Tag Archives: Aditya Bidikar

What’s Your Poison? – Addictions You May Not Know You Have

Mondays always feel like a good thing, even in the hardest of my times. They’re a chance to start afresh, turn my back on whatever has gone on in the past week/s  and begin anew. This is true whether the times in the past have been good or bad because both of them wear me out equally. I am a different person from myself when I am sad or stressed. I also don’t quite feel myself when I’m partying or receiving an undue amount of adulation. Neither extreme feels normal and it’s a bit disorienting.

My friend Aditya has been on a journey away from cigarettes (Read his post ‘5 Things I Learnt From 100 Days Of Not Smoking‘). I’ve always been very proud of the thought that I don’t get addicted easily so perhaps I have not been as considerate or compassionate to those who struggle with nicotine, alcohol or other addictions. But it has occurred to me recently that abusive/emotionally manipulative men are my addiction. Their bad behaviour is not my fault but might I be gravitating towards conversations and situations that put me in the proximity of people like this? And why? Because it feels familiar. I know it’s bad for me but it feels known and thus, safe. Isn’t that exactly what chain smokers say? I did not realise it because no one around me other than women’s magazines thought that it was a thing. But it’s a pattern that hurts me, impedes me and that I do not know how to get out of.

Marian Keyes’ ‘Rachel’s Holiday‘ opened me up to the idea that addiction is not entirely about willpower. It is also not about alcohol, cigarettes, drugs or the substance/habit being abused. It is about a behaviour pattern in response to something else, that does not serve the addict very well. But in the addict’s mind, they’re still trying to combat whatever caused them to form the habit in the first place, never mind if it has outlived its purpose (or if it ever fulfilled that purpose well).

We all have problems and all of us face situations that are new, alarming and scary to us, frequently; this is the nature of life. This must mean, we are all creating potential addictions for ourselves, every single day. The kind of lives we live today, millennials – with the pressures of the digital world, an unstable world economy and insecure jobs, heavy gaslighting from other and our own generation – we are at high risk.

Cigarettes and alcohol seem minor in comparison. The world acknowledges these. We have nicotine patches and Alcoholics Anonymous. But what of the millions of other ways that we find to escape realities we cannot bear, and then find ourselves trapped within that escape route?

My ex spent an unnatural amount of time in his gaming universe. He owned three console devices, not including controllers and his computer. He’d reminisce fondly of the times when he could spend entire weekends gaming, never even getting up to brush his teeth, let alone anything else. He’d also invite me over then make me watch him play, resenting every instance that I protested. Every minute that he couldn’t spend with his games, was a reason for him to hate the world. And since I was a part of that, I was the recipient of his hatred. Gaming sounds like an ‘If you’re not cool, you won’t get it’ habit to a lot of us, so read this paragraph again this time substituting gaming with alcohol. See what I mean? We know the term Alcoholic but have we come up with Gameoholic?

Reema keeps me on the straight and clear in many ways. She embodies the healthy lifestyle right from her food habits to the way she thinks about people, work and life. But I worry sometimes that she overdoes it on the fitness regimen. She is almost always reasonable but I catch a glimpse of her possible addiction when it comes to exercising. There are times when I want to ask her whether that particular exercise or activity is really for better fitness or whether she’s just used to pushing herself and wants to prove that she can do it. These are two very different reasons and I think the only reason to do a fitness activity should be because it builds fitness. If it’s the second reason, it smells suspiciously like addiction.

A habit is only behaviour that we compulsively repeat. The only thing determining good or bad is its proportion in our lives with respect to other things. What’s tricky is keeping our sense of perspective. With so much going on in all our lives, just out of sheer exhaustion, most of us sink into one or two things, a few activities, a few people, a few ways of thinking.

Try this experiment. Go to your cupboard and take out all the clothes in it. How many of them have you actually worn in the past month? I’m willing to bet that it’s only around 10% of what you own, which you’ve repeated over and over again. Everything else gets pushed to the back and the chances are you forget a lot of that exists. A lot of our life is the same way. Our habits (addictions) push the rest of our lives to the back. And unfortunately for us, most of life isn’t like a nice tee-shirt. It won’t look the same if you retrieve it two months or twenty years later.

