Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Celebrating golden Jubilee of Mughal-e-Azam

Celebrating golden Jubilee of Mughal-e-Azam

It was exactly 50 years ago on 5 August,1960, Mughal-e-Azam, the all time greatest film from Hindi film world was released. While it had created all records of popularity, it failed to make big impact on the first week of the release. And then onwards, there was no looking back. The film had seen legend Dilip Kumar at its best. Even Prithiviraj Kapoor, Madhubala had justice with their roles.

It produced under the banner of Sterling Investment Corporation Pvt Ltd ( a firm owned by Shapoorji Pallonji Mistry. Mistry owns majority shares in Tata sons Ltd.) and directed by K Asif. With its lavish production, K Asif`s magnum opus took nine years to finish. This was when a normal film would cost around Rs 1-1.5 million. The film broke box office records in India when released and held the record for the highest grossing film ever until the 1975 film Sholay broke its record.

In 2004, Sterling Investment Corp Pvt Ltd released a restored a color version of the film. This again was a huge success and the film ran for 25 weeks at the Box Office.

This is one of the biggest box office hits in Indian cinema. Adjusted for inflation, the movie`s net revenue would put it on top of all Bollywood movies released until 31 March 2009. This was one of only two films K. Asif completed. When he died in 1971, he left behind two unfinished films, Sasta Khoon Mahenga Paani and Love and God , the latter released by KCBokadia in 1986. Investment Corp Pvt Ltd., got the film restored and colored and released a new version with great fanfare. .

The song "Ae Mohabbat Zindabad" had singer Mohammed Rafi with a chorus of 100 singers. The song "Pyar Kiya To Darna Kiya" has an unusual history to it: it cost Rs. 1 million at a time when a film would be made for less than a million; it was written and re-written 105 times by the lyricist, Shakeel Badayuni, before the music director, Naushad, could approve of it; it was shot in the renowned Sheesh Mahal (Palace of Mirrors); and in those days of sound recording, editing and mixing, as there was no way to provide the reverberation of sound, Naushad had Lata Mangeshkar sing the song in a studio bathroom. Prithviraj Kapoor would look into a mirror as tall as himself before each shot. When Asif asked him why he did so, he replied, "I do so to get under the skin of the character."

According to film jourrnalist Harish Chandra, its most famous dance sequence takes place in the Sheesh Mahal (Palace of Mirrors) of the Lahore Fort, where Anarkali dances for the Mughal Emperor and his court, singing Pyar Kiya to Darna Kya , "I have loved, so what is there to fear?" This song was one of three sequences shot in technicolor, while the rest of the movie was in black and white. The singing is, of course,playback singing by Lata Mangeshkar and lip-synched by Madhubala..

This song has more to it, than actually appears. It is said that the small engraved mirrors in the area where the song was shot, would sparkle under the camera`s intense lights and made it impossible to shoot. Anything that would be shot would be completely white light. Director K Asif thought of an idea: all those small mirrors, roughly in thousands, would be covered in a very very thin covering of wax, so that they did not reflect any light and still you can see as clean as it can be without any blur. This alone costed the film, more importantly, time.

Hello Darling - Trailer - Bollywood Movie HQ

The World's Farthest Basketball Shot

Peepli Live named Best First Feature Film

Aamir Khan's much talked about home production Peepli Live has been named the Best First Feature Film at the recently concluded 31st Durban International Film Festival. Helmed and written by Anusha Rizvi in her first directorial venture, the film is a satire on the farmers' suicides and subsequent media and political response in India.

"South Africa is very lucky for me and I hope that luck extends to Peepli Live as well," Aamir Khan said from Mumbai today.

The 45-year-old actor's film Lagaan, which went on to get an Oscar nomination also had its world premiere at Sun City in South Africa.

"Peepli Live has been very well received at all the major film festivals. It has already been at the Sundance Film Festival and was the first Indian film to be selected for the competition section there. Then we were at the Berlin Film Festival and in the UK; and then at the Durban Film Festival we won the award," Aamir said.

Filmmakers from around the world took the spotlight at the 31st Durban film fest which was held from 22 July to 1 August.

Well-known for his rejection of the various Indian film industry awards and staying away from them even when his films win multiple awards, Aamir was elated after the film bagged the honour.

"I think it's really wonderful news that I got today. To get an award from such a distinguished jury leaves me very pleased for the team that we have won this honour," Aamir said.

The jury comprised producers Aihara Hiromi of Japan; Christoph Thoke of Germany and South African academic, writer and producer Bhekizizwe Peterson.

"This one is different. It is an award from people who are film people and filmmakers, so it means a lot. The film shows how in society we tend to concentrate and focus all our energies and all our wealth and resources towards the cities.

