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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Is variety the curse of life ?

Variety is the spice of life , is a much abused cliché . 

It starts with food, goes on to clothes and touches every aspect of life.

A random google search throws up this explanation

Diversity makes life interesting, as in Jim dates a different girl every week—variety is the spice of life, he claims.  

After all "Polygamy is the opposite of monotony"

Of course there is no mention of Mary seeking the spice of life. 

What does it mean in day to day life ? Variety in cuisine has come to  mean changing your dietary preference every day from Mughlai to South Indian, Continental to  Thai and so on. Why do you need so much variety; to break the monotony of course. My question  is don't we need a staple diet to build up monotony in the first place. How else can you break the monotony ?

Secondly, no two experiences are the same as  any experience depends on both the subject and the object .

  When you listen to the same music , over and over, you either get hooked on to it or move away from it. No music worth listening to, leaves the listener unaffected. So the next time you listen to the same music, the experience is so different, and when you listen to a kind of music for over 25-30 years, it becomes a unique experience by itself.

Kolaveri kind  of Music comes and goes, but MS kind of music goes on forever. Firstly , it is not monotony as every time you listen, the experience is more intense, and even if it is so, why should I want to break this heavenly monotony.

 Cuisine is one area where spice plays a major role. Here again, if you ask anyone hooked to the delicacy called curd rice with lemon pickle, he or she  would swear that it is not the same experience but every time it tastes better and better.

These days it is fashionable to serve a variety of cuisine in a single meal. The other day, we attended a wedding lunch at a five star hotel and as per norms, there was a lavish spread covering recipes from every region across continents. The diners are not happy with the taste of one region, but help themselves to a micro portion of every dish that looks appetizing. It is not uncommon to have Manchurian, chicken tikka , noodles and dosa punctuated by Thai soup and Chocolate soufflé 

The next day many complained of stomach upset and with so many dishes, it was indeed difficult to identify the culprit. My own reading is that it was the random order of consuming a random combination of dishes that did it.

 In the pre-refrigerator days, the left over, from the day meal could be carried over for the evening, but any food unconsumed in the evening meal had to be given away. I remember the typical call of the beggars who would regularly make their rounds at night to collect these left overs. The housewives also kept aside some food for these people. These alms seekers mostly ended up with small portions of all kinds of food in their bowls, much like what we find on the plates of variety seekers in a five star hotel. 

So much for variety.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Running commentaries and Media Coverage on Rush for Cash

I remember the first running commentary I heard of India - West Indies Test series in 1966. Those days it was not just a novelty, but pure magic to be able to follow live, an event taking place thousands of miles away. But these commentaries, then,  were reserved mainly for sports events. Today every event or even a non-event is telecast live with tadka or embellishments.

Anyone who is a regular spectator of football, tennis or cricket matches would vouch that watching an event live is so different from watching it on TV. What is a cricket match without the crowd hollering for 'fours' and 'sixes' in unison or what is a tennis match that doesn't give you a neck pain following the ball from side to side. There is something very unreal in lying on a couch with a packet of chips watching the players sweat it out.

 I remember the high altitude posts like Siachin where satellite TV had just made its appearance. MTV Grind used to be a popular show among soldiers and officers alike. What can be more unreal than  men clad in layers and layers of warm clothing gawking at the almost naked men and women basking in the sun. These soldiers would not have seen any female form clothed or otherwise and exposed parts of their own bodies for months.

Seeing the media coverage on the current issues that is how I feel, far removed , disconnected and disoriented. We are subjected to day long tale-commentary on #rushforcash. If some rabble rouser goes hysterical, media personnel are not far behind. Once in a while I go out to the town, to see for myself, the situation on ground. Being from a semi rural town, I can hardly connect the real life situation I see, to the TV news running all day.

I think the best coverage from Ground Zero , on the subject was done by Rajdeep Sardesai on India Today. His coverage from various banks followed by his coverage of the Parliament is nicely summed up in his tweet .(hail twitter for the word restriction)

     Whichever way you throw a fat cat , it always lands on its feet, sometimes crushing some hardworking ants under its feet , further softening the landing. Yeh Hai India. Yeh hai Dunia.

Cartoon : Courtesy:

Friday, June 3, 2016

Online Woes

These days major load of the postal department has been taken over by Courier services and E-Commerce and net banking. P & T has become just P . Telegram had gone redundant years back , but only recently has the Govt  admitted to the fact and has closed down the service officially. Yet there are times one needs to visit these dinosaur departments once in a while.

