Volume I Issue 7
IN THIS ISSUE
Ode to Grandpa: Tribute to S.N. Bose
By Falguni Sarkar
A Slice of India: Global Resource for Indians
By Parvez Khan
Cupid Goes Online: Virtual Desi Courtship
By Chittabrata Roy
Publisher’s Note • Finance: Quarterly Report
Education: Virtual College • Photo Essay: India Festival 2000
Auto Review: 2000 Mercedes Benz E55 AMG • Bollywood
Concert: Telugu Comedy • Recipe: Mexican Burger • Horoscope
August is the month of India’s independence. The prime minister will address the nation from the Red Fort, streets will be bedecked in little paper tricolors, and all Indians will reaffirm their loyalty to their motherland.
Given Siliconeer’s passion for science and technology, we decided to focus on an Indian scientist of yesteryear. It wasn’t all that long ago when celebrating our world class scientists of yesteryear had an implicit pathos about it celebrating the titans of yesteryear inevitably begged the question of what had happened to the country while the Western world continued its scorching pace of innovation and scientific development.
India’s information technology boom has happily changed that. Nevertheless it is important to bear in mind the bigger picture: India’s current technological prowess did not descend from the heavens, and we owe an immense debt of gratitude to India’s pioneering scientists.
Satyendra Nath Bose startled the world with his work in theoretical physics at a time when India was still a British colony. His pathbreaking work earned him a permanent place in theoretical physics, but how many know that he was a multifaceted person who played the esraj and had a keen appreciation of Western classics?
Siliconeer presents a long, detailed profile of this extraordinary scientist in this month of remembrance. We hope his story will inspire our readers and promote the realization that knowing and appreciating our past is a vital tool for empowering ourselves.
To know the past is to know who we are.
However, many do not know much about the man and his personality.
Satyendra Nath Bose (1894-1974) was my grandfather. My mother is his youngest daughter, and over the last few years I have researched his life and accomplishments. What I have found is a fascinating portrait of a versatile thinker and a remarkable personality, acknowledged by all who knew him to be not only a genius, but a kind and gentle soul. I knew him simply as dadu (grandfather), and faint memories of childhood still remain of a larger-than-life man, with a kind and gentle smile. Looking back at these faint memories, I see not only a man with a passion for science, but also a man who possessed a refined taste for music, and the art of conversation, which Bengalis refer to as adda. He was a firm believer in his nation’s freedom, and struggled passionately for developing the potential of India in the community of nations.
Here is his story.
Struck by the obvious genius of Bose’s paper, Einstein himself translated the paper into German, and wrote to Bose that he considered it an “important step forward.” In August 1924, Bose’s paper was published in Zeitschrift für Physik, with an accompanying note from Einstein stating: “Bose’s derivation of Planck’s formula appears to me an important step forward. The method used here gives also the quantum theory of an ideal gas, as I shall show elsewhere.” [A. Einstein]
Almost overnight Bose became renowned throughout the scientific world. Indeed, his work is considered a fundamental breakthrough in the development of quantum physics. Einstein himself was inspired enough to publish a number of breakthrough papers where he applied what he first termed “Bose Statistics.”
In order to understand the significance of Bose’s work, it is important to look back at the beginnings of the 20th century. At that time a major debate was raging in the world of physics that tried to say with certainty if energy flowed in a wave pattern or did light behave as a particle? The wave theory of classical mechanics was then predominant. In 1900 Max Planck (1858-1947), the famous German scientist, derived his well known “Planck’s Constant.” In a paper to the German Physical Society Planck claimed that energy is emitted not in a continuous flow, but in discrete bursts which he termed “quanta.” However, while the theory opened the way to looking at radiation energy as quanta, he was unable to completely abandon the wave theory of radiation in his argument.
In 1905, a 26-year-old Albert Einstein published an article called “Light Quantum Hypothesis.” In this famous paper, he introduced the photoelectric effect, and argued that light was formed by light quanta, which later became known as “photons.” In 1917, Einstein, using theories presented by Niels Bohr (1885-1962) in 1913 on the emission of radiation, gave a derivation of Planck’s Law that was later experimentally confirmed. However, a complete mathematical derivation of Planck’s law that relied only on the particle nature of radiation continued to elude Einstein.
