Friday, December 31, 2010

A Night in Monte Carlo : Marcus Miller

A New Year gift from Mr. Miller (no relation, unfortunately)

This is a great FREE MP3 download track with a heavy Eastern fusion-funk feel !

Get it at !
A Night in Monte Carlo
A Night in Monte Carlo

Thursday, December 02, 2010

My Response to Desi

My comments to I am Better Than You....are you REALLY ?   at 

became too long and so I decided to respond via this Blog. Desi Living is a vibrant, thoughtfully-conceived, hip and sophisticated website by some energetic Houston ladies of Indian origin. I came across them when they requested I add a Flickr picture from my family album to their Flickr Group pool.

It takes time and exposure to the world outside of the commercial hubs that we find ourselves in.....for some Indian immigrants it takes a little longer, because they are in a state of culture shock without acknowledging or recognizing it for what it is. Busy with being assimilated and accepted by the new society, elated with the escape to a 'better' socio-economic  lifestyle, they rush headlong into pursuance of the dream they envisioned for so long back in India. A few sparks of success in the business world and a burgeoning sense of worth in the local community/network followed by the leveling out of the sensitivities as the Immigrant now becomes one of the masses and the daily grind.....and then come the moments when the 'keeping up with the Joneses' mentality creeps in and colors every social invitation.

To get beyond that stage means to get out of that box for a look for the simple pleasures where the oneness with the masses can be achieved only through intense self-introspection and a re-evaluation of one's aspirations in conjunction with a sense of looking at how the have-nots deal with their challenges. This means opening one's eyes to the lowliest of the low, the sick, the elderly and the forgotten who live a day-to-day existence at the mercy of others. Trying to make someone else's life better by using what resources we possess will make our lives more rewarding and meaningful. And one overlooked resource is the wealth of first-hand experience we have from being raised in India, where the needy and 'have-nots' outnumber the Joneses. Where the well-off new elite look down from their skyscrapers onto a mass of humanity who are permanently disabled by Poverty and lack of simple care and love, just enough to let them lead a meaningful existence instead of a life as worthless as the stray dogs they share their last morsels with. When we REALLY take the substance of their lives to heart, we have truly freed ourselves to become better.....better than the confused persons we look at in our mirrors.

A Complete Guide For The NRI/Seventh Edition
A Complete Guide For The NRI/Seventh Edition

Just for fun.......
Outsourced Soundtrack

Sunday, October 31, 2010

For Facebookers and Others

Testing a DivX player here...

The Social Network (2010) DVD Screener from KabaalQSS on Veehd.

The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World
The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World

Monday, October 25, 2010

My Favorite Things, Updated

From my email Inbox today, one that has been making the rounds for years, 
now edited for relevancy. Read the update after the pics !

Julie Andrews turned 75 on Oct 1, 2010

Six years ago she was honored by the AARP at NYC's Radio City Music Hall 
where she performed one of her signature classics - with updated lyrics for her
elderly audience and herself, a Stage Classic featured in 'The Sound of Music' :

My Favorite Things

Maalox and nose drops and needles for knitting,
Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings,
Bundles of magazines tied up in string,
These are a few of my favourite things....

Cadillacs and cataracts, and hearing aids and glasses,
Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses,
Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings,
These are a few of my favourite things....

When the pipes leak, when the bones creak,
When the knees go bad,
I simply remember my favourite things,
And then I don't feel so bad !

Hot tea and crumpets and corn pads for bunions,
No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions,
Bathrobes and heating pads and hot meals they bring,
These are a few of my favourite things.

Back pains, confused brains, and no need for sinnin',
Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin',
And we won't mention our short, shrunken frames,
When we remember our favourite things.

When the joints ache, When the hips break,
When the eyes grow dim,
Then I remember the great life I've had,
And then I don't feel so bad !

Ms. Andrews received a standing ovation from the 
crowd that lasted over four minutes, plus
thunderous multiple Encores.

