Archive | February, 2009

Kinda shocked

28 Feb

I am kinda shocked at my hormone peak levels ..

My system says that I should get married in 2 years. I am 24. Still not financially stable , but getting there. And yet, I wanna settle down.

But i definitely wanna get married soon …

Inflation down to 3.36% : Nothing to be happy about.

27 Feb

In month of August – September 2008 our Inflation stood at 12 % .  The whole media industry went hay wire crying that India is a gonner. That Indian economy is dead and that the government did everything wrong with its monetary policies. Little did they realise that increase inflation was simply cos of the global problems affecting India. The primary reason being that crude oil was almost hitting $ 150 per barrel. 

Now, we have an inflation dip . In the today’s Economic Times article Inflation dips to 14 month low , there is a line which says – and i quote – 

With inflation ceasing to be a major concern, aggressive rate cuts are expected from the Reserve Bank to stimulate the economy.

 

This got me thinking… Are we safe in the inflation front? 

Now, let us visit the fundamental of economics  in a simple way 

Inflation is lots of money chasing very limited goods available in the market. Happens when the shop keepers and distributors and dealers increase the cost of the goods . This an offset of very vibrant, positive and booming economy. Inflation is good to a certain extent but when it crosses a benchmark percentage then it is a problem because it will inevitable affect the common man. 

A deflation is when the reverse happens. When the cost of the goods nosedives to unexpected lows. A clear sign of the economy slowing down and leading to a recession. 

Now that we have checked the economic theories , let get out with the analysis. 

 

When the Economic Times claims that there is nothing to worry about, I will have to disagree on their claims. 

Why ? 

Fear Factor 

Let me explain…

People like you and me are worried about tomorrow. We have a fear that we may not have a job tomorrow when we go to office. So we are saving the money which we earn so that even if we lose job tomorrow  we have enough money to sustain for couple of months till we find a new job. Last year we had dozens of HR people chasing us offering jobs everyday .Today it is the opposite. Even IIM- C Day Zero placements results are dismal by its high standards.

What we dont realize is that when we dont spend money to buy goods , there is no liquidity in the market. When there is no money circulating in the market , the goods remain unsold and hence productions slow down and comes to a grinding halt. This in turn on a macro scale slows down the entire economy. 

This is not a good thing to happen. Because this 3.36% on dip in inflation takes a much worrying scenario of –  Will we go into a deflation? Which is an even more serious issue. 

Had this 3.36% of dip inflation come down in a gradual way , then we may not be so alarmed. Because inflation numbers are always fluctuating in a good economy. It shows movement. It shows dynamism. It is kinetic energy of the economy in play. 

But this is not usual circumstances because of global economic crisis

 India cannot go into a recession. Our economic fundamentals are not build that way. But we can go into a stagnation. NO growth and No Fall . The economy will stagnate . People will keep buying the basic commodities for they day to day living. But they will buy it in lesser quantities at not so regular intervals. 

So you will have your mom will buy 2 apples less than when she usually buys. Your wife will buy spinach once a week. Fish and meat on occasions. Wont renew your gym, magazine subscriptions. Cut back on all spending, basically. So you have buying at a slower pace. Neither here nor there. 

The US economy is no where near on a comeback trail. 40% of US treassuries is with China and Japan and even they are having a major economy problem. So , the fear of job loss, the fear of unstability is going to be there for a long time. 

Hence dont be surprised when inflation further dips to 2 % and 1 % . But I hope at least then news media like Economic Times and Business Line wont take things lightly. 

What is the cure?

3.36% is something to be worried about.

Therefore banks should take cue from the govt stimulus policies and start lending more to consumers. For that to happen RBI should crack the whip with more stern actions on the banks which don’t take advantage of the stimulus packages and other monetary policies regulated recently. ICICI bank did a good job on fixing the 10% interest rate on lending last week. More such steps should be taken by  other banks as well.

Citizens should start spending more and try to buy more of  Indian products. This will in turn increase domestic demand and breath life in to Indian industries and reduce dependency on exports. Will help in the fiscal scenario as well! 

And the government can also take measures to increase the consumer confidence by releasing ads in print , tv and radio . A kind of awareness program.

Hope this post helps in sorting out issues on the inflation worries.

Drop in your comment if you agree of disagree on this.

Fiscal Policy : Are we planning to go into a recession?

26 Feb

I want you guys  to read the article Wrong Doctor, wrong treatment from the editorial of the Business Line and give it a serious thought. 

