Tuesday, 30 September, 2008

Make a Difference

Finally, some good seems to have come out of my interest in watching newer ads and posting reviews about them. The following comes from the new Tata Tea ad that aptly says Election ke din agar aap vote nahi kar rahe ho, toh aap so rahe ho, i.e. 'If on the election day, you are not voting then you are as good as asleep!'

Since I have written so much about bidding good-byes to politicians, let me now tell you how you can make a difference as well.

Hey,I've been awakened and I want you to be awake too. I realized how important it is to stop complaining but start voting to make a difference. And now, it's simpler than ever before!

Jaago re! One Billion Votes - a nationwide movement on voter registration - has made it possible to fill a voter registration form online and that too in just 5 minutes!

Go to www.jaagore.com to learn more and register to vote right now.

If you have already registered to vote, you can still register with Jaago re! One Billion Votes movement and get periodic confirmation of your voter status, and election related news and reminders. Believe it or not, even registered voters sometimes do not figure in voter lists!

Go to www.jaagore.com for more information, and to learn about voting related rules and procedures.

Do it, man, do it! At 18, I am doing it too. Make a difference!

All Limits Crossed

With more blasts reported from Malegaon, a sensitive area in Maharashtra and Gujarat which has been gearing for Navratri, and a stampede in a temple near Jodhpur resulting from a bomb scare, I think we'll have to stall all celebrations during the festive season till we can rest assured about our safety. Inspite of all those arrests that have been made, I think it has been made amply clear that there are too many of them for us to celebrate any kind of victory at this stage.

And nowhere does it suggest that simply because the blasts are still going on, the arrested are not the accused, as Jamia, the college to which these terrorists belong, have to report. And how farcical was the backing of Arjun Singh and Paswan to it!How tragic an irony is it that Jamia, which is a government aided institution, will provide these terrorists with funds to fight their cases with. So in the case of the Govt. vs. the terrorists, both sides are going to be spending the funds provided by us, the tax-payers, which means that we would indirectly be spending money on saving those same terrorists who are hell-bent on destroying our very own country! I won't blame the Australians if they want to go back home after this.

I think it's time for us to bid good-bye to politicians like Arjun Singh(for ever if I have my way) who know nothing about education, and absolutely nothing about something that's called common-sense. In The World is Flat, Thomas Friedman rues the fact that American politicians know simply politics, whereas the Japanese are Chinese are qualified enough to be actual engineers. Indian politicians are not even Indians, leave alone being qualified for anything! The one man who sits on the chair of the PM of this country is applauded for bringing about the economic reforms in this country during his post as the Finance Minister, and in his presence, the country has stepped into a kind of crisis, coming out of which is going to take years and years, if we ever do.

To think that these people are holding on to Gandhivaad and Gandhigiri and Gandhian philosophy and everything Gandhi when it's pretty clear that all Gandhi did was to give the British a few sleepless nights, because they were only afraid of hurting public sentiments. (Anyonw who doesn't agree with me, please read Worshipping False Gods by Arun Shourie.) But there are no emotions that these terrorists are going to care for. They are just live bombs by themselves! The answer does not lie in non-violence right now. Removal of POTA was the first mistake that this govt. made, the repurcussions of which are being faced by the entire country right now. And the govt. would lose all face if it brings it back now, so instead of just accepting it as a mistake to avoid all that flack, they'll just sit there and keep defending their moves till the doomsday descends!


Monday, 29 September, 2008

A Prisoner of Birth


A Prisoner of Birth is the latest belted out by Jeffrey Archer. After reading books like Not a penny more Not a penny less and Kane and Abel,(Actually I've read all his books) this book disappointed me a little because it looked like it was the modern Count of Monte Cristo(Alexandre Dumas). Archer has himself stated that A Prisoner of Birth has been inspired from The Count of Monte Cristo, but since I had enjoyed the latter, I also liked the former, albeit in a somewhat different manner.

