Thursday, March 30, 2006


Last night when I logged into yahoo messenger through GPRS I read the offliner of my junior who is currently finishing his MS at California. He forwarded the link to an ET article. Being really bored to go to the link late in the night I deleted it but was thinking what could be that article about India which caught his interest and he though may catch my interest. Well I think I should have guessed. While randomly walking through blogs I chanced to read Varun’s blog. Well let me quote first paragraph of this article.

“Quota Raj: Half of IIT, IIM seats may be reserved

These institutions already provide reservations for Scheduled Castes (15%) and Scheduled Tribes (7.5%), as mandated by the Constitution…”

Well so I thought I should also add some value to my blog by atleast something. Well a careful reading of the news might suggest that keeping a tag on central institutes such as Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, IITs and IIMs can be done only by a central body and not by a state body and final word is still awited.

The news might mean distributing laddoos for some people (those who are going to be benefited by it), for some it might mean moving hands on the forehead thinking of a tougher future (those who might have to face a tougher competition) while others (who are not directly affected by it) are going to enter into verbal brawl arguing for or against reservation. There will be a fourth category that will be affected by it comprising of such bodies which although don’t exist physically but are a consortium of such efforts which are vital to a nation’s progress- the colleges. More of them later….

The Reservation was introduced in the constitution of India by Bhimrao Ambedkar with an aim to scrap such a thing within some time span. Now even so many years after the framing does it look any better in the sense that the lesser privileged have caught up with more privileged; this despite giving reservation in premier institutions, govt jobs, parliament, legislative assemblies and latest probably to private sector and Indian army as well?

Not hard to guess the term HUM LOG collectively applies to both the more privileged category and less privileged category. One yardstick to assess the success of such scheme is to check if disparity has reduced or not. The government (or let’s call them VE LOG because VE LOG don’t seem to understand the equations within HUM LOG) probably doesn’t think so which in a way highlights their failure.

The point VE LOG seem to miss in this whole thing is to atleast realize that within the less privileged category there are some mini sections which have advanced to more privileged category and same for some mini section within the more privileged category who have slipped into the former category. All govt. does while framing any policy is refer to Mandal Commission which dates back to 1980. So we still have wards of IAS officers, doctors, ministers, top notch bureaucrats enjoying the same right which a poor brahmin’s son in Orissa is denied. So the least govt. should do to come up with a mechanism so that atleast that mini section of less privileged can be screened out in this lottery scheme. After all that’s the premise of equality.

The government while framing rules should see that even in less privileged category the meritorious gets priority. The present approach seems to be too flawed where in a whole group of people are benefited just based on caste and not the monthly income. So instead govt. should make a fund out of which a person should funded if he’s secured admission to a college and needs funds to continue his education. The whole purpose is foiled if the person secures admission in colleges or gets a job in private sector and is not able to do justice to the education/job and finally end up in the less privileged section again. That’s where VE LOG ensures that the colleges by going back a little in meritocracy are actually contributing to the society.

And again it should be a lottery system wherein you are given one coupon for your lifetime when you can cash the appropriate benefits only once. If you avail of it while education then you will be admitted in that quota. If you avail of it while sitting for a civil service then bars should be lowered for you. After all lifetime offer is given by only Hutch, Airtel and Tata Indicom!

But the interesting part will be to see if at all such a mandate is thrown at central institutions too then will the top IIMs (and this time IITs) too will revolt against the govt. as they had some time back. I don’t think that IITs are still so financially independent that they can carry out the whole functioning themselves!!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Deja Vu

Ever had an eerie feeling on a dinner table when suddenly you look someone/something that you have seen the one/thing before in the perfectly the same setting earlier and then as if in aura of trance, when you turn the head to a side you find the next sequences very logical and consistent with your previous experiences? You somehow find that this sequence couldn’t have been in a dream, from previous experience ‘coz the way a person is holding the spoon and rotating, it just couldn’t be repeated/imitated, ‘coz the way a person is smiling and lifting the finger bowl and passing it on is simply so unique!

Well some of you know that the name for such experiences is Déjà vu. But what most of you may not know is that the correct and closest term for such 'already experienced' or 'already lived through feeling is Déjà vécu.

Déjà vu (French: "already seen", also called paramnesia) describes the experience of feeling that one has witnessed or experienced a new situation previously. The term was given by Emile Boirac.

Déjà vécu- the kind of experiences one-third of the population, mostly highly educated people / frequent travelers, goes through between the age of 15 and 25.
Déjà senti - a feeling of having already ‘felt something’. It’s primarily a mental happening sans precognitive experience, induced by some thought mental/verbalized but in the end only the feeling of feeling remains, the causal thought blurs out.
Déjà visité - an uncanny knowledge of some place, town or landscape. Dreams, reincarnation, out-of-the-body travel and extensive reading of a place have been evoked as reasons.

