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Archive for May, 2009

Orkut and Facebook are the most popular social networking sites in India. Photo sharing has been a prime feature for both these socio-nets. Often we find friends uploading albums with photos from their recent trip/vacation to some place or some events in their life. These updates are actively tracked among the friends’ network and commenting and tagging of photos is quite common.

Given this, I am surprised that neither of these two socio-nets has a feature of image search among the friends’ network and public photos on these sites.

Often when we are planning a trip or vacation to some place, we try to search online about the destination. I would always love to know if any of my connection on either Orkut or Facebook has been there and has put up any photos of the place. A friend’s word would always carry more credibility than the most authentic commercial profile page/wiki for the place. In fact, a few days back Orkut themselves had run an online ad campaign wherein they showed one animated user talking about the great trip/vacation he had and other asking him to upload photos from this trip/vacation on Orkut. So I am quite sure that photo sharing (especially of specific locations) is a big traffic booster for Orkut and Facebook.

However right now there are no means to find out if there are any photos of interest available on these socio-nets to which I have access. I have to turn to proper photo-sharing networks like Flickr.com and try my luck with photos from some stranger with whom I might never be able to connect (Yahoo! sucks in all its social network efforts 🙂 ). This one application can overnight convert Orkut and Facebook into a serious competitor for all photo-sharing sites like Flickr.

This image search facility should allow me to search for photos to which I have access on these socio-nets, i.e. photos from my friends or photos which have been made public purposefully by their owners. This search can be based on tags/album name or whichever image search technology is best suited. I am sure Google with its best search technologies will not have much of an issue in developing an image search for Orkut. Besides, Google maps/Google world should be integrated with Orkut and geo-tagging of photos should be allowed. It will only make image search more accurate when searching for photos of a specific location.

While privacy has always been a key concern for these socio-nets, and more so with photos, this search facility needs to be very particular in searching only among those photos to which the searcher’s account have access to. Facebook has the famous privacy bug still unresolved wherein if any of your friend comments on a photo from a Facebook user who is not your friend, you still get to see the entire album of photos of that person. Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor’s private photos from Facebook had leaked out once because of this bug, however still it remains unresolved. Wonder if it is now an intentional bug that Facebook wants to be alive to drive more page-views.

As a plain user of these socio-nets, I sense a need here for an application which can provide this image search facility. I hope some Product Manager from either Google of Facebook listens to this and evaluates the opportunity. But before that, what do you guys think of it? Is there an opportunity for building such an application for Orkut or Facebook?

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Chal mere saath hi chal, ai meri jaan-e-ghazal,

In samajo ke banaye hue bandhan se nikal, chal,

Chal mere saath hi chal…

Simple lyrics, sung in equally simpler soothing relaxed tone. Ahmed & Mohammed Hussain create a magic with their rough but pleasing voice. I had heard this ghazal some 6-7 years back. We had a cassette of this album, and as it is with any good thing worth keeping, the cassette went bad after some time. I tried hard to find a CD of this album in stores or on internet, but never managed to locate one. But over years, these lines always remained etched somewhere in my sub-conscious; and every time I had to remember a good ghazal, this one used to start playing in mind, and I would start humming it to myself. So yesterday when I went through this beautiful post from my friend’s blog – where she has written about similar feelings for her favourite but long-lost ghazals which refuse to go away even after years of not hearing them once, I was reminded of this one again. I was recollecting ghazals which have made me happy every time I listened to them, and was living again the divine bliss I get by just listening to these ghazals playing in my sub-conscious soaks me to soul with pure unadulterated pleasure. And thanks to YouTube, I found this ghazal yesterday, and it has made this  weekend so special 🙂

Hum waha jaye, jaha pyar par pahre na lage;

Dil ki daulat pe jaha koi lutere na lage;

Kab hai badla yeh zamana, tu zamane ko badal.

Apne milne pe jaha koi bhi ungli na uthe,

Apni chahat pe jaha koi bhi dushman na hase,

Ched de pyar se tu saaz-e-mohabbat pe gazal.

I like this particular piece for the amazing melody and deep meaning it conveys in such a simple straight-forward manner. It’s a call for a love which does not conform to the dumb hypocrite social norms. It calls for a rebellion against it; but never does it become gaudy or populist or dramatic or larger than life. It is based on a firm resolve, a firm unflinching commitment towards the love. It is about a love which is very human, very normal, and still it holds the strength of taking on the world, to prove to themselves and to all others the power of simple tender love. It is ready to face all the opposition in the world because it has in it the strength of purity and sanctity of love, of childlike trust in love, of undying commitment towards one’s love! Nothing on this world or outside it can ever do any harm to something as holy, as pious as this love!

