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Bidding Adieu to 2012.................

2013 is just barely two days away. It’s always exciting to look forward to the New Year. An important part of moving forward is paying tributes to those who are no longer with us, those who have left ...
a mark with their contributions in their own field. So as we get ready to bid adieu to 2012, we’ll begin by remembering 12 of the many iconic personalities, both global and Indian, who we have lost this year.

1. Whitney Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012), who during the course of her life sold over 170 million albums, singles and videos worldwide, died at age 48. She was a six-time Grammy awards winner and was nominated 26 times. Her most famous single is ‘I Will Always Love You’ from her movie ‘The Bodyguard’ that won her 3 Grammys in 1994. She also starred in movies like ‘Waiting to Exhale’ (1995) and ‘The Preacher's Wife’ (1996), and produced movies like ‘The Princess Diaries’ series (2001 and 2004) and ‘The Cheetah Girls’ series (2003 and 2006) amongst others.

2. Donna Summer (December 31, 1948 – May 17, 2012), a legendary disco queen, died at 63 after a battle with cancer. Summer was a five-time Grammy winner. Her hits included "Last Dance," "She Works Hard for the Money," and "Love to Love You Baby."

3. Vidal Sassoon (17 January 1928 - 9 May 2012) a legendary British hairdresser, credited with creating a simple geometric, "Bauhaus-inspired" hair style, also called the wedge bob, died at age 84 due to blood cancer. He opened the first chain of worldwide hair styling salons, complemented by his hair-treatment products. ‘Vidal Sassoon: The Movie’, a documentary film about his life, was released in 2010. Sassoon opened his first salon in 1954 in London and went on to revolutionize the hair-cutting industry.

4. Bob Stewart (August 27, 1920 – May 4, 2012), an American television game show producer, created popular and long-running television game shows like ‘To Tell The Truth’, ‘The Price Is Right’, ‘Password’, and ‘Pyramid’, passed in Los Angeles of natural causes. He was 91.

5. Andy Griffith (June 1, 1926 – July 3, 2012), who rose to immense popularity for his portrayal of a small town sheriff in "The Andy Griffith Show" which ran from 1960-68 and later a venerable lawyer in "Matlock", died at the age of 86 from natural causes. He was also an award winning gospel singer.

6. Dara Singh (19 November 1928 – 12 July 2012), wrestling champion and actor from India, died at his home in Mumbai. During his ‘Pehlwani’ (Indian style of wrestling) days, he is known to have wrestled by invitation by the kings of Indian princely states. In 1996 he was inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame. He was much loved for the role of Hanuman in the television adaptation of the Hindu epic Ramayan and for his role in television series ‘Had Kar Di ‘. His last Hindi movie was ‘Jab We Met’. He also directed several commercially hit Punjabi and a couple of Hindi movies, even producing and writing the story for some. Singh was the first sportsman to be nominated to the Rajya Sabha.

7. Rajesh Khanna (29 December 1942 – 18 July 2012), born Jatin Khanna in Amritsar, Punjab in India, referred to as the "first superstar" of Indian cinema, died of Liver dysfunction. He appeared in a record 101 films as the single lead hero in a span of 25 years (1966–1991), winning three Filmfare Best Actor Awards, getting nominated for the same fourteen times, giving 73 Golden Jubilee Hits (50 weeks or more of running in theatres) and 22 silver jubilee hits (25 weeks or more of running in theatres). His all-time famous movies include ‘Aradhana’, ‘Kati Patang’, ‘Anand’, ‘Namak Haram’, etc. He set the tone for other superstars that followed.

8. Sally Ride (May 26, 1951 – July 23, 2012), an American Physicist and astronaut, who was the first American woman to travel to space in 1983, died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 61. She was part of the five-person crew on the Space Shuttle Challenger. At the time, she was also the youngest American to enter space, at the age of 32, and the first woman to use a robot arm in space. She will always inspire many women to come for many more years!
 
