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Sambhar Mafia - Cooked To Kill!

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Cyberworld Cinderellas

India Today refers to Bloggers as the Cinderellas of Cyberspace. India Today issue dated 2nd May has a report on the impact made by bloggers in the Indian scenario.

For those of you who have not had a chance to take a look at the article, here is what India Today had to say: -

Thanks to Tsunami, the bloggers have become a force to reckon with. The co-ordinated effort put up by the bloggers (mainly the South East Asian Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Blog) during the tsunami was phenomenal. On an average the featured bloggers put in anywhere between 30 minutes and 3 hours each day for their blogging activity.

Bloggers who had been mentioned include

Mainstream Media's coverage of Blogs

Although BusinessWeek’s Blogspotting.net says that mainstream media is ignoring the Blogosphere, Indian media is finally recognizing that blogging is here to stay. Ramya Kannan of The Hindu is working on an article on Blogs and Blogger meets. Soon there will be a situation where some of the bloggers would have built their personal equity so much that the mainstream media would wan't to speak to such opinion leaders while compiling reports.

Friday, April 29, 2005

AMMA unveils the new “MAA”

Chennai – Airport project gets Centre’s nod

The Hindu had reported a few weeks ago that the TN Government plans to construct a new airport in Tambaram, Chennai to meet the increasing air traffic needs of the city. Chennai’s English eveninger News Today reports that the Central Government has given the go ahead for expansion of the current Meenambakkam airport by alloting an area north of the existing airport. If the government had not acted now, Chennai would have probably found it difficult to compete with the likes of Bangalore and Hyderabad, which are currently in the process of constructing the new airports. Given the pace at which things move in India, we can safely assume that it will take a minimum of 5 years for this new project to be completed. This expansion will come in handy as the airport can handle wide-bodied jets as and when they decide to descend in Chennai. Budget airlines would help increase the number of air travellers and hence the revamped Meenambakkam airport can handle this increased load.

Battle for Southern Supremacy

Apart from the fight for IT dominance, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad can now slug it out for dominance in the skies as well. Hyderabad seems to have fired the first salvo by announcing that Air Sahara will use Hyderabad as the hub for South India. Air Sahara is probably the first airline in India to adopt the hub and spoke model. AP Government also played a role in this as they offered some sops to Air Sahara. I hope Karnataka and TN government should be more proactive in spotting such opportunities.

Anniyan Audio Rockz

WARNING: This is yet another Anniyan Audio Review like the many reviews you will read in the Blogosphere. If you are looking for something unique then you may not find it here. This is a long posting.

HJ Repeattu!

Harris Jeyaraj has been in a shell for the last nine months composing music for the most important project in the career (so far). HJ’s last release was Chellame. I was happy to see Harini making a comeback, Leslie Lewis (of Colonial Cousins fame) singing in Tamil for the first time and also the voice of Jassie Gift. No other album has played host so many big-ticket names like Hariharan, Shankar Mahadevan, Kay Kay, Shreya Ghoshal.

Although some of the tunes resemble previous compositions by Harris Jeyaraj, I’m quite confident this music album will be a bigger hit than the songs of the Tamil New Year Releases. Shankar booked Harris Jeyaraj bcoz ARR was busy. Harris Jeyaraj doesn’t come cheap though. He does only 4 projects per year and he charges upwards of INR 1 Crore for each of them. Although initial reactions are going to be mixed, all said and done Shankar milks all his Music Directors. Anniyan Audio Rockz for sure but it may not recreate the “Shankar-ARR” magic which has captivated us in earlier flicks like Indian, Kadhalan, Mudhalvan, Jeans & Boys.

The album has a nice blend of Carnatic based songs (2), trendy dance numbers (2) and a folk song. Given the grand picturization that Shankar goes for, all songs will be played over and over again in TV and FM and hence it is bound to captivate the audience. Iyengaaru Veetu Azhagae, Oh Sukumari and Andankaka Kondaikari are sure runaway hits. The other songs will also attain this status after we hear it a few more times.

Oh Sukumari by Shankar Mahadevan and Harini

A pleasant relief to hear Shankar Mahadevan singing a melodious tune, the audience gets a respite from the usual fast songs which he sings for Vijay films. Harini also makes a comeback. The mandolin piece in the 1st BGM and the sax piece in the 2nd BGM are quite soothing. Some part of the charanam resembles the song “Baba Kichu Kichu thaa” from the movie Baba and also the “Breathless” song. More than all these, the orchestration of this song resembles “En Uyir Thozhiye” from Kangalal Kaidhu Sei.

I suggest that you listen to “En Uyir Thozhiye”, “Charanam of Baba Kichu Kichu Tha” and “Oh Sukumari” and judge for yourself. The rendition of the word “KoomAri” by Shankar Mahadevan reminds me of Playback Singer C S Jayaraman’s voice. Overall, a very nice composition for a duet song.

Kaadhal Yaanai by Nakul (of BOYS fame), Nelwyn (or is it Melwyn?) & G V Prakash (of Chikku bukku Rayilu fame)

The prelude reminded me of Vathikuchi Pathikichi Sattunutham ….Oyilu Oyilu (music by Aadithyan). The lyrics are typical Shankar style with a free flow of English words (often more than 50% of the whole song). The charanam looks like a rehash of the song Sariya Thavara from 12B (Harris Jeyaraj had scored the music for this movie as well). Some discussion forums say that the tune has been inspired by “The Ketchup Song”

In spite of all the above drawbacks, this song is sure to be a chart topper as Harris has a stronghold over peppy numbers. BTW why have they used the words “Yeh Dil Maange More” in the song when we all know that Vikram has signed up as Brand Ambassador for Coke.

I understand that Yana Gupta might be dancing for this song. The flight sound in the BGM gives me a feeling that this is the song that has been shot in the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), Malaysia. Shankar got special permissions to shoot the song in KLIA. Earlier, Sarath kumar has shot one of his songs in KLIA.

Kannum Kannum Nokia by Leslie Lewis a.k.a Lezz (of Colonial Cousins fame), Andreas and Vasundhara Das

Nice choices of voices. If I hadn’t read the name of singers I would have mistaken the male voice for Adnan Sami’s voice. Nice work on the guitar and drums. Any Shankar / Harris Jeyaraj foot tapping number has to have an overdose of English words and this song (like the earlier one) is no exception. BTW I didn’t influence them to add the words MAFIA extensively in this song. Ideal track for dances and also for future remixes. The song has a techno feel written all over it (A R Rahman influence?). HJ is bang on yet again

Iyengaaru Veetu Azhagae by Hariharan and Harini

The setting is the Thiruvaiyaaru Aaradhanai. I believe Shankar got leading Carnatic musicians (1000 musicians including the top ones) to be part of the video shoot. Nobody other than Hariharan could have done justice to this song. The modulations by Hariharan are out of the world. I wanted to write that this tune looks original and fresh. However something inside me tells me that this song has been inspired by “Narumugaiye Narumugaiye” from Iruvar. Still this song might turn out to be the best song in this album.

