Are you “Evolutionized”?

evolution technified

In one of my previous posts, I told you how much I am obsessed with my cell phone and how much I use it for various purposes and how I am being sometimes ridiculed for being too dependent or busy with it. Personally, I don’t see anything wrong in it. If I have spent some 25ks on my phone, I expect it to use fully and not just for the purpose of calling and messaging. Moreover, whosoever people who say this were not using any kind of smart phone. So, they did not have much idea how useful and addictive it can be.

So, a month back, my friend got a Blackberry mobile. Previously, he was using a Nokia X2-01 which is good for conventional mobile stuff but nothing more than that. As soon as he laid his hands on this new phone, he has become a social media addict. He is using Facebook App which gives him instant notifications. He is on Whatsapp (btw, if you are not using Whatsapp on your mobile, you are missing a lot) with lot of friends around. And the most unexpected, he has taken Twitter hands on. I introduced him to Twitter a week back and the pace at which he is tweeting has baffled me.

So, the crux is- he is totally into his cell phone these days. Entering the auto and exiting it, while in Metro, in lunch, last thing before he sleeps and first thing when he wake up- is his phone (even heard he is taking it to attend the nature’s call, I wonder what he does there- sh*t? tweet? Only he knows). And that too with the most basic Blackberry in his hand; I can imagine what his schedule will be like if he gets an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy series.

He says he is now obsessed with this phone. I told him- my dear friend, you are just EVOLUTIONIZED.

Isn’t it? It was an evolution. The way these smart phones shone to overtake the traditional mobile phones, coupled with the advent of social networks at almost simultaneous pace has been phenomenal. Bill Gates once said- “if you are not on the web, you can’t do business”. Now, for the younger generation, it is like- “if you are not on Facebook, you do not exist”.

With these sites becoming such an integral part of our life, it was a tough ask to wait whole day to reach home and check what’s happening and get in touch with near and not-so-dear ones. Mobile phone makers saw the opportunity and the result is what we see every day. Facebook is now available 24 x 7 and so it is hard to be ignorant about anything latest. If you still are, then you need to run with the world.

So, what is different? The different is the way people have evolved themselves to adjust to this lifestyle- both with themselves and around them. In my own family, I can see it. I adjusted pretty early to this change and got a cell that allowed me to at least read mails and blogs on the go, if not watch videos. Then I switched to a touch screen phone which was not 3G compatible. Now I have a Samsung smart phone which is more than good enough for everything you can do over internet. Videos, mails, blogs, social networks, chatting- I have everything. At the same time, my brother never got accustomed to these things. He was happy with a Nokia phone that clicked 2MP pictures and played MP3 music. Now, he too has a Blackberry and he is also being evolutionized.

I don’t see this evolution holding back in near future. Although it hard to think what else is left to innovate and techies to explore, you inadvertently know there will be surprises. iPhone 5 did it. Having that, in India, is a status symbol. Being a part of evolution of 21st century India, I guess!!

And as days are passing by, I am seeing more and more people getting addicting to this. The age bracket of 18-30 has been breached. Even my father talks about getting a 3G phone and sign up to Twitter and Facebook (I dread that). My boss, almost nearing his retirement, got a, ahem ahem, Samsung smart phone with dual SIM facility. I sat with him setting up the basic stuff in his new handset and without doubt, I could see the child-like-glow on his face when he was trying them out. It’s amazing how a smart phone can bring out the kid in a 58 year old senior official.

Evolution is certainly on and you can just delay it, can’t run away from it. That is inevitable. It’s not about whether, it’s about when. If you are reading this on your phone, then you are also evolutionized. If not, trust me, very soon, you will be.


30 Minutes in Delhi Metro

delhi metro

It was just another Delhi evening while I was commuting in Delhi metro. Travelling in metro has always been boring when I am alone. Worse, I am not addicted to the headphone music listening. So, normally I forget them and then have no choice than to keep going back to my phone to check new FB notifications in every 5 minutes. I was addicted to both- the Facebook and my phone. You might have heard a story where a king’s life was in parrot. My cell phone is my parrot.

