The Balance sheet of Life.

The Gallery

I am sitting on a bench facing the small patch of land by the river. On my right there are two others who are Japanese and another European man. On the bench facing the river there are couple of other Japanese and an Indian talking to a European lady about languages. There were more people on the three benches that formed a small gallery. In front of us a man wrapped in white clothes and clean shaven head walks to the fire, stops and drops few herbs into it. The near by man, a doms, handed over a long bamboo stick and the man wrapped in white clothes took it and touches something hollow three times. I could hear the thud sound thrice. As he handed over the bamboo and walked away, muscles on my face tightened, I didn’t blink. I looked at the man sitting next to me, he didn’t blink either and I could see that his face muscles are tightened just like mine & the fire nearby is reflected in his eyes. Suddenly dogs started howling, it got louder and become so loud that for a moment I thought its pre-recorded sounds played in a loud speaker. But it wasn’t it. It died out just like it started.

 

Harischandra Ghat, Banaras, 2012 April 29.

 

There are few more fires burning by Ganges and the care takers are reshuffling the wood to help the fire. They use the long bamboo sticks and moved around woods using two smaller bamboo sticks as if they are tongs. A small boy of perhaps 3 years of age is playing nearby, may be the younger brother of the boy who is looking after the fire. Power came back and the area is now lightened up with the sodium vapor lamps. I could see men sitting little far from the fires and a new set of people arrived soothing the loud silence with “Ram nam satya hai” and went closer to the river. There were hardly any women around. I am sitting facing a small building and I knew that there are more benches on the other side of it. I started walking there, still looking at the fires. I walked past a small shop selling some sort of powders, perhaps sandal wood, earthen pots to collect the ashes and heaps of wood for the fire. Few kids were playing cricket with a small piece of wood and they are confused as the ball just gone missing. I was about to sit on one of the benches next to an old man and a sadhu that someone came hassling and settled there. I sat down on the floor next to the bench. There is yet another small construction – a small temple and a Trishul with a small fire burning next to it. In front me a dog is sharing the rugs with a sadhu who is busy powdering something with a stone. There were just a handful dogs and all were merrily wandering around apart from the one which is leisurely  relaxing on the rugs.

 

The old man sitting on the bench in front me turned around and asked “boat ?” and I said something in Hindi and now the man asks in Hindi, “Nau chahiye kya ?” I said, “nahi bhayya” and he leaves me alone. I sat there just being myself and still wondering where am I or rather what am I. It was peaceful and my thoughts about on going business meetings vanished, the outcomes didn’t bothered anymore. I thought about the day passed where I was thinking about a project proposal, it was funny, holed up in the most ancient city on the planet and thinking about a project where objectives were not clear, the past months, past years, the years that gone by which has placed me here, the times when I had to stop every three steps to mend straps of the sandal  & back to present when I carry the most expensive and sophisticated gadgets available. About thousands people whom I have met over the years, many with whom there is no contact anymore. Well, what’s there in balance sheet now ? Nothing very impressive but I knew it didn’t matter. The so called cheap chappal which lasts for 3 steps or the gadget which drains every three hours, everything is pretty much the same. The profitability of a life cannot be measured in what is left behind for one leaves few memories in the hearts of others to fade away. There is nothing else. Nothing else matters. A sadhu turned around and looked at me, I tried to smile at him, he didn’t respond at all. He stood up  and walked to the temple, walks around a bit and settles back to his place on the bench. A family arrives and they wants to go for a boat ride to see the Ganga Aarathi.

 

 

The same place earlier in the day:

 

The idea of starting a boat ride from a place which puts ‘the end’ amuses me and I followed them to the Ganges. Few boatmen approaches them and they started bargain with them. The fire beside them casted dancing shadows on the men and women.

Another boat man approaches me, unsure of my origin, he talks to me in some foreign language which I don’t understand, I ask him “aap kaham sai hai?” .. “Hum tho Banarasi hai” he replies. We talk about the boats, who owns the boats etc and I told him that I am trying to be with myself for now, he looks into my eyes, we both understands each other and he walks away. A medium sized beetle falls on the floor, split of a second a small dog rushes and savours it. Might be a lucky one to die here !

