Saturday, October 14, 2006

Finally One Good News

I think whole of Bangladesh should celeberate it more than their Cricket Team's win. Yes finally newspaper in the morning would not be drawing my eyes to broken factories, corruption, killings and 2 coalitions trying to tear the country apart.

Yes for most of the foreigners bangladesh was known for its poverty and for the informed ones it stood also for idea of micro credit story. Micro credit story which was Dr. Yunus story, begining in 1974 and today having been replicated world over.

I had heard news of his clout with worldwide top politicians and diplomats but this Nobel prize really would be much more satisfactory recognition. Beyind recognition of Dr. Yunus I think it is recognition of the idea of Micro Credit as a poverty reduction tool.

Thanks Dr. Yunus for giving a different face to Bangladesh.

( Hope all the politicians will wake up .....!!!)

Friday, September 29, 2006

The Comic project..

thanks Mukesh for digging this gem.
whole of my childhood was spent hunting, sharing, buying, begging comics :)
and now thanks to technology here we have another shot at it....
or a chance to introduce next generation to the romance of these old comic books...
i had read more of these in hindi.. hoefully will get my collection and add to this someday

link is

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Poor Kailash Kher!!!

poor kailash kher tried his best to speak about his philosphy of music, sufi etc...
but this pretty looking news hostess of zee tv who looked like battery operated remote controlled song request machine, would not let poor soul expound more than 5-6 sentences and would butt in with song request. she was like a dj playing kailash kher live on TV:)
and to make it worse while poor Kher was speaking zee was running his videos lounder than him.
why dont these channels train their hosts/ hostesses to respect the person they interview... he is there because you find him important enough to bring on your why not let the person speak!!!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Mac... i am loving it.. BUT....someone change these batteries please

Got a new Macbook Pro... thanks to Brij !!
new experience and all was going more or less cool..
then had first brush with heat of Macbook...
thank god these batteries dont blow up on you...
but they do generate enough heat.. i guess those guys who made eggs on it werent lying...

till then i bravely stuck in .. but then 3 times comp went blank on me..
after bit of peer consulting... i paid attention to my battery... it has a bit of raised surface now..

on brij's advice signed up for battery exchange... but then lo behold came 2 liner help
Apple does not directly handle service requests for your country.
Please contact your local distributor for repair arrangements.

now what ?? have to check tomorrow and see if i will be loving mac experience as i did on day one..

Update : now it crashes even when battery is 70% !!!
and i am yet to find on Apple's website listing the resellers handling their product or battery exchange in Bangladesh... shouldnt Apple have this information handy on the site ?? Laptops travel and i think Apple wants it reach to grow in every nook and corner in the world... but if this is how .. then i guess they would need to send space shuttles to this corner of the world

Update day 13 since
...: Local reseller says he has informed Apple singapore and they need a receipt of purchase !!! Brij is still searching for it and i am running on a battery that doesnt last a minute ......!!! i dont know why apple cant replace battery without a receipt when serial number shd verify the purchase !!!!! when .. when...!!!???

Update day 21 since
:....i guess receipt is lost and so i am suspended .. battery runs 45 seconds :).... i dont know how in the hell these batteries reached all the way down to consumers !!!! now only thing i can do is wait for receipt to be found or apple singapore to realize that problem is serious enough to drop the requirement of receipt to solve this serious problem.....

update day 26 : bigger batteries :).. it just keeps growing and growing...
i have now taken out the battery.. laptop is turning into desktop...

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Living dangerously....?

It has been just 19 days since the terror attacks on Mumbai trains...dead are being mourned and horrific pictures are slowly receding to the time passages as sands of new daily headlines keep pushing them into deeper recesses of mind.

