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A STORY WITH A MORAL…

A STORY WITH A MORAL …

In a poor zoo of India,a lion was frustrated as he was offered not more than 1 kg meat a day.The lion thought that his prayers were answered when one US Zoo Manager visited the zoo and requested the zoo management to shift the lion to the US Zoo.The lion was so happy and started thinking of a centrally air conditioned environment,a goat or two every day and of US Green Card also.On its first day after arrival,the lion was offered a big bag,sealed very nicely for breakfast.The lion opened it quickly but was shocked to see that it contained a few bananas.Then the lion thought that may be they cared too much for him as they were worried about his stomach as he had recently shifted from India.The next day the same thing happened.On the third day,again the same food bag of bananas was delivered.The lion was very furious.He stopped the delivery boy and blasted at him : “Don’t you know I am the lion,the king of the jungle ? What’s wrong with your management ?  What nonsense is this ! Why are you delivering bananas to me ? ” The delivery boy politely said :”Sir,I know you are the king of the jungle,but did you know that you have been brought here on a monkey’s visa !”
MORAL :BETTER TO BE LION IN YOUR COUNTRY THAN A MONKEY ELSEWHERE.
 
 

Counting My Annas…

Counting My Annas…..

It is Anna Anna every where-on TV,in newspapers,on social network sites like FB etc,on hoardings,on posters etc.So,I decided to take a break from Anna Hazare and count other Annas I knew/know.
Here I go:
1.Indian 1 Anna coin :
When I was in college I used to collect old Indian coins as a hobby. I had a good collection I recall,but it was mislaid somewhere during frequent transfers in Bank.BTW,an Anna was a currency unit formerly used in India, equal to 1/16 of a rupee. It was sub-divided into 4 paise or 12 pies (thus there were 64 paise in a rupee and 192 pies). The term belonged to the Muslim monetary system. The anna is not commonly in use since India decimalised its currency in1957.Sometimes, 50 Paise is colloquially referred to as 8 annas (Atthanni in Hindi and  Urdu) and 25 Paise as 4 annas (Chawanni in Hindi and Urdu,recently demonetised in India).The coin of one anna was made of copper,while a half-anna(called Takka) was also made of copper.Two-anna pieces were made of silver,if I recollect .The term anna is still frequently used to express a fraction of 1/16.
2.Anna Karenina :
I remember having read about her when I was in college.BTW,Anna Karenina  is a novel by the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, published in serial installments from 1873 to 1877 in the periodical The Russian Messenger. Tolstoy clashed with its editor Mikhail Katkov  over issues that arose in the final installment; therefore, the novel’s first complete appearance was in book form.Widely regarded as a pinnacle in realist fiction.Tolstoy considered Anna Karenina his first true novel, when he came to consider War and Peace to be more than a novel.The character of Anna was likely inspired, in part, by  Maria Hartung (1832–1919), the elder daughter of the Russian poet  Alexander Pushkin.Soon after meeting her at dinner, Tolstoy began reading Pushkin’s prose and once had a fleeting daydream of “a bare exquisite aristocratic elbow”, which proved to be the first intimation of Anna’s character.Although Russian critics dismissed the novel on its publication as a “trifling romance of high life”. Fyodor Dostoevsky declared it to be “flawless as a work of art”. His opinion was shared by  Vladimir Nabokov, who especially admired “the flawless magic of Tolstoy’s style”, and by  William Faulkner, who described the novel as “the best ever written”.The novel is currently enjoying popularity as demonstrated by a recent poll of 125 contemporary authors by J. Peder Zane, published in 2007 in The Top Ten, which declared that Anna Karenina is the “greatest novel ever written”.There have been a few films also made in the name of this character,but I have missed seeing them.
3.Anna Kournikova :
Like most of my readers and friends,I too am guilty of seeing hot photos of this stunning beauty,in the recent past .BTW, Anna Sergeyevna Kournikova,born 7 June 1981 is a Russian professional tennis player. Her beauty and celebrity status made her one of the best known tennis players worldwide. At the peak of her fame, fans looking for images of Kournikova made her name one of the most common search strings on Google.Although reaching No. 8 in the world in 2000, she never won a WTA Title in singles. Kournikova’s forte has been doubles, where she has at times been the World No. 1 player. With  Martina Hingis as her partner, she won  Grand Slam titles in Australia in 1999 and 2002. Based on their looks, Hingis and Kournikova referred to themselves as the “Spice Girls of Tennis”.Kournikova’s professional tennis career has been curtailed for the past several years, and possibly ended, by serious back and spinal problems.
4.Anna in Tamil :
My limited vocabulary of South Indian languages,learnt through brief interactions with my college/hostel/office mates,tells me that Anna in Tamil means Elder Brother.Correct
me if I am wrong please.
I cannot think of other Annas right now,though a few words suffixed with Anna are there in some remote corners of my memory.For example :Annamalai ( a University),Annadurai ( a political leader’s name) .
BTW,if you search Wikipedia by going to : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna , you will find many more Annas listed there in under headings of People,Places,Culture and Society,Literature,Music,Science,Vehicles,etc.Try knowing about them too to pass your time while the idiot box continues to focus on Anna Hazare-the Indian social activist.(as he is billed in Wikipedia’s afore-mentioned site.) So many other options to explore.  
So,count  your Annas and be happy.May be,some one out of you,dear readers, even had a girl-friend named Anna (a variation of Anne,I think) in school or in college.This is the right time to go to the flash-back mode !

