Saturday, July 30, 2011

Happy Monkey

It's a Monk-hee-hee-hee! The macaque who makes himself laugh by tickling his own feet


This cheeky monkey couldn't help bursting out into a beautiful grin after learning how to tickle his own feet.

The long-tailed macaque was caught on camera in the Sacred Monkey Forest on the Indonesian island of Bali.

At first the cute primate appeared to be itching his toes - but he soon started to laugh as he tickled his feet.

The adorable pictures were captured by biologist Natalia Paklina, 51, who was visiting the site near Ubud while on holiday.

Mrs Paklina, who has homes in Moscow, Russia and Enkhausen in the Netherlands, said: 'You are able to get quite close to the monkeys in the forest because they are used to humans.





Once upon a time, there was an ashram in the Himalayas where a great sage and his disciples lived. They all respected their Guru not only for his knowledge, but also for his love and kindness towards all.
Because of his kind nature he often accepted disciples who were spiritually immature. This resulted in silly misunderstandings and quarrels among some of his disciples breaking the peace and tranquility of the hermitage.
One day the Guru was very disturbed to see their immature behavior even after his repeated advice. It saddened his good heart to see his disciples turning into slaves of jealousy and anger. His compassion did not let him throw anyone out of his hermitage. Instead, he sincerely prayed to God to give him a solution. He fasted for many days, and spent the days by himself in meditation and prayer.
After some days of fasting and intense prayers, he had a vision of the Lord. In the vision, God asked him why he was sad. He explained everything and requested Him to come to the ashram and free their minds of jealousy, anger, and desire for power. To his surprise, the Lord immediately agreed and told him that He would come to the ashram on one condition: He would come in disguise as one of the disciples, and nobody would know who was God in disguise. The Guru announced to his disciples about his vision and Bhagavan's kind decision to come as one of his disciples.

The disciples were very happy when they heard about Bhagavan's plan to come and live with them in disguise. But they did not know who was Bhagavan and everybody was very gentle and considerate to each other thinking that the other disciple might be Bhagavan Himself in disguise. When they lived like that for a few months, peace and tranquility filled their hearts as well as the hermitage.
In their pure minds, they felt the Lord's blissful presence and they started treating each other, and thinking of each other, as none other than Bhagavan Himself in disguise! The whole ashram was reverberating with blissful positive vibrations emanating from everyone! This great sage and his disciples told their experience to others and inspired them also to respect each other and to pranam to the divinity in every one.
Since then, everybody started greeting each other saying "namaste" with folded hands : namah + te, meaning "I bow to That (Divinity) inherent in you.

"In Sanskrit the word is namah + te = namaste which means "I bow to you" - my greetings, salutations or prostration to you. The word 'namaha' can also be literally interpreted as "na ma" (not mine). It has a spiritual significance of reducing one's ego in the presence of another.


Why Namaste:

Namaste could be just a casual or formal greeting, a cultural convention or an act of worship. However, there is much more to it than meets the eye. The real meeting between people is the meeting of their minds. When we greet one another with namaste, it means, 'may our minds meet', indicated by the folded palms placed before the chest. The bowing down of the head is a gracious form of extending friendship in love, respect and humility.


Spiritual Significance of Namaste:

The reason why we do namaste has a deeper spiritual significance. It recognizes the belief that the life force, the divinity, the Self or the God in me is the same in all. Acknowledging this oneness with the meeting of the palms, we honor the god in the person we meet.

May the Lord help us also to see His divinity in everybody! Namaste!
Aano bhadra krtavo yantu vishwatah.(- RIG VEDA)
"Let noble thoughts come to me from all directions"

Inside World's Biggest Cave

Into the depths of the earth: Cave network in the heart of Vietnamese jungle is so large its end is yet to be found


These are the breathtaking images which capture the hidden depths of the world's biggest cave passage, which still has left cavers still searching for its end.

Hidden in the depths of the Vietnamese jungle lies The Hang Son Doong, part of a network of over 150 caves.

Discovered by British cavers in 2009, the cave passage in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park was originally thought to be a modest 150 metres long and 200 feet high.

Intrepid journey: A caver stands in front of a huge rock formation as the light shines beneath a skylight in Hang Son Doong

Intrepid journey: A caver stands in front of a huge rock formation as the light shines beneath a skylight in Hang Son Doong

But these remarkable images - taken during two further expeditions of the caves - show the previously undiscovered depths of the magnificent cave passage, now the largest in the world.

At a mammoth 2.5 miles long, 330ft wide and almost 800ft high, Hang Son Doong also known as Mountain River Cave, is as high as 25 double decker buses.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Getting up close and personal with Didi - Interview of Lata Mangeshkar

Getting up close and personal with Didi
Do you see films?
I see very few films. Music itself has undergone a lot of change. There was a time when music directors and singers were as popular as the hero and heroines. Musicians would decide if they should take Lata or Asha for a song. Or decide between (Mohd) Rafisaab, Kishore Kumar or Mukesh… Nothing like that happens now. Now one film will have six voices — one song by Sonu (Nigam), one by someone else… I also hear that a film has five music directors today. Producers (barring Yash Chopra) too don't pay much attention to music. You rarely get to hear good music. Earlier even if a film flopped the music was successful. And to add to it, the internet too is forcing music companies to take a backseat.

Any song that you liked recently?
One song that I really liked was Main Hoon Naa's title track… Besides, even the voices have changed. Hamare time pe joh awaazein thi, matlab ladki ki awaaz ladki ki hi lagti thi (laughs)… Sorry!

Who's your favourite from among the current lot of Bollywood singers?
Sunidhi (Chauhan) sings well but she has a different voice — if she tries to sing a lori, it'll not work. Then there's Shreya Ghoshal, Sonu Nigam, Udit Narayan (who's not a new artist), Alka (Yagnik), who I believe does not sing anymore and Shaan. But what we are today is also because of our music directors. They — Ghulam Haider, Sachin Dev Burman the, RD Burman, Madan Mohan, Jaidev, Ravi Shankar — worked hard on us. They were well-versed in classical music, which is very important. Like if you want to write, you need to know how to read. It's the same with classical music, you should be able to understand your raags.

Did you ever have an argument with a music director?
Never, we sang the way we were told to. At times I'd try a taan or alaap and they would appreciate it. Only Rafisaab would object to it at times. Y'see, I would decide that I'll try out a certain note today and not inform Rafisaab about it. Aur jaha unhone kaha yahan take karte hai, main ekdum gaa deti thi. Rafisaab would sulk saying that if you had told me, I too would've sung it that way. Mujhe mazaa aata tha unko zara chedne mein...

A song that is closest to your heart…
The song closest to my heart is Aayega aanewala from Mahal. No, there's no personal story to it, bas achha lagta hai. But I remember how it was recorded. Director Kamal (Amrohi) had an indepth knowledge in music and shayari. He told me that he wanted the voice to sound like it was coming from afar. Since those days we had no such recording machine to create the effect, I had to walk and sing the opening lines till I reached the mike. Once I reached the mike, I would begin the song from Aayega aanewala… I did this routine 10 – 15 times, which is also the reason I remember the song very well (laughs). I remember Nargis Dutt's mother was in the studio too, when I recorded the song that day. She was a good singer herself. She called out to me when I finished recording the song, and asked me my name. When I told her that my name was Lata Mangeshkar, she said, 'Accha, so you are a Marathan! Amazing, you pronounced 'baghair' very well.' (laughs) She was referring to the line – 'deepak baghair' in the song.

