review : Jaane tu.. ya jaane na

Quite an unconventional start, with a glimpse of normal love story in between and the typical bollywood-stylish end is what i will say about the movie.
Watching genelia in 'bomerillu'(telugu flick) and knowing the fact that Aamir Khan is the producer of this movie were enough reasons for me to watch this movie. And infact when you hear someone saying that this movie is worth watching 2-3 times then you seriously feel like giving it a try.
The movie starts quite well, with some good humour (remember? 'pappu can't dance') and goes on well until aditi(genelia) and jai(imran) realise that they don't love each other, and are just best friends. And then starts their search for soulmates, obvious twist in the tale. And infact they do find themselves new partners, but you can guess, how this has to end.
Regarding guest appearance of Arbaaz and sohail khan, guys please! for gods sake don't spoil a good-going movie. In some scenes they are okay but by the end, they go crazy and you'll seriously feel irritated. Riding those horses on the roads of mumbai, hats off!
Basically, the story is all the same, that of a usual indian romantic movie. But the way of presentation is quite a bit different, except specially the end, where those 'teen shartein' are fulfilled by the protagonist, however silly they maybe.
The good part is that the actors and his friends are not those only-found-in-indian-movie types, they are simple characters which we come across in everyday lives.
Imran khan seems to have learnt a lot from his uncle aamir, and for sure is a promising actor, the only one after neil nitin mukesh(from Johnny gaddar) I guess.. (of course regardless of who gets the best debutant award at the IIFA awards!). Genelia is one of those few actress who can do those bubbly roles(just like she did in 'bomerillu') with ease, just like preity zinta :).
Overall, the movie is okay. And I'll give it a 3.5 star. Go watch it if you are looking for a little change and yea, its a feel-good movie, so you'll come out in a good mood, which is not generally the case nowadays with hindi movies.
Cast : Imran Khan, Genelia D'Souza, Naseerudin Shah, Ratna Pathak Shah
Director : Abbas Tyrewala
Producer: Aamir Khan, Mansoor Khan
Music: A R Rahman


Thanks! - for listening

Sometime back I had written about the 'state-quota in NITs'. Thanks to the media, for when it was published in JAM, it did get some notice and brought me some appraisal :). But it feels great when something that you bring into the light, gets noticed and some step is taken towards it by the government. Well, I agree it won't have been just my article in JAM bringing this revolution, but I guess there's nothing wrong in claiming for your piece of cake, if you deserve some. :D

According to the corrigendum issued by the
Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt. of India, for filling up seats in NITs
amongst the candidates declared eligible for counseling, on the basis of results of
AIEEE conducted by CBSE, the seats in the NITs shall be filled up with following
(i) 50% of the seats in an NIT shall be filled by the eligible candidates who
have passed +2 examination from the State in which the NIT is situated. For
example, in NIT Agartala 50% seats shall be filled by the eligible
candidates who have passed their +2 examination from Tripura.
(ii) Admission in NITs for rest 50% seats would be on All India Merit basis.
For these seats candidates would be admitted from amongst All India rank
holders in AIEEE.

Although this may be a little disheartening for those guys, who still don't have NIT in their state.
But its a good news for all those crying over not getting the dream college even after excelling in AIEEE. Still 50% is to be filled by the home-state candidates, but atleast the rest 50% will be filled on purely impartial way.
Although I was shocked to hear about this news considering the fact that our HRD minister is still the one who has the credit of bringing some 'historical' changes in the admission process in India, bringing in 'quotas' and arousing people to destroy railway lines in rajasthan to get the officially coveted status of 'backward class'.
But, after this rule coming into action from this year onwards (those taking admission in july'08) ,I think the better crowd these NITs get, better is going to be their reputation. And I guess the 50% home-state quota too is on its way to make way for 100% admission on All India Merit basis. Just keep your fingers crossed, because the HRD minister is still the same!

