Archive for » November, 2011 «

Celebrity Endorsement …

Celebrity Endorsement…
A few days ago,I had read the following news item somewhere:
Bihar boy Sushil Kumar,who hit the Rs 5 crore (Rs 50 million) Kaun Banega Crorepati jackpot, was recently named by the Centre as the brand ambassador for its flagship rural job guarantee scheme MNREGA. Announcing the decision, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh  had said that Sushil Kumar is a “good example” of young men who worked in the MNREGA programme and the government will make use of him in Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh  and Madhya Pradesh  to highlight the impact of MNREGA on the rural masses.

Today I have seen a huge half page ad about MNREGA in a regional language (Hindi) newspaper,where Sushil Kumar’s picture has been used.
Great going. That’s CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT of a GOVERNMENT PROGRAMME !
BTW,to guide the dummies,the full form of the scheme is: Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.

What an idea Doctor ji…

WHAT AN IDEA DOCTOR ji

Here is a news report about an enterprising doctor from Ahmedabad,for whom,necessity was the horse of invention ! I am not joking dears.  
I recall having read in my childhood, a nursery rhyme titled  “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride”. It is also an English language proverb, originating in the 16th century, which is usually used to suggest that it is useless to wish and that better results will be achieved through action. 
In the instant case,the rhyme would have to be slightly modified to suit our modern times,as :” If wishes were horses,Doctors will ride.” Now,read the following news item from Business Today of 27th November 2011 and tell me if I am wrong ! 
QUIRKY
Equine fix to traffic.
This Ahmedabad-based doctor has found a unique cure for his daily traffic woes. Fed up with nagging traffic snarls and everincreasing parking problems in the city, Dr Himanshu Khara has dumped his four luxury cars, including a SUV, for horses. He finds it convenient to ride to his clinic in a congested neighbourhood or to run errands. Dr Khara’s fascination with horses began five years ago, and today he even picks up his daughter from her dance class on one of his horses.
I would also like to add that the Doctor has been really INNOVATIVE, since he found out a new way of doing things.
Say CARRY ON DOCTOR …” to that.
 
 

Humour Ahoy !

Humour Ahoy !

I am reproducing an editorial from a very popular and a a high quality e-magazine called MUSE INDIA.Its  recent edition of NOV-DEC 2011,contains a special section/feature  titled :”Humour in Daily Life” this time.The editorial has very kindly, included  a few comments of mine on the subject under discussion.Read it and smile away ….THANK YOU Ambika Ananth ji.

Ambika Ananth – Editorial Note
Image credit – binscorner.com
It is far easier to write on serious topics, tearjerker-tales and morbid stories. The ability to make someone laugh or smile is a trait which is rare and precious. Writers too agree that writing on human pathos and sadness is a much easier affair than writing humour. It requires a shrewd wisdom, tact, knowledge and a way with words to versify smiles into words. That’s why humour is called a difficult animal to tame – once it is tamed, it becomes one’s dearest pet ( subject ).

“The tragedy of life is not that man dies, but is rather what dies inside him while he lives”.

A world wide survey once reported that a majority of CEOs around the world said that they would hire a person with a sense of humor rather than one who is lacking that because humour triggers lateral thinking, which leads to creativity, which in turn accelerates innovation in any Organization. CEOs know this cycle very well. Kings hired jesters in earlier eras and contemporary CEOs are going that way by hiring “Fun Managers.”

Centuries ago kings and emperors depended on people with humour. Indian Kings, Egyptian pharaohs, Babylonian kings had them in their courts, Roman emperors nurtured them and Chinese courts honored them.

The so-called fools used to ‘jolt’ the king’s thought process by seemingly harmless jokes which brought perspective, shattering the existing mindset. Kings could judge better, make ‘quality’ decisions with new perspectives given by the off-beat observations of these jesters. They needed them because kings were always surrounded by “yes men”. Humor may not solve problems straight away but will certainly give a new perspective to the whole game. There is an inexorable link between humour and performance. It takes intelligence and imagination to crack a joke, even to understand one!!

Humor stretches your thinking, it allows you to combine ideas widening the perspective. For sure there must be a link between ‘ha ha’ of humor and ‘aha’ of discovery

When I met up with a Management Consultant once the answer for my question whether it is good to hire people with sense of humour or not was – “Yes, I’d certainly want somebody in my office who, like a Cheshire cat, has a loveable grin. Of course competence being the reason for that wide grin, who can infuse enthusiasm and energy into my office, who cannot resist to see happy and positive side of things. Tell me, who wouldn’t like an office that vibrates with ideas and throbs with smiles…??”

