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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Rock On the Review

Rock On Movie Poster - Large"From the makers of Dil Chahta Hai" - this bit was enough to draw me to a late 10:45 PM show on the first day of Rock On's release.

Coming out of the theatre at 1:30 AM, I thought it was worth it, though it wasn't another Dil Chahta Hai.

But there are similarities - coming from a similar set of people and having a somewhat similar theme it is expected. But we could also hear someone snoring inside the hall.

Four friends making music with Magik (their band), get apart and come back together. To do what? Make music, of course (nothing very original about the story). Since I didn't even watch Abhishek Kapoor's first film as a director - Aryan - I can't comment on how he bettered himself as a director, but a commendable effort nevertheless. But I couldn't help but notice a lot of Farhan Akhtar influence in the direction.

Farhan AkhtarThe music by Shankar Ehsaan Loy is unconventional for Hindi films and so are the lyrics by Javed Akhtar.

At the end of the film they ask you not to download but purchase the audio CD. Until they lower their prices, I don't see that happening much.

Farhan Akhtar is also a theek actor, but unless he is singing his voice isn't appealing enough, but he did get the emotions right.

Arjun Rampal is brooding and looks dashing, but acting still a lot of scope for improvement. Apparantly Arjun learnt the guitar for the film, but that learning just doesn't show or his character is as that of a genius who can make the guitar release effusive notes without moving the fingers much.

Luke Kenny also does a decent job and like models all VJs don't make superb actors. But he looked and acted his role.

Purab Kohli is the fun-filled guy and acts that out with elan.

For Prachi Desai it was a nice transition from the small to the big screen. In the movie she's cute.

Shahana GoswamiThe best performance in the film comes from Shahana Goswami who plays Arjun's girlfriend and then wife. This girl's good.

About Koel Purie, should I even say something?

One thing I liked about the movie was that even if you can't relate to the music thing, you can relate to the emotions and angst on display. And nothing goes over the top, the drama is controlled.

There's also Anu Malik as himself and you could hear loud laughter when the music director uttered the word "original".

The film might not have its numerous moments as did Dil Chahta Hai, but then it isn't Dil Chahta Hain. It's darker and not necessarily about having a good time. It might not go on to be listed on online profiles of people as their favourite movie or break a few records but it reinforces our belief that Bollywood is also about good cinema and not only hit cinema.


Farhan Akhtar as Aditya Shroff
Prachi Desai as Sakshi (Aditya's wife)
Arjun Rampal as Joe Mascarenhas
Purab Kolhi as KD aka Killer Drummer
Luke Kenny as Rob
Koel Purie as Devika (Sakshi's friend)
Shahana Goswami as Debbie (Joe's girlfriend turned wife)
Nicholette Bird as Tanya (Aditya's ex-girlfriend)

Directed by: Abhishek Kapoor
Produced by: Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar
Music: Shankar Ehsaan Loy
Lyrics: Javed Akhtar
Screenplay : Abhishek Kapoor, Pubali Chaudhuri
Story: Abhishek Kapoor
Dialogues: Farhan Akhtar
Editor: Deepa Bhatia
Chereography: Remo


Download video [00:02:25 FLV 3.01 MB]
Download hi-res video [00:02:25 AVI 14.3 MB]

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Shaan and Shenaz in 1992 Force 10 Ad?

A 1992 ad for Liberty Force 10 shoes. They were quite popular those days. The models do look very familiar. The boy seems to be Shaan (Shantanu Mukherjee), the singer, and the girl has a strong resemblance with Shenaz Treasurywala, the model-turned-VJ-turned-actress-turned-travel-writer.

But I have some doubts about the girl being Shenaz (or for that matter her actual age). Her date of birth according to online sources is June 29, 1981; the magazine (Debonair) I scanned this ad from is dated June 1992, and she doesn't look like an 11-year-old here.

Update: Amit Mukherjee from Montage Advertising (the agency behind this ad) has confirmed that the models are indeed Shaan and Shenaz. Now I only doubt Shenaz's age.

