Sunday, March 28, 2010


Yes, I now proudly own a BlackBerry Bold 9700 – the most technologically advanced (and the most expensive) phone that I have ever bought!

Naah, don’t expect a geeky review of its features, specifications, et al. Neither do I understand the gizmo completely nor will I ever be fully conversant with all its paraphernalia – but showing off a BB feels great ;).

No gadget freak myself, I was hugely helped by my bro in the short listing process. My final decision though was based on the concept of elimination and not selection.

Here were my considered and carefully purged choices:
  • Non-smart phones (all the Nokias, Sony Ericssons, Samsungs, Motorola etc without 3G and below 10K): I always remember my Rule 1: If hubby’s footing the bill, don’t try to put a price tag on his love. No cheap stuff ;)
  • Samsung Corby: Refer Rule 1 above, apart from the fact that Samsung’s synonymous with the refrigerator in our house, like LG is with the ACs…so…. No offence meant to current Samsung mobile owners – There’s always a next time :D!
  • Nokia 5800: A real ‘value for money’ phone. However, Vish and Priyank both own a 5800, and there was no way I was going to do the hat trick, unless ofcourse Nokia presented it to me as family loyalty bonus :).
  • Nokia N97: I came quite close to buying this one, until I heard rumors about its distribution being stopped – also seemed a little bulky, and well, we didn’t click at first sight!
  • BlackBerry Storm: No wi-fi – the only reason I left this one. Priyank hated the touch screen, which is more like a touch-and-push screen.
  • Sony Ericsson Experia: This one got a strong recommendation from Priyank, but I have had 3 Sony Ericssons die out on me – I already have a fourth for my official use (Don’t ask me why I don’t learn – this one’s given by my office) – I guess that was reason enough to chuck it.
  • Nokia E71, E72: Too much like a Qwerty BlackB – but not half as good looking!
  • The “iPhone” – The strongest contender for Yuvika’s SIM ;)! I love the way an iPhone looks, behaves and attracts attention, but there was so much confusion around it that I lost interest in this Apple goodie. We were told legally unlocked iPhones with Apple warranty were available, and then we were told they went out of stock; iPhones locked with Vodafone too were out of stock. Airtel ones were available but I do not understand how the carriers are selling data plans in an almost non-3g country like ours (India). The Chennai heat got to me – Forget it, I said!
So goes the story of my acquisition. Am reasonably happy with the BB Bold – the classy look and feel, the business-like appearance, the QWERTY keypad, wi-fi, 3G – more than what I would ever use a phone for!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

When bloggers meet…

…There’s bound to be a lot of communicating, networking, witticism, and ofcourse fun! The IndiBlogger’s Chennai Meet this Saturday (20th March) at the GRT Convention Center was all this and more!

I personally was very hesitant going for a meet like this – I had absolutely no clue what I would do – I was not looking for any “real” networking per se, I didn’t have a commercial or a very topical blog, I would love to be read by many more people but was not sold out to the idea of advertising for my blog, or like someone commented “capturing victims” – Nevertheless, I did go, and this post means that I did not regret it one bit!

The 30 seconds to fame item on the agenda really formed the core around which the rest of the evening revolved. As each blogger introduced himself and herself, I was in splits laughing, taking notes of the blogs that seemed of interest, and even once in a while waiting for the time keeper to beep ;). It was fantastic to see a conglomerate of people (I suppose around 200) passionately talking – there were bright sparks, hilarious ideas, unique sentiments – a myriad musings.

The “back panels” (my back panel seen in the pic over my very own IndiBlogger ‘T’ – yes, one of the most eagerly sought after “freebie” at the meet) provided a good opportunity to interact with all the bloggers – we exchanged our URLs and tweet IDs – The lazy me is yet to go through the ones I collected and reach out – I plan to do a lot of online reading over the coming days to make up for the backlog – But, I have already begun to receive some comments on my blog posts – which is very thrilling (and makes me feel a tad bit guilty as well), apart from the fact that the hits on my blog go up :).

A bit of a dampener was the Traditional Media vs. Blogging session, where my lack of knowledge of Tamil (yes, the “predominant” speaker from Zee Tamil refused to offer even a summary translation) saw me smiling at others who were in the same boat. Pleasantly, I did have the honor of sitting with a few “just-made” friends, who offered some lingual help. The media person from the Australian channel spoke well of the contradictions that arise professionally for a journalist who also blogs.
We had the Univercell (the sponsors of the event) announce a contest – no, they are not paying me to announce the contest, so go find it for yourself on the IndiBlogger’s or the Univercell site.

