Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Truth Regarding India's National Anthem

There's an email forward going around telling that India's national anthem was composed praising King George and his queen. I don't want to thrash this view. I just want you to hear all the facts behind it, and then decide how wonderful a poet Rabindranath Tagore is...

The email forward says these things:

To begin with, India's national anthem, Jana Gana Mana Adhinayaka, was written by Rabindranath Tagore in honour of King George V and the Queen of England when they visited India in 1919. To honour their visit Pandit Motilal Nehru had the five stanzas included, which are in praise of the King and Queen.
 Well this IS right... But you have to read this after hearing what Rabindranath Tagore himself said about this:
"A certain high official in His Majesty's service, who was also my friend, had requested that I write a song of felicitation towards the Emperor. The request simply amazed me. It caused a great stir in my heart. In response to that great mental turmoil, I pronounced the victory in Jana Gana Mana of that Bhagya Vidhata [ed. God of Destiny] of India who has from age after age held steadfast the reins of India's chariot through rise and fall, through the straight path and the curved. That Lord of Destiny, that Reader of the Collective Mind of India, that Perennial Guide, could never be George V, George VI, or any other George. Even my official friend understood this about the song. After all, even if his admiration for the crown was excessive, he was not lacking in simple common sense."
 And just that clarification is enough for anyone to understand what Tagore really meant.

But the email continues:
In the original Bengali verses only those provinces that were under British rule, i.e. Punjab, Sindh, Gujarat, Maratha etc. were mentioned. None of the princely states were recognized which are integral parts of India now Kashmir, Rajasthan, Andhra, Mysore or Kerala. Neither the Indian Ocean nor the Arabian Sea was
included, since they were directly under Portuguese rule at that time.
Well, he mentioned "Punjab, Sind, Gujarat and Maratha, Dravida and Orissa and Benga." What more would you except from a poet who was writing a poem, all the states of India? (and their capitals too?) Hey! When did Kerala come into existence?

And then the mail continues to give some snippets of translation from all the stanzas of the whole Jana Gana Mana

The intention of that article is clear. And that explains why only parts of the following stanzas were translated, and not the complete translation [well, if you haven't read that article yet, go here and read it, I don't want to disgrace my blog copy pasting the thing here]

Click here to read the real and complete translation of all the five stanzas of Jana Gana Mana

When you read that you can find these phrases:
Oh! You who bring in the unity of the people!
 The way of life is somber as it moves through ups and downs.
But we, the pilgrims, have followed through ages.
Oh! Eternal Charioteer, the wheels of your chariot
echo day and night in the path

Oh! You who guide the people through tortuous path!
Through nightmares and fears
You protected us on Your lap
Oh Loving Mother.

 By the halo of Your compassion
India that was asleep is now waking
Now tell me, was Tagore referring to King George or mother India? He got Nobel Prize not for nothing.

Be proud to be an Indian
(I hereby permit to make this an email forward provided that the whole text remains including this link to the blog Blissful Life @ http://asdofindia.blogspot.com)

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Type in Indic, Greek, Arabic Anywhere, Anytime With Google IME

Google's transliteration feature has been of great help to Indian's looking to type in their own languages. But to use it one had to be connected internet.

But our dear Google (G capital for God and Google) has again come for our help. They're providing an IME tool which when installed works as a new language in your windows system (yeah that language bar you tried so many times to hide, you're gonna need that)
You can just type in the language you choose even in notepad.

Google Transliteration IME is currently available for 14 different languages - Arabic, Bengali, Farsi (Persian), Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.

First you'll have to download the language pack you need from this page.

And don't cut the internet connection

Then when you run the file it will download the files it need, install itself and disappear into nothingness.

Then when you're clueless about what to do, go to the Google Transliteration IME help page Google Transliteration Input Method (IME) Help there. (You can't find that link by searching, they show some Chinese pages, so rather save it now)

There, they will tell you to enable the language bar (by right clicking on taskbar, pointing to toolbars, selecting language bar) and then to select your language to see the Google IME.

