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Monday, December 27

Saathi Mere !!

Jab kautoohal ki nidra me,
is jag ke swarnim swapan paash,
bandhan me mujhko baandh,
kisi anjaan desh le jaayenge.
saathi mere tab kya mujhko tum vapas lene aaoge?

swapno ki urwar bhoomi chhod,
jab main yatharth ke banjar se,
aalingan tera tod kisi,
girte ko uthaane jaoonga.
saathi mere tab kya mera tum haath bataane aaoge?

sheetal bayaar jab sawan ki,
tan man me aag lagaayegi,
dhaani choonar ko od dhara jab,
geet milan ke gaayegi.
saathi mere tab kya mujhko ker yaad vihval ho jaaoge?

Fir tod sabhi naate rishte
aur chod sabhi sangi saathi,
ek din jag ko taj ker main
sukh ki chir nidra so jaoonga.
saathi mere tab kya mujhko tum dekh nahi muskaoge?

Sunday, December 26

PVNR: In a new light

The heros are of two types. Some of them are born blessed while others are just pushed to the limit. It is hard to decide which side of the line did P V Narsimha Rao stand on and the generations to come can hardly care less. For them, he will be the architect of the era of economic reforms, the person largely responsible for the huge difference between my own 80's childhood and 90's adolescence when suddenly the waiting queue for telephones got shorter by years.

PVNR was the first prime minister whose times I remember in some detail. In fact, now that I look back, I realize that it was in 1991 only, shortly after the death of Rajiv Gandhi that I moved to Lucknow from a small place called Sardhana in west UP. Probably the huge difference in the 80's and 90's that I felt was largely due to this shift and not due to the economic reforms of PVNR but I clearly remember mugging up his full name to show off in front of others. I also remember that he was known to be a very learned man who knew some 11 languages and though he was not a very high profile man before that, he had people's good will in general.

The PVNR that left the post 5 years later and the one that left this world few days ago was just a mere shadow of that person. Life didn't treat him with a light hand towards the end but I don't think that would have come as a surprise to him. Some people called him the Chanakya of Indian Politics and though I'm not sure of the connotations but they were largely negative. But Chanakya never cared for the opinions of so called moralists. He did what he had to do because for him, his motherland was above everything else, even above his own principles if needed.

It is said that the first impression is the last impression. I think that is the first thing that you need to unlearn when you enter politics. The picture that the tenure of PVNR brings to mind is not of the times of reforms but of a time riddled with the scams of all kinds. As the head of the government, most of the blame went to him. People labelled him and his government as the most corrupt and unconstitutional government to ever hold the office in independent India. But is there something we need to read between the lines?

Why was it that suddenly so many scams started coming to light? Was it the increased rate of the scams? or was it the willingness on the part of PVNR to let them come to daylight? The Jain Hawala case was unique in blaming almost every politician whose name you could remember. Very few escaped its claws, not even in Congress, the ruling party. Why didn't PVNR just hushed up the case? After all CBI worked under him and I don't think a lot of MPs would have raised hue and cry over that.

As a friend once pointed out that may be he was aware that it is not possible for him to alone fight all this corruption in the ranks, so what better way but to bring it in open? Let everybody see the state of the system so that everybody feels the pinch to do something? In retrospect, we can say that if he tried to clean the system by doing this, he kinda failed. We are not much better even today. But then that is our failure, not his.

I am not sure why PVNR did what he did and now I have no chance of asking him also but the point of this post is just to recount that may be he was a much bigger hero than the history would ever judge him to be. May his soul rest in peace.

PS: Thanks are due to Arun and Shweta for making me think about PVNR in new light.

Friday, December 24

Sakhi

sakhi mori piya ke rang rangi !

aankhon me piya ke swapan bhare,
adhron per kampan mukhar dhare,
ranjit kapol hue lajja se,
jihva pe piya ka naam fire.

dhalka jaaye aanchal jheena,
shudh budh khoyee, sukh chain chhina,
na bhaye use bacpan ki sakhi,
bin piya lage ab jag soona.

Sakhi mori piya ke rang rangi !

kuch vesh kaho? kabhi mili nahi !
mridubhaashi hain? swar sune nahi !
na des pata, jaane na gali,
chad kaandhe chaar kahaar chali.

Bin sakhi mujhe kuch na bhaaye,
jhoole ke bina saawan jaaye,
sochoon to yahi ka jatan karoon,
mo pe bhi piya ka rang chaaye.

sakhi mori piya ke rang rangi !

[Those who know better, would probably notice that a long standing promise has been fulfilled today although it has not come out as I would have liked it to but if that could be controlled, world would have been a pretty banal place.]

[Incidently, there is something in the above poem that is quite indicative of the times it has been written in. Can u notice it? I also noticed it only after finishing it :) ]

Friday, December 17

Life at 23 !!

They say if you are not an idealist at 20, u have no heart and if you are still an idealist at 30, you have no head !! Now that leaves two possibilities for 25. Either you can be completely confused between being a idealist and a practical person or you might be well balanced with both the things in perfect balance.
Now if you apply the same logic to 23 (considering 20 and 25), you will know where I lie :). I am in between getting confused and being balanced which, I have no doubt, is an extremely confusing state of affairs to be in. A state of confusion about if you are in a state of confusion !!
Anyway, enough of confusion. The news is that tomorrow at 15:15, I will complete 22 years of walking on this earth (for the first year, I was not walking) and considering the kind of people that are inhibiting the earth along with me, I consider this to be an achievement :P. okay sorry !! I shouldn't be this mean :). In fact it is the people living with me who have made this life worth living. Thanks a lot to everybody whom I know or will come to know in this life. As Kevin Spacey very aptly said:

"I had always heard that your entire life flashes before your eyes before you die. First of all, that second isn't a second at all. It stretches on forever like an ocean of time. For me it was lying on my back at boyscout camp, watching falling stars. And yellow leaves from the maple trees that lined our street. Or my grandmother's hands and the way her skin seemed like paper. And the first time I saw my cousin Tony's brand new Firebird.
I guess I could be pretty pissed off about what happened to me, but it's hard to be mad when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, my heart fills up like a balloon about to burst. And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold onto it. And then it flows through me like rain. And I can't feel anything but gratitude for every moment of my entire life"

Wednesday, December 15

Ek se bhale do? II

Last week I was reading the women special edition of Outlook. One of the articles in that discussed the radical social choices that women are making today. So there are ladies asking their parents to stay with them even after marriage, choosing to live separately for the sake of job, living alone even though their parents are in the same city and many more. There is no doubt that each of these decisions takes a lot of courage on part of a woman but what is alarming is that most of them relate to one common theme namely breaking down of the old concept of family.
Some of the feminists argue and rightfully so that family has been the biggest source of oppression for Indian women and so it is natural that in the new age, the old concept of family breaks down. The question is however how does it affect our society?
One particular example is of single mothers. All over India, there is an increasing trend of single mothers and the reasons are various. The one that stands out is that it is seen as the ultimate proof that today's women is strong and can support not only herself but a whole family (since "house-husband" still remains a largely taboo thing, family means mother and child).
But in this whole story, the child gets ignored. Consider the typical situation. Mother will most probably be working, so the child remains alone at home in the day time, may be with maid or in day care center. In most of the cases, he will have no siblings. He is solely dependent on his mother for all the emotional support who is bound to have her own tensions and problems considering the kind of work-life these days. The biggest thing that family provides is a feeling of belonging and sense of security. Wouldn't a child devoid of these grow into a rather insecure person? Infact these are the reasons why single people are not encouraged (allowed?) to adopt children. (I know sometimes this cannot be avoided and situation is not always bad but doing this by choice is what I am talking about.)
I think choice to become single a parent should be granted only when the support of a larger family is available. Women are blessed with the ability of bringing new life to this world and I think they should put a little more thought before using that.
[My apologies to any current and future single moms reading this. I am in no way questioning your abilities to raise a child but I think it is a right of every child to have a "house full" (of) family and your decision to stay single should not infringe on that.]

Thursday, December 2

Ek se bhale do !!

Vardan Mathur posted this beautiful piece about adopting a child today.
This is something that has been on my mind recently. In fact there are two issues and I'll talk about both of them.
First issue is the same as discussed in the talk also. On my way to office, I daily pass a crossing where 2 small kids, barely 4-5 years old, brother and sister, perform some gymnastics and then ask for money from the people who have stopped there. Now as a matter of principle, I never give them any money because I believe that first, giving them money will only encourage this thing and the person behind the game will push even more children into begging (most of the times, there is some adult person involved) and second that giving money is the least and as I said above, may be the worst kind of help that u can provide. It provides you with a false sense of having done something without actually doing anything. So untill I do anything worthwhile, I donot want to live under the false pretence of having done something. The question that always bothered me was, what?
The second issue is about the rising trend of single child. Now in my opinion and as I read some of comments on another blog, being a lonely child is not the best thing in the world to happen to a child. What siblings provide, friends do not compensate for in most of the cases. In fact as the families grow smaller, so many relationships that we enjoyed are lost. I have an elder sister and still I worry that my children will have no Chacha ji or Tau ji or my sister's children will have no Mausi. And looking at all the fun and all the love that I get from all my relations, I am sad that our next generation is going to miss that.
And now look again at the article in the beginning of the post. Isn't that a very beautiful solution for both the problems !! and I think it is very balanced. A decision to have no child of their own at all is a tough one and not all the couples can sustain that. And having more children is obviously bad for our country. Moreover it can also solve the problem of those couples who wanted a girl and instead got a boy or vice versa. They can just go and adopt one that makes their family more complete.
Of course there are pitfalls here too. It can prove to be a tricky affair to treat both the children as same and check urself from either being over indulgent or partial to one of them. Moreover, later on in life, there might be problems when the adopted child might want to find out his/her own identity. But as they say, love can overcome everything.
The mere thought of this thing is so beautiful that it fills me with pleasure now even though any of this is still in distant future for me. I think this is going to be the path for me but as Vardan says, 50% decision is yet to be taken :). In any case, I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and I am sure it will be the day light !!