I had to agree whole heartedly with him … he was donning an ‘ear to ear Cheshire cat smile’

“New designations are cropping up in the corporate world, such as chief fun officer, chief happiness officer and even a cost kill analyst. One IT company in Bangalore has renamed the designation of CEO as chief gardener. Another IT company has a chief mentor. May be a north based IT company will have ‘chief guruji’ instead of chief mentor. Future Group has a chief belief officer. Project managers are now subject matter experts (SMEs). Even employees do not know who is senior — chief fun officer or cost kill analyst or this new ‘guruji.’ The chief fun officer in an ITES company is responsible for keeping the work place fun-filled by pasting funny cartoons and jokes in the cubicles and allowing the staff to wear comic dresses once in a way.” When one reads these lines by N.N.Bala, a middle writer, one will understand the significance of ‘fun-filled offices’.

Actually many studies are being conducted again and again to prove the benefic effects of fun and laughter on emotional and physical health of humans. Laughter is called the ‘best medicine’ not without any proof. Studies have shown that laughter increased immunoglobulins and also that happiness, laughter and relaxed attitude reduced the incidence of repeat heart-attacks in heart patients. Laughter is used in pain management therapies very significantly. Humour therapy seems to help and assuage the miseries of life at many levels. Humour is supposed to have an energy of its own which can energize body, mind and spirit.

Anthropologists say that there is no society or culture in history that lacked humour and that humour is a natural part of human existence. Plato stated that ‘serious things cannot be understood without humourous things, nor opposites without opposites.’

Humour writing in many languages has been flourishing and is here to stay forever as we humans are constantly in need of it at the core level. We start laughing as infants – we must strive not to lose that child-like attitude as adults.

J.S. Broca, the most prolific humour-writer on Muse India site says – “I think that during these stressful times, we have just forgotten to laugh. Literally, we have no time to laugh. I feel, a time will come when we may put an alarm on our mobile phones to remind us to laugh at say 6 in the morning, again at 2 in the afternoon and yet once more at 10 at night. If we don’t laugh naturally now, we will perhaps have to join a laughter club in our old age to laugh artificially – instead let us laugh and remain fit now.”

In this section, we have humour pieces, satirical poems and limericks which have the potential to linger on in the readers’ minds to bring smiles on and on.

‘Nothing is more curious than the almost savage hostility that humor excites in those who lack it’ said George Saintsbury. I am sure our humour section will not trigger such a savage hostility in our readers, as I am sure we have lots and lots of ‘fun’ readers with us, who have the art of getting royally tickled.

I thank the contributors, Prof. Amrit Sen, J.S. Broca, Nuggehalli Pankaja, Dr.Jagadish Shenoy, Mausami Sen, Panchanan Dalai, Dhriti Ray Dalai, Padmaja Iyengar, Raj Pandravada, Rumjhum Biswas and Atreya Sarma who could send their work with a short notice- it goes without saying that those who laugh and make others laugh can handle everything well.

Before I close, I share these limericks –

There was a young lady from Niger
Who smiled as she rode on a tiger,
They returned from the ride
with the lady inside
and the smile on the face of the tiger ( Anonymous)

There was a young lady of Lynn
who was so uncommonly thin
That when she essayed
to drink lemonade
she slipped through the straw and fell in ( Anonymous)

A goat on a stroll near a brook
Found an old movie film and partook
‘was it good’ asked his mate
Said the goat ‘second rate’
Not nearly as good as the book (Martin Bristow Smith)

I request you my friends and students to read it and submit their comments on this editorial.

 

Category: Humour, Ideas  2 Comments

The Search Ends..

THE SEARCH ENDS..

Here is the latest BREAKING NEWS Story of CORPORATE WORLD of INDIA.The million dollar question :”Who will succeed Ratan Tata?” has been finally answered today.Read this :

Cyrus Mistry to succeed Ratan Tata as chairman:

MUMBAI – The next chairman of India’s venerable salt-to-software conglomerate Tata Group will be an insider and a family member by marriage.

India’s biggest corporate house had mounted a global search that lasted more than a year for a successor to Chairman Ratan Tata, but ended up tapping Cyrus Mistry, whose father is the biggest shareholder in the Tata Sons holding company.

Mistry, 43, was named deputy chairman of Tata Sons and will succeed Ratan Tata when he retires in December 2012 at the helm of a sprawling conglomerate that generates two-thirds of its $83 billion in revenue from overseas.

