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Note Worthy

Written by Friday, 12 July 2013 08:00

Tehelka award for journalists


Tarun Sehrawat was a 23-year-old photojournalist with Tehelka magazine, who passed away last year. He had contracted cerebral malaria in the Abujhmad forest region, where he had gone to report on the Maoist insurgency. The magazine has now instituted an annual award in his name, named The Tarun Sehrawat Award For Journalism Of Courage And Conscience. According to a release put out by the magazine, “this award will honour stories and images - in any Indian language - that capture injustice, inequity, dispossession and other social, cultural, economic and political faultlines in the country.”


Photographers, reporters, cameramen, radio journalists and videographers are all eligible for the award, and applicants can submit photo features as well as print, web or television stories, irrespective of the language. However, applications will require work in other languages to be translated into English, accompanied by the original copy or clip. The award will be announced at THiNK, Tehelka’s flagship event that will be held in Goa from November 8 to 10, and the two winners will be flown there. The award consists of a Rs 1.5 lakh cash prize for the winner of the print, web or photo feature category, and the same amount for the winner of the electronic medium. Last date for submitting your entry is August 1. For more details, visit thetarunsehrawataward/


Incidentally, the award has already drawn flak from members of the media community, many of whom, including former Tehelka staffers, had criticised the publication’s editors for sending a young and inexperienced photojournalist on such a risky assignment. After his death, Neha Dixit, the Tehelka reporter Tarun had accompanied on his first professional assignment in 2009, wrote that the “cynicism and brazen callousness” of media organisations often added to the risks faced by young journalists on the field.

Open Road Review invites submissions


Founded in 2011, the quarterly online literary journal Open Road Review publishes short fiction (including translations), creative non-fiction, poetry and artwork. They are now inviting submissions for their sixth issue, slated to be released on August 1. They publish new authors alongside established writers, and are planning to release a print anthology of their best published works in 2013.


Guidelines - Short Fiction: They accept previously unpublished short fiction of up to 4000 words and flash fiction of 1000 words or fewer. Stories must be typed, double-spaced and in MS Word DOC format with your full name and address on the manuscript. Submit only ONE story at a time, as an attachment (and in the body of the mail) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Creative Non Fiction: Maximum of 2000 words. Send in the body of the mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Poetry: 3-5 poems, under 30 lines. The poems should be original and unpublished. Send your entry in the body of the mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


They are also accepting entries in Photography, Visual Art and Blogs. Last day for submitting your entry is July 15. For more information and to read back issues, log on to

A festival for independent films


The 2013 edition of the Indian Independent Film Festival will be held from August 15 to 18 at Freedom Park. The festival aims to provide a unique outlet for independent filmmaker to showcase their creativity and reach the broadest audiences possible. The festival will also see a host of seminars and workshops conducted by well-known filmmakers, apart from screening of acclaimed films from Indian and abroad. An art and painting exhibition too will be organized on the sidelines of the event. Apart from filmmakers, the festival will be attended by technicians, distributors, production houses as well as state bodies, making it an excellent opportunity for aspiring filmmakers to network with industry professionals. The festival will have a competition section, for which they have invited entries in categories including Feature, Short, Documentary, Animation and Experimental. Prizes include cash awards, a camera kit, and an opportunity to direct a film. For more information, log on to


A get-together for filmmakers

This is an event for aspiring and established filmmakers in the city to get together to exchange ideas and tips and support each other’s endeavours in various ways, be it giving feedback on projects, collaborating, or sharing equipment. Participants are expected to bring their movie (or short movie clip as a Quicktime file) on a flash/thumb drive so that it can be screened at the meet. Due to time limitations, and since they are trying to screen the work by as many people as possible, they have set a time limit of five minutes for the works to be screened. They also expect participants to contribute Rs 100 each to cover the cost of renting the venue and screening equipment. The event will be held at Jaaga on Double Road. For more information, log on to or email Hima B at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A nuclear plant in my backyard


This stunning picture is part of a series of photographs by Amirtharaj Stephen on the popular resistance to the nuclear plant in Koodankulam, Tamil Nadu. Stephen, who hails from nearby Tirunelveli, was drawn to the subject since he grew up in the Atomic Energy Department township at the Heavy Water Plant, Tutucorin. In this picture, a Coastguard aeroplane is seen flying too low over the protesting villagers who ventured into the sea as a part of their Jal Sathyagraha, in an attempt to chase them out of the water. Stephen’s Koodankulam pictures can be viewed at


Want to fell a tree? BBMP website cuts the red tape


A report by Citizen Matters highlights the BBMPs’ decision to start a web service for making the often controversial process of tree-felling smoother, and more transparent, for both those who want to apply for trees to be cut in their area, as well as those who object to it. According to the report, the BBMP’s Tree Authority issues nearly 3,000 permissions for cutting trees every year, but keeps no formal records, leading to accusations of cheating, bribery, and so on. But, under the new system, an applicant can request online, for felling or pruning a tree, and if there are objections, these too can also be posted here, within a period of fifteen days of the announcement.


The authority will review the responses and then take a decision on whether to axe a tree or not, which will be put up online. If there are further objections to the decision, these too can be taken up with the authority, and it will be left to the chief conservator of forests (CCF) of the BBMP Forest cell to review the petitions and decide whether to execute or revoke the action. The article also points to the many loopholes in the system, the most glaring of all being that potential objectors would have no way of knowing if someone has applied for trees to be cit in an area. Also, since there is no official tree census, and trees are not numbered, it would be difficult to provide or receive details of the tree being cut, especially if it is one among many similar trees cut in public place.


The Dalai Lama’s tryst with the tuft


Unlike his counterparts, the Dalai Lama, the leader of the Tibetan Buddhists, is known for his sense of mischief, something he has not lost even at the ripe age of 78. During his recent visit to the Iskcon temple in Bangalore, the (totally tonsured) Tibetan spiritual leader’s playful self was very much on display. On an impulse, he caught the tuft of Madhu Pandita Das, the Iskcon president and chairman of the Akshaya Patra foundation, twirling it around. But then, what did they expect from a Nobel Peace prize winner who is capable of saying things like: “If you want to hit your neighbour, make sure you have a calm mind. It is only then will you be able to hit him effectively and satisfyingly as well.” That was from the Dalai Lama’s speech at the National College Grounds in 2011. The Tibetan leader is in the state to attend his 78th birthday celebrations, to be held at the Tibetan settlement at Bylakkuppe, near Mysore.



