Saturday, May 26, 2012

Voted to kill

Licensed to kill is associated with James Bond and we saw him kill the bad guys and gals. Now if one wants to see those voted to kill then please come to God's Own Country aka Kerala.

Just today we heard one of the communist chota leader from Peerumade tell us that the great party has killed and will kill again if needed. And to imagine that these goons were voted to power by the common man. Are the police listening? Cant they arrest this man and charge him for the murders he is publicly owning in the name of the party? Are we in a Banana Republic?

Voted to power to uplift the voters but now they say that they were voted to even kill. I do not think that it is only the communist party who has indulged in this act but the others too. But it is only the communist party who has blatantly challenged democracy by saying that they have killed and will continue to kill.

If they can retain power only by killing then they have lost all credibility. VS is right to ask the criminals to step down from power.

Voters, are you listening? They are obviously not listening since they have gathered like donkeys today at the court premises. There is a leader shouting loud that the party has not killed while his chota leader has already declared that the party has killed and will kill.

As they say, you get what you deserve.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


What is feminism?

Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women.[1][2] In addition, feminism seeks to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist is a "person whose beliefs and behavior are based on feminism."[3]
Am I a feminist? Guess I am one when I fight for my own equal rights.

But sometimes I find feminists making fatal mistakes. For instance in Kerala a hair oil company is bringing out a few advertisements in favor of women and the issues they face specially in Kerala. One such is the eve teasing and harassment that occur in buses and trains. This is depicted by a woman standing amongst others with her hair let loose. But somehow instead of a feeling of empathy it only generated pity. I am not sure if it is because of the forceful way this lady delivered the dialogue or the dialogue itself. It puts off the viewers and specially men who are supposed to be the target. A woman is harassed irrespective of her hair. It is ridiculous to think that eve teasers or perverse men target only women with long hair!

There is one more about an abusive husband coming home drunk to beat the hell out of his wife. This too just does not capture the empathy of the audience. I guess a woman needs to be a woman and only then she will succeed in her attempt. She needs to find strength in her feminism. It is this same feeling that I got while reading an article that appeared on Kafila regarding the first episode that appeared on Satyameva Jayate. Amir Khan is only making an attempt and it needs to be appreciated. The whole nation is now forced to confront these issues. While Shohini Ghosh has a point, I believe that a true feminist can overcome any situation when she starts loving herself and those of her kind. An abortion becomes a very hard decision once a woman becomes a mother. How much ever one talks about a woman’s right on her body and her right to abortion, it always works against her since she is going against her own feminism. She cannot escape from the basic qualities that make her feminine. If not, even men would have been given the privilege to conceive.

Now a women opting for abortion would have many reasons. A medical situation where the mother is in danger, because of a rape and if the mother don’t want to have the baby or because if a mother feels that she cannot cope with another baby. The reasons can go on and in each instance the cause is always external. In some case it is under her control while in some like the medical case, she is not. But citing this will cause a dent to the fight against female feticide. It is a risk that women need to take in order to ensure that her kind shall survive.

If a girl child is not allowed to live then what is the point in talking about her right to abort? If she is not allowed to live then it is not just her right to abort but many others that were already taken away gradually. It is these rights that need to be established before talking about her right to abort. Let us talk about her right to education, her right to marry the one she loves when she want to, her right to live on her own if she wants to, her right to take decisions., her right to travel on the road or bus fearlessly. Oh, there are many more such rights. And maybe if these rights are restored she shall enjoy her feminism. She may take a different view on abortion and she will NEVER let another girl child die in her womb.

MTP is allowed in India and that need not interfere with the laws that shall be enacted against female feticide. This country needs to love their women better. She needs to be given the strength to bring forth others like her. If none is going to help her in this process then this strength needs to come from within. This is the time to act. This country needs to love the daughters just like the son. Let her not be equated with weakness but with strength. Let her not be treated like a commodity that needs to be protected until she is given away with a price. Her feminism is enough for her to survive and it is this inner strength that she needs to tap into.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Childhood favourites

After many long years today I listened to a few songs of one of my favourite singer: Kris Kristofferson. Dont know how I forgot him for so long. He was one amongst my elder brother's collection of singers. I think the old tape recorder and the tapes might still be lying around at my parent's place.