 

On far right lights from the buildings reflected in the still waters of Ganges the breeze fills me with the remains of the fire. The family manages a profitable bargain and sails away towards Dashashwamedh Ghat.

 

Aarathi at Dashashwamedh Ghat:

 

A profitable bargain ! What’s profit ? The traditional wisdom defines it as sums in a P & L statement. What’s mine ? Numbers from few complicated excel spreadsheets appeared in memory, not so bad they were. A small, glittering cloth fluttered in front me. The orange coloured cloths are available in the shops where they sell powders and earth pots, this is the same cloth left behind by someone, I felt quite uncomfortable about the double meaning, the pun, a balance sheet here.

Few men and women are sitting near are me silently staring into the fire infront of them. For a moment I had the urge to throw away the bag, the shirt I had which is already half unbuttoned to survive the heat. I stood up, picked up my bag and camera and started walking. I was feeling peaceful, a sense of satisfaction. As I was strolling yet another sadhu started into my eyes, an intense, piercing look and he made sure his eyes are locked with mine by slowly moving his expressionless face still working on powdering the dry leaves of salvation in his hands. I didn’t blink, kept on the stare and smiled at him. I walked past the scales where they measure the profitability of life, groups of men, dogs, cows, people on the benches near the fires, children playing by the fire. I knew I will have to return, because this is where we all belong, I knew that this is very easy to sell a Ferrari and become a monk but thats being incompetent, I still need to fill the cells of my balance sheet which exists in the souls of the people around me and become a monk owning a Ferrari or more.

Scales weighing wood, the final profitability calculator:

 

 

 

Epilogue

I sat down after crossing few more ghats and went back to the hotel room after a while. Later I went back to Delhi, finished of yet another meeting, lost the project for which I was there. But the journey adds a whole new dimension to life and a better understanding of everything around us. I am thankful to my folks @ Agileblaze, my family, friends, people who made these journeys possible & to the almighty to help me walk the path of enlightenment and teaching what really matters. I am back home, busy filling my balance sheet.

Malayalam Google suggestions.

Today I happened to test how Malayalam Google suggest works and almost NSFW ! I wonder how Google decides which suggestion should come first – especially when the suggestion that comes first has highest priority of being clicked by a visitor. Its clear from the suggestions that the ones appear at the top are not the results with highest number of matches.

Here is a capture of my desktop

environment:

flock 2.5.2, GNU/Linux Debian, Not logged in to Google, Search Preferences at default (which was use moderate filtering).

(My be everything is self explanatory ! Certain results like Orkut shows why we use internet the most.)

orkut users beware : fake login script

Today evening while sigining into orkut to thank the bday wishers, I noticed that somehow the correct username / password combination was failing and noticed the URL as

http://okrutt-co-in.110mb.com/orkutt.htm

instead of something like orkut.com / co.in or google account login URL

on checking the pages via firebug the baseURI is different

ie:

original its something like:

https://www.google.com/accounts/ServiceLogin?service=orkut&hl=en-US&rm=false&

cd=IN&passive=true&skipvpage=true&sendvemail=false&continue=http%3A%2F%2F

www.orkut.com%2FRedirLogin.aspx%3Fmsg%3D0%26page%3D%252FMain%2523Home.aspx”

and the cracker has :

http://okrutt-co-in.110mb.com/orkutt.htm

its found that the above URL is POSTing the user name password combination to: a PHP file

orkut.php

which is posting the user name password after saving to db of the cracker / sending out to email address to google auth mechanism.

The most important change is in the form gaia_loginform :

bgcolor=”#E8EEFA”>

<form id=”gaia_loginform” action=”orkut.php” method=”post”

onsubmit=”return(gaia_onLoginSubmit());”>

In the orginal orkut page, the login information is POSTed to

https://www.google.com/accounts/ServiceLoginAuth?service=orkut”

I am about to mail google securiy / abuse etc and 110mb.com support. If possible I will update here.

