Thursday, October 13, 2005

braveheart in Indian Idol

I found this article on rediff. com on 13th august. its ineteresting for people who are down and not out. read it

Eunuch wants to be Indian Idol

Patcy N | October 13, 2005 16:49 IST

Indian Idol's second season has begun, with the first round of short-listing already completed in Mumbai. While at the audition, I see all kinds of people, from as far off as Jharkhand and Chattisgarh, there to try their luck. It is Sweety who surprises me most though -- a eunuch aiming for the tag of Indian Idol.

It is a courageous move. The organisers realise it too, ushering Sweety in directly to avoid comments from the crowd. And while some participants do tease her, she replies only with a cute smile. Dressed in a red ghagara choli with golden embroidery, she has heavy makeup on, with pink foundation on her stomach. It is the latter that catches my eye, flat as the tummy of any Bollywood actress.

Faisal Khan a.k.a. Sweety is a bar dancer. She calls herself an artiste, saying that dancing at a bar is also a display of art. Originally from Kolkatta, she shifted to Mumbai six years ago and came to the audition after being prompted by her friend Jaunith. "He isn't like me," she adds, promptly. Sweety has danced in a couple of films, including a Bengali film called Bhalo Basho Ki Aage Bhojani and Hindi films like Tamboo Mein Bamboo and Time Pass.

I ask her about the closure of dance bars. "I have no work anymore," she tells me. "While dancing at the bar, I could run my household easily. Now, there is nothing. My mother is paralysed. I need a lot of money, which is why I'm here." The family, comprising her mother, brother, sister and sister-in-law, live in Kolkata. Sweety lives with her boyfriend in Mumbai, where they share expenses.

"I don't mind not being selected," she says, when we talk about Indian Idol. "I will still bless all participants and hope the program goes on." When asked which song she intends to sing at the audition, she says it is Anaida's Unchi Nichi Hai Dagariya, and promptly gives me a sneak preview. What if she is selected, I ask. "It will be the happiest moment of my life," she replies. "My only ambition has been to dance in a big movie."

When Sweety arrived in Mumbai, she joined a dance class in Dadar, paying Rs 1000 per month. After it shut down four months later, she moved to Andheri. A few of her friends, knowing she danced well, asked her to consider joining a dance bar. With no other source of income, she agreed. Initially, she told her family she was working at the movies. When she told them the truth later, they were still supportive.

For the moment, Sweety works as a door-to-door salesperson, selling soap and frying pans for a firm called Sapna Company. She gets a rupee for ever bar of soap sold. It is her first month, so she doesn't know what she has earned so far. "People empathise with me," she says. "I tell them I was a bar dancer and have no options anymore. They don't even bargain and, sometimes, even end up giving me tips."

She knows it's a hard life. "I used to earn between Rs 1000 and Rs 3000 rupees daily, even after the 30 per cent commission given to the hotel. Now, I have nothing." Surprisingly, she isn't exactly in favour of dance bars opening. "I don't say they should open," she says, "but in its hurry to shut them down, the government didn't even think of 70,000 girls who are now jobless. Who will take care of their families? They should have given us alternate employment before shutting down the bars."

As the ushers came to her away to the audition, she proudly ends our conversation saying she isn't afraid of hard work. "I am an artist, and I likes people who appreciate artists," she says. She wants to be an actor but believes she'll never manage because she has no backing. She does want everyone to bless her though, so she comes up in life.

As she moves away, I find myself wishing her a lot of luck, silently.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Vantage point

well gaurav, you stood up by your words and the dedication and ethics that you showed is really commendable.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Kingfisher versus Deccan

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I think that this is going to be an interesting fight that who can beat each other in taking the charge of aviation industry. Well let us forget the old players in aviation sector who are having the major chunk of the market and concentrate on these two new airlines. These two airlines are different and unique that one offers a cheap way of flying and the other offers a royal way of flying.
The target consumers may be different but the end result is the market share and the financials profitability.
Kingfishers offers value based services such as entertainment, flying models who are always ready to smile while deccan offers cheap flights with minimum services.
Deccan aim is to bring in as much new customers in its fold it can , whereas Kingfisher is relying on shifting customers from other airlines.
Well, the fight between these flights will be interesting as we will see the Indian customers deciding their fate , that they prefer value based services or they just want to reach the sky first and then aim for the stars later.

The flair for Marketing

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Marketing is something which I think I would be most satisfied to work in. I think a best marketing guy is who goes by the impulse of practical ground realities than just following Kotlers theoritical Principles. Kotler is no doubt a bible for marketing professionals , but the real flavour of marketing lies in catching the pulse of the consumers and then selling to them.
Marketing is something which many people understand as giving quick fundas , but I feel that its one of the toughest things , where the B-schools toppers have also failed.
I feel its one of the very dynamic sector where the change is fickle and one needs to constantly adept to the changing market scenario.
A marketing guy should be able to learn marketing from top notch marketing professionals as well as common man like the guy who delivers pizza at your doorstop.
They all can teach you marketing in some aspects and ofcourse one should have passion about marketing to perform in this highly challenging sector because the end result of any marketing is producing huge numbers for the company.

