Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Revolution 2020 - Book review

Before I start off with the review I have to confess I am a really big fan of Chetan. His books have been a great read. Simple, honest, contemporary and intelligent are the words I would usually use to describe his books. My favorite thus far has been 2states and five point someone in the same order. I had pre ordered R2020 a week ahead and the anticipation was pretty high.

When I started reading, I realized this was typical Chetan; which was good as that’s is what most fans would want but on the flip side there was nothing new in terms of narration style. Chetan it seems, is obsessed with two things; 1.First person narrative. 2. Pre marital affairs. Both test your patience after a particular point of time.
R2020 starts off on an intriguing note with a wonderfully writ prologue that immediately pulls you in. One has to accept that though repetitive and slightly discomforting to read, the first person narrative does serve its purpose by hooking you instantly. The language is simple and the description of people, places and events are imaginative.
The Plot:
The short summary claims R2020 is the story of two people, but when you delve into the story you realize it’s more about one guy Gopi who is a loser as far as academics go. He fails miserable in his entrance exams (AIEEE & JEE) while Raghav cracks both. Gopi is forced by his father to do engineering, and so he spends an year attending coaching classes in a place called KOTA in UP to crack the entrance exams. Raghav on the other hand joins a prime institute and takes up engineering. Both these boys love their school and childhood friend Arthi. What happens with the lives of both these men and the sole woman makes the rest of the story
The Ups:
The narration style, the language used, the almost tangible romance, the plot and the depth in the characterization all add so much value to the story. We find ourselves carried on by the immense skill of the author in layering his story. Emotions have been portrayed subtly and the entire feel and flow of the story is extremely contemporary.
Chetan’s strength also lies with the understanding of women and their nature. By design women are complex and confused. They contradict themselves and chetan has their pulse. This helps strongly when he adds depth to the female lead in his story. Excellent portrayal of a confused girl .
The Downs:
The short summary claims this to be the story of two men, but actually this is more like the story of only one guy Gopi and his friends and love. Also the first person narrative really irks sometimes as we hardly see the story from any other different angle; in short we are led to see the world in the story through just one angle.
Also though the description claims this is the story of two intelligent boys, but it is anything but that. We hardly see any evidence of their intelligence. Gopi definitely never exhibits that and if he is anything he is just manipulative and corrupt. So the short summary is hugely misleading and actually stomps the anticipation of a reader. A definite bummer
One of the major failings of Chetan is his inability to increase the pace in his stories. His stories are very slow moving and that should be improved. R2020 though interesting is definitely not a page turner.
Word to the author:
Chetan has to realize he has made the youth of India to read. It would be much appreciated if he stops depicting all women as confused and easy to woo during vulnerable moments into an affair. Chetan you are not going to win hearts with such portrayal however true they might be. Forget women, even men would find your idea of what is right and what is wrong difficult to accept.
Final word:
R2020 is a good read. It is made especially for the romantic types and people with patience and interest. A must for the fans though! My rating would be a 7 on 10

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Butterfly Tale

I had returned home after that blissful evening with friends at the beach. It is always special when you spend time with your friends and more so when it is on the Friendship day. I had taken my camera along and had caught the carefree and happy smiles of my friends and had them frozen for life. Thanks to technology. It had been a near perfect evening and I was in a state of real calm, ease and happiness. Everything seemed just a little sweeter. The drive back home in my bike was so much more enjoyable. Nostalgia took over me completely and when I reached the parking lot of my home it seemed life was just perfect.

I was about to park my bike when I found a little butterfly, shriveled and lifeless lying wasted on the floor. After parking the bike I bent down to remove the insect from where it was so as to give it a better resting place. I reached for its wings and lifted it up and to my horror found that one of its wings was being eaten by ants. When I lifted the fly, that torn wing broke free and detached itself from the insect’s body and immediately the butterfly flapped its 3 remaining wings and tried to wriggle out of my fingers. I was momentarily shocked, I had presumed the insect to be dead but it was alive and god knows how much pain it was in. Shock and surprise flooded me in equal measure. It was shocking to know the butterfly’s beautiful wings were being eaten by ants and surprising to know the fly had survived the attack and was still alive.

