Friday, March 30, 2007

The covers.

The Harry Potter depicted in this cover seems strikingly different from the Harry we have known and loved for the better part of the past decade. Considering the impossibility of "the task" and the inexorability of "the path", the bruised faces of the trio, the look of shock (or is it of fear and revulsion?) on Hermione and Ron's faces and Harry's determined and brave expression are perhaps understandable. If you look hard, you would be able to spot the grayish-blue ear, forehead and hands of Dobby, who seems to be holding Godric Gryffindor's ruby-encrusted sword and literally and figuratively standing behind Harry 100%. As for the artwork on the extreme left corner, I've a sneaking feeling that that snake is Nagini and that she is being viewed in one of Prof Trelawney's crystal balls -- serving as a sign of how Trelawney's divination would be of some practical use at last. The leaf-less tree outside the Hogwarts castle seems like the Whomping Willow and the white deer on the right obviously represents Harry's patronus, something which would play a prominent role now that the dementors would be floating around freely, what with Voldemort in-charge of who infests the alleys and tortures the innocent.

The UK Adult version on the other hand, doesn't seem to give away as much detail as the children's one. The locket obviously depicts the Slytherin family's heirloom, the one that Merope Gaunt (Voldemort's mother) sold to Mr. Borgin for a mere 10 gallons (that's a wizarding currency, ye ignorant fool). From what I can extract from my memory, this locket served as one of Voldemort's 7 Horcruxes and that it was the last Horcrux that Dumbledore found, only that it had already been destroyed by someone by the initials R.A.B. Although I cannot see how it serves any role prominent enough to land it on the cover, I feel it looks radically aesthetic than what I might have expected it to be, after many centuries of being handed down from one generation to another and a couple more centuries of it being screwed about by the Gaunts.

-| AG.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I proudly present ...

The secret project I was talking about -- the all new!

-| AG.

PS: I recommend you to use Mozilla Firefox for viewing this web site. Firefox may be downloaded here.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

I never really enjoyed road trips. And the one I just took from Delhi to Chandigarh did nothing whatsoever to change my views towards them. This particular trip began yesterday morning around 6.30am. The object behind this trip was to attend a Pooja of sorts that some faraway relatives had organized. I left the house with my parents, to find the roads pretty much clear of traffic and a light mist (or something that looked like it) hovering around lazily. Around 7am, we picked up the driver from Naraina and then on were on our way to Chandigarh. I had taken care to burn a CD with 79 of my favorite songs that could be played in the car, along with the 200-something songs on my Nano. Being my usual considerate self, I also burned a dozen Hindi songs to that CD, so as to cater to the tastes of those who don't really understand the unique nature of hard rock, pop and rap music -- i.e., my parents (and the driver). On the trip last to this one, I'd copied to my Nano the audio of a movie and of a few episodes of Scrubs; but I decided against doing that this time round, since listening to audio-only versions gives me a light headache, for hitherto unknown reason.

Anyway, getting back to exactly why I don't like road-trips. To this, I'll have to jerk my head towards the pain in the back that results from sitting with the seat-belt on for 3-4 hours straight; this makes me want to press the red button to release the seat-belt and snap out of it; but, of course, releasing this monster is something that's out of question while traveling on the national highways of India -- the same highways where people drive like baboons, and blindly ignore the billboards that solemnly proclaim that "speed thrills, but kills". So, except for the times when the car is pulled over for snack time and for taking a leak, one has to sit trapped in the seat. And since I can't seem to go sleep while traveling in a car, I'm not able to slip into the world of the sub-conscious that's capable enough to put some distance between the Grey cells and the layer of discomfort. During such times, my iPod's the one thing that I can depend upon to puncture the balloon that keeps on expanding with all the irritation.

-| AG.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The world's spinning too fast ...

Maybe because I've not slept in the past 15-16 hours or because I'm just freaking out in general, I feel that the Earth is revolving with an angular momentum that's much higher than the usual value. Despite these unusual circumstances, I'm contemplating working a bit more on the web site I've been working on for the past month. And no, I won't disclose it's details on this blog since it's a secret project. Although you can be assured that blogging about it's juicier details will be the first thing I'd do the moment the site's online and working perfectly. Until then, die with curiosity in peace. Right now, I'm dying in anticipation of my college decisions -- they're to come around March-end, something which conveniently lies a good few weeks away. I sometimes end up refreshing my application checklists twice or thrice a day in order to make sure that they didn't post the decisions online in the past couple of hours, which, of course, they hadn't. I guess they really are serious when they politely tell me (through a short sentence at the bottom of the page) that I'll know about whether or not they rejected me by the end of March - a long time from now. But then again, that's how I felt when I sat to give my SAT in June of last year. Now it's already time for the announcement of those dratted admissions decisions.

Anyway, kicking that particular nasty feeling out of my mind, I'd tell you about another nasty feeling that made itself at home in my head. It's of irritation. A hell lot of irritation, actually. Oh, if you are a humanoid carbon unit, then you may stop biting those nails of yours because I'm not talking about you. I'm talking about the Windows Update that's eluded me for the past many days, until the point I decided to stop short in the chase with a groan of "Holy Fuck!" This particular update was supposed to alleviate the problem that I encounter while playing Fifa 2002, or so the Microsoft's pathetic web site tells me. The stupid morons have a nice long write up explaining each and every detail of the problem this update fixes in WinXP, the signs to recognize whether this is the problem the user encounters, and a long list of the games this update will make playable in WinXP by fixing this problem; and by the time the person is practically drooling with the success of all the googling around in search of a solution to this issue, he isn't able to find that particular update or patch anywhere on Microsoft's web site. The result being that I'm not able to play that game. So, I installed the Prison of Azkaban game on my computer; a game I completed ages ago, but considering that it's the only game I got that I'd care to play again, I've been playing it for the past couple of days. I've completed most of it.

On a serious note, I'd like to wish good luck to all those who are taking their board exams this month. I hope your hard work will bear fruit. And a belated Holi to all my fellow Indians. My Holi was awesome; I enjoyed a lot -- and I hope that you did too. Some parts of my arms and legs are a light shade of pink, even after all the time spent washing them with soap. Thank goodness that all - or most, anyway - of the color from my face and neck has been washed away. Some remains on my nails and some other places. The white pajamas I wore on that day are so badly bloated that I don't that they'll ever be seeing the light of the day. They now rightfully belong inside the bed with the moth balls. Heh.

-| AG.