Saturday, December 31, 2011

Travel to Yercaud - Salem

One Friday evening, out of the blue, my  friend suggested Yercaud.

Had long since had the idea to travel to Yercaud, but somehow it never materialized.

As we had no other commitments for the weekend, we agreed upon and started to Yercaud.

Transportation was never a problem as we had our own FORD IKON.

Started by around 8:30 in the night and took or first break at Villupuram for dinner.

Post that, we decided that our next stop would be only Yercaud, of course we did took breaks here and there for nature's call but he decision was to reach Yercaud  without any extended breaks -Not even for photos.

We stayed at one of the resort and the rooms were really good and affordable and a good service as well.

Yercaud Resort
Yercaud Resort

With information from the reception, we jotted down few places of interests and post fresh up started exploring Yercaud.
Yercaud Flower
Yercaud Flower

Yercaud, still not congested or as polluted like Ooty or Kodai and the weather was equally good.

Really don't know why Yercaud is termed as Poor Man's Ooty.

It has really some good place to offer for sight seeing as mentioned below.

The famous Montford School where our own Actor "Chiyaan" Vikram studied is also a place of visit for me as am an ardent fan of him who had given us wonderful movies and memorable performances and to name a few films - Sethu, Kasi, Pithamagan, Samurai, Ravanan and to the latest Deiva Thirumagal. Somehow am no able to give the same rating to the recently released Rajapattai.

Yercaud Pagoda Point
Yercaud Pagoda Point

As many would know, Yercaud is located in the Shervaroys ranges. The name Shervaroy had originated from the Servarayan Temple which is situated atop the hills in a cave. The cave in itself holds many a mysteries.

Near Servarayan Temple
Near Servarayan Temple

The Pagoda point is one other place of visit, don't get any ideas, not much to say but if your visit time is evening, the Sun set gives you plenty of opportunity for taking best of the best photos and few are as below. THAT'S A WOW...
Cinnamon Trees
Cinnamon Trees
 The Cinnamon trees in Yercaud with the sun behind is a good one for the photographers

Yercaud Hills
Yercaud Hills - Eastern Ghats
                                              The view from the Watch tower in Yercaud

Yercaud View Point
Yercaud View Point

 The Watch Tower near the Servarayan Temple

Travel to Yercaud
Travel to Yercaud

The major places of visits are as follows :
  1. Yercaud Lake
  2. Lady's Seat -  View Point
  3. Killiyur Falls
  4. The Servarayan Temple
  5. Bear’s Cave
  6. Green House
  7. Pagoda Point
  8. Silk Farm and Rose Garden.
After a full day visit, yes nothing much but a real good place to visit with family and friends and to spend some quality time as there in not much pressure the way we feel at Ooty or Kodai (to visit more places)

Would recommend this place for anyone and everyone who likes to spend time with Family in a serene and calm atmosphere..

Bye Bye Yercaud...

Will be back with some other location...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Insects - Flies - Animals - Masinagudi, Karaikudi, Trichy, Adirampattinam, Kalahasti, and Kodaikanal

This time it's going to be only photos of various insects, flies and animals which i MET during my various travels.

Ant House-5 Feet - Masinagudi Forest
Ant House - 5 Feet - Masinagudi Forest

Bee Hive - Karaikudi 1000 Window House
Bee Hive - Karaikudi 1000 Window House

Bullocks - For the Morning Shift - Kalahasti
Bullocks - For the Morning Shift - Kalahasti

Cocks - Kodaikanal
Cocks - Kodaikanal

Dogs - Humans Best Friend - Karaikudi
Dogs - Humans Best Friend - Karaikudi

Ducks - Who's that inside my feathers - Masinagudi
Ducks - Who's that inside my feathers - Masinagudi

Flies - Masinagudi
Flies - Masinagudi

Goat - Nature's Call - Karaikudi

Claw Marks - Man vs Animal - Masinagudi Forest
Claw Marks - Man vs Animal - Masinagudi Forest

Pigeon - Bird's Eye View - Masinagudi
Pigeon - Bird's Eye View - Masinagudi

Pigeon - In the watch out - Karaikudi

Pigeon - Silhouette - Karaikudi
Pigeon - Silhouette - Karaikudi

Pigeon - In the Waiting - Karaikudi
Pigeon - In the Waiting - Karaikudi

Sparrow - Bye Bye - Trichy
Sparrow - Bye Bye - Trichy

Egret - The lone guy waiting for... - adirampattinam
Egret - The lone guy waiting for... - adirampattinam

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Anna Arivalayam - By Night

Last week, attended a "Talk Show" at Anna Arivalayam, and am to thank my 1 year old daughter for the below photos.

