Sunday, 15 September 2013

The Future of Retail

Today is just another normal day, a very normal day in the year 2030. Bill is still sleeping soundly in his bed with his wife in his arms. But in a few moments he will wake up to one distinctive sound, the sound of his morning alarm. No sooner had we said these words the alarm has went off and has woken Bill as it has did dutifully for the last innumerable years. Strangely his wife has not stirred at all, and bears no expression of having heard this demonic noise. The wonders of technology have been able to deliver this amazing piece of essential technology, the custom alarm. Not only does the alarm be configured to the time and date and need but also to the person whom it is intended for.

Bill lazily made his way to the fridge to get his morning drink. A doctor has had given him strict instructions to limit his choice of drinks to a selection of fruit juices. Thanks to his over loving wife he was in no way able to sneak in anything remotely alcoholic. He started missing his old friend, the one that did not have a brain of its own and one that did not betray his every move to his wife. The fridge he was about to open was in fact the very latest in its kind a true design. The manufactures with a tie-up with the leading online retail giant was able to make the fridge so intelligent that replenishing his fridge was a thing of the past. He never remembered ever putting anything in the fridge anymore. The online store did it for him. Whenever he was low on anything the fridge would order them automatically and the store would replenish them for you. It used to work with alcohol too but unfortunately his wife had keyed in his health details and the evil doctor okay it and by doing so have compelled the fridge to make up its mind to stop his drinking altogether. The fridge just doesn't seem to get the fact that it was he who was paying the bills.

Sipping his juice bill slowly moved to his new couch, there was something fascinating about the way he bought the couch too. He didn't have to wander through multiple shops, scrimmaging through millions of models to select this one. He bought it with the help of SmartShop .  SmartShop was what could be called an integrated shopping system that helped him visualize how each piece of furniture would actually appear with the help of holographic display. He actually got to try on various couches and how they would go with the room. Kind of like the way he remembered his parents used to shop for clothes back in his childhood.

He leaned on his couch and stared at the wall for a long time. Anyone from half a decade ago would have thought that he was meditating. He slowly but quite audible commanded a virtually invisible TV to open channel 467 and instantly his wall transformed into one gigantic flat screen and started showing him the news he asked for. Of all the wonders of technology that had encroached on his life, this one was his favorite and for good reason too. But unfortunately it was his wife’s favorite too. Every good thing has a turn off, some fine print here, and some fine print there. Suddenly his eyes fell on the magnificent pair of jackets that the guy in the TV was wearing, that was what he was looking for, exactly the same one. He ordered the TV to pause and looked at it once more with awe. It was so beautiful. He wanted it and he had to get his hands on them. They were just perfect. He clicked on the shirt and instantly launching a million bits of electronic data to every possible vendor on the face of earth and may be a few on moon and mars, searching over numerous brands and their specific designs to find a near perfect match for Bill. A flutter later the wall has transformed into a virtual store with all the different results that was found.

A virtual Bill, more commonly known as the avatar took center stage on the screen and readied himself. At the tap of Bill’s each fingertips, the other Bill started trying each of the various items as Bill wished to try on. He flaunted his looks in the new clothes in front of himself. He scrutinized and he even asked a couple of his friends who were also awake at that ungodly hour for their conflicting opinions and finally settled on a specific piece that he liked. He made the purchase and was sure that by the time he got himself a bath and walked up to the front door, his new clothes would be there waiting for him to try it on.

Just then his personal assistant reminded him gently that he was getting late and his boss wouldn't be very happy with him if he got late today too. This intervention by his trusted digital secretary of sorts stuck Bill as weird, after all how long would he have spent sipping Orange Juice. Apparently very long if the assistant has to be trusted and there was no real reason to doubt the assistant now. He rushed to the bathroom and had his bath, groomed himself and readied himself in the meager time he was left with after his tedious morning activity of sipping orange juice. As he was coming back he found his wife in the kitchen and on the table was a package.

She must have heard his steps, for she turned around as he approached and soon a delightful smile spread on her face. She came close and kissed him and wished him good morning.  “By the way, Dear! This came for you this morning she announced.  He knew what was inside and he also knew that his wife would chide him if she found out what was in it. He smiled at her and parted with her after some exchange of confectioneries. That was  atypical day in the life of Bill, A typical day in the year 2030.

Courtesy : +Parvathi s - The Idiot who helped me edit this one.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

The Man Who Made The Chocolate Factory

Do you know ho made The Chocolate Factory, in whose fertile imagination sprouted the fantastical world of Willy Wonka and Charlie Bucket? He must have had an extra-ordinary mind. Indeed he had, in fact in his mind was born numerous worlds of magic, he gave birth to the BFG (The Big Friendly Giant) and Matilda - the sweet. His name was Roald Dahl and he was so amazing that they went and named his birthday after him as Roald Dahl Day. Oh! By the way, that was today.

