Hollywood getting inspirations from Bollywood

Recently there was a comment in Facebook comparing Highschool Musicals with those typical Bollywood movies where dance numbers appear along the plot.

Well, until I watched (courtesy to my daughter) Highschool Musicals 3 Senior Year, I dint think much about the similarity.

After watching the movie, I have no words to describe...dunno whether to laugh or cry at such attempts!?

At the drop of the hat the lead characters start singing and drift off to extravagant dream sequences as well...does it mean that the Gen Nexters are led to appreciate Bollywood culture of dramatic dance numbers as part of a movie?


Happy Diwali

Diwali brings fond memories and I can always connect it several things, to name a few:

  • Shopping and mehandi 
  • Story of naraksura the demon who is associated to the very existence of Diwali 
  • Oil bath before dwan break - it is believed that MahaLakshmi Godess of wealth resides in seseame oil at that time and hence considerd as auspecious:) 
  • Hearty breakfast filled with sinful goodies! 
  • Firecrackers and related excitement..
  • Visits to seek blessings from family elders and get "Diwali kaas" similar to Ampau...
Here in KL we miss last 2 items in the list^^


Endless possiblities

Aim high and shoot low is something we hear often. Personally I detest this saying because if you can't even aim your target, you will NEVER succeed!

In Hindu epic Mahabharatha, the guru Dhrona sets out to test the archery skills of the princes by tying up a stuffed bird on a tree. Then each of the princes were asked to aim at the bird. To test their aiming skills each were asked what they see. The answers ranged from, "I see beautiful sky, birds flying, fruits on the tree, the stuffed bird and you". Hearing these answers Dhrona was unsatisfied and disqualified the princes. When Arjuna's turn came, his answer was "I see the stuffed bird", pleased with the answer guru commands, "aim at the birds eye and tell me what do you see now". Arjuna says "I see only the center of the bird's eye". Then guru says "shoot" AND Arjuna succeeds!

In stark contrast to this story lets see a contemporary guru/followers scenario. The guru says "close your eyes" done. Satisfied guru asks "what do you see?" and there is no response. Again guru says, "there is something moving, do you agree with me?", "YES". Then the command comes "Now start shooting, till you kill the moving object". Here we go, our good Samaritans keep shooting until they drop!!!


Rattles on defining success

An age old question: How do you define success? Here letz see how different people would react:
  • A family oriented person: Lots of family time
  • A business man: Win big business deals and beat the competitor
  • A professional: Gain reputation in his field
  • A creative artist: Get reorganization
A laborer, beggar, etc., etc., I can keep rattling endlessly. See there is no firm definition. It depends on what you are looking for^^ 

Suddenly do I sound too philosophical? It is because of a short story The Grass is Always Greener by Jeffery Archer. 

In this story the plot opens with a beggar who spends every night in front of a bank. He thinks the bank's security guard has a secured life. The security guard in turn has an eye on the his boss position. The plot keeps unfolding by expressing how each person (up to bank chairman) in the bank envies and longs to be in his boss' position! Success is such an illusion and only measured by people one level down the rat race!!    

Communicating through images - a fact finding journey

Though my profession is communicating mainly through words, I strongly believe in saying:
A Picture is worth thousand words!
Pictures can speak for itself and you can use words frugally to enhance the visual representation. In fact success of any project depends heavily on usability, be it a software hi-tech industrial equipment or any house-hold gadgets.

In the past several times I've been asked not to use screen shots and some of the lame excuses given were:
  • maintenance is high
  • what if there is no time to update screen changes in documentation?
  • screen change is done with short notice, what if the writer dint learn about the changes or what if an update is missed out?
When you redesign or modify the screens, you do it for a particular purpose. Won't there be an equivalent task to update documentation as well? There could be errors or miss-outs, but not on a wholesale! In this case I can see issues in the work process that too at the decision making points rather than finding reasons for avoiding screen shots!

Well, I don't say or recommend capturing each and every screen for technical documentation. But for screens where user action is the deciding factor and the outcome is irreversible, I'd say visual presentation would be easier to understand.

When it comes to Technical Writing, target audience is the king and must assist him in every possible way to ease off his job in using or learning a product! Now, as I don't have to abide by any dogmatic rules, I've set out on a fact finding spree from professionals in the writing industry as well as "real" end users of various applications! Yes, I've started interviewing and plan to continue until the end of this month. Just within 24 hours, I've started getting amazing responses and I plan to use the findings in my upcoming project for a reputed international client, who appreciates my contribution!

