ROARRR!

ROOOOAAARRR!

It was one of those wonderful outings, where a close friend of mine, Sajan, and I would venture out in the wee hours of the day. Somedays, it would be a real long trip, just exploring villages and roads, and other times, a nice trek. We would stop at possible jungle routes, and ‘take a hike’.

The best of all this was the unmatched serenity of the great jungle, with its own secret noises and raw fresh air. Sometimes, a nap on the lake side, or quenching thirst from below ground level water canals, were added fringe benefits! The warm sun, mixed with rare findings of wild animal metabolic waste was a curiosity beyond Madonna’s sexiness. Sometimes, these treks would last the whole day, with us traversing about 10-12 kms of wild jungle, in thorny no-paths and slippery rocks. Many a fall taught us the value of balance, while the silence we shared with the jungle, was an education par compare.

We would normally park our bike, which was mostly Sajan’s trusted steed called Java Classic, at a temple, outpost or even someone’s house, and trod away with a bottle of water, maybe a loaf of bread, a make shift small knife and a towel. During rainy seasons, a cap or a plastic cover was added. We parked our bike at the CRPF ranges near Kaggalipura, as was the case in most such treks. We were familiar with a particular path, that led to two lakes, wide, big, deep and serene as the sky. Sometimes, we would spot elephants and deer, and on rare occasions, pug marks. Droppings of animals churned a discussion on fauna diet, while the worms in it, sparked a disgust that eventually made dirty roadside food a tasty morsel!

In one such day, after we parked our bike and had a quick word with the Jawan there, we headed out in full-energy mode into the wild. Came our regular lake-spot, where we lazed for some time, talking about immature jokes on college mates, and opining on the great Indian politics with a pinch of our own masala. As noon grew closer, and as our minds wanted to explore more, we thought of taking a different route, more to the left. This obviously lead to the National Park core area, where we had once seen bears fight! Of course, we were at good distance, or I wouldn’t be here typing this. The route turned newer than expected, and we came across a lot of jeep tracks and man made clearings. By about 3 or 4, we reached a huge man made canal, which was actually an EPT. A.K.A. Elephant Prevention Trench. This doubled up as a barricade for the wild animals to move out of the core jungle. We were at the border of the Mid-Range and Core regions of Bannerghatta National Park!

Across the trench, a pretty tall fencing was visible. Although weeds had grown over it, the sunlight thru the clearing shined over what ever of the partially rusted metal was visible. Just the view of the fence gave us some sort of secure feeling, that we were on the ‘other side’.  We walked along the huge pit, occasionally spotting a few merry birds and deer. Across the pit and the fence, was a very high level of curiosity and appeal that few men can overcome. We were clearly not part of that few!

At one other point, we could gauge a possible descent over the slopes. Without a second thought, we ventured across. There was some bit of water, as it was the rainy season, but I was prepared for wet wonders. I had a very nice water-proof cap, pucked up on the Sihvajinagar footpath market. Apart from one rusted press button, it functioned ever so fine. It was tied to my waist, along with an Army water bottle – another of the Shivajinagar buys.  The poor belt could hardly manage the weight of the water inside, but pulling up the belt every 5.5 seconds, gave a certain reassurance of an Army feeling.

As we waded, climbed, slipped and scoured the other steep wall, we came right next to the fence. It was a thick strong cladding of steel, enough to hold back any wild animal that did not know how to climb a fence. The next instance – RRRROOOOAAARRRR!

It was certainly a big cat, and the deafening noise had its own awesome confusion of direction, distance, etc. We looked at each other in the most confused state of fear and inquisitiveness known. As heart started pounding, we could sort of feel how natural instincts take over at times of distress. As muscles tightened, sight improved and hearing became more aware, a second loud thunderous ROAR jointly summoned all our senses to their best spirit. This time around, keen expectedness showed us the form of the magnificent beast that bellowed. A nice big lion sat about 60 feet from us, visible just thru the clearing of high shrubbery. Between us was the fence, a jeep track, some field and some trees. Below one such tree was the brown giant, probably summoning one of its mates for a romantic afternoon.

We both looked at each other, edging along the small gap between fence and pit. The fence, at this time, seemed as strong as the Indian Army. It was an inspiration, giving us courage to still stand and move, wanted to get into a better direct view of the animal, while was also a health pack, allowing us to still breathe in peace. In the next very long seconds of silence, we acknowledged each other in wanting to get a better view and jointly moved towards our right, which could also be because of a want to stay together. Since I was pretty much dependent on Sajan, i just shadowed him. A little further and we heard another noise. This time around, it was the distinct humming of a diesel engine. It was a Bannerghatta Sanctuary visitor tour vehicle, traveling along the road next to the fence. The acknowledgement of another human presence was wanting to get loud, but we instinctively ducked behind the shrubbery and vines. Being seen at such a juncture was both illegal and stupid. As the vehicle passed us, we slowly raised from camouflage trying to sight the lion again. This time around, it was relaxedly laying down, its back towards us, and head raised just enough to complete the picture. We went further along the fence, which curved a little, allowing us a closer proximity to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

And lo and behold, the fence ended there! I mean, it just ended. Suddenly, we were bare and open to any possibility of bad or worse! All the security and feeling of safety we had just popped like a balloon. It was this one instance of time, when memory, instinct, logic and everything the mind could summon clashed with the highest grade of confusion. Thought, thinking and action was lost in a deep sense of fear and shock. Words failed to form a sentence and breathing became the loudest noise around. It was like probably floating in space, or falling in a void, when sense vanishing on the horizon. It was, matter of fact, a moment extraordinary!

Before we knew it, we were slowly and unsteadily slipping down the side of the canal, with just one intention of getting away! Both of us, had just one simultaneous reaction to head homeward, or atleast towards what we thought was safe. As silently as we could, staring at each other with blank expressions, and not uttering a word, we head away, in a straight line opposite the lion. Thorns and muddy patches were ignored as we just walked and walked, for the next hour or so. The body’s demand for water and the muscle’s demand for rest was ignored better than a Govt. babu, as we just kept going. We covered what we had taken 5 hours within just two!

Inhalation relaxed into a sigh, only when we started to see familiar territory, the lakes we had known earlier, and the glades we ha slept on. But somewhere still, we had all doubts of a big brown furry cat watching us from just beyond a shrub. Every view had its own doubts newly associated. Somehow, this was still not safe enough.

We probably took a break for just a minute, before hopping onto our bike and getting back on the highway. In the darkness, all along, every shadow and unknown contour started to resemble a big feline. I guess it was deeper into the night, when we settled with a beer or two, that the grip that encompassed the physical self finally let go. Smiles showed the disbelief of the incident that had just happened, as talk flowed, exchanging probabilities and expectations. It was then that I realized that I had dropped my water bottle, cap and knife, somewhere on the way back. As I commented about it, my friend said “Wanna go back and get it?”

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Stupid Toy and the Guardian Angel.

