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Cover Photograph:

Dr. Kurian John Melamparambil

Managing Editor Ajit Ravi Editor Jebitha Ajit Associate Editor Bejoy George Legal Advisor Adv. Sreelatha Parameswaran Correspondents Dr. Thomas Nechupadam Tressa Varghese Denisha Sahadevan Sheela Abraham Sreerekha R. Nair Creative Design Ashique K Gilsha Bindosh Jerin George Marketing Pramod Mithun Mithraa - Trivandrum Photographer Jinish, Photogenic Our Patron: Mr. V.P. Nandakumar Printed and Published by Ajit Ravi Pegasus L5-106 Changampuzha Nagar Kalamasserry, Kochi-33 Printed at S T Reddiar P.B. No: 3627 Veekshanam Road, Cochin Contact Ph: 0484 3242220, 3292223, 3046432 Mob: +91 98460 50283, 94470 50283 editor@uniquetimes.org

RNI Reg. No: KERENG/2011/42633

* All rights reserved worldwide. Reproduction in any manner without permission of proprietors is prohibited.

Our Patron Mr. V.P. Nandakumar


Editorial Thank you for the wonderful response you showed to the last edition of the magazine. I am extremely glad that so many positive responses and feedback fill up my inbox. It is a reason of joy to share the same with you. Our cover story Stay a bit close to the heaven about Vasundhara Sarovar Premiere fetched many responses. The interview with Dr. Vasudevan was very much appreciated. The spirit of entrepreneurship a new series we have started received some good response from the young entrepreneurs. This edition we have an interview with the Managing Director of Melam Group Dr. Kurian John Melamparambil, Padma Awardee and renowned social worker. In a detailed interview Dr. Kurian talks about Melam, his challenges and his life journey. We also have our regular features on banking and finance by Mr. V.P. Nandakumar and Mr. Jiz P Kottukappally. We are in the process of launching Unique Times at more locations worldwide. In case you are not able to access a copy of Unique Times please do write to me. Happy Reading

Ajit Ravi


Contents

14

Gold loan interest rates are not high Mr. V.P. Nandakumar,

MD & CEO - Manappuram Finance Ltd.

26

18

Banking

28

Entrepreneurship

Gadjets

Personal Finance ......... 22 Smile Expert ................ 32 Beauty Expert .............. 34 Auto Diary..................... 36


46 A Very Special Journey: Dr. Kurian John Melamparambil

57

44

Apple

42

Book Review

Phablets ...................... 54 Sports........................... 58 Movie Review .............. 60 Insight ......................... 62

Books


Letters

Dear Ajit, I picked a copy of Unique Times from Kochi Airport. I am really impressed by the quality of article and design. The selection of topics, the arrangement are all very neat and tidy. As someone working in the print media, I can say it quite convincingly. I want to specifically mention the article on Vasundhara Sarovar Premiere and the interview with Dr. P Vasudevan. Kudos to Dr. Vasudevan for setting up a world class Resort in Vayalar, a rather unknown place in the tourist map of Kerala. Keep the good work going Ramachandran S.

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UNIQUE TIMES February 2013


Dear Sir

Dear Sir

I am a Unique Times subscriber , from last July. I read through all the articles, but the ones I always look forward is the gadgets column, which are always relevant and up-todate. If you can arrange for some for some ratings for the same, it would be really helpful.

Entrepreneurs should be concerned about the new developments in our tax system. We should no longer allow the income tax and other taxes to come up as a surprise. Hence an article on the current taxes, new rules and regulations will be very informative and useful for business readers like me. Now with the economy expanding and market dynamics growing , the knowledge of taxation and rebates will help on savings in the business. Also would appreciate if different types of insurances that a business can avail be also shared , this will help business groups and entrepreneurs in ensuring safety and standardization of business security. It's time to give the entrepreneurs cost savings so that will be able to create more and better-paying jobs, but also to our pockets save more, and invest more.

Ashok A Kochi Dear Sir I've been following your magazine for the past few months and the first thing that attracts me is your cover page. While other magazines concentrate on the beauty you rely on genuine achievers who generally go unnoticed. Good effort. The magazine also has a great blend of international and local activities, which especially gives me much insight into local activities. I'll call you a truly international local magazine. Good work. Keep it up. Selvaraj E Madurai

Expect more articles related to entrepreneurship. Atri Kundu Mumbai

Hi I came across your magazine today and I was impressed. I especially liked the auto review and the gadget reviews. All the best Sujith Radhkrishnan Kochi

February 2013 UNIQUE TIMES 07


BANK LICENSE A

ccording to the Finance Ministry, there are hopes that the Reserve Bank will be able to issue licences for the new private sector banks by the end of the 2013-14 fiscal. The RBI has issued guidelines for the corporate, which are both in private and public sectors as well as NBFCs. The last date for applying for a new bank license has been told to be July 1st. Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Takru stated that “there would be examination of applications (by RBI and a high powered committee). On issues of the clearances from Income Tax, CBI and ED and also other regulators, Takru has said that these conditions are aimed at ensuring the safety of the deposits of customers.

Guidelines for the corporate

Asus Reveals New Tab Rs.10,000 tablet in the Indian market

T

he Asus has announced the launch of a Rs. 10,000 tablet in the Indian market. The MeMO Pad 172V is a 7 in tablet which has 1024 x 600p resolution. The tablet is powered with 1GHz processor and 1GB RAM. With 8GB internal memory with support for an expandable memory card slot while offering 5GB of web storage, the device is being priced at Rs 9,999 and will be available in three color. After having brought the various mid and high end products into the Indian market with innovative technologies, Regional Head Peter Chang believes “it’s timeto bring the same grandeur to the low end market.”

LAMBORGHINI T

he global demand for the ultra luxury sports car, the Lamborghini will fall this year, owing to the continuing European debt crisis and the slowdown of the Chinese economy according to the Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winklemann. And in order to compensate for the falling sales in the Europe and China, Lamborghini is now looking to expand in the Asian markets and has opened up a second dealership in India where the number of millionaires is expected to more than double by 2015. The company has also decided to cease production of its V10 Gallardo. The decision came after the makers felt it was lagging in terms of technology, and to replace the V10 another Italian beauty is on itsway.

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UNIQUE TIMES February 2013

Looking to Expand in Asian Markets


Gold on the Downfall T

he Gold exchange-traded funds (ETF’s) seem to not have been up to the expectations. Gold ETF’s annual yield averaged around 7 percent, which is against the broader market’s 10 perfect and income mutual funds’10.4 percent. According to Director, commodities, of Angel Broking a brokerage firm Naveen Mathur “this can be attributed to investors’ fears about rising prices and their doubts on whether the gold’s performance will be sustainable.” In India the demand for gold has declined by 12 percent to 864 tonnes in 2012 from 986 tonnes in 2011. The global demand has also seen decline from 4,405 tonnes in 2012 which happens to be 4 percent lower than that of 2011.

Gold ETF’s annual yield averaged around 7%

HTC's New Phone HTC is grafting its own home screen

T

he Taiwanese maker of smart phones is taking a page from long time partner Microsoft Corp as it gets ready to launch a new phone under their brand One. The new phone which is to go on sale in late March runs Google Inc’s Android software, but HTC is grafting its own home screen on the phone which is similar to the one of the Microsoft’s Windows Phone software. The phone will include AT&T, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile plans. HTC last year had sold 32 million smart phones according to the research firm Gartner, thus giving it about 4 percent of the worldwide market.

The Global Market W

orldwide the financial markets have been under a dark cloud of global depression. The thrashing suffered by the markets clearly indicating the signs of economic weakness around the globe which as irked the economists and investors alike. The slump of the already weak markets was triggered by the U.S. Federal Reserve’s acknowledgement of a significant downside risk to the economy. They also referred to the strains in the global economy pointing to the debt crisis in Europe. All the major U.S. indices witnessed a decrease, and the Australian Index (ASX) slumped down by 102 points.

ASX slumped down by 102 points February 2013 UNIQUE TIMES 09


JET AIRWAYS I

n order to join the low-fare war triggered by the budget carrier SpiceJet last month, the full service carrier Jet Airways announced special fares as low as Rs. 2250 for a single domestic journey. Under the offer the airline put 20 lakh seats on over 450 daily flights across 57 destinations on sale. The airline introduced four different slabs for the one-way fares, which is based on the travel distance and the fares are inclusive of all taxes. According to Jet Airways Group Chief Commercial officer Sudheer Raghavan the nationwide low-fare sales offer is a goodwill gesture to the loyal guests who will be able to plan and schedule their travel much in advance, especially during the holiday seasons, while benefiting from these special fares.

Response to Low-Fare War

Diesel Price Hikes Effect on Private Compaines

I

t seems that the small diesel price hikes is cutting it for the private companies. At present time, the private players, such as Essar Oil, Reliance Industries and Shell are still selling their fuel at 25 percent more than the public sector units. In talking to Business Today, S Thangapandian, CEO, Marketing, of Essar Oil has said that the parity will be reached only by January 2014. This is due to the state owned companies despite having the decontrol are allowed to raise the retail diesel prices only by 50 paise a litre every month.

IRDA T

he former LIC Chief TS Vijayan has taken over as the chairman of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) succeeding J Hari Narayan who completed his five-year term on Thursday. Vijayan has assumed he office at a time when the industry is facing a slowdown, thus he is facing the task of taking the insurance to the rural markets. The simplification of the insurance products will be another challenge for him. This marks a comeback for Vijayan, who was battling corruption allegations with regard to investment decisions made by LIC during his tenure.