I put the insect upon my bike’s seat and realized the opportunity to take a wonderful snap of the beauty. Seldom do you get close up shots of a really beautiful butterfly and so I readied for a macro shot. But the plight of the helpless insect broke my heart. I did click a picture but it seemed so cruel to me to be using the insect’s condition to my advantage.

Not wanting to continue clicking, I abandoned the endeavor and picked the fly again, this time gently and carried it over to a small enclosure outside my parking lot where there are a few plants. The fly flapped its feeble wings and shook its tiny legs to tell me it was alive. I went to the enclosure and looked at the pretty insect once again. I felt sad for it. A crippled, 3 winged butterfly could not live for long. I felt sorry. I knew it was hopeless for the insect and breathed deep and dropped the fly into the plants, thinking it would fall down and lie there till its life dried out. All I had was pity for the insect.

But the moment I dropped the butterfly it flapped its 3 wings and in a move that made me ashamed of my own self, it flew and gripped a stem and stayed there. I had given the insect only pity and sympathy but not the credit for bearing the pain and staying alive. When I dropped the fly it did not give up. It flapped its wings, it must have hurt, it must have seemed beyond its powers but the insect did not give up. It chose to stay alive. It showed a spurt of energy and grabbed to the stem and winked at me.

In a single gesture the butterfly had mocked at me. That moment stayed with me. It gave me so many thoughts and made me feel low of myself for having imagined only the worst. It did seem the butter fly was better dead than living a cripple’s life. But the insect would have none of it. It wanted to live; nothing else crossed its mind even for a fleeting second. Maybe it was worried about death when it was trapped on the floor, maybe it would have given up had I not intervened without my knowledge and saved it; but the fact was that it did not brood over what was lost. Personally I couldn’t let go of the moment and the desire to capture this gladiator insect through my cam took over. Till date I believe this picture is the best of my clicks, not just because of its clarity, but also because of the emotions involved in it.

When I look at this picture now and reflect back on that particular evening. Questions and emotions flood me. What could have made that insect fight back?  All it had for life are the 4 small wings; one can only imagine what it would feel like to have lost one. Yet, it never crossed the insect’s mind to give up. It never occurred to it to just let go, to fall down and accept defeat. Humans with their superior sense think and choose and tend to give up. But the insect knows no such choice. It does not know the give-up option and it fights. Many of us fume in desperation for such trivia like a fracture, a common flu, hunger, an escalation at work and more. But such a major impairment like a lost wing did not deter the insect from loving life and wanting to live on. Its priorities were unclouded and clear.

I do not really have to put in words what most humans would tend to have done if they suffered the insect’s plight….

That evening gave me truly mixed emotions. I started out as a selfish photographer but ended up a good friend who had helped an insect in despair without my conscious knowledge.

This little butterfly offers a valuable lesson for all those wishing to learn from it. What we learn from this episode is up to us. It is personal to me and I am sure it will be to all. But in essence the fact is that this incident has loads in it for us to get inspired. It is true what they say; “The biggest moments in life may come from the smallest entities”

I knew of it… But now, I truly believe in it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

We are what we choose to be..

76 T20 Cricket matches have been played, my home team the Chennai Super Kings have been crowned champions of IPL 2011, A Grand Slam tournament has finished and the Bull (Rafael Nadal) has decimated my favorite athlete Roger Federer again, Multiple arrests were made by the CBI in connection with the 2G and various other money laundering cases, Common men have come to the fore to fight corruption, in Tamil Nadu a major party was crushed to defeat, the Dallas Mavericks were crowned the NBA champions and a courageous news reporter has been murdered......... All these and more since I last wrote a blog!!!!

