Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Bollywood Tearjerker - Facebook Version

The Facebook ads in print, promoting it's version of internet is getting larger and looking more like a pre-election promise, our politicians make - free education, free health-care, better quality of life, et al. Four, yes four, effing full page advert today.
Intuition tells me that something this heavily marketed cannot be altruistic; and this is FB's step in the door, for untapped "billion", given the ad market in the west is saturated and is a duopoly, with Google getting the bigger pie.
Granted, no Corp works on altruism; but them why couch it on such tear-jerker human angle ads? Just call it for what it is: we provide free internet access, if you agree to access a very specific subset of sites and services that we allow for; and see if it violates/meets net neutrality principles. Don't couch it in effing Hindi movie scripts... it insults our collective intelligence !

(Here are couple of links from the very newspaper that carried 4 full pages of facebook advert:

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Facebook... France ... Flag !

Let me get this out the way first - what happened in France was heinous - in no way someone can justify taking innocent lives. I felt the same sadness and a deep sense of futility of hearing of the attacks, the same i felt when I first heard of the attacks in Mumbai (The modus operandi seemed to be the very same too; and that was lot closer to me, with my close family living in Mumbai). I just cannot imagine the sense of loss, the families, the community, the country is  going through and my heart goes out to them...

... and to the families, community and the country of Lebanon, who lost a number of innocent lives in the suicide bombing too. These innocent lives are just the same as the 19 innocent lives that were lost in the suicide bombing in Baghdad.

How do Governments make a call - Why is that if (like in early 80s, in India) the  loss of lives in India were internal law and order problem; and when the same is perpetrated by  French Citizens (as it seems to be) in France, is a world-wide terrorist problem? Who makes the call?

Forget the governments, how do we, as individual make a call? What galls me is this, how is the lives in Beirut and Baghdad any less valuable than the ones in Paris. How does facebook decide to have your profile pic in the  shades of French flag for the loss of 130 lives, and not have the same for Lebanese or Iraqi lives? While I feel a sense of anger and deep sorrow for what the French (and Lebanese and ... and ...) went through, I will not change my facebook pic.  I refuse to be a reason, even if it remotely, tenuously, makes someone somewhere less worthy or any less important.  What is that in our lives that makes us inured to the plight of  certain people, but jump to partake in the sorrow of certain others? Doesn't this mean that we are complicit in judging the value of certain lives lower than others... doing so, haven't we made those impressionable kid in Beirut feel small, aggrieved and planted a seed to seek justice; perhaps the very genesis of terrorism?

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Why are they still friends?

With most listed here, we have been friends for over 15 years, some for nearly 20+ years... So, here is what I really and sincerely and God-thankfully I appreciate in each of you

A: Be simple, be straight, be positive; and able to see the lighter side of everything. Able to not take oneself seriously and also permeate that level of comfort with friends around. I've learned to simplify things and that not everything needs to be complicated.

A: Simple. Wysiwyg - there are no filters. Peter Pan - although extremely wise, still not really grown :-) Completely true to what he does, with no half-way measures. He has inherently made me to learn more and sometime even teaching learning could be fun :-)

D: Introverted, very sensitive. Readily and without batting an eyelid will go one or 14km extra for a friend; that is his normal day. Dreams big, does big, but hardly makes a big deal out of it. Really has taught me, how to let go of the fort, wall and moat that I would build around me and not really talking about my issues
R: Silent, completely ego-less guy - he almost seems to be joyful in submerging his own personality for the good of people around him; always seemed to be truly happy in others' victories (except of course, in Tennis, it has to be himself and Federer). Somewhere, in this world, there are set of mums who are ruing that their daughter wasn't able to ensnare this guy.

R: Not so much in touch, but I believe, I'll just pick up where we left. Again - pretty grounded guy  -- knows himself quite well; will call it as he sees it; there are things that he has told me that has made me a better person today. There is a switch that lights the bulb and comes to you. He has done that several times to me - improving me; and I'm not even talking about work. This is personal.

S: Sincere, hardworking and a total introvert - he is one standing example that tells me that with an effort, we could rewire the brain; I still use these principles with my son. Loyal to the fault, even to the point, he has hurt himself, I truly wish he retires and enjoys life a bit more !

So THANK YOU Guys ! Sincerely !

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Federer Reaches yet another Wimbledon Semi-finals

Roger Federer reached yet another Wimbledon semi-final. This would be his 43 Grand-slam semi-final appearance. In the quarter-final, he got through his match in straight sets – 6-2, 7-6, 6-2, with relative ease.

Federer, who had declined to a precipitous #14 in the world end of last year, has made some adjustments to re-invent the game. After hiring his arch-enemy and good friend Nadal as his coach last year, Federer has switched to two-handed back-hand. Although his inability to adjust quickly to two handed back-hand was cited as a reason for his ranking decline late last year, it seems the hard work with Nadal has really paid off. Nadal, who had retired in 2017 after a spate of injuries said, “Roger now feels very comfortable with the change. He already is a great player, I just needed work with his mechanics on high bouncing top-spin on his back-hand”.

His compatriot, Stan Wawrinka, who now commentates for BBC has not counted out Federer to win his 21st  Grand Slam – “Although Roger has won only one Grand slam the past 7 years, he is always in conversation, when Wimbledon comes along”. The ever hopeful Federer fans believe, if the other half opens-up when the play resumes tomorrow, this could be the year for Grand Slam #21.

Federer, who will turn 42 this august, said, “I’m glad I played well today – it was a tough match to keep up with a youngster like this, but I thought I served great, found the right spots and my two handed back-hand is coming together really well”. He further added he is motivated to play until next year Olympics at Budapest, where he is hoping to win one medal for his country.

Federer is also in mixed-doubles draw with his 15 year old daughter Myla Rose Federer.

In another news, Pete Sampras announced his retirement from the senior circuit. He jocularly mentioned that he just got tired of waiting for Federer.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Choices and being Insular !

This is about the Ms. Padukone's video that's making rounds as ‪#‎mychoice‬. As I'll be the contrarian, I don't want to promote the video by linking it here...
First off, giving the benefit of doubt, Agreed on what I think was the core message, but messed up due elitist urban perspective, surfeit with superficial symbolism. No one should be made to conform to someones template of right/wrong, other than it being their own choice; the only template I'm expected to conform is the law of the land.

  1. What is this got to do with woman or man? The dignity of choice and able to live with it (taking accountability of that choice) is both applicable to man and woman
  2. And everyone's, man or woman- choice is never insular, we make choices for self, the significant others in our lives and the society we live in.

I understand in the current age of 15m of fame, the individual self appears more heroic and than the collective self;  It disregards fundamental tenets of decency, that every human being needs to be accountable to others, without losing their individual self... The "me, myself, I" message in the video is not something I'd want live by, or what I'd teach my kids to live their life by...