Liberty Force 10 - Shaan and Shenaz
Years of living next door
to each other.
Good friends. That's what we were.
Until ...
Fingers crossed, I proposed.
As I watched nervously,
She high stepped and clapped!
I felt I was fallling though the
blue, blue skies!

Force 10
It's like walking on air!

Agency: Montage

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Maximyum Ads

Their tag line says "The best thing to happen to men since women."

Well, tag lines can claim anything.

But if you are interested in babes, sex, gadgets, babes, beer, laughs, babes, cars, fashion, babes and a few more babes, then you might be interested in the magazine.

There's more to see than read in there, therefore it doesn't take much time to reach from the front to the back cover.

And there's also a digital version in a CD for the guys (and gals) with pulpuslaceratapohobia.

For me the ads also matter and Maxim (the desi edition) has a few of them that fit into the 'Sexy Indian Ads' category of this blog.

Here they are, in print and as moving images (including the one above):

[This ad actually reminds me of an 1996 or 1997 issue of an Indian men's magazine (there were quite a few back then therefore am getting confused with the name) featuring photos of a girl in a cricket kit (and nothing much else on).]

How to bowl a maiden over. And everything else on a man's mind.

We know men care about their girls and tools.
Only tools don't make for great cover pictures.

Caution it may melt your mouse.
First time in India.
World's largest selling men's magazine.
Now on a CD.

Cover girls
International girls
Inside girls
Maxim girls archive
Miss Maxim
Maxim girls home


Download video [00:00:30 FLV 786 KB]
Download hi-res video [00:00:30 AVI 3.35 MB]
Download for mobile [00:00:30 3GP 581 KB]



Original image slideshow

Related posts:
* Maxim against Female Foeticide
* Master, Master, Teach Me Kung Fu
* Stimulation Maximised

Click here for the complete post... Good Place to Download Music? - must say, helluva domain name. Was trying out the newly launched website and its many features. Suddenly the DownloadHelper icon on my browser showed some activity. I was listening to some the music that they have in there.

I let DownloadHelper do what it is the best at and wondered whether this new site will be another blow for the music industry. As the file downloaded revealed, not exactly.

Though you can browse and listen to music from different genres, they are optimised for smooth play on the web and therefore aren't of a high quality.

The specs read

Bit Rate: 64kbps
Channels: 1 (Mono)
Audio sample rate: 44 kHz

For people who aren't that choosy about the output quality, it might just become the next big inadvertent music download destination.

Click here for the complete post...

SMS from CBI

After 12 days of internetlessness at home I am back online from my own PC. Curse my ISP.

Many days back I got this SMS, the sender id read "CBI" (I believe many others also did). The information contained may be useful to many, so passing it along:

If a Central/Delhi Govt/PSU/Bank Employee demands BRIBE for any official work in Delhi. Plz contact SP CBI at 24361535/3541/2494 or 9968081216/17/18!!

And before you make that call note that the CBI, as a matter of policy, does not entertain anonymous or pseudonymous complaints.

There is another angle to it. This technically is an unsolicited SMS and my mobile number is registered on the National Do Not Call Registry. Therefore, the national investigation agency may be guilty of flouting the law.

According to media reports over 80 lakh mobile phone users have received the SMS and the fine for the violation is Rs 500 for the first instance and Rs 1,000 for subsequent violations.

But before anyone reaches out for the calculator, there are clauses that allow government agencies to transmit such messages. So who's next RBI? Would definitely like some more tips on identifying fake currency notes.

I didn't know that CBI also has a blog, but that has only five posts with the last being in March this year. Investigators don't make good bloggers?

Click here for the complete post...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Falling in love with Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge PosterThree women, three kisses, three heartbreaks, a couple of apologies that's Bachna Ae Haseeno (BAH). But this post isn't about BAH it's about Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (DDLJ) (English title: Braveheart Will Win the Bride), that super-duper hit, a film that BAH pretends to be an extension of (parasite would be more appropriate).

People tend to boast of the number of times they have watched a particular movie, usually Sholay tops such a list, but DDLJ too is a worthy competition. I have actually lost count for both the films, though Maahi's (Minnisha Lamna) count was 17.

