Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Nike Cricket Crazy

Though not as much a fan of mainstream cricket.. I'm a clear fan of gully cricket!
n i just luvd the spirit of this Nike ad...

Monday, February 26, 2007

Blogging about Blogs

yeah, i know.. it could very well sound as though I must be chronically jobless to be blogging about blogs!

the fact is, I just attended a tech talk by Geertjan Wielenga, who's a technical writer for NetBeans, based in Prague, Czech Republic. (his blog is said to be getting the highest hitcounts at blogs.sun.com!)
ok, so you didn't get d context? well, SUN is one place which actually encourages its folks to blog! and has a totally dedicated space at blogs.sun.com for people to talk about their work, showcase the products and even post personal blogs like the one um doing nw! aint dat cool?!

the talk kinda triggered some thought processes in my mind..
ok, so I just started blogging about a month back, and find myself making atleast a couple of posts every week (well, definitely the count is not what matters to me the most, but the constant analyser that I am, couldn't hold myself back from analogizing the data). so what gets me coming back to this space to scribble down my thoughts?

well, it could be one of those seasonal addictions (just the way I was addicted to rose-mints during my pre-high school days).. but there should be something more to it.. I DO get a high out of it!

could that be about having a space to speak my mind n let the whole world know about it? well I am ok with it being public, but um not too sure about that argument, as I never had this urge to publicise it in other forums or blogrolls, other than ofcourse letting my friends know about it..

I do find all these trackers (you can find a couple of them which I've configured in here) pretty interesting.. it lets me know my readers, which part of the world they come from, and whether they do really come back to my blog for more.. it's a pretty flattering thing (something which I've realised is that, most of my friends prefer to let me know through mail, or some other more personal medium, than put in a comment here.. um still in the process of figuring out what could be the reason..) but surely, that's not what actually prompts me to keep blogging..

it can't be for a reason like 'writing' (just because one feels that one's good at writing, and wants to showcase it!). 'coz I for one, am a hopelessly poor writer.. (I've never got any published work to my credit, if not for a short story for the college magazine, and that too because incidentally I was a member of the magazine's editorial board for that year, and was actually prodding others to send in their entries!) I don't write poems.. n I don't quite enjoy it when I get to read something, for which I'll have to hit dictionary.com for every other sentence I read!

during the course of the tech talk, I realised that it has got more to do with how I feel about the whole process.

# it helps me assimilate the random thoughts in my mind on any issue.. it's like while I try to pen down something, I put a certain amount of pressure on my mind to collate ideas and streamline my views, that I end up feeling much clearer at the end of the process..

# I do get responses to my posts from a good cross section of my friends, which kind of gives more clarity to the hazy idea I have about certain things.. (it actually contributes to the growth process when you get that kind of constructive feedback)

# I used to share experiences and discuss thoughtprocesses with friends through private channels.. more of a 1:1 thing.. and most of the time, when I talk/mail to different people, I might not necessarily be in the same state of mind / discuss the same thing. Whereas, this medium helps me reach out to a good number of friends where I manage to convey it to all the folks in the same tone and mode.

# many believe 'silence is the best way to camouflage ignorance'.. I would say, well, its not a crime to be ignorant about something.. not everyone knows everything! its ok to speak one's mind. there's noone out there in the big void of the internet evaluating my IQ or wordpower! I feel, it's an absolutely marvelous feeling to air my opinions and not be judged by anyone.. because the twist here is that, though i am addressing everyone, i am not addressing anyone in particular.
it's not subjective to the recipient (in the sense, I dont have to bother about the preferences / state of mind of the reader I'm addressing, as in the case of 1:1 interactions), which gives more freedom of expression. and there's nothing to beat the feel good factor when I do own upto my opinions!

to sum it all, I would say, it feels good to come back to this place, which is more like a punching bag at times, a public forum at times, and a personal diary too, all rolled into one! and most of all, it feels like HOME! :)

hey, and thanks to you guys, for making it a lovely experience for me.. if not for you, I would've been scribbling all this away in a diary, rather than blog!
Do visit again! :)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Blank Noise Project

Just bumped into this blogspace: Blank Noise today.. a brilliant initiative...wonder why I never heard of it earlier... n I'm sure a lot many people would not have.. if this post helps to spread the word across to at least a handful of people who might be interested in participating, I feel it would serve its purpose well..