But i must caution that if you are not a keen follower of economic policies happening in India and across the world then you will not be able to grasp the real concept behind what the author is trying to convey in the article. Written in clear and simple words the author of the article is wondering if tthe Govt going dangerously wrong in itr fiscal and monetary policy. 

I personally think there is a element of  merit in the arguments put forth in the article. 

Are we trying to spend the money which we dont have ? Is it not similar to what happened in America in between 1993 and 2007 , the effect of which is now seen as the economic recession now. So, are we getting the wrong economics right in the wrong propotions? 

Are we spending more than what we should be spending ? Are we taking the fiscal problem in a lighter sense ? 

I dont care what economist you believe in . I personally go for Keynesian . Always have. But you may be a Friedman fan for all I care.

But today’s economic situation is so differenent in its scale and scope that I am willing to let go of Keynesian theories and embrace which will work and sound logic from an development prespective. 

I implore you guys to read the article . 

Please drop in your queries, doubts, ideas, thoughts so we can have a sensible discussion this and take it forward.

Also read my post on Is India still in recession to understand what is happeining to our economy.

Why Slum Dog Millionaire and Rehman should never have won the Oscar

26 Feb

 

I am going to take the risk of falling in to that minority group of people who thinks and believes that Slum Dog Millionaire should not have won the Oscar.

First,

HOW THE HELL DID WE ALLOW A BRITISH GUY CALL AN INDIAN SLUM DOG, in the first place?

What went wrong, guys?

The movie is by a firang and SLDM movie has a hero born and bred in slums speaking British accent. How ridiculous can that be?

There are scores of movies made which showcased India in much better way. When AR rahaman has made much better music where did all these awards and recognitions go? Laagan , RDB , Roja were all from India sent for Oscar nominations. Why dint the world take notice then ?

Are we saying that Slum D M movie was better than Tare Zameen Par or Laagan in terms of direction and music ?

Only cos the movie was made by a British bloke with immense PR backing cum excess Media hype did the movie come up… This was the movie which so badly received by the American and British audience that it was all set to be released in DVD! 

Therefore ,I stick to my opinion that SLUM DOG M doesn’t deserve an Oscar .. AR … definitely doesn’t deserve an Oscar for this movie.

Let’s take it one by one shall we ?

SDM movie dint deserve the award cos it was not up to the so called Oscar standards (if we consider its past as a benchmark). The music was mediocre compared to what Rehman churns out for Shankar and Mani Rathnam. It definitely dint deserve “best director” when you had heavy weights like “the curious case of BB” and  “Doubt” and “milk” 

Between Smile Pinki and SDM . SP dint get any PR, dint have newspaper/TV/radio coverage. No one knew such a movie was coming out which had Indian background. None cheered for Pinki? Not a single “jai jai” for Simile Pinki . And yet it won an Oscar.

A real  underdog performing! Not a movie which was wining bafta, golden globe.. And all that jazz on sheer media hype and on merit. 

It was going to be a DVD release cos Warner bros (the original launch company) closed down their speciality division for low budget movies named ‘Warner independent’… it was ‘saved’ by Fox cause they obviously saw the potential and launched it.” – The movie dint not even give a whimper to survive in theaters.Fox saw the potential of a “marketing gambit under the recession cloud”….

That’s why it escaped the DVD gallows and was given a chance to survive and pumped it with huge PR campaigns… No one has ever heard of Danny Boyle in India before that.

 I bet no one in India had heard of Danny till SDM movie came along.

 Why doesn’t AR deserve an Oscar for this movie?” – Because “jai ho’ is a mediocre song in every sense. Do tell me that western audience so loved this mediocre song and decent background music that they gave him an Oscar?

That would be that “Oscar” in itself is a cheap version of our national award which recognized AR R 4 times for his music. Imagine the taste of the western audience who enjoyed jai ho… If that was the case, AR R should be given an Oscar for every Mani Athena movie he scores music for. 

Laagan and Rang De Basanti went for ” best foreign movie” and that too had AR R music. And the music was much better that SDM. How come the world dint  notice of his greatness then?

 Someone told me in an online discussion , ” Vikas trust me anyone who has lived in Bombay will stand by the depictions in the movie . “

Huh? Why Bombay? I am from Chennai and I stand Bombay what was shown in the movie. The director indeed has the guts to show the rawness of slums of Bombay.. But then Chennai has slums too , so, we have a National Image problem not something to celebrate about ! One British comes in and shows it to the world and he becomes the best director around? He exploited our image problem and made tons of money and got an Oscar.

“A Wednesday” also showed the plague India is witnessing  … no one recognized the director! 