A lot of the old songs especially RD Burman's are being remixed, the makers say that they are reviving the old songs...
Woh kya phir se laayenge? Woh galat faimi mein hain. What has already been created and appreciated by people should not be tampered with. I don't like remixes. If you have to take an old song, then sing it the way it's been sung. Puraani cheez laakar aap bana nahi rahe hai, bigaad rahe hai. Where's the talent in that?

Your sister Asha Bhosale has done a lot of international collaborations. Aren't you interested in doing something similar?
I'm not aware of whom she's sung with, but I have no interest to do something like that.

Do you listen to all her songs?
Asha's? Yes, every song that she sings. But I feel that if one has to collaborate with another artiste then it should be with someone really big, not with little known artistes.
Do you listen to international artistes?
Yes, I am fond of Nat King Cole. I started listening to his music in the 50's. I have all his records. I even toyed with the idea to do a recording of his songs, but was advised against it. I liked the Beatles too!

Do you think that musical reality shows provide a platform for music talents?
The only way the music show talents will benefit from what's happening on TV recently, is that they can have their own stage shows. You remember what happened to Abhijeet Sawant? They gave him a car, but he never sang in films. He gained a lot from stage shows though. Yeh platform jo hai… ab kya hua hai ki platform tod ke raste bade ho gaye hain (laughs). Most of our artistes — Sonu, Shreya, Sunidhi — today are doing a lot of stage-shows too, there's a lot of money in it.

What do you think of the movement led by Anna Hazare?
I don't comment on politics ever, and I am also least interested in it. But I don't see anything wrong in what Anna Hazare is doing.

You also tweet regularly...
Yes, my brother's son writes it for me. Nowadays, I also include English words in it and I take my sister's daughter's help for that.


Friday, July 29, 2011
Influence can be defined as an individual’s
ability to affect others, whether because of
status, wealth, rank or activism.
For the Top 50 Influentials, we began by asking
our various editorial sections to list the most
influential people they knew of — with a strong
link to Mumbai. The parameters for selection
were the person’s impact in the year gone by
and in recent times.
The initial list had 160 names, excluding anyone
directly or indirectly connected with DNA's
promoters. After this, the senior editorial team
got to work and pruned the list to 50. Then, our
eminent jury took over, and decided the order.
In cases where there was a tie, the names have
been listed in alphabetical order.
The Influentials
Presenting the Top 50 Influentials for 2011, DNA’s annual list of 50 people in Mumbai who have
made a difference: This year, the jury came up with some names that have never figured in our
previous lists, including the #1 — someone who has been associated with Mumbai in the past
and has caused a stir like never before. And despite a year that saw some big names dragged
into controversies, they continue to be on our list because their influence remains pervasive.
Social Activist
Capped crusader
Four out of five jury members picked Kisan
Baburao alias Anna Hazare as the Most
Influential Person this year. Considering that
he was not even among the 50 Top Influentials in
the years gone by, his debut at No 1 speaks
volumes for the impact Hazare has made with his
anti-corruption agenda. In the process, this
74-year-old, modern-day Gandhian has become an
icon for not just the older generation but even for
youngsters, scores of whom support him in the
real and virtual world. His crusade for an allencompassing
Lokpal Bill has inculcated a ray of
hope amongst the people that the war against
corruption might still be won. After all, the
decision to make a three-year posting at one place
mandatory for police officers came about after an
earlier demonstration by Hazare.
He has worked hard
and has the people's
approval for his
campaign against
corruption. I don't
know if he will
succeed, some may
not let it happen; but
he has brought about
awareness of the
—Hema Malini
First lady of banking
It's been just over two years since Chanda Kochhar took the reins of ICICI Bank
from the redoubtable KV Kamath, and she has acquitted herself very well.
If Kochchar spearheaded fantastic growth in loans to consumers, leading to the
bank having nearly 60% exposure to credit cards and consumer and home loans at
one point, her managerial skills were put to test with the collapse of the global
economy which brought to bear significant pressure on the bank. It is to Kochhar's
credit that she has steered the big ship to a safer — thriving — harbour.
She has a huge impact on working women, especially as she
has broken through the glass ceiling. But her greatest appeal
lies in the fact that she has achieved a work-life balance."
—Rujuta Diwekar
Chairman, HDFC
He is the man who steered HDFC to the
pinnacle of mortgage success in India,
allowing scores of middle-class people
to buy their own homes. Parekh, who sits
on the board of several companies across
sectors, is a father figure for Indian
business, a mediator in corporate disputes
and a darling of shareholders. He is also
involved with the Rajiv Awas Yojana,
which suggests ways of making Indian
cities slum-free. A chartered accountant by
qualification, Parekh is an avid cricket fan
and still takes time out to watch Sachin
Tendulkar. But when at work, his racing
mind is matched by none.
"Deepak Parekh has given a new
spin to home loans for lay people.
In a few years, he has created an
institution that we all look up to.
People feel safe with HDFC and
that says a lot."
—Gajra Kottary
God. Period
When India won the World Cup earlier this year, 28 years after the 1983 triumph,
every team member said the win was for him, and because of him. Tendulkar
inspired the team, much the way he has been doing over the past two decades.
Today, God and Bharat Ratna are two prefixes increasingly being associated with
Tendulkar. With every possible and conceivable record under his belt, Tendulkar is
the new benchmark for batting: highest number of Tests, Test runs, Test centuries,
highest number of ODIs, ODI centuries, ODI runs… He is the veritable Bill Gates of
cricket. Only, Gates does not have a World Cup to his name.
He is one person who has united India. He has played at the
top level for 20 years, which is very tough to sustain for any
sportsman, and there is no replacement for him."
—Viren Rasquinha
Governor, RBI
Sage in the storm
The third rank is a bit of a surprise (he was at No 10 last year), but as one jury
member put it, what he does affects everyone in the country. Duvvuri Subbarao's
able helmsmanship of the Reserve Bank of India helped the country sail through
the 2008 downturn with minimal damage. The straight-talking Subbarao is a 1972
batch IAS officer from the Andhra Pradesh cadre and a PhD in economics. Though
unrelenting inflation has been giving him some heartburn, he is said to de-stress by
shaking a mean leg in his salsa class. His three-year tenure at the RBI draws to a close
in September, but the government is reportedly keen on giving him an extension.
He has steered us through the financial crisis without making the
country suffer. I agree that the RBI is party to the rising interest
rates, but he is only doing his job, and in a very difficult situation."
—Amitabh Chaturvedi
Novelist and TV
scriptwriter Gajra
Kottary is the
author of Broken
Melodies, and
writer of popular
television serials
Balika Vadhu,
Jyoti, Godh
Bharaai and
Hema Malini needs
no introduction.
One of India’s best
known actresses,
she has appeared in
150 films over 40
years. An
Bharat Natyam
dancer, she is also a
former MP.
Rujuta is a
nutritionist. She
has written two
books on
nutrition and
diet, both of
which went on to
bestsellers in
their genres.
A former hockey
star, Viren quit to
join Hyderabad’s
ISB. Today, he is
COO of Olympic
Gold Quest, a
foundation that is
working to groom
India’s potential
Olympic gold
director & CEO of
Dhanlaxmi Bank,
Amitabh is a CA who
has worked as
group president of
Reliance Capital and
head of retail
channels and
liabilities at ICICI

