Saturday, December 18, 2004

14,000 weddings and don't know how many funerals

that was a record of sorts.the favourable conjunction of planets on 28th november this year,about three weeks ago.astrologers and matchmakers in delhi went on overdrive.the scorecard-14,000 marriages.toi estimated that the average cost for each marrriage would be about 10 lakhs.which puts the total amount of money spent for the marriages at a staggering Rs 1400 crores.
should so much money be spent on marriages?.some say what is 10 lakhs when lakshmi mittal,subroto roy and the likes spend several crores.after all should we not stretch ourselves and put up our best show to our friends and society when our darling daughter is getting married.we are not showing off.we are only enjoying one day together with all our friends-khana,peena aur masti karna hai.begane shaadi me abdulla deevana!
this argument cannot be ignored.and after all all this expenditure finds its way to various sections of society:- caterers,stagesetters,phoolwallas,mehndiwalis,hairsetters,gana-bajana people,photographer,videowallah,so on and so forth.
and movies like hahk,ddlj,monsoon wedding have made marriages a spectator sport.
it is not that huge sums of money are spent in metropolitan cities alone.even in rural areas spending lavishly is de is ironic,given our income levels.but then izzat ka saval hai.beg,borrow or steal.
didn't somone say marry in hurry and repent in leisure.abhi shaadi hai aur phir barbaadi.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Phone Cameras Hit Headlines

It happened recently in Delhi.In the Delhi Public School.A male student had oral sex with his girlfriend and had it photographed by another friend in his mobile phone camera.Some time later the video clip moved to IIT Kharagpur,was on the LAN for sometime and a net savvy student who happened to get hold of the footage auctioned it on and earned some money.
The story of DPS was in circulation for some time though.But the bombshell came last night when the CEO of,Avinash Bajaj, was arrested for assisting in the sale of porno on the net.The IIT student also has been arrested and so has the DPS student.The girl is missing but it is learnt that she has gone abroad.Delhi police are investigating into this cyber crime.
Almost simultaneously the Kareena-Shahid PDA(Public Display of Affection),got splashed allover.The TV news channels ran it ad nasueum.Both were seen kissing in a restaurant and the Mumbai tabloid Mid-Day turned it into frontpage news.The picture was taken using a camera phone.Both denied the incident and said the images were morphed and that they had never visited that restaurant where they were supposedly shot while they were very intimate.Kareena has sued Miday for Rs 20 crores for damage to her reputation.Mid-Day is sticking to its story.The papparazi have done it again.
A furious debate has started.Whether public figures should not be discreet and keep their emotions for the private.Also whether camera phones should not be banned in certain public places.The marketing chief in India of Samsung who was interviewed on this subject,said that their cell phone is designed in such a manner that there is an audible click when the cellphone is used for taking pictures.It can alert the people around.
The question really is the downside to techonolgy.While on the one hand a cellphone is a mustmust for everyone considering the convenience it imparts,the dangers of misuse like the above examples as well as the effects of radiation on the brain due to overuse is frightening.
For some time,I have been windowshopping for a PDA.Only yesterday afternoon I walked over to Abdul's shop at Flora Fountain.The bloke sells entertaiment electronics stuff and when I asked him for his suggestion for a PDA he tried to convince me of how superior Sony P 910 i is to the PalmOne Treo 600.He was so well informed that he knew about the DPS incident as well as the IIT KGP student Ravi Raj's road to fame!.He said that when he reached home last night his children and wife were discussing the DPS incident as well as the kareena-shahid affair.
The camera phone is becoming omnipresent and omnipotent.Global sales are expected to be around 50 million by 2007. Surely,in future, these camera phones will have to carry warning signs like 'It is injurious to health' as well as 'It can click your privacy away'.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Mumbai's newest hotspot