Saturday, November 27

When words fail !!

Caught this in today's edition of Bangalore Times:

when desires have no descriptions,
longings possess no definations,
expectations refuse fulfillment,
questions seek no answers,
wounds cease to give pain,
path decides to go nowhere,
what consolation can the words offer?

-- Milind Nayak

Friday, November 26

RelationShips: How to build one that won't sink ! - I

Relationships are really confusing things as any high school student studying Set Theroy will testify. However if he would have even the faintest idea as to what lies ahead, he might have other ideas.
Relationships are strange entities. They attract us and they scare us. They bind us and then free us in most wonderful ways. They can make our life worth living but they can also make it a living hell. And no matter, how much we may try, it is difficult to write down a formula for a perfect one.
But since we can't just slip through life without worrying about them, it is worthwhile to think about what makes them tick. To be more precise, let's talk about men-women relationships (My apologies for the inherent bias but I don't think alternate sexualities contribute much to my readership).
Most of the people have this notion of a perfect partner, a prince who will swap her off her feet or the sweet lady who will just take away all his pain with just a touch. We search for the person who will make us feel right at home with himself/herself. We want to be loved by somebody but does this criteria makes for a strong relationship? I think not.
I think the best relationships are formed between people who can treat each other as they want to treat their ideal partners. If u dig ur heart carefully, along side the list of things that u would like ur partner to do for u, u will find a list of things that u would like to do for him. We tend to forget this list and this is what leads to disappointments. A stable and happy relationship is formed when u match this second and neglected list with ur partner.
There is another straight forward way of looking at the above convoluted argument. A relationship works when u are into it without selfishness. A relationship is about giving and not getting. Of course it is tough to get rid of all the expectations but the less expectations u have, more wonderful and exciting would the journey be :)
So if I may borrow something from JFK, "Ask not what the other person can do for u, ask what u can do for him." for "You can never make somebody your friend. You can only be somebody's friend."

Here is a quote from a movie I watched yesterday:
"When you send somebody to save the world, make sure he likes it the way it is now."

Wednesday, November 24

Naach: The Choreography of Life

Its been over a month since I have written anything here. There are reasons for that but generally they are so silly that they are not worth your consideration, dear reader. And now after a month, I feel a little ashamed in putting up yet another placeholder post, just listing out what all tid bits have been happening in my life. It would hardly be worth your time. So I won't do that. No updates on my life in this post but only a little info which I think is very important. I have started taking Dr. Batra's treatment for hair loss !! Yes , ladies and gentlemen, me have finally fallen prey to the monster.

Anyway if you remember, long time ago but not in very distant past, I promised to write something called "The Bangalore Chronicles" that was supposed to be.. well, something interesting. And if you could see my life from where I am seeing it, you would have agreed whole heartedly to the date when the first chapter should end and the second begin. I am not so sure about the chapters names which according to me would be "Two to tango" and "Three Musketeers". If u get the theme, send me any more suggestions. I promise to take complete note of them before rejecting :).

Well that is all the progress that I have made on the Chronicles so far. Hope you are thoroughly disappointed because if u are not, I don't know what I have to do to disappoint you. Not that I want to but still I wonder..

Let me finish off with something good. I recently bought Choreography, the new album from Vanessa Mae and it is amazing. I am still absorbing it but at the moment, The Sabre Dance and Raga's Dance seem to be my favs. Go get it if u are into instrumentals and I promise u won't be disappointed because unlike me, Venessa Mae delivers :)

And yes, I watched Naach. Only advice, if u want to see it, don't watch it on CD. The whole movie is shot in closeups and most of the time u would either be staring at a blank screen or at two half faces.

Tuesday, October 19

Adhikaar

adhikaar mera tum per na priye !!

unmukt pawan si ithlaati,
balkhaati chalti aati ho,
kuch jaani si, kuch anjaani,
khushbooen anekon laati ho.
chapper mera hai ud jata,
ghar uthal puthal ho jata hai,
ek mast hawa ke jhonke si,
tum pal me gum ho jaati ho.

adhikaar mera tum per na priye !!

jeewan ki kaali raaton me
chanchal chapla drut daamini si,
manas per chaati ho mere,
sab aalokit ker jaati ho.
tan dagdh hua jata mera,
man bhi swaha ho jata hai,
tum jyon agni ki lapak ek,
choone ko gagan ud jaati ho.

adhikaar mera tum per na priye !!

jo abhi dikha na hai poora,
voh swapan ho mere nayanon ka,
jisme main rang bhara karta,
ho chitra adhoora jeewan ka.
yoon raaten vyarth kiya karta,
main sapne bunta rahta hoon,
tum mujhe akela chod,
som ke sang ast ho jaati ho.

adhikaar mera tum per na priye !!

man me hai mere aakulta,
ki pranay nivedan karoon kabhi,
baahon me tumko baandh,
adhron per rakh doon apne adhar sakhi.
Man taane baane bunta hai,
kaise mutthi me ret bharoon,
bankim nayno ke teer chala,
tum hriday videeran ker jaati ho.

adhikaar mera tum per na priye !!

per prashn ek fir aata hai,
kyon bandhan me tumko baandhoon?
apne sapno ka bojh,
tumhaare kandhon per main kyon laadoon?
kyon na apni shakti tauloon,
aur main bhi tere saath udoon?
vichroon van upvan nagar desh,
tum jahan jahan bhi jaati ho.

adhikaar mera tum per na priye !!

Updated:
written by: abhaga

Those who have seen "Navrang" by V Shantaram might be able to better understand it. Everytime I have seen that movie, I have loved it and not only because of the wonderful music and excellent craftsmanship of VS but because I can really identify with the lead character of the movie in all that he does and feels except for one thing. I feel the root cause of all his misery was that he wanted to keep his Mohini whereas he should have known to let go. When u create a bird, u let it fly and not tie it down to a cage. It is that modified version of Navrang that I have tried to express in this poem.

Friday, October 8

The Brain and the Brawn

Recently there has been a lot of commotion and ugly situations at my alma-mater which is actually nothing new considering the last 3 years. However the ever increasing stupidity of the situation is definitely remarkable.
As expected, the incident has been evoking a lot of reaction in the alumni too. A lot has been said and it is interesting to see the sharp contrast that is evident in the standpoints of alumni and current junta. For a background on the incident, you can refer to: Life is beautiful
Here is my take on the issue. There are two powers at the disposal of the man that he uses for foraying through this world, namely brain and brawn and although the human history is a live example of superiority of the first one, both have their own use at times. The recent fiasco can be attributed to the extremely bad judgement on part of IIT junta about when to use what.
The incident started when some PEC guys, showing the utter lack of most uncommon sense, resorted to hockey sticks for trying to punish a IIT guy who was hooting their female basketball team (On a lighter note, it had to be the female team as the history tells us.). IITK junta decides to use their brains and stay away from the dangerous hockeys forgetting in the process that the only time when they could have used brawn and get away with it was that point of time. Next when it was time to use their brains, they decide to be macho and go to Hall 3 TV room and vandalize the luggage of visitors. And after that point of time, I don't know what they start doing and somehow reached the conclusion that getting a resignation from DOSA will do the trick (I can imagine precisely why and how it happened but that is not relevant here). They go about staging a dharna and even saying some utterly inappropriate things about the Dean and make him offer his resignation (please note: only offer his resignation which even a fool can see won't be accepted. Of course I may have to eat my words in near future). They consider this to be their victory and the show of the unity. Let me point out what they showed in the whole episode:
1. I know the kind of hooting they must be doing. I have done it myself in precisely the same situation (IITK and IIT KGP female basketball match) and I know how bad it is. I enjoyed it but it is wrong and u can't argue about it.
2. By not saving their own guys, they showed they are cowards.
3. By ransacking the visitors' luggage, they showed they don't have any sense of right or wrong.
4. By trying to get the resignation of DOSA, they showed they are not even able to think straight (Did anybody gave even a little though to the kind of repercussions this will have?).
5. By making comments again Sesha, they showed they have no decency left.

If they really wanted to show unity, they should have settled the matter in the BB court itself. If they didn't (or couldn't), they should have asked Panda to send PEC back and should have blacklisted them from all the future festivals and should have asked the administration to send a complaint to PEC otherwise everyone of IITK sports team should have refused to play and volunteers should have refused to work. That is what is unity and it takes real hard work to get that. Not that u collect 100 guys many of which just want to have fun and do some toda fodi and go to Hall 3.
I have read so many junta saying that PEC did this, they did that. But does it really matter? I don't care what they did and how they are. I don't give a damn. I look at my junta. What they are and what did they do. People generally take one of the two extreme positions. One side will say that we should not go down to the level of street urchins if they start pelting stones at us. Others say we should teach them a lesson. I say that u should not dive down to their levels but should also make them realize that if they dare to pelt stones at us, they gonna pay for it. And for this, u don't have to beat them. This shows in the way u carry urself, it shows in ur confidence.
And just sticking together is not unity. Even a glob of meshed potatoes sticks together but breaks wherever the pressure comes. If u want to feel the power of unity, stick together like a wall.
And next time settle the street brawl on the street itself. Don't bring it home.