————————————————————————————————————————–

even if you understand any of the above, while signing to orkut.com / google account make sure that the URL appearing in the browsers page is is something like

https://www.google.com/accounts/ServiceLogin?service=orkut&hl=en

————————————————————————————————————————–

PS: I am extremly sleepy and the analysis may be wrong. 😀

mother | അമ്മ

mother's privilege. | അമ്മക്കുമാത്രം.

“എന് കുഞ്ഞുറങ്ങന് കുഞ്ഞുറങ്ങ് എന് തങ്കം” എന്ന് നേരത്ത സ്‌വരത്തില്‍ ഈണത്തില് താരാട്ടു പാടിയുറക്കിയിരുന്ന എന്റെ അമ്മക്ക്….

(to my mother, the one with sweet, gentle voice & little tender hands … oh! )

എന്നായിരുന്നു അവസാനം ഞാനാ താരാട്ടു കേട്ടത് ?


ജീവിക്കുവാന് തോന്നുന്നു
മരിക്കുവാനും
അമ്മയെന്നോര്ക്കുമ്പോള്
ഒന്നൂടെ,
ജനിക്കുവാന് മാത്രം തോന്നുന്നു

(രാജേ, നിന്റെ വരികള് ഞാനിതാ വീണ്ടും മോഷ്ടിച്ചിരിക്കുന്നു!)

mother | അമ്മ

mother's privilege. | അമ്മക്കുമാത്രം.

“എന് കുഞ്ഞുറങ്ങന് കുഞ്ഞുറങ്ങ് എന് തങ്കം” എന്ന് നേരത്ത സ്‌വരത്തില്‍ ഈണത്തില് താരാട്ടു പാടിയുറക്കിയിരുന്ന എന്റെ അമ്മക്ക്….

(to my mother, the one with sweet, gentle voice & little tender hands … oh! )

എന്നായിരുന്നു അവസാനം ഞാനാ താരാട്ടു കേട്ടത് ?


ജീവിക്കുവാന് തോന്നുന്നു
മരിക്കുവാനും
അമ്മയെന്നോര്ക്കുമ്പോള്
ഒന്നൂടെ,
ജനിക്കുവാന് മാത്രം തോന്നുന്നു

(രാജേ, നിന്റെ വരികള് ഞാനിതാ വീണ്ടും മോഷ്ടിച്ചിരിക്കുന്നു!)

കേരളകൌമുദിയുടെ ഓണക്കളവ്

കേരളകൌമുദിയെന്ന മലയാളം പത്രം സത്യത്തിന്റെയുന്‍ നന്മയുടേയും പ്രതീകമായ ഓണം ആഘോഷിക്കുന്നത് ഈയുള്ളവന്റെ ഒരു ഫോട്ടോ മോഷ്ടിച്ചു കൊണ്ടാണ്‍ ! ഓണഗ്രാമം എന്ന ഈ പരിപാടി ഇന്ന് (9/9/208) വൈകുന്നേരം ആണ്‍ ഉദ്ഘാടനം ചെയ്യപ്പെടുന്നത്.   പാരമ്പര്യകലകളുടെ സര്‍ഗ്ഗവസന്തം വിരിയിക്കുന്ന ഓണഗ്രാമത്തിന്‍ കുമരകത്തിന്ന്  തുടക്കമാവുമത്രേ.  മോഷ്ടാക്കള്‍ക്ക് സര്‍ഗ്ഗ വസന്തം വിരിയിക്കാന്‍ കഴിയുമോ ?

Keralakaumudi celebrates onam by stealing my photo
A malayalam daily called kerala kaumudi is celebrating Onam by stealing one of my theyyam photos. Right now when I am typing this a program called “ona gramam” (onam village) is getting inaugrated in kumarakom and they will be giving speeches about the good old days when there was no evil deeds ! What a joke. How pathetic.
ഓണം ആഘോഷിക്കാന്‍ നിങ്ങള്‍ക്കെന്തരഹതയാണുള്ളത് ?