The story starts with that of a happy young man Danny Cartwright,who is getting engaged to his long-time lover Beth and also becomes the head of the garage in which he works, and which is owned by his betrothed's father. To celebrate the occasion, the trio comprising of the young couple and Beth's brother Bernie, also Danny's best friend go to a pub. But things go awry and they get engaged in a brawl with four other men in the same bar, who call themselves The Musketeers. In the process, one of the Musketeers kills Bernie and in an attempt to save him, Danny gets injured and covered in blood. The only witness to what truly happened is only Beth, whose alimony doesn't count in the court and the barman, who is paid to keep his mouth shut. As a result, Danny is sent to prison for 22 yrs.

His cellmates are Nicholas Morceiff and Big Al, and the story goes on about how he spends his time in jail, Beth's visits, a failed reappeal, his growing friendship with Nick and how he learns all that Nick has to teach him, for instance to read and write and how to conduct himself. Just a few days before Nick's release, he gets killed by another prisonmate, who kills him mistakenly as Danny Cartwright due to their close resemblance. So Danny replaces Nick and gets out of prison, and first sorts out Nick's family problems as his uncle tries to take over the property and estate left to him by his grandfather. Also the way he avenges the injustice rendered to him by the Musketeers with the help of his lawyer Alex forms the further narration of the book.

The book is definitely well written and if this is the modern Count of Monte Cristo, I'm certain there can't have been a better one. So I'd recommend reading it atleast once, on a free evening with a cuppa tea/coffee in one hand and the book in other, not that I read it that way :-)








Sunday, 28 September, 2008

Seems I have a problem!

The buttons on the upper-right hand corner of the main page of the blog which let you sign in into blogger and go on to starting a new post seem to have disappeared with change in the template. Now I have to go blooger.com again and again to reach there. Any way you know of getting them back there?


Blogging, One Up!!!

Hey!I've just started contributing to another blog. I came across this blog through Indiblogger where I was trying to search for blogs with posts related to books. I have always complained about the dearth of bloggers writing about books or book reviews,( especially in my city) something I am extremely passionate about!

I decided to add it to my network and was sent an invite to contribute to the blog, which I have accepted and have already shooted off the first post, but it's the same review about Artemis Fowl that you people can find on my blog. (I've decided that whatever I post at one place would definitely be posted at the other when it comes to books or book reviews.)But the blog has several other contributors and is open to many more.

So if you are voracious reader, and would like to post your reviews do visit the blog,which as its title says is The Reader's Paradise. And maybe the next time, when you are planning a visit to your nearest bookstore to satisfy your huge apetite for books, you can check out the reviews at the blog first! What say you?


So do visit http://www.swadeshi-library.blogspot.com/





Saturday, 27 September, 2008

Black means Beautiful!

I think you must have noticed that curious looking black coloured box on thr right hand side of my page. It's called the Black Box, a widget I found on mith's blog.

The box asks you to choose one of the two options shown for a number of such choices, and then based on your choices you can reach to another blog. I don't know exactly how the whole funda works, but it's really cool, you can just go on reaching newer blogs and you may find them interesting. So try atleast once.

And those who navigated here, courtesy the black box, do drop a line.

Those interested in downloading it, visit
http://chasing-sheep.blogspot.com/2008/09/black-boxes.html



Thursday, 18 September, 2008

New template...

Hey!I've just changed the template for my blog. But I think it's not looking as impressive as I'd like it to.Any suggestions???

He's dangerous n he's back!!!

No, relax, this is not an India TV news item about non-existant aliens, nor all that crap about Big Bang being a Big END! It's just a book, a plain simple normal book, a work of fiction, but if you're the bookworm that I am, then it's worth reading. If you've existed so far, go ahead and read the review. Potential spoilers ahead....

Released on 6th August, this is the sixth and the latest in the Artemis Fowl series by the Irish author Eoin (pronounced as ‘Owen’) Colfer. Artemis Fowl is an extremely bright child with criminal intentions, who takes his father’s place as a criminal mastermind after he goes missing. Artemis goes through a series of adventures, and in the process finds friends in the Underworld magical creatures, even though initially it was his trickery that made the normally reclusive creatures come out in front of ‘Mud Men’ such as Artemis.

