Sunday, October 04, 2009

Bigg Boss and Big B.

Do you remember the mass hysteria around the KBC season 1.How the roads wore the deserted look as the Big B quizzed the nation and contestants inched closer to a sum of 1 Crore!!

The season 2 was popular too but not as much as the first one.

Big B had played a big bet and won handsomely as he came out of the jinxed phase of his career and cleared all the debts accrued due to the failing ABCL..

That was the start of the reality TV genre in India.Post KBC we have been dished some good and some horrible shows in the name of reality TV.

I virtually lost track of reality TV after NDTV Imagine did an un imaginable show called Rakhi ka swayamvar?This eroded the respectability for NDTV India news channel by showing updates from the soap as the public refused to watch the garish cheap romance on imagine.I silently switched over to Times Now.

But now its the Big B who is coaxing me to give the reality genre some consideration again.Amit ji is playing the Pop psychologist who will elaborate and analyze the un predictable behavior of the contestants.

The set has been put up at Lonawala Mumbais own hill station.Endemol has taken all the precaution to ensure that all the possible activities are captured by the 40 cameras.

Who is going to be inside this season is a big debate and a lots of speculation..the list changes every few hours...

Shamita shetty,Sherlyn Chopra,Ismail Darbar,Kamal Khan,Rakhi the Sawants mother,Tanazz and Bakhtyar,Punit Issar,Poonam Dhillon..

The channel is said to have approached Baba Ramdev to be an inmate..

Awaiting for tonight to see who is inside and how Big B looks in this new role...

Tune in to Colors Chanel at 9 pm IST...

Friday, September 04, 2009

Mumbai Local Trains.

Where else in world its OK to accept a casualty rate of 10 human being per day due to fall from trains??
Where else the trains get delayed because in a span of an hour 7 dead due to train related accidents?
Yes its common and a Way of life for a typical Mumbaikar,as and sex no bar?
Cause its out of fashion and un machismo to use the foot over bridge to cross track.They say in Mumbai every one i in a hurry?So when a fellow commuter falls due to push and shove from local train its normal.Some words of kindness about the victim being out of luck or fool or not strong enough to hold on!
Some one from the crowd will call the helpline or the next train driver will alert the station master who will get the victim picked up by next train or Hamal's(Body picker's employed by Railways) using metal sheet stretcher.
If the victim is alive an ambulance is called and the victim sent to the Gov hospital near by.
In most cases its head injury and the rate of survival is abysmal.
Even if the victim survives its with severe impairment like feet or hand amputated.
So Hundreds of thousands witness the bloody trail or are aware of the impending danger so why no precaution??
Personally according to me its the shere disregard to the value of Human life?A gift of God wasted in crossing the rail track to reach on time?
If all individuals practice no tress passing tracks policy it will half the rate of deaths per day.
In a recent drive by WR to check tress passing people caught and fined were from all layers of society.
From Young to old from rich to poor from educated to non educated?
I was surprised to note a school principal caught trespassing?
The lame duck excuse of the commuters caught are that the bridge is on either side and too far?
The reason people fall off from local trains is over crowding on which the janta has no control except fro some hooligan's who trap and occupy the door.
The herd behavior of reserving seat and place for group by inconveniencing others is common.If a new commuter takes on the hooligan group he is thrashed and some time shoved from running train.
How ever these cases are limited and not common.
The overcrowding of train is a demand and supply problem where the Railways has not matched the requirement of timely increase in capacity.
While thousands of crore are invested in the road infrastructure local trains are seldom considered.The way of transport of majority white collar taxpayer is local train but his money is spent on fly over and sea links.
Its for this reason that any tourist in Mumbai is advised not ot take local trains,compare this with Delhi and Kolkata where people take their guest with pride to show Metro?
The chalta hai attitude of normal Mumbaikar is one big problem,similarly its the disconnect of the political class from the real problems of the common man or else the government would have spent the 400 crore on rail infra rather than a statue in the sea??

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Old world charm of Mumbai.

My work recently took me in to the business hub of Mumbai,Nariman Point,Cuffe parade and Colaba.It was a trip after 2 years or more.
There was a time when i use to commute daily to the southern most part of the city daily for work.

The hiatus was a welcome change.

The area reminded me of my earlier visits and the work.I noticed the new more aware part of me mainly due to travel to different destination in last two years on work.I was more appreciative and less sceptical.The old world buildings of Opera house looked enticing and psychedelic.

I went to the HQ of SBI,Union bank of India and IDBI bank.

Most impressive security was at the State bank of India HQ where vehicles were screened and visitors image captured by web cam to release a visitor pass with photograph on it.

Before the entry to the building the bag was screened under Xray view similar to airport.

The entree inside was through a digital gate,since i was a visitor i could not enter inside without the guards help.

