I am obsessed with tech and social networking, an avid Googler, a chronic thinker, UX and UI enthusiast, passionate about almost anything, minesweeper addict, can always be found on GTalk and yes gentle at heart.Read more about me on my about page. You can also read my Vellapanti. Google Plus.

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The Indian Education

I was going to call this post ‘Why did I opt for Engineering?’ but as the post progressed I realised that it is not only about that but also about ‘the Indian Education’. Mind well, I haven’t forgotten to add ‘system’ at the end of ‘the Indian Education’. This post is not about the general blah blah about the state of Indian Education System but something else.

Many times when I see a kid going to school I think of what would be his fate. The various questions were, ‘Would he be able to complete his schooling?’ I have seen a few kids who are not able to complete their school even till the metric (tenth standard). The reasons being: money or that the child was a girl. The next questions that come to my mind are: What stream would he opt for? What options does he have? What his parents will force him to opt for? And depending upon his stream selection what undergraduate programme (UGP) he would opt or would be forced to opt? And would he join the same profession that he studied in UGP? Too many questions, but these must be answered. Why? For that child’s sake who has read Robert Frost’s ‘The Road Not Taken’ but isn’t yet experienced enough to decide his road. For the parent who cares and loves his child the most and thus for the child’s betterment moulds him into what he (parent) considers to be the best. Let me tell you how I answered those questions but first what do people think of education.

Education today is looked upon as something that helps you to earn your livelihood or at the best get a Merc parked in your garage (for those over qualified ones), and something that helps in decreasing the illiteracy rate. It is just figures displayed in your passbook and the Govt. census, larger the better, and everyone’s interested with those figures even if Maths is the most hated subject on this planet. No one today, considers Education as something that adds morals and values to life. People today know how to get into IITs, perform an open heart but don’t know how to behave publicly, stand in a queue to get forms for same IITs or use the urinals. Moral Science is a subject that can decide whether Neha will come first or not and whether Pappu will pass or not. “It does not matter if you know the Pythagoras Theorem or even Einstein’s Relativity. Your Education will remain incomplete if it doesn’t teach you to love, respect and care for others.” Having said above I am no exception to it, in fact no body is, except those Sages in the Himalayas. But I have learnt some morals and values.

“Education is a social process. Education is growth; it is not a preparation for life but life itself.” – FaceBook Status update by a friend

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Tera Emotional Atyachar

Note: This post has been rated PG13 by the author.

Recently I was surfing Television channels (and you thought I only surf the net :p) and none of the 160+ channels had anything interesting to show. Sony – as usual, ACP Pradyuman was on air. So I settled on UTV Bindass as Emotional Atyachar season 2 (EA2) was about to start. Their tag line goes as “This time think twice”. It was a repeat telecast. The show uses terms such as: Lead – the one who goes to the EA people pretending stating to love the suspect and wants to check the loyalty of the poor suspect after doubting its loyalty; suspect – a person whose privacy will be invaded upon the request by the Lead, whose izzat (honour) will be defamed and in the end who will be grilled (interrogated) along with abuses by the Lead. I think it was the first episode of Season 2. Ajay Devgan and Imran Hashmi were inducted into the crew of EA2 (haven’t I used the word ‘inducted’ beautifully as if they were inducted into the Hall of Fame? Oh! I love my writing ;) lol) as they were promoting their movie ‘Once Upon a Time…’

The episode begins with a boy (man) being the Lead who wants to test the loyalty of his GF. As the episode progresses Ajay asks the EA2 crew to spy the boy (Lead) as he smelt felt something fishy about the boy. Meanwhile EA team sent a Male Model to woo the girl (woman). She fell into the trap and thus she failed the loyalty test. But the test doesn’t end here as regular episodes. Kahani Mein Twist! (Twist in the story!). The boy too had another GF (call her GF2 and the suspect GF as GF1). So on the final day the boy was showed footages that declared that GF1 was not loyal to him. Then began the grilling part. The boy questioned GF1 with the tadka (abuses) and she added more of tadka to it. And to add to the excitement (as you might have expected) GF2 came and then both the GFs started grilling the boy. ‘Shikari Khud Shikar Ban Gaya!’ (‘The Predator became the Prey!’). Thus the episode ended.
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A Nation of Aspirations