Silent deliverer
It's been a busy year for Birla. Three
acquisitions in rapid succession and
thirsting for more, the Aditya Birla Group
is one of the few to have stayed away from the
scandals that have engulfed the high and
mighty of Indian business. Humble and
soft-spoken, but a hawk-eyed entrepreneur
nonetheless, Birla has set an ambitious target
for himself — to double the group's revenues
by 2015. The group has come a long way
during his 16 years at the helm, from
revenues of around $2 billion to more than
$30 billion and operations in 40 countries and
Chairman, Aditya Birla Group
Friday, July 29, 2011 19
Actor & Producer
Pop on top
To be at the top for 40 years, you need to be
made of different mettle. Amitabh
Bachchan has seen himself become a
legend over the years. Today, he still gives the
younger generation of actors a run for their
money. When Bachchan decided to step into
television, he created history: Kaun Banega
Crorepati is, till date, the most successful
reality show on Indian TV. Though all that
success has taken its share of struggles,
Bachchan has been able to tide over the
challenges the way only he can.
Chairman, Tata Sons
Empire builder
The countdown has begun. Ratan Tata, who
tied for the fifth rank with Deepak Parekh,
is slated to retire by end-December, 2012,
leaving behind a legacy carefully built since
1991. The run-up to his retirement will be
crucial. Finding a successor is a tough
proposition for the group that has grown
more than 25-fold since he took over from
JRD. His successor may have close to a year
under him. An intensely private man, Tata's
drive, enthusiasm and energy have to be seen
to be believed, say people close to him.
Actor & Producer
Da Bang
Salman Khan is the only actor in
Bollywood who has maintained his
position over the last two decades.
The star has been able to maintain a
steady market demand over this period and
therein lies the power of his brand. Flops
and controversies notwithstanding, Khan has
always emerged on top and delivered a hit
when needed. Today, he's known as the hero
of the masses, the Rajinikanth of Bollywood.
Ask any producer and he will
tell you that Salman Khan will always ensure
a good opening, be it at a multiplex in an
A-class city or a single-screen theatre in a
remote town.
Queen of notes
She has lent her voice to over a thousand
Bollywood movies and recorded songs in
more than 36 regional and foreign
languages. Lata Mangeshkar, who has won
perhaps all the top awards available in India,
including the Bharat Ratna, remains an
active singer. What she means to India is best
evidenced by the fact that she has several
awards instituted in her name. In 1984, the
Madhya Pradesh government instituted a
Lata Mangeshkar Award and in 1992,
Maharashtra followed suit with a Lata
Mangeshkar Award, too.
Chairman, SEBI
In the hot seat
After T Rowe Price picked up a 26% stake in
UTI AMC, a reporter asked Sinha if a
change in management was in offing. "No,"
he said, "You will have to bear with me a little
longer." The truth was probably that the ex-IAS
officer, who led UTI AMC out of the
guaranteed payments crisis, was irreplaceable;
evidence was the top job lying vacant four
months after he left to head the Securities and
Exchange Board of India. He is also credited
with starting the micro pension movement.
Actor & Filmmaker
Marketer No 1
The man used to be known as a great actor,
but now Aamir Khan has successfully
emerged as one of the best marketing
strategists in the entertainment industry. His
marketing strategies have been widely copied
by other Bollywood filmmakers. Once again,
his production — Delhi Belly — has scored at
the box office this year, thanks to a clever
marketing strategy. The government of India
honoured him with the Padma Shri in 2003
and the Padma Bhushan in 2010 for his
contribution to the arts.
Chairman & MD, Reliance Industries
Mr Mega
RIL is India’s most valuable listed company
and its chief, Mukesh D Ambani, the
richest Indian with a net worth of $27
billion as of March. Known for his Himalayan
ambition and ability to outthink competition,
Ambani executed a landmark $9 billion deal
with British Petroleum earlier this year and
is firming up plans to make forays into newer
areas such as telecom and infrastructure. RIL
aside, Ambani, who loves South Indian food,
will be looking forward to his team, Mumbai
Indians, bagging the elusive IPL
championship next year.
Actor & Producer
Super, super star
Shah Rukh's My Name is Khan is the highest grossing Indian
film of all times in the overseas markets. His production house
has churned out a number of other good films with many more
in the offing. He was also one of the main pullers of audience for
the IPL, which is now a successful franchise in India. A household
name, Shah Rukh had the entire country rooting for him when he
refused to comply with the Shiv Sena's threats to stop screening his
films if he didn't apologise for his statement in favour of Pakistani
players. In 2005, the Government of India honoured him with the
Padma Shri for his contribution to Indian cinema.
Chairman, Infosys
Bankable leader
KV Kamath, who earlier headed ICICI
Bank, is now the non-executive chairman
of India's second-largest software
exporter — Infosys. He will be watched
carefully in the coming days. His appointment
is seen as infusing fresh blood, which will
help the company leap into the next phase of
aggressive expansion and corporate
governance, of which he is a champion. After
all, it was this mechanical engineer and IIM-A
alumnus who nurtured ICICI Bank to
successfully take on the might of the public
sector banks.
Vice-chairman, M&M
Driving force
The company's interests now extend into
information technology, real estate,
aerospace, financial services, and energy.
This is in no small measure due to the vision
of its sharp-dressing and multi-faceted
commander-in-chief, Anand Mahindra. He
was instrumental in M&M’s acquisition of
the beleaguered IT company, Satyam
Computer Services, and South Korea's
SsangYong Motor Company. Mahindra, who
studied film at Harvard and is a blues
enthusiast, was the key driving force behind
the first edition of the Mahindra Blues
The British beauty stormed the Bollywood scene in 2003, and
has not looked back since. For someone who was raised in
London and started her career as a model, Katrina has worked
her way up to films. Initially written off for her acting abilities,
she stunned the industry with stellar performances in films like
Race, New York, and Rajneeti, which catapulted her to the Aleague
in Bollywood. Counted among the top five Bollywood
heroines today, Katrina has also been endorsing a number of
Founder & CEO, Future Group
Sabse achcha
Future Group's Kishore Biyani has made
millions out of understanding the pulse of
the penny-pinching, value-seeking Indian
buyer. The 'Sabse Sasta' days at Big Bazaar are
evidence enough of this. Biyani has shown
that even insurance and SIM cards can be sold
at a supermarket. With several corporate
groups hot on his heels in the retail arena,
Biyani has to continue what he does best:
innovate. With a capable ally in his daughter,
Ashni Biyani, that should be easy.
Vice-Chairman & Managing Director, Times Group
Brothers Jain
The brothers make a formidable pair,
executing ideas to perfection. Perhaps the
times, they are a-changin. In a refreshing
change, the paper’s entertainment
supplement is upfront when it calls itself an
"advertorial, entertainment, promotional
feature" right under its masthead. Will the
cash-rich group take advantage of Murdoch’s
woes to leap into the global arena? Times will
tell. Meanwhile, they are going deeper south.
Candid camera
Karan Johar started off in Bollywood as a
nerdy side-kick in iconic film Dilwale
Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. But today, he is
one of the most successful filmmakers. He is
also a valued TV personality who can get
anybody to come in on his talk show, no
matter what camp they belong to, and get
candid. Awards and honours have been par
for the course for this gentleman.

