Saturday, August 27, 2005
Yet another surprise to Leela
Thats an audacious statement. So I saved the book for a perfect Sunday.
It was a perfect Sunday.
The day before that, I entered a book store that was nearby my office, walked
straight to the salesgirl and asked her if they have this book, 'The world is flat'.
Yes sir, but the paperback edition is not released yet. She then from a heap of
nice smelling books took this one out. I pondered for a moment, looked at the
inside flap which read 8.89 pounds. Translated, thats 689 bucks she said.
On the Sunday morning, I switched off the AC and opened the windows of my
bedroom to let more natural light and asked my all-in-one Srinu to make me
some Coffee. Luckily for me, the pillow fit under my neck in the most
comfortable position. Perrrrrfect!!!
The first two hundred pages were like duh! duh! duh! duh!. Largely because
of my IT background and also largely because it was duh! stuff.
The book opens with a great paragraph from Columbus and moves onto the
golf courses of Bangalore. The author, right from page one comes alive out
of the pages passionately putting forward his argument. (This book is not a
theory). The vivacity of the author shows up in each and every page.
By the time I crossed my 200th page, my neck started to get stiff and the
pillow started turning into a rockbed. So, I took a break, had a light meal
and reclined in my recliner watching TV and wondering if I should continue
reading this book or just shelf it.
I continued reading. The author basically explains you why he thinks this
world is flat (metaphorically speaking) and the forces that were behind it.
He starts with the Berlin wall and ends up with Google and Compaq iPaq.
For an argument to justify a statement as grand as 'The world is flat' I need
more forces than IT. I need more examples than few BPO blips in Bangalore.
By then Bangalore was quoted more than two dozen times. Happens when
the core juice of your argument is running out.
I loved the last 200 pages. The author had not only put forward
his argument, but also showed us how this would effect the world,
the Americas and the politics.
The author also rightly ended the book with a chapter titled
'The world is not flat'. He rightly pointed out to the things that could wrong
and to the things that are wrong at this moment.
I should say, the author is biased towards India and Bangalore.
The problem with writers, especially columnists, is they love words and
cliches. They love creating memes. Hindu fundamentalists, Islam militants,
Dotcom boom, Generation X, Silicon Valley nerds etc. People who love
words and emotions behind them, tend to generalize and fall in love with them.
'The world is flat' is great meme. Everyone who wants to write something on
this topic would love to have a caption like that. No wonder this author won
those Puliltzer prizes. Any writer would love this writer.
It was a good read. Well structured, greatly paced, passionately told.
I was disappointed to see so few examples and so large generalizations.
Author's lack of knowledge in Economics clearly shows up.
This book is yet another great example of 'The State of Fear' theory
put forward by Michael Crichton. Capitalist worlds run on it. They love
constantly creating a new State of Fear for every new generation.
'The commies are coming'. 'The Japs are flooding'. 'The Chinese are growing'.
'The Indians have arrived'.
Ha! I love this world. (Flat or round).
Saturday, August 20, 2005
My favorite hang out zone used to be the Foreign Films section at
'Blockbuster'. I watched many memorable and off beat films from that
section. Ironically, it was from this section I first saw all of Ray's films.
Through the staff, I came to know about a movie titled El Mariachi. It was
a movie made by a maverick Mexican dude. I just loved that movie. Long
before I watched El Mariachi, I watched a movie named 'Desperado' in India.
At that time I thought that was a B Grade film. But strangely that movie
just stayed in my mind. Later I came to know that its the same director
who made Desperado.
Desperado is just a more stylish and much richer extension of Mariachi.
I lost count of how many times I watched Desperado later.
Rodriguez, is the name of the director. He went to make more movies later.
Not my genre. So never really followed him. An article in wired.com around
four months back caught my imagination again. Rodriguez paired with one of
my all time favs Quentin Tarantino to make a movie titled Sin City.
Not just that. This maverick film maker just in the good old spirit, cut
himself off from the mainstream Hollywood to start his own studio
'Trouble Maker Studio'.
Production photos and storyboard sketches of Sin City looked simply
So, it was only natural that I was all pumped up and excited when I got
my hands on the DVD yesterday night. I loved the film. It has a sad ending.
But I guess thats Frank Miller's style. I dont know much about that comic book.
There are some cut shots and angles in the film that are pure genius. Like in
any other Quentin movies, the cast is just amazing.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him.
Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung
himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling,
the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him.
Only the vine sustained him.
Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw away the
vine. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one
hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other.
How sweet it tasted!(www.101zenstories.com)