Saturday, 26 December 2009
Thursday, 24 December 2009
Sunday, 20 December 2009
Monday, 14 December 2009
Friday, 11 December 2009
Last night I nearly wept while watching TV. The thing that made me weak was the fact that the 'story' I was watching was as real as death. No melodrama, no re-enactment and no actors. The story was simple.
It was a program on NGC, an old classic actually, called as RoadRaj. It is a documentary on road traffic of Bombay (as disclaimer said: a program made when Mumbai was still called Bombay). It ran parallel stories of different people and their families. It was about a fire-fighter who aims to become the best fire-fighter in Bombay, about a young girl who just started to learn how to drive a car and wished to own one one-day, about the Bombay traffic police training, about a greedy and emotionless taxi driver and his taxi cleaner and about a young boy who ran away from his village to step his foot in the land of dreams survived only because of a generous man.
As the episode came to end, it showed how the man made the runaway boy ready to go back to his village and meet his father and ask for his forgiveness. Not only did he persuade him to go but also was ready to accompany him to his village to persuade his father to forgive him. And so they board the train. Upon reaching the village and traveling in an auto to his house, the boy expresses his anxiety, nervousness and his fear. The first person he meets is his grandmother.
His grandmother, sitting on the ground outside their house sees him from a distance and a gush of emotions ooze out. She is an old lady, who has lost her strength she once had, her skin held loosely on her face showed a feeling I was not able to interpret. I know, old people, especially from villages and especially women let all their emotions out at once when they meet a close one after long time. I could see my grandmother in her. This itself was so touching when I heard the narrator say, "His grandmother has a bad news for him. His father and mother had died."
And then the program ended with the boy being handed over her 3 year old sister. The expression on the boys face made me shiver. I knew he was not an actor and this was not a performance. This was real.
Monday, 7 December 2009
I was watching the movie "LUCK" yesterday and I came to know about this rule in India... that a criminal, who is announced capital punishment, while being hanged survives for some reason, as little as a slip of rope or loose knot, should not be hanged again. And added to that he is not only pardoned from the gallows but also condoned of his crime and set free.
Can anybody confirm about this rule??? I tried to search over the internet but could not find it. Also please let me know if such a rule exists, whats the reason behind it??
Logically I think, if it is true, it is because once the rope is around the neck of the person and the black cloth over his face shows him the inevitable darkness ahead, for at least once he realizes that the crime he had done was brutal and inhuman and how it the victim(s) would have suffered. A feeling of remorse takes over him.
My search over the internet took me to some of the execution videos that are being circulated over the internet as a campaign against Iran. It says, Iran is hanging people ruthlessly, they are strangulating rather than hanging, they are killing teenagers below 18 years of age, etc etc.
Death is never pleasant, its always painful. Using electric chairs, or lethal injections or tightening the noose, whatever method is argued to be the most humane method, still it is painful.
The point is as a normal human being we are bound to feel compassionate when we see death, or more aptly killing, even if it is the execution of the most notorious and dreadful serial killer, Ted Bundy. And such videos serves as a good tool for people who wants to abolish capital punishment. Common notion is that the killer is always bad and the killed is always helpless. But it should always be remembered that the person who is executed is a criminal, no....a harsh, ruthless criminal (otherwise the punishment would be less severe).
India also has a rule, which says Capital punishment should be given to a criminal in "rarest of rare" cases which gives a little more confidence for people to commit crime.
Anyways please answer my query...thanks....
Saturday, 21 November 2009
"The World is a lie, The World is a dream" sings Karim, the protagonist of the Persian movie, The Song of Sparrows.
The film is so strong in its emotional and ethical content that you would want this movie to just go on and on.
A brief storyline: Karim, an honest man, lives in a village in Iran with his family and works in an Ostrich farm. He loses his job when one of the Ostriches runs away because of his mistake. Then one day he travels to Tehran to buy his eldest daughter Haniyeh's hearing aid where he is mistook for a motorbike-for-hire and thus begins his new job as a motorcycle-taxi driver. The new, mean place tests at every point his honesty, his struggle to make living, his efforts to impart honesty in his children and his patience for Hussain, his young son, who he thinks is becoming a wanderer.
The best thing about the movie is its screenplay, every frame of every scene tells a story.
Here are some of the best scenes from the movie:
Karim collects junkyard at his home of which is one blue door. When his wife Narges gives it away to a relative Karim runs to their house to get the door back. They offer tea but he donot accept, then while he struggles to get the door out of the house they offer sherbet, but he doesnot listen. An old man carries the door on his back over vast field back to his home. This shows how materialistic he has become. And when that night Narges cries over it he sings a beautiful song to console which shows that he is still a caring husband.
Karim finds his son Hussain and daughter Haniyeh selling flowers on the highway with other bunch of kids. He thinks these kids are wasting their time and chases them to stop it. He takes her daughter home and when Hussain comes back he very angrily slashes him with a whip. Narges stops and says he did so to get money to buy fishes. This makes Karim more angry as they were talking impossible because the reservoir of water is a filthy place. He takes a shovel and rushes to the reservoir to bring it down. As he approaches it he slows down to see the water beautifully green and clear. The light coming out of the window enhances the beauty of it. He cools down and sits on the ground. Then he sees all the mud and slit that was cleaned by Hussain and friends lying at a distance. And to add to the emotion the hand and leg prints of the kids are shown on the mud.
