Pokemania – Poking the future of Technology in the right direction

Am sure, whoever you are and wherever you are, by now, you must have definitely come across your friends or colleagues going gaga about the sensational event of the world over the past one week. Yes, am talking about the Pokemon Go.

If you are not familiar with what this game is all about, let me explain you in one line (disclaimer: I know less than 10% about this game). It’s about collecting Pokemon characters using the game, but browsing/searching in the real world. If you wonder how, that’s what the game’s USP is, AR (Augmented Reality), augmenting the real world with super imposed digital world.

Pokemon Go

I’m personally very much excited by the success of Pokemon Go (Not that I had any stake in it, I wish though), it kind of fulfilled my wish to see the merger of real and the virtual/digital world in some popular way. I actually thought this might take much longer, but am surprised by the fact that it happened much before than I expected.

This game has created ripples in the gaming industry and perhaps is going to change the landscape of digital/mobile gaming altogether. Stats show now this is the most downloaded and used game/app in US/Australia right now. In fact, I think this is going to have impact across many areas of technology/markets. I think this is the trigger the AR world is waiting for, which could probably the next biggest thing after Internet itself.

Keeping aside various real life problems that this game can pose (like accidents, kidnaps), I feel there are few macro trends that could follow this Pokemania.

Boost for Gaming and related tech companies

Naturally, the first beneficiaries of this success are the other gaming companies and the tech companies behind these. The stock prices of other key players Sony/EA/Microsoft are also steadily rising from last week on the success of PokeMon Go. Do expect some really cool AR games/apps invading us and be ready to be delighted.

Tech companies like Intel/Nvidia might also stand to gain with increased need of better performances. Wearable devices such as Apple watch/Google glasses might surely make a run as they improve to better integrate with the AR apps/games.

New avenues for advertisers

Picture this

“Collect a very rare Pokemon xxx, upon buying a medium Pizza at xxx Pizza Hut”

Or Imagine

“Collect special discount coupons if you visit xxx location in your AR app or at one of the Pokestops.”

AR apps/games will open up a whole new space for the digital marketing guys. Already there are so-called sponsored Pokestops for the game which businesses small or large have signed up, targeting the customers for their products/services.

This is just a beginning; expect many AR enhanced marketing strategies coming up in future. Just like the real world Advertising, the AR enhanced Ads would not irritate you with unclosable and unpassable popups. Be assured that the digital marketing world has just stumbled upon a whole new real estate for their Ads and Campaigns, and the existing advertising and marketing models may be extinct if they do not adapt.

Take AR to Main stream

Augmented reality is an active work in progress for the past decade, but it has not garnered much of main stream attention as it was believed to be too techie and too Niche. The real world usage and implications of AR seemed like a bit of a giant leap, too tedious to comprehend and implement.

What Pokemon Go success has done is that it made Augmented Reality (AR) an easily understandable concept. Almost like a simple layman example of a complex technology. It’s like showcasing the fun side before showing the real world benefits. It’s a test to check the readiness of the people for AR, and yes, we are ready in fact.

The success of Pokemon is not just a mobile gaming app becoming a huge hit or creating records or garnering profits for the company. It has probably defined how our future would shape up.  How we see things, how we learn and perhaps our lives would shape up and revolve around technology and that too in a much better way that the current.

Imagine learning via 3D hologram images for a car which you can play around with, assemble and disintegrate if you want to learn the mechanics of it.

Merge the experience of gaming/movies

Imagine a movie where by using a special AR/VR (augmented/Virtual reality) device, you can play a lead or any character in the movie just like a game. The whole new world of fun and adventure awaits us. The difference between a movie and a game will disappear slowly (not that the movies disappear completely, you get the point right?). Give me an AR/VR device and an app, I might experience and live my own movie. Doesn’t sound too unrealistic!!

Boon to Service providers?

Last but not least, Pokemon Go and the host of other AR games that is about to flood the mobile gaming markets are going to be huge boost for the Data service providers.

No matter what, Pokemon Go or any AR game/App for that matter will always need some form of a data connection. Meaning, more profits for Data service providers.

Pokemania may fade away after few weeks or months (may be not)but the doors it opened could possibly let AR make a grand entry into our lives.

I’m Bullish, are you?

