Monday, August 23, 2010

How much of Facebook?

When I was asked to write a snippet on any random topic, the first thing that came to my mind was the current hot topic of social networking and Facebook. I thought this is a good opportunity to pen down my views on the subject since I am on the site almost the whole day!

Wiki defines Social Network as a social structure made up of individuals (or organizations) called "nodes," which are tied (connected) by one or more specific types of interdependency, such as friendship, kinship, common interest, financial exchange, dislike, sexual relationships, or relationships of beliefs, knowledge or prestige. Social is the key word here. For generations we learn and teach our kids that we humans are social animals. And in order to survive in today’s stressful lives, we strive to keep that point in mind and revive it time and again. The site’s popularity is clearly visible. I can’t stop myself from logging onto Facebook every morning before I even check my mails. Be it sharing the numerous funny videos posted by my friends or writing on friends walls the day doesn’t start without a funny tag line ;)
I remember during the initial days of Facebook, how excited most of us were to find long lost school friends, sharing loads of pictures and videos, virtual poking each other, throwing virtual pillows and of course, planting seeds in your Farmville! Right from games to super cool applications, many of the users have built a great credibility and gained customers for their various business. Its main USP, however, is that it serves as a dating site. Facebook has been the reason for many solitary souls’ smiles!
Albeit its gaining popularity and number of users, as for any invention, there are the disadvantages too. Major ones being, if you are in cognizant, strangers added as your friends can gain access to personal information, risk your safety and can lead to negative and unpleasant scenarios. You may not even be able to verify your “friend’s” credentials and it might be a false account for all we know.

Facebook may not be all that good or bad. It’s up to us, the users, to decide what kind of information to share. Share with a sense of responsibility and don’t let the cyberpunks trespass what’s personal to you.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Book Review - Train to Pakistan

Train to Pakistan - by Khushwant Singh published in 1956 - Fiction
Although I have read a lot of books since I was 10, this is my first book review. Thanks to Rahul who inspired (read as forced) me into this one ;)
Train to Pakistan is a book based on the partition of India Pakistan right after India's independence. It takes us to the summer of 1947 to Mano Majra, a tiny village in Punjab. The partition means almost nothing to the local villagers and all is well between the sikh farmers and muslim tenants of the village until the local money lender Ram Lal is murdered. Jugga and the England returned social activist become the prey of Punjab police. The heavy drama shifts drastically when an east-bound train makes an unplanned stop at Mano Majra, coaches full of corpses. The flabbergasted villagers have not yet accepted the truth when reality slaps them once again when Sutlej floods from neighboring village. Action paces on as the magistrate, Jugga, Iqbal (the social activist) and village heads try to tackle the revolting violence. Also, the attitude of local police and niggling government officials is very nicely portrayed. The end however leaves a lot of open threads. Once I was about 4 - 5 pages away from the end, I was keen to know how will he end the series of misfortunes in the village. Frankly I was a bit disappointed since I was expecting something out of Mr. Iqbal as well. But to sum it up, Mr. Singh's eye to detail makes it a total page turner. Train to Pakistan gets a "Must Read" tag.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Between holding a hand and chaining a soul

After a while you learn the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn mean learning and
company doesn mean security,
And you begin to learn that kisses aren contracts
and presents aren promises,
And you begin to accept your defeat with your head
up and you eyes open, with the grace of an adult,
not the grief of a child,
And you learn to build all you roads on today
because tomorrow ground is too uncertain for
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if
you get too much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own
soul, instead of waiting for someone else to bring you
And you learn that you really can endure...
That you really are strong,
And you really do have worth.

Veronica A. Shoffstall

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