Bose spent a year in Berlin, attending lectures and seminars, and visiting with other scientists and scholars. In a letter to a friend in Paris, he wrote:
“Everybody (every physicist) seem to be quite excited in Berlin about the way things have been going on with physics. First on the 28th last Heisenberg spoke in the colloquium about his theory, then, in the last colloquium, there was a long lecture on the recent hypothesis of the spinning electron (perhaps you have heard of it). Everybody is quite bewildered and then there is going to be very soon a discussion of Schrödinger’s paper. Einstein seems quite excited about it. The other day coming from the colloquium, we found him jumping in the same compartment where we were, and forthwith he began to talk excitedly about the things we have just heard. He has to admit that it seems a tremendous thing, considering the lot of things which these new theories correlate and explain, but he is very much troubled by the unreasonableness of it all. We were all silent, but he talked almost all of the time, unconscious of the interest and wonder that he is exciting in the minds of the other passengers.” [S.N. Bose, 1926]
“The paper by Bose is the fourth and last of the revolutionary papers of the old quantum theory (the other three being by, respectively, Planck, Einstein, and Bohr).”
One of the most intriguing questions in the history of science is why Bose was never awarded the Nobel Prize for his contribution to 20th century physics. In many books on science, his name stands out as the one who didn’t get the acknowledgment he deserved. However, the fact that his name is well established as one of the cornerstones of the way we understand the universe and the language of physics, and the fact that every student of physics knows his name and learns of Bose Statistics and bosons, stands as a monument to his achievements.
My grandfather was born on January 1, 1894 to a middle-class family in Calcutta. His father, Surendra Nath Bose, was one the founders of the Indian Chemical and Pharmaceutical Works. Bose was the only son in a family with six daughters.
At an early age Bose showed a flair for learning and a thirst for knowledge. His father would leave arithmetic problems scribbled on the veranda floor, and a young Satyendra Nath would sit and do his sums and proudly show his father when he returned. As a young student, Bose was given 110 marks out of 100 in a mathematics class. The extra ten points was given Bose because not only did he answer all of the questions correctly, he answered a number of them in more than one way. This ability to see problems in more than one way, and to find innovative solutions, was a hallmark of Bose’s thinking.
In 1911 Bose finished first in the Intermediate examinations, with a record that still stand today. The person who stood second in these examinations was Meghnad Saha, who later became world famous for his work on ionization and its application to stellar atmosphere. They were lifelong friends. It is not a well known fact, that it was Bose and Saha, along with P.C. Mahalanobis who were the first persons to translate “The Principle of Relativity,” by Einstein and H. Minkowski from the original German to English. This was the first translation into English of Einstein’s famous paper.
My grandfather was also an accomplished musician, and showed remarkable talent in both the esraj and the flute. He and his friends would spend many hours playing music, and Bose even composed his own raga. He had a passion for gourmet food, good conversation, and fine music. He was a talented chess player, and addicted to bridge. Those who have spent time in his presence comment on the warm and endearing personality of the man who did not make an issue of the fact that he was world famous. Many who knew him were not even aware of his relationship to Einstein, or of Bose Statistics. They were attracted to his humanness, his generosity, and his mild and endearing manner.
At the age of 20, Bose married my grandmother, Ushabala Ghosh, a daughter of a prominent Calcutta physician. Even back then Bose was forward thinking. He refused to accept a dowry for his marriage, and afterward set about to give English to my young grandmother. As a father, he refused to let any of his children, including his five daughters and two sons get married until they had received a college degree.
