Posts filed under ‘WebXP’

Hot Weather, Yellow Umbrella, Bird Poop – Ayyo

People have been saying that it has been pretty hot recently and some astrologers are even blaming it on iron-leg politicians and their muhurtham/timing of their swearing-in ceremonies. You know when there is no news when reams of newsprint is dedicated to the weather but digression apart, for those interested, it has been a great summer for me personally (stay tuned for new creative properties), the occassional stuck umbrellas and bird droppings whilst under trees notwithstanding –
As for why the umbrella is yellow, it is a homage/ode/wink/nod/reference to the CBS sitcom "How I Met Your Mother" which finally ended and is good riddance but when you think about it, it was all about a friggin yellow umbrella and the show made millions and careers inspite of the fact it had horrible characters, campy dialogue, cheesy situations (even for a sitcom) and what not. However, the final episode has a good word-play on the T.M initials engraved on the yellow umbrella standing for ‘Ted Mosby’, ‘Tracy McConnell’ AKA ‘The Mother’. Oh well… one finds traces of gold even in bird poop if one looks hard enough I suppose. Way to follow a thought, eh?

3 July, 2014 at 14:20 Leave a comment

Congress Sinking Ship – Shehzada is King of World

Just been to the voting booth, polling-station#192 at Andhra University to be precise, voted and got inked… err, pressed some buttons for all one can say in India is exactly this for there has been quite a hue and cry and controversy of rigging the electronic voting machines (EVM) which are yet to be resolved. Digression apart and a standard disclaimer is that I could be way off base here but the pulse of the public at the booths and queues is that Congress is a sinking ship and I just could not stop myself from doing this for it was just too easy and low-hanging for me to ignore it –
I would not dismiss and shrug it off as ‘good riddance’ because the truth of the matter is that while Congress might not get into power in the center, it could still get into power in some states. In fact, I can say for certainity that Congress will win in Amethi inspite of the well documented ‘Amethi Model of Development’ which is honestly a misnomer by Arkalgud Anantaramiya Surya Prakash for there is no “development” to speak of in Amethi since the Nehru family adopted it as its flag-bearing puppet namoona dummy stronghold. What does this remind me of?
Ah yes, a virus. it is almost like Congress is a virus and as we all know, a virus never really dies and cannot be truly eradicated – it just stays dormant for a while and when the conditions are again right, it raises its ugly head, infects and goes on its merry way to spread disease, worms, filth and all that ensues in its wake. Be as it may, even if Congress sinks without a trace in this and forthcoming governments, the dynasty with its shehzada will live long and prosper like kings on the loot and plunder amassed and by brandishing and exploiting the pirated Gandhi name for generations to come and go, forever for eternity. Tsk, it takes all kinds to make this world.

7 May, 2014 at 16:47 2 comments

Veering Away from Politics, Try – Word Play

As a matter of principle and in the interests of keeping my sanity, I tend to veer away from politics, especially India politics, for it is like the fatalistic song of sirens (hey, a nautical reference), or rather the cacophony of ugly fat corrupt neethi jaathi viswaasam leni neech kameene somberi bevarse haraam khor shehzade pigs (sorry, pigs) that many a sailor, or rather the illiterate ignoramuses sad excuse of sheeple called Indians has been lured to waste inexplicable inconceivable unimaginable unrecoverable amounts of time and many a ships have crashed on the never-ending jagged useless rocks of maggot poo that media tends to portrait as democracy, particularly, the cheap nautanki gutter circus called India democracy. According to Wikipedia, the Greek mythology lore on Sirens says that the song of the sirens is irresistible but since they reside beyond unpassable reefs and rocky coasts, shipwreck was a given and the sailors preyed upon by the sirens like cannibals or left on the coast without food and water to rot into stinking corpses. Either way, the allegory has a simile to India politics, or poltics in general, and is it any wonder that I try with all my wee physical and disturbed mental might to veer away?
But I suppose that boat has sailed (hey, another nautical metaphor – my mom is right, I am special and so are my teachers – I am a smart cookie after all) and so, while my boat is crashing into the rocks and am coaxed by the sweeper to MLA/MP/ZP campaigning in a beemer to vote, let me just say that am voting for change and hopefully, progress. It could be any party or candidate. I shudder to advise especially to bonafide idiots who have by and large voted time and again for a dynasty and monarchy to rule for 60+ years directly or indirectly or by proxy of this hopelessly wretched country but while I do not really care if any of you vote or not, but if you do like am going to even if its only because it is fashionable, here is a plea to vote for change and hopefully, progress and while at it, try to veer away from politics whose operative word is ‘tics’ which even animals would attest are blood sucking, disease spreading, scalp itching, skin irritating, ear infecting, greedy bloated parasites. Put any political symbolism like khadi and ticks become politicians. Ipso facto. QED.

