22 July 2008

The Usual

Simplest way to listen to this stunning song -- close your eyes, and relax. The video sucks, but the audio kicks some big time ass, as is the wont of the songs of those times. Some stunning guitars and flute pieces in this song. Notice how smoothly the violin starts the song and the guitar and flute pieces take over. The only sore part is probably Illayaraja's voice, but the orchestration makes up for it.



Shyam

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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 9:43 AM 0 comments

Idea to Toss

So here's an idea to toss. Most of us are on Facebook and Orkut. I am quite sure that we would have not escaped google's net too, with gmail accounts.

How easy/difficult is it to pick up the birthday's of your friends in Orkut and Facebook and add it to your google calendar and make it send reminders a day before ? Since facebook provides a way to embed your orkut page, I think picking up the date of your friends birthday from facebook and adding it to google calender must not be difficult.

Won't this help people like me who keep forgetting birthday's of people they want to wish ?

Shyam
PS: It could be possible that there is some kind of application that does this. If so, please post about it in comments.

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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 9:23 AM 2 comments

21 July 2008

For a Change

Since the clutch wire of my Enfield gave away, I had to use my Father's Kinetic Honda to get to the store to buy one. That is precisely when I realized the difference in driving an Enfield versus any other two wheeler.

For starters, whenever I gently press my horn on my Enfield, I have always seen vehicles (two wheelers and auto's) give me way. When I honked the Kinetic Honda, no one seemed to care ! Secondly, every minute I was driving it, there was always this inner fear that the vehicle will topple over any minute and bring me down along with it. I guess I had got accustomed to the weight of the vehicle to judge my movements, and with the weight of a Kinetic being half of Enfiled, I did have a tough time. Thirdly, whenever I had to stop, I could not place my feet directly below. I had to place them at-least a foot forward, quite close to the front wheel. Since I had got used to keeping my knees straight when I stop the bike, I could not adjust to stopping the vehicle when my knees were bent. I guess the Kinetic was made for people around 5.5 feet in height and if you are anywhere more than that, it does pose a significant problem. And the final problem was when I had driven around 40 or so km. I could feel every muscle along my hands and back screaming me to stop. They had gotten numb !

Conclusion: I think my body has got too accustomed to driving an Enfield !

Shyam

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 11:22 AM 0 comments

09 July 2008

Wanted: Review



What happens when you see too much of John Woo's movies and re-runs of Matrix ? You take an average run-of-the-mill story, add a twist, add some fables about groups, a tattooed Angelina Jolie, and try to make a pot-boiler. And what happens when you see your script and know for sure that it is going to flop if you do not have a star who can pull in the crowds ? You get a few of them, namely, Angeline Jolie and Morgan Freeman, who do nothing but hemming and hawing and practically sleep walking through their roles.

That, in short, ladies and gentlemen is all that Wanted is about. The story, if there is one, is about an accountant who suffers from bouts of high adrenalin flowing through his veins. However, he is a real loser in life(SpiderMan anyone ?) Through a chance encounter, he discovers that he has an assassins blood flowing through his veins. He joins a group of assassins who tell him that his father was killed by a certain person and he must help them kill the person who killed his father.

There is however, a good action sequence on a train, where regular watchers of such mindless hollywood action crap, would have predicted what is about to happen.

All in all a totally avoidable movie.

Shyam

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 10:02 AM 2 comments

07 July 2008

The Cottage : Review



The Cottagewas recommended to me by Rajesh. I thought this must be one of those Hostel kind of movies and proceeded to have a look into it.

The movie starts off pretty nicely with two men arriving at an abandoned cottage. If you did not read the review or anything like that, you soon find out that those two men are brothers and they have kidnapped the sister of the elder brother's boss and are holding her to ransom. While the younger brother is genuinely funny, it is the elder brother, played by Andy Serkis (Remember LOTR ?), who invokes a few laughs even while of maintaining a serious face.

