Meh, Instagram

I am looking up something in a public Instagram account and it wants me to login to continue.

Not going to happen, Instagram.


Dark Mode = OFF

Turned off automatic dark mode on my iPhone after seeing the following tweet. Dark mode didn’t feel right and I think that’s for the reasons explained in the blog post within the tweet.

I prefer Night Shift instead.

Actually, the best way to dark mode is to keep the device screen off after a certain time in the evening!


Today is my 15th work anniversary!

Today I feel grateful to be able to be employed for fifteen straight years, starting my work journey from the beautiful Infosys Mysore campus which was very much under construction at that time.

Today, fifteen years ago, I walked through this beautiful entrance of Infosys Mysore campus (called ECE). This entrance was still under construction at that time.
This multiplex wasn’t there at that time but we overheard a globe-like building was going to be built.
One of the pools near the hostels.
Infosys occupied one of the floors in this building named Bhavani in Technopark, Trivandrum, Kerala.
I worked here for part of 2005 and 2006 before relocating to Bangalore.
The beautiful pyramid building; one of my fave spots on the campus at that time.
Another view of the pyramid.
This fountain is one of my fave spots on the campus.
The pool near Lotus foodcourt.
The amphitheater where I have some great memories.


Something is wrong with this iOS Outlook app update

Update: I uninstalled the app, restarted the iPhone, reinstalled the app (version 4.7), set up my email accounts and disabled notifications and smart default settings that I don’t need.

It is back to all good now.

Technology is weird!

This version 4.6 loads, but the app is unresponsive.
There’s the next version (4.7) in the App Store but can’t update yet.

Advice Journal Tech

A debate between Matt M and DHH

Recently REWORK podcast recorded and published a fascinating debate between the two people I admire and respect, Matt Mullenweg and DHH, about tech monopolies and power of the open-source.

I look forward to another show on Venture Capital and funding. Hopefully, they are able to record it sooner!

Journal Running

Weekly 5K runs

Daylight saving time started in New Zealand last Sunday (29/September) which means, I can no longer wait to run. It is now time to lace-up and run a 5K every weekend.

And that’s what I did last Saturday: I ran a 5K with a bit of nudging from my eight-year-old who also wanted to run and joined me. Like every year, I intend to run a 5K most of the weekends until come March / April when days start getting shorter.

Last Saturday’s run felt effortless overall. We stopped a few times to catch up with our breath. Son was understandably gasping, but I felt okay overall. At no point during the run I felt like I was dying. I will assess after a few more runs — I want to be able to run 5K non-stop in sub 30 minutes — and if I am not huffing and puffing enough, I will add up another kilo-metre or two.

This year I am going to leave the phone at home when I go for runs. In the past, I carried my phone to log the stats and map of my runs. But carrying a phone is clumsy and I want to stay away from my phone at least for the little time I am running. Until I am able to justify a Garmin Forerunner by actually running without it, I want to base the effectiveness of my runs on how I feel and the time elapsed between leaving and returning to my front door.

Wish me good luck!


Avocado toast recipe

One of the highlights of spring and summer for me is the onset of the avocado season. Avocado toast is an expensive eat-out but works out super cheap and easy to make at home. I like avocados for their taste, nutrients and super simple recipes. Here is the recipe I typically use.

Avocado toast with omlette

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A fresh, light, avocado toast with omlette recipe; perfect for a quick, late summer dinner.


  • 2 slices of bread. I used Lekkerbrot Loaf.
  • 2 ripened avocados
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 2 pinches of sea salt


  1. In a medium bowl, mash two avocados together.
  2. Optional: add chopped tomatoes, garlic, basil, mint, salt and black pepper.
  3. Mix everything together.
  4. Make two omlettes in any style you prefer. I like Bull’s-Eye egg aka. Sunny-Side Up.
  5. Toast two bread slices.
  6. Spread the avocado mash on the toasts.
  7. Sprinkle some sea salt for taste.
  8. Add one omlette on each on toast.
  9. Enjoy!
Apps Journal Tech

Messaging app with VIP features

It is 2019 and I wonder why there are no messaging apps that will let me choose the people from whom I wish to receive notifications. Right now, the notifications are all or none deal and I default to none. Which is better, but not best. As people start getting detached to devices and start prioritising their offline lives, I think there would be a lot of demand for a user-centred notification system.

The closest I know is of the VIP feature in the iOS Mail app. But that’s not good enough. My dearest people will not email me; they either call or text.

I’d be very willing to open my wallet for such an app. Let me know if you know of any. Although I am sceptical that someone will build such a user-friendly app, I’d be thrilled to be proved wrong.


Can’t wait to hear from my favourite author and speaker @berkun live!

Advice Journal

The enemy is within

Many years ago I read this essay titled Why overachievers go down the path of self-destruction written by Subroto Bagchi.

Although I am far from being an overachiever, that post has helped me become aware of some of the mistakes driven people make. It is probably one of the earliest materials from where I learned the importance of humility, self-awareness and disassociating myself from my successes.

The other reason why this article stuck to my mind for years is that I am fearful of giving in to distractions and temptations life throws at me from time to time. It is hard to be vigilant even with all the awareness. But by trying to be aware, I am hoping to improve my odds of making better choices in the critical areas of my life.

I reproduced this article here just in case the original one gets lost in the interwebs.

