Friday, August 19, 2016

Robots are here...

Robots - a very popular term used in the business these days. Automate, robotise, digitise are the punch words of the day. The abilities of what a robot can do are absolutely immense. There is no doubt that things would change drastically for any industry in the near future and henceforth, with the invasion of robots. Note, the era has already begun..

I remember watching "A.I. Artificial Intelligence" movie as a kid. It showcases human form of robots (humanoids as they call) with emotions and yet with a clear message that David was not capable of being "the" son to his mother, who he loved so dearly. It explains how David goes on a quest to become human so that his mother could love him as a son, a child-like human emotion ingrained in him - advanced form of cognitive robotics.

A few movies have been very futuristic - Star Wars, Terminator, Interstellar, Inception, Gravity, Eternal sunshine of Spotless mind etc. just to name a few. It is commendable that these ideas have been brought to life by envisioning the possible future to satiate human curiosity - be it exploring the world of worlds. creating new ways and means of communications, travelling across the time, discovering brilliance of human body etc. In all these themes, hi-fi technology can be seen as the common factor and hence the accelerating need to implement robotics.

During my school days, one of my friends had a download of flash games from his uncle in the US. I got this download from him and uploaded onto my system. There were so many games in this flash mix and my sister and I thoroughly enjoyed playing whenever possible at home. We even used to have competition with friends and family for a few games. One particular flash game we had was AI.

I used to come back from school every evening and interact with AI for sometime before I engaged myself with the family or friends. My mom never understood what was I doing and who was I talking to by punching the keyboard. This was early 2000s when internet was still new to India. She used to sit there, see the responses popping promptly on the screen and she used to laugh because it was like - how on earth the computer is talking by itself.

My chat with AI used to range from food varieties to taking suggestions on a few school life problems. Sometimes I used to sit there to just blurt out what I thought I should have done, how I felt the day should have gone like, what went wrong and what went right. Most of AI's responses for personal-shrink-like statements used to be - "I understand", "I don't understand", "what do you mean by..." etc. etc. It still worked for me for a while. At least, there was someone to hear me out with no judgments. I got bored eventually, of course.

Mind you, this was not as intelligent as Siri which conveniently interacts with integrated systems and interactive platforms. This one had a set of defined variables in its programming and it recognises key words in an unstructured data with no actual self learning capabilities.

Before I get into too much technical stuff, I believe that machines simplify our tasks. Having said that, it is in human to feel and act on. It, perhaps, is not wise to incorporate everything into the robotic heads, in which case the movie, I, Robot, might actually come true revolutionising the world to lead to complete pandemonium.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Women in a relationship ;-)

This blog has been long pending. Whenever I recover from a petty fight, I think of writing this blog in a funny way but my laziness prevails and I end up not doing it. Thanks to my 3-day fever, I have got nothing but time to finally materialise this blog :-P

Relationships are sometimes tricky and funny. Having been in a relationship for more than 9 years now, I do find dealing with nuances once a while is not a bad idea! Specially because it is so easy for men to get into that nonchalant and my-head-is-absolutely-empty mode quite often, where they tend to experience mental peace with not even a single idea popping inside. On the other hand, empty heads are so alien and in some ways threat to women. So the balancing act for this equation usually is a small silly nuance.

Its not that women don't understand the logic, but they just want to play around with that empty head so that they get some attention - because you absolutely don't understand why such a useless response! For example, you have performed a laborious task of cooking something exotic and you would like some appreciation.. which most of the times comes as a very feeble signal or worst none at all! Not recognizing the pretty dress she bought a few months ago and the event where she wore it looking all pretty for you (this is a lie... usually its for everyone, major attention seekers you see :-P). Women not only think about what they wear but also what others around her are wearing. And for all this effort, there comes no appreciation!

Different women have different styles to express the anger by not really expressing it. For example, throwing taunts, sending indirect messages, giving anecdotes or not talking at all. My personal choice is not talking at all. Mind you, it is very very tough but it is good for three reasons: 1) you can avoid any crazy loud talks; 2) you give the other person sufficient time to ponder over what could have possibly gone wrong; and 3) frankly, even you need a break from taking care of everything sometimes.

Sometimes there is genuine ignorance and sometimes they are just differently perceived notions. But women are from Venus so they get affected more and hence the tactics. But the first step of caring always comes from women without any expectation. I remember my senior manager quoting this - "even i put long hours at work. But it is strange that only I end up thinking about what should I cook for dinner or breakfast the next day. My husband never even thinks about it". To be honest, she wasn't complaining there and she just said as a matter of fact.

