Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Small Wonders...

I feel just writing reviews and opining for something that absorbs you and tiptoes your heart is not sufficient. So when I watched something as sensitive as Taare Zameen Par, I decided of putting few lines of my thoughts and feelings around this remarkable work of cinema. Here they are:

You so much love your kite, but you don't wanna hold it
You want to make it fly high, & feel freedom of the Winds
That roams all around unnoticed but sees all it wishes to...

You struggle with creepy numbers and letters forevermore
And you become lost more too often, that just makes You
Wish they could also just fly away forever into night darkness

You collect all mysterious things in your trove everyday
Wishing to make something big out of them, but you
Wonder will it be big enough to make your friends envy

You'r standing by the wall with big guns pointed at your head
But you don't even understand why they are hitting you so bad
In fact you'r lost in your reveries, who cares for the rushing shots

But sometimes they bring tears in your quite heart
And your dreams refuse to stay in your sullen eyes,
And they leave you, alone with your untold cold feelings

And things go unusually overboard, like diamonds fearing light
Like stars glistening very bright and pretending to be all alright
But still inside their tangerine glow, seethes a supernova show

But I still see that dream for you, I see it fabulously big
It's tucked within the clouds in skies, waiting to bloom
And I see Your eyes speak lot more than your lips ever do

Like a wisp of smoke, your imaginations keep wavering, And I See
Splash of colors there, which keeps getting washed away - But You
Are not a moment too soon, And I'll make you cross your first mile,

Because you don't know that some part of me lives in your smile...

That's it. You can (or must have) read reviews about the movie elsewhere.

Friday, November 16, 2007

bOLD and Beautiful.

The other day some guys were taunting about some good old stereotypical (and predictable in this age) movie...about the plain old jokes weaved inside in it, about the commonplace quips and vulnerable characters segmented inside. They made no mistake in delineating each of the facial expressions with their filthy foul language, while jeering at each of the seemingly predictable screenplays, as if the director should better be shoven bald for his deeds.

Their popping eyes would turn suicidal at each of the emotional histrionics, with extreme jolt of sniggering whenever the sweet lady lead would weep with the background doleful sitar tuned tight...or when the little boy would go swirling around in his new dress as her father sung a cloyingly sweet prose...or when the street labourers, in a display of jingoism, would do a carol of anthem as the mushy rythm reaches inpirational heights.

That's the good old time portrayed in our films. Some say "Those who miss 1969 weren't actually there..." but that's half true...actually it should be. "Those who mock at 1969 were also weren't there..." What I mean to say is that old wine doesn't taste the same always as eveyone says. People like things fresh and plump, and it's reflected in the Art, in our Cinemas. Each generation brings with it some flavors anew, some fangles that should set them apart and make them feel superior to the previous one.

And so the bottomline is that every piece of Art (Cinemas, Literature etc) should be adjudged in the era it evolved, when it came fresh and unwilted. And so sometimes you can't appreciate the old golden hindi smashit now because the taste is different, the old fads have faded, the culture has a new layer. Better if you watch some old "good" thing, then rewind back and step out of the train and reflect upon the culture it tries to sketch rather than sneering at it by collating it with your present shallow world around you.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Little Chintoo And His Worldly Wise Web

As I sat down before a grubby beaten-down keyboard, a hesitant mouse and an archaic terminal laiden with a slow motion Windows-98...I realized it's gonna be long haul to finish up my daily rituals on the net. It was one of the confining cubicle spaces here and I can't move my legs or hands except on the keyboards, and just like me, many of the young sweating punters were busy peeping into their monitors...some doing their Rediff/Hotmail/Orkut, some playing solatire online, some occupied with their yahoo chat rooms, some oogling at the pics of...you-know-what, some good ones Googling for their school assignments, while some serious ones drafting their one-page CV on the pirated Microsoft Office Word 2007 (Huh. I still don't have the latest version on my lappy...and they've got it in their cranny Cybercafe in this rickety half-built house here in a considerably remote part of the world).

I remember when the Open-Source evangelist Richard M. Stallman came to my college, he seemed all excited about his quest for expanding his Free Software foundation in India...because of high rate of piracy here (the reason he himself pointed out)!
As I got along with my work I found a small 7-year-old sneaking into my system, and just then he quizzed me with a candid smile "Bhaiya net pe accha interesting sa dekhyae na..." (Bro please show something worth enough on internent here...). I thought there's so much of the world out there for this chap but I swear I can't show them all to him...And I kept thinking...

