Oct 8, 2012

Rory Sutherland: Life lessons from an ad man

This is a very interesting talk from Rory Sutherland on the element of perceived value and the real value.
Though the talk could raise lot of issues about the moral values in the realm of advertisement and the emerging world of media and user-generated content, its at the same time interesting to see how we can solve our problems through lateral thinking.

Sep 11, 2012

Proximity of Life : Storytelling through Maps

so.. here goes the "Proximity of Life" story told through maps.. i know... maps.. this morning.. somehw.. i got myself glued on maps and i started marking stories on it. frm place i was born to place i went to school..where i got my degrees and it was amazing how each stories took place in close proximity...... its hard to look into the future.. but i am sure.. maps is going to be a next place where we might be spending more of our time.. exploring places and new stories ... so here i am publicly sharing stories which took place at different location in the map.. the idea is the more u explore this map.. the more interesting stories u will stumble upon.. just image.. if we layer each of these storiess.. the map we create would be full of life...

So yupe.. hope u enjoy few stories which i hv share.. feel free to share.. and like :)

To open in new window or tab click here: http://bit.ly/TNEkUG

Aug 25, 2012

dEsigning a FuTure

We are surrounded by designs - Forms and Functions. And this is area that hugely interests me to think about and talk about. It has most of element which engages one’s analytical and artistic mind. Things like your furniture you use, house you stay are the everyday objects which we deal with. Hence a proper design is very essential. But these everyday objects have such a large scope in our lives that the problem never seems to be completely solved by anyone. There are always a newly designed chairs or newly designed house which seems to solve our certain aspect of problems. Because this deals with both art and science, the scope for any designers to work on the problem is huge.

Image Source :  http://www.designindaba.com

For example, we know that every industrial designer takes on the design of a chair. And everyone has their own take on it. It gives designers an opportunity to play with an idea around the chair. In parallel to the physical object design, we have something called digital design.

There are different aspects of digital designs as well. Just like chairs, we have task management apps, project management apps, email apps and so on. These apps are like fundamental forms of digital life and everyone uses one. Now in near future social networking apps are also going to be a must have app. There are thousands of productivity apps dealing with different aspect of it. Similarly there are many designers still working on that next great Email Apps.

Social networking sites have a lot of issue and this is mainly because of the domination of these platforms by only few. Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter will never encourage anyone to play around with their platforms and take away the users. Unlike email, where anyone can own a separate instance of their email server, no one can have different aspect of their social graph in the internet. It has to be either Facebook or Twitter.

This is one of the biggest challenges in the future of our digital life that needs a solutions. The major problem is that these different social networks don’t communicate with each other like emails do. It has different concepts all together. For example you can send a mail from hotmail to any other mail server. But you cannot send a message from Facebook to Twitter or LinkedIn.

Now this might sound weird that why would one want to do that. But this also shows a difference in the way human personal identity exists in the Internet. It exists in the form of ownership with other networks or platforms. You cannot have a different network of your own. We are already seeing an issue with the existence of one powerful social network platforms. The ownership, the privacy and data issue. One company owning and governing major part of your digital life doesn’t sound fair.

Can this be changed? I am not sure. Other networks like Diaspora seem to have tried to solve it with no avail. I think the solution can lie in the framework. For example every email you send or receive comes in a standard protocol; hence all the services providing such services comply with it. This way there is standardization and variety of application and companies can exist around it – hotmail, yahoo, gmail and so many other independent.

But in case of social network, there is no standard. The standards are only fixed and controlled by Facebook and Twitter. There is no protocol defined for it. But I believe that there needs to be a defined protocol. This way, many services can exist and we can have lot more innovations. The idea is not straight forward but there can certainly be a solution to it. I am not sure how it will look and feel. But I am certain that such innovation will happen, as we are already seeing many independent companies tring to solve it.

Aug 20, 2012

Demand of an Individual

For some time now, I have been thinking to stop writing and give full focus only to thoughts. Take it deeper into my conscious so that it remains safe and sound. I was inspired by the idea of ElizabethGilbert: Your elusive creative genius. The idea is to not let thoughts overwhelm you, so that you can be patience and calm, take my time and still find the thoughts waiting for me.

So this one particular thought “Demand of an Individual” had been hitting me hard again and again. I had taken enough time with it to deal with it deeply and thoroughly. Once I even went far enough to pick a pen and start writing but, I would soon lose interest on it. So I had recklessly put it aside. The problem is that most often, this immense passion comes, passes through you and leaves you strangled. Hence I wanted to know that this idea was not going to do that. So let’s see where this will take me.

