Tuesday, May 16, 2006

My new blog

I have started a new blog a few days back. This, obviously will reduce the frequency of posts on this older blog. The new blog, which I have named पिटारा भानुमती का (piTaara bhanumati ka) is in Hindi, and is published in Devanagari with the help of unicode editor called baraha. Have a look if it interests you.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Eat my bullet and seekh angrezi

Not very long before, I had written a post titled Lost in Translation and Shripad had given a very nice comment.

And today I saw here, that Sholay will be taught in CBSE schools. They say, "the movie will be part of a course teaching Std 5 students (of the CBSE board) to communicate well in English."!

The aim of this post is not to conclude anything, but laugh, if you can.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Radio days are back

"Ye aakashwani hai, ab aap....". Some twenty years back, this was the fastest source in my home to remain connected with the rest of the world. I explicitly remember, we had a "transistor radio set" while many of my friends had got TVs and audio cassette players. Wow! That was something, you could listen your favourite song anytime you want!

Today, I have a decent collection of my favourite music, something better than audio cassettes and something better then those old cassette players. But to decide which song shall I play, I take a lot of time (after all Hazaaron Khwahishein Aisi....). Rather, I prefer listening radio. Alas, there is no radio set which can catch my favourite signals across the miles!

Finally, I got a solution and it was very satisfying to know that there are online radio stations which match my taste. Thank God! But then when I am mostly listening to these online radios, why did I spend so much time in grabbing my favourite music? Well, Hazaaron Khwahishein Aisi! Everything is back to the initial point, except that I do not need to tune the radio, but click something non-existent (computer screen) with some other non-existing thing (mouse pointer).

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Lost in translation

"Mon coeur oscille doucement, pour quoi je ne sais pas"

What is this? Well, it's a famous Hindi song! Now a days, when I watch movies, I prefer to keep subtitles in French - just a way to learn French while watching movies. Alas! subtitles come with songs too. I gave my DVD of Black to one of my friends here who is French. While returning the DVD back, she told that movie was very good but subtitles were pathetic, and somehow she could follow. Well, I have no right to comment on the quality of French subtitles, afterall I don't know the language. I thought, may be people who translate the movie are not native speakers of the language they are translating into, and thus these mistakes are understandable.

Then I encountered an interesting incident and realised that perhaps these are not humans who write subtitles. Why did I think so? Well, here is a sample:
  • [Hindi] Kaise ho? = [English] How're you? = [French!] How're vous? (in French, vous = you = aap).
According to the translator, "How're" remains unchanged! OK! Why not check this page! Because the sample above makes me think that this is the "person" who writes subtitles! At least the typist could have written "How are you?" (in full) before clicking the translation button!

Well, this was not the only example, after that I could locate lots of funny mistakes and immediately put off subtitles!

By the way, any idea which song is "Mon coeur oscille doucement, pour quoi je ne sais pas"?

Glossary (so that people are not lost in translation!) : Mon = my; coeur = heart; oscille = oscillate; doucement = slowly, gently; pour quoi = why; je ne sais pas = I don't know

Monday, April 03, 2006

RDB and JP

After a saint-like patience for two months, I finally saw Rang De Basanti yesterday. In deed a thought provoking movie. I liked it. Plot, idea and presentation - everything is very original. But then there is one not very pleasant way to interpret the movie - immorality and corruption are so deep rooted in the system, lawmakers and leaders of the country that any effort to change it will be suppressed. People will back you and support your efforts only till they are charged with emotions. Then, everything is back to square one. Corrupts do not change, system remains sick and the life goes on. The only difference is that those who tried to fight against all odds, and those who got temporary support from "common man", (only) after their sacrifice are no more!

I am not advocating that one should remain silent, but there are better ways to channelize your energy than to take extreme steps. This reminds me of Loknayak Jaiprakash Narain. His sampoorna kranti, and very organised efforts to aware public did change the government. Unfortunately, what followed during next two years was not very pleasant, and that's another point to discuss. What I want to emphasize is that systems can be changed, possibly not by one single person, neither by crowds, but a well motivated and organised group with well- defined objects.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Against Daylight Saving!

How can you save the daylight? Wise people say, advance your clocks by one hour and the daylight will be saved!

Daylight-saving time (DST) has started here from this Sunday, and still I am not able to convince myself if it is really useful. Why is it observed at all? I asked many and two of the responses were:
  • This is for the farmers. They need more sunlight! If clocks are shifted by an hour, farmers will get up early and will do more work in their farms! But bhaiya, why should farmers look at the clock at all to decide if they should work or not?
  • This is to save energy. How? Benjamin Franklin told us. Hmmm... good, could you please explain, how it works? Well, I heard that people sleep one hour early and do not consume much electricity in the night. Wow! what an ingenious idea to force an early sleep on them by making them fool and by playing with their biological clocks. All that too "save" (I don't know if it really does) energy.
So, many countries save energy by changing their clocks. But I am sure, there are much better ways to save energy. Belgium boasts of its highly illuminated highways in the nights, and as is claimed, The Great Wall of China and Belgian highways are the only two man-made structures visible from moon! (see here). Is it really worth doing that? I am sure, they can save the energy by spending less for this purpose and reducing lights to what is practically required (so as not to be visible from moon!)

Observing DST, not only violets a correspondence between the "God made real" time and the clock time, but also gives rise to some funny incidents. Two of them are mention here in Wikipedia. It says:

"Supposing some unfortunate lady was confined with twins and the first child was born 10 minutes before 3 o'clock British Summer Time. ... the time of birth of the two children would be reversed. ... Such an alteration might conceivably affect the property and titles in that House."

This is rare, but then there are not so rare and inevitable situations too. When the clocks are changed, what is its effect on flight and train schedules? Here is a funny but true stuff I found on this site. They mention:

"To keep to their published timetables, trains cannot leave a station before the scheduled time. So, when the clocks fall back one hour in October, all Amtrak trains in the U.S. that are running on time stop at 2:00 a.m. and wait one hour before resuming. Overnight passengers are often surprised to find their train at a dead stop and their travel time an hour longer than expected. At the spring Daylight Saving Time change, trains instantaneously become an hour behind schedule at 2:00 a.m., but they just keep going and do their best to make up the time."

I wonder how do they stop flights in the middle of the sky for one hour? I strongly criticize the idea of "Daylight Saving". Standard scales should not be tampered. I am sure I can not teach people running fast by adding a few more centimeters in the meter scale.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Looking at the podium

There are moments in life when you feel you have got much more than what you had prayed for. More frequently you come across these moments more egoless are you, more humble are you when others pat on your back for your accomplishment.

These days, I often see this when I watch Commonwealth Games' athletes on the podium who get Gold just by a very narrow margin. A mixture of humbleness and pride can be seen simultaneously on their face.