Mumbai ( formerly Bombay)

Mumbai, formerly Bombay, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra and the financial capital of India. With an estimated population of 13 million, it is one of the most populated cities in the world. Along with the neighbouring suburbs of Navi Mumbai and Thane, it forms, at 19 million, the world’s fifth most populous metropolitan area. Mumbai lies on the west coast of India and has a deep natural harbour. Mumbai’s port handles over half of India’s maritime cargo.

Mumbai is the commercial and entertainment centre of India, generating 5% of India’s GDP and accounting for 25% of industrial output, 40% of maritime trade, and 70% of capital transactions to India’s economy. Mumbai is one of the world’s top ten centres of commerce by global financial flow, home to important financial institutions such as the Reserve Bank of India, the Bombay Stock Exchange, the National Stock Exchange of India and the corporate headquarters of many Indian companies and numerous multinational corporations. The city also houses India’s hindi film and television industry, known as Bollywood. Mumbai’s business opportunities, as well as its high standard of living, attract migrants from all over India and, in turn, make the city a potpourri of many communities and cultures.

Taj Mahal Hotel

Taj Mahal Hotel

Coordinated terrorist attacks struck the heart of Mumbai, India’s commercial capital, on Wednesday night, killing hundreds in machine-gun and grenade assaults on at least two five-star hotels, the city’s largest train station, a Jewish center, a movie theater and a hospital.

Taj Mahal Hotel on 26/11/08

Taj Mahal Hotel on 26/11/08

Communal and militant forces have joined hands to tear apart Mumbai

Tears and blood satiates their heart…

Peace and harmony fire their ambition…

Its tough test for you ahead Mumbai…

Stand up to these evil forces, never let them reach their goal…

I as an Indian pledge you my support and implore other’s to do the same.

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More of Kahani…

Ekta apparently hired legal giant Ram Jethmalani as her counsel in her case against Star TV. She wants to ensure Kyuonki… at the same spot as for the last eight years disregarding the viewer-fatigue that has set in. Nor does she care about the loss, if Star continues to air it.

For now, Bombay High Court has dismissed Ekta’s petition and accepted channel’s plea to take the draggy off.

It’s sad but Ekta has trouble accepting her fall from grace. I had expected her to move along with changing times, to understand the “pulse” of her viewers. To accept that fresh ideas needs to be infused to keep her audience glued to their TV sets. The success of “Balika Vadhu” from Colors needs to be taken note of.

Star has been quick to respond but Ekta I fear will take time…

Meanwhile, kudos to Colors ( a Viacom and Network18 joint venture) to have hit the bulls eye within three months of its launch. It is delivering varied range of programs dealing mixed emotions and certainly in a fresh avatar.

Kahani Star aur Ekta ki

So finally the saas bahu saga is coming to an end. Relief!!
It really made me feel happy to know that the split finally happened, not between some saas and bahu but between Balaji Telefilms and Star India Pvt Ltd. Star India had 25.99% stake in Balaji Telefilms with Balaji developing exclusive content for the channel. Thankfully the TRP’s are dropping and the channel has refused to renew the contract and has subsequently resold the equity to Balaji.

It’s time for Ekta auntie to cry hoarse over breach of contract. God finally listened to all those who saw creativity bleeding in all her rona-dhona. It was deregotary to portray Indian women as scheming individuals all in the name of emanicipation!!
Since Star scrapped the deal there has been a drastic fall in Balaji share prices. Star had earlier scrapped Kahani Ghar Ghar ki, Kasauti Zindagi ke and is now taking Kyunki saas bhi Kabhi Bahu thi off the air from Nov 10, 2008 after 1800 episodes and 8 years (phew and Thank God!)
Economics states that whatever goes up would come down, and seems its finally happening. Hope creativity so richly manifested in Hum Log, Buniyaad, Nukkad, Mungerilaal ke Hasin Sapne and Dekh Bhai Bekh but which sadly went spiraling down in Ekta’s daily late night riots would return. Ekta intends legal action against Rupert Murdoch owned group. I wonder who cares?

Is this our worst Diwali and Christmas?

These are disheartening times. The whole world is shocked with Lehmann Brothers and Merill Lynch’s downfall. US had an aggressive economy and to see their banks crumble like a pack of cards was dismaying. Something went drastically wrong somewhere, and it had its repercussions on Indian economy as well. I wanted to express my apprehensions about it but thought Sachin would offer better insights. Thanks to him for taking time out for my humble blog 🙂

Here it goes…

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With global meltdown continuing to stretch its arms all over the world, we Indians are still saying “India is least impacted”. Should it be called optimism or sheer escapism?  Let’s take a closer look at the situation facing us: Inflation is still above 11%, Rupees is around 48.50 / dollar, IIP growth stands at 1.3% and Sensex has closed at 10269 points. Are we waiting for a harder impact? Sure there is more to come.
Banking industry is the worst hit. It is reeling under liquidity crunch with home loan market slowing down, retail loan sector not performing well and borrowers running away from banks. Surprisingly, Mr.KV Kamath of ICICI Bank announced that it will take legal action against those spreading rumors against them but remained mum over the steep fall in its share prices. HDFC too has burnt its fingers in the home loan segment.
The aviation industry is crying with Indian Airlines announcing that its 15000 employees will go on leave without pay for 3 years. How does one call this a leave? It’s only when their boards of directors are assured that their employees can stay without food for 3 years. Jet Airways too sacked its 1600 employees only to take them back in a dramatic manner. Naresh Goel, the MD was brought under tremendous political pressure but validated his decision to the tears he saw in the eyes of his employees. I believe he couldn’t afford a kick in his ass by the Prime Minister. Kingfisher can’t stay far behind in any race, and immediately announced salary cut for its trainee pilots and further froze in pilot recruitment. But does it stop Mr Mallaya from spending more on his wines and babes than his employees’ salary.
The automobile industry is also under tremendous pressure with sales falling sharply as compared to previous Diwali. TATA pulled out from Singur under “ M” influence and Mamta Di is claiming the biggest political victory for Trinamul. She needs to go to an economics school to understand the magnitude of her “victory”. She would turn India into Afghanistan if allowed to claim such victories on national level!

