Issue 16

Home Vol. I Issue 16

How not to be a facebook mo(m)ster

This piece is for Noyon – he asked me to write about love. But asking a woman who is experiencing quarter-life crisis to write anything on those lines is a little more than a serious crime. With the way pesticide sales are rising and the US is exporting genetically modified corn, I am already wondering if I will soon begin displaying menopausal symptoms.

Infibeam vs. Flipkart- Which Is Better And Why?

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Is your left hand any better than your right hand? That entirely depends on which hand you use more often. Similarly, Infibeam and Flipkart are two such limbs that are very alike yet unique in their own ways. However, when it comes to making a judgement on which one is superior, the task is that much tougher. For starters, both sites were primarily online book stores established in 2007. Both have since diversified dynamically into various other fields of online shopping and have become online supermarkets. Their pricing policies are almost identical and the sites’ interfaces are replicas of each other. People use both addictively and both of them are earning substantial revenues that are mounting monthly. It becomes quite impossible to make a judgement now, but these similarities are the real deciders.

The following five features will help you decide which one is better.

  1. Round One, Who converses better: B2C communication have now the basic requirement of a good online store. Thus, Business Communication is the first resolver. Flipkart takes this very seriously and replies to any mail sent by a customer within an hour, while Infibeam is a lot slower but much more colourful in its reply. What Flipkart gains on time is lost in the ingenuity of Infibeam’s reply mail. If time and efficiency is what is expected, then Flipkart seals the deal. However, Infibeam ensures that they put a smile on the user’s face after the mail is read. The tracking process of the order is yet another factor to consider. Flipkart lets the user know the location of the order with extreme precision while Infibeam is a little lazier. They however make up on a quick debiting of the price of the order in case the order gets cancelled.
  1. Round Two, Who serves better: With a draw in the first round, the next item is a very minor yet decisive detail called packaging. Flipkart wins here hands down. With a neat slip containing all details about the user, item of purchase and particulars, all packed in a beautifully robust package, bubble wrap included; Flipkart’s packaging strategy is way ahead of Infibeam’s. Sadly, Infibeam only provides packaging of such quality for a larger quantity in the orders, unlike Flipkart which gives such packaging even on single item orders. There have been only a handful of cases where Flipkart’s packaging was unsatisfactory whereas Infibeam keeps no such record. The tidy seal and cheeky logo helps and in all, Flipkart makes people feel they are sending diamonds in the box.
  1. Round Three, Who has the Looks: Personal interests and preferences considered, while both have the ‘Browsing’ and ‘Searching’ preference, users have the option of choosing from the best ‘Browse’ option on Flipkart and best ‘Search’ option on Infibeam. In this case, yet again, Flipkart’s sheer range of shelves gives users an excellent choice and diversity of product space. Infibeam’s search option, at times, fails to provide a result and could disappoint customers. Flipkart’s interface is a lot simpler, faster and sparsely filled. Infibeam, on the other hand, tries to attract the customer’s eyes with its shifting centre ad. Again, these are personal choices and customers may well be attracted small things of both pages. On a professional note, Flipkart appears to have the lead on good packaging and a niche interface which customers can easily get used to.
  1. Round Four, Who saves the Wallet: A very hard decision to make with the extent and scale of offers available on both. Flipkart Coupons are highly sought after but Infibeam Coupons are bigger hits. With a range of exclusive percentage and money worth offers, Infibeam allows its customers to see what they are saving and their coupons sell better. This is comparable to Flipkart Coupons which show a very high percentage off, sometimes as high as 60%. What distances the two are the looks of the juicy offers that Infibeam gives. Even their online store has a bolder and emphasised look on the offers that they give. The Coupons are attractive and accessible.
  1. Round Five, Who satisfies: The tally stands at 2-1 to Flipkart, with one draw. At the end, Customer Satisfaction plays the role of a tiebreaker and absolute judge. With consumer rights and awareness surging, everyone has realised the importance of customer care and satisfaction. Online sites such as the two also thrive on customer satisfaction. Flipkart satisfies enough and beyond its competition. Customers and commentators have gone far enough to quote its service as the bench mark for future sites. The reason: customers who go to Flipkart very rarely leave. Ethics, Politeness, Remorse, Respectable, and Amiability are the virtues of a good human being and surprisingly Flipkart’s too. They are indeed the Online Megastore.  While Flipkart sends a polite email as soon as (very rarely) an order is delayed and promises to replace defected books within 2-3 days or when it sends regular offers to loyal users, Infibeam is a little business minded in its approach. At times, books and items get postponed without any notice, the user is unaware if his/her order was cancelled, customers don’t get to talk to the managing head of customer care and there are many instances where such cases have turned sour and customers have vowed to never return to Infibeam. Flipkart values its customers in karats and tries hard to retain them, and that’s all that matters.

