Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween - Trick or...? (The World of Ghosts)

31st of October. People dressing up to impress, scare and win prizes for fancy dress competitions. I wonder why it's regarded as one of the most awesome festivals in the world. Of course, Halloween is hardly celebrated in India, something which I really really hope changes, and soon.
What fascinates me about Halloween? Well it's regarded as the festival of Magic! It's said to be the spookiest day in the world, and Magicians dressed as wizards do some of the most unearthly tricks ever made. It's also regarded by some as the day when ghosts appear in certain darker places. And Magic and ghosts or spirit calling or Seance as it's better known have a long history, and one question has intrigued the world for a long long time. Are ghosts real?
For centuries people and performers of Seances alike have pondered over that question. While the performers or mediums have tried to prove that ghosts exist and it's possible for us to build a connect with them, the general public still has varied opinions on it. So, do ghosts exist?
Being a magician and having some knowledge about how mediums do there "tricks", I'd have to say a massive NO, in caps obviously.  But then, some things do go unexplained quite a lot of the times. All of us had been afraid of ghosts when we were young,  some of us still are. And even though every fiber of our body hopes that we never counter with a ghost, some parts still can't stop hoping of a life after death. And it's very very rare to meet someone who doesn't have his or her own heroic tale to tell when they encountered with a ghost, or have a friend or family member who encountered with a ghost and lived to tell the tale.

Also to quote the great Steve Jobs, no one wants to die, even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. Why is it then the world is so fascinated by the idea of life after death? Simple. Nobody wants to stop being in touch with the world and the people they lived with, and the idea of being left behind as a memory, imprint, faded images or whatever the world of Harry Potter describes ghosts as fascinates people, and gives them hope of never actually "leaving."
Well all that is might fine, but then that still doesn't answer the question, do ghosts exist? Yeah, there have been a million stories of people encountering with ghosts and having heroic boxing matches with them, and yes there are millions of people who will never agree to the idea of ghosts even if a pearly white figure passed right through them, my views are simple and slightly contradictory to the massive NO in caps I said before.
Do ghosts exists? Yes.
Is it possible to connect with them and speak to them? No.
As simple as that, and even though thousands of people will want to dress up as ghosts and mediums on Halloween and will have tales of their desks or tables "moving on there own" and all, it'll all be balderdash at the end of it all. So have an awesome Halloween everyone, and I hope that you don't get the Trick part of the festival, and instead end up with a beautiful Treat.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Standing Ovation - An Ode to Steve Jobs

It was one fine day in the spring of 1977 when two drop outs from college, the two Steves, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak co-founded a small computer company named "Apple Computer Inc." Little did they know then, that the world would never be the same again.
A few years later the two Steve's went their separate ways. One became a teacher and an engineer (a bloody brilliant one at that) and the other made sure that he was remembered forever.
In 1984, Apple launched the first ever Macintosh, and as Steve aptly said, it was "Insanely Great." He got fired from Apple, came back in 1996 and that for the world was a little more than "Insanely Great", from then on, he has continued to change the way people look at things almost every year.
In 2001, at the launch of the first ever iPod he said, "Join us, as we change the music industry", and by God he did. In 2007 he said, ,"Today Apple re-invents the phone", and oh it did.  Not just that, he changed the PC industry, the notebook industry and launched a whole new range of products called tablets.
When the Macbook Air was launched he said, "There's something in the Air" and clearly there's something in the air today that just whispers that the world will not be changed by Steve Jobs' brilliance anymore.
No one comes close to his strokes of brilliance,  he turned a product launch into a massive event! For no other product (except Harry Potter books) did you see people lining up three days in advance to be the first ones to get their hands on it.
If you ask me, no one in the world will come close to the showman in Steve, he made people lust for Apple products, he made people believe in Apple. He was one of the three people I idolized, one of the three people that made me love performing. To the world he wasn't a magician, he was a visionary. To me he was one of the most Magical people that ever lived.
 And today on his death the world has spoken, a few of the well known people mourning the loss are, Barack Obama, Mark Zuckerberg, Michael Dell and Bill Gates. If you go on the Google home page, they have a little ode to Steve Jobs in their own way. The Microsoft office is mourning the loss as well.
I would like to say just this, "Microsoft, Google, Dell... when competitors are mourning your loss, you know you're a legend."
Oh and "One more thing...."
"Every time a Steve Jobs keynote ended, he got a standing ovation and the crowd erupted. Every time he walked up on stage to give a new keynote or to launch a new product, he got a standing ovation and the crowd erupted. The world was his stage, and he was the performer. And today as he walks out of this stage, we give him a standing ovation only to be sure that when he walks into heaven, the crowd will erupt and the Gods will stand and applaud."