Cutting the Chai has moved to a new domain:
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Thursday, September 28, 2006

What the Work Was

The work is still in progress. If no one noticed the change, my efforts haven't gone in vain.

Anyway, San made the right guess. After all it was her email pointing out the cross-browser incompatibility of this blog that got me playing trial-and-error with HTML, JavaScript and the new markup language that Google is using (named Google Markup Language by some gyaanis). Being unable to work on Dreamweaver (so much better than FrontPage) bought me back to Notepad, like all those coders (feeling tekkie already). It's a new template (still working on it)!

Doesn't look new? Therefore it took me so long to put it together. Blogger beta templates are quite different from the ones that I got used to while designing the erstwhile template for this blog. Thankfully there were guys like Ramani and Hans around for help. The purpose was to keep the look as close to the old template and bring about a change in the feel. Blogger in beta does have a number of exciting features that I wanted to make the best of. The default Blogger templates do not serve my purpose. I'm still working on the template. If someone has some suggestions or finds something out of place, do let me know (with proposed solutions would be the better option).

The display on IE, also pointed out by Debanjan, still has some problems (as usual), especially with lower screen resolution. For now I'm back to regular blogging.

Click here for the complete post...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Work in Progress

Work In Progress - Sorry for the Inconvenience

Click here for the complete post...

Friday, September 22, 2006

Why Delhi is Going Down

Today's Hindustan Times has an a page one anchor describing what a Dutch diplomat has to say about the capital of the nation:

Anything that can go wrong, does go wrong; everyone interferes with everyone else; the people are a darn nuisance; the climate is hell; the city a garbage dump... New Delhi is the most miserable place I have ever lived in.

Turn to the Edit Page, and the former Union Minister of Urban Development Jagmohan, an example of the difference between the well-meaning and the populist, puts forward the reasons behind this mess:

When, in 2001, I was functioning as the Union Urban Development Minister, I had launched an extensive drive against offenders of civic and planning laws. At that time, I had pleaded with my fellow members of Parliament to consider: "In what type of Delhi do we want to live, and what type of legacy do we wish to bequeath to posterity and to our children and grandchildren? Do we want our city to become a junkyard of unauthorised constructions or an orderly and disciplined capital of a resurgent Republic?"

The response of the power wielders to this plea was a sudden change in my portfolio.

Politics is a short run affair; all that matters is the next election. It didn't matter to Jagmohan, he lost his seat. Why worry about the long run? John Maynard Keynes said, "In the long run, we're all dead." Right. But others will live and with the shrinking time frame of long-run implications we are almost seeing the results live. Delhi is fast transforming into the gutter, once a river, which divides the city into two. Delhi Metro rail isn't the saving grace.

Click here for the complete post...

Advent of Autumn

It's that time of the year when mother Durga embarks on her annual vacation, family and pets in tow. The hills in autumn seem greener; the streams sparkle a little more. A thousand miles away from home, in a land somewhat alien I can't smell festivity in the air. The conch shells and the drumbeats reverberate in the nostalgic realm. I yearn for the doe-eyed beauties uneasy in their crisp sarees. My ears search for the strains of songs in the tongue I called my own.

Goddess DurgaThe baritone of Birendra Krishna Bhadra reverberating the autumn dawn - Ya devi sarvabhuteshu - courtesy All India Radio (AIR) signals the arrival of autumn. The greens have already started browning, the Sharad Utsav is about to begin. Vishwakarma Puja, a few days ago, opened the doors of joyous festivity. This dusk when the sun shall set, there will be no moon to take its place. Tomorrow, there'll be one - a new one, the first of ten days of festivity and when the moon will become full, the East of India will welcome the goddess of wealth - Lakshmi - into their homes, others will wait till the following Amavasya, when Diwali commemorates the triumphal return of Lord Rama to Ayodha. East Indians (read Bengalis), revering the other avatar of Krishna avatar of Vishnu more, revert their religious focus back to Shakti - this time in the form of Kali... and the sequence continues.

For me the morning of Mahalaya marks the beginning of this all. I might miss it in the morning on radio, but I make it a point to listen to the Chandi Paath on that day. Not for religious reasons, but more for nostalgic ones. Father used to wake me and my brother up at the crack of dawn, just to listen to the broadcast on AIR. This MP3* of an excerpt from the oratorio invoking the goddess Durga by Birendra Krishna Bhadra (music Pamkaj Mallick), also has a long story. It was originally on an LP record, lying in the backroom of a music store in Bhopal's New Market. I asked the owner to record that into an audio tape and a few years later I converted it from a magnetic tape to MP3. The feeling is the same, only the technology has changed.

