If you are fighting the wrong battle, no matter how hard you try, you will always lose...

Humko Maloom hai Jannat ki Haqiqat lekin... Dil ke khush rakhne ko..

Ballimaran ke mahalle ki wo pechida daleelon ki see galiyan
Saamne aal ke nuKkad pe bateron ke posheede
GuD-guDaati hui paan pi peekon mein wo daad wo wah-wah
Chand darwaaze par latke huye
Boshida se kuch taat ke parde
Ek bakri ke mamiyaane ki awaaz
Aur dhoondhlaayi huyi shaam ke be-noor andhere
Aise deewaron se mooh jod kar chalte hain yahan
Chudi-waala unke katri ke badi bee jaise
Apni boojhti hui aankhon se darwaaze tatole
Isee be-noor andheri see gali qaasim se
Eik tarteeb Chiragon kee Shuru hoti hai
Ek quran-e-sukhan ka safa khulta hai
Asad Allah Khan 'Ghalib' ka pata milta hai.

Pata le ke aaye hain aaj.. Us shayar ka jisne filhal humen deewana bana rakha hai apni shayari ka.. Jisne pechida se shabdon ke beech  zindagi ka falsafa bayan kar diya.. Kuch tasweeren unke haweli ki..

To let something truly possess you, you have to let go everything that holds you.

Ek Khwaish to mukammal hui..

Sham se rukh pe khushi si hai...
Hawaon mein unki aawaz goonji si hai...

Jagjit Singh Live in Concert. Memory of a lifetime...

Destination. Journey. Happiness. Life. Simplicity...

Happiness is not a destination. It's a journey.

So is life... Milestones and whether we achieve them or not is not life... It's about how well you lived...

In that sense happiness and life are analogous. Some would say happiness is life... That life should be about happiness...

"We are what our thoughts make us." Simple but very profound words by Marcus Aurelius. Put in perspective, it simply means we are as happy as we want to be. That our life is the way we want it to be...

It's the beauty that lies in this simplicity we miss while trying too hard to find it everywhere but within ourselves...

Kuch uljhe se shabd, kuch bikhre se khayal...

Jale hue pizza ki bheeni si khushbu... Wo dabi dabi si paaglon waali hansi... Humari hansi... Wo betuka sa photo...

Shayad yahi zindagi hai... Humari aur tumhari... Apni zindagi... Saalon sapne sanjone ke baad haasil hui zindagi...

Us din airport pe kiye the kuch waade... Bina ek shabd kahe... Maloom nahi tha yahan le aayenge humen...

Itne kareeb hain hum aaj... Jaane aur kitne kareeb aana hai... Yun hi haath thame jaane kidhar jaana hai...

Kaise ek doosre mein khud ko samaya hai... Kaise is pyar mein khud ko paya hai... Jaise ab jeena samajh aaya hai...

Windows Essentials

One of the USP Apple claims for its Macs is that they work out of the box as against Windows where you have to pick and choose your applications. And there are millions of those out there. Finding the right fit for you is a matter of chance. I am very finicky about things and so finding the right software and tuning them to my precise need has become a matter of habit. Having worked on Windows for a good 6 years and having wasted a lot of my time finding the perfect software, I have arrived at my own set of applications which make my life easier and simpler. Recently I came across the list of essential software needed on Windows, and I thought it would be nice to share my gyan. I’ll try to be generic and cover as much base as I can, and stick to freeware as much as I can.

1. Antivirus: I prefer AVG Free. It protects against virus, spyware, has an email scanner, and also scans the sites you visit for threats. And it’s free. The virus definitions are updated pretty regularly, so if you make sure its update is turned on, it does the job pretty well, without being noticed, and without hogging resources. There might be other anti-virus software which do all this and more, but they are not free, and they are all resource intensive, slowing down your computer considerably.
a. Pros: Simple to set up and use. Easy on resources (which no other anti-virus is).
b. Cons: Needs firewall.
c. Alternatives: Plenty. None worth mentioning for the simple reason they aren’t so light on resources, and they slow down the computer considerably.

