Friday, August 22, 2008

Music - Divinity redefined

Music... Something that is in everything, lingering around like the sweet fragrance of millions of roses carried by a morning breeze; appeasing everyone who cares to listen. Perhaps God wanted to stress its importance so strongly that Mother Nature is completely loaded with vibrations so versatile as to form the biggest Orchestra one could ever imagine.

Even though I'm not someone who is notorious for playing songs forever and ever in my computer, I simply love music (who doesn't) and generally I listen to melodies ranging from Ilaiyaraja to Boyzone. I was preempted with the thought that melody is a better form of music until the recent days when I realized music is much more than that.

When the music that is being played suits your mood, songs that you considered remotely appealing might turn into your favorite, especially when the lyrics appeal you. I became a Linkin park lover during my hard times and a western classical music lover during my lonely days in the new state. When your mood, the music and the lyrics resonate in Unison the mind melts into the music and the feeling is just priceless!

In short, I'd say art is a special gift from God to the Homo sapiens and music is God Himself.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The unsung heroes...

Quite unusually, this time the topic is pretty straight forward and I'm going to scribble on the literal meaning of the phrase - the unsung heroes of Tamizh cinema.

In the era of a (the?!) superstar, a universal hero, Manirathnam, ARR, P.C. Sriram, Vairamuthu and others, the standard of tamizh cinema is growing better everyday and the industry's popularity is also growing with it. But are we stepping over a lot of talented artists to see the magic created by the cream? Perhaps, yes! We are... Tamizh cinema has seen and is seeing a lot of talented persons whose talents have been commended then and forgotten right there!

The first person who inspired me write this post is Pasupathi. I missed his movie 'Veyil' earlier and a few days back when I saw the movie, I was blown away by his stunning performance. His expressiveness made us see Murugesan alive on the screen! I still remember the encomiums he had after the movie but then what growth did he get after that? Were there any serious movies where he demonstrated his ability? Nope! And for people who say Kuselan, I couldn't give anything more than a smile for a reply. Afterall if you look at the trailer, you don't have many scenes of Pasupathi left in the movie!

The second person I could think of is Sangeetha a.k.a Rasika (and if you wanna question me why I didn't mention heroines in the title, I'd be forced to reply in Vadivelu style - "Kaekkura kaelviya paatthaa reporter maadhiriyae teriyalayae!" in one of his awesome comedies from Pudhumai pitthan). At least to me she is a good looking girl and she has been used in innumerous glamor roles since the late 90s. She proved her acting abilities in Pithamagan, had a lot of coverage in the media and phew... she was gone like a lightning; her presence noticed but long gone. I'm not sure if he did a single Tamizh movie after Pithamagan.

One could easily point a lot of such talents, lost in the maddening crowd while Vijay makes the same movies with different names and Simbhu introduces varieties of smooches into Tamizh movies. I'm not against them; and as long as they have people who admire them, they have all rights to continue what they do. My concern is more on the people who aspire to become actors, sacrifice everything else for this cause and wait through the mental (and physical too for heroines) turmoils to prove their abilities; just to get lost in this culture. A person who never knew light would've learnt to live with darkness forever atleast cursing it every day but a person who saw a streak of light as bright as a parting soul, before being encompassed by darkness would have a deep wound remaining in him/her forever. I hope and pray that we don't leave too many injured souls drop off the industry with heavy hearts!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Independence day!

Before I start my gibberish, let me wish you all a Happy Independence Day!

Independence has continued to be one of the 'self-esteem' needs of a human being long before the Maslow's pyramid was even forumulated. I couldn't imagine a life without the feeling of freedom, the feeling of having the right to make your own decisions and the right to pursue what you feel is right!

But if we closely think about how independent we are, it's roller coaster ride in a dark tunnel of thoughts. How much independence do we have in deciding what is good and what is bad? What kind of independence will make us run like mad dogs after the western culture? What kind of independence will let our own people betray the fellow Indians and make a corrupt living? What kind of independence will leave educated Indians yearning for the Forex rates to manage the inflation rates? What kind of independence will let us think about a thousand ways to divide ourselves and ensure that a fellow Indian belonging to the other group suffers? Questions are just endless...