Write for a literary e-journal

Research Scholar is an internationally refereed quarterly e-journal dedicated to English Literature. While their primary aim is to publish new scholarly articles in the field, they also encourage literary contributions in the form of original as well as translated poetry and fiction. They have called for “authentic, scholarly and unpublished research articles, essays, short story, poetry, book review, interviews and art works from scholars/ faculty/ researchers/ writers/ professors.” They also offer graduate and post graduate students opportunities to learn about and participate in literary publishing through a professional internship. For more information and to read previous issues, log on to

Note Worthy

Written by Friday, 05 July 2013 06:03

Number plates go hi-tech


Karnataka’s Transport Department is all set to introduce High Security Number Plates (HSNPs) in the state, which is expected to boost the authorities’ capability for tackling vehicle theft and traffic violations. As defined by the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, an HSNP will have a Chromium hologram of the Ashoka Chakra, IND written in bold blue colour on the extreme left centre of the plate and the PCIN (permanent consecutive identification number) which will be laser-edged on it.


The laser number will be unique, and will contain alpha-numeric identification of both testing agencies and the manufacturers. The rear registration plate will be fitted with a non-reusable snap lock to make it tamper proof. A third Chromium-based registration plate in the form of sticker will be attached to the wind shield, which will contain the engine and chassis are indicated along with the name of registering authority. If tampered with, it self-destructs. Also called as High Security Registration Number, HSNPs have already been introduced by Delhi, Chandigarh and Ahmedabad. In Banglaore, the Department is said to be in the final stages of implementing HSNPs, though no official notification has been issued.

Mozilla’s open source smartphone


sadfsafMozilla is best known for producing the open source Firefox web browser. PC World reports on the two new smartphones they have released that run on their Firefox operating system. Early details were unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February, where the new operating system generated serious buzz. ZTE and Alcatel provided the design for the first two phones to carry the new Firefox HTML open source OS, each sporting slim touchscreen designs.


Both models come standard with all of the normal smartphone amenities, including email, phone calls, text messaging, maps, camera, and naturally, web browsing with Firefox. Users can also download apps, although they may not get too far on the internal memory, which does not exceed 512 MB. The Firefox OS is an open-source system, intended to compete with Android for developer attention, and the experience is reportedly similar to using an Android device.

A festival of literary translation

dasThe Tarjuma Festival of Translators aims to call attention to the far-reaching, yet often unseen art of translation. To be held on July 25 and 26 at the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar, it will bring together leading translators, writers, scholars and publishers of translated work in a first-of-its-kind event. According to the organisers, Tarjuma is intended to “spark serious, scholarly, and artistic conversations on literary translation,” and to encourage translators and publishers to exchange ideas. Some of the best-known translators working today, including Arunava Sinha, Lakshmi Holmstrom, Arshia Sattar, Susheela Punitha and Namita Gokhale, will speak at the event. There will also be a host of translation-related panel discussions, seminars and book launches on the sidelines of the event. For more information and a detailed programme, log on to


Bollywood thought of Google Glass first!

sadaDeepanjana Pal writes on about TP Sundaram's 1967 film, Chand Par Chadayee (Trip to Moon), and the many futuristic technologies it showcased, including a device similar to the Google Glass. A science fiction story set mainly in space, the film starred Dara Singh in the lead role as Astronaut Anand, who falls in love with the curiously named Shimoga, the princess of moon (played by G Ratna).


She writes: “Most impressively, Trip to Moon preempted Google Glass. When Simi (a scheming moonling aristocrat) wants to talk to the king of Mars (the other half of the film’s villainous duo) urgently, she calls him and he receives the call in a pair of dark glasses. A live image of Simi appears on one of the lenses and they chat in real time. So there you have it: a wearable computer with an optical head-mounted display. And we thought of it in 1967, before Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin were born.”

Taking Gandhi to the land of Mao

auBangalore International Centre has arranged a presentation on 'The Challenge and resultant insights of taking Gandhi into Mao’s “Power grows out of the barrel of a gun” country,’ to be delivered by PA Nazareth, a former ambassador of India to Mexico, Guatemala and other Latin American countries.


The talk will be held on July, and will be moderated by former foreign secrtary AP Venkateswaran. The talk will be held at Bangalore International Centre, TERI Complex, 4th main, 2nd cross, Domlur II stage.

Learn organic, terrace farming

sadfThe Bhoomi Network is holding a workshop on organic and terrace gardening on July 20, at the Prakriya School Campus, off Sarjapur Road. Aimed at “people who wish to take charge of their wellness and health,” it seeks to ensure a healthier diet while reviving the traditional kitchen garden in urban areas. The workshop will help participants understand the basic principles of gardening and then apply it to their own context---homes, apartments or terraces.


It will focus on the practical aspects, so that participants get a firsthand experience with earth, soil, compost, nutrients on the field. It will also include components on pest and disease management. The workshop will be conducted by terrace farming expert Rajesh Thakkar. The fee is Rs 1,200 per person (lunch and snack included), and seats are limited. To register, call Santhi on 9449853834 / 28441173. Registration closes by July 17. To learn more about the Bhoomi Netowrk, log on to www.bhoominetwork. org.


Whitefield walk

aswThis heritage walk is meant for all those who think Whitefield has nothing more to offer than IT towers, malls and apartments. On Sunday, July 7, conservation architect Krupa Rajangam will hold a walk through colonial era Whitefield to reveal one man's vision to create an Eurasian and Anglo-Indian Utopia in India.


The walk will be followed by a screening of Whitefield Diaries, a set of short films on Whitefield created as an installment of the Neighbourhood Diaries project ( which narrates the neighbourhood's history and its rich store of anecdotes through the eyes of long-term residents. The walk is being held in aid of Karunashraya, the Cancer Hospice Trust in Marathahalli. There are only a limited number of seats, and the organisers suggest a minimum donation of Rs 200 per participant. Receipts will be issued by Karunashraya. For more details and to register for the walk, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .



