My spectrum of thoughts

Prepare yourself to be bombarded with spam texts, forwarded images (which people don’t even download) and those ‘feeling festive with someone and 30 other people’ statuses! Because? Diwali is here! And all this ‘festivity’ wears off as fast as it starts.

Diwali Wishes

Why not break this norm of expressing our glee in the digital world and actually go out to meet people? Now of course, it is not practical to meet everyone. Why not try a video call? If that’s not possible, try a voice call? Only after send in a handwritten, personalised message that states you wanted to wish them.

It not only shows you took the effort to actually greet them, but also makes you feel good about it. And isn’t a festival all about feeling good?

So here’s a flowchart to summarise:

Festival greetings flowchart

CASER

Adithi Muralidhar

Mumbai, 1830hrs, CST station….

I was traveling at peak hour, hordes of people making their way to their respective platforms. It was terribly hot and humid and the fans in our coach were not working. I was lucky to get a window seat in the first class ladies compartment. Fourteen of us adjusted ourselves in the mini coach as the train started to move. Finally some fresh air….

Atleast 6 ladies were munching something …a common sight to see… I too was hungry, my stomach was growling. I pictured my mom’s home cooked meal hot and ready in the house for me, and suddenly I was smiling. The hunger subsided a bit. The lady sitting right opposite to me was enjoying her vada pav with chutney and green chillies.

vp      Photo Credit: Prerna Singh/ Indian Simmer

She finished it under a minute and crumbled the newspaper and wiped…

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Stonehenge

Exactly how I feel!

Tatterhood

ruin:

/ˈruːɪn/

noun

1. 
the physical destruction or disintegration of something or the state of disintegrating or being destroyed.

What is the difference between the living and the dead?

On the surface, it is a simple question. At least, when it comes to our fellow humans (and other sentient beings) we are fairly good at differentiating. Breath, color, language, movement.

But what about stone? What about the rocks we shape and move; worship; commemorate; celebrate?

Whom among us can deny the spirit of a gravestone? Who could gaze upon the structure of Stonehenge and not hear the echoes of those ancient, well-kept secrets?

Well, as it turns out, there are plenty of people who can and do. I really don’t want to come off as condescending here, but my trip to Stonehenge today was, largely, infuriating. I stood on the circular path that encloses the site and watched hundreds…

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I can never over emphasize the need for such things!

Abby Norman

Yesterday, the news invaded my classroom. I think the kids aren’t paying attention. I think the kids only care about the news as it relates to Justin Bieber. I think they aren’t listening or capable of advanced thought. Every single time I think one of those things, I sell out the ninth-graders that come traipsing through my room every day.

It started when I picked this poem to go over different ways to look at poetry:

Witness

Martha Collins

If she says something now he’ll say
it’s not true if he says it’s not true
they’ll think it’s not true if they think
it’s not true it will be nothing new
but for her it will be a weightier
thing it will fill up the space where
he isn’t allowed it will open the door
of the room where she’s put him
away he will fill up her mind he…

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A couple of years ago, Motorola shut down its website & reduced operations in India Around the same time,  a new species of smartphones flooded our mobile markets. These were smartphones running on almost vanilla Android, sporting huge screens, beast-like specs, mediocre design and poor build quality. But despite being chunky, poorly designed, in fact being cheap rebranded chinese handsets, they sold like hot cakes!

The reason? They were affordable! In a market where most top guns brought out budget phones which really looked like budget phones, Indian players started pushing in these highly affordable smartphones which had high end specs (at least on paper). Names like Micromax, Lava, Xolo, Karbonn have become household names. But everything is changing since Feb 2014.

Motorola is back! Motorola proved that high quality smartphones can be affordable, and it continues to do so! First the Moto G, it brought Motorola back on the global map. The Moto X, a mid range contender which sets a new benchmark for smartness. And now? Welcome their youngest sibling the Moto E! 

Available for just Rs 6,999/- Moto E is definitely going make every other mobile manufacturer rethink all their strategies! Specially the Indian mobile manufacturers, who made hay on the belief that the indian customer considers price first and quality later.

So are you planning to buy a Moto E? What should the Indian companies do to stand in competition with such phones? Would love to hear your opinions!