9. Neil Armstrong (August 5, 1930 – August 25, 2012), an American Astronaut, became an international icon and hero when he became the first man to step foot on the moon in 1969, died at 82 due to complications from blocked coronary arteries. He was the commander of Apollo 11, the first manned lunar landing mission, which landed on the moon July 20, 1969. Armstrong had also performed the first successful docking of two vehicles in space during the Gemini 8 mission in 1966. He had received several special honors from 17 different countries. His achievement will always be remembered as a “giant leap for mankind”, to quote him.  

 

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10. Yash Raj Chopra (27 September 1932 – 21 October 2012), legendry Indian Filmmaker died at 80 of dengue fever. More recently, he has come to be known as India’s most successful director of romantic films. In the past though he had made equally famous social movie s like ‘Dhool Ka Phool’ (1959), action movies like ‘Deewar’ (1975), before moving into an out and out romantic movies like ‘Dil To Pagal Hai’ (1997), ‘Veer Zaara’ (2004) and finally ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ (2012), the 22nd and the last film directed by him. His all-time famous movies include ‘Kabhi Kabhie’ (1976), Trishul (1978), Silsila (1981), Chandni (1989), ‘Lamhe’ (1991) and Darr (1993) also. His production and distribution company, Yash Raj Films, is India's biggest production company since 2006, and he is also the founder of Yash Raj Studios. Chopra has won several film awards, including six National Film Awards, eleven Filmfare awards and four Filmfare Award for Best Director. The Government of India honoured him with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2001 and the Padma Bhushan in 2005 for his contributions towards Indian cinema. Indian cinema will certainly miss the ‘King of Romance’. 

 

11. Jaspal Bhatti (3 March 1955 – 25 October 2012), an Indian comedian and the most famous social satirist, died in a road accident. He practically introduced the concept of satire in Indian television. His television shows like ‘Flop Show’ and ‘Ulta Pulta’ in late 1980s and early 1990s brought many a problem of common man to the forefront in a hilariously comical way! Not just through TV shows, right till the very end, he found innovative ways to bring the issues of self-serving politicians, greedy builders, and corrupt middle-men going as far as setting up a ‘factory’ to manufacture foundation stones to cater to the “ever increasing” demands from the politicians. The world certainly needs so many more people like him!

 

12. Pt Ravi Shankar, world renowned Indian Sitarist, lauded as the ‘Godfather of Worl Music’, passed away at 92 at his home in California. Shankar is best known as the man who introduced Sitar to the world and brought Indian music to the foreground in the West in late 1950s and early 1960s when he taught sitar to the former Beatles member George Harrison. He was awarded India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna and was a three time Grammy Awards winner. The Sitar Maestro has certainly left a void in the music world!

We salute you!

(Photo: In the order mentioned)

(As always, if you like what you read, do 'Like' us on facebook)
 

Dec 17 2012:

 
As we always say, we love wedding news. And so we report that Vidya Balan, a bollywood actress who has off late created her own niche in the Hindi film industry thanks to her recent movies like Ishqiya (2010), No One Killed Jessica (2011), ...
The Dirty Picture (2011), and Kahaani (2012), wedded the Disney UTV CEO, Siddharth Roy Kapur, who incidentally produced Vidya's acclaimed film 'No One Killed Jessica', this Dec 14th.

This is the 34-year-old actress ‘s first and Siddharth’s third marriage. And third time did better be the charm, not that we're worried, Vidya deserves the best, we have loved her since her debut in 'Parineeta' (2005), through 'Eklavya' (2007) and 'Paa' (2009) to now. Nah, didn't like her in ' Heyy Babyy' (2007) and 'Kismat Konnection' (2008) .   But then she's entitled to her own share of non-hits, shall we say?

Anyway, we were talking about Vidya's wedding. And since Vidya is a Tamil and Siddharth a Punjabi, the marriage rituals were a blend of the two cultures. While the entire set-up and decoration as well as the food was Tamil style, the 'baratis' came in a typical Punjabi style, complete with 'saafas' (head turban), dhol and 'balle balles'. It was held at the Green Mile Bungalow in Bandra, Mumbai (picture 4).

Before the wedding, the events leading upto it included Sangeet on Dec 11th and Mehndi on Dec 12th.