As she was in no way interested in the talk show (obvious enough as she is 13 months now)was wriggling and restless.

In order not to disturb the people around me from enjoying the show, picked her and came out of the auditorium and the lighting gave me a good opportunity to click few shots.

Mind you, these photos are taken with my Apple iPhone..

Thanks Steve Jobs and of course thanks to my daughter as well..
Anna Arivalayam

Anna Arivalayam

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Great Indian Road Trip -

Truly inspiring...Awesome..

Was longing to buy myself a Bajaj Avenger for quite sometime as an alternate for my car, and was searching the net about the details and stumbled upon this "The Great Indian Road Trip"...

Beautiful... The courage of these guys is really commendable and i do envy them for what they had achieved while many others including me is only thinking and planning and postponing without any valid reason but only the fear to break out of our safety zone of 9 to 6 job stopping us.

These guys had the courage above all including their perseverance, patience, lost opportunities, failures, the "No - This cannot be done" looks from others", Let us see - " These guys are going to fall on their face" etc..comments from others.

I really envy the kind of experience these guys would have had, the opportunity to see INDIA in it's all beauty and raw, the various facets of life and humans, the various challenges this trip would have offered them, the various life lessons they would have learnt, the bond that would have happened among them as a team...BEAUTIFUL...

Hats off to you guys... Keep Roaring..Keep Going..

One fine day, would do certainly something of this sort by myself..


Monday, December 19, 2011

Funniest Video - Traffic Signal

Last time it was about a funniest milestone which had an ambiguous distance of 9 or 10 kms to a nearby town and this time it a video wherein all the lights are blinking in this particular traffic junction and leaving it to the motorists to take an informed or a judicious decision..


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Funniest Photo - Ever

Should i say the funniest photo ever or a gross negligence by the National Highway department.

Below is a photo taken by me when i was travelling in one off the highways in Tamilnadu about a couple of years before.

The milestone is showing 9 or 10 Kms to a specific town. How can it be so ambiguous??

Hope the changes would have been done by now at least, as i never got an opportunity to be in that highway for the past 2 years.

Keep Travelling with me and bye for now..

Funniest Photo Ever

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Travel to Mahabalipuram alias Mahabs

It was a Sunday morning and with no plans for the day. (As always..which sunday is planned :-))

It was bright and sunny and thought of hitting the ECR (East Coast Road), Chennai, Tamilnadu.

Post crossing Neelangarai and VGP Golden really was great to drive through.

Rolled down my windows to enjoy the sea breeze.

Spent time where ever i wished too..with no particular agenda and only with my camera as a companion which inevitably is and would be always.

The sun providing a great support for the lighting.. Am totally convinced that available light is the best light for photography..Yes, we may not be able to control it but the hue and the depth and the contrast and for the shadows it provides.. Out of the world and with no comparison.

The "Road Less Traveled" - of course for me and by now this road has become one of my ever favorite..

Travel to Mahabalipuram

First pit stop was near a back water and by the time i reached, the Sun was on his way back home which provided for some beautiful reflections and a sample is below.

Travel to Mahabalipuram

Travel to Mahabalipuram

Totally mesmerized by this show of nature and Water and Sun, spent more than an hour and out of which close to 45 mts was just sitting and observing/absorbing this show.

Then headed toward Mahabs without any heart to leave this place.

Spent time with the locals and the sculptors and certainly not in the beach.

Lord Vinayaga or Pillayar (as in tamil) is one god with whom we can fight/experiment/spend time and  mold him as per our requirement and a sample is as below..

