RIP..

..Google is suspending its Google reader as of today. When I found out about this a few months ago, I was shocked like everyone what cos not only is this one of my favorite Google products but also something I use on a daily basis in addition to Gmail and search. I’ve moved to feedly and have been using it for a couple of months now. I’ve said my goodbyes and made my peace but it still hurts.

Here’s a list of products that Google has retired in the past. (Image courtesy Mashable)

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Here are some of the retired Google products that I personally miss:

Google Notebook
I always wondered why this didn’t get more famous. It was my favorite bookmarking tool. When it was discontinued, I remember copying tons of links and notes that I had accumulated there into docs on Google docs. Note to self: must check those docs soon. Never know what I might find.

Google labs:
I used to spend hours on Google labs trying to make practical sense of products that seemed all out there. It helped that I was doing this on high speed office internet and of course, office time. I was just going to call this my 20% project.

Picnik:
When picnik was still a part of Flickr, it was my go to image editing software. It was in the initial days of my photography and I was still trying to figure my way around image editing. Made me feel awesome when I could make my pictures look even marginally better. I must admit though that when picnik was taken off Flickr, it motivated me to look for a better and slightly more advanced editing software and that’s when I found Lightroom. Start of another love affair.

What are some of your favorite Google products that have been retired now?

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Old ads

These old Nescafe ads triggered off some good memories of advertisements from the pre-cable days. We used to look forward to the ads more than the actual programs. I remember, when my sister was about 1 or 2 years old, she was a very fussy eater. My mom had a very tough time trying to get her to open her mouth for food. Of the many many techniques devised by my parents to distract her, the most effective was advertisements. My mom used to shoveful food in her mouth while she was totally absorbed in the ad blissfully oblivious of everything around here. Because, we couldn’t wait for ad breaks to feed her, my dad recorded a video casette of advertisements on our VCR!

I’ve posted some of my favorite ads here. Get ready to smile!

I’ll start with my most favorite one! I think everyone who’s seen this ad, loves the jingle. There is an extended version of this ad, which I was unable to find.

I remember this complan ad’s jingle much better in Tamil where Ayesha Takia says “naan valargirene, mummy.” This was one of those super famous like “kalakare chandru!” 🙂

This ad is evergreen for 2 reasons, the ARR’s jingle and the oh-so-yummy Arvind Swamy. It is after this ad that Mani Ratnam is supposed to have picked both ARR and Arvind Swamy for Roja. There is a newer version of this ad with Andrea and Radio Mirchi Shiva which doesn’t have the charm of the original.

I remember this old ad that used to be used around pongal! I watched this ad today after many many years but I remember the exact sequence including the surprised expression on the mother’s face when she sees the son 🙂 I just found out that the jingle for this ad has been done by ARR. This jingle has been sung by Malaysia Vasudevan and if you listen closely, it sounds like Then Kizhakku Seemayila from Kizhakku Seemayile!

This ad I think was the first one in the series of Dad-daughter wedding gift ones. And I also think this is the sweetest.

Hamara Bajaj, one of their most memorable campaigns

This was Aishwarya Rai’s big break. I think this is also her first Pepsi commercial. And Aamir Khan can’t look any yummier. And my sister’s name is Sanju 😀

There is an entire series of Cadbury’s ads in my list of favorites. This one tops it! I LOVE this girl!

Another extremely sweet Dairy Milk one!

Yet another classic Dairy Milk one!

I love the cheek and glee on Priety Zinta’s face!

Tell me who doesn’t remember this jingle, or this drink for that matter? I want to drink Gold Spot 🙂

There is another ad, I totally was in love with but couldn’t find anywhere – Namma Ooru vandi, TVS Excel! Can anyone send it to me, if you have it?

These ads totally made my day! I hope they bring a smile to your face too 🙂

Are any of your old time fav ads missing here?

Randomness

The most random things in life have this uncanny ability of transporting me back in time. A mail, a piece of writing, sometimes just the rain. When I was packing up my desk at work, my 3 years surprisingly fit into one shopper stop bag. That bag mostly had things people had given me over time, like birthday cards, pen stands, roses made of play dough, old performance appraisal sheets, quality sheets, basically things that I don’t really have any use for anymore!
I spent almost one whole day going through the old emails and files on my computer. Emails dated 2005 sounded like another lifetime altogether. I had no idea I had saved so many things. I discovered songs, notes/emails, documents that I had long forgotten about. Each of them very distinctly reminded of some very special people and times.
In a very wierd way, I felt more strongly about giving up my work system and my seat than my job itself. I’ve learnt over time that the people who matter will of course be there no matter what. Some people just can’t be there, however, cos some memories are best left behind in the past. When it becomes a liability, its not worth it. So, i’m not really concerned about them. But i’m not really a big fan of change and way too many things are going to be different now.
Now that the wrapping up has been (almost) done here, its time to think about yet another settling down.
Phew, I really am a drama queen 🙂
PS: One of my favorite actors, Raghuvaran passed away. He’s redefined the style of tamil villans. But my personal favorite was Anjali. May his soul rest in peace! Amen..

Photos..

News of Appu Ghar closing down was flashing on TV when the chatty family was having a post dinner banter session. I vaguely remember going there with my parents when I was about 3. My parents went mad clicking pictures of their first born (me). There’s pictures of me on all the rides there. In fact, there are even pictures of me sitting on the upper berth and smiling at the camera. We have an entire cupboard filled with my baby pictures. (This sometimes irritates my sister who doesn’t have as many baby shots :)). It was time to bring the albums out and scan the pictures. I love looking at old pictures. I remember the Yashica camera my dad brought back from Japan. It was a slick camera to own then. At the first possible excuse my parents would load the camera and click away to glory! I still don’t know if it was their love for photography or just an excuse to click crazy pictures of the family. My dad used to let me take one off pictures under strict supervision! I once wanted to take a picture of a fly sitting on an especially fat sasthrigal’s back at a function. Predictably, the fly flew away before I could click and when the pictures were developed, my mom couldn’t figure out why we had a picture of an exceptionally fat hairy back!!

We have a tradition in the family. We go to a photo studio all dressed up and click a picture each year on our parents’ wedding anniversary. I have to admit, I thought it was a little corny as I got older, but when you compare the shots from the last 24 years, there’s the newly wed’s coy smile to the familiar happy smile of the couple to a kid standing between the two on a stool and holding their hands to posing with 2 kids instead of one to proud smile of parents with 2 teenage daughters standing on either side. There’s a story associated with most of these pictures!

I took about 1000 odd pictures when I went to Europe last year. But they’re all on my laptop, neatly arranged in albums by Picasa. Somehow, that doesn’t even come close to the joy of holding a photo album. Its almost as though feeling the photo takes you closer to the moment you frozen in the frame. I know its possible to get these photos printed. But they will never feel as special as my Yashica pictures did 🙂

Memories..

A notebook you haven’t seen in about 3 years with the handwriting that’s always brought a smile to your face, made you feel like the most loved person in the world, made you believe that anything that troubled you will vanish into thin air when you felt this special, finds you on a particularly bad day. Feeling the pages with a tenderness that’ll bring all the memories flooding back still makes you smile.
You know its time to pull yourself together and put it back where you found it. Who knows, maybe you’ll find it some day when you’re feeling just as bad and it will make you smile yet again!