IT Sector is worried over the scrapped projects of US and Europe, cutting down of the onsite jobs and throwing of the employees on bench. Though dollar appreciation has given them some relief but with new business not coming and pipeline projects being scrapped there seems to be no end to their misery. NRI’s too are feeling the pinch and as a result the foreign funding has taken a backseat. Real estate and stock market which rode heavily on these foreign investments and had its prices skyrocketing in the past few years are now running for cover.
How to forget our Big brother in this situation?  Unfettered capitalism which made USA scale the heights of successes …is now making them bleed. USA believed that free flow of capital coupled with minimum regulations would lead to rapid growth have now learnt a lesson the hard way and hopefully realized that regulations are necessary to keep the economy in control. Americans are known to spend more than they earn all thanks to the credit card and their banks are known for funding without taking adequate mortgages and credibility check of borrowers. The worst affected in the US economy is the home loan segment due to sub prime crisis , the borrowers defaulted in the EMI payments and banks having no proper mortgages, got the whole system crumbling. Bail out measures offered by the government may improve short term liquidity but it cannot plug the loop holes in the system.
Now their only hope appears to be Obama because McCain is expected to follow the same Republican policies of Bush may be with little changes here and there.
Bush babu has vested interest in the oil business …both father and son waged wars in the Middle East for oil and never for their country. Bush the junior made sure that a major chunk of US national budget was apportioned towards capturing Saddam and Osama.

Barrack Obama is promising end to wars. May be then the US budgets would channelise themselves for productive purposes.

I would agree with Amartya Sen’s statement that if USA does not recover in short term it may lead to a major economic breakdown in India.

But friends, when the whole world is crying our neighbor Pakistan is doing something out of the box. They are trying to make two nuclear reactors with China’s help. When the whole world is bleeding isn’t it the right moment to make bombs?

A guy named Orkut

Wading through time and space I stumbled upon a community for orkut’s history.  Well with India featuring third in the worldwide user list it was interesting to note the content.

Orkut was launched way back in January 22, 2004 without any fanfare usually associated with Google (remember Chrome). The site is named after its creator Orkut Büyükkökten, a humble Google software engineer. Orkut Büyükkökten hails from Turkey and was 27 years old when he developed it as an independent project. Initially the network was intended as an elite community with membership accessible only through invitation.

Well, Orkut (the guy) has a profile on orkut network with more than a million scraps which I am sure he never cares to go through. The handsome young man has very normal interests and no wonder this software wizard fails to understand women! His communities listing were interesting apart from all those related to orkut—I mean the network. This Stanford geek loved his friends even before he created the most popular social network second only to Myspace.

As an employee of Affinity Engines, Orkut had developed a similar system, InCircle, intended for use by university alumni groups. Within six months of its launch by Google, Affinity Engines filed suit against Google, claiming that Büyükkökten and Google based orkut on inCircle code. The allegation was based on the presence of 9 identical bugs in orkut that also existed in InCircle. The lawsuit has long been settled so we don’t need to get numbed.

Thankfully, by 2006 orkut was open to all. Since then it’s the most visible site in Brazil, followed by US and India. In August 2008, Google decided to manage and operate it from Brazil shifting its base from California.

It holds its obligatory state censorship in Iran for being a threat to national security and ethical issues (yawn…) and ran into trouble with Brazilian government for spreading child pornography and hate speech. India too had its share of trouble with orkut with various hate campaign hurting national sentiments. The Indian Cyber Police have since then made agreement with orkut to prosecute anybody found misusing the networking site. Seems they are not sleeping….
Presently, there are more than hundred social networking sites doing the rounds of the internet, with facebook, orkut, flickr, myspace, netlog etc being just few of them…

It is all the more amazing to find that Orkut’s history community has only 23 registered members and Orkut Büyükkökten has only 506 memebers in his friend list. Seems people are too busy networking…

Autowalla on Delhi blast

Heavy Traffic in Begumpet at 9.45 am, Monday morning, vehicles honking and moving inch by inch with agitated commuters. Conversation in the auto…

Autowalla: Madam, kete hai Dilli main bomb phata hai?
(They are saying that there has been a bomb explosion in delhi?)
Me: Haan bhaiya.
(Yes, brother)
Autowalla: Kitne log mare madam?
( How many people died?)
Me: [ a little surprised with the manner in which the question is put]   Bhaiya, tees logo ki jaan chali gayi aur pachas se jyada logo ko chot aayi hai.  (Brother, thirty people have died and more than fifty have received injuries.)
Autowalla: arre madam, waha kyon phoda, [pointing to the traffic situation] yahan phodna tha …{heavy peel of laughter}
(oh madam, why did they explode it there, they should have exploded the bomb here…)

I am still wondering at the cruelty of the joke. Trust me wanted to whack his head right there.

One thousand miles

Hmm…Got the four figure.  Am I exuberant? naaaaaaaa…

Now what, well it would be very long when I add one more digit to this.
I am not very fond of numbers and I am not using firecrackers to let the world know that I got one thousand hits for my blog.


So, what next?  This blog would grow along with me…it is a place where my thoughts, creativity and ideas take shape and I intend to keep that going.
Then why at all am I talking about numbers? I could have conveniently ignored it. These numbers are an inspiration…to keep on going and checking my abandoning habit.
Thanks for being with me…