Saturday, December 31, 2005

Books that I read this year

Shreyas tagged me with the tag : 'Time well spent: Books in 2005'

So here is the list:

'One Hundred Years of Solitude' - Gabriel Garcia Marquez's classic of events in the different generations of a family in an imaginary town, with his unique style of magic realism and confusing sequences of names of the characters, leaves you numb at the end by the sheer imagery and imagination that words can infuse. Hair raising stuff.

'To Kill A Mockingbird' by Harper Lee
A poignant story about racial discrimination and the way people were treated; from the perspective of a little girl as the narrator.

'Foucault's Pendulum' by Umberto Eco
A heady exploration of occult practices, and pagan rituals expressed by Umberto Eco through the crazy ideas of three literary editors to uncover a hidden source of enormous energy and power, leading to chaos and a series of gruesome events.

'1984'
George Orwell's future prophesy - a saga of dictatorial rule and manipulative and cruel totalitarianism, from the mouth of the protagonist, written in 1949. A dark spectre of what the world may be moving towards.

'The Alchemist' and 'Veronica Decides to Die' by Paulo Coelho - full of allegories and inspiring life experiences.

There are some which I read half way or 3/4th, like 'Winning' by Jack Welch, Akio Morita's 'Made In Japan', and a few others which I am unable to recollect now. Need to buy some books in the new year (Resolution 1 for 2006 ;-)).

If you are reading this post and would like to do a similar compilation on books you read in 2005, please do so. However, I would like to see what Ashok, Sandeep, and Shoham were reading this year - so go ahead guys, compile your lists ...

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Movies, musings and music

Watched three movies at Kolkata:
'The Grudge'. 'Darkness' and 'Hulk'

The first one is a haunted house story, a remake of a Japanese movie; second one also a similar story, better than the first though - the evil spirit in the form of darkness, taking its toll; the third one is about a genetic engineering experiment by a professor, on his son, going wrong with the professor's son turning into a green giant when under duress ... All three easily forgettable.

Renamed the blog as the previous one seemed too pretentious ... ;-).So turning on the thought stream now:
After all life goes on and assuming everything is fake/maya; we cannot deny our existence even though I may never be the ideal being; because there is no 'ideal' being - I am what I am - that in essense is the true identity; there is no need to be ashamed or proud of any particular thing, as either is a false feeling an imaginary 'hobgoblin' created in the mind that brings bondage and a little further follows pain, when that feeling is shattered to pieces - it was just a myth. From this also emerges the principle of non-attachment. Use and sample everything but never get attached to anything is the principle. There is no absolute right or wrong but everything is relative in physics as is so in metaphysics. So doing what you feel is right is important else you may remain distressed and in a vacuum denying and passive. So never cling to anything; earn money if you please; earn fame if you want, be upright and responsible; but be ready to give it up at the drop of a hat. That is the true way to lead life, from my current understanding ...

Currently Listening to:
Kishore's bengali songs:
'Nayano sarashi kano' (best song I've heard of Kishore Kumar's in bengali)
'Se to elonaa' (a mind blowing song ...)
'Aek din pakhi ude' ('Tum bin jaaon kahan' bengali version)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Back to Bengaluru

Trains have a knack, almost a flair for running late - however things are getting better with Indian Railways.

When discussing the general state of affairs one afternoon, we came to the conclusion that technology is intruding into the more culture oriented Bengal and the intrusion isn't especially for the good. Ultra-conservative people even suggest that technology is the greatest bane for society and the eastern way of life which gives prime focus to spirituality, will soon come back with a vengeance - I argued giving some examples of things that make mundane life much more easier like communication or travel which was pointed out as not the ultimate goal. Makes me think - what everyone is following - the general direction that technology is leading us towards - is that the right way for the human species, making limbs and the brains gradually inactive - like slow poisoning.

Kolkata is fast becoming like any other place - super malls and western dressing styles, mega filmstar shows etc. Erosion of cultural values; intellectual richness and material poverty are being replaced with consumerism - oft repeated it may sound but the stark visuals were more visible this time. People are getting to see only money and competition; of course there are some exceptions too. On the other hand it could also be viewed in this way - the populace there were deprived of real progress in terms of development, infrastucture and monetary benefits because of the communist rule which is getting a little bit more liberal now; and they are adopting things faster and at a blinding pace. Good or bad - time will tell.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Identity Crisis

Where will I go back to ?
When I am back from the old, renamed, city of joy;
Into another awaiting that ceremony.
Cold it is more here, getting colder even ...
The extra-warmth of people making up,
for that deficit in percieved heat.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

A different kind of a startup ?

You have a passion for say reading and writing or dramatics (which are mine) and then you are in an industry say software (mine again) and a background in computer science engineering. So how would you actually combine the two and get double the fun – be doing what you want and earn your livelihood by combining the experience of your current profession and of achieving, what you always wanted to do. Start a firm?
Maybe …
Cogitations, ideas, thoughts on opening a startup.
What do you say ? Do I even make sense?

(UPDATE: Key ingredients - Arts, Paintings, Literature, Books, eBooks, reading, writing, authors, libraries, Software, Open Source Software, Linux, OpenSolaris, antialiasing, machine learning, neural networks, startup). Calling for volunteers and their thoughts.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Some questions, some thoughts ...

Promiscuity (physical and mental) is disgusting. It is impossible to enjoy each moment, since that would be like saying, laugh every moment even when the pain increases. How do you make out if life has been a failure? Is it disguising itself as a successful life. Or is this yet another hurdle in life, part of the unending race that has a hurdle every few steps. So if you don't have the gusto or the wind in your lungs to run further ? What do you do ? Take rest ? And then start the run again ...
Competitive life. Disconnected to any real peace in life.
Are people insane if I call this false - all of this glory, fame, riches, amenities, gadgets and what not? Or am I insane to question things. Unending change; more than change, the process of having an open mind which is very important seems to be missing. People see only the narrow confines, restricting the vision. You are a software developer, means you only read technical tuff, code, code and code more. Think of nothing else; that is what everyone seems to like - conforming to a stereotype; even if that means losing the variety or neglecting the benefits of a complete and fully developed mind. Narrow minded, goal oriented and slogging away – that’s what the externally colourful, comfortable and glorified corporate life is like. Is work-life balance irrelevant or even inconsequential?


Work because you get paid - but isn't there a limit to this. The motto is 'to explore and not get exploited'.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

More Linux ...




