Sunday, 15 April 2012

100 years of The Titanic


We all cried when Jack just drifted off into the abyss, when his deep eyes were fading away in the cold Atlantic Ocean. Titanic was a classic and hundred years have passed since that devious day when the Unsinkable sank. A mammoth piece of ice crumbled and humbled the human arrogance that was proclaimed the floating palace. The Titanic that once symbolized wealth and dismay alike later thanks to James Cameron symbolized eternal love and the perennial human spirit. Titanic the movie we all loved and cherishes, Titanic the ship we hardly knew. The frictional presence of Jack and rose made up our dreams, but the real survivors of the terrible night were left in the folds of history textbooks.

Titanic: The Unsinkable Ship

15th August 1912, exactly an hundred years back was a dark day in the human history, At around 2:20 today early morning occurred the greatest disaster in Maritime History, One that would later become a legend on its own, The sinking of The RMS Titanic. The Largest passenger liner of its time, enjoying the kind of status that the Queen Elizabeth II cruise ship now enjoys, was an engineering marvel of the time. One that was proclaimed to be invincible, one that was destined for greatness, She did make it to the history books but for a sadder reason.

RMS Titanic 1912 port Southampton bay

The reasons for the disaster largely remain unknown. Yes! We know it hit an iceberg and sank, but why? Even with ships frantically receiving information of passing icebergs why would it head directly into it at full speed, head on? May be it was the failure of the radio receivers to recogni9ze the relay send to them by ships such as SS Californian and SS Amerika. Or was this the Captain’s failure to assess the situation and took misinformed decisions. I guess we may never know the real series of events that caused this rather unfortunate disaster. With a death toll of a little over 1500, 1514 to be exact, the disaster was the worst of its kind so far. The iconic image of the ship breaking in two in the icy waters of the Atlantic is haunting.

Titanic: The Movie ( 1991 )

Titanic movie poster by James Cameron staring Leonardo Di Caprio an Kate winslet

“Titanic is a 1997 American epic romantic historical disaster film directed, written, co-produced, and co-edited by James Cameron”. This is how the Wikipedia describes the film. A film like no other and a fractionalized love story that tells the tale of the Titanic and the emotions it carried with it to the icy depths. Apart from just being a commercial and critical success the film made its way into many hearts all around the world. Khalid Hosseini in his book the Kite runner describes how Kabul was gripping in the ‘Titanic Fever’.

Titanic: The Photo Album

RMS Titanic's propeller, Docking bay in Southampton

RMS Titanic's Magnificent Central staircase, First Class

A life boat waiting to be taken aboard rescue ship RMS Carpathia

Miss Clara Gregg Hays widow of Charles Melville Hays

RMS Titanic's construction, Docking bay in Southampton

A life boat waiting to be taken aboard rescue ship RMS Carpathia near a capsized life boat

Survivors abroad the  ship RMS Carpathia

RMS Titanic's Anonymous Passenger

RMS Titanic's Sea tests

RMS Titanic's Second class deck

RMS Titanic's design, White Star board

RMS Titanic's Boilers

Sidney Leslie Goodwin was for decades referred to as the unknown child from Titanic

The Brown Shoes used to identify Sidney Leslie GoodwinThe Orphans from Titanic

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

My Dysfunctional Family

I have no parents, I have a mother, and I have a father but no parents. In the conflicts of greater interests and in the great battles of domestic blitzkrieg I lost my parents. They must have thought I was dumb and mind numb, they must have thought I have no ears nor my eyes in-adept in the prevalent darkness, they must have thought I have not seen the fall of my family.  They must have thought I was deep asleep, wandering in dreams that every child cherish while they wage their futile battles to quench the devil’s thirst.

The times are tranquil now, the ominous silence persists, no more are there swearing and curses, no more the threatening sounds of apocalypse. The wounds have healed and the lines draw and as in all war we all lost. The battle has left scares deep in my heart, which no amount of time shall ever heal. What surprises me that they never felt to leave it, they left their love, they theft all the meanings that the institution of marriage held but still they have failed to leave each other and search happiness elsewhere. As much as I would love to have my family, I am not selfish, as much as the tales of evil steps trouble me; the hope for a happier life for my parents’ persists. They are perfect for each other, they know it or not, but in their frivolous pursuits of domination they doomed all hopes of happiness that the relation would ever bear. It’s sad that they would deem to that level of disgust that they could be no more stand the others presence within the same set of walls.