In 1921 Bose moved to Dhaka University, and it was there that he wrote his famous paper. After spending two years in Europe, Bose returned to Dhaka. This was a hard decision for Bose, since there were so many doors open for him in Europe. But personal ambition was not as important to him as the struggle for his country. For Bose, education was the highest priority for a country was the most important aspect of national development. He felt passionately about the importance of the mother tongue in education, arguing that in order for India to develop and join the ranks of free nations, it must teach the fundamentals of science and culture in the language of the people. He acknowledged that English, German and French were important to learn, but if education and knowledge was to be spread throughout the land, it must be taught in ways that were familiar, not foreign. Bose was inspired by the way Japan and Israel were able to develop a thriving scientific culture with the use of their native languages. In this way, Bose was similar to the famous Nobel Prize-winning poet and writer Rabindranath Tagore, who was so inspired by Bose’s thinking that he dedicated his only book on science, Visva Parichay (“An Introduction to the World”) to Bose.
Bose became the Khaira Professor of Physics at Calcutta University, and struggled to establish his department into a world-class institution. He expanded his intellectual reach beyond the world of theoretical physics, and conducted research and guided students in energy production, chemistry, and other applied sciences in the hopes of contributing to the industrialization of India. In fact, he gained a reputation as a versatile thinker, who helped selflessly many students in a broad range of topics, from science to literature to history to languages.
In his long career, Bose held many posts and titles. He was the president of the Indian Physical Society, president of the National Institute of Science, vice-chancellor of Visva-Bharati at Santiniketan, elected Fellow of the Royal Society, London, and conferred the title of Padma Vibhushan by the president of India. Finally, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru named Bose the first National Professor of India, a title he held until his death.
Other stories relate to the casualness of dress that was Bose’s trademark. Although he had a taste for fine clothes, and struck a powerful figure when dressed in finery, he was often seen in a dhoti and pajama while at home, and simple dress while outside. One story has it how during a visit to a conference in Japan, he wore a lungi to a conference, oblivious to the talk that went on around him. For him it was statement of the value of simplicity, and an exalted vision of the common man. It is often said that Einstein was casual in appearance, not wanting to be bothered by everyday constraints of “proper” society. Bose too had his eccentricities, and stories about him abound.
My grandfather traveled the world, but in the end he always returned to his beloved India. He was determined to do everything he could for the betterment of his people. He vigorously opposed the caste system, which he felt held back the enormous potential of his country, and the advancement of Indian civilization. he was pained by religious conflicts. He open up opportunities for women in the area of science and technology education, and even on his busiest days he took the time to talk and listen to people and their concerns.
Bose was as comfortable in the presence of dignitaries and heads of state as with the poorest members of Calcutta’s urban sprawl. He was known to never turn anyone away from his open door.
Satyendra Nath Bose sought to live by example, adhering to what he felt to be the true calling of all people: to struggle for knowledge and freedom, and against ignorance and hate. The tasks of creating a free and enlightened India was foremost on his mind, and he became a legendary figure in India, almost as well known as Tagore or Gandhi. When Bose died on February 4, 1974, a month after his 80th birthday, and 50 years after the discovery of Bose statistics, over a few hundred thousand people crowded the streets of Calcutta for the funeral procession. Most of those in attendance did not know anything about Bose-Einstein Statistics, and had never heard of bosons, or even cared. Satyen Babu was dead, and a nation mourned.
Late in his life he reflected on the problems of his beloved motherland. He was dismayed at the divisions and strife that plagued India. Like a disappointed, but loving, father he scolded his country for its shortcomings in the area of religion, caste, poverty, education, and the arrogance of power and privilege. But he did not do this out of bitterness or anger, but with a longing for what he felt was the potential contributions of India in the community of humankind.
It is not hard to imagine what he would say about India today, with its divisions and strife, in the midst of ostentatious wealth. He was from a generation of people who dreamed of freedom and liberty for his people. For this reason Professor Satyendra Nath Bose can properly be called dadu by all of us who have directly and indirectly benefited from the vision, passion, and sacrifice of people like him.
Falguni Sarkar, the grandson of Prof. S.N. Bose,
Each quarter, earnings reports are released, providing the investment community with a scorecard of how particular companies performed over the past three months. Quarterly reports often arrive with great fanfare and are scrutinized by a complete range of investors, analysts and media. When a well-known, widely held company releases its quarterly earnings information, the event is widely anticipated and reported by major financial news services.
