Wednesday, May 31, 2006

An Abba Song

Mamma Mia
: An ABBA song. A favourite of mine. One more look and I forget everything, o-o-o-oh

R.D. Burman had used tune of this song in the movie Hum Kisise Kam Nahin for Mil gaya ham ko saathi mila gaya, song.


I always dread months of June, July and August. Though these are the months when it rains and rains and washes away the dirt of the world, I for some personal reasons is wary of these months because during these many many birthddays and anniversaries of of near and dear ones falls.

In July it is my wife's birthday, August it is my son's birthday and my marriage anniversary. But it is the month of June which has special memories for me, special memories which have been forced on me.

This is what has happend many years ago. It is a lovely day in the month of June, and it is almost a year since I have been married My wife informs me in the morning of the day, that is a Special day today. What special day, I ask, she said it for you to guess. I spent the whole day recalling what special day it is and could be, but could. Why are women like this : they will just tell you a bit and never tell you the whole thing. Keep guessing seems to be the favourite phrase for them. Anyway, it was midnight and I am suddenly woked up by wife. She looks very solemn and inform me that has a husband I had failed her and that she is deeply disappointed with me. I am very alarmed naturally and practically beg her to tell me what is that I had done. After heavy silence of 5 minutes, she informs me that yesterday (remember it was midnight) was our Engagement Anniversary. At first I did not understand what she is talking about, I know our marriage anniversary was few months away. She said remember on this day we had been engaged to be married and we had cut a cake. I said oh yes, I remember, we also called it Ring Ceremony. But what is the point in celebrating it, everyone celebrates Marriage Anniversary and so will we. No, she said, Engagement Anniversary is very very important to her and that she will never forgive me for not remembering it. Needless to say, I had to buy her an expensive gift to pacify her, next day.

So we have been celebrating our Engagement Anniversary every year since. Though I find it bit funny, but then one has to do many funny things in married life to keep your spouse happy.

I also like many average people forget the birthdays and anniversaries of my friends. To help me remember such important days, website is very useful. It sends me a Birthday Reminder one day before the event, by email.

If you had read thus far, let me torture you more by telling you a silly joke about anniversaries: A women, who has been married for about twenty years, is suddenly woken up in the middile of a night since she felt the place where husband should be sleeping is vacant. She is alarmed and looks in the room for her faithful husband. She founds him sittingg quitely in a corner of room, with a thoughtful expression on his face. `Darling, is anything wrong?', asks she. He replies `You know many many years ago your father has caught us in the act and had threatened me either to marry you or I will be put in a jail for twenty years'. `Yes, how can I forget that, you loved me, of course, and had agreed to marry me', replies she. `Well, today I would have been released from the jail as a free man', says the man.

Flight of Imagination

The film Fanaa has been released and is big hit all over India. Though the reviewers and most of bloggers like me have general dislike for the film, the masses seems to have liked it. I have been reading various posts about review of the film. Many bloggers have various points on which they seems to be perplexed, like what was the message of film that the director of the film was trying to convey, what was behind `blink and you miss' cameos by Lara Dutta, Shiney Ahuja, Satish Shah, Tabu, why was the film so lengthy, etc. etc.

Since we will never know the answers to questions likes these, I am taking a flight of imagination to answer such like questions. Please be warned that what you read below is pure fiction, fantasy, product of my imagination, directly from my mind, made up on the spur of moment. Anyting but the truth.

I was maha amused to see from the posters of the film that the story and screenplay writer of Fanaa is Shibani Bathija, who happens to be a distant distant cousin of yours truly (Raju Bathija). I somehow got hold of her mobile number and chatted with her for few moments yesterday. I asked her various questions about Fanaa and its story, but she declined to answer any of them. But she was kind enough, since we are distant distant cousins, to fix up a meeting with director of the movie Kunal Kohli. Kunal she said is nowdays agreeable to talk to anyone about the movie, to get more publicity for the film. I went to a coffee shop where I meet Shibani and Kunal. Kunal did not allowed me to record the interview so the following are what I remember from the conversation.

Me: Thank you Shibani for fixing up this meeting. Thank you Kunal for agreeing to talk to me.

Shibani: My pleasure. It is not on all days that one meets one's distant distant cousin. Just promise me that you will never call me again and will delete my cell number from you mobile.

Kunal: Oh, it is okay. If it helps Fanaa I am game to meet anyone, even Narendra Modi.

Me: Kunal, are you hurt that your film is unofficially banned in Gujarat?

Kunal: Yes and No. Yes because India is a democratic country and it the ban is ridiculous. No, because Fanaa has done more business then it was expected to do, thanks to Gujarat ban. Yashji will soon be gifting me a Toyoto Innova.

Me: Tell me why is picture so lengthy. It has just two main characters and you took three hours to tell us what happens or not happened to them.

Kunal: For that you must ask Mr Aditya Chopra, the producer of the film. You see, Aditya is very stingy man. He is the only man, I know, who carries around a calculator. Other men carry a fancy mobile, Aditya carries a fancy calculator. He wanted Mr Ravi K. Chandran as cinemotographer for the film, and Chandran guy wanted Rs. 1 crore as his fee. Aditya has livid with him, but a compromise was arrived on and Chandran guy was told that he will be given Rs. 1 crore but he has to double up as editor of the film. So you see, the film was practically without any editor. How can you expect a cinemotographer to be an editor. Chopras are really the stingy guyes.

