The buzz is in the air. While we are still discovering the wonders of Siri, and still speculating on how best to use BT4.0 and what iPad 3 (or 2S? But more on that later) may hold, we are really excited about the recent revelation from Jobs’ biography that he finally “cracked it.” He was, of course, talking about televisions. While rumours have been circulating for years, most notably since apple tv first launched, it is only recently that they have gained much more traction.

Do you remember when Jobs first announced apple tv? He said it was a marketing/branding decision to call it apple tv instead of iTV. Even in the keynote he kept referring to it as iTV. I strongly believe the television will be called iTV. I think what they’ve been doing with apple TVs is researching the kind of content consumers might want on their telly.

But how will it be different from what other major manufacturers market as “SMART”? Some people are saying apps. Apps? What’s new about that, you say? Nothing, I think. With the iPhone and iPad, we’ve become overtly familiar with apps. We use apps for everything from checking whether we’ll need an umbrella to actually buying one. Even controlling the tv from iOS wouldn’t be big enough of a leap, for Apple, for it’s consumers and for Steve himself.

What would be a big enough leap? If the screen was a touch screen? If it was borderless? If it was both? If it incorporated the circuitry within the glass? This ad incorporates a lot of things I would expect only from Apple. We already know that the glass used by Apple in its iOS devices is of very high quality.

Kit Eaton wrote a very interesting article about it here. It is by far, the most comprehensive and most logical possibility so far. However, this is Apple we’re talking about. And it’s still Steve Jobs! Whichever way this turns out, prepare to be surprised.

Yet, the biggest reason Apple is slated to launch an HDTV is because I just bought a 55″ LED screen for my drawing room. Statistically, Apple is more likely to launch it sooner than later, when compared to my purchasing habits. They did it to me with the iPod. Twice. And they did it to me with my MacBook, and then, two years later, again with the Pro. By the time I purchased my iPhone 4 in October 2010, I had learnt my lesson.

So when I first started writing my novel, I thought of creating a world in which I could dream like never before. But now my universe is so complex, that I’m not sure where to end. Not that I’m even close to the end of the story. And then there’s my obsession of having every single detail sorted out. I simply cannot leave loose ends about. And I simply don’t have the time I’d like to finish it. I know that if I could just find more time to delve into it, it’d come naturally.

I’m glued to the screen, watching Batman. I feel like I’m ten years old again. Towards the end of Kill Bill Vol.2, Bill describes how Superman is his favourite hero because he was born as such, and Clark Kent is his alter ego, while others become their alter egos’ from the normal. I beg to differ. My favourite has always been Batman. Some heroes are born great, like Superman, Wonder Woman, and so on. Others have greatness thrust upon them, like Spider-Man, the X-Men and other mutants. Others still, have made a choice to become great. It is this conscious choice that allows them to become a hero in the first place that gives them a special place in my heart. Bruce Wayne wasn’t born great. Nor did he have to be great. He made a decision that it was in his power to do something about the state of his environment. This perception, and consequent action resulted in Batman’s status elevated that he was the only human to fight alongside the Justice League. Everyone had their superpowers, while Batman had his belt. When I grew up watching cartoons, I knew that I would never be as strong as Superman, as fast as the Flash, or as cool as Spiderman. Yet Batman would always give me hope. I could always grow up to build my own utility belt. Of course if I had that much money…

It’s the second week of February, and already quite warm. Perhaps spring will be early this year. My reverie is disrupted by the onset of yet another Western Disturbance. It’s been raining all day and is likely to continue through tomorrow. Hopefully the fog will stay away. This time last month, the fog was so thick, I was using it as a swear word! ‘What the fog, dude?’, ‘Fog you’ and other vile wordings. At least it’s not cold any more. So far.

