Thursday, July 31, 2008

Free

Warning - My attempt at so called poetry (written few years ago).
Read at your own risk !!
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He who has no worries
No desires
One who unceasingly lives
And accepts whatever life gives


Freedom to be
Power to choose
Freedom to know
Freedom to grow

No manacles
No bondages
None of hatred
Free from all
In the life sacred

In all things
His voice having a say
Throughout life
Living is the way

Can I be he ?
For I was born free.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Latesht in Indian Politics - A quick analysis

A quick opinion/ analysis on different architects of last few days in Indian politics --

Manmonhan Singh (INC)

Finally ... he asserted that he is the boss! To me he seemed like Michael Corleone, who at the end of 'The Godfather' emerges out of shadow of Vito Corleone.

Maybe, reforms will get a boost now.

Favourite song - ... sauda khar khara (Punjabi Song - Sukhbir)
Favourite Movie - Singh Is Kinng ( No prizes for guessing it right)

LK Advani (BJP)
Opposing everthing just for the heck of opposing it. Maybe, he is toooooo eager to become PM

Favourite song - "Tumne fenka jaal, Ulti pad gayee chal ..." (Line from - Aana mere pyaar ko ... , Kabhi haan kabhi naa" -- Who will say these lines to whom, is yet to be determined though!
Favourite Movies - Jhonny Gaddar

Prakash Karat (CPI-M)
The blow he got was 59 karat pure ... and probably made in China!

Favourite song - Pardesiyon se na akhiya milana (China is not Pardes, I assume!)
Favourite Movie - China Town

Somnath Chaterjee (ex CPI-M)
"Somnath Chatterjee has been expelled from his party. So, what’s new or surprising? Recall that when boys play gully cricket the umpire is always from the batting team and he has one whip issued to him - never give his team mates out through lbw or run out decisions! If his conscience somehow makes him act otherwise, not only will he never be the umpire but he will never be a part of the team thereafter" - DNA

Favourite song - Kya se kya ho gaya ... (guide)
Favourite Movie - Namak Haram

Mayawati (BSP)
If she becomes PM, then god save the country!
Haven't seen anyone who is as blatantly manipulative as her! She projects things as if the entire world is against her as she is a Dalit ki Beti ... She may be partly true, but her reasons aren't!

Favourite song - "Kya kahun, duniya ne kiya ... mujhse ye kaisa bair" (Line from 'Tere Liye' from Veer Zaara)
Favourite Movie - Dil Maange More (... Paisa?, Votes?, Castes ka support?)

Chandrababu Naidu (TDP)

Having converted Hyderabad to Cyberabad and having no qualms about hobnobbing with US, he has suddenly transformed and opposing the same thing he supported just for the heck of opposing it. One of the few who are with the incoherent group called Third Front with no agenda as such (apart from coming to power/ throwing people out of power types!). Not only that, he is joining hands with useless people like Karat and Mayawati.

He is one of the politicians whom I used to respect a lot ... till couple of years ago!

Favourite song - "Idhar gaya main udhar gaya ..."
Favourite Movie - Hum Kisi se Kam Nahin (Hum = Third Front?)

Amar Singh (SP)
In politics, there are no permanant friends or foes ... and he proves it. Hope he doesn't act like Left did.

Favourite song - "Paisa fenk ... tamasha dekh" (Jhonny Gaddar)
Favourite Movie - The Dark Knight

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Indian Politics in general -

It seems to have hit its nadir and blah blah blah ... all that you have been hearing since 3-4 days ... nothing new to say

Favourite Line of a song - "Pichle Saath Dino Mein maine yeh sab hai khoya. Kabhi Khud pe hasaa main aur kabhi khud pe roya" (Rock On!)
Favourite Movie - 123

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Technology Web

Sitting in the not-so-comfortable but not-too-uncomfortable seat of the Shatabadi Express heading for Jaipur, I have just turned on my laptop's & cell phone's Bluetooth, got them paired and logged on to internet to make this post (Thanks to Airtel's GPRS service!). I am doing what was unimaginable few years ago. A decade ago, Internet was mostly unheard of for most of us, and the pace at which it has grown is really maddening! Right now I don't have any clue how life would be like if one un-fine day god announces to the planet Earth that - "Your internet connection has been discontinued" !!!

Imagine how technology has changed the world we live in !

