Son of the soil
Actor-turned-producer Jimmy Shergill is looking forward to his next venture — Punjabi flick Dharti
Jasmine Singh

The clock is ticking and cinema is gladly making good use of time. Better scripts, which no longer rake up images of an old Punjab that no longer harps on done-to-death topics; exotic locales, far different from the khet khaliyaan every Punjabi movie was shot in and lastly, entry of people who are extremely passionate about P-U-N-J-A-B-I C-I-N-E-M-A.

Jimmy Shergill, the long-haired rebel Jai Mal Singh Jimmy from the movie Maachis, has not only added better roles to his kitty, but also, brick-by-brick, frame-by-frame, laid down the map for the success of cinema in Punjab. And the actor-turned-producer, with his upcoming movie Dharti, has only quickened the pace. Shooting in and around for the movie that explores a never-touched-before subject, Jimmy takes up the challenge of moving away from the riff-raff in Punjabi cinema, building a new castle. And how?

"Dharti explores the subject of politics in Punjab, which hasn't been touched ever before," he shares ready to tell us what makes the movie 'different'. "Dharti is a Punjabi film, but we want to dub it in Hindi as well. A political drama, the movie has an ensemble cast wherein I play an Air Force officer." A fallback option or a 'well-thought-over decision, what makes this 'choosy' actor get into production? "While we were promoting Tera Mera Ki Rishta, my fans and people who knew me often approached and asked me to come up with something different; some kind of action movie. I was still toying with the idea; then came along Mel Kara Dey Rabba. After that I decided to take up a subject that was different and could be presented in a different manner. Thus came about Dharti," Jimmy shares facts about his new venture. Well, has he heard about the Pandora's box —production can be one hell of a job? Jimmy laughs, something we are not quite used to seeing. "I have a good team that shares my passion and are equally excited about the subject. It is an experience, I look forward to utilising it well."

Once an actor, always an actor! The medium, the genre doesn't really matter as long as an actor gets to act. Punjabi films are coming of age too. "In fact the entire Bollywood is looking towards Punjabi films. Dharti has an ensemble cast of Prem Chopra, Rahul Dev and Ranvijay, which underlines the growing popularity of this cinema," he says.

Dharti is planned for a worldwide release and promises a nice viewing experience for one and all, unlike some Punjabi flicks that are only meant for NRIs and Punjabis. "How long can we go on making films based on university life, NRI problems; it's time we get down to doing something real and be a little more experimental," says Jimmy, who has taken up his new role as a next level in passion rather than as a challenge. "I have seen myself change and grow with films. I feel a close connect with Punjabi cinema, which keeps getting me back each year, invariably." Don't tell me it is a goodbye to Bollywood! We hear a throaty laugh, "I am doing a Bollywood flick Sahib Biwi Aur Gangster with Mahie Gill and Randeep Hooda. Didn't you just say — an actor is not bound by the medium?" It looks like a new inning for the actor and he takes it on with a smile!

Soul strings
Learning different folk instruments is a passion for British singer Milli Moonstone
Ashima Sehajpal

Music is "what compels you to hit the dance floor without considering its origin or the instruments being used to play it," as Milli Moonstone, a musician from England, explains.

She introduces herself as the lover of world folklore, who aims to ensure that music becomes a "universal language". She adds, "Not everyone in India knows about western classical music. Likewise, people in the west only know about the hit Bollywood numbers or bhangra tracks, courtesy the NRIs. I will take folk instruments of various countries around the world."

Milli plays several instruments, including flute and sarangi. In the city to launch the new collection at Zaira Diamonds, she says, "I have been playing sarangi for the past six years. It's one of the most melodious instruments and is loved by people throughout the world." She regrets the fact that classical music does not find many takers among youngsters in India. "You can't blame only the young generation for the shift in interest. Classical musicians in India are stringent about choosing their disciples. Music should be made accessible to people and shouldn't be treated as the property of a few."

She suggests that schools for classical music in every city can reverse the trend.

Milli is positive about the scenario in west, "Contrary to the scene in India, youngsters have once again started taking interest in western classical music. The music has been made part of curriculum and is compulsory. That helps develop an interest in music at a young age."

She studied music from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. "I met students from across the world, which taught me about the instruments in their respective countries." She also knows how to play guitar, violin, Chinese flute and mbria, a Zimbabwean instrument. 

