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Archive for August, 2005

Machines I adore

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The machines that interest me do not work on land. They work in either the Sea or the Sky.

I have been collecting warplane models for some time. Recently an “aviation” store has also opened near my office, making money matters worse for me since the last time I got my salary, it was my first destination. Anyway, here are the pictures of my fleet. These models stand on my desk.

Scout4- US Navy
This is the Scout 4 Ranger/Fighter Airplane used by the US Navy.

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Above: The Messerschmitt 109-G, also known as “Gustav”, an example of magnificent design of the German Airpower. Played a major role for Germany in the battles against Britain during WWII.

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Above: The B-24 “Liberator” of the USAF, could be easily called the “mother of all bombers” was in service till 1944. 4 Engines and a top speed of 450 kmph.

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Above: The AV-8B Harrier II- A part of the modern fleet. One of the best Aircrafts a navy could ever have. It’s unique ability to take-off/land vertically using the VTOL and the STOL ability using the Ski Jump is a big advantage, besides having a top speed of 1100 KMPH. Originally a Royal Navy product- a previous version of this, the Sea Harrier, is now also maintained by the Indian Navy. I had the opportunity to take a good look at its cockpit while my visit to the Indian Navy vessel, INS Viraat (prev. HMS Hermes of The Royal Navy) some years back. By the way, INS Viraat can accommodate upto 30 of these.

Soon I will be publishing pictures taken of real aircrafts.

Written by aditya kumar

August 31st, 2005 at 3:40 am

Posted in Aviation,Personal

Michael has Just Learnt to Rock Bangalore

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According to news going around, Danish Band, Michael Learns to Rock- more popularly known as MLTR, is due to perform in Bangalore on the 25th of September. The Band will also perform in Bombay.

Romantic ballads of this band have been the prelude to Boyzone listening era of my life before I went on to the likes of Oasis and U2. Though I haven’t listened to MLTR in the last few years, I can safely say, MLTR, Boyzone, Sting, Bryan Adams and U2 are some bands that I have listened to so much, that I remember most of the songs.

Of them- Sting and Bryan Adams have already performed here. MLTR will be coming next month. I am sure to be there.

But when will U2 come to India?

Written by aditya kumar

August 30th, 2005 at 7:55 pm

Posted in Personal,U2

Test Cricket at Best

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A cricket tournament involving India is going on but no match scheduled for the weekend.


Because if there was one, my mind would have hung in balance. I can imagine one side of my brain not giving a damn to the cricket proceedings after witnessing the way we lost to New Zealand the other day. And the other side, questioning my faith in this cricket team of ours while tempting me to spend my weekend watching the 12 men in blue, (including the super-sub: so what if he gets out on a duck?) all in the hope that things will change. I must also tell you, that it is this other side of the brain which makes the audiences come back to watch cricket time after time.

I was, of course, spared of this dilemma this weekend.

Instead, trust the Ashes to give you that adrenaline rush while it revives Test Cricket. My dear readers, I have just witnessed the England-Australia encounter at Trent Bridge and trust me, it makes me wish you have witnessed it too. For if you have not I hope that you do not follow cricket at all- such was the intensity of the game. Riveting, spellbinding and all the ingredients of a classic test match thriller you could possibly think of.

My loyalties lie with England on this. An automatic choice since though I respect the Australians, I think while they have won almost every series (in the last decade or so) that has come their way, it has only rendered cricket predictable and boring. England and India have been the only countries who have raised their game to such a level that has made the Australians rethink their plans.

This series has had it’s funny side too. The Australians celebrated the draw at Old Trafford. That is a rare sight, Aussies celebrating a draw. And in this test match, the outbursts of Captain Ricky Ponting and Simon Katich when they got out in the second innings. We haven’t seen the Australians do that lately, have we? Mind you, this is not sledging. I think it is only happening because this current Aussie lot is yet to learn lessons on handling defeat. Steve Waugh, in this regard was a much decent man. You will notice, people in India have a lot of respect for him. Ricky Ponting’s case is just the opposite. Obviously, he doesn’t care.

Meanwhile, it celebration time at Trent Bridge. As I write this, Cricinfo screams “England hold their nerve in yet another thriller”. I have been also told the Manchester Uniteds, Liverpools and the Chealseas will have to be content with the smaller columns in tomorrow’s newspapers. For now, it’s just Vaughan, Trescothick, Freddie Flintoff and co. For now, it’s just cricket.

I can see this test match doing a world of good to cricket in the original Country of the game- which lately, like India, has been so much deprived of quality Cricket.