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I had put a post about difference between entrepreneurs and businessmen sometime back. Some appreciated it, but many drew a flak. I was amazed at that, but may be I am the weird one. Days have past, and the difference is getting clearer in my mind now. And I am happy about it.

An entrepreneur will stay by his idea. He may later realize that idea was a crap one and made no sense at all, or is not a viable business, but he would wait till he himself gets convinced about it. And once he is, I would want that entrepreneur to be practical and move on to the next thing. A businessman may be will be quicker in realizing this misjudgment, as he is not blinded by the irrational passion that entrepreneur has, but instead of moving on, he will try to make most of it. All that theory of sunk cost and investment will be thrown and moving into related business, which may or may not be as enticing but will surely be rewarding, will be tried out. Businessman will make success out of it, but I wonder if entrepreneur will be happy with it.

One important call that any wannabe entrepreneur or businessman should be taking is that whether he considers his venture and his CV as one and the same. The moment you start looking at it as two different entities, you are calling for trouble. I guess an entrepreneur while passionate about the idea, as he more and more gets convinced of the inviability of the business concept, is more likely to be selfish and think of his CV before the venture. He is characterized by the obsession for doing what he enjoys, what he really wants to; he does not think too much into future and though would have a plan, it will always be restricted to the idea. A businessman will be more willing to put his venture ahead of every damn thing, be more flexible and will make sure it becomes success. He will do all that it takes to make profit in the business. I am still not sure what this means, and whether it makes sense, but I am more and more getting convinced that this is something which clearly differentiates an entrepreneur from businessman.

On the last post, many said its a wasteful exercise to do this hair-splitting between entrepreneurship and business, am sure more will say so again, but I am enjoying it. Its fun trying to make sense (or to lose it) over things completely weird. 🙂

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It is just a thought – shapeless, colourless, odourless, floating in thin ether. But it is definitely present, alive and kicking. If it is not, it becomes a dead memory. But before that, it never fails to do a thing or two to the thinker.

At times, a restless thought goes to the deepest corner of heart, tickles the deepest desires and regrets, and becomes a dream.

At times, an anxious thought goes to the back of mind, in those unknown dark alleys of conscious where fear lives, and becomes a nightmare.

At times, a childish thought floats down the corners of eyes, and lands on the back of palm, and is blown away, and becomes a wish.

At times, a starry eyed thought peeks out the half-open window, grabs the twinkling stars and whole of the full-moon in both its hands, and becomes an ambition.

At times, a spirited thought raises itself to a height, and meets the eyes of the tall, and comes back charged, and becomes an inspiration.

At times, a stoic thought blinds itself to all obstacles, and zooms out of muddle, and becomes passion, determination.

At times, a noble thought drenches itself in the purest mist, and cleanses the entire valley for sunrise, and becomes a prayer.

At times, a selfish thought keeps rubbing the ugly wound, and keeps spewing the venom, and becomes hatred.

At times, a greedy thought gets accompanied by expectation, and becomes – at times joy, but often sorrow.

At times, a purest thought hits another of its own, and takes a shape that actually intermingles with others, and becomes love.

And eventually everything becomes a memory… as the thought dies. Let us make most of it before that.

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Thanks Euphoria for this splendid song.  Surely makes forgetting something one really loved so much, and moving on, a tad easier for sure.

Sach Tha Ya Koi Sapna, Bhool Gaya

Neend Mein Keh Ke Apna, Bhool Gaya…

Yaad Hai Sab Khwab, Jo Bhi Hua Na, Hua Hai Jo

Sab Kuch… Main wo Bhool Gaya

Tere Geet, Mere Geet, Ab Nahin Tu Mera Meet

Bhoola Sab, Bhoola Jahan, Bhoola Tumhe

Ab Nahin Woh Din Raat, Ab Na Hogi Taaron Se Baat

Bhoola Sab, Bhoola Jahan, Bhoola Tumhe Bhoola Tumhe

 

Sham Ka Kar Ke Vaada, Bhool Gaya,

Yaad Hai Kuch Kuch Zyada, Bhool Gaya

Aaine Mein Jo Dekha Tha Tujh Ko

Meine Kahan, Yeh Din Raat Bhool Gaya…

Ab Nahin Tera Zeher, Ab Nahin Mujhe Koi Darr,

Bhoola Sab, Bhoola Jahan, Bhoola Tumhe..