2. Firewall: Zone Alarm Pro. The best out there. Simple as that. Not only protects foreign intrusion, but also protects the OS from installed programs.

a. Pros: Just doesn’t fail.
b. Cons: In the initial days, it asks you a lot about which program to allow and which to block. But eventually learns its way through. Once in a while it might bug you for allowing which program to run or not, but it does its job pretty well, so I don’t think you would complain.
c. Alternatives: None I’ve tried, which seem comparable. Provides overall protection.

3. Browser and Mail: Here I will be a little biased, but then that’s what this article is about. I use Opera for both browsing and mail. I use 10.6 beta, and it is blitzing fast and every benchmark proves it’s the fastest out there, beating Chrome by a small margin. One of the advantages of Opera is it integrates all your internet needs into one small, elegant software. Browsing and mail apart, you can subscribe to RSS feeds, set up a web server, store all your bookmarks online and sync it with all your computers and mobile phones. It comes with inbuilt mouse gestures which is very simple intuitive to use. Once you are versed with the mouse gestures, and know some elementary key board shortcuts, you won’t need to look for the buttons etc, making it very easy and convenient to use.
a. Pros:
i. Browser: Very fast. Very easy to use. Secure. Inbuilt ad blocker and phishing support etc. Speed dial. Bookmark manager. Download manager.
ii. Mail: Very simple to use. Intuitive. Excellent use of labels. Fast. No frills.

b. Cons:
i. Browser: Some sites might not open properly. It is not Opera’s fault. It is the first browser to score a perfect 100 in the Acid3 tests, which means it is the most Web Standards complaint browser there. But many sites which are designed for Internet Explorer might not get rendered correctly.
ii. Mail: No calendar integration. Having an inbuilt calendar would make this software as complete as possible.
c. Alternatives:
i. Browser: Chrome because it’s fast. But has very few customizations. Firefox is there, but it’s become slow compared to Opera and Chrome.
ii. Mail: Thunderbird and Outlook. There are plenty, but these two are the most popular ones.

4. Music Player: J River Media Center wins it hands down for Windows. Better sound quality than most players I’ve tried. Library handling is very good. I have over 120 Gb of songs, and it has no problems managing them, and even the loading times are very fast. Very responsive. Customizable to a great detail. Can sync your iPod and other hand held devices. Ripping etc can be done in all formats. Plays almost all music formats. Can be used to watch movies as well, but there are better players for that. It is useful for watching DVDs because most other players become unresponsive, but this runs like a charm.

a. Pros: Easy to use. Customizable. Good sound quality. All in one media application
b. Cons: Sound not as good as that on a Mac, but the roots of that problem lies with Windows. Some players can claim to have better sound quality.
c. Alternatives: iTunes, foobar, Winamp etc.. None compare...

5. Video Player: Tossup between GOM and VLC. Both do everything, and mostly right. There shouldn’t be anything to complain about, and it’s about your choice. VLC has good display quality, I would say a shade better than GOM. But GOM has simple navigation control. VLC navigation controls are complicated at best.

6. Text Editor: Notepad++. Designed primarily for coding, but very useful even for general text editing. Not much fuss and fanfare but simple and elegant, so a must have.

7. Office Application: MS Office 2007 is the standard across the globe for this, and I would not fight this. It might have its niggling glitches, but it mostly works. Open Office and Lotus Symphony are options, but they are difficult to work and formatting is lost if using cross-platform. Better stick with the standard.

8. Launchy: Keystroke application launcher. If you prefer keyboards more than mouse, this is a must have. It indexes all your applications and learns which ones you use more. So most of your applications can be launched just by typing in a single or a couple of letters.