 

Having delivered the verdict does not change certain contrasts. Infibeam is purely based on its founders’ start-up money, whereas Flipkart is a Venture Capital funded start-up. Flipkart’s cute toddler ads have amassed lots of customers and were deemed as an excellent marketing strategy, whereas Infibeam doesn’t employ babies. For all this verdict is worth, customers may well be attracted to Infibeam. It’s all about personal choice and for all like-minded people with the following tastes Flipkart would suit them perfectly. Business is after all personal.

The Chacha of Indian Comics

 

There was nothing special about them. That’s exactly what made them so special.

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They were all plain, humble and ordinary; just like us. Yet they were our everyday heroes. Be it the turban clad, wise, old man Chacha Chaudhary, his mighty sidekick Sabu, the teenage kids Billoo and Pinky, the middle class housewife Shrimatiji and the working man Raman, all of Pran Kumar Sharma’s creations stood out in the crowd because they were simple, loveable and street-smart. And they were the reasons why we had a fun-filled, beautiful childhood. Now that Pran ji, the creator of these characters, has left for his heavenly abode on the 5th of August at the age of 75 leaving behind his vast legacy of every child’s favorite comic books, those childhood memories have come rushing back to our minds. All the more so, because now we know that no longer will Chacha and Sabu strut along the city taking care of the bad guys, neither will Pinky and Billoo play and create trouble on the streets, nor will Raman have tales to share from work, nor will Shrimatiji share her unique money-saving tips with us. It’s the end of a very special era.

pran-kumar-sharma-born-in-kasur-near-the-city-of-lahor-in-pakistanPran Kumar Sharma was born on 15th August, 1938 in Kasur, a small town in Lahore. After having graduated with a Master Degree in Political Science from evening Camp College, Delhi, he pursued a five-year course in Fine Arts from Sir J. J. School of Art, Mumbai through distance as a private student while in Delhi. Though art was not considered to be a real profession back in those days, he was inspired to pursue arts by his brother who was an artist too. Initially he used to make political and satirical pocket cartoons some of which appeared in newspapers like Milap and Shankar’s Weekly, which further encouraged him to take cartooning seriously and move on to comic strips.

His real cartooning career started in 1960 with the character Daabu, a teenage school boy, who appeared in the newspaper Milap. It was later in 1969 when Chacha Chaudhary made his first appearance in the Hindi magazine Lotpot, which brought Pran into the limelight. And after that, there has been no looking back for Pran Sahab. His creations made him not only famous but also the most popular cartoonist in the country. He was definitely the one who revolutionized the entire comic book scenario in India, which was earlier always dominated by foreign comics like Phantom, Superman and Mandrake.

Comics in India before 1960 were a foreign domain. Daabu ushered in a new era, and ‘Chacha Chaudhary’ was undoubtedly the flag-bearer of this new Indian era. You don’t have to be a hunk with a great physique or superpowers to be a hero – that’s the message underlined and put across to every Indian kid by this fragile old man whose sharp wit and unmatched presence of mind coupled with a bit of luck and bravery helped him and his friends overcome the most adverse of situations.” says 25 year old Bhaskardeep Das from Guwahati. “Pran’s comics had an unmistakably Indian flavor to them – the story, narration, the characters and themes. Chacha Chaudhary shall be his most iconic creation, but for a lot of us, Pran Kumar Sharma will rightly remain the real ‘Chacha’ of Indian comics.” He adds.

Needless to say, Pran Kumar Sharma has played an important role in most of ours childhoods and has left behind a vast number of fans who shall fondly remember him and his creations forever. Sanhita Baruah, an engineer from Guwahati says “In the midst of vagaries of life, they provided us a trip to the land of goodness and fairies, of imaginations and possibilities. A childhood that wasn’t spent watching or reading cartoons or comics, no wonder, seems too dull to imagine.”

It was with those comics that ‘reading’ was in any way fun to us. We, who loved to stay away from our school text books, imagesalso loved to hide Pran’s comics in between our school books and read them secretly while our parents and teachers thought we were actually deeply engrossed in studying. “Armed with just a walking stick and a brain that runs faster than a computer, Pran’s Chacha Chaudhary was our everyday superhero, Sabu the epitome of power, and Raka the ultimate bad guy. I clearly remember exchanging the comics with friends at school and with no smart phones and internet around, the comics made sure that every kid became a reader. Reading Chacha Chaudhary and Pinky and Billoo transported us into a totally different world. Pran truly made our childhood awesome.” Says Bhargav Batshab, another huge fan of Pran’s creations.

Mayurim Das, from Delhi says “Both have become a legend now; Pran Kumar Sharma and Chacha Chaudhary! The significant role during my childhood was flipping pages of Chacha Chaudhary which gave me an immense pleasure going through the content and the pictures. Middle class, de glam Chacha ji had somewhere kept me grounded and infused a lot of curiosity in me. Thank you Pran ji for making us smile.”

Ankita Gogoi, a research scholar from Tezpur comments, “The child in me refuses to believe that the creator of the mustached genius and role model Chacha Chaoudhury and the alien from Jupiter Sabu is no longer with us. Today I understand, in his own simple way Pran uncle taught us to strive for knowledge and intelligence and it does not matter where one comes from if one has the capability.