UP in smoke
A mere picture of infected lungs on cigarette packets is not effective enough. Something more needs to be done to deter smokers 
Ashima Sehajpal

What do you think will have a lasting impact, a warning in bold letters — 'smoking is injurious to health' or a graphic caution in the form of infected lungs due to tobacco consumption or a clear photograph of a cancer victim? A click on Google shows some mind-boggling facts, which suggest that only harsh measures can provide help.

According to a research paper published in New England Journal of Medicine - 'Smoking might cause one million deaths annually by the year 2010'. Amidst the huff and puff about the revenue loss or gain - a defense that tobacco firms are coming up with — attention from the actual matter has been diverted. Status quo persists on whether pictorial warnings are the most substantial method to discourage people from smoking or not.

Says Devika Ahluwalia, art director, Scribbles, an advertising agency, "A picture is worth a thousand words. People know that smoking is injurious to health, but that's not enough. An added shock factor like a photograph of a person suffering from mouth or lung cancer will grab more attention." She adds that changing the text wouldn't make as much of a difference as an effective photograph. "We have seen graphics of a skull and a cigarette, but a picture of infected lungs would jolt chain-smokers more."

NGOs supporting the cause want more than mere graphic warnings. Hemant Goswami of the Burning Brain Society says that there is enough scientific evidence to suggest that pictorial warnings are more effective. "As many as 50 per cent of the population in India is either illiterate or semi-illiterate. In such a scenario, warnings on the cigarette or tobacco packets won't serve the purpose." He strongly recommends printing photographs of people who suffer from tuberculosis or cancer. "A disfigured face of a person who suffers from throat cancer can work wonders. People will realise that it can happen to them also. Mere graphic warnings of infected lungs won't present the case appropriately."

Printing of pictures on tobacco product packets is already a law in eight countries. "When the campaign is readily accepted and yielding positive results in Canada, Australia, Mexico, Thailand, why are Indian tobacco firms are opposing it? Revenue generation is not more important than the health of citizens," adds Hemant.

Devika asserts that the picture should be effective enough to grab attention, "In fact the picture must be disgusting enough to deter people from smoking." The psychological effect of pictorial warnings can't be denied. Ranjan Lakhanpal, advocate and chairman of World Human Rights Protection Council, supports the cause: "It will make people realise that consequences of tobacco consumption are dreadful."

There's another faction, which believes that mere pictorial warning won't serve the purpose. Fashion designer, Rakyesh Aggarwal, who's part of the industry that works under a lot of pressure and where smoking is a way of life, feels the whole debate on graphics is meaningless. "People who smoke cigarettes come from the upper or middle strata of society. They smoke despite being aware of its hazards and pictures won't make a difference."

On the other hand, he adds that those who are uneducated generally belong to the lower strata of society. "And they smoke bidis or chew tobacco. The government or NGOs aren't campaigning for graphics where they actually make sense." He adds that television and radio campaigns educate people better. In this scenario, it's also important to analyse if the warning 'smoking is injurious to health' has an effect on smokers.

Rajesh Gill, a city-based sociologist, opines that there are factors besides addiction that make people smoke, "Youngsters take to it due to peer pressure and also because it looks fashionable. No amount of warnings will make people quit or abhor smoking." She suggests a more forceful and meaningful drive against smoking, which might take some time as of now. "And that might take some more time since people are busy debating a non-relevant issue," quips Rakyesh, which is true in a way!

Rani reports
'Reporting crime is a dangerous assignment for girls'

Bollywood actor Rani Mukherjee loved playing the role of a "fearless" crime reporter in upcoming film No One Killed Jessica and hopes that people will have more respect for the profession after watching the movie.

"When we see crime reporters on TV we do not understand how difficult and risky their work is. I think in a day-to-day life, crime reporting is more risky as they are unaware of what assignment they would go for. They go to weird and dangerous places. Especially for girls it is tougher," Rani said.

No One Killed Jessica is based on model Jessica Lall's murder who was shot dead in 1999 by Manu Sharma, son of a Haryana politician, in a Delhi night club.

"Through my character in the film I am sure people will respect and salute them for the kind of job they do. It is very fascinating profession where the basic job requirement is to be fearless and brave. I feel great that I am portraying the role of a crime reporter," the 32-year-old actor said.

Directed by Rajkumar Gupta, the film features Vidya Balan as Jessica's sister Sabrina, who fought the case to get justice and Rani plays a journalist in the movie.