That same person in the online discussion told me , “The director used actors from slums and Indian actors where he thought were appropriate..Dev Patel got the role cos most Indian protagonists he auditioned were beefy, slick Sallu and hritik wannabes.. He basically wanted someone who looked like a wanker…” 

A wanker is a guy who ” masturbates” or ” a stupid person” . Let us for the sake of argument take the second meaning… 

Does it mean Danny Boyle couldn’t find a single actor who looked like a wanker in India? Ridiculous! 

Every actor in India wants to act in a Hollywood movie. Cos it would look good on their CV! Check out PINK PANTHER 2 – aish rai gets the smallest role and yet the media is jumping like rabbits in heat to cover the story. The movie is flop and is sinking… Here the protagonist gets all the scenes in the movie and yet you mean to say Danny dint find a “wanker” looking guy?

Abbhay Deol in Oyez Lucky Oye .. Doesnt aim to be a Sallu or amir or whatever. He is not beefy either! 
The hero of the movie ” Aamir” doesnt look beefy nor has aims of becoming a Sallu or whatever .. Incidentally, Aamir (one the lowest budgeted movie” went on to win critical acclaim and box office hit and it was the same year when almost all movies of Sallu sank without a trace. 

Sheryas talpade doesn’t aim to be a Sallu or mallu or whatever .. Danny could have chosen him – he speaks Hindi, English and he is a better actor than dev Patel and definitely doesnt look beefy .. 

Still not convinced? head south and I can show you some really talented guys who can speak him and look great on screen and do a better job than dev Patel ( check out Evam Karthik) ..

Meaning: Danny delib chose a British Indian and suddenly he is the toast of the town. 

I am not taking any credit away from Dev , of course!

I say it again .. 

SLUM DOG MILLIONARIE never deserved an OSCAR ..

It aint worth it ! 

The original ” Q and A” by Vikas Swarup dint have a British accented protagonist, either ..

Mama dont preach !

15 Feb

My mom shouts every time i sit in front of the laptop . She shouts , ” Vikas, you are always sitting in front of your laptop and using the Internet. Why don’t you go out with your friends. why don’t you read some books. You used to have such good reading habits ” 

I cringe when she shouts at me for this. She uses internet only to check stock market info. 

But today i  retorted  , ” Mom, I read everything online . ,Economist,Time, Business Week,  .. almost everything. It is not that I don’t like reading the print edition. I love the print edition. But you know what ? There are so many reasons i read information online.”

Reasons are :

  • I am not disturbed by unnecessary print/tv ads
  • I dont have to pay for news and articles published online
  • Blogs , review sites and forums are more authentic
  • I can express my opinion 
  • and research e-books are free to download. 
  • To top it , my favorite marketing fella Seth Godin blogs .. 
  • I just dont find TV news channels good enough anymore. Most of them are biased and hyped ! 

  I guess my mom was not convinced enough. She continued to glare and shout and I continued to cringe and  squirm!

Disguised PR in Bangalore Aero show 2009 & on why we shoud not buy F-16’s!

15 Feb

Every time I change to CNN IBN news channel , I see this senior editor guy all gung-ho and ready to fly the F-16 plane. And the news reader would go like , “One of our senior editors took to the skies flying one of best fighter planes  around, a legend  and survived the ride to tell us about how thrilling the ride was and how to defend the skies” .. 

Bollocks ! absolute bollocks..

Why would the Americans want to fly a senior editor of a news channel on a old outdated fighter plane spending thousands of dollars on aviation fuel ? look! IBN has the CNN tag – so connections with the phirangis ( ahem .. did i get the spelling correct?)  help too ! 

Abhiva Bindra took a ride in one of the old-F-16 planes, didn’t he ?

It is a classic case of good PR and subtle marketing .. 

Shame on the reporter trying to convince Indians on the merits of F-16’s ! 

Let’s get certain things straight  here , shall we ? 

First , F-16 is a 2 decade old fighter plane. 2 decades .. 20 years old. Of course it is a legend ! But then , who needs a legend when our Indian Air Force ( IAF) should be flying the most sophisticated and modern fighter plane available today ? 

Our American friends are offering us the “upgraded” and “India specific” F-16 and F-18 Super Hornets. And the bonus : Technology Transfer !

 Guess what ? They are now phasing out their F-16 and F-18’s and replacing it with F-22 Raptor. The next generation fighter plane. Which means, they are trying to sell us an old technology and 126 planes for $10billion dollar contract.

