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Varun Dhawan in October is an exquisite portrayal of a lover who waits




There is a scene in October when, while the female protagonist lay in a state of coma, her uncle bluntly and rather crudely says there is no point in recovery of the girl since she will live like a “vegetable” all her life. The girl in question, Shiuli, played by Banita Sandhu, had moments before fallen down from a hotel she was working in. While her mother and siblings remain quiet, Dan, played by Varun Dhawan, her co-worker, evades his glance and says, “She might not remember who you are, but at least you all remember who she is.” He had barely exchanged a smile with her in the past but was now a constant by her side.

Such unconditional and, if one might add, defiant affection is a rarity in Bollywood, considering these words are spoken by a man about a woman he might, perhaps, be in love with and who has received no validation of the same from her. In many ways, October changes the narrative of love stories in Bollywood. The sparse dialogues, the conspicuous absence of any songs and the detachment of romance from a love story are not tropes one generally associates with them. And neither does one anticipate one of them to wait for the other, with such persistence and resolve.

Dan, a cranky intern at the five-star hotel, asks too many questions and fails to exercise restraint when needed. He lacks tact and is difficult to like. He wears a scowl while doing laundry, cleaning hotel rooms and even when sitting by himself eating an apple. Yet when he hears from his colleagues that Shiuli had casually and perhaps incidentally asked about him before the fatal fall, he visits her regularly and doggedly. He needs to tell her why he was not there.


He also needs to see her recover. Dan as a lover is unlike most lovers one would generally encounter in the landscape of Bollywood love stories. Dan as a lover is in a perpetual state of waiting. He waits for her to respond. He waits for her to move her eyes and acknowledge that she knows him. He waits for her to smell the flowers he so religiously gathers and scatters near her pillow. He waits for her to forgive him when he leaves without a word. He also waits perhaps for the wait(ing) to end, or maybe not. Dan as a lover exchanges words of love in silence and waits for its reciprocation in similar quietude.

Other than exploring grief, empathy and mortality, Shoojit Sircar’s film also presents an exquisite portrayal of a lover who is in no hurry. The idea of waiting is an integral part of love but seldom explored. What else do you do when you are not smiling at your lover or walking with them by your side, basking in their presence? You wait for them. You wait for them to remember you. You wait for them to know that you are waiting and you wait for them to come back to you. And this is precisely where Dan as a lover is posited, perpetually and continuously. He waits without any vocal encouragement or noise. All he does is wait.

French theorist Roland Barthes in his book A Lover’s Discourse, dedicates a chapter on waiting. “Waiting is an enchantment,” he writes and then goes on to describe a lover as one whose “fatal identity is precisely this: I am the one who waits”. A lover is perhaps doomed to wait. And by bringing this intrinsic aspect of love to the fore, Varun Dhawan portrays the lover Bollywood generally does not endorse.



Nike Adapt Self-Lacing Smart Sneaker Will Require Regular Charging

The Kashmir Monitor



Nike has found a new way to capture more information about its customers: through their sneakers.

At an event called the “Future of Footwear,” Nike unveiled a new shoe concept, called Nike Adapt, that tracks performance in real time, allowing the company to give weekend warriors athletic tips and also sell them more products.

“It’s the start of a new day,” said Michael Donaghu, Nike’s director of global footwear innovation. “It’s like we’re moving from footwear to firmwear.”


The shoes, with their data-tracking capability, present customers with a choice about privacy — if they opt not to share their data, they’ll miss out on a lot of the product’s capabilities. The company is starting with basketball shoes, which will sell for $350 (roughly Rs. 25,000).

The shoe self-tightens to an athlete’s preference – there are no laces – and is adjustable via an app. The products carry sensors, accelerometers and gyroscopes that can give Nike a full, personalized snapshot of its owner’s performance. They’ll need recharging every two weeks.

“It’s like having two smartphones strapped to your two feet,” said Michael Martin, Nike’s global head of digital products.

CEO Mark Parker discussed the new shoes in vague terms in December, calling it a “major step” in taking Nike’s new digital emphasis and embedding it into actual product.

Nike stores are also going digital. The company calls new flagship locations unveiled two months ago in New York and Shanghai “Houses of Innovation.” They blend online shopping with the in-person experience. To get the full experience, you essentially have to download the Nike app.