This evening, luck was far away. I was in Yellow line that goes all the way from Jahangirpuri to Gurgaon. I was going to Chhatarpur and the stations on that route are underground. So, connectivity was at the minimum level. 3G signals, well, obviously were absent.

For 30 minutes, doing nothing, standing and shifting balance from one leg to another is a tough job. All you can do is to have a quick nap or look at others. Gen X, grunting and complaining about the Delhi government, Kejriwal and scams. Gen Y, like me, engrossed with their mobiles. I wonder how difficult a metro commutation would have been without the mobile phones. 80% of the travellers have their headphones fixed to the ears. More innovative watch half the movie as they cover the distance from home to office and vice versa. More techie people play games.

Scrutinising the coach, my eyes stopped at a girl. She was not far from me and I wondered why I did not notice her first. May be, a lot of crowd was the reason. In a red suit, you won’t say she was looking hot or sexy but she was good enough to be noticed. And….cute as well.

The metro halted at Central Secretariat station and the more ‘cattle-class’ entered. My destination was still far so I moved away from the door to the inside the coach. This brought me a little closer to the girl and I looked at her a bit more carefully. Well, like many out there, she was beautiful. Everything fixed on the face on right place with right size. And there was a certain innocence which was appealing that made her a little different. Going through her, suddenly, my FB sent a notification. Damn, I forgot to turn the auto sync off. I usually stayed away from FB chat. Rarely, I am online. This one time, I have not turned it off and now, some so dude (who is in my friend list because I met him just once in a friend’s marriage in half drunk state) will fuck my mind with his totally broken lingo – “hello, hws mah brotha? Long time, kinda sad”.

I prepared myself and unlocked the mobile. Instead of a dude, there was a small “Hi” from somebody named Golden Silence. Due to bad connectivity in the metro, the profile picture was taking time to upload. There was no one with this name in my friend list. Moreover, this was a message, not a chat ping. So this person was not in my friend list. I replied- ‘who’s this?’ The reply said- “accept my friend request and then we will continue”.

This was getting weird. The profile picture was still not available and I had no option but to accept that request. So I did.

Me- “so now, who are you?”

Person- “I think u know me. U were looking at me a moment before.”

I looked up immediately. So, it was she. What was happening?

Me-“how did u get my name”

She- “The I-card said it”

My I-card that was usually in the pocket was hanging out. How fortunate (or unfortunate) it will be, time will tell.

Me- did not notice. 😀

She- can you come this side? It will be easier to talk.

Why would I have said no? I went near her and had a good look at her this time. She really looked too innocent to do some goofy stuff. We started then.

She- so, mr Agarwal, you are a banker?

Me- yes, wat about u? And what’s up with the name on Facebook? Golden silence?

She- why? Cant this be a name?

Me- it can be a Christian name. But you are not a Christian.

She- how are you so sure?

Me- that small Om bracelet on your left wrist is the culprit.

She- You are pretty observant. What’s in the name? So, a boring job, banking, isn’t?

Me- you bet. But how do you know?

She- my father is in bank. And so too my fiancée.

Fiancée. That last word struck me hard and I think she noticed it. Why, even I do not know? Even I was committed. What was the big deal? May be, this whole influence of Hindi movies throughout the life was taking over. Guy and girl meeting at random places like bus, weddings, offices and that famous happy ending- this was all we have seen in Bollywood. Good for movies only.

And then her picture loaded. Exaggeration you might consider, but she looked real princess. Far prettier than what was she right now.

I left all those thoughts behind and recollected myself to resume. I was curious now.

Me- ur DP is much better than what you are right now.

She- that is my engagement picture. Bridal make-up does have that advantage.

Me- btw, congrats for the engagement.

She- thanks.

Me- so, ms silence, what makes you ping me out of nothing?

She- if this was your first or second question; I would have considered you a flirt.

Me- and what now?

She- nothing, just that you are a nice guy.

Me- still, the question remain unanswered.

She- well, I have a long way to go and was getting bored. Looked around, found you the only one as bored as me and pinged you then. Blame it on your FB profile. If you would have not been up there, probably this would not have been happening, Gooner.

I did not ask why she called me Gooner. It was obvious. She saw my Arsenal tattoo.

Me- you know what does it mean?

