Ashish Vaswani
As has been the case for the last few years now, the onset of the monsoon has inspired me to create and build something I can call my own. Whether it was this blog in 2008, Popular4Peanuts in 2011, or Deadline's Tonight last year. The idea of being the parent of a baby that you've conceived with love and devotion is unparalleled. Keeping the tradition alive, here is a sneak peek into what I've recently come up with. We call it VRfirst. Puneet and I started on this quest ever since we covered the Google I/O from our hostel room in Pune last year. The year gone by saw us experimenting with the awesomeness that is Google Cardboard. The device and the ideas that it inspired took me places. Goa being the most notable one.

My first 3D printed toy. Hopefully the first of many more!

It only seemed logical to take the next step when we saw our vision being echoed at the Google I/O this year. This has been the idea behind VRfirst. The baby is just about a day old and doing very well. Do pay it a visit and give it your blessings. Feedback can come to me.
Ashish Vaswani
Two hundred and eighty-eight. That's the number of days for which you have been languishing without my attention, dear Blog. Though I'm not one to give excuses, the last few months were too action-packed for me to sit down and write something for you, with complete freedom. This is quite ironic, given that our last post together was about our society's take on Independence!

Nevertheless, a lot has changed since the last time we met, Blog. There's a lot of catching up to do. I've moved to Bengaluru for a start. And boy, has the city been kind or what! A new job, new friends, life couldn't have been better!
Figured that we're pretty big here! ;)

This week, I complete two months in this beautiful city that I now call home. Here's to many more!
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Ashish Vaswani
On India's 68th Independence Day, we asked a few Indians, what independence meant to them. Find out what they had to say!

Ashish Vaswani
Had been pondering over this for quite some time now. Guess it just had to happen. Hoping for the best!

Ashish Vaswani
#Spoiler Alert: This is only if you've watched Gravity, the latest space thriller that has taken the world by storm. For those who haven't, please go do yourselves a favour and watch it. NOW!

I would have missed watching Gravity like most other flicks, had it not been for a good friend* who egged me on to watch the trailer. One look, and I knew I had to catch it, first day, first show. I did. And boy! What a wise decision it was!

With Alfonso Cuarón,  Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, all coming together, the result was expected to be sensational. And though the world is going gaga over the concept, the technical innovations and the beautiful background score, I connected with the movie on a very emotional level. Especially after multiple interactions with a very creative bunch of friends who study mass media. Cuarón's references to life, rebirth and the underlying visual symbols that he's used to represent the same are simply mind numbing.

Note: The following observations are not mine. I have collected bits of trivia from various sources online and otherwise.

-The human gestation period is nine months long and is divided into three trimesters. The movie is 90 minutes long and features three major locations- the ISS, the Russian space station and the Chinese one.

-The explosion and the resulting debris represent the conception of a baby, with the Russian anti-satellite missile symbolising the sperm and the satellite itself being the egg. A little difficult to interpret, I know. But don't judge me!

-Sandra Bullock's character, Dr. Ryan Stone is shown to be dormant and laid back as long as she is referred to by her last name. However, the moment Clooney's character, Matt Kowalski starts addressing her by her first name, she gains a certain level of confidence in herself which pushes her to get over her past and do something more meaningful with her life.

-The foetus-like position that Dr. Stone is shown to be in, during one of the scenes, resembles an actual foetus, second trimester onward.

-There are references to abortion when Dr. Stone decides to give up and turn off the oxygen. At this time, it is her own belief (in the form of a self-conscience-inspired hallucination of Kowalski) in herself which helps her overcome the pessimism and chart her way back to life.

-On touchdown, water, earth, air, fire and wind are the first elements that Dr. Stone comes into contact with. Exactly the same elements that are believed to be responsible for the genesis and sustenance of all life.

-Though Bullock's character is shown to be atheistic, the first words that she mumbles are, "Thank you!" This could be a reference to her renewed belief in a higher power. Her first few steps resemble those that a baby takes when it first begins to walk.

Though there are some other spiritual connotations as well, who would've imagined that a movie about a disaster in outer space could have so many hidden messages? Hollywood and its sheer brilliance never cease to amaze me.

*Thank you, Tania! ;)