Tuesday, July 29, 2008

SIngh was King

I was a fan of Ishmeet Singh the day I saw him on the TV for the first time. In fact I saw the first episode of Voice of India because of him.

I was surfing channels when I passed a Sardarji singing a beautiful Tune Mujhe Pehchana Nahi on Star Plus. It was one of the initial stages of VoI and I loved that performance so much that I thought he should reach somewhere in the final stages. By the time I didn't even know he would reach the mega finals where there will be two people on the stage and then win the title.

Even when the final results were about to come, I was supporting Ishmeet against a person who had the same name as mine. I even wrote a post, 'Will my candidate win this time'.

But today, he is no more. I don't know how it happened exactly, but it was a painful incident.

May Ishmeet Rest in Peace.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The 2 ways

There are two ways of not talking to one.

First, by not speaking and second, by not listening.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Out of Race

No doubt there is a race going on among all the news channels nowadays. Every one wants to be ahead of all others, not only in bringing news to people, but also bringing experts and expert reviews. As soon as something happens, there are 'experts' on TV, talking live and on phone on the topic.

But the print media is a quite different. Probably in being good, and more responsible, they do things slowly. I first felt so when I was checking websites of various news channels and newspapers yesterday. As Times of India website was showing 6 blasts, DNA showed 9, whereas Aaj tak and IBN were showing 13 and 17 blasts' news respectively.

Today, when I thought I could read some comments by the best of India's journalists/authors on two days' continuous blasts, I was disappointed to see that Times of India had nothing on blasts by any of them and the entire editorial page, 'All that matters', in their lingo. Then I checked Hindustan Times and DNA, and found that there were no articles on blasts in any of their editorial pages.

It was like coverage of the previous 5 days of the week took away the 6th and 7th days. But the obvious fact is that these authors give their opinions days before these editions come out and nobody tried to change them.

On one hand it's good because had the case been otherwise, there would be only Ahmedabad all over the pages. But then, it's striking that when on one hand everybody is talking about bomb blasts, but these newspaper experts seem to be talking of an altogether different world.

Don't you think they need to speed up a bit?

Real and Fake

I like reading Shashi Tharoor in The Times of India every Sunday. This time, it was about fake things versus real. And here is my opinion which I sent back through the ToI website.

(You can read the article by from the link given in the top right corner, 'Get real, we are living in a fake world', or simply clicking the title of this post, that is 'Real and Fake')

Thanks Shashi.

Pretty right. Absolutely right as far as drugs are concerned, and even in general, I feel we should buy original and not fake.

But sometimes piracy helps those who are not helped by originals. In today's context, I am talking about books.

Previously it was the market of CDs (read movies) that was dominated by pirates. But then, the prices of Video CDs (and even audio CDs) came down and people started buying originals, piracy taking a backseat. And though piracy hasn't been abolished completely, Moserbaer and T-Series are dominating the market with their low price CDs or say, reasonable price CDs.

Back to books now. India has a large market of pirated books. And I have bought a number of pirated books in Bangalore and Chennai, most of them Non-fiction as I used to read whatever I got in library as far as fiction is concerned. I have never liked buying pirated books but then, I didn't have much options. I don't think my parents can 'waste' rupees 495 for buying me 'The Elephant, the tiger and the cellphone' until it's going to help me out with my studies or my job or something equally important. In fact, until I start earning enough money myself, I can't think of buying a rupees 500-600 book. And I feel an average Indian student is more or less in the same situation, with the exceptions of a few rich.

Now, the options I have are:

1. I do not read the book and wait for getting a job first.

2. I stop my other expenses for a month or a half and collect money to buy the book.

3. I go to the market and get a duplicate copy for 70-80 rupees.

I think the third one is the simplest, and the best in my scenario. And in case of most Indian students. Or a lot of them, to say the least.

I still say that I do not like pirated things. I bought Chetan Bhagat books because I could afford one easily and so was the case with The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. And I feel that if prices are made a bit more people friendly, piracy can be removed to a large extent.

PS: I still haven't bought 'The Elephant...', hoping I buy an original as I'll be joining my job soon.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


It's 8:56 by my watch. And seems there is a race going on between news channels. Times of India, where I saw the news for the first time had been showing news of 6 blasts and now isn't talking on numbers. DNA is showing 9 blasts on its headlines whereas IBN live claims 17 and Aaj Tak is talking about 13 blasts.

