The Evolution of communication over digital media.

With the real time communication becoming a very popular means of self expression, there seems to be a new etiquette, or “lingo” so to say being put in place. Also, there is entirely new arrangement as to who communicates to whom.  Some folks love the concepts. Others loathe it, depending on age, gender and geography of the individual, without any consistent trend being applicable.

I could start from the Morse code, and fax but I do not want to dig so deep and beat around the bush. The following are very recent trends.

First and foremost, is the telephone call. It’s called  simply a call now, and is more often used as sync up medium. It is indispensable medium for friends who’re trying to meet up to be used as a coordination tool. Sample this conversation sequence. This does happen. All on a cell phone.

1-1-2012 9:00 PM

Mr. A:Let’s meet up tomorrow, at inorbit mall.

Miss B:sure, 5:00 PM then.  cya!

2-1-2012 4:45 PM

Mr. A:I’m running a little late . will reach by 5:30 PM.

Miss B:No problem, just gimme a missed call when you start.

2-1-2012 6:15 PM

Mr. A gives a call to Miss B, disconnects after a single ring, as a response of which Miss B starts to go to inorbit mall.

2-1-2012 6:30 PM

Miss B: I’ve reached. Come to Costa Cofee. I’m waiting there.

Mr. A: Sure. I’ll take another 5 minutes. cya!

2-1-2012 6:40 PM

Mr. A: Where are you, I don’t see you in Costa cofee.

Miss B: I’m on the end close to center.

Mr. A: Oh I see. I was coming in from the north end. And I see you.

I’m pretty sure Mr. Alexander Graham Bell would not have had the vision to see this kind of use for the device he created. I’m by no means complaining, but in fact noting the use of this voice call’s use. I’m sure if dead folks can see us, he’d be happily grinning up there somewhere.

It also kind of kills the concept of relying on each other. I mean see how soon you’ll call up friend/date on a meet, when you’ve turned up on time, but the other person is late. 5 minutes? 10 maybe. The cell phones have kind of de-valued the importance of other people’s time and plans I feel. It seems so convenient to call up 15 minute before the appointment and say I’ll be late, or not coming at all. Again I’m not suggesting that one has to be on time on all the occasions. Some times, being late is not by choice, but how soon before the appointment is the correct margin to notify the other party of your inability to make it. Cell phones have blurred those margins.

Text/Instant messaging.

Good for times, when you cannot do it on voice. When you need to get reminders, or addresses. People have however developed means to converse over messages too. Blackberry phones and the qwerty key pads are (were) a step in that direction. To enable people to carry out a conversation on text messaging.

Not just those devices, there is a new vocabulary developed to facilitate the expression of the ideas, with minimal effort. Read key presses. The language seems to  be a derivative of English, with all the vowels knocked out, and numbers being used for their phonetic values. The following line is actually something which has a conversational meaning, and is English.

“I hv bn lkng 4wd 2 mtng u.”

The buck certainly doesn’t stop here. The latest in thing is in social networking sites.

Status updates.

With social networking sites being all the rage, the newest trend here is updating what you’re up to with a phrase or a line. People are doing it, and some are doing it really effectively. This kind of communication enables one to be addressing a mass audience, and with that connect, you have a real time encyclopedia with a personal touch. Use it for crowd sourcing your problems, or networking. It’s quite an amazing way to communicate.

Of course there are people who don’t quite get the idea on what’s the use of this scheme. There have been status updates suggesting status updates with a post frequency of 5 mins on the lines of :

    • got up, brushing teeth.
    • taking a bath now. water is too cold.
    • eating breakfast. milk is too warm
    • leaving for school now.
    • Reached, ready for the grind … blah.

All of the preceding technologies are based on a single idea.

As humans, we feel the need, and realize the importance of communication. I cannot emphasize enough on how important I feel communication is. The ability to express one’s idea across, be it with analogies, humor or with supplement actions, leads to a sense of liberation when the point one makes gets across.

I hear you.
I hear you.

Keep talking. 🙂

Heath Ledger. The Joker. The style.