Yesterday, I managed to transfer a huge chunk of money to few another accounts (in different banks and different cities) with press of few keys. Earlier this used to be an extremely tedious process. Loads of papers exchanged, lots of follow ups and a scope for errors at every step ... all that have been eliminated (Desiring better service each time and abusing banks for their failure to keep pace with my expectations is a different story altogether!)

Imagine life without cellphones! A decade ago it used to be an unaffordable luxury. Even having landlines used to be a big thing. And now, the person you wish to speak to is just a call away!

Of course driving all these changes is the unprecedented boom in Information Technology and the way it has become a part of our daily lives. Yet, there continue to be people who are extremely wary of technology. The may have disdain for ATM cards, look at cellphone with cynical looks and look at internet as root of all evils. Usually they belong to the elder lot of people, who for most of their lives haven't been exposed to such kind of technology and such wonders may often (though a small slice of this skepticism is understandable!). Then there is another bunch of people who are in typically their teens who take technology for granted, as they have been seeing it embedded in daily lives as if it existed since Adam and Eve walked on this Earth!

Probably, it is the kind of boom we have seen and the way it is moving forward makes us crave for even more of them and our taste buds are usually insatiable. Hopefully, despite being so accustomed to technology, we don't end up becoming slaves to technology rather than vice versa as we move forward, as we risk becoming so!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A losing battle

She knew that she was fighting a losing battle, yet she persisted.

For the third time in the day she made the 30 student class to recite in unison -

"A for Apple, apple matlab sev"
"B for banana, banana matlab kela"
"C for cat, cat matlab billi"
and so on ...

The class consisted of kids whose age ranged from 3 to 10, most of them belonging to families who could not afford to send their kids to school. In fact, their meager income was augmented by that of their kids. Thanks to an effort by some NGO, the classes were running with a hope that at least 5 students from the 30 see how a college looks like, but the number was too optimistic a guess. No one from that village had ever seen a high school, leave alone a college.

She was a firm believer of - "Match is never lost till the last ball is bowled".

Being naive enough for believing this to be true, she persisted ... with a hope that she doesn't lose the battle.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Dream

He had a dream.

The old man in white beard and dressed up in a suit called up his name. Dressed up in an immaculate white shirt, navy blue trousers and a striped tie he walked on on to stage. The students were clapping. The teachers were clapping. The old man with white beard said something in English which he couldn't understand but probably said some congratulatory message. He was extremely happy. Everyone from his village had traveled to the place to see him receive a prize. He was he new hero, a new inspiration for the complete village.

By the time he came down the stage he woke up. It was already post sunrise. He had to go for work. If he failed to do so, his family would have to starve that day. He, his friends and many others who worked in the brick-manufacturing unit.

But, thanks to a brief interaction with a teacher from neighboring village, he was only kid in the village who could dream.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Bluetooth woes

4 months Ago -

I turned on the Bluetooth on my cellphone to transfer some images of myself on to my laptop! But, for some unknown reason my laptop's Bluetooth wasn't working. Damn! I couldn't even transfer my pics. It seemed that it was a conspiracy to deprive me of my happiness. Somehow, I jugaadofied a data cable and managed to transfer it. But then, Bluetooth leads to a lot more convenience and pseud-pana. And for next few months at home I didn't have any source to jugaadofy the data cable.

I spent next 4 months abusing and cursing IBM Thinkpad and its useless hardware and software (whosoever would have been the culprit). I asked many people on how to cure this illness, but in vain. Probably my hardware was faulty. Or maybe it was software that was root cause of all evils happing inside my lappy. Due to lack of proper efforts the mission to find the culprit failed and was abandoned

In last few days, I managed to buy a new cellphone that has a data cable. But again data cable can't match Bluetooth. My usage also increased, thanks to GPRS connection. As a result my search for the Bluetooth solution intensified. I would like to clarify that the word 'intensified' in this context means that I was extremely desperate to get a long term solution without actually making any efforts to get the same.

And today, when I finally began my search, the solution was few minutes away. I just had to press Fn key + F5 to get it activated.

... And since 4 months I was thinking that my lappy's bluetooth has gone kaput. Little did I realize that getting it activated was just a 3.2 second job !

