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Unbelong to Belong

Flesh, Blood and Awesomeness

Horror of Children’s rhymes

In the last few months, my life has changed in awesome ways. We bought and moved into our own house which is a great feeling. To top that, I became a father in Jan of this year. Atharv has been a delight who instills pride and sense of dread as to what kind of dad I will turn out to be. But this post is not about parenting but about one of the aspects of me being a father that I find appalling.

Atharv likes being sung to when he is about to sleep. The songs he wants to be sung changes every few weeks. Initially, it was Achutam Keshavam by Ankit Batra which is an amazing rendition. Do check it out below.

Achutam Keshavam

Over the past few weeks, he has gotten over it and since then, his new favorite song is “Five Little Ducks”. This song horrifies me simply by its existence. Like who in their sane mind made this rhyme up. The first para goes as below:

Five Little Ducks went out one day
Over the hill and far away
Mother duck said Quack, quack, quack
But only Four little ducks came back

Say what!!! There’s one missing duckling and the mother duck is fine. She even allows the remaining ducklings to go out until none is left before she makes the effort to go find what happened. What even is happening.

Then comes the Five Little monkeys rhyme. This one makes me  positively call the Childcare Services. Monkeys jumping on the bed, one falls and injures himself and the doctor just says no more jumping on the bed. He should be advising the mom monkey to not allow the baby monkeys to jump. Just imagine the insurance cost or cost for doctor’s visit. Enough to make a deep hole in the pocket. I mean why is the doctor so indifferent to the irresponsible parenting on display. Let us not even go into having five kids.

If the first 2 rhymes were examples of parenting done wrong, the next one is going a step further. What goes further than parenting mistakes, it is exposing kids to violence in the form of the innocuous rhyme “Baby Shark”. We go to lengths to keep kids from being exposed to violence in visual media but gladly do that in the form of rhymes which they remember for a long time. Yikes. I didn’t exactly explain what is going on with Baby Shark yet. Baby Shark introduces the Shark Family of Baby, Mom, Dad and Grandparents. Lovely, right. Too soon, too soon. Right after the introduction, Sharks go hunting causing all other fishes to flee. Sheesh. And here I was thinking that this is a nice enough rhyme.

So Swapna has no objection to expose Atharv to these horror rhymes as he drifts into Dreamland but she will yell and scream if I expose him to Japanese Anime such as Baki. SMH. Let us maintain one uniform standard where kids do not exposed to these rubbish rhymes and instead grow up listening to more wholesome rhymes. So, which ones do I consider wholesome, no clue, if left up to me I would rather make it a karaoke session of Hotel California than sing these rhymes. Until such time he doesn’t grow out of these rhymes, I am forced to comply; not to mention that singing these a few hundred times has made me forget all the bands and albums I used to listen and groove to. Instead, singing Five Little Ducks has become muscle memory and I can rattle the entire rhyme without even waking up.

Till next post.
Nik

Electric Cars are going to change movies… forever!!

Well, we all hear everyday that Electric Cars are changing mobility in terms of carbon emission, full self driving, reduce accident rate etc. One of the aspects none is talking about is that Electric Cars are going to change the way cars are depicted in movies in a big way.

Imagine James Bond driving his Aston Martin DB9 fast on a winding mountain road being chased by a villian in an equally awesome car except that both are in electric cars. They could set the cars on Full Self Driving mode and concentrate on shooting at each other while the car navigate the curves on its own. Sounds exciting… Not so much. At least for me.

There will be more Fast and Furious type drag or drift sequence but no more cross border run scenarios with strapped on gas tanks for added mileage. Instead, there will be a series of stops for quick charging at supercharger like stations and more fight sequences at charging stations.

There will also be less shoot-at-the-dripping-oil-from-car scenario and instead more shoot-at-the-battery-pack scenarios with the big blow up of cars replaced by exploding batteries flying through the car.

Not all change is for the bad, there might be montages of Bond sipping on his Vodka Martini, shaken not stirred when he is relaxing in his car waiting to arrive at the villians lair than arriving sober and having to fight before relaxing with his Martini. Also, instead of movies jumping 8 hours to show start and finish of journey, they might show scenes when car is getting charged and the actors are doing something else. Or instead of figuring out which direction, the villains have taken off into, police might ping the superchargers and find out exactly where they are. The movie script writers may finally have to make the movies a wee bit more realistic in terms of what they can do with cars and what they cannot.

With all said, one thing is for sure, Electric Cars are coming to the silver screen and will alter the way, movies depict cars and car sequences.

Nik

Passing Peak Humanity

I have been on Twitter for close to a decade now and in that time, I have seen it change from a place where it was cool to hangout to where negativity abounds and people are manipulated into joining camps. However, for all the times I have spent on Twitter, it has served as a portal where I can also get a lot of news that I would have never normally come across in my daily life. This has actually helped me in ways unknown to me and in forming my world views. Some good, mostly bad.

