December 31, 2012

One to see the year off

2012 was a bad year in blogging. The content on here plain sucked. More about it in my coming posts...if ever.

Here's a trance track to see the year off. I melt with you!

December 6, 2012

Minolta Maxxum 7000AF: First shots

Some shots with my recently acquired Minolta 7000AF camera. On Kodak 100 roll, developed at a nearby studio and scanned at home using a DIY set up. Very crude and not very high def..but a good start.

December 2, 2012


Barring a doctorate degree in science, a job at a research facility and a general penchant for being a 'dic'tator, there are a couple of things I have in common with Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory. Comics, and trains.

I touched on trains in my last post. Rummaging through my cupboard yesterday I found a whole bunch of dusty old comic books and magazines, inspiring my next "booky" blog post!

It all started with Chandamama. Not by definition a comic but the pictures were enough to incite interest in us kids. That scary illustration of vikram and vetal is still very fresh in my mind.

Then came Tinkle

I was in class 6 I think when I got hold of my first copy of Tinkle. I never looked back.... I still have piles of Digests, Double Digests and bi weekly issues lying around. Credit to late Anant Pai for giving us something to grow on when our english reading was still too nascent. I've held on to them inspite of Dad's insistence to sell them off.

It had all the great comings.... humor, a bit of mystery, a page or two of science and "it happened to me", a carefully selected section of interesting encounters.

Rise of X-men

As with everything else western, international comics took a while coming but pretty much blew Tinkle out of the water. But with much bolder themes and the more than occasional questionable illustration, it got little or no attention from Schools and libraries.
I bought a lot of stand alone issues ranging from Powerpuff Girls to Avengers but mostly X-men. Tin Tin and Asterix were also a major drag then and I managed to read the all from our School library. Owning one was out of the question due to their absurd prices. Enough about comics.

Now Mags...

Sometime in 1994, Dad bought this amazing photography magazine which, without doubt, is what got me into photography. Long before i knew how to load film rolls on a camera or fool around with apertures and speeds, this book served as the geek-feast for me....I knew nothing of the array of terms it used... AF illuminators, viewfinders, pentaprisms but I sat glued, flipping through the pages in fascinated glee.

More than 15 years on, it is still just as interesting. Hell, I can see some of my Minolta lenses on it! Pictured above attached to the 9Xi is my 50mm Prime lens!

Chip and Digit. I have a collection so big I can make good moolah selling them off on Abids. But then again....

Why would I? But unlike Sheldon who preserves all his books hoping to get them signed by Stan Lee, I intend to donate them to a some rural School.

So what came of all the this? I am not sure...but I can safely say this: No amount of TV or "gk study" can make up for what one learns from media like this. Advice to anyone who hates reading- Start with a magazine with lots of pictures. And no cosmopolitan or Stardust. That just kills the purpose.

Have informative books lying around? Don't send them to "raddiwalas", they'll end up getting used for "bhel".

There are thousands of underprivileged children out there. Donate to a school and help make a difference.

For lack of a better thing to do

A time lapse of my attempt at cleaning my hideous little room...the paint is flaking and there are too many tea stains to count. The video's dark because it was shot on my phone using the Driving cam app at a 5 sec interval. Then merged into a vid with some chemical brothers thrown in.

Maybe this week, I'll pull myself together and actually "write" something...

November 24, 2012

November 19, 2012

Minolta Jackpot!

And so after a long long search and almost giving up, I finally found a dream deal on ebay... four autofocus Minolta lenses at a bargain price. And the kicker? Three came with the camera bodies attached! More about the bodies later. I compiled a quick video of the four lenses below. My fingers and nails look like &^%$ and the audio is not very audible but what would you expect from a setup that looks like this:

Some pics below:

Minolta 28-85mm f3.5-4.5

Minolta 35-70mm f4

Minolta 50mm f2.8 MACRO

Minolta 135mm f2.8

My camera plans are still not going anywhere. Turns out I need an HDFC/ICICI card to avail EMIs... I've fixed my sights on A37 or, if possible, A57. 

September 29, 2012

The only politics I love : of Dance

To me good trance is that which take me away... elevates me into a different world.

The first time that happened was in class 12, on a bus journey. PvD's Politics of Dancing 2 introduced me to Trance. This track Innocence is from the first CD.

Progressive trance at it's best. Trance will never be the same again.Period.

Note: This post has nothing to do with dance. I don't dance. Music only.

September 16, 2012

Deen in Duniya, Duniya in Deen

A kid I know got a very decent college in the post EAMCET counseling in spite of his disappointing rank(we jokingly call them cellphone number ranks). He gave everyone a fright today announcing he wasn't interested in this one because... one, apparently the branch IT isn't cool enough and two...this one's a shocker...because non-muslims go to that college!

