Tag Archives: Blogging

My Confusion about Internet.Org

There has been a lot of noise on the internet about Net Neutrality in India. Specially after Honourable Prime Minister visited the Facebook offices and the viral tricolour profile picture and the fiasco post that. I have been reading, following the discussion about the net neutrality starting from the Airtel, TRAI circular, Internet.org, AIB video and thousand other shared Facebook Posts, tweets, and blogs.

I have done all, shared those videos, posts, wrote emails to TRAI etc all in the name of net neutrality. I understand the concept and appreciate it. However, I have lately taken to wonder if my stand and belief is justified. A lot of it is based on Internet.org, the concept being propagated by Facebook where the below poverty line folks get access to a specific set of sites for no charge.

I understand this at some level violates the principles of net neutrality and might tilt a level playing field. To give you a perspective, I border on the obsession of being connected. I have two cellular connections with Internet connection, one data card, one fibre optic broadband and a fail safe broadband in case the fibre optic isn’t working. I spend a fair amount every month to get this kind of connectivity while fending for my obsession. I wonder what happens to people who don’t have money to spend on buying connectivity? Mark Zuckerberg wrote about those children in Chandauli village who saw connectivity for the first time, what about them? Don’t they have a right to experience Internet or a part of it?

While the middle class, upper middle class and the rich are busy sharing corny, degraded humour on whatsapp 24*7, what about the poorest of the poor, Don’t they deserve even to know the weather forecast for next week? They have to make do with the inaccurate one in the newspaper at the local tea stall? They have to wait for their exam results or latest news to be published in news paper or put on the government school notice boards. Why the people which belong to the lower strata of the society be deprived of the essential connectivity? Why they can’t search for some government or medical procedure?

I see a lot of people complaining about the net neutrality aspect of internet.org. I agree with their view point that the internet should be a level playing field. I totally agree with those funny AIB videos which talk about the importance of net neutrality. But what confuses me the most is when you go out and decide on behalf of those poorest of the poor, when you go all out on decide on behalf of those kids in Chandauli village that he should not get access to the restricted access to some 35 sites which are a part of internet.org, what do you offer him in return? Do you have a plan which will make a neutral internet available to those kids and others in need and lack of money? Are these people going to launch a startup to provide free access to internet, you don’t need to be restricted to that 35 sites, here is a completely neutral internet free of charge for you. If we can’t provide that to a kid in Chandauli with a better alternative, then what right do we have to deny him basic connectivity as restrictive as it may be.

As a matter of fact a lot of technological changes have happened in a similar fashion, where disrupters came and disrupted the industry bringing change in the entire dynamics of the industries. There are umpteen examples of this industry disruptions, the time when SMSes killed Pagers, then SMSes were killed by Whatsapp. Then there were times when Reliance launched mobile calls at a nominal rates of few paise per minute, when Google & Apple started giving weather update on your phone killing the Airtel Special service which provided weather forecast @3Rs/SMS.

Like any other industry there is a win-win fortune which lies at the bottom of the pyramid, and if internet.org is going to provide some kind of free service by cross subsidising the connectivity costs from advertisement revenues we should probably accept the challenge and come with a low cost connectivity solution with less restrictive internet. Calling foul on Zuckerberg doesn’t work in my opinion.

This is what makes me so confused about the internet.org platform. Two conflicting views and I am probably in agreement with both. What do you think

Why Mia Khalifa Should Not Come OnBig Boss

If you have been a reader of this blog, then you must have already realized that this is another desperate attempt by me to stage a comeback. This time around I intend to do a lot of serious blogging, around serious issues. For my not so grand comeback I decided to use the strategy which our Indian media uses to bring to you the best and most important happenings across the world. So, like any mainstream news channel I will take up the most important issue which needs to be discussed and debated for our national interests. Is that issue-