I don't know the people who plan or organise these project events.. but I do share this strong sense of brotherhood (or should i call it sisterhood? ok.. whatever! you got my point, right?) with the folks..

please do take a look at the blog, before reading further..

the topic here, is eve-teasing..
all those obnoxious remarks, getting stones hurled at you as though you are some street dog or something..(yeah, this one happened to me in Bangalore!) to all that you get to read in the newspapers on that!

oh yeah, we've all learnt to live with it.. dismiss them off as "barking dogs"..or avoid it..
we all have our own li'l techniques of counteracts .. safety pins, self defense techniques, dodging our bodies to save ourselves in a crowded lane, going out in groups or easier still, simply not venturing out at all..
even having a boyfriend around for escort helps! (yeah, having a boyfriend does have some advantages too! :D) or getting yourself a vehicle (seriously, this one's the best i can vouch for.. it's been about 13 yrs since I've got one, and I refer to it as my "bade bhaiya")..
carrying your helmets along while you walk through the lanes.. it doubles up as a shield too.. n sometimes a weapon too.. well at least it'll help you make way for yourself in the crowded lanes!
n if you're staying alone, making sure you don't entertain friends (guys; exception >> pretty close pals) at your place.. not giving away direct contact details like your personal mobile number to people other than close friends/ if the situation calls for that info.. (hey, I do follow this one religiously.. I don't mind being nice to people I meet -well.. mostly, if not always-, but the moment they say 'phone number', I'll be into the "err.. ahem.. didn't hear that!" mode -or some other line.. hey, I wouldn't want to reveal those trademarked info in here, right.. c'mon, put on your thinking caps and invent some creative lines for yourself!- ,unless they are people I'm very sure about!)
(PS: girls: you must've got at least a couple of new techniques here..
guys: your mothers/sisters/girlfriends/wife/daughters would be thanking you if you pass this info to them)

whatever you do, it doesn't nullify the impact of the slimy treatment meted out to you just b'coz you were born a woman!

so, this bunch of youngsters, most of them girls, decided to throng the male dominated Brigade road of Bangalore on Feb 11, '07 (a pity I got to know about it 10 days later)..
"oh these girls! they just want to do all that the men are doing! n then they feel proud for doing that, creating nuisance to everyone".. this is how people dismiss such acts..

well lemme tell you my brothers n sisters, its not about proving some point by blindly aping men.. it's a way of reclaiming the space.. reclaiming the freedom.. reclaiming the sense of belonging to this society.. not feeling ashamed of being a woman.. its about getting into the man's territory and giving it a hit! and more often, the intension is to get even with the people who think less of them.. so, what's wrong in that?

if a 100 women thronging the Brigade road could be a nuisance to people, wonder how much of a nuisance those jobless men must be creating during the other 364 days of the year!

my dear friends, "BLANK NOISE" is the magic word.. spread the word around, find their chapter in your city, n get into action!!

for a change, let's try doing something better than just biting back the hurt pride!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

another bomb blast.. another national exigency..

Samjhauta Express blasts
since when did we grow to be so insensitive to the crude realities around us?

nopes, i don't intend to shed ink-tears on the issue..
it's eery.. ppl dont want to talk abt it anymore..
we get the news flash on tv, hear the shocking numbers..swallow that swelling lump in the throat.. yep.. human lives mean no more than headcounts nw..dead or alive. "atleast 66 dead", they say..
ok..so we switch to the nxt channel, airing a celebrity studded reality show!

is this what gandhiji meant when he said "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil"? one wonders..
is it coz ppl dont want to acknowledge this scary Sword of Damocles, which might come down on any one of us, anytime?
is it coz we've learnt it the hard way, that no matter how much we rant n rave, no good solution is going 2 come out of it anyways?
is it because we've learnt 2 accept d fact dat the world's been infested by a bunch of insane ppl, who go around butchering children for Pleasure, massacring ppl for proving a Point, violating all the basic human rights as a display of Power!

it's 'kalyug'!! brilliant reasoning! no questions beyond that!
yeah, we've learnt to lap it all up.. with a pinch of salt!

the new breed of news channels cover it extensively.. the competition here is: who paints the goriest realistic picture of the mishap! there is no cut, no edit, no consideration whatsoever on the impact of the scenes n words on the wide cross-section of television audience: on the innocent minds of small kids, on the sensitive religion freaks who are ready to pick up their swords at the drop of a hat!
who's bothered about journalism ethics n responsibilities here.. "oh dat's an unedited video we're screening, which just came in from a 'citizen journalist', we didnt have d time for a review" ! reason enough!
well d opportunists that they are, flash catchy questions on screen, asking ppl to send in sms es of "yes" or "no" for options! (well let's save the topic of those astronomic calculations of d profit they make out of this sms thingy, for another day!)
n team it up with some news updates on d count of celebrities dropping in at a posh hospital in d city 2 visit a bollywood hero who's taken in sick! wot an irony!
yeah, n they do a viewer's choice prioritisation of their news stack, which pushes these trivia to the forefront of national news viewership!
so what about the latest train blast? well.. that can wait for sometime!

eerie to think, where are we headed to? nowhere, i guess..
ppl just exist, for the sake of it, as long as they can.. or are allowed to, by the great power brokers of d land!

ok, so what do we do nw? we switch to the next business/finance channel.. catch up with the discussion on "budget '07"!
life goes on.. n we've got taxes to pay at d end of d financial year, you see!!
err.. dat's if we manage to exist till then, by chance!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Flying beauties..