Ever since I saw Dark Knight (the one with the Joker), I’ve often wondered, “The portrayal of Joker in the movie was impeccable!”. I mean if I could imagine Joker in whatever form, Ledger’s role int he movie pretty much described it with perfection. No other actor in his right mind would ever, like EVER consider playing the Joker’s role.

Then I came about this clip. He’s a singer/composer/actor born in 1949, Tom Waits. Watch this interview. Not the best in quality, but hey, it’s from 1979.

Be Amazed!

Dark Knight Rises. First impressions

It’s been rather difficult to watch movies off late. The non availability of tickets at the last minute kind of derails any sort of enthusiasm that might otherwise be associated with  a particular release. I have had to forgo so many, that now watching a movie at a cinema has become too much of a chore.

Dark night rises .

The ticket presented itself without me having to put any effort whatsoever. Thanks to my office work group for that initiative. We got first day first show tickets.

The day was a cloudy one, and it might seem to be a bad day for getting up early in the morning and going to work, but never i had seen such an amazing turnout. The folks assembled at the office by 9:30 AM, and some decided to come directly to the cinema. But the turnout was nothing short of impressive. Even the latecomers and otherwise lazy ones stood right outside the line and spot on time.

I mean who would miss a chance to see such a highly anticipated movie . Add to it the fact, that it’s been pre-booked like crazy. I doubt if I could get any of the bookings done even now if I wanted to. August might seem my best shot!

So we all reached well in time. I’m sure everyone had expectations. The previous version was such an atom bomb.

***Disclaimer / Spoiler alert***

The opening scene shows a scientist from a plane being kidnapped mid air and what a shot it was. It also is where Bane makes the grand entry. Just the way Joker did in Dark Night. Shows how much on edge the character is.

The movie starts by building up from where the previous one had left. Harvey Dent is the projected Hero and Batman the convicted murderer on the run. Bruce Wayne becomes the recluse who has no other motto in life but to eat, breathe and just exist. He’s also with a broken leg which was as a result of shot he got in the ending scenes of the last movie, when Batman runs away, after supposedly killing Harvey Dent.

Enter Anne Hathaway ! The small time cat burglar in movie, and at the point when she messes up with the high end lock in Wayne’s mansion, right in front of Mr. Bruce Wayne, and immediately he seems interested. She’s seems slick indeed.

Also, meanwhile a rather powerful competing business tycoon tries to acquire the Wayne Enterprises by stealing Bruce Wayne’s fingerprints. A ploy that does seem to work, but Bane becomes too powerful and breaks free from being a paid pawn to the controlling king.

Eventually, Bane and Bruce Wayne do meet, and that’s  when it strikes you as to how powerful that “product of hell” really is.

Joker did bring with him a certain humor element, dark as it was. Bane brings fear to the party. The actor is mostly expression less, and has a rather intimidating form, where the mere the mere presence says a lot. The manner with which he speaks is very authoritative at all the times. He regards no one as his superior.

Then there is Ra’s Al Gul’s child twist to it. And how Bruce Wayne gets to hear that story when he was left to suffer in the very same pit from which Bane had risen. Overall lot of things happen in the movie. Enough to keep you interested till the very end.

While it is not possible to prevent people from comparing it with Dark Knight, I’d say that comparison is not just. Dark Knight had that impeccable performance by Heath Ledger and I seriously doubt if anyone can rise up to play a more convincing Joker.

Go watch this movie, and do not run those comparisons with Dark Knight. It’s pretty good.

Of random plans, and unexpected surprises.

So it was decided, that we’ll go to the western coast for sure. Goa, perhaps. Nothing finalized but lot of speculation and tentative ideas thrown in the mix. Even people who’d go was not decided.

“It’ll need to be a road trip” he said.

“We’ll take turns driving” was the verdict.

So after not much planning and one night of food and music, when everyone was in good mood, it was decided that we’ll all drive to a place called Gokarna. 750 kms from Hyderabad, the connecting roads are pretty decent, up till all the way. Major part of the journey would be at night, so was expected to be fast, and without major stoppages.

There’s also a stretch where one has to drive by the western ghats, and that stretch is even more beautiful than the contemporary straight highways.

