Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Of needs, wants, and entitlement

I was reading a post by Prof. Soumen on varta. I was an article published in NY Times. Quite interesting read.


Ms. Smith's daughter, Sarah Ross, also acquired an iPod recently. ("In one
of my classes someone had one," said Sarah, a senior in high school. She
recalled looking it over "for a half an hour" one day.) Next she needed a
new laptop to go along with her iPod. "She was bugging me and bugging me,"
Ms. Smith said.

"It's always the argument that she would be a better student, she could take
it anywhere, she could take it to the library," Ms. Smith explained with a
chuckle. "You see how it goes."


Every now and then I have a similar conversation with Yogi (my younger brother), only in this case I am asking him that I want to buy some new 'cool thing'. I had one yesterday night too. :) He can excercise restraint and that's the reason I always consult him before buying anything. Of course I often managed to talk him into letting me buy some stuff but he has been a stablizing factor in my life, some friends went as far as saying that he is acting as my mom :)) I don't think he reads this blog though. But if he reads it.. "Dusht mujhe koi digicam khareedne do " :>

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I just finished reading/seeing The Essential CALVIN AND HOBBES, as the book tag line says, it really is a Calvin and Hobbes Treasury. Calvin as a character is probably the most creative kid in literature. And he looks very short for a 6 yrs. old. I used to read so many Raj/Manoj comics when I was in school but got to read C&H, Snoopy only recently in newspapers, I like most of the comic strips but C&H, Snoopy and Dilbert are my favorites.

I think I forgot to add a thank you note for Simha, I borrowed the book from him.

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Monday, May 30, 2005

I went to San Francisco yesterday with Shaadi and his friends. I realized that car rental rate for a day are same as minimum taxi fare. Shaadi was driving in his usual video game style mode and the ride to SF was fun. We had lots of snacks and map lying in the car and the map were really very useful.

First place we went was a carnival in and had a tough time finding parking space. The carnaval was not all that great, just a big crowd with lots of music and noice and some stalls trying to sell clothes and handicrafts (probably made in udaipur) for exceptionally high rates.

We also got to see some beutiful buildings like City Hall and saw The Great Seal of state of California (its really not that great, but for a seal, yes it is huge).

After that we went to Lombard Street, it is also called the croockedest street. See more info here. It was really fun sitting in car at such an inclination, wheel spins were unavoidable. Its good that almost all cars in US use automatic gear shift otherwise driving the car would be nearly impossible (there are lots of people who come to see the street, hence traffic crawls). There are many street with similar inclination in mussourie but I didn't see any one this long (the approach to street) and surely none of them were this curvy. (A slogan on one of the J&K roads, "Honey, Not too fast on my curves")

We went to Fisherman's Wharf next, it is said to be SF's most popular destination with lots of seafood hotels, and street vendors. The street was really very colourful, I bought a jacket from one of the shops because it was very cold. We couldn't take a ferry ride to alcatraz because we were too late. The famous Golden Gate bridge that has been destroyed atleast 100 times in various hollywood movies was looking very small from the street and I was disappointed that it was really not as grand as I expected. I was soon to be proven wrong, after having a very bad but enjoyable :> lunch at Hooters we went straight to Fortpoint to see sunset and suddenly the bridge was gignatic. But Shaadi was not satisfied with the view and he wanted to see sunset from a nearby hill, we crossed the bridge (it is a metal beauty) and lost our way :)) Some more map reading got us to a good place but alas, we were again just minutes late, the surrounding scenery was really good and multiple people simultaneously compared it with rivendell (I got to watch the movies, I have seen parts of second LOTR).

Will write later..

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Saturday, May 28, 2005

General with no army

Gera has a lot to say about bloggers of my type, though he says it in an article fo a totally different theme. The only part I am missing is the 'army of followers', where are you my soldiers? Am I a general with no army (Vivek/ET, you don't count) :))

I would like to ask Gera, why do you have problem with such bloggers? And if you have a problem, all you have to do is not visit their blog, which doesn't sound a really difficult task to me :-) and why generalize LJers? Scienty's blog does not fall in this category he writes good poetry.

