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Sev Art dobby’s Grave

February 10, 2012 Leave a comment
Severus snape did visit dobby’s grave under a disillusion charm. To thank him for keeping lily’s child safe. He would ve lost otherwise the only hope of lily which he had sworn to protect. He did put a lily upon dobby’s grave and conjured up a spell that kept the grave safe from natural disasters and dark magic.
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Categories: Uncategorized

GOOGLE + : Bane of Facebook Or No?

July 2, 2011 2 comments

Come 2004, Facebook was born, Exactly 7 years later, a new phenomena arises, Google +. Okay, let me just say it by its full name. Google Plus. A neat nice name, so simple, it just tells what it will be all about. In my opinion, the ‘+’ means add-on to the already strong Google infrastructure on the Internet. Google is already raking in revenues from advertising, it is already the #1 search engine and its mail feature is one of the most sought after mailing engine in the world today. Now, a feather in the hat!! Google Plus – It’s Plan To Go Social!!!!

During the past few years, ever since Orkut descended into oblivion and Facebook started to become a competitor in the advertising sector, Google has been venturing into the social networking and media sector. But the journey for them has not been easy. Google ‘+’ ‘s forerunners generated much hype but failed to occupy the market share. Yes, I am talking about Google Buzz and Google Wave. Google has made mistakes regarding these two social technologies. With regard to Buzz, it went on to violate even it’s own policy – this feature was attached to every Gmail user.

But Google has learnt and now it comes up with yet another social network and this has the balls to take on Facebook. It might look simple in the eyes of the mundane user but mind you, simplicity is the best policy. Gmail changed the way mailing engines worked. It was fast simple and attracted many users. Even now, I use gmail as my principal email, having shunned others. Simplicity is the weapon Google uses to seduce and mind me even their simplest products are filled with creativity. They make products for the people!!!

With Google +, Google has truly gone social. It has truly adjusted its goals to be people centric. That, my friends, is like the additional icing on the already huge cake.

Google + has very innovative features. It might all sound like Facebook but believe me, it is much much better. But I will do the explanation of how it is better by comparing it with features of Facebook.

The first thing first – On Facebook, we can edit settings. For example, whenever we write a wall post we can choose to  make that post visible to Everyone, Friends of Friends, Friends only and Custom. All this is fine. Come to Custom, you can hide this post from certain people only or you can make this visible to certain people. But is it not also true, if you want to enter multiple names, then you have to type in all such names even though the friends list start appearing below. This is where the Circles feature in Google + comes in. The Circles feature lets you organize your friends in lists and groups. Facebook has an unorganized group feature and security and privacy is a little compromised. But Google + does away with that feature. It helps you organize. So, you can make your posts to certain circles only.

The next feature is the Hangout. Here you let your friends know where you are right now. You can make your hangout visible to certain circles or one circle or all circles as per your desire. Then, people can join. With it’s video chatting feature which Facebook does not have, it’s the best thing in here.

You can also instant photo/video share here just like Facebook but it’s more faster and innovative.

Then there is sparks. Sparks is all about speaking out your interests and a technology that sends you what’s happening in the fields of your interest. So when you are free, you have fun enjoying what Sparks sends you.

There is the huddle next. The Huddle is all about about group texting and chatting. This is much better and organized than facebook.

For a tour of Google Plus, to get to know more about it,

http://www.google.com/intl/en_uk/+/demo/

But the question now arises, is whether people are going to shift to this new phenomenon that threatens to stand up to Facebook.  There might be problems however. For instance, I do not think Google Plus going to incorporate applications like Farmville and stuff, because over time, it becomes silly. Facebook would stay for applications but I think if anyone wants to network, then Google + is the thing. If it does incorporate games, then it would be more fun.

Secondly, it is going to take a lot of time rebuilding the social circle already developed on facebook. It is going to take time but all this has happened before, People shifted from Orkut to Facebook.

Thirdly, The Facebook Like and Fan pages are absent from Google Plus but word has it that it is being coded and will be available soon.

Google has resorted its previously used invitations feature and has evoked a very good response. The invitation feature has supposedly been blocked for some time and to those who haven’t yet received theirs would just have to play a waiting game. It will be some time before it is released to a wider audience. Google has played wisely.

The people at Google maybe crazy but they are creative, innovative and geniuses. 🙂

But will Google Plus prove to be the bane of Facebook? Will Facebook be history? Only time shall tell or maybe the press announcement Mark Zuckerberg is going to make in the first week of July. But if you ask mine, I think, Google Plus will soon be the ‘IN’ thing, what with its reach to Google Search Engines and extra revenue through advertisements. Enjoy The Network!!!!

Categories: Uncategorized

Move On To The New Power – Adobe Flex

September 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Have you ever wanted your web-app to look cool? Have you ever wondered how your website could be made to make your users drool? Have you ever thought about how to increase traffic to your website? Have you even given a thought to such questions that I have just put forth? If you haven’t, do so now. This article targets people just like you.

The days of yore are gone, so are the days of those traditional apps you have browsed. These days are the days where people just like glamour, be it anywhere, any field. X-factor counts. These days are the days of what you call, the Rich Internet Applications (RIA).

RIA, a term coined by Macromedia Inc in the year 2001. A great part of foresight by the said company which is now part of Adobe Systems. Macromedia brought in the RIA era by introducing Flex 1.0.

Some of you might even ask this, yes, this is a question that will arise eventually in anyone’s minds. Do not hesitate. Ask yourself. Oops! What’s the question anyways?

The Question – Why need Flex when there is already Flash? What are the differences?

The Answer – Very Simple.

Flash is used by those developers who want just animations on the website, just to look and feel good, you know. Flex on the other hand does things programmatically. It can be, say, used completely for web designing purposes and also for some dynamic access and data management. There are some things that Flash can do easily but in Flex, it is a little more than a struggle. There are some things in Flex which is not feasible to do in Flash. But the comparison is simple, whatever you can do in Flash, you can do in Flex (but the complexity varies). Whatever you can do in Flex, you struggle to do it Flash. But both are compatible with each other. You can just use a Flex component, make some modifications using Flash, and the resultant component / service, you can use that in Flex. Great?

