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Sunday, January 31, 2010

There is no why

I just finished watching the movie "Man on Wire". It is a documentary capturing Phillipe Petit's walk in between the twin towers on a wire. Phillipe Petit is a tight-rope walker or rather a tight-rope dancer who stunned the whole world by walking in between the twin towers on Aug 7, 1974.

As the wiki article says, the movie is made like a heist drama with Phillipe and his team as con men trying to pull off a big stunt. And indeed it is true. What a lovely movie!

On asked why he did it, Phillipe's answer was - "There is no why". He further adds that if you have to give meaning to an art, then you didn't get it.
James Marsh has directed this movie and it has the lovely score from the great Michael Nyman. If you have not heard Michael Nyman's compositions, please do so now.


One of the best documentaries i have ever seen. This movie is the reason why movies are such an interesting art form!

Goodby Jan2k10

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Photo time

Life without a camera is awesome but for one thing. When it comes to document some key points, i have to depend on others. And not only them, then i have to depend on myself to take it from others and add it to my list. While dependency on others is extremely reliable, it is the dependency on myself is the tricky part.

But here i am, fulfilling lost promises. Still incomplete yet something.

To start with, here are San Diego photos. All thanks to Aseem for sharing them even though he did so on facebook.

san diego trip



The next one is all of my christmas trip compiled into one album. It includes, Napa valley, San francisco, dinner at Dosa, 17 mile drive, Disneyland, Universal studios, Kodak theatre/Hollywood, Japanese tea garden and the wonderful time around Christmas.


Christmas 2009

Kate and Anna McGarrigle

How do i find songs? Some people have asked me. My answer is very simple - I am always ready to try new songs. Through facebook/social networks, through freinds recommendation, radio, tv, movies and random surfing. But of all the above, i think movies stand out the most. Most of my fav songs are OSTs of some movies and i think everytime i hear them, it reminds me of the movie which gives me an extra layer of sub conscious association with the song.

In this case, i heard about Kate and Anna McGarrigle 3 days ago on NPR radio. And it was on NPR radio because Kate had died the day before. Sad but then they played one of their songs and i had to probe further. While i do not know which song they played, i think this youtube video/songs tells a lot about their genre.
The song is Hard Times Come Again no More

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YrfLnlrquo

Let us pause in life's pleasures and count its many tears,
While we all sup sorrow with the poor;
There's a song that will linger forever in our ears;
Oh Hard times come again no more.
Chorus:

Tis the song, the sigh of the weary,
Hard Times, hard times, come again no more
Many days you have lingered around my cabin door;
Oh hard times come again no more.

While we seek mirth and beauty and music light and gay,
There are frail forms fainting at the door;
Though their voices are silent, their pleading looks will say
Oh hard times come again no more.
(Chorus)

There's a pale drooping maiden who toils her life away,
With a worn heart whose better days are o'er:
Though her voice would be merry, 'tis sighing all the day,
Oh hard times come again no more.
(Chorus)

Tis a sigh that is wafted across the troubled wave,
Tis a wail that is heard upon the shore
Tis a dirge that is murmured around the lowly grave
Oh hard times come again no more.
(Chorus)

Bob Dylan - Blowing in the wind

While sharing songs on this blog, i have generally refrained from sharing songs that are extremely good but they are in common - the idea there has been why share something that everyone knows about. Example of this is Rahman's Roja, it is cult but everyone knows about it.

While the above is true, on another hand is that it takes time for one to appreciate the greatness behind a song or an artist. First timers may feel something good but it is not until you have listened 100s of times, you can understand the so called "cultness". Bob Dylan is one such example. I have known that he is a genius for some time now but it was only recently, after i bought the CD - The Best of Bob Dylan and listened to it over and over again, i now realize that his songs are truely beautiful. I am copying one of his most popular songs - Blowing in the wind. The lyrics carry the Gulzaar-ish kind of style :), One of the features of Bob Dylan is that in many of his songs, he is able to make them lines rhyme with each other. Quite interesting how he does it.







How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
Yes, n how many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, n how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before theyre forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin in the wind,
The answer is blowin in the wind.

How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, n how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, n how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin in the wind,
The answer is blowin in the wind.

