Happy Independence Day to all :-)
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Friday, August 10, 2007
Monday, July 30, 2007
Thursday, July 05, 2007
I've joined the design team for the Entrepreneurship Cell at IIM Calcutta. This my first poster for them. The logo at top right is also designed by me. The caption, "What goes my daddy?", is the campus translation for "Mere baap ka kya jaata hai?" :-).
The idea was to catch attention of all the facchas (using the caption) and inspire them to attend the club crasher. The writeup is most likely taken from some Steve Jobs' speech. Fits well tho'.
Thus spake Varun Singh at 7/05/2007
Monday, June 25, 2007
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Went to Edinburgh, Scotland. The trip was a dampner, mainly due to bad weather and somewhat due to our bad luck. We wanted to hire a car and drive & enjoy the beautiful country side of Scotland. Couldn't do since we didn't have any credit cards on us. It might have worked with our debit cards also, we didn't have the pin numbers! The highlight of the visit was our trek up the Aurthur's Seat (which I abandoned mid-way :-). But it's a great town and nice place to visit. May be some other time I'll make a better visit to Scotland and spend more time.
1) You can visit Switzerland on UK work permit, but 3 months' work permit won't do.
2) £80 can get you round trip to Geneva with Easyjet.com.
3) Easyjet.com refund in case you want to/have to cancel.
Thus spake Varun Singh at 5/13/2007
Proud to present - Deja Vu. A film by IITB alum, Anshul Singhal, dealing with the issue of suicides at the campuses. The film has been received very warmly, it seems.
So impressed was Bollywood screenplay writer and actor Ranjit Kapoor (of Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron and Kabhi Haan, Kabhi Na fame) with the film that he said after the premiere, "With a little bit of trimming, the film can actually be sent to Cannes. I thought I would view Deja Vu a bit patronisingly, but this film has taught me a thing or two."While I'm not totally convinced that the suicides were totally due to the academic pressures, any step towards addressing them is appreciable. And what better way than a film by friendly neighbourhood directors & actors.
I tried searching for the movie on youtube and all, but obviously it isn't uploaded over there. They are planning to send it to various national and international film fests with the active support of IIT. Great!
In a way, they are living my dream. Me and couple of friends are also very enthu about film-making and likes. Our music video - Early Days @ Joka - was our first foray in this field. It was frantic! We didn't start with a proper script or anything; most of our ideas evolved while shooting and we learnt a lot about it, while filming. But it was fun too. We had a great time as a team! We did shoot lots of redundent footage, which now won't see the light, most likely.
Anyway, don't mind the ramblings. Looking forward, we are getting together again in June and planning to work on some short fillers, advertisments and kinds. One constraint we face is the camera. We shoot with Sreeni's panasonic and tho' we still have to try a lot with its controls, I doubt it has all that professional jazz to offer. Another constraint is the lack of actors; at the campus we can find people within certain age groups. If the story demands some child or old people, we don't have any way to get 'em. Anyway, these certainly won't dampen our spirits and we shall keep trying. You keep watching this space.
P.S. : Jagmohan Mundra (of recent Provoked fame) is the bigger name in film-making from IIT Bombay. I hope Anshul will go on to be the bigger name eventually!
Thursday, April 19, 2007
"जे तो घनो ही अच्छो हो गयो रे ताऊ! इब तू हिंदी में भी ब्लॉगर को युज्ज कर सके है।"
हाँ भाई, हाँ. पता है कि पुरानी न्यूज़ है, पूरी दुनिया को पता है। मैंने भी देखा था कभी तो, पर आज मेरे घनिष्ट मित्र स्वामी हग्नेश दास कि ये पोस्ट देख के दिल जिगर गुर्दे फेफड़े मचल उठे। तमन्ना जाग उठी कि मैं भी हिंदी में लिखूं। एक ज़माना था, मैंने भी हिंदी ब्लोग शुरू किया था। अब अलग ब्लोग तो चलने से रहा, यहीं पर हिंदी शुरू कर रहा हूँ। वैसे हिंदी ब्लोग्गिंग इस गूगल टूल की मोहताज नहीं, इसके आने से काफी समय पहले से ही हिंदी ब्लोग्गिंग का परचम पुरजोर लहरा रहा है। अक्षरग्राम पर सक्रीय नारद आपको बहुतेरे हिंदी ब्लोग्स की लिंक्स देगा जो की content में अंग्रेजी ब्लोग्स से कम नहीं हैं।
पर एक बात तो है, हिंदी ब्लोग्गेर्स अक्सर क्लिष्ट हिंदी का प्रयोग करते हैं, जो कि आम बोल-चाल वाली हिंदुस्तानी भाषा से थोडा हट के है। मानो या ना मानो, उर्दू, अरबी की ही तरह अंग्रेजी और कई पश्चिमी भाषाओं के भी काफी अलफ़ाज़ हिंदी में इस क़दर मिल चुके हैं की उन्हें अलग करना सही नहीं होगा। जैसे, बस, ट्रेन, सिगरेट आदि। अब बचपन में सबने इनके हिंदी शब्द सुनें होंगे और हँसे होंगे, पर कोई ये नही कहता होगा कि "सवेरे लौह पथ गामिनी, छुक-छुक वाहिनी से चले जायेंगे!" खैर।
