Blog Archive

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Narendra Modi ridicules Centre's decision to remove 25 paise coins

The decision of Indian govt to put 25 paise coins put of circulation has been ridiculed by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday June 29.
Modi said the Centre was increasing fuel prices with impunity and could not ask the state governments to cut taxes.

“They increase oil prices with impunity and tell states to eliminate taxes, but we will (electorally) eliminate them with help of the people,” Modi said.

He said when the people joined their voice with the yoga expert Baba Ramdev for the demonetisation of thousand rupee notes, which was the only way to unearth black money, the Centre responded by stopping 25 paise coins. This reflected, he said, the Centre's lack of desire to fight against black money.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sonam Kapoor denies being offered films in Kollywood and Tollywood

Indian actress Sonam Kapoor has denied reports that she has been offered films down South with stars Kamal Haasan and Vijay.
Reacting to a report that said Sonam has been shortlisted by Kamal Haasan as one of the girls for his film "Viswaroopam", the actress says, "Dudes and duddettes... I have not been offered any film in Tollywood. I would love to work with the above mentioned..."

Just recently, it was reported that if Sonakshi Sinha's dates don't work out, Sonam may be approached for "Viswaroopam" and may also bag AR Murugadoss' film with south superstar Vijay.

However, she has expressed her desire to work with the popular duo.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Genitoplasty in Indore, MP govt asked to probe

Taking cognisance of a newspaper report about several hospitals and clinics in Indore performing surgeries on baby girls to change their sex, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has asked the State government of Madhya Pradesh to undertake an investigation with a team of doctors, known for high professional competence and ethical standards.

Girls are being 'converted' into boys in Indore - by the hundreds every year - at ages where they cannot give their consent for this life-changing operation.

This shocking, unprecedented trend, catering to the fetish for a son, is unfolding at conservative Indore's well-known clinics and hospitals on children who are 1-5 years old.

The procedure, called genitoplasty, is recommended only for those children whose internal organs don’t match their external genitalia (for instance, someone who has male internal organs but female genitals and female hormone).

Women's and children's rights campaigners denounced the practice as a 'social madness' that made a 'mockery of women in India.'

NCPCR has sought a detailed report within 15 days, giving facts, figures and circumstances of the cases, list of doctors/hospitals practising genitoplasty and action taken or contemplated against them.

It also wants to know the measures taken by the Madhya Pradesh government at the State/district and local level in terms of publicity/awareness campaign against the adverse effects of sex change operations as well as female foeticide and infanticide.

It has asked the government why measures to create awareness against preference for a male child have been ineffective.

Alerted by the newspaper report that hundreds of girl children in Indore are being operated on to turn them into boys, the Medical Council of India (MCI) and the Madhya Pradesh health department on Sunday (27-June-2011) recommended measures to ensure that parents hankering for male children don’t exploit such ‘corrective’ surgeries with the help of corrupt doctors.

Genitoplasty experts of Indore say each of them have turned 200-300 girls into 'boys' so far. The low cost of surgery (Rs 1.5 lakh), relatively easy and unobtrusive ways of getting it done and vague laws are even attracting parents from Delhi and Mumbai.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Cops say murder of J Dey was contract killing

The Mumbai Crime Branch claimed to have made a major breakthrough in the J Dey murder case late on Sunday (26-June-2011) night.

“We have cracked the case. At least five persons have been detained from the state as well as from outside the state,” a senior Crime Branch official said.

J Dey (56), working with the city-based English tabloid MiD-Day, was shot dead by four motorcycle-borne assailants in suburban Powai on June 11.

Dey was shot at from close range, reportedly by professionals, and a total of 5 bullets entered his body.

The Mumbai Police claim to have made a breakthrough in the murder case of senior journalist Jyotirmoy Dey, with the arrest of seven people.

Police sources said it seemed like a case of contract killing and that the shooters were suspected to be members of the Chhota Rajan gang.

The seven people, from Mumbai and Karnataka, were arrested after several rounds of questioning; more than 70 suspects have been questioned by the police so far.

The Mumbai Police Commissioner will hold a press conference later today to share all details of the case.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bilingual (tamil-telugu) film 180 reviews

Ad filmmaker Jayendra's directorial debut '180' that stars Siddharth, Priya Anand and Nithya Menon in the lead roles is one of the much-awaited movies this season due to many reasons.
This bilingual movie marks Siddharth's comeback to Kollywood after almost seven years.

Balasubramaniem is the cinematographer and Sharreth Vasudevan has composed the music. Umarji Anuradha has written the dialogues and Vanamaali has written the lyrics.

Rediff Review

The production values are brilliant, Balasubramaniem's camera-work is spotless, Sharreth's music is easy on the ears while V Selvakumar's artwork is all cool -- shapes, high-rise apartments and quaint Chennai homes.
Siddharth is much the same he's been in many movies before this; playing the cheerful guy who has secrets up his sleeve is a cakewalk for him. He's one of those actors who can carry off the role of the urban male convincingly, and he follows the pattern.

Priya Anand is sweet, sympathetic, but doesn't quite manage to pull it off during the angst sections. Part of it is her attire: she actually wears towering heels and perfectly coordinated dresses during the most sorrowful moments!

Nithya Menen gives her excellent competition with her own sweet, unsullied looks. She actually manages to carry her viewers with her, despite the faltering Tamil accent.

DNA Review

180 is two and a half hours of emotional torture that is so brutally assaultive in its determination to extort sympathy from viewers that it practically leaps off the screen and into their laps in order to get to it.
This film is completely contrived and uneven; by the end we are screaming to yank our eyes and ears away from all that overtly dramatic music, glycerin tears, the super sensitive subject choice and the crushing lack of sensibility. Siddharth’s heartfelt performance and the exquisite cinematography can't redeem the dramatic fallacies surrounding this mess.

180 feels like there was an explosion at the sob story factory and little pieces from dozens of different films were jammed together into one dreadful mutant. The whole terminal illness melodrama attacks your chest so relentlessly, that by the time it's over you’re forced to beg for a defibrillator.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Producer of Vikram's Rajapattai held in Chennai

Singanamala Ramesh, the producer of Vikram's Rajapattai to be directed by Suseendhiran has been arrested at his Velacherry home, in Chennai, in connection with three fraud and cheating cases, in which he is among the accused.
The financier-turned-producer, who was on the run for the past six months for allegedly threatening a woman, Vijayanti, to whom he owed Rs 14.69 crore, was nabbed by the Andhra Pradesh Crime Investigation Department (CID) from Chennai.

Based on the complaint lodged by Vijayanti, CCS police had earlier booked criminal cases against Ramesh on January 13.

