Thursday, December 17, 2015

Chistmas Special: A Portrait from the Past

Posted by at 11:10 PM
The family portrait was taken a year back, as he looked at it for a while. Sally had his eyes, while Tom was everything he found attractive in Martha. The kids, the wife, the room seemed a little too bright, full of shiny decorations, so many colors, frills, balloons and what not. So much joy in one portrait, so many smiles, the intensity almost hurt his eyes. His weary eyes, aching for some rest.

Martha was his love, a metalhead too, and together they had raised a fine pair of kids, with equal, hell, even better appetite for rock music. Tom had picked up the keyboard pretty fast, he could master the arpeggios by the time he was 8. Sally had a great voice coupled with the skills for the guitar, and she had begun performing at school by the time she was in 6th. Interestingly, he played the keyboard while Martha played the guitar. A perfect passing of talents, one would often comment when they'd see them play together. He was suddenly missing the dual with Tom over keyboard-plays.

They all had decided to go for King Crimson tees, the day the picture was taken. He almost felt the urge to cry, and a push from within to stop himself from doing so. It was a funny moment, and in that one frame, world seemed to have stopped for him as he could see his life to be more complete than ever, which he realized now more than any other day before.

They were visiting Paris, and a gig was due that day. The concert tickets were quickly booked, four passes with them, a very exciting evening was due ahead. Not a big band, but a promising one nevertheless, was to play that night. The entire afternoon they had spent discussing and debating over the music of the band. A typical gig-day afternoon for the family.

He was frantically marching in the room, anxiety filling him up more than ever. The tv channels were worked up to their limits. He threw the tab on the bed, it bounced over and the portrait flashed on the screen. Soon later, he fell on the bed, his head would hurt. A good number of people had gathered in his room, desperately trying to do their best to make him feel comfortable and hopeful. Many of them had local contacts, and were trying to call up wherever they could. Description of Martha and Sally was being read from hand-written pamphlets, so that not one of them missed the features that'd be helpful in tracking them down. Tom was quiet yet restless. The sense of being a teenager and not being able to take control of the situation was being hard on him. He wanted to hug his father and cry and tell him that everything will get fine, but tears were for the weak, he wanted to believe. He went over and sat beside him, shook his head down, fists clunched in silence.

He tried to dial their numbers once again. The call log flashed the count of unanswered calls in two digits. Rings. Nobody picks up. Nobody did so that night. On that long, wintry eve of Christmas.

* * *

The patient was stabilised. His proper post-operative pain management had helped him be a part of a delivery process for the most beautiful pair of twins he had ever seen. The past 18 hours had been critical, as his team aided the surgeon into a fairly complicated operation. As an anesthetist, he was thankful to God today.

It was Christmas morning. The family of the twins and the mother had gathered in the hall, as the father brought the twins out in his arms, careful and caring. He saw from a short distance, as doctors came by and shook his hands , congratulating him. "It's a Christmas miracle!" yelled an elderly woman, as everybody clapped incoherently.

It'd been six years since that fateful night in Paris, as he remembered the passing of Martha and Sally. Both had died of internal organ bleeding, gunshot wounds. He had wept a lot that night. Tom had been on his side, almost as tall as him as he had felt the tears of his son falling on his shoes. Six years had gone by, and  he was a responsible father, with Tom growing up to be a fine son. Life was letting him live, with his regrets reducing everyday.

"Graceful , beautiful."
"They have your nose and Emma's eyes!"
 "What should we call them?!!"
"What should we name them?!"

The joyful screams and chaos of questions brought him back to the present as he looked on towards the family with his eyes gleaming with euphoria.

"Martha, and Sally.." he whispered to himself, smiling, while wiping a tear from the corner of his left eye.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Thoughts on the Bataclan concert, Paris.

Posted by at 1:34 AM
Reading about world news is an interesting process. The sense of people living around the world just like us, with their own sets of stories just like ours - gives us a sense of being truly connected and associated at a direct or an indirect level.  Which is why, when we read about a news as horrific as what we have been reading recently, it stirs us inside with a familiar pain that shudders the entire humanity, the sorrow the public unrest and makes us crave for the consequential demand of peace us coming together as a part of a bigger ecosystem - the human civilization.

I read about the hostage situation that took place in Paris, during an Eagles of Death Metal gig that resulted into a massacre. There were definitely people in the audience from various walks of life, with their own specific struggles and achievements, who had come together for one common, shared passion - the love for music. As a result, I shuddered to imagine myself in a situation as that.

