Saturday, March 28, 2009

Story of India - I

“What we learn from histroy is we don’t learn form history”
-Steve Waugh (Out of my Comfort Zone).

History is perhaps the most dreaded and detested subject among students.Like every other kid I had my own history of encounters with History,the subject.We used to have lot of serious discussions on “Why we study History?” and I must say we were strikingly close to establising “We hate History’ club(We didn’t have orkut during those time for creating the community by the same name).I still remember how I passed history exams during my good old school life.My friends used to say your score in the examination will be directly proportional to the length of your answers and the number of sheets you have filled in the exams There by I have had my share of experience of writing crap in history answer sheets so as to fill as much pages and cross atleast passing marks so as to get prompted from anciant history to medeival history in next standard without going though the pain of anciant history all over again.

Yet a part of me was still in love with History.Perhaps a lot of credit goes to my history teacher whose name have been erased from my memory into oblivian and all I remember now is his surname starts from “F”.During one of his traumatic examinations he had a question which had taken me by surprise and my late night slogging in anciant history didht have a readymade answer to it.He asked in his very first question ,“Why do we study History?”.I really don’t remember what garbage I wrote as answer or at one level ,I don’t want people to know what I wrote ,but the answer which he gave forever itched in my memory. He said ,”The reason why we study Histroy and it is so important, is it makes sure that present and furture generations doesn’t make the same errors which were made in past generations during the period of human evolution”.Over the years of my own evolution I learnt that there won’t be any time in my life where I would be having oppurtunity to commit some historical errors(How cool will it be?) but what pulls me towards histrory is pure curiosity and I must say there is something very fasinating about it.Histroy to me is very real and somehow it helps me to get away from this virtual world of computational evolution of which I am a very small cog.

Well I heard about ‘Story of India’ from one of my collegue during one of our discussion and I remember seeing it for brief time in Discovery channel when I was on course with the process of channel surfing. In this landmark six-part series for PBS and the BBC, Michael Wood embarked on a dazzling and exciting journey through today's India, "seeking in the present for clues to her past, and in the past for clues to her future". I started with the first episode with a little doubt in mind that, how it would be to see my own country through the eyes of others, but all I can say is I was absolutely enthralled by it. This series is a brilliant and unorthodox cinematographic account of India (which also includes what are now Pakistan and Bangladesh) and its entire history from its prehistoric times, through its ancient civilisations, the invasions of the middle ages and the later arrival of the Moguls to the East India Company, superseded after the 1857 uprising by the ninety years of the British Raj and thence the 1947 independence and partition to the present day. I have to confess that I am ashamed a bit about my own ignorance of my own country. The facts and history including small details on way of life of ancient India have truly awed me.Micheal Wood, what can I say about this guy,was abosultly brilliant in all the episodes and perhaps nobody could have done justice to this except him.You can see his inquisitiveness in all the episodes and the way he narrates the story shows is passion ,honesty and love for exploring facts and history of India.

Atlast I would like to end this post this with small excerpts from an article which he wrote for TIMES when this series was about to be released in BBC.

“There is so much to see in India that you would need several lifetimes – no wonder the Indians believe in rebirth. People tell me that I must be tired of the country after a dozen visits in the past 18 months, some of them long and gruelling journeys. But the opposite is true. I have come to love India and admire its people even more. To paraphrase Dr Johnson, if one is tired of India, one is tired of life.”

For full version of this article,click here.

More on this to follow soon....

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Eclipse-- Pink Floyd

Its been a while since I have jotted something so I just thought of writing some crap once again. I really had a very long day today. So I am sinking my day's fatigue in one of my favorite pastime called "Pink floyd"(PF). Pink Floyd ,I believe is undoubtedly one of the most influential psychedelic rock band ever to have been in existence. There is nothing much I can write here that can add or take away anything from Pink Floyd’s impact in music since 1960s.All I can say is, it is something which is very intimate and I am pretty much sure, it will be there with me till I go senile.

Meanwhile I have just finished with having my tympanic Membrane flapped in Pachydermian delight at the lilting sounds of "Eclipse" by PF.Check this very beautiful video of this song with global warming theme on the background.


Well for folks who doesn't have Youtube access or slow buffering speed, here is the lyrics...

All that you touch
All that you see
All that you taste
All you feel.
All that you love
All that you hate
All you distrust
All you save.
All that you give
All that you deal
All that you buy,
Beg, borrow or steal.
All you create
All you destroy
All that you do
All that you say.
All that you eat
And everyone you meet
All that you slight
And everyone you fight.
All that is now
All that is gone
All thats to come
And everything under the sun is in tune
But the sun is eclipsed by the moon.

”There is no dark side of the moon really. matter of fact its all dark”.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Connecting the dots!