The information in these reports, and whether it measures up to analysts’ expectations, has a great deal of influence on stock prices. Of course, there is no guarantee that a good report will cause a stock price to rise. Other factors may come into consideration when evaluating future prospects.
However, you can examine a company’s quarterly earnings report to help gather a clear picture of its financials and performance. In this column we’ll look at some of the numbers that can be gathered from earnings reports and how they work together in helping to determine stock price.
To demonstrate this principle, we’ll use the XYZ Corp., a hypothetical company. If XYZ were earning $2 per share, at a P/E ratio of 25 the stock would sell for $50. If demand pushed the price of the stock to $70 per share, the multiple would then be 35. In general, the higher the P/E ratio, the more investors are willing to pay for a company’s earnings.
Of course, numbers are just part of the equation. The stock price of a company or even an industry can rise due to high multiples based on potential earnings, innovations in products or services or simply hype. Only you can decide what value you place on a stock. Quarterly earnings reports, along with other research, can be a valuable tool in helping to make that decision.
- Ree Mitra is a financial planner with
Yet like your cherished Indian passport, you carry a little piece of India in your heart wherever you go. You might even ultimately change your passport, but you don’t ever, ever give up that piece of India inside your heart.
thinkIndia.com, a San Jose, Calif.-based company, addresses the needs of precisely people like you, say company founders.
“Founded by successful Indian entrepreneurs, executives and journalists, the website’s City Pages are a unique resource for Indians living in major metropolitan cities that provide a range of information on local Indian events, news and businesses,” a company press release says.
You have suddenly moved to a major U.S. city and wonder: Where can I get my masala and toor dal? Is there a nice chaat place in this town? Where can I get the latest Hrithik Roshan DVD?
Local newspapers are a dead loss, but thinkIndia may be just the ticket for you.
In the spirit of being a local website, thinkIndia also provides a range of services that can enhance local community interactions. It enables city locals to review movies, restaurants, events; vote on fun topics; and have chats or discussions about a slew of hot topics.
ThinkIndia has taken localization to another level by offering customization of content based on where you currently live and where you are originally from as opposed to broad based, homogeneous content offered by most other Indian websites. For example, an Indian from New Delhi who lives in New York can personalize his or her viewing experience to those specific cities/regions.
“The vision for the website is to provide Indians living abroad access to local information, entertainment and services, relevant to their current geographical location as well as from India. In a competitive market, I believe the right combination of technology, content and management can create a valuable and differentiated offering,” says Gopal Krishna, CEO of thinkIndia.com.
The website is geared to provide deep content on Indian and North American news, scoop on the latest entertainment scene (movies, music, Bollywood), immigration and living in the U.S. Forthcoming channels include sports, astrology, travel, and business in addition to convenience-based services like money transfers and sending gifts to India.
ThinkIndia.com has roped in Arthur J. Pais as managing editor. Pais was most recently the editor of Rediff.com’s U.S. edition. Rediff is the largest Indian portal, with over 70 million page views per month.
In his two-decade long career as a writer, Pais has been published in the magazines of The New York Times and Dow Jones companies. His articles have also appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Newsday and the Columbia Journalism Review. He has also written for popular Indian publications such as the Sunday Review, The Telegraph, The Economic Times, Indian Express and India Today.
Pais has taught journalism at New York University, Marymount Manhattan College and New School University. He has also co-authored several books including A World Of Curries, published by Time Warner, and Asia in New York, a forthcoming resource guide of The Asia Society. He currently writes for beliefnet.com and firstname.lastname@example.org, among other publications.
A privately funded company, thinkIndia.com has raised several million dollars in venture capital from established players such as Mosaic Venture Partners and eCompanies as well as high profile angel investors. Started in November of 1999, the company has today grown to over 30 employees both in the U.S. and in India. In addition, thinkIndia.com has also developed strategic alliances with leading media and e-commerce players to help establish itself as the premier one-stop resource for Indians worldwide.