There was this one time, when I was just migrating from Shorts to Pants, and got caught at home with strange toys!
I had, in the vicinity of my old home, groups of friends from different circles. There was this one crowd of atheletic driven boys who always discussed speeds in decimal values, and another that talked ‘mature‘ stuff that was more or less taboo for the young. One particular guy had access to a shop near his school, ‘The Community Center‘, where be bought small plastic toys. One of them was to do with intercourse, and was his pride and joy of possession. It was so unique and so much talked about, that other boys bribed him to keep it for a day.
That strange age of youth, which Mark Twain raved in Tom Sawyer and his friends, has a remarkable enthisiasm with really wasted wants and unwanted risks. Much as any normal mind would disagree on, I too wanted to have a peice of the pie which was actually not my taste. I somehow managed to trade more nonsense and get the guy to part wih his plastic sex keychain for a day.
It was something that I dare not display in public, something that others showed no interest in, and something that was pretty awesomely dangerous for a chubby boy with no hair on his legs to carry about. Practical-wise, I did not even have a key to put on that key chain.

I sat for quite some time, in lonely places under stairs and in the bathroom, frequently reminding myself of the fabulous temporary possession I had. Move the legs of the badly moulded figures and it resembled like where most of us ‘originated‘ from. The horrendous green and dirty dark blue colors added a bit of that drastic touch, making an overall picture of dangerous risks, that we all wanted just because we were not supposed to!

To my great ill-luck, and thanks to my forever-on-vacation-guardian angel, my parents found this stupid thing in the pocket when I was not in whatever shorts I had kept it in. After a while, I started to sense a prick in the silence and adhoc meetings that my dad and mom had away from me. I still dont know if my siblings knew about it. It was surely not something that could be discussed. As a father now, I wonder what went thru my dad’s mind then; what plans he had for me. Maybe he ordered a special stick from Rajasthan to see the color of my bones, or would it be a serious birds and bees talk? I guess, right then, I barely managed from running away from home or some stupid thought like that. I was too young to think serious, and somewhere deep inside, I knew I was caught red-handed, and I was wholly responsible for something that was too much to even discuss, forget possess. I think I managed to get out of the house, and this friend of mine heard about what happened. He even said he will come and ask for it, if I did not get it back. This was getting even crazier!
The rock was burning and the hard place had a ‘Welcome to Hell‘ board.
Whatever courage that made me be part of something so crazy, still lingered around, and maybe a presence of mind was what changed the series of events. As I walked into my dad’s room, I saw him do something with the Almirah, and keep its keys in the pocket of his favourite old coat. As soon as he walked away, my legs, hands and eyes, followed a strangely controlled command. This was probably the first instance of ‘Making of the Avatar!’
I managed to take the keys, open the almirah, and search for that stupid peice of trouble making toy. Very very fortunately, or because my Guradian angel just returned from vacation, I found this keychain inside the safe. I still wonder how a two cent worthless thing managed to go into a locker where the house valuables are kept. I removed it from there, closed the locker, keys back in coat, and my legs running outward. I ran a little here and there, found this guy, and returned his asset. In a few minutes, I had rolled back the clock, and everything was back to where it should have been. Maybe I did realize I should not get involved in such things, or maybe I did not. But this topic never went further, since there was no more ‘Evidence‘!

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Games people (I) play, with kids!

Here is one of my ‘Crazy Things I Still do!’ collections.

My son is all of 21 months old, haughty in his own cute way, loves to scream, shout and put mobile phones in water. I had always thought that they stuff we elders call Kid’s Games is never really liked by them. More often than not, they decide to live with it out of pure suppression and choicelessness!

One of the things I do for that bonding effort is to scream and shout with him in simple awe of absolute normal and un-odd things around us. Beginning from the same dog we have been seeing for years now, to the contraption called an auto-rickshaw, I completely fail to understand the joy that these things bring to the pure minds of small kids. My son adores the auto, much to my disbelief, and despite my resolute strain against it. Sometimes, the first word he mutters on day-break is auto. However, the intelligence that the minds of corrupt elders have, I have learnt to use this as an advantage to get him ready for an outing, or to even just feed him!

For some time now, I have added several cushions to my car seat, next to the driver’s, and have made this the prince’s throne. He pretty much settles in that, and locks in safely with the seat belt. Of the several occasions that I take him out to, he sits snugly watching the many moving vehicles, exclaiming auto and bus at objects he recognizes. His other want is Music, pointing his cheeky little fingers in a commanding way at the stereo! Like him being my Lord and Master, my instinct is to obey and abide by his wish for a want to seeing a happy contentment in his chubby face, and also for fear that he would break into a tantrum. Its some sort of privileged blissful state to enjoy some time with a kid much less than two years, not having him cry over anything seemingly stupid.

In these car trips I make around the house, some things have become a passion and great past time for the two of us. We start with a small reconnaissance of the neighborhood, spotting birds, birdie as affectionately exclaimed by my son, Krish, sometimes snakes, smaller reptiles and the friendly neighborhood cat and puppy! Post the neighborhood recce, we scout out towards the neighborhood. During this time, there is every chance that some FM channel has a song worth banging a beat to, and we both do our bit on the dash board of the car. I guess we both think that we do the drum beats better than the other, and maybe we are both right! At the main road, the Kanakapura Highway, NH 209, we see all sorts, sizes and colors of cars, buses and lorriiees, apart form the soaring population of the common black and yellow rounded three-wheeled boxes. They, thankfully, dont ever fail to register a sign of smiling happiness on the kiddo.

This is all in preparation to the crazy stuff we do, almost everyday. As he screams the names of the vehicles, sometimes making the auto driver look in an anticipation of a giraki, I start to repeat his screams adding some tune to it. We go into a mode of calling aaaautooooo to aauuuuuutttttoo, etc. Every repeat of the word in a holistic recalibration of all of Thyagaraja’s unrecorded tunes, with more happiness sewn into it, than can ever be summarized. As these words mutate from Autooo to Kandaaaa, we (I, mostly), start making up new phrases never heard before. And each of them loudly yelled at the top of our lungs. This, I feel is a great time to wander off city-outward, into the highway, where no one actually notices anyone. Atleast, the way they drive, surely brings about that impression!

As buses and lorries whizz past us, we spend a good few minutes dictating strange syntactical coinage to each of us, in tunes much beyond the ordinary. From KandaaaBelli Muddu Bangaaru to Buchhi Kucchi to Chaste Guusti Puusti Choosti and much beyond, these several seconds and several shouts bring out a great childish bondage that is so damn hard to relate! Every scream and shout makes us forget worries and distractions, while bringing a strangely strong eye-bonding inbetween. By the end of, say 5 minutes, we are all thirsty, sometime breaking a small sweat, smiling like ears dont stop the lips widening, and clearly feeling very saturated in happiness.

I look forward everyday, to keep up with this shouting and screaming bit, atleast until he is old enough to think What the hell is wrong with my dad!

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Macro Guava

Every morning, the damp grass, a partially cloudy sky that sets in golden spots of the sun’s grace, rightly blended chill of the wind, my two dogs and a hectic half hour to stretch a bit, run a while and play the rest, build a quality sort-of value like no other.