अब एक unrelated बात, सबने देखा होगा, हर बिल्डिंग में FIRE लिखे लाल अलार्म बटन. सबमें शीशा लगा होता है। आग लगे तो शीशा तोड़ो, घंटी बजाओ। अब शीशा क्यों? यहाँ तक की शीशा तोड़ने को हथोडा भी साथ में लगा देते हैं। तो फिर, शीशा क्यों? जैसे की कईयों ने सोचा लिया होगा, मैं भी सोचता हूँ कि ऐसा इसलिये कि कोई बिना किसी urgency के घंटी ना बजा दे। थोडी गूग्लगिरी करके देखा मैंने, पर इस रहस्य पर से पर्दा ना उठ सका। (Q. लिफ्ट्स में "Stop" और "Alarm" buttons पर शीशा क्यों नही है?) Main कारण यही है कि - Prevention is better that cure. अमेरिकी इस राय से कतई इत्तेफाक नही रखते। हाल ही Virginia Tech में हुआ shootout ऐसा सबसे बड़ा हादसा था, पर ऐसा पहला हादसा नहीं था। हर दफा ऎसी किसी घटना के बाद US में एक lobby जाग उठती है। ये वो लोग हैं जो चाहते हैं कि आम जनता से घातक हथियार रखने का हक वापस ले लिया जाये। ऎसी ही सोच वाला एक शख्श है Michael Moore। फिल्म Bowling for Coulmbine में उन्होने Coulmbine High School में हुये बेहद similar हादसे से जुडे तथ्य दिखाए हैं और कई सवाल उठाये हैं। पर नतीजा कुछ ना निकला, और फिर जो हुआ वो शायद रोका जा सकता था।
यही कहानी है, इतना ही फ़साना है,
8 बजे जाना है, 9:30 पे आना है :-(
Sunday, April 15, 2007
First weekend in the city. Glorious day; bright, warm, sunny. Will go and check out the various summer sales going on in the city. Only hitch - short on cash before the first stipend payment. But hey, window shopping doesn't cost a penny! And since I've got the monthly travel card made, travel is also free. So, wait there London city, me cometh.
First day in office, day filled with form-filling and other stuff. The highlight of the day was the walking tour we had around the office with an official walking tour guide. As the gentleman said - "Every stone has some history in London." Starting with the Roman era, to the great fire of 1666, to the Victorian times - the city is filled with relics and monuments. Of course, we Indians do have lot deeper historical roots, but one has to appreciate the way the Western World preserves its past. Makes me sad to think about all the history spread all over India, ruining & dying slow death.
By the way, death does have some part to play in the history of London. All big monuments are either churches, with big grave yards (tombstones are still there, though all the bodies were exhumed and taken out of the city sometime in 1800's) or have someone important murdered there, after elaborate torture, of course. We saw a square where William Wallace, aka Braveheart, was executed.
[..]On 22 August 1305, following the trial, Wallace was taken from the hall, stripped naked and dragged through the city at the heels of a horse to Smithfield Market. He was hanged, drawn and quartered — strangled by hanging but released while still alive, emasculated, eviscerated and his bowels burnt before him, beheaded, then cut into four parts — at the Elms in Smithfield. His preserved head was placed on a pike atop London Bridge. It was later joined by the heads of his brother, John, and Simon Fraser. His limbs were displayed, separately, in Newcastle, Berwick, Stirling, and Aberdeen.Who the hell used to come up with all that. Yikes! And yeah, the guide told us the executions there were still carried out even after London got the tube in 1860s. So you could actually come using the tube to see an execution. Beat that!
First day at the desk - mostly easy. Some stuff to be read and understood. Met almost the entire team. Had lunch at Subway with the two analysts from IIT Delhi. Left early. My manager was not in. London accounts for almost 50% of credit derivatives volume in the world and the volume runs in billion $; sitting on the floor where millions are made and lost was some thrill. Still don't understand many things, but surely this stuff ain't no rocket science!
Eventually got to meet my manager on the next day. Pretty busy and pretty aggressive guy. Heard he joined here after working in Chicago for quite some time. No wonder he is all full of the typical american aggression. Check out the meeting we had recently (all in good humor, mind you. Not really menacing)
Manager: We seriously are f**king around here. What happened to the slide I asked you to do?Only if I could get a penny everytime he says f**k, my cash crunch will be solved for a very long time. Almost the entire desk works pretty hard and leaving before 7-8 is kind of stuff hallucinations are made of. Around me, I keep hearing lots of different languages, seeing lots of different colored people. The office is quite cosmopolitan and location wise its in the downtown London, sitting pretty just opposite the London Stock Exchange.
Subordinate: Oh yeah. I know I was supposed to do it, but I guess it got lost in the process.
Manager: Yeah. In your world its "lost in process", in my world its called "f**king around!" See basically you f**k around because I am basically a nice guy.
The place we (six of us: 3 from IIMC, 2 from A and 1 from B) are staying in is pretty cool too! Full of interesting restaurants (Indian, Chinese, Lebanese, Malaysian, blah blah) and shops, its considered among the better residential areas in London. We of course are staying in the company provided service apartments. The room, although a bit on the smaller side, is sufficient and quite comfortable. Usually I take a 15 minute ride in the tube to reach the office. The morning rush is nothing compared to the rush in Mumbai locals or even Kolkata metro.
So there, the routine is almost set and life is good.