Wednesday, December 10, 2008
someone just bombed a couple of grand hotels,
in a grand place.
Media Media and more Media.
It's a nice name for a woman - both caring and heartless at the same time.
Anger and loathe are distributed like pamphlets.
I watched it burn,through a beautiful camera angle.
wonder if they fought over the best seats to capture the image,
or over the interview of the orphaned child.
or perhaps they competed on outshouting each other,
or on who had the most accurate estimate of the dead.
I didn't know anyone who died.
I didn't know the twenty year old who killed them.
If they ever meet in the afterlife, I wonder what they'll say to each other.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
I happened to watch a BBC video "Dangerous Knowledge" this week. Heres the you tube link to the first part In this documentary, David Malone presents the life of four brilliant mathematicians - Georg Cantor, Ludwig Boltzmann, Kurt Gödel and Alan Turing all of which have two things in common, the greatness of their work and the tragedy at the end of their lives. Its a very subtle attempt to compare their lives and see what might have driven their lives to madness and such a tragic end.
Why i got interested in their theories was because i had studies a few of them in college but had completely forgotten after three long years in this software industry which has left me with only one thing that i still know to do - code and my language has perhaps changed from english or mathematics(i simply loved mathematics from my old school days and which in itself has a simple story behind it) to java and c++. This documentary sparked off some dormant love i had for the Incompleteness theorem, the infinity and the Turing machine.
The documentary starts with the life of Georg Cantor who took mankind to the depths of infinity and the great continum hypothesis which shook the fundamentals of mathematics which was considered a complete science at one point of time. In mathematics, everything is so concrete, we study every thing with solid proofs. But still there was this one concept of infinity which was first introduced to me by our dear Korah sir (easwar, hope you too remember that one class) whose words still linger i my ears - "We can all start counting from 0, 1 ,2 and go on. As a child you may know to count only till 100. For him, any number greater than 100 is infinity." What simple way to explain one of the deepest concepts in mathematics. But my stint with computer science changed my outlook to infinity and mathematics quite drastically. It was not the engineering mathematics in the first couple of semesters, but the theory of computation paper i got to study from Pathari sir and Muralikrishnan sir. Computer science was born out of mathematics. If you dont agree with me, listen to the story of Alan Turing, the father of computer science in the above documentary. A computer itself was one of the graetest experiment in mathematics that still tries to solve one of the greatest unanswered questions before us. "Is man's intelligence limited?" I dont know if this question can ever be proved to answer "No" with a solid proof within the axioms of mathematics. But sure, if this has an answer yes, it'll be proved the day we perfect artificial intelligence. Now if this is one of those questions that can ever be answered, we might continue solving this till eternity until someone proves this is unprovable.
Btw, i forgot about the topic i put for this post - "the infinite God". The sole purpose of most of the scientific experiments around are to unravel the mysteries of this world which we hope will inturn lead us to god. My views on the concept of God was always different from what we all tried to make out of our religious preachings. For there is one common truth in all religions : God is omnipresent. We all believe in this but most of us dont try to read into the inner depths of this. Let me try to explain this in the context of infinity.
What Cantor wanted to unravel was the depths of infinity and what lies at infinity should be nothing but god. Lets look at it like this. I draw a line joining two points. How many points do you think are there in this line? infinite? So now think about levels of infinity, and what that could mean to our beliefs. Lets look the greatest physics experiment ever : the big bang exp by cern. What they are trying to do is recreate the nascent stages of universe, though may not the 'real' origin. Let us look at universe as a system which had no mass or 'particles' at some point of time. What it would have had is purely huge amounts of powerful energy. This energy might be what got converted into all the mass and life as we see it now. So what is omnipresent is energy and which exactly should be the power called God that we worship. And what man is trying to do is unravel this knowledge that can lead him to knowing God. The depth of this knowledge is too much and that must be the reason why each such great scientist was in the end driven to insanity. Human minds might be limited after all. who knows. but so is every natural number. 1 is limited, 2 is limited, but 2 follows 1 and 3 follows 2 and this still leads to infinity.
P.S. This is purely my thoughts and not intended to hurt anyone's feelings or beliefs.
Friday, August 1, 2008
What i'm gonna tell you today is about a dream hidden somewhere in the depths of our conscious or subconscious minds of one one day sitting in a pretty CEO cabin of a successful company that you have brought up. I have seen quite a lot of people in my short professional life, who have taken the bold decision of going after this golden dreams. It feels so sad to say that out of them, only one has seen success and that too in a big way. The rest have perished into the cruel wilderness of reality....
What i had been doing all this time was to study their cases and figure out what went wrong. May be one day when i'm at the juncture of spending my money to chase my dream, these experiences are going to come pretty handy. I just wanted to jot down a few points that had been crossing my minds over this.