Why starving doesn’t help to lose weight

Have you ever became desperate about weight loss that you decided to start starving for days and expect to burn the fat in your body and you’ll finally become thin and lean? Well, nothing can be farther from truth.

First, let me define starving, According to the Wikipedia,

 “Starvation is a severe deficiency in caloric energy, nutrient, and vitamin intake. It is the most extreme form of malnutrition.”

Technically, if you deprive your body of more that 15% of the calorie intake on a regular basis, it is termed as starvation.

Thing is, in most of the cases, overeating (in reality, overeating Junk) is one main reason for overweight, so naturally our logic says eating less can will lead to weight loss. That’s good. But stretching this and saying eating even less will lead to more or faster weight loss is where the problem starts.

Do we really Burn fat when starving?

Our assumption is when we provide body with much less calories to burn from food; body turns to burning FAT for energy.

Well, that’s where we got it all wrong. The fact is, when we starve; our body first turns to burn muscle for the energy. Why? Because, muscle is Calorie Expensive i.e. Muscle need more calories to maintain. Hence, Body thinks “Oh no, I’m deprived of food, let me get rid of my most expensive stuff first.”

So, our body first burn our muscle, and then if we continue starving, it starts burning our fat. By this time, although we might have achieved some weight loss, this came at the expense of losing muscle.

(Nice image i found below, but do not agree comparison of fat with weed, but nevertheless the point is well represented)


Metabolism takes a hit!!

Again, if we starve and make our body receive less and less of the food, it starts realizing that “I have less food available to me, let me make sure I retain my fat and not burn it so easily. Let me hold on to my fat/carb reserves. How do I do that? Let me give out all signals of tiredness so that he/she will not be able to do anything fat burning. Also, let me slow down the metabolism and try to retain as much fat/carb reserves as possible.”

If our body gets into such survival mode, you know what happens. Whenever we take any food, body immediately starts storing it as fat reserve fearing it might not receive food for a long time. Simply Put, our body tries to adjust its metabolism to a new equilibrium level where it can survive with whatever lower levels of food intake we provide.

Now, the fact is we simply cannot continue starving for longer periods of time. So, the moment we start eating normal, interesting things happen. Since the metabolism is already slowed down and there’s little muscle to consume the food intake effectively, it directly goes in and gets stored as fat thereby making us gain more weight again.

Long term Appetite Loss

With Body getting used to lower intake of foods, we may lose our appetite which is not good for overall health. With lower appetite, we may end up sucked into a vicious cycle of starvation leading to weak body and even anorexia.

You may Binge heavily later

After a heavy starvation phase, we generally tend to have a feeling that we deserve to feast and hence we end up gorging anything and everything including unhealthy junk. With lowered metabolism, such heavy binging can create more weight issues. Additionally, it can wreak havoc on our self-esteem as we feel like we have failed.

Emotional Hell

Going on such starvation diet will sure affect our emotions. Think of the times when you yelled at your loved ones just because you are very hungry. Starvation can sometimes lead to heavy indulgences and thus we tend to gave a rollercoaster of mood swings, impacting our relationships with close ones.

Cannot achieve Well Toned Body

Since, most of the times, starvation simply ends up eating away your muscle, although we might achieve some weight loss, there won’t be any improvement in the structure of our bodies, in fact, reduced muscles will make us feel we are in worse shape than before. Or at best, we might be nothing more than a smaller version of our former self.


Affects brain and concentration levels

Do you know, that brain constitutes only 2% of the body weight, but consumes close to 20-25% of the calories that we take in?  This is the organ that needs and consumes most of the calorie intake for it to function normally. With modern day lives and Jobs needing more of our brain as the input, the consequences of starvation on brain could impact concentration, memory, creativity and efficiency. In the current situation, it’s hard to ignore such side effects which can impact our career and life as a whole.

Nutrient Deficiency will lead to other forms of illness

Well, starvation will simply lead to deficiency in vitamin, mineral and other nutrients, various organs in our body may stop functioning properly leading to unimaginable forms of illness and disease ranging from hair loss, skin diseases to nervous system disorders.

See Figure: Nice illustration from eatingdisorderri

effects of starving

Lack of energy will influence daily life

Nothing much to say here except that lower energy will impact every aspect of our daily life

Finally, Defeats the very purpose of Starving

When your start starving to get rid of fat, our body goes into survival mode, holding onto the very fat we are trying so desperately to get rid of. Instead of burning fat, your body will start first with muscle while trying to keep the fat for as long as possible defeating the whole purpose of starving.