Alas, it is laziness that always manages to scuttle any such efforts!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Prodigy

The news of her reaching the finals of a singing competition did not come as any surprise to anybody. She was gifted with a voice which her friends in her high school were jealous of. She won all singing competitions in the school. She won all singing competitions in the locality. She had been singing since she was 3 or maybe since she was 2. Even she didn't remember since when she was singing. She just dreamt of making it big in singing, and maybe one day she would have many super hit music albums to her name. Her dream was to be the biggest singing sensation in the country. She dreamt of giving autographs to people wherever she went. In fact, she had practiced different styles and zeroed in on what autograph she would give once she was famous. As of now she had to clear the last hurdle before giving a shot to becoming a singing sensation

The Talent Hunt show was being aired at a prime time slot at a premier TV channel. It had 3 stages before the finals with participants being eliminated at each stage. The final round had 10 contestants and was supposed to be aired for four weekends. The participants were supposed to exhibit their singing talents in front of judges, who were the famous singers and music directors of the Bollywood. No historinics expected. They had to come on stage, sing and hope that judges shower truckloads of praise on them and the audience vote for them through SMS. Maybe a few lines about themselves might help voters decide upon whom to vote. After all, they needed to know about person whom they would be voting for. Apart from that few lines about the show, their expectations from the show etc would have been more than sufficient. No role of fake emotions, region to which contestant belonged, religion, caste or any other details. Just pure talent. After all, this show was different from any other talent hunt show. This was the only show that selected winners based upon talent. Other talent hunt show were nothing but sham!


The preparations consisted of rehearsing for hours together. She had to also prepare her introduction and answers to some random questions that could be posed to her. Her mother did not want her to look awkward as compared to other urbane contestants. After all, she had come so far and a win here would lead to opening of floodgates to her dreams, her destiny. The last thing she would wish would be to get eliminated even after performing well. With all the preparations, she went to the preliminaries. The preliminaries came as a big jolt to her chances. Not that she didn't perform well. But then, there were 9 others, all equally talented and all competing for that coveted spot. She would be competing for next few days with the best singers. A loss here would be a heartbreak. In the first round of the finals, one of the judge was not that forgiving as she would have liked. He kept quarreling with other judges who seemed quite impressed with her, at the end of which he just bluntly stated - "You don't have control over your pitch. With this you can expect nothing in the music industry".

That was like a heartbreak.

For the first time in the competition she risked getting eliminated. Thankfully, there were no eliminations in the last stage when there were only 10 contestants left. This show was, after all quite different from other shows. The producers wanted to disappoint nobody! Still, she ranked seventh int he first round of polls. But all was not lost. She had 3 more rounds to bounce back. But that would require her to showcase something more than singing talent. Maybe, her singing didn't connect her well with the voting audience. Somehow, that emotional connect was missing. She needed to work on this. Yes, next week she would perform much better. Her mom came up with an idea. She realized that it is often the audience who votes. Ultimately it may not be so discerning about who is slightly better than whom. Maybe, there can be some other techniques to win. What about making an emotional pitch?

Next week came and she sang well, as did the others. But this time, some other judge was unforgiving. The real talent lied in overcoming these hurdles and connecting with the audience. And she hit bang on! A bit of smile smile, followed by some crib and lots of tears proved to be a trump card. In a week her rankings jumped to third. Now the competition was extremely intense. The top two were equally adept in making emotional appeals to the audience. The penultimate round saw no change in top three ranks. Now winning was a herculean task.

Maybe, some luck on her side ... or maybe a quick analysis would help. Then came one of the eureka moment when she realized that she was the only one from that part of the country. Maybe, that vote bank would help. She could easily make emotional appeals pertaining to that region. Perhaps her parents would help her in her endeavour. The top two contestants couldn't make such appeal. Both of them were from Mumbai. They would eat into each other's votes, and in the process she would gain. She just needed to apply herself well, and leave the rest to the public, which was after all the best judge, mature enough to decide who was the best.

The trick clicked. She had won. She became the first among equals. That was her ticket to stardom. She couldn't believe this. She could see her on covers of music albums, on stage performing with the likes of AR Rahman. Her career was ready to take off. She was into the big league now

In a year's time when would have her first music album. She would record few more songs before her career would begin to fizzle out. Then, there would be a new star coming from a even more rigorous contest. But by then, someone else would have noticed her talents and she would rule the small screen as a actor, courtesy few soaps with some strange spellings and surprisingly, all starting with alphabet 'K'. After all, she had the power to move people!