Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I am sure all of Kimi's fans would be as heartbroken as me after hearing the news that he won't be racing in F1 next year. Usually people like the sport F1 and then they have their favourite drivers etc. but it was the other way around for me. I used to follow F1 because most/all of my friends were following it and I fell in love with the sport after I fell in love with the driver, Kimi. It is his raw talent to race faster than anyone else that attracted me, always setting those fastest laps, pushing the machine so hard and breaking it many a times, making it a point to win the Belgian grand prix even when he had problems with the car most of the season :) And his "not giving a damn to anyone or anything" attitude that attracted me to him, a simple man with no layers as his manager put it once. I am undecided as to what F1 without Kimi would mean to me.

I saw this today and could think of nothing other than Kimi's decision to not race in F1 next year.
Kimi you will be missed at F1, I wore a Mclaren top when I watched you race in Malaysia 2006 and I wore a Ferrari shirt when I watched you race in Montreal 2008, I think I should start reading about rallying and WRC now. Go Kimi!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Watched MJ's This is it yesterday. Very impressed and fascinated with his grace. I don't know if everyone sees what I saw, it maybe completely my perspective. For the entire duration I was fascinated by the perfect order that I was seeing in every single movement of his hands, legs, body. I am saying this because those videos were shot during the rehearsals, a show is different. There was absolutely no movement that was out of place, and I couldn't see that order in any of the dancers that danced with him. Of course I am not disrespecting those dancers, I know they were a set of talented dancers selected by MJ himself but I am talking about the 'perfect order all the time', I couldn't see that in anyone. It should be because it's his style and it comes naturally to him. But I must say I was amazed and inspired to a very great extent than my expectations. The memory of his long graceful hands will remain forever.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you look at this picture?

I was beaming with joy when Vinay looked at the restaurant and said "They painted the restaurant red because it's a complementary colour of green!" during our Banff trip. I know I have a long way to go before everyone around me recognise the colours and their effect, especially when I have these dear friends who claim they are "not artistic" or "colour blind"!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

So here it is, the painting where I was experimenting the other two complementary pairs: green-red and yellow-violet. I went to the market in search of flowers to paint as my subject but the moment I looked at the watermelon (small one) I wanted to paint it. Since it was green I bought a bunch of tomatoes as my other subject. After trying out with a few compositions, settled down on this one where I decided to have the subjects placed an a table (which was going to be yellow-violet :)).

It was fun painting this one and I was trying out different brush strokes instead of just making it smooth. In the next class one of my classmates and James (my teacher) pointed out that I might have used Divisionism and a bit of Pointillism in my work. I didn't know what those techniques were, found out about them later. It's interesting that it (divisionism) is based on the science that optical mixing of colors happen and it is not necessary to mix the colors physically all the time.

When I told about this to Chinnu he was telling me how art is supposed to be intuitive and all that but it definitely helps in knowing the science behind it as it makes it faster and it won't take away any creativity or intuitiveness from us.

In the last class James was telling us about the use of Geometry in paintings, which again is arguable that it's not intuitive. Maybe not all the painters used/use it consciously but it is true that images look more pleasing to the eyes when they are proportionate so I think knowing about it only makes it easier and makes us more confident to use it.

The other paintings that I made in the class are uploaded here.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

In the last class we were taught about complementary colors, two colors across from each other on a color wheel through the center of the wheel. In the modern color wheel they would be magenta-green, blue-orange and yellow-violet. The complementary colors increase the visual intensity of each other when placed in close proximity. This theory of complementary was formulated in 1850 or so and was used extensively by the impressionists (Monet etc). James showed us Van Gogh's paintings before he moved to Paris and the ones after he moved and started using the complementary colors. In one of the letters he wrote to his brother, Van Gogh had mentioned that he was experimenting the usage of three pairs of complementary colors in the same painting.

