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Showing posts from September, 2008

"We only go to IIMs"

Behind the various stories of the collapse of the Wall Street giants like Lehman Brothers, Merill Lynch, AIG, Bear Stearns, and many more lie a sordid tale of their human resource (HR) policies. In a bid to retain their so-called image, these assholes have only so far visited the so-called top management institutes (both in India and possibly also abroad) for recruitment like the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM). They felt that by going to these so-called 'top institutes' they would get the best of students. They feel that students of lesser-known institutes are not worthy. 
I would like someone to tell me that if these companies recruited only the best of the students, at all times, how did they land themselves in this soup? Lehman Brothers - the fourth largest US investment bank and a regular at IIM - filed for bankruptcy on 14 September 2008. The jobs of nearly 26,000 employees are now at stake. On the same day, another snooty player Merrill Lynch was sold to Bank of Am…

A truly welcoming delight

2008 could well be the year for off-beat films that showcase life and times of the actual world. ‘Welcome to Sajjanpur’ (WTS) is one such fantastic movie. Brilliantly scripted and directed by Shyam Benegal, WTS tells several stories of a typical village life – brilliantly drawing inferences from real-life events that have enfolded over the recent years in hinterland India – as seen through the eyes of a letter-writer. The central character Mahadev (Shreyas Talpade; Iqbal, Dor, Om Shanti Om) is an educated young man who despite being a B.A. could not get a job in urban India. So he comes back to his village and after a couple of happy-go-lucky incidents of writing letters on behalf of fellow villagers and favourable results arising out it, makes it his full-time profession. Much to the delight to the otherwise educationally-challenged village folk that needed a medium to communicate to the outside world, he becomes a professional letter-writer.  Benegal has cleverly woven real-life sto…

Delhi in rains

Trips to Delhi are always looked forward to. I have many pleasant memories of Delhi – I started my career here in 2000 when I was posted for three and half months. Anyways, this time I decided to try out a new radio taxi service - Mega Cabs (022-42424242) - whilst going from my home to the Bombay airport. The service was excellent. Like Meru, this taxi service is punctual and very efficient. Meru (022-44224422) and Mega both have identical fare structure. Even their electronic taxi meters are manufactured by the same Singapore-based company, I am told. Both give you a printout of the bill at the end of your journey. These are the new-age air-conditioned radio taxis that you can call and summon them anytime of the day or night. Unlike the old Maruti Esteems of Meru, Mega sports brand new and swanky Tata Indigos. Mega’s cars look better maintained – and cleaner – than Meru’s. But Meru will soon also get a new fleet. However, Mega has certain rules. The journey should start within 15 min…


Unlike regular open-ended or closed-end mutual fund (MF) schemes that are open in their 'New Fund Offer' (NFO) period for around 20 to 21 days - or sometimes even for a month - fixed maturity plans (FMP) are open for a few days only. Companies require money for their daily needs on a regular basis, hence they tap various sources like banks and MFs, regularly. Hence, to keep the money supply going, and at the same time to tap the prevailing high interest rates as soon as possible, FMPs are launched in quick succession. 
It is also rare that your agent will push FMPs to you because FMPs are low-margin products. Unlike equity funds where agents earn as much as 2.25 per cent front-end commission (and trailing fees of up to 0.50 per cent for as long as you stay invested), FMPs have a very low cost structure. MFs earn only upto 0.50 to 0.75 per cent or so from your FMP, out of which they have to pay agents commission. Online brokerages also sell FMPs selectively. Kotak bank (online b…

Is this in Bombay?

After a week of sweltering heat and terrible humidity, we got some rains in the evening. No heavy showers, but more than a drizzle. But after the rains subsided, we got this fog/smog at the backside of our house. No further explanation needed. Enjoy the view!

a Wednesday on a Sunday

Some Bollywood film-makers are increasingly getting experimental and ready to push the envelope. After Rock-On, its the turn of the makers of 'a Wednesday'. Tight script that runs for around 100 minutes, no songs, no love angles and no item numbers. All you get is a tight thriller and an exciting roller-coaster ride. The story is about the plight of the common man against terrorism. The movie is well-directed, and performances especially from Anupam Kher and Naseerudin Shah are spectacular. Background score is very loud, something they ought to have done away with. 
Fuzzy road directions? Just one thing though. If film-makers want to use real life locations based in real life cities, do they really think they can fool us by showing us one locality and then telling us its some other one. For instance, there is a scene where a van carrying some people is supposed to be travelling from south Bombay to Juhu airport. The van is shown descending on Marine Drive Queen's necklace, …