Wednesday, October 31, 2007

10 cliches of saas-bahu TV serials

Much has been written about our saas-bahu serials. So I, too, have decided to make my own contribution. Following are some well-know cliches from a typical saas-bahu TV serial:

1) Kya yahi pyaar hain? Earlier, only all Hindi movies were love stories. Now even TV serials try and portray themselves as some great love stories as can also been by some of their posters (as i don't watch them, my only source could be their posters i get to see on railway stations) you get to see pasted all over railway stations. Even a serial like Sanjeevani, which started on a premise of under-study doctors' lives in a hospital and seemed to be different and an intelligent one, ended up being a typical love story with two love birds being torn apart by misunderstandings caused by a vamp.

2) Gory background score: As loud as they are when they talk, their background score is also quite loud. Worse, each character has a unique background score that's assigned to them. So when you see a particular character on screen, his or her pre-determined background score starts to play. Case in point: the vamp Kamolika in Kasauti Zindagi Ki and her 'scheming' or 'villiany' background score.

Further, whenever there is a confrontation between two or more characters or, say, a revelation of some sort (your dead wife of 5 years is actually not dead, but alive!) happening, the clank, clank, clink, bing, bang, slam, dung, whiiisssh and whoooossh background score that starts, is most irritating.

3) Meetings in the drawing room: This one is quite weird. Whenever there is a problem in the family, everyone, yes every family member, descends to the drawing room and starts discussing. Like they have nothing better to do. And thereafter ensues a big debate where everyone passes a remark with the family patriarch like the Dadaji, Babuji or saasji in the centre moderating and observing everyone!

4) Close-ups and camera angles: Whenever a family member gets embroiled in some sort of conflict or controversy, or when a tragedy falls on someone, the camera gets into swinging action. It zooms into the person's face five times; i) from above him/her to bottom, ii) from bottom rising to above the top of his/her head, iii) from right to left, iv) from left to right, and finally, v) zooming right into him/her from the front.

Also, the camera angles keep moving or drooling all directions, much like Santosh Sivans' does in his movies. Problem is that the camera-people of TV serials cannot even do 0.1% as good a job as the great South camera-person and director Sivan does.

5) Lightening: Also during a turmoil, you must hear the sounds of lightening. There's full scale lightening happening, be in rain or shine, summer or winter.

6) Woman or streeshakti: When time comes for one of the woman to set things right (read: to exterminate injustice), suddenly temple bells will start ringing, the woman will be seen seething in anger like an angry Goddess, sounds of lightening can be heard from, I presume, outside the house or wherever she may be at that time, the weather will become windy, her hair will start blowing, eyes will become red in anger and some enough-of-this-atyaachaar type Hindi song start to play.

7) Rs 50 crore Business deals: Yes, all families and everyone in our saas-bahu TV serials are filthy rich who are always into some family business. Neither anyone is poor nor does anyone works for a salary. Alas, nobody knows who is into what type of business. All that happens and keeps happening is that someone or the other from that family keeps signing "contracts" worth Rs 50 crore at least. Nothing less than Rs 50 crore; the amount rises if the TV serial is telecasted in prime time. After all, more people watch the serials in the late evening and night prime time, so more amount of money is demonstrated.

Another example of how everyone is so rich in these TV serials. Whoever heard of middle-class housing societies where many of us live, or modest homes i should say. But our TV serial families live in palaces that we can only aspire to have. Duplex bunglows with bedrooms we can't keep a count of. Clearly, the era of humble TV serials and TV families that we can relate to (Wagle ki Duniya, Sriman Srimati, Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi and even Nukkad) are gone. Welcome to an era where everything is larger than life.

8) Festivals: I had observed in one of those earlier TV serials that the central family celebrates all the festivals almost equally with pomp & vigour. How sweet! Be it Diwali, Holi, Dashhera or even Christmas. I do not have any problems with people celebrating festivals, even I do. But it looks a bit unnatural when the way these serials show their characters celebrating festivals, it looks a bit desperate to garner eye-balls across cultures.