Blasted Americans! They shouldn’t even be there in the contention for the contract ! 

Think about it! Why should we buy these planes when we are cash rich ( and no excuses on the security of the nation , please!) to  afford the raptors?

Why cant the Indian govt ask Americans to offer us the new F-22’s or the B-2 Bomber , also known as The BUFF ( Big Ugly Fat Fucker )!

Americans and their lingo.. man !!!!! 

And biggest pain-in-the-butt ( ass, if you will) reason is that F-16 and F-18 is part of almost  all the  third world countries air force. Outside USA and Isreal, Saudi  Arabia must be having the largest number of F ( Falcon) series planes. Why? Our very own Paki’s have it .. Every ally of USA has it ! 

So imagine one day we go to war with PAK ( god forbid it should never happen) , the Air Force general on the other side would chuckle and say ” Bloody Rascals! we know the avionics and weapons platform of F-16’s in and out . We can out guess and out perform the IAF piolts any time … Thank the Yankees for that ! ” .. And if the war gets more intense Saudi Arabia would chip in and say ” Yo… Muslim brothers .. we have some F-16’s to spare .. about an 100 of them .. we would gladly help you guys , just say the word”

Not a rosy scenario eh ? 

Here is the biggest catch : If someday we disappoint our Yankee friends by ,say, testing a thermo-nuclear bomb or signing a pact with IRAN for gas  or support Palestine or get too hunky-dory with Russia , then Americans would rap our knuckles and say , ” Dude! remember .. we can stop the supply of the spare parts for [should be read : our] the F-16’s.” That should do the trick, no ? 

Don’t Trust America :

Russia has always been our largest supply of weapons- Our MBT ( Main Battle Tank) is T-92 from Russia , our front line squadrons are MIGs followed by Sukhoi’s  , our nuclear submarines ( i think it is kilo class .. i need to update that info) are leased from the ruskies. Hey ! we even developed the Brahmos with them ( the best in the super sonic missile in its class anywhere on planet earth).

Better yet ! they have never stopped  the supply when we needed it the most ( remember the wars with PAK ?) .We ought to thank Indira Gandhi ji for cementing the ties with Mother Russia !

If you recall ,the Americans refused to supply us nuclear fuel for Kalpakkam nuclear power plan when we tested our first Pokran nuclear bomb. 

The point I am trying to make is we can never trust the Americans with our security.. NO Sir! 

Why the delay ?

It is been donkey years since we floated the tender to buy the 126 planes for the Indian Air Force. Every time a new defense minister comes to the helm , he puts the file on the back-burner , leaving it to the next minister to come in and take the decision . The NDA could have done something about it !

The UPA should have had the guts to take the decision . They didn’t either .That is 10 years gone !

Come on yaar! the plan to buy new fighter planes was hatched in 1980’s ! 

How can we call ourselves a super-power in the making when we cant even take a decision on the nation’s security issues ? How is that we have the audacity to claim air-superiority over Asia ,when our front lines are MIG-21’s and MIG -25 and worst is very spending loads of money upgrade and maintain  them .

Alternatives : 

It is time to take decisions… 

We can definitely go in for the recently out MIG – 29’s or 30 series  from Russia . The Russians make their planes big , brutal and they are definitely technologically advanced. We could also look into the new Su 40 series from them as well.

Since we have a long standing partnership with this country . We can bargain hard to get more number the fighter  planes at the same price with a technology transfer. This would help a lot in goodwill for Indo-Russia plan to jointly develop the fifth generation fighter aircraft. When we  have the LCA by 2010-2015 , we would be having a formidable line up and really claim air superiority.

The other option would be to go in for the Euro Typhoon which RAF ( Royal Air Force) and other European countries use . They are the latest and best in technology . The problem would be the cost and using their missiles as weapons platform. Which means we cant adapt , immediately that is , our exciting AA ( Air to Air ) and AS ( Air to Surface) missiles and hence while we buy the planes at a very high cost we will should also buy their missiles . Cost goes up.

India has long association with the French. They are trusty worth and their Mirage series are well tested. Instead of looking at 200o series we should be looking at 2005 series . Since Indian pilots are already familiar with the Mirage avionics system , our pilots can easily learn to fly the plane. 

Sadly , in the past we have :

  • Signed the nuclear pact under immense American pressure – therefore help America’s sagging nuclear industry 
  • Voted against Iran in United Nations assembly again under American pressure – puked our foreign policy
  • Still haven’t signed the Iran gas pipeline . No big surprise there . Iran comes under “axis of evil” list !