I still remember the excitement when our Father brought home the Panasonic taper ecorder. A silver colored one which some gulfwalla had brought to Kerala. Until then like most household one had to depend on the good old radio for songs. Later collection of cassettes became a worthwhile task. It was mostly decided by my brother. Thus I got to listen to Kris Kristoffersen, Dire Straits, Jim Reeves and many others. Even my study break of my Pre-degree days were made sound proof by these songs!  The sound of the song shut off all other external sounds and I found that I could concentrate better on the subject.  And I did get marks too so it is an experiment that did not fail. In fact I have a cousin brother who could study only if listens to songs!

The following song brings home sweet memories of childhood and the lovely place that I grew up.

Kristoffer Kristian "Kris" Kristofferson (born June 22, 1936) is an American musician, actor, and writer. He is known for such hits as "Me and Bobby McGee", "For the Good Times", "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down", and "Help Me Make It Through the Night". Kristofferson is the sole writer of most of his songs, and he has collaborated with various other figures of the Nashville scene such as Shel Silverstein.[1]

Help me make it trought the night

Take the ribbon from your hair,

Shake it loose and let it fall,
Layin' soft upon my skin.
Like the shadows on the wall.

Come and lay down by my side
'till the early morning light
All I'm takin' is your time.
Help me make it through the night.

I don't care what's right or wrong,
I don't try to understand.
Let the devil take tomorrow.
Lord, tonight I need a friend.

Yesterday is dead and gone
And tomorrow's out of sight.
And it's sad to be alone.
Help me make it through the night.

I don't care what's right or wrong,
I don't try to understand.
Let the devil take tomorrow.
Lord, tonight I need a friend.

Yesterday is dead and gone
And tomorrow's out of sight.
Lord, it's bad to be alone.

Help me make it through the night

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Dange's ghost

Those in Kerala will now be recalling Dange. The utterance of VS has shocked not only his own party but the entire state. But he has only told the truth. He has nothing to lose being close to 90 years. Does he look even 70?

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In stinging remarks, CPI-M veteran V.S. Achuthanandan warned Saturday that his rival Pinarayi Vijayan will soon meet the fate of the once iconic Indian Communist S.A. Dange who was shown the door by the party.

Achuthanandan, a former Kerala chief minister who is now the opposition leader in the assembly, made the statement following the recent murder of former CPI-M leader T.P. Chandrasekharan, 51
After the killing, which police believe was done by CPI-M activists, Vijayan dubbed Chandrasekharan a "traitor". Achuthanandan, who was said to be close to the dead man, disputed the label.

Achuthanandan told reporters here that Vijayan's remark was not the opinion of the Communist Party of India-Marxist.

"In our party things are different. It is not like the Congress where the final word is that of the party high command.

"In our party, an opinion is arrived at after detailed ideological discussions," he said.

Chandrasekharan, a former CPI-M firebrand, was killed in Onchiyam near here Friday night. Police said he was attacked with a bomb and then murdered. His face was disfigured

The brutal killing of shocked the entire state but what shocked and was even more disgusting was the utterance of Pinarayi. His intolerance and hatred against those who left the party was very evident in the speech delivered in his usual style; with a very dead eyes. Have you watched them? If has no hand in the present killing, it needs to be recalled that it is his intolerance that led to the split.

But I blame the current government too for letting this crime happen when there was a threat to his life.

Who gave the deadly killer parole and why was he not monitored?

There are many killings. Some are done at the spur of the moment and later leads to years of regret and unhappiness. But there are others who have made killing their job and they do it with no regret. They very well know that their own fate will be no different, hence they do not care for the consequences. They live for the moment and do the killing like a machine.

The latest killing had a few witness and within 3 minutes the police were informed and even requested to block roads and such to catch the criminals. But nothing like that happened and today it is 9 days since the killing and still the police has no clue. So who really gave the order?

As for VS, he has always known the pulse of the mass. He knows that this murder has disturbed the entire state and his own party workers. If he does not offer sympathy, it would definitely be the end of the party, specially since it has put the party on defensive. As for Pinarayi, he should remember that in a democratic setup, it is the people that matters. Else he will be left with only a party office.

Who is he to decide the fate of every Keralite?

Why should the common man be bothered with party ideologies, if the party doesn’t deliver?

We are not in China to pay obeisance to the party leader and keep our mouth shut!

I hope this government acts with responsibility and brings the culprits; not just the killers but the handlers too to justice. Else it is only natural to believe that even this government has a hand behind this killing. After all, it is they who shall benefit most from it. It is they who let the killers out on parole.

There should no more be such killings in the name of the common people. There shall be more such issues but one cannot kill the messenger instead of solving the issues.