So, my Advice is do not think of Starving as the solution to weight loss. If at all there is one, it can be intermittent fasting, More on it in a later post. Till, then

Be healthy, Keep rocking, Keep LIVING.

Sleep your way to good health

Well, if you have also decided to become healthy and lead a better lifestyle, let me tell you something very basic and quite frankly, an easy first step. SLEEP.

Have you ever realized how great you felt just after a good night’s sleep and thought “wow, today is mine, I can conquer anything today, I’m feeling so energetic and enthusiastic?” Have you ever noticed how easy the day went by when you had a great night’s sleep? Although we all know its importance and see the implications of lack of sleep or over sleeping daily, we tend to neglect it and ignore to treat sleep as an integral part of a healthy lifestyle.

Modern Life: Sleep is more important than ever before

Do you know that we are putting at least 5 times more strain on our eyes than our predecessors? While the previous generation didn’t put much strain on eyes on a daily basis, think of the strain we put on our eyes by using various gadgets like computers, mobile devices for everything from work to games to online shopping to entertainment. No wonder we and our children are having eye related problems which our moms, dads, aunts and uncles had only from their 50s. In fact, my 2 year old niece was recently diagnosed with eye sight problem which can be only attributed to the kind of lifestyle choices we are being forced into and also the exposure to the modern day gadgets.

In fact, most of us end up spending close to 10 hours per day using computers, mobile phones on all things necessary to pure waste of time. We actually sleep only when our eyes are red and can no longer bear the strain we put on them. Over a period of time, we get accustomed to sleep only when our eyes are totally strained and turned red.


Miles to go before you sleep?

I have come across many people who say, “Well, sleep is a waste of time as I can do more productive things by being awake”.  This “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” overachiever attitude assumes that our bodies aren’t doing anything useful when we’re buried beneath the covers. This in fact is absolutely wrong.

On the contrary, Sleep is actually an incredibly active time for our bodies and brains. This is the time when our body undergoes all kinds of growth and repair processes through a dynamic biochemical orchestration.  This creates a special support for neurological performance, endocrine balance, immune system functioning, and musculoskeletal growth and repair. In fact, you wouldn’t be half the man or woman you are without the physiological feats sleep achieves. I mean that both literally and figuratively, since sleep spurs the release of Human Growth Hormones (HGH), an essential player in cellular regeneration. I wish there’s another good name for sleep so that we all take it more seriously.

Then some others say “sleep reduces my time to enjoy stuff, whether watching movies, spending time with friends, or catching up on a late night football or a cricket match etc. For some, (including me, yeah), a night becomes a great time to “spend time with ourselves” when the night is hushed and everyone is asleep. This deep solitude is too much to resist and sometimes, we happily sacrifice a good night’s sleep to delve into ourselves. Well, all this comes with a side effect that the next day, waking up becomes so much of a task that our life looks all chaotic again.

In fact, if you want to go miles, you need a good little sleep.

What can a healthy sleep do to you?

“I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?” 
― Ernest Hemingway


Sleep has its benefits on everything in our daily-to-day life as well as long-term. While sleep is the natural way of recharging your batteries which get depleted everyday, it helps in improving concentration, memory and improves your overall health. Simply, put, the better u sleep, the longer and healthier you live.

Remember, a good night’s rest is the best phase of getting healed from any kinds of diseases/ulcers/inflammations. Any medication or a recovery from disease is hastened by a good sleep. Also, according to the “Health” Magazine, A 2010 study found that C-reactive protein, which is associated with heart attack risk, was higher in people who got six or fewer hours of sleep a night.

Additionally, the more your mind is relaxed through a good night’s sleep, the better it functions leading to better creativity, efficiency, problem solving and will power capabilities. Do you know that majority of the accidents on highways and roads happen not due to rash driving, but lack of sleep inducing mistakes on drivers.

However well intentioned we may be, there might be some natural distractions that we might have to encounter. Whether it’s a baby crying and waking us up in the middle of the night or an early morning flight that we have to catch or some critical assignments to finish. While, we can’t do much about these, all we can aim is to understand the benefits of sleep and give sleep its due.

