Friday, December 05, 2003
Authoring a novel is a difficult task. Authoring a novel that can make the reader visualise the narration effectively and make him/her feel like he's watching a science fiction movie is next to difficult. Thats exactly how I felt when I read Michael Crichton's 'Prey'. Crichton should have been a movie-maker. Heck, no then we wouldn't have such wonderful books. I was simply stunned at the sequence where the hoard of nano-particles arrange themselves outside the car window to reflect Mae's face. How can someone write that so well that you feel you are watching a movie ? Only a brilliant author can make a visual out of mere words. No wonder Jurassic Park, Lost World, Sphere were made into movies. In fact, I heard Sphere makes more splendid reading than viewing. I borrowed The 13th warrior from the library yesterday. Yeah, I am a newly turned Crichton fan. I was a Robin Cook fan before :).
Posted by Bharani - 06:16 pm -
Wednesday, December 03, 2003
buzz has started in Chennai with the focus having shifted from the Diwali Blockbusters to December Kutcherys
. The December Kutcheri Season
is now spread over nearly a month from the original fortnight that it used to be. This attraction unique to Chennai is looked forward to by seasoned performers, upcoming musicians and dancers, music critics, inquisitive NRI listeners and music lovers. An added attraction in the past few years has been the catering facilities at the prestigious sabhas
I have always felt that it would be nice if the musician can announce the Raaga/Thaala/Composer
at the end of each piece. This would help people like me who often break their heads over identifying the not-so-very-common raagas and turn to the internet the next day to figure it out. In a NithyaShree kutcheri
some four years back, she rendered a krithi
set to a rare raaga
and the audience couldn't identify the raaga
. At the end of the krithi,
she announced the raaga
- I dont recollect the name of that raaga - it was some variation of ReethiGowlai
. Well, there should not be these handouts at the start of the kutchery
as that destroys the suspense of what the next song would be. It almost tempts us to evaluate the performance even before it commences.
A complete calendar of the Sabha Schedules
is available online for prior planning. I am sure most people agree with me that live carnatic concerts are more fun than music from those high wattage Sony speakers with the 'Hall' or 'Theater' effects on. Am planning to attend the concerts of Aruna Sayeeram and Neyveli Santhanagopalan at the Music Academy this season. Lets see if work permits me to do so.
Posted by Bharani - 12:06 pm -
Tuesday, December 02, 2003
My experiments with colors / Outsourcing Article
A whole suite of Color Picker freeware available at Canada Graphics
. You can mix and match colors and have the Color Picker generate the Hex codes for them. Cool. A serene blue would soon be the color theme of my weblog.
An impelling article at outsourcing-asia.com
on how India as a country has developed a brand
in outsourcing. A must read.
Posted by Bharani - 02:55 pm -
Monday, December 01, 2003
An evening with Pujya Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Sound when stretched is Music
Movement when stretched is Dance
Mind when stretched is Meditation
Life when stretched is Celebration
These are words of Sri Sri Ravishankar, a spiritual leader who was in Chennai, addressing a large crowd at the Anna varsity grounds yesterday evening. The ever-similing, simplistic, white-flowing-robe clad Ravishankar answered people's doubts in spiritualism, delivered a short speech and frenzied the satsang (communion) with mellifluous bhajans. He was also steering the crowd towards adopting the Art of Living course which aims at bringing back human values and contributing to world peace by realising the peace within.
The meditation session was amazing. The word chosen for meditation was the Sanskrit word - 'Ram'. 'Ram' comprises of two syllables - 'Ra' + 'M'. 'Ra' is the Sanskrit root from which the English word 'Radiance' has evolved. 'M' in Sanskrit refers to the Self and is the root for the English 'Me'. 'Ram' symbolises 'Radiance within Me', making the word ideal for deep contemplation. At the end of the session, when I opened my eyes, I estimated that the session would have lasted for 5 to 7 minutes. But no, a whole 20 minutes had gone by. Relativity, I realised.
