Monday, February 26, 2007


So Water lost out at the Oscars. Not really a surprise, considering India's past record.

But why, oh why, did Leonardo DiCaprio not win?!?

On another tangent, I didn't see the whole show, just bits and pieces towards the beginning, but the presentation by Abigail Breslin and Will Smith's son was definitely one of the cutest I've seen in a long time!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Of talking dogs and high school diplomas...

Have the Indian news channels completely lost their marbles? This afternoon, NDTV 24x7 had a feature about the dogs of mumbai, which I might have continued to watch if they hadn't started interviewing street dogs, complete with some precocious kid doing the voice-over for the dog.
Then now, just an hour or so back, I stared fascinatedly for all of thirty seconds as Star News went on with their appeal to the viewers to cast their votes on whether or not they think it was right or not of some girl to have jilted her fiancé on the day of their wedding in favour of her true love!!!
This is news these days. Sheesh.

Amidst all the trash on Indian televsion these days, there are a few not so popular shows, usually telecast on weekend nights, which, while not be pathbreaking in any way, are rather sweet and fun to watch occasionally. I don't watch them regularly, but come across them at times while flipping channels.
The other day, one of these shows, which is based in a small moholla, had a rather interesting track. An old lady, whose grandchildren are grown and on the verge of leaving home, decided to try and fulfill one of the long-cherished dreams: to give her Matriculation exam. Having got married at the age of 16, just a month before her Class X Boards, she had always dreamt of giving the exams, but never got the oppurtunity. Till the point I continued to watch, she had received her admit card and was trying to convince her husband to allow her to sit for the exams.
About a year ago, a friend of mine had mentioned how her mother never got to go to college and was now expressing the desire to pursue further education. We told her about places like IGNOU but I don't think she ever followed it through.
There are probably so many people in India who had to leave their studies prematurely for various reasons, be it marriage, or lack of funds, or simply their parents thinking it was unnecessary for them to continue. In the USA, they night classes for those who want to finish their high school graduation; India doesn't have a system like that. Yes, we have distance learning and correspondence courses at the higher levels; institutes like IGNOU and DU enable people to pursue their graduation or even post-graduation at later stages in life. But what happens to those who want to do their basic schooling? Give their Matriculation exams? They can give these exams as open candidates of course, but I do wish there was some kind of system where these people could also attend classes if they so chose.
Of course, while I'm at it, I also wish the whole freaking education system in India would change, but that's another story altogether.

Update: (04/03/07)
I watched the latest episode of that show last night, and apparently after a great deal of resistance the Man of the House decided to support his wife in her decision to take her Matriculation exams at the age of 55 or something. The last scene showed him waiting for her to come out after her first exam with nariyal ka paani in his hand. How sweet! :)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The problem with Wikipedia this.
You're telling me. I went there yesterday to look some stuff for a repost I have to write; I landed up on a page about a goddess I'd been meaning to read up on for some time!

Personally, I have my suspicions about Wikipedia. You do a search on any freaking topic in the universe, and the Wikipedia page will be there in the top five results. So I wonder if they've actually done something to make it turn out that way.
We all know it can be done. I mean, people fixed their blogs in a way so that if you typed in "miserable failure" in Google and clicked on the "I'm feeling lucky" button, you would get George W. Bush's biography in the White House website. Earlier this year, Google decided to step in and fix it so that if you try it now, you get this article instead!!!
My point is, like the BBC article says, it apparently doesn't need too many people to make a particular website top the searches. So what's to stop the Wikipedia crowd from doing so?
The only loophole that I can see in my latest conspiracy theory is this: that's an awful lot of articles they'd have to sit and fix !!!

The other problem that Wikipedia might occasionally have is its accuracy. Since pretty much anyone and everyone can create and/or edit articles there, you really don't know how accurate someof the stuff there is. I'm sure they have a staff to try and keep an eye on stuff, but when you have a site on pretty much everything open to pretty much the whole world for editing, I'm pretty darn sure there are going to be occassions incorrect stuff gets published.
Of course, that doesn't change the fact that Wikipedia is still the first place I head to whenever I need to look up something!!!