We learnt to mix a pair of complementary colors (plus white) in varying proportions to form a Dyad. We were supposed to make an abstract painting using this complementary blend only. Here is the picture of what I made using the blue-orange complementary pair. When I was working on this one Vinay pointed out that the Indian cricket team's new jersey designed by Nike uses the same complementary pair :)

Monday, June 08, 2009

Started my painting classes at the Emily Carr University of Art & Design, with the instructor James Lindfield. I have taken up a course Fundamentals of Oil Paintings under their Continuing Studies Program for the adults. I loved the Granville Island from the day I went there the first time, it is a haven for the arts, you find different festivals, live performances, street buskers over there. This university is on the Granville Island and so I was all excited about taking up the course. I waited for the online registration to open as there were only 16 slots, and managed to register on time.

So I had my first class on Sunday. Well, we were supposed to have our first class on the last Sunday but we didn't as our instructor forgot about the class as he was busy working at his studio :) I like the instructor and all that and I now find it hard to not think about painting, the class, what paintings we students did, what the instructor told for each one of us and what not, when I am at work :(

Above image is a picture of the painting I did in my first class, I chose a candle holder as the object to paint. We have assignments too! The course has eight classes, and I am expecting to learn most, if not all, of the oil painting techniques by the end of it.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


In 2007 (Dec), I thanked people who planted the trees in Jayanagar in one of my posts. And in 2008 (Nov-Dec), I hear that these trees are going to be felled to make way for the Metro. But I always thought it won't happen because no one can actually think of cutting those trees on the Nanda road, they make a distinguished part of Bangalore.

No, I am not against development/progress. But to me, felling trees on the Nanda road (and Lalbagh) to make way for the Metro is like demolishing a part of Taj Mahal to make way for the Metro! Because those trees are part of our heritage just like how Taj Mahal is. I never thought it would be difficult for anyone to accept this, I thought Hasiru Usiru was doing a great job and we should be able to save those trees. Anitha, Boda and Chilli have been working a great deal for this cause with Hasiru Usiru.

From what I hear from them about the protests/progress, I realize that people don't care about these trees at all! :( Here are the updates from them, extremely disheartening.

Sent: Monday, May 04, 2009 9:14 PM
Subject: Re: Map fundaes

They came around 5:30 when it started raining and chopped off one tree. As they saw people approaching to question them, they ran away! They even left the cut tree in the Lalbagh premises.

Some of the eye witnesses lodged a police complaint and the guy there said they will give protection for one night. So a constable was stationed at that place in Lalbagh so hopefully no more trees were cut last night.


From: Sridhar
Sent: Wednesday, May 06, 2009 10:42 AM
Subject: Bad day yesterday ...

The Mothers of Bangalore (Sanmathi) wanted to raise awareness in the Jayanagar 4th Block area. So, they held a protest there yesterday. I was supposed to go along with them to try getting information about people who might support our cause. The whole evening turned out to be a big messy affair!

Things were going fine with the mothers singing songs on Bangalore and asking the people of Bangalore to arise to the illegality of the Metro, about how they weren't against the Metro, but wanted it to be built in a legal manner, with least damage to the environment as possible. Then these two guys start shouting at us for being anti-Metro. So this is the exchange I am involved with.
Metro-fanatic 1 & 2: Metro is a dream for us. Metro is a 100 year old dream. How can you oppose it!
Me: We are not opposing the Metro. But we want it to go underground.
Metro-fanatic 1 & 2: Metro is a dream for us. Metro is a 100 year old dream. How can you oppose it!
Me: We are not opposing the Metro. But we want it to go underground.
Metro-fanatic 1 & 2: Metro is a dream for us. Metro is a 100 year old dream. How can you oppose it!
Me: We are not opposing the Metro. But we want it to go underground.
Metro-fanatic 1 & 2: Metro is a dream for us. Metro is a 100 year old dream. How can you oppose it!
Me: We are not opposing the Metro. But we want it to go underground.
Metro-fanatic 1 & 2: What's the harm if 4 trees go?! If we need progress, we need to sacrifice some things.
[NOTE: All this is being shouted at me, and I am trying to be as calm as I can under the circumstances.]
Me: When there is an alternative solution possible which will not only help the trees, but also make the Metro more useful, why should we go with the current alignment?
Metro-fanatic 1 & 2: There are trees being cut in front of hotels, bars. Why don't you protest there?
Me: Come, let's go right now and protest those as well.