And though they say blasts were low intensity, pictures don't suggest such 'low' intensity. I mean, of course they might have not been high intensity, but the 'low' thing is quite misleading.

As the news came, I was a bit shocked as it was continuously second day for blasts. But the real shock came when I heard my mother saying that there were 14 blasts. I opened the TV and then the sites of IBN and Aaj tak telling me more than I had read.

I still doubts all the figures but one fact is that this day has been really shocking. I had not even changed the 'Are we habitual to bomb blast news now' tag on my Orkut profile when this came up.

I know there is not much going to happen for this except that there will be POTO or POTA again when the next government comes, but I wish the politicians don't politicize this issue and do something positive together. Though I feel this is going to remain just a wish as this is yet another chance of throwing mud at each other for our leaders.

For the rest, may God help us. That's all I can think of.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Next is Where

7 blasts rocked Bangalore today.

After Hyderabad, Lucknow, Varanasi, Faizabad and Jaipur, it's Bangalore. And I think now we have become quite used to such news. We see, look shocked, count the numbers, lament on the situation of country, and change the channel.

Not that I feel we, as general public, can do a lot about it but I feel the way we are getting used to bomb blasts is not only wrong, it's strange too.

I am not sure about others (and welcome others' opinions on this) but when I saw the blasts' news I was soon thinking, rather calculating which town or city could be the next victim now. I also feel this attitude is wrong and I feel I need to change my outlook about this.

Also, I want to know if there is anybody who thinks the same. If yes, please give your opinion.

Beta or Alpha?

To start with, if you do not know the basic difference of Beta and Alpha versions of software, here it goes. The alpha build of the software is the build delivered to the software testers, usually internal to the organization or community that develops the software.

Whereas a beta version is the first version released outside the organization or community that develops the software, for the purpose of evaluation or real-world black/grey-box testing. The process of delivering a beta version to the users is called beta release. Beta level software generally includes all features, but may also include known issues and bugs of a less serious variety.

Now, let's come to current trends. First of all, nowadays companies like Google run their products in the markets for years and claim them to be beta versions. For example, Orkut, used by more than 12 crore people, is still in beta stage.

Now let's talk about Google's new service, Knol. Knol is a service started by Google where users can write their own pages about anything and put it online, something similar to Wikipedia, except that there can be a number of pages on a single topic in Knol, and they will belong to the owner of the page.

Now, Knol is in its Beta stage, but the service doesn't even have a working search system. The question is, how can a service that is so much dependent on search, reach its beta stage without a proper search sysytem.

Interestingly, Knol belongs to Google, which is considered the second name for search on Internet. Hope Google does something about it soon.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

And now, Knol

What if Google owned the Wikipedia? Well, now it seems that Google is trying to something of that sort as it has started its new service called Knol, the unit of knowledge. (name trying to remind you of mol/mole of science, I think)

Though being a Wikipedia isn't easy. That too when its a commercial company like Google. I mean, of course there are companies that are much more into money but Wiki is a complete charity so a competition should hardly exist between the two.

For now, the only things I understood are that Knol will have authors who could write on topics as they wish and they can also get ad revenues through adsense for ads on their Knols.

This is supposed to create competition but I expect more of confusion and chaos. So let's see how does this new thing works. I hope Google people get good result for using their Knols of knowledge.

India. Teaching the world

Today, while surfing, I found a site called dailymind through an article called 100 Ways to Relax, Unwind and Loosen Up. Though I didn't find much in the article, I liked the site and decided to move to the home of the site, rather blog.

As I reached the home page, the sight that welcomed me was of a Kashmiri boat-sailor and a post titled 'Lessons from India 3: Dealing with hardships'.

As I watched below, there were chapters on 'Being Grateful for what you have' and 'Having a Purpose at Work'.

I think Indians are still as good at teaching spirituality as always.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Najibabad. Internet. People.

Today, 4 pm, Bharat Complex Cyber Cafe, Najibabad.

It was not a new thing for me to go to the Bharat Complex. I have been there so many times for internet when I didn't have a broadband connection even though the Rs 30 per hour the guy there takes wasn't right from any standards, I thought.