But, I am not sad, I am not devastated. When the days were dark and when the paths echoed with sinister forebodings. I clutched to my heart and believed in a brighter days. I took refuge among stacks of books and in the thought that ‘when winter is here can spring be far behind”. I collected my fallen self, patched what was left, made a pact with myself. I pledge myself that this is not what I shall become, I made it clear to myself that I should learn, I decided to be not like my parents when a world full of children promised to follow their parents way. I knew I would be alone and silence was my best bet, it must have hurt them bad had I took any other path. I assured myself to suffer in silence and rejuvenate when it’s all over. I went into the fade where all my sabbaticals had but two guests, me and myself.

This was an escape a less violent one, one of pure suffering and at the end the promises came true. There was spring, and there were flowers and there were butterflies. The was the fairies and there were the rainbows. But, just one sadness that I think will persist in this world of much bliss. The melancholic sense of the absence of a hand to hold on to. The poignant fact that I have no shoulder to lean on to. Out in this new world, I was to fend on my own, build it all up from scratch. But I was happy, I was peaceful.

I know that many will pity for the misfortunes I had, But I tell you don’t be. Be happy that I am what I chose to be. At the end of this very difficult choice lied one rather rare gift. The gift was the ability to let go and I think now I can after all. This blog is the final act in the rather elaborate ritual of severance.


Saturday, 7 April 2012

TED: The Ideas Worth Spreading

Technology Entertainment Design (TED) was an idea put forward by Richard Saul Wurman and Harry Marks in the year 1984, they believed that the idea had the power and potential to change the world. The provided the entrepreneurs of tomorrow a platform to present, scrutinize and evolve their idea into actions.  Held annually since the year 1990 it has housed some very serious talents and some very wonderful ideas. From Al Gore to Jimmy Wales, Legend after legend has donned this stage, where innovation was a mere habit.

The TED mission statement reads on.

“We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately,
The world. So we're building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and
inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious
souls to engage with ideas and each other.”

Every time you hear a TED talk it leaves you in awe, awe at the progress of technology, awe at the profoundness of human thought and awe at the magnificence of humanity’s creative abundance. Each video, portraying an interesting idea that could possibly change the world tomorrow. A cool conference of highly successful people, putting their head together to solve tomorrow’s big problems. What strikes me most about the TED conferences are the sheer scope and scale of the ideas. People inventing state of the art technologies and people finding innovative ways to work with humanities age old problems.

Pranav Mistri with his 6th Sense Device

That’s all about TED in a nutshell. I suggest you see a TED video often, If you have never you should see one right now. Just to stay in touch with the humanitarian and innovative side of the humanity.

Find more about TED at

Friday, 6 April 2012

An Obituary

The past week was not so particularly good; with two funerals in a row you can expect anything from it either. I hate funerals for a start, they make me rather uncomfortable. But where I stand different from the vast majority of people is on point of perspective, I hate funerals not because I have a hard time understanding life and contemplating death and neither because those are the moments that reveal the evanescence of existence. I hate funerals because of the way it is celebrated rather mourned. I believe death has to be celebration not a moment of sadness, it is a moment if liberation the point of the ultimate nirvana.

May I think so because  nobody close enough to me have so far died to cause me a traumatic state of mind or neither have I connected so well with the great people who have passed away so far in my close kith and kin. I do understand and uphold the possibility of a complete crackdown in ideology whilst someone so dear does pass away. If any do hold a stance not in unison to me do take me for a nubile and let it go.

I am writing this as a memorial for the souls whom I knew and did not have the good will to know before they disposed their mortal selves.  The first of it was the father of a friend, rather an acquaintance. I must say it was a very bad day to get to know him His father’s funeral is by no way the best of days to know a person and understand him. It’s so strange yet so true that in such dire moments we see people with no makeup, they are clear like crystal. Amidst the broken mind and the fl9owing tears they don’t have the time to put up a facet.  They are bared inside out and all they crave is a pat on their shoulder and a shoulder to rest on.

