Enigma of the enamelled door
Rajnish Wattas

I wonder how many of Chandigarh's younger generation are familiar with the great works of art visible all around the city. Though we are more familiar with the grand architectural works of the city's famous architect planner Le Corbusier, his art as a painter is lesser known. In fact, Corbusier was much more than just an architect or urban planner - he was a multi-faceted genius; a writer, a painter par excellence, sculptor and a visionary philosopher. Almost a latter day Leonardo Di Vinci - a Renaissance man!

Besides his rigorous architectural work, he would begin his day in the studio in Paris or even when camped in Chandigarh, with painting undisturbed for an hour. Le Corbusier was greatly influenced by the cubist painter Amédée Ozenfant, whom he met in Paris in 1918. Ozenfant encouraged him to paint, and the two began a period of collaboration. Rejecting cubism as irrational and 'romantic', the pair jointly established a new artistic movement, Purism. It rejected the decorative trend of cubism and advocated a return to clear, ordered forms that were expressive of the modern machine age.

Chandigarh - Corbusier's greatest creation and realisation is embedded with the footprints of his art; whether these are the base reliefs in concrete visible at the porch of the college of architecture and at the Commemorative Cube at the Sukhna lake or the magnificent tapestries in the High Court and the Assembly interiors, his expression of art in architecture is fascinating.

In fact, Chandigarh is abundant with many urban art forms. We have the playful geometric brick murals of Pierre Jeannerret on many buildings, a sculpture garden in the Leisure Valley, sculptural fountains and murals in the Sector 17 and open air sculptures in the Government Museum and Art Gallery precinct - besides many other works by local artists, including the War Memorial in the Bougainvillea Garden in Sector 3.

But a little greater understanding of the concepts behind these abstract art forms will make our artistic experience more enriching and deeper.

In the early days of Chandigarh's inception, Corbusier wanted to gift an enamelled door painted by him personally, for the Assembly building in Chandigarh's Capitol Complex. He wanted to depict symbols - not of ancient India, but those expressing concerns of the new nation, such as of ethics, social attitudes and the politics of the present times. He felt that in a post-war, capitalist 'greedy' world some philosophical symbols expressing peace were badly required.

For this purpose in September 1961, he wrote a letter asking Jawaharlal Nehru for a list of drawings of useful "symbolic signs" that could be represented on the large enamel door. Nehru, felt that nothing specific could be suggested to convey it; and in turn suggested that perhaps Corbusier himself a futurist, could invent them.

After extensive preparation, Le Corbusier hand-painted the 110 enamel panels of the door in March 1962, and they were in Chandigarh by the middle of the year. Two years later, the door was installed in the Assembly Building, and Le Corbusier specifically came to attend its dedication ceremony on April 15, 1964, barely a year before his death.

The enamel door is pivoted in the middle and has two paintings, one on the inside and the other on the outside. Each painting consists of fifty-five enamelled panels, each 70 by 140 cm, making the whole door 7.7 mt tall and 7 mt wide. This massive door is flanked by a smaller conventional door that is clearly intended as the entry for everyday usage. Thus the main enamel door-like the door of Catholic churches -- functions symbolically, marking a presence, stating a purpose, to be actually opened on special occasions only. In the original concept, this was to be the ceremonial door through which the formal procession on the opening day of the new session was to enter from the Piazza side. Alas, this magnificent practice has been given up since the security issues became critical.

"The outside painting of the enamel door is divided into two equal parts; it describes a landscape with the red and yellow sky above and the green land below. The margin between the two parts itself is split, forming a double band. The upper band is blue and denotes the horizon line with a mountainous silhouette, presumably of the Himalayas. Below it is a yellow and black band that signifies the two parts of the day. Above the horizon line one can see on the left and right, simple diagrams that signify the solar and the lunar cycles, the solstices, and the equinoxes. In the middle, center-stage, looming over the entire composition, are two elliptic arches, tracing the trajectories of the summer and the winter sun. The lower half is an idyllic landscape populated with the Modular Man, animals, natural formations, and other cryptic symbols distributed evenly over the entire surface," explains Vikram Pakash in Chandigarh's Corbusier.