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UNIQUE TIMES February 2013

Simplification of the insurance products


REAL ESTATE MARKET T

he housing prices have seen an increase in 18 of the major cities including Delhi and Mumbai, over the previous quarter due to the rise in input cost and the limit on the fresh supply according to the National Housing Bank. NHB stated that the increase in 18 cities range from “0.6 percent in Chennai to 9.6 percent in Delhi and Mumbai, and fall in only two cities namely Indore (-1.0 percent) and Faridabad (-5.1 percent) in the quarter October- December 2012 in comparison to the previous quarter July- September 2012.” The prices have been shot up by 9.6 percent each in Kolkata and Patna, followed by Kochi (8.8 percent), Surat (8.7 percent), Bengaluru (8.2 percent) and Lucknow (8 percent).

The housing prices have seen an increase in 18 of the major cities

E-TICKETING to be Made Easier

H

ow to make the electronic ticket booking system work in a faster and easier way? According to the Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, by the end of this calendar year, the Indian Railways will be introducing a new technology which introduces a “next generation” eticketing system that will support the booking of 7,200 tickets a minute with extending the timing which the booking will be available from 12:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. The minister said that the new system would be supporting 1,20,000 simultaneous users at any point in time against the present capacity of 40,000 users. Bansal also announced that the railways would soon introduce a system under which the tickets can be booked via mobile.

SEARCH ENGINE A

ccording to Brand Trust Advisory, Google has turned out to be the most trusted online brand in India with Yahoo coming up as the runner up for the most trusted search engine next to Google. This was based on a survey which was conducted in 16 cities, taking into consideration 19,000 unique brands across 211 categories. As for the social networking sites as usual are gaining popularity, with Orkut and Twitter ranking fourth and sixth. Google’s Orkut has steadied itself at the fourth rank despite the significant loss in the daily visitors, with Facebook obviously ranking first in the category of social networking.

Brand Trust Advisory February 2013 UNIQUE TIMES 11


Unique Diary

Higgs Boson A potential Higgs Boson particle discovered last year could spell doom for our universe, researchers claim. The mass of the so called 'God particle', uncovered at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva, is a key ingredient in a calculation that signals the future of space and time. This calculation tells you that many tens of billions of years from now there will be a catastrophe," Joseph Lykken, a theoretical physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia said. "It may be the universe we live in is inherently unstable, and at some point, billions of years from now, it's all going to get wiped out," added Lykken, a collaborator on one of the LHC's experiments.

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) on Tuesday launched luxury Jaguar XJ Ultimate, priced up to Rs. 1.88 crore). The XJ Ultimate is available with Jaguar's existing 5.0-litre V8 supercharged petrol engine and 3.0 litre V6 turbocharged diesel engine, all wheel drive an eight-speed transmission, the company said in a statement . While the 5.0-litre V8 variant will cost Rs. 1.88 crore the 3.0litre diesel variant is priced at Rs. 1.78 crore, it added. A company press release says that the XJ Ultimate is used exclusively on the long-wheelbase XJ, the interior changes applied to the Ultimate focus on the rear accommodation, extending the car's limousine remit to provide a fully-appointed luxury business class experience for the most discerning of global customers.

Azim Premji Azim Premji, today announced the transfer of 295.5 million equity Wipro shares worth Rs. 12,300 crore held by certain entities controlled by him, to an irrevocable trust. The trust will utilise the endowment to fund, various social, not-for-profit initiatives of the Azim Premji Foundation, which are expected to scale significantly over the next few years, the statement said. With this transfer, the trust's shareholding in Wipro will go up to about 19.93 per cent, according to a statement issued by the Foundation. The 295.5 million shares of Wipro Ltd represent around 12 per cent stake.

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UNIQUE TIMES March 2013


David Einhorn A US judge handed outspoken hedge fund manager David Einhorn a victory in his battle with Apple Inc on Friday, blocking the iPhone maker from moving forward with a shareholder vote on a controversial proposal to limit the company's ability to issue preferred stock. US District Judge Richard Sullivan in Manhattan granted a motion by Einhorn's Greenlight Capital for a preliminary injunction stopping a vote on that proposal, scheduled for the company's February 27 stockholders' meeting. The decision could hand Einhorn more leverage as he pursues his pitch for Apple to issue what he has called the "iPref": preferred stock with a perpetual dividend that he contends would reward investors and help boost the company's share price.

Phaneesh Murthy Phaneesh Murthy Chief Executive of iGate Corp and a former Infosys Ltd executive is challenging the IT outsourcing industry's billing model by charging for results instead of basing fees on the time and labour Outcomes-based billing, growing as a share of revenue across the industry and pursued most aggressively by, is meant to appeal to clients with less-certain budgets in a tough economy. If the services don't deliver an agreed-upon result, such as reducing the cost of processing a loan or cutting the reject rate in an auto parts factory, the customer pays less. But the strategy also boosts profit margins for IT companies, raising questions about which model is better for customers.

Cyrus Mistry Tata Sons decided to invest in a three-way joint venture with AirAsia, the largest discount carrier in Southeast Asia by fleet size, and another Indian investor, Arun Bhatia of Telestra Tradeplace, to establish a budget airline. Ratan Tata’s failed in an attempt to set up an airline with Singapore Airlines in the face of strong opposition from domestic private airlines. The Tatas still hold 1.98 per cent stake in SpiceJet, down from 5.82 per cent in 2007.

March 2013 UNIQUE TIMES 13


Finance

Mr. V.P. Nandakumar MD & CEO, Manappuram Finance Ltd.

Gold Loan Interest Rates are Not High A

housing loan is available at interest rates of between 10 to 12 percent but interest rates charged by NBFCs on gold loans can go up to 24 percent and more. Consequently, gold loan NBFCs occasionally face criticism that they charge high rates are high, particularly because their customers belong mostly to the economically weaker sections. However, a deeper analysis reveals that this is not true, particularly when one considers the overall costbenefit equation from the pint of view of the gold loan borrower.

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UNIQUE TIMES March 2013


Without recovering the cost and generating reasonable returns for the producer, the activity is not worthwhile and the business cannot be sustained.

A

housing loan is available at interest rates of between 10 to 12 percent but interest rates charged by NBFCs on gold loans can go up to 24 percent and more. Consequently, gold loan NBFCs occasionally face criticism that they charge high rates are high, particularly because their customers belong mostly to the economically weaker sections. However, a deeper analysis reveals that this is not true, particularly when one considers the overall cost-benefit equation from the point of view of the gold loan borrower.

financing institution other than keeping track of periodic repayments.

A product or service can only be offered at a price that covers the cost of production plus a reasonable profit margin. Without recovering the cost and generating reasonable returns for the producer, the activity is not worthwhile and the business cannot be sustained. Unlike banks that have access to low cost deposits from the public, especially savings and current accounts, the cost of funds for NBFCs is much higher, about 12 to 13 percent. This automatically pushes up the minimum rates at which they can lend.

For instance, in a bank, a small team of two or three officers can disburse a housing loan of Rs.30 lakhs at an interest rate of 10% which earns the bank about Rs.3 lakhs in the first year. In contrast, to attain the same level of business in gold loans, requires disbursement of 900 gold loans (at an average ticket size of Rs.30,000 and average tenure of four months). Clearly, the gold loan business cannot be carried out at the same interest rates as in the housing loan sector.

Gold loans are small ticket, short duration loans that are typically repaid within three to four months. In contrast a housing loan is taken for 15 to 20 years and for large amounts, typically, Rs.10 lakhs and more. In a housing loan, once the disbursement takes place, there is very little administrative cost involved for the

Because a GL is repaid within 3 to 4 months, there is constant churn in the portfolio. Even to maintain the gold loan portfolio at a certain level, fresh loans have to be constantly given out. Consequently, administrative costs are much higher. As a rule, the cost involved in handling small ticket loans is higher than in big ticket loans (because economies of scale are present) and the only way to recover the higher cost is by levying higher interest rates.

Further, experience tells us that when it comes to small ticket/ short duration loans, the rate of interest expressed as an annualised percentage does not matter. What matters is the actual amount of interest paid out in relation to the borrower’s cash flow. Example, a loan taken at an interest rate of 30% p.a. appears usurious but if the loan amount is small, say Rs.10,000, to be

repaid in three months, the total interest works out to Rs.750. In Kerala, this is less than two days wages for a labourer. Borrowers also consider the time saved and the hassle free experience in availing a gold loan from an NBFC like Manappuram as an opportunity cost saved which makes the deal worthwhile despite the higher interest amount paid. Like all customers, Gold loan borrowers consider not just the price, but also the value in the product (i.e. the price to value equation). It’s well known that NBFCs disburse a gold loan in a matter of minutes. A “cheaper” gold loan from a commercial bank would involve multiple visits to the bank and sacrifice of a day’s (or two day’s) earnings. When you factor in the “opportunity costs”, NBFCs are much cheaper. Customers don’t have to sacrifice the earnings for the days spent following up at the bank or fulfilling cumbersome procedural requirements. That is why, even where a nationalised bank’s branches are located right next to our branches, we end up doing much more gold loan business than they do. It proves that for the actual gold loan consumers, the annualised rate of interest alone is not the main consideration. At the same time, the gold loan business has considerable risks in it which form part of the cost and that cannot be ignored and. For example,

March 2013 UNIQUE TIMES 15


A housing loan is available at interest rates of between 10 to 12 percent but gold loan interest rates charged by NBFCs can go up to 24 percent and more. Consequently, gold loan NBFCs occasionally face criticism that they charge high rates are high, particularly because their customers belong mostly to the economically weaker sections. However, a deeper analysis reveals that this is not true, particularly when one considers the overall cost-benefit equation from the point of view of the gold loan borrower.