So how would I define Flex? Well, Flex is simply a programmatic way to produce pre-compiled Flash applications. What Flex lacks is the timeline feature which is there in Flash, which is what makes animations so easy in Flash whereas in Flex, you have to resort to extensive coding.

Flex has moved on. The next version was Flex 2.0. It was released as soon as Adobe took over Macromedia and made slight modifications to the earlier version. It relied heavily on the usage of Action Script 2.0.

Then came Flex 3. It is a major re-work on the earlier version. Action Script 3.0 is used in Flex 3. And also, its counterpart: MXML. Now, for those of you traditional web designers, this might seem difficult, but believe me, it is not. Consider MXML to be a brother of HTML. MXML is used to design components. Want to see a sample example?

<mx:Button id=”btn1” name=”Submit” label=”Submit”  click=”sub();” />

Looks familiar to:

<input type=”submit” name=”submit” value=”submit” onClick=”sub()” />

But trust me, the mx:Button looks more cooler.

MXML is used to design UI components, as said. Now in the above example, we are creating a button whose id is btn1, name is Submit, label is submit. The click attribute specifies the Action Script code that will be called, in this case it is the sub() function. This sub function will be written in the <mx:Script> workspace

<mx:Script>

<![CDATA[

private function sub()

{

//your code here

}

]]>

</mx:Script>

Simple code? Easy to understand? Say MXML = HTML and Action Script = Java Script.

But Flex is not that simple either, there might be complex code and it gets more complex when you get to understand the various cross platform features of Flex.

But do not worry, it is easier to understand and like any other language, if you can just get the grasp of it, its flow becomes easier. If you are a Java programmer, then all the more easier. You would see many similarities between the codes you write in both the languages.

But Flex was not so popular in the beginning. The time was when Java and .Net started occupying major shares of the Internet development market. The situation became further troubled when PHP started becoming a serious contender in the web development scenario.

And what’s more, as is Microsoft’s wont, it responded with its Silverlight program that came with the .Net framework. For those of you who are working with .Net, I would still prefer you choose Silverlight over Flex, as Silverlight modules can be easily integrated with .Net. But it’s not that Flex cannot be. It can. Flex can be integrated with any of the server development technologies, whether it be Java, .Net or PHP.

All this was affecting the market of Adobe Flex, not that it was a bad product; it was a good product, in fact much better than its counterparts. It was expensive. You had to pay for the license. But all that changed. Adobe decided to go open source with Flex. This was and is, I deem, a very good move.

The Flex SDK now comes free of cost and can be downloaded from www.adobe.com

Since Flex became open source, programmers were relieved and the RIA’s entered a new era. Flex became more and more programmer friendly, when Adobe introduced its Flex Builder, which sadly, does not come free of cost. But the software is worth its cost. It comes in two versions: Standard and Professional.

The Standard version contains lesser features than the Professional one but it is far from weak. The Professional version contains additional features like Advanced Data Grid etc. The Flex Builder provides drag and drop facilities for UI components and it is an Eclipse based IDE.

For those of you who have worked with Eclipse which is a strong Java IDE, Adobe Flex Builder will be just more than a cruise. Its profiling, debugging and code generation features are similar to that of Eclipse.

But Adobe Flex has one more surprise for you web designers; Adobe Flex creates SWF files which run in a flash player in the browser. So to run Flex applications, then you need to have a flash player installed, probably the latest versions.

Also, Adobe Flex extends RIA features to desktop applications. Yes, you can create desktop applications too. Well, flex desktop apps run via the Adobe AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime). My strong foreboding tells me, the way Adobe Flex market is progressing; it might just take over the market from Java Swing or even .Net. With its cool and flexible features, Adobe Flex is really the coolest thing on the developer’s market.

For students, it is a good secondary skill to have along with primary skills like Java, .Net etc. Want to know what’s hot in the market? Spring + Flex. A very good combination. Very powerful.

There are some counterparts for Adobe Flex like OpenLazlo, Mozilla Prism, Microsoft Silverlight; but these aren’t so popular among us developers.

Now, now, I am praising Flex so much that I have forgotten that I am barely 2 – 3 week old into Flex; I don’t know that much either. But I used these two or three weeks to clear my concepts of Flex. Well using Flex 3 now even though the latest version is 4.1 (also there is new IDE called Adobe Flash Builder 4 – a very powerful IDE that supersedes the Flex Builder). What I liked about Flex is:

  1. It has got a very powerful IDE to support it. Its Eclipse based features were a great attraction to it. Since I have got considerable academic experience with Java and I am well versed with the Eclipse IDE, I found the Flex Builder an invaluable tool with powerful features.
  2. The coding style – I loved the MXML designing and the Action Script coding. Since I am a Java programmer (I have been loving Java for 5 years now), I found Flex very flexible.
  3. The cool thing is that Adobe Flex runs with Java on the server through the Adobe LCDS (Live Cycle Data Services) or most importantly the open source Blaze DS server, thereby providing easy integration with the language I love. I believe, with Java on the server and the Flex on the front, it is tough to match such a combo.
  4. Open source and object oriented.

Actually, I pay my sincere thanks to my cousin who introduced me to this wonderful technology.  Well, I was looking for a crazy project and when I just got that, well it is a flat customization project and a platform for bringing interior designers together, when I had thought of using Java applets for imagery and effects (I know, sounds crazy), he introduced me to Flex. He gave me some reference. Well, I would be more than happy to share. Go and take a peek at the Nissan Micra Site (choose the high bandwidth mode). You get to know the power of Flex.

Given time, I have absolutely no doubt that Flex will succeed. I want it to. Actually, it is getting more interesting for me. I am just loving it. Hmm, perhaps I should be saying it for McDonald’s but what the hell, I can say it for Flex too anyways, and so can I for Java.