I cam upon the books of Roald Dahl by accident and my first Dahl book was "The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar" and that too because the cover looked childish and I was looking for a nice little story to keep my mind of other pressing things. Thus serendipitously have I been introduced to the magical world of Roald Dahl and the fantastical reality that he weaved around one. One book led to the next and in a short span of time I have had read numerous books of Roald Dahl and was by then totally enamored by his genius.

The books of Roald Dahl and the caricatures and illustrations of Quentin Blake were like Siamese Twins, inseparable to say the least. In some level they completed and complemented each other. His illustrations paved way to the visualization of Roald Dahl's stories. They together filled the heart of every child that touched them with magic. 

It is a promise that I have somewhere made with myself and the yet to be born souls of my children that they will know this magic that has fascinated me so much. I would show them the beautiful world of Roald Dahl and let them explore the magic there. I will let them be inspired and I will watch there imagination kindling. Just like mine was and I wills hare with them the magic of this world and that of Roald Dahl. 

The Books of Roald Dahl I have read

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Book Review : The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

How relevant is the humane-ness of the detective in a mystery thriller. Be it Sir Doyle's Mr Sherlock Holmes or Miss Christie's Miss Marple or Mister Poirot, They all seem rather the fictional and idolized images of the divinity of justice than the human detective. They are never explored for their emotions but they are celebrated for their cognitive reasoning. 

I wonder, had miss Rowling not put the truth about her being Robert Galbraith and not trust a hefty and unfair comparison upon mister Strike from Master Potter, Mister Galbraith would have gone to be celebrated as one of the finest detectives of this era and worthy to be placed in comparison with any of his fellow detectives. Unlike them he has a character, he has a humanity about him that the others lack. He sounds one among us rather than one among the angels of justice.

What seems now be seen is whether there will come another installment in the life of Mr Strike and whether he will rise to become a series or shall the competition from the fantastical Potter and his band of wizard become too much and Would Mr Strike suffer a terrible death or even worse a demise of character. I shudder to think whether this publicity stunt would have unwittingly spelled the end of what would have been a fine detective series and a success by its own credit.

The one thing that I again and again say that I find unique to Rowling's writing is the sense of character she has bothered to give Mr Strike without compromising on the mystery though tried and tested as it has always been in the genre.

I would happily recommend the book as one of the finest mysteries I have ever read and when not viewed in the glitz and glamour of Potter, Mr Strike is a superior detective and a fine example of Miss Rowling Literary and Creative skills. Though slow to catch on the book itself is interesting, captivating and addictive.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

The Memoirs of a Dream


Hi Honey!

What are you doing ?

Nothing dear. Nothing at all.

Then why did you close your laptop when I came in?

Oh! Hmm... Just like that. I thought you were saying something.

Don't think I am a fool. I have been seeing you for a long time now. In fact I know you from such an young age. Tell me what were you doing in you laptop and why did you close it when I came in.

I told you its nothing, It was just some job related stuff.

Hmm... Don't tell me you were watching...

NOOO! I promised you right, I don't watch it now a days.

Show me!

Oh! so now you don't trust me at all? right I should have known such a day will come. I knew it ever since I married you and even before that when I was in love with you. But why dear? Why?

Oh! Honey, I didn't mean to hurt you.

I know but....

I am sorry honey, Do one thing I will get you your favorite coffee and will watch news with you. Okay?

You will do that much for me?

Do you want more sugar or not?

I do, I do. 

*gasp* Phewwww.

Three days before

Arun, Help me out buddy.

What happened now?

Nothing happened but if I don't do something now, Something definitely will happen to me.

Did you promise Ammu something and then not do it?

Not exactly, But our first wedding anniversary is just around the corner and I have nothing at all planned.

He He. Oh god! you are done for.


Okay, Okay. Hmm let me think ... I think you should do something special.

Yeah! I don't need you to tell me that? :P

Do you want my help or what?

I do, Do continue Maharaj.

Why don't you go on a holiday?

I wish I could take her abroad, you know she has never been any where outside India

Of course I know that idiot.

But that would be too costly, especially when its so near by.

Why don't you try, I think John was telling that it is a beautiful website and things come cheap online these days.

But how do we know? I mean can we trust them.

Good John is here why dont you ask him directly.    Arre! John. Do come here.

We will ask him about the details and he would know more about it.



Hey Guys! 

John, Arvind wants to go on a trip and I was just telling about the wonderful time you had with Why don't you give him the details.

Oh about that! It was such a wonderful time, We went to Thailand and we booked a package through Such a good service they gave and everything was taken care of.  I started by...

