Archive for the ‘General’ Category
Posted in From Headlines, General, News and Views, Politics, tagged Culture, Entertainment, India, Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, Michele Obama, Obama, Politics, State Dinner, White House on 24 November 2009 | 2 Comments »
A R Rahman, now know as Mozart Of Madras, picks up three Oscars for his work in Danny Boyle’s Oscar winning Slumdog Millionaire. Rahman is the third Indian to win an Oscar, after costume designer Bhanu Athaiya for her work in Gandhi in 1983 and director Satyajit Ray in 1992.
“I just want to thank again the whole crew of Slumdog Millionaire, especially Danny Boyle, for giving me such a great opportunity,” he said, while accepting the award.
Slumdog Millionaire took the best-picture Academy Award and seven other Oscars today, including director for Danny Boyle, whose ghetto-to-glory story paralleled the film’s unlikely rise to Hollywood’s summit. It was a big winner at the Golden Globe Awards. It won film of the year and two other awards at the Richard Attenborough Film Awards, voted on by British critics. The movie has British director, producer, writer and studio. Nevertheless India has claimed it as its own perhaps because of the cast, crew, and location.
However the film has not been much loved in India. Not only did the film failed to capture the imaginations of Indian film goers; it’s also been dogged by controversy over its name and the treatment of its child stars. Some have called it poverty-porn.
“If ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ projects India as Third World dirty underbelly developing nation and causes pain and disgust among nationalists and patriots, let it be known that a murky underbelly exists and thrives even in the most developed nations,” leading actor Amitabh Bachchan said in a posting on his blog from Paris, France. “Its just that the ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ idea authored by an Indian and conceived and cinematically put together by a westerner, gets creative global recognition,” he added.”The commercial escapist world of Indian cinema had vociferously battled for years, on the attention paid and the adulation given to the legendary Satyajit Ray… and not a word of appreciation for the entertaining mass-oriented box office blockbusters that were being churned out from Mumbai. “Ray portrayed reality. While, the other – escapism, fantasy and incredulous posturing. Unimpressive for Cannes and Berlin and Venice (film festivals),” he explained.
While Slumdog Millionaire won eight Oscars, it’s not the only film shot in India that was nominated and won. A 40-minute documentary about an eight-year-old girl Pinky Sonkar from Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh, Smile Pinky by American filmmaker Magan Mylan has also been nominated for Best Documentary.
Pinky had stopped smiling, even stopped going to school because she was ashamed of her cleft lip, a deformity 35,000 children are born with in India every year. Then this year, The Smile Train arrived in Pinky’s village and her world changed forever. The story was captured by American filmmaker Magan Mylan for the world in a film he called Smile Pinky. While Pinky was getting ready getting her passport and visa ready to walk on the red carpet, she did not know why. Pinky’s mother could not watch the Oscar ceremony since she does not have access to television set.
Holiday Season without Santa is unimaginable. Well, it may become a reality this year.
Germany is running out of qualified Santa Clauses and needs to recruit and train them fast, a leading job agency says. There is an acute shortage of Santas to entertain children at shopping malls, community centers, etc. This is what you see:
Wanted: Cheerful, chubby men, preferably with fluffy white beards and no criminal record, ready to work hard for one month.
Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge…At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.”
– Jawaharlal Nehru Claiming Independence from British
Midnight of August 14, 1947
India’s Olympic history has not been very bright or much heard of. However, with Bindra bagging first-ever individual gold in Bejing has sparked lot of celebrations and hopes. India had only won four individual medals, none of them gold, since sending their first team to the Summer Games in 1928.
“For me life will go on. All my life I have just been punching holes in a blank piece of paper target.
Day after Bindra ponders, “They have all been telling me what a huge achievement winning Gold is. I realize that but frankly the enormity of the goodwill generated has caught me by surprise. Honestly enough it really has not changed me, I am still the same Abhinav who just a day ago was hanging around alone in my room in the Olympic village. Frankly, all the attention is a bit overwhelming. I am not much good at making loud public pronouncements. That in no way means that this is not the most intense experience of my life…
…For more than a decade now my life has been all about my sport. In fact, I do not have a life beyond the confines of the 10m range. I have had a range built in my own home to cut down any possibility of distraction and to be able to practice my sport whenever the fancy strikes me. It all did pay off, didn’t it? It has all still not sunk in. I will post more once the feeling settles…
…I ran away from all the media and official attention yesterday after I had done the bit I had do in keeping with my new-found status. Instead I chose to go to a quiet dinner with some friends.
Posted in Cultural, From Headlines, General, News and Views, tagged Entertainment, Father of the Nation, Lost Speech, Mahatma Gandhi, News, Politics, Rajmohan Gandhi, Rare English Recording, Religion on 22 July 2008 | 3 Comments »
Mahatma Gandhi rarely spoke in English. He would address crowds in Hindi, Gujarati and even other Indian languages but never in English. There have been only two instances when he addressed people in English.
A rare recording of his speech in English made 7-8 months before his assassination has been found in Washington DC. This speech was made to a conference of Asian leaders convened by Jawaharlal Nehru.
Journalist Alfred Wagg recorded the speech in New Delhi on April 2, 1947 and produced four 78-rpm LPs that included both Gandhi’s voice as well as Wagg’s own commentary about the man revered as Father of the Indian Nation.