• A product or service can only be offered at a price that covers the cost of production plus a reasonable profit margin. Without recovering the cost and generating reasonable returns for the producer, the activity is not worthwhile and the business cannot be sustained. • Unlike banks that have access to low cost deposits from the public, especially savings and current accounts, the cost of funds for NBFCs is much higher, about 12 to 13%. This automatically pushes up the minimum rates at which they can lend. • Gold loans are small ticket, short duration loans that are typically repaid within three to four months. In contrast a housing loan is taken for 15 to 20 years and for large amounts, typically, Rs.10 lakhs and more. In a housing loan, once the disbursement takes place, there is very little administrative cost involved for the financing institution other than keeping track of periodic repayments. • Because a GL is repaid within 3 to 4 months, there is constant churn in the portfolio. Even to maintain the gold loan portfolio at a certain level, fresh loans have to be constantly given out. Consequently, administrative costs are much higher. As a rule, the cost involved in handling small ticket loans is higher than in big ticket loans (because economies of scale are present) and the only way to recover the higher cost is by levying higher interest rates. • E.g. In a bank, a small team of two or three officers can disburse a

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UNIQUE TIMES March 2013

housing loan of Rs.30 lakhs at an interest rate of 10% which earns the bank about Rs.3 lakhs in the first year. In contrast, to attain the same level of business in gold loans, requires 900 gold loans to be disbursed (at an average ticket size of Rs.30,000 and average tenure of four months). Clearly, the gold loan business cannot be carried out at same interest rate as in the housing loan sector.

requirements.

• Experience shows that when it comes to small ticket/ short duration loans, the rate of interest expressed as an annualised percentage does not matter. What matters is the actual amount of interest paid out in relation to the borrower’s cash flow. Example, a loan taken at an interest rate of 30% p.a. appears usurious but if the loan amount is small, say Rs.10,000, to be repaid in three months, the total interest works out to Rs.750. In Kerala, this is less than two days wages for a labourer.

• That is why, even where a nationalised bank’s branches are located right next to our branches, we end up doing much more gold loan business than they do. It proves that for the actual gold loan consumers, the annualised rate of interest alone is not the main consideration.

• Borrowers also consider the time saved and the hassle free experience in availing a gold loan from an NBFC like Manappuram as an opportunity cost saved which makes the deal worthwhile despite the higher interest amount paid. • Like all customers, Gold loan borrowers consider not just the price, but also the value in the product (i.e. the price to value equation). It’s well known that NBFCs disburse a gold s for the days spent following up at the bank or fulfilling cumbersome procedural

loan in a matter of minutes. A “cheaper” gold loan from a commercial bank would involve multiple visits to the bank and sacrifice of a day’s (or two day’s) earnings. When you factor in the “opportunity costs”, NBFCs are much cheaper. Customers don’t have to sacrifice the earnings for the days spent following up at the bank or fulfilling cumbersome procedural requirements.

• At the same time, the gold loan business has considerable risks in it that cannot be ignored and which form part of the cost. For example, appraisal risks and custodial risks are critical risks in the business and measures to counter these are costly. Equally, the price risk (the loss is important and it’s only a coincidence that for the past few years, gold prices have been increasing. Should there be a reversal in the trend, it’s possible that the gold loan business may suffer losses too. • Finally, comparisons with the interest rates on gold loans given by commercial banks to agriculturists are not valid because these loans are eligible for special benefits from the government.


Banking

Are Benefits Under

DTAA Being

Withdrawn?

Jiz P. Kottukappally The author is working as Asst General Manger Catholic Syrian Bank and the views expressed are the personal opinion of the author. Author can be reached at jizpauls@gmail.com

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The benefit of lower deduction of TDS on interest payments is applicable only in the case of “non-residents” as per Indian Tax laws.

I

n the last issue I had mentioned about investing in bank deposits for enjoying income tax exemption. A few days later there was a mail in my inbox from one of the readers asking if I could explain the logic of charging a higher tax deduction at source on amount placed in NRO deposits with banks. To have the perspective right he had mentioned banks are deducting tax at source ( TDS ) at the rate of 10% plus applicable surcharge and cess on deposits placed by residents as against 30 % plus applicable surcharge and cess deducted from deposits placed in Non Resident Ordinary ( NRO ) account by non resident Indians. He had concluded by saying that to his mind it appeared highly illogical and irrational. In reply I wrote that law might not always have a logic. Just two days later I received another query. He had ( for the sake of convenience let us call him Mr A ) had deposited Rs 2 lakh with a bank for 1 year. After 2 months he availed a loan of Rs 1.60 lakh against the deposit receipt for meeting some medical expenses. Mr A did not have the sufficient cash flow subsequently to get the loan against the deposit receipt ( LDR ) closed. So on the maturity date the loan was closed by adjustment against the deposit account. Mr A had gained interest of Rs 20,000 on his term deposits and was charged around Rs 15,000 on the LDR . Mr A was under the impression that as the net interest received by him was only Rs 5000 ( 20,000 – 15,000) TDS would not be deducted. But bank deducted Rs 2,000 as TDS at the rate of 10% on the interest paid. Mr A wanted to know , what the bank

had done was right or not . In reply I confirmed that what the bank has done is right as per law. Tax deduction at source on bank deposits are governed by the provisions of Section 194 A of the Income Tax Act and Sec 194A does not provide for setting off the interest charged on LDR against the interest receivable on deposit account. Thus what the bank has done is right legally even though it might appear to be illogical to many of us. As said earlier law might not always have a logic. Instead of arguing and debating on the logic of various provisions of law what would be more beneficial for us is to understand the provisions that are beneficial to us and take advantage out of them. One such provision that is beneficial to the non residents is the provision relating to Double Tax Avoidance Agreement ( DTAA ). DTAA is a bilateral agreement entered into between India and another foreign country with the objective of avoiding taxation of the same income in two different countries. The provisions of DTAA overrides the general provisions of the Income Tax Act . As per the provisions of Income Tax Act 1961, TDS is applicable for interest paid on NRO deposits. ( Interest income from NRE and FCNR (B) deposits is exempted from tax as per section 10 of the Income Tax Act, 1961. ) It is to be noted that TDS is applicable for interest paid on NRO deposits irrespective of the amount paid (i.e. the exemption up to Rs.10,000/- per annum as in the case of interest on domestic deposits is not applicable). Presently, the normal rate of TDS on interest payment to nonresidents is 30% plus applicable surcharge and cess. March 2013 UNIQUE TIMES 19


However the government has entered into DTAA with various contries and in case of NRIs residing in such countries the rate of TDS would vary from 10% to 20% , based on the agreement. The benefit of lower deduction of TDS on interest payments is applicable only in the case of “non-residents” as per Indian Tax laws. Section 6 of the Income tax Act sets out the criteria for an individual to be a resident and any one who does not fulfill the conditions would be deemend to be a non resident. Accordingly an individual is a nonresident in India if he does not satisfy any of the following conditions Viz Presence in India for at least 182 days during the financial year or Presence in India for at least 60 days during the financial year and 365 days or more during the four preceding financial years. In the case of an Indian citizen who leaves India for the purpose of employment or who comes on a visit to India during the financial year, 60 days will be substituted by 182 days. In order to deduct tax from interest on NRO deposits at the rates prescribed

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in DTAA, the payee must be a “nonresident” in India as per Indian tax laws and must be a “resident” of the other country as per the tax laws/rules of that particular country. Banks have been insisting on sufficient documentory evidences for the same. Every year banks collect a declaration from the non-resident to the effect that he/she is not a resident in India as per the Income Tax laws applicable in India and that he/she is a resident of the other country as per the taxation rules and laws of that country for the respective year. Certain banks have been insisting on copy of the visa stamped passport. Might be because there was no uniformity in the documentory evidence collected by the banks Central Board Of Direct Taxes ( CBDT ) Vide Notification Dated 17th September, 2012 has amended section 90 and 90A of the Income Tax Act with effect from 01st April,2013. As per the amended sections of Income Tax Act 1961, a non resident customer who is claiming the benefit of Double Taxation Avoidance


henceforth. Banks would be insisting on submission of TRC by the customers every year for claiming the benefit under DTAA. Even though the relative notification has been issued by CBDT in September,2012 clarity is yet to evolve on who would be the competent authority in the foreign state for issuing the tax residency certificate.

When the country is trying hard to plug the current account deficit can we not avoid such costly mistakes?

Agreement (DTAA) shall not be entitled to claim such benefit any more, unless he produces a Tax Residency Certificate ( TRC ) in proof of his residence in any country outside India obtained from the government of that country. CBDT has not prescribed any specific format for the certificate. However CBDT has prescribed following contents to be captured in the Tax Residency Certificate (TRC) on the basis of which DTAA can be extended Viz Name of the assessee, Status (individual, company, firm etc.) of the assessee, Nationality (in case of individual), Country or specified territory of incorporation or registration (in case of others), Assessee’s tax identification number in the country or specified territory of residence or in case no such number, then, a unique number on the basis of which the person is identified by the Government of the country or the specified territory, Residential status for the purposes of tax, Period for which the certificate is applicable and Address of the applicant for the period for which the certificate is applicable. The TRC has to be duly verified by the Government of the country of which the NRO customer claims to be a resident for the purposes of tax. Thus, for a depositor who is a resident of UK , the TRC has to be issued by the UK government. If a customer fails to submit required TRC, he will not be able to claim benefit of DTAA

And as I am just concluding my article I find the Union Budget 2013 presented by the Honourable Union Finance Minister before the parliament today ( 28th February,2013 ) has added insult to injury as far as tax residency certificate is concerned. The Union Budget 2013 proposes to insert a new sub section ( sub section 5 ) to clause 90 and 90 A of the Income Tax Act stating that tax residency certificate shall be necessary but not a sufficient condition for claiming any relief under DTAA. The amendment has not specified any documents which would be considered as sufficient proof for proving the residential status of the depositor. Thus it results in merely giving more power to the assessing officer to be more subjective in his judgement. Such subjectivities would create fears, confusion and lack of confidence in the minds of the depositors. Instead of clarifying the ambiguities , the proposed amendment creates more ambiguities and uncertainties . The above amendment, if passed by the parliament could open a plethora of litigations between the non residents and the income tax department. This could affect the investment decisions of non residents and also inflow of NRO deposits. When the country is trying hard to plug the current account deficit , can we not avoid such costly mistakes? Representation will have to be made by appropriate forums for the same with all earnestness. If the proposed amendment gets passed by the parliament , to my mind it appears that it is equivalent to withdrawing DTAA benefits. I would say what the law gives by one hand , the law takes back by the other hand.