Friday, July 29, 2011 20
Acting chairman, LIC
Leading a leviathan
Mehrotra, who took over as acting chairman of the Life
Insurance Corporation (LIC) in May, has the uphill task of
ensuring that the behemoth, which has a whopping 62%
market share now, doesn't lose business to over-aggressive new-age
competitors. His appointment to the top job at LIC is proof of his
execution abilities and leadership skills. Besides his seniority, it
was his experience in spreading LIC's offshore wings that assured
him the coveted hot seat. Expect him to take the competition headon
in his home turf.
Chairman, Reliance ADAG
Phoenix in
The younger Ambani sibling has spent the
best part of the year battling on many
fronts, forcing the fitness freak to lie low.
But the ace up his sleeve is a portfolio of three
4,000 MW power projects that his company is
building. As one of his confidantes predicts,
come 2013, Anil Ambani will rise like a
phoenix from the ashes.
TV & film producer
A new script
Ekta Kapoor has always been referred to as
the queen bee of the television industry.
This year, she doesn't have anybody who
can replace her in the industry. Ekta has
ventured into film production now and she is
doing well in that sphere too. Her Ragini
MMS got critical reviews like its predecessor
Love, Sex Aur Dhoka. Ekta has a slew of
programmes lined up this year, which is sure
to keep her in the top position in the
television industry.
Chairman, Godrej Group
Grey matters
The helmsman of the 114-year-old Godrej
Group is doing all he can to make his
consumer goods business an emerging
market multinational. At 69, Godrej has been
at his boldest and most active in recent years,
snapping up hair care and household care
firms in Asia, Africa and Latin America. At
work, Godrej has the support of his three
children Tanya, Nisa and Pirojsha. But each
of the Godrej Group companies has a nonfamily
CEO with Godrej and his three
children being more involved at the board
New Wave
Cinema Man
Known for his out-of-the-box cinema,
filmmaker Anurag Kashyap's films can be
best described as offbeat. He believes in
creating his own genre of cinema and not
conforming to established rules of
filmmaking. With path-breaking films
including Black Friday, Dev D, Udaan,
Shaitaan, and the controversial That Girl In
Yellow Boots to his credit, Anurag is a pioneer
of Indian new wave cinema. As a story-writer,
he had had hits like Satya and Kaun to his
credit. He has also acted in several films
including the recent I AM and Shagird.
Commissioner, BMC
Civic crusader
Municipal chief Subodh Kumar in his
brief tenure has shaken the foundation
of the BMC by changing its rules and
challenging several decisions of the ruling
Shiv Sena-BJP combine. He even gave a tough
time to the Congress-NCP opposition. Among
other things, he demolished more than 5,000
illegal structures and has proposed action
against the Sena's ambitious 'Shiv Vada Pav'
scheme, declaring it an unauthorised scheme.
He has been appreciated for his honest and
straight-forward work.
Executive chairman & creative director, O&M
A of admen
Executive chairman and creative director
for advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather,
India and South Asia, Piyush Pandey has
been the driving force behind the company's
continued efforts to make quality
advertisements. Over the years, he has picked
up over 500 Indian advertising awards and it
is thanks to his leadership that O&M has been
named India's most creative agency so many
times till date. In 2004, Piyush became the
first Asian to be the president of the Cannes
Adman, lyricist, scriptwriter
Lyricist par
Prasoon Joshi began his career as an ad
guy with Ogilvy & Mather (O&M) Delhi,
and later joined McCann-Erickson in
early 2002. In December 2006, he became the
executive chairman for McCann World Group
India and regional creative director, Asia
Pacific. Prasoon is also a screenwriter and a
lyricist. He made his debut as a lyricist with
Rajkumar Santoshi's Lajja and later penned
lyrics for films like Hum Tum, Faana, Rang
De Basanti, etc. His breakthrough came when
he wrote the lyrics for Aamir Khan's
l i dT Z P
Chairman & MD, Oberoi Realty
Realty’s rare thriver
Not many real estate companies inspire confidence among
investors these days, but Vikas Oberoi's firm is an exception.
Oberoi Realty has built over 5 million sq ft in suburban
Mumbai, with the flagship project being the 80-acre Oberoi
Garden City at Goregaon. The company went public last October
by raising Rs1,000 crore and its shares listed on the exchanges at a
premium. Oberoi, who is married to actress Gayatri Joshi of
Swades fame and has two kids, is not lacking in ambition but
won't sacrifice goodwill.
Sheikh of shake
Hrithik Roshan remains one of
Bollywood’s most bankable stars outside
the Khans. He commands the highest
price after the reigning trio and is one of the
most sought-after celebrities when it comes to
brand endorsements. Hrithik has a string of
films lined up for release, including the sequel
to his successful superhero film, Kkrish. Time
and again, Hrithik has not only proved his
versatility as an actor, but is also regarded as
a great dancer.
Chief minister, Maharashtra
A clean slate
The biggest challenge for Chief Minister
Prithviraj Chavan after taking over was to
rebuild the tainted image of the
Democratic Front government. Having
earned the tag of Mr Clean, he had to ensure
that it reflected adequately in every policy
decision. The chief minister, who works 16
hours a day, is determined to introduce new
culture that would make the administration
more accountable and transparent.
Police commissioner, Mumbai
Hardball cop
Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup
Patnaik is one of the most influential
persons in the city. Known for his
upright and no-nonsense attitude and faith in
the old method of policing, Patnaik likes
discipline. If his orders are not followed, he is
known for taking immediate action. Patnaik
has also set up a Sunday darbar, where he
listens to the family problems of the lower
rungs of the police force and resolves them.
Star, brand
Kareena Kapoor remains one of the most
bankable stars in Bollywood. No major
actor bats an eyelid before signing up
opposite her. Kareena, with her acting
prowess and glamour, has successfully
reigned for almost five years now. She is
considered to be one of the hottest brand
ambassadors because she has evolved as an
Cardiac surgeon
’em all
India's leading cardiac surgeon is popular
and famous after he performed a complex
bypass surgery on Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh in 2009. Recently, the Dr
Panda-led Asian Heart Institute launched a
robotic facility for surgery. It will offer
advanced robotic surgery for multi-disciplines
like cardio-thoracic surgery, urology,
gynaecology, ENT and oncology. Dr Panda
has performed over 15,000 bypasses, over 1,000
bypasses of which were considered
'inoperative' by other doctors.
President, BCCI & Union agriculture minister
Politician of
many hues
At 70, he has embarked on a mission to
strengthen the NCP in Maharashtra
through inclusive politics.
Notwithstanding occasional differences, the
NCP has remained the most loyal alliance
partner of the Congress-led UPA at the
Centre. But it was with cricket — where as the
president of BCCI — that he attained his
biggest feat when the Indian cricket team lead
by MS Dhoni won the World Cup.
Friday, July 29, 2011 21
Chairman, SBI
The biggest banker
One of the boldest decisions Chaudhuri made soon after taking
charge from OP Bhatt as chairman of the State Bank of India
(SBI) in April was to call off the bank's most popular product
— the teaser-rate loan. The signal was clear — he wouldn't play to
the market. The two chairmen couldn't be more different in their
