Monday, April 26, 2010

Join the bird-talk

I'm compelled to write this post for the sake of a friend who has vowed to bring down twitter sometime in the future.(he is a budding engineer in the I.T department)Yes so strong is his hatred for this hip and happening micro-blogging site that he avoids it like some kind of deadly flu virus.

Reason: He is prejudiced 'cause he had a brief but bad twitter experience.He had the misfortune to follow people who tweeted stuff like 'hmm just woke up....now planning to wash my face' followed by 'washed my face...now planning to brush my teeth'.
You get the picture don't you?
Anyway it's not only him.Many of my virtual and non-virtual friends who still haven't grasped the concept of 'tweeting' have mixed feelings for this rising new trend.So this post is aimed at giving such people a clearer perspective.Not that I'm much of an ace tweeter or anything...but I'd like to share my views nonetheless.

Why tweeting is hip

1)Twitter is the hub of breaking news.If you are wise enough to follow the official accounts of CNN or BBC or NDTV and newspapers like Hindustan Times or magazines like India Today you will find news reaching you even faster than most television channels.A lot of our famed journos and news channel anchors like Barkha Dutt,Rajdeep Sardesai,Sagarika Ghose,Vir Sanghvi,Dr Prannoy Roy of NDTV also have active accounts on twitter so not only will you be able to keep track of incoming news but also analysis of international as well as national developments.And when they have time they reply to you as well.

2)Twitter is an efficient medium of locating like-minded people just like any other social networking site.It's just that the difference lies in the fact that twitter offers you much more privacy than sites like Orkut,My Space,LinkedIn or even Facebook.Here the possibility of random 'creeps' stalking you becomes much less.People will only keep track of you if your tweets are worth being followed.

3)Twitter has been embraced by all kinds of celebrities-bollywood and hollywood actors,authors,directors,teen idols,sportspeople,music artists,famous chefs,team managers to even politicians and world leaders.So now you have the option of  following your favorite celeb's tweets and even interacting with them.

Personal thoughts:In my opinion most Bollywood and Hollywood actors tweet complete crap.Mostly they'd tweet something along the lines of 'Finished the shoot of insert-movie-name...now going to the gym'.Well frankly speaking we might enjoy watching the movie sometime in the future but hearing about it being shot is not ONE bit interesting.And nor do we care about your exercise regimen.What's worse some tweet like total dumbasses 'it ws mah 29th bde ...hd lts f fun..thnks fr al d gud wishs pals..' -the torture doesn't end here.In order to complete the sentence he tweets a second time in the similar I-can't-type-out-entire-words pattern.
Super annoying!
Shahid Kapur,my hawt as hell Shahid Kapur, tweets like that. *sob* *sob*
Sorry honey I don't dig guys who can't type out a proper sentence.
Well but you are hot.Take that as consolation! :P

However don't get disheartened for there are plenty of celebrities who make sense.I advise you to follow Shekhar Kapur,Rahul Khanna,Gul Panag,Anupam Kher,Karan Johar(well I don't follow him 'cause I'm a Kjo hater)Shashi Tharoor(yes yes the controversy aside his tweets SHOULD be followed)Jim Carrey,Ashton Kutcher,Al Yankovic(Weird Al Yankovic,yes),Russell Brand(yes Katy Perry's husband-to-be)Ricky Martin,Mandy Moore and a few others.
They tweet on world events.And sometimes their sense of sarcasm just cracks you up...especially Jim Carrey,Ashton Kutcher,Al Yankovic and Russell Brand excel in that.
(please add your favorite names in this category)



4)Twitter is the perfect place to let yourself be heard and express your opinions on absolutely anything and everything.Be prudent and follow people from your country and timeline who tweet sense.Follow people and organizations from other countries you want to keep track of.Even accounts of google,youtube,blogger and other famous sites are on twitter.

5)Finally twitter is the perfect way of promoting your blog or website,if you have one that is.Via sites like twitterfeed or tweetfeed you can enable auto publishing of your latest blog post along with a shortened version of the link.Care to put a twitter badge on your site or blog so that your readers are directed back to your twitter account.