Initially I thought of naming this post "Stay Hungry Stay Foolish", then I remembered ,Rashmi Bansal have already used this phrase multiple times in many of her posts and she had recently written her first book with the same name. So I thought of changing the name of the post to “Connecting the dots”.

People who follow ramblings that happen in and around Apple and Steve Jobs, might have got from where I picked both the phrases. I took them from Steve Jobs commencement speech to the graduates of Stanford University in 2005 where he told three thought-provoking stories of his life namely “Connecting the dots”,” Love and Loss” and “Death”. I used to hear this speech from youtube during my night shift days in office. Somehow it gave me a push to keep it going through those tough periods. Till today whenever I feel dispirited and depressed, I use this as my reference point.

Just some time back before writing this post, I finished watching “Pirates of Silicon valley” a movie, which I have been eagerly waiting to see for a long time. Somehow there were not enough seeds for me to leech this movie from torrent previously.But finally I got the ‘piarted’ version of the movie from one of my colleague recently. Pirates of Silicon Valley is a 1999 film ,written and directed by Martyn Burke which documents the rise of the home computer through the rivalry between Apple Computer and Microsoft .This movie potrays how apple computer created its initial computers Lisa and Breakthrough Macintosh using the concepts which was pirated from Xerox Palo Alto Labs.Similar to this Microsoft pirated the stuffs used in Macintosh to create its revolutionary Windows(I wondor why Microsoft ramble so much on Piracy then). The movie establishes that Bill Gates tricked Apple into sharing its proprietary code, enabling Microsoft to seize the business market for a graphical operating system (and, by way of that, the emerging market for personal computers).

There were some very riveting scenes in the film which I am not very sure whether all of them are true.The movie makes a significant point that when IBM purchased MS-DOS from Gates and Allen, they had no actual OS .They went to Seattle to purchase it from a designer for $50,000 that the film curiously neglected to name.Then there was a scene where Steve jobs fires a candidate from interview after asking him ,”Are you a virgin?” and finding he is. There was another, where HP president mocks Steve Woznaik first computer saying, “Steve, you say this gadget of yours is for ordinary people .I don’t understand what ordinary people are going to do with Computers”. Then there was one where Steve Jobs ignores Bill Gates completely in San Francisco Computer Fair 1977 when Bill tries to allure Steve for a deal. Then the whole episode between John Schully and Steve Jobs was also very interesting and well filmed.

I believe, what set apart, Bill and Jobs from others, inspite of all these piracy stuffs, was their beliefs and passion for their Ideas that it will surely bring a revolution for generations to come and rest we all know is history. There is a very interesting dialogue at the start of the movie which Steve jobs says to the Ridly Scott, Director of Macintosh first TV commercial. This perhaps tells about his passion and craze for what he was upto.

I don't want you to think of this as just a film, some process of converting electrons and magnetic impulses into shapes and figures and sounds. No. Listen to me. We're here to make a dent in the universe. Otherwise, why even be here? We're creating a completely new consciousness, like an artist or a poet. That's how you have to think of this. We're rewriting the history of human thought with what we're doing.”

I would like to end this post with a small excerpts from Steve’s Commencement Speech at Stanford 2005.

“…you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life….”

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Here I am sitting in my office @ Day/night

Just now I received a mail from my dear friend while I was sitting in front of my desktop engrossed in one complex database issue with extremely frustrated customer. Somehow in the middle of the this I gathered some time to check the mail and what can I say,it really touched me.There was a poem(if you say so) with the name "Here I am sitting in my office @ Day/Night".

Immediately I checked google to check whether there were other material-hungry blogs who have already had added this poem in there post and I find lots and lots of them. So what I thought, I also wanted a piece of this in my blog, perhaps my greed overshadowed my rationality.

So,Here it goes…

Here I am sitting in my office @ night…
Thinking hard about life
How it changed from a maverick collage life to strict professional life…...

How tiny pocket money changed to huge monthly paychecks but then why it gives lesss happiness….

How a few local denim jeans changed to new branded wardrobe but then why there are less people to use them

How a single plate of samosa changed to a full Pizza or burger But then why there is less hunger…..

Here I am sitting in my office @ night…
Thinking hard about life
How it changed…..

How a bike always in reserve changed to bike always on but then why there are less places to go on……

How a small coffee shop changed to cafe coffee day but then why its feels like shop is far away…..

How a limited prepaid card changed to postpaid package but then why there are less calls & more messages……

Here I am sitting in my office @ night…

Thinking hard about life
How it changed…..

How a general class journey changed to Flight journey But then why there are less vacations for enjoyment….

How a old assembled desktop changed to new branded laptop but then why there is less time to put it on……….