Was reading brij's post about heightened security as an after thought in India and got to thinking about the dates when these major attacks have happened in India. Wikipedia has this on the major attacks
  • Oct 1, 2001 - Militants attack Jammu-Kashmir assembly complex, killing about 35.
  • Dec 13, 2001 - Attack on the parliament complex in New Delhi.
  • September 2002 - Militants attack the Akshardham temple in Gujarat, killing 31.
  • May 14, 2003 - Militants attack an army camp near Jammu, killing more than 30, including women and children.
  • Aug 25, 2003 - Simultaneous car bombs kill about 60 in the Mumbai.
  • Aug 15, 2004 - Bomb explodes in Assam, killing 16 people, mostly school children.
  • Oct 29, 2005 - Sixty-six people in New Delhi.
  • Mar 7, 2006 - At least 21 people killed in three synchronized attacks in Varanasi.
  • Jul 11, 2006 - At least 183 people killed in a series of 8 train bombing during the evening rush hour near Bombay
This makes scary reading.... frequency of major attacks is atleast 1 every year!!!
We are living in such dangerous times and fact that we go on living with such a state of security and intelligence failure is maybe a sign of not such vaunted spirit of Mumbai or spirit of India but somewhat loss of sensitivity of people and government machinery towards the gravity of such incidents.

Like everything the Indian culture assimilates in itself I guess we are assimilating terrorist attacks also as part of life. For a few good days, till the wounds are fresh, government machinery will go into investigations routine and some heightened security drills will be at place and soon enough as memories fade away so would be the state of affairs on security of the nation.

Above all we the people are also to be blamed for lack of vigilance. I remember when there were some 400 small warning bomb blasts around Bangladesh, a father turned in his own son for suspect activities of fanatic militancy. When we would see such vigilance in our social fabric as a precaution to nurture sense of discussion on issues and sense of fairness and swiftness in justice then only we can hope for end to this Us and them world of violent actions and counter actions.

Ershad... Ershad ...Ershad !!

Politics is a dirty word in subcontinent and then one wonders why? Cliches like politics makes strange bedfellows will not die a quick death in subcontinent politics.

These days in Bangladesh politics there is nothing called untouchable. Everyone has some votebank or the other and main parties i guess have eroded their base themsleves so much that they lack confidence to face elections alone.

Never in his wildest dreams General Ershad would have thought that he would have any role to play in Bangladesh politics after his ouster from office , let alone such an important one. Today ruling party seems to be in such dire need of ex general, arch enemy of democracy that there are moves afoot to offer him likely Presidential post if their coalition were to win 2007 elections!!!

I guess any party that makes a deal like this with ex-dictator will have lot of explaining to do with their electorate but given the state of politics in subcontinent they may get away with their strategy in this number game.

Massive protests on 1990-1991 where millions would have toiled to overthrow regime of a dictator, come 2007 he may just get voted back into same president's chair again!!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Zidane...genius!!! (a disgraced hero ??)

Last night stage was set for grand farewell to genius that goes by name of Zinedine Zidane. Malouda earned a penalty in early stages and genius stepped up to take the penalty, sends Buffon scurrying to his left, hits the ball, ball hits the cross bar's inside and comes crashing down and lands just a feet inside the goal line. Commentators went gaga over the genius of Zidane who so coolly slotted near perfect penalty.

But I am sure all French hearts would have come out in their mouth when the ball hit the cross bar.
Even genius would have had fleeting black thoughts, though he never looked in doubt.

Almost all went along as a grand farewell would have been scripted. Zidane came close to scoring with a fierce header which Buffon managed to tip over the goal. Teams were like spent horses by the end of regular time. Then came extra time. French team was doing its best to close the deal before penalty shootouts came. They were almost like the satellite launching rockets which drop the boosters one after the other. Out went Viera who was for me the most committed and inspirational of the French team in this tournament, then went Ribbery who has established himself as the worthy star for future and then went out Henry too.

There was Zidane still toiling it out but,then came 111th minute and the demons fogged the genius's head. In replays one could see Zidane calm as ever jogging away from Materazi and then some words and next thing you see Zidane walking back, equally calmly, and thudding his head into the chest of Materazi !!!

