Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Media Transition

I was born in the great cosmopolitan city of Mumbai in a decade which kids of my age would call the true golden period. That of course has nothing to do with any technological advancement that happened in the time. Yes, we got something called the dial-up, but c’mon, I would say that the 21st century is the time which truly deserves the internet era badge. Besides, who didn’t hate those cursed modem noises in the middle of the night, putting a damper on the plans?

No. When I talk of the golden age, I talk about the great age of the cartoons. The time when five year olds didn’t have to go through the ordeal known to us as “Oswald the octopus” or “Kipper the dog”. Kids didn’t have to wait entire ten minutes to watch as the octopus walked down to the candy store with his pet hotdog (seriously!! Who wrote that stuff??)  And then ended up being sad because he got only one scoop instead of two. Nah!! We were born in the age of Swat Kats, Ninja Robots, the centurions and most importantly Speed Racer. We didn’t watch cartoons which had enough sugar coating to give you diabetes. If any of those guys ran out of ice-cream, they would find a way to get some, not pet something which should be in the tummy. It’s no wonder children are put-off with the jstuff. I would never watch a cartoon named “Samsher Sikandar Aur Uske Chaddi Buddies” (not making this up). 

When I talk of media transitions, I guess as much as I’d like to continue with the problems in animation world, the thing which desperately needs the attention of some sane people is the advertising industry. I remember the “Mother Dairy” advertisements from near around 1995, the one with the “Doodh, Doodh, Doodh…” jingle. Now that’s what somebody would call a decent ad Or the ads by coca-cola which immortalised Aamir Khan’s and Aishwarya Rai’s faces on dhabha menu’s across the country. Those made sense. They advised you to enjoy a cold drink, to chill. Not like the recent cold drink ads which show people strapped to sofas and getting chucked of airplanes to get a thrill and enjoy a drink or Akshay Kumar running through an entire obstacle course around an area to get a ten rupee bottle of “thumbs-up”.

Yup, that’s what the adverts have become over the past fifteen years, from subtly advising you to buy the product to getting thrown off charter planes. The drinks haven’t become any better, but the ads have gone bizarre. The Pepsi Co' ads for example, with the “Youngistan” campaign tried to rally the youth into purchasing the drink. And dare I say it, the thing worked. Seeing people hold cans the way they did in the ads was a shocker, but I guess they proved a point. People do follow these ads pretty seriously, the people at the ad agencies seemed to have realised this and so does the censorship board, with it displaying disclaimer messages after every ad “This is a graphic generated stunt, PLELASE DONOT JUMP OFF A DAMN PLANE WITHOUT A PARASHUTE!!”. It’s sad really.

The field is really too big with the movies and television shows bringing about a big change in the media to actually cover. The change is just too much. Plots go for a toss in movies and soaps don’t seem to know when to end, even when the main concept story has long been over. Heck, the lead actor goes old, but the show must go on!! , well that is until the show just suddenly goes off air without so much as a good-bye show and is replaced by another one without any difference to those who watch them. Like un-caring zombies people are.

I guess I’ve made my point though. Things are changing and they change because public thinking is changing. Just wish they wouldn’t consider the viewer’s so dense as to actually get impressed with the trends they try to set. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I'm back. I think...

It’s been about six months since I last blogged. To be completely honest, I did use to visit my blog regularly and see the activity and was quite surprised to find quite a few visitors. With constant reminders from the blog rating counter, I decided it was time I got back on to it. What made me come back to blogging? How I would love to say “I don’t know. It just pulled me back”. Truth be told, I have more stories to tell, to impart my not-so-important gyan to those who would still visit the blog looking for some updated posts…

I’ve seen and experienced loads of things from ever nosy people and uncomfortable situations. Things weren’t all bad, the college team cleared through that contest I had talked about in an earlier post. Big relief that was.

