Sunday, December 26, 2010
1) Tournament(malayalam) - Scripted and Directed by veteran Lal, this is truly a youth movie. Excellent direction and script is the highlight of this movie, but the climax couldn't live up to the expectations. All the newcomers did decently well, and the songs were colorful and well choreographed. Cudn't believe it was Lal who wrote a totally youth-special script! There were no unnecessary shots, and all the parts connected well with others. Excepted a lot in the climax considering the build-up, but nothing happened really and it ended silently. Anyway I would give close to 7 out of 10.. :)
2) Best Actor(malayalam) : I went with lot of expectations about this but it was a disappointment for me. Mammootty was just okey, and the only good thing about the movie was supporting cast. Lal, SalimKumar etc did superb and minus that, the movie would have been a flop. Songs were just average, and script was quite weak. Will give it a rating of 5-6/10.
3) Manmadhan Anbu (tamil) - Again, I went with a lot of expectations about KSR-Kamal movie, but it ended up as the most disappointing movie for me. Kamalhasan is my all-time-favourite but, even he was only a shadow of his classic performances. Kamal's introduction sequence was awesome, and the only other good thing about the movie was the lovely locations (Europe, and cruise trip) which was cinematographed well. 2nd half was utter crap (reminded me of Kamals Michael Madana Kama Rajan at times with a low-fi comedies!) . Anyway 5/10 for manmadhan anbu..
(I know its irrational, but I except of classics from the Genius Kamal sir!)
4) Marykundoru kunjaadu : Beyond doubt, this is the real winner for this christmas. Dileep has made an excellent comeback with Shafi, and this is a pure entertainer to the core. Nice direction, script and average songs. :) However, do not expect something like thenkasipattanam/kalyana raman..:) 8/10...
Also, seen Karyastan, and Thriller. Karyastan was okey, some comedy here and there, sahicable..But Thriller was horrible :(. Prithviraj's cooling glass shows only and it was among his worst movie!
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
The ’iPhone manufacturing’ jobs done by the Chinese and the Indians can aptly be called ‘low-fi’ jobs as it doesn’t require innovation or high-fi thinking. Of course, it’s the cheap labor at coastal china which enables Apple to sell iProducts at low costs; but it is the innovative design and features which makes an iPhone, an iPhone, not the docile Chinese workers. Yes, it is true that Indian firms supply parts for Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s, but it is the technology behind their engines which makes them kings of roads, not the Indian made nuts & bolts.
Coming to the big question, why do we have to do these low-fi jobs, instead why don’t Foxcon design an iPhone5? Why don’t HAL design a Boeing 748? Why don’t Infosys & TCS make a new operating system to compete with Microsoft? Simple and most apt answer would be ‘we don’t know’. It’s not that Chinese or Indians lack brains, but the best brains of both countries have one thing in common – they no longer hold home country passports.
The root cause for this issue is nothing but our sub-standard education system. Our engineering students can write tons of pages about almost any topic part of their syllabus, but their real knowledge of the subject is a big fat ZERO. Writing an essay about a topic and having real knowledge about it are entirely different things, as different as true love and infatuation. University exams only test a student’s ability to write down ‘chavar’(crap) about a topic and nobody ever bothers to peruse the answers sheets. And this motivates students just to memorize something and reproduce it at exam sheets. And as long as this trend continues, we will remain ‘iPhone manufacturers’.
Now, what’s the solution? I think teachers and students themselves must be vanguards in this shift from ‘iPhone manufacturers’ to ‘iPhone designers’. If teachers were to play a bigger role in this transformation, then our colleges should hire and retain real talents, people with real passion for teaching and with substantial industrial experience, not the ones who opt for teaching just because they could not find jobs in industry. Also, the teachers should not be tied down to college; constant efforts must be taken to hone their skills by sending them for industry projects/consulting etc. Teachers must encourage students to take up projects which are not merely some automation systems (comparable to iPhone manufacturing). Unless real support is given by teachers, students will be reluctant to take up ‘iPhone Design’ projects as such projects are inherently difficult and there is no guarantee of a perfect final output!