How many years can a mountain exist
Before its washed to the sea?
Yes, n how many years can some people exist
Before theyre allowed to be free?
Yes, n how many times can a man turn his head,
Pretending he just doesnt see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin in the wind,
The answer is blowin in the wind.

Songs

It may give an impression that music is fading away from my life but it is totally not true. My less frequency in writing about songs is because imeem (my fav social music network) was acquired my myspace. And all my playlists are gone now, and so are my songs.

But youtube still exists with their masterpiece idea of embedding music videos. So with this post and following ones, let me share some songs that i had been listening.

The first one in this series is a Christmas song - Do you hear what i hear.
There are many renditions of this song - I am copying the one by Carie Underwood. This song was here on radio 24x7 when Christmas time was going on. It was quite interesting to see how everything you see, hear,eat changes when chistmas time comes here.




Said the night wind to the little lamb,
Do you see what I see?
Way up in the sky, little lamb,
Do you see what I see?

A star, a star,
Dancing in the night
With a tail as big as a kite,
With a tail as big as a kite.
Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy,
Do you hear what I hear?

Ringing through the sky shepherd boy,
Do you hear what I hear?
A song, a song,
High above the trees
With a voice as big as the sea,
With a voice as big as the sea.

Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king,
Do you know what I know?
In your palace warm mighty king,
Do you know what I know?

A child, a child,
Shivers in cold
Let us bring him silver and gold,
Let us bring him silver and gold.
Said the king to the people everywhere
Listen to what I say
Pray for peace people everywhere
Listen to what I say.


The child, the child
Sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light
He will bring us goodness and light...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Movie streak

I joined netflix starting this year. After 11 months of being in corporate world, i joined netflix something that i had promised myself to do first thing when i will work. Why did i waited so long ? Because i was able to :)
But then does that mean i joined because i was no longer able to? No. I joined because i wanted to explore it.

Anyways, why i am trying to psychoanalyze myself. Here are the movies that i saw.

1. Head On - Fathi Akin's Gegen Die wand. After browsing movies for a week, it was Fatih Akin with which i started my netflix account. I had already seen Head on before (in NSIT) and had loved it. Watching it again makes it grow more. What makes it so special? (a) definitely music and the timing of music in movie (b) The unexpected story - you never know what is going to happen (c) direction and acting. But again, music is the best!

2. Boondock saints - I got excited because it was rated quite high in the indie movie circles. It is a good masala movie - the kind of action flick that i can watch without questioning it :). I think the direction/editing was the done nicely and the best performance comes from Willem Dafoe.

3. Baader Meinhoff Komplex - This last year foreign lang oscar nominee is based on RAF groups in Germany. One generation after the Hitler's generation, these college kids fight to stop Germany again become fascist nation. It is a story of RAF group, how they attacked, their motives and methods etc. All is done quite nicely but i can see why it lost in oscar race. It didnt fit the bill of being a foreign lang oscar winner. But still a good movie to watch.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Promoted!

I don't know what a promotion means in a startup - same cube, same work, same people but different compensation :) but yeah it feels good!

Had a good review, good things to improve upon.
New challenges, new opportunities in coming year!

Life in Nov22-Jan 10

Wow, what a time interval this one has been. Welcome to first Life in series of 2010 which mostly covers events that happened in 2009 end. Without any further delay, here are the highlights -

Travelogue
1. Trip to San Diego with Aman, Nandini, Gursharan, Ritesh and Aseem Batla. Fun trip! Visited Point Noma, La Jolla beach, seaport village, downtown and Seaworld at San Diego. And played a lot of cards - Literature (probably the best non-betting style game) and played lots of literature (at hotel, in car). We drove from San Jose to San Diego during night and drove back also during night. And we were playing the game in car during night as well :) Overall a great reunion and fun trip.

2. Trip to Seattle - Just 2 weeks after San Diego, i went to Seattle. Did a cool 3 hr hike. Visited Boeing factory and ate at Travellers restaurant (impressive!). And ofcourse played poker. And good discussions, meetups etc in Seattle weather. Saw snow flakes! Met Aman, Nandini, Nirmal And Piyush.

