KTM 200 coming soon

Recently, at the 2011 EICMA Motorcycle Exhibition,the specifications of one of the most anticipated bikes of 2012, the KTM Duke 200 were revealed. Interestingly this bike will make its Indian debut soon via Bajaj Motorcycles. Bajaj owns a good 39.3 per cent stake in KTM. Eventually, it is expected that most of the KTM bikes will make their way to India The KTM Duke 200 will be first shown to the Indian bikers at the 2012 Auto Expo to be held in January 2012, after which it will be launched.

According to KTMs official webpage, the Duke 200 will come with a liquid cooled, 4 stroke, fuel injected 200cc engine mated to a 6-speed transmission. 25PS of power is expected. The ultra short stroke engine will ensure that the Duke 200 is an eager beaver as far as revs are concerned. The kerb weight is 137kg, which makes it lighter than even some 125cc machines in the Indian market. Expect nimble handling and rider friendly dynamics.

For optimal handling and a fun to ride characteristic, KTM-Bajaj has lowered the center of gravity by using an underslung exhaust system. At the rear is a directly mounted monoshock while upside down forks do duty at the front. A 4 piston 300mm disc at the front and 230mm disc at the rear provide stopping power. The disc brakes are manufactured by a sub division of Brembo. The OEM tyre manufacturer for Duke in India will most likely be MRF, considering how they are a favourite with Bajaj. The fact that the Duke 200 is manufactured in India and that Bajaj has till date been well known as a low cost bike manufacturer, will ensure that the Duke 200 comes with a very competitive price tag slotting it between the Yamaha R15 and the Honda CBR 250R. We are expecting a price between Rs 1.2-1.4 lakh.

Expected technical specifications of KTM Duke 200 in India

Engine Type Single-cylinder, 4-stroke, spark-ignition engine, liquid-cooled
Displacement 200cc
Bore 72mm
Stroke 49mm
Transmission 6 speed
Power 25PS
Ignition system Contactless, controlled, fully electronic ignition system with digital ignition timing adjustment
Starting aid Electric starter
Engine lubrication Forced oil lubrication with 1 rotor pump
Cooling system Liquid cooling system, continuous circulation of cooling liquid with water pump
Clutch Clutch in oil bath / mechanically operated

Tubular space frame made from steel tubes, powder-coated

Fork WP Suspension 4357
Shock absorber WP Suspension 4618 EM
Suspension travel Front 150mm
Suspension travel Rear 150mm
Brake system Front Disc brake with two-pot brake caliper
Brake system Rear Disc brake with one-pot brake caliper, floating brake discs
Brake discs diameter front 300mm
Brake discs diameter rear 230mm
Chain 5/8 x 1/4” (520) O-Ring
Steering head angle 65°
Wheel base 1,361±15 mm
Seat height (unloaded) 810 mm
Total fuel tank capacity approx. 10.5l
Unleaded premium fuel (95 RON)

Ishaqzaade released

With his new film Ishaqzaade, Habib Faisal takes a brave leap away from the aspirational middle class Delhi terrain he ploughed so expertly in Do Dooni Chaar (his directorial debut) and Band Baaja Baraat (which he wrote).

In Ishaqzaade, set in the fictional small town of Almore, the dreams that drive Faisal’s characters are no longer the little desires of little people: a new car, a bigger binness. What the Chauhans and the Qureishis are fighting over is Almore itself: a place whose location in the badlands of North India is announced as clearly by the swirling clouds of dust that rise from its roads as by the gunshots that casually punctuate every sentence – alongside the gaalis. The game might be grubby, but the stakes are high.

Qureishis. Among the grown-up children of the two families, each now plotting the political downfall of the other, are Parma and Zoya.

Faisal’s arresting opening scene – the children of both families pelting stones at each other going home from school – sets the tone of the very adult war to follow: epic, but also down-and-dirty. The film opens in the run-up to an election, in which the Chauhans  are determined, by hook or by crook, to wrest power back from the currently-in-power Qureishis. Among the grown-up children of the two families, each now plotting the political downfall of the other, are Parma and Zoya.

Zoya is the spirited daughter of the Qureshi khandaan, the only girl in a houseful of boys. She is the sort of girl whose eyes sparkle more at the sight of guns than jhumkas, a girl whose complete confidence in herself seems to come as much from a familial sense of entitlement as a purely physical absence of fear.

Parma (debutante Arjun Kapoor) is a long-limbed wild-haired young hooligan who thinks it’s a lark to set fire to a poor man’s shop if he so much as suggests selling some of his diesel to the Qureishis. Oh, and it’s also a defence of his family’s honour. The more the Chauhan patriarch, thinks of his youngest grandson as an incompetent, impractical fool who can do nothing right, the more Parma secretly swears to make his Dadda proud.