Coming to why this blog post, a few days back. I was contemplating how things are regressing back to what they used to be instead of what they could be. It was a quite simple trigger actually, perusing the evolution of vacuum cleaners in the 1960s. If we already had all the tech to put a man on the moon, invent vacuum cleaners and various medical devices, why are we not growing exponential but actually regressing.

Around us now, we are now planning to visit the moon when we should have put a colony on Mars, Concentration Camps (Detention Camps) are back, People are dying of easily preventable diseases such as Measles. All this is quite funny to me, not least because I am not affected but because we did already do these things and moved on. We walked on the moon, made medicines to cure diseases and prevent epidemics, defeated the Nazis. So what happened.

My hunch is we got complacent and patted ourselves on the back a bit too much. We collectively decided that we have achieved all that we ever could want and stopped. However, some diseases tend to come back and never really die without follow up medicines. Our tendencies to progress also got hit by the disease of complacency and forgot to keep moving onwards and upwards. Progress not only in terms of Materialistic things but also thoughts. Where we used to have people advocating more and more liberties of thinking, we now have people advocating the closeness of thoughts and closeted racial tendencies. None of this is more apparent in the behavior of our politicians who are not the most in tune with the times and are shoving their agendas on us, the people. The common man is as much to blame too by refusing to stand up to what is happening and instead of pulling their fellow people from under their rock, are piling bigger ones such that they do not come out for under the rock. This is actually going to cost us time, money and lives. The longer we engage in this behavior of segmenting people on the basis of their vulnerability, the longer it will take people to get to see the right thing and undo the damage we are wreaking on ourselves and thi world.

How do we get to ridding ourselves of the complacency and closeted bigotry, I am not sure but I think it has to do with acknowledging that we have those tendencies and dust off the cobwebs from ourselves and work towards making today, tomorrow and the coming days better by working towards towards progress of humanity as a whole

Nik

Dealing with a Reader’s Block

Ever since the trip to Luxembourg, I have been having a bad case of Reader’s Block. Reader’s block, like Writer’s Block, deals with the inability to hold on to a book and see it through. Most students have a Reader’s Block when it comes to their textbooks anyway. However, I have begun losing interest in reading steadily for a while now. Not that I don’t enjoy books anymore but that the subjects and arguments have begun repeating so often and seem so much more rehashed that it has become a labour instead of something to look forward to.

When I moved to Eindhoven, I looked forward to having more time to read and I generally started picking more books on my Tablet and Phone to read on my way to the office or in the train. I think I also started paying more attention to prose styles and subjects instead of sometimes skimming the books. That’s when I started noticing that a lot of authors write in an unconvincing way about the arguments put forth in their own novels. They hinge on the likelihood that some other author may have convinced you about the logic in the author’s argument.

For example, recently read a fantasy fiction book involving God, Angels, humans and demons. Humans killing each other. God decides to punish. Angels take stand against God and save the humans etc. Demons wanting to kill humans because why not. Standard setting for a fantasy fiction, isn’t it? If I wanted such a book, I can choose from a hundred million books with the same premise. I have seen fewer books deal with the conflict that drives humans to kill themselves without them sounding like medical textbooks. Or about why Angels want to save humans. or any of the other ten topics less explored. like What would God do if he let humans fail and vanish from the Earth? Will God and Angels sit around a bonfire and twiddle their thumbs. Why were humans chosen as the best of God’s creations? Take a topic, any topic except the one in the story

Or take Dan Brown, or more popularly known as the International Chetan Bhagat. who has used Robert Langdon and a pretty lady as the main character stays so often and for so long, the moves have become predictable.  I read the novel for the interesting snippets about the places and to plan holidays. That’s how boring it has become.

Then I started reading a little bit of biography-ish books which did not do a whole lot for piquing my interest and nearly everything in the books are available in shorter, faster paced and compact articles in newspapers and online media.

It has become incredibly tiring to find a book I want to read without yawning by the time I read the second paragraph of the excerpt page in the back. Not that I have read a lot but that a lack of creativity is worrying. It has become a chore to find something to read and has been telling on the number of books I have read this past month which is 1 frikking book and that has been on Elon Musk which I have powered through just to see where the author left off. Book recommendations on Twitter or in Blog comment are always welcome.

Till next rant

Nik

Cryptocurrency is the new Porn

Ah, the first post of the year 2018 and such a nice topic to blog on.

I was in a meeting when this thought randomly popped into my head and since then it has been swirling around taking a dimension of its own. So, I thought that it is a good idea to blog especially when it is still fresh and I know what I want to write.

Porn in the really old days of cavemen and middle ages was limited to some scratchy drawing or portraits by masters who would base it on some biblical story and put the dong in amidst a scene. It was less accessible and not many knew what they were seeing anyways. Porn in the modern era started after the advent of Photography and rapidly became an industry of its own as the cost to produce photographs dropped from the heydays of using silver plates which made it ridiculously expensive. Hence, porn was restricted to a very small percentage of the populace, the ones who Continue reading “Cryptocurrency is the new Porn”

BeNeLux: Luxembourg

Luxembourg was one of those weekend getaways that we always wanted to do but never found the time or the inclination until suddenly, we felt we had not travelled in a while and needed to get out. Booking travel tickets to Luxembourg was not a concern as we could buy tickets last minute but the stay was a problem for sure. As we could not find a good Airbnb option, we were forced to book an IBIS hotel room. Our first Hotel in ages I must say. We had initially planned to stay at Michelau and go hiking but without adequate stay options, it seemed a hassle and we decided to go to Luxembourg City.