In a typical concert I would be finding myself in sync with thousands of others in no time, sharing, discussing, debating, conceding defeat, scoring wins, about the common passion and love for the band I had come to see perform live. That's it, no other thoughts or sense of responsibility other than the one about paying a fitting attention to my gods on stage. And if at that time, I was to be taken hostage, with death inching closer towards me every moment, and a voice telling you to not act brave do anything stupid while another voice telling me to do something so that everybody survives, an entirely different struggle for survival would surface in front of me.

My thoughts and prayers with Paris and her people. My heart wrenches and my soul cries for the 89 victims who died in that concert. I wish for a speedy recovery of the injured. I wish for the affected families an incredible amount of strength and tolerance. I wish I could express more than solidarity with the victims...

I hope people don't suffer survivor's guilt and they come together for saving each other from having a life of solitude and seclusion, and I do hope that people will save money to attend many more concerts without ever worrying about their well-being, albeit with a hope that we will stay alert even more, safe and sound than ever before, and I will tell myself to keep believing that one day, all this will end, for good.

(Image Courtesy: Metal Traveller)

Monday, July 20, 2015

The enviable pleasure of realizing the beauty of thoughts

Posted by at 4:19 AM
When I took the condensed milk can out of the fridge, it was mostly to satiate my hunger, as it was 2am of a Monday, and I was trying to avoid overeating. I had consumed a good amount of spicy take-away food the previous night, with my college friends working in the same city as mine , while we had a suddenly-planned house party to reminisce the nostalgia of our college days. Consequently, I decided to eat as less as I could on Sunday.

Needless to say, my appetite was all but dead. I sat down on a matress on my floor , turned on The Office on Netflix, and wanted to finish a few episodes while I indulged in the sweetness of the dessert.

I had initially hoped to be done after having a spoonful, as it was really sweet and not much of a healthy option. But I overpoured it into the bowl, and decided to go slow with it. Moments later, I was enjoying its deliciousness, while a decent episode of the Steve Carell mockumentary, The Office, played.

Licking it off my fingers gave me a sugar rush of sorts, which thankfully lasted a few mere seconds. It felt curiously happy, and I started diving deep into my thoughts. I switched to watching some Harvard Talent Show videos , the one that is organized in John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Immaculate videos. Made the whole setting joyous. Thoughts about alt-J songs crossed my mind, the complexities of their lyrics , the relevance and subtle, often clever references to pop cultures in movies, dawned a beautiful array of thoughts in my head.

Spending some more time on the videos , as I fnished the serving, I decided to retire for the day. It had been a tiring one , combined with the lethargy of the weather outside, I had a near-perfect evening of recovery from last night's event at my place.I had gone out a few hours back, and it rained as I was coming back. Luckily, there was a line of trees next to a bus stop in Madhapur ( a few 100 meters from Cyber Tower ) , which served as a welcome shelter for my bike and me, as I saw new-found love and camaraderie next to myself- a newly-married couple who had to make a stop too, with them having a bike at their disposal, as well. Not exactly perky but subtle conversation, in sync with the laid-back attitude of the city on a Sunday.

I sat with my copy of  'A Clutch of Indian Masterpieces' , gifted to me by a friend , an elder sisterly figure (because she is a great listener) whom I got acquainted to when we were representing Kolkata in a pan-India blogging competition. I had already finished the first story in it, a work written by Tagore and translated to English by Amitava Ghosh, and was looking forward to read the next. That's when I realized that the cap of the condensed milk can was on the floor and I had forgotten to cap it.

Oh laziness! How you can kick in the worst way, I reflected as I smiled. I corrected the mistake after a long bout of convincing-unconvincing myself about ants attacking the can and making a mess of my floor by the next morning. Perhaps that's how prolonged an effect of a bite that injects Formic acid in your skin lasts - I remember I was bitten by a big black ant when I was in 8th grade, but that was the last time I was in pain resulting from an ant bite, strong enough for me to remember-  that I was able to force myself up from the bed and put the lid on the can.

That is when , a nice little thought cropped up inside my head - is this air-tight cap good enough? How does one measure its quality? As an engineer who has some experience with QA, I soon found myself thinking of scenarios where it could fail. What if ants are small enough to creep inside the can? What if a bit of the cap is left gaping, what if I poked a hole at the top or at the side of the cap? What if I place the can in a different , violent environment in favor of ants?