He was a wonderful person, teacher and personality, Not that I know him personally in the eyes of my friend and his mother I saw what a human he was, a true noble soul. In the words of anger that they uttered with divine disgust I was the loving father he was and in their omniscient silence I saw what and how much he meant to them. After all what could a man what from his short mortal stay than to leave a legacy behind, not in big books of history or in bronze statues but in the hearts of men and women whom he lived with and shared his life and its worth with. A man of incalculable value and an owner of a wide heart. May he rest in peace and may his family rejoice in the memories he left behind for them.

Next to depart was a person of such adorable nature, grandmother of my roommates, a very special person to him hence a very special person to me. I have seen her, been in her presence hardly minutes yet those moments shine through the kaleidoscope of my mind. She was a real women with an almost divine aura about her. I don’t want to talk more about her as I know that my friend will obviously read it and it’s hard enough for him I don’t want to make it any harder.  I really wish he didn’t read it at all.

It’s unbelievable isn’t it that in every second almost somebody very dear and real to somebody just cease to exist, some we know many we don’t know. Death is a ubiquitous truth that happens with no warning, no pattern nor any premonitions and yet its remains the most beautiful of all things that could happen to a person. Death is just the end of a dream we call life and death is an awakening into a world beyond the boundaries of this dream we call reality. Death is never an end it’s just the beginning of another existence.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Mile Sur Mera Thumara

One for the sake of the old times, when all we had was Doordarshan and its occasionally broadcasted patriotic songs. This one was a jewel among the many that would pop up occasionally and that never fails to ignite in us the feeling of brotherhood.

How simpler can it ever be to say that we are one and our voice is one. Mile Sur Mera Thumara was a concept developed by the Lok Seva Sanchar Parishad in 1988, But this particular song was composed by Ashok Patki and written by Piyush Pandey. The video managed to highlight the rich diversity and linguistic differences and the integrity that prevailed in spite of that in our nation of unity and diversity. 

The newer version is nothing but a shadow the original, its such a shame that in spite of all the rich talent we have we are unable to reiterate the spirit of this song again. Somewhere along the line they lost track of  what the purpose of the song was and what it stood for and what it means to the billion people of this nation.

The Lyrics for all who wants to just sing along

[hi] milē sur merā tumhārā, tō sur banē hamārā
sur kī nadiyān̐ har diśā sē, bahte sāgar men̐ milē
bādalōn̐ kā rūp lēkar, barse halkē halkē
milē sur merā tumhārā, tō sur banē hamārā
milē sur merā tumhārā
[ks] Chaain taraz tai myain taraz, ik watt baniye saayen taraz
[pa] tērā sur milē mērē sur dē nāl, milkē baṇē ikk navān̐ sur tāl
[hi] milē sur merā tumhārā, tō sur banē hamārā
[sn] mun̐hin̐jō sur tun̐hin̐jē sān̐ piyārā milē jad̤ahin̐, gīt asān̐jō madhur tarānō baṇē tad̤ahin̐
[ur] sur ka darya bahte sagar men mile
[pa] bādalān̐ dā rūp laikē, barsan haulē haulē
[ta] Isaindhal namm iruvarin suramum namadhagum
Dhisai veru aanalum aazhi ser aarugal Mugilai
mazhaiyai pozhivadu pol isai
Nam isai
[kn] nanna dhvanige ninna dhvaniya, sēridante namma dhvaniya
[te] nā svaramu nī svaramu sangamamai, mana svaranḡa avatarinchē
[ml] eṉṯe svaravum niṅṅkaḷoṭe svaravum, ottucērnnu namoṭe svaramāy
[bn] tōmār śūr mōdēr śūr, sriṣṭi kōruk ōikōśūr
[as] sriṣṭi hauk aikyatān
[or] tuma āmara svarara miḷana, sriṣṭi kari chālu ekā tāna
[gu] maḷē sur jō tārō mārō, banē āpṇō sur nirāḷō
[mr] mājhyā tumchyā juḷtā tārā, madhur surānchyā barastī dhārā
[hi] sur kī nadiyān̐ har diśā sē, bahte sāgar men̐ milē
bādalōn̐ kā rūp lēkar, barse halkē halkē
milē sur merā tumhārā, tō sur banē hamārā