Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Weatherman

Watched "The Weatherman". Good movie and states the obvious. Its human tendency to make sure to keep everybody in his family happy and every family person tries it. But all can't go the way one wants it this is what is narrated in this story. There is one quote I liked very much by Micheal Caine .
"Do you know that the harder thing to do and the right thing to do are usually the same thing? Nothing that has meaning is easy. "Easy" doesn't enter into grown-up life."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

You don't have to be intelligent to be happy

Although Intelligence and happiness are two different things altogether. A lot of the time I keep thinking that anybody who is intelligent will be happy. I usually get fascinated when I meet people who are close to "genius" . Post the meeting, I usually get into thinking, how lucky and blessed this guy is... he is so intelligent and he should definitely be happy and satisfied with his life.

But Its not true. Intelligence does not mean happiness, all intelligence gives you is at the bare minimum you own your actions and even when you are not happy, you are fine to some extent. An intelligent person weighs pros and cons of each of their decisions and is cautious. I know all this is very abstract but then thats what this space is all about :)

Now let me talk about the book I finished today - " the search" by John Battelle. Its an amazing book. It narrates the story of search, how google has become a synonym for search. How in future search is going to encompass every second of our life but still, its a little far from getting us what we actually want. I remember one comment from one of the movies " You cannot consider yourself an expert and have done a research just because you went and browsed about it on google". This is very true.
This book is a very good read and sometimes goes on to show, how the right things like the google's good will and hardwork of making sure they have the best algo for search has paid them a long way in their business.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

God is within yourself

I am not an Atheist, but I am also not fond of or believe in day to day rituals. I am believer that you need to do your best and as long as you are sure you are right, nothing can go wrong.

But off late the books I am reading all point towards the subject I have for this blog. I recently finished Dan Brown's - "Lost Symbol".
The book is as usual woven around the cryptic symbols and how Robert Langdon solves them - again its within a time span of two days I suppose. But its a big drag towards the later half. What interested me was the idea - "God is within yourself" and this is the famed secret of Free Masons.

Post this I finished reading a very good book from William Dalrymple - "Nine Lives". Its excellent in terms of the way small stories in far corners of India are told. It is more interesting to see how our lives are closely knitted with the religious beliefs and the daily rituals associated with those beliefs. Again some of the stories in this also point out the same - "God is within Yourself".

Then I went on to read some articles about Rama Krishna Matt and again encountered the same concept.

Now I am starting to read more on the same topic, Its interesting the way so far this concept has been emphasized in my reads. Lets see where this takes me :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Dog's Life

I got up from sleep pretty early at around 5:00 AM today. As usual the wandering mind keeps thinking. I was thinking about 3D movies in Bollywood. For some reason, we still don't have too much luck with 3D in Bollywood. May be somebody is working hard on the next one to come while I am writing this blog.

3D looks good either when the animation is either larger or very smaller than the normal human size. This was the case with Avatar, the aliens (I keep forgetting the name of the species) were larger than the humans. For a while I was thinking how good a street dog's life in a Bollywood movie be.

For one, this is unique to Bollywood since people here can relate to a street dog. Going from childhood of the dog, when it gets fed by some neighbors to the day it starts putting it borders on the road to the time it starts having puppies the whole story can be told so well and made so interesting. We could have examples of how dog has premonition of anything bad and cries out load, its a belief in India that when the dog cries, there is something bad coming up. Or when it attacks any other dog entering its territory or barks at anybody coming home late beyond 11:00PM, I usually have a lot of dogs barking at my cab whenever I end up late in the night and they all stop when they see the person getting down :). Or the idea of a dog making a girl friend or a boy friend and having puppies and protecting them. After some thought I decided this is a very good idea for movie and their ended my thoughts when my alarm rung for 6:05 AM telling me - "enough of thoughts get started for the work".