"The very fact that I am playing a journalist in the film is also one of the reasons why I am part of it. It is the first time that media is shown in a powerful light in the movie," the Bengali beauty said.

The actor feels the media played a key role in delivering justice in the controversial Jessica Lall case.

"During this case, the media was instrumental in making people aware and also in awakening them. And because of which there was public outcry. It shook the judicial system of our country," Rani said. — PTI

Titanic mistake

Despite being a box office hit, Clash of Titans was criticised for its shoddy 3D effects and lead actor Sam Worthington agrees that they disappointed audiences with the Greek mythology. The Avatar star, however, has promised a better movie with the sequel.

Worthington is reprising his role of Perseus in the sequel, which will begin filming in March 2011 while Liam Neeson will play the role of Greek god Zeus.

"I think the first one, we kind of let down some people. I think I can act better, to be honest," the star said.

"What we're setting out to do with this one — the writers and the director and myself — is improve. Just take all the notes from people that I have been reading about on the 'net and give them a movie they want. This one I want to kind of try to satisfy a lot more people," said the actor.

Clash of the Titans has grossed more than $493 million since release. Worthington is currently filming the thriller Man on a Ledge in New York. — PTI

Dinner for two

Ryan Reynolds with Scarlett Johansson
Ryan Reynolds with Scarlett Johansson

Just days after announcing their separation, Hollywood stars Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds got together for a cosy dinner. But the couple is not reconciling and will remain friends as they had announced earlier, reported People magazine online.

Johansson, 26, who had just returned from a trip to Jamaica and Reynolds, 34, in town for a photo shoot, met up in a New York restaurant.

"They just wanted to connect and have a friendly chat.They just wanted to sit down together. The tone was light and fun despite the untruths that the media is working up. They aren't reconciling. This was just two people who were married being civil," said a source.

The pair, who were married in 2008, had grown apart because the demands of their busy schedules and Reynolds allegedly cheated on his wife with Gossip Girl star Blake Lively. — PTI

Naked truth

Hollywood beauty Anne Hathaway accepts the fact that she has to get naked as an actor and believes every actor should be prepared to strip if the role requires nudity. The Princess Diaries star, who recently posed nude for a number of scenes in her film Love & Other Drugs alongside actor Jake Gyllenhaal has no qualms to strip in front of the cameras and completely relies on her co-stars to help her overcome any pre-scene nerves.

"Doing nudity is really a part of being an actor and you know at some point it might happen. But everyone wants to be respectful of each other and everyone wants each other to feel as comfortable as possible so I think those days have a focus," said Hathaway.

"In this film (Love & Other Drugs) we really approached it from a very prepared place. We discussed what we wanted to do beforehand and what we were comfortable with, we traded references from other films to establish an index of communicational references that we share. So by the time we came to do the scenes we were very well prepared," said the 28-year-old actor. — PTI

How do we know?

Hollywood star Reese Witherspoon's much awaited romantic-comedy How Do You Know, made on a budget of over $120 million, has bombed at the box office, bringing in only $7.6 million in it's opening weekend in the US.

The Legally Blonde star is one of the most bankable and highest paid actors of Hollywood, but despite her star power the film premiered to dismal box office figures.

The 34-year-old actor starred in the film alongside Owen Wilson and Paul Rudd but despite the star cast the film is being branded one of the biggest financial disasters for any studio this year, reported Entertainment Weekly.

Another film that performed badly this weekend was the much-hyped The Tourist staring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp.

After opening last weekend to mediocre figures, it continued it's slide down the charts coming in fifth place and earning $ 8.7 million.

The big winner of the weekend, however, was Tron: Legacy.

The film, which stars Olivia Wilde, Garrett Hedlund and Jeff Bridges brought in over $ 43 million in its opening weekend and those figures are likely to rise before the weekend comes to a close. — PTI

It was an itsy bitsy…

Hollywood beauty Megan Fox has returned to Hawaii, where she tied the knot with TV actor Brian Austin Green, for her first Christmas as a married woman. But frolicking on the beach, the Transformers star looked gaunt, her famous curves all but gone.

The 24-year-old has returned for a Christmas holiday to the place where she wed long-time boyfriend Green on June 24.

Fox, in a black polka dot bikini, also wore her giant diamond wedding ring into the water. It was a brave move on her part given that she lost the expensive ring in the sand in Hawaii just after their wedding this summer.

Fox's rib cage was visible as she strolled along the sand and her hip bones clearly visible.

The couple brought along 37-year-old Austin Green's son Kassius, 8, for the Christmas holiday.

They were wed on the beach in Hawaii by a local kahuna, a Hawaiian priest, with Kassius as the sole witness, at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai over the summer.

After making her name as the seductive female lead in the Transformers movies, Megan was dropped for the third installment in favour of English model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. — PTI

Home front
Green paradise
A spa based on the theme of Marilyn Monroe, state-of-the-art gym and a stunning terrace garden — Geeta and Lt Col (retd) Kulwinder Singh’s house in Sector 10 spells elegance

A wooden bench with large cushions in a sunny garden makes for comfortable seating on a winter afternoon. Adding to the ambience is the lush green lawn, with a chakki fountain spewing out water on 'dharma', 'karma' and 'moksha' stones. "A good garden is just an outdoor room," says known landscape artiste Geeta Singh while describing her garden in Sector 10.

One year in this house and the couple - Lt Col (retd) Kulwinder Singh and wife Geeta Singh cannot help but eulogise their architect Vikram Pannu for putting their idea into action. "We were clear on what we wanted - cleanliness, an elegant and uncluttered house," says Geeta Singh. While the men in this three-member team took care of the spaces, aesthetics were attended to by Geeta herself. And the effect is mesmerising!

The façade of this modern house is an elegant mix of Gwalior stone, Chandigarh brick and crinkled, toughened glass. Spread in one kanal space, this place has three gardens. The garden at the rear is as beautiful as the one on the front, with the added advantage of having a fireplace. However, it's the terrace garden that steals the limelight. Each room in this three-storey house offers a panoramic view.

Cream theme runs through the house; the monotony is only broken by some textured walls and wallpapers, also in cream. The living room comes alive with colourful paintings by Russian master Anna Rochegova and modernist Manu Parekh. Upholstery, all in cream, is pleasantly broken by a few crystals and eclectic cushions.

The master bedroom is an extension of Geeta herself - subdued and charming. This 'no-TV bedroom' has pictures of her Guru Swami Paramhansa Yogananda and her children as well as grandkid.

The dining area has bookshelves in interesting shapes. Another Anna Rochegova's painting livens this space. A huge mirror covers the opposite wall.

The adjacent room is daughter Amrita's. A walk-in closet and a restroom as beautiful as the rest of the home is done in cream and brown. The kitchen is modular with granite stone slabs and everything is behind stylish cupboards. An austere meditation room with double glass windows to block noise is decorated in Swami Yogananda Paramhansa pictures at the mezzanine.

The first floor of this house belongs to son Shivi. This three-room unit with the largest master bedroom, study and guest bedroom has a fully functional kitchen as well.

The whole house is airy and sunny. Done with the help of huge windows and crinkled, toughened glass, each and every space gets sunlight.

The topmost floor is splendid. Called the 'indulgence area', this floor has a gym, bar and an almost all-glass room surrounded by a splendid terrace garden as well as a spa called Marilyn Monroe. "Her very face is so happy," exclaims Geeta. This place, which has a jacuzzi, steam bath and massage parlour, has a beautiful Marilyn Monroe picture and her face is imprinted on a cushion cover as well. A lovely flower peeps from a corner.

The 'nice' room has comfortable seating and all one can see around is plants and tree tops. The terrace garden has a green lawn, a picnic umbrella with seating, one stone corner bench and beautiful flowers as well as plants - yellow allamandas, petunias, marigolds and phoenix palms!


Tip talk

A terrace garden offers an excellent space to revel in nature be it the morning sun or the midnight moon. If you are planning one, this what Geeta Singh, landscape artiste for the last 20 years, suggests, "Make sure you reinforce the roof, go for secure water-proofing and have at least nine inches of soil for grass. If you want bigger plants, go for big pots as they need more depth."

Spicy treat

To provide its consumers yet another reason to enjoy their favourite McNuggets, McDonald's has introduced a new dip sauce in Schezwan flavour. Made from a distinctive blend of soy sauce, garlic, ginger, white onions and chilli peppers, the new sauce will add to the yumminess of tender and juicy McNuggets.

In an effort to reach out to its customers, McDonald's is running a new marketing campaign around the hot selling McNuggets. The campaign is designed to promote McNuggets using a single distinctive slogan 'Be quick or Be sorry' that is aimed at creating a fun-filled delight for the customers with the all new Schezwan sauce. — TNS

Spring in STEP
10-year-old Mehak Singla has recently won a national level kathak competition

Mehak Singla Winner of 'We Have Got Talent', a national level dance competition, held at Pune recently, 10-year-old Mehak Singla is our city's proud kathak dancer. A fifth class student of Carmel Convent-9, Mehak started learning kathak when she was six. "My grandmother inspired me to learn classical dance," shares Mehak, ecstatic about her recent win in which she danced on Mere Dholna.

"I enjoyed the experience, got a trophy, cash prize and a home theatre as well," says Mehak, back from her Pune-Mumbai trip.

Mehak is grateful to her teacher Samira Kausar, "Madam never scolds and explains everything nicely," says Mehak, who is friendly with the other four girls who learn kathak with her on weekends.

With quite a few school and interschool competitions under her belt, Mehak aims to be an IAS officer or a dance teacher. "I want to do something cool when I grow up. Teaching dance would be great, as I love it. Or being an IAS, I will be able to serve people," says this confident girl.

With English and Maths being her favourite subjects, Mehak enjoys swimming, painting and travelling. "I love going to Delhi. I really liked travelling by the metro," says Mehak.

A follower of Jaipur Gharana, Mehak loves western music as well. "Learning classical dance was tough initially, but now I am enjoying it," signs off Mehak.

Spade work
Quality control
Satish Narula

One of the best reasons of having one's own home gardens is the availability of quality produce. But one should also know how to do so. There is not one but multiple reasons to maintain good quality.

Normally we procure seeds and plants from the source nearest to us. What is important is the authenticity of the source. Use only quality seeds and procure good quality plants. If the seed used is of poor quality, you may suffer one crop but if the plant procured is of unknown pedigree, you will come to know only when it comes to fruiting. It is better to travel if you have to, or wait for a season if the good quality plants are not available at a time when you want to plant rather than getting it from anywhere and then regret later. And what is the good source? The nurseries of agricultural university or government nurseries. Beware of those private sources, which procure it from wholesale dealers from neighbouring states.

Once you get good quality seed/plant, it should get good growing conditions. Fruits and vegetables need plenty of sun. There are exceptions in case of vegetables like haldi, adrak, arbi, podina etc that could be grown in partial shade too. Nothing could be more detrimental for plants than letting vines growing on them. This mistake is normally made in case of cucurbit vines climbing on grape bowers or even on fruit trees like mango, guava etc. Do not forget, that the intervening period of fruit harvesting and fruit setting is the time when the plants recuperate to prepare them for the next crop.

Another important factor is plant protection. The quality of the produce is immensely affected even when the plant is attacked by insects or diseases. One, the tree's food manufacturing processes are affected, two, the fruit itself gets injured or diseased which may effect quality or altogether destroy it.

You do everything right, as per the book, but forget the most important lesson that is harvesting the produce at the right time. The biggest advantage of home produced veggies and fruits is the advantage of ambrosial, the aroma. The fruit or vegetables harvested at the wrong stage may affect your health too. At times, the fruits give a deceptive look as if they are ready to harvest. For example, kinnow is not ready in November but it looks as if it is. Plucking it then and eating it could cause some problem. The right time to pluck it is December to January. If roots like radish are allowed to remain in the soil for more than required they lose tenderness and may become pithy. Similarly carrot could develop bigger and hard keel.


Myth of the week
Root cause

Radish, turnip and carrot etc being root crops need more of farmyard manure. It is not correct. More of it may cause even deformity in roots. Such crops do not even need more of water.

Shelf help
Celebrities share what interests them in gizmos and how long do they hold on to them
Jasmine Singh

With actors and celebrities, shelf-life is a term that they deal with and fear the most at the same time. One hit can take them places and a string of flops can tag them as the black sheep of the industry. Talking about shelf life, it would be interesting to know the kind of shelf life gadgets these celebrities carry. Whether they change it like dresses, a different one for every appearance, or they alter it like popular and unpopular 'camps' or they stick to it like 'yeh dosti hum nahin todegain'! Celebrities take their pick on what interests them in gizmos and how long do they hold them close to their heart, like a role in a movie they have once cherished.

Old is gold

I am a loyalist, I am fond of new gadgets but I don't discard the old ones easily. When mobile phones came to India, I bought one that looked like a remote control. I still have that gadget, and I often try to see how I can make good use of it. Newer discoveries in technology fascinate me, but I don't forget the old inventions too.