How a small bunch of friends changed to office mate but then why we always feel lonely n miss those college frnz.….

Here I am sitting in my office @ night…
Thinking hard about life How it changed….. How it changed……..!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Gulaal -e- Kashyap!!

Jalte jalte rakh hui hai saaari
Khak jaisi be wajah ji umar saaari
Kahan Chali gai hai Saali Khushi
Kahan Chali gai hai Saali Khushi.
(Excerpts from a 'Saali Khushi'-DevD)

I watched DevD twice about a month back at the time of its release.This is probably the only movie which I watched twice in theatre.My Scrooge mind somehow allow me to do this without any hesitation. Since the inception of this blog I wanted to write a tribute on the clinical masterpiece called DevD. But then I thought what more I could write on that, wasn’t enough has already been written on it? If you follow PFC, then you will find Dev D was the flavour of the month and I do believe in every sense of the word that it deserves every accolades that is coming its way. Anurag Kashyap is undoubtedly one of the best filmmakers we have in Bollywood.

Yesterday I watched another Anurag kashyap’s masterpiece, Gulaal, which I have been eagerly waiting since DevD. Set in Rajpur, ostensibly in Rajasthan,Gulaal tells a story of a timid, gullible and subdued man, who comes to university for doing post graduation in law but , got caught in quagmire of Ragging, Politics and Rajputana Mutiny.I really don’t want to be a plot-spoiler here and would not be jotting the plot of the movie.At one level I guess,I would not be able to do justice to its dark ,complex and captivating storyline.

I believe what set apart Gulaal were its real, engrossing and mystirical characters and performances. Perhaps these were the things that make movie Satya what it is today. Piyush Mishra, who played the role of Prithvi Bana, played one of most compelling role I remember in recent past. Prithvi has stayed in London in the 1970s and has been educated in Cambridge University. He is a great admirer of John Lennon ,that to such an extent that he wore Lennon’s locket around his neck. Educated in London, he sees how progressive the world is. But since he is so liberal, he is under house arrest. So at home, he gets involved in theatre, composing and writing songs. He becomes insane towards the end. An unexplained half painted clown normally accompanies him and the clown has the same mystrical impact on the movie which perhaps those three dancers (twilight Players) have in DevD.Piyush Mishra also crafted the spectacular soundtrack of the movie.”O ri Duniya” is a brilliant contemporary version of Sahir Ludhianvi’s song from Pyasa.

There were others who also had very powerful performances. Key Key mennon did every bit of justice to the role of Dukey Bana,Senapati of Rajputana revolution. Abhimanyu Singh (Ransa) set the screen scrorching with his charismatic and impulsive short role. Ayesha Mohan who plays the role of Kiran,is guitar strumming power hungry perky girl who can go length to erase her illegimate past and be included in Rajput community.I was though a bit disappointed with Raja Choudhury(Dilip Singh), the protagonist whose role it seems was not clearly defined and whose exasperation in last few scenes was not easily understandable.

Overall I do agree with Anurag when he said that this is his most angry movie. The indigation of its characters were easily visible and seems surprising quite pratical in democratic backdrop. DevD had a different genre of its own and Gulaal created its own genre with its impressive pragmatism. With the kind of movies Anurag is making, he is creating a different class of his own in Bollywood.In a way I do believe he is fighting a similar battle ,fought by Howard Roark in Ayan Rand ‘s Magnus Opus Fountainhead ,against streamlined Hindi cinema and I would be more then happy to say “Who the hell is complaining?”.

I would like to end this post with few indellible lines from song “Duniya” from Gulaal.

"Wo kehte hai…aalim yeh kehta wahan ishwar hai,
Faazil yeh kehta wahan allah hai,

Kabur yeh kehta wahan issa hai,
Manzil yeh kehti tab insaan se ki,
Tumhari hai tum hi sambhalo yeh duniya,
Yeh ujde hue chand baasi charago,
Tumhare yeh kale iraado ki duniya,
Ohh ri duniya, oh ri duniya…
Hoo ri duniya…"

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Recessional Atyachar

Just few days back I had a chat with my dabbawala who brings dinner for me daily .He told me to pay next months bill in advance as he was not having enough cash reserve to continue his business. I asked him the reason and prompt he replied, "Dada khub kharab avostha, lokera payment dichena...IT sob sesh na"(Situation is very bad, people have started defaulting {often used word these days} there payments...IT has doomed).

I started wondering how these small businesses, which were thriving at the backdrop of IT/economic boom all these years have been affected by these recessionary changes brought about by sub-prime Crisis in US. Perhaps similar affects of this are being heard at every nooks and corners of this globalized world and no country is immune to it. Enough is already been written about what affect this economic crisis is having in the economy. You pick any days Economic times for last 2 months and you will see the looming image of it everywhere.

