The River

Over the rock it flows

transparent and selfless

Can’t stop the river

or kill its glow

It is powerful and ageless

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150+ (or so they say)

I don’t know my age. Someone once told me I must be 150, going by the creases that have sculpted my face over the years. Each and every day of my life when I wake up early in the morning, I’m somehow forced to believe that it might be my last. But, then again, I go to sleep at night with hope hidden behind my thick broken glasses, expecting to see a better tomorrow. I live on a hilltop, not too far away from the ever expanding city, which some years before was not even visible for miles across. Today, I get up, not to the sweet chirping of the sparrows, or to the melodious gush of the river, but to the crackling noise of the traffic, and the roaring engines of the metal-coated cars across the huge tar streets. The fog has now turned into unhealthy air obscuring the clarity of the sky. And as a result, the yellowish-orange morning sun has begun to look brown. And I witness it even after I clean my glasses without a speck of dust sitting on it. Today, the sun rises, but the hope falls. The warmth of the morning now brings a cold wave instead, which chills me to the bone, gripping me with fear till the night comes. Today, the morning doesn’t look new at all, but rather looks like a large shadow of the scary tomorrow. The birds that sing their tunes in sync with the morning’s rhythm have migrated in search of a better habitat, as their safe and serene haven has been slashed and burned for our quintessential needs. Green is no longer the colour that encircles the periphery of my modest residence with dew drops shining on top of the grassland. Every morning, all that stands in front of my dying, searching eyes is a sight I would want to forget the moment I blink. And all that I believe in now is a distant dream that will infuse life back into these colourless, dark mornings that once used to bring heaven on top of this hill. I hope to see that day before my so-called eternal age finally comes to a permanent halt.

Playing With Fire

We are playing with fire
Speaking the truth like a liar
And then there is less water
Yet, people are drowning
Deep inside their plastic lives
Like husbands married to indifferent wives
The fire is wild and is raging
With neither a fire extinguisher
Nor a smiling well wisher in sight
We are playing with fire
In the darkness of the night.

The Flying Rockstars

01

In 1483, Leonardo Da Vinci’s sketch of the ‘Aerial Screw’ or ‘Gyroscope’ showed the world how a basic helicopter can look like. That was enough inspiration for aviation to thrive over the years. Aerospace technology has risen to heights way beyond a naked eye’s reach. Today, NASA’s Robonaut 2 can perform telemedicine to administer care to astronauts flying aboard the International Space Station. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Well, it’s time to drop your jaw. How about someone tells you that a group of tiny robots can fly and create music at the same time in ways never seen before? Yes, you heard it right. Create music.

02

Two graduates, Alex Kushleyev and Daniel Mellinger, from The University of Pennsylvania’s GRASP (General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception) lab have ingeniously pushed the limits of experimental robotics with the launch of their company KMel Robotics. Experts in hardware design and high-performance, the duo present a team of flying robots that may well be the future of surveillance, search, rescue and warfare, but their design can also perform live music that is rhythmic and fascinating.

03

04

Quadrotors, as they are called, are quite capable of agile flight. They can navigate pretty easily in environments with obstacles, comfortably turning fiction into fact. But who would have believed these nano quadrotors would one day even tap on instruments to play songs.

05

The hexrotors create music like playing a single string guitar hooked up to an electric guitar amp, and drums are hit with precision using a deconstructed piano action. Well, all one can say is that these tiny robots are programmed to do big things. It is an amalgam of aviation and creativity, like never before. Alex and Daniel’s modernization is indeed music to our ears.

Watch the video to enjoy breathtaking live music.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qlqe1DXnJKQ

Mother of All Battles

It’s undoubtedly the biggest clash of the tournament – India versus Pakistan. Whenever these two teams come head to head in a World Cup game, people around the world watch with bated breath. On 15th February, 2015, the two heavyweights will lock horns once again in South Australia’s picturesque Adelaide Oval in a day/night fixture starting at 2pm local time. And if the stadium fills up to its full capacity, more than 50,000 people would be screaming for their favourite players and team.

Pakistan has somehow never managed to beat India in a World Cup game. The Men in Blue, however, have always lifted their game to a whole new level after beating their arch rivals in World Cup matches.  Both the teams will kick start their World Cup campaign with this match, so there would be immense pressure on the players of each team to start this huge campaign on a winning note.  And let’s not forget, Pakistan won their first World Cup final in Australia/New Zealand.

