Category Archives: Opinion

Thank You Facebook !

I am writing this post after a long long hiatus. In fact I had to reset my password to get access to my blog.

The title of the post needs no introduction at least among Gen Y. Having a facebook account has become a  way of life of sorts. As Facebook turned a decade old I remembered my humble beginings with it. I had an account with Orkut but never bothered much about Facebook. I got a couple of request back then to join Facebook but  laziness or otherwise I never felt interested.

I was not into the whole facebook thing up until the time one of my good friends went to US for higher studies. When this friend put up pictures and sent a invite and that’s when I opened an account to check those pics. But soon enough I was hooked to all the lik ‘ing and comment’ ing.

Now, a day doesn’t go by without me checking out my facebook page. Of course I must say I am not an addict. I rarely spend more than 5 mins a day. I just scroll down the page reading the updates, liking the photos and commenting where I feel like and that’s it ! I often wonder how people spend hours go up and down the wall page 😉 :).

My best friend and myself have argued over the merits and demerits of it. At times we felt the most intimates moments meant to be private were put up for display, we argued whether keeping in touch over fb at all gave a continuum to the relationship/friendship and at times we just laughed at the ludicrous updates we saw coming up on our page. All in all the topic definetly gave us something to chat over ! 🙂

The other day when I accepted a friend request,  I clicked through some of the fb movie links that were shared, some of them had come out really well, potraying the life time of friends and family members. I went through the photos that I had put up, the photos that my friends had tagged me in and it put a smile on my face. It transported me to the wonderful moments spent with family members and friends in my life. Recollection of incidents long forgotten, buried deep in the subconscious re surfaced. Some of the friendly banter on status updates and pics of a by gone era were fun to re read and it made me feel that the medium had indeed connected people and allowed for true friendship’s to continue surpassing the barriers of geographies and time zones. Of course our friend list might run in 100’s, maybe some in 1000’s or 10000’s. Do we really know each of them well enough one might ask ? But that’s not the point. Ultimately what matters, is it allows us to keep in touch with those who matter :).

Of course true friendship can span across all barriers for such relationships are formed unconditionally. Best buddies may not be able to connect for months at a time but the very next time they pick up the call it feels as if the void of time and space never existed. I am sure many would agree to having experienced this in the their own life :). Friendship is one of those blessed things in life that money can’t buy. It can’t be forcefully accquired, it can be given of its own accord.

So as Facebook turns a decade old I guess I have to thank it for helping me keep in touch with those whom I care about but are now seperated by the barrier of time and space. 🙂

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Tangled !

Animated movies especially the ones from the Hollywood closet have been my favorite even after growing up into an adult ;)! Switching through the tv channels on a lazy sunday afternoon I stopped when my eyes caught Tangled playing. Tangled is an animated movie based on the fairy tale on Rapunzel. I enjoyed this movie based on the character of the princess with very long golden hair having magical powers. The backdrop of the story is set with the princess being kidnapped by a woman who comes to know about the princess magical healing power. As in most fairy tales the princess lives high up in a secluded tower assuming the woman to be her mother. The woman convinces Rapunzel, its best that she not leave the tower as the world is filled with evil people wanting to take advantage of her magical healing hair. On her 18th birthday Rapunzel makes a request to be allowed to go see the floating lanterns which seem to come up only on her birthday but is again refused. Here we get introduced to the handsome thief who finds his way to the tower while making his escape after stealing the royal tiara. So Rapunzel bashes him with a frying pan and then bully’s him into taking her to see the floating lanterns! Well it doesn’t exactly happens that way.. ;). Anyway from here on the movie embarks on Rapunzel’s adventure with Fiyn Ryder (the thief). Of course the movie ends with them falling in love, marrying each other and Rapunzel finding out that she is actually the lost princess!

However what I liked about the movie was it was fast paced, with several twist and turns ;), generously sprinkled humorous moments all through the movie and the adventure ride ! 😉

Here are the reasons why I like an animated movie even though I realise it isn’t meant for adults!!

Continue reading Tangled !

Life of 3.14, a book review

“Tiger training in the midst of the pacific !” I replied in return to a friends sms, asking me what I was up to on a sunday afternoon ?