The only action I can think of is just that – keep thinking constantly. Have I missed anything? Am I doing this because I’m just used to it or is it actually furthering my life? This does not all have to be efficient, money-generating or socially respectable things. But when you spend two hours of your life with a person, is it just because there’s no one else around or is it because you really want to meet them? If it’s company you crave, does this company fulfil you the way a good meal would when you’re hungry or is it like a  cigarette that suppresses your appetite and coats your lungs with tar? If you prefer being by yourself, is it because you feel invigorated and recharged by solitude or do you fear the world’s company? If summer is your favourite season, is it really because you enjoy the heat or is it because you’re grateful that it’s not raining instead? This last is a question I am asking myself and it’s not an easy one to answer. So rest assured I really do understand.

Our addictions are very dear to us because we feel they’ve protected us from something unpleasant or scary in the past. They’ve also stayed with us long enough to feel familiar. But be aware, the walls that keep out the elements can very easily turn into prison bars. Windows and doors exist for a reason. All that stands between freedom and captivity is remembering how to get out. And we do need to get out frequently or forgetting becomes a habit too.

I wish you all a lot of courage and hope in addressing your own addictions. And I hope this week dawns easier for us all.

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

I Wear: The Girl In Transparent Boots

In keeping with the video bug that’s bitten me, here’s another I Wear post. Aditya Bidikar shot this video too . We’d met for lunch earlier and I got a haircut (same one, crisper finish) at Mad O’Wot. I also ran into the indomitable Sapna Bhavnani there working on a very important head with a couple of her other stylists. When I was leaving, she quipped, “The two of you are wearing the same shade of lip colour!” and lifted her hands off to display the very important client’s face. Guess who that turned out to be? A certain Ms.Kapoor nee Khan. 😀

We shot a video of my look, in the bylanes of Bandra. I’m not sure what I’m going to do for future posts, now that Adi’s gone back. But being able to talk and show what I’m talking about, in addition to writing, is really fun. So expect more videos and tell me what you think of this, in the comments.

My second look this monsoon:

I Wear:

  • Pale pink tank top: ONLY
  • Denim miniskirt: Push & Shove
  • Orange soled transparent rainboots: Paean
  • Kyanite necklace & rose quartz bracelet: Magick, Bandra
  • Lipstick: Winged, Faces Canada
  • Blue eyeliner: Persian Blue, Faces Canada gel pencil
  • Haircut: Mad O’Wot, Bandra

* This video was shot by Aditya Bidikar.
If you enjoyed this style post in video, check out the other I Wear posts.

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter andInstagram.

I Wear: The Girl With A Cameraphone

I haven’t been writing as much lately but I have been shooting a lot of videos. Call it the techno-greek in me but it’s taken me the better part of a year to really start using all the features that my very high end phone gives me. I’ve been shooting (and even editing some!) videos of my spoken word performances. It gave me an idea to capture my daily reflections on camera as well. Of course, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing with my writing on my blog all these years. And the world has been kind with my amateur’s mistakes and lack of polish in words. Perhaps it will be so with my videos as well.

Recently Reema suggested I bring my I Wear posts back, on video. That seemed like a logical conclusion given that I moved from text-heavy posts to Instagram collages on those. It’s a bit tricky doing this on video though since most of my content is self-created (self-shot in this case). But well, I’ll muddle along.

For my first attempts, I had my best buddy Aditya Bidikar on his trip down here for my birthday. He had the good grace to shoot two videos for me. The second one will come up shortly.

Adi and I were relaxing after the mid-week excitement of my birthday not-party. We decided to take a walk near the beach. It was a completely drenched day as it has been for most of this season. But I had Adi for company to spur me out of the monsoon ennui I usually slump into. Plus, a new pair of rainboots had arrived earlier in the week.

And now, here’s the video, shot by Aditya Bidikar.

I Wear:

  • Purple tunic: Cotton World
  • Handwoven sash: Guatamalan crafts exhibition, Dad’s US trip
  • Black leggings: United Colors of Benneton
  • Orange soled transparent rainboots: Paean, Amazon.in
  • Pink raincoat with belt: Lokhandwala market
  • Pink waterproof tote with purple piping: Marie Claire

* Check out the other I Wear posts and videos.

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

Paper Towns

…is the name of a book by the guy who wrote ‘The Fault In Our Stars’. I happened to mention what an amazing title that was and what a shitty book it turned out to be. My AlphabetSambar peeps suggested we reclaim it by writing something else around it. And Sunday served up the perfect post to match the title.

Over dinner, one of the writers proclaimed that Spoken Word was shallow. He wouldn’t or couldn’t explain why. It bothered me that a person of words would be so loose with their ideas, so thoughtless with their thoughts. To my mind, a writer is the explorer of thought, the wielder of words. How can we allow ourselves the luxury of treating them so carelessly?