“I would probably have been more worried if it had been an outsider, because the culture is so strong at Tata. This keeps the continuity,” said Andrew Holland, director at Ambit Capital in Mumbai.

“The only question mark could be that he is a large shareholder. I mean, the one thing people might raise is that the Pallonji family owns a large stake and a relative was given the job,” he said.

Mistry is the younger son of Pallonji Mistry, who with a stake of 18 percent is the single largest shareholder of Tata Sons, and has been a director of Tata Sons since 2006. The future chairman’s sister is married to Ratan Tata’s half-brother Noel Tata, who was also a candidate to be Tata chairman.

He has big shoes to fill in succeeding Ratan Tata, who has built the group from a $5 billion operation of steel making, commercial vehicles and hotels into a global empire, largely through acquisitions.

“It’s such a complex organisation, it’s a challenging position to step into. It’s very important that the new person has a vision for taking the group forward for the next 20-30 years,” said Taina Erajuuri, a fund manager at FIM Asset Management in Helsinki, which owns stock in Tata firms.

The Tata Group includes Tata Motors, owner of the Jaguar Land Rover brands and maker of the Nano, the world’s cheapest car, as well as Tata Consultancy Services , Tata Steel and dozens of other companies.

LONG SEARCH

In August 2010, the group named a five-person panel, which included Cyrus Mistry himself, to look for a successor to Ratan Tata, who is not married and does not have children, for India’s highest-profile corporate post.

The panel conducted a global search and considered bringing in what would have been the first non-family member as chairman. The closely watched but tightly guarded search had been expected to wrap up by March but took longer.

Sources told Reuters earlier this year that the committee had approached PepsiCo Chief Executive Indra Nooyi, an Indian-born American, who declined to enter the race for personal reasons.

The panel met 18 times, and when Mistry became a candidate for the post, he excluded himself from deliberations on himself and other candidates, a group spokesman said.

Noel Tata had been considered a front-runner after he was moved into the top spot in the group’s international operations.

“It’s been a long decision and they have looked hard, and they must have their reasons for taking this decision, for selecting someone from the inside and not an outsider. We also have to remember that he will work with Ratan Tata for a year, so I suppose he will be groomed,” Erajuuri said.

An engineer by training, Mistry is managing director of Shapoorji Pallonji Group, a major construction firm that has been in business for 147 years, and does not have a high public profile. He was not available for comment.

“I am aware that an enormous responsibility, with a great legacy, has been entrusted to me,” he said in a statement.

Mistry will be the sixth chairman of the 143-year-old group, and just the second not named Tata.

The Tata group was founded as a textile business in 1868 by Ratan’s great-grandfather, Jamsetji Tata, a member of the close-knit Parsi community — Persian Zoroastrians who fled to India around the 10th century. His older son expanded into steel, insurance and the production of soaps and cooking oil.

“I would think that the new chairman has the unenviable task of trying to move fast in a difficult global environment, particularly in Europe, where they have made so much investment,” Holland said.

Unlike most of India’s big business houses, the Tata group is not family owned and Ratan Tata is not on the Forbes list of billionaires. Tata Sons holds the bulk of shares in key companies, and philanthropic trusts endowed by the Tata family own 66 percent of Tata Sons.

Pallonji Mistry, also a member of south Mumbai’s Parsi community, owns about 18 percent of the group, and ranks 9th on the last Forbes India rich list, with a fortune estimated at $7.6 billion.

As expected,the much awaited climax has been hailed by many as a HAPPY ENDING with an insider being identified for this coveted post.The story has all the masala for making a Hindi movie on this subject.Will someone take the challenge ? Lets wait and watch.

 

Quotes on KISS…

Quotes on Kiss :

To compensate you all for the furore caused by the news item regarding Benetton’s controversial ad showing the Pope kissing an Imam,here is my collection of some delicious quotes on an extraa delicious subject of  KISS. I have collected them over decades and my collection is still growing.I mean quotes on kisses–not actual kisses !! So savour these delights and smack your lips,dearies :

A man snatches the first kiss, pleads for the second, demands the third, takes the fourth, accepts the fifth – and endures all the rest.-Helen Rowland  

A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.-Ingrid Bergman

A kiss can be a comma, a question mark or an exclamation point. That’s basic spelling that every woman ought to know.-Mistinguett (Jeanne Bourgeois)

If you are ever in doubt as to whether to kiss a pretty girl, always give her the benefit of the doubt.-Thomas Carlyle

People who throw kisses are mighty hopelessly lazy.-Bob Hope
Women still remember the first kiss after men have forgotten the last.-Remy de Gourmont

Kissing is like drinking salted water. You drink, and your thirst increases.-Chinese Proverb

Grammar of a Kiss :

A Kiss is a :Noun:It is common & proper.
A Pronoun:”She” stands for it. A Verb:It is active & passive:
An Adverb:Makes an explanation.A Conjunction:It brings together & connects.
An Interjection: It shows a sudden strong feeling.A Proposition:It has an object.

