Page 1




Sanam Prasad

“A Voice to Make a Difference:




The Power of Brands


Cheque Truncation System



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RNI Reg. No: KERENG/2011/42633

Cover Photograph: V.P. Nandakumar

TIMES 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, Pigment Creatives Gilsha Bindosh Marketing Pramod 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 * All rights reserved worldwide. Reproduction in any manner without permission of proprietors is prohibited.




I was very surprised to know that Unique Times was based in Kochi, my home town. Please include more articles on Kochi and Kochi based institutions. Kochi has a lot of developmental activitiestgoing on. Also include interviews with business men, which will be of interests to people like me. Prasanth D Mumbai

The travelogue featuring Kodaikanal was very exhaustive. The author deserves a special mention for the eye for the details. I have never though that there was so much to see in Kodaikanal. Next time I visit Kodai, I will certainly have more places to visit.

Dear Sir,


The article Entry level sedans was very good, but there was some more you should have added including the Suzuki Desire, Honda City, Chevy Aveo etc. The wishlist of premium cars certainly interesting, with all the cars featured are in my wishlist too.

I happened to browse through Unique Times, while I was in my friends office. The magazine has a nice blend of articles. There is ample scope for improvement also. Business lifestyle is rather a new territory for magazines India.

Abraham James Mysore

Thank you Sreerekha Ruby Samuel, Salem

My best wishes P. Rajendran Kottayam

Please send your letters to, or Unique Times, Pegasus L5-106, Kochi India, 682030

Current Affairs


Unique Diary


The Man with the Golden Touch V. P. Nandakumar


8 Facts about Indian Economy Banking

Cheque Truncation System

12 16 18



The power of Brands


A Voice to Make a Difference:


Sagarika Chakraborty



Heaven on Earth: Jammu & Kashmir Books


Books on Famous Vehicle Manufactures

Auto Review

Renault Scala Gadgets

Newly Launched Phones Tips

Ask the Beauty Experts


A Humble Damsel Sanam Prasad

40 46 50 56

Editorial We live in the changing times. Technology has taken us into an autopilot mode. Sometimes we are not even bothered about the amazing inventions which are taking place around us. Business is also fast changing, those who are not able to catch up with the ultra competitive race are left behind. The front runners in business, take advantage of technology to manage and promote their business. My suggestion is that to embrace new technologies as early as possible. If you are not much of technological person, hire an expert to help you out. The way you promote your business is also important. If you cannot adapt to the changes around you, the fate will be to remain as a spectator. Even while technology is all important one cannot write off the traditional medium. Print mediums like newspapers and magazines have a major impact on the customers buying decision. Unique Times as a magazine goes through the process of change every time. We are always reinventing ourselves to suit the demands of our readers. Change is a process we all will have to go through while in pursuit of perfection. This edition we have an Interview with V P Nandakumar of Manappuram Finance. There is detailed write up on the cheque truncation system by Jiz P. Kottukappally. We have also included interviews with author Sagarika Chakraborti and actress Sanam Prasad. In the auto review section we have a detailed review on Renault Scala and we have a travelogue on Jammu and Kashmir. Hope that the new month brings you happiness, opportunities and more business. Wishing you all success in all your endeavours. Happy Reading

Ajit Ravi

Unique Diary ennis has brought Sania Mirza much fame and wealth to speak off, and to show her gratefulness for sports she wants to give back by starting her own tennis academy in Hyderabad where youngsters will get a chance to receive quality training at a price which they can afford. The academy which is under construction at the time being is being built on a 4 acre land near the outskirts of the city will have nine hard courts to start off with. It is expected to open up in March of next year. “I always wanted to give something back to sport, and to India in whatever way, hopefully, if not in the next 5 years, maybe in 10 years, 12 years, we will have players coming out of that academy,” commented Sania.


ccording to ICC CEO Dave Richardson, cricket’s world governing body is facing a “war” against corruption where “everybody is susceptible including the curators and the grounds men.” The Cricket fraternity was left shaken when an Indian TV channel exposed umpires who were allegedly willing to give doubtful decisions for bribes. Six umpires were caught on tape showing the willingness to accept money for giving favorable decisions. And though six umpires however denied the allegations, they were suspended by the ICC as further investigation is pending. “The anti-corruption unithowever has their work cut out for them to make certain that the players are kept away from temptation, with heightened awareness among international players about the perils of corruption, the bookmakers were now targeting domestic circuit,” commented Richardson.