Ab Nahin Woh Din Raat, Ab Na Hogi Pyari Baat

Bhoola Sab, Bhoola Jahan, Bhoola Tumhe

 

Woh Jo Tere Saath, Saare The Wo Lamhe, Sach Much Pyare The

Lekin Woh Ithne Saare The, Yaad Rakhtha  Bol Aakhir Unme Kis.. Kis.. Ko

Bhoolana Tha Aasan, Bhoola Unhein

Bhoola Sab, Bhoola Jahan, Bhoola Tumhe

Bhoola Dhun, Bhoole Geet, Bhoola Tumhe Bhoola Tumhe

Ab Nahin Tere Geet, Ab Nahin Tu Mera Meet

Bhoola Sab, Bhoola Jahan, Bhoola Tumhe

Ab Nahin Tera Zeher, Ab Nahin Mujhe Koi Darr,

Bhoola Sab, Bhoola Jahan, Bhoola Tumhe

 

Just Forget it..

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History is meant to tell us what happened in past and why we are what we are today. It is supposed to be fact, but it is seldom a fact, and ends up being what the historian thought or interpreted as history.

What we all refer to history is often what we read in textbooks and other works of historians. Not often do we have actual proofs of what actually happened; mostly it’s the folklore and tales which have been moved generations after generations through word-of-mouth or scriptures or so. This also results in stories that differ a lot, and we find historians and others proposing contesting theories and versions of history.

But for something as recent as freedom struggle of India dating just a few centuries back, we expect to have a unified version, one story. All our textbooks go gaga over Mahatma Gandhi, Tilak, Nehru, Patel, Bose and these heroes who sculptured our freedom struggle. They are founding fathers of the country. But when I think of what textbooks in Pakistan must be talking about their history, their freedom struggle, I immediately realize how farcical this entire concept of history can become.

I tried searching for “Pakistan Independence Movement” or “Freedom Struggle of Pakistan” and all I found were articles describing how Muslims were so-called threatened and terrified by the thought of oppression under Hindu-dominated India (whenever British leave India) and hence the two-nation theory was propagated and eventually it was the only way out for this huge continent to become free from the British rule.  This version of history talks about leaders like Jinnah, Liyaqat Ali Khan, Allamah Iqbal, Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawadry and so on. I am sure, apart from Jinnah and Liyaqat Ali Khan, other names would not ring any resemblance with any Indian today. Indian children who are taught about independence through history textbooks would remember Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan (popularly known as Gandhi of North West Frontier Province) as prominent freedom fighter from this part of the then India, but surprisingly his name does not find a mention in any of articles on this topic on internet. Indian history books do talk about random events, satyagrahas and so that occured in today’s Pakistan as part of Indian freedom struggle, but in the few articles which I found on Pakistani freedom struggle, I found no mention of things like ‘Quit India’ or ‘Non-Cooperation’ or ‘Dandi March’ or similar events that Indian history considers as milestones in freedom stuggle.

This history of Pakistan does not refer to Gandhi as Mahatma or Bapu of country (of which Pakistan was a part then), but just as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi who was prominent leader of Indian National Congress. Nehru also gets similar cold and dry treatment. I can understand that for Pakistan, Jinnah is the Father of Nation, and he has to be given same, if not more, importance and significance as Nehru or Gandhi. But disapproval of the work of someone like Gandhi or Nehru in Pakistani history books, or depiction of Jinnah only as person responsible for partition of India and nothing else in Indian history books is something which I am not comfortable with. Jinnah was heading Indian Muslim League which used to sweep all seats reserved for Muslims then, and were actually in power in 2 states then.

I am not here to pass any judgment on which version of history is right, I have not read all of them. May be with every new historian, we will continue having a new version of history. And when for something as recent as India’s freedom struggle, two such different versions get passed on to millions of tender young minds so easily and people are made to believe and made to fight wars under that impression, I am amazed about the power historians have in their hands; and terrified by the power in hands of politicians and rulers who twist history as it suits them.

Directly or indirectly, our future gets shaped by our history, races/religions/nations fight for their historical dominance and upholding it, and history continues to be constant source of inspiration or fear for nations and communities to make their future. One Shivaji still continues to rule the minds of all Marathis; one Hitler continues to remain the most hated figure across the world, one Akbar continues to be epitome of compassionate rule by a king. We can have several more such examples, and the only source to learn from them and make our tomorrow is this history that we have. And if it keeps getting mutilated for the convenience of some rulers here and there, God save our tomorrow!

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