"This effectively leans towards people who are more privileged and in the process we leave out those who are less privileged, in rural areas and villages," Aamir said.

Peepli Live stars Omkar Das Manikpuri, Raghubir Yadav, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Naseeruddin Shah and Malaika Shenoy in the main roles.

"The recognition at the Durban Film Festival is likely to give a boost to attempts to get a wider audience for the film, although this was likely to be a more difficult task than usual in India. I think the creative team has done a sterling job and now it's my responsibility as the producer to get as large an audience as we can. It is an unusual film for cinemas in India, but I'm trying to put all the strengths that I have behind this film," Aamir said.

"I was so looking forward to that, but unfortunately could not make it because of other commitments," he said of the expectations created that he would be putting in an appearance at the Durban film fest. Apologising to his South African fans for his absence, Aamir thanked them for all the "love and affection over the years and the support for his films."

"I have very fond memories of my visits to South Africa and the interaction with the fans when Salman (Khan) and I had a show there. I hope to come back soon," he said.

For several years now, Aamir has released a film during December, such as Taare Zameen Par, Ghajini and 3 Idiots last year. But the coming year, things would be different.

"My next release after Peepli Live, which releases worldwide on 13 August, will be Dhobhi Ghaat, which will release in January 2011. It is a film that has been written and directed by my wife Kiran Rao, and I am acting in it," he said.

Peepli Live will be distributed in South Africa by the Avalon Group from August 13.

Salman Khan holds up Dubai Metro by an hour

Salman Khan’s Eid release, Dabangg, is the first film to be shot in the Dubai Metro. The shoot was planned for a Friday since that’s the Emirate’s official holiday and trains don’t start before 1 pm. “But the shooting spilled over by an hour,” says director Abhinav Kashyap. “And since there are only two tracks, the trains lined up behind ours were held up and the station was out-of-bounds till 2 pm.”

Special pass
Fortunately, the chaos outside, did not spill over inside. A couple of days later, a few cast and crew members, armed with special passes, shot in Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace, one of the most opulent hotels in the world, before venturing into the desert.

Salman KhanSalman was fitted with a Sheikh’s headgear and even got a falcon to perch on his hand there. “This bird of prey can be trained to sit on your hand, but once it flies away, it’s difficult to lure it back. Our falcon was kept hungry for a day and tempted back with fresh meat,” says Kashyap.

“The desert was actually quite pleasant. Before and after the shots, we’d go off on rides in the buggies we had carted along.” Khan plays a corrupt cop from UP in the film. Since Sonakshi Sinha and he are on their honeymoon, says the writer-director, the jaunts in Dubai are justified.

Angelina Jolie's nude pics surface

Is Angelina Jolie's dark past coming back to haunt her? An old drug buddy of Angelina Jolie's has sold eight graphic and lurid photos of the actress to Star magazine, The Huffington Post has reported.

In one set, the now-mother of six has black tape over her nipples and a dog leash around her neck.
In another photo she has black tape strapped across her mouth while in a separate one she wears a blindfold. A black and white shot taken from behind shows her on a bed wearing just a G-string and cowboy hat.

All this is kind of ill-timed as she's on a promotional tour for her latest action flick ‘Salt’.

Angelina JolieThe photographs have been taken in the year 1999, from an explosive unauthorized biography by Andrew Morton that is due for release in August 2010, reports The Daily Telegraph.

"The photographs are a startling reminder to Angelina of a period in her life I'm sure she wants to forget, a shady piece of her history that she's kept hidden away, even from Brad," celebrity biographer Andrew Morton, author of Angelina: An Unauthorized Biography, has told Star.

The book makes a number of outrageous claims about the 35-year-old actress’ past and her current relationship with partner Brad Pitt.

Meet Vivek Oberoi’s fiancée

Their’s may be an arranged marriage, but actor Vivek Oberoi and fiancée Priyanka Alva may well have been a love match, given how much they have in common.

The daughter of renowned dancer Nandini and late politician Jeevaraj Alva, Priyanka has a few close friends and lives simply. A business management graduate from London, she is involved in her mother’s work at the Artistes Foundation for Arts in Bangalore and, like Vivek, supports several charities and environmental foundations.

Vivek-PriyankaNandini told HT City that despite rumours of an October wedding, no date has been decided on. “Yes, the marriage will take place this year only. They are engaged, but the ceremony is yet to take place. It is an arranged marriage and we are very happy,” said Nandini.

Though Vivek remained unavailable for comment, sources close to the actor said he was bowled over by Priyanka’s “simplicity and humility.” Vivek and Priyanka met each other while working with an orphanage, and it was Bharatnatyam dancer Padmini Ravi who played matchmaker.

