Saturday, August 31, 2013

The 2013 Forbes Fictional 15

Each year Forbes evaluates the riches of the wealthiest characters from novels, movies, television and games, constructing portfolios based on their stories and then valuing them using real-world commodity and share prices. It’s been a good year to be imaginary: The aggregate net worth of the Fictional 15 is $215.8 billion, up 3 percent. Below, we’ve collected some of the wisdom that has helped these characters amass their fantastic fortunes.

The 2013 Forbes Fictional 15

1.  Scrooge McDuck   Uncle Scrooge $65.4 billion
Source: Mining, treasure hunting. Residence: Duckburg, Calisota.
“No man is poor who can do what he likes to do once in a while! And I like to dive around in my money like a porpoise! And burrow through it like a gopher! And toss it up and let it hit me on the head!”

2.  Smaug   The Hobbit $54.1 billion
Source: Marauding. Residence: The Lonely Mountain.
“I kill where I wish and none dare resist.”

3.  CarliSle Cullen   Twilight $46 billion
Source: Compound interest, investments. Residence: Forks, Washington.

4.  Tony Stark   Iron Man $12.4 billion
Source: Defence. Residence: Malibu, California.
“They say the best weapon is one you never have to fire. I respectfully disagree. I prefer the weapon you only have to fire once.”

5.  Charles Foster Kane   Citizen Kane $11.2 billion
Source: Media. Residence: Xanadu, California.
“If I hadn’t been very rich, I might have been a really great man.”

6.  Bruce Wayne   Batman $9.2 billion
Source: Inheritance, defence. Residence: Gotham City, USA.
“Sometimes it’s only madness that makes us what we are.”

7.  Richie Rich   Richie Rich $5.8 billion
Source: Inheritance, conglomerates. Residence: Richville, USA.
“How come all we do is talk about money? Why don’t we do something fun?”

8.  Christian Grey   Fifty Shades of Grey $2.5 billion
Source: Investments, manufacturing. Residence: Seattle, Washington.
“I go with my gut and 99 percent of the time it doesn’t let me down. If you can free your mind from the clutter of other people’s expectations and the constraints of what’s expected of you, there’s no limit to what you can achieve.”

9.  Tywin Lannister   Game of Thrones $1.8 billion
Source: Inheritance. Residence: Casterly Rock, Westeros.
“A lion doesn’t concern himself with the opinions of a sheep.”

10.  C Montgomery Burns   The Simpsons $1.5 billion
Source: Energy. Residence: Springfield, USA.
“What good is money if it can’t inspire terror in your fellow man?”

11.  Walden Schmidt   Two and a Half Men $1.3 billion
Source: Technology. Residence: Malibu, California.
“I can’t give you hope, but I can give you my American Express black card.”

12.  Lara Croft   Tomb Raider $1.3 billion
Source: Inheritance, treasure hunting. Residence: Wimbledon, England.
“Everything lost is meant to be found.”
13.  Mr Monopoly   Monopoly $1.2 billion
Source: Real estate. Residence: Atlantic City, New Jersey.

14.  Mary Crawley   Downton Abbey $1.1 billion
Source: Inheritance, marriage. Residence: Yorkshire, England.

15.  Jay Gatsby   The Great Gatsby $1 billion
Source: Racketeering, investments. Residence: West Egg, New York.
“Can’t repeat the past? Why, of course you can!”

This article appeared in the Forbes India magazine of 06 September, 2013

Movie Review: Satyagraha

Satyagraha brings together urban stories of corruption from history -Chauri Chaura, Mandal as well as Anna Hazare's Jan Lokpal Andolan. Bachchan plays a retired and idealistic teacher Dwarka Anand. Manav (Ajay Devgn) is his engineer son Akhilesh's friend - an ambitious capitalist. Both friends are really close, and one day Akhilesh dies. Minister Balram Singh (Bajpai) announces compensation, but Akhilesh's wife Sumitra (Rao) cannot get that despite daily applications to government babus. One thing leads to another and an angry Dwarka slaps an arrogant official and gets imprisoned. The influence of social media is depicted, as Manav starts a campaign to free him by roping in social activist Arjun Singh (Rampal) and journalist Yasmin (Kapoor). The ‘satyagraha’ escalates, leaving politicians panicky about it. 

