Thursday, July 30, 2015

Magna carta of being Magnificent

Some are born great
While the rest strive hard and achieve greatness.

This oft repeated quote has been quoted to the realm of being cliché.

What defines greatness?

There have been several scores of empires and countless number of kings. But even with the literary license to thrill, very few kings have been suffixed as "the great". That 'A' lister series include Alexander, Ashoka, Akbar with an 'odd' Napolean thrown into the mix. Victorious expeditions and royal blood apart they couldn't have been a more diverse mix of personalities. But yet the common thread that ties them all is that they were all accepted and confirmed as 'the greatest'. So, the historical evidence concludes those who win major battles and are victorious in their conquests as great. But so was Genghis Khan, Timur and Hitler!! Mentioning any of them in admiration leave alone calling them as great would invite censure. It leads to believe probably the inference from the evidence wasn't quite right.

World over, there is one common parameter that confirms greatness. Its the impact that one leaves on people, when that personality breathes their last. Gandhi('s),Nehru,Annadurai,MGR's funeral processions have had record turnout. Such was/is his charisma that there are scores of people who still believe MGR is alive and some even worship him as god. Surprisingly all of the above had as many supporters as detractors. They all had political legacy as common ground, fenced by controversies. Every single major city in India has a LBS marg or road or avenue. But very few people remember that diminutive Indian- Lal Bhadhur Shastri. He could've rivalled the fame of the rest had he survived a few more years. Probably good health is another factor that plays a key role in achieving greatness? Maybe. Also one needs good PR machinery to spread the word. Could being media savvy be another clinching attribute in current scenario to achieve greatness? Quite possible. But media being well known for its attention deficit disorder syndrome, will that trait sustain for long? Maybe no. When some politicos die, the rampage and ruckus created by their rowdy followers are the sole reason why some of them are even remembered. Those fanatics ensured a place in the notoriety hall of shame for their leaders. Do you need goons to be famous? Don't think so.
In summary, to achieve greatness, one has to wage wars, be politically strong, have good health and be media savvy. Is this the formulae for being great?

Consider a man who donates regularly for good causes. He would be remembered by those beneficiaries as noble for a reasonable while.
One who serves his parents well, will be blessed by them.
One who is in harmony with his neighbours, will be mourned by them on his demise.
One who entertains people will be cherished by his fans.
What did this man do to deserve such a response on his death? How did he manage to touch so many peoples lives who unequivocally consider him as great?
He was a scientist known for exploding bombs and creating nukes which are not even in the same pin-code of peace, rather being objects of destruction and war. Agreed he was a teacher who later became president which is not without precedent either. We even celebrate that precedent/president's birthday as teacher's day (without quite knowing the significance is a different story). In times when crowd gathering is becoming an industry in itself, thriving on the going rates of liquor and briyani, Why do people from all walks of life, skipping their day's wage, queue up in hot sun to pay homage to this man. To sum up his profile, he was a very humble person, noted scientist/teacher who became the Indian president. Is that the reason for his greatness? I guess not.

He did some thing more - giving hope and  courage.

He gave hope to those economically backward kids, selling paper to win their daily bread, the wings to dream. He gave hope to those from the land's end of a huge nation to sit on the throne of its highest office. He gave courage to his peers to achieve projects without begging for foreign assistance. He sowed the seeds of quest for knowledge in his students encouraging them to think big and push the horizons.

The way in which he carried himself when alive, reflected in the response for his death. No vehicles were burned. No shops were ransacked. No communal tensions. Yet the entire nation cried for his departed soul. His was a death any person would envy for and a life everyone should strive to adapt.

APJ Abdul Kalam didn't discover the formula for greatness. He let his life be the formula for those who wish to have a crack at being great.

He wasn't born great.
He didnt strive for greatness.
Yet greatness adorned his feet like for no one else.

Rest in Peace noble sir.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Am i replaceable?

