Sunday, February 27, 2005


bulla ki jaana is now definetly one of the best songs written. that, inspite of it having being written in the 12th century. sometimes, it takes a long time for someone to get famous.

my father had an interesting interpretation of the song. its actually in the first person. and it is god singing to bulla, you dont know who i am. i am so many things. and so on. i think that is probably true. rather than it being bulla singing about himself, which seems to be version the video gives out.

hey, rabbi, what do you think.

i also found some other poems of bulla sheah. some of them are agonizingly beautiful. do check them out.

for random visitors, bulla sheah was a 12th century sufi saint who wrote a number of songs with love and god as the central theme. recently, in india, a 21st century sikh musician called rabbi shergill did a cover version of one of bulla's songs. that song is now the chart hitting track accross the entire country.

Saturday, February 26, 2005


i saw this movie over a year ago at home. it raised johnny depp's status in my eyes more than a few notches. something about he delivery of his acting is unparelleled even in hollywood. if anyone can close to being a nut like him in any other move is probably brad pitt in twelve monkeys, another absoloutely incredible movie.

i was reminded of depp and fear and loathing from this post, which i got to by clicking on the 'next blog' bar at the top. something i suggest everybody should do.

for, and here i unquote, it is not the things that you search for which are the most interesting, rather, it are the things which search you which are the most.

Thursday, February 17, 2005


the net's unique ability to excite continues. sometimes, once i come back home, i like to browse through to some of the sites which are apolitical, uncontroversial, and dont involve the words iraq, the US, iran, politics and the like.

the website with this image and others like this are here.

this ad here

this italian ad brought back memories of the time i read gandhi ji's entire autobigraphy in class 7th. the entire series was in the kendriya vidhyalaya i studied in and was printed in sevagram, sometime in the 1970's. it was quite wonderful to read all that his mind held.

today, there is a feeling of betrayal sometimes, to that kind of thought. one that is possbile, yet elusive. the achievable dream.

perhaps just like everyone else, i should try out the big bad world first before thinking of this path as the dead damm wrong one! i wish to err first, not later.

Monday, February 14, 2005

dont take D cold

Over the course of a conversation i got to know that paras pharma's drug 'D Cold' has the drug Phenylpropanolamine (PPA). i got some info on the drug from the govt. of singapore's health dept. site. Which had something quite serious to say.

Phenylpropanolamine (PPA) is a nasal decongestant and is a common ingredient found in many cough and cold medicines.

Since November 2000, all medicinal products containing PPA have been withdrawn from sale or reformulated to be without PPA in Singapore. This is a precautionary measure to protect public health and safety and taken in relation to a study published by the Yale University in the United States.

I catch a cold quite often and have taken an entire course of D Cold over a few days. To know that in the process I have been exposing myself to the risk of a stroke is not a comfortable thought. Especially when the Singapore website says that drugs without PPA formulations have replaced the ones with it. I don’t understand why that same process hasn’t happened in India. D Cold as a drug is fairly popular in India and most people take it without it being prescribed by the doctor.

Please stop taking D Cold or any other drug with PPA immediately. What with so many things killing us these days, one more is hardly necessary.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

State of mind

exit stage left got me onto rush and made me listen to frank zappa (which i dident like at all). i just went to his blog and it isint updated since the last time i saw it. more than a year ago. a sudden thing. for me. like a disappearence.

gorgeous writes though. but the tone has changed. its not the same as earlier. i hope everything is right.

so often, our blogs and the websites and emails and the photos we take mirror what our mind is going through. it is almost scary. that a mind can suddenly become so public. that writing about going to the shopping mall can be so different depending on the particular phase of our lives.

i am like that image right now. just connected words. needing all the help science and tradition can provide.

more than anything else in this world, its the ability to enjoy our lives under the greatest adversity that transforms a mans vision into insight. it gives us the look of a man who cannot be affected by anything.

in the meantime, where is my madira?!

Friday, February 11, 2005

To Kill The Child

2 new singles by roger waters. he's saying the same thing that most of the world is saying.

hey, america, listen!

iranian theocracy being destroyed by its students

what is the meaning of information?

is it about an idealogy, or is it an opinion?

for if it is an opinion, then the facts dont matter. the truth is, just as in this case above, where the theocracy in iran is being destroyed by its own students. the same students who are being given the support of the US in case they have an uprising. it is so blatantly ironic that the world's largest country needs to give support to the students in another nation to rise against its own government for its own selfish interests. its all about oil after all. or another one or two things. the dollar rates against the euro. israel. control over the middle east. either way, it aims at establishing US political authority over sovereign nations.

check out this excerpt below, which talks about US support to iran for a very long time. and do check the link.

Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran, began his reign in 1941, succeeding his father, Reza Khan, to the throne. In a 1953 power struggle with his prime minister, the Shah gained American support to prevent nationalization of Iran's oil industry. In return for assuring the U.S. a steady supply of oil, the Shah received economic and military aid from eight American presidents.......

the news is quite genuine i think.

some points:

  • the ayotollah came into power on the strength of a popular uprising.
  • the shah was spending oil dollars (obtained because of a strong demand from the US) to purchase weapons (again, from the US) , therefore, in effect not spending any money on developing iran as a nation! money comes from the US for oil and goes back to them as payment for weapons!
  • i think there is a distortion on the storming of the embassy. it seems to be incited because of the return of the shah, a guy not very popular in iran.