Here are a few links (as usual) commemorating the initiation of the season festive (download, listen, view, read - whatever):

*Oratorio invoking the goddess Durga by Birendra Krishna Bhadra [MP3 2.26 MB 04:56 64 kbps Mono 44 kHz]

The complete Mahisasuramardini / Mahishasur Mardini MP3 download. Two files.
Part I [MP3 7.42 MB 00:43:27 24kbps Mono 22 kHz]
Part II [MP3 7.83 MB 00:45:50 24kbps Mono 22 kHz]
(Courtesy Deshantari)

Devi Sooktam - Hymn to the Divine Mother
In Sanskrit - Devanagri script. Three jpeg files [1] [2] [3]
In Sanskrit - Roman script, with English translation
(Courtesy Shakti Sadhana Group)

The beat of the dhak (ceremonial drums) [WAV 146 KB 00:00:18 64 kbps 8 bit Mono 8 kHz]
(Courtesy Timir Kanti Ganguly)

Click here for the complete post...

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Another Anonymiser

One thing that many users liked best about Firefox was its Ctrl+Shift+Del feature, which made the process of clearing up personal data collected while surfing on the WWW disappear at the simultaneous click of three buttons (even in absense of this feature, would still be the great browser that it is). But the problem with online privacy is that the evidences of where you have been surfing to isn't limited to your local hard disks. We bloggers also keep a track of our visitors using different tools and derive joy from where our visitors had come from and looking for what. Most websites do the same and so do the search engines. The privacy policy of sites usually say "information will be disclosed where we are obliged or permitted by law." Unless you aren't doing anything unlawful (by the way porn can be interpreted as unlawful under many laws in different territories) you don't have much to worry. But then, the revelations can sometimes be embarrassing. Recently AOL released the search data of 657,427 users (AOL search is powered by Google). Though AOL later apologised, but the damage was already done. The data is still available freely on the web. This has also happened before.

We have reasons to be afraid. After all it is our privacy at stake. And there isn't one big brother watching over, but a huge number of potentially divulging brothers of all sizes. There are many internet based anonymisation tools available, some free, others cost money, some are effective, many aren't. I had tried a few which promised to keep my identity camouflaged, but my exact IP address and other details appeared on the stat tracker of this blog. Nevertheless, they were of a great help during the recent blog block.

Now's here another anonymiser called Topark – which is in fact a tweaked Portable Firefox browser (I'm yet to make it undergo some tests, so this post shouldn't be interpreted as a recommendation. It is more of a news than an analysis). Topark claims to "turn any internet terminal into a secure connection" and is "developed and maintained by just one dedicated university student."

You can carry it anywhere with you in an USB and plug it to the machine and run the programme and "and it will launch a Tor circuit connection, which creates an encrypted tunnel from your computer indirectly to a Tor exit computer, allowing you to surf the internet anonymously."

You may have heard about those heavily advertised second-rate software packages like Anonymizer, SafeSharing, InvisibleIP, SecretSurfer, etc. Well, not only do they charge you money and/or a subscription fee, but they are bloated and full of useless components. They also require an installation which leaves tracks on your computer. How is that anonymous? Try Torpark; its small, portable, clean, open-source, free of spyware/adware, and free.

But how does it actually work? Hacktivismo provides the details:

When a user logs onto the Internet, a unique IP address is assigned to manage the computer’s identity. Each website the user visits can see and log the user’s IP address. Hostile governments and data thieves can easily monitor this interaction to correlate activity and pinpoint a user’s identity.

Torpark causes the IP address seen by the website to change every few minutes to frustrate eavesdropping and mask the requesting source. For example, a user could be surfing the Internet from a home computer in Ghana, and it might appear to websites that the user was coming from a university computer in Germany or any other country with servers in the TOR network.

It is important to note that the data passing from the user’s computer into the TOR network is encrypted. Therefore, the user’s Internet Service Provider (ISP) cannot see the information that is passing through the Torpark browser, such as the websites visited, or posts the user might have made to a forum. The ISP can only see an encrypted connection to the TOR network.

However, users must understand that there are limitations to the anonymity. Torpark anonymizes the user’s connection but not the data. Data traveling between the client and the TOR network is encrypted, but the data between the TOR network and websites is unencrypted. Therefore, the user should not use his/her username or password on websites that do not offer a secure login and session (noted by a golden padlock at the bottom of the Torpark browser screen).

Torpark is dedicated to the Panchen Lama.

You can download Torpark v1.5.0.7 from here.