Me: But they are gifting you a Innova.

Kunal: Oh that has been gifted to them by Aamir with a condition that they gift it to me after few days.

Me: And you will gift it back to Aamir after few days.

Kunal: You are very clever sir.

Me: Why was Poland masqueraded as Kashmir?

Kunal: There is a small village in Poland called Kaashmir, where it snows all year round where the movie was filmed. It was Mr Uday Chopra's idea to film the movie there, as he had a Polish girlfriend, who happens to live in that place. The home you see in the movie after interval is actually hers.

Me: There is a funny dialogue in the film when Kajol informed Tabu that she knows her husband is a terrorist and that she has nuclear trigger, and Tabu tells her that okay, good, they will come in the morning to collect it.

Kunal: Did you noticed it. See, the actual dialogue which Tabu was supposed to say was `We know where you are and we are coming there very very soon'. But Tabu wanted to get even with Aditya Chopra. Tabu was given just one leather jacket to wear in the entire film. If you notice she is wearing a leather jacket before the interval and the is also wearing the same leather jacket when she is shown after seven years. Kajol was given a selection of 500 dress to choose from. So naturally Tabu was very annoyed with Aditya. She delibrately said `We will come in the morning' and even after 250 retakes, refused to say the correct dialouge. In the end Aditya said let it be, no one will notice as most of the people might be sleeping at that point in the movie.

Me: Why were `you blink and you miss' cameos by Lara Dutta, Shiney Ahuja, Satish Shah in the movie?

Kunal: There are one more which no one spotted. Uday Chopra played the goalkeeper in the football match in which Aamir Khan scored a goal. About the cameos, you should ask Aditya about it. Since the film was going over-budget, he asked three of them to work free in film, with a promise of a meaty role in the next Yashraj movie.

Me: What about Tabu? What was she thinking?

Kunal: Oh Tabu came in the movie because Aishwariya Rai was not available, and Tabu agreed to do it

Me: Free of cost?

Kunal: Yes, of course.

Me: What is the message you were planning to convey to viewers through this movie?

Kunal: Message is obvious. Kajol is a kashmiri girl and and in the end she kill Aamir who is terrorist. So if few girls follow her example, the terrorisim in India will be rooted out forever.

Me: Is that the message of the movie? But isn't it childlish to believe so?

Kunal: All movies of Yashraj banner are childish. They are made to appeal the child in you.

Me: And what was the message behind rain song?

Kunal: Lot of people in our country try very hard to have child after marriage. Some suceed, some fail. If they do IT after singing and dancing in the rain, there is a 100 per cent gurantee to have a child, a male child that is.

Me: Aamir Khan is shown as one-man army and he seems to be doing all terrorist activities all on his own? Don't you think it is improbable?

Kunal: For that the blame must lie on the door of Aamir Khan. Did you notice a Rajesh Khanna type character and a man who was half-bended while talking to Kajol's teacher. Both of them were supposed to be sidekick of Aamir's character in the film for the terrorist activities. But Aamir Khan being a perfectionist wanted to show that he can do it ALL himself, blasting , shaarying, romancing, singing, fanaaing etc. etc.

Me: One last question. Why was the film so drab and did not seemed to be moving at all after the interval?

Kunal: The reason for that is simple. After intermission, the movie was directed by Uday Chopra. I did not even went to Poland. Uday fancies himself as real heir of Yash Chopra.

Me: Thank you Kunal and Thank you Shibani. It was wonderful talking to you Kunal.

Shibani: Have you deleted by mobile number?

Me: Yes, I have.

Shibani: Did you know that in the next movie I am writing, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, Abhishek Bachchan plays a blogger in the movie. Now, don't blog about it.

Me: I will, of course.


On June 6, 2006, when the clock strikes 6:06:06 AM, the datetime will be


This happens once in 100 years.

Source: A post in the Digital Inspiration

More about June 6 is at Wikipedia and at BBC

Pancham toolbar

Pancham toolbar is browser toolbar for IE and Firefox. In addition to the various Pancham related links and listing of current forum messages, the toolbar also provides general tools like search, e-mail notifier, pop-up blocker, chat, and weather information. It is powered by and created using an online service. It's easily uninstallable and free from spyware. Read the privacy information before installation.

It is available at:

If you like me, are a Pancham fan, you should install this. It even work in Linux.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

An Eagles Song

Another of my favourite song : Hotel California by Eagles. You can check in anytime you like, but you can never leave. Such lovely guitar strums ...

A Beatles Song

I Feel Fine : One of my favourite Beatles song. The fab four seems to be lip-synching in this video. But the song is great.

Invisible Cloak

Amit Varma asks: what would you do if you actually had a foolproof invisible cloak?

Well, there are many things one could do under the cloak of invisibility. Two such things immediately come to my mind:

  • Since I travel by local trains every day for about two and half hours to commute from home to place of work, I will wear the cloak of invisibility as soon as I reach CST station and will travel with either mototorman or guard of the train. Trains nowdays are so crowded that only place to travel in comfort seems to be tiny compartments allotted to the motororman and the guard of the train.

  • Since the prices of movie tickets in cinemas and multiplexes are so high in Mumbai, and most of the movie are not worth the price of ticket, I will wear the clock of invisibility and watch the movies phokut main.

