Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Dont touch me, naaaiyo baby

Aale aale aale aale. Aaaaa... Aaaaa...Kon ey.. kon ey. Aa..Aa. Mumummmm have tulaaaaaaaa.

Well, speaking to a baby in this manner is not acceptable anymore. Its violation of human rights. Or so a hospital in the UK thinks.

Well, according to the hospital, babies also have a sense of personal space. I think, they mark their personal space by peeing and shitting incessantly

Friday, September 23, 2005

28... Up, I think

Was watching this program 49 Up on ITV. It is a documentary tracing the lives of participants since they were 7 years old, at every 7 years interval. So you had 7 up, 14 up and so on. It is aired every 7 years and right from the start, the interviews have been conducted by Michael Apted, now a reputed Hollywood director.

You see one of the kids in the 7 Up program saying that he is going to study in Trinity College, Cambridge and then in 14 Up, that he wants to be solicitor. He does both. Many others don't make it. A few just opt out of the documentary (for the fear of humiliation). One of the participants wanted to be an Electrical Engineer. But goes on to work on shop floor. At 21, he has a desire to better his life and wants out of the job. At 28, he says, whats the point. Now at 49, he is mellow, calm and mostly content, though, looking back, certainly, there will be regret - what happened to all those dreams?

It is quite sad, how your life has a life of its own. The fire in you diminishes and you just give up in the face of the daily drudgery and a barely adequate existence.

I wish, somone back home had taken snapshots of lives of close ones - making them talk earnestly into the camera. Capturing their likes, dislikes, expectations, dreams. Asking them if they are content? Has it all gone well? Could it have been better, if they had tried just a little bit more?

What I have of me is just some hazy, superimposed memories. I would have liked to know how I really was.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Picture perfect

A picture, I took at Sheringham from the sea-cliffs looking on towards Sheringham Park. Evokes images of an idyll world only present in story books and kiddie songs (I am reminded of Chuk Chuk chuk aagin gaadi)

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Negatively perceptive

There's lots that you can observe when you work when different teams at odd times, in different locations. And the fun part is, as people become old, they become weirder. Hence more to notice and note.

1. A guy at my office, uses the keyboard with both hands at right angles to each other. Imagine the right hand, quite where it is supposed to be. But the Index finger of the left hand is on Z, middle finger on A and the ring finger is on Q. So the right hand is forced to dance everywhere on the keyboard, while the other hand is left guarding two most unused alphabets of the English language from further abuse.

2. At Accenture, one of the guys at work had curly hair. Not just normal curls. If you had just seen his hair walking about, you would have thought he was black. Well, one hell of a parched dry, frizzy and untamed hair. At about 2-3 pm, he would take out a huge comb, and start the combing operation.



It was a brand new sandpaper trying to a smoothen a rocky face. "Be very frayed" say my nerves.

3. Another quite nice guy unfortunately had a major jaw problem due to the randomly arranged teeth (now whom does that remind me of). Anyway, while speaking, he was a Satish Shah in Main Thoo Na. Esp, during telecons, it was just hilarious to watch the phone digits getting sprayed with spittle. He would sheepishly wipe out the wet-spots (which is now leading to tides eroding our shores, just to put things in perspective) to expel more bodily fluid (Eeks!)

4. A manager that suddenly goes Khhhhhhhhhwwaaa. KhwwWWWaaaAAA... during meetings. I sympathise. He is actually clearing his throat off a dinousaur bone that accidently got wedged in his wind-pipe during one of his earlier births as a cave man. He was digging a hole for himself (a cave) and a whole fossil colony of dinosaurs dropped on him. As the ricketing mass of bones fell, he 'gaped' in horror.

5. A guy called GLN, used "Actually, OK" (together) as punctuation marks and more. He began, ended and interspersed his sentences with liberal doses of "Actually OK".

"Actually OK this project needs to Actually OK have 2 resources. But, Actually OK, we will have to use Actually OK only one. Actually Ok you are that only one actually OK. So actually OK best of luck actually ok to you." (note that there are no punctuation marks before and after actually ok which is a sic).

Can't I take pride on being perceptive? I am sure somewhere, one of my collegues is making a list, chronicaling my idiosyncracies exclusively.

More captain quirks to follow. KhhwwwWWWaaaaaa..

Dance with me

Saturday 10th - 10.45 pm -1.20 am - Lava Discotheque (Norwich Riverside) -
On the dance floor was a man in a sophisticated wheelchair. Sort of that needed for people with Motor Neuron disease. Accompanying him a woman, who seemed like someone with Down Syndrome's. That she was taking care of the guy meant her condition wasnt too serious.

10.45 is pretty early to get rocking anyway. The man was just taking in the sights from one corner of the dance floor. Slowly, the crowds swelled. Swaying hips, jangling bottles, wicked smiles. Men who can't dance. Insatiable women. Our man and his companion disappeared from sights. Sweltering bodies and a thousand groping hands blocked their view.

