Copyright Infringement – Times of India again

Our mainstream print media is now making it a habit to steal images from Flickr or blogs and use it for free without leaving any proper credits to the original photographer. I have been tracking such incidents right from the day my picture had been stolen and used by a book publisher.

Here is a summary of copyright infringement in the recent past.

Mridula was on a flight from Delhi to Bangalore and while flipping the pages of airline magazine she had found a photo taken by her used in their featured article. No credits were given.

I was browsing through the book review section of Mathrubhumi weekly and found out that one of my photos were used for a book cover. The person who stole the photo did not leave any credit to me.

The same person, Shanavas M A (of Madhyamam weekly), had stolen a Canadian citizen’s picture to use in the cover for Madhyamam. And this seems to be a regular practice of Mr. Shanavas and Madhymam.

Haree had to face the same situation when Madhyamam (again) used one of his photos for an article of their supplement.

Hindustan Times stole a photo taken by Nita and published it in their newspaper without any due credits.

Twilight Fairy found out that her photo was used by Times of India and when contacted she got an arrogant response.

Seema also had to face the same where Times of India becomes the culprit once again.

The latest victim is Sreenidhi whose photo has been flicked off by Times of India.

This is such a bad situation that the mainstream print media houses are showing such ignorance towards image copyright. They need to be held responsible and dragged to courts. High time that we have stricter copyright laws.

(Image courtesy: Seema K K)

Maktub – Mother Jane’s new album

Mother Jane, the Indie rock music band’s new album – Maktub – is going to have a web premiere. Starting from the 18th midnight to 27th, they are posting previews of the 9 songs from this new album. You can download the ringtones & read the inside story of each song in their website.

The live web premiere and album launch details below:

Venue :
Date : 27/09/2008
Time : 8pm IST

Click here to check out the podcast interview by M-Pod (the Malayalam podcast) with Suraj Mani, the frontman cum lead vocalist of Mother Jane.


Vinod Joseph, author of Hitchhiker and my good friend, has honored me with a Brillante Weblog 2008 award. Thank you Vinod! You’ve been encouraging me a lot with your comments on my songs.

Also check out Vinod’s blog to read his short stories, book reviews, travelogues etc.

Now as per the rules, I have to honor 7 people with this award and here goes a list of 6:

Pradip Somasundaran – For he is an excellent singer and music blogger who keeps challenging himself with every new song post.

Slogan Murugan – The copywriter who captures Bangalore everyday with his camera.

Ujjwala – Artblog-ger. An amazingly talented artist.

Madhukar Shukla – Reading his blog has helped me see things from an alternate perspective.

Nita – Her blog posts are always insightful.

Thulasi – The guy who digs extra ordinary shots from ordinary life.

These are our times

Another bomb blast, another terrorist attack rocked India in the last week. As usual, the Government promises to keep terrorism off it’s shore (well, it does so, because it is not the politicians, but people who lose their lives), opposition asks for bringing POTA (the infamous anti-terror law) back, people complaining and blogging and can’t keep their mouse off hands and everything returns to normal. Then happens another blast and the life cycle rolls on.

Any latest terror attack is also the time for society to ask “will the moderate Muslim please stand up?”. The moderate Muslims have stood up and keep standing up, but we don’t get to hear their voices. And that has made many of them angry because they are all labelled as terrorist-sympathizers. They speak up, but we choose to ignore.

On the other hand, another breed of terrorists keep burning Christian churches and institutions in the states of Orissa and now in Karnataka. This could very well be a warning of how things would be in the states ruled by the BJP. During the Gujarat tests of Sangh Parivar, the message given was that Muslims should be sent out to Pakistan and Christians to Italy. The agenda against Christians is now effectively being carried out in the states of Orissa and Karnataka.

Those who benefit from this Hindu-Christian conflict are two parties – The Sangh Parivar and the Evangelist groups. Both of them need manpower to sustain their political/religious motives. And they keep harvesting numbers. But in the course, the communal harmony is a thing of past and the ordinary citiznes have to pay with their lives for this.

Whenever a Muslim man with a thick beard, white religious cap, long Kurta gets into the train, he is seen with suspicion that he might be going to plant a bomb. A clean shaved man with a white shirt, black trouser, and a black handybag is seen with great anger, thinking he came to preach the message of a desert God which is going to destroy the other religion and culture. A thick bearded Sadhu in saffron robe with a tilak on the forehead is seen with much fear that he might be the one who will incite people to stab you in the next riots.

They are the same set of people whom we had welcomed with a smile years back or ignored just like another sight. They are the same people who were living in our neighborhood until we made our own community cocoons. Then we drew borders. First between them and us. Then among ourselves. We stand separated. We like love it that way and religion is just another excuse.

These are our times.