Andan Kaka Kondaikaari by Jassie Gift, Kay Kay, Shreya Ghoshal & Saindhavi

All the vocals rock. Jassie Gift adds that extra little “punch” to this song. The words “Randaka Randaka” keep on reverberating throughout the song. The beats are akin to “Gopala Gopala” kind of beats in the movie Kadhalan. This is a different breed of folk song when compared to other songs that are churned out these days. This might turn out to be the second best song in this album.

Very often we don’t like ARR / Harris Jeyaraj songs when we listen to them for the first time. Although I wanted to post the review yesterday, I took time to listen all the songs atleast 5 to 10 times so that I get over the first time blues.

Request to Harris Jeyaraj

Some of the best songs of Harish Raghavendra have come under the music of Harris Jeyaraj. Some of them being Poove Vai Paesum (12B), Mughalai Mughalai (Arasaktchi), Mudhal Kanave (Majnu), Azhagiya Theeye (Minnale), Aagaya Suriyanai (Samurai). Although Harish Raghavendra is a good singer, it is quite strange to see him not geting good offers. Yuvan Shankar Raja also used Harish Raghavendra for movies like Kadhal Kondaen and 7/G Rainbow Colony. Please give more opportunity to Harish Raghavendra as I want to hear more of his mellifluous voice.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Are Bloggers selfish?

Mr. Kiasu feels that Bloggers are selfish. He claims that people are resorting to all sorts of dirty tricks to attract traffic. Although I agree with him partly, I have a different opinion on the way people market their blogs. Given that so many blogs crop up every day in the Blogosphere, one has to do so kind of “promotion” / “marketing” to ensure that his Blog reaches the right audience. However such gimmicks can only help in bringing in first time visitors. In the long term, readers will revisit these the blogs only if the quality is good. Hence these “marketing gimmicks” / “cheap tricks” may not be sustainable in the long run.

BTW what exactly is long run? John Maynard Keynes said – “In the long run we're all dead”.

SHELL we go to the nearby petrol station?

Shell retail outlet in Chennai

Petrol stations in India have been getting better by the day. Most of this change has come about in the last 5 years or so. IMO the BPCL outlet in Venkatnarayana Road and another petrol station outside the Woodlands Drive-in restaurant in Cathedral Road were pioneers in their own way. Fuel retail is becoming big and the players are pumping in lot of money. The latest to join this fray is Shell. If you recollect, Shell has had a very long presence in India in the form of Burma Shell. Business Line reports that Shell has opened its third Indian retail outlet at Arcot Road in Vadapalani, Chennai. It is quite a nightmare to drive in Arcot Road during the peak hours.
Indian petrol stations Vs the West
Going by the recent trend, I feel that these Indian petrol stations can turn out to be better than their western counterparts in more ways than one (given the fact that you need to fill petrol yourself in some of the petrol stations in the West).

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Mysurpa is just a stone’s throw away

New Breed of Indian MNC’s

The Indian IT and Pharma companies have already conquered the world and have attained the MNC status. It is now the turn of India’s homegrown restaurants and ethnic retailers to expand. Some of the firms, which come to my mind, are Saravana Bhavan (they have a presence in US, UK, Malaysia, Singapore, UAE, Oman, Srilanka), MTR & Nalli Silks. Given the rapid growth in Indian diaspora, these firms are also growing at a frenetic pace. Recently, I saw an ad in the local newspapers where Kovai Sree Krishna Sweets (SKS) had given a huge ad calling for prospective franchisees for their new outlets in Singapore and Malaysia. They had also mentioned that they are going to open soon in the US. They rose to fame by using the “Pure Ghee” tag. Although I have tasted these Mysurpa’s before, I’m not a big fan of it because of the amount of ghee they put in these sweets. If I had a chance I would have rechristened this as “Zyada Ghee” (More Ghee). But I know people who are addicted to these sweets. Every time they return back from India, they used to get these sweets for us. This could be partly due to the fact that SKS has an outlet in Chennai International Airport.

Thattai from Grand Sweets & Snacks in Adyar is one of my favourites. The annoying thing is that whenever you visit their outlet in Adyar, they seem to be out of stock for most of the popular items. If you are so keen you are made to wait for a long time to buy these sweets & savouries. I somehow feel that Grand Sweets & Snacks has not been aggressive in expanding…hence they have lost out in the game. Otherwise they would have been miles ahead.

Sunday, April 24, 2005



I watched the English classic “Godfather Part I” over the weekend. One of the background score reminded me of the Hindi song “ Raja Ko Rani Se Pyar Ho Haya” from the Hindi movie “Akele Hum Akele Tum”. The music for this Hindi movie has been scored by Anu Malik. This is not the first time Anu Malik has been “inspired” by other songs. I was damn sure somebody would have already come across this and put it up on the web. My search landed on this site. One of my friends had suggested this site earlier. This is a good site to find out the sources for some of the “inspired” songs. Even the Gods – ARR & Ilayaraja have not been spared.


Thanks to Manoj of Minorscale, I managed to get a sneak preview of the song “Kadhal Yaanai” from Anniyan. I managed to grab the song from here , however when I checked again this site seems to be down (probably due to the fact that a large no. of users are trying to access the same page). It has been reported that Anniyan Audio will be officially released on April 29. However some of our Film related (MP3 Download) sites have managed to get 1 song of the much-awaited movie.

My first impressions of this song – Typical Shankar song, peppy and more than 50% of the lyrics are in English. Harris Jeyaraj has doled out yet another typical score from his repertoire. This is no way near what I expected. I tried to listen to the song few more times and I had a strange feeling that the charanam (stanzas) resembles the score of the song “Seriya Thavara” from the movie 12B (Harris Jeyaraj had scored the music for this movie as well).


I happened to hear the song “Mujhe Kuch Kehna Hai” from the Hindi Blockbuster BOBBY. Laxmikant Pyarelal had done the music for this movie.

This song reminded me of the Tamil song “Anantham Anantham” from the movie Poove Unakkaga. S A Rajkumar had done the music for Poove Unakkaga.