Rest is explained nicely with pictures over here:
Google Transliteration Input Method (IME) Help

Just go there, start typing without pain...

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Monday, December 14, 2009

3 Questions to Define What is Productive and What is Not

Time management is about knowing what is productive and what isn't as much as Bhagavad Gita is about self improvement. When you are able to conceive the difference between productive and unproductive work, time management is just a matter of avoiding the unproductive one and doing the productive one. But how do we distinguish between the two?

Any work doing which we are bound to benefit in the future can be termed as productive. (But only when you are doing it as efficiently as possible and have nothing more important to do, as I will explain below)
Learning anything new, exercising, helping someone else, ...

And any work doing which we may get benefit in the future are unproductive.
Watching a film (about which a question may be asked in the Who wants to be a millionaire? program which I'm planning to participate in 20 years from now), playing farmville in facebook (thus showing my friends my skill in farming?), chatting endlessly with friends (do you think that the amount of time you spend with your friend strengthens the bond of friendship between you?) ...

Your mind may sometimes trick you into believing that you're being productive when you're actually less than 10% of what you can be, as is clearly demonstrated when someone gets addicted to anything I said above (social networks, tv shows, etc)

Let us analyze them one by one

Social networks:
Facebook, orkut, and all others of the genre are truly great sites when it comes to keeping in touch with friends, sharing photos, videos, clearing doubts in an online forum and so on, and I personally have a profile in each one of them. But they become evil when we start forgetting why they are there. They are meant for strengthening interpersonal relationships. But you could spend a whole day in any one of them, and still end the day gaining nothing more than what you could achieve in 10 minutes. Think of how you could post updates every 15 minutes throughout a day and 2 of your greatest friends who log in at the night sees just the last 2 of your updates and comment on them. Think of how you could post a very clever, very attractive single update a day and still have almost half a dozen people liking and commenting on your update.
Think of how you can get back your time from these sites. Think how you can compress your activities to bare minimum.

The #1 time killer in most house holds even after the advent of the internet is television. Because while internet soon becomes boring especially when you don't know more than 3 sites by their URL, TV + remote ensures that you find something or the other every time you switch the thing on. And unlike internet you needn't even know what you want to waste time on TV.

Time for some entertainment... Aha I've my favourite program in Nat Geo (well Nat Geo is after all educational)... Oh it's commercials time, let's see what HBO is showing. Is it Rush-Hour 3? My Goodness! Never got a chance to watch it. And it has just begun... [2 hours later]... my gosh, my eyes are paining. I think I need some rest. [Power off]
Tell me how many of us haven't gone through these exact routine. You get a chance holiday and think that you would finish all your pending works on that day. But at the end of the day you would find yourself just a bit further than where you started.

Because you forget what you should have been doing. You think you are being productive when you aren't actually.

So the next time you are in a doubt whether or not you're doing the right thing, just ask yourself these questions.
#1, Is what I'm trying to do my absolute priority?
This is another way of asking yourself whether you have a task to be completed with its deadline tomorrow, or whether you have a critical examination tomorrow. (Most people think of doing some exercise, or learning javascript at such critical eleventh hours) Just ask yourself whether there's anything very important. Even if you are trying to exercise or learn a new language, right now it is unproductive, if you have a deadline tomorrow.

If I don't have anything absolutely necessary to do
#2, Is what I'm trying to do going to be of any help for me in the future?
Am I learning? Am I building my muscles? Am I doing something new? Am I building up on my relationships? Am I really having fun? Am I being adventurous? Am I doing something, the fruit of which I can proudly display in front of others?

