Cutting the Chai has moved to a new domain:
You can get in touch with Soumyadip at

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

How Many Babies Did You Kill Today?

say no to dowry. stop female foeticide

Spread the word against dowry and female foeticide. Copy and paste the following code on your blog. Change attributes (alignment, size) to suit your requirements.

Code box (white background)

Code box (black background)

Crusaders for the cause:

* San [April 26, 2006]
* Accidental Fame Junkie [April 28, 2006]
* Atul Sabnis [April 30, 2006]
* Educatedunemployed [May 3, 2006]
* Aquamarine [May 4, 2006]
* Elise Balance [May 14, 2006]
* Aklanta [May 14, 2006]

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

New Man on the Block

MI was there to get my weekly dose of weeklies - Tehelka was there, but the latest 'controversial' issue of Outlook was already sold out (delhi-rious bloggers were already out on the web defending their dear Delhi). A busy month had kept me away from the newsstands, so thought of picking up my copy of Man's World, but was a little put-off seeing Emraan Hashmi on the cover. The paperwallah insisted that I also purchase the newest men's mag. "Bus do din pehle hi release hua hain (it was released only a couple of days ago)," he persisted in a tone resembling my friendly neighbourhood VCD/DVD rental guy. "Only Rs 50," he emphasised.

Imaginatively titled M - this mammoth 260 pager glossy made me miss something, Gentleman. That was quite a decent men's mag. M tries to balance the mental stimulation with the optical kind, but 260 pages is a little bit too much to carry into the bathroom. Anyways, we men haven't had it better - at least we are increasingly having something to read besides the Feminas and the Cosmos.

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Archived Title Image No. 1

Tonight I've retired the first title image and there's a new one adorning the background space behind the title and description text. A practice I intend to follow on a regular (with irregular periodicity) basis - just to add some variety.

TreeThe archived image is of a jackfruit tree. Photographed on November 2005 at a village in south Assam, India. The description of the present title pic will appear once it is retired.

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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Knockin' on Heaven's Door

Knockin' on Heaven's Door

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Utterly Butterly Fly

You don't see much of them in Delhi. This perhaps was my first.

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Friday, April 21, 2006

I Don't Want Dowry Dot Com

I Don't Want Dowry Dot Com
Yet another matrimonial site, but at least the idea is applaudable. How many of us Indian men can truly say and mean these words, "I just want you... I don't want dowry?" (Please exclude the heads-over-heels-in-love types) I hope we all do. Prove me right.

Update: May 4, 2006
Also check this

Photo courtesy

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Comic Project is One!

The first anniversary celebrations at The Comic Project (TCP) were over on April 17, 2006. But celebrating the tradition of comics can never be. Once someone enquired about my first love and using the hint hacked into my email. How stupid of me. Many tried to guess who it could be. The girl I sat next to in the first standard or the 'girl down the hill' from my childhood home? Well, both of them had something in common (besides me, of course) - they read comics and shared them with me. And COMICS ladies and gentlemen is what I consider to be my first love (the flesh and blood variety might be a little more difficult to guess). The 'girl down the hill' had an impressive collection - don't know where she's now (probably a medico), or would've borrowed some from her to contribute to The Comic Project.

TCP's doing a great job. All of us comic lovers will remain forever grateful for the effort. Keep going.

The first TCP post:

Sunday, April 17, 2005
Phantom - The Emperor's Dream - World Premiere

The Comic Project - Phantom17th April 2005. Sunday Evening. About 4.45 PM. Power cut. Have nothing to do. And what do i do??? I start my laptop, connect my scanner and digitize something I have been planning for a long time. Yes, I have finally managed to digitize my first Phantom comic.

Phantom - The Ghost Who Walks!!! It is something I grew up on, loved to read, hiding it between other books pretending to study, reading it while eating ignoring everything else, reading each comic from cover to cover..not missing a single thing. Over the last few years, I have seen the comic reading culture gradually being eaten away by the MTVs and the Cartoon Networks. Indrajal Comics disappeared as i grew up and I didn't even realize it. I also stopped reading comics for a while, moving on to "novels", technical books, fiction, non-fiction, pornographic stuff, you name it.

I thought about this some time last november, and here it is...the first release - aptly titled "The Emperor's Dream". I am calling this a "World Premiere" because as far as I know, no one has digitized this legend created by Lee Falk. The intention is to simply propogate this legend further, to those who loved it and miss it today, and to those who have no idea that such wonderful things existed a few years ago. I won't be posting long paragraphs in the future and restricting myself to just posting the comic pages. But allow me this once.

This title is from 1983, the book is over 20 years old, so forgive the quality. I also have tried to keep the images/pages it similar to the actual book.