I brushed my teeth today but my average bath count per day index (ABCPDI) now approaching 1 rapidly cause instead of two, I am taking just one everyday :D Now that we are at it, I would also like to state that I am the kind of person who belives in the funda of To wipe is human, to wash divine a common phrase in my hostel wing.

While I was writing this blog, a screeching alarm went off, someone was trying to heat popcorns in microwave. Now I know that at least one of the SO MANY smoke detectors work(ed).

My army, I summon you to consume world bandwidth with your comments about my rapidly decreasing ABCPDI. Let us also discuss about large quantity of timber that is being used in making all the wiping equipments when we could easily use water recycle it for watering plants with higher mineral and urea content.

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About two weeks back I had used Magellan GPS for the first time, a colleague dropped me at the hotel I am residing in and just to show me the stuff we tried to get directions from the device installed in his car. He was planning to gift it to his wife on wedding anniversary and according to him this was the only time he can actually using it, during trial. :)

I liked the device. The part that impressed me most was constraints on onscreen keyboard, If we wanted to type in a state name it would disable the letters that do not start any statename, if we typed C (for california in our case) it would show us only the letters that are valid to making up a state name and of course within three keystrokes we could get the name of state (google suggest, dictionary and translator in mac os x also support similar intelligence). Of course one could always disable this feature, but if I am the user I will definitely keep it on, it is so easy to make spelling mistakes in proper nouns.

The device allows you to choose helper voice and changes navigation directions if you take a wrong turn or don't take a suggested turn. It also keeps 'No Entry' roads in 'mind' while suggesting route (I don't know how the data is updated though).

For people living in US, GPS navigation aids are as common as a toothbrush but this was my first experience with GPS for this purpose, my first experience was in 98 when we were just measuring area of hockey field and cricket pitch in SAC grounds during two labs.

This forced me to think that it would be really very difficult to make such devices available in India because there is no GIS mapping available yet. Is there? With so many rules and regulation, I would tend to think that it would be controlled by government body which is still taking a nap untill some highly posted officer/minister at a takes a fancy to this technology and starts working towards making the information and technology available in India.

An offtopic quest.: Someone told me that in Tamilnadu there are so many temples that they actually have/had a minister and department for this.. do/did they?

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Now that I have found that typing in hindi and spanish is relatively very easy, I tried to translate a wikipedia article on Ghalib. I realized that I have not written (or typed) at any length in Hindi in years in I make a lot of mistakes in spellings and my vocabulary has also left me since :( Of course once I have done complete translation I wil correct all the grammaticall errors related to usage of singular and plural pronouns and verb forms :)

Here is the partially translated article, once I have finished complete translation I might upload it on हिन्दी विकि

मिर्जा असदुल्ला बेग खान गालिब (उर्फ मिर्जा गालिब) (दिसंबर २७, १७९७ - फरवरी १५, १८६९) एक भारतीय शायर थे। गालिब उर्दु तथा फारसी मे कविताएं (गजल) लिखते थे। वे तीन प्रमुख गजल लेखकों मे से एक माने जाते हैं।

अपने समय के प्रभावी कवी होने के साथ-साथ गालिब एक अथक पत्र लेखक भी थे। अपने समय के बारे मे लिखे गये उनके शेर, पत्र एवं गीतों का मिश्रण एक बहुत ही अच्छा इतिहासकारी कार्य है।

शायद गालिब उतनी बडी शख्शियत नहीं थे जितना उनकी जीवनगाथा लिखने वालों, प्रमुखतया मौलाना हाली ने उन्हे बनाने की कोशिश की है। वो अपना जीवनयाचन करने के लिये समझौते से उपर नहीं थे।