Final day at FOSS.in (2nd Dec 05) had a talk by Jonathan Corbet (Editor Linux Weekly News - http://lwn.net and co-author of the book 'Linux Device Drivers') on mutual exclusion in the linux kernel which was followed by Alan Cox (former kernel maintainer) on Writing a Modern Linux Device Driver which was loaded with far too much info for a one hour session, anyways got some pointers. I attended these two and went to work.
Read more here: http://planet.foss.in/
Got a Belenix LiveCD based on Open Solaris - it is memory intensive and the GUI does not render after boot. Apart from that Yahoo seemed somewhat subdued at the FOSS.in conference, they had sponsored the event every year, but not this time. Google was an official sponsor and the buzz in their stall was evident all the time. Sun also generated lots of frenzy with their software and contests.
[Update: The OpenSolaris team here in Bangalore, came back and wanted to know what the exact problem was and I registered based on their requests to the BOSUG-Bangalore OpenSolaris Users Group - they have already started looking into it, as many users complained on the bootup and X startup hangups for Belenix. These guys are actively following the community strategy - remember the Bazaar model of development ?]
[UPDATE 2 - I am browsing at work from Belenix - XFCE is smooth and ethernet was detected immediately without hassles - its amazing.
Not enough RAM at home was the culprit. APOLOGIES TO THE OPENSOLARIS TEAM FOR THE NEGATIVE PUBLICITY ;-)]


I installed Ubuntu Linux 5.04 today to try it out ... Works ok; comes only with Gnome and video support and mp3 playback is absent. Made .wav files play using OSS sound drivers + esd (enlightened sound daemon) on the Totem player. The package manager 'synaptic' is useful. Dialup works fine with wvdial. Also USB support on linux is much better now - OpenSUSE, which I overwrote, detected a pen-drive instantly.

Got the book 'Made In Japan - Akio Morita and Sony' by the former chairman of Sony, from a colleague. Need to start reading it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

FOSS.in

First day at FOSS.in was good - its a 4 day event this time.
FOSS.IN/2005

Today's topics included the inauguration by Atul Chitnis and then a talk by Alan Cox (Linux kernel maintainer). Later talks went on among other topics, related to interrupt handling, USB on embedded linux, H/W and S/W aspects of industrial embedded systems, Linux scheduling and NetBSD, Kernel hacking using kernel loadable modules and counter hacks was a very interesting talk. Will go tomorrow - as I got a permission only for first two days from work ...


Gaata rahe mera dil !

We had as part of our Annual Day celebrations a group song competition last Friday called 'Sargam', consisting of two separate rounds - first one the Karaoke round with humourous twisted lyrics called 'Bappi Copy' and the second the instrumental round called 'The Band' round. We did well, but since we were doing it for the first time; the team came 5th and 6th in these 2 rounds respectively, out of a total of 8 houses based on which all employees of the organisation were split.
First time - so it was a great experience to be on stage performing as a group. The first round we did parody (about PMs and performance appraisals) with 4 good singers (including yours truly ;-)), with lyrics of the Kishore-Asha duet 'Maine Kasam Li'. The second round was accompanied by an amazing guitarist from our house in which I did Kishore's 'Jaana Jaan ...' from the movie 'Jawani Diwani' and 'Dum Maro Dum' by another female team member; along with some fusion to end it by our teammates on tabla, congo and guitars. We had hardly practiced for 3-4 hours over a period of 2 days...


(Image Source)

A sense of satisfaction on having participated - may sound cliched but participation is indeed important wherein you tend to find out the many pitfalls and weakneses in you; that you would have otherwise smugly glossed over, also learning from other teams (most of the other teams were amazing) and singing in groups of 2-4 with the sync and matching pitches, is indeed much more difficult than doing it individually where you have the freedom of doing as you please.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

OpenSUSE

Neat looks and rock solid stablility - only my sound card doesnt work yet ...



First time using Suse Linux on my system. The Knights (GNU Chess) package with all the chess pieces/board themes, that the stupid Fedora installation never comes with, made my day. The updater also works fine (YAST). Again for the dial-up wvdial did the trick (More here).

Sunday, November 06, 2005

The Song

Here is a short story based on partly a brainwave, and partly inspired by Chekov:
'The Song'

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Natwar in the dock & Encounters


Indian Express has exposed the Congress involvement and Natwar Singh's kickbacks and links in the Iraq Oil Scam. The Volcker report on ‘oil for food’ scandal has come as a shocker to the Congress and they in a ridiculous move, want to sue the UN on the findings. Isnt this laughable. The modus operandi and Complete coverage.



Watched the movie 'Encounter, The Killing' on DD. The movie though not great in terms of screenplay or having the commercial movie slickness; has a very interesting story as it unfolds. Some of the acting is very amateurish, and the masala songs thrown in are just that, mindless entertainment. But the acting by Naseeruddin Shah as the sincere, humane yet professional Parsee police inspector is just amazing. He is able to mould into any character and handle all the diverse emotions, with so much ease, that he actually seems genuinely living the role he portrays. The movie shows the human side of a few police staff. Some of the actors are from Marathi theatre it seems – especially memorable is one grotesque character of a liquor shop owner; who is the key in the investigations around which the story revolves.


(Photo Source: IndiaFM)

After a shootout, a few local young boys working as sharp shooters for the underworld are killed; one body is left unclaimed; Sam Barucha (Shah) attempts to preserve the body for a few days, until there is a claimant. At this point, a liquor shop owner calls him up and informs him that he knows who the deceased gangster's parents are and then the agonising search starts. A very disturbing end to the movie, which attempts to show, why youngsters are entering the violence-laced underworld – why the social net is not safe enough and even families with Gandhian elders can produce anti-socials. A very raw, straight from the heart, and thought provoking movie. My Ratings: 4/5

Some very good reviews for the same – read them:
Review 1 (The Hindu)
Review 2 (IndiaFM)
Review 3 (Mouthshut)

Friday, November 04, 2005

A mistaken prayer, a false offering

A heavy shadow, the misty plain
A bunch of men with a fresh plan, again
The steaming cups of tea, sound of prayers
A scheme gets resolved in the mind of the slayers.

Read more of the poem:
A mistaken prayer, a false offering


Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Blogger Power & Kali Puja !

