May 31, 2004

Bollywood goes Boing Boing!
Absolut Vodka, Vivek Oberoi and Vanilla Coke.

May 30, 2004

Severe skin infection spreads across New York City
The so-called 'super-bug' is responsible for reddening skin to amputation and possibly death in severe cases.
Sonu Nigam caught in South African legal tussle
Though the singerNigam performed to a packed audience at the tour opener Saturday at Westridge Park Stadium in Durban, his shows in Cape Town June 5 and Johannesburg the next day are in jeopardy despite reportedly huge ticket sales.
8 Indians killed in Saudi siege
Commandos jumped from helicopters to storm the upmarket Oasis complex and freed several hostages to end a 25-hour drama in the eastern city.
Filmmaker has an eye for disaster
Swiss cinematographer Ueli Steiger insists he has nothing against New Yorkers, but he has just destroyed their city for the third time.
Lord Sebastian Coe’s secret affair
The head of Britain's Olympic bid has failed to prevent newspapers reporting claims he had a secret 10-year affair.
Group claims rampant abuse in children's homes
Nuns, priests and educators in German children's homes systematically abused young people there, according to a recently-formed group.

Hurley 'Grants' Hugh one more night!
They have dated each other for 14 years and it seems they just can't get enough of each other. This was more than evident when Liz Hurley invited her old flame Hugh Grant for dinner at her house.

May 29, 2004

Harry Potter RIP?
After four years at Hogwarts, 14-year-old Daniel Radcliffe chose his triumphant European launch of The Prisoner of Azkaban to predict his impending demise.
Prints the Chaff retires :(
Come on Tom, you can't do it.

Blogging was fun till it started getting to be too much like work: scanning dozens of blogs and news sites every day for blogworthy posts, then thinking up something to say, then saying it, then correcting all my typos. Time spent blogging was not spent with books, music, movies, family, physical fitness (I gained 15 pounds because I had to give up my workouts to free up time to blog). Lately I had come to dread it. Dread's always a good sign it's time to move on.

-- Tom Mangan, May 29, 2004

Hello Sheela Bhatt
India Abroad's contributing editor was(is?) back in town (Mumbai, where else?) after witnessing (and writing about) all the drama (in Delhi, where else?). I still wonder whether what she did in life was right (chucking away a career in journalism). Ooppsssss! Sorry, she is still very much a journalist!
PS: If you are uncomfortable with the Comments button, the e-mail link (at the top right) has been set as you wanted.
A razor that moves?

Ok a quick rant to get your blood pumping on a drizzly Thursday morning:
What, in God's name, is this?
A vibrating razor? Is that really all the boffins at the Gillette lab' could come up with?
Obviously they couldn't go for the five blades option, because then real life would be imitating the Onion, and then time would start running backwards, etc.
But a razor that moves?
Let's face it, if we wanted our razor to shake about during our morning shave then we could just go out and get very pissed the night before. That usually seems to do the trick.
According to the website, the Gillette Mach 3 Power is a "breakthrough experience":
"After trying the razor for the first time I really liked how it felt," says one testimony, before continuing in a slightly defensive tone: "I knew it was safe it use."
Another, unnamed, user rhapsodises: "More than anything the micro-pulses make the shave more pleasurable"
More pleasurable? Since when was shaving pleasurable at all?
Why do people like Gillette and Wilkinson Sword insist on trying to convince us that male grooming is leisure activity along the same lines as windsurfing and rock climbing?
Forget about genetic engineering and cloning, it's the advancement of razor technology that needs to be stopped. These people are crazy.
We're seriously thinking of reverting to those dinky little Bic disposals that you get in a big plastic bag.
At least you don't have to put a battery in those.


May 28, 2004

Now, what's this?

Some Indian-Canadian collaboration, Bollywood style, in the works? Starring Miss India Trinidad 2002 Tricia Bhim. Indian wardrobe by Dinesh Ramsay, Canadian wardrobe by Andrew Majtenyi, music arranged by Dr Shiva, choreography by Divya Kumar.
Lessons from blogs, other signposts
The author of's White House Briefing column and deputy editor of shares his ideas on how this new medium must continue to evolve. He calls for a new round of conversations between online and print editors.

