How to tackle Pak?

There was once a King who set out from his palace, in disguise, to visit all corners of his kingdom, in order to find out the living conditions of his subjects and get an idea on their welfare.

He went to many a place, and spoke to the people living there. But all this while, his mind was pre-occupied with a problem he was facing in his kingdom. The wall (fortress) around the kingdom was in urgent need of repair and was broken in some places. Intruders could attack at any time. At the same time, a gang of bandits were harassing the people in another part of his kingdom. He was not sure which of these problems he had to tackle first.

As he was strolling through the village with these thoughts in mind, he came across a farmer building a wall made of wooden sticks around his field. But he also noticed that there were a lot of weeds eating into his crop. He enquired with the farmer regarding this. The farmer replied, “I can remove the weeds in my field anytime, but if a horde of cattle strays into my field then there will be no crop left for me to use”. This simple answer from the farmer gave the King the solution to the problem he had been facing.

The above story was just an analogy to a very similar problem we are facing.

Likewise, our immediate priority must to strengthen our border with our neighbor. This has to be tackled in a very concrete manner. It could be done by building an impregnable fortress around the regions’ which are most susceptible to attacks.

One more option would be to plant landmines and trespassing detectors to identify any intrusion and set up border check posts and garrisons in strategic positions and modernize the border security forces (both Land and Sea).

As the famous saying goes “Prevention is always better than Cure”, we need to improve and modernize the intelligence department of our defense forces to anticipate and preempt any plausible attacks.

Beef-up the security at all major international ports and modernize these entry points.

Identify and educate the narrow minded people of our country who provide logistic, monetary or moral support to these extremists. 

Provide education, healthcare, employment and equal rights to all sections of the people in the valley and connect the state with the heartland.

Last but not the least, Improve the public relations between the two countries and make the people of these countries realize the fact that not so long ago, we were all part of one of the same great nation, Hindustan.


Ghajini Review

First the good part-Aamir Khan has done a good job in Ghajini. Even though he has fewer dialogues than most of the other actors, his performance stands out as the very disturbed man dying to revenge his girlfriend’s death and for his current mental state. But this is not one of his greatest performance by any standards. 

Asin has made her mark as a promising actress, showing that she has potential for good roles.

Plot-wise this is a typical vengeance movie with a different approach,loosely based on the Hollywood movie Memento and a remake of  a Tamil Super-hit movie by the same name.

The bad part: Music lets you down. The Tamil version had amazing music which are popular even now though the movie was released almost 3 years ago.A.R Rehman has lost his magical touch this year with forgettable music scores.

Jiah Khan playing a medical student  could have put more life into her role, she falls short of her Tamil version counterpart played by Nayantara.

But the movie doesn’t bore you the way other movies would, due to a good screenplay and narration .The 3 long hours doesn’t seem to stretch a lot.

All and all, watch it if you have nothing worthwhile to do. But if you have already viewed the Tamil version then its better to skip this one.

Kavya Madhavan-Kerala’s own

One more heartbreak. One more love lost. She’s never going to turn around.

I am not lamenting about some tragic love tale here. I am just stating the truth and thousands will consent to this.

Yes, Its confirmed. The pearl of Mollywood-Kavya Madhavan is stepping into married life very soon.

One of the most beautiful and loveable star of the southern film industry, Kavya Madhavan will soon leave indian soil to settle down in a distant land with an NRI.Nischal Chandra, a technical advisor  for National Bank of Kuwait is the lucky groom.

Kavya Madhavan is a household name in Kerala-God’s Own Country. She rose to fame quite early in her film career and has been paired will all the Major film Stars in Mollywood, be it Mammotty ,Mohanlal or Dileep.

Some of her major hits include Meesa Madhavan,Claassmates,Lion,Runway,Chandranudhikkunna Dikkil to name a few.

She also played a role in the recent blockbuster Twenty 20.

But she looked her gorgeous best in the Movie  “Anandabhadram”.

I dont know whether its due to the the camera work(incidentally, it was a Santhosh Sivan movie, who is well known for his picture perfect cinemotography) or her make-up man, but she truly looked like a Godess right out of the image in a temple.

Probably one of the main reason for her success could be attributed to the fact that she is more traditional looking than most of the other leading ladies.Also the fact that she stuck to Malayalam film Industry when most of the heroines were trying their luck in other states made cine lovers appreciate her more and this won her more hearts. But I guess the bug catches up with one and all, and Kavya too ventured into movies of other languages.

Nevertheless, Kavya Madhavan is getting married in March and will probably quit cinema for good. Well, that has been the sad story of all the leading ladies of the film industry in general.

Kavya Madhavan has a handful of films to complete before she gets married and sadly these might be the last of the movies  where we could see her dazzle on the silver screen.