String Quartet BOND is one of my favourites. The All girl Band consists of 2 British artists and 2 Australian artistes. Their tracks have been played even in the last Olympics. I’m so addicted to them that I have started using their CD as the Wake Up track in my Alarm Clock cum CD Player. I had the privilege of catching them Live in Action at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre during their Asian tour last year. They have 3 albums to their credit – Remixed, Shine and Classified. SHINE is really outstanding.

Our Kollywood music director Music Director, Vidyasagar used one their tracks as the prelude to the song “Enna Seyya” in the movie Parthiban Kanavu.

Copyright can be redefined as the "Right to Copy". If composing music is so easy, Kaps will be queuing up in front of Kollywood Directors / Producers for a chance. I am redesigning my hairstyle (on the lines of ARR, Adithyan, Hariharan & my guru Yanni) so that I can make a beeline to Kollywood.

T Nagar becomes hotel hub, Traders Hotel being the latest entrant.

Yet another budget hotel is opening up in T.Nagar Chennai. T Nagar is already home to business hotels like GRT Grand, Residency and Residency Towers. The new addition to this list is Traders Hotel (part of the Shangri La Group). Given the fact that T.Nagar is already congested this new hotel on the Chennai skyline is not going to ease things on the traffic front.

Saturday, April 23, 2005


Politics, Film world, Business, Professional services (Doctors, Lawyers, Chartered Accountants). These are some of the areas in which dynasty impact (I have still not come to dynasty rule) is felt. Let me take each one of these fields and discuss about them.

Free for all in POLITICS
There is no entry criteria. Since most politicians prefer their kids to enter politics, it is a win win situation for the son / daughter and the father. Further, the politician’s kids may not be educated and hence even if they are asked to work, they might not be able to find a job….hence they are left with no alternative other than to pursue politics. However, there is a new brigade - the 20 something MP’s,often from royal lineage….claim to be MBA’s / graduates from top US schools (who is going to verify whether they really studied at these universities?) For all you know they might have just visited the US and claim that they are from the Ivy League. Although it is good to see highly educated youth entering politics it is irritating to see these spoilt-brats representing the youth in Parliament.

The Owner Vs Manager debate has been going on for ages. Indian Corporates are increasingly moving towards the model of Professional Managers running the show (so that shareholder interests are safeguarded). We see that happening in companies like Murugappa Group, Eicher etc.

The biggest buzz in the Indian Biz World (after the Reliance “Big Fight”) is who will succeed Azim Premji as the next Chairman of Wipro. Vivek Paul might be a strong contender. However Vivek Paul is way too flashy and hence may not suit the conservative corporate culture that Wipro is known for. Premji owns about 85% of Wipro and induction of family blood into the top management might not go down well with the shareholders. Further, Premji’s sons are still too young to don the top role @ Wipro.

The so-called Professions

They know how lucrative their profession is and are in the best position to decide whether it is worthwhile to “buy” a Doctor seat for their kid (in case their kid doesn’t get in on merit basis). The parent doesn’t really bother whether their kid is interested in the Medical Profession (god save the patients). The parent might look at it from a financial angle – I have invested $XX in building this clinic / hospital and what are the ways in which I can recover this investment. Not much importance is given to the career aspirations of the kid.

Most of the CA’s in practice would prefer their kids to takeover the dad’s practice as the clients might move to another auditor if the practice is discontinued. Nobody really bothers whether the kid is really interested in the CA profession. This situation is very similar to a Doctor profession, except for the fact that one can’t buy a CA degree by paying a princely sum. This was the situation atleast till the time I completed my CA. Things might have changed now - a payment seat for a CA might not be far away. Tomorrow you might see an ad near T Nagar Bus Stand (in Chennai): Vendhan All Pass Tutorials 10th Pass 12th Fail Join CA.

The clients of Auditors are safeguarded to some extent as all the candidates need to go through the rigorous exam process. This doesn’t rule out the fact that there could be some dumb CA’s.

LIARS (Lawyers)
I’m not good in arguing against lawyers. Hence I leave this section to your imagination. Fill up the blanks. These guys give so many interviews to Indian News Channels. When do they really work?

Tinsel town is the mother of dynasty rule.
Scene 1: You switch on TV and you see a ugly looking hero dancing with a pretty damsel in an exotic foreign locale. Chances are that the hero will be the son of a producer, director, actor, and financier. A study by Gartner shows that 80% of new entrants to the film world have some sort of prior association with the film industry (don’t ask stupid questions like – When did Gartner start doing such studies?). Looking at the new entrants to the Tamil film world in the last 5 – 10 years, IMO only actor Surya and composer Yuvan Shankar Raja stand out. But there are so many also-rans who are blocking the entry of many budding artistes.

[The author is a Shattered Accountant (read CA) and an yeMBeeA from AiAiAmBi (read IIMB). He runs one of the most powerful mafia’s in South East Asia. The views (if any) expressed here are his own and not necessarily reflect the views of his employer (if he happens to be employed). The above thoughts are based on the author’s understanding of the various industries / professions. If your feelings echo with some of them mentioned above, you can express your gratitude by clicking on the Google Ads on the right side.]

If you enjoyed reading the above article, you might also enjoy this.

Thursday, April 21, 2005


Suggested Reading - "Rules of Work" by Richard Templar

Apart from performing your role perfectly, what else do you need to do to achieve success in your career / current job? This is what you’ll learn if you happen to read the book “Rules of Work” by Richard Templar. I happened to read this book last weekend. Although you get a feeling that you know most of the stuff, it is still worth reading as it has been written in a structured manner. The author talks about building one’s own “personal” brand at work, dressing sense, how to get noticed by top management etc. The author talks more about “Are you doing the job in the right way?” It is upto us to figure out whether we are in the right job.This book is one of the current bestsellers in the non-fiction category. You can catch the Amazon review here.

Other books that I plan to read soon
Blink – The Power of Thinking without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell

Winning by Jack Welch & Suzy Welch
Hope is Not a Strategy – The 6 Keys to Winning the Complex Sale by Rick Page

The Hindu on the Other Singapore

Today’s Hindu suggests tourists visiting Singapore to explore some lesser known places (which don’t figure in the tourist brochures). One such place which they have suggested is the DKNY Café. I hadn’t heard about this before. Planning to check it out sometime soon.

Sharad Haksar

I made a post on Sharad Haksar yesterday. Today’s Hindu also talks of this poll. The organizers have kept the photographer’s name under wraps so that people can vote without any bias.

Outlook Magazine on Nokia's Chennai plant

The Outlook magazine talks about Nokia’s decision to set up a plant in Chennai and also about what lies ahead for the handset manufacturing industry.