The fact that monsoons were approaching also added to the charm. For those unaware, western Ghats during the time of rains is quite a sight to see. Lush green, and moist everywhere. The road spirals around with delightful curves. The slope is not daunting. The quality is impeccable. So it is not uncommon for people to drive at 60 – 80 kms an hour.

We hit the ghats early in the morning. So everything was visible.

The look is surprisingly similar to the climb from siliguri to Rangpo. 🙂 . Brings back those memories. One thing different though is that I had the steering wheel. Back in college, we’d curse the cab drivers for rash driving, and dangerous banking on roads. Now, I think I know why they did that.

Well, after hitting the ghats, one does not feel as though there’s any beach around . It looks as though you’ve come to a hill station. I kind of detest going to hill stations, because all my life I’ve been to hills for most of my vacations. So it was a very weird bit of the journey.

My eyes were desperately looking for anything that remotely looks like a beach. It was a road curving around the ghats, so the obvious look that emanated  was of a hill station. The GPS suggested we were very close.

I ranted about how hills hate me and follow me to most of the places, I go to, and kept looking out for anything that would resemble a beach.

Then, at the last descent, after the car reached up to the seemingly last hull, when you would not expect such a feat, there was the sea . Big and endless. looking to swallow the land, with all it’s might and size.

At once, the towering giants of hills looked like ants to the sea. We were approaching down to the juncture where the two boundaries seemed to merge. And there, bounded from one side by hills, and the vast Arabian sea on the other was a white sand beach. Sweet!

yawn …. 2012, a new dawn

It’s a new year. I agree, seems a little late to be mentioning that :). But what the heck? I had been a sort of blogging slumber and I guess it’s time to get up, open the windows and take a look out for what the world is up to.

For the record, I’ve never been such a big fan of dates, and for me every single day has the capacity to be the new demarkation between something that can change.

Anyways, I’d like to draw upon on what 2011 has been for me.

Change of address

2011 was a landmark year for me as far as I’m personally concerned. It started me with me moving out from my native place (parents’ home) in Gurgaon to come to a wonderful city … Hyderabad. True, it was a significant decision on which I had meditated a lot, and got equally large quantities of advice from my “well wishers”. There were a few factors which helped me decide in favour of coming here 🙂 . Now that I reflect back, I’m so glad I did. It might not be applicable for everyone I know of, but I have my reasons.

Improvement in my sporting quotient.

The fact that this year I indulged more in many form of games, right from good old swimming, to tennis, and some cycling, and even yoga. I feel fitter and healthier than ever. I have put on some decent amount of weight (by no means like fat, but i do not look underweight anymore).

Learnt to play guitar

I got my first real six string,

bought it from a shop in here.

played it till my fingers got sore,

this is the high of the year.

This was something, I had always fantasized about doing, and now i can say I am quite comfortable doing it.

Made some great new friends, bonded with a many of the old ones.

This one is also a really significant take from the past year. Always good to meet new and interesting people. Even more significant is that old folks care to hang about. Thank almighty for this good fortune.

Amongst the other significant interesting things, that shaped up the past year

  • Discovered Hyderabadi Biryani : Was never a major fan, but now, it’s safe to say that I’m hooked on to the great taste.
  • Did a rather longish road trip, from Delhi to Hyderabd : Saw the beauty in Indian roads.
  • Improved on my home making abilities. Those skills were getting rusty when I was at home with parents.
  • Bought my first house.
  • Got the ownership of my first car.
  • Travelled far more than previous few years put together.
  • Got pampered by my awesome cook, Durga Aunty.

2012 Logon_Preview

Needless to say, I’m a little starry eyed now. I did not know any of this in 2010. Same applies to what I know about 2012. Apart from a certain doomsday prediction, life might turn out even smoother.

Maybe, this year I’ll have a fawn colored lab I’ve always wanted.

Maybe this year I’ll meet my dream girl, or realise she’s who.

Maybe I’ll find a Man Friday, I dream of Jeeves too.

Who knows ? what 2012 has in store for me. Here’s wishing everyone, a very happy new year!

Coincidence ?

Two unrelated situations, yet I took note of them on the same day.