10590660_729352160447186_8408325803880749936_nPran had published over 400 comic books and 200,000 drawings for his comics, and over 30 newspapers and periodicals carry his comic strips. He was included in People of the Year 1995 by Limca Book of Records for popularizing comics in India. He also received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001, from Indian Institute of Cartoonists. It was recently in 2014, when the World Encyclopedia of Comics anointed him the Walt Disney of India. The Chacha Chaudhary strip is even featured at the US-based International Museum of Cartoon Art.

But the biggest achievement of Pran’s life was not any of these awards, but it has been the thousands of smiles that he had been able to bring on his readers’ faces over the years. Though he was battling a terminal disease, he was working on his comics till his last breath even in the hospital. That indeed shows how dedicated he was and what his readers satisfaction meant to him. Pramathesh Borkotoky, the Editor in Chief of Fried Eye, recalls, “I grew up reading Chacha Chaudhury and Phantom (Diamond Comics version). What was interesting in them was that with the Indian characters, we could relate with them and understood the sense of humor. Pran said that he would consider himself successful if he could put smiles in the faces of people. I believe, he would continue to be successful for many years.”

5 most inspiring movie scenes of all times:

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    There are comedies, tragedies, dramas but movies have always been considered a notch below books. But films are no less when it comes to seeking motivation. Some of the movie scenes have been inspirational enough to change lives. There have been many films, films with messages, films with stories and films on people and incidents. It is not possible to cover each and every inspirational scene from a movie here. This is a list of what are probably the most thought inspiring and motivational scenes from movies….ever!

    1. Plastic bag video – American Beauty:

    “There is so much beauty in the world.” This one sentence covers the entire scene which never fails to inspire thought in anyone who sees it. The display of the plastic bag flying aimlessly in the wind with Ricky’s monotonous introduction in the background is nothing short of being emotionally up heaving. It’s touching and thought provoking and never fails to get one thinking about how much we are missing in life.

    2. Last Day – The Pursuit of happyness:

    Imagine how the most motivating scene of a very motivating film would be? Yes, the heartwarming scene when Chris lands up the job at the brokerage firm is the perfect climax to a film based on his struggles. When life turns to pay Chris Gardner his dues, it brings back faith in the belief that in the end, hard work always pays.

    3. William Wallace’s Speech – Braveheart:

    During the war against the disciplined British, when the peasants break ranks fearing total annihilation, Wallace takes it upon himself to motivate his tribe. With a speech inspirational enough to motivate anyone who hears it, the scene emphasizes how important freedom can be to anyone. How used to we become to slavery and never care about fighting for freedom. The speech is ageless and is very relevant to the modern times as well.

    4. Andy’s Escape – Shawshank Redemption:

    Andy Dufresne! The meek and well educated banker, who ends up in the Shawshank prison and survives. Waiting patiently for years, digging to get out of the prison walls, is a story of grit and determination. One of the most motivational scenes ever when Andy walks out of the pipe drenching in the rain, facing the sky and screaming silently, the scene makes for the perfect climax to an extremely inspirational movie.

    5. Last Race-Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikandar:

    Who doesn’t like underdogs winning? In the race to the finish, Aamir Khan from the poor Model school not just competes but goes on to win against the rich kids with better bikes. Riding over hurdles and getting back on track after being pushed, the affable chocolate boy turned hardened sportsman goes on to prove to the world that it is not good gear but good attitude that makes a winner.

    Jai Jawan, Jai Kisaan – Through the lens

    let glory be yours
    Today we dedicate the day and also our issue to the strongest pillars of our nation- our Jawans and the Kishaans
    While one protects, the other sustains
    In the line of fire

    A Proud Free Country!

    Path of fire
    The sky is the limit!
    A green future
    Only Pride, No Prejudice

    May the country progress and come out in flying colours

    Photo Credits- Maina, G. Taye, Angshuman .

    Editorial

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    As were discussing about the Editorial, for this issue, we got to know that we don’t know what does Independence Day mean to us. Although, some of us had some memories about the celebration of Independence Day, it seemed to us like ages since we last celebrated Independence Day. Sankhya complained that she never got to celebrate Independence Day the way it should be done. Since the time she remembers, the day has been called Bandh and people stay indoors to avoid any problems. As a child I remember, how we used to love this day, we had to go to school without any books and sweets were distributed to us. The first half of the day went with the celebrations and the second half went discussing the games and celebrations. But, sadly many organizations call a Bandh on this day for the last 20 years. The older generation complains that we don’t value our independece, but how could we value something we haven’t experienced.

    The celebrations have only become a kind of noise. We would enjoy them only when we really get that Freedom and mark my words, we will treasure it more than anyone ever dreamt of.