The least we can do is not compromise on our country’s security issue and make the right choice and take that decision soon! 

Should anyone who reads this post have difference of opinion or would like to share thoughts , please go ahead and shoot it out in the comments section

ps: I have nothing against the citizens of USA and the country. I am just angry at the divide and rule policy of the american law makers! 

 


IPL disgust – Capitalist Morons – why i will never watch IPL matches

6 Feb

I feel revolted when i see cricket  players being “auctioned” and bought for IPL matches.

How is it that the people who are involved in bidding and buying players have the heart to dish out crores of money to buy players when common people across the country…nay world ( because even foreign players are involved) are loosing jobs or tightening their wallet due to economic slow down ?

In December we witnessed one of the most dastardly terrorist attack the world has ever seen. Hundreds died, still you have hundreds  in hospitals recovering from their injuries , some are still in trauma caused due to the tragedy .

And yet, here we have a group of extremely wealthy corporate assholes paying huge chunks of money to play 20 overs cricket match.  Basically you are just blowing away crores of money in matter of hours.

What i don’t understand is how can Vijay Mallya pay Rs. 7cr on one side for just one English player when  his KingFisher airline is making huge losses and owe the government 100cr on airline fuel charges?

Get this straight ! That 100 crore is not any body’s but our money . Suffice to say he owes people like you and me and the rest of India  Rs100 cr and plus. It our  money –  what we pay to the country in the form tax, guys!

But he is not at fault . The fault is completely ours. We are not proactive. And that includes me as well!

If I was proactive I would have asked him , ” dude!  who the fuck gave you the right to buy another “human being” , when you don’t have the decency to pay back what you owe the government ?  or at least invest that money in improving the efficiency of your company so that you don’t have cut jobs tomorrow ”

I so wanted to ask Mrs Ambani , ” Just because you eat, sleep, drink, swim money , how is that you have the heart to be so bloody ostentatious during such difficult times ?  You live in Mumbai, don’t you ?  what have you done for the injured or the family of the martyrs of the terrorist attack ? ”

To Ms Preity Zinta –  ” That’s right! you have become too old to act as a heroine. Accept that fact. You don’t have producers lined up outside your door to sign up movies. Tough luck! but that is how it is . Use money wisely .. Just because your bf is coming from a wealth family , doesn’t mean that you…. you get the drift , don’t you ? ”

To Ms Shetty –  ” You suck ! how long are you gonna flaunt you Big Boss win ? How long are you gonna live under the assumption that people in India really give a hoot about you ? ”

In the olden days wealthy merchants used to buy slaves and prostitutes from the market . Slaves for hard labour and prostitutes for the obvious reasons. Irrespective of the economic situation around them , they continued to eat, sleep, become fat and have a gal time with women.

How different is that from what is happening today at the IPL auctions ?

Here are my questions to you ?

Why are you watching these matches , just to increase TRP ratings and waste your time only to re fill the pockets of these morons ? Why not use that time to go out and play a match with your friends ? That way you excerise your body!

I am not saying that you should stop watching cricket , but hey ! there are other sports in the country too. There are other players looking out for support from you as well .

There are other players in the arena from other sports who are not asking for money but for appreciation. Who are not seeking brand ambassador tags but money for training and infrastructure.

Simple case in point – corporates chased Sania Mirza not only for her win in Wimbledon but she is considered “hot” and “sexy” . Vijinder Kaur looks like a “model” hence he get brand endorsements .

What about other players who won medals for our nation during the Olympics . Sure you said , ” I am proud of you guys”. After that ? Everybody forgets !

We should be ashamed of ourselves, no?

It is ironic that a boxer whos sport is of destructive nature endoring a insurance product ?

So, ask yourself this question – ” how skin deep and money minded am i ?”

And  another culprit is the media. Ndtv is so jobless that they dedicated a show just to bring in the bidders to talk /discuss about why they paid so much money and blah … blah .. Nonsense . What is there to discuss ? They came with money, they falunted their wealth , bid like it is done in a market and went home with a bunch of slaves. And yeah, they appeared on TV ..  The same goes for other tv channels  as well .

I have decided never to watch 20/20 matches. I feel used by the capitalist assholes . I am too intelligent, too smart and have too much diginty to fall for this bloody money making game.

Sure , money is important. Not advocating to stop wacthing cricket matches or stop cheering the cricket team .But there is a limit to everything !

I suggest you guys do the same ! It is only a suggestion , though

Understand one simple thing – end of the day everything is about how many ads were aired, the TRP raitings and money generated. It is not about the game !

Why