Rajat Gupta Convicted

ICC's "War" Against Corruption

Sania Mirza



UNIQUE TIMES November 2012


rosecutors are urging that former IndianAmerican of Goldman Sachs Group, Rajat Gupta, 63 be sentenced to 10 years in jail due to being convicted for insider trading on three counts of securities fraud, and one count of conspiracy. Alleged of having passed corporate secrets which he picked up in the board room about Goldman to convicted hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam, Gupta is to forfeit more than $1.1 million, which is the estimate amount gained by hedge fund Titan from the tips received. Gupta is also being asked to pay restitution of nearly $6.8 million to Goldman for legal fees, compensation, and investigative costs.

Indian Govt. Plans for Rural Development

he Indian Government is planning to set a Rs. 40,000 crore flexi-fund in order to help states to address specific rural development needs helping to ensure better targeting of projects which are statespecific. “The states will be free to use funds as per their requirements,” according to Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh. The fund will also be available as an additional amount which can be spent either on existing centrally sponsored schemes of the rural development ministry, and the drinking water, and sanitation ministry. Minister Jairam Ramesh believes that the setting up of the flexi-fund would send a powerful message from the government’s part showing their commitment to cooperative federalism.


he National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) is advising that states create seven more tiger reserves in order to increase India’s tiger population totaling up the tiger reserves in the country to 49 countries. Five of them have already been granted approval. Project Tiger which has taken various measures since 1973 in order to increase the population of tigers has been successful so far as the total number of tigers has increased from 1,411 to 1,706 in 2010. According to NTCA member secretary Rajesh Gopal the 2nd tiger reserve wascreated in Kawal on the border between Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. NTCA is also planning on creating a national data base of tigers by giving each tiger an identification number in order to take note on any tiger which goes missing or is killed.

Sonia Gandhi

India to Create Seve More Tiger Reserves



onia Gandhi attempted to prevent the attacks which were made on Congress over corruption by accusing the BJP of running corrupt governments in numerous states claiming that her party has done more in order to fight corruption than any other. “We all know corruption is a disease, a cancer. Who does it affect the most, it is the poor. No other party has done what UPA has done to fight corruption,” commented Sonia Gandhi, while addressing a public meeting in Mangalore. Gandhi accused the BJP of just pretending to fight corruption when in reality they are running corrupt governments in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Chattisgarh, and Jharkhand.

November 2012 UNIQUE TIMES 09

Unique Diary ennis has brought Sania Mirza much fame and wealth to speak off, and to show her gratefulness for sports she wants to give back by starting her own tennis academy in Hyderabad where youngsters will get a chance to receive quality training at a price which they can afford. The academy which is under construction at the time being is being built on a 4 acre land near the outskirts of the city will have nine hard courts to start off with. It is expected to open up in March of next year. “I always wanted to give something back to sport, and to India in whatever way, hopefully, if not in the next 5 years, maybe in 10 years, 12 years, we will have players coming out of that academy,” commented Sania.


ewsweek is set to end its print edition in order to become an online-publication. The 80 year old U.S. Current affairs magazine will be release its last print edition on December 31st. This move may just be the beginning of a trend which is going to be set for newspapers and magazines to move online as the traditional form of advertising declines. Newsweek which rose to become the second largest U.S. news weekly magazine next to Time faced a decline in circulation and advertising. “As we head for the 80th anniversary of Newsweek next year, we must sustain the journalism that gives the magazine its purpose and embrace the all digital future,” commented Daily Beast’s founder Tina Brown.


Newsweek to Become Online Only Publication

Novak Djokovic



UNIQUE TIMES November 2012


apan’s growth which has been hindered by the decrease in demand for its exports caused a slowdown in the key markets such as the U.S. Eurozone, and China while the domestic consumption rate continues to remain unresponsive. Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has therefore ordered his cabinet to draw up fresh stimulus measure in bid in order to spur up the economic growth. Mr.Noda ordered that the stimulus package be compiled by the month of November, however did not give details on how big it woud be. Japan’s economy which grew by 0.3% in the second quarter of the year from the previous three months had been down from 1% growth in the first quarter.


issan’s latest plan is to sell cars which are controlled by steer-by-wire technology within a year. How does this exactly work? Well by sending electronic signals from the steering wheel to a computerized unit that then controls the movement of the tires, the use of mechanical links become unnecessary. This technology which is commonly used in airplanes will be applied to mass produced cars for the first time by the Japanese firm. According to an analyst the vehicle would still be controlled by a human however could eventually be incorporated into driverless cars. In order to overcome motorists’ safety concerns, Nissan has installed a back-up clutch system in its steer-by-vehicles in order to link up their steering wheels and tires in case a problem presents with the vehicle.