Anyway this is another story. What concerns me here is the limitlessness of the internet (in terms of how much it can help you) and the general ignorance people all around have about it (especially here in small places where they can utilize their plenty of time and mind on it). Apart from regular recognized services everyone knows about (i.e. Mail/Orkut/Trading etc), there are thousands of useful Tools/How-To's/Forums to aid you for daily living. Then you have sites that pay you just for visiting or reviewing or writing, sites that let your craft and creativity reach the world, sites that can give them new identity and sites for learning with fun. These things can be of enormous interest to junta if they ever knew about it...WHO'S GOING TO TELL THEM?

Who can guide them and tell that just an e-Choupal movement is not enough, through internet we have the potential to do lot more, to change a million lives. Companies and Banks are doing their part to reach out...but when'll masses realize there are other important avenues that they need to explore and more importantly, that should be far away from commercialization. Small town sentiments and mindsets are different and they are more keen and fussy about small details in life. We need some light and directions is here...I am seeing a Business Plan here :)

[ In between, just as I finished typing my mails in the cafe...Poof! the power went off and its gone, all terminals blacked off...they have a dozen computers with no UPS! ]

Friday, November 2, 2007

Hankered HomeComing.

And there's the cow and the tiny tots peeing in middle of street
And there's their dry shit that sticks onto your shining sleepers!
And there's the bully barking doggies chasing the untamed cats
And there's the veggie hawkers howling tough for their bargains
And there's the big grubby pigs romping in municipality garbages

As the mudwater splashes around on your spruce fair legs
You grump and sneeze and mock at the vicinity all around
Alongside, the smoke frees out of the huts and chokes you
And the deep filthy fishes make your nose gravely suicidal

And the mosquitoes set their faction up above your forehead
As they taste sweet blood out of your plump metropolitan skin
A cricket ball then plops on your head from the rooftop nearby
And you hear servile shouts for ball from the urchins up above
"Hey You deep shit! Please throw back my ball I beg you..."

And you reach home carrying along a jolt of untold cold feelings,
Of all experiences and mental rewindings of the year just goneby
Some firm hands hold you by side again, but they are old by now
You drench into its smugness, but a truculent nostalgia nags you.

And as dusk settles quietly...so does the dust & honking traffic
Then your house bulbs black out for hours as power load sheds
You loiter on the rooftop and feel the silent confining darkness
As winds cool the summer sweat trickling off your grown belly...

You board a rickety-rackety rickshaw that bumps along the roads
And you hustle into the old markets that still talk the same noise,
But there's a comfortable silence in every hour you spend around,
And You feel...
That still some part of you breathes and plays here,

That still you belong to this ghetto only, faraway from big citylights.


These Thoughts I captured while at home, in bittersweet peace.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

35 Hours With The Thinking Machines.

Before the jaunt began I thought OMG 35 Hrs!!! How the F&$K I'm going to waste the next 35 hours of my sprightly life doing nothing but waiting for a bully train to stop next to my home...
Apart from a frisson of excitement that it brings, Homecoming also shades a reign of nostalgia...and that isn't easy. Especially when you have to cover long 35 hours travelling with odd worldly people who do nothing else but curse and sleep and wait for ends to come. Naah I thought I should plan out something. Looking into my Motri I found a book (Ah!), an iPod (Useless), and some print-outs (Good!)...something to work upon.

The Book had some chapters on different Philosophers, and I jumped to a seemingly exciting one on
Alan Turing. The quest was then to finish it all over in one slurp. For those of you who don't know Alan Turing was an English mathematician (actually...not really) who developed the concept of theoretical computing and Artificial Intelligence (to some extent). His ideas helped designing the First Computer of our era. He also played critical role in Second World War, deciphering the German cryptographic codes.

He contributed to the
Theories of Computability and also devised "Turing Machines" - a hypothetical computing machine which scans and alters a linear array of symbols on a tape according to preset rules. The machine in concept resembled an automatic typewriter that used symbols for math and logic instead of letters. Turing intended the device to be used as a “universal machine” that could be programmed to duplicate the function of any other existing machine. The machine can be said to be the theoretical precursor to the modern digital computer.
I also read about the
Turing Tests - a test for intelligence in computers, requiring that a human should be unable to distinguish the machine from another human using the replies to questions put to both. Interesting they were, but these pretty things all went above my head as usual :)

But what really caught me was the crossfire arguments on "Can Machines Think?" Most people dig with a kinda commonsense repugnance on the lack of awareness and consciousness a machine may never be able to gain - they'll do whatever they are made to do isn't it...but this can also be true with us humans. Consider John Searle's line of reasoning of a Chinese Room where some group of people are working on translation of Chinese to English. Assuming that *) There's an algorithm for translating the same *) People in the group work mindlessly and have no clue what English is...they just work apropos the algorithm. Isn't it like automation machines then.
So its not hard to imagine mindful machines who may act unconsciously or intelligently whatever they "wish" to...(I can see much counter-arguments now!)
Anyway I can debate long on it now...my 35 hours didn't go waste at least :)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Innovation Ecosystem - No! Not Another Cliché. [ Long Post ]

