Sunday, November 9, 2008

Shanghai Trip Day 14 - Revival...

Technically, this should not be an important day in the entire trip as I did not even budge out of my apartment. But the day was not a waste at all. I woke up royally at around 12 noon and made myself a fruit salad with apples, bananas and the chaat masala (i brought from India). I had read a lot of Gulzar last night and still had a hangover. Despite watching TV and having fruit salad, the hangover didn't go. Finally I wrote down a poem in Gulzar's style of metmorphisms. Finally I felt a little lighter. But this was just the beginning.

I started feeling the dormant writer in me waking after so many months. I started exploring. Read blogs from all the prominent people from IITK i knew. Read blogs from Arvind Kothari and then got links to Vinod Khare, Saurabh Nanda (Nandz), Nikhil Rasuwasia (Nikux), Pankaj Gupta (Pango), Jaya Jha, Abhay Agarwal (Abhaga). All these seniors and (few juniors too) had a great impact on my life when I was at IITK. They had extracted the creativee juices out of me and convinced me that I could be a writer, an orator, a dramticist and a poet. Read most of their blogs and also figured out who Jaya and Abhaga areliving their passions beyond just blogging. They have opened up a compnay which hosts a site called where you can publish your own books. So, after IITK CSE, and IIML (Jaya) and phD from US (abhaga), this is what they are doing. Impressive as well as aspiring.

Then suddenly, in the blogs of Nikux, I saw a photoblog, which had some awesome clicks by Nikux. The good thing was all the pics had their specifications written out and could become a handy guid to let amateur photographers to know when to use what aperture and what shutter speed. I was thrilled. I have a good Camera, but like a layman, I ahve been using the Auto mode or at max, the pre-set modes of landscape and night snapshots. I had no clue of how one could play with the aperture and shutter speeds. But, there was another dormant me which was getting awakened slowly. I had done a course in Photography way back in 1999 and i faintly recalled these terms. So, I turned to the Almighty Google for information and could revise a lot of forgotten concepts. I decided to take all the photos now on in the manual mode only by setting both the aperture and shutter speed myself.

I also got in touch with another photographer named Satrajit Basu, through a school friend of mine who has his awe-inspiring pics loaded in his not only his orkut profile, but also on Flickr. Looking at his pics, I knew that there is also something called, white balance and custome color settings that one can play with. Oh god !! I had been such a fool. I have really insulted the Canon Powershot S5 IS till now. It has been like using an intelligent IIT-IIM grad to do mere crunching of numbers. Never noticed, how much more creative he could have been. Clicked a few shots in the manual mode.

Orinetal Pearl Tower in Pudong as seen from my balcony (approx 4 kms away)
(Aperture F4.0, Shutter Speed 1/8 sec. ISO 400)

Also tried clicking the potrait hanging on my apartment wall at a distance of 2 meters.
(aperture F4.0, Shutter speed 1/4 sec, ISO 200)

I am still to learn more and also explore the options of playing with the colors and the white balance.

Having done so much on photography, I went back to writing and found that I could actually buy a domain in my name and have a site in my name too. I immediately bought a domain for 10$ in the name of If I have not done any major goof-up with the DNS settings, the website should be up in 2-3 days and my blogs shall be available on then which seems quite exciting to me too. Why? Not because I will have a site in my name, but because after two years of doing non-intelligent job of sales and distribution where all I take care of getting stocks moved in trucks to various cities and ensuring that they don't come back unsold, I was finally doing something which had to do with technology. Another revival.

Post all these episodes of revival, decided on making myself some nice food. I already had a maggie at about 5 in the evening. But it was 10 in the night and I needed a lot of food. So, I made some rice and from the almost-finished stock of the ready to eat that I had brought, took out Dal Bukhara and Bhindi Masala. Heated them well and served with a glass of coke. Couldn't stop myself from clicking.
(steamed rice - aperture f4.5, shutter speed 1/5 sec, ISO 400)

and the full meal when served, ready to be devoured ....
(aperture f4.5, shutter speed 1/6 sec, ISO 200)

Had my fill. Came back to the bed and started with Gulzar again... Just clicked the cover page also ( i m getting obsessed now..STOP)
(aperture f3.5, shutter speed 1/5 sec, ISO 200)

Kept reading it till late and don't know when I fell asleep. Really liked on of them and putting here as a thanksgiving to the writer who writes so brilliantly that it can revive lesser mortals like us.

खुदा (गुलज़ार)

बुरा लगा तो होगा ऐ खुदा तुझे,
दुआ में जब,
जम्हाई ले रहा था मैं -
दुआ के इस अमल से थक गया हूँ मैं!
मैं जब से देख सुन रहा हूँ,
तब से याद है मुझे,
खुदा जला बुझा रहा है रात दिन,
खुदा के हाथ में है सब बुरा भला -
दुआ करो!
अजीब सा अमल है ये
ये एक फर्जी गुफ्तगू,
और एकतरफा- एक ऐसे शख्स से,
ख्याल जिसकी शक्ल है
ख्याल ही सबूत है|

Another one I liked for the beauty of the words

मानसून (गुलज़ार)

बारिश आती हो तो पानी को भी लग जाते हैं पाँव,
दरोदीवार से टकरा के गुज़रता है गली से,
और उछलता है छपाकों में,
किसी मैच में जीते हुए लड़कों की तरह!

जीत कर आते हैं जब मैच गली के लड़के,
जूते पहने हुए कैनवस के,
उछलते हुए गेंदों की तरह,
दरोदीवार से टकरा के गुज़रते हैं
वो पानी के छपाकों की तरह!

That was all for the day. Saturday over, Sunday beckons.

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