In the past couple of months, I've been lucky enough 2 get back in touch with a bunch of my old schoolmates.. n after d initial "hello hi's" i find myself enquiring whether they have any clue about the whereabouts of Gritty Joseph..

now who's Gritty?
we were best buddies at school during our pre-high school days.. n by the time we reached high school, all d equations changed.. u know how it is... there are groups n lobbies all around.. d basis of these classification's wer even funny.. studious, naughty, tomboys, malayalee mankas, shwang-shwang's (nw dat was d most interesting lot! d dhinchak accent was 2 b heard 2 b believed! :D), d silent beauties, teachers' pets, grumblers, last benchers, bulbuls... phew! n somehow, Gritty n me kinda drifted on 2 different groups..

so, wot makes me wonder about Gritty now?
yes, she was a very dear friend.. a sweet n cute li'l girl, who was a wonderful athlete (she was d fastest n bestest sprinter at school) but what used 2 amuse me always was her ambition.. (yeah i know, it hardly matters.. we all used 2 blabber endlessly about a 101 ambitions while at school.. but her's was unique..) she wanted 2 become an airhostess!! nw aint dat a glamorous ambition?!

we met once post high school, when we wer all deciding about which college 2 go to, n wot stream of study 2 take up... was surprised 2 know dat she was still steadfast on fulfilling dat dream of hers.. she was luking fwd 2 learn world history/ geography/ contemporary somethings n blah blah..

so, we went to 2 different colleges... n in this whole hustle bustle of career building, we totally lost touch with each other..

n then, 4 yrs bak, when i came 2 bangalore, i met this lovely girl, Gladys... we hit it off well with each other d day we met.. now, y is she dragged in2 this context?
well she had something in common with Gritty.. even she dreamt of becoming dat "air hostess" n she was on her way 2 becoming one soon.. i've seen her struggle thru all those crash courses / placements n have seen her toil hard 2 see her dream come true.. believe me, it aint no cakewalk babes.. its just as murky n dirty as any other corporate ladder.. newys, finally nw she's with one of the best airlines in d world.. ( :) happy ending?! oh, how i luv happy endings..)

i still wonder about Gritty.. i wonder whether she managed to make it.. i genuinely hope she did!

so, y am i discussing Gritty n Gladys n Airhostesses on a fine Saturday morining?
I just happened to read this column 2day.. on flight attendants.. d best part is, it doesn't rant about all those troubling issues we get 2 hear about this profession.. it just talks about those pretty gritty ladies who aim to fly high.. literally!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

love is... just a state of mind?!

just back from a long n lazy weekend.. long? rendered even longer, thnx 2 d karnataka bandh we had yesterday.. n by now, having got used 2 d way tv cable operators in bangalore work, d enlightened me got myself a good book from the office library..just in case!

anyways, thankfully, the cable guys took some pity on us, lesser mortals, whose sole mode of entertainment is at their mercy..

so, what was in store for the weekend.. well, since valentine's day's just around the corner, almost all the channels have decided to choke the viewers to death with cartloads of love stories.. now, for bollywood based hindi movie channels, it's a huge challenge to find romantic ones in this age of formula movies.. we sigh in relief!

but noo... these smart guys excavated some old movies of an erstwhile era.. well.. so we got to watch a tacky 'maine pyar kiya' last weekend.. n to follow it up, this weekend they put in a 'jo jeeta wohi sikander' (n i realised that movie was after all, not so boring as I thought it might now.. oh I still remember how we coaxed Papa to take us to that movie while we were at school.. that must've been a decade n a half back.. poor Pops used to fall asleep watching those Aamir Khan movies, which we used to watch religiously)
n yesterday, they screened 'qayamat se qayamat tak'! (now, I'm one of those zillion girls, 4 whom Aamir Khan of QSQT was their first crush ever.. I did my schooling at an all girls convent school, n I remember what a phenomenon these khans were, during those days.. a crazy Mahima etching his name on her wrist with a (hold your breath!) compass, a meek Sajna handing me her whole collection of Salman Khan posters, 'coz she feared her folks might scream at her if they found out, n since she was sure it would be safe with me, as I had access to a table drawer all for myself!)

