Shifting’s a Bitch but…

When I last moved, I had complained about how shifting is a bitch. This time however, I am using MANY of the things I mentioned about last time.

1. I am taking MANY days to pack.. I have started sorting almost 2 weeks before.

2. I am not taking MANY MANY things with me. Those will either be stored with a someone in Singapore, or sent to India with parents.

3. I am trashing even more things. This is the big one.. As I keep sorting, I come across many things which have no use now, and will most probably have no use in the future.. So what to do with them?? Trash them!!!

4. Scanning most of the documents I need. Bills, IncomeTax stuff, CFP stuff, financial stuff and all are getting scanned and saved to something like Evernote. That way I will have access to them everywhere and not have to lug thick folders around. Now only if I had that Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner..

Hopefully with all this, I should be able to fit everything I need to bring over in the 30Kgs that I am allowed and the box I am going to ship over afterwards. Let’s see!!!

Europe beckons.. and I will go!

Last year in March, I blogged about wanting to to go Europe.

Europe has always charmed me with it’s culture, it’s people, the food (especially the food) and the way people think. It might not be the best place on earth, but I do like it quiet a bit.

Having had a great exprience during my exchange days in Denmark, I have decided to go back to Europe for further studies. I will be studying Sound and Vibration, at the Chalmers University in Goteborg, Sweden.

I’ve always loved to study. My days at NUS were some of the best till then. I am hoping to learn and explore even more things in another area of my interest while I am there in Sweden. Hopefully it will open many news avenues and give me many new opportunies in the next few years.

So yes, a new chapter to my life will start in about a month’s time. It’s a two year course and so I’ll be Goteborg for next two years… :)

P.S. If you’re gonna be in that part of the world, just drop me an email/im and we can surely meetup.. :)

Where Toastmasters has brought me..

This post is a continuation from the last one, to talk about Toastmasters club.. And specically the kind of experiences and opportunities it gave me..

Being a semi-regular attendent of the club meetings (it was first year and I really didn’t have anything better to do), I was encouraged to take up the position for the club ex-co in my 2nd yr.. After much convincing I agreed, and together with my good friend who’d introduced me to the club, I stood for the ‘elections’.

I rememeber, due to some last minute changes, my election which was supposed to be a walk through (the old ex-co had planned it all), I had to stand up against my own mentor from the club. It was a wierd election speech if you’ve ever seen one. Finally, I was voted in as the SAA (Seargent-at-arms) and thus started another ride.

Being in the exco was fun and yet challenging. Managing people was hard, but successful meetings and growing members made us feel really great. We ourselves got loads of chances to become TME (Toastmaster of the Evening) and TTM (Table Topics Master) and as Evaluators as well. That was a great time to learn organisation, logistics as well as communications and public speaking.. Though we did not get to do many projects ourselves..

In my 3rd year, I went for exchange to Copenhagen. During my 6 months there, I managed to attend 1 meeting of the only local Toastmasters club. It was a bilingual club, with alternate meetings in Danish and English. I managed to attend the English meeting and take part in not only the table topics but also be the ‘Ah counter’. It was a very different experience.

The next few years were the busy years. With other commitments, my time in Toasmasters reduced to just attending meetings. Though I managed to attend quiet a few workshops, do a few more projects, take part in a few competitions, visit many other clubs. I was just trying to keep up with Toastmasters rather than acheiving anything.

Last year, two very enthusiastic ladies in my old company decided to start a Toastmasters Club inhouse. I was really excited. I attended all the meetings and was ofcourse nominated for the ex-co again having had Toastmasters experience before. It was great to see a club starting form nothing. We put in loads of efforts to spread the word, get more people in, get them excited, teach them the way of Toastmasters and make them grow.. We had to create the club culture, and induce enthusiasm into the members.

Toastmasters has really brought me a long way. The thing I learnt there don’t just stop at public speaking and communication, but are lessons in life itself. It is there I have heard some of the most motivating and also the most heart-breaking speeches.

If you’re interested in finding our more about Toastmasters, check out Toastmaster’s International. And here’s a list of clubs in Singapore.

How I started Toasting..

After listening to an episode of the The Public Speaker from the Quick and Dirty Tips network, I thought about blogging about Toastmasters.

Toastmasters

I joined Toastmasters in my first year of university. I remember going to the matriculation fair and seeing the booth. Although I did not sign up there. I did keep a mental note to revisit the club when I had a chance.

I had been very nervous of public speaking then. I remember being made to deliver an inspirational speech at a workshop in secondary school. We were supposed to inspire and motivate our groups with speeches, to get them to rise against the other group. While the ‘leader’ of the other group gave a great speech, I, having been “saboed” by my group to be the ‘leader’ made a complete fool of myself by copying the other leader’s speech.