When someone asked him as to who is the person within the mind who impels the actions that we perform, he wisely answered - 'find out who made you ask this question'. He opined that - 'sometimes its better not to answer some questions'. There are things which each person needs to find out for himself. His answers were interspersed with irony, wit and wise humour. He said Mukthi was analogous to the feeling that a child experiences at the completion of exams.
He preaches the power of love and compassion, which was avidly seen when 6 men, erstwhile militants at the Kashmir border and subsequently transformed by the Art of Living course, were at the gathering yesterday to testify what the course has done to their lives.
The spirit of humanhood, transcending the trifle barriers of race, caste and language was visible right in front of our eyes when Ravishankar encouraged the enthusiastic Chinese/Japanese audience to sing a bhajan in their native tongue. The happiness and serenity that his face and attitude radiated were contagious, making me smile beside myself.
As one of his disciples chose to put it, Sri Sri Ravishankar has the wisdom of Gauthama Budhdha, the compassion of Jesus Christ, the dynamism of Swami Vivekanandha and the mischief of Lord Krishna. It was a beautiful evening spent in satsang. The open skies, the relaxing meditation and the soulful music had indisputably created magic in the air.
Posted by Bharani - 10:20 am -
Friday, November 28, 2003
Outsourcing bugs them again...and again...
Why Indiana and New Jersey were right. Were Indiana and New Jersey right ?
The backlash on outsourcing is one side of the story and how its going to lash back at them is the other side of it. The world's one global marketplace. Fighting cut-throat competition would be better than cutting it out of your purview. But then just about everywhere, its about political games and selective memory, is it not.
Posted by Bharani - 03:37 pm -
Thursday, November 27, 2003
Miracle Mystic Mystifies Masses
Miracle Mystic Mystifies Masses
( How does that alliteration grab you! )
Following divine grace at the age of ten, this hermit has abstained from food and water for the last 66 years. A battery of tests conducted by doctors at Ahmedabad show his body mechanism is that of a normal person. Obviously, the docs are baffled.
How is it that miracles keep happening and we keep questioning their bases ?
When will we stop questioning and simply start trusting in the something thats beyond us ?
Posted by Bharani - 05:42 pm -
Unlimited Pessimism or Infinite Realism ?
Surfed through Murphy's Laws
today. Pessimism Unlimited or Realism Infinite ? Probably both. When realism gets overboard, pessimism is born. Optimism can control events in life, but aint destiny the final leveller ?
One real funny law - "You will always find something in the last place you look
". Hehehe..now what is that supposed to mean ? Defies some basic laws of nature.
One major confusion - Who stated the first law.
Does it matter at all. The list is growing by the day and laws are being added by the minute.
One law apt for the Software Industry - "When in doubt, mumble. When in trouble, delegate
". A practical law that I appreciate. I bet this law was written in C++.
One law against Banks - "Any time you put an item in a 'safe place', it will never be seen again
". Had Murphy known about the Chit Funds business then ?
But then all these laws make no sense pragmatically. They simply seem to sap out the hopefulness and positivism in you. Guess, we need to take them with a pinch of salt. They are really over done. As one more law goes - "A knowledge of Murphy's Law is no help in any situation
". So Long.
Posted by Bharani - 11:40 am -
Monday, November 24, 2003
I wake up in the morning, to see what the day has.
A smart dress donning, I rush out for the bus.
I watch the sun coming up, and people starting their day.
The bus ride to office is fun, in March, in April, in May.
Strolling slowly to my desk, I boot up my computer.
I open Outlook to check, the mails that I came running after.
Long live good-morning-mails, long live bloggers and blogs.
What would we be without them, not geeks but a bunch of dogs.
I open up my blog to post, others blogs to give my comment.
The blogosphere has revealed to me, for what the Internet was meant.
Then its time to update myself, by scanning the world wide web.
From Times to Rediff to Google, I surf till its time for grub.
I hungrily walk down to the canteen, waking up the rest of the gang.
After the long morning's work, we set out for lunch with a bang.