Of my two dogs, Simba, the male, loves to chase anything. He is more comfortable if it is a round object, happy when kicked, and ecstatic when flung. He races ahead of the throw, chases the remaining few feet with great accuracy, and exhibits a great balance and graceful form of body following the feet following the face following the teeth that are grinding to grab whatever is flung! Honey, the female, and on the other end of the spectrum, chases only edible stuff, and that too for a specific distance. Too far and she remembers her proverbial schooling of Bitter Grapes on the Farther Lawn!

The Loss
Of the very few episodes, Simba sometimes runs much farther than I can hurl, and ends up sensing the item fall behind him. It is mostly a Guava that I pluck off the few thankful trees in the park. Sometimes, I pluck quite a few of them over the weekends, to save time during the weekday jogs. Now, when Simba makes that awesome lightning U-turn, to grab the Guava that fell behind him, he sometimes loses its scent in the grass. The grass is usually a few inches tall, and semi-rotten dead leaves sprayed from trees above, may probably make his scouting a wad bit difficult. Despite his keen sense, he still loses the object, and gives me several looks – ones that make you clearly understand his dilemma. For him, a loss of the ball or fruit, is like losing a month on the stock market!

Size Matters
The poor chap rockets around most of the park, in a state of great confusion, shocked at the size of the 2 acre park, within which a small 20 gram fruit is lost!

I have trained him to run in the general direction of where the throw was, and start saying Good Boy when he is around the area of drop. If he strays away a few tens of feet from the spot, then I go No No…. He has learnt to slow down and do a deeper nasal focus after the ‘Good Boy’ mode. However, he still loses sometimes, and his able dependent master steps in!

As I go close to the spot, I manage to think of the line of throw and more or less spot the guava pretty quickly. My average would be a rather sub-10 second, despite a blocked nose!

The Macro View
Just the fact that I see from a few feet above him, allows me the Macro view, helping me to Guava gauge much quicker than the best of canines! This Macro perspective, I feel, is quintessential in problem solving, to easily hone in on the problem area, miniaturize the area in focus, and do a faster resolve.

Always hone in only on the problem area in a Macro perspective, to not allow the other areas to overwhelm the possibility of a Solution!

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Muntingia calabura

In my series of neo-management blogs, here is the first one.

A brief background.
I walk, run and play with two dogs I have been having for over 6 years now. Honey and Simba. Irrespective of my troubles, onus or physical state, they wait everyday, from my get up, to go and spend some time at a park right behind my house. For most of these 6 years, at an impressive 95% of the time, I have kept my promise to them.

In every stage of cherry plucking to lawn cuddling, several aspects of what management can relate to, emerge in these blogs.

The Berry.
One of the regular activities we do, is to pluck Japanese cherry (Muntingia Calabura) from one of the three trees in the park. They love the partial intoxication submerged in the sweetness of the particular red ripe ones. As I pluck, climbing the branches or pulling some, they wait in an earnest drooling state, licking they had already tasted them. More often than not, whatever I give suffices the craving they already built. However, in my constant endeavor to equally distribute what I gather among my dogs, I always try to get an even number. With every additional odd I pluck, I see a small challenge to find one more to make it even.

It is during these times, that a problem solving (or Even Cherry Plucking) attitude finds new methods to scour the several branches and the numerous twigs. Many a times, there is one ripe red sweety right in front of you, but covered by a leaf. When ever I pull the branch up, sideways of down, a different perspective reveals the hidden treat.

Every problem must be viewed with different perspectives, to open possibilities which are other hidden. Be elastic and think or do in an unordinary fashion, for more or better solutions.