Tweeting has been made more efficient and easier with the arrival of browser add-ons and software such as Echofon,Seesmic,Twitter widget for Opera,Tweetdeck,Digsby,yoono and so on.Use the one which suits your needs perfectly.Lastly if you're looking forward to increasing your number of followers then visit twittercounter.This site enables you to follow featured users automatically and hence the chance of others following you back grows.

Although if you want to have a meaningful twitter experience I suggest you go the slow and straight way.

A WORD OF CAUTION:There's a force on twitter which goes by the name of 'Justin Bieber fanbase' or 'Beliebers'.Steer clear of them at all costs.Or you might just die of boredom and annoyance.Avoid Justin Bieber too...(all this applies if you are NOT a fan)

And last but not the least,avoid being a complete doofus like a certain suspended chairman of a major sporting franchise and don't tweet something which might come back to haunt you later. :P

So what are you waiting for?Join the conversation and start tweeting now.(Darn twitter should pay me for this)
Do share your views about twitter and mention your favorite tweeting celebrities and people you like following.

P.S:Follow ME. (:P)

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Soul of a Woman

  You'll never know how I feel deep within-
For this crazy heart of mine-
Is like a bottomless ocean full of mysteries.
The deeper you plunge into it,
The more lost you'll feel.

My heart is like a simmering volcano-
Of bubbling rage and resentment.
But at times it is a haven of peace and quiet,
Just like a soothing Autumn breeze.

I spend sleepless nights weaving dreams-
Or dealing with my hidden fears.
And sometimes I just think about you-
Sometimes I shed silent tears.

I may not utter words at times-
To let you know how I feel.
But I might say it all through my eyes.
Be sure to keep yours on me.

I bask in the resplendence of the sun.
I'm a bird of the abundant skies.
Do not try to hold me down.
For I'll always,inevitably break free.


P.S:A salute to the irrepressible spirit of womanhood.
P.P.S: It seems inspiration always hits me when I'm studying.Life's a travesty!

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Changing times,Changing priorities

Just a week back when I was enjoying another regular autorick ride on my way back from college I was graced by the presence of a lovey-dovey couple as my co-passengers. I felt momentarily relieved.
Reason: Anyone else apart from a fat, lecherous middle-aged guy who tries to nudge you with his elbows or lean on you is welcome to sit beside you...
But then my relief changed to horror as soon as I realized that this couple were rather PDA-hit than lovey-dovey. (I hope you get my drift)

Now that is all fine since it's a free country. And no matter how irritating or atrocious it might seem to someone else there's no rule against cuddling up with your partner in public places.(THERE SHOULD BE ONE!!)
But what if the guy's hand brushes against your shoulder every time he puts his arm around his girl? (She was sitting in the middle)

In the hot,humid weather imagine how icky it would feel to experience another sweaty human's touch. Ugh!
So at this point of time I turned my head to glare at them but meh who am I kidding? They were too busy feeling each other up to pay any attention to my obvious wrath. I really wanted to summon all my courage and tell them a loud 'GET A ROOM for Christ's sake'. Instead I ended up taking out my cell phone and pretending to text a non-existent contact. Awkward.

See you people might think of me as a prude after this but haven't all of you been in similar situations where you're forced to watch the rough equivalent of a live pornographic flick?
That day when I came back home I was too tired to recount the story to anyone but I couldn't help wondering how cheap love relationships have become these days.

While chatting up with a very close friend of mine I got to know about one of his friends who cares to brag about how many times a month he 'does it' with his girlfriend. Sometime he is even forced to listen to the details.
Let me know if I'm living in a different century altogether....but aren't exercising discretion, having mutual respect for each others' feelings and keeping private things private part of such relationships?
I thought India was a country whose social structure was a matter of envy to the west. The way we view family, relationships and place importance on moral well-being over material comforts has always been one of our greatest strengths. But do we, the present generation, have any respect for our strictly Indian principles anymore?