I have no idea if it's a coincidence or irony or what, but ever since I wrote this entry, Wikipedia hasn't featured in the top ten results of 90% of the searches I've done. Talk about freaky! (25/02/07)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Pitter patter...

Last week, I was going around asking everyone if it's supposed to be this warm in February. Today, (well, yesterday, really) I was asking everyone if it's supposed to be raining this time of the year.
You see, the thing about the weather is (as my wisdomous fellow blogger pointed out some months back), you never really know for sure what kind of weather you're supposed to expect, particularly in the between-season months. I mean, yes, we in the NCR know that May & June will be blazing, July & August will probably see some rain, and December & January will be freezing. What about the rest?
It's those in-between months when you don't really know what to expect. When the weather starts fluctuating like it has been for the last couple of weeks, are we experiencing a warm spell in cold weather or a cold spell in warm weather?

The last couple of days have been my favourite kind of weather - cool, breezy, the hint of rain in the air... Bliss! It's the kind of weather that makes you want to curl up with a good book, or go for a walk (with someone other than your utterly spoilt and indisciplined dog), or go for a long drive with the windows open, or just sit facing the wind with your eyes closed.
It rained off and on all through yesterday, in varying degrees, from drizzling to downright pouring. Have you ever stood under a building at dusk and watched the lights shine on the rain as it falls to the earth? Isn't it one of the most beautiful sights ever?

No, rain doesn't come without bringing its share of pitfalls. Lightning for example. And the fact that currently (and I quote) my "beloved friend is grievously ill because of it." But I refuse to get into those. It takes a lot to ruin my mood when it rains.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Oh my!

As a Harry Potter fan (what, you didn't know?!?), it was but obvious that I wouldn't take kindly to this article. I'd say more, but the 197 comments already there seem to have to said it all.

I wonder if there were people who did agree with Ms. Reid but didn't dare say so considering the kind of reactions she's got?

PS: In case you're wondering, I'm working up to a couple of rants. Thank you.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Lookit that!

Whoa. Katrina did that? Imagine what the tsunami did to dozens of towns along the coasts then... Made phonebooks nonexistent perhaps.

Although a comment left by one of the visitors does make sense... It could partially be due to the fact that an increasing number of people are getting mobile phones, which are typically not listed in phonebooks. But still... dude!!!

[Link courtesy India Uncut]

The picture's been deleted from the linked page for some reason; too bad for you if you didn't visit my blog in time to see it! (13/02/07)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Snippets from sundry sources...

There are so many fascinating things you come across on the World Wide Web that just spur you to say something about them at times. When blogging began, way back in the 1990s (seems like a lifetime ago, dunnit?), it was used mainly as a list of websites any given blogger was in the habit of visiting, and his/her opinions on the same. These "Web-logs" soon evolved to become "blogs" which began to used as various other purposes than just as links to other sites. Yet, even today, many bloggers do use this pattern; they come across something interesting on the Internet, post a link to it on their blog, and add their own comments or opinions on the topic. Which, if you think about it, is a very effective way of dealing with the problem I very often have of not having enough to write about on any topic that catches my fancy.

It is one of the ironies of my life that people think I am a very well-read person. Reading all of Austen's works at the age of 16 just because I had nothing better to do with myself does not an intellect make. Yet, if you look at this article, I can honestly state (unlike 33% of the respondents) that I have read 5 and 1/3rd of the books named on this list. I ain't telling which though.

I am fascinated by the kind of patterns people are actually observant enough to pick up on. Did you know, for instance, that nearly every time Al Gore visits a place to talk about global warming, the temperatures in that place actually drop? Don't believe me? Take a look for yourself. Although Mr. Bolt is smart enough to deny any attempt to propose a theory or any such thing!
"You have a piece of bread and you are full enough to give it to someone else. In front of you, 10 guys are waiting for your charity. You can say only one sentence to them. But with only this one sentence, you need to find out who is the most hungry guy. What are you going to say?"
Reading India Uncut made me come across this article, which made me stop and think a bit. I stopped thinking once I read this. That pensive, I'm not.