I started, vividly, picturizing the placing of the can in a glass box full of ants which I probably acquired from some hobbyist. As I did so, I tried to visualize the movement of the ants. First it would be chaotic, incoherent, with vectors of their movement canceling out the overall force on the can. Would they even be motivated enough to climb into the can? Surely they will get to 'detect' the sweetness emanating from the sides of the gaping opening at the top of the cap? Will they then change their formation, regroup and attempt to strengthen their force in one definite direction towards the can, with a motive of toppling it? Or will they, simply, let it be?

The immense possibilities of this scenario and the sub-scenarios hence-generated made me wonder, how it would be if we really took some time out to analyze the regular things we see almost everyday in our lives. The breaking down of the problem statement, the analyzing of the information at hand, the ease of utilizing our skills to propose a solution, the dedication of going back and fixing the solution, again and again till there's an elegant and acceptable version of the solution, and the belief that you will fix the problem, no matter what, is all it would take.

That belief is important. It is necessary and of course, significantly beautiful.

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Induction

Posted by at 7:15 PM
She parked her car hurriedly, almost hitting the pole nearby. Getting out of the car, she could see the beastly flyer of Dr Ryan's Clinic. 'We can surely help you.' the tagline had a hidden indication that somehow soothed her , assuring her that Dr Ryan would be able to fend off this feeling of hopelessness that she had been fighting for months now.

She checked at the reception, and was requested to take a seat. The interiors of the waiting room was unusually cheerful- vibrant colors that hurt her eyes. In no time, the attendant called out her name and she was escorted inside Dr Ryan's chamber.

"Anne, please take a seat."
"Thanks, doctor."
"So tell me, what troubles you?"
"I..I don't know doctor.. I have no answer for that question.."
"Okay, but surely you can give me something! Tell me , what did you have for breakfast today?"
"Some scrambled eggs and coffee."
"Black ?"
"Yes. Wow.. erm.."
"I too had black coffee this morning. So how was it? How did you feel after finishing that cup?"
"I felt..awake..but at the same time it made me sad.."
"You think feeling partially sleepy lessens your sadness?"
"..I guess.. it makes me forget my troubles , doc.."
"...okay Anne, we will resume from here, but I need you to lie down on the couch here first. I want you to relax."

Dr Ryan helped her settle down at the couch. She was feeling at home somehow, yet the set up of a typical clinic as this was, made her remember that she wasn't really at home.

"You can continue now.."

"The thing is , doctor, that I don't know what makes me sad in the morning. It feels like I am being put in a zone everyday, by default, without any justification, and I am meant to stay in that darkness , where there's no light but gloom, no hope but sadness. I end up whiling my time the whole day, I had taken a sabbatical from work for 3 months in order to explore something fun and maybe travel the world but all I do everyday is push myself..into that zone...for reasons that I don't know how to comprehend.."
Dr Ryan, at this point mellowed the lights down, to make the room more comfortable for a good nap. She flicked a few switches in the room.

"Imagine yourself as being pushed into that zone." she said.
"Imagine that you are walking in there, slowly, but willingly , and with  reason this time..."
"But...but doc.."
Anne started slurring before long, and as she found herself landing deep into a medication-induced slumber, she saw the blurred image of her doctor, who seemed to wear a mask-like object.

"Anne..."
"Hmm"
"You there?"
"Hmm.."
"Good..now hear me out clear.."
"..."
"Ever tried killing someone?"
"I...no.."
"what is that mark on your wrist?"
"I don't.. I can't.."
"You cannot lie to me you know.."
"I didn't mean to kill..myself.."
"Then...?"
"I just wanted to make that cut with the knife...the blood spilling out...dripping on the floor...looked so shiny..."
"shiny and contoured..?"
"yes and...it gave me some relief...until...until I started feeling dizzy...then I don't...I hardly remember.."
"would you like to repeat it...if you wanted to..?"
"I..I don't know.. yes..maybe I..--"
"what if I told you that we can...help you find someone on whom you can inflict a wound..."
"...that's..that's impossible..why would I want to kill someone.."
"what if you really wanted to kill someone..?"
"I don't want to..."
"Well what do you want then..?"
"...just a cut..a small , triangular cut..."
"..not on your arms I hope..?"
"no no, not on mine but....someone else's..."
"whose?"
"someone...anyone, I can...just make a slit and no one would know..."
"what if I helped you make a slit at a particular part of the body"
"what do you...mean.."
"what if we taught you...how to slit someone...that would result in a huge bloodloss..."
"I would love to watch the color..."
"...of the blood?"
"...of the blood, yes...yes..."
"shiny?"
"yes...shiny and contoured..."
"...good. I will help you then, Anne, always will.."
"blood drops, dripping and...spilling..spraying out...red and iron-like..."

