Monday, January 29, 2007

This vaahiyat movie called Water

On Water, the movie. At first, I thought I would type in something much more worthwhile than a low grade movie that passes for art. Like a discussion I had with a colleague about vi editor. Probably, :) I will do post that later.

But then this really made me wonder -

Now I do agree that widows were exploited. It existed then, it still might be. But how common is it, as compared to say, 1800-1890. We sure are not in favour of such practices.

The point about movies in India is that - you should not be uni-directional or obsessed with the topic. I dont think widow exploitation has been covered for the first time in Hindi movies. I dont watch much of them these days, but I do remember this topic being touched upon. But a movie made totally on widow exploitation !! And worse, it is a film made by a filmmaker with dubious credentials, so things dont help.

It tries to give an image where anyone looking to exploit widows must visit Varanasi. It is all about presentation. The movie tries to portray that this practice is widespread in India, when in reality it is not. The movie might be so unidimensional and obsessed with the topic of widows exploitation, that it sure would give that impression. Like I have watched Fire, it sure gave that kind of impression. That of a religious Hindu not interested in sex, and his wife making out with other women.

Coming back to the question of widow exploitation, I have seen and met many widows, some of them my friends' mothers, and well, they are respected in their respective families. Nor did my friends tell me about any such thing happening, when I asked them about it.

I also doubt if the practice was prevelent only in Varanasi. It might have existed at a lot other places. But why Varanasi as the center of the story. Just why Varanasi. Has it got something to do with the significance of the place? Would she make a movie on Islam and the abhorrent practices that they still follow? And shoot the movie in Jama Masjid Delhi or some makbara in Lucknow. No, I dont think so. She might portray the location to be anything else, say like Patna or Delhi or Agra or Jaipur. But no, she wont budge ! Is Varanasi your target, Deepa Mehta? Or maybe she would have chosen Sangam at Allahabad, Tirupati, Haridwar or Kanyakumari for her venture, going by her inclinations. Going by her actions, I have every reason to believe she wants controversy. Maybe I am wrong, but I tend to go by logic, facts and reasoning. Not emotional rhetoric and hot air. And her actions seem to suggest that she does not have good intentions.

I doubt Deepa Mehta's intentions. She has given us every reason to do so, right from Fire. For instance, we are ok with lesbianism on the screen, but why insist on the names of the characters as Radha and Sita. I watched the movie, and found it in bad taste. And for all her lying and crying, the names of the characters were Sita and Radha. I have also watched parts of Earth, and I wasnt interested enough.

Deepa Mehta's movies sound shrill. Its like she is shouting in our ears. No, its not social awakening, its plain downright irritating. The media might think that she is a great filmmaker, but I find her downright dull. Use some black and white scenes, filled with fog, naked poor kids with running noses frolicking in water, the mandatory snake charmers, and slow motion, and voila, you are a great (f)art film maker. Her movies are generally in bad taste. If she had put her message across much more tastefully and with much more sensitivity, I dont think she would have faced such opposition.

I admit I have not watched the movie. But going by all those news reports and reviews on TV, papers and the Internet, I know the basic plot and theme. I have commented on the facts that I am sure of, so dont ask me to watch the movie and then post. I am not reviewing the movie, I am talking about why this movie should be avoided. I would have shredded the movie to bits if I had seen it :-)

Friday, January 26, 2007

Eclipse startup error

If you are getting an error dialog titled "Incompatible JVM" when you are starting up Eclipse 3.2 - Just make sure that your PATH points to the correct JVM.. If you have more than one JVMs installed, the correct JVM path should come earlier in the PATH variable. Else you would be thinking - Hey, I have the correct JVM on the PATH, then why is it not finding it.

You need to point to the correct folder, which contains java.exe.

Eclipse 3.2 (IIRC, also 3.1 and 3.0) needs atleast Java 1.4.2 installed. It would just not work with anything lower than that. So when I saw that I do have Java 1.4.2 installed and its present in the PATH variable, still it tells me that the JVM is incompatible, it really got me confused.

My PATH variable is as below:

C:\Sun\AppServer\jdk\bin;D:\oracle\ora92\bin;C:\Program Files\Oracle\jre\1.3.1\bin;C:\Program Files\Oracle\jre\1.1.8\bin;%SystemRoot%\system32;%SystemRoot%;%SystemRoot%\System32\Wbem

Earlier, the "C:\Sun\AppServer\jdk\bin" (the path to my 1.4.2 JDK) was at the end. So it tried to use the java.exe on "C:\Program Files\Oracle\jre\1.3.1\bin" (The first java.exe that it finds in the path, when looking for programs). And it invariably failed.

