Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Mirza Ghalib the ultimate fighter

When i was a kid there used to be a program/ serial on Doordarshan (India's national and only television channel of that time) called Mirza Ghalib. At that time this was one program which i couldn't stand. There was nothing in this program which could attract me as a kid. There used to be a guy with big beard, wearing some clothes which were better suited for ladies and singing some songs which has amazingly boring music. So all in all nothing which could attract a kid.

A few weeks back i got the chance to view this series again. This time i am 27 and i have some interest in literature, specially biographies. So i watched this series and was amazed by the life of Mirza Ghalib. He was married at a pretty young age (12 i guess) and he started writing poems (Shers as we call them in Hindi) at 13 or so. And his writings were high quality at that time. Later in his life Ghalib went through too many issues because of his attitude which IMHO was not a bad attitude. He knew he was the best and worst problem was that no one really understood his writings because of the fact that they were too good for everyone. Once he was invited by the emperor to read some poems in a Mushayra and he narrated one of his best poems. After reading the first 2 lines of poem he was really pissed off as no one actually gave him any appreciation. (Its a custom of mushayra's that you appreciate and encourage a poet almost after every line he reads). Ghalib walked out, without caring about the fact that emperor and other dignitaries will feel violated by this and his career might be at stake.

This and due to other incidents like this erased Ghalib out of the good books from high profile dignitaries. This ensured that Ghalib won't get any pension and hence will not any source of income for the most part of his life. On top of this Ghalib indulged into drinking and gambling which was illegal during that time. This ensured that he lived a poor life and couldn't arrange enough money at any point in time of his life.

Because of all this issues Ghalib could never save his literary work for future generations and all the dignitaries of that time ensured that he doesn't. The emperor appreciated Ghalib in private however in public he could never gather enough courage to actually help or support Ghalib's work.

Ghalib had 2 loyal servants and a caring wife which was his support system all through his life and my guess is that this support system actually ensured that his literary genius was alive in spite of the adversaries he faced in his life.

There's a department in one of the universities (Its University of Agra or Lucknow. I can't remember correctly :( ) in India which is working to find as much as possible and is sharing it with the world.

The whole series is directed by Gulzar (One of the best poets we have today in India) and he has famously said. Ghalib had 2 servants and i am the 3rd one.

Long live Ghalib's poems and his name.


Friday, September 7, 2007

Bangalore the place to be ?????

This evening i returned early from office as its a weekend and decided to watch a night show.

