Because the Obvious is beautiful, too

I have this habit of pondering over some of the most obvious things, some of the most obvious behaviors of a person or a process. I do this every now and then, and I do it repeatedly. And I can’t help it. I just find it beautiful, how things behave, how things work, even if they are pretty obvious, even if they’re simple.

Did you ever sit down, and think how cold the environment becomes once the sun sets? How it would be amazing if it remained this way? Of course, we would all die, but that’s not the point. The mere fact that the sun gives life to us all, and its absence for a few hours cools down the earth so much? It’s amazing.

Have you ever wondered how fountains are beautiful? They rise and they fall. The boring way of understanding it would be saying “Hey that’s only gravity at work.”. Take that out of the equation, and just wonder how it shows that if there’s a rise, there will be a fall. Where there’s happiness, sadness will follow. The fountain rises again, and it does so because of a force that works on it to let it reach its heights. If you’re going through a phase of sadness, you’ll have to work to snap out of it. If there wouldn’t have been a force acting on the fountain, it wouldn’t rise again. If you don’t work to solve your problems, you’re not going to get out of sadness.

Nature teaches you in every way it can. You just have to see it.

My best captures with the Nokia 808 PureView

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I am an average smartphone camera user. Yes, smartphone-camera-user. I’m not even talking about the real cameras. But every now and then, I like to delight myself with how far the smartphone cameras have come. And the leader of them all, and undisputed, at that, is the Nokia 808 PureView. I had been wanting to publish my review over on the blog, but due to time constraints, I never could. But anyway, I sat around, and sorted my clicks. Here’s a few of them, and I think I love them all quite a lot. Surely my best captures with any phone I’ve ever used.

 

Harder, Farther.

It’s amazing how things can motivate you, how they can inspire you. It can be a person, his life, his attitude, but more often than not, I’ve been inspired by things which don’t have any life in them. Things which cannot call you and scream ‘Inspiration’ until you notice them yourselves.

Sometimes you also find inspiration in places you least expect. But I guess that’s the best part of it all, eh.

I found inspiration in one such place.

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On my way to work, there is this water body I cross. There is a statue in the centre, and fountains around it. These fountains are operational during the day too, and although they don’t add to the beauty as much during the day, I can’t help but notice them every time. Today was different, though.

I noticed how the the force of winds would prevent the fountain from going further up in the air. It was limiting its reach, and it’d make me think they should use more powerful machines. But I noticed one more thing – the force of the winds would result in the water falling farther from its source, extending its reach. Higher the force, farther would the water reach.

It taught me one thing. I learnt that although life is painful, it teaches you and makes you more capable with every passing moment. More the pain, more the learned person you are, at the end of a day.

I think it’s beautiful. Struggles are beautiful. I don’t get frightened at the sight of tough times ahead. I just push myself more, so I can fare better. So I can extend my reach.

About India and the Freedom of Speech

These are testing times for India, and the Internet users, in general. And it can be scary for an average Joe to go about exercising one of the most fundamental rights as an Indian – the Freedom of Speech. The Indian Constitution guarantees this via the Right to Freedom, and it’s something which is being violated consistently, by the goons and the State.

For long now, I as an Indian, have exulted in the knowledge of the fact that I’m free to express my opinion, and at the same time, not be threatened by any person whatsoever. I could pen down my thoughts, and express myself freely without any fear, without any prior approval from any person whomsoever. But now, I’ve to constantly live under the fear of being arrested, being harassed or facing other dire consequences if I go about exercising my right which the Indian Constitution still guarantees.

It’s the section 66A of the Indian IT Act, which is basically to prevent people from sending offensive or false messages via a communications device. It seems innocent at first, but is too broad to be considered a fair law. And someone discovered it, and used it rightly to defend himself/herself. The trouble started here – though someone used it rightly, initially, the politicians, and the well-to-do people, deep under corruption and false sense of superiority, discovered it, and much to the chagrin of the normal person, they’re using it to create chaos, and to satisfy their petty egos.