Travel to Mahabalipuram

All is well and by the time i felt a little exhausted after all this, IT'S TIME FOR REJUVENATING AND COOL ONESELF WITH A BEER...My heart always thank Mr.Vijay Mallaya..the KING OF GOOD TIMES. HA HA HA...

Straight headed to one of the resorts that dotted the coast of Mahabalipuram.

Travel to Mahabalipuram

And that's how my sojourn ended..

Bye Bye Mahabs but not for the last time..

Will come back with another location tomorrow and this time it's going to be...I MYSELF DON'T KNOW THAT FOR NOW...

Thanks God..  I Love what am doing...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Brahma Gana Sabha - T.N.Seshagopalan - 4th Dec 2011

It was an altogether different experience...My first exposure to a concert.

Born and brought up in Chennai only but never once had the inclination or the urge to visit the yearly event.

This time i was destined to.... influenced by my wife and thanks to was one wonderful evening and had decided to be part of this season and as well going forward..

Vocal :          Madurai T.N Seshagopalan
Violin :          V.V.Ravi
Mridangam : K.Ramesh
Ghatam :      A.S.Murali

Below are few photos for those who missed the opportunity

T N Seshagopalan

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011

Mayakkam Enna and Howz Monday Morning - Similarities

Actually am elated, impressed,  inspired rather top of the world

It was early 2009 and was part of a training program.

The trainer was Mr.Anil Chawla and the training was Brain Mapping.

During the break, was discussing with him about my hobbies and interests which includes photography, direction and acting and during the course of the conversation, Anil asked me whether i can make a short film based on "Follow your Passion" to be precise " Follow your Heart" and for which he himself was a standing example who "Followed his Heart".

 We agreed upon and met during the subsequent week ends and decided to go ahead in making a short film on the subject and which would be not more than 20 mts as the same was for his training sessions.

Come May 2009, with my circle of friends, we debated and finally concluded a script which has 2 leads and would run well within 20 mts and that too within a specified budget - monetarily as well as time bound.

We started on a Saturday morning and wrapped up the entire shoot the next evening with editing, dubbing and BGM left out and which we eventually finished in the next 3 days.

Produced by Anil Chawla of Peoplecraft -

The output was good and well appreciated.

Now coming to the similarities between Mayakkam Enna and Howz Monday Morning?

1) I play a character who knows only photography and nothing else

2) Continuously tries to become a "Wild Life Photographer"

3)  Tries his level best to have an initial break but only rejections

4) Totally perturbed by the happenings but resolves to Follow his passion - Come what may

5) Sends photo to organisation but only rejections followed

6) Displays his photograph and eventually gets his first break

7) After sometime and with persistence, eventually gets the break he was waiting and wanting for and becomes a Wild Life Photographer..

Post watching the movie, was totally moved and almost in tears out of joy... Why so?

Is it because someone of Selvaraghavan's calibre had thought in the same line as a bunch of few youngsters did a couple of years before?


Is it because Dhanush, whom i admire, respect and look upto for his acting skills and small small nuances he brings into the character he portrays did the character which i did a couple of years before?


Is it because as a team we guys do dare to think differently?


Is it because many a friends who had seen both Howz Monday Morning and Mayakkam Enna appreciated us for what we did a couple of years before?


Is it.......................??????

Many more questions like this and many more ORs!!!!!!

One more add on fact is that, we did this well before 3 Idiots and if am right, 3 Idiots got released in the fag end of 2009 or early 2010.

Watching 3 Idiots itself gave me a boost but Mayakkam Enna completely took me over and was elated and proud at the same time.

Actually am elated, impressed, inspired rather top of the world...


Friday, November 25, 2011

Lyrics of Why this Kolaveri Di?" from the movie 3

The latest rage across India and to an extent across Globe is Why this kolaveri di penned and sung by Dhanush for his upcoming movie 3 directed by none other than his wife Ms. Aishwarya Dhanush - daughter of Superstar Mr.Rajnikanth.

The other interesting fact about this movie is that the female lead is Ms.Shruti Hassan - daughter of Mr.Kamal Hassan.

Here we go with the lyriics.

