Friday, September 25, 2009

Re: Your email has won $1 million loan

This might sound similar.The other day I received a typical email from a person, who for reasons best known to him, did not mention his real name. The email ID merely mentioned his identity as ‘knightrider2007’. This immediately set me thinking in ingenious ways that is possible only if you are workless like me.

Was the person’s real name so bad enough for him to choose something which sounded not so much a human monicker as much an appellation of something that is at home in Vijay Mallaya’s stable? Even then why 2007? Did he finish 2007th in a race in which there were 10 contestants? But what happens if his real name were indeed ‘knightrider2007’? In that case, what would be his parents’ name? More importantly, what happens if it were a woman behind that impregnable anonym, ‘knightrider2007’? Well, in that case, the ‘him’ and ‘he’ in the previous sentences should read ‘her’ and ‘she’Heck, he or she, ‘knightrider2007’, and a couple of others who keep emailing me almost on an hourly basis, could well be the reason for the global finances being in such a huge mess today.

Let me explain: Basically what ‘knightrider2007’ had written to me about was that he or she was very keen to offer me over a million of dollars for no apparent reason other than that I happen to be me. I can imagine you sniggering that this is a regular spam that everyone with an email address gets every minute. In fact, these spam messages may well be the reason for the high internet traffic, which is roughly broken down as 25 per cent porn, aimless surfing on things and youtube snippets on T Rajendher, 25 per cent on searching that eventually lead you nowhere and 40 per cent on email forwards that are thought up by workless staff of heaven knows what company for the rest of the humanity that is busy acting that it is at work, and spam mails about financial bonanza offer. The remaining 10 per cent of the traffic is of those trying to figure out the various percentages that comprise the internet traffic.

Patently, ‘knight-rider2007’ and several others (mostly with African sounding names from Uganda to Burundi to Burkina Faso to other places that are too obscure even for a geography class) who have been painstakingly filling up our inboxes for years together, have modelled themselves on modern-day banks and insurance companies that work on the sterling prudential principle that everybody in this world is a bloody sucker for free offers. And the first lesson that they teach at the B-schools in financial management is that all loans, through concerted effort, can one day end up as freebies.

The second lesson that is tutored in is that the person in charge of disbursing loans and the person in charge of ensuring their repayment are two different persons. Banks operate this way because it can employ two people for one simple work. Further, this also seamlessly ensures that the banks, at the end of the year, emerge with huge NPAs.

In case you are wondering what NPAs are, well, they are handy acronyms that determine what should the government do in terms of fiscal management. If the NPAs are about at a middling level, say about a few hundreds of crores (in Indian context) the government issues statements that there was nothing to worry about the health of the said bank and waits till the NPAs reach a level when they get to be called ‘huge’.

Once the NPAs reach this level, the government gets cracking —— pay close attention here as this is the vital aspect of modern market economics ——— and issues statements that there is nothing alarming to unduly worry about the fiscal health of the said bank. The word ‘fiscal’ is used to convey the idea that the government indeed knows that the matter under discussion is economics.

Eventually, when there are no more loans to offer, the literal buck having literally stopped, and every person who has taken a loan is not ready to repay it, the government, with practiced alacrity, jumps into the fray and says something significant: ‘We are monitoring the situation closely’. The word ‘monitor’ is employed as because it looks more sincere and serious than when it is said: ‘We are watching the situation closely’.

Meanwhile, those individuals who have taken a loan, realising that none is willing to repay, rally into a group to increase their bargaining power.

This is naturally the cue for them to announce a loan waiver scheme, which is based on the sound economic principle, that the country’s official Mint is big enough to take up extra work of printing more money.

Elsewhere, the professional managers of the bank, who generally holiday in esoteric locations in distant lands come back from their vacations and get ready to take up their professional duty of bestowing loans on people who have no earthly chance of repaying them. This is roughly what capitalism, socialism and communism eventually are.

And my guess is that the enigmatic knightr-ider2007, who is offering me loads of cash for nothing, is actually a bored banker on holiday in an African country. He is apparently at it just to ensure that he doesn’t lose touch with the work that is awaiting him upon resuming his official duty.

