Africa! You are probably envisioning savannas, safaris and political unrest, but amidst the AID projects and Elephants there is a new Africa emerging. Throwing off the shackles of oppressive African stereotypes, the new Africa is experiencing a technology paradigm shift vis-a-vis its high-tech entrepreneurs.
Africa’s technology entrepreneurs may not be catapulting the nation into a tech future like what occurred in India, but they are making incredible grass roots advances. Internet penetration has climbed to 30% in the more developed countries, and numbers continue to grow across the continent.
I was actually thinking of 11-11-11 as the cool date to get married. However, things don’t always happen the way you want, you have to twist things happening around you to make it work for you in the better way. So, today, on this cool numbered date 07-07-07, me and Shanta got married officially and legally.
Links to Marriage Photos at the end of this article.
Due to the overwhelming interest from our parents, gurdians and relatives, the whole plan was super pre-ponded and everything started to fall into places, dates and calendared events. It all started with a family-only miniature Engagement held at a local Temple in Mumbai (INDIA) on the 26th February, 2007. Then, according to local well-wishers, pundits and sanskrit scholars, our marriage dates were slotted for the 20th June, 2007 which was supposedly very auspicious for the traditional wedding day. It was later learnt that more than 5,000 marriages happened that day in Imphal, Manipur (INDIA). Well, we got married in front of over 500 visitors, relatives and family members gathering. That made the people from home happy as we hit the right dates and heed to their likes, advises and wishes.
Ever since I was in 10th grade, I knew Shanta as the youngest, naughtiest, the most talkative and of course the funniest, sister of one of my friend. Never had I in my mind thought she will be my girlfriend or more strangely my wife. I would ask her to make me good tea whenever I visited their home and even remember lecturing her to study well, sometimes getting down to teaching a bit of Maths, Physics here and there.
She was also one of most out-going and well-connected girl, who loves to ride around the town’s nook and corner on her bike almost everyday. I saw her, bump on her at most known places – restaurants, ice-cream parlors, soft-drink joints – and cinema houses. That easy access to her made her an ideal cupid for my erstwhile girlfriends. She would happily went in and bring out my girlfriends so I can enjoy my dates.
She used to have the shortest hair-cut a girl can have, She was rather very boy-ish. She is also popular for the way she scooters her bike fast away from your sight. It was my usual habit to scold her to start acting like a girl.
After I finished high school, there was no connection with my friend and thus never saw her again until early last year (2006) when I was looking for new recruits for the QA team at Mixercast. Co-incidentally, she was looking for a change of job and her brother got in touch with me through Orkut. Shanta got employed with Mixercast and my interaction with her started afresh but things were different this time.
Her hair has grown long and she was more lady-like, which I was extremely surprised of. She had shed her typical trademarked short-pants and she looked more matured in her new attire, dresses and accessories. I honestly do not have a clue when everything started but we remember talking to her mother about marriage dates, plans for engagements, ceremonial events, et al.
I’ve always believed that I should wear a wedding ring but that comes none in our tradition. So, I decided to make the engagement in a manner where we exchange the wedding rings. Shanta settled for a D’damas ring which was simple and can be worn daily. Mine was a local made 24 carat hand-crafted gold-ring popularly known as the Bombay Belt (it does look like a belt). I tried to get “Shanta” etched in the inside of the ring like the Elvish inscription of the Lord of the Rings but the local Goldsmith was unable to do it and settled for a simple Text that reads “Shanta”. The Engagement took place on Monday, the 26th of February, 2007.
As planned, we left Mumbai for Imphal on 30th of May, 2007 to give us enough buffer time to prepare for the marriage, send out invites, etc. The actual events related to the Marriage starts on the 18th June, 2007, known as Heijingpot. On this day, the families of the Bride and the Groom exchange edibles, talk, and does many poojas/prayers. There was even an additional Cake-cutting event on the side of the Bride which I find it very new (it wasn’t there as far as I can recollect form childhood days). Most things were new to me, because as a grown-up, I was attending the first every Manipuri Marriage which ironically was my own.
The next day, me, the Groom gets the official/traditional invite from the Bride’s side through a messenger which involves lots of praying, blessings and exchange of betel leaves and nuts plattered underneath with nicely cut circular banana leaves. In fact, these three plant items were most rampart in the whole Marriage and I saw our rooms filled with them for distribution to the guest, visitors and the Gods and Goddesses.
The 20th of June, 2007 was indeed the traditional Manipuri Marriage for me and Shanta. It was a whole day event, tiresome, real sore in the rear, stiff neck for looking straight for hours. The Manipuri Marriage is supposed to be of “serious matter” and people aren’t supposed to laugh aloud specially the Bride and the Groom. Well, I stole a few smiles, grins here and there while Shanta was really generous with her wide smiles.
