Thursday, November 19, 2015

Rural and Urban Life

A lung full of fresh air,
A heart full of love,and
A mind full of peace
Fill a stomach that is half empty.

A lung full of smoke
A heart full of grudges, and
A mind full of stress
Fill a stomach that is already full.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Rain!

Oh Rain!
 Have you come to the earth to tie knots?

 See the sun that is hiding behind the dark clouds
 Watch the trees that are dancing to the tunes of the wind
 Look at the waves that are jumping out of joy 
 Who is your bride?

  Thunders are beating the drums 
  Lightning is flashing the lights 
Winds are blowing the trumpet
Rainbows are flagging the festoons
  Isn't it a divine time? 


Birds are reciting the divine chants
Farmers are blessing you
Ponds, lakes, and reservoirs are having a feast
Isn't it a grand wedding? 


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tangled: Movie Review

If you fancy fairy tales, then Tangled is a must-watch. Tangled is an animated 3D movie from Walt Disney animation studios. The story is loosely based on the German fairy tale, Rapunzel. It is said that the movie was also initially named Rapunzel. However, later it was changed to “Tangled” to give a clue about the story of the movie, which revolves around the magical hair of the lead lady, Rapunzel.

The Plot
A bad tempered old lady, Gothel uses a magical flower, which is imbued with the essence of sun to stay young forever. At that time, the queen of the kingdom becomes deathly sick. The people in the kingdom were sent to find a solution that would cure the queen. They find this magical flower and cure the queen using it. The queen, who was pregnant, passes the magical power of the flower to the baby princess, Rupunzel. On the other hand, Gothel becomes furious for snatching the magical flower from her. So, in a perfect rage and with the sheer determination to get back the source of her eternal youth, which is now in Rupunzel’s magical hair, she kidnaps her.

She raises the princess in an isolated tall tower and makes her believe that she is her mother. She constantly preaches Rupunzel that the outside world is cruel and mean. In the mean time, on each birthday of Rupunzel, the king and queen launches a magic lantern in the sky with the hope that the princess would come back to their kingdom. Rupunzel, who sees these magic lanterns from her window, gets curious as to why a magic lantern is added on the eve of her birthday year after year. She expresses her curiosity to Gothel, who in turn emotionally blackmails her. Meanwhile, a thief called Flynn Rider, who has stolen the crown of the missing princess, reaches the tower seeking a hideout. Rupunzel, who was initially suspicious of Rider, later strikes a deal with him to escort her to the kingdom, from which the magic lantern is launched in order to get back his stolen crown. Rider helplessly accepts the deal. During their trip to the kingdom, Rupunzel and Rider realize that they share a special bond. They also face problems from the guards, who are in search of Rider and from Rupunzel’s foster mother, Gothel. What happened to their journey? How did they escape from the guards and tackle Rupunzel? Did they tie knots? Did Rupunzel come to know that she is the lost princess form the rest of the story.

Characterization
The characterization of Rupunzel is brilliant. One half of her personality is innocent and docile and the other half is bold and intelligent. It stands out from the rest. However, the characterization of Rider is much like our typical Bollywood hero characters. I felt Sharukh khan would perfectly fit the hero character in this movie. So, it is nothing new to us. Similarly, Gothel’s character is much like the in laws, who would plot plans against the lead character in the Ekta Kapoor’s serials. The movie also has a place for non- human characters like Maximus, the horse-dog, who would initially fight with Rider and later becomes his friend and the chameleon, which is the friend of Rupunzel.

Visual Treatment and Music
The movie is very rich in animation and grand. The graphic developers have captured the intricacies of the characters and given attention to every detail. The characters emotes well and looks visually appealling. The visual effects are brilliant. The movie also has some enchanting pieces of music almost back to back. The background score is also good. 