After the movie we decided to go to MG road at Empires to have dinner. The idea was that as there would be no traffic jam at 12.30 AM in midnight it would be a good experience but it turned out to be an eye opener and made me wonder whether i really stay in a place like this.
The trip went like this. At 12.3o we came back walking to our flat to pick up the bike. MG road is around 10 Kms from our place Sanjay Nagar and we thought it would be a refreshing drive. My roommate decided to drive while we go to MG road and by default it meant i had to drive on the way back.
The weather was great and nice breeze was blowing. We reached from Sanjay Nagar to Mekhri circle without much problem however just after Mekhri circle and before Cuvery theater we heard the first Honking cab overtaking us. The road is a 4 lane road and since we were on bike the driver had ample space to overtake us from right but he honked. My reaction was that cabbies always honk and drive rough. I give them a discount on swearing as they are on the road for the whole day and are obviously frustrated.
After this once we reached near Le Meredian hotel a bus entered this road from the left and didn't even care that we are coming from a priority road and he should wait. Result Ashish applied the brakes and just then 4 sumo cabs, 1 bike and a car overtook us without even caring that they almost ran over us in the process !!!!!.
Now i was pissed off by this attitude. From there to MG road we got countless honks for being on the left side of the road and for stopping at red signals and for driving at 30 km/ hr :(
Once we reached Empires we saw an ocean of people waiting outside empires to have a late night dinner and i wondered whether anyone cooks at home in Bangalore or not ?????
Anyways we found a table for 2 at empires and somehow ordered food in midst of all the noise and chaos. If one looks at the people having dinner it feels like all the hep crowd of Bangalore was there but the decibel levels in the reastaurant were at a level which is unacceptable for any ears. I felt as if i made biggest mistake of my life by coming here for dinner. To worsen the situation even more this hep crowd was honking incessantly and continuously below the restaurant to ensure that none of them falls asleep on the road and for showing off that they are very much awake and kicking !!!!
Once the dinner was done we just wanted to get out of that chaos and go home.
On the way back i took the rider's seat and my roommate took the pillion's . As soon as we entered crossed Anil Kumble circle on MG road i saw a car which had run over the divider. Fortunately the driver was alive. (Who says that drink and drive is not safe. This again is a Educated Bangalorean who would not dare to touch the steering wheel after a pint of beer in a european country :( )
A guy stopped his car in the middle of the road to have a look at the whole show and never cared that he is standing in the fastest lane blocking all the traffic !!!!!! This frustrated me even further and for the first time i honked :((
On the next signal i waited as it was red. Many educated, well settled, highly qualified bangaloreans didn't care and went about jumping the red light. Once the signal was green i started moving and i saw that a guy was coming from the opposite side without even looking where he is driving. Another guy came from other side and i had no option but to wait on a green signal for these 2 to cross. These guys almost sandwiched me when i screamed and the guys put a break on there cars realizing that they have to look in front and drive. Yes they were looking sideways....(Who says that 1 should stop at red and move at green signal)
After this i was frightened.....
Now i was driving in extreme left and just then 2 couples whizzed past me on there bikes at blazing speed. My guess is that they were again educated IT engineers who cared less for their lives and even lesser for others....
By the time i reached Sanjay nagar signal so many vehicles had overtaken me from left and right that i was actually shocked.
As we reached home me and Ashish congratulated each other to reach home safely and felt that we won't be able to gather courage to go to MG road at least for next 1-2 years. We also thanked Bangalore's infrastructure that it causes Jams whole day which makes people like us feel safe to drive. (If someone hits you at 10 Km an hour chances of survival are more)
So this is Bangalore's traffic for you which can make seasoned Bangaloreans like me and my roommate (We stay here since last 5 years) frightened and forces us to think how should we leave Bangalore and which is the safest place in terms of traffic.
Note that i am not afraid of being dead but am really scared if someone disables me in a road accident coz then i would be a liability to myself, my parents and friends.
So Bangaloreans if you read this then please for your own sake Drive safe and respect traffic rules. Or else we would always project ourselves as global players to outside world but in reality we are as good as wild monkeys who are trying to imitate human beings!!!!!!
Its 4.00 AM now and probably i would need to sleep thinking of tonight's experience as a bad dream

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Chale Chalo!!!!

Its 2.14 in the night and i am just back from work.
As soon as i entered my flat contrary to the expectations i found half litre of water to drink. (I am amazed that Ashish my roommate actually got a bottle of water tonight)
The second thing i found is the CD of the documentary/ movie Chale Chalo and i thought why not share what it is about.
Till sometime back i thought that making a software is the hardest job in the world and managers in IT industry can't really plan as dependency matrix is too complex.
That's the reason why 90% of the projects in this industry are slipping and 100% of the people who are working sincerely in this industry are overloaded. But after watching this movie my perception changed and now i think that the dependency matrix is not so complex in software field only and being a manager and to plan anything is really tough.
Now after talking all the crap about managers and industry let me get to the point and share with you what Chale Chalo is about.
So the documentary is about making of the oscar nominee movie Lagaan and it depicts the passion of director Ashutosh Gowarikar about the subject. The Guy narrated the idea first to the actor Aamir Khan (who later produced the movie) somewhere in 1998 and the movie got released somewhetre in June 2001. The director and producer lived with the idea for more then 3 years and believed in it. Note that there's a book names Chale Chalo on the same subject as well.
They planned the movie for 9 long months and came up with an estimate of a schedule of 4 months but managed to complete the whole shooting in more then 6 months. (that's 50% slippage after such a careful planning)
The slippage matched with the slippage in most of the software projects i hear of in the industry.

The way it has been portrayed in the documentary the team comprised of the best possible talent pool. Best hair designers/ cameraman/ ADs etc. were available for the project. (There were minor ego problems in the artists according to the book though) .
The production team planned for every scene of the movie but they didn't plan for the hiccups like planes passing above the shooting area stopping the shooting for minimum of 20 mins., they couldn't plan for one of the teammates injury, they couldn't plan for actors inability to do lip sync for songs in one shot, they couldn't plan for actors not able to hit the ball (Movie is about cricket)

But the result is there for all to see. The movie was one of the big hits of 2001 and went on to become an oscar nominee from India after a long time.
I hope we get to see the team together again....
And i also hope to see some more inspiring stuff like Chale Chalo again!!!
And to all the software developers in the world i say Chale Chalo!!!!!