The art historians further explain that the lower half of the enamel door, with the background of green, perhaps symbolises the 'Garden of Eden' landscape. Starting at the upper left, there is the vision of an uncultivated desert landscape, dominated by a red, flying, falcon-like bird, a symbol of the original spirit. At the desert's edge at the threshold of the green landscape stands Corbusier's abstracted human figure, the upright Modular Man. The red of the falcon-spirit, as that of the upright Man, signifies their contiguity with the (red) heaven above. A river meanders on the left and as an abstracted ecosystem on the right. The animals are there, a turtle, the bull, the fish, and, of course, the serpent. In the centre is the proverbial 'tree of knowledge,' flowering into the fruits of knowledge. The tree marks the pivotal axis on which the door turns, defining a strong vertical axis in the centre.

However, the magnificence of this abstract mural can only be truly admired when actually seen. The radiant colours, an occult balance of composition and the sheer scale hits you when seen in its architectural context and splendour. The mural on the door has been set in the background of concrete surface painted in a daring black background, painted on a large concrete wall. Set amidst the gigantic concrete pylons that support the sweeping curve of the portico above - the ensemble of the art and architecture through the hands of a master bring alive the 'frozen music of architecture.'

The popularity of the enamel door painting can be gauged from the fact it is a very visible on many publications, posters or other compositions associated with Chandigarh. The newly started souvenir shop in the Le Corbusier Centre in Sector 19, has taken the wonderful initiative of selling many of the art forms of Corbusier, including prints of this painting. So, venture out, savour the artistic spectacle of your grand city - you can even display it in your room!

(The writer is former principal Chandigarh College of Architecture and director-consultant of Tagore Theatre)

Once in a year
Winter Solstice means different thing to different people

Ashima Sehajpal

Please don’t take us for accomplices but the poor little impish mind is at it again. The night of 21 December can be significant for all the thieves in the tricity. After all, it is Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year, which means long hours of darkness, which means more houselocks, carlocks and other locks breaking, which means better oppurtunities for thieves to strike, which means their good luck (by the way their luck is good all 365 days a year, numerous Panchkula thefts support our claim) and your bad luck. Precisely their working hours can begin earliest by 8 pm and end latest by 6 am. The once in a year oppurtunity is expected to be availved most aptly, given the ‘super-efficiency’ of the Haryana police. In fact the night might also see thieves of Chandigarh and Mohali migrate to Panchkula, for the work availability more and safer and better working conditions.

Thieves are not the sole beneficiaries of Winter Solstice, sleep-lovers too will make the most of it. Wish the hour count of the day was flexible to increase as per the day and night hours. But the psychological effect is certainly there. So those, who live to sleep, can go back to sleep again after seeing dark outside through the small space between two curtains of the room. The process of peeping and sleeping can stretch longer if the sky on the morning of December 22 is cloudy.

How can we forget the romance that chilling winter nights assure. Why else most of the romantic songs are picturised in Kashmir, Alaska, Switzerland and most of them at the night time? December 21 is thus also the night for the lovers to be together for some more time.

Those who want to utilise the long night hours outside their houses will do so by partying. More night time means more partying. Those really enthusiastic about it, should begin to party early as soon as the sun goes down.

The only people who can’t join the party on winter solstice is the police, students (study hours won’t change), parents (worrying about their partying children) and we the public, who just canot stop worrying about everything.

City-bred Raj Rahi captures people’s struggle and survival in his latest directoral venture Mono-The Winner Stands Alone
Neha Walia

— Photo: Pravesh Chauhan Now that Hollywood and Bollywood have more in common than Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, we have really made the most of this Slumdog entry to the international cinema. From Oscars to Golden Globes to Cannes, nothing seems to sound complete without the ‘Indian’ mention. Another such filmmaker to have made it to the elite list of global cinema is Raj Rahi. And, by the term global cinema, we mean not just Hollywood but Asian and European cinema as well.