മോഷണത്തോടൊപ്പമുള്ള വാര്‍ത്ത:

The theft and the news:

Online copy of the news item is here

Scanned copy is here

The original photograph was shared in flickr and it is licensed to me and it had my watermark too ! They carefully deleted my watermark.

എന്റെ ചിത്രം താഴെ കൊടുത്തിരിക്കുന്നു. അതിലെ വാട്ടര്‍മാര്‍ക്ക് അവര്‍ ശ്രദ്ധാപൂരവം മായ്ച്ചു കളഞ്ഞിരിക്കുന്നു.

Muchilottu Bhagavathy Theyyam

I humbly request fellow bloggers, photographres and all malayaliees to support me and end this stealing business for ever. I have mailed the following mail addresses found in the kaumudi site. If its not working out, probably we will try out something like an email campaign against plagiarism.

e-mail address 1: [email protected]

e-mail address 2: [email protected]

Dear Sir, It has been noted that Kerala kaumudi has published a photograph copy righted by me without making payment without permission. The photograph is along with a news item called onagramam.

Link to the photograph and news item: http://keralakaumudi.com/news/print/sep9/page7.pdf

Link to the scanned copy of the image: http://i244.photobucket.com/albums/gg11/sajivvijay/scan0001-1.jpg

I humbly request KeralaKaumdi to make the payment for the image at the earliest and re publish the image with appropriate bi-line.
Thanks and regards,
Bobinson
— http://freebird.in

meet-cute

From the movie The Holiday

Say a man and a woman both need something to sleep in and both go to the same men’s pajama department. The man says to the salesman Ted, I just need bottoms, and the woman says, I just need a top. They look at each other and that’s the meet-cute.

So that is an example of a meet cute.

😉

how to use another person’s creative work in Internet?

The title of the post can be interpreted as:

  1. How to use another photographer’s photograph in my blog or website
  2. How to use another author’s article in my blog or website
  3. How to use and share music or art work
  4. How to avoid copy right violations
  5. How not to do plagiarism
  6. How to respect creativity and originality
  7. How to be a sensible, law abiding human being
  8. how to be a social animal and not just an animal

Often web sites, blogs and media (print / online) uses photographs and other content along with articles in their sites. The general practice is to search for an image in one of the search engines, download it and use it. By doing it the person who is using it is ignoring and dishonoring the photographer. A photograph, literature or art work freely available on internet does not mean that it is free for use. Here free can be both freedom to use or the money factor.

The most important thing to remember before copying an image, art or literature work is that the author might have spend hours of hard work, may be he risked his life to take a photograph and he or she uses costly equipment for taking photographs and often art work is the out come of personal suffering. The creator considers his/her work as his child and stealing an art work is stealing his or her child.

Mostly the content creators in internet share their work so that it is useful for others. Free knowledge sharing is what lead us to superior species on the planet and it is the foundation stone of every civilization in the world. Internet is the latest form of free and uncensored knowledge sharing and it will always remain the same. (oh, yea there are big brothers working against it but still there is hope.)

Before blindly copying any content from internet please verify the licensing terms under which it is released. Certain creators tend to release their works under closed copy right terms but there is a vast majority who posts their works under Creative Commons licenses.

For example the photo shown below is shared under Creative commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 licensing in flickr by Sajith TS (aka TS)

Prayer

(oh, I must say that sajith should be punished for taking such wonderful photographs ! damn)

In short the Creative commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 means, anyone can copy, distribute and display the image. Anyone is free to make derivate works too. The creator only wants attribution to his work and the derivative work should be shared under the same terms and conditions. But the above conditions doesn’t mean the that the creator looses his rights at any point and he can change the licensing terms at any point of time. Often content creators specify that their works are not free for commercial use and thus the author gets renumeration for his work and he makes his work freely available for general public. In addition to the licensing terms, the flickr community guidelines says if any web site is using this work in their pages, there should be a link to the original photo page.