विषय सूची

१ गालिब का बचपन
२ नौजवान गालिब
३ कठिन समय
४ कवी गालिब
५ मुस्तफा खान शेफ्ता
६ गालिब के जीवन का नया अध्याय
७ विरक्त गालिब
८ एक महान कवी को श्रद्धांजलि
९ विषश टिप्पणी
१० सम्बधित लेख
११ बाहरी सामग्री (links)

गालिब का बचपन

गालिब का बचपन राजसी शानो-शौकत मे बीता, एस समय भारत मे राष्ट्रीयता का जन्म नहीं हुअा था एवं समाज कई वर्गों मे बटा था। हम देखते हैं की वो काफी खुश था लेकिन तभी तक जब तक उसके पिता एवं चाचा जीवित थे। उनके मरणोपरान्त गालिब उनके चचेरे भाइयों के संयुक्त परिवार का हिस्सा बन गये।

१० वर्ष की अवस्था मे ही गालिब कवितायें लिखने लगे थे, ये कवितायें उनकी सर्वश्रेष्ठ रचनाओं मे से नही परन्तु उनमे एक भावी कवी कि झलक नजर अाने लगी थी। उनकी रचनाएं मीर ताकी मीर, जोकि अपने समय के प्रभावी कवी थे और अपने समय के अन्य कवियों के अालोचना के लिये जाने जाते थे, को भी दिखायी गयी। मीर ने टिप्पणी दी, यदि एक काबिल उस्ताद (योग्य गुरु) मिल जाये तो गालिब एक महान कवी बन सकते हैं।

अन्तत: गालिब को उसे सिखाने वाले मिल गये, किसी एक व्यक्ति के स्वरूप मे नहीं, परन्तु उनके अास पास के वातावरण मे। सही ढंग से उर्दू कविता लिखना कडे परिश्रम तथा निर्रथक अध्याय का काम था।

नौजवान गालिब

गालिब ने दिल्ली को अपनी कर्मभूमि बना लिया था। उनका घर, जो बल्लीमरन अौर गली कासिम जान के कौने पे था, पारम्परिक दिल्ली की इमारतों जैसा था: इस घर का सामने वाला हिस्सा ईंट की ऊँची दिवार थी तथा घर की अन्य दीवारें बीच के चौक को घेरती थी। क्योंकि उन्हे अकेले समय चाहिये था यह घर उनके लिये अच्छा था।

गालिब अभी से उस निखरे हुए अंदाज मे लिखने लगे थे जो उनकी शायरी को बाकी सबसे अलग करता है। "गालिब दो तरह के हैं", वो कहते थे। "एक सेल्जुक तुर्क जो बादशाहों से मिलता है और दूसरा गरीब, कर्जे मे डूबा और अपमानित।" गालिब, सारे जीवन भर अपनी कम अाय से उनके वर्ग के अनुरूप जीवनयापन करने की समस्या से जूझते रहे।

गालिब अपने समय और शहर का एक अभिन्न अंग थे। उन्होने तवायफों को बिना किसी अापत्ति के अपनाया और २३ वर्ष की उम्र मे उनके जीवन का सबसे दर्दनाक प्रेम संबंध हुअा। उन्होने बाद मे इसके बारे मे लिखा, लेकिन हम उस लडकी के बारे मे कुछ नही जानते, जो शायद कम उम्र मे ही भगवान को प्यारी हो गयी। “In the days of my youth, when the blackness of my deeds outdid the blackness of my hair and my heart held the tumult of the love of fair-faced women. Fate poured into my cup too the poison of this pain, and as the bier of my beloved was borne along the road, the dust rose from the road.” (ghushe can you tell which sher is it?)