The “chaai”, “kaapi” and random conversations on blogs, RSS, hash tags, followers, page hits, SEOC (or some weird technological nazi like that) and the much coveted IndiRanks provided the perfect close.

Great job Rene, Anoop and the entire gang at IndiBlogger. You guys rock!

Also cheers to the wonderful blogger-friends I made – Deepa, Sonia, Anju, Akshay, Susan, Tariq, Shilpa, Akshay, Karhik, Gomati, and the many others (If your name is not here, apologies, I might look young but my memory fails me once too often).
Wishing you all greater blog posts, page hits, followers, and IndiRanks!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

“Quotable Quotes”

There was a wonderful quote in one of the Star Wars episode (I don’t remember which one) that went, “Truly wonderful the mind of a child is”. And you bet it is!

These days I am spending some terrific cheery times with my sister-in-law’s kids. It’s absolutely rejuvenating to be with them – there is so much constant banter, sincere reflections on little miracles growing up teaches you to ignore and the sheer joy of rediscovering the taken-for-granted facts of life, that you actually begin to believe that this world may not be such a bad place after all.

My nephew, Ads, is a certified prodigy. All of four, he comes up with the most dumbfounding questions and amazing statements. Conversations with him are an absolute delight – a patient and enthusiastic communicator, he wins your heart in less than a fraction of a second.

I thought it would be a good idea to record some of the interesting chats we both have had in the past couple of days – most, as you will notice, are perfect pearls of wisdom.

Read on:

Ads: Are you an Indian?
Me: Yes, what about you?
Ads: I am an Indian, but I am crème.
Me: What about me?
Ads: You are also crème. But Indians are also brown.
Me: Do you like crème Indians or brown Indians?
Ads: I don’t care about crème or brown. I like all.
(The world has a lot to learn from you baby!)

Ads: What are people living in Chennai called? Chennaians?
Me: No, they are called Chennai-ites!
Ads: Why are they not called Chennaians, like Indians?
Me (without a convincing answer): Because Chennaians does not sound right. It is Chennai-ites!
Ads: So are you a Chennai-ite?
Me: Yes, but am also a Delhi-ite. I was in Delhi for a long long time. Like when you go to Delhi (My SIL is relocating to Delhi), you will become a Delhi-ite.
Ads (Emphatically): NO! I will be Indian – I will always remain Indian. I will not be Chennai-ite or Delhi-ite.
(Is one particular Maharashtrian listening?)

Ads: Guess what - I know all my numbers.
Me: Wow! Can you count?
Ads: Yes, I can count till 100, 1000, million, billion, zillion, gazillion.
Me: Wow! I can also count all the numbers.
Ads: Ok, you know infinity?
Me: Yes, when you cannot count, it’s infinity.
Ads: After what number does infinity come?
Me: After gazillion…
Ads: Why is not gazillion and one after gazillion?
(Can you please ask questions your age?)

Me: Do you like me Ads?
Ads: Yes I do.
Me: Oh, thank you (I then give him a “big hug” and a kiss to seal our friendship)
Ads: I rubbed your kissie – It’s not there now.
Me: It is still there, my kisses are permanent – they cannot be rubbed.
Ads (very sternly): Let’s not discuss this.

Me: Oh my god, Yukta (Ads’ 1 yr old sis) is meddling with the plug point, please pull her away Ads.
Ads: Yukta (pulling her away), get off, RIGHT NOW. You will now not play with us. Go to mommy right now!
Me: Ads, don’t be rough with her, she’s still a baby!
Ads (in a matter of fact manner): Yuvika, I can’t help it, SHE IS SUCH A PAIN!

Ads: I want to build my own Disney Park.
Me: Great, what all rides will you have?
Ads: Let me think about it. Around 50 rides like, airplane rides, buzz light year rides – then we will have people in costumes who will pretend to be cartoon characters – nobody will have to pay for food also.
Me: That sounds really good. So you will build it with your super powers? (Ads claims he is a super hero with super powers and their’s is the only super family in the whole universe)
Ads: Noooo, I can’t waste time waiting for magic to happen. I will have to start building it myself – with lot of hard work.
(very sensible for a 4-year old!)