The controversy that just seems to have spilled over.
(Was busy with Durga Puja at that time and missed out on this)
IIPM vs a few bloggers (Gaurav Sabnis and Rashmi Bansal) & JAM Online Mag's article.
Gaurav had to actually leave resigned from his job at IBM - similar to incidents at Microsoft and Google in the US where bloggers were made to leave, maybe this time more an individual's decision rather than the company giving marching orders . . .
  • A gist of the issue from NDTV
  • Read an indepth detail of the legal saga HERE.
  • Also more details HERE.
My opinion on this:
If IIPM did have a reason to go after JAM Mag which did an expose on its false claims of infrastucture and the MBA degree awarded by them (the IIPM and the degree are unrecognised by AICTE and any other official body in India) then they should have probably done it in a less dramatic and less defiling manner. The hyper-reaction shows that they are indeed guilty of malpractice and mis-advertising campaigns. They basically tend to hype up everything and also have a certain malice towards the IIMs which are considered the premier management institutes in India. They want to get even probably. Also the bloggers have gone for an overkill by slandering the ponytailed management guru Arindam Chaudhuri, some of whose books I have read and which are plain and clearly hypocritical. All in all; I am in awe and sad that Gaurav who for whatever reason lost his job - his call entirely so I cannot comment on that decision. The IIMs definitely create the best MBA grads in the country; but how much that helps the country back is an open question - just like the brain drain from IITs. I am not against these excellent educational organisations but we need to debate these issues more. Probably the IIT exam reforms are a step in that direction - something similar would follow for IIMs too. Recently there was a conference in IIM Bangalore I guess; if I am not wrong that had debates and presentations on how India can developed at a better and faster way. The best brains debating on such issues will definitely throw up some interesting answers.


Wishing you all a happy Diwali/Deepavali/Kali Puja (another myth here; more here and here) and a Rajyotsava (Karnataka state's birthday ;-)).


(Photo Source)

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Very colourfully black !

Even though a bit too melodramatic, 'Black' is a good movie that I just finished watching a few minutes back. The girl (Ayesha Kapur) who played the younger Michelle gave an excellent performance! Rani Mukherjee is definitely a good actress (not just a dumb pretty face) no doubts on that, and as Debraj, a stellar performance by Amitabh Bachhan, even though overacting at times, more towards the beginning – he is best towards the end.


(Photo: bbc.co.uk)

The movie is anything but subtle. The colours in the movie are brilliant and a bit too much variation ie jarring to the eyes - as I said anything but subtle. Dhritiman Chaterjee who is a renowned bengali actor as usual superb and controlled acting as the blind and deaf girl's father; also the lady playing the role of the mother has done the emotional role well, only sometimes seeming a bit too joyous.
All in all a very good movie and well directed and choreographed by Bhansali - offbeat and away from the usual fair.
My Rating 4/5 – the two lead actors stand a good chance to get awards next year, since the movie was released somewhere in the beginning of 2005 if I am right.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Diwali Greetings: Delhi under terror

A series of ghastly terrorist attacks struck New Delhi on the eve of Diwali - 50 people are being reported dead in 3 serial blasts at different spots. Yet another mindless violent massacre. Red Alert has been declared all over the city and parts of the country. Doordarshan always seems to skew reports, projecting a lower death toll; 50 would probably translate to more than 100 dead. Officials have not yet confirmed terrorist atacks. Police should have tightened the security settings during the festival season - terrorists managed to do this at this time, speaks something about the lapse of intelligence gathering. News videos of dead bodies of kids and others looks gruesome and very very depressing, especially when it was supposed to have been a joyous Diwali.
Bombs were diffused in some other areas of Delhi too, such as Chandni Chowk etc I believe.


Currently reading 'The Art of Innovation' by the general manager of IDEO the famous design firm.



Gives insight into the general approach of observing and innovating through brainstorms etc that they apply in their firm for product/industrial design ... A good book that helps fathom, how to design better and more user friendly products. Still reading it.


Thursday, October 27, 2005

ADVAITA - A short essay

Advaita - A short sketch of the philosophy of Non-dualism.



This essay is purely from my understanding and reading of the philosophy - any errors, may please be pointed out and corrections/suggestions are welcome.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

For those who have a conscience left.

Watched 'Swades' on the PC last weekend, courtesy a friend's borrowed CD. Shahrukh Khan has given a very natural performance and the topic chosen along with the direction is a sincere effort from Ashutosh Gowarikar.



The first part is excellent; though the second part is a bit patchy with the screenplay – some of the scenes and songs suddenly appear and seem disconnected. The central theme of the movie is about how a successful NRI scientist goes back to India works in a village for sometime trying to fulfill the villager's hopes and aspirations ; feels the call of the nation and his conscience and eventually gives up a lucrative post with a foreign organisation (NASA).
Depicts the rural underdevelopment in India and how every wealthy and well to do Indian needs to feel for and actively participate and do something based on his capacity; to alleviate the poverty and the lack of basic empowerment - power and education so these actually start percolating down to the masses. It has a very positive message and the screenplay is sans any kind of flash and false pretense. People have called it preachy and a long moral story; atleast it attempts to address this subject in a direct way; which is purposefully being glossed over and ignored.
The songs thanks to A R Rehman are excellent. All the lead roles were pretty competently enacted. Overall Rating : 4/5. Was not a success with the moviegoers – expected isnt it ? Why bother with this conscience stuff ? Who cares anyway ...

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Shubho Bijoyaa

Another enjoyable Durga Puja comes to an end
(Jayamahal Durga Puja Samiti, Bangalore, India; 51st year celebrations, 09-13 October 2005)


(Photo Courtesy AnandaUtsav.com - excellent site for Puja enthusiasts.)

Five days of worship, friends, community feasts, cultural programmes and much much more.
Shashti, Saptami, Ashtami, Navami and culminating with the immersion on Vijaya Dashami.
To come out of that mood is immensely difficult. The essence of Bengali culture and traditions so well etched out and blossoms during the season. The identity catches fire and all the joyous flames are fanned; even though the rains tried to dampen the spirits this time, however it failed.

A warm glow is all that remains, for the rest of the year , until the next Puja ...

Friday, October 07, 2005

We met @ IDF India 2005

Just back from IDF ( October 06 - 07, 2005 Palace Grounds Bangalore, India.):



2 days of immersive experience into technologies ranging from multicore processors, Intel software tools to Wideband/Wimax and other technologies for the home and enterprise.

Good conference lectures, lab sessions, and ofcourse food too ;-) all sponsored by the company !