Our journey to Luxembourg began with a scare as there were no trains scheduled in time from Eindhoven to Maastricht owing to some repair work but then we managed to make all the trains in time to get comfortably settled on the train from Liege to Luxembourg city. The train journey is 2:35 hours long but does not feel as such. in fact, as it winds through some picturesque places, it makes it really enjoyable.We did not have much company on the train until about 30 mins from Luxembourg city when a horde of teens came into the compartment and played songs in full volume causing some older passengers discomfort. Continue reading “BeNeLux: Luxembourg”

63 day hiatus

Ah well. I did not blog for 63 days and I also did not blog much since the Greece trip to be honest. Well, it was not sheer laziness but I had certainly hit a rut in terms of the content I was coming up with. Which is great if I was a genre blogger, like Food blogging, but not so exciting for me. I had to take a step back and reevaluate what I wanted to put up on my blog. I had many interesting thoughts to put but then I was not looking forward to receiving any flak like I have received many times earlier.

I don’t claim to be a highly imaginative guy but then I keep having some outlandish ideas which do not get along so well. For starters, I actually have come to hate WP or any other blogging platform except Tumblr, I think, cos of the shitty layout they provide and the inflexibility in terms of how I can structure my posts. So I thought learning Web Dev would be a nice thing to do and I started putting in about 2 hours of learning a day on Web technologies which got me hooked but then I realized designing a website needs loads of planning for which I neither have the time nor the propensity. So I need a plan of action before I can get into something I can design myself fully.

I also was on a vacation to India which was awesome aside from the fact, I got flu from Germany, the irony, and some odd allergies and was not interested in blogging during this period.

Anyways, Back to blogging for now on travel and maybe some things I want to write about over the next few weeks, I suppose. Till then

Nik

BeNeLux: Netherlands

After our Romania and Greece trip, we wanted to explore Netherlands as we did not venture much into our host country, to be honest except for Amsterdam, Hague and a few other sights.

We decided to take the Weekend free pass from National rail to go around the country a bit.

One of our first trips was to Rotterdam, a city bombed during WW2 and was rebuilt from scratch to its current landscape. I booked a tour from Inside Rotterdam to explore more and get to know the city more intimately. Sufficient to say, I saw the city in a whole new light and was able to appreciate the culture much more. Among the top sights I took in was a tunnel that an artist paints every 2 years, the hackerspace inside a former fruit warehouse, the junkyard where a renowned artist creates his work. We rode on a street which was considered THE most dangerous street in Netherlands with a safety rating of 1.08 out of 10, with 10 being safest. Explored a neighbourhood where every apartment had a walkway no matter which floor they were on, to create a feeling of space for people came from the southern regions to work in the ports. Also, spent time at Stroop Rotterdam which is as much about building a community and creating as about being a cafe.

Our next trip was to Amsterdam where we enjoyed going to the Rijksmuseum for the IAmsterdam Sign and around the city taking in a canal ride and having a drink at Wynand Focnick.

Our last trip was to Maastricht to explore Dominican Boekehandel which is a bookstore set inside a church, check out the other churches, rounding out with a fantastic lunch at Lunch & Zo. The month of August has been unbelievably lazy so no posts probably on August

Nik

Greece

The flight from Bucharest to Athens passes over beautiful Bulgarian mountains and Eastern Greece regions of Thessaloniki which can be enthralling. We landed in Athens without any delay and proceeded to take the metro to our Airbnb house. The metro runs from the Airport to the city quite often but we somehow managed to be late as it took us a while to figure out where the metro was.

 

The ride to the city was boring but it does seem like there are a lot of beggars in the metros asking for alms as we saw 4-5 beggars wandering in the train in the 30 mins journey. We took a walk to our house and the host arrived to show us in within 5 mins. The house was much better than expected and was a good choice for a repeat booking as we were again going to stay at the same place after a week. The washroom makes for an interesting tidbit: Toilet Paper is not meant to be disposed of in the WC instead in the dustbin near the WC because the Greek drains are not built to handle the dissolved TP and get clogged making for expensive cleaning expense. After settling in a bit, we sauntered out for a bite at Simply Burger which has some really good burgers on the menu. Disappointingly, there are no local beers on the menu as Heineken somehow assumes the local flavours in Greece. Post dinner, we headed for an R&R as we had 2-day long trip coming ahead.

Day 1: Athens- Delphi-Thermopylae-Kalabaka

We had booked a package tour from G.O Tours for Delphi and Meteora as the long distance public transport is not really great and making your own trip can be exasperating. Too many points of failure to simply state the risk of planning especially with tight planning and no days to spare.

Continue reading “Greece”

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