Myth: déjà vu is an act of "precognition" or "prophecy". Actually it is an anomaly of memory; it is the impression that an experience is "being recalled" which is false. Even you will admit that when experiencing these things, the sense of recollection is strong but a precise knowledge of the previous incident (when, where, how) is uncertain. Likewise later there is little or no recollection of the details of the incident/experience.


  • Overlap between neurological systems responsible for short term (responsible for present events) and long term memory (responsible for past events).

  • Certain disorders such as schizophrenia, anxiety, epilepsy. Another reasons attributed to are improper electrical discharge in the brain resulting in a mild epileptic episode- a jerk, similar to what most people have just before sleep.

  • Associated with precognition, clairvoyance but never reproduced in clinical research.

  • An extension of dreams/scenes; the ones which are in subconscious mind.

Other Experiences
  • Jamais vu: explicitly “not remembering” having seen something before coupled with a rational knowledge of having been in the situation before.

  • Presque vu: "almost seen," the expression means almost, but not quite, remembering something. A kind of “on the tip of the tongues” experience.

  • Déjà éprouvé: "already attempted or tried"

  • It is supposed to originate in temporal lobe behind the head.

  • Experiments have been conducted to reproduce the feeling of Deja visite and related feelings of unconscious familiarity.

My Observations
  • The research has been mainly done on the visual part. It is silent on the other aspects of sensory perception such as smell, touch, sound etc.

  • The argument of little recollection of details incident/experience doesn’t hold true in many cases. People may remember them

  • The first cause of such experiences might explain the reason for slight state of trance.

  • I used to have those feelings when I was still a student, preferred not to come out of the house and definitely was no scholar at all.

  • I am not special and won’t ever know what future has in for me or anybody else.

Friday, March 17, 2006

IF>= (Holi Day).fun THEN holiday=TRUE!!

I think I needn’t explain what the blog is about. If you still can’t guess take a hard lood at the inequality and you will know the subtle idea. Well it was another day to cherish after all hardly I get to celebrate my festivals here in Mysore with as enthu as I used to back at college or as a child at home. So there I was, had planned for a holi excursion with some of the friends, my room-mate being the anchor. It was a day full of fun and some adventure too, less on my part more on the others part. Well to describe the whole experience now would be a cliché since my friends Sid and Amrut have already blogged about it in good detail.

The Best of Me

There were some misfires on this day which might have escaped the attention of others:
  1. I thought of going to Heritage Shelter’s @ 200 bucks but at the end of holi I felt better saving the 200 bucks and going on this thing instead. The day started with gulals when we bumped into an anonymous group of Infoscions. The good part about this day is you play holi with anyone you wish to even if you are not familiar with the one.
  2. We reached for breakfast @ Surya when I spotted this girl with whom I had attended a one day workshop held in my campus. I didn’t think twice before muttering hi and wishing Happy Holi and extending my hands to shake hands. It was only when I saw expression on her face did I realize that she was slightly uncomfortable in recognizing my existence (especially with my face smeared all over with gulals perceptibly with the fear of ending in a similar way). I tried to make amends by asking if she doesn’t play holi and then parted with valedictory cool-down remark of no problem (or something like that). My friends teased me compliments of large contacts but I don’t think I will be plagiarizing if I say we are (may be) just friends!
  3. Well I learnt that Bullet is a very stable bike. I took a round trip on bullet to and from Balmuri. And imagine the rider doing all sorts of acrobats on the bullet (leaving both the hands, putting both the legs on the handle, standing straight on the footrest fixing the handle on the forelegs) and me sitting on the back clutching my hands at the back to grab hold of something that wasn’t!! But no sir, the bullet won’t budge. On a down slope the bullet cruised down coolly without any problem. But cynic I am when it comes to driving, don’t believe the rider!
  4. The Rider, The Fighter, The Bullet

  5. When I was a child and I used to see people riding bikes on a high speed I used to say to myself,”look at these mawalis”. It was something that came to me when I returned from Balmuri (reservoir for KRS dam in Mysore) in half torn sturdy t-shirt that I thought no body can tear apart and shouting happy holi to passers by in the loudest voice possible.
  6. My skill level at swimming is decent but I can’t stay afloat on water (cycling I mean). Balmuri is a reservoir around 700-800 feet deep with the banks around 5 feet deep. In the swimming pool @ my college as a security precaution I used to swim in the deeper section near the wall only. But this time when I saw my friends churning deeper waters I against my initial fears, went a little ahead in deep water. But different from a swimming pool it feels scarier there. Sid plunged in deep waters on our coaxing and was troublesome to control when he stopped short of a stone. Amit too slipped off the bank and had locked my legs with both of his just like a small scared kid does. It will be a waste to mention the end since the blog is dated post-holi.
  7. There was a small t-shirt faado session @ Balmuri, which left everyone’s clothes in tatters. Sid’s kurta was already torn in the shape of a queen’s dress, short shirt from the front and superman’s red accessory from behind; the remains of it adorning our foreheads or wrists. Then everyone took turns in picking one at a time and tearing the t-shirt. I was fortunate enough to have escaped with minimum loss. But I didn’t expect this since the cloth was too sturdy.