ybercrime fighters are seeking the "Xbox generation" for spy jobs. Foreign Secretary William Hague announced that up to 100 members of the "generation Xbox" will be offered a career in the secret services, under a scheme. The recruitment drive was aimed at “the young innovators of this generation who will help keep our country safe,” said Mr.Hague. The 18 year olds, who will be trained in advanced IT skills, will be expected to work on tackling cybercrime which is a task that is every bit as serious as conventional warfare. The successful applicants to the Single Intelligence Account apprenticeship will further pursue a foundation degree course in communications, security and engineering over two years at De Montfort University in Leicester.

Vitamins May Reduce Cancer in Men

The Xbox Generation



.S. Researchers have claimed that taking a daily multivitamin pill may in fact help lower the risk of developing cancer in men. The study which was conducted for more than a decade followed nearly 15,000 men who were aged over 50 years old. Doctors at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Harvard Medical School analysed the data from men who were given either a multivitamin or a sugar pill every day. The discovery which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported the small reduction in the cancer cases. However the experts warned that other studies found the opposite effect, and eating a diet packed with fruits, and your daily vegetables was safer.

November 2012 UNIQUE TIMES 11


Mr V P Nandakumar MD & CEO of Manappuram Finance 12

UNIQUE TIMES November 2012


rom its humble origins Manappuram Finance has emerged as a leading national NBFC. Today the company has around 3000 branches across 26 states and UTs with Assets under Management of about Rs.11,600 crores, a workforce of about 22,000 and a live customer base of 16 lakhs. The man behind the entire transformation is Mr. V P Nandakumar, the Managing Director and CEO of Manappuram Finance. He took over the reins of the business in the year 1986. Since then this Valapad based company has shown unparalleled growth. Associate Editor of Unique Times Bejoy George had a small talk with V P Nandakumar, about his company and corporate life. The man with the golden touch.

Manappuram Finance is a frontrunner in providing financial solutions to customers? What are the core values of the company? How do the values shape the policies taken?

Our core value Is quite simple and perhaps common to all services oriented businesses. The customer is all-important. We aim to deliver value to the customer and no matter what his economic status is, we believe that time is precious and everyone is entitled to courtesy and prompt service. That is why we have taken so much effort in making gold loans a simple and hassle-free product which can be availed in very small amounts too. It benefits the common man. Which were the major turning points during the history of Manappuram Finance?

It may interest you to know that we are known today as a gold loans company but when we were incorporated in 1992 we did not deal in gold loans at all. In those days, our focus was on leasing, vehicle loans and the general finance areas while the gold loans business was being carried on in the original proprietary concern. It all changed around 199798. That was when we faced our first

The biggest challenge building up Manappuram, and I would say this is common to all NBFCs, is the regulatory uncertainty that NBFCs in India have to face serious adversity when the Reserve Bank suddenly tightened the screws on the NBFC sector (following the CRB scam), making it very difficult for us to raise deposits. We were faced with a crisis-like situation as we ran into a serious asset-liability mismatch. It compelled us to rework our strategies and we realized we had made a mistake in relegating the gold loan business. We then decided to bring gold loans into Manappuram Finance Ltd., in the process becoming the first corporate (and listed) entity in India to get into gold loans. It helped us because gold loans are not risky like other loans, and very short term in nature and solved our asset-liability mismatch. Looking back, this was certainly a critical turning point for us. What was your biggest challenge, building up Manappuram Finance?

The biggest challenge building up Manappuram, and I would say this is

common to all NBFCs, is the regulatory uncertainty that NBFCs in India have to face. Raising funds for growth has always been a challenge and in the initial years the banking sector was hesitant to lend to us. We could build a momentum only after ICICI Bank, and later Temasek, came on board in the early years of this millennium. However, we really managed to break out only after we had succeeded in attracting foreign private equity investment in 2007. After that, things were much smoother. How do you face challenges that are emerging in the markets?

I believe that if you have chosen to be an entrepreneur, challenges have to be accepted as part and parcel of your life. I also think challenges are best faced when you are prepared to take the ups and downs with equanimity, and when you have a good team to back you up. November 2012 UNIQUE TIMES 13

As a matter of fact, until very recently, the younger generation was quite unaware of how gold loans could be of help with their financial needs. Manappuram is a now a well known brand. Can you please tell us more about the branding and Marketing strategy? How difficult was the execution of the branding exercise?