Weeks have past since there was this confluence-of-ideas inspired drive in my firm, which amassed flurry of opinions all around, from the small to the big guns. The helmsmen and change-agents here in the firm claim the venture had good impact and it will be an enabler for future growth perspectives...nonetheless my eyes blink skeptically on this and I feel things don't shake up so soon actually, even if they do the tremors and windfalls sound puny nevertheless. No comments on this further, I am no cynic :)
Based on research from various sources, I had actually put up an entry over there, on things revolving around Innovation, probably it was never read up, among the crossfire of thousands of hurled-up thoughts. Following is an edited, generalized version of the same (so as to politically save my ass):
A recent study on 759 public companies spanning across 17 global economies concluded that the factor most radically stimulating for innovation in an organization is not the research spending, or the geography, or the IP assets, but the internal culture upon which the firm flourishes. Coming straight to the point and not dealing with general platitudes, lets talk about the 'WHY/WHEN/HOW' things requisite for an Innovation Cult in a big firm:
**Innovation Measurement and Metrics: Our generation of companies have to deal with process indicators in terms of intangibles like system dynamics, clusters, risk returns, networks...gone are the days when it was possible just to have a look at firm's tech intensity, R&D investing and you can gauge how innovative the company is. Take an example of StarBucks Corp....the coffee chain ranked no. 9 in world's most innovative companies by BusinessWeek. Just sallying into new business models by selling music DVDs etc in its shop chains, it was gone places....where is it research investment...? A lesson worthwhile. We need to devise the right indicators of our innovation enablers.
**Networking and Communication on a different level: At P&G they are practicing this unique Connect + Develop strategy for driving innovation. They say they not just have 9K people inside P&G to work on, but additionally 1.8m people in the world having save kind of facility to innovate and contribute...and their model is an effort to utilize this maximum potential. It's not just about INHOUSE capabilities, instead leveraging on the knowledge society outside. We don't have enough money and infrastructure to embrace every technology sprouting in...we need strategic capabilities in a connected global model. We also need Continuous non-disruptive communication between higher echelons to the ground level...
**Personal Dynamics, Higher Management and Finally, Incentives! Another study said that some corporate cultures dictate with a 'rule-set' on how people are expected to work. Excessive focus on cost-cutting, quality, process-rigors, outsourcing vehemently leads to risk-aversion and incremental thinking, as if being hobbled with chains. Incentives can come to rescue here...A work-plan wherein entire members are expected to contribute in an out-of-the-book activity and partly compensated for the same - a sort of investment affordable ONLY in a big firms - can be rewarding. For a jump-start (If higher echelons will to take a chance!), an experimental select-groups of people from diverse backgrounds can be directed to work for a month on legitimized tasks, tasks people would come up on their OWN, task they would just Love to do!...and then they can be partly paid for the same. Won't it may serve a good purpose....or do I sound naïve here?
A giant global firm can snappily make use of the rich diversity it nurtures across different cultures, which can be consummately enriching in both ways, to the employee and their paymasters. However I feel at times corporate culture inbreds a zombie-ish attitude among the associates, each having their own-set of closed-cocooned career experiences and flicks as they get institutionalized in a big organization (Ironically, it also opens up many minds who flounder at times but swim smartly inside the big lake, and thus reach the wide ocean in long run).
Closing things up here, I feel that a firm with huge grass-root performers base doesn't need innovation driven by small set of creative minds working in silos and then being rewarded for the same, or by in-house innovation labs dedicated religiously for the same, or by Skunk works creativity or Bootlegging on darker side, but instead by an ecosystem wherein innovation comes from each cubicle, from every outreaching Heart!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Money Matters...Really?

Trying out a new B-Model is not so much of a bungling idea, especially when you fall into the "Been there done that" category, or when you are one of the "round pegs in the square holes" - Think-Different creatures. I am talking about the Grammy winner band Radiohead and their new bout of selling music for almost-free-"pick-your-price" strategy on their website. They say Ok here's the deal...we'll play, you give whatever you wish to. Initially it was anticipated to create havoc in music industry but its not so by now. Rightly so...so here are some bullets on the same:
  • The music makers have realized now that people are more keen to listen and buy individual songs rather than the complete whole album...This intially clicked to iPod makers and so they (Steve and Co.) packaged and branded the music as consummate digital byproduct, then evangilised it upstage and the rest is history.
  • The reason why I said "been there done that" is because normally only music lions would try this kinda fling which may click...zillions of indiviual artists in every little home carve that somebody would come and listen to their shit, and so they advertise publish it for free...do they become Beatles overnight?...But when you are as valued as Radiohead you know your market value and whatever you do may become a new fangle.
  • Trend-spotters may jump and say this may happen to other industries...say books, movies. But there's a difference. Music is something you like to come to day and again, and it just involves your effortless side ears. So it pays off more in terms of your time it takes and then serves back (I m not saying value). It's not true with other flicks...would you read Fountainhead a thousand times just as you would've listened to Summer Of 69.
  • Conventional wisdom says whatever holds more value should sell costlier... To rip it apart, the band guys have made a stalwart statement about their novel and perceptive way of judging the true value of some thing that's traditionally commoditized around money... And it may give totally new measure of some product value.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

On Urchins And Subprime Blues.

