Monday, October 30

Capture longer moments

Weekend was nice. For the family it was two dine outs - saturday night Japanese and sunday night Lebanese. Gonpachi sushi was costly indeed, but its okay once in a while. After all good sushi means good money anyway. And the Lebanese food was a great experience. Especially the Baklaawa - Lebanese sweets.

What made the weekend special was also the family walk around Nishi Shinjuku area. The tall rise buildings, the i-Land tower, the sculptures on the sidewalk. Finally I could take the picture of the little sky in between the three giant buildings. Yet to upload them. I dont know if they look beautiful. But almost everyday I find someone taking these snaps. Yesterday also there were another couple on the job. That too, not a old Japanese man learning to do high end photography. This was an Indian couple. There must be something beautiful about this. Wait till tomorrow when I would update the picture.

And again what made the weekend special was the purchase I did before the walk. I finally decided to buy the video camera. After browsing and reading about a lot of low end camcorders, I finally ended up on a not-so-low-end Sony HDR-SR1. High Definition camcorder with 30GB hardware. The new Sony-Panasonic AVCHD (some derivative of H.264) format. With 10x optical zoom, flash for still pictures, possibility of simultaneous still and video, 3.5 inch LCD, IR for night capture.. this looks fairly good for me.

Pictures I took yesterday, but are still on my Minolta. Except for the lack of anti-vibration control and for the low performance on low battery, thats still a good camera.

Monday, October 23


Just looking back and forth and sideways sitting in front of the 12" window to the virtual world...

30 days of Ramdhan coming to an end today. Alhamdulillah. Tomorrow is the Eid. Nice dresses, nice food, nice smiles and nice talks. Supposed to be nice hearts, nice body and nice morals. Dry fruits get ignored for another year.

3Q financial results of various companies coming up. No big surprises. How many more people I fooled. What is the margin which I fooled an average person. These two decides the stock prices and the future number of fools.

India gulping in 5M mobile handsets a month for new subscribers alone. Fashion and trend added with newly found money forces a huge lot of existing ones to change their phones. Corporate India upbeat with Tata Steel takeover of Corus Steel. For an India where infrastructure is yet to be built up, steel is a key industry, at least next to energy.

Found a new way how Irene could get rid of signing her posts with me:) and have her identity there. Fool I was. Blogger from beginning had the contributor option. So I still own her blog, but she signs in as her Mom (whose id I stole for her blogger profile) and her posts from now on will be signed as Irene. I now need to find out a way how the old posts signature can be changed too.

Most of the blogs I read are in sleep mode. Ramdhan, Diwali whatever reason. Pradeep is an exception. Well, Time and Tide cannot stop. And himself being a journalist, he cannot but keep on creating stories and write about them. And he covers good topics with not much of creative content in it. I don't like journalists becoming creative. Though that's the trend and the "journalism industry" demands. Who wants the dots? People want fully blown pictures.

I remember how my classmate Biju used to get good transistor curves in the lab. Instead of measuring, marking and plotting, he did exactly the reverse. Beautiful plots. Journalism goes the same way now. They call it investigative journalism. Pradeep, expect your comments!

Thus goes another Monday morning.

Friday, October 20

Peace, Economy and Nobel

"The whole of my remaining realizable estate shall be dealt with in the following way: the capital, invested in safe securities by my executors, shall constitute a fund, the interest on which shall be annually distributed in the form of prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind. The said interest shall be divided into five equal parts, which shall be apportioned as follows: one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery or invention within the field of physics; one part to the person who shall have made the most important chemical discovery or improvement; one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery within the domain of physiology or medicine; one part to the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction; and one part to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."
Signed 111 years back in Paris by Alfred Nobel. Unknown was the real reason why he left most of his wealth to establishing such a prize. Something which his relatives did not agree and which got delayed by 5 years to get implemented after his death.

May be Nobel is a happy man this year. When the Peace prize went to Yunus and his Grameen Bank. After all, the "explotion", which he invented and made most of his wealth from, has been a technological upper hand for a lot of nations to create and maintain a power and trade imbalance. Looking at the recent history, this trade - economic disparity has been one of the key factors in many of the wars on earth. At macro and micro levels, the economic disparity was strong enough to sustain iteslf and in time re-defined peace as security.

There are now debates on Micro credit and its effects. Whether this is really against capitalism or if this is derived from capitalism. I am not an expert on economics. The prize here is not for the economist Yunus. This is for the pacifist Yunus. Appreciate that. Just look at the earlier pages in Nobel Peace Prize. Great names you can see there. Shimon Peres, Yasir Arafat, Yitzhak Rabin, Jimmy Carter, UNO, Kofi Annan.. Oh man....where is the world these people stiched in peace? Where was a day in peace for any of the societies they represented? Now go to the customers of Grameen bank and ask them. The huge shift from statesmanship, diplomacies and boardroom handshakes to real work on the street. Kudos.

