Feb 29, 2012

Photographic marvel

One of my friends from Bangalore, Cop Shiva, a cop by profession and a photographer by passion, is taking part in a contest organized by Nikon. Here’s his entry.

I love it. If you like this photograph, please vote for Cop Shiva at this link.

If you want to get in touch with Cop Shiva, this is his FaceBook page.

Feb 28, 2012

The Shor Bazaar video

Photo: It's a Wrap!!! One of the most exciting tvc's produced in recent times.

About a couple of months back, Shor Bazaar was invited to write a jingle and act in a video for a famous brand. The video shoot was last month, when Joe was here, and it was pretty cool. We were supposed to talk nothing about it or post anything about it. Today, this photo, taken after the video shoot, was posted on FaceBook.

So, this is the snippet. Wait for the full video soon!

Feb 27, 2012

The Variable Man by Philip K. Dick

I don’t know how many of you love sci-fi as a genre in fiction. I also don’t know how many of you are into reading short-stories in this genre. For those who haven’t tried either, a sci-fi short story is a best story to start with. The best one in my opinion is undeniably “Nightfall” by the legend Isaac Asimov.

Asimov has always been my favorite sci-fi author – the Foundation series and other classics such as I, Robot. Arthur C. Clarke comes in as a close second with the 2001: Space Odyssey and the Rama series. But that was about it for me. I had never explored anything beyond these two.

Today, I did. Thanks to my new phone. Thanks to e-books. I read “The Variable Man” by Philip K. Dick. It’s a marvelous short story, almost at the level of Nightfall. I don’t want to give anything away, and so I’m going to just ask you to download it and read it. Free.

I hope you are pleasantly surprised!

Feb 26, 2012

Outrageous law

I’m from Kerala and I’m ashamed of the laws there. Yesterday, the authorities imposed a new law: nobody can  be on a railway station or travel in a train after having consumed alcohol. Yes, you don’t have to be drunk. Even if they detect traces, it’s going to cost you.

Alcohol is a lifestyle. A certain section of the population use it as a food/beverage and a vast majority of them never indulge in any antisocial activities. Individuals like me know how to behave, even if it is with alcohol or without. Those who misbehave will do so even without being under the influence of alcohol.

It’s discrimination against a minority of the population. Kerala government, not every body who enjoys alcohol molests women. Not every teetotaler would molest women either. Just get rid of this stupid law.

Feb 25, 2012

A visit

A couple of years back, I was seeing someone. He helped me through my painful breakup with Vinokur. We dated for nearly 6 months, after which he had to leave to pursue his job elsewhere. Well, he was visiting Mumbai as part of a vacation and he was able to find some time to meet up with me.

We met at the airport and the memories started flooding my mind. I brought him home and he took a shower. He dried right in front of me – we were comfortable with each other. After he put on his shorts, I went up to him, we looked into each others eyes, and kissed for a brief second. That was simply beautiful.

Then, we settled in the living room over scotch and beer. We talked about what about our lives – past, present, and future. I even got out my dormant doctor mode to try and help him with some issues that he was facing with his back.

We went out for dinner and then we came back home, talked for some more time. At the stroke of midnight, he left on a Meru Cab to the airport, from where he was flying back to Europe, where he worked.

What an experience! With a former, umm, perhaps a lover! Beautiful.

Feb 24, 2012

Apple’s FoxConn folly

I have read many things about this story – more bad than good. Die-hard Apple fan boys like Vinokur say that the negative reports aren’t quite authentic. Either way, I enjoy satire and here are the two gems that present the story in a negative, hilarious way.

Also, check this wonderful story from The Onion here.

After you finish laughing, go read the more serious stories and make up your own minds.

Feb 22, 2012

Simpsons’ iPhone couch gag

So, Simpson’s just crossed the 500 episode mark. I was reading up about that when I came across this marvel of a couch gag. Respect!

Feb 21, 2012

The universal truth

For those who don’t understand – Mallus = Malayalees = Inhabitants of Kerala. I’m one. So.

(Courtesy Facebook)

Feb 20, 2012

Aldiko, the marvel

I know that I’m still finding my way around my new Android phone. Although almost everything is exciting, the most exciting among them is Aldiko, the book reader. I read my first book on it two days back – “Youth” by Isaac Asimov – and I’m thrilled. All I need now is a way to find out more books. I won’t complain of traffic anymore!

Feb 18, 2012

FourSquare

You know, social networking sites are supposed to be fun. Most of them that I have gotten on to make me feel like I want to be there often. Well, except Google+ and Orkut.