Fancy food, and how to pronounce it right

If you pride yourself on being a foodie who likes to dine out at fancy restaurants, there’s something you absolutely cannot afford to ignore: the right pronunciation of that exotic dish you’ve been dying to try. And if there’s one thing worse than that, it’s when you’ve heard of the dish, but don’t know what it really is. This handy list will helps you solve both problems at one go:


asdChipotle: A smoky cream sauce that goes well with burgers, pizzas and hot dogs.


How you say it: Chi-Poht-Ley Bánh mì: Vietnamese term for all kinds of bread.


How you say it: Bahn Mee Pho: The Vietnamese noodle soup consisting of broth, linguine-shaped rice noodles, a few herbs, and meat.


How you say it: Fau or say “fur” without the “R”


Sriracha: A type of hot sauce, named after the coastal city of Si Racha in Eastern Thailand, which goes well with seafood.


How you say it: Shree-Ra-Cha Gnocchi: Thick, soft Italian dumplings that may be made from semolina, ordinary wheat flour, flour and egg, flour, egg, and cheese, potato, breadcrumbs, or similar ingredients.


How you say it: Nyawk-Kee


Bruschetta: Bruschetta is an antipasto (starter) from Italy which consists of grilled bread rubbed with garlic and topped with olive oil, salt and pepper.


How you say it: Broo-SKEH-Tah


Prosciutto: Also called Parma ham, this is a dry-cured ham that is usually thinly sliced and served uncooked.


How you say it: Proh-SHOO-Toe


Quinoa: This favourite of the health-conscious is a species of goosefoot (Chenopodium), a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds which can be used instead of cereal.


How you say it: Keen-Wah Caipirinha: Brazil’s national cocktail, made with cachaça (sugar cane hard liquor), sugar and lime.


How you say it: Kai-Pee-Reen-


Ya Açai Berry: A small, round, black-purple berry of an Amazonian palm, this one’s high on energy.


How you say it: Ah-Sigh-Ee


Filet or Fillet: A cut or slice of boneless meat or fish


How you say it: Fill-Ay Beignet: French term for a pastry made from deep-fried choux paste, a light dough which consists only of butter, water, flour, and eggs.


How you say it: Ben-Yay


Foie Gras: Foie gras; French for “fat liver”, is a dish made of the liver of a duck or goose that has been specially fattened.


How you say it: Fwah Grah


Tortillas: A type of thin Mexican flatbread made from finely ground wheat flour.


How you say it: Tohr-Tee-Yahs


Fajitas: This Tex-Mex term refers to any dish that consists of grilled meat usually served as a taco on a flour or corn tortilla.


How you say it: Fah-Hee-Tahs


Quesadilla: A flour or corn tortilla filled with a savoury mixture containing cheese, other ingredients, and/or vegetables, then folded in half to form a half-moon shape.


How you say it: Key-Suh-Dee- Uh

Note Worthy

Written by Friday, 28 June 2013 08:19

Recording an album? Head to Abbey Road


roadThe iconic Abbey Road Studios in the UK is now making the services of its acclaimed sound engineers available online for Indian bands and musicians who want to get their tracks mastered by them. The studio has legendary status in music circles, with such names as Pink Floyd and The Beatles having recorded there, the latter even naming one of their albums after the location of the studio. Now, their mixing and mastering facilities are available at affordable rates thanks to music company Bohemia Junction, the brainchild of Andrew Mackay and Shantanu Hudlikar.


The company will offer all of Abbey Road Studios’ online services to Indian clients, including classical musicians, independent artistes, bands and film crews, with a focus on mastering. While individual budgets for clients are finalised on a caseby- case basis, Hudlikar assures musicians that the process is extremely affordable.

Interested bands can contact Bohemia Junction via their official website



Book train tickets using your mobile


trainFrom July 1, you will be able to book your train ticket using your mobile phone. IRCTC now offers two options for using the mobile phone to book tickets; by SMS process or a menubased system at a designated number, which will be announced soon. The system requires passengers to register their mobile numbers with IRCTC and any of their 26 banking partners.


The SMS process allows passengers to book their tickets through two SMSes that cost Rs 3 each. There will be no extra charge involved, although banks will charge Rs 5 for any transaction below Rs. 5,000 and Rs 10 for higher amounts. To complement the service, IRCTC is also introducing ‘mobile wallet’ from which the ticket fare and its service charge can be deducted. Passengers will have to carry valid photo ID as is standard, though no hard copy of the ticket will be necessary as the confirmation SMS will be valid.



 Learn to act for stage and screen


Chennai-based theatre-group Evam’s acting course First Rush is back. The two-day workshop provides a platform for aspiring actors to learn the fine art of acting and theatre. The workshop will be followed by a month long rehearsal which will culminate in an on-stage theatrical performance. Evam is an award winning theatre entrepreneurship firm which has the mission of “futurising India’s theatre,” which started off asa theatre group. The workshop will be held at the premises of Atta Galatta book store in Koramangala on July 6 and 7.

For more information and to register, you can call 974236267.

Petrol pump cheating alert


cheatA Facebook post by Manish Dubey shows that petrol pump attendants in Bangalore are resorting to ingenious methods to cheat customers. Manish writes: “Customers are being openly looted at fuel bunks in Bangalore. At the Indian Oil Petrol pump at JP Nagar, I asked for petrol worth Rs 1,000. When the meter had crossed Rs 700, one of the attendants came with the credit card bill copy to be signed.


I moved my eyes from the metre to sign the bill, but a moment later I saw that the display showed Rs 1,000. I was baffled as four litres of petrol cannot be pumped in a second. I challenged the staff and he tried convincing me that it was correct. But, after I insisted, they gave me the receipt from the pump meter, which showed the amount to be just Rs 731. This is a rampant practice at petrol pumps and I would recommend all to be careful. If you suspect anything wrong, please ask for the receipt from the meter (see pic). I’m taking this up with Indian Oil too.”


Terribly tiny tales


tinyIt seems even fiction can’t be brief enough for some people. Terribly Tiny Tales brings together talented writers who write one tweet-sized story every day. They invite readers to contribute a word, and from the daily submissions, their writers will pick a word each of his or her choice, which will then be used as a trigger for a ‘tiny tale.


