*Picture from http://blog.buzzintown.com/

Hardly Independent

*All opinions below are strictly personal.

We are a hypocritical society.

We laud our great culture of forbearance, tolerance and love, and punish our children when they marry outside the community.

We celebrate Gandhi Jayanti with Lage Raho Munnabhai on television and slap the driver who dared overtake us on the highway.

We ask our women to dress up in decent, Indian clothes and verbally and physically thrash our wives, oh-so-like Fifty Shades of Grey.

When we spot a pile of garbage outside a house on the street, we abuse the creator and decide to dump our bottle of Cola. 

We ban mobile phones for girls in order to make them secure, and then rape them mercilessly on the street, in vehicles and at home.

There is no stone left unturned to educate our boy and make him self- reliant. We then demand dowry to fund his self-reliance.

We rollout scheme after scheme and wholeheartedly put down the earlier government, and yet fail to provide basic food and health to large sections of our population.

On Independence Day, each year, we dedicate songs to our brave soldiers fighting at our borders, braving the cruel cold. We feast on laddoos and put up balloons in saffron, white and green.

And yet, in this independent land of our great freedom fighters, rich heritage and grand culture, we don’t think twice about abusing the weak, the downtrodden, or the dissenter. Indeed, the greatest spoilsport to the holiday is the fact that August 15 is a dry day.

To this day, we serve tirelessly under greed, intolerance and envy. Hardly independent, I daresay. Until we find a way out of this hypocrisy, this annual commemoration of our freedom struggle leaves me cold.

5 Symptoms to Diagnose If You Need a Tablet

  1. You get called to meetings you never knew had been organised -Before you substantiate your I-am-being-framed theory further, you might like to get some help with planning your day (read here for how). In the crazy life we lead, it is entirely possible to muddle up your dinner date with your appraisal meeting.
  1. Your laptop has started crumbling at the edges from being pushed around in public transport -They didn’t make laptops to be carried around in arms or kept on the floor of Delhi Metro coaches. For that matter, editing, restructuring and commenting on intricate work documents on a phone is creepy, if you’re like me on this. And sigh, this elementary situation is what the boss chooses to be ignorant of.
  1. You haven’t been able to go to the cinema in an era and disbelieve the jazz about “visual magnificence” – You rarely have hours to spend at the cinema and long to utilize commute and in-between minutes to catch up on popular culture. Sadly, those movies they claim are visual treats look drab to you on your phone. As for the television, you need to catch up on news at the end of the day.
  1. Your desk is cluttered with electronic devices and you think integration is just a term – Your desk has a large phone forever plugged into a power supply, a laptop, a camera, a pager – yeah, you still have one of those, a calculator, a music player, a video player, a Kindle and a coffee mug. Who said it’s a small world when your desk is a world in itself?
  1. Your smart kid grumbles about the learning app his competitor in class has mastered -You are wary of letting your kid handle electronic devices but the other smart children are mastering science, mathematics, trivia, educational videos, the piano and tying a tie online. You are considering a cusp between a laptop which the junior will have when he is older, and a phone, which scares you with its infinite possibilities of invasion of privacy. Simple and subtle – that’s how you like things.

Checked three or more? A tablet, such as the Dell Venue series, might just be what the doctor ordered. In a variety of models from basic to pro, the tablet fits in perfectly with a simple yet effective ask.

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The Dell Venue series has a splendid array of inbuilt features such as organizers, location trackers, A/V support and all-access from anywhere thanks to PocketCloud 2.0. Further, a sturdy base built for portability, decent performance and effective battery backup make it quite a catch.

Invest in one, use its services to your advantage and make sure you keep it away from water for best results.

Stay tuned for more on this, shortly.

*Written as a part of Dell Blogger Review Program

7 Mad Things People Do in Modern Society

*Disclaimer: The post is based on my definition of “mad”. That does not implicate/exonerate either of us of the ever dynamic madness of being.

Eat melons all day

Melons

The variety of diets doing the rounds exceeds the variety of insects in the world, by a few thousand. GM, Detox, Vegan, Puritanic, Liquid, and Omnivorous. (That last one is mine.) Some people attain nirvana by consuming melons all day, whenever they feel hungry. And you thought Candy Crush was getting passé.

Wear clothes torn at random places

Shush, jeans torn at the legs is old news. The new wardrobes have clothes with slits/holes/large tears around the chest, the belly button, the upper back – errmm, this is getting a bit anatomical. But as long as people feel smart and chic, the retailers are smiling to the bank.

Carry five phones, two tablets and a laptop

There are separate phones for work, home, parents, boyfriend, best friend, boyfriend, pet. How some people must be wishing they had hands as large and skilled at gripping as their primate ancestors!

Get into part-time and transit-camp relationships

Love
*Picture from hdimge.com

No time is worth wasting away in sorrow, longing and how-I-wish-you-were-here laments. While still young and capable, some people make the most of the places they live in. Makes it easier to remember places by. That is the city I had the three-month-affair with the tall guy! There is the shack we had a one-night-stand in. Smooth.

Think being deaf equals being important

You will find these people at your workplace. You may call, wave, shout at them – and it’s evident they have heard you – but you will be ignored. They will be too tied up with an e-mail (read: Solitaire), their phone (read: WhatsApp) or their desk (read: snacking). The power of being deaf makes them feel well, powerful.

