Sunday, July 30, 2006

Mohammad Rafi

Tomorrow (July 31st) is the 26th death anniversary of the great conniseur of Hindi music, Mohammad Rafi. One of his kind, Rafi stands like a beacon of light in the darkness of present-day Hindi singers. No, don't get me wrong, Udit Narayan, Sonu Nigam, Abhijeet, are all excellent singers, but no one has the class that Rafi, Kishore and Manna Dey commanded in their heydays.

Of the three, Rafi was (and is) my favourite. Be it the melodious "Mere Mehboob tujhe" from a movie of the same name, or the peppy "Yeh chand sa roshan chera", or the sorrowful "Raha gardishon mein hardam", Mohd Rafi was the voice that made the actors of those days. Of course, the songs then had great music and wonderful lyrics, but Rafi's voice added that icing on the cake that made each one of his songs special.

My introduction to Rafi was with a song he sang for "Hum kisise kam nahin" - "Hai agar dushman dushman". This was the beginning of my 7-year association with my dance troupe. (Yes, I know it is hard to believe.) Anyway, I was one of the background 'dancers' for this song, and loved it. Later I heard more of Rafi - and when we got our tape-recorder, I spent hours listening to his songs on tape and radio. In fact, I've lost count of the number of Rafi songs that I recorded from the Radio - from programmes like "Bhoole Bisre Geet" and "Aap ki farmaaish". Indeed, those were the days.

See more of Rafi at

Which is your favourite Rafi song? Let me know.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

'Great' minds think alike :)

Earlier, I had written a post on the similarities between technology and art and how the two stem from the same core of human spirit. While browsing on some topic, I came across this article by Paul Graham which talks about the same thing.

As they say, 'Great' minds think alike! ;)

Comments invited as usual.

Friday, July 07, 2006

World domination, Google style

A lot has been said and written about Microsoft's attempt at world domination by proliferating its software on computers. Even more has been written about its attempt at reducing competition to dust by giving away software for free (Internet Explorer, for instance.) What has gone unnoticed, in the meanwhile, is Google's wonderfully silent attempt at the same.

For the uninitiated, Google has just released Spreadsheets - an Internet-based spreadsheet application ( or applet?) that will be available for free use. Ofcourse, by default, the files you create will be stored in your Google account, hosted on what else? Google servers. So not only does Google get you to abandon Excel, but it'll also hold you to ransom - your income tax returns for instance, will be available to Google's administrators if they were interested.

Wonder why no one is raising a hue and cry about killing competition by offering software for free. Wonder why no one is raising a privacy issue about having your files stored on their servers.

Anyways, folks, this is world domination Google style. The only difference is that you don't have to pay for it.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Shashi Tharoor

I had mostly ignored Shashi Tharoor's nomination as India's candidate for the UNSG's post until my friend Prad and his friend, G3, blogged about it.

I think this is one of the most stupid foreign policy decisions that the Manmoron government has made. Why? A MBA-friend once explained about the risk-reward concept by saying that some risks are acceptable provided the rewards are proportionally higher. What is the reward India gets if Tharoor gets the post? One word: Nothing. He is not going to support India on any issue of consequence, he doesn't have a vote that can make a difference to India, nor can does he have executive powers - for example, to tell Pakistan to buzz off from Kashmir. In fact, why has no big country ever held the post? Because unlike what we are told in our f'ked up Civics books, the UNSG is nothing like a World President. He is more like a World Puppet - a very well paid one at that. Shashi Tharoor has obvious interests in becoming the UNSG. India gains nothing by proposing him to the post.

What are the risks? Well, first off, we'll now be counted as a country on par with Thailand, Sri Lanka and Pakistan - that have all made nominations for the post. And if God forbid, India were to lose (which isn't all that improbable), it'll be a huge slap on our face. Not to mention the fact that we can write off Sri Lanka's and Thailand's support for an UNSC seat - if that were ever to be put to vote. Or the fact that we just ruined a relationship with Sri Lanka by announcing Tharoor's nomination just when the Sri Lankan foreign minister was in India asking our support for his candidate.

So, this is just some sort of personal give-and-take between the lefties, the soft-lefties and the Manmoron government. There is nothing India will gain from the move. In fact, this might be the first nail in the coffin of our UNSC hopes.

Congrats, moron!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

More shayaari

Many of you would have heard the hit song from (I think) Mohabbattein:
"Aankhen khuli ho ya ho band
deedar unka hota hai
kaise kahoon mein oh yaara yeh
pyar kaise hota hai"

Back in NCSU, I was working on our SCTP project with a couple of friends, and to our surprise, our test server was receiving the SACK*s from the test client without the protocol (which was the intermediary) being notified - infact, the SCTP socket wasn't even open! In a moment of inspiration we came up with this song:

"Socket khuli ho yaa ho band
data transmission hota hai
kaise kahoon mein oh yaara yeh
SACK kaise aata hai"

*(SACK = Selective acknowledgement - a packet sent by the receiver to the sender acknowledging the receipt of a set of packets)

Khud ko itna...

"Khud ko itna buland kar ki har takdeer se pehle, khuda bande se pooche 'bata, teri raza kya hai?' " - one of my all-time favourite shers. For those who don't get Hindi quite that well, it means: "Raise yourself to such heights that even the Lord, before deciding on your fate will ask you for what you want."

When I was in my previous company in India, the Kargil war was on, and in one of the Indo-Pak rivalry chatrooms, we used a modified version of this sher:

"Khud ko itna buland kar ki Kargil ke choti pe jaa pahunche aur khuda tumse pooche 'abe gadhe, ab utrega kaise?' " - which, for the shaayarically challenged means: "Raise yourself to such heights that you find yourself on the tops of the Kargil mountains and the Lord asks you 'you idiot, how will you get down!?' "

If you folks know who authored the original, please let me know.