Archive for » June, 2009 «

Fun With Figures.

Fun With Figures.

(In a lighter vein
(Today is National Statistics Day)  
1. Mae West’s Equation :
    1 Girl in a convertible
    = 5 in the phone book !
 2. Information =  362436 ;
     Knowledge  = 36  24  36  !
3. Marriage :The state or condition of
     a community consisting of 1
     Master,1 Mistress and 2 Slaves,
     making in all 2 !!
4. Easiest way to tell when a man has
     reached middle age ?
     Watch what he takes 2 at a time.
     Stairs or pills !
5. Straight is the line of Duty.
    Curved is the line of Beauty.
    Follow the straight line and
    you shall see
    That the curved line follows thee !!
6. Our children had learnt :
    24 hours make a day.
      7 days make a week.
     4  weeks make a month,
    12 months make a year.
    Our childrens’ children will just
    learn :
    24x7x365  !
7. 1 Ounce of Performance is worth
     more than 1 Pound of Preaching.
8. A Gambler’s seven year old
     son ,when asked to count in school
     responded promptly :
   1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,Jack,Queen,King !!
 9. A lover boy’s letter ended this
     way: YOU 
                        are  2    interesting 
                                2    me
                                2    be
                                4    gotten .
             Yours    10   derly…….
10. Women have a passion for
       They divide their age in half,
       double the price of their clothes,
       and always add at
       least five years to the age of their
       best friend. !!

11. It is easier to square the circle
      than to get round a
      mathematician !!
Enjoy…….. !!

The fig tree

The figs

Here is another beautiful photograph by my son Hardeep, taken from a nearby fig tree. I love figs. Expressions like “I care a fig” are also there in the English language. The fig fruit (or rather, technically a flower) has a lot of interesting features – you can refer to the following links:

Since the flower is invisible, there is a Bengali proverb: tumi jeno dumurer phool hoe gele, you have become (invisible like) the dumur flower. The derisive English idiom I don’t care a fig probably originates from the abundance of this fruit.



The actual photograph is the early green stage of the fruit which will later ripen and change colors gradually, as seen above. Enjoy eating the fruit, commonly known as “Anjeer” in Hindi. It is available in fresh and dry forms.


A  French  Poem by 
La vie est vaine,
Un peu d’ amour
Un peu de haine,
Et puis–bon jour
La vie  est breve
Un peu d’ espoir
Un peu de reve,
Et puis–bon soir !!
Hindi Translation:by J S Broca
Zindagi bus yoon hee hai,
Thoda sa pyaar,
Thodi see nafrat,
Aur phir–shubh prabhat !
Zindagi chhoti see hai,
Thodi see aasha,
Thodey sey sapney
Aur phir–shubh ratri !! 

English Translation by J S Broca :
Life is vain
A little love
A little hate
And then– Good Day !
Life is short
A little hoping
A little dreaming
And then–Good Night !!

Tragedies / Comedies of Life

Tragedies / Comedies of Life
1. Sanitary Inspector’s
    Son drowns in a
    Street gutter,               
    Which had no
    Man-hole cover !
2. Traffic Policemen
    Challans an erring motorist,
    While his own
    Motorbike is parked
    Under the “No Parking” sign !
3. The Circus clown
    Who lost his widow mother
    At a young age,
    Practices smiling
    In front of his
    bathroom mirror !  
4. A group of Oldies
    Who had never laughed
    Really in their lives,
    Has now joined a Laughter
    To learn laughing artificially !
5. Borrower borrows
    Working Capital from
    Bank for his printing unit.
    Switches over to printing
    Counterfeit currency !
6. A dietician, who
    Helps clients in
    Weight reduction,
    Herself weighs
    120 kilos !                             
7. Barber gives
    Hero-type hair cuts
    To youth.
    He keeps his
    Own hair long ! 
8. Milk seller’s wife
   Serves him a cup of tea,
   By using his ready-mix
   Of milk and water
   From his milk can !
9. Rag-picker’s son,
    Graduates and
    Becoming an entrepreneur,
    Starts”Waste Management”
    plant !
10. Prostitute’s grown up
     Son, enjoys his new job :
     As a pimp !   
Category: Humour, Ideas, People  8 Comments