Sridhar Pappu quits again
The Off The Record fame writer quit The New York Observer sometime back to join Sports Illustrated. Now, he has signed a one-year contract to join The Atlantic Monthly as a correspondent. Pappu, it is said, will contribute media and political profiles.

May 27, 2004

Memory lapses
Jack Schofield tells you what is the world's silliest email.
Your boss irritates you? Shoot him
Fun gun AirZooka helps you destress your office blues and woes.
It's 1.15 am India time...
And I am listening to's really cool music.
India TV promises big picture

It is the latest offering from Independent News Service. The editorial reins of the channel lie with channel chairman Rajat Sharma.

100 sites for men
The list covers just about everything of interest to the average man, from cars to bars and all points in-between, and the only criteria we've used is this: if it made us laugh, cry, rub our whiskery chins in thoughtful contemplation, drool or point out stuff to the bloke sitting next to us - without the involvement of naked women (you can find them for themselves) - it had a decent shot at making the list. Enjoy.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
On Pogo May 28 at 7.30 pm or May 29 at 5.30 pm.
Maran wants Indian email service
Global e-mail majors Hotmail, Yahoo and Google will soon find new competition in the Indian market. IT and communications minister Dayanidhi Maran wants to launch a free e-mail service to be hosted and managed by Department of Information Technology.
(The Financial Express)
Indians are movie-going champions
We go to the movies at least 3 billion times a year. That is more than twice as often as Americans.
(Source: DHL advertisement)
Postmodern pets
For design savvy pets and their people. Especially for Saisuresh Sivaswamy, Rajeev Pai and Anit Bora.

Danziger's take on outsourcing
In India, the tech boom tears at the very fabric of an ancient society... or something like that...
People have negative view of immigration
Some of the world's leading industrial nations say immigrants mostly take jobs that citizens of their countries do not want, yet they say immigrants are a bad overall influence, Associated Press polls found.

May 26, 2004

STAR’s free-to-air channel to be launched on June 7
STAR Utsav will essentially carry reruns of popular STAR Plus shows.
NDTV on WorldSpace
The news channel's Hindi and English streams will soon be aired on its network, according to the satellite radio provider.
From potshots to 'mugshots' at outsourcing?
The Register continues its 'My job went to India...' campaign with Bolly mugs outsourced from East Timor.
CPM on CMP: Want a hand, won't armtwist

Without giving an inch, DMK gets more than
a mile and all live happily ever after

(Both from The Indian Express)

May 25, 2004

Bad news for Bloomberg
Employee morale is so low at the Mayor news company Bloomberg LLC, that staffers have taken to complaining — anonymously — on
Breast cancer on rise in US men
Male breast cancer is on the rise in the United States -- bad news for men and their doctors, who do not even know to look for it, researchers reported.

UN launches anti-Danto campaign
The United Nations health agency has agreed to launch a campaign against obesity which it blames for an increase in deadly diseases worldwide. The plan calls on governments to work together with consumer groups on food advertising and labelling. It also recommends that people restrict their intakes of fats and sugar which are seen as contributing to heart-related diseases and some cancers. According to the World Heart Federation, 1.1 billion adults and 22 million children under five worldwide are obese.
(Deutsche Welle)

May 24, 2004

J K Rowling launches website has news, rebuttals of rumours and extra material from notes she has built up while writing the Harry Potter books.
And here are some of the latest Potter stamps.

Syed Firdaus Ashraf is a father!
What more can I say?!

2 new(s) tickers's ticker was added sometime back, while's India news customized ticker has just been added. The idea of the second ticker, I must admit, I stole from

May 21, 2004

Virtual devils curse Internet church
The world's first Internet church has fallen victim to a plague of virtual demons, some of whom have been logging on as Satan and unleashing strings of expletives during sermons.
None was or none were?
My colleague P Rajendran, from the New York office, dug this out to prove that the latter is right!
Going hard on Mr Softee
Good Grief, now ice-cream's being outsourced!

