Monday, June 30, 2008

Killer hookah


Hookah is fast becoming the 'in' thing in the metro cities of the subcontinent. Most of the 'happening' places have a 'hookah joint'. Gloomy interiors and an ambience which the people of the fast metro lanes crave for so much. And a 'friendly smoke' which many believe does not harm like its kin, the regular cigarette.

Well, the reality is far more shocking than this innocent video. The fact that a 'hookah smoke' can kill you 100times faster than a cigarette is a fact not known by many girls and boys who frequent these places and consider it a 'cool' place to hang out. The pain of diseases like cancer is so subtly hidden behind those refreshing fruity flavors that many joints even allow minors an entry inside the dark doors. The extent to which hookah smoke can harm you is still being researched but for now it is clear that it is dangerous to smoke hookah.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bravo Rahul


The above picture, as is seen, is the first advertisement to attract young talent to join Infosys. Over 1000 young minds got attracted to this fledgling company’s ad and some 16 were short-listed and joined Infosys. The rest, as they say, is history.
Now back to something that hit the news very recently. Rahul Gandhi, the future command of the Congress flagship, was quoted in the newspapers saying that he’s scouting the student communities for talented, young politicians. It was also stated that he’s taking personal interviews himself in order to find out future politicians with a flair for the trade. This is a positive thing for Indian politics which has long been plagued by the so called ‘experienced leaders’ who are too lazy to move out of their offices (and office chairs) to step into their constituencies. When the young guns of India are fast replacing the older generation in other affairs like business, science, etc. then why should the most important department of the nation still stall behind? It is very rare that a politician gets noticed before he or she reaches a ripe age (about 50 years). And this when 58% of India is younger than 25 years!
The notion that most ‘oldies’ have is that the new generation, as they call us, is intolerant, rude, uncultured, and is taking the country towards a dark future. Well, let me remind them that what we see today is the result of the things done in the past. The command of the nation, the people sitting behind the desks in government offices, the fame hungry coaches in the field of sports, the judiciary, the police, the man spitting on the streets, the people raping and killing minors, the dowry seekers (who even now are killing their daughter-in-laws), the ‘every second person you see on the streets’ is not the youth of this nation. The youth of this nation is yet to come. The youth of this nation is busy carving a future for themselves and their country. And the fact is that the things that we would do would start to blossom when it is our time to blame our next generation.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


It was a little tough for me to decide a topic which could continue the CnC style and at the same time do justice to the strong message conveyed by PJ in his previous post.
A few ideas came in but then I decided to wait a little longer until I found this one, and now I leave it for you to decide if this serves as an apt succession.
Even I am one of those who proudly call themselves as modern Indians and some of my friends go a step further and call themselves global citizens. The important thing for us to understand here is that we should realise that whenever we call ourselves by such titles we are also acting as a representative of union of a highly diversified society consisting of people from different castes, creeds, gender, religions, and colours.
But unfortunately, to create niche vote banks our political parties always promote divides, especially before elections. I needn’t start talking about Gujjar issue (caste based reservation) which just concluded, nor do I need to say much about Raj Thakre (promoting regionalism at the heart of Indian’s Commercial capital), Chandrasekhar Rao demanding formation of Telengana, Ghisingh seeking Gurkhaland and now Mr. Bal Thakre calling for the formation of Hindu suicide squads (religious divide) to protect themselves from minority aggressions. This is not all; every party selects a theme, even the bigger ones; remember last year Congress won many hearts with their Aam Admi slogan while BJP failed to impress everyone with their Indian Shinning Campaign.
Now its time for elections once again and I am worried that these powerful entities of Indian society might come up with more baseless promises and might divide the country even more on different grounds just for getting greater votes. And the most important aspect of national integration takes a set back.
But at the same time I think a good solution to this is also catching on our TV screens. Generally I am one of those to make sure that they surf through different channels whenever the TV programs are on commercials breaks. I don’t know how but yesterday I happened to notice an ad from IDEA mobile network where Abhishek Bachchan solves a feud by asking villages not to identify themselves by their surnames and instead use their 10 digit mobile numbers. All the villagers follow the words of their Sarpanch and live peacefully, even the names of roads get replaced by mobile numbers. To conclude a fellow villager comes to Junior B and acclaims “What an Idea Sirji”. And I could quite agree with it.

