Naga Viper Beats Bhoot Jolokia

The Naga Viper is the latest claimant to the world’s-hottest-pepper title, beating its predecessor, the Bhoot Jolokia by more than 300,000 Scoville units of tongue-scorching chili hotness. Researchers at Warwick University testing the Naga Viper found that it measures 1,359,000 on the Scoville scale, which rates heat by tracking the presence of a chemical compound. In comparison, most varieties of jalapeño peppers measure in the 2,500 to 5,000 range. Bhoot Jolokia scored 1,000,000 Scoville units. But Naga Viper is not a produce of Nagaland. The new pepper is actually a creation of Gerald Fowler, a British chili farmer and pub owner, who crossed three of the hottest peppers known to man, including the Bhoot Jolokia.

NJISACF 2010 Seats Available

All Free Screenings

Seats are available

Meet Seema Biswas in person

Details at

Watch 16 films from 7 countries by 9 women filmmakers

Opening night film MIRCH starring Konkona Sen Sharma, Raima Sen, Boman Irani on October 29th at 8:00 PM

Festival Centerpiece LIFE GOES ON starring Sharmila Tagore, Soha Ali Khan, Om
Puri and Girish Karnad on October 30th at 2:15 PM

Closing night film COOKING WITH STELLA starring Seema Biswas co-written by
Deepa Mehta on October 30th at 8:20 PM.

YASMIN starring Emmy award-winning Archie Panjabi on October 30th at

Bhoot Jolokia – World’s Hottest Chili Pepper

GAUHATI, India (AP) – The Indian military has a new weapon against terrorism: the world’s hottest chili.

After conducting tests, the military has decided to use the thumb-sized “bhut jolokia,” or “ghost chili,” to make tear gas-like hand grenades to immobilize suspects, defense officials said Tuesday.

The bhut jolokia was accepted by Guinness World Records in 2007 as the world’s spiciest chili. It is grown and eaten in India’s northeast for its taste, as a cure for stomach troubles and a way to fight the crippling summer heat.

It has more than 1,000,000 Scoville units, the scientific measurement of a chili’s spiciness. Classic Tabasco sauce ranges from 2,500 to 5,000 Scoville units, while jalapeno peppers measure anywhere from 2,500 to 8,000.

“The chili grenade has been found fit for use after trials in Indian defense laboratories, a fact confirmed by scientists at the Defense Research and Development Organization,” Col. R. Kalia, a defense spokesman in the northeastern state of Assam, told The Associated Press.

“This is definitely going to be an effective nontoxic weapon because its pungent smell can choke terrorists and force them out of their hide-outs,” R. B. Srivastava, the director of the Life Sciences Department at the New Delhi headquarters of the DRDO said.

Srivastava, who led a defense research laboratory in Assam, said trials are also on to produce bhut jolokia-based aerosol sprays to be used by women against attackers and for the police to control and disperse mobs

Ekti Ganye Thaki

ECTA has launched the pre-production work on their new play “Ekti Ganye Thaki” (We Live in a Village). The name of the play has been borrowed from one of Rabindranath Tagore’s famous poems, “Ek Ganye”. Currently the team is going through workshop sessions and theater games before delving into the rehearsal process that will start from March. The play will be staged during the months of June and July 2010.

Online English to Bengali Dictionary

Are you looking for the right Bengali meaning for a English word? Do you often hunt for Bengali words and their spellings when you know the exact English equivalents. Look no further. Try out  The developers of this site has taken an ingenious approach. They have scanned an entire English to Bengali dictionary, broken it up into pieces (for each word) and created a searchable database which links up the words you type in with the appropriate snippet. Thanks to  Raishul Islam Russell for developing this useful site. Give it a try when you can.


2010 Urhalpool Awards

Please join Urhalpool Magazine’s 2nd Annual Award Ceremony on Wednesday. January 27th @6:30PM in Collaboration with: Rabindranath Tagore center, ICCR & American Center, Kolkata

Shakti Chattopadhyay Lifetime Bengali Literary Achievement Award (Rs25,000):   Sunil Gangopadhyay
Nirmal Chandra Gangopadhyay Bengali Literary Award for an Young writer (Rs15,000):    Mandakranta Sen
Dr. Sishir Kumar Das Award for research in Bengali Literature: (Rs,20,000):  Dr. Sibaji Bandyopadhyay
Pushpa Little Magazine Award: (Rs10,000):    Bibhab

Urhalpool( January Issue, focusing on Mexican poets/writers has been released.

Bengali section: Poems-Sankha Ghosh, Sunil Gangopadhyay & many others/  Golpo- Yashodhara Roychoudhury, Mexican writer Liliana Blum, Ivy Chatterjee, Tridib Chatterjee and others
Special Article on Translation by Goutam Datta
English Section: 2010 Kolkata Book Fair visiting poets Anne Waldman & Meena Alexander’s essays,  Many Mexican writers & poets. Special article by Father of Contemporary American Poetry Jerome Rothenberg: POETS & TRICKSTERS: INNOVATION & DISRUPTION IN RITUAL & MYTH

Urhalpool October Issue is Online

The October issue of the bilingual (Bengali/English) webzine Urhalpool is now online. The latest issue includes stories by Mandakranta Sen, Samaresh Majumdar, Nabanita Deb Sen, Alolika Mukherjee, Abul Bashar and others.  Serials by Sunil Ganguly and Taslima Nasreen are still ongoing. Special attraction would be the interview of Baichung Bhutia and  a memoir by Srikanta Acharya. I am sure you’ll enjoy this issue like the previous ones.

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Dadasaheb Phalke Award for Manna Dey

Manna DeyNinety-year-old playback legend Manna Dey – who belted out evergreen songs like “Ae mere pyaare watan” and “Zindagi kaisi hai paheli” – is being honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke award, the highest honour in Indian cinema, his family said Wednesday.

Born as Prabodh Chandra Dey May 1, 1919 to Purna Chandra and Mahamaya Dey, the singer was a name to reckon with in the Hindi film industry from the 1950s to the 1970s. He has recorded more than 3,500 songs over the course of his career.