An attempt to Rejuvenate Humanity..

My visit to Cheshire Home, located in the sprawling outset of Tiruvanmiyur, is simply an attempt to rejuvenate myself, as an individual and more importantly, to redeem the social and human values, embedded within me. It has indeed been an enriching experience, ever since I started visiting this Home few years back. There is a unique serenity about this place, that fascinates me and spending some time amongst them makes me feel very relaxed, there is an utmost level of satisfaction that I continue to experience. My contribution might be very trivial as a whole, but it certainly helps in viewing life from a very different perspective altogether.
I have always believed that we all have lot of compassion within us, but thanks to the inevitable and insatiable desires of the human creed, we simply do not realise, that these are some of the most inherent qualities that a human being possesses. And we need to revitalise these feelings within us, in a timely manner.
I guess, this is my way of doing justice to what we actually are, ordinary people with extraordinary emotions, shared implicitly within ourselves.
I am definite and I pray that this desire of mine never gets extinct, throughout my life.

People, Kindly Spare Some Time to Read This Email. Let’s Help this Person (Strictly NOT in Financial Terms).

From: brigadier. ptgangadharan <>

Date: Wed, Dec 31, 2008 at 1:35 PM
Subject: PLEASE HELP!!
To: “R/ Adm. Sanjiv Kapoor , Delhi” <>

Hello friends,

I have a very noble cause behind sending this mail to all of you.Please spare some time to read through it.
I met a guy named Mr. Ravi Shankar on the train when I was returning from chennai on 26th of December, 2008. I was having a regular chat with him regarding the Army and its rules and regulations and how the forces are admired in our country.
He then told me about a shocking tragedy that his family went through and hence I write this mail to you seeking your help.
He told me that he was posted in CAR-NICOBAR in the year 2004 as a seargent in the INDIAN AIR-FORCE. On 26th of december that year his family fell victim to the Unfortunate Tsunami that struck out eastern coast.He along with his wife and two children(photo attached) were washed in the deadly waters.Reaching out his wife managed to cling onto a tree but his small son(picture insight on the left)had swallowed too much water and passed away in her arms.
Ravi also in desperation to swim lost grip of his daughter’s(APURVA) hand. She was washed away and was never to be found again,until one day they came to know of her being sighted at a relief camp. On contacting the authorities they came to know that this little girl was abducted from the relief camp and was missing again. Since then Mr. Ravi shankar has been travelling to chennai every year with a hope to see his daughter.
He has been publishing MISSING columns in major daily’s in chennai,and he showed me how heavily these newspapers had a charged him for a those ad’s. One of the major newspapers charged him a whooping amount of 12000 rupees for a 4 X 4 cm ad(that too on the fourth page). Please do not consider this mail a regular chain mail and do care to forward this to your near and dear ones. He requested me to do something to reach out to people who use e- media (internet etc.).I myself have posted her picture on my blog and i request people who own there personal blog pages to post this girl’s picture there as it could be of significant help. In case any news of any nature is found regarding her (APURVA) please drop in a mail at the below mentioned mail id’s or the following address. Attached picture is APURVA’s picture taken in year 2004 with her younger brother.

Kindly forward this to as many contacts as you can.

1. James mathew(
2. Amit kumar ( )
3. khem chandra pan ( )

Or contact:
SMQ – 17/2
NEW DELHI-110062
Phone no – 09868763263

‘SlumDog’ or ‘Millionaire’..?!!

I have been forced to publish this article of mine, thanks to the extraordinary ‘hype and hoopla’ created by Danny Boyle’s latest offering about a ‘Rags-To-Riches’ story, set in the background of the Mumbai’s slum dwellers.

I happened to see the movie yesterday and to be very frank, couldn’t garner many positives from the script, which in itself, I believe, is mutilated but not exaggerated.

To begin with, I must furnish a brief synopsis of what I felt about ‘SM’. An engrossing tale of a young guy from the slums who fights gangsters, nepotism and his own existence to win crores and subsequently his love, is appreciated. But I need to confess that the very treatment of the subject matter supercedes the technical aspects of the film. The flaws are extremely explicit. The greatest examples are the scenes where children in the slums suddenly switch to ‘English’ language and some people are made to speak the language, just for the sake of it. As someone who admires good cinematic values, this one reveals a lot less. I could feel that ‘American’ touch in it, which is, quite inevitable. But exploiting the grey areas, zooming them to maximum effect and portraying a nation’s values in negative shades, is something which is not acceptable.