’ The initiative is the brainchild of Mumbaibased storytelling agency Not Like That. To read stories they have come up with so far, log on to their website, They also have a Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Bangaloreans for Uttarakhand


uttA group has come together to help people in flood-devastated Uttarakhand. Members are collecting clothes, utensils, rain coats and umbrellas they will deliver to the hill state. Started by Vijay Grover, senior journalist and founder of Bangalore Organic Store, the group has been active for a week.


Those who would like to donate in kind can drop off their material at the group’s office. For more information, call Grover on 9916106167. Google’s people finder: Google’s Person Finder application has launched an online service which can be used to search for people in Uttarakhand.

First Book Prize contest open


bookThe Shakti Bhatt Foundation is inviting entries for the 2013 Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize. In its sixth year, the prize is a cash award of Rs 1 lakh and a trophy. The foundation has been set up in memory of Shakti Bhatt, a young writer and editor who passed away in Delhi in 2007.


The award covers poetry, fiction (including graphic novels), creative non-fiction (travel writing, autobiography, biography, and narrative journalism), and drama. Last year, the prize was won by author-journalist Naresh Fernandes for Taj Mahal Foxtrot: The Story of Bombay’s Jazz Age, an account of the city’s thriving music scene between the 30s and 60s. Books published between June 2012 to June 2013 are eligible for the prize. The winner will be announced in the second half of November and prize presentation will take place in December.


Authors from across the subcontinent are eligible, but books must be published in India. Publications must be in English or translated into English from an Indian language. Books that have been published elsewhere and have already won prizes are eligible, though less likely to win. Vanity press publications too are ineligible. The deadline for publishers and authors to send in first books is July 15.


There’s no limit to the number of entries, and each entry must be accompanied by three copies of the book. Entries can be sent to: The Shakti Bhatt Foundation, 8B Main Road, 166/A Sadashivanagar, Bangalore 560 080. For more information, write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Where to book your Iyer


lyerWhen you first chance upon Book My Iyer (www. bookmyiyer. com), you are convinced it is one of those ingenious spoofs of all things Iyer, most likely the handiwork of a bunch of Iyers themselves. Turns out it is not. As the name indicates (and it is to be taken literally, mind you), this website is for those seeking the services of priests from this Shaivaite Tamil Brahmin community.


They offer packages for homams conducted during marriages and housewarming ceremonies, as well as for those meant for conceiving a child or gaining wealth. The website also offers astrology services for matchmaking, career growth and so on. Take a look at the ‘Our Team’ section and meet the priests who help perform the rituals. In fact, they are also ‘hiring’ and invite applications of from experts in performing homams and pujas. If the multiple ‘packages’ don’t convince you about the site’s authenticity, their very functional payment gateway is sure to!

The girl who made Emraan blush


Actors are known for their stage presence and confidence, but the adulation of some fans can leave the most practised of them speechless. Recently in the city to promote his film Ghanchakkar, Emraan Hashmi was caught off guard when a girl in the audience, who claimed to be his “biggest fan ever”, stood up and openly professed her love for him during a press meet.


The teary-eyed girl then confessed that she has watched all his films 20 times each, and missed her exam to meet him. The usually brash Emraan could not stop blushing, but was courteous enough to tell her she didn’t have to miss her exams in order to meet him. He later called the girl, who identified herself as Afshaan Syed, a final year degree student in a Bangalore college, over to the stage, where he posed for some pictures, after which she was escorted from the place


Note Worthy

Written by Thursday, 20 June 2013 11:44

A literary festival in Bhutan


Literary agency Siyahi has announced the 2013 edition of Mountains Echoes, a festival of literature and the arts that is now into its fourth year. It will be held in Bhutan from August 9 to 11. Conceived as a celebration of Bhutanese and Indian culture, it brings together some of the leading writers and artists of our time to present stories, memories and legends. There will also be several panel discussions on the many forms of storytelling (short stories, ghost stories, stand-up comedy and folktales), plays, popular fiction, travel writing, creative non-fiction and graphic art.


Topics for discussion include fiction, sports, democracy, women’s issues, civil society, digital rights, environment and wildlife. Some big names attending this year’s festival are writers Amish Tripathi, Jerry Pinto and Namita Gokhale, playwright Mahesh Dattani, graphic novelist Amruta Patil, wildlife writer Saad Bin Jung, filmmaker Aparna Sen, and actor Rahul Bose, apart from a host of well-known Bhutanese writers.


For more information, log on to

Play, the offbeat way


FLUID, which calls itself “a tribe of performers and dancers of the various flow and fire arts,” is holding a get together in the outskirts of Bangalore on June 23. The event will have workshops, jams and performances of offbeat urban arts like poi, capoeira and parkour. As a noholds- barred, do-it-yourself, open source platform, they have invited all enthusiasts to share their ideas, and insights into these unique art forms.


If you’re an artist practicing any of these forms, they will co-ordinate the stage for you to showcase your performance. Or you could simply visit, and they recommend you carry your own mats, supplies and, of course, toys: pois, staffs, diablos, kites, tops, balls, sticks, all are welcome. Some of the performances slated for the event are: Poi, staff and devil sticks, juggling and hooping, capoeira and parkour. The event will be held at Ganga Farm near Sadahalli Gate, 20 kms further from the Hebbal flyover, towards the airport. Entry is free.


For more information, call Sweekar on 9886216437 or visit events/467231036705162/

 International traineeship programme for young journos


The Deutsche Welle International Traineeship is specially designed for young journalists from the regions covered by this Germany-based international broadcaster. Deutsche Welle trains its own young journalists for its programming in 30 languages, and every year, a decision is reached on which programmes need new young journalists.


Applicants must have at least one of following as their native language: Bengali, English, Hindi and Urdu (only languages relevant to India included here). The training programme lasts 18 months, and will be conducted in Bonn, Germany. It starts in May 2014. The broadcaster began accepting applications from May 1 (the last date to apply is June 30).


For more details and to apply, visit international-traineeship.