Having good teachers is just half the thing. It is the students whose paradigm must first change. They must be willing to take challenges in life. They must understand that the teacher who sets easy questions for exams is their enemy. Always remember ‘A smooth sea has never made a skillful mariner’. If the sea is not rough, pray for Katrina’s and Rita’s to hit you. For e.g., if India govt. had tried to protect Indian automakers in 1990’s from global players, we would still be driving ambassadors and maruti 800’s. In India, it’s practically impossible for all students to gain an in-depth knowledge in all the subjects, so they must select few subjects which they like (and also welcomed by industry) and deep dive into it. Innovations come only if one truly masters the existing technologies. And that’s what going make the difference between ‘iPhone manufacturers’ and ‘iPhone Designers’.
This paradigm shift is not an easy one for students. They will have to wake up from their comfort zones and start working smarter than ever. The onus of making India a real, global super-power is on our young engineers. They must become uploaders of technology rather than mere downloaders. So, be ‘iPhone Designers’, or innovators of technology.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Ans: "He is fine, we met yesterday also.."
Q: "Hey! Hows your best friend?"
Ans: "He is fine,I couldn't meet him, but we talked over phone"
Q: "Hey! Hows your best friend?"
Ans: "He is doing well. Got his SMS today morning as well"
Q: "Hey! Hows your best friend?"
Ans: "He is busy. But we chatted over gtalk for hours".
Q: "Hey! Hows your best friend?"
Ans: "He must be busy with work. Anyway has sent some offline messages"
Q: "Hey! Hows your best friend?"
Ans: "He is good. Couldn't chat but has sent scraps."
Q: "Hey! Hows your best friend?"
Ans: "He is excellent! Didn't have to scrap/chat. His status was posted in twitter. He will read my status as well from my profile. Cool!"..
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Here's my story.
Lemme start with my first mobile phone. It was a Nokia 4300 (which had radio)and I took Escotel (current Idea Mobile) post paid connection. Unfortunately on the 1st day itself, the phone was stolen . I was upset and immediately went to Nokia office in Cochin, called up Escotel customer service and reported the theft and even gave a complaint at local police station. A month later , Escotel sent me my bill! Stunned and I called them up (calling Escotel customer care from Bsnl landline was not free!) and asked why am I sent the bill since I have already reported phone theft/sim loss. The customer care executive replied I should have given a written complaint to inform theft and also I will get my security deposit refund only if I present myself at their Ernakulam office in person!... GRrrr....
>If they really had good customer care, they should have told me about giving written complaint when I called to report the theft.
Months passed.I am now having a GPRS enabled cell phone and had activated gprs service from Airtel. There is a shortcut key to start internet in my phone and by default it goes to some Airtel home page. Since the connection is too slow, I pressed center button once. (the screen was still loading). Few minutes later, I found my balance lower by Rs30. !!! Later I realized that, in the home page of Airtel, the focus is, by default, set to a button which says "Download abcd game Rs 30. only". So when I clicked center button that download got activated and 30rs was gone, with NO CONFIRMATION asked.
> Its great business acumen to put default focus in home page to a 30rs download, but this is not the way to treat customers. (remember, mobile internet was not that common yet!)
Next one was with a CDMA landline from Reliance. We got a bill (along with a warning/threat) from them around 1 year after disconnecting the service. Got escaped from it anyway.(we replied with a counter notice with the help of an advocate)..
Similar story happened with us with Airtel Broadband, Mangalore. After disconnecting their service, one day we took the modem/phone to the local airtel office and asked if we have any pending bills. The customer care officer checked and said, "There is no need to pay the last bill amount (around 799rs) as we are entitled to get Rs1000/- security deposit back from them. Also keep the modem/phone at home, their representative will collect it from there.".. We went back home and one day a courier came from Airtel. We were all excited about getting some cash since it was month end and our wallets were almost empty. We were stupefied when we opened the envelope! It said "despite repetitive request from our executives, you have refused to pay due amount to Airtel and also you refused to surrender the equipments". It also threatened to initiate legal action if not responded in 15 days. Got really frustrated with the language they used, and I complained to nodal office. (the issue got solved in a weeks time with 3 or 4 Airtel executives deluging me with apology phone calls)
Next is with Vodafone! I took one add on pack from Vodafone, which deducts 56rs per month for getting all STD calls @Rs1/min. One day I recharged for an offer by which all my std/local calls rates were slashed to 50paise/min for 1 year. Still, that 56rs was deducted every month! When called at customer care they said I should explicitly cancelled that plan!