The kidnapping goes horribly wrong when the hostage escapes and wanders off into the nearby woods. It is then that this movie morphs into something totally different. If I write anything more, it would be a kill joy for all those interested in watching the movie. I will stop at just saying that the second half is definitely not for the plain hearted with some nice twists in the tale towards the end. Needless to say, for those who have been tuned to watching that particular genre of movies, it is quite easy to predict the next sequence.

I would suggest those interested in watching this movie to rent out a DVD, for I guess that this movie did not, or rather, will not make it to theaters here in India.

Verdict: A decent movie to while away an hour and half.

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 12:02 PM 0 comments

Miracle

It is not on all days that miracles happen and you get to see them. Here's what happened at around 7.00PM on the Madras-Bangalore golden quadrilateral road.

If you have been traveling on that road, you would now know that the toll gates start at Sriperumbudur. Given the fact that I now live in Madras, my trips on this wonderful road are in the reverse direction, i.e., from Madras to Bangalore on friday afternoons and Bangalore to Madras on Sunday afternoons.

And so, since the battery on my Royal Enfield was dying down, I was quite determined to reach home before the night time traffic peaks out on the road. I was doing a steady 80-85kmph. Given the fact that I drive a 200kg bike, that kind of speeds are quite comfortable, both to the driver and the bike. At the toll gate in Sriperumbudur, a 125cc piece of plastic and metal whizzed past me and I did not even bother to check on what it was. Once I crossed the toll gate, I accelerated into a comfortable speed and settled down nicely.

Suddenly, the plastic piece whizzed past me and that too on my left hand side. Overtaking from the left, on the highways, is the first recipe for disaster. The driver was not even wearing a helmet and the roads were a bit wet. Naturally enough, those bikes cannot sustain that kinds of raw acceleration for large periods of time and hence, he had to slow down. I overtook him and warned him by sign language that the roads were wet, and he did not have helmet. I gestured him to slow down and do a comfortable pace. Heck, he did not even have a jerkin to protect him. All he had was a t-shirt and a jeans, with a headphone plugged into his ear. His bike did not even have rear-view mirrors to help him to see what was coming behind him, something that is crucial when you are driving on a highway.

The first warning sign was that when he tried to overtake a truck without using his indicators or giving any signs that he was about to do so, a huge SUV came behind him and braked to a screeching halt to avoid hitting him. The driver of the SUV, naturally enough, showered him with the choicest abusive language that one can muster. It seemed to have little effect on the driver of that piece of plastic.

The second warning sign was that when he tried to overtake a truck "A" from the left. There was an opening in the median, and another truck "B" came into the from the right. To avoid hitting truck "B, the driver of the truck "A" moved a bit to his left and narrowly missed hitting that piece of plastic.

As the saying goes, it is hard to be third time lucky, but this bloke was. I was overtaking a truck from the right and this guy was trying to overtake both the truck and me from the right hand side. So he had to go real close to the median. He did not see the pool of water that had collected close the median. He skid and skid real bad. For almost 100 meters, as you see in movies, he skid on the road. Thankfully enough, his head did not hit the road. One could see sparks coming out from his bike that was skidding on the road. The truck driver, the drivers of a few cars and myself all stopped at the corner and went to see what was wrong with him. Thankfully enough, he had survived with just some flesh level injury. No broken bones and most importantly, no head injuries. The truck driver was livid and almost slapped him. So did the drivers of a few other SUV's. All I told him was that he is alive to die another day.

Moral of the story:
1. No piece of plastic is match for Royal Enfield on the highway. Do not even try to overtake or try to do anything with it. If you see it overtaking you, let it pass. Your ego will not be hurt.
2. Always wear a helmet and make sure your bike has proper rear view mirrors.
3. Highway driving is not city driving. In a city, the guy would have escaped. On the highway, he escaped simply because he was lucky.
4. There is no room for ego on higway.

Shyam

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 9:36 AM 7 comments

Perspective

I have always been saying that it is all about perspectives. For example, people here in India queue up for movie tickets. People outside India queue up for Apple 3G phones.

So, if it is movie tickets here, it is phones there. QED

Shyam

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 9:32 AM 0 comments