Still, today I needed to go there as I needed the print out of my Dell Laptop quotation so that I could tell bank how much it cost me.

I went there and told him I needed to get a printout from my mail. After 5 mins he got me a system. I logged in. I got the mail, downloaded the PDF and said, let me check it. By the time I could complete my sentence, he had clicked sign out. Of course, he had no time to check it.

Well, he launched himself into the printer room with the PDF in his hand, in a pen drive. By the time I got in, he told me it was 8 pages long. Pretty fast, considering I'm not slow by any standards. I was sort of shocked and asked him not to print it all and just give one page when he told me he had already given the print command.

I thought it would not be much of a problem as it'd cost me Rs 16 at max and since I hadn't asked him to print, he might consider taking a bit less too.

Guess I was wrong. Not just wrong, but actually shocked when I asked him how much I had to pay and he said Rupees 40!

Rupees 40 for eight, black and white A4 pages' prints which actually I didn't want because I could fetch the price of my commodity on a single page. Seriously speaking, I had to control my anger and I was sort of showing my magnanimity when I handed him the money. The interesting thing is that when I asked him that I and he both knew how much these eight pages really cost, I got an answer that he only knew as he was the one earning. Well, the logic was quite okay but I still wonder how I could justify Rs 5 for a printout.

After half an hour when I was chatting with my dad about the printouts, for the first time it occured to me that buying a printer was a much better option as the guy could buy a printer with the margins he got on every pack of 500 A4 sheets. (500 pages x 5 Rs per page=Rs 2500, almost the cost of a printer) In fact cartridges too could be bought in that much.

I think Najibabad is a pretty self dependent place now, as far as internet is concerned as I can see many people with net connections now, but if you need to go for printouts, and the guy in your mind is the Bharat complex one (as it's one of the best running cyber cafes), consider buying a printer. The same thing as I am doing now.

Watch Out. Don't Click

Today I stumbled upon a new thing, called dontclick. It's an experiment on the site dontclick where they check if you really miss clicking or happy navigating without clicks. Interesting. You can check it.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Shift Kiya.. Kiya... No-kia!

I wonder if there are people on this earth who do what they say. I mean, sometimes it's so difficult. Not generally, but for me it's so. I say something, and do something else.

This time it was my phone. I lost my phone to the rain of Dehradun. Well, most probably, as it stopped working later in the night after the day when it caught some rain. And so, I was going to get a new phone.

I have been a music freak for almost 10 yrs, but I still never had a music phone. So this time I decided to get a music phone. And since I got a digicam, I wanted to have a non-camera phone. I searched, and found that Nokia had no such phone. (!!)

Well, I thought of buying a Sony Ericsson and later decided to go with a MotoYuva. I even found one with a friend of my cousin and finally I was happy with my choice of a new Moto.

The day I had to buy phones (my dad also needed one, as he lost his almost a month ago), I took off on my dad's Nova with him as the driver. (I still don't drive a scooter, or any other vehicle for that matter!)

The first shop we selected belonged to 'apna subhash' who is popular in the city for his helping nature. ('Apna' was part of his shop's name when I had bought my first phone from there in 2003) By this time 'apna Subhash' had stopped selling cellphones and was only in the business of advising as far as cells were concerned. My dad asked him who had Nokia and Motorola Agencies in the town and he immediately suggested not to go with a Motorola even though he said Motoyuva wasn't a bad phone.

Next we reached Goyal PCO, our supplier of clothing except shirts, pants and sarees, I mean, from towels to bedsheets and caps to socks, the owner of course being my dad's good friend. He there asked him to come with him to Bilal's, who had almost every model of cellphone that was sold in the town. As we talked to the guy sitting behind the counter of Bilal's, the guy suggested us not to go with a Motorola and rather stick to a Nokia. The reason he gave was that we had gone to him with bhaisahab (the owner of the PCO) and hence he would give us the best advice. He also said that he currently didn't have it and it would take him two days to get a Moto as Motorola wasn't in demand in our town.

This time I finally came down. I was all in mood to get a Moto until then but as I heard I needed to wait for two days for a thing that was un-suggested by a number of people, I decided to get back to a Nokia.

