April 8th, 2008

boy with dog

Smile Mode

Its been a little over two months since I blogged from my own lovely typewriter, and its a good feeling to be reunited with it again, and to sit and compose mindlessly arbit posts on it.

All this while, it was an office laptop that bore the brunt of my ramblings, which is probably one reason why the frequency of posts wasn't as prolific as it would normally be, were I able to blag straight off my own typewriter. There is a certain comfort level associated with this that I don't seem to be able to get with any other.

This post, titled pretty weirdly is one that is again centered around a portable music player that I am in love with. (Note to Self: Have a new tag for posts titled iPod).

Now, listening to songs all the time, there are occasions on which, due to some or the other reason, some songs bring a smile on one's face. The funda is that, on listening to songs with a huge grin plastered on one's face, the song for some strange reason sounds so much better than when heard with a straight face. Maybe it is because the facial muscles that make one grin push the ear plugs further within into the inner-ear to make music sound better.

I can't put my finger on it, but the bass sounds heavier, the treble is crispier, and being in 'smile mode' enhances one's listening experience in a manner that is beyond description of words, try as hard as I might to convey it across.

Somehow, this is applicable only to personal music players, and not so much to listening to music arbitrarily without headphones / ear plugs on a conventional music system. I think its probably because of the fact that this is meant to be a purely personal experience as the listener connects to the music, one-on-one.
boy with dog

The Kite Runner

I had received Khaled Hosseini's 'Kite Runner' as a birthday present two years ago from a certain cheap guy who celebrates his birthday today.

I really liked the book when I read it, because it was a human interest story. There was nothing really fascinating about it, and the only new things to learn from it were about life in Afghanistan before the Russian invasion, and the situation and circumstances that the country was facing under the Taliban rule, both of which were in the background as the story unfolded itself.

A powerful and moving tale of friendship, stuff that tugs at your heart-strings, no matter how macho you are and ends up making you get goose bumps, I just saw the movie version of the book on saturday evening.

Seeing the movie reinforced my belief that it is possible only under very few circumstances to do full justice to a book in its movie representation.

The line - 'For you a thousand times over...', used on two occasions in the book is so powerful that it gave me goose bumps when I read it. The circumstances under which the line makes its presence felt should be experienced first hand on reading the book, but needless to say, it captures the essence of the deep bond of friendship between the characters around whom the story revolves.

The corresponding portrayal in the movie was 'Meh', at best.

PS - Happy Birthday to Monkee and to Ron.
boy with dog


Another movie I saw over the weekend was The Darjeeling Limited, which was recommended by a friend in the US, who had told me that its a pretty psychedelic movie, a good one of the drame-comedy genre.

The movie was quite absurdly funny, and represented the portrayal of our country through the eyes of someone not from it, and was a story about how three brothers grow closer together as they travel across our country on a train.

With some very interesting incidents that dotted the course of their journey, and some visually stunning portrayals that only a big screen can do justice to (I saw the movie on DVD at home, luckily the print was ok and I have a good sound system), it was quite a fun movie to watch.

Now the thing that caught me most about the movie, apart from its soundtrack, which is really cool, starting off with 'This Time Tomorrow' by the Kinks, was the closing credits.

The closing credits of a movie, which I read without fail in theatres or at home when I am watching a movie whenever it is shown have some really interesting stuff on it, and the one for this movie read like the employee roster of some tech industry with branches based someplace in California and with a back office in Bangalore or Gurgaon.

The one thing that caught my eye was the list of carpenters, who were obviously necessary to craft the elaborate sets for the movie, and most of them had the suffix Vishwakarma attached to their name.

Now I've been inducted with enough and more of mythology when I was a kid, due to the dilligent efforts of my parents to know Shlokas and a whole lot of other stories and tales, but I wasn't aware till date that carpenters would be known by the name given to the master architect.

Fundaes only.
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    This Time Tomorrow - The Kinks
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boy with dog

News Channels Suck

I had previously posted about how I was in total agreement with how trivialization was becoming a leitmotif for the Indian mainstream television media and how The Hindu was one of the sole survivors of the en masse dumbing down that our media has subjected itself to, to cater to the moronic idiots whose viewpoints on the world seem to be myopic enough to encompass issues such as which state Amitabh Bachchan belongs to, or that Salman Khan is hosting a new reality TV show.

Grossness only.

Now, I sometimes have this habit, whenever I am not drowsy enough early in the mornings to switch on the TV to put on either (a) VH1 classics or (b) The News on some decent enough channel to see what's been happening since I saw what had been happening last.

VH1 classics plays stuff that I still listen to, making me feel ancient. I could almost have one foot of mine in the grave, judging by their estimations of what makes a 'classic'. Spaz people.

I'm playing to the gallery. I'm only being facetious.

Ergo, it is the news only. This morning, I was watching the news and my belief that having a 24 hour news channel is max pain simply because channels keep repeating news and repeating news ad nauseum was totally reinforced.

The same story about how the Golden Gate bridge had banners put up in favour of Tibet's freedom, and how the Olympic flame was put out thrice (or four times, news channels aren't certain) during the relay in Paris, and how the Chinese government was satisfied with the security arrangements in India when the torch relay happens here on 17th April (though nobody cares much about what might happen in Islamabad the day before that!) were stories I heard thrice in a span of 45 minutes.

Same stories, same sequence, same news reader. Its almost as if the news channels were taking a 20 minute news segment and running it for as long as it was possible.

Sure it works well when people are arbitly tuning in to find out more information, but for the others who crave to know more about what developments have taken place, its kinda putting off, and they switch to looking towards the almighty internet for more relevant content.

Maybe they should just put up informational alerts as and when new stuff happens, rather than bombard us with the same stuff which becomes mindless after a certain point of time.