Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Did you know?

Did you know Wodehouse worked in HSBC for two years?! :)

His father found him a position with the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank (now known as HSBC), where, after two years' training in London, he would have been posted to an overseas branch. However, Wodehouse was never interested in banking as a career and "never learned a thing about banking". (Some of his experiences in the bank were recounted in Psmith in the City.) He wrote part-time while working in the bank, and in 1902 became a journalist with The Globe (a now defunct newspaper), taking over the comic column from a friend who had resigned. (From Wiki pedia)

The Mark Zuckerberg bug

I use facebook. I like facebook as it helps me keep in touch. However, I really think the society has been bit by the Mark Zuckerberg(/Steve Jobs/Larry page) bug. There are many who look at the success of these youth icons and are inspired to start things on their own. What i guess most people fail to realise is that for every Mark, there are at least thousands of Toms who have failed miserably. Hope, is a good thing. Hope, it doesnt poison many a life.

Dog's death?!

I belong to the group of (un)fortunate few who get to read bangalore mirror everyday. Yesterday's article was about a dog's death to a rabid dog that went about biting people. It was beaten to death by a group of righteously indignant citizens and its body dragged about in a two wheeler before being thrown into a garbage dump. I was shocked and upset to say the least upon reading such an act of cruelty performed by supposedly sane, civilized (?) human beings.

If a dog bites you, I am not Christ (even in Christmas season) to ask you to let it bite your other leg. Go ahead, hit it and make it run. But why do you have to kill it in such a gory fashion?! How can these people boast to be human if they do such psycho acts? What irritated me all the more was the fact that the journalist did not seem to find this act crass. I thought what set us apart as human beings was the fact that we had something called a sixth sense and some compassion for the rest of the world. (looking at how we waste things, i am not sure it is out of the world). How can we justify our right to live if we consider the life of another creature worthless?

The courts and the justice system is spending millions in safe guarding the life of terrorists who killed human beings and permanently maimed many. How is it right to show all the anger and hatred we harbor in our hearts on a dog that only temporarily maimed individuals? Where was blue cross? Why wasn't the dog killed in a less painful manner? Where is the justice in this world?!

Classic

I am not a huge fan of classics. I have read quite a lot of them but at times, i just get put off by the ideas propagated by most of them. I am not a feminist per se, but it does irk me to see women portrayed as dumb commodities in some of the classics and yeah, another reason for my not reading them is that i am quite impatient. :)

Anyways, I had gotten a copy of the complete Short stories of Oscar Wilde and set about reading the same. The more i read it, the more i liked it. :) He has made fun of the victorian era, the hypocrisy of  the people who are rich and have nothing better to do in life and somehow brought out the contrast between the haves and have nots. True, it is a wee bit melodramatic at times, but I have to give him some credit as it was one amazing read.

I got to know that the picture of Dorian was met with a lot of negative reviews and now i know why. I had read it as a kid/very young adult and now when i reread it, i had to marvel at his mockery and his sense of justified anger which i thought was prelevant throughout the pages.

I guess now i have to add him to my  list of favorites once again after blacklisting him a few years ago for multiple reasons.

Hail Oscar Wilde!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Everybody's free to wear Sunscreen

Thanks to Sagnik for forwarding this. :)

Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)
Mary Schmich, Chicago Tribune, June 1, 1997 [Adapted to song by Baz Luhrmann]

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ‘97,

Wear sunscreen.  If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.  The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis or reliable then my own meandering experience.  I will dispense this advice... now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth.  Oh, never mind, you won’t understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded, but trust me in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.  You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum.
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind: the kind that blindsides you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts; don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don’t waste your time on jealousy.  Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind.  The race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive; forget the insults.  (If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.)

Keep your old love letters; throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life.  The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives; some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of Calcium.  Be kind to your knees – you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t.  Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t.  Maybe you’ll divorce at 40; maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary.
Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself, either.  Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body: use it every way you can.  Don’t be afraid of it or what other people think of it; it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance... even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions (even if you don’t follow them).

Do not read beauty magazines; they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents; you never know when they’ll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings: they’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but what a precious few should hold on.  Work hard to bridge the gaps and geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard.  Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.

Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old; and when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you.  Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse, but you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you are 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it.  Advice is a form of nostalgia; dispensing it is a way of wishing the past from the disposal--wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts, and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Good Omens

Yeah, I know I said I am over Pratchett. Reality, however had a surprise for me. I was looking at my cupboard when i found this one which i had not yet finished. Good omens is a combined effort by Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. It is not set in discworld so i did miss my favorite characters in the book.

The story revolves around the coming of the apocalypse and the struggle of 2 angels (one from Heaven and the other from Hell) to prevent the same. Satan's son is exchanged with that of a Russian diplomat. But like all great things go, there is a goof up here as well and the kid is brought up in a small place completely in the middle of nowhere. He uses his powers unintentionally and creates an ideal world for himself. ( i envied him in this bit)

In the meanwhile, a witch aided by the book written by one of her ancestors starts hunting for Satan's son and reaches Tadfield. She loses her book of prophecies and what happens when the devil and the angel get their hands on it forms the rest of the story.

It was initially an enjoyable read, however, it got a wee bit boring towards the later half. I would still recommend this book for its amazing language and brilliant sense of satire. I loved it because I hate horror and this book made horror movies seem damn funny. :D

Corruption begins at home

Yeah, when virtues can begin at home, why can't vices? Consider this scenario. There is a kid who is writing his examination. He has not prepared well. There is a lot of focus on him to finish it and come out in flying colors, or at least to pass the exam. He simply copies from another student. There could be a scenario where he feels guilty for what he did and starts turning over into a new leaf and takes his studies seriously. But then, if that had been the case, we wouldn't have had to be stuck with just a single mahatma. In most cases, the thrill of cheating and the ease with which the job can be accomplished compared to the hard work required in the other case enthralls people all the more and they become so addicted to this supposed art of cheating in exam halls.