At a time when the country is heading to unnecessary discrimination, I found this ad very interesting. I was so very impressed that now I found the creative brain behind it. This ad is from an Ad Agency called Lowe India. This agency has had always tried to promote nation building messages through their ads. You might be able to recollect a few – Lifebouy (small kids cleaning their colony); Surf Excel (people saving 2 buckets of water and donating it) and the most recent Tata Tea (anti corruption campaign called Jaago Re!!)..
So if required once day this Ad might turnout to be a solution to most of frictions we face within our country. So it up to us to act matured and not getting carried away by the political gimmicks or else we might end up addressing each other by 10-digit codes. No Patels, No Khans, No Kapoors, No Singhs, only numbers will be the Kin(n)g.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Charity begins at home Mr Thakre


This is definitely the most depressing news I have ever come across. And I’m not just depressed, I’m actually rather furious. Mr. Bal Thakre announces in the Shiv Sena mouth piece, Saamna, that “Hindus should form a terror squad and suicide bombing squads to protect themselves …” (or to kill the non-Hindu citizens of India, or perhaps non-Maratha? Who knows?)
This comes at a time when there in unrest in the nation with respect to the rising oil prices, soaring inflation and the ever lurking terror attacks from ‘outside’ the country. Also, this comes at the time of yet another general election round the corner, but this fact would mostly be ignored by the ‘innocent’ people who would want to spice up their life by forming a terror group to attack the unarmed at various places of worship, markets, etc. or ransack, not the rich, politically influential members of the society, but those poor shopkeepers who would dare to open their shops on the day of some ‘bandh’ so that they can feed their children at home (impoverished, even after the government has announced so many ‘mid-day meal’ programs around the country).
What is more surprising is the fact that while the workmen of these monuments of hate would either die, be put in the jail or would be forced to live a life of misery after thus throwing away their youth towards the call of power hungry politicians, the real architects would be invited to talk shows on popular TV programs during prime time and would be honored on every occasion of ‘national integration’. The CBI tries to spy on emails sent by individuals sitting in desolate corners of the country’s towns and villages for a hint of terror, but such ‘grand announcements’ pass away unnoticed (no wonder the CBI and other agencies are busy solving the ‘biggest murder mystery of India’ since so many weeks now). The government has taken to a voluntary sleep considering the nearing general elections and the pulse of Maharashtra. BJP, the mighty opposition party, is sadly an ally of Shiv Sena, so they could only manage a half-mute press release from Mr. Vankaaiya Naidu, trying to keep a safe distance from the controversy (I wish it does raise some eyebrows and becomes a huge controversy).
I’m a Hindu. I’ve been proud of the calm and non-violent character of my race. With the changing times some ‘revolutionaries’ think that this centuries of patience should be ripped off from the culture we are so proud of. I would say, ‘charity begins at home’.
Please suggest, comment and support this notion. Don’t let democracy pass away so silently while we’re busy watching ‘pappu can’t dance saala’.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Cheap n Chalu ;)


I remember months back most blogs and newspaper editorial spoke about Rupee appreciation. Though most exporters were cursing the heavy impact it had on their bottom lines, common people like me were feeling proud about it. There were a few economists who even predicted that the trend would continue and rupee will go very strong. In term of figures, the predictions were that the dollar would soon come down to 30 rupees. But now again dollar stands high and is over 42 rupees.
Now, coming to the actual reason behind this entire introduction. This is from a conversation I had with my sister last night. While watching SRK’s Kya Aap Paachvi Paas Se Tez Hain, my sister asked me is the currency of Britain. I replied though all European nationals have come up with a common currency called Euro, pounds are still very prevalent in UK. Then she asked me about the exchange rate, I told her that a pound is almost 83 Indian rupees.
After sometime a weird idea struck my mind. We know that a pound can be further classified as 100 penny, so penny is the basic unit the basic unit of monetary exchange in UK and similar we know that 100 cents make a dollar. But as I see these days, the basic currency exchange in India is a rupee. In most parts of the country I learnt that all denominations smaller than 1 Re have become extinct now. (I can never forget the day at Hyderabad when a beggar at one of the traffic junctions refused to accept smaller denominations of Rupee, though she readily accept the same a one rupee coin but not two 50 paise coins)
So now scaling down the exchange factor, a rupee is eqivalent to 2.4 cents or 1.2 penny. Now, what should we conclude from this?? Our basic monetary unit is pretty stronger than that in developed nations like US and UK. Interesting isn’t it??

