Different Interpretations

In our Psychology class we were taught – conversation is receiver-centric. What you mean to convey becomes irrelevant, what others interpret is all that matters. And there’s whole lot of fun in this. Especially if you are someone with your own way of looking at everything, better, if you are cynical, then the fun is always around the corner for you.

I feel I am one of those kinds of “receivers” who can’t help but interpret everything their own way. Good, bad, indifferent, stupid, negative, weird, forced, and of course ‘cynical’, I have been accused of being everything when it comes to how and what I interpret. One thing I add myself is, I may be any or all of this, on top of all this, I am proud too.

Popular is what popular…

Let’s make a start. Have you seen the new Airtel commercial where wife is also the office boss, or the office boss is also the wife? Anyhow, what message did you get? I think what they are trying to say is that wives should not out rightly blame the husbands for being late in coming home from the office. They may have the worst bosses who put their foot down and say that you have to finish the work before you think of going home. This is one interpretation, for me, Airtel seems to have intended something else. Funny in a weird way.

And when little knowledge plays its part

This may be a case of little knowledge or just mere pressure or something else but interpreting an important person’s name wrongly can be career threatening too. The poor newsreader from Doordarshan learned this the hard way. Don’t know how he screwed this up but he got Chinese President Xi Jinping’s name wrong and that too at a time when the whole world had their eyes on Xi-Modi carnival. He interpreted his first name as the Roman numeral XI and made him “Eleven Jinping”. And that interpretation proved costly enough to lose the job. Not funny at all for so many.

But Politicians thrive on that

I may be cynical when it comes to “interpretations”, luckily it’s these different interpretations which come handy and have become a powerful tool for the politicians the world over. They take the liberty to say the first thing that comes to their mind and then wait for others to interpret it the way they want. This gives them the power of “plausible deniability” making it a win-win situation for your friends and foes in the political world. If you are a sucker for political debates or any debate which is coloured political on news channels every night, you would know how enjoyable it all can be. Funny if you have a sense of ‘anything’.

And horror movies and comedy shows carry a reflection

And I also think even horror movies and comedy shows use it to their advantage. You interpret a horror movie as more horrifying if it’s interspersed with some funny elements. And you interpret Kapil’s jokes and comedy as even more hilarious when you hear Sidhu’s ‘somethings’ or ‘horrors’, though in the case of Comedy Nights with Kapil, that is something we all can do without. But there would be some who would interpret comedy in horror and horror in comedy as a mistake, a lapse of judgement maybe. Could have been more Funny.

What you make out is only what you “make out”

It doesn’t end here.  It never ends ever. We all do that, sometimes leading to confusion, sometimes for our convenience, sometimes just because we didn’t know otherwise. My Psychology teacher was right after all and wise too. Everyone makes something out of every conversation their own way, independent view or an influenced one, I for one is proud. Funny, if at all.

FIFA Football World Cup 2014: Time Schedule that works for Indians

As if the power cuts and load shedding wasn’t making our lives (residents of Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida and surroundings) miserable with no AC, no fans, no cold water and no chilled beer, now the fear of no TV read no Football World Cup matches could make Delhi’s summer absolutely unbearable for many of us. Unless you have power back up that you save for the matches (if you use your own inverter) and you use DTH (cable TV might fail).

Match Schedule is complicated

And the fact that matches are going to be played in Brazil adds one more irritant – timing. Latin America is so far off from here that for us the world cup doesn’t even start on 12th practically and most of the matches are to be played at mid night (00:30am), a little later the next date (03:30am) or early morning (06:30am).  What to do, since it can’t be cured – changed, so it’ll be endured – enjoyed. However, there are a few matches that will be played at 9:30pm our time and that fits right into our most suitable time zone.

What we can still watch comfortably

For the benefit of everyone, here’s the schedule of matches which we can watch fairly comfortably.

FIFA Football World Cup 2014 Schedule

FIFA Football World Cup 2014 Schedule

In case you have decided you’ll not miss any match of the team you are supporting or any match of the Football World Cup, here’s the complete schedule for you (click for Football World Cup Schedule).

Who will win?  Whom are you supporting?

The last time, i.e., Football World Cup 2010, I had predicted that either Spain or England will take the cup home. This time, I don’t know.

My Prediction for 2010 Football World Cup

My Prediction for 2010 Football World Cup

Who do you think will win the cup this time? Spain, Germany, Brazil or some other team will surprise the world.  Which team are you supporting?

Who will win the Golden Boot? Leo Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, or here too someone will surprise the world.

