"From the makers of Dil Chahta Hai" - this bit was enough to draw me to a late 10:45 PM show on the first day of Rock On's release.
Coming out of the theatre at 1:30 AM, I thought it was worth it, though it wasn't another Dil Chahta Hai.
But there are similarities - coming from a similar set of people and having a somewhat similar theme it is expected. But we could also hear someone snoring inside the hall.
Four friends making music with Magik (their band), get apart and come back together. To do what? Make music, of course (nothing very original about the story). Since I didn't even watch Abhishek Kapoor's first film as a director - Aryan - I can't comment on how he bettered himself as a director, but a commendable effort nevertheless. But I couldn't help but notice a lot of Farhan Akhtar influence in the direction.
The music by Shankar Ehsaan Loy is unconventional for Hindi films and so are the lyrics by Javed Akhtar.
At the end of the film they ask you not to download but purchase the audio CD. Until they lower their prices, I don't see that happening much.
Farhan Akhtar is also a theek actor, but unless he is singing his voice isn't appealing enough, but he did get the emotions right.
Arjun Rampal is brooding and looks dashing, but acting still a lot of scope for improvement. Apparantly Arjun learnt the guitar for the film, but that learning just doesn't show or his character is as that of a genius who can make the guitar release effusive notes without moving the fingers much.
Luke Kenny also does a decent job and like models all VJs don't make superb actors. But he looked and acted his role.
Purab Kohli is the fun-filled guy and acts that out with elan.
For Prachi Desai it was a nice transition from the small to the big screen. In the movie she's cute.
The best performance in the film comes from Shahana Goswami who plays Arjun's girlfriend and then wife. This girl's good.
About Koel Purie, should I even say something?
One thing I liked about the movie was that even if you can't relate to the music thing, you can relate to the emotions and angst on display. And nothing goes over the top, the drama is controlled.
There's also Anu Malik as himself and you could hear loud laughter when the music director uttered the word "original".
The film might not have its numerous moments as did Dil Chahta Hai, but then it isn't Dil Chahta Hain. It's darker and not necessarily about having a good time. It might not go on to be listed on online profiles of people as their favourite movie or break a few records but it reinforces our belief that Bollywood is also about good cinema and not only hit cinema.
Farhan Akhtar as Aditya Shroff
Prachi Desai as Sakshi (Aditya's wife)
Arjun Rampal as Joe Mascarenhas
Purab Kolhi as KD aka Killer Drummer
Luke Kenny as Rob
Koel Purie as Devika (Sakshi's friend)
Shahana Goswami as Debbie (Joe's girlfriend turned wife)
Nicholette Bird as Tanya (Aditya's ex-girlfriend)
Directed by: Abhishek Kapoor
Produced by: Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar
Music: Shankar Ehsaan Loy
Lyrics: Javed Akhtar
Screenplay : Abhishek Kapoor, Pubali Chaudhuri
Story: Abhishek Kapoor
Dialogues: Farhan Akhtar
Editor: Deepa Bhatia
Download video [00:02:25 FLV 3.01 MB]
Download hi-res video [00:02:25 AVI 14.3 MB]
Saturday, August 30, 2008
"From the makers of Dil Chahta Hai" - this bit was enough to draw me to a late 10:45 PM show on the first day of Rock On's release.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
A 1992 ad for Liberty Force 10 shoes. They were quite popular those days. The models do look very familiar. The boy seems to be Shaan (Shantanu Mukherjee), the singer, and the girl has a strong resemblance with Shenaz Treasurywala, the model-turned-VJ-turned-actress-turned-travel-writer.
But I have some doubts about the girl being Shenaz (or for that matter her actual age). Her date of birth according to online sources is June 29, 1981; the magazine (Debonair) I scanned this ad from is dated June 1992, and she doesn't look like an 11-year-old here.
Update: Amit Mukherjee from Montage Advertising (the agency behind this ad) has confirmed that the models are indeed Shaan and Shenaz. Now I only doubt Shenaz's age.