Urban Prism by Nancy Eckels - abstract, contemporary, modern art, painting by artist Nancy Eckels
[WARNING: Thoughts expressed are conditional and result ofthought experiment.]

Demand of anIndividual

The idea arose while I was walking down the street and looking at people around, walking through the malls and by being surrounded by millions of THINGS. So far, I have been living a frugal life, I would say. Not trying to surround myself with too many things and instead remove things not worth. It could be hobby, or habit or interest. The idea was to focus and remain that way and challenge the economics of human civilization.

But then here I was asking myself again and again, about demand of an Individual and how this individual is the symbol of modern economy. Everything around you is designed and created to full fill that particular demand of an Individual.

You get up early in the morning and expect electricity to be on, your wi-fi to be on, your latest messages and updates to be available on your finger tips, your email browser to operate as efficiently as possible.There should be no lag while your facebook is refreshing else you will cursethe developers at least few times a day (especially Mark). Remember you still have not got up from your bed and there is already millions of expectation right with in few minutes. Hence to fulfill this initial expectation, millions have been invested on telecommunication infrastructures, data centers and thousands of engineers hired at high pay to just give you that initial satisfaction when you get up. Once you are on your feet, you expect hot water running, your last night’s dishes being cleaned off. When you go to shop, you should be expecting a packet of milk which should not by any chance be out of stock already.You want your morning tea to be perfect. Once you are on the roads, you want roads to be clean, less traffic, less noise, low fuel price and all that.

You see, the demand keeps rising through out the day. I have only started this, but I guess you all know where I am going with this. By the dawn of the day, you return home waiting to be entertained and amused. You spend time watching TV, you expect something interesting to be there. You log into social networks, just in case you might find something interesting. With all the day gone by, you would want every night be sleeping care free and without any problems.

This is just one individual’s daily expectation, basics of living in our modern society. But not everyone has that capacity to demand in this world. This capacity to demand varies across the population. Do you know what I think; the percentage of people who has this capacity to demand might beonly around 1/2 %. But somehow the whole of population work day and night to make sure that these expectations are meet. Our world is really interesting if you look from this perspective.

Origin of Poverty
This is where I would want to link my other thought which I have been keeping safe in my conscious- The Foundation of Human Civilization (I also sometime want to think this has the Origin of Poverty). From my weird assumption, we started as a dependable group of people with healthy relationship and responsibility. But then greed turned this into a civilization with contrast between 1%, slaves and audience (You obviously know which segment I am referring to and why Audience? Because audience is a pseudo 1%).     

Human values
But why am I pondering upon these things? Because this brings me to another important question - “what is the value of Human Being?” Dowe have so much right to demand from our own civilization and if so why? Why is it not possible for us to balance responsibility and create healthy society? Tough questions, isn’t it?   
For some reason, this madness of our world is the model of our future civilization. An engine designed to keep all of us working hard day and night, to simply sustain. As a result of our hard work, we expect to be treated well accordingly. If an individual is not demanding, he is an outlier to the society – a hermit, a recluse or an outcast.

I am leaving lots of things to question and suggestions. But somehow, this demand of an individual is the driving factor of our modern civilization and everything is surrounding it. But with all model this one also scales to demand of a community, demand of a nation. And in every demand there are 1%, audience and a slave.

[Update: Thanks to Jeewan for proof reading :)]

Jul 31, 2012

Why most Entrepreneurs Fail?

Being an Entrepreneur and having walked that path (and still walking), I have come to realize why most Entpreneurs fail. Or in other words what is the life cycle of an Entrepreneurs? And when do most drop-off happen.
First Phase
You start with a complete ignorance towards your surrounding. The only think you have is an IDEA which you love more than your life. This ignorance slowly starts to come between you and the opportunity.

As a result: This experience will either tarnish entrepreneur's faith and hope, or he/she will rise above it and be enlightened.
Second Phase
If you find yourself in the second phase than it means that you have surpassed the First Phase. Now you are more open to other ideas and open to more opportunities. In a way, you feel that you have identified the truth behind running successful business. But as you move confidently, you come across another aspect of entrepreneurship, self-doubt. While moving confidently, you tend to realize that there is something which you have left out in a race to grab opportunities, to increase your revenue and valuation. This will make you disheartened. You feel you have failed yourself.

As a result: This experience will either tarnish entrepreneur's faith and hope, or he/she will rise above it and be enlightened.
(Most interesting fact of entrepreneurship is that in every phase, you come across an opportunity to be enlightened and gain strength.)

