Jai Jai Hanuman gosaayien

I had to wait for an hour today, for a friend I had to meet for dinner. And waiting is one thing which I utterly hate. There was a hanuman mandir near to where I was standing. The small loudspeaker was struggling to keep itself heard above the din made by the traffic.Today is Tuesday, I realized. A stray note came wafting towards me, and I found myself walking towards it. There was a bus stop just next to it. I joined the group waiting for their rides. Buses came. People got on them.
I stood there.


Mencoder – da king

Many of you may know of mplayer and maybe using it too. But along with it there comes another goodie called “mencoder”. I have seen very few people using it, maybe because fame creates more fame and anonymity causes more neglect. Also because it does not have any graphic interface and runs only on the command line.

These are the things it can do:
1. Convert most formats of video into other formats. (mpeg to avi, avi to mpeg, mov to mpeg …etc…etc..)
2. You can give starting and end points as time, so that it would encode only that part of the video. This can be used to cut clips (songs, etc..)
3. I need not tell you that it also compresses files. (with whichever encoding you wish mpeg2 , mpeg4 etc..etc..)
4. You can rip DVDs with it.

In short mencoder alone does what 100 other softwares (painfully bloated sharewares and other such junk) do.

So here is step by step method to do points 1-4

If you are on linux, and have mplayer installed, mencoder must run from command line from anywhere (run it in directory you have your input file). If you are on windows then either put the video player in the directory with the mencoder.exe or mencoder.exe into the directory with the video file.

1. mencoder -ss 130 -endpos 3600 -oac copy -ovc lavc -lavcopts vcodec=msmpeg4v2 -ofps 25 input.wmv -o output.avi

This converts most formats into .avi (here input.wmv to output.avi). The input file can be mpeg, mov etc…The clip is starting from 130th second and lasts till 3600s (i hour from the 130th second) . The 25 is frames/sec. Also output.avi is the name you want the final clips name to be. msmpeg4v2 is the codec for encoding, which is mpeg 4 version2 in this.

2. mencoder -o output_file.avi -ovc lavc -lavcopts vcodec=msmpeg4:vbitrate=5000:vhq -oac lavc -lavcopts acodec=mp3 -srate 48000 -ofps 25

This converts .avi to all other formats, though appropriate codec has to be used. you can vary the bitrate. -ofps 25 is the frame rate.

I have used both these commands a thousand times and never had any problems.
This can also be used to save a real streaming video or audio.
The procedure to rip dvds can be found here.


Ganpati visarjan in Pune

Spent my weekend in pune. Aim of my visit was to experience the visarjan, as I had heard a lot about it. But it seems the court had put on some restrictions and the celebrations were subdued.

Anyway met a lot of friends. Met Subhash after 5 years, who was my classmate till 8th. That’s one thing good about Pune. You get to see a lot of people you know. A two wheeler is all you need to get around. There are so many old friends staying in mumbai, but the chances of meeting them by chance is very low.

So shunty and I went biking around, singing Attaulah Khan’s songs and doing crazy stuff. Here are some of the things we did:
1) Whenever a car went past us, the pillion rider used to get up and fire pistol shots with finger guns, with dhhhishkyaaon sound and all.

2) Typical roadromeo stuff like, at a signal, a nakabposh (pune’s version of talibani veil) girl behind her boyfriend on his bike, stood beside us. Shunty says really seriously, “Sheelu tu yahan kya kar rahee hai, Papa ko batana padega ab.” Which made them totally nervous, and they rode off like a bat out of hell.

3) At the petrol pump, he says, “Chal chottu 10 ka tanki full kar de.” On which the wide eyed chhotu could only stare at us.

The list could go on, but I have some work to finish.


Suburban Angel

I got inspired today and wrote something. So then…
Its kind of elvis’ style..

Suburban angel, walking like that
low waist jeans,
the tatoo,
on the small of the back
ATTACK … what my heart’s gonna doooo…

I know i know it’s cheesier than punjabi paratha, especially the last line which can use some desaturation. Anyway I am getting terribly fond of it.


Story of Ooops and Dag

A small boy came into this world, on such and such day and year.He had loving and caring parents. His mother was a very devout lady. Very religious, she would attend all the bhajans and kirtans in the neighbourhoud. And our Oops went along with her, with her pallu firmly inside his sweaty palm. Initially, he went for the sweetmeats, which the even sweeter aunty would thrust into his tiny mouth. But gradually as our OOopy boy began to grow so did his devoutness. He became a good, god fearing child.

But the odd man out in the family was his father, who was a hardcore athiest. OOoppy felt very bad about this. Caring for the well being of his father’s soul, he began to scheming of how to show him the religious path.

Opportunity came when family friends proposed a vacation to Jai Matadi mountain. OOpy used every tactic in a child’s arsenal to convince his papa to take them. Now papa thought, well, it’s a hill station, they will do their pooja, and I’ll enjoy the weather. But when they returned from the hills, his father was a changed man.

Now even mummy seemed mellow with respect to him. Oopy was happy, seeing that his plan has worked. And when he saw a poster for a “Religion and Science” seminar, he eagerly conveyed it to his papa. And papa soon became an integral part of the cultish organisation. Although with good intentions, had some very weird ideas. Another posting on the organisation’s philosophy. But I have to bring to notice at least two of it;s keypoints:

if you are not married (read as virgin), do not change your status.

and you won’t eat in a house with married ppl in it.

Which brings us to his current situation. The grown up Ooops, the young man who is my dear friend, cannot marry. And if he does, his parents would not eat in his house. And being SHRAVANesque, he does not want that. Between the very horns of dilemma. Without the safety net of an arranged marriage; hoping against hope and flirting with any and every girl. Even though he knows he won’t marry eventually.

And opposite is the case of Dag (dog as pronounced by a bhhaiya). His parents had a love marriage, also his siters, and most of his cousins and uncles. Also devoid of the safety net, and desperately

Same problem statement, very opposite situations.