Needless to say, Zoya and Parma hate each other. Until they decide to fall in love. One of the successes of Ishaqzaade is the way Faisal establishes, with just a few strokes, the transformation of this relationship from mutual disdain and prejudice to grudging admiration – and then, unabashed attraction. He is greatly helped by his leading lady, Parineeti Chopra, who follows up a wonderful debut as the plumply petulant Dimple Chadda in last year’s Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl with a superb performance here.

As the tomboyish Zoya, taking large strides even in a heavy sharara, commanding her beau to hold her sharara as she climbs into a train “ladies first”, Parineeti’s Zoya embodies the natural, incandescent assurance of a young woman who doesn’t know what it’s like not to get her way.

But the place of women in this world is too precarious for that tenuous status to last. “Mardon ki haveli, mardon ki zubaan,” says Dadda proudly, registering but not quite apologising for the many behen-sprinkled abuses that greet a mere non-functioning generator in his family home. The impending tragedy here is apparent, and it is one that Faisal’s film unpacks with clear-eyed exactitude: in this world of men, no amount of indulgence and spoilt-daughter status is enough to secure a woman’s dignity, her place in the household, or even her life.

Zoya’s first encounter with her innate vulnerability as a woman – I will not give away the plot by telling you what causes it – makes her incredibly angry, at first. But as it becomes clear that her seemingly implacable position in this universe was nothing but an illusion, a rug pulled from under her feet, rage gives way to sorrow.

Parma’s widowed mother, with her uneasy position in her father-in-law’s household, subject alternately to accusations of having devoured her husband and displays of patriarchal generosity in having given her a roof over her head, is the film’s other example of a woman whose indomitable spirit and staunch values cannot defend her from a world weighted so heavily against her.

The necessary outside of this patriarchal world of ghar-grihasthi is another kind of female presence: Chand, the localkothewali, a sinuous charmer with a soft spot for Parma. It’s easy to see what Habib Faisal is trying to do here, setting up the brothel as the one place where the bitter Hindu-Muslim feuds of the world outside have no purchase. It’s a cliched idea – the whorehouse as the place without prejudice, the great equaliser – but it might still have worked if it were written with more nuance, or given more meat by the sadly underwhelming Gauhar Khan. As it is, Faisal gives us a one-line depiction of the way women from these worlds eye each other with suspicion (“Hum dance waliyon ke munh nahi lagte,” says Zoya to Chand) – and then proceeds to break the barriers down with an ease that defies belief.

Ishaqzaade has many strengths. The locales – from crumbling railway sheds to a vast school chemistry lab – are nicely used without drawing attention to their own artistry. Faisal’s usually impeccable dialogue is occasionally overbaked, but it has undeniable grit: which recent Hindi film has had the courage to have a protagonist calling his lover a Musalli? Arjun Kapoor plays his combination of machismo and childish stupidity with exaggerated gestures that annoyed me rather than winning me over, but Faisal’s central characters are still more sharply realized than most directors can manage. And anyway, the film is worth watching just for Parineeti.

But ultimately, Ishaqzaade fails us. Not just because it gives us a climax that feels like a cop-out, even as it strains desperately to be epic. But because its final tragedy is triggered by Zoya’s still surviving faith – in herself, the world, and the lout she so inexplicably loves – while we who are watching can only wonder why she didn’t give up on all of it long ago.

Nokia India fest 2012

It was a day of enthusiasm and Vigor, the dawn before the light of the day. As the beautiful city of Mumbai was brimming with sun shine, the cheerful scream of ecstatic participants filled the air with an intoxicated spirit. Yes! It was the preliminary of the biggest and the coolest fest of the country – Nokia IndiaFest 2012, “Where Heroes Are Made” presented by Channel [v]. The event was held at Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI), on January 14th 2012.

The journey which began from cities like Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Pune and Delhi, Channel [v] now heads to the dream city, Mumbai, with excitement and fun heaving high and more with each location. A combined talent hub, from across 33 colleges, battled it out in a series of 19 exotic competitions to win the challenge for the best. Beginning from the Launchpad to Footloose to Rampage, the eclectic mix of activities kept the students and the audience at tenterhooks.

The whacky and witty VJ Andy perennially charmed the Mumbaikars with his quirkiness, wit and style. As the day came to an end, the winners of day were announced and the stage was set on fire by popular bands – ‘Bhayanak Maut’and ‘Faridkot’ who grooved the audience with an irresistible and electrifying performance.

And what more adding on to the excitement was the big enticing reward to the winners, the ticket to the Biggest and Coolest Fest of the country.