JAM's Engineering admissions - book review

One of the most confusing times of my life was while taking admission to engineering college, whether to take computer science in NIT calicut or Ceramic Engg. dual in IT BHU or mechanical engineering in NIT trichy was the question that haunted me the most and I think it did almost everyone appearing for AIEEE councelling, and thanks to India Today and other magazines for publishing those annual rankings which are almost always disagreed with, expect ofcourse by the colleges getting better rank than what they deserve like VIT (vellore institute of Technology) getting a rank above the so called much better institutes of our country this year, which always adds up to the dilemma for the students. But finally, something is there to bring relief to all the engineering aspirants and the problems they face while taking admissions.
My first, cynical as usual, expression on hearing about this book was, 'what? another rank list?' and that too by taking feedback from the students themselves. Well, tell me, who will speak bad about his college? (atleast after he knows that his college's reputation is associated with his). But being proved wrong is what happens for good sometimes.
The better part of 'Engineering admissions' is the insight that you get about engineering and life at various colleges rather than just giving a rank list. Many of those already engineers still don't know the difference in Computer science and IT.
Anyways, there are still certain glitches in the book, like

1. The book doesn't cover architecture. Well, considering the fact that most of those who take admission to architecture(B.Arch.) are the ones who prepared for engg. entrance exams, if not much then this is true atleast for those doing architecture at IITs or NITs. So, excluding it is a bad idea.

2. Although most of the rankings are what is generally accepted, but there are some loopholes. As in I was shocked to see PEC, thapar and SGSITS(indore) being given A+(euivalent to IIT roorkee!). I agree they are good colleges but disagree with them being given status better than NIT calicut or equivalent to IIIT hyderabad and BITS pilani. Talking about SGSITS in particular, most of students are placed in bulks like TCS, infy and wipro. The number of companies visiting the campus being around 30 -40. If you talk about NIT calicut(which is given 'A') itself the companies visiting the campus is much more than that. And the no. of companies visiting NIT trichy, IIIT Hyd ('A+') is a lot more than that.

3. And yea, sorry to sound cynical but there are more than a few spelling mistakes in the book.

4. Lastly, the biggest setback for the book is its price, I mean if I were the engineering aspirant looking out for some guidance on selecting the right college, I would have preferred taking advice from my coaching teacher available free of cost (which I actually did thanx to the lack any other resources at that time) rather than buy a book worth Rs. 400! Well, its a little too much for a student in 12th standard. It could have got more buyers, had it been priced at around Rs. 200.

Compiling all those articles published in JAM over the years, like 'unofficial prospectus' of various colleges, is a good business idea by JAM's editor. But still the book is as important for an IIT aspirant as it is for the one taking admission to a local engg. college. Dedicating a whole section to IITs is impressive. Moreover considering the fact that the editor doesn't have an engineering background the work is quite good. Articles giving description of various branches are enlightening. A must guide for all the engineering aspirants, I would say.

what are we waiting for?

one of the things you would have surely come across being in india is, how people break the traffic signals/rules. Infact we all have been a part of it sometime or the other. And when it comes to us we say, 'chalta hai yaar, everybody is doing it so why shouldn't I?'
But one more quality of Indians is that they are good followers(yea!). Somewhere in their heart they know, they are doing the wrong thing, but what they need is someone else to show them the way and that too with an example.
If you don't believe me, just do one thing, go to any traffic signal where no one is following it (ofcourse it means, no traffic policeman would be there!) and you stop if the signal is 'red' , for it to go 'green'. And believe me atleast 50% of the ppl would follow you and wait for the signal to go green, who otherwise would have surely broken the rules. And they will definitely follow it atleast for next two signals. You may not have brought a big change but this small change can definitely bring about a big chain reaction.
Many would argue that whats wrong in breaking a signal? As they are expert enough at driving to avoid any accidents, but dude! its not about you. I know you are a good driver, but not everyone is, atleast not all those who will follow you in breaking the signal. So maybe you avoid an accident but wats the gurantee of that person who followed you?
I see people who would give an excuse for the above thing as, the absence of traffic policeman is government's fault.
I accept it is, but isn't it atleast near to enough on their part to atleast put up the traffic signal?
The thing is that, we too are the citizens of the same country, so isn't it our responsibility to follow the rules made for our own benefit?
can't we change this country by taking an initiative ourselves? rather than blaming those in power?
P.S. - I read somewhere that Indians are generally scared of opting for entrepreneurship. I think I 've got the basic reason, its in their blood. Their inability to take initiative!


