Still Alive

I was in train when my phone pinged with a Whatsapp notification. 

It was an online friend asking if I was dead. I was not dead, so I asked what lead to the question. Turns out someone had created an account to celebrate my absence from twitter about people missing me and shit. Then another friend pinged me. Another sent me an email. No one called, so that's okay. 

The person in question soon after deleted that account, for whatever reasons. 

Twitter has changed in recent years. Or better, it's a constantly evolving community. 

It was a good community once upon a time, but then people got followers, a lot of followers, others started to get jealous of them, egos clashed and now it's like a murky pool of shit where select few are rolling in the filth and others can't help but get splashed by it. 

There are people hiding behind their anon handles, posting all kinds of shit, heck, people with real names and real pictures are doing it too, it just doesn't matter anymore. You get exposed to their stupidity and venomous agendas no matter how many you mute, block or unfollow. You just can't escape it. 

The only escape is buying a fucking notebook and writing all your tweets there. Because people will always have more free time than you to raise their pitchforks over some inconsequential bullshit. 

In a way, it's become like facebook, but with strangers. 

What's the fucking point? 

Twitter isn't improving our life at the end of the day. It's good for a laugh or two, but after a while you become numb to that shit too. It's just lot of people cribbing and then you start to mirror them too. You might be fine with mondays, but you feel a general discomfort at not tweeting how mondays suck. You can be aloof and distant, but you see, read, listen to all that shit, and who the fuck are these people? Strangers behind fucking handles? You see their lives, their happiness, problems, bullshit they go through, everything, what's the fucking point? That's all I am asking. 

Social networking? A gang to hang out with on weekends? Tech-advice? Contests? 

Why?

My tweet count runs close to 2 lakh and frankly, if I was the kind who'd get embarrassed by this kind of shit, I'd be embarrassed. But that's not the reason for leaving twitter. It used to be funny once upon a time, but then everyone jumped on the bandwagon and now it's fucked up in a very very shitty way. 

Sure, you can say unfollow them all, follow only a select few, you don't have to read what everyone is writing, but you're in the mix, how the fuck can you not participate? I am not going to half-ass something, if I am doing it, I am going all the fucking way. And doing it all the way has become fucking painful. 

So why should I do it anymore?

I asked myself this question time and over again. I left Facebook for same reasons I don't feel like tweeting anymore. Maybe once the crowd loses interest, and twitter gets bought by Google or Apple. Maybe once the trolls die out. Maybe once I feel angry enough about something to tweet again. 

Till then, the account is locked, and I am not going on that website/app anymore. 

If you need me for whatever reason, you'll find a way to get in touch. 

But all that above is just bullshit, I am just too sad to tweet anymore. 

1000 Reasons Why You Should Read Discworld Books

If there is one thing I am sure of in life, it is this.

One day, I will be in power to make people read the books that I want them to read. And that day, I will make everyone read every book from Discworld and nothing else till they remember every line, every lesson and every instance from the books by heart and soul.

That day is not here yet, all I have this blog from where I can shout my thoughts out into the world.

So, hear my thoughts.

Discworld is fucking amazing.

You should read it.

Then you should buy more Discworld books and make all your friends read them too. Give these books to enemies, to strangers, to babies who are learning to read, to old men who are waiting to die, to broken hearted lovers who want to heal, to people who have lost their faith, and to people who have nothing but dreams in their eyes.

Because there is something for everyone in Discworld books. And if you don't have the luck or capacity to understand the lessons given within, at least you will leave the books with a smile on your face. And on some days, even a smile is enough to deal with the world.

But Pallav, you ask, there are more than 40 Discworld books, where do I begin? How will I know the overall story? What about the characters? What about the pain, horror, fun, love and madness of Discworld?

To which I'd reply, surprise yourself!

Pick any single Discworld book. Seriously, any one of them.

Give it a read. Then pick another one and give it a read.

By the third book, you'll be in love with everything Discworld.

This the beauty of Discworld, there is an order, but it is not a concrete order. This is probably the only book series where you can start reading from anywhere.

