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Friday, April 27, 2007

Hindustan Ka Dil Dekho

Having stayed in the heart of India, Madhya Pradesh, for over two years (been visiting right form my childhood) and travelling quite extensively all over the state, I find this wonderful advertisement for tourism in MP all the more appealing.

So far have been to Jabalpur, Bilaspur (then MP), Bhopal, Indore, Ratlam, Sehore, Bhimbetka, Maihar, Bhojpur, Pachmarhi, Sanchi and of course, Khajuraho (twice over). Enjoy the multi-splendours of Madhya Pradesh in this bioscope of an ad.

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A transcript follows:

Til dekho, tar dekho
Aankhen phaad phaad dekho
Sher ki dahar dekho
Marble ka pahar dekho

Chandeli ki saree dekho
Bhandhavgarh ki jhaadi dekho
Ujjain ke sant dekho
Baudhik mahant dekho

Buddha ke nishaan dekho
Geeta aur qur'an dekho
Indore ki shaan dekho
Kaise banta paan dekho
Ta thaiya taa…

Khajuraho shilpkari dekho
Bhimbetka kalakari dekho
Kattar prem pujari dekho
Aankhen meeche meeche dekho

Aankhen phaad phaad dekho
Satpura ki rani dekho
Bhopal rajdhani dekho
Raajdhani mein jheel dekho

Behta paani jhilmil dekho
Dharmon ki mehfil dekho
Hindustan ka dil dekho…
Ta thaiya taa…

(Come prepared
Madhya Pradesh
The heart of Incredible !ndia)

Speaking of bioscopes, there is a documentary on The Bioscopewallah by Prashant Kadam. I've heard a lot about the film but haven't watched it yet.

Update: (June 28, 2007) The popularity of the aforementioned TVC has led to a print campaign which essentially showcases the ingredients of the TVC in a comic strip format (with a few additional places added):

[Click on images for a larger view]

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Natkhat Kid

ITC's Candyman Natkhat Mango ad, that brings a smile on our lips (some roar with laughter).

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Longest Domain Names

The other day while returning from work an ambulance was overtaking our office bus, when I noticed it, an extra long domain name - - proudly displayed on the side of the vehicle. Why would anyone go for such a long domain name?

A little googling and I found that there are many much much longer, but most of them are just for the heck of it. Long domain names don't make good business sense as they are harder to remember and are more prone to errors when someone types them out on a browser's address bar. The same also applies for this blog. But when I register my own domain name (don't know when) will try to keep it short and simple (if that's available).

The Guinness Book of World Records has rested the category for the longest domain name "because there is no merit whatsoever in this. It takes little to no effort and is similar to taking the largest number in the world and then adding 1 to it." This was in response to the claim made by

There are numerous other claimants to the title of the world's longest domain name and I didn't waste my time counting the number of character in there.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Love with the Lights On

<br />Kohinoor Fiesta Colour Condoms - 1987

A November 1987 ad for Kohinoor Fiesta Colour Condoms (published in Debonair)

The copy reads:

Tonight don't put the lights off

You can't see the colours of passion in the dark

Kohinoor Fiesta Colour Condoms

Available in Red, Green, Blue, Violet & Black

A TTK product

They didn't have Night Light glow in the dark condoms then.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

The World's Most Beautiful News Anchor

Melissa Theuriau - The World's Most Beautiful News AnchorShe is touted as the world's most beautiful news anchor. She's a stunner, no doubts about that. Pity, I don't understand French.

Melissa Theuriau has been ranked 46 in's 2007 edition of the Top 99 Most Desirable Women and is also in the race for FHM's 100 Sexiest Women in the World 2007. Her bio and what's being written about her gives the impression that she is an accomplished journalist. But if it is the first impression that counts, she's at least 8.5/10.

Melissa's even got a site on her and her videos and photos are all over the place. Especially ones where she's seen frolicking topless at a beach. A search for her name on Google yields 834,000 results and she's already a victim of cybersquatting. And she's only 28. Beauty does take you places, where brains alone might not suffice.

Watch this video to see for yourself:

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Trademark Sense

It is rather difficult for me (or anybody else) to type something like this:

"The image was enhanced using Adobe® Photoshop® software."

It is so much easier to write and read:

"The image was photoshopped."

But trademark owners would never see the reason. Therefore they say:

The Photoshop trademark must never be used as a common verb or as a noun. The Photoshop trademark should always be capitalised and should never be used in possessive form, or as a slang term. It should be used as an adjective to describe the product, and should never be used in abbreviated form.
Moreover, those '®' symbols do not always display properly.