(We actually have these ancient style post boxes at Mhow till date. This is no snap from the History Book !!) 

Having filed the ITR , I had to send it by Speed post (or just drop it into the Dinosaur's mouth)

The Post office was virtually deserted, with one or no customer at any counter. The Queue at my counter with all of one customer just would not move for over 15 minutes. There was an old man at the post, peering into  his screen with a frozen look of concern and concentration. I woke him up from his reverie to learn that the server was not working and that he was 'trying'. I also learnt that there was no manual way to book the post. It was windows trouble shooting at its best with the slogan "Re-start ; Re-install; and Re-format". Of these an operator of a client station could resort only to the first option and that's what  he had been doing for over half an hour. I went to the post master and She for her part upgraded the trouble shooting effort. She restarted the Server !

I decided to move over to the next counter to update my PPF account and to make a deposit. Again it was a similar scene with a lady staring  at a monitor screen. It was a different server. 

I asked her if I could access the account online. She gave a frustrated look, "server  ki wajah se to delay ho raha hai" (She was working on the server and that's why it was taking more time) . 

Later I came too know that the problem was not with the server but with the 'served' . She just couldn't decipher the contents of the page she had been served. After what seemed a long long time, an all knowing youngster came to help her. He said, that a transaction has to be done to see the statement! I was asked to deposit Rs 2000. It was OK with me as that's what I had gone there for. Challan filled, money collected and data feeding started and then came the long wait again. For some reason, the lady started calling for the 'expert' again  . The way she repeatedly invoked the name of "Ghanshyam ", even Krishna Parmatma would have come down from his heavenly abode, but there was no sign of this Ghanshyam. There was that tone of urgency in her voice , since a 'time out ' would mean refilling all the details.  The pleading tone did have some effect and the help arrived. 

"Submit " button daba doon (Shall I press the submit button) Oh, it was for this confirmation that she needed an "expert" ? 

Permission obtained, data submitted , both were looking keenly at the response on the monitor. How I wish I had access to the screen they were staring at! Finally, Ghanshyam informed me with an absolutely sorry look ," Minimum amount, the system would accept would be Rs 5400, as you have not deposited for over 3 years" . Fortunately , there was an ATM of a private bank nearby,and the correct amount was deposited and the transaction was committed on the server. I am sure that was the only transaction done by that lady for the day.  

As I was leaving the Post office, I just happened to glance at the Speed Post Counter to see some activity on the printer. So, the 50th restart had worked ?!  I asked him if he could try now. he said in a sing song voice "Khosish karenge..... . Ho jaata ...bahut achcha hoga" (I'll try and if it works, fine) . After four envelopes, when my turn came , the system hanged again. He looked at me, amused yet accusingly ,declaring that the system hanged as soon as he had fed the data pertaing to my letter! Mea Culpa !! But he was kind enough to restart again and this time it worked !

Everyone was so nice and wanting to be so helpful yet were so helpless . Now that all transactions are online , there is no looking back. So,  they have no other option but to look back and yell for "GhanShyam " or whosoever could coax a server into action  on that day .

Thursday, June 2, 2016

A Bicycle Lamp and Bell

I am regular reader of Open page of The Hindu.  Here's an article by Ashokamitran .

The writer gives a humorous account of his tryst with the law on traffic violation. The violation happened to be 'not having a properly working bell on his Bicycle'.  The infringement takes him to the court , where he pays a fine and finally , armed with the receipt from the court, he retrieves his bicycle from the police station.

 Today, the story sounds so exaggerated and even fictitious , but I know it is very much true. In early seventies,  I have seen cyclists in the  twilight hour ,looking for a match box to light their  lamps. Then the introduction of the Dynamo light was a great improvement and convenience. 

Nothing tells more about an issue than the jokes it evokes in the weekly magazines,(like Kumudam and Vikatan) much like the whatsapp jokes today. The magazines those days had many cartoons on the plight of an erring cyclist and a policeman. I distinctly remember a  few lines from a play in our school days . It goes like this, 

Cyclist :why do I need light, the whole town is lit up? 

and the policeman deflates his tyres saying,"why do you need air in your tyre, the whole place is full of air ? Ha ha. 