My ride to the 18th floor was unobstructed.I guess going to meet CMD of SBI gives a short of reverence to the visitor but the security should not be intimated cause of the visitors profile.

The grandness of the office of CMD's was a treat to the eye.

The IDBI tower at the WTC cuffe parade has the CMD office on the 24th floor.The view from the room was awesome the hight makes it a vantage point on top of the queen's necklace.

I couldn't help but compliment the CMD's assistant about the fabulous view,for him it was OK as he See's it daily!!

Posting some pics from the visit with tag's.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Mumbai shutdown!!

The maximum city is facing a maximum slowdown?
The H1 N1 has taken its toll on the speed of the fast paced Mumbai.Result all schools and colleges closed for next seven days in Mumbai,Navi Mumbai and Thane district.
The average Mumbaikar is braving the threat daily by commuting in the packed local trains.
The response of the administration has been better in Mumbai as compared to Pune.
I recall how one of the officials had proclaimed a month back that there will be no swine flu in Mumbai as the climate is not favourable to the Virus??
In our office we had people who had travelled from Pune and came to office the next day without any screening done?
The closed and recirculated air of the centrally conditioned office is conducive to the growth of any infectious organism if cleaning is not timely and proper.
My personal bravado against the swine flu was foolish as i discovered a sore throat and running nose just going to office by local first class.
So i am at home trying to recover from the flu which hopefully is not swine?
The masks are in short supply and are selling fro Rs 25 /piece.The Nilgiri ka tel sms is circulating in the air and the stocks of the fragrant oil is down.
The severity of the grim situation dwells on you when you find your next door chemist and his all staff wearing a mask?
Its a good publicity for the product and a chilling reminder to you,follow the silent dictate or get the flu??
My own personal googling and wiking has reveled that its the basic personal hygiene and being well hydrated that's the key to be healthy in the virulent times.
A vit c chew tab can improve your chances of fighting the cold.
The city of Mumbai will forgo its chances of watching the release of Kaminey the maverick director Vishal Bhardwaj's flick due to closure of all theaters for next three days.
This shutdown is historic and unprecedented as we shall miss the famous Dahi handi festival.
I pray and hope that this shut down helps contain the spread of virus and Mumbai emerges victorious..

Friday, July 24, 2009

High tide and Ganesha in Mumbai.

How many times the weather man's prediction been right?
Today was termed as a potential disaster day in Mumbai with tide hitting 100yrs high?
The anticipation of high tide with heavy rain seemed a disaster recipe and many tried hand at the half cooked attempt.
Yes we enjoyed the spectre of high tide but for rain it was a day off.
The erratic pattern of rain has become a cause of concern for the country as it has the potential to halt the GDP growth.
The city of Mumbai is getting ready to welcome the favorite deity Gan-
apati or Ganesh the elephant headed Hindu god.
The artisan working in the clay statue are a treat to watch.The concentration and the love for perfection seen in there hand work is amazing.
The traditional Marathi homes in and around Mumbai will bring the loved Ganesha to there home for 1,5 or 10 days.Apart from the private ceremony there are public celebration in most locality where the community donates and huge canopy is raised to mimic theme popular in recent times.
The participation in Ganapati celebration is not restricted to religion as all worship the deity for his remarkable power of granting ones wishes.
Such strong is the faith of the Mumbaikars on Ganapati that the Siddhivinayak temple is crowded on most days.But the best display of faith is on Tuesday the day of Ganesha.
Its the binding faith of people from all sects that moves this chaotic and disorganised city.
To one from outside its a filthy city to ones living here its addictive.Welcome to Mumbai...

Thursday, July 16, 2009


All that glitters is not "GOLD".
As good as "GOLD".
"GOLD standard".
The yellow metal.
Some phrases which capture the essence and value of the most loved and precious metal.
What is it in Gold that makes one aspire to own more?
The mythical Lanka in Ramayan was made of Gold as per text?The yellow metal has retained its charm and allure in last 5000 years.
When markets are down and sentiments are low the avid investors buy GOLD.
With the refinement in production and manufacturing one gets GOLD as pure as 99.9999%.
Came across a legitimate and authentic source of GOLD coins online.
I liked the concept of buying the government certified Gold coins or Gold bullion from the comfort of your home or work.
The assurance is backed by the remarkable openness about what to expect and what not from Gold coins.
I was surprised to note that the biggest buyers of Gold are Indians.India imports 400Tonnes of Gold each year!!It makes strong business sense to buy gold bullion to protect ones portfolio from the economic turmoils.
If a nation promotes the consumption of Gold,its to safeguard the future of coming generations.
Gold has remained the favorite of conservative Hindu families in India and as a custom the girl is sent to the groom with Gold jewellery as per the socioeconomic status.
The same GOLD helps the girl tide over any crisis she faces in her life.Majority of women pass the same ancestral Gold to the next generation.
So in recessionary times it makes sense to buy GOLD coin.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Rains in Mumbai..

