Of leaky boats and writing in the connected age

A writer is tasked with writing an article. His progress is akin to a man’s exertions on a paddle boat. Smooth rowing strokes at rhythmic intervals gets him closer and closer to his island destination. So what’s the catch in the analogy? Why are so many writers and bloggers struggling in the age of Facebook, Twitter …

Continue reading

How NOT to order green tea in Japan

Sheena Iyengar, in her fascinating book on choice – The Art of Choosing, shares numerous stories demonstrating the cultural psychological differences between individualistic societies (like the US) and collective societies (like Japan). The story below is particularly revealing. In 1995, I spent several months in Kyoto, Japan, living with a local family while I did …

Continue reading

Why some blog posts have a longer gestation period

Years ago, during my time at Yahoo, I had a manager (let’s call him “X”) who exhibited an interestingly annoying behavior. He would promptly respond to all my tactical emails but When it came to the less frequent (but potentially game-changing) missives of the Jerry Maguire mission statement kind, I was greeted with… silence. During one of …

Continue reading

Errr… Could we stop the conversions please?

This post has been in my Drafts folder for a whopping 20 months. I use ‘post’ loosely because when I picked it up today, it was just a collection of interesting story links and a provocative title. The original article that inspired this post was A Hindu America? — in no less a publication than National Catholic Weekly. …

Continue reading

Does mathematics make us boring dullards?

I stumbled upon an interesting blog today. The interestingness starts with the blog tag line and url: The Intelligent Woman’s Toyboy | The musings of an eccentric but not particularly intelligent wannabe intellectual, taking potshots from the outside and exploring the boundaries of credibility on matters that are of no concern to him. Read it …

Continue reading

Calling all Sanskrit Poets

Q: What happens when a British woman with a degree in Classics and Sanskrit from Oxford University moves to Bangalore? A: She falls in love with an Indian fashion designer and a Royal Enfield Bullet aficionado (yes – that’s ONE person). She becomes a Bullet aficionado, he becomes a Sanskrit buff, they get married and …

Continue reading

Decoding a power-packed Facebook status update

After a long time, I came across a Facebook status update which deserves highlighting. Here’s the 45-word beauty sans PII: Watched Mamma Mia in SF today and loved it. It made me want to hit the dance floor. Will try to get some sleep (hopefully I don’t need to nurse [Infant_Name] four times tonight) and …

Continue reading

4 years of blogging!

Yup – 4 years! To celebrate my 4-year blogging anniversary, I migrated my WordPress-hosted ulaar.wordpress.com blog to  ulaar.com. I’m sure it’s an event the blogosphere’s been looking forward to with joyous anticipation but guy… don’t know how to break it you… I’m not doing any press interviews. And yeah – don’t send any TV crews …

Continue reading