Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bombay Cabs | Kaali Peeli (black & yellow)

With this piece of graphic art (above), creative agency Design Stack has tapped into an emerging zeitgeist by paying colorful tribute to Mumbai's vehicular lifeline, the kaali peeli (black and yellow) Mumbai cabs.

The iconic cabs were actually based on an Italian model, the Fiat 1100D. The Premier Padmini, as the car came to be known, debuted in 1964. The cars were manufactured by Premier, one of the first Indian companies to start making indigenous automobiles.

The design, robust utility and economy of the Premier Padmini Mumbai cabs have ensured their popularity, even after Premier discontinued the line in 2000. An event which took this often accursed vehicle beyond retro and straight into the cool hall of fame.

Last year when the Mumbai High Court ruled taxis over 25 years of age off the roads, the drivers petitioned and won one more year's grace.

There are some 55,000 kaali peeli Mumbai cabs on the asphalt today and they rattle on, as many other things here do. Who knows how they have survived with long-dead suspension (our streets have potholes the size of refrigerators) and exposure to monsoon rains that lash down for hours on the non-air-conditioned cabs.

In other words, for us passengers it's suffocate or be drenched. The interiors are an assault on the senses. Think neon blue disco lights, polyester seats, burning incense and whatever else the owner can find to express himself in this, his rolling office.

Still, in spite its ramshackle appearance, the kaali peeli Mumbai cabs are an everlasting city motif, a feat of classic India-via-Italy auto design that helps keep our financial capital rolling.

Next time you complain about one, think of the coming day when they'll all be gone. And in the meantime, start studying our Beginner's Guide to Mumbai Cabs for ways of getting around without having to reach destinations with a backache and a damp backside.

Source: CNNgo.com

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009


Friday, December 18, 2009

{SURE SHOTS} | Timeout Mumbai

Hindi movies are looking better than they ever have before. But is it mostly surface appeal with little substance? Nandini Ramnath surveys the scene. Also in this issue, Suhani Singh finds out if we’re ready to go digital,and cinematographers revisit their key films. Plus, we profile VK Murthy, Ashok Mehta and PC Sreeram.

They have state-of-the-art equipment at their disposal.
They get noticed in reviews and their names are often included in the publicity material. They are paid vastly more than they were a few years ago. So why do cinematographers complain so much about the state of camerawork in India’s largest film industry?

Projection facilities are often poor, especially outside big cities. The luminescence and colours of film prints that cinematographers see in a processing laboratory take on a different look if they aren’t projected properly.

Here’s a sample of what some of Hindi cinema’s leading cameramen have to say. KU Mohanan (Don, Aaja Nachle): “In Hindi films, even if you’re ill or dying, you have to look fantastic. We do what I call cosmetic lighting. The lighting is to cover up flaws. When you do that, the mood you want to create goes for a toss.

Several cinematographers confirmed that a big-ticket actor’s make-up, wardrobe and hairdo take precedence over the story’s requirements. “Often, costume designers start buying clothes as soon as they get an oral narration of the story idea,” Ravi K Chandran said. “They dress their actors according to the latest fashion trend. Costumes will be decided upon without consulting the art director or the DoP.

Subrata Mitra, the acclaimed cinematographer who shot Satyajit Ray’s earlier films, once declared that only a handful of cinema halls in India projected films the way they were meant to be seen.

“When we shot a night-time battle scene in Lakshya, all we could see and hear on the screen was the sounds of guns and flashes of light,” said Farhan Akhtar, the director of Dil Chahta Hai, Lakshya and Don. “So the next time I’m doing a moonlit sequence, I will worry about the audience that is watching it in a single screen.”

Source: TimeOut Mumbai
Edited for blog: Abhinit Khanna
Full Story on timeoutmumbai.net

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Paid News Of India

I know about this practice in the Indian Media but Outlook India magazine has covered it in detailed!

Here is the excerpt from the article:

In the cynical times that we live in, rumours of an MP or an MLA paying money to a newspaper or a television channel to elicit favourable news coverage might perhaps raise no more than an eyebrow. One may possibly progress to a shrug of the shoulder when one hears a journalist saying that his colleague might have succumbed to pressures from the “marketing” department and filed a soft interview with a politician.

But when a victorious chief minister openly admits that he himself approached the leading newspaper of his state with money for “positive stories” after learning that the newspaper had signed a “package deal” with his rivals to print negative stories, you had better sit up and take urgent notice. It can only mean that the selling of editorial space has become both blatant and institutionalised, and that neither the print nor the electronic media are immune to the malaise.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sidewalk Photo Exhibition | Bombay

Traveling to South Bombay (Town-side: Bombay lingo) is always fun & unexpected! One evening, I was shopping in Colaba and on my way back I spotted a sidewalk photo installation.

Apparently, Yann Arthus Bertrand, one of the pioneers of aerial photography was in the city and wanted to show Mumbaikars one of his most acclaimed projects titled Earth From Above.

This was a pleasant surprise as one doesn't see much public art shows in Bombay. The photo exhibition was curated well since it was displayed at the Marine Drive stretch.

Indeed, if I had the time I could spend hours surveying these large prints while smelling the Indian Ocean's salty breeze! But now all I can wish is for many more sidewalk/public art photo exhibitions throughout India and not just in the metropolitans!

Photos: Abhinit Khanna

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Photographing the hidden story | TED India

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Custom Made for Vir Sanghvi

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Design Kashmir | Bombay Electric

Click the image to enlarge & get info.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Rocket Singh | Salesman Of The Year

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