ViBGYOR 2008

ViBGYOR Film Festival 2008

4th ViBGYOR International Film Festival is to be held at Thrissur on February 4th to 8th, 2009. The venue is Regional Theatre Campus, in Thrissur, Kerala. ViBGRYOR is a non-competitive film festival held every year in Kerala for the past three years. Documentary, Short Films, Music Videos, Animation, Spots and Experimental films are screened in the Festival.

ViBGYOR Theme Packages:

  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Dalit Reality
  • Indigenous People
  • Globalisation
  • Nation State
  • Fundamentalism v/s Diversity
  • Region Focus –Pakistan

Every year there is a theme as Focus of the year on which a National seminar is conducted and a substantial number of films are screened. The focus of this year is Food.

ViBGYOR is an initiative of the ViBGYOR Film Collective, which is an open coalition of various networks and groups, representing indigenous people, dalits, youth, and sexual minorities and addressing issues of war, conflict and peace, human rights, environment and development, culture and media and globalization.

ViBGYOR is organized by Chetana Media Institute, Nottam Traveling Film Festival, Navachitra Film Society, CenSE, GAIA, Moving Republic, Visual Search and others.

For more information, log on
Or contact 9447000830/9446529991/0487-2330830,

(Info via email from Santhosh Kumar)

Onam 2008

So Onam had come and gone. And we all had a good time during the past couple of days. My sisters and their children came home and together we put Pookkalam, made Sadya and had a good time! Here are some pics.


We started working on Pookkalam since 6 in the morning, but then came rain and a detailed Pookkalam design had been swept off. So we had to rush and draw a rough design before the rain returned and end up with this 30 minutes Pookkalam.

The team:


Happy Onam!


Onam, though considered traditionally as a harvest festival, is a celebration of togetherness. Malayalis all over the world come together or join their families to spend Onam time. To my parents’ generation Onam was not a celebration of togetherness because not many left their home for jobs or other needs. So they were all together, but what made their Onam different was the prosperity that Onam (or the Malayalam month Chingam) brought in their lives. A good harvest in the paddy fields, buying new clothes (everybody waits for the Onam time to bring new clothes), a perfect Onam meal (Sadya) etc made their Onams special.

To my generation, Onam is a celebration of consumerism. People just customarily buy new clothes for Onam, even if they have bought a pile of new clothes just a couple of days back. Onam is a time for product offers and discounts, so the market is active. But even in this age, one thing that you can still see is that people want to be with their families during the Onam time. Thus Onam becomes a celebration of togetherness.

Here is wishing everyone a Happy and Prosperous Onam!!

Khan and Kher

I bought a couple of DVDs last week among which there was Apna Asmaan and Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Maara. And I am so happy to have watched these two movies, not because of it’s craft (both has many flaws which could have been avoided to make them better) but for two finest actors of Hindi cinema. Two fine actors – Anupam Kher and Irfan Khan – who needs a big applause for their controlled and realistic acting skills.

Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin MaaraIn Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Maara, directed by Jhanu Barua, Anupam Khers portrays a retired Hindi professor who has Alzheimers. Well, it is not clear whether it is Alzheimers or Schizophrenia because he shows signs of these two. He is a man of principles and passionate about literature. Now, the talent of Mr. Kher shows when he transforms from the normal stage to the dementia stage. This change is so subtle and Kher carefully handles the character without overdoing it. The scenes like when he begins to get upset are also showcasing his wonderful skill at mastering the character. There are Rajit Kapoor (another talented actor who has nothing much to do in this film) and Urmila Matondkar (who does a good job) but it is an all-Anupam-Kher movie.

The movie could have been done better though. Instead of saving the mystery behind the trauma of Professor Chaudhry for the climax scene, director choose to reveal it halfway through the movie. I wish if the director had saved it for the climax court scene, because that would give it a good twist at the end and make this movie beautiful.

Apna AasmaanApna Aasmaan is another Taare Zameen Par, but with a different situation, less tears and with lots of loose ends in the script. What saves this movie is the amazing performance of Irfan Khan. I haven’t watched any other movies of Irfan Khan, but this one makes me want to watch more of his films.

So go ahead, get the DVDs of these two movies. Watch it, not for the movie, but for two amazing actors and their wonderful performances.

(Image courtesy:

Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?

…that is one of the top 10 cheesiest pick up lines found in a survey.

In the latest survey of more than 400 people worldwide, the cheesiest chat-up lines have been revealed along with the celebrities most likely to say them. The participants reckoned that humour was the best way of chatting somebody up with over 50 per cent of those surveyed saying comedy lines work best on them, such as “Do you have any raisins? How about a date?” and “Are you Jamaican, because you’re Jamaican me crazy” among the most popular. [The Top 10 cheesiest pick up lines revealed]

Okay, let me contribute something to this. How about this: “Are those pearls rolling on the ground, or is it just you saying something?” 😀