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…N, O, P, R, S, T…

If there were a single factor missing in Indian life, it would be Quality! From health to productivity to family and happiness, this missing element has thrown a matrix of confusing perceptions, creating a make believe satisfaction of life itself. The absence or the trait of not developing something that we should, has a greater history that capitalizes on strengths inherent to the peninsula, while also showcasing a sordid tale on how ineffective the system paralyzes its denizens. What seems to be a minor set back, and assumed as a goal of the future, seemingly retards progress in so many realms of our lives. The understanding, relation and persistence to achieve Quality, can be far from what the imaginary brush paints. Matter of fact, to understand true quality, one has to embrace it wholly, like an essential life-giving breath. This aspect of living transcends into a make-or-break factor for all walks of life. From forming a government to making children, the loss of a quality approach gives rise to the Chalega attitude, which has compromised lives and lifestyles of several lakhs of people over several decades. A series of volumes in big bounded books can rake up several examples of every day life styles and events, but this would only make my point stronger; of a lack in a system, to such an extent that a parallel system arises. Here are some views on this Quality and how to relate with it. Quality is not a standard in any platform to judge results, although metric capture tools in all production houses claim so. Checking for an acceptable amount of bugs in a software code, or machinery, does not balance an equation. Quality is supreme and as close to perfection as can be. If there is an ever bit of compromise, then that itself triggers a little more. If 7 bugs in 10000 lines of codes is an acceptable limit, then why not 9? What difference does it really make, especially if these two come under a Minor Issue count? Planning for a 100% precise delivery is what will actually reduce bugs, not planning for a 0.0007% count. In bigger materialistic manufacturing unit, if all cars are made to whatever perfection assumed, it is as good as saying the company does not mind giving something sub standard to a select few! Six Sigma and several Quality Assurances describe this in tune to the value offering of the product itself. But on a more serious note, Quality is derived from another practical equation, to set the right goals, and deliver them to the fullest. When have you had a Quality meal that still left you hungry, especially when the objective of the meal itself was to fill you to the brim! Lets look as how one can possibly perceive Quality. Is it to do with spending, affordability, cleanliness, order, or something on another’s agenda? Many a time, the last option is the easiest getaway for most lost opportunities of quality. Meanwhile, this is also associated with products, infrastructure, lifestyle, technology, popularity, power and such deceptive embellishments. However, in all this melee, the aspect of Quality in Life is itself lost. All the relative factors, to some extent is a sub-set of an overwhelming authority that one can dictate in his or her life. This is an attitude and a discipline, sewing quality into life itself. Poverty and a huge gap in affordability is the next big excuse. But few realize that poverty, in itself, has a quality. For a man who has nothing to lose, a smile or a lending ear shows much more quality than several scheming rich. Then again, like I said before, these are outer coverings of a deeper glow that we have lost over centuries of compromises, if ever we had one before. Power, Popularity and gainful goals comes in next, where mismanagement or misrepresentation takes the steering, driving to natural and man made hurdles, in a forest full of bandits and monkeys, each wanting to own the entire forest, without the slightest idea of managing it, or caring for the other animals. If ever this metaphor were true, Elephants and Lions would then show the quality of the wild, thus resting any doubts of having a better life for the wild man too. Technology is a tool for geeks and the rich to think that they have a quality beyond others incapable of such reach; but alas! it a big No! Technology is merely a tool, than envisions the race to do the same in a better or faster way; and if it is a wrong attitude, then technology highlights it better and faster! In its barest form, the full fledged laughter of a baby, wanting to completely enjoy the moment of happiness, is a quality that we can begin with. The raw innocence, which life soon steals away, is a festival for a few brief moments. Something so powerful that even a modern Hitler would laugh along with. Here is one fine example of quality, that we all had, if ever we strained the facial muscles to thoroughly enjoy something at age 14 months. We did, and we know, somewhere deep within, also realizing where this blog is heading; into a deeper realization of what we are missing. Name, Opportunities, Power, Race, Security, Technology … but no ‘Q’! Some conceptions we have to build into a system, to believe and adhere is adequately missing, lending a huge support into a parallel system where letting go is easier than holding on. What all we need to realize is a big list but the below examples should show a direction. Quality is not great building construction, but thoughtful enough to adhere to humane stipulations. Take a commercial establishment for example. To maximize revenue from sales, there is a compromise on several other aspects, from parking space to public toilets. Several houses spend a grand buck in gaping wonders with mortar and bricks, but lack that certain completion of revised and practical thought. Quality is nothing to do with the rich and poor. Matter of fact, its nothing to do with spending. Having a small vehicle driven without causing concern is far better than a great big car being a nuisance on the streets! I have noticed a big percentage of drivers blaring their headlights when those smaller vehicles from the opposite side curse in the blinding peril. Is this a show of oppressiveness or an act of willful ill-delight! By jumping the last 2 seconds of a red light after waiting for 120 seconds with two wheels on the zebra artwork, a compromise can surely be observed. This small bit is what adds the nuisance value that eventually and completely destroys quality in humanity. Although Cleanliness is close to proving and showcasing Q, it remains an outward projection. The inner is where truth be found. As one and several of these completeness driven aspects fill one’s life, and as they all join to form a beautiful bubble, several huffs and puffs that blew them becomes an involuntary act to maintain this  bubble. As simple as it seems, that this bubble be too delicate to maintain, the attitude to retain it is the holistic drive for perfection. Let us see on the gains of having this bubble intact. Take an example of everyday life, with streets helping ply several of its denizens from all walks of life, having a generalized picture of bitumen, shops and walk paths. The picture as a whole, can be drawn by a third grade kid; but it is the engineers who started to build it, and lost the essence of quality, who pass on a weak system. The pavement stones remain incomplete with maybe even one of them broken, misplaced or un-walkable. This bottle neck creates a first level of nuisance for pedestrians in being forced to trod on the road for even a short distance. … leading to vehicles jamming up at that crux, breaking and skidding. Add to that, the incapacity or amateur plan to retard soil from rising up, which leads to quite a bit of dust and dirt. And that unclean atmosphere is enough to build a negative psychology in these shop keepers, allowing their conscience to throw their shop waste and add more color to an already beautiful painting. The dirt blinds the eye, with clinching facial muscles, throwing more sorrow than happiness on faces that face these. Dirt chokes lungs enough to probably extract some medical spending, not to mention dirtier clothing and vehicles. This is just the beginning! The dirt, added to any bit of heat and wind, forces the affordable to roll up windows and switch on their car a/c, reading magazines on eco-friendly ventures. This grows into the want for so called global companies to create closed centrally air cooled offices and structures, blocking dust, heat and even light. Several hundreds of bulbs compensate for these workers to have enough brightness to work, while several villages have dark evenings owing to a power crunch. And every cooled area actually throws out heat, and thus creates a surrounding warmer than yesterday, asking for more cooling power and so the story goes. If we were to simply ensure clean streets, be several mechanisms known globally, from pounding wood chunks on  pavements or growing grass, the initial stimulus can be controlled. If wind were to not throw dust, maybe a lesser requirement of a/c, leading to a nicer environment can happen. Like I said, this is only the beginning. There is the black smoke emitting contraptions and the revving body builders who have just lost it – the quality syndrome. If they were to control any fascination of proving masculinity by creating a mechanical ruckus, with whatever authorities ensuring a clean emission norm, wonders and God’s blessings can be seen. And add a healthier and happier drive everyday; that itself would lead to a normalcy in health saving years in torturous stress levels and reduced medical care. Like I said, this is just the beginning, stepping onto the road that leads everywhere, from business establishments, to petty shops to authoritative enclaves and leisure joints. In all these places, like a road construction worker and a vehicle emission controller who thrives for a quality level in his work, to the drivers and pedestrians who own responsibility in achieving and sustaining a quality environment, every worker of every stage, must and should develop a passion and commitment to be duty and job bound. Any slip in any stage, any loss of quality, can only rebound back in multiple stages of pain and trouble.

This all seems too true to happen in one’s mortal span, but the concept of immortality is where legends are born!

And like I said, this is just the beginning; the problem lies even deeper; in the system that is lost towards gains that can only hamper true progress. From political and religious motivated people and parties to those who only want to make a fast buck, lifestyles have lost a holy spirit. When we start looking inside and beyond, we realize what could have gone wrong in adapting to a system in a fashion where no one has time to question it, much less to read and act on such blogs! Wanting to deliver completely to a planned goal, and not having to lose any face in claiming completion of a job is the start. Showing quality in doing a job, to being a family member; in transit and on seat; in talk and action; in life and death, is something that the very young have to be educated on. allowing them to urinate on streets just because they are too young, might seem understanding in obscenity values, but quality starts to get lost. This loss is what can make them think of cheating in an exam to lying to get a job, and building bad roads and pavements, as life grows. The seeds that are sown in childhood are the memories that drive an adult.

I once interviewed an American for a post in our US office. This is not about comparison, but more of an example that I can vouch for, in my life’s experiences. The candidate, much older than me had not claimed knowledge of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), while his resume mentioned several website creations to his credit. I questioned him on how he accomplished the websites without knowledge of CSS. To this, he replied that he had stopped working on CSS during his last few months, and not cared to upgrade to a newer version that was getting in vogue. Considering several others whom I have interviewed, and who have claimed mastery with less than 10% of real know how, I cant stop wondering at the quality the person showed in that situation -to be honest, even if it meant failing an interview. Notice a quality in behavior and a mere interview act. Wanting to claim rewards for what one is worth is a quality less seen.

The Mahatma had no car or master tailored clothing, but shone with a quality that makes him worthy of being a nation’s father figure. At his age, I wonder what old-age he planned to enjoy in a liberated India. Surely, it was something much beyond him, for him atleast. In a similar analogy, I once worked for a company who had a very simple motto, that surpassed any other meaningful caption I know of – it simply said “Do the Right thing as a Human Being“. This essentially sum-mates an understanding of how much we should stop being the “I” and think, behave and act in a way that suits a human. To not hurt or trouble others is one of this. It goes into deeper realms of how interactions and communication should happen. It is a Quality that is rare, rarer than any metal or car one can possess.