blogging workshop @ NITT

Blogging is something that is catching up slowly in India. We are not still much into this phenomenon, for I keep facing such questions from my friends as ‘ye kis chidiya ka naam hai?(which bird’s name is this?) and then as usual I try explaining them, showing my technical(or say internetechnical) superiority over them. (as being an engineer, you are supposed to know all these things happening on the internet).

I had heard about rashmi’s blogging workshop in IIIT hyd and IIT kgp and the feedback from IIIT was good. So this was one thing I thought we must have in our campus too, and what better the occasion than in Infotainment section of our department’s technical symposium. And I knew enough bloggers in campus to make sure, that response will be good.

But unfortunately, rashmi bansal was unable to impress the audience as much as one gets after reading her blog or JAM! For the simple reason that the audience didn’t turn out the way she had expected. While in IIIT the audience was around 80% already bloggers and 20% wannabe enthusiasts. The ratio turned out just opposite over here. And not knowing much about blogging, you certainly don’t enjoy watching others go to stage and display their blog and get personal feedbacks.

Although I don’t think of it as a fault on rashmi’s part too, but I certainly think that if you are going to conduct a workshop which is not yet common, its better to be prepared to face audience who expect you to start from the 'ABC' of the phenomenon.

Anyways, I and others who are already into blogging, did get something out of the workshop but by the overall response of the audience, I think it would have been better if we had asked rashmi for a lecture on ‘entrepreneurship’ instead!


pragyan '08

Pragyan, the international techno- management festival of NIT Trichy, as they call it, which aims at imbibing a scientific temper with the spirit of innovation among the youth, truly lived up to its expectations, in its fourth edition. It not only provided a platform to the students to make innovative working models using their engineering skills or to make a profitable Business plan, but also gave them a chance to compete against the best geeks in coding to f1 car making!

What made this pragyan special was not just the participation from across the country, which even turned global in many events, but the strong desire of organizers to deliver the participants, ‘the best’. From 3D movie shows to guest lectures on breathtaking topics like ‘time travel’, from the so-called humanoid robots performing dance on ‘dhoom’ song to the workshop on investment management, it was where everybody found something, which they had always wished they could!

Day 1 – After witnessing one of the biggest contraptions ever at the inauguration ceremony, junta pulled up all their seat belts, to be a part of this classic journey for the next 3 days. The morning crowd puller was the robotic workshop by Mr. Amir Shapiro, where he shared various invaluable fundas with the robotic enthusiasts. It was the day where all the participants made their best attempts to clear the prelims of different events and reach the finals. The results brought smiles on the face of some alongwith the awareness of tough challenge lying ahead in finals! And glimpse of sadness on the faces of those who could not clear the prelims. But as someone has rightly said, ‘success is never ending and failure is not an option’, these high spirits pulled up their sleeves for rest of the events, to give their best shot next time.

Day 2 – After gaining momentum in its very first day, pragyan still had a lot more to unveil and this was proved on the 2nd day, when the participation in the next round of events touched new heights. Starting off with Ventura, one of the biggest Bplan competitions of India, which had more than 4 million INR at stake, the day saw engineering enthusiasts building bowling machines with simple materials and mind-boggling creativity! The day ended with an admirable alumnus of college enlightening the future engineers about the importance of renewable energy and entrepreneurial aspects it offers.

