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Showing posts from May, 2018

Why Alexa

I have tried long and hard to understand what human need Alexa fills other than our right to be stupid and lazy. To the vast majority of us Alexa is not making the difference between life and death every day - that is the only scenario in which the value proposition makes sense. Alexa Fails are routinely treated as funny even though the implications are anything but. 

I am a Mary Meeker groupie and wait all year like the rest of them to hear her Internet Trends Report. This year, I paid close attention to her take on Voice which culminates in this gem of a slide headlined: Product Finding (Amazon) = Started @ Search...Fulfilled by Amazon. Alexa exists because the human desire for lazy and stupid is so boundless. 

Nirvana will be delivered unto us when I can bark at Alexa in my native language to have that box of Tide be dropped off by drone on my front porch. I am such a hot mess Monday morning because I previously binge watched Netflix all weekend, forgot all my chores and am now out o…

Driving Blues

Seven-seater minivans exist for a reason. And not because people who buy them are in love with their aesthetics. Kids need to be ferried between school and activities; parents must pool their collective resources of available time so they can also work. So there is kiddie car-pool and the ugly van that makes it possible. I have never owned one of these myself but they speak to me in a visceral way. Many things exist in life because they serve a need and not because they are glorious and wonderful.


The idea of this van can be extended to every part of life. Half way through, you are forced to think if you will spend the rest of it allowing function win over form. I am in that place lately and not a day passes when don’t ask myself what happens in the next phase. There is no marker of half-life more brutal than seeing your kid get drive off in their car for the first time.  It rips the figurative umbilical chord with great finality. This was my experience as a mother and from speaking wi…

Two Sides

I finally got around to reading When Breath Becomes Air. The writing is as amazing as the journey through the author's mind while he grapples with his mortality. The epilogue of the book written by the wife of the deceased author offered the most remarkable contrast in perspective to his own narrative. Comparing the two versions of the events was like first watching a soundless movie in black and white and then seeing the final scenes replayed in full color and with sound. Kalanithi was obsessed with the question of his life's purpose and being able to make the most of the somewhat undefined amount of time he had left. While that preoccupation resulted in this unforgettable book, the flow of life and love around him seemed to remain a distant force that only touched him at tangent.

In the early part of the book the author mentions difficulties in the marriage. Learning about his condition forces a resolution that did not follow the "normal course of life" path that is…

Waiting

Yet another work-out time movie. This time Waiting. I first saw Kalki Koechlin in Margarita with a Straw. She was great there and here in very different roles. It was interesting to read about her background and that of Mikey McClearly who producted this catchy tune for the movie.  Both made me think of cultural assimilation  and what it may have meant for Koechlin a"white-skinned woman growing up in Tamil Nadu", who had to defend her "Indian-ness" at numerous occasions. McCleary has a very interesting background that almost makes this piece of music possible. I always wanted to believe that India takes a big tent approach towards religious inclusion. Everyone has a spot in the Hindu pantheon and if they are lacking one, it is not too hard to make room. The news of Hindu nationalism and the politics of fear I read lately makes we wonder if I am being too naive. My distance from the everyday realities of present day India make it impossible to separate fact from spi…

Being a Chill Mom

..being “chill” while a mum is not a goal for the faint of heart. Despite all your efforts, you will make your kids cringe periodically and there will be loud arguments over your “infractions”. They will hold grudges for longer than you like. There will also be those lucky days when your kid is actually proud of you and brags about how cool you are to their envious friends. Read my guest post at Motherhood The Real Deal