 I was reading ‘Life of Pi’ written by Yan Martel, a book which according to Wiki won the Man bookers prize for fiction. I am not an avid reader, but I do hook on to the odd book now and then.

This story revolves around the Life of the protagonist, ‘Piscine Molitor Patel’ a.k.a Pi, who is from Pondicherry, India. The story starts in Pi’s childhood, the son of a zoo owner and  his experiments with practicing various religions and his faith in god. Pi loses his family in a ship wreck on its journey to Canada. Soon Pi finds himself to be the sole human survivor aboard  a lifeboat with a Royal Bengal Tiger as his companion. The tale then turns to castaway Pi’s life aboard his lifeboat and his wit to keep himself alive from being eaten by his companion, till such time as he can be rescued.With resolute faith in God Pi is determined to survive and survive he does ! Pi’s effort to survive on the Pacific has its tinge of gruesomeness, but it’s only so if one sees it in the context of ordinary human life. Seen from the point of view of a desperate castaway the gruesomeness turns into a milder understanding and compassion.

Continue reading Life of 3.14, a book review

Life’s Lessons from the Bansuri

Bansuri or the Indian flute is one of the simplest music instrument, a piece of bamboo a few holes and lo we have a musical instrument. What could be more simpler ? It was a big surprise then this deceptively spartan instrument thought me many a valuable life’s lesson !

The Bansuri belongs to the Stealer of the hearts – Lord Krishna, ancient lore describes how the gopis of Vrindavan forgot all their task mezmerised by the sound of Krishna’s flute. My introduction with the bansuri was some what similar if not as dramatic, I heard the bansuri being played by a flutist on the day of Anantha Chaturdashi. The serene melodious voice flowing through made it a “love at first sight – sound rather” 😉 🙂

Next few days went about reading/listening/watching videos on the web and familiarizing myself about the bansuri. After which I felt the time was ripe to purchase a bansuri and start playing !

.. and so I went to the shopkeeper and asked for a ‘E’ scale bansuri which is a professional 30 inch flute. Then started the wrestling match try as hard as I did to blow through the bansuri, it refused to budge, except for the sound of hissing air there was none of the serenity I expected ! Determined I made a mightier effort, after 2 – 3 mins, my lungs begged for some respite and my head felt giddy. As I stood vanquished the shopkeeper played the bansuri with ease and sprang forth the melody I had tried to produce in vain !

and hence I learnt

#Lesson 1 – Never underestimate !

The shopkeeper gave me a smaller flute and asked me to start with it. I took it home and wrestled with it for 2 days, day and night until finally, I was able to produce the first note ‘Sa’ !

and with that I learnt

#Lesson 2 – The first attempt needn’t be the last, try try until you succeedInstances of life might be disappointing but never be discouraged, keep trying !


A couple of more weeks and I was able to get all the 7 notes (more or less) on the bansuri, my room mates will strictly vouch to have heard nothing except cacophony ! 😉 Soon I reaslised the need for a teacher and started a search. The search yielded nothing for a few weeks as bansuri teacher’s seemed to be a rare breed and none seemed to be around my home ! The cause seemed hopeless and just as I made up my mind to commute for hours if needed to learn, miraculously I found an excellent teacher residing just a few minutes away from my home.

and with that I learnt

# Lesson 3 – if there is a will there is a way 😉 don’t give up on a worthy cause !

My room mate too succumbed to the charm of bansuri and both of us enrolled for bansuri classes together and thus began our journey. The early days I had the urge of wanting to play film songs and other popular tunes like Airtel dhun, I got the notes of these songs/dhun online and felt happy if I got my roomies and others to recognise what I was playing ! However my music teacher wouldn’t at all bother what songs I could play, all he bothered about was the perfection of each note that I played. He just kept on making me practise the 7 basic notes ! As time passed and my ear started contrasting the difference between what I and my teacher played, I realised the fundamentals he was stressing was more important and that my eagerness was becoming my own death knell of music learning !

and I learnt
# Lesson 4 – ‘have the objective in mind, else one would waste time in action’ – as I did practising playing songs rather than the basics


# Lesson 5 – ‘get the fundamentals right and rest would follow’ – as I obeyed my teacher and curbed my eagerness to play film songs and dhun, I actually realised I got play the songs and dhun’s better !

