Archive for November, 2007

A Bird Story

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Winter

I was always very skeptical about haiku. Haiku is a form of traditional Japanese poetry. A haiku poem consists of only three lines that almost never rhyme. Haikus are based on nature and more commonly seasons in nature. They are meant to convey the essence of an experience or feeling.

So you may ask, what is so great about a poem which does not rhyme and that has only three lines. Well, I was asking that same question. A poem with three lines that do not rhyme, how can that make sense ? Take a look at a haiku by Matsuo Basho:
old pond
a frog jumps into
the sound of water
The Japs must really be high on sake when they wrote that.

And it so happened that when I was browsing vidya, our inhouse digital library and I found a reference to a photography site by Ray Rasmussen. Now I did not go through all the links there. All I did was go to the page that said “Haiku – Spring photography”. It took me to a nice and simple page. At the center was a nice and simple photograph of a small branch with some leaves. Under the photograph, neatly printed in white were three lines:
my spring is just this:
a single bamboo shoot
a willow branch
– Issa

My, how that changes things. Suddenly I am painfully aware of my blindness.

And then I started walking back to my hostel and I found this:

Winter
Frost this morning and
a cold wind, scatters leaves like
broken promises
– Charles de Lint

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Flickr and Smugmug

Ok, so I don’t have a camera yet. But I have still managed to create quite a huge collection of photographs by begging cameras from colleagues, friends and students. They say necessity is the mother of invention. I don’t know about that, but I can tell you that necessity sure is the mother of shamelessness. Now that my colleagues avoid me, and students would rather prefer failing exams than lending me a camera, I am left with nothing to do other than organizing my “priceless” photo collection.

I was a firm believer that we don’t need corporates and websites to manage our data. A hard disk crash, two machine transfers and umpteen windows installations forced me change my perceptions. I need some place to back up my stuff.

Do you like choices? I think the world would be a simpler place if everybody had just one option. I was always uncomfortable with choices. Perhaps it must be because a question of choice has no perfect answer.
So will it be coffee or tea.
Will you take it with milk or no milk.
Will you have 2 cubes of sugar or three.
Shall I install Fedora or Ubuntu.
Do you need Gnome or KDE

And now I am faced with one more dilemma:
Shall I upgrade my flickr account, or should I purchase a smugmug account

Led Zeppelin says:
Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run
There’s still time to change the road you’re on.

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