Here is what I feel is a stepping stone to achieve some bit of quality in life, or whatever is left of it.
Live with an attitude to improve the self and then the outside.
Work, react and enjoy, to any limit, as long as it does not pester anyone else in any way.
Complete, to the right satisfactory level, whatever work is undertaken. Work on achieving what must be, more than decorating something that does not achieve the primary requirement.
Be honest in judgement, and in understanding. Yes money and time is invaluable, but can it really be costlier than the only other person you see in the mirror?
Fulfill your commitments. Be it in planning and growing a baby to meeting a goal, allow the time required, and live with contentment on true completion.
Value time – Yours and others’. This is crucial for building and surviving a trust and a name.
Create a Passion in every step of life. Its your hands and your work, and ensure there is a quality that you can boast of. Doing for the sake of doing is much smaller than being able to proudly say you did it.
Value people more than things. Something I picked up from a dying man’s last seminar, it shows a new light in how important life and its immense qualities are. This is simply about buying and creating happiness.
Set Goals for yourself. One of the best qualifications that one can be proud of, is to have certain stopgates to check and justify the means and directions undertaken. Valuate your standing on your content and such metrics.
Try to Output more than you Input. Its not about eating. Its about what you consume in terms of Nature, time and effort, and what you give back. If ever Quality was a business, the tree would surely be the winner! It occupies less ground area, gives shelter, fruits and shade, while holding soil from erosion, and maintaining an abode for birds and bees; all this after consuming free water and sunlight!

Quality is much more than a factor. It is as big as life itself! Building quality into oneself, is like living a higher level of life; one that mere mortals cannot gauge; one that is filled with contentment; one that, when teamed with several others, becomes the most beneficial tool for everything inside and around!

Fill up the blank: …N, O, P, __, R, S, T… !

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Tic Tok … a brief talk on Time, its values and omni-presence!

What a great realm Time is, beyond any belief and God itself; beyond control, love and any Emotion ….
In the next few minutes (depending on how fast you read), a brief talk on Time, its values and omni-presence is to come. Spend some time on truly knowing what we understand Time as within. This four letter word, with a small army of more related words, create the most unfathomable reality that dictates every incident, all science and can conquer emotion itself.

To begin with, here is a statement – ‘Every man earns the same, its only a matter of time!’…. And now that the word ‘earn’ got your attention, here is much more to brood on. Time, in its whole essence, is unlimited in not only its definition, or its journey, but in its description and perceptions as well. Time spreads its wings in something as sweet as music, to something as powerful as a great product. Can you believe that every thing around us, including all actions, forms and events have a time based charter to follow?

Here are some obvious words that everyone associates Time to – years, days, minutes, seconds, and so on. I call these the Data Tags, because they express a finite and instance based value or understanding. When I say three minutes, it is as finite as 00:03 hours, valid as long as used anywhere.
Here are lesser obvious words that also have a whole great deal to do with time. Order, first, last, long, fast and several such…. These are what I call Descriptive Tags and command a wee bit more understanding of its usage and meaning. He came first would also mean that there was a contest to contend with probably others. This contest is eventually time based. every race and achievement is a derivative of the time consumed – a start and end point, to assess the work done during.

Lets talk music – a syllable in a musical note sheet is a marking for an event across a stipulated time span, during which course, the syllable has ownership of a certain duration, ranging from an instant to some time. If this is not in place, the music loses its value, to a pretty large extent. therefore, all these notes have an assigned point in time-space and should adhere as best to this placing – failing which, we would really be talking music!

Grammer – This whole sentence that you read, is about an arrangement of words, to be read in a particular fashion – this fashion is defined by the agreed language, English here, with an order from left to right. This would translate to reading the words to the left before those to its right. And this order, however expanded by the reader’s ability, is in itself a time derivative. If any word were to be read before its proceeding place, the sentence would make a completely new meaning, or none. Consider this in respect to the importance given to every song, poem, text message and mantra. They would be absurd if not for this time-driven order.

And as probably one of the most important aspects of life, Cooking, dictates, timing is crucial for a good meal. What to add when, would seemingly decide the aroma and taste of probably everything in the culinary art.

In brief, every aspect and function of the so called life, makes sense only because of time. If this time were stalled, unpredictable or out of any order that we perceive it in, the complete meaning to all these actions, and their results, subsequently, would be as vague as several other blogs! Timing is Essential for every breath we take, and every muscle we move. From recording heart beats to hitting a ball, the one with the best time, lives most, in human form, or on score boards. From a mere understanding of setting expectations of when to meet or sleep, this when is what decides the outcome of every individual and their actions. Planning for a monsoon to a baby, working for a budget or a new year party; all these resolve with an understanding of an accepted table of time. This calendar is what drives events to happen within the norms pre-accepted. Now is a good time to analyze how one may assume this timing.
The base classification would be Outward and Inward.

Outward time reflects with the interactions that people do with others and objects. This can also have a Macro and Micro definition, with several phases in-between.  In the Macro segment, we decide on when to plan an event, be it a sale or a get-together. This allows a set of individuals or machines to have an expected routine beginning and ending at a particular point of time. More often than not, this time and gap is stretchable, and can therefore be considered a Macro instance. Examples would be to ‘Catch up next month, or to ‘Expect a Bonus in April‘. The precise point of next month or April is a Micro instance that is almost open for negotiation – like how I mention ‘discuss later‘ several times to my wife!
The Micro is as precise as calculating the absolute instance of hitting the ball at an accuracy that a super computer decides. This super computer, the Brain, makes a huge set of calculations, within a very short time gap, to derive results that amaze those incapable of such. From typing in the exact keys of my keyboard in a particular order, to form such sentences, to the motor skills that control a car, the author and driver constantly segment a huge part of the mind’s though process into these Micro computations.
From this, discussed so far, we may probably understand one secret of success – that those who can calculate the Macro instance as well as the Micro, stand the best chance of success. From project managers who can give a date like ‘Next month, the seventeenth, at 1500 hrs‘, to Architects who plan a completion of a project in 257 days from now, the enormous calculations that that particular mind is capable of, decides in certainty, the success of the undertaking. We will come back to this reasoning Later!