The other day, a friend from Bangalore called up to enquire which year we passed the secondary school exams (he was at an interview and was filling up those unending HR forms). "Abbey 1995. DDLJ release hua tha na us year," I replied. For my generation it perhaps released at the perfect time. It has become a sort of a landmark.

I still remember the first show, three of us schoolmates - two boys and a girl - bunking school and sitting in the second class seats of Shillong's Payal Cinema (the tickets for the cheapest seats cost us Rs 40 each in black. The actual price back then was Rs 1.65). The release then was a rarity for Shillong - a film hitting the city's screens on the same day as the rest of the country. We usually had to wait for a few months, by then half the city would have already watched it on video tapes. Huge posters of Kajol and Shah Rukh were plastered all over. "Come fall in love," they said. When the film ended I told the female friend that I'll come back for more.

Come back I did. As the shows went by I didn't need to purchase tickets in black anymore and could enjoy the luxuries of the balcony (Rs 5.10) or the Dress Circle/Payal Circle (Rs 6.10). During the winter vacations twice or thrice a week I ventured out alone to Payal Cinema and watched Raj romance Simran and win over everyone on and off the screen.

The Raj bug hit many of us hard. A friend actually turned into a SRK in DDLJ clone and thereby earned the affections of many a female. Even today, whenever I happen to come across the film on TV, I give the remote a little rest for a while.

Aditya Chopra had indeed made a brilliant film, something that cannot be replicated. The story, the music, the performances - all had an endearing charm about it. From snowy Switzerland to mustard yellow Punjab the trip has us in a trip. The Rajs of the world looked for their Simrans and vice versa.

DDLJ also introduced me to another thing Stross beer (in film advertising works). It was the first beer that I tasted and I had made a pen stand out of that very first beer can. I think I still have that somewhere.

Though I didn't go out shopping for the leather jacket and the cap or joined mandolin classes, I did look for those little lockets that SRK wore, without success.

Another thing that I happened to notice, DDLJ perhaps began the trend of movies deriving their titles from popular songs. Nowadays every other movie does so.

In the usual post-movie alternative endings discussions, one question was common - what if Raj was unable to reach out to Simran and pull her on the train? What if?

Nothing much. His Pops would have pulled the chain.

While the dilwale took away the dulhaniya we all sat and fell in love.


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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Six Countries Don't Have Firefox 3

Firefox 3 Black HolesFirefox 3 created a world record with over eight million downloads in a day and there have been over 619 million downloads of the much loved web browser! But beyond the bottom of the download heap are six countries/territories that (according to the stats displayed by Mozilla on Firefox 3's Download Day page) that haven't recorded a single instance of a Firefox 3 download (as of July 2, 2008).

The six Firefox 3 black holes are: French Guiana, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Timor-Leste, Western Sahara, and of course, North Korea.

Besides the six there are 17 countries/territories with double digit downloads and 41 more countries with less than a thousand downloads.

I've compiled this table (ordered according to the number of downloads) for further illustration.

Firefox 3 Downloads (as of July 2, 2008)
In order of number of downloads

17,734,930United States
41,198,993United Kingdom
31184,153Czech Republic
34168,981Hong Kong
39148,006South Korea
5078,441New Zealand
5369,286South Africa
5649,922Saudi Arabia
5844,371United Arab Emirates
6332,256Costa Rica
6428,822Puerto Rico
6526,630Dominican Republic
7614,500Sri Lanka
7713,905Bosnia and Herzegovina
8011,188Republic of Macedonia
859,958Trinidad and Tobago
879,310El Salvador
1054,174Côte d'Ivoire
1064,089Palestinian Territories
1103,766Brunei Darussalam
1113,745Syrian Arab Republic
1211,881New Caledonia
1251,580Faeroe Islands
1281,433Antigua and Barbuda
1391,093Saint Lucia
145844Lao People's Democratic Republic
154647Aland Islands
155604Burkina Faso
157514Saint Kitts and Nevis
164307The Democratic Republic
of the Congo
166265Gambia, The
167255Papua New Guinea
171201Virgin Islands, British
172196Cape Verde
174180Turks and Caicos Islands
182106Equatorial Guinea
18379Sierra Leone
18659Solomon Islands
18756Republic of Congo
19423Falkland Islands
19618Central African Republic
19813Sao Tome and Principe
2000French Guiana
2010North Korea
2020South Georgia and
the South Sandwich Islands
2030Svalbard and Jan Mayen
2050Western Sahara

Click here for the complete post...