Situated at Nariman point and just 5 mintes'walk from our house opposite the oval-maidan, this new mutilplex has great appeal for me.It has all the four rolled in one;food,shopping,entertainment and car parking and all under one roof.Stylishly named, the CR2 INOX is a worldclass mall.The architecture is pleasing to the eyes,the decor inside is superb and there are conveniences galore.
It is spread over 75000 square feet and has a 8 storeyed car parking.The food court is likely to have muti-cuisine joints.There are 5 cinema halls having a total capacity of 1350.The last show is at 11.45pm. There are escalators for moving from one storey to another.The air conditioning and housekeeping is superb.
After having sung hosanas to Inox,you might ask whether there is any downside.Bit heavy on the purse.For example,each cinema ticket in the upper stalls costs 200 bucks.And the parking fees for about 3 hours comes to nearly 90 bucks.During daytime,traffic congestion could be a problem on weekdays.Also the decibels emanating from the sound system could send you rushing to an ent specialist.So if you take your family along,and do all the four,it may take a heavy toll on your wallet.Inspite of getting cash back on credit cards(a new gimmick started by the service providers).
It is still an experience one must go through.For us it is the proximity, and the tremendous saving of time.The latest movies get shown here.We watched Veer-Zarra and Vanity Fair during the last fortnight and enjoyed them.If you are in this side of the city and want to unwind, give it a try.
I have taken some pictures.I can email them to those who are interested.

Sunday, December 12, 2004


I was very impressed with the latest billboard ad of Amul which I saw a few days ago.There was this mother standing in between her two sons flanked on either side.One is suited and booted while the other is in a neta's dress.She is holding a plate with bread on it.The caption reads-"Share the bread equally".And the bottom of the ad reads "Amul,Rely on it".
No wonder that Amul has entered the Guiness Book of World Records with its billboard advertising commenting on the breaking news of the day.In the old days prior to nationalisation of aviation,it was Kooka of Air India who was famous for such brilliant billboard advertisements.Then Amul took over and has been continuously doing a splendid job since then.
Imitation is the best form of flattery ,it is said.And TOI decided to do it openly,unabashedly and with Amul as inspiration.While the first page of today's Bombay Times carried the ad about which I mentioned,the third page carried a quarter page ad with the brothers shaking hands,the tagline reading "Share the newspaper equally!" and signing off as "The Times of India,Rely on it".
An utterly butterly spoof.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Hottest four letter word of 2004

Guess which is the hottest four letter word of 2004.Give up.OK.According to Merriam-Webster it is 'blog'.The most looked-up word on its internet site this year.The top ten are:
a couple of these words made me scramble to my pocket dictionary!.

MW has defined blog as " a website that contains an online personal journal with reflections,comments and often hyperlinks." "Blog spreads gossip as well as serving as an outlet for people increasingly disenchanted with mainstream media."
Did the presidential election and the natural disasters in usa have anything to do with voluminous hits for the top ten words? I guess so.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Yaha mumbai meri jaan

aye dil hai mushkil jeena yahan,......,yaha bambai meri jaan.i was reminded of this very hummable song from 'cid' a very old dev anand starring movie y'day when i decided to leave my office during lunchtime and visit my old parsi bonesetter located in the fort area near pherozshah mehta road.don't get me wrong,i haven't broken any bones yet.i only stretched a ligament in my back while trying to lift something very heavy.what a stupid thing to do.and i am partly decommissioned due to this temporary disability.this doc's dad was the one who saved me nearly 40 years ago when i dislocated my left shoulder in the bombay gym swimming pool.the nearest place i could be rushed to then was dr hadvaid's clinic and the grand old man set it right in a jiffy.since then,i must have had a million dislocations which i have learnt to put back on my own.