approach: Chaudhuri is keen to maintain SBI's numero uno
position, but he will also maintain peace with the regulator (the
Reserve Bank of India). He also believes in promoting people who
are blessed with the vision of expanding business.
President & Executive president, Shiv Sena
All in the family
At 84, Bal Thackeray remains the guiding force for thousands of
Sainiks who walk miles to reach Matoshree every year on the
eve of Guru Poornima to catch a glimpse of their leader. The
past year saw Uddhav taking to the streets through various
programmes related to the Marathi manoos, like housing for the
millworkers, to reconnect with the masses across Maharashtra.
The agitation against the 10,000 megawatt nuclear power project at
Jaitapur in the Konkan region shows that Uddhav is ready to take
the fight to its logical end.
Anchor & Editor-in-Chief, Times Now
He is one of the favourite targets of India's
emerging twitterati, as they bare their
fangs to spray 140 characters of sarcasm
at television anchors like him. A
rabble-rouser with an ability to lecture and
hector panel members on his show, he once
famously tried to browbeat and lecture Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh at a select press
conference for TV editors. He is a true
representative of the argumentative Indian.
He holds a master's degree in social
anthropology from Oxford, and a degree for
having been a visiting fellow.
Croon queen
Asha Bhosle is known as one of the best
Bollywood playback singers ever. She is
believed to have sung over 20,000 songs in
more than 14 languages. Known for her
versatility, the 77-year-old has effortlessly
flitted from one genre to another, including
ghazals, bhajans, traditional Indian classical
music, pop, and film music. She is also one of
the first Indian singers to collaborate with
international pop singers like Boy George.
Along with being an ace singer, she is a
fabulous cook and has a restaurant called
Asha's in Dubai.
The good son
With a family legacy that boasts of people
who have been in the industry for
decades, Ranbir Kapoor had a lot to live
up to when he took baby steps in Bollywood.
His debut film Saawariya in 2008 tanked at
the box-office, but his talent shone through.
His brilliant portrayal of characters in Wake
Up Sid, Rocket Singh and Rajneeti have clearly
put him in the top bracket. With his good
looks coupled with an interesting mix of films
and endorsements in his kitty, Ranbir is here
to stay.
Film & theatre personality
The thespian
For many, Naseeruddin Shah's presence in a
play or movie automatically grants the
production a positive judgement; so strong
is the association between Shah and quality
work. While he is best known for his roles in
movies such as Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron, A
Wednesday and Monsoon Wedding, it is theatre
where Shah's legacy shines through. Shifting
with ease between commercial cinema,
arthouse movies and live theatre, Shah
continues to produce plays of consistent
quality. His most recent production was an
Ismat Chugtai story.
Reader's delight
Kiran Nagarkar has written acclaimed
novels in both Marathi and English. His
first Marathi novel in 1974, Saat Sakkam
Trechalis, is considered a milestone in
post-Independence India. His second novel,
Ravan and Eddie, begun in Marathi but
completed in English in 1994, has delighted
readers across generations His later novel,
Cuckold (1997), which won the Sahitya
Akademi Award, has been translated into a
number of Indian languages. In Europe, both
Cuckold and God's Little Soldier (2007) are now
available in German, Spanish and French.
Co-owner, Mumbai Indians
Team leader
Earlier, the Preity Zintas and Shilpa Shettys
grabbed eyeballs for obvious reasons.
However, over the last two editions of the
IPL, we have witnessed the rise of Nita
Ambani. The bahu of India's richest family
made it a point to learn the nitty-gritty of
cricket. Nitabhabhi's dignity commands
respect and she is as important a face of
Mumbai Indians as Sachin Tendulkar. Be it a
plush sofa on the boundary line or the auction
hall, the mother of three holds her own. She
also heads the family's international school
and the company's CSR activities
Sharp takes
In 2008, a writer most Indians hadn't heard
of, Aravind Adiga, won the Man Booker
Prize for his first book. The White Tiger's
unflattering portrait of India as a society
racked by corruption and servitude caused a
storm. Sharpening his observations on New
India in his third book, Last Man in Tower,
Adiga tells the story of a struggle for a slice of
shining Mumbai real estate, bringing all of
Adiga's gifts for sharp social observation and
mordant wit to the fore.
Software sultan
Natarajan Chandrasekaran (47) is the
youngest chief executive to lead Tata
Consultancy Services (TCS), India's
largest software services exporter. Training
under a professional marathon runner,
Chandra has participated in marathons in six
countries and brought the aggression to TCS,
which employs over 200,000 employees and
generates Rs36,935 crore revenues a year,
Chandra, who loves Kishore Kumar songs,
now faces the oldest challenge — to increase
revenues without increasing employees.
Taciturn teller
Aditya Chopra has got immense acclaim
despite directing just three films —
Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge,
Mohabbatein and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. He
started his filmmaking career at 18 as an
assistant director, working with his father,
Yash Chopra on films like Chandni, Lamhe
and Darr. He is also the producer of a few
blockbuster movies. Known to give young and
fresh talent a chance, the director has gone a
long way in making romance a cult genre.
President, MNS
Charisma on test
Raj Thackeray’s powerful oratory laced
with theatrics helps him strike a chord
with the people during election rallies.
His anti-migrant stance, in particular, appeals
to a select section across Mumbai and the
state, where the real competition is between
the MNS and the Shiv Sena. But will Raj's
appeal translate into electoral support in the
BMC polls next year? That remains to be seen.
Home minister, Maharashtra
The safekeeper
The Maharashtra home minister may have
earned criticism following the bomb blasts
in Mumbai, but let us remember that he
was reinstated as home minister precisely
because he is known to lead from the front.
We can expect that in the coming days. Patil
had pledged to tackle the Naxals in Gadchiroli
district, and to that end, he became the
guardian minister of the district. The growth
in violence against women and skewed sex
ratio are other issues that he plans to deal
with sternly.
Dexterous &
She charmed the world when she was
crowned Miss World in 2000, shortly after
which she decided to enter Bollywood.
Her breakthrough performance came in
Madhur Bhandarkar's Fashion where she
portrayed the role of a model whose career is
on the downswing. She was appreciated for
her performance and the film even got her a
National award. Her recently released Saat
Khoon Maaf , too, earned her rave reviews
along with a couple of awards. She is amongst
the top five actresses today and the one with
the maximum films in her kitty.
Chairman & Vice-chairman, Essar Group
Winning combo
In a world where brothers spar, the Ruias are
a refreshing change. The chairman and vice
chairman of the Essar Group, respectively,
Shashi and Ravi work from the same office
that oversees the Mahalaxmi racecourse.
They have taken big bets, sparred with the
mighty, and won handsomely. Recently, they
have received over $5 billion from Vodafone
and their next round of investments will be
eagerly watched. The duo has been training
the young guns in the family to take over the
reins after them.