Why overachievers go down the path of self-destruction

Life does not place hurdles in the way of an overachiever. Instead, life uses distractions

For many years now, I have been studying overachievers in the professional world; these are people who have high IQ, eminent qualifications, experience, the power of an early start and quite often, very supportive families. You think they are God’s chosen ones and there is no stopping how far they may go. Then one morning you wake up to find the angel fall. Actually, it is not a fall, it is invariably a crash; only splinters remain where once stood a David by Michelangelo. How does that happen? Who kills the angel? I have come to believe that in most such cases, there is no external enemy. Only ordinary people need an external enemy. The overachiever is his best friend and his worst enemy. This probably is life’s way to ensure that we do not become immortal. Its secrets are probably stored in the DNA as much as it is a function of how the neo-cortex responds to the environment.

Sometimes I imagine the image of the double-helix structure of the DNA; it depicts who we are and has a microcode flowing from time immemorial to make me who I am; a microcode not of the Karma, but the decisional rules we may exercise or fail to exercise when temptation strikes. The double helix structure suggests boundless possibilities as one of the two sides of the ladder—self-destruction is the other side. For the overachiever, it is difficult to balance the two and only the self-aware among them are able to balance between them. The self-aware know that at any point in time, they are a few steps, sometimes a few minutes away from a fall. Destruction of great capability does not take a lifetime or for that matter, hours. More often than not, it is just a moment of indiscretion.

Seven minutes of pleasure brought Bill Clinton, the most powerful man in the world at the time, to rank ordinariness. That angel fell like porcelain on marble. What happened to Strauss-Kahn? Wasn’t he the man who was expected to bring Europe back from the brink of disaster? Theirs are not instances of sexual proclivity. Under the surface, it is the double helix saying, ‘come die’.

It is very interesting that life does not place hurdles in the way of an overachiever. Hurdles are actually life’s gym equipment meant to improve the muscle tone and help one deal with more. Instead of hurdles, life uses distractions. There are mythical evidences galore that tell us how the Gods try the final distraction of womanhood, the origin of all power, to destabilise and destroy the one who is climbing to the peak. But they use other distractions as well. Satyam did not need competition to hurt the company, its founder hurt Satyam. His one moment of distraction—the first fudged financial statement—opened window upon window of progressive death until one day, the porcelain doll crashed into a thousand splintered pieces. The same thing happened with SKS and now OnMobile.

The overachiever doesn’t exactly die after each such incident, not at least in a physical sense. What dies is the reputation capital. Then they, and sympathetic onlookers, explain away by saying, the overachiever was drawn into indiscretion. That there was an external reason that caused the behaviour. It is just a convenient deflection. One of the earliest examples of such deflection is in the story of the sage, Valmiki. He was a bandit who slaughtered passers-by and ran away with their belongings. His justification for the brutality: He had to provide for his family. This continued until his wife rejected that intellectual construct. She told him that he and he alone had chosen his path and was responsible for the consequences.

Unlike Valmiki, today’s high achievers, businessmen to bureaucrats, sports persons to politicians, deflect. There is none to tell them that they are deflecting. They say they are doing it all for the sake of others, because of external reasons. When you are doping to win a medal for the country, when you are accepting cash for the party and not yourself or when you fudge accounts to protect the so-called interests of the shareholder, you are just kidding yourself. You are doing it for yourself. You are failing in the face of temptation. You are just an accidental success that life now must kill.
You have overstayed your welcome.

That brings us to a fundamental question. Why can’t these people, gifted in every other way, get it? Why do they lose common sense? Why don’t they follow the simple precepts we were all taught as children? That we should not tell a lie, we should not take what does not belong to us, that hard work must give us the fruits of labour? That we should be nice and polite to others and most importantly, look before you leap.

I always think that there is no greater set of governance rules than the Ten Commandments. For each indiscretion of a Martha Stewart or our homemade Telecom Raja, there is a matching, simple commandment that would have helped them reach the Hall of Fame. Instead, they all go over the precipice. The fall is invariably a one-way drop.

Overachievers are very vulnerable people at one level. They can suffer from sensory failure when they can least afford it. From the CEO to the doorman, we are all factory fitted with the same five sensory organs. How we deploy them and when we suspend them, is a matter of personal choice and that in turn, is influenced by the degree of an individual’s self-awareness. That is how the seemingly invincible individual one day fails to hear, fails to see what is evident to you and I. If you do risky lending, you may not get your money back. If you pick up a one-night stand, a page 3 columnist may see you. If you accept a bribe once, the bribe giver may invite himself to your home, he may touch your wife in front of you and call her his sister. Inability to see all this coming is sensory failure.

Sometimes it is not a one-man disaster. An overachiever in the company of another has often suffered from false harmony; has failed to ask critical questions and suspended the responsibility of dissent. This has perpetuated in history from the Bay of Pigs to Satyam where highly accomplished individuals dug a collective grave.

So, what can we all do to save ourselves from the danger that is lurking within us? How can we circumnavigate a temptation? Life asks for mastery over the self, it does not want to dole that capability to everyone. That mastery is granted in small and slow measures to those who practice humility. Humility reduces the noises in the head and silences us. In that silence we listen better, we are able to see, hear, taste, smell and touch what can be potentially toxic. Life invariably shows us a yellow card; thinking that it is green is optional.

Overachievers that run the course are conscious to disassociate themselves from their personal success. They tell you that they were lucky to be in the right place at the right time. Ask any great maestro and she would deflect her success to her Guru’s teaching and his infinite patience. As much in the corporate world as outside, sustained overachievers take their success as a responsibility; as a burden, not an entitlement. Therein lies the capacity to keep the feet firm on the ground even as the eyes are set on the peak.

(This story originally appeared in the 03 August, 2012 issue of Forbes India.)