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Monday, March 30, 2009

Sylvester Stallone does a Sunny Deol

Sunny Deol drilled his name in Bollywood's action history when he uprooted a tube well with only his 2.5 kg arms, to ward off attacking Pakistanis, in the superhit Gadar: Ek Prem Katha. Now Sylvester 'Rambo' Stallone tries to do a Sunny in his first Bollywood flick Kambakkht Ishq.

Related posts:· Tata Sky+ Damini Ad

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Padma Lakshmi and the Art of Erotic Burger Eating

This video is making quite a wave on the World Wide Web and some males (and a few females) wish they had been born a Hardee's Western Bacon Thickburger. First the ad, the gyan can come later.

Download video [00:01:01 FLV 1.20 MB]
Download hi-res video [00:01:01 AVI 4.36 MB]
Download for mobile [00:01:01 3GP 1.11 MB]

Padma Lakshmi and the Art of Erotic Burger EatingCreated by the Los Angeles-based advertising agency, Mendelsohn|Zien, the ads are supposed to start running from March 30. And the ex-Mrs Rushdie was chosen because of what she wrote in her 2007 cookbook Tangy, Tart, Hot and Sweet (maybe also because of her speciality in what is described as 'food porn':

I…started wolfing down bacon Western cheeseburgers after school at Carl's Jr. The sublimely pleasurable taste of bacon…was further enhanced by its mingling with the barbecue sauce, greedily licked off as it dripped down my teenage fingers.

A "tradition of pairing beautiful women with decadent burgers," that's how they describe it. In 2005 they had put together a raunchy ad for a burger, that didn't initially look like one for a burger (resembled a professionally made soft-porn trailer), with Paris Hilton (who else?).

Download video [00:01:00 FLV 1.36 MB]

Before lustily globbling up the burger Padma Lakshmi had, back in 2004, served herself as the 'Dish of the Day' [Text | Image] against which some people has raised objections that were later rejected by the Advertising Standards Authority.

Related posts:· Katrina Kaif in New Aamsutra Ad
· Hot Ad for India's Hottest
· Not Hot Enough: ETC Dress Circle Pia Trivedi Ad
· Too Hot for TV: Eva Mendes in CK Ad
· Mentos Kiss Cam Video

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Bhool Na Jana, ECE Bulb Lana

ECE Bulb TVC Screenshots

When I joined my first job, here in Delhi, one of the landmarks that I initially noticed near my office was the ECE House at Kasturba Gandhi Marg. It instantly brought to mind that unforgettable jingle "Bhool na jana, ECE bulb lana. (Don't forget, get ECE blub).

Gufi Kanwarjit Paintal, (best known for his role of Shakuni Shikhandi in Mahabharat, the TV series) is leaving for work and his wife in the ad reminds him to get an ECE bulb and on the way everyone - the maid, neighbours, bus passengers, Udipi restaurant owner, a Parsi bawa, dhobi, a Bengali lady - also do. Finally he manages to stammer "" to the shopkeeper.


Download video [00:01:04 FLV 1.38 MB]
Download hi-res video [00:01:04 AVI 5.43 MB]
Download for mobile [00:01:04 3GP 1.19 MB]

This TVC had the multi-lingual flavour akin Mile Sur Mera Tumhara, with atleast five languages - Hindi, Marathi, Gujrati, Bhojpuri and Bengali - used (though this ad predates the much-loved national integration song by quite a few years).

The lines in Bengali "Bhoolbe naa, niye esho bulb, ECE bulb" sound extra sweet. And as a kid I relished the part where the bulb lights up in Paintal's hand.

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Trucks Against Female Foeticide

Truck graffiti make long rides on the highway more interesting. Even the title of last year's hit Singh is Kinng (I didn't enjoy the movie much) was inspired by what Akshay Kumar saw on the back of a truck.

Noticed this a few days back on NH8. Pleased to see that trucks are also spreading messages against social evils.

Anti Female Foeticide Message on the Back of a Truck
Kanya bhrun hatya karaoge to dulhan kahan se laoge?
[If you get the female foetus killed, from where shall you get a bride (for your son)?]

Trucks travel across the country and truck art is an effective medium of communication.

The family planning slogan Hum do hamare do (We two, our two) was quite popular with the truckwallahs.

Even the corporates are using truck art as an advertising platform.

And someone read this on the back of a truck (bad spelling is good fun):

Put deeper at night.

Related posts:· Maxim against Female Foeticide
· How Many Babies Did You Kill Today?
· Where Have All the Young Girls Gone?

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Review: Idea NetSetter

Idea Net SetterBored of being limited within the confines of my workplace or home (though I have Wi-Fi) and the uninspiring internet on my mobile phone, I wanted to break free. Therefore, after some thought (many people had advised me against the idea), I got myself a mobile internet connection - Idea NetSetter.

Idea had entered the data card market recently and has some lucrative tariff on offer. Since my mobile telephone connection is also from Idea, I preferred to stick to the same provider (other reasons are explained lower in the post).