Professors of different subjects define KISS in different ways :
Prof. of Computer Science: A kiss is a few bits of love compiled into a byte.
Prof. of Algebra:A kiss is two divided by nothing.
Prof. of Geometry:A kiss is the shortest distance between two straight lines.
Prof. of Physics:A kiss is the contraction of mouth due to the expansion of the heart.
Prof. of Chemistry:A kiss is the reaction of the interaction between two hearts.
Prof. of Zoology:A kiss is the interchange of unisexual salivary bacteria.
Prof. of Physiology:A kiss is the juxtaposition of two orbicular ors muscles in the state of contraction.
Prof. of Dentistry: A kiss is infectious and antiseptic.
Prof. of Accountancy:A kiss is a credit because it is profitable when returned.
Prof. of Economics:A kiss is that thing for which the demand is higher than the supply.
Prof. of Statistics:A kiss is an event whose probability depends on the vital statistics of 36-24-36.
Prof. of Philosophy:A kiss is the persecution for the child, ecstasy for the youth and homage for the old.
Prof. of English:A kiss is a noun that is used as a conjunction; it is more common than proper; it is spoken in the plural and it is applicable to all.
Prof. of Engineering:Uh, What? I’m not familiar with that term.

A brief poem on a Kiss :
They say there’s microbes in a kiss,

This rumor is most rife,
Come, lady dear, and make of me –
An invalid for life. 

 

Benetton’s controversial kissing ads…

Benetton’s controversial kissing ads…

The media has been full with above controversial matter.Here is a news item from one media report : Shock, anger follow Benetton’s controversial kissing ads.Benetton’s ads showing world leaders kissing each other on the mouth has caused an uproar in various parts of the globe, angering the Vatican enough to take legal action. The ads are part of the company’s “Unhate” campaign — and yet another example of “shockvertising” by the Italian clothing company.The poster-size ads were unveiled in major cities including New York,Milan and Paris on Wednesday.Benetton’s ads showing world leaders kissing each other on the mouth has caused an uproar in various parts of the globe, angering the Vatican enough to take legal action. The ads are part of the company’s “Unhate” campaign — and yet another example of “shockvertising” by the Italian clothing company.The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday about the digitally manipulated images in the ads, two of which show President Obama kissing Hugo Chavez, above, and Chinese President Hu Jintao.The White House had a succinct response to the Obama ads. Spokesman Eric Schultz told the Los Angeles Times on Thursday: “The White House has a longstanding policy disapproving of the use of the president’s name and likeness for commercial purposes.”The Vatican quickly said it would take legal action to stop the distribution of the photo montage featuring the Pope and Ahmed el Tayeb, the head of Cairo’s Al Azhar institution. And Benetton just as quickly removed ads in Italy showing Pope Benedict XVI in a tight clasp with the imam, who grips the Pope on the back of the neck as they kiss in one doctored photo.On Thursday, Bill Donohue, president of the New York-based Catholic League, had this to say in a news release:The damage that Benetton did is done — the offensive photo of the Holy Father and the imam is posted on the Internet. Benetton has a history of not only being edgy, but of being anti-Catholic and vulgar: in 1995, its magazine Colors featured Christmas holiday ads promoting such gifts as a bull’s testicles and a metal instrument used to abort unborn children. The Catholic League quickly condemned Benetton at the time.Benetton gets no points for withdrawing the Pope-Imam ad. It knew what it was doing, and we know from past experience what its intent was. What is particularly striking about all this is that the ad campaign was launched to promote tolerance. Guess its hatred of Catholicism is so strong that even appeals to tolerance cannot stop it from fostering intolerance.But Benetton’s previous ads haven’t all been about religion or politics. There have been allusions to racism — three hearts (which were actually pig hearts) with the words “white,” “black” and “yellow” — as well as war and capital punishment. In early 2000, Benetton’s “We, on Death Row” ads had featured death row inmates. Victims-rights groups were appalled, spurring Sears to pull an exclusive line of Benetton clothing from its stores.Then there was the 1990 photo by Therese Frare that became a company ad. It showed a deathbed scene with AIDS activist David Kirby as he was dying of the illness. That photo stirred controversy as well — with its similarity to a pietà (a  painting or sculpture showing Mary grieving over the body of Christ).Benetton has maintained that its latest campaign aims simply to promote love.Calls and emails to Benetton were not immediately returned Thursday.