Click here for the complete post...

Deathly Doc

Waiting for an appointment at a doctor's chamber is one of the more boring experiences in life. Pharmaceutical companies do provide the docs with subscriptions of major magazines, but the copies on the corner table are always many issues old. The doctor who is responsible for ridding me of my ailments (for a price of course), in addition to the frayed magazines, also houses a small bookstore, 15-20 books displayed on a shelf marked 'Books for Sale,' handwritten in blue ink.

A friend who was accompanying me on one of these wearisome waits, pointed out a book. It was titled in Hindi, Maut se Bhay Kyon? (Why Fear Death?). Leafing through the poorly typeset (on moveable type) slim volume, one sentence towards the end stood out - "Jeevan vishakth karta hain, mrityu shuddhikaran ki prakriya hain." It translates to, "life contaminates and death is the purification process."

Nothing wrong with the philosophy, but at a doctor's chamber?

Click here for the complete post...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Vintage Indian Advertisements 2.15

[Click on images for a bigger view]

Modella yarn - Modella Private Limited, Bombay
Modella yarn - Modella Private Limited, Bombay

Impermo waterproofing - Snowcem India Ltd., Bombay
Impermo waterproofing - Snowcem India Ltd., Bombay

Anoleum pain balm - Amrutanjan Limited
Anoleum pain balm - Amrutanjan Limited

Binny's Varsity - The Bangalore Wollen, Cotton & Silk Mills Company Limited
Binny's Varsity - The Bangalore Wollen, Cotton & Silk Mills Company Limited

Escorts Limited, Electro Medical Division - Mathura Road, Faridabad, Punjab
Escorts Limited, Electro Medical Division - Mathura Road, Faridabad, Punjab

Ads from November 1965

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Click here for the complete post...

Monday, September 18, 2006

Islam and the Inquisitive Autowallah

I usually make a conscious attempt to keep my abusive vocabulary under restraint. Just because it doesn't sound (and occasionally feel) good. And I have met with substantial success in my endeavour. But the autorickshaw drivers of Delhi, that that extra effort to expose my abusive angles. Today, when one of them, as usual refused to ply by the meter and quoted a fare which was three times of the justified. I simply let go (I usually fold my hands in the Gandhigiri style and smile at them). He attempted a counter attack but got an overdose. Good sense prevailed, he sped away.

The next one asked for 'only' ten rupees more than what I was willing to pay and therefore easily agreed to the unofficial logical fare. But he possessed an inquisitive mind and in the 30-minute long journey asked me questions ranging from the expanded form of NOIDA via the ethics of romancing in public to the prisoners at Cellular Jail. One of his queries was redarding the difference between the Islamic sects - the Shias and the Sunnis.

Don't know whether my answers quelled his thirst, but it got me thinking that so many non-Muslims know so less about Islam (Except for the stereotypical). Two years ago, I had read a simple, brief but explanatory article (though it reads more like a school text) on Islam, authored by (don't be surprised) Sgt. Kristen L Tull of the US Marine Corps. Information always helps. Here's the full text:

Islam: a peaceful religion at the core

Submitted by: MCAS Miramar
Story Identification #: 200481918314
Story by Sgt. Kristen L. Tull

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. (Aug. 19, 2004) -- Religion is a powerful subject. Many have strong opinions, while others chose to avoid even the knowledge of such. The strength and determination religion brings to those who believe can be seen throughout the world in an array of forms from good faith to assassination.

In Iraq, the war is brutal and said to be a holy war amongst Muslims. Of course, 95 percent of the population in Iraq is indeed Muslim. But, 80 percent of all Muslims are not Arabs. There are more found in Indonesia, a large minority in China and about five million right here in the United States.

A Muslim is a person who submits to the will of Allah. To a Muslim, Allah is the only divine and worshipful being. They believe he is the God for all Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and even atheists.

Islam, with the root word meaning peace, is the actual submission process and has five pillars.

The first two are the commitment to Allah and ritual prayer that must be performed a specific way and at certain times of the day.

Third is what is known to Muslims as Alms. It's when Muslims must contribute to the support of those less fortunate. This is usually done during their holy month of Ramadan.

Also during Ramadan, adult Muslims in good health can't eat, drink, smoke or have sex from sunrise until sunset all month.

Last but not least in the five pillars is the pilgrimage. It's called Al-Hajj and encompasses a trek to Mecca in Saudi Arabia at least once in a persons lifetime. It commemorates the faith and sacrifices of Abraham and his family.

As with many other religions, Muslims believe in prophets. One prophet in particular is believed by them to be the last and most important of all - Muhammad.