Monday, June 16, 2008

Just as in dictionary, Should new and old always be antonyms


Chennai is a place known for its culture and people here are very proud of its rich culture and tend to continue a lot of traditional practises beating the change in times and pace of modernisation.
Last Thursday, the CM of Tamil Nadu laid the foundation stone of a new assembly building at Chennai. The design for the same is by a German firm, GMP. The entire complex will have two sections- assembly and secretariat. The new secretariat, a towering 20 –storeyed structure, will house government departments and will be one of Chennai’s tallest buildings.
All the newspapers in the city echoed the words on the ministers, calling it an iconic monument and the new symbol of democracy. A budget of over 200 crores has been allotted for the same.
Hats to these foreign designers, (though they are making rapid strides in all upcoming real estates all over the country) who tried to combine both modern and traditional elements. Mr. Hubert Neinhoff, CEO architect-partner, GMP, said that they had to redesign their model on the CMs suggestion and incorporated elements from the structural architecture of the “Five Rathas” at Mamallapuram. A spacious “Citizens’ Forum” has been designed based on the courtyard of traditional Tamil home. The assembly hall will have glass dome. “Sunlight will seep through and provide a soothing effect The legislators will know the weather of the city sitting inside the hall”. (Though I really didn’t quite understand the advantage of this, cause neither does Chennai weather change much all through the year, and even if it changes a little with time, I wonder that the people sitting inside could do about it, apart from getting an umbrella ready before that actually walk out of the building or applying an extra coating of sun screen).
Without taking any credit from the architects, the design on paper looked good and even I am eager to see a new landmark in Chennai by 2010 (“expected” completion time).
But then the thing that struck me the most was the fact that this structure is coming at the cost of death of a colonial-era monument. Admiralty House, one of Chennai’s heritage monuments is being dismantled to make a way for these futuristic buildings. The only thing common between the one structures is that, earlier this monument was famous for it blend of south Indian architectural features and now the modern structure will also implement some native designs.
This leads to number of questions in my mind. Should a new, always replace an old? Do you think that an existing monument should be dismantled out for the new structure? Is it not possible for a place to retain its historic beauty and still progress with its future plans? Cant places promote modernism, and even restore is history and heritage?

Friday, June 13, 2008



Yesterday I happened to discover a part of Chennai, which changed (not completely thou ;) ) my perception about the city. I happened to meet a college friend who is now working in one of the top Indian IT companies based at Chennai. Soon after we met, I started listing all complaints that I had against the city. He promised me that we would make sure that he would change this sad image of the city to a certain extent.
It was around 5 o clock in the evening, and we hit the roads of Chennai on a Royal Enfield Thunderbird. A cloudy sky, a cool breeze, cleaner roads… Chennai changed itself completely in no time. We were on Old Mahabalipuram Road, a lane with all glassy buildings and posh high rise complexes, which are home to most IT companies.
The next destination for us was Besant Nagar Beach. I found it to be better than Marina both in terms of cleanliness and crowd. This place draws a lot of young and happening crowd and I could finally found people to "check-out".
Though it was real nice to be there, we planned not to spend much time at one place. We went to a nearby "Fruit Shop" (popular juice shops, at most parts of Chennai) picked up good healthy drinks and then went to Kalaskhetra, a place for Dance,craft and other Art forms; something which I could compare with Shantiniketan.
The next part of the journey was something I didn't expect, it took barely half an hour and we found ourselves detached from the city traffic. A nice winding road, with a left turn every half a kilometer leading to some beach or the other, like Pebble Beach, Juhu Beach and many more. Popular as ECR – East Coast Road connects Chennai to Mammalapuram (Mahabalipuram) and Pondicherry. It's lined with number of beach resorts and restaurants for people to relax during weekends after a hectic run through the week.
Then we went to a beautiful village called Kovallam, right when it was beating the dusk. It was again a scenic beauty to cherish. View of sun set, never ending sea, sand, breeze and the cruise bike (reaching 3-digit speeds every other second) really made my day.
Then we drove a little further ahead till we realised that the fuel is reaching the reserve mark, we decided to get back to the usual crowd but with a fresh mind and a more positive opinion about the city. We just made one stop in between to pick up some snacks at an F1 based eatery called Pit-Stop. Even that wasn't too bad either ;)
No matter how much the city sweats, smells and eats curd rice, it also host places with such scenic beauties that one can literally unwind.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Google aint rich guys ...

