I find most love stories, including my own, immature and almost embarrassing. High on my list of greatest love stories in cinema would be the likes of Kill Bill, Ocean’s Eleven, and The Iron Lady. However, one love story that has me, really has me, is the one between the crime writer Richard Castle and Detective Kate Beckett of the 12th precinct. For those who might be going Richard who?, may I invite you to catch up on one of the nicer mystery/crime serials right now on television, “Castle.”

From the cover of the Complete Season Three DVD, link below

In case you are wondering why a post on a TV crime show is showing up on this blog, the answer is simple. This show manages to build a large helping of social learning around something popular and, lets face it, negative - crime and mystery. A feast of verbal jousting and subtle satire, “Castle” appears to be about the crimes being solved and the love between the two protagonists played by Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic. But behind this lies serious comment on parenting, morality and its evolution, friendship and loyalties and a sharp look at the world of performing and creative arts. The self proclaimed theater diva of yesteryears, Martha Rodgers, (Castle’s mother), and Alexis, his daughter provide the balance to the world of crime and criminals that the show otherwise mostly deals with. Ryan and Esposito are two detectives in Beckett’s team who help solve the mysteries along with Beckett’s Emilia, the medical examiner Dr. Lanie Parish, rounding off the American demographic. The parallels and contrasts between the journeys of all of these characters embody the emotional and ethical challenges that all of us struggle with for much of our lives.

Now into its fourth season, Castle has till now been more about Beckett than about Castle. Kate Beckett is a pretty, smart, and driven NYPD detective who is haunted silently and continuously by the mystery behind her mother’s murder by the underworld. Richard Castle is a successful crime writer who gets to work with Beckett on her cases, initially to get first hand research for his new novel, and later as they form a great crime solving team. The obvious attraction between the two evolves across the first season, but neither Castle nor Beckett acknowledge or express it. The feminine mystery that lies behind the tough exterior of the detective is simultaneously erotic and vulnerable. Castle is the quintessential male much of the time, repeatedly putting his foot in his mouth, flirting openly, opening doors only to have skeletons from his past come tumbling out, and sulking with the slightest of perceived slights. Their gender roles are frequently reversed with Beckett assuming the role of the protector baling Castle out of the mess that he gets himself into. Season two ends with Beckett on the verge of telling Castle how she feels about him, only to be interrupted (a ploy used repeatedly throughout the series) by his ex-wife with whom he goes off on a writing holiday to the Hamptons.

Kahaani: A Love Song for Kolkata

One of the luxuries that I have indulged in in the last one year is re-viewing classic films, re-reading my favorite books and catching up on my to-read and to-watch lists. It is a tragedy of our times that one rarely comes across new films which you finish watching and immediately go - “I need to watch this film again.”

Sujoy Ghosh’s Kahaani makes you feel that way. And I am not the only one who thinks so. More than professional film critics, it is the lay viewers and film buffs who are raving about this film and its maker. Every blogger worth his salt has been putting out a post on Kahaani, and I didn’t want to be left out. However, this post is not a review of the film, there are already way too many excellent commentaries on it out there, like Harsha’s review or Jayalaxmi’s look at Sujoy. Neither is it relevant whether you have or have not seen the film. If you have not seen it, you will want to see it after you read this, and if you have seen it, you will want to see it again after reading this post. This post is about the Rubik’s cube.

Just kidding, this is really about Kolkata. And Kolkata can put the Rubik’s cube to shame on any weekday afternoon. This post is about the Rubik’s cube that is Kolkata. The Kolkata that Sujoy turns into a cinematic feast through the eyes and ears of Setu on the camera, Namrata Rao on the rock & roll machine, and Allwyn Rego with the samples, sliders and occasional loops. The Kolkata that I grew up in, loved to a point where she became someone I could not bear to be around. The Kolkata that sways with new promises every time I return, promises that are tempting but not strong enough to hold me back. The Kolkata that makes your heart ache every time you cross the river to catch a train back or step out of the humid Dum Dum air into the aseptic airport lobby. The Kolkata that makes you want to watch Kahaani over and over again, not for its story or the acting, but for the colors, the light, and the sounds of perfect love.

