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

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Lemax Jeans' Seven Deadly Sins

The Seven Deadly Sins, in a way, summarises a day in the life of the Chaiwallah. And they sound so much more appealing in Latin: luxuria (lust), gula (gluttony), avaritia (greed), acedia (sloth), ira (wrath), invidia (envy) and superbia (pride).

Envy - Be thy neighbour's envy
Envy - Be thy neighbour's envy
Lemax The Jean Co.

Gluttony - Bite more than you can chew
Gluttony - Bite more than you can chew
Lemax The Jean Co.

Greed - Want more than you shall need
Greed - Want more than you shall need
Lemax The Jean Co.

Lust - Leave a lusting impression
Lemax The Jean Co.

Pride - Narcissism be thy religion
Pride - Narcissism be thy religion
Lemax The Jean Co.

Sloth - Thou shall love inertia
Sloth - Thou shall love inertia
Lemax The Jean Co.

Wrath - Thou shall not hold back thy fury
Wrath - Thou shall not hold back thy fury
Lemax The Jean Co.

And in case you haven't noticed, there is an apple (partially eaten) in each of them. Apple - the original sin.

A couple of other Seven Sins ads from other countries:

Seven Sins on five floors
Seven Sins on five floors
Harvey Nicols Beauty

(Harvey Nicols is an upmarket department store chain)

Seven special programmes to lead you astray
The Seven Deadly Sins
Seven special programmes to lead you astray
13ème Rue
The Crime Channel

(13ème Rue is a French cable channel)

Algida Magnum 7 Sins

The language might be different, but we get the meaning. Magnum had also released individual ads focussing on each of the Seven Deadly Sins.

(Algida is Wall's, the ice-cream manufacturer, in Italy)

And if these ads have tickled your inner sinner and now you want delve deeper. Here's, for you, Frederick Rogers' 1907 book The Seven Deadly Sins:

Related posts:· Blue Jeans in my Genes
· Lee Ad: Jeans Fetish
· Denim Drool: Numero Uno Ads
·Dangerously Low - The Full Version
·Durex Apple: The Original Temptation

Click here for the complete post...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

How to Download Images from Issuu

Issuu LogoThough Scribd seems to be the preferred place for sharing documents online, Issuu has a much better media viewer. And like Scribd it has some disadvantages (some intentional). Direct linking to a page is a bit tricky, though you can extract the URL changing the options for generating the embed code. And since the viewers are in flash downloading the images (you can easily download PDFs if it is not disabled, even if it is you can) are a bit tricky. You could get them from the browser cache, but that process is a bit tedious.

Now you might ask, why would you need an image of a magazine page or a document? For the same reason you need to download an YouTube video?

Thankfully in Issuu it isn't very difficult and I've made it a little easier. If you need to download or link to a particular page of a document hosted on Issuu, all that you need to do is insert the document ID and the page number in this form (the first two fields) and the URL of the image would automatically appear on the third field. Copy it and paste the URL wherever you want to.

Issuu Image Download Tool

Where do you find the Document ID? If you are using Firefox/Chrome, press Ctrl+U (or go to View » Page Source) to view the source code of the page (in IE you should find in the Page dropdown). Then do a Crtl+F and search for documentId. You'll find something like this:

"documentId" : "090409124522-f5d6aed3b38548dcab8257cbf6487852",

Copy the ID (minus the quotes) and paste it to the first field in the form below:

The JPG files on Issuu are stored in this structure:

So if you don't want to use the tool, you can modify the URL yourself.

Easy, isn't it? (Atleast till the time they don't go about making changes).

Related posts:· Preview Multimedia Files While Downloading
· Download Files (Without Download Option) from Scribd
· Download 'Protected' Images
· Download Files from eSnips - the Easy Way

Click here for the complete post...

Open magazine ads

Open has come up with video commercials to promote the magazine. The theme of the ads is nothing new. We have seen a number of ads that use images of famous people (or incidents) with some messages in text with an underlying theme.

But the first time such ads are interesting to watch and also much cheaper to produce.

It's an international Who's Who list: Mother Teresa, Bill Gates, John Lenon, Mahatma Gandhi, Vincent van Gogh, Martin Luther King, Jr., Lance Armstrong, Barack Obama, AR Rahman, Princess Diana, Albert Einstein, Sachin Tendulkar, Dhirubhai Ambani and Oscar Pistorius.

The punchline "are you Open?" sounds like a not-so-effective pick-up line. Thankfully it isn't "do you Open?"

Ad 1:

Ad 2:

Related posts:· The Best Men's Magazines in India
· Review: Open magazine

Click here for the complete post...

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Review: Open magazine

Open magazine inaugural issue cover[Readers who have not yet read the first issue the new weekly magazine Open, might not relate to some portions of this post. You can access the magazine online here.]

The issue dated October 18, 1995 was Outlook's inaugural issue and the cover page read "First ever opinion poll in Kashmir. 77 percent say no solution within Indian constitution." Fourteen years later, another magazine, issue dated 10 April 2009, carries the text on its first ever cover "90% Pakistanis will join the army if there is an Indo-Pak war. Even though only 2% think they'll win." See any similarities? I see two.