I don’t quite saw much part of that day, as I was trying hard to concentrate on being a serious Groom. It was even against the tradition not to go out even to pee if you once go inside the Marriage Arena and that space last for over 4 hours or so. Both families had tried their best to cut down on the guest list and that left them controlling for a crowd of just about 500. And the extended singings from the traditional marriage singers took a huge toll of my time and I can vividly remember coming up with many alternative ideas to shorten such Manipuri Marriage keeping it to just the main event but still be able to perform all traditional deeds that we had to do. Of course, I do remember being jolted from that tradition-shaking-alternate-project-plan by an excruciating pain in my bum as I was sitting there for over 2 hours or more waiting for the whole thing to get over. Finally, all went well with no pee-feeling in between and I was able to pack off that day on the specially-prepared-yellow-wedding-bed. Seeing the bed, I was about to gasp, “Oh! Shit” but I kept that to myself.
Then came the day after Marriage, that saw another visits from the Bride’s parents and relatives, lots of guests, lot of eating & talking. The second day after Marriage was nothing eventful but a preparing for the third day that turn out to be the Big Feast Day at the Bride’s parental home, followed by a similar Big Feast on the 5th day. I came back to Mumbai on the 27th, things cooled down and I’m back online. Honeymoon(s) are being planned for later dates as I need to finish off many un-finished business.
Actually, my earlier proposal to the family relatives and parents was to make this date the Marriage Date and thus get registered there in Manipur itself. It was rejected, so I had submitted my Marriage Registration request and all details while I was still in Mumbai during May so I can have the Official Marriage on this cool date – 07-07-07. And so finally, on the last lag of our Marriage, Shanta and Me got the official Marriage Certificate dated – 07-07-07. We will be celebrating this date as the official, legal and actual Marriage Date.
Well, that’s it, I got married. Now, I have to see that all my online profiles reads “Married” instead of the “Single” status.
About a month ago, a meeting ran late when Keyur Patel got stuck on his way from the Airport to the Grand Sheraton Central, Lower Parel, Mumbai (INDIA). He was on his way back to Mumbai from New Delhi after some of his important meetings. Keyur Patel, who is one the major stake holder in Com Ventures, have strike many important deals in India. He have invested and still plan to invest more in India. Continue reading →
I was confused, yet excited on the evening of 21st October, 2006. The reason was that an editor-at-large of Business 2.0, Eric Shonfeld will interview me. Though it was not for some high profile work or anything like that but the very fact of being interviewed by Business 2.0 was enough to give me the hibadi-gibadi feeling. Eric called me on my Mobile (I think he called me from his hotel room somewhere in London) and he started off casually making me feel extremely easy answering back. It was a quick one which lasted for just about 15 minutes or so. The interview was a small part of a big article that was supposed to come out in November of Business 2.0 Print Magazine and of course the Online version. Unfortunately, I learnt that my interview along with some other part was chopped off. There goes my luck! Anyway, I think I am not yet that-good-enough to gaurantee such good things. I will try to strive further ahead towards my goal with the hope that more better things are in store in the near future. Continue reading →
Designers occupy a weird space in the business world, lots of power (to control form and behavior), and yet none (we’re usually dependent on others to execute the design). We care a lot about our designs (we’re not usually in this field for the money) and we want you to care about them as well. We want to be partners with developers and be respected as such. Our common ground is that we all (hopefully) want what’s best for the project. And with a little compromise and understanding on both sides, that can be the case.
It had been long enough that I left the design field and afraid that I might have to do the same with the development field soon. I’m more and more being engulfed into the business, client relationship, team (developer/designer) relationship, project execution aspects of the Technology realm. I have left designing long enough to be comfortable with not having photoshop installed on my computer. In the past, to do anything with an image, I would have used photoshop even for the smallest tast and could navigate around though the various keyboard permutations and combinations. I am now comfortable with just Paint.Net to do the minimal image manipulation task like cropping, enhancing, et al for blog post, uploads, sharing. Of course, recently being a total Mac Convert, Image Well is my ultimate companion for Image manipulation. Btw, both of the applications are freeware.
I still have the design’s emotion, the developer’s spirit and will likely continue to have throughout my life.
I honestly did not know that My Site was included in the Flash Timeline, Adobe never told me. I was interviewing a Designer/Developer for CSS/XHTML and he told me that he felt good talking to me. He saw my name on the Flash Timeline and asked me to confirm if that was me. I told him, “Well, I do not know, let me check out.” I thought, may be he meant the one in the Adobe Community Experts. I had checked Flash Timeline before but not that close to look at each and every screen, frame, text, word, link!
After finishing up the telephonic interview with the candidate. I double checked Flash Timeline, clicked on the “Click to Launch” link and watch over the whole interaction and of course, I saw my name mentioned yet again by Adobe. It is in the year 2001, they even have that red glow thingy glowing over Mumbai, India to mark my location. However, I am not sure how did they dig up the text describing my site. I think I had that long back and it did strike back good memories of the time when I started off with Flash.
For ten years, Flash technology has been the de facto standard for creating rich, interactive content. Today, over two million Flash developers use Flash to create content for web sites, interactive presentations, and mobile devices. In celebration of the Flash community, Adobe has created an interactive timeline so that you can explore the dramatic history and promising future of Flash.