Essence of Love

The true objective of this post is to introduce you to some of the fine blogs that I have had the opportunity of reading. The rest of it is garnish. However, the tastiest of dishes can appear dull if it weren’t for the garnish. Here’s to the garnish as well as the essence of love.

Kumkum Pishi, Nita Mashi, Aju, Tapati Mashi, Geeta Mashi, and Dad

Last month Subho’s Jejune Diet had the good fortune of receiving the Liebster Blog Award from Akshay Kumar of The Eternal Fighter. In March, another blogger whose work I hold in high esteem, Sowmya Swaminathan of Myspace also passed on the Liebster Blog Award to Subho’s Jejune Diet. SJD also received another Versatile Blogger Award from Vijay Shenoy of Mind’s Eye of Life. I am truly thankful to all three of them for considering the Jejune Diet worthy of this recognition.

Since I have recently posted about the Versatile Blogger Award, this one is about what the Liebster Award needs me to do. The rules as passed on to me by Sowmya and Akshay are
  • Link back to the person who gave you the award.
  • Pick 5 people deserving of the award and notify them on their blogs.
  • Post the award on your blog and spread the love. 
When I was listing out my nominees for the Versatile Blogger Award, I had to overlook some of my favorite blogs for two reasons. Firstly, many of them are way too niche to be eligible for being called versatile. These guys know their stuff backwards and can do it right even in their sleep. Secondly, many of them are really popular and my listing them would be embarrassing to them as well as to me. Imagine nominating Leo Babauta or Darren Rowse! In addition, while it may be ibtada-e-ishq for me, some of these blogs and bloggers have received such chain letter blog awards so many times that it probably annoys them more than pleases them.

The word Liebster means “dearest,” and that is an epithet that comes with no strings attached. The Liebster Award gives me the opportunity to spread the love and for me, love, music and food go hand in hand. So here are my selection of five people, three food bloggers and two music bloggers, that I would love to pass on the award to. Since I know that some of them have already received this award in the past, I will leave it to their discretion how and when to pass it on.

February Events at the Jejune Diet

Darn, March is almost halfway through, and though the skies in Hyderabad are picking up that brilliant blue that only March and April can lay claim to, summer, the devil, is already in our midst.  One year back, I was putting the final touches to my most insane project ever, to devote my time and effort to social change through my writing, art and teaching. Hard to believe that a year has gone by. The initial months were challenging and sometimes discouraging as my family and I grappled with new realities.  I was impatient for results and tangible proof and insecure in my lack of a plan B. Change and developments were both slow, and it was only the persistent faith of my family and loved ones that kept me going. They believed in me when I doubted myself the most, and I am glad that I didn’t give up, since this day would not have come any other way. 

In the meantime, most of the new posts that I have been working on are somehow not shaping up to my satisfaction and have been stewing it out in the drafts folder. I thought maybe I could pretend to be a pro blogger (nothing to do with the A-list blogging boot camp of the same name or its poorer cousin - copy blogger) and do a report of the last one month of blog developments.  Read on, you may be pleasantly surprised at what is in store.

The Best Form of Flattery

When I set out blogging, I had no idea about keywords and SEO, and after these many years, I still don't. As I study my traffic stats, I learn a little about what makes web traffic move or stall as the case may be. I found that many people look for things like recipes of low calorie cheesecake, which in my opinion is like searching for a petunia with no secrets or the ethics of Indian politics. So I wrote a post built around that search keyword, and it worked. I think I have caused many a weight loss program to crash as they gave in to my temptation. That, however, is not why the URL for this post is about Imitation Crab. May I bake cheesecakes in hell.

I have been brooding over the fact that a lot of traffic to this blog was coming from searches about Sunny Leone, whom I had mentioned in a post, and whose name was also in the post title. I do not know a lot about her, and if I were made to listen to audio clips, I probably wouldn't be able to tell if it were Sunny or Jazmin, but I am thankful to her, and her work and her life. On any given day, she sends me between 7-10% of page views. Unfortunately, none of them stay to read the post, since that was not what they came looking for.