So if you are looking for something crazy like me, if you are looking to make your customers drool, if you are looking forward to delivering the X-factor, if you are looking forward to increase the traffic flow, if all the if’s mentioned are true for you, including this, then you have landed upon the right development product. Yes, there is nothing better than Adobe Flex. Choose It, Try It, And Once You Do, I Don’t Think You Will Shun It.

Categories: Uncategorized

True Love, True Sacrifice and The Greatness of Realization

September 5, 2010 3 comments

She took long to realize that in an ordinary middle class Indian family; it is always about the male child, it is always about the one who will carry on the family legacy, it is always about family prestige and as a woman, she had to sacrifice. This sacrifice took a huge toll on her and it was long before she could forgive.

Sonia was now twenty seven and she was alone. The sacrifice had ended up in solitude despite the attempts made by her husband to reconcile. Tears flowed seamlessly, sliding down her fair cheeks, wetting the sides of her pink lips. Her hands moved not to wipe them; they lay folded in a cup shape on her chin. Her black hairs streamed down behind her ears. Thus she sat for hours on her bed covered with a greenish orange sheet; cursing her ill fortune; the dreams of her past bustling through her mind, breaking the very defenses that she had managed to put up for over a year. If one looked into her eyes, he would fall into the depths and would know not when he would strike the bottom. He would just keep falling and he would only be sad at what he saw; her agonies and problems and sufferings would always press him down into the wells of her eyes, which would seem like an abyss.

Three years back, she had graduated with a degree in business management from the University of Delhi. And still she remembered that day, the day of her convocation, the day of her life. Sometimes, that day seemed happy to her, sometimes she remembered it with sadness. That day, among all the other days, he proposed to her amidst the college crowd who were in frenzy over receiving their graduation certificate. He was Rohit Raj, son of a middle class industrialist who had just found his business.

Rohit was a tall guy; seemingly like someone not Indian. He had curly hair, due to which people believed he was lucky. Fair in complexion with an athletic build, he was a stud in his college. But he had eyes only on Sonia, who he claimed was the most beautiful girl in the entire college. And that was true.

Their friendship was now solid and trustworthy. They shared everything and on that day, Rohit proposed her. Such was the joy of their life that both accepted each other as they believed they were true mates who were meant to share their lives. Their classmates cheered at the event and began calling for a party. Flowers were thrown into the air; of myriad colors – yellow, red and white. Even their teachers, to whom this event was something they had foreseen, smiled and congratulated the newly joined couple. They were happy, everyone was happy, except for those who had brought her up – her parents.

Their parents scowled when Rohit came to their house to propose a union of their families, to propose Sonia in as formal way as possible, to ask for her hand from her parents. Her parents were born and brought up in a village somewhere in eastern India where inter-caste marriage was unacceptable.  Rohit was disappointed and looked sadly at Sonia, who was now in tears.

Sonia was in two minds – the one mind in favor of those who had showered love upon her since her childhood, had brought her up and worked so that she would have a perfect upbringing and an excellent future; the other in favor of one who had befriended her in college, had loved her with his true heart, had trusted her in all things, had stood by her in all her problems. She cried remembering all the sacrifices made by those who had loved her. But to appease one, she felt that she had to sacrifice the other. The question in her mind was: whom?

After two days, she had come to a decision.  She had selected Rohit over her parents. She was unlike them, though she loved her parents very much, she felt that she had to be independent, she felt she was capable of taking her own decisions. She knew in her heart that Rohit was her future; her life was safe with him and she had already given her heart to him. So on the evening of that day, when her parents sat watching TV in their living room, when it was raining outside, she spoke to them, clearly and respectfully, but never wavering from her taken stance.

She told them she did not believe in her family’s customs which she deemed to be unrealistic and scrupulous. Her family sat quiet for a while listening, her mother almost in tears. They thought she was unkind to those who had loved her, who had taken care of her; they were the ones who meant her no harm. But she was rude to them.

Her family still did not accept her and then she had begun mocking the family customs; although in her heart, she rued them. She was in love and that blinded her to an extent that proved to be off limits for her parents.

She contacted Rohit and asked to be married in court. He had accepted and they were wed a week after he had come to her house.

The newlywed couple was happy and joy knew no bounds for them, although in her heart, she felt sad for her parents who had disowned her. Rohit was very supportive and their days passed by smoothly. Rohit’s family was decent and good to her. But those joys vanished when a great shadow approached. A time had come when she had to make another decision.

Joys are always marred by shadows of great problems, it is said. And that great shadow now burst into her life, in the form of Rohit’s aunt, the sister of Rohit’s father. Her husband’s family was a joint family and was very respectful except for this one little blotch that held absolute power. She made all the decisions of the family and she interfered in all affairs. They respected even after such intrusions; just because she took care of them relatively better than the others in the position before.

She was disappointed and angry at Rohit for taking a vital decision of his life without consulting her. Even she was against inter-caste marriages. Rohit was her favorite nephew and she had brought him up perfectly. But now she was outraged. When Rohit asked whether he was independent to take a decision or not, he was scowled at, a reply was often not given to him. His mother got the mocking. His father stayed mute in all this power play. The father, as a brother, loved his sister more than he did his wife and so did not smite her. In fact, even he too was against the system of inter-caste marriages but he had graciously accepted their wedding.

But his sister, he could not defy. The others had their reasons. Her mother was the only one who supported Rohit and Sonia but she was alone and could do nothing save reply to her sister-in-law’s mocking.

The aunt, one day, had barged into their room. She said she was willing to accept their union. For a moment, happiness had glowed on their faces.  She smiled but Sonia at once felt maliciousness in that smile. But on one condition, she had said, that Sonia’s family would agree to pay them a dowry; a sum that was five times that which was asked when the aunt was married to Rajiv Sinha, a downtown Delhi entrepreneur who was a partner in Rohit’s father’s firm. There it was; a thorn in the rose.

When Rohit had argued that her only family was his family, he was cut off. The only reply that had stung her heart was that she was not told to break off from her family, so it wasn’t her problem. Her aunt had then stormed off, leaving her crying. She was comforted only by Rohit’s words.

The conditions were not very well for her after that incident. She was mocked at, beaten unscrupulously. Rohit did what he could but often he was out of town for work and that was the time, his aunt had taken her advantage.

