16 March 2012

A real sickening day…

A day was full of expectation: the budget 2012-13, iPad launch, and the possibility of Sachin get to the 100th 100. But as I write this, none of the those mattered. Today started with the news that baby Falak had suffered a cardiac arrest late last night and had eventually succumbed. It felt sick. Here was a girl, just 2 years old, and had suffered such ghastly atrocities. She probably just felt the pain all through her life and didn’t understand what it was. With nobody to save her, she suffered. How low can a human sink to? What sick person does that to a child? Even scarier is that person is still out there. The Indian state promises Right to Life in the constitution. The Indian state failed Falak. I atleast hope that they will do justice to her in death and bring the perpetrators to justice; I know it’s highly unlikely but well… one can only hope.

It’s ironic that she died due to cardiac arrest. I guess after fighting bravely for 2 months, she just didn’t have the heart to live in a world that did her so wrong. I really hope that there is a heaven today, just for her, so that it makes up for all she misery and pain she had to endure here, among us.

I end this with a quote I am reminded of from the movie Blood Diamond

Sometimes I wonder…will God ever forgive us for what we’ve done to each other? Then I look around and I realize… God left this place a long time ago.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs - courtesy - Footwa.com

End of an era, dare I say, that was Oct 5 2011. I came to know about it, like most things these days, on twitter. I sent out a text to my friend, who too is a loyalist. And than it began to sink in. DAMN! No more awesomness, no more insanely great products, no more ‘one more thing’. In just the last ten years he brought us iPod, iTunes, Pixar, MacBook Air, iPhone, iPad, App Store… if he had ten more years, what insanely great things would he have dazzled us with. Can you imagine?

My previous blog was on his qutting Apple. At that time I thought that we was seriously ill, but didn’t expect this…

Steve Jobs for me, more than anything, will always be a master showman… selling was his calling… and boy did he sell. His product unveiling videos are epic… they leave you in awe of Apple! He manages to humanize cutting edge technology like no other…And even in his final moments he might have just brought Tony Stark’s personal assistant JARVIS, straight out of fiction to all of us – rechristened Siri

His created products that just worked… and this is how they change lives. And its no t just they change our lives, they become our second nature. Who wants arrow keys when you can just finger swipe!

Many analyst share a view that Apple will do just fine without the iconic Steve at its helm. And that it’s not just him for Apple’s phenomenal success. But then you saw the unveiling of iPhone 4s… what a bore that was… it dragged and dragged… and at some point there was slide mentioning f/2.8… what the heck… I happen to know what f/2.8 is, just because I recently got my self a Canon DSLR. I am sure Steve would never have put that number, and even if he did, he would have taken the effort to tell the world what a premium feature that is for a lens to have. The presenters pulled out slide after slide of sales figures… like they were making a presentation to attract investors. And the iPhone launch itself.. was well a disappointment… Not that its not a good upgrade… infact it’s a fanatastic upgrade… with cloud integration, iTunes match, and the very revolutionary Siri… it’s stupendous… but the presentation didn’t convey that.

Siri – Can you imagine how life would change if it does whats it supposed to do… you could find all the info in the world without ever swiping your phone. No more distraction when driving, no more fumbling to type some text, no more scrolling to find your favourite song, no more texting on a teeny tiny keypad… The presenters just didn’t get through to the millions of Apple fans. The Apple team will miss Steve, his onstage charisma will be extremely hard to replicate. To be fair to them, Steve was one of a kind. I am mighty lucky to have lived throuhg his times.

*image courtesy Anurag @ Footwa.com

Steve Jobs resigns

Steve Jobs resigns is the big news of the day. Within minutes, all the journos, tech writers around the world put out their piece on the legend. I guess these were written years ago, and updated every so often to document each time Steve Jobs stepped out to make a keynote speech and changed the way people understood, used technology. So I too am joining in. Here are my thoughts on the iCon.

It all started way back with the Macintosh. We all know the story, the sacking, the comeback, the resurrection of Apple, the revolutionary iPod, the blockbuster movies, the colossal success of the iPhone and iOs, the creation of a totally new market segment thanks to the beautiful iPad. We all look forward to him walking on the stage in his trademark black turtleneck sweater and blue jeans and ‘wow’ us with his vision. His child like wonder, his infectious enthusiasm, his impeccable presentation. And his genuine love for the company and the products it designs.