Certain things I find hard to chew, so why not start with a lucid "Once upon a time..."

...Imagine you were a scholarly school chap who has just sympathized on few naughty urchins in the class. You plan to help them in the next test by tutoring, on a collateral that they would never noise and rock in the class again - which carries the fine of even expulsion. Its a big deal (Risk) helping these dumb asses, cos it takes more T&E to assist them than other people, but the payoffs (Returns) are bright, for you'll win appreciation of others and will have peaceful time in class forevermore.
So there you go on a pedagoguing bout, spending extra hours for them and they meekly follow you so as to just pass the tight exam. They finally do...thanks to you. And they are all elated and sing and rock all around and now separate ways, duping you (Risk Failure).
Courtesy: RJ Matson, CagleCartoons.
And to add to your fury, they turn out good performers and do a stellar show and now classes and masses start admiring them like stars. At least the urchins pay the price and are expelled but who cares they are already stars! And now nobody wants order, nobody listens to you, instead its rock n roll time after s (Crash). You wander about preaching discipline, order and peace, and again pour incentives for everyone but there are no takers (excess supply). You falter, but wait for next exam, next opportunity to bounce back to the walls.

That was somewhat (oversimplified, if you take that) version of what has happened in the subprime markets in the US. Bullets follow:
  • Subprime: When you lend to somebody who doesn't have good credit history.
  • Something that's not ideal, burrowers not qualified for market interest rates - Loan rate much higher than normal ones.
  • Lending to Subprime borrowers - More the risk, more the return. Collateral security - Confiscating of property (House).
  • The situation: Most borrowers have defaulted. So many people selling their property (Real Estate Bubble) - supply outplaying demand.
  • Assets Backed Security: Things are entangled normally. Mortgage lender normally give loans to some set of people (say 20). If lender wants money immediately, he can sell if off to some vying people looking for long term investments (say MF, traders). This means a cascading effect - investors all around the world have lost grounds.
But ironically, good news is:
  • India is not hurt badly because exports to US is smaller part of GDP compared to other countries.
  • Compared to other markets, Risk appetite is less here, so investors all around have good reason to feel more secure in Indian market. Recent sensex surges are maybe result of that.
  • Lending norms pretty stringent here so Subprime crisis may never happens in market like India.
Even if the story doesn't help much, hope that you have some takeaway from here.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Gen. Q And Its Three Q's.

The Flat World propagandist Thomas L. Friedman writes prolifically here in NYT about Americanism and the next young generation of 'Quiet Americans' - Generation Q - as he calls it, quite seemingly. He talks about 'more optimistic and idealistic' American teenagers he met in colleges, a shift which is a nice juxtaposition of how we outside perceive them to be - as brash free-wheeling ignorant inscrutables.

If I am not poking fun, such has been the perception that an insightful perview of American mindest came in this presentation - where they paralled it with nothing other but the country Flag: Red strips represent the Americans favoring war in Iraq, White strips for those who don't, and the corner Blue in for those who don't even KNOW where is Iraq!
However Friedman harks back against the so called 'Greediest Generation' of American typified by George Bush leadership, and is upbeat about the new reverberations that he observed in colleges, that represent a more cautious, constructive and knowledge savvy cult.

But what really caught me is his 'Three Questions' the American youth will now have for the political representatives of their country. They would say "Hey wait,
What is your plan for mitigating climate change?
What is your plan for reforming Social Security?
What is your plan for dealing with the deficit — so we all won’t be working for China in 20 years?"

Which brings me to our case...What's the three most haunting questions Indian youth would pry into our country helmsmen. I had to work out some time before I decided upon these:
*Will you get me a job?...If yes is it really worth enough (The youth doesn't know!)
*Do you have enough money,
including your fucking bribes/scams cheques, to build roads and bridges all around.
*Can't you cut some of your red tape and lets run and function faster before China shadow us completely, and then we have to deal with things when you're gone...

Folks any more stalking Questions you would vouch for?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Forget It.

Words for the Day:
Some people feel sorry and if that's not enough they fire it upfront with word-arts like "We Regret..." for some shitty unexpected not so over-the-top things to me...Ya I know those smart-asses really "Regret" if anything...
And I say: You didn't deserve me anyway. FUCK It And Forget It.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

On Avocations And SideLife.