VVS ,VAUGHAN & VASELINE :

VVS ,VAUGHAN & VASELINE :

1.VVS Laxman accused of using Vaseline on bat.Press Trust Of India

Jul 31, 2011  Nottingham: It was jelly beans four years ago and it is Vaseline this time as a controversy erupted in the second India-England Test here when VVS Laxman was accused of using it on his bat to manipulate the Hot-Spot technology in the Decision Review System. To read more,go to the following link :
 
2.VAUGHAN
 “Has Vaseline on the outside edge saved the day for Laxman?” tweeted Vaughan after the third umpire ruled the Indian not out as England pressed for the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) in the second Test at Trent Bridge recently.
To read more,go to the following link:
 
3.VASELINE :Vaseline is a very well known and a commonly used ointment (?) from the Unilever group.Readers will recall the use of the words about Zandu Balm in the lyrics of the recently famous song “Munni Badnaam Hui ” from Dabangg,picturised on Malaika Arora and later on she got to feature in actual ads for the Zandu group riding on the wave of fame (?).Now will VVSL get Vaseline ads ? Will he become Brand Ambassador for Vaseline ? Wait and watch.Meanwhile,the makers of Vaseline,have come out first with a long ad in the print media.Hindustan Times (HT) had displayed the ad spread over 3 pages on 10.08.11.The first part of the ad was on HT’s page 1.It showed a long wooden bat with a red cross over it to signify that the bat was injured.(?) There was no ad copy in this part,but the bottom of the ad  said :To know more turn to page 19 (of HT).The second part of the ad on page 19 displayed the same bat with the cross but much longer in size compared to the one on page 1.The ad copy in this part said :’Dear Mr.Vaughan,in India,Vaseline is used for: …..Then followed a l-o-n-g list of various skin related ailments and various body parts where vaseline is used- like dry extremities,hands,nappy rash,dry nostrils,cheeks,shoe bites etc etc.At the bottom of the ad,it says :Let Mr.Vaughan know.Visit  www.facebook.com/vaseline       
Third part of the ad on page 21 of HT shows abig circle with a small bat and a big red cross across it.The ad copy says in bold letters:Mr.Vaughan Vaseline is not used on cricket bats.
This part of the ad further invites readers to participate in a red badge exercise by saying:If you agree with us that Vaseline is used for everything good,please let Mr.Vaughan know by making this your badge on facebook.The name of the website is given at the end as www.facebook.com/vaseline 
As per their invitation,I had also participated in the exercise and my photograph on my FB page now shows a badge with a bat and a red cross in the bottom right corner. 
Enjoyed reading,writing,participating in this campaign.
 

Fire-fighter RBI Governor…

Fire-fighter RBI Governor….

Here is a delightful piece I read about Subbarao and his coin-tossing tactics to decide tricky issues, like the coin-tossing act in the famous Hindi movie SHOLAY (released around 35 years ago)

Sholay and Subbarao —Business Standard ,New Delhi,August 08,2011….   Ramesh Sippy’s Sholay has even influenced monetary policy making, it seems. Asked how the Reserve Bank of India decides between a 25- and 50-basis point rate increase, Governor D Subbarao joked that they toss a coin. Sometimes, it falls on the edge. And when that happens, he says, he asks Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee! 