One

There is this local department store, in my locality. It’s run as an outlet of a popular chain of departmental stores in Hyderabad, called “More”. I go there to get top ups for my kitchen and household consumables, which I stock up on a less frequent basis from Ratandeep, D-Mart, or hypercity.

Anyways, I’m invariably there every couple of days (think milk, bread, and eggs), so it’s not as though I’m remarking here about some random, isolated cases. I’m a regular there.

Some months back I saw a old man there. He has a very fair complexion and freckles on his face. Whatever hair exist on his head, are snow white in color. So is his moustache. Ever since then, I have started to see him with such a regularity that I almost look out for him when I go to the store. I go at random times. Early mornings, late mornings, some evenings, other night times. I go there, and he’s there, or he comes nicely strolling by.

I’ve observed him for quite some time now, and we haven’t spoken or even smiled at each other, for that matter. But we are (well, for the lack of a better word) comfortable around each other. He doesn’t linger around. Picks up his stuff quickly, and pushes off, quite unlike some people who are very slow and also make small talk with the people around.Like the way I do.

He dresses in track pants, and a collared T-shirt on most of the days. He moves with a certain swiftness and accuracy that compels me to make a guess about his lifestyle and background. I think he’s from armed forces background. I could of course be wrong, but I don’t see that kind of fitness, agility and poise in civilians of his age.

He’s a early riser, and I guess he runs/does long walks also.

He does not ever carry a re-useable bag to the store, despite the initiative by the store management to penalize the use of plastic bags for the betterment of the environment. Although I try to reuse my cloth bags, but he’s always there to ask for a plastic bag.

Whenever I go there, and he’s not already … I need to just look out for some minutes, and sure enough he comes strolling in. The coincidence is amazingly freakish. It has changed from being remarkable to eerie to just being funny now.

I think his is the face I’ve most often seen in my society.

Maybe, some day I’ll get to know him.

Two

I had wondered what I’ll do with one Bull Audio speaker that was working fine in my car. The pair had sounded great when it vibrated in my car, and cost me some good deal too. It was difficult decision to have a cheap Sony Explod as a replacement for that pair. I had also tried to sell it off to the car shop I bought the other set from but to no avail. So, these speakers came to Hyderabad with me (thanks to the road trip), I took them out from my car trunk (they were just occupying space there), and put them in my house. For some months they just occupied my closet space, and I’d just look at them and wonder … maybe one day, the defunct one will magically heal itself, and I’ll put them back in my car.

My home theater, a Logitech Zx-5500 had it’s center satellite speaker busted. Maybe too high a volume played by me, or maybe it had been dropped from it’s table. I opened the stand and got out the speaker, but it just wouldn’t play. So, I ruled out the possibility of a bad connection.

Although music was decent (only stereo configurations worked), the Dolby dts and Dolby digital movis had the vocal channel missing. It sounded horrible.

So it occurred to me, to use that one functional bull audio speaker, and hack it into my home theater. With a few tweaks, it was up, and sounded much more awesome that the existing scenario.

Wow, my home theater is a Frankenstein now :).

————————

I was generally thinking back . Every thing or a person has some role to play . An important role, which only he/she can justify. I suppose that is what they call as destiny. Lines like he was destined to do so and so…

We seek that out from the trying to filter out noise of our regular day-to-day lives.

Some of us find it. Some of us don’t.

I am my destiny’s Frankenstein!

Meaning of all this.

After having a rather hectic day for the first day of the week, I decided to just doze off, because I felt my body was incapable of doing anything more. It was around 2 am, and my day consisted of a few nicely intertwined physical and mental activities.

Amongst troubleshooting a tricky problem at work, I had done an hour of power yoga (I think it’s the only form my teacher likes), some more work, and a 2 set game of tennis, which went down 6-2, 7-7 (and refused to finish from there on). It lasted for about 1 hour, and was preceded by half an hour of warm up knocks. Eventually, it was the time that was a constraint. I had to go over to a surprise birthday party of a friend, and my partner had some errands to run before 12:00 AM. it had already turned 11 PM.