First let me jot down about the most recent story i heard, its about VJ, my project mate in Trilogy where i have learned quite a lot about how to build a company to last, how to change your business model with times, how to stand up from glaring falls and not just walk, but run. Few months back when i was working VJ, late nights in office were pretty common(thats truly a trademark of trilogy). With nightouts come the pain of ordering food at office, which is such a common thing in our "hard working" IT industry. This certainly struck an idea in his mind...why not we have a food ordering software, why always call up these guys and place your order. The idea was to develop something and sell it across the multiple food chains out there, something that can fetch you money from not just one client. I dont know to call what he did after this foolish or brave, but he just went out there, took an office place on rent, got systems, recruited few ppl and just started a team working on this. Idea was to have income inputs through works on small assignments from abroad along with their main goal. But things neednt always go according to plans, his sources of income started to dry up like our rivers in summer. He started taking loans to keep his business running, mounting credit card bills, debts and over everything his project plan overshoots itself. He went on until his electricity connection got disconnected! On the whole, it cost him 6 lakhs, every penny of his savings (being a 23 yr old, you cant expect much savings)and so much debt left to clear off. My first response to his story was "wow, what an experience man!!!". So easy to spit out those words...rite. What he has gone through surely requires a lot of courage and will. People say he learned a big lesson from that experience. True, i would also say that to him, but only to console. In my opinion he was brave, but a lot more foolish. He went after his heart, never thinking of the need to consult his mind. At times such reckless things might prove a great success story, but in probability terms, your chances are way below even 0.05. Also, keep in mind that this guy kept working in trilogy all along this. You can catch his story here.
Lets view a success story on the other hand. We had a tall mate who joined alongside in Trilogy, for the great TU2K5 (Its the Trilogy university, which i would rate among one of the toughest induction programs that ever existed in our industry). Working our asses out, 24 hours for 3 months we were all working on businesses of our own. The whole theme of our TU batch was to bring business from e commerce in months.a business worth persisting and valued not below 10 million in the long run. That was our first taste of what it takes to start a company (luckily it was at Joe's expense ) I still rate those three months as my most memorable, productive period in my professional life. Now coming to the story, the hero's name is Vishnu. While we were all working all the night he made it a point that after 1'O clock in the night, he made it a point that he spent sometime towards his personal projects. He built a simple elegant GPS navigation system, and believe me this was in 2005 and one of the first attempts at this. He soon realizes the potential of his creation (lots of things like puttting it up for sale must have contributed to it). Now he is the founder of Inter Chain solutions , an international company.
Both of them had great ideas, which had the potential of bringing success, but do you see any gaping differences in what the two of them did? I did notice a few and let me list them down,
1) One had a prototype before starting off, the other just an idea.
2) One believed in his product making a company for him, the other build a company for his conceptual product.
3) One believed in owning an office, recruiting people to get the feel of owning a company. While the other made it sure that its his product that dictates the terms.
4)Once he had a prototype and wanted to pursue his dreams, Vishnu resigned and devoted his full time towards his dream, while the other wasnt confident enough to leave his job for his dream.
There a lot more when you consider the finer details of the stories which i havent mentioned here. But still, the first mistake someone will ever make in starting a company is glaringly evident here. Believe in your idea, build a prototype, get people to believe in your idea and then think about renting out an office or actual "building of the company". These are expenses that are too much for just building a prototype. Work with your personal laptops, in your apartment until you come up with something solid. Second, dont just go after your heart(i know many of you'll disagree), do give your brain a little bit respect. It not your heart that talks business, its your money that does it, but sure you need a strong will and passion for it.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Anyway, I was looking at all these people speed past me, I was thinking of where I had landed and why I had to land there. It was not my fault this time, I swear. Ok I'll give you a clearer picture, actually a gist because I have narrated this story a million times. I had a flight from Bangalore to Detriot (via Paris on Air France) and my flight had got delayed by a crazy 6 hours! And I have to mention that my ultra-patient and ultra-sweet friends waited with me till 4 am. Anyhoo when I went to get on to my flight I was told that I have no connecting flight to Detroit anymore for that day and I would be given a British Airways flight. I made a thousand phone calls like I was some hotshot and told them I was ok with BA. I checked my baggage yada yada yada I changed my flight in London and then landed at Chicago. Thats where the shemozzle began. I claimed my baggage and had to check it in again. I did that with minimum confusion. Then I went from terminal 5 to terminal 3 a tad proudly (keep in mind that it was my first trip abroad and my first trip alone). At terminal 3 they asked for my ticket which I had kept in the pocket of my sweater. Yeah, I dint find it.
I either had to find it or get BA or Air France to do something and I could do all this only at terminal 5. So I had to take one of the transit trains back to terminal 5. My backpack, by the way, weighed some 5-6 kgs, a cabin bag to drag around, hungry, couldnt find a phone, was out of currency on my Indian phone, no one to clarify the 100 questions I had, angry with Air France and myself for always having been dependent on someone. I went to terminal 5, dint find the ticket, BA said they couldnt do anything and Air France counters were closed for the day. That was when I felt pangs of loneliness and fear. The only reason I dint break down was that half my family was waiting at the Detroit airport. So I went back to terminal 3. I HAD to get on that flight because my baggage was there. The only way was to buy a new ticket. I got on the flight finally. And suddenly when the plane took off I felt it was flying reverse. It was pretty funny actually. Or maybe it was my head.
Such things may happen to a lot of people and I also dont have any morals to give you. But if you manage to get stuck at the Chicago airport do remember me.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
He kept trying for the whole of last week. And at last he succeeded. He woke up at 7 and started the good habit of jogging. He would have hardly ran ten meters when he crossed a bag containing a large stone and a pair of teeth lying side by side.
