Categories
pop culture

The Russian folk song and its Hindi cover “Darling” in “7 khoon maaf”

A favourite song I often listen to a lot, is “Darling”, from the movie “7 khoon maaf

The movie is based on a short story by Ruskin Bond titled “Susanna’s seven husbands”. The song “Darling” is basically a Hindi cover version of the famous Russian folk song “Kalinka“.

The song has a speedy tempo and its tempo increases consistently over and over again.

It is performed ever so brilliantly by Usha Uthup and Rekha Bharadwaj.

Here is how the original goes if you are wondering.

It is a tune you might here with the Russia theme for the Civilization VI game and also Tetris uses Kalinka.

Usha Uthup’s brilliance

Getting back to Usha Uthup who sang in “7 khoon maaf”, I recently saw the movie Bombay to Goa. The story is rather whimsical and the comedy formulaic at times.

But there is this brilliant bit of Usha Uthup flipping back and forth between two different songs.

Categories
WordCamps

Visiting WordCamp Nagpur and speaker slides

This is my second visit to the Nagpur and both have been thanks to attending a WordCamp in the city.

I was spoke at the event on “Open Source Citizenship: What you get and what we gain!”
The “you” being the individual and the “we” being all of us using WordPress.

After the session, I got a lot of questions over GPL license and how it is applied to software and rights it covers for developers.

Categories
Uncategorized

Yuvraj Singh: Swagger and Inspiration

Today Yuvraj Singh announced his retirement.

He was known to typify the man who walked on the field with swagger, played with flamboyance, and showed ability that borders on genius.

Credits

Who can forget his 6 sixes against England during the inaugural T20 World Cup in South Africa.

But the most enduring memory was Yuvraj Singh, who was often being criticised as a bit of a has been in 2011, come out and play the best cricket of his life. It was not surprising that when Indian became World Champs in 2011 in Mumbai – Yuvraj was the man of the series.

But the saga had just started. News trickled out that Yuvraj had been sick during the tournament. Over the next year, he fought lung cancer and with chemotherapy he survived and beat cancer.

He did not just beat cancer, he managed to get back to cricket and play at the highest level all over again. His international career after his comeback was patchy but is the most inspiring part of his career and a testimony to mental strength and courage.

Categories
books

Being Mortal

I discovered this book thanks to a couple of podcasts, I came across. Also a cousin whose taste in books I quite like, highly recommended it.

The podcasts had Atul Gawande, sagaciously explain the issues around caring for the old and infirm. Atul Gawande brings in a lot of data, a lot of empathy and accepts that a lot of medicine is work in progress.

Fair warning, there are plenty of triggers in this book, as it does tackle a difficult topic. The topic of growing old, or falling sick and being mortal.

There are some beautiful and profound insights in the book. The writing is often arresting and sometimes beautiful.

Below is one of my favourites from the book

As our time winds down, we all seek comfort in simple pleasures — companionship, everyday routines, the taste of good food, the warmth of sunlight on our faces. We become less interested in the rewards of achieving and accumulating, and more interested in the rewards of simply being. Yet while we may feel less ambitious, we also become concerned for our legacy. And we have a deep need to identify purposes outside ourselves that make living feel meaningful and worthwhile.

From Being Mortal
Categories
pop culture

What’s really important in your life?

A couple of days ago, I met a friend with whom I went on a very long walk. We walked for over 3 hours, waiting for breakfast, coffee later and some cheesecake by noon. There is something great about walking and talking with a friend for hours. For some reason there is a lot of clarity and elasticity in thought while thinking about things during a walk.

So I wondered if the best way to enjoy my walk was not just walk to music but also listen to a podcast and think about things. Today I loaded listened to Atul Gawande and Tom Jennings talking about mortality.

There is a lot to take away from that podcast with quotes like

What is turning out to be the powerful way of actually having this conversation is, you put the pills down, and you talk to the patient and you say: ‘What’s really important in your life?’