Often I wonder what would I label as "My Hobby". Not that old school question with plain replies of philately, cricket, movies and music. And I guess the myth widely prevails on how avocations are misconstrued with arbitrary-pastime activities. So when someone mentions "Listening Music" as his favorite spare-time gig I feel ire and sorry for that hopeless dude/dudette. I feel it is important how far you get along with things that you picked up on your youthful highway, worshiped it, and tied to your heart noose, so much so that you'll cherish it forevermore in your years to come.

So hypocritical is a generation and the culture that entails it that most of the times people keep grumbling about the job their restless ass has been loaded up with, about endless requiem of how they are caught in a soup in their current firm,
and the maximum you can get out from them as their "Favorite Pastime" is a zombie statement "Watching Movies, Sleeping". Huh! 24 hours is more than enough to living to the fullest a day, and given that normally humans are very stingy in utilizing their brainpower (if its not a myth - wasting 90% of the brain capacity you are capable of, and its not just about geeks)... I guess then the great Lord expected more from you here...

Enough of homily. For some people though their vocation is their everything...job and pastime, food and breathe, and love and life in fact. I salute them. If you are one of these creatures help others and show them the door {Yeah act Morpheus}.

For me I would label this Lucid-Dreaming things as my hobby (as of know, in quest for more). Because that's when I am lost in the wilderness of imagination, in the bubbles of creativity, in a shit-free world all around. I just make out anything: directing a scene for the last heard good song, or a scene from the last read fiction flick...or carving out words for my post up here in this blog...
or figuring out how to teach calculus to 5th class kid, or a rendezvous with SRK or Bill Gates for that matter :) bla bla bla. It's subtly enriching I would say...wish to make it count more.
However this apart my job is my sidelife
in status quo and still long way to go till the bird flies...

And yes the good Lord expected more of you here before he takes you away. Wake up from slumber find yourself, if ya haven't.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

2 + 2 Is 4. Always?

It's not easy to let your rational ego get spanked with trivial mundane questions. That's why in school days you'd try to jump upon those 2 + 2 = 5 things for hunting the lurking fallacy. However there's no single tunnel vision of stereotyping views, just as there's a million ways of interpreting a ray of light in a dark room : for Newton it's undulating waves at Godspeed, for a Devotee its the pathway to the God, for a child it is just-another bright eye-catcher, for a blind it simply doesn't mean anything.

So on a subjective note then, do 2 and 2 always make 4? When your were born you were blank and have no particular reason to take this. So these two 2's could well be anything for you. And when you were loaded with bits of information that comply to the sciences in this world, you were enlightened how 4 can actually sum up. This is all about Mind-Body entangling process - Just conceive of a world somewhere where they may have belief system to make the two 2's as 7.

If you still can't digest things consider this bluntly: There are two balloons in a mug, you place two more, so that you now have 4. Easy, but replace balloons now with drops of water. If you put in two drops, will you have 4 drops total?...or a single bigger drop of water. Are drops the new rebels?

So the crux is that numbers are one of the possible abstractions of the world around us, and are more visible because of their utility in the reality. And we make our servile minds adapt it...

Winston, the Protagonist in Orwell's 1984 says:

"Freedom is the freedom to say two plus two is four. If that is granted, all else follows."

But I would prefer 'five' in place of 'four' above. :D

PJ Pick: They say its a Universal Truth...right but still not Multi-Universal Truth... :)
Read about Hawking's Baby Universes for more.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Look Big Boys Fighting.

A search ended in some way, partially. A hidden thirst satiated for a while. Don't know how many minds damn about it, but I had my eyes looking for something of this sort all along since I picked up history books in schools. As näive blokes those days, the fear of teacher sticks made us rote about World Wars Dates and Itinerary...War & Peace, then lull then Peace & War again - Limited War, Freedom War, Civil War, Cold War - so many of them.
Then again the debates in college about what brought the freedom, followed by muted Gandhisim-wont-work-today arguments. I don't wanna get back to the wheel, so lets get to the point...
I don't like just quoting someone else's work to make up a blog post, but this one was compelling...
Here's an article on Non-violence I've pondered upon for a while now. The excerpts copied:

"...It worked with the British; it would not have worked with Hitler, Stalin or Mao Zedong. The African National Congress had to fight a violent liberation war to bring down the apartheid regime.
Non-violence does not work while defending a situation of status quo which is under attack, where the adversary is on the offensive to change the existing order of things. Hitler, Stalin and Mao were attempting to destroy the status quo and replace the existing order with one of their own vision with the use of enormous violence.
Today, bin Laden, Lashkar-e-Taiba and their ISI supporters are out to change the status quo with the use of indiscriminate violence. No non-violent protest would be of any avail against them.
Gandhi did make this distinction. Therefore, against the British Raj defending the status quo, he wisely prescribed civil disobedience as the appropriate strategy of attack. When it came to resisting invaders in Kashmir who were out to change the status quo in Kashmir with the use of violence, he endorsed the use of army to stop them. Gandhi's reply to General Cariappa highlights that philosophically he had not solved the problem of non-violence in defense..."