9) Slow motions: These are the hallmarks of all these serials. There are no excuses to inrtoduce slow motions, be it confrontations, or some "big" character entering the room, or someone opening the door only to find someone unexpected, slow motions are mostly abused here. The most frequent use of slow-motions? After a confrontation is over, the confronter turns around and walks away, all in slow motion. I have not bothered to calculate, but rough estimates suggest that a 30-minute episode can be easily told in 10 minutes if all these slow-motions are removed!

10) Best Bahu, Best Bhabhi, Best Devar and all that crap: As if all of the above is not enough, now there are award functions specifically for these type of serials. Some of the awards given to the characters that act in these serials: Best Saas, Best Bhabhi, Best Devar, Best bahu.

Having said that, hard work is hard work and there is no substitute. Even the people associated with the above work hard day and night to put together something that they believe in. And I respect that. I only wish such a lot of money is diverted into producing series with unique themes, believable characters and scenarios. After all, the audience's time is also very important.

Welcome, radio cabs

Last Friday when I had to go from my house to Grand Hyatt hotel, Santa Cruz, i decided to call Meru Cabs. This is a radio cab, whose call centre you have to telephone (022-44224422) and they will send you a cab as soon as possible. Typically the waiting time can range from 15 minutes to an hour, max. two, if it is unearthly. Since I had time on my side, I placed an order two hours back.

Meru Cab's service is very nice. They sent me an SMS instantly confirming my order, alongwith my order number. Then, 1/2 hour before the cab came, they sent me an SMS informing me about the car's number, the chauffeur's name and his mobile number.

The cab was right on time, the driver in his neat uniform, the car was Maruti Esteem and air-conditioned and in good condition unlike the many rickety-rockety black and yellow regular taxis I have travelled in. The driver started the AC, and the meter. The best part is that the meter of the taxi starts from where you get in, and not from where they begin their journey to come to your pick-up place. At the end of the journey, you get a print-out of the bill. The bill contains the car number, distance travelled, starting and ending time of the journey and such details. The driver bids adieu to you with a smile.

Welcome to the age of Radio Cabs. If you are disgusted by the attitude by many of the taxi drivers of the black-yellow (BY) taxis in Mumbai or even in Delhi, I suggest you start using radio cabs. Many BY taxis take you only if you want to travel for long distances because the longer you go, the more they earn. BY taxis at Nariman Point that stand in the queue are the worst of the lot and blatantly refuse to ply for "short" distances. ALL the taxis you take from the Mumbai airport have faulty meters that over-charge you and try and fleece you. Ditto for taxis from railway terminuses like Kurla and Dadar. I have a fight time with the airport taxis every time i land in Mumbai.

On the contrary, radio taxis are much more professional and take you wherever you want them to go. They give you a computerised print-out of the bill (fare). This way, they are accountable and transparent as they bill contains the total kms travelled, date and time of the journey.
These taxis are air-conditioned and hence a bit expensive than BY taxis, but at least they are professional than BY taxis. But they aren't overtly expensive than the BY taxis and instead cheaper than the blue air-conditioned cabs (BAC). For instance, while BAC taxi's meters would keep running even if the taxi stops at a signal, Meru cabs' meter stops when it comes to a halt at a traffic signal or when stuck in a traffic jam. While ther BY taxis cost me Rs 200 from my house to the airport, Meru will charge me around Rs 270 or so. The BAC taxis would cost me more than this. Personally, I do not mind paying something extra but have problems in patronising cheats.
Examples of radio cabs in Mumbai would be Meru Cabs .

Brothers & Sisters

Fortunately, there's more to TV than the saas-bahu never-ending sagas and the breaking news. Brothers & Sisters (Star world channel, 10 PM, Tuesdays) is a new serial that I strongly recommend for viewing. The story revolves around the traditional, California-based, Walker family led by the widow Nora (role played by Sally Field) and her five children, Sarah, Kevin, Tommy, Kitty and Justin. Calista Flockhardt who played the title role of Ally McBeal in the classic comedy years back, makes a strong come-back and plays the role of Kitty.