Another letter in Business Standard

The following news item was published in Business Standard of 18th June 2009:
Sebi allows concept of anchor investor
BS Reporter / Mumbai June 18, 2009, 18:27 IST
Market regulator the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) today allowed the concept of anchor investor (AI) in every initial public offering (IPO), who can invest up to 30 per cent of the institutional quota. An AI would have to be a qualified institutional buyer and invest a minimum of Rs 10 crore. It also has to bring in 25 per cent of the margin on application and another 75 per cent within two days of the closure. The lock-in period for an AI will be 30 days, said C B Bhave, chairman, Sebi today.The board has also approved amendments regarding disclosure norms for rights issues. Rights issues are those which entitle existing shareholders to buy newly issued shares at a discount. The board was also expected to consider amendments regarding the regulator’s structure that will give it powers of a civil court.Sebi also relaxed disclosure norms in rights offers by reducing the amount of documentation required. IPOs must be listed on at least one national exchange.Also, no listed company can issue shares with superior voting rights. There can also be no preferential issues with superior voting rights. This will avoid the possible misuse by the persons in control to the detriment of public shareholders.Sebi has said that there will be no entry load for the schemes, existing or new, of a mutual fund. The upfront commission to distributors shall be paid by the investor to the distributor directly. Distributors, on their part, will have to declare the commissions that they are getting from the investors.
Among other moves, the market regular has cut the fess by 50 per cent on both debt and equity deals. In case of equities, the fees will now be Rs 10 per crore of turnover (earlier Rs 20 per crore). In debt, the revised rate would be Rs 2.5 per crore of turnover (earlier Rs 5).

My comments on above news item were published in BS as under :
jsbroca                  June 19,2009, 6:30 IST

Dear Sir, Earlier we have heard of an “Angel Investor” ie one affluent individual who provides capital for a business start up in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity.Now we hear of this new term “Anchor Investor” who will be a buyer who can subscribe upto 30% of institutional investors quota in an IPO.I believe that once an anchor investor invests a large chunk of money into the company,it will send strong signals of the capability,capacity and character of the company to the investing community.Further,abolishing entry load in MFs is also a timely step in the right direction.My only comment regarding the concept of Anchor Investor is :Can an “insider” manage to become an anchor investor ? If yes what could be the consequences ? Lets test the waters for a while and see how the concept works in reality and then form an opinion about continuing with it or otherwise. Kudos to SEBI for this step !!
New Delhi

My letter in Business Standard.


The following was a news item published in Business Standard of 11th June 2009:

Satyamites celebrate ‘strong’ results, distribute sweets on campus…

K Rajani Kanth & B Krishna Mohan / HyderabadJune 11, 2009, 0:21 IST

Employees at Satyam’s Hyderabad headquarters on Tuesday did something they haven’t been inclined to do since their founder Ramalinga Raju confessed to fraud on January 7: they distributed sweets.  The reason for this jubilation was the unexpectedly good results for the October to December quarter and the first two months of calendar 2009.  “Tuesday’s announcement has brought a lot of smiles and a serene sense of confidence to the associates,” a top Satyam official who took part in the celebrations today said.  They’re especially happy, he added, with the announcement of $380 million worth of new orders. “It’s a strong statement that is sure to help build hope.” Another employee said: “We had grown used to taking unpleasant news in our stride. However, things started to improve in the last couple of weeks and yesterday’s announcement has made us happier.” Tuesday’s announcement brings some degree of peace for Anand (name changed), who works at the Satyam Infocity campus, after almost 45 tense days triggered by media reports and rumours about laying off of about 8,000 employees who are on the bench and a likely pay of 50 per cent of basic to those on sabbatical. “The results, new client wins and business orders show good signs of our jobs being intact. With the media reports indicating that the company’s annualised revenue run-rate would be much higher than expected, we are now confident that Satyam and its new owner will keep the people on the bench busy with new client engagements in the coming months,” he added. An internal survey conducted by Satyam between April 13 and May 20, observed that Tech Mahindra’s acquisition of Satyam in May had helped regain client confidence. The conversion rate from red (sitting on the fence) to green (resuming normal business) rose from less than 40 per cent just before the acquisition to 80 per cent thereafter. However, some Satyamites, especially those on the bench, are still swinging between hope and hopelessness mainly because they say there has been no official communication to the employees from Satyam or Tech Mahindra. “Laying off people is still a worry. It is not that the employees are not looking for new options. Many seem eager to jump once they get an offer from other companies,” said an associate. The fact that the numbers are not audited and that the information provided might not be right, however, should be taken with a pinch of salt, he added. Karunakar, who has been working for QEdge — Satyam’s product and application testing practice — for the past two-and-a-half years and is currently on the bench, said colleagues here are still worried about their jobs. About 900 of QEdge’s 2,500 associates are currently on the bench. “For the time being, the company has initiated a 45-day training programme (which ended last week) on technology improvements, communication skills, etc to 115 QEdge associates who are on the bench. But we are still in the dark,” he said. A Satyam spokesperson said the training programme is focused on re-skilling and that there isn’t any layoff plan. “There will be no layoffs for sure. Work is on at full pace to re-utilise and cross-share associates between Satyam, Tech Mahindra and other Mahindra group companies,” he maintained.