while returning from the doctor's clinic,i felt very hungry as i had not had any lunch.i decided to tryout something novel.while i was on the lookout for an eating place during this return walking journey of 20 minutes,i saw a huge crowd in a corner of sir pm road.i saw something amazing,what i had never seen before.three guys sitting facing one another.a small center table.fresh fruits in a huge basket.papaya,pineapple,water was peeling the skin off, the other two cutting them into big pieces and serving them on a4 size papers.all done with great speed and clinical efficiency.i decided to try and took a plate for ten bucks.chunks of fresh fruits for lunch.something i have never done. garnished with some salt and was heavenly.within a few minutes i finished it as there was enough room for me to move to a corner and eat the fruits without any push or pull.there must have been atleast 50 people,when i was there,clamouring for their plates.there was a big basket kept for throwing the paper plate out.ecologically friendly,open-air,good for the health,pretty inexpensive and all within a few minutes.this is mumbai.meri jaan . i then realised that though i am so fond of kolkata,i have actually lived for a longer period in mumbai.and mumbai is my home anyway now.

i mentioned about this experience to a colleague of mine late in the evening when we were returning home.i was not surprised when he said that the fruitwalla's net earnings would be about rs 3000 per fixed costs,no electricity bills,no credit,no tax.all hard cash.that is the way to earn!

Vanity and Vanity

in my last posting,i wrote about lulu guiness's vanity bag.from this vanity fare,this time i will move on to mira nair's splendid movie-vanity fair.we saw it last sunday at the new nariman point mutiplex,cr2inox.this was our second visit to this new convenience in the last fortnight.this british classic written by w.m. thackeray was well directed by mira nair of monsoon wedding fame.the cinematography, the performances,the music were all top class.don't miss seeing this film if it is being shown in your part of the world.

Shop Till You Drop

no,i am not recommending any particular shopping mall given that so many have mushroomed all over the city.i recently read about an adorable metallic purse from cult designer lulu guiness."it's gold lame with multicoloured embroidery of shopping bags,hat box and an appliqued with zips up at the top and has a satin lining.".wow.that sounds fantastic.the price?.anybody's guess.after all it is Lulu Bag.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Ye tho hona hi tha

when it exploded,it wasn't really much of a surprise.the stock market was expecting it,the rumour mongerers were working overtime spreading all the juicy happenings in 'sea wind',the popular magazines were writing reels of stories on the brothers and bahus,there were whispered discussons in the corridors of the corporate world as to when it was going to happen.and then finally muks broke the news."ownership isues;but then they are in the private domain".

ril and rel prices took a beating though the nifty and sensex were continuing to move north.political leaders,godmen,et al jumped into the fray.there was lot of drama.six directors of rel resigned presumably under pressure from muks' camp.kokilaben intervened but to no avail.she even gave an ultimatum to the warring siblings,but then the deadline passed away.she sought the help of 'morari bapu',famous for his narration of kathas.anil and tina shot off to tirupathi to seek balaji's blessings for peace and tranquility in the extended ambani family.and also to nathdwara.but then there were talks that they were trying to save their marriage.

sushmita sen was rumoured to be the third person,though she vehemently denied.they were seen together in switzerland in the same hotel and it was said that tina was going to have no more of it.figures started flying around.some said she wanted 600 crores for a settlement;the last sum i heard was 1000 crores.

chorwad,where dhirubhai was born was full of activity.prayers galore.letters to kokilaben to pray to keep the family together.appeals to the brothers to stay like ram and lakshman and not fight like the pandavas.

i think long days and long nights are there ahead.though anil has strategically backed off in the latest rel board meeting by agreeing to seek approval of the ril board on major investments,it appears to be a lull before the storm.mukesh doesn't like anil's ways.excessive partying,hobnobbing with celebreties from the tinsel world,getting closer to the samajwadi party and the likes of amar singh,amitabh bachan and mulayam singh yadav.and finally the rajya sabha nomination by samajwadi party.

anil knows he is getting marginalised.mukesh wants a big slice of the cake and is not satisfied with is anil's response to mukesh's create his own political base to fight the is said that dhirubhai died intestate.that is without a will.which means that his share will get divided by 5. 2 sons,2 daughters and kokilaben.mukesh wants to prevent all that and grab most of the whole and leave a part.he is prepared to give away rel to anil and cash alongwith it.anil may settle for this ultimately.he his already having nightmares of having to deal with nita on the board of ril if that should happen.

the days of bhai-bhai are is now bye-bye.