If this doesn't appear shit to you please see through the full article. Hmm no if you don't bother reaching there wait there's more excerpt, I can't help... I know you all and I are *?# :

"...Pyarelal mentions General Cariappa asking Gandhi a month before the latter's death on the relevance of non-violence to the armed forces.
The general asked: "I cannot do my duty well by the country if I concentrate only on telling troops of non-violence, all the time subordinating their main task of preparing themselves efficiently to be good soldiers. So I ask you.
Tell me, please how I can put this over i.e., the spirit of non-violence to the troops, without endangering their sense of duty?" Gandhi replied, "I am still groping in the dark for the answer. I will find it and give it to you some day". That day, unfortunately, did not come..."

So here we are with something handful, if you agree. Whatever said, read and debated in the dog days seems a bit insignificant now after reading this. I wont put my viewpoint now...and nor do we need Leo Tolstoy with his War & Peace to fathom facts here.
Anyway this piece of Eminem's Stan I remember serves well to end things here...
Sorry for ending things disconnected, you just think.
It late night now and gotta go, and all you my-Pacifist-Brothers sleep happy. Amen.

"...I'm in the car right now. I'm doing 90 on the freeway.
Hey Slim, "I drank a fifth of vodka, ya dare me to drive?"
You know that song by Phil Collins from "The Air In The Night"?
About that guy who could have saved that other guy from drowning?
But didn't? Then Phil saw it all then at his show he found him?
That's kinda how this is. You could have rescued me from drowning.
Now it's too late. I'm on a thousand downers now, I'm drowsy..."

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Of Triumphs And Trudges

There was it again...the young guns standing tall with a deservedly triumph, 4 in a row. However this time it was bigger one: the final soup at T20. There's a new wave around here, aggressive and insurmountable. The game has changed, the strategy has changed, but the spirit remains the same...yet more gripping and jazzier. Few trends are noticeable that marks this coming of age. The transformation is manifested in the world around you:

Risky Minded: Calculated smart risk pays well. Growing number of us from IIT's and IIM's are riding on the entrepreneurial waves these days. New avenues are opening day by day and this dovetails well with the rising youth population. Dhoni and his fearless men symbolize this on the playground. But you need to believe in:

Present, As It Is: It's a crunch, make no mistake, Life's a smash. Eminem says "Life has one shot, don't miss blow it" in "Lose Yourself". On the ground every ball is an opportunity. Outside also everyday behooves from you something new and special, but you gotta find it. Present is all you have; speed and multitudinous can be killing, which brings me to the next point.

ADD Mad: I am talking about Attention Deficit Disorder. You have your cellphone, your iPod, your home PC, your office Laptop, your TV, your girlfriend, you zen and lifehacking habits, your credit-card callers, your dreams at night, your aspirations for tomorrow...All seeking your fragmented attention in between the extravagance. And then you look for instant gratification everywhere...have to say T20 is the result of this same instant-gratification for Success everywhere. And so we have:

Time lapses, Money flows: You are trying to fit in your boxes with every flower you can find, but have forgotten their smell. Shrinking daily activities and living double than you've been before, looking for spices in everything you taste. The every-weekend-multiplex culture is kind of addiction rolled into a package for you.

Don't lap up at the fickle disquietude way of life, find your place and how you can pay-off in the disorder instead. Dhoni and his Men have this message for you.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Things We Didn't Know...

There's a lot many things we don't know about education when we are (were) into baking and toiling our big books for some living in the future. The ignorance can be killing at times to most, for all those life defining turns and moments simply wont take place, and there you are left dragging your life. There is this well written article by noted scriptwriter Jaideep Sahni (Chak De, Khosla Ka Ghosla...):

"I was fifteen years old when I was asked to decide what I was going to do for the rest of my life. I’ve often wondered at the stupidity of this - how can a 15-year-old possibly make such a decision? The second thing I’ve never understood is the way I was asked. I was asked to choose the direction of the rest of my life from science, commerce and arts. Can all the millions of wonderful options in life be classified into three things? ..."

Read the complete story. Just to mention, before Jaideep stumbled upon the scripts and found the writer in him, he has gone through all the same wandering for years, as an ad-man and the next-door IT guy. More about him here.