New book on major filmmakers

writer      book

Director’s Cut: 50 Major Film-makers of the Modern Era, a new book by MK Raghavendra, national award-winning film scholar and a regular contributor to Talk, was released this week as part of the India Non-Fiction Festival held in Mumbai. The book features critical assessments of legendary filmmakers such as Andre Tarkovsky, Luis Bunuel, Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak, as well as contemporary ones like Lars von Trier and Aki Kaurusmaki. As the author says in his Introduction,


“The purpose of this book is to assist the film buff to get a grasp of the most influential cinema in the world and also provide useful evaluations of some of the best-known film directors.” However, Raghavendra is clear that by ‘major directors,’ he does not mean those that are his favourites but those regarded as important by general opinion. “I have been very critical of the work of a large number of celebrated figures. Readers should therefore be prepared for my views not corresponding with their own. They should be prepared for a well-articulated provocation,” he told

 Fleet Street’s first Indian editor

books   author


Amol Rajan, a 29-yearold Indian-origin journalist, has just been appointed editor of The Independent in the UK. He is the first non-white editorial head of a national paper in England, the birthplace of modern journalism. Rajan was born in Kolkata and moved to London as a child. He studied English literature at Cambridge University. After his graduation, he worked for The Evening Standard and Channel 5, and later joined The Independent as a news reporter.

 City team to scale Europe’s highest peak



A team of mountaineers from Bangalore have organised a first-of-its kind expedition to scale Mount Elbrus, one of the highest mountains in Europe at 5,642 metres (18,510 feet). The 12- member team leaves Bangalore on June 20 to conquer what is often described as a “beautiful, but treacherous” mountain, located in the Caucasus ranges in Russia. The team consists of seven male and five female members, some of whom have been part of successful expeditions to Mount Everest.


The team has accomplished mountaineers like Susmita Maskey, who has conquered Mount Everest twice, Suchithra Acharya, who has been to the Everest base camp, and Satyarup Siddhanta, who has scaled climbed Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain. Kittane Ramdas Manmohan, the oldest member of the team, is 56, while Manning Christopher James is the youngest at 28 years. Neeraj Malve, founder of the Bangalore Mountaineering Club, says this is the first time an expedition to Mt Elbrus has been organised by a majority Indian team.

 Most hated online abbreviations


From LOL to NSFW, they connote one thing, which is ‘I am a douchebag’, writes columnist Sam Leith in the Guardian. Clearly, the piece resonated with readers, given that it acquired nearly 700 comments on the newspaper’s website. Sample some of his most disliked online abbreviations to see if they match your own:

LOL: This is the daddy of them all. In the last decade it has effortlessly overtaken “The cheque’s in the post” and “I love you” as the most-often-told lie in human history. Out loud? Really? And, to complicate things, people are now saying LOL out loud, which is especially banjaxing since you can’t simultaneously say “LOL” and laugh aloud unless you can laugh through your arse.


YOLO: You Only Live Once. But not for very much longer if you use this abbreviation anywhere near me when I’m holding a clawhammer. This, as the distinguished internet scholar Matt Muir puts it, is “carpe diem for people with an IQ in double figures”. A friend of mine reports her children using this out loud. This has to end.


IYKWIM: If You Know What I Mean. Ironic, that, because the first time someone used that acronym to me I had to look it up on Urban Dictionary.  NIDKWYM.


TBH: To Be Honest. We expect you to be honest, not to make some weary threefingered gesture of reluctance at having to pony up an uncomfortable truth for an audience who probably can’t really take it. It’s out of the same drawer as “frankly” and “with respect”, and it should be returned to that drawer forthwith.


IMHO: In My Humble Opinion. The H in this acronym is always redundant, and the M is usually redundant too: it’s generally an opinion taken off-the-peg from people you follow on Twitter and by whom you hope to be retweeted.


TMI: Too Much Information. There’s something annoying about this tonally. In the first place it makes everyone who uses it sound like a spoilt teenage girl who’ll say “OM Actual G” out loud and do “whatever” signs with her hands. In the second it’s a bloody cheek. You’re on a social networking site. The whole point of social networking is overshare.


AFAIR: As Far As I Recall. Rather like IMHO, this is pseudo self-effacement; with the background implication that your time is too precious to actually check, and that we should simply be grateful for this spark flickering from your vast mind. Like newspaper columnists who ask: “Was it Voltaire, who said…?”

 Bangalore number two in crime


The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report for 2012 puts Bangalore second only to the national capital in the number of crimes registered. The city reported 266 murders, whereas Delhi had 408. In the number of robberies (670), the city beats Delhi (522). It also tops other metros with 37 dacoity cases. The number of kidnappings stood at 532, and may have been a small figure in comparison to Delhi’s 3,274, but is still the second highest in the country. Bangalore also recorded second highest number of cases against women at 2,263, up by 373 compared to the previous year.


But the figure is less than half of the number of such crimes registered in Delhi, which remains the most unsafe city for women with 5,194 cases. In cybercrime, Bangalore accounts for nearly one fourth of all cases in the country, its 342 cases booked under the IT Act amounting to 24.4 per cent of the total number reported in the country. Visakhapatnam is next, at 153. Statewise, Kerala registered the highest crime rate in the country, with 455.8 cases for every 1,00,000 persons. Madhya Pradesh, with a rate of 298.8, came second, and Tamil Nadu, with a rate of 294.8, third.

Note worthy

Written by Saturday, 15 June 2013 08:00

Is the govt snooping on us?


It’s the question we should be asking in the wake of the US scandal, where whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the National Security Agency has been snooping into phone conversations, emails and social networking accounts of ordinary citizens. Now a leading global rights organisation Human Rights Watch has called attention to India’s own Central Monitoring System (CMS), which it says threatens privacy and free expression. According to the Times of India, the CMS will provide centralised access to the country’s telecommunications network and facilitate direct monitoring of phone calls, text messages, and the internet use by government agencies, bypassing service providers. HRW’s Cynthia Wong called it a chilling threat given “the reckless and irresponsible use of the sedition and the internet laws” in India, adding that privacy laws here are not strong enough to protect citizens from such potentially invasive powers. What is particularly worrying is that the CMS was created without parliamentary approval, nor any public debate. “New surveillance capabilities have been used around the world to target critics, journalists, and human rights activists.” Wong added “Surveillance tools are often used by governments and bureaucrats for political reasons instead of security purposes, and often in a covert way that violates human rights. If India doesn’t want to look like an authoritarian regime, it needs to be transparent about who will be authorized to collect data, what data will be collected, how it will be used and how the right to privacy will be protected

” How green is your home?