I am still wondering what would have provoked a man of this caliber on one of the biggest nights of his career when hopes of millionswere riding on his every move, to head butt a player in the glare of thousands of cameras. If Maradona came to be known by his infamous of hand of god, I think Zidane would go into history maybe as head of devil.

It was really sad end to the night, what with Trezguet trying to emulate the master and ending up on the wrong side of the line after hitting the ill fated cross bar!!

It was just not to be a musketeers' night!!

Come to think of it Materazi and Zidane were involved in this match at all crucial stages. It was Materazi's tackle that got french penalty , it was Zidane who converted it. Then came the Materazi header to equalize for Azzuri and it was Zidane's header into Materazi chest that sealed french fate.

the sun has this head butt sequence

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Free Tibet....???

For many years I had always explained about my native place as area near Indo-Nepal and Indo-Tibet border. The fact that we have organization called ITBP (Indo Tibetan Border Police) and we have given Tibetan exiles a place in our country and our hearts too, we Indians by and large support Free Tibet cause.

But last few years of India shining and change of world order in terms of wild fire spread of free market economy Tibet's cause had got sidelined in some way. From the front pages it has been denigrated to some editorials alone. Like Green Peace activists, Tibetan activists also have been forced to do some extreme stunts to draw attention of people.

Free Tibet has been reduced to faded print on some old t-shirts from our college days maybe. For many Delhi-ites Tibet's mention is some cheap chhang, steamy momos and Tibetan market only.

Till date I also didn't know that there was a Free Tibet day. It seems this year it had been slated for 6th July. A day too late am I ? But isn't the whole world few years too late for the cause?

As China's economy booms every year and it wields more and more influence on world politics, who will get Tibet's freedom ?? Is Free Tibet relevant to world of Free market economics anymore ? World's super power doesn't mention it in its world view, UN has no strategy on it, India has given in to Chinese pressure on its previous stand.....that leaves just a few romantics and rest of Tibetan population !!!

Free Tibet ? Yes!!! But HOW ???

Friday, July 07, 2006

Windows... time to close ??

WGA... That's the latest from house of Bill Gates. His philanthropy it seems doesn't include giving away free windows software to the world. So here he is sending spies down the tube ( picture those machines swooping down into human colony and human ships in Matrix!!! ) and there will pop up euphemism of calling you a thief in sweetest manner possible, "You maybe running a Non Genuine copy of WindowsXX"

Here I think Microsoft is missing the bus for sure. Today's buzzword is open source ( which used to mean free software till recently) and that's the way of the future for sure. If one would look at the strategy of the most successful of these one thing stands out foremost. Each one is dying to get adopted by user first and that's where free part comes in. Companies are releasing community edition which is mostly free and then next is where all these companies are going in the direction of commercializing the same software for enterprises.

Microsoft so far had no problem for the first stage as they were running without competition almost. I would say even piracy has helped windows hegemony as it made windows a dominant user platform thus forcing other software companies to develop mostly windows version of their softwares.

thanks to Linux and Linux faithfuls I think today ground is ready to topple windows in one go!! Remember what firefox did !!!!

if anyone is listening, time is now to make that transition... only fear is that ... I hope we aren't walking from one lion's den to another !!

World Cup ??

Hmm... so we are down to last 2 from 32 we started with. I dont know if this is refelection of today's world order that last 2 teams in the final dont represent the poor of the world. Essentially out of 32 countries that qualified here we had seen countries from africa and sout america fall behind in the race. Asian representattives werent exactly poor nations as they come from one of the developed economies and oil economies. Has football lost its common man's game character?

But seriously it is becoming a moneymaking machine now from a loved sport that once it was.