Day 3 – where there is a beginning there is an end, but at pragyan they seem to believe not in the end but in continuous improvement. With a promise to come back next year, better than ever, this year’s pragyan came to an end. The day witnessed the final results of various events, eminent guest lectures including the one by mr. subramania swamy on indian economy, jagriti- the ‘contribution to society’ aspect of pragyan and pengufest- the linux workshop.

Nostalgic it was for all those who had witnessed previous editions of pragyan and an unforgettable experience for others.

p.s. – The things that I liked the most, as NOT mentioned above, included food stalls and few temporary maals (or hot-chicks, as they are called) in the campus. Special thanks to team, for giving me a pen drive for writing this blog :)

hanuman returns

Thanks to those responsible for power-cut at our hostel last night (which ofcourse is not a new thing for us Indians), which compelled us to watch this movie for having nothing else better to do (for those using scratching their heads on how we watched it when the power was not there, we watched it on the laptop!).

Surprisingly, the movie turned out to be really good. It not only reminds you of your childhood, but also makes you aware of the difference in the kid’s understanding at your time and now.

What makes it appealing is its relevance with the today’s world. This is what in my opinion gives it an edge over other such movies. Rather than just portraying those mythological stories on screen, the creators have made the movie fully based on the present scenario. From the I-phone’s touch ‘zoom in’ option which hanuman uses, to brahma’s laptop carrying assistant, the movie has everything that you can relate to the normal life. The best thing is the usage of language, unlike the normal ‘shudh hindi’ types used in such mythological movies which rather go above the heads of kids, they did not mind using the frequently used hinglish words.

Featuring the voices of SRK to gabbar to big B to mogambo, the movie doesn’t just makes you feel relaxed, but also has some important teachings for kids.

The sholay spoofs and other general bollywood spoofs prove that its not only aimed at kids, as they won’t understand them.

Although the animation quality can never match up to those in Hollywood but it is acceptable. And also, last part of the movie is a bit dull. But overall , the movie is a good watch, even if you are not a kid, as apart from entertaining it also imparts some good messages through the best way possible, relating it to god. And for those parents out there, I think this is possibly what you were waiting for to show your kids, once they get some time off, rhyming on the tunes of today’s sex and masala video songs/ movies.

Movie deserves a decent 3.5 out of 5.


wat a happy new year !

what a pleasant start to a new year...? There are loads of forwarded scraps in ur scrapbook and all of them have two lines in common... "HAPPY NEW YEAR" & "CLICK HERE TO SEND SCRAP TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS AT ONCE".
It actually started somedays back. I got a scrap wishing me a HAPPY BIRTHDAY ! frm one of my frends.. and i was shocked to see that.
for a moment i just kept staring at the screen... confused about wht to reply? is it that i forgot my own bday?! or is he wishing me in advance, 4 months before my bday or he's wishing me a belated happy bday after 8 months ! but no it wasn't just me .. he wished happy bday to all his frends !
no no ! the guy is in proper mental condition and has no records of any mental problem as per my knowledge ! But his only mistake was that he clicked on that link saying "send scraps to all your frends at once" and this was the only thing he could think of to send :-D !
i don't understand one thing, wat impression does the other person gets whn he looks at such a scrap, which u 've sent to ur entire friend list. And you might not have thought of this person even once while sending. Then wats the sense?
just tell me, do u ever reply to such msgs?
well, i don't know how long will it take for people to realise that its better to spend some time and send personal scraps to 5 friends instead of just clicking on that sick link and sending it to some 500, with no meaning at all !
but atleast i don't want to see some amateur orkut user sending a scrap saying "MAY YOUR SOUL REST IN PEACE !" with that link as bottomline, in my scrapbook some other day !
P.S. - Happy New Year! to those two guys who forwarded the same scrap to their entire friend list including me while i was writing this ! cheers !