The saga traces the story of Nora's deceased husband and uncovering all the wrong-doings he had done when he was alive (embezzlement, extra marital affair, illegitimate child, etc), coming to terms with all the mess he left behind and now having to set them right by the surviving members of the family. At the same time, the family has problems of their own with almost all siblings having some issues or the other, like the youngest of them all, Justin's drug addiction on account of the depression he suffered when serving the US military in Afghanistan post 9-11.

Problems in the Walker seem to be never-ending, but they stress on family values and come to aid one another in times distress. It reminds us the importance of family and family values and no matter what the problem is and when it may befall upon us, you can count on your own family, no matter how quirky it may be, to help you out.

It's one with an ensemble cast, and you see many pupolar faces of TV come together here. The performances are top class and each member of the Walker family potrays his or her role brilliantly with Field and Flockhardt topping my favourites list. Watch it.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

MTNL is still sarkari

Last week, i went to subscribe to MTNL's broadband connection. I already have a Hathway broadband connection at my house, but I am not happy about thier service. Hathway's customer call number is pathetic and quite some of thier staff have no knowledge as to how to settle our queries. And thier billing department is worse; they have twice over-charged me and on several other occassions have not solved my queries to my satisfaction. But this piece is not about Hathway. It's on MTNL.

Anyway, much to my dismay, MTNL has already started to demonstrate its lack of customer service. As it was me who applied for the broadband connection, I did so under my name. But my telephone connection (through which the broadband connectivity will flow) is in my mom's name. Naturally, I did not knew that since the broadband connection has to be in the same person's name in whose name the telehphone connection is.

After three days, they called me to thier office to change the name in the original application form. I did that. Yesterday they called me yet again, to tell me that my mom's signature was now required since the name on the application now stands changed. So i went there to get the form and will now have to go back tomorrow, yet again, to submit the form signed by mom.

3 unnecessary visits to thier office, in addition to the first one, to submit the form for the first time. With MTNL now claiming how advanced they have become, couldn't they have guided me properly in the first instance itself? As if this is not enough the waiting period for getting a broadband connection in my telephone exchange (Malabar Hill, south Mumbai) is around two months! Hail technology!

Monday, October 29, 2007

...of 5-star hotels and toilet papers

What is it about 5-star hotels and thier toilets? I have visited several of them to attend press conferences and a recent one to attend a major event hosted by my magazine, Outlook Money. All of them that I have visited, I have noticed that thier toilets do not have water or hand showers. They only have toilet paper. Be it the Taj, Oberoi, Hyatt - I'm pretty sure many other hotels are pretty much the same, thier toilets do not have water for us to wash our bottoms. Quite clearly they cater only to foreign tourists.

What a shame! With India growing at 9-10% a year, and Indian tourists now spending more and more money on travel, our 5-star hotels still prefer to remain pretentious and pamper foreigners at the expense of our bums! I am an Indian. I need and use water, not toilet paper. I do like to clean myself thoroughly after attending nature's call. Which is why, I avoid going to a 5-star hotel when GOD forbid i have an upset tummy.

Roger rolls on

For the 4th consecutive year, Roger Federer ends the year as the No 1 male tennis player in the world. No one expected him to have such a great season when, back in March-07, he suffered two successive shock defeats at the hands of the same player (Guillermo Canas; at Indian Wells and Miami), followed by another one against Filippo Volandri at the Rome Masters, and then finally firing his long-time coach Tony Roche. Sceptics thought this would be the year where Federer's decline would slowly begin.

And although he lost the French Open final, yet again to Nadal, he had an exceedingly good season thereafter winning Wimbledon for the 5th successive time. He equaled Bjorn Borg's record of 5 succcessive Wimbledon crowns. Later, he captured his 4th successive US open title.

