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Weekend Picks

January 25, 2003 11:52 IST
Vidya Srinivasa Rao reads a book-a-minute, solves crossword puzzles, gets inspired by cyber quotations and listens to the real tunes behind Indian inspired film songs

A couple of weeks ago, we had featured a site on classic novels in this same section. This site would send you novels in 5-minute installments everyday by email. Now, here's something for people who don't have even 5 minutes to spare.

Book-A-Minute has condensed classic literary works that you can finish reading in a minute. In fact, some of them take less than a minute to read. Take for example, the famous play Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare.


Caius Cassius: Brutus, we're planning to kill you best friend Caesar, wanna help?
Marcus Brutus: Because I love Rome more, I'll help.
(They all stab Caesar)
Julius Caesar: Et tu, Brute? In that case, I'd better die (dies)
(The nation mourns, everybody commits suicide)

The End

There, that didn't take more than 30 seconds, did it? There are many more. Apart from classics, they also have science fiction and fantasy stories-a-minute and bedtime stories-a-minute. And if you liked that, then there is also movie-a-minute for you!

Crossword Puzzle Tournament 

The 26th annual American crossword puzzle tournament is going to be held from March 14th – 16th, 2003. Will Shortz, the crossword puzzle editor of the New York Times directs this oldest and largest tournament. The participants have to solve eight original crosswords created specifically for this event.

One can also participate in this tournament from home. You can fill up the online form and send them a cheque or money order for $20. You will receive a full set of crossword puzzles. Solve and return them. They will keep you updated on your score and ranking and if you are eligible to compete in any of the events.

The site also has interesting news about crossword puzzles, sample puzzles, links to other online crosswords sites, history of crossword puzzles and the world's first crossword puzzle.

Cyber Quotations

'God gave us two ends. One to sit on and one to think with. Success depends on which one you use; head you win - tails, you lose.' - Anonymous

This is the inspirational quote of the week on This site claims to be the 'One stop to get Inspired' and started as a small collection motivational quotes in 1997.

The Inspire Me section contains more than 10,000 inspirational quotations, stories, poems , and tidbits.

If you are already inspired enough, take a short humour break here. You can also subscribe to this list and get these quotes by email everyday.


I2FS stands for 'Inspired Indian Film Songs'! This site has a comprehensive list of musical inspirations (mostly subtle and intelligent but sometimes shameless copied) by Indian film music composers.

The site mainly focuses on inspiration from international sources. Click on a music composer's name and you'll be taken to the page that lists songs that were either inspired or blatantly copied. You can listen to both - the copied song and the original and decide for yourself!

I was surprised to find that the 'Mehbooba, Mehbooba' song from the film Sholay was a copy of 'Say you love me' from the album My only fascination by Demis Roussos!

Don't forget to check out the trivia, copies in advertisement jingles and Indi-pop. Read the articles on plagiarism in India. There is also an active discussion forum.

I am still singing the Maggi Noodles jingle to the tune of Music! Music! Music!  by Teresa Brewer!