Here is an Editorial from another paper : Kiss Me – The Financial Express- Friday, Nov 18, 2011.

When George Bush began his second presidency by casting a Mexican American man, an African-American woman, a white woman and a Cuban American man in key roles, one analyst called it the Benetton-ad presidency. Its impact on the global lexicon is just one example of the vast cultural reach of the multiracial ‘United Colours of Benetton’ campaign. We know it well inIndia, where the brand boasts 400 stores. It has even won praise from the UN. Today, as a new Benetton campaign raises a tide of controversy, we look back and see that there is actually nothing ‘new’ about the current hullabaloo. So, North Korea’s Kim Jong-Il and South Korea’s Lee Myung-bak, America’s Barack Obama and China’s Hu Jintao, the Vatican’s Benedict XVI and Cairo’s Sheikh Ahmed Al Tayeb, etc have been photo-shopped into locking lips. The last image has been withdrawn on complaints of “the unacceptable use” of his Holy Father’s image manipulated with a commercial purpose. Commentators have been climbing over each other to dismiss the campaign as a simplistic ploy to flag the sagging fortunes of a brand that’s been losing ground to the likes of H&M and Zara—because it failed to keep up with new technologies, fabric innovations, fast-fashion trends and leaner management solutions.Now flash back to the early 1990s, to Benetton ads with a black man and a white woman handcuffed together, a priest kissing a nun, an emaciated anorexia patient and a skeletal Aids victim. Each of those created tensions, and a conversation about the relationship of advertising to raising awareness, going ‘viral’ before social media went virtual. Today, we are spammed by digital manipulations dozens of time a day, and we are still fussing away at Benetton, which is still defending itself as only trying to promote reconciliation. The great Oliviero Toscani, who really breathed life into the company’s iconography, once said: “It shouldn’t be the photos that shock, but the reality.” Where reconciliation is chimeric.

My take on the above is that creating a controversy, gets you mileage but you lose the respect and loyalty of your regular consumers/customers.

I have an old  collection of some really funny quotes on the subject of KISS and I will be posting it tomorrow separately.

Till then, read , smile and kiss someone who reciprocates without much ado….!

  

THE ARAB WORLD’S OWN DOLL..

THE ARAB WORLD’S OWN DOLL
Today is Children Day.Children love toys.Generally,little girls love playing with dolls. BARBIE Doll is immensely popular with girls.However,it is interesting to note that the Muslim world has its own version of Barbie. Here are the details.

FULLA DOLL ; Fulla is the name of an 11½ inch Barbie-like  fashion doll marketted to children of Islamic and Middle Eastern countries   as an alternative to Barbie. Her concept evolved around 1999, and she hit stores in late 2003. Fulla was created by a UAE manufacturer from Dubai called NewBoy FZCO. Fulla is also sold in China, Brazil, North Africa, Egypt, and Indonesia, while a few are sold in the United States. Although there had been many other dolls in the past that were created with a hijab, such as Razanne and Moroccan Barbie, none of them had ever been as popular as Fulla.

Fulla is a role-model to some Muslim people, displaying how many Muslim people would prefer their daughters to dress and behave.

 

Appearance :At first, Fulla was developed to have long coal black hair streaked with auburn and brown eyes, but later, dolls with lighter hair and eyes were introduced. The product development team considered about 10 different faces before deciding on her look. She was dressed in a black abaya and head scarf for the Saudi market, but no veil in other markets; because the product development didn’t want to “go to extremes.” For more liberal countries, Fulla has a white scarf and pastel coat. Her outdoor clothes have since become more colorful, but her shoulders are always covered and the skirt always falls below her knees, as traditionally Muslim women are expected to dress conservatively. She can also be found wearing half- and quarter-sleeve dresses, but not sleeveless.