Dr Ryan came out of the room, removed her mask from her face and was faced by 5-6 lab-coated people ready to follow her instructions. She started instructing with finesse:

"Test Subject number 37 - inducted into The Programme successfully. Begin the next steps please."

                                                        ************************

Three months ago , the newspapers had run a news of a suicide attempt by a senior VP of AMX Cosmetics. Anne Madison was found in her apartment, soaked in blood, pale and unconscious.

Somewhere on one of the inside pages, there was another column - regarding the mysterious disappearances of some of the prominent executives of the beauty industry, all of them having a common linkage of attempting to commit suicide.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Biker Who Could Bend Time

Posted by at 9:15 PM
A cloudy weather on a weekend meant Auro would be surely taking his fabled sports bike out that morning. Auro had bought it entirely with his savings from last year. Biking never came naturally to him, and he had had his fair share of accidents. Yet when he bought this bike, he knew he would be more responsible with it , and the daily commute to work and back would be a little easier and more convenient.

Auro decided to take the 4-lane ring road a few kms away from his place. The weather coupled with the weekend meant that the ring road would basically be a smooth pad for bikers. Auro smiled as he remembered how the last time he fell off a bike had led to him saving some lives. Thinking of the past and realizing how he had made improvements in the gift he possessed, he set out, with some safety gear and a helmet. A 10-minute drive and his day would be made.

He reached the start of the ring road in no time. Saturday morning called for empty lanes and emptier main roads. Preparing himself for the ride, he counted. 1. 2. 3. he fired up the engine and the beast , giving a majestic roar, soared in space with him. One of the best feelings . Auro said to himself as he picked up to 70 in mere seconds.

He was careful and calculated, driving at a steady speed of 70. For some reason, he had figured out that this is the ideal speed for him for all good reasons, though it is really laughable and underestimating for the machinery that he was driving. But he was here just for some good time. He didn't have racing in his mind.

He drove like this for five minutes. His mind was occupied with pure joy and fun. He would have almost let himself loose when instantly a Harley davidson whizzed past him, grazing the right side of his bike. He almost found himself skidding, but managed to gain control soon. Rage rushed into his head.

Rage , a pathetic mind controller. When it grips you  you don't see the complications it brings with itself. You just go with what it directs, only to realize the blunder when it leaves your senses. Auro was no exception. He was a normal boy in his early twenties, albeit with a gift. But sadly, his rage got the better of him as he decided to charge the biker who just damaged his bike. Something, somewhere was calling out to him, asking him, begging him to stop. Auro didn't listen to the voice this time.

The voice, was a part of the gift he had. In the past he had used his gift, mostly unknowingly, when a horrifying mishap that occured 3 months back had made him decide that he is better off without the gift that he had. Because the voice had told him that day that something was not right about the flight he was in; that something needed to be done to ensure it doesn't crash. He had looked outside , no turbulence, a clear cloudless sky it was. Yet this being one of those early days when he had realized what he could do, that he decided to listen to his voice.

He had tried to turn the time back, but miscalculated some seconds. Soon he had found himself pushed out of the cruising plane , because he was sitting next to the emergency gate. He never realized when he had opened the gate, perhaps he did it in reality which he had just fast forwarded. He could find himself falling into the sea, drowning, and could see the plane go down about a mile in front of him- taking all the passengers with it.

They had found him in a state of unconsciousness in a few hours. Auro was declared the lone survivor of the crash that took lives of 102 people onboard. To this day he blamed himself to be the reason behind the crash , because he had acted too early , listening to the voice , and had consequently miscalculated almost 3 seconds when he turned time back - the engine was to catch fire is what the voice had told him, but instead of avoiding the factors that would lead to the fire, his miscalculation had enabled it.

To this day he had kept his promise which he had sworn that fateful day- that he would never use his ability to bend time.

He accelerated hard. He could see the other biker in sight. From 70 he went upwards of 100. 120. 140. Wind waves rushed past him, water from his eyes rushed to the back of his ears. No care for the world. No worries. Just a handful of rage controlled him as he crossed the biker , and turned himself around and screeched his bike to a halt.