She was happy only when Rohit was around, her true love.

Two years later, she had become pregnant. She was happy again but her aunt was becoming unhappier. She could not tolerate the joys of the couple.

So, three months later, her aunt called Rohit to her.

“Rohit, congratulations. I have heard that your wife is pregnant. You are going to become a father. And that is wonderful news, indeed. So what names have you decided upon?”

“Karan if it is a boy and Sucheta if it is a girl.”

“They are all good names. But, do you really want a girl child?”

Rohit had become wary then.

“Why not?” he replied.

His aunt’s face curdled and said, “Aren’t you thinking? Or has love blinded you, for God’s sake? This family needs a son more than a daughter. Think of your father, Rohit, think your father’s business. Someday you would inherit it, and someday, your child will if he is a son. A daughter would not inherit. And what use is a daughter anyways? You would spend much on her birth and then give away her to someone who will ask for a big dowry amount. We are not so rich that we can afford such money, son. Realize this, Rohit, I am saying for your own benefit. A girl will be a nuisance.”

Rohit became angry and said, “Were you not a girl, aunty? How would you have felt if you had been your mother and was asked to abort your child that is now you? And do you believe you are a nuisance? That I do believe. Not meaning any disrespect for you, aunty, but you leave me no choice. You have been targeting us ever since our wedding. My wife has been good to you and still respects you even after you have abused her.”

“You! How dare you smite me? You are blinded by love…”

She was cut off by Rohit.

“Do not you love Uncle?” he asked

“What has that got to do with this?”

“Uncle is also a partner in my father’s firm and yet you have given birth to a daughter. Why did you not abort her then? For surely, even she cannot inherit the business and even when she is given to someone, a huge dowry will be asked. So, you believe that even she is a nuisance?”

“Fool! You do not understand. This family desperately needs a son to continue the family legacy and you are our last hope. You must understand. This practical life of yours, this independence, must it come above family values, our culture?”

“What culture are you talking about, aunty? A culture where you murder a child just because it is a girl? A culture which tells us that we must follow these values even if our conscience resists the whole system? Is this the culture you are talking about, aunty?”

“You dare raise your voice against me. I have cuddled you since your beginning. More than your mother, I have raised you. I have loved you more than my child.”

“Did I tell you to, aunty? I don’t mean any disrespect to you, but a mother who does not tend to her own child cannot be a mother. You might have showered your love upon me but it was only to achieve your own ends. You might have pampered me but now I don’t feel the need of those things.”

“You speak like your mother. For long years, I have borne venom against your mother. She was also here without dowry and your father loves her. So I won’t go against her. But I would not want a repeat of it again. Whatever you think of your way of life, I want you to do a sonogram. Check whether the child is a boy or a girl. It better be a boy or else, we will have the child aborted. Do you understand that? You better understand.”

Saying which, she had stormed off.

Rohit was dejected for two days after that and would not talk. She had tried but failed. When she had failed, she had called upon Rohit’s mother, but she too had failed.

And then she had inquired. She got to know of the fight between her husband and his aunt. She spoke to him and comforted him by whatever means she could.

A week later, his aunt had started tormenting her mother in law, abusing her, with her mouth twisted words. Rohit could not bear it and decided on a sonogram test at once. He only hoped that it wasn’t a girl.

She had revolted against his decision, but he told he won’t let the child down, so she had relented. The results of the test revealed that the foetus inside her was a girl. A girl child was about to come into the family and they desisted it, looked on the prospect with distaste, not with the girl but with the turmoil she was about to bring.

She had been asked by his aunt to abort the child. She had said no. Abortion was and is a sin, she knew that.

Rohit was torn into two. He was in the same situation that Sonia was two and a half years ago. Torn between his family and his wife. But he loved his family as much as he did Sonia. He could not sacrifice his family just for the sake of her. He loved her but did not truly realize the depths of his love. And he was also blackmailed into being so.

Sonia could understand. She knew that men cannot truly make sacrifices like she had done, like the women did.  She wanted Rohit to be happy and she knew he would happy with her family. But she also wanted her baby to come out, out into the open and enjoy the world like she had done in her younger days.

So, one day, she left Rohit. Rohit could find no other way out. He tried to reconcile, to negotiate, he said, “well let’s abort this child. We can always have another and another. Let us give birth to a son and then a daughter, mind you, we won’t have these troubles again.”

“What if the other child is a girl? Will you ask me to abort her too?” she had asked.

“Now be positive, Sonia…”

“What’s so negative about a girl child? Aren’t you married to one?”

She had stormed out of the house then and never returned.

…She was in her own house now, the house that she had played in as a child. Over the years, her family had reconciled with her and had taken her in.

Her mother had said, “If only you had listened to us, you wouldn’t be facing this.”

She still sided with Rohit. “Who would know that the family with whom I would be married off to would not be the same as this one? We cannot know all certainties not can we predict them. There are always probabilities.”

…Tears still slid down her eyes. And at that time, a knock sounded on the door and its knob turned towards the right. A small trotting boy with black curly hair and with a cute roly-poly face walked slowly towards her. She quickly wiped off her tears and smiled. But soon, her face became blank because behind the small toddler walked a man whom she knew by her heart. The toddler’s father, Rohit Raj.

A short scowl wore on her face and she turned backwards, picking up the baby in her arms.

Rohit walked slowly; his heart was heavy.

“I know you are angry. You have a right to be so. And I beg your pardon, Sonia. I know I have faulted but men make mistakes and forgiveness is the best policy right? Please, Sonia, pardon me.”

“Who am I to pardon you, Rohit? You asked me to do the impossible and so I fled. Even now I bear no grudge against you and so there is no question of forgiveness.”

“And so have I asked my aunt to do the impossible, Sonia. They have all understood.”

“What have they understood? Your aunt would understand nothing.”

“She has, Sonia, and she has begged her pardon.”

“Wow! An unfathomable change!”

