Monday, January 25, 2010

Young Hearts!! Help Needed!

Volunteers Needed!!

I came to Bangalore 6 years back to settle in a job. And since then, I never realized how time flew in a whiff! I always had my hands full of work, fun activities, blogging, outings, movies, celebrations of anything and everything!!

May be I never realized how time flew but my support system (my parents) did feel it. They also had their hands full of things but not of their own! A thing which always bothered me! I had all sorts of medium to entertain myself - facebook, orkut, blog, swimming, work, music, movies, bunch of friends, meet ups, unlimited options for new things in life and the young age! And they settled with my happiness.

Something is going really really wrong here. I felt it so deeply. I had already started thinking of some option. The "Second Innings" idea of the movie "Munna Bhai MBBS" stuck my head and I started planning in similar lines.

We have crèche for small kids and I felt I just needed one for older kids :) Why cannot I have a place where all such people can come together, meet, play, share and may be learn many new things together. I just needed to bring them together, make them meet other like minded people and help them grow younger!

And to some extent, I guess I found one. But I need your help here!! It is meetup group opened in Bangalore. Since many of our elders hardly use internet, the onus is on us to help them join it. And I am sure; we would love to see them growing young!

Check out -

You can as well help by volunteering for this initiative! It hardly takes 5 minutes to become a member and plans to bring all young hearts together and make them enjoy moment to the fullest along with other learning.

Also you can vote for this post on Indivine @

Please spread this word to all your friends/elders. Hope to meet you all young hearts soon :)


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Professionals or Humans?

I never knew that these two terms are mutually exclusive. But few people proved it!!

Lately, I happened to notice few incidents which made me averse to such professionals! To maintain anonymity of the persons addressed in this post, I will not mention their names.

"My friend had to take off from work because his mother was hospitalized. The treatment took more time and so did his absence in office.

Nevertheless, he somehow managed to come to office to finish the piled up tasks. And this is when his boss came up to him and faked "How is your mother?" With least interest to know about his mother, he continued "How much work is pending?". Now this was just to make him feel worse. But the worse was still not asked. And so he continued "Do you have brothers/sisters?, can they try to take off and look after your mother so that you can come to office?"!!!!!!!!

What?! Yes! I was agape to witness this incident. With no words to sympathize with my friend, I continued doing work. May be, I was just being professional like his boss.

Before I could ignore and let go, I came across this incident.

"A friend of mine had a baby boy last week. But unfortunately the baby developed some respiratory infection and had to be admitted to ICU immediately after birth. He took off from office to take care of his wife and the baby. The illness went on for almost a week during which he even tried to come to office to finish his pending tasks.

But yesterday, I came to know that doctors could not save his baby. I had no courage to face or tell him anything. However this news was communicated to his supervisor. To which he sadly asked "Do we have alternate resource?" And I did not have any words to tell!! May be, this time I could not be a professional.

I can never afford to lose my humanity to become a professional. Will you?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Avatar - Hyped or not?

"Have you heard of the upcoming movie Avatar?!"
"I am eagerly awaiting this movie!"
"Yipee.. I am going for the premier show."

Yeah I know my friends were kind of all gaga about this movie much before it was released.

"Blue bodied humanoids with a tail and hoping, flying and romancing in a complete unreal world!!!!" Yes! And these were my thoughts. I always wondered how can a not so appealing animated creature on this huge screen appeal me!!

And no wonder, I was among the lots who went when the ticket charges were reasonable enough to spend on any 3D movie! Reason - I wanted to see why it took only 10 years to make an animated movie :P ??

And since I went with my family, initially I concentrated more on my niece who was holding a huge box of popcorn. And Avatar started with the initial introduction to their different world. AND I was completely awed by the size of machines, robots, and the first view of those ugly looking creatures! I gave the popcorn box back to my niece!!!

Jake, the protagonist, and a paraplegic former marine caught my attention from start till the end. Unable to walk with his legs in real life, Jake goes mad to feel in his Avatar body. He runs till he feels the life in his leg and scratches the ground with his toe to feel the happiness which I can not describe here in words. And from here on I was completely into the movie. The impeccable human moves of Avatars, a dream like beautiful world called Pandora, illuminating night with colors so natural, horrifying but so real looking creatures and the fresh feel of the greenest world. You see a dream with your eyes wide open!

Free spirited Avatars, flying like birds, falling free from heights and so harmlessly co-existing with nature leave you mesmerized. The feel so real that I really wanted to know how was it achieved in those 10 years?

In December 2006, Cameron explained that the delay in producing the film since the 1990s had been to wait until the technology necessary to create his project was advanced enough. I felt worth the wait. In Avatar, he twisted movie-making technology, in at least four new ways.

1) Performance/ Motion Capture: 72 to 96 different cameras were rigged up around the set. The floor was marked with a grid, marking the areas covered by each camera. The actors wore special black leotards, with white reflective spots stuck all over. The cameras tracked the movement of those dots, not of the actors.

And later these dots were given life and this required more than a Petabyte of memory which is 10 raised to the power six GB!!

2) Expression Cameras: It is difficult to feel and relate to any animated creature because they do not emote the same way as we do. And to overcome this challenge, Cameron pioneered a specially designed camera built into a 6-inch boom that allowed the facial expressions of the actors to be captured and digitally recorded for the animators to use later.

It captured every slightest facial expression. The dilation of pupil, the quiver of lips, the tension in the muscles below skin! No wonder, the avatars looked so very real.

3)3D Cameras: In Avatar, real humans are set in digitally developed unreal world. To make it appear all real, Camera specialists Vince Pace and Patrick Maxwell made Cameron a light, twenty five kilo 3D camera and just like our eyes, it's got two separate inbuilt lenses, which move and change focus on objects independently. And these cameras combine the images they capture and overlap with the 3D world to make it all appear together and real.

4) Virtual Camera: A simple looking LCD screen with game like controls on it. It displays the virtual world with the supercomputers create and you point on the actors and it shows the actors in the virtual world in their avatars. A complete real time conversion of real actors into avatars!!

Avatar has really pushed the 3D technology to new dimensions. It is difficult to understand the nitty-gritty of its making but atleast after knowing few of the details, I can say with surety Avatar is worth the hype :)