If you are an apartment dweller who is nevertheless bothered by the growing concrete structures around you and crave to contribute to the city’s green cover, here’s a workshop that can help you do something about it. Webzine The Alternative along with the Apartment Adda is organising a workshop where you can learn how to implement sustainability initiatives in your apartment complex or community. The aim of the workshop is to focus on issues like water, waste and energy. People from the community will share their experiences and success stories. There will also be live presentations, interactions and discussions for action oriented solutions. The workshop will have lectures from Manivannan P, MD, Bescom, Kalpana Kar, BBMP Expert Committee, BPAC Members and others. The workshop will also throw light on ways to set up a composting unit at home and produce renewable energy from your apartment complex. Entry fee is Rs 100. The workshop will be held at The Energy and Resource Institute, Domlur II Stage on June 15. To register, log on to



 Scholarships for Konkani-speakers


The Vishwa Konkani Student Scholarship Fund set up by World Konkani Centre, Mangalore, has invited applications for its Merit-Cum-Means Scholarships-2013 from students seeking professional education in the streams of Engineering and MBBS. Candidates with Konkani as their mother tongue can apply for this scholarship, regardless of their caste or religion. Applicants will need to furnish a mother tongue certificate along with their applications. Those who are seeking admission to the first year of Engineering or MBBS course in 2013 are eligible to apply, provided they have scored above 70 per cent in SSLC and in the core subjects in PUC and also secured a Ranking of 20,000 and below in the Entrance Examination (CET). The annual income of the applicant’s family should not exceed Rs 3 lakh per annum, although this can be relaxed up to Rs 4.5 lakh under special circumstances. Those who win the scholarship should be willing to sponsor two students after securing employment and should contribute 20 days in the year 2013-14 to community service. The most deserving candidates will be selected by an independent panel and will be awarded scholarships amounting to Rs 30,000 and Rs 40,000 for the Engineering and MBBS courses respectively. For more information, visit the last date for application is July 10.

Become a radio scriptwriter


Radio Mirchi is looking for scriptwriters. Those who have seven years of writing experience are invited to apply. You can send your resume to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 9370456750 for details

Volunteers wanted


If you are under 30 and have the passion to contribute to society, join the Bhumi, one of India’s largest independent and youth volunteer non-profit organisations. You can choose to volunteer with them for a minimum of two hours every week by teaching/ mentoring children at an orphanage or community centre near you, or by contributing towards environmental conservation. Alternatively, if you are the creative type, you could help with designing posters for their campaigns, and if you have good networking skills, you could help them raise funds. Bhumi is holding an orientation programme for potential volunteers in the city on June 16 at Jaaga on Double Road. At the orientation ,you will get more information about all of Bhumi’s projects, the centres where you can volunteer, before you get to choose your project, timings of volunteering etc. Opportunities also exist for those who are looking to make a career in the social sector, internships and long term volunteering. For more information, log on to

Football for change


South United FC, a football club run by Loko Soccer Schools, is inviting applications from children, especially those from underprivileged backgrounds, for its ongoing ‘Football for Change’ programme. The programme, currently being held at Sarjapur and Jeevanhalli among other locations, is open to children between the ages of seven and 18. The programme aims to promote fitness and mental health, create employment opportunities and develop international level football players. According to a press release, it follows the modules set by UNICEF, which has seen excellent results in various countries. They have roped in several well-known personalities in Indian football like Raman Vijayan, Noel Wilson, as well as foreign coaches like Jack Albanese from Manchester, Guillermo Escudero Tello from Real Madrid Academy, for the programme. Depending on their skill level, the children are given further training to be professional football players in Loko Soccer Schools, which currently has three centers across India. A couple of boys from the programme have already been selected for the SUFC team and played in the I-League 2 (the second highest league tournament in India) for the team. For more information, log on to or call 9886041737.

Bring on the pasta!


According to a report released by The National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI), Italian is the favourite cuisine for Indians who eat out, beating even Chinese to the first place. The report is based on a survey conducted over a span of two years in 784 Indian cities covering “ten of thousands of people.” The report says 80-100 per cent of the respondents (in the six different age groups surveyed) said that Italian is their cuisine of choice. Chinese food came second, preferred by 60-80 per cent in the same age groups. Ironically, Indian cuisine itself came further down the list, with 40 to 60 per cent respondents going for north Indian cuisine, and around 40 per cent opting for south Indian food while dining out.

City startup wins national contest


Mahesh Ramakrishnan

Bangalore-based startup Nanobi Analytics beat 100 others to win the Microsoft BizSpark India Startup Challenge. The company, which develops financial analytics apps, won the grand final pitching event held at Microsoft’s Bangalore offices recently. It beat the other contestants of the month-long competition, where only 10 winners progressed from the elimination rounds held in 10 Indian cities. Nanobi Analytics founder Mahesh Ramakrishnan took out the first prize of USD 4,000 (approx Rs 2,20,000) cash, a Dell Latitude 10 tablet, Xbox 360, and a branding package. A the second place was New Delhi’s IntelloCut, a material planning software company that aims to cut wastage in the textile industry. Mumbai’s Trutech Webs, specialising in fluid motion sensors, came third.

A webzine to look out for


The Ladies Finger, a new women’s webzine is the kind of smart new media product that can make heads turn. Currently in its beta stage, it’s interested in “Pop Culture. Health. Sex. Fun. Music. Books. Cinema. We do vaanthi. We like kranti. We write what we want to read.” The snazzy looking online magazine is the brainchild of former Tehelka writers Nisha Susan and Gaurav Jain, author Jugal Mody and JNU History student Poorva Rajaram. The content is divided into sections like news, bodyworks, culture, blogs and the vaanthi (vomit inducing) and kranti (revolutionary). Since it doesn’t bother too much with providing information, tips and suchlike, it’s possible that this one will continue to stand out amongst webzines. The refreshing and seriously funny writing draws you in enough to soak up all the content currently available. There’s the absolutely funny 10 Things Piggy must Chop: Priyanka Chopra’s Undead Pop Career on one side and the thought- provoking Wanted: A Jiah Khan obituary that does not begin with Amitabh Bachchan. The Vaanthi and Kranti sections deserve to be visited for the sheer originality of the concept. Another thing that one mustn’t miss while on their website is this EE Cummings poem on the ‘About’ page that sums up their mission. Log on to

Note Worthy

Written by Friday, 31 May 2013 09:30



Google’s Policy Fellowship

Bangalore-based Centre for Internet & Society (CIS) is inviting applications for their Google Policy Fellowship programme. Google is providing a 7,500 dollars (approximately Rs 4.2 lakh) stipend to the India Fellow, to be selected by July 1. Successful candidates get an opportunity to do research in the fellowship focus areas, which include Access to Knowledge, Openness in India, Freedom of Expression, Privacy, and Telecom.