so, all's set, n I decide to watch the movie again, n take a ride to the long forgotten past, trying to get back into the shoes of a 10/11 yr old girl which I used to be then!

but lo! I found it funny, many a times... those guys so much in love.. foolish in love.. n to think that, when we were kids, we really used to believe that's love n glorify it! I remember I cried when I watched it for the 1st time as a kid..
the last bollywood love story I got to see was 'dilwale dulhaniya le jayenge' which was more than a decade back! n I remember I wept while watching DDLJ too!

but as expected, this time around I dint find QSQT so moving.. oh, wot a hardhearted woman I've grown into!

nonetheless, it was such a delight to watch the movie, surprisingly!
in these days, when love means nothing more than just a 'state of mind'!

Friday, February 9, 2007

You must love me

"You must love me..." the song still reverberates in my mind... just got to see the movie, EVITA yesterday.. must admit, a powerful movie.. though i haven't been a fan of many musical based movies, this one really stole the show..

Madonna did a wonderful job of potraying Eva Peron with all her might.. the songs were rendered brilliantly too.. n the pace of storytelling was just perfect!

But more than all the technical n creative excellence, what really got me hooked, was the strength of the lady (Eva Peron). In the 1st part of the movie, she reminded me a lot of my favorite, Scarlett O'Hara (fictional character of Gone with the wind fame). There's something about these women that's so overwhelming.

Coming to think of it, i realise that the ppl who've had d highest influence on me have been women (mostly, if not always). I feel Indira Gandhi's still the strongest of all the Prime Ministers we ever had (minus the Emergency n Operation Bluestar)! who had the grit to raise her voice against the Americans.

We feel proud when we think of the Indians contributing to a bigger cause in NASA. The names that we think of 1st are that of Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams! (btw, on a different note, have you ever wondered why we don't have many women in d spotlight, in the Indian Space Arena?!!)

Think of the ppl who brought India to the forefront in the International entertainment business/Hollywood.. we point our fingers 2 d icy Miss. Rai, and nw Shilpa Shetty too (well Manoj Shyamalan is phenomenal too.. but we're talking abt d ladies here, 4 a change!)

Turn to the Indian contribution to International Sports, we get to see more documentaries on the legendary PT Usha, and articles on Sanya Mirza these days..

It's tough to find someone else to draw a parallel to Mother Theresa.

Our own Kiran Bedi is such an inspiration to so many li'l girls in India. (Don't believe me? jst get ur hands on the newspaper interviews of the girls who won the National Bravery Awards, most of them want 2 become "pulis ka ispettor" --read police inspector. no prizes for guessing where the inspiration comes from!)

Helen Keller's my all time hero! (no, i wudn't call her a heroine, i believe heroism is not gender specific)

So what makes these women shine (ok, if u argue that it's a media hype which favors women, wonder what makes them do that?!) is not just their excellence in the chosen field.. what makes them a cover story is truly 'coz of their grit in how they overcame the handicap of being a woman. (trust me, an avg indian woman does have to fight with twice the might of a man, who manages to reach an equal position! no.. um not being a feminist. just being practical.. )

n these women (its unfair 2 call them anything, but ladies.. graceful ladies) were/are powerhouses of energy, confidence, determination, and the will power 2 make it happen at their own terms...

As Madonna croons away, I agree.. We will love them.. always!

Friday, February 2, 2007

Commercialisation isn't that bad afterall !!

Valentine's day's just around the corner.
"love's in the air!" some say..
n the puritan's cry foul, "commercialization's in d air!!"

ok.. so you understand that it's a marketing gimmick, n dont give in! well.. good for u!
but what have you got against ppl who do give in?
the people who make money out of this hoopla are d opportunistic lot! well let them.. they do that because they are smart enough to make the most of the opportunity!

n if someone feels happier shelling out 10 bucks to get oneself a red heart shaped balloon on one hand and a red rose on the other (dat's me, btw!), what's wrong in doing that?!

i'd luv to do that anyday, if valentine's day (commercialization inclusive), is giving me a reason to do that, why should i be complaining?!

btw, i just realised that there ARE people who dont think of commercialization of festivals, as demons! found something interesting here

workaholic?? not me!

offlate, i've found ppl address me as "workaholic"! mostly ppl who mean no offense, who just intend to give a compliment. but, d'u know that technically, it's a kind of obsessive compulsive disorder ??

so, the next time, u call someone a workaholic, don't be surprised if you get a hard blow in response!
u know wot i mean! ;)