If you begin somewhere in the middle of the timeline of Discworld, relax, you're in the hands of a master storyteller, who won't let you leave confused and bewildered.

There will be times when you will laugh, and times you will cry while reading the books, and times when you'll be forced to put the book down and think about the genius of Terry Pratchett.

The author has left us, but his work is here for us and the future generations and it'd be a grave sin if we don't give Discworld a read and make it a part of life of every person who can read.

There is whole essence of cosmos in Discworld, there is wry commentary on the state of things, there is scathing wit, the humor is off the charts, the characters are so well drawn that they feel almost real.

I could go on and on about Discworld and maybe I will, too. But right now, seriously, head over to your favorite online bookstore, and gift yourself a Discworld book.

I mean, how bad can it be?


Virtual pets and why you should check them out

First there was the tamagochi, then there were all kinds of virtual pet sites popping up online.

My first experience with one such site was back in 2003-04, i believe.

There was this site called Neopets that offered you all kinds of virtual pets and then you could play games to collect points, and then you could use those points to buy stuff like food and accessories for your pet. The whole idea was to upgrade it to a level where you could complete vs other players in the pets arena. The really interesting part was how every pet had a story and there was an underlying lore of the pets that just tickled your fancy and you wanted to know more. Each pet came with its own sets of powers, like the pokemon, but this was on a much larger level.

I remember playing on that website for long long hours, cuz even though the concept seems cartoonish, some of the games on there were hard as hell and really required concentration and rapid twitch trigger fingers to really get through the levels.

As time passed, life got busy and I forgot about neopets, and last i remembered that site was when i tried to log in and realized that the email i had signed up with had expired. Yup, it's that long ago.

But why am i talking about all this?

I am talking about all this because one my buddies online runs a forum about virtual pets, virtual pet games, and SIM games. Basically, instead of hunting for your next fix of a virtual pet or a sim game,  you go to the forum, check out the directory that has 67 virtual pet sites listed there or if you're in mood to create some SIMs and play a cruel god to their lives, there are 72 SIM games featured on the website. Looking for role playing games? They've got those too.

Moreover, there are users with their own virtual pets blog on the website and it's great to read how involved some people are with their hobby of raising their own virtual pet.

The forum is pretty active too as there are daily posts and people are discussing the games in ample detail. Heck, i am going to make an account and hang out there for a bit myself, maybe I can find some way to re-scratch that old neopets itch again.

Check out www.virtualpetlist.com here

Next post, I'm going to talk some about my book.

40 More Ideas for everything (businesses, startups, whatever)

40 More Ideas 

*DISCLAIMER - You read the content ahead at your own risk. I won't be held responsible if you decide to try any of this or if you get any kind of mental/physical/financial trauma from trying any of these. Some ideas are funny, some i've pulled out of my ass and some might be NSFW. So, USE COMMON SENSE.

Here we go!

I have chosen Roboto Light as the font of choice for this post. I know the formatting would be fucked up when I paste this from the word document into blogger template, but that's a problem for later. I posted the 60 ideas earlier somewhere in October and then Nanowrimo came around and then I got lazy. 

Yay me! 

You won't believe the kind of shit I have to deal with daily just to continue to be me, but that's almost my problem. You're here because you probably want to read the 40 more start-up, business, hobby, whatever ideas. 

Right? I think you are. 

So let's go forth and see what I can crack up from my brain hole.

61) A service that will send the ashes of your loved ones up into space and show you how high they've reached with a go-pro camera attached balloons. It can be really interesting for people who believe god lives in the sky. And there are always gullible customers in the market.

62) Roof with a piece of it removed and replaced with glass that turns to a mirror at night depending on the user's preference. Think of the uses. You can get people to pay for the installation of such mirror.

63) USB drives filled with religious sermons and bhajans. Better yet, make figures of gods in form of speakers to sell to old people and people who don't want to sing bhajans. Big market for this. Portable god speakers.

64) Drones on rent for marriages, birthday parties, graduation parties or any such gathering of idiots. They can click pics with the drones or use drones to air drop candies and gifts on their customers.