Movie Review: Satyagraha

Needless to say, each actor added to the movie in their own signature styles. Recall Devgn in ‘Yuva’, Amitabh in ‘Sarkar’ and Bajpai in a glittering, malevolent avatar. The movie’s philosophy is voiced in one of Bachchan’s dialogues - "Janta sarkaar ki malik hai. Malik nirdesh deta hai. Maang nahin karta." How do you do that? Symbolic protest? Violent revolt? Or a longer, harder route? 

Dealing with this very question, ‘Satyagraha’ takes ahead this movie in a manner more philosophical than action-oriented. Prasoon Joshi adds color to the movie with his lyrics and all in all, ‘Satyagraha’ strips corruption bare to show the audience its filthy body from tip to toe. No short-cuts to a solution, but not pessimistic future either – Satyagraha is a movie that shows the road ahead for what it is.

Casts and credits:

  • Actors: Amitabh Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor, Ajay Devgn, Manoj Bajpayee, Arjun Rampal
  • Producers: Siddharth Roy Kapur, Prakash Jha, Ronnie Screwvala
  • Directors: Prakash Jha
  • Music Director: Harris Jayaraj
  • Additional informations:
  • Country: India
  • Language: Hindi
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Date: Friday, 30th of August 2013
  • Runtime: 152 min
Satyagraha reflects the revolution of the middle class against a corrupt and unfair system that leaves it with no option but to form an impulsive movement to challenge the status quo. It is the story of a dynamic and determined young man (Ajay Devgn) who is poised to take the elevator of corporate success, when a personal heartbreak exposes him to the shocking outcomes of corruption in this country. Joining his hands with an idealistic old man (Amitabh Bachchan), he sets fire to people's protest that soon rises into a massive movement with a national importance, and fighting with evil politicians, who have decided to crush and shame him. However, when aam janta's raw and uncontrolled anger is unleashed, the unintentional penalty could be horrific by itself.
In short, the movie deals with the movement of the middle-class to re-negotiate democracy. It's the story of a man (Amitabh Bachchan) who is a firm believer of Gandhian principles, an ambitious entrepreneur (Ajay Devgn) who represents the modern India shining philosophy, a social activist (Arjun Rampal) who aims to become a politician, a bold brave and courageous political journalist (Kareena Kapoor), and a clever and cunning politician (Manoj Bajpai) who uses every means to break the system.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Top 10 Rags-To-Riches Success Stories Of All Time

They say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. These inspiring figures had less than a lemon to start out with – and are now known for their sheer tenacity as they climbed to the top.
I bring you the top 10 rags-to-riches success stories of all time.

1. Henry Ford

Rags To Riches Stories-Henry Ford
Henry Ford was a farm boy who went on to revolutionize transportation industry in America. Ford was very interested in mechanics from a young age, when he dismantled and reassembled a pocket watch at the age of 15 his father had given him. A self-taught watch repairman who graduated to being an apprentice machinist, Ford started his personal experiments on gasoline engines which was the beginning of his vast Ford empire. And his net worth, as per Forbes in 2008, is a cool $188.1 billion.

2. Walt Disney

Rags To Riches Stories-Walt Disney
Our childhood would have been dreary without this genius of a man. Walt Disney was also another boy brought up in a farm – and used to draw pictures for his neighbors for money. He used to be the cartoonist for the school newspaper, Disney went through the jobless phase where no one hired him, and his brother had to help him out with his job search. He went from rags to riches by starting out with advertisements and going on to animating his own cartoons.

3. Ralph Lauren

Rags To Riches Stories-Ralph Lauren
Born in a strict Jewish family with a house painter for a father, Ralph Lauren grew up with big dreams. He used to sell ties to his classmates to earn some cash, and he mentioned in his yearbook that he wanted to be a millionaire. His interest in ties went on help his put his foot through the door of bigger achievements in the fashion world. When he was signed on to design the clothes for ‘The Great Gatsby’ in 1974, he was catapulted into the fame which he commands today.

4. Steve Jobs

Rags To Riches Stories-Steve Jobs
This Apple founder is now a household name. Jobs was given away for adoption by his biological parents and he became interested in electronics after his foster dad showed him the joys of technical tinkering in their garage. He had to drop out of college, because his education was costing his foster parents a lot. He used to return Coke bottles for money and live on free meals at the Hare Krishna temple. A hippie who used to trip on LSD, Jobs went from a technician in Atari, Inc. to becoming the CEO of Apple Inc.