“Yes, unfathomable. Her daughter married and got pregnant soon. I forced my aunt to get a sonogram test done and found that it was a girl. I then applied the same logic to the case. I asked my cousin to abort the child just because she was giving birth to a girl.”

“And yet you had asked me to abort the child. Why?”

“Understand me, Sonia, please, I was torn into two. I loved my family and I did not realize the true depths of my love for you then. I could never make the sacrifice you made with your family. And they were tormenting my mother. I had to wait until my cousin got married and pregnant. Try to understand.”

“If I had not understood you, I would have already been divorced with you. You could have done so, with me having around.”

“I could not, Sonia, I could not. I had to seclude you and had to wait.”

“Ten months, Rohit, ten months we have stayed apart from each other. What if the cousin had given birth to a boy?”

“Then I would have still waited.”

“What if she never got pregnant again?”

“Then I would know I have failed and would have sacrificed you for my entire life knowing that you would be happy somewhere else, or maybe as years pass by, I could learn to make the kind of sacrifices you made for me and come to you.”

“And what if I had already been married to someone else then?”

“Then I would have been happier still, thinking that you are happy and well off.”

Sonia could not stop her emotions from swelling inside her anymore. Without a moment of hesitation, she forgave Rohit and embraced him. And the happy couple stood and hugged each other, baby in their arms.

-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-

Categories: Uncategorized

The Midwich Messiah

August 30, 2010 2 comments

Midwich Messiah, He was called by the masses. He was a good old nice chap; his heart was made of gold they say. Very helpful and caring in nature, he was a person who was worshipped by many. The towns around lay at his feet; if he ever stood in the assembly elections, he would now be a leader. A fair man in his mid-forties but he looked as if he was in his twenties. It was as if age mattered not for him.

He was now riding in a sturdy horse cart; passing along a muddy road; until it reached a small town gate. The gate stood open, with two uniformed guards holding guard, rifles in their hands. Just in front of the gate, made entirely of grey steel, beside the road, stood a sign marked on a flat piece of wood. The sign was wholly white and it said, “Welcome to the City of Stratmoor”. He saw the signboard and smiled a little. He called aloud to the driver to stop. The cart halted a few paces away and beneath the darkest sky, he alighted and looked behind to the signboard. Then he fell into a hazy dream; something that reminded him of his labors in the yesteryears.

The town of Stratmoor lay amidst the marshes of Belthand, and that was in the country of Demostrat. The first country, which was before a kingdom, smaller than the rest of its neighbors, was in fact a monarchy until twenty years ago. Then it turned to a democracy. The country had one slogan – the rulers for the masses, the masses for the country.

Stratmoor was the symbol of freedom; the most open cultured of all such cities and it was the greatest reapers of the democratic movement. It was also the place which marked the birth of the great revolution. And moreover, it was also the birthplace of the Messiah.

Twenty years ago, the king of Demostrat, which was called the Monarchest then, ruled its people in way that was deemed unwise by many. He levied harsh taxes and was unworthy to be a leader of men. Some rebellions did occur in various parts of the country but they were quelled with impunity and the armies marched over the lands killing people at will. It was not that the armies were pitiless but they had not the authority to do what the King willed not. The army also could not insubordinate the direct orders of the Army-General Klaxon who served the King loyally and was obedient to the royal banner.

The King imposed a lot of restrictions on the movement of its women, people slept as soon as the sun set beyond the dusky horizons. The king also harbored a strange superstition. He felt that the sun was responsible for the glory of his rule and its light was essential for the development of his country and also of his own powers. He therefore forbade his people to move in the open in the dark. This would have been tolerated in other seasons; but the imposition of not coming out of their houses in the rainy weather did not go down well with its masses. Many thought the rule was ridiculous and could not tolerate any of the monarch’s nonsense.

One such season, two decades ago, a great revolution started and Stratmoor was about to make a mark in the country’s history. An old but wise man, bearded and tall, named Albriech Morkel, walked out of his small hut in the rainy evening. It was raining heavily, water splashed onto rocks, the streets were flooded with water and they were empty. He carried a small bell in his hand and this he rung, jingle jingle it echoed through the silent streets. Candles were lit in the houses that dotted by the roadsides. And doors were opened, eyes were amazed at what they saw.

He was a young tween then; he peeped through the window holding a lantern in his hand. His eyes brightened and looked with hope at the bright man who looked as if he was illuminated by God himself. He knew that at last somebody marshaled his inner forces to stand up against the cruel king.

He rushed forth out of the house, unheeding the warnings of his family. He walked by the old man’s side, his face shining with a dim light – like the grey twilight. The old man smiled and jingled his bell once more. People stormed out of their houses and the old man took them all to the town center.

There he stood; the young boy at his left.

“Hail, folks from Stratmoor, we have assembled here or rather, you all have chosen to assemble here to answer to our noble king in direct. We chose to disobey his orders and his superstitious rules that have rendered us in a very uncomfortable stage. I was disheartened and am still so, after seeing that our young blood has lost the hotness in them and it is the part of the older generation to take them to their destined paths. And for now, the right path is to teach the King a lesson. But, if I feel rightly, this system must end and people’s rule must begin. We must start now or we will end. If we lose this opportunity, then we may never come up. So, I want you all to stand up for your rights. Let us make a mark in the history and light up little candles of our own. Let us elect our own leaders; the ones who are capable. Let us remove the filthy wretches and drive out evil from our country….”

So on, the old man had gone, for an hour or so. And thus, the revolution had started. People directly disobeyed the King’s orders and started roaming around the city. The sheriffs joined themselves to their causes and the army could not stop them. The crowds went uncontrolled. Whenever army wagons crossed through the city, they were disarmed and looted.

Slowly, the message spread. The whole country now swarmed like beetles. Fires raged the houses of those incompliant. But the old man had to step forward and appeal to those who took to violence, not to resort to such stringent measures. He was always with the old man, protecting him; he was like his bodyguard. He also helped people a lot. He fed the poor and gave the beggars shelter under his own roof. He looted the army bandwagons and distributed the supplies among the townspeople. He would help people build defensive structures if the King were to mount an attack.