Saturday, October 2

Some hairy issues

I wrote this yesterday, I posted this yesterday, I lost it yesterday. But love's labour is never lost and so as the battle lines are redrawn every morning, here's to those who fell and here's to those who stand.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
A bad hair day is a bad day that starts with hair problems. Since now a days most of my days start with hair problems, it was only a matter of time that one of them qualified as a bad hair day. But on account of the good food that I had today and the good news that I received today, I guess I would settle for a "Not so good hair day".
Having been on the wrong side of the line in case of hair lose for a long time now, I had almost forgotten the taste of panic and anxiety that sets in when you first see that white streak or when the trips to head for a flip to hairs starts returning a handful. It is something with which you learn to live just like the rate of inflation. However, recently, this rate of inflation has been reminding me of the state of Germany after WW II where inflation was so high that the buying capacity of the ppl at the front and at the end of a queue differed measurably. On the same lines, I think if I click myself in the morning and in the evening, I can almost make out the difference in hair quantity. I hope my parents who are visiting me next month listen to their heart and not to their eyes !!
And to add insult to the injury, recently Parachute launched their new ad campaign for Sampoorna hair oil. Now I have something for these narrative kind of ads and this one being one of the best in the genre, hit me where it hurts the most. On one of my recent visits to a store, I surprised even myself by trying to dump my old hair oil and going for Sampoorna but it is at such critical moments of the life that "Fight Club" and "Tyler Durden" come handy and I was saved !!
An interesting question came up recently while attending a support group meeting of fellow victims. How much or what percentage of hair must a person lose before qualifying as a ganja? Please send in your answers, comments and any suggestion for stopping the natural deforestation of my skull as soon as possible. Of course, animal right activist have nothing of interest here !!
And as one of the more well known ganja's around likes to put it:
"God made only few perfect heads. Rest he covered with hairs."
-- Anupam Kher (courtesy Akshaya Kumar )

Friday, October 1

Some Updates

Currently working on: Handwriting Technologies
Currently Reading: Mahadevi Verma "Path Ke Saathi"
Currently Listening to: Abida Parveen "Amir Khusro"
Currently watching (TV): Kasuati Jindagi Ki, Sanjivani, Kahaani Ghar Ghar ki, Des me nikala hoga chand, CNBC The Challenge, Ripley's Believe it or not, The History Channel
Recently Watched (for the first time): The Wedding Planner, Samay, Dhoom, Terminal, Phir Milenge and one half each of Erin Brockowich(first half) and Training Day (second half)
Recently been to: Bangalore Book Festival
Recently eat for the first time: Chetinadu Dishes, Baser Beli Bath (Suggestion for other Southern delicacies welcome)
Blogs I manage to go through: Jaya, Handa, Alpha, Diwaker, PSD, Manish and Gosling
Websites I still manage to frequent: /.
Jobs wish list: Google, RJ on Radio City

More personal kind of updates are available on personal request ;)

Sunday, September 12

Things they do,

but I missed out on.

It is not everyday that bright sunlight starts ur day in Banglore and nothing better to lighten up the mood on a Sunday morning than the mild sun rays falling on ur face :) (I am sure many won't agree but every one to his own). Now mornings, a bright new day, lovely weather all indicate a new start but strangely enough it can also bring back old memories just as clearly. And so I thought may be I should make use of this day to write one last post about IIT before I start with "The Bangalore Chronicles". Yes ! that is what I am going to call my series of posts about life and everything in Bangalore. (Now don't frown at me. I am just trying to follow in the foot steps of J K Rowling :P)

Through the 4 years of life at IIT, I did a lot of things, many of which I never imagined I would do but as they say that there is no end to the human greed, I craved for more. Some of these were not under my control. At some of these I failed and for some, I never seemed to find time. May be the day should have been of 25 hours and months of 60 days for those 5 years. But since it would have sent all the outside world into disarray, it was not to happen and so I must console myself by only listing things that I wanted to do before leaving IIT and hope that at some point in future, I would be able to do them. So here it goes in the order in which I could think of them:

1. Wanted to learn to play Guitar/Drums
2. Wanted to learn at least one foreign language
3. wanted to kiss at least one girl
4. wanted to release at least one open source software
5. wanted to win one galaxy
6. wanted to climb on the top of "Sai ki Tanki"
7. wanted to fly joy rides in the glider club
8. wanted to sing on stage
9. wanted to spend one night inside GH after 12:00 in night (now don't get ideas. It is just one of those curiosities that u get about things that are forbidden :D)
10. wanted to win a programming contest (we always came 2nd and winners kept changing :( )
11. wanted to learn to solve cryptic crosswords
12. wanted to learn analytical number theory
13. wanted to learn to play tennis
14. wanted to do courses under following instructors: Dr. Lilawati Krishnan, Dr. Rathor (maths dept), Dr. Suchitra Mathur and Dr. Achla Raina (This list has nothing to do with my crushes but all of them are excellent instructors)
15. wanted to graduate with a CPI of 9.5
16. wanted to get a minor in philosophy (no such provision in IITK :( )
17. wanted to commit suicide (okey okey.. I will explain in my next post why)
added:
18: wanted to go on a trek with friends/adventure sports club
19. wanted to make a short movie during umang or otherwise but could never get going

that is what I can recall right now. But this list will surely get a little longer in future so u may want to have a second look. And "The Bangalore Chronicles" will start soon.

Sunday, August 29

I moved !!

Musafir ke raste badalte rahe,
kismat me chalna tha chalte rahe.
-- Bashir Badr

New place, new ways, new ppl, old faces
New paths, unknown destination,
New building on old bases.
-- me

This is abhaga from City of Gardens. I am loving it !!

Sunday, August 15

Kautilya ne kaha tha

Long have I bored u guys with tales of some distant Galaxies. Its time now to move closer to home and closer to reality :).
Today is our Independence Day and just like every year, its an occasion to feel proud of our country, its achievements and most of all its character. Although I strongly believe that we can surely do with being more aggressive and firm when it comes to international matters, it is not something I would be really proud of. It is more like a necessary evil which cannot be avoided in today's scenario.
This reminds me of someting from the famous Chanakya alias Kautilya. When questioned by one of his childhood friends about the rather ruteless image he had acquired, he said, "Under sab shubha hai, shuchi hai per uski raksha ke liye upper se kathorta ka aavaran od liya hai". A very simple and innocent looking statement but carries the essence of keeping right balance in life.
The world always tries to destroy the goodness within us, it makes us look like a fool when all we are is innocent, it projects our kindness as our weekness. Now we can either choose to learn what is called "Duniyadaari" which essentially means that the more shrwed we become from inside, the sweeter our toungue gets or we can heed to what the great man said.
This also reminds me of a quote that I picked up from some email. It said, " The only attitude in life that scales is taking no shit from anybody". On the face of it, Chanakya might seem to be doing the same but there is a subtle and important difference. Even though it may look negative at the first instance, Chanakya's stand is essentially positive, has something good at its core. The second statement hangs in pure void. It proudly tells u to take no shit from anybody but never suggests anything after that.
And this, I think is the basic difference is the Indian and western outlook of the world. I know I am generalizing to the limit of calling a bacteria and a elephant similar but they indeed fall into the same kingdom, don't they? Similarly this same theme can be seen, in one form or other, everywhere. The main strength of Indian tradition is the strong value system behind it and this value system is not limited to moral values only. It has much wider reverberations.
On this 57th Independence day, it is my heartly desire that my country and its people learn to walk the tight rope that Chanakya indicated towards. May God bless !

Thursday, August 12

Results are in

Both DS and PB ended up at a difference of .2%. So both the teams were decleared joint winners. GH took the second place.

Wednesday, August 11

Galaxy Remains !

What is better than watching a Galaxy? Of course being part of it :) but before I tell u more about it, here are the remaining editions of GT:
GH I
DS II

PB II
GH II

Apart from regular things like street plays, road paintings, the publicity events were a Parade and a Bhajan Singing march in which the aim was to collect as much money as u can by singing bhajans. These guys had the audacity of actually going to Dean's house and ask him for some money. I heard he bequeathed in the order of Rs. 6 to Rs 10 :), don't know who won in the end though. Lit events saw their usual crowd coming together although the events were much more experimental in nature.
I unfortunately missed the GH cul show but other two cul shows were quite impressive. There is however one observation which I cannot avoid making though I am not sure what to conclude from it. In our times, Hall 2 used to always get screwed in musicals which was the forte of Hall 3. In the play the situation was just the opposite. Even 3 years' gap was not enough to break the tradition :). DS put up an excellent play and opening but I felt it became very heavy and lacked any light element. PB had a nice choreo and some nice fillers (which they overdid and lost the effect). The two classical pieces were also wonderfully executed and a treat to listen to.
Results were not out till the writing of this post. And with the following words of Bashir Badr, Galaxy 2004 ended:

Dushmani jam ker karen lekin ye gunjaish rahe,
Jab kabhi hum dost ho jaayen to sharminda na hon.

The small part I got to play in this galaxy proved to be quite satisfying for more than one reason but it suffices to say that it was the best farewell which I could have hoped for. Since long have challenges been away from my life and what better way to embark on the next phase of ur life than to have a brush with the best that the life in past had to offer. The only thing left to say now is:

karo rukhsat hume ahal-e-chaman, ab hum to chalte hain,
Hawaayen dasht-e-nawardee ka fir paigaam laayi hain.

Thursday, August 5

GT - IInd Edition

is available here. This one is by the team "प्राणस्य भावः" (pranasya bhavah).