    Hoping for a better future,

    Signing Off,

    Pramathesh Borkotoky

    Exec. Editor,
    Fried Eye


    Mail me at pramathesh@friedeye.com

    India Rocks

    India Rocks! A phrase I come across quite often. A phrase people use when a person is happy . A happy satisfied person . Happy and satisfied with India. But again there are many a time when there is quite a lot of India bashing happening too.What is the general picture? Satisfied or Dissatisfied? On this independence day We at fried eye decided to conduct a poll to see what exactly do people think? India Rocks? Or India in a rocky ground? This is here what India thinks. The question- what does independence and indipendence day mean to you? Evoked the following responses from our responders picked up from among different strata and age group of people.

    Dr Jayati – Independence day? What does a single day of celebration mean when there is a static thought through out the year- India is the most independent country which follows independence to the T. Everywhere you look people peeing, spitting , abusing … Independence to break all rules , all norms, Independence to trash everything- from movies books sports politics- without giving a thought to consequences. Independence to be heard whenever you feel like speaking. Independence to criticise even if you don’t have the capability to produce tenth of that result yourself. Am I being sarcastic? I don’t know about that, but yes I am behaving independently and I will be lying if I say I don’t enjoy this freedom.
    Srajan- ( Tenth standard student)- Independence? You are asking a teenager what Independence means? An Indian teenager? In Indian tradition, a teenager has to imagine the meaning of Independence after reading it in Wikipedia. We are called the future of our country , but at home or schools or public places, how much of our opinion is being asked for. It is only in isolated polls as yours do they bother to voice our thoughts. As for the significance of Independence day , well its more commercialization in the name of celebrations and awareness. Look at the Malls, Complexes shamelessly promoting their products in the name of Independence day without even bothering to instill an iota of Patriotism. Do you really see any Patriotism these days? We just come to hear about it in movies and books.

    Rupali – A BE student- Independence and Independence day – though I am not much into demonstration , but deep in my heart this as an Ideology was very dear to me, very important to me. It told me about the struggles and fight of those people who dared to be different and had the heart to fight for what they believed and wanted for themselves and for the next generation. Over and above a fight for Independence It was a fight against the power system which was not only corrupt but also unfair, unjust and cruel too. ( mind you, if they had been a just and a fair system, I don’t think people would have bothered much about freedom) But sadly , now the power system has again shifted to such a state even after being that of an Independent country

    Ganga –(maid) (smilingly shyly) There is a parade. They fly kites. Yes they drove away the Angrez on this day. Aur bas kya bolu!
    Het raam Rickshaw wala- Hamare liye koi Azaadi nahin hai .. . ( there is no freedom for us We still struggle. We still suffer. We are still neglected)

    Leo – A techie from Bangalore and an Avid blogger who blogs at http://leonnyes.wordpress.com had this to say.
    Independence, that word says we’re self reliant.. but still, no one is completely independent I feel. We all rely on someone else for something or the other in life.. be it our parents, or our better half, or our friends.. sometimes even strangers.. that word means we try our best to depend on ourselves more than we depend on these people.. We try to make our own decisions.. make our own way in life… like, we can take care of ourselves.. yet not being alone in that care.

    Independence Day, well, firstly it means a holiday to me. Used to be from school, then from college, now from work. But on a wider perspective if you see, India is not really independent, or free. We can’t really take our own decisions, some decisions are forced on us, and the echo of silence goes unheard. There are people out there who aren’t free.. women who are abused, and killed in the name of honor.. farmers who kill themselves because the “governments” decision are forced on them, the common man who is held captive to the rising economy.. babies which die without even seeing the first light.. cruel murders which weren’t even the victim’s fault.. a hefty fine for us breaking the smallest rule whereas the “government” authorities can break it and they escape scot-free.. Independence Day is not yet true in all respects.. we’re just free of the British ruling us.. only who rules has changed, the ruling has not… and if a blind eye continues to be cast on such notions, India will not be truly independent in the sense of the word.

    Gyanban- A blogger from Singapore shared his thoughts with us. He blogs in www.gyanban.com

    It started as a holiday,then changed to a dry day, moved on swiftly to a long weekend plan,then a family outing…

    Independence day is an uncomfortable reminder to me – of how little I am doing for my country,and how much I’ve grown to extract from it. Being in a foreign land,I realise every bit of freedom that my country offered and how little I valued it when I was in India.

    As a principle I have stopped questioning how my country is being run…I will question again, when I am doing something about it.

    Till then I am thankful and will be eternally grateful to those who chose to take responsibility.
    And Again as I said-What was once a single dream for thousands of years is a harsh reality now of 63 years.

    The idea is to find a balance.No form of extremism is good for any one in this planet – whether it is about a thought,action or culture.Not once dare I say it is easy.But it is the right direction…..at least till the current mass consensus lasts.!

    The State of Freedom

    A few weekends back, in one of those ‘girls night out’s, we ended up coming back to my place and talking our way till daylight and early bird calls made us give up. Which can only mean that a lot of the serious insights and confessions that we shared with each other in our half-drunken half-dazed state of mind centered mostly around the best shoe sales in the city, worst dates we had in the past years, the creepiest guy in office (who had coincidentally hit on each of us with the same one-liners…not knowing we might have the opportunity to autopsy each of them at 3am on a Friday night), broken relationships (ours’ and others), weird eccentric bosses (ours’ and others), spouses (ours and others)….and shoe sales again …you get the picture.