India. What struck you when you read the first word of this post? Something that is patriotic and makes you feel proud as it is posted on the Indian Independence Day? Or something that’s pessimistic and makes you feel ashamed? The first thing that strikes me is that India is a free nation. Free – a simple four-letter f word that took a lot of sacrifice, and time to get prefixed to the word nation. India is a young nation – the population is young and the youth needs to fulfil the dreams of our founders (you may call them freedom fighters) who struggled so that the future generations would breathe a free air. When India got her much awaited and deserved freedom she was a poor, illiterate and a divided (Pakistan was created from her) nation and had many problems but with the passing of every decade she has risen up and still has a long way to go.

Well, India as nation is not just a big, in fact very big, piece of land that has the second most concentration of humans in the world. It is more than that. I would not be wrong if I say India has every thing that a Bollywood film should have or to be correct it is the other way round. India as nation is constituted by Indians, their history, their present and their future, and much more.

As India progressed, the mindset of Indians has also changed. Gone are the Gandhian days and thought. Gandhiji was once the most powerful man on the earth and a man who every Indian knew of. Even today he is the most seen face in India. Where? Money Bills (notes). But when it comes to popularity Shah Rukh Khan is more popular than Gandhiji. SRK will attract more TRP that Gandhiji. From a man who helped India achieve her Independence, today he is someone who helped Munnabhai get his girlfriend. Such is the irony of this nation. It is one of the cost at which India has progressed.

When you talk about a nation then I would like to say that ‘A country is not for the citizens but citizens are for the country’. John F. Kennedy rightly said, “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.” When you talk about us – Indians we are a group of different kind of people living together. The DNA of the people living in different regions is different than the other. For example, you can easily recognise who is a South Indian, who is a North Indian and who is from North East by a mere glimpse. Many a times you'd even differentiate a Gujarati from a Bengali, a Marathi from a Bihari, etc. But we still are an integrated nation with brotherhood. There may be disputes – Naxalites, the Kashmir issue, etc. but with time, they will fade out. The fresh issue (dispute) is about the Marathi Manoos. To whom do Bombay Mumbai and the whole of Maharashtra belong? And the answer the Netas give is Marathis.  Isn’t the question itself wrong? “Kisne kaha ki Mumbai Bombay aur Maharashtra Marathioon k jaagir hain?” (“Who said the Mumbai Bombay and Maharashtra belongs to Marathis”). The Netas should know that Bombay and Maharashtra don’t belong to the Marathis but Marathis belong to them and on a larger picture to India. And there is a lot of difference between the above two statements. But I believe that with time these politicians and their divisive ideologies will fade out.

What do you need to fulfil a nation’s aspirations? I think its Money and Quality Man power. When you talk about a nation’s development then the first thing that is considered is the economy. “Paisa hain to koi sawal nahi pooche gaa aur agar paisa nahi hain to koi poochta bhi nahi” (“If you have money then nobody will doubt you but if you don’t have money then nobody asks for you”). Today we are a nation whose GDP growth rate displays alarming figures for rest of the world. The economy is growing at supersonic pace if not lightning. Significant Indians are on Forbes annual list of top 100 Billionaires. But if there is so much money then why is India still a Nation of Aspirations? Is the money equally available to everyone? It would not have taken a second for you to say that the answer is NO. There are men who earn 6000 rupees in a month and men who earn 6000 rupees in 60 seconds. India is one of the few nations where there are people in large numbers: who don’t dream of a Ferrari as they have one; who dream of owing a Ferrari, as they don’t have one; who never dream of owning a Ferrari as they are busy to struggling to earn their food for the day. And I believe that these thick lines of divide will become thin but can not completely vanish as I read somewhere “Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it is just the opposite. So any kind of economy cannot completely erase the monetary division. But one must consider that the poor are the people that help in keeping India’s Global Carbon Footprints low. Poverty forces you to completely use and reuse the available resources. Thus the poor, the middle class and ‘the class’ contribute to the economic development of the nation but only their share is different and what they get back is also different.

