Guru – Movie review

Rating – Average

Go see this movie only if you are a Mani Ratnam fan. I can’t find any other reason.

The story is clearly inspired by the life of Dhirubhai Ambani, right from the foreign blue-collar job to right sided paralysis. Read this great article from Outlook magazine’s film section to know the real people behind the characters. GuruThe story tells about the meteoric rise of the hero from a village lad to a world-class businessman. It is implied through newspaper headlines or peripheral dialogues that certain illegal means have been employed by Guru for his success but this is not explored at all. Guru’s character seems to be an impulsive and manipulative person with a lot of luck. I didn’t see him working hard to grow his business any where in the movie. He just arrives and declares a grand new plan at a shareholders meeting. Having somebody as his mentor would have given some credibility to his grandiose plans to raise a public issue or setup a petrochemical plant.

Abhishek has put in a visible effort into his character of Gurukant Desai but couldn’t beat his own performance in Yuva. The character of Lallan which he played in Yuva was effortless. Aishwarya shines in parts but does not has much to do. In fact, no body else has much to do except Abhishek. Abhishek seemed to have better chemistry with Rani in Bunty Aur Babli than what he has with Aishwarya in Guru. (Sometimes I find it extremely funny how we treat actors on first name basis as if they were our juniors in Mithibai College!)

Screenplay is a real disappointment. No relationship is explored for its worth. How could Guru manage to meet Arzaan Contractor at the golf club if nobody allows him inside Contractor’s office? How does Guru comes close to Nanaji? Why does a rift grow between Guru and his brother-in-law that ends in a snapping point at the party? What happens to Aishwarya when she finds out that Abhishek had married her for the dowry? How and when does Madhvan falls for Vidya? What happens to Madhvan’s idealism when he is clicking bogus pictures as evidence againt Guru? What happens to the contractor guy who had resigned because of Guru? Who was the parsi old man who tried to buy out Guru? Many other relationships are left unexplored.

Cinematography is good as expected from a Ratnam film but Rehman’s music is lackluster. The art director deserves a pat on the back for recreating Bombay of 1950s all with vintage cars and trams. But I wish that the director hadn’t tried to pass off South Indian locations as parts of Gujarat.

Read some more negative reviews and some positive reviews about the movie.

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Posted in Movies. 1 Comment »

Reading Getting Things Done

Getting Things Done - The Art Of Stress Free Productivity

I found a copy of Getting Things Done – The Art Of Stress Free Productivity by David Allen in our library. Plan to finish it off this weekend. Will provide a summary and my own views about the book in a post later next week.

Post edit: (Jan 19, 2007) I have not been able to finish reading the book as intended but I ordered a copy for myself at a local bookstore. Hope to get it by this weekend.

More mods for Pocketmod

I have created/mentioned a ‘fill-in-your-lists-and print-it-out‘ kind of template in .doc format for Pocketmod.

I discovered a list of more mods for Pocketmod on a chance visit to the Pocketmod Forums by a guy called Solutioneer. All the mods are in .swf format and can be used with the Pocketmod Generator offline application. You need to put the mods in the correct directory and modify the mods.xml file of the app to point towards the new mods. Nothing much difficult, I guess. The following is the list from the forum post along with what is to found at these links –

http://appsbyaaron.tripod.com/PocketMods.htm

  • Provides a complete Pocketmod installer including the authors mods in a zipped file
  • Provides Lines, Tables, Music staff and ToDo lists in landscape mode
  • Also check his other apps for Palm Pilot

http://www.wedothat.com/pocketmods/

  • Provides games generators (maze, circuits, word, battleship)
  • Provides daily content (quotes, cartoon, horoscope, weather etc.)
  • Miscellaneous daigrams, TaDa list updater, convertors and loggers
  • Also provides the XML code to include in the mod.xml file. Helpful!
  • More details on his blog

http://www.wufflebunny.com/pocketmod/

  • Language reference sheets
  • World/US maps
  • Games (Slitherlink, Dots, Sudoku etc.)
  • Sign Language, Palmistry and Cloud formation reference
  • Miscellaneous material

http://leewm.freeshell.org/pocketmod/

  • HP 6515 images as front and back covers of Pocketmod
  • Slideruler

Let me know if you find other such links and I will add to this list.