This may come as a surprise to most of you but this is true. When signing up for a Blogger account, you check a box saying that "I agree to all the terms and conditions", what we forget to read in the fine print is that whatever our blogs carry in it becomes the property of and we cant sell it without a prior permission from the company. This means that if your blog starts to make money and you find a suitable buyer who wants to own it along with all the content, google prohibits you from making such a deal (without its share in the profits perhaps).

Spellings that don't matter ...


This is quite an old mail, one that I found in my inbox. And the study outlined here is quite interesting.

O lny srmat poelpe can raed this.

Cdnuolt blveiee that I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd what I was

Rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch

At Cmabrigde Uinervtisy,

It deosn't mttaer in what oredr the ltteers in a word are, the

Olny iprmoatnt tihng is that the first and last ltteer be in

The rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can still

Raed it wouthit a porbelm.

This is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by

Istlef, but the word as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? Yaeh and I awlyas

Tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Politics of convenience ...

Watching Television is perhaps the best way to learn the ‘law of contradictory conveniences’. To explain what that means consider this. Imagine Lata Mangeshkarji singing the all famous song of the century, ‘Aie mere watan ke logon’ in a concert. Also sharing the stage is Mr. Bal Thakre, yes the man of the ‘kill the UP and Biharis in Maharashtra’ fame, and he stands up to honor the line which says, “kya sikh, kya jaat, maratha … sarhad pe marne wala har veer tha bharat wasi” (all the brave souls who died on the borders protecting the sanctity of Mother India and the lives of those living here may have come from different parts of India but were all sons of a united nation, all were one at heart). For such politicians, convenience is all that matter. Their own word, their own loyalty towards anything is just an illusion, so carefully woven around their ‘conveniences’. The all important real ‘issue’ is always just the welfare of their ‘conveniences’, in India there are no other issues. We are a peaceful set of people, rich with resources and talents, there are no ‘issues’ here, just political drama fuelled by the hype created by the disillusioned media.


June 5th is celebrated as World Environmental Day, where every citizen on the globe takes a pledge to conserve energy, protect plants and animals and act more responsibly to save Mother Earth from deteriorating. Popular as 3 ‘R’s – Reduce, Recycle and Reuse is the slogan for everyone. This year I was waiting to watch if we do something new, something better, and something more efficient to create a greater impact in an effort to do some good for our planet.
Today on the front page of newspaper I read an article; a notice from the BEE (Bureau of Energy Efficiency) making it mandatory for fluorescent tubelights, air conditioners, refrigerators and motors (which are currently under a voluntary program) and voluntary for the products like color Televisions, computer monitors, washing machines, CFL bulbs, LPG stoves, set top boxes, water heaters, water pumps, uninterrupted power supply systems and battery chargers to have “ENERGY LABELS”.
This means that manufacturer will have to disclose the power consumption of each appliance, and based on the product category and the power consumption, BEE will provide a “star rating” varying between 1 to 5 (5 being the best). And the companies need to put this star rating on the product for customers to check and make a wise decision.
Not just this, BEE is also starting the "star rating labels" for all motors vehicles based on their fuel effeciency. Especially with the fuel prices rising every now and then, this would be of greater help to the customers than the glossy brochures at all showrooms.
Now coming to the advantages of this:
1. The customer will have huge benefits, as this will give them one more parameter to judge a product and make a better investment. Buying a product is a one time investment, but then these electrical appliances do have an impact on our monthly electricity bills, so customer would prefer buying a product which could help him tone down his electricity expenses along with other necessary features.
2. It would be an open competition for all the manufactures, who generally try to beat each other on the basis of features, to concentrate on power consumption as well. It will also bring in new technology and innovation in energy conservation techniques.
3. BEE estimates that the collective impact of this would result in national energy saving upto 976 MW by 2011. It plans to raise the bar for securing the same rating over time, pushing the manufacturers to improve technology and edge out bad performers.

So this indeed looks like one to the best energy conservation plans that I have come across of late and is promising too. Hope we, both as individual and as a nation, reap maximum benefits out of this scheme and make our planet a better place to live.

