Thursday, August 07, 2008

Writing a Story

So a colleague came across my blog writing and suggested that I have the flair for casual writing. Why dont  I write a story or a book or a novella? I had never seriously thought about that until now. So I figured why not? I am not a technical writer in a literary sense. I write the way I think in my mind. I do not use any fancy techniques in writing other than casual style. I like to believe my words on paper or in this case electronic media is very casual and conversation like rather than a more structured grammar. I prefer simpler words and flowing expression rather than a more "structured grammar" approach. The question is would I succeed? I am not sure. I hope to put a story together that will make an interesting read.

The only question remains is that should I do this on-line and publish chapter to chapter or write the whole thing and then do a formal publishing. Well, I will let you know.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles

One of the things I did in my US journeys was to catch some awesome new shows despite the WGA strike. One of the new shows is this awesome one called Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Oh! Blimey, I tell you I have never seen such an intense show of action in my TV watching entertainment.

TSCC_15_lg TSCC_01_lg

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Trinity - Brahma The Creator!


Brahma is the god of creation and one of the Trimurti, the others being Vishnu and Shiva. imageHe is not to be confused with the Supreme Cosmic Spirit in Hindu Vedanta philosophy known as Brahman. Also, in Sanskrit grammar, Brahma is nominative singular of generic word Brahman, as Aatma is nominative singular for Aatman. Brahman and Aatman are same in Vedanta philosophy, the Para-Aatma (Supersoul) and Jeeva Aatma (Individual Soul) are Brahman. His consort is Saraswati, the goddess of learning.

Referred to as the creator, he is traditionally depicted with four heads and four faces and four arms. With each head he continually recites one of the four Vedas. He is often depicted with a white beard (especially in North India), indicating the near eternal nature of his existence. He is shown as having four arms, with none holding a weapon, unlike most other Hindu Gods. One of his hands is shown holding a sceptre in the form of a spoon, which is associated with the pouring of holy ghee or oil into a sacrificial pyre - indicating the fact that Brahma is the lord of sacrifices. Another of his hands holds a water-pot (sometimes depicted as a coconut shell containing water). The significance of the water is that it is the initial, all-encompassing ether in which the first element of creation evolved. Brahma also holds a string of rosary beads that he uses to keep track of the Universe's time. He also is shown holding the Vedas, and sometimes, a lotus flower.image

Another story in connection with Brahma's four heads is that when Brahma was creating the universe, he made a female deity known as Shatarupā (one with a hundred beautiful forms). Brahma became immediately infatuated. Shatarupā moved in various directions to avoid the gaze of Brahma. But wherever she went, Brahmā developed a head. Thus, Brahma developed five heads, one on each side and one above the others. In order to control Brahmā, Shiva cut off the top head. Also, Shiva felt that Shatarupa was Brahma's daughter/son, being created by him. Therefore, Shiva determined, it was wrong for Brahma to become obsessed with her. He directed that there be no proper worship in India for the "unholy" Brahma. Thus, only Vishnu and Shiva continue to be worshipped, while Brahma is almost totally ignored. Ever since the incident, Brahmā has been reciting the four Vedas in his attempt at repentance.

But there are plenty of references to him in scriptures and prayers. In fact the most popular prayer, Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu, Guru Devo Maheswara! Guru Sakshaat Para Brahma Tasmai Sree Guru vey namaha has multiple references to Brahma.











Monday, November 26, 2007

Mobile Gundam Seed 00

I had the chance to see one episode of the Mobile Gundam Seed 00. To begin with, I am not a anime fan. I like anime movies, Ghost in the Shell and Akira being my favourites but I have never sought actively to watch any of the anime series developed in Japan. I have heard plenty of good stuff about them, in regards to musical styles, storylines, interspersed cultural references to our world and a future or past and not mention a sense of unusual style which eludes even the best Western animation adventures. I was always wondering what Gundam Seed means and the name did not appeal to me to make me want to watch. So before I saw the second episode of this series, I went to my trusty Wikepedia, did a search and read up on the history and development of the Gundam series. Boy! was I fascinated. The series, the settings, and their references to our current state of the world, our history are truly amazing. When I read the premise of Gundam Seed 00, I was amazed at how these story developers were able to create a world in future as chaotic as it could be. The concept of destroying for the sake of achieving peace was truly disturbing and echoes the current Iraq conflict that we are seeing. It is always the decision of a few which puts the rest at danger or face the wrath and brunt of the reaction.

The second episode portrays a group of well meaning warriors armed with the most advanced battle suit called Mobile Gundam have declared that they will be intervening in the current conflicts and destroy both sides unless they make a path to peace and reconciliation. On one side, the warriors have to face a terrible choice of being labelled as mass murderers and on the other is the forces that are bent to destroy these suits or capture them to take advantage of the advanced technology. And on a yet another side is the need to keep the identity of the warriors a secret and hope that one of them wont have a remorseful meltdown.image

What caught me by a total surprise was the premise in this episode that the conflict between the Tamil's and Singhalese in Sri Lanka has been used. Being Indian and a Tamil Brahmin to the boot, I abhor violence of any kind. Our forefathers taught her better. Gandhi gave us independence without firing a shot. I always thought that the world could use that as an example but then if only life was that simple. Politicians like George Bush do not  understand the cultural ethos of the world as they remain cloistered in their blinkered existence that one rule applies to all and one glove fits all.