Born and brought up in Bangalore, Priyanka attended Mallya Aditi International School and also learned classical Indian dance. She has a younger brother, Aditya.

RIM proposes solutions over BlackBerry issue, but India wants more

Research In Motion has proposed to share with the government some details of its BlackBerry services, but security agencies want full access, a government source said on Wednesday. The government has raised concerns that BlackBerry services could be misused by militants as security agencies cannot access the messages sent
through these services and has asked RIM to offer a solution to address the country's security requirements.

RIM has said that it is impossible for it or any other third party to read encrypted data sent via its enterprise offering and that the company cannot accommodate any request for a copy of a customer's encryption key.

After several meetings with government officials, the company has proposed that it could share the IP address of BlackBerry Enterprise Servers (BES) and the PIN and IMEI numbers of BlackBerry mobiles, a senior government official familiar with the discussions said, but added these were not sufficient.

"Those details do not give us access to encrypted services and is unaccpetable," the official, who did not want to be named as the matter is not yet public, told Reuters.

"We should be able to have full access to meet our security concerns," the official said.

Another government source had told Reuters on Tuesday that talks between RIM and officials from the telecommunications ministry were still on and expected that they would be able to find a solution by the end of August.

"There should be a possibility of lawful interception and the service provider should give us that access. Until that is met, our security concerns shall remain," U K Bansal, internal security chief, told Reuters.

He said RIM was still discussing possible solutions with the telecommunications ministry, which would send it to the home (interior) ministry for clearance when it was ready.

Bansal had earlier said RIM had assured the government that they would be addressing the country's concerns.

The Economic Times on Wednesday reported that India's security establishment had taken a hard-line view of RIM's stance and that the solutions offered by RIM were being tested by the security agencies.

The data security prized by corporate BlackBerry users is a headache for governments intent on monitoring chatter.

India's concerns over BlackBerry services dates back to 2008 when the issue was sorted out after a series of meetings between the company and the state, before resurfacing again recently.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are the latest countries to fret about BlackBerries and the national security concerns raised by their inability to monitor traffic on them.

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday ordered at least one Research In Motion's BlackBerry smartphone service to be blocked.

Chidambaram appeals for peace in Kashmir

Home Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday appealed to the people of Jammu and Kashmir to "end the cycle of violence" that has been continuing for the past more than 50 days. "I appeal to the people of Jammu and Kashmir to end the cycle of violence," Chidambaram said in the Lok shabha.

He said the central government was behind the Omar Abdullah-led state government in its efforts aimed at restoration of peace, holding dialogue and redressal of grievances in all parts of Kashmir.

Chidambaram made a specific appeal to parents in Kashmir, urging them to ensure that their children do not become part of violent activities.

He said that there were 872 stone pelting incidents in June and July 2010 and 1,456 security personnel were injured, adding that the security forces showed "great fortitude" in dealing with the violent protests.

The Kashmir Valley has been on the boil due to violent protests against civilians being killed in firing by security forces since June 11.

Gunfight with Maoists over, 'missing' Chhattisgarh cops safe

Security forces fought a long-drawn gun battle with heavily armed Maoists in a forest in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada area that ended on Wednesday evening, a top police official said, adding that the 70 policemen earlier reported missing were found to be safe. "Our courageous jawans displayed bravery in the encounter that began around 11 a.m. and stretched till evening. Now the gun fight is over and all policemen are safe... they are on their way back but returning very slowly as there is a possibility of landmines or ambushes in their forested way after sunset," Director General of Police Vishwa Ranjan said.

The gunfight began when Maoists attacked a search team of the state police in a thickly forested area of Gumiapal, close to Kirandul, about 420 km south of capital Raipur, an iron ore mining facility of India's top iron ore producer NMDC Ltd.

A strong contingent of the District Force and Koya Commando comprising special police officers (SPOs) had gone into the forest around 11 a.m. after a tip-off about the presence of a unit headed by Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) commander Ganesh Uike, state police spokesperson Rajesh Mishra told reporters.

"Our forces hit five rebels with bullets in the initial spell of the battle and the rebels climbed up to a hilltop to launch a counter-attack but they (Maoists) never managed to succeed," said Ranjan.

Ranjan, who was monitoring the gunfight from the police headquarters here, said some 100 policemen came under attack from the Maoists and a 75-member reinforcement sent later also engaged the rebels.

Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range) T.J. Longkumer said: "It is really a major relief... Maoists were never allowed during the six-hour battle to dominate us. It is good to know that all our jawans are safe."

