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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Seduced by Chocolate

Since it has been quite some time since I filed a post under Sexy Indian Ads and that Kareena is presently keeping the grapevine abuzz, I thought that it might just be timely to post a sexy Kareena ad.

Lux 75 Years of Stardom
Indulge your skin with New Lux Chocolate Seduction Soap.
Rich with real cocoa cream and strawberry vitamins.
It nourishes your skin and leaves it looking deliciously gorgeous.
Chocolate Seduction is a special offering from Lux,
a part of our Celebration Range to mark 75 years of stardom.

Lux Chocolate Seduction

And many like me agree that she looked the best in Refugee (I liked her in Asoka too) and I hated whatever she was in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, I also hated the movie. I still remember the K3G for two things, as both the occupants of the seats besides me in the theatre (a male classmate and a friend's sister) were sobbing through parts of the movie and that about eight of us crammed into an autorickshaw to return home after the show (I'm just trying to keep my mind occupied elsewhere, chocolate tempts me).

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Monday, October 29, 2007

Protective Cover

Nrityanjali Academy in collaboration with the India HIV/AIDS Alliance has produced a number of public service announcements in the form of music videos. The songs are in Telugu but with English subtitles. The tunes are catchy and the execution though simple seems effective. The following is one of the four videos produced by them. It focuses on the condom, its types and uses and also makes an attempt to break some myths surrounding the use of rubber protection.

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A higher resolution video is available here.

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Delhi Ran, I Ran

My boss and the guys at HR coaxed me into participating in the seven kilometre fun-run part of the Delhi Half Marathon. The last time I ran amidst a mass of people was back in school, though I have walked for considerable distances, running is something that I didn't pursue much.

A few friends had got together and planned for a daily morning jog back in college, but the daily chases by mongrels on the sloping roads of Shillong was deterrent enough to keep us wrapped in quilts till the sun was high enough (That we were lazy was inconsequential before the canine excuse).

Prior to this mini-marathon, I had trained myself for a few days. Basically it meant two rounds on a flyover near my house. And the first day it ached and ached for days. Today to the calves are a little sore. But it was a fun run. And it is fun to run, especially when you have characters out of mythology for company [see pic above right].

There was freshly out of the ODI-squad ex-captain Rahul Dravid to cheer me and thousands of others on [see pic left]. Speaking of marathons, I would recommend the exploits of two marathon runners that I had written about before. Meanwhile, I should rest my aching calves and feet.

It is a little funny that the official Delhi Half Marathon website, at 5:40 PM on October 28 says that there are still over nine hours left to the event. I didn't know of a another marathon happening tonight. Evidence below:

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Secret Behind Kishoreda's Glossy Black Hair

Ask any random Hindi film music buff who his/her favourite playback singer is, and there is a strong possibility that most of the time you'll hear one name over and over again like a yodel - Kishore Kumar (born Abhash Kumar Ganguly). There might have been many who were more gifted, but Kishoreda ruled the hearts (and still does). I like millions of others have a huge collection of Kishore songs, songs for every mood. And adding to my Kishore collection is this reader's contribution to Vintage Indian Ads:

This 1955 Brylcreem ad featuring the inimitable Kishore Kumar has been sent by Kaustubh Pingle. It appeared in the pages of Filmfare. "This was the time when Kishore Kumar was gaining popularity and eventually becoming the most-wanted actor of the decade, having 12 silver jubilee and three golden jubilees - one of his movies running for continuously 30 months!" says Kaustubh.

It seems that my internetwallah read the last post. I'm now reconnected to the online world from the comfort of my home.

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In Mood for Murder

It's been two weeks (14 days) that I'm without an internet connection at home. Feel like throttling my internetwallah. Ideally should've opted for a different provider by now, but am awaiting my pound of flesh as mine is a pre-paid connection and I had paid in advance for the month. Planning to get a month's free internet as compensation for my woes.

Though it is not entirely their fault, they by default become the target of my ire. I tried to keep my cool for the first 10 days, but now am fast losing it. Hope that he restores it by tonight else the dreaded Delhi rage virus might just take over.

With increasing competition in the internet market, many players are trying hard to get a foothold in my locality, which has a sizeable amount of students and young professionals. As it happened during the early days of the cable TV boom, competitors resorted to sabotage to draw their rivals' customers. The internetwallah is suggesting that I go for a wireless connection, so that his competitors' blades cannot woo me away from him. But that entails additional cost at my end. Though it is not a big sum of money, I would first like my terrestrial network to be restored before I think of linking via the airwaves.

It is because of this that the blog is looking static. My laziness has no role to play here.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Post from the Past: Advent of Autumn

Goddess Durga

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.
The 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.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Indian Air Force Turns 75

Yesterday - October 8, 2007 - marked the 75th anniversary of the Indian Air Force.

The Indian Air Force was officially established on 8 October 1932.Its first ac flight came into being on 01 Apr 1933. It possessed a strength of six RAF-trained officers and 19 Havai Sepoys (literally, air soldiers). The aircraft inventory comprised of four Westland Wapiti IIA army co-operation biplanes at Drigh Road as the "A" Flight nucleus of the planned No.1 (Army Co-operation) Squadron.

I had found this nice video on the IAF somewhere online a long time ago, thought of posting it yesterday but was preoccupied. Here it is:

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Download video [00:00:59 FLV 1.29 MB]

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Black Magic Advertising

Translating the below word by word is beyond my ability; if someone believes that he/she can do it, please do.

