Friday, March 30, 2007

The Magnificent and Majestic!

The Golden Gate Bridge - I never get tired of shooting this bridge on film. So beautiful it is!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Cover of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Yippieee! The book cover is out! And I can tell that Harry Potter is not going to die in this last book. As you can see on the cover, he is trying to reach for something towards the sky, and Voldemort is trying to stop him from doing that. His eyes still so much snake-like, appearing as red slits. Harry's palm/hand is shown quite bigger relatively to his body, I think that means more powerful than before and thus the end of the dark lord! woohoo!

Love the picture of Slytherin's locket. Wonder what the Hufflepuff's cup would look like. We've already seen Gryffindor's sword but what about an item of Ravenclaw's? I wonder what it will be!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Golden Gate Bridge & Alcatraz

Those are actually four different seagulls! With Alcatraz island in background.

You think I asked them to pose for me, don't you?! :)

Pictures taken January 14, 2007.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Comics are fun!

"The Spats" by Jeff Pickering

Friday, March 23, 2007

Spring is here!

Last weekend, I was driving in San Jose when I started paying attention to the trees around the road. I realized almost all of them had beautiful white colored flowers blooming on them. If I am not mistaken, these are the plum blossoms. In any case, I thought the view of rows of trees covered with white flowers in 75 degree sunny weather on a beautiful afternoon were more than anything a photographer could ask for.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


They say a picture is worth a 1000 words। I am not sure whether it's true for every picture but I'd say there's definitely feelings involved when we look at a picture. Shooting also gives same pleasure, it helps us put our thoughts on a printed piece of paper. Sometimes reminding us of past and bringing back memories, sometimes just making us happy, sad, or striking a thought process in our mind. Ever since I was a kid, I've always enjoyed taking photographs. They fascinated me back then and still do. The journey from a point-and-shoot camera to an SLR has been exciting! It's exactly four years back, today, I got my first SLR camera. Later on, I also got a digital camera so I can practice more of my photography skills without wasting (as I am told often) too much film. Still an amateur photographer, I'm learning how to take better pictures everyday.

The Alchemist within Us

When the boy gets the vision of an army attacking the oasis in desert, he goes and tells the camel driver about it. The camel driver tells him in what circumstances God would allow him to see the future:

"Only when he, himself, reveals it. And God only rarely reveals the future. When he does so, it is for only one reason: it's a future that was written so as to be altered."

This made me think, how in life sometimes we are put in situation where others make decisions for us. Sometimes we feel so helpless in the situation we are in and end up listening to our hearts or may be someone we trust or we think we trust.

Another interesting quote that I liked was by the alchemist himself. When the boy is so afraid to leave to oasis because he thinks the woman he loved at the oasis was the treasure that he had been looking for. Or at least she was bigger treasure in his view than any other treasure hidden at the pyramids. He tells the alchemist that his heart was afraid that it will have to suffer. To which the alchemist replies:

"Tell you heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. and that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity."

At another instance, when the boy finally manages to talk to his heart:

“Everyone on each has a treasure that awaits him. We, people’s hearts, seldom say much about those treasures, because people no longer want to go in search of them. We speak of them only to children. Later, we simply let life proceed, in its own direction, toward its own fate. But, unfortunately, very few follow the path laid out for them – the path to their Personal Legends, and to happiness. Most people see the world as a threatening place, and because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place.”

How so very true! We are so afraid to take risks we forget to see the world as bigger place than what our minds think it to be. If we actually think about it, it’s only the initiative that is difficult, once we are on the way, the path to pursue the dream becomes much easier and we have to be prepared for that final test, that tests us for everything we have learned in the path of life. As the alchemist says:

“Every search begins with beginner’s luck. And every search ends with the victor’s being severely tested.”

A friend once said to me, what doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger. And then it’s that darkest hour of the day, tell yourself, this too shall pass.

And finally the wise one says: “When you possess great treasures within you, and try to tell others of them, seldom are you believed.”

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Under his spell - Severus Snape

Five reasons to believe Snape is good (if not nice)

1. Headmaster Dumbledore's death isn't all it seems to be. After he pleads, "Severus ... ," there is a moment of silence, an opportunity for the two -- both skilled in the Potter books' version of mind-reading -- to have a private chat. Snape fans think Dumbledore orders him to go through with it. At this point, the headmaster is already in dire straits, poisoned by a potion of Voldemort's that -- in what seems like a deliberate parallel -- Dumbledore made Harry force-feed him.

2. We still don't have reliable information about why Snape offered to spy on Voldemort, "at great personal risk," in Dumbledore's words. In the Potter books, what you don't know is significant.

3. As he fled Hogwarts, Snape could have killed or kidnapped Harry. Instead, he stopped a Death Eater from torturing the teen.

4. The summer before these traumatic events, Snape saves Dumbledore from a potentially life-threatening injury. Why bother if he wanted the headmaster dead?

5. What's the more interesting plot for the final Harry Potter book: Yeah, Snape is still bad? Or -- surprise, Harry, the man you want to kill is on your side?

[By Jamie Smith Hopkins]


Friday, March 16, 2007

Timbre "Harry Potter" - Fête du Timbre 2007

"Celebration of the Stamp" that's what it means in French. It indeed is time for celebration for the Harry Potter fans! The Potter mania reaches yet another level and now we have stamps with Harry Potter and Friends on there. The stamps came out March 12, 2007. I'm waiting for England and US to come up with their versions of HP stamps. Can't wait to order my set of these French stamps!

Next thing we will see, there is Thestrals Taxi Service, Harry Potter airlines, ooh imagine... Firebolt Airways! ;-) or may be they already exist somewhere...

