Thursday, June 28, 2007

Keeping track - technology help

The internet has literally exploded in our faces, and blogging is one of the main
detonators, if I may use the term. With an ever increasing number of people turning to
blogging; an increasing number of posts end up online and for people who follow a number of
blogs, this is a veritable nightmare. Add to that the number of newspaper and magazine
articles which are quoted and linked to and commented upon by bloggers. Fear not, RSS (not
the Nagpur headquartered, but the internet head quartered) is here to help!!

This entry is going to be about a feed reader called i-fetch. This is a nervous footstep in
the world of technology reviewing, and i have Shweta to thank for this. She blogs

i-fetch is developed by Ideafarms. It's part of an information management suite and this is
what the salient features of i-fetch look like:

- Reduces bandwidth requirements: Good, but with ever growing bandwidth I guess this is not
a very crucial feature.

- Collects information at a single interface: Nice!!

- Pull-based, not Push-based: No idea what this means!!! But I can hazard a guess; it trawls
the web for the articles useful to me, rather than "sending out trumpets" blaring about itself
and collecting articles which have a keyword/link associated with i-fetch.

- Groups information conveniently: Desirable feature, no application can do without this

- Integrated browser: Again, more of a "should have" rather than an "additional feature".

- Auto discovery of feeds: Nice, but suppose it returns feeds that I don't want?

- Support for RSS, Atom & Rdf formats: Cool

- OPML Support: Any support is welcome

- Quick search: Again, "should have" feature

- Predefined with 20 popular feeds: Hmm, this is subject to individual users. If I don't
have any favourites, these 20 will be a starting point; but if I have 20 or more
replacements, I can either add them to these predefined feeds; or if I'm in a really bad
mood, can delete the predefined and substitute my own!! As You Like It, as Shakespeare would

Also do check out the help feature for i-fetch. The interface seems pleasant, the help
feature is detailed and deep, with relevant links provided for explaining terms etc.

Recommendation: Looks good, give it a try!! A free download is also available.

Confession: I have not personally tried it; mainly because I have a set of blogs which I
follow and then just randomly branch out to other articles. Suffice to say, I like to be a
random surfer. But, a part of me says, give i-fetch a try.............................

PS: Also check out their Sudoku application.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Sunday, June 24, 2007

A letter to Mr. Kailash Vijayavargiya, Madhya Pradesh PWD and IT minister

Dear Sir,

This is with reference to the hue and cry that you have raised over the matter concerning a contraceptive/protective device manufactured by Hindustan Latex.

Yes, it's a Condom, Yes, it's a sex toy.. Its called Cre'zen'do

According to what I have been reading in the papers, you have said that the condoms have metamorphosed into sex-toys and for added measure you have said, "And sex toys can have serious repurcusisons on the Indian way of life".

Further you have gone on to put your foot in your mouth by saying, "The government should promote family planning and not something that is meant to give your partner pleasure."

Pray excuse me sir, let me have a hearty laugh clutching my stomach and get back to you. HA HA HA HA HA.. ROTFLMAO.... Yeah, I'm back.

Which age are you living in, sir? Sex has always been about pleasure. Can you come out in public and say with 100% honesty that you have never fantasised about how pleasurable sex could be? Let's not hear bull-shit like how 'decent' you were, "Auraton par aankh bhi nahin uthake dekhtatha". Enough!!

You politicians are forgetting one basic fact that your ban of stuff like condoms is going to result in a baby boom. Your priority should be sex education where you teach stuff like

1. how not to treat females like mere sex objects - to males
2. how to be aware of the right to say no to sex - to females
3. understanding of the economic strain in having huge families - to both males and females
4. the deadly nature of AIDS, Syphilis etc - again, to both males and females

Oh sir, I forgot. Sex education is bad right? It corrupts youth right? Tut, tut; where have we landed ourselves? Sex education is bad, pleasurable sex is bad; sex toys are bad; but yet, the population of this god damn country has to be controlled. What do we do, sir? Organise masturbation shibirs/shakas? Prohibit sex? Make homosexuality compulsory? Abolish artificial fertilisation clinics?

Whatever it may be sir, let it be called Cre'Swift'do, Cre'xing'do or even Cre'scorpio'do;let it do whatever it's supposed to do; whats it got to do with you?

All that apart, who are you to interfere in others' bedroom affairs? Every couple has a right to decide their own means of making love. Assume for instance someone were to legislate on how you should make love? Suppose I were to visit your bedroom and carry out a process mapping of your 'roll in the hay', and give you revised procedures/processes how would you feel?

So, shut the fuck up and concentrate on your department - PWD and IT. We all know the condition of your state's roads and IT set up. Look at what you can do there, not in others' bedrooms!!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Songs and Pictures

" They" say that a picture is worth a thousand words!!! Is it? And how much is a word worth? Ask Wordsworth, "they" say? Maybe I should. 2/5th of this blog entry is on nature; and who else better than the nature poet to consult? Alas, I cannot; because he is "Khallas"!!!