A review

A very well written and balanced review of movie Fanaa. I particuarly liked the way the story of the movie is written till intermission. After intermission, the movie was not worth writing anything about.

Monday, May 29, 2006

PM as a patient

The Telegraph, Kolkata, reports :

The Prime Minister was to get up close and personal with the striking doctors today. But at the last moment, he thought better of it. Instead of going to the premier All India Institute of Medical Sciences for surgery on his left wrist — which is what he had done for a similar operation last year — Manmohan Singh chose the Army’s Research and Referral (R&R) hospital.

Thus, the striking medical students and doctors could not come face to face with the Prime Minister. Well, PM has many options open when it come to getting treatment. I wonder how the poor people in Delhi, who go to the government hospital for treatment, are dealing with the ongoing strike of doctors.

Fanaa is Fun Nah

Last Saturday I saw Fanaa, with my family. Too much hype was generated around this movie before its release. Aamir Khan and Kajol were all over the media, in T.V. channels and in newspapers.

Even before the movie had been released, it was unofficially banned in Gujarat and for this the film makers and Aamir Khan should be really thankful to the BJP and its youth wing. Film had got lot of publicity because of this. Who does not want free publicity. I think the people of Gujarat are lucky. They were spared the trouble to watch trash of a movie.

I just hated the movie. It is very boring movie. The first half was okay, but the second half just dragged on and on. I was glad when it finally got over. The movies are supposed to entertain us, and not to bore us. The biggest problem of Fanaa is its length. The movie has just two lead characters and the whole story revolves around them and its length is about three hours!

Most of the Yashraj Movies are longish. But they at least tell a story and had good songs. Fanaa does not have either of them. At no point of time, did I cared what happens to the lead players and as a viewer was not involved with the movie. Two of the great things. that relate viewers with the happening on the screen, emotions and comedy, were just conspicous by their total absence. What the viewers got were some cheap shayarees and bland dialogues. One shayaree `Tere Saasoons Pe Is Dil Ko Agar Panaah Mil Jayee To Yeh Jaan Tum Pe Fanna Ho Jayee' was just repeated again and again. I could not understand why. Was it just because the movie was titled as Fanaa. Another dialogue `Rehan Aap Se Jitna Piyar Karta Hai, Aap Rehan Se Itna Piyar Nahi Karte' was also repeated again and again and it was irritating just to hear this. I hope that my daughter had not pick up this dialogue and repeats it to me. What was the dialogue writer, who also happened to the Director of the movie, Kunal Kohli, thinking.

A review of the movie, as it appear in a paper is here.

Two very funny reviews by fellow bloggers are here and here.

Here are few points which irked me:
  • Kajol played a blind girl in the movie whose mother's only wish seems to be that a sahzaada (prince) will come in her life and take her away. To think like that seems to be quite regressive in today's times.

  • Aamir Khan who plays tour guide, the way he flirts with Kajol and other girls was downright disgusting.

  • Kajol plays blind but is shown to be lead dancer at a cultural function on January 26. Actually, the blind girl was just a cinematic concept. If the Director had done away with this, and shown Kajol to be a normal girl who falls with tour-guide turned terrorist, the conflict between them would have been interesting.

  • It rains in January in Delhi and Aamir seduces Kajol. When will the film makers stop using rain as a excuse for seducing, is it not over-used concept in the movies? And yes, she conceives immediately after, as is shown in countless Hindi movies.

  • After interval, by which time Kajol has regained her eyesight and Aamir Khan is shown to be dead and then alive, the movie is plainly boring, and it does not seems to move forward.
  • The viewers are now informed that Aamir is actually a terrorist fighting for Azad Kashmir and somehow he get recruited in the army and is posession of nuclear trigger. Are the verification of armymen so lax that anyone can goes in and out of it.

  • When Kajol informs Tabu, who plays army intellegence officer, that her husband is a terrorist and she has the nuclear trigger, Kajol is told thank you, we know where you are and we will come in the morning to take the delivery. I found it very funny. Maybe the snow looks nice in the morning when the Director wanted to shoot the climax of the film.

Unconscious Mutterings -- Week 173

Unconscious Mutterings - Week 173

  1. Bounce :: Game

  2. Wasting time :: Blogging

  3. Utility :: Time

  4. London :: City

  5. Pregnant :: Hope

  6. Cranberry :: Bird

  7. International :: Famous

  8. Disappointment :: Again

  9. Sponsor :: Money

  10. Second :: Third

Friday, May 26, 2006

Quote for the Weekend

Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper. -- Francis Bacon

DJ + iPod

This is iPod + DJ. Click on the image above to find out more. This thing also shines lights and pretends to scratch the wheels of steel while interrupting your music with phrases like “Drop the Beat!” and “Here’s another FUNKit exclusive”.

iPod Sport from Apple is coming soon. Click here if your are curious to know about it.

Targetting Tourists

The Terrorist in Kashmir hurled a grenade at a bus carrying tourists from Surat at Batpora on the outskirts of the city. The grenade exploded inside the bus, injuring 11 passengers, four of whom died. Those who died were children and teenagers aged between 8 and 18. They were travelling with their families and wanted to see the Heaven on the Earth that is Kashimr. Well, the terrorists have made Kashmir a Living Hell in the Earth. Shame on the terrorists.