To be short, this isn’t much of a blog entry. It’s more of a small post which I’m typing just to tell the occasional visitor that this blog will be active from now on. Keep Visiting

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The concept of God

 This is one topic on which I can drone on and on about. Earlier, God was an important person. A problem solver. A nice guy who helped people, destroyed evil, had the meanest set of weapons (according to the Hindu mythology anyways)….there weren't many arguments with the concept of God. Well that was when I was a wee little kid. See, the thing was, I had never given the thing much thought. All the traditions just seemed to fit the order of things. All the festivals, all the rituals just seemed in place. That was until the inquisitive old me asked mom one of those questions. The question I don’t remember, but the reply wasn’t quite what I had hoped for. Something was fishy.

I was aware of all the religions around me, and was determined to get an answer to my questions (yes questions….they had multiplied in time). Along came Wikipedia in all its awesome glory. I read about the Greeks, Egyptians, the pagans and my own religion. I tried to go deep into philosophy and even went as far to attempt to read the Iliad and Odyssey. Much of my knowledge about ancient Greek religion came from them which I then refined on further reading. It wasn’t long before I started joining the dots. I tried finding a relation between the religions of the old. Cooked up quite a mess in my head. Suddenly Poseidon’s trident resembled Shiva’s and Indra appeared more like Zeus.
Time passed on, and I was introduced to the concept of science. Did a further study on different apparent energies in the universe. The concepts of the big bang, the big crunch, anti-matter, the particles found in the hadron collider seemed to open an endless world of possibilities. Suddenly everything was all about logic and proof. The concept of God didn’t seem to have an answer, and back then all questions had answers. I doubted the presence of a superior being, but there was always a constant doubt in my head. Can so many people actually be wrong? Ages of wisdom built on the foundation of belief just wrong? The doubt still haunts me, but then again, no matter how much I try to deny the presence of a higher power, I still find myself chanting the name of the family deity whenever I’m in a fix. Can’t seem to help it. Apparently it’s hardwired in my head.

I had long discussions with my father and it all came down to one thing. Faith. God may or may not exist, but the concept of someone being in charge just felt comforting. Something like knowing you have your mother/father looking after you. It kept little kids from doing wrong (to some extent at least). So as I type this post down, I say that I have faith. I believe in the concept of God. I have belief that there exists a higher power that fuels this universe. You want science? The day someone can define what ENERGY really is, then I may question my belief. I don’t mean the high school definitions. If energy can neither be created nor destroyed, where on earth do you get whatever you have from? You convert other forms of energy. Where did they come from? What was there before the big bang? A white sheet of paper? What caused a particle to explode to form the universe as we know it?

If you’re one of those brilliant minds who say they won’t believe in God until they see him, tell me. Do you believe in the concept of heat? Can you see when an object is hot? No. You only see it’s effects. You only feel it. Feeling is a sensation. If your brain fails to acknowledge something, for example, a red hot lump of coal in your hand, it doesn’t mean it’s not there. It’s there all right. And your hand is burning away.
So I end this post by saying that, yes, I do believe in God. For those who are still looking for answers and look to science for an explanation, even science cannot deny the explanation of some extra factor when you go deep enough…      

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Professional stuff v/s Friendship

I bet I'm not the first person to put up a post on this topic. I expect there must be hundreds of post like this one, trying to tell people from making their social life interfering in their professional life. The two things are meant to stay separate, no matter what. I've seen friendships turn sour on this note more than once. It's always the same. It always starts with two people working together. Those two apparently are friends too. Then after a while comes a time (this moment ALWAYS comes when things like this happen) when one of the friends tries to take an advantage of the other for professional help. Now a little hand here and there is cool, no one minds. But what does get troublesome is when someone expects "favours". Favours not involving the other person entirely and may put the other friend in jeopardy. By the above I mean stuff like, him completing the assignments in the name of friendship while the other "friend" goes out to enjoy his life. Or in college when you have to sit through a particularly dead boring class while your friend is out relaxing. Feels sorta bad. 

The worst is when you work as his team leader and have to assign work to him. That's when things get most dangerous. You try to assign everybody work (including yourself) and there you see your "friend" laying off cause he knows you. When you ask him to do it, he takes you for granted. When you have no choice but to order him to do it, suddenly it's an ego problem and *POOF!!* there goes ages of friendship. Who is at fault here? The bossy friend or the "I'll do it later" friend?