Unfortunately, we the people have made the job of the politicians very lucrative. It is so desirable that they are ready to kill anyone who opposes their dictates. This needs to stop.

One thought that the killing of the teacher in front of his school students would finally wake the conscience of the judiciary at least. But even today those behind one of the most brutal killing have not been apprehended. We robbed those students their innocence. I am sure they are scarred for life.

When one listens to media saying that even the recent killers may be killed by another set of "quotation" gang , one wonders if Kerala is the land of quotation gangs. Is there no provision in our law to put these killers behind bars forever?

Yesterday I listened to a media discussion on quotation gangs and one member of this gang was also present. The final word was from him. He said that it was the political party that nurtured him and made him to kill and he ended by saying that every party uses them.

This needs to stop!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I have a desire

I have a desire to see the following lady wearing jeans. Now you may ask me why. I just want her to know how comfortable one can be in Jeans. Let her wear it once and then tell us that it is an indecent attire.

Renu Phulia, HCS

Designation: A.D.C., Ambala

Office Phone: +91-171-2532900, 2530800

Residence Phone: +91-171-2552800

Mobile: +91-9215389202, +91-9416204999

Fax: +91-171-2643333


Offices can have dress codes. We have one here in Kuwait too. We are not allowed to wear a saree to work (in most offices)  and jeans are normally allowed only on Thursday; the end of the week day.  Have heard myself that saree is very revealing and hence not advisable to wear the same for work! Yes.. saree is one of them most seductive dress. It can be more revealing and clinging than the poor jeans and top. If you do not believe it, look around! Not that I have anything against the saree, I love wearing it.

I also see most Arab ladies wear the jeans mostly every day of the week. They look very neat and comfortable in it.

As if khaps of Haryana were not enough to guard the “conservative” image of the state and the skewed sex ratio did not underline the male dominance in society adequately, the Haryana Women and Child Department (WCD) has now passed a diktat to enforce “decent” office dressing for its staff.

This becomes all the more pronounced given the fact that everybody from the minister to the Financial Commissioner, the Principal Secretary and the Director, WCD, are all women.

How many of you think that wearing jeans makes one indecent?

If you are a parent or husband will you stop your daughter or wife from wearing it?

Monday, May 7, 2012

The giants that made a mark

There are many Indian companies which rose from scratch and later became household brands with loyal customers. If I remember my Father used to purchase only Hamam soaps when many other brands were available. Most of these brands were later acquired by MNC's either to make a quick buck or when they could no longer hold against the tough competition. Some of them continue to survive inspite of tough competition.

Nirma washing powder

Nirma is a group of companies based in the city of Ahmedabad in western India that manufactures products ranging from cosmetics, soaps, detergents, salt, soda ash, LAB and Injectibles. Karsanbhai Patel, a well known entrepreneur and philanthropist of Gujarat, started Nirma as a one-man operation. Today Nirma has over 15000 employees and a turnover of over Rs. 3550 crores. In 2004, Nirma's detergent approached 800,000 tonnes – one of the largest volumes sold in the world – under a single brand 'NIRMA'.

In 1969, dr. karsanbhai patel{2}, a chemist at the Gujarat Government's Department of Mining and Geology manufactured phosphate free Synthetic Detergent Powder, and started selling it locally. The new yellow powder was priced at Rs. 3.50 per kg, at a time when HLL's Surf was priced at Rs 15. Soon, there was a huge demand for Nirma in Ruppur (Gujarat), Patel's hometown. He started packing the formulation in a 10x10ft room in his house. Patel named the powder as Nirma, after his daughter Nirupama. Patel was able to sell about 15-20 packets a day on his way to the office on bicycle, some 15 km away. By 1985, Nirma washing powder had become one of the most popular, household detergents in many parts of the country.

Goodnite Mosquito Coil

The Goodknight brand was launched by Transelektra Domestic Products Limited (TDPL) in 1984. Having tasted early success,TDPL targeted the lower-end of the market, launching a brand called Star priced at just Rs. 36 (US$ 0.75). Godrej Hi Care took over TDPL in August 1994. A year later the new company had acquired and merged brands like Jet and Banish. This was followed by a strategic alliance with Sara Lee, a Fortune 500 consumer product giant to create a formidable combine.


