Harshad Leaves Facebook

I got this from Harshad today on Facebook. Interesting :-)

Hey friends!

I’m just quickly emailing you from my facebook account before I delete it. I’m still available on orkut, just that I can’t stand facebook anymore.

I’m leaving facebook because
- I don’t use it much
- I don’t like the complicated user interface
- I don’t like giving applications access to my personal information just to view one message from a friend.
- My friends have emails, and its easier for me to contact them that way.
- Facebook doesn’t allow me to simply delete my account – I SUSPECT FOUL INTENTIONS. FACEBOOK IS NOT TRANSPARENT.
- Copyright grab issue… as a person creating content, I cannot stand this.
- Gut feeling – I never wanted to join, but friends forced me to… and now I’m realizing I was right… need to quit ASAP.

Hope you understand, kindly email me whenever you feel like talking.

Cheers!
Harshad.

Domain and Hosting options?

Someone in the BCB thread asked for people’s recommendation for domain and hosting solutions. Folks in the group responded with list of urls to contact and all they had to qualify was its good. From my experience, I bought a domain for myself six months back and I am playing around in it in kind of stealth mode.

Domain from http://www.net4domains.com/ and hosting at http://dreamhost.com/ (got a free url for a year there). Touch wood my experience has been good in terms of there has been no downtime and everything works. Things I have played around with this online are:

  • Got google for office account to work
  • Get command prompt access to install drupal, wordpress etc.
  • Try Facebook apps
  • Try hacking general code whenever I get time

Basically a space to hack around when i get time and interest in the internet world!! rapid protyping you see :D

But I think there are somethings to think about before going to a specific vendor and buying domain& hosting solution. To name a few:

  • Support from the Vendor
  • What purpose you want to use the hosting for
  • Uptime through customer
  • Cost (this is not much of a differentiator)
  • Payment Options … ;P (matters if you are in India!)

The list of Urls provided in the mail thread from people were:

http://www.icdhost.com/
http://www.godaddy.com/
http://jodohost.com/
http://manashosting.com/
http://www.hostingsmart.in/
http://symonds.net/
http://www.bluehost.com/
http://www.hostgator.com/
http://www.slicehost.com/

What are your thoughts? I would like more options here … :-)

Love and Communities

Lovely post by Dave on Chemistry of Love.

Short of it:

That’s all we seem to know so far. But it’s enough to suggest that we can’t help ourselves — love is not something our minds have any control over. That’s both delicious and terrifying, … And when we lose it, like an addict going through withdrawal cold turkey, there is no greater agony.

Long of it:

There is still a lot of controversy about what happens in our bodies when we love, or fall in love, and to what extent the chemical soup of love determines what and how we feel. But there seems to be a consensus emerging.

What we are learning is that the chemistry of erotic love is different from that of the intellectual, emotional and sensual aspects of love. Erotic love also seems to be quite different in men than in women: in women it is less provoked by visual stimuli, and takes longer to arise in the first place and then longer to be slaked. Other aspects of love, from the intellectual love of ideas and of imaginings and of learning, to the emotional love of friends and partners and children and nature, to the sensual, aesthetic love of beauty, art and music, tend to me closely interwoven, less ‘separable’ from each other than from erotic love.

love is a consequence of a veritable cocktail of at least four different chemicals being released by the body, in an astonishing number of locations.

Phenylethylamine gives us the feeling of unbounded euphoria and energy we feel, especially when we first ‘fall’ in love.
Dopamine and neopinephrine give us the less ecstatic feeling of well-being and bliss, that wonderful mellow feeling that all’s right with the world.
Oxytocin is often called the ‘cuddling’ hormone — it is what makes us want to touch, caress, embrace and protect the one we love. It also increases the nurturing urge, and lowers our trust threshold, sometimes with disastrous results when we find that trust betrayed.

The cuddling and caresses in turn increase the production of phenylethylamine, dopamine and neopinephrine, so the self-reinforcing overdose of these hormones can be overwhelming, transformational.

Cruelly, over time, our bodies build up resistance to these four chemicals, and, except for those so addicted they abandon those they love to seek new thrills that start the cocktail over again, we begin to go through a slow withdrawal. We re-become our old selves.

Nature, and our bodies, having hooked us with the mind-blowing cocktail, now keep us hooked with a more enduring, low-key, matter-of-fact addictive drug. Testosterone and estrogen add the spice to reinforce that attachment, to keep us connected to the same people instead of wandering. Sometimes, anyway.