She- I guess I do. One of my friend talks about it. Some football club, is not it?

Me- yeah. That is the only passion of my life. So, got inked.

She- good that is. Apart from that, what else?

Me- well, I play football and sometime write too.

She- what?

Me- my blog

She- what exactly in there?

Me- whatever I feel like.

She- so is this sudden conversation going in there?

Me- depends.

She- on what?

Me- let me see how it goes and how it ends. And maybe I need to know more about you.

She- in that case, let me fill in.

She told me a bit about previous life and hobbies. She was pursuing masters in fashion technology and liked painting and cooking. Homely girl, as she put it and was ready to get in an arranged marriage. She has travelled a lot throughout her life. Born in India, her father’s job took her to 5 countries around the world and then back to Delhi. Talking to her, it felt as if we were talking since long time. Only the announcement made me realize my station was the next one. So, I decided to ask what had to be asked.

Me- I have to get down at the next station. Before I leave, let me ask you this. You pinged me, I was surprised. It does not happen with me every day. And you did not even answer me then. Now I need an answer. Say the real reason.

I was desperate for an answer. She sensed it.

She- Well, I can’t put it up in words. It was something sudden. I never believed in love and this love at first sight is too strange to handle. But right now, I love this feeling of feeling for somebody. I know it’s too bizarre that is happening and it’s too late for me and should not have pinged you. But in any case, now that has been done; please do not make me regret it. You look like a sensible guy. I am getting married in a month. I will keep this conversation as a sweet memory, nothing else.

Needless to say, I was speechless. Frankly, it was way too abrupt. Impulsive from her side, if you may say.

Me- I do not know who you are and what your name is. But you can trust me over this. This will be a secret forever. And as strange this is for you; it is that abrupt for me too. You really do not need me tell me your name. And thanks for making this evening memorable. Have a happy married life. Bye.

She- Thanks and I know you will have a busy next 15 minutes now.

Me- Why? You think I will be thinking of you?

She- well, I think I am good enough. But do not blame me if you do not forget me for long.

Me- sure, you are. (I will surely be thinking about her, 15 minutes are too less for this). And as I said, I will not be blaming you. I really won’t remember whether I met you or not as soon as I step down.

I got down. The usually busy station looked quiet. I was too involved in thinking last 30 minutes. Miracles do happen. Life is not that bad.

Before I could go further, I got a call from my friend.

He- that was too good.

Me- what?

He- I can’t control my laughter. Awesome.

Me- abe batayga kya hua hai. I will laugh with you.

He- trust me, you won’t laugh on this.

Me- dude, now you are irritating me. Tell me what it is or I am disconnecting.

He- ok, ok. You were on Radio just now. You have been made a BAKRA.

The last word, it said it all. I did not need to ask anything else from him. I recollected the trip. It was all too easy for the girl. In fact, it is always easy for the girls. I have been fooled. She could not have found an easy target. SWEET MEMORY…bloody hell, although she did put up a great show.

She was wrong. I was not busy for 15 minutes. My phone did not stop ringing for next 2 days. Calls, messages and FB pings kept coming in. And my very dear cell phone has to take a days’ rest after this. I switched it off.

Few days later, a friend of mine mailed me the recorded transcript of it. Frankly, it was funny. I still remember that day. A Delhi metro trip it was.

This one is inspired from my daily commutation in Delhi Metro. Comments appreciated.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.


Let Us "Leave" It

life not found

So, a boss of mine has bagged one of the best postings of his life. He is being transferred to Nassau, Bahamas. Yeah, the same Bahamas in the Caribbean which is one of the most exotic locations of the world. The sea beaches with endless, indefinable boundaries. Palm trees alongside the coast line and people with jolliest of nature- always smiling, dancing, celebrating, and partying. Add to it the beauties of every genre from all around the world in the skimpiest of outfits (or none) round the year. But I will try not to go much ‘deeper’ into it. He is married, so this plus does not hold that big an advantage for him.

So, he told me that he got a call from the CEO of that office asking him to schedule his arrival in Nassau come before Christmas as that is the time when this island is at its best. The best of crowd come there to celebrate Christmas. Chances are you might find a celebrity wishing you Merry Xmas around the corner. Anything better? I doubt it.

