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Showing posts from October, 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 c…

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…

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,…

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 th…

...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 com…

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 worshi…

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 …

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 …

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…

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.

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…

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 …

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.