It bothered me because now I will question everything I read or hear from this person. If he doesn’t care about words, how can I trust him enough to let him take my mind on a journey? It bothered me that people let self-importance and ego limit their flights of fancy.

I enjoy gatherings of writers and artists for a lot of reasons. But the primary one is that I love being a part of people’s journeys. With this blog, I invite people into my own journey. At these events, I’m a hopeful mind traveller, waiting for anyone who wants to take me along on their journey. The quality of people’s writing doesn’t bother or touch me as much these days. I’m more intrigued by who they are shaping up to be in the process of journeying.

I met Anu after a really long time. The last time I saw her, she whispered in a conspiratorial tone that she was pregnant. Now she’s mother to a nine-month old and several poems and ideas but I haven’t met her in the interim. I enjoyed her performance. But most of all, I was moved beyond measure by how far she has come from when I saw her last – in her writing, in her body language, in who she is. I got to be a part of her journey almost two years ago when she joined Alphabet Sambar and from here on, her journey will always touch me.

These gatherings are also full of people I’ve come to think of as ‘career poets’. They’re in such a tearing hurry to achieve goals and form impressions, that somewhere they cease to move along on their journeys. I don’t like riding paper trails.

I called Adi, almost out of desperation on my way home. He listened gravely and then chuckled and said,

“You should be thrilled, not annoyed. It sounds like you got the best of the argument.”

Well, maybe I did. That’s nothing great. I have my share of weapons and tools that I can brandish. But I wasn’t looking for war, I was looking for an interesting journey. Still, I felt better at the end of the call because I realised what I was looking for when I called Adi. I was searching for a reminder that I was not alone, a single flesh-and-blood person in a world of paper promises and paper cuts and paperthin words.

Adi tends to have more placid reactions than mine but he also lives in a smaller, less frantic city than I do. I find this paperness in people everywhere I go – in the corporate world, the creative fields, the poetry circuit, my neighborhood, my social media communities. It’s relentless and sometimes I find myself feeling like I’m drowning in a sea of superficiality. I never learnt to swim in paper.

I miss Manisha when she isn’t around like she wasn’t this weekend. She represents my sole beacon of hope in the darkness of paper in creative gatherings. I admire her as a writer but she is more than her last accolade and the number of compliments people pay her. And through her dramatic moods, she never loses sight of that. Real people keep me sane in a town of paper people.

Home and a cool shower later, I feel somewhat saner. Perhaps it’s not fair to extrapolate this one incident. That would be such a paper thing to do too. People, especially those in their 20s are still getting tossed about in the reckless environment that is this city. Artists and writers frequently lose their sense of reality especially after their achieve some recognition. And (I hope) nobody is a paper person all the time. Maybe the next time I hear him speak, he will say something that will change my life or those of many people.

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

No Generation Of My Own

I was 30 before I got into a ‘proper’ relationship and it was with someone younger. Someone asked my father,

“Doesn’t it seem like Ramya is five years behind her generation?”

He said,

“Or maybe, she’s five years ahead of her generation.”

Yes, that is a wonderful reference for a parent to set and sustain. I didn’t see it that way myself till I heard it.

I never identified with my age-peers. When I was 16, I couldn’t see what point there was in getting into any manner of flirtation or relationships. I could already see that there would be all manner of drama, family, friends and self-caused. Weren’t there already enough things to torment a teenager in India in the 90s?

I also never really ‘got’ the marriage thing through my 20s. Why are you marrying him or her, I’d ask my friends and get answers like, “Because it’s the thing to do”, “because my parents said so”.

And finally when I first quit my important corporate job to stop, think and catch my breath (the term ‘sabbatical’ was not common then), NOBODY got it. But a few months in, surprised at my okayness, people would keep saying, “Oh, lucky you, I wish I could do that!”. Why not, I’d ask, do you have a family to support or loans to pay off? None of these conversations ever happened with anyone who would have to say Yes to that.

All in all, I’ve never gotten the generation that people say I’m a part of.

On the other hand, my work, my hobbies, my love life and my life style are populated by people about 5 years younger than I. Since they came into the properly adult world in their mid-20s, they’ve felt more like my rightful generation, my crowd than the people I shared classrooms, playgrounds and career levels with.

But there’s something else. Haven’t I often said I feel old? I do. I carry the point of view of a 37 year old in a generation of 31 year olds. I have the memories and lessons of an 80s upbringing in a world of 90s and noughties kids. This is not about maturity because I don’t think that is a linear thing. Maturity has a great deal to do with personality, with experience and insight and time doesn’t exist on the same dimension as those things. This is about perspective and priority.

