Friday, September 05, 2014

یادیں

گزری یادیں ، بھولی باتیں 
لوٹ کے آتی ہیں 

پیار کے لمحے، سارے  سپنے 
یاد کراتی  ہیں 

دل میں جیسے پھول کھلے ہوں 
ایسا لگتا ہے 

ساری  خوشیاں  لوٹ آئی  ہوں 
ایسا لگتا ہے 

وقت گزرتا جاتا ہے، روپ بدلتے جاتے ہیں 
لیکن کچھ لمحے ایسے ہیں ساتھ نبھاتے ہیں 

کتنے دریا ، کتنے دیس ، کتنی یادیں  ، کتنے بھیس 
کیسی کیسی تصویریں اور کتنی باتیں ہیں 

برسوں بیتے ، شامیں آئیں ، صبحیں گزر گیئں 
میرے دل کے آئنے میں کل کی باتیں ہیں 

لوٹ کے آئین ، دل بہلائیں، میری آس  بڑھائیں 
میرا کل سرمایا میری میٹھی یادیں ہیں 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Places in my mind

Deep inside my mind there is a place which is beautiful.

And I've spent all my life finding the key to this place. I find it for a while and then it eludes me again. It doesn't matter where I live or what I'm surrounded by. No riches can make me happy when I cannot find this place - and no ruin can upset me when I'm there.

In the final analysis we just live inside our heads. Unless we are comfortable there, until we are at peace with our soul, we will not be happy.

That's why I write, because writing takes me there. It seems to wash away the distractions of living, the worries, the hurries, and the rush of the ordinary and to connect me to myself.

It really is amazing that writing a few deeply felt lines can bring me more happiness and contentment than the most expensive gizmos, or the most outrageous amusements designed to entertain me.

When you get past the complications, past the self created sense of urgency, past the irrational voices in the head, life is actually pretty simple.

When I first started out I used to think that the only thing I needed was an access to books for the rest of my life and I'd be fine. And while I've done so much more and gone on so many more adventures, it has to be said that nothing grounds me quite like the written word.

Thank goodness for the small miracles of the ordinary everyday.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

I know how this ends

I know how this ends.

My life is nothing but one of billions happening right now. It's not hard to see how this ends. All I need to do is to look around me and take an average of a few thousand lives and that's pretty good indicator of where I'll end up.

And the longer I live, the easier it becomes to predict because my past life contains more data points to run a correlation with the averages.

We're all just so darned predictable. You grow up, go to college, get married, get a job, build a house, worry about your kids future, worry about your own future, get old and die. Everyone I know is along this path, or at least trying to get on this path.

Not that there is anything wrong with that. 

Indeed it is comforting to know that no matter what we do, we're pretty much conforming to some norm or the other, which has been repeated and re-lived over and over again by millions before us.

It is a bit funny though, because most of us think we're unique, but of course we're not. We're hugely, boringly, startlingly, statistically predictable. 

It is a bit off-putting at times though. Here we are, trying to be unique and different and special and all that, but the odds of us pulling that off are astronomically thin.

Sure, some decide to break the mould and act  different, but even they are just following the pattern set by millions before them. The loner, the adventurer, the cynic, the lone genius, the crazy singer, the warrior, the villain, the hero, the philosopher... it's all been done before. Over and over again. It's boringly, ridiculously, predictable. Just a slightly different point on the normal curve which never really changes.

Does it matter ? Probably not. Does it change anything ? of course not. Because this blog itself has been done a million times before. It's boringly, ridiculously predictable.



Tuesday, June 10, 2014

i (almost) robot

It'a a common scene in science fiction movies: the super human, or half-robot-half-human, or super-intelligent-alien-robot, or whatever, needs to learn something. He plugs himself into some kind of electronic library, and a few seconds later he has completely mastered how to fly a helicopter, or how to do kung fu, or whatever. (remember The Matrix ? or the robot in Short Circuit if you are an 80s kid)

We're not there yet, but the internet sometimes makes me feel a bit like that.

I come across a new idea which piques my curiosity. I do a quick Google on the subject, pare down to two or three promising links - one of which is usually Wikipedia - do a quick browse and, an hour later, I'm much more familiar with the subject.

Not quite as impressive as a one second upload of an entire encyclopaedia by the robots in movies, but not bad. Not bad at all.

Human curiosity is a wonderful thing, and for those who like to learn new things this is a wonderful time to be alive.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Mac OSX Yosemite: First Impressions - 1

Having downloaded the first developer preview of the Mac OS X Yosemite, I'm currently putting it thru its paces. As had been widely expected, OS X has been given a full facial uplift with new colours, new transparency and new icons.



Note the new icons for everything from the Finder to the calculator and the Trash basket. Also the slightly new colours of the minimise, close, and full screen buttons.

On the whole it took me a day to adjust to the new colours, but now that I'm past that I'm liking the new look. Its not a dramatic departure so it is still familiar, but it does look nice and fresh.