In the Inward understanding, the mind and action works to assimilate a success ration in a very selfish way – from reading a book, to planning life itself, individuals and their outcome is decided by how fast and well a book is understood, or how well the Life-Timing is planned and achieved. From a discipline to get up early and mind the body, to arriving at a rendezvous in good time, this inward pattern also has its Macro and Macro sections – with an infinite number of sections in-between. The Macro feature here is to get a simple understanding of oneself in a Present-and-Continuous pattern – like the discipline that some have. The timing part here is to set aside a part of activities, in mind and clock, to repeatedly do something at an exact pre-determined date and time. The basis of several cultures include such meditations in its extracts of rituals. From asking one to pray after a bath, to worship before food, this ensures the thought phase of Inward-Macro calculations to always stay in focus. there is no talk of losing this. There is only using or dont. Its is always part of the Intelligence that every life form has. In my way, this is the greatest distinction between what is alive and what is not. Losing this, beyond an extent, is as good as dead!
The Micro parameter is to decide and act for an instance of time – day, month or time itself. This cadre cannot be generalized into any set pattern, but is understood in its wholeness. How well this inward thought acts, directly impacts something as important as speech, to as subtle as the tone of speech. Those capable of total control of this Inward-Micro awareness, set the right tone, speech-speed and arrangements of words – as an analogy. This understanding also reflects in every decision made, by thorough consideration of thoughts and facts, acceptance of validity and priority, to brace for a decision that is so clear in its ethical and practical values. From giving the right glances to that impromptu retort, the control of almost all visible and deliberate action rests within this. In a greater picture, it also reflects on a maturity model that few can shine from within. Some call this the Aura, while it can safely be termed as Presence of Mind. This sets the right priority and value for anything that can be considered as an action or judgement. In many ways, this will be the beginning of the Outward reflection we all display. In a time based value, the Inward kicks off the Outward, and hence comes first. To control a situation, he who controls himself is much more capable of handling everything exterior. Take this as the basis of all Management lessons!
Ancient elders mostly had an understanding of this concept. They associated the righteousness to Gods, in an attempt to constantly help one monitor himself. This can happen with several efforts of meditation and repetitions of words that stipulate a set pattern of breathing; which in turn controls metabolic activities, brain stimulation, blood pressure and everything else that helps in Inward Micro control. The transformation of a baby’s unpredictable and totally illogical tantrum into a well planned, controlled and logical decision, is the essence of life itself. Maybe, in more ways than one, like a tree bearing fruit, the endeavor of all humanity and everyone who can be considered as an unit of it, is to be capable of this transformation to bring utility to life itself!

Again, this shows how much Time is absorbed into everything, known and unknown, inside and around us. This transliterates into time immemorial, transcending thru whatever that was, to whatever that comes from the immediate Now. If ever one was capable of controlling or manipulating this time or its sub-values, that control would be supreme, for sure. Maybe the Gods could do this, maybe not – but breaking this silence would probably be the ultimate goal.

From values associated to numbers, which again have an order, to work done, in considered span of time, our relative and accepted Order that supposedly prevails in the Universe becomes the absolute foundation. On this foundation sits beliefs, postulates and theories, which, accepted by several generations, throw a meaning to all that is. Now consider a probability of how this foundation and its initial acceptance of order is itself wrong. Its not a decision but more of a What-if analysis. In such light, and when the value of time is capable of some elasticity, which may even occur in an universe not known to us, Gods rise, and miracles happen! If ever this clock-stopping effort happened on earth, however long ago, it could have raised the Gods we worship now. If hypnotism can stall an individual’s mind, maybe something deeper slowed the movement of planets! In a reverse understanding, if the earth were to slowly, very damn dead drastically, drop its spin acceleration, every metal and mind in our so-far-understood science will completely change. Maybe this is what Alchemy is all about!

On a re-considering note, total acceptance of an agreed time-sense is what is already imbibed in everything living. This is probably why we all have value for life. If immortality was common, parental affection would disappear, boredom would be an all time high, and there would be more people than molecules. This balance, of what should exist, in how much of a quantity at which instance of time, is what can keep anything going – Going as in past-present-continuous sense, Balance that is otherwise constantly challenged, be it against Nature or the self. Too much of afforestation results in an epidemic of natural disaster, while too much drinking kills the liver. This also reflects on how this understanding of time rests in microbial factors that jointly become bigger parts. loss of timing in these microbes – is Cancer; a loss of time in a minute part of the life chain, which results in untimely and unwanted growth!

From hitting the right punch line to make people laugh, to planning the right future for a country, this Timing decides the outcome of every action. Those who know its value, for self and for others is a life worth lived!

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Cat Pot.

I was told that seeing a cat do potty was very rare… and somehow considered ‘Lucky’ …. Imagination always takes over logic, when words like Lucky, Lottery and Fortune play. I was maybe 20ish when I heard this, and all I could think of was the ‘how’ to do it, more than the ‘why’ … something which I have long forgotten post marriage and fatherhood!
Call it co-incidence, but my gardener, who had just killed two rabbits, and almost convinced me to adopt a small leopard cub, got me two kutty cats. They were small and fierce, which in itself was great fun to watch. For several weeks, I tried to follow those small feet all around my newly constructed house, jumping shrubs and climbing walls, but no dice! They somehow did it where I could simply not venture or spot. The young man’s curiosity to see some smelly yucky happening remained un-sated. In a desperation to achieve what a crazy mind had set out to, I tied them, bunked a whole day and kept feeding them…. from fish to milk to rice to bread… and by almost night, they were too full to hold back, and they did it on my terrace where I had tied them. Like a sly fox, I watched from behind a closed mesh door, snickering at how much ‘luck’ would change! … And status quo remains thus… And if any rich believer of such stupid tales reads this, please write your fortune in my name asap!
Lesson learnt: Cats shit with eyes open!
Epilogue: For those who caught that leopard bit a while ago….
My gardener, who always had a misery tale to make up for his early morning drunk-ade, once got me two rabbit. Cute furry balls that they were, they seemed to make my single life in a big home come alive. As things would have it, I was forced to leave city, in a matter of few hours, owing to a lake case I was fighting against a big corporation. I was trying to sue them for closing a lake, and in turn, they managed to pull strings and asked local cops to arrest me on a false case. Since I knew the cops, I was ‘warned’ to go missing for a couple of weeks. I scooted to Goa. I remember calling my gardener and telling him that my grandfather died and I had to leave. (If he knew Goa, the fenny would have got him along too!). I requested him to feed the rabbits while I was gone, since he also watered the newly laid plants. The bloke locked the rabbits, without having a key to open the door. When I returned, the poor rabbits lay dead, starved. Their white fur was still inviting to be touched and petted. Anyways… maybe bachelorhood was what was written by an astrologer decades ago, when I was born!
Unable to digest the death of the rabbits, this guy went to his village to source two more rabbits, and as luck would have it, the villagers had killed a leopard a day back. They also found three cubs, when they searched for where a whining noise came from. Our chap picked up a leopard cub and got it home, at about 3 am. I was rudely awakened to see one of the cutest faces in my life. As much as I wanted to keep it, thoughts of skin problems my naturalist friend had when he kept a cub forced me to think otherwise, or maybe it was the early morning stupor of a mood! I directed him to hand it over to forest authorities and promised him a big bottle for doing so.
Lesson learnt: Two rabbits in a locked room is better than one leopard in a drunk gardener’s hand!

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iDroid!

Not very long ago, the world of mobile communication lingered around a few liner screens, capable of showing a limited amount of clarity, pixels and interaction. And somewhere along the line, a slow assuring Boom! brought in a new paradigm of Smart Phones. These phones changed mobile usage for ever. Here are some thoughts of the creep that happened, what it has left us with, and what it can lead to!

All around us, from touch screen printers, to accelerometer technology in aircraft, most of the smart phone features already existed. It took a master chef to gather these ingredients from several sources and cook the wonderful recipe called iPhone!

