Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The All Knowing Virgins

It happens to everyone, friends meet up... strike up a conversation. If ever, the group is all guys, invariably the topic drifts to "the facts of life". That's when everyone seems to be an expert at that one particular topic. Guys seem to know so much about the girls, it's weird!

If most guys are to be believed, "girls want it a lot more than guys"! Now I've heard this millions of times and while the truth of the statement is subject to research work for which I would love to dedicate some more time, I really don't know how so many historically single guys [I mean guys who've never had girlfriends] know so much! Where is all this knowledge coming from?

Also, there are the 'pustaki pundits', as in people who've read so much about this stuff that they're good to go! It's like, they've read Herbert Schildt completely and they're ready to redefine Java, the only thing they lack is a workspace!

But the best part is when there is a congregation of girls and guys and in the rare occasions when that topic is broached accidentally by an unsuspecting guy. For e.g. Last week, there were a few of us and we were discussing a very famous Indian Female Tennis Star [we all know who she is] and her victory in the 1st round of the Australian Open. Now this guy unfortunately didn't have a good tennis vocabulary or a very good "you-know-what" vocabulary. So when one girl who is on her way to becoming a feminist [lol] and a huge fan of the said Indian Female Tennis Star, was describing her powerful play in the 1st round match, one bechara guy [lol, again] vociferously agrees with her and then says the following words - "I was watching that live and her powerful foreplay was the best part" :D

The feminist got offended, we all laughed and the poor guy was embarrassed. Now for those rarest of the rare people who didn't get the joke, he wanted to compliment the Indian Female Tennis Star's "powerful forehand", but alas he got it all wrong!
No offense to the Indian Female Tennis Star [in case by some miracle if you read this blog... I'm a huge fan of your powerful forehand too :P ]

Anyways, the point is that... well there is no point; I haven't blogged in quite a while now and this incident just came to my mind, so now we have yet another useless blog post!

It's surprising how easy it is to talk about "that", without ever using any words directly referring to "that". My close friends would do well to remember some of my very famous and elaborate metaphors like "The Gulab Jamun Principle" about which I won't blog, coz it's fun to keep a metaphor secret between close friends!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Nayan Tarse Lyrics

My favorite new song of 2009, love the lyrics as well. Nayan Tarse from the album Dev D.

Nayan Tarse
Nayan Tarse
Daras Na Mile
Nayan Tarse


Nayan Tarse
Nayan Tarse
Dono Se Bahe Dhaar
Nayan Tarse


Haare Ye
Path Nihar
Nayan Tarse .. Tarse .. Tarse Re …..


Bisar Gaye .. Bisar Gaye
Bisar Gaye .. Bisar Gaye
Biraha Mein Chal Chal, Pal Woh Gaye Badal
Swaha Swaha Hey Hey Hey Hey


Bisar Gaye .. Bisar Gaye
Bisar Gaye .. Bisar Gaye
Sunahre Yeh Din, Kaali Raat Mein Gaye Dhal
Raama Raama Raama Raama Re


Saawan Barse .. Saawan Barse
Tapish Ki Phuhaar
Sawaan Barse


Saawan Barse .. Saawan Barse
Chubhan De Hazaar
Sawaan Barse


Gaali Si Lage Malhaar
Sawaan Barse Barse Barse Re

Bisar Gaye .. Bisar Gaye Hey
Bisar Gaye .. Bisar Gaye Hey
Biraha Mein Chal Chal, Pal Woh Gaye Badal
Swaha Swaha Hey Hey Hey Hey


Bisar Gaye .. Bisar Gaye
Bisar Gaye .. Bisar Gaye
Sunahre Yeh Din, Kaali Raat Mein Gaye Dhal
Raama Raama Raama Raama Re

Lyrics : Amitabh Bhattacharya
Vocals : Amit Trivedi
Music : Amit Trivedi

Dev D Music Review

This has been by far the most "Indian" album I've heard in a long time. Amit Trivedi, take a bow! There are a few new gen music directors in India who seem to have forgotten that this is still a country where people speak and listen to Hindi and not NRI-style Hindi [a la Vishal Dadlani and co with songs like "thumka lagai ke she'll rock your world, my desi girl!"].
Those songs are fine till they become all that is being played everyday, but then every once in a while one needs to hear something Indian, and apart from A R Rehman who can compose awesome music, there was no other option.
Enter, Dev D. The feel of the album is amazing. The lyrics are really good, some songs are crazy [Emosanal Attyachaar], some songs are hummable [Paayaliya] and some songs are great [Nayan Tarse].