I tire often of the younger men I date because they are struggling with managing time, health and newfound economic freedom. I’ve already gone through these teething problems and woes and I know what works best for me. I have no desire to relive them in someone else’s problems this time.

I find myself getting impatient with my younger friends for their ineptitude, and in what silly ways they let ego blind their promises and work quality. It’s not that I was any better when I was in my late 20s. But I’ve passed through those tests of fire and I don’t struggle with them anymore. Even the very natural insecurities and diffidence — it’s starting to wear me down, how much there is in everybody around me.

Were we also that scared of everything? I’m sure we were but we were each so consumed in our fears that we scarcely paid heed to each other and the world around us. And therein lies a ‘we’ that I dislike. I suddenly have something in common with a generation that I never felt I fit in with.

But they don’t feel like a comfortable fit either. They’re grousing about struggling marriages (well, what did you expect with the reasons you got into them?), deadend careers (again, follow the rules not your independent mind and are you surprised?) and how ‘today’s kids’ spend so much time on Facebook and Twitter. I’m shutting that door already, saying oops, I entered the wrong room.

My two closest friends are both six years younger than I am. One of them has moved across the country for a girlfriend then moved back and changed careers. Another has quit a super prestigious corporate career, gotten married, started an unconventional (and seemingly uncool) business and then changed. These experiences undoubtedly put them beyond their age-peers in terms of perspective. They are exceptions as am I. It makes it possible for us to be very good friends. But exceptions have to be loners because we tread such unique paths.

This isn’t an angry or even a sad place. I don’t anymore feel like I don’t know my place in the universe. I know that it doesn’t have to do with what other people say and each day I’m getting a little closer to knowing what it is. I’ve gone a full circle from sitting by the phone with no one wanting to speak to me to switching off my phone to hide under hoods so I can get some private time. No, it’s not a desolate place at all. But it is a lonely place, waiting for the world to catch up, knowing maybe no generation ever will.

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

Hello 2015, Welcome In…

Hello 2015,

Welcome in. You are going to occupy my life starting now. And I’m welcoming you in. I have been looking forward to seeing you for a long time now.

You see, you end with a 5 which is a very nice satisfying number to be. I wouldn’t call you a multiple of 5 because the 0 ending years are those too and we both know they’re really overrated, aren’t they? You come exactly midway through the decades and midway points are quite delicious to me, personally. You know I was born almost exactly midway through the year. Which is why end of years always seem like personal midway points to me. So you see why I’m particularly happy to see you?

I’ve been looking forward to you getting here because you represent hope. Every day, every new minute is hope, of course. But with you, I get to change the title of each day a little bit. Instead of something-something-2014, I will now be saying 2015. Changing the names of days is like changing haircuts for a slightly dispirited girl.

No, 2014 has not been a bad year (that was 2012). But it has not been an easy year or even one that was a lot of fun. It has been a lot of hard work, much biting pressure and some crushing disappointment too. It has been the first year where I felt age crunch down on me and seep into my bones. Literally, with a broken foot bone, then a twisted ankle, several white hairs in my always glossy black mane and general fatigue and listlessness.

Here’s a highlight reel of the best moments of 2014:

(in no particular order: apple cake baked specially for me by Reema, Adi’s birthday, Alphabet Sambar meets, the Mumbai metro, my Mumbai Secret Santee, Ayurvedic treatment, dinner with Sonali in Bengaluru, Christmas with Aditya, Goa getaway and my 35th birthday)

I am now 35, that age where age does become relevant to healthcare professionals and related life decisions. This is the year I start doing periodic check-ins with my body to assess how close diabetes, cancer and a number of other scary things are. This is the year I get a health plan, not because it is the wise thing to do but because it is the survival thing to do.

I am sitting in my room right now typing this out. Fireworks are going on outside. I’m not going to lie and say that this is so amazing. It’s not. I’ve brooded through an hour and a half of miserable memories and various iterations of if-that-hadn’t-happened-then-this-wouldn’t-have-happened. I’ve yanked myself grumpily into work to drown out that. And at exactly midnight I stood at my window watching the fireworks for exactly 20 seconds before shutting away the cold air. This is what I’d rather be doing than be out burning money, watching strangers get drunk and make fools of themselves and sacrificing my safety. But that doesn’t mean it is not lonely. Lonely is dangerous for one and only one reason — it’s the kind of emptiness that welcomes dark, broody thoughts in.

