STREET LAWYER (John Grisham)

September 21, 2008

STREET LAWYER

(John Grisham)

It is a “good read”.

The narrator in this story is Michael Brock, a lawyer in a big firm called Drake & Sweeney. He works hard to be a parter of the firm along with about 800 of others in this firm. One day he and someothers are held hostage by a homeless fellow who later gets killed by the police in their attempts to save the attorneys. This affects the narrator who then searches for the kidnapper’s details. In the process he meets Mordecai green who specializes & works in street law, i.e. , helping the homeless people legally, free of charge. He is paid by a trust. He takes the narrator to places where shelter, food etc are given to the homeless. The narrator is deeply moved by this and joins Morcedai to help the homeless. He resignes his post and join Morcedai. He learns that his old company has done some ill deeds against the poor. He steals some documents and clues for suing the company to help the poor. The police are notified and he comes in their WANTED list. During this course he has some family problems and also divorses.

It is one of the few books I have read about the poor and that is a part of the society which the higher beings of the same society tends to forget. This is really an eye – opener. Though its not very exciting it is one of the books that SHOULD BE read.


DANNY – A MASTERPIECE

September 13, 2008

DANNY

A classic movie is made by the craft of the director, strength of the script, a fresh narration and to top it all by great performance by the cast. T.V. Chandran has given to the Malayalam movie a classic, one which can be shown off proudly to the world.

T V Chandran has made superb movie throughout his careers. It looks like Mammootty got an excellent chemistry with the director. Their first movie Ponthanmada gave Mammootty a national award. The only actor who has acted more in this director’s movie is Nedumudi Venu.

The movie Danny is an off-beat movie, an award movie, as per the present terminology. The story progresses as a narration by a third-person. There is freshness in the narration and that is because there is humour underlying the movie.. The humour is not the kind which makes us laugh till we break our ribs, but one which creates a smile in us always. The kind which makes us smile whenever we think about it.

The next point is the brilliant performance by Mammootty. Mammootty in the beginning introduces him as Mammootty itself. His slang was amazing throughout. The dialogue presentation is an ability which Mammootty monopolizes in Malayalam movie industry. There is nobody to compete against him. His body language in this movie was also very impressive, especially as an old man.

A negative point in the movie is the rest of the cast. Most of them were quite failures. But the director could cover their failures by his brilliance. But Siddique who acted as Danny’s friend Freddy has done a good job.

I am not going into detail about the story because it’s a must be watched movie and all should please try to see it as soon as possible. There are some movies which creates tears in your eyes. But this one creates smiles in your mind but at the same time creates an ache in your heart. Danny will haunt you forever.


Paddy Farming

September 11, 2008

PADDY

FARMING


Onam is celebrated in the “Chingam” month of the Malayalam calendar. This month is one of happiness because it’s in the month of harvesting. After a lot of hard work, this month brings with it all the happiness. Chingam 1 is the New Year day in Malayalam calendar. That day is also the “karshaka dinam – Farmer’s Day”. It has been so for around 6-8 years. That day, in all offices related to agriculture, special programs will be conducted. This year I got a chance to attend one such a meeting near my house. Some prominent farmers in the neighborhood were honoured. Then there was a discussion about the problems faced by kerala paddy farmers. Let me mention some of them here.

1. The price the farmers get for the products they grow is very low. Farmer doesn’t get a direct market. Their products go through many hands before reaching the consumer. These middle men get most of the profit. The fluctuating price is also a cause of a great concern. There was a time when Vanilla had very high demand and price. Many farmers seeing this opportunity invested heavily in it. By the time they were ready for selling, the prices came back to normal. Such incidents are common in our market. A step the govt. can take in this regard would be to fix a support price for all agricultural products.
2. The labour cost has gone very high. In many other states like Tamil Nadu, this cost is very less. So the cost of cultivation increases drastically here. The main reason for this has to be the high literacy level. Educated people always want white-collar jobs. Even if they don’t get any, they are very reluctant to go for physical labour. And the few that does come demand too much money.
3. Usage of machines can solve the above problem. But suitable machines are not available. And those available are not used properly. Political reasons are a main cause for this. Few months back, in Alapuzha, due to lack of labour the farmers decided to use machines for harvesting. But a political party started a strike there telling introduction of machines are going to increase unemployment. From a party who fought against computerization, we shouldn’t even hope for anything better. And the net results were that the entire crop was wasted in the rain because they were not harvested at time.
4. Most farmers own small area of land which makes mechanization difficult. It is not economically viable to introduce machines for a small area. Group farming can help. If many farmers in the locality unite, then mechanization is possible.
5. Weather is also a big problem. It is getting unpredictable. Earlier there was a pattern for weather. Now it is not so. Unexpected rain and drought cause lots of damage to the crops. There are no solutions for this as weather is uncontrollable. Only step that can be taken is to provide proper insurance for all crops.
6. There is a common notion, that agriculture is profitless. But its not so. Agriculture is profitable. But the magnitude may no be large. There is no chance for huge profits here. A continuous moderate profit can be made by this. So it should be done as a secondary profession by all who can do it. Only this can bring again the green revolution.