Normal life was thrown out of gear in the city on Tuesday due to heavy overnight rains that led to severe water logging in many parts and badly disrupted road, rail and air traffic.
The heavy down pour accompanied by gusty winds since last evening led to traffic snarls at various places.
Suburban trains were also running late by 30-45 minutes due to waterlogging on the tracks. Central railways was running 30 to 45 minutes late while Harbour line and Western lines are running 10 to 15 minutes, the railways said.
Several low lying areas including King's circle, Sion, Andheri Milan subway, Hind Mata were inundated and traffic police said the movement on western and eastern highways were affected badly.
According to Mumbai International Airport Limited, visibility at the airport has been reduced to 800 ft. Incoming flights were delayed by 15 minutes while the departure of the flights was more or less on time.
The rainfall recorded till 5.30 am was 93.4 mm at Colaba in south Mumbai and 125.6 mm at Santa Cruz in western suburbs.
Water logging was also reported at Wadala truck terminus, Maratha Mandir, Khar-Andheri subways, Deonar colonies and some parts of Govandi. Several trees were also uprooted due to strong winds in the city.
The weather bureau said frequent spells of heavy to very heavy rains with strong winds will continue.

Sunday, July 05, 2009


They say the scars of time is filled by time!!
On my visit to the Heart of Mumbai i found the life back to normal but with a change?
The question in the eyes of Police and security?Who in the crowd could be the next terrorist?
The Taj stood valiantly as if declaring that i may be hurt but my soul has survived.Cant forget the vivid images of the beloved monument of Mumbai being burnt by the attackers.

The damage done will be wiped in few more days.But they who lost there family in the mayhem shall never forget or forgive.

The Gateway pulls a lot of visitors daily and the elan is intact with which it exemplifies the open spirit of Mumbai.
In my personal opinion the Mumbai i have seen in last 10 yrs has changed slowly from being a warm and open civilization to a divided and polarized city.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Shiney had sex with Maid:DNA test confirm.

Now that the DNA tests confirm to sexual intercourse between the maid and Shiney the prosecution will have to prove that it was forceful and not consensual.

The staunch supporter of Shiney, Anupam Ahuja his wife shall be feeling devastated!
Surprisingly the producers are ready to sign the ill fated star whose Carrier was not going great guns?
The insane moments of an individual discretion has the potential to ruin a happy family and Carrier.The stardom is known to make people feel all powerful and above the law.
Its the guts of the maid who broke the silence and came forward.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Shiney admits to rape!!

Shiney has relented during the interrogation and accepted the charge of rape.

"It was forceful. Shiney threatened her that if she shouts, he will beat her up.
He has admitted his guilt."The actor, the police claim, confessed and broke down during interrogation.Ahuja was taken to court on Monday afternoon, his face covered with a black cloth.

According to the police version, Shiney's wife and infant daughter were not at home on Sunday afternoon. The actor was home alone with the maid, and that is when he allegedly raped her.

The police say the maid complained to her relatives in the evening, who lodged a complaint against Ahuja at the Oshiwara police station in northwest Mumbai."We have registered three cases, Section 342 (wrongful confinement), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 376 (rape) against him," ACP Suryavanshi added.If convicted of the crimes he is accused of, the actor can face up to 10 years in prison.The victim is an 18-year old resident of Vasai, a township close to Mumbai.

She has been working at Ahuja's home for the last 45 days. She has now been moved to a government-run home in Chembur, northeast Mumbai.

Dale Bhagwagar, the actor's former publicist, said in a statement that Ahuja was 'innocent until proven guilty.''We just need to give this a little more time until there is clarity about what really happened,' Bhagwagar said.'I've known Shiney for almost four years now. He is a good human being and I will do all that is possible to help him.'

Bollywood actor arrested for Rape??

Bollywood actor Shiney Ahuja was on Sunday detained for questioning by the police on the charge of raping his domestic help and is likely to be put under arrest.

“The domestic help, who has been working at Ahuja’s residence in suburban Oshiwara, alleged that the actor had raped her today afternoon,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Niket Kaushik said.

“We have registered a FIR and called Ahuja to the police station for questioning in the matter to verify the facts,” he said.

The house maid in her complaint has alleged that Ahuja raped her at his residence when they were alone, Kaushik said.

Shiney Ahuja

Shiney Ahuja

Additional Police Commissioner Amitabh Gupta said the maid will be subjected to medical test and police are yet to reach any conclusion with regard to the charge levied by her against Shiney.

However, the senior police official said, the actor, who is detained at the police station till well past midnight, is most likely to be arrested in the wee hours of Tuesday.