Somewhere two people I once called unimaginably close friends, are ushering you in together and without me. Elsewhere someone who thinks they love me, is looking for and finding happiness in things I can’t comprehend. In yet another part of the planet, a once-soulmate is reveling in the staid comfort that they see as happiness. In sundry other places, the group that I partied with last year is doing various things, separately. I looked at them an exact year ago, y’know and thought, “This is temporary. Nothing ever lasts. I wonder how long this will endure.” And it didn’t last even upto the next party. So, friendships have weathered and waned.

And then again, in a few hours, I have a breakfast date with someone I met a few times in 2014. So new friendships await too, not yet ready to be born, but waiting.

When I was a kid I used to think of the solar system as an athletic track, complete with parallel tracks culminating in a finish line. At that finish line is where I believed, new years began. Now that I know that’s not the case, I realise you’re nothing great. You could be just about any other random point along earth’s orbit around the sun. You could be any other random number from 0 to infinity.

But you stand for something. You represent the acceptance that everything that has passed, has, well, passed. You represent the wait for the unknown, waiting in trepidition but also in excitement. You represent hope.

And for that, I say, welcome in 2015. It’s so good to have you here finally.

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

The Internet Writes My Autobiography In Indelible Ink

Morning began with a text from someone I thought I had blocked.

“Did you just dial me by mistake?”

Eyes still sleep-logged, I thumbed through the unfamiliar basic phone I’m using in lieu of my flash smartphone (lying at the workshop for repair). Damn. He was right. I don’t remember if I had deleted him from my Contacts. Then I realise the phone had synced up his contacts from my mailbox. Stupid efficient Google. Won’t let me forget. This wouldn’t have happened on my regular phone. Bloody smartphone. Letting me down with withdrawal symptoms so bad.

I turned to my blog for comfort (it is my best friend, after all). The random post that came up was this chronicle of the Vasai wedding. Happy memories all of them. And in the post, in all the stories that lead from it, Rehab still lives. She has just not checked her Twitter account in a long time. A really long time. A common friend I met recently said,

“Rehab’s twitter account will follow ours forever.”

She’ll never get mad at me for something stupid I said or be a part of the dramatic insta-love/insta-hate games that dot the social media landscape. She’s in my universe forever. Oh My God. And just as I typed this and tabbed back to Twitter to check something, this tweet
came up.

Meher

Last week I argued with someone who complained about the frivolity of the relationships of the Facebook generation. I showed him this article (‘All my exes live in texts‘). How, I asked him, can you call this frivolous, when our emotions, our associations taint us forever? I’m MTV generation, not Facebook generation. But I guess it’s all the same digitally enhanced fake lifestyle to the ‘If-I-can’t-touch-it-it’s-not-real’ people.

A good friend who knows me perhaps a little too well, sent me this (‘The stages of missing someone you barely know‘). It’s what your style used to be, he wrote. I wanted to hate him a little for it. And the writer. I didn’t say a word but my life, my entire month of May was mapped out in that article written by a stranger.

It reminded me of people I don’t want to block but I don’t want to see the Pages they like, the places they went to and the people they friended either. Because it means they had time to do all of that but not time to meet me.

You can make some things go away by acting like they’re over already and then, like they never happened. So misery does not love company. Angst becomes real when it has an audience. Even vicariously, by its very relatability, a piece such as this, becomes your story. And you realise the telling of it has pried loose stuff caked to the floor of the dark corners of your mind and put them into a feature film. The unmanageable past is back to torment you out of the optimised bits & bytes that make up your life.

The internet writes my life in indelible ink. And in other people’s stories.

The BarCamp Mumbai 8 Round-Up

I spent yesterday at Barcamp Mumbai 8. This has been my first unconference in nearly 2 years. My last Barcamp was over 4years ago, overrun by techie discussions and only drew me because it had a teensy segment for bloggers. BlogCamp evolved as an offshoot of that.

Yesterday was a pleasant return. For one, the event that usually struggles on time, breezed through the multiple sessions, speakers and classrooms easily. There were 4 classrooms in the ultra-posh Mukesh Patel ….. The wiki was flowing with colourful post-its even at 10:15 a.m., which is when I got there. And most delightfully, the subjects spanned a diverse range of intellectual tools, hobbies & interests & scientific applications in fun real life ways. One had to be truly ruthless to pick sessions to attend since there were so many good ones, several happening simultaneously.

