Monday, December 18, 2006

Dhoom !!!!

Cricket: This is Sreesanth, of India, responding to Andre (the Giant) Nel of South Africa by scoring a six and..... (more)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Vande Mataram

Vande Mataram - A hundred years, a hundred tunes!!

Written by "Akshay Navami" Bankimchandra Chatterjee" in 1875, Vande Mataram is more than a Hundred years old. Around 1870, the British rulers were trying hard to force their anthem, God Save the Queen, on Indians. This made a deep impact on Bankimchandra’s sensitive mind, and he wrote Vande Mataram in one sitting, in a mood that must be called transcendental. He wrote the song as a prayer in which the nation 'Bharat' was described as 'The Mother'. The song was later included in his novel Anandmath, which was published serially in his magazine Bangdarshan during 1880-1882.

The song remained in the novel Anandmath until it was sung by Rabindranath Tagore at Beadon Square in the 1896 convention of the Indian National Congress. It soon became part of a tradition after that. In 1905, large crowd gathered at a town hall in Calcutta to protest against the partition of Bengal, and someone from the crowd shouted Vande Mataram. It became a very popular slogan overnight. It crossed the boundaries of Bengal and spread all over the country like a flame. Soon the British administration banned the songs and the very slogan Vande Mataram.

Unfortunately this great song has been bereft with controversy. Why do Muslims object to singing of Vande Mataram? What does Vande Mataram have that hurts their sentiments? Vande Mataram as we know it is not the complete song. Originally it has 5 stanzas. In the following stanzas, the song praises the motherland as godess Kali, Durga and Laxmi. It is this equation of the country with Hindu goddesses that seems to irk some of the muslims. From the early 30's itself only the first two stanzas of Vande Mataram are sung. In all the texts subsequently only this abridged version is written. I guess not many of this generation even know about the rest of the stanzas of Vande Mataram. In light of this, I don't think muslims or anyone else should consider Vande Mataram to hurt their sentiments. It is our national song; we should take pride in singing it. It has a legacy, a legacy of hundreds of people, Hindus and Muslims, who have laid their lives hand in hand shouting this slogan. It is a mantra which has given us our freedom.

The following is the English translation of Vande Mataram by Sri Aurbindo:

Mother, I bow to thee!
Rich with thy hurrying streams,
bright with orchard gleams,
Cool with thy winds of delight,
Green fields waving Mother of might,
Mother free.
Glory of moonlight dreams,
Over thy branches and lordly streams,
Clad in thy blossoming trees,
Mother, giver of ease
Laughing low and sweet!
Mother I kiss thy feet,
Speaker sweet and low!
Mother, to thee I bow.

I feel proud when I hear this song. I feel humble when I hear this song. I feel respectful when I hear this song. Vande Mataram !

Monday, August 21, 2006

Shed a Tear!!

The Cabinet's given its nod for the reservation for the OBCs in IIMs,IITs,AIIMS etc. It is so sad to see that there is no single political party, who can stand up against the reservation bill! Shed a Tear! it is a Black day for India!

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Motorcycle Diaries

What made Ernesto Guevara de la Serna Che Guevara? What made a MD student specializing in Leprosy a Revolutionary? Che Guevara denotes a popular icon symbolyzing revolution and left wing political ideals throughtout the world. Was Che born a hero, a legend, a revolutionary?

A 13,240Km journey lasting eight months from Argentina through Chile, Peru and Columbia to Venezuela on 500cc a Motorcycle (named La Poderosa - The Mighty One), hitch hiking, trekking and on a raft! Thats what made Che Guevara.

The Motorcycle Diaries (Diarios de motocicleta in Spanish) is an autobiographical book by Che Guevara about his travels through South America with his friend Alberto Granado on a 1939 Norton 500 motorcycle. Born into an aristocratic family, this was Guevara's first expedition around Latin America. In the book, he details the role and life of the indigenous peasantry throughout Latin America, including mine workers and persecuted communists fleeing their homes.

Based on the above the movie (of the same title) has been a facinating watch. Having read about Che and his history, his role in Cuban Revolution and later exploits in Bolivia and Congo, it was a wonderful experience to get a glimpse of Ernasto "Fuser" Guevara. The movie rather being political, sticks to the journey and Guevara and Alberto's experience. It brings out the the emotions which they must have felt as the saw the rift between the rich and the poor, poverty and sickness of lower classes, exploitation of Mine Workers, the plight of leprosy patients and their segragation from society by placing them on other side of river. The tagline of the movie Let the world change you and you can change the world is so apt.

The wonderful screenplay depicting the beauty of Latin America or the excitement of a great travel or a Che fan! You can have any or all the reasons to watch this beautiful movie.

