Archive for February, 2006|Monthly archive page

IIPM – Expose’

Long time that I have written anything on my blog. Didnt have time to write. But as an avid blog follower, I saw that there is one issue on blogosphere that no one can miss – The IIPM Fraud.IIPM as people in India know is Indian Institute of Planning & Management. More known than the name of the institute is the catch phrase which reads ‘Dare to think beyond IIMs’. (For starters, IIM is Indian Institute of Management are a string of six institutes arguably compared to the Ivy league colleges of the US in terms of academic standard!). As an IIM-Bangalore graduate, I remember very well laughing away at that catch phrase with a touch of mockery and nonchalance. Never did I bother, like any other indian, how good that institute is and how many people are trapped by that outrageous marketing claim. However, its only when an ex-IIMA grad, Rashmi Bansal, who runs popular youth magazine JAM has reported about IIPM that I got interested yet again. (You can read it here).The story took yet another interesting turn when a unsuspecting, serious blogger who believes in minor things like Freedom of Speech and Right to Opinion, Gaurav Sabnis, linked up to Rashmi’s article in his blog. And with great show of grit and belief in personal freedom, Gaurav had to resign from his job in IBM due to cheap mafia-tic tactics by IIPM. (Incidentally, IBM has IIPM as its big customer. Why not, when IIPM provides free laptops to its students :-). The entire episode is wonderfully covered here by DesiPundit, a Indian blog site.As much for the story, three key things stand out from this episode.1. The importance of free speech, right to expression and standing by your opinion.2. How education in India has become more and more like a business – with an objective of minting money and how easily the institutes can be sold – I dont see any difference now between a ‘New Improved Surf Excel with Active Oxygen’ and ‘IIPM – We teach today and rest adopt tomorrow’. All this coming from a guy with this profile (Note: Everything from IIPM – his dad’s institute!)*Professor Chaudhuri did his B.A. with Honours in Economics, Honours Diploma in Industrial *Engineering, M.A with Honours in Economics, Post Graduate Diploma in Planning and *Management (MBA) and Fellowship of I.I.P.M. Professor Chaudhuri has been amongst the *toppers during his B.A. Economics, M.A. Economics and MBA. He was the recipient of the *Academic Gold Medal while completing his Post Graduate Diploma in Planning and *Management from IIPM.3. When the blogosphere is reverberating with the screams and shouts of self-respecting enthusiastic bloggers, no mainstream print or TV channel has picked up the story for a complete coverage. Reason is obviouis – IIPM spent Rs 5.1 crores on advertising in May 2005 alone, making it the highest advertiser in print for that month, according to the Economic Times. So, shall I sit down and wonder why they did not pick it up??However, this issue on the blogspots has revealed some curious and very analytical bloggers who used just the internet to dig out lot of fishy and shady details about IIPM. These are what should get more footage. Gawker brought out really fishy details about IIPM degree here. (For starters, read details abt IIPM academic programs here) and Transmogrified unravels more at http://constructal.blogspot.com/2005/10/web-of-deception.html#linksOverall, a really interesting fight on the blog net. I would love to see IIPM get bashed up for all the marketing gimmicks and intellectual atrocities on the unsuspecting students of India. May the truth win.

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King Kong – Ding Dong :)

Right from the release of Merian Cooper and Ernest Schoedsack’s first King Kong movie in 1933, monster of beasts have raked in a lot of enthusiasm and dollars in hollywood. For people who have not seen the latest king kong flick, the plot is neither too complex nor different from the 1933 King Kong (Afterall, it’s a remake of the magic!)

