Humour

4 smartphone apps that can make you a better human being

When I was 24, I swore that I would never use a smartphone. It seemed like an Orwellian abstraction. A sling blade that hurled a hateful stone at the third eye of the collective consciousness. A step closer towards a totalitarian future in which the government implants computer chips in our brains to keep track of us. It felt wrong. More importantly, I couldn’t deal with my parents calling me anytime they suspected I was up to something fishy.

I have since realized how useful and entertaining it is. A talking tin can, a portable media player, a video game console and a notebook. I was hooked. I still am. But I am also aware that it can be damaging. In today’s fast-paced digital age, extreme caution must be exercised while forging a purposeful relationship with your smartphone. Because it could damage those you share with family members, friends, and office colleagues.

Everyone may end up thinking you are a bad person. They may associate you with unspeakably awful things that are undeserving for someone of your fine upbringing and stature. We don’t want that, do we? You deserve better. You always have. So, please download these four smartphone apps to become a better human being.

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10 commandments that are cash cows to Indian filmmakers

ChennaiWhenever we, as Indians, mourn the lack of good films, we are told that we have great expectations. That we should just appreciate the handful of Indian films that stay true to the art form and shut up about the rest. It is however difficult to forgive the industry for using copyright violations, crass sentiments and a bipolar stance on sexuality to bring Indian cinema to its knees.

And the producers for towering over its sullen figure, with their front-zippers down, sporting a dirty smile and holding a sign that says – No biting please. Sure, entertainment is subjective and what is good for the goose can taste like gunpowder to the gander.

Unfortunately though, Indian filmmakers can follow certain commandments to achieve moderate levels of success. Here are 10 of them.

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5 things a writer can do to avoid getting punched in the face

As a writer, you are probably more self-absorbed than the average person. You find it cumbersome to socialize. You hate confrontations when it is your turn to listen. I am not saying you can be moody too. Just that there are motherless honey badgers in the Kalahari dessert with shorter fuses. Only in language have you found the comfort you need, without feeling inadequate about expressing your emotions. For you, writing is more than a celebration of the art form. It is your bomb shelter. Your refugee camp. You take it way more seriously than you should.

It is perhaps why you egg, at times, those you interact with to physically harm you or give up their respective belief systems to consider placing a voodoo curse on you. So here are five things – as a writer – you (we) can do to avoid getting punched in your (our) faces.

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8 reasons for you to quit your job and unlearn voodoo

Spotted Owl, Vedanthangal

Spotted Owl

I believe that it is imperious to tell people how to live. You can tell a friend that it might be a terrible idea to share his bank account details with a Nigerian Prince over email. But you can’t just go around, saying things like “you won’t know who you are until you travel” or “quit your job and paint the sky”. While these sound like great ideas, they may not be universally-applicable. People might end up even more clueless about themselves and more xenophobic about the world. Or exposed to toxic paint fumes.

Similarly, some people need a fully-loaded corporate environment to live as functional citizens. Without politicking over promotions, their lives just would not be complete. Without scheduled bathroom breaks, they might end up with bloated livers. If they didn’t exert superficial dominance over those they consider to be lower on some imaginary totem pole, they might do weird things to blind kittens in the privacy of their basements.

Having said that, here are 8 reasons why some people should quit their jobs and unlearn voodoo.

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4 ways to lose your friends and alienate your acquaintances

Spotted Owl, Vedanthangal

Spotted Owl, Vedanthangal

1. Turn into a Tom Hanks

A Tom Hanks is someone who is a flat-out good person. A pillar of strength, loyalty and benevolence. The booming echo of reason in a cacophony of indecisive voices. A person who will step up and take charge when everyone else is covering their own posteriors. Just one problem though. Such a person can be annoying to deal with on a daily basis.

Turning into a Tom Hanks is a bankable strategy to drive people away. It can be unbearable if one behaves like a reasonable person all the time. It seems strange enough to warrant suspicion even. Do they look back on their lives like they flip through pages in a Mark Twain story? Has the world been so kind to them that they need to help others think of the world as a gentle and giving space? Or have they been wronged so much by the world that the only way they can connect to people is by correcting the wrongs in theirs?

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4 obvious signs that India is destination racism

It is my opinion that most Indians are racists. I am no exception despite being a very dark-complexioned person in a country seemingly obsessed with fair skin. I might be ticked off that discrimination is prevalent in modern society. But I am also a racist. I think that makes me a hypocrite.

You can’t call me that though. Especially if you are lighter-skinned than me. That might make you a racist. Or something just as confusing and stupid. So here are 5 obvious reasons why India, despite the paths it has paved for medical tourism, is also destination racism.

Black is just the colour of our hair

Indians consider fair skin complexion to be an added advantage. In bartering one’s daughter to the most affluent bidder. Finding a job. Feeling self-confident. Skin tone is a decision maker in India. A deal-breaker too.

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