Rahul, Dimpy seek divine blessings

Rahul, Dimpy seek divine blessings

Rahul Mahajan and Dimpy Ganguly put up a show of togetherness in public for the first time today after a quarrel on Friday when the Kolkata-based model walked out to return the same day following an apparent patch up.

The couple who got married just in March this year visited the famous Sidhhivinayak temple here this afternoon to seek blessings.

"We have no issues between us and I love my wife. We are together and therefore came to take blessings of the God," Rahul, who kept his arm around Dimpi's shoulders, told reporters.

However, Dimpi. who had earlier spoke of her marital woes and physical abuse, refused to speak to the media.

Soon after she was back in the Mahajan family home but says she needs time to think. "He says he has regretted what he did. I need some time alone to think,” she maintained.

As the heir to his father's political legacy, Rahul Mahajan had it all. But he has squandered his legacy with allegations of drug abuse and repeated domestic violence.

Rahul's first marriage ended after allegations of violence. His television stint - an attempt to restore his battered image. But looks like the real life re-run could come in the way.
Rahul, Dimpy seek divine blessings

Earlier, Kolkata-based model Dimpy Ganguly walked out of her four-month-old TV marriage with Rahul Mahajan, accusing him of "punching, kicking and dragging" her by hair only to return home after an apparent patch-up.

Obama's day out with daughter

US President Barack Obama took some time out of his busy schedule to spend with his lovely daughter Sasha. Here are a few snapshots.

US President Barack Obama speaks with Washington Mystics owner Sheila Johnson as his
daughter Sasha looks on.

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US President Barack Obama attends the Washington Mystics basketball game with his daughter Sasha.

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9 killed in US warehouse shooting: Official

Nine people are dead after an employee summoned for a disciplinary hearing opened fire at a beer distributor in Manchester, Conn., on Tuesday morning, the police said.

One of the dead was the suspected gunman, said Sgt. Sandy Ficaro of the Manchester Police Department. Investigators had been at the company, Hartford Distributors, throughout the day trying to determine the number of fatalities.

"We do know that there are eight deceased and the suspect as well," Sergeant Ficara said. "That is the final count."

Lt. J. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police, which is conducting the investigation with the Manchester Police, said the suspect went on a rampage in the warehouse, then "probably" turned the gun on himself. "We're still piecing a lot of it together now," he said earlier.

Sergeant Ficara said, "It's been a crazy scene out there."

He identified the suspect as Omar Thornton, who is 34.

John Hollis, a legislative affairs representative for the Connecticut Teamsters, said Mr. Thornton had been called in for a disciplinary hearing that could have resulted in his being terminated. Mr. Hollis called the suspect "a bottom guy" because he was the last man hired, and said he brought a union representative from Local 1035 for the hearing.

The death toll increased throughout the chaotic morning. At first, officials confirmed three dead. The total is believed to have increased as investigators searched the family-owned warehouse about 10 miles east of Hartford. Three of the injured, all with multiple gunshot wounds, had been transported to Hartford Hospital, and one victim died later in the morning, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

The spokeswoman, Rebecca Stewart, said one patient at the hospital remained in critical condition and another was in fair condition.

Mr. Hollis said Mr. Thornton was a driver for the company, the last to be hired within the previous three years. Public records show that Mr. Thornton, 34, graduated from East Hartford High School in 1996.

Mr. Hollis said Mr. Thornton had run through the warehouse at the busiest time of the morning, right before 7:30 a.m. At that point, more than 100 drivers, sales people and executives would have been in the building during a shift change.

"He came in to meet with the company and after that, all hell broke loose," Mr. Hollis said. "He pulled the gun and ran through the warehouse."

Mr. Hollis said the State Police told him they confronted the suspected gunman and ordered him to drop the gun. The suspect most likely shot himself, Lieutenant Vance said, adding, "There was no police discharge of weapons."

Lt. Joe San Antonio, a spokesman for the Manchester police, said that when officers responded to an emergency call at 7:30, they searched the building and found the suspect shot.

Buses transported employees from the warehouse to Manchester High School, where union representatives and Ross Hollander, the owner of Hartford Distributors, were comforting families of the victims, Mr. Hollis said.

In a statement, Gov. M. Jodi Rell of Connecticut called the shootings a "senseless act of violence."

"In the wake of this tragedy," Ms. Rell said, "we are all left asking the same questions: How could someone do this? Why did they do this?"

One man, who did not want to be identified, walked out of the high school on Tuesday afternoon and quickly got into his car. "It was a sad day," the man said. "I was in there."

'Solar tsunami' may hit Earth anytime: Scientists

The Earth could be hit by a 'solar tsunami' anytime now as an unusually complex magnetic eruption on the Sun has flung a large cloud of electrically charged particles towards our planet, scientists have warned.

