the descendants

Ever seen a movie that you watched by downloading illegally from the internet which after watching you wish you had seen it in theatre instead? the descendants is one such was already on my list of oscar movies to watch after it received rave reviews from critics and also with george clooney winning a golden globe. and no this doesn’t have hi-fi technical effects or mindblowing action sequences which beckons a theatre visit. even after reading the story on wikipedia, i was not able to fathom why this movie is so critically acclaimed. you need to see it for yourself to understand why the descendants is a brilliant movie and one of the finest movies you may have ever seen. the story telling is honest, the acting by the cast is top-notch plus the fact that a sad story of a crumbling family can be told humourously is something that works in its favor. after watching i can honestly say that real star of the movie is the hawaiian backdrop. i’ve seen hawaii in so many movies from 50 first dates to the hit tv series “Lost” but never before has the island been captured so beautifully. throughout the movie, a wonderful guitar soundtrack accompanies the narration which when combined with stunning visuals is pure magic. do yourself a favor and go watch it in a nice theatre. movies like these are not made often!

P.S:i have already booked a ticket for a second time and forcing my brother to watch this epic!

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the rise of djokovic

if you are yet to recover from the hangover of yesterday’s australian open final or if you thought djokovic doesn’t deserve to win or djokovic is a funny guy not upto the lofty standards of nadal or federer, then you should read this. one of the finest sports articles i’ve ever read!

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wikipedia and the art of fundraising

i love wikipedia. to me it is the single greatest invention after google. from new technologies like cloud computing to planning for  my next travel destination to researching great movies that released before i was born to finding out how much career prize money roger federer has won,it has become a prime destination for my research. my google searches on more than 95% search has indicated wikipedia as the first hit so i’ve even stopped using google. and here is the best part: every time i turn to wiki, i become so engrossed in each topic that will lead me to another article followed by further few articles that i end up getting lost in an ocean of knowledge without even realising why i came to wikipedia in first place!

every year,towards the end of september, on wiki homepage, appears a mugshot of its founder jimmy wales with a beard and a look that pretty much conveys how much he has been starving to keep wikipedia alive under the caption “An appeal from jimmy wales”. it goes on say further stuff like how wikipedia is devoid of funds and how much fund they need to raise in order to keep the website running. every year, i usually donate 20$ as a small token of thanks to immense knowledge i’ve gained from it rather than thinking whether my favorite website will have enough funds to be alive on jan 1 of next year. i simply ignored the repeated mails from sue gardner asking for spreading the message thinking i’ve done my part so why should i bother bugging my friends who would probably delete it as another forward message. i was under the impression that jimmy wales’ mugshot is cool enough to fetch all the money it needs. check out the below pic to see what i’m talking about.

the art of fundraising

trust me when i say raising funds is one of the hardest things you could do. never realised how hard it is to set targets and reach target each year so that you can pursue the thing you are most passionate about. i did not even bother to think how wikipedia actually runs and how they don’t accept any ads  or analyse why they run on public servers. i was totally ignorant until i had to raise funds for an NGO ILMME shown in the screenshot above. about an year ago, i joined this fantastic NGO that is solely dedicated for a single purpose: making our planet green and a better place to live in. when i was asked to raise funds for this NGO, i volunteered myself totally and actually found myself doing something for the community and one that has nothing to do with me. i believed my pals would help me out in my noble gesture. and some of them did. some of my friends contributed generously or in some cases atleast the minimum token amount i asked. i will be eternally grateful to them. other friends even acknowledged my efforts and agreed to even raise funds for an NGO which they’ve just heard from me. and i thank them yet again. but still i could not reach the target or raise significant fund. not for lack of trying. but when it is extremely difficult for even an online bigshot like wikipedia, you can imagine how hard it must be for a newbie. however i do believe firmly that ILMME will become big one day just like greenpeace or nat geo did.  if not this year, some day it will. just like wikipedia became an integral part of my life!

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Books i enjoyed reading the most:The Mine

               Having spent some time reading some heavy duty books like catch-22 and the fountainhead, i really needed to read something that is actually fun to read without boring me to death or falling asleep. i thought of picking up “Revolution 2020” but i did not want to be judged and end up as a laughing stock! so i went in favor of this highly praised book by arnab ray and i’m glad i chose this. dark thrillers are one genre where you don’t find quality stuff written by indian authors. however, this book is high quality stuff and moves at breathtaking pace and is a steady page turner. the story begins with strange series of events that happen down a secret mine in Thar desert in rajasthan where  a group of people employed by a research facility are digging for rare minerals.  during their dig, they accidentally stumble upon a rock with significant carvings and phrases in latin and try to destroy it. after they attempt to destroy, all hell breaks loose and strange things happen to people working in that particular shaft for which there is no plausible explanation. In comes a team of researchers which include a doctor,an archaelogist,a psychologist and a specialist in industrial security systems and electronic surveillance to study this weird phenomenon and to find out whether the project can indeed go ahead further. what happens after that is something you could have never imagined and totally unexpected yet has a completely plausible explanation. the adrenaline rush that one experiences as the novel races through is maintained throughout and there is not even a single dull moment. twists and turns in the plot kept reminding me of the other great thriller i’ve read “the girl with the dragon tattoo”. at 280 pages long, this book is a must read for someone looking for thrill ride or a fun afternoon read.

Did i like it?  very much. Highly recommended.

Did i fall asleep?  Nope.

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water wars!

As i was headed for my office, i got stuck in traffic near the signal at trident hotel next to airport runway. this is no surprise in chennai as the road length is just wide enough for a bus and cycle to travel side by side thanks to chennai metro occupying half the road. only this time, the vehicle that impeded my movement was a metro water lorry and it was headed in the same direction till my office in guindy which is located right opposite to my office. the thing that bothered me the most was the number of holes near the lorry’s pipe and also the cover of the tank was left open. the problem is everytime there is a pothole( and there are one too many on GST Road) and lorry runs over it, almost a bucket of water jumps out of all the holes and drenches the people nearby. i dont mind the occasional bath on such a hot day but it made me wonder how much tamilnadu is dependent on its neighbors for water and how easily our chennai metro takes things for granted. TN is already on a war mode with kerala over mullaperiyar dam, periodic tussle with karnataka over kaveri water release and occasional tussle with andhra over krishna water. if it was a single lorry spilling water then it could be brushed aside as an isolated incident but all lorries waste shed atleast a few litres on its way to the destination. is there any solution at all? already there are predictions that dead sea will be extinct in another 50 years and you will be to walk across from jordan to israel. do we really need to do our part in making this happen faster than it is predicted?

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Hello world!

Finally putting to effect one of my new year resolutions for 2012 which is to start a blog! having followed millions of blogs and amazed by the satire and how awesome few people write and how much people adore their writings, i finally decided to drag my lazy ass to pen my thoughts which occur every now and then but sadly never find time to put it to words. people have always liked me for the links i share, trivia i find interesting and which have led many people to acquire knowledge.  this place will be a destination for all stuff that i found amazing and has made me even curious to do some research. given my penchant for travel, music, books and food and above all a huge list of foreign language cinema which i watch much frequently than regional cinema. so here i’m taking an oath to blog as frequently and make my blog as interesting as possible! Happy New year!

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