Yo boys I am singing song, soup song, flop song.
Why this Kolaveri Kolaveri Kolaveri Di,
Why This Kolaveri Kolaveri Kolaveri Di.
Rhythm Correct
Why This Kolaveri Kolaveri Kolaveri Di
Maintain This
Why this Kolaveri..Di
Distance la moon-u moon-u,
Moon-u color-u white-u white background,
Night-u Nigth-u Night-u color-u black-u.
Why this Kolaveri Kolaveri Kolaveri Di,
Why this Kolaveri Kolaveri Kolaveri Di.
White skin-u girl-u girl-u,
girl-u heart-u black-u.
Eyes-u eyes-u meet-u meet-u, my future dark.
Why this Kolaveri Kolaveri Kolaveri Di,
Why this Kolaveri Kolaveri Kolaveri Di.
Maama notes eduthuko, apdiye kaila snacks eduthuko
Pa pa paan pa pa paan pa pa paa pa pa paan,
Sariya vaasi, super maama ready
ready 1 2 3 4.
Whaa wat a change over maama,
Ok maama now tune change-u,
kaila glass only English…
Hand la glass, glass la scotch,
Eyes-u full-aa tear-u, empty life-u,
Girl-u come-u, life reverse gear-u,
Lovvu Lovvu, oh my lovvu.
You showed me bouv-u,
Cow-u cow-u holi cow-u,
I want u hear now-u,
God I m dying now-u,
She is happy how-u,
this song for soup boys-u, we don’t have choice-u.
Why This Kolaveri Kolaveri Kolaveri Di.
Flop song.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Google can't Google this

This article was published in the "Times of India" dated : 15th Nov 2011 and the link is below

Google's lab of wildest dreams 

California: In a top-secret lab in an undisclosed Bay Area location where robots run free,the future is being imagined.
Its a place where your refrigerator could be connected to the Internet,so it could order groceries when they run low.Your dinner plate could post to a social network what youre eating.Your robot could go to the office while you stay home in your pajamas.And you could,perhaps,take an elevator to outer space.
These are just a few of the dreams being chased at Google X,the clandestine lab where Google is tackling a list of 100 shoot-for-the-stars ideas.In interviews,a dozen people discussed the list;some work at the lab or elsewhere at Google,and some have been briefed on the project.But none would speak for attribution because Google is so secretive about the effort that many employees do not even know the lab exists.
Although most of the ideas on the list are in the conceptual stage,nowhere near reality,two people briefed on the project said one product would be released by the end of the year,although they would not say what it was.
Theyre pretty far out in front right now, said Rodney Brooks,a professor emeritus at MITs computer science and artificial intelligence lab and founder of Heartland Robotics.But Googles not an ordinary company,so almost nothing applies. 
At most Silicon Valley companies,innovation means developing online apps or ads,but Google sees itself as different.Even as Google has grown into a major corporation and tech start-ups are biting at its heels,the lab reflects its ambition to be a place where ground-breaking research and development are happening,in the tradition of Xerox PARC,which developed the modern personal computer in the 1970s.
A Google spokeswoman,Jill Hazelbaker,declined to comment on the lab,but said that investing in speculative projects was an important part of Googles DNA.While the possibilities are incredibly exciting,please do keep in mind that the sums involved are very small by comparison to the investments we make in our core businesses, she said.
At Google,which uses artificial intelligence techniques and machine learning in its search algorithm,some of the outlandish projects may not be as much of a stretch as they first appear,even though they defy the bounds of the companys main Web search business.
For example,space elevators,a longtime fantasy of Googles founders and other Silicon Valley entrepreneurs,could collect information or haul things into space.(In theory,they involve rocketless space travel along a cable anchored to Earth.) Google is collecting the worlds data,so now it could be collecting the solar systems data, Brooks said.
Sergey Brin,Googles cofounder,is deeply involved in the lab,said several people with knowledge of it,and came up with the list of ideas along with Larry Page,Googles other founder,who worked on Google X before becoming chief executive in April;Eric E Schmidt,its chairman;and other top executives.Where I spend my time is farther afield projects,which we hope will graduate to important key businesses in the future, Brin said recently,though he did not mention Google X.NYT NEWS SERVICE

Friday, November 11, 2011

Travel to Adirampattinam

This time it about the travel to Adirampattinam,Tamilnadu..