The next thing that comes is Quality Man Power. Quality and Man Power are two different things and when you combine them then you get what is one of the pillars for a nation’s development. India is the second most populous nation and so there is no shortage of man power. But quality is the main concern. The basic problem that one might tell is that the quality people work for other nations and want to earn their deserved worth money. I too believe that money again is a factor affecting this migration. The quality of life, health, education, infrastructure, and law and order are major concerns. What can be done? The answer lies in the word Aspiration. The more we aspire to become a better nation to live the more we will solve these problems. It is the same aspiration that is spreading a discontent for the government that is led by the same man who brought the economic reforms in the nation in 1991 that helped us to aspire even more.

You would say that I am burdening you with a guilt to work or do something for the nation but isn’t it worth it. But don’t aspirations burden you to work for them? Bal Gangadhar Tilak said, “Freedom is my birth right and I shall achieve it.” The Indians before Aug 15, 1947 weren’t born free but you were born free. You need not strive to achieve freedom, you already have it. No one can take it from you. When you do something for your nation, you do it for the people of your nation. The living standards would improve but you don’t need to do it forcefully. But I believe that every Indian has an inner calling but it just needs to be heard. And I can hope that this post would help you hear the inner calling in you. And by the way ‘Happy Independence Day’. Jai Hind!

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How I wrote 'Indian Actors in Sherlock Holmes 2'

Hope you must have enjoyed reading the previous post on Sherlock Holmes. I thought that I should mention how I got the inspiration of that post, shouldn’t I? No? Then stop reading this. Others can continue. But before I write about that I would write how I wrote this post or else you’ll find one more follow up posts!

I am writing this post instead of watching 3idiots. See! Movies do bring out the creativity in you. All the lights in the room are switched off; the brightness of the monitor is less than fifty per cent, I am an environmentalist too. Then there’s a dizzy smell of tobacco coming with the winds through the window that will diffuse in the air by the time this is written. I hate smokers. Hmmm… thinking what to write… … … oh yes, I am using Chetan Bhagat’s ‘2 States’ as my mouse pad. And trust me cheap books do not make a good mouse pads. :(  Alright enough of rambling now back to the point.

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I was going to include this post in the previous post but as it (previous post) was lengthy, too lengthy torturous for you, I thought to spare you all from it (this post).

It seems to me as if this happened days ago. Well, this did happen a couple of days ago. ;)  It was one of those lazy days and I had done nothing till the afternoon and then I decided to bathe and not take bath, as we Indians normally do say it. And thus I got my Eureka moment inside the bathroom. No one would argue if I say that bathrooms are one of the places that spill ideas, and it all began with Archimedes; so take your time inside. I still have no idea that from where this Sherlock Holmes thing came in my mind. Well, I didn’t come out shouting Eureka! Eureka! Ideas are like ‘Jack in the Box’ – they pop out of your brain just when you don’t expect them to come out. So always keep a pen and a pad or a mobile to note them when they pop out. But given my drenched conditions, the thought of writing every thing in the bathroom was not viable. So I stayed inside and developed the story. Thus after thirty minutes I was out with the draft. Initially, I had different actors in mind but to make it pleasurable to read – for me if not for you – I didn’t include them. A few actors were included while writing the post.  The final draft was read again and again and again and … you must have got it. After many corrections and changes finally I hit ctrl+S for the final time and it was put up on the blog to be read, read again and again and … No! Not again because no one would read that lengthy post again and again. Enough! Now I’ll stop. Hope you enjoyed reading the previous post. Will continue to put such posts further.
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Indian Actors in Sherlock Holmes 2

