Sunday, May 18, 2014

a new chapter?

I am happy to have sat out of the live updates. But surprisingly, the air was full of it even here. The one off sporadic updates still hit me.

My biggest relief out of this election were two things:
  • Freedom from utter-sheer incompetence and dilly-dallying
  • The new govt has gotten the "clear mandate" they requested before. There will be freedom to implement things without the ambivalence the earlier govt(s) were subject to. This also means, all excuses are off the rug from the word go!

Post note: Whats amusing to note - the erstwhile govt campaigned for the new govt as well. I will put the % contribution (in terms of vote) at 30-40!

Post note story:

One of the shocks during Congress' hey day in Tamil Nadu was that Kamaraj (the king maker) lost in his own home town. One of his supporters, shocked at the news, runs to him and tells him:

"There must have been some fraud. We should demand a recount!"

Kamaraj says:

"There will be no talk like that. Would it be democracy if I won all the time? Also, no one should talk about the new Government for the next six months."

We lack leader material like that. At least, we should hold on to the final request - not talk for next six months and then have a review.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

borrowed inspiration

from Twitter

May 13, 2014 at 12:01AM

borrowed inspiration

from Twitter

May 07, 2014 at 12:12AM

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The 25 Greatest Film Composers In Cinema History

Since this post is about music - you should read this first.

When you pick the "25 greatest film composers" in cinema history, that is a pretty broad canvas to pick from. That means all movie composers all across the globe and going backwards starting now to the beginning of mainstream movie composing.

Could you possibly do justice to such an undertaking? Probably not 100%. How would you even know?

Without being overtly emphatic, I will just say I was hmmm, "pleasantly surprised" to see Ilaiyaraja in 9th spot. Yes, he is within the top 10 in the "The 25 Greatest Film Composers In Cinema History". And what a photograph they picked!

I am a total suck-up when it comes to Ilaiyaraja. But even with my supreme bias, I know he hasn't received the recognition he so rightly deserves. While this list is not a be-all-end-all - I am more than gratified to see that this list, written by an overseas music aficionado* features him in the top 10.

His capabilities really need a more challenging platform**. The few times he used a symphony orchestra had the virtuoso conductor exclaim about his skill and spontaneity. There is only so much you can do with the same situations - hero stops earth from spinning, hero meets heroine ta ta ta ta. The few times where some yorkers have been bowled at him have been dispatched out of the ground in stunning style. Its time for a few more yorkers.

BTW, what exactly is this 25 composers deal? This is the link. It has a few of my other favorite composers as well. I recognized about 10 in all in the list. So there is so much to unearth in terms of talent and treasures. Which is exactly why this article leaves me so much in surprise. Thanks much!!

* - Not written in context of social-climbing. It is just that Ilaiyaraja's music has been mostly regionally received

** - To be fair, some of his undoings might be himself and his take-it-or-leave-it personality.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Got an hour? Enter here:

This is a heavy ping-back post. There were quite a few things I read/watched during this period and I wanted to share the really good one's here. Some are VERY IMPORTANT as well. If you are short of time, just watch the second talk

First of all: Mother Earth. Too often, we forget to keep perspectives of what this planet offers us. The upcoming interactive flash demo was earlier released as well. It has been upgraded now to offer interesting facts as you click on each object. Even if you have played with this flash before - watch it again. It starts with where we are. You can zoom out to infinity. And you can zoom in to infinity again! Watching this will remind you of how miraculous the fact that this planet is sustaining life amid several impossible constraints that need to come together for that to happen.

The scale of the Universe

Earth again: The following is an Imax video that is going to be - or has already been released. This is technology as a portal to the miraculous. This ~7 minute video is a must watch. Someone's comment on the video was "I fucking love this". I second that. That expletive was for emphasis!

Hidden miracles of the natural world

The following two are probably relevant most in the digital age under current context. Snowden and NSA! Perhaps more important was the fact that this is as close as you can have Snowden and NSA talking together. They appeared on TED remotely. Snowden's talk was persuasive. But in all honesty, Richard Ledgett (NSA) handled his talk impressively as well. He spoke a lot without giving anything away! But given he was talking to a hostile audience - not visibly hostile - the experience showed. Only thing is that I have a hard time trusting NSA for anything.


Richard Ledgett (NSA)


This is the first  book I've read digitally (fully) - and its one of the best! It is a short read and is full of common sense. I really wished my erstwhile employers had this book while I was working. We had to endure so many mind-numbing, outdated and plainly annoying practices. No one really was paying a thought to whether these were working or not. The 37signals people did and it reflects in their culture and success (along with this book's success as well).

As a side note - digital reading for me is here to stay. The pleasure and convenience of having a 100 articles and 25 books in a device is unbeatable. Also, being able to tweak the font size to a convenient reading level. Finally, night time in trains! Paper is out of question. E-words to the rescue!

Sunday, May 04, 2014


I really didn’t think I would get to use this phrase in real life.

Recently, after a long day’s work, I reached home at about 10:30pm. A man shouldn’t have to yearn for a good night’s rest after a good days work right? In the room, there is a provision for installing a split air conditioner. Except in my room, there isn’t one. So what is there is a cylindrical hole leading to the outside world.

You really can’t peep out of the hole. But the hole was large enough for a tarantula to crawl in. I won’t split hairs on whether it really was a tarantula or not - because mine were standing upright. It certainly was a very large spider! Each leg the thickness of a pencil. This one was a real opera star as well, as the body was hidden inside the hole with four legs sticking out into the room. The legs were bright purple in color with white circular stripes. A real scene from a horror movie it was.

For one, all the purported love about being in brotherly love with fellow sentient beings went out of that cylindrical hole. I took a broom stick and I wanted to do a tap on the wall, so he (she?) would withdraw his legs into the duct and get out of the house. Scarier dilemma was, what if he gets into the house? End of story! I anyway could not go to bed imagining his legs sticking out of that duct like that. Anyway, that would also mean the invite for him to come into the house was also open.

So I took the chance and tapped the wall with the broom stick. He ran out!

I spent the next 45 minutes taping the duct so that no creepy crawly ones come inside. Somewhere I gave wings to this tarantula and imagined him flying. I realized that if this line of imagination continued I would need a pill or a doctor visit. But the next day, I saw those same legs, in the same nonchalant fashion, sticking out of the duct, but from the other end - that is from outside. I went in just to make sure that my tape on the inside was strong.

Heebie-Jeebies indeed! It turns out it is much easier to love arachnids on book, photographs and videos!
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