Born in Shimla and having spent prominent years of his life in Chandigarh, Raj started his career as a journalist with Stardust, then went on to work with Zee television producing and directing shows like Dillagi and One Two Ka Four. And, then the big switchover happened. “I started as assistance director for movies like Mr Funtoosh, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and Yash. Over the years, I moved on to Asian cinema making Indonesian, Singapore and Malaysian movies and in 2000 I moved to the US,” he summarises his journey. After working on music videos, television productions and ad campaigns in Turkish, Korean, Mexican and English, his profile had names like Warner Brothers and Jackie Chan. “I did two Hindi movies Hastein Hastein—follow your heart with Jimmy Shergill, but my ultimate goal was Hollywood,” he says.

His recent ventures include Mono-The Winner Stands Alone, which he is directing and In search of Immortality as executive producer. “Mono is a typical story of struggle and survival and stars Preeti Jhangiani, Dalip Tahil and a new lead, Ash Kumar. In Search of Immortality is based on book written by a Bengali author and traces the journey of a German during Kumbh Mela set in 1954,” he says. It stars Vigo Mortenson in lead and brings back the Slumdog team of AR Rehaman, Prasoollakutty and Oscar winner Bhanu Atthaiya. Well, so much for a good script. “That’s the difference between Bollywood and Hollywood. The first question asked here is who’s the actor while there its what’s the script? The movie works on its subject and not big budgets,” he says.

But before the big mainstream leap, Raj traveled a road much meaningful, capturing the festival circuit first by producing movies Shut Up and Beyond Life. “For an independent filmmaker, international film festivals are a perfect platform to sell. It brings in the appreciation, captures the audience followed by the distribution.”

Doing rounds of international film festivals like Sundance, Moondance, Dallas, Cannes, he feels inspired by the Korean and Spanish Cinema. “They have strong scripts that connect to the audience with heavy emotional influence.” And adds that festival circuit is a breeding ground for free and expressive cinema. “The best of European cinema explores all the possibilities and don’t compromise on their creativity for commercial interest. The passion to tell their story is what makes them so special. Also, these festivals give chance to independent cinema to break free, you’ll have the best of cinema form places that don’t allow freedom of expression like Iran, Iraq, Armenia. It’s cost effective, easy to market and meaningful.”

But then all’s not wrong back home with the change becoming quite visibly successful now. “It stared with Bheja Fry, emphasised upon by A Wednesday and being continued by some who took a risk and brought the change. Even the audience has grown smart,” he signs off with satisfying smile.

Home again
Gul Panag is in the city to help you speak English
Manpriya Khurana

— Photo: S. Chandan Gul Panag? Again! Excuse us, but wasn’t she here at Diwali for some Tata Sky application launch? Looks like the brand and the lady are in repeat, replay and rehearse mode. Any case, doesn’t Tata Sky lets you record and not miss anything!

“Homecoming always feels good,” she smiles, gets ready for a volley of queries and adds, “It would be very nice if we restricted the discussion and questions to the purpose for which we’ve gathered and not anything apart from it.” Yeah sure, why not? Bringing you precisely that; the purpose we mean.

“We are launching another interactive application through which we’ll be teaching English to people who feel too shy to move out of their house for this purpose,” chief marketing officer Vikram Mehra, Tata Sky takes over. He adds, “While we researched, we found that it’s the housewives that suffer the most from this complex, so we launched this service especially for housewives. The significant features are, this application teaches you English in Hindi; we partnered with British Council to develop this application and it took us around 13 months to develop it.” Even before anyone could prompt, comes the addition “Yes we are planning to bring the service in other languages as well, though right now, it’s in Hindi.”

What does the lady who’s here for the launch has to say about it? Says Gul, “English is one of the legacy that the British, when they left India, left with us. We’d like to do without it but we can’t. It has become an extremely important part of conversation skills.” Did somebody ask for an opinion on Bollywood issues, relationships or some such thing?