Vote For Sharad Haksar

According to Adlova, Chennai based photographer Sharad Haksar is in contention for the top slot in the awards instituted by “Popular Photography” magazine. If you have passed via Anna / Gemini Flyover in Chennai you would have probably noticed his work for the apparel brand “Perri Alley”. Although this brand is not very popular, Sharad Haksar’s work stood out. Personally, I would like him to work on bigger brands so that he gains prominence globally. If you would like to vote for Sharad Haksar click here. He is photographer #9 in the list. He is now in second position. One of his work has been featured below.

Perri Alley Ad by Sharad Haksar Posted by Hello

Pic Courtesy - Agencyfaqs.com

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Media wars

Prize Catch - Chandramukhi

In mid-March, Teakada had reported about the tug of war between SUN TV and Jaya TV to bag the rights of Chandramukhi. Based on initial estimates Teakada had estimated the budget for this movie to be around INR 15 Crores. However as per the latest Sify report, Rajini alone was paid a whopping INR 15 Crores. This could be due to the fact that Rajini got a share from the proceeds of the film.

Sify says that Jaya TV has bagged the rights to screen all the Tamil New Year releases (viz. Chandramukhi, Mumbai Xpress and Sachien). However as per IndianTelevision.com, SUN TV has managed to bag the rights of Chandramukhi whereas the other two movies have gone to Jaya TV. Whoz the real winner?


The verdict is out. Chandramukhi is ahead in the race.

SS Music to enter US market

SS Music Channel is going to enter the US Cable TV market. I always keep wondering who is the target market for SS Music Channel. For those of you who don’t know, SS Music plays songs from the 4 southern languages (Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam and Telugu). The VJ’s speak in English. They play an assorted mix of songs from all the 4 southern languages and hence viewers are bound to move to another channel as soon as SS plays a song from an alien language. IMO it is better to focus on one language instead of pan-South Indian presence. This lack of focus might even put-off the advertisers.

Eastword Ho!
According Business Today (dated 24th April), SUN TV is launching a Bengali channel titled Surjo. This could be an acid test for SUN Network as they are entering a totally new territory. Their southern expansion might have been easier as they have the habit of dubbing some of their serials from one language to the other.

Hindustan Times to enter South India

HT is looking to acquire couple of vernacular newspapers in South India. It is still not clear as to what are the languages they are looking at.

Happy hour in hospitals

Lots of businesses price products/services based on the time or the day in which the product/service is sold/consumed. Some of the instances are movie halls charging lower prices during weekdays and taxis charging a surcharge on the eve of holidays / weekends. This logic makes sense as they want to induce more people to see movies during weekdays (bcoz of the spare capacity) and they want to reduce congestion on the eve of public holidays.

Graded pricing in hospitals
What’s amusing to me is the fact that one of the leading hospitals in Singapore has a graded pricing for various times in the day and for various days in the week. This hospital was involved in the valiant attempt to separate the Iranian twins last year. I am giving you a rough idea of their pricing structure for outpatients.

Weekday 7 AM – 10 AM: $X
Weekday 10AM – 5PM: $1.2X
Weekday 5PM – 9PM: $1.5X
Weekend Allday: $2X

While I can understand that fewer doctors will be working over the weekends and hence they might want to discourage people from visiting the hospital over the weekend. However I still don’t agree with the graded pricing during the weekdays. So the next time you wanna go to your hospital do find out when the happy hour is.

Kamal as anti-hero in Vettayadu Vilayadu

Kamal will don 2 roles in his forthcoming movie Vettayadu Vilayadu (VV). One of this will be an anti-hero. After the mediocre reviews that Mumbai Xpress is receiving from the blogging community, Kamal should make up for this debacle by providing a richer fare in VV. Going by the initial snaps, Kamal looks quite classy. I hope the movie lives up to the initial expectations.

Director Gowtham has also given an interview to Rediff about this movie. He is talking of reviving his earlier venture – “Chennaiyil Oru Mazhaikalam”.

Sambhar Mafia achieves 5000 Hitz in 50 days!

Superstar endorses Sambhar Mafia Posted by Hello

Looks like there will be a real business opportunity in running a mafia. Hence I plan to initiate talks with Mafia in Assam (ULFA), Andhra Pradesh (PWG), Srilanka (LTTE) and Dubai (Dawood Bhai) for possible Joint Ventures. I have already thought of some names. The JV with PWG will be called “Biryani Mafia”. My consultants are still working on the names for the other JV's.

If everything goes well Sambhar Mafia will be going for an IPO pretty soon. As loyal readers you will get preference shares from Sambhar Mafia Inc. Thanks once again.
I tried to fiddle with the layout and everything has gone for a toss. Hence I’m redoing all the links. I’m also trying to add more features. Please bear with me.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Black Friday

The Sensex has been tumbling over the last 2 trading days. It lost more than 200 points last Friday (the single largest fall this year). This fall can be attributed to the next quarter guidance given by market bellwether Infosys Technologies. Infosys Chief Mentor and Indian IT’s poster boy N R Narayanamurthy (NRN) was asked about the Sensex crash. NRN said that he doesn’t understand the stock markets. IMO this doesn’t constitute an appropriate response. It would have been better if he had said that the market has over reacted to the weak outlook for the next quarter.

I happened to see another video which interviewed NRN. He was asked why his son did not get into IIT. NRN said that his son wanted to Computer Science, however he could not get into the Top 200 in IITJEE and hence decided to join Cornell University to study Computer Science.
I'm scared
Somebody reached my site by searching for this.

P & Q

Photo taken @ Orchard Road over the weekend Posted by Hello


Life is an ice-cream enjoy it before it melts (A dialogue from the movie BLACK, which I saw over the weekend).

P & Q

Photo taken @ Orchard Road over the weekend Posted by Hello


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away (heard on the local English FM channel).

Monday, April 18, 2005

Bingo Singapore!

Move over Macau, Genting, Las Vegas. The Singapore government has given the green signal to set up two casinos (one each at Marina Bay and Sentosa). It is actually called an Integrated resort which will also include a casino (apart from having other entertainment options for the whole family). The decision was on expected lines as the government felt that this would create lot of new jobs and also new revenue stream for the government. Curbs are likely to be placed to restrict locals from getting addicted to gambling. Tourists who have been complaining of seeing the same old tourist spots year after year will now have an additional tourist spot in their tour schedule.
Current Song - Vai Raaja Vai from Panchathanthiram

Some Cribs.....

  • Kingfisher Surrogate Ad – I thought surrogate ads were banned in India. I saw some surrogate ads by Kingfisher recently. Does anyone know whether the Surrogate ad ban applies to the Kingfisher Mineral Water ad?