> No words to describe these kinda stupid rules to squeeze customers.
And the latest ones...
Airtel is back!!
I activated GPRS connection with Airtel. Went to a local airtel office and asked what should be done to get unlimited GPRS for a month. They said recharge for 98rs and 1 month GPRS free. I did as they said but still money was being deducted for GPRS usage! Tried calling customer care, but I was not able to connect to customer care executive. It took around 4-5 minutes to navigate to GPRS section , but there was no human support there.. Just automated advertisements of their offers and craps. I spend more than 2 hours finally to get to speak to an executive. He said he is from GPRS tech support, but he didn't even knew basics of mobile phones!
He said my balance is getting reduced because I have recharged with 98rs flexi recharge, instead it should have been paper recharge, which used a different set of settins bla bla bla.... I asked whats the difference and informed that it was a local airtel office which recommended this recharge. Then he said" I am from GPRS tech support, you should get in touch with regular customer care to get information on recharges". I wasted my next hour dialing customer care no to speak to a executive but failed! Somehow I found a *55%#5* or some number like this and spent another 98rs to get GPRS free.
And the latest one happened a week back..
I got a message from Airtel, "dial *55*## something... to get 10 minutes free std/local minutes!!"..
Excited about it, I keyed in the number and Immediately a message came "Rs 5 have been deducted from your account for this service. You 10 minutes free call should be used with 24 hours! "
Is this what they call "free" ??
All this happening from a company headed by one of Asia's most acclaimed entrepreneur.
Hundreds of another instances have occurred to me/friends/relatives.
Yes, India is faster growing mobile market in world, but unless Indian operators learn basics of customer care, I don't see much future for them..
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
1)For flight search, have an option to show flights available in chosen date +/-3 days. yatra.com and makemytrip.com has this feature , but cleartrip.com does not have it.
Additionaly if there is an option like "shift dates by 'n' days", in the search result, it would be really helpful. Silkair has this facility.
2) A frequent error encountered after selecting a flight from search results is the message: "sorry flight not available." If flight is not available why do they even come up in search results? A very irritating feature found in cleartrip.com is that, this error message comes up after we fill in all passenger information, and if we chose a different flight, then all the passenger information needs to be typed in again. This wastes a lot of time especially for people who are not that quick with keyboard. yatra.com also has this error message coming up very frequently, but the message pops up immediately after clicking book button, so there is no need to waste time entering passenger information.
3) All sites require us to type the passenger names exactly as per passport. But these sites has a limit of 28 characters for name fields. So what do people with long names do ? Most people who encounter this issue will call up customer care and the reply they get is, type in only as many letter as would fit in the space. The best solution would have been to increase the character limit or at least write down the message ("type in as many letters as would fit in the space given") near the name field itself, so as to avoid a expensive 5 minutes traffic to customer care.
4) Have a toll free customer care number which is available 24/7. Do not always expect customers to make calls to paid lines and that too during your office hours. (cleartrip.com doesn't show any toll free numbers to their customer care in any of the search results page and out of frustration I tweeted about this. ClearTrip replied saying that toll free number is available under the link http://www.cleartrip.com/support/. Why don't they just display the toll free number in search results as well, as done by other sites? You just lost a customer because of this.
5) Make a flexible payment option. For international travels, the total amount may be higher than the credit card limit for most users. And while booking via phone, only credit cards are accepted. yatra.com has a superb offer under which we only need to pay 35% of total amount upfront and the rest can be paid before flight dates. This is really helpful if one is booking flights too advance.