The window close, minimise, and full screen buttons (red,, yellow, and green) look flat to go with the rest of the interface. Also the green button now always takes you to full screen mode - there is no dedicated full screen button on the right side of the window as before.

The other big visual change is in the notifications area, which now contains a Today tab. This contains widgets for things like calendar, weather etc and you can customise it by clicking on the edit button at the botton. Nothing earth shattering, but nice to have.



Usability wise, the thing I'm really liking is the new iCould folder in the Finder - which behaves exactly like my dropbox folder did. Note how it has automatically created a separate subfolder for each app from which I'm saving files on the cloud. Be warned however that turning this on means you must also upgrade to iOS8 beta to access these files - they won't be visible from iOS 7.

Finally, there is the new spotlight. This is a major improvement in usability and looks. While it works mostly like before, the built-in previews tab makes finding things even easier.



This developer preview version is quite stable, but I do see crashes and freezes from time to time as can be expected from any beta version. I have not seen any compatibility issues with any apps yet. It is very much usable, but if it is your primary work machine, proceed with caution for now

The other set of changes are in Safari which has undergone a complete interface refresh with a cleaner look and more compact toolbars and controls - more on that later perhaps.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

45 Lessons at 45

don't think I'm all that much wiser, but at 45 the urge to appear wiser certainly grows. In that spirit, here's 45 things I've learned so far. Of course learning a truth is one thing, always living by it is something else again, but I try to remember these as much as I can.

  1. Take a break, you're probably more tired than you think.
  2. Learning will never stop. Don't be surprised or feel bad that you still have so much to learn.
  3. Listen. Just listen. Stop talking and listen.
  4. An episode of Seinfeld is guaranteed to lift your mood.
  5. Whatever the catastrophe, it's never as bad as it seems in the first 10 minutes.
  6. Context is everything.
  7. Most of the things you are worrying about will not happen.
  8. Ask for help. Going it alone is almost always a bad idea. 
  9. Even if you ignore it, ask for advice - talking them over will solve half your problems.
  10. Recessions come and go, life goes on. Get used to it.
  11. Listen to new music. Oldies are great but there's always wonderful new stuff. Stay current. Ask your kids to fill your playlist. It opens the mind.
  12. Rest.
  13. Work is called work for a reason. Don't expect to be inspired and 'fulfilled' every day. Just get the job done, that's what you are paid for.
  14. Buy the book. Even if you might never finish it, you might start it. And you will still know more than you did before starting it.
  15. Forgive yourself, you're doing the best that you can.
  16. Nothing lasts for ever. Good times will not last, but that's no reason not to enjoy them. Neither will bad times, and that's a good reason to bear them.
  17. Be nice. Sometimes it is more important than being right. Actually, it’s almost always more important.
  18. Money cannot make you happy but lack of money can be a real pain in the neck.
  19. Slow down, you have a long way to go, so enjoy the view.
  20. Smile. Often.
  21. Technology is making entirely new things possible every day. Don't miss out. 
  22. Adapt. Old dogs can learn new tricks. Indeed they must.
  23. You can't make everybody happy, sometimes you can't even make anyone happy. So don't worry too much about this, you can only try.
  24. Think. Every now and then turn off the internet and the media and the noise, and just think. Thinking is hard work, which is why most people don't do it.
  25. Don't accept dogma, but know that your views are just as likely to be hogwash as the next person.
  26. 45 feels a lot younger than I thought it would. I suspect 60 will feel the same. I hope so.
  27. Cooperate with the inevitable. There's always another day.
  28. Don't be afraid. Of anything. But be sensible. Learn the difference between lack of fear and lack of foresight.
  29. Never read emails in bed.  And never, ever, ever, reply to emails in bed.
  30. Savour spring. You only have about a few dozen springs to go.
  31. Walk away. Sometimes it is the best thing to do
  32. You can't win arguments with 2-year olds. Neither with 17 year-olds for that matter.
  33. What goes up, generally comes down. The only question is when. So don't be surprised when someone moves your cheese.
  34. Advice is easier to give then to act on
  35. The longer things haven’t changed, the closer they are are to changing - though it appears to be the other way.
  36. It's not all about you. 
  37. You might ‘fall’ in love quickly - but to ‘be’ in love takes time. The two are very different and you will eventually learn the difference.
  38. Learn to code. The world will be run by software eventually. Those who understand this will be less bewildered.
  39. Don't waste energy on people who cut into your lane, or people who argue for no reason, or any type of bigots. The best you can do for them and for yourself is to leave them alone.
  40. People seeking your advice are mostly looking for validation. You do the same.
  41. It doesn't have to be perfect.
  42. Starting things is easy. The key ability is to finish
  43. Writers write, coders code, singers sing, painters paint. If you have a passion it will find you, just stop getting in your own way
  44. Leave room for serendipity, too much planning is as bad as none at all.
  45. Don't hold out for some magic future date. This is the time of your life so enjoy it.