Looking forward to 2015

Every year passes like a rigmarole and we look forward to the next. It is almost mechanical, but that was never how it was supposed to be. It starts with gusto and somewhere down the line everyone loses enthusiasm and it all becomes about counting the days to the next new year, yet another start.

I am not saying we should make 2015 different. Maybe we should, you should. But that is another story for another day.

As I pen this, I am reflecting on the how much of our lives we lead thinking about what others think about us. And when everyone does that, the earth just seems like a more considerate place, but it is not.

Your dog, almost certainly, is a better person than you.

This is nothing more than being fashionably selfish. To think, not of others and their needs, but other’s views about ourselves. Since it all comes right back to us, it really is a mere manifestation of selfishness.

There’s a reason why a dog is man’s best friend: there is more your dog can teach you than any person, book or religious scripture on Earth. His undying enthusiasm for you, his love, his affection, and how it never drops and only ever grows in leaps and bounds — humans can never have the same feelings. The fact is simple: your dog, almost certainly, is a better person than you.

In 2015, it is important to prioritise without shunning; to decide what is important without pushing aside the less important. To treat people with respect and go out of your way to help them. Not block, but bind. Which brings to mind something my physics teacher at school had said: “This world does not need smart people; this world needs good people.”

In 2015, try to be a good person with a direction, and practice tolerance and inclusiveness. Treat the world as your family. To be the bigger person and to understand that not everyone has seen the world — forgive me if I sound like I patronizes; the devilry of narrow-mindedness has only recently become clear to me. Everyone makes mistakes; one ought to acknowledge and forgive. Then forget. So acknowledge mankind’s worst mistake: religion.

On Physics and Hinduism

At the entrance to the Centre for European Nuclear Research (CERN) stands a 2 metre tall statue of the Hindu deity, Nataraja (see above). To the unaware, it looks like something out of place: something that does not belong in one of the world’s largest scientific research institutions. But it is only one instance of the compatibility between physics and Hinduism.

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On the origin of specials

Apparently, cheap marketing tricks do work. Our world is filled with mad men telling us we need things, and us nodding in agreement. And our sense of wanting to need is extremely sensitive: all we look for is the slightest sign of concurrence — which is what every single advertisement is built around. Ads give us a faux need.

On the one hand, we could do away with everything, as our needs are few. The Big Bang Theory sitcom’s Sheldon Cooper (awkward as it seems to quote him) puts forth this idea quite well. But this outlook is rather harsh. It is time to define a new category; a sweet-spot between needs and wants. Benefits, if you will.

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iPad in the classroom: aid, distraction or disaster?

As somebody who is fairly tech-savvy, I am surrounded by people who will take a stand against technology at a moment’s notice. This is especially true when technology seems to be successfully replacing more conventional methods — some even environmentally harmful, such as paper.

When the issue of using technology comes up, though, I would myself strongly back a minimum age requirement. I never had my phone until I was 17 or so. I think that 15-16 years is a good limit, not because of elitist adult thinking, but mostly because the Internet, to the unaware, can quickly become one of those forbidden dark alleys no ten-year-old is sent into at night. Or worse.

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iPad Air

I seem to have grown a closeness with all gadgets Air. After recently buying a MacBook Air, I gifted myself an iPad Air for my birthday recently.

silver iPad air

The silver iPad Air

The iPad Air is a beautiful device and I picked the white bezel (my first white device) based on my usage: I read more, and the walls in my house are white. Jokes apart, reading with a white bezel, in spite of the black vertical strip outlining the screen (which bothers some people), is simply a much better experience than a black screen.

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Orient Union: the finest dress watch in recent times

Sometimes, when you open a product, it makes you jump uncontrollably with joy. The Orient Union is not one of those; it is a product that will make you straighten up, sit still, and take it in, slowly, calmly, its elegance sinking into you as you realise what you see here is not just another timepiece.

It’s a mechanical — with auto wind — which by itself makes the Union a remarkable timepiece. This is the kind of watch that should survive long, for sentiment rather than build. Although the build is by no means poor.

The Orient Union is a dress watch that borders on a luxury watch. Indeed by your definition, it could be classified as a luxury watch what with its day/date complications. I was interested in a day/date watch when I went for this, so I had to risk giving up the plainness that dress watches are associated with; however, the Union’s white dial, slick numbering, and carefully textured face have all led the watch community to consider it a dress watch.

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Blookist — not just another blogging platform

Visit Blookist and the most inspiring part of their website is in an obscure place — the address bar. “You don’t need an excuse to be creative”, it reads. Still in beta, Blookist is a new kind of publishing platform. That was how its co-founder and CEO, Adrian Zuzic, described it to me when he got in touch recently, asking if I would be interested in reviewing their startup.

Blookist is the content-appreciative publishing platform we had all been waiting for.

At first, I was confessedly disinterested: was this just another Obtvse, another Svbtle, or another Ghost? At a time when blogging platforms seem to be cropping up at every nook and cranny, why did I have to pay any attention to Blookist? Was this another ambitious platform started with enthusiasm that would lose direction halfway through?

As I looked around, however, it was hard for me not to realise this was not a blogging platform; it was something more, something unique, and, most importantly, something promising. I signed up for free immediately and over the next couple of days began to explore this further. It had caught my attention. Continue…