What it promises:

  • EDGE/GPRS/GSM Air interface
  • Quad band operation (850/900/1800/1900 Mhz)
  • Wireless data speed up to 236.8 kbps
  • GPRS/EDGE Multislot class 12
  • SMS support
  • Microsoft (WHQL) certified drivers
  • Compatible with notebooks and PCs
  • Zero CD installation
  • International roaming
  • 2 year warranty
What it costs:

Rs 2490 for the USB stick.

For a detailed pre-paid and post-paid plans in your area click here.

I chose the Rs 849/month unlimited post-paid plan. Rs 500/month for the first three months an introductory offer.

How it is:

The hardware cost might put off some budget users - Rs 2490 seems a little too high, even though most service providers charge similar (if not more) rates.

The promised speed (236.8 kbps) seems to be greater than the competition (Tata Indicom Plug 2 Surf - 153.6 kbps, Reliance NetConnect - 153.6 kbps). The actual speed is actually much much lower - as with all Indian ISPs, mobile or fixed line.

I've been using it since last evening and the maximum download speed I got was around 35 kbps with the average hovering around 20-25 kbps. Decent. It is almost like my existing internet connection.

Online broadband speed tests put the download rate at about 119 kbps and 25 kbps for upload.

But it is slower in places with weaker signal strength (like my office desk). It would be a good idea to check beforehand the Idea network strength at the places you are most likely to use it.

The installation is smooth, just plug in the USB stick and just follow the instructions to install the requisite software. The USB stick has 10 MB of space in it.

You might need to reset your browser settings to 'No proxy', in case you have a different setting for your existing internet connection.

Watching internet videos and dowloading large files may seem to be a pain for people used to real high-speed internet (still a distant dream for me). In case you want better, you might like Reliance Netconnect Broadband+ that promises 3.1 mbps speed (but the costs involved is higher too).

Since Idea NetSetter also supports SMS (send and receive) you can easily copy paste or type text messages and send them to your family and friends from the comfort of a computer. There is also easy drag and drop import of contacts in a csv file.

The USB modem turned out to be a little larger than what I had expected, almost the size of the early pen drives - around 8 cms in length. The model that I got (EG162G) is manufactured by Huawei.

The application interface is simple and provides the necessary info (speed, upload/download stats and text messaging), but could've had some little features for a better user experience. The close button - that so many of us are so prone to clicking - shouldn't necessarily close the application. The user should have an option to make the application minimise to the system tray even if he hits close.

Voice call facility would have been a good added advantage. Also a lanyard anchor, though trivial, has its many advantages (just in case I didn't have pockets).

Here in Delhi the pre-paid unlimited plan costs Rs 100 lesser than the comparative post-paid plan. The Idea executives I talked to could provide no satisfactory reasoning for that. Nevertheless, I opted for the post-paid to save me from the bother of getting a recharge done on a specified date, failing which I'd be left internetless (post-paid connections have a 15-day grace period).

To me getting the Idea NetSetter USB modem was worth it given that I pay Rs 800 a month for my not-so-reliable WiMAX internet connection. And my analysis of the competition gives Idea the advantage (even though I didn't get the promised call from any Idea customer service executive when I first expressed my interest for the product through their website. They might be losing some potential customers there).

I sincerely hope (and so would you) that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is able to strictly enforce its guidelines to internet service providers to ensure availability of the minimum required bandwidth in their networks.

My rating for Idea NetSetter: 3 out of 5

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Boost Your Netbook's Performance in 6 Clicks

NetbookMany readers would be aware of this, but evidently many others aren't. Therefore this post.

If you use your netbook/ultra-portable laptop only for surfing the internet and/or other less resource intensive functions and don't multi-task then you could give this a miss.

But if you, like me, try to extract the maximum of of the little thing (bachche ki jaan nahin le raha hoon), you might have experienced that the little machine often acts sluggish (expecially if you are using one with Windows XP or worse Vista) while running multiple applications simultaneously.

Not to worry, this 6-step (depending on your view settings) process might make things a little smoother. This is for netbookers who prefer performance over appearance.

Instructions for Windows XP only (don't have access to a Vista machine. All friends and colleagues have gone back to XP. But it should be similar)

If you are on Category view
1. Click on the Start menu button
2. Click on Control Panel
3. Click on the Performance and Maintainence link
4. Click on the Adjust visual effects link (under Pick a task)
5. Choose the Adjust for best performance radio button
6. Press OK

If you are on the Classic View
1. Click on the Start menu button
2. Click on the Control Panel on the menu
3. Click/double click on System
4. Click on the Advanced tab
5. Click on the Setting button under Performance
6. Choose the Adjust for best performance radio button
7. Press OK

What Windows does is that it compromises on the resources utilised to give you the looks and you back to what many of us refer to as the Windows 98 appearance, and therefore delivers a better performance with more juice left for the applications to swim in.