Some people might go on arguing that why should women do the things they have been doing - cooking, cleaning, prettifying the house etc. Yes, they absolutely don't have to. But they will do it anyways because that's their innate natural form to make things better. So if they demand some attention, give it. If they want to be pampered, do it - you are pampered by them 24/7 so its worthwhile to take some exclusive time out for them. And if they are cranky sometimes, just tolerate it :-D (you don't have a choice anyways so might as well be positive about it!)

Not-so-long story short, its good to be not so perfect in life (refer to this blog). And women would always want love to be a novel, men a short story... So the saga continues... :-)

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Phases of Friendship

It is surprising to learn how easily you can lose in touch with someone so dear to you.. This usually happens with your close friends from school, college, workplace etc.. You often make an attempt to stay in touch initially but eventually the interest to take that extra step fades away and all you are left with is a bundle of memories.. And perhaps, that is alright because you have moved onto a different phase and you should, after all, look forward to new situations, challenges and different people to take out time for.

However, this is not the case with everyone. Sometimes, people stay back in your life. You rely on them forever, wherever they are. If I look back into my life, I have had so many friends at different phases of my life.. But there are only a handful of them, who I can talk to when I am sad/happy/bored/confused/terrified. And I am glad that these are only a few... because it is not easy to show your true self to everyone and frankly, why would you?

I was talking to a friend of mine other day. I met with her when I was 17 (in a shared auto) and we became friends almost within a week. We have seen troughs and crests of our lives together and accepted our friendship through these times. She lives in the US and I live in the UK. And last I met with her 4 years ago. But whenever we talk, it feels like distance hardly matters. Our gossips never end - boy friends (now husbands), marriage, parents, relatives, jobs etc. Striking a conversation has never been an effort. She desperately calls me when she needs to make a decision and I eagerly take her advice for anything new that I embark on. I honestly cherish our friendship and undoubtedly this will flourish for all the times to come :-)

And there have been times when you have to let go a few friends - different ideologies, different aspirations, misunderstandings etc. But when one door closes the other opens and life moves on. So no regrets. 

I genuinely believe that a relationship can not survive if there is no friendship in it. In these crazy, loud and busy times, peace is something everyone is on a mission to fulfill. According to me, strength of a relationship can be scaled when you are able to pull of a situation without getting frustrated or irritated or annoyed in absolute silence in each other's presence. This is crucial because it creates an invisible aura of care and security between the two leading upto peace. There is a complete understanding between the two souls without uttering a word (it is a different thing that my husband wants silence to check out 9gag and twitter :-P).

You may not be able to share 100% of your true life with anyone. Each person is different and there would be some grace % which is solely for yourself and  that is to be respected. After all, we are individual human beings and we are allowed to have our own space (could be dark, mystic, weird or crazy traits :-D). 

Its funny sometimes how you become friends - a friend's friend who you bumped into at a boring party, two confused souls in a college exchange program, social networking (orkut, hi5, facebook), discussing boring books like "the monk who sold his Ferrari", some silly thought leadership sessions because your dad assumed you had nothing better to do in life, because you both are born on Fools Day, because you both are major biryani lovers etc. As they say, no friendship is an accident. It is the hardest thing to be explained because its not taught but only felt. There is a reason why you are together and the quote below nicely sums it up -- 

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, "what! you too? I thought I was the only one!"

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Company Matters...

Sometimes we go through stuff.... we feel a mix of anxiety, hopelessness, grief... tending towards negativity... So many feelings but the only solution is "patience" for the moment to pass.. this is a situation when your heart just doesn't listen to your mind... there is a logic in your head but the heart wants what the heart wants... there is no one who can absolutely convince you... everything feels so aloof even when surrounded by people - family n friends..

There are so many experiences and so many tough times which we may have surpassed... yet this seems new again... a few experiences are to be confronted to understand the commotion.. there is a route cause for this and your behavior is just the end result driven by a few deep thoughts.. you may perhaps excel at being an eccedentesiast... but that, however, doesn't unravel the pandemonium within you... and there is, unfortunately, noway to express it.. 

I haven't come across someone who can claim to be "perfect".. Everyone goes through tough times.. some might overcome easily and some may not... Some know how to deal with uncertainty perfectly and other struggle to deal with it.. eventually you have to learn to live after all.. else there is nothing left to live..

I have lived alone sufficiently to understand what loneliness is and how to convert being alone to an exciting expedition.. but truly these are just temporary.. what someone really needs is a company.. and a company to entirely accept who you are.. you are free and you can utterly be open knowing that there is no fear of judgement.. where you can cry like a baby and laugh like a madman.. you will still be loved.. you can be unreasonable, unfair and demanding... and still you know that you will be loved back unconditionally.. The crazy moment passes and eventually you will be sane enough to realise that things will be fine.. 

