Al-Avalathi's Life (Al-Avalathi is the last Mallu to go to the Gelf)
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Posts from — May 2004

Circa 1970: Ambika Soni, Who is that?

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That was the case way back in seventies when the now Gen. Secy of Congress was a rookie congree woman or better to say a close aide of “Sanjay Gandhi”. Sanjay shot to fame for all wrong reasons. His dictionary had just one word starting with W. You guessed it right, “WOMEN.” Thanks to his love for the fairer sex many “leaders” were born. Ambika Soni is just one of them( we shouldnt forget the former “whatever” Maneka gandhi).

Ms. Soni caught my attention when she was the AICC “watchwoman” for Kerala.

She had the onus of managing the petty political infighting in Kerala’s Congress. But she could not do it as expected by Sonia (ji!!!) and so left for Rajasthan.

I read about the rise of Soni in “Kerala kaumudi”. She was a cantontment kid who started off as a volutneer in congress. Later became in charge of the party’s international relations(her hubby is an IFS officer, so???).

Somewhere down the lane ,Youth Congress chief etc. It was our dear Sanjay who spotted this Punjab di kudi as a College Political leader.

Soni is indeed one of the players in the drama that lead to the Emergency.

It is a shame for us all that sycophants of this kind are still trying to rise in the political firmmament. Why is the media covering her so much. What if she is not accomodated in the ministry.

Disclaimer: This post is based on a news report the author came across and the author does not give or make any representation or warranty (either express or implied) as to the completeness, accuracy, reliability or availability of the page or its contents.

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May 31, 2004   2 Comments

The people of Kerala are sick of ____?

Kids love it. The working class(I mean the people who work and not the shirkers) is sick of it. It is a nighmare for Universities. CBSE and ICSE students hate it (State school students don’t care) You would have got the answer by now. It is Hartal -the new avatar of Bandh (after it was banned a few years back).

The Honble High Court of Kerala came up with a (another?) verdict on Hartal.

It has said that it agrees with the right to stike, but vehemently opposes the “right to make others strike, or be a part of the usual 12 hr drama”. The HC said that it is the duty of the state to protect its citizens and ruled that the state is free to call in Army/ParaMil if necessary to keep things on track. Any loss of private property should be compensated by the state and should be then recovered from the causative agents , usually the political parties in various hues.

The HC was right in not banning Hartal. It said the right of expression can not be stifled. One interseting point is ,if “Hartallers” have the right to “Not work”, non Hartallers have the right to work!!! The state should not succumb to the pressure by declaring holidays. This attitude of the state gives them the enthu to call for Hartal. The state declares the hartal day as a holiday for all educational institutions. This is enough for the Hartallers to reach a state of gratification.

We have a state govt “indebted” to various International Lending Institutions. How is this govt going to pay for the loss of private property during Hartals? Will the govt will ever be able to get the money from the Hartallers? Only time would answer this….

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May 29, 2004   2 Comments

Tehelka -A Good Weekly

It was an usual stop at a traffic point. A boy accosted me with a lot of mags ,the Tehelka caught my attention. Decision had to be made within seconds. The counter at the traffic was closing to zero. My mind was wavering with the to buy or not decision. Thoughts like won’t this be another collection of crap passed through my mind. Decided to buy.

Tehelka is great. I had expected a third rate sleazy crime magazine. My expectation and reality turned out to be poles apart.

This is mag with contributions from the so called Delhi elite, the journo clique, the babus,film makers and Scholars. A mag meant for serious reading. I felt I was reading the Hindu, a sense of relief from the yuppie trash that TOI is dishing out(Their BangaloreTimes is horrible, and the Sunday Times too).

The issue in this issue of Tehelka ranges from social (laborers, women, child marriages of Chattisgarh etc) to politics, diplomacy and the old Operation West End. Tehelka is not for the Page 3 junta.

Quite surprisingly it covered a piece( a small one in fact) on a Soap Making unit in Kerala(Aleppey), making Maari Soaps -women empowerment. Never read abt this thing even in Malayala Manorama or saw it in any Mallu TV channel.

I don’t understand why the newer mags are moving to tabloid size(India Shining and this any connection??)

I feel sorry for missing the earlier 17 issue of this wonderful sheets of paper. Tejpal is clever enough to go the India Today way with only subscribers being allowed to “enter” their site. Teju superb piece . Great!!!

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May 28, 2004   No Comments

Why do markets crash?

I am Back 2 Blog .

The BSE sensex is supposed to be the barometer of India’s Economy, atleast by a few. When there is a small chaos in the corridors of power the sensex crashes.

This has happened umpteen number of times. What or who are those evil forces causing this.

It is mainly the FIIs.