At the road leading to the IDF there was a huge hoarding by AMD with an arrow pointer saying 'Way to IDF'. And below another arrow 'Way to the Future' pointing to the AMD logo. But seems AMD cannot stand the tech prowess and advertising might of Intel.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Bookmark

If you are of a kind, for whom a book you read makes you act or behave as the protagonist in the book; then reading the right book becomes very important. If you see it that way I tend to put the contents or the personality in the book in practice. I finished Paulo Coelho's 'Veronica Decides to Die' some weeks back - in parts, it is brilliant and the ending is quirky with a message, but the overall book was lousy and made me squirm at the behaviour of the protagonist and other insane or so called 'mad' inmates of the asylum. Unlike 'One flew over the cuckoo's nest', 'Veronica ...' tends to be sickening at times, even though the prior is a tragedy and the later has a more hopeful ending.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

A conversation

A:
It is ok to be confused. It is ok to be sad. It is ok to want money and fame. It is ok to feel what you feel about things. There is no such thing as the ultimate truth, and if it does exist, but someone chooses to make it so difficult for ordinary human beings to see it, then so be it. Face reality, change the things you can change, and accept things you can't. No point in wondering, what if you had done something different in a situation in the past. Because if you had done something else, you wouldn't be you, you would be someone else. You are what you are, because you are you....

SB:
That is what a Karma Yogi would say, but you cannot keep your questioning mind in the refrigerator and just ignore it. True, lamenting about the past has no benefits, but we are only being spineless by adopting a life that is just too easy to live. Eat, sleep and be merry ! How disgusting. Of course each one has his own view.
We are indeed individuals and would not like any interference in our way of life. So let each adopt his way. Perfectly agree.

N:
Experiences only get you closer to your goal.And in my opinion, the only way to learn is by experience.Our want for money/fame has made us realise that these are not the ultimate goals.So, go on and learn more through experiences.It does seem to be a confusing world at times, but thats a unique experience in itself.

SB:
The experience is important but can we do without it based on other's findings - would that be 'wise' ?

N:
I cannot give you an assertive answer.I guess that is the reason why the world is very confusing to us.It behaves differently to different ppl.Only experiences can give you definitive answers.Though learning from others' experiences might work for some, it might not for others.
I feel experience is one thing that everyone would learn from.But the world is such a big "thing" to experience that one life is just not enough...So,just wondering if my approach is right?? Your say on this?

SB:
I agree it is very difficult to rely on someone else's views/experiences and only if we can experience things is it truly justifiable. Mere talk I know is useless and experience is everything, is what every major teacher has said. Sometimes it all requires tremendous courage to do certain things, but the excuses and getting too lazy to take up something, hinder us. Does not mean you experience each and everything, indiscriminately. I was reading an excellent analogy given by Shri Ramakrishna, he says that everyone want to have the nectar of bliss, what he refers to as Satchidananda, but no one wants to dive deep into it - just as a fly wants to have the sweet juice in the deep pitcher, but is afraid that if it enters the pitcher, what if it drowns ? So it sits on the edge of the pitcher and tries to get it all, actually gaining nothing. Also he gives another parable with respect to realisation of God - there are some who have heard of milk, there are some who have seen it, and there are some who have drunk it, so experience is probably the only way ...
And what you mentioned earllier, as only through experience we realise that money/fame is not the ultimate goal. This also is the approach followed by the concept of 'Neti Neti' 'Not this not this' is what the jnani says, but SR says that after realisation the true vijnani says 'Iti Iti' ie 'this and this' ie 'All of this'; wherein the individuals are mere parts of the whole, just as if you keep 'n' jars with water you would find 'n' reflections of the sun in each, even though there is only one sun.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Katrina aftermath

Shame on the US administration for the way hurricane Katrina was handled.
The way Mumbai was handled after July 26 was much more effective.



Photo & Links (NYTIMES):



Rains again lash Mumbai

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Ganesh Chaturthi


Vakratunda, Lambodara, Gajanana, Vinayaka.




The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi celebrated with great fervour and festivities in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra was revived by Balgangadhar Tilak as a means of raising national pride, towards the beginning of the last century when British rule was still strong in India.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

1984

Finished 1984 by George Orwell
(The complete book is available here;
All of Orwell's novels, and other works)



Removed FC4 - it is buggy
Installed MandrakeLinux 10.1 Community.



Browsing from it ...
Mandrake (now Mandriva) is a more user friendly linux distro.
Could connect using modem setup and kppp.
Got the OSS sound drivers
Video playback using Kaffeine


Monday, August 22, 2005

Man - protecting or trangressing Earth ?




Man - protecting or trangressing Earth ?
(GIMP 2.2 on FC4 Linux)


Some more snaps from Fedora Core 4


Monday, August 15, 2005

Independence Day Greetings.


Independence Day Greetings.

Shifted completely
From pirated OS to Open Source freedom (XP to FC4)
FC4 is a bit buggy and a memory hog - often freezes.




Bought
Combo drive and External modem -> for Linux

How to make an external modem work
KPPP and Internet Config Wizard were useless and reported 'No Modem'
However wvdial saved the day after some googling ofcourse.


Steps to set up an external modem using wvdial:

1) Keeping the modem on, run 'wvdialconf' to create the default entries into /etc/wvdial.conf
It should detect the presence of the modem on the serial port.
(/dev/ttyS0 for COM1, /dev/ttyS1 for COM2 - ttyS 'S' in caps)

2) 'man wvdial' - see the sample file and copy it into /etc/wvdial.conf

3) Connection details including Baud, Phone, Username, Password etc needs to be updated.
Add Init2 = ATX3 to ignore detecting dialtone while dialing.

4) Update /etc/resolve.conf - this is for allowing DNS resolutions by browser and other apps.
4 a) Run 'wvdial' from terminal and view the Primary and Secondary nameservers (DNS)
At this time the browser will refuse to open any site.
4 b) From step 4 a) update the values into /etc/resolve.conf
Eg:
nameserver 61.1.128.65
nameserver 61.0.0.106

(these are BSNL nameservers - first one is the primary and second the secondary nameserver)

5) Run 'wvdial' and thats it a successful connection sould ensue.

Posting this from Firefox 1.04 on FC4. Period.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Review of Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco

Review of Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco
(Translated from the original in Italian)

The novel said to be a thinking man's 'Da Vinci Code' and written in 1988, is dense (500+ pages) in historical references and is almost like an encyclopaedia of European and Jewish religious and occult history. It has all the ingredients of the Templars - the knights of the Christian holy order, the crusades, the Jewish symbology related to the universe and the hidden facts, philosophy and theological wisdom and cabalistic secrets that are coming on since ages, preserved by secret societies and rituals all over the world.