Such things came to line with me during an engineering competition we were participating in. I tried telling people (classmates) to get to work. I had finished my part ages ago and the whole thing was stuck cause of three guys doing stuff at their own pace. We had a deadline. A very tight deadline. The only way to get them to really get them to work was to get all bossy (my friend, also our team captain did that). Not very pleasant, but had to be done. Even that didn't help much. But it sure got them working faster if with a scrowl on their face. We barely got the design ready in time for the event. But my friend did end up getting all sorts of criticism from other about how he's an equal, even if he's a team captain. But everybody failed to see the end result. Awesome it was.

Whatever the case may have been, it was a sad scenario. Friendship is best kept at a distance, or if you look at this in another way, atleast you get to know people are true to you and won't use personal connections to get their work done. I always say that unconditional friendship is the best. Pure emotion and understanding. No messy business. Work and friendship is best left alone, unless the situation get really bad and I'm sure a true friend would never back down from helping a friend in need...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Resume

It all seems a long time ago. I had my 10th standard and was reasonably happy with my results, the time was all about how fun life had become, and about how we had crossed the first major exam we were to give…life was full with the feeling of accomplishments. Just when things seemed at their best, the big question was thrown at us, “What do you plan on taking up as a career?”

BANG!! All the fun shot right out of the sky of bliss. I remember NOT trying to think on the topic. I was 15. I had a good 8 years before me for that decision. Back then, it didn’t matter what I did as long as I was happy. Personally, my first thought was going into literature, but on further thinking I didn’t think that I would like to do that for the rest of my life. I had zero interest in the matters of finance, so the commerce section was out. Thinking of cutting up something really didn’t fit the mood either. So non-medical science it was. Technical drawing subject was an added incentive. It was fun to do. The two years of high school passed like crazy and before I knew it, there I was again, sitting on a chair with my standard 12th board paper in front of me. That too passed without much difficulty. Time for a momentary rest before the entrance test began. Yeah right. Before the first day after the exams was out there was that question again “What do you plan on taking up as a career?
So college it was. After much discussion, a career path was finally in view. Or so I had thought. At college it was “What job are you planning to apply for?”  

All throughout the education lifetime, that is the only thing people ask. And the sad part is, people actually relate to those questions. Can’t blame them can i? I mean, those times are past when people studied cause they wanted to. Life has turned out to be one big struggle. Throughout their lives people take up jobs against their better judgement just cause it pays well. Now I admit that money can be a big driving force, but wouldn't a person be more successful in doing something he enjoys?

I've seen guys go through 4 years of engineering to ultimately just getting a bank job. I really don’t see the point here. Surely a person from an educational background of commercial studies will be more suited to the job than you. Having all that technical data stuffed in your head for four years and you don’t want to make use of it? If the money is a big priority, then I understand, but I've seen well off people just jump at the opportunity to move to a non-engineering job.

People do all these software courses to boost up their resume, when they don’t give a hoot about what they are learning. All they seem to want another certificate to put up in their resume. When I asked a fellow classmate about this, he just shrugged and said that he didn’t care what they were teaching. He wasn’t even attending the classes religiously. He just wanted another certificate.

I see the race happening. I can see the mice running to get the cheese. But I guess people miss the fundamental point here. You get a job so you can earn and live a comfortable life. If the job makes your life a boring one (that’s around 8 hours a day, maybe more), then doesn’t it all sort of defeating the purpose? What god is a sports car if you don’t get a chance to drive it?yttt

Friday, February 10, 2012

The monk, the knight and the assassin

Man. Since the early days he has believed himself to be the most oderly and disiplined of all the species inhabiting this planet. That's what the word "Job" signifies, right? A role in the social for mutual benefit. A soldier to protect, a king to rule, a minister to think, a vendor to trade...all working together to build a large community. Turned out well. But every society has a menace. A person hell bent on causing trouble. The devil among the angels. The one to cause a disturbance in the order of things. A person who makes life difficult. How to deal with such people? Well I got down to assigning my own designations depending on ways to tackle the wrong doers. We all have people in our lives we want to make peace with. Our competitors, arch nemesis etc...and we have our own way to take care of such people. I've tried categorizing each person's style of action into 3 types upon observations : The monk, The knight and The assassin.