Obviously doesn't come.

Metro-fanatic 1 & 2: It's our right for a Metro. Because of your selfishness, we can't lose the Metro. Delhi has it. Hyderabad has it. We also want it.
Me: Delhi, inside the city, has Metro underground.
Metro-fanatic 1 & 2: Metro is a dream for us. Metro is a 100 year old dream. How can you oppose it!
Metro-fanatic 1 & 2: All you people opposing are not Kannadigas. You are not from Bangalore.

At which point, another person in the crowd told me to not waste time talking to these people, and come out of the crowd. I did.

The women were still singing the songs. When these people go up to them, pointing fingers, flailing arms at them. Accusing them of people who will not remain in Bangalore.
Metro-fanatic 1: You people will go off to foreign. We want our Metro.
[NOTE: That guy was wearing a San Francisco T-shirt.]
And a minor slip from one of the women. She wants to ask the people of Jayanagar to be unapathetic, and arise. She says, "Kannadigas are lazy. We need to get up and fight this!"

M-f 1 & 2 latch on to this. And that's the end. :(

They tell us that we have 10 minutes to vacate the place, else we will be beaten up.

Anitha is waiting at Lalbagh where another tree was cut in the afternoon. As I leave from 4th block, she tells me that the DCP, ACP have given us assurance that no more tree-felling will happen until the 9th (when there will be another protest - probably the most important/final one).

-- edited to remove a line --

In the afternoon at Lalbagh, I am talking to the contractor in-charge of cutting the trees. He asks me where I was when trees were being cut at Vijaynagar, K R Road, etc. I tell him that when it happened on Seshadri Road, we were there. With a proud smirk, he says, "I was there at Seshadri Road". Resisted an urge to slap him.

End of the day, that's the story. Logic of most people - "You didn't protest before, why are you protesting before? Just let it go!" It doesn't strike them that it is this attitude that will result in more encroachments, more autocracy from the rogue BMRCL. Right now the station at Lalbagh doesn't have a parking lot, auto stand, bus stop, etc. They've ONLY taken 0.1% of Lalbagh. Few years down the line, I can visualise them saying this, "We have 0.1% already. What's another 1%? Besides, we need parking lots. We can't have roads jammed!"

Of course, it's progress. Development.

Excellent. Long live mindless infrastructure development.

Only good thing. Another day where I didn't beat up somebody.

I can't even imagine what Boda must be going through. In his place, I would have probably snapped a long time back.


Sent: Wednesday, May 06, 2009 3:23 AM
Subject: Re: Bad day yesterday ...

They had come with 4 police lorries, 5 jeeps, etc. Women police as well. Spoke to the DCP/ACP who had promised us protection just yesterday. His words, "Orders from higher up. Can't do anything."

I saw the cutting of 4 trees. They are in such a hurry to finish up. Most of the trees are landing on the asbestos walls they've put up.

All trees will be cut today for sure. And the saddest part, the land transfer to BMRCL hasn't even been done yet. Long live the Metro!

There are more protests planned (check, these should make a difference, please spread the word.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

I was excited to hear that Dr. Stroustrup was going to be talking on C++0x in Vancouver. A bunch of us that registered for the talk got official invites from the Simon Fraser university as our company has an university relations group that work closely with the universities.

So there we were, at the SFU on the 30th of April to take part in Dr. Stroustrup's talk. Dr. Stroupstrup talked about the new ISO standard for C++ that he has been working on and that he intends to get done by 2009, it's called C++0x (zero-x as the year is unknown until the standard is out).

I was expecting some major additions if not changes, however didn't see a lot of new stuff or radically different advances. Well, the reason maybe obvious that millions of people already use C++ and anything newly introduced shouldn't break the existing code and because whatever is done should kind of fit into the existing tool chains.

Here is what I could gather
1. Improvements to aid programming with systems that work closely with hardware, to support concurrency -new components, threads and thread pools added.
2. Increase type safety (strict enum type checks etc)
3. Initializer lists (std::initializer_list) to aid initializing pretty much everywhere - vectors, class members, function arguments something like below

void f(int, std::initializer_list, int)
so -> f(1, {2,3,4}, 5);

4. easier and safer use of templates
5. And a lot of smaller things like static_asserts, simplifying for loop syntax etc.