The fall guy
Every birthday comes with a new hope. A hope: the world will be good to you at least for a day. Sadly, our scapegoat won’t subscribe to that. Not after flying around, getting his butt kicked by every non-Grata well wisher and getting his face plastered with cream. He slowly heads back home, cursing and swearing at all those so called well wishers.
No story is complete without a villain. This guy happens to celebrate his birthday the very next day and is in need of money so that he can revel. He waits in a dark alley waiting for a prey to jump right in front of him.The good guys
You find them helping old ladies cross the road even if all they never wanted to. They always prevent children from pelting stones at dogs, and end up getting 14 injections themselves. And the office has a few of them. They keep track of every event and waste no chance to gift magnanimously. It was on one such day that they give a fall guy some gift on his birthday, which was received well.
Reflex never fails. A walk down a dark alley and someone jumps in front of you. All one can do is to throw whatever you have in your hand at the offender.
What is life without a conspiracy? Every damn event is a conspiracy. And it doesn’t need much of a time for the conspirator to replace the gifts with a piece of stone which resembles in every respect but for one. All these done in split seconds. Especially when someone’s flying all over. The gunpowder conspiracy has been excelled.
"... and all those beautiful evenings we spent together, watching movies cuddled up on the couch... cooking together... laughing together... those nights when you sat up watching me as i slept... those mornings when i'd wake up to see your beautiful smile... every moment was out of a fairy tale... a world untrue but yet it was so true... blissful days and passionate nights... life with you has been an impossible dream lived in flesh n blood..."
"... when you said you have to leave to fulfil your dreams, i wished i could walk with you into your dreams... i bid you goodbye with a heavy heart and there was this faint hope of reliving our magic when you would get back... little did i know this would be the last time i ever saw you... little did i know you'd get so far away that neither my calls nor my cries could reach you... so far away where i cannot come even if i so much want to..."
"... can i? yes!!! i can... i can come over to where you are, my love... we vowed to be together, until death did us apart... i have lived with you though your life... and its now time to walk hand in hand with you in your after life... wait my love, lemme come along..."
love knows not its depth until the hour of separation...
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Days rush past as if they are competing with one another. It rushes past faster in case of weekends. A normal day would be like walk to office , get to office , get frustrated over work , brag to colleagues about stuff that never happened, get frustrated again and finally walk back home. With weekend u can probably leave the office stuff out, but still at times you get to go to office and spend your life. And believe me, the frustration was reaching a crescendo and cribbing was becoming one of those traits.
It was one such day.
I was walking to office, thinking on the numerous issues that might prop up for that day. The manager will ask the reason for the lag in schedule. What will I say then ? Must I say lack of clarity in requirements ? Or should I say I was feeling upset over the losses that Mumbai suffered. Or must I say that I didn’t want to do it? The last option is the truest and the simplest of reasons which I could say. But then I decide to try my luck with the lack of clarity crap. That’s when she asked me something.
To begin with, I wasn’t able to hear anything, thanks to the earplugs. I like earplugs. I started using it to ward of traffic noises. But later came to know the alternate utility it provides. I use it in every meeting. It serves me in two ways. I don’t have to listen to many things which doesnt concern me even a bit. Secondly, I sort of learned the art of lip reading. I could make out the please from her as I was removing them from my ears.
She asked me “Can you please take a pic of me and the watchman uncle ?”
Before I could give an answer she entrusted me with her digicam. And I took some three pics of her with the watchman and handed the camera back to her. She gave the best smile I have seen for ages and said a thanks and just walked away.
I felt like asking her a lot of questions. And these questions keep disturbing me for the rest of my walk to office. Questions like Whats your name? and many on similar lines. But she just walked away.
By then I had got office and I hurried to attend the daily meeting. I walked into the meeting hall. It did take me a few mins to realise that I had given my earplugs to the sweet girl whom I met on the way to office. And the meeting went for an hour.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
A Rahman album with 10 songs!! A real musical smorgasbord for every music buff!! And have I been enjoying the last couple of days listening to this album. I am pretty sure the 18 songs of Ada and JTYJN combined will keep me occupied while I wait eagerly for Rahman's next album to hit the music stores, which is not very far off from now. It is a difficult task to review a Rahman album, more so when it happens to have as many as 10 songs. In any case I have finally compiled a review of Ada.
He might not have sung the best song in JTYJN, but Rahman steals the show in Ada with Meherbaan. The tune and the rendition are in the line of songs like Vellai Pookkal in Kannathil Mutthamittaal and Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera in Swades; simple and soothing. This song will surely find a place in the career-best renditions by ARR. If you are in a lot of stress, this is the song you would want to listen to.
Rahman has this knack of coming up with the ideal instrument for instrumental versions of his songs (Of course he has a lot of such brilliant knacks :) ). From veena for Enmel Vizhundha(May Maadham) to oboe for Khwaja Mere Khwaja (Jodhaa Akbar), they have all been real treats. Here it is guitar, and the guitarist Sanjeev Thomas has done a splendid job. Sanjeev Thomas has been active on the Indian rock scene for over 10 years now, heading bands like Rainbow Bridge. The use of acoustic guitar at the start and the subsequent shift to electric guitar for the second verse have all made this instrumental version as memorable as the original. I am looking forward to the day when Rahman will come out with a full-fledged instrumental album. If it happens that is surely going to be some album!!
