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Saturday, March 29, 2014

For The Love Of Books

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“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” 
― George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

I love books. I have to thank my dad for introducing me to the world of books; it is the greatest gift my dad could have ever given me.

I am an avid book reader. I love to lose myself in a good book and a well-told plot. I love meeting new characters and connecting with them. I feel their joy, their pain, their triumphs and their defeats. I live and breathe with them. I feel the joy of the raindrops falling across their face, and I enjoy the warmth of the sun caressing their skin. I hear the birds chirp at dawn as they wake up, and I see the leaves as they drift lazily through the breeze while they take that solitary walk in the park. In short..stories give wings to my mind and soul.

At times I almost feel a physical connection with certain characters. I have experienced this intimate connection with the main character of Howard Roark in Ayn Rand’s Fountainhead, I have felt and lived through his pain and understood his way of thinking.

When you read and see the world through another person's eyes, it is quite breathtaking and overwhelming. Everyone envisages and perceives things differently and to actually glimpse into another person's perspective, is fascinating.

I love visiting all those new places a book describes. It is an escape of sorts I guess (not that I have anything I'm trying to escape "from" per se, but I enjoy having the opportunity to escape "into" those new worlds described in the books). I honestly feel that even if you have a great life, sometimes it’s nice to inhabit another one.

I love the smell of old books for some reason that I've never understood. Maybe it is because of the memories they evoke.. Their power to momentarily remind me and take me back to a certain point in my life amazes me. I think the attraction to the smell of old books is rooted in my love of books.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

An App Anyone ??

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Friend on Whatsapp: So what are you doing ?
Me: Trying to book my flight ticket and my return rail ticket for my trip..but my laptop’s acting weird. In fact, my net connection is acting weird too.
Her: But why do you want to use the laptop and the broadband for that ?
Me: (surprised) Huh..? Isn’t that how it’s done ?
Her: Use your phone and data connection to book them silly !
Me: I just google the booking site on the phone ?
Her: Download the site’s app and fact there is an  IRCTC  app too that you can download.
Me: Yes but I need to recharge my account balance too…
Her: Download the Paypal app for that !

Ok…apparently, there’s an app for everything. From waking up in the morning to knowing what to have for lunch and even staying in contact with family and friends to shopping online to listening to your favorite song or viewing the news headlines – there is an app.

Many people now prefer texting to calling and befriending someone on a social network app rather than greeting them in person. A friend of mine cannot complete anything without mentioning it on Twitter and yet another cannot attend a function or holiday without taking several pictures to upload on Facebook ..all this is done through the phone (yes it seems there are apps for Twitter and Facebook too !)

Smart phones are becoming an integral part of our lives and yes to an extent they do make our lives easier, and yet, sometimes I feel that the society is on the verge of forgetting the importance of what it really means to understand and relate to another at personal level.

Sadly, we are relying far too much on our smart phones to connect with friends, manage our money, and even wake up on time. And in the process, we forget that phones can never replace human interaction.  It is pathetic to rely on an App for every this and that, from not finding our way to anywhere without a GPS or an app that “reminds” us to call our near and dear ones.

I truly feel that the phones are getting smarter while we are getting dumber.