Speaking on the occasion, Prem Kamath, EVP & GM, Channel [v] said, ”Being the biggest youth channel of the country, we feel extremely proud to provide an unparalleled platform to the youth to showcase their talent. This is the biggest inter-collegiate festival that will change the way youth consider their talent. The fest has seen overwhelming enthusiasm among the students and is becoming a destination for untapped talent out there that is waiting to be discovered.”

After a successful IndiaFest 2011, leveraged by the unparalleled reach of Star Network and participation from more than 50,000 students from across India, Channel [v] takes the legacy forward with the second edition of its annual inter-collegiate festival in January 2012. With an eclectic mix of more than 30 competitions, Nokia IndiaFest 2012 promises to provide the biggest opportunity to the young budding talent of the country. As a prelude to the finale of the fest, Channel [v] will conduct a series of Minifests and Zonals across 8 regions, starting from Bengaluru followed by Chennai, Goa, Delhi, Pune, Mumbai and some more.

Cutting across boundaries, Channel [v]’s Nokia IndiaFest 2012 truly unites the talent of the country providing them the single biggest platform to display their talent and be their own hero.

So let go of your inhibitions and show off your talent at Channel [v]’s Nokia Indiafest 2012 in Goa on 27th and 28th January 2012.

India Goes Gaga Over Killer Kolaveri

Why this kolaveri di? Because it is simple, colloquial and rhythmic. The whopping success the ‘Tanglish’ song – Why This Kolaveri Di – has seen, much before the release of the movie, has many a father.

It is the hidden story of how a comic slang from Madurai has travelled all the way, gaining a wide currency by making it to India’s urban youth sub-culture. The occasional singer in Dhanush (actor son-in-law of matinee icon Rajinikanth) has doubled up as the lyricist, adding to the aura of the number. A National award-winning actor, he continues to remain an antithesis of everything that characterises a popular hero.

No wonder then that the simple tune, which has a resemblance to music legend Ilayaraja’s famous song Nila athu vaanathu mele in Kamal Hassan’s Nayagan, has caught up with the imagination of the nation.

And not to be missed is the fact that this peppy number is from the movie, 3, in which Dhanush and Shruti Hassan, daughter of Hassan, are the lead pair. It is also significant as Rajinikanth’s daughter and Dhanush’s wife, Aishwarya, makes her directorial debut with the movie.

The film has already created a lot of excitement down South over a reported lip-lock between Dhanush and Shruti.

The ‘Tanglish’ lingo used in the song conforms to the SMS style of college youth and adults, giving it instant receptivity.

But Kolaveri has its origin in Madurai where it is commonly used to debunk someone getting worked up for nothing.

“Yen intha kolaveri?” (Why this killer rage?) is a common refrain in the region and it is to the credit of comedian Vadivelu that it got its entry into the popular domain through films. It has received so much acceptance that even kids have been using it without any compunction.

Yet, these things alone cannot be taken as the sole reason for the song’s success.

For one thing, the Internet has helped it reach out to a much larger audience.

The song was first ‘leaked’ on the Internet, and then observing the track’s popularity, the makers released it officially. Was the leak by design or a mere accident is a question that is being debated in coffee shops and drawing rooms of the middle class these days.

For southern film critic and theatre personality, Gnani, it is “sheer marketing that has carried this ordinary song with a regressive anti-woman content” this far.

Questioning the claims of the film crew about the song being a huge hit, he said. “It is mere media hype. Rather than the song being liked by the masses, it is being thrust on them.” According to his reasoning, the movie is also the coming together of the families of Rajinikanth and Kamal Hassan and nothing more was needed for the media to pick it up.

Well, the song as the lyrics suggests deals with the wailing of a youth who failed in love and takes refuge in alcohol – a modern day Devdas! And reminiscing sorrows naturally strikes a chord with the masses.

Sehwag scores double ton

It took nearly four decades for a batsman to score the first double-century in one-day international cricket but less than two years for the second. Virender Sehwag, the batsman most touted to break Sachin Tendulkar‘s record for the highest individual ODI score, didn’t merely break it – he shattered it and raised the bar so high that it’s hard to imagine anyone, apart from Sehwag himself, raising it higher.

Unlike Tendulkar in Gwalior, Sehwag wasn’t running out of time as he raced towards 200 in Indore. He got there in the 44th over and had made 219 off 149 balls by the time he was dismissed in the 47th. And in one of cricket’s stranger coincidences, both ODI double-centuries were scored in the same Indian state – Madhya Pradesh – at venues less than 500 kilometres apart.