Ahuja is married and has a daughter. He is known for his roles in films like ‘Hazaroon Khwaishe Aishi’ and ‘Gangster’.

Ahuja’s mentor, Mahesh Bhatt, who produced Gangster for him, said, “This is a body blow to me. I spoke to a top police official who told me that he was informed by his juniors at Oshiwara that Shiny claimed that he had sex with the consent of the maid. However, she has claimed that she was forced into it. The police officer added that they had to accept the woman’s version. I had spoken to Shiny only yesterday. If he is found guilty of rape, we have to condemn him.”

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mumbai be warned of Floods on 24Th July 2009??

Mumbaikar's cant forget two dates easily!

26Th July and 26 November!!

One when Mumbai was inundated with worst rain and subsequent flooding resulting in the loss of crores of Rs and irreparable loss of more than 1000 life's.
On 26Th November 2008 a flood terror hit Mumbai!

The closeness of the date with 26Th July 2005 is eeary and frightful.
The local administration needs to educate the people about the impending disaster and prepare to take it head on.

The 26Th Nov terror attack trail is on in Mumbai at a slow pace.
The fallout for police has come too late?
The Police has been rapped by HC in Nimbalkar murder case for its sloppy handling.
This is a case when the murdered person was a influential politician,what the police must have done if he was a commoner?
The NCP MP Padam singh has been declared the main accused ,NCP has washed its hands from Padam?
The continuing trial and the investigation brings more filth by the day.I wonder at the timing of the case just before the assembly polls?
Are the big bosses at Delhi has had enough of the Pawar camp and decided to cut him and his party to size before elections?
The innocent and upright ex home minister has given the clean chit to the accused ?
Its like the recent statement by BMC that there is no need to worry about the H1N1 virus??According to them it will not survive in the heat and moisture of Mumbai?
Hard to believe from the BMC which has failed to contain the spread of Malaria and Gastroenteritis year after year!!
But yeh Mumbai hai meri jan!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

TV has changed!

The Idiot box is idiot no more cause its now got a companion which is smart and digital?
The time of terrestrial and cable TV is gone now is the time of Direct TV.

The monotony and lack of control over what to get and what not in terms of channels is over as today its the consumer decides which channels should be the part of once bouquet?

In not so recent past the packages and channels available were decided by the local cable operator and often the choices were limited.Not so any more because the revolution called DirectTv gives the control in the users hand.

One major differentiators for satellite TV is the DirecTv service.The assurance of a 24*7 customer service is some thing which is wanting in most cable services?
The service which will excite the tech enthusiast is the availability of features like HD TV and the DVR .Today the best sporting action and entertainment is shifting to Direct TV Service.
So no matter even if the power is out if you have backup you can enjoy TV as its not dependent on the local power supply!!

Mumbai now!!

Six months after 26/11 there is little that has changed in Mumbai as far as security is concerned.

The high security area like airport saw a heist of Gold coins and silver coins in broad day light.

The quantum of the robbery is conflicted as quoted as 35 Lacs to 55 Lacs from some gold coins to 145kg?
Its only time when some terrorist decides to drive with Car full of explosive and demolishes the airport?
The technological surveillance at prime spots need to be increased.One off duty policeman tried to stop the fleeting car but was run over by the robbers.

Last fortnight the daughter of Deepak Tijori was abducted and forced to unnatural sex by a youth who was caught after second rape in a week?
The corrupt and shoddy guest houses and Lodge in and around Malvani and Aksa beach are known as heaven for prostitution.
Think of it how can a hotel allow a 13 year kid to be sharing a room for an hour with an adult?
The locals of these area are used to the easy money so they don't object to such heinous crime done in there area.
There is lot of boozing done and its not considered safe to venture into these areas once the night falls.
Such is the Police work that it took the forced abduction of another kid and rape that the offender was caught in the same vicinity?
The bank robbery and jewellery shop heist are becoming a routine thing?
The citizens in these areas need to protest the wrong or else its becomes routine.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Jan Gan Man distorted by RGV?

RGV the well known Ram Gopal Verma is known to hit headlines be it his movies,his heroins or controversy!!
The latest is his decision of distorting the national anthem for his upcoming film Rann?
RGV has put the ball in public court by putting the Jan gan man controversial song on YouTube?
The RGV blog has a sneek preview of Rann.
The rumor is that the film is based on Pranoy Roy of NDTV?
Lets see what stance the censor board takes..

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mumbai for polls.