the objective of this piece is to give another perspective to the very beautiful image of a pencil breaking the iranian theocratic sword. i have a lot of respect for the cox anf forcum cartoons. however, i have no respect for people who pursue a particular line of thinking just because the majority or government policy thinks so.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

hang up

The Supreme Court today issued notices to mobile firms and private banks on a public interest petition alleging that they were providing........

this article in the business standard has a little more relevance to me than usual since I work for a very large MNC bank. my bank also happens to indulge in such practices time to time. clamping down on cell phone cold calls will have a direct impact on business. from the bank's perspective, this operation is defended on the basis of customer reach and competetive pressures. however, for the customer, it is nothing but a string of calls from unknown people trying to sell a million products. the ideal thing to do would be to maintain a directory similar to the one in the US which has people segregated according to their preferences on getting calls from commercial establishments. that system however, would be sifficult to put in place in india, and would be horrible difficult to monitor. what could however be done is to allow calls only to numbers available through directories (which are defined!) and through references.

during a discussion between us at the bank, there was talk about setting up of a credit bureau in the country (India). The conclusion was that it wouldn't be set up till we don't have a single unique number For each citizen in the country. Like the social security number in the US. We over here have a different passport number, seperate PAN nos., election cards (with no numbers!) , ration cards and inexplicable other cards.

ofcourse, the entire debate of whether the country needs to uniformly encode its citizens is another discussion all together. a very relevant and interesting one at that.

in the same light, I was also thinking about why India does not have a single phone number across all cellular service providers. It would increase customer choice which is limited at present due to his inflexibility in losing his old number. However, having a single number across networks would definitely make the telecom market in the country a fun place to watch!

tomorrow i will start a series on my earlier company! some things that they could do to imporove (but they wont!), inspite of being the largest company in the sector in this country. i will tell you that precisely due of that reason, they will be unable to maintain competetive edge over the next few years.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

a woman, a man with a large white bag and an invalid man.

this was the scene i saw this morning on my way to someplace. they were collected together because a bus had broken down and they were the only 3 people unable to move on. obviously waiting for another means of transport to come their way. it was almost a movie scene, perhaps even the starting of something like yuva. intercrossing lives and all that. it would have been interesting had this happened on a country road rather than in the heart of the city. eaither way, it was an interesting site. flat tyre, a woman sitting on the pavement with her hand to her head. a man on this crutches looking onto the coming traffic, and a labourer with his huge white bag of something, sitting whiling away the time without a care.

Monday, February 07, 2005

B B Shah

a few days back i bought a pair of contact lenses from BB Shah at spencer plaza in chennai. within a week, one of contact lenses tore during the night due to some reason. i had cleaned and kept them through the night as usual in the solution. however the next morning had one of them torn. i went to BB Shah to get them changed. on a previous occasion in mumbai, the optician exchanged the contact lens without any problem. here, however, i was asked to pay rs. 600 for the new lens. when i explained that it was probably old stock or there must have been some problem with the lens, the shop owner haggled with me and agreed to pay rs. 300 if i paid the rest of the 300!

i really dident have any choice and had to pay up. on top of that, the new lens that i got wasnt the same size as what the other one was.

what really got me worked up was:

  • as a shop, BB Shah did not wish to take any responsibility for the products it sold, irrespective of what the manufacturing company's policy on such products is.
  • it did not matter to them what a single customer's opinion is about the shop, as long as that customer isint going public or isint able to.
  • the most disturbing fact was the attitude of the owner to share costs on a product which i had already paid for. from my perspective, i was essentially buying the same product twice.
all this is interesting because in other parts of the world (say the US and europe), customer centricity is tantamount to survival. here, with few making any efforts to ensure customer retention through service, there are high chances of them being over run by large experienced retailers who will gobble up market share and the cutomers.

often, service from small shops is what prevents consumers from venturing into cheaper discount stores. however, this kind of attitude does not leave any reason to stay with the smaller shop. a sad situation for the small shopkeeper and the consumer both.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

the game call of duty has me hooked and in awe of computer graphics technology. its based on the ravoc engine so realism is total! the physics and the ai of the enemies are very close to what could be experienced in real life.

i think it should be made mandatory for every 6th standard (and above) students. by the time they finish this (and the expansion pack) they will be experts on the II world war. a piece of knowledge always useful anywhere in the world.

what i need to do now it buy a new 3gig AMD processor. that should happen sometime next month. :)


the movie's review can be read here.

on the way back home, my parents were discussing about what the movie kind of taught. i thought it taught responsibility. the kind of responsibility it takes to take care of individuals. my parents thought it made them realize how lucky we are to have all our senses and whatever else god gave us. i think they denote 2 different perspectives on life.

i dont think i have to review the movie since it has been dealt with to almost death. the one thing which really struck me though was the excellent cinematography. something i have almost never seen in any indian movie before. if at all, perhaps the closest use of shadows and light before this was probably in the movie pyaasa, by guru dutt. even that, wasnt as good as black.

this is a winner, yessir!

Thursday, February 03, 2005

iraqis voting- what does this mean?

this image was at res republica. it was about iraqis voting successfully. somehow the image to me shows a lot of voters showing their fingers to be cut off....with red marking the spot.

it bears more resemblance to the 'democratic process' in iraq. in todays state of the union address by the US prez, he was talking about giving support to any democratic process shaping up in iran. at some level, americans need to realize that cultures and countries should not be bought to a common denominator. in this case, the democratic process. what use is an imposed democracy?

the democratic process of governance is only one way to govern. what matters is the choice to decide the manner of governance. that choice rests with the people of the country and not with another country.