    But somewhere between a really great online snitch and the best pay master in consultancy (which also provides free diet coke vends and chocolate doughnuts near each bay!!) we discussed something that sets the tone for this note today. As 20-something girls in a society that has created for the past many many years….model definitions of how cultured, well groomed, perfectly brought-up women should behave and what should ideally be their priorities in each stage of life, we knew exactly what and how we were expected to contribute to it….now don’t judge this as a regressive, cynical, drunken, sleep deprived thought at 4am on a Saturday morning….but let me tell you what each of us felt we wanted to achieve, what each of us had dreamt of as our most beautiful gifts to the parents (and the support system closest to us) who have reared their daughters with great love and pride. To create amazing homes and a beautiful environment for the smart kids that we will bear and nourish with our really handsome husbands who will take care of our each whim and idiosyncrasy. We really want to love and be loved, and in the process make a home that we can call our own. That’s it. That was our dream.

    Something hit me. In this day and age, we only associate these kinds of thoughts with a certain class of society that has not yet opened their eyes to the fact that the success or failure of a woman’s life does not depend on her marital status or her ‘child bearing qualities’ any more. I mean, by any chance if one of my nosy relatives took it upon her societal responsibilities to give me a sermon on how getting married to a presentable, comparatively successful banker was the best thing that I could have done for myself and that now, I need to ‘procreate’ to seal the deal, I would have laughed hard! And not just I, my family and friends too would have joined me in the fun! But that night, I learnt a secret. I wanted it for myself, the whole she-bang. I wanted the grand duo – marriage and kids – more than I wanted the best paying job with a doughnut perk! And not just me….all my girlfriends, who earn figures that can take care of their eccentric sale binges, home loans, wedding funds for themselves and their kid bothers and sisters, vacations and night-outs forever and ever….not once requiring to depend on a strong male figure in their lives to take care of the basic and not-so-basic stuff. But we wanted it like never before. We wanted it nonetheless….

    This brings me onto how today, when I decided to write down how I felt about my country’s independence, I had this strange urge to draw the fine line that differentiated the state of being independent and the state of being free. Silly when I think how an utterly random girly conversation could spur on this thought. But yes, one thing you do need to agree on is that I, being born a woman, in that particular state of India that people still think is a part of a neighborhood nation, at a time when women engineers consisted of just 1/7th of the college population, have made that remarkable journey from being educated to be a successful partner to my very capable significant male half to being a completely independent entity who can support a family on her own if she wanted to or if ever needed emerged. And hence I, have a unique right (and of course that very unique perspective) to reflect on freedom.

    It’s been 63 years of our country being independent. And it’s been a mixed bag of goodies. We were so royally exploited for so long that we forgot for some time how to make it on our own….but we got English, our biggest export! We went through the worst partition ever, but we learnt how to cultivate the best quality tea (and yes, we still impersonate our dear fathers by drinking it with a lot of milk and sugar just like they did in front of us for 200 years). Our palaces were looted and many centuries of architecture destroyed whimsically, but they did give us a common rule for the first time in the history of our nation. We actually became a single entity….a united country. We might have been majorly hit and might have lost some very solid years of the great Indian cultural and intellectual evolution, but then we found IT and I guess it makes up for a lot of lost ground! And let me repeat it…63 years…of us being independent. So here’s where I feel cheated…that despite being a sovereign, autonomous, self-dependent country for so long….it still feels as if we are fighting something. It is as if we have not yet attained those levels of freedom in thought and in deed, that would make us the most intelligent, successful and prosperous race in the world. Sad thing is – we all know we have it in us, and we have also kind of succumbed to the fact that we might end up never reaching those heights. Scary, isn’t it?

    For all the freedom of speech and thought that we brag about, we are still the most conservative bunch of humans in terms of our societal norms. We crack jokes that could be very funny over a glass of vodka but very racial otherwise. We immediately jump to pre-conceived notions the moment a person identifies himself or herself from a particular part of the country. We expect to get our daughters married off to some nice family with a nice ‘surname’ within the same caste and language. And yes, it better be within the ‘expiry date’ or else the dowry calculations change remarkably. And no matter how educated or how successful, we still need to prove that our daughters are indeed ‘beautiful, fair complexioned, from good family, and has cooking and knitting skills’. And last but not the least, we are the only country that boasts of the ‘honest bribe’. The battles that we fight each day are very unique to us and no godfather can lead us to light this time around.

    Coming back to my girls’ night out, this is what struck me. That despite having proven my self worth to myself time and again, my mental make-up still needs a different definition of success. I am taken back to my wedding day, when I was ‘given away’ from my father to my husband, who swore in front of the holy fire to protect me in future just as my father had done in the past. I keep thinking of my best friend, who is a charming, intelligent and highly independent and successful woman in her own right, but is plagued constantly by the thought that her parents are not getting a suitable groom for her that fits the bill on caste, language and business class…and it’s getting late!