Karim has to move a refrigerator from one dealer to another but due to a problem in bike he losts his way. He brings the fridge to his home but next day tries to sell it to some genuine dealers. No one buys. One man offers him quite a good amount of money to sell it to him unofficially. But Karims decides not to and returns it to the one he gets it from.
Karim while in traffic sees a young girl which reminds him of her youngest daughter. He thinks of giving her some money but he doesnot have change. He makes an effort to drag his bike and ask change to nearby people in cars. But he get none and the traffic runs green. The point here is he asks change which itself is a small denomination of money. He wants to give her something but also thinks of his situation. Finally he moves away without giving her anything.
Karim meets and accident and has to stay at home. He sees all his family members working together and working hard everyday. Haniyeh applies ointment to his bruised legs while he asked about her hearing aid. She says it is working fine and she can hear loud and clear. He insists he will bring a new one from town but she says she can replace cells and it will work better. Just then she turns around to search the cap of the ointment tube to her right. Karim tells her that its to her left but she doesnot respond. Karim repeats but in vain, then he taps on her shoulder and says the cap is on the left. She takes the cap and leaves.
Karim is sitting while her youngest daughter is drawing on the plaster on his legs. Narges calls Hussain from outside the house while Hussain sleeps inside. Karim thinks of waking him up and when he drags himself towards him he discovers bruises on Hussain's palm. He then realises how serious is Hussain about the fishes.
Karim is waiting on the bench in the town for his friend to pick him up along with Hussian.
Hussains goes to a shop and asks for Orange Juice which costs 400 tamans. Hussain asks for 350 but the shopkeeper denies. He takes one and goes and gives it to his father. When asked why did he not bring one for himself he says he doesnot like orange juice. Karim takes a sip and gives the rest to Hussain.
All the fishes that Hussain and friends have earned accidentally spills while they try to save them from dying as the drum that held them had a hole. But now the drum has a bigger gap and all the fishes are on ground gasping for breath. As they see all their dreams and hardwork shattered they quickly decide to save the fishes from dying rather than finding another drum. They push every fish in the alongside, flowing water and let them all free. All were sad and crying as they do it. While returning home Karim consoles them all by singing a beautiful song that goes somewhat like this, "My flowers are withered, My fishes are gone.......The world is a lie, the world is a dream."
The movie ends with a beautiful ostrich dance.
This is the most beautiful movie I have ever seen. There is NO hanky-panky in the movie. It is emotional, humourous, pure and simple life.
Here a sneak-peak:
Friday, 20 November 2009
First thing thanks for all who submitted their stories, I have presented the relevant ones below as links. These are really great! The others I received were not stories so I didnot post them, I am sorry but this is strictly for short stories.
Second thing, sorry I am two days late to post this edition, was busy in office stuff.
Those who submitted post 15th of Nov, will be posted in next edition.
So here goes...
Welcome to the November 18, 2009 edition of writers lounge - only short fiction stor.
That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of writers lounge - only short fiction stor using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.
Friday, 13 November 2009
Two friends watching television while having dinner, me and he. I had the remote in my hand and was surfing channels in ascending order.
I came across "GOD" channel which is a christian faith channel on which are aired christian music, programmes, commentaries and stage lectures.
One such lecture was being shown on it and I stopped for a while to listen.
He: Move on, change the channel.
Me: Few mins, let me listen what is he saying.
He: Change it man!
Me: Few mins dude.
He: They will be going on speaking something, you change it.
Me: Let me listen...you know everything I dont. (sarcastic)
He: Nope, change it quickly...(he understood the sarcasm :) )
Me: Aah, whats the use, you are not letting me listen, what do you know about christianity man?
He: I know one thing, you sin as you wish, then confess on a sunday and you are sinless again, thats christianity.
Me: Oh yeah, what else? (sarcastic again)
He: Nothing else and I dont want to know more...
Me: Well you should then.
I changed the channel as I knew I can watch it later. (GOD is a 24 hour channel)
We all had our dinner and just talking and were about to go to sleep. Me, He and They.
Me: Think I will go to sleep now.
They: We too.
He: I am not feeling like sleeping. Do you have any thing to read, any novel?
Me: We have one, "Tell me your dreams" , Sidney Sheldon's.
He: Oh, I have already read that. Anything else, feeling like starting one now.
Me: We have ebooks..."Time Machine" I think....
He: No ebooks, I like to read it from a paperback...
Me: Hmm, I have a copy of Quran in my cupboard, you can take it from there...
He: Oh, Quran? Thats in arabic rt?
Me: I have an english translation and transliteration too...
He: Oh, ok, aanh but no, not Quran..
Me: Thats what we have now then, its good, you can read...
He: No, I was thinking of reading a story..I think Quran will have all the stuff like dont tell lies, dont do bad things, etc...
Me: Quran is like a story, although poetic, but you can understand it nicely...
He: Aanh, Someother time... if nothing else is there think I should go to sleep...
Me: Nothing else, ok.
I was reading the first chapter of Bhagwad Gita where I came across the name "Sanjay", reminded me of a friend. I was readinng an ebook on my friends laptop. Me and He.
Me: Hey you also have a audio file right, for Bhagwad Gita.
He: Yes, but thats in pure Sanskrit, we will not understand.
Me: Ohk, tell me one thing, the whole Mahabharata's fight is told by Sanjay to the king? How does he see it?
He: That is like supernatural, he could see the battlefield through some mantras while sitting in the court, he had that virtue.
He: And Bhagwad Gita is only a part of Mahabharata, it contains all the teachings of Krishna to Arjuna when Arjuna withdraws to fight with his brothers.
