Actress Kareena Kapoor's morphed picture is used as a warning against 'Love Jihad' by VHP.

On Tuesday, May 7, President Obama met with President Park Geun-hye of South Korea at the White House, and they did actually shake hands many photographs of which separately exist (eg. see the bottom-most photo). But the South Korean newsagency Yonhap released a photograph which, well, as you can see (on top) inexplicably released a photo with a caption saying: South Korean President Park Geun-hye (L) shakes hands with US President Barack Obama at a White House meeting on May 7. (Yonhap). It seemed that the South Korean President's photo was perhaps taken from the one in the middle, a photo-op during her Monday, May 6 meeting at the United Nations with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Now Yonhap has come out with a correction, saying: "A Yonhap story slugged "Park-NK provocation," released on May 8 (Seoul time), carried an erroneous caption for an attached photo. The caption should have read, "This composite file photo shows South Korean President Park Geun-hye (L) and U.S. President Barack Obama."

Janah's attic in Calcutta, taken when he was 13

Fresh posters of Narendra Modi have sprung up in parts of Rajkot showing him in the company of Bollywood's wicked matriarchs and vamps. "Modi is more dangerous than Shashikala and Lalita Pawar. Modi has got Keshubhai and Shankarsinh quarreling, has divided society, is he a dangerous mother in law?" says the poster

A morphed photo of women shown as protesting against Nithyananda. The messages on the placards have been changed meticulously from those supporting the Swami to attacking him

In Russia, ahead of March 4 polls, supporters of Mr Putin are on the backfoot after pro-Kremlin activists were caught handing out tens of thousands of copies of a propaganda newspaper in the city of Ekaterinburg. The newspaper had a photo of popular opposition activist, 35-year-old lawyer Alexei Navalny (above right) that, it turned out, had been Photoshopped to suggest he was being illicitly funded by a controversial anti-Kremlin oligarch, Boris Berezovsky (above left in the photograph on top). The photo had been morphed, it was exposed, as the photographer of the original image published it online, revealing that Navalny had in fact been standing next to a completely different oligarch, Mikhail Prokhorov. Navalny, a who has risen to fame using the Internet to highlight governmental corruption, wasted no time in setting to work mocking the attempted smear. Mr Navalny's blog is having fun, displaying what the doctored versions of the image would look like with the likes of Hitler, Lord Voldemort and Chuck Norris.

We admit it: the title is what works here, not the plot. But everybody acknowledges how the collective blaring of industry captains has been lost in the din of parliament as well as the noise outside it. Though their agenda for voicing their displeasure might be different, the end-goal was the same, to get government moving with reforms during the winter session of parliament. And while their efforts did not deliver results, hope floats.

Illustration by Kishore Das

“Meri zarooratein kam hai, ISI liye mere zameer mein dum hai,” snaps Ajay Devgn at corrupt politican Jaykant Shikre in Singham. Come to think of it, Vinod Rai with his series of reports on the 2G scam, irregularities in the Commonwealth Games and Reliance Industries-KG gas, too, has taken on the Congress led-UPA government, which is now facing a credibility crisis. That Rai is as spunky as Devgn’s character in the movie is evident when he tells Outlook, responding to an insinuation on whether CAG had the expertise and understanding of various issues “…let anybody come face-to-face with our officers and we’ll show them the extent of our understanding.” The question is, in the real world, can Rai achieve what Devgn did in the flick?

Illustration by Kishore Das

If Vinay Pathak managed to complicate life for the lead actor, Rajat Kapoor, in Bheja Fry 2, the turn of events has had a similar effect on Sajjan Jindal. If shortage of iron ore has impacted production at JSW Steel, allegation of a mining scam has only compounded the problem. A double whammy is in store as Jindal will lose Rs 500 crore paid as deposit for warrants since the stock has tanked 55% vis-à-vis the conversion price of Rs 1,210. Further, Rs 2,000 crore outgo is in store six months from now towards FCCB repayment. Now that’s too much of a bheja fry!

Illustration by Kishore Das

Kishore Biyani was building once again—this time, castles in the air about FDI in multi-brand retail and foreign monies boosting his flagging business. But then Didi happened, much like how Vinay Pathak messes it up for Rajat Kapoor in Bheja Fry. Mamta Banerjee took a passionately aggressive stand against the ruling government, ostensibly batting for the farmers, and not really caring for big businesses. If the status quo on FDI continues, Biyani could well end up writing another book, “It did not happen in India”.