This octogenarian brand from Kolkata-based G D Pharmaceutical Limited has invigorated and inspired the entire over-the-counter (OTC) antiseptic cream market in India commanding an annual sale of 2.8 million litres valued at more than Rs. 180 crore (US$ 37.50 million). In this evolving segment Boroline, with its traditional quality and an unswerving commitment to consumers is the eminent front-runner with a market share of 21% (Source: ORG-Marg).

Boroline's history is inextricably intertwined with the dawning of India's nationalistic pride and struggle for independence. Founder, Gourmohan Dutta belonged to Calcutta's merchant class. He was already an established trader of imported goods, when the patriotic Swadeshi movement sweeping India, gnawed at him. He was convinced that the best way to help his country was to contribute to her economic selfsufficiency. To realize this goal, he decided to manufacture products of a quality equivalent to their foreign counterparts.

It was a daunting task. Manyinthe- category status, Boroline was portrayed as ‘The Original’. In the later half of the 1990s, it stood for ‘Boroline skin, healthy skin’. In early 2000, the brand values were summed up with

‘Boroline – works wonders’.

Keeping these values in mind, Dutta chose the elephant as Boroline's logo, hoping that it would bestow luck and spell success, for what was still considered a reckless venture.The logo caught on instantaneously. In the rural heart land and for the millions who cannot read, Boroline is still known as the 'hathiwala cream' (cream with the elephant logo). Boroline's brand image is the brain child of the founder's son, Murari Mohan Dutta. A marketing genius, he pioneered concepts that were years ahead of their times. In the late 1950s, Boroline

had surged with concepts like brand image, rural marketing and event sponsorships.


In the early 1900s, Ardeshir Godrej, a lawyer steeped in principles and ideology – a man passionately committed to delivering India from colonial rule – made a decisive contribution. He created India's first toilet soap from indigenously available vegetable oils instead of imported animal fats. The mantle passed on to his nephew, Dr. Burjor Godrej, a mechanical engineer, with a prestigious doctorate in technical chemistry. He pioneered manufacturing soap with germ-killing ingredients. Cinthol Deodorant & Complexion soap was born on Independence Day in 1952.

Enriched with a unique Fougere perfume the soap received an extraordinary welcome. Cinthol Deo & complexion soap has remained unchanged in design, perfume, shape and packaging since its launch in 1952. Briefly replaced in 1986 it was brought back to its original form in the face of popular demand.


In India the history of Crocin goes back more than 40 years when it was first introduced in the market by Duphar Interfran Limited (now DIL Limited) – a Mumbai-based pharmaceutical firm. In its early days, Crocinl like several other drugs, was a prescriptive and was marketed through the ethical route.

In 1996, Duphar Interfran sold the brand to SmithKline Beecham.


Hindware The Somany Group’s flagship company, HSIL was set up in 1962 in collaboration with Twyfords of the UK. By pioneering the vitreous china line in India, it gave the very concept of sanitary ware a bold new definition. Over the last four decades, HSIL has earned respect in the Indian and international markets with itscommitment to innovation, unwavering quality and customer satisfaction.

Hindware’s manufacturing facilities at Bahadurgarh and Secunderabad are state-of-the art projects, credibly certified ISO 9001:2000(E), ISO 14001:96, as well as OHSAS 18001: 1999 for safety and health consciousness.

To meet the growing demand for Hindware products, the annual production capacity of the plant at Bibinagar, near Secunderabad, has been recently enhanced from 12,000 to 18,000 tonnes at a cost of more than Rs. 26 crore (US$ 5.50 million). This plant now has the distinction of being the largest single-location manufacturing facility in Asia.

Hero Cycles

In every crisis, says a Chinese proverb, there is an opportunity. Forced to abandon their lives in Pakistan by the traumatic fall out of the partition in 1947, four brothers Dayanand Munjal, Brijmohan Lall Munjal, Satyanand Munjal and Om Prakash Munjal did not dwell on the crisis but looked for the opportunity.They surmised accurately that people in newly independent India were in need of a cheap and convenient means of personal transport. In 1956, they established a modest manufacturing unit and made an even more modest beginning.

That year they manufactured 639 bicycles. By 1963 – in seven eventful years – they had become a household name.

To ramp up capacity, the company acquired Gujarat Cycles Limited in 1987. Renamed Munjal Auto Industries Limited, the unit was earmarked to manufacture and export state-of-the art bicycles and allied products from its fully automated plant at Waghodia.The company further scaled up capacity by establishing a second unit at Sahibabad, Uttar Pradesh in 1988.