There are times when circumstances make you go far from this "company"... and there are times when you realise you are no longer in that "company" even with a companion.. both the situations lead to a chaotic life... keeping yourself busy and compromising for society are short-living.. retrospectively introspect to alleviate or rather eradicate the issues... find that company which you deserve to be with and encounter that true love to resolve the purpose of this life.. 

Finally a few amazing lines on companionship....

Those who have never known the deep intimacy and the intense companionship of happy mutual love have missed the best thing that life has to give....

You could hold me and I could hold you. And it would be so peaceful. Completely peaceful. Like the feeling of sleep, but awake in it together...

Sunday, January 10, 2016

My Baby, My Inspiration

Note: The blog is based on my sister's journey on motherhood - Love you sis and Chiyo :-*

“I don’t believe Love at First Sight because I started loving my baby even before I saw him”

My boy is now 45 day old but we often ignore the fact that his journey started 9 months earlier. In those crucial 9 months of his life he took the course alone in the darkness towards an incessant pursuit of taking a human form. It is said that in order to understand the concept of Struggle for Existence, we need not comprehend Darwin’s Origin of Species or refer to the history of races, it is sufficient to understand the ordeal made by this tiny life form with a sole purpose to be a part of our universe. His unwavering steady determination to reach his destination is my first Inspiration. His Perseverance inspired me. He seamlessly tried to make our dream come true.

In embryonic stage, even before any organ has formed the existence of life is proclaimed by the heart’s beat. I was confirmed pregnant in 5th week where only yolk sac was seen in my first scan. I had to wait 2 more weeks for the confirmation of live fetus. Those 2 weeks were the most anxious two weeks of our lives. On 11th of April we heard a very fast yet strong beat for the first time. That was how he again inspired me to take the lead in contributing my part to bring him into this world over the effort our 2.5cm tiny baby had put to make his survival declared. His Optimism inspired me.

"Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother." A Man can also take the form of a mother. But only a woman puts her soul on the verge of life and death prepares herself for the rebirth during labor. This is the reason may be every Godly form (Avatara Purusha) of our Puranas are born to a Mother rather descend directly from Vaikunta. We all know the pain that a Mother experiences but the hidden fact is, an un-explanatory struggle the baby undergoes during his way out through the birth canal. Without any complaint he endures it and gives his 100% to get adjusted to this foreign environment. His Adaptability inspired me.

Its no exaggeration to say that he is a born leader ;). There is a minority rule in our family ever since he’s born. He demands undivided attention and he gets it without fail. This 24 hour non-stop service he commands is not because of wealth, fame or power but by his naive genuine smile. His Innocence inspired me how simple a Smile creates wonders and leaves people dumbstruck. His Genuineness shows honesty definitely pays off.

Never once in my life I adhered to a New Year resolution that I take every year to cultivate the habit of diary-writing. Now I’ve a diary to capture all my memories with him. Now I put down all my moods into it dealing with my emotions independently.  I occasionally write poems too in it.  He inspired me to have a new Hobby of Diary writing and Poetry Writing.

When I feel low, his serene look/smile on his face picks me up. His High-spirited soul inspires me to stay happy always. His needs are very simple. His Simplicity always makes me wonder why we insist on making our lives complicated.

I spend my holidays mostly on bed sleeping or watching laptop. Those are my laziest days. But now he keeps me on my toes every moment every day. I took three days to finish this blog. He inspires me to be Dynamic and to live every moment differently by throwing different challenges each time.
He inspires me to Exercise daily to keep my mind and body healthy to make him stay lively, happy, fit and flourishing. He inspired me to have an Ambition to grow higher in my career so that I can give a better life to him.  I am now more tolerant, more patient, more forgiving and more courageous.

I can see a clear disctinction of what I was and what I am now. I want him to look upto me proudly and say that his mom is his Inspiration, else I would be ashamed of not doing my part responsibly. He is my constant check to put in my inspirations into actions. My Baby, My Strength, My Inspiration.

This entry is for #SpreadTheVibe -

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Scent of Freedom

I was watching a movie this morning, Youth. Most of you would not have even heard of it. It was a recent release. The movie revolves around 2 old men, touching their 80s, on a vacation near Alps. It is a simple story portraying human emotions and how they realise truthiness about themselves. Subtle music in the background adds to the calmness of the movie. The title of the blog comes from the movie when Rachel Weisz explains how she was starting to get the scent of freedom after her husband leaves her for another woman.