10 stories the world should hear more about
Hello, I beg to differ here with the United Nations' choice.

May 20, 2004

Robots protest
I kept telling you guys this was going to happen, but no, you had to keep bossing them around

XXXchurch Wants No More XXX
Started by two young pastors from the porn capital of the world - Southern California - the ministry is aggressively fighting carnal sin on the porn medium of choice, the Internet. It's an uphill battle. There are millions of XXX sites, but only one XXXchurch
Industrialist gives $100M to solve science's biggest questions
Fred Kavli likes to reminisce about his childhood in his native Norway, lying on his back at age 11, watching the northern lights dance between the mountains and pondering the great questions that have mystified both young and old since the dawn of humans: How did the universe begin? What was before the big bang? How is it that we think?
IMFL sale, revenue up after govt takeover
Turnover has increased by over 30 percent in the last five months after the Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation set up retail shops throughout the State, replacing private liquor shops

My dream headline
And God said, Manmohan Singh is India's PM

May 19, 2004

Manmohan Singh it is!

May 18, 2004

India's next prime minister
Sonia Gandhi?
Manmohan Singh?

Who decides?
The Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies?

May 17, 2004

Mid Day's 'Black Friday' reaches Locarno
The story of the Mumbai blasts has been included in the competition section of the international film festival this year

Arnab Goswami set to join Times TV
The senior editor of NDTV 24X7 is set to join the project of Bennett, Coleman & Co.

And is another thing
Those of you who believe you can't start a sentence with the word 'and' are referred to Paul Wiggins.
Sonia invite: CPM plans to send regrets
The Indian Express

The Mirror crack’d on the Daily Mirror hoaxed on Iraqi PoW abuse photographs

You've got mail on the Daily Mail finally joining the digital age

May 16, 2004

Now, a desi Spiderman
Imagine Spiderman in a dhoti, bouncing off rickshaws and scooters on Indian streets. Or swinging from the Gateway of India and the Taj Mahal!

May 15, 2004

Coming soon: The Invisible Car!
You can win one!

Above: A prototype of the Ford Motors Invisible Car, which will be released early next year.
Just answer this simple half question right to qualify to own one of the limited edition wonders:
What is the weight of?
a) 1 ton
b) 1 million tons
c) 10 pounds

Email your answer to:
The same email has to be sent everyday, till the official launch of the invisible car.
Anyone found violating the invisible rules to this contest will be sent to a prison in Iraq for one year.
The contest is being sponsored by

May 14, 2004

'Sonia has got into a nice mess'
Most Italians cheered the surprise victory of Italian-born Sonia Gandhi and her Congress party but some family members said they feared for her safety.
Govinda, Dharmindhar, Jia Prada won elections
NEW DELHI: Bollywood current and past superstars have won in current Lok Sabha elections. The vote count Thursday revealed that Govinda, Dharmindhar, Jia Prada have recorded a sweeping victory from Mumbai, Rajisthan and Rampur respectively.
(Without comment, from The News International, Pakistan)
Forget charisma, forget hype
India is still coming to terms with the shock victory of the Congress Party in the general elections. Former BBC India correspondent Mark Tully looks at the lessons to be learned.

Who would want a digital radio like this?
Pure Digital has teamed up with Red or Dead design guru Wayne Hemingway to produce the oddest looking digital radio. Definitely not for me!

Yahoo boosts free e-mail storage to 100MB
The web portal will begin offering 'virtually unlimited storage' for its paid e-mail customers and will upgrade free users to 100MB.

May 13, 2004

The 'C' Word
Chindu Sreedharan swears he will clobber the next slob who mentions that nasty c-word to him. It's disgusting, the way it rolls off our tongues. So don't say it when he is around. Don't say ‘Convergence.’
Congress, Congress (nearly) everywhere
If you don't know what I am talking about, you are a bloody fool.
I am happy not because the Congress won, BUT because the Bharatiya Janata Party lost!
And, yes, today's results reminded me of a tabloid headline the last time the Congress really had it big: King Cong

May 12, 2004

How the US media covered the Nick Berg execution
Of 186 front pages, 140 ran an image (more than a mug) with the beheading story.