Ramesh Babu and his wife Vidyadhari obtained a loan of Rs.18.12 crore from Ms. Vaijayanthi Reddy and her husband for film production. They claimed to own property measuring 9 acres and 53 cents, located in Poonjeri village, Mahabalipuram Road, near Chennai.
The couple subsequently repaid Rs.3.42 crore through registration of three flats in the city.

Based on the information, a CID team took Singanamala Ramesh Babu into custody from Chennai and started questioning him. They also conducted a search at his premises and other places to find out any incriminating material and documents, CID Additional Director General of Police S V Ramana Murthy said.

In the recent past, Singanamala Ramesh became popular after producing big budget movies like 'Komaram Puli' starring Pawan Kalyan and 'Khaleja' with Mahesh Babu as the hero.
Two months after taking over the case from Hyderabad city police, Crime Investigation Department (CID) sleuths have made a significant breakthrough in Maddelacheruvu Suri murder case by arresting Singanamala Ramesh Babu, a Tollywood producer and close associate of the prime suspect, Bhanu.

There is yet another case on Ramesh where he is accused of cheating Shalimaar Video company.

Singanamala Ramesh's father Satya Rama Murthy is a senior film financier. Nampally sessions court had denied anticipated bail petition of Singanamala Ramesh recently.

There are several blackmail allegations on Ramesh. He used to apparently use the names of Suri and Bhanu to threaten film personalities and financiers.

Indian govt hikes diesel, LPG and kerosene prices

Over a month after petrol prices were hiked, the government on Friday (24-June-2011) raised the price of diesel by Rs 3 per litre, cooking gas by Rs 50 per cylinder and kerosene by Rs 2 per litre. The raise is nearly 8 percent.
The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM), headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, met today and took the much-deferred politically sensitive decision, which Oil Minister S Jaipal Reddy said was done to cut down on burgeoning under-recovery of oil marketing companies.

The current hike comes just a day after the government announced that India's food inflation had soared to a nearly 10-week high of 9.13% for the week ended June 11.

The price hike is excluding value added tax (VAT).

Hired killer burnt alive for killing sarpanch

Even a battalion of 200 armed police personnel, including the anti-riot force, could not avert a gory incident in Hyatpur village where a mob burnt alive a contract killer who was fleeing after shooting the sarpanch on Thursday (23-June-2011).

Angry villagers near Gurgaon tried to burn a man alive for killing a village sarpanch. The man died in the hospital, but police said that the absconding assailants are part of a criminal gang.

"We are trying to ascertain the identities of the attacker. So far we have not arrested or detained anybody," Gurgaon Joint Commissioner of Police Alok Mittal told IANS.

The incident took place in Hayatpur village near Manesar Thursday when three to four other men, led by main accused Rakesh, attacked and fired at the village headman, also a Rakesh.

In the meantime, as the killers were trying to flee, the villagers nabbed one of them and beat him up. Eyewitnesses said that even before the police could reach the place, the killer, named Rakesh, was half- dead from the beating he received at the hands of the villagers.

When the police tried to take the killer away, the mob poured kerosene over him and set him on fire. The mob also fought a pitched battle with the police, pelting stones at the police van. Four policemen and three media persons were injured in the stone-pelting.

Indian sailors come home after 10 months of captivity by Somali pirates

After nearly 10 months in captivity, six Indian sailors of MV Suez, owned by an Egyptian company, came home. The cargo ship had been hijacked by Somali pirates in August last year.

The joyful men freed after 11 months saw their return home Friday as a rebirth.

"The pirates would get drunk and beat us. They would use anything they could get their hands on to beat us. We were sure they would kill us," N.K. Sharma, one of the sailors, told reporters.

Tortured by a group of drunk pirates and starved for days together, freedom seemed distant for the six Indian sailors on board MV Suez, who had almost given up hope of meeting their families.

And when freedom dawned upon them after ten months in captivity of Somali pirates, they could not believe their nightmare was over and were going to be reunited with family and friends.

The 22-member crew of Egyptian merchant vessel MV Suez, which included 11 Egyptians, four Pakistanis, six Indians and one Sri Lankan, was taken captive after Somalian pirates attacked them last year. The sailors were freed after Pakistan human rights activist Ansar Burney raised money for their ransom after successfully negotiating their release.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

SRK may not perform at IIFA

Shah Rukh Khan is in no mood to dance, since the pain in his knee has aggravated.
The actor, who is known to keep his commitments, doesn't want to disappoint his fans at The International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) extravaganza being held Toronto and, has opted to have a spontaneous performance on the stage, which may last for couple of minutes.

King Khan has said that he might not perform at the show. "Knee not very good... degenerated in several places. Will still try and do some dancing at IIFA... will have to go in for rehab etc as soon as i get back from holidays with kids," SRK tweeted.

Earlier, SRK tweeted that the dance steps were being made easy for him.

The actor has attended two editions of the IIFA Weekend in the past - in Singapore in 2004 and Amsterdam in 2005. He had last performed in the Singapore show.

Guwahati violence - Assam govt orders probe

Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi on Thursday (23-June-2011) ordered an investigation into violent demonstrations over a government eviction drive which saw three people shot dead by police.
A 10-year-old boy and two others were killed in a clash between police and protestors in Guwahati, Assam on Wednesday, June 22.

The agitators torched city buses and private vehicles, threw stones at security personnel and damaged a number of vehicles near the State Secretariat.

A large number of protesters, including women, were armed with lathis which they used to damage vehicles. They threw stones, injuring journalists and policemen including City Senior Superintendent of Police Dipak Chouhdury and a Deputy Superintendent.

Admitting to intelligence failure in anticipating the large-scale violence which left three dead, the Assam government ordered a probe into the incident and has promised action within 3-4 days.

"Yes, there was failure of intelligence and police, the deputy commissioner failed to anticipate such large-scale violence," senior ministers Himanta Biswa Sarma and Rockybul Hussain said.

"The police and deputy commissioner failed to anticipate when they gave permission for the rally, but at the same time the rallyists have given assurance to the administration that it would be peaceful. This is also a breach of trust," Sarma said.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Delhi govt bans use of calcium carbide for ripening fruits

It's a well-known fact that mangoes are ripened with calcium carbide by traders and this can prove to be toxic.
Delhi govt bans use of calcium carbide for ripening fruits
The Delhi government has banned the use of calcium carbide for artificial ripening of fruits, recognising its harmful effects of health, and suggested ethylene gas as an alternate technique.

To promote a natural and safe way of ripening fruits, the Delhi government will soon organise a special campaign to educate and spread awareness among fruit traders and merchants. They would be taught how to use ethylene to ripen fruits.