He: After the teachings, Arjuna fights with his brothers and thus Mahabharata ends. Only the teaching part is Bhagwad Gita, remaining story is in Mahabharata book.
Me: Ohk, so you are telling that Bhagwad Gita basically teaches why you should fight with your brothers.
He: Nope, its not like that.
Me: But you just said so... you know it right, its your religion...
He: o, I didnt tell you completely, Arjuna's brothers were Kauravas, the evil ones...
Me: I know that, I know the story of Mahabharata, every Indian knows, B.R.Chopra gets the credit...
He: Then how can you say so...
Me: I just wanted to tell you one thing... since I am not from your religion, and so I hear stories from people who belong to your religion. They are not well read in it, so they tell me in bits and pieces and I create a mindset of mine and thus "misconceptions" start from here. When I said that Bhagwad Gita teaches why should you fight with your brother, that's a misconception in my mind, and this misconception will hinder me from further researching in your religion. I will think "Oh yours is a bad religion, why should I even bother to read about it". This is the reason why you don't want to read about Christianity or Islam. Some misconception stops you. Or thoughts like "its the same old thing in all religions so whats the use in reading it" stops you. So my suggestion, if you have any idea, may be right or wrong, you should not move away from getting knowledge...
He: Whats the use in today's world? It will not fetch me a job...
Me: Atleast you will know it, so that tomorrow if someone wants to create a riot by telling something about other religion you will know who is right and who is wrong and not take part in such riots...
He: Aah, ok. May be slowly I will know about all religions...I know mine for sure.
Me: Yes ofcourse, you will know slowly, I am only telling that dont move away because of any pre-conceived idea when you have a chance to learn. You know yours, hmm, may be, can you tell me how many gods are you supposed to worship mainly as a Hindu?
He: 3, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
Me: You sure, it is not 300 or 33 crores?
He: Yes sure.
Me: Well I think your answer is wrong.
Friday, 6 November 2009
"It's quite cold today, oooo," sighed Dinesh while rubbing his palms together.
"What do you mean its cold today?" argued Hanif, "Its cold everyday!"
"Let me tell you, this is the winter season, you know weeen-terrr," acted Rajiv and everybody bursted out in laughs except Dinesh.
"Hey! I mean its colder than other days, you know, colder than yesterday."
"Hey, hey cool down, temperature boy!" said the most elder person in the team, Manoj.
"They are always picking on me Manoj sir," continued Dinesh in the tone of a weeping-five-year-old.
"We are picking on you?" exclaimed Hanif, while everybody grabbed their cups of tea. He continued, "No way, its just the statements you make. Is your body a temperature measuring device, or remaining all of us dont have senses?"
"Where's the scale, Dinesheit" laughed Rajiv.
"Hey stop it, alright. Its not, alright, its not colder today, it never was, so just change the topic," reasoned Dinesh.
Manoj could see that Dinesh didnt like it and so he said, "Enough you guys, now." Although Manoj was only two-years senior in the team, he was quite elder than all and was much respected. He continued, "By the way Dinesh, how can you say that its not colder today, I think it is."
Everybody bursted out laughing and Dinesh smiled.
Just then Srinivas, the newest member of the team joined them in the "tea break".
"Hey Srini," welcomed Hanif, "wanna cigarette?"
"Anh, No, I don't smoke."
"So Srinivas, where you from?" asked Manoj.
"Ante Manode anamata," smiled Rajiv.
"Hey, hey, hey... no code languages," said Dinesh and dipped in his cup.
"Parledu, vadiki konchem loosele," gestured Rajiv running his forefinger on his temple.
Srinivas gave a faint smile.
"So whats your experience in it my boy?" asked Hanif.
"In what, ah...s..sir".
"Call me Hanif," he puffed his cigarette, "You know in this field."
"Oh, Ah, Its my first time."
"Ooh, you still a virgin," shouted Rajiv, "Dont worry, you will be totally fucked up too."
Very inspiring words for a fresher Rajiv," said Manoj.
"What do you mean?" asked Srinivas.
"He means," said Dinesh, "We are heating our butts since five weeks and still no action."
"I wanna join another team," said Hanif, "I heard people at the back end are doing well."
"Technically, we dont normally see much action there," Manoj argued.
"Yes, atleast we would know what and when something happens and we dont have to waste our time in frequent tea breaks," said Hanif.
"You all are wishing..." Srinivas tried to say something when Rajiv interrupted, "This is not a waste of time, its called de-stressing."
"Yeah, de-stressing, and Dinesh is our de-stressor!" said Hanif and laughed.
"Hey, dont come back on me again."
"What he means, Dinesh, is," reasoned Rajiv while stressing on each word, "If you were not in our team the morale of the team would have been low." Dinesh felt a little pleased when Rajiv continued, “You know, it always makes us forget our worries when we hear how you, during our training, toppled of the six feet wall while trying to peek at a girl, and how you jumped of your seat when a lizard crawled over your lap, which by the way was a piece of rope, and how you tried to crack a …..”
“Hey! Manoj sir, asked them to stop,” argued Dinesh.
“Bottomline….,” said Rajiv, “You keep our spirits alive, maybe unintentionally, but you do.”
“You sure do!” said Manoj.
“Did you hear about the heroic act of Dinesh when he tried to runaway from the training sessions but was caught because he forgot to tie his shoe lace?” said Hanif to Srinivas.