Muslim values

Barbie was banned in Saudi Arabia because she was seen to promote values not shared by society. In September 2003 the Middle Eastern country of Saudi Arabia outlawed the sale of Barbie dolls, saying that she did not conform to the ideals of Islam. The Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice stated, “Jewish Barbie dolls, with their revealing clothes and shameful postures, accessories and tools are a symbol of decadence to the perverted West. Let us beware of her dangers and be careful.”[ Fulla was created as an alternative for Barbie to reflect Muslim values. She is named for a fragrant jasmine flower found only in the Middle East. Her personality was designed to be “loving, caring, honest, and respects[ing of] her mother and father. She’s good to her friends. She’s honest and doesn’t lie. She likes reading. She likes, rather, she loves fashion. ” Fulla has two friends, Yasmeen and Nada, as well as a little brother and sister. An older protective brother is in development for her, as well as a teacher and doctor Fulla, which are two careers that Fulla’s creators believe to be respectable.

Fulla will not have a boyfriend, because traditional Muslims do not believe in romantic relationships out of wedlock. Fulla’s creators believe that Muslim parents become angry by the Western-inspired changes in views on sexuality, especially outside of marriage, meaning that Fulla is supposed to show traditional Islamic values and social order.She does, however, have many costumes, in addition to the hijab, that reflect the everyday wear of Muslim girls nowadays in some Middle Eastern countries that conform to Muslim values, yet are still considered fashionable in the West.

Advertising

In Saudi Arabia, animated commercials display Fulla’s life, such as showing the doll saying her prayers as the sun rises, baking a cake to surprise her friend, or reading a book at bedtime. Abidin says that these scenes are “designed to convey Fulla’s values” and show what behavior Fulla is promoting. Often, her commercials begin with her singing in a high voice in Arabic: “She will soon be by my side, and I can tell her my deepest secrets“. Another series of commercials advertises her to be family-oriented, showing a group of Syrian actresses who display Fulla silverware, stationery, and accessories. Fulla’s commercials often promote modest outfits, as one of Fulla’s commercials had warned, “When you take Fulla out of the house, don’t forget her new spring abaya! “

Differences from Barbie

Fulla and Barbie are alike in many ways, such as in size, and height, that Fulla is sometimes nicknamed a ‘Muslim Barbie’. Differences between them include lifestyle and appearance. Fulla’s activities mostly include shopping, spending time with her friends, cooking, reading, and praying. Barbie dolls come in a wide range of hobbies and careers. According to the brand manager at NewBoy, there will be a doctor and a teacher Fulla in the future, as “these are two respected careers for women that we would like to encourage small girls to follow.” Although they both have a wide range of clothes, furniture, jewelry, and other equipment, Fulla’s outdoor clothes do not include swimwear or anything similarly revealing. Skirts are longer than knee-length, and Fulla’s shoulders are always covered. Compared to Barbie’s curves, thin legs, and large breasts, Fulla has a smaller chest, is thinner, and may be younger than Barbie. While the standard Barbie has blond hair, blue eyes, and fair skin, the standard Fulla has dark hair, brown eyes, and olive skin. Despite this, they are both criticized “for presenting the same unrealistic idea of beauty… a certain image for women to conform to. ” Fulla was actually once described to be the physical antithesis of Mattel’s Barbie. Fulla was designed to promote Muslim values and be a role model for Muslim girls worldwide, whereas Barbie is targeted to Americans. Fulla has no male companion whereas Barbie has Ken.

Popularity

Fulla is sold with a line of accessories, including umbrellas, watches, bicycles, corn flakes, cameras, CD players, inflatable chairs, and swimming pools. She was designed to be unlike Barbie and to be the traditional Muslim woman whose life revolves around home and family. Some Muslim parents have claimed that if girls dress their dolls in headscarves, they will be more encouraged to wear a hijab themselves. Fulla has been praised as giving girls a Muslim role model.

In many of the countries in which the doll is sold, Fulla is relatively expensive at about $10 for the standard doll. Because of this, NewBoy created a cheaper version of the doll called Fulla Style.

HAPPY CHILDREN’S DAY !!

  

4G BABY….

4G BABY..

