Wednesday, June 30, 2004

What I did this summer?

Did I mention my stay in Bollywood included a few (now that's an understatement) movies...

"Yuva" - I liked this Mani Ratnam flick a lot. For those who havn't realized Mani ratnam has finished his India tour with this movie- Bombay (Western India), Roja (South & Kashmir), Dil se (North East, Ladakh) and now Yuva (Calcutta). A real movie about the lives of young people. The one liners were really funny. The chemistry between Abhishek and Rani is amazing, and somehow the height difference enlivens it further. Vivek is looking good and Kareena her usual self, though I must say Ajay Devgan inspite of his good acting, looks too old to be college student. Read New Times reivew here

Main Hoon Na - Well a huge hit. A typical commercial movie with all elements in the right mix though you might need to shut down your brains. But some real action shots inspired fron Matrix. Read the TOI review here - Main Hoon Na - so what? ( The title had me gigling).

Murder - This one was popular for all the 'wrong' reasons. The Mallika Sherawat act. Though I must say film trailers were probably purposeful to attract the masses to theaters. A copy of the english movie Unfaithful, the one does not come any close to it.

Passion of Christ - If you have a weak heart, or even a moderately strong one, I won't recommend this one. It has lots of blood, gore and violence. And it its moving, shocking, hurting and painful throughout. I would say it doesn't tell a story, its just a depiction of last few hours/days of Jesus's life and it shakes you.This Mel Gibson movie has had its share of controversies. One of the most academic reviews I could get.

Meenaxi-A tale of three cities. - Directed by MF Hussain,the heroine of this one is NOT Madhuri. Tabu is really good and picture is a visual and audio treat. Nice colors and music. Only if you ask me, its not a movie at all. It makes you scratch your brains for a story. This Webindia review captures the essence beautifully.


Controversy Sells?

Well I wonder if that's a question. But it came up again in class during the discussion of ethics at workplace . The professor referred to increasing reporting of interpersonal abuse in the media as proof of its increasing clutches on our society.

With so much wiring of the world and now India, I guess survival pressures are heating up in all sectors. Which, makes organizations think of innovative ways to sustain and grow their market share. We often talk of innovative advertising, new products, added functionalities and improved services used by companies to do this. But what could be done about things like newspapers websites and other such means of communication. For a newspaper TOI (Times of India) defied the assumption that you can not anything innovative to it by 'giving readers what they want'. (Check out a previous post here).It today is the market leader. If I look around, the same phenomenon exists everywhere. Talk of websites like Indiatimes. All those have learnt that you can't sustain by catering to the elitist customer. Post a controversial news/spicy photo/article and the no of hits to your sites multiply many times. Catering to people who want celebrities and other such news has shifting from page three is a thing on the past. Now such articles occupy their proud place or front page. The increase in no the hits or circulation once you publish something is definitely worth it, seems to be the consensus. Parveen talks about an incident reflecting this in his blog.

This is one issue I have told many people about...So here
goes again...

We had this Kamasutra sex survey a month ago, the results of which were published in many leading magazines.The Times of India had published them too, in the front pages of its supplement, The Hyderabad Times. The next day, a guy wrote a letter to the editor. I don't remember it verbatim, but I'll try...

"Sir, Nowadays we have been seeing that the Times is publishing more non-news items than news items...Many people in my organization are thinking of stopping the newspaper, since there are kids at home who read the same stuff...I don't think you should have published such stuff in the main pages...."

The reply from the editor was..
"Dear Reader, Thanks for your valuable opinion. May we suggest, our esteemed sister publication, "The Hindu"

The message being there is no moral dilemma what so ever. No wonder most of our class is circumspect about the media. We have learnt not to take things at face value.

Thomas Jefferson, the third president of USA and a co author of Declaration of Independence wrote in a private letter, "I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form
of tyranny over the mind of man". His opinion of newspapers included the following

" The advertisement is the most truthful part of a newspaper."
" The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers."

Anyways coming back to the issue the professor raised, I think increasing reporting reflects something else, that there is increasing awareness, that what was under the carpet is being talked about and rectified. That hence is a reason for hope, a step forward......

People everywhere confuse what they read in newspapers with news. A. J. Liebling (1904 - 1963)

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Group Think

The tendency of a group to act unanimously and to gag to directly or indirectly members with a dissenting opinion. Group think ensures everyone follows in line and organizations, teams and forums work under the illusion of unanimity. Its easier for the group to think colllectively if the members are or made to believe that are taking a moral stand.I read all this in my OB textbook and I used to believe all this happens only in textbooks till my summers. The loan application that we processed was an eye opener.But things lately have been much more than that.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Freedom of expression does not mean mudslinging. There has been too much of that on my personal blog. So I have decided to remove stuff.
Thought for the day- "Every right has a corresponding duty."
The Indian Constitution

Saturday, June 26, 2004


Thought for the day - Is it really true that Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ) and IQ are inversely proportional to each other ? If you are intelligent , is it necessary that you have have a low EQ, that you have to be unable to face the situations life throws at you. That you find it difficult to accept things , mingle with people and adapt to society. Yes, people quote Albert Einstein as a perfect example.

But then, does one necessarily lead to the other. If you can't handle life does it means you are intelligent or vice versa.Look at the people around you and think...

Well, Was offered an explanation like this for an issue when I started a discussion with a friend. Too hard to digest. Can't believe. The world would be such a difficult place to live otherwise. Come on, I only thought u could not have a beauty with brains;)

-Do not face the sky and spit,for the spit falls back on you.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Am back it XL. First few days will be spent figuring out the electives and courses. The new batch is also on campus. Suddenly we are seniors. Summers is indeed transition in so may ways. This time its indeed different from when I was here last year this time. I just don't mean the fact that I was beginning the course and was new to campus.This term there is this sudden urgency , this realization that another few months is what we have got to be the perfect fit for the corporate roles that we want. Last it time the feeling was accomplishment, this time its of impatience and a sudden scarcity of time too.

The senior's placements are still fresh in my mind. 'India Shining' effect and the bumper harvest that B-Schools had. But suddenly things have changed now. We have the 'Father of the reforms', Dr.Manmohan Singh as prime minister and the 'Dream Budget' man as FM but still it seems the faith of investors both foreign and as a cascading effect retail is yet to come back. The crash of that black monday, May 17, 2004 is fresh in my mind. The Nifty graph at NSE India kept on plunging and plunging. Trading was stopped twice i think. The greatest ever fall of 800 points from last days close in a single day in the stock market. The stories have it LIC and UTI were asked to buy by the finance ministry and ultimately it closed some around 560 points down. Since then it has been 'Range Bound' to quote the CNBC India's hosts. ( I have been watching the channel day in out while I was home)But its rather amazing this see saw effect that I saw. Am told traders have been making a lot of money through systemically shortselling and futures and covering up in this market.Equally interesting is this mutual fund scene. Never knew there were so many different options mutual funds provided. The ICICI securties allotment receipt made much more sense to me this time.

This is also something I owe to my summers, this sudden keen interest in the functioning of the stock markets. What was earlier just a general interest has suddenly changed into this keen desire to know how everything works. I have also started making some small effort in this direction.Have taken the job of dad's advisor for his investments. Can I do it ? I definitely think so.

Read 'Rich Dad , Poor Dad', back home in Delhi. Good book to learn the basics of making money. No its not about giving some ten point receipe to be rich, the book talks the importance of financial education and unconventional but perhaps extremely logical way of being independent. Does help you get a perspective on money.

Am reading ' Catcher in the Rye'. everyone has been praising it a lot. Will talk more about it once i finish the book.