After an extended lunch and all those talks about recession,
I am back at my desk at two, to start the next chat session.
From London to Vienna, through Chicago to Spain.
We are all well networked, thanks to the web again.
Oops! here comes some work, just when I am busy.
Gotta complete a design doc, oh! suddenly its all so messy.
Phew, after this hard work, I need that deserving break
Here a Ctrl-C, there a Ctrl-V, a break for coffee I take.
Am back at my seat now, entering the final hour of surfing,
And those last minute emails, hey, my bus is already beckoning.
Back into the bus, am by a window seated.
As the bus moves, I watch Chennai getting lighted.
I reach home and hit the sack, because tommorrow, its B2B.
Business To Business...nay, its Back To Browsing for me!
Posted by Bharani - 03:01 pm -
Yet another leak to be plugged
Seven held for CAT paper leak. Prestige of IIMs rocked.
A very despairing situation indeed. I sympathise with the students who have to take up the test again. Just when they thought that it was all over. Well, on the other hand, there might be students who bombed the test miserably and would love a second opportunity.
I am reminded of my final year elective "Television Engineering". It was the last examination of the 4 year Electronics Engineering course. The question paper was supposedly leaked out a day before the exam. None of us were aware of that. We attempted a rather cool TV Engineering paper and left Chennai with a pleasant disposition to undertake our project work at the ISRO, SHAR. After nearly one month, the authorities woke up to the leak and scheduled a re-test. I can vividly recollect my mind frame when I heard the news. Though it feels very funny now, I remember how flabbergasted and indignant I was. One cannot study TV Engineering twice. And we were very sure that the questions in the re-test would be tougher than the original. We took two days off from our project work at the SHAR, prodded back to Chennai, gloated over the fat TV Engineering book and managed to write something in the exam.
We felt betrayed for three reasons. Firstly, the leak of question paper was not known to us prior to our taking up the exam, and for no fault of ours, we were taking up a re-test. Secondly, the ease of the first paper was gone and here we were sitting and attempting a tougher paper which would probably undergo more stringent correction procedures and subsequently lesser scores than what we deserved. And finally, when we had already celebrated the fact that exams were over for life and were concentrating on our hands-on project at the prestigious ISRO, we were forced to take leave, come back and study the boring subject all over again. I remember doing a very slip shod work preparing for the retest. Am happy those days are over !
Posted by Bharani - 10:30 am -
Wednesday, November 19, 2003
A normal Monday morning. I was in the bus on my way to office. The bus was inching its way through the morning traffic on Old Mahabalipuram road. There are a lot of petty shops and vegetable markets on either sides of the road. At one point, the bus had to pull up for a traffic signal. Seated near a window, I saw a vegetable wholesale shop. A man was loading a crate of red, ripe, fresh tomatoes to the back of his tricycle. With a heave, he hoisted the crate onto the tricycle back seat. As he did so, one tomato catapulted out of the crate due to force of the hoist. This tomato landed on the road, a few feet away from where the man stood. The man tried to come over to the road to pick it up. A car came by and he backed away. The car missed crushing the tomato. I felt relieved. Then again the man tried coming forward to pick up the tomato. After all, the price at which tomatoes sell, every fruit must be precious to him. But this time, a bicycle crossed his path and he had to stop. Someone called for him from behind. He turned. Another bicycle came by crushing the tomato both by its front and rear wheels. The tomato was dead. The man turned just in time to see the rear wheel of a bicycle run over the red vegetable, causing its juice to splash on all four directions. He smiled wryly at the other guy near him and continued loading his tricycle with the next crate. After all, he had tried his best.
I had the feeling of having watched a fatal accident. The victim had been a weak tomato, holding out to the man who had thrown it to the road, hoping that he would come to its rescue. Hope for life had risen and fallen with every attempt that the man made to walk towards it. It has died a sad death. Its fellow tomatoes in the crate were awaiting its return. They would never know what happenned.
Posted by Bharani - 10:20 am -