It had been lovingly preserved for 60 years by John Cosgrove, a former president of the National Press Club in the US capital, who discovered the significance of the recording during a chance encounter with Rajmohan Gandhi, Mahatma’s grandson and biographer.
Amitabh Bachchan and Anil Ambani have come together to form a new film production company. This deal is worth Rs. 1500 Crore. The deal includes film production, television series, reality shows, Internet and mobile content besides live shows. Reliance Big Entertainment will be taking care of the managerial aspects of the projects in the deal while the four Bachchans will be looking after the creative side.
Says Big B,”Yes, we are coming together in a JV to be partners in creating international property, sharing profits and assessing rights in perpetuity. The venture will be a separate entity and not AB Corp though AB Corp will provide assistance in creatives and execution.”
The leading bollywood directors who will be at the helm of the first films coming out of the joint venture have also been decided. The director of the hit film ‘Bluffmaster’, Rohan Sippy is to make a film with Abhishek Bachchan in the lead role. Film maker Chadrprakash Dwivedi who directed ‘Chanakya’ will be making a movie with Amitabh Bachchan.
CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE FOR THE VIDEO
Stephen Colbert of Colbert Report steps in to help Obama find a new church (since Barack Obama left Jeremiah Wright’s church) through his feature Stephen Colbert’s Barack Obama Church Search and his divine guidance while he himself explores Hinduism with Hindu Temple Society of North America President Uma Mysorekar.
His suggestion- Should Obama become a Hindu?
CLICK ON THE IMAGE FOR THE VIDEO – to view some Hin-dos and Hin-dont’s from The Colbert Report.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal along with wife Supriya are spending the Memorial Day weekend at Republican presidential nominee John McCain’s ranch in Arizona. There is speculation that Jindal might be called Mc Cain’s Vice President. Mc Cain may present Jindal with the opportunity to speak at the 2008 Republican National Convention, in a similar fashion to Barack Obama at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, cementing a place for him in the party and opening the gate for a future run for the presidency.
At 36, this first-generation Indian-American Rhodes Scholar is America’s youngest governor in a southern state with a long history of racial discrimination.
Posted in Activities, Books and Literature, Cultural, General, News and Views, Observation, Writing, tagged Arundhati Roy, Bandit Queen, Book Relase, Books, God of Small Things, India, Massey Sahib, News, Politics, The Checkbook and the Cruise Missile: Conversations wit, The Shape of the Beast on 28 April 2008 | 6 Comments »
Even before The God of Small Things hit the world of fame, this female Rushdie of India attracted lot of media attention when she criticised Shekhar Kapur’s film Bandit Queen, based on the life of Phoolan Devi, charging Kapur with exploiting Devi and misrepresenting both her life and its meaning. For sometime Roy was involved as film script writer as well. She even tried her hands at acting in films. Not many remember but Arundhati Roy played a village girl in the award-winning movie Massey Sahib.
(Click on the Image for a Video of an Interview with Arundhati Roy on The Shape of the Beast).
The Shape of the Beast finds Roy fulminating against the 2002 Godhra genocide, empathising with the adivasis of Dantewada in Chhattisgarh and venting against the military operations in Nagaland, Kashmir and Manipur.Through this book Roy has revealed both a personal and social journey.
Posted in Cultural, From Headlines, General, News and Views, tagged Azmet Jah, Chowmahalla, Christie's, Diamond Suit, Forbes Wealthiest, Jacob Diamond, Kohinoor, Mukarram Jah, Nizam of Hyderaband, Nizam's Jewels, Operation Polo, Out-of-court deal to unlock Nizam's millions, Privy Purse, Sardar Patel, Sotheby's on 11 April 2008 | 119 Comments »
Nizam of Hyderabad, is Fifth on Forbes ‘All Time Wealthiest’ list of 2008 with Net Worth: 210.8 Billion USD. Bill Gates is twentieth, Net Worth: 101.0 Billion USD. This is a list of historical figures who lived during the Industrial age, Information Age, Middle Ages, Ancient world and is solely based on net worth accumulated by inheritance or personal earnings. The estimated net worth of these people is calculated into inflation-adjusted 2007 dollars, from when historical figures were at the peak of their net worth
Last Nizam of Princely State of Hyderabad and Berar, Fath Jang Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan Asaf Jah VII, was The Richest Man in the 1940s, having a fortune estimated at $2 billion. He ruled Hyderabad between 1911 and 1948 until it was made part of India as a result of Operation Polo launched by the Indian Government.
Nizam of Hyderabad even featured on the cover of TIME magazine. While rulers of other big states like Kashmir, Jodhpur Bikaner, Indore, and Bhopal were given the title of “His Excellency” (H.E.), the Nizam of Hyderabad alone had the title of “His Exalted Highness” (H.E.H.)
Posted in Activities, From the Past, General, Observation, Photography, Travel, tagged Brahma, China, Himalayas, India, Kailash Mansarovar, Lingam, Mansarovar, Ravana, Shiva, Tibet, Travel, Trek, Vishnu on 4 April 2008 | 28 Comments »
To the Hindus, the Himalayas are central to their cosmology. The peaks are the petals of the Golden Lotus which lord Vishnu created as a first step in the formation of the universe. On one of these peaks – Mount Kailash, sits Shiva in a state of perpetual meditation, generating the spiritual force that sustains the cosmos. Of the three worlds–patala (netherworld), prithvi (earth) and swargalok (heaven)–only Shiva lives on this planet and Mount Kailash is his abode.