    So let me ask this question again. We are independent, and we have been since the British left us. But are we really free?

    When Sholay was trashed

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      This issue of Fried Eye happens to come out on quite a day. Apart from being the 63rd Indian Independence day, the day also happens to complete 35 years of presence of Sholay in our lives. The film released on August 15, 1975. Interestingly there are many known and unknown stories that have been a part of the Sholay journey.

      Sholay

      Even as people today are struggling to get budgets right and doing everything possible to keep business sensibilities intact, GP Sippy backed his son Ramesh Sippy as the latter went about shooting the film. Sholay was supposed to be an expensive film initially budgeted at Rs 1.5 crore. But by the time it was complete the budget had gone up to Rs 3 crore. While Ramesh Sippy admits that he did get nervous about the budget his father blindly trusted his son. “The film would have never been possible if the producer was not my father. He agreed on spending more money in love for his son!” Sippy told me once.

      When Sholay released it was quickly packed away by the critics saying it was a bombastic mistake on GP Sippy’s part to invest such huge money on a movie which was neither Indian nor western. Sholay was indeed heavily inspired by movies like Akira Kurosawa’s Roshomon and John Sturges’ The Magnificent Seven. The film was to become a flop. The biggest magazine slammed Sholay. In fact a trade analyst BK Adarsh, the father of now famous Taran Adarsh, had run a series of articles in his magazine for six weeks dissecting the movie and stating why it would be the colossal failure in Indian filmdom. Funnily enough even as the series came to an end, the film gathered pace at the box office – a pace that didn’t slow down for over a year. The movie went on to become the biggest hit of Bollywood ever and also ran at continuously at the Minerva theatre (Mumbai) for over five years, breaking all previous records.

      Today Sholay stands tall among all multi-star movies. It made a small village called Ramanagara in Karnataka a tourist location, it gave directors like Ram Gopal Varma learning’s of a life time and has given audiences like us a great source of entertainment and inspiration. This is probably one film which probably every average Indian must have watched at least once.

      Looking back at it the man behind Sholay – Ramesh Sippy admits, “It’s a lot of mixed feelings. It feels great, humbling and frightening. Frightening because once you have created something like this, it’s very difficult to recreate it. To take a film to that level that it becomes a myth and a part of India psyche, where all the characters have become legends… you don’t know. You certainly can’t plan a phenomenon.” How true is that! And who better to comment on the movie than Rajnikanth – one of the biggest stars of India cinema ever. “Sholay worked not because of one star or the huge budget for those times. Sholay worked because of the story and the connect with the audience, something that still exists and promises not to wither,” he says. Ram Gopal Varma concludes saying, “Why is it that Sholay doesn’t age? It just seems to stand still at the “pause” button of a Cinematic era for the last 35 years without aging one bit and I won’t be surprised if it stays that way for still another 35 years if not another 70 years.”

      Some trivia about Sholay

      1) Shatrughan Sinha was to play the character of Jai before Amitabh Bachchan stepped in on Dharmendra’s recommendation.

      2) Danny Danzongpa was approached play Gabbar Singh but he declined the offer as he was doing another movie where he played a bandit.

      3) Manmohan Desai and not Ramesh Sippy was not first director that writers Salim-Javed approached with the idea of the film.

      4) Best Film in last 50 years from Filmfare, the same magazine which trashed the film when it released.

      5) Held the record of biggest grosser for 15 years before Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge beat it.

      6) Got just one award – The best editing award in the year of release.

      7) The village Ramgarh was created in a village called Ramanagaram which lies between Bengaluru and Mysore.

      8 ) The first schedule of the movie had to be cancelled as it was raining in Karnataka and it became impossible to shoot in the weather

      9) It is referred to as the first Indian movie with stereophonic soundtrack. No earlier history of stereophonic sound is recorded in Bollywood.

      10) It ran for 286 weeks straight (more than five years) in the Minerva theatre of Mumbai.

      11) Gabbar Singh was modeled on a real-life dacoit of the same name who menaced the villages around Gwalior in the 1950s. He terrorized the local police. Any policeman captured by the real Gabbar Singh had his ears and nose cut off, and was then released as an object lesson to other policemen.

      Battle

      A battle lost
      A soldier left forlorn
      Before the gates of a kingdom
      Never to be known
      The treasures within
      Beyond reach
      Watching in the most savage of lands
      As dismay sets in
      Gone the strength of the song
      Mourn the battle never won