Imagine my pleasure and surprise when I find that that post is now being used as reference material for a content mill. Now that is called doing something right. I do not know if I should be flattered or amused, since the post is quite a rant against the public hypocrisy on matters pertaining to sex, gender and sexuality in India. I just hope that all those rewrites manage to capture the essence of the message and broadcast it louder and clearer than I have been able to. And I hope they all make some money out of it.

I especially liked the instructions that came with the assignment.

Use the link provided to write a 300 word article over (sic) the same subject/ topic. Make sure you dont (sic) have the same content as of the link.

Summarize the whole article with the ending point. Try to end with humor or concise summary making the experience of reading the article complete (sic)
Make sure the link to original article is not refered (sic).

This is not a post against plagiarism, since anyone is free to use facts and ideas, and in the case of my writing, free to reproduce it as is, but a post sharing what I consider is the best form of flattery.

Apple and the iPad 3 Hullabaloo

With speculation over the what, when, and how of the next iPad launch reaching frenzied proportions, in this article, Dr. Ramesh Grandhi takes a close look at the hype, his wishlist, and what the future looks like for this innovative giant post Steve Jobs. Dr. Ramesh Grandhi is a "sane" Apple fan who is also well known to reader's of this blog and The Curious Hat for his incisive takes on society, entertainment and technology. Over to Dr. Ramesh and the (impending) iPad-3.


Media, be it print or electronic, is inundated with articles about the much anticipated iPad 3, which if rumors hold true will be released tomorrow. It needs to be noted however that Apple does have a track record of upsetting the ‘applecart’ as it were. I personally believe that this time round we will indeed see the launch of the third iteration of the highly successful iPad series. In this article I will try and see if the hoopla and hysteria surrounding the iPad 3 and indeed all Apple products is justified, and also explore the wish list of features that may or may not turn out to be a reality in the iPad 3 or iPad-HD as some are referring it to. I might also take a slight detour into Apple Inc.’s market capitalization and whether it will be sustainable.

I recently read an article where an Android aficionado was declaiming Apple’s products as shiny gizmos that are outrageously overpriced. I guess to a certain extent all sane techies (emphasis on ‘sane’, as I am sure all Apple fanatics are totally bonkers—and they will be the first to admit to their lack of sanity!!) will admit that Apple products compared to Android devices of similar configuration are overpriced and in some cases the price difference will be as much as 50% or even more. The costliest Samsung Android smart phone will set you back by 30K, but a similarly featured Apple device might cost 45K to 50K, and that, folks, is significant moolah.

The form factor, Apple products are beautiful and pleasing to the eye. I am not saying android devices are eyesores, but looks wise there is no real comparison—the simple minimalist design, the ease of use and the path breaking retina display of the iPhone are not matched by any Android device. Comparisons they say are odious, and yeah it would be like comparing the one movie wonders we have these days to the Madhubalas and HemaMalinis—no comparison right? It needs to be understood that I am not decrying Android devices, specially the Samsung made ones—they are real value for money, but they do lag behind in the looks department.

Getting back to the iPad 3, what are some of the features that Apple fans, both like me and unlike me, are looking forward to?

Subho’s Little Helper

This blog doesn’t get updated with any Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays kind of rhythm. Sometimes weeks go past before I am able to come up with something that I feel is worthy of the time and attention of my readers.

With the RSS subscription number quietly crossing a hundred sometime early in February and Google FriendConnect crossing fifty followers, and no improvement in my posting behavior, I decided to customize a free widget that you can download which will do the work for you. It sits in a corner of your browser and packs in quite a punch. I put it out on the sidebar a fortnight back, and was surprised to discover more than a dozen downloads already, and a fair amount of traffic coming via the installed toolbars.

The fact that the Indiblogger homepage was open when I took this screenshot is purely coincidental and in no way implies any relationship between the best blogging community of India and Subho's Jejune Toolbar.

