Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Therapeutic Tag

You know what time it is, don't you? Yes, you got it right... The time when everybody is thinking of which resolutions to break in next month (or two months, for the more resolute).

But as you all know, I keep my promises (especially if the "promised" party is me). So when this tag came my way from Amrita (who continues to send very good tags my way) this month, I thought I should up the ante a bit, tenfold to be precise.

10 Things I'd like to do in next 10 years:

Everybody tells me that I am entering the period of my life where I will be achieving the most. So what would I like to achieve?

  1. Go once around the world: I am a flight away from the goal, actually.

  2. Get published in any form: e-magazine, magazine, newspaper, I am not particular about the medium. Post, article, review, I am not particular about the form. You see, I cover all the bases.

  3. Write a (short?) novel: They say there is a writer hidden is everyone. And one of these days, I am going to find him.

  4. Fly in Airbus 380 and Dreamliner: Dreamliner should be out within next 10 years, even with all the delays.

  5. Drive Porsche/Ferrari: Own, I am not sure. But drive, I would really like.

  6. Get a pilot's license: Not commercial, but just for recreational flying. I think all those flight-sim hours should be useful for something, right?

  7. Get married: My parents (who are so understanding on the subject) would be shocked (to put it mildly) if I postpone it for a decade, don't you think? And do I really need to add, to a girl I like?

  8. Become a millionaire: Now you may not believe it, but this has nothing to do with money. I just like the sound of the word, you see.

  9. Chart a ten-year plan: If I want to do some of the things in this list, I need a proper plan. And everybody tells me, this is high time.

  10. Following the tradition started by Amrita, I guess I will keep this for anything coming out of #9.

10 Things I miss about my life right now:
  1. My family, they never were more away from an overnight travel.

  2. My little niece. She is growing up.

  3. My friends

  4. Summer holidays

  5. Treks and short trips

  6. My school and college

  7. Evenings spent chatting with my friends

I don't think there is anything more.

And, on this new year's eve, I tag... nobody and everybody. Whoever wants to take this up, and whoever gets a comment from me tagging them...

Happy New Year to you all!!! May this year be what you hope (and dream) it to be!!!

- The Great Eagle Has Spoken

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Some More TV Detectives

Oh yes, "Detectives" series is back. And before I go on to non-desi detectives (and there's a whole lot of them), I want to finish up with some TV detectives which I didn't cover last time. One I am including more for the sake of completeness than anything else, the other one, I didn't know exist.

Special Squad:

The Name: Special Squad
The Men (and Women): Aryan Khanna, Shaina Kaur, Dipika Ghosh, Ajay, Neha, Boxer, Shotgun, Papaji

Special Squad (not to be confused with their Australian mates) was set up by Commissioner of Police, Mumbai, as a "special" team. Supposed to be a crack team of homicidal investigators and forensic experts, they are pitted against the "perfect criminals". The team is led by Aryan Khanna (who is pushing himself because he could not solve the case of his wife and daughter's murder) and later by Dipika Ghosh (who is put in the team to control the unorthodox ways of Aryan).

The cases are a combination of the cases where the team has to find the criminal and the ones where they have to catch the criminal. While the later often tend to be more "police-procedural" drama, the former are interesting, if not brilliant. Perhaps the major point I can talk about is that the "cases" do not seem to be overtly "inspired". Then again, the series was a 2005 original, and I am not really conversant with crime dramas of that period. Also, although the story of a cop troubled/fueled by personal trouble is common in books, it was rare in the serials I have seen (If this was 2007, I would have jumped all over them for with "Life").

In case of the "investigative" cases, they are fairly guessable. But when we see the unit reconstructing the crime scene while investigating, the crime "scene" shows the real criminals. I want to find out who made this decision, as this definitely takes away a lot from the suspense. I agree that a group of people discussing how the crime happened is less interesting than actual visual, but then seeing the face of the actual criminal about halfway through the episode is not good either.

I think if the serial had gone beyond one season, this would have been a good one. Of course, I don't think this would have given any serious competition to CID, as this is much more "emotional" drama, not to mention that CID has got quite a few years to establish the characters. But then again, this slight emphasis on emotion does make them less prone to the unintentionally-funny gaffes CID often makes.

That said, I did not know that the time of death could be pinpointed to the minute by forensic examiners. Neither did I know that bullet cases are fired, and not the bullet.