According to Muslims, Muhammad received revelation from the Angel Gabriel for 23 years. He relayed this word through a book known as the Qur'an. These teachings are what Islamic laws are based upon.

When Muhammad died at the age of 63, mass confusion set in. Who was to succeed him as the leader of Islam? Two major groups had vastly different opinions. They were and still are known as the Sunni's and the Shi'ites.

The Shi'ites believed it should be Ali, a relative of Muhammad and the first person to accept Islam, while the Sunni's believe Muhammad didn't choose a specific successor and felt they were left to find their own leader.

Both groups chose separate leaders, and so it began.

The Sunnis were the minority of the country but strong enough to hold most of the power before and during Saddam Hussein's regime.

Hussein and his top deputies are all Sunni Muslims. The Sunni's also held all of the top posts in Iraqi security forces.

The Shi'ites made up the majority of the country and suffered much discrimination during Hussein's regime. Most of them live in the south, which is the most depressed part of Iraq.

Jihad, meaning struggle in Arabic, is allowed when fighting for religion and in self-defense. So, there it is, a holy war where each party truly believes they are right according to a religion passed down from generation to generation.

A non-discriminatory religion of peace, torn by power, under one God, known to Muslims as Allah.

Click here for the complete post...

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Isspecial Cutting Chai - September 2006

Blogger went beta and I followed. But discovered that my present template was incompatible with the new language that the beta templates have switched to. I had put in a lot of sleepless nights (the number enhanced by my relative ignorance of the nuances of HTML, JavaScript and the like) and finally arrived at my current layout through a tedious hit and trail way. Will soon attempt to make this blog fully Blogger beta enabled. And with bloggers like Ramani around, things would definitely be easier this time.

The sixth Isspecial Cutting Chai (September 2006) is offered to Ramani of Hackosphere, for his clever and easy to incorporate innovations for Blogger beta. If you are on Blogger beta and looking for blog enhancements, Hackosphere is one happening place (even if you aren't, there is something for you too). And as the name the suggests, the hacks are plentiful and increasing by the day. Have a sip Ramani.

Ramani - Hackosphere

Previous sipper: Gaizabonts (August 2006)

Click here for the complete post...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Vintage Indian Advertisements 2.14

[Click on images for a bigger view]

Red Fort policy bond paper - Shree Gopal Paper Mills Ltd.
Red Fort policy bond paper - Shree Gopal Paper Mills Ltd.

Finlay's fabrics
Finlay's fabrics

Brite Plasticware - Bright Brothers Private Ltd., Bombay
Brite Plasticware - Bright Brothers Private Ltd., Bombay

Goodglass Nerolac Paints Private Limited, Bombay
Goodglass Nerolac Paints Private Limited, Bombay

Paragon Elpar synthetic fibre fabrics - Paragon Textile Mills, Bombay
Paragon Elpar synthetic fibre fabrics - Paragon Textile Mills, Bombay

Ads from November 1965

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Sunday, September 10, 2006

A Mother's Journey

Hazaar Chaurasi ki Maa (Mother of 1084)Hazaar Chaurasi ki Maa (Mother of 1084)
Directed, photographed and produced by Govind Nihalani
Starring Jaya Bachchan, Anupam Kher, Seema Biswas, Milind Gunaji, Nandita Das and Joy Sengupta
Music Debajyoti Mishra

From the cover:

Calcutta (Kolkata), the capital city of West Bengal, the eastern state of India. The period is 1970-72. The city is in the grip of a leftist militant movement, popularly known as the 'Naxalbari Movement.' The 'Naxalbari Movement' began in the Naxalbari region to get minimum wages for the agricultural labour and soon spread to other rural and urban areas including Calcutta. It attracted wide participation from the leftist intelligentsia and student groups.

Jaya BachchanSujata Chatterjee is a middle aged, traditional, submissive, unprotesting, upper middle class lady, employed in a commercial bank in Calcutta. She awakens one early morning to the shattering news that her youngest and favourite son, Brati, is lying dead in the police morgue, reduced to a mere numerical: Corpse No. 1084. This awakening propels her on a journey of discovery, in the course of which, struggling to understand her Naxalite (militant leftist) son's revolutionary commitment, she begins to recognise her own alienation as a woman and wife from the complacent, hypocritical bourgeois society her son had rebelled against. In an attempt to regain a sense of self from the intense psychological and emotional trauma, Sujata, as a mother, gains some deep insights into the complex relationship between the personal and the political.