In your football expert or crazy fan views the winners will be…

Suggestions of a Car Driver: How Can Car Manufacturers Lower Car Prices in India

I never thought, leave aside thinking; not even dreamed, forget about dreaming; not once hoped, set aside hope; this should be beyond all this. While driving in the mad traffic on the roads of Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida and Faridabad –  not saying NCR since the ‘Region’ has long extended beyond these more popular and recognizable cities, I came up with some unsolicited suggestions for the car manufacturers in India on how to save cost, hence lower car prices for the Indian buyer. In a season of new sedan models, auto transmission in hatchback, and a few newer options in lower segment – this could be a threat as well as opportunity.

First the confession

Before I run into any kind of trouble for making not just unsolicited but wacky and some highly debatable suggestions, I think I ought to start off by confessing that post what I suggest I may be construed as cynical, wrong, stupid, a few other things and all of  these and not particularly in any order. So I confess at the start, ‘guilty as charged’. Nonetheless:

Then the suggestion

Considering the car manufacturers have to keep the cost and hence the price in check through too many things like new technology, rising and varied customer needs and demands, size/dimensions and what not vis-à-vis excise duties, it is my duty neither to burden them with too many suggestions nor suggest anything exclusively to only one of them. After all everyone should gather equal wisdom and profits too.

Suggestion 1: Remove the left-right indicator

Each car has the left-right indicator functionality which means cost of lever to operate it; cost of two indicators next to headlights in front, two indicators next to back-light, two on either side fenders; cost of bulbs, casing and wiring; etc. Now when you are driving in and around Delhi you realize it soon enough that only indicator that the driver in the car next to you uses is the one in his/her head and that can be premeditated or last minute, in either case you’ll never know about it till he/she starts turning the steering wheel and the car starts to follow its master obediently. For you it’s all like ‘magic’.

So the car manufacturers should take note that the indicators they have fitted are rarely used and if at all used, most drivers use them at the last moment – couple of seconds after turning the steering wheel. The cost and hence price we have to pay for these indicators is a waste of money.

Suggestion 2: Why the low and high beam in headlights?

I read or heard (maybe both) that the Motor Vehicles Act mandates that drivers should use the low beam only at all times during the night and the high beam is only for the purposes like overtaking, and few other indications. My experience and I am sure of most in Delhi tells otherwise. Drivers strictly use the high beam at all the times during night, period. The only exception I have seen is while I am driving at low beam and get blinded by the high beam of the car coming towards me, I use my high beam and the 1 in 10 drivers – mostly of a car whose headlights lie lower than my car’s and hence gets blinded in return when I use high beam, makes an exception and turns to low beam for a while.

But good thing is – any smart car manufacturer would save money by removing this functionality and the smartest ancillary manufacturer would make the first move to make the best of ‘untapped market’ of single beam kits. The main purpose of this suggestion, like all others, is to make cars cheaper for the customers and I hope car manufacturers will pass this benefit on accordingly.

Suggestion 3: Power brake can be done away with

Power brake was supposed to be a good thing, you apply it and the car stops immediately. Well, that sounds good, after all it makes sure the driver controls the car. However, when the car ahead of you stops with no notification, indication or logic – right in the middle of the road and that too in bumper-to-bumper traffic, your car only ends up banging the said car in front. End result is a fight, a traffic jam and a trip to workshop not necessarily in this same order.

I guess the good old brakes were better perhaps and cheaper surely. The car manufacturers should do the needful.

Suggestion 4: Seat belts are a hindrance and a nuisance

I know I know. Seat belts are for safety, a must. And a fan and supporter of Formula 1 (seat belt was first used there and it’s innovations like this which presumably justify millions of dollars spent on F1 cars), I am definitely in. But to my understanding these seat belts or safety belts (a name which is more appropriate and I propose should only be used going forward) are useful only when actually used. Providing them can’t and will not serve the purpose till drivers and passengers use this.

But that’s not what you see while driving in and around Delhi. At times we can’t really blame the people also after all how can someone who is driving a car with a child in his/her lap wear the seat belt, it’s so uncomfortable. Same is true for the passenger sitting in the seat next to the driver, after all he/she also has a child in the lap and if he/she wears the seat belt, he/she’ll feel ashamed that the child being held in the hands has no seat belts. And we can surely not expect two persons sitting on the single front seat to wear the seat belt which is meant for one person only – I guess that is totally the fault of the car manufacturer. My reluctant advice to car manufacturers is to not waste money on seat belts anymore.

Suggestion 5: Driving seat and each foot paddle must be height and/or length adjustable

How are our 12 to 14 year old kids supposed to drive a car when the driver’s seat and the foot paddles have not been designed appropriately? Before giving any suggestion here I want an answer from the car manufacturers first. Don’t they know our kids have the birth right to start driving car when they feel like, age no bar? Thank God the parents, schools and now play schools (have to include them esp. when talking about Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida and Faridabad since the next generation is learning everything there only) still teach A for Apple, B for Ball and C for Cat and not A for Accelerator, B for Brake and C for Clutch.