Today any sport has to become a money churning machine in order to survive in competitive environment of prime time TV slots. Games are being changed to make them more entertaining. Its surely going both ways good and bad but finally which way? only time will tell.

there was a time when people used to play sports for the love of it and today they chose on the basis of earning potential i think. but still, it is better than having to hear "padhoge likhoge, banoge nawab / kheloge koodoge, bangoge kharab" ( means if u study hard u will become king and if you play around you will go waste ).

so as the world cup has turned into European cup, still we the supporters of undying faith will stay glued to TV sets, oohing aahing and changing into shirts of the latest winners!!!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Rats... chickens ......Cars.......what next ??

One would have to believe that either all the human characters are finished or hollywood has found new formula of transplanting human drama onto animals and inanimate objects to make big bucks.

They have made chickens fly and dance... cars talk and act.. wha next.. maybe next movie will be called tables... chairs... lamp posts :)

Monday, June 26, 2006

Difference of opinion.. in built mechanism against revolt?

i was watching Big Fight on NDTV. topic was trivial in some way, Ostentatious indian weddings. Debate was lively wher both sides of coin tried to shine more than the other but i dont know if one side did learn from the other in any way.

if you look around it is hard not to notice difference of opinion as the driving force for world's existence. democracy that protects and guarantees the right to difference of opinion. Auotcratic regimes that motivate oppressed public to fight to acheive the same right.

from morning till evening there is only differnece of opinions all around. i guess choice must be a by product of this and sure we are thankful for choices. but there is whole industry built around the difference of opinions and finding ways to tame and mould the same. Companies go around the campuses of best B schools to look for new messiah who would bring peace to their bank accounts.

the only factor that tries to find ways to diminish the difference of opinion is religion, where everyone is supposed to surrender the opinion and dedicate oneself to devotion. but guess what we have created too many religions !!!!

i was thinking about early robot stories where the insecure human creators would build in mechanisms that would lend the machine inert if it ever tries to turn on against the creator.

now was the creator of mankind equally insecure ?

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Revolution is it .....?

Million mutinies surely not but a couple there are for sure.
Ideas that are destructive and that urge us to act, to think and act.
Ideas enacted and shot to ignite the sleeping minds.
Minds that are lulled by comforts of free market, ideas that may have died with failed revolutions.

Million mutinies one day there will be....

just finished watching V for Vendetta. though one doesnt endorse the end and means but one once again endorses the Idea. Be it V or RDB there is popular trend in Cinema of the world today. Maybe idea made popular by the acts of politicians across the world.

As one of the statements of V goes .... people should not fear their governments but governments should fear their people!!! hope they do someday.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


Its been 21 days since my status changed from singlehood to married man....
Here i am sitting in front of comp...
back to good old ways of working in dhaka...
this was supposed to be life changing experience...
maybe i will find that out slowly...

Friday, March 10, 2006

A new colour for nation

Basanti, rang de tu mohe basanti... thats the song making buzz around the nation. Movie does tinge hearts and minds with its flavour of basanti.

One of the characters, aslam, says something to the effect that he would never have imagined that someday something would happen in their happy go lucky lives. Something so big that would stir them into action. Something that would change the values of people around them and something that would change their assessment of life completely. We also weren't expecting a movie like this specially as last 2 decades in the liberalized era have spawned only (mostly)chocolate romances.

a fresh wave of idealism, packaged with ample doses of history and refurbished with a modern Indian youth's perspective of life does its trick.

I sat flipping channels and my mind a bundle of million thoughts after watching the movie.
trying to reassess my life before the colour wears down with daily dose of reality.
feel like a time bomb ticking and waiting for hour of glory to explode someday.
aren't we all time bombs ticking slowly to death, just not knowing when that would happen?