7 May, 2014 at 14:39 Leave a comment

Curious Cat, Butterfly Effect, 3 Buses Arrive at Once

There is a saying, but I’d rather say that it is an observational comedy quirk that one keeps waiting for a bus for ages and then suddenly, 3 of them arrive at once. This always rung true in an earlier life when I used to take the bus and I was always fascinated by this phenomenon as it seemed magical and annoying at the same time. Am sure, some graduate student somewhere in this vast planet is figuring it out but while science catches up, here is my imagination running wild explanation that involves a cute cat (colour me viral attention seeking but am told that everybody likes a cute cat, or rather the idea of a cute cat) and the principle of butterfly effect etc. –



Now that I thunk about it, I have also found that if one replaces the bus in an analogy reflecting life like an email or opportunity or guests or ideas et al., it has often held true. Well, your mileage might vary but the error could atmost be +/- 1 bus. No?

8 April, 2014 at 13:59 Leave a comment

Ashok Inner-AAM: Rise Against Corrupt Lawyers

While discussing corruption by government, police, lawyers and courts, Neha Shah of I-Am-Aam came across an Android App for Code-for-Civil-Practice and thought it is an empowering tool when being mistreated by a government official i.e. a cool new-age Inner-AAM solution. I was not sold on it for I tend to buy the story, not the product and wondered about the people behind the app. Call it gut or instinct, but I had a feeling that whoever was behind the apps (there are a bunch by the same development team on IPC (Indian Penal Code), RTI (Right To Information), MVA (Motor Vehicle Act), JJA (Juvenile Justice Act) et al. here) must have an interesting story to tell. Being the resourceful lass that she is, Neha pursued the suggestion, accepted the challenge and dug out the app developer, Ashok Kumar Goli AKA Ashok Felix, a self-confessed patriotic Hyderabadi who is all of 25 years old and is currently the Director of Karlo Transport Private Limited and a member of EcoCabs among other things. Lets get on with the story, shall we, in his own words.

Soon after graduating in 2009, I went to Mysore for participating in the Flight Officer selections at the Air Force Selection Board (AFSB). I met candidates from all over the nation who were entirely different from me but at the same time shared the same passion that I had in our country. I got selected but didn’t join (a whole different story). Noticed that several of the potential Flight Officers were unaware of basic things that a citizen of India is supposed to know such as the Preamble to the Constitution of India, our National Pledge, etc. After returning from my medicals, I started asking my friends, relatives and colleagues if they knew these things and researching on why most of them didn’t even have a nominal idea about such important stuff regarding India. Found out it’s the lack of easily available information. Realized that change always begins from a single step and decided to take it.

Sorry to interrupt but the message here is that Ashok brought out his Inner-AAM and in the classic tradition of the Nataraja thandava, is giving abhayam to seekers of justice and trampling corrupt lawyers. A salute by this nacheez i.e. yours truly –

I immediately started working on an Android App (Note: I had no prior programming experience or knowledge of Law) and launched the very first basic "Constitution of India" android app on the Android Market (Android Play Store now). People really liked it, found it useful and started interacting with me on a daily basis through the feedback system built within the app. Most of the users were either law students, professional lawyers or judges in courts. I started getting suggestions, improvement ideas and the app eventually turned into the final version that is available in the market now. The morphing process was gradual. I started getting more and more requests for law applications as the data for the bare acts is really hard to find and harder still to categorize and understand. Based on the framework that I built for Constitution of India, I started gathering data from various government websites and through RTI. Each act took about a month to develop and publish. Began publishing apps act-wise as it’s easier for people to download, view and search through the apps. Each of these apps has the facility to search the central act library via web. Published about 20 apps and a lot more in queue.
Laws affect us all. And increasingly, bare acts are being searched for, read and used by a broad range of people. Bare acts are no longer confined to professional libraries but are considered intricate and intimidating. The apps empower people to directly access, search for and discuss the law of the land in the most simple way possible – using the smart phone. Given that my apps realize their full potential in the hands of people studying and practicing law, their aim is to provide the common man, the power and resources to look into the rules that define and build India. The main purpose of the law apps is to uncomplicate law, open it up for everyday discussion via the social features in the apps and make the information easily available offline.
Imagine a lawyer in a court being able to present his case without carrying any books and without wasting time to pin point the chapter number and section number. Imagine a judge being able to verify the arguments almost instantaneously by searching for specific content in all the laws of India, saving valuable time and speeding up the decision process. Imagine a client going to the lawyer and being able to discuss his specific issues by completely understanding the sections his issues are related to. Imagine a law student going to college/court with just his smartphone and work on it entirely. Imagine a teenage kid being able to read/watch a civil dispute in the news and cross reference the discussion. Imagine a normal person caught speeding on the road and finding out the exact fine amount when a corrupt police official demands a hefty fine. My apps give Aam-Aadmi the power to access all the information or laws that are related to him and that affect him.

Words to live by, or rather, draw by in this case. Please head over to CWorks for a visual depiction of how Ashok Inner-AAM is helping people rise against the reign of corrupt lawyers. As the old adage goes, information/knowledge is power. Indeed.