It happened one night when i was in Trichy and all of a sudden a itching sensation to visit a coastal took me over..if you ask me why... i don't know WHY??!!

Mind you, Trichy by virtue of being in the middle of Tamilnadu (Literally) and the nearest coastal town is a minimum of 100 kms away.

After  referring to the maps, we zeroed in on ADIRAMPATTINAM.. which is a cool 100+ KM from Trichy.

We started at around 6:30 in the morning and had our breakfast in Trichy itself.

We passed through Thajavur and Pattukottai along with numerous other small picturesque villages to reach Adirampattinam.

It took us almost 2.5hrs to reach and as we had the singular target of reaching Adirampattinam at the earliest we did not stop in the other major locations like Tanjore and Pattukottai.

When we reached Adirampattinam it was around 9 am.

This town lies in the scenic ECR from Chennai to Kanniyakumari.

To reach the sand we were to pass through the local hamlets and at last MY LEGS WERE IN THE SAND

What a feeling..You wanna know that..IT WAS HOT AND IMMDTLY HAD MY SHOES BACK..Ha Ha Ha

10 am beach and that too in the month of MAY..

Spent some time and took photos and attaching here the same for your views.

We spent time with the local and ROAMING AROUND THE COUNTRY SIDE without any goal but with a singular motive to know more about the place and their customs..

The children were Crab Hunting and they posed us with various gymnastics.

Birds of Adirampattinam

Adirampattinam Sea

Came to know about how the Maraikayar evolved over a time.

During the early days this town was into trading through sea and they used boats made of Country wood which translates to Marakkalam in tamil and those who used these boats were called Marakkalarayar  and by time it became Maraikayar.. Interesting right..

Steve Jobs...Stay Hungry Stay Foolish..

This is from The Hindu Business Line and the Link is as below

It was January 1984 and a floppy haired Steve Jobs, in a suit and striped bow tie stood on stage in front of some 3,000 people. With a flourish he took the cover off the beige box computer that now looks laughingly quaint but back then provoked applause, squeals and gasps. The applause grew as he inserted a floppy disk, people whooped as he showed off its applications: painting pictures on screen; playing chess. It reached almost deafening levels after the Macintosh, speaking in a monotone, introduced its “father” - a beaming Steve Jobs.
Jobs had a kind of showmanship rarely seen; showmanship that was repeated again and again: whether it was the 1998 launch of the iMac, the 2007 launch of the iPhone, or the 2010 launch of the iPad. His childlike enthusiasm and sincere passion for the product he was unveiling, combined with a gentle sense of humour (calling up a Starbucks to order 4,000 coffees during the iPhone unveiling is just one example) left people hooked to him and his products.
From Apple’s early days it was clear that it was a case apart. In a rare joint appearance with Jobs in 1983, Bill Gates said: “To create a new standard takes not something a little bit different but something really new, something that really captures people’s imagination and the Mac is the only one I’ve seen that meets that standard.”
Jobs was never the technology man but the one who spurred others and never settled – he was known for rejecting prototypes he deemed unworthy. (In an interview he once attributed success to “saying no to 1,000 things.”)
To Jobs, not being a plain vanilla technology man was an advantage: it gave him a perspective that many lacked in the industry – an ability, as he saw it, to connect experiences to create something new. During a Commencement Address delivered at Stanford University in 2005, he spoke of the moment when, after dropping out of Reed College, he did a short calligraphy course, where he learnt what makes “great typography great.” That knowledge, useless to him at the time, came in handy during the creation of the Macintosh, which he described as the “first computer with beautiful typography.” That ability to connect the dots was seen over and over again over the years: as it was with the iPod. There were MP3 players out there but it took a Jobs and his company to marry it with iTunes. It was why the revolutions he triggered weren’t limited to the world of computing but were spread to telecom, music, and movies.
Jobs listened to what people wanted: during the launch of the iMac he told his audience “We are targeting this for the No. 1 use that people want a computer for: to get onto the Internet simply and fast.” He was spot on.
Quite what he meant to the company became clear when he left following a row with CEO John Sculley. The company floundered until his return in 1997 – which was shortly followed by the successful launch of the iMac. Those out-of-Apple years weren’t a low point for him though: he bought Pixar Animation Studios, which made Toy Story and film after film that brought animation into the digital age (connecting the dots once again). He sold it to the Walt Disney Company for $7.4 billion in 2006.
Compared with his ability to magic desires people didn’t know even know they had, Jobs’ business acumen often receives little attention but it was there in heaps. The strategy of planned obsolescence, such as the camera-less first iPad – may have exasperated many fans, but certainly didn’t prevent them from crowding his stores, or buying his upgrades. Neither does the military-like-discipline with which the company runs and extracts revenues from its App store, and all the applications that make their way on it. During the third quarter of this year, Apple stores had an average of 2,491 visitors a day.
It is unsurprising that Jobs’ life have been unpicked endlessly for the sources of his success, but for Jobs himself the answer was simple. It was the back cover of the final edition of The Whole Earth Catalog that summed it up for him, he told the Stanford gathering. “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.”