You all might be thinking what the use of this article is. For this my answer would be that each and every one of you can be a farmer. There is vast possibility here. Even if you don’t have cultivable area or if you live in a flat, still there are things you can do. Even if it may not be profitable, it can still be a good hobby. Moreover you get good quality products without any pesticides, fertilizers etc. Kitchen garden and farming in the terrace area are growing in popularity. From my experiences I can tell that they have been very useful. Let’s all come together and help our state overcome the overdependence on other states for our food.

Let’s never be in a situation to sent/receive any SMS like the one I got yesterday, which was like this.

“Onam again… Maveli from pathalam.. Rice, vegetables, flowers, liquor all from Tamil Nadu.. And the celebrations in Kerala. Happy Onam….”


Dreams – illogical thinking.

September 10, 2008

“Hello”, I said taking the phone. The reply was another similar “Hello” from the other side, maybe a bit more sweeter voice. The voice belonged to an angel. The angel tells many things. How world began, how it is going on and to where it shall go. I remain silent at my end. My soul is now fresh, like fresh strawberries. The tension, the work load, the fatigue all have gone. I feel like I want to go on hearing this voice till the end of the world.

Her voice suddenly turns stern. She asks me to follow my dreams because God made me for that. She is God’s messenger and came to tell the humans about their dreams. “When you follow your dreams, the whole world conspires to make way for you”. Its like a jig-saw, life will become simple and perfect. When each of us fulfils our dreams, we become legends. Each and every element in the world, from stones to birds, lakes to volcanoes, all tries to tell us what our dream is. Only we have to listen to it, watch it closely and learn from it. She said you can communicate with everything in the world, if you realise your dream and pursue it. The soul in you and the soul in all other things are not different. They are one and the same, which is the Universal Soul.

She then sang of how they live at heaven. Life is simple there. They walk around, seeing the things God made for them, eating what he wants them to eat, hearing and saying what he wants them to do. They are happy. While the human beings never “waste” even a second admiring the beauty of a flower, they spend hours or even a full day in front of it.

That was the end. I heard a click at the other end and I opened my eyes to the morning sun. The splendid sight of the magnificent sun rising among the majestic mountains, made me think about the “phone call” and the voice message I got.

Heaven is nothing but the ideal condition to which you can turn your world to. It is when you forget to enjoy the beauties of today that heaven and earth become different. You tend to ignore every thing you wanted to do, stop pursuing your dreams in order to make a good living for tomorrow. If you continue like that, then there is no tomorrow for you. Throughout your life you will go on thinking the same way. And when its time for your last breath, you look back and think, “Where were those beautiful days for which I had suffered throughout my life?” Never let this happen in your life.

Use at least a few seconds to enjoy the smell of a flower, to watch dew drops on its petal, to see the bees flying around it, to look the crowd assembled at the garden and to ignore the world outside it.

/* Based on a reader’s thoughts after reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma */


INSIGNIA ’08 – HACKERDOM

September 1, 2008

INSIGNIA ’08

HACKERDOM

Computer Science and Engineering Department of Govt. Engineering College, Thrissur brings before you Hackerdom, the third edition of its annual event Insignia, this time in association with the Free and Open Source Community of Kerala.

Its not only a meeting place of hackers. It also aims at bringing in users and turning them hackers. The motto of our program is “Come a User, Return a Hacker”. Free Software has got firm grip in India and especially in Kerala. But it has always been limited to certain range of people. We aim at taking it to one and all by destroying all barriers. When there are wide doors we can open to come out, why take a small window?

Hackerdom comes with a well defined theme – “USERS + DEVELOPERS = COMMUNITY”. In that sense its a community event. It is conducted by the Compsciz of GEC, Thrissur which makes it special.

The curtain raiser for this was held last Friday, 29th August, 2008 at our college’s Seminar Hall at 10:30 AM. The chief guests for the occasion were M.L.A. Therambil Ramakrishnan and IT advisor to the Cheif Minister Mr.Joseph Mathew. The function also included the official release of the theme music (which was done by Jain of S3,CSE), trailor and the mascot Kruger. That was all for the morning session.



The afternoon session was an unconference for discussing plans to take the event forward. Beside the students, Mr.Joseph Mathew, HOD Prof.Manoj Kumar and several prominent Free Software workers from thrissur too took part.

“Computers are like air conditioners. They stop working when you open windows”


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