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Sep 212014

Impeccably written, beautifully enacted, frequently funny and charmingly photographed, Le Week-End (2013) is an absolute treat.

British director Roger Michell directed this delightful film based on the story by Hanif Kureshi (of My Beautiful Laundrette and the Buddha of Suburbia fame).

How I stumbled upon this gem I can’t recollect now but I’m glad I did.

It’s one of the many unfair tragedies of life that Le Week-End never got a wide release and grossed little at the box office!

Life – No Fun

Life is anything but fun for the vast, nameless majority for whom a new dawn yields no joy but brings forth only fresh pain (job issues, money problems, children trouble, marital infidelity, health crises etc). Continue reading »

Sep 172014

Raghunandan Yandamuri The murder-kidnapping drama involving Telugu bidda Raghunandan Yandamuri is wearily trudging into the trial phase.

Raghunandan Yandamuri has been charged with the murders of baby Saanvi Venna and her 61-year-old grandmother Satyavathi Venna during a botched kidnapping for ransom incident on October 22, 2012 in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

Montgomery County (PA) prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Yandamuri.

Jury selection commenced yesterday and it appears five jurors have been selected as of 15:00 hours September 17, 2014.

Raghunandan Yandamuri Jury Picture

Trial Start

Already marked by repeated postponements, it seems unlikely that the Telugu bidda’s trial will start before next week.

But Judge Steven T. O’Neill could throw the spanner in the works by ruling in favor of Yandamuri’s motion seeking an alternative venue or getting jurors from another county given the prejudicial publicity the Venna murders have received in Montgomery County.

Raghunanda Yandamuri’s trial is the most high-profile criminal case involving an Indian in the U.S.

Related Posts:
Telugu Bidda Raghu Yandamuri Runs Amok; Fires Lawyer, Weaves Bizarre Story, Blasts Indian Consulate, Vows Fight for Truth
Police Complaint on Raghunandan Yandamuri
Raghunandan Yandamuri’s Video Confession
Telugu Bidda Raghu Yandamuri’s Gamble Failed Big Time
Essential Facts about Raghunandan Yandamuri
Sep 152014

A smartphone that provides Indians with a paltry 2GB of internal storage in late 2014 is nothing short of a ripoff and deserves to be treated with contempt.

Even if it’s offered at $105.

Paltry 2.2GB of Internal Storage

I checked out two Android One smartphones that were introduced in India today – Karbonn Sparkle V and Spice Dream UNO Mi-498.

In both cases, user available storage is a measly 2.2GB that will quickly fill up with a few Bollywood videos, Tollywood music albums and a bunch of apps.

Buyer frustration is inevitable.

Google is beating the drums about its new Android One initiative that aims to provide “high quality smartphones” with good specs at low prices to the 5 billion earthlings without smartphones through partnerships with device vendors like Karbonn, Spice and several others.

But a 2GB internal storage smartphone is most definitely not a high quality smartphone by any yardstick. Who are you trying to kid?

If you ask me, no smartphone should be sold without internal storage of at least 8GB. Preferably 16GB.

Expandable storage via microSD cards and cloud storage are all fine and dandy in theory but they sometimes won’t work with a lot of apps. And cloud is highly vulnerable to theft!

Android One is targeted at countries like India, Indonesia, Philippines, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal where smartphone penetration is still very low.

Sep 142014

In the scientific or media world, to slam a person’s positions on a sensitive subject as that of a end-of-days mystic is tantamount to calling him/her a blithering idiot.

And that’s precisely how New Yorker buggered Vandana Shiva.

Vandana – Vocal Opponent

Worship her or dismiss her as a rabble-rousing idiot, it’s hard to ignore Vandana Shiva.

A noted environmentalist and vehement opponent of genetically modified crops, Vandana Shiva is a hugely popular figure in Europe and Asia, particularly among those fighting against globalization, genetically modified seeds and crops and giant seed corporations like Monsanto.

Vandana is perhaps the single person most responsible for India banning genetically modified food crops.

The New Yorker recently did a lengthy piece titled Seeds of Doubt on Vandana Shiva and her pet subject, genetically modified seeds.

Bottom line, the New Yorker piece is more favorable to genetically modified crops than to Vandana Shiva’s position on the hotly debated subject.

Here’s a key excerpt from the New Yorker piece: Continue reading »

Sep 132014

Finding Fanny easily makes it to the thin list of my favorite Indian movies.

The story is delightfully offbeat, highly original and the acting an endless treat.

Love, lust and regret hang heavy in the decrepit air of Goan village Pocolim that time seems to have passed by.

Finding Fanny - Delightful Movie


Pocolim’s postmaster, the old bachelor Ferdie (Naseeruddin Shah) is one of a kind.

Mooning 46 years over a rejection from inamorata Stephanie Fernandes aka Fanny, his life goes off balance when he learns the letter (proposal) he sent to Fanny never reached the pretty girl.

So the batty old man determines to find Fanny and express his deep, abiding love to her face to face.

That’s the starting point of this dark romantic comedy featuring Naseeruddin Shah, Pankaj Kapur, Dimple Kapadia, Deepika Padukone, Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer Singh (in a ‘short-lived’ role). Continue reading »

Sep 122014

1. You are a scrotum-scratching chutiya from Andheri, Artesia, Edison or Sunnyvale who thinks if an Indian movie doesn’t start with Chulbul Pandey monkeying around the Bihari moti it must at least end with the blood-curdling scream Bajirao Singham

2. You think Homi Adajania is a kind of musty cheese Parsis smear on the face and inner thighs of their dear dead ones to attract the vanishing vultures at the Tower of Silence in Mumbai

3. You can’t stand the sight of a ‘no good actor’ like Naseeruddin Shah and wish he’d been dispatched to the gallows along with Nathuram Godse or, better still, decades earlier with Bhagat Singh

4. You know for sure Pankaj Kapur is Kareena Kapoor’s grandfather who was killed steps from the Indian border while fleeing from Pakistan after India won Independence in 1944

5. You’re convinced Indian movie directors are brazenly robbing you unless unarmed Rowdy Rathore pummels 18 heavily armed goondas (brandishing sickles, clubs, soda bottles, knives and guns) to pulp while simultaneously explaining to Daadimaa on the cell-phone why he’s late for lunch

6. You have proved in the past that a movie minus items like “Munni Badnam Hui,” “Sheela Ki Jawaani” or “Chikni Chameli” is asking for the screen to be burnt down Continue reading »