Whether it was me being sluggish or the world around me going on the Fast Forward mode, i honestly do not know. It has been a while since i wrote and i have missed writing. And now when i want to write, what do i write on? With so much happening around me and so much influencing me what do i reflect upon through my words? Pretty tough to channelize your thoughts in such a scenario really!

And then i saw a pattern in the multitude of events around me, a single most illuminating factor in all the victories and defeats, in all the pain & anguish and joy and triumphs. It stood out, like a tall strong spine among every incident. "Choice" and "Hope". The underlining dimensions of life. Cleverly hidden, yet hard to miss out, these two traits were tremendously responsible in driving the world around us.

Individuals and the choices they have made have made the world turn around and take note. The supposed secret inside Pandora’s Box, "HOPE" has been responsible in holding the world together and in driving it forward. We have seen protests around the country and we have felt individuals reaching out to us. Elsewhere teams have triumphed and their victory has brought smiles to many of us. Much has happened and much more will.

And through every happening,  we as individuals will always have a choice. A choice between choosing what is Easy and what is Right. World over every human being has had this choice and that choice has defined the person. A.R.Rahman chose love over hatred, Osama chose Violence over peace, Anna hazare chose fasting over any other form of protest, Rafael Nadal chose to extinguish ghosts of his injuries and made himself the master of his own game. And such choices have defined them. We have often admired how certain people never give up, never tire, and in such men we understand there always is a choice... to give up. But the fact that acheivers never take the easy way out makes them what they are.

We would have seen giant elephants being tied down to posts with iron chains, which may appear too strong to break for us but which is, in reality, just a strong tug away from breaking, for an elephant. Yet, surprisingly an elephant never tries in normal times to break free. The reason is because when the elephant is just a baby it is tied using similar chains and try hard as it may, it ends up failing in its attempt. This memory stays with the elephant even after it grows up and it never occurs to the adult to try to break free and so it accepts the confinement. The scenario is almost the same with humans. We often fail to explore our skills, choices and capacities and accept defeat. But once we choose to look above such trifles and introspect and choose to become who we really are, even the whole world cannot stop us. Simply put is our choices makes us what we are.

All in all, though around us so much have been changing and evolving and moving on, the core has not changed. The basic underlying brick has retained its place. It is a fact that every human is the architect of his own destiny.. We are truly what we choose to be!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

When the GOD didn't know what to do..............

Mahendra Singh Dhoni was busy preparing for his final examination at school, the result of which would send him to 5th standard, Virat Kohli was One year and Ten days old, Waqar Younis was making waves in pakistan cricket as the future of the sport, Roger Federer had just been given his first tennis lessons and Michael Jordan was fast becoming a cult icon, And oh yeah, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar was making his debut. The year 1989, the venue Karachi. God had finally decided to turn his attention to cricket...... Me? well I was a 4 month old toddler learning to pronounce words properly.

Little did anyone realize that one day the 16 year old, dreary eyed, curly haired timid boy would rise up to legendary heights and be proclaimed GOD by the whole nation. Little did anyone think that 1.2 billion people would pray for him to realize his dream.  Sachin's story is not that of GOD taking Man's form and saving the day for the race, instead it has been a story of a Humble & Honest human being rising up to the Level of GOD and saving the belief Men had in GOD!!!

From my end, these two lines are enough. The best lines I have ever been able to write. Emotions flood in now and I know every Indian feels the same way. You might believe in god, you might not, but every Indian I am sure held his breath and prayed that India must win the World cup this time if not again, just because Sachin was playing probably his last WC tourney. That ladies and Gentleman is Sachin's greatest achievement. Uniting the nation and destroying all barriers. To that achievement, Dear Sachin I bow, I kneel down. As a MAN you are unmatched.

Through his journey from the timid boy to the Massive Idol he is today nothing about Sachin has changed. Change has not been on him, it has been by him. Every record was changed to something else, every opposition was changed to something else and every team mate changed his game positively. There was nothing the great man couldn't do... Or so it seemed. Till he started chasing what would become his supreme desire, The World Cup trophy. Sachin did everything that was humanely possible, yet, the cup eluded him every time. For 22 years he tried unrelenting and then, Just when it seemed he was going to retire an old man filled with regret, came the revolution.