Believe honking will mysteriously clear up the road

When lane shifting, name calling, window rolling and unrolling fail to clear up a traffic jam, some think honking will do the trick. They never learn from past experience, they never do.

Give up on life because society says so

Society is this indomitable creature, ever inventing new criticism for everything you do. Though Society of this kind hardly ever lands up to help you in sorrow, some people believe giving in to its unreasonable demands will quieten its barking. They pick a job they hate, break up with the one they love, settle in a city they detest, wear clothes that bite, and are reborn grumpy about missing the time of death that society had set out. Not exactly modern, I daresay.

BeautifulEvening

Once Upon an Evening

On evenings like these, her mind often scuttles down old memory lanes. Back in school, she would spend such evenings lost in homework – yes, the teachers would always set out loads, even in those days. When she lived away in the hostel, working towards her Masters, the evenings would silently transform into night, unknown to her. Many an evening had disappeared even later when she, stuffed in her cubicle at work, remained lost in her computer screen. When she finally emerged under the open sky, the stars would be too distant, too unfriendly to talk to.

There came a series of evenings when her life turned staccato. One moment she would be on the road, thinking about deadlines at work. Stories yet to be sent in, articles yet to be fleshed out. The next moment she would be home, obsessing over dinner. It was a rushed existence, one that left her no time to notice the evenings go by. Yet they did, quietly slinking into oblivion. She had heard tales of women managing both worlds with ease, slipping from the corporate chair to the homemaker’s with élan. For several evenings therefore, she let the raindrops dance on her rooftop unheeded. “What a wonderful manager you are!” the world would say to her.

A couple of evenings ago, however, the stars shifted. The world around her started whispering – very audibly – some rather queer things. “What on earth do you do with yourself?” She had tried explaining that she worked, albeit primarily from home. She was now a freelance writer. “Does it even pay?” It pays enough, she had said. There came knowing glances, sympathetic grunts. She had finally, they assumed, grown weary of the rush and given in to the much talked about, yet undervalued, role of a homemaker. An existence without an office cubicle, after all, was no existence at all.

After a point, to her surprise, explanations didn’t seem necessary. She didn’t need to conform to the world’s misplaced perceptions about a successful woman. Adhere to the biased scale with which they weighed people’s achievements. She was free to rearrange her priorities at will. These days, her evenings would be alive with the laughter of her five-year old. The air would be fragrant with the promise of a quiet dinner with her husband. When the sun rose each morning, she focused on the deadlines she had to meet. In closer proximity to the ones she held dear, however, she found she worked better.

In her scheme of things, there was only one perfect scale to measure success – happiness. And happy she was.

Bottle-Green Plans

Bottle Green Diary
*Picture from http://www.amazon.com

I had a bottle-green diary in school. The first few pages had the national anthem, the school anthem, and good thoughts to see us through the day. As the school term progressed, the subsequent pages would fill up with time-tables, exam date-sheets and assignments. Mom and I would highlight key portions in fluorescent colours, and make mnemonics and symbols in the margins. The bottle-green diary is now all full. Of writing…of memories. Though good old paper and pen can never cease being endearing, let me tell you how my Dell Venue is pretty neat when it comes to planning my day. Even though it’s black.

The Corporate Fallback: I hate being an e-mail addict. But I also hate unread mails in my inbox. Especially if they come up in monotonous meetings where you’re lost in the beauty of a rain-washed Delhi…until you’re called. On my way to work, I make it a point to read/reply to work e-mails and mentally divide my time as per the day’s calendar. It saves me precious minutes at work – minutes I can then utilize to ensure I leave on time. Moreover, a second screen is a great help on server/system down days to ensure technology doesn’t interfere with my err, work-life balance.

The Tour Guide: There are days when public transport fails me. Or gets to my nerves. Especially in the light of how I am a lost soul in Gurgaon, the tablet’s location and navigation guide is a Godsend. No longer can I be fooled by cries of “Madam, take my auto!” or need to look miserable at road dead-ends.

The Social Consultant: I continue to get skeptical glances about being a Delhi-ite for 1. Some people assume all Bengalis are born in West Bengal and 2. I am bad with “social hangouts” in the capital. I needn’t worry anymore for lo and behold, applications on my Dell Venue are my new consultants. I can suggest a nearby restaurant for a surprise lunch with a friend, checkout what movies are playing in the nearest theatre, book flight tickets for an urgent trip out, and even video-chat with a friend I haven’t caught up with in ages. All without the risk of running out of space and memory on a teeny-weeny phone and giving myself the peace of mind that comes with being clutter-free.

The De-stresser: After a long day with a variety of demons, I appreciate a quiet evening, with a lilting tune and friendly weather. While the latter is never in my control, the tablet ensures I never run out of music, movies and books. Even when on the go to a boring social do I am dragged into. And no, I hardly mind glances that scream “why come to a party when your nose is deep into a screen.” It’s better than having my nose into things that interest me not, I say.

Come to think of it, the Dell Venue has rapidly assumed the role of a planner and companion in my life. I have half a mind to buy it a bottle green cover.

Stay tuned for more on this, shortly.

*Written as a part of Dell Blogger Review Program

Observations | Stories | Opinions

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