Coming to the present, I still use a bicycle and at times I miss a simple bicycle lamp. I went to my favourite cycle shop at Mhow bazaar to correct the situation. As  is customary in Mhow, the shop was small enough to repair a punctured tube and big enough to sell and service a 15-gear Bicycle. But when I asked for a Cycle lamp, there was a look of disbelief and some smirking all around as if I had asked for the moon. I continued to keep a straight face indicating that it was a serious question and I was still waiting for a serious answer. Gradually the smirking stopped and one of the guys replied "Saab yahan chal jaata hai" (You can do without it here). 

How have we come to this state where it is perfectly OK to ride motorcycles without helmet, or for four adults to travel on a motorcycle and the number of people or stores on a bicycle is limited only by the pedaling  power of the cyclist? Lamps and bells are not even available leave alone being mandatory. Anyway, I scouted for one online and placed an order, and I intend using it however ridiculous it might look on the streets of Mhow.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Who Stole My MIlk ? - Facebook Style !

I am totally indebted to the face book philosophers for this post. The name of the game is "who stole my milk ?"

 To begin with , you pick up a photo of a hungry looking child like the one on the left. I picked up the first image answering to the search 'hungry child'; Just avoid African and Whites as the game involves some serious 'India bashing'.
The next step is to find  the villain who could have stolen the milk from the Child. If not stolen , you can always argue that 'so and so ' is so well off that it would be a sin if he /they do not provide milk to the Child.

The villain could be anyone who is involved in  expending some milk. It could also be symbolically expressed by just show of wealth. A lot depends on who is your target. If you think the govt is to blame ... then show a Govt partying... Add a caption ,

they have laddoos to celebrate but no milk for a hungry child

In case  you are anti-corporate , bring in Vijay Mallaya.

The banks have 9000 crores for Mallya and none for the hungry child

Peaceniks  can always go after the Hawks crying for a higher defence budget. They can  come up with “Cost of one Fighter aircraft can feed all the hungry children in the country !” Even The OROP bill for 8000 crores can be attacked !

Of course the easiest target is  religion . Get a picture of an idol being offered milk ... or cash being counted at a religious place. Imagine,   the amount of money  people spend on God; If only this money is spent on the poor , there would be no child going to bed hungry. (It's a different matter , that had there been no temples, this money would most likely be used to make Vijay Mallya and the like richer)

 You can even blame  the farmers . There was a news report from Odisha about three weeks back, that the farmers emptied a milk tanker letting 14000 litres of milk flowing on to  the street. No use crying over spilt milk; they were just protesting against a company not accepting the quality of milk they supplied.  news report

The scope is tremendous; you can do IPL bashing or F-1 Race bashing if you don't like sports. With some imagination you can make even children feel guilty. How ? throw some statistics like "70% of the milk produce is used for making Ice Cream and Confectionery " So any ice cream eating or chocolate eating child is literally eating into the minimum protein requirement of a poor , hungry child; isn't it ? One photo does it all; depends on where you place it.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Other Train Journey in SA

       Anyone with a nodding acquaintance with the life of mahatma Gandhi would be familiar with the story of Gandhiji being unceremoniously thrown out from a First Class Compartment in South Africa. 

To quote  Louis Fischer,

.............The incident occurred at At Maritzburg, the capital of Natal, in 1893.Gandhi could have returned to the train and found a place in the third class car. But he chose to remain in the station waiting room. It was cold in the mountains. His overcoat was in his luggage which the railway people were holding; afraid to be insulted again, he did not ask for it. All night long, he sat and shivered, and brooded. ..... That bitter night at Maritzburg the germ of social protest was born in Gandhi. ................

From an ordinary lawyer, the transformation to an extraordinary world leader had started.

What is lesser known is the other journey that transformed Gandhi's life and indirectly India's destiny was another rail journey Gandhiji undertook in 1904.

       During the period from 1893 to 1904, Gandhiji continued to practice as a lawyer at Johannesburg. He took up all kinds of issues affecting the Indian Community in South Africa , through every available forum,  for redressal, but he was essentially a successful Indian lawyer.

      In 1903, Gandhi had helped to start a weekly magazine called Indian Opinion. The paper was in difficulties, and to cope with them at first hand Gandhi took a trip to Durban where the magazine was published.  By then he had found a close friend in Henry S. L. Polak, a London born Jew who totally involved himself in the Indians' cause in Transvaal. Polak saw him off at the station and gave him a book to read for the long journey. It was John Ruskin's Unto This Last.