The decision was taken in a meeting at Delhi Secretariat on Monday (20-June-2011) to discuss alternative techniques for ripening fruits.

Ashok Kumar Walia, the Delhi health minister said that the special team from (PFA) the department of food adulteration will be sent to meet fruit traders to create awareness.

Walia said that ethylene gas is safe for ripening fruits which is used by several agencies like Mother Dairy and Safal. He added that fruits that are used with ethylene are having good color and better shelf life.

Google can now translate more Indian languages

Internet search engine giant Google on Tuesday (22-June-2011) announced the expansion of its translation services to include five more Indian languages -- Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu -- thus increasing its reach to a potential half a million population.

With the inclusion of new languages, the total number of languages supported by Google Translate has risen to 63. Google says these languages are presently in experimental phase, noting that Indian languages are pretty different from English language. It also highlights that the new languages supported by its online translation service are spoken by over 500 million people in India and Bangladesh.

According to Google research scientist Ashish Venugopal, Indian languages often use the Subject Object Verb (SOV) ordering to form sentences, unlike English, which uses Subject Verb Object (SVO) ordering.

"This difference in sentence structure makes it harder to produce fluent translations; the more words that need to be reordered, the more chance there is to make mistakes when moving them. Tamil, Telugu and Kannada are also highly agglutinative, meaning a single word often includes affixes that represent additional meaning, like tense or number," Venugopal says.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Megastar Chiranjeevi visits Superstar Rajini in Singapore

Superstar Rajnikanth, who is out of the hospital, is now recuperating in a rented apartment in Singapore resting, enjoying time with his family, swimming and doing yoga.
Rajinikanth is currently keen on rejuvenation and is spending quality time with his family. Fellow actor and a good friend, Mega Star of Tollywood, Chiranjeevi flew to Singapore to pay a visit to Rajinikanth and expressed his concern on Rajini’s health.

Rajini is paying regular visits to hospital for periodic checkups. He will be back to Chennai in about a month time.

It was a big surprise for superstar Rajinikanth when megastar-turned-politician Chiranjeevi unexpectedly came to his apartment in Singapore on Monday (20-June-2011) to meet him. Both stars spent some time together and discussed his health condition.

Rajinikanth will be returning shortly and 'Rana' will go on floors immediately.

Aishwarya Rai pregnant, Amitabh Bachchan tweets, Celebs greet..!!

Finally all the buzz around Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's weight gain has come to an end, the secret has been revealed and for all the questions waiting, the answer indeed is that Aishwarya is pregnant.
The Bachchan's are expecting to add one more member to their family as Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan tweeted that daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai and his son Abhishek Bachchan are expecting their first child.

After the predictable round of denying pregnancy rumours, Ash has been outed on Twitter by pa-in-law Amitabh Bachchan with this post: "NEWS NEWS NEWS !! I AM GOING TO BECOME A GRANDFATHER .. AISHWARYA EXPECTING .. SO HAPPY AND THRILLED !!!"

Eyebrows were last raised when Ash chose to cover up her shapely form in a voluminous - though designer - dress at 162nd Prix de Diane horse racing, on June 12, 2011 in Chantilly, north of Paris.

And it's now confirmed that the third generation of Bollywood's First Family is on it's way.

Bollywood too is equally excited about the news. On hearing the news, composer Vishal Dadlani wrote: "Thrilled for @juniorbachchan, Ash, @SrBachchan and Mrs B. Some of the most wonderful people I know! God bless you ..."
Sophie Chowdhury wrote: "Congrats to soon to be dadaji @SrBachchan. Thrilled for @juniorbachchan and Ash. Much love and happiness to u all!!"

Koel Puri, on her part, has wished the Bachchan parivar and also said that Abhishek and Ash will no doubt have beautiful children.

Though, the due date is not known as yet, this piece of news has surely brought lots of joy to the Bachchans and their fans.

Summer Solstice 2011 - Google Doodle

Today (21-June-2011) marks the first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere and as usual Google was one of the first to celebrate.
When clicking onto the world wide web, users at times will be met with a Google doodle representing a specific date on the yearly calendar, the latest being Fathers Day on Sunday just gone.

In honor of the Summer Solstice, the longest day of year, Google is celebrating with two homepage doodles from celebrated Japanese artist Takashi Murakami.

What is a midsummer night's dream like? Just ask Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, who's created a fantastical Google Doodle to celebrate the summer solstice.

The brightly colored cartoon, populated by smiling flowers and slightly sinister beasties, commemorates the longest day of the year. “Two super fun, superflat doodles today created by one of our favorite artists Takashi Murakami,” Google trumpeted this morning via Twitter. The other drawing depicts the winter solstice, with happy snowflakes and bunnies with frosty breath.

The summer solstice is the day on which the Earth's northern hemisphere leans closest to the Sun. In the southern hemisphere it takes place in December.

The term solstice is generally used to mean the longest day but it is actually the fleeting instant of proximity when the orbits align.

The time at which the Earth will be closest to the sun is 6.16pm (BST) today (Tuesday 21 June).

The solstice is a Pagan celebration day and believers gather at spiritually significant sites, such as Stonehenge.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Saif: Kareena And I Are Together

A day after stories of their split did the rounds, actor Saif Ali Khan has issued a statement saying that he and girlfriend Kareena Kapoor are very much together.
Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor have been together for almost four years now. The duo are reportedly passing through a rough patch as rumors about their strained relations and lack of trust start swirling thick and fast.

Recent reports had claimed, Saif wasn't happy with Kareena working around the clock, not spending enough time with him and more so, on how his girlfriend is spending too much money on her own family.

Actor Saif Ali Khan has already taken to damage control over such reports. He has slammed reports that his four-year-old relationship is going through a rough patch. "I'd like to reassure our fans and well wishers that all is well with Kareena and I...we are working hard but we always make time for each other. All these rumours are disturbing and untrue...especially when families are brought into it in such bad taste. I wouldn't like to say anymore except we are very happy together," the actor said in a statement.

DMK chief Karunanidhi to meet Kanimozhi again

In a major setback to DMK Member of Parliament Kanimozhi and Kalaignar TV Managing Director Sharad Kumar, the Supreme Court dismissed their bail pleas in the 2G spectrum case.

DMK sources said a visibly upset Karunanidhi had decided to call on his daughter at the prison to console her.

Kanimozhi's mother Rajathi Ammal is already in New Delhi.

Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK) patriarch M Karunanidhi is likely to visit New Delhi on Tuesday (21-June-2011) to meet his daughter Kanimozhi, who is languishing at Tihar jail in connection with the 2G spectrumm allocation scam.