Yesterday, a friend and I dropped by the BMW showroom in Chennai. The first thing we saw, was an X6. It. Was. Big. It’s one of the biggest cars, I’ve ever seen, if you can even call it that. The new Sports Activity Coupe by BMW is pushing the boundaries of what people drive. That ‘thing’ had tires bigger than a 737! But there wasn’t one available for a test drive. So we took the 3 series sedan instead. It was a dream! It handles so well, it’s made to be driven, by anyone, anywhere. It was actually scary to have that much power beneath the sole of my foot. It was some experience. Afterwards, our gracious host (no, I can’t call him a salesman) took us upstairs in the carlift to meet the women. The first was a White convertible soft-top 6 series. An incredible feast for all senses. First, visually of course, it was just a delight. Then as the engine came to life, my ears began to nod my head in agreement. The soft top came down. The throttle was depressed and she sounded like a beastie. If it were a pirate movie you could hear someone say, “thar she blows!”. The door swung upon, and I gently lay my tashrif upon the handmade leather seats. “This one is a genteel lady,” our host said, “compared to the beastie I have inside.” And so we left this lovely lady for the next.
He opened the door to the next room and the first thing we saw was a 7 series. It had been sold, and was locked so we couldn’t get in. Next to the grand 7 was the mighty M3. The sleeping beauty. The black beast. The hard-top two-door sports convertible called¬†beckoned. Tea and coffee were offered. (our host was gracious). While G helped himself, I politely declined. Liquid + My Hands + BMW = No Go! The door was opened, the key inserted, the start button pushed (note continuous parabolic rise of adrenaline) and then the engine whirred to life. That glorious engine. There was something there. In the driver’s seat this time, and as far away as I could stay from the gear stick (lest I should accidentally slip it into gear, a big chunk of my soul would be forever lost in the wall just a few feet ahead), slightly depressed the throttle, and she roared. “Don’t be afraid” the host tells me. With a little more courage this time, I soon found out that the roar was not a roar at all but just a purr. About halfway down, the throttle caused the engine’s roar to soak through the pedal, through the sole of my shoe, through my sock, through my skin and cartilage, through my bone, and all the way to my soul. If I have ever been one with a machine, it was that moment.Half-way down was the throttle was all I had courage for, and it was relatively a small room. When you can’t hear your own thoughts, that’s the time to stop.

.

I may never be able to afford it, but I have experienced what Automobile Heaven must sound like!

‘Blocked Number’ flashes across my screen, and I instantly know who it is.

“Good morning, your highness”, I answer it, “How is your kingdom today?”
“Good evening to you sire,”Henry replies. Even after all these years, I still can’t get myself to call him Harry like everyone else. “It is missing it’s most loyal courtier,”
He hates it when I address him by his title, so he retaliates by callling me sire, which he knows ires me.
“I would hardly call myself your most loyal courtier, I haven’t been to Saldavia in months. Some of us do have to make a living, you know.”
“Hence the missing part,” he says “However, I wasn’t referring to you, but to the Dutchess, who has fled my country in favour of yours.”
Ella, the Dutchess of Pran, had been overjoyed at the thought of moving with me, but recently, I had begun to sense her feeling of homesickness.
“Well, of course she has, she despises the wretched snow. You have run, too, in the past. Too bad this time, your country needs you, if only to cut a few ribbons at bakeries and barber shops.”
“You think that that is all I do, don’t you?”
“I know it, Henry,” I smile.
“Those ‘bakeries and barber shops’ have agreed to hold off on any royal requirements until the end of this month…”
“You’re coming here?” I cut him off mid-sentence.
“Not unless you tell me what you want for your birthday”
“If I tell you, you will end up getting them without a second thought.”
“I know there’s a point in there somewhere, so can we just get to it already?”

“This is you, we’re talking about, Henry. You know me better than anyone else, even me. I’m sure you’ll think of something to get me on your own, even if it’s only your ass, beg your pardon, ‘Royal Behind’, over here.” “And here I thought you were my friend, about to help out of a jam. “And don’t think about asking Ella, either, because that’ll just be disappointing. You run an entire nation on your own at the age of twenty two, but can’t think of a good present for your best friend? Boy, do I know how to pick my friends, or what? Anyways, when are you coming here? I can’t wait for you to see our new apartment.”
“You’ve already told me everything there could possibly be to tell. I suppose seeing is believing.”
“It is. It really is. Does Ella know, yet?”
“No, and you are hereby forbidden to tell her.”
“My birthday and you surprise her. It’s just as well, I suppose. She has been missing home quite a lot these days.”
“Surprise for you too, because I’m not telling when I’m coming, James.”

The End.

As my twenty-first birthday approaches, I find myself reexamining my life, these past years, and the years to come. I’m thinking of all that has been, and everything that I would like to change. The changes I’d like to see are quite a few.

As my birthday approaches, some people ask me what I want for my birthday. Others insist on getting me something, and end up getting me something I’m probably not going to use, or even like. To quote Yvaine (Claire Danes) from Stardust, “Murdered by pirates, heart torn out and eaten, meet Victoria; can’t quite decide which sounds more fun.”

There are many, many things I’ve been looking to ‘acquire’ but just never had a good enough reason to get them. A laptop sleeve that fits my laptop. A flight bag that can actually contain everything that I want it to. A new perfume. A wireless mighty mouse. A book rack. A deeper closet. A bluetooth headset for my phone. A new pair of shoes. As my birthday approaches, all excuses disappear. Or a bigger one takes their place, either way, I go and get myself what I want. Most of these purchases I had been postponing for my credit card, but since American Express has denied my application the third time (“No, sir, it was a slight clerical error on our part, we really want you to apply again, and this time, you’re sure to get your card issued at the earliest”), I’ve lost the final excuse to delay.