Also Emirates has an option for not paying any amount while making online reservation! The full amount can be paid in cash/dd to a Emirates offer within 3 days of online booking.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
The urge to prove one’s idea superior to others will motivate you to analyze the situation much better than before, and even If at the end you lose, dont worry: you learned a lot more than you would have learned had you not fighted !
From my experience the following must be noted while ‘picking a fight’.
1) Be careful not to take the fights personal. One of my senior manager commented about his experience in Infosys “ this is the place where I can fight and argue with even my boss without the fear of red ink in my employement records and without affecting the personal relationship with my boss”. Never be afraid to ask questions with colleagues even to your boss. Only thing is, be careful not to take things personally. Like Michale Corleone says ’its not personal Sunny, Its strictly business’
2) Make sure you supply justification to your arguments. After all, we are not politicians. You should also help your opponent in finding out justification for their ideas. In this process you will not only understand you opponents stand much better, but also you will be able to provide better justification to you own arguments! Paraphrase your friends’ view just to make sure you understand their stand thoroughly.
3) Make sure you are going in right direction. Sometime in the spirit of fighting, we may deviate from our topic which results in unproductive fights. At frequent intervals, ask yourself the question “are we going in right path?”
4) Never be afraid to involve a third person if you think your fight is not finding an end in a reasonable amount of time.
5) And finally, never forget to appreciate you opponent for their efforts.
(I once had a beautiful experience in one of my project, where me and other 2 team mates had long productive fights over detailed designs. Each of us came up with our own ideas, but we fought over it for a good amount of time, until we found out new ways of doing things which none of us never thought about before!! Its really a good thing to work with team members with such fighting spirit.)
What are you waiting folks? Go and pick a fight!
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
I dont intend to give a tutorial on ‘cloud computing’ here, but I will try to explain how you can benefit from this revoultionary technology. By definition Cloud computing is a way of computing, via the Internet, that broadly shares computer resources instead of using software or storage on a local PC.
Let whatever be its definition,here goes the simplest example of cloud computing which is applicable to all of us!.
Simple: go to www.docs.google.com and sign in with you gmail id. Thats it, you will now see options to create documents,excels,power points etc right in you browser (similar to creating docs using ms-word)! Your files can be organised in folders like you do in your normal desktop. You dont want to install any software and the best thing is you dont have to pay a penny to use this. You get all the features you get in microsoft office and you will never lose your files when you format your system or buy a new system! Your files are safely stored in google servers and you can access it from anywhere in world (of course u need a internet connection). You can even invite your friends to view/edit the files stored online.
Yes, this is google docs, and its cloud computing for you!
(Note: Techies dont read this!!)
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
- Being trained in 4 different technologies back to back and then getting a project which uses a 5th technology! (flexiblityyyyy!)
- Changing client and project 5 times in 1 month! (wow..! wow..!!)
- Working 15-18hours a day including weekends and finally getting the comment “You should work more” from managers!
- Topping in .net/java trainings and end up working in infrastructure management, handling ‘Desktop Shift Requests’ and ‘Software Installation Requests’ for people from same batch!!
- Getting calls from offshore folks @ midnight when @onsite. (Great na! Ur 3 year old kids get to grow up learning business issues!)
- Working in production support for applications developed by someone else and without any documentation!
- Being loyal to the company by sticking on for 5 years and later realize that the guy who jumped to another firm and now joined back the original company is getting double the salary!!
- You get to tell “WHAT THE *******” after seeing payslips of your junior people!
- Reading in news that your company has come on top in some ‘best companies to work for’ list when you have never seen any happy employee!.
- Your manager getting the credit for all the good ideas you suggested and when any of them fails, you alone taking the blame!
Sunday, January 24, 2010
An unforgettable childhood incidence!
My 1st attempt on recollecting an old incident for blogging!
This is the story of a boy saving the life of a chicken! The boy is about 12 years old and the chicken is just few days old.