Hazaar Chaurasi ki Maa (Mother of 1084)Brief illnesses are sometimes a blessing (if they aren't accompanied by pain). The biggest advantage being that your boss doesn't want you in the office and at home without anything better to do, you finish reading some unread books or watch those movies collecting dust on the shelves. For me it was the latter. I wanted to watch Hazaar Chaurasi ki Maa for long (in fact for the last eight years) but was somehow unable to, until my last short break from work.

Nandita DasRevolution is usually red signifying blood, but it is also has a romance attached to it. The Naxalbari Movement, referred to as the 'first authentic Maoist phenomenon,' was one such revolution. Though the part of the country where I grew up in was far detached from the May 25, 1967 happenings in Naxalbari (Darjeeling district, West Bengal) and its aftermath. By the time I was born, the movement had lost its initial steam. Today the offshoots of the movement are perceived as a major threat to the country's security and much is being feared about the 'Red Corridor' from Telangana to Nepal. The general perception was not much different then too, just that the young and the educated felt for cause and many died for that. In today's post-liberalisation India, the feelings lie elsewhere and perhaps the movement has also moved away from the ideals.

Seema BiswasAs a child hearing the names Charu Majumdar and Kanu Sanyal in adult discussion was common. I didn't know who they were. Later as I grew up a little, some (it was usually the women) who had witnessed the upheaval in Bengal told me of an entire generation gone waste, other labelled them as martyrs for an honourable cause. The ideology appealed to me, the concepts of a classless society where all men are equal, were impressionable to a young mind but later understandings of the lack of individual liberties in the society for the cause brought in mixed feelings.

Our popular culture doesn't understand the Naxalite. They are sometimes referred to as 'misguided youths,' politically correct terminology sounds nice to the ears, but the same can't always be said for the heart. Else, merely dreaded 'terrorists' who need to be wiped away, as they systematically were.

Joy SenguptaThough Hazaar Chaurasi ki Maa doesn't delve into a deeper understanding of the cause and the effects, it does bring forward the lack of understanding (or knowledge) from even close family members. The enigma element remains till date. The support, the bonds and the betrayals are all there in the life of the revolutionary. And in death, a living, breathing, energetic individual is simply reduced to a mere number, four digits - one, zero, eight, four - so impersonal, so unattached, so ununderstanding and so insensitive. Death ushers one into the ultimate classless society.

This was Jaya Bachchan's comeback film, and what a wonderful one at that, controlled and an effective performance. The titles say 'introducing' Nandita Das and Joy Sengupta. Joy Sengupta is a fine actor, but isn't seen much around. Nandita Das, in spite of her acclaimed performance, seemed overtly theatrical to me. Anyway it was Jaya's film based Mahasweta Devi's novel, Govind Nihalani played the able role of the facilitator.

Click here for the complete post...

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Vintage Indian Advertisements 2.13

[Click on images for a bigger view]

Lal-imli - The British India Corporation Limited. Cawnpore Wollen Mills Branch, Kanpur
Lal-imli - The British India Corporation Limited. Cawnpore Wollen Mills Branch, Kanpur

Binny's Royalist tussore - The Buckingham and Carnatic Company Limited, a subsidiary of Binny & Co. Limited, Madras
Binny's Royalist tussore - The Buckingham and Carnatic Company Limited, a subsidiary of Binny & Co. Limited, Madras

Dhruva Knits Woolmark - Dhruva Wollen Mills Private Limited, Bombay
Dhruva Knits Woolmark - Dhruva Wollen Mills Private Limited, Bombay

Woolmark Pure New Wool - International Wool Secretariat
Woolmark Pure New Wool - International Wool Secretariat

Metal Box protective packaging

Ads from November 1965

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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Vande Mataram - The Various Versions

Vande Mataram would have been the National Anthem, but similar sentiments which are dampening the 'centenary celebrations' of the song today led to its designation as the National Song "honored equally with Jana Gana Mana" and having "equal status with it."

Vande MataramBande Mataram was composed even before the Ananda Math was born. It happened in 1875 when, on a holiday, Bankim boarded a train to his native place, Kantalapada. The train passed into the outskirts of the city and glided through vast tracts of land, wrapped in enchanting green foliage, decked with multifarious flowers, nourished and nurtured by hurrying streams and beautiful lakes and unveiling the bewitching charm of nature in all its splendour. The poet's heart was thrilled with the vision of his exquisite Mother-the Bharata Mata-and he burst into song.

The song was born. But it had to reach the masses. It took about seven years for Bankim to present it to the people in the ideal setting. In no other setting it would have been more appropriate than in the historic novel, Ananda Math. Bankim had drawn inspiration from the Sannyasi Rebellion (1763-1800).