Probably I would share the findings with groups that can make a difference in the arena of technical communication.


Getting localized

When I was still new in KL, I had difficulties even in understanding local Tamil dialect! Once I happened to ask my friend /colleague on which computer was a particular software loaded, and I was asked to go to the "thongal PC"!!!

Back home, the meaning for that word was "hang/hanging". Now, i was perplexed and wondered if my friend was sarcastically referring to the PC that hangs often^^. Looking at my puzzled look, she understood that something was wrong. Then after a hearty laugh, she clarified that she was referring to the PC at the end of the row!!!

So in Malaysian Tamil dialect, thongal = last:)

Some other terms that I've caught up are:

English Chennai Tamil Malaysian Tamil
Footwear Seruppu Chappate
Kitchen Samayalarai Cusini
Is that so Apdiya Aamava
Had your breakfast? Kaale tiffen aacha? Pasiyariyacha?
Slacks Pants Seluvaaru


Chocolate Fountain

Though it was my umpteenth trip to Mid Valley, today I came across something new or I'd noticed it just this time! A chocolate fountain!

First I thought it must be some deco item in the Belgian Chocolate counter at the Center Court. But a closer look and finally buying Marshmallow dipped in that sinful delight proved that it is, indeed a REAL fountain of rich warm chocolate!


Create awareness through blogging - Blog Action Day 2008

Late by a day, but still spreading something towards a good cause is "better late than never", is my attitude.

Many of us would have been chided by elders/parents "don't waste your food, people suffer in Somalia". By then, without realizing full implication of this how often we would have commented that if I finish this food will it stop hunger pangs there? Well, much later in life did I realize the full impact of saving our portion and donating the equivalent to the needy.

As a small contribution we donate rice bags to the poor through the nearby temple, during our wedding anniversary and all of our birth days. At times, we also eat at Annalakshmi, run by a charity organization. This is a vegetarian eatery and the concept "Eat as you want and pay as you like" gives us a satisfaction not only to our taste buds but also to our conscious as all the proceeds go for several noble causes towards social upliftment!

Some of the photos that show poor living conditions in rural Indian villages are here:

Thatched hut in which more than 5 people live!
Unsanitary condition prevailing in slums.

Poor old man walking on the highway.


Great way to start a day!

It has been two weeks since I clicked any "clouds", and today when I was having morning tea in my balcony around 7 AM, they were trying to catch my attention by showing their colors:) Here we go:

After clicking this, I started whistling softly. Suddenly I stopped in my tracks mid way AND realized I've done something that I'd almost forgotten for more than a year:) Yup, I think am getting back my "colors" as well!


Yet another leap

Some said it was too sudden, though they knew it could happen anytime. As I kept about rattling about it for more than a year! But, I did it!

For the past couple of months I was like a zombie undecided, confused and not willing to listen to my husband or anybody, for that matter. Finally, circumstances changed and the right choice presented itself so that I could let go of something that I was hopelessly clinging to!

It is one of the unforgettable moments, as I felt a sudden gush of relief just like how legendary Atlas would feel when he unloads the Celestial bodies from his shoulders! And, a well-wisher commented that I was glowing:)

Now, I sense that I've broken the barrier and marching forward with a smug satisfaction, like how I used to feel several years ago:)


Virtual presence

Like regular friends circle who meet face to face often, it has become a habit to visit selective blogs/sites at regular intervals. 

If there is no new content in a location, it kinda gives a "miss you" feeling! Is this a sign of becoming a net junkie???


Changing landscape in education and career

Recently read about how Indian industry is trying to train their resource pool right from the college. This sounds cool and I can't stop from thinking about the days when I opted to do English Literature. By then, my only aim was to have fun for 3 years, before getting married:)

Partially this was because of my conservative family background, the rest, due to the lack of awareness! In those days, I used to wonder why the heck should I study Biology, History & Geography as it has got nothing to do with me. This was because, I was not able to see a connection between the theory and its practical application!

Though the organizations' motive is to train human talent to be employable, I think would
lead to tying up education with real life needs, which in turn would empower the Gen Nexters to make informed decisions!