For the Sangeet, Vidya wore a traditional burgundy red Kanjeevaram saree by designer, Sabyasachi Mukherjee who is also her good friend. Siddharth wore white embroidered kurta (picture 3). Vidya’s cousins and Siddarth’s actor-brothers Aditya and Kunal teamed up to perform on Vidya’s hit songs. Apparently, Vidya herself danced to her hit dance track ‘Oh La La’ from her famous film ‘Dirty Picture’. (Who are we to judge?)

Vidya’s Mehndi ceremony (pictures 1 and 2) took place at her Khar home in Mumbai on 12.12.12. Vidya was wearing a beautiful Sabyasachi Mukherjee saree that she wore in Bengali style with floral ornaments.

There's talk of a Carribean Cruise for the Honeymoon and after that their move into the Rs14-crore Juhu apartment that Sid had recently purchased (none of our business! :))

Well, we are certainly happy for you, Vidya and Wish You Both a Very Long and Happy Married Life! Of course, loved your Sabyasachi Mukherjee Sarees too!

Source: TOI, Emirates247.com

(As always, if you heard any part of the news from us, become a member and 'Like' desideewar on facebook at www.facebook.com/desideewar)

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Dec 14 2012:

 

 

 

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Corruption Perceptions Index 2012
(Written by Sonal Kulshrestha)

So how corrupt do you think India is? We think its' fair to say that we all believe that India has a high degree of corruption. Pakistan even more so. Bangladesh and Sri Lank...
a, also from the desi world, will probably not fair any better in our minds. USA, we, of course, believe is fairly clean. Mexico, again, not! If this is your perception of corruption in the above mentioned countries, you’re actually correct! Well, atleast according to the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI)2012 that the Transperancy Corruption organisation has come out with.
Lets’ start with who are they? They are the global coalition against corruption and their vision is a world without corruption in all sectors! Its headquater is in Berlin, Germany. It was founded in 1993. It publishes the Corruption Perceptions Index annually that provides a comparative listing of corruption worldwide. The index is based on extensive research driven by locally based chapters in over 100 countries.

So back to this year’s report. Know that the Corruption Perceptions Index scores countries on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). According to this year’s report, here’s how the desi world did amongst 176 countries that were ranked-

Sri Lanka- 79 rank, score 40
India- 94 rank, score 36
(India was ranked 72 in 2007, falling to 87 in 2010 and then 95 in 2011.)
Nepal- 139 rank, score 27
Pakistan- 139 rank, score 27
Bangladesh- 144 rank, score 26

Other countries of interest that did just as poorly-
China- 79 rank, score 40
Mexico- 105 rank, score 34
Iraq- 169 ranl, score 18
Iran- 133 rank, score 28
Russia- 133 rank, score 28

The countries that did good and in fact not surprisingly at all are-
USA- 19 rank, score 73
UK- 17 rank, score 74
Japan, 17 rank, score 74
Canada- 9 rank, score 84
Australia- 7 rank, score 85
Switzerland- 6 rank, score 86
Singapore- 5 rank, score 87

The top five least corrupt countries are-
Denmark – score 90
Finland- score 90
New Zealand- score 90
Sweden- score 88
Singapore- score 87

And the three most corrupt countries are- Afganistan, North Korea and Somalia, all ranked 174 with a score of mere 8!

Check out the entire listing at-
http://www.transparency.org/cpi2012/results

We’re sure we all share the Transparency International’s vision of a corruption-free world. To get involved, go to-
http://www.transparency-usa.org/involved/index.html

(Photo from Transparency International's site)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Nov 29 2012:

 

Tax Impact for Indian Americans on receiving gifts from people in India:

We had earlier covered a very informative article from Times Of India that covered the tax impacts for Indian Americans on inheriting properties in India. Here, we br...
ing you an article again from Times Of India, on tax impacts from receiving gifts from persons in India.

The gist of it is as follows-
Tax on gifts - India:

According to the new 2004 Income Tax Act,
1. The value of any gifts from India, in excess of Rs 50,000, will be added to the income of receiver and taxed accordingly. This includes cash gifts, property, jewellery, etc.