In school we preferred singing the National Anthem over the Song, not because of some personal or religious reservations, but because Tagore's composition was easier to our untuned vocal chords, than Bankim Chandra's.

Many people think differently about this song. Some say that it is the patriotic duty of all Indians to proudly sing the song, whenever they are directed to; others feel that it goes against the principle of their religion. A few like me, say that you can't beat a feeling into someone, nor does singing a song become the ultimate symbol or display of one's love for the country one holds the citizenship of. We are not an authoritarian nation, we shouldn't issue dictates. Religion before nation or nation before religion, the debate will go on.

At the Congress Session in 1896, Rabindranath Tagore sang 'Bande Mataram'. Later in 1905, Poet Sarala Devi Chaudurani sang 'Vande Mataram' in the Benares Congress Session.

And so many composers and singers have had their own renditions ever since. From Ranindranath Tagore to AR Rehman, this song had stirred the creative souls of many and therefore there are more versions of the song than dissenting ideological stances on the song.

This post isn't about the 'centenary celebrations,' it is in celebration of a song (and its multifarious renderings) which has a distinct appeal about it. It is India's true song of revolution and this post attempts to compile the various colours with which creative Indians (and others) have painted the lyric with (An informative article by Suresh Chandvankar, from the Society of Indian Record Collectors is available here). Whether September 7 is of historic importance or not, is insignificant.

Vande Mataram!
Sujalam, suphalam, malayaja shitalam,
Shasyashyamalam, Mataram!
Shubhrajyotsna pulakitayaminim,
Phullakusumita drumadala shobhinim,
Suhasinim sumadhura bhashinim,
Sukhadam varadam, Mataram!

English translation by Sri Aurobindo (Aurobindo Akroyd Ghose).

I bow to thee, Mother,
richly-watered, richly-fruited,
cool with the winds of the south,
dark with the crops of the harvests,
The Mother!
Her nights rejoicing in the glory of the moonlight,
her lands clothed beautifully with her trees in flowering bloom,
sweet of laughter, sweet of speech,
The Mother, giver of boons, giver of bliss.

[Click on the links to download / listen]

1. The official version
[MP3 1.06 MB 00:01:09 128kbps Stereo 44 kHz]

2. Rendition by Vishnupant Pagnis. From a 1928 HMV record. The music is set in raag saarang instead of the usual desh. Even the order of the stanzas are different.
[RM 671 KB 00:02:44]

3. Lata Mangeshkar sings in Anand Math (1952). Music by Hemant Kumar.
[MP3 1.26 MB 00:02:46 64kbps Stereo 22kHz]

4. MS Subbulakshmi, sings a Tamil version. Translated by Subramaniam Bharati.
[MP3 5.64 MB 00:06:09 128kbps Stereo 44kHz]

5. By Mogubai Kurdikar. From a 1947 78rpm record. Music VD Ambhaikar.
[MP3 1.05 MB 00:01:09 128kbps Stereo 44kHz]

6. The Rashtriya Swamsevak Sang (RSS) version.
[MP3 3.84 MB 00:03:20 192kbps Stereo 44kHz]

7. All India Radio's (AIR) signature tune followed by Vande Mataram (Vividh Bharati).
[RM 209 KB 00:01:47] Link updated

8. Kannada version. Lata Mangeshkar and SP Balasubrahmanyam
[RM 651 KB 00:04:17]

9. SP Balasubrahmanyam again (2003).
[MP3 3.07 MB 00:03:21 128kbps Stereo 44kHz]

10. AR Rehman's Vande Mataram (Revival) from the album Maa Tujhe Salaam celebrating 50 years of India's Independence.
[MP3 5.27 MB 00:07:39 96kbps Stereo 44kHz]

11. AR Rehman's heartfelt salute to the motherland. The title track the album Vande Mataram - Maa Tujhe Salaam.
[MP3 5.66 MB 00:06:11 128kbps Stereo 44kHz]

12. That wonderful video from BharatBala Productions. Conceived and directed by Bharatbala and Kanika Myer. Music Ranjit Barot. Vocals Lata Mangeshkar.
[SWF 00:04:53]