The biker didn't notice him when he should have. When he did , he tried to control his speed. But he was late to react. He was late by 3 seconds. Auro kept facing him, and he kept his engine on, revving his accelerator, readying for a showdown. The other biker fanatically tried to control his speed as he could see Auro not moving a bit. In a few seconds, they were mere 5 meters away from each other and the other biker found his brakes failing. Auro was about to move out of the way when suddenly the voice inside his head called out-  don't . Momentarily , Auro became transfixed, as he could see broken shards of glasses on the road which resembled the glass pieces of the aeroplane's emergency gate. He found himself falling into a deep fuzz of confusion, as he could hear the voice telling him not to move, mixed with the outcry of the biker who was rushing at him for a head-on collision at the speed of 80. Auro found himself losing consciousness.

They found him in a state of unconsciousness in a few hours. All the water that had filled when he drowned in the sea was extracted from his lungs in few minutes by skilled paramedics. He returned to his senses. He could see a floating metallic body at a distant sea, partially burning in fire. He got up his stretcher, and found himself amongst many other people at the beach, all under medical supervision.

Auro was right with his calculations this time.

The investigation went on for the next 3 months regarding the fault that led to the mishap. Yet everybody was baffled as to how accurately one of the passengers of the flight had managed to open all the emergency doors of the flight- that ultimately had led to easy exit of the passengers when the pilot had descended the crashing plane onto the sea, a mere 5 meters from the sea surface. Everybody inflight was saved.

Auro was reading the newspaper as he looked out of the window. It was a pleasant afternoon, perfect for a bike ride at a nearby ring road. He was sensing a feeling that he had decided to take the ride that morning too, but couldn't really remember why he didn't take it.

Taking his safety gear and a helmet , he reached the parking lot where he found his bike having a nasty scratch on its right side.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

How to Read a Book 101

Posted by at 6:58 PM
How to read a book? Pretty simple. All you require is some free time, ability to stay awake for longer periods and of course, hehe, a book.

So here's a short but effective tutorial of reading a book. I call it: RB-101.

Visit a nice little bookstore. Pick a book. Any book you want. If you're one of those who are affected by the thickness of a book, then pick a thinner one. Of course you're one of those who are scared the shit out by a thick book so surely pick a thin one ( 100 -200 pages maybe) .


Now once you're done picking a book, check it out. Look at it properly. Check how the cover looks like, how it feels, how the binding is ( you wouldn't want to spend your hard-earned money on a book whose pages are coming off! ) . You may lick a little of the  binder gum , just to be sure ( yeah you dendrite-abusers lookityou getting all worked up ) .

After this , make sure you check the summary. So you turn the book around and at its back you will be able to read the blurb. Mind you , the phrases of praises should be avoided, unless you secretly believe that like a finalist crossing over to the takeshi's castle at the last round of takeshi's castle, one day you'll be able to come across that rare occurence of a negative remark made for the book by someone prominent.

If the summary impresses you, you begin the next step. You start judging the author. You can do it in many ways. Usually people judge the author by checking the price of the book, whether the book cover is nicely designed, how the cover feels , whether it's nice to rub one's cheeks on it or not. If the book is priced high, it surely is a big deal. You wouldn't be needing a big deal for this tutorial , so just pick a love story by a debutante Indian author.

Now some Indian love story authors come cheap. I mean their books come cheap , but their stories are cheaper. That's a separate topic of discussion altogether but what I mean is , you must make sure that you find the book readable. You should check the typeset of the book, if the fonts are too small, it's unreadable ( like as if I am reading a novel or a dictionery heh! ). If the pages are bad and the text is overlapping from other pages to the current one, it's a certainly avoidable book. Lastly, you must make sure the book weighs light. If it weighs much, it's, again, a cheap buy.

Good then, up until now you have picked up a book, judged the crap out of everything about the book ( instead of asking your friends or looking the title up on Goodreads as to whether it's a good book or not )  , and you're ready to pay about the book like a sleazy bastard who just wants to flaunt his membership card in front of everyone and portray himself as a serious reader while actually he is buying an Indian chic-flick. *cough* Anyway, you buy the book and then have a broad smile pasted on your face because a hot chick in a hotter pair of pants just came by to pay for her picks. Fuck the book , right? Yeah I figured.

