Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A weight off my chest...

It could be a catharsis of sorts, though playing out on an unlikely stage (well, it's actually just a bench).

When I walk into the gym (and I must admit, the frequency is dropping to unhealthy levels), I am all weary and bleary. Though by the time I have warmed up, the battery levels seem to be inching up from the red zone.

But what really does the trick is the act of pushing (literally) all that weight off my chest. Every rep is like a transferred epithet, as if the day's heavy events have somehow moved away from me, and piled themselves alongside the weights on the bar, while I exhale with all that I've got; the exercise exorcising the day's evil spirits out, to be consumed by the thick, sweaty air.

The end of every set is a step towards resurrection. The phoenix slowly pushing against the debris and coming up for oxygen. The pause between sets forces me to hear my heartbeats, and of course, the mirrored walls definitely lead to some close encounters with the self.

Gym is a great equalizer. You could be anybody outside that door, but inside, you are just another mortal who is huffing, puffing, gasping and grunting like the rest of them all. No matter what your bank balance is, somebody will walk in and add a weight to the bar you left behind, and suddenly make you realize that you've been over-rating yourself, and that there's still a lot of work to be done. A lot.

Finally, at the end of the hour, the catharsis is complete. The hot shower awaits, and yes, it's been a great wonderful day, and tomorrow will definitely be better...

Friday, June 24, 2011

N9–What were they thinking


When I came to know of the launch of Nokia N9, my first reaction was - What????, and followed by a slow, sigh-flavored Why??

Imagine you are on a stage delivering a speech, and your pants suddenly come undone, revealing your red polka-dotted underwear, you have two choices - you can either gently apologize and excuse yourself, and announce to the audience that you will be back shortly with a new pair; or you can attempt some form of humor about falling pants and polka dots and such...

It is obvious that the latter choice doesn't count as "saving grace". It counts towards "making matters worse". Sometimes its wiser to not do anything and just wait it out till you get a chance to wear a brand new pair of pants again.

It's surprising that Elop and team are not able to fathom that stop-gap arrangements are just that - stop-gap. No matter how elaborate and wonderful the arrangement -- the N9 has a new design, no buttons, NFC, a new OS (the first and last phone on MeeGo), 1 GHz processor -- but all smartphone fans out there are today more aware of their AMOLEDs and qHDs than ever before, and can therefore be quite ruthless in shunning a phone that they know has no future.

It would perhaps have been more sane to just announce to the world that Nokia will not launch any phones till Fall of this year, when it finally comes out with WP7. All great companies have to reinvent themselves once in a while. Even a complete reset perhaps if the market so demands. But if done with some forethought and clear thinking, the market can actually respect a company that announces significantly reduced sales for two quarters, followed by revised revenue guidance for the next few quarters. Much better perhaps than to invest resources in creating a new phone that won't sell much.

They believe they are stoking a fire. What they have ignored is that there's a difference between the fire burning down your house, and the fire slowly burning in your hearth. The actions taken now will determine whether the house remains or not.

Wait for your new pair of pants, Nokia. It's worth it. We have sworn by your phones, and I am sure it's not very difficult to regain lost ground against those iphones and gingerbreads if you can get your act together again - in time.

Or this Fall, could be your final fall.

Friday, February 11, 2011



Just read about a 12 year old suicide bomber killing 31 soldiers in Pakistan. I don’t know what is more heart-wrenching – That 31 soldiers died? Or that we now have really young children being used as suicide bombers?


And what is more criminal – To kill soldiers? Or to brainwash a twelve year old into throwing his lunch box and books out of his bag, and instead stuffing it with explosives? What level of an animal is required who could even think of finishing off a young life for the sake of an imaginary war?


Though I can never, ever fathom (and I hope I never do) what would actually be running in the mind of that young boy as he moved ahead to carry out the task, nevertheless here’s an attempt at what those thoughts might have looked like --


This load I carry,

Am I too young to comprehend?

And too shy to ask my crying mother,

Is there any way I can make amend?


Will God ease the pain,

As I blow myself to pieces?

And which parts of me, will they finally find,

When they start to count, the missing bodies?


Will my brother believe,

That I have actually left him alone?

Won’t he be waiting at the ice-cream shop

Buying for me, a fresh chocolate cone?


School is off, so they said,

I have learnt enough for this lifetime

How and when, to press the trigger

My last lesson, before the finish line?


My mother packed, my lunch for me

But they said that food, won’t be needed anymore

The other side of life, is a very different land,

The pearly gates? Or the bloodied door?


Will there be redemption

For my sin of being born in this place?

And won’t there be condemnation

For those who want to win, this deathly race?


And to my father, I still will ask,

This very last question

Though twelve years, isn't a very long time,

But wish you could tell me, was I a worthy son?