18 Jun 2004

Googly?

Posted by Oblivion in General | 4:47am


It started with Google (by this time, it is common knowledge that it is the first-mover in many things online). The earth-shattering (virtual earth, I mean) news that it will open its services in e-mailing and that it would offer users a space of 1GB. To make this service “free”, Google will raise money by putting advertising links into the e-mails. To tackle Yahoo! it will try to establish a continuous relationship with users. To fight Microsoft it will encourage users to store their files not on their personal computers but on Google's remote machines.

But before it could go any far, the strategy proved to have taken off on a bad start (or, is it too early to conclude?). While Gmail is still far from being launched, Yahoo! has already increased the space to 1GB. It has a distinct advantage over Google, in that it will use the registration information of its 100-million strong user-base, both to attract new users and to retain the existing ones.

This evening, Rediff also made the move. Now, rediffmail users have a 1GB mail-island for themselves. Make your mails swim, fly, jump, and increase their life-expectancy! Is Microsoft also contemplating to simulate this in Hotmail?

In this scenario, will Goggle retain its first-mover advantage? Or, will it prove to be one of the worst debacles online? Or, interestingly, by a far shot, was it just a 'googly' bowled by Google to give the big players a scare? In any case, we don't have to wait for long to know the answers.



Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: ---

15 Jun 2004

Chance or Choice?

Posted by Oblivion in General | 6:13am


Is sanity of mind dependent on one's education, upbringing and environment? Or, is it independent? If it is independent, why doesn't everyone have it in equal measure? Is it because although it is independent, yet it is susceptible to getting affected by the outcomes of circumstances? If it is dependent, then it implies that attaching reverence to great souls is useless, for they have become great only by a chance combination of circumstances. This, although sounds logical, doesn't sound convincing to me.

Is it right to assume that anybody else in the place of Prince Siddhartha would have taken the same decision to walk out and eventually become the Buddha? This is utterly immature a statement. Ergo, it takes 'something else' on the part of a human being to enlighten that spark of 'intelligence'. Is there a technique to do this? Can this be taught? It cannot be taught. Millions of people must have read the Buddha, but we never had another Buddha. So, it cannot be taught. So, it is independent of one's literary abilities. It has to be discovered by onesels. Hence, Buddha's statement - 'be a light unto yourself.' How did he come upon this? What is 'that' he had? Sanity, once found, never leaves. Because then there is nothing holding on to anything, so there is nothing to be lost. The consciousness moves into a wholly new plane - a plane of no return.

Passion is the secret, I guess. Who do you think is the most sane/rational soul who ever walked on this planet? If I were to name, I'd choose - Buddha, JK and Russell.



Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: ---

9 Jun 2004

The Fastest Generation!

Posted by Oblivion in General | 7:17am


On occasion, it occurs to me if any other generation preceding ours (this needs clarification. By 'ours', I am referring to those born between the years 1970 and 1980) or any ones in future would witness as many changes at such a rapid pace as we happened to. I'm sure I'm missing out many things else, but the following is the list of things that, to my mind, justify my feeling:

1.We lived in times when radio was an indispensable part of our daily life
2.Having a telephone was a luxury
3.The balcony ticket in cinema was Rs.5/- (average)
4.Petrol came at Rs.20/- a litre
5.The shopkeeper would return the change of 5 paise
6.An entire colony of people would gather to watch chitrahaar on the television
7.Water was free and plenty
8.Writing letters was an eagerly awaited activity at weekends

Modes of communication have seen incredible advancement. We have seen it all - radio to TV, phone to mobile phone, letter writing to e-mail, cable, SMS, virtual love, online dating, history-as-it-happens on the World Wide Web, ...

Change in the value of rupee happens at a normal pace - and is, on the average, similar for every decade, so it is not a big thing to actually mention. Every generation, indisputably, comes with unique privileges that are denied to others. Nevertheless, our generation seems to stand out in the case of witnessing the most rapid of changes. It might not sound very objective to many, and it may also lead some to infer that my knowledge of history is quite limited and my observation, not quite deep. Well, every opinion, for whose support no mathematical data exists, can be contested in that spirit and it is not, logically, possible to refute either, in spite of the fact which side observation seems to favour.