My Favorite Things
My Favorite Things on MP3

The Sound of Music (Two-Disc 40th Anniversary Special Edition) 
The Sound of Music 
(Two-Disc 40th Anniversary Special Edition)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Dustedoff Has Published my Pardesi Story

Saturating the Blogosphere and is a link for all my non-Facebook
friends. I recently provided the Dustedoff Blog owner with the true story of 
the scenes behind the making of 'Pardesi' an Indo-Soviet film from the '50s,
Sam Millar's Pardesi poster2
a film that I had a tiny part in....tiny in terms of the total time that I appear 
on-screen, but not that tiny when you consider that I spent those few on-
screen moments with Russian actor Oleg Strizhenov the lead person in the
film. Here Oleg portrays the legendary Afanasy Nikitin, Russia's greatest 
Merchant-Explorer, whose travelogue 'Journey Beyond Three Seas' 
served as material for the film's screenplay.

Unfortunately there is no decent copy of the film available for purchase.
That is indeed a pity, because not archiving or re-releasing this Filmfare 
Award Winner and  Nominee for the Golden Palm Award at Cannes reflects 
very poorly on India's present-day values. Old is not always gold, and thanks to
the Dustedoff blog, attempts to examine and evaluate cinematic hits and misses
are a consolation.

Fri, October 22, 2010 11:57:55 AM
[New post] The Pardesi Extra's Story
From : WordPress
re: Dustedoff

The Pardesi Extra's Story

Earlier this month, this blog hosted a guest post by Fred Miller, son of the talented (but alas, largely uncredited) Sam Millar. Fred had promised us another post, of his reminiscences from his days with his father in the big, bad world of Hindi cinema in the 50's, and here it is: a delightful, very [...]
Read more of this post
Available at
Travel beyond the three seas / Khozhdenie za tri morya 

Travel beyond the three seas / Khozhdenie za tri morya 

...and Mosfilm has the film listed as 'Travel Beyond the Three Seas' 
for Download

Read my untold story

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

My Guest Post Published on Dusted Off Blog !

Dusted Off is the creation of a lady who is fascinated by 'Cinema, the way it used to be'
and is a widely read blog that I stumbled upon, while doing a Search for my Dad's work in the
Indian Film Industry during the early days of Bollywood. 

I was thrilled to find mention of a few movies that he had worked on but somewhat saddened
that the Blogger was so unaware of the details of the man who went to great lengths to try
and raise the standards of Indian Film-making. And so I left a comment in which I cited my
Dad's listing at and mentioned that her observations about the Costume Design
Films Directed by Mehboob Khan: Mother India, Andaz, Aan, Amar, Auratfor the film 'Aurat' 
Films Directed by Mehboob Khan: Mother India, Andaz, Aan, Amar, Aurat
were a bit disconcerting to me. The outcome of my Comment was that
I was immediately contacted by the lady Blogger, who pleaded with me
to do a Guest Post that would right the wrong she felt she had inadvertently
directed at my Father. I agreed to do so, and in the process found myself
confronting many details of my past that had been forgotten or kept private
for personal reasons.....till now. And so, if you too want to know the untold
story of the early days of Bollywood, My Dad and myself, here is the Blogger's
intro to my story that she has titled 'The Talent of Sam Millar' :

' Dilip Kumar. Mughal-e-Azam. K Asif. A very familiar poster.

But how many people know the name of the man who created this poster? The man who, in fact, created also the almost iconic Mother India poster? I didn’t, till a couple of weeks back.
Then, one day, someone named Fred Miller left a comment on my review of the Premnath-Bina Rai starrer, Aurat. Fred told me that his father Sam Millar was the Art Director and Costume Designer for Aurat, and also the man (though uncredited) behind the Mother India poster—and more. Fred not only very graciously forgave me for lambasting the costume design of Aurat, but also agreed to do a couple of guest posts.
Here is the first one.'

Read the first of my Guest Posts at Dusted Off, Comment and Share.
In the meantime, I'm busy working on a post about 'Pardesi' the Indo-Soviet
collaboration that won a prize at the Cannes Film Festival. The one I had a tiny part in....
real tiny !

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mother Teresa : The Little Nun Who Could

About ten years ago I was seated at a refresher course for Hilton Hotel employees in Webster, Texas. There were lightning-round questions thrown at us, and one question was, "if you had a chance to meet a deceased person, who would it be ?"
One fresh young thing said, "Elvis !" while another one said, "Abraham Lincoln". Two names came to my mind, but I 
immediately blurted out the name of the person I felt was most relevant to the meeting : "Dr. Martin Luther King"
The other person on my mind that day was Mother Teresa,
also a Nobel Prize winner, and today, ten years down the road,
I would have gladly and unhesitatingly have said her name.
Oh well, there's always a next time to say the name of the little nun who could - and did !

