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AR Rahman- Oscars 2008

AR Rahman- Oscars 2009

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.

Here is the script of the film Slumdog Millionaire.

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.

Residents of a Mumbai slum show their displeasure over the name of the hit film Slumdog Millionaire in a protest outside the office the film's co-star, Anil Kapoor.

Residents of a Mumbai slum show their displeasure over the name of the hit film Slumdog Millionaire in a protest outside the office the film's co-star, Anil Kapoor.

“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.

Smile Pinky; Best Documentary Short Subject

Smile Pinky: Best Documentary Short Subject

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.

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U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's sand sculpture made by an Indian artist Sudarshan Pattnaik, is seen at the golden sea beach in Puri, 67 kilometers (41 miles) away from Bhubaneswar, India, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009.

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's sand sculpture made by an Indian artist Sudarshan Pattnaik, is seen at the golden sea beach in Puri, 67 kilometers (41 miles) away from Bhubaneswar, India,

19AM EDT during the inauguration of President Barack Obama. The image, taken through high, whispy white clouds, shows the masses of people between the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial. (AP Photo/GeoEye Satellite Image)

This image provided by GeoEye Satellite Image shows Washington D.C.'s National Mall and the United States Capitol, far right, Washington D.C. on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009 taken at 11:19AM EDT during the inauguration of President Barack Obama. The image, taken through high, whispy white clouds, shows the masses of people between the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial. (AP Photo/GeoEye Satellite Image)

Barack H. Obama is sworn in as the 44th president of the United States as his wife Michelle Obama holds the Bible and their daughters Malia Obama and Sasha Obama look on, on the West Front of the Capitol January 20, 2009 in Washington, DC. (Chuck Kennedy-Pool/Getty Images)

Barack H. Obama is sworn in as the 44th president of the United States as his wife Michelle Obama holds the Bible and their daughters Malia Obama and Sasha Obama look on, on the West Front of the Capitol January 20, 2009 in Washington, DC. (Chuck Kennedy-Pool/Getty Images)

People gather for the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America on the National Mall January 20, 2009 in Washington, DC. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

People gather for the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America on the National Mall January 20, 2009 in Washington, DC. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama signs his first act as president, a proclamation declaring a national day of renewal and reconciliation and calling on Americans to serve one another, after being sworn in as the 44th President of the United States during the inaugural ceremony in Washington Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009. (AP Photo/Molly Riley, Pool)

President Barack Obama signs his first act as president, a proclamation declaring a national day of renewal and reconciliation and calling on Americans to serve one another, after being sworn in as the 44th President of the United States during the inaugural ceremony in Washington Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009. (AP Photo/Molly Riley, Pool)

U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Bill Mesta replaces an official picture of outgoing President George W. Bush with that of newly-sworn-in U.S. President Barack Obama, in the lobby of the headquarters of the U.S. Naval Base January 20, 2009 in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (Brennan Linsley-Pool/Getty Images)

U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Bill Mesta replaces an official picture of outgoing President George W. Bush with that of newly-sworn-in U.S. President Barack Obama, in the lobby of the headquarters of the U.S. Naval Base January 20, 2009 in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (Brennan Linsley-Pool/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama attend the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center on January 20, 2009 in Washington, DC.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama attend the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center on January 20, 2009 in Washington, DC.

Guests at the "Biden Home States Ball" record the moment as President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama dance at the Washington Convention Center in the nation's capital, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009.

Guests at the "Biden Home States Ball" record the moment as President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama dance at the Washington Convention Center in the nation's capital, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009.

Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill dance during the Commander in Chief's Ball at the National Building Museum in Washington January 20 2009 .

Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill dance during the Commander in Chief's Ball at the National Building Museum in Washington January 20 2009 .

In this handout photo provided by the White House, a folder for U.S. President Barack Obama (the 44th president) is shown, left for him by Former U.S. President George W. Bush on the Resolute desk in the Oval Office of the White House January 20, 2009 in Washington, D.C. (Eric Draper/The White House via Getty Images)

In this handout photo provided by the White House, a folder for U.S. President Barack Obama (the 44th president) is shown, left for him by Former U.S. President George W. Bush on the Resolute desk in the Oval Office of the White House January 20, 2009 in Washington, D.C. (Eric Draper/The White House via Getty Images)

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Sanjay Dutt Joins Samajwadi Party
Sanjay Dutt Joins Samajwadi Party

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Satyajit Ray at 5

Satyajit Ray at 5

This was published in India Today in January 1979. The text of the article in India Today :

Bright Ray

As a child, Satyajit Ray, the world famous filmmaker, never once thought that he would make films. He grew up in his ancestral mansion in Calcutta, drawing and painting. He would doodle the long summer afternoons away hoping that his attempted portraits and cartoons would appear in his family’s famous children’s magazine Sandesh. As a Brahmin, his family regarded the cinema and theater as frivolities.

His first boyhood wonder was his father’s printing press. He remembers having been lifted up to look through the ground-glass view finder of the tall halftone camera. He often visited Shantiniketan where he played with Rabindranath Tagore’s grand-daughter.

He has fond memories of the florist’s shop in New Market and stately horse-drawn carriages giving way to automobiles. As a child, all he wanted when he grew up was to be a painter.