Conclusion
The animation has come out exceptionally well making it a must-watch film. However, the storyline is too simple and stereotypical. Even then, Tangled is a pleasant respite for the eyes that is too tired of watching the negative reality extravanzas dished out by some of the Indian and Tamil directors in the name of reality and slice of life. With the grapevine abuzz that this could be Disney’s last movie based on princess, one can hardly give it a miss.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Special Day Celebrations! Do We Really Understand Them?

Valentine’s day or Women’s day celebrations are purely western concepts. A few people initiated such celebrations in our country and in the recent years, everybody seemed to have jumped into the fray. Last month and this month, I witnessed the Valentine’s day and Women’s day celebrations in my office and in the IT Park, in which my present office is located. On Feb 14, I saw some shops in our building putting up sale for Valentine’s day celebrations and this month, it was women’s day’s turn. Hope they won’t put up a similar sale on April 1st :).

I personally don’t celebrate all these A days and B days, however, I have no qualms against people celebrating them. They are free to celebrate them provided they don’t hurt the sentiments of others. The question is do they really understand the spirit behind such special days? For instance, on women’s day, most companies had asked the women employees to wear a saree and conducted special games (no intelligent games, all kids stuff) and gave feast for women employees alone in a separate room. One particular company gave special neck massage from a beauty parlor for women employees alone. Almost, all companies including mine gave roses to all women employees alone. The gift shop in the complex gave away free mehendi cones for women visitors alone on that day (I was given a free mehendi cone that cost 12 bucks for the greeting card that I bought for 10 bucks:).

Now, do you think these women’s day celebrations have actually served the women community in any way? According to me it has only taken us a step backward. It has reiterated the fact that:

• Women still like roses and mehendi cones (why not give away a key chain or a pen as gift? It could have proved to be much cheaper than mehendi cones).

• Women should wear only sarees for special occasions (why not ask wear whatever you are comfortable in).

• A service from beauty parlor is a must-have.

• Women require special care (on that day alone) and the day is strictly meant for women (why create a chasm between the male and female employees by not including the male crowd in the celebrations. Including them will only increase their respect for women and will help them appreciate the magnificence of women).

So, my humble suggestion for all women’s day or Valentine’s day or mother’s day enthusiasts is don’t blindly celebrate a day without appreciating the spirit behind them. Try to do some justification for the day by understanding the rationale behind them.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The New Grading system for CBSE Class X: A boon or bane?

The ministry of human resource development (MHRD) has finally taken the plunge and directed the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to replace the present system of awarding marks with grades for Class X board examinations from this academic year (21010-2011). Accordingly, the CBSE has also made the Class X board exams for this academic year optional and has advised the schools affiliated with it to convince their students to choose the grading system instead of taking up exams.

The response for the grading system is mixed among various stakeholders, such as parents, teachers, and students. The major attraction of this grading system is that it reduces the stress of scoring high marks on the students and they do not have to burn the midnight oil in a bid to score more marks. The parents can also heave a sigh of relief as they no longer have to worry about the marks scored by their children. The grading system addresses the critical issue of increasing student suicidal rate year after year. It allows the students to study in a relaxed curriculum. It also focuses on the over-all development of students instead of emphasizing only on academics. Students can now study with better understanding rather than by hearting to score more marks. The homework, assignments, and project works has more weightage than written exams. Many experts feel that this system can make the students industry-ready as it focuses on developing the creative and soft skills of the students, thereby preparing them to face the job market. The teachers can also focus on imparting the knowledge rather than completing the portions on time.

However, many students think that they are in for more trouble. They feel some teachers may be biased and can sideline the students who are not favorable to them. Schools may also have their own standards and can play favorites while awarding the internal marks.

Apart from this, students who can score good marks may be demoralized. They will be sharing the same grades with the students who have scored eight to nine marks lesser than them. Also, making the exam as optional has only created confusions among the students. Parents and teachers may convince them to do away with their decision of taking up or not taking up the exams. Moreover, many teachers think that there will be more pressure on the them. According to this new order, there will be two assessments in an academic year and the teachers have to evaluate the students twice and keep a track of their performance. Therefore, teachers have more responsibility than before. Similarly, this system may stifle the competitive spirit of the students and may encourage mediocrity. Students would become insouciant and nonchalant.