It turns out that out of the 7 teams proposed, only 3 are actually participating. I have mentioned about two of them already and fortunately or unfortunately, one of them comprises of Hall 2 guys and another, of Hall 3. But can anybody guess which is the 3rd team? With Hall 1 choosing to remain out of the picture for the most part, it is our very own GH that has a team in the running and as far as I have heard, they are working pretty hard.

In the golden olden times :), GH used to be one of the rotating teams. They used to be paired up with hall 1, hall2 and hall 3 in a cyclic order. Other rotating teams were the two PG hostels. Now although, I would not go on to say that GH used to be passive but Galaxy never seemed to arouse the same kind of passion there as was seen in Hall 2 and Hall 3. One reason is obvious. When u are being forced to change ur loyalties every year, it becomes kinda tough to identify urself with one of the teams in particular. I, however, feel the real reason lied elsewhere.

Galaxy required a lot of preparation and planning. There used to be a so called think tank which would comprise of the old timers of that hall, senior students from hall 1, new guys who have shown promise etc. Girls would all be there but they were hardly involved when it would come to decide about majors, minors, cul shows. It was more like, any girl known to be good in something, would be contacted through "appropriate channels" and would be roped in. There might be exceptions but that was the general picture. So the real challenge of Galaxy was almost missing from their experience.

On the contrary, this time they have their own team, they have their own "think tank" and they are doing whatever they decide to do and not just carry out the instructions being passed to them. For the first time, they are standing the post (refer to "A few good man" the movie) :). And I guess this feeling of being able to do what they want to do is the main incentive for going ahead and work.

In fact, this observation once again strongly proves what many simply decline to see. If u want betterment of your condition, if u want things to change, it is you who have to budge. Similarly if u want to improve somebody else's condition, again it is that somebody else who will have to do it. No matter how much energy u put in, how many methods u device, how many plans u roll out, nothing will succeed. I hope both the student community and the administration realize this as soon as possible.

Wednesday, August 4

News ! News !

Can't say that this makes me happy but it surely moves my heart. Galaxy is back !! Its very low scale, even if u are on campus, u can easily miss it all together, I haven't seen any of the events to comment on the quality but it is happening ! I have no doubt that the organizers are insane but galaxy can do that to u. I would try to do an online coverage of whatever happens and whatever I am able to catch but here are some tid-bits to start with:
Galaxy 2004 : Announcement Page
Galaxy Times : 1st Edition (Dhande Shining Team)

psd, I hope u remember the Galaxy Times :)

Tuesday, August 3

The Original !!

As pointed out by anonymous in the comments to last post, those lines are actually the English translation of a part of the following. It has been penned by noted Urdu poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz who is credited with introducing political awareness in Urdu language for the first time.

सुबह-ए-आज़ादी

ये दाग़ दाग़ उजाला, ये शब गज़ीदा सहर
वो इन्तज़ार था जिसका, ये वो सहर तो नहीं

ये वो सहर तो नहीं जिस की आरज़ू लेकर
चले थे यार कि मिल जायेगी कहीं न कहीं
फ़लक के दश्त में तारों की आख़िरी मंज़िल
कहीं तो होगा शब-ए-सुस्त मौज का साहिल
कहीं तो जा के रुकेगा सफ़ीना-ए-ग़म-ए-दिल
जवाँ लहू की पुर-असरार शाहराहों से
चले जो यार तो दामन पे कितने हाथ पडे
दयार-ए-हुस्न की बे-सब्र ख़्वाब-गाहों से
पुकारती रहीं बाहें बदन बुलाते रहे
बहुत अज़ीज़ थी लेकिन रुख़-ए-सहर की लगन
बहुत क़रीं था हसीनान-ए-नूर का दामन
सुबक सुबक थी तमन्ना, दबी दबी थी थकन

सुना है हो भी चुका है फ़िराक़-ए-ज़ुल्मत-ए-नूर
सुना है हो भी चुका है विसाल-ए-मंज़िल-ओ-गाम
बदल चुका है बहुत अहल्-ए-दर्द का दस्तूर
निशात-ए-वस्ल हलाल-ओ-अज़ाब्-ए-हिज्र-ए-हराम
जिगर की आग नज़र की उमंग, दिल की जलन
किसी पे चारा-ए-हिज्राँ का कुछ असर ही नहीं
कहाँ से आई निगार-ए-सबा, किधर को गई
अभी चिराग़-ए-सर-ए-राह को कुछ खबर ही नहीं
अभी गरानि-ए-शब में कमी नहीं आई
नजात-ए-दीदा-ओ-दिल की घड़ी नहीं आई
चले चलो कि वो मंज़िल अभी नहीं आई

For those who are having problem in viewing the Devanagari content, you can read the Roman transliterated version.

Monday, August 2

On a bright Monday Morning after Friendship Day !

This is one of my favorite pieces of poetry. Haven't been able to determine the original source but I picked it up from the .plan file of a senior. A pretty odd place to look for good poetry but pays off at times :)
To all my friends,

Life isn't fun anymore.
This isn't that long-looked for break of day,

That those comrades in arms set out in search of,
Hoping that in heaven's wide void,
Somewhere must be the star's last halting place,

Somewhere the verge of night's slow washing tide,

Somewhere an anchorage for the ship of heart ache.

One year, 21 days

Yesterday was the Friendship Day. I spent the last 21 Friendship Days without even knowing that they were passing by. But yesterday I came to know and there couldn't have been a better time.
Friendship is something that we all cherish but few of us understand. We all want friends but we seldom know what we want in a friend. We all call somebody our best friend and we hardly ever stop to think what does that mean. And then there is love. How do u differentiate between love and friendship? Where does one stop and the other start?
Unfortunately, a Friendship Day doesn't help us in resolving any of these issues. But what it does is that it gives us a chance to stop and think about them. It gives us a day to celebrate one of the most wonderful relationships in the world.
I think that the best way to celebrate it is to spend a day alone, away from all the friends. Now this may seem like a odd way to celebrate a Friendship Day but the thing to realize is that the beauty is not always in details. At times it is in the bigger picture. We spend the whole year interacting with our friends, being close to them, we absorb the details, we come to know them better. And so this one day should be used to absorb the bigger picture, a day when the individual qualities/eccentricities of a person doesn't come in the picture. You will be surprised at the colorful picture that emerges this way.
I can tell you all this cause I have spent not a day but a whole year like this, being away from a lot of my friends. Being away physically and being away mentally. And the best part was that unlike most of them who went on with their lives, I had lots of time on my hands to actually think about this. It was not at all a pleasant experience but then God's gifts are seldom wrapped in gift paper. But at the end of the year, I am rather thankful. From thinking that I may be the best thing to have happened to my friends, I have come to appreciate the patience that they must be having to put up with me.
This goes out to all of my friends. Past few months have not been very good and if I have been rather untouched and have been doing okay, I owe it to everyone of ur words and hugs and wishes that came my way. I owe it to all those chat sessions and long calls when u listened to my useless whining. I owe it to everyone of u. I might as well call the last one year, a friendship year of my life.
A friendship year to make up for 21 lost friendship days. Doesn't sound too bad :)

Saturday, July 31

A death that only counts !

The daily evening trains running on the meter gaze along the GT Road are a sight to see. I have often seen ppl traveling sitting on the roof of the trains but the guys going on these trains never cease to astonish me with their dare-devils. So what do u have to say about a group of ppl playing cards on the roof and around 5-6 ppl actually watching them, standing in a circle around them !!
Having read "Train to Pakistan" just days back, I was reminded of that fateful train when I saw a similarly crowded one today. And that set me thinking about death. In our society, under normal circumstances, there is a kind of respect attached with death. U may die of old age, health reasons, may get killed by somebody but a dead person invariably attracts sympathy, praise, sadness and some amount of respect if I may put it that way. In short, a death is acknowledged.
But all this is when our society functions normally. Consider the times of turbulence like riots or may be partition time. At that time ppl were being killed and all that a death meant was a number. If u receive 600 bodies from other side, u must send back 1200, doesn't matter who u kill. If u sea a train going to the other side, u fire at it. If u see ppl walking towards the border, u spike them. I have often heard this word "mindless killing", I have even spent days close to highly riot sensitive areas but the idea never sunk in. But after reading TP, I really cringe at the thought of the conditions at that time. I am not afraid of dying but the thought of this kind of death, with out any particular reason, any particular motive and without acknowledgement gives me cringes. May God save all souls from such an end !!

The rising dalit chetna

Looking at how we treat our great men, I sometimes wonder if we even deserve them? The self proclaimed dalit netas of today are specially very reckless in this regard. It seems like the only way to empower dalits is to throw insults and object to everything where they can find mention of anything caste related.
Now its the turn of great writer मुन्शी प्रेमचन्द who still remains the most read author in the Hindi belt of India. And nobody would deny that all his life, he wrote stories and novels that portrayed the plight of lowest sections of society, sections that were poorly represented in main stream literature before him. Now some dalit writers and netas are objecting to his novel "Rang Bhumi" and demanding that it should be removed from course since it uses words that are derogatory to dalits.
Dalit heat on Premchand
And today I read in the paper that certain "Bhartiya Dalit Sahitya Academy" has decided to burn copies of said novel at Jantar-Mantar on the occasion of Premchand Jayanti, 31st July i.e. today. Not that such acts make any difference to the reputation of Premchand but it pains my heart to see this happening and raises an important question: Where is this going to stop? Are there any limits to it?

Thursday, July 29

Update !!