We have known something about Hariwansh Rai and Teji Bachchan—the FIRST GENERATION.
We also know quite a lot about Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan—the SECOND GENERATION.
We have heard enough about Abhishek and Aishwarya Bachchan as well—the THIRD GENERATION.
The couple is expecting their first baby and the media is going gaga (not Lady Gaga, dears) over this expectation.This will be the FOURTH GENERATION.
Let me call it the 4G BABY.
Here is a culling from various media reports for your satiation :
1. The excitement over soon-to-be born Baby B reached fever pitch last night when Aishwarya Rai Bachchan visited the Seven Hills hospital. Even though the Bachchan family said Aishwarya will not go in for a C section, many felt that she was being admitted. The family spokesperson said that Aishwarya was at the hospital for a routine check up and left after that. 
2. While you wait, here’s a look at what the astrologers are saying about the baby. Aishwarya, they say is a Scorpio and the baby, if it is born in the second week of November, will be a Scorpio too. So what do the stars hold for the baby and the mother? 
3. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s baby is yet to make its presence felt on this earth, yet much noise and media hype has made it the hot topic of the nation. From 7-star hospital to Aishwarya going in for a C Section delivery on 11.11.11, and not to miss out bets being placed, this baby has captured the interest of everyone and is the most awaited thing to happen next.
4. Aish is likely to deliver her baby in the second week of November and if born as expected, the baby will be a Scorpion like her mother. Aishwarya Rai, born on 1st of November 1973, is a Scorpio and her ruling number is 1. The sun rules this number and those born under it are highly original, artistic and brilliant. She is also very generous and a great humanitarian, involved in a lot of charity work.
5. Do a Scorpion mother and a Scorpion child get along well? A compatibility test on them says…The relationship between a Scorpio child and its Scorpio mother is usually fiery and emotionally intense. Both child and mother are close to one another, and often make great demands on one another`s time. The mother and the child get along well for the most part.
6. On the other hand, disputes, when they do occur, will be fierce and tempestuous. Since it is not unusual for them to clash violently or equally, they can ignore each other for long periods. Or, they can be so devoted to one another that they would not want to spend a moment apart.
7. The coming together of such a duo can bring out the best in both. Determination and strength characterize this relationship. These two can work well together as long as they learn to channelise their energy constructively. The best aspect of this relationship is the intense love this duo feels for each other. They are very focused and devoted, and their shared strength makes them a formidable combination.
There is another perspective that a few blogs rightly point out. While we all agree that the Bachchan baby, when it arrives, will be the most celebrated baby in Bollywood, will it make any difference to you and me? I feel except for temporary euphoria, nothing more.
Here is some more masala from the media gallery:
8. One of the most beautiful women in the world Aishwarya Rai is all set to welcome her bundle of joy any time now. And the media is going on an overdrive, naturally.
9. Now, take a look at this Times of India report – “An internal memo dated November 5, 2011, and circulated by the Broadcast Editors’ Association to television journalists lists ten points that will govern their coverage of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan giving birth to her first child.” I am not sure if this is the first time that such a memo has been published for the birth of a child. A look at the list will make you and me say:  Oh My God!
a)  No pre-coverage of the event.
b)  Story of the birth of the baby to run only after, and on the basis of, official announcement.
c) Story not to run on breaking news band.
d) No camera or OB vans at hospital or any other location (like the Bachchans’ homes Pratiksha or Jalsa) related to the story.
e) Channels will only go for photo-op or press conference if invited.
f) Channels will not carry any MMS or photo of the child. We can carry if issued by the family
g) No astrology show to be done on this issue.
h) No 11.11.11 astro shows to be done.
i) The duration of story to be around a minute/ninety seconds.
j) Obviously, unauthorized entry into hospital not permitted.
10. Is your mouth agape, like mine? Close it, here is more. There were, of course a lot of talks that Amitabh Bachchan had somehow had a role to play behind this memo circulating.  Amitabh Bachchan went ahead to say that someone from the media messaged him asking ‘have you told the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to stop OB Vans from being anywhere near your house and hospital during the delivery of the baby.’
11. Bachchan Sr was rather irritated and he took to the blogosphere to defend himself.  He wrote “This was of course not true and a lot of nonsense, so I put the PR agency to look after the matter. They came back with the response that they contacted the journalist and told them that the news was wrong and refuted it on my behalf, but also told me that apparently there is news that the I&B Ministry has passed an order stating that the dignity of a patient should be respected and that the placing of OB Vans outside hospitals be not allowed.”  Amitabh certainly claims he had no role in it.
12.According to Hindustan Times, reports suggest that Rs 150 crore is riding on bets on whether Ash will deliver on November 11 or not. This date has come after hundreds of years and astrologers say it’s auspicious – that’s why it’s a hot favorite with most betters,’ says a Delhi-based bookie. ‘After 11.11.11, it’s Children’s Day that’s a favorite,’ says a punter. Now, isn’t that quite a lot of money?
13.But, did you know that 11.11.11 is not really an auspicious date. On 11.11.11, the planets are about to change their positions in a big way and it will affect people in different ways. Aishwarya is a Scorpio and the baby if it is born in the second week will be a Scorpio too. So what does the stars hold for the baby and the mother?
14.Here is what the astrologers say about the baby:When it arrives, it will be the most celebrated baby in Bollywood, no doubt. But, pray tell me, what change will it make to my life or yours? I repeat,except for the initial temporary euphoria,nothing much.
 
