Monthly Archives: August 2004

Identity crisis

There is no better way to spend a Friday afternoon at work, than by doing random personality tests online. (All those who frowned or thought ‘Gawd, she needs to get a life‘, can kindly keep their opinion to themselves.) I’ve come across a bunch lately — Which of the Greek Gods are you (I am Hecate – God of dark magic *ominous music in background*), Which Biological Molecule are you (An enzyme? Hmm..), Which Harry Potter kid are you (Hermione, and that makes me happy) and so on.

If you are like me, you have definitely transferred some of your precious savings into the bank account of an African dictator. No? How heartless of you! Surely you have at least been spammed by one of them? Here’s a nice lil personality test telling you which of them spammers you are —

You are Princess Agbani. You are a student at the University of Nigeria, Lagos.  You got my name through the chember of comerse.  You have $21,350,000 to share, which your father, the king, left you. You have trouble spelling.

Which Nigerian spammer are You?

And of course, here’s something to appeal to the geek in every one of us. The computer geniuses amongst you can access either by clicking on the link —

You are Apple Dos. Simple and primitive with a good understanding of the common man.  You're still a work in progress, but a good start.

Which OS are You?

Musical ramblings (Part 3/42)

This post started out as a review of some recent soundtracks but once I started to ramble about Phir Milenge, I got carried away. (If you thought brevity was one of my virtues, heh heh, think again) So, in light of the ever-increasing length of this post and its inverse effect on the reader’s sanity, I have decided to babble about the other albums in a separate blogpost.

(Music links on musicindiaonline.com)

Phir Milenge (Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Bhavatha Raja, Nikhil-Vinay) — The combined talents of S-E-L and Bhavatharini (Ilayaraaja’s daughter who provided the music for Mitr, Revathy’s first film, now back with a slight change in nomenclature) give us a consistent and quality soundtrack. But why on god’s green earth do we have Nikhil-Vinay in this mix? Their ‘contribution’ to this soundtrack is as dispensable as the dhink-chak dhink-chak dholak rhythm that they use. Uff. Groan. Anyways, my picks —

  • Jeene ke ishaare‘ — The beauty of this song lies in its simplicity. Minimal instrumentation, the solo acoustic guitar start, the clapping rhythm, all come together nicely to create a very relaxing and uplifting feel that perfectly complements the wonderful lyrics by Prasoon Joshi (henceforth referred to as PJ). This chap has clearly arrived in a big way after Hum Tum. There a scale(?) change towards the end of the song which is nice too.

  • Yaad hai vo pehli mulaaqaat‘ — Melody-wise this is a slower version of ‘jeene ke ishaare‘ although there are some changes in arrangements, the finger snapping instead of the clapping and a change in singer as well — Abhijeet sings a slow song that is usually not his forte, and does a decent job. Now if only we had PJ’s lyrics to sing instead of Sameer’s rehashed blah.

  • Khul ke muskuraale‘ — This is *the* song of the soundtrack, for me. A seductive and soulful number, asking you to live the moment and seek happiness in it. PJ’s magic with words and the wonderful vocals of the ‘zara zara mehekta hai‘ lady — Bombay Jayshree, along with a simple rhythm and the near absence of instruments make this song a winner. In lines like —

    Utaar gham ke mozey, zameen ko gungunaane de,
    Kankaron ko talwon main gudgudee machaane de

    .. the metaphor of ‘gham ke mozey‘ is just a lil odd, but lovely nevertheless. When was the last time you walked barefoot and let the pebbles tickle your feet? Hm, nice.

  • Kuchh pal‘ — PJ once again shines in this second-generation song (Ilayaraaja’s daughter + Yesudas’s son) Vijay Yesudas’s voice is much like his dad’s and fits perfectly with the philosophical lyrics about the passing moments.

The pastoral philosopher

While a picture is worth a thousand words, no painting or photograph can quite achieve the pictures that Robert Frost (1874—1963) paints with his words on the canvases of our mind. Using simple metaphors and a casual conversational style, he brings to us the sights and sounds of his native New England area. But beneath the beautiful imagery lie words much deeper, more profound. Poetry, that describes a simple moment frozen in time (a few leaves clinging to an otherwise bare tree in the poem A Boundless Moment) while at other times, expresses a whole gamut of human emotions and experiences (in poems like Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening and The Road Not Taken). Bringing something profound to a seemingly simple moment, giving the reader a chance to see nature in a new light and to see the beauty in the emotions it evokes — this is what makes Frost’s poetry special to me. The ability to see the extraordinary even in the ordinary.

Despite the idyllic, laid back and detached atmosphere that his poems create at times, there is also a modern and real-world context to his work, apparent in poems like Mending Wall, perhaps most famous for the line that has become an aphorism on international relations — Good fences make good neighbors, a line often quoted with the assumption that the poet supported this thought. In reality, as the poem shows, he questions it. He asks — Why do they make good neighbors? An interesting paradox, as walls create a sense of security, but they exist because of an absence of it, to begin with.

Biased that I am, its difficult for me to pick just one poem to showcase the magic of his words. Here is one titled Reluctance, that remains one of my favorites. A poem that talks about resignation, acceptance and our unwillingness for it. Makes you think.. Why do we strive to aim higher than our past experience indicates we are capable of? Is it the drive to do better, or are we in a way, deluded about our own capabilities? Or is it simply a reluctance to give up?

Reluctance

Out through the fields and the woods
And over the walls I have wended;
I have climbed the hills of view
And looked at the world, and descended;
I have come by the highway home,
And lo, it is ended.

The leaves are all dead on the ground,
Save those that the oak is keeping
To ravel them one by one
And let them go scraping and creeping
Out over the crusted snow,
When others are sleeping.

And the dead leaves lie huddled and still,
No longer blown hither and thither;
The last lone aster is gone;
The flowers of the witch-hazel wither;
The heart is still aching to seek,
But the feet question ‘Whither?’

Ah, when to the heart of man
Was it ever less than a treason
To go with the drift of things,
To yield with a grace to reason,
And bow and accept the end
Of a love or a season?

The words of the last verse say it the best — yielding simply because it is the reasonable and practical thing to do, is cheating oneself. The unwillingness to given in to things just as they are, the belief in ourselves that doesn’t let us just bow down and accept, but instead makes us fight against the odds, isn’t that really what the human spirit is all about?

Gmail Notifier

Yay yippee! Firefox has an extension to alert you to mail in your Gmail account! No more space being taken up by the Gmail tab (or the Gmail taskbar item, if you’re still using separate windows instead of tabs, tsk tsk.)

Would be nice if it checks if there’s a Gmail tab already open, and simply moves the focus to it rather than opening a new tab/window (based on the settings) each time. But its a minor quirk I can live with. One less thing to keep an eye out for, now that I get a nice lil popup when I have Gmail!

I have been given some grief lately about the length of my blogs. So for all of you complainers, here’s to show that I can blab less, if I choose to. Hmpfh.