When I was young, I was fascinated by the story of Newton’s apple. How he was lured into the scientific theory of gravity by just a falling apple. That was the height of scientific creativity for me. Then gradually I read other accounts and started taking an interest in scientific biographies and found that maybe that story was not based on facts, probably it was just a way to increase the public’s sense of excitement and create a sense of belonging to the scientific approach. The other apple connection in my school days was the oft repeated line “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” But then I chanced across another apple, this was a slightly eaten one and this was given to us by the joint enterprise of two geniuses, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniack.
With his apple, Jobs created not just a company, he created a lifestyle. Jobs did something that not many could have done, and created a unique company which has now risen to be the world’s largest technological company. I first came across the name of “Apple” in my early teens when I started taking an interest in various technical things. Then Apple for me was a marvel, something way out of my reach. I dreamt of owning a Mac, nay even using a Mac for that matter. This dream was fulfilled last year when I was on a visit to the Chennai Mathematical Institute and the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. 🙂
I vividly remember the 2007 launch of iPhone, and how badly I wanted to have one of my own. Before Jobs and his iPhone, the best that a so called ‘smartphone’ could do was send email and surf the internet. Then came the iOS and it revolutionized everything. Jobs did it again, what he had done with the Mac. He took an exisiting technology and made it into such a thing that it was irrerestible to everyone, or for that it became necessary for everyone. One of my other dream is to own an iPhone someday. I recently came close to buying an iPhone 3GS, but decided to go for an Xperia promising myself that the next phone I buy will be an iPhone. Maybe the 6th or the 7th version.
In all of the preceeding discussion, I have not mentioned any personal detail about Jobs simply because this is not a biography piece, nor is it an eulogy for the man. This is just my expression for the demise of this giant of the 20th and 21st century. I have used Apple products scantily but I know for a fact that they are ‘awesome’. Recently I switched over from my Windows PC to Linux. How I now wish I should have bought a Mac instead when I decided to get a laptop.
This issue is based on the theme ‘Utsav’ or ‘celebration’, and that’s exactly what Jobs did, he celebrated life in all its multifarious ways and in all the multitude of ways possible. For me, Jobs will remain that rare blend of innovation, smartness and attitude mixed with the correct portions to create an extraordinarily gifted gentleman. I never met Jobs, but I have read a lot about him, I have seen his videos, the most notable being his famous “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish” video at the 2005 Stanford commencement address. Somehow, in all of these I feel that I have learnt a lot from him. Looking at his rise, and then his so called ‘fall’ and finally his meteoric rise again I can only feel the pulse of entrepreneurship rising up in me. Maybe the world will see another Apple soon, but I am sure it will never see another Jobs.
Recently, I was reading a book called “The Immortals of Meluha” by Amish where the author writes, and I quote here “Whether a man is a legend or not is determined by history, not by fortune tellers.” Perhaps this quote is suited for Jobs the best. He was a legend in the true sense of the term, otherwise how else would you explain the almost viral communications on various social networking websites about him. Google, the doyen of all internet start-ups, linked the apple.com page on Jobs in their homepage. Never in my memory has Google done such a thing. That may be a small token, but it shows the enormous respect that people in the technological sphere have for Jobs and the things that he did. The other thing that caught my attention, was a cartoon showing an angel in heaven scrambling through lots of pages to find something while Jobs waiting nearby saying that he had an iPhone app to do just that thing.
I feel truly and deeply sad that Steve Jobs is no more. May he rest in peace. The world has lost someone of significance, and now just an imprint has remained. What he did… how he did.
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