Illustration by Kishore Das

Beleaguered hero? Check. Two chief ministers? Check. Taking on the system? Check. Incredibly apt even if obvious title? Check. There, in 15 words, you have the reasoning why the Kalanidhi Maran-Jayalalithaa saga is a perfect fit with a much-delayed and finally released in 2001 movie that no one really recalls anymore. After coming to power, one of the first acts of the new chief minister of Tamil Nadu was to take on the Marans, relaunching the state-owned Arasu Cable TV and attempting to rein in Maran’s Sun TV empire. The impact on Maran has been virtually immediate but is this just a temporary eclipse or a setting of the sun? (If it helps, in the movie, not only does the hero win, he even wins over the chief minister.)

Illustration by Kishore Das

It’s easier to fulfil grand ambitions if your conscience is a little (or a lot) elastic. Bunty and Babli certainly prove that in the eponymous 2005 superhit movie. Bunty aur Babli is a Bollywood production, so naturally there’s a happy ending. A Raja and Kanimozhi haven’t been quite as lucky. While Kani’s finally out on bail, Raja is still behind bars at Tihar as a key accused in the 2G spectrum scam, which has been listed by Time magazine as the second-worst abuse of power, right behind the Watergate scandal. Bunty and Babli found a sympathetic cop who decided to set two thieves to catch more thieves. Will Kani and Raja find a similar out?

Illustration by Kishore Das

Much like the ‘hero’ of Fanaa, the poster boy of microfinance in India was ultimately consumed by the cause. At least, that’s what the world was told. And everybody did buy the IPO story rosy-eyed, believing that a new credit dawn was in the offing for those deprived by traditional channels. Vikram Akula tap-danced his equity into the portfolio of big ticket investors, but what he might have not banked on was the turncoat behaviour of his board of directors as well as major investors whose investment in the company has been, to put it mildly, decimated. While Akula is no longer part of the company he founded, illusions and believers are never in short supply.

Illustration by Kishore Das

It’s a shitty situation, no doubt. But really, is that any excuse to make Ajit Gulabchand, Vijay Mallya and Anil Agarwal the butt of so many jokes? The three businessmen are seeking help from Delhi to rescue their businesses but, so far, the government is in no mood to help. You made the mess, you clean it up, seems to be the stern message. Meanwhile, the wisecracks about the king of bad times, Lavassa’s uphill climb and the steely resolve of the green brigade continue.

Illustration by Kishore Das

The movie was rumoured to be a biopic of India’s greatest business visionary, but Gautam Adani and what he has created is for real. If he keeps up the pace at which his conglomerate has grown, no doubt his eponymous group could well become India’s most valuable corporate entity. Adani is facing rough weather right now, much like Guru in the movie, but we all know how that real-life ending turned out. Adani, too, may lose a few battles in between, but it is very likely that he will leave his controversial footsteps in the sands of time.

Illustration by Kishore Das

Tolstoy got it right: All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. So while Rahul and Rohan nearly came to blows about weight-related taunts and whom mom loves more, Mukesh and Anil drew apart over the billion-dollar empire their father Dhirubhai Ambani left intestate. Where SRK’s character in K3G withdrew from the scene (and his grouse was more with his father, in any case), the Ambani brothers stayed in Mumbai and fought it out, in court, in newspaper advertisements, at AGMs and in boardrooms....Now, the khushi may be returning, with a settlement agreement in the offing that will allow the Ambanis to do business with each other, although they will remain independent entities. Is the next scene going to be about khushi or gham? Wait and watch.

Illustration by Kishore Das

The central bank governor is clearly split between his dual role of ensuring economic growth as well as price stability. As Duvvuri Subbarao went about his attempts to control rampant inflation by raising interest rates, industry extolled his villainous side more than his heroic intention. While Subbarao’s script is simple to understand, industry’s illogical song and dance is reflective of instant gratification, a quick solution the likes of which can only be found in either videogames or Bollywood movies. Whether Subbarao’s actions result in a happy ending with his heroism outliving his villainous perception will be seen only in the coming year when the macro storm blows over.