This was my response by way of a letter displayed on the website of Business Standard:            June 12 , 2009 ,12:45 IST

Dear Sir, reading the news and seeing the celebratory mood of Satyam-ites, gives an impression that there has appeared a rainbow at the end of a dark tunnel of uncertainty and certainly it has generated a positive feeling amongst the staff that sooner or later they will find their proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. May their dreams be fulfilled and not shattered through lay-offs and bench-sittings. Tech Mahindra seems to have proved a lucky mascot for them. If indeed the audited books show a turnaround as projected by the media, then it will become one of the success stories of quick turnaround in corporate history and will be discussed as a case study in B Schools. May Truth Triumph This Time !!


Deadly Katrina

The Web’s Deadliest Searches :
This is a snippet from the latest issue of Business Today (issue dated 28th June 09)
As per a report by a security firm McAfee, it has identified over 2600 popular words,which when keyed in on any popular search engine,exposes a computer to hackers.
Some of these words are :
Katrina Kaif,
Shahid Kapur,
Rediffmail and
How To Earn Money .
As per the survey,out of above, Katrina Kaif search on an average has been around 28.6 % of all searches,while How To Earn Money has been around 16.7%.
So dear computer buffs,beware of Katrina-surfing or else, you will risk your computer to malware.
Reading this snippet,tickled me pink and this is what my grey cells came out with :
Kaif Katrina,
Oh,Kaif Katrina,
You are one gazab ki haseena,
Agar search kiya tujh ko,
Tau kya milla mujh ko,
Ek saala hacker,bada hi kameena,
Computer ko diya malware ka paseena,
Dushwar hua apun ka, marna aur jeena.
Kaif Katrina,
Oh, Kaif Katrina !!
So let’s learn a lesson from this news item.
Don’t search for such cool and se_y babes on the web.
It may be deadly for you and your computer.
Wish to add something to this piece ?
Go ahead without any fear !!



The web’s deadliest searches.
Keying in ‘how to earn money’ or ‘Katrina Kaif’ on any popular search engine, could expose a computer to hackers.
A report by security firm McAfee identifies over 2,600 such popular keywords which risk exposing a computer to malware
Image I had sent my comments on the above news report to BUSINESS TODAY and in its latest issue dated 12TH JULY 2009,my comments have been published on page 6 under the heading of ‘Readers’ Forum’ with a title :” Oh,Kaif Katrina”.I reproduce the same herebelow :
On reading your The Web’s Deadliest Searches (BT ,June 28th),I could not resist the urge to go spooftacular:
Oh,Kaif Katrina / You may be one gazab ki haseena / But agar search kiya tujh ko / Phir kya milla mujh ko / Ek hacker / Jo computer ko diya malware ka paseena / Oh, Kaif Katrina !
On a more serious note,your article does hold some instructive lessons for web searchers.As many of us have discovered to our own peril,searching for people like Katrina Kaif on the web may or may not be fun but you do run the risk of infecting your computer with deadly virus.
J S Broca ,through e-mail.

poetic licence.