Watch out for more on how to get a better sleep and what to do before and after a sleep.

Be healthy, Keep rocking, Keep LIVING.

Rahul Dravid..The Lord of the Rings!!!

When I started this blog, I was clear about one thing — that is to never write to about economy, cricket, politics or movies. i wanted to only write about what i feel about life in general at a personal level.

But, last week, when Dravid said good bye to the cricketing world, I couldn’t help feeling sad and as a result, ended up writing this post. But let me try to write about Dravid, the great man and not Dravid, the Great Batsman (not that I know him personally…but I always feel I know him.)As you must have noticed by now, every article on Dravid invariably mentions how he was overshadowed by other greats for most of his career, how he somehow ended up getting lesser credit than other greats.

For some reason, we Indians are hardwired to like sensation, masala, breaking news and some form of action and we are comfortable with simplicity and really don’t bother about peeling the layers. But thats exactly where Dravid’s greatness can be found–under the layers. Be it, seeing off the seam/swing of the new ball and setting other batsmen the platform or be it taking up extra burden without even making a fuss about sacrificing.

Let me give an example from our movie preferences. most of our Mainstream movies fall into one of the following categories.

1) Movies where a Rajini or Amitabh emerges out of dust to become a millionaire and take on villians or a Tom cruise spoiling a Nuclear attack attempt — (equivalent to Sachin taking on australian attack in the Sharjah desert or taking on Shoaib Akhtar/wasim/waqar in World cup Quarter finals or a Sehwag scoring triple century)

2) Movies where the hero is super talented, but lazy and just having fun, then a real challenge comes up and he realizes the importance of the challenge and raises to the occasion, proves his worth (Read Laxman’s 281 in Kolkata or a Yuvraj belting 6 sixes).

3) Then we have some new cute love stories where all hero needs to do at the end of the movie is ride a bike/horse and confess his love for the heroine who is at the airport leaving for the US or sitting in “shaadi ka Mandap”, about to be married to someone else. (Rainas/Dhonis playing cute little knocks to steer India home)

We somehow are comfortable believing that a Hero has all the special skills required and the challenges come accordingly. Simply put, we accept that a “Hero” is someone different from general populace in terms of skills and talent.

The biggest problem with Dravid is he cannot fit into any of these categories. Not because he has no talent, but because he is much more than the above 3 categories.

He is more like the “Frodo Baggins” of “Lord of the Rings”. By this, I do not mean to say he is a dwarf or just a simple man with no special skills/talent. He does have exceptional skills when it comes to batting/fielding/keeping etc comparable to and arguably better than many other greats in cricket.

But his challenges, his matchups, his duels are much more than just batting. Just the way, Frodo had to struggle to keep his ego, greed, desires under control while carrying the ring, dravid’s challenges were as subtle as Frodo’s. He could have thrown away his wicket just after reaching 100 on numerous occasions, but he carried on knowing that the job was not done yet. He must have been tempted to play a careless shot many a times influenced by his other flamboyant team mates, but he resisted knowing that he needs to protect the batting line-up for anther 20 overs. He got opportunities to finish things in a grand style, but he knew a better, so-called “boring” way to do it, because he know that in Cricket, things can change quite quickly, sometimes not to your liking. When on crease, nothing would divert him till the task at hand is completed.

Just like Frodo who was not dithered by untreadable paths, but carried on even when his path was unclear and full of darkness, Dravid has carried on to show the light to other batsmen in the team, guiding them while batting on unknown tracks. Just like Frodo, Dravid was willing to give it his all for a bigger cause and was determined to take his team all the way.

Unlike other mainstream protagonists, Frodo’s journey was as much about the path as about the destination. Similarly, Dravid’s career is as much about his process as about the final score or the result. To understand Dravid, you just can’t see the score an the end of a day in a test match. You wouldn’t even know the number of deliveries that rocked his helmet or the number of menacing moments has had to withstand. You can’t just watch first 5-10 overs and come back at 45 overs and understand Dravid’s impact. you simply cannot. Even if you watch the 4/6’s package or even highlights.

It’s not like the first scene in Mission Impossible or the last fight in Robot. It’s “Lord of the Rings”. It’s “Lord of the Rings”. It’s about the journey and then a destination.