Why Indians Google for Google on Google?

Was playing around with the recently launched Google Insights for Search and discovered some interesting (some expected) trends. Though "Insights for Search applies a filter for search terms that may be explicitly sexual," it still is a lot of fun.

Googling Google

One thing that struck me is that Indians search for Google on Google the most.

Google Insights for Google

But Indians are not the only ones, most countries have the term Google on the top 10 most searched terms (It should be kept in note that search for "Google" doesn't imply only Google, but also includes related terms like Google Earth, Google Maps. The title of the post was just to catch some attention). And the interest in Google has shown an increasing trend worldwide since 2004 to present (that's the maximum date range in Insights).

The next obvious term is "sex" and the Pakistanis rule the roost here. Followed by Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. India stands seventh in exhibiting interest for the search keyword "Sex". India's not-so-friendly western neighbour is also the numero uno in the hunt for "boobs", "breasts", "penis", "rape", "xxx", "nudity" and more (I have better things to do then exploit my neighbours' secret desires).

Google Insights for sex

Within India Orissa stands first in 'sex search' followed by Delhi. Chattisgarh, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Mizoram and Nagaland seem to be the least interested in such activities (the search volume index for the states read zero).

Trinidad and Tobago look for porn via Google the most. Bangladesh comes in second. United Kingdom is at number three. And most, obviously, look for "free porn".

Google Insights for porn

Lesser developed countries seem to more eagerly seek their national identity online than more developed countries. A random search showed that the country name ranked as the top searched item in these countries (India is an exception).

Countries that have witnessed turmoil feature prominently in the search for "peace".

Google Insights for peace

Some random snippets to end this post:

* Honduras is most interested in Paris Hilton
* Albania seems to have a huge Pamela Anderson following
* Americans like their guns, but followed in the second place by Iraq
* The US is still looking for WMDs on Google
* But Cameroon seems to be more interested in Saddam Hussein (US doesn't make it to the top of the list for Saddam Hussein searches)
* India seeks the most 'outsourcing', the developed world (besides Singapore) doesn't seem to care much
* Nepal has the hots for "Aishwarya Rai"
* Katrina Kaif is more popular in Pakistan than in India
* Salman Khan is a huge hit in Somalia. Nepal is a faraway second.
* The Somalis also drool over Kareena. Pakistanis are a distant runner-up
* Pakistan and Fiji are more interested in Bollywood than India
* The Kiwis seem to the most excited about the Olympics
* Indians express the most interest for "silicon implants", but the popularity of the term seems to be fading over time.

Do come up with more interesting Insights.

(The above 'findings' are just assumptions via my limited understanding of Google Insights for Search and should not be construed as real)

Click here for the complete post...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Beijing Olympics Medal Tally and Events Widget

I had been looking for a good Olympics medal tally widget to put up on this blog. But didn't seem to find one. The thinness of this blog's side panels add to the problem. Then discovered these (on Google News). But they still can't fit in where I want them to.

With Abhinav Bindra winning the first ever individual Olympic gold for India [Pics], it becomes more appropriate for the occasion.

See whether they fulfill your needs (they aren't mine. Google property).

2008 Beijing Olympics Medal Tally Widget

The Code:

2008 Beijing Olympics Events Widget

The Code:

2008 Beijing Olympics Events/Medals Combo Widget

The Code:

You can customise the widgets before embedding them on your blog/website by making changes to the height and width parameters and change the alignment replacing the align="left" with align="right" or align="center".