A Sister’s Eulogy for Steve Jobs

The below article is from washington post and the link to the same is as below


A Sister’s Eulogy for Steve Jobs

I grew up as an only child, with a single mother. Because we were poor and because I knew my father had emigrated from Syria, I imagined he looked like Omar Sharif. I hoped he would be rich and kind and would come into our lives (and our not yet furnished apartment) and help us. Later, after I’d met my father, I tried to believe he’d changed his number and left no forwarding address because he was an idealistic revolutionary, plotting a new world for the Arab people.


Even as a feminist, my whole life I’d been waiting for a man to love, who could love me. For decades, I’d thought that man would be my father. When I was 25, I met that man and he was my brother.
By then, I lived in New York, where I was trying to write my first novel. I had a job at a small magazine in an office the size of a closet, with three other aspiring writers. When one day a lawyer called me — me, the middle-class girl from California who hassled the boss to buy us health insurance — and said his client was rich and famous and was my long-lost brother, the young editors went wild. This was 1985 and we worked at a cutting-edge literary magazine, but I’d fallen into the plot of a Dickens novel and really, we all loved those best. The lawyer refused to tell me my brother’s name and my colleagues started a betting pool. The leading candidate: John Travolta. I secretly hoped for a literary descendant of Henry James — someone more talented than I, someone brilliant without even trying.
When I met Steve, he was a guy my age in jeans, Arab- or Jewish-looking and handsomer than Omar Sharif.
We took a long walk — something, it happened, that we both liked to do. I don’t remember much of what we said that first day, only that he felt like someone I’d pick to be a friend. He explained that he worked in computers.
I didn’t know much about computers. I still worked on a manual Olivetti typewriter.
I told Steve I’d recently considered my first purchase of a computer: something called the Cromemco.
Steve told me it was a good thing I’d waited. He said he was making something that was going to be insanely beautiful.
I want to tell you a few things I learned from Steve, during three distinct periods, over the 27 years I knew him. They’re not periods of years, but of states of being. His full life. His illness. His dying.
Steve worked at what he loved. He worked really hard. Every day.
That’s incredibly simple, but true.
He was the opposite of absent-minded.
He was never embarrassed about working hard, even if the results were failures. If someone as smart as Steve wasn’t ashamed to admit trying, maybe I didn’t have to be.
When he got kicked out of Apple, things were painful. He told me about a dinner at which 500 Silicon Valley leaders met the then-sitting president. Steve hadn’t been invited.
He was hurt but he still went to work at Next. Every single day.
Novelty was not Steve’s highest value. Beauty was.
For an innovator, Steve was remarkably loyal. If he loved a shirt, he’d order 10 or 100 of them. In the Palo Alto house, there are probably enough black cotton turtlenecks for everyone in this church.
He didn’t favor trends or gimmicks. He liked people his own age.
His philosophy of aesthetics reminds me of a quote that went something like this: “Fashion is what seems beautiful now but looks ugly later; art can be ugly at first but it becomes beautiful later.”
Steve always aspired to make beautiful later.
He was willing to be misunderstood.
Uninvited to the ball, he drove the third or fourth iteration of his same black sports car to Next, where he and his team were quietly inventing the platform on which Tim Berners-Lee would write the program for the World Wide Web.
Steve was like a girl in the amount of time he spent talking about love. Love was his supreme virtue, his god of gods. He tracked and worried about the romantic lives of the people working with him.
Whenever he saw a man he thought a woman might find dashing, he called out, “Hey are you single? Do you wanna come to dinner with my sister?”
I remember when he phoned the day he met Laurene. “There’s this beautiful woman and she’s really smart and she has this dog and I’m going to marry her.”
When Reed was born, he began gushing and never stopped. He was a physical dad, with each of his children. He fretted over Lisa’s boyfriends and Erin’s travel and skirt lengths and Eve’s safety around the horses she adored.