March 2013 UNIQUE TIMES 21


Personal Finance

Great Ideas for Personal Budgeting 22

UNIQUE TIMES March 2013


If it makes you feel better about the process, drop the word "budget" and call it a "spending plan".

E

very organization has a budget. Successful organizations around the world budget their money. And they do it because it works. But although making money and making a budget appear to go hand-in-hand, a report on personal income and outlays by the U.S. Department of Commerce found that for 2006, American households had a negative savings rate of around 1.0%, although it has increased since. Same in the case with Indians. It appears that the overwhelming majority of Indians does not have or correctly use a personal budget. Sticking to a personal budget will increase your financial health Budget and Diet are terminologies that do not have positive connotations. These are activities which people resort to when people have some serious problems. Budget and a diet are both tools. If the tools are used properly, they lead to a desired outcome. Nobody dislikes the word "shovel", even though the use of the shovel requires effort. People use a shovel to dig a hole. They use a diet to develop a healthy body, and they use a budget to develop a fiscally responsible lifestyle.. Instead of viewing the plan as

restrictive, think about the things it allows you to buy. After all, a budget is nothing more than a plan for how you will spend your money. People complain that they can't create a budget because they don't know exactly how much money they will earn in a given week. While it is true that workers earning an hourly wage or working on commission might not get the exact same rupee figure in each paycheck, the amount that you earn has much less to do with the basics of budgeting than the amount you spend. Instead of focusing on whether you earn enough each month, focus on your monthly spending. The question is simple: where does your money go. Regardless of how much you earn or when you earn it, everybody has fixed expenses, like house rent, loans, groceries, education, shopping, entertainment etc. If your expenses don't add up to the amount of your monthly your next step should be to save the receipts for every purchase that you make next month and use them as the basis for creating additional categories or adjusting the numbers in the existing categories. There are certain items which do not March 2013 UNIQUE TIMES 23


occur every month. These items are listed as variables for two reasons. The first reason is that these expenses vary from month to month. The second is that if you don't have the money to cover these expenses, the expenses can be reduced or eliminated without too much difficulty. For example, if you're out of money, the entertainment budget takes a hit and you stay home on Friday night, or you don't buy those new shoes that you've been considering. Part of taking control of your money is learning how to exercise some discipline in your spending habits. The income part is more or less or same for the majority of people, unless some very lucky person goes ans hit a jackpot. Take a look at your monthly income. How much are you bringing on your worst month. Compare that number to the amount that you are spending. Ideally, the income is larger than the output. If so, it's time for a personal savings plan. In other words, don't spend everything you earn - save some for yourself. If you are spending more than you are earning, it's time to review your spending habits. Strategies to increase your income include getting a new higher paying job, getting a second job or finding a roommate to help you with expenses.

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Strategies to cut your expenses include eliminating impulse buys, which are a major expense for most people, and cutting out planned, but unnecessary, expenses. Everybody needs money. Nearly everyone wishes for more money at some point. That said, all but the wealthiest among us are essentially living on a fixed income. In other words, you bring in a certain amount of money each month, and when it's gone, it's gone. Accepting that reality is the key to living a happier, wealthier life. Keep in mind that your creditors don't work for free, so spending money that you don't actually have is also incredibly expensive. Fortunately, getting your finances on track isn't that difficult, and while there are spreadsheets and software programs designed to make the budgeting process faster and easier, all you really need is a piece of paper, a pencil and the desire to live within (or even below) your means. You should also plan to set aside enough money to cover at least three months' worth of your expenses in case of an emergency. Once that money is put away, you won't need to rely on your credit cards should you lose your job or experience unforeseen

expenses. Like every other recurring item in your budget, the emergency fund is something you fund one month at a time until you reach your goal. A budget is really a great tool that can work to put your personal finances on the right track. If the most successful multi-million dollar companies must budget their spending, it makes sense that a typical household should have to control its expenses in a similar way. Budgeting your money need not be seen as a chore. After all, accepting the limits of your income is the best way to take control of your spending, live within your means and, ultimately, reach your financial goals.


Entrepreneurship

5 Qualities that make a great entrepreneur. Do you have it in you?

1 2

26

Talk to people Steve Blank, the father of customer development describes this as “getting out of the building”. You should talk with the people outside to set up a great business. Talking to customers as the key to building a successful startup. Steve Blank literally pushes this idea, every student presentation has a running tally of the number of customers they interact with. Blank says no business plan survives first contact with customers so you need to get out of the building is the oxygen of startup survival. The format of getting out of the building changes with the experiment and startup stage.

The courage for experimentation Experimentation can mean trying out a business strategy on a small scale. The company might test market a new product to a narrow audience of consumers, such as those in one city. Business owners do everything they can to meet the needs of their customers. Companies introduce new products and services that they believe are an improvement over what they offered before. Experimentation on a small scale allows them to predict the outcome on a larger scale, almost like sample precincts in an election. Companies don’t have complete knowledge of the business environment. Experimentation allows them to obtain more real-world data about their environment. Experimentation allows the company to save money.

UNIQUE TIMES March 2013


3

Try until you succeed. You need not reinvent the wheel, but continuous invention in your business style is required. You need to run experiments against the business model canvas and running development iterations that are exposed to users to understand the capabilities of the product development team as well as the viability of proposed features. The pace of learning is directly proportional to the rate of iteration.

4

Seek Value in every step Customers always look for value in one way or another. Event the same for business. Business viability is dependent on determining a viable and differentiated value proposition. Getting the right “fit”between the value proposition and the customer segments, customer pain points, and solution provides the lubrication for the business to work. Experiments should be designed to refine this from the related business canvas elements. Developing a value proposition that “scales” beyond a set of core early adopters is the key to growth.

Build a business model. One of the most common fault seen in new startup is the lack of a proper business model. So success comes with a good business model. At the heart of every successful business is a sound business model. One of the most common failings of entrepreneurial ventures is the failure to identify the proper business model that is fit to say a sustainable combination of solving an important problem at a reasonable cost and at a reasonable value relative to revenue. So need to have a good business model inorder to be successful.

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Gadjets

JBL OnBeat

T

he JBL OnBeat™ loudspeaker dock is the best dock available for iPad. It is the first JBL dock to deliver realistic, high-output sound from any iPod, iPhone or iPad. The JBL OnBeat docking station features dual Phoenix full-range transducers with computer-optimized DSP equalization for a richly detailed soundstage, an IR remote puts you in full control of system functions and music navigation from across the room, and it even keeps your devices charged when docked.

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Samsung Galaxy Grand

T

he Samsung Galaxy Grand is a five inch dual SIM phone from the market leader Samsung. The phone sports an 1.2 GHz dual core processor and 1 GB RAM. The camera of the phone is, an 8 megapixel camera with 1080 HD recording sure is breathtaking. Real world performance is also good, when I took some photographs from it, they looked nice. It's a dual SIM phone with 3G support.

March 2013 UNIQUE TIMES 29


Gadjets

Micromax Canvas HD

M

icromax has always surprised Indian customers with amazing forms. Micromax Canvas HD A116 is another sure winner from the Micromax stable. The new HD device is one of the much anticipated launch of the year and even before its official launch it is the talk of the town. The large 5.0 inch display has got some amazing resolution and that makes one of the best budget handset available in the market

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Videocon VT10

T

he Videocon VT10 is a 10-inch tablet, comes with a white and silver casing. The silver colour on the back is a bit glossy and makes the tablet looks very tacky. Most of the front is taken up by the screen with white borders all around. The front facing camera lies just above the screen. The screen is a fingerprint magnet and one needs to constantly keep cleaning the tablet. The dimensions of the tablet are 257.3 x 176 x 10.3 mm and at 650 grams it is certainly not one of the lightest tablets around.

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My smile is a crooked one my front teeth is very short and when I smile my side teeth are visible than the front teeth. I am 45 years old and have lost the confidence in smiling. Can you suggest me a fast effective treatment plan for giving me a good smile?

Nechupadam Dental, GCDA Complex, Marine Drive, Kohci - 682 031, Cont: 93872 77213 www.smiledotcom.com

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A: The visibility of front teeth is a major factor in a good smile. From your description we understand that you have a reverse smile arc with less visibility of front teeth. The length and the position of teeth may have to be altered to make a good smile. An oral rehabilitation procedure with correction of vertical height and the smile arc correction can be done within 7-10 days’ time. This could be an effective choice of treatment to improve smile and confidence.