The apparent foreign exploitation and monopoly could've gone long back. But like a handicapped kid in a deserted land, we've been limping around for a long time now, letting others name us a 'developing' nation. The dream of becoming a 'developed' nation has been in the minds of Indians for ages now! Let's forget our differences, unite towards that cause and make sure we get the real independence pretty soon and that day the world would turn back and salute to our flag!

Monday, August 11, 2008

A life without desires!

Religions usually drill down to one simple way to happiness in their simplistic sense - being free from desires. A famous slokha in Sanskrit says "He who is addicted to desires is a slave to the entire world and he who controls desires controls the entire world". This might be true in the sense of being free from the clutches of desire and forcing yourself to do something that you don't like; purely because you have no other choice to get your desires fulfilled.

But let us look at the other side of it; from the first person singular perspective. If I start becoming free from desires, how would my life be? Will it be totally different from what it is right now? From a bird's eye perspective yes! It might be completely free from all bondage and my soul would be filled with happiness... But let's dive deep into that imagination of freedom to understand how such a life will be.

Getting free from desires is pretty much equivalent to getting out of all possible relationships because to me it doesn't make sense to have someone depend on you and ask them to believe what you belive in. If they love their lives, cherish their desires and dreams and derive happiness out of it; they are free to do so. With a major portion in a human's life viz., the social circle cut off, life is nothing more than existence. I mean, you are free from desires and you have no one/nothing in this world to be called your own. So what's left out apart from just existing as one of the gazillions of dust particles in this universe? What is the purpose of that life? Why should the creator get you into the cycle of birth? Just so you exist? That is sheer nonsense in my terms.

Let me look at the whole thing from my current perspective. I'm here at the US and almost everyone I seriously care about is at the diametric opposite end of the earth's sphere. I do some crap work all through the day, being totally unhappy about what I do and of course earn money out of it. The possible sources of happiness that one could assume in a life like this are the happiness of his parents, the so called status quo, the trips that he makes, the friends that he meets and the places that he sees. The bottom line is that everything is desire-driven. If I stop these along with the interactions with my family/social circle back in India, how would my life look like? The only filler to my completely empty life is this feeling of belonging to the world; and if that is cut out life is nothing more than pain and I'm not a masochist to derive pleasure out of this pain! Without a dream to pursue, without a plan of action, life seems as empty from both corners of the world and the everlasting illusion of things being better at the other end applies to life too. I can vouch for it because I had a feeling that life would turn towards betterment if I earn some money traveling overseas and now I feel that life back in India is much better.

Perhaps people who had everything at the snap of their fingers felt that life sucks big time and came up with the concept of shunning away everything; believing the greener grass at the other end. But here I am, saying life sucks no lesser; and the only way to make it meaningful is to dream big time and chase them. A perfect Catch 22!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Let's get to work

One prominent advantage of being in IT industry is that it offers (arguably) the most colorful work atmosphere that is a cocktail of people from various backgrounds who are notably different in many aspects including accent, behavior, appearance, character, approach, political view and almost everything human, you could imagine. Perhaps IT is the true Bharatha Vilas that has a sample of thousands of diversified Indians in one location and quite obviously any one with a moderate sense of humor will have a good time herel at least with the work place. (Projects suck though :D)

You could see clean shaven, formally dressed, extremely sincere, highly talented... ok I could've made it simpler saying 'nerds'... who exist for the computer, by the computer and of the computer and his immediate neighbor would be the one who spends most of the time talking to his girl friends, reading news sites (inpormation is wealth :D), checking stock prices and playing ping pong (I no longer call it TT coz I'm in the US ;) :D)! Ironically this guy would be sent onsite (the biggest dream for anyone who enters the industry afresh and a requirement for someone who has been around for a while) while the nerd would still be venting out his hard feelings to his wife a.k.a the computer. You could invariably see someone at the cafetaria or the coffee vending machine irrespective of the time and the most commonly discussed topics would be the cruel attitude of their managers, useless nature of the project and of course girls... (guys if it were girls holding the tea cups)

With almost equal number of guys and girls, that too youngsters, you would be never short of Romeos and Juliets (at least they think so :)) out here. Murphy's law somehow holds good for most of the guys and those who are handsome and/or looking out for girls will invariably end up in a dry-project (no girls) and they will be the only ones to remain in that project forever when everyone else gets released from the team due to downsizing or ramp down as they call it. However the normal distribution curve takes the shape of a sort inclined at 10 degrees (counter-clockwise to be more accurate) when it comes to the probability of finding a good chick. If you ask a girl she might tell the same thing about guys too but the degree of inclination will not be as low as 10 degrees for sure :) But that's not the worst part. The worst part is when an average looking girl who was admirable in simple dresses will suddenly be promoted to the 'pigar op the project' status resulting in diametric changes in behavior and importantly dressing style. Like Surya says in Kaakka kaakka she always walks with her head held (too) high and will start wearing dresses that would scare the s%^t out of Ramarajan.

