Monday, July 27, 2009

The universal conspiracy strikes again

I officially hate lizards.

I got stranded in the rain today yet again (what is it with sudden rainstorms and me walking on the road?). It was past 8.30 PM and not a single rickshaw on the road. I managed to reach a nearby market and take shelter there.

These poor moths were getting attracted by the light of the ATM, flying towards it, banging into the glass door and sliding down. And these four huge lizards were sitting there, waiting to bring out their tongue and grab the next moth to fall.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Of policies and degrees...

The father raised an interesting point this morning.

One of the leading investment firms in India asks for various documents when you invest with them. As proof of birth, they accept only the Class X certificate that CBSE hands out to all those who clear the Boards. Useful document this one is; we all used it as our date of birth proof when applying to college, since I don't know many people who know where their actual birth certificate is lying today.

But here's the father's point (which I think is extremely valid):
"i wonder if this is legally tenable - in the sense that {this firm} is denying non-10th pass/fail adults, who may have investible surpluses, the right to invest in their funds."
Are we saying that people who haven't cleared their Class X Boards can't make these kind of investements? Rather a bizarre assumption, isn't it, that people who haven't studied past a certain level won't have the money to put into the market?

This reminds me of the story by Somerset Maugham (and for the life of me I can't recall the story's name). The janitor of a church, who has worked there since he was a teenager, is suddenly asked to leave by the new vicar simply because the latter has discovered that the janitor is uneducated. While walking home, the janitor tries to think of what he should tell his wife when he sees a tobacco shop and comes up with the bright idea of setting one up himself. It turns into a raging success, and over the next few years, he has a whole chain of stores and ends up a fairly wealthy man. The story ends with his bank manager advising him to invest his idle money somewhere to which he responds saying he can't since he can't read or write. The astonished bank manager says something to the effect of "if you've made so much money with knowing how to read or write what would you be doing if you could." "I'd be the janitor in St. Peter's Church."

There you go.

Update: The father very kindly pointed me to the link of the story - The Verger.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

From hibernation to the Half-Blood Prince

Well, at least Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince achieved something... it got me out of hibernation mode.

PVR was running "paid preview" shows of the movie tonight, a day before it officially releases in India. So of course, I went.

In a nutshell? Disappointing.

As people who have been following this blog since the beginning of time would know, I get all excited about the HP movies, but I also tend to go in for them with zero expectations. Now, the last two movies - Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix - managed to impress me somewhat, primarily thanks to their climax scenes, which were fairly well made.

The sixth movie, however, failed in two major areas: a, way too much importance and screen time given to the silly teen love angles, and it was done really stupidly, which meant that all through the movie, I was groaning in exasperation at regular intervals. (I mean, Ginny tying Harry's shoelaces? What the hell was that?) B, the climax scene was really, really, really lame. And the ending was plain dumb.

Of the two added scenes, the first one, which became the opening to the movie, was fairly cool, and you could see why it was added. I had an impact. The second one, however, was poorly done, pointless, and added nothing to the story.

The characters: Emma Watson continues to annoy me, and is really too pretty to be playing Hermione. Her hair's not even bushy! Ron's role was reduced dramatically for some odd reason, which was a pity I thought, and totally unnecessary. Yet again, not enough of the Weasley twins. Lupin's and Tonks' romance was mentioned rather dismissively. And Michael Gambon just doesn't work as Dumbledore. And I didn't see the point of showing Fenrir Greyback if they weren't going to build on it - almost all the incidents talking about him were cut out.

Voldemort's backstory was cut short ruthlessly - only the two critical scenes were shown. Dumbledore tells Harry nothing about what the horcruxes are likely to be, so God alone knows what they'll do in the next two movies.

I'm currently rereading the series - backwards. On the fifth book right now; four more to go!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Things I have wanted to blog about... the past few months, but haven't:

  • Twitter
  • The Hindu Adoption Law
  • The Delhi Metro Construction
  • My travels
  • My hair
  • My dog
  • The fire in my house, five days after I commented on this post