“I do not even have an opinion on any frivolous things, so I do not even know what to say, I just bother about my own work.” She adds, “I’d rather comment on things that are important to you and me, to us, for example price rise, inflation, climate change.” Perhaps, that explains her appearance on We The People. As for the future, it’s a film or two lined up. “Soon you’ll see me in Rann which is to released in January.” So much for the next, as for this year, “This year’s been quite eventful.” Here’s crossing fingers for the next.


Fun intended
Jasmine Singh

Sudesh Lahri “I don’t spend endless hours sitting in some lonely room thinking about topics to tickle the funny bones of the masses,” shares comedian Sudesh Lehri, ready with a bagful of humour to sprinkle on the sets of a new show on Star One, Laughter ke Phatkey. “Unlike other shows, this one is not a competition. It is a daily soap to be telecasted Monday to Friday at 10 pm with a segment on me, Sada Sudesh. It is fun in its own way.”

Having made the audience role with laughter on various shows like Laughter Challenge, Comedy Circus, Dekh India Dekh, Sudesh is particular about his choice of gags. “Simple and understandable. I want the common man to relate to my jokes, because they are picked from day-to-day situation.” He adds, “Despite being rated as the most over-rated cliché, ‘Comedy is the most difficult form of art’ and it sure is. The kind of stress that we live in today, it is almost a Herculean task to make someone laugh. I guess I am doing an okay job.”

Back to the basics, Alpha Gaddi, a show of Alpha Punjabi that gave him the much-needed exposure. “I enjoyed the show. But then, I had to move out of Amritsar in search of a wider platform, which I thankfully got,” says Sudesh who has some Punjabi and Hindi movies in hand. “Comedy is not a competition, it is an art. The competitive format of the shows helps to bring out the best in a comedian.” As for Sudesh, this is the best time for comedians. “They now share a respectable status. Every channel has 1-2 comedy shows, and so in is the case in movies. The number of comedy movies, if not equal to other genres, is not less either, he winds up quickly listing the names of his upcoming movies. ‘Muskura key dekho zara and Bhawanao ko samjho.”

Spade work
Berry useful
Satish Narula

Satish Narula We talk about flowers, vegetables and about their upkeep. Let us give a thought to fruits. Needless to say, they have a heavy bearing on our health.

We normally give them a back seat when it comes to garden planning. May be, the space is constraint. But those who can plant them should do so. Moreover, there are other ways to do so.

See the accompanying picture. Amla is one of the best sources of vitamin C. Exclusive books have been written on this fruit and the products that can be made out of it.

The regular consumption of this fruit can take care of joints, eyes, gums, hair and skin. Above all, being a rich source of vitamin C, this fruit gives body the immunisation to fight against diseases.

Myth of the week
Fruitful tips

Myth: Adding fertilizer to the fruits and vegetable will jeopardise health. Nothing is far from the truth. The plants need lot of nutrition for their upkeep and bearing of fruits, especially the varieties that we presently grow as most of these are high yielding varieties. What affects the soil health is excess application of fertilizers. Follow recommendations given by Punjab Agricultural University for individual fruits and vegetables for best results and leave your health worries. The fertilizer application to fruits plants should be based on age of the tree. You can have PAU Publications with these recommendations from the PAU extension office located in the Old Architect Building, Sector 19.

Normally what we think is that the requirement of the fruit is not much and the tree bears heavily. Rest of it goes waste. Have we thought of preserving it? Sharing with friends and relatives is another good idea. And, if the people of a locality decide to do it on collective basis then the vacant places in their immediate vicinity, like dispensaries, community centre etc. could be the best places to plant such trees with permission for all to use them. After all it is serving the humanity.

To talk about amla at this stage is most appropriate as it can be planted now. Normally, what we see is the small fruited desi variety. There are many varieties available now that have fruit much bigger than the small desi types. Do not worry about the nutrient contents. There is no difference. The seedling trees starts bearing a bit late, say in five to six years but the ones that are grafted start giving fruit in no time. It is within three or four years. Another big advantage with this tree is that it needs very less water.