Owing to the increased activity levels in other parts of life, looks like the next few days just like the last few days are going to be rather blog-free for me. But I can atleast give a quick update on some of the interesting things that I have been upto.
It is my firm believe that the only activity worth pursuing ona rainy day is to sit in a chair with lots of food and nice books and just look at the rain as it falls. And since it has been raining for first 3 days of the week here, u can guess what I have been upto. Sadly, there is no arrangement of food in my little blackhole, hence I am forced to move my lazy butt after a while. Still I have managed to achieve the following:
Books: Finished "जिन्दगी मुस्करायी" and "Train to Pakistan". First one is a collection of essays by कन्हैयालाल मिश्र 'प्रभाकार'. It is not what I would like to call popular reading but I found it quite interesting. Abut the second one, I started it long ago and got kinda bored after first few pages. But now that I have finished it, I liked it. The novel picks up as it progresses and draws a compelling picture of times of partition before our eyes.

Movies:
"Fahrenheit 911": documentary about Bush. Its good though obviously biased.
"Sound of Music" : Nice lightweight movie. Music is good and very catchy. I found the last part of movie just hanging like a tail though. Movie should have finished right when the lead couple gets married but I came to know that the movie is based ona real story and so they had to show it all.
"Primal Fear" : The more I see of Edward Norton, the more my liking for him increases. "Fight Club", "American History X" and now "Primal Fear", he simply blows me off in each one of them.
"Mystic River" : Very tense and dark movie. Weak storyline but this movie is more about the characters rather then the suspense. Great performances by all the main actors.

Luckily, no disappointments in the 3 days :). I'll be back soon.

Saturday, July 24

Famous Words !!

Some old and new speechs. Most of them are real recordings. They are mostly political, fictional from movies and misc others.

Case of misaligned priorities !

This is what Israel does:
Israel Takes Vengeance for Severed Head

And this is what we do:
India accuses Bangladesh of war crimes
when this happened:
16 Indian soldiers killed and mutilated

And what did we do when this happened?
Captain Saurabh Kalia, Indian Army

Ramdhaari Singh Dinkar once said:
तलवार गला तकली सॅत जहॉ गढते हैॅ
शोणित के बदले अश्रु जहॉ बहते हैॅ
वो देश कभी स्वतॅत्र नही रहता है।

We really need to ask ourselves today: where did we go wrong?

Friday, July 23

Yet Another First Day - The Proud Parents

The orientation day and the convocation day are the only two days when IIT Kanpur officially welcomes the parents on campus (as correctly pointed out by Jaya) and what a sight these two days present ! I always find it very fulfilling/amusing depending on whether or not my parents are among them :). Incidently, my parents decided to skip the first one which is kinda cool since I can now forever brag about being self dependent and confident and blah blah..
Now, it is very entertaining to interact with these parents. The are usually more excited than their ward, more worried, more eager to interact with others around them and very nice to talk to. Sample these:
1. These hostel rooms do not have ACs? (Excuse me !!)
2. Ye bagal wala room mere bachche ke room se bada kyon hai? (I swear the difference could not have been more than few inches if it was at all there. Sharp eyes !!)
3. Rooms me attached bathroom nahi hai? (common dude, we are talking about ready to plug in internet connectivity here and u are worried about bathrooms !! Grow up !)
I guess it is the anxiety of leaving a part of ur family out in the wild world may be.
The most unnerving things for most of the parents is that no matter how hard they try, they cannot find even a single professor or official anywhere during the orientation period. It is all students from top to bottom who run the show. Now parents are confused. It is okay that these guys are helping out but how am I supposed to just leave my kid with them. What about ragging? I want to atleast meet the professors who are going to teach him for 4 years. But alas ! There is little consolation. There are SGs. If u want higher authority, we have assistant coordinators. Not satisfied? Lemme present the coordinator ! And we are sorry to inform but this is the highest level of satisfaction we provide :D.
Another site to see is when a CSE dad is talking to a CE(civil) dad. It only takes one CSE dad to steal smiles from the faces of 10 other dads when he loudly proclaims that every other branch apart from CSE is useless or that so and so branches have no scope left. I can see why there is such enthu among students in the first year to get a branch change to CSE. More than anything else, it is about social status. Fortunately, all these ill rooted concepts are cleared from the minds over the years when they stay at IIT and learn that a person is worth for what he is and not for what branch he is in.
And this is what I have always liked about this place. It is all about freedom. All about leaving behind those rigid mindsets. The biggest lesson to be learned at IITK is that there are no hard limits that cannot be bypassed, no rules that are true irrespective of context and no person who isn't special in one way or other.

Yet Another First Day - The Broken Old Record !

Today is the day that I looked forward to in all 4 years of my college life. Tomorrow, the orientation for the batch of 2004 starts and the fresh blood has been arriving in the campus all day long. Proud parents, excited siblings, not very happy mothers and the wonder struck kids. Add to that the counseling service, looking-their-best SGs, fresh-from-internships-across-the-world 4th yearites, the wretched Kanpur heat and the absent academic load. No better time to be on the campus.
And then think about me. Somebody who enjoyed it all so much, today forced to walk around ignoring everything maintaining the expression of I'm-not-concerned on my face !! I wish I could tell u how much effort it takes on my part to restrain myself from jumping right ahead and immercing myself in the proceedings. But I know better than that now. I know that if u try to live ur old days again and again, u start sounding like a broken old record. So I have decided to stay indoors as much as possible for the rest of the week.
So my good wishes to the new guyz. I know hardly anyone of u will ever read it but there is a larger concept behind sending someone "good wishes" or "shubhkamnayen" which I'll talk about later may be.

Royally Pissed

I have recently come across this phrase. mostly used by Pune/Banglore junta I guess. I liked the word the moment I first heard it and wondered what it would be like to get "Royally Pissed". I didn't know that opportunity would present itself so soon.
I am happy to announce that I am royally pissed at the telecom dept of the country today. For 3 days now, I am trying to call home without any success and I am totally frust at the moment.
Such a lame post ! doesn't even whine gracefully, forget royally. But I never wanted to write that masterpiece of mine today anyway.

Wednesday, July 21

The Extradition Game !

Recently the name Maninder Pal Singh Kohli has been in headlines for the heinous crime of murdering a British girl. PSD, however takes a look at a more political side of the case and I cannot agree more with him. In a related news, Abu Salem may finally end up in India.

Monday, July 19

Golden Words

CNR Rao was the chief guest in our convocation last year. He is quite an entertaining speaker and draws nicely upon his rich experiences. He was one of the earliest professors at IITK (chem dept) and played a major role in development of curriculum and lab facilities (although it is said that when he left for IISC later, he took away everything with him except curriculum :)).
He made the following remark during his speech, a nugget which I have kept as a graduation advice :). The words are mine, the wisdom is, of course, his.
"People come and say to me that it is so frustrating to stay in India. There are no facilities and there is so much bureaucracy, so much redtape. I tell them that it is not really difficult to stay in India but you need a little sense of humor. Otherwise it is also very easy to get frustrated here."

Something to gnaw on !!

Sunday, July 18

Feeling Down? Think BlackHoles !

So my obsession with BlackHoles continues ! It is not only because I am currently living in one (it was raining again today) but also because something cool related to them is going to happen next week. The whole physics community is buzzing with excitement and the source of the excitement is a one line note. Yes ! The great Stephen Hawking has done it yet again. Next week in a conference in Ireland, he is going to present a possible solution to a paradox that his work created some 40 years ago.
I am in awe of Stephen Hawking and it is not due to the book that he has written or due to the work that he has been doing all these years. It has to do with the indomitable show of human will and spirit that he has put up for the last 40 years. He cannot do anything himself, he cannot eat, he cannot speak, he can hardly move any parts of his body and to top it all he even suffered physical abuse at the hands of his wife. The only part in his body that works is his brain (of course if we exclude all the internal organs :)) and the guy has a sense of humor that would kick ur ass anyday. He works in the area of theoretical physics, a field few people in the world understand and still thanks to him that today u can mention a BlackHole in normal day conversations without drawing blank stares. Try getting away with superstring and laptons to get a better idea.
But apart from all his scientific achievements, the point is, even though he got such a rough deal from life, he didn't become bitter about it. Instead he went ahead and did things that would actually help a lot of people (read "wrote popular science books"). He didn't even become self centered or fell prey to self pity. Instead he tossed around such outrageous ideas which would find few takers at first. And no Sir ! He is not going to sit alone in his room and write technical papers. He would rather go out and bet with fellow physicists about who is right and make it so enjoyable for everybody around. It is a life best lived I would say !
So next time u feel that life is not being fair to u, just think about him. Next time u feel hesitant in doing something thinking that u are not upto it, think about his situation. And next time u think that nobody would understand what u have to say, think about BlackHoles.

In BlackHoles, I believe !
In BlackHoles, I trust !
To BlackHoles, I pray,
To never let me rust !

Get up, get going !!