Third Phase
You see, an entrepreneurs always has to fight between his doubts because there is no other way he can guide himself along the way to success. It is this balance and struggle between the self-doubt and realization that entrepreneurs learns to trust and make decisions.

At this stage there are two things going inside an entrepreneurs' mind. Is this the right way? Am I on the right track? I don't see any signs?? But then with all the energy and hope, you wait and then you finally see the light at the tunnel of the darkness. "Yes, I knew it was the right path", you will console your heart half satisfied and half stressed out. Mind you that, at this point our entrepreneur is fully exhausted, if he is not than he has been ignoring everything that has been happening around. Learning is a method which stresses our brain to come to a conclusion. The state from confusion to conclusion is a pretty frustrating process because your mind cannot make head or tail of the situation.

You realize the dilemma of chasing an opportunity versus chasing your vision. You understand, it needs to be balanced and balanced in a right way. You take control of the situation and turn it around.

So what is the next phase now?? Well when you are on your foot and you have gone through the experience of life time. You certainly tend to gain your ignorance back. So you do gain your ignorance back and walk confidently again. The cycle repeats.

I find that entrepreneurs move in this cycle where he/she is continuously confronted with complicated situation personally and professionally. It is the overcoming of these hurdles which would teach an entrepreneurs to succeed.

Failure is more of giving up than not being able to attain anything. So in which stage do I think I am in ? Well, there are micro stages of this cycle which have repeated more than 2/3 times. So I would say I am still in the cycle holding myself. Is there an end to it? I don't think so. The speed of the cycle may slow down, but I think the motion will not cease. It will continue in one or the other form. 

Jul 19, 2012

Sustainable community and the reality show Format

So here is the idea which I have been pondering among, " how to build a sustainable community?" An important question, I suppose for all the developing and under developing nations. But this is a question not only among the nation builders but also among brands. Today, brands are competing head on to build a community around its services and products. So what is the right way?

I suppose there are different methods to it. For example, lets take an analogy:

Lets say, I build a house, equip it with furniture and all the necessary resources like food and energy. Then I invite people to come to the house and stay over. I think it will be wrong to assume that the people will finally evolve into a community because this is not how a community is built. This particular format is more like a Reality TV show format, and we all know that this format is not designed to be sustainable but to collapse with time. Because in Reality TV show format, rather than building a community, it disintegrates into one single member - who will be the winner. 

Community is mostly build out of necessity. It starts with few people, there is a reason and context behind their meet, then they communicate, collaborate and create. As a result, they build their surrounding to suit their needs and hence we have a community. This community is more sustainable. 

So what is my point? My point is that instead of investing in infrastructure and resources, the first thing that any community or nation builders must invest is on PEOPLE. Cause investing in people will empower people who will then there by communicate, collaborate and create.

Its like game of life. Currently, there are millions of small communities competing to exist and sustain the changes. Few will raise and fall, few will remain unheard but some will leave a legacy. Community doesn't have to die, but they surely change with time. 

Jun 25, 2012

15 Kick-Ass Bruce Lee Quotes

Bruce Lee was more than just an actor, but a true philosopher as well. His thoughts and sayings are highly regarded by people. This short presentation by one of the slideshare user demonstrates it very well.

15 Kick-Ass Bruce Lee Quotes

Jun 10, 2012

CARGO CULT SCIENCE by Richard Feynman

Adapted from the Caltech commencement address given in 1974.

During the Middle Ages there were all kinds of crazy ideas, such as that a piece of rhinoceros horn would increase potency. Then a method was discovered for separating the ideas--which was to try one to see if it worked, and if it didn't work, to eliminate it. This method became organized, of course, into science. And it developed very well, so that we are now in the scientific age. It is such a scientific age, in fact that we have difficulty in understanding how witch doctors could ever have existed, when nothing that they proposed ever really worked--or very little of it did. Read More

May 29, 2012

The Power of Network

As we move into the networked world and explore more about our nature, we are beginning to unravel the essence of life.  Here is an interesting and well presented fact on what life and a knowledge is? Rather than being hierarchical, time has come for us to think of it as networked. Enjoy.


Mar 28, 2012

Some crazy STUFF : Finding Reasons

During my college, I use to sometime write some crazy stuff out of no where. I guess I really wanted to tell a story like no one else and bring that level of experience. After many years, today I seem to have understood this art better. One of my friend use to tell me that being an artist its a life long passion to understand what works and what doesn't. Keep pursuing it.

