Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Stand Up Desk

Haven't quite gone into the science of 'how sitting can be detrimental to health', but quite some time back started feeling that sitting for long isn't the right thing for my body. Had asked for a stand-up desk at office but you know the vagaries of uniformity. Since everyone must be treated equally, 'equal treatment' percolated in the sitting infrastructure as well.

Anyhow, I am out of that office. And one of the first things I did once out of office was get myself a Stand-up Desk made.

A senior friend, Rohit Varma, shared a link to the article titled "Confirmed: He Who Sits the Most Dies the Soonest", so I felt I should share these pics:

A slightly closer look below:

Doesn't mean I don't sit and work. But it does mean that I give myself the space to alternate between the two modes.

I observe that sitting facilitates paunching. Nice rotund kind of paunches.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

TVS Poopache! Oops, sorry Apache!

So TVS manages to do this. Words don't fail me right now but then to criticize also there must be some motivation, right? :)

Pulsar 200NS took the entire industry by surprise it seems. Of course, other brands would love to respond. More so, once the bike gets launched. But a response like this is hilarious. Beats Karizma ZMR hands down in the ugliness quotient.

Looks like TVS has nothing new right now to offer. And looks like they are just out of their slumber to realize that they are way too behind now to save themselves from sinking to the bottom. Definitely looks like every department at TVS is trying hard to show that they are really working hard.

Criticism apart, what should TVS have done? Technological battles - twin-spark and triple-spark and so on - aside, there are quite a few ways to counter the threats from other brands. If, as is apparent, design is what they want to defend with, they can't overload themselves with 'design'. Heavier the armor, greater the chances of slow reflexes.

If all other bike-makers are launching fairing-driven designs, there's a chance to reveal a cool without-fairing design. If they are launching aggressive-looking naked bikes, there's a chance to launch a classy-looking naked bike.

Who's bloody heading the TVS design and marketing departments? And where's the lost CEO?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Courting danger and smoking

On some occasions, I have given into the urge of smoking. And every time I have smoked I have questioned why people who smoke do so so regularly or find it so difficult to quit.

So here's some theorizing.

For one, 'style' is a strong reason for people to smoke. The holding of a cigarette and smoke coming out of mouth is quite a leisurely style statement. Moving beyond style...

I am always in awe of someone pulling off a difficult motorcycle stunt. I respect the cyclists who can do cross-country riding. I admire the men who scale difficult mountain peaks. In each of these I suppose there is a danger of losing life or doing serious damage to oneself. There's something about courting danger. About taking arduous tasks. It's a signal of 'strength'.

After knowing that SMOKING KILLS, if a person continues to smoke as intensively and regularly as earlier, clearly he's given into a show of strength. That he can risk his life. That nothing can happen to him.

If I go by Rupert Shedrake's theory of morphic resonance, then there's a slight twist to this. Even if people no longer feel that smoking is stylish or manly or a show of strength and still continue smoking, why is it so?

Few decades back, smoking was definitely considered beneficial or manly. And loads of people accepted it as a worthy habit I guess. Going by my understanding of Morphic Resonance, once a good number of people start doing something, then others are likely to do the same (and more quickly) with or without much reason. Repetition of the act of smoking induces habit formation even among people unknown to each other, across distances. Once a novel act, smoking was reinforced by its acceptance by a huge number of people and that still resonates.

Of course, many more factors might be in play but I choose to smoke them out in this piece of writing :).

Monday, April 9, 2012

Bouncing Boards

You shoot a ball and back comes an arrow - Critic, jealous friends

You shoot a ball and back comes the same ball - Your wall

You look and back comes the same look - Mirror

You shoot a ball and back comes a tricky dodgy ball - Competitor, Rival, Opponent

You shoot a ball and back come hundred different pieces of the ball - Society

You shoot a ball and back comes a-man-riding-the-ball - Friend who cares, Coach, Partner

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Weird dream

In response to my message, a friend wrote back, "Words are violence."

This is what I dreamed this morning. I had almost forgotten until this message landed.

I am surrounded by some swordsmen. Five or six. (Can't recall who they were. I could only see their eyes.) They are ready to attack. I don't have anything to defend myself. I am afraid I won't survive. Can't run. I give up. One of the swordsmen slashes at me. I try to block his hand but he is quick. The sword runs through me. I don't expect to see the next moment. But to my surprise, there's no blood. No blood. I heave a sigh of relief. But the very next moment, there's pain. No body part's bleeding but there's pain. And another swordsman runs his sword through my head. And I am watching. Again no bleeding. I am flummoxed. I am not dead. Body's not hurting but there's pain. I stand my ground, and take a few more slashes. I keep my eyes still, focusing on the swords. I see them clearly finally. The swordsmen are wielding words.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

An indifferent birthday

A pigeon-couple somehow managed to sneak into our balcony and create a nest on top of my book storage. I shooed them away this morning and pulled the glass shutters tight. Since then, I've watched them umpteen times trying to somehow get back in to their nest. Pecking at the shutter-joints, as if they would poke out a big enough hole. Flying into the glass from different angles. Watching their nest through the glass panes from different positions. May be on occasions watching me watching them.

I doubt the pigeons think of me as the villain. Besides, there's an irresistible urge to keep the balcony clean.

Yesterday, 2nd April, was my birthday.

I've used social media to convey my greetings to many 'friends' in the last few years. Just in the manner that they conveyed yesterday. Yesterday, a lot of people facebooked me. On an earlier birthday I wouldn't expect so many people to greet me. I wouldn't expect so many people at a 'certain distance' to greet me.

Here's the thing. FB is convenient. Monetarily and physical-effort-wise. Can bring people-at-a-distance closer. But it can't bring people who are close any closer. In fact, the convenience and omni-temporal presence of FB on our screens simply creates a layer between the people who are already 'close', especially when it becomes the chosen medium to convey messages.

On an earlier birthday, it wouldn't be so silent. It wouldn't feel so indifferent. It wouldn't feel so distant. It takes a mighty effort to create a ring in words without sound. You can share youtube songs in celebration but there's nothing like listening to a personal lyrical recitation (or repetition) of the words Happy Birthday. 

Here's a little personal unimportant secret. There are a lot of friends whom I felt like getting in touch with on their birthdays but I didn't. Because I was sitting in front of FB. And I said to myself, how convenient! But the dude that I am, I didn't pick my cell-phone and have a two-minute chat.