A film crew headed by Carl Denham arrives at the mysterious Skull Island to do some location shooting for a new picture. However, the dark-skinned natives take a liking to Denham’s leading lady, Ann Darrow and kidnap her as an offering to their god, Kong. Just as the cavalry, led by Denham and a play writer named Jack Driscoll rushes in to save Ann, Kong – a 25-foot high ape – makes his appearance, snatching his prize from the altar and heading off into the jungle. Kong from that moment is in love with the beauty of Ann. Denham, Driscoll, and a search party set off in pursuit. Various encounters with Kong and a series of prehistoric relics decimate the group. In the meantime, we get to see battles between the giant ape and several dinosaurs. Eventually, Driscoll sneaks Ann away from Kong and, when the beast arrives at the natives’ village to retrieve her, Denham uses sleep inducing chloroform to capture him. Weeks later, a live show opens in New York City’s Radio City Music Hall, with a chained Kong as the main attraction. He is, as the marquee proclaims, “The Eighth Wonder of the World.” Despite Denham’s best precautions, Kong breaks free on opening night, grabs Ann, wreaks havoc in the city, then climbs to the top of the Empire State Building. There, high atop New York Kong fights a duel to the death with a group of biplanes. The scene with Kong grasping the top of the Empire State Building with one hand while swiping futilely at the attacking bi-planes in a last resort attempt to protect the beauty and the dream of a home with that beauty. However, Kong was king of Skull Island, but, on Manhattan Island, he is a rampaging nuisance to be dealt with. So eventually he is dealt with and that is the end of a dramatic series of events from adventure, awe, emotions of a beast and the touching end of a beasty miracle and a dream.

Oops, I have given away the whole story there. So where is the review? The review can simply read “It’s a huge monkey kickin’ ass and if you’re looking for that sort of entertainment value” but here you go with what I thought of it! In one line, Jack Peterson disappointed me big time. After Lord of the Rings, may be my expectations were not rightly set. In terms of graphics, I think Peter Jackson’s king kong pales in comparison to Spielberg’s magic in Jurassic Park. But I think we have to appreciate the use of bigatures (A technique to show small models as big buildings etc, probably as opposite of miniatures termed by Weta Workshop!)

Other than that, I have to confess that I am one of those really few people who didn’t like the movie much. Stained with the over-exposure to giant beasts (starting from dinosaurs, snakes, spiders.. What did hollywood leave out, I wonder?!) and slithering, slimy hemipterous insects of all sizes pushing me to the limits of nausea (wonder what the director expected of me, if it was revulsion yes he succeeded!!), I felt watching King Kong today is useless if you want to be awed. Yes, if I am living in 1933 or even if I am watching the original king kong today, I would have really appreciated the creative imagination of the director for thinking up of a place like that. But no thanks, not today! And there is this usual horror stuff in the form of native tribal people using words that you, logically, don’t understand. Just for the fact that they too like the beast are drawn to Ann. There are parts of the movie where it feels good to watch king kong – mainly the animal emotions of love, wonder and fury. I like that 20mins of the movie. And before I really started appreciating it, its all gone. There is a wild sequence where the hero sneaks heroine away from Mr. Kong and wonder what, to escape holds on to the leg of a giant bird which drops them safely close to the ship of their voyage. And then there are a few more emotions that are left out – ‘Feeling sorry, feeling tensed and feeling relieved and happy’. That is taken care of in the last sequence of scenes where the Kong is captured, tortured and where HE searches for his beauty and love, and unfortunately tramples on the city cars before the military bi-planes chase him and take him down. Ok enough. I am a reasonably sensitive person but this is not touching. Even though I couldn’t put my finger on the reason for my petrified emotions! The worst part of the movie is the last sentence that appears out of nowhere – “Its not the planes that killed the beast, it’s the beauty!” It sounded so out of place…!!

So, I left with a feeling of being cheated. What are you supposed to appreciate in the movie? It’s for each one of us to decide. There are way too many things in the movie to appreciate – so you can pick your part and love it. For me, the only best part is the representation of how a classic old movie can be made to look better with the new techniques of story-telling. It certainly looks better, is it a better movie – I beg to differ. I might sound curmudgeonly and repitititve, but I really appreciate and envy the ppl of ’30s for being able to watch such a movie at that time and those directors, I salute them. But sorry Mr. Jack Peterson, Not today and certainly not you for this flick!

Ok, anyway for more information on the film and the differences between the 1933 version and 2005 version, read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Kong_(2005_film)