All these shortcomings notwithstanding, there were couple of aspects which I liked. The way the answers of the questions in the game show and the guy’s upbringing in the slums were interlinked, substantiating the reason for him to know those answers, were impressive. The Cinematography was sharp, but at the same time, very piercing, to say the least.

Something which I just couldn’t digest was this particular scene where a young Jamal is beaten up by the locals after a tourist’s car was looted. The young boy says, “This is India for you.” And the woman reciprocates, saying “This is true America for you”. And then his companion pulls out his wallet and throws away some dollars to the boy. I would, rather, ask all my readers to comment on this. What did that imply? What was Mr. Danny trying to impart? I am just lost. I understand that there is a strong message conveyed in this. But was the context right? Even the scene where a younger Jamal rushes to Amitabh Bachchan for an autograph, with excreta all over him, was quite bewildering. I am still wondering about all this, especially when the entire world is going ‘gaga‘ over this movie and it is winning every possible award that it comes across.

As far as the casting and performances are concerned, I sincerely believe that some of our finest talents have been wasted. Irrfan Khan and Saurabh Shukla were hardly there. I had no clue what Raj Zutshi and Mahesh Manjrekar were doing in this flick. Anil Kapoor as the mysterious and egoistic host tried his best to be in his usual self, but had to deal with a script which was custom made. And the newcomers were decent. As far as ARR is concerned, Rahman’s genius is not new to Indians and predictably, the soundtrack and background score is outstanding. But I felt that he could have given this one a miss, especially after considering the script and editing. And I am sure that he doesn’t need a ‘Golden Globe’ or an ‘Oscar’ to prove that he is one of the best. Well, if it calls for something like ‘Global Recognition’, it could have better come through a more substantial and unbiased script. Moreover, for America, ARR’s music is new and innovative. For us, he is a household name. I guess that says it all.

I would love to see a movie winning plethora of awards, not just for entertainment, but also for a superlative script and a strong, yet appealing, social message,that’s endearing to one and all.

To sum it up, ‘SM’ could have been much better. For me, it doesn’t live up to the expectations. It’s a good attempt, but the manner in which the storyline and the charactors evolve, lacked authenticity.

Most of them are expecting that ‘SM’ will go all the way to win the ‘Academy Award’. If it doesn’t, I would be least disappointed.

Cinema: A Synopsis of Human Lives.

To start off, let me confess that I am a hardcore movie buff (that’s one of my known and disclosed passion) and the technical aspects of the film making business has always fascinated me. Every time I see a movie or whenever I ecstatic about a supreme cinematic experience, do I realize that it is, arguably, one of the most powerful medium of entertainment and communication all over the world. And pretty evidently, it has become an indispensable part of our lives.

Over the years, I have watched plethora of movies and possess a decent collection of some of the classics that I have enjoyed immensely. I am fortunate to have watched some absolute gems while some are not exactly convincing, to say the least. But I have always been a very positive individual and hence, would like to learn the good things from whatever I see and discard the negatives, if any.

One thing that I am convinced about is, that movies always depict our very own lives, directly or indirectly. They are a replica of our experiences in daily lives, with a pinch of exaggeration in it. But film making is also a human activity and it is a known fact that we as individuals, have a tendency to add more spice and salt to our depictions and performances, on stage or off stage. So, I guess, it is very natural that human nature reflects in ‘Cinema’ as well. But I am sure we all would agree that movies are inspired by human lives, great personalities (not always) and their subtle mannerisms. That’s why ‘Cinema’ exudes confidence and makes it so endearing, yet so powerful.

Great film makers, Legendary Directors, Entrepreneurs(famously known as producers) and Larger-than-Life actors. They all exist and survive due to the unique nature of human relationships and the complexities involved in our emotions. And that’s what I admire in ‘Cinema’. Personally, I like to learn something from a film and try to evolve as a person. I am not ignoring the commercial part of it or the entertainment part of it. How can I when I am so aware that ‘Cinema’ cannot do what it does without the Media, The ‘Glamour & Glitz’ that surrounds the ‘Tinsel Town’. And this aspect of it is universal. But inspite of all the commercial hoopla around, I still would prefer ‘Cinema’ as a motivating tool, as it is much more than all that. If 2 individuals become Superstars, there are 200 people behind them who make it happen. So I guess, it all boils down to ‘Hard Work’ , ‘Dedication’ and ‘Conviction’. It’s just that we get overawed by our celebrities, and prefer to ignore the dark and bitter realities, that unfold behind the screen.