The programme, which lasts for a period of about ten weeks, starts on July 7 and is open to students as well, as long as they have been enrolled in a college or university course as of January 1, 2013. Applications should include a Statement of Purpose (a brief write-up outlining your interest and qualifications for the programme), your resume and three references. Send your applications to google.fellowship@cisindia. org. For more information and to download the application form, log on to policyfellowship.



Goodbye, Flyte

In some bad news for music lovers, the Flyte MP3 store on Flipkart, popular for selling individual tracks for a pittance, has announced it will shut down on June 17. Flyte has requested users who hold accounts to use up their balance by that date. Users also have the option of getting a refund later. Those who have already purchased tracks and stored them in the Flyte digital library have time till August 18 to download them. With one lakh users and 25 lakh downloads, you would have thought the online store was doing great, but then, it has concluded the online music business isn’t so viable.



Choral singers wanted

The Majolly Music Trust (MMT), headed by the wellknown singer and pianist Neecia Majolly, has just concluded presenting a set of Spanish compositions at a show simply called Spain. The show, which premiered at Alliance Francaise on May 18, featured choral music by composers ranging from the Middle Ages to the present day. MMT choir is now looking for choristers to join its choir for the next season. For more details, call 87222 10941 or log on to



Passport Seva completes three years

The Passport Seva Kendra project in Bangalore has completed three years of operation. According to a press release sent out by the Regional Passport Office, the centre has processed 11.75 lakh passport applications in three years, and issued 10.9 lakh passports. The release further says that over the last year the number of passport applications processed at the centre increased by over 20 per cent.


The percentage of police verifications completed within the stipulated 21 days has increased from 31 to 43 over the three years. The release also quotes Acting Regional Passport Officer L Madan Kumar Reddy as saying that the application handling capacity at the two Passport Seva Kendras (Lal Bagh in Bangalore and Mangalore) has doubled to accommodate more applicants and address high demand for passports. According to Reddy, the Bangalore RPO is handling in excess of 2,000 passport applications every day, which is five times more than it used to handle three years ago.



Mario Miranda merchandise online

Mario de Miranda, who never studied art formally, started his career as a newspaper cartoonist, and went on to win several national and international honours for his illustration and fine art works. Those who love the late cartoonist’s work now have reason to rejoice. Prints of his drawings and cartoons, books of his illustrations, apart from a whole lot of other merchandise, can now be purchased online at


The big attraction of the website, though, is a collection of original Mario cartoons for sale, if you have the cash to spare (prices range from Rs 25,000 to Rs 2.5 lakh, though you can be sure these classic works will only appreciate in value over time). The collection is curated by Gerard da Cunha, the well-known Goan architect who runs the award-winning Architecture Autonomous in the state’s Bardez district.



Heard that Kannadiga joke?

In an interesting article in Outlook magazine, Chandan Gowda, Professor of Sociology at Azim Premji University, dwells on what he says is the unique predicament of Kannadigas among other Indians: a lack of stereotypes about them. Unlike Punjabis, Bengalis or Malayalis, there are few images, sounds or smells that help create a recognisable presence of the Kannadigas in the national imagination, which he says is liberating.


We quote: “Community stereotypes thrive through jokes, gossip and anecdotes. Historically, the Kannada speakers have not moved out much; the ones who did have not aided in the creation of generic impressions about themselves. While anonymity can be a source of pleasure and freedom, invisibility conveys a lack of power for those who wish to mark their presence in India’s repertoire of subregional images. The non-arrival of a generic Kannada identity is also a triumph of its heterogeneous nature. None of Karnataka’s chief cultural zones, i.e. the old Mysore region, coastal Karnataka, Coorg, Mumbai- Karnataka, and Hyderabad-Karnataka, has been able to stand in for the Kannada community image. Amidst the unpredictable twists in a fast transforming India, a Kannadiga stereotype might yet emerge. At the moment, though, being an amorphous presence in the national imagination means a delicious freedom to me.”



Free seminar on MBA

Test prep institute Jamboree Education Pvt Ltd is conducting a free seminar on “MBA in India and Abroad” for aspirants on June 2 at Royal Orchid Central at Manipal Centre. Speakers include AM Kanna of Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, Imran Kanga of York University’s Schulcich School of Business’ Mumbai Campus, and Ratnesh Bhattacharya of Ohio State University's Mumbai office. Prospective applicants to business schools in Indian and abroad can get first hand information on admissions criteria, GMAT preparation, placements and campus life. To register for the event, visit



Calling writers and poets

Helter Skelter, an online magazine with a focus on independent and alternative culture in India, has invited submissions for the third issue of their New Writing series. The series is an initiative to promote emerging writers and poets and to create a space for original, fresh short fiction and poetry. The theme for this volume is ‘Strange Love’ and according to the organisers, you can “use the theme as a starting point, an ending, or as the nucleus, but just ensure that the connection is clear. You’re free to interpret it in your own way. In fact, we want you to.” Short fiction entries must not exceed 2000 words in length, while poetry must not take up longer than two pages of MS Word. A panel of judges, comprising writers Krishna Udayshankar, poet Sharanya Manivannan and journalist and critic Jai Arjun Singh will pick the winners. Submissions should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. on or before July 7. For more information and to read the past two issues in the New Writing series, log on to

Note Worthy

Written by Friday, 24 May 2013 07:42

Harmoniums together

Harmoniums together


The harmonium is ubiquitous in Hindustani music, but have you ever seen an ensemble of harmoniums play? The Bijapure Harmonium Foundation is trying out an experiment where four harmoniums play together. The concert is titled Anahat, and is the brainchild of the wellknown harmonium player Ravindra Katoti (in picture).