2. The gift is exempted from tax even beyond the limit of Rs 50,000 under following circumstances-
a. It is from a blood relative
b. It is received as a wedding gift
c. It is received as inheritance

Note: "For Indians Americans, the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and the US provides that India will have the first right to tax gifts, wherever applicable.

Tax on gifts in the US:

There's no tax liability for the receivers of gifts, the donor payes the tax, but if the donor lives in India, no gift tax is payable as the donor is not a US taxpayer. But, US residents, citizens and Green Card holders who receive gifts over $100,000 from someone in India must file Form 3520 along with their tax return. This includes cash, property and investments. No Form 3520 is required if the amount is lesser.

Gift versus inheritance:

In case of inheritance, the basis or cost to the receiver is taken to be the fair market value.

In case of gift, the basis or cost to the receiver is taken to be the original cost to the donor.

So at the time of sale of this property, capital gain is calculated on higher basis in case of inheritance, making it a more useful option (if it an option).

In India, there is no difference between the two since in both cases basis is the original cost to donor.

Want to know the tax impact for Indian Americans who make gifts to persons in India? TOI promises to tackle that next, so look out for that.

Meanwhile, for more details, check out-
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/nri/us-canada-news/India-US-tax-impact-on-gifts-received-by-Indian-Americans/articleshow/17416878.cms

Got too serious for you? Here's our favorite cartoon strip, Dilbert's take on taxes...enjoy!
 
 
 

 

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Nov 28 2012

 

 

Nov 18 2012

Let’s talk fashion.....

We're not talking about desi fashion. In fact, we're talking about desi-inspired fashion. Well, international fashion label that has taken its inspiration from Indian Saree, Ghaghra, Choli and Kurta for their Spring 2013 collection. Yes, it's true, our elegant Sarees, gorgeous Ghaghra-Cholis and comfortable Kurtas are a source of inspiration behind their Spring 2013 collection.

As per an article by CHELNA KHATAU, titled, ‘New York Fashion Week: Marchesa Looks to India for its Spring Collection’, (see link below) Marchesa's Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig showcased a distinctly India-inspired Spring Summer collection for their New York Fashion Week show for Spring 2013. CHELNA KHATAU writes , “We can see influences in the silhouettes - notice the ghaghra-like skirts, choli-inspired tops and the kurta paired with pants. Marchesa made extensive use of brocades, embroidery and cutwork; outfits were paired with low heeled Louboutins and pretty jewellery from Jaipur's Gem Palace (pictures enclosed from the same source)”.

Read more at-
http://luxpresso.com/news-couture/new-york-fashion-week-marchesa-looks-to-india-for-its-spring-collection/15778

As per another article, Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig, are quoted as saying that they had been inspired by the period when the Beatles turned to the Maharishi for spiritual guidance, took a very literal lead from Sixties India.

Read more at-
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2202737/Is-Blake-Livelys-wedding-dress-looked-like-Indian-inspired-Marchesa-sparks-buzz-dazzling-white-gowns.html

British born designers, Georgina Chapman (born 1976) and Keren Craig (also 1976 born) are the co-founders of fashion label Marchesa which they launched in 2004, named after socialite Marchesa Luisa Casati. In 2006, the label was named one of the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America)/Vogue Fashion Fund's top ten finalists.

Marchesa specializes in high end womenswear and has been worn by a number of Hollywood actresses on the red carpet including: Penélope Cruz, Blake Lively, Jennifer Lopez, Kate Hudson, Cameron Diaz, Selena Gomez, Halle Berry, Rihanna, Eva Longoria, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Kristen Stewart and others. Sandra Bullock wore Marchesa at the 2010 Academy Awards, where she won Best Actress and was also named among the best dressed. Marchesa is sold in high end department stores worldwide including Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Net-A-Porter in the US. Incidently, Georgina, who married the film producer Harvey Weinstein in 2007, has named their daughter, born in 2010, India Pearl (yes, India).

So look out for lots of India-inspired looks on the red carpet come awards season. Yes, and take pride in our traditional indian wear!
 