For this reason, I had started writing vigorously. These days I am bit down on my writing, but I am exploring it in much deeper sense than before. My diaries were filled with thoughts and only thoughts. Sometime, I would just start writing on my computer and leave it no where. You know, simply write and keep writing. As a result, I did complete one novel :) which related to an experience shared with my friends during one hiking, but I tried to make it mysterious and mythological. Well some day I might share that too :) But for now, I am just posting one very long, almost half baked story which I think wrote almost 4 years back. Enjoy but don't sleep :D
Far way from the hustle and bustle of the city, laid a small settlings. With its beauty, it decorated the whole barren terrain and made it look like heaven. With colorful flowers blooming with happiness, the place had a wonderful flavor in its environment. The place was filled with serenity. Even the noises made by the children and the people blended itself with the nature, sounding harmonious. Each whisper could be heard independently, it was that clear. It was like looking through the crystal ball where you could see and hear everything. This made the place mystical.  

A little away from the crowd, there was a beautiful cottage. It was owned by Miss Angeli that was what everyone called her. She had moved to the place many years ago and had started by being a teacher. She had gained a respectable position in the village. After her arrival, she had managed to change a lot in this small village by bringing the lost happiness and hope in everyone’s life. Now she was on her eighties and was still strong. People found her amazingly cheerful. When she walked on the street, each would greet her and cater help. She had devoted her life to the welfare of the society. But no one new her background and people never cared to ask her. For them she was an angel dropped from the heaven.

As with everything, there was a myth about her life. Some said she was a daughter of god, sent to help; some would say she was a lost child of a god. Everyone had their own version but they were never near to the truth. The truth was as usual far simpler then all the misinterpretation. When she had arrived at the village, she was in her thirties. She was as beautiful as an angle. When she walked on the streets, each passer-by would turn their head to get a glimpse of her beauty. Soon her simplicity attracted many people. She received many marriage proposals but she never accepted them. She did not like hurting others but she had some how restricted herself from involving in a relationship. As the years passed, she stopped receiving proposal. The people respected her choice and never questioned her. Some would interpret her choice by saying a god’s child must stay pure and scared. Though she was respected by many people, she never let any one too close to her. She did not have single friend with whom she would open herself. She lived a life like those of nuns but without taking any oaths or committing her selves to any promises. She was simply what she was. There was no code of conduct to be followed. More interestingly, no one had ever entered her room, except for the little children whom she tutored. When children were queried about her home, they would say things that were as obvious like: “The home is just as simple as she is.” “It’s too normal to be described.” And in reality, it was simple. There was nothing mysterious about her neither about her lifestyle. But as she grew older, people accepted her mysterious life style and got used to it.

But now, after almost fifty years of silence, she had finally decide to speak to the crowd. No one had asked her to do so but she told everyone that she had to tell her story. She said it was the right time. Suddenly after so many years, the lost interest in her lifestyle was rejuvenated. She had planned to talk at the ground of the school. Everyone was invited to it. The garden of the school was cleaned to perfection. The children had all helped to put a big tent under which the talk was to be preceded. The food was served to everyone. It was as if a huge marriage ceremony was being held.

As the time approach for her to speak, the silence started to grow. People were slowly moving towards their chairs. Even the wind had stopped, as if to listen. The place had already gathered a mystical aura. Soon she appeared to everyone’s sight. With her withered hands holding, what seems to be a small diary, she gracefully moved towards the microphone. She had worn a light green sari which matched her personality. Those who had seen her in her youths would say that she had not changed a bit. As she stood in front of everyone, she watched them and slowly smiled. Then she carefully unfolded her diary and started to speak.    

[Image : Took them @ Rampur Chitwan]

Mar 26, 2012

Friendship – a perspective

As I am writing this, I am staying at home simply bored and silent. Only two days left before I depart to Bangalore, I am restless and bored. I look multiple times at my phone book, and simply see no one call, or even if I do I simply decide not to – as I see no point in it. This is when I have this conflicting idea about friendship and what it means to me.

In your life, you come across many people and you spend your certain time with them, which allows you to decide if you would want to continue your acquaintance or not. As you move on, you make different kinds of friends – good friends, bad friends, boring friends, interesting friends and so on.  But as I returned to KTM this time, I was filled with mixed feelings as I was not able to comprehend this relationship of friendship, which was uncomfortably pinching me.

The reason I was simply bored to death to call up anyone was because I felt this urge of responsibility to explain myself to them and justify my actions. As if to say that I was burden with a task to explain myself to the society and wait for their verdict. And if anyone knows too well enough, I hate listening to any such verdict as I don’t consider anyone worthy enough to judge me(and I think this is how everyone should be living).  

This is when I started categorizing friends in my mind and put them into the list of priorities. This is what I came off with.