Illustration by Kishore Das

If Lara Dutta as an investment banker and Vinay Pathak as a pushy sari trader made for an odd couple in the movie, the same can be said about Anna Hazare, a social activist from the hinterland of Maharashtra, and Kiran Bedi, a former IPS officer. But unlike the flick that captures India’s urban-rural divide en route to Delhi, Hazare and Bedi, along with Prashant Bhushan and Arvind Kejriwal, managed to unite the nation’s angst against corruption and start a Chalo Dilli movement by campaigning for the implementation of the Jan Lokpal Bill, the anti-graft bill drafted by his team of crusaders. If the bill is passed by the House in toto, it will be a fitting climax for Team Hazare.

Illustration by Kishore Das

There are no evil moneylenders here, but motherly love certainly oozes big-time even as debt balloons on the government’s balance sheet. It is human tendency to be generous with other people’s money. However, the evil moneylender has been replaced by a certain hell-raising cantankerous woman politician who is scheming to snatch what supposedly belongs to the rightful heir. Mother India on her part continues to guide the faithful and the family, urging them to stick together and contribute to the task of nation-building. After all, what is good for India is good for Mother India.

Illustration by Kishore Das

His father financed the best-known film on the first family of medieval India—Mughal-e-Azam, a romanticised tribute to the ‘greatest of the Mughals’, Akbar and his son Jahangir. It may be too early to heap such lavish praise on Cyrus Mistry, even if he’s been annointed heir to the first family business of modern India. History tells us that Jahangir didn’t quite reach the heights his father achieved but, seen in isolation, he did quite a respectable job. During his 22-year reign, the Mughal empire extended its reach through conquest, rebellions were crushed and art and culture flourished. Like Jahangir, Mistry will step into the shoes of a giant. Still, like Jahangir, he has well over two decades to carve out his own identity and build an empire of his own.

Illustration by Kishore Das

At the Swedish company H&M’s website, all the lingerie and bikini models managed to pose exactly the same, even down to the arch of their little finger, as Bildbliffen, a Norwegian website that monitors morphed photos, reported that the company had created computer-generated perfect bodies, and then edited a different model’s head onto each one, changing the skin colour to match. The Toronto Star reported that a national advertising watchdog has taken the Swedish company to task for “creating unrealistic physical ideals” and demanded that H&M “find someone with both body and face that can sell their bikinis.”

Courtesy: H&M

The typhoon that killed 31 people, displacing 60,000 families, and leaving a trail of destruction in its wake in Philippines in late September ended up leaving Philippines Department of Public Works and Highways officials redfaced after it was discovered they had Photoshopped three officials into a photo. The photo of three engineers purportedly inspecting damage wrought by Typhoon Nesat in Manila Bay went viral thanks to a Photoshop error that created the impression they were floating. Hear it directly from the blogger who discovered the "floating engineers". Other bloggers soon joined in and got in on the act  — the three were Photoshopped into dozens of other fake images in a host of unlikely settings, including The Beatles' at Abbey Road and Da Vinci's painting of The Last Supper.


And now Time is reporting yet another photoshopped controversy out of North Korea. The photo on top is from Kim Jong Il’s funeral procession distributed by AP on December 28 and the one at the bottom is from the same news agency distributed by Reuters, Agence France-Presse and the European Pressphoto Agency, from KCNA, North Korea’s state news agency, later in the day. If you see carefully, as the Time notes, "in the KCNA version, a camera crew and their power cords on the left side of the frame, as well as a couple of stragglers near them, were removed, a patch of blurry snow in their place. Snow was also cloned to cover two other spots in the photograph." The Time goes on to add: "The big question is why did the North Koreans alter the image? Aesthetically, the doctored photograph is tad bit cleaner, lines straightened, but hardly improved. Psychologically speaking though, the clone job adds order to an already tidy scene. In the undoctored version, the people on the left are drifting from the crowd, their attention elsewhere. The snow is less white. Both of those problems were easily solved by Photoshop. I’ve been examining photographs released by the KCNA for years and many are strikingly beautiful—enormous, perfectly-positioned crowds, immaculate and intricately composed. Now we may know why."


With Kim Jong Il's death at 69, he may no longer be Looking at Things (having left the task to his son) but at least he can still live on in meme infamy thanks to a new Tumblr, Kim Jong-il Dropping the Bass  -- which is full of is full of pictures of well-known artists and DJs with the late Dear Leader Photoshopped in to look like he’s playing with them.