FourSquare is the latest one. FourSquare just tries to make things more difficult for the average user. I don’t find good places to log in to – well, I can’t seem to create a check-in for my own apartment.

It’s a bit of a downer. I don’t think I’m going to be using FourSquare too much.

Feb 17, 2012

Dry day–alright, but why not open restaurants?

I don’t quite understand this whole concept of dry days. I mean, why should responsible adults not enjoy hanging out at their favorite bar/pub and have some fun just because it is a day of national/political significance?

But even worse is the fact that the restaurants that have a bar are closed during these dry days – for three consecutive days during the BMC election this week.

That’s really stupid. I want my good food. And all the good food comes from bar/restaurants.

Will someone sit up and take notice and change the rules?

Feb 15, 2012

Android, finally

After almost two years of pondering and procrastinating, I bought myself a new phone, thereby replacing my 4-year-old lovely Sony Ericsson P1i. I bought myself a Sony Xperia Pro (Red) which looks and feels super-fabulous.

I’m slowly getting used to the physical keyboard and all the various apps that you can download. To celebrate it, I upgraded myself to 3G on Vodafone and now I can watch videos, Skype, and what not on the Go.

This also means that I might die sooner. I walk around in the night on Mumbai roads with my iPod blaring and reading on my phone. So…

Here are some pictures of the phone if you feel like looking at what I own.

Feb 12, 2012

Cousin’s wedding in Kerala

I don’t quite remember why I agreed to it, but I did. Oh yeah, my uncle was threatening (in a friendly manner, of course) that if I don’t make it, there would be drastic consequences. Anyway, I had agreed to attend my cousin’s wedding in Kozhikkode, and had dirt-cheap JetLite tickets purchased three months back.

The to flight was eventless. But then onward, everything was chaotic. Nobody knew how far the wedding hall was from the airport. I finally hired a cab and set out on my own and found the hall. There, I was greeted by all sorts of faces from my past – which I have been trying to hide from, I must admit.

The reception of my relatives, in general was really, good. All of them were happy (or pretended to be) and did not ask too much. A couple of questions about marriage popped up here and there, but I was able to tackle them with humor. After all, I had to keep my word to my parents – they didn’t want me coming out to my extended family.

The only memorable, rather scary, instance was when an uncle took me to the side and started asking me questions like “Are you the old Kris?” “Are you hiding behind a veil” “Are these questions causing you discomfort?” “When will you come back to us?” Then it dawned on me that he was on FaceBook and had seen most of my pictures with Joe.

I guess he knew that I was gay but was shocked and was not very well read about homosexuality.

Of course I met with my Mom and Dad, sister and BIL, and my BIL’s Mom and Dad. I also met all the uncles and aunts that I like and those I don’t like too much. So it was a mixed bag. Some of the cousins that I knew as very small had grown into adolescents and shit. That’s like scary.

Well, apart from that, I spiked up my wedding gift to my cousin (a relatively expensive Bvlgari grooming kit + condoms + lube), and hung out with Ray over beer and beef fry. That was nostalgic. We even rang up some of our old ‘fuckbuddies’.

Feb 10, 2012

Knee replacements all around

My mom has been wanting to get both her knees replaced for some time now. And now my boyfriend has been advised to undergo knee replacement too. This makes my life a little more complicated, primarily because Joe will only arrive by August 2012.

I need a new 2 BHK to have both my folks and my boyfriend stay together with me at the same time. I don’t know when to get it though. Maybe I should just stay in my studio apartment until Joe gets here.

Decisions, decisions!

Feb 9, 2012

“Porngate, my foot”

That’s an excerpt of what Pritish Nandy wrote about the two Karnataka cabinet ministers who were caught watching a pornographic clip on a mobile phone inside the assembly.

@PritishNandy: Porngate, my foot. its Yawngate. ND Tewari did better. At least the women were real.”

All I have to say is this. India, watching pornography is okay. Ministers watching pornography is okay. Watching pornography at the workplace is probably wrong, but shouldn’t amount up to resignation if someone is caught. They are human beings too and can get distracted and hence they should be warned.

However, carrying mobile phones in the assembly – which is what the ministers did - is against the rules, and should be condemned. You voted for people who are just like you, who are vulnerable to the physiological demands of relaxation and entertainment, and of course sexual urges.

Here are two read-worthy articles on this issue that I came across this morning. The first one is an article written by my friend and journalist Vikram Doctor from Economic Times. The other one is a blog post that I was referred to on Twitter.

