Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Random notes

Random notes (in India)

Scene 1: At Airport, custom check.
Checker(C): Ruk jao , ruk jao.
Me: ok ji.
C : Bag mein laptop hai?
Me: haanji.
C: ek ya do?
Me: ek
C: Aur bhi kuch hai?
Me: Ek camera hai.
C: Aur koi electronic hai?
Me: Haan, mouse, headphone, pendrive vagiarah hai.
C: akele ho ya family ke saath ho?
Me: Akela hoon.
C: X ray scan karna padega.
Me: Theek hai, kar lete hain.
C: Time lag jayega, yehin set kar lete hain.
Me: Koi nahin, mere paas bahut time hai.
C: Kuch yehin pe kar dete hain.
Me: Jo bhara hai custom form mein, woh poora sahi hai. Everything is under limits.
C: Dekh lo. Yahan pe karoge toh sahi rahega.
Me. Nahin Xray scan kar lete hain.
C: Kya karte ho?
Me: student hoon.
C: student ho! theek hai, chalo jao.
Me: ok.


Scene 2: Inside the plane. The guy sitting next to me wants my help to fill the customs form.

Next guy(NG): Zarra dikhaoge apna form, muhe bhi bharna hai.
Me: Theek hai.
NG: Aap bhi USA se ho?
Me: haan
NG: Aap ke paas green card hai?
Me: Nahin. Aapke paas hai?
NG: haan hai.
Me: Kya karte hain aap US mein?
NG: Gas station pe kaam karta hoon.
Me: Kitne saal ho gaye aap ko US gaye hue?
NG: 4.
Me: 4 saal mein aa gaya? Maine to suna tha 5 lagte hain.
NG: Mera green card toh 1 mahine mein aa gaya tha US aane ke baad. Mere uncle meri poori family ko le aaye the US. Mere parents toh ab wapas aa gaye green card banane ke baad.
Me: hmmm.


Scene 3: Opened television for the first time here. Saw a show aap ki kachehri with Kiran bedi as the judge.

[ Instantly it reminded me of Judge Judy/Judge Brown in US tv. I had predicted that Indian TV will also adopt it soon, this is the start. A little more thought and i was reminded of Aaap ki Adalat but it was based on calling only high profile people and the handling was quite decent. On the other hand, aap ki kachehri is a total copy with cases dealing with common people. As in the US shows, it is a mockery of the people fighting the case. I wonder how and why Kiran Bedi agreed to this one?]

[ What next? Jerry Springer show? Or is going to sink further lower??]

[Crossing streets is the most difficult task to adjust between US and India]

Monday, December 22, 2008

Bollywood after a long time

As promised to myself, i am on a streak of bollywood movies. Here are some quick reviews.

Every now and then bollywood throws a movie which completely takes me by surprise. Though it happens only a couple of times a year but when it happens, its a delight.

A Wednesday is one such movie. Under the direction, screenplay and story by Neeraj Pathak ( i have no idea who this guy is), this is an action packed 100 min movie featuring a brilliant cast. My favourite was the character of Jimmy Shergil - angry young man never ceases to amaze the Indian audience and in this case we do not see the anger except in one case, we are just told about it through others and thats what makes it special. Also, it was great to see Anupam Kher in a non comic/non-drama role. Naseer is his usual.

I was watching Satish Kaushik's Roop ki rani Choron ka raaja 2 days ago and somehow i liked that masala movie. I was reminded of a reasonably young Anupam kher inthat one and a wednesday brought the same feeling.

Some masala movies are good like Mr. India, original Don, ab tak 56 etc. While others are too hard to mention.

Next one was the much awaited Dibankar Banerejee's (Khosla ka Ghosla (KKG) fame) Oye lucky lucky oye. A jolly good decent movie even though the expectations were too high because of KKG. On conmen, there has been the disastrous Bunti aur Babli, bluffmaster and other such cases. When compared to those ones OLLO is miles ahead. It is kept simple, plain and a human story. Paresh Rawal is looking good in all three cases and so is Abhay Deol though he could have been better. Add some laughs here and there with a good plot, OLLO is a good watch for one time. The young lucky is brilliant.