When you don't have anything big enough for your launch issue, go for an opinion poll. Some stats would always suit your needs (depending on the way you look at it). And the second, the newer magazine is called Open and the editor is Sandipan Deb, who was also a part of the team that launched the first issue of Outlook. Will come back to fallacies of the opinion polls later.

Apart from Sandipan, the print line has some familiar sounding names (I'm not too good at remembering names) - Manu Joseph, Hartosh Singh Bal, TR Vivek (the guy who didn't seem to have a liking for blogs and bloggers) [1] [2], Jaideep Mazumdar and Shivam Vij.

Two things (actually three) that caught my attention first. The magazine's pages are not stapled but gummed, giving it a bit more expensive look and expensive it is, a wee bit (that is the third thing that I noticed) at Rs 30 a week. The second was the text to the right of the masthed - "The Power of Nonsense" that almost read like a tagline for the magazine and gave the reader a different first-sight opinion about the magazine. But that 'Power of Nonsense' by Manu Joseph was a fun read (I usually like what Manu writes).

The layout is clean and elegant, much like the British newspaper supplements that I read at the British Library in Bhopal and so is the selection of the photographs. Something many magazines don't seem to care much about. The layout of the contents page is refreshing, unlike what we see elsewhere. Instead of wasting a page or two dedicated to indexing the matter inside, the magazine cleverly limits that to a top strip and carries stories beneath.

I never liked letters from the editor that read like the contents in prose (they are so boring and have actually nothing additional to say) Would excuse Sandipan this time, it is usually necessary for the first issue.

Not breaking away from the trend of Eye Catchers, Glitterati, VanityFair et al, a page where desi news weeklies serve the celebrity gossip and eye candy. Open has People. But there's nothing too catchy there and the content a little stale.

In his edit Sandipan promised that they will try their "damnedest never ever to insult" my intelligence. But I already feel dumb for not being able to interpret CP Surendran's "interview" with Varun Gandhi as a satire or the real thing (Maybe my level of intelligence cannot ever be insulted, for the simple reason that it doesn't even exist).

Now coming back to the cover story. Basharat Peer's experiences in Pakistan reveals nothing new. We've all been on a journey to the "country of contradictions" many times before via the varied media. And the opinion poll that is the focus of the launch issue was actually carried out in only two cities of Pakistan - Lahore and Karachi, and the sample size was 606. Like Delhi and Mumbai/Bombay cannot ever represent the whole of India, Lahore and Karachi alone do not constitute Pakistan. I might as well ask my colleagues at work and file a story stating that x percentage of Indians believe that y is the right thing to do. How conveniently most of these opinion polls ignore the opinions of the rural masses, who form a majority of the population.

People's expectations from a magazine and a newspaper are different. While it is okay for us to see the text 'Continued on page x' at the bottom of a story in a newspaper, in a magazine to find something similar is irritating. And that's precisely what I found in the inside pages of Open. In a magazine it is an example of bad flow and layout.

Shivam Vij's 'Edifice Complex' on Mayawati's statue erecting spree and the changing architecture of Lucknow is again (don't mind the cliche) old wine in an old bottle (Will Shivam ever get over his Maya fixation?). And having a book co-authored by your business editor as the first feature in the books section smacks of self-indulgence. Could have waited for an issue, the IPL is still a while away.

The Gadgets page is insipid. I hate to see prices in dollars, give us rupees please (so what if we are yet to get a new symbol for that). 99 percent of the readers wouldn't buy their stuff from abroad. And why give prime space to a product that is available only in the US?

And before I forget, I loved the piece by Akshay Sawai 'Ow!zzat!' on the importance of the abdominal guard in cricket. I was hit once, in the wrong place. Not by a bowler but a fielder who attempted to run me out. That the ball involved was what we called 'cork-deuce' made the experience a bit more painful. Ever since, I never forgot the guard.

Open does manage to fulfil to some the covenant laid down by its editor. But then it is is a tough job to be a please all.

I get a decent newspaper and periodical allowance (not an additional sop, just a tax saving scheme) from my employer and can quite comfortably fit in Rs 120 a month (might drop one of the men's magazines). I'll ask my vendor to add Open to my magazines list. For a month or two to begin with.

As an internet person I will be looking forward to the launch to the magazine's full-fledged website. After all online is the place to be. Other Indian magazine websites disappoint me.

Related posts:· The Best Men's Magazines in India
· Tehelka reincarnated: A review
· Two years of Tehelka - in Ink and Paper

Click here for the complete post...

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Most Popular Posts: March 2009

The most popular posts on Cutting the Chai published in March 2009:

1. Bhool Na Jana, ECE Bulb Lana

2. Review: Idea NetSetter

3. Sita Sings the Blues: Watch Online or Download for Free

4. Boost Your Netbook's Performance in 6 Clicks

5. Yeh Bullet Meri Jaan ...

Click here for the complete post...