“Havaldar Manoj Singh,” said a voice while entering through the barricade, “Your presence is required at the Subedar’s base…seems it has started.”
“I will be right there Havaldar Ahmed Shah,” said Manoj while answering his salute, “Any more news.”
“Not exactly sure but inside word, infiltration has been confirmed.”
Manoj turned towards the others and said, “Let me check out.” He left the fortification.
“That’s bad news,” said Rajiv.
“Wait a sec,” said a surprised and confused Srinivas, “Weren’t you a little while ago wishing for it.”
“Well, sort of,” replied Rajiv.
“We don’t wish for a war, no soldier does,” added Dinesh, “It’s just that when you hear about it, and know that its inevitable you want it to start and end quickly.”
“Tell me one thing, Srinivas, why did you join army?” asked Hanif.
“And don’t tell me that you want to die for the motherland. Your father pushed you, friends or just the situation. You want to earn, marry and live a life don’t you.”
“Aanh, ,actually..I do want both of them. Earn, marry, live and then die for the motherland.”
“Oh, come on,” said Rajiv, “You cannot do it that way. What you can do is fight, survive, win and earn and marry.”
Dinesh got up from his seat and saw Manoj exiting from the Subedar’s tent and heading towards them. He said, “Well, I think the moment has come for it.”
Monday, 2 November 2009
Wednesday, 28 October 2009
This Carnival is for the writers who love to write fiction but short. It can be anything fantasy, SciFi, drama, love, relationships, children stories, etc.....But keep in mind...it should be short!!!!
So go ahead and submit your stories. There is no submitting guidelines but stories whose word count is less than or equal to 500 will be given most preference. Go to Blog carnival.
Thanks for stopping by......
Welcome to the October 28, 2009 edition of i dream of. This was supposed to be posted on Nov 7th but I am posting this earlier.
Anne Valens presents 25 Great Tools to Get In-Depth Salary Information for ANY Healthcare Career posted at Medical Career Database.
nissim ziv presents Career Aspirations: Examples of Career Aspirations posted at Job Interview Guide, saying, "There are limited numbers of ways to evaluate people’s career vision and their career aspirations."
nissim ziv presents Career Goals: Examples of Career Goals and Objectives posted at Job Interview Guide, saying, "Every now and then we come across people who are unhappy with their jobs. The reasons of their unhappiness may vary – they do not like their work schedule, or they do not like a particular colleague in their office, or even that they do not like their boss.
Rose King presents 100 Twitter Feeds to Help You Land a Job posted at JobProfiles.org - Job Descriptions and Online Schools to Start Your Career.
Linda Jones presents 100 Great Blog Posts to Jumpstart Your Job Search posted at JobProfiles.org - Job Descriptions and Online Schools to Start Your Career.
Angela Martin presents 100 Inspirational Twitter Feeds for College Students posted at Online Colleges.org.
Kristie Lewis presents 100 Incredibly Helpful Lifehacks for the Unemployed posted at Career Overview.
These are what I felt was somewhat related to the carnival. That concludes this edition. I by the way think this didnot turned out as I expected, so I will be closing this carnival and will be posting a new one. Thanks and checkout for the new one soon.
Friday, 23 October 2009
Disclaimer: This is a work of Fiction. :)
"What is the most intriguing thing in the world?" asked the old man breathing his last.
His forehead showed three parallel streaks on the loose skin as the brows moved in together, yet his visage showed an unusual serenity. He gestured to his youngest son while lying on a wooden cot to bring him the dagger resting on the table as his elder son looked on sitting beside him. As the crying lad, with his eyes raining like the blackest of the clouds, moved to grab the shining, sharp metal he thought of the men in uniform who had chased down a group of helpless men last night, abusing and hitting as bad as they could. One of the helpless men being his old, crippled father, Dantuluri Govindraju, respectfully known as Guru garu.
As Dhananjaya, presented the dagger to his father forwarding both his hands on which it was loosely held, the dying man gave a faint smile and said, “You are my strong Dhanu.”
He then looked onto the solemn face of Narayana as if to tell him to take good care of his younger brother after him. Narayana could read his eyes and replied with a weak nod. “You remember the ‘Tiger of Bobbili’ , that I had taught you about?” he asked, without expecting an answer in return as he knew the answer would be in a ‘yes’. He remembered the faces of his students when he used to narrate them the tale of the Tiger of Bobbili. He continued, in a dull, cracked voice unlike his classroom lectures which used to be full of animation, “The valorous Tiger of Bobbili did not kill himself like the other citizens of Bobbili. He not only fought his kingdom back but also through his intelligence and bravery earned himself a title of ‘Tiger’.”
The two brothers listened in silence remembering the story which their father had taught them the whole life. They remembered the quick movements their father used to make with his right arm, the only arm he had, in the classroom of Maharaja Vidyalaya. Guru garu continued holding the dagger in the same arm, “Alas! The time is near, the time when our country will need such tigers, not one, not two, but in hundred and thousands. That Tiger after more than a hundred years should be reborn among you and your brothers.”
He handed the dagger by its grip to Narayana while Dhanunjaya moved forward, raised his hand and put on the dagger’s grip over his brothers palm. They clutched it tightly while looking at each other when the same weak voice continued, “It’s a decade since the resistance first started. We must not forget Tatya Tope’s valor or Rani Lakshmi Bai’s sacrifice.”