A relatively fast song sung by Vivienne Chaix, Sonu Nigam and Sunidhi Chauhan. It is rather surprising to note that this is only Sunidhi's second song with Rahman after Saiyyaan in Nayak. I have always wondered why Rahman has so ignored Sunidhi, arguably Bollywood's best singer currently. Coming back to the song; though Sunidhi and Sonu have sung the song perfectly, the song fails to impress much. Though I didn't feel a similarity to any other song, I felt the tune to be of a rather repetitive sort. Being a Rahman song it may require a few hearings to make its impact, but for now I don't find it very remarkable.Hai Dard
The first 2-3 seconds of the song would give the listener an impression akin to Mast Kalandar (Heyy Babyy) but then the song surprisingly takes a sorrowful note. Rahman has maintained his variety and unconventionality in his orchestration even in this song by bringing in instruments like chenda (heard after the starting verse). Udit Narayan's crooning has been soulful, but this song too falls into the category of the less impressive songs of the album.
Milo Wahan Wahan
Jayachandran has been used by Rahman only a few times. But each of those times has produced a gem. And hence I had high expectations when I heard that Jayachandran is making his Hindi debut with a Rahman song. However I didn't find it as satisfactory as their previous outings. It has to be admitted that it is a good song rendered very well by Jayachandran and Alka Yagnik. Jayachandran has kept a low profile in Malayalam industry for the last couple of years, but he proved with this song that he hasn't lost any of his talent to old age. Nevertheless, this song strongly reminds of older sad songs by Rahman. The starting beats resemble the start of Snehidhaney (Alai Payuthey), and song in general reminds of Kannathil Mutthamittal (Kannathil Mutthamittal) in its mood and style. That said, the tune of the starting line has been used previously in the BGM of Kannathil Mutthamittal. The song surely doesn't rate among the best of Rahman's melancholic songs.
A foot-tapper sung well by Sonu Nigam and Alka Yagnik. Though the instrumentation and the rendition very much resemble Vaaji Vaaji (Sivaji), this song is bound to make a place at the top of the music charts. Particularly pleasing in the orchestration is the mandolin (I think its mandolin though I am not sure) which keeps cropping up throughout the length of the song.
Hawa Sun Hawa
Sonu and Alka come together for the second time in the movie, this time with a pleasing melody. Very well orchestrated with the flute standing out at various parts of the song. I would like to know what the percussion used during the starting and second verses, is. Sounds really interesting.
Ishq Ada (Female version)
This song is sung by newcomer Parul Mishra, and what a way to make a debut! The instrumentation is along the lines of Sona Nahin Na Sahi from 1 2 Ka 4 (similar sort of instrumentation was also used in Are You Sure You Want To Be Famous in Bombay Dreams) and hence the initial 2 verses move on giving a maapila paattu feel to the song. Then suddenly comes the change in raga with a superb alaap by Parul (the raga is Subhapanthuvarali I feel), which goes to say a lot about the classical base that this singer has. I sincerely hope Parul makes it big in the industry and doesn't turn out into another instance of a splendid debut petering out into oblivion.
Ishq Ada (Male version)
The male version of the above song is rendered by Rashid Ali. Though the tune and the instrumentation remain the same barring the removal of the alaap part, Rashid Ali has made the song different by his style of rendition. While Parul was more classical-oriented, Rashid has made his version more Arabic in style. Listening to this I get a feeling that Rashid would have made a good accompaniment to Rahman in Khalbali (RDB). It would have really suited his voice and style of rendition. In any case, I am looking forward to more songs from Rashid Ali.
Tu Mera Hai
Chitra is one of the most prolific singers in India alive, having won a multitude of awards including 6 national awards in her musical career spanning nearly 30 years now. And the respect Rahman has for her is obvious from the songs he has so far given her. Be it Anjali Anjali (Duet) or Kehna Hi Kya (Bombay) or the national award winning Mana Madurai (Minsara Kanavu), ARR-Chitra combo has always given us something to cherish. Now here is one more to add to it. The song which has got a spiritual air to it is marked by its lavish instrumentation. Sukhwinder Singh has sounded a bit off-colour in comparison to Chitra's excellent singing. Naresh Iyer has provided excellent backing vocals. Chitra sounded surprisingly different in the line Ya Rab Shukriya at the start. Yet another surprise comes in the interlude section after the second verse where you can hear Chinese violin, of all the things you would expect in such a song!!
To sum it up, yet another eclectic mix from the maestro marred by a couple of ordinary-sounding songs. In any case the other songs more than make up for the less impressive ones. I would however rate JTYJN above Ada coz of its freshness when compared to this album.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Tu Bole Main Boloon
A typical jazz number rendered by Rahman himself. I guess this is the first time he's doing a jazz song in Hindi. (Previous ones being Hello Mister in Iruvar and Jillendru Oru Kaadhal in SoK). It is indeed a fresh change as there haven't been any jazz songs lately in Hindi. But it surely doesn't rate among Rahman's best songs, mainly coz I wonder if this song would appeal to the masses though jazz followers would surely love this song.
