Monday, September 24, 2012

Chak De Barfi, To Hell with the Oscars !!!

When Barfi first released, there was a hue and cry everywhere. Thanks to the superb casting and their brilliant performance, Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra received kudos from every quarter – be it the filmmakers, the actors in the industry and even the audience who seemed to have come of age recently.

Then came the big news – Barfi is India’s official entry to the Oscars. Again, there were debates as to if Barfi was the best choice. And then came the bigger revelation – Barfi is influenced. Some pointed out Barfi is copied. Well, the words ‘influenced’ and ‘copied’ have two different meaning which we the public of India don’t know or care to know! Videos were uploaded on the net which showed some sequences that were almost same as that of previous English classics.

Media as always dubbed the movie and had their special analysts ready to explain as to how unfit the movie was for the Oscars and also questioned the jury for the selection. However amidst all these, does it really matter? Does Oscar matter to India? Does it really matter if Barfi gets an Oscars?

Oscar-nothing but an American film award ceremony with one foreign language film award category. And why is there such a hue and cry over this category? Just because it has the tag ‘America’ in it? Or do we feel that it is a ‘certificate’ which means this film is the best?

We should remember that American movie taste buds differ widely with that of the Indian ones. If America is proud of the Oscars, we the Indians should be proud of IIFA or National Awards. There is massive lobbying for the films in Oscars and it is almost impossible for an Indian film to lobby hard for that single pie of the award.

Now, one may argue that Slumdog Millionaire did it. Please remember, that Slumdog Millionaire was a British movie shot in India. Even the actors are of Indian origin. AR Rahman and Resul’s award are heart-warming however. Because, they are our own. Again, I and most of us would agree that AR Rahman had produced better music during the Roza days. However, did the American jury accommodate that? No. Because the jury is more into ‘Ho Ho Ho’ from the Jai Ho. It is in that Ho that they find music. Another classic example is Lagaan. Aamir Khan’s classic acting went for a toss at the awards though back home it received so many awards. Why the failure at Oscars? Well, when Lagaan was made it was an intention to entertain the Indian audience and do the best business. The Indian film going audience love the song and dance features in the movies. The film was more than two and half hours. When the same film got selected and went to the Oscars, the jury wanted the movie cut to accommodate the prescribed duration. With so many song and dance features in the movie, the team might have found it difficult to adhere to the duration constraints. Moreover, the jury was not a fan of these song and dance features. And with so many cuts in the movie, the relevance was lost or the jury failed to notice that. Lagaan failed to clear the last hurdle.

If you put it in a nutshell, it’s not a very good idea to make a film catering to Indian filmy audience and then expect it to win an award at the Oscars. If you want a movie to win an Oscar, you will have to forget the Indian element in it; which I suppose most Indian filmmakers would never do. So why give more attention to the Oscars or at least link Indian films and compare them to American ones. Be proud of IIFA. And I am sure we can even have a ‘Best English Movie’ category amongst the categories present and then make the American and British filmmakers have a run for their money.

Be proud of Indianism. Be proud of movies like Barfi. Chak De!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Do We Really Care?

N.B. – The write-up may seem to be a bit dis-organized. Please bear with it, since I was going through a series of emotions while writing.

Last Sunday I had gone to Nandankanan Zoo. It always feels good to be in the midst of nature(really with animals in the cage???). However, I never thought that I would be in for a surprise and a realisation. I had just made the entry and there was a bear (one species of the bear actually, I don’t remember which) roaming in the limited space that it was offered by the authorities at the zoo. As always there were hordes of people (as you would expect on a Sunday) clicking away photos and making animated gestures; little kids with glittering surprise in their eyes.

And then I spotted the villain of the day. There were two guys, one with the camera in his hand and the other with a stone. Yeah, you read it correct, a stone in his hand. He threw it at the bear. It missed. I was damn angry! I kept quite as I felt that it would do no good to get into an altercation since the stone was already thrown. But, then he picked up another stone and was aiming it when my voice called out – “Kya bhaiya, patthar kynu phenk rahe ho?” [Bro, why are you throwing stones (at the bear)].

But I was late. The stone was out of his hand. It missed the bear again since he was startled with what his ears heard. The other guy with the camera lost his focus and it was win win situation for me (their evil motives just failed).

I patted my back for a short while when the villain’s voice rose – “Aap ko kya taklif ho raha hai?”[So what’s your problem]. He spoke with a Punjabi accent.

I had female friends with me and one of them called out to me, “Chharo na, cholo” [Leave them, let’s go].