9. File Indexing: Copernic Desktop Search. It indexes all the files on your system and makes them instantly searchable. It even makes the words in the text documents and emails searchable. It is very useful for anyone who uses lots of pdfs, docs, etc because even if you don’t remember the filename or the file location, you can enter the keywords in the document and find it. Very neat. Very useful. Google desktop search is an alternative, but that uses a lot of disc space, and slows down the computer considerably. Copernic is very light, and uses very little hard drive space for indexing.

10. PDF Viewer: Foxit Phantom. Alternative to Adobe reader and acrobat. Light, low on resources, and most importantly uses tabs instead of windows, so doesn’t clutter your taskbar. It comes with browser integration plugin as well.

11. Chat Clients: I use only Gmail, and Gtalk is simple to use. Other chat clients that I use are Yahoo and Skype.

12. VOIP: Action VOIP. Cheap, and it comes with an application for Symbian phones. Since I have one, I can make a call through my phone using wifi. And its much cheaper than Skype.

13. Archiving: WinRar. Simple. No frills. All the un-archiving options added to the right click options, so very easy to use.

14. Dictionary: Word Web Pro. All you have to do is highlight the word, press control+alt+w and out pops the word meaning, with list of synonyms, antonyms, and anagrams. The dictionary database might not appeal to a linguist, but its comprehensive enough for personal use.

15. Document Backup on the net : Dropbox and dropbox folder sync. Install these, get an account on dropbox, and you can right click on any folder you want backed up and add to dropbox. Simple as that. And you get those files from the net on any computer you want. Pretty neat, and simple to use. And mighty useful, I might add. There are many documents you just cannot afford to lose, and this is the best way to back them up. You never know when a comp crash or a hdd crash can leave you stranded. And the implications. Be safe.

There are a few other applications which I use, but do not necessarily endorse. I’ll just list them –
• Āµtorrent and Vuze for torrent download
• Everest Ultimate edition to track your hardware

They have served me well, and I haven’t had many problems with my machine. It’s all about finding your right configuration. I’ve found mine, and just wanted to share my gyan...
“If you think you understand something, you have not thought about it enough.”
- Richard P. Feynmann

This explains a lot...
And yes, this Man was a Genius. In every sense of the word...

Khud se baatein...

Bahut din ho gaye phone pe kuch likha nahi. Blog pe bhi nahi. Shayad bahut dinon se kuch soocha hi nahi. Nayi job mein settle hone ki bhaga bhagi meinn reh gaye honge. Yahan Barista mein baithe bematlab ki baatein likhe jaa rahe hain. Shayad zaroori bhi tha, kaam dham, world cup, aur ghar bar ki 'humdrum' se door hona. Abhi ehsaas ho raha hai internet se kabhi kabhi door hona kitna zaroori hota hai. Information overkill mein shayad original thoughts kho jaate hain, ya hum bekar ki baaton mein itna ulajh jaate hain soochne ka mauka bhi nahi milta. Solitude, jis-se mera purana rishta tha, lagta hai rooth gaya hai mujse. Khata bhi shayad meri hi hai, main hi us-se chipta firta raha. Aaj barista ke ek soone se table pe, der raat, paya hai use. Man ab thoda shant lag raha hai. Ab jaane nahi denge tumhe, dost. Der raat baramde pe coffee peete, sooni raahon pe car chalate, bewaqt tehelte tehelte mil liya karenge tumse.

Pata nahi, likhne baithe to bahut kuch soocha tha, lagta hai sab kho gaya kahin purani yaadon mein. Haan, ye ki naya job to acha hai. Log bhi ache hain. Kaam bhi acha hai. Itna ki shyad bahut dinon baad zindagi se shikayat nahi. Haan, Minakshi abhi paas nahi, lekin pata hai kuch dinon ki baat hai. Lekin soochne ki baat ye hai ki kya yahi zindagi hai - ek acha job aur zaroorat ki cheezein? Shayad main sawal hi bahut karta hoon. Ya shayad sawal hi galat poochta hoon. Pata nahi...