One can only hope that Amit Trivedi gets more albums to compose and does as good a job, if not better.

4 stars out of 5 for Dev D's music. It makes for great repetitive hearing.

PS - One hopes that Anurag Kashyap can come up with a nice movie, the music is spot on!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My Loony Bun Is Fine Benny Lava

I am a big fan of no brainer comedy ads and random videos like this one called Benny Lava.

There are times when one is tired and a few minutes of hilarious non sense is good relief. And Youtube is an infinite source for such things, be it "The AXE Effect" advertisements or just some random videos like the Benny Lava video. Good fun once in a while.

And of course with all good things in life come those who oppose such things. As far as censoring stuff is concerned my formula is simple, don't watch it if you don't like it. If you really really dont like it, tell others that you didn't like it, but by no means should you try and stop others from viewing or listening or reading that content, its not fair.

Here's one excerpt from Wikipedia about the Benny Lava video -

"Benny Lava" inspired others and resulted in similar videos being created with phonetic translations. The viral video quickly spread and as of January 2009 the original video had 10,202,647 views. Reception to the video was mixed; Some felt that the video was done in "good fun" while others worried that their culture was being mocked.

Obviously some jokes are indeed offensive and as far as possible humorists should try to avoid hurting people's sentiments. During a conversation with friends we discussed this topic about how there are so many awesome comedy shows on Star World and other foreign channels but we find the same ghisa pita pehchaan kaun and Raju Srivastav with his Gajodhar and Gabbar jokes being repeated since the start of The Great Indian Laughter Challenge way back in 2006. And there is a reason for it, in India we take offense to too many things. Politicians can't be made fun of, religious groups are almost waiting to come on the streets and burn effigies, woman's lib groups are working so hard to keep women away from harm. I've yet to see a protest rally by any "Naari Sanghathan" after a rape or dowry death. But crack a joke related to boobs and there they are. I think time has come that even men should form an organization to protect them from being mocked at. All the 'lazy husband' jokes could come under the scanner.

We have yet to find a comedian of the caliber of Peter Sellers, the man's work in Dr. Strangelove was phenomenal. There's no replacement for Johnny Walker of the 60's or Mehmood and Kishore Kumar. Our comedy today is a mix of repetitive gags, and at times the same gag is repeated in the same movie [the guy hurting his groin in Golmaal Returns is done by Vrijesh Hirjee twice]. The argument is, people like it. Well, it's what they're seeing and they're bound to like it if there's nothing better on offer. India needs some sitcoms, because in the current scenario I don't see Stand Up Comedy making any innovations. We have Pakistani's on a show called The Great INDIAN Laughter Challenge, that's how bad it is.

It's time someone actually stands up and gets counted. We need some quality laughter. Andaaz Apna Apna and Hera Pheri were separated by many years, we need such movies to be released every year, not once or twice a decade.

This post went from being stupid to semi-serious. I better stop now!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Amazon Texhibit - 2nd Prize

First check this out - Amazon Texhibit Results

This has by far been my best kept academic secret. I didn't tell anyone about this although the contest began in November and ended just yesterday. Hardly 3-4 people knew about it. I didn't even tell my best friends. Why? Don't know exactly... it was just that I had a hunch I'd do well in it and sort of wanted to surprise people. Now that I did win something, I'm glad. In final year, the entire focus was on Placements and clearing 1st Sem. But I wanted some good achievement to add to my resume, and thank God, I got something.

I still remember writing a 250 word abstract in 30 mins, just a day before a CC test [I was majorly screwed in CC at one time, so my primary aim was to prepare for that]. And a couple of weeks later, I had almost forgotten about the paper, when suddenly I got a call from Amazon saying that I was shortlisted in the final 8. Well, 3 prizes, just 8 people. I backed my chances.

Then came the freaking End Sem exams. Bang in the middle of the exams I make a 43 slide presentation. It took me 2 nights and a cumulative sleep period of 5 hours to study for end sem, do my usual mid-exam-time-pass and develop a technical paper from scratch. I had fun. At that time the only guy I showed the paper to was Shantanu. He approved and I sent it.

Then on 26th December Amazon calls and says, "You're in the last 5, now a couple of telephonic interviews", I was like "Ok, cool". Now, I had never, till then had telephonic interviews [unless you count the one where a chic was asking me questions about my relationship status on the phone ;) ].

