September 16, 2014

Switched to Android from Nokia Symbian

I am a long time Nokia supporter and have always been buying Nokia Symbian phones. Nokia was probably the first mobile I had and I remember the day when I saw someone else's Nokia 6600 and dreamt of the day when I will be having a phone like this.

My first smartphone was Nokia N79. Around that time, I think Android, iPhone were becoming the headline grabbers. But I did not let that affect me in my devotion to Nokia and Symbian. So much so that when I had a choice to upgrade to a flagship mobile, I chose Nokia 808 PureView, instead of going for say Samsung Galaxy S3.

It began okay, with complete absence of some apps and older versions of othes not pinching that much. But it always was undeniable (even if in private) that the  app ecosystem is draining the life out of Symbian. Then came the official closing of basic apps like weather, post to social networking sites like Facebook, Flickr and Twitter. And what's up with Skype? It's a shame that inspite of such a premium phone I cannot make a Skype voice call.
Nokia is going Microsoft Windows way and I am a heavy Google products user. Gmail sounds more familiar to me than Outlook.

But I was still holding on...

The last straw was a week ago when I had to attend a Skype call (scheduled in advance) and my computer was out of order. Symbian does not have Skype now. And, it gave me a reason to go ahead and buy an Android mobile.

As I once commented on an article in All About Symbian website, I was never unaware of the more modern and productivity-capable operating systems. It was the love for a company with whose mobiles I grew up, that I was putting up with a less productive lifestyle, but I could hold on so far.

I think with this article I am sharing with you, I will find some sort of an emotional closure. l will fondly remember Symbian. I also wish good luck to Nokia for future.You guys have one of the best camera imaging technology. I think, for me, the association ended with the 808 PureView. What of Android? Maybe that will be another article.

Goodbye Symbian and best wishes to Nokia.

July 24, 2014

Eternal Lines by Gurdass Mann - Neend Na Vekhe Bistraa...

Gurdass Mann
Gurdass Mann
'ਨੀਂਦ ਨਾ ਵੇਖੇ ਬਿਸਤਰਾ, ਤੇ ਭੁਖ ਨਾ ਵੇਖੇ ਮਾਸ
ਮੌਤ ਨਾ ਵੇਖੇ ਉਮਰ ਨੂ , ਇਸ਼ਕ਼ ਨਾ ਵੇਖੇ ਜਾਤ'
- ਗੁਰਦਾਸ ਮਾਨ 
ਆਪਨੇ ਗੀਤ 'ਟਾਂਗੇ ਰਹੰਦੇ ਕਿੱਲਿਆਂ ਦੇ ਨਾਲ ਪਰਾਂਦੇ
' ਵਿੱਚ 
In English, this would mean
Sleep doesn't care about bed,
and hunger doesn't care about flesh

Death doesn't care about age,
love doesn't care about society1
How true these words are, how much wisdom of the ages have been concentrated into these four lines, it is awesome!

Think back to a time when you were extremely tired and sleepy. At that time, would you have bothered about a comfortable bed? No. None of the niceties and politeness would have occurred to you, and you would be just concerned with falling asleep and having some shuteye. I once saw a man sleeping in the luggage rack in the train while travelling to my University from Jalandhar to Amritsar, and I thought to myself, "what's this?". Now I know.

Changing the direction of discussion, Gurdass Maan's lines reflect Maslow's hierarchy of needs, which talks about the needs of a human way before nationality, social level, financial level, gender and other societal factors come into play.
Maslow's  hierarchy of needs

The most fundamental needs are at the bottom, and the lower layers' needs must be met before a layer's need can be fulfilled. Whatever Gurdass Mann talks about in his beautiful song can be found at the bottom of the pyramid.
  1. It literally translates to caste, but 'society' appeared more apt to me here.
Credits: Song lyrics provided by, Gurdass Mann photo by when he was at Divya Dutta's mom Nalini's book launch, Maslow's hierarchy of needs image by J. Finkelstein on Wikipdia

July 18, 2014

Being Successful by Selling The Dream of Success

Photo of Indian Rupee coins stacks

Lately, I have been thinking about the difference in the earnings of people - questions like why do some people earn more than others, how come a retired person earn more pension than a young person working full-time?

I've had conversation about money with myself before. And it is taking time for me to realize, that with wealth comes a peace of mind and a carelessness and a lot less worry.
You seem to not give a damn when your pockets are deep.
Anyways, so I am thinking about why and how. I am looking at the affluent people and am trying to decode their success. Either they are businessmen, or people at the very top of big companies, or  (as I frequently notice) in the business of selling dreams of success.

I live in Jalandhar, which is a state in Punjab, India. Much of the Punjabi youth is fascinated by foreign lifestyle, immigration and benefits of foreign exchange. Those of us who are or belong to NRI families are among the affluent ones, and their wealth is always shining in front of others' eyes. Guess what, most of the young people in Punjab want to go abroad, to 'study'.

Now how do they do it? By clearing English language exams and other visa formalities. And herein lies the seed of this idea which is bouncing in my mind for so many days. There are many, many IELTS, TOEFL etc training institutes in Jalandhar alone.
The owners of these institutions and others involved in the process are prosperous, but they themselves never think of doing the same as they sell, and move abroad.
Come to think of it - why would they? It's all about a comfortable lifestyle and peace of mind. This convinces me that real success may lie in selling others the dreams of success.

Credits: Indian Rupee Coins image by Ramnath Bhat

April 20, 2014

I pay for education in Punjab (India). I know whom I'm _not_ going to vote for on 30 Apr 2014. Sorry Mr Badal.

March 26, 2014

The Excruciatingly Thorough IELTS Preparation - Table of Contents

Small book cover of The Excruciatingly Thorough IELTS Preparation on

Table of Contents

  1. Cover 
  2. Preface
  3. Table of Contents 
  4. Language and How It Affects Human Thought
  5. Omnipresence of English (for Our Purpose)
  6. Immigration - Incentives and Motivation
  7. Why English?
  8. Why Should I Bother About IELTS? 
  9. What Do Standardized Tests like IELTS/TOEFL/ESOL Achieve?
  10. Ways To Prepare for IELTS
  11. Applying for Examination
  12. Format of IELTS
  13. Speaking
  14. Listening
  15. Reading
  16. Writing
  17. Vocubulary
« Preface