These days I'm pained to look around me and find people who are so engrossed in living a fast life that they're choosing to ignore everything else. A person prefers to work in any place which offers better job benefits rather than follow his heart and commit to a job of his liking. An increased number of divorces and frequent break-ups are the order of the day.
Like another friend of mine joked the other day....'Pretty soon cheating on your partner will be the in-thing to do.'

Has something gone fundamentally wrong with us? Or is this the American effect? Are we blindly imitating their culture without giving it a second thought?
India is an emerging nation but is this economic growth stunting us on another level where we're rejecting character traits like honesty, decency, self-restraint? Are we losing our morals while trying to make fast money and crossing out another item from our 'wish-list'?
Do mull over this and let me know your thoughts.

P.S: PDA=Public Display of Affection(just in case....)
And I was being sarcastic when I said I was 'enjoying my autorick ride'.
Autorick drivers=Worst Nightmares

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Phone-phobia

On a gruelling summer afternoon when I was sitting on my bed trying to solve some apti problems mom came into my room unannounced and said : 'Let's go out for a hindi movie...'
(she has an aversion to most Hollywood flicks)
I looked in the direction of our windows and made a face.
'It's almost 40 degrees today....you still wanna go out?
She shrugged and said 'I don't mind..it's been a while since you watched a movie with me.'
Now let me tell you..during the summer months I'm always in full-on lazybones mode. So in case you don't have a bull-dozer or crane at your disposal you can't make me budge from my room. No way.
But on this occasion I was in a dilemma.
Solution: Download and watch. (Lame, I know)

And so we did.But lamentably enough we have had total duds at the box-office so far this year (with the exceptions of My Name Is Khan which was half-decent and Ishqiya which I haven't seen yet)
So with our limited options we decided to opt for Karthik Calling Karthik which had garnered mixed response from all sides. And this is where the main story...err movie review begins.

Synopsis: Karthik is the quintessential wimp who can never bring himself to say no...be it to his landlord or boss or colleagues. Constantly being taken advantage of by others he seeks solace in day-dreaming about the hot Shonali Mukherjee in office,writing her romantic mails and saving them as drafts. Such is the state of his sorry life. But then things change when he gets a mysterious call from someone claiming to be well.....Karthik!? The 'other' Karthik motivates him to take control of his life and turn it around.He promises to teach him how.
And so in typical Bollywood-ishtyle our new Karthik gets a make-over done and takes sweet revenge on everyone who has so far made life difficult for him. He even succeeds in persuading Shonali to go out with him and manipulating his boss to upgrade his status in office.
Everything was hunky-dory until he made the mistake of telling Shonali about the mysterious late-night caller when he had been specifically asked to keep the story of the calls a secret. This angers the 'other' Karthik to such an extent that he starts making threatening calls and vows to bring the real Karthik down.


That's about it. If I'm to divulge more then I'd end up spoiling the movie for others although I guess for most of you this is already a 'stale tale' and besides there's not much left to guess anyway.

KCK could've been a really good movie with its theme of a made-famous-in-movies mental disorder. But it ends up being a forgettable take on schizophrenia due to the immature handling of the plot.
Karthik is supposedly an IIM topper and yet he is shown sitting inside one of those narrow cubicles like an ordinary clerk.(o_O beware CAT aspirants!) And also by a silly twist of fate he turns out to be the only one who knows how to renew a builder's license quickly when his boss had conveniently forgotten about the deadline. Let me recount another extremely idiotic sequence:
Shonali to her boyfriend(one before Karthik) who was already married with a kid: How could you not tell me about this sooner?
Doofus boyfriend: Well..then you wouldn't have been my girlfriend no?
Shonali (with a WTF expression on her face): What?
Slap.Slap.Slap.
Er hello Mr Director(debutante Vijay Lalwani) did you take your viewers to be utter morons or something?

Another weak link in the movie would be Deepika Padukone(duh!).Yea yea I know all you guys out there fawn over how she is the epitome of sensuality and go ga-ga over her dimpled smile, but have any of you ever paid attention to her 'eenglish' dialogue delivery?
I really can't describe it but just by listening to it for a couple of seconds makes me wanna run her over with an aforementioned bull-dozer.
And besides she should really put some meat on 'em bones...her bare back looks disastrous in that halter-neck dress she wore during a night-club scene.
Her zero chemistry with Farhan Akhtar doesn't help matters either .Instead of adding spice to the movie the romantic scenes come off as annoying and a distraction from the central theme.

