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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Rang De Basanti

The days that follow any quiz just seem to be in an incredible hurry to get over,the brutality of midsem to follow.

But something not so expected happened right in the middle of quiz 1.

There was a special screening of Rang De Basanti for iit junta in OAT (Open Air Theatre)

The movie is definitely worth a watch,but ends on a flimsy note exposing fundamental flaws in the character and the very frame of the movie itself.

For the lack of a better term,what follows can be called a sort of movie review.

First,the positives


1.Brilliant cinematograpghy,very good use of the not so photographed areas that immediately surround Delhi.

2.A very nice way to bring out the story of Bhagat Singh and other people,by deftly combining the story of our modern day heroes (in the story) and their story,alternate use of black and white and colour to blend history with reality.

3.Aamir Khan with his witty dialogue,and really juvenile comments in the initial part of the movie.Though not the movie's protagonist,he is reponsible for half of what was nice in the movie.

4.Soha Ali Khan,who looks a lot like her mother.

5.ARR is GOD.

After the movie we had a chance to talk to the director of the movie,along with Madhavan and Siddharth and few others not really worth mentioning.


1.The original intention of the director was to 'move the youth into rebellion'.The attempt falls flat on its face

I found myself unable to relate to characters in the movie,who are all give ups (with one notable exemption) with no purpose in life(You actually have Aamir khan's mom being proud of her son for this)

Indian movies love this thing about making people with little purpose and lots of time to waste the central characters,while its the opposite in most other places.

2.The movie s fundamental theme happens to be the Mig 21 crashes;i do not want to reveal more but they end up shooting the Defence Minister (And they give you this impression that it is tougher to swat a mosquito) and owning themselves up on AIR

While their cause may have nothing fundamentally wrong with it ,killing the defence minister under the
pretext of killing corruption is nothing short of blatant support to terrorism.

They kill the minister in the name of getting justice for their fallen friend.

They kill a symbol of the 'system',who's hands are tied,most of the times atleast...they have to win elections,they have to play the game,and they have to play it dirty.

One might say that he was a symbol,and in his death comes victory to a cause.

Osama wouldnt take lot of time to say that about the 2000 odd people in the twin towers,who according him would be symbols of "America and the free world"...

Destroy the symbols.Win over hearts

Terrorism requires an entry by itself...so until next time..

Friday, February 24, 2006

Quality control/Profit motive

The IIT M campus boasts of an incredible variety in fauna and flora,so much so that it is a protected forest.One can find spotted deer,blackbuck,jackals,snakes,mongooses,all sorts of amphibians,weird scorpions weirder insects and lots of birds(they are of only one type here,and they fly).

On a not so completely different note,as the reader will find out later,i want to talk about mess food.

Mess food,by its very definition is incorrigibly bad,no matter where.Only the degrees of unpalatability vary.Irrespective of whether messes are run by the public sector or the private sector,quality of nearly everthing is invariably low.

Profit motive ,which is normally the greatest driver towards optimum quality,doesnt seem to work that well with messes.The issue of competition crushing out the current supplier arises,but not to our advantage.If all them are bad,it doesnt really matter.

People immediately assume,that with production in such bulk amounts,a few cockroches here and there really dont matter.Its an attitude problem.

After all ,with assembly line and quality control and the likes,management people routinely implement six sigma,with competitive costs.People just give up on this one issue,giving lame excuses,like" during my days i used find lizards in my food,be thankful you only found cockroaches",or "eat this junk,it 'll make a man out of you".

This calls for a sea change in attitude.

Till then God save our tongues.

PS. If you were wondering whats the IIT wildlife connect in all this,here goes
A frog somehow made its way into the fried rice that we were supposed to eat.It was cooked.
But i dinnered at the dhaba that day,and dragged a few hostelmates along.

They later lauded me for my foresight.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


This post will be short,and its about some english common words that we use daily,which are surprisingly of indian origin.

This I came across during my research work for india quiz,SAARANG 2006.

Musk:A strong smelling reddish brown substance which is secreted by the male musk-deer for scent making, which is also an important ingredient in perfumery. From Late Latin miscus, from Persian musk, from Sanskrit muska (scrotum)

Somehow i dont see the scrotum connect,but still.