So my advice to you all those who receive financial bonanzas on emails is: Accept them today. Or else, you will pestered with calls for availing loans tomorrow.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Unnaipol Oruvan- Review (4 out of 5)

Kamal the shrewd screenplay writer, reproduces the effect of A Wednesday equating Mumbai terror in the original with serial blasts in Coimbatore and explosion at Meenambakkam airport in the late '80s. References to Best Bakery blaze, Rajiv Gandhi assassination and frequent communal violence in Kanyakumari are made without taking sides. A spoof on former Pakistan President Musharaff is interesting.

What have you come to expect from movies on terrorism? A jingoist for a protagonist with an inexhaustible supply of dialogues and bullets who goes after ultras from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.

Far from arousing nationalistic feelings, the movies leave you debating as to which of the two- the guns firing non-stop or the patriotic lines- are more tiresome.

But fit in Kamal Haasan in the scheme of things and you will find that clich├ęs disappear. Unnaipol Oruvan is a hard hitting movie and its becoming a thriller in the process is purely incidental.

A faithful rehash of A Wednesday, the movie has one of Kamal Haasan’s pet themes, debating between right and wrong, moral and immoral and violence and non-violence. It is an individual’s fury against the ineffectiveness of the system which has resignedly accepted violence and terror as its destiny.

Without being preachy Unnaipol Oruvan stays focused on the harsh reality of our times and profers a solution as well. You find yourself taken in by the concept, the script and the pace at which it is told.

Ably supported by the dialogues of Era Murugan, Kamal Haasan has succeeded in touching upon sensitive issues sensibly. Murugan seems like a worthy contender to fill in for writer Sujatha who had it in him to intellectualise even quotidian themes, while cerebally elevating every-day ideas.

Kamal Haasan is a typical middle-class Indian, who could be spotted anywhere on the streets. The angst and agony of an aam admi who is you, me and the man living next door, has been subtly brought out. Kamal claims the limelight for himself even with limited screen space.

Mohanlal is not your usual gun-totting cop but a brainy police officer. Cool and composed in his demeanour, he lends the role the requisite charm and grace. His encounter with Kamal Haasan towards the climax is memorable for the sheer power the two towering film personalities bring to their performances. Kamal Haasan’s superlative portrayal could have been matched only by Mohanlal's acting prowess.

The movie begins with former City Police Commissioner Raghavan Maraar (Mohanlal) recalling an eventful day, which led to his shedding his khaakhi. The protagonist (Kamal Hassan) neither reveals his identity nor his religion. He is the ‘common man’ who vents out his angst by taking on the system, trying to bring it down to its knees.

The Commissioner of Police receives a call from an unnamed man (Kamal Haasan) who claims that he has planted bombs all over the city. The caller urges him to release four terrorists (three Islamic ultras and a Hindu militant involved in weapon sale and all of whom were key players in earlier bomb blasts). Maraar who dismisses it as a crank call, is in for a rude shock after a bomb is spotted at a police station. He ropes in the best among his associates (Ganesh Venkataram, Prem) and even a young hawker to trace out the identity of the anonymous caller. Besides, there is journalist Natasha Rajkumar (Anuja Iyer), who tries to tell the world the common man’s uncommonly dangerous plan. It is an exercise in vain though and Maraar is forced to hand over the terrorists. The twist is when all the four terrorists get killed.

The unidentified caller, without revealing the identity, ends the whole drama disclosing that it was his mission to take their lives. The message he wants to send across to the government is only an eye for an eye is the solution for rooting out terrorism. Pent up frustrations can make a commoner do uncommon things.

The cast includes Prem, Ganesh Venkataram as police cops assisting Mohanlal and veteran actress Lakshmi as State Chief Secretary. All the actors have performed to their potential. Shruthi Haasan’s background peps up the momentum in this thriller with some catchy work behind the lens by Manoj. Without taking anything away from director Chakri Toleti, it must be pointed out that he had A Wednesday, a winner, and two titans to work with. He has taken care of even the minute details. The movie is short in duration ( 1 hour and 47 minutes) but high in content.

