Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Happy Independence Day

Nice day this Independence Day. Comes regularly on the 15th of August, giving one a well deserved break. This day, along with New Year and Republic Day forms the three MOST IMPORTANT days for media companies. They can publish all kinds of stories and conduct worthless surveys. In the xth year of our Indepence or the yth year of the Republic of India; it becomes so much easier to begin the first sentence of the article. Good bye writers' block! The more ingenuous among the journalists can probably recycle the crap that they wrote last year.

Its all the same anyway. Bejan Daruwala announces that India will become a super power in 2020. Nice number 2020. 20 years ago, it was probably 2000. The poor chap will be unemployed when we actually become one. Then there are the inane surveys which I could whip up in less than hour. They are usually conducted by impressive sounding agencies. I mean, if IBN-ABC-XZY-DADS conducted a survey, would you have any reason to disbelieve them ? If you are ToI, you can probably publish the same stuff as the results of the survey in Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai etc etc in the Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai times respectively. Who cares any way, the survey was there just to fill up the blanks around the ads.

Another interesting aspect of this year's media circus is CNN-IBN's stories on the most significant blah in the last 60 years. I mean, why go back all 60 years and do the hard stuff of calculating everything all over again. Use an algorithm as below

  1. Assume you already have the list for the past 50 years. (Of course you would - if you hadnt dished out mindless crap over the last 10 years, you would be out of business).
  2. Assume that the ordering of events doesnt change. Now this is a very important assumption, which is mostly valid. I mean, if in 1997, you decided that the 1983 World Cup win was more important than the 1992 reforms, the ordering shouldnt change today right ?
  3. Now just pick 2-3 random events from the past decade. You neednt pick more than 2-3 because all of independent India's history was not created in the past 10 years. Otherwise the list might be changed to "Events of the past decade" rather the past 60 years.
  4. Randomly insert them in the previous list.
  5. Profit!!

In the midst of the all hype, you have nonsensical chain messages floating around. Everyone on Orkut should change their profile pic to the Indian flag. WTF!?!! How does it change anything, except show that Indians are a bunch of childish school children who refuse to grow up. The very people who put these flags will not think twice before paying bribes or jumping lines and pulling a few strings or defaulting on tax. Well some might, but not a whole lot of them. So why this yearly charade ? I-Day has become a sad farce, where politicians mouth usual slogans and media publishes the same stories. The aam aadmi gets shafted as usual. Life continues.

In life, nothing is inevitable but change, but apparently someone forgot to tell our politicians and media about it.

PS: I had a brainwave that I will repost this article on the 26th of January. If no chain message is floating around, I'll send out one myself. :)

Sunday, August 05, 2007


I was never a big music fan and despite some of my friends being the most accomplished musicians in the insti, I don't know how to play even a single instrument (save blowing my trumpet). But this philistine attitude of mine didn't prevent songs from leaving indelible impressions on my mind. On hearing certain songs, I am transported back in time, because of of these songs was associated with a particular phase/incident of my life. And repeatedly listening to those songs at that period probably caused permanent damage to my brain! Some songs which I can recall are:

  • Random kiddy songs : early childhood, when I had lots of tapes with songs/stories for children.
  • Bhajans: Ram chandra kah gaye siya se ... These words bring back shivering cold, foggy mornings of Delhi. The driver of the school bus used to put them on in the morning. For some reason, I cannot recollect him playing this tape in the summer mornings.
  • Songs from Taal : Remind me of a trip to Haridwar. Kept playing the tape over and over again, for a period of 3-4 days.
  • Songs from Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai : Torrid summer months of 2000, which were spent going to FIITJEE. This movie seemed to find flavour with loads of bus drivers. Special mention: Dul Hum Le Jaayenge - A movie starring Salman and Karishma.
  • Dil Chahta Hai and Lagaan: First few weeks of first sem in IIT. Listening to these songs brings back memories of the hot summer months, when I would come back to my room from the insti, passing through A-Parallel where the songs would be blaring.
  • Raaz and Filhaal: The winter months of the aforementioned sem. Laddu Singh played these again and again, day in and day out. There was a time when I knew the lyrics of Jo bhi Kasme Khai Thi by heart. Fortunately, that evil time has passed.
After this point, lots of ppl got PCs and everyone had their own choice of music. No longer were people forced to listen to the latest Hindi movie songs as the LAN had come to their rescue. Recently, with the popularity of Himmesh, all songs have started sounding pretty much the same too (oooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu huzoooooooooooooor).

Commentors are welcome to reply with songs which were popular at other points of time the hostel.