I sometimes marvel at the way Android has evolved! A couple of years back when I used my first Android phone (The beautiful Xperia SK17i), a fellow commuter in the local train was amazed when I showed him gesture based input on the keyboard.

For those who don’t know, gesture input allows you to slide your finger on the keyboard letter to letter and suggests words. It’s so accurate that I’m using it to type this post right now! Checkout the video below from 00:32 to witness gesture input.

This feature, however, is a couple of years old! Today, my latest Android (Moto X) lets me dictate things to it and types it out! Now of course, it needs a quite environment for really good accuracy!

I know iPhone has Siri. But even apple fanatics will accept that it really isn’t that robust! Though I’m yet to checkout Cortana on Windows Phone, I doubt it can beat Google Now!

With Android wear, Google glass and Project Ara coming up in some time, I can’t imagine how awesome everything is going to be!

Facebook Facepalm!

So I wake up this morning to find one of my perverted friends inviting me to this sick looking page on Facebook, where the owner and some people are sharing raunchy photographs of Indian housewives. I reported the page to Facebook mentioning that it contained nudity or pornography. I must say reporting something on Facebook is dead simple and while I was at it, I was also requested to go through the community standards on Facebook before completing the process. This was what their community standards had to say about nudity and pornography

Facebook has a strict policy against the sharing of pornographic content and any explicitly sexual content where a minor is involved. We also impose limitations on the display of nudity. We aspire to respect people’s right to share content of personal importance, whether those are photos of a sculpture like Michelangelo’s David or family photos of a child breastfeeding.

This assured that the obscenity would be taken off in some time. But hey! I wouldn’t be posting this if all went fine would it? When I come back online on Facebook, they tell me:

Thank you for taking the time to report something that you feel may violate our Community Standards. Reports like yours are an important part of making Facebook a safe and welcoming environment. We reviewed the page you reported for containing nudity or pornography and found it doesn’t violate our Community Standards.

Note: If you have an issue with something on the Page, make sure you report the content (e.g. a photo), not the entire Page. That way, your report will be more accurately reviewed.

Yes, now I know what to do! I should go to the page and report each and every post for nudity and porn! Thank you Facebook! Facepalm!

P S : The page being Indian is a larger Facepalm!

Thank you!

It’s good to take a walk down the memory lane once in a while. It reminds you of the person you once were and it lets you reflect on what you’ve become today. It lets you measure how far have you come and see what you’ve left behind.

For wanderers like me, taking a stroll like this reminds me of the beautiful time I have spent in my past with people that only a few in my company today can match. But such people have always been a handful! Like those rare gems one stumbles upon in pitch black darkness! These are the people who make you feel like a titan! Incidents and accidents, laughter and tears, victory and defeat – everything seemed so small!

My memories are mails I sent to people and their gracious replies, photographs? Yes! But not so many. A minute or two with them tells me about the things that life was going through in those days, misbeliefs and prejudices – feelings and emotions – likes and dislikes. Like a whole month squeezed into a minute, time flashes by. Leaving me overwhelmed with nostalgia!

This is to all those wonderful people who have contributed in making my life the beautiful piece of art it is today!

I may not meet you, call you, write to you anymore! But I respect you for the role you played in my life, I would have missed something if you hadn’t! Thank you for being there!

This story got published as a 75 word story for the theme ‘Found’.

Baby Sister“Find me Bhaiya”, echoed through the darkness – every night. Memories of their hide and seek game tormented his dreams. Every morning he mourned over the year old accident. Finally, he realized a way to end this. He walked by the edge of the cliff from where she had fallen. A deep breath – a clenched fist – a wide leap, there she was! Arms wide open – benevolent smile – deep round eyes. “Found you!”, he cried out loud.
To read more stories in this theme click here

This story got published as a 75 word story for the theme ‘Drive’.

Cleanliness DriveIt was her first time and like all first timers – she too was very nervous. Her veteran friends told her it just feels weird for the first time, but at the end of it there is a feeling of immense peace and satisfaction. “This isn’t that bad!”, she thought after the first round. Soon she fell in love with the idea of spreading awareness about cleanliness and picking up trash to motivate others.



I have been an NSS volunteer during my graduation days at KC college and cleanliness drives – along with other social activities – were my favorites.
To read more stories in this theme click here
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