Bhuwan's Ramblings

Friday, July 20, 2007


It is unfortunate that the greatest classical music composer lived only 35 years in this world from 1756 - 1791. Each of us have heard his music in some form or the other even after more than 200 years. His music has stood the test of time, which is the greatest reward for any composer. The interesting thing is that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart knew that he was the best!

I recently saw the 1984 motion picture Amadeus once again after many years. I loved it as much as I had before. The performances are very good, especially, of the guy who plays Antonio Salieri. Salieri was the biggest competitor, or rather, the chief court composer for the King of Austria before Mozart stepped in. His appreciation and jealousy for Mozart's music has been shows very well.

One thing that I liked about the Mozart's character as shown in the movie is the lack of modesty and abundance of self confidence. The scene where is improvises on Salieri's welcome composition is just fantastic.

Even if you are not a lover of classical symphony orchestra, this is a great movie to watch.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Capital Punishment

The recent news of capital punishment given to the convicts of the 1993 Mumbai blasts made me think about the relevance of the death penalty. I think the death penalty is important for crimes that have far reaching impact on human life and well being. It is also important for degraded personalities (mostly thru propaganda) that can be harmful for the society. I would summarize this as the 3 Ts: Treason, Terrorism and Troubled. The troubled would include serial (psycho) killers, rapists etc.

I understand that sometimes its important to scare people away from a crime by giving a harsh punishment, but still i am not in favour of open or public execution (as practiced by the british). Let the movies do their part in showing the graphics!

The biggest problem, however, is the irreversibility of the death penalty, if the wrong person is convicted. Life has become cheap and lawyers expensive in our world today, which results in innocent people ending up on the wrong side of the courtroom.

The question that we need to answer is: should we keep a terrorist in the jail because he may be innocent and then risk a hijack or a bomb blast that kills hundreds?

Friday, July 13, 2007

Potterama ...

I knew that I was gonna see the new Harry Potter flick at some point, but it would come so soon ... that I had no inclination. Come thursday evening and you-know-who dragged me to the second day show of the magic-wand waving scar-faced kid. I am always surprised that with the powers of magic that these guys exercise how difficult is it to correct the eyesight of Mr. Potter!

The order of the pheonix seemed more like an intermediary step between the previous movie and the next movie rather than a complete story on its own. Nonetheless, it was as entertaining as before with few signs of the kids growing up ;-)

i guess that you-know-who was happy that the 2 hour 20 minutes fast paced entertainer saved the fellow harry potter admirers from my high-decibel music!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Rise of the Rupee

We have all been hearing how the rising rupee is having a negative impact on the exports, especially the IT/BPO sector where the primary USP was the exchange rate. It is a simple concept - rise of rupee results in less rupee per dollar, therefore, for the same number of dollars you get less rupees eating into the profit margins of the company. The worst case is when the product pricing does not remain feasible any more and poses a risk of losing the business to some other country.

I think, however, that it is important to look at the situation over a period of time rather than in the immediate short term. There are two sides of the international trade equation: Imports and Exports.

A rising rupee helps the imports because the country needs to shell out less dollars for the same amount. We all know that our trade deficit has always been negative (which means more imports), thus, a rising rupee will benefit the exchequer.

In addition, the rising rupee makes the prices in the domestic market stable and controls the inflation. One of the negatives of the rising rupee is that the salary burden would increase for companies. A controlled inflation in the market would limit the increase in salaries over the next few years, thereby reducing the salary expenditure for companies compared to the situation where the salaries had to be increased at a higher rate. The companies would remain competetive and thus the impact of a rising rupee in a span of a few years may not be negative.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Movies Masti Magic

No No I have not been hired by Zee Cinema to rejuvenate their punchline ... but just by the spirit of movies and the entertainment that these movies provide to the billions across the world! Some of my recent visits to the big screen -

Jhoom Barabar Jhoom - An entertainer at its core with a short story that was presented well. It brings to light the security that an engagement ring on a stranger's finger brings to you at an unexpected rendezvous. The only thing that makes me wonder is how conveniently a 2 hour conversation between incompatible persons turns into romance and then a marriage! But who wants to see real life on screen ...

Cheeni Kum - I liked this movie even though I may not be a supporter of big-age-gap-unions. It seemed an honest effort from the director's part with good performances by AB, Tabu and of course Paresh Rawal. It was interesting to see how we (Indians) stereotype our roles at different points in the lifetime. These would gradually change in the future generation because dynamism, experimentation and risk-taking is on the rise. One thing that increases the credibility of the movie is that a 30 year matured woman has been shown rather than a teenager who is trying to live one of her crazy fantasies.

Ocean's Thirteen - Even after being disappointed by Ocean's Twelve (which had high expectations after a super hit Ocean's Eleven) we decided to check on George Clooney's guys on a Saturday morning's bargain show. It did turn out to be a good bargain after all, with Al Pacino as the new bad-man, the thirteen made their way through various hurdles in their typical fashion. A perfect entertainer, especially if you liked Ocean's Eleven!

Pirates of the Carribbean: At World's End - I must admit that Johnny Depp does make me drag myself to the theater every time the pirates are in action, even though I am not fond of their ghastly appearances. Everything else is as expected after the trends set by the earlier versions of Pirates. An entertainer for a relaxed weekend.