When I think about my own country, I sometimes do not understand whether this diversification in our society is a boon or bane. Our offices celebrate almost the every big festival of every community so that the balance in the society is maintained and people do not end up eating each other. The big, colourful land which we advertise in every advertisement to woo those European couples who are unsure whether to go to Thailand or !ncredible India, sometimes work against us.

Fair enough, you cannot single out big festivals in India. For Hindus, it is Holi and Diwali and to an extent, Shivratri and Janmashtmi, for Muslims, these are Eid. Sikhs celebrate Baisakhi and Jain believes in Mahavir Jayanti. In the same way, the list goes on. So asking for 3 days off on Diwali and ignoring others is not the right way and in a land like India, where political pressure is so much on the ruling government; you know it’s not easy.

I am working in a bank in Delhi and the national capital has the least number of declared holidays. Only one day off on Holi and Diwali and many other days that are celebrated throughout the length and breadth are not listed here. The reason is- the work should not be disrupted. So, I will be reaching my home on the very day of Diwali. Not a very pretty situation if you are a holiday lover.

In near future, I don’t see the scenario changing a lot. In India, the decisions don’t just depend on the people whom they will affect. It has to go through the approvals of those who really do not care what is happening in our lives and it will affect them in no way. They are in any case, on holidays throughout the year.

We will keep craving for those long holidays for which we are entitled for. May be, one day, we will be compensated enough for giving our all to our organisations. One day, may be, the HR people will really think they are in HR department and their job is to manage people and not just working zombies. One day, may be………


The Evolution and Adjustments

adjust please

I have been living outside my hometown for last seven years. In between there was a small stint of 18 months but I am out otherwise. And in this period, living away from home, apart from getting all the lectures about taking care, making good friends and no bad habits; recently I have started receiving more important instruction by my parents- I have to call them regularly and they should not be the only one who calls me. There should be a two way communication always.

This came as a surprise to me as when I was in college, things were fine. In those 4 years, I never heard anything of this sort. They never asked me to call them. I took it as their coolness and considered myself lucky to have such chilled out parents. In due course, I realized it was never about the “coolness” and “chilled out” and they never really needed to say all this. My father kept such a stringent check on my studies that he used to call me almost every day and be aware about what’s happening and making sure I am not losing my way. Also, he also did not want me to spend my mobile balance uselessly when he can call.

Moving out in a job, things changed drastically. Their expectations from me, both in emotional sense and monetary contribution in the family, increased. About the latter, I wasn’t much concerned but for the emotional part, sometimes it used to me freak me out. I had only one question which I could, obviously, never ask them- what’s the need of talking every day? Or how does it matter that they are calling me and I did not?

Thinking about it later, I realized it’s all about keeping pace with the world. And parents of people of my age are too old to walk that fast, abreast with the next generation so that the gap doesn’t arise. Few of them make the adjustments well, majority can’t.

When I go home for 2-3 days in some holidays, my mother does not want me to leave the house and I want to catch up with my friends. She says sit with me and talk, tell me things. I am not that good a speaker or story teller and I talk sense rarely; so I try to avoid them. In between, I forgot her desire, her love for me. It’s sad actually how much I miss her when I don’t get breakfast on time. Then I want her to be with me. Bad people, we are.

I have thought many times- should I shout at them? Will it fetch results? Will it make them understand that world is moving fast and they need to catch up with the trends. Luckily I gave a thought before all this and I think I have found an answer.

It’s all about evolution- how you evolve as a parent and guardian as the world progresses. Thinking myself after 30 years, when I will be my parents’ age and my kids will equal mine; do I see them doing all this- out with friends, coming late and not talking to me? Sure, I do. This will happen. I will be extremely lucky if it does not happen and will have to be extremely patient if it does.

For me, now I believe it’s too late to change myself. I do try calling them whenever possible but in this regard, I will never exceed their expectations. The only good thing in this- I will never ask them the question that popped in my mind which I have mentioned above. It will do no good. When I know I can’t change for them; why should I expect them to change for me, at an age when they have given almost everything? It will be way too unfair.

