Monday, November 19, 2007

That old *$/&#

The eternal bane of Karnataka and one of the shrewdest politicians around is at it again. Deve Gowda and JD(S) have withdrawn support from the 7 day old BJP government. Technically, they didn't withdraw support. They apparently put a bunch of demands which will govern the now popular term, CMP (Common Minimum Program)

Unlike the erstwhile Dharam Singh government, the BJP government realized that with these demands on the paper, its unlikely they would be doing the ruling. And hence, the BJP government resigned. Apparently efforts are afoot on one front to woo Congress to form the government or support JD(S) to form one and on the other end there is a desperate measure to split JD(S), as the party legislators are pissed off at being told to not support BJP at the 11th hour! While JD(S) is relatively quite about the whole thing, the BJP is definitely making a big hue and cry about it and that they were stabbed in the back. Trust ? Does that word have any place in politics? Who is BJP kidding? As if they trusted Gowda and gang! Deve Gowda is not dumb either. He would definitely know that something of this sort would hurt him and his party more than anyone else. Then why would the master strategist take such a decision?

Apparently U R Ananthamurthy, the noted Kannada writer has the answer. The whole thing has as little to do with clashing ideologies as the Iraq war had to do with WMDs. Its all about the money! What is thriving in Karnataka outside of Bangalore? most definitely its the Mining industry. Lots of money and very little supervision and hence a very lucrative ministry to hold. What is the most money making business in Bangalore ? One can confidently say, its real estate. Another very lucrative ministry to hold. The JD(S) held both these ministries for 20 months and as per the deal, it was time for BJP to hold them and make merry. But of course, Gowda couldn't let that happen. He asked for these 2 ministries this time around too, BJP refused, the government fell. Its all so simple!

The JD(S) surely doesn't want to go to elections with such easy negative propaganda available in the hands of the BJP. It most definitely has some backup plan with Congress brewing. And I am afraid Congress will trust the Gowdas and will bargain for significant share of the rest of the power.

Anyway, we the poor souls of Karnataka are destined to watch this mockery of democracy at the hands of the mighty and greedy go on for more time to come. Sigh!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Catching up

I remember the time when craigslist was launched. It was late 1999 or early 2000 I suppose, and it was a San Francisco Bay area centric website with classified ads. It was simple looking but very effective and instantly became very popular as deemed by an ex colleague of mine who was a resident of the bay area.

I had wished then, "someday we gotta have such services in Bangalore". And guess what... we are getting there. We had ask laila a while back and now we have another. Now along the same lines, we have city centric news, This I hope will make up for the lack of quality local information coverage by big media houses like Times Of India and The Hindu.

Friday, November 09, 2007

A break...

For a few months now, I have been following a strict regimen. The fact that I have stuck to it for so many months has amazed many I know, but none more than yours truly! :-) I have been getting up early, getting to office early, getting back from office early and finally sleeping early. This makes for great work timings and truly frees up time to do a lot more with your evenings, though, to confess, I haven't been doing too much.

Thanks to Deepawali, I have had a few days off now and the weekend still ahead to vile away. Normally, this is vacation time, but for various reasons, we are bound to Bangalore this time. But the last few days I have been having a vacation of a different kind. Almost like a relapse into my disorganized past. :-), with no worry or having to get up early, I have been sleeping very late (3AM+) the last few days. Watching TV, browsing the net and generally doing nothing, and before I realize it, its time for me to force myself to bed. Sigh! The good ol' days. :-)

As much as I am loving this brief peek into the past, I am waiting for Monday, to get back into my groove. Too much of a bad thing can be bad. :-)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Movie Review: Jab We Met

When was the last time I saw a movie during the weekend that it released? I think it was Matrix Revolutions. Sheer chance saw us getting tickets for Jab We Met in its opening weekend. I wasn't too anxious to see this movie, but then, 4 stars from TOI holds some promise. And there I was, at the multiplex I hate, Innovative, at 9:30PM, to watch probably the last movie starring Kareena and Shahid (they have apparently split in real life).

The movie starts off with Shahid being dumped by his girl and really despondent in life. He attends her marriage, drops everything on him and sits in some train (AC coach, no less :-)) and is off to wherever the train is off to. Enter Kareena, on her way to her hometown Bhatinda, for the last time, after which she plans to elope with her boyfriend, Anshuman. The ever talkative Kareena befriends Shahid and start their funnily adventurous journey to her hometown. Once they reach Kareena house, everybody loves Shahid and we have a couple of songs to keep us entertained. This is followed by Kareena seeking Shahids help to elope. He does manage this successfully and sees her walk off to her boyfriend. Unfortunately her family thinks she has eloped with Shahid and are mighty pissed off.

Shahid goes back to reclaim his life and does a great job at it. He sees Kareenas exuberance as his guiding force and sees things change for the better. Meanwhile, Kareena has not called her family in 9 months and when her family sees Shahid on TV, they track him down to get some answers. What ensues forms the climax and since its a hit, in typical filmy style, all ends well. :-)

But all said and done, this is a superbly directed movie, low budget, good screenplay and studded with a superb performance by Kareena and a decent one by Shahid. Its definitely value of money and more than worth a watch. I give it a 7.8 on 10. :-)

Friday, November 02, 2007

Lets Wi-Fi'fy the Cams

Digital Camera having Wi-Fi capabilities is not new. But they haven't caught on as much, because the consumers don't see the need to pay the extra bucks to get just wi-fi transfer feature.

But here is something that I think can definitely catch on. An SD card which has Wi-Fi in it. This means, even those digital cameras, considered archaic by the bleeding edge standards of the day, can have wi-fi upload services on them. Now, only if they could bring down the price from $99. ;-)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

How Real is Reality?

There is a slew of reality shows on Mallu Telly Tube these days with Amrita TV leading the pack. But the talk of town in terms of Mallu reality shows is Asianet Idea Star Singer, a singing talent hunt show. And this happens to be the only mallu show I watch (only sometimes by choice :-) )

I have always been amazed by the ability of the TV channels to shoot reality shows almost live since the results are based on viewer SMS votes. There is hardly any time, and as with any live show, there is always the risk of something going very wrong, like what happened at 2005 season of TVS Sa Re Ga Ma or this year's Voice of India. And when most shows do this flawlessly, you do admire the execution of their event management team. Then... some news leak out!

About a week back, my wife told me about she having received an email which clearly stated the contestants of Asianet Idea Star Singer who would be in the danger of elimination and those that would actually get eliminated. We thought it must be some sorta rumour and didn't pay much interest to it. Come elimination day, the list of people who were in the danger of eliminations (8-10 names) and those who got eliminated (3 names) were exactly the same. The leak, also publicized in some forums (look at the post by Shivettan) went on to say that the elimination episode was shot on 21st of Oct, a good 10 days before it was aired. This by itself is not wrong, but when you request folks to continue sending sms's for the contestants who have already been eliminated on the 21st of Oct till the 30th of Oct, that is when things go bad. This amounts to cheating and if this were to be true, I can see a slew of lawsuits flying around!

Won't the contestants know this? Why don't they or their relatives (maybe the disgruntled ones of someone who got eliminated) blow the whistle on this sham? There is something amiss here and the wait for the truth continues. I have never voted for any reality show, so I am not as pissed off as someone who would have spent Rs.3 per SMS many times over. Did you?!?