How my laptop stickers gained me new friends

I often work while sipping some coffee at Starbucks. The coffee is admittedly expensive, but pretty decent to get work done. Mainly because they give decently fast WIFI and also they get the lighting right.

Once such day, someone approached me. He was wearing a “something very nice about Open-source” t-shirt. He introduced himself and asked if I worked remotely. He handed me a card very formally, told me that his wife runs a co-working space in the same building and I could check it out.

I took the card and later visited their website. Reserved-Bit came across as a very hacky, open and friendly space to co-work in. So I signed up.

Many days months later, I have had several good discussions with them over politics, feminism, equality, education and most often on open-source culture. They revealed to me later, the reason they approached me in the cafe was because I had “WordPress” stickers on my laptop.

The stickers meant I was a fan of “WordPress” and by extension possibly a fan of open-source. Long story short, the kind of people they wanted to co-work with.

The good friends I made in this story are Siddhesh and Nisha.


Taking down notes!

I came across an article about the famous and controversial billionaire Richard Branson. He apparently is one of the few powerful men from the corporate elite who take down notes during meetings.

No matter how big, small, simple or complex an idea is, get it in writing. But don’t just take notes for the sake of taking notes, go through your ideas and turn them into actionable and measurable goals. If you don’t write your ideas down, they could leave your head before you even leave the room.

Richard Branson’s blog post

Branson makes a good point about why men and women both should be taking notes – and certain activities at work should not be identified with gender.

But in addition to promoting gender equality at meetings, it is a really good habit to form. It seems like a waste of time when you go through a long interesting discussion and then forget about your ideas and reference points. Why keep this just about work?

We should be really writing down notes every time we discuss something interesting with even friends or family.


APJ Abdul Kalam is a very wise man!

Over the years I have ended up being a fan of Former President APJ Abdul Kalam. In recent times, no person who has held political office (though Presidency is pretty much a ceremonial role in India) has the sort of connect that this man has. I was catching the late night news and caught a story about Dr. Kalam visiting the International Book Fair in Delhi.

Just out of curiosity about Kalam and the Book Fair, I decided to Google him for some latest news. Two links that I came across showed why he is such a wise man.

Let children choose their subjects

Let children choose the subjects of their choice. They will excel, if they study something that they love

Simple enough?

Turn students into autonomous learners

I have met 13 million youth in India and abroad, in a decade’s time and have learnt that every youth wants to be unique. However, the world around you, is doing its best, day and night, to make you just everybody else.

Interestingly, he seems to be the only public figure in India who talks incessantly about education.


R.I.P Dev Anand [Khoya Khoya Chand…]

DevAnandFeeling sad that the legendary Dev Anand has passed away. He was someone who stood out for acting in movies that were not just entertaining but also off the beaten track. He was also someone who was working until the end of his life, at the ripe old age of 88.

Being unique was his trademark and he summed it up in a quote during an interview on Times Now.

I did not like borrowing ideas because it makes you feel second rate and I wanted to feel first rate. ~ Dev Anand (1923 -2011)

Khoya Khoya Chand– Kala Bazar


League of Extraordinary Geniuses!

As the Nobel season is around, I thought of sharing this amazing photograph with you. I came across this photo on a blog post and really wished, I could get a time machine, go back in time and listen into to what they were discussing. All of them are geniuses but quite a few of them are immortally famous.


Click on the image to see full enlarged version

The photo was taking at the Fifth Solvay International Conference on Electrons and Protons in October 1927.

Image Credit: Centered Librarian

PS: Einstein remarked “God does not play dice.” Bohr replied, “Einstein, stop telling God what to do.”


The Anurag Kashyap Effect!

Anurag_kashyapIf I had to list my favourite Hindi films from recent times, they would be Black Friday, Satya, Rang De Basanti, Dev D and a few more. But the name of Anurag Kashyap keeps floating about in most films I have liked. Either as a script writer or director or even as producer.

I am not a fan of Anurag Kashyap the person, as much as I am a fan of films he has been involved with. I do not know about his philosophy or his struggles. I have never really tried to search for such information nor have I easily come across it.

Another actor I am a big fan of is Robert De Niro; again people hardly know much about his private life. But he still manages to have millions of fans. They are not exactly his fans but fans of his work.

These are not people who are celebrated but these are people who choose to have only their work celebrated.

The point here is, this sort of popularity has nothing to do with talent or ability, but to do with choice. In other words, being a private person is choice and not necessarily an achievement or a personality quirk.


Kishore Kumar the Genius!

Kishore_KumarWay back in 93, I was still a kid and did not know much about old Hindi songs. I bought a cassette titled ‘Kishore Kumar’s greatest hits’.

That was it. I was hooked on to the Kishore Kumar’s voice and his music. An actor, director, song writer, music director all rolled into one.

If he were alive today, he would have turned 82. Well no use writing a bio of the legend, so decided to make a YouTube playlist of some of my favourite songs. Let me know which one was your favourite Kishore Kumar song?