Friday, June 06, 2008


Tracking the newspapers these days, I believe the major share of it goes to articles related to Aarushi murder case, IPL( still articles on front pages, thanks to Mohammed Asif, the editorials, and obviously the sport section; and I believe it will have its presence till the fad dies off), the oil prices, and loads of blah..
But there were two articles which I made me think a little. First was an appeal to all youngsters to "focus on their studies as well, particularly on spoken English as it would help them getting better jobs if they do not turn into good cricketers. Sehwag in his initial days faced a lot of difficulty in speaking English while he interacted with the anchor person after winning Man-of-the-Match awards. But later he practised quite a bit and now able to speak fluent English though making some grave grammatical mistakes here and there."
Think about it, I realised how relevant and important this statement is. Come to think of it, imagine so many children venture out in an effort to become Sachin Tendulkar, and be tagged "Men in blue", but how many of them finally make into Team India, a handful of them; so what happens others? Some manage to make it to the State teams and play Ranji and continue their effort to impress the selectors, but other who lose this battle fall apart. People who have a decent educational background manage to find jobs and come to the main stream but people who have even sacrificed their education for the sake of a career in cricket, are left no where.
An extreme case, I remember a year back, Subhas Dixit (former under-19 captain) committed suicide by jumping over a high rise near the Green Park Cricket stadium (the place where he might have dreamt of playing wearing the national jersey) in Kanpur.
Hope all young aspirants lend there ears to this message from Sehwag and understand the serious implications behind it.
Second thing that struck me was an initiative taken by an NGO at Villupuram, Tamil Nadu. Looking at the alarming rate of dropouts and very low literacy levels among the Muslims, the NGO has started paying Re one every day to students attending state run elementary school at a village called Sankarapuram. The area supposedly a Muslim dominated region with Tamil or Urdu as their mother tongue. So the scheme was launched at Urdu medium Panchayat Union elementary School.
At a time when the cost of education is increasing day by day, if NGOs and other organisations don't take up steps like these; poor people especially in economically backward areas would back-out from even primary education. So let's try to encourage such initiatives and help in increasing the literacy level which will give a big boost to all our national development plans.



In mid April, the MBA students of National Insurance Academy headed to Bangkok for an education tour. The technical learning was focused on the differences in practises in the India and other matured insurance markets. Thailand a country with a population of 650 million has over 75 gerenal insurance and 25 life insurance companies. Though a series of lecturers from representatives from noted insurance companies, brokers and re-insurers we got a glimpse of operations and spread of Thai insurance market.
But alongside all these we learnt a little about Thai culture as well. The hallmark for us, of course, has been the Thai tradition of water throwing as a part of their New Year "Song kran" celebration and no one could stop comparing it with our Holi celebrations. Thai new year celebrations last for three days and the entire population either visits their native homes in the countryside or hit the streets with buckets, mugs, or plastic water shotguns and what not. Few areas are popular sites for water fight, hundreds of people gather out and celebrate this festival is true spirit. Some people carry drums filled with ice cold water and go all round the city.
The only thing missing were the colour, wish I could have explained it to them and added another dimension to gala celebrations.

Thursday, June 05, 2008



I remember when I was young, I read that the vehicle which we normally use and term as "bus" derives its name from Omnibus (English plural omnibuses), a Latin word meaning "for all, for everyone", And now you know why we need to appreciate the person who named the vehicle so.

Well most of us have had loads of experiences while traveling in buses.A few to laugh at, few disappointing, few to remember and cherish, and a few to forget. We find people of all ages groups; the kids crying, youngsters joking and kidding around, the middle and old have discussions, seroious or otherwise over topics like sports, health and politics, and yea auties busy in gossips, in just one meet they exchange numbers and even teach each other a recipe or two.

When I was young I used to wonder why the bus conductors in Kolkata would shout all the localities the bus plies to, every time the bus stops. But now when I am at Chennai where language is such a huge barrier, I wish the Chennai conductors were like them. It's a tough job now for me to explain the place where I need to go and then understand the bus numbers that a person comes up with.

I also remember reading/hearing stories from by friends in school and college about a few "naughty" things that keep happening in buses, where people lose things other than cell phones, money and wallets, but never believed them.