Mumbai goes to poll tomorrow.The outcome shall be interesting as there are no favorites and there is no so called Wave in favor of any one.
Surprisingly the local issues are taking precedence over the big security and terror Planck.
The city of Mumbai fights for its rightful place in the comity of big cities to get the basic amenities like potable drinking water and uninterrupted power supply!
The most basic of facility like travel is in pathetic state as more and more funds are pumped into airport modernization and making flyovers where as majority of Mumbaikars travel by a 100 years old technology of local trains.
I am sure no local leader will take a fast local from Virar of Dombivli!!
The common janta is bound to suffer as very few politicians have voiced concern about the train travel standards in Mumbai.
During peak times the Human density is 17/square meters!!
The story of the sabotage to the chopper of Mr Anil Ambani was scary but now its becoming murky!The main mechanic who found the pebbles and sand in the tank of chopper aws found dead on railway tracks at Vile parle with a note for crime branch?
Now was it a corporate rivalry like in films or a case of some vagabond trying cheap stunts.
Anil Ambani must be feeling the heat. 

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Mumbai Indians win..

The opening header was won by the Mumbai Indians...
The soap opera season is over for now..
The elction news will take the second seat...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Google maps street view??

Technology is a fast running horse,one need to keep pace with it or you are outdated.

I was using Google Maps,Google Earth,Map my India and many such innovative products.Wikimapia and wikipedia has been a regular spot to visit.

The most appealing piece of technology i found recently is the street view in Google Maps!!
Its so amazing to check out the streets of London!

The images are updated by a moving van time to time.

The usage is cool for one and all,you can check your home from any where in the world!
Do try....

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Techie father kills 4day old daughter!!

When you read something like this early in the morning the whole day mind keeps on reminding of it.
What will be state of the mother?
How could someone be so cruel to his child?
Why so many software professionals are involved in heinous crime?
Is this the effect of being in a phony world?
What happened to there upbringing?

The pros of silicon valley have hearts of silicon?...

Friday, March 06, 2009

Mumbai now..

Its just the start of March and it feels like June?
Is the global warming phenomenon coming to reality sooner than we thought??
Visited Jodhpur last week,there is not much difference in heat.Yes humidity is the only variable.
Mumbai after the 26/11 is not the same.There is a cautious approach towards life.
The attack on Srilankan cricket team at Lahore was scary,just an hour drive from Amritsar?
The aftereffects will be seen in many years.
For once terrorist have ensured death of international cricket in Pakistan.
The after effects have pushed the IPL 2 dates forward.
Many IPL players from outside India are showing concerns and apprehension of coming to INDIA?
Lest see how it develops... 

Monday, February 23, 2009

Slumdog Oscars Moments...

Danny to hot to handle!!!
The all gracious Rahman!!
The Best Editor...
Kutty i did it....Yes...

Happy Slumdog Team..

The Slumdog team accepting Oscar..
Never seen so manuy Indian faces on the Oscars stage.Thanks Danny...

Oscar nominees and winners...

Best picture
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" 
"The Reader"
WINNER: "Slumdog Millionaire"

WINNER: Danny Boyle, "Slumdog Millionaire" 
Stephen Daldry, "The Reader" 
David Fincher, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" 
Ron Howard, "Frost/Nixon" 
Gus Van Sant, "Milk"

Richard Jenkins, "The Visitor" 
Frank Langella, "Frost/Nixon" 
WINNER: Sean Penn, "Milk" 
Brad Pitt, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" 
Mickey Rourke, "The Wrestler"

Anne Hathaway, "Rachel Getting Married" 
Angelina Jolie, "Changeling" 
Melissa Leo, "Frozen River" 
Meryl Streep, "Doubt" 
WINNER: Kate Winslet, "The Reader"

Supporting actor
Josh Brolin, "Milk" 
Robert Downey Jr., "Tropic Thunder" 
Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Doubt" 
WINNER: Heath Ledger, "The Dark Knight" 
Michael Shannon, "Revolutionary Road"

Supporting actress
Amy Adams, "Doubt" 
WINNER: Penelope Cruz, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" 
Viola Davis, "Doubt" 
Taraji P. Henson, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" 
Marisa Tomei, "The Wrestler"

Animated feature
"Kung Fu Panda" 

Adapted screenplay
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," screenplay by Eric Roth, screen story by Eric Roth and Robin Swicord 
"Doubt," written by John Patrick Shanley 
"Frost/Nixon," screenplay by Peter Morgan 
"The Reader," screenplay by David Hare 
WINNER: "Slumdog Millionaire," screenplay by Simon Beaufoy

Original screenplay
"Frozen River," written by Courtney Hunt 
"Happy-Go-Lucky," written by Mike Leigh 
"In Bruges," written by Martin McDonagh 
WINNER: "Milk," written by Dustin Lance Black 
"WALL-E," screenplay by Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon; original story by Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter

Art direction
"Changeling," James J. Murakami; set decoration: Gary Fettis 
WINNER: "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Donald Graham Burt; set decoration: Victor J. Zolfo 
"The Dark Knight," Nathan Crowley; set decoration: Peter Lando 
"The Duchess," Michael Carlin; set decoration: Rebecca Alleway
"Revolutionary Road," Kristi Zea; set decoration: Debra Schutt

