Japan, oh Japan

I’m fascinated with the Japanese culture and history. It is one of my dreams to visit Japan and learn to use a Kanji or Kana (Japanese swords). Origami and Bonsai are awe inspiring art forms. One of my favorite novel (‘SHOGUN’ by James Clavel) also has a Japanese historical setting. I’ve read it twice already. The characters of a Samurai, Ronin, Ninja, Shogun etc. are so intriguing and intense. I like the way virtues like honesty, loyalty, respect etc. are regarded highly in a Japanese society, now …. and then.

Another of Japanese art forms I just adore is ‘Haiku’. A Haiku is a short poem, usually 3 lines with 5, 7 and 5 syllables … although the syllables are not a compulsary constraint. The most wonderful aspect of a Haiku is its conciseness, brevity. E.g.

Against dark wild clouds
skeleton trees silhouette
like cracks in the sky

Another one about a sword is

“lightning:
heron’s cry
stabs the darkness ”
– Basho

One good site with a lot of great Haiku (and other poems too) is POETRY.COM.

I’m going to write more about this soon.

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Ghalib’s biography and gazals

Any one interested in Urdu poetry and Ghalib can check this link. The webpage carries a brief bio of Ghalib and translation of his works. Difficult words are explained so the poetry is more ‘accessible’.

Some famous couplets from his gazals:

ragoN meiN  dauDte firne  ke ham naheeN qaayal
jab aaNkh hee se na Tapka to fir lahoo kya hai ?

Another one:

unke dekhe se jo aa jaatee  hai muNh par raunaq
woh samajhte haiN ke beemaar ka haal achcha hai

And:

hamko    ma’aloom    hai   jannat  ki  haqeeqat   lekin
dil ke KHush rakhne ko, ‘GHalib’ yeh KHayaal achcha hai

Bhoot – Movie review

OK, I’m in the ‘Been there, Seen that’ club of BHOOT. I must admit I enjoyed the movie while I was there, but now on retrospection, I find it good enough for 3-Star rating only. It is a laudable effort to set a spooky thriller in an urban setting. But the ‘urbanity’ does not intrude into the flow of the story as barely anything outside the apartment building is brought into view. It also helps to have a worrying father and a rosary-weilding, expressionless old woman with hair so white (not grey) that it gives an impression of a wig, for neighbors.
The first half is better than the second. Urmila and Ajay shine in some scenes. Nana, Tanuja, Fardeen and Rekha are merely add-ons with a forgettable performance and roles. I liked the guy in the role of the shrink, don’t remember his name though. A few brief scenes about his lifes’ problems was a good touch as a sub-plot. The background score is the real highlight of the movie. I suggest if you HAVE to watch it then go to a theatre with a GOOD sound system. The chills are basically due to the ‘Appropriate’ noises or sounds.

This a season for spook freaks with ‘Darna Mana Hai’ and ’88 Antop Hill’ due for release. I’m waiting …

Brain drain?

One of my friends is moving to Canada with his family. Yesterday he had invited everyone from ‘the old gang’ for a celebratory bash. Had a good time. Around 5-6 of my friends have already left for US, Canada or Australia ( … Australia is the latest hotspot.) … and I met another 5-6 guys yesterday at the party who were on their way out (… excluding the the host, that is) It helps that every one of ’em has a computers background.
That set me thinking about the phenomenon of ‘brain-drain’. I was thinking that if so many people are ‘immigrating’ just form this small area then one can well imagine the magnitude of the problem (??!!) countrywide ! I read an article yesterday which said that almost 30% of the IITians move abroad. I’m not sure about it whether it is right or not to abandon y’r ‘mother-land’ in search of greener pastures … but every body has a right to self-preservation, to think of personal satisfaction (gratification) and grab the best possible oppurtunity available. The basic reasons for this ‘exodus’ is lack of recognition for y’r work, official apathy, corruption & red-tapism in the bureaucracy, general disillusionment with the system and society, and of course the financial allure.

Sometimes I feel that they (NRIs) are proving to be of more help NOW from abroad than they could have been if they had stayed back ! Here in India they’d have been ‘just another’ middle-class family … barely managing to gather a decent living for themselves … let alone think of any philanthropy ! But from the position they are in now, they are proving to be of more help in terms of vision, fresh ideas and financially. So isn’t this situation a better one ??!! … but I’m a die hard optimist, you see.

Oops! No MTech

I guess I won’t be able to go for that M.Tech. after all … sigh … I called home yesterday and Mom told me that they have returned my application form citing some reasons … which she wasn’t sure about. So gonna check em out once I’m home. But one thing is for sure, my dream of going for M.Tech is going to be … well, a dream ! But for now … the alternative plan #1 will be put into action. (Hee hee, I usually have ‘Alternative plans’ as back-up, and the number of plans ranges from 1 to n, depending on how creative I feel that day OR how desperate I am !!)

I’m just putting up a cheerful front. I REALLY wanted to go for this. Awwww