Years of living next door
to each other.
Good friends. That's what we were.
Fingers crossed, I proposed.
As I watched nervously,
She high stepped and clapped!
I felt I was fallling though the
blue, blue skies!
It's like walking on air!
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Their tag line says "The best thing to happen to men since women."
Well, tag lines can claim anything.
But if you are interested in babes, sex, gadgets, babes, beer, laughs, babes, cars, fashion, babes and a few more babes, then you might be interested in the magazine.
There's more to see than read in there, therefore it doesn't take much time to reach from the front to the back cover.
And there's also a digital version in a CD for the guys (and gals) with pulpuslaceratapohobia.
For me the ads also matter and Maxim (the desi edition) has a few of them that fit into the 'Sexy Indian Ads' category of this blog.
Here they are, in print and as moving images (including the one above):
[This ad actually reminds me of an 1996 or 1997 issue of an Indian men's magazine (there were quite a few back then therefore am getting confused with the name) featuring photos of a girl in a cricket kit (and nothing much else on).]
How to bowl a maiden over. And everything else on a man's mind.
We know men care about their girls and tools.
Only tools don't make for great cover pictures.
Caution it may melt your mouse.
First time in India.
World's largest selling men's magazine.
Now on a CD.
Maxim girls archive
Maxim girls home
Download video [00:00:30 FLV 786 KB]
Download hi-res video [00:00:30 AVI 3.35 MB]
Download for mobile [00:00:30 3GP 581 KB]
Original image slideshow
* Maxim against Female Foeticide
* Master, Master, Teach Me Kung Fu
* Stimulation Maximised
in.com - must say, helluva domain name. Was trying out the newly launched website and its many features. Suddenly the DownloadHelper icon on my browser showed some activity. I was listening to some the music that they have in there.
I let DownloadHelper do what it is the best at and wondered whether this new site will be another blow for the music industry. As the file downloaded revealed, not exactly.
Though you can browse and listen to music from different genres, they are optimised for smooth play on the web and therefore aren't of a high quality.
The specs read
Bit Rate: 64kbps
Channels: 1 (Mono)
Audio sample rate: 44 kHz
For people who aren't that choosy about the output quality, it might just become the next big inadvertent music download destination.
After 12 days of internetlessness at home I am back online from my own PC. Curse my ISP.
Many days back I got this SMS, the sender id read "CBI" (I believe many others also did). The information contained may be useful to many, so passing it along:
If a Central/Delhi Govt/PSU/Bank Employee demands BRIBE for any official work in Delhi. Plz contact SP CBI at 24361535/3541/2494 or 9968081216/17/18!!
And before you make that call note that the CBI, as a matter of policy, does not entertain anonymous or pseudonymous complaints.
There is another angle to it. This technically is an unsolicited SMS and my mobile number is registered on the National Do Not Call Registry. Therefore, the national investigation agency may be guilty of flouting the law.
According to media reports over 80 lakh mobile phone users have received the SMS and the fine for the violation is Rs 500 for the first instance and Rs 1,000 for subsequent violations.
But before anyone reaches out for the calculator, there are clauses that allow government agencies to transmit such messages. So who's next RBI? Would definitely like some more tips on identifying fake currency notes.
I didn't know that CBI also has a blog, but that has only five posts with the last being in March this year. Investigators don't make good bloggers?
Monday, August 18, 2008
Three women, three kisses, three heartbreaks, a couple of apologies that's Bachna Ae Haseeno (BAH). But this post isn't about BAH it's about Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (DDLJ) (English title: Braveheart Will Win the Bride), that super-duper hit, a film that BAH pretends to be an extension of (parasite would be more appropriate).
People tend to boast of the number of times they have watched a particular movie, usually Sholay tops such a list, but DDLJ too is a worthy competition. I have actually lost count for both the films, though Maahi's (Minnisha Lamna) count was 17.