Coffee khatam hone ko hai. Dukan band karne ki taiyariyan chal rahi hain. Abhi to 11 bhi nahi baje hain. In baaton mein Bombay bada acha tha... Der raat akele tehelte raho, befikar, apne khayalon mein. Car ho phir to raat apni hai... Dilli mein wo baat nahi. Gurgaon to mujhe soul-less lagta hai..

Soocha jaye to kabhi kabhi khud se ki baatein bhi yaadgar conversation ban jaati hain...
Life's meant for better things. Better than having to worry about life itself. Worrying how your life will pan out or will you ever be where you so wanted to be all your life.

Sounds pessimistic, devoid of hope. But sometimes situation seems to overpower you. Make you feel small, helpless. You feel completely stripped of all your senses, thoughts. You feel vulnerable. Meaningless words hurt. You wish no one saw you, no one knew you. You wish you could run away from all this, but you know this is it. This is your life. More you wallow in your pain, tougher it gets. You wish someone pulled you out of this puddle, but no one does. No one can. And no matter how hard you try, you can't seem to get a grip of things.

I don't want to feel this ways. Ever again. Never want to have the sense of defeat, worthlessness. I know winning isn't all. You win some, you lose some. But feeling defeated, that's ugly.

But then, wanting and wishing ain't the way out either...

Complexities of Love...

Come think of it, love is a very complicated emotion. Try asking yourself why you love someone and the answers don't seem very obvious. Or satisfactory. "Because he/she loves me" seems shallow when talking of love. It's not easy to explain love or even why you love someone. Love is difficult. Or seems so...

Hate on the other hand is very simple. It's simple to hate someone, and simple to explain why you hate them. "He did this to me. I want to **** him." It's straightforward. It's easy.

Loving is difficult. That's what makes it beautiful. It's everlasting. Not having a reason to love, no rational arguments, no explanations is what makes it magical. In that way, love can be very simple if you don't try to find a reason for it. But you need to let yourself love. You need to take a leap of faith and trust someone with yourself before you can love or let someone love you. Trusting someone else completely, believing they will not hurt you or break your heart, doesn't come naturally to us. It takes a lot of courage to do that. Probably, that's what makes it so difficult.

Hate might seem very intense at the time, but it fades away with time. True love doesn't. It can't. Once you've loved truly, it stays with you forever. It becomes a part of you forever...
"It's not who we are, but what we do that defines us." Or for that matter, matters.

The original quote is from the movie Batman Begins. The Batman series by Chirstopher Nolan is one of the best studies on human nature and human behaviour. Every scene conveys a lot, but this one has stuck on.

One of those lines which change your perspective in a flash...
I am flawed. I make mistakes. Sometimes inadvertently, sometimes knowingly.
I hurt people. I can be harsh. Sometimes unknowingly, sometimes deliberately.
I brood. I sulk. I prefer solitude. I push people away. Mostly because I can't stand them.
I do what I feel like. Even if I know it will lead to trouble. I am stubborn. Perhaps arrogant.

I want to fly. I know I might fall. I still want to. For the sake of it. To see where I can go.
I love extremes. I dwell in passions. Having something to die for makes you feel truly alive.
I am not nice. I am not good. I am just me. With my idiosyncrasys and my peccadillos.
I don't know how could have I been different. Or better. Perhaps I could. But this is who I am.
This is how I'll be...

The One..

'The One' fought with me the last 2 days for the last line of my last post. And she is pretty good at it too. What? We are 'The One' for each other so we can't fight? Surprise surprise, everyone fights. It's the relationships in which people stand up and fight for it, even when everything looks lost are the ones meant to be. I know ours is. Forever.

Minakshi, you are my life. Those lines were written by a tired, half asleep guy pondering over his life at 4 in the morning. He didn't know half of what he wrote. And he is sorry. For the line, and for the fights.

You and I are meant to be One. Together. Forever. And so it shall be. Love you baby.

Lucky Me!!!