  • The Syrian immigrant situation in Europe. Not really 80% of Indians will not be able to locate Syria on the map; and we all know if you can’t find it on the map it is not important.
  • The Floods in Assam. Well that happens almost every year and nobody thinks it is important enough to cover
  • Meat Ban; Hmmm are you kidding me? You think anybody can cover the meat ban in Indian media when the main stream Media like Times is owned by Jains themselves, HT is owned by Sobhana Bhartia who is a Marwari, and Network 18 which is owned by a Gujrati Family. You really think we can discuss meat ban. You know the Free Speech comes with a small asterisks which indicates conditions apply.
  • So, like the Indian media we will contemplate on the most significant topic which haunts India today “Should Mia Khalifa become a contender for Big Boss season9?”
    The answer to this question from the Indian viewer’s perspective is quite simple. Where else it can happen the entire family gets to sit together in the living room while eating chips, drinking tea while watching one of the best porn star in the world on the 42” television in HD quality. The last time it happened was only during BB S5 and even then a lot of people did not have the HD set top boxes. So the answer from the vehement yes, why should the father and son have to watch them separately hiding under the blanket or in the bathroom on the 5” small screens of cellphone or 12” screens of the laptops. India deserves better, it deserves to be in the living room with the family to enjoy their porn star in full HD.
    So, you must be wondering then where is the debate in this, it is for Mia? Is it a good move for her to become a contestant on BB S9?
    In the interest of full disclosure, which I hope Mia will appreciate too, I would like to mention that I will be completely objective in my analysis. Irrespective of being a fan of her and a recipient of immense pleasure out of her past and current work which she has been doing.
    So coming back to the original question, I believe she should say no. if we take a stock that how she compares to the last year’s winners. The Wikipedia page of Gautam Gulati last year mentions “In Darpok (‘Coward’ in English) Gulati played the role of a 28-year-old man, living under trauma for not being able to prevent his mother from being raped when he was a child. His helplessness continued to haunt him until he planned to avenge it”. Apparently being a part of big boss wasn’t enough and he had to play this role too. Now compare that with Mia who has already done numerous short and long films with variety of roles with great intensity already; her films and videos have more than 1.5 million views which is 20 times the population of Cannes itself. What can winning Big Boss provide her which she hasn’t done already?
    The other factor can be a career in Bollywood, which can be quite glamorous and luring. The fact remains that we will get her and either make her do cameo appearances in films or work with the directors who have the uncanny ability to make flops like Mahesh Bhatt and Bobby Khan (if you haven’t heard of him; Google him right now and take notice of the incredible pieces of motion pictures he has been involved with). Anyways, the so called mainstream and posh production houses will not caste her in a movie; aakhir Indian culture or values naam ki bhi to koi cheez hoti hai.

    The third criteria might be that she might have an old Indian aunt who I more than eager for her to get married with a “Seedha Sharif Desi Munda”. Apparently, Mia doesn’t have any such aunt and additionally it breaks my heart to write this; she is already married and that too with an American guy named Vaibhav Singh (sounds like an Indian Origin guy to me). So Big Boss cannot offer her anything in the love & personal life department either.
    So take my advise Mia, stay where you are and keep doing the great work you have been doing. The Big Boss won’t get you anywhere you are the queen of the hearts already.

    Unlike The Like

    I don’t know if anybody is still reading this blog, if you are then probably you might have noticed that I have been AWOL for quite some time. From the looks of it, I have made more comeback attempts than Abhishek Bachchan and Uday Chopra combined. As you would have guessed that this post is akin to the Dhoom 3 with only a minor glitch, that none of the Aamir Khans of the blogging world agreed to feature in this one. The result you see, is that you will have to sit back and listen to my ‘longish’ rants.
    So the fact that I have been absconding from the blogging world is in some parts due to the fact that I have been busy and occupied. The remaining parts is a different story of sorts, I believe the decline in blogging is not limited to my blog. A lot of great and regular bloggers which I used to look forward to read every day have slowly pilfered because of the other conquest of life into oblivion. Some of these blogs and the reason of decline in blogging has been very well listed by Smita, which kind of inspired me to write this post.
     photo FBLike_zpsb0bfa517.png
    I believe a big reason for the bloggers to reduce is Facebook; after all it provides what our generation thrives on “Instant Gratification”. There used to be days when we used to get a nice punchy idea and we noted it down; develop an entire post around it; and then wait for the comments from the fellow bloggers and readers. Now the punchy idea is crushed into a few lines tapped on the smartphones for posting on FB and then follow the likes, “Instant Gratification”. The fact that at any point of time somebody is online in our FB friend list and people get notifications on their smartphones makes it quicker. I have been trapped in the deluge of these likes only to realize how superficial they are.
    After not so deep thought and analysis in which I must state that no animals were harmed except for the brain of yours’ truly the following is a list of type of like which are commonly seen on Facebook. Feel free to add some if I have missed a few.