3. Trip to Napa valley - With Amit Bhaiya, Babhi and Annika. Went to Sterling Vineyards and tasted white and red wines. Due to lean season, there were no grapes and no active wine brewing but did a pseudo tour anyways. One day trip.

4. Trip to Monterey - With everyone here at Fremont. Day trip.

5. Trip to LA - With Amit Bhaiya, Bhabhi, Annika, Buaji and Uncleji. Went to DisneyLand (1.5 days), DisneyLand adventure park (0.5 days), Universal studios (1.5 days), Santa Monica Pier and downtown (0.5 days), Kodak theater and hollywood (0.5 days). Fun trip but too many things to do. But good experience - been there done that kind of a thing. Hate to admit but driving the SUV was fun!

6. With Harsh - Spent Jan 1 and 2 with Harsh. Starting off with a wonderful brunch, we visited Wisherman's wharff, Civic center, Mountain view castro street :), Santa cruz, highway 1 drive from SC to SF. Met Venkar, Nishant and Manas in the process. Awesome time. Loved the way how leisurely the trip was coming along and how normal walks in the city were enjoyable just to know the city. This can only happen with Harsh and people like him.

7. Japanese tea garden - with family. Chilling cold in SF ; the tea garden is ok. Also peaked into De Yong museum - looks very good.

Movielogue
1. Invictius - Loved it. Here is the deal - it is not the best movie ever but it is the kind of movie that makes watching movies a joy to watch - powerful story telling and acting at a slow pace. And yes this reviewer is a big fan of Eastwood and Morgan Freeman.

2. Avatar - Loved it in the first half. Hated it during second. It had the potential of being a brillaint movie. Everything was believable except the way the ending was done. Good innovation in CGI/animation but sorry Mr. Cameron, i need story!

3. Up in the air - Again a good movie by Jason Reitman (Juno fame). Technology is coming and it is taking jobs - where all can you apply this construct. Jason applies to an absurd area and makes a movie out of it. Ending was little bit let down but all in all a good movie.

4. Delhi 6. On a random morning, after briefly chatting with Gurshi (who is in delhi), readin facebook scraps of people in Delhi, in order to fill my Delhi nostalgia, i thought that i should watch Delhi 6. It is sufficient to say that after watching the movie, i no longer have the nostalgia, i no longer wish to watch any bollywood movie for a long time.

5. Chocolat - Chinese action movie about an autisitc girl who can learn martial arts moves by watching them on tv. ok movie - considered good in its genre.


Bookologue -
1. Snow - In progress
2. Untouchables - In progress.


Worklogue -
1. My mentor decided to form his own company and hence quit his current one. I wish him all the best. Exciting times for me ahead!
2. White elephant gift exchange - Had this on a friday. Idea - Every participating member will bring a gift wrapped in wrapping paper. All gifts are placed on a table. One can either choose to take a gift from table and open it or steal it from someone else. That someone else can again steal or open a new gift. Interesting game and lots of fun!

Happy New Year 2010

Yes, a new year post that is 10 days late. Sad and disappointing.

As a typical 24x7 channel, i am also going to do what they do - a look back at 2009 and plans for 2010

2009 -
1. Overall a brilliant year. If i look at the graph of my life, the past few years have been excellent with each year surpassing the previous and hence 2009 stands on top.
2. The best thing that happened - I think the best thing that happened would be me joining the mashup team at my company and after that as they say - it is history. Had i been in any other team, things would have been way different both for me and company.
3. The worst thing that happened - so i have been sitting in front of my comp for 5 mins and i can not think of anything. some bad things happened but they are not worthy enough to be mentioned here.

2010 -

1. My 2010 theme is going to be - More time for self . Yes, my current time allocation for self even though exceeds others but still is insufficient by my standards. I think the frequency of blog updates is a good metric here.
2. Good health - Need to invest in myself for having a good health in future. Lots of things to do. This should also be a year of sacrifice for me.
3. Side projects - Need to focus on my piano lessons and law course.
4. Good movies - Yes, i am forgetting what it means. Need to bring it back,
5. And ofcourse work - the best thing that happened in 2009 should reach new heights in 2010