Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tata Nano Launch in Mumbai on March 23

On Thursday 26th Feb, Tata Motors announced that the much-awaited Tata Nano will be instigated at a function in Mumbai on March 23, 2009. The cars will be on display at Tata Motors dealerships from the first week of April 2009. Bookings will start from the second week of April 2009.

Since its introduction on January 10, 2008, Tata Nano has evoked an exceptional attention in the country, with its Web site having recorded over 30 million hits in the past one year and the creation of over 6,000 interest groups and communities.

Tata Motors is making arrangements for the widest possible network to book the car, so that prospective customers can conveniently avail of booking facilities at their locations, across the length and breadth of India.

The booking process and other details will be declared on March 23, 2009. Bookings can be done at Tata Motors dealers and at select State Bank of India branches. Once you have booked the car, the waiting period is likely to be long because of two primary reasons: huge demand and limited production.

So, how will you get your dream car? Well, allotment of the Nano will be done through a draw of lots, and the lucky ones will get to drive their Nano first. It is also cogitated that the car is likely to attract huge premium, so you can actually make a nice killing were you to sell it as soon as it is allotted to you.

Some of the leading vendors pointed out that it was not viable to have a dedicated plant for the Nano even for volumes like 250,000 cars per annum. A dedicated line at the site with warehousing facilities was the best option to cut down logistics costs. As of now, the vendors confirmed that they would supply the Pune plant for engine components and the Pantnagar plant from existing facilities across India.

While the initial volumes will be as low as 3,000-4,000 cars a month, the company recently indicated to vendors that it planned to produce around 70,000-80,000 cars in fiscal 2009-10. Some of the vendors, while refusing to be identified, said ramping up huge volumes in Pantnagar was actually not feasible.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Rio Samba Carnival 2009

The Brazilian Carnival, properly spelled Carnaval, is an annual festival in Brazil held four days before Ash Wednesday, the day of fasting and repentance that marks the beginning of Lent. On certain days of Lent, Roman Catholics and some other Christians traditionally abstained from the consumption of meat and poultry -- hence the term "carnival," from carnelevare, "to remove (literally, "raise") meat." Carnival celebrations are believed to have roots in the pagan festival of Saturnalia, which, adapted to Christianity, became a farewell to certain pleasures of the flesh in a season of religious discipline to practice repentance and prepare for Christ's death and resurrection.

2009 Carnival – 2009 carnival started on Friday 20th February and ended on Tuesday February 24th. 

Carnival tidbits 

A carnival dancer has cost her group the chance to be named the winner of Rio's carnival parade after her 3.5cm 'costume' came unstuck leaving her totally nude. 
The Sao Clemente samba dancer's fashion faux pas broke the rules which state that no one can appear completely naked. 

Brazil President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva tossed out condoms to Carnival revelers during Rio's samba parades. A presidential spokesman says Silva wanted to show the importance of Brazil's campaign to prevent the spread of AIDS.

Rio Carnival, long a symbol of youth, beauty and sex, added a mature twist on this year’s ending day by giving two women in their 40s a chance to dance nearly nude at the head of their samba parades.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Billu: A story of Superstars, Fans and Friendship

Director: Priyadarshan
Producer: Gauri Khan
Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Irrfan Khan, Lara Dutta, Om Puri, Rajpal Yadav, Manoj Joshi

Billu is the story of a simple ordinary man, Bilas Rao Pardesi aka Billu(Irrfan Khan), who, failing to compete with a new competitor Madan comes to the threshold of starving. In his decaying shop he awaits customers. At home, electricity gets disconnected due to nonpayment of bills, and his two kids are thrown out of school for the same cause.

The movie beautifully portrays the bitter-sweet image of the chequered and troubled star-fan relationship when the Bollywood superstar Sahir Khan (Shah Rukh Khan) chooses the Budbuda village as the spot for his next shoot. Quite unexpectedly, Sahir Khan happens to be Billu's estranged childhood buddy, and the news spreads like bushfire in the village. Suddenly, Billu is elevated from the status of a pauper to a much sought after personality who is hunted by people wanting to meet Sahir. Priyadarshan succeeds in putting a warm sensitiveness when Billu tries to escape this sudden fame as he's convinced deep down his heart that Sahir wouldn't recognize him. Yet on the other side his wife Bindiya (Lara Dutta) and the two kids don't miss any opportunity to take the lead by mentioning the friendship of Billu and Sahir.

The best moment of 'Billu' comes during the end of the movie, when Sahir Khan breaks down at a school function remembering his childhood buddy Billu. Billu hears it from across a faraway fence and walks away.

This movie wouldn't be a success without SRK. He plays an autobiographical role and as usual rocks! But the true King Khan in this movie is Irrfan whose understated, meek and vulnerable portrayal of a lovable, penniless survivor wins over the heart of the viewers. It's a performance that can be watched more than once. Lara Dutta is just about okay, but one won't mind it as there's a constant comic splash from the likes of Om Puri and Rajpal Yadav in the first half.

The extravagant songs featuring the beauties like Kareena Kapoor, Deepika Padukone are really just forgettable, but the “Billu Bhayankar” and “Khudaya Khair” would be in the lips of the audience even after the movie gets over

Monday, February 23, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire brings three Oscars to India

All my life I've had a choice between hate and love, and I chose love, and now I'm here" said A.R. Rahman, while accepting his first ever Oscar for the best original score in Slumdog Millionaire. Rahman is the third Indian to receive an Oscar, after costume designer Bhanu Athaiya for her work in Gandhi in 1983 and director Satyajit Ray in 1992 for his life time achievement. Rahman won another Oscar for his song ‘Jai Ho’ with Gulzar from the same film.


Slumdog Millionaire won a total of 8 Oscars out of its 11 nominations this year. Director Danny Boyle jumped up and down on the stage and said that he promised his children to bounce like Tigger from the animated series Winnie-the-pooh, if he won. Producer Christian Colson went up the stage with twenty crews from Slumdog to receive the award for the Best Picture. “Most of all we had passion and we had belief, and our film shows if you have those two things, you have everything," he said, thanking the entire team. The other awards went in the categories best-adapted screenplay, cinematography, sound mixing and film editing. Resul Pookutty  sounded overwhelmed while receiving his award for best sound mixing along with Ian Tapp and Richard Pryke, and dedicated the award to his country, India.


Slumdog Millionaire is the story of an 18 year old orphan Jamal Malik, from the slums of Mumbai, who is knocking the door to the biggest fortune that he could ever imagine. With the whole nation watching, he is just one question away from winning a stunning 20 million rupees on India's "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" But when the show breaks for the night, police arrest him on suspicion of cheating; how could a street kid know so much? Desperate to prove his innocence, Jamal tells the story of his life in the slum where he and his brother grew up, of their adventures together on the road, of vicious encounters with local gangs, and of Latika, the girl he loved and lost. Each chapter of his story discloses the key to the answer to one of the game show's questions.


Slumdog had to overcome tremendous odds simply to earn an American release, but captured the Oscar night by winning the maximum number of awards. Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh congratulated A.R. Rahman, Resul Pookutty, Gulzar and the entire Slumdog team for the success at the Oscars. “They’ve made India proud” said Singh.