This has long been the Damocles sword of a question that hangs over many an
employees head. Till recent past it had always been a question of a lower cost (location based) employee who was being considered a threat. Be it the Americas or India the threat perception and the threat factor, more or less, were similar. While the Americans fear being 'Bangalore d', it was always the question of a talented young fresher trying to catch up with a mid level resource in the service sector dominated Indian scenario.
It had always been a running race on treadmills, wherein people, when threatened off their positions, moved from one company to another to perform more or less similar kind of jobs in nature.
With latest level of consolidation happening on the data front and with the current craze over internet of things aiding such though process, the proverbial fear of replacement by fellow human is fast being replaced by that of an artificially intelligent being. In case of the latter, its not just the resource who is getting replaced it clears away the very position for the job for anyone else, until a better version of the tool is found.
When i view this situation, it has always been a dogging one even since one's school days. Until the time approached for an exam if a kid rarely went near his books or managed his studies, obviously he would feel the pressure. The more settled we feel in our jobs, we let our axe to rust. Success, being the worst teacher, lulls us into believing that the colour of the world is rose. If we are good at something, we should never do it for free, chuckled a great man once. If we are good at something, its high time we start to re-skill ourselves, should be the new mantra in corporate world, i guess.
The lifespan of any technology is so short-lived that there are very few products that can claim to survive the continuous onslaught of its competitors beyond a decade. One should have a stock market approach towards their career is what i believe will be helpful. We never put all our funds in one basket and always go for a wider variety of portfolio. Similarly, as much we master a given skill, we should also grow along the peripherals looking out for ways to enhance our skills, with the seed being our area of strength and exposure. Agreed that in a service sector driven region like India, where the client needs almost shape a career of an individual, there is very little leeway to invest in oneself on the area of their choice to grow.There should be a definite thought process to learn something interesting, if not new, which shouldn't necessarily be driven by the desire for a continuance in pay check alone.
Going back to the original question - am i replaceable? More than that i would like to know am i reusable.
I hope the answer is yes.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Indru Netru Naalai - review

Sci-fi movie in tamil..I don't remember any other movie in recent time or past that has stood afresh in memory. That such a genre could be a moneyspinner in southern box office itself is something that is amazing. It goes to show the changing sense of movie watchers and opens up newer genres, previously untouched for fear of failure.

Wonder had those previous attempts been this simple or logical, maybe we would've seen lot such in those genre. Considering that right from our Puranas we had so much scientific inventions and thought process in our stories, this is one area, where we need more and more stories to be told. Sci-fi movies from Hollywood have even laid claim to fame for some of the recent inventions. Probably its high time we let our imagination run riot on screen and who knows the next big invention may be sitting on the script of one of the budding directors out there, awaiting his shot at glory.

 Indru Netru Naalai is similar to the Back to the Future movie series, only at the theme level. There is a time machine connection. There are sequences wherein the lead players go back and forth. Beyond that its a truly original story. If you or me have a chance at time travel and use it to fix our problems, what we may do is what the story is. The ending is also so logically concluded for anyone to find fault and the screenplay is so simple enough to lure even the die hard masala fans to watch the movie and enjoy. Karunakaran does manage to raise a few laughs based on situational comedies and his Bagyaraj like looks. The scientist guy is slowly carving a niche for himself in tinsel town. There would surely be more of him to be seen in future releases. Jeeva is quickly learning the trick of picking successful scripts which are both niche and clicks at box office. Be it Mundasupatti or Jeeva or even his prior ventures like Kulla narikoottam or Vennila kabadi kuzhu all his movies are different from one another. He hits bulls eye in this movie as well.

Gils verdict: Nice movie. Good time pass and possibly a trend setter to break the horror story craze set by the Kanachana franchise.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Bahubali - review

Weekend movie watchla intha vaaram - vera enna Bahubali thaan.
Namma makkalaam sentimental janangannu once again they prove. Visvaroopam controvesyappo when kamal cried that he is broke and if the movie doesn't do well he would be standing in nadu theru, sontha kaasu poattu cheque anupinathu yaaru..namma makkal thaen. Ippo paarunga..230 crores poattu padam pannirukangalam..apdi enna thaan irukumnu vedikka paaka vantha gumbal, moonay naalula poatta kaasula paathi collect panni kuduthirukaanga!! Paasakara payalunga.