5. Richard Branson

Rags To Riches Stories-Richard Branson
Branson went from being a dyslexic kid who performed badly in school to a British business magnate with a net worth of 4.6 billion. There was a time when Richard Branson started his record business from the crypt of a church – and now he is the fourth richest citizen of the UK. This entrepreneur is an example of how one can be eccentric and yet rake in the moolah. He had his finger in many pies – record label, airways and telecom.

6. John Paul DeJoria

Rags To Riches Stories-John-Paul-DeJoria
Born to Italian and Greek immigrant parents, this billionaire had to sell newspapers when he was nine to support his family. He has lived in a foster home, been part of a street gang and jumped through a number of jobs. With a loan of $700, he began what is now known the world over as the Paul Mitchell line of hair products. He went on to own 70% of The Patron Spirits Company, the world’s ultra-premium tequila brand. If this is not a rags-to-riches story, we do not know what is.

7. Oprah Winfrey

Rags To Riches Stories-Oprah Winfrey
Born to a housemaid and a coalminer, Oprah definitely did not grow in the lap of luxury. Living the life of poverty, where she used to have to wear dresses made out of potato sacks and was molested by relatives. She entered the world of media after getting the job of a news-reader in a local black radio station. After she got her first talk-show in Chicago, there was no looking back for this TV personality.

8. J.K. Rowling

Rags To Riches Stories-J.K. Rowling
Born in a lowly English family, Rowling battled depression, suicidal tendencies and poverty to become one of the most loved British authors in the world for her hugely popular Harry Potter series. Highly imaginative as a kid who thrived on stories, she drew from her surroundings and the people in her life as inspirations for the books which have now become one of the biggest movie franchises. From her humble beginnings, she has gone on to become one of the most powerful women in the United Kingdom.

9. Daymond John

Rags To Riches Stories-Daymond John
A black boy growing up in Queens – one would not have pegged John as a potential entrepreneur who would go on to become the CEO of the hip-hop clothing brand FUBU. But that he did, with an entrepreneurial instinct that he honed from his school days. Selling popular wool hats at half their market price, he mortgaged their house for future business expansion. It paid off well – and he now is one of the most influential motivational speakers in America.

10. Chris Gardner

Rags To Riches Stories-Chris Gardner
This is the man whose life has inspired the Will Smith-starrer ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’. Physically abused by his stepfather as a child and placed in a foster home, Gardner’s woes did not leave him even as he grew up to marry and be a father. As shown in the movie, Gardner struggled with homelessness while raising his kid. It was the strength of the lessons he learnt from his mother that he went from rags to riches by tenaciously building himself to be the CEO of his own stockbrokerage firm, Gardner Rich & Co.
There is no disadvantage these personalities did not suffer on their journey from birth to where they stand today – but sheer tenacity, confidence and hard work led them to the inspiring figures they are today.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Inspirational Quotes From Famous Business Leaders

1. Richard Branson

Inspirational Quotes From Famous Business Leaders
"To be successful, you have to be out there, you have to hit the ground running, and if you have a good team around you and more than a fair share of luck, you might make something happen. But you certainly can’t guarantee it just by following someone else’s formula.”

2. Azim Premji

Inspirational Quotes From Famous Business Leaders
“If people are not laughing at your goals, your goals are too small.”

3. Mark Zuckerberg

Inspirational Quotes From Famous Business Leaders
“I think a simple rule of business is, if you do the things that are easier first, then you can actually make a lot of progress.”

4. Warren Buffett

Inspirational Quotes From Famous Business Leaders
“Risk comes from not knowing what you're doing."

5. Narayana Murthy

Inspirational Quotes From Famous Business Leaders
“Progress is often equal to the difference between mind and mindset.”

6. Bill Gates

Inspirational Quotes From Famous Business Leaders
“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”

7. Michael Dell

Inspirational Quotes From Famous Business Leaders
“The key is to listen to your heart and let it carry you in the direction of your dreams. I’ve learned that it’s possible to set your sights high and achieve your dreams and do it with integrity, character, and love. And each day that you’re moving toward your dreams without compromising who you are, you’re winning.”

8. Ratan Tata

Inspirational Quotes From Famous Business Leaders
“I don't believe in taking right decisions. I take decisions and then make them right.”

