Sunday, August 9, 2009

Has the water started boiling on us?

If a frog is put in a boiling water, he quickly jumps off and saves himself. But when the same frog is put in a cold water and then heated slowly, he doesn't understand a thing and eventually boils to death.

Has the water started boiling on us? Last year it was chikun-guniya and this year it's the swine flu. Last year, it was the flood during the monsoon which killed hundreds and this year it's the lack of monsoon. Slowly but surely, the climate around us is changing and not for good.

I am not an expert on any of these things but I don't have to be one to realize how its going to affect our life going ahead. I do not want to live in a world where everybody has to wear a mask to go out of their homes. The world is far better place to pass on this fear as a legacy to our younger ones !!

Recently I saw a three year old child wearing a mask in a garden which actually forced me into writing this. Not trying to make any statement by writing all this but just trying to let it out in open. Isn't it completely shattering to see something like this?.

All this uncomfortable feeling may be completely out of the line and world may still be a good enough place for us to survive but I can no longer go on living like everything is all hunky dorey and these are nothing but minor bumps in our otherwise pretty journey.

For what it is worth, I refuse to accept this as a living condition for us. And I certainly don't want to shrug off by saying I am a huge insignificant to change any of these damn things ! If this whole thing needs a make over, I am ready to begin with small steps. If there is something being done to improve this, I am ready to join the force as a pawn. I've got my reality check alert !

Saturday, August 1, 2009

What a pleasant surprise!!!

This happened to me few days back on a weekend. I had all weekend to myself and since I am not big on doing something productive in the free time, I was watching movies on my computer back to back.

I happened to watch a movie called "before sunrise". I really really liked it and I knew this one had a sequel called "before sunset" so I was pretty keen to know what that movie could offer me. I tried to find the movie online but couldn't. Then I tried to see if could rent it but failed that as well. Basically after trying all the options, I finally gave up.

After about ten minutes of browsing net, I just switched on the TV just to see what was going on there. As soon as I switched it on, it was some movie channel and a new movie was about to begin. I thought what the heck ! so didn't change the channel. After 5 seconds, the title appeared and guess what it was ! Before Sunset was on air. Don't believe it ?? ... neither did I. But this is what happened exactly without any exaggeration. Try to imagine it and you will realize how I felt :)

Well, I don't have to tell what happened next. I watched the movie and again really really liked it. I know this doesn't mean much. But it is good to get such pleasant surprises occasionally ! This little but amazing coincidence made my weekend :)

Monday, July 6, 2009

OYEE ! It's been 5 years

On 5th July 2004, I stepped into Persistent as an employee for the first time. I was a completely absent minded, mannerless, untidy, lazy fat boy with no special knowledge about any programming language.

Absolutely nothing has changed and I completed 5 years yesterday in the same company :)

Awesome ! :)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Recent visits to a book store

Whenever I go to JM road, i like to visit the pirated book sellers sitting on the footpath. These sellers are always unbelievably updated as in they always seem to have most popular and recent books.

So from my recent visits, one of my observations is that they seem to have unusually large number of books on self help. Well this category of books include books in "how to..." series for example, "How to win people", "How to improve your body language" etc. Also we have subtle books like "Monk who sold his ferrari" or "Tuesdays with Morrie" or more obvious ones like "Yes, You can !" or "You can win" or more abstract books like "Who moved my cheese" etc (listing many names just to drive home the point)

Other observation is that most of these books are best sellers which is a puzzle in itself - how can we have many best-sellers in a given period. And if at all a book is NOT a best-seller it is always by an author (or even a publisher who hardly has anything to do with the actual book) of a best-selling book. So basically all the books are best-sellers.