I have a number of teeth with dark spots among the upper and lower front teeth. These were identified as dental decay and were filled many a times. Now these areas are brownish black and when smile the teeth looks ugly and broken. Please suggest a permanent solution as I am fed up of fillings and refilling my teeth. A: Your teeth are vulnerable and have many caries spots which were filled. But when you have increased caries activity we need to check for all the teeth for any caries and treat them too instead of correcting the front teeth only. This will prevent further decay as the bacterial population in the mouth declines. The front teeth may need Veneers or crowns to improve aesthetics which could be done in just two appointments and in 4-5 days.


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Can you suggest a natural remedy for my hair loss? Boil 250 ml of mustard oil in a thin vessel. Add 60 grams of henna leaves gradually into it and continue boiling till they are burnt in the oil. Filter and store this mixture in the a bottle. Massage hair regularly with this oil to prevent hair loss. I am 20 yrs old and even though I have never smoked, my lips are black. I am extremely worried over this. Please suggest me a remedy. It is possible that the problem is hereditary. A very simple and easy way of reducing this problem is by massaging the area with coconut oil mixed with glycerin and a little rose water. Massage this onto the lips two to three times a day for a week and you can see a difference.

Tressa Varghese Director Phoebe International

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Auto Diary

Ford

Fiesta New Ford Fiesta is a premium mid-sized sedan that was launched in 2011. The new Fiesta is synonymous of style, comfort, and great performance. The new Ford Fiesta road tests and New Ford Fiesta reviews have made buzz around and all these indicate that the car is thumbs up in looks, safety and drive feel; however the pricing is higher than expected. The three box new Ford Fiesta has nicer and smoother lines than Tata Indigo and Ford Fiesta Classic. The superb car technology coupled with kinetic design, ultimate styling in the new Ford Fiesta is best mated to powerful and fuel efficient petrol and diesel engines. The Ford Fiesta has got two engine options and both are 1.5 litre units. The petrol motor churns out 108 Bhp of power and 140 NM of torque. The diesel unit belts out 90 Bhp of power and 204 NM of torque.

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Honda City

The Honda City is a marvellous sedan car which has ruled in its segment for more than a decade now. In India Honda City has also been awarded as the "Car of the Year" in 2009. Honda City has 11th time achieved the No.1 Rank in JD Power Initial Quality Survey in the mid size segment which is a record in itself. The new Honda City is exceptional is all senses. The New Honda City now comes with enhanced ground clearance of 165 mm, 5mm more than its predecessor giving it an extra bit of comfort on bumpy roads. The length of the new City is 4440 mm (20 mm longer than its predecessor). Honda City is spread over 7 variants now-Corporate, E, S, S AT, V MT, V AT, V (Sunroof) MT and V (Sunroof) AT . Honda City still comes equipped with a powerful 1.5L, 4 cylinder and 16 valves new generation i-VTEC engine that delivers a good balance of 116.38bhp power along with excellent fuel economy of 16.8 kmpl with Automatic Transmission and 15.6kmpl with Manual Transmission.

March 2013 UNIQUE TIMES 37


Auto Diary

Swift DZire The New Swift DZire is a first of its kind budget sedan that has managed to be under the four metre mark. With the Dzire, Maruti Suzuki created an all-new platform targeting the specific customer looking for an entry level sedan that fits well in his budget and parking lot where the earlier Swift DZire stood at 4,160 mm, the new DZire is at 3,995 mm. The let down due to this cut own in length is the loss of over 100 litres of boot space compared to the 464 litres of the old D’Zire. Prices start at 5.10 lakhs for the petrol version and 6 lakhs for the diesel version.

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Mahindra Verito

Mahindra Verito is a no-frills, entry level sedan that offered a lot of space, good reliability and fuel efficiency at the best price. Mahindra and Renault ended the JV and the Logan was rechristened as the Verito by Mahindra . Last month, Mahindra launched the New Look Verito with a proper facelift. Mahindra has priced the face-lifted Verito at Rs 5.30 lakhs for the base petrol and Rs 6.30 lakhs for the base diesel model.


Auto Diary

Chevrolet Sail The Chevrolet Sail is a notchback sedan from the GM stable. The new Sail sedan is powered by 1.2-litre petrol unit developing 86 PS @ 6000 RPM and 113 NM @ 4400 RPM, while the diesel model is powered by the very common Fiat 1.3 litre Multijet engine, which develops 78 PS @4000 RPM and 205 NM @ 1750 RPM with a claimed fuel efficiency of 22.1 kmpl. Starting from a price of Rs 4.99 lakh for the petrol variant all the way up to Rs 7.51 lakh for the top end diesel variant, the Sail sedan will give you a total of eight variants to pick from. It will be available to Indian buyers in seven exterior colours Velvet Red, Switchblade Silver, Summit White, Caviar Black, Linen Beige, Sandrift Grey and Misty Lake.

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Books Jugaad Innovation: A Frugal and Flexible Approach to Innovation For The 21st Century (Hardcover) Author: Navi Radjou, Jaideep Prabhu, Simone Ahuja Publisher: Random Business / Random House India (2012) Jugaad is a word often heard in general conversation in India. Whether to find ingenious solutions to problems or turn adversity into opportunity Indians swear by it. In this seminal book, Navi Radjou, Jaideep Prabhu, and Simone Ahuja challenge the very way a traditional organization thinks and acts. Leading companies such as Facebook, Future Group, GE, Google, PepsiCo, Philips, Renault-Nissan, Siemens, Suzlon, Tata Group, and YES BANK, among others, are already practicing jugaad to generate original ideas and pioneer growth.

The Only Financial Planning Book that You will Ever Need (Hardcover) PublisherCNBC Author: Amar Pandit Price: Rs.414/When people hear the term, Financial Planning, they often confuse it with investment planning, portfolio management or tax planning. Some are immediately put off, as they simply do not have time to plan. They think of the process as complex and time-consuming; in fact, most believe they should think of a financial plan once they have enough wealth. There are many such myths about financial planning and its important to understand what financial planning really is.

Investment Game: How to Win 7th Edition (Paperback) PublisherTata McGraw Hill Education Author: Prasanna Chandra Price: Rs.188/A Indian consumer's sense of financial freedom is not apt. This can be attributed to factors like low financial awareness, inadequate investment planning, and a general feeling that more needs to be done. This book improves your financial literacy and investment sense. Arming you to play the investment game well, it helps you to maximize the probability of achieving your cherished financial goals.

The Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys To Creativity (Hardcover) Author: Hugh Macleod Publisher: Penguin Books (2009) Rs. 1560/When Hugh MacLeod was a struggling young copywriter, living in a YMCA, he started to doodle on the backs of business cards while sitting at a bar. Those cartoons eventually led to a popular blog a gapingvoid.com a and a reputation for pithy insight and humor, in both words and pictures. MacLeod has opinions on everything from marketing to the meaning of life, but one of his main subjects is creativity. How do new ideas emerge in a cynical, risk-averse world? Where does inspiration come from? What does it take to make a living as a creative person?

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The New Age Entrepreneurs (Paperback) Author: Various Publisher: Random Business / Random House India (2012) Rs. 199 Have you wondered what goes on in the heads of entrepreneurs? What makes them tick? The New Age Entrepreneurs provides a peek into the lives of thirty successful entrepreneurs—including N.R. Panicker of Accel Ltd, Ramachandra Galla of Amaron, and M. Murali of Sri Krishna Sweets—who established flourishing businesses borne out of innovative ideas. These trailblazers delved into diverse industries, ranging from information technology to luxury hotels and Indian sweets.

Reverse Innovation: Create Far From Home, Win Everywhere (Hardcover) Author: Chris Trimble, Vijay Govindarajan Publisher: Harvard Business Press Books (2012) Rs. 750/“The book presents its ideas clearly, with about half devoted to the general concepts and the other half to case examples of companies such as GE, Procter & Gamble and PepsiCo, which are leading the way in reverse innovation. If your company can benefit from reverse innovation – or might suffer from it – the book is well worth reading.” – Globe & Mail The gap between rich nations and emerging economies is closing. As a result, the global dynamics of innovation are changing. No longer will innovations traverse the globe in only one direction, from developed nations to developing ones. They will also flow in reverse.

The $100 Startup: Fire Your Boss, Do What You Love and Work Better to Live More (Paperback) Author: Chris Guillebeau Publisher: Pan Macmillan (2012) Rs. 499/Chris Guillebeau and The $100 Startup are on India tour this December. Ttaking the message of freedom and value to dozens of cities on every continent. We have lots of fun people wherever we go, and you can help make it happen. Be a part of it check the given link for more information. You no longer need to work nine-to-five in a big company to pay off your loans, send your kids to school and afford that yearly holiday. You can quit the rat race and start up on your own – and you don’t need an MBA or a huge investment to do it.

How to be Your Own Financial Planner in 10 Steps: Master Your Financial Life 2 (Hardcover) Publisher: Network18 Publications About : Manish Chauhan Price: Rs.349/By the time you complete this book, your financial life will have taken new shape! You will have worked on 10 different areas of your financial life, in the same way a financial planner works with you. The book has the ability to guide you on how to plan the 10 most important areas of your financial life. There are two types of investors in India: those who plan their financial life and those who plan nothing and just let their financial live move with the flow. The second group is extremely large, and this book is targeted at this group.