Manappuram began as a very local or regional brand, it was closely identified with the village of Valapad where it all began in 1949. When we began to expand rapidly around 2007-08, we had two challenges to face. One was, of course, spreading the word about brand Manappuram. The other challenge was to win greater acceptance for gold loans in general, so that it would become a preferred option for customers, and not a last resort. Therefore, the marketing strategy was about promoting Manappuram and about promoting gold loans. And if you look at our television ad campaigns, we have succeeded in both our objectives. The current strategy with major film stars, including Mohanlal and Akshay Kumar worked out well for Manappuram? What was in your mind when you started out with the campaign?

Until Manappuram’s example, the usual strategy followed was to invest


UNIQUE TIMES November 2012

in one credible brand ambassador to talk to the whole country. The strategy of using regional brand ambassadors, who would then talk to the people in their own languages was actually a Manappuram innovation. We believed that a brand ambassador would carry greater credibility this way. That’s why we had Mohanlal in Kerala, Vikram in Tamil Nadu, Nagarjuna in AP and Puneeth Rajkumar in Karnataka before we signed on Akshay Kumar for northern India.

What is the current asset base of Manappuram Finance ? What is Manppuram headed for in the next 5 years? Our gold loans portfolio stands at about Rs.11,000 crores. Over the next five years, I expect to see reasonable growth. Of course, there is a certain amount of uncertainty in the regulatory environment today that is weighing on the performance of gold loans NBFCs. However, I am confident that this is a short term phenomenon and it won’t be long before policy makers wake up to the full potential of gold loans, particularly in advancing financial inclusion.

Has the perception of Gold Loans changed in our society? Is the new generation thinking of Gold as a viable option?

There’s no doubt that perceptions are beginning to change in our society. The earlier idea that gold loans are a kind of distress loan is giving way to a more informed attitude. There’s now much greater recognition about the

Our objective is to make diagnosis and treatment affordable to a wider cross-section of society using state of the art medical tools. utility of gold loans especially when it comes to short term needs and as a bridge loan that allows you to honour commitments, or close a deal even when the long term funding is yet to be tied up. Gold loan has many advantages over other options like, personal loan, credit cards advance etc. Is the new generation aware of these facts?

As a matter of fact, until very recently, the younger generation was quite unaware of how gold loans could be of help with their financial needs. However, things are beginning to change, with greater publicity and with commercial banks also stepping and promoting gold loans being a risk-free loan. Tell us more about Riti Jewellers? Is Riti changing the Jewellery business as Manappuram changed the Gold loan Business?

Riti Jewelry is the brand name owned by Manappuram Jewellers Ltd. We began with our first showroom in Valapad in March 2010. Since then, we

have expanded across South India and today we have eighteen showrooms including eight in Bangalore city. When we got into the retail jewellery business, our target was the middle class market, and our objective was to offer gold jewellery of the highest purity at the lowest making charges. From the very first day, we have been dealing only in BIS hallmarked gold The recent 916+1 campaign has gone down well among customers? Can you tell us more about that?

The idea behind 916+1 campaign was to draw attention to the extra assurance about the purity of gold at Riti Jewelry, and in that sense the campaign has managed to create a stir. Incidentally, while the popularity of hallmarked gold has improved the quality of gold in the market, instances of sub-standard purity are still widespread. Tell us more about the healthcare division MAcare? What are the future plans of MAcare?

Manappuram Health Care Ltd. (MAcare) is our foray into the affordable healthcare space. Our objective is to make diagnosis and treatment affordable to a wider cross-section of society using state of the art medical tools. We have plans to launch a chain of Dental and Diagnostic clinics in the coming years. In fact, we have set up the most advanced facility of its kind, the MAcare International Diagnostic and Dental Clinic at Kaloor, with an investment of over Rs.17 crores. Ultimately, we hope to make a difference to the healthcare space exactly in the way that Manappuram Finance has done wonders to gold loans, introducing professionalism and transparency to a traditional activity dominated by small, unorganised players.

November 2012 UNIQUE TIMES 15


8 Facts about Indian Economy India's

In the next three years,

per capita

upto 25% of the worlds

GDP will increase

new workforce

by four times

will be Indians.

by 2020

Property prices in

42% of the

major cities has

worlds poor

doubled in less

live in India

than two years

Bangalore has

About half of

more A grade

the Worlds

office than

IT outsouricng is


into India.