[via Digg]


For all their gyaan, Adobe uses 'photoshop' as a verb on their own site:
Found by searching for 'photoshopped' on internal search. This is result #12, right next to the ones where they're ragging on the general public for doing this exact thing. C'mon, guys, couldn't you do a basic search of your own site first? Ugh

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Brian Says Bye

Brian LaraCricket is a beautiful game, especially the longer five-day version. But earning a livelihood does no longer allow me the privilege of watching a Test in total. I cannot even watch a One-Day if it goes on till late in the night (haven't watched a single Twenty20 match till date). There are some extraordinary cricketers who add more beauty to this beautiful game. Brian Charles Lara is one such cricketer.

In an anti-climax of a climactic career, often as the lone ranger, he was run out for a lowly 18 in his last international appearance. But that wouldn't take away any credit from the man and his abilities. Often accused of being a selfish player, like another contemporary great Sachin Tendulkar, Lara amassed a lot of records. Some of which will take a long while to break.

Often during my school and college years, friends would call up at odd hours and ask me to turn on the TV to watch Lara play. And I religiously did, because it was a real pleasure watching the master in action. But that magic was waning. And he was right to rest his bat.

Many feel that Sachin should also follow Lara's act (and also Inzamam's, but Pakistani cricketers have a reputation of coming out of retirement), but India's injury-ridden-and-fickle-form sensation still has a few years left in him, so does Saurav Ganguly. But Ganguly is not at the same level as Sachin and Lara.

Lara should now focus on grooming talent for West Indies, where the game is dying a slow death, and ensuring that he is not the last cricketing great to emerge out of the amalgamation of islands.

Now I'll have to watch archival footage of the Prince in play to say "Lara, kya hain mara!"

[Photo courtesy: Caribbean Free Photo]

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Power Ads

Bata Canvas Tennis ShoeThere was a time when we looked at photographs of Nike, Adidas and Reebok and wondered about the day when we'll get a pair for ourselves. We also heard stories about the exploitative nature of these expensive shore companies. Our initial years were spent with feet adorned in Bubblegummers, and then we graduated to Power. The brand was first launched in 1972. In between for the white uniform day in school there was the all time favourite tennis canvas shoes.

Bata Power LogoTwo Power ads, two models. Marc Robinson and Milind Soman (It looks like him).

Marc Robinson in Power ad

Minind Soman in Power ad

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Chef Recommends - Bheja Fry

Bheja Fry posterIngredients
One-fourth teaspoon - turmeric powder
One teaspoon - red chilli powder
Two tablespoon - butter
Pepper and salt to taste

1. Clean and wash the brains.
2. Boil them with three cups of water salt, turmeric powder and red chilli powder.
3. Boil them on a medium flame for 10 to 12 minutes or till tender.
4. Remove the thin membrane.
5. Cut each brain into four pieces.
6. Lightly melt butter in a non-stick pan and saute the pieces on a medium flame.
7. Sprinkle pepper powder and serve hot.

The above is the recipe for the first kind of bheja fry, the edible one.

The second kind is where your own brain is the principal ingredient and the chef's apron is adorned by a peculiar specimen - the bheja frier. Seemingly innocent, but disastrously dangerous.

Now there's a third kind which you can watch on the big silver screen. Sagar Bellary's Bheja Fry. A wonderful concoction of everyday ingredients presented in a simplistic but hilarious manner. Everyone gets the joke and the whole hall is continuously roaring with laughter.

Not delving into the story, as it needs to be watched to be felt. But a fabulous performance by Vinay Pathak as Bharat Bhushan (an acquaintance of mine has the same name, and the poor soul is going to be harassed big time) is worth the mention. And Ranvir Shorey's exaggerated effort doesn't fit in.

Morale of the movie: Don't call an idiot an idiot.

The most important part, no slapstick. Go watch.

00:01:04 [This an edited version of the official trailer]
[Download this video (FLV 1.51 MB)]

Bheja Fry (2007)
[35mm, 95 minutes]

Sarika, Rajat Kapoor, Vinay Pathak, Milind Soman, Ranvir Shorey, Tom Alter, Harsh Chhaya, Ikhlaque Khan, Bhairavi Goswami.

Producer: Sunil Doshi
Director: Sagar Ballary
Director of Photography: Parixit Warrier
Editor: Suresh Pai
Sound: Tapas Nayak
Production Designer: Meenal Agarwal
Art Director: Alok Haldar
Music Director: Sagar Desai
Story and Screenplay: Sagar Ballary, Arpita Chatterjee

Recipe courtesy: Sify Food

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Subho Noboborsho - Happy New Year

It's been a year since this blog went in for a major makeover. And it is also a fresh year for the Assamese, Bengalis, Tamils, Malayalis, Punjabis, Nepalis and many other communities.

It's Pohela Boishakh.

Subho Noboborsho!

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Help Defuse the Anti-Outsourcing Google Bomb

Google search for H1B official websiteAnthony brought this to my notice this morning.

An anti-outsourcing lobby has taken the battle to Google search and we shouldn't let some manipulative interests on a hate mission to mislead and spread their xenophobic propaganda.