‘I came to this city from the Punjab as a boy of nine…’
The only accent I've ever known is Glaswegian... now I get homesick when I go back to India. They are legends in the city -- the men who have built up fortunes feeding Glaswegians their favourite food.

May 11, 2004
My new blog about women in the news has gone live from May 10. Please check it out! And tell your girlfriends, wives, mistresses, colleagues, daughters, mother-in-laws... Awh, just tell everybody about it!

Specialist nurses on way from India
A controversial trawl for Indian mental health nurses to work at Worcestershire psychiatric hospitals has been hailed a success, with 13 offered jobs in the county.

Global media giants flock to India
Call it a new wave sweeping the Indian media, or simply a late realization by the global media giants of India's market potential.

Everybody wants Kung Fu fighting
Remastered Bruce Lee films to be released in the US at the end of October.

Finally, the official Google blog
Check it out here. But, there are no Comment buttons.

It is Ctr + Alt + Del for Chandrababu
The people of Andhra Pradesh have booted out the Telugu Desam Party government and given the mandate to the Congress and its allies.

May 10, 2004

Macaulay Culkin turns novelist
Junior will be released by Miramax books next spring and will reportedly be based on the former Home Alone star's life.

Farah Khan nominated for Tony
She becomes the first Indian to be nominated for the most prestigious theater award in the United States. She was nominated, along with Anthony Van Laast, for her work in Bombay Dreams.

New Editor at Bombay Times
Vinita Dawra Nangia's name appears in the imprint line. Ayaz Memon, we understand, is now totally incharge of Sports at The Times of India. The buzz in media circles is Vinita Dawra Nangia, who? Well, Google Search tells us she wrote The Times Food Guide -- Hyderabad. She earlier was (or wrote for) The Hindustan Times and Eastern Times.
Nangia used to head The Times' Medianet, which basically takes money for plugging any news item/photograph in the paper.
Some years back, the editor at The Times of India Pune edition was replaced by a person from the marketing department.

And still on media buzz, Time Out's Mumbai edition is coming out in June. We don't know if it will be Time Out Mumbai or Time Out Bombay, but it has Naresh Fernandes as consulting editor, as reported on April 19.

May 09, 2004

New! has gone in for a new look. The new look was launched a minutes back. Check it out. It's chic.
Blogger's Day Flowers? Chocolates? Brunch? Those are all acceptable ways of honoring mom but we thought we'd do something different. An all-new release of Blogger on Mother's day.
Also see: Mom

Bush fire
President George Bush has ordered all trees to be burned. In support of the President’s initiative, Republican leaders issued a statement to members of the press that ‘War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength.’

Simi rendezvous with Rekha
Rekha is to give here first television interview on the talk show Rendezvous with Simi Garewal. The 90-minute programme will be telecast in two episodes on June 5 and 13. And, yes, she will talk about Amitabh Bachchan.
Also see: Forever Rekha!
Photo courtesy:

Lights, action, no cameraphone, please
Dave Birch thought having a camera phone would be a lot more fun than it actually is. He took a few snaps when he first got it, but doubts if he has taken more than a couple of pictures a month overall.

May 07, 2004

US officials could be charged with war crimes: Amnesty
In an open letter to US President George W. Bush, it said abuses allegedly committed by US agents in the Abu Ghraib facility in Baghdad were war crimes

Doctors give denim dressing down
Doctors believe they should steer clear of denim if they want patients to trust them, a new survey has revealed

Moon TV catches Agra's fancy

Candidates in Lok Sabha election in Agra are not too concerned with exit poll results on major national networks. Their eyes are glued to exit poll results on Agra's very own news and entertainment channel.

'We will get the magic number'
The National Democratic Alliance convener and Defence Minister George Fernandes in an exclusive interview with

Krishna Bharat to head Google center in Bangalore
The research and development center will be headed by the brain behind Google News

What does Michael Jackson's signature look like?
The King of Pop apparently thought he was signing an 8x10 glossy!