Critics also pose questions like what if a teacher quits and another teacher has to evaluate in the middle of an academic year? How will they track the previous performance of the students? On what basis will the students be admitted in class XI? What if a student wants to join the State board form class XI onwards? How the CBSE board proposes to map the CBSE X grades with the State board HSC marks? The CBSE board and MHRD should address these questions and give the final shape to the grading system. If some of these issues are resolved, the grading method may take our education system to a new level.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Bade Adieu

Yesterday was my last working day in the organization that I was working for the past two and half years. What started as a normal day turned out to be a surprising day.Yes.To my utter surprise,I was inundated with gifts by my project managers,reporting managers and fellow colleagues.

Many people from various sources, viz.skype, gtalk, mails and phone were asking me whether it was my last day and wishing me good luck.It was out of the blue.I never thought that so many of them came to know or remember that it was my last day.I am truly honored. One common question that everyone asked was how do you feel? And my answer was I neither feel good nor bad. I am nuetral. I don't feel good because I am leaving an organization that I was part of for the past two and half of years. I will no longer meet my friends and other supportive colleagues.I will miss my van journey, my van mates and the chat and fun etc On the other hand, I don't feel bad because I am moving forward. I have taken a decision that will further my career goals.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

People I Admire

We come across many people in our everyday lives. I wonder how some people alone can make a visible mark in the work they do and influence our way of thinking and personality. When I say people I admire, I am not talking about people those who have made it big in the society or celebrities. Ordinary people, who have carved a niche for themselves in the work they do, no matter what it is, or people who have grate personality, attitude, communication skills, dressing sense, or sense of humor are the subject matter of this post.Some of the modern home makers among my friends and relatives are such people, who have made a grate impact in me. They have given a new dimension to home making. Their attitude towards their lives is amazing. I don’t have any name that needs a special mention here. All of them have more or less same qualities and temperament. In a country, where many women see marriage, children etc as an end to personal preferences, these women give importance to personal grooming, personality development, and communication skills in spite of being home makers. They are well updated and modern. On the other hand, they can score well on home making as well. While they can make the world’s most piquant food, keep the home spic and span, and take good care of the children, they can also enjoy themselves in an evening party, get absorbed in Sidney Sheldon, and talk endlessly about politics or current trends in cinema. Many of these women have a burning desire to prove themselves, but don’t have the right opportunities to prove.

The person who comes next to my mind is one of my friends, let’s call her Prajitha, who did a short-term course with me. We became very close in a short span of time. Sooner or later, we were looking up to each other for opinions and suggestions for landing in the right job at the end of the course. Prajitha has lost her mother when she was in her early twenties. When her mother was down with cancer, it seems she used to nurse her mother, cook and run the entire household at the young age. Besides carrying a lot of responsibilities in her slender shoulders, she managed to secure a top rank in her post graduation and a first class in her computer course. But she didn’t have her mother to share her happiness. Troubles did not end there. After a few years of her marriage, Prajitha had delivered a blue baby. One day, the baby fell sick and was hospitalized. Around the same time, her husband also met with an accident and was admitted in the same hospital, where her baby was admitted. By god’s grace, her husband recovered but, she had lost the baby. However, today, Prajitha has recouped her losses. She has a cute daughter to die for and a supportive husband. What surprises me is Prajitha do not have an iota of self pity or negativity. She remains positive despite seeing all the odds at a young age.

Apart from these people, some of my classmates, colleagues, relatives, and friends, who can stand by their opinions and put their foot down firmly in case of disagreement, are responsible for shaping the way I think and act. I take a leaf out of their lives and apply it to my life situations with gratitude.