I have always been a great fan of Khushwant Singh. I love reading his Saturday columns in Hindustan Times,titled ” With Malice Towards One And All “. In one of his recent columns he discussed about the purpose of writing.The heading of the piece was “Poetic Licence”.
I had often heard  this word but had never thought about it seriously.I did a little research now. As a noun, the meaning of the words is : The liberty taken by an artist or a writer in deviating from conventional form or fact to achieve a desired effect.For example, if someone says ” I’ve never seen grass or a tree of that colour”, that’s artistic license.
Grass and trees have generally been accepted to be conventionally green.No ?
Now what has the most reliable source (according to my experience,so far) “Wikipedia” to say about this ? And I quote :” Artistic license (also known as dramatic license, historical license, poetic license, narrative license, licentia poetica, or simply license) is a colloquial term, sometime a euphemism, used to denote the distortion or complete ignorance of fact, ignoring the conventions of grammar or language, or the changing of an established fact that an artist may undertake in the name of art. For example, if an artist decided it was more artistically desirable to portray St. Paul’s Cathedral next to the Houses of Parliament in a scene of London, even though in reality they are not close together, that would be artistic license.The artistic license may also refer to the ability of a poet to ignore some of the minor requirements of grammar for poetic effect. For example, Mark Antony‘s “Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears” from Shakespeare‘s Julius Caesar would technically require the word “and” before “countrymen”, but the conjunction “and” is omitted to preserve the rhythm of iambic pentameter (the resulting conjunction is called an asyndetic tricolon). Conversely, on the next line, the end of ” I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him” has an extra syllable because omitting the word “him” would make the sentence unclear, but adding a syllable at the end would not disrupt the meter. Both of these are examples of artistic license.”
Thus, as per above quoted source,poetic/artistic license is:
1.entirely at the poet’s / artist’s discretion
2.intended to be tolerated by the viewer, and 
3.useful for filling in gaps, whether they be factual, compositional, historical or other gaps used consciously or unconsciously,intentionally or unintentionally or in tandem.
Further,the same source says: ” Artistic license often provokes
controversy by offending those who resent the reinterpretation of cherished beliefs or previous works. Artists often respond to these criticisms by pointing out that their work was not intended to be a verbatim portrayal of something previous and should be judged only on artistic merit. Artistic license is a generally accepted practice, particularly when the result is widely acclaimed. William Shakespeare‘s historical plays, for example, are gross distortions of historical fact but are nevertheless lauded as outstanding literary works.”
As  we all know, the more the controversy,the more the fame,or is it not ?  
Yet further, it says :” Artistic license is often referred to as dramatic license when it involves the glamorization of real-world occupations for the sake of exciting television or cinematic experience. For example, police procedural programs typically omit completely the more mundane aspects of the occupation such as paperwork, reports, administrative duties and other daily “business-oriented” aspects which in reality often comprise the majority of the work. They will also present other duties with much more action, suspense or drama than would be experienced in reality. The same is also true for many military-oriented adventure stories which often show high ranking characters being allowed to continuously enter dangerous situations when in reality, they would usually be restricted to command-oriented or administrative duties. Star Trek is an example of this with its treatment of the captain and senior officers.”
” Writers adapting a work for another medium (e.g., a film screenplay from a book) often make significant changes, additions to, or omissions from the original plot in the book, on the grounds that these changes were necessary to make a good film. These changes are sometimes to the dismay of fans of the original work.”
That was quite an expose isn’t it ?
Having dealt with the basics of poetic licence,I will now go to the piece referred to in the begining of this posting.I reproduce the same herebelow without any changes ( without using the tool of poetic licence at my end ! ) :
“The principal purpose of writing is to communicate,whether it be prose or poetry,and if the writer fails to convey to the reader what he has in mind,he fails in his mission.This applies more to prose than to poetry because poetry is absolved of rules of grammar in order to preserve its musical ingredient through metre and rhyme. But even in poetry,the poet should not go beyond the comprehension of readers.A lot of modern poetry does, and I find it frustrating to read.With some difficulty, I was able to come to terms with T S Eliot and Dylan Thomas; Ezra Pound remains beyond my understanding.Indian poets are not obscure and I enjoy reading them in Punjabi,Hindi and Urdu.
Mirza Ghalib,whom I admire most ,often confuses me and I ask more knowledgeable than me to enlighten me.I am not the only Ghalib admirer who has this grouse against him. My friend Abid Saeed Khan of Bugras quoted Nawab Agha Khan Ashq,a contemporary of Ghalib,who had this to say about the last Mughal laureate:
Agar apna kaha tum aap hee samjhey,tau kya samjhey ?
  Mazza kehney ka tab hai,ek kahey aur doosra samjhey.
  Zubaan Meer likhey aur kalaam Sauda samjhey,
  Magar in ka kahaa yeh aap samjhein ya khuda samjhey !”
( ” If only you understand what you have composed,what is one to do ?
    The joy of composing is when one composes and others understand too.
    When Meer writes and Sauda says we understand ,
    But his couplets only he understands and God,its true !” ) 
So true,isn’t it ? Let’s try to remember this when we write prose or poetry.
One more passing shot.Thank God and our Government for not making it compulsory for poets to obtain a licence from some authority before writing a poem and publishing it or even reciting it. Am I giving ideas to the new Government for raking in more revenue / taxes  ? ?
Ah yes,you will not need a licence to air your views on this piece,so shoooot !!

Play upon words


I love art forms which engage the attention of the readers ( called grabbing eye balls these days) through play upon words. English and Hindi, both have enriched me with their word play creativity. It is both creative and witty !

Today I will try to jot down my random thoughts on this subject.

1. Poetry:

One of my favourite “shers” from my late father’s collection was as under:

  ” Uss pari key zakhm par, marham lagaaney ham gaye,

  Woh pari zindaa rahi, muft mein mar hum gaye ! “ 

 Marham” in line 1 means an ointment to be applied on the wound (zakhm).