 (See pictures in our gallery tab)
 

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Nov 1 2012

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Congratulations are in order for Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, not just for her 39th Birthday today, but also because she'll be receiving the second highest French civilian award 'Officer Dan Ordre Arts et des Lettres', in Mumbai today.

Earlier ...
Indian recipients to be conferred with the 'Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters' include Shahrukh Khan, Raghu Rai, Nandita Das, late Habib Tanvir, and Upamanyu Chatterjee. Incidently, her father-in-law, Amitabh Bachchan, the super-star of Bollywood, was awarded France's highest civilian award - the Legion d' Honneur - in 2007.

As we know, Aishwarya Rai is also the youngest Indian actress to receive the Padma Shri (2009). And as the link below points out, this marks the second international distinction the gorgeous actor will receive this year. Aishwarya was earlier appointed as the Goodwill Ambassador for UNAIDS on 24 September, 2012.

We hear that her entire family, the Bachchan and the Rai familiy, will be there when she receives the honor.

Well, Heartiest Congratulations, Mrs Aishwarya Rai Bachchan! We do beileve you're one of the International-Faces-Of-India.

Read more at-
http://movies.ndtv.com/movie_story.aspx?ID=287031&subcatg&keyword=bollywood&nid=287031

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Nov 1 2012

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And November is here!

We're sure everyone had an awesome Halloween yesterday and our heart goes out to those in the Eastern Coast of America who suffered immense loss of life and property due to what is now being called the 'Superstorm Sandy'. Halloween was the last thing on their minds. We feel their pain.

No, we didn't forget writing about Halloween yesterday! Lets' face it, for those of us l...
iving in America, Halloween is as much (if not more) a part of this holiday season as Diwali is for our kids! So we do want to cover it and we want to cover it with pictures. So do bring your adorable kids' pictures in halloween costumes to our notice on facebook (either by tagging or sharing or messaging) or we'll find it ourselves soon :).

So we were talking about November....and what festivities that brings....well, a lot. And here goes-

Nov 02 Friday- Karva Chauth
Nov 11 Sunday- Dhan Teras
Nov 13 Tuesday- Diwali
Nov 14 Wednesday- Navu Varsh for Gujaratis
Nov 14 Wednesday- Govardhan Puja
Nov 14 Wednesday- Children's Day (Nehru's Birthday)
Nov 15 Thursday- Bhai Duj
Nov 15 Thursday- Al-Hijira, Muharram Begins
Nov 17 Saturday- Chhath Puja Begins (Nahai Khai)
Nov 20 Tuesday- Chhath Puja Ends (Suryodaya Argh)
Nov 22 Thursday -Thanksgiving Day
Nov 28 Wednesday- Guru Nanak Jayanti

Wish You All A Very Novel November!

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Oct 31 2012

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We love happy news and what news is 'happier' than Wedding News? (Birth news, yes, but you know what we mean. Talking of which, after Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Shilpa Shetty, Lara Dutta and Celina Jaitly, guess who's next in line on the baby-...
news front? It's actor Vivek Oberoi and wife, Priyanka Alva, are expecting!!!).

So anyways, here we are with a Wedding News- (although a little stale)- Lisa Ray, married Jason Dehni in California's scenic Napa Valley this Oct 20th.

Again, who did she marry? Jason Dehni. He's a banking executive and philanthropist . Jason and Lisa had been seeing each other for a few years. Jason proposed to Lisa in February this year.

And for those who don't know who Lisa Ray is- she's an Indo-Canadian actor. She was born in Toronto (1972) to a Hindu Bengali Indian father and a Polish mother.

We know her more for her movies like- 'Bollywood Hollywood' in 2002 which had a very hummable song, 'Rang Rang' and the Oscar-nominated film, Water (2005) by Deepa Mehta. Do check it out if you don't know about it or simply to re-live it-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o91SgMjN6tE

Some might even remember her advertisement for Bombay Dyeing opposite Karan Kapoor in late 1980s that caught the public eye. Ray later moved to London and graduated from the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (ALRA) in 2004 with a post-graduate degree in acting.

In 2009, Ray was featured as one of the ’50 Most Beautiful People’ of the country in the Canadian edition of Hello Magazine May 2009 issue.

