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Showing posts from March, 2008

My Best Haircut Ever

Today I had my best haircut ever. I go to a saloon called 'Air-Cool' next to Churchgate railway station, south Bombay. In my life up till now, this is my third regular saloon. My last saloon was Precious Hairdressers at Kemp's Corner. But for the past two to three years I have been frequenting Air-Cool. Precious was good, not great. Barbers were inconsistent and they were not particularly clean and well-dressed. The place was, at many time and especially on Sundays, over-crowded. Sometimes, I had to wait till eternity for my chance to come. Barbers there used to take far too many tea breaks, they chat with one another even when cutting our hair as also keep sipping tea. The place is expensively done up, but gives you the feeling that it wants to look rich, but really isn't quite rich. I like to go to saloons that are well-maintained and the service should be nice, warm, friendly and the place should look clean and inviting, despite being a barber shop. Precious was exp…

Is Sania Mirza all hype?

Instant fame beckoned her in a sports hungry (other than Cricket, of course) nation. But Sania Mirza has failed to live up to the hype.

There is no doubt that Sania Mirza is one of the most talented tennis players India has ever produced. She made her Women’s Tour Association (WTA) debut in 2005 and soon became the first Indian women’s tennis player to reach the third round - and later in the year the fourth round - of a grand slam. That was her breakthrough year where she won became the first Indian women’s tennis player to win a WTA tour title. From a ranking of below 200 at the start of that year, she cracked the top 50 by the end of 2005, becoming the first Indian women’s tennis player to be ranked in the top 50.

Good start…
Small wonder then, that the ever-hungry-on-quality-sportsperson Indian media went ga-ga over her and many of them proclaimed her to be the next No. 1! Don’t laugh; I am serious, I used to watch T.V. in 2005 also. Instant fame and instant recognisiton came her way…

The Best Dhansakh in Bombay

Ask a Parsi what Sunday means to him and he’ll most likely tell you: Dhansakh. Their Sundays are incomplete without Dhansakh for lunch, which is usually followed by a long siesta. Though this is natural – after having Dhansakh, you wouldn’t want to do anything, but take a nice long nap.

So, what is Dhansakh? Dhansakh is a thick brown masala dal, chicken or mutton cooked in it, served with brown rice. A Vegetarian Dhansakh – dal without chicken or mutton is sacrilege. The rice is brown because of caramel sugar and fried onions. Portions of masoor and tur dal and stewed pumpkin are used to make the Dhansakh dal. The preparation is served with kebabs (chicken or mutton) and a salad made of raw onions, cucumber, tomato, coriander (also called Kachumbar). Lime, preferably lots of it, should then be squeezed over the Dhansakh. Surprisingly though, this is not the dish for auspicious occasions. On such days, Parsis cook either mora dal chawal; the dal is yellow and non-spicy and thicker than …

Potential Loss for BEST?

Monthly and quarterly passes from the brihanmumbai electric supply & transport (BEST) is probably one of the best, albeit much-delayed, things to have come out. It does away with the need to have change in your hands every time you board the bus. Besides, with nobody except the BEST accepting 25p coins, you would have got saddled with these coins that aren't accepted, pretty much, everywhere. First the BEST issued monthly passes, but now even quarterly passes are available, so it's very convenient. Besides, passes work out to be cheaper than tickets in the long run.

However, there's a problem. Many bus conductors do not check the passes for their validity. As it is a tedious process to check the pass- the pass needs to be placed properly below the card reader, itself a bulky calculator-like device, identity number needs to be fed, etc., bus conductors sometimes do not check all this. They just see a pass in our hands and acknowledge their acceptance and move ahead.

To yo…

Walk On A Sunday Evening

After a long, tiring and hectic week, there's nothing so refreshing like a Sunday evening walk. It revitalises your spirits, energises you, removes the lethargy from within you and pumps up your spirits. Walking as an exercise is so simple, yet it pumps you up like few other forms of exercises. Yoga is perhaps the only other exercise that give you as much as a nice, brisk walk does. Being a South Bombaite fortunately, my options are Worli Sea Face, Hanging gardens and Marine Drive. I'd like to take a walk at all these places turn-by-turn to avoid monotony.

I never go to Worli Sea Face alone. It's always with my neighbours. For them, it's a Sunday evening ritual. It's almost like rain or shine, they have to go there, even if it's extremely windy during winters. If they can't take a walk, then at least a motor ride. GOD forbid if they do not take a walk here on Sunday evenings! And yes, they travel in a motor, not a car. :p

The sea face promenade would be aroun…

Agents Join Hands

Changing regulatory scene and dominance by the big boys, small-time agents want to heard

On the back of the securities and exchange board of India’s (Sebi) allowing direct application and the abolition of new fund offer expenses, small-time mutual fund (MF) agents are feeling the heat. Some 150 plus small-time agents have now come together to form an association, called Financial Advisors Association of India (Faaida).

The plan
In 10 October 2007, when Sebi had issued draft investment advisor (IA) guidelines , it had stipulated that agents must be a part of a self-regulatory organisation (SRO). This SRO should be registered with Sebi and will be responsible for the standard of its members that are expected to sell a wide range of products. Presently only the Bombay and National Stock Exchanges are SROs and so only their members (stock brokers) can sell financial instruments. Even though the financial planning standards board of India (Fpsb) – a body of qualified certified financial plann…