Jaane Tu Mera Kya Hai
This song with a sensuous mood is sung by Runa Rizvi. Runa Rizvi is the daughter of ghazal singer Rajkumar Rizvi (who happens to be a nephew of Mehdi Hassan) and previously sung in a couple of movies which went unnoticed. Though Runa has sung well, her attempts at sensuality havent quite made an impact,as it would probably have made with someone like Shreya Ghoshal. Barring that its a good song.
Jaane Tu Meri Kya Hai
Sukhwinder has one more good song this year in his kitty with the male (and a better) version of the above song. Though the tune of the song remains the same, the mood brought about is totally different!! Splendid orchestration and backing vocals, and an excellent rendition by Sukhwinder make this one of the best songs in the album.
Kabhi Kabhi Aditi
Easily the pick of the album, a perky song coming out in the fresh and different vocals of Rashid Ali. Rashid Ali is ARR's guitarist I hear, and he has sung a lesser known song, Naadhir Dhinna for Rahman in the movie Paarthaale Paravasam. The vocals are beautifully complemented by the guitar throughout the song, and flute coming in between. The first line of the song resembles the first line of Appudo Ippudo in Bommarillu, but the resemblance ends there. A very good choice to begin your morning at work with (as I have been doing for the last 2 days. :) ).
Kahin To Hogi Woh
A romantic pop song reminiscent of songs like Nothing's gonna change my love and so on, rendered beautifully by Rashid Ali and Vasundhara Das. Again the orchestration and the choral voices have added to the beauty of the song. Rashid Ali reminds me of Adnan Sami at times with his slight nasal twang and the western style of rendition. Wonder why Rahman never brought him to the spotlight earlier.
A very youthful and peppy song sung by a horde of singers (Swetha Bhargave, Naresh Iyer, Satish Chakravarthye, Tanvi, Darshana, Benny Dayal, Anupama Deshpande). Anupama Deshpande is a singer who used to sing for Rahman till some time back I guess. Again having a pop mood, this song belongs to the league of Please Sir in Boys.
Pappu Can’t Dance
Rahman's next offering for the discotheques, this is another of the top songs in the album. This is again sung by a multitude of singers (Blaaze, Mohd. Aslam, Tanvi, Anupama Deshpande, Benny Dayal, Tanvi, Darshana, Satish Subramanium). At parts it reminds me of Kama Kama in Enakku 20 Unakku 18. There is also a remix version of the same song. Not sure if the remix has been done by Rahman himself but in any case it has been splendidly done.
First the soundtrack of a historical movie. Now a youthful album. Rahman continues to entertain us with his variety. And as a devout Rahman fan, I couldn’t ask for more.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Queue, Whats that ? A question one wouldn’t expect even a kid to ask. One who preaches that the world is eventually headed towards chaos will perceive the Queue with awe. For it opposes all that he has he has learned, read and preached . People standing one behind the other often unperturbed and all of them very hopeful of they getting a chance pretty soon. This is something which might lead the chaos guy to question the credibility of all that he had believed in.
Group of people patiently waiting for something to happen to them; something pleasant like a bus which might never come, or perhaps something bad like some cyclone to blow them away or even more catastrophic their fate to be decreed to them by God on Doomsday.
Amazing, does it not feel like? (Might be highly subjective.)
Queue is an amazing indeed. For it had managed to subdue the mob instincts of people and install in them some ethics into the adamant minds of humans. It tends to tell him/ her that the fun in waiting for something for a long time and attaining it cannot be achieved any other way. If one pulls in utility and all the economics one knows
Utility gained by waiting in a queue for something > Utility gained by fighting for something > Utility gained by getting something delivered to u
And people don’t bother thinking a lot over the above in-equation. For the guy who said it was later proved to be a lunatic as per the verdict of a jury of lunatics.(yeah , foreman included)
There is nothing as funny as being in a queue. Having said that there is nothing that tests ones patience as a queue would.
The guy standing in front of you will at least have some 3 bags to manage. He will have be always trying to find the optimum way of handling the bags. He will bend down at times and try to relieve the pressure his hands and legs are subjected to, and that I think will be periodic. And in the process he will manage to push u behind a bit much to your discomfort. Else he will give one the bags a full swing as the amateur golfer would. And the bag will come hit straight at your face which u will avoid thanks to some good reflexes. A apology will be thrown at you even faster in both instances.
The guy standing behind you will be suffering from all the ailments that one can possibly think of. He will sneeze ,cough , breathe heavily and at times end up placing his chin right over your shoulder. If he happens to have a mobile in his hand , then consider urself dead. He will speak so loud that at times it sounds worse than the alarm in your room. Or worse he will always get a week old news paper and try to make out what went wrong with his stars last week. You might, at times, even contemplate leaving the queue. But you stay on.
In walks a man who is all skepticism can be.Or even more! He will go on asking everyone in the queue whether the queue is for a specific purpose. After one round of interrogation , he will stand right in front of you and contemplate if he must join the queue or not. That will be stopping u from getting a glimpse of the evening news being displayed on the plasma screen. Expect no apologies, for they are hard to come by.
Apologies received <= Apologies given
I am no sadist, but i must say that the displeasure that gets generated out of the counter closing down for a lunch break or the tickets getting over when u are the next person to avail the opportunity. You are better of if u take that and just move on with your life.