Link to the Newsstory

No Apology

Aamir Khan, star of the movie Fanna, has refused to aplogise for his support of the oustees for the Narmada Dam. So the people of Gujarat may not see the movie in the cinemas. It is really ridiculous that a handful people deciding what 5 crore people of Gujarat should see nor should not see.

Why not put a disclaimer at the beginning, after intermission and few times in between the movie stating that people should turn their head away whenever Aamir Khan appears on the screen.

I will, of course, be seeing this movie this weekend, just to blog about it!


The Telegraph, Kolkata, reports:
One day before The Da Vinci Code is to hit Indian cinemas, the Punjab government today banned its “release” or “exhibition” in the state “to maintain communal harmony, peace and tranquillity”.
The population of christians in Punjab is about 18 lakhs and elections for the State Assembly are due to be held in February 2007. The film distributors in the state anyway had no plans to release this film. Maybe the Chief Minister of Punjab, who happnes to be of the Congress Party, wanted to please the most prominent christian in India, Sonia Gandhi. But she is, if reports in the media are to be believe, a non-practising christian and has read the book and has enjoyed it. Well, the politicians in India are really funny. This movie has also been banned from screening in the Indian states of Goa and Naglanad, both of which are predominantly populated by the christians.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Run with your iPod

Shoe-maker Nike has teamed up with Apple to provide runners a wireless device to monitor their run. If you really want to know how, then click here. Otherwise, don't bother.

Brazil vs Argentina

Click here to find out what happened before and after the the football match between Argentina and Brazil. Brazil won, of course.

Fanaa : Double Trouble

Fanaa (to annihilate the self), is the name of new movie starring Aamir Khan and Kajol, to be released all over India this Friday, May 26. The movie has got into double trouble, already.

In Gujarat, the theatre owners have decided not to screen the movie in any theatre in the state under pressure from the ruling BJP and its youth wing. The reason for the ban of the movie is Aamir Khan has spoken sometime ago for the rehabilitation of the Narmada Dam oustees. When will our politicians learn that all the bans are counter-producitive. Banning of movie or a book does not serve any purpose. People should decide what movie they should watch or what book they should read, and not a handful of people belonging to a particular party. Aamir Khan had every right to voice his opinion as a citizen of the country. People will anway see the movie in the pirated DVDs and CDs. Ban or boycott hardly matters to those who want to see it.

In the city of Mumbai, the owners of multiplex cinema owners have decided not to release the film in the multiplexes as the producers of the film are asking for a larger share of profit. If the producer's demand is met, this would have result in hike of 30 to 50 ruppes in the price of a cinema ticket, which are already in the region of 200 to 300 rupees in the multiplex. The film, however, will be released in the single-screen cinemas all over the city. It seems to me that producers of the film, which is reported to have cost 18 crores of rupees in the making, want to recover their money fast. Nowdays, movies are just a product and is being marketed like one.

Meanwhile, The Code of Da Vinci has been clearned for released, with disclaimer to be shown at the beginning and end of the movie, will be released this Friday in India. But in Sri Lanak, it has been banned from screening following an appeal from the Catholic Bishops Conference.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

First Impressions

Here are my first impressions for my iPod Nano, which I have acquired recently.
  • It is such a small, silm and beautiful that it is difficult not to fall in love with it on first sight.
  • The sound is just incredible. MP3 songs sound like a CD is being played. I am impressed by the sound.
  • Though it has 1 GB capacity, but 894 MB is being used for storing of songs.
  • It has many extra things, like games, calendar, alarm, stop watch etc. which, in my opinion, should not be on a MP3 player. It should just play music and make the listener happy.
  • It has a time zone for setting up clock, which can be made to show on the title bar. Surprisingly it does not have Indian Time Zone. It had Bangkok and Karachi Time Zones. It is unbelievable. I think it might a bug. I give benefit of doubt to Apple. Do include Indian Time Zone in the next edition of Nano. Anyway, I selected Karachi, which has time zone of half an hour behind Indian Time Zone and adjusted the clock, to make it display the correct time.
  • The body of the player is black, but the earphone are white. I wish the earphones were black too.
  • The playing of song and making a playlist is quite easy. It remembers the last song on which you had played before pushed the stop button and switched off the player. Quite cool.
  • I am really bowled over by the click wheel. It is really very innovative.
  • It has a run time of 14 hours when the battery is fully charged. I have to check it.
All in all, I am very impressed by my iPod Nano. I would give it 9 out of 10. I hope I will have good time travelling with it.

Reserved about Reservations

The Telegraph, Kolkata, reports:
The government tonight decided to implement a 27 per cent quota for other backward classes (OBCs) in higher educational institutions from the academic year beginning June 2007 while increasing seats for general-category students.
The vote bank politics wins again, as expected.

It is a very sad decision by the Government. There were indications earlier that implementation for the reservation of 27 for Other Backward Caste in the higher education institutions funded by the Central Government may be done in a phased manner of 9 per cent each year over the next three years. Now this will be implemented in one go by June next year.

The reservation of 22.5 per cent for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe is in place for the last 50 years for higher education institutions and if the report which I have read in the papers are to be believed, only 16 per cent of the 22.5 of ST/SC seats get filled in, the rest remain vacant. Only half of persons who get admission under reservation complete their courses.

Personally I believe the review of the whole reservation systems in the higher education institutions should have been done by a committee comparsing of educationist, without any politiciants being part of it.