So here’s wishing Kavya Madhavan all the very best for her forthcoming movies and for her happy married life.

In the end, what do we say except  “Wherever you go, whatever you do, please do not forget your admirers”.


kavya Madhavan-Kerala's own

kavya Madhavan-Kerala's own

Boom Boom Retail

The Indian retail bubble is growing and how.The widely untapped sector and the most unreliable of them all is retail.Well, worldwide it is already an ancient market but in
India it’s very young.
Not that it was not an unknown fore, but an uncertain one afar.
India traditionally being a conservative country wherein we purchase what is needed and replenish only after the last one is used.But, this sector became an eye opener to entrepreneurs and business czars alike.Its even part of the case studies in many management institutes as well.Kishore Biyani tested the waters when he came up with the pantaloon retail Shoppe in the late 80-90’s.Even then traders and market analysts were skeptical about this and were vouching for the traditional shop next door philosophy for the Indian consumers.The world was watching. But KB never looked back and spawned shops after shops and opened the First Big Bazaar in
Calcutta and rest is history.
The trend started by KB is been packaged and marketed by everyone with money to spin. With multi-facility malls mushrooming in every street and providing all entertainment under one roof, the mall/supermarket culture is here to stay.The impulsive buying syndrome has hit the Indian consumer like no other thing in recent times.Big Bazaar, Central, E-zone are some of the outlets opened under the Pantaloon family.Big Bazaar currently has 29 outlets and counting rapidly. The people who banked on KB are having a ball at the boom.But KB has barely scratched the surface. The opportunity is out there in the open and everyone is trying hard to have a share of the pie that’s retail.Wal-mart will be opening their first outlet by 2008 through a JV with Bharti.Reliance has already opened its store ‘Reliance fresh’ in a few cities on a trail basis, but they have already planned for expansion on a massive scale.Tata, Birla and alike are also getting ready with their foray into the market.

With all these and many more coming in, its glee time for consumers and retailers alike.







The eternal question: What is Love? A Satire

They say love shows your vulnerable side, your weakness even.

But some say otherwise. It rather brings out your side which was hidden somewhere deep inside you. It puts your resilience to the test. We have seen people crumbling under the stress that is called love, and people who have stood the test of time and risen higher.  

But all said and done the experience does give you the much needed energy to move on and accept whatever your life has to offer.

So what is that answer to the eternal question: What is Love?

Some define it as experience like never before. It is the union of the hearts. Your heart beats for the one you love, they say.

But isn’t heart beat an involuntary function. How can it have a mind of its own?

They say your body become intoxicated and you won’t be able to think logically.But doesn’t booze and dope give the same affect?

They say you become selfless when you are in love.But isn’t selflessness for him/her in turn makes you selfish for that person.

You even get sleepless nights. But doesn’t every other problem give you that.

So how do you uniquely define Love and its attributes?There are plenty of debates and arguments on this topic.It is the most common topic on which most of the movies play around with.But that too is based on personal experience of the people involved or from some books.

But finally it boils down to the individual who feels this experience.Ergo, it would be better if we experience this eternal bliss on our own and get the knowledge than go for hearsay. 


Shot one. The actor Colin Firth sits at a desk, hands clasped, wearing a long- sleeved T-shirt as dazzlingly white as Britney’s teeth.Shot two. Open-mouthed, Colin looks as though someone has just poured a cup of cold coffee over his head. Someone has.Shot three. Coffee coming in torrents now.Shot four. Coffee slows to a trickle. Colin scrapes his sodden hair out of his eyes.This is what a celebrity with a conscience faces nowadays. And Firth is not the only one to suffer. To promote Oxfam’s Make Trade Fair campaign, Jamelia agreed to be buried in feathers, Coldplay’s Chris Martin said yes to a mountain of rice, and Antonio Banderas sat under a shower of corn kernels. To be strictly truthful, the kernels were more of a trickle than a deluge, but he hammed it up like an am-dram veteran. Firth was trying to underline the point that 25 million coffee growers face ruin because they don’t get a decent price for their crop. Martin’s ordeal by rice stressed that the

US government pays farmers $1bn a year to overproduce rice and dump the surplus at rock-bottom prices in poor countries. Jamelia’s feather bath was to publicise the way poor countries are smothered, losing $2 through trade for every dollar in aid they receive. The interesting question is not so much why these celebrities do what they do for campaigns such as Make Poverty History and Make Trade Fair, but why we expect them to do it before we pledge our money. Now, who doesn’t know the most famous sport star on earth, David Beckham? His transfer to Real Madrid was more for his superstar power than his skills (no offence intended here, his soccer skills are legendary).But the Sponsors thought otherwise. Within an hour of singing him officially in

Madrid around 700 jerseys with beckham’s name was sold. This is the star power we are talking about. Celebrity endorsement of brands is not a new thing even in