Way to go, partner.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

[ I N . . .     ]

In the Greatness of Hill Heights,
In the Shrill of Cheers n Claps,
In the Dust of Sprinting Shoes,

In the Rolling Tears from Eyes,
In the Lines of Executing Code,
In the Airs of a Victory Whistle,

In the Tension of Plucked Strings,
In the Farness of Telescope Lens',
In the Mirror's Shine facing You,

In the Vocal veins of a Tenor,
In the Lips curved for a Smile,
In the Flow of Writer's Dark Ink,
In the Pigments of Framed Potrait,

In the Stretch of Flying Wings,
In the Perfectness of 2+2 = ... ,
In the Fixed Direction of Cold Rails,
In the Beckoning of a Cheerleader,

In the Freshness of Your First Breathe,
In the Chill after Hard-done Sweating,
In the Bubbles of Tumbling Metaphors,
In the Hunt of Twilight at Tunnel's End,

In the Circular Thoughts of Kids,
In the Colors of Their Fantasies,
In the Shrug of Young Shoulders,
In the Steadiness of Old Soiled Feet,

In the Frivolity of Homespun Pranks,
In the Lost Speed of Crossing Light,
In the Thin Wait for Forgotten Friend,
In the Friendship with not-called 'Friends'...

Didn't intend to end with the last two dispirited lines, but they stood strong...and I stopped. Neglect them.
Wished to write more. Btw, welcome You to Comment Some of Your "In The's...". Lets Live A Little.


Saturday, September 8, 2007

Smart Bricks In The Wall...

By the time we all started out with the name-hobby thing for one another, it seemed we've already been friends since long. A pleasant moment in the evening filled with so much vibe, with bubbles of fanciful dreams, and with that soft clamor...No doubt children come in all different ShApEs and Colors....as do their chocolates and their chocolate-box ideas. Some play tough, some talk high, some conspire good, some just see through things!, some are elegant at being mute and some just dream damn big and make it true.

At their age I was...hmm maybe more dumber than any of them :), thanks to Akanksha being there for them. It's slew of efforts for these underprivileged kids is commendable, and now I m trying to play a part...Good Ain't So:)

We are supposed to mentor these kids, with some informal education, some nuggets of wisdom. I asked Somebody already been there for sometime and Somebody said it's been a "Enriching" experience. I don't know what Somebody meant by "Enriching" there, but I guess I would've told the same to you. So much of the world is lost when you try to capture it in just a single word, so much unsaid things lost around just because there wasn't any context to carry them.

Kids are like riffles of swift spring water, riding high on their bounty fantasies. They shud be given the luxury to live every moment, in their dreamland, up away among the stars. Free of shit around here.
Oh I'm going back tooo the Start...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Ain't She Rocking...

It's 4 in Morning, and I m about to finish these lines...

A Comfortable Silence,
In Her Voice, In Her Frivolity
Rainwater Dripping Down And
It's Cold, But She's Holding Still

In Blissful Unawareness,
She Is Making Ends Meet,
While The Clock's Ticking,
Sans A Heartbeat Sans Any Feel

She's Free, Or Is It Just
Her Starry-Eyed Perception,
Or Love For A Heartburn Life,
That Speaks A Tough Language

A Hazy Smoke Surrounds
Her Ghetto, Her Dwelling,
That's More Malign Than
The Charcoal She Blows...

...That Fills Water In Her Eyes,
And Blows Ash-Flakes Bits
In The Thicketh Of Her Hair,
Which She Twirls And Twists.

Her Papery Hands Soiled,
Yet Clean, And Adore No Blings,
Or Rings, But She Wears A Smile
Of Some Esthetic Beauty.

While The Sun's Still Sleepy,
She Trods Long Miles Bare Feet,
For A Bowl Of Springwater And,
For Gallons Of Milk You Swill

And The Dusk Resonates
With The Sweet Lullabies,
And Her Organic Folklores;
As She Carries That Distinctive
Rustic Grace And Tender-Love.

Note sure how much it captures the bucolic charm. There's a single in the movie Manthan, most of us would have heard of, at least in this Amul Ad. It's so resounding and touches the senses forevermore...Here's that complete rhapsody for you - Mero Gaam Katha Parey...

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Fling.

Below is the article I submitted to "My Best Experience" contest in my firm. I'll be getting a gift ;)

Life’s a fling. Sometimes a big smash-shot and sometimes just a fuss-and-poof! Sometimes it makes noises of ruffling papers while sometimes it’s an organic tune of some plucked strings. We sally into the blue wide ocean for a tripping, and then we realize we need to reach the scary depths to claim the glistening seashells.

While we leave behind a memory trail, we capture new picturesque that never stops to amuse us, reveal how special yet how inconsequential few moments can be, before the ticking clocks reminds us that we are just a story that the master storyteller has chosen us to be...

