Friday, May 30, 2008

Yellow Dawn

Absolutes scared him. Finality of any sort was anathema. You could call it a commitment issue. Binding himself to half-truths was his way of life. Every morning he’d touch his tools of trade with a touch of reverence before he started. Keeping his coffee just out of arms reach, he cracked his knuckles, adjusted his glasses and pulled his chair a little further. Thus began another day at work. Sitting in front of a computer, he fired up the neurons in his brain and transported himself to a world of make-believe, a potent concoction of adventure, romance, scandal and intrigue. A world where he was God. He didn’t go there alone. Wrapped in his sub-conscious were chunks of information, names of people, and a deadline to meet. Those pieces entwined with his fertile imagination and then there was light. As if possessed, his fingers obeyed and the monitor complied as God’s words appeared: ‘Aishwarya marries a peepal tree’

P.S> I have been reading Amitabh Bachchan’s blog daily (he is far more prolific than most blogger’s I know). You may or may not agree with his ideas and clarifications, but I admire his effort. This short post was inspired by his civilized rebuttals.
P.P.S> The title is a play on Red Dawn and Yellow Journalism

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Daily Dose

We live in the age of information overload. Knowledge is power but there is a fine line that you tread in terms of the time you can invest to get the data you need. What does one consume? How much does one consume? How much is relevant? How much is accurate? What do you need to retain? What can you discard? In the democratized world of the internet, knowledge is democratized too and spread far and wide. There isn't a single source of good relevant information and one needs to hunt. I wrote to a friend of mine today morning asking him suggestions on sites he visits and blogs he reads in order to stay abreast of the latest in technology news. Its a necessary skill to have. If you need to be sufficiently aware, then you need to troll in an adroit fashion as well.

My mind went back to a post I had written in August of 2004. This listed my daily quota of browsing: sites that I would unerringly spend time on each morning to gather my daily dose of data. I am reproducing the list verbatim here:
-- TimesOfIndia (Yes, yes, it is a tabloid, but I have read their newspaper since I could read one)
-- Google News
-- New York Times
-- Mid-day (I need my dose of Mumbai-specific happenings)
-- Rediff (for news, movies, cricket)
-- Indiafm (my daily dose of Bollywood happenings)
-- Dilbert (daily dose of humor)
-- Slashdot (a brief glance into the geek world)
-- Cricinfo (there is always some cricket happening all around the world)

Here's the big surprise: four years hence, I still revisit the entire list still without any new additions (the only deletion is TimesOfIndia. It has sunk beyond redemption). Clearly this net I cast has withstood the test of time. The two sectors I think the above list doesn't cover too well are business and technology. I read the Economist, Newsweek, OutlookIndia off and on, and also have the Time magazine delivered to my place each week, but that is clearly not sufficient. The radio serves me well too, as I follow the NPR on a regular basis. The list of sites has served me well thus far and my obsessive need for knowing things is largely satisfied (it also stands me in good stead in my quiz club :-))However, I'd be interested in knowing how the rest of the world copes. Drop in a line. Tell me about your morning quota of browsing. Suggestions to add to my list are also welcome.

Friday, May 09, 2008

The Silver Screen

Light slashes
A cover of darkness
From far above.

Giants walk,
Fairies sing,
Miracles happen.

An alternate reality
Mesmerizes the devout
Four times a day