Now the Government is saying that interestes of general category students will be protected by increasing the number of seats. How the seats will be increased in a short time of one year. Just by increasing the real seats and tables and chairs? I wonder. The infrastructure should have been upgraded and faculties should have been increased before such a quota systems for OBC were implemented.

All Indians should have equal rights to acquiring knowledge and being a better human being. But not everyone can become a doctor or an engineer or acquire a degree of MBA. Merit and ability should be the prime criteria for acquiring such degrees, and not the caste of the person. If it were within my powers, I would have done with caste systems. But in India, it is the most difficult thing to do. Caste systems is here to stay.

The reactions of the striking doctors, who were on strike since last 11 days is is here. The webpage of the striking doctors `Youth of Equality' is here .

Monday, May 22, 2006

My iPod Could Be Your Hell (Part II)

I had written sometime ago that I will be acquiring iPod soon. Well, the day has arrived. I have now my own Apple iPod. It is Apple iPod Nano 1GB Black. I am very happy to have acquired it. I hope now my travelling will be fun - listening to all my favourite songs. My first playlist was ready and is now tranferred to iPod. Thought it has 1 GB capacity, 892 MB space can only be used to store songs/pictures. My first playlist has 191 songs, and most of the songs are, needless to say, composed by R.D. Burman.

Terrorist Strikes Again

The Telegraph, Koklata reports:
The Congress rally at Srinagar’s Sher-i-Kashmir park turned into a theatre of terror today after two militants sneaked in, their police uniforms enough to fool the heightened security three days before the Prime Minister’s visit.
Shame of terrorists. Why don't they join the peace process with the Government and spare the innocent peoples. Actually these terrorists should be called cowardists. The way they appear in new disguise everytime is just disgusting.

Unconscious Mutterings -- Week 172

Unconscious Mutterings -- Week 172
  1. Yours :: Mine

  2. Charcoal :: Chalk

  3. Platitude :: Boring

  4. Graduation :: Study

  5. Hungry :: Lunch

  6. Somewhere :: Anywhere

  7. Nurse :: Sick

  8. Freak :: Pink

  9. Unbelievable :: Improbable

  10. Walk :: Health

Friday, May 19, 2006

Quote for the Weekend

There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman? -- Woody Allen

Banned from visiting

Indian film actor Feroz Khan has been banned from visiting Pakistan for criticising the country on Pakistani soil. Good for both the countries.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

No Ban

The Da Vinci Code has finally been cleared for release in India. It will be released next week. A disclaimer will be shown at the beginning of the movie which will state that The Da Vinci Code is a work of fiction. Why not show the disclaimer also at intermission and at the end of movie, just in case people watching it forget that it is a work of fiction and start believeing it!

Update: The disclaimer will be of duration of 15 seconds and will be shown at the beginning and end of the movie. The film has been given `Adults only' certificate.

Now people will have chance to judge for themselves after seeing the movie whether it is a good film or a bad film and whether it was worth to generate so much hype about its release in India.

The review of the film at the BBC website is here.

Here is a cartoon related to the movie:

cartoon from

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Adventures of a Female Brain Cell

Click here if you want to know about adventure of a female brain cell.

See The Book; Read The Film

The Telegraph, Kolkata, report
India has earned the distinction of being the only country in the world where the government has stepped in to decide if the Tom Hanks-starrer The Da Vinci Code movie should be shown. If a ban follows, India will join the hallowed company of Lebanon and Jordan, which proscribed the book.
Though the Censor Board of India has cleared the movie The Da Vinci Code, with `A' certificate and by shifting the diclaimer, which says the movie is a work of fiction, from end to the beginning of the movie, the Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Mr Priya Ranjan Das Munshi, has decided to stop the release of the film. According to him "The concurrence of the Catholic Church of India should be obtained before we take a decision''. This concurrence may or may not be given by the Catholic Churg organization by this Friday, when the movie is supposed to be released worldwide. Thanks to him, the movie will be a bigger hit in India then it may be expected to be. It might have been seen by those who have read the book and now it will be seen by those who may not heard about the book but may see the film anway.

Strangely, the book The Da Vinci Code on which the movie is based, is freely available in India and the Catholic organization are not asking for a ban on the book.

Michael Baigent, cu-author of the book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, who recently unsuccessfully sued Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code for plagiarism, recounts his experience

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Insult to the injury

The Mumbai Police Commissioner has suspended Police Inspector Madhukar Sankhe of the Malabar Police Station. But, wait a minute. He has not been suspended because he ordered lathi charge on the protesting medical students last Saturday, but because had told the police commissioner that no such incident took place. He has been suspended as he had misguided the commissioner. Well, what about the actual lathi charge which he had ordered? Forget about it, he was just performing his duty.

Link to the newsstory.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Mad about Madhuri

Today is birthday of my favourite actress Madhuri Dixit. Happy Birthday Madhuri. There was a time, when I was a bachelor, I was mad about Madhuri. The picture on the left was sent by her in response to a fan letter I had written to her many many years ago. I had kept this photograph of her safely and I am glad that I have put now this on my blog. The flipside of the photograph has a small messager from her. Isn't she beautiful! I used to see all her pictures.

I remember when my wife had visited my home after our engagement, the first thing she had noticed in our home was a large poster of Madhuri which I had put up on our drawing room wall. Well, I had to remove it afterwards, as I had a feeling that she did not like the poster.

