Flickr and learnings

This is more of a placeholder entry based on that rare chance (one in a brazillion :)) that I have to explain it again to others. Around a little below what is considered a long time back someone asked me as to what in heaven’s do I do on flickr ? Given that I seem to have an inordinate number of favorite pictures, what is the secret behind that madness. As an aside, this is the same person who has (correctly according to some) diagnosed me with suffering from a “disease of consuming books” (err I don’t really consume them but I do generally spend a lot buying and reading and then jotting down notes which I plan to use for a review and promptly misplace). So, given that I had to be very long drawn in response. If there is a reason I got attracted to an online photo journal (which has that major annoyance of not having threaded comments) it is . I used to ogle at his photos and one evening the bulb above my head lit up. That site is really not about storing your own photos, although I dare say that sometimes spo0nie does overdo things a bit and perhaps will start getting used to observing objects through his viewfinder only. The site is about learning bits and pieces of folks which are not available through their blogs, journals, speeches and slides. It allows me to have a much deeper relation with the entire act of photographing things and the person behind the lens. At one point in time I had started to keep notes on the photographs I had viewed each day so that I could compile a small monograph on photographic trends and see how the popular or interesting posts on the site match up to my analytical ability. I have, as usual, managed to misplace the notes and surprisingly enough forgotten the password of the blog that was supposed to contain the monograph draft. Well, not much lost there anyway. Given the public assumption that I will move on to a proper DSLR beast only by late 2009 🙂 I think I will stick to my point and click and keep learning from others. Right now I want to know how to fiddle around with the exposure settings of my piddly camera

শেখার দুই রূপ

বাংলায় বলে “দেখে শেখা ও ঠেকে শেখা” মানে এই যে হয় নিজে অনুভব করে শিক্ষা লাভ কর বা অন্যের অবস্থা দেখে বুঝে নাও। সাধারণ নিয়মে লোকে দেখে শেখার উপর জোড় জোর দিয়ে থাকে, বাড়ীতে হোক আর বাইরেই হোক। অসুবিধা তখন হয় যখন দেখে শেখার উপদেশকে আদেশ হিসেবে নেওয়া হয় এবং তাকে বলা হয় যে স্বাধীনতায় বাধা দেওয়া হচ্ছে। অনেক সময় এই আচরণ কাছের লোকেদের ঠেলে দেয় দূরে এবং যে ঠেলে দেয দেয় সে বুঝতেও পারে না। গতকাল এমনই কিছু ঘটনা নিয়ে আমরা কথা বলছিলাম…আমাদের দুজনের এই বিষয়ে মতের অমিল নেই।

বানান ভুল ধরে দিয়েছে রুণা

and in en_US if bn_IN is something you do not dig 🙂

There is a saying in Bengali which if roughly translated says that there were two roads to learning things : learning by observation and learning by first hand experience. It is somewhat common for parents and others to stress upon learning by observation both at home and outside. The real problem crops up when a suggestion to learn by observation is taken as a command and assumed to be implicitly trampling upon independent thought. More often than not such assumptions ensure that even those who mean well are relegated to being distant observers and the person who assumes wrongly is unaware of the damage done. We were talking about this yesterday and turns out that we have the same conclusions on this topic

These days it is a bit difficult to be a child

These days it is a bit difficult to be a child. Everytime I receive an invitation to a birthday, I dread the act of attending. Primarily because it is expected that there would be a gift and figuring out what to give is a bit difficult. In the good ol’ days of ours, I remember I used to get laden with lots of books ( will testify that loading up a bookshelf with books is a habit I am yet to get out of) or with toy sets which used to allow me to “make” / construct stuff. Having had the luxury of handling Lego playing sets for various ages, I can say that nothing would be better than them to actually let young kids imagine and construct things. However, they are too darned costly in India. And educators don’t seem to realize how to use them. The nearest I have managed to find are Peacock Toys which is good but really does not have the “education” bit put in place – oh !! what a misery

Dus Kahaniyaan – A brave attempt

and me went to watch Dus Kahaniyaan. The obligatory wikipedia link

It is an odd collection of stories (which is expected), a mixed bag of acting talent, mediocre script writing skills and of course overtly stylized bits. However, in terms of an attempt it is a nice one. I guess one can have an idea of the stories from this link. Some bits stand out – Neha Dhupia can’t act even if her life depended on it. Sanjay Gupta is hell bent on proving that he knows more about noir than he actually does. Dino Morea should stop using his pectorals to act. There’s a random chance of meeting a girl in a strappy red number and even lesser chance of talking to a ghost with one ear-ring – but what the heck. The golden oldies show what it means when one says “act” – Naseruddin, Shabana and Nana do their solid acts (the last bit of Gubbare is worth watching over and over again if only to learn how to act). Dia Mirza is good as is Manoj Bajpai in a story that is fairly predictable Jimmy Shergill ought to stop being cherubic however. Amrita Singh has learnt over the years to use facial muscles to act and she’s worth the watch. Masumeh Makhija needs voice lessons. Lastly Mandira Bedi should learn how to act before getting in “out-of-the-way” movies.

The camera work is nice – tight close-ups and the required grainy bits that provide the visual edge. 6.5 out of 10 and that’s because it is an attempt worth appreciating. I would sure love to see more of these.

I liked Pooranmasi, Rice Plate, Gubbare, Zahir.

Plastic paradox

Under circumstances which are far too verbose to repeat here, I received an i-mint card. So when at Lifestyle Stores (Kalyaninagar) I passed on that card for a swipe, the person at the counter said that I can either use that card or the store’s own card – but not both. That’s fairly curious – anyone else can claim to have received similar treatment ?