March 2013 UNIQUE TIMES 43


Book Review

I

can still remember reading the Harry Potter series as a child, being enthralled by the stories which captivated me into a magical world. With all the magic spells, the odd creatures, and the fantasy world which J.K. Rowling had brought to life through her words drawing the audiences in is no longer the world of “The Casual Vacancy.” The author, who once had kid’s imaginations twirling and turning, has now made reality so grounded that this book is simply rated R. It’s a book entwined with suicide, rape, prostitution and drug addiction as the story is set suburban town that goes by the name of Pagford where it starts out with the death of the Parish Councillor Barry Fairbrother as he suffers from aneurysm which eventually leads to the politics and social issues in the book as the death leads to an empty seat on the council. Conflict arises as to who is to take his place and those that run in the elections find their darkest secrets revealed on the Parish Council, which leaves their campaign ruined and destroying their chances of being elected. The book is split into seven different parts as stories of the various citizens of the town

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By Denisha Sahadevan

running for the elections are shown. And in the middle of that the novel focuses on the traumatic life of a 16 year old girl by the name of Krystal Weedon who lives in the town of Fields with her mother Terri who happens to be a prostitute and a heroin addict with a 3 year old brother. It is on this side of the novel where prostitution, drugs, and rape play in. New York Times describes the book to be a “toy town” story. Where not every bit of detail is given about the character as it was through the several books which was written in the Harry Potter series, however the book is full of drama, with a hint of humor thrown in here and there which is turned darker by the two abrupt deaths which occur which leaves the readers tripping on from one emotion to another. To wrap it up, the book drags on, but for someone who wants to be brought to the reality of a life so traumatized, this is a book just for them. A book full of secrets, gossip and dark humor so to say, Rowling writes out a book which takes one from the reality of what is the truth, without placing them in a fantasy world, but a dark humored one.


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Interview

A Very Special Journey: Dr. Kurian John Melamparambil 46

UNIQUE TIMES March 2013


Dr. Kurian is a unique philanthropist who quit a lucrative job to venture into entrepreneurship for the purpose of generating funds for charity.

D

r. Kurian John Melamparambil is an exemplary business man and a unique philanthropist. His life journey is quite eventful and he is an inspiration and role model for every human being. As a young boy from a business family in the central Travancore region of Kerala, who loved to be with the family he imbibed the values that will set forward his life. He finished his graduation in economics from Mar Ivanios College, Trivandrum. He then went to the Indore School of Social Work for completing his Post Graduate Degree in Social Work. He joined the famous Malayalam Manorama Group, as the head of Personnel and Administration department in their Kochi Office. The sudden demise of father, who was more like a friend and guiding figure, made him realize the value of life and an inherent requirement in the society for quality medical treatment. But only the rich can afford quality medical services. The pain of his father's demise and the thought about the hundreds of people suffering because of illness, gave him the idea of starting an organization to help who are in need On 10th September 1986 . Dr. Kurian John Melamparambil formally started the Melamparambil Vaghese John Memorial Charities named after his father. The main objective of the organization is to help and support poor and needy patients by providing

medical treatment for their ailments. All patients who approached him were given treatment irrespective of caste, creed, religion or any kind of prejudice. He made it a point to ensure that whosoever approached was given treatment, and eventually made self dependent in their health to the maximum extent possible. The charity extends scholarships to deserving children of the patients, and also housing, clothing, and food to their dependents during the period of treatment if required. With the interest earned from the corpus fund, and contribution from his salary, he expanded his activities without any publicity or fanfare. Committed to the purpose of helping the needy, activities of Melam Charities progressed and grew rapidly, Dr. Kurian John felt the constraints of his own resources and realized the need for urgent funds, he strongly felt that these funds should be generated through some venture of his own. This intense feeling coupled with meticulous planning, resulted in the establishment of a small- scale industry named M.V.J foods under the brand name MELAM ` range of food products in the year 1992, giving up his job at the Malayala Manorama. As the business progressed, the income of Dr. Kurian John increased, which was channelized directly to the fund which resulted in the increased activities of Melam Charities.

March 2013 UNIQUE TIMES 47


Melam was established in 1992 to bring in more funds for charity activities Another important fact of Melam charities is that all the activities are done by self generated funds Dr. Kurian is a unique philanthropist who quit a lucrative job to venture into entrepreneurship for the purpose of generating funds for charity. Melam was established in 1992 to bring in more funds for charity activities Another important fact of Melam charities is that all the activities are done by self generated funds. This sets apart Melam charities from similar organizations active in social work.

Melamparambil has resulted in establishing a network of more than 925 renowned hospitals across the State for providing specialized treatment to the sponsored patients with a 30 day credit period for reimbursement from him. This widespread treatment facility enables the patients to get a specialized treatment for their ailments at the hospital of their convenience.

Maybe the most important fact about Dr. Kurian is that of his personal involvement. All applicants for medical assistance are personally met and interviewed before any assistance.

Dr. Kurian John Melamparambil besides being a humanitarian is an entrepreneur par excellence. He is the founder and chief promoter of `MELAM` group of companies and has been bestowed with numerous awards in recognition of his social work and excellence in the field of business. The Government of India honoured him with the covetous PADMASHRI Award for distinguished service in the field of social work in the year 2010. The Vice President of India honoured him with the National Award for Outstanding Enterpreneur for the year 1997 instituted by the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India. The successes of the commercial activities only go towards strengthening of his social commitments. Dr Kurian John Melamparambil talks with our associate editor, Bejoy George about his vision for the company and the charity activities.

The approach and methodology followed by Dr. Kurian John and Melam Charities is also unique and it involves the association of the Elected Peoples Representatives ` Members of the State Legislative Assembly (MLAs) and the Members of the Indian Parliament (MPs). The involvement of these functionaries has now become a movement by itself and is very much an integral function of the assistance disbursement. These functionaries are actively involved in the process if identification and selection of the recipients to whom the assistance is to be granted from within their respective constituencies. The continuous efforts and perseverance of Dr. Kurian John

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Interview

The beginning of Melam? Melam was started with an objective to raise more money for charity. I didn’t want to ask for donations from the public, and that remains one of the unique features of Melam. We plough back a significant amount of our profit for the activities of MVJ Charities. We didn’t have a very big launch, but we became India’s leading exporting brand in a few years. The inspiration behind Melam is Padmashree Late Ms. Thangam Philip, the world renowned food, catering and nutrition expert. The Late Ms. Philip`s recipes are printed on the back side of each and every masala packet . All Melam products pass a critical quality test at its modern mechanised plant. What were all the challenges you faced when establishing a brand like Melam? I was working with the Malayala Manorama group, when I decided to venture into business. One of the

major challenges I had to face was the opposition of my friends and family on resigning my job. Those times getting a small job was also difficult. So think about a situation when you resigning from a quite lucrative job. Almost everybody except for my wife and father-in-law was against the idea. Another major challenge was that Melam didn’t give credit to its distributors and that was against the prevailing trend. So we had to invest more on advertising and a lot more of explanation had to be done to win the confidence of my distributors. These were the two major challenges. Melam is well known for its CSR initiatives? What are the major area of operation of MVJ Charities The prime objective of Melam group is charity for medical assistance; in fact I started the charity trust in the name of my father even before I started my food products business. The four

March 2013 UNIQUE TIMES 49


major thrust areas of Melam Charities are Provide medical assistance (primary objective) Scholarship to children of dependents Provide food, clothing and housing Conduct Medical camps What is your concept of CSR? It is commonly said that food, clothing and shelter are said to be the basic needs of a human being. My thought is a little different; I think that if one person has got health he can sustain his life and his dependents also. So providing access to good health services for the needy is the prime objective of a civilized society. the healthier the society, the higher will be the self dependency, lesser the social problems , the richer in peace, prosperity and civilization. In a nutshell we can say that “Corporate Social responsibility is humanitarianism, not charity, but Social, moral Obligation� What is your marketing strategy? There are certain factors which make your brand or product a success, first one is quality, secondly there should be value for money and lastly customer satisfaction. Melam products are top quality products at a good price point. We also invest in newer technologies to give the customer the finest products at competitive prices. When we have 50

UNIQUE TIMES March 2013

satisfied customers, there are acting as our brand ambassadors. From my point of view, that is the best marketing strategy every company should resort to. Yes we also work with an ad agency to bring out campaigns in print and visual media time to time depending on the market conditions.

reason is brain drain, the youngsters want to live and work in metro cities and foreign countries. It is very difficult to get and sustain a quality workforce here. The infrastructure and other facilities are coming up. Hope Kerala will become a great investment destination very soon.

India has been famous for its spices? What is the future of Indian Spices?

What is your advice to aspiring entrepreneurs?

It was for the spices and other valuables that foreigners came to India, there is no need to explain that. But I certainly think that the future of Indian spice business is great, considering the fact the quality of Indian spices is superior to others. We have already developed an ecosystem to produce, develop and market spice and spice products.

One advice I certainly want to give to the younger generations is that to stick to your values. Values will guide you through thick and thin. It is very easy to forego values and run after success and money, but time will catch up with you.

What are your expansion plans? Right now we are planning to launch bottled water under the Melam brand and also we are in the process of launching packages tea. What do you think about Kerala as an investment destination? Kerala is a great place to live and work, considering the fact the place is of amazing beauty, decent infrastructure, better education and health system. But I am sad to say that for doing business it is not so great. The prime

There is no option for hard work and honesty, work hard and be honest with your customers and stakeholder's and success will surely follow you. About your family? My wife Sujatha, she is the executive director of Melam and she handles Quality Control. I have two daughters Divya and Dhanya. Divya is a Director of Melam Group and she handles Research and Development and my young daughter Dhanya is pursuing a career in Oracle Bangalore as a Solution Consultant.