Finally , comes the most important part. Reading.the.book. As you visualize the drums roll in your head, when you are opening the book up, I suggest you to smell the book. You make an update on Facebook that you're 'reading xyz' so that everyone knows that you are an easy target for spoilers ( some of your friends will make comments like 'yeah the girl dies at the end' but don't believe them unless you want to... he he he) . You insert the bookmark just so that you are set with all the finishing touches.

You are determined. You know you will finish the book. You know you will update your yearly read-count to 1 this time for sure. To ensure a double-insulation , you pick your phone up in order to put the phone on flight mode. You are about to do that when you see some interesting Whatsapp notifications where people are talking about a crazy good tv series/movie that you have in your hard disk for long but never got a chance to watch....

......until this very moment.

Monday, April 13, 2015

#NetNeutrality - Short and Simply Put

Posted by at 10:50 PM
A lot of buzz being generated about #NetNeutrality wherever I go, online or offline. So much so that I have copied the term 'NetNeutrality' and have kept it pasted on my Sticky Notes. But it's good that people are getting involved, aware and doing their bit to save the internet in this country.

For those who don't know, and I am pretty sure there are many who would want to know about it in a very short read, with as little stats as possible and as layman in terms as possible, I am putting down what it is and my thoughts on 'NetNeutrality' below. I am sure that after reading this you'll at least be able to take part in those 'intellectual' discussions that are happening around you these days. So here it goes.

Net Neutrality- Google says that it is
  1. the principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favouring or blocking particular products or websites.

So let me break that definition down. 

'It's a principle' - of course you didn't find it difficult to understand that it's a principle.

'Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source' ISPs , or in our case , prevailingly , TSPs ( Telecom Service Providers)  should let a user access all contents and applications regardless of what the source is- freedom of choice , in bold. 

'and without favouring or blocking particular products or websites'  that means if Whatsapp is allowed as a legal application, then Viber too will be allowed, and it won't be blocked from usage. 

So how does it affect us, the end user? Quite simply put, in such a devastatingly close way that we don't even realize until and unless they destroy this principle which is currently in place , called as - 'Net Neutrality' . 

As a user, today you pay for the browsing and downloading anything you want. If #NetNeutrality goes away ( because our evil TSPs are trying to convince TRAI to bring some new regulations that will destroy this freedom of choice so that they can make more money)  , then your TSPs will choose for you- for FB/Twitter , you have to pay separately, for Whatsapp , you have to pay separately, for Google/Bing  , you have to pay separately and so on - so basically you as a user end up paying  a hell lot more than the usual. 

Now you might say - so what? Today I am paying 1000 bucks for everything, tomorrow I will have to pay 1500 , big deal!  For that I say, that's not entirely how straight it is.  

Firstly, spending 50% more than currently what you pay is a outrageously huge amount 

Secondly, not everyone can afford that kind of a jump of costs for the internet

Thirdly, if you have let's say 1GB of data left today you can use it for all kinds of surfing , but 
tomorrow if the TSPs succeed in what they want, then no matter how much you have if you don't have data for say using Whatsapp, you won't be able to use Whatsapp, simply put.

And mind you, this is also applicable for people who are having broadband connections at home and not just the ones who pay for the data packs ( yes some had queries on this too) . 

As a user, I think the destruction of the #NetNeutrality is the single most uncool and worst thing to happen to humankind. 

Now let's see how someone who makes business using the internet will suffer from this. 

Today if I launch a website which goes on to become the next big thing on the internet, what all would I need? A prototype that would have a front end web page, a back end database and a small IT infrastructure to keep the website up and running 24x7 with good performance. That's all. I don't have to worry about the internet. I just have to worry about seeing my website up and running 24x7 that's it.  
Tomorrow if the TSPs have their way , then I would have to pay a lot to the TSPs to make sure that the users who will visit my site are able to visit my website , to browse it, to surf through . But will I be able to pay such large sum of money to the TSPs to ensure this? That too at such an early stage of my product to sustain? I guess over 90% of startups will die because of this. 

To sum up, #NetNeutrality is important. It is important because we cannot really imagine a life without internet, or say, a life with biased, slow internet. Remember how it feels when you have to use a dongle at a remote location? How you want to throw your laptop away and bang your fists on the keyboard just because the video online was buffering a lot? Keep that frustration. Channelise it in this direction- against the greedy TSPs , in favor of the internet as it is today. Do your bit- the smallest of it will count.  Educate people around you about this lingering epidemic. Send that mail using www.savetheinternet.in . Downvote the FK and Airtel apps on playstore. Tweet, retweet , do everything you can to make sure #NetNeutrality stays. 