But then my recent experiences are hinting that there might be an element of truth to some of the stories. Some of us, who travel frequently by buses would have come across some mushy things that keep happening here and there, but then I couldn't believe my eyes when things went few steps further.
The next experience is more embarassing to describe. It was around 8:15 AM and i boarded my usual bus for office. The bus was a little more crowded than normal and i was having a tough time to get stable, an uncle pushing from left, a school guy on my foot, and the aunty to my right howling at the uncle, to stop getting touchy. While i was still trying to figure out the Tamil gaalis that were flowing, i felt a hand moving over mine. At first i thought may be its coz of the rush, and tried to find some gap; but then the hand followed.. So the situation i believe is now easy for you to guess, so i had to make good efforts to shift my position and find a more comfortable place to stand...

Well now i believe that bus are really for ALL!!!!

Chennai ka CHATaaa


Don't Always Dare to be different..
Welcome to Chennai. Land of Idly,Chutney, Sambar, Vada, dosa, and Filter coffee, and yea how can I forget the long list of rice items which run into pages on each Menu card be it a road side hotel or the star restaurants.
Well I remember reading and forwarding a number of funny mails regarding some of the funny facets of the food habits of Chennaites, like
- Even dogs in Chennai feed on curd rice;
- Paani Puri or the Gol gappas are dipped in Sambar ;) and what not.
but then I was surprised to note that they are actually not just over dose of exaggeration as I excepted them to be, but then now I believe that there does exist a certain element of truth in this.
Daily at work I find my colleagues, having either curd rice or other colourful rice items or as a change dosas for lunch. The only thing that varies everyday is the colour of the chutneys and pickles that they carry alongside.

But the most memorable moment was when I and a colleague tried to be different and ended up paying the price for it. On the streets of T Nagar, we found of a number of eateries. I couldn't control my laughter when I noticed a stall named "kolkatta chats" selling items like "bhav pagii"(pav bhaji ..i suppose), "channa masala", "channa samosa","beel puri" and I couldn't scroll down....and the hotels who had got the spellings right always claimed that the junk that i prefer were over and hence not available
Looking at the list my colleague insisted on having Pav Bhaji, I promised her that I would try it out only under one condition provided we find a place which atleast spells the items right. Then we ended at a pretty posh looking sweet shop, with a decent sized snacks corner. It was here that I had my first Pav Bhaji at Chennai. My colleague was very happy to note that a plate of Pav Bhaji at Rs 25, almost half the price at Mumbai. So we ordered a Pav Bhaji each and had it full. Then we wished to try something more, we ordered a plate of Bhel Puri and Cutlet Channa. This is where we went a little overboard and expected them to good. It proved to be a costly mistake; the Cutlet Channa hardly had any piece of cutlet and the Channa was barely boiled. We felt like eating a half cooked dish and put it aside. Then we looked on to the other delicacy waiting for us, Bhel puri. Filled with a thick layer of Sev we expected the Bhel to be really tasty put it required just one spoon to get the real taste of it. Then we required was a stare and we silently walked off.

It didn't end there, after a bus journey to home here am I shuttling between my bedroom and bathroom; and i also recieved a call from the same colleague who accompanied in this endeavour, that she is down with fever.

So the lesson learnt: When at Chennai, be a Chennaite;eat Idly, Dosa and rice and drink filter Kaapi(coffee).

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

CnC, the 'hatke' news from India!

Cheap-n-Chalu aka CnC is an effort to bring to its readers articles that concern India. CnC has been live from 2006 when it was started by Prasoon Joshi and later was joined by Harsha. This is supposed to be a mix of all the taste of the society.
We appreciate advice, suggestions and appreciations from our readers. Though comments are, according to us, the most appropriate way to communicate your sentiments to us, we would not mind a private mail in our mailbox either.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Money ... and more money ...


IPL is finally over. What entertainment. What surprises. What money! So, what’s on TV now? For starters, ‘DUS KA DUM’! Sallu bhai doing the small screen debut in this ‘biggest game show ever’! The ‘biggest’ thing about this ‘big’ show is the prize money, a staggering 10 crore INR. Here are some comparisons now. The winning check of the IPL trophy was 4.8 crore INR, the runners up got 2.4 crore. And we are talking about hard work and a lot of sweat, years of dedicated perseverance while on the other hand we have a housewife who’s most outrageous efforts ever has been the sms that she perhaps sent to some lousy number to win a trip to the show that promises to showcase questions that would be challenging and winning will not be easy. It is in fact very difficult to predict the percentage of Indians who slept during their first night, or the percentage of some other crazy set of people doing or not doing something which was till now kept inside the Indian closet.
The expectations are huge from this show. Money would naturally flow, at least in the first few weeks. Will Salman be able to bring in the kind of magic that AB did into the small screen is yet to be seen but excitement is high. We’re all ready to embrace the ‘dum’ of money. Who would not, especially when its to the tune of 100,000,000.