Also I recollect a lot of times - "Marley and Me", I just loved the simple story and loved the ending sentences - "How many people can make you feel that you are extraordinary? " that's an interesting question and an important one too.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mind mistakes

1) Always wants something which it does not have control on or cannot access
2) Always thinks about things which upset you, always worries
3) Does not realize the importance of something unless it looses it
4) If every explanation of an intelligent brain is against what the mind wants then substantiates that you should still go with mind because "THERE IS ONLY ONE LIFE"

With all the advances in technology we have not reached a zone where we can distinguish between why mind sometimes gains over brain.....

Monday, August 23, 2010

Vishnu , Rama and Brahma in Grand Canyon

Recently during a conversation, we were discussing how powerful water is . As an example, we were discussing how River Colorado has carved out Grand Canyon as what it is today. I usually get a little more interested about such things and immediately get to read more details.
When I visited GrandCanyon, I was only 15 days old in US of A and had absolutely no idea about what I was going to experience. When I stood there, it just seemed as though I had gone to a totally different world. But I did not know the trivia or the geological background of it.
So this time after the discussion in office, I started reading (ofcourse started with Wiki) and looked at some of the other examples of canyons in the world. It actually surprised me that Grand Canyon is not really the biggest one in the world, its the Capertree valley in Australia.
But what amazed me out of all my readings is the variety of rock beds and how it has taken billions of years, few volcanoes and the river colarado to get Grand Canyon to what it is today. The most amazing thing is that the oldest rock bed in the layers is about 1.x billion years old and is called Vishnu Schist. Upon further reading, I found out there are Rama and Brahma Schists as well. It is amazing to see the names of indian gods to be associated with something so old. I tried finding out how they got these names for rock beds but to no vail. But just a thought got into my head - might be our Puranas and Vedas and Upanishads are all true.
After some more search , I found this link which has a beautiful picture of Vishnu Schist and also explains how these got the names, check it out Vishnu Schist

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Analogy for Life

Today morning started with a very sad news. A collegue in office expired due to H1N1 infection. The demise was very shocking and for a few minutes while I was on my way to office(which is when I got this news), I was thinking how cruel god can be.
The person was very young in his late 20's and had been recently married.
While I was thinking about it, life seemed analogous to the journey over a bridge in a valley at a very high altitude.
Its like a broken bridge which is connecting two sides of the valley at a very high altitude. All the time we are trying to take a step forward and be careful not to slip. There are beautiful millipedes and centipedes which we dont want to stamp. There can be snakes around, and we need to be careful. There are holes also in the rope-way so one has to be careful treading it.Once in a while we raise our heads and take a look at the breath taking scenery of the greenery and water fall.But there is also a person who has huge axe and can cut the rope which supports the bridge anytime without any notice.
The rope-way is the journey of life which we think we need to cover from childhood to youth to old age.The millipedes and centipedes are the smaller daily things which you want to enjoy but not change or disturb.The snake and the holes are the problems - bigger and smaller -which hits you and you have to cope up with.the beautiful scenery is the good moments of life.the person cutting the axe is god and the act of cutting the ropeway is the sudden and shocking demise like my collegues.
I do not know how many can understand the analogy and connect to it, but for a minute I felt so helpless. Death is the ultimate truth , but yet human beings with all their intelligence cannot come to terms with this truth. Everytime it happens it will rip apart the ground on which somebody is standing and it will shock some of us.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sleeplessness Pill

Very often I keep wondering if we can get a pill for getting rid of sleepiness. Everyday when I catch the early morning cab, no matter how well I would have slept the previous day, I feel sleepy while entering the office. Its the same feeling I used to have when I hated going to school because, I have not completed the assignments for the day :)
During my college days, one of my good friends, used to travel quite a distance and had the same problem with early morning classes - sleepiness. She used to ask me to pinch her every once in a while , the harder I pinch, she would say harder and harder and harder :)
Today I felt the same urge when I entered office early in the morning, can somebody give me a hard pinch or a pill to get rid of sleepiness....

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Picture Perfect

I was remembering some of the best songs from Mani Rathnam's movies and started realizing how well they were picturized.