And my comments on Dave’s post about Communities based on Love:

Nice Concept but some of the points made in the comments are valid.

A Community with a purpose – would fall into something I call ‘complexity science’ domain.

One should have a few basic rules and others guidelines. Things I would list would be around 3 or 4 things say:
1. Love (if defined in a broader way it would include Trust, Honesty, responsibility, sensitivity and expressiveness)
2. Curiosity (same way lots of them when coupled with Love and Curiosity are derivative in nature i.e Intelligence, Passion, Imagination, Creativity)
3. Strength (ability to Deal with the unexpected, loss, randomness)

I think self-sufficiency will be something that will evolve. But its should absent for the community to grow initially. There needs to be constant activity – either CONSUME and CREATE

Would like to know your thoughts over email … Keep writing on this line of thought :-) I am curious :P

link burrp!

Mobile
Facebook + iPhone = UltraCool
Airtel ties up with Affle for improved SMS-Telecom-News By Industry-News-The Economic Times
FrontlineSMS: The complete entry-level SMS text messaging system for NGOs and charities
SMS your ECG to ER
ReporTwitters
m-learning – 2 years28082007 Alexander Hayes » SlideShare
“If it doesn’t work on a billion phones, don’t bother” » SlideShare

Starting up …
blog.pmarca.com: Luck and the entrepreneur, part 1: The four kinds of luck
Innovation Forum
Talking with the Receptionist, Pausing When You Speak (Leadership Success) – Knowledge@Wharton
The Flip Side of Entrepreneurship by Glenn Kelman
Bruceclay.com – How to Bounce Back From a PR Blunder
The Official Palm Blog: A Message to Palm Customers, Partners and Developers
On a day of market turmoil;words of wisdom from Warren Buffett
Management Methods | Management Models | Management Theories
Startup Weekend
Media – Photo and Film
Announcing PFCOne : The Online Film Festival for One Minute Movies : PassionForCinema
FlashFlavor » Blog Archive » i’ve got a hotstick
gemma & justin barkhuff » about us
Whazzup Mumbai !!! (Bombay): Film Clubs in Mumbai
Benji’s Studio Lighting and Posing Tutorial
The Morning News – Still Life

General Fun
Learning by living: dare to buy
Gapminder
AlterNet: Are Men Threatened by Funny Women?

RhymeZone rhyming dictionary and thesaurus
Nano City
AdMob – AdMonitor
NAMI | “A Day in the Life” Contest

Social Networking and Communities

Unit Structures: New Essay: The Vibrancy of Online Social Space
White Label Social Networking Solutions Chart, Part II
My Social Media Toolkit : [chrisbrogan.com]
How to Save the World
Brad’s Thoughts on the Social Graph
PR 2.0 – Silicon Valley
Main Page – Facebook Developers Wiki

Personal Productivity

Get Off Your Butt: 16 Ways to Get Motivated When You’re in a Slump | zen habits
Peaceful Simplicity: How to Live a Life of Contentment | zen habits
Web Worker Daily » Your Information Manifesto: 21 Tips to Deal with Info Overload
100 Mile Diet: Local Eating for Global Change » Getting Started guide

BCB rock starts …

I am going to convey the feel just with help of pics!

sticker

What is Barcamp? 70% people are first – timers => thats cool!

IMG_8510
Intro sessions …

IMG_8541

V.I.Ps – who needs them => put them in a corner!

IMG_8554

Engrossed Barcampers …

IMG_8552
Audience – theres no audience – everyone is participating!!

IMG_8523

IMG_8546

spirit of Barcamp

I have telling people about attending the upcoming Bangalore Barcamp this weekend and obviously the question is – what is it? Also by chance I happened to read Mark Cuba’s interview in IEEE Spectrum on ‘YouTube is doomed‘ (one of the coolest tech magazines according to me!) in which he says:

Just have fun and be good at what you do. Most people don’t make the effort to be the best at it, you know? They just try to make sure everybody thinks they’re the best. But most people don’t do the work. That’s what I tell people: if you’re going to do something, be the best at it. Take chances and learn from your mistakes. Put yourself out there to let people criticize you, and then learn from it. That is a never-ending process. You gotta keep on learning, always be learning. And most people don’t do that.