How much money now goes into creating psuedo security and safety? Why think globally - let us look at the micro level. Even in a small town, if we pool all the expenses for maintaining the dogs, men and technologies that guard the big houses and cars, and use this through a micro-credit group, may be the very need of these will get questioned?

When I sleep heavily guarded, I sleep in security. When I sleep not bothering any of these, I sleep in peace.

Wednesday, October 11

Nobel Peace Price

The Nobel foundation is announcing their 2006 prizes. So far it is a clean sweep by the US. Medicine, Physics, Chemistry and Economics. All went to Americans. The Literature award is coming up tomorrow and Peace this Friday. Where will these go?

At least for Peace, I am sure Americans will bag it this time. I bet President Bush is the most eligible guy for this. He has been keeping himself busy cleaning up his boundaries (aka the world) from the so-called terrorists. When someone blew up the WTC, it did not take him much time to attack whatever nation he thought would have backed them. He did not shy away from killing 100s and 1000s of possible and potential future terrorists. Then he swamped Iraq, because there was no reason for him to think that Iraq will not support these guys in a later future. He dreams of a future world (aka the USA) that is free from all kinds of non-governmental attacks. For that he is trying his best to make sure that unless he approves, no one would break an atom. And if he approves, any one can do that too.

Well, he has to be awarded. He is doing this almost single handed. It really takes a lot to work like a monarch within a democracy. Working clandestinely against his own laws in the US. By hiring jails elsewhere in the world because the US laws are not adequately created to treat the non-US barbarians. [do not get confused with the arya-mlecha theory though]. He has been fighting the Red Cross and Amnesty and, possibly he is risking his future too? May be someday the mad lawyers and judges in the US might have a reason to have him behind bars too?

Truly courageous, dedicated to world (read US) peace. Tell me why he cannot be awarded? And that too in an election year where his rating is troubling his party?

Well, two of the four prizes awarded has been shared by two people. I think peace price will also be shared. By none other than Saddam Hussain. Because he did almost exactly the same thing, though his boundaries were limited within the geographical boundaries of Iraq. He was sure to shoot all terrorists that worked against his country. When his motorcade was attacked in a village, he arrested most in that area and even executed many of them. Though not in 100s. When Kurds were working against his government with external support, he did not shy away from using the deadliest weapons on them. Though not a carpet bombing. When he found Kuwait was not following the oil explorations as he liked it to, he swamped upon them. Though he had less to do to become a monarch, he did the best he could do as a monarch to keep his government free from terrorists. And what not, he is already behind bars as per laws that did not exist when he was doing all these. Unfair.

So I think this Friday Nobel will announce the Nobel Peace prize to President Bush and President Saddam Hussain, for their contributions in protecting their establishments from all kind of terrorists, for asserting themselves in the harshest way to wipe out possible future terrorists and for risking their own lives in the cause of peace.

Peace prevail.

Monday, October 2

The dry fruit

It has been more than a month now since I blogged. Anoop has been pushing me lately to start again. But I am yet limbing. How much you squeeze a dry fruit?

September was eventful. Events? Wife and me both got sick. She says whenever she gets sick, I too get that. And this time I totally surpassed her. Almost two weeks I was down. Almost no office. Not looking into the 12" screen of my Dell is a rare day for me - normally. These two weeks were not so normal anyway. No laptop, no desktop. Man, I was so tired. Luckily work load was too low. Probably it was only an hour mailing and an hour blogging anyways!

Then I had a trip to Dallas. A week. Met Cherian, did some shopping, drove around for the first time in the US. Went to mosque too, met a couple of guys including a newly-found-colleague! Well, met some people in office too. Because it was an official trip:)

Dallas was interesting sort of. Texas is one of the states were whites are in minority. Most of the kids books in Barnes and Noble went bilingual. Go to any shop, starbucks or Mac, you meet mustached guys and pierced ear gals. The darker than white skins make you feel more at home. Like the one Tamil air-hostess among a "host" of Chinese crew in SQ409.

On the way back, bought a novel at the airport and finished off during the 11 hour flight. The Bluest Eyes by Nobel Laurette Toni Morrison. Story of the black community told through the ugly eyes of an ugly back girl who prayed for a beautiful blue pair of eyes.
"You looked at them and wondered why they were so ugly; you looked closely and could not find the source. Then you realized that it came from conviction, their conviction."
Hope this is only a novel. But it talks about the long history of self contempt, of self conviction through generations. Read before you blame the next black looking at the color of his/her skin. They have been in the sun for time immemorial forced to be busy with the chores of the society. They are a dried fruit. You cannot squeeze them and have a juicy juice. And sure your fist is going to hurt if you try.

Ramadan is on. When I end the fast everyday with a cup of tea and a dry fruit, I need to answer how much of a dry fruit I am? What is left in me?