Dhanunjaya until now had the few British men in his mind to be avenged for his father’s condition but suddenly a greater reason took over. But he was confused as such incidents had rarely occurred in Vizianagaram, at least not in his lifetime. It had been quite a peaceful town, developing with traders and education institutions. Ironically, Maharaja Vidyalaya was founded in 1857, the year of the mutiny.
“I never told the stories of our forerunners just to your amusement,” continued his father, “But I have no more time left of me to teach you further. I foresee a time when such incidents will grow to larger proportions and suffering will be common. Realizing about it then will be too late to act. Take this dagger and use it when necessary, not for flaunting your power but for freedom. Its time for me to go.”
The teenage brothers sat there when their father asked them the last question, “What is the most intriguing thing in the world?”
He answered himself with a smile, “Death, especially if you die for your motherland.”
Narayana and Dhanunjaya stared as his father faced the most fascinating thing in the world. He had left behind him two burning torches.
Narayana lived the next forty-six years of his life teaching and nurturing young minds with the lesson that his father had taught them on his death bed.
Dhanunjaya, the very next year being only 14 then, avenged his father’s killers and later on formed a group of guerilla fighters and went on to fight against the Englishmen. In 1899, at the age of 54, after a long one-on-one fight, he was martyred by a young sepoy. Dhanunjaya’s valor and courage were being compared to that of Tipu Sultan, another ‘Tiger’ who fought until death exactly one hundred years ago in Seringapatnam.
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
Finally I have read, after a long gap in my reading habit, the intriguing book by Dan Brown, The Lost Symbol. You can read this article, it reveals nothing about the book that will spoil the thrill of reading the book if you have not read it yet.
The first mistake anybody would do is to compare it with other writings of Dan Brown, especially the ones featuring Robert Langdon. Let me do that mistake, I am no exception. When it comes to detailing of the characters, of history and the story, all his five books get equal points. Looking at the 'fast-pace' perspective, this one is behind Angels and Demons and Digital Fortress and on par with The DaVinci Code. The style, he uses his trademark style of writing, i.e Novel divided into chapters, chapters run parallel stories, each story runs back and forth in time and in different timelines and all the stories destined to converge on one platform. Boy, I like this style, impressive!
Robert Langdon chases a secret, the secret of the Ancient Mysteries, that is hidden 'somewhere out there'. Although you dont feel the urgency in the need to find out the secret for the first half of the book, but then it catches the pace and the anxiety increases. Ah yes, the secret, that is a secret that could give you ultimate wisdom, a secret that could transform you into no one but god, a secret that could bring order in chaos, the greatest secret, the untold secret, the best-kept secret, the word 'secret' is repeated no less than 230 times in the book. A few places it becomes a little frustrating and you ask yourself, "What the heck is this secret!!!" The secret is no-where as shocking as the one in Da Vinci Code.
Coming to the puzzles or codes, I liked all of them except two. You cannot even guess and even if you do it will always be wrong! My knowledge in the history of religions, US of A and freemasonry is zero, so atleast I couldn't guess.
And the philosophy involved in the book, hmm, I dont agree with it. Although, Dan Brown, through his characters, kept on insisting his philosophy, which even made a strong personality like Robert Langdon to think, and the emphasis that this philosophy is "followed in all religion", I think in Islam, this philosophy is regarded the greatest sin. As a muslim I can speak of Islam, as I know. No where in the Holy Quran or the Hadith, ever it is written of this philosophy, not even indirectly. It is just that Dan knows the etymology of words or history of symbols which have mostly Greek or Latin origins, but yes No where in this book he says that Islam also speaks of this philosophy. He gives a general statement, "in all religion". Dont worry, the book is not about Islam, I am just presenting my perspective. :)
And one final point, that I am very happy about is that I can relate to Dan Brown in one important point. This book urges the people to do one thing that I urged when I wrote a post about "Angels and Demons" and another post, "Why do we fast?" The request, by both of us is the same. :)
Finally I hope you will now read, for the sake of the secret, for the intricacy of ancient puzzles, for the thoughtfulness of the philosophy or just for the love of books or to find out why did I highlight the word 'read' in bold. :)
Do let me know if this was a nice review, I tried to create the curiosity among you, what a review must do! And my review of this book starts and ends in the title... The Lost Symbol is an opinion.
Friday, 16 October 2009
One day me and my friend Kishore were returning home on a bike when we decided to buy some snacks from a local super market. As I reached the shop, I looked for a place to park my bike. An empty space behind some movable iron railings on the road looked auspicious. That space was meticulously created as an auto stand, with one entrance and one exit, such that only one auto can come inside while only one auto can go out. Without realising that we entered the space (the fact that all the autos were in juxtapose outside the space along the railings), when somebody objected. The exit was blocked by an auto and as I turned my vehicle back I saw another auto approaching. I thought that this guy will come inside the parking space and I waited for him. But he stopped his auto just at the entrance and got out of the auto blocking me inside. I was there surrounded by autos no place to get out. Ideally, I should have been outside and the autos should have been inside.
I said to the auto driver, while Kishore got down the bike, "Boss, thoda peeche le lo, ek second ke liye," (Boss, please move behind(the vehicle) for a second) gesturing him that I will make out if he does.
The auto driver, a dark-man, wearing a bright blue Honolulu-shirt and having short hairs said something in his local language of which I could only make out words like, "Auto stand, bike, inside, why"
"Boss, please, thoda sa bas." (Boss, please, Just a little). I gestured again.
He gestured to me to get out of the exit. At this point I thought whether he was drunk but his stability doesnot looked like he was drunk. I saw his face and gestured that the exit too is blocked and said, "Please." My friend also said, "Thoda peeche, choti si baat hai" (A little backwards, a small thing to do.)
