete movie series.
1. Indiana Jones.
2. Star Wars.
3. Tolkien Legendarium.

J.R.R. Tolkien was one of the early pioneer in the world of fantasy story writing. Tolkien is rightfully popularly identified as the “father” of modern fantasy literature—or, more precisely, of high fantasy.

Tolkien’s Legendarium was not the first fantasy story books I read in my life. Harry Potter series were the first and with every book in that series lead to a sense of “something is missing” in me and with the Tolkien’s Legendarium, I met with such finest literary work which completely blew away my mind. Tolkien created a “body of more or less connected legend”, of which “the cycles should be linked to a majestic whole, and yet leave scope for other minds and hands, wielding paint and music and drama”.

George Lucas is also one of the finest story tellers in the world who created a completely new world with Star Wars series. Let’s see where the series will go on after the new sequels and spin-offs.

Both are the examples of what would happen if you let your imagination run wild in the right direction.

And as Harry Potter is concerned, I don’t have plans to read the latest book “Harry Potter and the cursed child” as it seems like just crushing the leaves to extract guttation fluid whatever is left in it after complete use in one cycle. Fluid may or may not come, but we will extract it, this is the thinking of the publisher and the studio who produced their theatre adaptations with a hope that it will make money and they are surely making money with that.

Akshar Pathak clearly demonstrated it in his tweet.

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Creating a connected story universe.

This is where DCEU failed.

Yesterday I saw Suicide Squad. It was definitely better than the theatrical cut of Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice but same as the Ultimate Edition. Though it was funnier and have more coherent story structure, but it wasn’t good enough. People who had read and lived comic book storylines will agree with me on this but the newbies will disagree as they just started knowing things from the movies only. But let’s hope other titles which are due next year will be good as Ben Affleck and Geoff Johns had taken helm at DCEU and with trailers of Wonder Women and Justice League, things are looking good. Or it may be just my wishful thinking. I am a hardcore DC fan but I still admit Marvel had setup their cinematic universe brilliantly brick by brick. DC may have a long way to go but with their supportive fans both cinematic universes are here for some time. And hopefully we will get to see a lot of comic book adaptations.

Hey, why I am writing this type of things?
You may ask why there is no mention of girls, beers and some short stories and I will reply “Suckers, things are changed and I see fire. “.

Some movies are like wine, the older they get the more meaningful they become. One of that type of movie is The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Brad Pitt’s one of the best performances. Right now it is going on in my laptop as with Torrent sites ban, I don’t have many new things to watch. It feels like we are again in the Napster Era where all media companies are against the free distribution of copyright materials but someway or another, it will be distributed. It is just a never ending battle between free distribution hackers and media industry lobbied governments. And we all know who will win this.

Okay enough chit-chat.
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Now the songs which are #NowPlaying.

Hairs which blew away my mind

I started this post with the title “Hairs”. It then became the “Hairs which blew my mind” without a single extra word being added. But now I am sticking to the same title, I decided for it.

This is going to be a very disjointed post. I will ramble and go off on complete tangents with extreme regularity. Seekers of coherence – tread carefully. For here be dragons.

I was late to the office despite of the continuous taunts of why I come to office late. I don’t get late. I go around 10.30 am and come back around 9 pm and make sure before leaving, I am completing all my dues for the day. So I was working on my assignment without taking my normal breaks to roam around office (I still like roaming around though I am about to complete 1 year at the office.).  Then after finishing it, I noticed time and it was lunch time. So I went for my lunch and decided to have my usual Veg Biryani. After that I and my friends decided to roam. On my way to the elevator, I was busy thinking about my in-progress story but then my eyes saw her. And for the first time, without even noticing the face, I got attracted to her and I decided to see her completely. And then WHAM, I was in love. Even my friends decided to take another elevator, but I was determined to take the elevator which she was taking. So I followed her and entered into the same elevator and then all hell broke lose as she remembered that she left something in the canteen and she wants to leave the elevator and the door was closing and I am a stupid prick, who just put his hands to stop the doors from closing making way for her to leave. But I was smitten. And I cursed my luck for it. But nothing was there left for me to do. So I decided to close that chapter and move on.

Around 5 pm, our favorite SVT environment was unstable and we couldn’t do any more on it, so I and Avishek decided to go out. And when we were about to go, Srini got busy and we have to wait for him. And I was hungry, so I stepped out to eat something. And then again, I saw her and decided to go to the same counter and I made sure that I got seat such that I can devour her (Stop judging me).  And I again followed her to the reception area, where she was about to wait for somebody and I decided to wait for Avishek and Srini there only. So I was observing her. And then I noticed she owns One Plus One and I thought cupid was about to do his work. But then her facial reaction gave me the hints I never wanted. She has a boyfriend. I know the looks, the girls makes when their boyfriends texts them.

My eyes seemed to be hopping around the reception like a bird, settling down for a moment and then flitting away. Those eyes – there was something about them. They would light up with the child-like excitement of discovery and then surge with the sadness of a bleeding heart. Guilt from betrayal would creep into them and then get pushed aside by the promise of love. But were they mine emotions or simply reflections upon the stories I was gathering with my wandering eyes?

I could feel her eyes on me. They were searching for something. They needed an answer. I looked straight into them and replied.

Now we both knew.
We understood.
We felt.
Love.

But then her boyfriend arrived. And the way he was talking to my Aphrodite, I would have punched his face if I was in college or outside the office but I decided to stop and let things unfold before me.

All the really really beautiful girls are dating complete losers-morons-mean-sons-of-warthogs who should drown themselves in small unassuming puddles of muck. And if they are not, that means they just broke up with one such guy and are waiting for another one of them to come along.