This will be Karunanidhi’s second meeting with Kanimozhi at Tihar jail.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Indian minor girl stabbed in the eye for resisting rape

Even before the Mayawati government could crack the case of murder and alleged rape of a minor in Lakhimpur, another shocking case of rape of another minor girl has been reported from the state.

A 14-year-old Dalit girl suffered a grievous eye injury after she was stabbed allegedly by two youths when she resisted their attempt to rape her in Gursahaiganj area here, a senior police officer said on Sunday (19-June-2011).

In the Ghur-purwa village of Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh, a 14-year-old girl, Preeti, was stabbed in both her eyes by men who tried to rape her on early Saturday morning.

She was dragged into the fields by the assailants Kuldeep and Niranjan and when she resisted, they assaulted and stabbed her eyes.

The two men attempted to rape the girl when she had gone out in connection with some work in Gadwa Buzurg village Saturday (18-June-2011) evening, Rajendra Singh, Superintendent of Police Kannauj said.

“When the girl raised alarm, the duo attacked her with knives, piercing her left eye and injuring the other,” Mr. Singh said.

The girl has been referred to Kanpur for further treatment, the SP said.

Doctors treating her said, "The left eye is completely damaged. The inner parts of the eye are severely damaged. The Cornea is badly damaged, may not come back to its normal condition."

The two accused are absconding with a case being filed against them for rape and attempt to murder. Two policemen, a constable and a sub-inspector have been suspended for not taking timely action of registering an FIR when the girl was brought to the police station.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Movie Reviews: Bhindi Baazaar Inc.

As the name suggests, the film is set in Mumbai's Bhindi Bazaar. The story revolves around two gangs of pickpockets, who are at constant loggerheads to prove their supremacy.

TOI Review

The underworld account has been kinda overdone in Bollywood to an extent that the once uncharted underbelly has, today, become familiar fiction onscreen.
While Bhindi Baazaar Inc. too doesn't break new grounds in terms of its story; it scores on its gripping storytelling style, some smart twists in its narrative and in creating an authentic aura of its Bhindi Baazaar backdrop.

Though the overall story is predictable per se, some smart twists keep popping up at regular intervals thereby adding variety to the narrative. Some original sequences like the shocking shemale episode or the premeditated spread of flu virus through syringes add resourceful realism to the film. The actual locations where the film is shot add to the authenticity.

Rediff Review

Bollywood has had its share of gangster films. Some have been well conceptualised, neatly scripted and well put together. Think Satya [ Images ] and Vaastav.
Ankush Bhatt's debut, Bhindi Bazaar Inc definitely doesn't fit into that category.

Ultimately, no part of the script ever matures into a full-fledged hook. There are moments when things seem to be looking up and it appears as if Bhindi Baazaar has finally found its footing. But it never does. All that is left eventually is a residue of aimless, incomplete bits.

DNA Review

What happens when amateur, inexperienced, and inefficient hands deal with an important project that holds the key to a whole new world?

Most likely you get a half-baked product, lethargically put together that may hold your attention for a short span but not enough to keep you hooked.

Bhindi Bazaar Inc is one such product whose packaging is attractive, but the real stuff turns out to be damp squib.

It’s beyond imagination how, with a cast so talented, a promising project like Bhindi Bazaar could go awry.

Superstar Rajinikanth thanks his fans through letter

As first communication with his fans after being discharged from the hospital in Singapore, Tamil Superstar Rajini has written a letter to his fans saying he will be back to entertain them.
In his letter to fans, a copy of which was released to the media, the superstar said, "I sincerely believe that the heart-felt and sincere prayers by my fans brought me back to good health."

"The best way to thank you all for your boundless love is by entertaining you. I will soon start it with Rana," Rajinikanth said.

"I will never forget your love…" the note in Tamil said. Also, "When I put pen to paper the words are eluding me," he said in an emotion-charged epistle.

The superstar has also apologised to his fans for the delay in communicating with them.

On a philosophical note, the actor, who underwent treatment for reported kidney problem in Singapore, said while the man's duty was only to spin the coin in the air during a game, "It is Lord Almighty who decided which way it fell on the ground, Head or Tail."

Rajinikanth also mentioned that his first couple of calls had been to the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, J Jayalalithaa who assured all support and help for him, and to his friend and former Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi.

The actor had been hospitalised a couple of times in Isabel Hospital, and later, was admitted Sri Ramachandra Medical Centre, earlier, before he left for Singapore with his family for treatment. It was said then that he had a lung infection, and problems with kidney function.

Parents play role in teens drinking

A new report has suggested that parents having a regular gin and tonic or bottle of wine in the home are more likely to see their children becoming binge drinkers.
Parents play role in teens drinking
Children who see their parents drunk are twice as likely to regularly get drunk themselves, a survey of young teenagers has suggested.

A new 91 page report released this week by The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, United Kingdom delves deeper into this issue.

Youths who are left unsupervised are also more likely to drink, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation report found.

Researchers for Ipsos Mori questioned 5,700 teenagers in England and found one in four 13- to 14-year-olds had been drunk more than once, compared to just over half of children (52 per cent) aged 15 to 16.

The most common age for a first drink was 12 to 13 and this was usually within the setting of a special occasion and in the company of an adult.

The survey found that in Year 9, students were drinking mainly alcopops, beer or lager. By Year 11, they were also drinking spirits or liqueurs.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Avan Ivan - Kollywood film reviews

Avan Ivan is a 2011 Indian Tamil film, written and directed by national-award-winning director Bala. Produced by AGS entertainments, the film features musical score by Yuvan Shankar Raja, cinematography by Arthur A Wilson and editing handled by Suresh Urs.
As 'Avan Ivan' hit the screens today (17-June-2011), simultaneously in Tamil Nadu and in Andhra Pradesh as 'Vaadu Veedu,' one cannot fail to notice the grand opening the movie has received all over.

The film has come out as the solo big release this weekend and the director and stars are naturally positive about its prospects at the box office.

Rediff review

After four ventures exploring very different genres, National Award winner director Bala comes with his fifth film: AGS Entertainment's Avan Ivan, where he's tried his hand at more or less full-length comedy.
Naturally, the film has generated enormous hype: what with Vishal and Arya coming together for the first time, in an industry notorious for its king-size egos.

Avan Ivan does have, at its heart, a nice storyline with plenty of comic elements. But director Bala doesn't really capitalize on its strengths, and never pulls you into the story except in parts which is disappointing, as he is among today's trend-setters in Tamil cinema.

Avan Ivan may look good on paper but fails in execution.