Not sure whether he understood hindi or not, but I was sure that he was in a mood to fight. The fact that he has his fellow drivers nearby (who too I supposed then were idiots like this guy) to support him. He said again in local launguage, which is kannada, of which I could make out as, "O , o, What are you talking, grr?" in an angry voice.
I thought, "Saale, bina baal ka khaal kiu nikaal raha hai!" (%^&*, why creatinig fuss over nothing?).
"I can pull the railing a bit," said my friend to me and pulled one to create a space. The driver kept blabbering and I kept thinking, "Bewakoof aadmi" (Stupid person).
Just then two autos in front of his moved creating another space for me and before this 'ready-to-fight', 'suspected-drunk' driver could move his, I pulled my bike out of the 'supposed-to-be' auto stand. I left with my friend and parked my bike at another place in an angry mood(for a while).
To err is human, which I did by entering the 'No-Parking' space.
But To grrrrr, without a cause, is INHUMAN, which the driver did.
Tuesday, 13 October 2009
I was running as fast as I can, never looking back,breathing heavily. But every step I took forward my mind moved backwards in time. I didnt know why. I thought if only I can run faster, for my home was not much far away. It never occurred to me that I could have hired a taxi or atleast asked for a 'lift'. I just ran towards my past.
I remembered how I used to struggle to take out 75 paise from my 'good luck' every afternoon to buy an ice cream without breaking it. And I remembered just when I started earning 75000 Rupees every month. I touched the back pocket of my trousers to check my wallet while I ran incessantly.
I remembered the first time when I met my wife. The smile on her face was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and when she had lowered her eyes with shyness I was lost in another world. And I remembered just the previous day when we had exchanged harsh words in anger. I touched the ring in my finger as I moved forward and adjusted it a little. I was completely drenched in sweat.
I remembered how I used to work through late nights, almost everynight, so that I was not behind others. And I remembered just in recent times, when I had stayed late for parties and fun. I was a few steps from my home when suddenly my feet slowed down.
I saw quite a number of people around the main gate of my home. I saw an ambulance parked and I was frightened to death. What if my wife or parents had met with an accident. I just couldnot move further but I had to. I moved slowly towards the gate, hoping everyone to be fine but alas! As I opened the gate with my shaky hands and entered, I saw a lifeless body, draped head to toe in a white cloth, lying right in front of the main door and my mom covering her face with her saree and crying eternally. My eyes searched for my wife, I saw her crying with tears never ending. Dad! I dragged my legs towards my dad, sleeping forever. Every step seemed like a mile. As I reached near I couldnot stand anymore. I fell on my knees and never knew when tears started flowing down my eyes. As I reached the drape, I heard the gate opened. Although I didnot look back, I heard a voice calling my mom. I was surprised and when I turned, to my happiness, I saw my dad who had just come back from his office. It was a mixed feeling as I was happy my dad was alright, but I was confused who the man-in-white could be. I quickly lifted the drape to check and my world was shatterred. It was me!
The whole life I never tried to search for my soul and now when I am lying there, lifeless, I dont know where my soul is.
Sunday, 4 October 2009
I wanted to revive my reading habit and what's better than reading The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. Just got hold of an ebook, will post my comments after reading it. Must be as thrilling and as adventurous as Da Vinci Code. And less controversial :P.
Has any body read it? Or want to read it?
Please tell me about it, or the expectations... would love to hear.
Till then Ciao.
Saturday, 3 October 2009
I am not sure whether it is a good news or not, but scientists have found the fountain of youth. Yes, although not exactly the ones in the fable, which I am sure they will not. As the scientists put it, after experimenting on mice, rats and primates, "We have added life to their years as well years to their life." Meaning they not only succeeded in increasing the lifespan of the creature but also in achieving a healthier and more immune life. Kudos, this is indeed a great achievement.
But these results were obtained only with the female primates whereas their male counterparts showed no significant change in their age. However both showed improvement in health status.
I am sorry for the guys... :P
Probably this may later on be experimented more to explain the ages of prophets mentioned in Christian, Islamic and Jewish scriptures. Prophet Moses (pbuh) age, believed to be, 120 years; Prophet Abraham's (pbuh) age 175 years, Prophet Enoch's (pbuh) age 365 years, Prophet Adam's (pbuh) age 930 years and Prophets Noah's (pbuh) age 950 years.
Whoa, unbelievable? At the face of it yes, but a little thought over it will give you the answer, "Why not?"
Why am I skeptical whether it is a good news or not? I dont know, what will people do living so long. The Prophets (peace be upon them) had a mission, a genuine purpose. We have only one purpose, sin. Cheating, Killing, Persecution, Greed and what not. If we are to live longer just to achieve this, then I would humbly request the scientists to stop their research.
Friday, 2 October 2009
Beforeword: Manoj, had been a trader, a middleman through out his 15 year old career and he doesnot want to be it anymore. He says he cannot find satisfaction in what he is earning.
"Whatever I earn, at the end of the month when I calculate, I see my earnings vanish like a ghost. My expenditures are more yet they are legitimate and basic. My savings are meager and I just cant think of expanding my business with such less savings," complained Manoj to his wife, Sarala while his twelve-year old son sleeps happily in another room.
Sarala advised, "Why dont you take some tips from Sanjay, he is doing quite well in business."
Manoj replied, "Hmm, let me talk to him tomorrow. Only God can help us now."