For me, the round of activities continued. The surprise was very nicely anticipated by the birthday boy, and there was some Glenfiddich (wow, what a word) at his house. This somehow lifts up the spirits of many a people I know. For me, a biryani from bawarchi did a similar job. So, we got recharged and started a sort of dance party if you can call it that. 🙂

End result : I was tired and I slept off like a log.

Next morning, I got up late, and did not feel like driving, or biking. Somehow I feel both are taxing.

I decided on taking an auto to work, and almost instantly dozed off. When I reached, the auto driver tried to get some chai-pani extras from me, but I remained firm and paid only the amount we had negotiated. He left off with a face that reflected grumpiness.

After walking into my office for nearly half the distance to my work place, I realised I had left my laptop, and lunch box in the auto. I had no recollection of the number plate, or anything . I was too sleepy to observe.

At work, I realised that there was nothing much I could do about it. I went on into a meeting like nothing had happened.

Being from Delhi, I guess I’m conditioned to not seeing the face of things, once lost.I’m certian had I left a laptop in Delhi cab/auto, it would have been pawned (maybe even changed two hands) in the small shop in Nehru Place.

After the meeting got over, I mentioned the happenings to a friend, who literally exclaimed “Why are you even in office?” . “Go look for it” . Before I even realised what was happening, I had a bike key in my hand, with a RC and Registration papers. The only thing lacking …. was a plan of action. Where was I supposed to go? Who was I supposed to talk to?

“Go tell police…..”, “Go talk to other autowallas in the nearby stand…..”, “Talk to the security guard of the office…..”. were the ideas I was given by people around me.

Then something concrete came up. I chanced on the fact that the autowallas who wait outside Malaysian township are regular folks out there, and there were indeed a few faces I could recollect from the previous time I took a ride. Maybe I could find this auto guy waiting there. That would be a real lucky break. Basing it on that possibility I headed back home.

I rode on, and somehow had the urge to slow down near every auto walla, and have a sneak in to maybe run into the same fellow who dropped me in the morning.

I also enumerated the things of importance inside the laptop. I mean cost of the machine aside, there were photos, music and recordings in it. I cringed at the thought because I remembered the condition of friends who lost data and irreplaceable personal stuff.

When I reached the place, immediately stopped in front of the other auto guys standing there in a queue. I told one of the guys my story, and they told me they remember seeing me in the morning, and know the fellow who drove me. Heck, they even had his cell phone number.

I was back in business. Big time.

They immediately called the other guy, and asked him to come over. Meanwhile, we engaged in some small talk, where they told me in typical Hyderabadi lingo “Bhai, itni der kai ko kari aane me, koi passengera peeche se utha leta to humko nakko milta naa” .

I got them back (both tiffin and laptop). safe and sound. I thought I could have been more proactive and swift in reaching out.

————————————

Life keeps on giving you signs, like an aura on a life form. Yesterday I got a very good vibe from it.

It kind of reinstated some of my beliefs.

  • Life does offer second chance. (you need to be there to take it)
  • I am lucky. (plain old lucky!)
  • Goodness is still not a lost cause.
  • I like Hyderabad (Can you say this about the city you live in?)

It also motivated me to very actively :

  1. Get all my data in one place and have a redundant copy of what I deem worth it.
  2. Not sleep at wrong places.
  3. If I have an idea, I should act on it. With some urgency.

But y?

Needless to point out, that I am not a very well travelled person  (OK, relatively speaking, but my benchmark is that I’ve not been to as many cities as how old I am)

This is a list of cities/towns in India I have visited. I tried to come up with one word that I associated with the particular place. It’s certainly not a random word that tries to fit the bill. Those who have travelled with me, will realize the word I use is very apt.

  • Dharamshala  – hilly.
  • Hyderabad – breezy.
  • Bombay – busy.
  • Delhi – happy.
  • Gangtok – beauty.
  • Jaipur – blurry.
  • Dhanaulti – chilly/starry.
  • Kolkata – lazy/sultry.
  • Bengaluru – rainy.
  • MP – greenry.
  • Rajasthan – dry.
  • Lucknow – gastronomy.
  • Kanpur – milky.
  • Patna – empty.
  • Chandigarh –  cleanly.
  • Ludhiana – messy.
  • Shimla – monkey.
  • Mussorie – patty.
  • Siliguri – racy.
  • Manali – windy.
  • Agra – sunny.
  • Darjeling – pretty.
  • Guwahati – crzy.