In the inital days I compared my bansuri with that of my roomie, I felt his bansuri sounded better, looked better and there was this certain dissatifaction that my bansuri probably wasn’t as good as his ! However as time went by, with practise and guidance of my teacher I was able to get better sound from my bansuri.

and understood that

# Lesson 6 – pratise maketh a man perfect
# Lesson 7 – ‘Grass looks greener on the other side but it needn’t be !’ – Initially I did feel that my roomie’s bansuri sounded better and indeed the Indian flute made from natural bamboo varies, each piece of bamboo is unique and might sound a little different even if sourced from the same origin. However the better I got at playing the bansuri,the better it sounded. My bansuri had thinner walls and produced a more hollow ringing sound, my roomies had a slightly thicker wall and gave a more deeper voice, as time progressed I liked each for its own !

In life too circumstances vary, more often than not one wishes they ought to have been on the other side. However by making oneself better chances are we will be able to make our own seemingly barren fields lush green ! This was the most important thing I felt my bansuri conveyed to me! 😀

The instrument belonging to the Stealer of the Heart, stole my heart and with it thought me a few lessons of life ! My bansuri training is still a long long way to go

but I am enjoying the ride ! 😀 🙂

Interested in Knowing about Indian Flute/Bansuri – check the sites below

Bansuriflute

KnowurRaga

Site by a disciple of Hairprasad Chaurasia

 

The story of 7%

Since two years I have been hearing numerous discussion and reading innumerable articles about India’s GDP growing at 7% and wondered why the fuss about a measly 7%.  I remember all the punters, economists & so called respected mutual fund manager claiming at the begining of Year 2011 that it was a great time to buy into Indian stocks and that we were growing at 7% and possibly will touch 7.5 % etc. They gave a number of stocks to put on the buy list and some even dared to predict, come end of Dec 2011 Sensex would touch 22k ! 🙂

Jump through to Dec 2011 – Sensex stands at 15K, many a buy calls especially those belonging to the airline industries stocks have fallen flat, airline companies stand on a huge pile of accumulated losses if not at the door step of bankruptcy. The magic 7% seems to be fading to 6.5 % or so and a kg of bananas has been costing me Re 2 more week on week ! The shopkeeper seemed stunned on my questioning him about raising prices when the PM had said inflation was supposed to wane ! 😉 Btw I have a high regard for Mr. Manmoham Singh, personally I feel he is the best brain available to fix the situation we are in, if only people wud let him run the country.

 Coming back to the magic 7% I never understood the fuss about it. Yes, it meant that India was supposed to prosper but what was it with this 7% that grabbed so much attention ?? The revelation came when I was fortunate enough to hear Mr. Mohandas Pai , former HR Head of Infosys, speak at an award function that my dad and his other colleagues had won. Mr Pai spoke about a lot of things and it really impressed me, but what caught my ear was this 7% that he spoke about. He said that this 7% growth meant that India would double its economy in the coming decade and that would mean, India growing as much in the coming decade as it did in the past six decades or so !

On hearing him, lo ! to my surprise, it stuck in my head that it all boiled down to simple 5th – 7th standard airthmetic, Compound Interest !

the calculation would go as forth, assume India grows at 7% for the coming decade, India today is a 1 trillion economy

Principal P = 1 trillion  — Rate of Growth G = 7%  —- Time period T = 10 years

Simple compund interest formula =>

A (Indian Economy after a decade from now) = P*(1 + G/100)^T

                                                                               = 1 trillion * ( 1 + 7/100)^10

                                                                               = 1 trillion * 1.96

       India after 10 years hence = 1.96 trillion ~ 2 trillion !!! or rather twice the current size !

Just imagine the tremendous pace of growth this implies, all the past six decade growth squeezed into the coming decade ! Seems like we are in for an exciting times ahead !

To put the figures into perspective,

US stands at 14 trillion mark currently

 Japan at 5 trillion

China at 4 trillion

France, United Kingdom, Italy at approximately 2 trillion each

The question though is will the 7% story continue for another decade ? Will growth be inclusive for all section of the society and not the servant of a fortunate few. Corruption & petty politcs will of course be the villans in the story.

Will the 7% story still be victorious in face of all odds is something we will need to wait and watch !