Sehwag’s performance led India to 418 for 5, their highest ODI total, and sealed victory in the five-match series against West Indies. It was an innings characteristic of Sehwag’s approach to batting. He hit his second ball for four and simply did not stop. He took plenty of risks too, surviving two run-out chances and two dropped catches, but thundered on, ensuring India’s run-rate stayed above seven after the 15th over. Sehwag’s only out-of-character moment came in the 20th over, when he dived to avoid being run out. Sehwag never dives. It was a sign that he was determined to stay the course. He went to 50 off 41 balls, to 100 off 69 balls, to 150 off 112 and past 200 off 140. The record was broken with a withering cut that sped to the backward-point boundary, and he celebrated with an aggressive fist-pump before breaking into a smile.

Before this game, and after each of the previous three, Sehwag had admitted that the top-order failures, which he contributed to, were the reason India had struggled in their chases. Sehwag had made a duck in the previous match in Ahmedabad, where India lost, but led by example today.

India did two things differently at the Holkar Cricket Stadium. They chose to bat for the first time in the series and also opened with their strongest combination, Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, pushing Parthiv Patel down the order. The upshot of those decisions was an opening partnership of 176 that began smoothly, picked up speed, and gathered the momentum of a runaway train before it was eventually ended, inevitably, by a run-out.

A strong crowd continued the trend of resurging attendances during the home ODIs and they cheered the first boundary in the second over, when Sehwag flicked Ravi Rampaul’s first ball for four – a welcome he would give several other West Indian bowlers. Sehwag looked dangerous from the start. Gambhir did not. After making only 3 off 15 balls, Gambhir finally had the width he needed and cut Kemar Roach to the point boundary.

Both batsmen could have been dismissed on 20, though. Sehwag had given up hope of making his ground but Kieron Pollard missed the stumps from point, and Andre Russell dropped Gambhir on his follow through. Gambhir began to steer, cut and drive through the off side frequently, going over fielders’ heads and placing wide of the boundary riders. Seven of his first nine fours were in this region. India ended the mandatory Powerplay on 63 for 0.

The field spread after that but it didn’t matter. Sehwag and Gambhir scored 45 runs between overs 11 and 15. This passage began with Sehwag hoisting the offspinner Sunil Narine’s first ball over the long-on boundary. He then launched Darren Sammy’s first inside out over extra cover. This passage ended with Sehwag hammering Narine again, this time into the stands beyond deep midwicket.

The field came in for the bowling Powerplay and Gambhir immediately cut Roach through point, and then dabbed for a single to reach his half-century off 51 balls. The smash-and-dab combo was a feature of the partnership. Sehwag got to his hundred with a fierce cut, hit in the air, brushing the fingertips of the leaping fielder at point before speeding to the boundary. The next ball, he ran Gambhir out, to a direct hit from Samuels. Visibly upset with himself, Sehwag continued to punish West Indies.

When he was hitting fours, Sehwag preferred to go square of the wicket, flicking and glancing the numerous deliveries he received on the pads, and opening the face to pepper the backward-point boundary. When he wanted six, he usually went straighter, targeting the arc between midwicket and long-on. He hit 25 fours and seven sixes in all. On 170, in the 38th over, Sehwag spooned Rampaul towards cover, where Sammy dropped a dolly, leaving the bowler distraught.

The rest of the innings was a blur of boundaries and landmarks. Suresh Raina got to his half-century off 42 balls. India reached 300 in 39.1 overs. Sehwag broke his personal best – 175 against Bangladesh in the World Cup – with a flick to the square-leg boundary. He went past 8000 ODI runs with a chip over the fielder at short fine leg. That shot took him from 191 to 195, and soon he was cutting Russell to send India into rapture. When Sehwag was dismissed – lofting Pollard to the substitute Anthony Martin at long-off – most of the West Indian fielders came from far and wide to shake his hand.

Sehwag did not come out to field – the only blot on his performance – and watched from the dressing room as West Indies’ top-order batsmen crashed and burned amid a flurry of shots. India’s debutant legspinner Rahul Sharma struck with the last ball of each of his first three overs in international cricket, bowling Marlon Samuels, Danza Hyatt and Pollard to leave West Indies reeling at 100 for 5.

Rahul, who’s been in India’s squads since the home ODIs against England but stayed on the bench, bowled a variety of deliveries. He sent down legbreaks, googlies and topspinners at varying speeds, but it was the one delivered quicker that brought him success.

Samuels tried to cut a fast topspinner but bottom-edged it onto his stumps. Hyatt then stepped out of the crease, but was yorked by a fast legbreak. The ball pitched outside leg stump and spun between the batsman’s pads to bowl him. Pollard was the next to go, swinging across the line and missing a topspinner that clipped off stump.

After losing more wickets, West Indies decided to bat out time instead of playing shots, and the match ended in stark contrast to how it began – tamely. Denesh Ramdin, however, made 96, his best score and the highest by a West Indies wicketkeeper in ODIs. His 64-run partnership with No. 11 Sunil Narine merely kept India on the field longer than they would have liked.