March 31, 2006

Tough things, not tough days

“Today has been a very bad day for you. You should look out to avoid anything worse than these.”


I don’t want to say anything about these two statements because I don’t believe in anything like good days and bad days for someone. But, indeed, today I had to feel bad or suffer for many things. The first incident happened in the morning when I left home for college on my bike. I met with an accident. Luckily, for me, I could escape with some minor injuries here and there; the worst of all to my left knee. It so happened that I was going at somewhat more than the normal speed in my hurry to reach college soon as I was already late than the usual time and there was this person (the reason for the accident) in front of me who took a quick right turn. We were so close to each other that I couldn’t expect his intention to do so. I applied sudden brakes with all the force I could generate through my fingers and in the need to avoid a clash with him, I took a forcible turn to the right. I couldn’t restrain the instability in the movement of the bike and went skidding down the road for a couple of seconds. Fortunately, there were no heavy vehicles on the road at that time. The best thing to laugh away about this is that when I fell down with the bike upon me, I started talking to that man in a very angry manner; not because I had fallen down but for the mere fact that he had violated the basics of traffic rules and civic sense. But, I don’t feel there’s anything wrong in whatever I had done since the only reason for the accident was his negligence towards safety, the first and foremost thing that we are taught about as the reason for inculcating traffic sense in us. I should probably have been riding at a lesser speed. I feel I was at wrong too. May be, it could have helped me in applying brakes in a safe manner. But, I hadn't expected him to do something as bad as that.

I had no time to think of my injuries and the accident as I had to reach college in time. I washed my wounds with some water from a nearby tea stall and set off for college again. No regrets about the accident or the injuries that I have sustained but my bike now has got a few ugly scratches on it. :-(

The second incident is that I didn’t do well in my exam. We had two successive exams today, one after the other. I performed very badly in the first one. The third incident is that I lost my book at college in the afternoon. It was a library book and now I will have to buy a new book for the library and it is a very expensive one!

I am pretty fine with all my injuries still there stinging at a very regular pace of time, but someone please find me the book and get some marks added in my paper.

Tough things never last, but tough people do. :D

March 30, 2006

ఉగాది శుభాకాంక్షలు

I wish all my Telugu blog readers on this auspicious day of Ugaadi (new year according to Telugu calender) a prosperous new year.

అందరికీ ఉగాది సందర్భంగా, నూతన సంవత్సర శుభాకాంక్షలు

March 26, 2006

Kite Runner

I finished reading two books in these two months time. Life of Pi and The Kite Runner. Life of Pi was good, but it can't be a fast read. Sometimes, it gives you the feeling that it is a never-ending novel. The beginning gets you bored, but as the story proceeds it will take you into a different phase of the book set at a better pace and with a gripping tale altogether. It took me a little more than a month to complete it. But, I really doubt the authenticity in the author's claim that the story is real. I can hardly believe that a person can endure about 272 days on a lifeboat in the Pacific.

The Kite Runner , on the other hand, is an amazing read. The best part about the book is its engulfing narration. The way the story had been dealt with will leave you wanting more of it. The characterisation was excellent with every character brought in at the right time and serving a fitting purpose. I never thought an Afghani can come out with such good stuff. But, if you are someone who likes entertaining stuff like Catch22 or pulse-racing thrillers then this one is not for you. You might get bored with its serious drama. The Kite Runner has been adapted for a film with the same title as the book. It is being directed by Marc Forster, the one who directed Finding Neverland, and is slated for a December release. .


Failures bring out the real person in you- a coward or a brave heart

Like, someone said to me the other day. It is fine to feel disappointed with failure, but one should not be discouraged by it.

March 23, 2006

Books and Marriages

Marriage. This is a common topic for everybody irrespective of their age. Teenagers or adolescents ask their friends as to what type of marriage they would prefer- love or arranged? Parents often get worried about all that stuff going on in their children’s mind. They share it with their friends- mothers with neighbouring aunties and fathers with their colleagues or close friends. If a girl becomes twenty plus or is about to complete her graduation and if a boy has started earning, they will become the cynosure of this topic. Aunties and uncles will enquire parents when they are going to get their son/daughter married. What is the reason behind the delay? And, if parents say that their son/daughter is not willing to marry so early, the next obvious question would be koi hai kya? (Is your child seeing someone?) That is the only reason they can think of. Uhh! Can they not be sensible enough to know and understand that there can be many other reasons for a person to postpone his or her decision? Even worse, some will start spying their children.