The FIIs put their money in the markets to reap profits. They are never willing to take risks. These investors are mainly big wigs from London, Hong Kong and Singapore. And the money they put in is not theirs but the hawala money of our very own Indian politicians. So in a way the Foreign Institutional Investors are jus a via media for the hawala Rupee. The rupee in disguise as the dollar.(I don’t have a proof for this, but I have been told by dependable sources)

The FIIs pull out their money whenever there is a confusion. They sell of their stocks , value of shares reduce, market crashes, the Bull Run as in market jargon happens. The funniest thing happens after this SEBI, RBI and FM get into the mess. They blame some “ugly forces”. Never would they directly blame the FIIs as this would shoo them away from the markets and our Forex Reserves would go down. Forex Reserve has now become an issue of prestige for the govt after the much hyped $100 Billion effort. From $ 1 billion in 1991 we are now at about $115 Billion.

The BSE Sensex has become so unpredictable that indiatimes is conducting a predict the sensex contest.

Poor me tried played it a few times, thanks to the volatile sensex I was never close to it.

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May 27, 2004   No Comments

Commerce ministry in wrong hands

Apart from the Lallofication of Indian railways, there is another ministry that went to wrong hands.

Kamal Nath has been given the priced Commerce portfolio. It should have gone to good negotiaters like Chidambaram or Kapil Sibal(he is one of India’s highly paid advocates, Bofors Case, TenSports V/s DD case to name a few of his cases)

Who will do the Jaitley in the next Cancun(WTO-Ministerial Conferenec wherever it be!!!). It was the J-factor that united the group of nations including India, S Africa, Brazil etc. against the western agricultural subsidies. Cancun was not a failure as Jailtey said, it was a beginning.

Kamal Nath after assuming office has come out with the hackneyed promises like increasing our exports and help it grow better to reach the 1% share of the world exports.

And we can expect a revision of certains parts of the 2002-07 EXIM Policy. Kamal Nath is the same old Min for Environment who represnted India at the RIO Earth Summit. He is not a dynamic leader but just a General Secy of the Congress in deep slumber.(both the party and him)

Dr.Singh is impressive in all respects but not in key portfolio allocation. Wake up Dr.PM.

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May 25, 2004   No Comments

Movie Piracy-A few things I know

Movie Piracy

After an off day, I am back to blogspot.

The blogger in me is showing off his aarambha sooratham (roughly translated means initial enthu).

Could not blog yesterday, as it was an off day for me.

The magnitude of Movie piracy in India is huge but too small from the level in Indonesia or the Middle East.

This is my five paisa worth of info on movie piracy.

Usually Malayalam Movie CDs (pirated) come in from the Gulf where it is very easy (it seems!) to record from a movie theatre where it is played, with permission most of the times.

So we get to see some Saudi Arabia or UAE phone numbers scrolling through out the movie. Salute their guts. The are publicising their venture that is on the other side of the law.

Hindi Movie CDs that land in Bangalore are from Pakistan for sure. These CDs have ads of Rangeeli and Kidco Candy, sometimes even ads of PAKi music videos. The quality of ads are abyssmal to say the least. CD piracy therefore is not an unorganised ball game where you go record movies in the theatre near you, but very very organized. DVD versions of movies are available for download. Plz don’t try it at home, for your connection speeds wont allow that. You need some 8-10 hours to download a full DVD movie.

How do the VCD/DVD pirates generate their income. They just create a single master pirated CD and sell it off. The number of copies in the market grows exponentially.

A bad form of doing business, but altruistic way where the revenue stays at One Level and is not passed onto the person on the top. You help others make money without any return.

After TRIPS on piracy will the govt do something seriously to tackle this.

NO , they can’t.It is funny that a person viewing a pirated CD is also a criminal under the eyes of law. Is there a question of ethics. Anyone there to comment?

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May 24, 2004   2 Comments

The Brand Reporter

The Brand Reporter is a Tabloid Size Fortnightly from AgencyFAQs.

I occasionally visit http://www.agencyfaqs.com to read on Ads and related stuff.

You get to see videos and snapshots of some real good TVCs which we have missed or prolly not being hooked to that genre of channels. This is not the only thing at AFAQ but lots more, info own how to sell a product to children!!!

About a month back I participated in a survey at AFAQs to get the first issue of TBR free. I received the first issue a fortnight back and yesterday came the second.

The Mag is good. It says anything and everything that happened in the Ad/Marketing world in the last fortnight.

The only Con as far as this mag is the price. Guys like me would not be loyal to the mag after they stop sending for free.

I dont know why they have created a glossy mag that is priced at 20 bucks.

Prolly they are looking at a different market. The people they focus could be the people who are practising in this area and not info seekers like me. I am still happy with BW , the mag that costs Rs5 and covers a wide range of articles.

Hope they keep sending me a few more issues of TBR for free or atleast have it online.

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May 22, 2004   2 Comments

Why should I start Blogging?

I used to wonder why people blog?

“Is it because nothing happens it their lives and like to project themselves as a “happening” human being or that they have nothing else to do.”

Now I understood why people blog or say why me now a blogger…

How do I publish what I think.

I need a place to write.

I can’t ask The Hindu to publish whatever I think.

Only a Blog can help me.

So here do I start.

Welcome to Nikhil’s Musings…

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May 21, 2004   No Comments