It’s like sports. If you can’t shoot with your left hand, you’d better practice. Business is no different; if you want to get better you practice. You want to get better at coding, you read more code, you write more code. You let people pick at your code, and you compare your code. You argue with people. You put yourself out there. You say, “Here’s where I stand.” It’s one thing to put it in a bar conversation; it’s a whole other thing to tell the world, “This is exactly what I think: you are a moron if you buy YouTube.” I could be proven wrong. Worst case is that I learn something.

The concept of Barcamp is on very similar lines. The Bangalore Barcamp Wiki kind of almost nails it for starting (but you gotta come for one to get the hang of it!):

Barcamp is an ad-hoc gathering born out of the desire for people to meet up, share, exchange ideas and possibilities in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos, and interaction from participants.

Barcamps turn around the notion of a formal conference by eliminating the distinction between speakers and delegates. Everyone is a participant, and is equally welcome to propose a discussion, speak up or add to on a topic they are familiar with. Barcamps are organized and evangelized largely through the web by a community driven, collective organizational process using a wiki as a tool. A Barcamp consists of sessions proposed and scheduled each day by attendees, mostly on-site and “on the fly”, typically using white boards or paper taped to the wall. While Barcamps are loosely structured, there are rules. All attendees are encouraged to present, facilitate or contribute to a session. Everyone is also asked to share information and experiences of the event, both live and after the event, via blogging, photo sharing, social bookmarking, wiki-ing, and IRC. Anyone can initiate a BarCamp, using the BarCamp wiki. Attendance is monetarily free and generally restricted only by space constraints.

I would also like thank the core group and organizers & volunteers to put the effort for bringing everyone together. Read Shourya’s take on why BCB 4 is bound to rock.

There are close to 1000+ registrant this time and I think it might just turnout to be one of the largest ‘conference’ forget ‘unconference’. What I think you can definitely expect is:

  • Excitement
  • Enthusiastic, open-mind people
  • Load of Randomness
  • People fighting to get some structure ;-)
  • Interesting intense discussions on Lots of things
  • Network, Network, Network ….
  • Starts Ups blooming
  • Points of view to make to think out of the Box

My advice – Come, Explore, Participate and if you like Camp (and sponsor the Bar ;-) if you want :D )!

Organic Sustainable Communities …

Had to specifically blog two articles I read lately and the upcoming Barcamp bangalore (more than 1000+ registrants!). Smart Mobs had some news about Omidyar.net closing up, but the write up highlights very keenly the same philosophy or thought I had written about in a post called the 4Cs (I wrote that Commerce is not a very important spoke), quoting from there:

One of the things we’ve learned over the last three years is that self-managed communities can work. Given the tools and the space in which to use them, the community can and will manage itself and keep things running with little to no oversight. We’ve also learned that communities are all about the people, not the platform, and that’s informed our decision for moving forward.

And then Brian highlights the importance of environment / ecosystem in his post “Its not the features … its the environment!” at Social Degree

Do features, design and UI help create the environment? Absolutely. But the community’s environment make features valuable, the features don’t make the community valuable.

This is evident in many of the online communities that I use as regular examples in my posts. For example, Sermo is nothing more than a forum. But they have created a high quality environment for doctors to interact. Such a high quality that they are able to charge hedge funds and big pharma companies $150,000 for access to the content that is being created by the community.

There is no formula to building a great environment, and therefore a community. Much of it is like entrepreneurship. It takes persistence, dedication, creativity, and a healthy dose of luck.

Luck is a key part, because you never know what member or action might be the tipping point. But as Bo Peabody (founder of Tripod) explains in his book “Lucky or Smart”, while you can’t force luck, there are a number of things that you can do to increase your chances of being lucky.

So what does this mean in the world of the Facebook Platform and Ning? It means that nothing, especially those two items, are the be all, end all of online communities. Facebook has a pre-existing, established environment and Ning is for the most part an environment out of the box.

And David (Genuine VC), says

What really matters is Brand.

In the end, each media property means something different to a
different set of people. It’s the brand that’s important, not the
functionality.

Take an analog analog here… a magazine. Readers of a magazine like
Time could care less about the printing press used to make the
publication, whether it was inked with the latest technology or an
antiquated one.

When I explore a potential VC investment in a consumer-facing online
media startup opportunity, one of the questions I ask is: “what is the
long-term potential to build a long-term brand?” With any
media property, it either needs to have wide mass appeal with an
adequate monetization rate or a niche appeal with a very high
monetization rate
. Whether or not it has a social element to
it depends on the audience. But in reality, from here on out, I suspect
almost all of new online media will be some type social media.