Monoface – funny pics of face mashups

I came across this website for Mono, an advertising agency. They have a section which generates funny mashups of different facial features. The Monoface website can be accessed here. A sample is below.

Monoface

Posted in Humor. 1 Comment »

Oracle sample tables for SQLServer

 

EDIT 3/21/2012:

I have put a revised version of the Oracle sample tables post on my other blog about SQL Server and technical stuff. You might want to have a look at the URL below.

http://aalamrangi.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/oracle-sample-table-script-for-sql-server/

Thanks for visiting!

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Oracle has some sample tables viz. EMP, DEPT, BONUS, SALGRADE, DUMMY etc. which are helpful while practicing SQL commands. Oracle provides the scripts to create these tables in the name of DEMOBLD.SQL which can be found in the <OracleHome>\sqlplus\demo folder of your Oracle installation or online at this link. (EDIT 3/21/2012: This link is dead now!)

I have made some changes to the script to run it on MS SQL Server. It might prove useful if you don’t have access to an Oracle installation but want want to practice SQL commands. Of course, MS SQL Server does not support all the SQL syntax as supported by Oracle, but the tables can be handy in some cases.

The SQL Server compatible script is below. Copy and paste in Query Analyzer to run. The basic difference is in the datatypes and the datetime convert function.

/* DESCRIPTION
-- This script creates the sample tables in the current
-- MS SQL Server database and inserts corresponding data.
-- The data is same as the demonstration tables of Oracle.
--
-- USAGE
-- Copy/Paste this script in Query Analyzer and select the database
-- from the drop down list where you want to create these tables.
-- Select EXECUTE from the QUERY menu or simply press F5 to run the script.
--
-- WARNING
-- The script drops any tables with the same name so be sure that
-- any existing tables with same names do not have any critical data. */

DROP TABLE EMP
DROP TABLE DEPT
DROP TABLE BONUS
DROP TABLE SALGRADE
DROP TABLE DUMMY

CREATE TABLE EMP
(EMPNO NUMERIC(4) NOT NULL,
ENAME VARCHAR(10),
JOB VARCHAR(9),
MGR NUMERIC(4),
HIREDATE DATETIME,
SAL NUMERIC(7, 2),
COMM NUMERIC(7, 2),
DEPTNO NUMERIC(2))

INSERT INTO EMP VALUES
(7369, ‘SMITH’, ‘CLERK’, 7902, ’17-DEC-1980′, 800, NULL, 20)
INSERT INTO EMP VALUES
(7499, ‘ALLEN’, ‘SALESMAN’, 7698, ’20-FEB-1981′, 1600, 300, 30)
INSERT INTO EMP VALUES
(7521, ‘WARD’, ‘SALESMAN’, 7698, ’22-FEB-1981′, 1250, 500, 30)
INSERT INTO EMP VALUES
(7566, ‘JONES’, ‘MANAGER’, 7839, ‘2-APR-1981’, 2975, NULL, 20)
INSERT INTO EMP VALUES
(7654, ‘MARTIN’, ‘SALESMAN’, 7698, ’28-SEP-1981′, 1250, 1400, 30)
INSERT INTO EMP VALUES
(7698, ‘BLAKE’, ‘MANAGER’, 7839, ‘1-MAY-1981’, 2850, NULL, 30)
INSERT INTO EMP VALUES
(7782, ‘CLARK’, ‘MANAGER’, 7839, ‘9-JUN-1981’, 2450, NULL, 10)
INSERT INTO EMP VALUES
(7788, ‘SCOTT’, ‘ANALYST’, 7566, ’09-DEC-1982′, 3000, NULL, 20)
INSERT INTO EMP VALUES
(7839, ‘KING’, ‘PRESIDENT’, NULL, ’17-NOV-1981′, 5000, NULL, 10)
INSERT INTO EMP VALUES
(7844, ‘TURNER’, ‘SALESMAN’, 7698, ‘8-SEP-1981’, 1500, 0, 30)
INSERT INTO EMP VALUES
(7876, ‘ADAMS’, ‘CLERK’, 7788, ’12-JAN-1983′, 1100, NULL, 20)
INSERT INTO EMP VALUES
(7900, ‘JAMES’, ‘CLERK’, 7698, ‘3-DEC-1981’, 950, NULL, 30)
INSERT INTO EMP VALUES
(7902, ‘FORD’, ‘ANALYST’, 7566, ‘3-DEC-1981’, 3000, NULL, 20)
INSERT INTO EMP VALUES
(7934, ‘MILLER’, ‘CLERK’, 7782, ’23-JAN-1982′, 1300, NULL, 10)