Soon afterwards she was diagnosed with cancer and under-went stem cell transplant.

Since being cancer-free, she has become a strong advocate of stem-cell research and is known as a Yoga lover.

Most recently, as far as movies go, you might have seen her in the movie, "Cooking With Stella" (available on Netflix) by Deepa Mehta and her brother (2010).

Since September 2012, Ray has been named ambassador for Pantene Beautiful Lengths campaign in Canada. Pantene Beautiful Lengths is a charity campaign that asks people to grow and donate their hair to make real hair wigs for women battling cancer.

We are impressed with the way she has been in and out of bollywood movies to suit her needs and priorities. We're also inspiried by the courage with which she had faced cancer. She went through that period of her life with great poise and dignity, even sharing her experiences as a cancer patient with the public.

We wish Lisa Ray and her husband, Jason Dehni, a Very Long and Happy Married life!

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Gulab jamun cheesecake (left) (Available at the Leela Kempinski, Gurgaon)

Kalakand and florentine almond cake (Available at the Hilton Mayur Vihar)

Photo: HT Brunch
 

 Oct,24

This just in from a reader, the man who made many laugh, comedian, Jaspal Bhatti, passed away in a road accident in Punjab. Quite a few of us probably remember watching the popular TV show, 'The Flop Show' and the 'Ulta Pulta' while in col...
lege.

And as much as we want to cover only happy news in desideewar, we do have to pay our tributes to the man who introduced "comedy show" in India, the very concept of satirical situation with a sense of humor!

India Today puts it well as- "Bhatti , a constant thorn in the flesh of self-serving politicians, greedy builders and oily middlemen, recently made news for venturing into setting up a 'factory' to manufacture foundation stones to cater to the "ever increasing" demand from ministers and politicians."

Read more at: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/comedian-jaspal-bhatti-dead-in-road-accident-in-shahkot-in-punjab/1/226080.html"
See More

 

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OUR POSTS:

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Oct 12 2012:
 
Lets' Talk Movies....and the man behind it!

Chittagong - Released today.

The movie Chittagong is a patriotic movie based on the Chittagong uprising, which incidently is also the theme of Ashutosh Gowariker's 'Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey' sta...
rring Abhishek Bachchan.

Its' a story about a 14 year old kid Subodh Roy or Jhunku Roy who took part in the movement along with a bunch of other teenagers forming an army that is eventually successful in defeating the British army forcing them to retreat. It's based on real life characters and events of the Chittagong movement and stars Manoj Bajpayee, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Jaideep Ahlawat.

More than even the movie, it's the movie's director that interested us. Yes, we're talking about Scientist-filmmaker Bedabrata Pain.

 Born in 1963, Bedabrata Pain, is a product of IIT Kharagpur (1982-1986), and Columbia University (Ph.D in Applied physics). He went on to work for NASA for 18 years as senior research scientist. He is the inventor of CMOS Active Pixel Sensors. The technology that enables cameras to capture light digitally, at a very low cost and is used in almost 95 per cent of all digital cameras produced in the world today — from mobile phone, to the latest digital cameras used in filmmaking, to the camera on the Curiosity Rover on Mars! He holds 87 patents relating to this technology! He's married to filmmaker Shonali Bose and was the executive producer of the award-winning film Amu in 2005. An article in 'The Hindu' reveals that with the death of his son Ishan, owing to a freak accident caused by an electric razor in September 2010, Bedabrata’s world was turned upside down with a two-years of a legal battle in the U.S. The same article mentions that after the memorial screening in Mumbai Bombay last week, Amitabh Bachchan himself told Bedabrata that he wished he were a part of Chittagong.

We sure are impressed, Mr Bedabrata Pain and Wish You the Very Best for your debut venture into filmmaking.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2EA-5D6o6YSee More

 

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Oct 11 2012:
 
So our Megastar, Amitabh Bachchan turned 70 years old today!

Happy Birthday, Mr Bachchan!