The advent and use of softwares to manage almost all manual jobs has lead to change in most of the customary practices apart from rendering a few men and women jobless. But the queue has managed to find its way into that domain as well. And the name is still queue.
Doubters, refer Data Structures and be satiated.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
This wispy little Belgian has always played the game on her own terms. Standing at just 5' 6" tall, few thought she'd go on to capture 7 Grand Slams within 4 years. But Justine begged to differ. What she lacked in size, she made up with variety and skill! Amongst the current breed of muscular power-hitting glamorous tennis stars (with due respect to them), Henin stood apart- those deft shots at the net, surprise volleys, drop shots, scorching cross court forehands...ah!!! Women's tennis is never gonna be the same anymore. Her amazing court coverage, precise backhands and efficient forehands were a mystery to her opponents more often than not.
Looking at her results, one might reckon that Justine has done nothing extra ordinary as compared to other greats like Steffi Graf or Martina Navratolova. But a peek at her personal life and you'll find it difficult to believe that a person who's gone through so much tragedy in her life could actually achieve so much!!! Losing her mother when she was only 12, and an estranged family ever since - these only fuelled her drive for more success. Each French Open crown was a tribute to her mother. It was her promise to her mother after watching the 1992 French Open final between her icon Steffi Graf and Monica Seles that she'd win Roland Garros one day. And win she did. An amazing 4 times in 5 years! The promise that she kept true!
Though clay was her forte, it was in the hallowed lawns of Wimbledon that little Justine reached her first Grand Slam final. Though she lost to Venus then, she'd made her statement to the tennis world. Justine style of tennis had arrived! And it was here to stay. A couple of years later she made her major break through by winning the 2003 French Open. Later she went on to win the US Open the same year and a maiden Australian Open in 2004. After a 7 month lay off in 2004-'05 she came back again to her favourite clay and won it again. After that, there's been no stopping Justine at Roland Garros. She also won it in '06 and '07 as well. In 2007, she also won the US Open without dropping a set and produced a near-perfect season - 10 titles, a 69-4 win-loss record and over $5 million in earnings in a calendar year. She also became the only woman to have beaten both the Williams sisters in a Slam and go on and win it! All these, after starting the year having divorced her husband Pierre-Yves Hardenne!! Later in the year, she also re-united with her previously estranged family.
Friends, wasn't she an incredible athlete?
Statistics are not important here, I admit. For. it's the sheer marvel of Justine's game that brought me back to tennis. Signature Justine style tennis! After Steffi's era only Roger and Justine have provided me with beautiful, breath-taking, awe-inspiring tennis. She's the first player that has retired while at the top of the rankings. Earlier it was Steffi who retired while she was No.3 in the world...
And now that Justine has bid farewell to tennis, she only reinforces the statement I made before - that she has always played the game on her own terms. And many will remember her as one who always followed her own calling....
It's her life, and she's the best person to decide what's best for her....And there she goes, leaving behind an eternity of tennis that could be hers... to explore her life... into peaceful oblivion...
Thank you Justine.... for all the wonderful times you've given us...
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
The dad asks if the mom isn’t going to the market for a usual day-to-day shopping, they can plan for a dinner at the dhaba in the suburbs.
Mom agrees as she also wants to have a break from the daily routine life. The dad leaves in the afternoon and says that he’ll come back early in the evening.
Mom in the evening calls up her daughter at her in-laws. She just got married, and the mom is missing her. The daughter picks up the phone. Unsaid, the daughter feels the wetness of the tears rolling on her mother’s cheek. Both of them don’t utter a word after “hello”. The daughter picks up the courage and asks about health of her parents.
They chat for some time about the new place and people in daughter’s life. The daughter talks about the new kind of eating habits, about how differently she dresses up these days, how she wait for her hubby to come back from office and take her out. She talks about how much she misses her parents and her brother and the munchings her mom used to get from the market.
The mom feels the difference of her daughter’s life before and after the marriage, and thinks she can at least fill up one of her wishes, and decides to go to the market to get the snacks for her. After exchanging a thousand of more words about their daily life, mom hangs up and gets ready to go the market….
The dad asks if the mom isn’t going to the market for a usual day-to-day shopping, they can plan for a dinner at the dhaba in the suburbs.
Mom agrees as she also wants to have a break from the daily routine life. The dad leaves in the afternoon and says that he’ll come back early in the evening. She agrees but asks him to come a little late as she wants to get few stuff for the next visit to her native. Dad agrees.
Mom finishes all her work in the evening quickly to complete her market work as she wants to spend a lot more time with dad. She decides to have a bath and go to the temple before she leaves for the market, and she does so.
She reaches the temple and prays for a long healthy life and happiness for her family. As she puts on her footwear, her cell phone rings. It’s her daughter, who just got married. She asks her mom where she is and tells her that she needed a document from the house. Mom rushes back to home to find her daughter sitting on the porch with a long-long smile on her face. Daughter yells “Surprise”.
Though mom is surprised, she has a longer smile on her face (than on her daughter’s) and she fails to hide the happiness. Mom unlocks the door…
That evening there were 6 serial bomb-blasts in the market…
Dad comes back from the office, gets ready and waits for the mom to get ready for the dinner. Their son is sitting idle on the couch gazing at their family album. Mom comes out of the dressing room and asks dad to first go to the temple for saving her from the bomb blasts. A series of events pass through her eyes.