Trivia: Cuba's National newspaper Granma is named after the yatch used to transport Fidel Castro and his revolutionaries to Cuba, named Granma!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A Thin Dark Line

She has discovered the brutal murder of her friend Pam Bichon. She is a Sheriff's Deputy, Annie Brussard. The accused, whom the whole town believes to be the murderer, is released by the court on a technical legality. After the trial when the victim's father Hunter Davidson loses his control and tries to take a shot at the accused Marcus Renard, Annie overpowers Davidson and prevents him from killing Renard.

He is the detective in-charge of the case, with a in-famous past who has been accused of planting evidence. Detective Nick Fourcade has one too many that night and is not able to control his rage. He believes that he is right and Renard is the murderer, stalks Renard and beats him up as Renard is leaving his office. Annie just happens to be there and stops Fourcade from killing Renard and arrests him.

A partner in an architectural firm, a man described as shy and one to keep to himself, Marcus Renard takes a fancy for Annie. She calls her his angel who has saved his life twice in a day. A brother who suffers from autism, a mother who

Having arrested one of their own, broken the unwritten, unspoken but clearly understood code of Brotherhood among the Law officials, Annie now has to face the wrath of all her colleagues including the sheriff. She is taken off from Patrol duty. She has no one to turn to!

Pam was her friend! She had discovered her body. She had promised Pam's daughter Josie that she will find her mother's murderer. Now off the case and off Patrol duty, she is despondent. An unexpected ally in Nick Fourcade, against whom she has to testify, an unwanted admirer Marcus Renard, who starts giving her presents and meeting her the way he did with Pam, Annie needs to stay focused and solve the case on her own. A series of Rapes occur within a week. Who is this Rapist and is he Pam's murderer? Donnie, Pam's husband whom Pam was going to divorce is a suspect too!

It is a A Thin Dark Line. If she crosses it, there is no turning back. A novel full of mystery and suspense, it has you gripped till the last chapter where you have an unexpected surprise. Enjoy Reading :)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Take a Walk on the Dark Side

AC/DC - Does it stand for "Anti-Christ/Devil's Children" or "Anti-Christ" or "After Christ the Devil Comes!" or the more normal expansion "Alternating Current/Direct Current" ?
The Lightning bolt between the lettering in AC/DC, what does that represent ? Does it re-enforce the insignia or does it represent the Satanic S, that of the hated Nazi's SS?
A number of AC/DC's songs seemed to hint at an alliance with the dark powers. The cover of the hit song Highway to Hell has Angus Young wearing a schoolboy uniform with Devil Horns and holding a Forked Tail, staring wickedly into the Camera!
Did you know that the song "Highway to Hell" was used as a "secret weapon" by the United States Armed Forced in their invasion of Panama in January 1989. The US troops played the AC/DC anthem at full volume to help hasten the surrender of Panamanian Manuel Noriega, who was hiding at Panama's Vatican Embassy!

Are there Really hidden Messages in Rock Songs ?
In the album "The Wall" by Pink Floyd a track is found when played backwards. The track is found at the beginning of "Empty Spaced", just after fade out of "Goodbye Blue Sky". When the track is reversed, the listener can hear a voice stating "Congratulations. You have just discovered the secret message. Please send your answer to Old Pink, care of the Funny farm, Chaford.". Does Old Pink here refer to the founder member Syd Barret? Does funny farm refer to a mental asylum where Barret was for sometime?

Take a Walk on the Dark Side by Gary Patterson uncovers some of rock and rolls most celebrated unsolved murders, tragic deaths, bizarre twists of irony, and decades-long streaks of bad luck that defied rational explanation. With Chapters like Waiting at the Crossroads (where Robert Johnson made his pact with the Devil), The Buddy Holly Curse (Rock n Rolls first tragedy), "Sympathy for the Devil (the Satanic Church and its influence on Rock n Roll) and much more, this book is a hair-raising experience through the Rock n Roll Myths, Legends and Curses.

Enjoy reading :)
P.S: How do I listen to the reversed track when I have the song on a CD ?

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Redline Rumble

Fast Cars -- Highway Races -- Police -- Winner Gets All !!!
Redline Rumble is all about the above. Reminds me of Need for Speed.

You start off with a single car, as you win races the car you have beaten becomes yours. As the you start racing the advanced level cars, the traffic on the Highway increases and so also the Police comes into the game. You need to hide from the police by taking your car under a truck. If you fail to do so you need to escape from the police or your car will be impounded. There are 8 cars to win. The last two cars have Nitro Boosters which give a real zip to the speed. Enjoy the game!!