Coming next week: He lives with a doctor. The title song tells us that he is a master of disguises. Sounds familiar? Well, you will be surprised.

- The Great Eagle Has Spoken

P.S. Find the link to the other posts in "Detectives" series under "I Wrote..." in the sidebar.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Tagged by Madhavi, sorry Mads, ages ago. Since I am in winter cleaning mode, I think it was time to finish this tag.

What is FMORT? According to Mads, it stands for Five Minutes of Random Thoughts (read more about it on her blog). Now, given my blog's name, I thought I could take it up easily, but it just kept getting postponed. Not so much because I didn't have 5 free minutes (I cannot say that so close to Christmas, can I), but because some posts (and topics) kept coming up.

Get a clock, pen and paper. Set the alarm to ring 5 min 10 sec later. Clear your mind for 10 seconds. Now write down anything that comes to your mind for five minutes on the paper. After 5 minutes, tweak the scribbles into meaningful sentences and post on your blog. The tag requires the title to be "My FMORT".


Can I write on paper for 5 minutes? I am tragically out of practise for that.
Which is why my handwriting is getting worse. Spikey and uneven.
So is my patience. 4 more minutes to go.
Can I think of anything now? My mind is going blank.
I need my coffee.
Where do the US studios get such cute new faces to star in new serials?
All the series I like are on winter break.
That reminds me of "The Office". If you do your spring cleaning in winter, you don't have to do anything in spring.
I need to clean my table. It has 2 large piles of letters on it.
I need to find my bluetooth USB adaptor. I think the previous task will take care of it.
I need to update my flash drive with recent data. That is the only thing between my PC crash and my mental crash.
I should get to the next level in Tomb Raider: Anniversary. I have Lara has been hanging on that rope for ages now.
This week, I cannot even finish one single post properly. I have 2 half-finished posts in my docs folder. 3, if you consider the random notes tagged there.
2 more minutes to go. Oh, 1 more to be precise.
Blank mind, blank mind.
I have 1 more tag pending now. 2 more, including the new tag I am planning. I should finish that up and put it on.
I am bad at planning. No state secret this, you will know when you see next tag, and how much time it is taking me to finish it.
Chuck, Indian Culture = ?,...
Everything's Eventual, Amber room, Sigma Force series,...
Why cannot I finish even one post properly now?

And... Done.

Nice tag really. Just shows you how (and more to the point, what) do you think in your free time, and what lurks in your subconscious.

I am not tagging anybody specific in the post, as most of the regulars here are AWOL. I will be tagging some people in comments, so keep an eye out on your blogs. Sometimes, it will scare you what goes on your mind if you let it...

- The Great Eagle Has Spoken

Friday, December 07, 2007

Further Analysis of the Ghostly Realm

Since my post on "Top 10 Must-haves in Horror Serials" was so well received, I thought it was time I give you some more details of my knowledge on the subject. So I thought I should give you a sneak peek into my yet unpublished (indeed, unfinished) thesis on "Ghosts of (and on) Television":

A Rough Classification of Ghosties:

Out of 10 ghosts, on an average, 3 are jilted lovers, 4 are devil worshipers, 4 are convicted criminals (mostly serial killers), while 2 are disciplinarians like jailers and hostel-wardens (my friends tell me there is not much difference between the two), with a shapit aatma (cursed soul) thrown in for good measure.

And no, I am not weak at maths. Some fall in two or more categories.

Now, on to the Part Zwei of the "Must-have's in Horror Serials".

  • Traditions are there to uphold: As I have noted before, even the ghosts of former club-hoppers love traditions. This is amply shown in their deep dislike of modern (especially feminine) clothes, and their choice of habitat (old, mainly abandoned buildings and palaces). But you can also safely bet that given a choice between a cellphone and a disconnected old (or faux-old) phone, the call from "beyond" will come on the later.

  • Idiot Box: But that doesn't mean that spirits don't change with times. Since their old toy of radio is out of fashion now, they have learnt to use TV as a means of communication. (But I still think this is a conspiracy from Parents' Association, to scare away children from watching TV)

  • It's hard to teach dead dogs new tricks: Ghosts, if possible, will try to use the tools of their former trade for killing people. If they don't have access to such things (what is a hostel-warden going to use to kill people he doesn't like? A pen?), then they will make do with anything they can think of. Which is why sometimes there is no connection between their "powers" and how they died.