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It is a Rs 22 crore movie. Expectations were high for other reasons. One, it was Aditya Chopra’s comeback after eight years of Mohabattein and thirteen years of Dilwale Dulhaniya Lejayenge . Well, that does not come as a surprise. After giving a hit like (DDLJ), one is virtually competing against oneself! Not sure if there is a follow up formula to the ‘love’ formula.

Two, it is a Shahrukh Khan movie. He did have sole responsibility in holding the storyline. In fact it is two Sharukh Khan movies in ONE.

Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi Released Today.

Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi Released Today.

Set in Amritsar around the Golden Temple, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, touches everything that is normal, everything that is way of life in ordinary people’s lives, nothing that you do not know or have not seen in your everyday lives. In fact at times it feels that it has been shot close to home.

The movie starts off on a very old and beaten road- groom does not show up, father finds the first possible match for his daughter from the crowd assembled for the ‘other’ wedding. There starts the one sided love affair, the life of a mismatched couple Surinder Sahni (Shahrukh Khan) and Taani (Anushka Sharma).

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Through his lens he communicates with space; light, texture and color are his friends. Together they create unique compositions and art that will seduce you. Sanjay Nanda captures the realities as well as absurdities of life in time and space through his lens which have taken the form of stunning pieces of art on many a walls.

From Varanasi Collection (Click on the Image for More)

Often times he treads out into the urbanscape and captures  the moments from everyday life which go unnoticed but are unique to their surroundings and strangely elegant.

Sanjay captures the moment while life and color are at play!

Still Life (Click on Image for More)

Sanjay shoots a variety of subjects. He looks for scenes that he can compose in a thought provoking way and colour combinations that somehow stir him without attempting to edit the work or discriminate when in the field. When he gets back to his studio, he sorts through his images, and then chooses the ones that have a staying power for him. He is not interested in merely reproducing a particular scene or image photographically; he is more interested in collecting the raw visual materials that allow him to explore the inherent dynamics and tensions of the picture plane.

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Can you do it?

Driving On Indian Roads: Can you do it?

Indian road rules broadly operate within the domain of karma where you do your best and leave the results to your insurance company. Here is a funny, and sadly true account by Coen Jukens on driving in India.

The hints are as follows:

Do we drive on the left or right of the road? The answer is “both”. Basically you start on the left of the road, unless it is occupied. In that case, go to the right, unless that is also occupied. Then proceed by occupying the next available gap, as in chess.

  1. Just trust your instincts, ascertain the direction, and proceed. Adherence to road rules leads to much misery and occasional fatality.
  2. Most drivers don’t drive, but just aim their vehicles in the intended direction. Don’t you get discouraged or underestimate yourself. Except for a belief in reincarnation, the other drivers are not in any better position.
  3. Don’t stop at pedestrian crossings just because some fool wants to cross the road. You may do so only if you enjoy being bumped in the back. Pedestrians have been strictly instructed to cross only when traffic is moving slowly or has come to a dead stop because some minister is in town. Still some idiot may try to wade across, but then, let us not talk ill of the dead.
  4. Blowing your horn is not a sign of protest as in some countries. We horn to express joy, resentment, frustration, romance and bare lust (two brisk blasts) or just to mobilize a dozing cow in the middle of the bazaar.
  5. Keep informative books in the glove compartment. You may read them during traffic jams, while awaiting the chief minister’s motorcade, or waiting for the rain waters to recede when over-ground traffic meets underground drainage.
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Outsourcing Child Care

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Anthony Bourdain in India

Anthony Bourdain in India

Anthony Bourdain is well known for hosting travel and food show Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. He travels to cities worldwide where hosts treat him to local culture and cuisine.

He traveled to Kolkata , Mumbai, and the state of Rajasthan. The shows based on these travels was aired on May 29 and June 5, 2006.

Tony exposes you to diverse experiences in these cities that have been traveled many a times. He has successfully been able to present a diverse bouquet called India through these shows. Tony eats on the roadside dhabas as comfortably as he dines with the royalties. Gaj Singh, Maharaja of Jodhpur,  plays the royal host, cooks for Anthony Bourdain and also invited him to a royal wedding dinner!

But in his desire to explore the best of local cuisines he agrees to be a guest at a chef’s home. He lives the Indian life not as a tourist but as one of the crowd. He visits a fortuneteller, enjoys bhang in its various forms, rides the bus, and eats on the roadside. He loves Bollywood and just fits very well.

No Reservations at all.

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Ali Baba’s Password?

Simpu Singh Presents Jury Marksheet

Simpu Singh and Gabbar

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112,000 broadband centres would be set up in rural areas across the country, within a year. The government Saturday announced a $2-billion public-private partnership to provide broadband and internet connectivity in country’s rural areas. Union Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia, speaking at Global Telecom Summit here, said that $1.5 billion for the project would be generated from the private sector and the balance would be funded from government sources.

The ministry of communication & IT is also expected to unfold its third generation of mobile phone standards and technology – 3G service – guidelines by June this year. The 3G services are expected to be rolled out by the end of current year. The aim of the these policies is to provide wireless telephone and mobile telephone to every household in rural India by 2010, said the minister.

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