What starts in the exam hall continues in life for when he cannot face the challenges in life, he somehow finds a shorter route out. I am not going to preach a moral lesson saying such people dont get great jobs or they suffer in life. There is no iota of truth in such a statement for i have not seen the proof. On the contrary, I do see people who have taken short cuts out prospering and I am seriously tempted at times. (I never said I am mahatma did I? ) Thankfully every time, i have had an alternative straight route that I was able to take. Anyways, since this post is not about me, let me go back to where it all began.

Why do people not realise that this is wrong? Is it because the right and the wrong is so subjective? We are able to cheat in exams then graduate to bribe during our learning licence test then further promote ourselves throughout our career by not being completely frank about the various things we do, labeling it as corporate behaviour, finding multiple excuses to not be straight and to take the shorter way out. We dont shoot our politicians who swindle millions and trillions through their short cuts. In a way i guess we identify with them and should i say wish it was us instead swindling the money? How can I wish for a change in the society when there are so many people out there who are convinced that taking the short cut is not wrong? When they have the guts to laugh at those who do  not take the short cut and hide behind their inadequacies and mock at the rest of the world?

I am no saint nor am I a reformer. But as time goes by, I wonder why is it that people mock at few decisions I take. Not that I am going to take them differently. I just wish that things can change for the better and that we can stand up to be who we are the way we are and not hide behind the masks we paint for the society, which again is another figment of an overactive imagination and breed corruption and let it mass produce like the HIV virus we have no means of controlling. Like HIV, for now in my case at least, prevention is better than cure. I refuse to bow down. I refuse to change (unless something really unbearable happens when i dont think ill be able to face my self again. )Hope, I guess is just the good thing i can have for now.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Decisions

Why is it always so easy to settle for something mediocre or be satisfied with something below your levels? I see a lot of people do that with jobs, husbands, wives and of course with every other choice in their life. Is it easier to make that choice and not worry about what you are really worth? Is it simply because people dont have high expectations for themselves? I can only wonder because frankly I have always aspired for greater things in life and somehow tried very hard to get it. I guess hard work and aspiration is not everyone's cup of tea.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Going Postal

I guess with that, i complete the list of Pratchett books I wanted to read. I hate to admit it but it was a slight letdown. True, it was funny and there were some really cynical instances, but i guess I would rank it close to the lowest among his books.

The plot revolves around the attempts of a condemned man saved from certain death by hanging and given the duty of running a post office in Ankh Morpork. Somehow, I couldnt connect too much to Moist Von Lipwig like i did to say Carrot or Esme Weatherwax from the other books. Another one of life's lessons that the best does not always churn out the best.

 I have finally overcome my obsession with Pratchett (or so i think ) and i am now wondering whom to start reading now.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Resolutions?!

I had made 10 in 10. Now that the year is almost done, I have to track myself and admit how badly I have failed/passed. I really dont have the guts to do it tonight. But i hope i get to in a few days. :)

2010 was an amazing year for me and I hope the lucky part of it continues in 2011 as well. Man! Time does fly real fast doesn't it?!

Reliving the past

Just a tribute to 2009. :) 2010 tribute is yet to come. :D

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fast now furious

Have you seen the calendars that have the date and a message for each day in them? I happen to have one on my desk (given to me by one of my good friends when he left the country) and today it reads "After a point in time, people will not remember how fast you did something, but they will remember how well you did it"

I just want to ask the person who wrote it if he ever worked in a job that had tight deadlines. Then he might know the importance of doing something fast. I agree doing something well is very important but in a lot of occasions, doing something fast is also translated as doing something well. I sometimes get real mad at people who do things well very slowly as i really think your speed to a certain extent reflects your expertise.

I guess it is all about morphing according to the needs of time.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Another amazing song

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvovjf-x3-Y

A song which made me want to watch what ended up being a crappy movie. Still i happen to like it for more reasons than one. :)

5 things that foosball thought me

Somehow everything in life seems to teach me a lesson. I am not sure how much of it i end up following, but at least, some part of it, finds a way.

1. An aggressive attack works when the defense is weak. However, in an attempt to imitate the aggression, you can also end up shooting goals for your opponent, helping him in ways you never thought you would.
2. Sometimes, not doing anything also bags you the game. Provided, you have somehow placed the right players at the right time in the right place in the field. Luck can be a friend too.
3. Even if you are bad at attacking, make sure your defense is strong. That way you don't let the others score either. Somehow it evens out.
4. Everyone has a place somewhere. The problem is not identifying what you want do but what you are meant to do or figure out a way of becoming good at what you want to do. :)
5. A single goal can help change the attitude and change the direction of the game. You never know when it is going to come but you should always be ready for it.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Love this song

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQ52IJjbNg4
There is this thing about cross roads. If you are sure about your route, you would never notice a cross road even if there is one. It is only when you are not happy with the route or dont want to continue in the same that you notice that it exists. The moment you notice, no matter what you choose, just make sure you know why you noticed it in the first place. Gen gyan as usual. :D

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Stuck

Somehow I am in a situation where I have shut myself out of the virtual world. I have not run out of ideas to talk about. I have not given up on life and become a female version of Devdas, but I have somehow lost the desire to write. 

I guess it is the fear of me rejecting what i write, is what has lead to this. I hope this stage passes over soon. I hope I start writing a beautiful  masterpiece and not just lose this one thing that kept me going for a long time when all else failed.