The guy then called out – “Kya bhai, koi jaani dushmani nikal rahe ho kya?” [Are you trying to take revenge for any past enmity].

I reiterated saying, “Aap patthar knyu phenk rahe ho, aisa nahi karna chahiye”. [Why are throwing stones, you shouldn’t do it]

He replied back, “Aap malik ho k

ya yahan ka, jo itna bol rahe ho?” [Are you the owner of the zoo; that you are speaking so much.

By this time all the visitors (to the zoo) was looking at the two warring individuals. None of them spoke. They were more interested in the conversation and though each of them knew that I was protesting against something unfair, no body took my side. Sorry, I am not asking for them to take my side, but to make that stupid guy understand that he was at fault. Do we really care? Or are we a race afraid to protest against some wrong-doing? Or are we a race slow to react to situations?

I didn’t know what to say, I just told them – “Yahan pe ruko, main malik ko bula deta hoon, phir phenkna unke samne patthar”.[Wait here, I am calling the ‘owner’, you can then throw any number of stones]

I looked back at my friends. They seemed worried. Their faces were already pale after witnessing what just happened! I signalled them to come away.

Five minutes after that incident, I came face to face with them again and one of the guys warned me, “Chalo, baad mein tumko dekhta hoon.” [I will see you later]

Beleive me, the whole three hours or so that I was there, I was worried. About myself, about the safety of the three friends. I would not have been afraid if I would have the support of the people who witnessed the whole incident. But, my mind, my heart knew that even if they did something to me (I was pretty sure that they would not be able to do anything, since during my secondary schooling I had heard of a saying – “Empty vessels sound much”), there would not be anyone to stand by me and fight back.

And behind not coming forward to help me, there’s a stronger reason perhaps like – “We don’t know him, so why the hell get involved in all these”!

Rabindranath Tagore very aptly wrote in ‘Post Master’ – “Who belongs to whom in this world... No one belongs to anyone”.

Such is state of the citizens of India. We don’t care if it does not concern us...

Disclaimer : The incident narrated above is true. However, the write-up does not intend to malign any race.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Infosys Mysore Training Experience In A Nutshell

The four days of induction was pretty boring with sleepy eyes all around. Though the HR anchors tried their very best to keep us attentive, some of us managed to get past the firewall for a quick nap. Then started the Generics. C, Java, RDBMS kept us busy for more than a month.
With tests every week, life was both fun and of tension. Imagine a situation where you have clicked on the submit button for evaluation and Dev Square takes its own sweet time to calculate and show your score as either 64% (1 less than passing marks) or 75% . Those were really tense moments and Infosys training is more or less associated with the name Dev Square. Even for hands on exams, Dev Square crawled to find logical errors. May be there was a single error in your code and Dev Square proudly showed 56 errors; that almost took out your soul from you. But also my happiness knew no bounds when Dev Square failed to point a single mistake, which meant I scored full marks. I gave a sly smile and told Dev Square – “better luck next time” and then with a sense of relief left the exam hall.
I was put into Intermediate because I had 2 marks less than 75% in the first module (75% in each module is required for getting into Fast Track). No, I was not sad! When you come to such an wonderful campus you don’t desire to leave it so early. I was more than happy to be in Intermediate. Intermediate was more of fun and classes got over earlier. Teachers were less strict and unless you have any re-tests Intermediate is a time where you can have all the fun in the campus.
I was assigned to Dot Net stream. Schedules were same, however, life was difficult. There were loads of assignments, without which it would be impossible to score in hands on. But now Dev Square was missing. For hands on exam, we had manual evaluation where the faculty used to test your code and adherence to QP. I clearly remember that in C# hands on though I had my program running fine and giving the perfect output, half of the total marks was deducted. Reason – I deviated from the QP! Perception (or MCQ) was pretty easy if you had studied the slides properly. Unlike the generics where some good concept was required to answer the questions, in stream the questions were pretty straight forward.
Those six months were undoubtedly the best part of my life. Mysore DC will always remain in my heart, not as the place where I started my professional life but as a place which stood up and showed the world what dedication, hard work and perseverance can do!

Also read the following blogs on Infosys Mysore Training

Infosys Mysore Training Experience – Day Zero

10 Things To Do At Infosys Mysore

Infosys Mysore Food - Part 1

Infosys Mysore Food - Part 2

Infosys Mysore Training Experience – Day Zero

Disclaimer : The views expressed in this article are solely that of mine. Infosys or its subsidiaries are in no way a part of the views expressed here.

Can I ever forget the day? 18th December, 2011.

