Jun 28, 2007

Iphone Review - From Wall Street Journal

The most awaited gadget of the year / perhaps the decade , hits US markets on this friday - June - 29th at 6 PM . Below is a link to review of apple i-phone from Walter Mossberg.

After seeing the video ( I cannot embed it here..Go to that link and see it ) , my impression is .. " This is really something very good " . I wonder when it'll be available atleast in the grey markets of Delhi and B'lore :) , Not to buy at the first go..but atleast to check it out.

( PS:- Apple's Safari - 3 browser was made available for windows about one month ago.. I tried it out.. Looks kill, but bugs also kills you :) .. It seemed to be a classic example of beauty without brains. )


Jun 21, 2007

Extremely Busy!!!!!

For the last couple of dayz, my gtalk status message has been "Extremely Busy", and believe me, I've been really busy. I don't think I've worked this much in the recent times... On a co-incidental note, I found that many of my friends in gtalk have status messages in a similar sense.. In addition to the usual"very busy" & " do not disturb" messages, some of them read

(i) "Making me work is Cruel"
(ii) " Not @ all Available "
(iii) " Ping only in case of extreme emergencies "
(iv) "Work is worship, but sometimes hardship too "
(v) " Bugs bugging me too much "

-- I notice that the number of people with such status messages have got way too high over the last week.. I know its a crazy thought, but has this 'too-much busy' schedules got to do anything with the increased duration of day-time ?? 3rd week of June has the longest days in an year..And today(June - 21 ) is the summer solstice , longest day in the Northern Hemisphere :( :( .... Hope there will be a lull in work soon


Jun 14, 2007

How about joining this company..???

Following is a video showing a typical new-joinee's first day in Aditi technologies. :)

Atleast for enjoying this , how about joining there once ?

( PS:- Another off-track news..This years IIT JEE topper is looking for a girl friend..All the eligible single ladies, wanna giv a try ??? )


Jun 7, 2007

God's own country, Devil's own people, And these are a few among them

Some people just refuse to change

Link1 :- 5 HIV+ students shown door from a school .

When will people change ? I feel very bad reading this report.. The stigma associated with HIV casting its shadow upon kids less than 11 years old.. And that too the ostracization coming from educated people from a state supposed to be among the most literate
ones in India...

Link 2:- Guruvayoor Purification

You can play the devotional songs of Yesudas in a temple.. but you cannot allow him inside the temple.. If a child's grand-mother happens to be a Christian, the temple should be purified after the Child's entry to the temple...These are some of the 'rules' @ Guruvayoor. Disgusting to hear such news really.. Though I'm no communist in a classical sense, I'm a great admirer of A.K Gopalan and K . Kelappan for their struggle to throw open the temple gates to people from all stratas of society... Thats something which was left in between.. In this 21st century, its high time that Hinduism throws open the gates of temples to all religions..

Inspite of having a population acutely conscious of their rights and forgetful of their duties,
incidents like this are very common in Kerala..

Two questions to the non-keralite readers..

1) How much is the intra and inter-religious intolerance in your state ? Is it because of the fact that media is very much active in Kerala that these incidents are reported more from Kerala than from outside ?

2) And have you come across any such incidents mentioned in Link 1 ( HIV story ) .. ?


Jun 3, 2007

Orhan, Kar is Fantastic...

This book really kept me engrossed for quite some time..I wanted to read it again before writing a review..But, didnt get enough time or patience to do that... 'Snow' ( Turkish - 'Kar' ,which explains the title of this post) by Orhan Pamuk is a classic.. It deals with different faces of conflict between Islam ( both political and Radical ) and Westernism.. Philosophic at times, yet smooth .. a bit dry in the middle, yet interesting enough to keep us hooked.... Its also a romantic tragedy..It has its own lighter moments, though very few and far in between..

The story is set in the town of 'Kars' in North-Eastern Turkey.. Now, why Turkey becomes the center of such a islamic-western conflict ? Lets go back into a bit of History..

A brief History

Turkey was the land of 'Caliphate' or in other worlds, Turkish ( Ottoman ) Sultans were considered to be the religious head of Muslims all over the world..India's 'Khilafat' movement traces its roots from the deposing of Turkish Sultan by the British after World War 1. At the height of its power, Ottoman empire extended from the borders of Vienna in the west to the Persia or Iran in the east..Turkish society was a predominantly Islamic one, though there were attempts during the Ottoman period to westernize it.. After the collapse of Ottoman empire at the end of first world war, Turkey slipped into a brief period of civil war... An army officer - Mustafa Kemal - united Turkey and established a millitary rule there.. He's known as the founding father of Modern Turkey -- something akin to Mahatma Gandhi here.. More popularly or reverently known as Mustafa Kemal Ataturk ..

Ataturk carried out perhaps the most difficult cultural transition ever attempted in modern world history... Transforming a traditionally Muslim society into a secular and westernized one. He established western system of education, banned religious symbols ( veils, crosses , beard,turban etc..etc ) -- Think of doing that in India ??? -- .. It is an example were a military rule setup helped achieve something which would have been unthinkable in a democracy.. ( Ofcourse, an army rule has its own drawbacks and many of those instances are seen in the book itself ) ... Ataturk succeeded in doing that and Turkey is perhaps one role model for Islamic states.. But as it is, the reverberation of the changes in the post-cold war period are being increasingly felt there. Eastern Turkey is a confluence of lots of races - Armens, Azeris,Tatars, Turks, Kurds... the list goes on..

The plot

An exiled poet Kerim Alaku_howlu ( in Turkish ) , known as Ka' returns to Turkey after spending some years in Germany..Its to investigate the phenomenon of suicides happening in Kars, a small town in Anatolia , in the north-eastern border of Turkey..He also wants to re-connect with his former romantic interest , Ipek.. In the course of investigation he meets lots of interesting characters.. Ipek's divorced husband and his former friend Muhtar, a sufi-sheik , a student from one religious school, Ipek's sister Kadife, an actor Sunay Zaim who dreams of becoming the modern Ataturk, and most importantly a charismatic Islamic terrorist named 'Blue', who attracts almost everyone he meets towards him..

The elements

Ka is a human..Unlike the demi-god heroes portrayed in typical political novels, this character is completely human..He has his own vices..Does virtually anything to get Ipek to his bed, ..and as a rather too-ordinary human, breaks down and fumbles when Ipek's past is told to him by another person.. Due to circumstances, or rather his personal motives he ends up being sort of a double agent between millitary and Islamists.. Many people who have read may deny this, but I essentially felt that finally his conduct was rather unconsciously or unintentionally transformed into a double-agent.. But, it is this human touch of vices and mistakes that makes this novel very much attractive..

Even though the novel starts as a probe into the mass suicides by women, it certainly turns into more complex social and societal issues.. The identity of religion, limits
of secularism, the military doctrine suppressing religion , the emerging Islamic voice there.
The characters struggle to assert the supremacy of the belief that they are part of by all
kinds of propaganda..

I'm not going into further details of the story as that would be a spoiler to a prospective reader.. :) . .If any of you like reading social issues with a touch of history and politics, this book is for you.. Dont miss it :)