Digital simplicity


Last year, one of my treasured possessions – a hard disk with my complete digital photo archive – crashed.  I do have backups, but this was the ‘Mother HDD’, with every file slotted, tagged and organized by date, time, folder. When it comes to my digital archive I suffer from a serious case of OCD, and then some.

I was miserable but was lucky enough to be able to retrieve most of the data – over 9 GB worth of photographs.  But sadly, when I opened the new hard disk, I realized that I had to reorganize, re-tag and re-slot every single file.  Most names and references to date and time were gone though some files were untouched.  It’s been a long year. Phew!

However, through this entire archival journey, I got to relive some of the best moments in my life –  working life, marriage, children and friends.  When I look back, I realize how many wonderful moments life has thrown at me, and the many lessons I have learned along the way.

Thankfully, I am on the last leg of this arduous re-archival journey.  Very soon, I will let out a whoop of joy and probably weep tears of sheer relief from the monotony of this task, that has bitten-off huge chunks of my free time.

This afternoon, as I sifted through the last 2000 files, I chanced upon these photos.  These are photos of my son’s Grade 1 school notebook.  The teacher seems to have rewarded my son with  ‘smileys’ for his efforts in writing.  My son has converted the teacher’s smileys into a couple of cute animals, with ears and tails.  Sharing these photos with you.

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My digital drill seems to have been worth it.  After all, such simple moments are the ones that need capturing.  These are the moments that make up the mosaic of our lives. Simple moments of love, joy and innocence, captured for posterity.

A Measured Life


Every place I look, metrics are in place. I cannot eat my food without knowing the number of calories I have consumed. I cannot exercise without knowing the number of calories I have burnt, because these tangible numbers seem to be required, to add meaning to every activity in my life.

Human beings are endowed with emotions and feelings that can be expressed and conveyed in words and poems, songs and letters. But today, our social-skills & worth are measured in Likes, Shares, Smileys, and the number of friends we have in our social network.

These days, we also have to ‘measure’ our words. Funnily, ‘Word’ also measures our words. At the end of this blog, I will know the exact number of words I’ve used. Another measure, another number.

Our smartphones seem to count and keep track of our lives, 5 missed calls, 6 new messages, 100 whatsapp messages, 7 apps updated!!! Still counting.

So do these ‘counts’ really count? What do they tell us? Of course we need to know who’s called, but I’m talking about the alerts we get. 10 missed calls, my phone alerts – it is not the missed call itself, but the number 10 that causes panic.  10 missed calls from the kids to ask if they can use the computer to play. Hmmm.

As ladies, we count the number of clothes we have, and they are never enough. We count our clothes and measure our waists, only to be disappointed.

We count the destinations we have been to and measure our happiness through these. We count our grey hair and measure our age through other people’s eyes.

We record our BP, measure our cholesterol, quantify the iron in our bodies.  We are walking health records.

In our resumes, we quantify our experience in years,  and skills by the amount of business we have generated for our past employers.

We assess our parent-worth by quantifying our children’s achievements and progress.

Even when we laugh a lot, we quantify and say, “I haven’t laughed like this in two months.”

If you ask me, we are leading measured lives! And at every moment of our lives, we are trying to measure up to something.

How would our lives be if we stopped measuring and comparing things that don’t really matter ?

Start counting our blessings, maybe?  The count continues…….

Forward Ho!


For the umpteenth time today my phone pings indicating that I have 20 messages. Except for two of these messages, 18 texts comprise jokes, videos showcasing the unique talents of people, lectures given by people at University graduations, quotes by famous people & general messages with good mornings or have a nice day. Most messages have 5 smileys on an average.

I read some, skim through some and reserve the videos for later, when I will have the time to sit and watch them.

I suddenly wonder how the information super city looks – with all these messages bustling about, rushing from one phone to the next, bits and bytes flying through space and ending up as cohesive jokes on one’s phone.

I imagine rooms in this high-tech city where smileys are manufactured and sent to various mobiles and computers on a conveyor belt. 70 smileys and 20 winkies to that phone please…

I can imagine a harried robot supervisor, ensuring that likes, shares, forwards and sends are working smoothly.

I imagine certain jokes being forwarded over and over again…spinning on an elliptical belt in space with an algorithm that says visit every mobile once in 45 days. These come with a recycling feature. You delete them and they reappear on the belt only to enter another phone….

I can see a huge spinning gallery of pictures categorized into profile pics, holiday pics, year 2015 pics etc flying on a carousel, being sucked into various phones and mobiles.

This super city never sleeps. Come night or day, rain or shine, people’s texts, jokes, videos, tips for better living, stories that resonate with our beliefs, and many more, continue to be delivered seamlessly.

They bring small bursts of joy, wholesome laughter at times, mild exasperation if they are repeats and an automatic irresistible urge to forward them!! Forward ho!