The preserved food division of United Breweries Group (UB Group) was not doing well as compared to its liquor division. So, UB Group sold its food section along with Kissan brand to Hindustan Unilever Limited. Now Kissan is another of HUL’s Indian brand. HUL has revived and added more desi flavor to Kissan brand. Also, more items such as salt, rice, spices, chilli powder, atta, etc were added to Kissan brand and hence taking this Indian brand to another level.


Hamam, one of the oldest Indian beauty soap brands, has created itself as a trustworthy brand in the market. It is a natural soap category with low pricing. It was owned by Tata Oil Mills Company (TOMCO). It was taken over by Hindustan Unilever Limited when it acquired TOMCO in the year 1993. Hindustan Unilever Limited continues to keep this brand alive as it is one of the trusted brands with strong brand loyalty in soap segment in Indian market. HUL did try to repackage and modify the brand but they found out that by changing the composition of the soap they were loosing the loyal customers, so HUL have gone back to old composition and is using ‘trust’ and ‘quality’ as this brand’s salient points in marketing it.

Thumps Up

A cola drink introduced in 1977 to offset the expulsion of American Coca Cola Company, an Indian brand by Parle Group gained a near monopoly in India with government closing the door to foreign companies/brands. When Government of India again opened its doors to multinationals, Thumps Up lost its will to fight with its resource packed international brands vis Pepsi and Coca Cola. It sold out to Coca Cola Company in 1993 in order to make quick money after enjoying a near monopoly for almost 15 years. As Thumps Up had a huge market share, Coca Cola Company decided to keep the brand alive rather than kill it to give competition to Pepsi.


Coca Cola Company bought Indian brand Limca along with Thumps Up when the Indian government opened its door to foreign companies. It tried to kill this brand as well but found out that lemonade is a favorite of Indians during hot sweltering summers; it was revived as a tangy and refreshing drink. Limca is still one of the top brands in soft drink segment in lemon flavor. With better marketing by Coca Cola Company, this brand is still going strong.


Lakme started as a subsidiary of Tata Group in 1952. This Indian cosmetic brand was not making any profit. It had two options after perennially losses, one to close this brand and second sell it to another company. Tata Group took the second option and Lakme Limited formed a joint venture of 50-50 with Hindustan Unilever Limited in 1996 and later in year 1998 sold this brand to Hindustan Unilever Limited, a conglomerate in consumer goods sector. And today Lakme is a household name in cosmetics in India as well as abroad.

Kwality Ice Cream

This brand of ice cream found in every nooks and corner was a pioneer in the field of ice cream manufacturing in India. Kwality later ventured out from ice cream sector to restaurants. In 1995, Kwality tied up with Hindustan Unilever Limited, move that took this Indian brand to international market. Hindustan Unilever Limited introduced Kwality Walls ice cream to India and the world beyond, a very profitable venture indeed.

Viva and Maltova

This favorite Indian heath drink was brought by GlaxoSmithKline Beecham Consumer Healthcare Linited from Jagatjit Industries in the year 2000. Now with well known brands GlaxoSmithKline – Horlicks, Boost, Viva and Maltova – it has become a market leader in Indian health drink market. Viva has been repositioned as a traditional family health drink and Maltova as a tasty chocolate based health drink for the kids.



Thursday, May 3, 2012

Abide with me...

We all have our favourite songs and hymns. It can lift you up and comfort you. There are some songs which can make one cry with it's verses and it's redition. Below is one such song and I cannot help crying each time I hear it. Maybe it is age which is taking it's toll :). It may sound a little sad and is also sung during funerals. But somehow, it also comforts while one travels the never so smooth road of life.

It's Malayalam version is sung during most evening prayers. It was sung almost daily at my maternal grand parent's place. I loved the way King's College Choir - Cambridge sung this song.

"Abide with Me" is a Christian hymn written by Scottish Anglican Henry Francis Lyte.

He wrote it in 1847 while he lay dying from tuberculosis; he survived only a further three weeks after its completion.

1. Abide with me; fast falls the eventide; the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide. When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

2. Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day; earth's joys grow dim; its glories pass away; change and decay in all around I see; O thou who changest not, abide with me.

3. I need thy presence every passing hour. What but thy grace can foil the tempter's power? Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be? Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

4. I fear no foe, with thee at hand to bless; ills have no weight, and tears not bitterness. Where is death's sting? Where, grave, thy victory? I triumph still, if thou abide with me.

5. Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes; shine through the gloom and point me to the skies. Heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee; in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

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