Produced by Rajkamal and UTV, Unnaipol Oruvan compels us to take stock of the grim situation we as a society are trying to escape from. The remedy it offers may not be acceptable outright but the debate it most definitely would spark off, is worth the effort.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Jet operations limp back to normal

Jet Airways' five-day long crisis ended with the management deciding to re-instate four sacked pilots and not initiate any action against those who agitated last week.
The airlines Executive Director Saroj Dutta told mediapersons that these were the highlights of an agreement signed between the management and pilots' representatives late Saturday night.

"It's an amicable settlement and all pilots would report for duty immediately," Dutta said.

The company would also not pursue a pending contempt petition before the Bombay High Court, which was slated to come up for hearing Monday, he added.

Following an end to the five-day long pilots' stir, Jet Airways limped back to normal operations. It has plans to operate as many at 37 flights, including two on the international sector, Sunday.

The operations are expected to completely normalize by the evening when the rostering of duties for the pilots is done and the airline would announce resumption of more services.

Until then, the airline has announced cancellation of 15 international and 137 domestic flights across its network.

Two international services - Mumbai-Dubai and return - would be operated as combined services to accommodate the maximum number of passengers

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Aamir Khan to Play Hanuman and Keanu Reeves Ram

Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan might play the much revered monkey god, Hanuman, along side actor Keanu Reeves who is set to play Ram in the Hollywood version of the Hindu epic Ramayana.

The Speed star has been approached to play the character of Lord Ram in the movie based on the mythological character 'Hanuman' and talks are on to cast Aamir Khan in the title role, reported BBC.

The film to be directed by Chuck Russell of The Mask fame, will be produced by NRI producer Uru Patel who came up with the idea of making a film based on Hanuman.

The Dark Knight actor Gary Oldman has reportedly been approached to play the evil Ravana in the movie.

Actress Shilpa Shetty was approached to play the role of Sita, but reports suggest that she has already opted out.

Search is still on to find an international face to act as the female lead opposite Keanu Reeves.

Shooting is reportedly expected to start towards the end of this year in Rajasthan.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Be MR.Smarty

How You Can Start Spending Smart? Small drops make big ocean!! This is really true.Last weekend, I went to my see my Cousin’s house. He is in Grade 6. Something was different when I looked at him. I just noticed that he has changed his prescription Glass.

When I asked him why he changed, he said that the glasses he had broke very often and also he changed more than 4 Glasses. Then I asked, how long this glass has been with him? He is using this for past 4 months!! I took the glass and looked at the quality, it was great. He said it was a $ 8 Rx eyeglasses, and he saw the Zenni Optical on TV!!!
I searched the internet about Zenni optical and found that it is one of the best optical.

Their website dot php has all the prices of Glasses and also offers many varieties. They have glasses of all types. I am going to pick My favorite high fashion eyeglasses from Zenni optical!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

MPC Synergy in India

MPC Synergy Real Estate AG plans to invest about $1 billion (Rs4,000 crore) in the Indian real estate market over the next 18 months, reflecting the continued interest of overseas investors in India.

The company, a joint venture between Germany’s MPC Capital AG and Switzerland-based Synergy Asset Management SA (both companies are in the asset management business), expects a return of around 15% from its India investments, compared with the 5-6% return it typically earns in mature markets.

“We are investing in the Indian real estate market because we see incredible demand here,” said Alex Schroeder, chief executive officer, MPC Capital. “There might be a lull now. But the market is huge, considering that the housing shortfall is 28 million units,” he added.

MPC Synergy will raise money from retail investors in Europe and launch closed-ended funds for its projects. It recently launched its first real estate fund, with a corpus of $200 million, to invest in three residential projects being developed by Delhi-based Akme Projects Ltd.

Akme is promoted by Anil Nanda, the former vice-chairman of Escorts Ltd. Nanda said MPC Synergy’s investment would cover the capital costs of the three projects.

MPC Synergy is also looking at investing in malls, hotels, hospitals and schools. It plans to invest $400 million in malls, and is in discussions with two developers to invest in their mall projects, according to Jay Oberai, managing director, Synergy Asset Management. He declined to name the developers. “We are also looking at buying one or two malls, which are generating good revenues,” Oberai added. MPC Synergy has a similar $400 million investment planned for hotels in new projects across categories (three-, four- and five-star) in Mumbai, Goa, Bangalore, Agra, Udaipur and Jaipur. “We are in talks with two hotel players, out of which one is an international hotel chain,” said Oberai.