Any way, back to Gundam Seed. So the remedy by the "Celestial Beings", as the warriors with the Mobile Gundam suit are called, take the matters into their hands and decimate both sides of the conflict. And one of the warriors expresses regret that he will always be remembered as a mass murderer as he proceeds to drop bombs to wipe out a whole military base with people inside. Wow! What twisted mind thought of this episode. Should we give him a medal for creative and brilliant writing or take him to the nearest nut house and lock him up. I am sure there are two sides of the fence which is fully occupied by the respective supporters. And for the record, I am right now on the fence and I will give the writer the benefit of doubt. image

So are we also headed there? In 30 years, would our civilization reach a point where we will start bombing ourselves out of existence?  At the rate we are going with wars, pollution, depleting resources, over population, and disease, I am not sure how long will human race survive. Praying to our respective God's will give us strength to live and service, but the dude upstairs is basically telling us that he wont help those who do not deserve and right now, our human race is not in a position to ask for sympathy.

If there is one thing I wont deny is that watching this single episode has now made me crave for getting my hands on the entire series and I am in touch with some friends who can procure older season DVD's if and when they become available. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

View from the top!

Many of my friends and family know the location of my office. Downtown Singapore. Right in the heart of the Financial District. According to the GPS Monitor, my office is exactly 842 Feet above MSL. That is one heck of a height to be working every day. I have seen planes practice during the Singapore National Day Parade. A Chinook which was carrying a gigantic Singapore National Flag, flanked by two awesome AH-64D Longbow Apache attack helicopters below the window level and I could see the pilots of the gun ships. It was an awesome sight. By the time I ran and got my camera, the aircrafts had moved on. Bummer! During my early gaming days, I have played the Apache simulator where you get to fire Hell Fire missiles also known as fire and forget missiles.

But I have been observing the construction of the new Sands Exhibition and Convention Centre (Including the Casino) from a high vantage point. What used to be a green patch of land is now filled with cranes, trucks, huge holes which look so tiny that its unfathomable how large they are when you actuallySands Construction pass the construction site.

It is an impressive view of what would become a marvel in construction as I have seen the artist design that was published in the local newspaper after the project was awarded. It will be a sight to behold and admire. I am looking forward to the opening of this monument to entertainment. Maybe I will visit the casino and try my luck at the black jack tables. Martini's anyone?




Singapore Flyer

Not to be outdone, there is giant wheel or the Singapore Flyer. Its the Asian version of the London Eye. The panoramic view offered by the Singapore Flyer will be far superior to the London Eye considering the location. Its 165 Meters (30 meters bigger than London Eye). Already its sold out way before its launch. I think I have to wait a long time before I am able to get my turn. But its still shorter than my vista from 842 Feet. 







The Esplanade or "Durian" has always been my favourite hotspot. Great theatre venue. Top notch shows and a very pretentious crowd (life is too short not to be pretentious). So I join them in the preening and applauding the shows which fortunately are of excellent quality.  For those who are not familiar, Durian is a local fruit (a very stinky smelly fruit) and it has prickly skin which is sort of resembling the dome structure of the Esplanade. Smart move done by the people behind the Esplanade was not to deny the comparison. The taxi drivers are more apt to take you to the Durian rather than Esplanade. I have been there and done that. The sounds system here is AWESOME and I cannot fault the technical aspects of the sound engineering at these theatres. My cousin's and his wife gave a performance early this year and the sound quality even for a very intimate performance was outstanding.

The Padang is a open ground shared by two clubs (Singapore Cricket Club and one other). A great venue to run around the grounds. Linking Park performed on these grounds. Rugby 7 tournaments were held here. Cricket matches are played regularly. Flanking the Padang is the historical Supreme Court.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Bali! Magical, Fun and Exciting

So after 12 years of living in Singapore, I finally had the opportunity to go to Bali. Everyone who became aware that this was my first trip expressed total shock and surprise considering I have an extensive travel resume. I had my reasons. Most of which stemmed from the past Indonesian policy of applying for visa in Singapore. Due to heavy travels and severe conditions put by the Consular office, I figured the hassle is not going to be worth it if for a short visit, I have to endure a popped blood vessel. Until close to 2 years ago, when my passport was included in the Visa on arrival list. Hooray! So last week, I finally got the chance to go. It was a stag night. One of the boys is getting married this weekend and hence we decided to have a party. But of course, we realized, a bit later, that the bride and her party were heading to Bali for their hens night. The girls have squarely blamed the boys for changing the destination from Macao to Bali. Well, we agree but in the end it was all good. We celebrated all November babies birthday dinner in style at Cafe Warisan. It was hot, sweltering and I was melting. Seriously! I think I lost 2 kilos just sitting there. But later there was some clubbing at Hu Bar.

So where are the pictures? Sad to say that I lost my camera. It fell off the bicycle at 3AM in the morning when I wanted to get some food. So I lost about 400 pictures. River rafting, dinner, party pictures, and lots of interesting shots! All gone! I will wait for the other who have their pictures and post them here.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

What do you know! The damn thing works including upload of Photo

Well, Well, Well! I am impressed. This actually works. Well, it made me go to Picasa and create a new account link to my blog account, but all in all, I have no complaints. It looks really good and easy! I guess I will be able to finish my Travel journal after all.

Time just flies and you feel that it was just yesterday that I wanted to update my blog. With travels, work, weddings, babies, holidays and trying to determine if an MBA would help me out, has taken its toll. But I am seeing a way to manage all this. Hopefully, I will have more of my travels here than wait for 6 months before I say whatever it is to say next.

Microsoft has created a new utility called Live Writer!


While I am a Windows user and an occasional critic of Microsoft's products, I believe they actually have this right. I figured let me give it a shot by writing a new entry from the new Live Writer and see how it works. I cannot comment if it works or not right now as this is my first entry. My second entry would contain a report card. And to see if the images are uploaded