Saturday, July 26, 2008

Well it is kinda easy to take a decision

a tad bit difficult to live it. Well just a tad bit. So here is a summary of my first week. Well we had orientation and team building exercises in the first week. Had a few film appreciation classes and they showed us movie too..we had one class on importance of music and the point was brought well cross by showing clips with music and without it. We were shown a beautiful movie - Children of Heaven and i just loved it. Also the history behind Iranian movies. They show us lots of movies - Chris here said :" man they show you guys lot of movies as if you are in a film school or something."
Abbas Tyrewala came to speak to students but by then my fever had gotten the better of me and I had to miss a few classes.
Well there are incidentally lots of engineers and few psychologists here. I find few of the students emotional fools an some of them exceptionally brilliant..i loved the interaction with shishir joshi about how sensationalism creeped up in media and how it is all game of TRPs. Basically if they show good content, the TRPs slip, so the advertisers leave them. So they have to resort to sensationalism. Well and news channels are not NGOs.
There is something called my first project that one needs to deliver within first 3 weeks and all students are really planning a lot for it..i had one idea for it but Saurabh found it strictly ok.So I need to think of another one too...the classes are going to be hectic from 9-8. and may be beyond. I checked out my tt - monday - lots of cinemtography will be taught...So well the real work starts next week. I plan to join dance classes - which is by shaimak davar troupe...mebbe will learn some moves..i think i have made a few friends- few who look for me when we enter the class. Lots of folks are shocked to know that i am married. i look young you see :). Well some guys said that my hubby is very supportive to let me do that..i didnt like that comment in particular though i know how much saurabh is working to make this whole process comfy for me. well when i told this to saurabh said that i shld tell them that your parents are very supportive to let you learn it and have also paid for it.
Also students here have opportunity to write 1 page for screen magazine so I am planning to grab that opportunity for myself one of these months.
Well as I sit in the class, sometimes in the cafeteria, look around, some teenage girls, some crazy haired directors, some quiet loners, I realize that when they see me, they feel that there is unnecessary weight of my past education and my age in me. I don't see the weight, i just feel a little taller. I feel I can look farther. Mebbe that's why I know, I will learn well.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

global warming is today!

I was going to the bank and was generally chatting with my autowallah. When we stopped in a signal, he looked outside, up at the sky and said -"baarish hone ko maanga hai" (it gotta rain)
And we were always worried about how our kids would suffer because of global warming and I am realizing that it is happening in our lifetime itself - infact in the lifetime of our parents. Reading reports and seeing documentaries weren't the only source of my concern. I see that most of India is under drought. I can experience the climate change first hand. Most of us can. It was never supposed to snow in Seattle and now we have snow-storms. Nashik, two years ago in this time of the year used to have plenty of rains. I remember getting totally drenched when chandana visited me and this year there have only been a few half-hearted drizzles.
If things weren't scary enough, I saw a documentary on history on mesopotamia where they predicted the end of the world in 2012 (a ballpark) and they predict it from drowning.
I really hope that govt across the world take approriate steps to mitigate it to certain extent. In one of the reports I read - the US was the worst culprit emitting most of the green house gases (I will state the numbers once I get back to Mumbai - yes I am still in Nashik). Europeans were smarter and embraced public transport and green environment better. Infact if China and India also develop along the same lines as US then the earth will not be able to take so much of pollution.
I mentioned this to one of the guys who said, "well what can I do ? I really do not have time to hold a placcard and ask people to change." Well, no one is asking to change the world. But then do I - as an individual want to be part of the problem or part of the solution?
I kinda realized that I want to be part of the solution. So here is what I am planning to do and have already started:
1) Plastic bags are a strict no-no. I don't use them (besides they don't look pretty). And if some shop like shopper's stop gives them to me then I take it and use it again and again and again - I carry it everywhere instead of aasking fo new ones. In future I am gonna refuse those plastic bags totally and in further future maybe yell at them for using them and not providing greener solutions.
2) Public transport is yes :). Ok ok I am guilty here I recently purchased a car and will probably be going to whistling woods in the car as it is so far off from home and also the train stations are far away. But in the longer term I am gonna explore the possiblity of using th trains, or maybe carpool and best is move closer to it so that I do not have to travel so much. As it is Saurabh uses trains exclusively.
3) Save electricity. Turn off lights, fans.
4) Save water - minimize bubble baths and al those fancy things. I am waiting for drinking water to get costlier than petrol one day and I badly hope that I am wrong. But few years ago the concept of buying water was unheard of. Incidentally in my visit to Singapore, when I was reading the local newspaper I realized that shortage of drinking water is one of the topmost problem being faced and they are investing hugely in reasearch to convert seawater to drinking water and they are seeing some success.
5) Vote for a government that is more aware of these issues, have literates who understand the gravity of the issue and plan the cities so that there is good public transport. I can only be optimistic here.
6) There are lots of folks who donot understand global warming. Just let them know what it is.
7) Alternative energy sources - if I have to invest I would invest in them (if I had money that is :))
The poorest of the poor and richest of the rich share the same sky, same sea, same earth. In a world where we all are partitioned because of so many reasons let's not ruin one thing that unites all of us.

Friday, July 04, 2008

2050 or jaane tu

2 movies releasing today and 3 out of 4 papers were advertising them crazily (the 4th paper is economic times that saurabh snatches from me to read the moment I pick up the papers). While I was thinking myself which one to see first- calls Paramesh from Seattle where the movie has already released and he says watch Jaane tu it is breezy like DCH. A decision made easy. Thanks Paramesh!

Man I miss Seattle.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

so am i settled

Well so I was discussing this with Mary over chat. I do not feel shy to instruct things to my maid now. I do not feel that we are underpaying her. I do not feel guilty of small kids acting as delivery boys. My tips to them have reduced drastically. I now ask the cost of vegetables before buying it and do not give away money to every beggar I see on the street. The vegetable vendors (apart from immigration officers in the mumbai airport) recognize me and I have started eating street food :).I have gained weight and started becoming philosophical in my blogs and have started talking about having gained weight.
The euphoria of having an apartment next to the sea has settled and so have I.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

the real world

My horoscope of the year was - "your expenditure will exceed your income"
And that was the first thought that crossed my mind when it struck me that I had lost my wallet for good.
"How would you go back to your hotel?" - the security lady of china town asked me. Good question I thought.
"Everybody should lose his/her wallet atleast once in their life" - was the third thing that I heard from Saurabh when I came back to hotel.
The fourth thing that I heard from my brother when I called him to help me cancel all my US credit cards was - "Don't worry you would have lost all that anyways".

Well as a software engineer I have lived most of my life (at least last few years) in the web world. I have expressed a lot on chats, blogs, breathed in facebook and orkut and ofcourse college world and seattle-microsoft world is utopia in some sense where everyone is good and honest. Everything is safe. You let down your guards and then one day you realize that there are people who would want to steal. And then you wonder, how much money would tempt you to steal from someone? How would you enjoy it if you know it is is not your money? What will not let you enjoy more? The risk of being caught or the guilt of taking something away from someone? Or can you understand the person who is needy enough to not care about all these questions when he is stealing?
So a Google employee opened a coffee shop called TerraByte near kirkland (Seattle) and the business model was that you need not pay for the coffee - if you feel like you can tip but the person serving coffee will not look at the tip you are giving and it is in a box in the corner of the coffee shop so there is no way for her/him to come back and check and remember for future. I and Dami had gone to check it out and a year later it was still operational. It is heard that pple didnt feel good about drinking coffee for free and sometimes ended up paying more money out of that guilt. May be he should try opening a similar shop in ChinaTown too and compare the stats.