I’ve been so stressed out these past few weeks that I might just get a stomach ulcer. Treachery is afoot. When all this is over, I think I’ll need two vacations. (I already need one now).  In the span of the last eight weeks, I’ve flown to a dozen different cities, showered in six different bathrooms, met two new people, lost old friends, regained older ones, told lies, been deceitful, made life-changing decisions, felt angry, sad, happy, loved, all separately and at the same time, been scolded, scolded someone, taken advice, given advice, almost run someone over, almost been run over, made someone laugh, been made to laugh by someone, apologized, forgiven, taken a test, and passed it, stayed awake all night, slept through all day, and landed a sixty ton airplane with a hundred and fifty passengers on-board. Phew!

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I’ve already made the decision. It was quite easy to make. It was after all the right choice, I know in my heart, and there is absolutely no doubt. The hard part comes now. The hard part is to come to terms with the choice that I’ve irrevocably made. Perhaps, I’m being stubborn. Yet I know that this is the right decision.

And now that this decision has been made, it brings out so many more questions to be answered, so many more decisions to be made that I am almost overwhelmed. Almost. Mostly because I’m doing all of this without anyone’s help. The only one who’s help I’m willing to accept is in a city far, far away. Only he will know of everything until I myself tell everyone else. Also, I have less than five weeks before I’m 21, when everything will be over, must be over, except for the actual announcement.

Wish me luck!

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The fourth generation of iPod Nano conforms to the iPod Nano theme, as opposed to the last one. The third generation, in my opinion was utter disaster. The click-wheel was not-so-clickable, and the squareness was just a plain turnoff. It sold, nonetheless, solely on the basis of the fact that now you could play videos on it. Fortunately, we didn’t have to wait too long to get a decent version out of Apple and into our palms.

It’s like a biscuit, I tell you. I sometimes fear I might just get hungry and try and bite it. It once slipped from my hands and fell about two feet to the solid floor. The top corner absorbed most of the impact, and now has a permanent dent on it, yet it plays music (and everything else it’s supposed to play) like nothing ever happened. I’ve a green one, at 16GB.

It has borrowed Cover Flow from iTunes/Leopard. I say borrowed, because it’s not really using cover flow well, and soon Leopard will get angry and take it back. Cover Flow is powered by the accelerometer tech that comes from the iPhone, and you activate it by rotating it to the side. The problem is that it shows you covers of all the albums it contains, not just the ones in the playlist that you’re listening to. From there, well, you can select each album to go through its contents, and select which you want to play now. You can’t add to your On-the-Go playlist from Cover Flow!

The accelerometer also powers the Shake-to-Shuffle, which doesn’t really work well once the screen has gone dark a few seconds into the song. Perhaps it’s the dent that’s causing this in my iPod. Also, it has the same problem of exiting the playlist as the Cover Flow. Instead of just turning shuffle on and off, and shuffling within the playlist, it jumps out to ‘Shuffle Songs’ Mode. You know the one, just at the bottom of the main menu.

When watching movies, it automatically switches to landscape mode, but I suppose that’s fair, especially if they are actually widescreen movies, which end up really tiny because the ratio is about 16:15, as opposed to the standard widescreen ratio of 16:9. There is also an option of zooming in so that you don’t see the black bands at the top and bottom of the screen, the ones that take up nearly half the screen. That however, cuts out a lot of the view from the sides. Perhaps this doesn’t happen in the made-for-iPod Versions of the movies you get from iTunes.

But no matter what anyone says, it’s still a great product, and certainly the best in its class.

It’s good to be back home. I’ve been away for about four months. It’s great to have high speed internet with no download limit. It’s great to be walking distance from a very nice movie theatre and a plethora of shopping malls. It’s great to be sleeping in my very comfortable, made to order bed. And it’s great to be very close to the airport, where I work.

 

Yet I wonder how long this feeling of greatness is going to last. How long before I get fed up of my parents’ crazy antics. How long before this internet, too, feels too slow. How long before I long to move again?

 

I do really miss my car. It was such a convenience, especially where I used to stay, so far away from public transport. Here, though, I can manage without one, though there is a small car lying at home that no one is using, but after having driven an auto ‘box for three months, going back to an old manual without a power steering will probably result in a lot of swearing on my part.

You can add clutter to it with my blog entries! After all, what are your other options? Farmville?

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