Next in line was Madhur Bhandarkar's Fashion. Fashion has a Madhur Bhandarkar stamp all over it. A different story, good in patches but beats me as it is too long to handle. So was page 3 but it had Konkona Sen. I disliked Madhur's movies because of his choice of lead roles - Priaynaka chopra in this one and what-was-her-name in Corporate. Priyanka can not act - first thing first - she is artrificial from scene one to end. In this one the choice of supporting actors is also bad and overall the movie is watchable because of its plot. A self-referential joke adds some joy to me (as i am a big fan of self-referential things).

And other than the above experimental movies, i had to watch a mainstream one and by god one was more than enough. I chose Dostana and it was horrible. There is no dosti from start to end in dostana. There are big flats, florida locations and horrible actors. John Abrahim who i thought was going differently is bad. But the worst performance would still be of Priyanka chopra. I have no idea how or why is she getting all those flicks. Frankly, i was not aware that indian audience will even gulp a gay concept let alone enjoy it, but yet again indian audience has shown that they are down right hypocritic about everything as long as it does not happen to them. A country where inter-caste marriages causes a family to disown their children, i wonder what would happen if a child says to his parents that he is gay.

I checked the ratings and TOI had given OLLO a 3 out of 5, Rab ne bana di Jodi 1.5/5 and i was thinking that wow, TOI has fired its old review staff and taken a good new idea about indian cinema but then came dostana with a 3.5/5 which dashed all my hopes.

The review at mouthshut.com for Rab ne bana di .. reads like this
Rab Ne bana Di Jodi, but hamara kya ?? Hum ne koi gunaah kia hai jo aisi filmein dekhne ko mil rahi hain humein ??

Its good to see that atleast one yash raj movie is getting a beating. Next in line is Dasvidhaniya, khoya khoya chand and a couple more, then i think i will be done watching hindi movies for a good 3-6 more months.

Monday, December 15, 2008



आज फिर माँ ने मुझे डांटा
ज़रूर तुने शिकायत करी होगी
मुझसे डरता है क्या ?
सीधे बात क्यूँ नहीं करता

दो हफ्ते पहले,
मैं तेरे घर गया था
तेरे दोस्त ने बढ़िया खाना भी खिलाया
पर तू न आया मिलने
मैंने आवाज़ भी दी थी
मुँह फुला के बैठा है क्या ?

तेरी मोज़जा के बहुत किस्से सुने
एक मोज़जा मुझे भी दिखा दे
मुझ को भी एक किस्सा बना दे
किसी बात का असर होता है क्या?

दुनिया माने पर मैं ना मानूं
और मानूं भी तो किस मन से
किंतु तेरी मोजज़ा है बढ़ी मशहूर
यह बात तो मानने की है
खुश हो ले, मैंने कुछ तो माना |

Inspired by Pushkar by Gulzaar. Thanks to Aman for giving it to me.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Computer Science is my servant

I am a Master of Science in Computer Science (CS).

Reading it the other way - Computer Science is my servant.

So, as a new master, my first command to CS is to get me a glass of water.

Just the way i thought! Useless servant! Can't even get me a glass of water let alone my desire to get a body massage.

On a slight serious note - Why the degree is called - Master of Science?
The only reason that i can think of is the fact that it again reiterates human's belief that they are superior than science, which IMHO is so not true.

Similarly, PhD is coined as Doctor in Philosophy no matter what you study.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Computer Science

It is true that most fundamental questions are answered at the end only. So, at the end of my MS in CS i ask:

Why Computer Science is a science?

Milena in one of her class asked us this question and i couldn't find an answer. Computer Architecture, Systems, Software were all engineering fields. There was CS theory but why would that be considered as science? Just because it has got some proofs, it does not qualify it as a science. If you prove limits on a bridge load that it can sustain, it will still be civil engineering not civil science.

My undergrad degree was in Computer Engineering and it was true to its name. We were doing a lot of engineering there. While it is clear what makes Computer an Engineering field, the reasons why it is a science is not clear to everyone, atleast it was not to me till sometime back.

Wiki defines Computer Science as
Computer science (or computing science) is the study and the science of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and their implementation and application in computer systems.
Well i disagree. There is no science in implementation, there is definitely engineering, Some (like Shiv) may even call it an art but there is no science there. And what is meant by theoretical foundations of information?