13. Some more from Lata's vocal chords. Music Ranjit Barot.
[MP3 2.46 MB 00:05:26 64kbps Mono 16kHz]

14. Yet more Lata.
[MP3 1.33 MB 00:02:55 64kbps Mono 16kHz]

15. A slowish chorus.
[MP3 969 KB 00:02:04 64kbps Mono 16kHz]

16. Bhajan Samrat Anup Jalota's patriotic pitch.
[MP3 1.35 MB 00:02:57 64kbps Mono 16kHz]

17. A videshi version. A woman, David Mills, sings about love and nature opposite the chorus of children.
[MP3 2.89 MB 00:03:09 128kbps Stereo 44kHz] [Lyrics]

18. An unrecognised version (If you know more about this, please let me know).
[MP3 2.49 MB 00:02:43 128kbps Stereo 44kHz]

19. Another unidentified version (Information needed).
[MP3 4.41 MB 00:0 kbps Stereo 44kHz]

20.Instrumental Vande Mataram. Performed by Sachin PK.
[RM 151 KB 00:01:00]

21. Another instrumental. By Ranjan Sharma. Instruments used santoor, sarod, tabla, pakhawaj and tanpura.
[MP3 1.69 MB 00:01:50 128kbps Stereo 44kHz]

22. One more instrumental.
[MP3 300 KB 00:00:38 64kbps Mono 16kHz]

23. Seattle 2005. Vocals Anitha Kamath. Acoustic guitar Jay Swaminathan. Lead guitar Prasanna Veeraswamy. Bass Samuel Devasahayam. Keyboard, sax Sanjib Saha. Keyboard, sitar Prasanna Ganapule. Percussion Aashish Shanbhag, Shriram Nanjundaiah. Drums Vivek Venkatachalam.
[MP3 4.32 MB 00:04:43 128kbps Stereo 44kHz]

24. From Nirmal Bhakti's Pure Devotion.
[MP3 3.69 MB 00:04:02 128kbps Stereo 44kHz]

25. Rajan P Parrikar's rendition. Raag desh.
[RM 261 KB 00:01:03]

26. Recent filmi takes. From Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001). Music Sandesh Shandilya. Vocals Usha Uthup.
[RM 282 KB 00:01:49]

27. And the latest. Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006). Music Shantanu Moitra. Lyrics Swanand Kirkire. Vocals Sonu Nigam, Shreya Ghoshal, Pranab Biswas.
[MP3 3.69 MB 00:04:01 128kbps Stereo 44kHz] [Lyrics]


28. Pandit Omkarnath Thakur. Sung in raag kafi (1938-39) Thanks Yadbhavishya for the link.
[RA 1.06 MB 00:04:29]

29. From the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) website.
[RAM 92 KB 00:00:59]

30 Aao Bachchon Tumhe Dikhaye from the movie Jagriti (1954). Music Hemant Kumar. Lyrics Pradeep
[MP3 248 KB 00:04:16 8kbps Mono 16 kHz]

Image courtesy: Sony Music India

[The external links are for reference purposes only. The owner of this blog is not responsible for their contents. User discretion is advised.]

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A Stingray Got Steve

Stephen Robert IrwinHad taken a few days off from work and was lazing around at home. It was in the afternoon that a mail from Aquamarine made me aware of this.

We all loved him and many aspired to be like him. All the creepy crawly things that we all shy away from were his passion and he brought them before us with a smile on his face and unquavering dedication. It was the during the shooting of one of his pet endeavours, to bring to us face to face with the deadliest in the animal kingdom (he was shooting for Ocean's Deadliest) within the safe environs of our living rooms, that he met his fate in a stingray - whose attacks are believed to be rarely fatal. But Steve Irwin was a rare sort of guy. Salutes Steve. You gave us Indians an alternative denotation of khaki shorts.

Stephen Robert Irwin
Born: February 22, 1962
Died: September 4, 2006
The crocs will miss you. So shall we.

Photo courtesy: Richard Giles

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Monday, September 04, 2006

Vintage Indian Advertisements 2.12

All the four banks featured in this post were nationalised approximately four years after the publication of these ads. There were 10 others too.

The logos of United Bank of India and the Bank of India remain unchanged, while those of Union Bank of India and Indian Overseas Bank have had a makeover.

[Click on images for a bigger view]

The Union Bank of India Ltd.
The Union Bank of India Ltd.

Indian Overseas Bank Limited
Indian Overseas Bank Limited (We've come a long way from the 'TV drive-in bank' to ATMs and online banking)

United Bank of India Ltd.
United Bank of India Ltd.

Bank of India Ltd.
Bank of India Ltd. (Quit smoking, save money. That seems to be the message)

Ads from November 1965

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Sunday, September 03, 2006



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Doubling on a bicycle

Doubling on a bicycle looks fun in the movies. Just enquire about the comfort level of the carrier/back rack or front bar/top tube rider.