The Value.

The tiniest little bite of sweet,

A day after you could not get to eat

 

Half an umbrella seems quite a cover,

When the squeaky drizzle becomes a big pour.

 

The weight of the words your friends would say,

After they pack up, and go far away.

 

The size of bed, in which you crawl,

But cannot fit, cause you’re so tall.

 

You want to be old, to be able to drive,

And you wish to be young, just to feel alive.

 

You realize a whisker is quite wide,

When you miss an oncoming vehicle by your side

 

Forty winks might not sound much

An insomniac would say “it’s gold, as such

 

The things that make their presence felt,

When they are gone or they have left.

 

You think of them, they don’t think of you,

And all you see is the color blue.

You’ve got the music, in you!

A friend of mine decided to club together his work visit to Hyderabad with some extra weekend time, and decided to stay with me. Now, he happens to be from the fast paced city of India …. Mumbai. I had my fingers crossed on how he would appreciate the culture shock of the ways in Hyderabad.

One thing we had in common, to look forward to was exchanging the newly discovered sound tracks. We do have a sort of overlapping affinities when comes to what we like listening to. Though we diverge on those tastes often, there has been enough evidence in the past to suggest that our common choices are not merely coincidental.

Other than that, we had been (nearly) neighbours in Gurgaon, although he was always a Mumbaikar, where as I have never been to that place. Still, it was  the music that got us together and it is the music that kept us together 🙂

He landed by evening, and these were his moving thoughts as the day progressed:

Saturday

6:00 PM The roads are so nice …. and empty.

7:00PM ISB is goooooood.

7:30 PM 5 minutes commitment by someone ??? really?

9:00 PM Why don’t the cars move it ? Why do they drive so close by?

9:30 PM That’s like an awesome track. I want to copy it on to my mp3 player.

9:35 PM That’s another super song. This one too.

11:00 PM Any place like Turqoise Cottage or Jazz by the Bay ? Firangi pani is #$%&&^!

11:15 PM Where can I get some good local food?

11:30 PM The place closes at 11:30 ?

11:45 PM Where can I get booze, to take home?

1:00 AM ISB is goooooood , can we stay here?

1:25 AM Stop playnig Lady Gaga, again!

1:30 AM Doesn’t police catch you for driving like this at this time? This place is so deserted!

2:00 AM You’re playing the guitar too loud. What if neighbours complain?

 

I was a bit confused when he asked me what are the night places in Hyderabad ? (As if there are any). So with my limited vocabulary on that front, I took him to this pub I had seen some time ago in City Centre. Firangi Pani. It seemed good back then. Now, not so much :). Add to it the fact, that I go scouting for pubs in a new city. Confused is a very suitable word. Anyways, followed by a dinner at Ohri’s and a visit to ISB at night made up for it. By the end of it, we were happy, well fed and in posession of a new pair of shoes. What else can a guy want?

Sunday

7:30 AM Let me sleep …

.

.

.

.

11:00 AM Let me sleep …. shoo.

11:30 AM I’m hungry. What’s for breakfast ?

1:30 PM I gotta buy an iPod.

1:35 PM This song is so good, I want to take it.

3:00 PM This is the speed we move at, in old city?? I’ll be late for my call.

5:00 PM (Calls up, apologises). I know we had this call at 5 PM. I’ll be late by 5 mins. (Now that’s what 5 mins should mean 🙂 )

7:00 PM Pista house biryani is good ! I’m loving it.

8:00 PM Let’s go buy that iPod.

8:30 PM Weather is nice, how about some beer?

So, we had a hectic day. had a trip to Pista house, got lot’s of Biryani, Rolls, Patties and cookies. Dashed back to KPHB for a very important call that had to be made. Picked up an iPod. Ate that stuff, and were set for some song track exchange. No beer for you mister! 🙂

——————

I hope the stay at my place was good one, and that I did a decent job of being a host.

 

Burgers, pending .

Come again.