Category: Thoughts

The online Apple Store is finally launching in India in a week. I need to be fast and block all my credit cards. I have heard many stories of how Apple makes the buying experience so simple that most buys are instinctive. And with current times of lockdown, my mind is full of abrupt instincts.

On a serious note, am really looking forward to the availability of trade-in, AppleCare+ and Apple support. Of course, I am sure the cost won’t be too low for any of that. A cursory look at the available payment options makes you realize that Apple is finally taking the Indian market seriously. I wish that Apple rolls out Apple Pay that’s customized for India soon.

One of my senior colleagues delivered a timely reminder of one truth — we don’t take any good or bad decision. Because no decision is good or bad until we get to the result that decision leads to. And given the fact that no one sensible can predict the future, you can only judge a decision in retrospect. So don’t get paralyzed. Just take the decision.

I need to stop treating the weekends as special. I stay up late on the night before, ergo I get up late. I am getting more lone time, I convince myself. I have now realized that’s not the case. The late nights can give me some hours when all are asleep. But I enjoy the early mornings much more.

I am fresh, I can sit and relax with calmness surrounding me. No one’s awake. Not in my house or on the outside. The only “noise” is the crickets in the dark, busy with their routine; that calms me.

I get to hear the nature wake itself up to the rising dawn. I need not plug my ears to shut out any distracting sounds. Every sound is stimulating; I read better, I write better. As someone who gets distracted by the slightest of the noises, that’s also the best time to get into a meditative state, something I am trying to do daily now.

My habit of treating weekends as different from the regular work days has been ruining the routine that keeps me freshest throughout the day.

I always wonder what drives the journalists that sit in their air-conditioned newsrooms to go on a monologue. Questioning every other person, related to every news that has happened today. Or yesterday. Or in the last week. Or in the last year. The freshness, the relevance of the news they are reporting on, commenting on does not matter to them. What matters is their perceived notion that a journalism degree gives them a right to question, to mock, and these days, even scold everyone else.

They scold; absolutely pointing and shouting at their “guests”. Of course, even these “guests” know they are only here for getting scolded. There are those guests that get all the attention, all the respect. And then there are the remaining asses warming the chairs in the studios. Many only get to talk for once or twice. I wonder do they themselves care. Or are they just picked randomly from the support staff?

It is tiring to watch the debates on the news shows. Or the monologues that precede them. I’ve anyway long stopped watching any form of news for that matter. These anchors, though, need to remember that they are anchors, not judges.

We never call anything that’s good ‘content’. Nobody walks out of a movie they loved and says, ‘Wow! What great content!’ Nobody listens to ‘content’ on their way to work in the morning. Do you think anybody ever called Ernest Hemingway a ‘content creator’? If they did, I bet he would punch ‘em in the nose.

Greg Satell

I came across this short little post I’d written 9 years back, ruminating on how we are so different. I believe if there’s anything that this year has proven, it is that just my small wish of uniting us my name was so naive.

We, the people of India; the divided people of India.

We are divided by states. We are divided by religion. We are divided by language. We are divided by accent. We are divided by names. We are divided by color.

Writing in Markdown is not always easy. If you are providing an interface, an editor of any form, you shouldn’t force your users to write in markdown. Especially if you are expecting them to use your application on a mobile device. It’s a complete mess on the smaller mobile screens.

Every time I’ve to write in Markdown on my smartphone, I shudder. Especially if I’ve to insert a link. Do not make me type all the markups. It is just not easy.

It is a lot simpler to select some text and tap a button, either to make it bold or insert a link. Sure, insert the markup in the background or in the editor, I don’t mind that. Just don’t make me type the whole damn stars and brackets sequence.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Markdown. It is the simplest markup format, a lot better than writing the posts as HTML. However, it’s not too intuitive to write on the smaller screens, without a physical keyboard.

So please don’t force me use that. Provide me an option of a toolbar.

I don’t know how to meditate

I recently wanted to attempt meditation again. I have already tried getting into a habit of regular meditation sessions many times before this. However, as always, even this time, I couldn’t go through the sessions for any significant duration of time. I can’t seem to understand what I am missing.

Maybe my mind is just not wired to be able to get something out of the process. Or maybe my surrounding, my current lifestyle is too chaotic to lend me space, the time to meditate. Thoughts always rush into my mind. From work. From home. From things done well. From things not yet done. I would never get into the zone where I am listening to my breathing. Maybe I am just too distracted within.

And the fact that meditation can probably help me overcome that inattention is also why it is even more frustrating that I can’t appreciate this practice. I have heard many people claim how meditation calms their mind. Get the clarity of thoughts. Focus. So I feel this can help me be not this distracted. But then while I am meditating, I feel helpless to control how my mind wanders around.

I have tried multiple apps. I have tried guided sessions. Nothing seems to help. At times, I am even judging the voice that guides me. And I just sigh in disappointment.

I had heard CGP Grey talk about a similar experience in one of the episodes of Hello Internet where he just can’t get himself to meditate.

I gave meditation a real try. It’s not that I hate it. It’s not that it’s hard. It’s just that my brain does not want to do this. It’s really pushing back.

I was nodding incessantly as Grey spoke about his frustration of not being able to appreciate the benefits of meditation. I feel equally frustrated when I hear someone talk about how the sessions leave them more mindful, more relaxed. It just doesn’t do it for me.

Is 20 percent project still followed at Google? One where every employee is recommended to spend 80% on the official job and 20% on the project of their choice? I wonder because every time we hear about the success of this particular experiment at Google, we hear about the same old handful of products. Mainly AdWords and Gmail.

Have there been no other successful products from this experiment? If yes, why don’t we hear more about them? If no, what has changed at the company? Has it grown too large to back small, hobby-like products? Is the environment not conducive for the small, hacky projects?

Marissa Mayer had famously quipped regarding the project, “I’ve got to tell you the dirty little secret of Google’s 20% time. It’s really 120% time”.

Maybe as the companies grow, the employees lose the sense of closeness, the sense of attachment they felt earlier. The sort of dedication that Mayer referred to just can’t be expected from an aloof employee.

I have unsubscribed from most (all?) of the daily newsletters about news. I am already bombarded with news that’s mostly about world’s burning. I do not want even my inbox to welcome me all the crazy updates from the world, but especially US. Most newsletters cover that and it’s the same news repeated in all. Same essays, editorials from same sources. The Atlantic. NYTimes.

I had already done a similar exercise with tech newsletters. And podcasts. Again, it’s same stories that I have already seen someplace else. Why read them again in the inbox? It just fills my newsletter to-read list.

I want to feel relaxed, open to read some meaningful words. Some essays that mean, matter for those who wrote them. Not a quick rewrite of what’s already been told zillion times.

I’m being very selective with what I subscibe to now. I want to read something that’s heartfelt. Not something that’s link log of trite news updates. Most daily newsletters deliver the later.