'She gets ready and leaves from the house. At midway she realizes of the outing with the family, thence calls up dad. Dad says that he has also left from the office and they shall first go home and change and complete the shopping work together on the way to the dhaba. She takes a U-turn from the next signal.'
Dad comes back from office. He is happy to see her daughter at home but doesn’t show a sign of it on his face. There is silence in the house and everywhere else. The son is waiting for his mom to come and scold him for coming back late from the play grounds. The daughter eyes are red of crying and a series of events pass across her eyes.
'Mom and she enter the house. They talk about the changes in her life and about her hubby.
Suddenly mom realizes of going to the market. But on her daughter’s request she changes the plan and decides to go the next day. After some time, daughter gets a call from her friend and they decide to meet at a coffee shop. So mom decides to complete her shopping work. Both of them leave from the home together and choose their path.'
All it started I watched Singin’ in the rain couple of weeks back. I vaguely remembered the title was in AFI’s top 100 Movies list and hence decided to buy the CD.. The tagline said MGM's Musical Treasure and I thought it would be good if it can make it to top 100. It was an amazing romantic comedy themed on the changes in film industry during 1927 when they switch to talking movies or talkies.
The first English musical I saw was so good that I decided to check out imdb list of top 50 musicals and then it happened. I saw the movie ‘Nayakan’ at the top of the list. I saw a couple more of Indian movies in top 10 and then I realized that all throughout my life I have been watching musicals. More Indian movies would have featured there if we all took time to vote for our regional movies.
One thing was sure –hell, I like musicals. I searched to get my hands on some more musicals and indeed I got some more – The sound of music, My Fair Lady, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Mary Poppins, and Aladdin. Till now, I have watched the sound of music and Sweeny Todd and I am delighted to have exploring this genre of movies.
The Sound of Music is a story about a wannabe nun, a captain and captain’s seven children. The story takes place in Austria in 1939 when the second world was about to begin. I personally feel that the movie is about following one’s instincts and I just love that concept.
Sweeny Todd, on the other hand is a story that took place in London in sixteenth century, I love the songs in the movie and you would love the movie if you like British English.
Warning: It is a Tim Burton movie and it is a bit violent.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Although this short, dark man has made his mark on almost all movie genres, his masterworks have mostly been in the area of satires. I doubt if there has been a better exponent of satire in Malayalam than Sreenivasan. From political leaders (Sandesham) to movie stars (Udayanaanu Thaaram), people from various walks of life have been rendered victims of Sreenivasan's sarcasm. And seeing the kind of self-belittling roles and dialogues he plays and speaks in various movies, one wonders if the man is actually one filled with a lot of such complexes!!
Though his acting has drawn flak at times, there are some roles of Sreenivasan which no one else could have done with such originality. One such role which stands out is Prabhakaran in Sandesham, the diehard Communist leader. It is no wonder then that director Lal Jose chose Sreenivasan to play yet another hardcore communist role of Cuba Mukundan in the movie Arabikatha, which he did complete justice to. How many times has one seen him deliver those rib-tickling dialogues in the signature poker-faced style of his.
It is interesting to note that some of the best works of some directors like Priyadarshan, Kamal, Sathyan Anthikad etc. have happened when they partnered with Sreenivasan. Not to forget the 2 critically acclaimed directorial ventures by the man himself. And the number of directors who have debuted on his script, ranging from (the once-successful)Sibi Malayil to the latest director-on-the-block, M. Mohanan (Kadha Parayumbol).
All this notwithstanding, I must say that I didn't find his latest movie, Kadha Parayumbol, as impressive as it is being publicised to be. Although it had those quintessential Sreenivasan dialogues peppered all over the movie and was shot in that simplistic way that characterizes his scripts so much, many situations in the movie somehow reminded me of older scripts by Sreenivasan, like Azhakiya Raavanan and Chinthaavishtayaaya Shyamala. When compared to his older movies, this didn't seem to quite be on that level. I found it rather ironical that after having given so many brilliant movies, the movie of his that got the maximum hype hasn't been the best of his works.
It is heartening to see this man still going strong when there are not many stalwarts that remain. Works by people like M T Vasudevan Nair come up so few and far between that we never get enough of them. Other greats like Padmarajan, Bharathan etc. are no longer with us. And Lohithadas, Balachandra Menon etc. seem to have run out of fuel. Although Lohithadas still writes he hardly attains the high standards he once set for himself with movies like "Kireedom", "Bharatham", "His Highness Abdulla" etc. As for Balachandra Menon it is hard to believe that a man who once made movies like "Kuruppinte Kanakkupusthakam" could have come down to the level of his latest flick "De Ingottu Nokkiye"!! Sathyan Anthikkad has of late started penning the scripts for his movies again, but he is also getting repetitive in his style, which told on his latest venture "Innathe Chinthavishayam". Although the movie was decent it was nowhere close to what one would expect out of Anthikkad-Lal combo. Unless he brings about some change in his style or decides to team up with someone like Sreenivasan again, we shall be losing yet another great director. So here is wishing that Sreenivasan still goes on spinning out classy scripts off his pen, as the Malayalam filmdom is otherwise in serious danger of being reduced to a melee of no-brainer comedies and dubbed movies.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
He was not ready to give up yet, so he started thinking. Thinking may have done wonders for him but, it forced him to change his philosophy. If he had not thought he wouldn't have found out his philosophy so he decided to change his philosophy. He started thinking about the alternative philosophies he can adopt. He thought that reading some books and applying the ideas from them would help him there. But it was like Indian caste system, castes, subcastes and hierarchies in subcastes, soon he found himself lost.