What is so fun in wanting to know whether a person prefers a love marriage or an arranged one? Why would anyone want to know? And, even if they don’t want to get married, it’s their preference. Who are these uncles and aunties to bother? I have been asked the same many times. My only answer would be I have never given it a thought. May be this. Or, may be that.

I have thought about it lately. Not the kind I would prefer to get into. But, the similarities in marriage and buying books. What I mean to say is, there is everything so common between them. As we have two cases in marriage- love and arranged- we have two similar cases in buying books.

Arranged marriage is one where someone else (mostly parents) finds a suitable match for you. We won’t come to know much about the person until we get married to him or her. It is the same when someone goes to a book store and buys a book for you. You can’t say whether you like the book or not until you finish reading it. Then you come to a conclusion about the book- whether it’s worth buying or not, whether you made a wrong decision in obliging with the book.

Love marriage, on the other hand, is what most people think well. Here, you marry someone of your choice. It’s just like going to the book store and buying a book that you like immensely. You buy the book going just by the review on its back page and a few other pages that the book might have shown you. Once you buy it you will come to know whether what you had thought of about the book is right or wrong. The book may prove to possess all those virtues that you had desired in it, but you still may not like a few pages or few lines.

There is another case in the similarity between an arranged marriage and buying books. Unlike in the first case, here you accompany someone (who’s going to buy the book for you- parents) and get to see the book they had planned to buy for you before actually buying it. You say that you will first go through the review and a few pages before coming to a decision. They agree. You go to the book store and try to get a few glimpses of it the next day (you may see the person day in and day out in real life). You end up spending a lot of time with it, reading a few pages from the illustrious beginning or a few others somewhere in between being cautious all the time trying to avoid the shopkeeper’s curious glances at you. Out of your hurriedness and discomfort you will not get to know much about the book and in the end, having spent so much time with it in the book store, you will come out only after paying for it.

March 21, 2006

Unskilled skills

All have such skills. I have my share of them. Consider cricket, for example, I don’t know anything about the different ways in which fielders can be positioned or the names given to different strokes and the amusingly peculiar names that anyone can ever think of for the bowling action and/or end of bowlers, like, the Municipality end, the Hillrock end and there are so many other names more interesting than these which, unfortunately, I don’t remember now as always. And, I always get confused about the on-side and the off-side of the field - left and right. So, I find peace in restricting myself to just watching the game and enjoying the runs made or the wickets knocked off, and that too only when India plays.

Now, should I say that the same applies to my academics? Not my specialization areas though. Probably, in things like programming where I am expected to show my programming skills, no matter how unskilled they are. This reminds me of a small incident that happened when I was in my second year of engineering. There was this C-Skill contest that was held as part of our college fest. One of my friends, who is too good to believe in programming, took part in it, and asked me to team up with her as the requirement was teams of two each. The only thing that I could think of as the best policy for that moment was escapism. I immediately registered my name for the quiz contest. Though, my GK and geography skills are also poor, I found the quiz better than C. I always keep wondering about this unskilled skill of mine. My logical, analytical and reasoning abilities are reasonably good then why do I falter when it comes to programming aptitude. All these involve the same input- logic, simple logic. I hope I would be able to solve this mystery someday.

I like watching soccer on the television, but I don’t know even the basic rules of the game and not even the names of the countries which play soccer except for Brazil and a couple of others, but ask me for a game of football and I will be too excited to refuse. It’s just the fun in kicking the ball into the net. Same is with basketball. It feels good to possess unskilled skills which can teach you or amuse you sometimes. There are so many other things like these. Sometimes, it is better to be a dilettante.

March 13, 2006

Victory of hopelessness over hope

I got this one by e-mail sent to me by someone very close. The moment I read it, I decided that it should be here.

I cried. After a long time... when South Africa won the match yesterday!!!

It was the victory of hope... ohh wait... did someone say, losing all hope is freedom. Well, thats exactly what won the match from the south africans yesterday night. So its the sweet revenge of hopelessness over the ever romantic hope.

Have you understood the phenomenal nature of yesterday's victory? No one has achieved anything of such enormity in the last few centuries. Just imagine, 6230 million souls (world population) thinking you cannot achieve it, and where are you--- at the top having just conquered it. Just imagine you are opening out there chasing the tall score - you have made 50 off 21 balls and smacked the ball around in the first 15 overs - and then take a look at the scoreboard and realise there is still 350 more to go. I would have been demoralised for sure.