Many would have seen Sherlock Homes – the movie, and enjoyed it. Robert Downey, Jr’s acting and Guy Ritchie’s direction was praiseworthy. After the movie, the producers and the director decided to make another one. But unluckily, Robert Downey, Jr broke his back (while performing a stunt) and the doctors said that he won’t be able to act for the next four months. As the producers were in a hurry to make the film, they asked Guy Ritchie to find someone else. Now most of the (good) Hollywood actors were busy and did not have dates for the film. Hence, Guy Ritchie had to resort to seek someone outside the Hollywood. Now as one of the producers was an Indian (yes, Indians too have started producing Hollywood movies!), he insisted Guy Ritchie to look for an Indian actor. Thus, Guy Ritchie called a press conference and stated that the next Sherlock Holmes would be from India. The very next day he was in India and the first people to meet him or rather gheraoed (surrounded) him were from the news channel – India TV! Please forgive me for calling ‘India TV’ a news channel. Anyways, they (India TV) started picking the probable for you know what. Then came people form the channel that had previously done shows like ‘Wannabe’s Swayamvar’ (A competition in the ancient ages to select a groom for the princess; here selection of groom/bride for the bride/groom), ‘Desi Girls’ (wasn’t the Swayamvar enough for us?) and some Cheerleaders recruiting show. They asked Guy Ritchie to make his ‘quest for the actor’ into a Reality Show. Finally, to make for the expenses in ‘the quest’, a multi million dollar rupee contract was signed. Finally, invitations were sent to many actors for the selection/audition. The selection processes were – first, the written test, then screen test and viva, finally public voting. Yes public voting – no reality show is complete without voting.

Stage one: The Written test

Written test? Well NDTV Imagine’s argument was that the actor should know about Sherlock Holmes and it would bring down the number of actors. Apart from the superstars, others included Dev Anand (who would let go the chance of becoming the next Sherlock Holmes), Boman Irani, Imran Hashmi, Arshad Warshi, Tusshar Kapoor, etc. etc.

During the test, Shahid was caught copying from SRK and got ‘minus five’ on his sheet. After the test, the actors started discussing the answers. “Which paper set? D? Mine too. What is the ans of fifth que? C? I knew it! Damn it! :(” If there was a dispute then they would ask SRK.

‘You’ll top the test. After all you have hosted KBC.’ Hrithik said to SRK.
‘Then I should too top the test.’ said a firm voice from behind.
‘Who said that? Amit Sir! O yes you too will top the test, no doubt about it.’
‘Where is Aamir? Did he come?’ Big B said.
‘Yes, and as usual after the test he ran off.’
Big B shook his head in disappointment.

Results were out after five days and final ten were declared. SRK and Big B got full marks. But there was one surprise or rather shock, the tenth name was – Rakhi Sawant! Oh my god! The media raided Rakhi Sawant and asked demanded that she reveal how did she get inside. She said that Munnabhai MBBS was the inspiration for her and declared, “Sab ko dikha dungi, hilake dikha dungi.” (“I will show/prove and shock everyone.”) NDTV Imagine contacted her and tried to explain her that only male actors were eligible and this made her looked like a child who did not get his lollipop.

‘What if I get my sex changed? O God, O Jesus, I desperately want this role.’ (Yeah, I know, what the …)
‘But Madam we don’t have that much time’ and the phone disconnected.

Imran Hashmi replaced Rakhi purely based on marks.

After all this the media report was as follows:

‘Big B, SRK, Action Comedy Kumar, the Perfectionist, Sallu Mian (Mia if you are uncomfortable with Mian), Junior AB, the Naak (Nose), the Serial Kisser, Rajnikant and ACP Pradyuman are the final ten finalists of the show ‘Main Banungaa Sherlock Holmes’ (I will become Sherlock Holmes). The only disappointment was Hrithik who could not make it to the final ten. Big B said it was all because of KBC – season 1 and 2 and SRK said it was KBC 3 and Paanchvi Pass. Aamir Khan was not satisfied with his marks and demanded that his mark sheet be assessed again. “All my answers were correct still I have got one mark less than Shahrukh. Moreover, I should have got one extra mark for good handwriting as I had PERFECTLY encircled all the circles.” Junior AB gave all the credit to his daddy for taking his tuition and giving extra notes. Rajnikant said it was the blessings of his fans that he cleared the test. All the other actors said it was their hard work. The Screen Test and the viva will be held on Wednesday.’