9. Larry Page

Inspirational Quotes From Famous Business Leaders
"My job as a leader is to make sure everybody in the company has great opportunities, and that they feel they're having a meaningful impact and are contributing to the good of society. As a world, we're doing a better job of that. My goal is for Google to lead, not follow that."

10. Steve Jobs

Inspirational Quotes From Famous Business Leaders
“If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Phablet Market To Heat Up With Launch Of Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Samsung has already re-established the fact that it is the undisputed champion of smartphones on a global scale. The Galaxy S-III was a major hit and Galaxy S-IV completely silenced the critics, and no amount of bombardment from HTC’s One or Sony’s Xperia Z could falter Samsung’s success and growth in the market.
Oddly enough, similar results have also been translated in the phablet market with Samsung being the overall market grosser with its Galaxy Note series. Fortunately for Note users, it’s time for them to upgrade their faithful device as Samsung is all set to launch the Galaxy Note 3 for the phablet fanatics. Waiting no further, let’s have a look at its tech-specs and if it’s a game-changer for the phablet market.

The Galaxy Note 3

Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Before we kick off the spec bonanza, we need to understand a few basic changes the smartphone industry has undergone. Other than having a captivating screen and an elongated battery life, the camera and processing quality has drastically improved, meaning the smartphones and phablets of tomorrow have to out-do their counterparts of today by leaps and bounds, and with the new Android upgrade in place, the smartphones and phablets command all the more powerful hardware to run flawlessly. Keeping that in mind, the Galaxy Note 3 is touted to be fitted with an octa-core processor that can clock 1.8 GHz with ease, and a whopping 3 GB RAM to compliment it. The screen may very well offer 5.6 inches of viewing pleasure and the signature Super AMOLED display will churn out 1080p graphics without any hassle. A micro-SD slot with inbuilt memory of 16, 32, and 64 GB variants should be available and connectivity will be obtained with 4G LTE and the usual jazz.
While the innards sounds as good as they should, the 4.3 Jelly Bean loaded with all the Samsung goodies should add-on to the Note’s credibility. Expect a new level of thinness with this one. Albeit, what we find to be disturbing amidst all the specs is its shockingly small battery capacity. The Note 3 is to be equipped with a 3200 mAh battery. It may work wonders for a 4-inch smartphone and allow it to run for a day or more of heavy use, but a 6-inch tablet with a mammoth octa-core processor and 3 GB of RAM might find the 3200 mAh diet to be far less appetising. Maybe a spec-bump in this area might help the Note 3 with enough juice to run for a day.

The Competition

Xperia Z Ultra

While Samsung is basking in glory in the smartphone market, other competitors are equipping themselves with some marvellous arsenal. Sony with the all new razor-thin Xperia Z Ultra and Micromax with their surprisingly successful Canvas series have already found favour with buyers. The Z Ultra with its hardware and super-sleek body is a worthy rival, while Micromax is a worthy contender with its highly affordable Canvas as well. Various other small-timers are emerging in the phablet circuit with Acer and Firefly catering the budget crowd. If rumours are to be believed, Nokia is all set to come up with their very-own Windows 8-powered phablet and that may truly shake up Samsung’s foundation.
If Samsung truly wants to stay on top without budging, they do need to pull up their socks without keeping any loose ends around, and with the competition heating up, they might as well do things right or it won’t be long before Samsung goes the Apple way and launches a cheap spinoff out of sheer desperation.

Microsoft CEO, Ballmer, to retire within 12 months

New York: Microsoft Corp chief executive Steve Ballmer unexpectedly announced his retirement on Friday, ending a controversial 13-year reign at the head of the world's largest software company and sending the company's shares up 7.1 per cent.

Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer

Ballmer, 57, took over from co-founder Bill Gates in January 2000, but his leadership was questioned throughout his tenure by Wall Street and Silicon Valley, as Microsoft's stock price floundered and the PC-centric pioneer was overtaken by Apple Inc and Google Inc in the shift towards mobile computing.

Ballmer's planned exit comes shortly after activist investing fund ValueAct Capital Management LP took a small stake in the company, and started agitating for a change in strategy and a clear CEO succession plan.

Only last month Ballmer launched a massive reorganization to reshape Microsoft into a company focused on devices and services, essentially mimicking Apple, leaving most industry watchers nonplussed.

"My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our company's transformation to a devices and services company," said Ballmer in a statement. "We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction."

Although Ballmer has faced criticism for some time, his decision to retire surprised analysts.