From my personal experience, same holds true for Flickr and the Indian MBA entrant community Pagalguy. Both the brands have garnered a very high following and its very cult like.

Flickr leveraged it in terms of a buyout and thankfully Yahoo phasing out it Y! Photos product (talk about power of the community! BTW its just forums and comments …). Else there might have been a big backlash and they couldn’t sustain having two development teams essentially trying to serve the same need.

Thankfully, Pagalguy also realizes this is working towards monetising and spinning out products utilizing its brand value.

Leaving behind with some questions in my mind. If you think a bit:

The Brand is what customer thinks of You. The customer / consumer own the BRAND! yes, you can influence them and try to manage their reactions but its beyond your control! So, the question is: How can you grow the Brand? How can sustain it? How can you monetize it?

Note: Brand can either be a huge company, community or can be just YOU.

Guess, to me more experience and reading will let me answer it :-) awaiting your comments

Going clean on the go!

I wanted to write this close to a month back but here it goes out finally: My Friend Dhana along with her colleague launched MizPee and the response has been zimply phenomenal. She was just super duper excited last when I had a skype chat with her before leaving for my himalayan trip. Its the first product at YojoMobile (you can expect more cool ones from them soon!)

Well the main idea about the mobile solution is it does just one thing really really well – finding the closest, cleanest toilet!! {local ads are matched} Read more about it on the MizPee website and reviews here and there. A quick google search give 145k hits! I am like wow … talk about using the mobile for really personal stuff ;P

perspectives on social networking

Came across the article by Marlene (a PhD student in Denmark) at Social Computing titled 35 perspective on Online Social networking. On reading it I felt the enumeration was a tad to big but I felt the grouping in the end was neat. Do check out her blog – I liked her open style of writing and her background seems impressive. I especially liked couple of her post on ethnography. She finally groups the 35 perspectives on Social Networking in the following way :

Based on my – currently 35 – different perspectives I propose the following six overarching categories:

Research perspectives – e.g. the identity perspective, the youth perspective, the language perspective, the genre perspective, the materialistic perspective, the learning perspective, the creative perspective, the Community of Practice perspective and so on. All of those perspectives could (and should) be a way of researching online social networking and youth. (I am on it :))

User perspectives – e.g. the social perspective, the friendship perspective, the democratic perspective, the love perspective, the reassurance perspective, the sincerity perspective, the public perspective etc. Those perspectives could also be viewed as different motives that the users have for using social networking sites.

Professional or learning perspectives – To this category belongs the perspectives that consider the learning possibilities of social networking or see how it can be used in a (future) professional life. We have here the network perspective, the group work perspective, the source critique perspective, the technological perspective, the creative perspective, the Community of Practice perspective and more.

Adult or parents perspectives – In this category we have the voices from the worried parents or other adults who have a hard time understanding why the youngsters spend so much time in front of the screen. This is for example the time-consuming perspective, the anti-social perspective, the generation gap perspective, the language perspective, the consumer perspective, the public perspective etc.

Moral panic or news media perspectives – Some perspectives emerge out of a public concern or a news media discourse where creating selling headlines comes into play. Thus, we have in this category the paedophile and predator perspective, the bullying perspective, the sex perspective, the network perspective, the youth perspective, the public perspective and so on.

Marketing perspectives – In this category we find the marketing or business perspectives such as the consumer perspective, the materialistic perspective, the branding perspective, the surveillance perspective and the hardcore business perspective.

The various perspectives when grouped make sense. Reading the article couple of time might give you an insight. If you are from India – think about all the news Orkut has made and reflect on the various categories – it will make a lot of sense!!

BCB 4 – Collectives …

My phone buzzed this morning with the Kal Ho Na Ho … tune and I heard: Am I talking to Vinukumar? I replied: Yes. He said he was Arun – had met him during Barcamp Chennai and I said ok. He reminded me we had interacted decently then and as that he was the brother of guy behind taazza. I think i kind of remember him now. asked him – what happened to Taazza and he said its up and running. checked it out and I think its cool. Check out Taazza. With that and Justsamachar – I think you can forget rest of the news sites easily!!

Anyway, the main point – Barcamp Bangalore (BCB) is round the corner. Head over to http://barcampbangalore.org – they have a wiki up and also you confirm participation in the wiki or on facebook events.