  8. The Way We Were Earlier

    The Way Some of Us Were Later

  9. Previous bhaang experiences were not as pleasant as this time. I had consumed the remains of the bhaang which was obviously more bhaang less milk. So in them mid when Jitu started laughing, Amrut broke into a hysterical laughter, Sid was having slight problem controlling it; I joined the party, laughing at anything to everything. Towards the evening lethargy had stepped in the spirits while the body was more floating.
  10. The very next day did I get to know that bhang is a variant of Marijuana and as such should be illegal.
  11. I had never imagined the day would end up this funny and pleasant.

    The day ended with a quite dinner @ TopStuff but I think ate more or it was bhaang’s effect my tummy was so distended the next day that I had to skip brunch.

    P.S. Do see the other blogs by Sid, Amrut to see more pics and experiences.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


My mantra to enjoy an old classical movie

  1. Well sit down first of all accept the truth that it is not these movies which were complete copy-cats but the movies of todays.

  2. If you find funny the dressing style be sure that 10 years down the line what you wear will be considered as funny, so learn that it’s a part of the game, ever changing. Remember, Michael Jackson?

  3. If you think the music is too slow to be partied, well most of today’s music is remix from these songs only. And slow they are but if you really care for meaning and some soul-searching songs then your search ends here.

  4. Last but not the least don’t be judgmental give each movie some chance before pasting a label on it by just looking at the label on the CD. You might hit upon a different kind of beauty which so long you either didn’t bother to discover or were too young to realize it when they had been in the making, after all people still read Devdas and watch Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam, don’t they?

Well here is a list of some of the old classics that I watched last month- Sahib, Biwi Aur Ghulam, Anand, Guide, Awara (Raj Kapoor), Mera Naam Joker, Mughal-e-Azam, Tere Ghar ke Saamne, Saaransh. After watching them I will say I was not disappointed by any of them and at least there were a couple of scenes which moved me deeply so there was always some (positive) memories to take from each movie.

If what I am writing sounds to be a Martian theory pick up Sahib Biwi aur Ghulam and watch out for naughtiness of Waheeda and the crazy innocent devotion of the tragedy queen Meena Kumari. The poignancy of the plots are unmatched with a special reference to the scene in Mera Naam Joker where Raju’s mother dies just immediately before his awaited performance in the circus and he goes on to show to the world the larger-than-life heart of a joker with the scene so immaculate and moving that it left me with a wish to have had met these legends at least once.

Finally, watch such movies to at least form on opinion of your own if at all Raj Kapoor deserves to be called the “showman of the millennium”, if Meena Kumari was really such a moving actress to be called a tragedy queen and whether these people did a justice to the cause they chose for themselves and whether when others praise the olden age cinema are they talking sense!


My friends know me as an unforgiving critic of Bollywood movies-someone who brands a movie as worthy of piracy if it is found that it had been copied in a shameless manner from some Hollywood flick. Just to give you an idea, I had never watched any English movie before my college days and after only 4 years of movie watching I can easily name the Hollywood movie which has been plagiarized in a hindi movie, and it really pained me to see so much of good music (now I am not a good judge of that so sometimes I forgive them for copying music) wasted on copied stories. Even you will realize that after 5 or 6 years most of the movies are remembered for its music and not plot et al.
Well we have been through a time which has little witnessed the talent of the showmen of millennium like Raj Kapoor, Satyajit Ray, and Gurudutt - the pioneers of Indian cinema. So I thought of going back to classics to at least appreciate what these gentlemen created and what has been dragged endlessly into today’s cinema. Recently while watching some of the classics I observed some comparisons b/w the classics and today’s movies:

  • The classics are more poignant than most of the modern movies which are an absurd mélange of 2 or 3 Hollywood flicks. (obviously with certain exception in the movies of both the era’s)

  • The acting in the classical movies might seem very mechanical, in short to say not much refined acting and directing skills but then they were the ones who were creating original and different from Hollywood, as even they knew that a complete aping of Hollywood in Indian context would be absolutely absurd.

  • The actresses in these movies (like Waheeda and especially Nargis in Awara) had more of an aura of grace, something which makes them look sexier than their modern day counterparts who prefer to leave less to imagination and more to description.

  • The story line seems to be too boring and cliché but then that’s one disadvantage an old classical movie or old classical thriller novel have. So oft they have been told through different “inspired” sources that the very original source starts to sound/appear cliché and out of the place.

Lastly it’s these movies which I feel are the gems of the Indian cinema and are worth a try before being branded as outdated or not worthy of watching. Move over to the next blog to see what my mantra to enjoy an old classic movie is.