2008 could be a tough year for Federer as a couple of challenges stand in his way. I feel the primemost is that of Nadal getting close to figuring out how to win Wimbledon. In the last two editions, Nadal has come closer to beating Federer at Wimbledon than Federer to beating Nadal at the French. Novak Djokovic - the talented Serb - will only get better than what he was in 2007. He has beaten Federer at the Canadian Masters, so he knows how to beat Fed. Last, but not the least, 2008 will be a tough year because of Olympics, right after Wimbledon, with the US Open to go. The schedule will be gruelling. However, with the Olympics to be played on hardcourts, i forsee only Djokovic as a major challenger to Roger, particularly when Federer is so keen to win the gold this time. Now this is what i call a sportsman deserving of a victory parade atop an open-air double decker bus. Not anything else!

(Seen in the picture attached: Roger Federer plays Andre Agassi, atop the Burj-Al-Arab hotel in Dubai a couple of years back)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Lady Roda's unflinching contribution to the Bhuj Agiary

Recently I received an email about an old, yet spirited and inspiring soul named Roda Boatwala of Bhuj, Gujurat and her determination to ensure the upkeep and maintenance of the Bhuj Agiary (Zorastrian places of worship are called Fire-Temples). According to the information in that email, she is the only surviving Parsi resident of Bhuj who has insisted in staying on in Bhuj to take care of the place of worship.

I had these facts verified through my uncle Mr. Rusi Tavadia of Michigan, USA whose one friend hails from Bhuj. Ms. Roda Boatwala has indeed been a longtime resident of Bhuj. This Agiary's centenary was held around two years ago in Bhuj when few Parsi families descended on Bhuj to participate in the event. It is also the fact that although the epicenter of the deadly Gujarat earthquake in January 2001 was the same city of Bhuj, this Agiary suffered amongst the least amount of damage. I am also told that many people in and around Bhuj had taken refuge in this place of worship.

Although there are many Agiarys in the state of Gujarat that are neglected because Parsis have migrated to cities, over the years, it's heartening to see at least one amongst them that is taken care of by a lady who has decided to stay put.

In times when most of us have been so busy pursuing the material things in life, it is commending to hear about a generous soul who seems to have done, and been doing, everything in her power to take care of our sacred place of worship, despite - I am told – of her old age and consequent health-related problems like osteoporosis, etc.

Such people in our community are few and far between and it becomes our moral responsibility to acknowledge them.

Movie review - Laga Chunari Mein Daag (LCMD)

Keeping it too simple

It’s common knowledge that many women across the world unfortunately enter prostitution to earn a livelihood or to pay off a debt hanging over either them or their families, as a measure of last resort. Director Pradeep Sarkar (Parineeta) takes us through a journey of one such girl named Badki (Rani Mukherji). Part of a UP-based family with parents and a kid sister Chutki (Konkona Sen Sharma), they struggle to make ends meet as they are embroiled in an ugly property dispute with the family patriach’s (Anupem Kher) brother and his evil son (Sushant Singh). With money hard to come by (after all how much can mum Jaya Bacchan can make out of stitching clothes and with sister’s education still going on) and hit hard by her father’s admission that “agar beta hota ton aesa naa hota” or something like that, Badki sets sail for Mumbai – the city of dreams, to eek a livelihood.

One thing leads to another and within a span of 10-odd minutes, we find her taking the route of a high-end escort who goes to earn enough to support her family back in her hometown, fight the lawsuit, fund her sister’s education and basically lead a good life. However, all hell breaks loose when Chutki, upon finishing her education and coming to Mumbai to search for a job, finds out the truth.

The movie starts off with a promising theme but soon becomes a whimper. Badki’s transition from a simple and bubbly girl to an escort, albeit through a song and background score sequence, is not convincing. For instance, why would a seemingly looking respectable girlfriend of a sympathetic and good natured neighbour of the host of Badki’s initial stay in Mumbai, convince Badki to become an escort? If the woman takes the pain to teach Badki the walk and the talk of a high-end escort, like learning English and catwalk, etc., why not goad her to become a model? Is prostitution the only solution? LCMD fails to answer this basic, yet potent question as also fails to show this transition as a measure of last resort. If only LCMD had managed to portray this, it would have earned the audience’s sympathy.

