Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Looking back.

While looking through the pictures of my school's nursery class exhibition, I couldn't help but feel nostalgic. The little kids dancing around the class wearing costumes and makeup, and their parents huddled together near the door, passing encouraging smiles to their little ones; all reminded me of the time I used to be that small and when I used to participate in such activities. I remember this one particular time back when I was in nursery and had taken part in some exhibition-related activity -- my parents had been standing along with the other parents near the door and had been giving me a delightful smile as I moved the different parts of my body along with the other kids, carefully following the instructions of the nice looking class teacher and trying to move with the flow of the other kids, most of whom had their eyes on their parents and were trying to - in an inexplicable manner - make them proud.

Now that I look at a picture of a present-day nursery exhibition (particularly at the one in which a group of smiling parents can be seen) and at the mental recollection of my experience, I realize that although all the human entities in that room have been replaced, the basic nature remains the same. There's an inconspicuous female teacher standing in one corner moving her hands and guiding those who seem to have forgotten the steps, kids dressed in traditional and colorful dresses dancing around, a few parents clicking pictures with their expensive looking cameras, and the rest standing with their arms crossed, sporting big smiles.

-| AG.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

No, I'm not dead.

Considering that this blog's been kept un-updated for the past many days and that I'm not mentally prepared for its miserable shouts that plead an update, I've decided to write some stuff and keep it alive.

OK, so the tubelight in my room had been acting out for the past couple of weeks. It had stopped radiating its SO&SO Watts of light when it was switched on, thus making me reach up to its cylindrical choke and rotate it clockwise and counterclockwise in its socket ... until the tubelight glimmered up and bathed the room in its white light. You see, this little tinkering around had to be done very carefully and it required the tinkerer to concentrate hard on the task at hand -- at all instants and through all states of mind during those instants. No distractions were allowed. What so ever. And the tinkerer had to pull away the tinkering hand the moment the tubelight glimmered up, because if that release was delayed even by a picosecond, the tubelight wouldn't switch on and would make you keep on going at the rotating thing for a few more painstaking seconds. But, now that the bad part has been replaced with a fresh new one, the tube is working perfectly. Now, I don't need to tinker around with it (unless I wish to do so anyway) to make it work. As I type, I can see that little cylindrical choke sitting in front of the keyboard, with its two yellow electrodes sticking out skyward. Dunno, I'm just gonna toss it in a bin and bid farewell to it for good.

-| AG.

Friday, February 16, 2007

United 93.

A couple of months ago, on a night much like this, I saw "United 93". At the end of its riveting 2 hours, I remember being left speechless and shocked. It's kind of hard to describe as to which category of feature films "United 93" belongs. It has the feel and sound of a documentary - yet it's not a documentary, neither is it a movie (at least not in the traditional sense of the word "movie"). "United 93" is rather like a hybrid of those two. And to successfully pull off such a hybrid requires direction of the kind Paul Greengrass seems to be a master in. The wide eyes, slightly open mouth and spasm of shock and sadness on one's face while watching the movie are perhaps evidence enough of Greengrass's mastery. In fact, "United 93" is so gripping and involving that during most of the film I felt like I was physically present inside that plane and that I was observing the events not on an LCD screen but face-to-face. I felt tension and horror when the first of the hijackers jumped up with a shout of "Allah-ho-Akbar!" and stabbed the American passenger sitting in front of him and while all 4 of the hijackers started taking on the plane - with two stabbing the captain and the co-captain to death and taking the controls, one acting as a suicide-bomber and threatening to press the trigger the second anyone tried to retaliate, and another one shouting and yelling to those who dared talk.

Shocked to the core themselves, the crew-members helplessly tried to assure the passengers that everything was going to be alright; and other crew-members tried to haltingly reason with the hijackers to let the on-board doctor take a look at the American who had been stabbed and provide him first-aid. While many desperately called their families and loved ones through their seat phones, some tried to comfort each other with words of courage and warmth. Amidst all this, a few tried to weave together a plan to overcome the hijackers - they began by gathering together things that could be used as "weapons" and grouping together men brave enough to charge the hijackers. They found someone who could fly the plane and someone who was sure that the bomb wielded by one of the hijackers was a fake. Finally, they charged. First, they took down the 2 hijackers that were present in the cabin area and proceeded on to break open the control room's door and pull the 3rd hijacker off the controls - eventually crashing the plane in an empty field in Pennsylvania. The plane did not crash where the hijackers intended it to. And no one survived the crash.

Just watch the trailer. You will feel the tension.

-| AG.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Blank | knalB

Damn! And I thought I'd be able to nicely illustrate how the word "Blank" sees itself every morning in the mirror. Stupid alphanumeric keyboard ... Anyway, the past 24 hours have been rather eventful -- a little too eventful for my taste. But since I've no control over the effects that are caused by my causes, I cannot really handpick the events that'd be in accordance with my taste guidelines. Damn you Einstein, Newton, Aristotle, Galileo, and scientists slash philosophers of the like. Why couldn't you come up with a universally accepted equation that would describe the behavior of every single particle on this very vast planet of ours and of those not on it (except that I don't really care about the extra-terrestrial particles)? Like, why couldn't I be provided with a single equation that would tell me how and what exactly would happen if I did this, and what would happen if I did that; where "this" and "that" are variables, not constants -- as might have already been deduced by someone who has a brain that has dimensions greater than those of a green pea. This imaginary equation will invariably lead me to a path on an imaginary space-time graph (on which, I act as a single dot - maybe even something smaller?) that's devoid of every mishap and silly thing conceivable to my wild side. This path would be devoid of my almost falling off my bike while I rode back home from gym because I couldn't control the bike since I had a soda bottle in hand and no where on the bike to safely tug it in; this path would also be devoid of the silly operator at Cornell who's not so good when it comes to Indian accents - and consequently not good enough to correctly write out my name when I spell it slowly and carefully (like I would to a 1st grader) and ends up with an "Ayush Gubda" only to be irritably corrected by me, "No, not b and d, but p and t - as in phone and telephone", eventually getting me to the international admissions office where I end up talking to someone much more experienced. Dhank Got!

-| AG.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

What separates a Nano from a Shuffle.

Many things do. To name a few:

1) Nano provides gapless playback for music files that've been mastered that way. While a Shuffle, interestingly, does not.

2) Nano's capable of playing music even when it's connected to a computer; unlike a Shuffle.

3) Nano lets us search the music files (though not the pictures). A Shuffle, obviously, is no where near capable enough of performing such a task.

4) Nano sorts the music files into various playlists, categorized by album/artist/genre, etc. This greatly helps while looking for a particular song or artist. Backed up with this feature, one can feel bold enough to load up dozens of audio CDs - something I never felt like doing on my Shuffle.

5) Nano's got a Clock feature that displays time from all around the world (over a hundred cities from Asia to Europe, Atlantic to America, and more). Other features include stopwatch, calender, contacts, notes, and games.

Some obvious differences:

6) Nano's got an LCD color screen - unavailability of which (color or otherwise) distinctively separates a Shuffle from the rest in the iPod family.

7) While a Shuffle has to be bodily connected to a PC through USB for syncing, a Nano uses a thin white lead for that purpose.

8) This 2nd generation Nano came with new earphones - and as advertised, they do seem to fit rather snugly. The sound quality remains just as outstanding as the one resonated by its 1st generation counterpart.

-| AG.