Pondicherry MY Favourate place

The first trip I made to this french land in India was in january 2003, during my sixth semester in Bachelor of Planning in School of Planning and Architecture , New Delhi. We were making the master plan for Pondicherry District. I remember when we were crusing through the East Coast Road while going from Chennai to Pondicherry. I could feel the air of the city, the charms it possess, the freshness it offers and a sense of distinguished ambience.
We reached around 5.30 in evening on 25 th january and started looking for cheap accomodation. The girls were very finicky about the accomodation , so the girls and boys stayed at separate hotels adjacent to each other. We were staying on the road parallel to M.G Road , around 100 meters from Surya Hotel . We were happy to see the cheap bars located at around every 500 m in the main market area. I along with my friends used to visit the bars continuosly for the next 17 days . The liquor was damn cheap and the food was awesome , especially the sea food.
We were regular surfer at Auro Beach , though most of us were novice swimmer and I was almost drowned. I still thank to Anshul , one of my close friend who got the attention of all fisherman to save me. I am thankful to those fisherman who saved me , and the irony is that I had made an argument with them on the issue of having beer on the beach.
We had hired 12 scooters as we were 24 of us and two of us were sharing the scooter. I was sharing with Navin , and he did not know to drive a scooter , so I was having the solo fun of zooming around the city.
We also met a friendly fisherman guy who arranged a big boat for us to go in middle of the sea, then he took us to show his basti and his jelly fish factories. He gifted us some big fish and squids which we asked sm chinese women working in Hotel Ellora to cook for us.
Well , the city is mix of french and Indian outlook with lot of europeans visiting and staying for long periods.We made some gud frens like Nathan from London, who was learning Tabla there, then Ludo from France and the unforgettable Clauria from Belgium with whom I did get sentimental and we shared some great time discussing on Vikram Seth and Salman Rushdie, as she was an english graduate from France University. She also tried to teach me swimming but I could not learn. There are streets with french name , french architecture and as well as french restaurants like Rzendovou. I liked a bengali restaurant called Bamboo Hut on the same raod where Surya hotel is located. The restaurant offers good food, nice green ambience on the roof, and cheap liqour.
I also went to Aurbindo Ashram and spent some peaceful time there minus my food, liqour ,beaches and friends.
we also had a long discussion on the auroville town and the Matri Mandir . With no offend to anyone , I personally found it a unique thing which needs to be refined a lot. They want to sustain it on natural energies and they are making huge grand temples which does not jell with each other. It could have been a simple monument , but may be they have some other idea in their mind. Well , the representatives were not able to justify the idea.
I am writing about Pondicherry after long , becuase a recent visit to the city with my IIFT friends rekindled my old memories. I went there again recently for just a day , but it felt as if I am back to my home, with everything as fresh as i was living there for years.
I invite comments from ppl who are travel enthusiasts like me , and they love cities and cultures.

Friday, October 07, 2005

James-hardcore action movie

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I saw james with my friends in Sathyam cinema hall in chennai. The movie is experimental like many Ramu's film . Though the film is directed by a new director , but there is clear reflection of Ramu in the movie especially in songs and dances sequences. Nisha kothari is flabby but yet Ramu makes her hot and desirable. Mohit Ahlawat is no doubt can become a good action hero till he opens his mouth.
there is a usual chase and escape seen from building like the earlier ramu's movies such as Company , D and Sarkar.
well , I am a great fan of Ramu but want to sincerely suggest that if u make an experimental movie , please be innovative with the sequences and not repeat in every movie.
James is one such movie which I want to forget in my life as a failed experimentation.

Kingfisher Airlines

I came from Banglore to Delhi by kingfisher Flight no. IT 204 on 6th oct., 5.30 pm. The flight was late by 30 mins, but on seeing the gorgeous mallaya babes around you , always ready to interact with you in as pleasant manner as possible , the delay seemed good enough.
well , on board you have access to 10 kingfisher FM channels and 5 tv channels. They give you a headphone as a complimentry gift.
the food is decent enough and not bad like Sahara Airlines.
I specially would like to thank Anubhuti , the air hostess who fell on me while she was dragging the food trolley. Also , thanks to gunnet , another hostess who helped her to fell down.
she said to gunnet that waht are you doing and i misunderstood her that she was referring to me.
well, I came a bit harsh on her by quickly saying that it was her fault. She was apologetic and kept saying me on the plane that she was sorry , and please dont mind.
In the end , I also felt sorry that I came a bit harsh on her.
but I was really delighted with the way she asked sorry . I mean she was damn courteous and truly belived in the customer relation management.
well I was really impressed with the service and there is no doubt that Kingfisher airlines is not only for flying good times but remembering good times also.
well , at last thanks again to anubhuti and guneet. you will go miles ladies.
i invite comment on this.