 
I had posted about this item also on FACEBOOK yesterday.
This morning’s news paper reports,prompted me to comment a while ago on FB as under : 
“This was posted yesterday and todays newspapers say Subbarao has got extension as RBI Governor till Sept 2013.The news came to him just two days before his birthday (DOB 11th Aug 1949).He must have been “ON EDGE” about the uncertainity about getting extension but he must have TOSSED his coin with its HEAD up,so luckily,he continues to HEAD the RBI during this period of crisis due to downgrading of USA’s credit rating from AAA to AA.All the best to this FIREFIGHTER Governor !”  
So omnious,no ? 
BTW, for the dummies in politics,here is some information about Subbarao from a reliable source found not by tossing a coin : 
Duvvuri Subbarao,born on 11 August 1949 is an Indian economist, central banker, and civil servant. He is the 22nd and current Governor of Reserve Bank Of India, serving under Prime Minster Manmmohan Singh.Subbarao is a 1972 batch IAS officer of Andhra Pradesh cadre. On 5 September 2008, he had been appointed the twenty-second Governor of RBI.His term was to end in September 2011,but breaking from tradition, the Prime Minister’s Office put out a statement announcing that Subbarao, a former finance secretary,would now retire on September 4, 2013. 
Say cheers and hope for the best ! 
  

LALOO AND BILL GATES…

LALOO AND BILL GATES

Here is a fictional dialogue between the above two,recalled from my old joke book.Sometimes,re-cycled stuff is good too ! E..n..j..o..y..!!

Bill Gates -: Namaskar! You must have heard of Windows.

Laloo -: Oh yes! Most Govt. offices we have the single window clearance concept.

Gates -: Have you installed Windows at home?

Laloo -: I have removed all windows due to increased burglaries in our house.

Gates (Confused) -: Then what is the system you operate on?

Laloo -: OPERATION? Yes, I had a Hernia operation last month.

Gates (Sweating) -: Hope the internet is being used a lot inIndia.

Laloo -: Oh Yes! Due to increased mosquito problems many people are sleeping under the net.

Gates -: By the year 2020India should export computer chips.

Laloo -: We are already exporting Uncle Chips.

Gates (Feeling very Uneasy) -: Do you regularly use Lap Tops?

Laloo -: My grand-child sleeps on the top of my lap.

Gates (Sweating Heavily) -: The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh knows a lot about RAM and ROM.

Laloo -: RUM? Prohibition is being lifted and it will be shortly available in A.P.

Gates (Feeling Dizzy) -: I would like to take your leave before my system crashes.

Laloo -: I have exhausted all my leave.

Gates: I have no energy left, let us go out and have a bite.

Laloo -: BITE? I believe in non-violence. I will not bite.

Gates-: (System Crashes and Found Missing). “Windows is restarting. Please wait………….”

Keep Smiling !!

  

Category: Humour, People  4 Comments

Bread and poetry….

Bread and Poetry ….  

Here is a delightful news item from a news paper report,which I would like to share with my readers :
Many of our parliamentarians have a poetic side and some of them really let it loose during last week’s debate on price rise. Here was Salman Khurshid’s metaphorically eloquent (and elusive) defence of his government’s record on growth and inflation: Take the case of the old man and his lathi. Sure it’s giving him support but someone could ask, why did you cut a tree? It’s all a question of perspective, of who we want to help move forward. (FE 08.08.2011) 
Your responses will be welcomed ! 
My take on the subject matter is this : There is a popular proverb in Hindi which goes like this :”Jiss ki lathi,uss ki bhains!” The meaning of this is as under :
1.Whoever owns the stick owns the buffalo.
2.It’s always the powerful who gets lion’s share.
3.English equivalent: Might is right. 
Draw your own conclusions ! Keep smiling ! 
  

The games they play…

The games they play…

There was an interesting article in Financial Express of 20th July 2011.Here is the link to the said article :http://www.financialexpress.com/news/short-of-talent-india-inc-in-a-fix-over-9year-norm/819665/0

After reading the piece,here is what I had written to the Editor in response : Dear Sir, The article by Ronojoy Banerjee titled :”Short of talent,India Inc in a fix over 9-year norm” in FE of 20th July 2011,exposing gross violation of clause 49 of SEBI’s listing agreement by several leading companies,was a shocking expose about board games played by corporates in the name of independent directors.The list of 6 violating companies  given in the article,astonishingly shows Tata’s Nusli Wadia with maximum tenure of 32 years followed by S M Palia (23 years).With inclusion of independent directors for such long terms,on the board,the basic purpose of their induction viz uninfluenced decision making,gets defeated.”Familiarity breeds contempt”-the oft quoted saying, is quite apt in such cases too.Exceeding the prescribed norms results in sacrificing of transparency,non-compliance of corporate governance guidelines and turning independent directors into mere puppets and mute spectators watching the board’s shenanigans instead of using their judgement for whistle-blowing against wrong-doings that may lead to corporate apocalypse.It is high time that SEBI reinforces the need for strictly adhering with the prescribed norms and making it mandatory for the auditors to comment specifically and critically on the tenure of independent directors on the board.Such business tactics can be broadly likened to “match-fixing” incidents in the game of cricket.It is high time the corporates play a true and fair game to win the confidence of its shareholders.-J S Broca New Delhi.