Though it is hard to say if the recent public activism in Jessica Lal case has been in anyway catalyzed by Rang de Basanti but it would be heartening to believe that movie had some effect in some direct or indirect way.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

conversion ..?

most of my posts are news or tv derivative and this one is no different.
this comes from VHP/RSS's latest Shabri Kumbh. these days both these organizations are out to stake their claim on population of this country as their domain. They want all unclaimed hindus on firnges like adivasis to be well and proper cardholding members of hindu community so that these poor souls will not lose their chance to achieve nirvana by falling prey to conversion to any othe religion.
they want a law to prohibit other religions to convert any hindus and such other ambiguous hindus.

one question i want to ask these two organizations and any other such organization as to what they have done or would do to stop the caste violences in hindus, specially north india. where one hindu is not equal to the other after 5000 years of enligtenment and 50 + years of independence. i havent seen people like Mr. Togadia still make any of his trishul marches to protect any of these victims who are put under all kind of discrimination and violence.

i dont know if these organizations were ruling the earth in our previous milleniums and centuries there would be no zainism/ budhism/ sikhism. Hindutva always allowed people to introspect and find their own belief and gods. But i guess now hindutva is left to VHP/RSS prescription only

Friday, January 20, 2006

Oh Gowd(a)....

They say cricket is game of uncertainties and I guess politics is world of uncertain people. Last year it was drama in Jharkhand where BJP took its MLAs for Bharat Darshan ( though Bharat for BJP is the states governed by it only which they are always seeking to extend down south like Aurangjeb) and now we have new year gift from BJP and Mr. Deve Gowda's son.

life was going dull, what with the dead pitch in Lahore and I guess that must have persuaded Mr. Kumaraswamy pull this rabbit out of the hat and give a lease of life to sagging political career of Mr. Venkaiah Naidu. Mr. Naidu had all but disappeared from the small screen in last year and now resurfaced in his favourite territory of Jod Tod ki Rajniti. As cliche goes politics brings strange bedfellows together and I guess after sometime bedfellows like to make bed with others ( I guess not getting the right side of the bed ). That reminds me of Jack Nicholson uttering oh not so romantic line to Diane keaton in something's gotta give, "You know I'm not good at being monogamous, right?"( that too after one lifechanging experience of love making at 60 without viagra). I guess Kumaraswamy should forewarn his BJP befellows in advance.

as we wait for the next act, as Mr. Dharam Singh has to really find a miracle ( a minor miracle has already happened as BJP nominated governor handed him a reprieve of 9 days) to save the government. As media speculates and bestows the title of master strategist to Mr. Deve Gowda who is credited with killing a few birds with one stone and Mr. Deve Gowda states that these are saddest days of his political life, we have nothing but to suffer the inane media coverage for next few days with insane amount of prime time spots given to politicians who have only personal greed to serve and not public interest.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Movies and the factories...

Homeward bound
I wish I was
Homeward bound
Home, where my thought’s escaping
Home, where my music’s playing
Home, where my love lies waiting
Silently for me

Everyday’s an endless stream
Of cigarettes and magazines
And each town looks the same to me
The movies and the factories
And every stranger’s face I see
Reminds me that I long to be

simon and garfunkel sung these lines many years ago and these have been ever since my companion. as a person who always needs a home away from home and who rarely gets to go home and now as it looks forever condemned to the world of factories, i think movies have been my refuge. in this dhaka city where one doesnt get to catch a good movie in a good cinema hall the substitute is not a bad bargain. plethora of pirated DVD shops ( you wont beleive they have one in the international chain hotel Sheraton lobby also !!) makes living a bit easier.
so this eid week i have treated myself to some movies and 2 of them i have been trying to watch for a long time now.

one was Fried green Tomatoes. this intriguing title had been in my mind ever since some movie buff slipped it into one of the dumb charade sessions. finally i caught the magic of this simple southern story. a tale of 2 friendships in different generations told thru disrupted narration in multiple nursing home visits. what stands out is the human emotion and bond of friendship that gets forged based on simplicity of life.

the other was House of Flying daggers. this is one Chinese movie and as many of them are famous for the action typified by crouching tigers genre ( same as our bollywood is typified by dance and music) this too is a kung fu action movie but woven on a love triangle. what stands out is the visuals that director has been able to conjure and present. the actors seem to fit in so beautifully thru their performances in this beautifully crafted movie.

these two movies somehow unravel the secret of great cinema. It has to have great visual spectacle or that emotional bond with audience to move them beyond themselves.

moved i am ....