The other day, a friend from Bangalore called up to enquire which year we passed the secondary school exams (he was at an interview and was filling up those unending HR forms). "Abbey 1995. DDLJ release hua tha na us year," I replied. For my generation it perhaps released at the perfect time. It has become a sort of a landmark.
I still remember the first show, three of us schoolmates - two boys and a girl - bunking school and sitting in the second class seats of Shillong's Payal Cinema (the tickets for the cheapest seats cost us Rs 40 each in black. The actual price back then was Rs 1.65). The release then was a rarity for Shillong - a film hitting the city's screens on the same day as the rest of the country. We usually had to wait for a few months, by then half the city would have already watched it on video tapes. Huge posters of Kajol and Shah Rukh were plastered all over. "Come fall in love," they said. When the film ended I told the female friend that I'll come back for more.
Come back I did. As the shows went by I didn't need to purchase tickets in black anymore and could enjoy the luxuries of the balcony (Rs 5.10) or the Dress Circle/Payal Circle (Rs 6.10). During the winter vacations twice or thrice a week I ventured out alone to Payal Cinema and watched Raj romance Simran and win over everyone on and off the screen.
The Raj bug hit many of us hard. A friend actually turned into a SRK in DDLJ clone and thereby earned the affections of many a female. Even today, whenever I happen to come across the film on TV, I give the remote a little rest for a while.
Aditya Chopra had indeed made a brilliant film, something that cannot be replicated. The story, the music, the performances - all had an endearing charm about it. From snowy Switzerland to mustard yellow Punjab the trip has us in a trip. The Rajs of the world looked for their Simrans and vice versa.
DDLJ also introduced me to another thing Stross beer (in film advertising works). It was the first beer that I tasted and I had made a pen stand out of that very first beer can. I think I still have that somewhere.
Though I didn't go out shopping for the leather jacket and the cap or joined mandolin classes, I did look for those little lockets that SRK wore, without success.
Another thing that I happened to notice, DDLJ perhaps began the trend of movies deriving their titles from popular songs. Nowadays every other movie does so.
In the usual post-movie alternative endings discussions, one question was common - what if Raj was unable to reach out to Simran and pull her on the train? What if?
Nothing much. His Pops would have pulled the chain.
While the dilwale took away the dulhaniya we all sat and fell in love.
To share/embed this video click here
Download video [00:01:26 FLV 1.85 MB]
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Firefox 3 created a world record with over eight million downloads in a day and there have been over 619 million downloads of the much loved web browser! But beyond the bottom of the download heap are six countries/territories that (according to the stats displayed by Mozilla on Firefox 3's Download Day page) that haven't recorded a single instance of a Firefox 3 download (as of July 2, 2008).
The six Firefox 3 black holes are: French Guiana, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Timor-Leste, Western Sahara, and of course, North Korea.
Besides the six there are 17 countries/territories with double digit downloads and 41 more countries with less than a thousand downloads.
I've compiled this table (ordered according to the number of downloads) for further illustration.