East or West was the primary question, then came Indian or Chinese, then the hundreds of permutations and combinations.He realized that he cannot even understand them properly even if he devotes a considerable time in his life. His heart sank but he never tried to fix it. He concluded that no wise men have found out their philosophies by studying them all.
He decided to trust reason to find out what he wanted but, the thought that the reason is underpinned in causality gave him a scare. What if there is no cause in the first place. What if the very existence is baseless? What if we see things because we believe in them so strongly? What if there is another plane of interpretation and we just don't see it? What if...
Suddenly a voice from heaven struck him like thunder "..., Tomorrow morning is the deadline, you better start working". He became the old self who worried about anything and everything and lived happily ever after.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
At first there was no bike; then there was a bike and a rider and then somehow came the pillion rider. That was the start of chaos. -A random bike rider
Most of us would have been pillion rider at some point of our life. Haven't we? To never have been a pillion rider would mean to never have sat on a two wheeler. Or something more apt will be you never have wanted to sit on a two wheeler which you are not riding.
The need for someone to be a pillion rider arises from the simple fact that there has not been a bike which allows both the riders to ride. Prerequisites are a motorbike and two riders. My knowledge on motor cycles is very bleak. But I am very confident about the above mentioned fact. Only solution which I can think of is to have a bike which can be driven from both ends. Which would mean that we have to fit every bit of accesory twice.That sort of engineering defeats the purpose. Hence proved that there has to some one who has to be the pillion driver if the vehicle in question is a bike.
A pillion rider assumes a lot of responsibilities he neednt assume. He is like the cricketer who is wanting to be the next vice-captain of a team; hoping that something goes wrong with the skipper and he will be get control over decision making. He will end up overdoing a lot of things and will end up as a joke.
The pillion rider at times thinks that he owes the driver something in return. And he will use his amazing cognition of traffic rules and signals and prove that he will he is no mug with the traffic signals and will show a stop signal when the driver has the indicator signalling right and such minor slip ups which might lead to serious messup.
The pillion rider gets pissed of with every other vehicle that over takes the vehicle he is on. He gets irritated at every horn that get horned. At times he manages to give a glare or a stare at the driver who tries to overtake the bike, depending on the gender.
He is never short on words though. He will give lectures on the everything from the emerging market for futures trading in India to the degrading moral values among people who are younger to him. He will unleash his complaints on the roads, on the food he had, about the girl who didn’t smile at him as she does always and almost everything. He will manage to let in a few lewd comments here and there. All the driver has to do is to pretent that he is approving of all that he is hearing. Even if he is hearing nothing.
At times the pillion rider tries to behave as if he is at home. He will stretch his hands wide open. He will manage to do search for his mobile in his jeans pocket. He will afford to let out one or two yawns. At times he will try to get a nap with his head on the shoulder of the driver. He will try hard to make sure that the driver feels that he is uncomfortable.
Some random pillion driver, highly influenced by astrological revealings, was very particular about how he mounts the bike. He wanted to mount on the bike from the left side with his a free swing of the left leg. And he was very particular about that! We can see such people peeping right into the face of the vehicle thats behind them.
A certain pillion guy tried to cross all limits and tried to help the driver wear the helmet when the vehicle was moving at 70 kmph. He decided to slip the helmet over the face of the driver without letting the driver take the pain of putting it on. He almost succeeded in blinding the driver for a good ten seconds. The pair managed to survive with minor bruises.
Happy pillion riding, mates!
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Scene 2 - A very crowded restaurant in a very crowded city. Cigars are welcome and smoke is all around. The food is great and supposed to be chinese. Two men sit in a table and talk about the frustration of not having Girls in their lives.
Scene 3 - A very big room in a very big apartment. One of the two men who was in the restaurant is sitting there. He is thinking about what is going on his mind. Well, what is?
Scene 4 - He is sitting in a cubicle like place. He is trying to read "A complete idiot's guide to philosophy. He tries to use the information he got on his friends such as "Damn you epicurian" or "com'on, don't be a sophist" etc.
Scene 5 - A place where everything too perfect to comprehend. He is playing football there, he puts in some sliding tackles and that doesnt hurt at all. With a kick 35 yards from the goal he scores!
Scene 6 - The same beautiful place where it rains all the time. Life is difficult there but the beauty of the nature is exquisite. He is there in a smaller room with his friends around. He plans for a life long journey with them.
There is this female who came up with the alarming answer Devangere when asked which script is used for writing Hindi. Those who managed to not know that such people exist.Please tune into the new show starring SRK. We can find a lot of such specimens, I hope!
So the next time you hear someone saying that we owe it to Einstein and the apple for the invention of gravity. Dude, take a break. You need one badly. Or talk to me. You will feel much better.
All that was needed was a formal intro for this space. And by God, haven't i screwed it up? yeah, totally!!
Let the good words flow, and lets hope that no one who cometh here goes back disappointed.