(By the time the crisis in Karthik's life deepens my mom was already dozing off and I was battling yawns that were threatening to defeat my resolve of watching the movie in one sitting)

Now about Farhan Akhtar let me tell you, I liked him in Rock On and Luck By Chance but somehow he couldn't breathe life into Karthik's character in this movie. And his cracked, husky voice induces irritation at times especially when you can't make out what he is saying over the phone.
The last 30 minutes of the movie are its best when Karthik takes matters into his own hands to deal with this menace in his life.The ending was alright...as realistically done as possible.

All in all I'd give KCK a 5/10...which is quite generous by my standards.


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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Goodbye,rain-drenched night

She fidgeted with the pillow and changed sides restlessly.
Closing her eyes she tried to drive away the disturbing images from her head but failed woefully at it.

Sleep was eluding her tonight.

Outside the confines of their apartment the elements of nature seemed to be wreaking havoc.

The rain lashed against her window-panes like a merciless whip and the thunder roared louder than ever. After a few more minutes she finally gave up on her feeble attempts at catching some shut-eye. The chiming of the wall-clock informed her that it was 2 in the morning. Sliding off her bed soundlessly she made her way towards the balcony.

By this time the rain had slowed down to a somewhat steady drizzle. Stretching her arms over the railing Akangsha looked into the face of the rain-drenched night.

An ominously dark grey sky seemed to be hovering above the world....threatening to break its peaceful stance.

The entire neighborhood along with its residents were in dreamland, no doubt enveloped in the cosiness brought about by the cool, damp weather.
In the room next to hers her workaholic mother was deep in sleep.
Akangsha wondered how her surroundings could look so calm and tranquil when deep inside utter chaos prevailed.

She crossed her arms and hugged herself tightly as if in a vain attempt to keep everything from falling apart. It was hard to imagine that things had been so normal two weeks back...when she had been so blissfully unaware of the devastating truth that would turn her world upside down.

With her right hand she checked her pulse.
Yes there it was. The other heartbeat. The gentle thrum-thrum of life that was breathing within her now...

She bent forward and inhaled the heady scent of moist earth.
Some things never changed. The smell was still as intoxicating as ever.
Suddenly her face broke into a half-smile as she let out a deep sigh.

Closing her eyes she glimpsed her father's face...the way her mother used to laugh incredulously when he cracked a silly joke.
Memories were such a gift to the human psyche....Just by closing her eyes she could go back to the good old days when they were one small but happy family.
Even if all of it had been a beautiful, lucid dream that was lost forever in the spiral of time.

If only she could have kept on dreaming for a while longer...
If only her dad had shared his health problems with both of them...if only her mom had given her a bit more time when she had nobody to talk to...if only she could go back to being the simple straight-A high-school student that her parents were so proud of...if only she could be given another chance at making things right.

If only she hadn't lost herself to desire that day...The irony in the fact that her name meant 'desire' made her smile bitterly once again.

Life couldn't possibly go on when so many 'if-only'-s were involved, right?

The spectacle of the mysterious, rainy night left her intrigued and mesmerized beyond words. The sound of the falling water-drops accumulating in puddles on the road felt like music to her ears.

The night was beautiful. Life was beautiful.
It had always been. She had only been the fool not to have realized it any sooner.

Akangsha decided to spend as much time as she could watching the rains that night.

After all she wasn't going to be there to watch the onset of the next spell of shower.

A bead of tear trickled down her right cheek as she whispered 'I'm sorry,mom'. Just when it had started to rain heavily again.


P.S:Just in case any of you had difficulty understanding the theme...this story centers around teen pregnancy and the thoughts of the protagonist who is contemplating suicide.
I know it's an incredibly sad piece but then again all this happens in real life all the time.
Take a look at this article.It contains statistics regarding teen pregnancies in our country.
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