Monday, June 25, 2007

Sivaji - Is it worth the hype?

Having watched Sivaji, two times and spending Rs 800/-(only for 1 ticket) - the question that comes to my mind : Is Sivaji really worth the hype?

1) Honestly,the film just rides on the strength of only one man named 'Rajinikanth'. In this way, Rajini has once again proved that he is still the 'Badshah' of the Indian Cinema. Success just falls at his feet. This film will not run with such packed houses for any other actor. It's only for Rajini,Rajini and Rajini all over.

2) Weak story line coupled with fragile screenplay.
3) Too much of makeup for Rajini, makes him unnatural.
4) Vivek has dominated every scene from the start,as Rajini's side-kick and he takes care of delivering the punch dialogues.
5) Thota Tharani's settings and K V Anand's camera has created a wonderful visual treat for the viewers.
6) Suman has played his role very well.
7) Since, the basis of the story is very weak - Shankar has taken enough care not to bring the story to the frontline. Instead, he has polished it well with Rajini's style and gimmicks.
8) Picturization of the songs are majestic and sexy.
9) Shreya is the real highlight of the film. She has added the needed richness, to the songs with her simple expressions.
10) Shankar has well displayed Shreya's assests to capture audience attention.
11) Rajini rocks throughout - but I felt he could have avoided using doop(s) especially for simple fight sequence like running....
12) With Sivaji - Please don't expect an Indian or Anniyan. I think, only Kamal and Vikram have that unique capability to ride through such roller coasters.

13) Watch Sivaji without any expectations, you will enjoy it for sure.

Shankar has once again proved that he is only a director and NOT a CREATOR like Manirathnam or K Balachander. He needs that high budget,long lead-time,tech-funda graphics, and big actors(like Kamal,Vikram,Rajini etc) to provide his share of (hyped) hits.

To sum it up :

"Sivaji" is a rich and flourishing design that has been constructed by Shankar, for a super-natural actor named "Rajinikanth".

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Principles of SCRUM

Today, I was reading the 'SCRUM Development Process' by Ken Schwaber. A lot of these principles could be related to any kind of development. In today's fast paced world where the requirements are constantly changing,customer's are constantly evolving,priorities keep changing,new scope keeps coming in,each project being unique in its own way - Agile and SCRUM could be the ideal fit(may be not the best!).

The word SCRUM is basically derived from the game RUGBY. Scrum is a group of 8 individuals in Rugby, who move together closely inorder to move the ball down the field. This close integration and interaction is the fundamental principle of SCRUM.

Teams work as a tight integarted units, with each team member performing his/her well defined role for that increment to achieve the goal of the team. The entire team must have a single focus and goal and everybody works towards this. This team focus is the platform for the success of SCRUM.

The primary difference between the defined (waterfall, spiral and iterative) and empirical SCRUM) approach is that the SCRUM approach assumes that the analysis, design, and development processes in the Sprint phase are unpredictable. A control mechanism is used to manage the unpredictability and control the risk. Flexibility, responsiveness, and reliability are the results.

Characteristics of SCRUM methodology are :

· The first and last phases (Planning and Closure) consist of defined processes, where all processes, inputs and outputs are well defined. The knowledge of how to do these processes is explicit. The flow is linear, with some iterations in the planning phase.
· The Sprint phase is an empirical process. Many of the processes in the sprint phase are unidentified or uncontrolled. It is treated as a black box that requires external controls. Accordingly, controls, including risk management, are put on each iteration of the Sprint phase to avoid chaos while maximizing flexibility.
· Sprints are nonlinear and flexible. Where available, explicit process knowledge is used; otherwise tacit knowledge and trial and error is used to build process
knowledge. Sprints are used to evolve the final product.
· The project is open to the environment until the Closure phase. The deliverable can be changed at any time during the Planning and Sprint phases of the project. The
project remains open to environmental complexity, including competitive, time,
quality, and financial pressures, throughout these phases.
· The deliverable is determined during the project based on the environment.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Who will cry when you die!

Last saturday, I was at Odyssey - browsing a number of books on leadership,motivation,relationship,men,women etc. I was lucky to get hold of one of Robin Sharma's best ever book - "Who will cry when you die". I looked into some of the chapters and decided to buy that book immediately.The beauty of the book lies in the simplicity of the content and the abundant wealth of information that it carries through. Each chapter is like a sugar coated tablet and just 1-1.5 pages long. It has a total of 101 chapters and the book is defined in such a way that, one need not read it in a sequence. You can pick up any chapter at any point of time and read it. It adds a lot of meaning to your life. Some of the lessons that I read :

1) Discover you calling.
2) Be kind to strangers.
3) Maintain your perspective.
4) Practice tough love.
5) Live life.
6) Learn to say no gracefully.
7) Get up early.
8) Maintain a journal.
9) Spend a day without your watch.
10) Learn to be silent.
11) Talk to yourself.
12) Take a weekly sabbatical.
13) Honor your past.
14) Take troubles as your blessings.
15) Learn from a good movie.
16) Model a child.
17) Think of an ideal neibhourhood.
18) Focus on the worthy.
19) Take more risks.
20) Develop a honesty philosophy.
21) Write thank you notes.

Ever since I started reading this book - I have made some changes to my living pattern and started implementing some of the lessons. I find it really very benefical and it has a positive impact on me. As an individual I have alerady started realizing the benefits. Some of them are :

1) I feel more inspired.
2) Monotonity has reduced.
3) My energy levels have increased.
4) Able to focus better.
5) Commitment level has increased.
6) Self - realization that any change take time,effort,discipline and patience.

This book is one of the best gift that you can give to people whom you like and love.Sure it will make everybody's life better!