India. Previously, it was mainly done for charitable funding publicity. But with time and as brands got market recognition, made its way into households throughout the country and became popular it was not long before the marketing guys thought about maintaining their stronghold with the masses by roping in a happening star, may it be from show biz or from the world of sports, or for that matter from any field in which the celebrity has made his mark.  But the main thing that mattered was clinching the right celebrity for the right brand for the right market at the right time and with a right campaign. The basic principle was to get hold of the stars before your competitors got to them first.But getting the star was one thing. Getting an appropriate script for them is another.It can not be just another script where the star is just part of the campaign like a professional ad model promoting the brand. It had more to do with the star value and his attributes, and how it would blend in a way so that the public could relate the brand to him as soon as they see the brand on media and creating such an appropriate script.  Let’s take for instance the case of Sachin Tendulkar.He is one of the icons of his generation.As the saying goes “If cricket was a religion, Sachin would be God”. To endorse him as a brand ambassador is a great thing. He has talent matched only by a few. But to put his skills into play for promoting a brand is not like playing a simple straight drive on field. First of all he is not an actor profession. So, it has to be something related to what he does or something which will make the people visualize him as the perfect brand ambassador for such a brand. Since we know he is the master of the game we can accept his reasoning when he suggests us to go for a certain brand. Say, in the case of Pepsi as Prahlad kakkar the famous ad film maker said “Sachin should not represent Pepsi, but Pepsi should represent Sachin, The script should not be such as to make him do some nondescript act .It has to suit his personality and his work”. Celebrities like Sachin are not actors by nature. So the script should make them look natural and at the same time make the people accept him with the brand. But the trend is such that it doesn’t matter if you have a Sachin Tendulkar, ShahRukh Khan or Amitabh Bachan, what matters is the promise the companies make to people through their publicity campaign. It would not make sense if the brand had nothing to do with the ad featuring a celebrity and the film he acts in.As ShahRukh Khan says” We don’t have the time to check out if the brand is a reputed one or follows quality standards, we just endorse brands which we think are renowned or well-known or which we think can be used often”. Quite true as one won’t expect ShahRukh Khan to endorse something in which he would be out of place. Similarly, Thums-Up the local brand of the big brother Coca Cola made a tremendous boost in its profits with the grow up to Thums-up campaign with Salman Khan. It was surprising to know that the local brand made more profits than the international brand. But Pepsi led the Cola Market with Thums-Up following close behind and Coke bringing up the rear.   But the question is whether the dividends are really due to the star power these celebrities carry along with them or the creativity the ad film makers dig out for these campaigns. Does the endorsement really work in the long run? It is a very difficult question to answer. There are a lot of factors that decides the market stability of a brand. The companies current share value in the market, its quality standards, etc.This is with respect to the brand. If the celebrity does not have the same star power as he did when he endorsed the brand then it might lose face value, and that too if the celebrity had a superstar status not so long ago. Sometimes companies are quick to drop celebrity endorsers when the celebrity gets caught in a sticky situation. Kobe Bryant’s endorsement deals are up in the air while Michael Jackson’s latest legal issues will make it practically impossible for him to gain sponsors for his tours and endorsements as well.Companies have to make quick decisions when one of their endorsers comes under fire or their own image could be tarnished. Guilty by association in a consumer’s eyes describes it best. Magic Johnson lost his endorsement deals when he announced in 1991 that he’s HIV-positive. It wasn’t until July 2003 that he landed his first endorsement deal since the announcement. Similar was the case with Thums-Up not so long ago. Superstar Salman Khan was arrested for his alleged shooting of the endangered species Black Buck. They were quick to drop him as their brand ambassador although he was the key for their whopping sales in
India. This kind of risk is very plausible with celebrities everywhere.           We have a very old saying in the brand arena which goes “Product without publicity is like winking a girl in the dark”. Nowadays the trend is such that we can rephrase the saying as “Product without a celebrity is like winking a girl in the dark”.The competition is really heating up in the market. Nowadays the people are very brand conscious. This has helped in way for the marketing managers to go for a celebrity who is media savvy and fashionable.  But looking forward, brand publicity has never been so mature. Brand Publicity market is predicted to grow by 120 percent. This means more money inflow which will give the marketing managers more freedom for their campaign, which means they can go shopping for celebrities. Ultimately it the consumer who gives the final verdict on what is hot or not. ’Costumer is always right’ holds good here. As a final note we can look at the brighter side. Since the market is so competitive the companies will not only look for star power but will also develop new and better brands to match it, which consumers can look forward to.     All said and done we, the consumers can sit back, relax and watch how the marketing gurus’ fight it out for celebrities to endorse their brands and reap the benefits.It is getting bigger and better day by day. 

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