Monday, September 24, 2007

Talent lost; regionalism won

So Amit Paul did not win Indian Idol 3, and Prashant who got more votes, won.

Talent lost and regionalism won. Better singer lost; good singer won. Such is life.

I felt very very sad when the results of Indian Idol were announced in yesterday's Grand Finale telecast. I was somehow sure that Amit will win, as he seemed to be such versatile singer, but it was not to be. Sky is not going to fall if Prashant had won and Amit had lost out.

Well, Amit is, in my opinion, a damn good singer. I am sure he will make it big as a singer in Bollywood. I will be watching his career with a considerable interest. Here is wishing you Amit all the best.

Thank you Amit, for giving so much joy with you singing, which was always in सुर; for your wonderul selection of songs, and last, but not the least, for singing O Laal Meri Pat Rakhiyo Bala Jhoole Laalan . Amit, you are the the Indian Idol for me.

Video of best performance, in my opinion, of Amit Paul singing Bulla ki Jaana Main Kaun:

Friday, September 21, 2007

Commuter classics

The title of this post, and the picture on left is borrowed from an excellent blog post which I read a couple of months ago.

The post talked about reading while commuting from home to place of work. Well, I have been commuting everyday for about 4 hours for many years. I generally read newspapers or sleep off, if I am lucky to get a place to sit in the train. But reading classics while travelling seemed an excellent option. So inspired by this post, I completed reading two classic books, back to back, recently.

The books were The Woken in White (published in 1860) and The Moonstone (published in 1868), both by Wilkie Collins. And believe me I had such a great time in reading them while commuting that I actually looked forward to commuting. Travelling became a pleasure rather than a pain. I drew quite a lookss from my fellow sufferers, opps commuters, who seemed to be surprised with my nose in a fat book. Is'nt it almost old-fashioned to travel with a book, when almost everyone in the train or in the bus, has a mobile phone or digital music player to flaunt and play with.

Both the books were very very good read. But I liked The Moonstone better. It is considered to be the first detective novel in English, and even seems to have inspired
Arthur Conan Doyle.

The following lines, which appear in Second Period, Chapter 3, describes my own feeling while reading both these books:

Do you feel an uncomfortable heat at the pit of your stomach, sir? and a nasty thumping at the top of your head? Ah! not yet? It will lay hold of at Cobb's Hole, Mr. Franklin. I call it the detective fever; and I first caught it in the company of Sergeant Cuff.'

I too had caught detective fever. I was so engrossed reading these two books, while travelling or at home, that I was most of the time unaware of happenings around me, and got strange looks from my wife and children at home. Both these books were page-turner, one just wanted to know what happened next. My only complaint about both the books is they are bit too long. But it could be understood that both of them had appeared first in serial form first, and maybe the author was paid per word. Hence this accounts for them being long.

I have many classics in my book collection, so I will be commuter with classics henceforth, and rest of the things be damned. Here is looking forward to next classic in my book collection and to commuting ...

Addendum: Could not help saying this --- Chekhovian irony something humdrum and dreary as commuting combined with something uplifting and, shall I say, character building, as reading classic books.

The next classic I am reading while commuting is Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Email forward ...

Got the following by email forward. Good One ...

Ant And Grasshopper

The Ant works hard in the withering heat all summer building its house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The Grasshopper thinks the Ant is a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away.

Come winter, the Ant is warm and well fed. The Grasshopper has no food or shelter so he dies out in the cold.

Modern Version

The Ant works hard in the withering heat all summer building its house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The Grasshopper thinks the Ant's a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering Grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the Ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.

NDTV, BBC, CNNshow up to provide pictures of the shivering Grasshopper next to a video of the Ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.

The World is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be that this poor Grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Arundhati Roy stages a demonstration in front of the Ant's house.

Medha Patkargoes on a fast along with other Grasshoppers demanding that Grasshoppers be relocated to warmer climates during winter.

Amnesty International and Koffi Annan criticizes the Indian Government for not upholding the fundamental rights of the Grasshopper.

The Internet is flooded with online petitions seeking support to the Grasshopper (many promising Heaven and Everlasting Peace for prompt support as against the wrath of God for non-compliance) ...

Opposition MPs stage a walkout. Left parties call for "Bharat Bandh" in West Bengal
and Kerala demanding a Judicial Enquiry.

CPM in Kerala immediately passes a law preventing Ants from working hard in the heat so as to bring about equality of poverty among Ants and Grasshoppers.

Lalu Prasad allocates one free coach to Grasshoppers on all Indian Railway Trains, aptly named as the 'Grasshopper Rath' ...

Finally, the Judicial Committee drafts the 'Prevention of Terrorism Against Grasshoppers Act' [POTAGA], with effect from the beginning of the winter.

Arjun Singh makes 'Special Reservation ' for Grasshoppers in Educational Institutions & in Government Services.

The Ant is fined for failing to comply with POTAGA

and having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes,it's home is confiscated by the Government and handed over to the Grasshopper in a ceremony covered by NDTV.

Arundhati Roy calls it 'A Triumph of Justice'.

Lalu calls it 'Socialistic Justice '.

CPM calls it the 'Revolutionary Resurgence of the Downtrodden '

Koffi Annan invites the Grasshopper to address the UN General Assembly.

Many years later...

The Ant has since migrated to the US
and set up a multi-billion dollar company in Silicon Valley ...

100s of Grasshoppers still die of starvation despite reservation somewhere in
India .....

As a result of loosing lot of hard working Ants and feeding the Grasshoppers,
India is still a developing country!!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Go for it, Amit

The picture on the left is of Amit Paul, who is finalist for the Indian Idol 3. Generally I avoid all music based shows on TV, but for some reasons, unknown even to me, I like Indian Idol 3. I, and my family too, have been watching it regularly every week and we all quite enjoy.

I like Amit's voice. His selection of songs is good. And he sung, in one of earlier rounds, a song which is sung by Panchamda, and he sung it very very well.

Well Amit, go for it. You deserve to win Indian Idol 3. All the best.

Hear and watch how wonderfully Amit had sung koraa kaagaz thaa ye man meraa, from movie Aradhana in the episode which was telecast on Sept. 7, in the video below.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Lost it, found it

It has been many many days since I written a post for my blog. The reason was simple ... I had forgotten my password to my blooger account. Just as I have forgotten it, I remembered it. So here I go again. Or maybe I had lost my will to blog. Anyway.

Not much exciting things have happen. The life in general has been humdrum.

Reading record: finished reading The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai. It was quite a sad book and was set in mid 1980s. It won the Booker Prize last year, and Kiran Desai become only the second Indian to win that prize. Maybe this fact had attracted me buy and read this book. The book had three main characters: Sai, Judge and Cook. Somewhere in the middle of the book the reader were told the name of the judge, but the cook remain nameless, and the reader is told about his name on the last but one page of the book. The review of the book, as it appeared in the New York Times is here

The book I am reading presently is The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. It is very very good read. Though this book was published in 1860, but is timeless in telling a gripping story, and keeping the reader's attention.

The only movie I had sent recently is Chak De India . Well, the movie was good, and though I do no like Mr Shah Rukh Khan in general, I liked him in this movie. But at the end, if the Hockey, which is national sport of India, needs a movie for its promotion or to be in forefront, then it is indeed a very sad state of affairs. In India, sports means cricket, cricket and just cricket.