Several satellites, including NASA's new Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), recorded on Sunday a small solar flare erupting above sunspot 1092, the size of the Earth.

The satellites also recorded a large filament of cool gas stretching across the Sun's northern hemisphere also exploded into space.

The explosion, called a coronal mass ejection, was aimed directly towards Earth, which then sent a 'solar tsunami' racing 93 million miles across space, the New Scientist reported.

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When the violent cloud hits, which could be anytime now, it could spark aurorae in the skies around the poles and pose a threat to satellites, although not a severe one, it said.

Despite being separated by hundreds of thousands of kilometres, the two events may be linked, said astronomers who studied the images from SDO that hint at a shock wave travelling from the flare into the filament.

"These are two distinct phenomena but they are obviously related," said Len Culhane, a solar physicist at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London.

Experts said the wave of supercharged gas will likely reach the Earth on Tuesday, when it will buffet the natural magnetic shield protecting Earth.

It is likely to spark spectacular displays of the aurora or northern and southern lights.

"This eruption is directed right at us," said Leon Golub, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics.

"It's the first major Earth-directed eruption in quite some time," Golub was quoted as saying by the Telegraph.

Scientists recently discussed the implications of volatile space weather at the Space Weather Enterprise Forum. One of the biggest concerns is the potential for a major blackout.

Daniel Baker, Space Scientist, University of Colorado-Boulder says, " One of the that things we really saw the major impacts would be on the power grid. That a major storm could cause immense damage. It could cause major blackouts that could last for weeks, possibly months or even years."

In August 2003 a computer malfunction played a major role in the US's worst blackout putting 50 million people in the dark, including all of New York City.

The effects of a solar storm on the power grid are still unknown, but researchers are trying to assure they are prepared for the worst case scenarios.

Richard Fisher, head of NASA's Heliophysics Division says, "Hours is okay, you can get along. A few people stuck in elevators, a few people on heart-lung machine, it's very important for them. As you go into days our water supplies are impacted. And that's an essence of life. So it's potentially a devastating blow. But we think it's an unlikely blow."

NASA recently warned that Britain could face widespread power blackouts as well and be left without critical communication signals for long periods of time, after the earth is hit by a once-in-a-generation 'space storm'.

Earlier scientists had said that they believed the Earth would be hit with unprecedented levels of magnetic energy from solar flares after the Sun wakes "from a deep slumber" sometime around 2013.

It remains unclear, however, how much damage this latest eruption will cause the world's communication tools.

Dr Lucie Green, of the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, Surrey, who followed the flare-ups using Japan's orbiting Hinode telescope, said this was a very rare event.

"Not one, but two almost simultaneous eruptions from different locations on the Sun were launched toward the Earth.

"These eruptions occur when immense magnetic structures in the solar atmosphere lose their stability and can no longer be held down by the Sun's huge gravitational pull. Just like a coiled spring suddenly being released, they erupt into space."

"This means we have a very good chance of seeing major and prolonged effects, such as the northern lights at low latitudes."

So how should individuals prepare for solar storms?

Richard Fisher says, "I think a little bit of extra water, a couple of flashlights, and a transistor radio are a few good things to have."

Scientists are preparing, too.

NASA, the Department of Defense, and the Federal Aviation Administration - are working together to prepare for space weather events, and will soon be launching probes to monitor radiation belts.

Nightclub owner molested me, says Delhi MBA student

It's not advisable to drink and drive, but it's an equally bad idea for a woman in an inebriated state to accept an offer of lift from a virtual stranger. An MBA student learnt this the hard way on July 22 in Delhi.

Speaking to MiD DAY, the victim said that on that night she had gone to RAAS bar, situated in B Block at Lajpat Nagar. There she joined a group of people including a Russian girl and Varun Arora, the bar owner, whom she had met for the first time. The victim says she did not speak to Varun at that point; they just drinking together.

"It was around 2 am when the bar closed. I called up the caretaker of my PG accommodation and asked him to arrange a cab for me. The caretaker expressed his inability and said I would have to return on my own. I was waiting for an auto-rickshaw or a taxi when Varun Arora, the bar owner, approached me and offered me a lift in his car. Varun assured me that he will drop me at my PG accommodation safely."

"I sat on the rear seat of the car while Varun was on the front seat along with the driver. However, on the way he stopped the car to sit beside me. He then started asking me questions about myself and eventually began molesting me. I resisted but he carried on. He threw me out of the car when I said that I am the daughter of a CBI officer and would call the police," alleged the victim.

The MBA student said that she suffered injuries on her arms and chest. She approached the police but was asked to come next day. She further alleged that she had to visit police station several times before an FIR was finally lodged.