Led by the guy who was preparing for his 4th std exams and pushed on by the once 1 year toddler, Sachin's dream came true. April 2, 2011 was when the nation prayed for one man's dream to come true and it did.... That was when something happened. The chase had ended and the Cup was there. The whole team was celebrating on the field and the nation had gone crazy. Among the tumultuous roar at my own living place, my eyes were probing the television for the one sight I had waited for ever since I started admiring Sachin......

At last, out came Sachin from the dressing room. He was brown haired, teary eyed, 37years old... Here was the man who had seen EVEYTHING possible on a cricketing field, the highest of the highs and the lowest of the Lows.. Yet here was running onto the field, his dream was complete and this was his moment. But when he hit the ground running he seemed lost. He did not know what to do. He didn't know whom to run and hug first. He looked around, cried, laughed, jumped up, greeted his colleagues but truly Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar did not know what to do.... Happiness had overwhelmed him, Joy had consumed him, Emotions overpowered him..... And that is when I realised, this GOD is actually Human....

This was the moment when God really didn't know what to do.... And then Virat kohli bore him on his shoulders and ran around... His words will be immortal.... "He has shouldered the hopes of the nation for 22 years, it is time he was shouldered".....

With love,
Raghavan Sridhar - Sachin's loyal fan, forever..................

Friday, March 11, 2011

Chennai... The Rainbow city..

Ahoy there dear readers, the World cup fever is well and truly on and i really hope your cheers and support for the Indian cricket team and Sachin Tendulkar is in full steam. Keep it going. Let us all pray, atleast for the little maestro we win this cup

I have been born and brought up in Chennai and I can safely say I have seen this city much better than many have. The growth of Chennai has been spell binding and rapid to say the least. In my 22years of living in Chennai almost everything around me has changed, positively.  When non-Chennaiites describe Chennai, the most popular words used are Restricting, Boring and Conservative…. This is like describing Sachin Tendulkar as a “Short guy”, “Not as athletic as Usain Bolt!!  It’s completely off the point isn't it? Chennai protects its youth, it exposes to them only to safe things. Children in Chennai grow up in a gated community, intellectual thoughts fill their brain and it is the atmosphere here that makes it so.

The city at its apotheosis redefines beauty. Chennai is, truly, the cultural hub of India. It is home to all art forms and all colors of the nation. The infrastructure in the city is paragon, be it the medical facilities, the sports setup, the educational amenities, the cultural repertoire, the media setup, the social awareness, technological progress… Chennai stands out! It is not that the city flourishes in one field and stutters elsewhere, the foundation is so strong that every aspect is truly bristling!!
Proof for this is not hard to find. We see almost every day in the papers that Microsoft and Google call Chennai the best places to invest in. Patients from Pakistan, US, France and elsewhere on the planet fly to Chennai to get themselves treated!!! The facilities available to the common man here in Chennai are much more sophisticated than anywhere else in the country.
The IT sector has boomed here and along with it the economy has been enriched. The country’s most learned; most sporting and most intellectual brains are from Chennai. The focus of this loving city is not to produce a few handful heroes, but to make every person, an accountable and respectable HUMAN BEING. Theists abound here but atheists also thrive in this city. Every religion, every color, every caste has its own rightful place yet this city has no barriers. The doors of Chennai are always open to those who seek for it. The safety here in Chennai is paramount. It is a policy of better safe than sorry here and it is a real fact that people enjoy and appreciate that aspect inj Chennai. As a shield from anti social elements too, Chennai is impenetrable. Perhaps the least affected by terrorists, extortionists and other fiendish acts is Chennai.
Music, Sports, Art, Culture, Education, Science, Nature, Security, Secularism, Patriotism... You name it; Chennai has the best of it all. The carnatic music season in Chennai is perhaps the most epochal identity for Chennai. Come December and the city swarms with people from all backgrounds, nationalities, skill sets and cultures. Chennai is the place to be during December mainly.
The food here is the very best, any dish you love you can find it here. The world’s second largest beach is in Chennai, temples and heritage sites are in plenty. Geographically too, Chennai is blessed. The Chennai summers are hot yes, but perhaps this city has the best of all worlds. The winters are moderately cold and the heat of Chennai is far better than the heat of many other cities in India.
But the most important point of all is the fact that this city gives you Love in infinity.  Here human beings are treated rightfully and lovingly. Everyone cares about the guy next to him. With so much of sheen, Chennai is truly..........The Rainbow city.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Write on.....