But the King was helpless. All his courtiers except one took to the revolution. The King’s family sped away, leaving him alone; they were shown graciously to the borders.

The Army-General sympathized with the royal lord. He himself stepped forward and with a consortium of those who still followed his will, rushed into the city. His wrath, the townspeople could not withhold. He and his men rode through the city like wraiths on wings. They found themselves in front of the house where the old man lived.

They dragged the old man out and made him kneel. He himself beheaded the leader of the revolution. And then he stuck his head on a spear and roamed about the city.

When at last he was gone, the townspeople assembled together. Fear and terror was written in their faces. But the son of Morkel stood up. And he vowed that day, to kill all who ordered his father’s death and restore peace and calm to the country. He took off that very night. Midwich followed.

The skies were beginning to brighten, when our company reached the King’s castle at Norbury. We sneaked in; though it was unnecessary; but precautions needed to be taken. Through a series of attacks, we killed and decimated the entire forces and pulled down the monarch flag.

The next day, there was a huge assembly of people and they shouted with joy. Such a clamor would not have been heard of in Norbury before.

The old man’s son stood for the elections and won it with majority vote. From that day onwards, leaders have always been elected by the people. Two political parties exist now in the country of Demostrat, vying for power and rule.

Midwich desisted from politics and took to social work; where he began helping the poor and the rich alike; thus earning his name – the Midwich Messiah.

Ten years later, the Midwich Messiah installed that same signboard and built that same town gate which was a proud structure of the city.

Tears flooded his eyes this day when he remembered the past incidents. He had gone out on his personal quests and when he had returned, he had found the countryside at tethers. He had gone straight to the rulers and there he had found out; that a religious riot was about to take place and the government was helpless. No pacification could be provided to either party.

People in Demostrat followed two religions – Misaim and Inuit. And they were at war – as usual over a matter of trifle. The Misaim claimed the temples of Avon. The Inuit claimed that the temples were built on the lands that was allocated to them. During the rule of the King, those lands were allocated to the Inuit and a religious treaty was formed. But some parts of the land still belonged to the King; which was actually a form of commission. Now that the monarchy was disbanded, those lands were given to the Misaim. Thus a controversy had issued and threatened a large scale civil war.

The Messiah stood beside the horse cart; holding his hands over his eyes. The country which he had helped form, now stood upon the brink of destruction. A cold wind ensued in the skies and a shiver ran through his body. He felt cold; even though he was covered from head to toe by a black jacket and warm cotton clothes.

Snowflakes fell from above. Winter had come at last. The bright spring had gone. Who knows whether the next spring will come? He felt that the country needed him still and he had hope that they would all heed his words and seek for a solution that would be accepted by all.

His heart was heavy yet, but he sat again in the cozy seats of the horse cart and motioned to the driver.

Sometime later, the horse cart pulled itself to a halt near a huge crowd at the town center. Both the religious leaders had assembled themselves. They had heeded the summons of the Messiah. Who would not? He had a right to receive the favors he had given them. The country had flourished because of his sane and wise advice. They had to listen to him. After all, he felt that the country was above all; above all faith; above all religions; above all feuds. They would stop.

Or so he thought.

As he walked, he was hailed; but he was cursed also by many – especially by those who were young and unkind; by those who had taken to crime and unholy things; by those who would profit by the war; by those who had absolute power; by those who were rich and wealthy. Silly those who thought their wealth was due to the efforts of their fathers! If it were not for the Midwich Messiah, they would not be rich. Fools!

The Messiah marched to the stage. The stage was wide and at the center was a huge flagpole; at whose top was a red flag hoisted.

As he began to climb the stony stairs, a young boy jumped up. He began to speak aloud, and when he was just about to inflame the people, the Messiah spoke with his deep voice, “Do not make speeches when you are angry; because if you do, then you will be giving the best speech of your life which you may later regret.”

The young boy’s eyes grew red with anger but stepped aside, allowing the Messiah to take the center stage.

Snowflakes fell from the skies and darkness filled the night. The assembly was lit with roaring candles of fire, crackling amidst the blizzards. But the light was enough.

He was about to speak when he felt great pain in his chest. He looked and a blood spurted out of a small wound, a bullet wound. The bullet had pierced his heart. He knelt on his knees and fell down with a thud, his eyes still lingering wide at the crowd. He felt pity growing inside him and words parted from his parched lips.

“Sometimes, I felt that monarchy was better for you people. At the least you were disciplined then and you did not taste power. For that has marauded your mind. Fight and destroy yourself. Hope through that, you may seek wisdom.”

And then he died. That was the End of the Midwich Messiah. And such a man will never be born in that country again nor in the world that surrounds it.

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My Passion’s Problems

The title says My Passion. For those who are ignorant of my passions, I would like to bring it to their notice, that it lies in reading and writing. Yes, surprisingly, it actually is.

Reading, that most of them do. Some are nerdies who read academia, some are into novels and short stories but everyone reads at some time or the other. I do too but mostly into novels. Well I read kind of any genre but fantasy is on top of my preference list. Mystery, thrillers, action follows. And how can I forget mythology and supernatural themes?

Writing, that few people do. This passion provides me the adrenaline; gives a nice relaxing feel; especially after a hard day’s work. I write mostly fantasy, sometimes thriller, mythology and supernatural. Writing is always a creative venture; you get to create characters, build behaviors into them, make them speak, feel how you want and create your own plot. I have always liked writing but, for some reasons, I haven’t pursued it for some years. There was a long gap before I took up writing again.

There are some reasons why people don’t take serious writing in India:

1) Lack of payment; payment, salaries are top priorities here, unfortunately. authors in India don’t get paid much.

2) Lack of resources

3) Quite a few literary agents

4) Parent and peer pressure

You can that even I have fallen to such whims and when the crucial decision time, I left writing as such which again I have taken up, fortunately.

I started by writing short stories in my eighth standard. And I continued doing so till I had English as a subject and till I was in school. I left it in 2002 and got busy in college. I completely lost track even though I continued reading.