  • How to name it – As part of my work, I had to talk to a vendor on some business issues. I got the name of the contact person and tried to call them. The name given to me was “Mahesh”. The voice on the other end was a female voice. She said “This is Mahesh here”. After speaking to her for a while I asked her to send me an email on some information which I required from the vendor. When I received the email I noticed that the sender’s name was Maheshwari. Is it desirable to have such nicknames which often leads to an identity conflict?

  • Before & After – Not a day passes without looking at some Before & After ads in the newspapers. When I say Before & After I’m referring to Before this & After this ads by firms which are in the business of preventing hair loss and facilitating weight loss. These are the VLCC kind of ads which you see in India. It is hard to believe how much of this is really true. To me they all look like a sham.

  • A not so good experience with Pizza Hut – Since I was working late last week, I ordered pizza for dinner on two of those days. On the first day they had given me a Pepsi PET bottle which was not cold. On the second day, I called their hotline to place my order. Based on the accent I could make out that I was speaking to a desi. I placed the order for my usual Veggie Lover’s Pizza. He told me that the Pizza is not 100% vegetarian. I didn’t know whether to thank him (for revealing the truth) or to yell at him to vent my anger. He said that the Veg Pizza is cooked in the same Pan as the other Pizzas and hence it is not pure veg. Since I didn’t have any choice I decided to go ahead with my order. I also ordered a bottle of Pepsi and requested them to send me a Chilled Pepsi. Although he said yes to the Cold Pepsi he didn’t sound very convincing. I asked him to reconfirm the “Chilled” Pepsi. He checked with someone and said that the Pepsi will be at “Room Temperature”. This is their way of saying that they don’t serve Chilled Pepsi. Why should somebody pay twice the price of a regular Pepsi to buy a drink (along with dinner), which is not served chilled?

In Search of Sambhar

People have reached by Blog while searching for Sambhar in Google. My blog is the 4th result under Google and it is ranked higher than Tarla Dalal’s page. If somebody is interested in buying the domain, do drop me a line :-)))) This might be a faster way to make money than Google Adsense.

Just Born

Govindaraj Ethiraj – If you have watched CNBC India you might have seen him. He has started a blog called Dateline Bombay

Some of my friends have also started blogging

Ganesh Krishnan’s Thayir Saadham

Ram’s Trial n Error

Uniquely Singapore!

  • Singapore Government will announce their decision on the casino later today (18th April). There has been lot of build-up to this event. The Government has brainstormed for 1 year on this.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Weekly Roundup of Entertainment News

  • Chandramukhi promo in Singapore - Prabhu and Jyothika were in Singapore for one of the shows of Chandramukhi yesterday. I'm sure the crowd would have been disappointed since Superstar didn't grace the occasion.

Mumbai to rock to Hard-Rock beat

Slimes of India says that Hard Rock Café is slated to open shop in Mumbai. I have seen people wearing Hard Rock Café (HRC) Beijing / Shanghai t-shirts earlier and was hoping that HRC would set up base in India. I personally feel that Bangalore would have been a better launchpad than Mumbai. One thing is for sure, fake t-shirts bearing the words “Hard Rock Café Mumbai” might come out before the original one does.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Why this disparity?

The Blogosphere is full of news, views and reviews of the latest releases in Kollywood (Sachien, Chandramukhi, Mumbai Xpress). Every alternate blogger seems to have seen one of these movies (either the preview or first day). I’ll be seeing Mumbai Xpress tonight. News reports in The Hindu indicate that ticket prices in Tamilnadu are at an all time high.

Chandramukhi ticket prices

When I was drifting thru the local newspapers I realized that Chandramukhi was priced at an atrociously high price of S$15. In sharp contrast Mumbai Xpress and Sachien were priced at the usual S$10. Normally Tamil movies in Singapore are priced between S$8 & S$10 depending on the popularity of the star (English movies are also priced around this figure). Are the distributors (Ayngaran International) right in pricing Chandramukhi at a 50% premium over the other movies? People who have stayed in Singapore for a longer period tell me that BABA was also priced similarly. Lazygeek had mentioned that Chandramukhi was priced at US$ 12 (some of my friends tell me that this is on the higher side). Why should we pay exorbitant rates for seeing movies which cost less the cost of an average Hollywood movie? The distributors might sight the reason as limited audience. I don’t think this argument holds good.

Pricing of Cricket Matches

These pricing anomalies can be extended to the pricing of Cricket telecasts in Singapore and the US. Cable operators (SCV in Singapore and Dish Network in the US) charge a hefty amount on a per tournament basis. Even EPL Football costs a fraction of the price of the Cricket subscription. Cricket hungry desis don’t mind these high charges and sign up for every other tournament. Given the inelasticity of demand, Cable Operators are laughing their way to the bank. These are the modern means by which we are getting cheated.


DUMBO JET Posted by Hello

Ad’s like these have sprung up all over Singapore. Jet Airways is starting its direct flights to Mumbai from today (April 15). The reason why Jet decided to advertise in bus shelters in residential areas seems quite strange. Apart from telling the world that their fleet is young and their service is upmarket, Jet decided to use the words SMART and INTELLIGENT extensively in this campaign. I don’t know how Smart and Intelligent fit in the scheme of things. I’m also trying to find out the agency who did this campaign. Hence I decided to name this post as Dumbo Jet.
Conditions Apply
It is quite normal to see an asterix and the words Conditions Apply to be prominently displayed in most of the ads and promotions. However Jet chose to put an asterix mark near the departure time and put "conditions apply". I guess they might have not got permission for the time slot. What other Conditions can apply to the departure time?

Thursday, April 14, 2005

SUN TV is at it again. Mumtaj the wannabe Kalpana Chawla

I’m sitting at home watching the Tamil New Year special programs in SUN TV. SUN TV seems to be setting new (low) standards. I hadn’t seen the Tamil New Year promos on SUN TV and hence it was a shocker when I saw Mumtaj being featured on the Morning Show. Couldn’t they have got somebody more suitable and befitting the occasion. They should have atleast tried to get somebody who can speak fluent Tamil. If they have run out of choices better to discontinue the Breakfast show.

She can’t even pronounce “Iniya Tamizh Puththandu Vazhthukkal”. Mumtaj goes on to say that her career ambition was to become a Doctor or an Astronaut. (I don’t think they have payment seats to become an astronaut!!). She says that she sacrificed her studies to become an actress. Gimme a break. We’re sick and tired of hearing all these heroines say that they wanted to become doctors. Can they be more realistic and say that they wanted to become nurses? Compere T S Ranganathan’s voice sounds very artificial.