Few gaping holes can be noticed in the movie, like how on earth did the evil cousin come to know of what Badki is doing in Mumbai (he also gets her mobile number and calls her when the lady is in Switzerland attending her customer’s conference) and how much she earns per night. As usual, the song and dance sequences make little sense, especially the last one, where suddenly you have a whole bunch of youngsters dancing amidst all the wedding festivities – are they friends of the family, why didn’t we see them earlier, etc – but this is a typical Hindi-film cliché, so no point ranting about it. Also, how come the family owns and lives in such a huge palatial mansion and yet struggle through their days is not very clear.

Finally, the acceptance of the father (Kher) of her daughter’s profession is too simplistically shown. I am not saying the father should not have accepted her daughter or should have abandoned her or something, but the shock of discovering something so traumatic does not get translated onto the screen. For a character that is shown to get a heart-attack upon receiving a legal notice, he does seem to have taken it very well upon discovering what his daughter had to go through to support the family. The shock conveyed by the brilliant actor Tabu in Chandni Bar (a masterpiece revolving around a loosely similar theme) upon realizing that her daughter had entered the dance bar profession to earn enough money to procure a bail for her jailed son was enough to make you cry and shake your guts and conscience.

In the acting department, while Anupem Kher and Jaya Bacchan are barely given the room to move beyond the grieving and struggling parents, Rani Mukherji does her bit well. Though I find it a bit disturbing to see her crying consistently in almost all the roles she takes up these days. Ultimately, it is Konkona Sen Sharma who lights up the screen; her on-screen chemistry with Kunal Kapoor is the most refreshing pair you’ve seen in some time.

KRate: * *

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Should you opt for HSBC SIP plus?

A SIP with a PLUS

HSBC MF offers SIP with insurance cover

Bundling your investment and insurance needs together can increase your costs. HSBC Mutual Fund (MF) has launched a new product that combines the benefits of systematic investment plan (SIP) with a free insurance cover to go with it. Called HSBC SIP Plus, it covers you from critical illnesses like cancer, major organ transplant, heart valve replacement, bypass surgery, end stage renal failure and stroke. Additionally, you are also covered for accidental death or accidental permanent total disability.

The works
All you need to do is to avail of a fresh SIP in any of its open-ended equity schemes for a period of 3-5 years, if you are between 20 and 50 years of age. Existing SIPs with the MF are not covered. The sum assured is equal to the SIP amount multiplied its total tenure. For instance, if you take a SIP of Rs 5,000 per month for five years, your sum assured will be Rs 3 lakh (Rs 5,000 * 60 months). You need to commit a minimum amount of Rs 2,000 and can avail of a maximum cover of Rs 10 lakh. The cover is available for a minimum period of three years and a maximum of five.

The cover is free of cost to you as you are required to pay an entry load of just 2.25 per cent – the same as what a regular SIP in HSBC MF would cost you. However, if you withdraw from HSBC SIP Plus before two years, you need to pay an exit load of one per cent; a regular HSBC SIP imposes an exit load of 0.5% if withdrawn before 6 months.

You don’t need to take any medical tests or submit any documents at the time of enrollment. However, pre-existing diseases are not covered, even if they are detected within the first 90 days after buying HSBC SIP Plus.

Should you go for it?
Despite a free cover, no documentation or medical tests, we find two reasons that prevent us from telling you to jump at it.

The tenure, even the maximum one of five years, is too short, especially when you buy a cover for such critical illnesses. Sanjay Prakash, CEO, HSBC MF says: “We capped the maximum tenure at five years, else investors would be wary of locking away their money for a long time.” Prakash may have a point there as in 2005, when DSP ML mutual fund (MF) launched its own DSP Super SIP – a systematic investment plan bundled with a life insurance cover for a maximum period of 21 years, there were hardly any takers, on account of a long tenure, despite being a superior and cost-efficient product.