"Yes, this was a surprise, especially considering how close it is to the recently announced strategic overhaul towards devices and services," said Sid Parakh, an analyst at McAdams Wright Ragen.

Ballmer is to retire within the next 12 months, once a special committee has selected a new CEO.

The committee is to be chaired by John Thompson, the board's lead independent director, and includes Microsoft co-founder and chairman Bill Gates, as well as other board members Chuck Noski and Steve Luczo.

It will consider both external and internal candidates and work with executive recruiting firm Heidrick & Struggles International Inc, according to Microsoft.

Its shares rose 7.1 per cent to $34.69 on Nasdaq.

How to earn friends?

Whoever said you can’t buy friends was dead wrong. Dozens of outfits are dedicated to making insecure weirdos with cash to burn look more popular than they are. These companies create fake users and even pay real account holders for following and liking. Social media giants must constantly tweak their algorithms to spot frauds.
How to earn friends?
Price Of Popularity: On, you can buy 500 likes for $30 or 20,000 for $699.
Spot The Frauds: Watch for accounts with lots of likes but very little discernible user activity. A page with tens of thousands of fans but only a few comments and nobody in the “Talking About This” column is a prime suspect. One study says 97 per cent of fake profiles identify themselves as female (while just 40 per cent of real users do).

Price Of Popularity: Pinfol delivers 100 followers for $15; 5,000 for $95.
Spot The Frauds: Scroll through a user’s followers list and keep an eye out for a high proportion of accounts with no bio or photo.

Price Of Popularity: FanMeNow’s packages start at $10 for 1,000 followers. $1,750 will score you a million.
Spot The Frauds: Promotional tweets and the default “egg” avatar are hallmarks of phoney accounts. Fake Follower Check is a free web tool that measures a user’s followers against
typical characteristics of spam accounts.

Price Of Popularity: delivers 30,000 views for $150. For $3,100, make your video “viral” with a million views.
Spot The Frauds: Beware of generic comments. One music clip we saw racked up tens of thousands of views in weeks, but the only comments were variations on “This video is great!”

Friday, August 23, 2013

Yuvraj Singh ready to fire again

A fitter and slimmer Yuvraj Singh is back from his six-week long fitness camp, along with Zaheer Khan, in Brive la Gaillarde in France and is raring for a crack at Team India again. He is deriving his confidence from skipper MS Dhoni's recent remark that his team was reserved not only for youngsters.

Yuvraj Singh ready to fire again

"Dhoni must have thought about the 2015 World Cup. I am happy that youngsters are doing well but a right balance, with seniors too, is needed. The most important thing is to have the best team for the country," said Yuvraj, on his first public appearance since returning from France.

The mainstay of the Indian middle order in the limited-overs format till very recently doesn't mind talking about his past record. "While one's past records should not be the criterion for selection, you can't forget the contribution made by them either," Yuvraj said at a promotional event here on Friday.

There has been extra emphasis on agility and fitness in Dhoni's scheme of things. And the veteran of 282 ODIs is well aware of that. "I have never doubted my ability and won't doubt it ever. The focus is to look sharp and agile in the field. My priority has always been to play for my country," he stated.

Both, he and Zaheer, decided to undertake a different regimen over the one available at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore mainly to avoid people speculating about them. "I had trained hard at the NCA after I recovered from cancer but I just wanted to get away because of frequent distractions. Here, something is invariably cropping up every day about what I am doing. I also wanted to train in higher altitudes and play different sports, eat a different kind of food and have time to discuss my game with my father (former Test cricketer Yograj Singh). In France, I could stay focused on what I was doing."

Coming out of that regime, he definitely looked more refreshed and fitter. But what about Zaheer? "Zaheer has been extremely disciplined and he worked as hard as I did. He has lost nearly six kilograms and looks in great shape. We started playing for India together and we gel really well. Working in tandem has helped each other. He has really pushed himself and am sure he will make a comeback soon," Yuvraj said.

Yuvraj is itching to get back to the pitch but hasn't got to play any of the pre-season domestic tournaments like the Buchi Babu. "I could only play Buchi Babu or Moin-ud Dowla if my state team is playing in the tournament," he clarified.

Asked about a recent photograph which showed him along with Sachin Tendulkar's son Arjun, Yuvraj recalled, "Some time back (Sachin) Tendulkar told me that his son bats like me. When I watched Arjun, he did remind me of my younger days in Chandigarh."