CREATE TABLE DEPT
(DEPTNO NUMERIC(2),
DNAME VARCHAR(14),
LOC VARCHAR(13) )

INSERT INTO DEPT VALUES (10, ‘ACCOUNTING’, ‘NEW YORK’)
INSERT INTO DEPT VALUES (20, ‘RESEARCH’, ‘DALLAS’)
INSERT INTO DEPT VALUES (30, ‘SALES’, ‘CHICAGO’)
INSERT INTO DEPT VALUES (40, ‘OPERATIONS’, ‘BOSTON’)

CREATE TABLE BONUS
(ENAME VARCHAR(10),
JOB VARCHAR(9),
SAL NUMERIC,
COMM NUMERIC)

CREATE TABLE SALGRADE
(GRADE NUMERIC,
LOSAL NUMERIC,
HISAL NUMERIC)

INSERT INTO SALGRADE VALUES (1, 700, 1200)
INSERT INTO SALGRADE VALUES (2, 1201, 1400)
INSERT INTO SALGRADE VALUES (3, 1401, 2000)
INSERT INTO SALGRADE VALUES (4, 2001, 3000)
INSERT INTO SALGRADE VALUES (5, 3001, 9999)

CREATE TABLE DUMMY
(DUMMY NUMERIC)

INSERT INTO DUMMY VALUES (0)

Questions raised by Singur

Singur is the name of a place near Calcutta in West Bengal, where the Tata Motors plan to set up the manufacturing plant of their much-hyped One Lakh Car. The state government wants to acquire the land from small peasants to give it away to the Tatas. If you have heard/read/seen Mamta Banerjee fasting lately, then it is for the cause of these peasants. The Tata controversy at Singur has raised many questions. Why is Tata being given more than 1000 acres of cultivable land for a car manufacturing plant when the actual manufacturing facility could do with a fraction of that size? Why is the land in question so near the Calcutta metropolis when the govt could have identified another site a bit farther to push for economic growth of that area? Arindam Chaudhary of IIPM has such questions in his article (the link will be posted when I can find it online).

Another article in the Times of India by a Member of Parliament, Mr. Suresh Prabhu, puts forward some common sense points for the long term land use policy as required by India. In the brief article, he justifies the need for a consistent land use policy at the national level and points how it can be formulated with the help of a little common sense and data from our very own GIS satellites. Come on guys, the cost of those satellites should be justified by putting their data to optimum use. Instead of doling out Rs 15,000 crore to our space agencies for a “manned space flight” or Rs 20,000 crore for putting a man on moon, this sum could be put to use for providing basic amenities to the 40% of our below-poverty-line population. To get the amount into perspective, the Golden Quadrilateral Road Project connecting four corners of India cost Rs 30,000 crore! I’m not against scientific progress, but what is the point of spending such huge amounts for outdated goals, except to show the world “we can do it too” which anyway, they have been doing for the last 30 years!