The smile of Madhuri is really unparallel. Media used to her smile as 1000 watts smile. She also had very good voice, was a great actress and very very good dancer. My most favourite film of her was Beta, where she had danced soo well to `Dhak Dhak Karne Laaga'. In my opinion no other actress has come anywere near Madhuri in recent times.

Life is Short

A tragic story

The Guardian reports
When 17-year-old Anna Svidersky was stabbed to death in a small-town American restaurant, it was a tragedy for those who knew her. But then friends decided to compose an online tribute, and suddenly, thousands of people were mourning a girl they had never met.
Anna Svidersky was stabbed to death by schizophrenic David Barton Sullivan on April 20 this year. Her story may have remain only a local story, but her friends had set up a Tribute Page with her photographs and sent the link of this page to their contacts. Their aim was tell everyone about what happened to Ann and to keep her memory alive. Now many people who do not know Anna have been putting their comments on the tribute page. For teenagers in the developed countries, chat rooms and virtual `friends' are replacing the traditional support groups of religion and family, and they do care for people whom they have never meet or heard about.

Pancham Song

My favourite music composer R.D. Burman sang some of his own composition in few films. The song duniyaa mein logon ko dhokhaa kabhii ho jaataa hai from movie Apna Desh is one such example. RD has his own unique style of singing, which no one can match. This movie was relased in 1972, but this song is still quite popular till today. Needless to say this song is one of my most favourite. The video on the song is below.

Words Words

Unconscious Mutterings -- Week 171

  1. Immune :: AIDS

  2. Together :: Sometime

  3. Blank :: Mind

  4. Professional :: Tax

  5. Thousand :: Islands

  6. Penetration :: Deep

  7. Shutter :: Down

  8. Upside down :: Funny

  9. Neck :: Pain

  10. Unlisted :: Secret

Shame on Mumbai Police

Mid-Day reports
Mumbai police on Saturday afternoon lathicharged around 300 students from 13 medical and non-medical colleges protesting against the controversial reservation policy outside Governor SM Krishna’s official residence at Raj Bhuvan.
Picture from the Mid-Day website

I have seen the images on T.V. last Saturday. They were shocking and scandalous, to say the least. The medical student were protestesting against 27 per cent raise in reservation for OBC in the higher education institutions. The medical students wanted to meet Governor at the Raj Bhavan and submit their list of demands which included roll-back of reservations. And they got lathis from the police posted at the Raj Bhavan. The way the police were beating the students made me hang my head in shame. Is this happening in our country? For godsake, the protestesting students were medical students, the future of India, not petty criminals. The Police Officer who ordered this lathicharge must be suspended so also all the policeman who did this ghastly act.

The Government wants to make Mumbai City as progressive and developed as Shanghai City. Well the Mumbai Police have certainly made Malabir Hill area the Tiananmen Square of India.

Two related headlines:
Even OBC docs agree, "merit" is the key

Caste in fake mould, bogus certificates for Rs 1,000

Friday, May 12, 2006

Quote for the Weekend

Knowledge is power -- knowledge shared is power lost. -- Aleister Crowley

You Live in 2006 When...

you click

Have Paper Will Write

BBC reports
Harry Potter fans have sent JK Rowling reams of paper, after the author complained of a notepad shortage in her home city of Edinburgh.
Oh, J.K. Rowling uses paper to write her fantastic Harry Potter books! But why, is she computer illiterate? No, she uses paper for writing her books to make her feel like "something out of the 18th Century". I wish she was also had lived in the 18th Century and been contemporary of Samuel Johnson and Voltaire. Would anyone had read her books in the 18th Century? I wonder. Her fans were certainly appalled at any delay in new Harry Potter book.If there is shortage of anything in her city of Edinburgh, she know now what she has to do -- just mention it on her website, and her fans will take care of it. With fans like this ...

Side Bijness

DNA reports
Mumbai’s citizens will soon be India’s first commuter group to shift gears from whining about traffic and pollution to driving a sensible eco-friendly campaign. The country’s pioneering car pool system is likely to be launched early next month in the city.
People who own a car in Mumbai, will soon have an opportunity to have a side business of giving lift to people from their area and getting paid for it. According to the NGO, whose brainchild this car-pool scheme is, 70 per cent of Mumbai’s cars carry a single passenger and hence approximately 15 lakh empty seats on the road daily. Like all schemes, this one sounds good on paper, it will certainly reduce pollution and save fuel, but will it work in reality. I wonder. Or will the Mumbai taxiwalls allow this be a success. Let us see.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Webbys which are the online equivalent of the Oscars honoring excellence in web design, creativity, usability and functionality have been announced for the year 2006. And the Winner in the Blog - Culture/Personal category is We Make Money Not Art. Apt name.

xxx domain

BBC reports
Internet regulators have rejected plans to create a domain for pornography websites ending with the .xxx suffix.
It was anyway a silly suggestion to begin with. It could have legotimized pronography on the internet, and such web sites could have been easy to locate. It is good that this plan will not be implemented.

Delayed justice

CNN-IBN reports
A 70-year-old woman has been fighting a legal battle against her husband for forty years.