First of all dear readers, hope you are all fine and all is well in my side too. I am back with this post after a hiatus and to be honest this post has been on my mind for quite some time now, 6months to be exact. Ever since i started writing blogs and they gained notice, many people have asked me how I write the way I do. Quite a few of you have loved my writings and given me support, love and praise and many others have told me my writings are very mediocre and i need to improve on a lot of areas. But whatever be the feedback, that one question has always remained. I have wondered myself how i began writing and how it has all panned out thus far. After much thought and deliberation the answer that came to me was very elementary.

I have to accept the fact that i am in no way gifted or special. I do not possess any prodigal skills nor did i learn the art of writing by any special means. All I did was practice. I found out that writing was a way in which I could pour out my emotions in a channelized fashion. We can write about anything we want to and be measured, calm and professional about it. Whereas when we speak out our emotions tend to rob us of foresight. Words once spilled can never be gotten back!!

Out of this realization and out of the pressing need inside me to express my emotions strongly, I started writing. My first few writings were pure rubbish. I was not able to string words into sentences that made any sense. But I kept writing. It gave me satisfaction that I was channelizing my emotions. Hence, I stuck on. Though my writings were terrible I kept telling myself I can only get better. With time, I realized my sentences were more coherent and people who were reading had less difficulty in understanding my thoughts. My confidence grew, my fluency increased my writing improved. Slowly but surely I was getting better.

So the answer to the question is quite simple. To write well and be good at it all one needs is practice. Anyone can write. Writing does not demand anything special from us. If we know a language we can write in it. Honestly speaking I was a terrible writer. Time and practice bettered me. From my own experiences I just would like to share a few points that might help people wishing to start writing.

1. Please write (only) when you really feel the desire to.
2. Never attempt to write anything to please someone. Cos, when what you write is not intended to please you, never will it please anyone else.
3. Be sure of what you want to write. Let your words take shape before you put them on paper. At least have an outline of the subject you tend to write on.
4. NEVER write on people or subjects that you do not believe in or have no strong opinion about. If you do, your words will definitely be weak and will, 9 times out of 10, let you down.
5. LOVE YOUR WRITING even if the world doesn’t. Never give up on yourself.
6. Keep writing.

So, this is about everything I wanted to share. I am in no way special than you are dear reader. I have just kept writing and have been learning throughout. I am not sure if this post is any good, but I just wanted to pen down some of my thoughts and I have gone ahead and done just that. Please note, the points i have mentioned above are not any preset rules you must follow, they are just my own points. So get your pens out (or keyboards) and start writing. Time and practice will make you better… Trust me, nothing can give you more happiness than a post well written… So long dear reader… Cheers

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mobile Phones.....

Usually when you want to describe a certain entity or product or idea you initially search for the perfect word. There is a dearth of adjectives when you really need one. But as far as describing the mobile technology is concerned, your worry is not the lack of words but the abundance of it. It is what many call “The problem of plenty”. I am faced with the same now, but after some serious filtering and thought process I have come up with two words... “Revolutionary” and “Game changing”. Right from the day the mobile phone technology became a reality to the present day where nothing is ‘just a dream’ anymore, mobile phones, their progress and evolution has been nothing short of dramatic. The standard is set higher for every new feature addition and the same standard is being broken, surpassed and swept away in a matter of days or months when something new comes up. At this juncture one can only wonder if, even director Shankar can think of a real fantasy feature in a mobile phone that will take years to achieve.