Update: This process might no longer be necessary for Blogger blogs as Blogger has introduced Google gadgets for all layout blogs. And there a few Olympic medal tally gadgets listed in there.

Click here for the complete post...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Wildstone: Wild by Nature

Snigdha AkolkarThis ad has been viewed almost 7.5 lakh times on YouTube (and has also been flagged an inappropriate for minors by some users, therefore you need to log in to view it there).

But then, at Cutting the Chai - there aren't any such restrictions. You get to watch ads (and a lot of other things too) and get access to related goodies.

Now back to the ad. It's for Wildstone deodorant. The female model in the ad is Pune girl Snigdha Akolkar. She has also appeared in TV serials and a (saree-clad) item number.

Presently a shorter version of the ad is being telecast on TV. Though both versions convey the same message, the longer version is (obviously) more ... detailed.

The backdrop is of a Durga Puja at a Bengali household and this Bong lass - Snigdha does look like one in a sada-lal-par-saree (white red-bordered-saree) - experiences an olfactory fantasy where she contemplates a sexual encounter with a stranger, she accidentally bumped into, just because he smells irresistibly good (Axe?).

To share/embed this video click here
Download video [00:00:47 FLV 1.08 MB]
Download hi-res video [00:00:47 AVI 5.54 MB]
Download for mobile [00:00:47 3GP 966 KB]

I liked the dhak beats, therefore the ringtone version:

Download ringtone [MP3 97 KB 00:00:11 96kbps Stereo 44 kHz]

The slideshow (some things are better enjoyed in stills):

Original image slideshow

Reality check: It doesn't work this way in real life. We guys know for sure.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Too Hot for TV: Eva Mendes in CK Ad

Eva Mendes Calvin Klein Secret ObsessionOne of the world's most desirable women featured in an ad but TV networks in the USA found her undesirable.

Undesirable because Eva Mendes looked too desirable in the ad for a new Calvin Klein perfume - Secret Obsession.

In the ad, Eva rolls around topless and there's also a nipple show.

I think the TV networks were right in their stand.

While the ad can be aired on adult only channels or on late night TV, it is definitely too racy for a general audience.

Maybe this was intentional on Calvin Klein's part. It got them so much of free publicity around the globe.

And now let me also contribute to their viral ad strategy. Here's the ad:

(Caution NSFW content)

To share/embed this video click here
Download video [00:00:32 FLV 801 KB]]
Download for mobile [00:00:32 3GP 547 KB]]

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Zip it for Faster File Transfers

Often you have to wait for ages to transfer files to/from your harddisk to/from a portable storage device.

This usually happens if the number of files that you are transferring is too large, even if their individual sizes may be low. Such time consuming experiences are usually experienced while transferring a large collection of photos or a software folder.

The easy way out is to zip the files and then transfer. Yes, you might have to make an additional effort of first zipping and then unzipping the files. But in my sample experiment the total time taken in the suggested process was much lesser than direct cut/copy and paste route.

Exhibit one:
Normal File Transfer

Exhibit two:
Zipped File Transfer

Since compression isn't the objective here, use the fastest option (that results in the least compression) to zip the files (the nomenclature might be different in different compression/decompression software).

Recommended download: 7-Zip

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Saturday, August 02, 2008

Parliament Attack - an Awareness Drive

Mass For Awareness, an NGO headed by cartoonist Neeraj Gupta, has initiated a campaign to educate the voters about the people they choose to represent them at the highest seat of democracy in the country - the Parliament.

As a prelude to an extended campaign that would run upto the Lok Sabha elections in 2009, the organisation has released this poster:

Sansad Par Hamla - An Awareness Drive
A rough translation:
Do you want such saleable MPs in our Parliament...
If no, then...
...Do cast your invaluable vote during the upcoming 15th Lok Sabha elections.
And while voting do keep in mind whether who you are voting for is fit to enter the Parliament.
"Parliament Attacked"
Participate in an awareness campaign that keeps you alive.
Because if you are aware then you are alive.

If you wish to pass the message along, copy the code below and paste it on your blog/website:

Click here for the complete post...