Galatta review

Director Bala weaves characters and movies out of common people, many of whom may be considered undesirable and avoidable by the general public, e.g. gravedigger, drug peddler, sex worker, cannibal; Bala could keep pulling out these characters from our everyday lives to make movies. In Avan Ivan, it's a light-hearted zamindar, two thieving half-brothers, their foul mouthed moms and an 'everyone knows everyone' countryside.
Vishal, Arya, G.M. Kumar and veteran actress Ambika, as Vishal's foul-mouthed, theft encouraging mother, are the prominent characters. Janani Iyer as Constable Baby has a role to some extent, but Arya's pair Madhu Shalini's portrayal is vague.

Bala's signature climax fighting scene that seem like the world is coming to an end have been religiously added. Arthur Wilson shoulders Bala's love for the luscious landscapes of Theni, while Yuvan's music combined with Vishal and Arya's dance numbers are straight out of the streets.

Avan Ivan is a good watch, hence Bala has successfully reused his tested formula.

Goods worth Rs. 38 cr in the personal chanmber of Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Around Rs 12 crore in cash and nearly 100 kg of gold were found from Yajur Mandir, the personal chamber of late spiritual guru Sathya Sai Baba, at Prashanti Nilayam in Puttaparthi of Anantapur district, a trust official said.
Sathya Sai Baba's ashram Prashanthi Nilayam at Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh, which had gone quiet after the death of the spiritual guru on April 24, is back in the news with the trustees finding cash of Rs 11.5 crore, 98 kg of gold and silver articles weighing 307 kilograms from his private room. The money and valuables took 36 hours to count.

The spiritual and religious guru of millions died on April 24.

Sai Baba's chambers were locked up after he fell ill in late March and was moved to a local hospital.

Sai Baba's private chamber was reopened on Thursday (16-June-2011) by members of the Trust and Satyajit, who was the godman's personal assistant.

Two senior retired Supreme Court judges, along with former chief justice of India P.N. Bhagwati, were also present.

A day after the Sathya Sai Central Trust opened the locks of Yajur Mandir, trust member and Baba's nephew R.J. Ratnakar Friday (17-June-2011) evening announced details of the cash and valuables found inside.

Explosive found and defused, 1000 train passengers saved in Assam

A train carrying around 1,000 passengers had a miraculous escape Friday (17-June-2011) with security forces detecting a powerful bomb found inside the train at the Guwahati railway station in Assam, police said.

After the arrival of Kanchenjunga Express at the Guwahati railway station, 4 kg of explosive and detonators were recovered by police during routine search.

According to reports, the explosive device was recovered from an air bag from seat number 22 of S5 coach at around 5.30 a.m.

The Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was recovered at around 5.30 am. Then, the police called in the bomb squad which defused the explosive device.

They said after the bomb was found, all 1100 passengers inside the train were deboarded. “The train was checked thoroughly,” the sources said.

Preliminary investigations revealed the bag containing the bomb could have been left inside the coach sometime during the night in the Assam sector.

"We don't know who could be behind the act, but definitely some militant group from Assam who are opposed to the peace talks might have been behind this," a senior police officer said.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Rajini discharged, speaks to Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa

Rajinikanth who was recuperating in a Singapore hospital has been discharged recently. He was diagnosed with a kidney problem.
The Superstar is planning to complete the shooting of Rana by the end of this month, if reports are to be believed.

Rajinikanth, who was discharged from the Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre in Singapore yesterday (15-June-2011), called Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa to congratulate on her massive victory in the elections.

According to sources, soon after reaching his apartment in Singapore, Rajnikanth called Jayalalithaa on her phone.

He told her that she was the first person he was conversing with immediately after discharge from the hospital. He said he would return to India in about one and a half months.
The Chief Minister, who was immensely glad to hear his voice, told Rajini about her happiness over his early recovery and expressed the wish that he should return to India at the earliest.

A day after reportedly telling TN CM Jayalalithaa that the state was 'saved' after her party won the recent assembly polls, Tamil superstar Rajnikanth on Thursday spoke to Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief M Karunanidhi, asking him to focus on his health and "not to consider anything else."

"You have faced so many ups and downs in life. It is important that you take care of your health. You should not consider anything (else) big," Rajnikanth told Karunanidhi in a telephonic conversation.

Google Doodle celebrates Lunar Eclipse - June 2011

Google put up an interactive Doodle on its homepage to celebrate the June 15 midnight lunar eclipse – the longest and darkest eclipse of the century – where one of its O's was replaced by an almost live image of the moon.
The lunar eclipse turned the moon blood red on Thursday (15 to 16-June-2011), yielding a rare visual treat for stargazers across a large swathe of the planet from Australia to Europe.

The first eclipse of the year — when the Earth casts its shadow over the moon — was seen in parts of Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.

To celebrate the longest total lunar eclipse in 11 years, Google has created this Doodle showing real-time footage of the Earth casting a shadow across the moon.

The live Doodle depicts the 100-minute-long eclipse with footage from around the globe and is reportedly updating every two minutes.

Announcing the new Doodle, a post on the official Google blog reads: "If you visit the Google homepage you’ll see a special interactive doodle, which will update throughout the day to show the latest state of the moon."

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

J Dey murder case: Police arrest three suspects

Four days after the brutal killing of Jyotirmoy Dey, a senior investigative journalist working with MiD DAY, strong leads have emerged which point to the involvement of Chhota Shakeel, a key associate of Dawood Ibrahim.
The Mumbai police arrested three persons on Wednesday (15-June-2011) suspected of involvement in the murder of crime reporter J. Dey of Mid-Day, an English-language tabloid, police sources said. Police have gleaned vital information from the suspects during interrogation, the sources said.

J. Dey was working on a story concerning sandal wood smuggling. He was offered a bribe of one million rupees to spike his story which he rejected and that led to his murder, the sources added.

It is suspected that J. Dey was killed by sharp shooters belonging to notorious underworld don Chotta Shakeel's group, who is allegedly living in the Pakistani city of Karachi. Sources told Arab News that all the three suspects are police informers.
However, police refused to confirm or deny the report.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan told reporters after the Cabinet meeting that there were "some developments" in the Dey murder case probe.

The bike used in the shooting and a car, with the registration MH04 AH1 used as the getaway vehicle, have also been recovered.

Two of those detained are from Mumbai's notorious Dongri area, while one is from Pune. Their names are Matin, Ekbal Hathela and Anwar.

Caterina Lopez - Hottest new import to Bollywood

Watch one of the hottest item numbers come alive in this week's release Bhindi Bazaar, thanks to Bollywood's hottest new import Caterina Lopez. The Latino is better known as Jennifer Lopez's cousin but her sexy new number may change all that.
Caterina Lopez, who is doing an item number in the film wants to nail the performance. And for this, Caterina spent a lot of time in rehearsals and what keeps her going is Red Bull! The actress gulped down 10 cans of the energy drink in one day to keep her going.