The objective of this project is not to pirate or steal. I grew up on these comics: Phantom, Mandrake, Bahadur: and reading them was so much fun. These are no longer published in India, and even if they are, it is not in the form that I originally read it in. This blog has been set up specifically for this project, to give me some anonymity, although finding out who I am wont take much time :)

DEDICATED TO A generation of children growing up on Harry Potter, Cartoon Network and television in general AND Lee Falk for giving us these comics to read and cherish for so many years.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Many new specialised universities are coming up, but I never realised that it would become so specialistic that graphology would also demand an exclusive one.

Discovered this on the University Grants Commission's list of fake universities:

Handwriting University India, No 16 Church Road, Basavaugudi,Bangalor-4

Well there's also one online - Handwriting University International. But that's beyond the purview of the UGC.

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Awaiting Weightlessness

Awaiting Weightlessness - Lose Weight, Don't Wait

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Monday, April 17, 2006

A Thought for Today

A Thought for Today

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Goodies for Edmundians

St. Edmund's College, Shillong
Many nostalgic Edmundians find their way through Google to this blog. What they seek is images of their alma mater (also mine). There were only eight photographs in the earlier post. To make things easier for my fellow brethren, I'm uploading my entire collection of St. Edmund's College, Shillong, photos online.

Click here to download a zip file (8.49 MB) consisting of 36 high-resolution (1280 X 960) photographs (JPG). If it's moving action that you want, click here for a video of the empty campus [00:05:31 WMV 2.05 MB 56kbps 160X120 No audio]

Download low resolution [ZIP (36 JPG files) 1.29 MB 400X300 Px]

Alternative download links:

* High resolution photographs
* Low resolution photographs
* Video

The download links mentioned above have expired. I've created a Flickr photoset of my photographs of St. Edmund's, Shillong (49 photos). You can click here to view a slideshow or here to view and download the pics. Had some bandwidth constraints therefore uploaded only 400X533 pixel resolution photographs. If anyone needs copies with higher resolution, send me an email.

[November 2, 2006]

St. Edmund's College, Shillong Coat of Arms/EmblemSEC for St. Edmund's,
Leaders in every field,
Cheer boys cheer St. Edmund's,
Leaders who never yield,
Proudly flies our flag boys,
Gold, maroon and green,
Cheer, cheer, cheer for St. Edmund's boys,
Cheer for SEC.

Here's where are lives are made,
Here's where foundations are laid,
Here we strive to make our plans for God and country...

(Thanks Bertand Dkhar for emailing me the college anthem)

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Friday, April 14, 2006

New Year, New Day, New Look

cutting the chai
Tomorrow is April 15 - Pohela Boishakh. The Bengali New Year's Day. Mother called well in advance to ensure that I get something new for me this new year. I assured her that I will and I did - a new look (and also a new title) for my blog. I had been working on it for sometime. Though not entirely Greek to me, HTML and JavaScript is not the type of scripting I'm very used to - the characters here are symbols on the keyboard - quite different from the scripts that I wrote in media school. Nevertheless, I managed to put them all together and made the necessary changes to suit my requirements. There's still a little more to do, like indexing the entire categories field.

Mindless Musings of an Unmindful Mind
is no more, the reincarnation though a little cliched is called - Cutting the Chai - the common Indian tea-stall practice. There's also an 'isspecial cutting chai' for the WorthyBlogger of the month. AFJ gets the inaugural sip (see left panel).

Feedback awaited.

Shubho Noboborsho!

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Friday, April 07, 2006

Sorry for the Inconvenience

Work In Progress - Sorry for the Inconvenience

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Euphony from the Yesteryears

Some have been resurrected as mobile phone ringtones, but the ears yearn for an encore of the original. The last time I stumbled upon some great nostalgic stuff and passed it on, the dividends reflected in enhanced page hits and appreciative comments. Here are a few more (downloading may require free registration):

Mile Sur Mera Tumhara
The classic. Celebrating India's diversity in the backdrop its unexplainable unity. Great music, great performers, multilingual, pan-Indian.
[00:05:33 MP3 5.1 MB 128kbps 44 KHz Stereo]
[00:05:33 MP3 2.54 MB 64kbps 44 KHz Stereo] [Updated link]

Baje Sargam Har Taraf Se
The sequel to the golden favourite Mile Sur Mera Tumhara where the trio - Amitabh, Mithun and Jeetendra (all dressed in Jeetu whites) make an appearance together.
[00:05:43 MP3 5.23 MB 128 kbps 44 KHz Stereo]
[00:05:43 MP3 2.61 MB 64 kbps 44 KHz Stereo] [Updated link]