To correct this, make sure your java 1.4.2 (or higher) installation comes first on the path. Eclipse will try to use the first Java runtime that it can find.

If you have only a single JDK (search for javac.exe or java.exe on your computer, to find out the number), and you get this error, you need to upgrade to atleast Java 1.4.2.


Sabarish, in the comments section, points out using another way. Using the -vm option to specify what JVM should Eclipse use.

To run eclipse in this manner, enter below in the run dialog. This is the path as per my machine, the paths would change as per your machine.

d:\eclipse\eclipse.exe -vm C:\Sun\AppServer\jdk\bin\javaw

Or simply, create a shortcut to eclipse.exe, rightclick on the shortcut, go to properties. Go to the shortcut tab, and specify the above command in the textbox labelled Target and apply. This would make it convinient.

The best editor

Discussions (and heated fanboy debates) on vi vs Editplus vs Emacs vs Eclipse vs Microsoft Visual Studios vs others are always exhilirating. Even if you dont come to any conclusion (like most discussions on desi blogosphere), you learn some tips and tricks.

Personally , I prefer pspad ( or even Notepad (If you find the Lucida Console font irritating on Notepad, change the font. You wont mind Notepad much then) for light editing. And Eclipse for some serious and heavy coding.

Though vi is quite good, I still find it a bit cumbersome. The learning curve is quite steep. I keep forgetting some commands. For using vi effectively, you need practice. And practice. And more practice.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The ant and the grasshopper

This is something I got in an email forward.. I dont know who the true author is, the google search returns over 10 links. Or maybe, it started off as a forward in the first place.



The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant's a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter so he dies out in the cold.


The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant's a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.NDTV, BBC, CNN show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.

The World is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be that this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Arundhati Roy stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house.

Medha Patkar goes on a fast along with other grasshoppers demanding that grasshoppers be relocated to warmer climates during winter.

Amnesty International and Koffi Annan criticize the Indian Government for not upholding the fundamental rights of the grasshopper.

The Internet is flooded with online petitions seeking support to the grasshopper (many promising Heaven and Everlasting Peace for prompt support as against the wrath of God for non-compliance).

Opposition MP's stage a walkout. Left parties call for "Bharat Bandh" in West Bengal and Kerala demanding a Judicial Enquiry. CPM in Kerala immediately passes a law preventing Ants from working hard in the heat so as to bring about equality of poverty among ants and grasshoppers.

Lalu Prasad allocates one free coach to Grasshoppers on all Indian Railway Trains, aptly named as the 'Grasshopper Rath'.

Finally, the Judicial Committee drafts the Prevention of Terrorism Against Grasshoppers Act [POTAGA]", with effect from the beginning of the winter.

Arjun Singh makes Special Reservation for Grass Hopper in educational Insititutions & in Govt Services.

The ant is fined for failing to comply with POTAGA and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the Government and handed over to the grasshopper in a ceremony covered by NDTV.

Arundhati Roy calls it "a triumph of justice". Lalu calls it 'Socialistic Justice'. CPM calls it the 'revolutionary resurgence of the downtrodden'

Koffi Annan invites the grasshopper to address the UN General Assembly.


The ant has since migrated to the US and set up a multi billion dollar company in silicon valley.100s of grasshoppers still die of starvation despite reservation somewhere in India...

Glaring Inconsistencies - 2

Why are SC/ST/OBC being given reservations - Because supposedly our ancestors committed atrocities on them? (Our means some of us)

Why are Muslims being given reservations - Because they committed atrocities on us (that too, regardless of our caste)?

Sachar = Moron

DumbedDown School of Journalism

Here, writing about the racist remarks on Shilpa Shetty, some journo who managed to clear HSC and write good English (with the help of the MS word thesaurus of course) rants thus...

>>> Admit it, not much. Even the most enlightened of us would hardly dream of letting our cooks join us at our dining tables. Or allow our sweepers to sit on our sofas. Or, for that matter, provide our maids with a decent bed.

I wonder which conservative British housewife allows maids to sit on her sofa or allow her to join them at the dining table...
Ok, we are at fault in many matters, but come on.. dont invent charges. Whats happened to our journos.. I really like that Braking News parody on Channel V. So true.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Glaring inconsistencies

Some points from the Sachar Report.