There will be none like Mother Teresa again, say commoners
Tuesday - Aug 24, 2010, 04:00pm (GMT+5.5)

Kolkata (IANS)- As Mother Teresa's birth centenary
Thursday draws near, commoners here still get tears in
their eyes recalling the deeds and words of the Albania-
born nun who took Indian citizenship and became one of
the world's greatest symbols of love and compassion.

Read more:

Photojournalist and Author Linda Schaefer is a special friend of mine on Flickr and Facebook.
She was fortunate to be with Mother Teresa in Kolkata and was granted the rare permission to take
what were to be the last documented photos before the great lady passed away in 1997. Hers is a
fascinating and inspiring life in itself. She now resides in Ada, Oklahoma with her son Paul.
Today, on what would have been the 100th Birthday of Mother Teresa, Linda continues to honor
the work of the Nobel Laureate by speaking to groups and  organizations all over the U.S.
As Mother Teresa often commented, “Each person can make a difference.”
That is what Linda seeks to accomplish through her work.
Come and See: A Photojournalist's Journey into the World of Mother Teresa
Come and See: 
A Photojournalist's Journey into the World of Mother Teresa

Preview : Linda Schaefer's
Mother Teresa 2010 Calendar

Wikipedia Page for Mother Teresa

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Happy Independence Day to my fellow Indians

Happy Independence Day to my fellow Indians
pic from unknown source, uploaded to Flickr by FredMikeRudy
We Had No Beggars in India. Right.
Today on August 15, India's Day of Independence from British Rule, I received this frequently forwarded pic in my email....yet again. Apparently a spoof, as it turned out, two years ago. But this time around the words seemed even more jarring to my soul.

When I consider that they 'broke' the country after all, and then after the damage had been permanently put in place they 'fixed' it (to their advantage, or so they thought) it sounds a little like BP now fixing the problem after making sure they got as much as they could out of it all first. Placing a cap on the spill while making sure they did an advance recap of their expected losses due to the lawsuits of the century that are impending.....

The difference now is that though the wealth has skyrocketed and brought India to the forefront of the world's economies, the Poverty and misery is not disappearing, just being relegated to the back burner.
from wikipedia : In 1982 Gertrude Himmelfarb wrote that "most professional historians have long since given up reading Macaulay, as they have given up writing the kind of history he wrote and thinking about history as he did. Yet there was a time when anyone with any pretension to cultivation read Macaulay". Himmelfarb also laments that "the history of the History is a sad testimonial to the cultural regression of our times".
God Save all the Kings, Queens, Jacks and Jokers of this world. God help us all.

The controversy, blogged elsewhere :

Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Share this : Sir Paul McCartney in the (White) House

Thank you, PBS for this video, image, and for all the great years of 
 'In Performance at the White House' series

Sir Paul McCartney received America's highest award  for Musical excellence, 
the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song last month
but it was only screened for the first time on American TV on Wed. (July 28).

The house band was rather young and featured Jack White and Dave Grohl......
not quite hitting the notes that Paul still hits at his age, but decent enough.
Speaking of rather young, the Jonas Brothers doing their tribute was excting
and lively, which thrilled the Obama girls no doubt since they are huge fans.
Highlights were definitely Emmylou Harris, Corinne Bailey Rae and a duet
between Stevie Wonder and Sir Paul with their classic 'Ebony and Ivory'

Paul McCartney - In Performance 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sound Advice for Your Business

'There is only one boss, and whether a person shines shoes for a living or heads
up the biggest corporation in the world, the boss remains the same.
It's the customer!"
~ Sam Walton, Walmart

It's the 'Gap Generation', it's the Generation, it's just me. 
Working in Customer Service/Retail outlets like Hilton, Holiday Inn, Walgreens, etc.,
for over 15 years, I've seen all kinds of 'Gaps' : gaps in Communication, gaps in
Understanding, gaps in Attention Spans and gaps in relations between Customers and
those who serve them.  

