Lifestyle

Episode 8: Nothing in Particular about Wealth

In the eighth episode of our ‘Nothing In Particular (NIP)’ podcast, we talk about something that is an unavoidable part of our lives. Some refer to it as the root of all evil. Others are ready to sell their grandmothers for it. And a few distribute it for the greater good.

Yep, wealth. Money. Cash. Property. Credit balance. Call it what you will. The chances are that you have already thought about it today. We discuss how different generations seem to value wealth differently, and the ways in which income disparities affect national politics. Also, breaking news (well, sort of) about a Nigerian millionaire. 

Listen: Episode 8: Wealth

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Episode 6: Nothing in particular about Work-Life Balance

In the sixth episode of our ‘Nothing In Particular (NIP)’ podcast, we talk about Work-Life Balance. Why it is probably one of the most elusive creatures, along with Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, in modern society.

But, what on earth is this odd and mysterious balance? Why do many of us feel like amateur tightrope walkers who can’t seem to cross over to the other side? We discuss the ways in which harmony can be pursued at the workplace and outside of it. Also, this episode features an uninvited guest who is loud, rude and runs after cars for no reason whatsoever.

Listen: Episode 6: Work-Life Balance

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Episode 5: Nothing in particular about travel

The town crier forgot to make his rounds earlier this week. But do not worry. The fifth episode of our ‘Nothing In Particular (NIP)’ podcast is right here. We talk about travelers and tourists with our special guest, Vimal Abraham – a globetrotter and adventurer from Chennai.

We share stories from Greece, New York and Ladakh to the Marina Beach a few miles away from our hometown. All this and more in the latest episode that also features the musical talents of Hari Ram Narayanan and Sharanya Subramaniam, who had graciously created a theme song for our podcast!

Listen: Episode 5: Travel

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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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Make a fist

In Karate, one of the most important lessons you learn is to take an ass-kicking. You understand that you need to pick yourself up and move on.

Before every session, you socialize with your opponents. They are your friends. You like each other. You also take pleasure in roundhouse-kicking them during a sparring match. Because there are competitive elements to it.

Karate breaks down the art of fighting into algorithms. A series of rapid-fire decisions. And at times, someone figures it out quicker than you do. Then, you will fall down, palming the bridge of your nose in pain. When you get back up on your feet, you are stronger in the broken places.

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Birds and roses: October rain

I haven’t had a satisfying day of birding in a long time. Two weekends ago, the rains came uninterrupted and washed my chances away. And then all through the week the sun was out, bright and proud.

Last Friday night saw the city shrouded in gloom again. I drove about 50 kilometers away from the city on Saturday morning anyway. The sky pointed and laughed at me, and howled furiously, garden-hosing the ground below. My chances of spotting a bird other than one of the usual suspects were slim. I drove back, feeling like a wet mongrel, embarrassed about my optimism.

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It’s a jungle out there: Monkey hear, monkey talk

I have wanted to write about modernized existential despair for long. How it seems to be a generational malady, thriving on our indifference towards discovery as opposed to invention. I didn’t because I was unable to succinctly encapsulate a short introduction I had in mind into words. Instead I had a sound-bite for it. A piece of guttural noise.

The English language kept failing me (or vice versa). So I decided to move on. Only lately did I realize that it was 2015. It is so easy to record and stream digital audio these days. Even by people who spell “your” as “you’re”. And I had broadband connectivity and laughably low expectations.

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A childfree birder’s guide to good parenting

Parenting in our species is a tough nut to crack. As a child-free adult, I can’t even begin to fathom the stress involved. The lack of sleep. The pressures of safety. Financial pressures. I don’t get how they do it, but I just know it’s hard. It is no excuse though some parents make for such terrible role models. Children can learn so much from them on how not to behave, and what not to do with their lives.

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Wounds are chaos theories

Never weep over
a wounded rose,
she will only catch a cold.
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Weeding out the gardener

His garden
flowers grew,
like shadows
caught by
sundials in
a playful mood,
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