When I listen to a melodious music (I like ARR's music a lot), I start having certain expectation about how the song should be picturized for the kind of the background score in the song. Since I do not really follow Tamil very well, but love listening to ARR's music , I end up listening to the song first before watching it.
Infact, the melody of the song touches the heart so much, that I go in search of the lyrics and the translation of the lyrics. Likewise ,I also start having certain expectation on how the song should be ideally picturized for such beautiful music. Often I am disappointed with picturization, the one director who is perfect in this is Mani Ratnam.
When you listen to the initial background music in "Kannathil Muttamittal", you feel there should be a slow motioned run, and when we watch the song - both male and female version - the picturization in the Srilankan Landscape is just breath taking. The "Pacchai Nirame" song is another example of beautiful picturization. Another one which I remember is "Tu hi re", for the pain expressed in the song, the way it has been picturized on the beach and in the fort especially, in between when there is a music, it is just excellent.Another example is "Narumugaye", specifically picturized in black and white to suit the song.There are plenty more like "Dil se re","Chaiyya Chaiyya","Chinna chinna aasai" or "Ye haseen Wadiya" from Roja.
In comparision, if you watch the picturization for "Mannipaya" from VVT , it is disappointing. Same way with "Aao na " song in "Kyun ho gaya na" or "Anjali Anjali Pushpanjali". I am a fan of slow beats and both of these songs are melodious and meaningful. But they have not been picturized very well to suit the song. In mannipaya for example, one of the most meaningful verse in the song, is sung by the heroine over phone :). In Anjali Anjali song, the first part of the song, which has the beautiful saxophone and keyboard part is picturized in a disappointing way.Imagine this being picturized with both scores with a beautiful background. Instead the heroine is in a bathroom :).

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A bond(007) a day keeps you sound

Nowadays star movies is playing Bond movies everyday. What I like best about the movies is of course Bond himself and the stunts and Gadgets used. For a guy of course the list would include the beautiful ladies. This is the first time I saw Roger Moore as Bond. But my personal favorites among the Bonds is Pierce Brosnan and Sean Connery.There is no match for them in Daniel Craig. Among other characters, I like elegance of Judy Dench.

The best part of the movie is usually the opening , the stunts are excellent like the plane scene in "Tomorrow Never Dies" or the run in "Casino royale". In the casino Royale scene, the interesting part is that the Guy whom Bond is chasing finds his way without raking or breaking anything, but Bond just destroys anything that comes in his way :).

But if you think about it, Bond movies are nothing but a glorified Bollywood movie. Unlike some of the other Hollywood Movies (which is the reason why I prefer them) , there is no new ideas(like in Mission Impossible) or the thoughts(Memento-beautiful idea for a movie) or plans(like in ocean series). But that's the reason they are 007 movies isn't it?. So they are glorified bollywood movies why?- they have the typical masala - Hero(Bond), Heroin(multiple beautiful ladies with skimpy dresses), Daaku (of course he is the one whom bond is chasing) and charlie(filled in by MoneyPenny or the scientist who keeps getting the gadgets). Not to forget the ending is always good , Bond is always victorious, of course they have to keep the gate open for the next series.

But finally what matters to a viewer is entertainment which is sufficient in these movies and they will continue to be of their own class for that reason.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Watching Inception

This is an amazing movie and the directors / writers imagination is awe inspiring. The matters related to subconscious are usually hard to be explained. Inception does that perfectly well. The minute I heard the directors name , I could realize its his game. The other movie which is quite amazing and directed by Christopher Nolan is Memento. Getting the viewer to understand and get involved in such movies is a hard job and these movies are doing just that so well. They are in a class of their own. Its a worth watching movie in 2010.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Perfection in action

Lately I have been listing to a lot of ARR's creations. When ever I hear one of his best ones like - "Narumugaye" I feel Iam realizing Perfection at work. It is wonderful to hear his music sung by the best classical musicians the likes of Unnikrishnan, Hariharan . The other observation is the way the different musical instruments converge in the songs. Even in a simple song like "munbe vaa", there are atleast 4 instruments playing in the background. And in the song "Mannipaya, there is a little instrument, which keeps making sound(dont know which instrument). But its superb to see that the background music is always so good in all his songs

There are few people around us who are perfectionists in what they do.
Mani Ratnam is another person whom I think is a uncathed Integral perfectionist.
When we watch any of his movies, the viewers have an ideal blend of a story, quality acting, excellent music , near perfection lyrics and the best ever camera work to mention a few.
All this is possible only because he chooses the right people for the right job, and probably gives them sufficient independance in shaping their piece.