    1- “He/she was such a loser in school/college how come he/she turned into this stud/babe” Like
    2- “How does such a loser land up with a hottie like this” Like
    3- “Is that a Mercedes/Audi/BMW, must have married for the money” Like
    4- “I think you are hot” Like
    5- “Why the F**K this loser gets to have a destination vacation and I don’t?” Like
    6- “Everybody is settling abroad except me liking overseas pictures out of frustration” Like
    7- “You had a baby but I don’t care but still pretend to care” Like
    8- “You are in my city but I hope we don’t bump into each other” Like
    9- “Have to like otherwise dad/mom/relatives/nagging friend will call and ask why I didn’t like their post” like
    10- “I like everything on my wall, obsessive compulsive” Like
    11- “You are my boss and I have to suck it up” like
    12- “I am a stalker and will like all your pictures posted on FB ever” Like
    13- “You wished me birthday on FB and I acknowledge” Like
    14- “You launched a hobby/startup (which I am not interested in and hope it never sees the light of any VC funding and IPO) and forced me to like your page” Like
    15- “You bought a DSLR, now have photography page” Like
    16- “You posted something and I have an obligation to acknowledge” like
    17- “Reassurance that I still exist” Like
    18- “I don’t remember “Who the F**K are you” just pretending to know you” Like
    19- “That was the easiest button to press” Like
    20- “Liked by mistake, now embarrassed to Unlike it” Like

    And if all these types of likes weren’t good enough, then you can always like my page on Facebook.

    Life and Other KnickKnacks Like That

    It has been a long time since I have posted anything on this blog. There have been a lot of things happening in life, probably too many things that this piece of my soul got ignored for a while. It is weird that when pressed upon we tend to give up things which are really close to us, give us real joy. The lord almighty has ensured that some stupidity is hard wired into the human nature, probably for the kick of it.
    As will all the other old friends I think the best way to start a conversation is to answer “Wassup?” And this is what has been up right into my posterior. Needless to say I have been super busy; after my long term assignment was closed I am assigned to a new client which is based out of Hyderabad. This involved a month long stay in Hyderabad couple April-May and a forthcoming stay there for next couple of months; but thankfully I have managed to stay back and enjoy Bangalore for some time. Life is tough when you switch from multinational fortune 500 clients to our own desi family owned business clients. You don’t have luxury of relaxed timelines, 5 days work week and proper processes, that is what I am trying to cope with these days.

    Apart from work there are lots of things happening on the personal front too. I bought a new car, so this baby is now old and this is currently my new ride and needless to say that I am loving it.

    In other news parents finally decided to visit us after a two year long hiatus, as always spending time with them was a lot of fun. Loads of shopping, eating and sweets happened, all this when I was trying to lose some weight which I am sure I would have lost but only in the negative quantities. It was great to eat sweets from my home town Kanpur. I tend to believe when it comes to sweets there are very few places in India which can match up to the quality, taste and variety available in Kanpur. So overall last couple of months have been eventful and fun. The times to come look promising too and now that I am back to blogging will be writing and sharing things more often.
    So to end today’s post I leave you with a hilarious joke I heard sometime back, keep laughing enjoy life.
    Santa: Mujhse panga mat lena, main Sher Da Puttar hoon (Don’t mess with me, I am son of a lion)
    Banta: Yaar ek baat to bata Sher ghar aaya tha ya fir aunty jungle gayi thi. (Buddy, tell me one thing did lion came to your house or your mother went to the jungle)

    Suicide at High Noon

    As last time this too is from a team building comptetion we had at our offsite. The rules of the game were that one had to write a suicide note which should include the following-

    • Not more than 80 words
    • It should have one Name
    • It should have two places
    • It should have threee animal (Air, Land and Water)
    • It should have four things

    So this what I wrote and it was appreciated generally by the audience and also got the prize-

    Hi Helena,

    When you saw me naked holding our dog by the rear and I said “Oh Fish”, it wasn’t because I was doing the dog, it would be cuckoo. I wasn’t doing our fish either. I was ironing my trunks for my trip to Los Angeles when the dog pulled it down and the iron fell from the board on my “thing” and I ran to fetch some Ice from the kitchen when you saw me.

    But that is not the reason why I am commiting sucide; I am treading this path out of embarrasement. During my interview with the firm from Argentina when they asked me for my testimonials; I probably showed them the wrong thing.

