Friday, March 30, 2007

We need four from four, says Lara

Dejected West Indies captain Brian Lara admitted on Thursday that his side need to win all four of their remaining Super Eights games if they are to salvage their World Cup dream.
The hosts slumped to a second defeat in two days when New Zealand coasted to a seven-wicket win at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, adding to the West Indies' problems after their 103-run defeat to Australia on Wednesday.
Now Lara's side will have to defeat Sri Lanka, South Africa, Bangladesh and England if they are to have any hope of making the semi-finals.
"We will have to win those four," said Lara.
"It was always going to be a luxury to lose your first two matches in the Super Eights. We didn't want to do that first up. Now we are down to the fighting part of the tournament. There are four games left and we need to win them all if we are to qualify," he said.
"Losing the toss played a small part but we were 60-1 after 15-16 overs and we were in a strong position," added Lara.
"But we lost some quick wickets which set us back again. It looked like a 250-plus track. We got some early wickets but when you are defending 177 you need to get 10 wickets to win the match."
New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming admitted it was a good toss to win and that his bowlers laid the foundation for victory.
"The opening bowlers created a lot of pressure and Jacob took the wickets that they could easily have had," said Fleming who did his part when the Kiwis batted with a gritty 45.
"We took wickets at key times and kept them to a score which was below par. Then we knew that if we batted out the overs we would win. We were pretty conservative because we knew that after Daren Powell and Corey Colleymore, the West Indies didn't have a lot of resources."
New Zealand's next match is against Bangladesh here on Monday but the Black Caps are aware of the danger posed by the Asian side, who beat them in a pre-tournament warm-up match.

Out Of Control Punjabi's

T-Series presents Meet Brothers - Manmeet and Harmeet Gulzar's latest album "Out Of Control Punjabi's". They are back with the second song of this album. The first song of this album "Bhai Tune Pappi Kyu Lee?" inspired by the memories of sensational Mika-Rakhi Sawant controversy which is the highlight of the album, but eventually turned out to be a foot tapping number. The lyrics and music of this song have been rendered by Manmeet, Harmeet and Mika themselves. The video was an instant hit on all the channels only after 10 days of its release. With this foot tapping number duo has once again triggered off an electrifying tune for the listeners who will never forget the kissa kiss ka...The vivacious Meet Brothers are back to storm the world of pop music with the second song of their album "Out Of Control Punjabi's". Even this time they have maintained a sleek look to their video with an upbeat tempo. The song is called "Nakhra" and the video has got the stylized and polished look, which gives it an international feel with a unique blend of hip-hop & Indian melodies together. In the album, Meet Brothers playing the Dhol, and shape up the song into a funky look that will be appreciated by both the Indian and International audience. So all the music lovers get set ready to dance and groove with Meet Brothers!


Vijay [Amitabh Bachchan], a photographer, lives with his wife [Revathy] at a picturesque hill station. Their daughter Ritu [Shraddha Arya] and her friend Jiah [Jiah Khan] visit them during holidays. It isn’t love at first sight for either Vijay or Jiah. But Vijay and Jiah are drawn towards each other.
It’s a love story between the two and how his family reacts to it. The writing is not crisp as it shows on screen throughout the bold flick. Jiah is attracted to her best friend’s father and falls in love with him. Her behavior is defiant and aggressive. She woos him openly, even though she’s sharing the roof with the man’s wife and daughter. Now that’s a bit difficult to absorb. Also, Jiah walks around in the skimpiest of outfits, making you wonder what her true intentions are. Does she need him to fulfill her physical needs? A vision that might not be approved or acknowledged by many! But then Varma doesn’t show any regards for a particular target audience in this film.
The filmmaker known for his hard-hitting realistic antics, ventures into Bhansali’s sublime romantic territory with his not so conventional pairing. In fact Ramu who usually uses a lot of brains in his films, puts in a lot of heart this time. Nishabd makes it apparent that Ramu hasn’t made this film with any pre-defined box office considerations but just out of his desire to narrate a story through his fervent vision. A vision that might not be approved or acknowledged by many! But then Varma doesn’t show any regards for a particular target audience in this film.
The debutante girl Jiah Khan commands a towering screen presence even in front of Amitabh Bachchan and exudes some razor sharp attitude. Her body language is impeccable and charm is endearingly natural. Cinematography [Amit Roy] is excellent. The lush green locales of Munnar lend the film a stunning look. Amitabh Bachchan is in top form, essaying the role with complete understanding. Newcomer Jiah Khan is supremely confident. Loaded with attitude and sex appeal, the newcomer carries off her part with flourish.
Even though there are just two tracks in the album, Nishabd makes a worthy hear. Both 'Rozana' and 'Take Lite' are extremely worthy hears and actually end up defining the character graphs of the two lead protagonists in the film. The numbers are bound to go down very well with the narrative and if RGV too has put his heart and soul in this project just as his music team has, Nishabd as a film could well turn out to be a surprise success of the season! Ram Gopal Varma has done it again. He's surprised us with a touching, deep and visibly personal effort, and if you were waiting with brickbats in hand.
Overall, Nishabd is a powerful film...