Here's Anthony's post on the issue:

Hi All!!

Search for 'H1B official website' on Google. Some Anti-Outsourcing group has, using SEO and google bombing techniques, made a anti-outsourcing website, the Number one result in the Google Result Page. The said website, [send them] (and please don't link to it), starts with ...

"Are you sick and tired of seeing your country turned into a Third World sewer by immigration? Are you tired of seeing your standard of living drop and our jobs exported to China? Are you tired of armies of H1B workers being imported from India to take what few jobs we have left? Are you tired of having to skip 1 for Spanish and 2 for Chinese? Are you tired of pressing 3 for English and getting a receptionist who barely speaks it?".

This is a kind of hate website, but google will not ban it from its serp, since it is apparetly not spamming. Since google display the results based on an algorithm, it is easy for us, IT workers to beat this website in their own game.

What we can at least do is try to beat this website from at least the number one spot on the Google Search Engine Result Page, with a little SEO. Search Engine Optimisation, for those came in late.

One very basic technique is to link the genuine H1B websites with the anchor text as 'H1B official website' .

Below is a list of the other seach results on google search results page. If you are a blogger, please provide hyperlink to the links below with the anchor text 'H1B official website'

Write a blog post on H1B and link to the above websites, with the anchor text, 'H1B official website'. I suggest that you link to these sites on your home page, on the sidebar or the footer also.
It will take only a few minutes..

Please spread the word.

Many of the Indian Blogger are from the IT industry, and I hope it will be pretty easy to unrank this website.

Are you game for it?
Start Spreading the word.

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Indian English Primer

What is the difference between an alphabet and a letter? Many people (including some editors) confuse alphabet for letter. 'Z' is a letter, not an alphabet. It isn't the alphabet Z, it is the letter Z. Alphabet is the complete character set - A to Z (or whatever, according to the script), letters are the elements within.

Here's a primer in the alphabet (with translations in Devanagri/Hindi). Note the classic drawing style, also found in calendar art and early movie posters. Reminds me of my nursery classes. Kids (and even grownups) were as a rule - chubby, reflecting the traditional Indian preferences, until anorexic models filled magazine pages and the boob tube.

Indian English Primer

Indian English Primer

Indian English Primer

Indian English Primer

Indian English Primer

Indian English Primer

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Do you recognise him?


When I saw this photo, I didn't. Only when my eyes ventured to the name accompanying the column in the November 1987 issue of what was then India's favourite men's mag - Debonair - that I said "Oh!"

I still see Debonair on a lot of newsstands; therefore I assume that it still sells well, but not as well as it did when we were in school. Now there's the internet for competition.

Now back to the man in question. It is not as tricky as the one on Rahul Dravid. An imaginary beard should reveal the CEO of Inx Media (I'm not sure about the precise designation) and the advisory editorial director of HT Media, Vir Sanghvi.

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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Isspecial Cutting Chai - March 2007

With advancing age RK Laxman might be losing his touch, but he has already made a place for himself amongst the greats. The Common Man is one of the most recognisable characters in Indian cartooning history, so much so that he is the brand ambassador of Air Deccan. Cartoonists are an inscrutable lot, sometimes very much like their work, otherwise entirely different.

Pune-based Vikram Nandwani, in the true cartoonist tradition shoots point blank - no escape. In appreciation of cartoon blogging (a niche breed), the twelfth Isspecial Cutting Chai (March 2007) is offered to Vikram of .pOINT_bLANK.

Point Blank
Previous sipper .pOINT_bLANK (February 2007)

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A New Aggregator on the Block

IndiaNewsBoxIt is really difficult to keep a track of the news on different websites, this is where news aggregators come in handy and I've been using Google News for quite some time now. Now there's a new India-specific news aggregator which promises something different.

Powered by a two-member startup team (Tejaswini and Avinash) IndiaNewsBox intends to take on Google News and Rediff Newshound.

The site has a clean interface, but the layout needs to be worked upon a little and there's already some variety in the topics covered. But they do need to go for a spell-check in some of the sections. And moreover if the site's in beta, it should say that somewhere in the title or some other noticeable place.

Since the people behind the project acknowledge the fact that "the website is amateur in nature because it is the effort of first time developers," I too would like to ask the design gurus on the net to lend them a helping hand. They are also inviting ideas for improvement, so do surely send yours across, even in absence of the beta tag.

PS: If you didn't notice, the StatCounter counter in this blog crossed the landmark 100,000 figure. Now waiting for the first million.

In another activity, fixed the SMPS. Got a 400W Intex for Rs 400. Last time a crook had charged me Rs 700 for the job, therefore this time took matters in my own hand.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Momentary Pause

The SMPS of my home PC burned out and a repair can happen only on the weekend. Till then, enjoy the archives.

If anyone has some suggestions about which one I should go for (those available in India) do leave your comments.

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