Also, HSBC equity schemes have been in a slump for some time now. In the past one year, its best performing scheme, HSBC Equity Fund returned 54.9 per cent, as against an 80 per cent average return of the top five schemes. Although its equity schemes are in a restructuring phase and are expected to do well over the long run, they don’t, yet, make a compelling case for investment as compared to some of the better, consistently-ranked top quartile options.

Opt for HSBC SIP Plus only if you are 30 years of age or above. Although you are eligible for it from 20 years of age, chances are slim that that you will get diagnosed with any of the critical illnesses that it covers you for, at that age.

Reliace Equity Fund

…or over-hyped? Reliance Equity Fund’s fall from grace has been a mix of both. But is it still worthwhile?

Remember Reliance Equity Fund (REF)? This is the same equity scheme that created history by collecting the maximum inflows in its new fund offer (NFO) period (Rs 5,759 crore), that any scheme had ever collected in the Indian mutual funds (MF) industry, in March 2006. Further, it also became the largest equity fund, at that time, without investing a penny in the market. Market sources told us that so happy was Anil Ambani, chairman of Reliance Capital, sponsor of Reliance Asset Management, that he awarded one Mercedes Benz car, each, to Amitabh Chaturvedi , then chief executive officer and Madhusudan Kela, head-equity, Reliance MF.

Circa 2007 and things are not quite the same for the MF scheme. REF lost Rs 2,293.2 crore or 40 per cent of its NFO collections between the time its NFO period ended and September 2007. Close to around 1,777.3 crore units have been redeemed from REF up to March 2007 – the last time MFs declared their half-yearly results - as its unit capital stood at Rs 3,949.9 crore, down from 5727.2 crore as on March 2006. The MF’s September 2007-end half-yearly results are yet to come out, but we do not expect the picture to be much brighter than this. In the meanwhile, REF underperformed many diversified equity funds (45.4 per cent returns on an average) as well as its own benchmark index Nifty (47.2 per cent returns) in the past one year ended 15 October 2007.

The twist
On the face of it, REF looks like many other diversified equity funds in the market. It is a diversified equity fund that invests in the top 100 companies, by market capitalisation and also companies that are available in the derivatives segment.

This is where the similarity ends. Unlike most other equity funds, REF also hedges its portfolio. The amount of its portfolio that it can hedge depends on Nifty’s price-to-earnings (PE) ratio. If Nifty’s PE ratio is up to 12, REF will hedge up to 10 per cent of its portfolio, if Nifty’s PE ratio is between 12 and 16, it will hedge between 10 and 30 per cent of its portfolio and so on, as indicated in its offer document. This caps the upside potential of the fund, but limits the downside should equity markets tumble.

Further, REF can also take derivatives exposure in stocks that it does not hold. This heightens REF’s risks and only time will tell how effectively REF will be able to use derivatives to protect its downside.

Tumbling expectations
Investors failed to recognise this attribute. REF is bound by its offer document to hedge its portfolio depending on Nifty’s PE. To that extent, REF is passively-managed. In the interim, Nifty went up by 38 per cent and diversified equity funds that did not hedge their portfolios outperformed REF, on an average. Investors expecting great returns from REF, like in other Reliance MF schemes, were disappointed; many of whom re-allocated their portfolios and exited REF.

Sources claim that since REF was the first equity NFO after the Reliance empire split, there was a need to prove a point. What followed was aggressive marketing and collections that helped the mutual fund jump to the number two slot in the corpus race, up from number five a month back. Mutual fund agents mobilised a substantial amount of short-term money too—a frequent scene in an openended NFO. And as REF charges 4.1 per cent NFO expenses to be amortised over five years—remember, it’s an open-ended scheme—existing investors will take a hit.