Meanwhile, a police officer said that a report had been filed on the basis of the allegations made by the victim and the matter was being investigated. They also said that they were yet to get the forensic report of the victim.

"We have not arrested anyone in the case. She has charged the bar owner with attempted rape. We have taken the statement of Varun who claimed that the girl was demanding money. Varun has also alleged that he has a video recording of the girl when she was trying to blackmail him. But he has not given us the footage so far," said the police officer.

When contacted by MiD DAY, Varun Arora refused to speak on the matter. He claimed that he didn't know the victim. When this reporter said that a copy of the FIR was in his possession, Varun said that it was a fictitious account.

Pranab loses temper, slams Opposition

Pranab Mukherjee loses temper, snaps at Opposition

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday lost his temper at the Opposition in Parliament and warned them not to “ridicule his sensitivity”.

"I am from a village. I studied under a kerosene lamp till my Class 10, commuted to school by walking, in today`s terminology, 10 km everyday. Don`t ridicule my sensitivity," said Mukherjee with folded hands whenOpposition members claimed that the Centre was trying to blame the states for price rise in the country.

Pranab asked the Opposition to explain what was “insensitive”: raising kerosene prices from Rs2 a litre to Rs9 per litre (during the NDA regime) or increasing the prices from Rs 9 a litre to Rs 12 per litre?

The UPA government in June raised prices of kerosene by Rs3 a litre, cooking gas by Rs35 a cylinder and diesel by Rs a litre, besides freeing petrol prices from government control that made the fuel costlier by Rs 3 a litre.

Pranab was replying to the discussion on the Motion on Inflationary pressure on the economy.

Yeh Shaam Mastani to Zindigi ke safar mein

Yeh Shaam Mastani to Zindigi ke safar mein

Yeh Shaam Mastani, Dil Kya Kare, O Maajhi Re, you`ve heard these evergreen songs time and again by the legendary singer Kishore Kumar.Kishore Da, whose mellifluous voice could leave many moist-eyed with its heart-wrenching pathos, soul-stirring melancholy and deep anguish.

Like in the past,members of versatile singer and actor Kishore Kumar`s family gather at his Juhu bungalow today and performed the "shradh" rituals. Once Leena Chandavarkar, the legend`s wife said that the entire Ganguly clan was present during the rites held on "pitru amavasya".

Leena said her 22-year-old son Sumeet, who started his playback career with Ram Gopal Varma`s soon to be released `Naach`, was working very hard to make a name for himself in the industry. "He is absolutely original and does not imitate his father," she added.

"Sumeet tells me that Dada`s voice (Amit Kumar) sounds just like Baba (Kishore). So I tell him, you are just 22 and you will not sound like a 40-year-old or 70-year-old. My husband always said you don`t get fame and success overnight, you have to work very hard for it and that is what I tell my son," she said.

Kishore, whose original name was Abhas Kumar Ganguly, started his singing career at 18, though he did not know even the rudiments of music. He left his birthplace, Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh and moved to Mumbai where his elder brother, Ashok Kumar, was already an established actor. However, opportunities did not come easily to Kishore. Initially, he imitated the style of legendary singer KL Sehgal, whom he idolised.

He sang his first song in 1948, `Marne ki duayen kyon maangu` for Dev Anand in the film `Ziddi`. He then approached S.D. Burman, under whose music direction he rendered many hits. His uninhibited antics and spontaneity made him one of the greatest comedians of Indian cinema. His exuberance lit up the screen as he sang and danced in films such as `Asha` and `Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi`.

The 1960s were tough times for Kishore as he encountered personal and professional problems. But he shot back to the top with `Aradhana`, following which he became the permanent voice of superstar Rajesh Khanna. His hits vary from the sad `Zindagi ke safar mein` to the flippant `Rafta rafta`.

He was married four times, to leading actresses Ruma Devi, Madhubala, Yogita Bali and Leena Chandavarkar, in that order. The actor-singer managed to remain at the top till the mid-Eighties before succumbing to a heart attack in 1987.

Air India scraps deal with Australian firm

Air India scraps deal with Australian firm

Air India has cancelled its controversial USD 1.6 million deal with an Australian firm to revitalise its brand identity for the upcoming Commonwealth Games.

An Air India spokeman said,"Following a review of the brand and identity management plans, the project with Cato Purnell Partners has been annulled."

Sources said the agreement was cancelled last evening after a controversy broke out following a question asked in Rajya Sabha whether the ailing national carrier had entered into such an agreement.

In reply, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel had said "Cato Purnell Partners have been appointed by the National Aviation Company of India Ltd (NACIL) to revitalise its brand identity, and the fees payable to them would be around USD 1,612,750 plus taxes".