      As Gandhiji himself says in 'My Experiments with Truth" 
"It gripped me. Johannesburg to Durban was a twenty-four hours' journey. The train reached there in the evening. I could not get any sleep that night. I determined to change my life in accordance with the ideals of the book," Gandhi wrote.
"I believe that I discovered some of my deepest convictions in this great book," he wrote, adding the work "captured me and made me transform my life."

Again to quote Louis Fischer,

 ........Those books appealed to him most which were closest to his concept of life and, where they deviated, he brought them closer by interpreting them. 'It was a habit with me'. Gandhi once wrote, 'to forget what I did not like and to carry out in practice whatever I liked.'........

        At the end of the journey , he was fully convinced of the course of action he should take. He wrote a long letter to his elder brother  to be relieved of the financial commitments to his family. It was his brother who had sent him to London to study law. He bought a piece of land to establish an Ashram. It was called Phoenix farm. The rail journey took place in Oct 1904 and in Nov 1904, Phoenix farm was born.
      It took him another year to completely close down his establishment at Johannesburg , but thereafter , he never looked back. In South Africa it was Phoenix Farm and later Tolstoy Farm. Back in India it was  Sabarmati Ashram and later Warda Ashram that  became the hub of Indian freedom Struggle.

       Gandhiji had a wonderful faculty of translating into practice anything that appealed to his intellect. Some of the changes he had made in his life were as prompt as they were radical.

       He did not preach but just practiced what appealed to him . When asked by a someone as to what was his message to the world , he could simply say,          
                             My life is my message

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A Town Called Mhow

    How often have I been asked ? A south Indian, how come you have settled down at Mhow? I have no clear answers . But every time  I hear such a question, it triggers a series of thoughts on the uniqueness of Mhow.

   As a fauji I have been through 23 different places of posting , generally referred to as a military station or a cantonment. Many fellow-rovers would  agree with me that most of the people , toy with the idea of settling down in their place of posting, some time or the other . It could be the Nilgiris,  a Punjabi might fall in love with or Pithoragarh (google map please!) that might entice a South Indian. But these places are known for the short tourist seasons , and the ideas for taking roots  at such places are also seasonal...  In Pithoragarh  if you go through one winter ,  the salubrious climate in Summer is spoilt with this thought “If summer is here , can winter be far behind ?, .. run before it sets in" . It would be John Keats reverse-quoted (a word I just coined) .
So it goes, one place good only for summer, another good only for winter, too far North or too far South, East or west , too much rain or too little rain, concrete jungle or too remote a place and it goes on... Now let us look at Mhow. It is like the story of Narasimhavatar of Vishnu.... neither too warm or too cold, neither too North or too South, neither urban nor rural, neither a cantonment nor a civil area...well , on which ever axis you consider, it falls right in the middle ! It Includes some dubious considerations; neither are people too law abiding nor too lawless !

Any account of Mhow is not complete without a mention of Mhow-bazaar. The Main street is almost as if custom made for the fauji ladies ! Walking across just half a km, they can find   fancy gowns, dresses , suits, leather jackets, leather boots, or beautiful curtains , paintings, wood carvings and such stuff for their drawing room , ingredients to exercise all their culinary skills in Chinese and Continental dishes (poor husbands !). Mhow tailors , historically , have been catering for the Rajas and aristocrats during  British India and later to the army personnel posted all over the country in the Independent India. I for one have always got my uniforms made at Mhow, wherever I was posted; did I say 23 stations ?

Whats so great about a market and tailors? It is the ambiance that strikes. Whether it is the people moving about in the narrow streets and lanes of the town, or the shop keepers sitting at their desk on a summer afternoon, there is a sense of timelessness. Many shops actually shut down from two to four for the afternoon siesta. The bhoras are always smiling with the 'koi dikkat nahin' attitude. I bought  curtain rods for my house, my measurements turned out to be wrong and I went back for exchanging them , not with much hope. As it happened ,  fresh piecees were cut to the revised size with a 'Koi dikkat nahin' smile.

