Dog Bite

Well another sad but interesting event. There used to be a very bid dog in the house just infront and right to our house. There was a teacher in that (she is still there with his sons now) and as a kid I used to go to their house. On that eventful day, they had put a plate with some food for the dog. The dog was not able to reach it and it was trying desperately. Then came the kindest person on lawspet, Mr.Simon to help the dog. I went straight picked up the plate and tried to keep it near the dog. The dog took it otherwise and thought that I was all set to steal it. It gave a bite on my hand and I still have the marks (though slowly fading off). My father came home and took me to GH casuality where a nurse injected a needle and she seemed to be more bothered about the dog than me as she kept on enquiring about it. Finally my father had to monitor the dog and me for a week and then they were happy that the dog was normal. I quite did not understand why they were worried about the welfare of the dog.

Burnt on Diwali

I still remember that day. It was the next day after Diwali. I was supposed to visit my grandma who was living next street to ours. On the way, I found an unburnt cracker on the roadside. I stopped, picked it up and went on my way. As soon as I reached my grandma’s house I took a paper, and tried to get the chemicals out of the cracker (many should have by now realised what I was up to). Then after emptying the cracker off its stuff, I went on to fetch a matchbox. I took a stick out and ignited it. I tried to place it on the paper, but it would not burn. So I looked down and brought the fire closer. There was a buzz and all I saw was a while light and soon it was dark completely. I felt a gush of pain on my eyes. I started yelling and my grandma came at once. I ran towards the bathroom and had my hand dipped in a bucket of water there. But the pain would not subside. I was crying all the while. Then my grandma actually carried me if i remember correctly (or put me in my cycle and used it to sort of carry me) to my house. I was put on a table in the center of the house and I still remember how bad I felt having to go to school with all the bandages in my head and hand. For many years the marks were on my hand and still there is one on my forehead. Hmm learning the hard way…

Mumbai Express

If you had read the Chandramukhi review, you might have learnt that it is more suited for those who are not Rajni fans. Going by that ‘Mumbai Express’ is not suited for you if you are a Kamal fan or even if you not, but only if you are a ‘Pasupathi’ fan. The story, screenplay are by Kamal and that shows why inspite of the direction of ‘Singheetam Srinivasan’, the director of the famous ‘Pesum padam’, the film is rubbish to say the least. The story/screenplay is not good enough for a film. May be if it had been taken as a drama there is a possiblity that it could have succeeded. Still if you wonder why it is rated 2nd or 3rd in the Top 10 Movies, the reason is not because of this film, but because of others that were released with this (except for Chandramukhi).
Kamal is usually an excellent actor of comedy with his timing being perfect, not so in this film. What is worse is that pasupathi had done a job twice as good as what Kamal has done. I am an ardent Kamal fan and I tried my best to explain to my wife that the film is after all really good. I tried telling her that it is a jolly film, but it was not so. Then I tried telling her that it is more of a children’s film, but that failed when we had so much of ‘Medhavi thanams’ like Manisha being a mistress which are totally unnecessary for this film. Everyone except pasupathi and to some extent vaiyapuri seem to be always in a state of sleepiness, especially the boy who Kamal kidnaps. Can’t in this whole big India he get a better child artist than that boy.
The best comedy is not in the film, but in an interview with Kamal when he said that the film will be more entertaining than MunnaBhai MBBS. I can confidently say it is no where near it. But I have some good points to make about the film. Kamal, considering him as an actor has done a good role in framing the dialogues. Also knowingly or unknowingly he has given a greater role to Pasupathi who had taken it to his advantage. I never knew such talents lay hidden in him when he was always given roles where he was meant only to shout at the top of his voice ‘Yei’ (Refer Sullan and another film where Sivaji Ganesan’s peraandi had acted).