The family celebrated the milestone birthday yesterday on the 10th, with lot of fanfare. Now, what we don't like about the media (atleast some part ...
of it) is their obsessive attachment to the past. Why we mention that you ask? Just because Rekha's birthday happens to be on the 10th, we read several articles mentioning that, one even going as far as to say 'Amitabh celebrates Rekha's birthday'. How ridiculous is that? Amitabh, of course, ignored these - and so did we!

Anyway, what did catch our attention on his birthday that finally made us cover the story is the very wonderful message that he has for us on this occassion. He says he never paid attention to his popularity.

“Every human being will go through a phase when there are highs and lows. Everything that goes up also comes down. I don’t think I am particularly different from anyone. We all have our highs and lows. It is just about what kind of attitude you have during the time,” Mr Bachchan told PTI in an interview.

No wonder he is where he is now.

We love that message....so important to remember that in life.

http://www.thehindu.com/arts/cinema/never-paid-attention-to-my-popularity-amitabh-bachchan/article3987187.ece?homepage=true

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Oct 11 2012:

"Jalpari: The Desert Mermaid".

Have you heard of this movie?

Well, this Nila Madhab Panda's movie won 'MIP Junior Kids Jury Awards 2012' in the Tweens category (11-14 years), at Cannes - making it the first Hindi movie to ever win this aw...
ard.

This movie is based on the issue of female foeticide also (not too long ago Aamir Khan had covered the issue in his show, 'Satyamev Jayate', also).

The movie stars child actors Lehar Khan, Krishang Trivedi and Harsh Mayar (of "I Am Kalam" fame).

Well, Congratulations on the award!

Good to know such issues are been repeatedly raised, so now the "awareness" is there....who will take some action?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3Imrr36oCU
See More

 

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Oct 11 2012:

People Who Inspire Us......

How old do you need to be to be brave? Brave enough to stand up against the Taliban? Apparently just 14. That's what the 1998 born, 14 year old, Malala Yousafzai, has proved to the world!

Malaya is from the Sw...
at district in Pakistan where the Taliban ruled from 2007 to 2009. They had destroyed schools and had banned girls to get education.

Malaya was only 11 years old when she started writing a diary for the BBC about life under the Taliban, under a pseudonym. The Washigton Post covered her story today and described her blogs saying- she described wearing plain clothes, not uniforms, so that no one would know she was attending school and wrote about how she and other girls “hid our books under our shawls.” Nonetheless, after the Taliban forced the closure of her school, Malala had no choice but to stay home and suspend her education. In another blog entry, she wrote: “Five more schools have been destroyed, one of them was near my house. I am quite surprised, because these schools were closed so why did they also need to be destroyed?” A few weeks later she wrote, “I am sad watching my uniform, school bag and geometry box” and “hurt” because her brothers could go to school while she could not.

The Taliban finally lost control of the area in 2009 thanks to a Pakistani army operation.

Malaya continued to advocate education for girls. She encouraged secularism and even enlightened moderation. In 2011, Malala was a nominee for the International Children’s Peace Prize. Last year, she was awarded Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize.

On Tuesday, while Malala was returning from school, a Taliban gun-man approached her and shot her in the head and neck. On Wednesday, doctors at a military hospital removed the bullet that lodged in her shoulder. She is in critical condition.

The New York Times reports, "Malala has shown more courage in facing down the Taliban than Pakistan’s government and its military leaders. Her father, who once led a school for girls and has shown uncommon bravery in supporting his daughter’s aspirations, said she had long defied Taliban threats. " It goes on to say that the attack was an embarrassment for the Pakistani army, which has boasted of pushing the Taliban from Swat.
More importantly it points out that the Taliban cannot be allowed to win this vicious campaign against girls, learning and tolerance. Otherwise, there is no future for that nation.

What can we say? The New York Times said it all.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/video/thefold/pakistani-teen-fights-for-her-life-after-taliban-attack/2012/10/10/1fa23964-131d-11e2-ba83-a7a396e6b2a7_video.html
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Oct 10 2012:

Did you hear?

Students from India have out-numbered their Chinese counterparts in US for Graduate degree in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields as per an official report.