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Technology

The new Avatar in the Smartphone world

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BlackBerry 10 is a proprietary mobile operating system developed by BlackBerry Limited (formerly Research In Motion) for its BlackBerry line of smartphone and tablet handheld devices. It is based on QNX which was acquired by BlackBerry in April 2010. On 1 May 2012, Thorsten Heins, CEO of BlackBerry officially unveiled the BlackBerry 10 platform. The features shown off at the BlackBerry World conference included a unique platform-wide flow interface, a new intelligent keyboard, as well as a camera app which allows the user to adjust the photo or individual faces by moving through time scale to optimize picture quality. The user interface also includes the ability to run 8 "Active Frames". Active Frames are applications that are currently running within the operating system, but minimized and showing a feed of live information on the home screen The Operating System also features the 'Hub', a list accessible from anywhere in the OS where all notifications including emails, social networking sites and text messages in one complete list. Gestures are largely integrated within the BlackBerry 10, featuring four main gestures for easy navigation. Quick swiping up from the bottom edge of the bezel will result in users returning to the home screen. From there, users can view and close active applications. Users can also swipe from the top edge, to bring down a quick setting shade on the home screen, or an option shade on other supported apps. Also, while using any application, the upside down J-hook (starting from the bottom of the bezel and moving upward and right) allows users to peek at any notifications or messages on the BlackBerry Hub. Finally, swiping left to right (or vice versa) scroll through the available screens. Similar to BlackBerry Tablet OS, BlackBerry 10 OS also supports multitasking with gesture integration. Swiping up from any application brings up the running application screen, which function as an application switcher and a task manager. Users can switch through running applications by tapping on any of the apps or close them by tapping on the ‘X’ on the lower right of the app itself. Some apps also offer widget like functionality, similar to Android. Examples of this include, picture app cycling through a photo album or calendar app showing upcoming events and meetings. Most accessed apps are also view-able to users on this multitasking screen. BlackBerry Hub acts as a notification center, with the user’s entire social and email accounts integrated into

one app. These include, at launch, standard E-mail client, Twitter, Facebook, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), and LinkedIn (with options to turn any of these services off). Standard notifications like missed calls, voicemail, and system updates also appear on the hub. The hub can be accessible from any app/lock screen, by performing an upside down j-hook gesture. Users can perform various tasks like compose emails, send emails, and browse social networks, without accessing other apps. Developers are also given options to integrate apps into the Blackberry Hub. BlackBerry Balance is a new feature introduced in BlackBerry 10, enabling users to keep both personal data and office work data separated in its own spaces. Using Blackberry Enterprise Server 10, IT departments can allow users to set up work-spaces that automatically install applications and email accounts. After completion, users can navigate between personal and work profiles, by swiping down on the apps page. All of the user’s data is secured via 256-bit AES encryption, and any files created will stay within the profile partition. BlackBerry 10 features a new virtual keyboard layout that mimics BlackBerry’s past generation’s physical keyboards. The letters and numbers feature fonts and frets similar to previous BlackBerry devices. The keyboard also learns the user’s typing preferences, trying to auto-predict the next word. The keyboard also uses contextual information to predict the next letter in a word sequence. In this case, words will appear above the letter that the OS thinks that the user will touch next. Users can then perform a flicking upwards gesture above the letter to quickly select that word. The operating system was released on January 30, 2013, with two devices being announced, the Z10 and the Q10. The Z10 phone would be the first to be released, and featured a full touchscreen, whilst the Q10, featuring a physical keyboard, would be released at a later date. The Z10 was released on the 31st January in the UK, the 5th February in Canada, and will be released in late-March in the USA. Reviews of the device have been mixed. Some critics have commented on how the new OS has completely evolved from Blackberry's previous devices, and the 'flow'-like connectivity between all applications. Others have commented on a lack of many popular apps, confusing gestures, and not feeling fully integrated.

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Phablets

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2013 The Year of Phablets P

hablet refers to a class of Smartphones with screen sizes ranging between 5 and 7 inches and designed to combine the functionalities of a Smartphone and tablet. IHS reported that 25.6 million phablet devices were sold in 2012 and estimated that these figures would grow to 60.4 million in 2013, and 146 million by 2016. Larger than Smartphones, phablets may be smaller and thinner than tablets, making them more convenient for users carry or pocket. Phablets are typically optimized for mobile web access and multimedia consumption—activities which are enhanced by the larger screens. In a 2013 analysis, Engadget identified dropping screen prices, increasing screen power efficiency, increasing battery life and the evolving importance of multimedia viewing as critical factors in the popularity of the phablet. “The primary purposes of Smartphones have clearly changed. Early on, they were phones first, and data devices second. The various advents of modern apps, browsing and media shifted the focus enough that voice is almost incidental today.” Jon Fingas commented in Engadget. Manufacturers at the world’s biggest mobile fair in Barcelona, Spain released a slew of outsized Smartphones that can barely fit in one hand and tablets that have shrunk dramatically. “It’s a growing trend, especially in Asia, and a lot of these phones are favoured by women, women who don’t have to worry putting it into their pockets, they carry

it in their purse,” said Ken Hong, communications director at LG. More than 120 million tablets were sold worldwide in 2012, up 50 percent from the previous year, and shipments of Smartphones are predicted to hit one billion this year according to global consultants Deloitte. One of the pioneering phablet device was the Dell Streak. Though the Streak was noted for its 5-inch, 800×480 pixel display (during a period where Smartphones with 3-inch displays were still relatively common) and widescreen-optimized interface, reviewers encountered issues with its software — including its outdated inclusion of Android 1.6, an operating system that wasn't optimized for the larger screen. The device was commercially unsuccessful. In October 2011, Samsung first released the Galaxy Note in selected markets. The device featured a 5.3-inch, 1280×800 resolution screen and software optimized for the phone's selfstoring stylus. The Galaxy Note was a commercial success; in December 2011, Samsung announced that the Galaxy Note had sold 1 million units in less than two months. The company also announced the impending U.S. release of a Galaxy Note with 4G LTE support in February 2012. In August 2012, Samsung announced that they had sold 10 million units of the Galaxy Note worldwide in the past nine months. The Galaxy Note received a follow-up in September 2012, the Samsung Galaxy Note II. The Note II uses a 1.6

GHz quad-core processor, a 5.55-inch screen, and also includes the ability to run two applications at once in a splitscreen view. Sales of the Galaxy Note II out-paced the original model, selling 5 million units internationally in just two months of availability. There seems to be an inherent paradox in the fact that the phones are expanding and tablets are shrinking. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8, released just ahead of the congress, trimmed its screen to eight inches to compete with Apple’s new iPad mini. Taiwan’s Asus has managed to marry the two devices. Asus showed off the Padfone Infinity, a five-inch, high-definition screen Smartphone that can harness the latest superfast fourth-generation wireless network and which slots into 10.1-inch tablet. The Smartphones of 2013 have to be fast, too, however, as the 4G network, also known as Long Term Evolution, or LTE, expands worldwide. IHS reported that 25.6 million phablet devices were sold in 2012 and estimated that these figures would grow to 60.4 million in 2013, and 146 million by 2016. Larger than Smartphones, phablets may be smaller and thinner than tablets, making them more convenient for users carry or pocket. Phablets are typically optimized for mobile web access and multimedia consumption—activities which are enhanced by the larger screens. Sure 2013 is going to be the year of phablets.

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Wishlist

a wishlist titled APPLE The iPod Nano is a portable media player designed and marketed by Apple Inc. The current seventh generation iPod Nano was released in October 2012.

The iPod classic is a portable media player marketed by Apple Inc. The current generation is by far the most capacious iPod, with 160GB of storage

The iPod Touch adds the multitouch graphical user interface to the iPod line. It can connect wirelessly to the internet, iTunes Store and Apple's App Store, allowing users to directly buy and download content and software.

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The iPad Mini is a mini tablet computer is the fifth major product in the iPad line and the first to feature a reduced screen size of 7.9 inches, in contrast to the standard 9.7 inches. It features similar internal specifications as the iPad 2, including its display resolution.

The iPod Shuffle is a digital audio player designed and marketed by Apple Inc. It is the smallest model in Apple's iPod family, and was the first to use flash memory.


The iPad is a line of tablet computers designed and marketed by Apple Inc., which runs Apple's iOS operating system. The first iPad was released on April 3, 2010; the most recent iPad models, the fourth-generation iPad and iPad Mini, were released on November 2, 2012.

The iMac is a range of all-in-one Macintosh desktop computers . It has been the primary part of Apple's consumer desktop offerings since its introduction in 1998, and has evolved through six distinct forms.

The MacBook Air family is a line of ultraportable Macintosh notebook computers .The Air was designed to balance both performance and portability, the laptop has a full-sized keyboard design with a machined aluminium casing with extremely low weight and thickness.

The iPhone 5 is a touchscreenbased Smartphone developed by Apple Inc. It is the sixth generation of the iPhone and succeeds the iPhone 4S. The phone is a slimmer, lighter model that introduces a higher-resolution 4-inch screen in the series with 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio.

The MacBook Pro is a line of Macintosh portable computers in the Apple lineup and now in its third generation. It is also the high-end model of the MacBook family and is currently produced with 13- and 15inch screens.

The Mac Mini is a small form factor desktop computer . The Mac Mini is one of three desktop computers in the current Macintosh lineup, the other two being the iMac and Mac Pro.