It certainly was my first technical telephonic interview. The first one was like a thunderbolt. What freaking questions!!! Stuff I hadn't ever thought about, but I did fine. Then on 31st Dec I had my 2nd interview. That was kick ass. Another killer set of questions but I was prepared this time. Weirdest part was coding on the phone. I won't ever forget that. The Amazon guys taking the interviews were damn cool.

Then came the long wait for the results, I got busy with my project, birthday and stuff and the results have been a nice belated birthday gift - A digi cam and an Amazon shirt [which I will use as often as I can to show off :P ], that's awesome!

I may describe my telephonic interviews in detail later on, but for now, that's all. I had fun doing this entire thing on my own, kinda secretly, dropping subtle hints to a few close friends who kept asking me what I was upto. But then, I did win something and more importantly developed a paper from scratch on my own and learnt a lot during the telephonic interviews. Glad to add this one to my resume!

And thanks to the few who knew and wished me luck!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Passing The Parcel Incident

This is a true story. The main protagonists in the story are Me, Amit Julka and there's a cameo by Yasho.

Here we go -

This happened way into the beginning of the 7th semester. It was the CL practical, we had to make a lex & yacc program for recognizing parts of speech, given any sentence. Now we're talking about the B3 batch, so you must assume extreme laziness, ignorance of basic subject knowledge and a total disregard to sincerity. As usual, a bunch of us sat down in a corner of the lab, we all were huddled onto a computer in the corner [under a fan, thus guaranteeing a cool 2 hours where we could pass time without feeling the heat] and I started my search for an existing program which i would read and then pass off as an original B3 program ;)

I found a program made unfortunately by the B2 batch. I say unfortunately, because it was technically so advanced that it was literally impossible to decipher. Now again, the assignment was to make a program in lex, but whoever made that program decided to show off and made it using lex & yacc, which none of us knew back then. [and some of us may still not know]

Anyways i started reading the program and was just about done with the Lex file, when all of a sudden in walks our Ma'am, not the M Tech, the real Ma'am. And as luck would have it, even she wanted to cool off under the fan, or so it seemed coz she came straight at us. Everyone had a panic attack, for me it was worse, since I was the one sitting in front of the only PC which had a program on the screen.

Maam: Have u all finished the program?
10 seconds of silence, everybody looking at each other and finally at me
Me: Almost maam...

Maam: Show me?
My mind: I'm so fucked
Me: Yes maam

I run through the code, line by line, my brain started compiling, interpreting and most importantly guessing what each line meant.
So i'm done with the lex file and feel proud of myself, when...

Maam: Now show me the YACC file
My mind: Is there a rope somewhere? Coz there is a fan above me, i'm one rope away from suicide and an easy escape.
Me: Yes maam

Now, for a guy, who has never seen a YACC file before, who doesnt know the syntactic rules and who quite frankly has no idea what the freaking program is about; to have to face a demand from his Prof to EXPLAIN a yacc file of a program he has no idea about is a horrifying prospect.

Anyways I read the code, and started explaining it when suddenly the worst happened. She had a doubt.

Maam: Why are you using a linked list to store the words?
My mind: What??? Linked list??? Where???
Me: Well maam....

I run through the program using page down and finally find a piece of code which looks like a linked list.

Me: As you can see here, this linked list is storing the words of the sentence
My mind: I give up dude, this is just too much... i give up

Suddenly I realise, there are 8 freaking people right next to me, who haven't explained a word so far.

Theorem - Whenever a guy is in trouble and there is lots of public around, the only one he chooses to take his place and face the bullet, is his friend.

Me: Maam, I think Julka will explain this part

Julka, who till then was enjoying the show suddenly looked stunned, but to his credit he handled it well.

Julka then takes over the mouse and starts scrolling up and down.

Julka: Well.... so let's see here.... so basically... what we are doing here is... using... a linked list... which is storing the words.... and.... Maam, i think Harsh will explain this part better!

My mind: Saala $#&@$%!!!

While Julka was stalling for time, i was reading that piece of code and understood what was happening, so i explained it.

Maam: Ok, so wouldn't it be better to ... [she said some stuff about improving the code]
My mind: Keep nodding... don't laugh
Me: Yes maam

Maam: Ok, now carry on...
My mind: Is raat ki subah nahi
Me: Yes maam

I then carry on, she keeps stabbing away with her doubts and suggestions and then finally my mind again revolts and once again i choose my man Amit Julka

Me: Maam now Julka will take over
Julka's mind: Saala $#&@$%!!!