3.2 Billion India spends $50

movie tickets

billion for importing

were sold in India,

defence equipment

more than US and Canada combined


UNIQUE TIMES November 2012

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Jiz P. Kottukappally

Cheque Truncation System Waning geographical limitations in cheque clearing operations .


UNIQUE TIMES November 2012

The author is working as Asst General Manager , Catholic Syrian Bank and the views expressed are the personal opinion of the author. Author can be reached at

In place of the physical cheque its electronic image is transmitted to the drawee branch by the clearing house, along with relevant information like data on the MICR band, date of presentation, presenting bank


ast week I received a call from one of my friends, who is running a successful business in Chennai. Without any customary introduction he started bombarding at me “ What do you think you bankers are up to? Do you ever know the trouble of managing a business? You keep on reminding us about our stock statements, EMI dates by SMS e-mail, phone calls etc but when we come with some cheques for depositing to our account you people put forward all fancy reasons for not accepting it”. A banker not accepting a cheque presented to him for crediting the customers account was something which I could not so easily digest. “ Why has your banker refused to accept the cheque”, I asked him. That is what I also don’t understand , he said and then narrated the incident. My friend had a customer from whom payment was long overdue. With much follow up, coercion and other efforts he had some how managed to collect a cheque, after compromising some amount. Thus there was a correction in the amount written in words and the same was duly authenticated by the drawer of the cheque. My friend happily went to his bank for depositing the cheque to his account. The staff sitting at the counter refused to accept the cheque for collection, because there was an alteration in the amount written in words. My friend argued that the alteration has been duly authenticated and thus the

cheque has to accepted for clearing. The staff at the counter said as CTS has been implemented at Chennai Clearing house the cheque cannot be accepted. It was shortly after this he rang me up to confirm the facts and find out solutions. Cheque Truncation System ( CTS ) is the process of stopping the flow of the physical cheque issued by a drawer at some point with the presenting bank en-route to the drawee bank branch. In place of the physical cheque its electronic image is transmitted to the drawee branch by the clearing house, along with relevant information like data on the MICR band, date of presentation, presenting bank, etc. For enabling the implementation of CTS the provision of the Negotiable Instruments (NI) Act, 1881 under which the physical instrument had to be presented to the drawee branch for payment was amended during the year 2002 paving the way for the presentment of electronic images instead of the physical instrument. The Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000 and The Bankers’ Book Evidence (BBE) Act, 1891, was also suitable amended thereby providing the legal framework for the introduction of cheque truncation and e-cheques in India. As per section 6 of the NI Act “a cheque in the electronic form” means a cheque which contains the exact mirror image of a paper cheque, and is generated, written and signed in a

secure system ensuring the minimum safety standards with the use of digital signature (with or without biometrics signature) and asymmetric crypto system; and “a truncated cheque” means a cheque which is truncated during the course of a clearing cycle, either by the clearing house or by the bank whether paying or receiving payment, immediately on generation of an electronic image for transmission, substituting the further physical movement of the cheque in writing. The Reserve Bank first implemented CTS in the National Capital Region (NCR), New Delhi with effect from 01st February , 2008. Chennai clearing has been brought under CTS from September, 2011onwards and is planned to be rolled out to other locations on a grid based approach . Accordingly, it has been envisaged to bring all the bank branches in the states of Tamilnadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and the Union Territory of Puducherry under Chennai Grid in a phased manner. CTS – Process flow at banks and clearing house In the CTS environment the presenting bank captures the data and the images of a cheque by scanning the same. While scanning and capturing the data banks have to meet the specifications and standards prescribed for data and images. For ensuring security, safety and nonrepudiation of data / images, end-toend Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) has been implemented in CTS. As part of the requirement, the presenting bank sends the data and captured images duly signed and encrypted to the Clearing House for onward transmission to the paying bank . The banks participating in CTS clearing are provided with an interface called the Clearing House Interface (CHI) that enables them to connect and transmit data and images in a secure and safe manner to the Clearing House (CH). The Clearing House processes the data, November 2012 UNIQUE TIMES 19