This novel depicts the intellectual game of three editors of an Italian publishing firm which specializes in all studies of historical importance. The book is a roller coaster ride into the minds of those engrossed in the history of mystical and occult sciences. To read it once may not suffice as the author puts in so much detail that at times it may be difficult to go on. The narration is in first person, by one of the editors who graduates and later joins two other editors to form the trio of Belbo, Diatollevi and Casaboun (the narrator).

It starts with a certain colonel coming up with a manuscript with a secret message in a cryptic puzzle format which the editors at once take up. But later on the colonel disappears and the three start to decipher the meaning of the message. They come up with a spectacular plan that suggests that the templars knew of a secret source of energy within the earth's telluric currents that is all powerful. This secret they passed on from generation to generation, the message they conjecture, holds details about who and where each generation would transfer the messages and how many members would be involved. Though the book is full of esoteric details, the author himself a renowned philosopher and symbologist, has poked a good dose of fun at intellectuals themselves.

The editors start reading up manuscripts of crazy occult experts who submit their work to their publishing house along with a twin house that they have which publishes books only if the authors them selves pays the charges. 'Diabolicals' as they call the authors with all their strange historical works. Along the way they come across a person with great knowledge of the templars and the bearers of the holy truths whom they employ to verify the truths of the authors and who later turns out to be the villain. They also end up attending some rituals, as Eco describes, details of and reasons behind trances, initiations, pagan rituals etc.

As the editors read up these absurd and fantastic manuscripts along the way doing their own research and one of the editors also starts feeding them to a computer of his, which can make connections between data fed into it. This way they start making connections between various individuals and personalities from the ancient ages like Bacon and St Germain upto even Hitler and thus concoct this heady plan based on a message that is found to be some trivial list later and they also conjecture that the plans to hand over the secret from generations until the period of World War II had failed and the details were known by the Jews, the templars and also shared with other monks and leaders of other religions such as Islam and also some bit of Indian tantra is thrown in. Only towards the end it is seen that the plan is being taken seriously to be literally true, by some members of a particular secret society.

Eco tries to convey the futility of conspiracy theories and how people would just about believe anything that is hyped up with the belief of gaining some immense power - being superhuman. He says that everything can be connected in this world just by some trivial logic and various scientific things can be explained this way, that does not mean, there is some vast secret hidden from all, known only by a few.
Apart from the story and the plot itself, the way Eco has fleshed out the characters, their past, their tumultuous current lives and relationships and everything else is brilliant. You need a lot of patience - it is as if the author expects you to plough through the mountain of knowledge in order to reach the climax which ends in death of one of the editors due to cancer and a hallucination like tragedy at the Museum Conservatoire in Paris where Foucault's Pendulum hangs. A thriller, a historical masterpiece and many other genres can be used to describe this book which spans from Milan to Brazil to Paris. A very intellectual read indeed.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

(WISHLIST ? As Amazon.com calls it)


Last book I read 'Learn To Live' - Vol I, by Swami Jagadatmananda.
The book dwells on various aspects of life and what can be done to improve it; better than most of the other self-help books that I have read.
The book is a translation from the actual book which was in Kannada.
Through his advice and excellent examples which are wide ranging and not just limited to national events but about incidents, personalities and anecdotes from all over the world, he explores human psychology, spirituality, history, worklife and many many other things that make a person's life successful.
Some pointers from the book will definitely help you in both your professional and personal life. A must read, now I need to buy Vol II.

Other books in fiction I want to buy/read, based on reviews that I read up.
Lets see if I can go to someplace, where I could get them cheap ...

  • 'The Namesake' by Jhumpa Lahiri
Immigrants to America and their life in turmoil, their not fitting in anywhere and feeling a pull to either stick to traditions or get merged into the American culture, through the eyes of one person who is born in America. An enlarged novel version of 'The Interpreter Of Maladies' - you'll undertand what I mean if you have read it. She had won the Pulitzer Prize and writes really well.

  • 'The Name of the Rose' by Umberto Eco
A detective story with loads of symbology and history.

  • 'Foucalt's Pendulum' by Umberto Eco
This book is supposed to be the 'mother' of 'The Da Vinci Code'.

  • 'Never Let Me Go' by Kazuo Ishiguro
A book on the students in a school who are grown as clones to their actual living counterparts.

  • Collection of Short Stories by Somerset Maugham.

  • Also some of the novels by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
She too mostly writes about expatriate life and immigration - but her writing is I believe mystical and of a folklore kind - worth a try from the reviews that I have read, especially 'The Mistress of Spices'. Was reading an excerpt of one of the short stories 'The Bats' from her short story collection 'Arranged Marriage' - very evocative and emotive writing. Good talent. 'Queen of Dreams' is her latest.


Saturday, July 09, 2005

Mother India (Original & Copy)

A copy done in Gimp of the painting 'Bharat Mata' by Abanindranath Tagore.
First one is the original [from Kamat's Potpourri].
The second one, my copy.
In isolation my copy looks pretty decent, but in comparison with the original, it just pales out and vanishes in the level of grace that the original painting holds.
The painting by Abanindranath is beautiful, the borders and lines are delicate and finely composed, the hues so rich and yet the melancholy, mundane look and the mystic, hazy aura makes it very captivating - a gem.



Leader of the Revivalist Movement in the field of Modern Indian Painting in Bengal, Abanindranath Tagore is also credited with a key contribution towards ushering in the renaissance in Indian painting. (More)

Saturday, July 02, 2005

The eternal flame of hope ...



The eternal flame of hope always burns,
'Bright'
Through the depth of hell and the pleasures of desire,
'Undiminished'
All the illusion, the dance of the puppets,
'how beautiful'
The real, the true self is just a part of that,
'always joyful'
Existence, knowledge, bliss - absolute, eternal.
'man = divine'

Monday, June 20, 2005

Last chance to know Netaji's fate

Dear fellow Indian

You are requested to show your solidarity with an effort to aid the inquiry into the fate of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Kindly consider the following with an open mind:

The image

It has been 60 years since Netaji was reported killed following an air crash in Taipei, Taiwan. Since then, a torturous debate has been gnawing at the conscience of grateful Indians. Intelligence records show that under the ruse of a faked air crash, Netaji may have escaped to the then Soviet Union. And that this may have been known to top Indian leaders of that era. You would have heard many fanciful as well as dreadful stories. It has been alleged that Netaji died in a hideous Siberian camp in the 1950s. God forbid that should be true. The truth, whatever it is, must be found out.

Now it has come to the crunch. In a few months from now, the report of the Honourable Justice MK Mukherjee Commission of Inquiry will be out. Set up after a Court order, this Commission has, against all odds, found out from the Taiwan Government that there is no evidence of the alleged air crash in Taipei, Netaji's death and the cremation of either his body or of those who are said to have died following the said crash on August 18, 1945.