I collected the lost shreds back in 2007 or late 2006, when I wrote my first fanfiction and posted it in orkut communities. It was about the fourth age of middle earth(lord of the rings) till dagor dagorath. I had to leave it incomplete due to final year projects and stuff and I was also doing a fanfic on Inheritance Cycle.

I got decent reviews for those and after getting such reviews, I decided, why not think of an original. So, I started a science fiction story titled Project Nexon which I had to stall since I reached a writer’s block and I am still not able to think of anything. Some time later, I thought of a trilogy, and started penning down the Hashims and its first part I titled The Summoning.

Then I took the hostel route in mid 2008 and even though I wanted to write, I could not. Again a long hiatus till end 2009. In December 2009, I,through search on orkut communities, was led to a site called http://www.fanfiction.net.

fanfiction.net is a platform where writers congregate to share fanfictions they have written. Since this site was related to fanfiction, I could not write much. Although, I did create an account and uploaded the incomplete fanfictions of mine.

Through this site, I was led to the sister concern, http://www.fictionpress.com and I just loved the site,even I do now. This site enabled me to create original stuff and it is really a very great platform. I have come across so many great stories that are worth publishing. And I have heard that this site has really given aspiring authors a nudge out of the door and enabled them to publish their works successfully.

On this site, I started rewriting the Hashims and now it is a story being followed by many.

I also uploaded a collection of short stories. Along with it also my new story, Bhargava, which is getting good reviews and stuff.

I hope to keep my passion alive and turn it into a profession, although by side, maybe I hope to publish someday. 🙂

Hope I will

Categories: Uncategorized

Rajneeti – A Godfather – Mahabharata Combo

It was a cloudy evening and in its chilling atmosphere I decided to watch a movie. So, I decided in the evening after some relatives left my house, to go to a library and check out some new movies in the house.

There was this movie that I wanted to watch for some time, Rajneeti, a Prakash Jha movie. Since all his previous movies were box office bestsellers, I expected the same from Rajneeti. Well, it did satisfy me to some extent, I found it to be a decent movie overall , but sadly not matching the standards of Gangajal and Apaharan, his previous movies.

I copied the material onto my system and started watching it. After its completion, I was impressed on how the film twists tales from both the Indian epic, Mahabharata and the bestselling novel, The Godfather from Mario Puzo.

So, let me start on how a comparison can be made between these three tales, and with it obviously I am sketching out a review for this movie.

First, before starting out with the tale, I would like to comment on the starcast. The movie has:

1) Naseeruddin Shah – who plays a revolutionary going missing. His acting skills are great as usual. But I feel he could have been given a longer role. But the role suited him, no doubt.

2) Bharti – I do not know her real name, so I will call her by her screen name, she was ok-ok, sometimes there weren’t any expressions on her face. Her character can be related to Kunti from Mahabharata and as the tale unfolds, she becomes similar to the character of Don Corleone’s wife. 🙂 though retaining Kunti in her.

3) Ajay Devgan : He is a regular in Prakash Jha movies but he is totally wasted in this film. He is known to be a action man and the movie just ignores him. He plays Suraj and his character is similar to that of Karna in Mahabharata. Though he has acted great, he has been wasted.

4) Manoj Bajpai : Again a master actor he has been. He plays Virendra Pratap Singh, character similar to Duryodhana of Mahabharata.

5) Arjun Rampal: He is what I liked best in the movie. A superb acting and he as an actor has come of age with this feature film. And now he is surprised with the reviews he has been getting. Kudos dude!!! Well done!! He plays Prithvi in the film, his character is similar to Arjuna at some places, at some places he is a maniac like Sonny Corleone 😛

6) Ranbir Kapoor : He has displayed a talent here. Shows that he can work in serious films as well. Plays Samar, younger brother of Prithvi, a studious guy like Michael Corleone, never in the business, but later on he is forced to and displays the same behaviour as him. at the end he is arjuna. 😛

7) Nana Patekar: He is an exceptional talent and he does act very well in the movie. His character is almost like Don Corleone and Lord Krishna of Mahabharata. His name is Bhrijgopal.

8) Katrina Kaif: She looks great as usual and her acting has improved and so has her language. She plays the character of Indu, and its actually great. She is like Draupadi at some places, then she becomes Sonia Gandhi in the end 😛 similar to Ash in Sarkar Raj.. she dons the party.

9) Sarah Thompson: She is the american lover of Ranbir Kapoor. She is like Kay Adams and Appollonia combined..i mean she lives Kay Adams and dies like Apollonia.

By the huge starcast i wud give a rating of 4/5.

Okies, now with the review of the tale.

The tale starts with Bharti climbing down a set of stairs leading to the river Ganga. As she climbs down, an excellent narration takes the viewer to a flashback.

The flashback dates 30 years back when she is a daughter of a politican of the ruling political party. She betrays her father and joins Naseeruddin Shah who she views as a mentor. Late night, it is raining heavily and Naseeruddin Shah asks her to get inside. Romance creeps in and the usual stuff. Naseerudin wakes up in the middle of the night and thinks it as a mistake. And he leaves her disappearing from the movie. See, I told you he was wasted. Now, Bharti becomes pregnant and as soon as she delivers, Bhrijgopal takes the child away and puts him in some carriage and pushes him to the Ganga. Same like Karna, Kunti story. The only difference – here Bhrijgopal sends the baby and not Bharti herself. This is done becos Bharti has not bound in a wedlock. Sounds familiar??

The flashback ends and you are with the flow of the story again. She descends the stairs and stands besides Bhrijgopal, praying to the river to keep her son well. Bhrijgopal replies that he will fine where ever he is.

Bhrijgopal convinces Bharti to wed Bhanu Pratap’s brother and out of that wedlock, Prithvi and Samar are born. Prithvi automatically is drawn into the political waves and Samar goes to America to do his PhD. Bhrijgopal manages to apply a fevicol to three families prominent in the political world.(Same as Lord Krishna merged Yadavas, Drupada and Hastinapur for the establishment of Dharma)

Bhanu Pratap who is also a great leader, has one son Virendra Pratap(Bajpai) who thinks he is the only one entitled to the gaddi of his father. Same like Duyodhana.