I was recently checking out the Bombay Jayashree's website and she seemed another person who falls in the same category. Here is one of the poems hosted on her website, it is an excellent one and I added it here. With her music, she touches the intangible feelings and hearts of thousands of listeners.

All this is possible only because these people have found the purpose of their lives - their Passion. They live the passion day in day out and can only become better day by day.

does not music
light a spark
fan a flame
set a soul on fire?

the fragranc of the flower
the song of the bird
the rising of the waves
the flaming of the fire
the swaying of the leavs
does the wind ever wonder
why it blows?

and the raindrop flows into the river
and the word into the note
and the river into the sea
and the note into the raga
and the sea into the ocean
and the music into the soul
can the raindrop remember
where it lost itself
and where it found itself?

to the silences within
'and the sounds
of silences

-Bombay Jayashree

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Importance of Language

Recently I was visiting Kerala - God's own country truely .... . We were in a rush to visit scenic places.Since spices are Kerala's speciality, I wanted to get , some of it too. I got into a small shop and started my shopping with Tea powder. The shop vendor did not understand anything in english not even numbers . Yep. Neither hindi, the only other language which he could understand bearly other than malayalam was Tamil which I could not converse with. I can sparsely understand tamil if somebody speaks, but can't form sentences .
When I asked him for species , he said he doesn't have . his shop was stuffed so badly and I was in so much hurry I could hardly see anything around.Guess who came in for my help... the god sent messenger in god's own country :) .

A small cute guy, about 6 years age came in to buy something. He became our translator . I gradually bought tea powder, cinnamon,cumin seeds and finally black pepper . All with the help of the small guy's transalation work. Finally the small guy totalled the amount.
I shopped so much and with all the problems of language, the shop keeper could not follow my bargaining prices . But finally , I got him to give me an extra big piece of chikki .
Giving some of it to small guy(in all the hurry,I forgot to ask the guy his name), over the ride to the next scenic spot, I for the first time realized the importance of language practically.

Monday, March 8, 2010

matinee thoughts

I was watching a movie late night yesterday - two lovers (Joequin Phoenix and Gywneth Paltrow).
The guy is a bipolar in this. His parents are doing their best to have a safe and insured life for him. at one point in the movie his father asks him - "Are you happy?" this is with respect to the events happening.
This is probably something we miss very often in our daily lives. We forget to ask this simple question our selves and the close ones.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Looks like we are advancing

We are really advancing, I felt.
I recently lost my mobile, well somebody flicked it when I was on my way to office.
The whole system was so good, I could immediately block my sim card .
The next day I had a duplicate sim card with the same number , the process was so easy and hazzlefree. I walked into a airtel shop, showed him identity proof and filled a simple form, paid 50 Rs and lo I had the duplicate sim card.
It was whole new experience, although I had lost my mobile , but this experience made my life easier. I only hope this kind of smart systems and hazzlefree systems get into the system of administration.

For a while when you look around, we are not smart people but rather very thick skinned dumbos when it comes to administrative system., If I could ever get my passport or a new gas connection so quickly the way i got my duplicate sim card, that day, I will start believing that we have advanced,.

Things apart, am now reading The Prize ( Irving Wallace) and The mother ( Pearl S Buck). Both are beautifully written. The plot is interesting in The Prize, but the language , expression is so beautiful in The Mother. No wonder Pearl S Buck won a nobel prize. Interestingly The Prize is all about the nobelprize winners