• Narendra Modi making the announcement that shocked the media.Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Narendra Modi dropped a bombshell as he announced his exit from the prime ministerial race leaving both his supporters and opponents stunned. The out of the blue decision of the Gujarat chief minister has left the BJP's political opponents Congress in a tizzy as they now don't know whom to attack in the run-up to the upcoming general elections in 2014.

    Modi, when asked about reasons for his surprising move, said he is just not satisfied by Gujarat's development and he wants the state to become more prosperous than the United States of America and Europe combined, and it will be only then that he will be mentally ready to pursue the bigger role.

    Despite its top performing chief minister quitting the PM race, the BJP heaved a sigh of relief as it feels it can now attack Congress without any fear of any retaliation. A BJP spokesperson said that the party at present can relax and not worry about being accused of being communal. "The BJP can now go all out

    Read More »from Narendra Modi quits PM race, Congress clueless about election strategy!
  • Hyundai is on a roll. It has recently achieved another milestone of 1.2 million i10s sold across the globe. What better way to celebrate this accomplishment than with a special edition i10. Called the i Tech i10, the special edition comes with a host of new features.

    The i Tech i10 can be distinguished by sporty ‘i Tech’ body graphics outside and dual tone red and beige upholstery seats with red dashboard and door armrest inserts inside. The most beneficial add-on is the rear-view parking camera with electro-chromic function on cabin rear view mirror, which is a first-in-segment feature. It also gets a steering-mounted Bluetooth device. The special edition i Tech i10 can be yours if you shell out an extra 15000 rupees than the standard i10.

    Well, the celebrations didn’t end there. Hyundai organized a cross-country drive called ‘i Drive India’ to showcase the durability, performance, reliability and fuel efficiency of the i10. Selected automobile journalists got a chance to spend two

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  • Indica has been an important car for Tata. Ever since its launch in 1998, the car has evolved into a capable and practical hatchback that always stayed on top of sales charts. Now in its latest Vista D90 avatar, Indica has shifted the goal posts to another pitch. Powered by a specially tuned Quadrajet diesel engine, the new Indica is a completely different animal that delivers 90PS of raw power. However, does it live up to the hype? I recently spent two days behind the wheel of the D90 to find that out.

    Design

    Tata has thrown in some new design elements that reflect the sportiness of the car. However, the new bumpers and an aerodynamic rear spoiler seen in the pictures are not part of the original D90, but a body kit that you may purchase from the dealership. What come as standard are just a contrasting roof and the D90 badge at the rear.

    When it comes to the interiors, the D90 receives major changes. The Manza-inspired dashboard looks pretty neat and thankfully the centre-mounted

    Read More »from Road Test and Review: Tata Vista D90
  • Rahul Gandhi's average speech at the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) was slammed by his critics and even by some of his admirers, rather secretly. In an attempt to save face, the Congress party, surprisingly, has shifted the blame on Rahul's speech writers.

    A source within the Congress stirred the hornet's nest when he informed the media that writing an ordinary speech such as this takes a lot of guts and is the work of a "himmatwaala" (courageous one).

    Taking cue from the source, the media immediately rushed to Bollywood filmmaker Sajid Khan, who recently has been censured for his latest film, Himmatwaala and its outrageous dialogues.

    On Friday morning, a frustrated Sajid Khan was seen eschewing a number of media personnel surrounding him outside his Mumbai house, pestering him with a number of questions about Rahul's CII speech and its relation to his film.

    There was only one question that the reporters were constantly shooting at Sajid - "Did you write Rahul's speech?"

    "Yes, I

    Read More »from Sajid Khan denies writing Rahul Gandhi's CII speech
  • In the past couple of years, the Indian car industry introduced us to a series of new segments. Needless to say, the sub-4 metre segment emerged the most popular, thanks to the tax benefit it enjoys. But the carmakers’ desperate attempt to cash in on the lower tax rate left us with a handful of mediocre designs that were merely squeezed up variants of existing models. Finally, we have in the market a well-thought-out, a well-sculpted sub-4 metre sedan -- the Honda Amaze.

    And that’s not all. With a 1.5L i-DTEC engine that’s exclusively developed for India, the Amaze marks Honda’s entry into the diesel segment. That fact itself makes the Amaze recognisable in the already crowded diesel segment, but has the Japanese carmaker got everything right with the Amaze to win the lost market share back? Let’s drive the Amaze to find out.

    Design

    If you thought the Amaze is just the Brio with a boot slapped onto it, hey, you were wrong. Although the front half of the car is identical to the

    Read More »from Road Test and Review: Honda Amaze
  • The Indian government has come up with an interesting proposition to form a new state ‘Baniya Pradesh’ for the ever-increasing number of banned people and groups in the country.

    Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde made the stunning revelation in a press conference. “In the view of growing number of people getting banned in the country, the Indian government is mulling to form a separate state to maintain decorum in the country,” he said. “We have decided to send such a prohibited population to this new state, which, if formed, would be known as ‘Baniya Pradesh’. Let these banned men and women exercise their Freedom of Expression here, thereby ensuring peace and order in the rest of India.”

    The Home Minister admitted that the Indian government has been meek in acting against the morale police in the country who have been announcing bans left, right and centre. “However, with such a new state formed to represent banned people, we can ensure that there is peace and order in the rest of

    Read More »from Indian government to form ‘Baniya Pradesh’ state for banned people
  • There’s good news and there’s bad news. The bad news is that there is no diesel and will not be for the foreseeable future.  The good news is, CR-V is now being assembled in India and prices have gone down by a whopping 2.7 lakh rupees. Well, that’s incentive enough to show some love for a petrol SUV, so let’s find out if the new price and features make it a good bargain; also how far the fourth generation CR-V has departed from the model it replaces.

    Design

    While the new CR-V’s structural design stays true to its roots, it flaunts a more sculpted body. Major changes are up front – the old-fashioned grille has made way for a more contemporary one. The three-bar grille flanked by swept-back HID headlamps lends the car a younger and distinct stance. Changes in profile are subtle, although the large ten-spoke alloy wheels and bold fender flares create a rugged presence.The vertical tail lamps, which have been a design fixture of the CR-V for many years, get a more three dimensional

    Read More »from First Drive Review: The New Honda CR-V
  • Devi Valentine

    It was the day after Saraswati Puja. One January morning in the late 1970’s, a new-born was brought home from the nursing home. The family was getting ready to take the idol out for immersion. And the baby was me. I was just on time to see the Goddess of Knowledge depart from the household. It was a telling omen. I got plenty of chances to chase the illusion of wisdom later in life, and I guess am still on the trail.

    The fifth day of the month of Magh by the old lunar calendar is celebrated in India as Vasant Panchami, marking the arrival of spring. On this day, Goddess Saraswati is venerated and girls deck up in Basanti or yellow saris. Yellow is supposed to be the color of spring, energy and regeneration. Saraswati herself wears white, as a symbol of purity. She is beautiful and severe, and as a child, I always wondered why she rides a swan. In my limited imagination, these birds were the large ungainly creatures waddling around a nearby swimming pool, honking tunelessly, and nibbling

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  • Read Only Memory

    The tyrannosaurus rex stood at the most chaotic crossroad of the city. A rail bridge and a fly-over were getting built. The traffic circle had been dug up and a new subway constructed. Pipes, wires, steel and concrete structures dwarfed him. He was an old and dusty dinosaur with a hind toenail missing after collision with a drunk driver. What hurt most was being overlooked and ignored by children who used to start crying as soon as they spotted him.

    He has been stationed in front of Science City since 1997. Too new to be a relic and too old to be swanky, he doesn’t have anywhere to go.

    Let me take you on a little trip through Kolkata. I could do the same in Pune and Mumbai, and an older part of ‘New’ Delhi. One associates certain things or people with certain places. What if these identifiers disappear, creating gaps between memory and reality, like roads where enormous potholes surface after the very first rain? I am not talking about “important” structures like the Taj Mahal, Victoria

    Read More »from Read Only Memory
  • The Calcutta Complex

    How old is Kolkata?

    The answers are so many that we have to list it:

    • Just 11 years. In 2001, Calcutta was renamed Kolkata.
    • The spelling of ‘Calcutta’ was coined by Job Charnock in 1690, so it’s roughly 322 years old.
    • The three-village conglomerate (Kolikata, Sutanuti, Gobindopur), have been around for centuries. Abul Fazal refers to Saptagram (a bigger village group) back in 1596 in the Ain-i-Akbari.
    • The Portuguese passed through this region often while trading/raiding Bengal 1530 onwards.
    • Manasamangal, the epic on the snake goddess Manasa composed around 1484, mentions Kalighat, the Kali temple in Kolkata.
    • About 35 km from Kolkata, lie the ruins of Chandraketugarh, with relics from 400 to 100 BC. This fort, now an archaeological site, was part of what Greek historians like Megasthenes, Plutarch and Siculus describe as Gangaridai, the land through which flows the Ganga, inhabited by the Gangaridae people. It seemed a King was around in 300 BC, and he was powerful (and prosperous)
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