10 reasons why the rupee is sinking every day

The rupee fell past 65 to the dollar to a record low on Thursday, plunging as much as 2.2 per cent to hit 65.56, and ended in the red for the sixth straight session. The rupee has fallen by 4.77 per cent in the last five trading sessions. Here are 10 main reasons that experts say are responsible for the Indian rupee -- which has depreciated as much as 16 per cent this year -- to touch new lows each passing day:
  1. Widening current account deficit: This is resulting in creating more actual as well as speculative demand for the dollar and other convertible currencies.
  2. Policy inaction: Perception of lack of clarity on the policy front is also fanning speculative demand wherein the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on one day said it will tighten liquidity and on yet another said it will inject $1 billion in the market.
  3. Low forex reserves: India's foreign exchange reserves are enough to cover imports of only seven months. The forex reserves have declined in the recent months. Due to low reserves, the RBI can't intervene aggressively in the currency markets.
  4. Growth slowdown: India's gross domestic product (GDP) growth fell to a decade low of 5 per cent in 2012-13. The situation is unlikely to improve much this year. Foreign investors are pulling money out of the Indian markets due to slow growth.
  5. Dependence on foreign money: India's current account deficit was financed by foreign money for the last many years. Withdrawal of money by overseas investors is leading to the weakness in the rupee.
  6. Recovery in the US: The slow but steady recovery in the US is making the greenback stronger against other currencies.
  7. Stimulus withdrawal: Indications that the US may withdraw or ease the fiscal stimulus package could potentially put the brakes on funds for developing economies.
  8. Capital controls: The decision by the Reserve Bank and the government to impose temporary restrictions on capital flows has not gone down well with the markets, as it will not only discourage Indian companies from investing abroad, but also foreign firms from pumping money into India.
  9. Trends in other markets: The rupee is also following the trend seen in the currencies of other emerging economies such as Brazil, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa.
  10. Speculative trading: Speculative trading in the currency markets is putting further pressure on the Indian rupee.

Review Of Madras Cafe

Straight up, Madras Cafe couldn't be more different to director Shoojit Sircar's Vicky Donor. Political, tense, finally explosive, Madras Cafe is no picnic in the neighborhood park. Major Vikram Singh (Abraham) lands in Sri Lanka, heading RAW's covert operations. He must work with colleague Bala to get Anna Bhaskaran (Rathnam), head of the rebel LTF group - "Also known as Tigers" - to accept a peaceful resolution. Vikram knows Anna will be a huge challenge - what surprises him is how many others he must face.
Review Of Madras Cafe
Madras Cafe dives boldly into terrain Bollywood hasn't touched before. Its arsenal features research, respect and bravely, no songs. But it's not arty or preachy anywhere. Its first half is layered, complex trails - leaks, foreign interests, domestic rivals - slowly revealed to Vikram. As RAW boss Robin Dutt (Basu) ups the pressure, Vikram must move fast through sultry, dangerous airs. His foreign journalist friend Jaya (Fakhri, apparently playing real-life journalist Anita Pratap, who first interviewed LTTE chief Prabhakaran) knows this conflict's heart even better than Vikram, whose discoveries, from Sri Lanka to South Block, grow traumatic.
Madras Cafe's true star is its story which builds up to an agonizing end. It brings to life the Lankan war which many viewers were too young to have known. It highlights India's ambiguous role, moving sensitively, taking no sides, except those of relationships involving respect - but no romance - between Vikram and Jaya, duty, victory and loss. Its second half grows more fraught and taut, conspiracies and compulsions becoming clearer. John stays low-key and competent as Vikram while supporting actors, like agents Bala, SP and Vasu, stand out. Restrained performances by the LTF suicide bombers are chilling.
The cinematography is remarkable, shots of huge naval warships, helicopters floating across hills, sunshine on a deadly sea, haunting. Commendably, Sircar never overindulges in gore, keeping Madras Cafe a shifting site of mental violence. Madras Cafe deserves an extra half-star for guts, going for the gunpowder - but with a restrained hand.
Note: If you like typical Hindi movie masala, unrealistic action or melodrama, this movie is not for you.
This article originally appeared in Times Of India.