      Hello I am Matthew Holloway,
      Born in 1978 I was raised in a small town in the north west of England called Winsford situated in the county of Cheshire a rather rural homestead. I would be the first to admit my life’s adventures lack any excitement. I have lived a rather plain life leaving school to spend two unsuccessful years and college before a string of jobs never falling into a career.
      My greatest passion is poetry which I suppose has always been a part of my character before even I realised it. In school teachers often noted my strong sense of imagination and story telling. But it was not until the summer of 1996 when I began my journey into poetry. I began by writing song lyrics inspired by the Rolling Stones ’Little Red Rooster’ I wrote a blues ballad entitled ‘Woman Blues’ as the years progressed the lyrics drifted into poetry, stories, lyrics and poetry once more. After the turn of the century I became more drawn to poetry and set about developing my own style.
      My influences have impacted heavily on my writing from the iconic musicians like Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney and Alice Cooper to poets such as Edger Allen Poe and Dylan Thomas. I began posting my work under the name Poet1978 on Myspace and used the feedback on each piece to guide me where I was strong or weak in my writing. Around 2008 I moved away from Myspace and started posting on Facebook also around that time I began reading work by the likes of John Keats, Lord Byron, etc. It was the romantic imagery of their poems that effected me more than any other so my style matured into a style similar to what may be considered classical.
      My dream is to have my own book published and settle down into a loving relationship. To continue writing and enjoy others poetry what awaits me I am unable to say. I am easy to find and always ready to answer questions about myself.
      You can find me here, just ask me for an invite to my other poetry page and I will happily oblige.
      http://www.facebook.com/The.Poet.Matthew.Holloway

      My Mother

      1

      Pride India Logo

      On this day ,as always I feel
      The presence of a beautiful mother,
      She is lovely as everyday I see
      The beauty that she bestows on me.
      This callouseness of man who smears blood,
      Chops off her green,or in greed pierces her heart.
      She is hurt I know: but she still bestows love that I can show.
      On this special day, I silently pledge
      To spread her tenderness, and humanity .
      To share her pretty face that on my walk of life that I percieve.
      Vandemataram!

      The cry of a gloomy pond

      They come and stare,
      At the barrenness of my eyes..
      Where nothing is remained with me..
      Other than the vicious filth.
      My soul surrendered to the soil,
      That solaces me in her clinch,
      Reminding me of the day’s bygone,
      When lovers used to sit by me,
      Holding their hands and singing,
      The eternal melodies of love,
      Birds relished their thirst,
      Drinking my water as wine,
      And played in my lap,
      As they were my child.
      While the trees nourished their beauty,
      Gazing at my heart as their mirror,
      Heaven cried upon my shoulders,
      Lending me his tears,
      Along with his blessings on me.
      And now that I’ve grown old and ugly,
      They turn off their sombre faces,
      Letting me cry upon my emptiness

      Momentous Event, Vivid Memories

      -Bibhuti Borkotoky
      Freelance Writer

      When I was of age 7 years, a momentous day is still fresh in my memory. Every home were decorated with earthen lamp, and people enjoyed fireworks as if it was Deepawali. The entire country was in festive mood on that day and one could see the ecstatic expression in each face.
      That momentous day was none other than 15th of August 1947. India got Independence after a long after a long struggle against the British. At that moment, I did not know the meaning of Independence Day, so I simply joined the celebrations.
      Today, when I look back, I can realise that those thousands of lamps were lighted in the memory of those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom and themselves could not live to see the light of the day for which they fought.
      Today, it is impossible to imagine how Gandhiji brought independence through the principle of non-violence with the help of his followers. Or the people who sacrificed their lives in the organised massacre of Patharughat which was repeated 26 years after in Jalianwalabagh, by the British. Among the thousands of martyrs in the freedom movement in Assam, we must remember the great heroes like Moniram Dewan, Piyali Baruah, Kushal Konwar, Kamala Miri whe were hanged and Kanaklata who took bullets bravely in her chest while trying unfurl the Indian National Flag.
      On this day, I salute the great martyrs who made it possible that we breath in free air and live a great life.

      The glee in Glee

        2

        Glee

        Well, Glee has been all over the place this summer with people raving about the music over and over again, and I thought it would be nice to put in my words as well. Specially since I have been losing sleep over watching episode after episode of the first season and not resting until I had finished watching it completely, and also going on ad nauseum about the songs. The plot is kind of loose, based on the chronicles of a high school Spanish teacher who takes charge of the school’s Glee Club with the sole intention of restoring its former glory, and towards the third episode I was wondering when the actual story would start. But then again, by then, I was already hooked to the admittedly amazing performances in the show, with some of the songs being recreated as surprisingly better versions of the original ones. Now this is not the place for me to lament on how I wish they would include more songs and try less to involve us in the lame storyline, so I will keep it to myself and just move on to the best part. The songs.

        The first song that caught my attention was “Don’t Stop Believing”, which also made it to the Top UK 40 singles that I religiously follow. Although I hadn’t heard the original song by Journey, it made for a catchy number with all the synchronized supporting vocals. Another of my favorites has to be “Dancing With Myself”, and this is one song I love way better than the Billy Idol original. Maybe it has also to do with the way the song has been placed just right in that episode (Kevin McHale in a wheelchair singing all by himself), but it kind of stayed back with me. Amber Riley (playing Mercedes Jones) does an amazing job out of “Hate On Me”, originally by Jill Scott, and add to it the fact that the spirit of the song goes just right with the situation. Well, the Beatles may hate me for saying this, but I also prefer the spicier perkier version of “Hello Goodbye” than the classic old one. And “Imagine” almost had me choking and getting goosebumps.