There were a few lighter moments in the talk that I must say I enjoyed :) He said a lot of people keep saying that C++ is not used much but it is a blatant lie. He also said we are not talking about the medium sized, medium reliable, medium performance applications written by mediocre programmers for windows!

There was also a slide listing what (who) all use C++ -Mar's Rover, Google's file system, Microsoft's every product, Photoshop, Cell phones, Gaming, Graphics, Compilers, Chip design etc.
A detailed list of applications that use C++ on his website -

It felt good to listen to him speak about something he created (that I have been using to write code) and is passionately working on it, the authority with which he speaks makes it nicer :)

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Finished painting Karthik's 'Together' picture just before leaving for Bangalore so that I could give it to him. And tried taking pictures of the painting, never got the colors or the composition right :(

Here is a close up of one portion of the painting. The colors are still not good, the original painting is more grayish but the cameras seem to make it more blueish.

Finally a good one, this one was taken by Karthik himself :)

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Sea to sky highway

Yesterday we drove to Whistler town, thanks to Tara and Akhilesh who are here on an official visit, we made up our mind to get to Whistler finally. Whistler town hosts the Whistler mountain (named after the whistling calls of the marmots to warn friends of the impending danger, that lived in the alpine areas of the mountain). Whistler mountain hosts the ski resort Whistler Blackcomb, more than a million people go there each year. This is the official ski resort for the 2010 Winter Olympics that is going to happen in Vancouver.

Whistler is a famous place and its beauty and grandness is talked about all the time but what I found amazing was the drive! The sea to sky highway which connects Vancouver and Whistler (Whistler is around 120 km from Vancouver) is a two lane (most part of it) scenic highway that passes both the pacific ocean and the snow-capped mountains. It was simply spectacular to drive on the highway. Here are a few pictures...
Around 80-90km of the highway was covered with these mountains and the ocean. And most both sides of the highway has these glaciated mountains which was really a treat.

There were view points too where we stopped and admired the views! There is construction going on for the Winter Olympics and so there were traffic diversions at some parts of the highway, however that didn't take away anything from the wonderful experience we had driving through this highway.

Want to do more trips to Whistler, people, please do visit us :) Susie you reading this? :)

Saturday, January 31, 2009

It's been a really good month when it comes to the movies that I have watched...considering the fact that sometimes we wait so badly for a good movie, it makes me very happy that we have so many movies, all good ones!

Let me go in the reverse order because the latest movie compelled me to think of all the movies I watched :)

Luck by chance! -Such a well made movie... I walked out of the theater feeling so nice about the movie, it's makers, myself and life :) Thanks to Vinay, he wanted to watch it the moment he saw that it was released.
I had heard Zoya Akthar say in an interview that in the 90s all the Hindi movies made were awful and she couldn't relate to any of them. I thought I completely understood her feeling when I watched the interview but after I watched Luck by chance I think I understood her better! I could relate to the movie and connect to the characters in it to a very great extent.
The story of Luck by chance was just so complete, from covering the perspectives so well to getting the message across to the viewers so easily.
How I would like to see it is -Life is probably a very simple movie, you can either play Farhan Akthar or play Konkana Sen and in both the cases you are a winner! :)
Farhan plays an ambitious, confident, selfish (almost an opportunist) guy, actor by profession. And Konkana plays an ambitious, bold, independent, supporting and a sincere girl, actor by profession. Things fall in place for Farhan from the others perspective (from his perspective, he succeeded because of his belief in himself and the aspiration to go as far as it takes ) and he becomes a super star. Konkana is the kind of a person who trusts everyone until the trust is broken and she will have to face the consequences more than once in her life. Nevertheless she gets the point and goes on to do what she likes to do without giving a damn to success or failure.
It was a very nice movie and I loved everything about it, the satirical depiction of Hindi film industry, the emotions experienced by the characters, Farhan not being too much of a hero, Konkana Sen playing the lead role, and Shahrukh Khan's name being the last name to be shown on the "special thanks to" list :)

Defiance -I liked the movie very much. It may not be the first movie on the war between Germans and Jews but it surely is a movie that I am glad I watched. It makes us understand how better off we are when compared to people during those times. Sure we have our problems and they had theirs but I still think we wouldn't have survived those wars like they did. Great performances by the actors.