Why haven't "they" tried to superimpose the two? "They" have, haven't they? What do you think music videos are? An amalgam? A mixture? A compound? An alloy? Should be some beautifully screwed foursome-indulging molecule like Methane (CH4). How else would you explain the fusion of vision and sound? Two necessities, two different energy forms, two unequally matched sensory cousins. If such disparate cousins could get along, why couldn't the Pandavas and Kauravas make peace? The answer, my friend lies in the (300,000,000)^2 separation factor between mass and energy. Thats what separated the Pandava-Kaurava enimity from the vision-hearing togetherness.

In such circumstances, along came Fotocommunity. Their idea, as I have lifted form their website is as below

The idea behind this project is to match a song of your liking to a
photograph that you have taken. Please add the lyrics so that we, your audience,
can see what you associate with your photograph.

Since the contest is closed, my blog is my only hope!!! So, now to indulge in some sono-pictorial fetishes; all pictures taken in Bombay on June 10th.

1. Setting sun @ Marine drive

Song: Daylight, Coldplay

To my surprise and my delight

I saw sunrise I saw sunlight (Did I? I thought I had mentioned sunset, Nevermind!!!)

I am nothing in the dark

And the clouds burst to show daylight

2. Waves beating against the protective stones lining Marine Drive

Song: Sea of Stories, Zebediah Plush
PS: Don't those stones look like a methane molecule?

The stone design brings another song to my mind, "Yaava Shilpi Kanda Kanaso"

3. Ceiling Lights at the World Trade Centre, Cuffe Parade, Mumbai
Song: Clocks, Coldplay


....go out and I can't be saved
Tides that I tried to swim against
Have brought me down upon my knees

Oh, I beg, I beg and plead.........
You're the fuckin WTC after all, such asymmetry may be good for photography, but not for people straining their eyes to watch gamers battle it out on their monitors!!!
And yeah, for the record, I am a Quake voyeur!!!
Next project: to describe some words with photographs!!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Watch Sivaji. Not for the story, not for Thalaivar's gravity-defying stunts, not for the comedy and certainly not for the morals. Then why? For these two lovely ladies. Ippudu choodu :-D

1. Nayantara

2. Shriya - no words to describe her, she's flawless!!!


Monday, June 18, 2007

Hindustan ka Dil Dekho

Folks, if you have not watched the ad for MP Tourism, here's your chance to do so. Catchy, hummable lyrics. Wonderfully executed!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Egg on the BCCI's face; lets egg on whoever threw it

Finally, someone screwed the BCCI; and as cleanly as it can get. It was something awaited for a long long time. From time immemorial these slimy rascals have been throwing their weight around, dictating terms to players, coaches, television channels, boards of other countries and surprisingly, they even managed to rake in the moolah for all their farting.

Now, making money is no sin. But not utilising the money for legitimate and necessary purposes is a crime. For starters, BCCI does not have a website of its own. For any information, one has to either go to Wikipedia or visit this unofficial site which resembles one of those elaborately designed blog sites through which people either keep asking for forgiveness for taking a long time to put up their new template, keep thanking the people who helped them or keep thanking people who liked the new design. Can any organisation be so unprofessional in this new millenium which is defined by Information Technology? Just to put things in perspective, Zimbabwe whose cricketing structure has been destroyed by politics has a website, and a very pleasant one at that.

Another area where the BCCI has failed to utilize the vast ocean of money it commands, is the improvement of facility in stadiums. See any match played in Australia/England and compare them to the matches played in India. The contrast is stark. Do you think you could "enjoy" the experience of watching a match at the stadium unless you are one of those privileged pass holders or are able to get hold of the VIP seats? Hell, going by the scenario wrt public toilets in India, I could also be forgiven to think that the BCCI is not bothered about the existence/state of toilets in the stadiums.

Training facilities for budding cricketers, a talent development program are some of the other areas where the BCCI should have pumped in money.

Instead, the money that has been hoarded by not spending on vital aspects has been used to bully opponents, buy votes and acquire an arrogant swagger. Any tom, dick and harry can occupy top positions in the organisation. I do not see a single professional cricketer in the board. Instead we have a dual tasking agriculture minister (whose advent has deteriorated both the agriculture and cricket sectors in India), businessmen, tycoons and the filthy rich lot who in my gully cricket playing days used to be represented by the neighbourhood scowl-face who used to take sadistic pleasure in ruining an entertaining evening for the boys.