ThinkIndia is a personal expression of CEO Gopal Krishna’s passion for media, technology and Indian culture, Gopal brings entrepreneurial drive and solid credentials to thinkIndia.com. As a consultant with McKinsey & Company, he counseled senior executives in the software and telecommunications industries. He also founded New Vision Productions to produce television shows for Indians and other Asians. Under his leadership, the company produced one of the most popular and commercially viable Indian television shows in the United States.
Thinkindia.com has launched a Beta edition of its U.S. site June 21. The U.S. site targets Indians living in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York, New Jersey area, Washington, D.C. area, Chicago and Houston.
thinkIndia’s Target Market
Large and Growing Target Market:
Promising US non-resident demographics:
Their psychographic is also highly targetable
*Based on a Goldman Sachs Study
- Parvez Khan is a freelance writer
Indian website INDOlink.com has launched a new site, AdvanceSkills.com, dedicated to web-based distance learning. AdvanceSkills.com offers high quality, self-paced interactive courses presented in real-time through the Internet.
“We are always looking for services that would help our community improve their quality of life, skills, and earnings,” said Raj Baronia, CEO of INDOlink.com. “Education and training have always been something very important to our community, and we are proud to offer this great new service using state- of-the-art internet technology. The low pricing truly makes the education and training affordable, fun, and convenient for anyone with Internet access.”
AdvanceSkills.com features a wide variety of courses for all skill-levels and interests, ranging from computer basics to advanced software and telecommunications technologies. Home subscribers can enjoy the benefits of high-quality training in an interactive environment. Similarly, employers can provide all their employees with access to highly cost-effective training. No longer do they have to pay the high cost of sending employees to off-site classes, nor do employees need to spend days out of the office learning a new technology.
The AdvanceSkills.com catalog has of over 400 courses under various categories, including:
AdvanceSkills.com also offers courses specially designed and approved for MSCE, MCP and CCNA certification.
Few communities have been able to ride the wave of globalization with such alacrity as the nimble Indian, but then, Indians have been globalizing for centuries now.
Consider the distant shores where Indians have been going to for a better life much, much before globalization became such a buzz word. It’s not just North America and Britain, but also workers moving in to places as exotic as Fiji, the Caribbean and Malaysia, and Gujarati traders settling in West Africa.
Yet with increased urbanization and emigration, growth in income levels, and a fast- paced lifestyle, Indians face a key problem: No longer is choosing a spouse as simple as mother or an affectionate bhabhi keeping her eyes open to find a nice bahu for the house.
For starters, dear mother may be in Bangalore while son is a medic in Baltimore, and for all you know, bhabhi is living in Abu Dhabi.
The modern educated Indian is also less willing to be the passive groom or bride: he/ she is educated, smart and discerning.
This is where www.humlog.com comes in.
Started by Rajiv Kataria and Vasu Srinivasan, this online service is happily a far cry from the shenanigans of the sweet-talking go-between of yesteryear.
In this service you are in control.
Looking for a for a male doctor, between 30 and 35 years of age, at least 5’7” tall, living in New York city, who enjoys white water rafting? Humlog lets you look for just that.
”I started this service because I felt members of the Indian community, given their rich heritage and cultural diversity, did not have an adequate platform for meeting and interacting with people of similar ideology and beliefs hence, making it very difficult in finding an ideal life partner,” says Rajiv. “Society is moving from the state of an alliance between families (past) to a state of some element of individual choice, under the guidance of the family (today) to a state of a union or relationship between individuals (future).”
“The proof of the pudding is in the eating I found my soulmate through humlog.com,” he adds.
“Extensive and extended travel results in a loss of ties with friends and family the people who know you and introduce you to potential partners. A fast-paced life leaves you with very little time for searching a life partner,” he adds.
“This is evident from the increase in the number of classified matrimonial ads in various media. However, the traditional media channels lack the interactive capabilities. The internet, on the other hand, is an ideal platform for a matrimonial application. With the proliferation of the internet users one is likely to see this application migrate even more on to this new platform. This is evident from the number of matrimonial sites that have sprung up.