One night, as usual I was sniffing around our kitchen looking for some eatables. My mother was there and she looked upset ,so I asked what happened. She didn’t tell anything, but I was sure that something is wrong. When I walked to work area just outside kitchen, where she was preparing something, I heard a small cry of a chicken. I looked around and I saw around 6-7 chickens walking around back side of the house, but I was convinced that the crying which I heard was not from there. It was from somewhere closer...I kept on asking my mum what’s going on there!
Finally she opened up. One of the chickens had fallen into the waste water outlet just outside our work area through a small hole. She was upset about this but was keeping silent, because she knew it was impossible to save the little chicken. She was also worried that if my dad comes to know about he is surely gonna scold! I again heard the weak cry of this chicken.
I took a close look at this waste water outlet. It was totally dirty and a real mess thanks to the waste from kitchen. I shared the same feeling as my mum for some time, but something woke up the ‘animal lover’ inside me! I told mum we can try and save it. She said it’s hopeless. I looked through the hole to locate the chicken. YES! I cud see something, which I convinced my mind that, is the chicken. Didn’t think about anything, I put my hands through stinking hole with the intention of reaching out for the endangered chicken. My hands felt something like the lip of the chicken! Hurray! I came out like a winner to tell my mum that the chicken is still there and we can save it. (the pipe was ‘T’ shaped and it got stuck in the joint I guess!)
By this time, dad also joined the ‘rescue mission’. He brought torches to help us. I almost lied down in the ground near the waste outlet and tried harder and harder to get the chicken. I think I touched the chicken many times, but failed in all attempts to pull it up. We started losing hope and decided to abort the mission and go for dinner. I again heard the faint cry of chicken, and I was totally upset. I thought a while and an idea struck me! Get VACCUM CLEANER! I shouteddddd! My parents didn’t approve my idea of bringing the vacuum cleaner but I somehow convinced them! I managed to find out our never-used-but-not-new vacuum cleaner and Dad found out the necessary extension plugs .
Mum, who was not so confident about this idea initially was the one who put vacuum cleaner pipe to the sewage hole. Dad switched it on and I was anxiously waiting nearby, praying for a living being which I have never ever seen! And within seconds, mum felt something at the end of vacuum cleaner pipe, and SHE SHOUTED!! “STOPPPPpppp”. She took out the pump and God’s grace, the chicken was in it! She took it out carefully but it was neither moving nor making any sound. L (dead! L L )
Dad told it might have dead due the pressure. I cried inside my heart. But mum knew more about chickens than anyone else there. Mum said it was frozen, and needs heat. So she took out some warm clothes and covered the chicken in it. She rubbed it gently then for some time. And finally it started making some moves. She kept on rubbing it gently like we do for a small baby! After being in ‘Intensive care unit ’ for around 10 minutes, it started moving . Mum placed it in the ground and it made failed attempts to walk. 1 leg was dislocated I guess, but in few minutes it walked some distance though with great difficulty!
OH! A sign of relief for all of us. Mum later told me that, its legs became perfectly fine after few days. After a month or so, when I see the bunch of chickens in our home, I try to figure out which among this is the one I saved. I couldn’t find out, but does that really matter?
This day, I always remember as a day when I really did something good.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Sunday, January 10, 2010
2009- Best Ever Year For Malayalam Film Industry.
I am not a film industry expert, still I can confidently say 2009 is the best year mallu movie industry has ever had. Not only in terms of gross collectionbut in terms of quality and variety of movies as well!
Pazhassi Raja – Hariharan’s magnum opus starring Mammoty, Sarath Kumar, Manoj K Jayan...etc. No need of telling it here, all knows its the biggest grosser ever in malluwood and it is also the most expensive movie ever made in Malayalam. The movie very well lived upto expectations. I wudn’t give much credit to mammotty ,i guess this is very much a team effort. SarathKumar and Manoj K Jayan leads the list of people who must be given credits for the success. Hariharan and MT did a good work. Oscar winner’s sound mixing was another noteworthy point. Kaalapani may be the only movie comparable to this one J
Rithu- Dont think it rocked in box office, but Shyama Prasad’s brave attempt with new comers deserves a lot of appreciation. A treat to watch, with excellent cinematography,songs and a nice theme. The movie very well addressed day-to-day issues of modern tecn-population!