May 06, 2004

UK envoy may lose plush Delhi residence
Michael Arthur may be forced to move out of his palatial bungalow in Lutyens zone after he received a £1.5 million rent bill from the Indian government in a tit-for-tat move.

Adidas creates computerized 'smart shoe'
The shoe was created by mating it with a computer chip that adapts its cushioning level to a runner's size and stride.

MAX set to go global, sans cricket
The hybrid channel from Sony India stable will be launched in international markets across the direct-to-home (DTH) and cable TV platforms, but without cricket content.

Murdoch plans another channel
The News Corp chairman said his company will launch the channel by the year-end, Broadcasting & Cable reported.

May 04, 2004

Online Newspaper Goes to the Dogs
Despite not carrying scandalous stories of famous illegitimate pups, Germany's online 'dog's newspaper' has proven to be a hit.

Rajeev Pai, please note.

Shirts, anyone? Skirts, anyone?
Why does not someone just stand up and say: Hey, guys, you are bullshitting us!

Trash cans of India
Oh, these don't stink. They are so cute!
Hindustan TimesNext goes online.
Earlier report: What NEXT, Hindustan Times?

Yoga lessons for those working on computers
Grid Lock, Bear Hug, Bend-on-board, Lean-on-you and Monkey Face. No, we are not talking about WWF wrestling or Kung Fu. We are talking about yoga, that too desk top yoga — which comes minus the mats, dress code and music

(Also read: Yoga, yoga and more yoga)
India's 'King of Gamers'
In the world of computer gaming, 13-year-old Nickunj Bansal is the 'Final Element.' Or so his nickname proclaims

Pakistan To Re-Write Anti-India, Hindus Curricula
'We are doing it with a conviction, and that is, to bring objectivity and truth to our books rather than hate material or terror tales,' Pakistani Education Minister Zubeda Jalal told

May 03, 2004

The Nine Commandments of Caption Writing
If you write captions, listen here.

What NEXT, Hindustan Times?
The Delhi-based newspaper launched the standalone daily targeted at readers in their mid-teens and early twenties.

May 02, 2004

Coming up...?
An official blog.
When checked out Sunday 7.55 pm India time, the only word on the blog was: test.

And it's the end of the unofficial Google blog, which will now become the Overture blog.

CNBC-TV18 on recruiting spree
New Delhi-based business channel to employ 'substantial' number of reporters and anchors in its Hindi venture, which is likely to roll out later this year; to move broadcasting base to Mumbai.

Starting today, column is outsourced to India
When you take a commercial airline flight, the plane is actually being controlled from India by a 10-year-old girl holding a remote-control joystick in one hand and a lollipop in the other.

(By Dave Barry, a humor columnist for the Miami Herald)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Trailer, photos... lots more for Potter fans.

Five Indians in Wisden's top 40
Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar among top cricketers in the world.
Cigarette ads reach the fag end
(The Financial Express)

Gmail accounts go up for bid
Many are being auctioned on eBay, so far fetching bids as high as $61. Well, I am not going to sell off my Gmail account for anything in this world.
In fact, on Saturday, Gmail gave me the option of gifting two friends Gmail accounts. I gifted one to my wife Belasia and the other was for my boss Nikhil Lakshman.

May 01, 2004

IBM expands search push with Masala

The computing giant is gearing up to release a new version of its DB2 Information Integrator software that will let corporate employees retrieve information from databases, applications and the Web at the same time. Subsequent improvements will include a data-mining component code-named Criollo.

But why the name Masala? Some Indian(s) must have added spice to the project.

New Xeon unearthed as Intel's first all-India chip

A future processor has popped up on the company's roadmap with a first-of-its-kind name and birthplace. The chip dubbed Whitefield has its roots in Bangalore.

Zee’s Dish TV is a startup that never started for me

‘I am happy I did not waste 7000 bucks. I can live without TV for small durations rather than another crappy service (in addition to Sify broadband) to add to my tensions.’

Very late news

# Shock over Iraq torture photos
# 9/11 panel questions Bush, Cheney
# Google files IPO plans
# Michael Jackson pleads not guilty to abuse charges
# Unisys sets up India subsidiary