arrives at the settlement figure and routes the images and requisite data to the drawee banks. This is called the presentation clearing. The drawee banks through their CHIs receive the images and data from the Clearing House for payment processing. The drawee CHIs also generate the return file for unpaid instruments, if any. The return file / data sent by the drawee banks are processed by the Clearing House in the return clearing session in the same way as presentation clearing and return data is provided to the presenting banks for processing. The clearing cycle is treated as complete once the presentation clearing and the associated return clearing sessions are successfully processed. The entire essence of CTS technology lies in the use of images of cheques for payment processing. For reducing the chances of frauds on

notification on the web-site etc. Banks holding post-dated EMI cheques should arrange for the replacement of non-CTS-2010 standard cheques with CTS-2010 standard cheques before December 31, 2012. CTS – What it means to customers ? Customers should ensure that only "CTS 2010" standards cheques are used. These cheques are not only image friendly but also have more security features. Customers may request their banks for cheque leaves that are compliant with the "CTS 2010" standard. Request from your bankers to surrender unused cheque leaves / replace the post dated EMI cheques given may promptly be attended to. It would always be better to use dark coloured ink while writing cheques , so that better clarity is obtained while scanning. No alterations or corrections

The entire essence of CTS technology lies in the use of images of cheques for payment processing. moving on to an electronic environment and enabling straightthrough-processing by use of optical / image character recognition technology thereby reducing time and cost involved, standardization of cheque leaves issued by all banks were necessary. Accordingly RBI has vide circular dated 03rd September,2012 directed all banks to arrange to issue only multi-city/payable at par CTS2010 standard cheques across the country not later than September 30, 2012. Banks have also been asked to initiate steps for withdrawing the nonCTS-2010 standard cheques in circulation before December 31, 2012 by creating awareness among customers through SMS alerts, letters, display boards in branches/ATMs, logon message in internet banking, arrange for the replacement of non20

UNIQUE TIMES November 2012

should be made on the cheque. The prescription on prohibiting alterations / corrections on cheques has been introduced to curtail cheque frauds on account of alterations in the various fields of cheques and to give protection to customers as well as banks. No changes / corrections can be carried out on the cheques (other than for date validation purposes, if required). For any change in the payee’s name, courtesy amount (amount in figures) or legal amount (amount in words), fresh cheque leaves should be used. This would help banks in identifying and controlling fraudulent alterations. This prohibition is applicable to cheques cleared under the image based Cheque Truncation System (CTS) only and is effective from December 1, 2010. Even though it is not applicable to cheques cleared

not applicable to cheques cleared under other clearing arrangements for the time being it would be better we start practicing it as a rule as CTS will be implemented very fast across the country. The electronic movement of images of cheques speeds up the process of settlement and can facilitate reduction in the clearing cycles. Once the cheque has been deposited for collection there need not be any fear of loss of instruments in transit. Use of images obviates the need to handle and move physical cheques at different points. The scope for frauds inherent in paper instruments is, thus, greatly reduced. Further, limitations of the existing clearing system in terms of geography or jurisdiction can be removed, thus enabling consolidation and integration of multiple clearing locations managed by different banks with varying service levels into a nation-wide standard clearing system with uniform processes and practices. Thus implementation of CTS across the country could pave way for a Pan India clearing house, whereby cheques drawn on any location in India would be treated as local cheque only. It might be against this background that RBI had vide circular dated 10th August, advised banks to issue only “payable at par” / “multi-city” CTS2010 Standard cheques to all eligible customers. Banks have also been advised that since such cheques are cleared as local cheques in clearing houses, customers should not be levied extra charges. Thus reduced cost and faster realization of cheques given for collection would be the key positives for customers on account of CTS implementation. Just think of a situation where you deposit a cheque drawn on a bank branch located in a remote village in Uttar Pradesh or Jharkand with your bank at Kochi and receive the credit the very next day. CTS once fully implemented would, definitely make our country a smaller place, as far as cheque clearing operations are concerned.

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The power of

Brands November 2012 UNIQUE TIMES 23


randing is all important in Marketing. Marketers spend millions and billions make the brand visible. Effective brand names build a connection between the brand personality as it is perceived by the target audience and the actual product or service. The brand name should be conceptually on target with the product or service Furthermore, the brand name should be on target with the brand demographic. Typically, sustainable brand names are easy to remember, transcend trends and have positive connotations. Brand identity is fundamental to consumer recognition and symbolizes the brand's differentiation from competitors. Brand identity is what the owner wants to communicate to its potential consumers. However, over time, a product's brand identity may acquire (evolve), gaining new attributes from a consumer perspective but not necessarily from the marketing communications an owner percolates to targeted consumers. Therefore, brand associations become handy to check the consumer's perception of the brand. Some brands are more remembered and loved by the customers. Some are more preferred than the others. Some reach the ultimate height, they became a synonym for the product. Here is a list of brands that are synonymous with the products.