Firefox 3 Downloads (as of July 2, 2008)
In order of number of downloads
Rank Downloads Country/Territory 1 7,734,930 United States 2 2,466,910 Germany 3 1,342,608 Japan 4 1,198,993 United Kingdom 5 979,362 France 6 824,561 Spain 7 799,448 Poland 8 790,624 Canada 9 763,062 Italy 10 721,524 China 11 598,116 Brazil 12 535,796 Iran 13 495,484 Turkey 14 489,596 India 15 453,278 Australia 16 442,930 Netherlands 17 424,374 Lithuania 18 353,314 Russia 19 329,930 Romania 20 328,664 Mexico 21 279,059 Switzerland 22 252,535 Taiwan 23 247,588 Sweden 24 241,059 Argentina 25 225,824 Hungary 26 221,145 Austria 27 207,103 Chile 28 205,956 Vietnam 29 195,053 Philippines 30 193,209 Belgium 31 184,153 Czech Republic 32 173,805 Finland 33 170,122 Norway 34 168,981 Hong Kong 35 165,764 Bulgaria 36 163,433 Malaysia 37 161,836 Thailand 38 148,090 Greece 39 148,006 South Korea 40 143,283 Indonesia 41 140,331 Denmark 42 139,003 Israel 43 131,479 Portugal 44 129,957 Singapore 45 129,458 Colombia 46 98,740 Ukraine 47 98,445 Venezuela 48 98,186 Ireland 49 79,008 Slovakia 50 78,441 New Zealand 51 72,589 Peru 52 70,343 Slovenia 53 69,286 South Africa 54 62,216 Egypt 55 58,511 Croatia 56 49,922 Saudi Arabia 57 49,658 Serbia 58 44,371 United Arab Emirates 59 43,974 Estonia 60 43,195 Latvia 61 36,114 Morocco 62 35,893 Pakistan 63 32,256 Costa Rica 64 28,822 Puerto Rico 65 26,630 Dominican Republic 66 24,867 Algeria 67 20,247 Ecuador 68 19,339 Bangladesh 69 18,884 Nigeria 70 17,764 Luxembourg 71 17,093 Guatemala 72 15,946 Tunisia 73 15,222 Iceland 74 14,953 Kuwait 75 14,893 Belarus 76 14,500 Sri Lanka 77 13,905 Bosnia and Herzegovina 78 12,442 Qatar 79 12,225 Panama 80 11,188 Republic of Macedonia 81 10,804 Kazakhstan 82 10,446 Moldova 83 10,335 Jamaica 84 10,085 Bolivia 85 9,958 Trinidad and Tobago 86 9,902 Cyprus 87 9,310 El Salvador 88 9,285 Paraguay 89 9,227 Jordan 90 9,046 Uruguay 91 8,646 Kenya 92 7,672 Ghana 93 7,002 Malta 94 6,472 Mongolia 95 6,034 Nicaragua 96 5,921 Bahrain 97 5,853 Nepal 98 5,704 Lebanon 99 5,425 Cuba 100 5,256 Mauritius 101 5,091 Honduras 102 4,870 Senegal 103 4,452 Georgia 104 4,349 Barbados 105 4,174 Côte d'Ivoire 106 4,089 Palestinian Territories 107 4,073 Myanmar 108 3,915 Maldives 109 3,792 Oman 110 3,766 Brunei Darussalam 111 3,745 Syrian Arab Republic 112 3,527 Azerbaijan 113 3,037 Sudan 114 2,869 Albania 115 2,779 Cameroon 116 2,730 Libya 117 2,557 Bahamas 118 2,254 Armenia 119 2,227 Uzbekistan 120 2,051 Cambodia 121 1,881 New Caledonia 122 1,754 Iraq 123 1,598 Uganda 124 1,591 Tanzania 125 1,580 Faeroe Islands 126 1,480 Aruba 127 1,468 Yemen 128 1,433 Antigua and Barbuda 129 1,339 Angola 130 1,318 Bermuda 131 1,317 Madagascar 132 1,309 Fiji 133 1,303 Mozambique 134 1,296 Namibia 135 1,289 Andorra 136 1,264 Montenegro 137 1,237 Ethiopia 138 1,134 Belize 139 1,093 Saint Lucia 140 1,085 Liechtenstein 141 1,045 Zimbabwe 142 958 Botswana 143 935 Guyana 144 921 Zambia 145 844 Lao People's Democratic Republic 146 832 Afghanistan 147 785 Grenada 148 757 Reunion 149 732 Kyrgyzstan 150 714 Rwanda 151 696 Haiti 152 679 Suriname 153 677 Benin 154 647 Aland Islands 155 604 Burkina Faso 156 528 Malawi 157 514 Saint Kitts and Nevis 158 513 Gabon 159 513 Mali 160 511 Dominica 161 482 Greenland 162 389 Guinea 163 370 Togo 164 307 The Democratic Republic
of the Congo
165 288 Mauritania 166 265 Gambia, The 167 255 Papua New Guinea 168 248 Tajikistan 169 224 Bhutan 170 220 Djibouti 171 201 Virgin Islands, British 172 196 Cape Verde 173 187 Guadeloupe 174 180 Turks and Caicos Islands 175 170 Anguilla 176 155 Swaziland 177 145 Vanuatu 178 138 Niger 179 136 Burundi 180 125 Lesotho 181 111 Tonga 182 106 Equatorial Guinea 183 79 Sierra Leone 184 66 Martinique 185 60 Somalia 186 59 Solomon Islands 187 56 Republic of Congo 188 53 Liberia 189 53 Samoa 190 50 Eritrea 191 41 Turkmenistan 192 34 Chad 193 24 Palau 194 23 Falkland Islands 195 19 Guinea-bissau 196 18 Central African Republic 197 15 Montserrat 198 13 Sao Tome and Principe 199 12 Comoros 200 0 French Guiana 201 0 North Korea 202 0 South Georgia and