The much awaited The Time Paradox picks up from where The Lost Colony left off.
Artemis, after his time travel, is of fourteen years of age, when he should be actually seventeen. Artemis’ mother is dying and to cure her, he decides to take help from his fairy friends, but he realises that the cure to his mother’s disease lies not in the present, but in his own past. The plot revolves around Artemis Fowl and his fairy friend Holly Short, who together set out on a time travel, to secure the key to the cure by defeating the younger Artemis. But they end up meeting and fighting an old, or rather old in the present and new in the past, enemy.

The book is as engrossing as all his previous ones and Eoin does a terrific job with the book. This is the most intense book so far in the series. But one thing that we would’ve loved to have seen more of is Butler, Artemis’ full-time bodyguard. Mulch Diggums is as sti(n)cky as ever, and Foaly, the brainy centaur is as bright as ever. But we miss Foaly for a large part of the story. It is Artemis and Holly who are on their own, with nobody but Mulch Diggums to help them.

It is dangerous, yet engrossing; fantastic, yet gripping. On the whole, it is a must read for all sci-fi fans, though I feel it would be better to start right from the beginning of the series.

Funny how plain this normally high-tech stuff seems in comparison with all the gibberish nonsense that gets braodcasted on news channels these dayz, isn't it?

Sunday, 14 September, 2008

Yet another...

First it's Bangalore, then Ahmedabad, then Jaipur and now the country capital,Delhi!!!!How many more Indians are fated to suffer at the hands of madmen???Madmen, who care for nothing but insist on destruction, destruction of life, destruction of peace, of liberty, of freedom, of enjoyment, merriment.

The bomb blasts in Delhi took place on a Saturday, a weekend. A day, which parents want to spend with their young kids; a day that couples want to spend with each other; a day that grandmothers and grandfathers want to spend with their sons and daughters, and grandsons and granddaughters; a day when cousins want to meet and share their lives; a day when terror strikes!!!

How are people expected to live if this is fate they fear when they go out on a weekend? Life will probably return back to normalcy for most of the people after 2-3 days, but what about those who've suffered losses? What about those 30 who died and those 80 who are left with permanent scars? And what about those thousands in whom they've managed to instill fears?

And what are the security agencies there in the country for? We don't expect them to be God(as it stands,I am an agnostic) but the least they can do is mainatain extreme vigilance. It's not like they're not working, but whatever it is, it doesn't seem to be working!!!They need to go after not only the people who plant the bombs, but also those who have bombs planted into their heads. Security at the highest level is the most vital ingredient of every productive Indian's life, because till he feels secure, he can't be expected to produce.And then they wonder what could be causing all the brain drain inspite of India Boom(b)ing!!

Friday, 12 September, 2008

Mr.Smith Goes to Washington

I just finished watching Mr.Smith Goes to Washington,a legendary American movie.A movie of the era when even the US had just black and white!Seems long ago,doesn't it?

Well, it is.The movie was a 1939 release and a hit in the US.It revolves around an American guy, a young guy who is high on ideals and gets chosen for the post of the Senator,after the sudden demise of the original one.This guy,Jefferson Smith, who is a Boy Scouts hero,decides to do something for them by passing a bill for camps for young kids so they could stay close to nature.But unfortunately, he chooses the very place where the bigwig businessman Taylor is trying to get a dam built thorugh the second Senator Mr.Paine.Oops!!!

So Mr.Smith stands up for the freedom,liberty and democracy of the people, helped by his secretary and ultimately, his lover Miss Saunders.The story may seem like a very oh-so-common one with a hero with ideals fighting it out against all-powerful people, but what makes it so different is the way it's fought.The backdrop of the Senate and the utilisation of a loophole in the law is all terrific.

Touted as a patriotic movie,I thought it was equivalent to a 'Lage Raho Munna Bhai' of India,of course,with different backdrops and different problems.

Just a matter of thought,why did it take India so long to make a 'Mr.Smith Goes to Washington'?I mean, a really impressive one!!!