65) Treasure hunts. But they're nationwide and have a business focus. Give people working in corporate sector a way to go to different cities and interact with clients. Modules of such can be gamified and sold to business schools so that students can learn how to do business in the real world.

66) Permanent ink that is not permanent. It stays permanent for 24 hours or so and then vanishes on its own.

67) Jackets and gloves that have a chemical compound in them that heats up on contact with body. You wear a jacket and it starts getting warm. Similarly, clothes that keep you cool in summer. Some kind of feasible chemical reaction in seams.

68) Temporary steroids with zero side effects. Everyone wants to look pumped every once in a while. Maybe for a competition or for a fight or for whatever reasons. The roids make anyone look like a beefcake and then get expelled from body the next day.

69) Custom Sex Dolls in shape of your favorite celeb. Or your dead spouse. Risky, but doable. Had to do this for 69.

70) Pre-filled ntoe books for people who want to show off that they write a lot.

71) Diaries for sale. Pre-written on spec so that people can leave something interesting for their grandkids. Maybe as a prank or as a gift.

72) Energy drinks tailor made for athletes and high energy profiles. Corporates, programmers, police personnel, army, music performers. Basically any profession that has highly specific demands from the person involved. Not meant for regular chumps who can drink red bull and monster.

73) A pen that randomly changes color as you keep using it. For a dash of color in your life.

74) An easy way to recycle old electronics. Maybe someone to pick gadgets from your house, wipe the data, and pay you for recycling them.

75) An app that launches by itself at a random time during the day and clicks a pic of whatever is in front of the camera. Then posts it on twitter. No way to disable it. Snap-Roulette

76) Applications that can un-install themselves once their trial use period is over.

77) Employment for the beggars. Use them for organ harvesting or drug trials. Inhumane, maybe, but it is an idea.

78) Put contraceptive in the water supply of low income areas of New Delhi to stop over-population. Also applicable to every other city.

79) Free Television and cable for families with more than 3 kids, so they watch tv all the time and do not make more children.

80) Anger meter. A head band, ring or watchthat monitors the BP and heart rate of a person to show their anger level so that others can keep their distance from him/her.

81) Moving teleconfrencing vans: For old people who are not tech-savvy enough to talk to their children who are living in other countries. They place a call and the technicians in the van create a high speed video conference for two parties.

82) A radio or a TV station that plays nothing but adverts. Pure adverts. Users who listen to adverts and call-in to answer number based questions stand to win prizes through a draw. Fuck entertainment, tv programming and radio jockeys, let's get straight to business.

83) An ad-free version of newspaper, which costs more than the usual newspaper, but has higher quality of stories, better paper and impartial news coverage. Kind of like ET, but better.
84) Everyone should live with just three sets of high quality, fashionable set of clothes.

85) Shoes that prevent your feet from stinking.

86) A dog collar that injects a temporary paralyzing drug into the dog's system disables it if it goes beyond a certain area, eg: home wifi range. At the same time, the collar alerts the owner that dog is running away or is being stolen. Slightly inhumane, but it can save lost dogs, cats etc. It'd be funny as fuck, too.

87) Themed weddings for Indians, but super strange and weird themes such as evil villain, underground base, destroy the world type parties with story and cast. It's a once in a lifetime event for many, and it should be different and super memorable.

88) Websites that pay you for reading and using them. Eg: a facebook clone that gives you a share of advertising revenue the longer you stay online and interact with the adverts. The website will monitor your front camera to ensure you're looking at adverts and not leaving your phone with the website open. The website can also give reward based tasks such as visiting a showroom to get an instant 20% discount in the next two hours or something.

89) A word like writing application/chrome plugin that works only when you're not connected to the Internet. If you're connected to the net, it will prompt you to collect research material and disconnect from the Internet. This will help people like writers in being more productive just like I am being productive now because the internet is not working.

90) Disposable phones, just like disposable cameras. Sub-500, single charge, disposable number, just use and go, good for a certain number of calls. All calls go through a server to prevent misuse by terrorists or unlawful elements. 

91) TV programs like soaps, not reality shows, where users can vote on which character should die or progress to the next episode. The story progresses based on the votes of the users. It's much like big boss, but it can go for a longer duration.