Whatever the world says, this gadget changed the lives and mobile usage of several millions. A high standard of user experience well tailored with WOW! experiences beyond expectations created the exact Generation Jump that the world wanted just then. The timing could not have been better. An apt open market, easy internet facility, short-term stagnancy in mobile based feature offerings, willingness to spend – all these factors and more, contributed in unquestioned union to the iPhone’s acceptance and growth. Despite the very little learning curve that the device had, the sheer experience that one had, easily drove them beyond all Learning Curve theories that predictions had warned. A touch screen, on a small gadget was a scare for usability experts, citing reduced Tactile feedback and other such qualms. However, to cut a long story short, nothing ever succeeded better!
Adding to this, as a note worth mention, is Apple’s forecast of future threats and requirements. Lets throw a few thoughts on this before venturing into the iDroid context. Device-ware, Revenue-Model (Sales), Revenue-Model (Service), Ware-control, Consistent-Experience, Constant-Growth-Revenue, are some of these aspects. None ever thought so much for any device release. Even when the internet was made public, no one had thought of control aspects like managing virus threats or firewalls. All these were considered as stages of development. But the ‘i’ really thougth thru all these aspects. Lets discuss these in a little detail.

Device-Ware – Wanting to have a gadget capable of offering the world in your fingertips would also require a huge list of applications that could cater to a world mass, all life styles and interests. No organization has a developer mass this big; big enough to make several thousands of applications to suit all demands. So what does Apple do? They turn the world’s developers into an unassigned and unsigned employee list. They get the world to develop apps for the ‘i’! A simple understanding and revenue sharing model (which we discuss later), now has developers in every nuke and corner of several thousand cities across the globe! They all make iOS Apps for the iPhone and iPad. Just imagine what the ‘i’UX would be if not for them! Not that they are not rewarded, or supported; but a simple what if! I am extremely curious to know what was Apple’s Plan B if this were not what it were now!

Revenue-Model (Sales) is fairly simplistic. It is ensuring sales despite high cost. And as has been done in several instances of history, a simple tie-up with a service provider ensures Apple get their money up front, or atleast guaranteed, while the service provider takes the baton fighting rough waters of verification and monthly bill collection for years! Simple, yet tempting and superficially beneficial enough for a large corporation like AT&T to opt for. In the months that came by, several iPhones were pirated and used with Jailbreaks that Apple could really have avoided. How very difficult was it for Apple to introduce online verification into a phone that always requires an internet connection for several of its updates. Apple itself had the SIM-verification-jailbreak technology which is even now sold in countries where a jailbreak is required. This is a simple sticker strip that is introduced with the SIM card, to fool the Who-are-you scanner! Anyways, it was not for Apple to lose, and like several other companies the world over, they too wanted to have enough of the grey market, from an aspiration perspective. This strategy involves converting aspirants into genuine buyers, by allowing a grey sale, getting them hooked on, curtailing service, and ensuring a sale somewhere. After all, every paid app downloaded meant revenue for Apple. When every jailbreak ensures all apps to be reloaded, why would Apple say No to this revenue stream.

Revenue-Model (Service) is a constant stream of income from all raised brow users! … and the several lakh applications that are available in the iTunes App Store guarantees that. The rare connector system of apple accessories also ensure lesser duplicates to be used from what is available in the market. What Apple did not contemplate was the other accessories that several other vendors started making for the ‘i’ devices. There is no royalty that can be promised to Apple. Instead, Apple only sees a probability of selling these in their App Store at an profit-sharing revenue basis. However, the on-going sales is itself a progressive demand-supply wheel that keeps churning revenues. The explicit brand based limelight that Steve’s concern always gets, is another topic of its own.

Ware-control is the most important aspect of the ‘i’ concept. It is this single thought that drives success like no other. It is this unmatched and less noticed identity created by Apple, that will always have others wondering whats missing. More on this later, at an appropriate point when Android comes into the picture.

Consistent-Experience is very much related to Ware-control. Apple experience can remain its forever-WOW only when it has the right Feature-Handshake with Ware-Control. More on this too later.

Constant-Growth-Revenue – is simply obtained when newer faster and better versions keep coming once every while to fill up the top part of a slimy sale pyramid. When the high priced beauty like the 3Gs is sold to the cream of society at rates that make a country’s inflation seem like a shadow, this essentially drives a hunger for the less lucky at lower levels of the pyramid. As affordability rises, and as costs compromise, the lower levels start becoming proud owners. This is when the camera in improved, memory in increased, process speed accelerates and out comes the 4G…. Then its 4Gs, and some time later, the 5G. A constant innovation that has nothing to do with upgrades, retain high sales to high society. The new revenue permits more growth, and the fish keeps eating a tail that keeps growing!
Then comes the developer mass, who cannot make anything for the iProducts without a Mac. So Mac sales are ensured. Mas usage is also ensured, which makes reports on usage based enhancements always show as a success. I mean, how does it really matter to Apple, otherwise, if iSoftware for iProducts was made on a PC? This is a clear plan to sell and propagate Mac usage. A Million hopefuls read stories of a handful who soaked their foreheads in hundred dollar bills, with that one cracking iPhone app…. and ventured into developing products for iUsers, hoping to make their astrology predictions come true. They bought or sought Macs, like how Apple wanted, and soon enough, there is a high priced great hardware product all around us, mostly unused except when a brainwave for a iApp comes to light. These hopefuls also pay anything from 99 to 299 USD to acquire a license to make apps for iProducts. This number should itself be staggering. And why such control exists is something that few will understand, and maybe more, when this blog has ended.

20 percent of a 100 million creating 10 Billion downloads, and being excessively charged into additional revenue stream is also considered acceptable to an otherwise highly adaptable mass of the human race. How much would one question a false 1 USD billing on a credit card requirement, which is a must for iUsers to access the App Store?

Enter the Android.

When everyone sees everyone else talk, do and play as an iUser, there seems be a fathomless pit for everyone to do something similar.  Some say coping is the best form of flattery, while I feel that allowing someone else to grow so greatly is very hard to digest by any other human, manager & spouse included! The enormous success of the iPlatform and iProducts and the letter i itself sends other creative minds looking for similar pies to eat. And out comes Google with the Android. Until then, I always thought of Google to be the best in usability and UX. Maybe they hired the wrong guys, or did not hire the right guys, but a goof up of magnanimous stature happened – one that will make aliens laugh at us in future.

The Android platform was a free platform developed and driven by Google to possibly overtake Apple’s iOS and the flagship that the iProducts had. There were several manufacturers waiting for an opportunity such; something that would make them stand up to Apple, and it did not matter if it was with crutches even! A semi-liquid shoes, with a promise of growing into a knighty armor was thrown openly, along with a set of free crutches, as a just-in-case. When the Android platform was introduced, it spread in three directions. The first targeted the hungry mobile manufacturers to use this free and powerful platform to best use cheaper hardware into much better experience. Based on its architecture, it is undoubtedly the most happening stuff around. With more than 200,000 mobile installations on several types of mobile devices, it will overtake any and all types of OS in years to come. This is pretty much sure, as of data today. But how well the world adapts and seems happy with it, remains a big question. A very big question, with letters as big as an elephant’s head!