A quick flashback. I got a pathetic rank myself in EAMCET and wasn't fortunate enough to be endowed with the privilege of caste reservation or scholarship benefits(I didn't qualify since Dad's in the central government). I studied at a minority college that was more of a Buffalo shed. Four years of my life ruined in a detesting, gloomy block of a building where academics were a joke and cigarette and weed filled the air. With the kind of education I was getting there, I wasn't fit to work at McDonalds. I still made it, praise to god.

This post is focused on the second reason this guy quoted. It is indeed very tragic that a kid of barely 18 quote religion in the context of education. It reflects on the kind of influence he's been subject to growing up- this cannot be pinned to family or friends alone.

Our community is plagued with a very unhealthy and disturbing trend- we tend to isolate ourselves into packets. We crave for company "of our own". This "preserves faith", we say. Last month I was walking into my Apartment and I heard a kid tell his friend " Sri chaitanya school mein hindu log padtey re". I was aghast at how the wrong concepts of religion have infiltrated even the youngest of minds. Nowhere does Islam direct people to divide on religion. To each his own is how it works. Where are the kids getting these rotten thoughts? Parents, friends, and the "all-knowing" saints of baju ki gali.

Deen AND Duniya, that's how it should be. We tend to mix these up very often. A college admission becomes a matter of deen but watching "Ek tha Tiger" after ramzan prayers is supposedly fine.

Back to topic: Does studying at a non-minority college have adverse effects like this Kid suspects? The answer is No.

It all comes down to the person. A few glowing examples of how things were in my "devout" muslim college:
  • At least 8 out of 10 guys in my class were smokers by the end of the course.
  • A guy once handed me his stash of weed(marijuana) to hide when we were surprised by a police raid on the way to college. I refused and he had to chuck it into the forest
  • Nasty things happened too... if you know what I mean.
  • Classes were attended at will and the exam surprise check squad was beaten up in once instance.
If these are the hallmarks of a college that prides itself on it's deeni principles, I don't know where the world is heading.

But yes, there ought to be good things too right? I learned the "Safar ki dua" at college... my only take away in four years.

I have to admit, non-minority colleges aren't without flaws. They can have all the above problems or more. But the sole conclusion here is this: they're all the same! Judge a college by its Academics, Placement record , Sports feats. Logistics too if distance is an issue. But religion? That's just pathetic.

Nuff said.

Our community is being consumed by a disease: that of ignorance and stupidity. Instead of focusing on the larger good, we are held back by petty issues, small talk and aggression. God give us knowledge, God save us.

Note: This is my opinion only.

August 22, 2012

Tranceport back to the good times!

Back in 2005, I was still catching on to Trance. Elsewhere, the scene was marked by a steady decline in rave culture.

The awesome PD trance I was listening to was actually the final rattle in era of great trance.

Tranceport is one such album which I missed... dialup internet in a village isn't much help to scout for music.

 This Paul Oakenfold collection is considered a club classic and the track Purple is now on my forever playlist! Nirvana!

August 12, 2012

Out of focus, out of time

Alpha to Omega: End of my days for my camera.

And so, after a month long's another post. Another uninspired article, but then again this week has been anything but interesting.

First things first, that corporate photo shoot I was scheduled to do at my workplace is screwed...big time. I was tasked with taking "new refreshed" images of all my friends at the workplace like the one below(I forgot to comb my hair)

My camera, close to it's service twilight was starting to give trouble, so I figured I could fix the seemingly trivial stuck shutter button issue. The shutter wouldn't press halfway and I assumed it was a simple case of dust accumulation so I opened it up!

And now what I've ended up is a camera that won't accept auto-focus lenses coz I messed up the gear assembly on the mount. The camera whizzes and whimpers as it tries to focus and gives a "Camera error" after I take a shot. And by the way...I fixed that button!

So now I have a shutter button that works fine but the most important feature of a camera is now effed.

All this came to light(or dark) yesterday when I was out with apna Abhishek bhai for a trip to the Airport.

As he enthusiastically swung the camera over his shoulder to capture some high speed masterpieces, he realized the camera wouldn't click most of the time!

He did click a couple of good looking pics like the ones below:

And so, after the teardown and reassembly, I was left with a camera that fails to autofocus and is in need of immediate professional attention.

But all is not lost...Enter Helios manual lenses! I have a couple of 58mm lens that are fully manual and give some pretty awesome images...given you fool around with the focus so much, it hurts!

Some results from the Helios 44M 5 blade lens I procured from a flea shop:

And wait for a new camera begins. Will it be A57, A66.A77 or a humble A37 ?

August 5, 2012

Morning Dust : Trance at it's dreamy best!