About the song, the hottie says, "I am playing a bar girl and it's a very sexy item number. The song has got a very western look. I had a lot of fun shooting for the song, as it was something new for me. The song is very catchy and I guess a lot of people are really going to like it."

Taan ke seena, ho jaa kameena is a raunchy number and will show Caterina in three different costumes. The song pictures the transformation of the actress and the background dancers in terms of their costumes. It starts with the actress wearing a saree and ends up with her in a bikini.

The much-awaited item number goes like Caterina is stripping while she is dancing.

Katrina Vs. Caterina

About her Bollywood entry, Caterina says, "I just think I am very dedicated and very ambitious. I am looking to stay here for a long time and hopefully would give a tough competition to Katrina Kaif (laughs) but I am not interested in Salman Khan."
Somehow impressed by the success of Katrina, she says, "She is just a good example. In spite of not knowing anyone, she has made it big in Bollywood. I am not saying she is the best actress but she needs to be credited for what she has achieved."

Speaking about the JLo drama, Caterina shoots, "The JLo thing was blown out of proportion. So what if I’m her cousin? Does that really make that big a difference in Bollywood? I wish t be known as an actress and not a J Lo's cousin."

Caterina is all set to sizzle in a number of item numbers for her upcoming movies and she will also be seen in full fledged roles soon.

Bhindi Baazaar, the film set in the underbelly of Mumbai, between the infamous by-lanes where crime is prevalent as a way of life, is set to release on 17-June-2011.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Jayalalithaa seeks funds to ease power crisis in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa met Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh today (14-June-2011). During the meeting, she handed over a memorandum detailing the state government's demands including an additional 1000 MW of power to Tamil Nadu from the central grid.
Jayalalithaa, armed with a resolution on the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka and seeking an economic package for her state, met Singh for about 20 minutes at the his 7 Race Course Road residence.

Last week, Jayalalithaa had requested the PM to allocate an additional 1,000 MW of power to Tamil Nadu from the central pool for about a year. She also asked him to issue instructions to speed up the central power projects coming up in TN.

In a letter to Singh, Jayalalithaa had said: "Due to increasing demand and stagnant generation of power, the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board is resorting to scheduled load-shedding of around 1,500 MW and frequent unscheduled load-shedding."

While the power demand in the state is around 11,500 MW, the supply is only around 7,300 MW.
Households now face a scheduled power cut of two hours a day and industries have a four hour scheduled power cut plus an additional three hour switch off during peak demand hours of 5 pm to 8 pm.

One of the reasons for the crisis is the rapid industrialization that the state has witnessed over the past few years.

Jayalalithaa has requested the centre for the allocation of adequate funding to put up 10 Solar Energy Parks to generate 3000 MW at a cost of Rs 45,000 crore.

Maharashtra CID to investigate theft of Gandhi's glasses

The case of a missing pair of Mahatma Gandhi's famous round-rimmed spectacles was handed over to the state CID for investigation.
Chief minister Prithiviraj Chavan had last night said that the additional secretary (home) would conduct a probe into the issue but finally the state CID has been entrusted with the job, they said.

The round spectacles, kept in a glass covered box along with other personal belongings of the Father of the Nation, at the Sevagram Ashram, a religious retreat some 75km from the city of Nagpur.

The spectacles were among a number of personal articles were on display in a locked cabinet at the ashram hut. The spectacles were found missing when an inmate of the ashram went there to clean the articles sometime in February.

However, the ashramites did not lodge a complaint with the local police then. The spectacles were donated to the ashram by Nirmalaben Gandhi, the daughter-in-law of Mahatma Gandhi who used to live there till her death.

Chidambaram hits back at Jayalalithaa

Accusing Home Minister P Chidambaram of getting himself elected to Parliament through "fraudulent" means, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today said his continuance in the Union Council of Ministers was untenable and sought his resignation.
Chidambaram hits back at Jayalalithaa
Jayalalithaa said the data entry operator in the Sivaganga Lok Sabha constituency in Tamil Nadu transferred votes secured by AIADMK candidate Raja Kannappan to Chidambaram's credit in the 2009 general elections.

Hours after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa called Union Home Minister P Chidambaram's election to Parliament a fraud, the senior Congress leader hit back Tuesday holding that the CM's remark is a contempt of court.

In a statement issued shortly after Jaya's remark in Delhi after meeting the Prime Minister, Chidambaram said: "Miss Jayalalithaa, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu has the habit of starting on the wrong foot."

He said Mr. Rajakannappan had also contested the Assembly elections last month and lost from one of the segments falling under his parliamentary constituency Sivaganga.

"Perhaps, she would say that that election result was also fraudulent," he said.

Spectacles of Gandhi missing from museum

A pair of round-framed spectacles belonging to India's independence icon Mahatma Gandhi have gone missing from a museum in western India, officials said.
Mahatma Gandhi's followers were shocked on Monday morning after learning that his spectacles went missing from Sewagram Ashram in Wardha district.

Ashram inmates on Monday (13-June-2011) noticed that the specs were not found along with the other belongings of the Father of the Nation that were kept in a locked showcase.

"Yes, Mahatma Gandhi's specs have been missing since for about three months from the locked showcase. We have been worried over it since then," Sevagram Ashram Pratishthan president M M Gadkari told media. Gadkari said the specs were given to the Ashram by Gandhi's daughter-in-law, the Late Nirmalaben Gandhi, who lived on the premises for many years. "She had said that it wasn’t the one he usually wore."
Gandhi settled down at Sewagram, about 75km from Nagpur, in June 1936. The Ashram, which receives about three lakh visitors annually, is celebrating its platinum jubilee later this week (June 15-16).

Ashram president MM Gadkari said its employees were asked to keep silent about the missing glasses.

"We had made a list of the belongings of Gandhiji that were placed in the hut where he used to stay," Gadkari told IANS.

"Somehow, the glasses were not included in the list. Those who cleaned the hut took a few days to realise that the glasses are missing," he added.

Gadkari lodged a police complaint on Monday. He said all other articles were still present.

"The decision not to reveal the theft was taken by ashram inmates. We thought we will ourselves investigate the matter. Else it would have created unnecessary sensation in the public," he said.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan ordered a 'high-level' probe into the incident after Wardha officials met with him, the IANS news agency reported.

Sadhu dies fasting to save Ganga

Even as yoga guru Baba Ramdev vacated the hospital bed on Tuesday and went straight to address media persons, not many realised that another ascetic, who had been admitted to the same hospital, had lost his life after fasting for 114 days.
Swami Nigamananda, the 34-year-old swami died at the same hospital where Ramdev was being treated until his discharge on Tuesday.