There was a time, when I happened to behold one of those vivid picturesque, those which stay close to the heart, and those which you clip as a badge on your life portrait...All along my sophomore years, I had had this wish to do some seriously serious research work. Scientist, yes you got it right. I chanced upon a research institute (RI) for my summer internship. And then the rest was history, err...an ordeal into the labs :)

I came across the Real Scientists, with whom I needed to fabricate semiconductor materials: that end up as tiny intricate things without which the ubiquitous computers won't exist…and neither would my current job ;)
I lived a second life at RI, a life into scary equations, streaky graphs, pile of tomes full of gobbledygook, lingering around big sophisticated machines, and bungling with blistering acids that can suck the last drip of blood from your skin. I played with chemicals more precious than even gold and platinum, so pure that even your breath can make them dirty. I used to grope in corridors of library, google, run a slew of experiments and verify results day and again.

I had had techincolor dreams and surreal thoughts about those equations – balancing and negotiating, just needed right to sustain the system. Jack Welch has rightly said: "While researching you get so much involved that you think you gonna win a noble prize!". It was a world of a curious kid on the block, of a thin hope, of a rock determination, of a chocolate-box passion, of an order in chaos and of extreme umpteen possibilities. Much as you wallow through the subatomic world, its stashed secrets and extravagant shows bemuses you like wild honey would do.

It felt good. Good that all those bootstrapped little efforts culminated into little opus. As my stint at RI was closing in to the end, I realized that the run-on-the-lane to the finish-line is more important than finishing itself, that at times a rush of blood is required to keep you ticking!

The last day my mentor had few words of praise for me, for I exceeded some expectations…it felt good, again.
And this picturesque remained, in the story.

"…Grace finds beauty…in everything."
- U2

Saturday, July 14, 2007

From Ripples To The Splash! **

May Just In A Little While...
Those HeartBeats' come to Life,
All in all it's in ur Genes and Memes
And All that'll not be is this moment.

So looking by the side by the corner,
May just be an empty void broken mirror,
But that still shines all bright in white light,
And so all that matters is ur soul's spright...

Something is still entrenched so deep,
Something still made to cross the steep.
Out of sight it smiles like an esthetic lady...
And walks tall all alone while the bones freeze.

So feel it's coming, feel it's feelings
And it'll make ur day and roll all the way
Beneath ur skin, beside ur shadow, it's just stashed
From Stipples to The Swash, From Ripples To The Splash!

**Saw this caption and snap in TOI few time back and felt invigorated to do something about my energy...hope it translates out well here...By the way plz do read what Memes are, in the link.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Sunday Tripping...

Not before the sun dawned on the hazy azure, four of we blokes: K, V, S and Me (A), embarked on an adventure around the hammocks, in search of...you know what. It was S's plan basically, vagabonding in the hills, especially when K has come all the way to live a second life. Some moments need to be made special in the high mountains, to liberate you from the cobbled life down below.

We started out with a bungling local train trip, therein squeezing a tight siesta to compensate for the last night-out. Next we entrusted our leg-bones for the long binge up along the pathways to the clouds. Soon it started dripping as we stomped along the mudway. What a perfect start!...when all u've got is a alone umbrella above three-sneaking man's head, and a wise man with a jacket. It was an excuse to get drenched without feeling the cold raindrops.

En route we took rain-breaks, tea-breaks and snap-breaks, which was filled with quips, platitudes, snigger's, sallies, old college-prank stories and all hogwash spewed along, seemed as if it was all stored for this day. S and K were more verbose and 'ornamental' with their wisecracks full of unmentionable lingo :). We pretended hard not to appear tired, with morbid excuses...viz. S on his fitness despite his grown tummy :)

We reached THE place - place where S & K could have their nostrum-of-the-day (yes u got it right - boozing out). No doubt they have reached the cloud-number-NINE, I betcha they came for this Only. Me and V, the teetotallers, enjoyed their blabber. We then 'contemplated' hard on 'Time Travel' and 'Theory Of Relativity'...yes no joke intended...just to make concepts clearer! How unromantic ;).

K & S sozzled up to the blissful state, and after light meal we readied to treadle to the 'Points' - kinda final destination from where you can feel the depth of the valleys, gaze the peaks kissing the skies, or savour a tryst with the clouds. We smoked and ooogled at (you know what!) and conspired... Intermittent downpour, swift zephyr - we couldn't have been closer to nature's soul. Others enjoyed horse riding while I preferred to saunter along. We listened the sweet lullaby of chill waters in the springs and lakes, where ripples seemed closing in on you.

We had to end the fling finally, so we descended down to grounds, and so did S & K's groggines :-) Did taxi and then local train, which was jam packed close to nuclear human density. K & Me felt even this ordreal wasn't still enuf, so at night we ended up in a pub after some roving...

...And the liberation eventually lapsed.