All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places, worn out faces
Bright and early for their daily races
Going nowhere, going nowhere
Their tears are filling up their glasses
No expression, no expression
Hide my head I want to drown my sorrow
No tomorrow, no tomorrow

And I find it kinda funny
I find it kinda sad
The dreams in which I'm dying
Are the best I've ever had
I find it hard to tell you
I find it hard to take
When people run in circles
It's a very, very mad world mad world

Children waiting for the day they feel good
Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday
Made to feel the way that every child should
Sit and listen, sit and listen
Went to school and I was very nervous
No one knew me, no one knew me
Hello teacher tell me what's my lesson
Look right through me, look right through me

And I find it kinda funny
I find it kinda sad
The dreams in which I'm dying
Are the best I've ever had
I find it hard to tell you
I find it hard to take
When people run in circles
It's a very, very mad world ... world
Enlarge your world
Mad world
-- lyrics "Mad World" by Tears for Fears (my pick is the Gary Jules cover in Donnie Darko OST)

Saturday, July 17

Counting to 511 inside a BlackHole

My room now a days is almost like a blackhole. "Blackhole" because time has stopped inside my room, just like inside a blackhole. "Almost" because I can still move in and out of it without any deformation in shape and size.
It all happened 3 days ago when my roommate, the owner of the only table clock in the room, left for his home along with his belongings. Seems like my wrist watch and that table clock had something going on. So even my wrist watch has refused to buzz from that moment onwards thus freezing that precious moment in time almost literally. And as a result, currently inside my room, time doesn't move. I enter it at 9:00 AM in the morning and it stays 9:00 AM till I leave it. To make it even more dramatic, since 2-3 days it is cloudy here in Kanpur (It was raining today) and so u cannot even look out and try to guess what time is it.
(To clarify the picture, here are some details. I live in a 2 room set and the occupants of the apartments around me comprise of families. So it doesn't seem like a very good idea to go and ask to time every two hours. Also whenever I am at my room, I am generally sleeping. So u can now visualize the situation: I sleep at 9 AM, get up, it is still 9 AM, it is still raining, I go back to sleep, wake up, it is still 9 AM , it is still raining, I go back to sleep.. u get the idea). Infact it was in this state of affairs that I composed the last entry, clocks tick life away :)
Now since I have had a first hand experience, I can tell u that being inside a blackhole is not bad at all. Infact, after a little practice, it can be very liberating, just like casual sex (plz refer to "Someone like You"). You can do what u like most without actually worrying about when are u doing it or even how long have u been doing it (doing away with this worry part is what takes the little practice but its worth it :P).
So sitting in my blackhole, where no future was becoming past, I decided to revisit past and opened my blackbox. Now this box is like a Bhanmati ka pitara . It contains all the letters, greetings and whole lot of documents that I have accumulated over 4 years of IIT life. Always a lovely walk down the memory lane. But the most interesting part is at the bottom of the box.
Whenever I have any coins and I remember to, I put them in this box. I also take out some of them from time to time when I am totally broke. Since last one year this box was lying packed in a bag. So today I decided to count how much I saved in all these 4 years. Following are the stats of my treasure :)
25p - 10 , 50p - 39, 1 Re - 222, 2 Rs - 86, 5 Rs - 19. Normal (Gaussian) distribution as expected.
So these are total 367 coins summing up to Rs. 511. I felt so happy looking at them that I wanted to swim in them just like $crooz Mcduck but they didn't prove to be sufficient. Now considering the amount, 511 is quite measly but I am feeling so possessive about it as I do not even feel for the money in my Bank Account. Guess it is the difference that we see between 2 persons one of whom makes a fortune by working hard all his life and the other one who gets it overnight or by inheritance.
Anyway the question is what should I do with them? Spending them just like other money would be such a waste of 4 years' worth of effort. So I am looking for some ideas on how to spend this money. Plz suggest some nice and innovative ways of using this money. I am considering everything from opening a museum to display them all to continuing accumulating more and one day learn to swim in them :).
So what do u say?

Thursday, July 15

Clock Ticks Life Away !!

Out of time and out of space,
acting it out on the life's stage.
Don't know the story, do I even know the
cast?

Out of time and out of space,
searching for a familiar face.
Not a drop to drink in the ocean,
vast!

Out of time and out of space,
blinded by a maddening rage.
The paths unknown and I am running
fast.

Out of time and out of space,
trying to win the endless race,
of making future,
past.

Out of Time and out of space,
fate staring me hard in the face.
The pace of life has outdone me,
at last!

Wednesday, July 14

Would u like a to have a Blog?

Evan Williams, popularly known as eV in blogging circles (he started blogger which was later bought by google) has dug up the google usenet archives to find that the earliest usage of Blog refer to a kind of Finnish cocktail deviced by a SF fan.
Cheers !!

The Hundredth Monkey

Few days back, the issue of the farmers' suicides that have been reported from various parts of the country and mainly from Andhra Pradesh came up over the dinner table. Both me and Arun were of the opinion that the trend, although alarming, has little to do with government failure. Rather than economic, it is a psychological issue and should be treated as one. Some kind of "mass psychology" (for want of a better word) seems to be at work here which is pushing one farmer after another over the edge.
In this context, Arun told me about an interesting experiment done with monkeys on a northern Japanese island. The most popular version of the story on the internet is available as The hundredth Monkey. The above piece is an extract from a book written by Ken Keyes, jr. and is written more like a inspirational story rather than a scientific article.
The story amazed me to no end. Such kind of ideas have been around for quite sometime in SF. One very famous example is the Gaia planet in Foundation series by Asimov. Even in modern science, there have been theories like Gaia theory proposed by James Lovelock but the fact that something like this has actually been experimentally observed thrilled me.
Alas, on further examination, the story seems to be exaggerated. However, the story and the article above do talk about some interesting ideas like morphogenetic fields (proposed by Sheldrake)and collective unconscious (proposed by Carl Jung). Here is a page about some reported experiments related to morphogenetic fields.
I once wrote a SF story on a similar concept. Now it seems the idea was not that far fetched afterall :). May be I should publish that story soon now.
Another interesting link I found while delving on this topic of collective intelligence/conscious : The co-intelligence Institute (It has more of a social and political bent though)

Tuesday, July 13

The Problem of Other Minds - II

U may have wondered why did I call my last post "The Problem of Other Minds - I". Since u are already reading "The Problems of Other Minds - II", I think the number mystery is solved. The text of the title comes from a well known philosophical problem called The Problem of Other Minds . It is a very interesting problem, one that questions our very basic assumptions and requires very elaborate arguements to actually defend them. The central question is how do "I" (I of Rene Descartes fame) know about the existence of any other minds in this world apart from my own? Since we have access to only our own experiences and thoughts and ideas, something called "privileged access", is there anyway to establish beyond doubt that other minds are also out there?

A negative stand on this issue provides the logical basis for Solipsism . To quote,
The solipsist can attach no meaning to the supposition that there could be thoughts, experiences, and emotions other than his own. In short, the true solipsist understands the word 'pain', for example, to mean 'my pain' - he cannot accordingly conceive how this word is to be applied in any sense other than this exclusively egocentric one.

I hope the name of the post makes more sense now.

The Problem of Other Minds - I

The most basic understanding in a civilized society is that the members are supposed to cooperate in order to achieve the common good even if it means compromising a little on personal freedom. Now the human society has grown pretty complex over the centuries and it is easy to produce counter examples to the above by showing how there exist biases in the society and how the rich, mighty and privileged ones tend to get the lion's share of the common good.
However the things that have prompted me to write this post are some common day today things which show the increasing apathy in the masses towards each other. We are acting more and more as if no one else exists around us. I don't know if this is selfishness or the increased sense of self-preservation in the highly insecure city environments but the fact remains that it is no good for anybody. Consider the following two examples:

1. Notice the headlights of vehicles driving in the city during nights. Everyone from the big trucks to the luxury cars, from taxis to motorcycles, from rich to poor and from educated to uneducated drives with their headlights in beam up mode. The effect of this is that whenever vehicles coming from opposite sides cross each other, both the drivers can see almost nothing on the road ahead and this increases the chances of accidents many times given the condition of roads and street lights. Everyone suffers from it but nobody learns to keep the lights down.

2. I went to a movie the other day. During the movie somebody got a call on his mobile. Now that is pretty okey with me cause I don't think that movies are important enough or formal enough to switch off ur mobiles while there. But this guy started talking loudly sitting right in the middle of the hall and that also when a tension filled and relatively quieter scene was going on in the movie. So everybody in the hall could hear him discussing his consignment. When he continued for around a minute, security guard shined a torch on him. The guy sulked a little but became quieter. Now my question is: he could have done the same thing even earlier. Was it so difficult for him to realize that others would be more interested in the movie rather than his consignment coming tomorrow morning?

If u look around u can come up with a lot more examples. The common characteristic of all of them is that nobody gives a thought to others around them. Does it take a lot of common sense to realize that this is actually a vicious cycle and that sometime or the other even they can be at receiving end? And these are the things that do not require one to make any great sacrifices or give up too much of one's personal space but it is these small things that show up when we talk about the character of a society and nation. We are known to be such warm hearted ppl all over the world. I hope we are not begining to fade.

So next time u drive, check ur headlights.

Procrastination ...

... is the art of keeping up with tommorow. -- Don Marquis

The arch nemesis of most of the students and working ppl is procrastination. The problem is more prominent if u are somebody like me whose major interaction with the world happens through a PC. The web is an infinite source of distractions and some of them are infact very rewarding also in some sense. But still the problem remains and so remains that guilty feeling of having wasted yet another day on things we were not supposed to do. Well here is a site that deals with the problems in detail, let's u calculate some numbers indicating the level of problem and even suggests some remedies to keep it in check (nothing very novel there). So next time u want to kill some time, kill it in finding out how not to kill it :D. I love ironies :)

And here is my favourite quote from the ever wise Douglas Adams:

"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by."

Food Flames

My apartmentmate is leaving for a PhD in IISC Banglore. So today we went to this place called Flames in Swaroop Nagar for a sort of farewell treat. The place was good, both in ambiance and in food. They have chosen this orange color for the interior decoration which might sound a bit strange but the decorator has done his job well. Lighting is low along with candles on tables which I think is a nice idea since it also saves on some electricity :).