I only hope I adjust myself pretty well, evolve in the right way and make myself aligned to the world in the days when time will be ever more precious than the money.


Some People Never Understand

some people never understand

I am in love with my cell phone. Technically, it is a Samsung smart phone. Samsung Galaxy S Plus, this phone can be considered the entry level of highly priced segment of mobile phones.

Being a Galaxy, it runs on Android and gives me full access to Android Market (now called Google Play). Trust me; you can’t say that you did not find a certain application in that market. It has almost everything for everyone and on a 3G connection; it takes some 2 minutes to download an app.

One of the applications that I used regularly and comprehensively is Google Maps. I don’t think they need any kind of introduction. Living in Delhi for last 4 months and being not very knowledgeable about the roads in here, they have been a very big help for me. If you have a good GPS connection, this app could be real handy.

A new feature they have introduced is Navigation. Now, you just have to enter the start and end points and as you move, a lady’s voice will guide of various roads and landmarks you as you negotiate the turns and traffic of Delhi. She will intimate some 400 meters before when you have to turn so that you can change lanes. And if you have to change the desired route due to some blocks or dharnas (very common in Delhi), the app reroutes itself to tell you the alternate roads.

Why all this? This is not a review of Google Maps (although it is superb). It’s about the people who can make the staff at Google scratch their head when they appreciate the marvel they had created.

I belong to Uttarakhand and it is pretty much a hilly state. So as you go up towards the hills, the basic facilities keep on decreasing. In the same vein, the mobile signal strength lessens as you traverse up the serene of the hills which, thankfully, are yet to be commercialized.

So, we were up there going to a place in the hills and we did not have too much idea about the roads. On an intersection, we were stuck. I tried this Google Maps (Navigation was still not started that time) and it worked even with weak signal. We started with its help and higher up; we lost the connection and then encountered one more intersection.

Should I need you tell more? The lines I heard will force Google to hang their head in shame. What they thought was almost perfect was just termed a useless piece of code by my fellow travelers.

“Ask Google to come and guide us manually”

“They should have mobile towers of their own”

“Google should not make something this faulty. It would hamper their reputation.”

“Search in Google where we are.”

Every line was followed by a big laughter including mine. Luckily, they could not crack many as we unknowingly took the right turn. A ‘Wrong Turn’ at that time of the day in the hills with minimum of touch with the outside world could have been bad.

When we reached there, I decided against using Google Maps with these people even if I have to bear comments like “what is the use of having a phone worth this much grands with these many applications if you do not use it.” How do I make them understand that in our country, where 3G network is also launched city by city in span of some years and where we still celebrate iPhone 3 when its 5th edition has been launched worldwide, asking Google to become 100% accurate in those areas where light is also a luxury, is impossible. They don’t complain about iPhone because their Aunt in the States is getting them one this Christmas. Pity, she can’t get Google’e CEO to fix petty issues like Maps.

I don’t use these apps with them anymore. I prefer to keep it to myself and make things easy. And it has been 100% accurate 95% of the time.

Well. Some people never understand.


The "CTRL + Z’ in Life


I do drink sometimes, and each of the drinking sessions has been big lessons and realizations for me. Even the stupidest people are at their wisest best when they are 3 pegs down and the wisest of all do not mind/ hesitate behaving weirdly or saying something which they would have not said ever even on a gun-point, if they had their sanity with them. So, last night, I had a small, emergency kind of drinking session with Vineet. I love beer and stay away from whisky, although occasional rum. And I thought about “Ctrl + Z” moments in my life.

If you are reading this, you know Ctrl + Z. Thanks to Bill Gates; it is easy to undo your errors but only in computers. God has not made any provision of this kind in our life till date. But still I wish that we all should have some counts, like 2 or 3 occasions when we can undo/ reverse what we did and make a fresh start.

“To err is human”- this was the most common line that I used to read in the Preface of my text books in school and colleges. What it meant that as a human, we are bound to make mistakes. There is no wrong in this until you are making stupid mistakes repeatedly. But some of them, even if made just once, leave a big impact on our life. And its not just our life, it sometimes involves our near and dear ones too and ever one of us is affected. And then you realize, this could have been easily avoided. Why I even did it?