Barcamp Bangalore

Arun assured me, as part of the organizers group, everthing is being taken care of. The message seemed to be – ‘get the JUNTA’ ;-). So, if the Q is when and where:

July 28 and 29, 2007 at Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB).

This Barcamp is centered around concept of Collectives. A slightly more detailed list of topics for people to hangout around. Check out the Collectives page on the BCB 4 wiki page. I think its a neat idea. The Collectives that have emerged: ( <= my interests )

I have been asked to put some force into the Bloggers Collective and I am keen towards it. Sanjukta and I are meeting at CCD, MG Road this Saturday around 5pm – other do join us. Basically spread the word and join us for the pre-meets if you can?

May 2nd half links

Some new websites to poke around:

And then some interesting posts:

On MSFT’s realignment =>Jeff Raikes is now operating an organization that stacks up against IBM (and Red Hat, Sun and Apache). Robbie Bach’s group was already squared off against Apple and Sony.Now, Kevin Johnson’s group is tailored for the fight with Google — over search, advertising, consumer online services and control of the personal computing experience. It also has room for Yahoo!

teens it is!

The tech blogosphere is talking about teens and Guy rolling in with an article with Goldstein

  1. Question: Why do teenagers blog?

    Answer:
    Some teens still keep written diaries with their deepest thoughts
    scrawled in them hidden away in their bedrooms, but this generation is
    more comfortable putting that stuff out there for their friends—and
    often the general public—to read.

    Most teens blog
    as yet another way to communicate with their friends. They are more
    about the commenting back and forth and keeping the conversation going
    than writing lengthy blog posts. That said, there are lots of teens who
    post poetry and photographs and who actively journal on their blogs as
    well as teens who blog about specific topics like tech or music. Check
    out this teen-run blog network: Random Shapes.

  2. Question: What is healthy sexual behavior for a teenager?

    Answer:
    That’s a tricky question. I believe in teaching teens about human
    sexuality with a more holistic and developmental approach vs. focusing
    on just whether or not to have it and what kinds of diseases you can
    catch if you do.

    A really positive and accurate site for teens about sex is Sex, etc.
    Teens meeting strangers online to “hook up” is rare—it does happen, but
    I would venture to say it’s a teen who is already engaging in other
    kinds of high-risk behaviors. Is “cybering” healthy sexual activity?
    I’m not a psychologist, but it’s definitely safe sex!

  3. Question: What big brands truly “get” teenagers?

    Answer:
    I’m not saying this just because you worked with Apple, but ever since
    the iPod launched, teens love Apple as much as any Mac fanatic. And
    it’s not that Apple is marketing to them specifically, they just have
    created great products and design that teens are crazy about. While MTV
    has ceded some of its trendsetting dominance to the internet, you can’t
    underestimate their understanding of teens and how to reach them. Other
    brands teens love: Nike, Toyota Scion, Xbox, Sony PS2/PSP, and Nintendo.

Vive La Revolution

Techcrunch points out Diggs’ surrender to crazy mobs – 09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-c0! This should be a landmark day in the web 2.0 sense! Digg editors tried to bring the HD-DVD hack down by pointing out the Terms of Use but it didn’t work … Talk about Democratization of hacks!!

Until today, it seems, even Digg didn’t fully understand the power of its community to determine what is “news.” I think the community made their point crystal clear.

Vive La Revolution.

I cannot but stop thinking how the so called new media will react in future? Here is a snapshot od the digg popular when I blogged:
digg_dvd

networking type?

I added 3 more feeds to my reader and droped around 10 this week. I am finally catching up with the reading. Still have many unreads but its less than a thousand :-) The three feeds are:

I am changing from reading common lots of feeds to selective personal blogs. Guess its change in the way I am thinking. Becoming more personal and retrospective type.

I came across the first two blogss something I had read before but wanted to blog. Its on Networking style or something that MSN research calls ‘Anatomy of Modern Friendship‘. It talk about different friendship patterns (especially among Brits). I think there might be couple of more categories for Indians.