the South Sandwich Islands
203 0 Svalbard and Jan Mayen 204 0 Timor-leste 205 0 Western Sahara
Was playing around with the recently launched Google Insights for Search and discovered some interesting (some expected) trends. Though "Insights for Search applies a filter for search terms that may be explicitly sexual," it still is a lot of fun.
One thing that struck me is that Indians search for Google on Google the most.
But Indians are not the only ones, most countries have the term Google on the top 10 most searched terms (It should be kept in note that search for "Google" doesn't imply only Google, but also includes related terms like Google Earth, Google Maps. The title of the post was just to catch some attention). And the interest in Google has shown an increasing trend worldwide since 2004 to present (that's the maximum date range in Insights).
The next obvious term is "sex" and the Pakistanis rule the roost here. Followed by Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. India stands seventh in exhibiting interest for the search keyword "Sex". India's not-so-friendly western neighbour is also the numero uno in the hunt for "boobs", "breasts", "penis", "rape", "xxx", "nudity" and more (I have better things to do then exploit my neighbours' secret desires).
Within India Orissa stands first in 'sex search' followed by Delhi. Chattisgarh, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Mizoram and Nagaland seem to be the least interested in such activities (the search volume index for the states read zero).
Trinidad and Tobago look for porn via Google the most. Bangladesh comes in second. United Kingdom is at number three. And most, obviously, look for "free porn".
Lesser developed countries seem to more eagerly seek their national identity online than more developed countries. A random search showed that the country name ranked as the top searched item in these countries (India is an exception).
Countries that have witnessed turmoil feature prominently in the search for "peace".
Some random snippets to end this post:
* Honduras is most interested in Paris Hilton
* Albania seems to have a huge Pamela Anderson following
* Americans like their guns, but followed in the second place by Iraq
* The US is still looking for WMDs on Google
* But Cameroon seems to be more interested in Saddam Hussein (US doesn't make it to the top of the list for Saddam Hussein searches)
* India seeks the most 'outsourcing', the developed world (besides Singapore) doesn't seem to care much
* Nepal has the hots for "Aishwarya Rai"
* Katrina Kaif is more popular in Pakistan than in India
* Salman Khan is a huge hit in Somalia. Nepal is a faraway second.
* The Somalis also drool over Kareena. Pakistanis are a distant runner-up
* Pakistan and Fiji are more interested in Bollywood than India
* The Kiwis seem to the most excited about the Olympics
* Indians express the most interest for "silicon implants", but the popularity of the term seems to be fading over time.
Do come up with more interesting Insights.
(The above 'findings' are just assumptions via my limited understanding of Google Insights for Search and should not be construed as real)
Monday, August 11, 2008
I had been looking for a good Olympics medal tally widget to put up on this blog. But didn't seem to find one. The thinness of this blog's side panels add to the problem. Then discovered these (on Google News). But they still can't fit in where I want them to.
With Abhinav Bindra winning the first ever individual Olympic gold for India [Pics], it becomes more appropriate for the occasion.
See whether they fulfill your needs (they aren't mine. Google property).