Padam epdirukku?

Amar chitra katha pudikatha aalay irukka mudiathu. If one has to bring those stories to life and make justice to it,definitely it would need such a big budget and obviously there would be returns. This movie is no exception to this rule. Right from the first teaser with the hand majestically holding the baby to the waterfall cross jump scene and the battle sequences the movie never fails to meet the expectations raised sky high. Its an ordinary story with very normal dialogues and predictable screenplay and almost brazen acting by the lead players. But the effort to bring out the same on screen has been outstanding to say the least. Its the sub characters who lift the movie by their acting. Ramyakrishan goes one up on her Neelambari performance. Majestic she is. Satyaraj plays the role of slave to throne to dot. Why he killed Bahubali is the question that has set the stage well for the sequel. Rana Dagubatti has beefed up his physique to look every inch the menacing villain. He is every bit the caricature villain we grew up watching in the Doordarshan drama series on Mahabaratha and Ramayana. Prabhas and Tamanna are mere eye candy for respective fan clubs. Anushkas...avvvv...adutha partkuga waiting. Ipdi Karan Arjun Rakhee mathiri..mera beta aayega dialogue mattum vachu oatitanga.

I loved the innovation on war machines and battle formations. Had any of them being lifted from any other Hollywood or Chinese movies, it would've killed the hype. The much touted new language created specially for the movie falls flat. Nothing much to write about it either. Surprisingly for a movie of such a big canvas and scale, there is hardly anything to write about it :)

Gils verdict: Good timepass movie :)

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Sheldon spot conundrum

Gilsbert goes t new office. Somehow, all potti thatting kambenis have a common approach to seat arrangement. Either they would be all arranged in row after row like space station launch control rooms or they would be like booths in a bar with 4 per cubicle. However personalized you make it, it always look "official". Wherever the location is, if there is gilsbert, kodumai has to follow illaya.

Midnight 8 AM on a Monday. Gilsbert being the only person on the shift, potti thatting vigorously.
Suddenly someone walks up to him. Midnightla pei padam night show poitu arandu merandu ukkanthirukara mathiri, yaarumay illatha aapeecela tea aathitrukara Gilsbert, jumps in fright, hearing the sound. The person who walked in looked more annoyed than Gilsbert, probably for being pushed into the shift or veetla poorikattai kaalangaathalaye prayoga paduthitaangalo ennamo.

"Echuseme, why are you sitting here"
Gilsbert manasukkulla nonthu kittay mind voicela "naan mattum ennada aasapatta vanthirukken".."err..this is my place sir"
"No. You are mistaken..this is my spot"
Big Bang Theoryla Sheldon fana irupaano nu lighta thoninaalum, thooka kalakathula seat maari vanthutomonu ella confusionoda Gilsbert got up.
"Nethu kooda naan Inga thaana sir ukkanthitrunthen"
"Appo naan maathi solrengareengala"
"Sorry sir..naan Inga pudusu..nethu intha seat thaan allot pannanga..probably number maathitangalo ennamo..neengalum new joineeya?"
"Yov..I the senioraakum..have been here since 200 years"
"Athana varushama oray seatlya ukkanthirukeenga"nu yosichittay "Inga rendu cubicle irukku..unga seat number sollunga sir"
"54..ithu thaannu solromla"
"oh..ok..illa ungala intha fourth floorla ithuvaraikkum meet pannathilla athaan keten..sorry sir"
"huh..ennathu...fourth floora?..ithu third illaya"
Pakkathula vera yarachum irukaangalanu noattam vitutu "sorry Gilsbert..naan thaan floor maari vanten..very sorry" he vazhinjifies lot more and leaves that place.
"Adapaavi...oru nimishathula ennaye kozhapitaanay..naan thooka kalakathula pakkathu office pogama en seatukku varathay peria vishayam..ivan namma vida kozhappa casea irukaan ..hmmmm...namakku iruutula erumai teriathunna ivanukku pagallaye pasu maadu teriaathu pola.."

Kodumais Kantinues..