With two huge bags, one held in hand and another on my shoulders...reached the gates just before nine in the morning. There were not many trainees, so didn’t face any inconvenience and stepped into the campus. Yes, the place that is known as a five-star jail. My eyes glittered as it saw the campus.
After bag checks and joining formalities, we were taken to our respective rooms. Block 84, Room – 004 (do let me know if you have checked in this very room) .In spite of repeated attempts, the door wouldn’t unlock. The security saw and approached me. He made me realize that I was trying to unlock the wrong room.

In the ecstasy of the moment, I used my key to unlock the door of Room – 014. I was a bit embarrassed. He smiled, as if it was normal! The next half an hour was spent in discovering the room. Neat and clean room, neatly arranged bed, air conditioners; wait wait wait, I can’t describe it. Just one word – fabulous!!!

The rest of the day was spent in discovering the campus. I had only one expression on that day – wow! I got confused with the roads leading to and from my block. And this confusion continued for a week...

I retired to bed early since the next morning would be my first official day at Infosys.

Do not forget to read the following blogs on Infosys Mysore Training

10 Things To Do At Infosys Mysore

Infosys Mysore Training Experience In A Nutshell

Infosys, Mysore - Food (Part 1)

Infosys, Mysore - Food (Part 2)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

10 Things To Do At Infosys Mysore

Your best days as an employee of Infosys would be spent at Infosys, Mysore. As a trainee there, you get opportunities to let your hair down and have fun besides the rigor of the training that promises to keep you busy most of the time. Here I have listed 10 things that you should not miss while being at Infosys Mysore.
1. Multiplex
Being here in Mysore for training, one thing that should top your agenda is movies on weekends. Normally there are 2 movies that get screened ever weekend with three screenings per day; and at times the queues are really long. The ambiance is awesome and with the sound and picture quality that can compete with the best in India, missing out on weekend movies is rather a sin! I had to stand for about 2 hours in the sun to get a pass for Don-2. Did I scare you? Standing in the queue for long hours with friends and with the security keeping an eye on whether you are in the queue, the day really gets fulfilling. So on any weekend (in case you do not have an exam on Monday and wish to study for it) get up late and make sure to be at the Multiplex with your friends!
2. Domino's
Biting on the pizza while having a great chat and leg-pulling session with friends is something that no one would ever miss out on! Watch cricket with friends over pizzas ordered over.
3. Multiplex Food Court
So you want to be amidst all the hustle and bustle of the campus. Head towards the Multiplex Food Zone or MFC. With employees and trainees around, it seems like any other college canteen at its best. Oops, sorry! Infosys food courts are way better than college canteens, but here I was comparing the ambience. Any time of the day, in particular after six in the evening, the place starts to weave its magic around you…
4. Late Night Gossips Outside Hostel Buildings
Well, this is something that anyways you would not miss out on, even if I asked you to. Late night gossips with friends in the smoking zones of the hostels or outside the hostel buildings with a cool breeze around imagine the wonderfulness of the night. It’s another way to have a gala time when your clothes are busy getting washed and dried in the laundry.
5. Birthday Celebrations
Now for this you need to be a bit lucky. A birthday party in food courts (particularly Oasis) at twelve in the night is another experience you should not miss out on. Be there with cake and candles and have your camera ready to capture moments of the night.
6. Cycling
With more than 5000 cycles in the campus parked in every nook and corner, getting cycles for a quick ride during the class hours might prove to be a challenge. However, as the day comes to a close getting hold of one becomes easier. So with friends in tow, ride the cycles and have a tour of the whole campus. Experience the beauty of the campus and fall in love with it.
7. Bowling

Bowling at the ECC with friends or even alone is fun. Don’t miss out on it…

8. Your Room
When you are in training, getting a few hours of sleep at night and then running for class when you get up next day becomes the order of the day. With the 5-star facilities provided in the room, I would suggest to give some time to your own self and spend some time with your room and the facilities that come bundled with it.
9. Eat Your Heart Out
With so many food courts and numerous offerings to choose from, ‘eating to live’ and ‘eating to enjoy’ should be clubbed during your stay in the campus. Remember, wherever you get posted post training (except Mysore DC), food won’t be anywhere near to it. So eat your heart out!
10. Fountain Near GEC – 2

Don’t forget to experience the awesomeness of the musical fountain on weekends in the evening between six and eight. I am sure you will love it… Do share your experience with me on this post. Enjoy Infosys, Mysore!

Do not miss out on the other blogs of Infosys Mysore Training

Infosys Mysore Training Experience – Day Zero

Infosys Mysore Training Experience In A Nutshell

Infosys, Mysore - Food (Part 1)

Infosys, Mysore - Food (Part 2)