IPL Mania


This was the telecom I had last night seconds after the last ball of DLF IPL finals was bowled and Sohail Tanvir hit Balaji for a four and Rajasthan Royals went on to win the series.

S: "Hey!! Yipee. My team has defeated yours, I'm so happy.. hurray"

Me: "yea.. congratulations."

S: "cheer up don't be so disappointed"

Me: "hmm.. its ok. But I would have preferred an Indian captain to take the trophy."

S: "chal chal.. its not patriotism; your idea reflects a very shitty mentality with zero sportsman spirit. Warne deserves every bit of it.. la la la"

Me: "true.. but its not that im against good cricket, its just had dil hi dil main, I get a little patriotic and cheer from Indians, be it Sania up against the William sisters or Naren battling out with Ferraris and McLarens"

S: "haan. Theek theek. Raat ko bhaashan math de. Rajasthan has won, I m happy"

Me: "hmm.. congratulations once again. It was really a good match"

S: "yea.. true"

Me: "so have a nice time tomorrow.. Another treat from u then ;) "

S: "hehe.. sure.. bye. Good night"

Me: "good night"

It was a little tough to me to think for a topic to restart blogging. After being in a state of hibernation for over 9 month (because of numerous reasons), now I am all set to get back to my old passion of posting my views on various issues.

Of late blogging has become a glamorous art in India, with lot of Bollywood (though Indian film industry deserves its own identity; but now we can't do much after being tagged by this name) stars like Big B, Aamir Khan and a few others, are using this as a medium to get associated with public (fans or otherwise) and even criticising their colleagues in such open forums.

And talking about film stars the next thing that comes to my mind is the Indian Premier League. I remember telling my Economics professor that cricket and movies are indeed two very big unifying factors in our country and it would be really great if we had something which would bring them together. There were a number on movies based on cricket like Chamatkaar, Lagaan, Iqbal etc but then unarguably nothing comes close to the success of IPL. Thanks to the BCCI and its marketing techniques, almost all teams were even, all facilities were spot on and the entertainment associated with game was just mind blowing.

The format was simple and easy for people to understand. Eight city-based franchises owned by different genre of people ranging from liquor barons to media houses, infra structure developers to our very own Film stars. Slowly formed the team, under eight internationally renowned coaches and national and international players auctioned for huge amounts. All the players were very professional to patch up as a team and perform towards a common motive – VICTORY.

It took a little time for the audience to form loyalties with these teams and supporting a player of otherwise a rival nation to knock down the wickets of most your national players. Indian audience did their role, they came in numbers and supported good cricket. They cheered for both the sides, but silently prayed for their city team to win the match. This is best reflected in the telecon I quoted above: "my" team, "your" team. I believe the ownership of the teams are no longer restricted to the people like Mukesh Ambanis or Shah Rukh Khans but number of cricket enthusiasts who formed loyalties with their respective sides.

It was also a good occasion for all young Indian players to showcase their talents, who otherwise need to strive hard for selectors to notice them. They got an opportunity to learn from all top players and coaches in the world.

And yeah how can I forget the cheer leaders, and as always we Indians like import items more than the local ones ;) Also the format especially because of the shortened length, increased excitement, loud music, drew huge crowds, all popular movie stars, industrialists all over, even in the players' den ;)

Its popularity was not only restricted to India; but it had good viewership in all cricket playing nations and also nations which otherwise not even aware of all cricketing rules.

As a management student it is also a lesson for us; how well the IPL with such huge investments managed not only to break even but also reap good profit in its very first session. Some franchises like Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals earned double their investment.

So now it definitely looks to grow bigger with coming years and we would surely see more skilful players, better infrastructure , fierce competition and an ultimate entertainment for all. People have already calling this as the cricket equivalent of the Barclays Premier League, so may be some day this would become the most popular and challenging format of cricket.