Suddenly, I saw them again. At the same spot. The man nodding his head to the furious beats. May be his body was also rocking, we don't know. My friend, Deepak would go and dance in front of him. Not mocking at him. But to dance with him.

You just can't dance alone all the time, can you? But you sure can dance with your feet off the ground.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Firefox-more updates

1. Crashes on e-paper Hindustan Times window. Go to Mumbai e-paper. Click on any news item, try to close the new window. Crash! (BTW, what technology is it. ASP, Java.. like that?)

2. Firefox wouldnt open orkut (which has google alliance!) properly on Login page! I cant check now, coz access to orkut is (and personal sites)are banned)

3. In IE Ctrl + N facility opens a new browser window, reloading the page as well. In Firefox, havent found this functionality either with Ctrl+T or Ctrl+N

My very few and very petty grouses against Firefox.

Horsing around

This weekend, been to Horsford. Not a spectacularly beautiful place. But the journey was fantastic.

From Norwich starts a National Cycle way called Marriots Way. Goes all the way to Taverham. About 26 miles long. One of the longest traffic free routes in the UK. Imagine a tiny road, with no cars in sight through country side, through fields of wheat and dense trees, with the river sometimes touching it sides. Families out in droves cycling. Dogs walking their people. Locals pretending to fish. Sections of Marriots Way are built along an unused railway line. Sometimes, it almost feels like luxury to be riding along this road.

Horsford Forest is full of conifer trees. Densely packed in neat rows. Nothing but conifers, which is rare in the UK. I havent seen these trees growing atleast in England. Anyway, in all of the forest, there was no one but me. And it wasnt scary. It was a great place for some deep comtemplation - trying to seek the answers to all the fundamental questions in the universe. Unfortunately, there was no one around to do it for me.

The day was capped by an intellectual caper - Dukes of Hazzard.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

God Bless America

I can't help be glad that another tragedy has hit American shores. I mean, I am not a sadist, who roots for Osama and the Taliban's fanatical mission against the west. That I completely abhor. But to a lesser extent, I also dislike USA's holier than thou attitude, embodied so cockily by His Lowness, George W Bush.

This country (as referred to, by Bush so often) wants to go about changing the world through military aggression and regime change, but can't get its rescue mission in some semblance of organization. For 5 days, the people of Gulf Coast were waiting desperately for help. When the govt realises, it is too late. It makes a show of strength sending in a long snaking convoy with aid and food. Twice he has visited the hurricane hit regions and yet he hasnt gone to New Orleans, the worst hit town.
You have policemen shouting on TV venting spleen about other cops who ran away (they may be dead, you know), you have a politician breaking down completely(newsreaders did it after September 11). Americans have forgotten that life is not a soap opera and you dont need to perform all the time. But, understatedness and composure is not an American virtue.

Also, the US media, in such times of total govt failure should have seized the opportunity to rip the President apart. Any free press or opposition would use this chance to attack the government and point out its glaring inadequacies. When your countrymen don't criticize you for obvious mis-demeanours at home, you have gumption to go eavesdrop on other nations' businesses.

The bravado and the high-handedness of USA irritates you and if only, something happens to destroy these delusions of granduer, you could rest a little easy.
They say USA is an easy target. No wonder.

BTW, this is exactly what I wanted to happen in Mumbai. Except the loss of life, of course. New Orleans was certainly a city of character and had its own mood. The city where jazz was born. So, people would say all that heritage would be destroyed. I don't know about New Orleans. Mumbai might have a character. I am sure it does. But character apart, it is a city infested with pain, suffering, deceit, greed, callouness. So there is more to get rid of than keep.

I am happy if Katrina pays a visit to Mumbai, invited.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Slimes of India no more

This news (requires subscription) from Business World makes me very happy

...In publishing, the same fear has a different colour. The launch of DNA and Hindustan Times in Mumbai probably did not shake Bennett, Coleman and Company (BCCL) as much as the HT Media IPO has. In August this year, HT Media raised about Rs 400 crore, catapulting it among the top ten media IPOs in Asia over 2004 and 2005. This follows two rounds of private equity funding and gives HT Media a valuation of Rs 2,495 crore or over 90 times earnings.

This is very worrying for the Rs 1,808-crore BCCL, India's largest media company. For decades, its biggest strength has been its cash reserves. BCCL has used it to batter Hindustan Times in Delhi, or bleed rivals in other cities. For decades, nobody could match its brute cash power. Now as investors fall in love with media and entertainment (M&E), the money wall is crumbling...

We moved from Indian Express to Hindustan Times, some while ago. I still love IE, but no one can deny that it is a boring newspaper. HT had a great launch offer and so we jumped on it.

I found HT to be far better than TOI, in terms of coverage and depth of analysis. I also think Mumbai Mirror is a good newspaper, but that's just to a part of pre-emptive step from TOI to kill competition. I do hope through that Mumbai Mirror lasts beyond the first round of attack.

The point is TOI has thrived and cannibalised its competitors based on solid financial muscle, so HT having more in its cash kitty is more than welcome news. I hope TOI bites the dust on its home turf.

My earlier rant here