Pajamas/pyjama - A lose fitting garment consisting of trousers and a jacket, worn for sleeping or lounging, often used in plural.Hindi paijama - loose fitting trousers, from Persian pai- leg + jamah - garment

Interestingly,the persian origin thing is actually transliterates to the Parsi origin.

Shampoo - A liquid preparation containing soap for washing hair.Hindi campoo - press.

This came as a big surprise,and this question actually figured in india quiz.

Mongoose - Any of various Old World carnivorous mammals having agile body and a long tail and noted for the ability to seize and kill venomous snakes. Marathi mangus, of Dravidian origin.

Anaconda - A large non-venomous arboreal snake of tropical South America that kills its prey by suffocating in its coils. Alteration of Sinhalese henakandaya - whip snake.

I was seriously surprised at this ,as anacondas are not found in india.

Cheetah - A long-legged, swift running wild cat of Africa and Southwest Asia, having black-spotted, tawny fur and non-retractile claws.The fastest animal on land can run for short distances at about 96kn (60 miles) per hour. Hindi cita, from Sanskrit citrakaya - tiger/leopard: Citra- variegated + kaya - body

Thats it for now,for Vitalstatistix must take his annual bath.


I recently happened to chance upon this thread in orkut which basically had a guy comparing non vegetarians to terrorists,and as expected lots of non-veggies went beserk with very few really trying to analyse the situation at all.To give my post quiz 1 joblessness a form i decided to speak my mind on this issue,so here goes.

Well vegetarianism is a reasonably shady concept,given that has no proper definition.For some eggs would be veggie food,while some others would call you a murderer in the womb for having eggs for breakfast while a few other people would even like to compare you to Charles Manson for doing so much as to have french toast.

Undeniably,90% of the time one is a vegetarian or not ,only by a process of natural selection.That is one is veggie if his parents are.People just simply justify their stand on this issue.Very few people actually give suffucient thought to answer this very fundamental 'to be or not to be' question.

For those who would argue that being an omnivore is a man 's birthright,for that is exactly what he has been for the past 10,000 s of years,and that the whole world being veggie is isnt (or atleast most of it) good at all,as it would disturb 'the natural cycle',here is my counterargument.

There is a sufficient amount of 'constructability' in the food cycles that involve man.Lets take the example of poultry.Chicken are actually farmed,ie housed, fed,watered solely for the purpose of being consumed later.Now lets say we stop farming them,and lots of people convert to vegetarianism(forget the numbers).Now humans would simply consume more plants(that he grew) ,there would only be wild chicken,which involve itself in other food cycles,which would invariably be smaller and less complicated.

There is also the energy issue.As we all know solar energy gets converted into other chemical forms of energy in every step,and its not 100%efficient.So our optimum is to have minimum number of steps,which obviously means stopping at the plant stage(we havent evolved yet to tap energy at the solar stage).Now the energy that is wasted in this conversion can never be got back into a form that can do work(I am no expert in thermodynamics,but this is true)

Also the argument about how killing a mosquito is different from killing a hen(as the first one pains you,second one doesnt).

One can quite easily argue that seeing a hen outside and not in your tummy is a threat to the sustainability of your life ,and therefore consuming fowl is not wrong.Secondly one hardly loses any blood due to a mosquito bite(or a dozen of them for that matter),so why kill them?

This blog might actually leave the reader confused as to what my take on this issue is.I have to admit that I fell into the trap of defending what I do.I am a veggie by natural selection,but here i find myself blogging away...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Valhalla!I am coming!

Finally after going through hundreds of blogs,totally joblessly,which goes without saying,my blog is up!
But what sort of blogger will i be?
Well from my extensive research(?)in this area...i have found out that most bloggers fall under these broad categories
1.The Total giveup
2.The Baghdad Blogger types
3.The funny types
4.The trying to be funny types
5.The 'I woke up today and brushed,bathed,dressed myself...' types
6.The socio-politico-economic theory types
7.And finally the best type,i my mind,the optimal combination of the previous six.

Well if I had just started off by describing the second type without a pause that would be doing grave injustice to him,for he is famous in his own right.If it is still of fundamental interest to the reader to know who he is,google him,for i must rest my troops for the night.