The problem doesn’t lie with the law, it’s the people. Recent incidents in the country have scared me, and threaten not only mine, but every Indian’s right to express him/herself. It’s our fundamental right, and we should fight for it. What one does to someone, even in an emotional outburst, could come back to haunt him or her. Please, shed violence, even in the name of respecting anyone. Violence is not the answer, and right now, we all need to come ┬áto pull back our nation together. India shouldn’t fall apart, it shouldn’t.

Note: I’m not naming anyone, nor do I mean to spread false information or malign anyone. I’m just expressing my opinion, and any similarity with regard to any mention of any piece of information is merely coincidental and not meant to disrespect or disregard anyone. I apologize in advance if the text above has hurt your feelings, I mean no disrespect.

Metro Is Beautiful, But I Don’t Need It, Yet

Microsoft launched the shiny new Windows 8 in October, and I knew what to expect – actually, to put it more correctly, I knew what using Windows 8 would be like, since I’d been using it back when MS unveiled the Developer Preview. So, in all, I was using Windows 8 for more than a year, already, before the final version was out. I loved the upgrade to bits – it ran faster than XP and Windows 7 Ultimate did, and a lot, lot faster than Ubuntu. There’s no reason to dislike it, for me. The desktop has been cleaned up a lot, and is a lot, lot easier to use, and is light on the eyes. That’s what Windows 7 lacked – there was a lot of gloss everywhere, and it’d bring the entire computer to a screeching halt. Windows 8 seemed to address all of my concerns with the desktop, but it also brought with it something new, something really nice – Metro UI.

Dual Identities Windows 8

I like the latter, but the former gets my work done.

It’s inspired from Windows Phone, and being a Windows Phone fan myself, I had no doubt I’d buy Windows 8 the day it’d become available – I did. But here’s the deal – I don’t know why’d I use Metro apps. I’ve found and am comfortable with the desktop apps, the ones without the Metro UI – the old-school apps. They are powerful, and can do what I want. But with Metro apps, there’s some compromise – hidden menus, actions, a lot of scrolling around, and more than anything, you cannot resize the “window” size – they’re all full-screen. Oh yes, there’s the snap feature, but that’s as much about it. I don’t know what is happening outside of the app, and that’s not what I want. I would use a tablet or a smartphone if I did not want to multitask. I can get in and out of apps at a breeze, but then that’s not something I want to do, again.

To say that I’ve been using Windows Phone for well over a year, and Windows 8 as well, and that I still don’t feel at home with the Metro UI on the latter, surprised me as well, when I first realized the fact. If ever you find me using the Metro apps on the computer, it’s because I’m forcing myself to get used to it, to use the new stuff more, to forcibly like it, to forcibly ditch the desktop apps, to forcibly move along in the new direction Microsoft has taken.

I understand they’re trying to unite the mobile and computer spheres, but it seems like a lofty goal to me, for now. In spite of using Windows 8 for well over a year, I still can’t seem to use Metro. I can’t use it even when I want to while away my time, nor when I want to be productive.

It’s going to be a tough ride for you, Microsoft. As long as there are Windows XP, Vista, 7 or the desktop Windows in any form, you’re going to have a tough time migrating your user base to Metro.

It’s time for celebration, not cynicism

India

India gained independence from the British rulers this day, in 1947. That was after a long, long struggle, and after the blood of thousands was shed. The youth and the old alike, saved us all. They gave us our independence. Without their sacrifices, we would have become just another poor nation, far from what we’ve come to see in today’s India.

Today is a celebration of the success of those martyrs. Today is a celebration of the fact that we’re free from the tyranny of those British rulers. Today is a day when we look back and salute those brave Indians. And it is time to be happy, to enjoy our freedom. It’s no time for cynicism. Sure, there will be crime, corruption and what not. But at least we’re not being ruled by anyone. We have a democratic government, and we are the largest democracy in the world. Crime and corruption are going to exist as long as the humanity exists. There has been no time in history when there was no crime or corruption. But today’s not the time to sit and whine about the situation we’re in. Today is the time to celebrate our victory.

Happy birthday, Mother India.