Most interesting thing I found in recent books are the sesationalism of the book title. It seems that everybody wants book titles which either create sensation or controversy. I read a very interesting passage in "Rich dad poor dad" where a friend of the author wanted to publish a book named "Fundamentals of education" which was the aim of the content of the book. No publisher wanted to publish the book. The same guy renamed his title without altering the content and named it "STOP SENDING YOUR CHILD TO SCHOOL...If you want him to learn" and the book became (any guesses ?) ...."BEST-SELLER"

There is a very interesting observation in the same book about the term "Best-seller". The term is very simple and self-explanatory. It doesn't say "Best-written" it says "Best-seller" there is a very obvious difference !!! It's just a advertising point, it doesn't mean anything about how the book is.

So when I think about it, the only conclusion that i can draw is, like any other field, literature has also become a "business" where authors (most of them) want to "supply" the "demand". They want to market their product (book) aggressively just like any other product in the market.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Blood diamond Vs Slumdog

I am right now watching blood diamond movie for about nth time. I absolutely love the movie for it's story, performances and presentation and great dialog delivery by D'caprio. But that's not the main subject.

The movie tells us about the domestic war which was enraged in africa in early 90s as a result of diamond mines in a small country called Sierra leone. And how some rebels destroyed thousands of families just to stay in control of the diamonds. The movie exposes us to a very disturbing face of africa.

When i was watching some of the scenes in this movie, I suddenly remembered the whole big deal made out of Slumdog where we (most of us) felt that it just showcased the negative parts , the poverty and stuff like that. And foreigners like to see india as a rotten land. Or some of us felt that it wasn't such a great movie at all even if we choose to ignore other things about it.

So what should explain the fact that slumdog was so well appreciated by everybody (except in india) similar to how we appreciated blood diamond ?

May be we just love to hear or see facts which make us superior than somebody else. May be we couldn't appreciate slumdog because for once we were at the receiving end.

Also the fact is whatever was shown in slumdog is not fiction in any sense of the word. We all know that these are actual facts which we try to turn deaf ear to. May be we know these things too well to appreciate a movie made on the subject :)

I am sure, most of the south west african people know the history of conflict diamonds. Chances are that they would have felt the same way about blood diamond what we felt about slumdog

So the whole point I think is, we should better accept the fact that there are people who enjoyed watching a boy jump in a shitpool or little children hanging on a train roof just to steal food.
May be if this isn't stretching it too much we should ourselves not be too ignorant about it to even not notice it when somebody else is showing it to us because Just read following dialog from a brilliant scene in black diamond

African man to journalist : "You are writing about what is happening in Africa ?? "
Journalist : "Yes"
African man : "So when people in your country read this, they will come help us, right?? "
Journalist: "Probably not"

Thursday, April 2, 2009

English isn't english anymore...

Yesterday, a friend pinged me on messenger and said "hru?". And then after giving it a long thought, i knew that i was supposed to understand this as a "how are you?". I told her about the assessment test that i am going to have in next week for five hours and she said "OMG !!!" Again i blanked out for moments and then realized that it was "Oh My God !!!"

While we were having the conversation, i felt that i was playing some weird code game. It wasn't english for sure !

My dad has been an english teacher for more than 30 years and I have tried to learn alot from him about the language. May be that's why i feel compelled to think about it. If somebody talks to him in this manner, he will probably swear all the english names he knows at him ( they are plenty and they won't be in short forms !)

"FYI" or "PFA" or "FYR" or "OOO" "GOTCHA". What's with all these shortforms ? Before we know, these codes will become words which most of us will use while talking to each other (like "I was triple O at that time" or "It's just an "FYI" or "I was WFH" ).

Words are also getting shorter along with keypads it seems.

If this is how the language is evolving, then i will take pleasure to be a primitive caveman.

P.S. If you don't know any of the short forms used, don't worry, it will get you.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Happy new year FY2009/10

Just realized that today starts a new financial year ! ! !

I sincerely wish FY 2009 / 10 to be better than the previous year where we heard nothing but about the economic downturn and recession and what not.

May the sense prevail in this year and may my stocks (infy, wipro, rel petro among the darkest in red) stop going down and seriously start thinking about a U-turn :)

So for all of us.... I wish a healthier and wealthier new year !