Nike is in the midst of a digital transformation. A large part of that is trying to get more of its customers to become members of the NikePlus loyalty program. The company has found members spend three times more than nonmembers when they shop at

Though Nike has seen rapid growth in apparel sales, shoes still accounted for 61 percent of the company’s $36.4 billion in revenue last fiscal year.

Nike auto-lacing shoes have been around since 2017, when the company sold a limited number of low-top sneakers for $720, the most expensive shoes it ever released.

These shoes will be available through Nike’s direct channels, and through retailers, and will debut in the NBA on the feet of Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum later this week.

The shoe’s technology is can be updated through the app, meaning its capabilities can change after it’s purchased. The Beaverton, Oregon-based company plans to release more products with the Adapt technology, including running shoes, sportswear and lifestyle items.

“The advantages we’re looking to provide the athlete are so substantial that you’ll see a mass of people wanting to make use of those benefits,” Martin said.

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Microsoft Says Will Set Up 10 AI Labs, Train 5 Lakh Youth in India

The Kashmir Monitor



Microsoft India to set up Artificial Intelligence (AI) labs in 10 universities and train five lakh youth across the country in disrupting technologies.

The company also said it will upskill over 10,000 developers over the next three years.

“We believe AI will enable Indian businesses and more for India’s progress, especially in education, skilling, healthcare and agriculture,” said Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India.


Microsoft AI today is fuelling digital transformation for over 700 customers and 60 per cent customers are large manufacturing and financial services enterprises.

Over 700 partners have geared up to support the AI ecosystem, said the company.

Microsoft in December announced a three-year “Intelligent Cloud Hub” collaborative programme in India, for empowering institutes to skill students in AI and Cloud technologies.

India is one of the first countries to have such a programme in which Microsoft will support selected institutes that have the best-in-class infrastructure, curriculum and content, onsite training for faculty and students, access for participating students to Cloud and AI services, developmental tools and developer support.

In April 2018, the company announced the Microsoft Professional Programme (MPP) for the public.

This programme is helping in providing job-ready skills along with real-world experience to engineers as well as others who plan on improving their skills in AI and data science, using a series of online courses.

“Microsoft also believes that it is imperative to build higher awareness and capabilities on security, privacy, trust and accountability,” said Maheshwari.

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TP-Link Launches New Wi-Fi 6 Routers at CES 2019 With Something at Every Price Point

The Kashmir Monitor



TP-Link has announced five new next-generation wireless products at CES 2019. All these routers are based on Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) with prices ranges from the affordable entry-level routers to expensive wireless routers meant for gaming. In December last year, TP-Link had introduced its first two Wi-Fi 6 routers based on Broadcom platforms. With its latest announcement at CES 2019, the company seems keen on bringing more Wi-Fi 6 products for everyone.

The new TP Link Deco X10 is a mesh networking-based wireless router. It comes in a pack of two (one main unit and a satellite), priced at $349.99 (roughly Rs. 24,340). It offers a wireless bandwidth of up to 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and up to 1,200Mbps on the 5GHz band.

The company has also announced a new Archer AX11000 gaming wireless router. It is a tri-band wireless router capable of a maximum wireless throughput of up to 4,804Mbps on the 5GHz bands and up to 1,148Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. TP-Link had added USB Type-C and USB Type-A ports to enable storage sharing across the network. The router will sell at $449.99 (roughly Rs. 31,300) and will be available later this month.


TP-Link’s new Archer AX6000 is a dual-band wireless router that offers features similar to the Archer AX11000 and is shipping right away. It includes a 2.5Gbps WAN port so in case you have a high-speed broadband connection, but you don’t play games, this might be the right router for you as it costs $100 (roughly Rs. 6,954) less than the Archer AX11000.

The basic TP-Link Archer AX1800 brings Wi-Fi 6 at an affordable price point. The Archer AX1800 is a dual-band wireless router which comes with a Gigabit WAN port and a USB 2.0 port to share data across the network. The router is priced at $129.99 (roughly Rs. 9,040). It will be available later this year.

TP-Link has also announced a new wireless range extender at CES 2019. The RE705X Wi-Fi range extender is a dual-band repeater which is priced at $99.99 (roughly Rs. 6,953). It will ship in the third quarter of 2019.

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January 2019
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