        I specially loved that episode where they dedicated it to Madonna, and truth be admitted that was the first time I had listened to Madonna’s songs. Maybe watching it made me realize that I had missed out on a whole cult that represented empowerment among other things, but “Like A Virgin” and “4 Minutes” made me sit up and take note. So much that I downloaded the whole of Madonna’s albums right after it. The dance routine of the cheerleaders to “Ray Of Light” is also noteworthy. As for the “Vogue” routine, well, let’s just say I found that one kind of funny. Which reminds me of Jane Lynch (who plays the tough Sue Sylvester) in another song “Physical” with Olivia Newton-John, and snigger all you want to, but I have been humming that song under my breath all the time for quite some time now. I could come up with so many more songs like this! “Don’t Rain On My Parade” sung by Lea Michele (who plays Rachael Berry), “Gold Digger” where Matthew Morrison (as Will Schuester, the teacher) raps to near perfection and “Smile” are just a few because I couldn’t help mentioning them.

        And finally, the one song that has made me wonder over and over again about how anyone could come up with something so new it makes you wonder if there are traces of the old song: Poker Face. The original by Lady GaGa (who is like this queen of theatricality) is quite upbeat and for the lack of a better word, metallic and totally techno. And the Lea Michele and Indina Menzel version is anything but it. It took me quite some time to even relate the song to the Lady GaGa number, and what with the piano and the somber rhythm, it was like the song has undergone a complete makeover. Come to think of it that’s what I love about the Glee songs; I love the way the Glee cast play and toy and experiment with the songs. It’s kind of like ripping up a song open to know what it’s like inside, and then stuffing it with just the right flavors to come up with something innovative and refreshingly new without losing the old touch.

        However, the one part that made me forgive Glee for putting me through lameness all the while was the last episode where the “Vocal Adrenaline”, a Glee club from a different school performs Bohemian Rhapsody. I had my doubts if they could even come close to creating magic the way Queen had done with that song, but I was pleasantly surprised that the song exceeded my expectations. And what took my breath away was how they synchronized the song to go with a parallel scene where the character Quinn Fabray was having a baby. Timing, and immaculate timing at that, was what makes the scene leave a lasting impression in your mind.

        Enough of the Glee overload already. Let’s just say I am looking forward to the next season, and no, don’t get me wrong. I am not interested in knowing if the Glee club make it to the Regionals and win them or not the next time. But yes, I am waiting to hear more songs being dissected and tugged and pulled to sound just right. So here’s to innovation, here’s to bringing in the old to the new, and here’s to the music of Glee!

        Book Review: Stay Hungry Stay Foolish

          1

          Stay Hungry Stay Foolish

          Title: Stay Hungry Stay Foolish
          Author: Rashmi Bansal
          Publisher: IIM, Ahmedabad
          Price: Rs.125.00

          Rating: 3/5

          Ever wondered what’s the success story of naukri.com or for that matter Sintex? How does an entrepreneur manage to make his dream everything in his life and how he can walk that extra mile to make his dreams a reality? If you have wondered about these and many other similar questions then “Stay Hungry Stay Foolish” by Rashmi Bansal is the book for you. The book, whose title is borrowed from the words of one of the world’s leading entrepreneurs Steve Jobs, is about the inspiring stories of 25 IIM graduates who choose to travel a path carved by them rather than following the road usually taken by many such young men. Published by the Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE)of IIM, Ahmedabad this book aims at fostering innovation driven entrepreneurship through the stories presented therein.
          The people profiled in this book are diverse in age, in outlook and the industries they made a mark in. But they all have one thing in common- they all believed in the power of their dreams. The book seeks to inspire young graduates to think beyond placements and salaries and to believe in their dreams. It is not the stereotype self help book that are dime a dozen. This book is a trendsetter, it is not only a meaningful exposition but at the same time a profile of some of the most outstanding businessmen of India.
          The author Rashmi Bansal, herself an IIM alumnus deserves all the kudos and plaudits she has been receiving so far. She has done a magnificent job and has very easily managed to put up all the essential points that are an inspiration to today’s youths in every one of her book profile. Her choice of entrepreneurs is excellent. In this book you will find someone who is the CEO of an online company or someone who is the Chairman of a pharmaceutical company. You may even find a person who has opened up his own clinical research institute. The diversity offered in this book is its forte.
          However much as the old adage goes, every rose has its thorns. This book too is not free from faults. Sometimes the writing style which is a conversationistic approach seems very casual and abrupt. Sometimes it seems that the writer wanted to say something but ended up saying another. Very often it would seem that the book would have been better off with lesser profiles but more extensive ones. But barring these few things the book is an absolute delight to read.
          All in all a must read book for all the people desirous to follow their entrepreneurial dreams but who are afraid to take up the challenge head-on. Freshly passed candidates would find this book an ideal choice. However anyone willing to take in some inspiration from known success stories can give this book a try.

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