"Changeling," Tom Stern 
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Claudio Miranda 
"The Dark Knight," Wally Pfister 
"The Reader," Chris Menges and Roger Deakins 
WINNER: "Slumdog Millionaire," Anthony Dod Mantle

Costume design
"Australia," Catherine Martin 
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Jacqueline West 
WINNER: "The Duchess," Michael O'Connor 
"Milk," Danny Glicker 
"Revolutionary Road," Albert Wolsky

Documentary feature
"The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)" 
"Encounters at the End of the World" 
"The Garden" 
WINNER: "Man on Wire" 
"Trouble the Water"

Documentary short 
"The Conscience of Nhem En" 
"The Final Inch"
WINNER: "Smile Pinki" 
"The Witness -- From the Balcony of Room 306"

Film editing
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall 
"The Dark Knight," Lee Smith 
"Frost/Nixon," Mike Hill and Dan Hanley 
"Milk," Elliot Graham 
WINNER: "Slumdog Millionaire," Chris Dickens

Foreign language film
"The Baader Meinhof Complex," Germany 
"The Class," France 
WINNER: "Departures," Japan 
"Revanche," Austria 
"Waltz with Bashir," Israel

WINNER: "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Greg Cannom 
"The Dark Knight," John Caglione Jr. and Conor O'Sullivan 
"Hellboy II: The Golden Army," Mike Elizalde and Thom Floutz

Original score
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Alexandre Desplat 
"Defiance," James Newton Howard 
"Milk," Danny Elfman 
WINNER: "Slumdog Millionaire," A.R. Rahman 
"WALL-E," Thomas Newman

Original song
"Down to Earth" from "WALL-E," music by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman, lyrics by Peter Gabriel 
WINNER: "Jai Ho" from "Slumdog Millionaire," music by A.R. Rahman, lyrics by Gulzar 
"O Saya" from "Slumdog Millionaire," music and lyrics by A.R. Rahman and Maya Arulpragasam

Animated short
WINNER: "La Maison en Petits Cubes" 
"Lavatory -- Lovestory" 
"This Way Up"

Live-action short 
"Auf der Strecke (On the Line)" 
"Manon on the Asphalt" 
"New Boy" 
"The Pig" 
WINNER: "Spielzeugland"

Sound editing
WINNER: "The Dark Knight," Richard King 
"Iron Man," Frank Eulner and Christopher Boyes 
"Slumdog Millionaire," Glenn Freemantle and Tom Sayers 
"WALL-E," Ben Burtt and Matthew Wood 
"Wanted," Wylie Stateman

Sound mixing
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Mark Weingarten 
"The Dark Knight," Lora Hirschberg, Gary Rizzo and Ed Novick 
WINNER: "Slumdog Millionaire," Ian Tapp, Richard Pryke and Resul Pookutty 
"WALL-E," Tom Myers, Michael Semanick and Ben Burtt 
"Wanted," Chris Jenkins, Frank A. MontaƱo and Petr Forejt

Visual effects
WINNER: "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Eric Barba, Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton and Craig Barron 
"The Dark Knight," Nick Davis, Chris Corbould, Tim Webber and Paul Franklin 
"Iron Man," John Nelson, Ben Snow, Dan Sudick and Shane Mahan

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Get well soon SRK.

Mumbai matinee idol and Bollywood heart throb Shahrukh Khan got operated at the Breach Candy Hospital Mumbai for shoulder injury.SRK is going to be out of action for few months.
Addressing the media SRK promised to be back soon in his jovial style but couldn't hide the pain.
My best wishes for the speedy recovery..
Pepsi dumped SRK after a long association,King Khan was obviously hurt as he commented "They have thrown me out".
The cola giant Coca cola saw IT as an opportunity and the second biggest cola brand SPRITE promised to sponsor the Kolkota Knight Riders (KKR)?
Not to be left alone Pepsi has put an counteroffer!
So SRK will be minting money while recuperating!!
Not Bad..

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Mumbai street food..Yummy.

NYT comments on Mumbai street food...

WHEN the bad-boy television chef Anthony Bourdain went on a culinary journey through India two years ago, he said the vada pav, a humble street snack usually sold for about 10 cents, was the best thing he ate.

Mr. Bourdain was right on the money. The vada pav is a glorious carb-on-carb overload — a spicy potato patty encased in a gram-flour coating, then sandwiched in a buttered bun and bathed in tangy garlic chutney.

Unpretentious street food like the vada pav — preferably bought from a surly vendor — is part of the great Indian travel experience. Still, it takes a brave tourist to sample the wares from a street vendor who is casually mashing potatoes with his bare and grubby hands, as flies buzz happily around. Luckily, a slew of restaurants are sanitizing street food, serving it in clean (if not always pristine) surroundings. At most places, you can eat like a king for less than $2.