The scene shifts to the airport, Samar has arrived from America to attend his chacha’s birthday. Chacha = father’s brother – for ones who don’t know. Bhanu Pratap’s birthday is being celebrated with a bang. and when he does deliver speech, he falls due to an attack. He is rushed to the hospital and after much dialog, he gives his place to his brother and Prithvi(Rampal). Bajpai gets pissed off with this and goes to arrange a meeting while Bhrijgopal senses a certain tension between the two. But Mano Bajpai again returns.

The scene shifts to a kabaddi match where Ajay Devgan aka Suraj is introduced. A nice match, Suraj wins handsomely and is paraded to his house where his dad, who is the driver of the Bhanu Pratap family, has arrived in a beautiful car. Suraj manages to evade his friends in the car and as a result gets scoldings from his father. He is a man who likes to be independent. Now see a similarity between the driver and the charioteer of mahabharata. See Ajay as Karna.

The driver now drives to the airport and collects Samar. On his way home, he is interrupted by a beautiful hot girl driving like a maniac. She is named Indu(Kat). An intimate scene follows after which they return home. Then the meeting of Bharti and Samar and then Prithvi.

The scene shifts to Prithvi going to Azad Nagar to announce a candidate. He is confronted by Suraj who acts like a leader for the Dalits. He draws away the supporters.

A series of confrontations between Bajpai and Rampal follows. Another politician asks Suraj to fight from within the party. Suraj then barges into a party conference and asks for a ticket. Rampal confronts him again telling him he doesnt need him. But Bajpai seeing an opportunity to smite Rampal, gives stature to Suraj. Suraj, smitten by Bajpai’s gesture vows friendship to him..Remeber now the Krida Bhavan incident of Mahabharata. Her Rampal is Arjun, Bhrijgopal who is the convenor is Bhishma, Bajpai Duryodhana and Suraj Karna.

The scene shifts to a restaurant where Indu proposes Ranbir who declines.

Again a series of confrontations and wild politics follow which leads Bajpai to frustration. They decided to kill Samar and Prithvi’s father and they do as soon as he leaves Samar to the airport who is going back to America.

Now at the airport, Samar hears the news of his father’s murder and rushes to the hospital with Bhrijgopal. Prithvi reaches the hospital and stations guards. A SP arrives at the time and they get into an altercation in which Rampal gets arrested. Samar comes and tries to negotiate but SP slaps him hard. remeber here that Ranbir is Michael Corleone and the SP is Captain McCluskey. In this thing, Suraj becomes Sollozzo and Bajpai becomes Philip Tattaglia. Almost similar. 😛

Bhrijgopal pleads sorry and leads Samar to the blood camp. Samar donates blood but is unable to save his father. the scene shifts to Bajpai holding political speeches and crying sympathy but on the inside he is laughing.

Now, Samar acts like Mike Corleone, and decides on vengeance. He then tells Bajpai that his entire family is shifting to America but on conditions, that they are not harmed, that all charges be released. He acts slowly and turn by turn, event by event, turns the tide against Bajpai. He gets Rampal out on bail but SP tends to put a rape charge.Samar then forms a separate party called Jan Shakti out of the parent party called the Rashtravadi Party. Samar and Prithvi are seen campaigning withtheir mentor and uncle Bhrijgopal.

Bhrijgopal and Samar sense that the real problem is Suraj. And Bhrijgopal appoints Suraj’s father as the candidate for Azad Nagar.

Then they suddenly get to know that Indu’s father is thinking of supporting their enemies Samar proposes Indu and asks his mother to contact her father. She goes but her father says why not marry Indu to Prithvi who if he wins will become the Chief Minister. They ask for time and after a lot of discussions, they do accept that Prithvi to marry Indu. But Indu is flabbergasted and asks for justice. But it is denied to her. She gets angry with Samar and cries. Prithvi sympathises but has no option becos with this her father supports his party and a lot of funds become available.

Suraj now initiates the press again. Rampal becomes angry as usual (yea Sonny Corleone).

Again a sequence of political events follow which make Bajpai angry. Suraj then decides to recall the SP and re-invoke the rape charge. they call a girl who wanted to get a party ticket and had intimate relations with Rampal who had refused three times before.

Sarah Thompson, Samar’s American girlfriend, arrives in India. Bharti takes her shopping.

Rampal gets to know.And he proceeds to the farmhouse. He asks SP to call that girl here and then he kills the SP. Rampal’s goondas then abduct the girl and she too gets killed.

Then Rampal dies  in a car blast and so does Sarah.

Slowly, a politician from the opposite party is abducted and his son killed. Samar gives him a chance to divulge his father’s killer’s name. Same like Mike asking Carlo Rizzi as to who ordered it all and Carlo shouting Barzini’s name. Same stuff..the poltician divulges Suraj’s name.

Then Bhrijgopal takes Bharti to Suraj and says that Suraj is her eldest son. Then the same Kunti – Karna dialog. 😛

Suraj refuses and tells that his loyalty lies with Bajpai.

Voting starts and Indu stands in place of Prithvi. Her speeches were excellent.

At the end, Bajpai gets to know that they are manipulating the votes, he rushes without his guard, and enteres enemy territory. Suraj soon arrives. Fighting goes on in which Bajpai is wounded to death. Suraj takes him on the road but then he is surrounded.

Samar refuses to shoot down Suraj as they are without weapons But Bhrijgopal tells him that they did not kill his dad, his brother and his girlfriend when they had weapons and they too were weaponless. This is similar to Lord Krishna telling Arjuna to kill Karna becos if Karna lives, then Mahabharata would have been impossible to win for the Pandavas. Same analogy here.  So Suraj dies and Samar brings back Bhanu Pratap from the hospital.

The movie ends with Katrina Kaif becoming a minister and Samar and Kat reconciling.

Well, the movie was decent. But, Mr. Prakash Jha, we accepted something original from you. The movie has a little gore and violence. it is political. We did not expect a cocktail of different stories. OVerall rating 3.5/5

Categories: Uncategorized