Stage two: Screen Test and Viva

The screen test was supposed to begin at 0900hrs but nobody was seen. Everyone came late and the reason given by all was that they were actors and actors arrive late. Sigh! In the screen test, AB was rejected on the grounds of poor acting and Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan on the basis of overacting or rather overreacting. When Big B got to know about the exclusion of his son he went to the judges and started arguing. The judges – Guy Ritchie, some Hollywood biggie, and Karan Johar! – threatened to remove him too if he argued any more. Thus, he became quite.

Next were the vivas. Judges rejected Imram Hashmi on his serial kissing background. They were concerned what would happen if he started kissing Dr. Watson (Jude Law). Everyone shivered at this thought.

Himesh Reshamiya entered next.

‘So Himesh tell us about you,’ the judges said.
’I am a born actor and I can act, sing, and compose the soundtrack for your movie. A three-in-one package at the price of one. JAI MATADI LETS ROCK!!!’
‘You are selling yourself?’
‘Who doesn’t in this industry?’
‘Yeah, that’s right,’ all the judges agreed.
‘I even have a suggestion.’
‘And what’s that?’ Karan asked.
‘I will sniff the clues with my nose.’
‘Nose?’ Guy Ritchie not believing what he just heard.
‘Yes, it’s lucky for me.’
‘Next.’
‘No wait.’

Then SRK entered.

‘So you are Shahrukh Khan, huh?’ Guy said.
‘Well, actually, he is the King Khan, the King of Bollywood, the Badshaah, for having acted as a detective (he emphasised the word detective) in the same movie…’
 ‘Stop it, Karan.’ SRK ordered.
‘…the SRK, the King of the hearts, owner of KKR…’
‘Stop it, Karan.’
‘…the richest superstar of India, the most famous Bollywood celebrity…’
‘I SAID, STOP IT, KARAN.’
‘OK. OK.’
‘Hmmm... Next. You are through to the next round,’ Guy said, being impressed.

Suddenly cyclonic winds started blowing. The table started receding backwards, everything was haywire.
‘What the…’ Guy was interrupted.
‘Illa illa something in Tamil.’
‘Yanna Racala. You Mind it, mind it, mind it.’ Echoed.
Needless to say who had entered.
‘What is this?’ Guy fumed.
‘Wherever Rajni goes, he goes in style.’ Rajnikant clarified and wore his glasses – his signature. Swoof.
‘Why there was no STYLE in the screenings?’ Karan inquired.
‘Well, in this downturn, I am low on budget.’ Everyone started laughing.
After a few negotiations, Rajni too was selected.

Next was Aamir Khan.
‘I am THE P-e-r-f-e-c-t-i-o-n-i-s-t,’ Aamir declared.
‘I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can achieve, perfection is God’s business.’ Guy quoted.
‘We don’t want demigods here.’ Guy clarified.
‘Wait, wait, I am not the perfectionist, I too make mistakes. Please don’t’ reject me. What will I answer when people would say Shahrukh got selected and I didn’t?’ Aamir said in damage control mode.
‘Then what about ‘Life is not a race?’’
‘That was all rubbish; life is a race for all those struggling for survival and greatness and fame.’
‘Aall iss well. Aall iss well.’ Aamir repeated to himself and thumped his heart gently.
‘Nothing iss well. Nothing iss well. Next.’
‘Wait. It’s the marketing and PR that make my movies a hit. It has nothing to do with my so called acting.’
‘All right, you go to the next round purely on the basis of your marketing strategies.’
Relieved Aamir said thank you and moved out.