 
Today’s FE has pubished an edited version of my letter.Here is the final piece:Lette
rs to the editor
The Financial Express
Aug 03, 2011 at 2306 hrs IST
: Play a fair game :The news item “Short of talent, India Inc in a fix over 9-year norm” (FE, July 20) exposing gross violation of clause 49 of Sebi’s listing agreement by several leading companies was a shocking expose on board games played by corporates in the name of independent directors. The list of violating companies shows Nusli Wadia with a maximum tenure of 32 years followed by SM Palia (23 years). With inclusion of independent directors for such long terms on the board, the basic purpose of their induction gets defeated. “Familiarity breeds contempt” is apt in such cases. Exceeding the prescribed norms results in sacrificing of transparency, non-compliance of corporate governance guidelines and turns independent directors into mere puppets. It is high time Sebi reinforces the need for strictly adhering to the prescribed norms and making it mandatory for the auditors to comment on the tenure of independent directors on the board. Such business tactics can be likened to “match-fixing” incidents. It is time corporates play a fair game. JS Broca, New Delhi
What is your response to the issue , dear readers ?  
Incidentally,those who are interested in directly reading my letter on FE’s website can go to : http://www.financialexpress.com/news/letters-to-the-editor/826260/0
 

Pregnant with ideas…

Pregnant with ideas…

The following Editorial in HT of 31st July 2011 tickled me pink ! Read it herebelow :

Expectant posts
For many, social networking sites are like ‘digitally pieced’ autobiographies where nothing is sacred or private anymore. So it is hardly surprising that Facebook, which revolutionised the way we live our online (and offline) lives, has added a new option to user profiles that allows expectant mothers to add their unborn child to the already available family circle. And that’s not all: she can even add the chosen name or the due date of his or her arrival. Once the announcement is made, it can go viral. So in one click of the button, friends, relatives, acquaintances, colleagues and just about everyone will know the good news once considered private. The critics have panned the new drop-down button, saying it is an impersonal way of letting the world know about one’s personal life. The converts will obviously have a different view. ‘What is wrong with this?’ they say. It’s just a new way of life where we have less time and more friends and, therefore, the best way is to tell everyone at the same time. If we can post photographs of a just-born child from the hospital room, surely we can also announce her to-arrive status much before. After all, the warmth of congratulatory posts and advices are not exactly unwanted.In India, however, we don’t understand what the problem is all about. First, we don’t need a Facebook account (although many of us have an account) to let people know about our current status — be it about our family life, jobs or romantic condition because we have our very own mood trackers: curious chachis and mausis. They are way better than FB posts as they can ‘read’ your ‘status’ (many a times wrongly) by just looking at your face. And the greatest bit is that you don’t need to press a button to spread the news: it goes viral automatically. Instead of a button, it’s a mantra here: before divulging any secret, just prefix it with: “Don’t tell anyone but…”. The rest, as they say, will be public.

Here are my comments on above :

See how times change.With the controversy about pregnancy clause in Bollywood contracts after Aishwarya Rai’s pregnancy affecting Madhur Bhandarkar’s latest multi crore project “Heroine”,having been debated in several news papers and magazines filling pages and pages and column meters,now FB has come out with this ! Girls are now empowered to discuss and reveal the status of their unborn/to-be-born child on FB.Thats 21st Century Girl for you.Thats real Women’s Liberation isn’t it ? I am reminded of dialogues from old Hindi movies in 70s-80s.Mother says to her unwedded daughter on learning of her pregnancy:”Kal moonhi,kis key saath moonh kaala karr key aayi hai?” (With whom have you had this affair?) An elder in the family says:” Tu ney hammarey khaandaan ka naam kalankit kar diya!” (You have tranished our family name).In the movies the heroine would ponder for some reels before she uttered the words:”Main tumhaarey bachchey ki maan bananey waali hoon”(I am going to become the mother of your child.”) What next ?  Perhaps FB will permit  the boys/fiances/men to declare their status of being the father of so and so’s forthcoming child ! Equality  for both the sexes ! We seem to be heading for exciting times on the face of FB.

Your comments/responses please.The merrier ones more ! Keep smiling….