Off the top of my head, these are the ones I attended:

Interesting titbits from the day:

I entered Rehab’s session late, having misread the wiki schedule. It was interesting and fun, though occasionally highjacked by someone who claimed that genocide made him happy. Quick tip – if you’re demonstrating or talking without a powerpoint, avoid the big conference room. The larger crowd is harder to maintain & engage. Rehab did a great job though and showed off a mind technique that will help anyone from an artist to an executive stuck in a business dilemma.

Harrish is always entertaining and touching in equal parts. His first talk was about the film AMEN being denied a certificate by the censor board and he did a superb job of bringing out the inconsistencies in their policies. His second talk though, was the one that really had people talking. He was speaking of how gay people are treated in India, when partway through, he was interrupted by a very fervent member of the audience who insisted that,

“According to Hinduism, you can only have sex with your wife, inside a closed room. Only after marriage and only for procreation, not for fun.”

The uproar that followed had to be taken out into the corridor to make way for the next speaker. The episode illustrated one of the reasons that unconferences are a great way to seed ideas, bring out thoughts and get people talking, sometimes about controversial and difficult topics.

My session on ‘Social Content’ happened on the fly. It’s been years since I spoke completely extempore, as I did yesterday and it was a great experience. I was actually hoping to create interest for my upcoming series of blogging workshops, beginning with ‘Unboggle The Blog‘. But instead, I found myself naturally touching on several related but disjointed thoughts about this space. My 20 minute, stream-of-consciousness ramble imitated the way we consume and add to social content, on our Facebook Walls, our Twitter timelines and all out other channels of social media. I touched on the artificiality of traditional media, social media as an extension of normal, human behaviour, how trolls are mirror daily social miscreants experimenting in their own ways and that we’re all creators & consumers of social content. Here’s the talk:

I missed the #TWSS talk by Aditya Sengupta since the room was so packed that even the door couldn’t be opened. From what I hear, it was a tongue-in-geek demonstration of an algorithm used to generate and viral #TWSS (That’s what she said). But the geek in me found a corner in Anubha Bhat’s talk on diagnosing bipolar disorders using algorithms.

I’m not going to dwell on how great it was to catch up with old friends again, since that’s a given in any gathering. Yesterday was more than just friends catching up and people networking. It really was a meeting of minds, a true sharing of ideas. A big thank you to the Barcamp team for pulling off such a great day!

Ideamarked Jan2011: Astrology, Fiction, Photography, Music, Technology, Poetry, Social Rules & Life Lessons

The first month of 2011 has whooshed by slipperier than the icy roads we Mumbaikers nearly came to expect with a rare winter! I’ve been poking around into a lot of corners and old places, nostalgia washing over me with this old blog URL and template. After the daily post pressure of Reverb10 and a demanding December calender let up, January has been packed in a different way. I’ve been enjoying it and hope that it’s an indication of things to come in the rest of the year. Here’s a mixed bag of goodies to cheer you along at end of the first month:

  • Ugly Christmas sweaters by sun sign! (via Astrology.com)
  • Extra short stories for 2011 (via Sakshi)
  • A secret can be a burden. And someone who shares your burden has to be a real guardian angel. Like the one this postcard is about. (via PostSecret)
  • 1000 Life Lessons or How to stay alive forever (1000 secrets)
  • Doocing may loom high even on our sheltered desi selves as we all get connected. Here’s five ways to tread with caution on Twitter and Facebook (via EconomicTimes, tipped off by Gautam Ghosh, who is quoted in the story)
  • Mumbai through the eyes of my favorite Bangalore photo-blogger. No mains and crosses in Claustraphobicity, I’m afraid! (Mumbai Paused)
  • In marketers’ hell! Swoosh Eyebrows (via FoundShit)
  • An old favorite of mine and mamma to twin boys, this time she gets a sharp lesson in watching her words in front of the kids! (via Mamma of Twins)
  • A History of Nudism – short story at Daily Fiction‘s new blog.
  • So bad, it’s good. Move over French maid fantasy, Mmmbai is here! Aye Hiphopper by Ishq Bector (via Youtube)
  • Memorable moments and traditions from wedding ceremonies across countries, religions and social systems. (via Matador Network)
  • How technology/ mobile connectivity is helping Indian education (via EducationTimes, tipped off by Moksh Juneja, who is quoted in the story)
  • Social Rules To Not Making Empty Promises and To Mean What You Say – I can think of a helluva lot of people who need to know this and not one of them is shy! (link courtesy Arcopol Chaudhuri)
  • Echoes fade and memories die, Autumn frosts have slain July“….gives me goosebumps. (Lewis Carrol at OldPoetry)
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