Saturday, February 26, 2005

Living Dreams

I will never forget an instant message response, from a chat on yahoo more than a year ago, of a friend of mine when I asked him how life was treating him. I was meeting him, online, after a couple of years and in the typical manner of general enquiry, I asked him how he was. He said, "It is a privilege to be living a dream". I was frozen in awe for the next few minutes as his words jumped out of the screen and did a fascinating reality parade in my mind. And I have not forgotten the sentence ever since.

It is indeed a privilege to be living a dream. And it takes tons of courage to decide to live a dream. I think every single person dreams his own special dream; one that stays locked in the musty recess of the mind for want of courage to live it. Sometimes I think we settle snugly in lazyland and it is far easier to go to a job, make money, spend it and watch life drift by; every now and then, we can dust out the dream and spend a wistful hour in nostalgia and stove the dream back in a corner again. How much more difficult it is to keep the dream alive all the time and work tirelessly towards it. I think we inherently run away from things whose formula spells out instant pain and delayed gain. Maybe that is why dreaming the dreams and talking about them in drawing room conversations is done far more than living dreams. I wonder if such dreamers-for-drawing-room-glory are responsible for social conditioning against living a dream. Whatever be the reason there are fewer than required authentic dreamers in the world today. What we have are tons of cynics who seem to think enthusiasm and optimism are a waste of time. They cloak all that cynicism in the fabric of realism and burst all the wish balloons they can.

Again, it is indeed a privilege to be living a dream - a privilege that one must pay for in courage.

Friday, February 25, 2005

The Price of Wisdom

No wise person ever said that wisdom comes easy. In the last couple of years, I have heard wisdom woes from several of my friends (most told me on the phone, one of them wrote about it and another told me about it in an offline message this morning prompting me to post). I continued to exist in the realm of 'this happens to others' until April 2004 when my own wisdom was at considerable stake. After a day spent in denial, I mustered the courage to fix an appointment for the surgical extraction of my left upper and lower wisdom teeth. Thanks to a great dental surgeon, I survived with a lot less pain and a lot more room in my mouth.

Evolution takes the crown for the wisdom of Gen X and the early peaking of wisdom in Gen Y as well. From the Wiki snippet, it looks like wisdom teeth could probably be a vestigial trait that will disappear with...continued evolution ofcourse. Evolution or otherwise, it is pretty bad to be stuck in the middle :)

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Dot Com - Part two?

The next big thing --> posting for profit. Bloggers have been commenting about Jason Kottke's move to become a full-time blogger. Guardian Online has this to say.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

So many books!

For Project Gutenberg lovers, ManyBooks is sheer delight. This site presents the Gutenberg ebooks in several eReadable formats.

Guardian Grazing

In the week that was, a notable anniversary was celebrated. Take a fond look back at XML's origins here.

Michael Cross writes here that the reach of the web in the public domain means that multi channel electronic public services are here to stay.

If you live in South London, watch how you much rubbish you create. There is an 'I Spy' in a bin near you.

And, to find out what kind of a social software you are, try this.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Homeshoring

I caught Homeshoring in Turns of Phrase at Quinion's site and quickly realized that this is probably the catchword of 2005. A search on Google convinced me that umpteen sources, particularly in blogosphere, had thrashed away at Homeshoring in January. David Altig's post was brief and illuminating and it also had pointers to the McKinsey report and the IDC report on the topic.

Homeshoring, like the much touted and still happening Offshoring, does seem like a concept worth bandying about. For a number of industries that focus on Offshoring from a purely cost cutting perspective, Homeshoring might turn out to be a good alternative. However, Homeshoring, in an eerie way, reminds me of the long lost days when people typically worked from home. Whether this approach is a turn towards an integral approach to work and life or merely a turn in the wheel of time remains to be seen.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Mumbo-Jumbo

The Wordsmith focused on reduplicatives in the A Word A Day emails in the last week of January. In his introduction to reduplicatives, Anu Garg started out with the word airy-fairy and went on to define reduplicatives as quoted:
It's time for The Reduplicatives. That could be the name of a rock band - the one known for razzle-dazzle and their hoity-toity demeanor.They come in pairs, make a little chit-chat, and then hurry-scurry off to their next go-go gig.

Reduplicatives are words formed when a term is either repeated exactly(as in bonbon), or with a slight variation in the vowel (as in ping-pong),or consonant (as in higgledy-piggledy). This process of compound word formation is known as reduplication.

The reduplicatives sent each day of that week were delightful and funny. The latest AWADmail from Wordsmith had a subscriber email about reduplicatives in Malay. Again, part of that email is quoted:

Source: AWADmail Issue 153 (Feb 6, 2005)

Subject: Reduplicatives

In Malay, a word repeatedly exactly denotes plurality: meja = table,therefore tables = meja-meja. Its quite cute, however, complications can arise - in some instances, where a word repeated exactly is a word in its own right. e.g. butterfly (rama rama) and needs to be pluralise. e.g.butterflies = rama rama rama rama. As you can imagine, it does sound funny to foreign ears when all you hear is a repetition of the word 4x!

The Malay example reminded me of reduplicatives in Tamil. More on that some other day.

List of reduplicatives that I found elsewhere.

Monday, February 07, 2005

The Elitist 212

Funny are the things that people do and sometimes they take it quite far indeed. Tharoor's Newsweek column tickles.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Ideas for someone else's To-Do list

While doing a search for To-Do lists, I chanced upon this. So, why was I searching for To-Do lists? I recalled a conversation with a friend about a year ago where he mentioned a movie that had the heroine make lists for all sorts of activities and happenings in her life. We were talking about the addictive nature of writing To-Do lists because I am a major To-Do lister. I was curious to see if I could find out the name of that movie.

The Buffoonery Brand

The latest India Today cover shows Lalu Yadav shaving. The Key line reads 'Bihar Election CLOSE SHAVE'. I was a wee bit amused and a huge bit disgusted. I am indeed sorry to see that the cover page has to resort to such a level of literal allusion.

This picture brings to mind the immensely popular brand that Lalu Yadav is an expert at marketing - Buffoonery. His claim to popularity and the often amazingly indulgent mentions that he gets at gatherings are all thanks to his astute usage of the potential of buffoonery. If Lalu Yadav had a serious, no-nonsense image, all of his misdoings would stick out glaringly in the minds of the people. However, with several gross misdoings in his resume, he stakes claim to the warmth of the heart by tapping into the hiterto unknown potential of buffoon antics. Bravo to the cunning indeed! And to think that the media is actually helping him immensely...I can just roll my eyes at that.