  • Friendship Cultivators – friends mean a lot to them and they spend a significant amount of their time nurturing friendships. They’re always arranging get togethers and are in constant touch with friends online and on the phone
  • Friendship Pruners – make and drop friends quickly according to how useful they are. Friendship Pruners name drop a lot – they like to be seen to be in social contact with the ‘in crowd’. They hate ‘dead wood’ so frequently prune names from their diaries, online buddy lists and mobile phones
  • Friendship Harvesters – tend to have a very wide circle of friends that they get in touch with on a seasonal basis. They’re happy to leave long periods without contact and typically dedicate a set period of time every few weeks or months to a flurry of contact to keep up to date with friends’ news and gossip
  • Friendship Gatherers – are quick to make friends but the least proactive at maintaining friendships. They gather friends wherever they go but are socially lazy and once friendship has been established they rely on the other party to keep it going. They often seek out Friendship Cultivators so they can ride on the back of their frequent social contact and arrangements.

Now which category do I Fall? Well I would say its related to my mood. And I moved from one zone to another over age as well. By default I am a Cultivator. Sometimes a Gatherer. And I sometimes become a Pruner if I feel I have too many suddenly or realize a bunch of people don’t respond back. I have never been able to be a Harvestor – too much time and planning. Its got to be Natural if you ask me! I realized Prnuing is needed especially after my Bipolar episode!

Blogging Policies

While I was at ICICI – I tried my best to influence the Blogging and Wiki decisions being made. Yes, ICICI is in the works of blogging. But I think it will come after sometime especially given that its yearly closing and the website is also being looked at a rehaul. I made a small one page in terms of Blogging Policy for HR. Though the HR team never got time to read it – I am posting it hoping somebody else benefits from its use. (Clarification – They never got time to read it but will soon get there is what my office colleague Srinivas reassures me. As I pointed out – year closing appraisals etc really got to them. Just wanted to ensure there is no negative connotation)

I am just posting a sample blogging policy. Do remember to followup the links at the end of the post as this post is from the Cut-Copy-Post culture :-).

  • Make it clear that the views expressed in the blog are yours alone and do not necessarily represent the views of your employer.
  • Respect the company’s confidentiality and proprietary information.
  • Ask your manager if you have any questions about what is appropriate to include in your blog.
  • Be respectful to the company, employees, customers, partners, and competitors.
  • Understand when the company asks that topics not be discussed for confidentiality or legal compliance reasons.
  • Ensure that your blogging activity does not interfere with your work commitments.

Note another great to include your employees would be what Forrester describes about how IBM created its corporate blogging policy over the course of 10 days through the use of an employee wiki for soliciting input and edits.

Excerpt from an interview:

Is a policy enough? What happens when it’s broken?

Schwab: Establishing some sort of blogging policy or at least adding some language into employee agreements should suffice for most companies. Each organization will need to decide what the appropriate recourse is for not abiding by the ground rules (referenced Mark Jen). NOT having a policy in place will certainly make this more problematic for companies.

Can a company regulate an employee’s blog?

Schwab: Legally, there’s no basis for telling employees what they can and cannot blog about, as long as they’re not sharing company IP, breaking security law, etc. Companies can’t do anything to prohibit basic constitutional freedoms, however in instances where the employee is associating the employer’s brand with his or her own personal interests, then the company has grounds for taking action.

Links to follow if you seriously creating a policy (HR persons note this!)

a touching obituary

I got to Vrushali’s blog through Blogbharti (one of the best syndication of Indian Blogosphere). She writes a obituary of Minal Panchi one of the victims of the Virginia shoot outs (real life quake madness!!). Reminds me of the film ‘Elephant‘ (wikipedia link) I saw when I was in the US. One of the benefits of being a DVD movie junkie … Quotes from her blog:

And because I wasn’t talking to her lately, I hesitated a hundred times over when I pondered getting in touch with her on Orkut. I’d looked for her and found her immediately, but a foolish sense of pride over bygone fights and the kind of reluctance that doesn’t want you to make a fool of yourself, stopped me even from scrapping her.

I realise now that it was a huge mistake. I should have at least scribbled a line. At the most, she wouldn’t have replied. But the silence of a rebuff kind of takes the edge off the silence of an unasked question…

I’m still trying to figure out why I’m so shattered by the death of a girl who was non-existent in my life for the last four years. Maybe it’s true what they say about some connections being forever. How else do I explain why random thoughts pass through my mind at this moment when I’m writing about her…the colour blue…8B sketching pencils…her lovely parents…the many nights of laughing and falling asleep over unfinished architectural homework at her place or mine…

Minal will always remain in my mind from now on…she who loved Frank Lloyd Wright and hence The Fountainhead…