The sampling technique of India is even fine tuned when it comes to sending resources on deputation (typically to US) which results in a even better mix of varying cultures. Andhra guys use 'aa' as a universal question tag (the movie is good'aa', had good food'aa'), Tamizh guys form sentences that are literally translated from their mother tongue (I'm saying that only no), Mallu guys specialize in providing a German tone to English (Ee said ee wond be kamming to the Oooofees) and Northies are known for their accents (thaharty {30}) and sentence formations (Now only I'm saying this that I won't be able to come yar); and they are all a part of this ecosystem and many a times the species co-exist (as roomies) doubling the fun to anyone who watches them converse.

But the best of the lot is to see a bunch of girls working for the same project on a US deputation. All of a sudden they'll all turn into Annalakshmis adorned in trousers and a bright colored shirt. Not to mention the cosmetics and the pink colored lipsticks :D They come very early to the office (I mean seriously) around 8 AM and go out to get a cup of coffee. By the time they come back (around 9 AM), everyone would start coming to office. They go to their cubes or 'offices' as they call it here and start checking their mails. Then comes a flurry of meetings and if you want me to describe what happens in a meeting, I remember my friend's way of defining it - "Feeling lonely, Getting bored, Wanna feel important - call for a meeting" . More or less that is how a meeting is and they'll have continuous meetings from 9 - 12 (lunch time) and you should look at them when they switch between meetings carrying loads of paper work, heaving a sigh of despair, walking faster than someone who is running... Honestly you would be damned if someone says they are not having much of a work load. 12 - 1:30 is the lunch hour where everything happening in the world is brought to the table; and by the time they come back to their cubes it will be about 1:45. The second round of mail checking begins and 3 PM sharp they break for tea which lasts for about 30 minutes. Upon return they take a power nap before the 17" monitor and the first one who wakes up gives a wake up call to everyone and off they go at 5 PM. If something seems to prevent their routine, they often visit each other's offices just so that someone visiting their office would think they are out in a meeting. Trust me... It's unbelievable fun for someone who observes them carefully. But the best part is the manager will never know anything because he comes in my 10 (and everyone in the gang would be in by then) and will leave at 4 (when these people are sincerly taking their power naps). But a poor guy who asks for a vacation or comes in at 10:05 would be called for a one-one; which means abusing a person without using the slang! :D

All in all, IT has not been an enjoyable experience to me once I crossed the initial few days where I learnt a lot; and since then the only good point I could think of as being offered by IT industry is this entertainment and honestly it deserves a special recognition... :)

P.S: This is purely based on personal experiences and if you are a girl who is on a deputation and working hard all along (chances of which are pretty less), please understand that the article has been written in a generalistic and light sense. Exceptions are not examples! :)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Opening the closed window...

I hadn't blogged for a while now and perhaps this is the longest break between two of my posts... The world was as busy as ever and my window was open too... But like a passenger moving in a train, the scenes were long gone before I could capture, think over and express my feelings on them. I was about to write on music when I heard a lovely piece of Irish music, on digital photography as I was looking out for a dSLR, on the way guys and girls work in an office and a lot of other stuff! But somehow, I didn't get the mind and the mood to pen down those thoughts. One basic reason - lack of belonging... But where? That's a tough question to answer; but with life in general... I'd say it's primarily because of my dissatisfaction with work! The industry works as it does and as it has been; but I've stopped running with it like the way Tom Hanks stops running in Forrest Gump... I'm simply tired of it! :)

When this disjoint steps into the main stream, weekends become the definition of ecstasy on week days and home becomes the definition of ecstasy during weekends. Dreams and thoughts over crowd your mind and like a kid lost in Ranganathan street I keep walking with the crowd, with mind filled with an expectation to find a familiar face and everything else around me is blurry. Perhaps it's high time to take a break and wait till the mud settles down!