2008 Beijing Olympics Medal Tally Widget The Code: 2008 Beijing Olympics Events Widget The Code: 2008 Beijing Olympics Events/Medals Combo Widget The Code:
You can customise the widgets before embedding them on your blog/website by making changes to the height and width parameters and change the alignment replacing the align="left" with align="right" or align="center".
Update: This process might no longer be necessary for Blogger blogs as Blogger has introduced Google gadgets for all layout blogs. And there a few Olympic medal tally gadgets listed in there.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
This ad has been viewed almost 7.5 lakh times on YouTube (and has also been flagged an inappropriate for minors by some users, therefore you need to log in to view it there).
But then, at Cutting the Chai - there aren't any such restrictions. You get to watch ads (and a lot of other things too) and get access to related goodies.
Now back to the ad. It's for Wildstone deodorant. The female model in the ad is Pune girl Snigdha Akolkar. She has also appeared in TV serials and a (saree-clad) item number.
Presently a shorter version of the ad is being telecast on TV. Though both versions convey the same message, the longer version is (obviously) more ... detailed.
The backdrop is of a Durga Puja at a Bengali household and this Bong lass - Snigdha does look like one in a sada-lal-par-saree (white red-bordered-saree) - experiences an olfactory fantasy where she contemplates a sexual encounter with a stranger, she accidentally bumped into, just because he smells irresistibly good (Axe?).
To share/embed this video click here
Download video [00:00:47 FLV 1.08 MB]
Download hi-res video [00:00:47 AVI 5.54 MB]
Download for mobile [00:00:47 3GP 966 KB]
I liked the dhak beats, therefore the ringtone version:
Download ringtone [MP3 97 KB 00:00:11 96kbps Stereo 44 kHz]
The slideshow (some things are better enjoyed in stills):
Original image slideshow
Reality check: It doesn't work this way in real life. We guys know for sure.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
One of the world's most desirable women featured in an ad but TV networks in the USA found her undesirable.
Undesirable because Eva Mendes looked too desirable in the ad for a new Calvin Klein perfume - Secret Obsession.
In the ad, Eva rolls around topless and there's also a nipple show.
I think the TV networks were right in their stand.
While the ad can be aired on adult only channels or on late night TV, it is definitely too racy for a general audience.
Maybe this was intentional on Calvin Klein's part. It got them so much of free publicity around the globe.
And now let me also contribute to their viral ad strategy. Here's the ad:
(Caution NSFW content)
To share/embed this video click here
Download video [00:00:32 FLV 801 KB]]
Download for mobile [00:00:32 3GP 547 KB]]
Often you have to wait for ages to transfer files to/from your harddisk to/from a portable storage device.
This usually happens if the number of files that you are transferring is too large, even if their individual sizes may be low. Such time consuming experiences are usually experienced while transferring a large collection of photos or a software folder.
The easy way out is to zip the files and then transfer. Yes, you might have to make an additional effort of first zipping and then unzipping the files. But in my sample experiment the total time taken in the suggested process was much lesser than direct cut/copy and paste route.
Since compression isn't the objective here, use the fastest option (that results in the least compression) to zip the files (the nomenclature might be different in different compression/decompression software).
Recommended download: 7-Zip
Saturday, August 02, 2008
Mass For Awareness, an NGO headed by cartoonist Neeraj Gupta, has initiated a campaign to educate the voters about the people they choose to represent them at the highest seat of democracy in the country - the Parliament.
As a prelude to an extended campaign that would run upto the Lok Sabha elections in 2009, the organisation has released this poster:
A rough translation:
Do you want such saleable MPs in our Parliament...
If no, then...
...Do cast your invaluable vote during the upcoming 15th Lok Sabha elections.
And while voting do keep in mind whether who you are voting for is fit to enter the Parliament.
Participate in an awareness campaign that keeps you alive.
Because if you are aware then you are alive.
If you wish to pass the message along, copy the code below and paste it on your blog/website: