• A boy saves a girl from falling prey to the dishonorable intentions of a perverted boyfriend who wants to rape her. The boy then falls hopelessly in love with the girl, but her father is opposed to the relationship as he wants her to marry a boy of his choice. The synopsis may well classify Shravani Subramanya as run-of-the-mill cinema, but the makers have included a few twists in the plot to ensure the story doesn't devolve into banality.

    Amoolya, making a comeback after a hiatus, does justice to her role of 'Shravani', a vulnerable teenager. Having debuted as a child artiste in the early 2000s, Amoolya makes a good pair with Golden Star Ganesh. The pair had last starred in the runaway 2007 hit Cheluvina Chittara. Shravani comes across as gullible and confused, one who has to choose between her love interest and her family. This choice confronts her twice and both times she recourses to ending her life as an outlet.

    Ganesh's Subramanya saves Shravani's life and honour after she has

    Read More »from Movie review: Shravani Subramanya
  • The previous generation Hyundai Santa Fe was a quietly sedate and remarkably practical SUV, but it wasn’t a dreamboat that you looked cool in.  Now, as with its younger siblings, the Santa Fe has undergone a drastic makeover that earns it a rightful place among the best-looking crossover SUVs in the market. It raises the bar even further with impressive performance, go-anywhere capability, state-of-the-art interiors and the amount of kit the car gets as standard.

    Design

    The new Santa Fe embodies ‘storm edge’ design concept, which is an evolution of the fluidic sculpture philosophy. The magnificent three-bar hexagonal front grille is certainly in vogue in contemporary automotive design. HID LED headlamps with trendy daytime running lights further enhance the visual impact. Dual tone skid plates add to the sportiness, too.

    Side profile is equally impressive with 18-inch 2-tone Diamond Cut alloy wheels, muscular wheel arches, clean lines and roof rails. The rear design is congruous with

    Read More »from Road Test and Review: 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Alok Nath happy to bless the AAP.

    At a time when celebrities and people from all walks of life are queuing to join the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the party itself has shown eagerness to be associated in some way or the other with the saint-like popular TV soap actor Alok Nath.

    AAP, which has become talk of the town after its recent unexpected success in Delhi assembly elections, made the surprising announcement in a press conference that shocked the entire country. Addressing the press, AAP chief and the Delhi chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal said, "AAP was formed to clean the political system. But we must first clean ourselves and then think of cleaning others. Alok Nath ji is undoubtedly the most respected person in the country and an association with a revered figure like him will further boost our clean image."

    Kejriwal added that it will be AAP's 'honour' if the party becomes 'a part of Alok Nath' rather than the actor joining the party. Delhi CM said, "How can Alok Nath ji join us? Who are we? He is humility personified

    Read More »from Aam Aadmi Party set to join Alok Nath
  • Rahul Gandhi's interview to a leading TV channel saw his 'popularity' charts soaring throughout the country. The Gandhi scion, for whom it was a first interview in almost ten years, has become an inspiration to school students who regularly flunk their exams.

    While statements like "We need to empower the youth" and "RTI is a major achievement of the UPA government" have become buzz words among students,  "women's empowerment" has become a raging topic for discussion across schools, where kids seem to have discovered new phrases to decorate their exam papers with.
     
    Raju, a Class VII student who didn't watch the live interview, but caught five reruns of the same later, says he honestly hadn't heard of Rahul Gandhi, but now genuinely wants him to become India's next prime minister. Someone who adds to a student's dictionary of 'useful phrases and funds', after all, cannot be taken lightly.
     
    "Rahul has given us a set of new and useful points which we can write in exams, especially at times

    Read More »from After his first TV interview, Rahul Gandhi becomes most popular among students
  • A little car, but a soaring presence nationwide... Indian automobile history witnessed a dramatic change on a chilly December morning in 1983 when the first Maruti 800 was rolled out of a factory in Gurgaon. Indian roads have never been the same ever since. Now, Maruti has brought the curtains down on the iconic 800, which has always remained a mainstay of personal mobility for the masses. This decision is sure to leave a lot of Maruti 800 fans emotional, and some even watery-eyed.

    Harpal Singh, the owner of the first Maruti 800 in 1983, poses with the car in New Delhi in 2010 (Getty Images)

    Remarkably, the Maruti 800 is the second longest Indian production car, next only to the Ambassador. The 800 alone has contributed over 29 lakh units since its launch. Constant technological upgradation of components not only helped masses of car buyers freak out with fuel-efficient, zippy and very reliable Suzukis, the Indian component industry got a massive shot in the arms as the marque's localisation juggernaut rolled on.

    The Maruti 800 was a joint effort between Maruti and Suzuki Motor Co of Japan. The

    Read More »from Say Goodbye to Maruti 800
  • Photos by Clint Thomas
    I am drafting this review as I sit in one of the finest and most luxurious places in the world – the rear compartment of the new S-Class. I believed, until today, that reading in a moving vehicle is an unhealthy practice. But, as I flipped through the stunning 160-page S-Class magazine, it never occurred to me that I was sitting in a moving car. Why? Because with the new S-Class, the outside world stays exactly there - outside.

    As I kept my laptop on the foldout tray table and started typing out some thoughts, I felt like being in a fantasy office workstation, thanks to the 24-speaker Burmester sound system, ambient lighting that bathes the cabin in a spectrum of colors, an energizing hot stone massage function with six different programmes – all integrated into an immaculately crafted interior.

    The new S-Class literally coddles you in the lap of luxury. But there’s much more to the story that tells why the S-Class is the ‘best car in the world’. Let’s discuss that in detail.
    Design

    The

    Read More »from Road Test and Review: Mercedes-Benz S-Class (S500)
  • Photos by Clint Thomas
    Just when we thought 2013 was full to the brim with fabulous new models, in drives the all-new Honda City with the biggest surprise of all – a mileage of 26 kilometre per litre. Yes, you read that right; the Honda City finally has a diesel engine under the hood, and now, the iconic car is also the most fuel efficient car in India.

    Well, if mileage is the need of the hour, City now offers the most of it. But there’s more to the story than meets the eye. Let’s discuss in detail.
    Design

    Although every body panel has gone under the knife, the fourth generation City looks very familiar.  Perhaps, Honda didn’t want to tamper with an already perfect design. But a closer look at the car reveals some remarkable design choices. The three-slatted signature grille has given way to a larger, chrome-heavy grille linking sharper headlamps. Two bold creases run down the bonnet, seamlessly converging into the grille. Thanks to the sportier and forward-reaching bumper styling, the new City looks poised to

    Read More »from Road Test and Review: The All-New Honda City
  • Ab Dilli door nahin?

    A Delhite ruminates on AAP’s victory from far away and reflects on the possibilities it holds for the future.

    Aam Aadmi Party workers celebrate after good result of AAP party in the 2013 Delhi Assembly election at party office Hanuman Road on December 8, 2013 in New Delhi, India. A beaming Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal termed his party's phenomenal success in the Delhi polls as One of the stories of the Tughlaqabad fort is known to many a Delhite. As election results kept coming in on Sunday, this story came back to me - a Delhite now in Bangalore. The story goes - Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq was so furious with the Sufi saint, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya that he wanted to have him beheaded. When Auliya heard this, his followers wanted him to hide, save himself, but he is said to have uttered, “Hunooz Dilli door ast,” which roughly translates as It’s a long way to Delhi.

    Before Tughlaq could kill him, he himself was dead. The saint lived, the monarch perished. Centuries later, Subhash Chandra Bose rephrased this while taking on the British as ‘Ab Dilli door nahin’

    It came to be used across time, as a positive call, a rallying cry to march on power. To crush any oppressive force  etc. For in the physicality of living in Delhi, you can get different dynasties on

    Read More »from Ab Dilli door nahin?
  • Probably, the name car enthusiasts heard the most in 2013 is Polo. The buzz was sparked by Polo GT TSI in April, followed by the Cross Polo in August and the Polo GT TDI in September. The blissful combination of the 1.2 litre turbocharged engine and DSG gearbox made the GT TSI very desirable. Volkswagen also listened to the clamour for a punchier diesel variant by dropping the Vento’s 1.6 litre diesel engine into the Polo GT TDI. Now, with the disparity between petrol and diesel prices fast shrinking, the carmaker is extending the 1.2 litre TSI to Vento as well.

    The best way to learn about these cars’ capabilities is to drive them in a controlled environment. I recently drove the Vento TSI and Polo TDI back to back at the Buddh International Circuit to find out what makes them completely different animals.

    Visually, both cars don’t imply what they actually capable of doing. Just like its petrol sibling, the Polo TDI gets GT badging on the grille and the boot lid, but not on the C

    Read More »from Track Test: Volkswagen Vento TSI, Polo GT TDI
  • Tisha Srivastav recalls moments where her life has been inspired by Mandela and what he means to her. A personal journey of an ordinary Indian who never met Madiba or stepped under South African skies.


    Some people touch your lives, I think because they have reached out and touched their own depths. Both of suffering and of possibility.

    And brought to light what a human can be.

    Nelson Mandela is one such. As much for his politics, as for his rebellion. As much for his personal strength, as for his leadership-in-exile.

     
    As a kid in the 70s flying to Africa, (when a large number of Indian Railways folk began to help African countries build their rail systems and that included my dad) I used to look at my diplomatic passport which said ‘All countries except those under the Pretoria regime.’ Now you tell a kid to NOT go somewhere, that is exactly the land which will fascinate. Especially because through the 80s, very little information would get out. But being in Africa, what would reach us Read More »from Mandela - An ordinary Indian remembers

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