92) Extremely bitter cigarettes. So that people are less inclined to smoke them. And the smoke should smell like farts so that people do not smoke them in public. Point is to increase the unpleasantness than the kick of nicotine. Plus, farty cigs would be funny.

93) Delhi specific. The roads should drive a small spike into the foot of the person who spits on the road. Cleanliness through punishment. Better, get kids who play online games and give them control of CCTV cameras and small darts that they can shoot at people who spit on roads. Make it a game. Just a funky idea.

94) Restaurant where you get to kill the meat you want to eat. Or hunt some chickens, maybe. Animal cruelty? Not really, you're here to eat the animal, might as well kill it with your own bare hands. It's a good stress buster to kill something too.
95) A chrome/firefox plugin that replaces all listicles with longform articles that make sense and teach you something.

96) Babies on rent: For people who want to have a baby but don't know how difficult it is to take care of one. Long shot, but there can be something in this idea.

97) Dogs on rent: For people who want to keep a dog as pet, but don't know how difficult it is to take care of one. Long shot, but there can be something in this idea.

98) A person on rent who comes to your home/office while you're working and smacks your head whenever you get distracted and open twitter/fb/reddit. A guy actually did this and paid a girl to slap him. But, it can be a good side business if you enjoy slapping people.

99) A place where you can get license for drunk driving. Some people can drive okay after drinking, others cannot. So, police should get some people drunk and then take a driving test so that they have DDL (Drunk Driving License).

100) People who write listicles on the internet should be given real jobs. Entire buzzfeed and its clones should be nuked and their website source codes deleted from servers. These people should be put in a jail and make to break rocks.

ALRIGHT! This is it. I made it to 100! Check the last post here. 

Let me know your comments, criticisms, thoughts, whatever by pinging me on twitter @69fubar. If you want to send me an email, you can do it pa11av at live dot com. If you send me spam or PR mail, I'll send howler monkeys to rip your face off. 

And as always,


Sixty Ideas for Businesses, Startups, Hobbies or Whatever

oooh, lightbulb!

What is an idea? 

It is the first step on a journey that can take you anywhere you want. 

The destination can change before you get there. You might not even complete the journey. You might get eaten by trolls and your self doubts while on the way. There is an even bigger chance that you ignore the idea because it looks like too much hard work and who has time for that? Right? Wrong?

I have no idea, but you can have some.

All I am going to do here is give you a spark.

60 sparks, if we are going to be exact.

60 ideas.

They're all yours.

You can make something of them, or maybe someone else will. Can these ideas be startups? Full blown Businesses? Hobbies? NGOs? Jokes? Failures? World wide successes? No one knows, not you, not me, not Elon Musk, not Tim Cook, not Bezos, not anyone.

The only way to measure the success or failure of anything is by doing it. Because when you do it, the gods align themselves in your favor.

I'll just say two more things before the list begins.

We're living in volatile times.

  • An app called YO got crazy funding, it does just one thing, and that not too well. 
  • Ten years ago, even the idea of twitter would be called crazy by almost everyone. 
  • People are buying selfie sticks and using them too. 
  • There are plastic orifices that are designed to look like the biological orifices of your favorite pornstar, and people are buying them. 

So, if you tell me that any of these ideas is so crazy that it won't work, I'd dare you to prove me wrong.

Do it, fail and tell me that – shit, Pallav, your idea was so crazy that it didn't work. Because then we'd both learn something new.

Last thing: you get into any kind of legal trouble or any physical or mental trauma by using these ideas, I will not be held responsible. You become successful or a complete failure by trying anything mentioned in this list, I will not be held responsible. I don't want anything to do with your success or failure. You don't like any of these ideas, that's totally your problem. Close the tab and go back to Twitter or Facebook. Anything else, I absolve myself of any responsibility. Now to the meat of the post.



THE LIST

100 startup ideas

1) men's club: membership only. Men can gather and do activities like read, play video games, play pool etc etc

2) localized app for book sharing. Book buying, book renting, book lending, book reviews, but limited to an area, like a city or a locality.