Browse without fear

Worrying that your colleagues / boss will notice that you are browsing the Net during office hours? UK based Last Minute pricing site http://www.lastminute.com/ has come up a cool idea. They have provided a link at the top right corner of their page. It says “The Boss is watching – look busy” Once you click on this it takes you to another sheet which shows things like Market analysis etc.
Talking about Last minute sites, Wotif, is a Asia focussed portal based in Asutralia. However I tried comparing the prices of Wotif with the prices of other hotel booking sites and realized that Wotif is charging on the higher side.

Harris Jeyaraj’s next venture

Harris Jeyaraj’s next venture

Hot on the heels after signing up Kamal’s Vettayaadu Vilayaadu, Harris Jeyaraj has announced his next project – INBA starring Jeeva (of RAAM fame). Harris has also signed up another Telugu film recently. Since he does only 4 projects per year, we can’t expect much news from his side for the rest of the year. I can’t wait any longer to listen to the Anniyan audio which is slated to be launched on Tamil New Year’s Day.

However it is still not clear as to who the music director is. Hari worked with Harris Jeyaraj on 3 of his recent movies (Saamy, Kovil and Arul). Although Saamy’s music was a runaway success, the music of Kovil and Arul paled in comparison to Saamy. This could probably be attributed to Hari’s formula film-making tactics. Hari has regained some lost ground in Ayya (music by Bharadwaj). I personally wish to see Harris Jeyaraj working for another Surya movie.

Voice of the new brigade

Of late I feel that the voices of some of the Tamil film stars are quite irritating. I’m not able to stand the voices of Dhanush, Jeyam Ravi, Simbu, Ravi Krishna. Their voices start choking when they try to emote something. Who is begging them to use their own voice? Why don’t they realize that their voice might put off the film-goer. Someone like the Censor Board (while issuing the Censor certificate for the film of any of the above heroes) should give a warning saying that excessive exposure to the voice of these heroes might lead to severe headache. Another voice which I hate is Vijay’s voice. Although he has improved over the years (or is it that the tolerance levels of the audience has gone up), he is still quite unbearable. Adding to all this clutter Jyothika also tried to use her own voice in Mayavi. I hope she doesn’t do that once again.

En Desathin Kural (from Desam / Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera from Swades)
It’s not just another patriotic song. I dunno how I missed this song when the audio released, but after my local FM channel started playing it regularly I have been bowled over by ARR’s mesmerizing voice. IMO, this song enters the same exclusive club as Tamizha Tamizha and Thai Manne Vanakkam (Maa Tujhe Salaam). Must go down as Rahman’s best rendition ever. The shehnai has been put to the best possible use. This song might not have reached the Tamil audience as it was a dubbed film.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Reminds me of "Enna Vilai Azhagae" and more importantly Sonali Bendre!  Posted by Hello

Monday, April 11, 2005

Raghuram Rajan’s Speech @ IIMA Convocation

IMF website has the full version of Raghuram Rajan’s (Chief Economist IMF, Visiting Prof ISB and an IIMA Alum himself) speech at the recent convocation held at IIM Ahmedabad.

I was particularly impressed by the following sentence – “If you do not like going to work every day, the fact that you are driven to it in a Mercedes is not going to make it any more pleasant”.

  • Outsourcing fraud hits the headlines. Jerry Rao, CEO of Mphasis was one of the youngest CTO's of Citibank. MSource BPO employees have siphoned off money from one of the customers of the very same Citibank.

The Earth Shook

Earthquake in Indonesia - Tremors Felt in Singapore
I was sitting on my bed and was bloghopping at 6.30 pm on Sunday evening. Suddenly I felt some tremors, which lasted for about 30 seconds. My apartment is located on the 15th floor. I turned on the TV (news channels) and radio…..but none of them were reporting anything about this. I wasn’t really sure whether what I just went through was an earthquake or some vague feeling in my mind. At 6.35pm, I went to Technorati and typed “Singapore earthquake” and got a result which said updated 3 minutes ago. When I clicked on the link, somebody else had also experienced the earthquake and put up a post at 6.32pm. I tried searching Google News but there was no hint about the earthquake. Bloggers are faster than Newswires and can pose a real threat to the News agencies in the near future. During the 7pm news Channel NewsAsia broke the news that tremors have been felt in some parts of Singapore, the epicentre of the quake is Indonesia and it measured 6.8 on the Richter Scale. I also visited the South East Asia Tsunami Help Blog at 6.45pm but they were not carrying anything about this. Luckily no casualty has been reported this time.

Sonu Nigam Concert
I had been to the Sonu Nigam concert on Saturday. Although I didn’t have big expectations, I came back thoroughly satisfied. Will write a detailed review sometime later. Lot of corporate honchos (including Ganesh Ayyar of HP) had come for the concert.

Saturday, April 09, 2005


Things I hate about SUN TV

Even though they might be the numero uno in the Tamil Cable TV industry they seem to be complacent on a lot of fronts. If they continue to remain like this, they will lose ground sooner or later.
  • Worst Kanna Worst – Kungumam magazine ads (Best Kanna Best) are more irritating that the pop-up ads in the Internet. To add to this, such Kungumam ads are featured once every 5 / 10 minutes.

  • India Tholaikaatchigalil Mudhal Muraiyaaga (fill up the blanks) - Dhooran Kandasami. We are sick and tired of this.

  • SUN News – I can’t stand this 30 minutes of utter crap (I’m not talking about the content here). The way they present the news is quite disgusting. Except a couple of newsreaders the rest of them need basic lessons in Tamil & dialogue delivery. The only rule which they follow in the news is that each sentence should carry one of the following words – Paraparappu, Makkal Beedhi, Pathatram, Bhayangaram. Don’t scare viewers by using such words. Comedian Vivek has already made fun of the above three points.

  • Separate feed for different geographies - SUN TV has separate feeds to Europe and US to suit the local timings. However they don’t have separate feeds to the Gulf and South East Asia. I know people who stay up till 12 midnight to view some of the mega serials (Metti Oli). Hindi channels like Zee and Sony have separate feeds for South East Asia as well. There has been some talk of Star Vijay entering the Singapore market and I wish that they do this at the earliest. This might be a reason for SUN TV to wake up.

  • Program Life Cycle - Please understand that programs have an ageing process and unless you discontinue old programs and start new ones you can’t win the race. The Sunday morning line-up badly needs a make over. Apart from this, programs like Ungal Choice and Comedy Time have started stinking.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Maggi Vs Top Ramen

Bachelor's Best Friend Posted by Hello

For years Maggi has been the Bachelor’s best friend. Recently it attained more fame because of Saurav Ganguly. I found a striking resemblance between the packaging of Maggi Masala flavour and Top Ramen Masala.