Julka then did something i didnt think was possible -


He moves the cursor to the middle of a line of code and says
Julka: This code will run
Then he inserts some random character in the middle of the code and compiles it. Obviously there are errors.
Julka: Now this code will not run.
He goes back to the character and deletes it and says
Julka: Now it should run
He then compiles it and runs it.
My brain: WTF? WTF? WTF?


To the credit of my brain, it recovered from what happened in a matter of seconds and then I took over the rest of the program and explained it.

Maam looked a little bewildered and a bit irritated. She then went on to give us a lecture on how this program should be improved and then when none of us reacted she looks at me and says

Maam: Is this your logic or the group's logic?
Me: Maam, I can assure you it is definitely NOT my logic.
My brain: Sachai ka phal meetha hota hai

Maam: Then whose logic is this?
Me: Actually maam, we just saw this logic somewhere and used it.
Maam: So you've taken this program from the internet?
Me: Maam we have definitely not taken it from the internet.
Maam: So from where did you get this program?
My mind: Ab tu gaya
Me: Ummmm...
My mind: Should I say "Now Julka will explain it" again?

All of a sudden from nowhere we hear a voice say

Voice: Maam this program is from O'Reily

We all turn back and see Yasho! Yasho was the Voice.

Yasho then went on a detailed explanation of how the program is from O'Reily and Maam totally agreed with the whole idea.

Finally Maam gives us a bhashan of how she wants to see our creativity and not just code copied from O'Reily. We all nodd our heads vigorously. Then she leaves. We wait for her to leave and then all i could hear was - HAAAHAAAHAAA HAAHAA!!!

To be quite honest i think we were at our creative best that day ;)
Such an incident has never happened again since then and i dont think these things happen that often. But it was an awesome incident which we call "The Passing The Parcel Incident".

PS: For other B3 batch exploits - Read The New Text Document Incident starring Sanjeev, Kalpesh and once again... Me!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire - Movie Review

I saw this movie, with low expectations after a friend of mine trashed the movie. And after watching it I felt that although my friend was right in his observations, the movie is still worth a watch.

The story is based on a book titled "Q&A" by Vikas Swarup, which is based on the events related to the life of a young man named Jamal Malik who is on the hot seat as a contestant on the show Who Want's To Be A Millionaire. Each question he is asked on his journey till the last question for 2 Crore rupees has a connection with certain events in his life. As each question is asked, the movie goes into a flashback on how it was related to his past. The sequences are at times shocking and brutal. I for one didn't like the first half at all, and I was seriously contemplating quitting on the movie. But I am glad I didn't. The 2nd half makes up for it. The director in the first half is guilty of over-magnifying the poverty and exploitation angle. Some scenes are disgusting to be honest. But ignore them or bear with them. Because the climax is really good, predictable but really good.

Anil Kapoor does a good job as the villainous host of the game show, initially I was wondering why he did such a role; my opinion changed after the halfway mark. The scene between Jamal and Anil Kapoor at the urinal is great.

The movie has it's moments, but the best parts are made even better thanks to A R Rahman's awesome music. Latika's theme is used brilliantly in the movie. Irfan Khan is as good as ever. Saurabh Shukla is good in his scenes as the hawaldaar. The lead actors Dev Patel and Frieda Pinto do a good job, but the best parts are those of the child actors used in the flashbacks.

The "Benjamin Franklin" sequence is amazing. The "Colt" sequence is jarring but effective. Mahesh Manjerekar is used very well in his small role.

There are quite a few villains in the movie, Jamal's brother Salim, who destroys everything that is dear to Jamal and yet saves Jamal on various occasions, Mamman the man who exploits children into begging, Mahesh Manjrekar as Javed and Anil Kapoor as Prem Kumar. Circumstances and luck help Jamal escape all his misfortune.

Give the movie a look, expect a tale of hope, and the underdog story, with realism in a fictional plot. Expect a few exploitative and manipulative scenes, considering it's a foreign director doing an Indian movie, there is an overdose of poverty/exploitation in the first half of the movie. But it's not a bad movie at all, in fact you may even like it if you don't expect too much.

3 stars out of 5.

Awesome but sexist!

Here's a really funny pic I came across, may be a little offensive to women, coz it's pretty sexist. But take a look.

A remote control for controlling women, obviously made by men -

Courtesy - http://creativestuffforu.blogspot.com/2009/01/control-woman-with-remote.html