4 months after joining NUS, I joined the NUS Toastmaster’s Club. The meeting was in a tutorial room in the Science faculty. I was warmly welcomed and quietly sat at the back of the room. Everything was going fine, the speakers introduced the club, and how things worked and started of the meeting. And then, they asked everyone to introduce themselves! I still remember the butterflies in my stomach when I it was my turn. I had prepared my introduction before hand and was rehearsing it in my mind. When it was my chance to speak, I stood up and froze. I couldn’t get any words out of my mouth. After muttering a string of words which didn’t make any sense.. I sat down.. This was going to be a looong ride..

It took me another 6 months before I did my first speech at the club and many many more to be loose the fear I had of speaking in front of an audiance. I also ended up taking up a role in the ex-co of the club and hosting many meetings. It was a great experience and it taught me not only speaking/communication skills but also made me conformable is many situations I’d have been otherwise very nervous in..

That’s how I started with Toastmasters.. :)

You can listen to the episode of the The Public Speaker here..

Fools and their gold… #3

OK. I will admit that I really suck at doing April Fools jokes.. and you can “whack” me all you wants for it.. Last two years I did them, and managed to con a grand total of 1 person each time…

This time I conned a few more with the joke about me leaving Tech65. Yes. It was a joke (a really bad one as I realized later..).

I appologize for freaking you out, and thank all the people who gave their support. You guys are truely great friends, and I will never play such a prank on you again.. 

And about Tech65.

1. Tech65 has never over-done social media. Social Media and related fields have became such an integral part of Technology these days that it’s almost impossible to differentiate them. 

2. The multimedia content on Tech65 is under Creative Commons license, but the other things are not. This is a legal issue that we are trying to resolve. We’ll try to make all our content Creative Commons as soon as we find a way. And there’s NOTHING I believe in more than XKCD!

3. Tech65 is run entirely on passion. We don’t make ANY money (or bananas or peanuts). We just love being geeky, and talking about Tech all day. And all of us will do it even if we had to pay money for it!!!

And, Daniel is really a great Editor in Chief of Tech65. He has the vision to grow and direct Tech65 to really help the community and public in with respect to Technology. I really respect him for this. We promise to try our best to keep giving you quality content as we have done for the past 2 yrs.

So finally, Tech65 is still together and going strong. As a matter of fact we are looking at bringing aboard more editors and especially producers to expand the team. So if you’re really interested in joining the team, do email anyone of us at Tech65 and we’ll see what we can do.

I am out of Tech65..

Btw, this was a failed attempt at April Fool’s prank.. 


 

Since Daniel has already made the annoucement on Tech65, I guess I have to set things straight here. I joined Tech65 almost 2 years ago, when I met Jerrick and Daniel at the E-Life Starbucks. I thought they were a really great team, and had the potential of  becoming the Rev3 of Singapore.

However in the recent days things took a turn for the worse, and there have been many disagreements between me and the rest of the Tech65 crew. Thus, for the following reasons I have decided to leave Tech65.

1. Too much Social Media content. I am sick of people ranting and raving about Social Networking and Social Media. Tech65 was supposed to do Tech Podcasts and not discuss Marketting and PR strategies. I cannot be a part of a team who desecrate the ideaology and purity of Technology with things like Social Media, PR and Marketting. And it doesn’t help when one sees such updates to the team and promises for such kind of content.

2. No respect for Creative Commons and Open Source Content. When I initially joined Tech65, I pushed for our content to be made Creative Commons and Open. I believe in these things more than XKCD, and I finally managed to convince the crew last year. However, in the recent few weeks, un-beknowest to me, they decide to change that and got only the audio and video part of our content published as Creative Commons (you can see it on the website). I find this disgusting. Not only do I believe that we should pay forward the good will and the help we’re getting from everyone, but it’s just disrespectful to change things back without my knowledge.

3. The Tech65’s upper managment’s attitude with respect to finance was the last straw. While it’s great to have an organization which is based of volunteerism and individual interest and passion. But it just sucks when you find out that it’s all a lie. I always believed that Tech65 was running as non-profit organisation. But recently, I have noticed a lot of plugging going on in the content. I got suspicious when the same party was plugged recurrently, for no obvious reason. I am sure Hisham will agree with me on this. More investigation revealed that Tech65 was being paid for plugs!! Obvious question of jounalistic integrity aside, I found it hard that while the upper management was making a great deal of bananas (and I will say it’s a sweet deal for this kind of economy), we were getting paid only peanuts!! Even the weekly coffee at GT, is out of my own pocket..