Marham has ben split into two “mar” and “hum” in line 2. “Mar” here means to get entangled ( “muft mein” means for no fault of mine…just like that ) while ” hum” stands for ”me” (myself) .A rough transliteration of above “sher” would be :

To show sympathy towards that angel (pari) (girl)

I went to apply ointment on her wound.

(caused probably out of a failed affair ?) 

That pari recovered (became OK) and lived long,

But it was me who got ensnared with her beauty  

And suffered from pangs of love (just for nothing) .

Isn’t that lovely play on words dear readers ? If you have some more examples of such word play, do share them with all. Thanks.

2.Proverbs :

A really enchanting proverb that I heard from my late father was in Hindi. It was also a good one, as far as play upon words was concerned. Here it goes :

” Jab sona na tha, chain sey sona milta tha !

 Jab sey sona mila hai, chain sey sona nahi milta !! “ 

Delightful isn’t it ? ‘Sona’ here has two meanings;” Gold ”(meaning wealth) and “Sleep” is the other meaning. A rough transliteration of the proverb means: 

“When I did not have gold (wealth) I could sleep peacefully.

The day since I have got gold (wealth) I have never slept peacefully !!”  

In case readers recall some more of such proverbs do share them with me. Thanks.

3.Prose :

I recall one nice play upon words (though strictly it cannot be termed so ) which I came across recently. It is quite funny so I am sharing it with you all. 

A teacher asked the students to make a sentence using the same word 4 times in the sentence. An intelligent student (Santa Singh as usual !) came out with the following gem :

“Lara Dutta married Brian Lara and became Lara Lara “

On that cheerful note, I leave you to your musings on the subject……. 

Rain Poems and Songs


Last evening, a thunderstorm and dust storm were there in parts of New Delhi , followed by a light drizzle for some time.

As I stood in the balcony of my house and enjoyed the drizzle, I went nostalgic (as usual, you will say !)

Here is a flash back ……

During my early childhood I had learnt and enjoyed a very popular nursery rhyme which I am sure most of the readers / fellow Muse-icians must have surely read and loved too.

It went something like this :

Rain rain go away,
Come again
Another day
Little Johnny
Wants to play.

How wonderfully does this short poem bring out the child’s longing for outdoor life.Today it appears that we,living in concrete jungles,seldom go out of our homes to enjoy an outing in the laps of nature.

Another similar poem I recall is one in Marathi,which I had picked up from our Maharashtrian family next door, in Baroda.

It went something like this :

Aye re aye re paaoosa
Tula deto paisaa,
Paisa zaala khota,
Paaoos aala motta .

Roughly translated, it means :

Rain rain come soon,
I’ll give you a coin as a boon
The coin turned to be a fake
The rain in torrents felt great !

(Perhaps Gautam Nadkarni can add to it or improve upon it)

Yet another rain song I recall is in Gujarati which I learnt from my Gujarati neighbours’ kids in Bulsar.The brief song went something like this :

Aav rey varsaat,
Ghebriyo varsaat
Ooni ooni rotli
Ney kaarela noo shaak .

The above when translated roughly means :

Come rain come
Come in multi coloured torrents
We will enjoy eating
Freshly baked hot hot rotis
With subzi dish of bitter gourd (karela)

( Perhaps some of my Gujarati friends can add to it or improve upon it )

The sweet little poem brings forth the aroma of freshly prepared chapaties eaten with relish alongwith the tasty karela subzi in the rainy season.

Yet another song which I love is from an old Hindi movie :

The song :Allah Megh Dey,Paani Dey
The movie: Palkon Ki Chhaon Mein (1977)
Lyrics :Gulzar
Music : Laxmikant Pyarelal
Sung by :Kishore Kumar ,Asha Bhosle and chorus
Lead roles : Rajesh Khanna ,Hema Malini.

Those who wish to watch this hit and happy song on Youtube may go to the following link :

For those who love golden oldies like me,my favourite rain song till date remains that beautiful black and white song from Shree 420 …” Pyaar Hua Ikraar Hua…” picturised on Raj Kapoor and Nargis. Here is the link to it :

For those Amitabh Bachchan fans out there,there is another lovable song from the Hindi movie :” Namak Halaal ” (1982) picturised cutely in colour on Amitabh and late Smita Patil. Here is the link to it too : 


I am sure readers will go nostalgic and recollect quite a few more of their favourite rain songs and poems.I am sure there are songs and poems of this genre in almost all other languages like Punjabi,Bengali, Tamil, Malyalam etc etc. Lets recall them and enjoy them in this hot weather, while we wait for the rains to lash the country.