My suggestion to the car manufacturers is to make the height of driving seat adjustable in all cars – I know quite a few cars offers this but that’s usually in higher and costlier models and that’s biasing. They should make lengths of the three foot paddles adjustable too in all cars. And while they are at it, the steering wheel and other related paraphernalia should also be customized keeping the needs of our 14 year old drivers in mind. This suggestion may not look like a cost saver but trust me it will be.

And Lastly the conclusion

We the Indians are not particularly very fond of following rules and regulations or abiding by the law especially when no one is watching and clearly when these don’t suit us. Driving without license, no pollution checks or better the ‘Gurgaon PUC – certificate of perfect non-polluting vehicle with no real test ’, driving in the lonely (wrong) lane – one in which no one is giving you company in fact every other vehicle seems to be against you and is coming towards you; I won’t go into offering any suggestions related to these after all there is nothing our car manufacturers can do about these issues that can help lower costs. There will have to be some other time for taking these up, today it’s only about 5 suggestions and that’s surely a start.

The Saas Bahu Soap Operas of America

Ok, that sounds ridiculous at the best and incredible at the worst. It can’t be what it sounds like, I get that but it still is funny as it is. I am a diehard fan of American police dramas and so many of them unfortunately or fortunately are the Saas Bahu type soap operas. Confused? Don’t agree? Read on who, what and why of the Saas Bahu Soap Operas of America.

Different and yet not

These American police dramas are different from each other and yet not so and still they are very popular. I wonder why I still like so many of them, and I am sure I am not alone. These are like the Saas Bahu soap operas, all claim to be different but are still so alike and yet are so very popular. The audience that loves them should be maybe really stupid – I mean you may like one of them but since they are so similar, why do you like all of them. And those who think their audience is stupid should also be stupid, I mean someone else likes them, OK, so what’s your problem.

And then there are folks like me, who like these police dramas and also wonder why people like these Saas Bahu type soap operas. So we are like doubly stupid. Anyhow, you must still be thinking that’s alright but which are these American police dramas, after all I could just be plain wrong.

And the honour list includes

Castle, The Mentalist could be leading the list with The Listener, Psych, Unforgettable and to some extent White Collar also joining towards the end. And mind you, I could include and talk about only the ones that I have watched and have some idea of. The list could have been longer and stronger had I got HD TV and HD DTH but I am not part of that group yet.

Let’s start with Castle: A team of female police detective and a crime writer (consultant) solving homicide together with a duo of detectives, ME and police Captain also being there. Then there is The Mentalist: This is a team of female CBI Agent and a, well, consultant who is a psychic/has highly developed observational skills, with a team of usual people there to support them. Followed by The Listener: A female Detective and a paramedic with the ability to read minds who works with her and a support team thereby. Closing in on them is Psych: A junior detective and a consultant with psychic abilities/extraordinary observational skills and a team too.

If you watch these police dramas, you would know the similarities are hard to miss. The female detective, the male consultant, the comedy, the romantic angles, and they all look similar, except they all are still very enjoyable. But this does smell like the “Saas Bahu Soap Operas of America” if you get what I mean.

And you also have Unforgettable and White Collar. Unforgettable: both leads are detectives, one male one female with the latter being the one blessed with the some extraordinarily detailed memory. White Collar: An ex con-man with more than ordinary skills as a forger and a thief and an agent, though both are male here. But the similarities that help them join others in the list of Saas Bahu Soap Operas of America are there and very strong too.

Getting listed doesn’t take the fun away

Now just because these are too similar and are part of the list of Saas Bahu Soap Operas of America, doesn’t take away from them the fun that these are to watch. I mean I am huge fan of most of these and never miss a chance to watch their episodes, even re-runs at times. In fact it’s quite amazing that in spite of these being not-too-different from one another they all are very popular, very successful and very enjoyable too. In fact I keep looking for more and more police dramas to watch and don’t mind the similarities as long as their scripts are awesome and they solve their cases with logic and in single episode.

What ails Savdhaan India? – A Single Episode Case Study

Savdhaan India on Life OK is not only a fairly popular show on TV, it is also one of the few shows I end up watching (even if in bits and parts) on a decently regular basis. And the overly analytical viewer that I am when it comes to movies, advertisements and shows which come on TV, it is but normal that I have been troubled by this particular show Savdhaan India on so many occasions.

Can’t control myself, or can I!

My deepest analytical urges have been invoked every time I have switched on or surfed or glanced through this show. And that had always got a lot to do with the average to below average acting, throwing all kinds of statistics with questionable sources (like leading news paper, popular NGO, etc.), bad sets, at times horrible editing and above all shabby direction.

(PS: I understand and accept I am no authority on any of the areas involved and responsible for making a scene, serial or movie. I am just an overly analytical viewer, and that’s the way I like it, period.)