My wife had been lugging around an old Sumit mixer grinder , absolutely functional but one crucial knob missing. The machine was so obsolete no spares were  available anywhere. That was before we reached Mhow. A 10 ft by 12 ft shop with a know-all , do-all owner, with a 'koi dikkat nahin ' attitude  found the right solution in no time . It is not just the jugaad for repairing stuff , they can also produce such stuff found only in elite stores. I was looking for a 'quiche tray' and the same shop-keeper produced it seemingly out of nowhere. (I had only recently learnt the word 'quiche' but as a shop-keeper of Main street , Mhow he was fully aware of the the contraption as an essential need of a fauji mem-saab.)

An ancient defence service officers institute coupled with modern libraries, gymnasiums , tennis and squash courts, an olympic size  swimming pool, a sprawling golf course and most importantly the ambiance of Mhow-bazaar has made this place truly a haven for a retired fauji.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Quote Unquote

In the era of social media , it has become the trend to share 'Quotes' . Find out what you want to say, then check out who has said a similar thing, modify it a bit and it will carry more weight. I have done a subtle experiment on Facebook ,don't tell anyone, to embellish my sayings ,with some good background, fancy fonts and finally by appending the name of some celebrity . It definitely gets more 'likes', thank God there is no provision for 'dislike'. 

Actually there is no harm in these 'shares' as long as you just keep receiving and forwarding , focusing only on the number of 'likes' and 'shares' ;not really reading anything, or seriously considering the contents. 

Trouble starts when some one reads and may be follows it up with some study of his own and then he feels offended. 

I have been receiving some serious sounding stuff on parenting, attributed to Tamil saint Thiruvalluvar. . These sayings were everywhere except in the only book he is said to have written ! This is one work, I have been carrying even on LRPs (Long Range Patrols, for mycivilian friends)...

In some of the groups , I pointed it out, then I just got tired of pointing out, since few read them anyway. 

There was another quote attributed to Swami Vivekananda. This was particularly creative as it just mentioned one part of the paragraph and conveniently left the concluding remark , which was 180 degrees apart. I have always carried the complete works of Swami... wherever I have been . So, immediately I checked back and got so upset, seeing the out of context, mischievous 'quote' . I shouldn't have got upset really but somethings are beyond you . Got to be a little thick-skinned, if you want to surf the social media sites and also read. Who cares for the niceties of right and wrong and feelings of readers. Finally I wrote a blog post to assuage my hurt sentiments and it ended there. 

So, in any group, I think it is better to avoid 'quotes' on anything particularly subjective issues. Once you own responsibility for your words , it is very difficult to make sweeping statements like 'Christians are always good' or 'Jews are always bad' , though it is convenient to post the same as views expressed by Hitler or Pope. 

Secondly, If a quote has to be posted why not check out on the validity,  the time, place and the purpose of the quote , by consulting Prof Google for 5-10 minutes?

Note This does not apply to anecdotes which are best expressed by the narrator in his own style. 

Tailpiece : What is a rule if you cant break it. Having spoken at length about quotes, here's a quote by Chanakya "Rumour mongers should be given death penalty" . I quoted this to a fellow-officer at a lighter moment for spreading some silly rumour of some one having received his posting order to some place. (cant think beyond). He assumed a very serious posture and replied "Murali , I am not spreading any rumour, I just originated it. Others are spreading it; go and kill them".

Cheers !


Monday, February 15, 2016

Do I really need a Cell-phone

This question has been bugging me ever since  I could afford to buy a cell-phone. I managed to delay it for as long as possible, but sometime around 2006, sitting at a remote place in North Bengal with non-existent or poor STD services, kind of forced me to hook on to the cellphone network. Now I learn through googling that the device had come into being a early as 1990 and that I had survived the onslaught of this device for a good 16 years !

Since then it has been a kind of love-hate relationship. On one hand, it is sheer magic to be able to communicate from anywhere anytime complete with streaming video images and on the other hand , it is terrible that anyone could intrude into your time anytime, anywhere. It can be a magic window to access  happenings and people , world-wide , 24 x 7 and it can also be a cruel leash around your neck 24 x 7.

I am very poor at responding  to a call , and definitely not 'the fastest draw in the west' as the likes of  people whipping out their phone from nowhere, on the slightest indication of a call, whatever they may be doing, wheresoever .  My log register always shows more missed calls and sent calls than received calls.

I observe that most people carry their phones while going for walk or run and I have heard that they carry their phones even to the loo. As for me, I find it difficult to keep a phone even close enough to reach before two rings.