Nigamanand had begun his fast on February 19 and was in coma since May 2.

On April 30, the district administration forcibly shifted Nigamanand - a seer at the Matri Sadan Ashram - to the Haridwar District Hospital as his condition started to deteriorate.

But even then, he refused to touch food. On May 2, he entered into a coma. He was then shifted to Dehradun's Himalayan Hospital and put on life support.

After four months of fasting for saving river Ganga, Swami Nigamananda Saraswati died on Monday (13-June-2011) at the Jolly Grant Himalayan Institute Hospital, Dehradun.

R Meenakshisundaram, district magistrate of Haridwar reported that a postmortem of Swami Nigamanand would be conducted in view of the complaints of poisoning to him by his fellow sadhus of the ashram.

When Nigamanand's body was taken from the hospital mortuary on Tuesday morning, there were no ministers, no politicians and hardly any sadhus to accompany him in his final journey.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Face of Gandhi on Mars..!!

An Italian space buff has claimed to have spotted the face of Mahatma Gandhi etched into the the rocks of Mars while scanning through latest pictures of the Red Planet.

Matteo Lanneo was surveying the amazing pictures sent from Europe's Mars Orbiter back to Earth when he came across this uncanny resemblance to the father of the Indian nation, Daily Mail reported.

The head appears to have a moustache and shaven, and has prominent eyebrows.

Experts say it is not the first time that a face has been seen on Mars's soil.

In July 1976, the American Viking 1 Orbiter took a photograph that appeared to show a hill in the shape of a human face.

Space enthusiasts speculated that the structure was built by aliens.

Sketch of the man who shot J Dey

Mumbai police have released the sketch of the man suspected to have shot dead investigative journalist J Dey (who worked for newspaper Mid-Day) in Mumbai on Saturday (11-June-2011).
The police said the sketch was made based on eyewitness accounts. "We have definite leads in the case," Mumbai police chief Arup Patnaik said.

Counted among the handful of journalists with extensive information networks within the underworld, crime journalist Jyotirmoy Dey, familiarly known as J Dey, established himself among reporters on the working of the Mumbai gangsters.

He wrote two books on the subject, Zero Dial: The Dangerous World of Informers in 2010 and earlier Khallas.

Dey, who was 56, received five bullet injuries on Saturday and then was rushed to Hiranandani Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The alleged killer, whose sketch was released, is in the age group of 20 to 25 years and of medium built, with a height of 5.5 feet. His complexion is black and was wearing a blue raincoat at the time of the incident, police said.

India outraged over minor girl's death

There's outrage across the country, after the death of 14 year old girl at a police compound in Lakhimpur in Uttar Pradesh. The victim's family says that the girl was raped and murdered by policemen, while the police say that she committed suicide.

The 14-year-old was found dead on Friday (10-June-2011), tied to a tree by her dupatta at a police station in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri district.

The second autopsy conducted on the minor girl's body, which was found hanging from a tree within the compound of the police station on Friday night, confirmed that the victim was murdered.

However, the postmortem could not confirm the rape of the girl, as alleged by the family.

The second postmortem was carried out on Monday (13-June-2011) on the orders of chief minister Mayawati after the family refused to accept the report of the first postmortem carried out by the local doctors.

SC adjourns Kanimozhi bail plea

The Supreme Court of India on Monday (13-June-2011) adjourned DMK MP Kanimozhi's bai plea till June 30 in 2G spectrum scam case.
Kanimozhi's application for bail was rejected last Wednesday (08-June-2011) by the Delhi High Court. She then appealed to the Supreme Court.

Terming corruption as the worst form of "human rights violation", the apex court asked the CBI to estimate loss accrued to the exchequer on account of licences issued to telecom operators during the tenure of A Raja as Telecom minister.

A vacation Bench of Justice BS Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar issued a notice to the CBI, asking it to file its response on the bail pleas in a week. The court granted a week's time to the CBI to file its response.

Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar, named as accused in the second charge sheet for allegedly taking bribe of Rs 200 crore, were arrested on May 20 after the special court dismissed their bail pleas in the case.

Both Kanimozhi and Kumar have 20% each in Kalaignar TV Pvt Ltd, which allegedly received Rs. 200 crore through a "circuitous" route from Shahid Balwa promoted DB Realty.

Kanimozhi's lawyers have argued that she was not an active participant in the company's management. She has also said that the money under scrutiny was a loan that was returned with interest. The CBI has rejected this explanation.

Lunar eclipse on June 15 to be visible in India

One of the longest total lunar eclipses will occur on the night of June 15 2011 (Wednesday) and be visible everywhere in India.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the earth's shadow falls on the moon.

This can only happen on a full moon night when the sun is on one side of the earth and the moon on the opposite side. If these three celestial bodies get aligned in straight line on a single plane, a lunar eclipse occurs.

The sunlight when blocked by the earth will not fall on a full moon, leading to to a lunar eclipse. What will make this particular eclipse appear more sinister and spooky is the intensity of shadow that will be cast on the moon.

Weather permitting, India and certain other parts of the globe will be witnessing the longest total lunar eclipse in more than a decade on the night of June 15. It starts at 12.52 a.m. and will last nearly 100 minutes.

Some scientists are christening it the 'Darkest eclipse of the century'.

The special nature of this eclipse is that as the moon will be passing through almost the central part of the earth's shadow, it will become darker compared to other eclipses, Debiprosad Duari, Director, Research and Academics, M.P. Birla Planetarium, said here on Sunday.

The eclipse will be best visible, almost near the zenith, from everywhere in India. The event will also be seen from the eastern half of Africa, the Middle East, central Asia and west Australia.

Observers throughout Europe will miss the early stages of the eclipse because it will occur before moonrise.

Calcuttans will witness the first total lunar eclipse of the year on the night of June 15. It will also be one of the longest and darkest lunar eclipses in recent times.

The earth will start casting its shadow on the moon around 11.50pm. The total eclipse will begin at 12.52am and last till 2.32am. The partial eclipse will end around 3.50am on June 16.

At 100 minutes, the total eclipse will last longer than the average lunar eclipse.

The next total lunar eclipse, to be visible from India, will be on December 10, 2011. It will last only 25 minutes.

After the December 10 eclipse, the city of Calcutta will next see a total lunar eclipse on January 31, 2018.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

J Dey was shot from close range, Postmortem reports say

The postmortem report of senior crime reporter Jyotirmay Dey, who was murdered in broad day light on Saturday (11-June-2011), indicates that he was shot from close range. He was working for Mumbai newspaper Mid-Day.
Mid Day crime reporter shot dead in Mumbai - 11 June 2011
The report also shows that five bullets hit him, of which, four hit him in the left chest and one was lodged under the right shoulder.

