Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Obama Visit

So finally its Obama time, India! The US President who is projected as a saviour by almost everyone has desired to land in the largest democracy in the world.

For what? Erm...not sure. He sure wont be strengthening India's bid to join the United Nations Security Council as a permanent member. He sure wont be liberal when it comes to visas. So basically he would be touching upon all non controversial topics, discussing them with our Prime Minister and claim to have had a successful series of talks.

I used to be a big fan of Obama and I still believe that he is, in the current situation, the best person for the job. But he is so conventional! So predictable. He chooses to please all in his speeches and time and again portrays, or at least tries to portray himself as a do-gooder.

The United States has its share of issues, as a recent beautiful piece of article in the Hindustan Times by the ever so articulate Vir Sanghvi shows (India is fighting a lone war against terror). I think it should sort out its own issues and agendas first before choosing sides and literally deciding the fate of nations.

I, as an Indian, welcome the US President to my country. But I would also request him to look into the matters which are troubling South Asia. It is perhaps time for him to be clear and concise for the sake of innocent people in the region. It is time for some action, Mr. President.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Of late I've become increasingly passionate about photgraphy. The once greek terms like shutter speed, aperture, ISO have suddenly started to make sense. And I've also realised that maybe, just maybe, with enough practice, I might get good at this.

Photography I've come to realise is a brilliant way of seeing the unkown world and reinventing the known. Also, most photographers are really friendly people willing to share their knowledge among others. Of course, I might be mistaken because I've met very few professional ones.

However the field of photography isnt all that hunky dory as I've come to realise. It requires extreme patience, quite literally, an incessant will to know more about stuff, and more importantly it requires money. Lots of it. Infact, more the merrier.

I'm a strong believer of the fact that a good photographer can take an awesome shot regardless of the technical specs of the camera he has at hand. But its true only to a small extent. When it comes to macro, true wide angle photography etc. one needs good hardware materials. Simple point and shoots, regardless of their price points just dont cut it when it comes to semi pro or lets say above amateurish photography. And SLRs cost a bomb. Most good ones do. There's no point going for a cheap SLR because one can attach good quality lenses later.

And the expenses dont end there. For shots which need slow shutter speed running into seconds, one needs a tripod. Then one needs a shutter release device. Then there are filters. And of course there are the hugely expensive lenses. When one considers all these, suddenly photography is all about money, okay maybe not all, but certainly quite a lot. Maybe I should stick to being an amateur and trying to do my best with a simple point and shoot. My lovely Canon PowerShot SX130 IS is perfect for that.


There go my dreams of becoming a good photographer. The end. Thanks for tuning in to my rant channel. Till next time...keep ranting...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

An Epic Festival

Like every other Bong all across the world, the month of October is of special significance. If India is a land of festivals, Durga Puja for Bengalis is the mother of all Indian festivals. But this year has been special. I have, this year, made it a point to visit at least most of all important puja mandaps across the length and breadth of Kolkata, something which I had so far never ever attempted.

The roads were crowded, the walks long, the rains irritating and disturbing, but the indomitable Bengali spirit, so vivid and exuberant during the pujas, conquered all that and more... In the end, on Dashami, as I write this post, recharging my batteries, quite literally, for one last go at Ahiritola Launch Ghat, this heart is feeling heavy, the eyes wet and the unmistakable sense of parting very much overwhelmingly palpable. I have come out of this Puja realising that no matter where one is, no matter how old one is, the Bong spirit is genetically tied to Goddess Durga.

With a heavy heart, I'll leave you with an image of Maa Durga which I took at Maddox Square.

Monday, October 4, 2010

What's Next For India?

Now that the Commonwealth Games Delhi have gone on to a great start, thanks to the stunning opening ceremony, there is talk among various sections about India bidding for hosting the Olympics.

Its a natural progression one would say from the 'not-so-widespread' Commonwealth Games to the Olympics. But one needs to realise that the people in power have been very shoddy in their work. Deadlines have been missed consistently (in the works of Mike Hooper), bridges have collapsed and animals from dogs to reptiles have been found in the Games Village.

Even if the games do manage to happen flawlessly it will only be a matter to sheer luck and nothing else. After all it was only after the Prime Minister intervened that things started moving on ground zero. Imagine therefore, the fiasco that would befall upon us if we were to bid for the Olympics. Sure it would enhance our country's image as a growing superpower but frankly that was supposed to happen with the CWG too. Instead our nation's image has taken a beating. Can we risk that all over again? Do we really have the guts to rise above all difficulties? Do we? That is for the people at power to answer. For me, India has a long way o go before it starts getting professional about these things. Till then, we should stick to providing our poor with basic needs.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

No More Potter, Please!

J. K. Rowling has recently hinted that she might come up with the eighth, ninth or even a tenth Harry Potter novel if she felt like it. Harry Potter has been an epic success for not just the author and the publishers but also the film industry (well WB specifically). Now all that success depended on two factors. One, Rowling's command as a breathtakingly wonderful writer and two, the readers' desire to read more about Potter's adventures.

The readers have since then "grown up", quite literally as well. To expect the same kind of frenzy around Potter books now would be nothing short of foolishness. I am a huge Potter fan and have read and reread every single page of every single Potter novel numerous times. I believe the Harry Potter series has reached a logical conclusion and no one should tamper with it any more. It has been a magical journey and a near perfect one. Lets us not spoil the magic. Releasing another Potter novel after such a conclusive Deathly Hallows would be disastrous, especially for us fans. I hope the J. K. Rowling realises that.