Tuesday, August 21, 2007


It is really hard when you have plenty of choices. Everyone seems to be equally exciting. Its not difficult to pick out the good ones from bad ones; but to pick the better one from a lot of good ones - a tough game. It becomes a lot tougher when you don't have any constraints at all. For me right now there are a number of project to work on. I've to chose any one. And current situation is so favorable that it won't matter for at least a year if I don't chose any project; I mean I can just fool around for a year and get paid! But practically that is, you know, never advisable.
So be it!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Culture shock

Its been two weeks now. And I am coming in terms with the situations. The things are different here. The culture, lifestyle, socialism - everything. To be honest, the society seems more organised, more professional. Thats the good part; but that makes them more self-conscious and to some extent more conservative in the thinking process. I mean, they are so organised that they don't need to use their brain for everyday situations, and thats why they become dumb if life the daily routine goes little astray. Overall, I must admit its better to be organised.
The most striking part for me was traffic. India you never think so much of traffic rules. Especially in places like Pune, Mumbai, following traffic rules may sometime causes accidents, because nobody ever obeys them. But here the story is just the opposite. The cars stop at a stop signal even if no one is around. In India if you are confident, you just cross the road dodging the traffic, forget about zebra crossing or pedestrian walk signals. But here if you do that, or rather, I feel guilty in doing that because the traffic is so so so organised and law-abiding.
Second thing that is different is what is called freedom of an individual, i.e., no one is bothered what you are doing, may it be public place, but is is your choice. No one will poke his nose unless you are doing something awfully wrong. And if you ask for help, they are ready to help. May be this is the characteristics of a small college town. Things are different in big cities, as my friend Benny was telling. Thats what I like about small towns - the homely-ness. This weekend I went to Cleveland, OH. And I liked it. An old city, big city. Old buildings, little shabby buildings. People are more casual; they are walking down the road on shabby, or rather commonplace attires, wooden houses, brick roads, and so on. It looks like it has a root. But State College is a mixed culture. Most of them are students. If you take a cross section of the streets, you will found most people are dressed carefully and consciously. They are always busy, and little more populated than a town like this should be. This town seems more urbane than it should be.
But overall, I like State College, after all this is going to be my home for coming few years.

Monday, August 13, 2007

...and the Seven Dwarfs!

The other day my good old friend Arin was desperate to watch samurai movies! He could recall only one samurai movie - that too because this samurai movie was inspiration to a big-budget Hindi movie named 'China Gate'. So he rented the Kurosawa classic 'Seven Samurai'. Though I had watched it earlier, but how can miss a second screening if its being played in home! We watched the movie together that night. Enjoyed Mifune's (Kikuchiyo) eccentric role play, Shimada's well planned strategy, Kyuzo's cool swordplay.
The next day in the same video store Arin found 'The Magnificent Seven' and readily realized it to be a western remake of last night's movie. Still charmed by the Samurai chivalry, he rented the 'Magnificent Seven' (Mag7). Again we started watching it together along with Benny, who liked Mag7 a lot because it was one of the movies he grew up with. I've heard of Mag7, its an undoubted western classic; and I liked the theme very much.
So we started. And was disappointed.
Mag7 is basically same plot set in Mexico, where poor villagers speak in English only to end the sentence with a Spanish word to let you know that they are actually Mexican! The village, which is basically supposedly a farming village is situated in the midst of arid valley with hardly any greenery surrounded by. The villagers are as dumb as they can ... they don't have any expression at all. In the first five minutes I was getting a feeling this is going to be a bad remake, and I looked up at Arin. He lets out a sigh and states, 'I'm never gonna watch a remake after I had watched the original!'
Well to be honest, we couldn't find out why Mag7 is so great. The acting is poor, the script little shaky, too much of statements in form of dialogs. Whereas in 'Seven Samurai' even the small extras have done wonderful believable acting, the script never loses its focus of defeating the bandits. Mag7 has tried to put some subplots but before the subplots mature they are abandoned (e.g., Lee's nightmare). You wonder why were these situations brought into the movie at all! I'm not mentioning the scene by scene or sometimes word by word copy of the original (e.g., closing dialogues)
The final conclusion was pretty simple. Arin had already spelt it out, 'Never watch a remake after you have watched the original!'. I agree there are some exceptions, but this is the general truth. And as per Mag7, it turned out to be Seven Dwarfs in front of the Seven Samurai.

There is epilogue. Benny now wants to see the 'Seven Samurai' and Arin wants to wash away the memory of Mag7. So we may rent 'Seven Samurai' again very soon.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

There's many a sleep ...

More than two months have passed after the last post and by that time I've learnt what the good old proverb really means. I have left my old job and jumped into something, which I thought was sure to get. But, as I mentioned... till the final day I was unsure whether I'll be able to launch my new career. As a matter of fact I was jobless, uncertain and stressed out for more than a month as one after another petty problems came up on the formal path. Now I'm an expert in all Passport and VISA hassles (Yes it had something, sorry everything to do with foreign travel)!!! Any problem in these front ... I have the expertise. Even I was seriously thinking of opening a VCS aka VISA Consulting Services if I don't get my VISA in time and be left jobless in India! But things have clicked finally.
Now I have made the first sip from the cup.