I have received queries about phalsa plant. I am happy that people have started remembering the old and forgotten fruit. This is also appropriate time to talk about this fruit as being deciduous; it sheds leaves and goes dormant in this season. This is the time to plant this fruit. It is very easy too. Take a 10 inches long cutting and put it in soil two-third of it below the ground level. Give a slanting cut at the base of it so that there is more surface area available for uptake of water. Phalsa is a hardy a bush plant and can be put at the back of other plants in the garden. It bears clusters of a little more than pea size fruits on current season growth. Due to this advantage, the bush can be pruned at any height every year to avoid interference with other plants. Normally, the bush is headed at three feet from the ground. The fruit is has tremendous qualities and is available in the middle of summer months. It is used to make sharbat and has excellent cooling effect.

One of the biggest advantages with this fruit is that it does not have any serious insect, pest or disease. It can also be multiplied by seed that is available in May-June. But seed raised plants will take time to come into bearing.


How we talked and walked!
Year 2009 belonged to the ultra slim and ultra chic gizmos
Jasmine Singh

Abhishek Bachchan advocates talktime = walktime that has caught the nation's fancy. Idea did it. The cellular company made everybody sit up, sacrifice the cosy corners and walk, as the company garnered molaah. The 2009's most creative telecom baton was passed on to the man who leaves nothing to chance, the man who suffered a short-term memory crisis to regain control and even acquire a degree. Aamir Khan strains his pinpointed ears for 'the' sound of music. Next was Samsung Guru. Music, mobile games, hi-speed camera, picture sharing, touch screen, 2009 cell phones offered a spectacular view of technology.

The new generation Apple iPhone was more flashy and impressive than its preceding designs, Nokia N 97 was a tough competition in the price arena with hottest technology, a 32GB memory, 3.5 inch touch-screen, Blackberry, 3.2MP camera, GPS and wi-fi capabilities. The android family too kept growing with new handsets. Google launched a device dashboard, and HTC released new Sense UI widgets for Hero and Droid Eris, handsets went better and more sophisticated. Mobile companies probably worked over time, hiring the best of brains and some socialites too to come up with flashy models with all that pizzazz.

But hey, how much can anyone walk, unless you've taken lessons from the flying Sikh Milkha Singh. A cold day at the office comes to an end, and on the way back to home, in a busy metro; a petite girl (they say she wanted to get into those baby clothes that come only in size zero) struts past in an amazingly slim and ultra-sleek laptop.

Sony VAIO X slim laptop, 655 grams, 11.1 inch screen display with price starting Rs 64,990 INR. Never thought Bollywood could be so inspiring! 'Sleek' found form in different shapes.

Dell launched Adamo XPS 13, ultra-thin, 13.4 inch laptop, with a built-in 2MP web camera and microphone, touch-sensitive latch release area, Toshiba's Satellite T100 series ultra-thin laptops, the technology just got style conscious.

Well, technology had a taste of typical filmi masala. Fake identities of Mayawati, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Rahul Gandhi, Aamir Khan, mud slinging through blogging, the networking had enough spice for 2009. By the end of 2008, and beginning of 2009, social networking sites overtook e-mail in terms of worldwide reach. Facebook saw a growth of 566 per cent in time spent on it by users worldwide. Globally, it reached 29.9 per cent of global Internet users.

Twitter too witnessed a titanic growth. Malika Sherawat dropped tweets (we would want to know who was following them),' Shashi Tharoor amused and amazed with snappy one-liners, and the generation followed. While the big inventions came out with a big bang, the relatively smaller ones, google maps, dual sims, mini camcorders, thinnest hard disk drives, Microsoft moving on to Windows 7, multiple colour notebooks, aluminum body laptops, 3D revolutionary cameras made their presence felt too.


