Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Oscar ka Saya!

Was thriling to watch Rahman take home an Oscar the other night, Gulzar was gravy! A lot has been written already about slumdog and whether you are pro or against it.

Me, I loved the movie and was left with a sense I euphoria post watching it. "it was written" captures so much of our attitude as Indians and how we approach our lives notwithstanding the metaphorical "shit" that we wade through to get to wherever we're going. Ah too philosophical even if superficially so!

This is not a review of slumdog though - I thought it was a really good film - this is why I watch films to be transported and be part of something different - am a sucker for underdog stories, what can I say!

However, Rahman the genius that he is hot his rightful due. I thought that slumdog was an average soundtrack - his Dilli 6 soundtrack is so much more satisfying. As he delivers more music he keeps evolving and melding more influences in his music - the recent infusion of mood and jazz influences ( jaane tu... And rehna tu from dilli 6) are sheer joy to listen to. His unfailing inclusion of a quawwali or sufi influenced songs are almost always gems a true religious experience agnostic of your literal denomination or allegiance.

I don't believe that an Oscar changes anything
About how I feel about Gulzar or Rahman - both genius in what they do. However, recognition is good and world over the Oscar is the gold standard, so to win at that stage is phenomenal and the worldnis richer for their "discovery" of Rahman.

Me, I say
A. He was lucky
B. He knew all the answers
C. It was written
D. All of the above

D, final choice.

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Wither Voter ID Card

General elections are fast approaching and being the "responsible" citizens that we are, the wife and I have been trying to get our voter ID cards. This entire process is turning out to be an impossible task! We have been trying to our cards made for the better part of one year and u have three separate countrefoils from the three times now that we have submitted our applications!

Why thrice? It's my lucky number!:) (and I love to clog the already loaded government data entry folks!) - seriously though - each time we have been told that the previous time did not stick - hence thrice! All this with the help of the local corporator who we feel can get the cards since he's part of the system and also because he has a vested interest in recruiting new voters - or so we think!

We had read somewhere that you could vote if you had a counterfoil of submission -turns out we were wrong, you got to be on the voter top for it to work which brings us back to why this post is happening.

About two weeks back a local group decided that they would do a voter ID card drive, very well meaning and atleast they were doing something! Anyhow, so we went thinking we could check our names in the list - place was very busy, was great to see so much turnout amongst the "corporate" crowd! Anyhow it was chaotic, even they had probably not anticipated the rush! Predictbly, our names were not in the list and the lady says - fill it out one more time cause the administration has screwed everything up! What?

So that was it for the wife and me. While discussing this we thought
A. Why is a pan card not enough to guarantee voting rights?
B. Instead of overloading the system even more by asking people like me to file AGAIN why not volunteer to do data entry? Those people are overloaded or just lazy and indifferent.
C. Are politicians in this country deliberately preventing the middle class from voting?

On a hunch we checked with all the househelp that visits our homes. ALL of them without exception had their voter cards! That's pretty damning evidence if any!

We will probably have to take atleast three days off work to go to the local EC office to try to get registered or perhaps moving to a slum might get me my card quicker?

For all our well meaning candle marches and pledges etc( which I don't subscribe to)- the plain truth is that a whole swathe of us are just being systematically prevented from voting and our schedules don't give us the luxury to take 3 days off to run after apathetic government officials who in cahoots with the politicians to deny you your basic right!

If PAN cards can be automated to where it's a dumbed down process - why is this so hard? Thee is no will hence so way. Meanwhile I am putting in my note for 3 days off.....

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Friday, February 13, 2009

iPhone to blog

My blog posts have gradually dwindled to zero and I've been wondering if in this world of twitter and facebook whether my creative juices needed to be canned in a short status message in facebook or a "tweet"!

Recently got an iPhone, no, call it the "Jesus" phone - it "saves" you from mundane phones! An experiment for me to see if I blog a little more with this device.

For those keeping score - it's an unlocked iPhone and works great so far with airtel in India. Will post the steps I took to unlock the iPhone for free. The idea is to jailbreak it and then unlock it. The dev-team folks have gotten as far as firmware 2.2 and I must say it works as advertised - very nice! Will post links to a blog that had a great step by step post on how to do this.

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