3) on call legal services for simplified legal information

4) one feature app that tweets your location every time it's opened. nothing else.

5) live storytellers/ newsreaders for old people. Employ young kids looking for part time work. Old people in retirement homes, living alone etc

6) tech help for old people. Setting up phones, Skype, downloads, printers etc. same target market as point 5

7) an app to remove all baby/marriage/honeymood pics from your timeline

8) an app that removes all selfies from your Instagram feed

9) an app/website for only playing contests. Like contests2win back in 2000. So contests can fuck off from twitter. It should filter your feed for only contests. Like mute/block in reverse.

10) text only twitter feed, like instapaper for twitter. No vids or pics

11) a theater where kids are not allowed

12) a pet only transportation service that transports pets in a humane way. Most airlines do a not so good job of it and it's always a tension on a pet owner's mind. It's a long shot, but it can be figured out.

13) training for pet owners who want to keep pets

14) training for kids who want to keep pets

15) life skills seminars for kids: opening bank accounts, saving money, small repairs, buying groceries, booking tickets, washing dishes, etc etc etc

16) supermarket where food is arranged according to nutritional value.

17) 3D malls (like google's maps), where you can browse the mall, visit shops, pick products and get them delivered to your home. (!)

18) know your roots seminars for kids who want to learn more about their religious and cultural roots. Target: NRI kids

19) an app that automatically takes you off the grid with one click. No mobile connection, no email, no internet, no nothing.

20) a service to deliver international products to India. for example: energy drinks, mountain dew flavors, international magazines, candies, chocolates, gadgets.

21) service: pre-packaged travel packs. clothes, toiletries, etc etc. frequent travelers can take membership and travel without luggage and pick their clothes+stuff pack at their destination. this can be tried on a national level and then taken international. but it has to be flawless, cuz the client would be traveling without any assumed luggage and even one mistake can cost a bomb to the company that decides to do it. advantages are no luggage check ins, no lost luggage, no damaged luggage, no forgotten luggage, etc etc etc (!)

22) disposable clothes. One time wear and throw it away. Looks good, feels good, disinitigrates in a week or so. Cheap.

23) clothes that don't get dirty. No need to wash them or iron them, just wear them in and out. repels water, oil, dirt, ink, color, ketchup. looks like branded clothes, feels like home.

24) training for parents who want to home school their kids and then further information on home schooling. Schools these days are piss poor when it comes to almost everything. Kids are in an unhygienic, uncouth, stupid environment that destroys their spirits, and schools cost a bomb but teach shit. Plus, at home, kids can be taught to become better people, for schools, they will always be a roll number on the register. MORE info on homeschooling.

25) Website to tell a new laptop's compatibility with the latest linux derivatives. This can also cover the root-ability of latest phones, tablets and jailbreak information for iphones. (not sure about the legality of the second part)

26) handwritten letters for people you love. Get students with good handwriting to write actual letters to people from your side. Write an email, they'll hand write it and send it off via courier. because receiving a letter is awesome.

27) Product: universal charges. It should charge every fucking gadget that you plug it in, nationally or internationally. The last charger you'll ever need to buy.

28) an energy drink in tablet format. Because drinking that shit can get tiresome at times.

29) a mount for your cellphone that makes it into an instant go pro. an app to go with it that films in high def, wide angle

30) Website that lists the small shops and supermarkets of a new place you're about to visit. Most websites focus on tourist destinations and attractions, but some visits that are for a longer duration, the visitors would benefit from information about the local place they're staying at.

31) a mirror on rent for selfies at parties. a full length, awesome fucking mirror.

32) photographers in restaurants who'd click your pic and send it to you so you can post it on the social network of your choice. Each photograph gets billed in your bill.

33) one click website creation, for birthdays, weddings, corporate meets. Fill data, pay, click and done.

34) beer app that tells you everything about a beer once you click a pic of that beer. Or anything about what kind of beer is available around your location

35) Go autos that don't say no.

36) App to check auto fair from a to b destination to avoid getting duped

37) pre-set birthday gift/card service. Add all birthdays once and the service will send them gifts every year. Choose gifts or go random as per your budget.