Feb 8, 2012

OK Go’s latest video - Needing/Getting

So, the boys from Chicago are at it again. This time playing over 1000 instruments while driving around in a car. Here’s the YouTube official video and the description.

The new music video from OK Go, made in partnership with Chevrolet. OK Go set up over 1000 instruments over two miles of desert outside Los Angeles. A Chevy Sonic was outfitted with retractable pneumatic arms designed to play the instruments, and the band recorded this version of Needing/Getting, singing as they played the instrument array with the car. The video took 4 months of preparation and 4 days of shooting and recording. There are no ringers or stand-ins; Damian took stunt driving lessons. Each piano had the lowest octaves tuned to the same note so that they'd play the right note no matter where they were struck. For more information and to download the studio version of the song for free, visit http://www.LetsDoThis.com/stunts andhttp://www.okgo.net. Many thanks to Chevy for believing in and supporting such an insane and ambitious project, and to Gretsch for providing the guitars and amps.

I’m not too thrilled by the song. But the video is a must watch.

Feb 7, 2012

Super Bowl XLVI – the ads

Yesterday, I spent a lot of time wondering what the deal was about the ads during the Super Bowl broadcast. One of my friends @eupraxsophic tweeted ‘it has the highest viewership and ad slots are expensive. Companies make their best ads to justify their spent money

Well, when I came back in the evening, there was still a lot of activity about the Super Bowl on Twitter. One link caught my attention. It was Mashable’s video collage of all the ads during Super Bowl XLVI. Another is CNET’s Most liked 2012 Super Bowl ads (photos).

Lastly, I came to realize that I was part of a Twitter record. Twitter released the records for two Super Bowl moment which are #2 and #3 in the list of Twitter‘s most-tweets-per-second list. I was part of #2 – right after the NY Giants won. Here’s the full story!

Out of all the ad, I personally liked ‘The Dog Strikes Back: 2012 Volkswagen Game Day Commercial’ the best. Here’s the video.

Feb 6, 2012

Superbowl and commercials

I woke up this morning perfectly well aware that I had to watch the Superbowl NE Patriots v NY Giants game somehow. I switched through all the sports channels but couldn’t find the telecast. I switched to Twitter but didn’t get any answers about why it’s not being shown on Indian television.

Twitter was abuzz about the half-time show and commercials. Yes, commercials! Everyone was talking about them. A particular Samsung commercial got the most mentions. I don’t quite understand why. Then I did a Google search and came up with this. Now I understand why.

Now I want to ‘really’ watch a Superbowl.

(PS. Congratulations to NY Giants!)

Feb 4, 2012

You are a hypocrite!

I work in an office environment where silence, if not paramount, is very important for the quality of work. Academic editing requires a lot of concentration and can be taxing. So, editors need a release too. In such an environment, the time and method of release chosen by a particular person might conflict with the work of others working nearby. It can be annoying if a person a group constantly creates a lot of noise, especially laughter and/or giggling.

My office unfortunately has such a group of people who, despite repeated warnings, carry on laughing loud and giggling. During these episodes, they fail to control the decibel levels of their conversations too. To avoid getting distracted, you could possibly listen to music. But when you are trying to read sentences aloud in your mind to try and understand and edit them, music is also a hindrance sometimes. There is no other way but hope that these people would stop and realize others are getting affected by it.

I tried to talk to a member of this group and let that person know what exactly the issue is. One day, in the evening, the person appeared to be apologetic and promised to be careful in the future. The very next day, after repetition of the same unruly behavior, and after it was pointed out, the same person was aggressive and rude. The ego was offended and exploded like a volcano. The person started pointing out other groups of people having small conversations in the office and went on to insist that I was being biased against him/her.

I tried to tell the person that I have features of adult ADD and I am particularly sensitive to noise and get distracted very easily. Even that backfired. I was told that I am trying to hide behind the façade of ‘mental conditions’ and I wanted everyone to work in a way that I wanted them to. Eventually, I ended up being called a ‘hypocrite’ for being only sensitive to the noise created by a particular group. I decided that it was best to end the conversation at that.

What would you have done in the same situation?

Feb 2, 2012

Another lesson about friendships

If a person that you love constantly tells you the following – “You will never understand me!” “You never listen to me!” “You never remember anything about me!” - and if that same person gets repeatedly offended by things you say or do, it’s probably better to back off and leave that person alone. At least for quite some time.

The problem, if you can use that word, probably lies with both of you. You may not have the time or patience for taking care of the other person. And/or the other person is not in a position or is incapable of understanding your limitations. Don’t take the brunt of the burden to correct things all by yourself. Efforts have to be bilateral.