Seen here..Disgraced, Lehman Brothers chief Richard Fuld, in tie, is heckled as he leaves Capitol Hill.

Few Months back on a Sunday morning, after Lehman Brothers filed for infamous Chapter 11,I came across an article in The Hindu which was kind a RCA (Root Cause Analysis) for me to this whole crisis. I search for that article again yesterday and thankfully found it after a little hiccup. Check this article "When the bubble burst" which explain rise of this crisis without much economic jargons. I believe, it certainly deserves a look.

As for me, I haven’t paid the advance for the Dabba as I recently moved from my single room to 2BHK flat that is having kitchen. Only problem is now I am also facing the music of this economic crisis with no notable changes in my monthly payslip, souring expenditure and a rapidly depleting cash reserve. Its kind a "Inflation at the time of Recession" situation for me which is very ominous.

At last all I can say, "Is anybody listening?” (Pun intended for Concerned Authority).

Monday, March 9, 2009

Dekko at Nagarhole !

Well,I believe I have found my answer to the question which I had discussed in my previous post and after lot of pondering and it seems right time for me to go ahead to the next stage i.e. write something meaningful which can make a difference in peoples life ( HaHa...Just Kidding .. “Bhavnaon ko shamjho”!!!).

Today I am going to write about an incident that took place some week back and will surely be itched in my memory forever. It happened when I along with my colleagues went to Nagarhole National Park one weekend and luckily spotted a beautiful full-grown tiger in behest of nature in full wild.

I have had my previous experiences of touring various forests and national parks across India including Sundarbans, Tadoba, Pench, Kanha and Bandipur in search of sighting that elusive beast. I had seen tiger pugmarks, tiger shit, tiger piss and all things remotely linked to tiger in previous outings but unfortunately no tiger. A guide who accompanied us in Sunderbans said a very scary and thoughtful statement about tiger sighting in Sundarbans. He said “If you ever see a tiger in sundarban, that will be the last thing you will ever see in your life”. Amitava Ghosh in ‘The Hungry Tide’ perhaps best captured this emotion.

By the time when I came to Nagarhole, I was quite convinced that tiger sighting is not only a matter of extreme luck but an impossible thing to happen. Inspite of that, hope keeps me going and I woke up a 4 am in the morning for another elusive quest at seeing tiger. We reached Nagarhole early in the glorious Sunday morning. We took the first jungle safari of the day and went out for another sojourn into the magnificent wild.

After traveling for about 15 minutes and having multiple encounters with deers and peacocks I started feeling sleepy, perhaps Sunday morning syndrome was getting over me. Suddenly a guy from the back started shouting “Sher Sher!!”.I look back at him thinking what kind of joke he came up with in the middle of the jungle. I saw where his finger is pointing and to my utter disbelief there it was, the king of the jungle. On our left, some 30 meters away, behind dry grass - a yellow heap with black stripes. It was bigger than any Tiger seen at any city Zoo in our whole entire life. It seemed anywhere between 6-8 feet long at the torso alone, with a huge face and thick paws. People gaped, eyes were still and the shutters were fluttering at full tempo. The driver started moving the vehicle slowly backwards, parallel to the cat. The tiger seemed conscious of our presence gave us a shrill look (perhaps we spoiled its Sunday). It then started moving slowly and disappeared sublimely like a true king.

This was really a moment which took my breath away and in the end , all I can say is the tiger is everything William Blake wrote in his famous poem "The Tyger".

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What should I write??

This has been an intricate question in my mind for last few days. I have been inspired recently by my dear friend, Suresh again to write a blog and I would be wrong if I say that I hadn’t made some timid attempts at it before. Now as a shameless homosapien, I am going to give it a try again (Didn’t somebody said,” Try try until you succeed ”).

I have surely come a long way since my last blog (letchaosprevail.wordpress) have become extinct from the conundrums of “whole wide world”(some people say its world wide web…. whatever!!). But truth be told, I have made every attempts to make this world more chaotic and disordered, after all “Entropy” is the order of nature (Physics std. 9th …remember) and who dares to go against nature. So this time I am going to give new dimension to my chaotic existence with the name,

Any form of suggestions, brickbats, rants and every other criticism are appreciated and most welcome!!!

There is nothing much coming to my mind now, probably my brain is making a transition from alpha waves to theta waves (most people prefer calling it -sleep) and all I would like to do is jot down some lines from Van Helen’s classic (Why can’t this be love) which I have been listening all evening.

“It's got what it takes
so tell me why can't this be love?
Straight from the heart
Oh tell me why
can’t this be love?”

But I believe question still remains the same with a noun added to it “ What the hell should I write? ”