While speculation is rife that it was the work of the underworld, the police for now say that it was the work of professionals.

“We are probing the incident from all angles. But our line of investigation is going towards checking the possible involvement of people associated with the oil mafia. The journalist had extensively written a number of news reports on the oil mafia, which may have triggered them to eliminate him,” a senior police officer said on condition of anonymity,

Dey had extensively covered crime and underworld over two decades.

Badrinath - Tollywood film reviews

Allu Arjun's latest film Badrinath opened to bad reviews from most of the critics. The film released on June 10, 2011 simultaneously in Telugu, Malayalam, Tamil with scenes of comedian Santhanam being shot for Tamil version.
Directed by V.V. Vinayak and produced by Allu Aravind, the film stars Tamannah Bhatia and Prakash Raj in prominent roles while the producer himself plays hero in the film.

Rediff review

There were high expectations from Badrinath considering it was a Geeta Arts production, directed by V V Vinayak and starring Allu Arjun and Tamannaah.

Arjun was even sent abroad to learn martial arts and fights for this film whose picturesque Himalayan location was an added attraction.

Yet despite the lavish sets by Anand Sai, that include a recreation of the famous Badrinath temple, the fine camera work of Ravi Varman, and high technical standards, the film falls short of expectation.

Allu Arjun has a supple body, ideal for dancing and action. He breathed some life into the film through the action sequences. But what can he do if the script is lacklustre?
Tamannaah is lively and energetic but is made to show far more skin than is required -- particularly given the film's pious theme. Prakash Raj, for a change, is not a baddie, and turns in a good performance as Guru Bhishma Narayan.

Allu Aravind can take pride in the lavish production and high technical standards. But the plot and storyline are weak and the film does not engage one. The A certificate may also be a deterrent.

Indiaglitz review

Allu Arjun shows off his six pack body and it is in tandem with his charecter of a warrior. His training of martial arts in Vietnaam reflects in his stunts and fights. His costumes are well designed.
Tamannah flaunts her midriff in all the scenes. Her beauty is a galaxy times enhanced in the song 'Nachchavura'. The money spent on making this film is clearly visible in every frame. The background score for this movie is awesome and was used at right places.

The climax of the movie is pale and the screenplay is weak. The VFX used to show clouds, heroine plunging into the river and helicopter shots look fake.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Heavy rainfall lashes Mumbai

Intermittent rains in Mumbai since Friday night has led to water logging in low-lying areas like Hindmata in Central Mumbai and Andheri in the western suburbs of the city.

According to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) Disaster Management Cell, Colaba recorded 95.6 mm and suburban Santacruz 166.6 mm of rainfall from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm on Saturday (11-June-2011)

Complaints of water logging were reported from suburban areas of Parel, Hindmata, Milan Subway, Dadar, Andheri, Malad, Ghatkopar and Vikhroli, civic officials said.

Road traffic is worst hit due to waterlogging and flooding in some areas.

Eight incidents of wall-collapse and about 100 incidents of tree-falling were were reported from different parts of the city. The weather bureau has forecast occasional spells of rain or showers in parts of the city and suburbs while heavy rains would occur in some areas.

Aaranya Kaandam - Film Reviews

Aaranya Kaandam (Jungle chapter) is a 2011 Indian Tamil action film, written and directed by newcomer Thiagarajan Kumararaja. Produced by S.P.B. Charan's Capital Film Works, the film features musical score by Yuvan Shankar Raja, cinematography by P.S.Vinod and editing handled by the duo Praveen K.L. and N.B.Srikanth.
The film has Jackie Shroff, Ravi Krishna, Sampath Raj and newcomers Yasmin Ponnappa, Somasundaram and Master Vasanth in prominent roles.

The film ran into difficulties as the regional censor board in Chennai raised objection against the film, giving it an adult rating besides demanding 52 cuts. After screening at and becoming approved by the Tribunal in Delhi, the film was released worldwide on 10 June 2011.

Says the director, "It is no ordinary film. There are elements that are hard-hitting and real in Aaranya Kaandam. It was a great experience shooting for the movie. My thanks to producer Charan for his support."

The film was selected for screening at the South Asian International Film Festival (SAIFF) and a couple of other prestigious events. Charan says, "Thiyagarajan Kumararaja has given his best. The film is a gangster story narrated by the director in a hard hitting and realistic manner."

Rediff review

Yes, it's a gangster flick. And yes, it's set against the brutal and largely rubbish-filled background of the dirtiest parts of Chennai.
Yes, it's a gangster flick. And yes, it's set against the brutal and largely rubbish-filled background of the dirtiest parts of Chennai. Capital Film Works' Aaranya Kaandam, directed by debutant Thiagarajan Kumara Raja, bypasses all the gangster clich├ęs and delivers a movie that is entertaining even if the pace does dip and rise at places.

The best part of Aaranya Kaandam is that there are villains aplenty but no one shrieks, rants or rages. In fact, in almost Mani Ratnam fashion, they rasp and speak in low, measured tones. Most of them aren't stupid either; just careless or arrogant, as their situation places them.

Thiagarajan Kumara Raja's quirky, zany characters take a life of their own, and appeal to you with their freshness. They're not cardboard cut-outs and appear fairly fleshed out, and the razor sharp dialogues help. Enjoy this day in the life of Chennai's underworld.

The Hindu review

S.P. Charan deserves to be lauded for opting for a story that's dark in the darkest sense, going with a new director and breaking away from formula.
The background score (Yuvan) is a plus, though the stretching silences in certain scenes are quite trying.

From Kill Bill and Kaminey to Bheema and Yogi, several vengeful sprees and sanguineous sagas have come your way. AK is the latest in the league.

Here it's evil against evil all through.

Bottomline: If you can stomach blood and bestiality at a slow pace, fine.

Indiaglitz review

Aaranya Kaandam by debutant director Thiyagarajan Kumararaja is a novel attempt that breaks all barriers of methodical film-making.
Strikingly different from frame one, 'Aaranya Kaandam' is a film not for weak-hearted. Though it may present scenes as they are from the real life, it may put the viewers in jolt at the first instance.

It is more a character-driven story where the events in the lives of various characters make up the script.

All said, 'Aaranya Kaandam' is a movie that doesn't belong to the regular genre of Tamil cinema. It is different and unique. Watch it if you love bloodshed and violence. And credits go to SPB Charan for coming forward to fund such a novel attempt.

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