    Embarrasingly yours,

    Spartan

    Ps. This post might be greater than 80 words because I am trying to recreate it from memory. During the contest I had great help in editing by a dear collegaue Aishwarya who ensured this was compressed within a limit of 80 words.

    If you like this post or the blog, you can like my page on Facebook

    Auszeichnung Zeit

    For those wondering what the above title is; it stands for Award Time in German. It was very kind of Shilpa from A Rose is a Rose to bestow ‘The Versatile Blogger’ award on my blog. Things like these matter a lot for keeping the motivation, specially when you are emerging out of hibernation. Thanks a lot Shilpa for this award and also sticking to my blog even when I was struggling to write a new post.

    So like all other awards this award too comes with some riders:

  • Nominate 15 fellow Bloggers
  • Inform the Bloggers of their nomination
  • Share 7 Random things about yourself
  • Thank the Blogger who nominated you
  • Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your Blog Post
  • So last things first and here goes the picture of the award.



    And a tonne of thanks goes to Shilpa for the award. Now comes the tough part coming about 7 random things about myself.

  • I am a crazy Harry Potter fan, have watched all movies and read all their books more than 15 times
  • Motor Sports & Driving is my kind of adventure, water sports are an absolute no
  • I have a very sweet tooth, and I cannot resist a well made brownie
  • Buying and researching cars and gadgets is one of my favorite past time apart from reading & writing
  • I believe in Astrology and horoscopes but then I am not crazy about it and also believe that there are very few genuine people who know this art or science
  • I have a weak corner for sunglasses, Perfumes and watches
  • I have been blogging for 6 years now and I don’t think it would ever be enough.
  • I would have loved to tag 15 bloggers but then I have been away from the blogging circuit for a while and most of the bloggers I follow have already got this award. So I am not tagging any of the bloggers, but if you are reading this and you haven’t received this award before consider yourself awarded.

    Book Review: JS & The Times of My Life: A Worm's Eye View of Indian Journalism

    Author: Jug Suraiya
    Publisher: Tranquebar
    Price: 495/-
    Pages: 350

    Anyone who has grown up in the 80s and 90s is not unfamiliar with the name of Jug Suraiya especially with his columns in The Times of India. His columns like Jugular Vein and Dubyaman have been a part and parcel of like of thousands of people like me who would consume and cherish his humorous writing with utmost delight. When he wrote an autobiography without a doubt it was supposed to raise a lot of curiosity. So I got my hands on the cleverly titled book “JS & The Times of My Life: A Worm’s Eye View of Indian Journalism.” Now where the title seems to be extremely heavy and serious in its tone and length the book is absolutely not. It is a delight for the minds which enjoy a light, riveting yet fun read.

    The book starts with Jug as his fans call him narrating his dilemma on choosing a career after passing from the college and how life coincidentally turned him towards journalism. The book draws his times of hard work and struggle during The Junior Statesman (JS) days and how he developed as a writer, columnist. The book traverse through his personal and professional life while narrating the story of the change and evolution of Indian journalism in the backdrop. Jug Sauraiya maintains his usual brand of self deprecating humor and utilizes it fully well to take the readers to the times when the Junior Statesman was still alive; the times when The Times of India was transforming; the times when the journalism and the country itself were going through a metamorphoses. And he does it in brilliant literary style, avoiding exaggeration maintaining the matter of fact version of events but still weaving them as studded amulets in his own tale.

    The best part is the narrative by Jug, which is appropriately detailed to give you the view of the Journalism world, his life at the same time brief enough to retain the interest. Over the length of the book the reader becomes a part of Jug’s life and celebrates small moments which were important and saddened by events which left him dry. The book not only brings out the humorous side of Jug Suraiya which the readers of TOI and the JS have known since ages but also the hidden story teller side of him which a lot of people including me were never aware of.

    The pace of the books is pretty fast with evenly spluttered with small or large events capturing the imagination of the readers. Mentions and excerpts of his edits from the old days also help creating the nostalgic feeling of the bygone era with the book. The book might be a source of inspiration to a lot of aspiring journalists, editors and authors however it fails to highlight the details of becoming one as author maintains the Journalism happened to him by chance.

    Summary: A nice autobiography quite realistic yet entertaining and funny to read. A must read for those who enjoy Jug’s columns in TOI or JS.

    Rating:  4 / 5

     

    This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.com. Participate now to get free books!