Here is a lowdown of what Subho’s jejune Toolbar does. 
  1. Email: It lets you sign into GMail from any open tab with one click on the mail icon. If you are not using GMail, get the message!
  2. Tweet: It lets you directly tweet about and share any webpage you are on with automatic URL shortening. You also can follow my tweets with a single click that will take you to my twitter page.
  3. Alexa Page Rank: It lets you know the Alexa page rank of any page on the web that you are browsing with just a mouse-over on the Alexa icon. You can also track your own blog’s Alexa rank on a regular basis with this toolbar. 
  4. My Other Blogs: It has a dropdown menu that lets you access some of my other blogs as well as links to my pages on other social networks. Since I created this toolbar initially for my own use, it has links to my other blogs, and to my mom and dad’s blogs, but, hey, now you know them too.
  5. RSS Feed: It cycles popular post titles from all of my feed and lets you discover posts that you may have missed on this blog. The dropdown RSS menu lists out all the recent posts on this blog.
I am a toolbar obsessive, but the two things I do not like about most toolbars are the way they tend to slow your browser down and the way they cause unexpected crashes. This toolbar is very light on browser resource and very stable. The toolbar is self explanatory with text tips to help you when you move your mouse over the different buttons. Do give it a try. If you are a regular follower of this blog, you will not only like it, but will be using it a lot. Download, install and enjoy.

Here is the link to download Subho’s Jejune Toolbar. Do let me know what you think of it.

Internet and Teen Self Esteem: What Parents can do to Help

Am I Ugly? Pretty? Fat?— While these questions of uncertainty are obvious signs of low self-esteem, it's not really abnormal for young girls to wonder to themselves every now and then about their physical appearance, especially when they're coming-of-age. But more recently young girls are turning to a more public way of getting validation of their looks that can ultimately disintegrate a girl's self-esteem even further: the internet.

Headlines show that a growing number of tweens and teens are using websites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube in order to ask "friends “or even worse— complete strangers— about their level of attractiveness. They are displaying their insecurities online in the hopes that someone will tell them that they're perfect the way that they are. Some bluntly broadcast questions like "Am I pretty? Am I ugly? I can take it you can tell me"; while others choose to post photos (some even with suggestive poses) in order to encourage a flow of steady compliments.

While studies have already proven that Facebook in particular is a playground for the vain and those who suffer with low self- esteem, these kind of sites can ruin a person's self-esteem even further. How so? People are cruel—sometimes even more cruel that necessary because they can have the power of hiding behind a computer and have the luxury of never being confronted in real life. That said, some feel like they can say anything and instead of giving compliments, some people tend to give negative feedback and harsh criticism that can ultimately destroy an already fragile individual. Take these snarky comments that were posted after an 80 pound, 12-year-old girl who was more than likely seeking affirmation that she was in fact thin and pretty created a video inviting anyone to state whether they thought she was ugly or not:

 "You're pretty…ugly!"

 "UR ugly as sh**"

· "Ugly on the inside, because you're an attention wh**e"

· "No you are not ugly but you are a very, very dumb girl!!! You're incredibl[y] stupid"

Mind you, the young girl asking strangers to comment on her looks explicitly says in the introduction of the video "I think I'm ugly and fat"—this comment in itself is an invitation for people to agree with her own sentiments. The video, which was created in December of 2010, has received more than 4 million views. The video may be more than a year old but there are tons of videos just like it floating in cyberspace that are created all the time—and they are not only exclusively made my females either. There are a few young boys who use the internet to seek affirmation as well.

All of the girls and boys who use social media as an esteem-booster are obviously are perfect just as they are. But often times they forget. It's a parent's responsibility to raise their child in a way that they don’t feel the need to seek public affirmation on the Web. After all, if not corrected, low self-esteem can lead to much serious conditions such as eating disorders, depression or sometimes sadly, suicide. That said, below are some tips that a parent can take to slowly start building their child's self-esteem.

TED Talk 2023: Prometheus Promotional Video

My name is Subhorup Dasgupta, and if you will indulge me, I would like to change the world.

Originally conceived as a prequel to Aliens, the new sci-fi offering from Ridley Scott - Prometheus - contains an interesting use of social media marketing that I thought I would share with my readers. I am not so sure if this is a promotion for the already popular TED talks, or a way to use the TED popularity to promote the film, but it seems to work. The video is pretty much looking at going viral, given the online community's love for all things T, E, and D. The promo itself is quite captivating, and it is nice to get a sneak peak at what the film might be like.

Disclaimer: This is not a promotion, just something I found and liked and thought of sharing with all of you. This is not an indicator that the film might be any good either, so don't jump me, just indulge me!
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