So, we're told, for instance, that while the Muslims are 13.4 per cent of the country's population, they're only 3 per cent of the country's IAS population, 1.8 per cent of the IFS and 4 per cent of the IPS, and so on. But since all such jobs are manned by those who're at least graduates, ideally the normalisation that is done has to be vis-a-vis this. The report, however, just cites a series of numbers, but refuses to put them in context. In 2001, 42.5 per cent of those who passed high school were Hindus and a much lower 23.9 per cent were Muslims -- in which case, it's hardly discriminatory that a lot more Hindus are college graduates.


Just 1.3 per cent of those in the IIMs are Muslims, we're told, but another figure in the table explains that of those who qualified for the interview and group discussion, just 1.4 per cent were Muslims!

Sachar says - moslems underrepresented in jobs, government as well as private.

I say - If there are not enough graduates amongst moslems, how are we to blame for the underrepresentation?

Sachar = jerk

Amazing parody of bollywood movies

Watch this.. just watch this.. Check out the dance moves..


PS - Another reason why I dont really watch much Bollywood movies.. Too much artificiality.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Another example of our pseudo-secularism.

Another confirmation of the fact that the motive of the muslims is to reduce us to a minority, and wipe us out. And we still believe in secularism, dont we? Of course, its a holy cow.

A UP minister asks muslims to have as many kids as possible.

And also, he is willing to hand out money for the same. Any guesses about the minister's religion?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Idols found in Russia

New Year revelry gone bad

Another molestation in public.

That is what exactly that happens when you allow slums to spread all over our cities. Going by the pics in the websites, the people who committed the dastardly act looked like slumdwellers, by their looks and dressing. Now, would we even be sympathetic to their cause.

Slums of Mumbai are teeming with underworld elements. Most criminal activities take place around slums. It would be all right (well, not reallyl) if they confined their criminal activities amongst themselves, but now, they go out and harass in public places.

All right all right. Not all slum dwellers are criminals. But they are most likely to be criminals, and for no fault of ours. First of all, nobody is forcing anyone to live there. Slums are illegal in the first place. While we have to go through endless paperwork, approvals and government harassment to build our dwellings, these people just set up shanties and they are regularized!!

Well, garib log hai.. jaane do.


If the government is ready to demolish *urban* settlements like Ulhasnagar established over 50 years ago (the fact that the place has a municipal corporation means you recognize it as an entity), inhabiting people who pay taxes and follow the laws, then it should have no problem demolishing blatantly illegal slums that came up 5 years ago.

Now while, it is considered ok to demolish urban settlements since the inhabitants are supposedly rich, they can afford another home, its considered anti-poor to demolish slums. The whole point that all citizens are equal is conviniently forgotten. Being poor is not even a slightly good excuse for committing crime. (Neither are these excuses - being a minority, uneducated, instigated by somebody else etc)

I sure wonder whether we people even have a sense of relativity, when we try to equalize one crime by an upper class with 10 crimes by the slumdwellers.

Indias biggest villain 2006

Star News recently carried out a survey, asking users to call in or SMS in their responses.

Who is the biggest zero of 2006.

1. Shibu Soren
2. Manu Sharma
3. Santosh Singh
4. Rahul Mahajan.

The winner - Rahul Mahajan with 50% votes polled. Now, I dont really think that such surveys with limited responses are a good measure, but it does indicate a general trend.

Now, lets see the merits of the candidates to get the prize.
1. Shibu Soren - JMM leader from Bihar. Need I say more? Ok, involved in murder.
2. Manu Sharma - Unless you dont have a TV at home, you would know that he is the killer of a model, Jessica Lall.
3. Santosh Singh - Raped and killed a Delhi University law student.
4. Rahul Mahajan - A drug addict who consumed heroin instead of cocaine and landed up in hospital.

I dont have any hopes from the country, when a drug addict with no criminal tendencies is voted the biggest villain of the year, over murderers and rapists...

Wishlist additions 2

A Rs. 1.5 crore laptop.

What about the configuration. The upgradability. The components that go inside. The weight. The battery life. Any extra features over the wonderful Compaq v6102 series. (Go for the v6102. A very good deal in recent times, in case you are short on cash and need a good feature rich notebook, with decent graphics. Rs 50,000 approx).

Yeah yeah, I would like it. For showoff, not actual work.

The poor Yoga teacher

14 year old kid dies at Swami Ramdev's Yoga camp

Guess they will make it out to be another reason why the good Swami should be arrested.

Like they say, it should be the responsibility of the person to get himself checked up by a doc, before attempting yoga.

I doubt if the police will arrest a gym owner if someone dies exercising at the gym.

I dont know whether he is good or bad, but for sure, his morning TV health tips have helped me a lot.