Jungle Jungle Baat Chali Hain
Who else but Gulzar can write a line like Chaddi pehen ke phool khila hain and yet make it absolutely loveable. Kipling would have approved of this Jungle Book title song. You can download the free ebook from Project Gutenberg.
[00:01:28 MP3 2.69 MB 256kbps 44 KHz Stereo]
[00:01:28 MP3 1.1 MB 96kbps 44 KHz Stereo] [Updated link]

Ta Na Na Ta Na Na Na Na
Many non-literary types don't know much about Rasipuram Krishnaswami Narayan, but do know about a sleepy town called Malgudi and a mischievous kid called Swami. What they recollect better is the Ta na na ta na na na na from Shankar Nag's Malgudi Days composed by L Vaidyanathan.
[00:01:08 MP3 1.04 MB 128kbps 44 KHz Stereo]
[00:01:08 MP3 536 KB 64kbps 44 KHz Stereo] [Updated link]

Mahabharat Katha
The Chopras definitely did a better job of the Mahabharat than what the Sagars did with Ramayan. At least the arrows didn't take a whole episode to reach their targets. Time himself provided the intro with the main samay hoon monologues, the other highpoint was the title songs.
Track 1 [00:00:23 MP3 361 KB 128kbps 44 KHz Stereo]
Track 1 [00:00:23 MP3 181 KB 64kbps 44 KHz Stereo] [Updated link]
Track 2 [00:01:27 MP3 1.32 MB 128kbps 44 KHz Stereo]
Track 2 [00:01:27 MP3 681 KB 64kbps 44 KHz Stereo] [Updated link]
Track 3 [00:01:20 MP3 1.22 MB 128kbps 44 KHz Stereo]
Track 3 [00:01:20 MP3 630 KB 64kbps 44 KHz Stereo] [Updated link]
Track 4 [00:00:47 MP3 374 KB 64kbps 44 KHz Stereo]
Track 4 [00:00:47 MP3 749 KB 128kbps 44 KHz Stereo] [Updated link]

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Saturday, April 01, 2006

Fools of April - the Year Around

Cartoonist Irfan Hussain
What you deserve, so you get. Did we really deserve this criminal prosecution system? Or as fools we rightfully got the morons. This morning's newspapers tell another story - it's no longer news - "Accused acquitted in murder case." As The Times of India says, "Like Jessica, no one killed cartoonist Irfan." This list of 'no-ones' might soon include anyone with a case against him and a little connection to the right places. Sandipan Deb, Irfan's colleague at Outlook writes in The Indian Express

It seemed like an open-and-shut case to me. Obviously I was wrong.

But at every stage, ever since Irfan said good night to me and left office on that day seven years ago, I seem to have been wrong about every expectation I have had from the Indian State. Either five murderers have been set free, or five innocent men have spent six years in jail. Irfan could have done some really barbed cartoons on this whole sorry saga.

The media and the citizens are unequivocal in demanding justice for the victims. And in a country as huge as ours every town will have a dozen such tales of injustice. It's only that our metro-centric P3 type media doesn't want to look elsewhere.

My hometown Shillong witnessed a lot of communal riots from the late 1970s to the early 1990s and hundreds were killed. But I haven't heard of any prosecutions or sentencing. People I knew were killed or injured. I don't know whether anyone was even arrested. Gujarat is news, Shillong will never be. Because of fools like me - a drizzle in the capital has to get more airtime and column centimetres than the whole state of Manipur aflame.

Shouting 'Justice for Jessica and Priyadarshani,' we relieve ourselves of the guilt of inaction. Foolishly ignoring the lakhs of undertrials* (70 per cent of all prisoners) languishing in jails for years (in many cases for decades). The undertrials are not aware of their rights, the police and the courts are apathetic. We citizens remain fools, engrossed in the political tomfoolery that makes the headlines or Carol Gracias losing her top and other slips and falls at the Lakme Fashion Week.

For Irfan Hussain to get justice, he has to take another route via the OB vans and the broadsheet tabloids. For the ignorant and illiterate undertrials - we all live in a fool's paradise. Everyone outside your prison walls are smiling because we believe that India too is sporting that goosey grin.

*According to the National Human Rights Commission, as on June 30, 2004, 336,152 prisoners were crowded into jails across India. 239,146 of them (over 70 percent) were undertrials.

Nota Bene: If you’ve landed on this page looking for Carol Gracias’ photos or videos from the Lakme Fashion Week, you landed on the wrong destination. Click here for a better alternative (check out the links in the last two paragraphs)
[Updated: April 4, 2006]

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