Sometimes, in ignorance or sometimes, not caring about the various consequences, we commit them. And we screw our life. I wish only if God has allowed us, in our whole lifetime, few chances to go back, erase every mark of what we did and make a fresh start; may be many miscommunications and differences that I have created with certain people would not have been there.

I seriously hope that for the coming generations, God does think about this as our next generations will be more error prone. Let’s hope they have enough sanity with them to help their life runs smoothly.


The Value of "Values"

human values

When I look back at the days when I was supposed to be groomed, I believe I have had varieties of people and students to study with. Till my high school, I was in a convent, brought up in a clean environment among the fathers and sisters and where Hindi speaking was a punishment, apart from Hindi period. They really had vision in those days, 12 years ago that they wanted to inculcate this habit which is so very important today. You stand no chance if you can’t speak English. With well qualified teachers who always believed in teaching and making us understand more than what was just written in the book; that was perhaps the best school I could have got at that tender age.

Then for my +2, I moved on to Army School. Contrary to the name and the expectations, the discipline was never the priority there. In fact, it was there, with their students I learnt how to break rules, how to lie consistently with a straight face, bunk classes and play WWE trump cards at the last seat in Maths period. In short, a perfect place to get into the groove to face the world.

And then it came. I completed the most notorious graduation course in Indian education system. And the people there with me were as notorious as the course (trust me, it is not an exaggeration). You might have deduced it by now- I did engineering and totally by God’s grace, finished it in prescribed time. Now when I remember all that days which I spent with them doing nothing, I think I have had a good life. Those were the days that transformed me into a guy who can face the world, praise the goods and differentiate the bad out of them. I met almost every kind of person in those 4 years. All that happened for good.

But this is not about what I learnt in school. What was more important at that time and which has a very big influence on me till date was what I was taught in the ultimate school which every single child goes through- the parenting.

How many times have you heard from your parents- don’t lie, respect elders, learn to say sorry and thank you. For me, it used to frustrate me. Was it not the same thing I am learning in “moral Science’ classes? Then why this additional lecture? And for God sake, I know lying is bad. I know elders have to be respected. Luckily, they never stopped lecturing and I inculcated good things in me.

How boring and repeated they might look but what we learn, hear and observe at our homes, that kind of a person we become in due course. You might change a lot in your life throughout as you keep meeting new people at every phase of life but the crux remains the same. And this is the same crux that was formed when you were in 7-12 years of life. You make a mistake; take one wrong step and life changes into a big turmoil.

Just to give you an honest opinion of mine, I am not a saint. I lie a lot and have a bad habit of manipulating things. But somewhere, I think the more important values are still in me, unchanged, in the way they are expected to be. Honesty and respect for others are those. I hope with these values, I will one day be able to make people understand that those little niggling things do pay in due course in life.

I will try my best that the next generation learns the same, from me or from whosoever, they prefer; does not really matter. But this thing is badly needed in our society.


It Starts Here

lets start

In last one and a half year, I have gone through a lot of things. And not only in one aspect of my life, but I have seen changes in me and my world when it comes to the relationships, feelings, emotions, professional side, my hobbies, interests, passion, friends, family (that covers pretty much everything). I have countless good memories in this period but somewhere in between, there are some bad patches which I can’t remove now. Call them regrets.

And it was the bad phases that affected me a lot. I believed that if you count every single guy on this planet earth, I would be surely above the average line. Yes, I am sometimes rude and I am selfish but I valued people and I respect them. The bad times changed my way of thinking and how I look at myself and now, to very true to myself, I don’t feel those good things all the time.

As I said, I got to know myself more in last 18 months; one thing that I realized was that I am in love with writing. I have written many articles on various sites and the topics which I covered were mostly related to football and the passion of my life, Arsenal Football Club. So, this writing part and sharing some parts and experiences of my life made me start this blog.

Also, I am an introvert. It takes time for me to connect with people around me and tell them everything about my life. But when it comes to writing, it is easy for me to say things and share them as and when they happened.

I feel that with the help of this blog, I would be able to make an honest attempt of ensuring what I really want from life. Your comments on this blog will surely help. Be around and keep in touch.