At one of the numerous Jumbo King outlets across the city, you can eat vada pav in a range of flavors for just 7 rupees (about 14 cents at 50 rupees to the dollar). Jumbo King aims to be the McDonald’s of street snacks, and the uniformly wrapped vada pavs are served by plastic-gloved dispensers from gleaming steel fryers, with optional spicy chutney and garlic toppings.

At the sparkling clean but frantically busy Swati Snacks (248 Karai Estate, Tardeo Road; 91-22-6580-8406), opposite Bhatia Hospital, you can feast on chaat as delicious as that which you might get from chaatwalas at the famous Chowpatty Beach, only it won’t upset your stomach.

Chaat is the classic Mumbai street food, a catchall term for a savory medley of ingredients, which may include potatoes, gram-flour discs, onions, yogurt, chickpeas, mint, peanuts and various chutneys. Try the pani puri (crisp dough spheres filled with potatoes, sprouts and a tart date-tamarind sauce, which burst deliciously onto your palate), bhel puri (puffed rice mixed with onions, tomatoes, mint chutney, crunchy gram-flour threads, peanuts, lemon juice and coriander) and the milder pankhi (delicate rice pancakes steamed in banana leaves) — not exactly street food but too good to miss.

This is also one of the few safe places to sample golas (crushed ice balls bathed in rose or mint flavored syrup) and thirst-quenching sugar cane juice. Get there early though, as there are no reservations and the lines are long.

Kailash Parbat, another popular chain with outlets in many multiplexes, is a good place for other quintessential Mumbai snacks like pav bhaji (toasted buns heaped with a sinful, buttery vegetable hash) and ragda pattice (toasted potato cakes with chickpeas). In the Bandra suburb, Elco Pani Puri Center has hygienic chaat in air-conditioned comfort and is known for its pani puri. (Elco Arcade, Hill Road, Bandra; 91-22-2645-7677).

There will always be those Mumbaikars who tell you that street snacks eaten in restaurants just can’t compare with the authentic fare of “Raju the blind chaatwala at the second open drain behind the Churchgate Railway Station.” They are probably right. There’s something about the down-and-dirtiness of real street fare that makes it all the tastier. The best vendors are usually to be found outside colleges and railway stations.

If you do risk the genuine article, be sure to choose hot snacks straight from the griddle or deep fryer, avoid chutneys, juices and sauces, toss out the raw onion and tomatoes and stick with Vegetarian options if you have a delicate tummy. After all, what’s good enough for Anthony Bourdain ...

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Dream city Mumbai...

Mumbai is extreme India. In this booming metropolis all the wealth, inequalities, colors, flavors and passions of India are magnified to an almost unbearable degree.

Somewhere between 13 and 20 million people are squeezed into the city that is India's leading financial and industrial center and the home of the Bollywood movie.

For countless migrants from all over the country, be they business school graduates, aspiring actors or destitute laborers, Mumbai is the place where dreams can come true.

Those who like to think of India as a land of tradition and mystery would be shocked by the way modern Mumbai has embraced western consumerism. In Mumbai the rigidities of India's traditional caste system are being replaced by a kind of brutal meritocracy in which the winners become extraordinarily rich and the losers struggle for survival.

While Mumbai is fearlessly embracing modernity, minting millionaires and erecting skyscrapers, its infrastructure is hopelessly outdated and creaking under the weight of the city's ever-expanding population.

Mumbai's road traffic is legendary -- a chaotic melange of cars, mopeds, motorized rickshaws and red double-decker buses, seemingly fused together in a writhing, gridlocked mass.

All big cities have deprived areas, but in Mumbai the deprivation is impossible to avoid. Up to half of Mumbai's residents live in slums, about a million in the shacks of Dharavi, the biggest slum in Asia. In these cities within a city children play next to the sewers that run through the streets, whole families often live in a single room and clean water is scarce.

Yet while the slums can be grindingly poor, they are also buzzing with activity. Many residents of Dharavi work in cottage industries and in the thriving recycling trade, and their biggest threats are the annual monsoon floods and the developers eager to clear the slum in order to exploit the prime real estate it occupies.

For outsiders, the contrast between rich and poor can be jarring, but Mumbaikars have learned to live with adversity.

While the Mumbai terror attacks of November 2008 horrified the world, the killings were tragically familiar to those living in a city where hundreds have been killed by terrorists over the last 15 years and religious and social tensions simmer beneath the surface.

Yet, despite its very visible problems, Mumbai simply will not be denied. Constantly growing in population and wealth, Mumbai is a world-class city when it comes to culture, commerce and consumption. Mumbaikars are incredibly enterprising and their ability to bounce back from tragedy is testimony to their resourcefulness and resilience.