From An old ASOT episode...dont' really remember the numbrer, this is a scorcher. I want to listen to this on full blast from a car speeding to RGIA :-)

June 27, 2012

Lumia : Design masterpiece, UI marvel

I could never hope to get my hands on a smartphone(after my crazy expenses this year), let alone a Lumia. Then an ever helpful friend Manish, from Office stepped in and bought one off Flipkart for me! 

Why Lumia 800? : One word. Design!

I have always been a fan of elegant, minimalist design this device is an epitome of all that is simplistic yet elegant. A straight pick up of the iconic but ill fated Nokia N9, this one differs only in the screen real estate - losing 54 horizontal lines to make way for 3 capacitive buttons.

What better place to get better specs info this here!

The box itself is a no-frills hard cardboard unit with a slide out arrangement for the handset and other stuff

Minimal. Beautiful.

The phone's a beauty to hold. The eyephones and Galaxies cannot hold a candle to this one when it comes to pure Industrial design. Now since there a re a million reviews and videos of this phone already, I'll end the description right here and let the subtitles and a 2 minute video do the talking(and yes, I'm getting really lazy with writing these days).

3.5mm headphone jack and the USB port+SIM slot sit flush with the body

8MP camera with Zeiss
optics: My biggest complaint about the device. It plain sucks
But hey, there's dual LED flashlight FTW!

Weight is a tad on the higher side... no qualms though. adds to the whole appeal

Screen is a beauty. You
cant tell where it meets the bezel...the black levels are that great

users have complained of
the flimsy door to the USB port. I haven't(till I break it maybe)

Even the speaker holes are machined! Beat that.

Lock screen. That wallpaper is the view from office

The software will require another post. Coming soon.

June 17, 2012

Bloggin in the rain!

I'm sitting in the balcony. The rain has now reduced to a slight drizzle, the heavenly breeze carrying the droplets and gently caressing me in its heavenly chill. The power is off, the ever erratic transformers giving up again. The darkness is almost complete save for the smoggy orange sky and the occasional yellow light of a passing motorcycle. I quickly run a beam of flashlight from across the railing- my bike, which I forgot to cover today, glistens in the light; the beam then passing the street which is now a river like stream as the water swiftly goes downtown. The sound of water as it drops through to the ground from terraces and balconies, is the only sound in the silent night- no man made sound to disturb the harmonic symphony of nature. I'm not wearing my earphones now... no trance music can beat this.period. I remember how as a kid I used to prop myself against the bedroom window and stare out at the world outside.

I'd scribble in a diary then. I am now staring at a 800cd display writing this post.
People change. Lifestyles change. That shiver that runs down your spine in a downpour, the smell of mud... that feeling- that'll never change.

Rain makes everything so beautiful.  

(Written in Evernote on Lumia 800 )

June 16, 2012

Weakend - Again

I knew this was going to happen. Friends and family alike have hinted at this. The last time I blogged was on May 15... a mere blogit.

I can't blame it all on my job... touchwood it has been very kind. I simply don;t get time these days to sit on my computer at home (read migraine).

There haven't been any major updates save for a couple of 'big' purchases i made int the last couple of months. Lazy bum that I am...I'm yet to get plates for my bike...and lying low and hiding is not option when you're driving that thing on the road. heck I'm getting stares even from old guys.

Last friday was a holiday after my company crossed a billion in revenue. yayy for a holiday! So I spent the friday night watching V for vendetta. Again, watching streaming movies on a 22 incher with the pixels showing kind of killed the experience. But Hugo's charismatic voice screaming through the speakers was a ehh..sound to behold!

Felt great waking up late on friday and offering prayers at the local mosque. I don't remember what I did on saturday. I tried.

Atir called on sunday for a meet up. Been really long since we'd met. Praveen and Juber were informed. Asif threw the usual tantrums before giving in.

I collected my bike from Honda service at aroun 4.30(I sat through the whole thing after being told the guys have a knack for breaking bikes) and was to Secretariat after picking up Juber. Atir and Praveen were waiting there.

We settled down in the lawn oppsite the neckalce road station, which incidentally, is the exact spot we sat at last year. Asif called from nearby and hurled abuse once again when we told him to catch another auto to our place. He was with us 10 minutes.

After the usual catch up, we discussed possible places for dinner and no good ideas came forward. We settled for Inam's...again! Mini platter and a boston tenderloin steak later, we zoomed off to Temptations for some ice cream.

The guys then took turns trying out my new bike. Atir suggested a quick trip to Gachibowli but we wrote it day's office was playing spoilsport to our spirits already.

We dropped Asif at Secunderabad and dispersed. Over.

It took me two weeks to write this post. Bad.

And oh... I got my new Lumia on monday. Here's a quick look:

Looking forward to writing more from now on.