9 Quick Hangover Cures that Actually Work

You might be the occasional drinker, an experimental one or a regular at the bar, getting a hangover is always a possibility.
A hangover can be very nasty, upsetting your entire schedule for a day or even more, depending upon your propensity for tolerating alcohol. Rather than trying-out different hangover medicines, some of which have rather unworthy credentials, it is much better to try quick hangover cures at home that are easy and effective. Some of these have been listed below for your consideration:
Hangover Cures that Actually Work

1. Vitamin Drinks Hangover Cure

Vitamin drinks are easily available in most super-marts today. Just ensure that there are always a few bottles in the fridge. Vitamin drinks are loaded with water-soluble vitamins like vitamin B and C that get absorbed and work towards eradicating the
hangover. Just ensure that your vitamin drink doesn’t contain too much sugar. If you already know when the next bar binging trip is scheduled, try to take a few over-the-counter multi-vitamins on a daily basis. This will ensure that your body has a better degree of preparedness against the hangover. You can dilute the vitamin drink with some water for better rehydration.

2. Curing Hangover with Orange Juice, Eggs & Common Eatables

Orange juice is among the commonest of home remedies for hangovers. It performs the function of rehydration with great intensity and the Vitamin C acts as a counter to that nauseating feeling. You can combine this with a few boiled eggs and slightly toasted bread. This might sound strange but the protein from eggs helps the liver to filter the toxins of alcohol faster while toasted slices have a charcoal-like effect, preventing bloating or vomiting caused by alcohol.

3. Curing Hangover with Antacids

Get hold of any granulated antacid that you can easily consume by just pouring it in a glass. This eases the body ache caused by hangover. Most antacids contain some form of sodium bicarbonate that helps to neutralize the excessive acidity caused by
consuming too much alcohol.

4. Curing Hangover with Coffee

Another world-famous hangover cure is a strong cup of coffee. However, not many people realize that you need a cocoa-rich variant of coffee for neutralizing the hangover. Rather than having a huge serving at one go, have many smaller cups of coffee throughout the day. Caffeine raises the blood pressure that helps the body to metabolize the alcohol faster apart from providing some relief from the drowsy feeling and headaches.

5. Artificial Rehydration Hangover Cure

There are a number of rehydration solutions and powders that are sold at your local chemist. These are excellent rehydration sources, usually prescribed for children who are suffering from an intense case of cellular dehydration due to illnesses. These are packed with a high concentration of electrolytes that instantly replenish the vital minerals that have been wasted due to drinking. Just dilute the solution more and drink it slowly throughout the day.

6. Painkiller Pills Hangover Cure

Every household is bound to have some sort of over-the-counter analgesic or painkiller. These are excellent for relieving the pain and discomfort induced by a hangover. When back home, just pop an aspirin or Aspirin or Ibuprofen but don’t overdose yourself. It is better to start with just one pill and wait to feel its relieving affects.

7. Exercise: The Hardest Hangover Cure

This hangover cure requires the greatest degree of determination. However, exercising here doesn’t refer to hitting the gym hard. Something simple as running on the treadmill combined with a few push-ups can help. The sweating induced by exercising followed by rehydrating yourself with a low-sugar sports drink helps to cure hangovers.

8. Curing Hangover with Ginger Tea

Your mother might have repeatedly told you about the benefits of ginger tea for relieving nausea, cold and cough. However, what she didn’t tell you was that it is an excellent aid for hangover headaches. It can alleviate that typical head-splitting feeling induced by hangovers apart from helping the stomach digest the alcohol better without suffering cramps.

9. Curing Hangover with Bananas

More than a hangover cure, this is a hangover prevention aid. Here, you need to be a bit quirky and eat a few bananas before you hit the bar. The potassium in the banana and its complex carbohydrates has a rehydrating and coating effect on the intestines respectively, helping you recover faster from the alcohol excess.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Stupidest Comments Made By Politicians In 2013