The excerpt below is from an email I received today and might interest you if you
are planning to get a raise or a promotion, start a business or just trying to stay cool 
and be cool when working  with persons who are younger, and quite possibly more 
hip....and smarter. Because frankly, the future of your business rests in the hands of
Generation Y a.k.a. 'Echo Boomers'. For real ??

Here’s how to kick up your expectations of Gen Y and look at them as 
an important part of your business instead of a hindrance............
1. Recognize their intelligence.
This is a group of young people that have been eager to learn. They grew up with
technology and it is an important part of them. While the boomers are still trying
to program their VCR, the “Y” generation is watching videos on their ipods that 
they have 5,000 songs downloaded to. Harness their creativity and their knowledge 
of technology to make needed changes to your business. Request their feedback when
trying to solve business problems as they may come to the table with unconventional 
yet very smart solutions. Make sure that you acknowledge their accomplishments
publicly since this is a group that has grown up with trophies and certificates and 
awards as feedback for a job well done.
2. Recognize their impatience.
Chester calls this group, “stimulus junkies” and that title makes sense. This is a group 
of multi-taskers that can have an IM conversation with 8 people on their computer, 
text message someone else on their cell-phone, while listening to their i-pod and 
downing a burger and a Red Bull ! Lists don’t intimidate them so provide them with 
enough work to keep them busy and don’t waste time in the explanation. Be direct and 
to the point because that is how they have learned to communicate. When you hold 
a meeting, stay to the point and use visuals if you can as they have been used to 
stimulation during their learning processes.

3. Recognize what customer service means to them.
This is the area I believe businesses will struggle with the most. The Gen Y group
has been able to get whatever they want, whenever they want at lightning speed
and they don’t really see a need to be loyal to anyone. They have been used to
employees at Old Navy with headsets and roller skates to bring them whatever
they wanted while they were in the dressing room. They don’t think twice about
Googling a business and purchasing on the internet. To them, speed is a way of
life. My son has worked for McDonalds for a number of years and his experience
with giving good customer service is getting the correct order into the hands of the
customer as quickly as possible.

If you want them to build a relationship with a customer, you are going to have
to explain “why” first, and then deal with the how. The Gen Y’s don’t make eye
contact very well because they tend to be focused on screens of all sizes and not
a human face. Maybe that is why only 55 % of that age group actually likes interacting
with the customer. When you are training, try using video or web training
or even role playing to explain exactly what your customer service should look like
to your customers.

But what about Gen Y customers and what they want as far as customer service?
It’s no different from your Gen Y employees. These “customers” will probably make
very little eye contact, probably engage in very little chit chat and want to get what they
want and get out of the store in a short period of time. They won’t really care if you ask
them about their day or what they are wearing or if they have been in the store before. 
They will get frustrated very quickly if you don’t know the answer to their question 
immediately and they can smell BS a mile away and they don’t need it or want it.
As you can see, it will be even more important to educate your Gen X and Baby Boomer 
employees on how they should be greeting and treating this new customer instead of
making the assumption that they are cold, uncommunicative, young punks.
On the contrary, they are our future. This group of fresh faced young people will embrace
change, they will find the answers to curing AIDS and breast cancer, they will teach 
society how to reject prejudices and they will demand ethical behavior in business and
those they choose to do business with.

It’s not your father’s customer service strategies anymore. Frankly, it’s not your father’s 
business anymore. How will you change what you are doing to embrace the Gen Y’s in 
your business as employees and as customers? The future of all of our businesses 
rests on that answer.

Click : Anne Obarski 
~ an outstanding speaker, author and Executive Director of Merchandise Concepts,
located in St. Louis, Missouri.

Surprising Secrets of Mystery Shoppers
Surprising Secrets of Mystery Shoppers

The Wal-Mart Effect: How the World's Most Powerful Company Really Works--and How It's Transforming the American Economy
The Wal-Mart Effect: 
How the World's Most Powerful Company Really Works--
and How It's Transforming the American Economy

If Customer Satisfaction Is Important to You... 
If Customer Satisfaction Is Important to You... 

Gap Curvy denim trouser 
Gap Curvy denim trouser 


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