Next day, Manoj and Sanjay were sitting in their shop and talking. Manoj started, "Sanjay, I dont seem to get good profit these days and I dont see where the problem lies."
Sanjay replied, "Yes, the market looks a little dull these days."
"No Sanjay, Its been since quite a few months. Can you give me any tip being a friend of mine?"
"Hmm, You are an intelligent man and in this business for quite a long time. You know all the tricks of the trade, what can I teach you? You are following the tricks, aren't you?" replied Sanjay in a gradually reducing volume.
Manoj whispered, "Yes, I am. I have trained my boys to be attentive. They weigh the goods in such a way that no customer ever doubted, in the past 10 years, that the weight is less by an inadequate amount. Also I have price set for some most selling goods so that it gives me maximum profit. These things are common Sanjay. Also my sales are the same for last few months. I dont know whats happening to my money."
"You are not praying to God I think," doubted Sanjay.
"Its not like that.."
Sanjay cut him short, "Are you paying your alms?"
"Aanh, yes, whenever some poor asks me I giv.."
"No, no no... Not like that. You have to feed the poor by yourself, I say perform a puja and feed fifty-one poor people with your hands. Consult a pandit if you want."
"You think that will increase my savings?"
"When the Gods are happy, prosperity is not far away, my friend."
One place they are trying to please God by serving Fifty-one Poor people with their own hands, just once in a year or Six-months may be and on the other hand they are earning the wrath of God by cheating their customers, every single day since fifteen years and more.
And they complain about savings......
Such people who feel divine by giving alms to the poor, they should know that they are giving that which never belonged to them.
Thursday, 1 October 2009
Basically what I need from you people is keep reading my blogs. That is the only remuneration a blogger can get. From my side, I assure to keep on writing. Till now I have written on stuff that are general but old. I will try to start and write about ongoing hot-questions and put my views on it. I am just a little cold feet about it. The starting problem is the main problem with me. Hope I overcome it for this one. Wish me all the best.
Aah, the gift. What gift can I give? But before that I should know who my 1000th visitor is. Sitemeter can give me location and part IP address of the visitor, but I would not know who it is, unless it is ME. So, anxiously I checked the sitemeter website and discovered that 1000th visitor was no other than me. The fact that the location is given as Bombay and not Hyderabad where I am now may be due that it is tracking my network on Reliance communications (wireless) as from Bombay. Nevertheless it is me. What can i gift myself....?
May be next time, 2000th visitor is not me and somebody else, and I get a chance to gift him/her. So visit my blogs frequently for the prize.... LOL.
Please bless me that it reaches to 100,000 visitors soon.
Do let me know if any tips to do that....
Monday, 28 September 2009
Not Sure how many of you heard of this but Commandos : Behind Enemy Lines is a real time strategy war game in which the player controls SIX commandos, each with different abilities and skills and try to synchronize their actions to accomplish the mission.
The whole story is written on the back drop of World War 2 where a small, very small (six), group of soldiers are selected to infiltrate enemy lines and complete a mission. Some of the missions are to destroy the entire station, some to rescue war prisoners, some to destroy base camps and one of them was of an assassination.
The bird's view kind of gaming experience gives the player an insight of the whole surroundings and a map which can locate where an enemy can be spotted. With this the player has full knowledge to think, observe and plan. Also the missions are set in four different countries resulting in different kind of landscapes and experience, the white top of a snowy land to a red-blazing earth of the deserts to a cool-shady coastal area to unending roof-tops in a juxtapose.
There are 20 missions in the game, the level of difficulty increasing with each one. You can save your missions played anytime by going to the main menu. Every mission does not involve every commando, they are selected automatically according to the skill required. To complete a mission all the instructions in the mission notes is to be completed and all the men must return ALIVE. Depending on the performance of player in the mission, they are given promotions and stars.
I dont remember the names of the soldiers but I know them according to their skills,
Green Beret: Camouflage skills, climbing, hiding bodies, silent kills, Decoy
Sapper: Explosive skills-Time bombs, Detonator Bombs, Setting traps
Sniper: Sniping skills
Marine: Diving, Boating-carries Inflatable boat, silent kills with a harpoon, can 'hide' in water
Driver: Driving skills, Handling Machine and Sub-Machine Guns
Spy:Stealing Enemy uniforms, Distracting enemy soldiers, silent kills with poisonous injection, hiding bodies
Caution: This game requires a great amount of time, being a strategic game and a good deal of patience. Nevertheless this is very interesting and entertaining. When I played this game, I used to sit for hours together and my mom used to scold me for that.. :) . There were a few places where I was stuck but I managed to complete that. After completing 14 missions with dedication and hard work and harder thinking.. :P , I started the 15th when I came to know about the Cheat Codes in the game. I still regret that day, because the moment I had the cheat codes with me I lost the interest in the game. All the excitement and anxiety was lost. So my suggestion: Never even think of Cheat Codes, its cheating.. :P.
You want to try it out, then here is the link to Commandos : Behind Enemy Lines Demo
This is a 25 MB file with two missions in it. I think a torrent can be searched for full version of this. Best thing, this game doesnot require any hi-fi display adapters or Graphics supporters. Very basic system requirement and Lo! you are ready with a great game to play.
Those who have already played this one do let me know how you like it and do let me know of any other games that you like.
Tuesday, 22 September 2009
From the lead animator of Matrix Reloaded, Jeff Lew, comes an awesome, animation movie, Killer Bean Forever.