On the basis of further evidence they have unearthed, the Commission has asked the Government of India to arrange for their visit to Russia from 20th July 2005. However, the Commission cannot conduct proper inquires in Russia without the full backing of the Indian Government, which for unknown reasons, has been hostile towards all attempts to ascertain facts about Netaji's fate. The Commission intends to examine some Russian witnesses and also sift through intelligence and security related records concerning Netaji. Full access to such records cannot be given to the Commission unless a formal request to that effect is made by the Government of India to their Russian counterpart. The key to resolving the Netaji mystery lies with our own Government.

Considering the fact that the mystery is 60 years old and many contemporaries and witnesses have since passed away, this could well be the last chance to get to the bottom of the matter. History will not forgive our generation if we squander this golden opportunity to investigate the fate of a sterling patriot, who crisscrossed the globe like a colossus during the Second World War, so that we can breathe the air of a free India today.

It is therefore, most urgent, that Dr Manmohan Singh, the Honourable Prime Minister of India, publicly requests His Excellency Vladimir Putin, the Honourable President of Russia, offer complete assistance to the Mukherjee Commission in ascertaining, whether or not Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was alive after August 18, 1945.

If you support the demand that our Prime Minister should take this step in national interest, then please forward this mail to as many people as possible. You may also want to sign an online petition.

Jai Hind

(Issued in public interest by journalist and author Anuj Dhar in association with the members of the Yahoo group on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.)


Thursday, June 02, 2005

Back From Dead - Inside the Subhas Bose Mystery (contd.)



From: Anuj Dhar <anuj.dhar__at__gmail_dot com>
Date: Jun 2, 2005 2:11 AM
Subject: Re: Back From Dead - Inside the Subhas Bose Mystery (contd.)
To: Shamit Bagchi <shamit at_gmail__dot__com>

Should we close down all cases in case we are not able to resolve them
in time? Why are we still probing journalist Shivani Bhatanagar's
murder? It's been 5-6 years. And what;s the fuss about 1965 war leak.
It's been 40 years. We should look into future. I dont understand the
logic people give.

Let commission's report come...everyone will now how "futile" Justice
Mukherjee's probe has been.

there was no crash in 1945. there is no evidene that Bose and General
Tsunamasa Shidei visited Taihoku on 18 August 1945. TAiwan Govt told
me and later told Commision that they have many records. these records
show other crashes but there is no evidence of any crash involving
Netaji...I have not made my case just on this. I have seen
intelligence reports and quoted from them. Bose was spotted in Saigon
after his death by an american correspondent.

Yes, the commissions's inquiry was almost sabotaged ... but pressure
had better.  Yes, we need to know where and how he died. In Taiwan, In
Russia or...

"close associates had confirmed his death" WHo do you mean? habibur
rahman Khan? I have quoted from Rahman's interrogation reports. They
say he was lying. Apart from him there was no one around in taiwan.

"You would have done much more research"

Yes I have.

"certain conspiracy theories on how Jawaharlal Nehru.."

Nehru's role, evidence shows, is most negative.

"The Congress government also..."

There is no diference between the two. Congress was hostile from day one.


Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Back From Dead - Inside the Subhas Bose Mystery (contd.)

From: Shamit Bagchi
Reply-To: Shamit Bagchi
To: Anuj Dhar


Yes that is true - The Mukherjee Commission was almost terminated last month.
Even Supreme Court of India termed it futile.
May be he is not alive now - but may be he did not actually die in the 1945 Taiwan plane crash as claimed/reported.
Though one of his close associates had confirmed his death.
You would have done much more research; I cannot say much as i am not very knowledgeable on this.

But i have heard of certain conspiracy theories on how Jawaharlal Nehru may have been involved in leaking Netaji's whereabouts to Lord Mountbatten; as someone who had typed the letter has come out as a witness.

The Congress government also, does not seem to be very open on this issue.

Reply by author of 'Back From Dead - Inside the Subhas Bose Mystery'

From: Anuj Dhar
Reply-To: Anuj Dhar
To: Shamit Bagchi
Date: May 31, 2005 10:38 PM
Subject: Re: Back From Dead - Inside the Subhas Bose Mystery
Reply | Reply to all | Forward | Print | Add sender to Contacts list | Trash this message | Report phishing | Show original

Dear Shamit

How nice of you to say that! I am glad that you replied despite your
not being so enthusiastic by details of his death. Your opinion is
about to be changed.

Please do tell others about the site and you please go thru the links.
On 10 June the Mukherjee Commission will hold its next sitting. We
will know whether or not the Govt is letting them go to Russia. Funny
people cant see this simple thing: the commission has evidence
suggesting that Netaji was in Russia after his "death" and the Govt is
not letting them go there. What's is it they want to hide from the
people?

Regards

Anuj Dhar

http://www.geocities.com/netajimystery/home

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Back From Dead - Inside the Subhas Bose Mystery

Hello Anuj,

Wow! The author of this book:
'Back From Dead - Inside the Subhas Bose Mystery'

by Anuj Dhar

I am excited by the fact that you commented on my blog.

I am more enthusiastic about his unparalleled life, than details of his death.
Not sure of the mysteries.
However, there is compelling evidence, as your book states. I'll try and read the book.

Regards,
Shamit


Saturday, May 28, 2005

Mish-Mash

Just finished 'Bharot Pothik' translated into bengali from 'An Indian Pilgrim', Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose's autobiography. In it he mostly describes his childhood days, school and college life and a chapter on his philosophy of life - at a stage he refutes the belief that everything is Maya and this world is untrue. He was greatly influenced by the teachings of Swami Vivekananda and Shri Ramakrishna and also Shri Aurobindo and ended up participating in many social and spiritual causes. It ends with a collection of letters to his mother, which gives an insight into his extreme devotion and respect for his mother.

I was amazed that my Bengali reading skills have not deteriorated that much - though some words were difficult to comprehend (that obviously has something to do with a bad vocabulary). My kannada is miserable for which I have often had to face the wrath of my friends (one of them almost strangulated me once ... ;-)); Its a matter of interest.
In other news joined the gym @ workplace. Not very regularly going to the gym though. Its haphazard One day I may walk 11 km (450+ kcal) and on another 3-4 km (150 kcal). Some days I hardly get the time but if I dont go it leads to aches and pains.
I did so much of publicity for the movie by Shyam Benegal, 'Bose - The Forgotten Hero', but never managed to go to the theater - its running at unearthly timings - 10:15 pm and 6:30 pm for 500 rupees at PVR - the other end of Bangalore from my residence. We had planned for an outing to Forum Mall with some of my bengali friends, but I could not make it in the end, last weekend though they did go... I was getting jitters on the purpose of work and life last week and felt very despondent at times but back in form I guess now.
By the way the Google AdSense program seems interesting.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Bose - The Forgotten Hero (Official Site)

The Official site for the film :

Give me blood and I shall give you freedom' - Called Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose urging Indians onto selfless patriotism.