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Friday, September 01, 2006

Vintage Indian Advertisements 2.11

[Click on images for a bigger view]

Veedol lubricants
Veedol lubricants

Murine eye-drops
Murine eye-drops

Ice Blue Aqua Velva after shave lotion from Williams
Ice Blue Aqua Velva after shave lotion from Williams

Crest after shave lotion, Crest hair tonic, Crest cologne for men
Crest after shave lotion, Crest hair tonic, Crest cologne for men

ASPRO pain reliever
ASPRO pain reliever

Ads from November 1965

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MIDI Music

A long time ago I had collected some Indian tunes (there's also one from across the western border) in the MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) format. Thought of passing them on (if you were expecting MP3s or human sounds, sorry to disappoint). You can simply listen to them or karaoke or use them as mobile phone ringtones (except for the National Anthem). The biggest advantage of MIDIs is their size, only a few kilobytes and that's all. But to save on server space and ease downloading especially on ultra-low bandwidth connections like mine, I've zipped the files. Hope you don't mind the unzipping process (pun, if any, unintended).

[To download right click your mouse and click on 'Save Link As' for Firefox or 'Save Target As' for IE]

Ajeeb Dastaan Hain Yeh - Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai (1960)
[zip | mid 00:02:09 2 KB]

Aye Mere Humsafar - Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988)
[zip | mid 00:05:32 16 KB]

Bar Bar Dekho - China Town (1962)
[zip | mid 00:04:54 11 KB]

Beqarar Karke Hamein - Bees Saal Baad (1962)
[zip | mid 00:02:34 2 KB]

Chod Aaye Hum - Maachis (1996)
[zip | mid 00:01:50 10 KB]

Dil Kya Kare - Julie (1975)
[zip | mid 00:02:22 13 KB]

Dum Maro Dum - Hare Krishna Hare Rama (1972)
[zip | mid 00:02:59 3 KB]

Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga - 1942: A Love Story (1993)
[zip | mid 00:01:35 8 KB]

Honthon Se Choo Lo Tum - Prem Geet (1981)
[zip | mid 00:04:07 39 KB]

Jab Koi Baat Bigad Jaaye - Jurm (1990)
An obvious lift from 'Five Hundred Miles'
[zip | mid 00:01:01 2 KB]

Jana Gana Mana - India's National Anthem (1911)
[zip | mid 00:00:54 2 KB]

Kahin Door Jab Din Dhal Jaaye - Anand (1970)
[zip | mid 00:02:40 2 KB]

Kehna Hai Kya - Bombay (1995)
[zip | mid 00:03:08 6 KB]

Kisi Ki Muskurahaton Pe - Anadi (1959)
[zip | mid 00:02:01 2 KB]

Kuch Naa Kahon - 1942: A Love Story (1993)
[zip | mid 00:02:46 2 KB]

Laakhon Hain Yahan Dilwale - Kismat (1968)
[zip | mid 00:02:32 3 KB]

Maine Tere Liye Hi Saat Rang - Anand (1970)
[zip | mid 00:02:01 14 KB]

Main Koi Aisa Geet Gaaoon - Yes Boss (1997)
[zip | mid 00:02:53 3 KB]

Mein Zindagi Ka Saath - Hum Dono (1961)
The solo quality cigarette song in Hindi films. And the Health Ministry intends to let it remain the only.
[zip | mid 00:01:52 3 KB]

Mera Joota Hain Japani - Shree 420 (1955)
[zip | mid 00:01:49 2 KB]

Mera Naam Chin-Chin-Choo - Howrah Bridge (1958)
[zip | mid 00:02:07 2 KB]

Mere Sapno Ki Rani - Aradhana (1969)
[zip | mid 00:03:01 18 KB]

Om Jai Jagishsh Hare - Composed by Pandit Shardha Ram Phillauri (1870s)
[zip | mid 00:02:02 2 KB]

Pukarta Chala Hoon Mein - Mere Sanam (1965)
[zip | mid 00:02:16 7 KB]

Rahe Na Rahe Hum - Mamta (1966)
[zip | mid 00:02:39 2 KB]

Rimjhim Gire Saawan - Manzil (1979)
[zip | mid 00:01:55 8 KB]

Sayonee - Azadi (1997)
The best from the boys across the border.
[zip | mid 00:04:49 22 KB]

Thandi Hawayen - Naujawan (1951)
[zip | mid 00:02:44 2 KB]

Yeh Zameen Gaa Rahi Hain - Teri Kasam (1982)
[zip | mid 00:02:37 17 KB]

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