I had a wonderful time with some really nice food and a lively company. Especially recommended are the continental dishes. I had baked macaroni with white sauce and after a long time found some place in Kanpur where baked things taste like they should. I am going to eat there at least once more before I leave Kanpur. Recommended for close circle treats and outings since it is a bit on the expensive side.

Bon appetite !!

Friday, July 9

The IITK top 5 series: activities

spent part of the day reading "Five Point Someone" and as a result have been feeling rather nostalgic. Moreover I have been having this itch to write something about IIT life since sometime which has intensified manifolds now. Since I cannot write a novel on my 4 years just yet, here is some pastime :). I hope this will also evoke some responses from the small readership that my blog enjoys.

So following is the list of top 5 activities that I enjoyed during IIT and which I will always miss (an important criteria is that it is not possible to indulge in these activities after IIT due to one reason or another):

5. Hindi Extempore: In fact this will include most of the HLS events. They were an absolute bliss to both participate and organize. The excellent guys with whom I got to do all those fun things made it really enjoyable. Shloke, pali, ambar, nitya, golu, bihari, vv, khare, anuj, pksb, jaya, duggi, sushobhan, pushpi, saurabh, tiwari, pathak, biyani,aashu and so many others whose names I have missed, u all rock big time :D

4. Programming contests with my team : me,gs and sesh were "Redcode Warriors". Sesh hated this name but had to give in to the solid technical background that the name enjoys :). We managed to come 2nd in almost every major contest that mattered. Now that is what I call consistency but u need a heart of stone to bear the fruits of such remarkable consistency. However with a true sportsman like sesh and cool guy like gs around, I never really felt the sting.

3. Elections : Easily the most exciting part of any democracy. I consider it a duty of every member of a democracy to participate actively in elections. Now elections in outside society can be both expensive and dangerous but on campus, they were a lot of fun and a real learning experience. It is one of those things that makes men out of boys as u learn to stand up for those u believe are right, for ur friends and most of all for urself. I did it all, won them, lost them, conducted them, fought them, watched them and voted in them. But even today they never stop fascinating me.

2. Orientation Period : or I should say the first 2-3 weeks of every odd semester. There is something about receiving those new faces at the reception desk that gives me a high. I spent almost 2 days without sleep sitting at reception desk in my 3rd year. Of course the following 2 weeks were also very entertaining but with the attitude of administration, I think the glorious days of senior junior interaction are almost over. Another aspect of orientation period are my 12 bachchas and the ever growing family that has followed thereafter. I love u all :)

1. Working in galaxy (specially the first year): If u'll ask my batchmates to draw up this list, this will be the entry that will occur at top in majority of lists. Unfortunately nobody can be told what galaxy is, one has to see it for himself. But those were easily some of the best days that I spent in IITK.

Honorable mention goes to the now extinct nightly parades to hall 3 quad, treasure hunts (me and gs and always on foot), the short lived but fondly remembered iitk.gymkhana.jabberwocky, PTT assignment (I started some of them after the deadline) and ofcourse the 24 hours lib :)

Thursday, July 8

The ending matters

The three movies which I happened to watch during my little trip home were Bhoot, Sansar and Joggers' Park. It is the endings of Sansar and Joggers' Park that have caught my attention.

Sansar was an old, I guess 80's, movie staring Raj Babber, Rekha and Anupam Kher. A simple story about a family, the internal strife, a father who has given his everything in bringing up his children, an ungrateful son, an exemplary bahu/bhabhi/bibi and the resulting bantwara in the family. Lots of drama, high flying dialogues and nothing out of ordinary till the last scene. In the last scene, as expected, Raj Babber was feeling the pangs of guilt for his deeds and Anupam Kher was feeling the pangs of love for his grand child and the family was ready for a reunion. But this time there was a twist in the tail. When everything was going fine, Rekha objects to the reunion and takes the stand that what has happened can't be undone and it is better for the family that they live separately meeting only on Sundays, the argument being that living apart and being at good terms was more important than living together (which ppl mostly do out of a sense of duty) and not having respect and love for each other. The stand made a lot of sense and made the movie a rather thought provoking one.

The Joggers' Park, on the contrary flunked right in the end. It is a critically acclaimed movie and one which I was waiting to see since long. The movie goes along well, obviously weighed down by the expectations that I already had, but it was the end that disappointed me. I felt that it was too dramatic. Ofcourse we all knew what is going to happen but the way it happened (all the lightening behind jc's daughter when she is speaking, the sudden emergence of the photograph even though the photography incident seemed to have ended with the breaking of camera), it looked quite out of place with the rhythm of the movie. Seems like the director suddenly ran out of ideas and decided to call it a day.

For an excellent take on the writing of movie scripts, I would recommend "Adaptation" the movie. It is an adaptation of a book called "The orchid thief". It is the story of the struggle of the writer as he is trying to adapt the said book to a movie. So the movie tells the story of its own writing and also manages to tell the story in the original book. Confusing? Well yeah, u may have to watch it few times to actually understand it fully but it is worth the effort. The main point of the movie is that the author doesn't want to create a story in which ppl change in order to make a story. He wants a story in which the characters stay as they are. Does he succeed? For that watch the movie. Written by none other than Charlie Kaufman and Donald Kaufman :) and starring Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep and Chris Cooper.

Wednesday, July 7

A gem

lagi jahan bhi chahakne bulbul, hua vahin per jamaal paida.
kami nahi hai kadardaanon ki, kare to koi kamaal paida.

-- Akbar (Syyid Akbar Husain Akbar Allahabadi (1846-1921))

Winners and losers

Watching Sharapova win was a personal delight. Infact to word it differently, watching Serena lose was a personal delight. But all the credit to Sharapova. She really held her nerve and didn't make mistakes (well if u can excuse that serve :P). Winning against much more experienced and imposing looking Serena must have been like a dream for her but she didn't let that overwhelm her although the tension was obvious on the face right from the beginning and till the last point. This sure smells like teen spirit :)

kyonki..

Well, I was away and I was home cause since last 5 years, home is away. And while I was home, I watched, rather tried to watch some TV, something I don't get time to do normally while I am on campus. Watched no serials. Why? Kyonki bardaasht ki bhi koi had hoti hai. Could not have watched any music channel. Why? Kyonki sharam naam ki bhee koi cheez hoti hai. Watched 3 movies. Kyonki akal naam ki cheez bhi kabhi kabhi ghaas charne jaati hai. Watched News. Kyonki aadat se sabhi mazboor hote hain. Watched some sports. Kyonki supporter naam ki bhi kuch cheez hoti hai.

And I thought hard why I used to like TV so much and how I ever managed to watch so many movies on TV and even managed to like some of them. I must say that a movie that one likes on "budhoo baksa" got to be very good. It is absolutely pathetic experience, good only for the movies where it is actually recommended that u take a break after every 5-10 minutes to actually keep ur mind in sane state. For the rest, better late then on TV.

Monday, June 28

The truth behind abhaga

AAppealing
BBrainy
HHelpful
AAmazing
GGlamorous
AAmbivalent



Name / Username:



he he, well now I have something to live upto actually :P

Click it with Songs

I often wonder how strange our brain is and the strangest part seems to be our memory. In technical terms, our memory is what we computer scientists call "Content Addressable Memory". So we do not actually need to know where exactly in our brain, something is stored. We just think of some related thing or about some part of the thing and the whole thing comes rushing forth.

Now sometimes these associations are very obvious and at other times, quite bewildering. They also tend to differ from person to person. I listen to music a lot and I have found that I can infact draw up a very nostalgic map of my life in terms of songs. Everytime I listen to some of the songs, they bring back memories of gone times and at times they are so vivid that I can hardly contain my emotions. I feel happy or sad or peaceful just like I am living that moment again. It is a wonderful feeling to say the least. Some of the prominent ones are (though I doubt they will make any sense to anybody apart from me but still for the love of it all :)):

1. Songs from Vijaypath (starring Tabu and Ajay Devagan): We were doing a play in 9th class and were supposed to meet for practice on Sunday. Somebody didn't turn up and instead went to watch this movie. Well to cut the long story short, still reminds me of a girl in my class :)

2. Figure this out: Song "Dilli se train chali" from some movie zaalim. One of my classmates once offhand mentioned that she likes this song and I just so clearly remember it. Honestly, no conscious effort involved :) and I may have listened to the song barely 4-5 times. Can u identify urself?

3. This one is special: "Savage Garden" by Savage Garden: reminds me of some of the best times of my life. My first year Galaxy and what I feel I cannot write in words :). I am so grateful to God for this that I can just go back and live that time again and again!!

4. Reload by Metallica: second year summer vacations, Jeetu, Arun, American history X and rahul Ukey :))

5. "Breakfast at Tiffany's" by MatchBox 20 : My final year final days

Then there are more recent ones like "Estranged" by GNR for my days spent living with my bachchas and many more that just come up as I listen to songs from my collection and make some event of past alive again.

Infact this observation has now made me conscious and maybe that is why I listen to same songs again and again over and over. Like It was GreenDay non stop this whole week. Hopefully sometime in future it will come handy :). So guys, now u know how to capture those codak moments for forever in ur memory. Get Going !!

Friday, June 25

Trainspotting, Green Day and Satyendra Dubey

Getting busy as July is coming up. So no time to write critical reviews of everything if I want to do as many things as I used to. Well I am being a little selfish here but can't help it. So in the meanwhile only small lists will be coming up here:

Books: finished "Daddy long legs" by Jean Webster. A quick and easy read but 1) is meant for children and 2) is quite outdated (was published in 1915). Reading "The best of Satyajeet Ray". Most of the stories are for children but some are rather mature in tone.