Next was Shivaji Satam.
‘You shake and move your fingers unnecessarily,’ Guy complained.
‘Sir, it is my signature and it also reminds me that I am the ACP, I have to instruct others, though I don’t know whether ACP stands for ‘Assistant Commissioner of Police’ or ‘Additional commissioner of Police’. It looks cool when you see a detective moving his hand while discussing clues, doesn’t it?’ Shivaji said while shaking and moving his hands.
‘You don’t have experience in different types of roles.’
‘It is true but isn’t this hunt for an actor who would play a detective?’
‘O yes, you are right.’
‘Next, you are through to the next round.’

Big B was also selected.

Full Page ads on TOI and the Hindu appeared:

SRK, Big B, Aamir Khan, Rajnikant and Shivaji Satam enter the final round of ‘Main Banungaa Sherlock Holmes’. Voting begins from Tuesday.

To vote for SRK, sms ‘KKKiran’ to 57575.

To vote for Big B, sms ‘KBC4’ to 57575.

To vote for Aamir Khan, sms ‘AwardLess’ to 57575.

To vote for Rajnikant, sms ‘sunglasses’ to 57575.

To vote for Shivaji, sms ‘CIDPJs’ to 57575.

Remember your every vote will count so keep counting voting. Voting lines are opened till next Saturday. Till then keep voting.’

The day for declaring the final results arrived. Everyone was eager for the results. Our favourite news channels brought pundits to predict who would win. Someone said it would be Shivaji, the others said SRK; a few said Big B. South Indian pundits said Rajni. Now, how can we forget the greatest oracle of all time – Paul the octopus? Five glass boxes, with photos of the finalists on each, with food in them were dipped in his aquarium. But he didn’t select anyone and kept roaming near the wall. Everyone felt that Paul took his retirement and was in no mood to select the winner. :(

The ‘Decision Night’ arrived. Chennai’s Cricket stadium – M. A. Chidambaram was selected as the venue. Prices of the tickets were sky-high. The event started. Skits were performed by the finalists. Item numbers were performed by SRK, Big B, Shivaji – yes the ACP. Just imagine ACP dancing with item girls. Then it was time for performance of the night. Shakira come on the stage and started lip-synching and dancing ‘Hips don’t lie.’ This sent an electric wave across the crowd. “I’m starting to feel it’s right…” the crowd went mad because out of nowhere Rajni appeared on the stage and started dancing along with Shakira. One per cent of the crowd fainted when he started shaking his hips. Do not know whether it was the excitement or the shock. Anyways the dance ended and the host announced that it was time for the results, the producers and Guy came on the stage. Guy took the envelope in his hand and said, ‘the winner is…’ the crowd shouted RAJNI. ‘We’ll find out after a break.’ And the crowd booed. The break ended. Guy announced, ‘the winner is…’ and pointed his finger to the crowd. The crowd shouted RAJNI. SRK, Big B, Shivaji and Aamir put their head down in dismay. Rajni waved his hand and came forward. But Guy said, ‘it is not you’ and again pointed his finger to the crowd. It took one minute for thirty cameramen to figure out to whom he pointed! And Robert Downey, Jr, was coming towards to stage. Guy said, ‘by the time we selected anyone from you, Robert became fit. So we said why not select Robert then?’ A furious Rajni roared, ‘I will sue you for this.’ Guy replied calmly, ‘You should have read the contract properly. Line five of page six, written in font size 5, says, ‘We can select anyone to be Sherlock Holmes.’’

And thus ended, the quest for the next Sherlock Holmes. It ended from where it began – Robert, if it didn’t strike you. Again, Paul was right. It was not his fault if the people did not keep glass box with Robert’s photo in the aquarium. Paul baba ki Jai ho!

P. S.: I have not yet seen the movie Sherlock Holmes.

P. P. S.: This post is a work of fiction (for those of you who still didn't get it) and has been written only for entertainment and nothing else. You do not need see the movie to read the post! All the characters are real but the incidents are fictitious. Before any of the actors sue me on the charges of defamation, I would like to clarify that 1) I have no grievances with any of you and 2) I do not have any money for the lawsuit.

P. P. P. S.:   Rajni PJs were not trending when this was posted. Thus it clearly proves that I can foresee the future. ;)

P.P.P.P.S. R.I.P. Octopus Paul
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