Ads (at bed time): Tell me a nice violent story with lot of wild animals who kill and eat other wild animals.
Me: Ads why do you like so much violence?
Ads: I dunno, but I like violence.
Me: Won’t you get scared.
Ads: I can never get scared. I am a super hero, a power ranger. But sometimes my “bones” feel scared (Ads conveniently pushes off everything on his bones – his bones get angry, fussy, scared, hungry, irritating – but he is always the angel).
Me: Are your bones scared of wild animals?
Ads; No, we live in the city – there are no wild animals here. But can aliens come here?
Me: No, there are no aliens – these are just stories. We don’t know if aliens exist.
Ads: Even if they exist, do they hate human beings?
Me: No!
Ads: Why would they come to our planet then?
Me: Just to visit us, maybe they lost their way or something.
Ads: I don’t like this planet too much. I plan to destroy the whole planet and build a new planet.
Me: If you destroy the whole planet what will happen to me, mama, thatha, nani?
Ads: No, I will take all the nice people to the new planet.
Me: Good idea. Don’t take the bad people, don’t take thieves and robbers.
Ads: But what if the thieves promise not to do anything. Then I should give them a second chance, right? If they don’t behave themselves, we will drop them back to Earth.
(Love you, Ads!)

As and when I collect some more of the wise guy’s discourses, I promise to post them here – don’t want to lose these precious moments to memory.

More of Ads’ gems have been preserved for posterity by his mommy dearest here.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Out of vogue!

So this time what is it I am cribbing about, you ask?
Greeting Cards! No, I don’t mean the animated, loud, fancy flash files from or I am talking about the paper cards from Archies, Hallmarks and the likes – Rings a bell somewhere?

Since I fortunately still remember the life before the Internet boom, I feel nostalgic (did I hear someone sneer and ask what I don’t feel nostalgic about? Well, please make an allowance for this one!) - Whenever I skim through the stock of Birthday, Get well soon, All the best, Farewell, New Year, Diwali and Christmas cards I have received and collected over the years. A huge pile remains treasured at home in Delhi, and I am on my way to a decent pile here in Chennai as well.

Given the convenience, flexibility, options, ease, reachability, surety, eco-friendliness and all the attributes one might attach to the e-cards, I’d still prefer giving and receiving a “real” card any day.
Ofcourse, this does not mean I give and receive only paper cards – As most I am also warped in my asphyxiating labyrinth that is more commonly known as life, remembering birthdays and anniversaries only when the reminder beeps on my cell phone or pops up on my FB/Orkut/Outlook calendar, remembering festivals and occasions only when the stores announce their sale, and remembering special days only when newspapers report pink chaddi campaigns and shiv sena boycotts!

Where is the time to go to a Greetings/Gift shop atleast 15 days before the d day (the joke is that I do not know of a single card shop near my area in Chennai, that’s another matter I don’t know much in Chennai anyways), exert excruciating pains to skim through the wordings of all the ranges and types available and select the most apt one, find a stamp (do they still exist?), write down the address (Oh c’mon, be honest, how many of us know our friends and relatives postal addresses – emails and usernames rule!), locate a post box/post office and finally pray for the post man to reach your card before the due date!

The only saving grace is that, atleast in India, we still do the weeding invites the traditional way!

... And I still get my fair share of the good ol’ cards - My parents, bro and Vish always make it a point to present to me actual paper cards at every occasion without fail! It makes me feel really special as it’s still touch, feel and display for me.

Not to say I do not cherish the sentiments of the e-card senders, which by the way is also getting substituted by cryptic SMSs (HBD 2 U – for Happy Birthday to you!), walls posts on Facebook (or maybe just a comment on somebody else’s wall post) and Orkut scraps.

So what is my PoA (Plan of Action ;p)? Give more to receive more (selfish, but the world has always been that). I am trying to revive my address book with house numbers, street names and PIN/ZIP codes – Hoping you are motivated to do the same and then we can take a break from the e-exchange and get down to some “real” stuff!

(P.S. All pictures here are of cards that I have received in the recent years.)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Phenomenal woman, That's me

My thoughts on Women's Day are here: It's a woman's world after all. The only update is that now they have an International Men's Day too! It's all about equality, is it?

A dear friend shared the following poem a while back, and I had been waiting for it to be 8th of March to post it on my blog. It's one of those poems, as M points out, "that you read sometimes (the nth time), & again you wish like hell you wrote it. then you pin it up on your wall..."

Here goes:

Phenomenal Woman - Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.


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