One thing I am pretty sure is that this 4G BABY  will become a Brand Ambassador for a number of products and services like the earlier generations 2 and 3. As to which products or services the BABY will endorse-your guess is as good as mine.
 
So,let’s wait till the stork delivers the 4G BABY in person,or by courier….
 
There are lot many other things to think about,for me and you–like the inflation,the rising fuel prices,the King of Good Times (Vijay Mallya) of Kingfisher Airlines coming to bad times,the upward revision in interest rate in savings bank and other schemes of Post Office Deposits.   
 

MFN or MFN not…

MFN or MFN not…

 

Financial dailies and business pages of other newspapers have been commenting a lot about Pakistan’s gesture of granting MFN (Most Favoured Nation) status to India a few days ago but going back on the subject matter the very next day after the announcement saying that it was just a thought,it is not concrete yet.Read the following articles by going to the links given herebelow:

http://www.financialexpress.com/news/no-mfn-status-to-india-yet-gilani/871228/0

http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/pakistans-last-minute-retraction-irks-india/454610/

I was,as usual,tickled pink,at this “main nein aisaa tau nahin kaha thaa” ( ” I did not say so” ) controversy,and this is what I wrote to the Editors of FE and BS :

Dear Sir,
Pakistan’s flip-flop on granting or not granting MFN status to India,is akin to a childish game called:” He/She Loves Me, He/She Loves Me Not” in which one person seeks to determine whether the object of their affection returns that affection or not.The person playing the game alternately speaks the phrases “He (or she) loves me,” and “He (or she) loves me not,” while picking one petal off a flower for each phrase. The phrase they speak on picking off the last petal supposedly represents the truth between the object of their affection loving them or not. The player typically is motivated by attraction to the person they’re speaking of while reciting the phrases. They may seek to reaffirm a pre-existing belief, or act out of whimsy.Replace “the person” in this game with Gilani,and assume that Pakistan and India are the two objects under discussion.It will be clear that the final petal off the MFN flower will represent the truth ie whether to grant MFN status or not. So,wait till the next petal is plucked. Whether “MFN to India” or “MFN Not to India” will be known in due course.What a game ! We’re all luvin’ it !!
J S BROCA
NEW DELHI
Wait and watch what happens next !

RBI gives twin Diwali gifts…

RBI gives twin Diwali gifts…

All the major financial dailies of 26th October 2011, were full of the news item regarding RBI having raised repo and reverse repo interest rates and about freeing savings bank interest rates as per the latest review policy  announcements.One such article in BS was titled :” RBI GIVES TWIN DIWALI GIFTS.” To read the same,please go to the following link:

http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/rbi-gives-twin-diwali-gifts/453687/

On reading this article,this is what I had written to BS by way of a letter to the editor :

Dear Editor Sir, This refers to your news item titled :”RBI gives twin Diwali gifts…” (BS 26th October 2011).RBI has begun celebrating Diwali with a Big Bang ! The noise created by the bomb of interest rate rise is likely to dampen the festival spirits of the common man.RBI Governor has tried to soften the blow by freeing interest rate on Savings Bank deposits but that itself is another story which may have a happy ending with a feel-good factor for depositors, but it is likely to result into Saving Bank interest rate wars among the Banks .You win some.You lose some.It is a compulsive gamble and next few days will indicate how and which way the dice is loaded and how it will fall.One Private Sector bank (“Yes Bank”) has already set the dice rolling by announcing a 6% interest on SB deposits.Interestingly, the rate hike is the 13th  one since early 2010 but will RBI be lucky this time ? With inflation reigning at 9.72 % in September,and downward forecast of 7.6% for GDP growth in 2011-12,it is very difficult to gaze in the crystal ball and agree with RBI that “all izz well” on the economy front.The demon of inflation continues to raise its head but will RBI’s sword slash it for good? (“Yeh tau trailer hai,picture abhi baaki hai mere dost..” – This is just the trailer,the main film is still to follow my  friend ! ) Like “RA One”, “RBI Thirteen” is likely to generate a lot of hype in the coming months. Wait and watch for the verdict !–J S BROCA, NEW DELHI.

Please offer your comments/views on this piece,dear readers.