Six ways to pick a financial planner

Six ways to pick a financial planner
1. Understand your need: It is necessary to understand the need for approaching a financial planner. Clients should be clear about the financial goals that they need to achieve, as well as the specified areas to get expertise. Financial planning these days is no longer about fulfilling the present needs, but foreseeing the future and saving accordingly. Here arises the significance of a financial planner.

2. Ensure the credibility of your financial planner: It is advisable to cross-check whether your financial planner is licensed, credible and qualified to chart out a comprehensive financial plan that satisfies your needs. Your financial planner should be a certified financial planner (CFP) professional or CFP practitioner, CPA- PFS (certified public accountant - personal finance specialist) or a chartered financial consultant. A CPA would be good enough to deal with tax-related issues. "A financial advisor differs from a financial planner. A financial planner is registered with Financial Planning Standard Board (FPSB) India. Planners who practice under the label of CFP are competent enough to provide a broad range of financial advises and most importantly should not be agents of any products in disguise," said Rajesh Bhojani, chief executive officer, International College, Mumbai.

3. Chose an experienced CFP: One of the most important characteristic to check is the number of years he has spent managing other people's money. It is not necessary to judge him on the basis of returns, but he should be clear about the investing fundamentals and must have good knowledge about financial products that would suit one's profile. He should have the ability to forecast the needs and take calculated risks for his client, depending on his source of income and job profile. Hence, its important to know his background and credits so that you are satisfied about your money being in safe hands. According to Suresh Sadagopan, who runs Ladder 7 Financial Advisories, " it is better to talk to friends, relatives or anyone who is trustworthy for reference while choosing your financial planner. Qualification, experience and expertise matter a lot."

4. Check the pay structure: Financial planners are paid either through commission, flat rate or fees, depending on the assets or amount of work. Payment through commission means when one purchases an investment through the financial planner, some amount will be deducted from the total purchase amount and it will go directly to the planner. But one should make sure that the planner is not pushing any particular product where they get maximum commission. Under flat fees payment, they charge for charting out a comprehensive financial plan or getting an expertise in the specified area. Fees based on assets are popular ones, wherein you may pay according to the percentage of assets you invest with them.

5. Track his expertise: While choosing a CFP, it is important an investor finds what suits his needs. For instance, a person having a portfolio worth crores can afford a wealth advisor, whereas a common man may not, because the risk appetite and products suggested would differ. Selecting a CFP also depends on the fees and commissions they charge. Some CFPs hold expertise in equity, debt, real estate, or other alternative avenues such as wines and art, so money should be kept to manage only accordingly.

6. Go for a written agreement: It is always better when sensitive issues such as money matters get a legal backing. Always get an agreement in place by an authorised person, who can help you if the CFP indulges in any fraudulent activity. Even if you have faith, one must give equal importance in getting things on paper. The document must mention the services that will be rendered, commissions and fees charged, including the profit break up and loss sharing if any.

Insurance products with an innovative touch

In the last six years, the insurance sector has introduced innovative products. The wide range of products are designed as per the needs of the people. Here are some of the interesting insurance products offered by different insurers.

General insurance
Event cancellation insurance: It is designed to cover loss caused in case an event gets cancelled, relocated or postponed for defined triggers. Events like musical concerts, dance programmes, weddings and cricket matches can be covered under this product. Premium charged differs as the risk associated with each event is different. Poor weather conditions, non appearance of the performers and relocating the events due to security reason are a few triggers which may lead to cancellation of events. This insurance also covers public liability policies, where it can cover for any liability on the host or event planner for causing bodily injury or property damage to the guests at the venue. For wedding insurance, the premiums range between ¤2,200 and ¤8,200, where the cover is anywhere between ¤20 lakh and ¤73 lakh.
Card sure package policy: This covers customers of banks, financial institutions and customers from any other banking and financial service Industry (BFSI) which provide a credit, debit, ATM (automated teller machine) or any other cards launched by them. A person will be covered if he is a customer, account holder, unit holder (in case of mutual funds) or has taken loan from that respective financial institution. The policy offers combinations of coverages and the insured can opt for the relevant sections depending on the coverage requirements and limit of liability required by the insured. The premium ranges from ¤3 to ¤1000, where as the sum assured offered is from ¤10,000 to ¤50 lakh.
Critical illness: This policy insures a person against the risk of various critical illnesses like cancer, heart attack (covers only first attack), kidney failure, organ transplantation and stroke. A guaranteed sum assured is paid in case of death if the person is diagnosed with critical illness as specified by the insurance company. The premium starts from ¤800 to depending on the cover one takes. And the sum assured ranges between ¤1 lakh and ¤50 lakh. Some insurers may prefer only one time claim payment for this product. "It is better to buy a critical illness rider than a stand-alone plan as it works out cheaper because standalone policies need to be bought every year where as riders get auto renewed with base policy for term of policy," says Akshay Mehrotra, chief marketing officer,

Life insurance
VIP (Variable insurance plan): VIPs are modified form of universal life plans. VIPs ensure guaranteed returns like traditional plans. It has a more transparent charge structure as one knows the amount deducted from his premium before the balance amount is invested. In Ulips (unit-linked insurance plans) too the transparency is ensured but the benefits are market linked and hence, it depends on the market movements. In VIPs, the rate of interest is declared at the end of the year and is used to calculate the year-end fund value. "The product is good for people having a low risk appetite," Suresh Sadagopan, Ladder7 Financial Services, said.
Life stage based products (LSBP): The emergence of LSBPs ensures the fulfillment of specific customer needs falling into various age groups. Child plans and retirement plans fall under this category. Child plan covers the risk and helps parents in keeping sufficient amount for their child's future. Both, traditional and Ulip plans are available under this. Increasing longevity and rise in cost of living makes people worried about their retirement hence, making retirement products more popular. "Child plans seem to have taken off as majority of parents are keen on insuring their children and ensuring their financial security," says V Viswanand, director and head- product management, Max New York Life.
Highest NAV (net asset value) guarantee: The rising concern of the customers during the financial crisis has led to the design of such a product. It provides security against the market fluctuations. It is a typical Ulip (unit-linked insurance plan) which gives returns on the performance of the fund's NAV. Under this plan, even though the NAV is low on the maturity date, policy holder will be entitled to receive the maturity amount on the basis of highest NAV. In this plan, the fund is proportionally divided into equity and debt market. When the highest NAV under the plan is reached, it is secured by shifting equity proportion to debt and by doing so the customer will get the highest NAV on maturity. But it cannot promise a high return. People who are risk averse can opt for this plan and it is costlier than a normal Ulip.

The price of a school

is this the example we want to set for our children?

My great grandfather, Sir CP Ramaswami Aiyar, taught me never to sidestep procedures or get things done either by bribing someone or using the family name.
The campaigns launched by Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev may look bizarre to the political class, but the sad thing is that corruption, nepotism, favouritism and greed has become the biggest cancer eating away at the fabric of our society. Even children have fallen victims to the epidemic of corruption. No one can blame them because they ape their parents.
Long ago, I took the decision not to bribe anybody. I may have suffered setbacks but, in the long run, I have come through successfully, with my head held high.
We have a trust established over 100 years ago for the education of children in some of the most backward areas of Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu. Every year, over 500 girls graduate from the girls' school, but only a few enter college, as there are limited seats in girls-only colleges and rural/semi-rural families stay away from co-ed colleges. So we bought 10 acres, as per the university's requirements, in a small village, with the intention of setting up an arts and science college. We did not get any response from the government even after several months.
Finally, we were asked for Rs25 lakh for clearing the file. I and my entire board of trustees decided not to pay a single rupee as bribe. The minister informed us that since our trust was a charity, the file could be cleared if we paid Rs20 lakh. We preferred to dispose of the land, rather than pay a bribe. However, an honest bureaucrat heard of the incident and came forward to have the file cleared without any bribes.
I may have succeeded, but think of the millions who don't have any contacts. And also think of the thousands of students who are forced to discontinue their education for lack of facilities: potential Indira Gandhis, Indira Nooyis, Chanda Kochars, and Sunita Williams. When will our country be free of corruption?

This Year's Top 20 Health Conditions


This Year's Top 20 Health Conditions

A new study this year has uncovered the top 20 most commonly diagnosed health conditions by  doctors. By doing so, it offers a glimpse at our collective health and what diseases are most troublesome to us all

The top 20: 

1. Hypertension: High blood pressure, nicknamed the "silent killer." 

2. Hyperlipidemia: This is high cholesterol, which puts your heart at great risk. 

3. Diabetes: One of the most prevalent health problems, often caused by obesity. 

4. Back pain: The definitive most-common type of pain. 

5. Anxiety: Far and away the biggest psychological ailment.

6. Obesity: An epidemic now for decades. 

7. Allergic rhinitis: Known as hay fever, it can impair quality of life considerably. 

8. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): GERD is more commonly known as acid reflux or even heartburn.