On an indian Highway

The snaps used in this article are taken on the same day, and it spans roughly 300km (Madurai - Tutuicorin > Thiruchendur > Thirunelvelly >Courtallam > Rajapalayam > Madurai)

Traveling on an Indian highway is an unique experience. Wait a minute, don't imagine 4 or 6 track roads that we are used to in Malaysia. Here the roads are just two tracks (in fact no tracks at all in many roads) in most of the locations and at times it even narrows down to a single track.

You would get to see cattle coming from the other side, like I've caught in this picture:

Or see the man kudurai Iyyanar (God of protection, who is usually depicted on a horse):

Most of the Indian highways pass through agricultural lands, farming villages, and you get to see the colorful countryside and its life:) I tried to drive between my home town Madurai to Tuticorin (a port city). Within minutes, a van from the other side of the traffic was trying to overtake a container and came directly in front of my car, just few feet away. I braked hard and shrieked, for a moment I thought that am gone! but the van just slowed a bit and flew away!!! From there I decided to sit back, enjoy and take pictures that we can never see in this part of the world.

Lorries and trailers filled with sugarcane, probably going to the sugar factory
Peasant taking hay stack at the end of the day.

Rotora aala maram (Road side banyan tree), which is oft shown in Indian movies

The salt mines in around the
villages are a site to look at. Salt is mined by stagnating sea water and letting it dry out in the hot sun. Once dried, they are swept aside in small mounds. Yes, the small mounds of whitish substance is the table salt in its raw form!

In the route between Courtallam to Rajapalayam lies the windy side of Western Ghats, so you get to see lot of wind mills!

My favorite clouds and the Western Ghats range in the background.


Wild goose chase

Often we used to go on wild goose chase for fun, in this context I meant our aimless outings, which were only targeted for new/different experience.

Dunno why, today am deeply thinking if my whole life has been a wild goose chase! As soon as the target is achieved I start thinking what next? and the satisfaction is very short-lived. This makes me restless and seek for new challenges.

For a while I succumbed to shopping sprees. Later realized that am becoming a shopaholic and buying things just for the sake of buying something. Nowadays, there is nothing much that I like to buy! Even if I buy something expensive I get bored very soon and then feel guilty for spending. Come to think of it, even material acquisition seems insignificant.

It feels like several years ago before we relocated to Malaysia, when I was dying to break the monotony. May be the nomad in me is asking for a change, rather radical change in life style?


Memorable Courtallam

On the way back from Thiruchendur, we decided to go to Courtallam, a small town in the Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu famous for water falls. The peak season is between June to August, during this period people flock there to enjoy the pleasant breeze and shower in the seasonal water falls. Surprisingly, even in September, we heard that there was water in that town, so went there.

When we used to live in India, we used to frequent this place for every season, and do certain things diligently, like eat hot halwa (Indian sweet made of wheat flour) near Main Falls. So, this time around my first stop, was at the famous halwa shop and had halwa and at the same time had visual treat, which is shown below:

As we had to go back to Madurai before dark, we headed for Five Falls. This place is named after the falls that pour down from the same range! See the picturesque view:

Another specialty of this town is monkeys! In Five Falls, as there was not much crowd, monkeys were having a gala time.

True to their attitude, this monkey was ripping off the flowers laid on top of the Elephant statue, kind cute is isn't it?
Like humans, mom protectively taking the baby for a walk.


OUT - from a writers vantage

For the past few days I was coming home around 9 pm due to the targeted release of our project. Yesterday, after three years, I happened to work very late until midnight as I was involved in OUT (Overall User Testing) and some last minute wiki article editing.

To start with, I never used to like testing, as most often I've seen testers creating test data that involves mundane data entry. Moreover, I was a bit paranoid about testing because I felt that I might know too much of the nitty-gritty details. Knowing too much before writing a help topic might be dangerous, as I might skip some tips assuming that its a common knowledge!

But his time round I felt a different and in fact enjoyed it! may be because:

- I'm not writing for the end users/business users, in this project
- the role I played didn't involve data entry
- was something that I like and often do when I come across new online application/utility

What ever the reason is, I did learn to be a bit patient, which is a rare commodity for me! Just in these few days I've been like zombie and feel like am totally burned out! Then how about my friends there who have been working late for a couple of months! I just admire their stamina!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...