कठिन समय

उनके समय तथा वर्ग के अधिकतर मुस्लिम लोगों की तरह, गालिब हमेशा अपनी अाय से ज्यादा खर्च कर रहे थे। उनके मेहनताने की कहानियाँ बहुत बार कही जा चुकी हैं। उन्होने ये लडाई हारने से पेहले सालों-साल लडी। कहा जाता है कि जव वे कर्जे मे सिर तक डुबे थे, वो अपने घर से बाहर भी नहीं निकलते थे। लेकिन एक बार उनहे दरबार मे हाजिर होना पडा। न्यायाधीश ने गालिब से पूछा कि वो अपने बचाव मे क्या कहना चाहते हैं। गालिब ने उत्तर दिया, "Indeed I drank on credit but also knew for sure my spend-thrift poverty one day, my ruin would procure" (ghushe help, yeh bhi koi famous sher hai kya?), न्यायाधीश ने गालिब के खिलाफ न्याय किया लेकिन बडप्पन दिखा के दण्ड खुद ही अदा कर दिया।

कवी गालिब

इसी बीच गालिब तीव्र गति से अच्छी शायरी लिख रहे थे। उन्होने अपना पेहला उर्दू काव्य संग्रह १८२१ मे एकत्रित किया। चार साल बाद एक विख्यात पुस्तिका, पंज अहंग मे उन्होने फारसी पत्र लेखन के सामान्य नियम लिखे। सन् १८२८ मे उन्होने गुल-इ-राना, एक उर्दू तथा फारसी शायरी का संग्रह लिखा। उनकी उर्दू दीवान पेहली बार १८४१ मे प्रकाशित हुई एवं जल्दि ही बिक गयी। १८४७ मे इसका दोबारा प्रकाशन हूअा। १८५५ तक गालिब शिकायत करते थे कि उन्हे पुस्तक कि एक भी लिपि नहीं मिली, प्रकाशकों ने सब किताबें ले ली थी। उनकी फारसी शायरी का एक संग्रह १८४५ मे भी प्रकाशित हूअा।

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Monday, May 23, 2005

I am spending almost all my free time listening to internet radio. My favorite radio station is BrainGell. They have a live chat where one can send requests and chat room generally rocks. I am not sure I can even imagine listening to all these songs like this soon in India. Much better internet connectivity is required for this kind of quality streaming.

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Friday, May 20, 2005

Working on my powerbook G4 that I received just now. It is cool.. it is impressive. more later :-)

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Saturday, May 14, 2005

I am a proud apple powerbook owner now. 2 minutes ago I clicked on the 'place order' button and now eagerly awaiting shipping of the powerbook.

Thanks shaadi and ET for all the help and thanks to others who helped me decide which one to buy :)

Only glitch is they are still shipping 'panther' with all the laptops. I will have to buy 'tiger'.

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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Mandelbrot :

http://www.linuxinsider.com/story/news/132007C8P73O.xhtml

Sounds so much like mandelbrot, the positronic robot from Isaac Asimov's Foundation series.

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I am spending some time pressing alt-x key on wikepedia these days. Found a real good concept that british rail network employs to curb revenue theft.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permit_to_travel

One thing that I don't understand is WHY ticket offices are closed at all.. But overall the idea is good. Income tax and sales tax department in India also come up with similar ideas to prevent tax ivasion, if nothing they try to grab the tail of elephant.

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Friday, May 06, 2005

I am working in a highly solaris based environment. This is the first time I am working with people who are very comfortable with emacs and tcsh and equally uncomfortable with vim. I have spent most of my keystrokes on bash and vim so far though sometimes I have worked on emacs and tcsh, that makes me comfortable in both enviroment.

Other people's discomfort forced me to think about these things and I found that there is no reason they should be that uncomfortable. They are already familiar with both the command sets. tcsh essentially uses vim command set so people using emcas and tcsh know both emacs and vim commands. Similarly bash users command set very similar to emacs. I think its more to do with 'who moved my cheese' thinking !!

Although transition between users of tcsh + vim AND bash + emacs might be a little more difficult.

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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Welcoming some more friends to blogger community.

Sandy : http://www.ultrafrood.blogspot.com/

Ghushe : http://ghushe.blogspot.com/ , http://zarquon.blogspot.com/ , http://sukhan.blogspot.com/

Ninja : http://itzthedarksideofthemoon.blogspot.com/

Kitne blog likhega yeh banda..

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