And the DVD, I would recommend you see:

ways to reduce stress

Being bipolar has made me realize that I need to manage stress at an optimum level for my own good. More than threshold and I freak out; less than a particular there ain’t any chemicals kick me to me creative (loose interest in life

Pictures 012
Came across 52 ways to reduce stress and I am just highlighting the ones I totally relate to and think are implortant (my comments):

  1. Don’t rely on your memory. Write down appointment times, when to pick up the laundry, when library books are due, etc (Getting Things done technique – I am yet to read the book!)
  2. Be prepared to wait. A paperback can make a wait in a post office line almost pleasant. (A mobile with GPRS connection comes handy in here!)
  3. Eliminate (or restrict) the amount of caffeine in your diet. (Increase the amount of water you drink – have half a bottle especially when you come to office)
  4. Relax your standards. The world will not end if the grass doesn’t get mowed this weekend. (Don’t be a perfectionist all the time)
  5. Ask questions. Taking a few moments to repeat back directions, what someone expects of you, etc., can save hours. (SLOW DOWN!)
  6. Say “No!” Saying “no” to extra projects, social activities, and invitations you know you don’t have the time or energy for takes practice, self-respect, and a belief that everyone, everyday, needs quiet time to relax and be alone
  7. Turn “needs” into preferences. Our basic physical needs translate into food, water, and keeping warm. Everything else is a preference. Don’t get attached to preferences
  8. Simplify, simplify, simplify. . . (Try your best ;-) )
  9. Make friends with non-worriers. Nothing can get you into the habit of worrying faster than associating with chronic worrywarts (This really helps! Believe me …)
  10. Create order out of chaos. Organize your home and workspace so that you always know exactly where things are. Put things away where they belong and you won’t have to go through the stress of losing things (I have reached OCD levels on this :P )
  11. Writing your thoughts and feelings down (in a journal, or on paper to be thrown away) can help you clarify things and can give you a renewed perspective (start a BLOG like this one! 65% of blogs started are for therapuetic reasons – thats a fact!!)
  12. Talk it out. Discussing your problems with a trusted friend can help clear your mind of confusion so you can concentrate on problem solving. (Join Support GROUPS – my 100 odd sessions at Bipolar Supports Groups really healped in lots of ways)
  13. Every day, do something you really enjoy (Life is short)
  14. Do something for somebody else (Stop being self-centered – somebody is gotta need your help!)
  15. Become more flexible. Some things are worth not doing perfectly and some issues are fine to compromise upon. (Have buffer time!!)
  16. Use your weekend time for a change of pace. If your work week is slow and patterned, make sure there is action and time for spontaneity built into your weekends. (Everbody needs a change)
  17. Do one thing at a time. When you are with someone, be with that person and with no one or nothing else. When you are busy with a project, concentrate on doing that project and forget about everything else you have to do (Focus – drop you IM, mobile especially!)
  18. Have a forgiving view of events and people. Accept the fact that we live in an imperfect world (To Err is HUMAN!)

Perplexed Abhay
The ones I want to do but I am far or getting there (my comments):

  1. Get up fifteen minutes earlier in the morning. The inevitable morning mishaps will be less stressful (I just cannot do it!)
  2. Unplug your phone. Want to take a long bath, meditate, sleep, or read without interruption? Drum up the courage to temporarily disconnect. (Consider using a Voice Mail)
  3. Get enough sleep. If necessary, use an alarm clock to remind you to go to bed (I hate some automated machine reminding me when to get up aargh!)
  4. One of the most obvious ways to avoid unnecessary stress is to select an environment (work, home, leisure) which is in line with your personal needs and desires. If you hate desk jobs, don’t accept a job which requires that you sit at a desk all day. If you hate to talk politics, don’t associate with people who love to talk politics, etc. (my work life is not in order need to sort it out!)
  5. Learn to live one day at a time (I am aiming to live for the moment – may be my aim is too high)
  6. Allow yourself time – everyday – for privacy, quiet, and introspection (Treat yourself – you are the most important person! Everything is else is secondary)
  7. Have an optimistic view of the world. Believe that most people are doing the best they can (I am still trying my best on that!)

Other things I would suggest:

  1. Take a Break – Go travelling or Go indulge in some kewl ethnic food => breaking awaya helps you put things in perspective
  2. Spend time with people you care – you draw in positive energy from them
  3. Reflect and see if you are living your life in line with your priorities!

God of little things!
South India on wheels