In what sounds like 'too little too late', the Rajasthan High Court has now ordered her husband to give her maintenance of Rs 1000 per month till their divorce petition is decided.
Jeevani Devi did not know that matters like obtaining maintenance from husband can be taken to the court, and for last 30 years her case was with local Panchayat and for the last 10 years the case was with Court. Despite government and Supreme Court issuing orders, circulars that cases involving eldery persons and senior citizens should be dispensed early, these did not seem to have been followed in her case. Even now the judgement is interim and the divorce petition is not decided yet. God knows how many more years the court will take for the final judgement. When the poor people like Jeevani Devi are involved why the justice take their sweet time to deliver? Why always the poor people have to suffer?

Wahan kaun hai tera musafir jaye ga kahan

Guide has always been one of my favourite movie. It had great great songs. The music was by Sachin Dev Burman and the lyrics were by Shailendra. Can one imagine this great movie without its songs. Well I cannot. It had such gems as Gaata Rahe Mera Dil, Din Dhaal Jayye, Tere Mere Sapne, Aaj Phir Jeene Ke Tamanna Hai, Piya Tose Naina Laage Re. But my most favourite song was Wahan kaun hai tera musafir jaye ga kahan, sung by Sachin Dev Burman. The lyrics of this great song is here, and the video of this song is below. What a song. See the video, and shade a tear for the great olden days when such great movies were made and such great songs were created.

Good Animination

Found this cute animination video in YouTube.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

War And Peace

Click to enlarge

Celebs as normal people

Lucy Mangan has written in an article in The Guardian
Every woman I know, myself included, keeps a mental list of all the things she hates about her body, an idiosyncratic taxonomy of self-loathing that frequently makes her sob into her pillow, alternately refuse and binge on biscuits and hide in corners at parties, if she can find one big enough to fit the perceived epic dimensions of her thighs.
Why, because she is envious of female celebrateis. But Lucy has a plan to make female celebrities to look like individuals we see everyday on street.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Banta Singh Writes To Bill Gates

One more joke about Bill Gates, received via email, is reproduced below. Is it Bill Gates' birthday today? Why so many email about HIM. Anyway. Due apologies to the Sardars, of course. A joke is just a joke.

Dear Mr. Bill Gates,

This letter is from Banta Singh from Punjab. We have bought a computer for our home and we found problems, which I want to bring to your notice.

1. After connecting to internet we planned to open e-mail account and whenever we fill the form in Hotmail in the password column, only ****** appears, but in the rest of the fields whatever we typed appears, but we face this problem only in password field. We checked with hardware vendor Santa Singh and he said that there is no problem in keyboard. Because of this we open the e-mail account with password *****. I request you to check this as we ourselves do not know what the password is.

2. We are unable to enter anything after we click the 'shut down ' button.

3. There is a button 'start' but there is no "stop" button. We request you to check this.

4. We find there is 'Run' in the menu. One of my friend clicked 'run ' has ran upto Amritsar! So, we request you to change that to "sit", so that we can click that by sitting.

5. One doubt is that any 're-scooter' available in system? As I find only 're-cycle', but I own a scooter at my home.

6. There is 'Find' button but it is not working properly. My wife lost the door key and we tried a lot for tracing the key with this ' find', but unable to trace. Is it a bug??

7. Every night I am not sleeping as I have to protect my 'mouse' from CAT, So I suggest u to provide one DOG to kill that cat.

8. Please confirm when u are going to give me money for winning 'HEARTS' (playing cards in games) and when are u coming to my home to collect ur

9. My child learnt 'Microsoft word' now he wants to learn 'Microsoft sentence', so when u will provide that?

Best regards,

Banta Singh

Man on the Moon

This is my 150th Post. Thank you. Thank you. Actually I wanted to write about my 100th post, but it came and went, and I forgot to blog about it. Very careless of me.

Picture of Moon (from the BBC website)

BBC has reported that India and US are to explore the Moon. Well good luck to them. According to an article in the Wikipedia Moon landings of Apollo 11 on July 20, 1969 and subsequent missions never happened, but were instead staged and pre-filmed on Earth. Well, this Indo-US expdition planned for 2008 will be unmanned mission. But there are plans to send a Indian manned mission in the future. Please please send a Indian blogger (Amit Varma?) this time, train him as astronaut, of course, to have a pucca proof that a man has landed on the moon. That will be money well spent and we all have paisa vasool.

Unconscious Mutterings

Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Represent :: Government

  2. Mumbling :: Incoherent

  3. Meetup :: Where?

  4. Tantalizing :: Food

  5. Fake :: Art

  6. Dale :: Who?

  7. Deny :: Will

  8. Calories :: Count

  9. Roll :: N Rock

  10. 44 :: 43

Just Samachar

Just Samachar at is a news aggregation site which gathers news from websites and displays the headlines in a single page in very nice way. Just hover mouse cursor on a headline and a small box appears giving summary of the news item. Also, the pages are classified nicely into National news, International news, Business news, Entertainment news, Sports news, etc. If you have nose for news, or want to acquire one, this is just the most definite site, in my opinion.

Bill Gates after Death

Got the following joke by email today. Could not resist posting it.

Bill Gates after Death

Well, Bill," said God, "I'm really confused on this one. I'm
not sure whether to send you to Heaven or Hell! After all, you
helped society enormously by putting a computer in almost
every home in the world and yet you created that ghastly
Windows. I'm going to do something I've never done before.
I'm going to let you decide where you want to go!"

Mr. Gates replied, "Well, thanks, Lord. What's the difference
between the two?"

God said, "You can take a peek at both places briefly if it will
help you decide. Shall we look at Hell first?"
"Sure!" said Bill. "Let's go!"