I have done it even for my relatively more powerful desktops (both at home and at work). And life with Windows is a little better.

Related posts:· Review: Asus Eee PC 1000H
· Sony Pokes Fun at Netbooks, Then Launches Its Own

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Sita Sings the Blues: Watch Online or Download for Free

I'm yet to watch the movie. Intend to do that over the weekend. There are too many things happening out here, for me to sit back and watch a film in leisure.

The concept is appealing, and the bits that I viewed, while converting it, displayed some decent work in animation. Simple can be a lot of fun.

Since in a welcome move the creator of the film Nina Paley has shared it under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License, I'm putting it up here and in different formats to suit different needs.

Watch Sita Sings the Blues:

Low resolution FLV for slower connections

Watch high resolution MP4 for faster connections

Watch high resolution AVI for faster connections

Download Sita Sings the Blues

Download video [01:17:59 FLV 117 MB]
Download hi-res video [01:17:59 MP4 353 MB]
Download hi-res video [01:17:59 AVI 355 MB]
Download for mobile [01:17:593GP 83 MB]

Alternatively you can download the files from

Download [MP4 1.3 GB] Best Quality
Download [MP4 339 MB]
Download [OGV 337 MB]

About the film:

Sita Sings the Blues PosterSita is a Hindu goddess, the leading lady of India's epic the Ramayan and a dutiful wife who follows her husband Rama on a 14 year exile to a forest, only to be kidnapped by an evil king from Sri Lanka. Despite remaining faithful to her husband, Sita is put through many tests.

Nina (the filmmaker Nina Paley herself) is an artist who finds parallels in Sita's life when her husband - in India on a work project - decides to break up their marriage and dump her via email.

Three hilarious Indonesian shadow puppets with Indian accents - linking the popularity of the Ramayan from India all the way to the Far East - narrate both the ancient tragedy and modern comedy in this beautifully animated interpretation of the epic.

In her first feature length film, Paley juxtaposes multiple narrative and visual styles to create a highly entertaining yet moving vision of the Ramayan. Musical numbers choreographed to the 1920's jazz vocals of Annette Hanshaw feature a cast of hundreds: flying monkeys, evil monsters, gods, goddesses, warriors, sages, and winged eyeballs.

A tale of truth, justice and a woman's cry for equal treatment. Sita Sings the Blues earns its tagline as "The Greatest Break-Up Story Ever Told."

About the filmmaker:

Nina PaleyNina Paley (b. May 3, 1968, Champaign, Illinois, USA) is a longtime veteran of syndicated comic strips, creating Fluff (Universal Press Syndicate), The Hots (King Features), and her own alternative weekly Nina's Adventures. In 1998 she began making independent animated festival films, including the controversial yet popular environmental short, The Stork. In 2002 Nina followed her then-husband to Trivandrum, India, where she read her first Ramayan.

This inspired her first feature, Sita Sings the Blues, which she animated and produced single-handedly over the course of five years on a home computer.

Nina teaches at Parsons School of Design in Manhattan and is a 2006 Guggenheim Fellow.

A transcript for the film is available here.


View large slideshow

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· Better than RGV Ki Aag?
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Sunday, March 01, 2009

Most Popular Posts: February 2009

The most popular posts on Cutting the Chai posted in February 2009:

1. The Best of AR Rahman Isspecial

2. Emosanal Attyachar 'X-Rated' Version

3. The Best Men's Magazines in India Isspecial

4. MTNL 3G Jadoo: Rs 75 for a YouTube video

5. Join the Pink Chaddi Campaign

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Yeh Bullet Meri Jaan...

This post is dedicated to all the Bullet wallahs out there (not necessarily members of the club) and one biker-blogger in particular.

Download video [00:00:57 FLV 1.33 MB]
Download hi-res video [00:00:57 AVI 2.29 MB]
Download for mobile [00:00:57 3GP 1.21 MB]

Bullet 350Yeh Bullet meri jaan
Manzilon ka nishaan
Zindagi ek safar
Chalna shaam-o-sahar
Iski raftar ki
Baat hain aur hi
Lambi raahon pe
Ye kya gazab ki chale
Raaste taye kare
Faasle taye kare

Ye Bullet...
Enfield Bullet
Ghazab ki sawari.

This song is embedded into my mind right from childhood. The music has a distinct qawwali feel complete with the harmonium (though the instrument isn't desi and was actually banned by All India Radio for being inappropriate for Indian classicial music), tabla, claps and all.

If you ride a Bullet or are just a Bullet aficionado (like me), I suggest you set it as your ringtone. Here's the stuff

Download ringtone [MP3 901 KB 00:00:57 128kbps Stereo 44 kHz]

I've tons of Enfield Bullet ads on me. Have to take out some time to put them all together (I work hard for these posts).

Related posts:· An Ad for Today
· The Legend Rides On
· Harley-Davidson: Live By It

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