I asked the guy what were the prices of 5200, 6300 and 3110 classic. And soon I decided to go with 3110 classic as 6300 was a bit too high on price and even though I was at a liberty to buy that, I didn't want to put in that much money. Nokia 5200 was de hone and hence I didn't want to buy that. Thus I got a Nokia 3110 Classic, once again a Nokia, after my 2100, 2280, and 2600. In the meantime, I got my father a Nokia 2626 that he lost last month and this time I got him a Nokia 1650, making him the third person who bought the model while going with me.

To other cell makers: I have recommended a number of phones from other companies including Motorola, Sony Ericsson and Samsung, and this time I was about to shift to a Moto myself too. But at last, No-kia.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Blogging. Not racing

Everybody makes mistakes. I do too. And here is one that I feel many people do. So did I.

Blogging. A wonderful thing. Something that gives you freedom to say what you want to say. And so people blog. And then they blog, and blog to get readers. That's where the mistake happens.

I was a guy who started a blog as an experiment last September. I kept blogging on and off with business, telecom, and Hindi blogs, hoping they would 'run well'. But in that I lost some of my real blogging pleasure. Still my big world (that's my BLOG) kept going.

And then, there was a block. When I didn't write, due to exams and then unavailability of net and then for no reason. In the meantime I started a blog on music, because I liked that. I thought I'd blog out my views on music because I always liked to make the first opinion.

This was something I was wrong with. I blogged. I gave out my views. But I joined the race I didn't have to. I started thinking more about viewers of blog rather than my views.

And that was One Of The Reasons that I wrote lyrics of three songs from Rock on!! As usual, some time after writing them I searched the song title on Google, and what happened opened my eyes. The top result belonged to a person who had copied the lyrics from my blog. (Don't ask how I know, I can understand if it's copied from mine) On the other hand, my blog wasn't in results. (I m talking top 50, that's what I keep on first page.) This little bad luck was an eye opener for me. This guy who copied my material told me that blogging wasn't a race and there was no point in reaching people with something before others, it's about reaching people with something different, something that is your own, your views you want others to know.

It wasn't that bad because I had written those lyrics because I liked them too, but I was wrong in searching for results and all, of my writings, especially those lyrics.

So if u r a blogger, or ever become one, be yourself and not what people want you to be.

Happy blogging.

Way they copy: Picturespeak

Not a big deal. But it shows the way we do things. This was the NYT site I had visited a few days back.

New York Times
And then one day I opened the Hindustan Times site, which made me blink for a second, as I thought I had mistakenly opened NYT again. But it was HT only.

Of course both pictures have been taken almost simultaneously. I think it's pretty normal for us. But isn't it showing we don't want to work, or say even think much?

This is with the assumption that HT has copied NYT. In case it's opposite, which is highly unlikely, the same applies to US people. :)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The World is Flat - III

Yesterday I went to a marriage party. Probably I will be giving a description of all that happened later (actually nothing at all happened) but first I would like you to know that I found after four years of my Vellore, I am almost disqualified for a typical marriage party!

And of course, once again, that the world is flat.

I and my dad reached there sometime after 7.30 pm (courtesy dad, who thought it'll start in time) and found that the dinner hadn't started. (anything new??) Our hosts took us to a banquet hall where mahila sangeet was going on. (!!!)

Well, it seems something has changed. It was a mahila sangeet program, held in a banquet hall, with a DJ and a dance floor, and with a dinner following. Of course, purush, that is fortunate males, could join the proceedings and the sanctity of mahila sangeet was kept only by the fact that there were only females on the dance floor.

The sangeet was also wonderful and got more wonderful as I was sitting there in the banquet for almost 45 minutes. The first I remember being played was a traditional Dhoom taana from Om Shanti Om that was being supported by the dance of a lady of almost 25 (+/-10, keeping in view my record at guessing ages of people) and I was wondering how Vishal Shekhar could make something that didn't even belong to their age. Accolades!

A few minutes later, which seemed to pretty long with the dance, there were small children of my mohalla (no relation with college mohalla) who jumped towards the stage. No, it wasn't children anymore. I had been out of town for too long it seems. Now it was a girl in her teens who was imitating Katrina as the hall was filled with the tune of Zara-zara touch me. And then, after another traditional dance on Aaja Nachle and maybe one or two more songs, it was a number of school and college going girls that captured the DJ as it played Kajrare followed by some typical DJ tracks, and the girls kept on rocking with dances that I never knew existed in my town. Not in mahila sangeet at least.