— Gavie Chahal, actor

Not choosy 

Give me a gadget and I am happy with it forever. If my husband gets something new, I would take it. This defines the shelf life and love for gadgets. 
— Tara Sharma, actor

I-pad loyalty

Gadgets are one thing that I take the maximum time getting used to. It is easy to fit in a role, and play it well, but with technology, it clicks or it doesn't. If I get comfortable with a particular gadget, then I have no hassle. I am also of the opinion that technology is a good thing, which comes with a shelf life. However, I-pad is a gadget that I would want to keep for the rest of my life because I am fond of reading and this makes reading interesting as well as comfortable. For me, gadgets are about functionality and versatility rather than style or fashion statement. When I am shooting in different countries, I try and know about various gadgets and technology that is useful as well as popular.

— Gulzar Chahal, actor,


Gadget friendly

I take good care of my gadgets. My friends discard a gadget in six months, while I run the same for six months. I had an I-phone, which helped me browse maps, check e-mails, download music et al. Due to some technical snag I had to shift to Blackberry, else I would have never changed it. So, now you understand how friendly I am with gadgets. My parents have to literally push me to change my mobile phone.

— Yami Gautam, television actor

Future Talk
Android technology is set to revolutionise the cellphone industry
Amitpal Singh Grewal

An android is a robot with a near human resemblance, but that's different from the Android mobile phone. Android is not a phone, but an operating system that can be run on android-enabled cellphones. Undoubtedly, Android is one of the best things to have happened in recent times as far as technological advancements are concerned.

As a matter of fact, android phones have managed to become the top choice for cell phone users in a very short span of time. So what are android mobile phones all about? Considered the best in mobile technology, Android phones use the open source software as an operating system as well as a platform. The capabilities and features of these mobile phones are far more superior as they use software android in contrast to others, which run real-time applications that would be outdated soon. There are many other advantages associated with android mobile phones.

nPower: These phones come with a technology that was simply unthinkable of previously, so much so that they can also rival the speed of smaller notebooks. Therefore, with these phones you can get the power of laptops. With such efficiency and power, it becomes easier to multitask as well

nApplications: When it comes to mobile applications, the Android user can choose from a wide range of applications as well as customise the android platform. Any downloaded mobile application from the android market is compatible with such phones. This gives the users the opportunity to personalise their handsets. Some of the features that can be customised are the opening screen, live feeds and weather details. Even the opening screen icons can be easily customised on android 
mobile phones.

nNet savvy: Unlike some conventional mobile phones in which there are often web compatibly issues, android phones are capable of running all the various websites that can be run on personal computers, whether it is a search engine inquiry, accessibility of social networks, emails etc. You can enjoy all your favorite websites anytime without facing any difficulties. These phones are also capable of supporting broadband Internet. With such amazing features it is somewhat like carrying a laptop that fits in your pocket.

Android mobile phones will not only revolutionise the industry, but also remarkably change our perception towards mobile phones in the coming times.


Haute pick
Guiding light

The Bendi light-up keyboard has the ability to resist coffee spills, bits of sandwiches, even biscuit crumbs and all accidental abuse, as it is flexible, waterproof and easy to clean. You can simply roll up and stuff it in your pocket, which helps when one is travelling as well. It lights up, doesn't need any software; all you need to do is to plug it to your laptop, tablet or desktop and enjoy your work or surf with a light show.


n Light up, flexible keyboard

n Glows blue

n Made of silicon

n Rolls up, perfect for travelling

n Requires a USB port

n Size 49.5x14x1.5cm

Zooming in

Fujifilm India Pvt Ltd has announced the launch of top-end compact 15 x zoom FinePix F300 EXR in the Indian market. The F300EXR is equipped with the world's first Phase detection pixel built-in CCD, which realise auto focus speed of 0.158 sec. According to Kenichi Tanaka, managing director, Fujifilm India, "Today's discerning photographers are looking for a camera with a high zoom range, yet compact and pocketable, with no compromises on picture quality or being irritated by slow auto focus or blur. The F300EXR delivers on all those counts, and is destined to be the star performer in this year's intense competition for the best 'super zoom' compact cameras."

The all-new 15 x zoom model FinePix F300EXR comes as powerful successor of Fujifilm's award-winning 'F' series models. The new EXR sensor helps in fast and accurate phase detection auto focus.