Computer Science has to offer something that has not yet been offered by any other science field so far. What is unique in Computer Science which makes it special. Milena after asking this question gave an answer to which i totally agree.

The answer is "scalability". In the definition given at wiki above, it is "Theoretical foundations of computation". Every field in science describe the behavior at a particular stage or at some point but how will the behavior change if the system is scaled up or down. Computer Science in its core addresses this issue of scalability. The big-O notations, and other fundamental concepts of complexity theory are in-effect addressing the issue of scalability only. O(nlogn) denotes that no matter by how much the problem size may be , its time complexity will be bounded by nlogn. This aspect of bounding a problem in terms of its size is very crucial. Yet no other stream of science had covered it properly.

Scalability is deeply coupled with computation, so computation is an inherent component. Computers with their massive ability to process computations had made it possible to scale to large problem size. Decoding of DNA sequnces, large scale physics simulations, climate predictions etc. are all examples of this computation.

इन्तिज़ार में

इन्तिज़ार में

हाय हाय,
हाय हाय हाय |
हो रहा है घोर अन्याय |
जाना है मुझे घर
कम्भक्त दिन बीत ही नहीं रे |

यह जो मेरी घड़ी है, सुस्ता गई है |
कल तक जो
घड़ी घड़ी , मेरी यह घड़ी , घड़ी बदल रही थी
आज येही घड़ी मेरी, घड़ी घड़ी वहीँ पे खड़ी है |
और ऐसे मटक मटक के आराम से सुई हिला रही है
जैसे हो कोई शादी की घोडी |
अरे, नाचूं क्या तेरे चलने के लिए |

और इसका जो रखवाला है
जो कल तक रफ़्तार से भाग रहा था
न जाने आज कौन से कछुए से दोस्ती कर बैठा है |
कुछ तो मेरी कदर कर,
आज तो ज़रा तेज़ चल ,
जल्दी से पहुँचा दे मेरे घर |
मिनट के रेट पे नहीं पर
कम से कम
तारिख आज घंटे के रेट पे तो आगे कर

अरे तलाश है मुझको उस इंसान की
जो कुछ बरस पहले हर रविवार को
सवेरे सवेरे
"मैं समय हूँ" "मैं समय हूँ"
कह कर के अपना परिचय देता था
नाम के साथ पता भी तो देना था
बेसब्री से ढूंढ रहा हूँ तुझे
थोड़ा दौड़ ले आज,
काहे इस सुहावने मौसम में घर के अन्दर सो रहा है

और अब कहाँ चला गया है वो
जो हर जगह है पर फिर भी नहीं है
जो हर समय है पर फिर भी नहीं है
आज आठ तारिख हो गई है
मेरे को पन्द्रह पे पहुँचा दे
तेरी मोजज़ा के जो चर्चे हैं
उसमें एक और बढ़ा दे

मेरी यह खुद्कर्ज़ ज़िन्दगी
जिसके पास कल तक मेरे लिए ही
तिनके भर का टाइम नहीं था
आज वोही देखो,
कैसे मुँह लटकाए मेरे बगल में बैठी है
जैसे किसी छोटे बच्चे का खिलौना छीन लिया गया हो उससे
और मुझसे कविता लिखने पे मजबूर कर रही है
चंचल दिमाग आख़िर करे भी तो क्या करे |

Monday, December 1, 2008

Nov ends

I just added a widget on LHS showing the items shared by on Google reader. I highly recommend everyone to use Google Reader as it is a great tool to manage feeds (warning: # feeds is inversely proportional to #working hrs).

Here are some blogs that i follow:
Gurcharan Das: http://gurcharandas.blogspot.com/
Nanopolitan: http://nanopolitan.blogspot.com/ (Thanks to Venkat for this one)
Lawrence Lessig: http://lessig.org/blog/ (Thanks to Justin for this one)
Recently added but deeply hooked, a blog on Indian Law: http://lawandotherthings.blogspot.com/
Indian Politics: http://churumuri.wordpress.com/
Read Write Web: http://www.readwriteweb.com/
Indian based startups: http://www.bangaloreinc.com/
Great classical music and ghazal blog with lyrics: http://ekfankaar.wordpress.com/

The above is a partial list. If you know of any blog that you think i must read, please leave its url in comment