Sunday, April 27, 2008

'Poona Company' : Good News

(click to enlarge and read quote by Salman Rushdie on cover)

Back in August 2005 I wrote here about 'Poona Company' a novel by
Farrukh Dhondy, the author/screenwriter and catalyst for projects like
'Salaam Bombay' by Mira Nair. Mr. Dhondy, like myself, attended
The Bishops' School in Pune,
albeit a few years before I did.
Still, the overall mood and pace of those schoolboy days he mentions
were evident even as late as 1967 when I passed the ISC Exams.
I never was able to read let alone get a copy of the book, which seems
to be unavailable even at But in true Bishops' School spirit,
an ex-Bishopite in Germany named Rolf sent in scans of the cover pic
(above) and the first part of the book (below) as a teaser/consolation.
(Rolf, I cannot thank you enough for all the updates and photos !)

Fortunately the Poona story hasn't died with the unavailability of the novel.
The brilliant folks at Endboard in the U.K. have a fine sense for unusual,
personal stories and are now in collaboration with Mr. Dhondy as they have
gained the necessary momentum for a film version of the totally
awesome will that be ! An international release for a movie about my old
hometown AND school....stay tuned.

Earlier Bishops' School-related posts

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sidetracked on Earth Day 2008

It's the last hour of Earth Day 2008....
I'm in the throes of creating a poster for entry into a competition being run
by one of the top retail drug stores in the USA. That doesn't give me enough
time to cook up something for this blog as regularly as I would like.
Hopefully I'll be done with the graphic work in a couple of the
meantime I'm involved in researching contemporary advertising, sort of
a self-inflicted intensive Refresher Course. Problem is, there's so much of
interesting stuff to research online that I often get sidetracked. I believe they
call it the attack of The YouTube Clones. But how (and why ?) to resist
frequent, quick doses of good humor like Germany's Otto Shopping Catalogue

or the Mafia-themed
New York Pizza in the Netherlands ?
Do not view the rest of this unless you are an Adult NOT offended
by the language used in movies like Scarface, The Godfather, etc.

Another equally pleasant Netherlands Pizza-mercial here

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The (Dollar) Days of Our Lives

Never been to a Dollar Store ? I have, and not just
because I've been down on my luck financially. Dollar stores
often are just where you need to go when your regular
stores are closed or out of stock on a standard household item.
They offer one-stop shopping, convenience and basic value in
a crunch. Like if you need to get that tube of travel-size
toothpaste or shampoo for your overnight stay in another state.
From Gift Wrap and Ribbons to rolls of Toliet paper and film,
paper plates or coffee filters, your immediate needs will be met.
Yes, there are many items that fall into the 'questionable quality'
category, invariably 'Made in China'
.......but those don't involve food items, which are of domestic

I came across this ABC news clip which explores the possibility of
using the very same Dollar Store items to produce a Gourmet
meal.... so to speak. They got one of the top Chefs from the
Food Network and went shopping for the Dollar items, and then
showed the results on Good Morning America. The shopping
bill for the entire Dollar store meal came to $25 plus change, and
the taste test turned out to be pretty good.

When you consider the $112 tab for shopping for similar ingredients
elsewhere, there's something to be said for alternative sources like this
during the current US recession.

Of course, all this is not advisable as a daily alternative.
No "Don't try this at home" warnings here, just a healthy reminder
to try and utilize only the freshest ingredients whenever possible !

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Berlitz: Lust In Translation

I have always loved and respected the Berlitz' School's fun approach to
imparting instruction but their latest incarnation caught me off-guard.
Gone are the days of Berlitz' boxed cassettes accompanied by little
volumes of useful phrases. With the internet, an entire source of
world languages is at everyone's fingertips. The introduction to
this new world of learning is in now in the form of quick commercials
more associated with the style of viral videos than higher learning

I certainly wasn't expecting Silicone,

a Toupee,

or a Tranny

to be the focal points of the online school promos. Those Europeans
did a great job, and it's too bad these funny spots will never see the
ight of day on American TV broadcasts under the watchful eyes
of the FCC. And just to set the record straight, Mr. Berlitz the founder
of this method of learning, immigrated to the U.S. from Germany:
Berlitz headquarters are in Princeton. New Jersey.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Amy in Back to Black

Testing the Blogger video posting option I find that all is well.
Here's Amy Winehouse in a Black-and -White video that really
adds depth to her vocal and (to me) visual appeal.

I'm crazy like that.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

THE India Street

Bollywood Masala+MTV+Money=Mo' Masala !

And what results is The India Street, another potent mix, aimed this time at
providing investment insights with a different slant.

Take All India All Money. Like Bollywood films, the makers of these videos
present their programs in an ever- campy style. This is a take-off on
CNN's Money Honeys with an Indian (and therefore slightly toned-down)
'Girls Gone Wild' feel. As you may have figured out by now, it's 'all tease,
all the time' in this arena.

High on India's booming economy and skyrocketing salaries, female anchors
and reporters keep their viewers perpetually drooling through sexual innenduoes ,
wiggling hips and flashes of cleavage, MTV-style. And that's just what they are
providing : info for the MTV Generation who are now the faces of the new
Indian Economy. Plenty of laughs here but in the final analysis it's all about
the 'Bottom Line'. Oops ! Did I just say 'Bottom' ?
Here's The Rising Rupee Trick:

More India Street videos on YouTube