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Collective misfortune ?

i dread flying... everytime i enter that flight, first thoughts are my prayer to the lord. hoping this wont be my last flight. there is something about the swiftness and sureness of death, the last few minutes of shit in your pants horror that i imagine and associate with the fatal air accidents. i have spent many moments close enough in some rickety and vulenrable looking aircrafts in some really bad weather days.

then i see so many other people in the flight and try to console myself thiking that here are about 50-100 ( as per the size of the flight) people in this flight and definitely these many people wouldnt be unlucky at the same instant to share this flight of death ( if it was so and hope gods are not that unkind always... though there have been enough examples of this). so all my flights are hours full of agony mostly. Every turbulence is seems like one step closer to my maker ( if the makers of this aircraft lef some details untouched or if one of the million screws and nuts in this contraption decided to commit suicide)

last night, just 2 days before eid i was rushing about dhaka city to help my quality control team to finish some crucial inspection before all the factories shut shop for eid . Roads were jammed with vehicles trying to make to some destination or the other and rickshaws and human beings herding their cows. Dhaka's streets would have looked like a cattle ranch last night. when i passed the cattle market and glanced at those animals tied there. people around them bargaining their piece for sacrifice, one thought struck me ... all these cows, almost a million in bangaldesh, have just one more day left in their lives !!! a sheer collective misfortune!!!.... then i was reminded of the scene in the war of the worlds where human beings are informed that their days are numbered....

Do you know your shirtmaker any more ???

Do you know your shirtmaker any more ? or should i say, would you like to know your shirtmaker anymore. Gone are the days when your clothes came from trusted family tailors who knew your measurments just by looking at you. Gone are the days when your clothes used to come out freshly off the tailor's machine and they were hemmed by their swift fingers or buttons were handstitched in front of you and they were freshly ironed in front of you and that still warm piece of clotingwas given to you wrapped in the brown paper bags....

Gone are those tailors, replaced by the giant assembly line operators in some cheap labour country or the other. As the free market economics caravan moves on, chews on cheap labour bones around the world to satisfy our insatiable hunger for those cheaper shirts which would though give living to so many but somehow have taken away the charm of good old days.

those clothes in the shopping windows and beautiful catalogues dont show as to how some hardworking asians have sweated overnight to make the urgent shipments, to hit the shops on time. how just before the day of their biggest festivals ( be it chinese new year or eid or pongal) trying to meet deadline to catch his hard earned ticket for bus/train ride home and packing that last piece into cartons that will get him the money which will make festival a festive occasion.

ironies are common place in our world. in today's world we need somebody to exploit our potential and get us that money in return which we would in turn spend on buying something which would be result of exploitation of someoneelse's skills somewhere in some unknown corner of the world. products today have just price tags, no emotion, feelings respect associated with them anymore.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Calendar

hmm Jan 1st ... 2006 !!
same dates in a new calendar....
ushered in with same revelry as 2005 was...
wishes made... resolutions silently intoned
hopes renewed....
thank god there are these cycles.. these change of calendars..
giving us belief that things would be different in this new period
this new tranche of 365 days...
atleast the day one we wake up with hopes...
I wish the governments all around the world also make some new resolutions to govern better.
hope the terrorists did some 12th hour introspections of their causes and their methods...
hope mother nature would be kind to the living ...
HOPE... the word that rings hollow sometimes... but still we hope against all the odds...
I guess 364 days hence we shall renew these hopes in a new calendar...
6 billion hopes should have some meaning in the larger scheme of things in this universe and its master