And if I'm doing something useful
#3, Can I do what I'm doing more efficiently?
Am I utilizing what I'm doing to the maximum? This last question can have great effects. You will soon find yourself chatting with friends just enough, such that you don't find both of you talking about how bad your favourite actress performed in her last movie (unless you are a movie critic).
And don't think you will be termed as a kill-joy, or a silent person. Talk to your friends enough. But just enough. Don't let gossips be your topic of discussion. And don't fear that you will turn out to be an uninteresting person. How about talking about a picnic or a group work. Find topics that are productive, interesting and relationship strengthening, all at the same time.

Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One man gets only a week’s value out of a year while another man gets a full year’s value out of a week.
- Charles Richards

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Billy - Media Players Can't Get Lighter

Just 4 days ago I told you about Quintessential Media Player.
But the day I started using QMP I had also installed another media player called Billy. It was very small a program that I didn't try to run it that day. I thought it wouldn't be having any features I wanted.
But wait! This 665 KB (with setup and 357 KB without setup) media player can do anything including managing playlists, playing shuffled, have a tiny mode, calculate total playlist time, have sleep timer, rename multiple items, jump to playing file, a softmute (30 % of volume) and every one of those functions have a keyboard shortcut too. Even seek can be done with cursor keys. And there is a tiny visualisation too. Moreover under the seek bar it shows you the total time, elapsed time and remaining time all at once. And in the status bar it shows you the properties of the file, the number of files in the playlist, play mode, etc. What not, there is a find option which can be used to search any file in the playlist (and it can search within track information too)

And the most thrilling part is it uses only under 1 MB of resources while running for itself (+ the size of the song)

My God!
At last I have found the truly lightest media player... It's Billy...

Download Billy Here

Additional Info: (from Billy site)

Freeware (no adware)
Runs on Win 95/98/NT/Me/2000/XP/2003
No skins, no mp3 tags, no equalizer, no nonsense - pure audio
Supported formats: MP3, WAV, OGG
High quality sound engine, by Un4seen Bass
Extremely fast, loads 1000 mp3 files in a second
Gapless trackchange of mp3 files
Directory based or playlist based
Filenames renamer to organize your music albums
Calibrated dB level meter
100% controllable by keyboard
Low memory and cpu usage
Queueing your next songs
Find a specific song quickly
Sleep timer
Drag & drop

Billy is an audio player that allows you to quickly play an entire directory of MP3 files. It can usually load files 2 to 8 times faster than winamp or media player. Billy plays music albums without any gaps between tracks, so an overlapping applause or beat will continue. The player is 100% controllable by keyboard and its easy finder and special rename functions help you to find and organize your files quickly.

Download Billy right now... here

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Quintessential Media Player - The Best Light Media Player

I have been on the look out of a light media player which can perform all the tasks I want to do (all those shuffling, playlist organizing, etc. etc.), and I always thought that after media player classic, there's nothing light that can do those. But ever since I started using Quintessential Media Player I have been in love with it. It supports plugins, it can shuffle playlists, it has many skins, there's a shade mode, shows remaining time for a track and above all it runs very very light on resources.

So what are you waiting for just go to Quintessential Player website, and get it.

Update: I discovered Billy later which is as light as it can get, and as good as everything else.

Related Posts:
Billy - Media Players Can't Get Lighter

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Friday, December 4, 2009

Google Dictionary !!!

Google is taking over the internet... It released its own DNS service and I thought that was the news for the day, but wait... Google has rolled out its dictionary, and unlike when it rolls out other services this came in silently. And so, there is a great chance that you may miss this. But I won't let you do so. For, looking up words is one thing I've always used google for. Gone are the days when I had to type define:compere and then get a single line on something.
Today onwards I will just have to key in the word like I do with any other search term... (Ctrl - K, then "chamois") and see on the top right along with those big numbers a blue link [definition]

And clicking on it I will be with the meaning...

As you can see in the picture, there is easy starring of words (learn new words), pronunciation, synonym, categories, other languages having the same word, web links (what you would normally get with a "define:" tag. And finally there are dictionaries for almost every language. Even malayalam!!!!!

Just go check it out Google dictionary

And have happy days learning words...

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