9. Respiratory problems: These include bronchitis, emphysema and the severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. 

10. Hypothyroidism: Low levels of thyroid hormones being produced. 

11. Visual refractive errors: Your eye is not focusing light on the retina properly. 

12. Osteoarthritis: The world's biggest cause of joint pain.

13. Fibromyalgia/myositis, neuritis: Pain that is widespread and difficult to treat. 

14. Malaise and fatigue: Needs no description. 

15. Joint pain: This can arrive from many causes in many locations. 

16. Acute laryngopharyngitis: In this condition, an inflamed throat causes severe soreness. 

17. Acute sinusitis: Inflamed sinuses cause serious congestion. 

18. Major depressive disorder: Depression is unfortunately a big part of society. 

19. Acute bronchitis: Bronchitis itself, marked by a hacking cough, is a big complaint.

20. Asthma: Rates of this breathing problem are increasing, with pollution and poor air contributing.

Nearly half of Indians currently live with at least one chronic condition, such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death for both men and women ., but it doesn't have to be this way. We can all live better, watch for signs of problems, and do what we can to help our beating hearts.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Gatari Cocktail गटारीसाठी कॉकटेल

कल्हुआ: ही क़ॉफी फ्लेवर असलेली मेक्सीकन लिक्युर आहे.
बेलीज आयरीश क्रीम: ही आयरीश व्हिस्की आणि क्रीम (साय) बेस्ड लिक्युर आहे.
ह्या दोन्ही लिक्युर 'ऑन दि रॉक्स' सुद्धा घेउ शकता. फारच भारी चाव असते.

प्रकार: वोडका बेस्ड, क्लासिक कॉकटेल

वोडका - 1 औस
कल्हुआ - 1 औस
बेलीज आयरीश क्रीम - 0.5 औस
क़ॉफी बीन्स - 2-3 (सजावटी करीता)
ग्लास - ओल्ड फॅशन

ग्लासमधे ¾ भरेल असे बर्फाचे खडे घ्या. त्यावर अनुक्रमे वोडका आणि कल्हुआ ओतुन घ्या. कॉकटेल स्पूनने व्यवस्थित स्टर करून घ्या. आता कॉकटेल स्पूनच्या एका टोकावरून बेलीज आयरीश क्रीम ओघळून ग्लासात आतल्या बाजूला अगदी चिकटून सोडा. बेलीज आयरीश क्रीमचे ढग वोडका आणि कल्हुआ च्या मिश्रणावर जमा व्हायला हवेत. (आयरीश क्रीम कल्हुआ पेक्षा हलके असल्यामुळॆ वर तरंगते). आता कॉफी बीन्स सजावटी साठी टाका. व्हाइट रशिअन तयार Smile


ह्या कॉकटेल मधे बेलीज आयरीश क्रीम वगळले तर त्या कॉकटेलला ब्लॅक रशिअन कॉकटेल म्हणतात. तेही एक क्लासिक ह्या प्रकारात मोडणारे कॉकटेल आहे. पण मला बेलीज आयरीश क्रीम भयंकर आवडते त्यामुळे व्हाइट रशिअन माझे आवडते कॉकटेल आहे.

Mojito (mo-HEE-to, मोहितो).

Mojito (mo-HEE-to, मोहितो).

Mojito 1

मोहितो कुठे आणि कोणि शोधले हा वादाचा मुद्दा आहे. हे एक क्युबन क़ॉकटेल आहे हे मत मी स्विकारून माझ्यापुरता वाद संपवला आहे Smile
उन्हाळ्यात, रणरणत्या उन्हाच्या काहिलीवर हा रामबाण उपाय (उतारा म्हणू का ? Wink)

व्हाइट रम - 2 औस
लिंबाचे लहान तुकडे(फोडी) - 4-5
ब्राउन शुगर - एक चमचा (दुसरा पर्याय: पीठी साखर)
पुदीन्याची ताजी पाने - 8
लिंबाचा रस - 0.5 औस
शुगर सिरप - 0.5 औस
बर्फ - बारीक तुकडे केलेले (क्रश्ड आइस)
ग्लास - कोलीन्स असल्यात उत्तम

ग्लासमधे लिंबाचे तुकडे(फोडी), ब्राउन शुगर आणि पुदीना (5 पाने) टाकून ते चेचावे.
(चेचण्याच्या प्रक्रियेला मड्ल (Muddle) म्हणतात. चेचल्यामुले पुदीन्याचे फ्लेवर सुटुन एक आगळीच फ्रेश चव येते)
आता रम, शुगर सिरप, लिंबाचा रस त्यावर ओता. बर्फाने ग्लास भरून घ्या. कॉकटेल स्पूनने व्यवस्थित स्टर
(ह्या, 'ढवळा' हे कसेसेच वाटतेय म्हणून स्टरच Smile ) करा. ग्लासच्या उरलेल्या जागेत सोडा टाकून ग्लास टॉप अप करा. उरलेली 3 पुदीन्याची पाने सजावटीकरीता ग्लासच्या कडेला लावा. मोहितो तयार.

मोहितो 2

Mumbai city’s popular street food

To keep in step with
Mumbaikars who are
always on the move, the
city’s popular street food
is typically consumed on
the go, without frills, and
yet manages to offer a
paisa vasool experience.
Puja Pednekar rustles
up a list
1 Misal Pav
Most Mumbaikars swear by
this Maharashtrian traditional
dish with a Gujarati
twist. Authentic misal is
never served with Gujarati
farsan, but rice flakes. But
in Mumbai, the misal is never
complete without the
farsan. In many joints, it is
served without its typical
katachi aamti (curry). Misal
is classified into Kolhapuri
Misal, which is hotter
and spicier than Puneri
missal. Then there is the
Farali Misal, which includes
peanuts to balance
the spicy taste.
WHERE TO EAT: Mamledar Kacheri,
Powai, and Prakash at Shivaji Park are
the best places to have misal pav. You
could also try at Lalbagh’s Ladu Samrat
2 Samosa Bhel
What do you get when you
mix the all-time favourite
chaat and everyone’s
favourite fried food item?
It’s samosa bhel. This new
entry on the street foods list
is catching on fast. The
unique combo is prepared
by breaking a samosa into
pieces and adding puffed
rice, sev and green and
tamarind chutneys. This
sweet-and-sour evening
snack is a treat for the taste
buds and a good source of
WHERE TO EAT: The Bhel Puri House
on Picket Road in south Mumbai is the
best place to enjoy samosa-bhel.
Roadside stalls at Nariman Point also
serve this unique chaat. Recently, DP’s
at Matunga added it to their menu
5 Chicken / Veg Manchurian
No Chinese national would
ever recognise the
“Chinese” food
served at the
road stalls
in the city.
chicken or
tops the list,
chopsuey and
chowmein are not far behind.
WHERE TO EAT: All roadside Chinese
stalls are the best places to dig into
3 Dabeli Vada pav is passé;. Dabeli is the latest best
food-on-the-run. This Gujarati snack is
now available at almost all street corners.
Lightly toasted buns are filled with a mixture
of mashed potato mixed with
peanuts, onion, spices, sugar and pomegranates,
to give a sweet-and-spicy taste. The
bun is finally garnished with sev.
WHERE TO EAT: The best dabeli is inarguably outside Mithibai College in Vile
Parle (West) and near Andheri (West) station.
4 Kande Pohe
This healthy Maharashtrian
breakfast has made big
on the streets of Mumbai.
Easy to make, this food
item has a tradition attached
to it. In a Maharashtrian
arranged marriages,
when the boy’s family visits
the girl’s home for the first
time only kande pohe is
WHERE TO EAT: Kolhapuri Chivda,
Panshikar, Tambe in Girgaum, Mama
Kane, Prakash at Dadar are some of the
best places to eat catch a plate of
steaming hot Pohe. But there is no
place better than home to try this dish,
with a cup of chai.
6 Baida Roti
While fine dining at the Hotel Taj Mahal Palace is every
Mumbaikar’s dream, the tantalising aroma of sheekh
kababs, boti and baida roti that fills the air behind the heritage
hotel lures all. Every evening until early morning,
Mumbai throngs to Bade Miya to savour the original Hyderabadi
dish, baida roti. The roti is dipped in egg and fried
and can be eaten with chicken, mutton or any vegetable.
WHERE TO EAT: Bade Miya behind Hotel Taj Mahal Palace at Colaba is the best
place to get this sizzling hot dish. You can also try baida roti at Café Noorani in
Haji Ali; Gilani Fast Food on Pakmodiya Estate, near Saifee Ambulance