You beg to differ, do you? You know some really amazing woman who is not dating some, for the lack of a more appropriate word, chutiya. Then my dear friend, you have just witnessed a miracle of celestial proportions. Birds have crapped on me more than a dozen times, two coconuts have fallen on my back, a rock the size of a football has missed my face by a few inches in my bike adventures, and yet I have never witnessed this miracle.

Then, my friends arrived and I decided to get out of her presence.

I left alone.
She left with her boyfriend of sometime.

My head hurts when I think of the whole situation. Even I don’t have the answers to everything.

May be it’s my karma.

Okay, Karma, now I think I know the answer.

You.
Are.
My.
Daddy.

Dreams and Legacy

It’s been a while since I went out to experience some new things, so I don’t have any story to tell you. But what I have is 2 small pieces of my mind. LEGACY and DREAMS abhors me but I am drawn to it just like the moth to a flame.

Enjoy.

Dreams
Throughout my life I have been a dreamer. My dreams have been a constant source of images which are sometimes abstract, sometimes detailed; sometimes bizarre, sometimes beautiful; sometimes fear-provoking and sometimes calming, images that have left such an indelible impression on my memory that it is sometimes difficult for me to distinguish them from reality, images that have enriched my senses, all of them, so thoroughly that I remain eternally thankful to the process of sleep and the imperfectness of the human brain which leads to the random firing of weakly associated neurons, hence producing dreams. 

I often wondered how exciting it would be if I were able to spend all my time in the land of dreams. Dreams constantly challenged my notion of reality. They provided me sights so colourful, so rich in texture that the real world started looking dull, morbid. They provided me such thrills, such rushes of adrenaline that nothing in my otherwise regular, ‘real’ life could match up to them. I looked forward to sleep, dreams, nightmares, visions with enthusiasm such as I had never felt for anything else. Dreams were my sanctuary, a life away from life which pacified my on the run, over imaginative conscience. 

So it seemed like providence when dreams came to my aid, again. Dreams would finally help me realize my ambitions, my dreams.

Legacy
For as long as I can remember I have been obsessed with creating a worthwhile and long-lasting legacy – something that will survive me, perhaps for generations to come. Legacy can be in the form of material wealth and riches. It can be in the form of ideas. An artist’s legacy is his work; a gangster’s his street-cred and the urban legends that surround his name. As an author I hope my stories are read for years to come (they better immortalise me – I’m looking at you, first draft of new story). But my concerns here are of a very different kind – a legacy of a more personal nature.

How do people remember us when we are no longer around (we need not have departed to our heavenly abodes, but perhaps moved to a different city)? Do they miss us? Do they remember us fondly? What is it about us that they miss? In short, did we have any impact on their lives? These questions trouble me often.

As we grow old we surround ourselves with people. Some of them fall by the wayside as time goes by – either because we outgrow them or perhaps due to circumstances.

Anyone who has ever lived in a megacity knows that a social group of friends and acquaintances (however close they may be) has a limited shelf life as a collective. The constant churning and flux of the city ensures that old faces disappear and new ones keep appearing.

But there are a few who remain connected to us at a much deeper level, irrespective of the time that has passed or the distance that separates us. These friends and companions are our extended family.

All of us have a few close friends we don’t communicate with on a regular basis – no phone calls, no Twitter replies, no Facebook comments, no emails, not even a new year’s greeting card. But these people are always in our thoughts – at every heartbreak and failure, at every moment of triumph and joy – these are the people we think of. Trivialities like distance and a lack of communication don’t affect such friendships. These friendships are our legacy.

But with friends there is also a legacy of shared experiences that transcends space and time. 

Now it’s time for random videos :

The First

She had made fun of me the first time we met.

The acerbic words, the colourful and often (more like always) hurtful diatribes I am now known for were missing in my repertoire back then. It was a time, when once I had found out that the female of the species Canis Familiaris is called a ‘bitch’, had found it exceedingly funny and decided to christen everything I met on my way back from school by the same name, my mom had put a little red chilly powder on my tongue and warned me that if I ever called a woman that she’d disown me.

She had made fun of me and I had remained silent.

I was four years old and she was about three years older and four fingers taller than me. She could have easily taken me.

She had made fun of me and I would have done the same if I were in her position.

You see, I still hadn’t mastered the subtle art of tying my shoelaces. I never really understood the whole ‘one little bunny goes over the bridge, hides below the hedge and is then pulled out by the evil witch’ bit. What the hell was a bunny doing on my shoes anyway?

She had made fun of me and then gone ahead and tied my shoelaces.

We had become friends instantly. And we were inseparable. We were together when I lost my first tooth, when she and I learnt to ride a bicycle, when her parents split, when she had her first period (the oddest day of my life so far), when Jurassic Park came to the theatres, when she was asked out on her first date …

And then my parents decided to move to a different city.

We were sitting on top of the water tank on my terrace (our favourite place). We had not spoken for over an hour. We just sat there looking at the houses around us, the play ground where we had learnt to climb trees together and our old school in the distance. We didn’t look at each other. We didn’t want to cry.

My mom called out from the driveway. They were ready to leave. I said I’ll be down in a few minutes.

I looked at her. And did something I had never expected to do. I kissed her, kissed her for the longest possible time. But something was amiss. She wasn’t responding. Her lips weren’t moving. I kissed her harder, pulled her closer to me. Nothing. I only withdrew when I felt her tears on my cheek. Her face was expressionless. She didn’t say anything.

My mom called again. I stood up in a daze. Said goodbye. She still didn’t say anything. I stood there for a moment and then climbed down the stairs.

On the way to the railway station I did not speak to anyone. All I could think about was her. Had I done something wrong? Had I destroyed the only friendship which meant anything to me? Had I …

I was fourteen years old. And that was my first kiss?