Tweet’s the way

Will anyone in advertising be sorry to see the back of 2009? No one at the sharp end of commercial media. If your business relied on advertising for revenue ... well, you know the story: down, down, down. Newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, posters, the web: content has been trimmed, jobs have been lost, quality has suffered. So perhaps it's not surprising that the real media success story of 2009 has been a medium that's barely sniffed the skirts of the ad industry. Twitter.

A mere whisper 12 months ago, Twitter has become the media noise of the year. Sixty million people worldwide are now regular users and Twitter has not only provided us with a new platform for news, it's also created it.

From David Cameron's "too many Tweets make a Twat" to reassuring a concerned world that Peaches Geldof was unscathed after her car crashed on the way to Disneyland last week, Twitter is making headlines. But we're here to talk about advertising and the ad industry has spent the past 12 months wondering if, when and how Twitter has a commercial value. Well, last week Dell gave adland an answer. The computer giant announced it's made $6.5m from exploiting Twitter for commercial gain.

Dell gave us a taster of its success back in June, revealing it had notched up revenues of $3m from Twitter over the last couple of years. Less than six months later those revenues have more than doubled. It won't stop there. The computer company is using Twitter for all the usual customer interaction and relationship building you would expect of any brand engaging in social media now. But it's also operating on a cruder, simpler level. Go to @DellOutlet, which has close to 1.5 million followers, and you'll find daily money-off offers that frequently get retweeted (and therefore endorsed) so that they spread out well beyond Dell's own fanbase.

Tweeters like that. Last month a study of 3,000 consumers conducted by Performics and ROI Research found that 44 per cent of Twitter users are happy to be alerted about promotions and special offers by the site. In addition, anyway, 44 per cent of them had already used Twitter to recommend a brand or a product, and 48 per cent had responded to an ad they'd seen on the microblog. As portentous as this all sounds, it's not clear whether Twitter is actually delivering new additional revenue for the early-adopter advertisers who use it. Is Twitter nudging consumers into purchases and brand choices they wouldn't otherwise have made? As other advertisers muscle in on the opportunities, Twitter-generated promotions like Dell's could become nothing better than junk marketing; users will kick back if they feel exploited.

But you'd be hard pushed to find a big brand right now that isn't gnawing at the question of how it embraces the Twitter phenomenon. And not just because of its popularity; in a marketing world where budgets are frozen or shrinking, Twitter offers a free platform. For the moment. Twitter itself is gnawing away at the question of how to monetise advertisers on its site.Offering brands more detailed profile data on the people following them is one option. Location-based geo-tagging could also open up some interesting revenue streams.

We can be sure of a few things though. Twitter is showing no sign of waning, so advertisers' interest is mounting and Biz Stone and his team will find ways to make money from it all. Then all Twitter needs to do is pray its popularity holds until adland's economic fortunes turn.

— The Independent

Transcend unveils new black slim portable CD/DVD writer

Chandigarh, December 21, 2009: Riding on the success of its 8X slim portable CD/DVD writer, Transcend Information, Ins. (Transcend ), a worldwide leader in storage and multimedia products, today announced a black version to join the current white edition. With a brand new gloss black casing, compact dimension and versatile functions, the CD/DVD writer is perfect for thin-and-light laptops-or even netbooks-for diverse entertainment and enhanced productivity.

As notebook computers become increasingly smaller and lighter, built-in CD or DVD drives and writers are often not included. Transcend's 8X slim portable CD/DVD writer was created specifically for use with compact notebooks, and features an ultra-thin and sleek design, making it stylish, compact and easy to carry around. No external power adapter is needed, as the CD/DVD writer is entirely USB powered, drawing its electric power directly from the computer's USB ports. Whether relaxing at home or traveling abroad, notebook users now have the freedom to enjoy DVD movies, install essential software or create data backup discs anytime, anywhere.