After one Month

Me and my wife, walked out of the Changi Airport for the first time in our lives. Our heart was beating so fast as the moment we have waited for a long time has come at last. I had promised my girl friend once in our college days that I shall take her to Singapore and today I was making it happen.Finally I had kept my promise after all these years. And for her it was her childhood dream that was about to come true. She had always wanted to step into the world of gardens and beautiful streets that had donned her magazine clippings. The places she so heartily carried in her little heart for years together. Just as we were stepping out into the city, she clinged to my had and her eyes were fixed on the arrival gate. There was a mix of anxiety and wonder in her face., Her eyes were dancing and I could hear her heart beating. Together we walked slowly and carefully to the entrance of our dreams.

Five days later

We were back at the the amazing concrete city in itself they call the Changi Airtport once again. We were once again moving slowly through the gigantic path ways, if it was because of anxiety and excitement we were slow up on arrival, it was out of reluctance to return to the real world from this dream that was slowing us now. The last few days were splendid,from the flamboyant rooms in the expensive pan pacific to the opulence of spicy south Asian cuisine from Chinatown. The rich and vibrant colours and the flaming dragons that adorn the very nature of Singapore. The beautiful parks and the many hours spent staring at the beautiful harbor. Te mesmerizing esplanade and the walks through its many gallerias. The nights in its busy streets and the coziness of having her in my arms. This much needed trip has not just refreshing but did also rekindled our love in many ways that imaginable. There is so much to thank for, but not the least of them is the amazing offers that they gave, which made our dream a reality.

This post has been written for the "Creating Happy Travellers!" Contest by in

Monday, 2 September 2013

A Girl in the Morning

“Molle…, Wake up, it’s already past 8’o clock” came the shrill angried voice from downstairs.

There was a murmur that followed but she did not catch that neither was she bothered to. She was lying on her bed with her eyes fixed on the ceiling, there was an old rickety fan spinning and suddenly she was conscious of its rhythmic noise. She wondered whether it always sounded so mechanic and artificial. Soon her thoughts shifted to the day, it was a day she was long waiting for, she did not know whether to be happy today or to be sad, but she definitely was anticipating the day for some time now. This time tomorrow…

Her brief reverie was broken by her mother’s voice again, this time it sounded closer, louder and angrier. She decided that it is time to move on and reluctantly moved out of her bed with great pain and visible stress. She longed to be back in the bed, the bed that has for always been a solace to her, A friend who was their when she was getting cold and when she was sad. Her longing was only aided by the fact that the bed looked so warm and cozy in the chilly winter morning. She looked out of her open window and she could see the brief outline of mountains far away, clad in mist. Her own little garden was looking beautiful today.

Lazily she walked in to her bathroom and started searching for her brush; she found it in its usual place and slowly pressed out a bead of tooth paste on to her brush. She took a deep breath and started brushing, in one giant leap of energy after some thorough and well-practiced moves she was done with the brushing. She washed her mouth and threw a handful of water at her face. As the water receded from her face and as she opened her eyes, she found herself staring at her reflection. The next instant she was lost to this world once again.

She was beautiful, her eyes were big and suited her face, in another face it would have been ugly but not on hers, they were simply made for her. Eyes moved over every feature in her face and slowly rested on her nose, she had a pointy nose and on her small faced looked pointier. She gave out an involuntary chuckle as she remembers him teasing her about her nose. He always teased her and she would always turn her face away from him and pretend to be offended. It was just one of the many quirks they entertained. 

Yes! He, he was the reason for today’s dilemma. She knew she was to be sad today but for some reason she was not and even felt guilty sometimes for feeling excited and happy thinking about today.  She would reach there by tomorrow and he would be there, h would shake hands with her father and smile at her mother and skillful avoid her only to stare at her a moment later. He was such a sucker when it came to her, stupid almost always. There was a smile slowly creeping on her face and colour flooded her small cheeks. She wondered whether he would notice that she had become a lot healthier these days and her bony appearance was replaced with a healthy pinkish glow. She though he might, and he would be happy seeing that too. She wondered how he would look, she had seen him on Skype a million times but she wondered how ...

She suddenly stopped and started feeling guilty for feeling too happy today, she should be feeling sad not happy. She was to leave her parents today and go to Chennai by the evening train. She quickly finished and steadied herself, she took and deep breath and exhaled sharply. 

Moments later the door in the mirror snapped and closed, but her breath was still left on the tiny mirror slowly evaporating and moving away. It would be sometime before she would come in the mirror. The mist slowly turned to dew and tickled down the mirror, For a moment it almost looked as if the mirror was crying.
This post has been written for the "The Character" Contest by Harper Collins in
In association with Jacob Hills.