If there is some kind of material on this topic, I'd surely like to take a look. Not at all to source reaffirmation, but solely because it makes for an interesting reading of the steps in human civilisation and the genius of man, in a wider sense.

[I have, as it seemed inevitable, focused on only that part of the population that could afford, economically, access to all the aforementioned accessories. In doing so, I had to, naturally,  eliminate two groups - the one that could afford them quite easily and the other that finds affording a minimum of them impossible]



Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: Fur Elise

8 Jun 2004

How to Name It?

Posted by Oblivion in General | 5:53am


What do you call a society that doesn't feel the loss of a poet? Dead, callous and unaesthetic? Or, does it reflect the 'new-age' priorities? Why am I asking this? Because, on Sunday, I expected ToI and The Hindu to come up with features on Dom Moraes and it seemed like it was a deliberate move on their part not to. Well, of course, I'm exaggerating, courtesy the amount of disappointment. 

For many people, it might not look as big as I'm making it out to be. Most people would readily forgive, assuming emotions go that far in the first place. But then it troubles me - why a certain actor's wardrobe or a political misadventure makes it in color to the front page while the death of Dom Moraes, one of the great writers we had, passes off as silently as his life and death were!? 

So, I'm asking myself - what do you call a society that doesn't feel the loss of a poet? Is it same like asking - what do you call a man who doesn't have a heart for poetry? 



Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: Mouna Ragam

4 Jun 2004

Farewell, Dom!

Posted by Oblivion in General | 11:38pm


Dom Moraes is no more.

'We start out as white slime and end up ashes' -- Derelictions

So, all the poets are gone?



Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: Anveshana

3 Jun 2004

Mani or Money?

Posted by Oblivion in General | 7:18am


Here's what Mani Ratnam said when he was asked how he feels when people criticise his film (source: Rediff.com) -

"You want to hit them first. (laughs).

After the anger has gone away, you try and find out whether there is a valid point in what they are saying. You know the ins and outs of your film. When I see a film, I have an opinion. Everybody has an opinion.

If you wanted to make a film the way you want, you go ahead and make it. I am here because I feel I can make a commercial film from my perspective."

The last sentence should silence all those critics who review a film and write just about anything, out of sheer impatience to meet the deadline, taking support of stupid metrics.

When it's a Mani Ratnam film, should it matter if it makes money or not? He makes great stuff. Period.



Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: ---

2 Jun 2004

Reel Blunders or Real Demands?

Posted by Oblivion in General | 7:17am


Let's accept - mediocrity rules in Indian cinema. Barring a Mani Ratnam flick in a year or two, or a Shekar Kapur film once in a blue moon, or a Varma's good attempt in equally good time, is there anything that we can take pride in? Where is that breed of sensible filmmakers, who rely more on storytelling than special effects or masala effects? Karan Johar is hailed as the greatest thing to happen in recent times!!! (Hello to all those who agree! does anyone remember Satyajit Ray please?) Ask any filmmaker the reason for the same, most of them would not even dare to acknowledge it. On the contrary, they would dismiss it as a foolish question. The remaining few would blame it on the audience. "We give what audience asks us", would be the most-oft repeated quote.

Ask the audience and they would say "we enjoy what we get to see". True, it is an evasive atitude to blame audience. So, who is the culprit? It was not very long ago that one could watch brilliant stuff from filmmakers like Kundan Shah, Ramesh Sharma, Aditya Bhattacharya, Mrinal Sen, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Govind Nihalani, etc. Yes, some of them make films even now, but the product is appalling for their standards. Only Mani Ratnam seems to hold the ground firmly, although Yuva pales very much in comparison with his pre-Roja films. Vinod Chopra seems to have forgotten how he made Khamosh or Parinda. Hrishikesh Mukherjee doesn't come with the magic or intensity of an Anand or Abhimaan.

It is not to say that there are no good movies any more, but the ratio is very low. Is is because of a downfall of the collective creative psyche of the filmmakers? Is it the undue preference for box-office success that is affecting? It's good in a way, for every such dip in creativity results in the birth of a great filmmaker like Satyajit Ray. That is the only consolation I find to stand this otherwise pathetic scene of Indian cinema.



Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: ---