Palery Manikyam – A midnight murder story – Renjith deserves a lot of applause for this brave attempt and Mammotty really really rocked in his role as Ahmed Haji. I can’t find any really memorable shots/scenes but overall the movie was quite different and it was a hit too.. J The new comer Mythili looks promosing.
Passenger – Another variety movie. A plot which we usually see in Hollywood, and a variety view on heroism, its truly a remarkable movie. Sreenivasan plays the protagonist in this movie, and he has done an excellent role. Dileep and Mamta also did well. Malayalam really need these kind of movies and must encourage debutants like Renjith shankar.
Puthiya Mukham- Not because it gave PrithviRaj a super star status in malluwood, but the stunts in the movie was taken differently – arguably the best stunt choreography after BIG B. The movie had nothing else to offer to impress me, but Prithviraj really impressed his female fan associations! ;)
Loud Speaker – Low budjet movie directed by Jayaraj. Not much of a variety movie, but i really liked it.
2009 was the year for Mammotty with PazhassiRaja, Palery Manikyam,LoudSpeaker,Daddy Cool, Chattampinad and the 10minute role in Keralacafe. Mohanlal needs to improve a lot (just compare lalettan of 80’s and now!). Save Bhramaram – lalettan has nothing to brag about!
I have read a lot of good reviews about Kerala Cafe the 10-director -10 story movie, but i haven’t yet seen it ! I read in some blogs that it deserves an Oscar!
Sagar Alias Jacky director by BIG B fame Amal Neerad was an utter failure. It lacked good script and action,camera were just avge ,compared to the mind blowing shots in BIG B.
Bhramaram : Yes. Lalettan was good(still far from his best) in this, the movie as a whole disappointed me. I expected much more quality from Blessy. Kazcha,Thanmathra and Palunku were far better from Blessy.
2 Harihar Nagar – It really did very well in box office, but except for 3-4 comedy scenes, this was no way comparable to the original In Harihar Nagar. Jagadish and Mukesh were just shadows on their original performance in the prequel! Hope the 3rd part will be better than 2nd one!
I really hope 2010 will be another great year for malluwood. Drona (Mammotty), Alexander (Mohanlal).... All the best!
Yea...Blogs are already full with 3-Idiots review and Aamir-Chetan Bhagat fights, still, I thought I will give my own version
As all says, Its really nice movie , worth watching twice J I am not that comfortable with Hindi, so missed some of the scenes! Still enjoyed a lot! J
1st of all, a special token of Appreciation to Aamir Khan for picking only the right movies unlike most actors. Just looking back..All of his movies were special in a way or other..Lagaan,Dil Chahta Hai, Mangal Pandey, Fanaa, Tare Zameen Par,Ghajini,..its a long list! If all actors become more selective in doing movies, then industry wouldn’t suffer this much loss.
Now, coming back to 3 Idiots, following are certain points which I noted.
1) I 1) I haven’t read FivePointSomeone and have no idea how much this movie is based on the book! But still, they could have given credits to C.Bhagat at the beginning titles.
2) 2) The movie has several scenes/scripts which I have seen in many forward mails/websites. Some of there are ... A shot where a guy is taking photo of some girls with their face fully covered...Aamir’s doubt ‘why didn’t they use pencil’.... ‘how induction motor starts scene...drrrr..drrr..’...
3) 3) Aamir’s view of education system – I totally agree with that and we all know he is right!!
4) 4) Cinematography : especially towards end of the move. Ladakh or some place? Nice scenic beauty and it was captured very well..
5) 5) Songs were average only..Behti Hawa.. is an exception.
6) 6)My fav scenes: Giving electric shock, Aamir and Boman Irani, both taking out and giving the office key...Aamirs lecture on education system...”My 3000$ watch!!!” ..etc...
VVOverall a nice experience. It’s already biggest grosser ever for bollywood with over 200cr grossed beating Ghajini! (Word is that, in its 10 day run, 3 Idiots crossed entire worldwide gross for Ghajini!)
Aamir is the most bankable actor now in bollywood! J