Walkman It was before the iPod generation, every youngster should have craved for Walkman, the brand became so popular that every portable cassette player was called a walkman.

Vim A popular utensil cleaner brand, offered in different forms including powder, bar and liquid is quite popular among Indian homemakers. A must have in every kitchen, even replacements are generically called Vim.

Good Knight A popular mosquito repellent brand form Godrej. Even though competitions are their the brand that stays in the consumer's mind is always Good Knight

Vaseline Different brands of petroleum jelly are there in the market. But people call all of the them by one name Vaseline. Any guess for the most popular among them.


Crocin Most consumers don’t know the pharmaceutical name of Crocin, but most of the Indians would have had a Crocin. A one shot remedy for numerous ailments like a headache, minor fever etc.

So popular Xerox became so that photocopies were called Xerox copies. What numerous brands wanted to become, ie.synonymous with the product, Xerox became and that too worldwide

*All brands and logos are of their respective owners. Pictures are representative


UNIQUE TIMES November 2012

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here are so many days in the calendar which is dedicated to women, such as mother’s day, National day for Girl Child, Sister’s day and so on, however despite this many women are still being ill treated, girls are being abused, and having a girl child is not something which is approved off . When you pick up the paper, there’s news about a girl having been raped uncountable times, a dowry death, or a girl feticide that had occurred. You read it, but many don’t think much of it, because it is has become something rather of a commonality in our society. But you will discuss on the issue, speak your opinions to your friends over coffee, but no action will be taken. So when will our society final take the step to action and decide that there much be a change and voice for women should be louder than it was years ago? Sagarika Chakraborty, is attempting to take the action which many have yet to follow through her writings in the book A Calendar too Crowded. A graduate of law from National Law University, Jodhpur with an MBA from the Indian School of Business, who describes herself as a “narcissist” has become the voice for many women as she writes the stories about the happenings in society which everyone tends to ignore. We talk to her about her career at a author, and about her opinions about women empowerment in today’s society.


UNIQUE TIMES November 2012

A Voice to Make a Difference: An interview with Sagarika Chakraborty What is the key to the inspiration which has evoked you to write A Calendar too Crowded? How long did it take for you to write the book?

I have always been a doer, the one who has believed that there can be no fate without Karma. Nothing happens in life by chance, not even love. It irks me when people just sit and crib about the ills that surround the society, but shall themselves make no attempt to make the society a better place. I have been taught that the greatest use of education is justifying your citizenship, which is a boon and should not be a taken for granted fact. A Calendar Too Crowded, is my attempt to talk about the ills that surround us and how each one of us can in our own way intervene. The stories are all based on themes of rape, sexual abuse, ill

treatment of parents, the big dollar dream and other such aspects of life which we read about in the fourth estate and have come to taken them for granted. However, through nameless characters and faceless voices, the stories try to evoke in the reader the sense of "Oh I have faced a similar situation, but did I do enough?� The greatest of all acts begin from self realization of the need for change, the book is my attempt to bring about that first step, which though small is the most important one. How has each story and poem in your book affected you on a personal level?

Each story is based on a theme and a cause that I hold close to my heart. From the stories spun on National Day

for Girl Child, Sister's Day, Elder's Day to Worlds AIDS Awareness Day, there is a little bit of personal connect everywhere. Also, almost all stories have been written keeping in mind people whom I have met during my 8 years of policy research. I have been involved in policy research writing for about 8 years now, specializing mainly on gender studies and issues surrounding transition economies. I have more than two dozens of national and international publication to my name. My Australian work has been accredited by big names like World Bank, UNESCO, Indian Government, UK Media and Government to name a few, and looking into my contribution to research work I have been recently awarded Fellowship by the Royal Society of Arts, UK. I have met people

November 2012 UNIQUE TIMES 27

from different walks of life for my research and then in turn used them as inspiration to write my fiction stories. Thus, each one of them is special and each one of them for me stands for a

are claiming that women are impersonification of sainthood. No! All that we want to impose is the acceptance that we are just as human as the opposite sex, we come with our

such an apathy will only increase divides, struggles, brain drain and we can never claim to be a developed nation. What do you think can be done to further help empower women in today's society?