Movies: I can't believe I forgot to write an entry for "The Whale Rider". Take my word and watch it today. One of the few movies which brought me to tears. Also saw "Trainspotting" and I was not disappointed inspite of the fact that I was waiting to see it since quite sometime now.

Music: Right now its GreenDay and GreenDay with some Hootie and the Blowfish in between. GreenDay is just awesome especially their first album Dookie. Hear it before u are too old to feel rebellious :)

Reading List: "Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul" and "Five Point Someone"

Must visit link: http://www.skdubeyfoundation.org/phpcalendar/relayfast.php

Tuesday, June 15

Hum met Tum

Hum-Tum is cute and funny. Nice for some light hearted entertainment. Both Rani and Saif has become seasoned actors and are a treat to watch :). One disheartening factor was that ultimately this movie also turned out to be a copy of "Harry met Sally" which I have not seen yet and so I enjoyed Hum-Tum. However it is sad that even all the good Hindi Movies turn out to be inspired from some foreign movie.

For the record: (Not personally verified since I have not seen the English ones)
Ghulam: On the Water Front
Munna Bhai MBBS: Patch Adams
Hum Tum: Harry Met Sally
Mohabbaten: Dead Poet's Society (my loathing for Mohabbatein increased quite a lot after watching the original English one)
even paap, the debut movie of Pooja Bhatt the director draws inspiration from many movies including "the witness" among others.

Monday, June 14

I have been promising myself that I'll post something here, whole last week. There are a couple of issues I have been thinking about but as usual, I have been breaking these promises with almost marvelous consistency :(

The reading dept is going weak now a days. Have only read 1-2 short stories by Satya Jeet Ray in all of last week and these stories are surprisingly modern. I mean very much different from the impression I had but this will be the issue of another post when I am done reading the collection.

In the meantime I watched HP3 and hated it. The book was way too better. I am quite at a loss at understanding the applauds it seems to be getting by the critics and viewers. They have left out almost everything from the story. Considering the size of HP4 and HP5, I doubt what is going to be their fate :(. The lead actors overact most of the time save for Ms. Granger. She is beginning to look nice and is okey in the acting dept also. Hope to see more of her outside the HP series. Vaise I think a lot of my disappointment can be ascribed to the sad quality of the print that I watched and the fact that it was missing an additional 10 minutes from a already sparse story.

Also watched "The Raging Bull" yesterday. Found it pretty ordinary, boring at times. Nothing special to talk about.

I almost feel criminal posting this after a gap of a week but I will be back with more substantial stuff I promise. And I will be back soon :)

Sunday, June 6

Finished "Interpreter of Maladies" today. Considering the fact that it has only 9 stories, it should have been a one day affair but I never managed to take out that one day. Instead I read it 1-2 stories a day after every 3-4 days. Now that I finally finished it with a marathon of 4 stories today, I think I enjoyed it much more by reading in parts, taking time to reflect on the stories as I read them.

So the next obvious thing: the best story on the collection. Well I'll rather not chose one best but I liked "Temporary Measure", "Interpreter of Maladies", "Sexy" and "Third and the Last Continent".

A very striking feature of the stories is that they are very rich in details. Unlike Arundhati Roy, whose plush language is a treat to read, or just behold for that matter, Jhumpa is all about details. Specially the details about food !! I could almost taste it in my mouth. And think about my plight when I had to go and eat mess food after that. But anything for a good story :)

Next on hand: well I was hoping to get "Namesake" but couldn't find it. So I instead chose "Jindagi Muskurayi" by Kanahayia lal Mishra "Prabhakar". It contains what are called "sansmaranatmak nibandh (essays)". We studied lots of similar stuff in our school days and I really liked it. So I am really looking forward to this one.

Thursday, June 3

The hostel messes in IITK are lately being refurnished and they have got this new self service system in place now. Also the old row based sitting system is gone and there are many smaller tables. So u are free to sit wherever u want and with ur friends. I find it a welcome change from the regular sit-in-the-order-eat-in-quantums style.

During summers, students from other hostels (Hall 5) are also eating in hall 2 mess. Now there is a strange thing I have seen. Some of them just leave their plates on the tables after eating and since I have heard this myself, it is not that they forget to do it. For some of them, it is an unacceptable idea that they are supposed to pick up their plates and put them to sink/trolly. I am quite amazed since I have always felt that the old practice of leaving ur plates on the tables in the mess was actually pretty bad. Since my childhood I have learned to go and put my plate in the sink. In fact letting somebody else pick up my plate (read my mom or my sis) actually feels so bad.

Infact a very positive effect of putting down ur plate urself is that u tend to waste less food. It seems quite humiliating to pick up a plate having food and dump it. U are forced to think about that wasted food for sometime (read 15-20 sec) atleast and believe me, it makes a difference.

Another related aspect is that in some of the families, women of the house are supposed to clean up the table and put away all the plates. May be the number of such households are decreasing but they are still there. I think the first lesson of feminism should start right at home may be? :P I hope when our generation starts their families, they teach their children the right attitude.

In good faith :)

Sunday, May 30

ha, before I forget, I'll put it down this time. I listened to this song from "Akele hum,akele tum" and was thinking from where it is inspired. Finally today, the puzzle was solved. The song "Aisa zakhm diya hai" is inspired from "Child in Time" by Deep Purple :). And for that matter "Mera dil tere liye, dhadakta hai" from Ashiqui is inspired form John Farnham's "You're the Voice" which incidently is quite a nice song, one which u should listen to !!

Watched "Whale Rider" and "Kill Bill 2". Will write about them sometime later. Also made my first mix tape :). I'll have to think if I should make it public :P

Thursday, May 27

Yet Another Personality Test

My Bloginality is ENFP!!!

"As an ENFP, you are Extraverted, iNtuative, Feeling , Perceiving.
This makes your primary focus on Extraverted Intuition with Introverted Feeling.
This is defined as a NF personality, which is part of Carl Jung's Idealist (Identity Seeking) type, and more specifically the Champions or Inspirer.
As a weblogger, you may not be consistant in posts. Although, if you find a specific focus on their journal or a very flexible manner of writing, it may be more fufilling. Because you are warm and see so many posibilities in life, you may inspire others to follow in your footsteps with a journal."
-copied with due respect and reference from here

Though I think it to be a bit of a fraud in the sense that the questions in the test are too direct and in a sense provide everything that they later tell me. But what the heck, they are fun :) and anyway I would like everybody to read what they have to say about me :P. So go ahead click that link !!

incidentally, these days I am revisiting my old hobby of Astrology with "Love Signs" and now with the data from orkut under my belt, I hope to have much more fun. Lets see :)

Tuesday, May 18

Seems like this is a love-hate day. Listened to tatu just now for the first time. Everything, the music, the vocals is pretty ordinary. Still, I don't know why but it stirs my heart. Watched the video "All the things she said" and they feel just so right together. I am amazed that I am even writing this but the chemistry between the girls looks awesome.

May be I need to take chm101 again :(

Song of the Moment: Liquid by "Jars of Clay". One of those songs which just get on ur tongue and mind and won't go. So *singable* if there is any such word :).

Monday, May 17

Though I hate chain mails and this thing happens to be a slight variation of the same, I'll do it anyway.

The job is to:

1. Grab the nearest book
2. Open the book to page 23
3. Find the fifth sentence
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions

and what I found nearest to me was "Interpreter of Maladies" by Jhumpa Lahiri and the sentence 5 on page 23 says:
"In March, Dacca had been invaded,torched and shelled by the Pakistani army."

Not very interesting, is it? What a pity that such a boring sentence would come up from such a lovely book but such is life :)

Sunday, May 16

Last 15 days have been extra ordinary. Unfortunately, all I can do to give u an idea is show u following lyrics:

Everytime that I look in the mirror
All these lines on my face gettin’ clearer
The past is gone
It went by like dust to dawn
Isn’t that the way
Everybody’s got their dues in life to pay

I know what nobody knows
Where it comes and where it goes
I know it’s everybody’s sin
You got to lose to know how to win

Half my life is in books’ written pages
Live and learn from fools and from sages
You know it’s true
All the things come back to you

Sing with me, sing for the years
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tears
Sing with me, if it’s just for today
Maybe tomorrow the good lord will take you away
(x2)

Dream on, dream on
Dream yourself a dream come true
Dream on, dream on
Dream until your dream come true
Dream on, dream on, dream on...

Sing with me, sing for the years
Sing for the laughter and sing for the tears
Sing with me, if it’s just for today
Maybe tomorrow the good lord will take you away

And I hope u know the song:Dream On by Aerosmith. If u have not heard it yet, go, run, catch hold of it and listen to it now. Its a master piece.

A Clockwork Orange is a different movie. Well that doesn't give much of an idea about the movie, does it? Well u have to see it to experience it. I cannot yet say if it was good or bad. I have decided to go and read the novel first. But two things that I liked about it are the nice soundtrack (ludwig van mainly) and the Nadsat language with the main character on the movie uses. This english + Russian mix sounds really cool. My efforts to master it are on. So watch out my lil droogies for soon I shall be govoreeting in Nadsat :)

School of Rock is entertaining. Nice music again but Jake Black was better in High Fidelity and Almost Famous anyday kicks ass in conveying that rock spirit. School of Rock falls somewhere in between and a little short I would say but watch it for all those wonderful kids. They look so honest in their roles that they deserve a see :)

And in the reading list next is "Interpreter of Maladies" by Jhumpa Lahiri :)

more later !!