Whether we accept it or not, luck plays a huge part in our life. My hypothesis is that religion was invented to ease humans to accept this reality of life. Faith in a higher power or "everything happens for the good" is nothing but a means of accepting that there are things in this world beyond our control, which we can do nothing about. There's so much randomness in this world, and so little in our control. We might not like to believe this, but we are helpless against most of the things that this world has to throw at us. We can be best prepared, we can fight to our fullest capabilities, but still lose. I guess humans inclined not to believe that little is under our control, maybe wired so, or else we wouldn't have even tried. I am not suggesting that we should give up saying "Whatever I do, it's all destiny." I don't mean that. What I am saying is that we should have the wisdom to understand the limitations of our influence and realize that the randomness of this world plays a major role in our lives. And I say be aware, because that would eliminate the need for looking for answers to questions which do not have an answer other than those invented by us in the form of God et al.

By the way, I digressed a lot from what I had intended to say in the first paragraph itself. Speaks volumes about my abilities as a writer. All I intended to say was that luck (or randomness; I prefer to use randomness but luck is easier to understand and associate with) plays a huge role in our lives. Meeting the right one, let alone "The One" is as much a matter of chance as can be. You might be married for 30 years and then meet someone who you know would have been the one. All you can feel is "What if I had met her earlier..." and you can do nothing about it. And trust me your partner can make or especially break your life.

What you do defines you. And how well you do it, how good you are at it, and how happy you are doing it determines the quality of life. You can work as hard as you can, but if you don't have the aptitude for it, you will never be great at it. You will always be struck in mediocrity and you will just resent yourself, or the choices you made that led you there. Putting it simply, everyone has 'that one thing' he is made for, be it being a cricketer or a teacher or just about anything. Something he knows he was born for, and doing it is the easiest thing in the world and yet you are good at it. You can look at Sachin or Zidane and know they were born to be a cricketer and a footballer. No matter how hard they tried, they could have never become a scientist. I guess the luckiest a man can get is finding that 'one thing', and finding it young, and having the opportunity to pursue it.

If you have found luck in these two things, rest assured you don't need anymore luck. Having it wouldn't hurt, though. If only I could get just as lucky with finding my thing as I did with finding my 'the one'...

No comments

I have disabled comments on my blog, starting the previous one. I prefer it this ways. If the blog is worth a debate or a discussion, I am always available at pallavsingh@gmail.com

Some Dreams...

I believe some dreams are bigger than the dreamer. The ones that can change the world. They belong to the world, to everyone. They should live on. The dreamer owes that to the dream....
Zindagi tujhe samjha hai tujhe kho kar...

New Toy... :)

I guess I hardly ever bothered to blog about objects, let alone my objects d'desire. But this one I am because, well, I am blogging using it. My new toy, Nokia E72.

Simply put, I felt it was the answer to all my gadget woes. Seems so, since here I am, sitting at the airport cafe sipping coffee, swooning to the tunes of Dire Straits, bragging to the world about this sleek toy in my hand.

One of the primary reasons I wanted this phone is because I can take it out anywhere and punch down my thoughts. Many a times I would get lost in my thoughts, feel the need to put it down, but would completely forget about it by the time I could lay my hands on a comp. I am able to put pieces this long down means I wasn't entirely misguided in my idea.

Now this post is about the phone so some critical analysis is justified. It is built like a tank; solid, sturdy feel to it, just the way I like it. Key board is easy to get used to, and soon I will start pushing for speed. Screen is good. Fast proc, so overall functioning is slick. Has a dedicated music chip and i found the sound to be better than my iPod classic. But the ear phones supplied are no good for me. Has active noise canceling, and I am pretty happy with the call quality. As for the cons, Symbian is intuitive, but the interface needs to be redesigned for speed. Camera is high res but slow response makes it one of the low points. But the most niggling thing is the Ovi suite - the syncing software. It is very counter intuitive, slow, and syncing music is a nightmare. But once I have gotten my music sorted, it should be okay. But Nokia needs to get that right to compete with Apple in the smart phone market. I hope they do, because this is beauty of a gadget.

Now I should stop drooling over it, or I will miss my flight...