Check out the details of the report at-

http://news24online.com/indian-students-out-number-chinese-counterparts-in-us-for-studying-masters-degrees-in-stem_LatestNews24_3887.aspx#

Oct 09 2012:

People who inspire us......

Have you heard of Valarie Kaur?

Does "Divided We Fall" ring a bell? Yes, she is the maker (along with Sharat Raju, who is now her husband) of this critically-acclaimed documentary of 2008.

...
Her story inspires us because she is a third generation Sikh-American whose work has come to be known for racial and religious inclusion, healing, and justice. After 9/11, in light of the hate crimes against Sikh Americans, Valerie devoted herself to exposing the terrible consequences of racial and religious misunderstanding and to starting the healing process. That is when she undertook her mission of traveling across America and capturing on film first hand stories of hate crimes, death threats, and fear that the American Sikhs, Muslims, and Arabs have to face by their fellow Americans. The result was the very touching and enlightening documentary- Divided We Fall.

Valarie is a part of the younger generation that is the most diverse in America's history. Through her work she offers unique insights of thher generation into the multi-racial world developing around us.

In her words- “Each and every one of us has a stake in expanding the circle of who counts as American, of who counts as one of us.

She is the founding director of Groundswell, an initiative at Auburn Theological Seminary that combines storytelling and advocacy to mobilize faith communities in social action.

MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry has called her “one of the most exceptional speakers and thinkers” in a new generation of public intellectuals.

As we see from her website, Valarie earned bachelors degrees in religion and international relations at Stanford University where she was selected as Baccalaureate speaker for her class, a masters in theological studies at Harvard Divinity School as a Harvard Presidential Scholar, and a law degree at Yale Law School as a Knight Law and Media Scholar. Currently a fellow at Yale Law School, she directs the Yale Visual Law Project, where she makes documentary films and trains students. Recent films include Alienation (2011), which follows families swept up in immigration raids, Stigma (2011), which chronicles youth encounters with stop-and-frisks, and The Worst of the Worst: Portrait of a Supermax (2012), which explores the rise of supermax prisons and use of solitary confinement. She is currently working with Sharat Raju on a film about the Oak Creek tragedy.

Yes, her story is inspiring and we hope that the take-away from her story for our younger generation is that- Really the Sky is the Limit….

And we have to mention, with the US Presedential debate being the most current topic these days, we found her view-point very interesting. Check it out at CNN's site- http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/05/opinion/kaur-millennials-debate/index.html?hpt=hp_c1

 
So attended this training at work today that showed that in another decade or so, PCs and laptops will be obsolete and that smart phones and tablets will rule the tech niche.

Interestingly, this article talks about that same future trends.
http://www.businessinsider.com/state-of-internet-slides-2012-10?op=1

 

Today is Gandhi Jayanti. It's Mahatma Gandhi's 143rd Birth Anniversary....What do you say about a person whose 143rd Birthday is being celebrated by the world after he's long gone (1869 - 1948)....

For little kids who might know him, he's ...
the "half-naked" man with glasses and a stick.
To older kids, he's the "Father of the Nation" who led India to its Freedom from the British by Non-Violent means....
To us, who have studied India's Freedom struggle growing up, we know how Gandhiji fought for Civil Rights of Indians in South Africa. We know how he returned to India in 1915 and went on to become the leader of the Indian National Congress. We know how he was involved in ending untouchability in India. We know his role in demanding first, Self-Rule (Swaraj), and then Quit - India and Complete Independence from the British Rule. We know his role in the Non-Cooperation and the Boycott Movement and the famous "Dandi March".
And then again, there are people from our parents' generation who were there during India's Independence. They heard his speeches. They were inspired by him. They were led by him. They fought along side him. They loved their "Bapu". Amongst them, I have to mention, there were those who felt that Gandhiji was unfair to Hindus. That he favored Muslims. I wonder if that was much like a parent who took side of the child that felt "un-loved"? True or not, there's a feeling of betrayal amongst some Hindus too.

Whatever era we belong too, we are proud of our "Mahatma Gandhi" and the "Non- Violence" belief that he based our Freedom Struggle on - unlike any other! His example is specially significant in today's world!

We think, he's the man to follow....
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