While we cannot really rate our politicians in terms of efficiency and performance, we can confidently state that most of them suffer from foot-in-the-mouth disease.
If you don’t believe us, then check out some of the most stupid comments our politicians have made this year.
Poverty is a state of mind. – Rahul Gandhi
Stupidest Comments Made By Politicians In 2013
One can have a full meal for Rs 12 in Mumbai. No, no, not vada paav. So much of rice, daal saambhar and with that some vegetables are also mixed.” Congress spokesperson Raj Babbar showed how out of touch he is with reality.
Stupidest Comments Made By Politicians In 2013
"You can eat a meal in Delhi for Rs 5, I don't know about Mumbai. You can get a meal for Rs 5 near Jama Masjid (in Delhi)," Rasheed Masood, trying to go one up on Raj Babbar.
Stupidest Comments Made By Politicians In 2013
"If you want, you can fill your stomach for Re 1 or Rs 100, depending on what you want to eat. We are working to change the life of the poor so they can eat well be healthy and India can progress.” Union Minister Farooq Abdullah justifying the Planning Commission's definition of poverty and proving who the real idiot is.
People join (the) army to die or for becoming martyrs.” Rural works and Panchayati Raj Minister Bhim Singh apologized for saying this but not before a huge outrage was made over his remark.
"Veg skies, Veg hospitals, Veg housing societies. Soon Veg Mumbai! Either Gujjus go back to Gujarat or they turn Mumbai into Gujarat...Red alert." Nitesh Rane’s unedited Twitter rant against Gujaratis in Mumbai
"If there is no water in the dam, how can we release it? Should we urinate into it? If there is no water to drink, even urination is not possible," Maharashtra state deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar has said. You can judge his crassness further from this next statement where referring to the load shedding situation in parts of the state he said, "I have noticed that more children are being born since the lights go off at night. There is no other work left then."
Stupidest Comments Made By Politicians In 2013
"We have told the chief minister in the assembly that the government will pay money to compensate rape victims. What is your fee? If you are raped, what will be your fee?" CPI (M) party member Anisur Rehman takes a very cheap dig at West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
Stupidest Comments Made By Politicians In 2013
Roads in Pratapgarh district in the state would be constructed like the cheeks of actresses Hema Malini and Madhuri Dixit.” Uttar Pradesh Khadi and Village Industry Minister Raja Ram Pandey allegedly said and was subsequently fired.
"The English language has caused a great loss to the country. We are losing our language, our culture as there are hardly any people who speak Sanskrit now," Rajnath Singh, president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), makes us wonder what he smokes during the day.
Stupidest Comments Made By Politicians In 2013

Delhi Book Fair to begin from Aug. 23

In an age increasingly moving towards digitisation and e-books, the role of libraries keeps coming under focus. Participants at the 19th edition of the Delhi Book Fair opening in New Delhi on Friday throw the spotlight on the role of libraries and readership growth.
A total of 250 participants including overseas publishers are expected to participate in the 9-day fair organised by Federation of Indian Publishers (FIP) in association with India Trade Promotion Organisation.
The 2013 edition of Delhi Book Fair will begin from Aug. 23 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. A file photo shows children browsing over the books

“The book fair will facilitate authors and delegates from round the globe. Notably from US, Iran and European countries. A special seven member delegates from China will be here to provide information regarding literary movements in China,” Sudhir Malhotra, President, FIP said on Monday.
Oraganisers say they also look forward to the participation by publishers from Pakistan at Pragati Maidan, the venue of fair from August 23 - August 31, themed around “Libraries and Readership.”
“Over the last decade, Pakistan has always been an active participant in the fair. But this year, there is some problem with their visa clearance. We have cleared all the formalities from our part and now it is upto the concerned ministries of both countries”, Mr. Malhotra told PTI.
At the World Book Fair earlier in February this year, publishers from the neighbouring country had to wait till the last minute to obtain visas. The government is currently working on modernising and digitally linking nearly 9,000 libraries across the country.
A National Mission on Libraries (NML) has been constituted on the basis of a report submitted by National Knowledge commission set up by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The NML has taken steps for improving library sector including upgradation of existing public, school and college libraries and use of school libraries as community libraries.
Meanwhile the Delhi Book Fair provides a platform for business transactions, establishing new contacts, entering into co-publishing arrangements, translation and copyright arrangements as well as reprinting of old and rare books.
Apart from books, a number of conferences and seminars, buyer-seller meets, book releases, discussions and literary activities for children have been planned during the fair. “To engage the students, we are hosting a ‘Kavi sammelan’ a gathering and interactive session with poets and also, a story-telling event for children too”, Mr. Malhotra said. “We are putting more than 500 stalls for exhibition. So it would cater audience with more collection of books”, he added.
Among other facilities are free shuttle services. “Mini AC buses services are arranged to ferry the visitors from 5 gates. We hope this facility would help them to avoid rush”, Mr. Malhotra said.
Entry ticket for adults will be Rs 20, and Rs 10 for children and students (with I-card).