Rating :: 30/100

Chandramuki

It is a long time since I reviewed a film.But the tamil new year saw films from both the greatest heores of tamil industry, Kamal and Rajni, each being great due to completely different reasons. I am starting with Chandramukhi. The film could have better started with a statuatory warning “Not for Rajni Fans”. Just because after a loooooooooong time, we are having a movie where Rajni acts rather than a Rajni movie.
The story and much of the screenplay is a high quality Xerox copy of the malayalam film ‘Mani Chitra Vaazhu’ which got shobana a National award. The film revolves around Jyothika, wife of Prabu. She is a split personality and imitates ‘Chandramukhi’ who was once a dancer and was killed by a king ‘Vetayan’. Otherwise Jyothika is normal and she is also not aware of her other personality. Rajni comes as a phychatrist and how he saves Jyothika putting his own life in danger is the rest of the story. The film is really good and the flow is also very well controlled. There are no boring scenes and long-time-nothing-happens sort of delay in the film. The songs are really good and worth hearing again and again. Job well done by Vidyasagar. Vaasu’s direction and the art direction is also good. Vadivelu has done an excellent job with Rajni in the comedy section which keeps the film alive and entertaining, though there are a few adult jokes. The film is a family entertainer and from kids to grandpa everyone will enjoy it.
Jyothika has done a wonderful job. Though she has shobana for inspiration it still required quite some effort from her to portray Chandramukhi in the climax scenes. But for her, the climax would have become a comedy affair. Now coming to the Rajni fans, I can tell you confidently that most of them will be dissappointed, especially because the introduction scene for Rajni and the accompanying fight is so good that one expects a lot of such things and punch dialogues in the entire film, but find them missing. It is very hard to have a very good story going and also conforming to the ‘Rajni Fans Requirement Specification Version 10.0.1″. In the end it was decided that the story will be given preference but still give room for some Rajni-only-doable scenes. That is where they have amended the screenplay of the malayalam original where Mohanlal comes only after half of the film is over.
I can safely say that if you are not a Rajni fan that it is a must see as you may probably never see such a wonderful Rajni movie in your life time devoid of all his usual stupidities. But if you are an ardant Rajni fan, then may be you should leave the theatre once the introduction scene is over and come back and enjoy the climax.

Rating :: 80/100

Personal Finance – Intro

I really don’t know when such a thing happened to me. My only hobby now seems to be ‘Personal finance’ if you could leave anything related to cricket. I have gone to such an extent that I am able to easily advice others in this. But this hobby is helping me in my life very much. But the only person who is affected because of it is my wife. Whenever I understand something new, I never forget to explain it to my wife and she is the only person who will be willing to hear such things and try to understand as much as possible. In the end she would say, “I don’t need to worry anything related to money.” I started it because I could not help being surprised by one Mr.Iyer Vidhyashankaran’s knowledge on tax. He was also like any other employee of Honeywell, but somehow he seemed to know far ahead of others related to tax and savings. Then I started to read about it all during my after-work hours and slowly I began to understand that it was not that difficult. And after quite some study that included anything related to personal finance from PPF to mutual funds, investing in shares to trend trading, credit cards to portfolio allocation and diversifaction, gold funds, MMFs, realty funds, Pure term insurance cover’s advantage etc, I was able to spot mistakes in what Iyer was saying.
The best application of my knowledge came when I decided to take life cover. I approached LIC agent and he came up with an impressive PDF with my name in it and all the schemes that he wanted me to be involved. It also quoted how much I would receive at the end of 5 yrs, 10 yrs, 15,16, etc. I was thoroughly impressed and decided to shell out 3300 Rupees monthly (Close to 40k per year) on it. Then in only of my evening classes in personal finance I came upon the drawbacks of putting lot of money in insurance and of using insurance as a saving mechanism. So i went ahead and opted for a endowment plan where I needed to spend only 12K per annum and i would get the money that I put in at the end of the term. That seemed ok and so I signed the deal with the agent. After just only a few days, I learnt that in Life insurance the best is the ‘Term Policy’ where you get insured for a high value for a very less annual payment, but you forgo all your money if you were to stay alive. I called my agent and asked him to change my policy to pure term policy. As expected he did not approve of it (as he will not get a good commission out of term policies). Still I asked him to go with it and so I ended up with a life cover of 10 Lakhs for just 2800 per year. I later learnt that atleast one third of my first year’s payment goes to the agent and that is why he was pushing me for a 40k per year scheme.
Tasting the first success, I evalutated how much putting the remaining money that I saved in PPF will give me and I was startled at what I learnt, The money was cooly double of what I would have got if I  had gone with LIC. Such a difference with just a little thought (we all know PPF is very safe an investment). Only then I learnt that I had not even known of PPF a year before that. That left me with a thought to ponder. We work day-in and day-out for our monthly salary of X rupees, but give no thoughts on where to put it for investment. A simple mistake means for the full term of say 25 years we are going to lose half of that money. Something like earning X/2 in the place of X. Terrible!!! and then I understood that there is no regular classes or anything like that to educate people on personal finance. Then I started looking more carefully and found that many were dealing with problems of credit card debts and were trying to save for Tax. What would have been left unnoticed by me a year ago seeemed like utter stupidity now. Then I felt lot of gratitude to the guys who had taken steps to put such articles on the web. I felt that as a benefactor, I should do something to help others. So with the help of a website, I created the Tax Planner for 2005-2006. I have it with me and if someone needs it he/she can mail to simon.peter@rediffmail.com. I am also obliged to give the website address that have helped me to uncover many personal finance mysteries.
icicidirect.com
rediff.com – getahead – money
smartmoney.com – tradecraft
personalfn.com
pruicici.com – university
myiris.com
equitymaster.com
to name a few. If there is any query you can also contact me at my mail address. I will do my best to give an answer.