Here is where we will see Apple’s approach to a model of Consistent Experience which is closely and inherently linked to its Ware-Control methodology.
Apple created an environment where there is a strict guideline to the experience quotient that has to be built into every app that can go into the iPhone, iPad or the iPod. These iApps and their developers will have to read this model of consistency and standard based charter, and use them in the apps that are developed. These dev guys who keep seeing a green dollar light flash once every 0.13 seconds, will follow, and Apple knows it. Actually, there is no other way. They have invested dollars for a iApp Developer license, on a Mac, time and very importantly on a great maybe-idea. Now they will follow a process, which Apple has set, and which will ensure the Consistent Experience that only iProducts and iApps can deliver. All back buttons, all time selectors, all toggles and all such phonegets are consistent across all iApps, with a huge does-not-matter tag on where it came from, or who. If you would randomly pick an app from the retail – related segment and another from a children – alphabet – related list, a whole lot of interaction design is so very …. consistent! There is no new learning curve or the slightest doubt for an already iProduct user to download and use this iApp. Although the generic use of the application differs greatly between one another, the usage and applicability of these ideas dont! They are extremely similar in all apps that the Apple Store offers. This is the first part of Ware-Control.

In the next stage, all apps require a mandatory authorization from Apple, before it is available on the iStore for iProduct iUsers to iDownload! Here, these apps are tested in various angles ranging from memory utility, processor load, performance analysis, relation to other apps, bandwidth consumption, and other fire-tests. This is the in-house Apple seal that guarantees all apps available on the store to work best on your ‘i’. In cases where the app fails or retards performance in hardware, software or experience aspects, suggestions are made to the iDeveloper to make required amends and re-submit. Genuine advise on how the performance, UI and other aspects can be improved, is marked in the reply, for the gook to consider. This stage of the Ware-Control definitively sets aside all competition that has ever been thought to exist.
We are talking about a Standardization Charter, which is a compulsive part of any UX (User eXperience) process. A charter thus, resolves queries on how cross-browser, cross-application and cross-feature usage of any task flow should be. It comprehensively covers the dos and donts, in a manner that is decisive of a result oriented welcoming experience. The User Interface and coding guide that Apple released to its developers is a much thought of document. It clearly states the different parts of a probable application, the limits set thereon, and the coding process to be followed. A singular entity masters all fellow identities in an entirety based and focused on an experience par compare. The Android guys completely missed this. I mean, more than completely!
When a challenge has to be faced; when a win to be registered; it is ever so common to bye pass required steps of the trade. Its like jumping a signal, literally! Unfortunately, the jump has a very dear fine, some thins that cannot be undone.

Android has no specification that truly controls the various screen sizes and processor speeds that several manufacturers make. It was a race for market hungry companies who compromised somewhere to attain something else. And not having this truly complete product vision brought forth a powerful platform easily accessible, easier to work on, and easiest to launch. And launches did happen, several hundred thousands of those, in a frenzy state of panic fight. These apps, although supposed to have built in features to resize et al, do no work in tandem with other apps on board. For a power user who has several apps on his Android instrument, faces the challenge of adapting to several changes between every app. There is  no certification valid enough to ensure proper working mechanisms like the charter Apple has. Upgrades thru the Android market is never smoothly operational. An absence of a proper feedback mechanism removes chances of suggesting apps to rise up their standard. The free platform gives scope and freedom to any app developer to make something that needs least testing, quick to deliver, and fast to use. The processor and a lighter frame work ensures the Android app to work fast and well, sans what a smart phone should actually have. Somewhere the smartness of how apps work in terms of the WOW factor stands compromised. Additional access to memory and other parts of the phone throw open more and more options for developers to get creative. And all this comes with lesser control than the iOS. The exact control that definitions declare as an advantage when removed; the exact control that lacks in a conversation between two lost money driven souls; the control that should exist when dealing with a disorder of a magnitude that can otherwise not be channeled.

Android will simply grow, and grow, for its basic advantage of freedom. Android gives everyone an opportunity to use a smart phone, based on affordability more than a smart choice. This demand will create the right programming of the user’s mind, to work in tandem to the newly created demand from mere proportions, not a demand from a want of higher experience. The several apps that the Android marketplace showcase are more or less re-makes of what was created for the iStore. The same concept and utility is made in Android. Now, following the leader is not the best, but seems like an opportunity for a new leader; a leader without the poise that ‘i’ provides.

Simplistically, every iApp works great in every iDevice; in contrast with how Android tries to balance several models with different screens, performance levels, memory constraints and the overall appeal. Versions of applications for different phone types are available, but some sort of an 80:20 principle decides which sent of phones the app works best for. This leaves another group of subsets of the lesser-wanted models and their users to always work on a compromised mode.

Apart from the handset agnostic anomaly, variation range in differentiated interaction design and screen flows is matter of factly a handicap for good usability. However, the challenge also seems to be the spice that a majority of users wanted. From more complicated screen locks, which several users themselves forget, to a complex learning curve in operation between several unchecked Android apps, the new found quarry has a lot of hot air that will soon dry.

Similar unchecked propositions have always existed around us, as samples from which we should have picked up. Traffic rules that dont consider pedestrians on highways, to outdated bye-laws that time never revised; these gaps is what renders an otherwise solution as incapable. The iThought thinks thru all these gaps which any semi-professional approach cannot match. However, Android will still overtake with sheer mass power. A History Repeats story from the Mac-PC archives!

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The Chennai Auto Tale.

I was once forced to ‘letgo’ of a very dear person in Chennai airport (then Madras)…. I was so damn depressed …. sitting outside the airport, with very little money… lost in thoughts and afraid to close my eyes, lest I get drowned in my thoughts……
There were a bunch of auto drivers, showing off like rowdy elements…. refusing old people, demanding high charges… there were cops screaming at who-knows-who…. a slight drizzle throwing off people’s plans … a whole lot of things happening! Somehow, none of it affected me. I had lost a lot to feel emotion for anything so much smaller.
One of the auto drivers came up to me and teasingly asked me for my mineral water. I sensed he was coming for it and gave it to him. He then saw me light a smoke. I removed one ciggi, put it in my mouth and handed him the rest. He walked off…
A few minutes later (he was obviously noticing me), he came back again and said ‘Saar’…. He wanted to inquire if I wanted a ride anywhere. I had a ticket for the next morning’s train, and zilch to spend or do till then… Hearing a sad story of lost love and all, he started to be my fan… In about the next 10-15 minutes, he and 4 of his auto-friends, took me on a wild ride all over Chennai… making jokes and trying to make me laugh. It was a cavalcade of five autos, screaming loud, burning rubber and screechingly scaring the few people in the dark empty roads… By about midnight, after several tales of a heart-tearing loss, the ‘guys’ asked me if I wanted to drink. I had no money, but they wanted to ‘treat’ me… they had started to like me, for the simple yet true love I had. A couple of them drove off, to return soon with the cashier of a wine store. they had the shutter opened post midnight, and we had an hour long beer-session. We sat and talked until sunrise, when they dropped me back at the train station. They apologized that they could not stay any longer because they had to return the rented rickshaws…. Selvan and Mani…. Thanks!
Lesson Learnt: there is a soft human in everyone, even auto-drivers!

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