The site offers two different matrimonial applications targeting different needs. They are Vivaah-Interactive (matrimonial) and Vivaah-Classified (personals). This site offers members of the Indian community, given their rich heritage and cultural diversity, a platform for meeting and interacting with people of similar ideology and beliefs - hence, making it easy in finding an ideal life partner. The company estimates that humlog.com currently has one of the largest databases of single Indians on the Net with over 10,000 ads/profiles between the two applications.
Vivaah-Interactive (matrimonials) provides a secure, convenient, and a highly interactive environment within which members can socialize with one another and quickly determine the basis of a relationship be it marriage or friendship. The system is easy to use and probably one of the most economical ways of getting to know and finding a suitable life partner.
The Vivaah system is free, and this is how it works. Users apply for membership online, choose a member ID and password (as opposed to their real names for security purposes), and fill out a registration form detailing their personal profile and preferences. They can upload their photograph and develop their home page. Now they can log on to the system and conduct detailed searches.
The system displays a list of matches. You can then communicate with the matched profile owners via the proprietary email system, or chat, or telephony. Throughout this interaction the system maintains the integrity of the communicators’ identities by not divulging their actual name and contact information. It is left up to the communicators to reveal this information should they choose to do so.
The Vivaah system offers the following features:
Humlog incorporates the latest developments in internet technology and has been developed on Microsoft NT platform. The system incorporates complex search features developed using SQL Server, ISAPI, Java and VB script on IIS. ActiveX controls and NetMeeting SDK technologies were utilized to offer telephony, chat and other applications.
Global Synergy.’s generic strategy is to transform humlog.com into a vertical portal by offering several interactive and easy-to-use applications around the matrimonial theme, thereby bringing Indians worldwide together in a community setting. The company’s business model is to provide the basic match-making facility free of cost and to generate indirect revenue streams through the sale of goods and services and ad inventory.
The company estimates there are about 400,000 single Indians seeking suitable partners per year in the U.S. alone. In addition, there are about 2.5 million single Indians in countries other than India and the U.S. (e.g. Canada, Britain, Australia, Far East, Middle East, etc.). Most of them would have internet access. Just India alone, probably, has over 5 million potential singles who may use such a system in the search for a life partner. Given estimates that India will have 11.3 million internet users by 2003 as against the existing user base of 1 million, the target audience is huge. A 10 percent market penetration results in over a million users a year.
Both Rajiv and Vasu have been in the IT industry for more than 15 years. Rajiv has over 18 years experience in the IT industry in various capacities (executive, program management, consulting, and software development) in India and in the U.S.
Vasu brings over 15 years of technical expertise to the table. He has worked on diverse platforms (MVS, Unix, NT) in various capacities (architect, project manager, programmer/analyst) for Fortune 500 companies including IBM, Philip Morris, MCI.
Rajiv’s creative, functional and managerial bent coupled with Vasu’s superior technical skills results in a powerful combination. Rajiv says: “It was Vasu’s miracle that we managed to develop a Boolean search capability with over 70 selection criteria in 1996 when the platform was fairly rickety. The system didn’t crash then, and hasn’t crashed till now.”
“Our biggest bottleneck has been in raising funding for the project,” Rajiv says. “There is no doubt that the system has proven itself and has been accepted by the Indian community. To make the venture successful, we need to scale it up. To scale it up we need funding for marketing and development cost.”
Chittabrata Roy is a freelance writer.
Ah, but just the opposite has happened at least in most instances; certainly in the one at hand (and foot). I speak of the newest adrenalin-pumper from Mercedes-Benz, the E55 AMG 5-passenger sedan. This is the newest in the M-B tradition of ramping up an already full-blooded thoroughbred into a super-steed. AMG, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz, specializes in tweaking, touching and adding new power and attitude in automobiles that were once standard showroom models.
Visually, the E-Class machines are a dramatic lot, with aggressive front and rear aprons, side curtains and tapered 4-light frontend. All this handsome sheetmetal is extra good looking on the E55. The corners of the E55 are shod with mean business-like F245/40 R18’s up front and R275/35 R18 rubber in the rear wells.