The CD/DVD writer comes bundled with a full-featured copy of the powerful media writing software CyberLink Power2Go, and also includes a bonus 30-day trial version of CyberLink's MediaShow. With these easy-to-use software tools, users can not only burn music, data, video and even bootable discs in a variety of CD and DVD formats, including CD-R/RW, DVD±R, DVD±RW, DVD±R DL, and DVD-RAM, but also compile, arrange, and produce media files with a simple and straightforward software interface.

Users planning to upgrade to Microsoft's newest operating system, Windows 7, can also rest assured that Transcend's all-new CD/DVD writer is fully prepared. Having completely passed Windows 7 compatibility testing, the drive is guaranteed to work with both current and future systems. With up to 8X DVD and 24X CD write speeds, plus support for the latest dual layer recordable DVD media formats, Transcend's CD/DVD writer is well poised to gain popularity worldwide.

Charged up
Follow simple steps to compact power loss of batteries and enjoy unhindered talking on phone
Amitpal Singh Grewal

And there it goes again, just when you wanted to say something really important, your phone dies. When it comes to batteries it looks like we are at the same point where we were years ago. Batteries don't last longer than a few days. But to be fair to the battery designers we have to admit that nowadays' smart phones require much more energy than phones back in the old days.

It has happened once to almost everyone who owns a mobile phone, and there have been discussion on how to save battery and make it last longer, We can't really compare them but what we can do is use them with more care. Here are a few simple, easy and good tips to help you combat power loss:

Haute pick
Small wonder

Worlds Smallest HDTV

Screen size: 1.8 inches, Ratio: 4:3 TFT screen, Resolution, 116,160 pixels, Color configuration: RGB stripe, Video system: PAL/ NTSC auto conversion, 1 Video inputs plus 1 Audio input, Audio output: Speaker built-in & earphone jack, Video input signal: 1.0Vp-p, composite video, High resolution and no radiation (better for eyes' protection), DVD/ VCD/ Security system/ Navigation system/ Rear view camera compatible, Mount type: Desk type Power input: DC 8V Power consumption: 4.5W. Small and powerful.

1. Turn of anything and everything that makes sounds within your phone, clicks beeps camera shutter etc.

2. Most Mobile Phones have the energy saving or Battery Saving Setting, Use them, you have paid for it

3. It's time to take off that animated wallpaper off, it eats up your battery like none other.

4. Just like your laptop, turning down the screen brightness for your mobile helps as well as it makes a huge difference

5. Have a look at your backlight setting; do you really need it to stay for longer than ten seconds? You can actually turn of the backlight, if you can make use of the light of the place you are in.

6. Turn off the Bluetooth- Most of the time, people forget to switch off the Bluetooth service, and it becomes a major battery power eater.

7. Don't have vibrator and ringing option at the same time. It is surely useful on the meetings or in a cinema but most of time you'll do just fine without it; I usually set up a vibrating profile to be used in places like cinema or theatre and in all other profiles I have vibrating turned off

8. Don't overcharge your phone, the extra heat can harm your battery's performance.

9. Avoid fiddling with it, don't use unnecessary applications. It a Phone not a PSP

10. Switch off your phone when you're not using it, this really helps to prolong the life of the battery. And in case you are driving it will prolong your life to.

Hope this helps, have a healthy battery


Fun fare
3 Idiots is about friendship, fun and college days

Aamir Khan is returning to the big screen exactly after a year with 3 Idiots and the film has created the right buzz thanks to the innovative ways he has been promoting it. Revolving around three friends and their college days, the movie releases Friday. Loosely based on Chetan Bhagat's bestseller Five Point Someone, the film has been produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra, who has invested around Rs.35 crore in it.

Directed by Rajkumar Hirani, it also stars Sharman Joshi, R. Madhavan, Kareena Kapoor and Boman Irani. It is being distributed by Reliance Big Pictures and is releasing with nearly 1,000 prints worldwide.

To market the film, Aamir has been travelling across the country in different get-ups. His travels have so far taken him to Varanasi, Madhya Pradesh's Chanderi district, former cricket captain Sourav Ganguly's home in Kolkata, Jaipur and Punjab's Faridkot district.