Where I really missed a phone was when I started seeing the ubiquitous message on my computer screen - "OTP sent to your registered mobile number xxxxx901 and enter the OTP to proceed further" That's the time I started looking for the phone frantically , most of the time , finding it only by calling from my land-line.
So, I started keeping the phone close to my desktop PC as another accessory like mouse or keyboard.

Over the years , the device size has been getting smaller and smaller and presto, suddenly there is a U Turn and the evolution is in the opposite direction. Here's a cartoonist's view of the point of inflection

Anyway, the smart-phones have arrived and with it , the social media apps whatsapp, telegram etc. When I tell people that I don't always carry my mobile phone, the FAQs are:-

Aren't you on whatsapp ?

- I do have the app installed but is it really required to read a surd / blonde joke , immediately on  alert, leaving whatever you are doing ? Isn't it enough to browse, say, once a day?

How can you move around without google maps ?

- I agree , google maps are useful when you are in a strange city, but how often do you need to navigate to your wash room ?

How do you keep in touch with your children ?

-well, I use the land-line, instant messengers or  email while I am sitting at office or home and while on move, it really doesn't matter if one is out of reach for an hour or two .

Don't you miss it when , say, receiving someone at air port or railway station ?

-In army we tie up a whole lot of details before an operation, like frequency for radio communication etc.. but we never lugged around our radio sets 24x7 just for such contingencies. When required for a specific operation, it sure is very useful.

Coming to the original question, 'do I really need a cell-phone' ; it is good to own one , but I have stopped looking at it as a phone anymore . It is a standby for wallet, notebook, modem, music player, news aggregator , in-box, torch light and a thousand other things besides being a device for emergency voice calls.  

So, it is good to have one or more devices, but to carry it everywhere you go , I feel , is definitely a leash around the neck that I would rather do without.

Monday, February 8, 2016

A Tale of two Chiefs

           It was circa 1990, during the address to officers by the COAS at DSSC Wellington, one infantry officer had the temerity to suggest that  something be done about providing better opportunities to infantry officers for nomination to attend DSSC Course at Wellington. He further explained that the Staff Course had become so important for promotion to higher ranks and that infantry officers did not get time to study due to operational commitments.

        Well, the Chief went ballistic; some raw nerve had been touched. He himself was a gunner  and  an air op officer  . When he took over as the  Chief,  a leading National daily , had wondered as to how a battle hardened  Force like the Indian Army had thrown up a Chief without any battle experience. The General was known for his  strategic thinking rather than for soldiering. Mandal Commission was the then  rage, across the country. He thundered, “I do not want mandalization in Army, we cannot have a quota system for infantry”  .  After a long, seemingly never ending  diatribe he declared “ we have a fair system and anyone can reach the higher ranks”

Recently, in circa 2015, the present Chief, during his visit to Mhow, addressed the officers in the Station. In the course of his talk, he disclosed, “....... I am a Non-psc officer , and I have reached where I am through sheer soldiering. We do have a fair system in the Army .....”

He happens to be the first non-psc Chief. Well, we have come a full circle.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Appy Times

        These are times when  it is difficult to find someone who is not keenly interacting with a smart phone, be it in a cafeteria or a classroom. Even people of my age, have become 'touch-savvy' , if not 'tech-savvy'. Guys who have problem understanding whats an app, understand and use 'WhatsApp'

        There was the time when business men realized that a website had become an integral necessity in their business cards. Today , a business without an app is severely 'handi-apped' .

       For our NDA(National Defence Academy) course reunion, I made a basic website and was brazing myself for a stampede of visitors vying to upload a deluge of articles, photographs and all kinds of memorabilia.

          While our whatsApp group had an average of 150 posts a day along with all kinds of media, the website was like the NDA library, where none ventured unless forced to.
         I wished I could make an app for smart-phones. A cursory browse on the net led me to Android Studio, a beta grade software for app development. Once I installed it on my system, one thing led to another and I surprised myself by creating an app in 15 days. In fact, I created two, one for the course reunion and one for this blog.

       Here's the link to download the app for this blog. (You have to 'allow installation of apps from unknown sources' by going to settings ----security.).

         I just love the learning environment in the IT world today. The net is full of tutorials, Discussion  forums, open source development software and most importantly people who love to share knowledge.

          Appy times are here again. Anything is possible in IT and through IT.