Thats why for me, he is the cricketing equivalent of “The Lord of the Rings”..be it the Lords, the Oval, the Adelaide, the Sydney or an Eden Ring. He’s the Lord of all.

Qualifications Vs Qualities

Sometimes, I think am too over qualified to do my job and I should do something great. Immediately i think, am i qualified enough to do that “something great”.  So I started searching for few successful people and read their stories.In fact, I went through the list of successful people in various fields, i realized that most of these guys started of as what society considered them unqualified. It’s not  their qualifications that made them successful but their qualities — Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison and Mark ZuckerBerg etc

Looks like society is fooling us into believing that all successful people are exceptions. It is forcing us into taking the safe path of qualifications. This is just leading to some kind of boring homogeneity in society. Graduates are saddled with huge student loans unable to pursue their passions as their whole qualifications will go waste if they do something different. Relatives look at your qualifications to decide if they should give respect to yo or not.

I see some people thinking that ABC-The IIT/IIM  or  an XYZ-The Stanford/MIT Grad being equal to something like Alexander-The great or Sachin- The Master Blaster and that should automatically guarantee them to some special treatment. Qualifications are not the ones which define you, it’s the qualities you possess.

Qualifications are just some labels given to suggest a person have undergone a relevant training/course, but in no way guarantee that a person can do it better than anyone without qualification. In fact, most of the times, they are bad proxies for real talent.

In fact, I feel these qualifications can be a burden/liability to some and some sort of limitations to others. I myself thought many times, “C’mon, I’m an IITian, this business idea is too silly for my qualification”. I have seen few people not wanting to join a particular company as it has no “Qualified” people running it.

That’s why I like sports/arts. These are the fields which have never allowed the concept of official qualifications to creep in. In these fields, qualities matter more than qualifications. Imagine, if Indian cricket has a “qualification” rule mentioning that “every player should undergo cricket-Basics-1,2,3 and the Cricket-Advanced courses 1,2,3 before qualifying for international matches”, we wouldn’t even have seen greats in international cricket. In fact, most of the time, qualifications are as irrelevant.

The truth is,
We are never qualified to do anything and degrees/certificates won’t change that.
We are never unqualified to do anything in the first place and degrees/certificates won’t change that either.

If you want to do anything, just learn it, practice it, dive into in, eat it, drink it, and sleep on it. I guess that’s the only way great things were achieved. Only the qualities that you acquire/develop in real life experiences will make you qualified.

I agree, qualifications can bring you some sort of safety, but Qualifications and greatness were never tagged together. Never. Atleast, don’t let lack of qualifications deter you from doing anything.

8 Reasons you should stop watching news channels right now

What goes in comes out, mostly in a worse form. The modern life style does this to every one of us. The modern foods like pizzas, pastas, burgers (marketed with a higher price tag for extra cheese..wow) and various other fast foods packaged beautifully, colorfully and deliciously are luring us to consume them instantly. Result: Obesity, fat people all around, lazy bums, young people with cholesterol, diabetes and even heart diseases. Like everyone, I have also fallen into this trap, gained weight and luckily, now back to my healthy ways now (more on this in my later post)

Something similar is happening to our brains as well. In this age of information overload, we are constantly hit by unnecessary junk news 24/7. Just like our stomachs, our brains are fed junk and are bloating with the same. Our bodies are accumulating unnecessary calories and fats, instead of healthier alternatives, falling for the instant gratification trap. Similarly, our brains are accumulating junk information. The whole media is also playing a cruel trick on all of us misleading us to think that more information is equivalent to wisdom.

I feel people are becoming sad, serious and even grumpy after constantly exposed to these news channels lately. I used to feel the same when I was watching news few years back thinking that these news channels help me to become aware of things happening around me. I have now completely stopped watching News and their bullshit now. Here are few reasons why I believe why you should avoid these news channels

1. News is mostly unnecessary for you

After years of watching these news channels, I started asking if this has helped me in anyway. any news item i watch, i realized it has not helped me in my daily life at all. It was just a waste of time. All the news has just been plain irrelevant to me. I could have done so many better things than watching this shit. I could have spent more time with friends, had some real conversations (meaningful or meaningless), gone to a museum, gone on long drives, atleast could have listened to more music..

