Monday, July 15, 2013

Why I Don't Like Watching Roger Federer Matches?

"When you watch Roger Federer play, you are not watching tennis. You are watching art!"

If this is how I feel, then why would I not like to watch him play?

Unfortunately, though I have been playing tennis for more than five years now, I started following the sports on TV only very recently. All these years when Federer was reigning supreme, I didn't watch him play. Then when I started following the game, Federer's dominance is on decline.

Though he is losing matches rather easily nowadays, watching him play is still a delight. I believe that he has single-handedly raised the level of tennis played today.

To see him lose makes my stomach churn. I get acidity and lose sleep. I usually switch off the TV and go to sleep when I see signs of Federer failing.

Do you feel the same when you see your favorite star go through such situations?

I realize that it is not just Federer. I have the same going for Kamal Hassan too. I still can't watch Moondram Pirai or Ek Duje Ke Liye!

Do you feel the same when you see your favorite star lose?

That also makes me wonder, why can't I just enjoy the sport? Why do I have to take sides? Is that even possible? 

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Death of SMS Messaging

One, two, three, four, five, six...

No, wait! This is not blog for kindergarten kids. I was just counting the number of messaging apps on my phone. 
  1. The native messaging app that comes along in the phone 
  2. WhatsApp 
  3. Google Hangout (earlier Gtalk) 
  4. Facebook Messenger 
  5. Skpe 
  6. WeChat (till sometime back) 
Previously, I also had Viber. Like WeChat I removed it. How many do you have?
Couple of days back, BSNL, India's telecom behemoth, announced the winding up of probably the original SMS in India.   

The news made me wonder if SMS as a native app will also meet the same fate. The short life of Short Messaging Service? 

Do I need six apps for messaging? What differentiation does SMS anyway bring to the table? 

Cost did you say? Probably, there was a time when the number of free SMS used to be a differentiating factor while choosing a plan. For years now, I haven't kept track of SMS usage. 

Does it work cheaper then say an IP based Messenger such as WhatsApp? I seriously don't know. Actually, I don't care. 

In one of my previous jobs, my colleague and I had a discussion about the low cost PR agencies which spoilt the market for a large, high-fee charging national agencies. I told her that such low cost agencies are good for national agencies because without them the value that a national agency with its reach and good trained manpower is never realized by clients. Similarly, even if SMS is cheaper, I presume, users will prefer messaging tool that provides them greater user experience. 

I always had trouble sending an image though MMS, the superior cousin of SMS. But with WhatsApp, it is a breeze! 

It is also much more cooler to use the messaging apps then a plain vanilla SMS app. Yes, I know SMS Pro type apps spruce up the native app but then why bother? 

I can't think of any reason as to why I would want to use SMS. Internet on mobile is a reality and will certainly become ubiquitous. Other certainty is that every phone will be "smart" in some ways or other supporting such messaging apps.  

What happens to my alerts regarding bank, credit card or any other utilities? Tough one. Isn't there a way that that can be accommodated in CRM for customer contact? See, there's a business opportunity for some! 

Somehow I am not able to convince myself that SMS, in its current form, will last. Would it? 

Monday, July 01, 2013

How to Make Best Use of Gym Equipment at Home & Dan Ariely!

I recently bought an elliptical at home for work out. In order to find quick opinion, I asked for suggestions on Facebook. I did get some valuable inputs from friends and acquaintances which helped me make a buying decision.

But there was this one friend who said that buying an equipment at home is not a good idea. He said that one usually loses interest in working out sooner and then the equipment just becomes part of the furniture at home. I knew what he meant. Couple of years back I had brought home a stationary cycle which met exactly the same fate.

And finally ended up as scrap.

But this time I was determined to change that.

And I made the investment. And
to ensure I don't fail again, I devised a plan.

The idea is simple. It is based on Dan Ariely's story of how he managed to go through a very tough course of medication in his book The Upside of Irrationality.

As I step on the machine, I switch on the music channel on TV, preferably Tamil Film  music. Trust me the actors and actresses of Kollywood take away the boredom of me fighting against my weight. On an average a song lasts for five minutes; with six songs I am able to complete my 30 minutes of exercise feeling refreshed by the beautiful faces, nice moves, lovely music and scenic locales.

As Dan mentions in his book, we behave very irrationally. We are unwilling to undergo negative immediate effect (read exercising) for the sake of a positive long-term effect (read good health). But with some smart planning, this can be overcome. As Dan did; as I do! 

Just hope I keep doing it.