Inside these wheel-wells and hooked up to the rugged alloy wheels is a gang of exotic alphabet soup hardware that almost lets the driver sleep while driving. At the core of the ensemble are 4-wheel anti-lock-brakes working massive front/rear 11.8/12.4-inch disc brakes. ESP (Electronic Stability Program) pre-determines an oncoming spin or slide and selectively brakes the offending wheel, keep the car on its directed path. The ASR system will engage the rear brakes and throttle intervention to control wheelspin.
Open the wide-entry door and soak up the elegance and opulence of the completely redesigned interior. Posh leather is everywhere, nicely set off by black Birdseye Maple trim, excellent graphics and cavernous space for people. The steering wheel is set with multi-function controls for the radio and telephone. The combination of the power, handling perfection and sybaritic pleasures make the E55 one of the very best motor cars on the road today
Extra special standard equipment includes rear sunshade, the best one-button rain sensitive wipers, full driver-friendly memory, electronic tilt and telescoping steering wheel, dual climate controls, head protecting curtain/windowbag and side airbags and full power remote window controls.
And, for the closing act, we point your attention to the engine bay where an all-aluminum, 5.5-liter, 24-valve AMG V8 reposes. Here, too, the magicians at AMG have demonstrated their craft. This is the kind of muscle Charles Atlas could only wish for. Rated at 349 horsepower with 391 lb-ft. of torque, the engine not only emits a distinct rap out the exhaust, but also powers this uber-sedan with alacrity not expected in a massive, 4-door sedan as the E55. The torque is a long, flat band that just keeps the rubber on the cement churning. Adding to the enjoyment is a five-speed automatic transmission with Touch Shift, making the transmission a dual threat with the traditional automatic controls but gears can be chosen manually, as well. Handed down from Mercedes’ vaunted S-Class V12 driveline, the transmission is standard across the E-Class line. Naturally, in the best Bavarian heritage, the E55 is rear-wheel driven.
This nicely mated driveline can put the E55 from 0-60 in a fleeting 5.4 seconds. We should not forget that this is a pretty large automobile, weighing in at 3,680 pounds. How many 4-door sedans can say that?
I can’t remember when driving a car of this size has been so much fun. It’s super fast, a super handler and a genuinely sweet road car. It’s not for the thin-wallet crowd, unfortunately, at just over $70,000 as equipped and we haven’t even to begun to talk about delivery, registration fees, luxury taxes, DOC, etc. Whatever the cost, the 2000 Mercedes-Benz E55 is a stallion on the road, with quick responses and unmistakable genes. The best of this “hot rod” genre from Mercedes-Benz ever.
Al Auger, our automotive editor has been writing about cars for over 30 years.
Bollywood: | Guftugu | Hindi Film Review |
While the 80-year-old actor is still in captivity, the entire Kannada film industry has come together to show their solidarity towards this icon, one of the greatest actors and singers ever produced in the south. Rajkumar is for the Kannada industry what Amitabh Bachchan is to Bollywood.
As for Veerappan demanding a huge ransom, the state film industry has quickly come forth with the suggestion to impose 100 percent entertainment tax on Kannada movies to replace the ransom paid to Veerappan.
Kaun Banega Crorepati shuts up his detractors in more ways than one. The ease with which he mingles with the contestants puts all talks of arrogance and conceit to rest.
And if the reactions of the callers are anything to go by, there is no doubt that he still reigns supreme over the Indian heart.
Guess the icon will have the last laugh.
A serial killer-thriller, we don’t know what more to expect from this amazing personality. His cup of creativity just seems to runneth over, forever.
Co-written by Vipul Shah and Aatish Kapadia, who is writing Yaadein for Subhash Ghai, Ankhmicholi is supposed to be a fantasy-thriller. Amitabh is to play an intelligent antagonist, who unlike the usual Bollywood fare is not a victim nor has a justification for his crime. He plays a bank officer who is sacked for misappropriation. Now, this is something we would like to wait for. If the script is plausible Amitabh can lend credibility to it. We hope for our sake more than him, that this is a script that’s right for his age and matches upto his caliber.