And do remember to get everything you want to do before 24th April . That's the date till when TRAI and our Govt. will listen to us. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Mr Smith

Posted by at 6:09 PM
The flight landed amidst a foggy runway. Everybody peered out, waiting to leave the plane. Mr Smith checked his watch. 10 minutes early. 'Great, I can catch some lunch on the way.' he thought.

In the next few minutes, the passengers started getting off. Mr Smith decided to wait. He hated commotion of any kind. He was a man for the skies. He traveled almost 9 months in a year , and his fly miles became something worth bragging about. Slowly he moved as the last passenger left the flight , and he found himself waiting for a cab in few minutes.

A driver was standing with the name 'Mr Smith'  near the exit gate. It was a particularly busy day as large arrays of people waiting with placards could be seen. Mr Smith sighed and smiled , redirected himself towards the driver, and in no time they were outbound for their destination in this plush Mercedes of choice.

He reminded the driver to stop by the famous Maharaja Chat stall before they proceeded towards his hotel. The driver looked at him, slightly surprised,but nodded. He must be wondering, what would this man in his seemingly expensive outfit would do in a commoner's place like the chat stall. Mr Smith sensed this, and he smiled an amusing smile.

They reached the chat stall. Mr Smith got down, his eyes gleaming like that of a college goer. "Memories". he said to himself. He spent about 5-10 minutes, didn't eat anything but just scaled the area, before he came back inside the car, asking the driver to drive.

Once on the road, Mr Smith saw a seemingly ordinary flowershop to right, a little bit rusted but full of rose display outside. "Driver! Please stop near that flowershop." he yelled almost excitedly, for once forgetting that he was to maintain a level of composure like a top corporate executive. The driver stopped the Merc , and Mr Smith got down , ran towards the flowershop , and once again, he just roamed about without buying anything. He came back and soon they were on their way on the road.

The same way they made multiple stops, every time at a trivial place like a bookstore, a parlor , a laundry shop et al. Mr Smith was beaming , but he also sensed the driver was getting irritated with every passing minute. Finally they came by a field. Before the driver could revolt on a possibility of another detour, Mr Smith said "Let me drive."

The driver looked surprised. Here he was driving for a CEO of one of the top IT firms of the world, and that same man was offering to drive for him. Before he could react, Mr Smith came by the driver's seat, and nudged him to move. He obeyed. And they drove off.

Soon they were running through, making tracks on the huge barren land, seemingly used to play football and cricket by local boys. The sun was going behind the clouds, slowly , and soon it seemed like it would rain. Mr Smith was driving as if he got behind the wheel after a really long time, as if he seemed to crave this joy.  He made a great final drag and got the car to a halt.

The driver was looking at him with mixed emotions. Mr Smith said, 'You know, I have been craving to drive like this for months now. I have never felt so great!' he chuckled like a kid. 'I was traveling this morning when I saw a co-passenger in my flight struggle with writing using his pen. Though when he was typing on his computer, his hand did not shake a bit.' he said. The driver seemed interested. Mr Smith realized this and continued. 'I asked him if he needed any help, but the man refused, smiling helplessly. I couldn't understand at first, but then I looked closely- he was struggling to hold the pen, as if, as if he never used it before in his life. It was the same look he had that a child has when he tries to tie a tie, or iron his shirt properly.' he paused.
'You see, that's when I had an epiphany. I can always grow upwards, learn new , sophisticated style of living, but I can never forgive myself if I forget what I had learnt in my life before. It was not just about how to use a pen, my friend was struggling to remember , I am sure, when was the last time he carried himself like another regular person. You can call me thinking too much into this, but then, a slightest of observation is required to realize what you are missing in life, sometimes.' he concluded.

The driver smiled. He had never seen a man of Mr Smith's stature to speak with him so jovially. He blurted out 'are you hungry , Sir?'
Mr Smith was quick to respond ' Oh I am famished!'
The driver 'Well then let me take you to this great dhaba that I know of! They serve amazing Hyderabadi Biriyani!'
Mr Smith 'Wow I would love to!'
'But I have one condition'
'Well what's that?'
'You will have to drive!'
And that's when Mr Smith realized how it felt to be the regular guy again. He had found a friend in his driver. 
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