What should you do?
REF is not your typical equity fund. As equity markets rise, it will compulsorily hedge its portfolio. While this caps the upside, it will also limit the downside once equity markets correct. Expect to witness volatility in equity markets if you’re in for the long haul and only then will REF’s strategy yield results.

If you want to purely capitalise from equity markets and want pure equity returns, avoid REF. If you want some kind of protection to seep into your equity funds, REF is the perfect and most systematic way to go about it; stay invested.

Baby kaiyyan

My second cousin Cyrus's wife Armin gave birth to thier first child Kaiyyan on August 10, 2007. This is the first child amongst all my college jing-bang members (we were 6 in all), so in a way it's a special moment. Last sunday i went to see him and he was as cute as all babies are. I held him in my hands and played with him, though he did not seem much interested in me; he was contuinuosly looking at his dad! But no matter. Children are truly a bundle a joy. They are and look very innocent, with no ill in them, devoid of all vice that we adults sometimes can be so full of. You look into a child's eyes and see nothing but pure innocence. Looking at babies at Kaiyyan make me want to have children some day.

Yes, Kaiyyan is special because he is the first child in my college friend's circle. I wish him all the best.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Age is just a matter of mind

It's amazing how much the senior generation wants to expand thier horizon and learn newer and newer things. After having seeing and experienced a zillion things in thier lifetime and see thier hair turn grey - and later white - now they want to learn computers and Internet!

My mathematics professor who taught me in 1996 when I was in college (he is going on strong at 98 these days), had told me sometime back that he would love to learn to surf the internet. Imagine, even at that time, his eyesight was very weak and he could barely see, but he had the determination to attempt studying computers.

Now, my septegunerian neighbour - I fondly call him Mamu, who recently got a laptop from his nephew, is busy learning to send emails and surf the internet. It's so cool to see him so eager in his quest to wander on the world wide web. He makes innocent, funny mistakes like once when he wanted to log into his email account, he typed his username in the Google search box! But never the one who gives up, he is slowly learning the ropes. I think it'll take him a year or so to learn the tricks of the trade, but hey, Rome wasn't built in a day.

It's inspiring to see the kind of determination that that generation still has and it bodes well if some of that could rub on us too.

Justine Henin

I am a die-hard tennis fan. No, i don't like Cricket; both the game and its players are over-hyped. So you'll get to hear my views on tennis, events and happenings, a lot here. Here's a start:

After Steffi Graf - the all-time great tennis player and a legend who is now well into her retirement and family ways, my next favourite female tennier players is Justine Henin. Although small & petite, she oozes power as well as grace with loads of talent to go with it, and one sees her winning tournaments in style.

I find her to be very competitive and one that posseses the killer instinct, but there have been reports in the media, often, about her so-called unsportsmanship behavior. Particularly, her habit of looking at her coach, Carlos Rodrigues, to take hints from him as to what to do next; whether to challenge a call, whether to serve in a particular way, and so on.

Yes I like Justine, but i do not approve of this on-court coaching that the Women's Tennnis Association (WTA) tour allows. I think the true mettle of a tennis player shows when he/she battles it out completely on his/her own and strategising one's own techniques to beat the opponent. Try putting the player's entourage, including coach and family, in a box much like the one where the commentators sit. The players won't be able to see them, but the entourage will be able see thier players fight it out.

The WTA rule sucks. But having said that, i must say that Justine Henin rocks, having won 9 of 13 titles she's entered so far this year, with the final WTA Championships remaining, and re-affirming the No. 1 ranking.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

My first blog entry

Hi friends. I am kayezad, the owner of this blog and this is my first blog. i am happy to be a part of the ever-increasing family of bloggers. Over the course of time, i shall be sharing with you'll my experiences in general, work and whatever else I observe that I feel the need to share it with you'll.

Meher Mahino, Ava Mahino and Adar Mahino: The holy trinity of Zoroastrian calender

Zoroastrians- or better knows as Parsis and Iranis of India- have a separate calendar. We look at the English calendar of course, but we al...