3 April, 2014 at 18:31 Leave a comment

Call for Rise of Nation of Inner-AAMs

Whenever it passes muster that I doodle, just about everybody in India or those with roots to India mention the iconic so-called Common-Man character of R.K.Laxman to which Wikipedia has the following to say:

The Common-Man is the creation of author and cartoonist R. K. Laxman. For over a half century, the Common-Man has represented hopes, aspirations, troubles and perhaps even foibles of the average Indian, through a daily comic strip, “You Said It” in The Times of India. The comic was started in 1951.

When Laxman began to draw cartoons in The Times of India, he attempted to represent different states and cultures in India. In the rush to meet deadlines, he began to draw fewer and fewer background characters, until finally he found only one remaining – the now-familiar Common-Man who generally acts as a silent witness to all the action in the comic.

Being the contrarian that I am, just about everybody in India or those with roots to India is taken aback and fall from their smugness cloud when I reveal that I really do not like the so-called Common-Man character and that while I have no reason to disrespect Laxman as a person and even admire him for his art and drawings, I do not actually respect Laxman as an author and cartoonist for he has pissed on a great opportunity and platform. Rather than inspire people by making the recurring character an agent of change, he played his part, however miniscule, making the character hapless and clueless and in so doing, conditioned people to be suffering bovines happily quipping “arre bhai, India mein aisa hi hotha hai” with an annoying and lazy “chalta hai yaar” attitude. Before everybody in India or those with roots to India thinks that this is just my opinion, Laxman has on record parroted the same thing, “The Common-Man symbolises the mute millions of India, or perhaps the whole world, a silent spectator of marching time.”
Now one could say that maybe I am looking too much into some imagery. Could be but iconography is a powerful thing which is seldom acknowledged. Discussing imagery as iconography implies a critical “reading” of imagery that often attempts to explore social and cultural values. Allow me to make an observation. If we study imagery of icons – fictional or real – we can immediately see some patterns. For the sake of simplicity, if we just compare non-religious icons of USA and India, the noticeable icons and paragons of the Western world have been superheroes fighting evil and preserving the American way of life while the icon worthy of mention in India is arguably Common-Man who is a speechless village idiot whose inaction has created a rotting, stinking, corrupt, poor, sickening, diseased, infested, horrible, broken, polluted, communal, violent, uneducated… catch the wave, stench of an excuse of a country called India. Let this vomit throw up in your mouth and sink in.
A wise man once said to me that how we want to be treated by others is dependant on us and our actions and not the largesse and manners of others. I for one feel that the Common-Man has an Inner-AAM (Angry And Mad) that is just wanting to explode and do something about the cacophony around him. Since Laxman will continue to draw the Common-Man as a damsel in distress and sell books, give speeches, get honoured etc. by the bucketload while at it, I am taking the artistic liberty of bursting the bubble and bringing out the Inner-AAM of demure character and fight the evils, worms, leeches, maggots… get the drift, of politicians, businesses, terrorism, policegiri, supersitions, rowdyism et al. in the hope it will inspire others, yes, all of you and you, the 2 readers of this blog who could very well fall under the common-man definition or an attempt towards a definition by Udit Misra, to fight –

Now, by associating myself with I Am Aam (a seller of t-shirts with a twist), I have brought out my Inner-AAM and have joined the fight to do my bit in the way I can by immortalizing the travails and adventures of Inner-AAMs across the length and breadth of India inspired by true stories. I understand that the suspense might be killing you and you want to see what it will be like and when you can see it but the key question, and perhaps the only question that should matter is, are you in? Are you going to bring out your Inner-AAM and join the fight? We’re all waiting!

P.S: Please go here at CWorks for the full-comic

27 February, 2014 at 19:26 Leave a comment

Invent Meaning of Own Life – Happier for Trouble

Somewhere on the interwebs, lost in all the noise, links, markups, tags, attribution, nous etc. a comic done by Gavin Aung Than at ZenPencils is doing the rounds as An Incredible Comic by Bill Watterson at ImgUR. Here is a teaser –

Am not the first to decipher that this is not a comic done by the honorary artist behind ‘Calvin and Hobbes’, monsieur Bill Watterson, as many people have beat me to it in this comments page at Reddit (here be dragons; you’ve been warned) but the hypertext led me to the source at ZenPencils and the root of the quote which is from a speech given to the graduating class at Kenyon College by Watterson on May 20, 1990 which has been beatifully illustrated by Gavin.
For those grappling to transcribe or frantically search for the exact text in the comic, look no further for it has been captured as well –

Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric, if not a subversive.
Ambition is only understood if it’s to rise to the top of some imaginary ladder of success. Someone who takes an undemanding job because it affords him the time to pursue other interests and activities is considered a flake.
A person who abandons a career in order to stay home and raise children is considered not to be living up to his potential — as if a job title and salary are the sole measure of human worth.
You’ll be told in a hundred ways, some subtle and some not, to keep climbing, and never be satisfied with where you are, who you are, and what you’re doing. There are a million ways to sell yourself out, and I guarantee you’ll hear about them.
To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy, but it’s still allowed, and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble.

Hat-tip to my friend Nandita Ravindran for the rabbit hole who said that I was the first one she thought of sharing this with when she stumbled upon ImgUR.

24 October, 2013 at 17:53 Leave a comment

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