Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011

Last Day of the Year MMXI A.D. The year of the initiation of change. After having spent a couple of pretty lousy years, I can look back on Twenty11 with some satisfaction. And what is more am actually looking forward to the changes 2012 is going to bring into my life.

A quick summary of some major happenings (may not seem much but certainly one was a life changer)
  • Changed apartments, then flatmate moved on and I started living alone but certainly not lonely.
  • At work there were tangible changes. Still at the same company, but the work location has changed and now working with an entire new set of collegaues. A Big Deal & some numbers jump made some tangible additions.
  • The usual line of some people moving out of life continued but some more have entered. And permanently.
  • There was a realization that with so many books to read, so many movies to watch, so many places to visit, and so many people who you can connect to, you might be alone but you should never be lonely.
  • After 3 years the phone changed. Mobile phones are not just another device, they are you. Learnt it the hard way when a new phone got stolen.
  • Tried to do something good and felt great about it. Life may be becoming more self-centred but certain acts like blood donation do make you feel a better human being.
  • Felt the collective joy of over a billion people when India won the cricket world cup. A feeling which couldn't come in any other sporting event. (Went and watched a couple of IPL matches this year too)
  • Added a new travel location - Bhopal
  • Facebook kept the known ones in touch while twitter connected the new. Blogs were another sway of connecting to new people.
And as for My Pursuit of Happyness, I think I am getting there :)

To 2012, a leap year (am certainly doing something special on the most unique day of the calendar), a year of Hope & Change.

Wishing a Happy 2012 to all readers

Friday, December 30, 2011

Ten From Twenty11

The year 2011 A.D. is going by. Before we go on into 2012, its time to step back and remember the events to remember 2011 by. Following is my compilation of how 2011 went by. 

1. Trending Topic of the Year - R.I.P.
2011 took away a lot of legends. RIP was an ever trending topic on twitter. India lost legends like Dev Anand, Shammi Kapoor, Tiger Pataudi, Sai Baba, Bhupen Hazarika, Pt. Bhimsen Joshi, Jagjit Singh, Ustad Sultan Khan. The computer world lost Steve Jobs & Dennis Ritchie. Dcitators and despots also seemed to be having a pretty bad time with bin Laden, Gaddafi & Kim gone (though hopefully no RIP for them)

2. Year of Movements
Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Libya, Sudan, Bahrain, Syria and even India all saw major upheavals backed by the people. Social media acted as the mass mobilizer. Time magazine declared "The Protestor" as the "Person of the Year". However people on the roads certainly wasn't always a good thing. The riots in England & Vancouver, the attack on female journalists covering Tahrir showing up the ugly side of the people agitation. 

3. Overhype of the Year (sponsored by MRF Blimp)
As Diwali approached, there seemed to be only one event happening in India. The release of The promos were here, there and everywhere. It popped up in cricket ad breaks, sneaked on you through youtube, jumped on you through newspapers. Anywhere you went, you just couldn't escape the Chhammak Chhalo. In the end the marketing worked, as it could lure in big audiences before the critical (read bad) reviews had a chance to come out. 
P.S. Kareena Kapoor looked absolutely ravishing as the Chhammak Chhalo (the only universally agreed upon redeeming feature of the movie)

4. Picture of the Year
Quite a few competitors. There were quite a few movements (point 2 above) and natural disasters (e.g. Japan earthquake & tsunami). But the picture of the year comes from the Vancouver riots following an ice hockey match (!!!) as a young couple kiss on the road.

5. Doodle of the Year
Google have been playing around with their logo for quite a while now. Earlier it used to be just an image. Now they have shifted to making animated & interactive doodles. There were a few contenders for the doodle of the year, but to me the best was the Google Guitar, played on June 9th to mark the  anniversary of Les Paul. (incidentally also the anniversary of my joining my current company)

6. Song of the Year
Why this Kolaveri, Kolaveri, Kolaveri Di. So asked Dhanush. And soon the whole world was asking the same question. And everyone had their own version of it. There is the cute Nevan Nigam version, the dancing girls, the Arabic, the local boys, the chipmunks and the best of the lot the Punjabi version. Even CNN declared it to be the song of the year. And yet the question remains. Why This Koaveri, Kolaveri, Kolaveri Di?