The Minister had said that the tie-up would help develop an identity and broader visual language that would allow NACIL to be seen as a meaningful partner to the Games.

The consultant, he said, would also help the national carrier develop a migration strategy and design, and revitalise the Air India brand.

In reply to another question, Patel had said Air India has suffered losses of Rs 13,430 crore in the last three years.

The national carrier, which incurred losses of Rs 2,226.16 crore and Rs 5,548.26 crore during financial years 2007-08 and 2008-09, is expected to incur a loss of Rs 5,656.52 crore during 2009-10.

Motorola Milestone XT720, Backflip Out In India

Motorola has announced the launch of two brand new Android based phones in India. The devices in question are the Motorola Milestone XT720 and the Blackflip. We had earlier reported about Motorola's intentions to launch the XT720 here by the first week of August.
The XT720 boasts of an 8 megapixel camera and support for HD video recording. The XT720 is also touted to be the world's slimmest 8 megapixel phone with Xenon flash. It measures 10.9mm thick and has a capacitive 3.7-inch touchscreen display with a WVGA (480X854) resolution. The phone comes loaded with Android 2.1. The 8 megapixel camera supports features like Smart Image Capture, includes easy panorama, face detection, multi-shot (six shots in a row), face filter, red eye reduction and camera shake prevention. It also comes with an HDMI cable (in the box) that allows HD video captured on the phone to be viewed directly on an HD TV. The phone comes with an 8GB microSD card and supports cards of upto 32GB display.
As for the Backflip, as you might be aware, it features a reverse-flip design and comes with a friction hinge that allows the QWERTY keyboard to flip underneath for working in tabletop mode. It features a 3.1-inch (7.8 cm) HVGA screen and also has the Backtrack feature which is a touch panel located on the other side of the device. The Backflip has a 5 megapixel camera and auto-focus LED flash. Other features include a GPS, stereo Bluetooth, MPEG 4 capability, 3.5 mm (0.35 cm) headset audio jack and expandable memory of up to 32GB.As for the pricing, Motorola has priced the Milestone XT720 at a princely Rs. 34,990 while the Backflip will set you back by Rs. 22,990. Considering the Samsung Galaxy S is available for much lesser, do you think its worth paying almost Rs. 7,000 extra for that better camera and Xenon flash? You decide!

Salman Khan dumps 10 Ka Dum


Unable to tolerate that the broadcasters of 10 Ka Dum were taking him for a ride, Salman Khan has dumped the game show in a huff and vowed he will only take up the show again on his own terms. While the exact exchange between the Salman and the channel a few hours before he signed on for Bigg Boss 4 isn’t available, the gist of his message was clear — my way or the highway.

According to reports, Salman had charged Rs 89 crore for the 104 episodes telecast in the first season of 10 Ka Dum . For the second season he asked for an increment of Rs 44 crore which failed to materialise. In fact, Salman had slashed his fee for the second season after the channel admitted a cash crunch due to the recession. Yet, he wasn’t bothered. “I love this show,” he had said in an interview.

Explaining the chain of events, a source said, “The broadcaster of 10 Ka Dum made Salman wait for a long time. 10 Ka Dum 3 was supposed to start this year but suddenly the entire focus shifted to Kaun Banega Crorepati 4 after Amitabh signed the dotted line. But Salman still waited patiently.”

So when was the flashpoint reached? “It came when the 10 Ka Dum broadcaster and Salman had started talking money for the third season. Salman was told he wouldn’t get a hike. Salman argued that since the recession was over, why shouldn’t he get a better pay packet? He asked them that since he had stood by them in their time of crisis, so why couldn’t they repay him now? But the broadcaster tried to soft-pedal the issue.”

Salman finally realised it wasn’t worth waiting any longer for a positive answer. “ 10 Ka Dum was very close to Salman’s heart. But it is okay, life goes on. He is very happy with Bigg Boss 4 ,” said the source.

We wonder if there is a sub-script to the drama. Apparently Salman’s brother Sohail has been pitching a few pilots to various channels but the 10 Ka Dum broadcaster didn’t show any interest in his projects.

“Salman has made it clear that if he is ever approached for 10 Ka Dum , it should be at his terms and price. Otherwise they are free to search for a suitable replacement for the third season,” added the source.

Street children sing for Peepli Live

Peepli Live

Not only does Aamir Khan’s upcoming production Peepli Live have an interesting array of actors, it also has an eclectic bunch of musicians. The soundtrack is in the news for its song on price rise by Raghuvir Yadav, two tracks by band Indian Ocean, and a classical number by Nagin Tanvir.