Finally I was getting the point. In the five years I had been out, having seen the culture of mainly metros, living with students from entire country, I had forgot there was a similar progress going on in my town too. And that too, at a speed more than in the big cities. The number of young girls and boys who were getting good exposure to metro culture was increasing. Basically, it was the same people I had been with for the past five years. And now, I was meeting them. Surprised. Shocked.

Maybe I have not been very clear in what I have said. But try to get the meaning if you can. ANyways, there was something else I am pretty clear about. My disqualification.

Having stayed at college for four years, my diet has changed. I eat a lot now. But that happens only at home it seems. Yesterday in the party, I could not eat most of the things. I mean, I didn't like the quality of North Indian dishes because I was eating only at home. And I didn't like South Indian at all after staying in Tamilnadu for 4 years. Nor did I want to have South Indian, actually.

Just had a few little things and a poori with a sabji, and I came back after one ice-cream.

Disqualified. Mom says I won't be going to the next marriage party. Thanks mom.

Friday, July 4, 2008

This world is not fair.
God doesn't believe in racism.

Women's Game

Rolex. IBM. Anything else?

It wasn't like I was searching for jobs in multinationals. And Rolex would not offer me one anyway. It was the things I was seeing in the last match of Wimbledon. Reason: It was mens' singles.

First of all, please be clear I have no knowledge of tennis except that Leander Paes lost to America's Andre Agassi in 1996 Olympics (hope I'm correct on year) and that it's the game played by Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, and of course, Sania Mirza.

So, back to the topic, I was seeing this 'boring' Mens' singles thing between Roger Federer and Marat Safin. And though I could understand by the way the match was going that they were playing well (otherwise I wouldn't know their names, too) I didn't find it very interesting, or not at all interesting if compared to the last two matches where respectively Venus and Serena defeated their Russian and Chinese opponents.

I mean, seeing those girls playing those strong backhands and fronthands (I don't know if that term exists in tennis) is something worth watching. It's mesmerising to see how one little girl makes the big lady in front of her move here to there with her tricks (though it didn't happen that many times) and how beautifully (or dangerously) they show their joy when they win their games, sets and matches. (phrase lifted from Suhail Seth's articles, eventually a 1988 movie too)

But what is there to see in those Mens' Singles?? (or even doubles, for that matter) Why do people see them at all? I mean, if you want to see muscular men doing big action, why don't go for some Hollywood movie? (I hope there are not many 'bollywood only' people who watch tennis, that too mens')

Or maybe there is something worth seeing in the game too. Since I see Cricket, I know men like games, and maybe those guys play really well, so they can watch them play. But then, in a game where even the audiences don't shout during the game, what's the whole point in watching the GAME??

So, I think, I have thrown it out in the last sentence. I didn't, don't, see tennis for game. I see it for timepass. And for those girls. After all, I feel it's a women's game.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Of Blogs and Blogging

For a long time now, I m off blogging. I mean, the real blogging- My big world. I do not know when it exactly happened, but I changed in some way. I felt I was no more able to write. But probably it was something else. Probably I wasn't getting enough exposure- to world, to worldliness.

It was those days of college (not very long back actually, it's just a few months old story) when I felt like writing on everything and used to start scribbling anywhere, hardly half of that reaching my blog. But since the day I left college, the time I was on a trip to Madurai, Bangalore, Kanyakumari and Kodai, I lost touch. And then, even when I got net back, I did everything, including writing on my music blog, but didn't really BLOG.

I thought it was because I was staying home and not getting out. But today, after reading a new blog, I sensed there was something more that was wrong. I wasn't trying new things. Not even those that did not need me going out. Reading. I wasn't reading books. And I wasn't reading many blogs either. The only blogs I read were those from my friends, but the real thing, my habit of reading a number of random blogs was gone.

And probably that was the reason I wasn't writing. Probably it was the lack of enough incoming that resulted in lesser outgoing of thoughts. Probably I wasn't discussing enough. And now that I have found the reason for my inactivity, which is at least what seems to me, it will be worth seeing for me if I get back to 'the writing' or not.

Wish I do.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Many things in life happen for the first time.
And most of them never happen again.