Integration .... Is it the next big thing!!!!

I've been in this industry for around 4 years now out of which i have spent around 1.5 years in a services industry and rest in a product based company.

What i personally found about my experience in product based company is that integration products have bigger value here. The product companies normally have many offerings which exist for there customers.

One such product offering from SAP is Duet which is an integration of SAP business data with Microsoft.

SAP currently has an array of mature product offerings for its customers. Now the next big thing which i see is that after having so many mature product lines what you look forward to is integration of 2 or more existing SAP products or integration of SAP product offerings with some external highly used software.

Microsoft has the office suite which works for at least 80% of desktops in this world

For more information you can check
So the question which comes up now is that is integration and collaboration the next big thing in the IT world!!!!
Fortunately or unfortunately answer is yes.....
I look it from a developers angle and i find it challenging.
Challenging because of the fact that these mature products might not have been developed by keeping in mind that they'll need to integrate with products which either didn't exist at that point in time and even if they did exist the integration was not even thought of in dreams because of the fact that collaboration was a impossible thing some 5 years back in history.
And now when we work on integrating such product lines we struggle on a daily basis to do something which is an obvious expectation from a product if we design/ develop now.

I read on some link a few days back that oracle is also coming up with integration to office for their business suite.

Looks like integration products will be next big thing in this world and i hope they are here to stay!!!!


Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Chak de India!!!!

I travelled to Germany in the week in which the movie got release. Best or worst part was that i was travelling on Saturday morning 3.00 AM and there was no way that i could watch this movie before i leave for Germany. Best because i get a weekend in Germany where i can drive at 180 Km/ hour while the worst because i can't catch the movie.
Once i landed in Germany i didn;t have access to internet and for 2 long days i.e. Saturday and Sunday i was wondering how the movie is . I was dying to see the review of this movie on
So on Monday morning when i landed up in office it was in my agenda to check the review on rediff. however due to work pressure i could not check the review till wednesday evening and once i checked the review i just wanted to fly back and see the movie myself.
As soon as i landed in India my flatmate ashish told me that the movie is amazing and he has already watched it twice. The good thing was that he was ready to watch it for the third time. So the first thing which i did the next morning i.e. on 15th august 2007 was to book 2 tickets of Chak de and go to watch the action myself.
It was really an amazing experience. This one of the movies of Shahrukh which i liked after a long time. I was an ardent Shahrukh fan but somehow people convinced me that he is not an actor but an over acting guy who can't present an emotion convinvingly enough to make it look real. All the Shahrukh critics must watch this movie to know what potential he has as an actor and what can he do to a role given to him.
The movie is not only about Shahrukh but i also loved the way all the girls have acted in it. None of them is really a big time actor but everyone has portrayed the character assigned to them convinvingly enough to make it look real. The movie is a tribute to Indian women and Indian national sport hockey. I wish we do win a world cup some day and we rejoice in real life as well.
I've asked Vishnu Bairagi to check the movie and throw his views on the same. It would be interesting to check how he reacts to a movie like this.
You can find him on


A deviation!!!!

For a deviation and it is because of my friend Vikas ( who has cursed me for being selfish and write only the technical problems on my blogs. So i thought of posting something different on this blog and hope to continue doing it in future as well.
Last week i travelled home for rakhi (An indian festival) and i discovered 2 important things.
The first one is a link which can help me converting hindi typed in english into devnagri font. Its an amazing innovation by google and i appreciate it a lot.
Believe it or not but it is worth trying it out!!!!.

The second discovery i made was that people in my hometown Ratlam are blogging. Its in central state of India called Madya Pradesh . And the best part of it was that my friend Valkal's dad aged 60 years has done all kind of exploration to start blogging and he is writing amazing blogs and writing them at an amazingly high frequency.
Check Vishnu Bairagi on
At his age i believe it is a miracle that he is enthusiastic enough to learn a new technology. (Computers are still a miracle in my hometown) and blog with such enthusiasm .

I wish him all the best and will try to draw some inspiration from him to keep updating this space regularly.