A couple of these were thrown inside the autorickshaw I was returning from work in. These visiting card-sized advertisements are quite popular with the practitioners of the 'supernatural' arts of black magic and the like. Such ads are also frequently found pasted on the panes of Delhi's city buses.

This Guru Saheb Ji Bangali (the Bangali suffix is common with the black magic men given Bengal's association with such 'arts') promises results within two hours and this would be backed by a 'guarantee card.' He also declares himself the uncrowned king of black magic.

All kinds of woes have their possible cures with him and announces his 'specialist status' in a few of the fields. Lovelorn couples are especially invited for consultation. Though the consultation fees are Rs 151, there is a Rs 100 discount on the presentation of the card. And visitors have to bring along two incense sticks.

Even the best of professionals in the non-magical fields cannot exude such confidence.

Cigarette packets in India are yet to get the skull and bones symbol, but the warning on this card - 'Black magic may result in death' - is accompanied by one.

The believers in black magic and witchcraft are many and include many from the upwardly mobile educated class. If only we had more faith in our abilities than such mumbo-jumbo.

[The contact details have been blurred on purpose]

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Khuda Kay Liye - Welcome Face of Pakistani Cinema

For someone like me whose exposure to Pakistani films was limited to the sub-standard fare aired on PTV, complete with the stereotyped villainous Hindu lala, a film like Khuda Kay Liye (In the Name of God - not an apt translation) was a pleasant surprise. Many of us would have heard about the film because one of India's finest actors, Naseeruddin Shah, played a brief but important role in the film. But beyond that it might not have interested many Indian movie freaks. But it should.

I too would not have watched the film, it had slipped off my mind, but a friend working for one of the numerous news channels wanted to do a story on this and sought my help in getting a copy of the movie, which I did. I later converted the film into a mobile friendly format and watched it during the 100-kilometre ride from Guwahati airport to Shillong. And even on the tiny 2" screen it was worth it.

The film to me was a dialogue between the liberal and extremist versions of Islam and for people with a limited understanding of the religion (that's a big number) it opens our eyes to many different facets. It portrays the dilemma of a Muslim in today's world. Here is a synopsis of the film from the website:

The film is about the difficult situation in which Pakistanis in particular and the Muslims in general are caught up since 9/11. These is a war going on between the fundamentalists and the liberal Muslims. This situation is creating a drift not only between the western world and the Muslims but also within the Muslim community. The educated and modern Muslims are in a difficult situation because of their approach towards life and their western attire. They are criticised and harassed by the fundamentalists and on the other hand the western world sees them as potential suspects of terrorism just because of their Muslim names.

This paradox is resulting in great suffering for the forward looking Muslim. This is the name of the film 'Khuda Kay Liye,' which in English means In the Name of God.'

The interesting thing about the film is how it connects the happenings in three continents. Unlike the usual Indian and Pakistani films based on romantic sagas, dances and songs, this film is based on some very serious issues. Raising a lot of controversial questions engaging the Muslim minds these days. It helps the Muslim youth find a direction... the right direction, which we are all looking towards.
Compared to the Pakistani films that I had watched before this, Khuda Kay Liye, is definitely miles ahead in all aspects, there's no comparison. The script is lucid and kept me engrossed throughout. The music is soothing. And performances are commendable. Though Naseer steals the thunder with his cameo.

The best part is that that Shoaib Mansoor, in his big screen debut as a director kept a very balanced approach. Though the point-of-view of the film is liberal, it does not outrightly rubbish the fundamentalists' approach. Even the logic behind the extremist interpretation of Islam is brought to the fore and a bulk of the counter arguments happen in the courtroom via Maulana Wali played by Naseer. The director makes an effort at not going overboard either with the story or with emotions, and succeeds.

Obviously the film met with a lot of protests and it a brave and commendable effort. It deals with a lot of issues which modern day Muslims face in an ever shrinking world and many do not agree with Mansoor's opinions as evident from the raging debates on online forums. But for an Indian the film makes for a must watch because today all that we seem to know about our neighbouring country revolves around one individual – General Pervez Musharraf.

I'm looking forward to the India release of the movie. Hope that happens soon, at least on DVD. In case it doesn't, just search for Khuda Kay Liye on Stage6, someone has uploaded the complete film in five parts. (you'll need to install DivX Web Player).

Here's a special Cutting the Chai edit of the trailer:

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Related post: Watch Movies on Your Mobile

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Moods Please!

The old 'Moods please' ad definitely did change the way in which Indian men asked their chemist for condoms. Then the focus shifted on the woman, actually it is still the man but via the woman, with the 'My Man!' campaign.

Here's the 'Yeh kya huan, kaise huan...' commercial:

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Full2Faltu aptly describes the ad as "erotic, sexy, to the point and even though being a condom ad surprisingly not at all vulgar. No sex, no skin show but just pure teasing between partners."

Related post: What's Wrong with This Ad?

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Posting Gandhi

A couple of vintage postcards in honour of Mahatma Gandhi:

[Gandhiji's love for children (1944)]

[Bapu (Gandhiji) and Ba (Kasturba Gandhi) - 1942]

And a stamp for Shastriji:

Lal Bahadur Srivastava (October 2, 1904 - January 11, 1966)

Related posts:
* The Consequences of Being a Gandhi
* The Mahatma and Me
* Gandhi Died 30/1/1948

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