Reasons why I feel Top Ramen has copied from Maggi

  1. The colour combination (Red & Yellow) is similar and an unwary customer might end up buying one instead of the other.
  2. Identical picture of cooked noodles (with beans, peas and tomato) in both the packages.

I thought of posting this snap and eliciting the views of SambharMafia readers. Do you think Top Ramen is imitating Maggi? Is it right in doing so?

On a related note, I also noticed that ITC’s Sunfeast range of biscuits have packaging very similar to that of Britannia biscuits (especially my favourite – Bourbon). Sorry, I don’t have pictures to explain the similarities.

Chennai’s new Crown Jewel

Chennai has an answer to Bangalore’s EBONY on the 13th Floor. Having been to EBONY restaurant a few times, I was quite impressed since they had a distinct menu which included even Parsi cuisine. Chennai had a revolving restaurant by name Carnival Heights but I guess it was not as impressive as it should be.

Dine with a view

The ambitious Appaswamy group has started a new restaurant called “The Crown” inside Hotel Residency Towers. CROWN will be located on the 20th floor and will have indoor and outdoor dining areas. What better way to catch a glimpse of the bustling Chennai landscape? The closest I have got to getting a good view of Chennai is from Mathura Restaurant in C&Y Towers, Mount Road. Hoping that “The Crown” will be a permanent fixture in the Chennai skyline (Do I hear somebody saying that Chennai doesn’t have a skyline).

BORDERS - Bookstore or a Library?

US bookstore BORDERS has an outlet in Orchard Road here. Since I’m addicted to Magazines I do visit Borders almost every weekend. In the larger interest of readers Borders is open till 12 midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. On the rest of the days they are open till 11pm. Unlike Indian bookstores (like Crossword, Landmark, Higginbothams etc), Borders allows customers to freely browse their magazines and books. In sharp contrast, the Indian bookstores would have wrapped international magazines like Time, Newsweek, Economist, Fortune, Forbes, BusinessWeek in a plastic wrapper and put a fancy price tag (often in the range of INR 100 – 200). These books are out of the reach of the average Indian reader and hence can be found only in big libraries.

I felt that Borders must be foolish in allowing free access to magazines / books. If they allow free browsing of magazines then people might not buy it. In order to provide a better reading experience Borders has even provided seating area (Couches & benches) adjacent to the magazine section. Why is Borders doing like this? IMO although they might be losing money because of lower magazine sales they will be able to attract footfalls by offering such facilities. These book lovers might be tempted by some of the Offers / Promotions and might end up buying (impulse purchase) some of these higher priced books (the margins on these books might make up for the revenue loss arising out of lower magazine sales). The seating area is packed even around 11pm on weekends. Some people don’t mind the pain and prefer to stand while reading these magazines. Some people read entire books sitting inside the shop. Makes me wonder whether it is Bookstore or a Library.

This photo was taken around 11pm on a Saturday evening.


Indian Books in Singapore
It was very unusual to find Indian books (the ones printed in India) in Singapore bookstores. Last year I tried frantically to get a copy of the book Five Point Someone by Chetan Bhagat (Publisher – Rupa & Co.). This book got a lot of publicity in the Indian media. The book was not sold by any of the bookstores here. Finally I had to ask to parents to courier it from India.

Star Dust
Last week I saw an Indian book called Star Dust (I’m not talking about the Indian film magazine) featured in the New Arrivals section of BORDERS. The book has been authored by Roopa Swaminathan and published by Penguin India (priced @ INR 275). I had not heard of this book before. Even after Googling I found very few references to this book. It has been launched in Feb 2005. Although the book is a bit pricey by Indian standards, it gives a good glimpse of the inside view of the Indian film industry. The author has spoken to lot of film industry folks and captured the lives of dancers, extras, technicians, film fan associations, assistant directors & actors. Most of the examples are from Kollywood and Bollywood. The book has extensive references to the success stories of actor Vikram and director Dharani. After reading the book I came to know that Vikram and Dharani were classmates (not mine!) at my alma mater.

The author mentions that one Tamil actor charges Rs. 4 crores for each movie and allocates Rs. 1 crore to fan clubs so that they can buy tickets for the movie and help in running the movie to the magical 100 day mark. Who could this be? Why do they adopt such cheap tactics? When will they learn? Deccan Herald had carried a write-up about this book.

New Singapore Dream

The next book I read was New Singapore Dream by Moh Hon Meng. Hon Meng urges the readers to stop complaining about what’s going on around us and encourages them to become entrepreneurs by thinking “Out of the Box”.

Rules of Work by Richard Templar

Since I didn’t have time I could not read this book. Rules of Work is one of the current bestsellers in the Business category. Most of the current books have jazzy cover pages. I was quite impressed by the Cover page of “Rules of Work” as it had a classic style to the cover page. Will write more about this book after I finish reading it.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Is it a Parrot or a Flower? (or is it 50:50) Posted by Hello

Chandramukhi roadshow in Singapore

Going by this Sify report, Chandramukhi team will grace the launch of Chandramukhi in Singapore. I had seen Jo when she was here for the launch of Priyamana Thozhi. I hope Chandramukhi fares better than Priyamana Thozhi. No news of whether Superstar will be part of the entourage.
One of the most talked about news in the Blogosphere was the recent shut down of Mediaah, after they received a notice from Slimes of India. A similar event has happened in the US. A Walmart themed blog (aptly titled -"Always Low Prices") has been asked to shut down. (via Boing Boing). The blogger claims that he has not written anything defamatory.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

GOOD AD BY DUREX Posted by Hello

Is Infosys planning any global acquisitions?