By the way, if England wins this Ashes, I say, grant Knighthood to all of them.

Written by aditya kumar

August 29th, 2005 at 2:22 am

Posted in Cricket

Why do we blog?

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According to Wikipedia, often, the word “blog” is used to describe an “online diary or journal”. Dwelling on this fact, In this post, I have tried to find the answer to this: what makes people blog?

The most common form of blogging is maintaining an online journal. In fact, the whole idea of blogging revolves around the above statement. Of course, the topics may differ.

But why Blog? Why have an online journal in the first place?

Many of us have maintained personal diaries and journals. Some of us still do. One of the most common protocols is to update it before going to bed, or for that matter, any chosen time.

Blogging is all that, except that it is for the world to see.

In the beginning, the idea may be a little difficult to grasp. What you write online will not only be read by people but also, often, be scrutinised out there. You may choose to write anonymously or have a nick name which shows a trait of your personality. (Or if you want to try something stupid, you could be like me, keep posting using a screen name but have a URL that divulges the real name so conveniently)

Once this idea is accepted, the real fun starts. Those of us who blog and who have also maintained personal diaries know that at a level, blogging is more exciting than the diaries that we have penned. I think it is so because at some level we want our ideas and thoughts to be analysed, discussed upon and to our delight, finally be accepted by the people. Blogging provides that “level”.

We all blog about anything- from criticising Times of India (which, admittedly, doesn’t take much of research, an example here at CSF. Even someone at Wikipedia couldn’t resist the temptation, here.) to write about the small things that irritate us, just like EP tells us here. We even have a great-first-attempt at Singlish (Singaporean English) humor or on a more serious note, write a splendid account of a city coming to life every morning, as evident from Bombay’s flora fountain.

But we write, and that’s all that matters.

Written by aditya kumar

August 25th, 2005 at 11:49 pm

Posted in Blogging,Writing

Iqbal, coming up..

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Nagesh Kukunoor is not a typical bollywood director. His work says it all. I absolutely loved his Teen Deewarein. I think it was a very well made film. Of course, if you attribute success to “commercial” success, his films may not touch that mark. But he has persisted with his directing style and I think that is the best thing about him.

His latest offering, Iqbal: The Rampur Express is due to release the coming Friday. This, from Rediff:

“His latest, Iqbal: The Rampur Express, is an unusual tale about a deaf and mute boy (Shreyas Talpade) who wants to join the Indian cricket team. And he has a village drunk (Naseeruddin Shah) for help.”

With Iqbal Kukunoor is trying something new. From the outside, this could combine the sentiments of Cricket in Lagaan and the disability in Black. He could be trying to pull off a commercial success here. Actually, even if Kukunoor rips off any bollywood movie and remakes it in his own way, I would look forward to it because I know with this guy being the director, the story is in safe hands.

The other big reason to watch this movie is Naseeruddin Shah. One has to keep in mind, Mr Shah is one actor who does not render his services easily to any director.

Kukunoor’s movies are simple. They are not heavy stuff. He tells the story in an uncomplicated way. And you should listen to his hindi. His Hyderabadi hindi speaking style is something that amused me.

I am looking forward to Iqbal.

Written by aditya kumar

August 24th, 2005 at 11:35 pm

Posted in Cinema

Mine’s Best!

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After a gap of almost 6 months, I finally broke my own best record for Intermediate level in Minesweeper. 26 Seconds, it is now. yay! :)

And this was with a non-optical mouse- hard to handle but a firm grip and my fingers were numb with the AC on. Not the best conditions for minesweeper playing, I must say. But who minds…hehe :P

Written by aditya kumar

August 23rd, 2005 at 8:36 pm

Posted in Personal

Modernisation blues

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Often during modernisation (or as the Maharashtra government calls “Shanghaisation”) of cities, age old practises and traditions come in the way. Examples are the pavement bookshops of Bombay and, as I just discovered, the hand rickshaw pullers of Calcutta.

If the pavement bookshops in Bombay were making pedestrian paths too clumsy, the Calcutta rickshaw pullers are health hazards for themselves. All agreed but weren’t these legalized until yesterday?

Both, the pavement bookshops of Bombay and the rickshaw pullers of Calcutta have been existing from the pre-independence era. The demerits and the hazards posed by them have been identified after 58 years of India’s own Government. And now if the Government has taken a decision, isn’t it that they should also provide these people with other means of livelihood? Will the 1800 rickshaw pullers be simply added to the ever growing unemployed crowd of Bengal?

More about it, here, on the BBC.

Written by aditya kumar

August 17th, 2005 at 1:17 am

Posted in Society