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Books I am reading:

  • The Fourth Hand by John Irving.
    A hardback edition (which I got only for a mere hundred bucks!!). I am still making an opinion on John Irving(which is precisely why I bought the book). The guy surely writes entertaining stuff; although, how rich a reading it turns out to be, remains to be seen.

Songs I am listening to:

  • Green Eyes by Coldplay
    My honey was here this week, so the song made sense. 😉
  • Meri Zindagi Mein Aaye Ho – from the movie Armaan,
    I suddenly remembered this song while at work one day. It is now on my cellphone lest I forget about it again.
  • Yeh Sama – from the movie Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai
    Shankar, Ehsaan Loy’s magic glows even in a bad movie.

Movies I saw:

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This past week was a thorough mixed bag of emotions and events. I attended the three days of the brilliant Adobe Tech Summit 2008 – The Future of Software. I had soup with the CEO, COO and Director of Adobe Systems, peppered with some conversation. I was constantly anxious and went through some lows while waiting for * and finally went through a moderate exhilaration of being * in CNY. !! . OMG.

Wow.

So chronologically speaking, the Adobe tech summit first. It started on Monday, March 3rd 2008 at 8:30 am.

There were three Keynote session for the three days and the first was by Shantanu Narayan, CEO and Kevin Lynch, CTO of Adobe. It was followed by a presentation from Mark Anders about how ubiquitous AIR is going to be, interspersed by demos of some great applications built on top of it. He demoed Hydra, the graphical engine which is going to power Flash 10 and CS4 series. There were keynotes by Aravind Laxmi Kumar, CTO of Sarnoff and by Werner Vogels, CTO Amazon on the other two days. Aravind talked about the advances in Computer Vision employed for Security and Werner talked about the SaaS package (S3 and EC2) Amazon is offering as a service itself.

The breakout sessions were scheduled in the afternoon and we had a choice among around 7 people and corresponding topics to attend. The first day was all about AIR, second about Computer Graphics and Vision and the third about SaaS. Me and Charan (friend at Adobe) thankfully have similar technical tastes and attended “The Future of Content, Graphics and Imaging”, “CS Applications User Interfaces”, “The Future of Software”, “Cloud Computing” and others.

On all the three days, good food was an excellent motivator to attend all the events. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus brunch and the afternoon tea with cookies. Excellent!

Then, I saw this video and wondered when my dream to play violin will come true!

Unfinished Impressions

Very misleading. Very frustrating. Very very irritating.

Sigh.

OK. So big deal. I like reality TV. I see a lot of it. In fact, I can safely say that other than some movie, I always end up watching some reality show on TV. I have favorites too, but that’s not the point. There is this one particular show which always leaves me…well, entertained. Yes. But also with a realization of disgust. The show, is called Roadies.

If I was the one to write a tagline for the show, it would go as – The show which brings out the worst in you. And by that, I think I have also made it clear why I call it a game just for the namesake. It does not have any of the qualities you end up learning at the end of any real game. The show has no team spirit, no trust on your team mates, no sportsmanship and absolutely no morality. It is in fact scripted to exactly bring out the crudest and the worst of all human tendencies. Backstabbing is usual and everyone is expected to do it. The smartest, and perhaps the most talented, are the ones to be voted out the first. It does not matter how well you perform in the tasks. Even the one who won all the tasks can lose out on pure whim. One wonders why bother about all the tasks anyway.

I imagine the show would have started as something actually connected to being Roadies. Roadies of course was used not as a plural to a Roadie but to what the English mind would first relate to the term. I guess being on the Road was the primary idea. Putting the participants through tough and demanding tasks and always keeping them on the move would have been the goal. In the end, the strongest – of the mind and the body – would survive and win. The weaker ones would not cope up and would be voted out for the betterment.

But what we did to our democracy, we ended up doing the same in Roadies. Regionalism spawned. Fair play was sacrificed at the altar of selfishness and greed. And in the end, the weakling won (or perhaps lost, as was evident in the last Roadies). Gradually the makers would have realized what is making their show work, and they just ended up fine tuning the same. It worked. Clearly. The show is presently in its 5th season. When I describe all this I wonder, did I just scorn at life? I hope not.

Rarely has any reality show seen such success in India. So, what has worked then? Clearly the show is pandering to our lower emotions and we are lapping it all up. Why? Because it is the easiest thing to do. It takes no effort to be vile, but all the energy and conscience to stay moral. Weak are those who give themselves away to low desires and bow to easy immoral paths and activities. Strength lies in the realization of the weakness and overcoming it. It is a principle which is, alas, easier to quote than practice.

Nevertheless, Roadies is a fun show to watch. More so because of the third party view to the machinations of a scheming group where everyone thinks they are outsmarting the other, while only demeaning themselves.

Note: My favorite reality shows: The Amazing Race, Fear Factor and The Amazing Race!