Perhaps for the first time ever, three regular harmoniums and a leg harmonium will play compositions that borrow Western concepts of harmony and counterpoint. These are scarcely employed in Indian classical music, which is melodic rather than harmonic. “We have abandoned many of the things the harmonium is capable of,”


Katoti told Talk. “And those are the things we are now trying to revive.” Katoti and his disciples perform at Gokhale Institute, Bull Temple Road, Basavangudi, at 6 pm on Sunday, May 26.


A festival for short films


Bangalore Shorts Film Festival aims to recognise and popularise the work of young and experienced filmmakers. The festival, which was launched in 2012 to mark 100 years of Indian cinema, is a platform for aspiring and professional filmmakers to showcase their talent and market their work. In the long term, the festival aspires to create a short films culture in India, and make short film production a viable commercial enterprise. The festival, to be held on June 22, is inviting entries in the categories of Short Films, Animations, Documentaries and Music Videos. There will be a separate award for production companies. Both students and professionals can participate. The last date to submit your entry is May 31. A ‘Filmmakers Premier League’ will be organised on the sidelines of the festival, which includes a ‘5 Shift Film Project’ where filmmakers get to make their own short film in just five production shifts, and a ‘21 Days Animation project’ where you get a chance to create your own animation film in just 21 days. For more info, log on to


A ‘nostalgic’ writing contest


The website Little Black Book Delhi (LBBD) and Random House India present Writer’s Bloc ‘Nostalgia,’ an opportunity for closet writers to share their work. All you need to do to participate is send them an original piece— a poem, work of fiction or non-fiction, or screenplay of not more than 1,000 words on the theme of ‘nostalgia.’ The entries will be reviewed by the editors at Random House India, and the top ten will be featured in their Writers Bloc anthology. Two winning entries will get published on www.littleblackbookdelhi. com and win goodies from LBBD and Random House. Only one entry per participant is allowed. The last date for submissions is June 20. Send your entry attached as an MS Word document to editors@


Elle fiction awards


Elle magazine, in association with Random House India, has announced its fourth Fiction Awards contest. The top five entries, to be selected by a panel comprising of wellknown publishers and writers, will be published as an e-book. The winner of the first prize will get a chance to visit the Random House headquarters in New Delhi to experience firsthand the working of the publishing industry. He or she will also have the opportunity of meeting a published author and a one-on-one workshop with an editor. The contest is open to men and women (Indian nationals only) above 18 years of age and restricted to one entry per entrant. The entry must be an original, previously unpublished story; there’s no specific theme on which participants are expected to write on. The word limit is 2,500 words. Send your entry to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . For more information, visit


Workshop on Wodeyar’s compositions


The School of Performing Arts of the Indiranagar Sangeetha Sabha is holding a sixday workshop on the musical compositions of Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar, who was the Maharaja of Mysore. A connoisseur of both Western classical and Carnatic music, Wodeyar was a practising musician who composed as many as 94 kritis, many of which are sung on the concert stage. To be held from June 9 to 14 at Purandara Bhavana, the workshop will be conducted by Padmabhushan Dr RK Srikantan. For details, you can call workshop coordinator Jayashree Narayanan on 98452 63274 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Note Worthy

Written by Saturday, 18 May 2013 08:10


Celebrating video art

International video art festival Magmart in collaboration recently organised a video art project titled ‘100x100=900 (100 videoartists to tell a century).’ They invited hundred video artists— most of them prize winners at the festival—to interpret any one a year of the past century; as a means to archive the past, but also to “constitute a really global narration of 1900s.” The artists were given complete freedom in their choice of subject or style, with the only requirement being the need to focus on a certain year of the 20th century. The videos selected for the project are being screened at Jaaga on Double Road on May 17, 18 and 19. For more information on the project, log on to For screening details, visit

Grow plants without soil


Hydroponics is the technique of growing plants without using soil, primarily intended for urban farmers. Simplified hydroponics does not require any electricity, uses materials that are inexpensive and use only 10 per cent of water when compared to conventional farming. The produce you grow using the technique is completely natural and organic. Jaaga on Double Road is hosting a simplified hydroponics workshop by the Pet Bharo project, which aims to make every home sustainable in food production. The workshop, which will be held on May 25, will cost Rs 3000 per participant. On sale will be the basic material that will allow participants to start their own hydroponic garden. For more details, log on to or call Arvind Narayanan on 8971903181

Learn to make woodcut prints


Learn to make woodcut prints The National Gallery of Modern Art is holding a Workshop on woodcut print techniques on May 19, conducted by VG Venugopal (whose woodcut print is in picture) and Urmila VG. Woodcut-also known as xylography-is a technique of relief printing in which images are carved into the surface of a block of wood, wherein the part to be printed are remain at level with the surface while the rest is carved or gouged out. The workshop is part of the Waswo X Waswo Collection of Indian Printmaking, which is currently on display at the gallery. The collection, which consists mainly of woodcuts, etchings, lithographs and screenprints, represents over seventy-nine artists from across India. Chronologically, the works displayed range from 1916 to the present. For more information, contact NGMA at: Manikyavelu Mansion, 49, Palace Road or call 22342338.

Biz plan contest

The NS Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore is hosting the 2013 edition of Next Big Idea (NBI), a national business plan competition. The pre-final and the finals will be held on May 21 and 22, at IIM, Bangalore. Here’s their website:

Talking about photography…


Koushik Aithal, disciple of Pandit Parameshwar Hegde and one of Bangalore’s most talented vocalists, is teaching Hindustani classical and semiclassical music online. Want to sign up? Send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 9886549910 or 9483816112.

Music classes online


Focus Bangalore Photography Club is holding PhotoTalk, where photographers from the group speak on their work and share personal experiences and tips. This initiative aims to give insights to amateurs as well as professionals on how photographers approach their work. PhotoTalk will be held at Jaaga on Double Road on May 19. For more information, email Praveen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit


Written by Saturday, 27 April 2013 05:27

Bus Hogaya! Bmtc Special Services For Ipl Matches

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