Catch the tumultuous last five years of the life of Bose that marked the turning point in India's struggle for independence from British Colonial rule. The highly controversial events including a daring escape, travel across Afghanistan in disguise, meeting Hitler in Germany, and ending in a mysterious plane crash; providing screen drama and visual adventure that would leave any James Bond movie wanting.

Come, re-discover one of our greatest heroes, and be awed by this life-extraordinaire.

http://www.bosethefilm.com/




Some more links :

  1. 'I will always remember Netaji'
  2. A fitting tribute
  3. 'Bose' hits the turnstiles today
  4. Benegal on his next film, Bose
  5. Interview with Netaji's daughter, Anita Bose Pfaff
  6. The Introduction
  7. Part I: 'India has not behaved honorably'
  8. Part II: 'Gandhi was no saint'
  9. Part III: 'Gandhi and my father were not tainted'
  10. Court turns down plea against Bose

Saturday, May 07, 2005

The Forgotten Hero not released

The movie Subhash Chandra Bose - The Forgotten Hero by Shyam Benegal was not premiered as planned in Kolkata, on 5th May and the 6th May release was stalled, I am not sure if it is yet running as I did not see any ads in newspapers etc. Some deponents of the Mukherjee Commission of Inquiry, inquiring into Netaji's disappearance, are opposing the release of the film in current form. This seems mindless - as the essence of the movie is to inspire people and portray his life of undauntable courage and determination as a fearless leader - he was human nevertheless.
Update: "We just do not want to give a chance for violence," Benegal said, adding that he and film producers Sahara Motion Pictures postponed the release to May 13 from May 6 - Gulf Daily News

Some more articles :
VCL does submarine sequence for Benegal's Bose
The return of Bose



Currently listening: The brilliant song 'Kadam Kadam Badhaye Jaa' , which was the marching song of the INA. Vijay Prakash and Mumbai Film Choir have given a splendid soulstirring rendition - simply superb. 'Ghoomparani' and 'Desh Ki Mitti' are also very well rendered - the latter being very evocative of fond memories and the pathos of being away from one's motherland.
Most of the other songs are good - some details here :
'Bose - The Forgotten Hero' music is Intensely Patriotic

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Netaji - The Forgotten Hero

Netaji - The Forgotten Hero, Shyam Benegal's film on Subhash Chandra Bose, is finally ready after three years in the making. The film releases on May 6, 2005.


(PHOTO COURTESY: REDIFF.COM)

Benegal, who says he feels that Bose “has been forgotten by modern India because he was unfairly sidelined by the establishment as they did not agree with his views”, aims the film at the present generation, a fact that can be gauged from his comment - “that (people forgetting about Bose) is a pity because the youth of today could have learnt a great deal from him about commitment, standing up for values and idealism”.

Benegal has assembled one of the most talented cast for the film, with the underrated but brilliant Sachin Khedekar in the lead role, and it has been shot in locations within India and also in Uzbekistan, Germany and Myanmar. It is probably also the first Indian movie to have shot inside a World War II vintage German submarine. (FROM DECCAN HERALD)

More information and details in the following links:


The music from the film, by A R Rehman


Medley ...


1)
I was reading an article in the The New Indian Express about the loss of freedom of the press and media in the US not because of state control but because of the complete control of news by large conglomerates and corporate houses - thus twisting and limiting the news only for the sake of competition and catering to the targetted audiences; it ends up becoming pure entertainment not information or thought provoking reports, but dumbed down; the state's manipulation tactics is also prevalent, as during the Iraq war coverages ... 'Embedded Journalism'. The dismal scene of media may percolate on to the Indian scene too, as only the middle classes are targetted in all channels 'the class capable of paying and shopping and with the maximum buying power' and those facts or issues that need to be focussed on will get blacked out - because there is actually no audience for them, because they cannot actually are of not much use or pay no returns, the objective and investigative (not Tehelka style sensasionalism) nature of journalism may be dying out.

2) Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam by Guru Dutt on going on Doordarshan - some stunning black and white visuals and interplay of shadows and lights.

3) I had another series of questions for you, as you are reading this blog . . .
I am thinking if I should buy a digicam. As it is easier than the manual style which requires the film roll and gving it for development and all that hassles so I am hardly using the Kodak Kroma that we bought some time back.
What would be a good range (price and quality wise) - I want something thats not too costly probably withing Rs.(INR) 6000 approx $125 or so . . . I was seeing the Sony site today. Costly stuff ...
What are the other things that I need to keep in mind - the MegaPixels supported? It works on AA type cells or some extra Li-Ion batteries - the chargers are part of the package right ? How about transferring to the PC, is it through the USB port ? What about the memory sticks etc... All these questions floating around in my mind.

4) Some literary blogs here : http://lbc.typepad.com

5) Currently reading the 'The Management of Time' by James T McCay which I pulled out of the library at office ...



It is a good read especially talks of increasing alertness save ebnergy and constatntly keep upgrading knowledge. Two main things that he says need to be kept away from - 'Criticism' and 'Defensiveness' ... Half way through the book.




Sunday, April 24, 2005

ALIBI (FICTION)


This is a disturbing piece of fiction that I wrote recently.
It is supposed to be in the genre of dark humour.
It has certain bizarre and intended uses of violence.
Do read it and give in your views, but note you have been warned.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Travelogues

Nice article I was reading about frugal travel in Paris (Needs registration I guess) - More travelogues from The New York Times. European destinations here ...


PHOTO SOURCE : NYTIMES

Also a fellow Bangalore blogger and chef and owner of a food joint called 'Shiok' - read his stories of travel and exciting food from Singapore.

Start exercising today !

Finally felt 'exercise' should get an entry into the dictionary of my life. Started voluntary exercises for the first time ever in my life ;-). Started going to the gym at office, since past one week - approx losing 150 kcal per day (atleast thats what those hulky machines tell me) . . .


