Annoying ice-breakers

“What are you up to ? Long time no see” was the constant refrain that I heard yesterday at GNUnify’10 when I dropped in.

I have never been able to respond well to the “What are you up to part ?”. Most of the times I am doing stuff that is either deeply internal to the product line, stuff that is annoyingly irrelevant to the world at large. There are folks who are not generally satiated with the response “the usual” and, then ask “How’s work ?”. That is baffling. If I am unable to provide great detail to the first question hence the second one is equally trivial. “I am with the same company, so work is good” is my latest gruff response. But it does bring about a serious problem.

In India, we have no idea how to begin or, continue with a conversation. Especially when we meet at semi-social occasions like events and so forth. That’s a problem

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Why do we …

… think over what we don’t have instead of feeling blessed with the little happy moments that come our way ?

… need to compare ourselves to others and then realize our worth instead of realizing what we are ?

… want to rush after things that will not make us happy and, delay things that are truly what we want ?

… keep a running account about what we did not get ?

Of this and that

Among the things that have fallen in place at the new residence are: Gas Connection, Internet link (no plain old telephone yet), DTH, newspaper, guy to wash the car. We are still looking for the domestic help and so forth. On the whole it has been a bit of a mixed bag settling in.

Now that we have had the blast at German Bakery, I guess this makes it twice that at least one of us was either passing through the area (a smite before) or, was around the area of attention. The last time it was Runa who was at Mumbai during the train explosions and, since the cell communications were jammed, I was scared to hell. This time around, the moment I heard about the blasts, the first thought that crossed my mind was if the Pune police decide to shut down concerts and, roads, Runa would be stuck at the Ruhaniyat gig. So, off I went and dutifully parked the car outside the Empress Gardens while using the cell phone (which was functioning thankfully) to tell a bunch of worried friends that we were doing well.

I am thinking of watching Striker. On an off-chance that it might turn out to be a nice movie really. I do like the songs, so, let’s see. May not happen soon. And, I might just subscribe to it via DTH and, watch it. One never knows. In a somewhat strange letdown I do not seem to enjoy the Jeeves Omnibus series at all. I think I will get some different books just for the heck of it and, read them through. It might just help calm down my nerves. With the project delivery date being so near, thinking and re-thinking over tiny details that I may have missed keep me awake. Even when I sleep I have dreams of my tracker dashboard and, green/red blinker lights. Scary.

Could have been a better movie – Ishqiya

We watched Ishqiya yesterday at the Bollywood E-Square at Kharadi. This was the first time I went there and, I liked the Screen 1. It has that Nandan 2 like feeling (without the smug intellectuals). The hall was reasonably empty really, which was a surprise to me.

Anyways, Ishqiya is a dark movie. Every character, in spite of occasional moments of genuine joy have their own agendas to fulfil. And, the movie itself has the undercurrents of soon-to-happen deceit that keeps you watching. Technically, there is nothing much to say about it given the pedigree. From a story perspective it lacks that punch which you think would come soon, but when it does, it comes in late and, a bit too soft.

Arshad Warsi is good. He excels in quirky roles and, the character of Babban fits him. Naseruddin Shah doesn’t seem to exert himself at all and, builds more on the character of Khaalujaan when he doesn’t say much and the camera just pans his face. In my book Vidya Balan as the femme-fatale is the weakest link. There is no studied cunning or evil in the way she brings her character on-screen. The songs seem a bit forced.

In short it is a good movie but not a great one.

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An intolerant society

The more I read of things like these, the more I realize how impatiently intolerant we have become. Never mind the fact that we have become a society of rabid fascists who do not really have a single grain of constructive thought. Leaving all this aside, what really worries me is the blissful ignorance or, even disregard the civil society has for these sort of issues. As if casting a blind eye would make these go away.

They never do. In fact, they increase, multiply and sooner or later start choking the life-blood and the way we live our lives.

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and so the story goes…

I end up repeating this story/fable/anecdote to a lot of people because of the simple lesson at the end. Figured that it would be a good place to keep it recorded.

In some unrecorded place, a not so well known village had a bumpkin. He was upto mischief all the time. His chief pleasure though was one which caused a lot of trouble. The village had a rope bridge over a fast flowing stream which folks had to cross before they could reach the village. The bumpkin used to wait for folks to be on the bridge before giving it a mighty shake and, toss folks into the water.

One day, a person came to the bridge and saw the bumpkin sitting idly on the other side looking at the stream. He knew about the trick of shaking the bridge and, to avoid that from happening he shouted out asking them bumpkin not to shake the bridge while he was crossing. Startled out of his leisure, the bumpkin realized that he had forgotten his favorite ploy and, started shaking the bridge. As expected, the traveler plunged into the stream.

I’d leave the lesson of the story to be derived accordingly.