Namastey London

The intrinsic message of ‘Namastey London’ is that true love means giving, rather than demanding. The movie’s protagonist Arjun (Akshay Kumar) is the embodiment of this.
Jazz (Katrina Kaif) is a brat, born and brought up in Phoren. She thinks partying and drinking in pubs is all that there is to life. Here, Papa Manmohan Singh (Rishi Kapoor) enters the scene and demystifies the generation gap. Now, Papa takes Jazz on a joy ride to India where he forcefully makes her marry apna desi munda Arjun (Akshay). Later she educates dad that this wedding does not stand a chance to be authenticated in UK, reason she likes someone else (Clyde Stenden).
Arjun takes the whole movie on his swing in the second half as he applies a simple strategy to win back Katrina. The character does not do anything extraordinary which makes it even more believable (Ajay Devgan of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam). The movie draws sympathy to all its characters in pieces. Initially, people feel for Jazz aka Jasmeet (Katrina Kaif), then towards Arjun (Akshay Kumar), Manmohan Singh (Rishi Kapoor) etc.
NAMASTEY LONDON fits the description of a true-blue Hindi film to the T. Writer Suresh Nair’s screenplay is most convincing, the writing is foolproof, with no loose ends. Only thing, while the first hour moves at a lightening pace, the pace drops in the second half. In fact, minimal trimming in the post-interval portions would only make the narrative tighter. Another aspect that might curtail its prospects [at smaller centres mainly] is the generous usage of English language at vital points.
Himesh Reshammiya’s music is excellent. The tunes come instantly on your lips and what elevates the songs are its picturization. ‘Chakna Chakna’ and ‘Dilruba’ are compositions that merit a mention. Jonathan Bloom’s cinematography is exceptional. The D.O.P. does complete justice to the stunning locales of U.K. as also the lush green fields of Punjab. Dialogues [Ritesh Shah, Suresh Nair] are natural to the core.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Men in Blue will slip into red with early return from Caribbean

As Indian cricketers prepare to return home after an embarrassingly slapdash World Cup campaign, the blue-eyed boys of marketers will face a slump of at least 25 per cent in their endorsements income.This will be true in case of star cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and Yuvraj Singh associated with major brands.Shailendra Singh, joint managing director, Percept Holdings, which handles brand-endorsement contracts for Ganguly and Yuvraj Singh, said, “With regard to the brand equity and value, there is some serious damage for brands using cricketers as spokespersons.”He said brands sign on stars based on their performance, consistency, and other key on-field characteristics to leverage such attributes off the field. “With the team performing dismally, brands will be unable find any leverage for their products,” he said.Hence, there will be a serious dip in equity and value, Singh said. After the World Cup, brands are questioning whether a cricketer can genuinely help increase a brand’s equity, or whether he takes away from it with every dip in performance.At any rate, companies such as Hutch, Pepsi, Reebok, and Puma are not rushing to oust these cricketers from their campaigns. Indeed, they are ready to work on fresh creatives.Rajiv Mehta, managing director, Puma, said, “We cannot use the World Cup promotion we designed with Sourav Ganguly. However, once he is back we will work on fresh ads and he will continue to be our ambassador.” Mehta said Puma we will not re-negotiate the fees. “It will remain the same,” he said.But brands such as Britannia, Pepsi, and Coke are unsure about using cricketers for future campaigns. Punita Lal, PepsiCo India’s executive director, marketing, said, “Like the rest of the nation, we were hoping that the Indian team would fare better. Our creative strategy was based on this premise.”


In a setback to pro-reservationists, the Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the central law providing for 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in elite educational institutions like IITs and IIMs.
The Court held that the 1931 census could not be a determinative factor for identifying the OBCs for the purpose of providing reservation.
" is desirable to put on hold the OBCs reservation," a Bench comprising Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice L S Panta said.
However, it clarified that the benefit of reservation for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes could not be withheld and the Centre can go ahead with the identification process to determine the backward classes.


Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer's mysterious death took a new twist with a media report in London linking his murder to Dawood Ibrahim and al-Qaeda.