The Adelaide Oval’s pitch, it is said, has always been a true pitch; good for batting, but at the same time providing a lot of assistance to the fast bowlers with respect to the bounce and some lateral movement as well. It would be a great contest as India always carries a strong batting line-up in big tournaments, whereas, Pakistan always seems to have a bowling battalion. The green team would definitely miss their ace bowler, Saeed Ajmal, who is out of the tournament due to a suspect bowling action. Mohmad Hafeez, who was included in the team won’t be able to play either because of an untimely injury. With Pakistan’s top batsman out, the openers would certainly feel some serious pressure to provide a good start, and with the spin attack weakened by ICC’s decisions, the likes of Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and M.S. Dhoni would certainly like to exploit the middle overs when India will bat.

This is one match every cricket fan around the world is waiting to watch. Pakistan would certainly love to break the jinx and win their first ever World Cup match against India. India, well, they would be pleased if their winning streak continues against Pakistan in World Cups. History awaits.

Is love becoming a myth? APPsolutely.

All of us know Banksy, though very few people have actually seen him.  In fact, for quite a while nobody did. So, anyway! I saw a video the other day. It was about how social media has drastically changed us, and how it has made us indifferent to the world around us, that also includes our loved ones.

This new graffiti by Banksy says it all. I don’t want to get into the factual numbers, but couples are indeed immersed in love these days, not particularly with each other or with someone else. Mostly with their smartphones. Pretentious love is the order of the day for quite a lot of people in love. Smartphones seem to grab our eyeballs more often than the number of times we even breathe. There have been cases lately of couples applying for divorce because one of them is more interested in his/her tweet talks rather than being attentive to the sweet talks of his/her spouse. Couples are more worried about their phone’s capacitive touchscreen, and less about the caress around the narrow waist or on the broad shoulder.

The stretched horizon, the wide sky, the huge mountains, the tall trees; all of this has become smaller as compared to the 10 inch of swipe-fun. We just refuse to look up, some even while crossing the roads (God help them!). In that video the narrator happens to say, “Smart phones, dumb people!” Now, ain’t that true? It was an eyeopener of sorts, even for me.

Technology is awesome, it really is. If we need to blame anyone for our disconnection with the world around us, we have to blame ourselves. People around us are great GPS, if only we ask them. A diary is more fun to pen down our thoughts, if only we had one. How much joy can a Joystick provide! Field games is the real deal. Water is the best energy drink, don’t you think? Google isn’t the decision maker, you are. Google’s just a searching tool, it’s us who needs to find our next step. I can on and on about how we have drifted way away from our tracks. The point is, we have kind of swept the basics under the carpet, folded the carpet and dumped it somewhere in the basement. It’s that bad. I wonder how many written letters are sent these days. If you want to win a woman’s heart, write a letter, no matter how stupid it sounds when she reads it. A letter is the best known Emoji. Humanity is just in its primitive stage, we all know that, but the road most of us have chosen to go further and fast is actually putting us on a path that leads to a dead end, and we just might smash the wall badly when we get there. I hope we realize that soon, sooner the better. It’s not always about the APPlication, is it?

The Bob Dylan quote

There is a line from a Bob Dylan’s song `IT’S ALRIGHT, MA` and it goes, “…he not busy being born is busy dying.” This is by far my favourite quote, as it keeps me on my toes all the time. Bob Dylan would clearly have something else in his mind, but apparently the meaning is pretty straightforward. What drives us the most is the one thing that we should stick to and pursue in a way till we get a call from the Chief from above. This is what I have learned from the quote. It’s all about feeling alive, isn’t it? Whatever you do, wherever you go, whoever you meet, if you are not feeling reborn everyday, what’s the point of getting up anyway! The quote makes its way in everything I do that I like. It sneaks in while I am driving on my favourite roads, when I am travelling and exploring new places, when I am editing videos I have shot alone or with a friend, when I am writing (even these lines); the quote seems to be there all the time, like a strange ghost that scares you when it’s actually not around.

Bob Dylan has been a great influence on me. His exceptional work has been an inspiration to millions, me very much included. The man even seems extraterrestrial at times considering the number of great songs he has given us. All said and done, the quote will live on inside of me. It has to, I have to be busy being born.