Danny Boyle, director of award-winning movie "Slumdog Millionaire," set and filmed in Mumbai, said of the city, "Despite all that has happened there recently it is a city moving towards happiness.

"You have these incredible extremes but it feels like there's a destiny that binds it all together."

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Local trains stopped??

Police in riot gear beat back angry protesters after they squatted on railway tracks and held up commuter trains for several hours on Wednesday, demanding better services.

Repairs on the city's western suburb line had delayed rush hour trains on Wednesday morning, a railways spokesman said, which led to protests as commuter crowds at the stations waiting to board trains swelled.

Protesters squatted on the tracks and shouted slogans against the railways, demanding more trains and better services.

Local trains, a lifeline in the city, ferry more than six million commuters every day, with passengers hanging out of crowded compartments and riding on the roof during rush hour.

"Everyday it is the same problem. There are not enough trains, and trains are so crowded, it is very difficult for us," one commuter told news channel CNN-IBN.

Services had been partially restored, albeit with delays, and would be back to normal by evening, the railways spokesman said.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Slum dwellers protest against Slumdog...

Dozens of residents of a Mumbai slum where "Slumdog Millionaire" was partly shot protested against the Oscar-nominated film on Tuesday, hurling insults and hitting pictures of its cast and crew with slippers.

The movie's international success has been tempered by objections in India to the name, which some slum dwellers find offensive, its depiction of the lives of impoverished Indians and the treatment of the cast.

Its director, Danny Boyle, has faced accusations from some parts of the Indian media that his film was "poverty porn." Boyle has said he was trying to capture Mumbai's "lust for life."

The film, which has scooped several international awards and won 10 Oscar nominations, opened in India last month.

"They have made a mockery of us, they have hurt our sentiments," said N.R. Paul, a protest leader and resident in Dharavi, Asia's largest slum.

The protesters, who were forced by policemen to assemble a few hundred metres from Dharavi, shouted "Down, down Danny Boyle" and "Down, down Censor Board."

"Slum dwellers are human beings, not dogs," said one poster.

Protesters also slapped pictures of Boyle and the film's actors with slippers, saying their depiction of poverty was demeaning to millions.

"They should change at least the title. Why did our Censor Board allow such a title in India? It is very sad," said Kallubhai Qureshi, a resident in Dharavi.

Nicholas Almeida, a social activist and slum dweller who has filed a complaint in a local court against the title, said the filmmakers also had a responsibility towards the slums in which they shot the movie.

"It is making so many millions of dollars, why can't they spend some money here to improve our lives?" said Almeida.

Boyle and producer Christian Colson, responding to comments in the Daily Telegraph recently that slum kids in the film were paid poorly, have said they have paid for their education in a school and set up a fund to cover other expenses.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Priyan angry on Slumdog...

Indian movie director Priyadarshan has joined the bandwagon in slamming Danny Boyle's underdog saga Slumdog Millionaire and has called the film a "cheap trashy mediocre version" of erstwhile Bollywood hits.

Slumdog Millionaire is nothing but a cheap trashy mediocre version of those commercial films about estranged brothers and childhood sweethearts that Salim-Javed used to write so brilliantly in the 1970s. And please quote me clearly on this. If the Golden Globe and Oscars committees have chosen to honour this trashy film it just shows their ignorance of world cinema," Priyadarshan said. 

Priyadarshan, whose much-acclaimed film on the silk weavers of Kanjeevaram was shown alongside Boyle's film at the Toronto Film Festival last year, feels Indians are exercising prideful property rights over a film that denigrates Mumbai.

"I saw the film with a mixed audience at the Toronto Film Festival. The Westerners loved it. All the Indian hated it. The West loves 
 to see us as a wasteland, filled with horror stories of exploitation and degradation. But is that all there's to our beautiful city of Mumbai?"

He is surprised that Mumbai is celebrating a film that shows only the city's underbelly.

"Why are we taking this treatment? Just because a white man has made 'Slumdog Millionaire', we're so happy with it? I've read Vikas Swarup's novel 'Q&A'. It should have been made by Mani Ratnam. Then you'd have seen what he would have done with Mumbai."

The angry director wonders why there isn't a single 
 shot in 'Slumdog...' that shows the more aesthetic side of Mumbai?

"Why has Danny Boyle not taken one shot of Marine Drive? Do his slumdwellers exist only within their slums? And look at the absurdities...A boy becomes a national hero on a game show. One cop takes him under arrest and interrogates him relentlessly. Where is everyone else? Is this kind of confinement possible in this day and age when television camera 
 enter your bedroom? If one of our filmmakers had made the same film we would have blasted him out of business."

"Let them give as many Oscars as they like. We don't need to be impressed," ends Priydarshan angrily.