PHOTO SOURCE : Google + gymcareaustralia

Hope to shed some flab as excessive weights can cause hypertension and diabetes etc etc as I am well aware and as the doctor has been repeatedly threatening. It also releases certain good chemicals and I was feeling much better than on all those other days when I used to be sitting all day in front of the Dell Black Box and not doing any form of physical exertion ...
Wish me luck ;-)

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Pyaasa

Was watching the movie 'Pyaasa' by Guru Dutt on Doordarshan today ...
A brilliant movie which focuses on the society's indifference towards a poet played by Guru Dutt himself. He is reduced to penury by certain circumstances after his brothers throw him out of his house.
Its only after he is mistaken to be dead that his poems are published and he becomes a sensation.
He actually has survived and escapes a suicide attempt. Later he is put into an asylum for claiming that he is the poet whose poems have now become famous. Then everyone first avoids him as they will have to share the profits from the published works. Then everyone starts claiming that he is the true poet and they are his friends and relatives so that they can now share the riches.
Though sometimes appearing fatalistic the movie, has songs and sequences replete with theme of the exploitation of women and the rampant poverty in our country.


PHOTO SOURCE : REDIFF.COM

The songs are marvelous, and Waheeda Rehman and Mala Sinha play out their roles well.
Jane kya tune kahi, jane kya maine suni
Jane who kaise log the jisne
Yeh duniya agar mil bhi jaye to ka hai – the tragic song is a masterpiece by Mohammed Rafi.
The comedy song Sar jo tera chakraye ya dil dooba jaye ebacted by Johny Walker.

A movie that was released in the same year as Satyajit Ray's 'Pather Panchali'.
Doordarshan is showing the classics on sundays - dont miss the movie 'Kaagaz ke Phool' next sunday at about 12 pm.

Apart from the current directors alive the three main world acclaimed Indian film directors were : Satyajit Ray, Guru Dutt, and Ritwik Ghatak ...

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Why the western culture is destroying us ...

Some excerpts:

Is it a fallout, a sort of appendage, of globalization that was critical in rescuing our economy in the early 90s – I don't deny the kind of economic progress and better standards of living it has brought in, but the baggage which comes with anything external is here to stay. The money has come along with the consumerist, lascivious culture glorified in the western society. Earlier it was less of everything from sense pleasures to money to celebrations, but now more is in – excesses in everything is the order of the day.

There are a lot of positive aspects in the western society, the fastidious nature, the punctuality, the industrious and reasoning mentality and the cleanliness; but we seem to have copied in all the wrong things.

Read the essay Ad Nauseam

Ad Nauseam

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Kasparov quits chess

Disputed world champion and the highest ELO rated chess player Gary Kasparov quit chess - the genius ended his career after winning the Linares 2005 chess competition recently. The main contender in recent times against Anand; had a row with the one of the two major chess governing bodies worldwide, FIDE. I was a great fan of his...


We had been on an outbound with our team of 90 project members to Shakti hill resorts recently. Good spot with lots of greenery. We had games, teambuilding sessions etc etc and good food ...


dsc00958

Saturday, March 05, 2005

The Lady with the whip ...

How the Jharkhand fiasco was initiated and the behind the scene operations ....
For that matter, the manner in which constitutional norms where thrown to the winds, and all ethics and rules subverted, the PM was busy in the budget and not even aware of what the Italian lady and her cronies and syncophants are up to.
The country seems to be largely run by the whims and desires of an italian waitress and au pair combo, Sonia Gandhi, the next Indira Gandhi duplicate on the block. She acts, as if she doesnt get into any of this, is so innocent and doesnt know anything - but because of these recent elections, the actual dark side of this scorpion-like venomous personality is out (is she from the Mafia family background or undergone training for some nasty tricks at some Mafia training camp, I sometimes think). Haryana (read Bhajan Lal's statement?He has sworn to topple Hooda within a few months), Goa, Bihar and Jharkhand all in a mess for Congress.
Did the docile PM know who initiated the swearing in of Shibu Soren - if so, was it the right way. If not why is he the Prime Minister of India. This way the country will be in the dumps in no time. Read more :

If she can 'direct' openly, what can she not do secretly?
by S Gurumurthy (New Indian Express); Saturday March 5 2005 00:10 IST

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Current thoughts ...

Listening to 'Sun sun sun sun zaalimaa' ... from Guru Dutt's movie 'Aar Paar' on Doordarshan.

The Google blog template, seems a definite hit !
However, I hope its not a copyright infrigement. Copying a web template should not be; but you never know. I was just reading a document back at office; each and every publicity note or advertisement or even internal notices have to follow a format, a particular specified style.

Was reading 'To Kill a Mockingbird' - it is one of the most poignant and subtly humourous and touchingly sensitive books that I finished recently ... The ending is very unexpected. Just started 'The Alchemist' by Paulo Coelho.




Ashwin Kumar 's movie LITTLE TERRORIST has been nominated in the SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION) category at the Oscars ... Lets see if the Indian director picks up an Oscar today ...


Thursday, February 17, 2005

To Kill A Mockingbird

Started reading this week, 'To Kill A Mockingbird' by Harper Lee. It is the best book I have read till now, (earlier it was 'A Clockwork Orange', and 'Uncle Tom's Cabin'; in the classics category); the way imagery has been captured is just amazing at that time (1960) its as if you were watching a movie about a little girl as she grows up. The way people behave in her neighbourhood; along with her brother, and her father, a lawyer fighting for the rights of blacks, when the black and white divide was still rampant.
I have read about half the book and I am enjoying this, like I havent done with so many books, for a long time ... It strikes a chord, right with my heart, an amazing classic. Lovely. Sometimes serious, conveying a message; and simultaneously humourous with a subtle humour at every step. Its a novel I would have loved to write. Highly recommended !

Saturday, February 12, 2005

CORPORATE BLOGGING

What do you think are the advantages of corporate blogging? Both EXTERNAL and INTERNAL usage for the organisation ?

Saturday, January 15, 2005

FICTION

After almost two years I was finally able to write something.
I was undergoing a severe bout of writer's block.
I had started a few pieces of fiction, but was unable to find plausible ends to any of them.

Here is a short story :
Missing

Read it and send in your views as to how you liked it or didn't ...


Saturday, January 01, 2005

1,50,000 dead and still counting ...

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

The way I could interpret it with art ...
The water monsters gulp down humans, as if for their redemption.

So many died, but the people affected are in a more terrible state.
It is possible that the death toll may cross 5 lakhs.

Helpless in front of the natural cleansing process.
Nature - Infinitely more powerful.

By the way, wish you a happy new year !