I would sum it up by reinstating the fact that ‘Cinema’ is a reflection of Human Lives and not vice versa. We need to be intelligent enough to recognize this and appreciate quality stuff, we would end up admiring ‘Human Creed’ by doing so.

And I believe that I have tried my best, to adequately convey this message to all my readers :).

Cricket or Country..? The perspective.

Yes. I agree that Cricket is more than a mere sport in India, and players are more than human for most of us. Why go far, I myself have been a very passionate and critical viewer of Sachin Tendulkar’s career over the past 18 years or so and I proudly admit that I simply adore him, on and off the field.

But it’s different. This time, I am not here to talk about Cricket or Indian Cricket or any other superstar celebrity we adore, neither am I indicating at any singular sporting nation who worship their players and believe that the show must go on. This time, the spotlight is, unfortunately, on the raging battle between two mercurial nations, fighting for their pride and dignity. Yes, I am most definitely talking about India & Pakistan. The Indian Government, still trying to recover from the Mumbai disaster, has just officially announced that our ‘Indian Cricket Team’ would not be travelling to Pakistan in Jan 2009, for the scheduled series between the two nations. And, understandably, The PCB and Pakistan government are not pleased with this announcement. In fact, for the past couple of weeks, everybody starting from Imran Khan to Pervez Musharraf to the PCB President, have been quoting that India should keep up their commitments and tour Pakistan for the Goodwill of both the countries. Irrespective of whatever happened or happens in future, they are convinced that Cricket will ease the political pressure and friction between the 2 countries.

Easier said than done.

I think it is indeed very difficult and impossible at times to think about playing cricket and be commercially viable, especially when our country has been bombarded with terrorists and more so, when we have the slightest of hint that the seeds of terror were sown in a place, which used to be ours, some 60 years back. And, as an Indian, I feel that Indian government’s decision is justified. We can’t survive on double standards and be diplomatically weak, to neglect such incidents that have literally blown our nation apart.

I have been reading few articles on this of late, one of them stated that “If England can tour India, there is no reason why India can’t tour Pakistan.” I was simply stunned. What is the yardstick for placing India and Pakistan in the same league? And what are the pre-requisites for qualifying? Both are sub-continental nations, I believe the similarity ends there.

Just a day before the tour was officially cancelled, Zaheer Abbas commented that ‘PCB should not be pleading India to send their team to our country, if they are not keen in continuing their relationship with us. If they are not interested, neither are we. I have many friends in India too and they are also very fond of us. But we are not desperate’.

‘Sport’ establishes a universal bonding between a game and its people. At times, we tend to be emotional and subsequently, ignore the other side of the coin. But this time, I think, it has been much more than all that. This is the time, when we need to stand tall and take difficult decisions. And difficult decisions are always tricky, they don’t make everybody happy. It’s intended to be that way.

To sum up, I feel that all said and done, no sport or individual is bigger than it’s nation. And during times such as these, we need to stay together and act sensibly.

Microsoft looks ahead – ‘Windows 7’ in 2009

Microsoft, the undisputed giants in software and operating systems, are all set to come out with the next generation OS, Windows 7. So far, we only had a chance to look at the pre-release beta version of the same, it will be available to the users sometime next year. I, personally, have not checked it out, but the preliminary looks and features do suggest that Microsoft has strictly considered the feedback and preferences of the users above everything else, while designing it, especially after the ‘Vista’ experience.

We all have to admit that ‘Windows Vista’ has not been that popular amongst the users, as ‘XP was. Or for that matter, Windows 98 or 2000. If my opinion counts, personally, I feel that Vista is amazingly cool and visually fantastic, and I have been using it for sometime now. I do agree that it is extremely ‘security conscious‘ and outwardly rejects pirated stuff. And admirably so. I have always believed that using original software would always enhance your PC experience to a different level altogether. I still remember those days when users took some time to get acquainted to ‘Windows XP‘, when 2000 and up to some extent, Windows 98 were ruling the roost. But of course, ‘XP‘ became incredibly popular in the user fraternity. Nevertheless, we should refrain from such comparisons, as it would easily provoke me to start comparing ‘Vista’ or ‘7’ with Apple’s Mac, which again would not be fair at all. ‘Macintosh’ initiated a revolution in the world of Technology with their ‘Macs’ and ‘i-pods’, whereas Microsoft have been giants in their own domain. So I guess, it all depends on the users worldwide and what they want, something that is easy to find and much more easier to execute, in terms of their professional and personal lives.