Hindi Film Review
Baweja seems lost and confused, resulting in the film looking disjointed. Vishal (Ajay Devgan) is an ace CBI officer with a no-nonsense attitude, a terror for the underworld, and loving to his childhood friend-turned-fiancee Sapna (Urmila Matondkar). While on the verge of busting a racket, Vishal gets shot at and goes into a state of coma.
The police commissioner (Shivaji Satam) who seems to be doing nothing else but worrying about Vishal’s well being, hides it from the world family included. Remembering that Vishal mentioned a look-alike petty thief from Shimla, he scouts Arun (Ajay Devgan, again) out and puts him in Vishal’s place.
Arun falls head-over-heels in love with Sapna, who is amazed at the way Vishal has changed. Arun’s courting (pretending to be Vishal) brings a completely new perspective and excitement in Sapna’s life. So much so that she falls in love with Arun thinking he is a changed Vishal.
In three months, Vishal completely recovers and is back in form. Sapna is devastated at the chemistry that she found with Arun, but refuses to accept the truth. Causing much angst to both Arun and herself as she goes ahead with her plans to marry Vishal.
Also there’s Arun’s good friend Pooja (Mahima Chaudhary) who loves him enough to hide it from him, and sacrifice when the right time come.
The relationship between Arun and Sapna is something quite different from the usual Bollywood flicks. But Baweja loses focus, bringing in the pointless involvement of goons in the form of uncle and family, the immense popularity of the cop, etc, and ruins the effect.
Ajay Devgan in a double role is simply delightful, doling out just the right amount of smothering passion and hurt in his eyes to differentiate between the two roles. In fact, he is the only person who tries to hold the film together. While with Mahima Chaudhary, one cannot help but wonder why such an apparently good actress is taking up such ridiculously “guest appearance” roles.
Urmila sports costumes that look like she has just stepped out from a fashion magazine, thus managing to look completely out of place. Can someone please tell Manish Malhotra that he either take up fashion designing as a full-time profession or focus on movie costumes as part of character portrayal and not as a fashion statement? Besides, it’s time Urmila left her Rangeela days behind her. Now that she has successfully managed to proclaim herself as a sex symbol, can she be requested to focus on her acting skills, please?
Harry Baweja could have done with more for Deewane by putting in a little more passion in its making.
Rating: ** (Mediocre)
“I want to keep people laughing for three hours continuously. That’s it,” says E.V.V. Satyanarayana as he sums up his touring Smile Please Star Night show. It is not an easy job, so the seasoned director is taking extra care to keep his cast in good shape.
The Star Night troupe’s 10 artists including Srikanth, Raasi, Ali, Bharani, Brahmanandam, M.S. Narayana, Chalapathi Rao, Ganesh and mimicry artist Harikishan have rehearsed their three-hour event for about two weeks continuously for three hours a day.
“We can not take any retakes on the stage, everything should be perfect,” E.V.V. says. The Star Night will be presented in San Jose, Calif., Washington D.C., and another New Jersey city.
The event will present six songs, including a comedy number by Raasi, Srikanth and Ali. Brahmanandam and Bharani will do a comedy song. About 10 skits specially written for the program will be enacted by different. Each skit, about five minutes long, will be interspersed with jokes both spontaneous and prepared by M.S. Narayana and Brahmanandam.
This is a debut undertaking for E.V.V., but he appears bullish. “I really liked the idea,” he says. “When I was invited for the Telugu Association of North America I thought of doing something more than just attending the meeting. that idea took this shape. I am very serious about making this comedy night a hit. If it becomes a hit I want to do more and more (events) of this sort. It would benefit both our NRIs and us. By entertaining them we also get entertained by taking a gap from these shooting schedules and arc lights,” E.V.V. says.
Shape into tikis and fry on a hot griddle.
Method for Making the Mexican Sauce
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