You may have views on the powers or propaganda and whether or not the over-the-top public mourning for Kim Jong Il was fake and phoney. But now there's a, well, "100% Genuine Reactions to Kim Jong IL's Death" tumblr page where faces of faux-weeping jokesters are Photoshopped over the photos of “genuine reactions”, implying that the North Koreans are shedding crocodile tears.


The dedicated website Photoshop Disasters pointed out just the other day that in the January 2012 issue of Vogue,Amber Valletta and Shalom Harlow, while all dressed up in these jaunty trench coats, seem to be missing a leg between them, namely Amber Valletta's left leg

Courtesy: Vogue

The USA's National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has ruled that Procter and Gamble’s campaign for CoverGirl NatureLuxe Mousse Mascara, which features country music star Taylor Swiftwill never run again due to "enhanced post-production" and "Photoshopping" to make unrealistic expectations for eyelashes. The picture was accompanied in the ad by a disclosure that the model’s eyelashes had been enhanced post production." The British Advertising Standards Authority recently pulled Lancome and Maybelline ads featuring Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington


And then Amitabh Bachchan got upset that pictures purporting to be that of Baby B with her mother Aishwarya Rai Bachchan were circulating on the internet and as he blogged and thanked his Extended Family, "an army of very diligent and determined fighters" who "went through a most exhaustive process of finding out the culprit. I do not think they were able to trace the individual, though they have been most successful in the past on the occurrence of such incidents, but were able to trace the original picture which underwent the process of morphing. Ladies and gentlemen of the EF world, I present to you the picture being circulated and below that, the original from where the morphing was done. A smart piece of work !! Not the morphing. The diligence of our EF team …"

Incidentally, the September issue of the same magazine had created a similar controversy when Singham's star Kajal Agarwal accused the magazine: “I shot for the magazine but not this way; they have photoshopped the picture and changed it.” FHM editor Kabeer Sharma had then also said: “FHM has never in the past or will in the future morph pictures of any celebrities. We shot with Madam Agarwal on the 18th of August in Mumbai and have a full team composed of assistants, stylists, make up artists, photographers and others to back it up. We’d be happy to release the full untouched raw pictures on the internet soon to back it up also.”

The news of Osama bin Laden's death was followed by the White House releasing a photograph of the situation room that captured the world's imagination. Osama's morphed photo seems to have provided enough ideas for photoshopping. Can you spot the change in this? Hint: Solitaire.


A Pakistani TV channel was the first to use a fake picture of Osama bin Laden that had been circulating on the net for the past two years, apparently first published by the Middle East online newspaper on 29 April 2009, with a note that it was "unable to ascertain whether the photo is genuine or not". British Daily Mail website was the first to use the photo which was soon followed by the Times, Telegraph, Sun and Mirror websites. And as always, the exposure came on Twitter, with a number of users pointing to the older photo with a simple Google search and Youtube videos showing how the morphing could easily be done are already doing the rounds.


Debangg star Sonakshi Sinha tweeted this picture on Twitter and captioned it ‘De ghumaaaaake! Hehehehahahaha.’ And when she got flak for it, she promptly tweeted: "Pak fans very upset. Jung ke maidan mein ladne se toh accha hi hai khel ke maidan mein ladein (it's better to fight in a game then in a war). I am all for love thy neighbour. Be a sport yaar."

via Twitter

We believe Mr Sibal is not very happy with such creative photoshopping.

And then macgeek800 realised that one more man was missing to complete the masculine version of the the situation room. So here comes Bin Laden..!


If there can be only men in the situation room, it's definitely possible that only women can be in the situation room as well! The answer to the sexistic taking out Hilary from the situation room! An image by Free Williamsburg.


Any guesses why there was no chance in hell for Bin Laden to escape?


Osama and Obama playing playstation in the situation room. Created by paulmwatson.

And now the grumpy girl is replaced by the freaket out cat. Created by BoingBoing.

Meanwhile, it was not just bloggers who were having fun on the internet. An Ultra-Orthodox Hasidic broadsheet Der Tzitung, published in Brooklyn found the iconic Situation Room photo too hot to handle because of the presence of two women: Hillary Clinton and Audrey Tomason, the US national director of counterterrorism. It simply photoshopped them out of the frame. "Apparently the presence of a woman, any woman, being all womanly and sexy all over the United States' counterterrorism efforts was too much for the editors of Der Tzitung to handle," noted the prominent women's blog Jezebel.