Bill was amazed! He saw a clean, white sandy beach with
clear waters. There were thousands of beautiful women
running around, playing in the water, laughing and frolicking
about. The sun was shining and the temperature
was just perfect!

Bill said, "This is great! If this is Hell, I can't wait to see Heaven!"

To which God replied, "Let's go!" and off they went. Bill saw puffy
white clouds in a beautiful blue sky with angels drifting
about playing harps and singing. It was nice, but surely not as
enticing as Hell. Mr. Gates thought for only a brief moment
and rendered his decision.

"God, I do believe I would like to go to Hell."
"As you desire," said God.

Two weeks later, God decided to check up on the late
billionaire to see how things were going.
He found Bill shackled to a wall,
screaming among the hot flames in a dark cave.
He was being burned and tortured by demons.

"How ya doin', Bill?" asked God. Bill responded with
anguish and despair.

"This is awful! This is not what I expected at all!
What happened to the beach and the beautiful women
playing in the water?"

"Oh, THAT!" said God. "That was the screen saver"

Garfield has an iPod

Garfield too has now an iPod. And doesn't he look happy? And the song he is listening to is `Beacon Frying'. Click here to see the full strip.

Friday, May 05, 2006

A Quote For The Weekend

The commonest thing is delightful if only one hides it. -- Oscar Wilde

My iPod Could Be Your Hell (Part I)

I will soon be acquiring my iPod soon. So expect many posts about me and my iPod. My iPod could be your hell! One person's treasure is another person's trash. I think people can be divided in two segements ones who hates iPod and ones who love their iPod. I am been listening to FM radio while travelling and am sick of listening to same songs agin and again and endless jabbering of RJs. Thankfully I soon will be able to listen to music I like, whenever I like, at home, while travelling, while strolling at a park. Train is passing Thane and I am listening to `tere binaa zindagii se koi, shikavaa to nahiin' or train is passing Kalyan and I am listening to `kiya hua tera waada'. Oh bliss.

But there are some people like Lucy Mangan who wish death to all iPods.

Lack of room for research

The Telegraph, Kolkata, reports
At the nation’s top institution for cutting-edge basic research, scholars are being hurried up to finish their theses and leave for a most mundane reason: lack of hostel space.
My heartfelt sympathies with the students.

About Gmail

I came across a post written by Paul Buchheit, Gmail Engineer, about Gmail, why he was inspired to create Gmail and why he think Gmail is better than other free web-based email providers. The post is here. From the post I learned that the first Email was sent in October 1971. Nowadays, of course, the email is an indispensable part of communication, and has brought people together.

I am big fan of Gmail. I have been using it for more than a year now and find is quite good. If you want an invitation to join Gmail, let me know.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Rest in peace

Senior BJP leader Pramod Mahajan has died in Mumbai's Hinduja Hospital on Wednesday. Mr Mahajan was badly injured when his younger brother Pravin Mahajan shot at him in Mumbai on April 22. May his soul rest in peace.

Link to Newsstory

End of Kaavya As A Writer

Kaavya Viswanathan's two book deal with her publishers has fallen through and her How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got A Life has been permanently withdrawn by publishers. The young author has gotten involved in a new plagarism controversy - this time with authors Meg Cabot and Salman Rushdie.

Good for her and us. Now Kaavya should concentrate on her studies at Harvard. Hope we seen last of her as a writer.

Link to Newsstory

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Darna Zaroori Hai?

Last weekend I saw Darna Zaroori Hai (Fear You Must, loose english translation) a new film by Ram Gopal Verma. This film is sequel to the same director's Darna Manna Hai, which I had liked.

I went and saw DZH because Ram Gopal Verma happens to be my favourite moviemaker. But I could not see much of his movies as they disappear from theatres by the time I plan to see them. DZH was quite bland, in my opinion. Nor scary nor funny. Actually fun and fear should have been deadly comibination for movies. Mahmood had tried it long long time ago in Bhoot Bangla, but somehow this concept has never been taken up by our film makers. The first episode of this film, which is directed by comedian Sajid Khan is both funny and scary, if only the whole movie was like that.

The novelty of this film is that it is an episodic film, with each episode directred by seven differnt directors. Their aim is to scare the daylight out of the viewer. Almost all the stories have twist in the end, but most of the twist are either predictable or are pointless.

The film has most of A class actors -- Amitabh Bachchan, Bipasha Basu, Suneil Shetty, John Ambrahm, Anil Kapoor etc etc. but none of the peformance is great. Only performance of Manoj Pahwa as a fat-guy who is a movie buff, and who features in the first episode of the film, is good.

The film has Adults only rating, which means it is meant only for audiences 18 years and above. I was amused to find many children, since it is a vaction time, in the theatre. Maybe the children are the target audience of the film, and RGV should have tried U (universal) rating for the film.

A full length review of the film is here .

A Temple on Top

There is a temple on the 3rd floor of a housing building in Badlapur (which is about 70 kilometers from city of Bombay) of Goddess Ashtdash Devi (Goddess with 18 hands). So what is unusual about it. Well the weight of the idol of the goddess of 1.5 ton! And this weight of goddess's idol could damage the structure of the building, which also houses many homes. Well residents are trying to remove the temple from their building, but without any success so far. Good luck to them. In India, it is easy to establish a temple, almost anywhere, but quite difficult to remove one.

Link to newsstory