While listening to it can tear you up a bit, especially if you have lost someone, but it has a lot of amazing insights into how we view our work and how it can make a difference.

Categories
Uncategorized

The November 2018 List

A list of things I am consuming and at times reflecting on through the month of November 2018

  1. Printed Newspapers – Since the end of 2015, I have not really subscribed to the printed newspaper. This month I moved to a new flat and subscribed to the Mumbai editions of The Hindu and The Indian Express. There is just something edifying about reading a newspaper first thing in the morning.
  2.  Bad Movies – I saw a few bad movies. But the Marathi film starring Madhuri Dixit called Bucket List was a terrible waste of time. Another bad movie was the Ballad of Buster Scruggs on Netflix. It had some good moments but overall quite terrible.
  3. Outlaw King This movie on Netflix about Robert the Bruce was good and well made. Captain Kirk (new one) makes a decent Robert the Bruce. The historical is about the rebellion by Robert the Bruce after the death of William Wallace. It has some historical inaccuracies but can be forgiven. Fun fact: The movie Braveheart was about William Wallace but in Scottish history “Brave heart” was almost always referred to Robert the Bruce.
  4. Narcos – Mexico: Well the 4th season on Narcos is not as exciting as the first two. But still good if you are a fan.
  5. Wire ties – I ordered some wire ties. Mainly some velcro based small bands that can be used to tie up and keep in place all those million charger wires. I also bought some twist tie wire spool. I wonder why I never used these before in my life!
  6. New Apps – I settled on using Todoist for tracking what I need to do everyday. It works great across platforms. Also experimented with Headspace for learning how to meditate.
  7. Shivaji the Grand Rebel – A book but David Kincaid written in the 1930s is a interesting book. By no means a great historical book but is a good read for a synopsis on the life and times of the Maratha king.
  8. Visit to a dentist – I had a terrible toothache. I kept putting a trip to the dentist away for almost 5 years now. But this was the month I finally made my first ever trip to the dentists. I found out that its not as horrible as I thought it would be.
Categories
Uncategorized

Two Years!

It is two years today.

I still wake up some nights with a start thinking about that horrible and terrible night. An ambulance siren far away is often almost always a trigger. But I have come to terms with her loss much better than I thought I ever would.

The first year, I missed her a lot! But was thankful at times that she did not have to see a company I had founded closing, basically going broke and in debt. But I have sorely missed her last year while getting married, getting a new job, doing so many fun things as a family with my dad and sister. This year, has been one of the best years of my life and mom has missed it!

<3 you mom.

Categories
Uncategorized

The October 2018 List

I am trying something new – which is to write a list of things I am consuming and at times reflecting on through the month of October 2018

  1. Recomendo – A really nice newsletter. The point is simple – a newletter via email that recommends 6 different things. These could be a movie, television series, book, an online article to read or even a life hack.
  2. Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds or PUBG – A multiplayer shooter game. I find myself addicted to it, that said its not as addictive either – I can easily not play it for a couple of days. It’s available on Steam, Android and iOS
  3. Afternoon Naps – I have started to take short afternoon naps, usually around 20 mins. These are really great in getting some brain rest going, also it is a lot more relaxing physically than just lying down on a bed.
  4. Atul Gawande on The Path to Perpetual Progress – This podcast was really nice one on the Knowledge project. Atul Gawande popular for his Checklist Manifesto and other books, was recently in the news for being selected as the new CEO of a healthcare company started by Warren Buffet, Jeff Bezos and others.
  5. Raja Rasoi aur anya kahaniya – A Netflix documentary series on food from around India. While this is a show on history, it explores the history of all the really nice things we eat all around India.
  6. Behave: The Biology of Humans at our Best and Worst – Is a nice thick book that can be a bit tedious at times. I was really attracted to reading this book because of a few videos and particularly this article on “free will being basically an illusion” that the book covers.
  7. Bluetooth Headphones from Seinheiser – While I always thought spending on a big headphone to listen to music while working was a bit of a waste. But living near a construction site and a train line, I finally gave in and spent a bit of money. Noise cancelling headphones  + bluetooth are awesome.
  8. Dil se re – So I usually listen to a playlist. But I started listen to this old classic from 1999 – on repeat to get started with the day usually. I am not sure if this song repeat habit is good, bad or  ¯_(ツ)_/¯  — but I quite liked re-connecting with this old classic from the great AR Rahman.
  9. Sanjay Dutt and Sanju: I was a fan of Sanjay Dutt growing up. A bollywood action star and toxic masculinity, what’s there not to like for a teenaged boy. I saw his biopic and found the entire it’s media fault narrative disappointing. Sanjay Dutt’s life surely is quite incredible for its ups and downs but the movie on it, reduced it to an insipid narrative.
Categories
Uncategorized

A haircut, a cola and a Test match

Recently, I watched in bits and pieces, India winning a test match against England on television. I am one of those cricket tragics, who watches only test matches. The rest I feel does not have enough context. I was thinking a bit about why I think of the long form game with such romance. And I remembered a very blurry memory from my childhood.

I remember as a child (and that would be the 80s) getting a haircut from the local barber shop. The cricket match was playing on a grainy television set in the shop. The great West Indies team were hurting the Indian team (sometimes quite literally with their fast bowling attack) but everyone in the barber shop was egging our cricketers along, at the same time praising the opposition’s quality and excellence. My dad having with a general receding hairline had his haircut in a few minutes. Then it would be my turn. Though I love the game of cricket, I preferred the usual soft toned Mohammad Rafi songs that usually saloons played instead of the West Indies bowling at Indian batsman.

Why you might ask?

Well, the guy with scissors would mutter a cautious word to the Indian batsman. Snip, Snip, Snip he would go around my ears and suddenly groan “Play straight, play properly. Don’t throw your wicket away”.

“Yes, please follow your advice. Don’t cut off my ear now” – I wish I had the courage to say that.

That particular day, I hated the cricket great Kapil Dev. He was not the cautious kind. If someone bounced a ball at 90 mph at this head, he was going to hook it out for a six. Sometimes he would miss, sometimes he would flamboyantly smack it out of the ground for six. While it was all riveting, I hated him for making this man with deadly sharp scissors, very excited. Kapil Dev was getting him excitedly shouting sometimes in admonishment and sometimes in pure joy.

After that near death experience at the barber shop, my dad would take me to the nearest provision store and we would share a cold drink. It was always a bottle of Thumsup. Getting a Thumsup after a haircut, was our tradition. Apparently it was older than even before I could begin to form proper words.

We would walk back home and as a family watch a slow moving and detailed drama called Test cricket. Kapil Dev, Viv Richards, Malcolm Marshall would usually write unusual twists and turns that made watching a whole day’s game worth the time spent.

Categories
Uncategorized

Mr. Ambassador, you say light at the end of the tunnel, but how long is the tunnel?

Over the past week or so, I have been watching this riveting, well edited documentary series, namely “The Vietnam War: A film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick

I like documentaries by Ken Burns and hence started to check this one out now that it’s available on Netflix.

Ambassador Elsworth Bunker during the Vietnam war suggested that they were now looking at the light at the end of the tunnel.

The interviewer replied “Mr. Ambassador, you say light at the end of the tunnel, but how long is the tunnel?”

The political bluster, the terrifying ego of an empire willing to send thousands of their young into war and death and millions of their so called enemy, the sheer resoluteness of a people – who has just won their fight against colonialism are some of the narratives captured very well.

I am only half way through it but really liking it. Also quite disgusted by much of what it reveals.

That said I wonder what people from Vietnam think of such documentaries? 

Do they think of this as an indulgent America putting balm on their own wounds from a war, while more or less forgetting the lessons from that war?

About the title:

Ambassador Elsworth Bunker during the Vietnam war suggested that they were now looking at the light at the end of the tunnel.

The interviewer replied “Mr. Ambassador, you say light at the end of the tunnel, but how long is the tunnel?” – episode 6 of the documentary.