The story revolves around three engineering students -- Rancho (Aamir), Farhan Qureshi (Madhavan) and Raju Rastogi (Sharman) -- and their journey. The film covers every aspect of their lives including Rancho's romance with Pia (Kareena) and his conflicts with their teacher Viru Sahastrabudhhe (Boman). 3 Idiots is about how Rancho influences his two friends and teaches them to live life on their own terms. But one day he just vanishes. Then begins Farhan and Raju's search for Rancho and finally learning the secret behind his disappearance.

The music of the film is already topping the charts with songs like Aal izz well, Zoobi doobi, Jaane nahin denge tujhe and Give me some sunshine becoming chartbusters. This is the third year in succession when Aamir's movie will release in December after Taare Zameen Par and Ghajini. No big budget Bollywood movie is preceding 3 Idiots from the previous week and it has created just the right amount of curiosity among audiences...will this Chopra-Hirani-Aamir collaboration strike gold at the box office and close 2009 on a happy note?


Calendar girl

Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone Sunday unveiled the 2010 edition of Kingfisher's swimsuit special calendar. "In the beginning of my career, I was a part of the calendar and it's becoming better every year. Girls in this calendar have done a fantastic job," said Deepika, who figured in the 2006 calendar. "It's of international standards and it's one of the best calendars in the world," she added.

Asked if featuring in the calendar was a good platform to enter Bollywood, Deepika said: "Well, I didn't use it as a platform to enter the film industry, so I wouldn't say that. You can't be a model to be an actor. That's not what I did. But yes, Farah noticed me as a model and then decided to cast me in Om Shanti Om."

"I am very proud of 2010 edition of the Kingfisher swimsuit special," said Vijay Mallya, UB group chairman before the calendar was unveiled at his palatial home. Mallya said the calendar has given an opportunity to many young models from India and the world, and he hoped to continue the trend. Noted photographer Atul Kasbekar has taken the photographs for the calendar.


Sen and sensibilities

Sushmita Sen Former Miss Universe-turned-Bollywood actor Sushmita Sen heralded her I Am She an academy that will function under a foundation to groom aspiring models. At a gala event held here, she launched her academy I Am She. Sen recently unveiled her new brand, I Am of which I Am She is its beauty pageant wing to train aspiring and budding models.

Her father Sabir Sen, a retired officer of Indian Air Force, formally unveiled the logo. Sushmita said that she is honoured to get her I Am, linked to the Miss Universe pageant. She said "life was coming full circle after a decade and half when she was crowned Miss Universe." She said that it is time to bring back the title to India and she is looking forward to prepare Indian aspirants to win the coveted title of Miss Universe. "Today as we stand here, 'I Am She' will be the preliminary of Miss India contest. It is about every body feeling the girl representing the country is not just winning a beauty pageant,” she added.

Till date, the winner of the Femina Miss India beauty pageant used to represent India at the Miss Universe and two runners-up represented India in other two international pageants, Miss World and Miss Asia-Pacific events respectively. Henceforth it will be the winner of 'I Am She' beauty pageant who will represent the country for the title of Miss Universe. — ANI

Santa's own

Raj Kundra & Shilpa Shetty Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty who is back from her honeymoon from the Bahamas with London-based businessman husband Raj Kundra is still on holiday mode. She is preparing to celebrate Christmas in London and New Year on a cruise in the Mediterranean.

"Back to reality, the last couple of weeks felt like a dream -- from the sunny Bahamas back in London for the last couple of days... There's no place like London when it comes to celebrating Christmas," Shilpa pos ed on her blog shilpsshettylive.com/blog Saturday.

"Really excited about the Mediterranean cruise we are taking with the family, my first ever making it even more special. I will be out at sea for the next two weeks... Will be bringing in New Year on the ship," she added.

"Here's wishing everyone a merry Christmas and a fantastic love filled, healthy and prosperous New Year ahead," she wrote.


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