Planning Commission's revised poverty line which came up to Rs 32/day. While it was immediately hyped up without trying to make full sense of the statistic, it showed a grim reality. There were nearly 40% Indians surviving on even less. Point to ponder upon.

8. Camouflage of the Year
Baba Ramdev dressed in salwar kameez. With his appearance wonder how much of a help was this dress.

9. Self -created newsmaker of the year
Poonam Pandey followed Larissa Riquelme's footsteps. Unlike Ms. Riquelme who fulfilled her promise inspite of Paraguay not winng the football world cup, Ms Pandey did not despite India winning the cricket world cup. And she hitched her name to the team without any rhyme or reason and continued with her weird antics throughout the year. Wondering if the Indian team's inconsistent showing post the World Cup was a result of this? (:P)

10. New borns of the year
There were some famous new borns in the year. First came the so called 7 Billionth baby, who was born in at least 3 different places. Then followed the media frenzy over Baby B. If this is the frenzy on just being born wonder what would happen if they do anything notable.

So this was 2011. Lets see what 2012 has in store for us. Though if the Mayans are correct, this might be the last year-end list I would have end. Certainly a nice thought to enter the new year.

Wishing all readers a very Happy & Prosperous 2012 :)

Sunday, December 04, 2011

In Remembrance - The Evergreen Star

A post dedicated to a true legend of Indian cinema. By the time I came into being his heyday may have been gone but the legend was very much there. His recent films may have been eminently forgettable which is probably a good thing since they should not take the gloss of the exemplary work he did in the 1950's, 60's and 70's. Probably the greatest style icon - his pose on the stage while collecting the Dad Sahab Phalke award from APJ Abdul Kalam is unforgettable.

RIP Dev Anand - a true cinema legend. I am not qualified to write/comment upon such a personality. What I can do is compile a list of my personal favorite Dev Anand numbers. 

In no particular order here goes

1. Main Zindagi Ka Saath Nibhata Chala Gaya - (Hum Dono) - A song which is probably everyone's favorite Dev Anand number and also in every one's greatest Hindi film songs list.

2. Phoolon Ke Rang Se - (Prem Pujari). Song appears on radio/TV and you have to sing along to it

3. Kabhi Khud Pe Kabhi Halat Pe - (Hum Dono). Perfect comment on life

4. Hai Apna Dil To Awara -  (Afsana). A great number on the mouth-organ

5. Wahan Kaun Hai Tera - (Guide). Probably SD Burman's best sung song. Also sets the tone for a brilliant movie.

6. Kya Se Kya Ho Gaya - (Guide). If your life suddenly hits a terrible phase, the song appears somewhere in the mind's playlist.

7. Ye Dil Na Hota Bechara - (Jewel Thief). A fun song for the road. Just wondering where he found that fish.

8. Phoolon Ka Taaron Ka - (Hare Rama Hare Krishna). Dedicated to everyone's sister.

9. Di Ka Bhanwar Kare Pukar - (Tere Ghar Ke Saamne). Innumerable quizzes have had this question in the video clips section. Where is this song shot? (Ans - Qutub Minar)

10. She Ne Khela He Se Aaj Cricket Match - (Love Marriage). Totally surprised that in a cricket mad country like ours this song is hardly heard.

10 is a very insufficient number to capture my personal favorites. I can count many many more. 
RIP Dev Anand

Saturday, December 03, 2011

The Short Story

For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn.

6 words, that's all, make up the shortest story ever. The author - Ernest Hemingway.
6 words tell a story. It has a beginning, a middle and an end. But there are many items just open for interpretation. And everyone can have their own.  The six words (somehow am unable to refer to it as a story) open up a lot of questions.
  • Why are the shoes for sale? (The seller doesn't need them)
  • Why were they never worn? (They are stolen from expectant parents OR Maybe the baby never came into being OR never lived long enough to need them)
  • Who is the seller? (A thief OR A pawnshop OR the would-have-been parents)
  • Why only the shoes? Are there any other items also? (No answers here)
Lots of unanswered questions here, and there could be more. The words in ( ) are what I think might be the probable answers. Probably lots of stories can be woven out of these six words.

All I can conclude is Hemingway was certainly having lots of fun at his readers' expense.