Cat 1: These are friends I know and have been acquainted at some time. I might have had good experience with them or bad. But I see no point or even slightest urge to even think about them. But I know that some time in my life, I will come across them and even then it would not matter at all.

Cat 2: These are friends that have been good to me and we have had good times together. But now as we have moved along, things have changed and so has our perspective. Hence there is this uncomfortable sense of discomfort in trying to explain ourselves to each other. This leaves me with no option but to simply ignore.

Cat 3: These are new acquaintances and new faces in my life. They have no sense of expectation from me; neither do I have any from them. We are bound by our circumstances and there is no way we can ignore each other. Hence they are my NOW, stumbling ahead learning each day new thing about ourselves. This is my belief that with every new people you meet, you learn something new about yourself.

Cat 4: These are the to-be your new acquaintances. Somehow, I put them in my reserve as I am in no hurry to meet anyone new.  This process of making new friends and being in a phase of unknown land is sometime frustration.

Cat 5: People you wish you would meet. These come between the relationship of friends and siblings. It’s really interesting, because they are not your friends as per say with whom you share everything, but they have a different kind of close relationship which sounds almost like your brother and sister. These are the friends who will remain forever with you because there is no way you can have any kind of misunderstanding with them, nor any fight. They simply are there with whom you can share some ideas and some old times.

Cat 6: Finally I come to my special category of friends. My best friends whom I would wish to be there till the end of me. One of the most important things about being with your best friends is that you can be as honest as you can be. You don’t have to justify to them neither wait for any approval from them. They have complete faith in you and you have in them. You can call them any time for a coffee and they will not ask why and where. They simply know it and when you meet, there is no social pressure to speak or communicate. You can be yourself, be silent, sip a coffee, look out to the world and say bye. Isn’t that what your best friends would be like, whose presence just makes you feel comfortable?  

As I was writing this, I had to break in between and accompany my dad to visit one of my old grand-dad whom he usually takes me to whenever I return home. He says that the grand-dad had helped him during his early struggling times. It was only when we reached his home that he mentioned about the death of the grand-mom whom I never saw, or if I ever did I would not remember well. 

Anyway, when I met the grand-dad, he had traditional local nepali newspaper in his one hand and a large magnifying glass in other hand. He was peering with his weak eyes into the latest political gup-sup. I think this is one of the most common traits of an old Nepalese man, who are continuously aware of every political ups and downs.

There was a sense of satisfaction in his eyes, when he saw my dad. I was on the other hand just an observer. There was a long silence and then the grand dad started to recall the last moments with grand mom and how he still feels that she is some-where up-stairs. As we grow older, we gather much more wisdom and begin to understand life better. At the middle of all this conversation, he mentioned something which really touched me. He said something like this, “I am glad she is gone because if I had gone before her she would have to face a lot of trouble. Now I can leave without any worry.”  These words just remained with me as I was returning home.

I think in this whole perspective of life, you would really feel pain of leaving early and leaving your friends behind. But the other ways also would be a lonely road.

[Image : Took them @ Rampur Chitwan]

Mar 23, 2012

Darn this heart, never falls in love.

Darn this heart,
never falls in love.
Only comprehends,
and skips its job.
Oh heart, why
don't u fall in love.
Rather than just
run and hide in the dark.
Darn this heart,
never falls in love.


[Photo Location : Rampur, Chitwan]

Feb 5, 2012

Love and Passion

Been a while, I posted anything. So thought of dropping some thing on love and passion. We all grow up trying to understand what love is and what it  means. We stumble upon attraction and then slowly grow to understand layers of emotions and layers of complexity within it.

Then we start pondering upon the existence of True Love. Does it exist? I remember one of my friend asking me if it really exists like the ones in stories and movies. Lately, I have come to realize that it certainly does exist. But not in a sense of a girl and a boy, but more in the perspective of life.

To understand, we have to see what it means to be in love. I simply think it is the passion and nothing else. Having a passion is a real thing and not made-up. People have passion for lot of things and pursue them to eternity. We have heard of it from our history. Passionate people either changing the world.

So if you are passionate about something, you are in love with it. Its your life. So yes True Love does exist. The existence of emotion is real and authentic. Similarly love between people could also be very real, to identify it, you simply have to ask if you are passionate - thats all. You are passionate about something because it makes you feel happy, and gives you a reason to live on. Some people find their passion in what they do, some people find passion in some other people.

Passion is the foundation of love.

The day I dreamt of becoming someone

Reading a story is like pealing an onion, each chapters reveal new secrets and show their hidden layers. Everyone has their own story to...