Can one ever plan chasing down 434 - you must be a freak. Do you think SA's have actually charted out a plan when they went out to bat yesterday??? Ohhh can you imagine their coach saying, "see boys - take it ball by ball". Plans dont help, its the sheer dogged determination and an ability to raise your hand when everything is falling around you - that helps. Have we learnt something from this? To put it simply, Everything is possible!!! There was nothing to lose when you are chasing 434 - its all hopelessness all around. Does this ring some bells here - the concept of Nishkama karma??? The same old Bhagavadgeeta saying!!! Detachment from work - barring all expectations. A single thread of duty-consciousness was pervading through all the eleven souls yesteday night.

It was a wonderful day for me yesterday. I saw two faces of victory. First, was the movie Iqbal which speaks about the concept of DREAM and letting your dreams fly while you are chasing them - and catching up with them finally. The second one was a different case. You are dreaming, and a bugger comes along spoiling the precious dream, bottling up 434... So what do you do... you wake up. Chase the bugger to the wire. How spectacular!!!

You can call it a freaky incident - something going against the odds by chance. But is threre a possibliy of scripting 300 chances (50 overs)??? Ohhh imagine the probability of 300 balls falling in the correct urns when you throw them randomly. Purely out of academic interest, i tried to compute this bit and it turns out to be (1/325700000......00000....0000) - there are 615 zeroes in the denominator.

March 08, 2006

Good morning India

This is arguably the best news piece I have seen till date: What will India's innovation and booming economy mean for Americans?

It was excerpted from one of the episodes of the famous show on the American Telivision, Good Morning America.

Sometimes, it makes you proud of what you are, an Indian, and at the very next moment might make you a bit angry at what the Americans have thought us to be. But, it truly shows India the way she is- the booming economy, the bustling city life, the peace of a village, the dirty slums, the diverge religions, the technology at Infosys and the pentiums operated from mud huts, the McDowells' and the chai dhabas. Everything. Virtually everything.

There are some pluses and also some minuses about what others have to say about us. I am writing not categorizing them into any.

- India is a miracle.

- India is a just a big state of red tapes, party politics and corruption.

- India is developing fast (Showing some technological parks like Infosys and BPOs). Why,then is it still this way (Now, showing some clumsy upmarket place and slums).

- A vegetable vendor quoting to the American anchor of the show, "We are not behind you. We are with you."

The video will possibly annoy you with the frequent breaks in it, but it is still worth watching.

March 07, 2006


I know I'm writing very late about it but I happened to watch Page3 this morning. This is the first Madhur Bhandarkar film I have seen and, in short, I liked it. The page3 life was exposed to the heck (euphemism intended) of it. The characters seemed real, especially Konkana's, Boman's, Atul's and the one who played the cop, Bhonsle. He looked very promising. What's his name, by the way? I remember I had watched or should I say 'tried to watch' Chandni Bar long back when it was telecast on the TV. I turned it off after the first thirty minutes of show. Probably, I couldn't stand it then. But, I feel Page3 is a much better film than Chandni Bar, anytime. One can hardly make an attempt at making such films and moreover, coming out with the best outcome possible without experiencing them in real life. Mr.Bhandarkar proved this by giving a statement to a newspaper that both his films films Chandni Bar and Page3 were the result of the experiences he had had earlier in his life. To end with, it was a good, thought provoking film.

March 03, 2006

A story untold...

Some things make a lasting impression on our minds. This one, more or less, falls into the same genre. It has touched me where it can the most. This isn’t any story to unfold. It is the reality that has never gone unseen or unheard, yet it still remains a story untold. These were the words that seemed too hard to sink in, too unreal to have been spoken by someone about a person whom they would have loved the most. These were the words spoken by a daughter about her father. This justly mirrors the extent of trauma that the daughter and her mother may have faced. I christen it as the worst compliment a father could ever have from his daughter. These were the words that had the ability to strike any human heart.

“You are such a man who upon seeing his wife being burnt alive by his parents, would say that they are just trying to test the quality of the kerosene and have nothing against her.”

She is the daughter and He is the father whom I thought I have known well. Now, I realize that what we see is not what it is. It is something that has not gone unseen or unheard. Still it is a story untold.

Such is the plight of domestic violence in our country. Why is it so that only Asian countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and a few others have high rates of domestic violence? Is there no stoppage to this? India is on the brink of becoming a well-developed nation, but the mind-set of people is not getting any closer to being consummate- in their thoughts, their acts; in almost everything.

Can’t there be an India with better people living in it? We always talk about the progress of our country, the good and bad about her, the system that prevails in her. It’s high time we started talking about her people’s progress- the good and bad about us, the innumerable ways in which we can make ourselves better for us and also for those who live with us. Let’s live life in a better way.

I am not sure I wanted it to end this way, but I hope to have carried it over in the right way.