And thus I have deicided that I will leave Tech65 and let this joke of a Tech Podcasting group be.

I am still devoted to provide great commentry and analysis about new an upcoming technologies and hence will be starting a new project in the near future. Stay tuned on this blog to hear more about it.

Orpheus Raga

It’s a great time we live in.. The cultures of the world collide and bring about mixtures and concoction of unrelated ideas, concepts and themes..

When it comes to music, such collaborations have always fascinated me, especially when one party is playing something that’s Indian or related to something Indian (simply because that one music I somewhat understand).

In January, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra of New York, played the piece they had commissioned Pt. Ravi Shankar to compose for them. While that itself is an interesting combination of music and talent, Orpheus also performed the concerto along with Anoushka Shankar, who played the Sitar parts. Anoushka has already made her name in the contemporary Indian music field, as well as the various fusionistic projects she has taken up.

The best part of this project, was the Raga Saga. Orpheus worked with filmmakers Chris and Alex Browne to records many rehearsals and interviews with the various artists, and decided to publish them online, weekly leading up to the concert. It was really interesting to see what goes behind the scenes of such a project. Espcially since we see two great cultures and traditions meeting and working with each other to create something new and wonderful. The webisodes also give us an insite on the challenges faced by the artists and the way they resolved them. Anyone who’s interested in the scientific aspect of music would surely enjoy watching it.

Furthermore, it is really amazing to see musicians using new media like webcasts to deliver their content. Especially musicians in this field. And I am sure this moved has helped. Without this webcast I would have never known about Orpheus or this project, and now I will probably buy the CD if they come out with one..

The usual banter about how industries should use new media aside, I would urge everyone with remote interest in Indian Classical or Western Classical or Fusion Music to check out the Orpheus Raga website, and especially the Raga Saga series of webisodes (you will have to register for a free account. Trust me it’s not THAT hard.. ). The live concert is avaliable for listening at the website also.

What’s this Zii about??

Creative technologies, yes yes.. our DEAR Creative announced a couple of weeks ago, their new initiative. It’s called Creative Zii.. with the subtitle “Stemcell Computing” (which they seem to have trademarked).. and the tagline “Everything you know is about to change”.

creative-zii-1

There were a few more details/speculation which floated around the internet. The first was an email update from Creative, which states..

Read more »

My Babies…

Being in the consumer electronics industry, it’s really awesome to see your work being used by people… It’s the kind of satisfaction you get when you see your children do well in their school…

Anyway, now that all of them have been officially announced…here are my 11 babies…

1. MotoROKR Z6 – The Small starter

2. MotoRAZR2 V8 – The Large flagship

3. MotoROKR U9 – The belated Pebl

4. MotoROKR Z6w – The WiFi that never was

ROKR Z6w

5. MotoZINE ZN5 – The 5MPixl from the past

6. MotoROKR E8 – The radical Omega

7. MotoROKR EM30 – The Local variant.

8. Motorola VA76r – The rugged Monster.

9. MotoAURA – The round Jewel

10. Moto VE66 – The oldest Brother

11. MotoROKR EM35 – The last Slider

Mumbai.. 26th Nov 08..

It’s really sad that I can blog again about another devastating incident in my beloved city of Mumbai.. The last was when the trains were attacked..

While I still want to say what I said last time, I think this track from A.R. Rahman’s from Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, I heard today, sums it up just nicely…

The word “Zikr“,  is supposed to mean the though/rememberance/memory of Allah. But you can think about anything else that incites such devotion/passion/love in you..

Ahl-e-talab aja tum ko bulai ahed Allah
Zikr se budh ke nahin hai amal koiee hai farman-e-rasool Allah
Neejaat milti hai unko yaqeenan karein jo qalb se Zikr Allah
Zikr se sur kat-ta hai Nafs ka beshaq Zikr hai saif-ullah

Zikr aman hai Zikr hai fatah Zikr shifa hai Zikr hai dawa
Zikr is Peace…Zikr is Victory…Zikr is Healing…Zikr is the Medicine

Har gul mein har rooh mein, har shey mein noor-ullah
In every flower… in every soul….in every creation is the Light of Allah
Har dil mein har pal mein reh Zikr-e-illallah
May Allah’s Zikr stay in every single heart and in every single moment

Zikr hai behtar nafrat se; Zikr hai behtar ghaflat se
Zikr is better than hatred…Zikr is better than making mistakes..
Zikr hai behtar hujat se; Zikr hai behtar gheevat se
Zikr is better than arguments…Zikr is better than backstabbing