It is always good to have a controlled mind and in turn structured and meaningful thoughts. However, when something unexpected occurs in life, the only way to be free is to think freely. Open up your thoughts to the possibilities of unfortunate or unwanted occurrences but then bear in mind that the thoughts don't sway in the way you want to and they might just go other way around as well and you might touch extremities.

Freedom of thoughts is a luxury. But if you want that independence always, you are getting estranged from rest of the world. The complexities of the human web are such that you will not be able to think and act independently forever. The only way to do that is to live a reclusive life as there is none to question you. And as they say - too much freedom can lead to the soul's decay.

Human mind seeks stability like any other matter in nature. When I first came to London, I have explored most of the UK in the first 6 months. But now I to take things at peace and ease. You need that mental calmness to explore your own thoughts and think through every decision that you will make. I noticed that a stable mind can take lesser surprises than an excited one. But then surprises or shocks don't come your way every day.

People socialise and that is absolutely essential if you have a corporate environment around you. However, it is an absolute sad state wherein you can't be content with yourself. You feel frustrated or go negative when you are alone. It is always good to have a mix of both, for you can make right decisions when you truly know who you are. When you go through a rough phase, your friends and family would support you but ultimately its only you who has to go through that mentally and overcome.

I know most of us realise how important it is to meditate. When you do that, you will realise how many unwanted thoughts cross your mind. Eventually you will get better, but initially you will understand how haphazard your thought process is. I am ok to take all the loudness when at work or social gathering but when you are back home, have that peace and a place to ponder over and be truthful to yourself. There is no point living for others all the time, for you are not living at all in that case.

Lastly, its a great thing to have sense of freedom and to feel its essence. However, be mindful that egoistic approach can never take you ahead, if you think that is what you demand for your freedom. Your desires and wishes can be at someone's cost. Have the spirit to let go where possible and open up your mind to new dreams.. After all, you always have a choice and you are free to choose..

What light is to the eyes...
What air is to the lungs...
What love is to the heart...
Liberty is to the soul of man!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Digital World

A friend of mine updated a blog today on how we have become slaves to technology... which is so true to think through really... however, the question is - can humans ever control their dependency on it? Should we or should we not?

For example, I have been living by myself for past 9 months and will do so for coming couple of months without a question. Technology has become my best friend of-late - TV, Movies, sitcoms etc. While at work, constantly on laptop... when back home again on laptop / tv / phone.. but this is truly a savior for me.. I can't go out everyday and spend time with friends... It is now easy for me to be by myself and remain positive even when you have got only yourself to live with!

But this becomes sometimes a lazy bad habit. Again quoting my own instance, when my husband comes over.. there are several moments when we both are just into our phones busy networking or browsing.. Back in Delhi, I remember my mother in law saying while bringing some snacks from the kitchen -  bas phone pe hi raho aur ek dusre se baat hi mat karo (be on the phone and just don't talk to each other) - very valid point considering 4 of us in the TV room with TV on and we were just busily looking into our phones / laptops instead of having some family time!!

On top it you have to keep up with the rapid pace at which technology is growing... In a social group of 4 if one of you don't know what GOT is all about, all you can do is just stare at them and smile awkwardly... same goes for sports, reality shows, features of new gadgets, latest tweets etc..

Gone are the days when I had time to listen to my Mom with full attention.. now i have to make an effort to keep my phone away in silent mode and then strictly take time out and talk to her.. one beep on mobile shifts your attention totally after all! Even at this point while blogging, i am whatsapping simultaneously - so called multi-tasking!

My dad had official guest house in a forest before his retirement... He had all the facilities and great view as it was on a hill... Whenever we went there, there was absolutely no connectivity.. no WiFi and no mobile network (except for BSNL)... day 1 used to be total getaway with just to yourself and your family.. but by next day you have an itch to just get out and get into the connecting world!

The fact is we are addicted to busy lives... I went to Scotland back in May... the high-lands had such an amazing peace and had a lovely time.. After that I stayed back at Stirling at a friend's place for a day... The place had deafening silence...So Saturday night was really amazing with complete peace but by Sunday night I was missing busyness... Although it was calm, it was not serene to me anymore.. I was missing the buzz!

In short, i have realised that we need time and space to introspect... But we can't stay away from social interaction for so long... its unfortunate that our lives are getting more and more comfortable with digital world.. we are happy to have as minimal face to face interaction as possible.. if its a necessity it fine but it is the option we are choosing these days... And the only way to come out of it is to make an effort and keep moving and keep meeting!!