Moreover, F300EXR have the high quality 15 x lens, which offers an incredible 24mm- 360mm focal length, while still optimising quality via the new EXR sensor. From sweeping landscapes, interiors and large group shots to distant sports or wildlife action, the FinePix F300EXR opens up a world of photographic possibilities you can carry with you wherever you go. Such high zoom ratios have up till now only been possible in larger 'bridge' cameras, but F300EXR have a clever double sliding structured lens mechanism, which means that 2 lens elements neatly fold away from the path of the retracting lens, giving a remarkably neat, compact look, and a camera depth of 32.6 mm, all of which realize the world's smallest camera size.

For those tricky shots with babies or children with little patience to sit still, the F300EXR incorporates a new mode to automatically fire the camera as soon as the subject looks into the lens. Using face detection technology, the camera can 'recognise' a front-on image of the child and secure the shot before attention is distracted.

The price of the camera is Rs 20,999. — TNS

Price tag

Post the economic downturn, Internet savvy Indian shoppers have become more conscious about price than brands, and are spending more time online looking for attractive deals, according to a joint study by Microsoft Advertising and Aegis Media.The study - Global Retail Index, suggests that after economic slowdown, 38 per cent Indian shoppers have become more conscious about the price than brand.

It, however, did not specify the number of Indians polled for the global study that interviewed 19,000 shoppers, who are also Internet users, across 17 global markets to study in- store and online shopping behaviour. According to the study, while 39 per cent India shoppers spend more time looking for promotions and deals, 34 per cent spend more time looking at stores to find greater value.The study was aimed at understanding consumer behaviour in retail sectors. — TNS

IT’s Your Face
Roopinder Singh

Mark Zuckerberg is again in the news, in fact, his making it on the cover of Time magazine is news. Zuckerberg has been named the person of the year by the news magazine, despite the WikiLeaks founder Jullian Assange receiving more votes than him.

Like the most of the connected world, we all know the product that made Zuckerberg famous—Facebook. We have also been exposed to another side of him in the movie The Social Network, which opened to less-than-full halls in Chandigarh recently. For those readers who missed it, the movie paints him in fairly negative terms - socially awkward, insecure and an ego-maniac with a touch of deviousness. Is it true? We really don't know, but movies tend to pick up historical themes and give them so much colour that they have little resemblance to history.

The Mark Zuckerberg character in the movie is negative, but others who have written on him and researched on him do not paint such a bleak picture. It is generally accepted that Zuckerberg had a girlfriend in the period which the film concentrates on, something that is definitely at odds with the movie that portrays Zuckerberg's desire to impress his girlfriend with whom he had just broken up, and get social prominence as his prime motivation in developing Facebook.

Other critics fault many details, including the portrayal of the Internet entrepreneur and Napster co-founder Sean Parker as a paranoid hedonist, which is one-sided to say the least. The reason that I have devoted much attention to the movie is that often the celluloid character overtakes the real one. Whenever I think of George Patton, I remember the character I saw in the movie, the low-angle shot of George C. Scott who was addressing his troops with a massive American flag in the background. In the movie he comes as an irascible and egomaniacal character, which are definitely attributes he had, but were far eclipsed by his multi-dimensional personality that allowed him to come out a winner in situations that had overwhelmed lesser men.

For many, Mahatma Gandhi and Ben Kingsley's portrayal of the man who led India to freedom are one and the same. Now, I dare say that practically everybody who reads this column has no danger of being portrayed, and thus misportrayed in the celluloid world. In that, we are safe! On the other hand, we all are leaking out parts of our lives through our online avatars as we interact with others on social networking sites like Facebook and other venues of public forums like blogs, and even through our comments on these blogs.

What we say reflects what we are, but when we do so in the real world, our listeners understand the context, and thus know what we are talking about. The non-verbal communication that takes place, plus the physical proximity of the participants in this social interaction gives it an edge, which is lacking in cyberspace.

On the Internet, we often are casual in our interaction, and this casualness leads to indiscretion. Then we pay dearly for it. There are many organisations that can piece together what you are, based on the bits of bytes that you post of yourself.

I too did something like that recently. I had a friend in New York called Joel. From time to time I had tried his name on Google with not much result, rather with too much results, since there were thousands of them. Recently, I again started thinking about him, and decided to find him, if I could. Well, this time I added bits of information that I knew about him, and was soon rewarded.

We reveal more than we want, and should do. Please be careful when you are online. It's you life and your face on that Facebook account!

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