Image copyrights: © 2007 - La Poste

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Is Snape really Harry's wellwisher?

So after reading an article online, I've really started to pay attention on how Snape has been treating Harry. It makes me wonder whether Snape really hates Harry as much as Harry hates him? Or may be he likes him? Did Snape have a soft corner for Lily Evans? Do Harry's eyes remind him of her? What is the reason this half-blood prince behaves the way he does with Harry - neither of a friend nor a foe? How did Harry actually get hold of the Potions book that belonged to Half-blood prince? I guess the answers will have to wait until July 21, 2007!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Matrix Transformation

Matrix takes three points as parameters, first point is the origin, the second point being the X-axis and third point marks the Y-axis. Changing the order of points changes the orientation of the XY-axis. The Transform function of Graphics associates the Matrix to the graphics object. The newly drawn graph objects would have the new orientation. The TranslateTransform function of Graphics object moves the origin to the new point that is passed as parameter to TranslateTransform.
private PointF[] pArray;

Matrix m;

Graphics g;

//Rectangle must be declared before usage.

//pArray is initialized here.

m = new Matrix(Rectangle, pArray);

g.Transform = m;

pArray = new PointF[] { new PointF(this.Width, this.Height), new PointF(0, 0), new PointF(0, this.Height) };

X diagonal
Y horizontal

pArray = new PointF[] { new PointF(0, this.Height), new PointF(this.Width, this.Height), new PointF(0, 0) };

X horizontal
Y vertical

pArray = new PointF[] { new PointF(this.Width, this.Height), new PointF(0, this.Height), new PointF(0, 0) };

X horizontal
Y diagonal

pArray = new PointF[] { new PointF(0, 0), new PointF(0, this.Height), new PointF(this.Width, this.Height) };

X vertical
Y diagonal

pArray = new PointF[] { new PointF(0, 0), new PointF(this.Width, this.Height), new PointF(0, this.Height) };

X diagonal
Y vertical

pArray = new PointF[] { new PointF(0, this.Height), new PointF(0, 0), new PointF(this.Width, this.Height) };

X horizontal
Y vertical

Monday, March 05, 2007

In the Matrix of Arrays and RectangleF

My brain is being beaten like a drum with sticks
Oh it's driving me crazy! this concept of Matrix
How do I draw graphs and points using graphics?
Entire client area seems confused with my clicks
Google hasn't been of help in finding any quick fix
Those developers seem like they are in politics
It seems I am unable to create an array of points six
Where oh where is a wall so I can band my head on bricks?

March 05, 2007

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Voice!

No one, not a single person, can come even close to Amitabh Bachchan when it comes to dialog delivery. I have gone totally crazy for his voice, not just once, or twice but again and again and this man just doesn't seem to be wanting to stop charming his audience. When I heard "dekha ek khwaab to yeh silsile hue", I fell in love with the song instantly, but it was the sheyr that Amitabh says before the song that made it even more appealing and now I don't like the song if this dialog is missing. The presense of the dialog gives yet another depth to the song and without the dialog, this song still remains incomplete for me.

वेहम्-ओ-गुमान से दूर दूर
यकीन कि हद के पास पास
दिल को भरम यह हो गया
उनको हम से प्यार है

(music and song follow...)

vehm-o-gumaan se door door
yakeen ki hadh ke paas paas
dil ko bharam yeh ho gaya
unko hum se pyaar hai

Yet again the dialog that just stays in your heart. Some words that etch the internal walls of your heart and never get erased. This happened when he delivered the dialog as Badshah Khan of Khuda Gawah. Wow! what a voice! what a voice! I am rendered speechless listening to the voice. Only thing you'd be able to feel is that each and every single hair on your body stands up when he speaks these words:

सर ज़मीन-ए-हिन्दुस्तान! अस्सलाम आलयकुम. मेरा नाम बादशाह खान है. इश्क मेरा मज़हब, मोहब्बत मेरा इमान. मोहब्बत जिस के लिए शीरी और हेरा के नाम फूल की खुशबु बन गए. जिस के लिए फरहाद ने पहाडों का सीना चीर कर दूध की नेहेर बहा दी. जिस के लिए मजनू ने सहेराओं की खाक छानी और आज भी जिंदा है तारीख बन कर. उस्सी मोहब्बत के लिए काबुल का येह पठान, हिन्दुस्तान की सर-ज़मीन से मोहब्बत की खैर मांगने आया है.
आज़माइश कड़ी है, इम्तेहान मुश्किल है, लेकिन हौसला बुलंद है. जीत हमेशा मोहब्बत की हुई है, सदियों से येही होता आया है, येही होगा. रौशनी ग़र खुदा को हो मंज़ूर, आँधियों में चिराग जलते है. खुदा गवाह है!

sir zameen-e-hindustaan! assalaam aaleikum! meraa naam baadshah khan hai. ishq mera mazhab, mohabbat mera imaan. mohabbat jis ke liye shiri aur hera ke naam phool ki khushbu ban gaye. jis ke liye farhaad ne pahaadon ka seena cheer kar dudh ki neher bahaa di. jis ke liye majnu ne sehraao ki khaak chhaani aur aaj bhi zinda hai taarikh ban kar. ussi mohabbat ke liye kaabul ka yeh pathaan, hindustaan ki sir-zameen se mohabbat ki khair maangne aaya hai.
aazmaish kadi hai, imtehaan mushkil hai, lekin hauslaa buland hai. jeet hamesha mohabbat ki hui hai, sadiyon se yehi hota aaya hai, yehi hoga. roshni gar khuda ko ho manzoor, aandhiyon mein chiraag jalte hai. khuda gawaah hai.

WHOA! It's magical...