Bride Groom India USA UK UAE Canada Australia Pakistan Saudi Arabia Kuwait South Africa 18 - 24 25 - 30 31 - 35 36 - 45 46 - 50 50+ Hindu - Assamese - Bengali - Gujarati - Hindi - Kannada - Malayalam - Marathi - Marwari - Oriya - Punjabi - Sindhi - Tamil - Telugu Muslim Christian Sikh Parsi Jain Buddhist Jewish Other No Religion Spiritual

Cricket lookalikes face angerCoroner gets Bob's papers; summons to jurorsIndia's fallen heroes sneak backA report in The Sun claimed a Pakistan-based bookie was thrown out of Woolmer's room after an altercation with the coach.
The daily quoted sources claiming that the bookie, who had vanished after Woolmer's death on March 18, is an associate of Dawood Ibrahim, who is wanted over funding al-Qaeda and also for the 1993 Mumbai blasts.
The report quoted intelligence officials, who tour with the Indian cricket team, as saying that the bookie was seen at the World Cup in Jamaica with Dawood’s brother Anees Ibrahim.
Jamaican officials, however, said they were not told by the Pakistani cricketers about any such row between the coach and the bookie.
The report, however, claimed that two Pakistani players, in their statement to police, did mention about the furious bust-up.


Consumer durables major Videocon on Thursday said it would pull off advertisements featuring skipper Rahul Dravid and stumper MS Dhoni to save damage to the brand in the face of India's disappointing show at the cricket World Cup.

'Fans' expectations crippled India's WC''Highly likely' killer's DNA in Woolmer roomWoolmer's murder linked to Dawood, al-Qaeda"We have not withdrawn the contract with Dhoni and Dravid, but we have decided to take a backseat and withdraw some of the advertisement insertions featuring the cricketers considering the public hue and cry against them," Videocon Industries Chairman and Managing Director Venugopal Dhoot said.
He said the company had already spent half of its Rs 20 crore World Cup advertising budget and that the advertisements would be suspended only for a short while.
"The ad withdrawals will be for 3-4 days.... till then the public sentiment will improve," Dhoot said, adding that the company would continue to support the game in the long term.
He hoped that the Videocon Cricket Academy in Kolkata would produce young faster bowlers and openers.
India's first round exit from the World Cup after suffering defeats at the hands of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka has triggered a national outcry in the country, where cricketers have come to become revered as gods.
Also, advertisers have been haggling with broadcaster Sony, which holds the rights to telecast World Cup matches in India, to renegotiate ad rates owing to fall in viewership following India's ouster from the cup.


Two men who held 26 children hostage on a bus to demand better education and housing for poor children were armed with grenades that did not have detonators, police said Thursday. But other weapons brandished by the hostage-takers during the 10-hour drama in downtown Manila on Wednesday were real, and the two face a string of criminal charges that are still being prepared, Senior Superintendent Danilo Abarzosa said.
"No, I don't regret anything," Armando "Jun" Ducat, owner of the day care center that the children attended, told The Associated Press Television News from jail after he and an accomplice surrendered peacefully.
"The children's wishes were fulfilled, all 145 children can now go to school all the way up to college," he said. "However, I'm afraid there's word that I might be given a life sentence."
TV images of one suspect holding a grenade next to a teacher were beamed around the world, embarrassing President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's government as it tries to portray the insurgency-wrecked Philippines as a safe destination for tourists and investors.
"They will be treated with the full force of law and I am ordering speedy prosecution to keep this recidivist from doing it again, and to warn others from copycat behavior," Arroyo said in a statement.
"The end does not justify the means. Despite the seemingly noble issues being raised in this bizarre drama, this government shall not stand for prank-terrorism," she said.
Ducat, a 56-year-old civil engineer who has staged other attention-grabbing stunts in the past, surrendered to provincial Gov. Luis "Chavit" Singson after putting the safety pin back in a grenade.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Dream run by twin sisters from Nagpur slum

Windies will win the day, say numbers

Ash-Abhi wedding

Just as reports on one wedding celebration die down, news about another starts flying thick and fast. A report in the Guardian proclaims the Aishwarya Rai-Abhishek Bachchan wedding will be ‘greatest in the nation’s modern history’.
With a guest list expected to exceed 5,000, helicopters hired to shower petals over the reception and the astrological charts finally predicting a union that is truly blessed, the paper claims that the marriage of the former Miss World and the son of Asia’s most famous actor Amitabh Bachchan is expected to happen within a month.
It goes on to say that the ceremony, set to be held over 10 days in a private estate on the outskirts of Mumbai and a palace in the northern state of Rajasthan, is being hailed as a Bollywood fairytale.
“For Indians across the world this wedding will be as big as Charles and Diana’s was for the British,’ Bollywood gossip columnist Amita Ghosh is quoted as saying. “A marriage of two such mega brands from Bollywood will result in a $100m payday for both couples from spin-offs.”