4 mobile apps that can make you a better human being


You are in an empty parking lot after attending a friend’s funeral. You are holding a water bottle in one hand and twiddling with your smartphone in the other. “We are all dying” anyway. Unbeknownst to you, an elderly and distraught aunt of the departed approaches. She taps you on the shoulder to ask you for some water.

Ping. Someone just re-tweeted your quotation about death. She seems painfully dehydrated but you remain oblivious to her presence. She asks again. Ting. Your colleague thinks the eulogy you wrote on Facebook was heartfelt.

Grey Langur, Mudumalai

She now starts coughing in guttural tones, gasping for air. She presses the base of her thumb and forefinger on her wrinkled throat as she collapses to the ground. There she lays, pleading for water and dying. You haven’t a clue. You are busy adding members to a new Whatsapp tribute group called “Friends forever”.

If you are this person, you need the Touchscream app. If you are connected to a smartphone beyond a stipulated period of time, this app will start screaming in the most horrific voice ever until you turn it off.


Your relationship has come to a screeching and surprising halt. You have been dumped. Your ego – wounded. Your heart aches even though it serves as much purpose in your love life as a clean bed spread does. Your eyes leak saltwater. Food tastes like feet. Only musicians seem to understand your feelings. But you don’t need to go through all this drama. Just activate the Minerva application on your smartphone.

Minerva was the Roman goddess of many beautiful things. Music, poetry, weaving, crafts and magic to name a few. Now it is also an app to remind you there are other things to spend your time thinking about than a failed relationship. From music and poetry to card tricks and badly-dubbed foreign movies.

Grey Langur, Megamalai

For example, you are driving as you receive a text message from your lover telling you it is definitely over this time. Activate the Minerva app. You will instantly receive directions to a jazz performance in the city. Or a list of top 10 unintentionally funny Jackie Chan films. It will help you climb out of this molehill that you have mistaken for a mountain.


Sometimes people just want you to listen. They don’t want meaningful advice. They fear logic. Are most of your friends this way? Then, Proxymoron is just the application for you. You can easily access innumerable predefined responses in any conversation that isn’t about you.

Grey Langur

You no longer have to look like the worst listener in the world by talking about your life whenever people reach out to you about theirs. Or by pointing out how trivial you find most people’s problems to be. You can continue being a terrible listener without anyone finding out.

With the Proxymoron app, you can feign interest over the lives of others with soulless yet believable responses such as “oh I see”, “wow really” and “hmmm I understand”.


Every day you share half-baked knowledge within online communities. News reports, TED talks and Huffington articles about good feng shui and great sex. But it is becoming harder these days to figure out which ones are in pursuit of the truth. And the ones that are merely click-baiting to please advertisers.

Enter Ntzsche. This application has its roots in the Nietzschean philosophy that if you stare at the abyss – it will stare back at you. If you are about to take a life-changing decision based on an article, please activate it.

Grey Langur, Megamalai

This app will erase all viral content from your smartphones. You will not be allowed to access such content in the future, as well. You can take this opportunity to first understand what sort of haircut might suit you best during summer.

This post is a heavily-edited version of an older one. I have featured Grey Langurs along with it because they seem like such peaceful simians. One of the reasons perhaps is that they don’t constantly take shortcuts and call it being smart. 

(Photographs – Megamalai and Mudumalai)

Grey Langur, Mudumalai



      1. We see them quite regularly during the warm months. We have them in our own backyard, if you can believe that. You might like some of my close-ups — and only with a 180mm zoom.

        We loved the macaques and probably some (unknown) species of langur while we lived in Malaysia. They would regularly feast in the mango tree just outside my apartment’s kitchen window. Such great memories!

        Liked by 1 person

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