The Single Episode Case Study 

And the episode that I watched today Savdhaan India –Mumbai Fights Back, well, that’s become a Case Study for me (most of the reasons for that are not the ones listed above though most of all that was part of the show today as well) and I thought let me put some time, energy and thinking into it, and write about it too. So here’s the outcome (not to bother you with too much information, I’ll focus on parts relevant for the Case Study):

About the story covered in episode: It takes place in 2005 (year is critical to the Case Study), it talks about a dance bar, a cricket (critical to Case Study) betting racket and police using technology, i.e, mobile.

What’s wrong or out of place in the episode: Now, coming straight to the point(s), following is what I think is weird, out of place, incorrect and generates kinds of emotions like – are you kidding me?

  • Ailment 1: The dancers in the dance bar in the year 2005 are dancing to the tunes of Bollywood’s recent 2013 hit song “Pinky” from the movie Zanjeer.

Dear Producer/Director/Writer and Editor too, what is this guys? Come on, do this much of research or at least, don’t get this much carried away, play a less popular/unknown song.

  • Ailment 2: To hide the scores shown on the TV screen in the cricket match the guys are watching and betting on in the show, they have superimposed a message where the actual score was coming (left hand top of screen). The message says “HDMI”.

HDMI in TVs in India in 2005, don’t you think that’s a little ahead of time?

  • Ailment 3: The very enthusiastic Police inspector and wanna-be-trying-real-hard-to-copy-Suniel-Shetty-Nana-Patekar-Ajay-Devgan-in-a-single-scene actor, uses technology, i.e., “Nokia E63” mobile hand set to click pictures of suspects in year 2005.

Guys, Nokia lunched E63 in India in 2008, not before that I guess. But I have mixed emotions here as I also feel like giving you credit as going by my experience of watching Savdhaan India, it could very well have been a touch screen Android phone.  

  • Could be ailments: There were a few other confusing things, but I am not sure about the facts and don’t want to list the same has ailments. However, would be still mentioning these for information sake and for hoping for you (dear reader) to help throw more light on these if you can:
  1. The Umpire in the cricket match (ODI) is wearing red shirt and black trousers. Not sure when that was introduced, was it in or before 2005?
  2. Mumbai police are using Chevrolet Tavera, were they actually using these in 2005?

Remarks:

Today’s episode of Savdhaan India –Mumbai Fights Back and the focus of my Case Study was another subtle and a very strong reminder at the same time that all is not well with this show. It’s still quite popular, but come on Dear Producer/Director/Writer/Editor of Savdhaan India, adding a little bit of what is needed for a good show would be nice, right? And Dear Life OK guys, what’s going on, you guys not really worried about sustaining these TRPs if not improving or Devon Ke Dev alone doing enough for you?

Reach out to me, in confidence..

Weird awards for weird people…

Everyone seems to get some kind of award for whatever work one does or considering that it’s practically impossible at least there is some kind of award that one can be nominated for or be eligible for.

Take for example the ‘n’ number of news channels, ‘more than n’ number of news anchors and ‘more than more than n’ number of awards that they can lay their hands on. They host I-don’t-know-who-watches-them debates during prime time on every news channel. Which is fine by me, I am sure they are doing a great job in terms of doing the general good and sharing the responsibility that our press/media takes upon so reluctantly, in true sense of the word.

Best part, they all seem to win, rather are nominated, or even better are eligible for ‘more than more than n’ number of awards, again a remarkably good thing. But a very important in fact apparently indispensable part of those debates/shows are the participants – whose opinions or lack of it – are what draw or at least seem to draw the audience (I am assuming lots of people watch these debates) to the show.

What about them? What about these innocent and deliberate participants? What about rewarding them for the effort they put in during the time they would love to have quiet dinner with their families (I am only assuming they would prefer that)? What about making sure that everyone gets their due? Why no one ever fights for their rights while they seem to be taking all the pains by participating for others rights? I think they deserve the awards too!

It is my humble opinion – no not opinion that’s what the participants in those debates only are entitled to, rather I think it would not be unjustified to have exclusive awards for the participants in those debates. It will not only recognize their efforts but also give our news channels a few more debatable issues.

To help the people who decide the award categories I think we can have some of the categories like;

  • “I-Only-Listen-To-What-I-Have-To-Say”,
  • “I-Am-The-Party-Spokesperson-Who-Expresses-Opinions-Which-Are-Entirely-My-Own”,
  • “I-Don’t-Know-Why-I-Am-Part-Of-The-Debate, I’d-Rather-Have-Dinner-With-My-Family”,
  • “I-Don’t-Care-About-The-Topic-Of-Debate, I-Have-My-Own-Agenda-To-Promote”, and the like.

I know these categories are just too few but I thought someone, someday, somewhere, somehow needs to make a start. So….