  • Mein mooh dikhane ke kabil nahi raha: Undear Departed are often considerate enough that they will keep the person they killed facing the other way from others in the room. It is their way of "closing the eyes and covering the face".
    So if you find yourself in a haunted house, and one of your group is sitting in a chair facing away from you, just move on. Because there is a good chance that he has "moved on".

  • Haha, not funny: Ghosts have a sense of humour, but they don't appreciate jokes at their expense. Guess they are not much different from us humans after all. But then, they were (almost) human earlier.

  • KISS (or Keep it selectively stupid): It is well-documented fact that the brain-cells start dying once the oxygen supply to brain is disconnected at death. Which effectively makes the ghosts selectively stupid, at least when it comes to killing main characters.
    Which should explain why a ghost who was professional joker can think of new and "amusing" ways to kill somebody but does not know the joke we all heard when we were in kindergarten. I mean, we all knew why the frog cannot jump when we break all its legs in pre-school, didn't we?

  • You gotta earn your stripes: I am pretty sure there is some kind of internship period before a dead person gets to be a full-blown ghost.
    Otherwise, wouldn't it be great just once to see the ghosts of the people a ghost killed gang-up and beat their killer? (I promise, I wouldn't comment even if you make a shoddy copy of the graveyard scene in GoF)

The book (which I humbly think will be considered the last word on the subject) is a work of art in progress. Pre-orders will be open soon.

So, got anything to add?

- The Great Eagle Has Spoken

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Million Dollar Blogging

Going through my Google Reader recently, I came across a post by Problogger where he addresses two questions:

Would you stop blogging if you get million dollars today? And will your blogging style change if you are suddenly a millionaire?

Apart from the fact that USD is not what it used to be, I would have to answer first question with a resounding "No, probably" while the answer to second one would be, "Umm... let me think". And no, this is not because I am not indecisive (interviewers please note).

So, let's get to the first question. Would I (like) be a millionaire blogger? Yes, of course. Would I still be a blogger if I am a millionaire? Yes, unless...

I didn't start blogging to earn money, indeed I was not aware that blogging pays until well into my second year as a blogger. So, for me blogging is not a way to earn money, nor does it pay me so well as to make me rich any time soon (hint hint). I use this blog to talk about anything and everything I like, while "Lazy Habits" is about my main hobby. So, unless being rich makes me completely secretive, unable to express myself in writing, and leaves me no time to read, I am going to blog no matter what my bottom-line says.

So where does the "probably" in the answer come from? Well, do you think I will get time to blog while dealing with all my accountants, my businesses and everything else that comes with being rich? Million dollars are not enough to make me stop working for life, and I would of course want to get richer (say a million euros, and we are talking something else). So, I guess people would have to be satisfied with very infrequent and short posts, at least for a while. For most readers, that would be as good as me not blogging. And lack of time is seriously going to affect Lazy Habits, as writing reviews takes a good chunk of time. So the part I am not sure is whether I can put aside time to write the posts like I am accustomed to. And given what I see of people's work habits and how people disappear under pressure unless they are "pro", that's a serious consideration.

On to second one. Will I change if I am rich?

Do you really have to ask?

I have no doubt that my writing style will not change. Which means that content-wise I am not going to change any time soon (sorry all who were hoping otherwise). Post frequency and lengthwise? I already answered that one (which is why the "think" part in the answer)

I would like to add a question of my own here. Although I am not blogging for money, and don't care much if I am missing from scene for some time, I would like to try and keep people reminding of my blogs. So, I would try and get somebody who can fill in for me, if only for Lazy Habits (being a theme-blog, it is easier to fill in). I would even be ready to pay for that in kind, if need be. So, the question I am asking you is,
Would you consider somebody guest-posting on your blog if you know you won't be able to blog for some time (at least, if you have a theme blog)? Also, would you consider blogging for money or turning Pro?

By the second question, I mean something like PayPerPost, or sponsorships of some kind. Most of the bloggers I know don't blog for money. So I am fairly sure of the answers most people would give here. Leave answers in comments, write a post and leave a link to the post, do it anyway you want. But I would still like to get the answers, and get them from heart.

- The Great Eagle Has Spoken

P.S. In a completely unrelated note, if you are in the market for some great (though serious) and inspiring short-stories, do read about the "Embrace the Wonder" stories on Bennie's blog.