Has it helping me relax at the least? Sadly No..I feel tired and exhausted.
Is it useful to anyone? i don’t think so..

I don’t get it!!

2. News is mostly junk

Frankly, I do not care about how and why John and Bipasha Broke up. Also, a boy killing his girlfriend as she refused to wear his favorite dress, howmuch ever sad/”BREAKING” it is., it’s still junk for me.

Also, should I not not call sharukh’s latest shoe lace collection, a junk news item? these kind of news is just plain vouyeristic. I get confused if they are reporting news or creating news.

I don’t get it!!

3. News is mostly hyped

Ok, I can’t say news is 100% bullshit. But the fact is even a simple relevant news is packaged into a “it’s all over” or “it’s the greatest thing in the world” scenario by these news channels. I mean, how many breaking news can i tolerate in a day? Why can’t the news reader read the news in a normal tone instead of “YELLING” at me!! It’s not that i’m not paying enough attention to her..I AM..

I don’t get it!!

4. News is mostly biased

Interestingly, all the news channels claim that they are no more about “just news”. They are much more than that. Yes they are defininitely much more than that. They are all about “Biased Opinions”.

Even before they utter single word about the actual news, they start with a hyped/biased opinion. Why can’t the news item simply start with “India lost the third test against australia in Perth by innings and 37 runs” instead of “Is indian cricket dead? can’t indians win abroad? Is it the end of the big four?”

I don’t get it!!!

5. News channels are trying to become parallel Justice systems

There are thousands of road accidents on a daily basis in india,but one accidental death of a famous politician’s/cricketers son gets reported all across and then these news channels talk about enforcing laws…

i don’t get it!!!

I feel like a sheep now..

6. News is mostly fear and euphoria

2012, end of the world, global economic meltdown, wars, global warming, — nice one guys..good strategy to catch attention. Even I tried this in one of my blog posts.

This is the greatest new year party in the world..Love all around..Aishwarya and Salman dancing together, while Abhishek is changing Beti B’s nappies.. Barkha Dutt reporting from Goa for NDTV (I too need to get creative to generate euphoria!!..damn, how do they do it so well??)

why..why?? Oh..this one i got it..they don’t want us to change the channel…rite..?

7. News is mostly presented by bullshit non-experts claiming to be experts

“Crude Oil prices fall by 0.5% today as demand drops”

Crap..it’s just one day dude..and you are talking about demand drop..idiot!! I can write more on this..but u get the point, right?

8. News mostly makes you sad

Family burnt alive by villagers, road accident kills 50 children, woman gangraped and burnt alive, famines, deaths in summer heat, deaths in winter cold, death by rains/floods..

do you really need to waste your time and also pay for it and at the end of it all feel sad about the world and dejected about life?

It’s been 1 year since i stopped watching news..I can definitely say I feel better than watching news..

“If a news is relevant and important to you, you’ll definitely be receiving it..Trust me..It’s one of those Universal Laws of nature..

Serious confessions of a silly mind

  • I think of what to eat for lunch (may be even dinner), when am just having breakfast, and am ashamed to say it loud to my friends.
  • I love playing basketball, cricket and billiards. Although I think am good at these, I have deep fears, Fear of looking foolish/awkward, fear of choking, fear of playing really bad, fear of playing really well, fear of letting down a playing partner.
  • I sneak out of office early if there’s no work; I sneak out earlier if there’s work.
  • When a girl starts losing interest in me/giving up on me or even starts hating me, that’s the point I start loving her…
  • When I was a kid, I often dreamt of Clean bowling Brian Lara out several times in world cup matches and bowling Sachin out (in the nets of course, my dreams couldn’t think of IPL at that time)
  • I believe that I can still obtain super powers..Just that I need to be at right place..I’m just one miracle away from greatness
  • I have read fore word and introduction of hundreds of books without ever making it to the real content
  • I make a real effort to look into the eyes of a person to convince him/her that I’m actually listening, but eventually end up scratching my nose or eyes
  • I thought “lol” on chat meant “lots of love” and thought that the girl saying it on the other side was totally in love with me
  • I think that silly stock I own is gonna make me a millionaire
  • I’m trying to find one just more point but still not getting any..
  • Now, I’m desperately hoping that you’ll like this post..even though I don’t get any good vibes about it..
Thats me..Whats you??