The unexpected

Our world is full of tiny surprises. Each day I walk down the street, I see something new and eye-catching—a bud blooms while another flower dies nearby, a bee buzzes around my ear while a silent caterpillar crawls by my feet, a child waters her begonia while another picks a rose for her mother—it’s little things like these that bring out the beauty of living.

And then there’s Siri. Out of no where, Siri has the most surprising answers to the most uncanny of questions.

Nature makes life worthwhile, Siri makes technology.

Siri

 

People Don’t Know What They Want

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Sometimes in life, you just get used to the way certain things work. You take them for granted and, for some reason, you start believing that’s that’s the way things should work. Like personal laptops, for instance. I love Apple, but I couldn’t afford an Apple product until I started working. That’s when I got the office Mac. Despite its hefty price tag, the Mac was breezy. The near-unattainable beauty was darn easy to get used to. I fell for the Mac the moment I touched it and the cool metal sent electric excitement down my spine. It felt sleeker than the “tick-tock” of my previous Windows laptop.

The Mac was a class apart from every piece of technology I had seen before. It wasn’t just its cool exterior; I was in awe of everything that came with it, too. When I tried moving from one window to another for the first time, the Launchpad popped in out of nowhere. I was taken aback before noticing the search bar on top. It was like my Mac knew I was lost and needed to find my way through a mass of apps.

I love Finder’s eagerness to find anything on my system, from the smallest file I’d saved years ago to the last website I opened a while ago. And the first time I shut my Mac off, I spent a good couple of minutes trying to close the Finder, only to realise later — with such thrill — that you can never quit looking for answers.

Then came the shock of the inverted scroll. What was shocking, though, is how natural it felt to scroll against Windows. For too long I’d used Windows without noticing that the other way made more sense. I now I cherish Mac’s re-invented inverted scroll, not to mention the way a document bounces back when you’ve scrolled all the way. It’s the little things that matter the most, and it seemed like Apple had thought of them all.

And then there’s Safari, without a doubt, the best browser I’ve ever used. Not just in terms of beauty and slivers of silveriness, but also the way it sympathises with a user. I always go for full screen, and when I move my mouse pointer towards the top to switch to another tab, it works fine without affecting my experience. What wasn’t fine, though was when I did the same in a more “hip” browser. There, the system menu showed up, hiding my browser tabs for a while. I went back to Safari to check how it handles the situation and found out that it doesn’t hide the tab names in the browser. And that’s where Safari is better than every other browser I’ve used.

Here’s the thing, though, I wouldn’t have noticed the obvious flaw in the other browsers if I had continued to use only those. I would’ve adapted and believed that that hiding the tabs was the only way to handle the case.

But the Mac showed me an alternative — a better version. We’re so used to adapting to what we already have, that only when something better like the Mac comes along do we realise we shouldn’t settle. Perhaps that’s why Steve Jobs was a visionary.

A Perfect Match

Think brothers, sisters, and friends since childhood. Think Sponge Bob and Patric, some nuts and spice. Think Pisces and Scorpios. Or  Apple and Steve. Think Holmes with his Watson, rum and some raisins. Think PB and jelly sandwiches, or mac and cheese for dinner. Think red think  full, think white and light, and wine while you dine. Think chocolate with chocolate, pumpkin in a pie, or just tea and cake. Think toddlers with paint, and teenagers with selfie sticks. Think plays and  Shakespeare. Think Wyatt and Surrey, and a cupboard underneath the stairs. Think blueberry and pancakes, bacon and eggs. Or, just you and I — the perfect match.

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I’ve signed up for Prakash’s Incredible Blogger Marathon Challenge. It’s a ten-task-challenge that can span up to fifteen days. This post is my response to the first challenge: Phrase a Paragraph.

Let’s Talk About the Starving Kids

When I was still young, I hated my vegetables. I’d eat my treats and leave the rest for the trash. Beans involved too much effort to pop into my mouth and cabbage was too rubbery to chew. My mother wouldn’t notice the oddity, though, and neither did my father. They just told me I complained too much and it was wrong not to eat the gnarled vegetables.
I was avoiding the minerals and nutrients that cookies lacked, my mother said. And no matter how much I argued that mashed potatoes were good enough for me, my parents never considered me serious.

But they did more than doubt me. They gave me a reason to finish my whole meal, unattractive though it was. I’m lucky, they said, to have a plate groaning with spinach while poor kids halfway across the world didn’t get a proper meal a day. A double-hazelnut and chocolate chip cookie is a luxury they can’t afford. And therefore it only made sense that I ate all the vitamin-rich foods I got.

How that helps starving kids remains a mystery, but I was much too young to think about the nuances of logic.

It messed with my head, though. It didn’t matter that I didn’t understand poverty and global hunger. I was eight and my mother said, “Don’t waste food, there are plenty of people starving.” And being eight and eager to remain the apple of my mother’s eye, I ate the final slice of apple even when I didn’t want it.

I was dining with my friends last night and knew I had eaten enough. But there was some pasta left over, so I grabbed a fork. I can’t help it that I can’t waste food. Because even though I’m twenty-two, I don’t feel satiated until I’d wiped my plate clean.

While at another table sat a kid with tears in her eyes. Her mother coaxed her to finish her meal. And the father threw a stern look at his daughter. “You should be thankful you have food on your plate.” He growled cutting through his wife’s gentle reproaches. “Now eat!” And she eats.

As I sat there, I saw a girl who had already eaten her share, eat the rest too. Just because somewhere someone doesn’t have enough to eat, another young girl gave into the pressure without even realising it could make her sick.

What’s the Point of Photography?

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I’ve spent restless nights for the sun to come up so I could click a picture.

I’ve zoomed in far more than I should, just to get a clear shot of a waning moon as darkness engulfed it.

I’ve pointed my camera at many places, trying to land a perfect angle. I should have just gaped open-mouthed, instead.

Photography is addictive. I’ve got a great phone that takes stunning images, with a precise focus. Plus, it’s so fancy I need to flaunt it. And I also have a craving to capture scenic, yet uncommon, sights of everyday life.

That’s what makes me flip out my phone every time I’m at a restaurant. Or stop short in the street to click a picture of a witty billboard. It’s what makes me lean over pointy plants and hover over a blooming flower.

It felt therapeutic at first to scroll through photos and pretend I had more memories than I could remember. But then, I didn’t remember those moments because I never paid attention.

And as I went to the terrace this morning, I saw the sun pushing its way through dense clouds, illuminating the sky with orange rays. As the clouds lined gold, a balloon of joy erupted within me. And in an instant, I wished I had my phone in hand.

Without thinking, I wanted to freeze the moment rather than enjoy it. I wasn’t in the present but was thinking about taking it to the future.

It was sad. Nature had given me a glorious sight, and there I was my eyes clouded behind the veil of a camera lens. What’s the point of looking at something and not seeing it?

In truth, photography means nothing to me. I’m no professional, and I don’t intend to be.

I don’t have a fancy camera or the knowledge of perfecting lighting, angles, or aperture.
I shouldn’t mind sacrificing a few photos if it meant I could eat a meal while it’s still warm. It’s fine to stare at the moon for five minutes without panicking over an unfocused photo. And ok to look at the sky, calling out, “Bring me that horizon.”

Sure, I should still get a good photo or two of momos — because they’re too good to resist. But for me, photography is a hobby, and it shouldn’t get in the way of living my life.