And I am grateful to both of them(Apple & Microsoft) for providing us with such superlative technology, at our doorsteps.

It has been a treat to work in ‘Vista’ so far, I am looking forward to ‘Windows 7’ for greater durability and being more user friendly.

Welcoming ‘Windows 7’..

Global Economic Recession. How serious is it?

We all are aware of the current ‘Global Economic Recession’ that the entire world is going through. But I am really curious as to know how far would all this be affecting our lives, personally and professionally, and the entire world as a whole.

Top notch organisations like AT&T, Nokia, Sony and TCS to name a few, have adopted strict cost cutting measures to counter this current scenario, be it reduction of work force or alterations in payroll or cutting down on production costs and variable costs. Market shares of the companies have been largely inconsistent, to say the least. Not to mention, the dollar rate has been the cynosure of all eyes for the past 2 months. All this does raise a few eyebrows here and there, but I am extremely positive and hopeful about the rejuvenation of the current situation of recession. I do believe that this is probably just a passing phase and it is a matter of time before things fall into place, bringing the entire nation and the world into a state of normalcy.

After all, there is always light at the end of every tunnel.

India vs England, 1st Test in Chennai, 11-15th Dec, 2008 – Review..

Finally the test series got underway, after much deliberations between BCCI and ECB. Whether the decision taken was correct or not is debatable. Nevertheless, I leave it to my readers to answer that.

As of now, we will talk about the match, which is, heading towards a scintillating finish on the final day of the test match, at the Chepauk.

After 4 days of tense and exciting cricket, India has come close to winning the test match and obviously, on its way to a World Record. Lets see..

I am following the match closely through web and to say that I am thrilled at how the whole match has gone far, would be an understatement.

So far so good..

Wow, we just need 39 runs to achieve the impossible..!!
Dhoni must be a smiling man now.

We have won..!! That’s indeed an incredible achievement! We have done something which no other Indian team has done before in Indian soil, and chasing such a big total in fourth innings, after being in deficit in the 1st innings is no mean task.

Kudos to Sehwag who started the chase in a prolific manner and thanks to the genius of my Boss, who sealed the victory with his ton. Yuvraj’s contribution was crucial as well.

Dhoni indeed has cast a magical spell on Indian cricket, and I sincerely hope that this successful run continues.

Congratulations Indian Team..!!

That says it all. Sehwag & Sachin. Chief architects in this record breaking feat.

Mumbai Terror Attacks. The Post Mortem goes on and on..

Before & After..

The Burning Taj..

Mumbai and India are still reeling under the aftermath of the terror strikes that invaded the financial capital of India, couple of weeks back.
We seem to be recovering from this massacre, but as an Indian, I do feel that the statements ‘We have come out of it’ or ‘We will eradicate terrorism’ would be an understatement. But over the past 20 years or so, we have been saying this, haven’t we? Every time, a ruthless exhibition of terrorist activities are executed by people, who are extremely self centered and rely on baseless prejudices to justify their actions. More significantly, the people we are talking about have scant respect for human creed. And we, as Indians, are made to believe that these kind of unscruplous people are indispensable.
Shame on us..!!
I would like to share my thoughts about a movie I saw recently, closely related to this particular context. I happened to watch a film, ‘A Wednesday’, couple of months back. Most of us would have missed this, considering our preferences for watching some insane commercial potboilers. Not that ‘A Wednesday’ was unique in its genre, many movies have been made in the past with such a subject. But what enthralled me was the treatment of the subject and the manner in which the protagonist of the film was potrayed was sheer brilliance. And when I was following the terror trail in Mumbai through television, the few scenes of the movie flashed through my mind, as if these terror activities were reciprocating the virtual images of the movie. And it made us all feel so damn helpless.
And what made matters even worse, was the instant comments and reactions of our leaders (Read corrupt and worthless politicians), during and after the terror attacks. It made us feel that for this moment, probably, India has gone back to its pre-independence days, when we were in the clutches of a dominant force (Britishers then, Insiders now). Some of the comments made were extremely painful, and reflected the sorry state of our country. It again brings forth, the importance and need of Reliable, Bold and Dynamic Leaders in our country, who, unfortunately, have been fading out in this present system, which is being gradually engulfed by the nasty game of politics and equally encouraged by some of the most influential individuals in our country.
Saying that ‘we need to come out of it’ is an understatement…
We have to.
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