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Sports

Benefits of

Sports in Daily Life

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he benefits of sports in day to day life are amazing. Many people are starting to be concerned about their health and one way that they do is engage themselves in different sports activities. If you want to have a healthy body you should start by picking the right kinds of food to eat and of course it will be more effective if you will exercise too. However many people specially the older or more matured ones are too lazy to go to the gym to exercise. One good form of exercise that will be more enjoyable and fun is by having a sport. Here are the benefits of being active in sports:

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Sports requires require the person playing them to have a good amount of athleticism. Hence, people indulging in sports gradually become fitter. While this can be achieved by dieting and practicing in the gym too, sports makes this process fun, as the person involved in a sport is so busy enjoying himself or herself that he or she loses track of time. We all know that playing sports is healthy for the body since you are stretching your muscles by moving around and the greatest thing about this is that it can even make you look sexier. By sweating a lot, moving from one place to another and by increasing your heart rate, you will surely burn all the fat that you get from eating sweet foods like ice cream, cakes, chocolates and other desserts. A healthy mind can be found in a healthy body only and it is true. It is no surprise that since most sports usually involve exercise; it facilitates soothing of the mind as the feelgood-hormones of the body, called endorphins, are released. They are nature's stress busters and induce a relaxing feeling.

developing a better game, but it actually helps in all walks of life, as these values and traits are indispensable if one is to lead a good life.

Getting better at a sport is a skill that may not have a monetary relation to your life, but it can definitely have an impact on the quality of your life. People respect those who show excellence in any field, and sports is no exception. If this is turned into an expertise, then it can even lead to avenues for developing a career. Many popular sports like American football, soccer, basketball, volleyball, etc., are played in teams. This inculcates values and skills like leadership, communication, and sacrifice. Not only does this benefit the person in

Children and adolescents ooze with physical energy. When they are involved in sports, their physical energies are used up in a constructive way. Teenage is such an impressionable age, if adolescents are given free time they might get involved in wrong activities, may fall in bad company, or may also display anti-social behaviour. Thus, the importance of sports in society is that it keeps adolescents from becoming antisocial, and not disturbing the delicate fabric of society The fact that you can still keep up with younger players will make you look

Unless you're talking about playing chess against a computer, almost every sport out there involves interaction with other people, whether they are on our side or our opponents. Hence, sports serve as an avenue for meeting new people and making friends, as people with similar likes and dislikes come together to achieve a common goal. This can enhance the social life of a person. All sports have an outcome. One entity wins, and the other loses. Winning and losing is a part of life. Sports inculcates this lesson in people. Some people glide along as long as there are no hardships in life, but the moment the odds are against them, they find their emotional strength dwindling. This is not to say sports are a one-stop solution for this, but it definitely teaches a person how to take losses with grace and move on to achieve greater things in the face of difficulties.

young and hyper. You do not want to just grow old and watch TV all day right? With playing sports you have the opportunity to be young specially while playing on the court. Having this physical activity can recharge your stamina and strength so you will not get tired easily like any other older persons who have a less active lifestyle. Regularly indulging in sports helps in keeping the immune system strong, and hence, helps in preventing any kind of disease from occurring. It also increases the appetite of the person. Thus, sports promote good health. In sports, a person has to make quick decisions depending upon the situation that he is in. Thus, a person who is involved in sports is able to make wise and quick decisions in other areas of life as well. When something is improving your health, making you physically fitter, earning you respect among people and generally making you feel better about yourself, it is safe to say that such a thing does a whole world of good to your selfconfidence. And sports definitely fulfils this criterion. Playing sports really have lots of benefits so you should start having your own sport. Having a healthy and active lifestyle improves the physical and emotional aura of a person so if you want to look younger plays a sport that you like best and you will see beautiful results and not only that, others will also notice the glow in you.

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Movie Review

By Denisha Sahadevan

“Hi, this is Ishaan Sabharwal, if it’s good looking, it’s me!” is what everyone hears in the voice mail of Ishaan Sabharwal when they call him. The movie I Me Aur Main is a romantic drama comedy directed by Kapil Sharma who makes his debut film in creating a movie centering the life of Ishaan who is portrayed by John Abraham.

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“who’s the best, who’s the best” I

shaan just happens to be a selfcentered, immature, careless manchild who stands in front of the mirror asking “who’s the best, who’s the best” while he throws punches at himself like a boxer in order to boost himself up. He’s a charismatic and very good looking music producer who resides in Mumbai at his well-to-do girlfriend Anushka’s (who is played Chitrangada Singh) house where he doesn’t share the expenses of the household nor the workload. When she says “I love you,” his response is “I love me too.” He’s got his elder sister Shivani played by Mini Mathur protecting him, and he just happens to be “the apple” of his over protective mother’s eye played by Zarina Wahab. And then there’s the girl next door, the cute little bubbly fashion stylist and “part time electrician” Gauri who is played by Prachi Desai who unknowingly sways Ishaan’s curiosity .So now what’s the problem? Well Ishaan is just say a tad bit of a selfish jerk who devotes his life only to himself, and takes everything and everyone around him for granted but he’s way too good looking that the ladies just cannot resist him. The story goes like this. You got Ishaan making empty promises to his girlfriend of three years such as to take her to Pune to meet his parents, though he squanders his time away trying to pick up other girls from the pub or flirting with his sexy boss Bina (Raima Sen) who is trying to put him in his place or simply scanning the crowd for a hot looking girl. One night after a late night out Ishaan returns home in a hurry to get to his girlfriends flat, he find that she has thrown him out which becomes the beginning of a long downfall for Ishaan. He moves into a completely different middle class local area which is a downscale area when compared to his girlfriend’s posh apartment and his mother moves in with him from Pune to

help her son come out of the troubles which he places himself into. Meanwhile enters the chirpy little girl next door Gauri who tells it to his face that though they are friends it does not mean that she’ll sleep with him and points out the hard truth as is to him making it so that he just can’t help but fall in love with her causing himself to be tangled in the love triangle. Now out of the blue comes the news from his sister about his girlfriend Anushka happening to be pregnant with his child, and upon hearing this a slap from his mother sends him to reconsider and open his eyes to what he had been so long blinded to, the responsibilities of a little thing called life! I, Me Aur Main brings John Abraham to life with his famous half smiles, putting him in a new light for the critics who have been quoted for calling him “wooden” throughout his career. John has delivered his role wonderfully as he seems to have gotten under the skin of the character of Ishaan, as the self centered, girl crazed immature man child music producer. Though not everyone gets what they want in this movie unlike the many which audiences have become so used to seeing, where the movie ends in a big wedding scene, the movie keeps you in with its captivating composed songs such as “Saajna” and “Na jaane kahaan se,” leaving you wishing, and laughing. With women who chase after those hot looking self centric egotistical guys which they just can’t resist and the men who still have yet to grow up, this movie captures the essence of a love full of life, and a life full of fun leaving one to think about keeping the fun alive in all aspects of life always while still maintaining a sense of responsibility.

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Insights

Sheela Abraham

Honesty I hope you will pass them both, But if you must fail one, Let it be trigonometry.� Madison Sarrat

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Living" life" honestly means being transparent and showing one's true self to others.

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onesty is one of the treasured values of human being. Living" life" honestly means being transparent and showing one's true self to others. Honesty not only holds people together. It also helps a person to combat problems and do well in the life. This is a value which is highly essential for a person to be honest with himself. By being honest gives courage to face our inner values and conflicts. This can get rid of the negative feelings which hold us back and as a result, find the confidence within. This confidence is what we need in order to handle problems and perform well. Above everything, trust is evolved from honesty. Being honest means choosing not to lie, steal, cheat, or deceive in any way. Honesty build strength of character that will allow us to be of great service to our fellow beings and we will be blessed with peace of mind and selfrespect Closely associated with honesty is integrity. Integrity means thinking and doing what is right at all times, no matter what the consequences. When you have integrity, you are willing to live by your standards and beliefs even when no one is watching. We all need to know what it means to be honest. Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving. Honesty is a principle, and we have our moral agency to determine how we will apply this principle. We have the agency to make choices, but ultimately we will be accountable for each choice we make. Dishonesty may work fine for some time. It may earn money, power and men. But all this is for a short time.

Dishonesty harms us and harms others as well. If we lie, steal, shoplift, or cheat, we damage our spirit and our relationships with others. Being honest will enhance future opportunities and our ability to take the right path in our journey. Be honest at school; choose not to cheat in any way. Be honest in your job, giving a full amount of work for your pay. Do not rationalize that being dishonest is acceptable, even though others may think it does not matter. Once a general manager

This man was honest to his work and, therefore he did not cheat me or himself!" wanted to test honesty of his officers who were attending an in-house training programme. He announced that in their training folder, there is a pouch carrying a seed in it. He requested them to put it in a good soil in a pot and look after it very well once they go back. He said he will hold a competition next year same time to choose the best plant and the person who did the job will be suitably rewarded. Officers followed what the General Manager asked them to do. A year passed quickly and they all assembled in a big hall with their plants. There were hundreds of pots and a great variety of plants, except one.

It had no plant but the soil. The owner looked ashamed and was very quiet. The general manager called him on the stage. He asked him what happened to his seed. The officer told him the truth. Though he planted the seed and water properly, nothing happened to the seed. To every one’s surprise, he was declared as the winner! The general Manager said,’’ "Gentlemen! The seeds I gave you were boiled seeds. You planted them and nothing happened! You acted smartly and used some other seeds. This man was honest to his work and, therefore he did not cheat me or himself!" Remember One lie or deception coupled with one act of dishonesty can create a monster that can destroy one's character and make life miserable.. Honesty is nothing but truthfulness. Today’s world is materialistic and accumulating wealth plays a key role in a man’s life. Everyone wants to become someone without any hard labor. An honest man is always brave and not afraid of anybody. It is true he is bound to face many problems but his truthfulness is liked by everybody. On the other hand, liar, greedy and cunning people are not loved or respected by anyone. An honest person always obeys law and free from any serious trouble. A plaque is displayed at the entrance to the Vanderbilt University Student Center explains the importance of being honest. It reads:_ “Today I am going to give you two examinations, one in trigonometry and one in honesty.

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Unique Times-March2013  

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