38) public database of autos in a city. Input an auto number to know where the auto is. App/website

39) an aeroplane shell converted into a restaurant. If it can be suspended in the air with cables that would be great

40) wheelchair with tank like treads to climb stairs.

41) reversible jeans that get cleaned when in contact with skin.

42) custom made jeans that have the designs that you want

43) app with list of traffic lights and their times so that you can leave home to time it acc to green lights with some margin of error

44) robot dogs for blind people. Voice controlled. With maps of home and cities they live in. (!)

45) database of startups in every city so that skilled people can share skills with each other.

46) a way to calculate how many drinks or would take to get you drunk. Will include data sets for a person's weight, drinking capacity, the kind of alcohol on offer and etc etc. Useful for parties, or times when you don't want to drink beyond your capacity

47) phones on rent! when you wanna show off, or you need a spare phone for a small time or you want a phone for testing purposes. full payment and you get refunded after a small rent and any damage to the phone is chalked off.

48) on-site data destroying service for corporate offices. totally crunch the hard drives into mashed spare parts. for confidentiality and privacy.

49) printing courier service. send docs to an email, pay via debit card, get them printed and handed to your office or home locally. for people who can't be bothered to set up printers or buy them or who do not have working printers in their office. complete confidentiality.

50) meal replacement tablets for those who do not want to eat food or don't want to waste time eating food. pop a tab at breakfast, lunch and dinner to get all the required nutrients, vitamins and whatever the body needs.

51) book storage for people who do not have a lot of space for their books or who want to keep books in a safe place under expert guidance. Subscribers can call the storage space for the book they want and it'll be delivered to their house easily. [city based]

52) surrogate shopping experts: Many people do not have the time or the inclination to go shopping. So surrogate shoppers go to the shops with go pro cams and live feeds enabled, on call with the shoppers and they can do all the shopping for the guy or the girl or whatever. They can pick clothes, books, groceries and what not. Go to malls in lieu of the person.

53) pets for rent: for anxiety relief and tension, pets on rent. Trained pets that are sent to corporate office so that employees can play with them and just be around them. Will need social pets so that it's not anxious experience for pets either.

54) stress relief through breaking things: Rent a place outside city limits, buy unused and useless appliances from junk sellers, and arrange everything in that place. Like a room or something, with computer, tv, cabinets, etc etc. Get corporate employees or anyone else who wants to release some steam, and set them loose in that room with a baseball bat, tell them to break every thing.

55) telescopes on rent, with a team of space enthusiasts who can show people the new stars or old 
stars

56) shelters for street dwellers where they can get in by depositing a certain kgs of garbage. this will help to clean up the streets and also provide them with shelter in summer in air conditioned shelters, and in winter they can sleep in heated shelters -- not sure about the legal or human aspect of it.

57) an app that tells you whenever someone mentions you on twitter without using your @ handle.

58) an app/service that alerts you when your favorite paid apps go free. You register, make a list of paid apps that you'd like to download for free, and then you get alerted by SMS, email or social media that the app is free. This can be further expanded to include Kindle, discounts on products on amazon, flipkart. The whole idea is to get the user to make the list of products he/she wants.

59) everyone wants to know about their future. But what about the future of their gadgets? How long can a gadget be expected to work? Will the battery need to be replaced in three years? Will the system be upgradable to the latest in two years of time? Will the spare parts still be available in a year from now? Is it easily serviceable (ifixit sorts)? How much can you sell a gadget for after a year of use (kinda like quickr/olx but to get a fair estimate?

60) phone chargers on vehicle. Like those bicycles dynamos we had back in the day, with a light bulb attachment. But this can be a dynamo that can be attached to any vehicle's wheelbase. Then have an all day battery pack that you can use any time.



That's it! Yay, the shit list of ideas is finally over!

I am glad you made it this far down the list. So are these people!

These people have been paid to look happy. Not by me!


Want to discuss any of these ideas? Hit me up on twitter @69fubar, email me pa11av at live dot com or find me in Delhi and pay for my coffee. We can talk things over. 

*Edit 
61) someone make me an app to get the fucking formatting of this shit right the first time over.