In my books, the monk is the original pure heart. I've seen people reasoning with impossible pricks, trying to convince the other people to make peace. Who wants to battle it out with the same person for their entire career anyways? Well I've seen these people take on everything the sadists throw at them and still stand up going about their business without so much as a swear. If it becomes too much, they try to reason, but will never retaliate. I immensely respect such people. But it boils my blood to see them being used. And it happens quite often. Classrooms, during projects, offices....everywhere.

The next character is the knight. Much like the monk, well that is until you cross the threshold limit. Then he turns into a bad-ass to get back at the menace. But mind you, the knight is still good at heart and will not cause any lasting damage. Maybe he'll tell the person off (loudly) or maybe a little tussle (not advised), but mostly he would not harm the enemy until he's really pissed. I think it's the ideal character. Good in nature but doesn't take crap from people after an extent. A tolerance is present, but being good at heart would not taint the person in question.

The Knight
The last person on the list and the deadliest of them all. The assassin. He will be out for blood. He will ruin the person for what he has done to him. He would take revenge. The exact opposite of the monk. An evil to fight the evil.Not saying he'd kill literally (God NO!!), but he would do the same to the person who has done him wrong. Tit for tat.
The Assassin

There is only one reason I'm working on this post. Cause I feel there is everyone of these characters in everybody. Each of us has a monk, a knight or a wannabe assassin in him. I say wannabe assassin cause I'm assuming that no person would knowingly want to jeopardize the other person even for revenge. I can't. It happened recently too. My project was messed with. Ruined a thing I was working so hard on. Gone. Believe me. I wanted to rip him apart. You can say I lacked the guts to do that.
On the other hand, I feel that as respected a monk may be, one needs the knight to protect himself. I've seen people bulldozing competition unfairly and may be needed to be taught a lesson. There has to be a tolerance limit.

As for me, guess it just boils down to being the better human being. Good day :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


People meet in different circumstances all the time. Some turn out to be your enemies, some become your friends, some go by as your acquaintances and some people just go by without having any influence at all. Then what? What happens if the person becomes a part of your life? Do you nurture the friendship? Well that is upon the individual in question it not?

There are people who you care about. Friends who you are as close to as your sibling. Suddenly he has to move to a different place. You promise to stay in touch. For a time being you do too. Then as a few months go by, you get busy. You call a few times, your friend calls a few times, but in the end, it sort of just sublimes to an rare call on a occasion. The sad part is, it becomes a two way thing.

Then there are times when the universe just seems to conspire against the bond of friendship get-togethers. Like last year. All my friends had made a plan to go to Corbett. I was all set too. Had been ages since I had met my buddy. Then the most unexpected thing practicals get ridiculously postponed by a week and end the same day when everyone's been supposed to go back!! The timing couldn't have been better.Then the latest thing.

My friend called me recently to invite me to his sister's marriage. He stays in Delhi while i'm here in Pune. I couldn't go. All my friends would be there. I feel like a toddler who has been refused the permission to play with his friends cause he apparently has more"Productive" thing to do. It felt wrong. It felt bad. The guilt was huge. Here is a guy who invites me to his place 2000kms away and i can't go.

Every time i think of ringing them up, i end up thinking whether i would be disturbing their schedule or something. Many a time, i don't bother. I don't know why. These people are the one of the best people i have met in ages and they seem to be fading away, slipping away like sand grain from my hands...people move on, they fade away and make space for those who arrive in your life everyday. But you try to hold on. As i am trying. I try to stay in touch. Though admittedly i might not be doing enough.

Maybe it's time i did something about it though. A short trip to Delhi wouldn't hurt. I'll pre-book my tickets to be sure.

Dedicated to all the friends i don't wanna loose....ever!!