In short before copying any content on the internet check the following:

  1. Whether work is published by the original creator
  2. If its published by the original creator who own the content, check for the licensing terms under which the work is published.
  3. Even if the work is published under a licensing which makes everyone to freely use the work, its always a good practice to notify the creator that we are planning to use the work and get approval from him/her.
  4. Always give attribution/credits to the author/creator/artist/photographer

You may ask why should I do it ! Well, the content creator has rights to take legal action against anyone who copies content without permission. For example the India license has now been integrated into the Creative Commons licensing process, so you are able to license your works under this jurisdiction’s law. The creative commons licenses integrated to Indian law can be found here

Before copying and using a photo, an art work or an article from an internet search result, please take sometime to read through the pages, respect fellow human beings and understand that the human being who created is someone who just like you and learn to respect him or her.

how to use another person's creative work in Internet?

The title of the post can be interpreted as:

  1. How to use another photographer’s photograph in my blog or website
  2. How to use another author’s article in my blog or website
  3. How to use and share music or art work
  4. How to avoid copy right violations
  5. How not to do plagiarism
  6. How to respect creativity and originality
  7. How to be a sensible, law abiding human being
  8. how to be a social animal and not just an animal

Often web sites, blogs and media (print / online) uses photographs and other content along with articles in their sites. The general practice is to search for an image in one of the search engines, download it and use it. By doing it the person who is using it is ignoring and dishonoring the photographer. A photograph, literature or art work freely available on internet does not mean that it is free for use. Here free can be both freedom to use or the money factor.

The most important thing to remember before copying an image, art or literature work is that the author might have spend hours of hard work, may be he risked his life to take a photograph and he or she uses costly equipment for taking photographs and often art work is the out come of personal suffering. The creator considers his/her work as his child and stealing an art work is stealing his or her child.

Mostly the content creators in internet share their work so that it is useful for others. Free knowledge sharing is what lead us to superior species on the planet and it is the foundation stone of every civilization in the world. Internet is the latest form of free and uncensored knowledge sharing and it will always remain the same. (oh, yea there are big brothers working against it but still there is hope.)

Before blindly copying any content from internet please verify the licensing terms under which it is released. Certain creators tend to release their works under closed copy right terms but there is a vast majority who posts their works under Creative Commons licenses.

For example the photo shown below is shared under Creative commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 licensing in flickr by Sajith TS (aka TS)

Prayer

(oh, I must say that sajith should be punished for taking such wonderful photographs ! damn)

In short the Creative commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 means, anyone can copy, distribute and display the image. Anyone is free to make derivate works too. The creator only wants attribution to his work and the derivative work should be shared under the same terms and conditions. But the above conditions doesn’t mean the that the creator looses his rights at any point and he can change the licensing terms at any point of time. Often content creators specify that their works are not free for commercial use and thus the author gets renumeration for his work and he makes his work freely available for general public. In addition to the licensing terms, the flickr community guidelines says if any web site is using this work in their pages, there should be a link to the original photo page.

In short before copying any content on the internet check the following:

  1. Whether work is published by the original creator
  2. If its published by the original creator who own the content, check for the licensing terms under which the work is published.
  3. Even if the work is published under a licensing which makes everyone to freely use the work, its always a good practice to notify the creator that we are planning to use the work and get approval from him/her.
  4. Always give attribution/credits to the author/creator/artist/photographer

You may ask why should I do it ! Well, the content creator has rights to take legal action against anyone who copies content without permission. For example the India license has now been integrated into the Creative Commons licensing process, so you are able to license your works under this jurisdiction’s law. The creative commons licenses integrated to Indian law can be found here

Before copying and using a photo, an art work or an article from an internet search result, please take sometime to read through the pages, respect fellow human beings and understand that the human being who created is someone who just like you and learn to respect him or her.