None of us who attended Reed’s graduation party will ever forget the scene of Reed and Steve slow dancing.
His abiding love for Laurene sustained him. He believed that love happened all the time, everywhere. In that most important way, Steve was never ironic, never cynical, never pessimistic. I try to learn from that, still.
Steve had been successful at a young age, and he felt that had isolated him. Most of the choices he made from the time I knew him were designed to dissolve the walls around him. A middle-class boy from Los Altos, he fell in love with a middle-class girl from New Jersey. It was important to both of them to raise Lisa, Reed, Erin and Eve as grounded, normal children. Their house didn’t intimidate with art or polish; in fact, for many of the first years I knew Steve and Lo together, dinner was served on the grass, and sometimes consisted of just one vegetable. Lots of that one vegetable. But one. Broccoli. In season. Simply prepared. With just the right, recently snipped, herb.
Even as a young millionaire, Steve always picked me up at the airport. He’d be standing there in his jeans.
When a family member called him at work, his secretary Linetta answered, “Your dad’s in a meeting. Would you like me to interrupt him?”
When Reed insisted on dressing up as a witch every Halloween, Steve, Laurene, Erin and Eve all went wiccan.
They once embarked on a kitchen remodel; it took years. They cooked on a hotplate in the garage. The Pixar building, under construction during the same period, finished in half the time. And that was it for the Palo Alto house. The bathrooms stayed old. But — and this was a crucial distinction — it had been a great house to start with; Steve saw to that.
This is not to say that he didn’t enjoy his success: he enjoyed his success a lot, just minus a few zeros. He told me how much he loved going to the Palo Alto bike store and gleefully realizing he could afford to buy the best bike there.
And he did.
Steve was humble. Steve liked to keep learning.
Once, he told me if he’d grown up differently, he might have become a mathematician. He spoke reverently about colleges and loved walking around the Stanford campus. In the last year of his life, he studied a book of paintings by Mark Rothko, an artist he hadn’t known about before, thinking of what could inspire people on the walls of a future Apple campus.
Steve cultivated whimsy. What other C.E.O. knows the history of English and Chinese tea roses and has a favorite David Austin rose?
He had surprises tucked in all his pockets. I’ll venture that Laurene will discover treats — songs he loved, a poem he cut out and put in a drawer — even after 20 years of an exceptionally close marriage. I spoke to him every other day or so, but when I opened The New York Times and saw a feature on the company’s patents, I was still surprised and delighted to see a sketch for a perfect staircase.
With his four children, with his wife, with all of us, Steve had a lot of fun.
He treasured happiness.
Then, Steve became ill and we watched his life compress into a smaller circle. Once, he’d loved walking through Paris. He’d discovered a small handmade soba shop in Kyoto. He downhill skied gracefully. He cross-country skied clumsily. No more.
Eventually, even ordinary pleasures, like a good peach, no longer appealed to him.
Yet, what amazed me, and what I learned from his illness, was how much was still left after so much had been taken away.
I remember my brother learning to walk again, with a chair. After his liver transplant, once a day he would get up on legs that seemed too thin to bear him, arms pitched to the chair back. He’d push that chair down the Memphis hospital corridor towards the nursing station and then he’d sit down on the chair, rest, turn around and walk back again. He counted his steps and, each day, pressed a little farther.
Laurene got down on her knees and looked into his eyes.
“You can do this, Steve,” she said. His eyes widened. His lips pressed into each other.
He tried. He always, always tried, and always with love at the core of that effort. He was an intensely emotional man.
I realized during that terrifying time that Steve was not enduring the pain for himself. He set destinations: his son Reed’s graduation from high school, his daughter Erin’s trip to Kyoto, the launching of a boat he was building on which he planned to take his family around the world and where he hoped he and Laurene would someday retire.