Letter writers
BM Rane’s ‘office’ is a tiny shed in
front of the General Post Office (GPO)
at CST. The 75-year-old man has been
making a living by writing letters and
filling postal forms for the last 35
Letter writers, as they are called,
are being phased out by the technology
“Now people have mobile phones
and do you think they will come to us,
asking us to write a letter? People
rarely send money orders as there are
ATMs,” says Rane.
From a group of around 17 writers,
they have reduced to just seven and
many of them, just like Rane are on
the verge of retirement.
Letter writers have been writing
letters for a meagre Rs5 to Rs20. After
the invasion of mobiles and Internet,
the letter writers are struggling to
make a living.
“This is business and an honest
one. Money was always there and that
was enough to raise my family. My
three sons are independent now, capable
to take care of their families,”
he says.
“The only reason I come here, even
on Sundays, is that I can’t rest at
home. But work or no work, I have to
continue till I retire,” adds Rane.
The original residents of this city, the
fishermen who follow the traditional
way of fishing, are facing a business
Many of them are turning their
backs to fishing as it is no longer a
profit-making business.
“Pollution of creeks, encroachments
on koliwadas and efforts to
drive us out of our original residence
had an adverse impact
on our community
and business as well,” says
Rambhau Patil, president
Maharashtra Macchimar
Kruti Samiti.
“Think of the industrialisation
and the sewage
released into the sea. How
can a small fisherman survive
as he cannot sail in to
deep sea?”
Areas such as Sion,
Mahim, Khar, Gorai and Colaba,
where a sizeable number of fishing
community lives, are facing similar
The fishermen are struggling to
compete with the huge and advanced
fishing ships and trawlers which can
easily move into the deep sea. This
has led to the decrease in the number
of fish coming to the shore.
“Small-scale fishing, right from
Gorai to Colaba, has been hit. The
fishing business and the community
are getting displace, slowly but surely,”
says Patil.
Grade 4 staff
What is the difference between a bank
office now and those 10 years ago?
There are hardly any peons in these
offices now.
“The bank offices needed peons to
transfer files from one desk to another,
arranging them, transferring
cheques and cash. Peons would even
open the office and give tea to other
employees,” says Mahesh Bobhate, an
office bearer of a labour union in the
But the situation has changed drastically.
“Now, it has become a file-free office
and all offices have private security
guards. Now, the employees get
tea breaks. Cash transactions in
banks have reduced with the mushrooming
of automated teller machines
(ATMs) in the city,” he says.
With the exception of a few offices,
the fourth grade employees are a
disappearing tribe.
Naushad Husain,
63, (in picture)
from cataract
but never misses
his routine
visit to the footpath
in front of
the Brihanmumbai
Corporation headquarters.
This footpath has been his workplace
for last 21 years and he uses his Italian-
made typewriter to type on the
stamp paper. “Is it more than two
pages? No, no! I can’t do it,” he says.
Then turning his head towards you,
he will explain: “I have become too
old to concentrate now.”
Godrej and Boyce, the country’s
only seller of manual typewriters,
has only a handful of pieces for sale
as there is no demand. The typist and
the mechanic of this machine will
be out of work because of this.
“This is the age of computers. I
used to make almost Rs400 to Rs500 a
day till 2000. Not possible now, for obvious
reasons,” he says.
Husain does not rely on mechanics
to repair his typewriter because not
many are left in the city.
In 1981, the Mantralaya had 35 typewriter
mechanics. The number is now
five. After these mechanics retire,
typewriters and typists will vanish
from the government offices as well.
Mill workers
This profession is almost dead, vanished
and non-existent. The worker,
who in seventies and eighties ruled
Mumbai and its politics, is fighting
for his rights.
Today much of the mill land has
been sold, mills have shut and workers
and their families are left to
starve. In many mills, the owners
have stopped paying wages.
“It is a disaster. Mill workers lost
their jobs. They have families to look
after and other responsibilities,” says
Datta Iswalkar, union leader of Mill
Workers’ union.
Mill land have been sold and developed
in the name of revival and
modernisation and mill owners have
been pocketing the money without
doing either. Workers were being denied
any right to the land.
“Unfortunately, we are still fighting
for our legitimate rights. Have
you ever seen a struggle that continued
for more than 20 years without
getting anything? Those who sold
mill lands are not facing any hardships
like we do. We strongly feel that
the government should solve the issue,”
Iswalkar adds.
Few mills have survived the rampant
selling of mill lands.
These mills, though, are almost
non-functional as owners are waiting
for all workers to retire and many of
the workers have been asked to take
voluntary retirement.
The demands on a textile mill policy
has two aspects — the need for a
proper policy framework for the running
of textile mills and the utilisation
of mill land for the benefit of
workers and textile mills.

Poster painters
Mumbai’s single-screen theatres
might not attract the new-age crowd
but its audience was once the pulse of
Bollywood films.
The movie posters put up on the
theatres’ walls used to be hand-painted
by artists until digital prints replaced
them two decades ago.
Billboard artist Lucas Mondal, 59,
found himself out of work.
“I had been risking my life for
years, standing on scaffoldings in the
sun without food or water for hours.
But the prospect of unemployment
was worse,” says Mondal, who was
forced to take up a job of painting
signboards in the Gulf. “The money
was good but the desire to paint film
posters refused to go away.”
The artists find it difficult to face the
challenge posed by technology in
terms of money and time. Now, a producer
or a distributor opts for digital
There were more than 300 such
painters who used to paint film posters
for a living, but now only a handful remains.
Those who have stuck around
have found ways to deal with the situation.
Some of them are now recreating
the Bollywood magic on clothes, accessories,
furniture, wedding cards,
walls and even garage shutters.
Artist Vijay Kumar says some
artists have had their work displayed
in museums and film festivals in England
and Austria, while some have
been invited to conduct workshops
and lectures in European universities.
The art which was once the most
important part of film’s publicity has
faded with time. These artists may
not paint a new Bollywood film’s
poster, but their paintings will remain
an art form which was once the
film industry’s identity.

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