    Samsung Galaxy Tab 750 Launch

    So the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 750 is getting launched on August 10, and Indiblogger is hosting an awesome contest where they have some awesome give aways and a chance to become Samsung Mobiler which means you get to have a first hand experience of all the new Samsung Mobile products.
    Samsung Galaxy Tab 750 Launch

    Now that the greedy devil and gadget freak I am, and an awesome technology Samsung produces it is pretty obvious that I am entering this contest. So you would get a live view and feed of the Samsung Galaxy Tab launch right here on Ginger & Cardamom. Also there is a post coming on the “Tab” very soon. Till then pray that I get this free Tab 🙂


    25 Things To Do In Bangalore

    Saw this post at Ratzz on things to do in the city you live in. Found it quite interesting, and since that I have lived in a lot of cities I might do it for some which I know well. So here is a list of 25 things to do when you are in Bangalore.

    1-      Take a walk on the Brigade Road on a Saturday evening

    2-      Eat Masala Dosa at Vidhyarthi Bhavan

    3-      Take a stroll across the Lal Bagh

    4-      Watch the sunrise over Nandi Hills

    5-      Have a ride in the Red Volvo busses

    6-      Do some window shopping at UB City Mall

    7-      Have a cup of coffee in silver tumblers at Maiyas or MTR

    8-      Have a Kingfisher beer  at Dewars’ the oldest bar in the beer capital

    9-      Take a drive through electronic city or Whitefield to see the pulse of technology hotspots

    10-   Visit the Vidhan Sabha of Karnataka on Sunday evenings or on Public holiday evenings when the lighting is on

    11-   Have an authentic Uttar Kannada meal at Kamat Lokaruchi (pref on Mysore Road)

    12-   Have a Gobhi(Cauliflower) Manchurian from the street peddler

    13-   On a rainy evening get out for drive in cars around 6 in the evening to have a real taste of Bangalore traffic

    14-   Take a stroll across the Cubbon Park

    15-   Shop for Kaveri Handicrafts or Sandalwood in Majestic

    16-   Have a drink at ‘The Thirteenth Floor’ followed by dinner at ‘Ebony’ Retaurant overlooking the skyline of Banglore

    17-   Visit Visvesvariya Industrial & Technical Museum

    18-   Visit the 16th century Bull Temple

    19-   Visit the Blossoms Book Store if you are a book lover

    20-   Visit the Rangashankara for a splendid theatrical performances

    21-   Have piping hot Idlis at Brahmins

    22-   Have a trip to Wonder La amusement park

    23-   Have some gourmet cakes and pastries at Sugar & Spice, the patisserie at the Taj Vivanta at Trinity Circle.

    24-   Spot some wildlife and animals at Bannerghatta National park

    25-   Just take a walk in the evenings reminiscing the weather and if you are lucky there would be mild a drizzle soothing your face anywhere and anytime in Bangalore

    Well this from someone who has been here in this city for close to two years, so if you folks have got to add something on Bangalore the comments is an open house.

    Moving Back to Complete Feed Yay!

    As you folks read in the last post, that I decided to move to restricted feed. Firstly, I am reverting back to complete feeds and I am so thankful to all you folks and specially Pratik to help me make that decision. I am very happy about it because as I said I do believe that restricted feeds are an irritant to all the readers.

    Firstly thanks a lot for all the support and views in comments and emails. I would like to clarify couple of things. I wouldn’t call what happened as an incidence of Plagiarism, as Pratik was giving a link back to the post and was appropriately mentioned in the shared section of the website which displayed the content he shared on his google reader. That was precisely the reason I think he was not at fault and I never spoke to him about the issue and decided to change the mechanism I publish my feed.

    However, I am very grateful to Pratik that he not only removed all the shared posts from his website and also offered to change the mechanism in which the content of the site is delivered so as the completed content is not shared. He has done that in good faith without even me asking for it just to avoid the confusion and to ensure people who read my blog don’t face the irritant.

    So I am reverting back to the complete feeds again as asked by many of you. At this point I would specially like to thank one of my readers (lets call him ‘A’ as he has not yet replied to my mail if I can disclose his name) who has come up with a very innovative solution for these kind of problems. What he suggests is to add a Unique footer in every post with due credit to my blog and direct links to my site. So even if in future someone shares my post using reader the ownership part is clarified.

    So A I loved the idea, and to say my thanks anytime when you are in Bangalore (or any other city we are in at same time) the coffee and dinner is on me. And I am not sure what to write in this standard footer all the suggestions are welcome.