Top Consultant blog hints that the recent BBB credit rating obtained by Infosys might help them if they intend to acquire overseas firms. Given that Infy wants to gain a foothold in the Consulting segment I wouldn't be surprised if they go ahead and do so.
Chennai's Sathyam Multiplex plans to open a new Multiplex somewhere outside the city centre. Most of the crowd which comes to Sathyam during the daytime are college students. If they move to areas like Adyar / Velachery, they might not be able to attract this college crowd.
Moving to other news

Monday, April 04, 2005


Sachien (Sachin) Music Review

1. Va Va Va En Thalaiva sung by Shankar Mahadaven. The beats have been lifted directly from Michael Jackson's BAD. This is least expected from Devi Sriprasad. This peppy number might be an intro song. The lyrics have been writted in such a manner that they are useful in Vijay's image building exercise. Might turn out to be a punch song and hence become popular. Rating 7/10

2. Kanmoodi Thirakkumbodhu sung by Devi Sriprasad. This is the only melody song in the film. The beat resembles Mustafa Mustafa from Kadhal Desam. This song also reminds me of April Mathathil from Vaali (especially the Bell sound and whistle sound). The background score looks like a typical Harris Jeyaraj score (Ey Azhagiye Theeye from Minnale or some other song from Laysa Laysa). Devi Sriprasad's voice is a definite plus. My hunch is that this will be the most talked about song in this film. Rating 8/10

3. Gundu Maanga Thoppukulle sung by Jassie Gift and Malathi. Folk song ....might suit a dappankuthu dance sequence....typical Dhanush / Vijay / Deva kinda song. Jassie Gift fails to impress. Bhangra style beats have been used (similar to Kaathade Polae song in Mayavi).This song will not be something which you would like to hum for a long time. However they could work on the dance sequence to make a bigger visual impact. Rating 6.5/10

4. Dai Dai Dai Kattikoda sung by Karthik and Sunitha Sarathy. Proper item number. Sunitha Sarathy sounds more like Ila Arun in the film Mr. Romeo (Song - Muthu Muthu). Very average song. Unlikely to make an impact. Rating 5/10
5. Beat of Sachin - Instrumental song. Of late not many movies carry theme music. Earlier ones which made a mark were Rangeela, Bombay and 7/G Rainbow Colony. Although the Beat of Sachin may not be part of the above league, it is quite good.

6. Vaadi Vaadi sung by Vijay. Dappankuthu / Gaana song which will create a big impact with the front benchers. Goes without saying that this will be picturized in a market kind of location. Rating 7/10
Vijay's films are known for the hard hitting songs with group dance sequence. IMHO SACHIEN songs might not become as popular as earlier movies like Ghilli, Madurey, Thirupachi. They need a bit of the Vijay magic to increase the impact of Sachien's songs.
  • DEVI's PASSPORT TO KOLLYWOOD - The music of Mayavi and Sachien will help Devi Sriprasad in establishing himself as a main stay in the Tamil film industry. Maybe it is the right time for his entry.
  • VIDYASAGAR LOSING SHEEN - Vidyasagar is already losing sheen. He seems to have bitten more than what he can chew. His last 3 releases Ji, London and Chandramukhi have not made a big impact. He might have accepted more projects because of the top banners / heroes. However he might not have got quality time to work on these projects. I want Vidyasagar to compose music like he used to do in his formative years (recall Jaihind and Karna).
  • HARRIS IS SELECTIVE - Harris Jeyaraj has not had a single music release for the last 9 months (his last release was Chellamey). He has a policy of working on only 4 projects each year. Maybe he is not aware of the saying "Make hay while the sun shines" (Which Vidyasagar and Deva have practised to perfection). Anniyan's music is likely to outperform everything. Anniyan's audio release is scheduled for the second week of April.
  • MUMBAI XPRESS ON SCHEDULE - Mumbai Xpress music is due for release today (4th April). This is the first time Kamal is releasing the audio under his own banner.Ilayaraja has scored some of the songs in Hungary (Budapest). Meanwhile, Ilayaraja's "Thiruvasakam in Symphony" was due for release on April 14. Since there has been no build-up to this release I guess that the release of this album might be postponed.
  • Singer Hariharan celebrated his 50th birthday recently. - Looking at him nobody would say that he is 50 years old. These days it is very rare to hear Hariharan sing for Tamil songs. Hariharan used to sing a lot for A R Rahman. Since ARR has started focussing on other markets, Hariharan has not been singing that many songs in Tamil. Another reason for this is that each music director has his own coterie of singers. Let's take Vidyasagar, his coterie of singers include Tippu, Manicka Vinayagam, Karthik and Madhu Balakrishnan. Yuvan Shankar Raja might use Vijay Yesudas, Harish Raghvendra, SPB Charan. This polarization doesn't normally apply to singers from the North. Udit Narayan, KayKay, Sadhana Sargam sing for most of the music directors.

Singapore 1 - Hong Kong 0

Lions Vs Lychees

Am leaving on a JET plane


India’s JET Airways is starting direct flights between Mumbai and Singapore next week (April 14). They have made it clear that they will not be starting a price war. Their fares are likely to 10 – 15% cheaper than existing fares. Jet Airways has been coming out with full page ads in local newspapers to create an awareness in the market. Civil Aviation Authorities of India and Singapore met last month and they have not been able to reach an accord which will result in more flights and lower fares. Air fares to India are higher than airfares from Singapore to London & Australia. This is ridiculous. The fare structure is likely to remain so for some time.

The disappointing news is that the popular Chennai – Singapore sector has not been opened up to Jet and Sahara. They will only be allowed to fly the Chennai – Kuala Lumpur route. According to the market buzz budget carrier JetStar Asia might start operating in the Singapore – Kolkata sector.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Weekend Update - 3 movies & lots of reading

Watched 3 movies over the weekend - Bride & Prejudice, Runaway Jury and Sukran. Saurav Ganguly - Maggi noodles forward has been the most talked about forward in recent times. Wonder whether this a publicity gimmick by Nestle? Moving on to some things which caught my eye during my usual weekend news crawl
  • Read that ICICI One Source has started a research outfit called PIPAL RESEARCH (based in New Delhi) to do Business Analytics and Research (on the lines of iRevna and GE Analytics). They have advertised for a Country Head position in the latest issue of Economist.
  • TITANic leap by TATA group (Economist dated 2nd April) - India's TATA group showcased a SUV at the recently concluded Geneva Motor Show. Following the success of Indica and Indigo, TATA plans to manufacture the new SUV vehicle at their Pune plant and export it the world over. TATA group's game plan to push up exports so that they constitute atleast 30% of their total sales. They seem to be committed to Ratan Tata's pet project of a sub INR 1 lakh family car. I was eager to see some news on the succession plans in the TATA group and the likely contenders who might replace Ratan Tata. The media has been hinting that Keki Dadiseth is one the top contenders.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Indian Cricket - What will happen if the baton changes?

Received on the forward today -

What will Captain Vijayakanth say if he is appointed as the Captain of the Indian Cricket Team
India la motham 20 stadium irrukku..
60 curator irrukaanga !
1000 Players irrukkaanga!
Adhula men 860 women 140
Varushatthukku 45 match aadarom!
Aathanaiyum thokkarom! Enna Podhumaa???
Naan dhaan da pudhu captain!!
Match nadakkara edathukellam naan varuven!
ippo captain anathe latenu naa ninaikiren.
Puyal adichu kooda india thothu irukku
naa adichu India thothathe illai.