Even ill, his taste, his discrimination and his judgment held. He went through 67 nurses before finding kindred spirits and then he completely trusted the three who stayed with him to the end. Tracy. Arturo. Elham.
One time when Steve had contracted a tenacious pneumonia his doctor forbid everything — even ice. We were in a standard I.C.U. unit. Steve, who generally disliked cutting in line or dropping his own name, confessed that this once, he’d like to be treated a little specially.
I told him: Steve, this is special treatment.
He leaned over to me, and said: “I want it to be a little more special.”
Intubated, when he couldn’t talk, he asked for a notepad. He sketched devices to hold an iPad in a hospital bed. He designed new fluid monitors and x-ray equipment. He redrew that not-quite-special-enough hospital unit. And every time his wife walked into the room, I watched his smile remake itself on his face.
For the really big, big things, you have to trust me, he wrote on his sketchpad. He looked up. You have to.
By that, he meant that we should disobey the doctors and give him a piece of ice.
None of us knows for certain how long we’ll be here. On Steve’s better days, even in the last year, he embarked upon projects and elicited promises from his friends at Apple to finish them. Some boat builders in the Netherlands have a gorgeous stainless steel hull ready to be covered with the finishing wood. His three daughters remain unmarried, his two youngest still girls, and he’d wanted to walk them down the aisle as he’d walked me the day of my wedding.
We all — in the end — die in medias res. In the middle of a story. Of many stories.
I suppose it’s not quite accurate to call the death of someone who lived with cancer for years unexpected, but Steve’s death was unexpected for us.
What I learned from my brother’s death was that character is essential: What he was, was how he died.
Tuesday morning, he called me to ask me to hurry up to Palo Alto. His tone was affectionate, dear, loving, but like someone whose luggage was already strapped onto the vehicle, who was already on the beginning of his journey, even as he was sorry, truly deeply sorry, to be leaving us.
He started his farewell and I stopped him. I said, “Wait. I’m coming. I’m in a taxi to the airport. I’ll be there.”
“I’m telling you now because I’m afraid you won’t make it on time, honey.”
When I arrived, he and his Laurene were joking together like partners who’d lived and worked together every day of their lives. He looked into his children’s eyes as if he couldn’t unlock his gaze.
Until about 2 in the afternoon, his wife could rouse him, to talk to his friends from Apple.
Then, after awhile, it was clear that he would no longer wake to us.
His breathing changed. It became severe, deliberate, purposeful. I could feel him counting his steps again, pushing farther than before.
This is what I learned: he was working at this, too. Death didn’t happen to Steve, he achieved it.
He told me, when he was saying goodbye and telling me he was sorry, so sorry we wouldn’t be able to be old together as we’d always planned, that he was going to a better place.
Dr. Fischer gave him a 50/50 chance of making it through the night.
He made it through the night, Laurene next to him on the bed sometimes jerked up when there was a longer pause between his breaths. She and I looked at each other, then he would heave a deep breath and begin again.
This had to be done. Even now, he had a stern, still handsome profile, the profile of an absolutist, a romantic. His breath indicated an arduous journey, some steep path, altitude.
He seemed to be climbing.
But with that will, that work ethic, that strength, there was also sweet Steve’s capacity for wonderment, the artist’s belief in the ideal, the still more beautiful later.
Steve’s final words, hours earlier, were monosyllables, repeated three times.
Before embarking, he’d looked at his sister Patty, then for a long time at his children, then at his life’s partner, Laurene, and then over their shoulders past them.
Steve’s final words were:
Mona Simpson is a novelist and a professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles. Since 1988, she has held the Sadie Samuelson Levy Chair in Languages and Literature at Bard College. She delivered this eulogy for her brother, Steve Jobs, on Oct. 16, 2011, at his memorial service at the Memorial Church of Stanford University.