The animation is super-class and the direction just keeps you glued to your seats and the action sequences will make you jump of your place. I know I am making an oxymoron statement but that is what this movie makes you feel.
And the most unbelieving part is this is a One-Man animation movie. Jeff Lew has completed this 85 minute movie sequence in 4 years all by himself.
The storyline, Killer Bean,works for shadow agency, is on a mission. But he makes his own rules when it comes to work. He is against the biggest narcotics and weapons dealer in the town, Cappucino, who has a few warehouses and an unending army of men, oops, I mean beans.
In course of his encounters with Cappucino's best bean, Vagan, there is a twist. And then there is a mind blowing one on one action towards the climax of the movie which will leave you thrilled.
Also, look out for long dialogue deliveries, which is very funny indeed.
A 5 on 5 for this one.
Here's the trailer:
Saturday, 19 September 2009
Kiran asked: well many ppl say that nature itself gives you the answers to the biggest problems .....as it was mentioned in one of the books "The Alchemist" but all i need to know is how can we master it i mean how can we identify this signs frm nature ???
Answer: (Again, questions of this type can have more than one answers)
I understood your question as (owing to your referring The Alchemist), that nature gives out some signs, some omens, that if identified can lead you to happiness or content. The catch is to identify such omens or signs.
The Alchemist is a good story, most of the people like it, some dislike it. That is a story of Santiago, a boy shepherd, following his dream to find a treasure in the Pyramids and traveling from Spain. During the journey, he is robbed, he finds a job, works hard to earn enough, finds love in the Oasis, finds the legendary Alchemist, finds trouble, literally talks to nature, the sun, the desert and the wind to find a way out. (Already told enough, Sorry :P , for the end read the book, a small one it is).
So the bottomline, he identifies the signs of nature that leads him to his dream.
But Wake UP!!!! Thats a fable, a legendary story, a fictitious story. That definitely boosts up the morale, but the truth is it is much easier to find the signs of nature in actual life.
1.We have some beliefs like if a person sneezes just when you are leaving the house, it is considered a bad omen. A sneeze is natural, hence the sign. My question what is the logic? Nope I dont feel this is a sign from the nature.
2.Suppose you are talking on the phone and crossing the road which seemed clear, but suddenly a speeding car moves just in front of you or you were just saved from a danger of falling into a pit or anything. This could be a sign.
This reminds me of a story I heard of Hitler as a kid, not sure if it is true, that Hitler once tried to commit suicide before coming into power and put a gun onto his head and pulled the trigger, but the gun wouldn't shoot as the trigger is jammed. He took this as a sign that he should not commit suicide and he should live as he is supposed to live to deliver something great to the world. (His belief of greatness could be different :) ) Nevertheless he saw a sign.
I think incidents such as this could be taken as omens.
(This doesnot mean that if you first fail in the examination, you are destined to become a cricketer or an actor!!)
3.Signs through the Science of observation. I am negotiating a deal with a customer, I will not wait for God or an Angel to come down and give me a sign by making the customer put his left foot first in the office or the right one. Or by making him wearing a red shirt or a pink(!!) one.
But I would observe his demeanor. Is he blinking a lot while talking, is he thinking a lot, is he seated comfortably on the chair or displaying anxiety, is he showing me the correct statistics in the market or just false data, is he a good man per his reputation in the market, etc. This is called the Science of Observation which can be in turn taken as signs of nature. These are the clear signs that would lead to right decision. Although Science of Observation can be mastered only through practice and experience.
4.I dream of becoming an animator, my parents tells me that requires hardwork and innovation and looking at my performance at school it doesnot look like I can do it, my friends tell me that there is a huge unemployment in the market for animators (example, I really dont know), my teachers tell me that animator when there are much better options, there is only one animation school in the town and that too is 15 km from my home, etc. All these are 'negative' signs of nature, that is compelling you not to pursue your dream. But if you see these as 'negative' signs as 'positive' and you really, from your heart, find solace in animation, then the path to this dream becomes easy for you, against all odds. Great men are made who follows their dream against all odds.
(This doesnot mean that you parents, friends or teachers are wrong, but they become the signs you are looking for. ) Every time the sun sets it doesnot mean that darkness is eternal, it actually indicates that there will be a new dawn tomorrow.
5. Fifth and the final in my list is the most superior and fool proof method of looking for signs. It is called Questioning . 'WHY' is the word. And questioning not others but yourself. When you think that yes, I am vegetarian, you should actually ask why. God gave you a set of teeth that can tear as well as chew, and a digestive system that can digest meat and vegetable, unlike herbivores animals that have flat teeth that can only cud grass and digestive system that digest only veges, unlike Carnivores that have teeth that can only tear like scissors and a digestive system that can digest only meat, then why do you have only vegetables? So the sign is in the mirror, only thing that you don't know to look into it as you have not questioned yourself.
You can find some answers to the questions that is favourable to you in some places, but to actually find the 'signs' you have to look at a place that gives answers opposite to what pleases you. The sign may or may not be in you favour, but thats the way you find a sign.
So, first question 'why', then look for answers at places that pleases you, then look for answer at places that displeases you, then decide.
(Vegetarianism is just an example here, i dont want to further argue about it here, may be some other time and place, please comment on the way to find a sign that I mentioned)
Hope I am clear...
This ends the list of questions I had, Anybody wants to ask more can comment to this post.
Anyone wants to suggest/comment on the way I answer are free to do so...
I take your comments as signs that I am doing well.. :)
thanks for asking and reading...