Yes, he is a legend. When most people use the word geek to describe anyone associated with IT, here was a man that changed the rule book and went on to create beautiful devices that just worked. I challenge you to call a guy using an apple product a geek.

I remember the first time I got my Apple product-the silver iPod mini. It was such a magical device, so small, so simple yet so ahead of the times- A touch based scroll wheel way back in 2005. I still have it and it still works.

And today this guy has resigned, due to his health condition. For the tech savvy people, today will be end of an era. We are now in a post Steve era. Today, there is Larry and Sergey, Mark Zuckerberg, Evan Williams. We have seen Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Linus Torvalds, yet Steve Jobs stands alone. But not many people change the world, so many times. Steve is a rare one indeed.

Anna Hazare

Anna Hazare, the man of the moment in India today. A jolly old man with infectious smile, calm demeanor, 75 years, wears white and a Gandhi Topi. His crusade against corruption has caught the Indian imagination. What do I make of it? Well read on…

Indians are fed up of corruption, a traffic police never catches us because he wants us to respect the law. He shrewdly waits for us to make an error and then pounces on us to make us pay, not towards the govt. coffers, but towards his. For most Indians, everyday is a struggle. Be it at work, in traffic, be it in banks, govt. offices. We want to get things done and then move on to the next todo. Corruption preys on this.

Anna Hazare, through his movement, has got all of us together, not because we want his version of Lokpal, but because he has decided to take on corruption. Corruption frustrates us, and we will lap up anything that provides us relief. When we hear of ministers being responsible for corruption that runs into lakhs of crores, while a common man struggles to make a decent living in the face of high inflation, rising costs… it makes us mad. And in supporting Anna, we are hoping that his movement might usher in atleast a few changes.

Another thing working for Anna, I think, might be how he is likened to Gandhi. For most of us, we have read about Gandhi, seen a few movies, few clips. His ways of protesting against injustice through non-violent Satyagraha, is almost mythical to us who were born and brought up in turbulent/violent times, seen human brutality under the garb of righteousness. Nowhere, had we witnessed for ourselves this form of protest. And when you see a old man, who has a proven record for doing change, walking this path, trying to do something right, it wows us. It’s this unreal aspect of doing something exactly opposite to violent protests to prove a point, that restores within us the hope that finally the good guy can win, that inspires us to follow the person.

He has made us to start to believe that maybe, just maybe we can collectively bring in change…

India – World Champions

There, we are the world champions, and I was there this time!

I was born in ’79, but I didn’t remember anything of India winning the 1983 world cup. I assume I was like my neighbors daughter, who I think is 3. Her mom held her and brought her out to the balcony. The poor child was covering her ears, as people were bursting fire crackers, and looked in utter bemusement. But me, today, I was screaming with joy. I even surprised myself with my sudden outburst of emotion. I didn’t know I cared so much for the cup. I almost had a tear in my eyes. Yes it’s emotional. The way we did it showed the true grit of the new age Indians. it felt real good at the end.

Me and my wife got on the bike and went out for a ride. It’s her bday on the 3rd so I thought we could have an ice scream and check out the mood on the street. The 100ft road, in Indira Nagar near the sony center was a sight to watch. Living in Bangalore, traffic signals/jams are a daily source of frustration, but not tonight. People had stopped their vehicles and started dancing, shouting on the junction. People in their cars were just soaked in the revelry. Nobody minded this impromptu celebration. I put off my bike and just stood there, watching and feeling proud. Yes, we are the world champions. I think this is how the south Americans and the Europeans feel when they win the world cup. But I think ours is more special. The team India is a mix of 1.2 billion. There are muslims, sikhs, hindus, that came together to get us this. Each one talks a different language, yet play for the same flag. MS Dhoni is a gifted leader. He does things his way. And when they click they result in epic days. Yuvi, take a bow. And thanks Gautam. Sachin, well what can I say. It would be unjust for this legend to not have the world champion tag associated. The rest of the team, each of them legends now.

I never expected to witness this day, but I did and I am forever going to cherish this.

Jai hind!