Revolutionary Road -Thanks to me, I was hell bent upon watching this movie the moment I heard about it. Awesome movie, awesome performances, extremely inspiring!
Again it is something that we all can relate to, very well. I really wish that everyone who watches it get the decisions of their lives right, that is they decide to move to Paris if they were April and Frank :)

Benjamin Button -It is a cretaive one for sure but I thought it got a bit boring after we got the idea because of the length. In any case that movie also had good performances and sincere, earnest moments that I enjoyed.

Slumdog Millionaire -I would say that it was a well made movie but honestly I didn't think it was a great movie. I think I have a problem with the storyline itself, I was just not comfortable buying the fact that Jamal won because it was written. I didn't think someone like Jamal would know the answers to just those questions that were asked (and not even to questions simpler than those) but rather to a lot more questions.
And another disturbing thing about the movie was the way Anil kapoor kept speaking to Jamal during the show. It was unbelievable that he spoke to Jamal so condescendingly! I am not sure if Vikas Swarup's original work also portrays Anil's character that way or if it is just the movie... but that was a total put off. Though I haven't seen much of "Kaun Banega Karorpati" shows, I distinctly remember from the ones I watched that Amitab Bacchan spoke to the contestants with so much respect. I know it is a small part of the movie itself but I must say it disturbed me quite a bit (I mean, we shouldn't be conveying wrong things to the worldwide audience about what happens in a particular Indian show).

Okay! that was a long post but I had to say that I loved the movie Luck by chance :)
To be watched list still has two more movies pending -Doubt, The reader.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

It is 2009. As I welcome the new year I also recollect memories of the year gone by. I think it's something that everyone does but I must say that I do it more religiously after one of my friend Rashmi Kamath wrote a really amazing mail to the group recollecting all the events that had happened in the past year :)

Of the many things, I just thought of checking on my paintings (or art works as I would like to put) and then I thought I should post them here. Though I wanted to make this post, I must say that I was inspired by Dhimant and his work Neumonia and Other Sketch Stories to finally compile and post it!

I made this for one of my friends from office, Bhaktha, in February. He had this so called sun-swallowing picture taken on one of his trips and somehow I wanted to paint it the moment I saw it. I enjoyed working on the sunset part of it (I usually do because I love the sunset colours) and also enjoyed working on his hair as it required very thin strokes.

This was a part (my part) of the mural painting we did at office in August. Though there was no room for creativity or even the choice of colours, I enjoyed doing this on a canvas :) It is the tail of a colourful parrot that was in one of the eight parts of the mural.

This is a sketch of one of my colleagues watching a presentation slide during an all hands meeting at work. It was in September. The meeting was in a hotel and it was really boring, they had given us water cans as gift which came in a cardboard box. This colleague of mine was watching a presentation slide and I noticed that he was watching it very curiously, didn't appear like he would change his posture. So just made his sketch quickly on the cardboard box I had.

I started working on it on the 15th of August, had taken the day off. The theme was independence/freedom. I wanted to use only 3 three colours, the Indian national flag tri-colours and just keep drawing free strokes (of course with a pattern/style in mind) on the paper but no restriction on how it should look or how it shouldn't look. This is what it ended up as :) I finished it in early Dec though I started it on the Independence day!

When I visited EA office (Vinay's), I was totally impressed with the art aspect of it. Every single thing was arranged, designed very creatively. Be it the art on the walls or the theme of their gym everything was creative and artistic. I promised Vinay that I would make something very different for his desk too. I wanted to paint on a rock! I got one too, from a beach we went to. But never made anything on it. Finally I made up my mind and did this in December, it was Vinay's idea that I make maple leaves on it.

Thank you and hope to do more in 2009!