The lack of professionalism was evident right from the time India were booted out of the CWC 2007. Finger pointing, a lack of urgency, a chalta-hai attitude were all evident in the BCCI's press statements. And the way they dealt with Whatmore resembled a sort of back-stabbing that usually happens in the Indian electoral scene. (I'll write about this sometime using the union elections in KREC as an example) It was at that moment that I got the feeling that finally something was brewing. All these days the unprofessionalism used to be cloaked under timely victories, a sense of "team-work" etc. This time, it was out in the open for all to see. It was there in newspapers world-wide. The arrogance that their over-flowing coffers could achieve anything became too much in-the-face for the people.

And then came the rejection by Graham Ford!!!!

After having been disrobed in public, all that remained was to garland the BCCI with slippers, blacken their face and parade them on a donkey. This, Graham Ford has achieved in style. People might say that he used the BCCI offer to up his pay at Kent, but this is precisely why the BCCI should have had a transparent process with a pool of candidates who would be evaluated. Remember how Chappell was selected?

All said and done, the BCCI's plight can be described by way of a Dire Straits song 'Telegraph Road' with minor modifications as follows:

Then came Greg Chappell
Then came The World Cup
Then came Ravi Shastri
And finally 'came' Ford
Then came the rejection and the shutting of the door
Which proved that the BCCI is an unprofesisonal board

What's the way out? The BCCI has to first admit that it's sorry for carrying out shadowy business. The selection of the next coach should start with that basic of communications called an ADVERTISEMENT inviting Expressions of Interest from interested individuals. The process should be transparent with former Indian players and present players also being provided an opportunity to have a say. And please, don't gag the captain and other team members from speaking to the media.

What has happened is a national shame, yes!! But right now, I am extremely proud of the humiliation since it has happened to that inept, slimy BCCI.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

'Spit-fire' the spitters

It was official all these days; it was statistical upto now; it was written about by foreign returned people; but now it's personal. The wretched Indian habit of spitting on the road has finally ripped apart my sad air of helplessness which was characterised by the statement, "Why are some of my fellow citizens like this?"

It's true, for any issue to affect your conscience, you need to be a victim or in my case a part-victim.

The scene: normal traffic signal at Priyadarshini signal, Chembur. Waiting for the mandatory 4-5 minute signal to turn green; when all of a sudden I find something like a red pepper flake that is generally consumed with pizza on the Mumbai Mirror that I am reading. This was simultaneously accompanied by THAT FAMILIAR SOUND; of someone spitting. Rage overtook me and as I looked out of my auto, I saw an aged man in some high end air conditioned car hastily rolling up his window.

"Bastard!!", I said, which would have appeared to him as being mouthed. A look of disgust and a shrug of my shoulders conveyed what I wanted to him. And for a change from my usual shy behaviour, I held his gaze for a full minute and wagged my finger like a primary school teacher admonishing her wards.

"Sorry", said the bastard (I hope) which appeared like being mouthed.

Such defilers should be punished by making them perform fellatio on an Ingram with the climax being that the trigger is pulled.

And holy-fuck, I bet this aged bastard would be a 'respected' individual in his society; giving fundas to the youth on how they should behave; complaining about how the BMC has fucked Bombay etc. "Arre, behenchod!! You are the problem."

Thank You God for saving my white shirt!! Thank You Mumbai Mirror for handling THAT flake.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Prairie Wedding

This song is the one that's got to be the signature song of guys whose fate is to have an arranged wedding. And just for the record, please don't draw any parallels with me.

Artist: Mark Knopfler
Album: Sailing to Philadelphia

We only knew each other by letter
I went to meet her off the train
When the smoke had cleared and the dust was still
She was standing there and speaking my name
I guarantee she looked like an angel
I couldn't think of what I should say
But when Adam saw Eve in the garden
I believe he felt the selfsame way

I handed her up on the wagon
And I loaded up her trunk behind
She was sitting up there with the gold in her hair
And I tried to get a hold of my mind

Do you think that you could love me Mary
Do you think we got a chance of a life
Do you think that you could love me Mary
Now you are to be my wife

We finally headed out of the station
And we drove up the home trail
And when we came on the farm she laid a hand on my arm
I thought my resolution would fail
And I froze as she stepped in the doorway
Stood there as still as could be
I said I know it ain't much, it needs a woman's touch
Lord she turned around and looked at me

Do you think that you could love me Mary
Do you think we got a chance of a life
Do you think that you could love me Mary
Now you are to be my wife

We had a prairie wedding
There was a preacher and a neighbor or two
I gave my golden thing a gold wedding ring
And the both of us said I do
When the sun's going down on the prairie
And the gold in her hair is aflame
I say do you really love me Mary
And I hold her and I whisper her name

Do you think that you could love me Mary
Do you think we got a chance of a life
Do you think that you could love me Mary
Now you are to be my wife

Lyrics apart, the song is so so so so seductive. You just got to hear it