But what’s not known so far is that Khan has roped in a French music composer and multi-instrumentalist for the background score of the movie as well. The composer, Mathias Duplessy, has earlier composed for films like Mona Saber (2001) and Bombay Summer (2008), and is well known on the international jazz circuit.

For Peepli Live, Duplessy has actually got slum children, who sing on trains, to sing on the background of the movie. Khan confirms the news, “Yes, Matthew has got street children to sing on the background of the movie. While the soundtrack features a variety of artistes, the children haven’t sung a full-fledged song, but only sung a few verses on the background.”

Khan does not reveal more on this, but says that it’s the little details in the movie that excite him as a producer. He raves about the actors in the movie too, “Most of the actors are debuting with this movie. And I can confidently say that if you compare their performance in this movie to mine in any movie I’ve done, they’d still be ten times better than me.”

Sensex quiet; TCS, Infy, Rel Comm, BHEL, Wipro up

At 12.52 hrs IST, the Nifty was trading flat with positive bias. It was a quiet session for the markets as Nifty was consolidating around 5450 mark. IT stocks saw significant buying post stellar results from IT major Cognizant. Telecom, capital goods and power stocks also saw decent buying interest. Selling was seen in banks, oil&gas and FMCG stocks. BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices were up 0.13% and 0.57% respectively.

The Sensex was up 39.41 points or 0.22% at 18154.24, and the Nifty was up 7.70 points or 0.14% at 5447.25. About 1622 shares have advanced, 1387 shares declined, and 353 shares were unchanged.

Sensex quiet; TCS, Infy, Rel Comm, BHEL, Wipro up

In the largecap space, TCS, Infosys, Reliance Communications, Wipro and BHEL were up 2-3%. On the losing side, PNB, Axis Bank, Sun Pharma, Jaiprakash Associates and ACC were down 1.2-2%.

Index heavyweight Reliance was trading at Rs 1,018.95 down 0.71% from its previous close of Rs 1,026.20. Refinery major HPCL was trading at Rs 439.50 down 0.51% from its previous close of Rs 441.75. Tech major Infosys was trading at Rs 2,855.60 up 2.55% from its previous close of Rs 2,784.55.

Cigarette major ITC was trading at Rs 152.75 down 0.88% from its previous close of Rs 154.10. Hindustan Lever was trading at Rs 254.60 up 0.39% from its previous close of Rs 253.60.

Top gainers on the BSE Midcap: Hathway Cable, Bayer Cropscience, Indiabulls, M&M Financial and Thermax were up 4-5%.

Top losers on the BSE Midcap: Punj Lloyd, MVL, Jubilant Foodworks, KGN Industries and Kansai Nerolac were down 2-4%.

Top gainers on the BSE Smallcap: Talwalkars Fitness, VIP Industries, Ashiana Housing, Kewal Kiran and English Ind Cla were up 9-11%.

Top losers on the BSE Smallcap: Garden Silk Mills, AP Paper Mills, Welspun India, REI Six Ten and Religare Technova were down 3.5-8%.

Prices can be tamed but states must cooperate: Pranab

Every step was and will be taken to tame prices, but the public at large must appreciate that certain factors like supply shortfall and hoarding were beyond the federal government's control, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said Wednesday. Replying to a debate on the government's response to rising prices in the Lok Sabha, which had prevented the conduct of business for the whole of last week, the finance minister said on issues such as prices both the federal and state governments must act together.

"The powers are vested with states. Essential Services Maintenance Act is the states. But I do not intend to pass on the buck to them. It has to be done collectively by the union and state governments," he added, alluding to action required to prevent hoarding.

Touching upon the recent hikes allowed in prices of petroleum products, Mukherjee said in his 50-minute reply it was unavoidable due to perpetual increases in international crude oil prices, and added that reducing tax was not a solution.

"You must understand, 34 percent of the revenues of the states governments come from petroleum products. I have to find alternative mechanisms. But I agree that petroleum prices must be rationalised," he said.

In this regard, he said, a uniform goods and services tax across the country -- proposed to take effect from April 1 next year to replace the central excise duty and the various state levies -- will help in augmenting resources and addressing inflation.

"Constitution Amendment Bill must be introduced in this session for Goods and Services Tax. Otherwise it will get delayed further," he said, even as he sought to reason why stronger measures aimed just at bringing down prices were not taken.

"Too much money chasing too few goods will automatically fuel inflationary expectations. But we have deliberately injected money into the system to ensure growth," he said, adding that it was also necessary to help exports and ensure remunerative prices for goods.

Referring to pulses and edible oils, the finance minister said it was unfortunate that the country was hit by the twin supply-side factors - shortfall in domestic output and lack of adequate availability in the international markets.

He hoped with a good kharif (summer crop) output, prices of pulses and edible oils would come down.

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