Mobile phones are there everywhere now. Its usage has gone from being described as “Extensive” to “Addictively extensive”. The world was previously divided into fragments by many yardsticks, ‘Continents’, ‘States’, ‘Men & Women’, ‘Race’, ‘Caste & Creed’ and many more, but now there are only two kinds/parts : The ones that own a mobile phone and the ones that don’t. But even this is fast diminishing. The latter are fast dying. After the tigers, perhaps the first species that would, in all probability become extinct will be the ones without mobiles. In time only the new born infants will be without mobile phones (Or will they?)

Most of India’s problems in belonging to the international community has been the fact that the technological improvement around the world has taken too long to reach India. Money, corruption, politics and people have always stood between India and its progress to the pinnacle of growth. This has been universal in the sense that every field of research has been affected by this misfortune. But when it comes to Mobile phones and their importance nothing as it seems can stop India’s path. Come to think of it, international mobile phones are being launched in India the same day as they are being launched around the world!! If this ain’t an achievement I don’t know what else is.

Mobile phones have changed the way the world communicates. Reaching out to people has become easier and more fun. The power of the world has truly come to the palm of man’s hands. Yours truly is a proud owner of a beauty from Sony Ericsson, the Xperia 10mini. With 3g, Wi-Fi, a 5mp cam and powered by Android 2.1 OS, I am found wanting for nothing. With the mobile phone operators throwing open the 3g service nothing is going to be as it was. One can only marvel at the power these tiny devices hold. Tell me, how Cool is it, to be able to tell your dad what the current score in a cricket match is, before the advertisements even end by ‘Touching’ a few icons on your mobile, checking the internet and dishing out statistics???? Uber Cool right?! That is exactly what a modern day mobile can achieve!

Video calling, Skype calls, Social networking, Internet browsing, Gaming, Photography, journalism, R & D, you name it, the mobile phones do it! We have grown. Tremendously! All our fascinations, dreams and visions are not just fantasies anymore. Everything we ever needed is now at just an arm’s length.

The world has shrunk and we must thank the mobile phone technology for it. But just as with every other entity in the world the mobile phone usage too has a flip side to it. When people have real use for something there is bound to be misuse. There are a truck load of negative impacts in the mobile usage in the modern day, true. But what is truer is the fact that, the Pros outweigh the Cons (by a huge margin at that). So all in all, the mobile phone usage today is like the Sunshine, Omnipresent, powerful and life saving. Love it or Hate it, but the fact remains that, you just cannot ignore it!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Thank you all

First of all, I wish you all a very Happy New Year 2011.I understand this 2011 is going to be a very important year for me. This is the year when my career is going to move onwards and at this Juncture I would like to Thank each single person who has been instrumental in guiding me, patting me and pushing me onwards. I also want to thank every visitor to this blog page, my visit count has crossed 500 and I am really humbled. When I started I never thought I would have even 100 visitors. But all your love has proved me wrong. Once again thank you all......

The year 2010 has been a blur with two diametrically opposite halves. The first 6 months were anything but happy. The constant knowledge that in a few months our college life would end kept all of usall, at college a little somber, and that phase ended in the same vein. Within 10 days of my final exams, the Logica opening came along and luckily the very first interview I ever attended turned out to be a successful one for me and here I was... The next 6 months had been terrific.

It only seems like yesterday that I joined here, but would u believe it, I am already 6 months old!!?? Every day here @ Logica has been a refreshingly bright one and I have learnt so much... And I really am looking forward to more...

Once again to all of you... THANK YOU... Please take my Bow... I am forever indebted to you... Happy New Year….

PS: It is official. My blogs are going to be a lot shorter hereon, making it easier to read :)