Here is an inspired one with the grumpy flower girl who the world originally saw when Kate and William kissed at the Royal Wedding. [via Boing Boing]

Veena Malik claims she has never posed in the nude and the controversial photos making headlines are morphed. FHM India's editor, Kabeer Sharma, however, insists that nothing had been doctored: "We have video footage of the shoot as well as emails from Veena about how she's looking forward to the cover."

And can Indians be far behind in imagining how an Indian situation room might look? Here's one we have received in many, many mail messages, and it appears to be from the Unrealtimes

Courtesy: Unrealtimes

Veena Malik The Sir Issac Newton Society Medal of Honour for successfully demonstrating to the illiterate people of the India and the Pakistan the deleterious effect of the force of gravity on the chiffon and lycra.

Illustration by Sorit

A man displays a copy the December issue of FHM India, a popular Indian men's magazine that has a photograph of Pakistani actress Veena Malik at a way side stall in Mumbai. Malik is suing FHM for Rs.10 crore, accusing it of publishing photos she says were doctored to make her appear nude.

AP Photo/ Rafiq Maqbool

A man shows the December issue of FHM India, a popular men's magazine that has a photograph of Pakistani actress Veena Malik at a way side stall in Mumbai. Malik is suing FHM for Rs 10 crore, accusing it of publishing photos she says were doctored to make her appear nude.

AP Photo/ Rafiq Maqbool

A man holds a copy of the December edition of FHM India, a lifestyle magazine featuring Pakistani actress Veena Malik on the cover, at a magazine store in Bangalore. Malik is suing FHM India for Rs 10 crore, accusing it of publishing photos she says were doctored to make her appear nude.

AP Photo/ Aijaz Rahi

They called it a Pakistani W.M.D.—but she was in the RAW, with an ISI mark to boot. Veena Malik, who had earlier been dismissed as yet another Pakistani looking for cheap publicity when she appeared on reality show Big Boss, is no stranger to riling and taking on the self-appointed conservative, fundamentalist moral police in her country. Soon after the brutal murder of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, she had appeared on Pakistan TV and bravely taken on Mufti Abdul Qavi with a bristling attack. And here she is again, all the rage on cyberspace today, with a tweet reporting: "@fhmindia website crashes after they put up a naked pic of Veena Malik. Don't think any website crashed after Lokpal draft was published"

People walk past Benetton's "Unhate" campaign at a shop in Paris, France


People walk past Benetton's "Unhate" campaign poster at a shop in Paris, France. This isn’t the first time Benetton has stirred controversy. In the past its ads have depicted a nun kissing a priest and parents grieving over a man dying of AIDS.

AP Photo/Michel Euler

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu


North Korean leader Kim Jong-il smooching South Korean president Lee Myung-bak


German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy who have butted heads over a European debt plan recently.


Barack Obama and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, a longtime Washington adversary. "The White House has a longstanding policy disapproving of the use of the president's name and likeness for commercial purposes," White House Spokesman Eric Schultz has said.


President Obama kissing Chinese President Hu Jintao. "Paramount Leader of the People’s Republic of China - President of the USA." The Benetton press release seeks to put a very lofty aim to the photos dubbed sensationalist by many: The new campaign, the creation of the Foundation and the other initiatives of the UNHATE project reflect Benetton's wish to drive the desire for participation and change that animates the world's citizens, and especially the young, inviting them to play an active, central role in its initiatives, particularly through the internet, social media and other digital applications. This marks a further step forward in Benetton's communications, which elicit intervention and action from everybody, in the name of an "expanded", open democracy, without physical, political, social or ideological boundaries.


"Shockvertising"? Benetton's latest ads -- part of its "Unhate" campaign -- featuring world leaders kissing each other on the mouth, unveiled in major cities, including New York, Milan and Paris, have created a furore, The Vatican has threatened legal action to stop the distribution of the photo montage featuring the pope and Ahmed el Tayeb, the head of Cairo's Al Azhar institution. Benetton has quickly removed ads in Italy showing Pope Benedict XVI in a tight clasp with the imam, in the doctored photo.


This image, captioned as the dead Osama bin Laden, and carried by Indian and Pakistani news channels as well as a number of news websites, is fake. The distorted picture has been circulating on the internet for at least two years, and seems to be an alteration of a genuine Reuters photograph of bin Laden taken in 1998.

AP Photo/ Express TV