I have been writing ever since I can remember. I tell people that, I did not choose the pen, instead the pen chose me.

person, who has touched my heart in one way or the other. Though the fight for women's right's has been ongoing for decades, yet in our developing society improvement is lacking, what is your opinion on the matter?

A society can only progress when it is open for change. Change can only be truly ushered in, when people accept that there is a problem and they need to do something about it. Strangely, we think that to accept that there is a problem is to actually admit that we are going to admit that we are going wrong somewhere, and our ego prevents us from admitting that. Thus, there are utterly disgusting comments from Khap Panchayats, judges of family courts and yes a few erudite people who like to think that the term "vagina" is the new form of trouble. Till we all are humble enough to realize that it is not only enough to pass laws, or make policies or prevent feticides, but there is a need to appreciating where we are going wrong, train our sons to respect women better and believe in equality without confusing gender rights in it, there will always be a form of fighting without end. What do you think can be done to further help empower women in today's society?

The first step would be to think that people who are fighting for equality 28

UNIQUE TIMES November 2012

shades of grey like them, then why the differentiation and the blame game? Why do we have to be the "fairer and the weaker sex" in names of tradition wherein our rich heritage considers us to be the most powerful form of Shakti? The day we can do away with hypocrisy, stop twisting history and tradition to twist the reigns of this gender power struggle, we shall live in a much better world, filled with humans and not "men and women"!

Raise better sons - teach them that girls are equal counterparts and not fairer and weaker sex! Teach them that their wives are not cradle pulling and lust fulfilling machines, instead are made of desires and emotions just like them. Stand up and talk about the atrocities that are being meted out, don't shy away in the name of family honor, remember the day the male figure of the houses raises a hand, or even the voice to kill the voice of the females in the house, the honor has been long lost. Stop twisting religion to justify all atrocious acts, no religion justifies divides of any kinds and yes lastly, take onus that for whatever is happening around, in a small way your silence and apathy is to be blamed for. What is your stand on feminism?

What is your take on the casual ignorance shown by society when they witness rape, violence against women, and girl feticide?

They say a person is emotionally hardened or turns cold when they either take happenings to be common and for granted which cannot be changed, or when they think that whatever is happen was deserved by those who are sufferings. Unfortunately, in our society too, we are faced with similar mindsets when it comes to atrocities like rape and killings - either we just put away the newspaper and grumble it to be a "common news" or go on to dissect the character and dressing sense of the girl whose modesty was outraged, with no concern to what really happened. Till we stop looking inwards, till we stop making excuses and instead stand up and take onus that this is our country and we need to change it,

I am very old fashioned when it comes to definitions and taking a stand with them. I believe in understanding the deep rooted ethos of why a particular ideology was formed. To me, feminism is not all about male bashing, it is not glorifying women and their actions, it is mainly seeking the much needed equality in everything. Equality in the ability to do things, take decision, stand up and be respected, to have choices, to have a voices, and yes to be wrong and have a darker side too. Feminism to me is also letting go of the age of dogmas that have chained us to believing that women are inferior and that such is the law of nature. To blame everything on the wishes of the supreme force is to succumb to be spine less to not have a justification for the atrocities, feminism seems is attempting to be doing away with just that.

How many years have you been writing? Who are you favorite writers? What genre book do you prefer to read the most?

I have been writing ever since I can remember. I tell people that, I did not choose the pen, instead the pen chose me. I have had a creative flair with words right since school days, however it was only in law school that I decided to pursue this gift and passion seriously. My favorite writer is Vikram Seth, I love the way he builds his plot, characters and infuses life into them, never going overboard with either description or emotions. My love for poetry can be attributed to Santoni, Neruda and Rilke. I am an avid vernacular reader and in Bengali I love the works of Sunil Gangopadhya, Nabanita Dev Sen and Suchitra Bhattacharya and in Hindi and Urdu I love to read Prem Chand,

Ramdhari SIngh Dinkar and Manto. Your a law graduate from National Law University, Jodhpur with an MBA from the Indian School of Business, who has finally published your first book, what is your advice to those with so many dreams? How supportive is your family on your various areas of interests?

There was a poster in the cafeteria of my law school which read "Those who dream, do the most". I always tell

try. Saying that I am my biggest critique and devil's advocate, i guard my dreams because I had the courage to spin them - all I would like to say is that when you are brave enough to dream, you should be brave enough to live it too. Paucity of time, resources and being too small a fish to make a difference are just excuses we give to the mirror so that we can meet the eye, deep down we know that we are escapists when we are letting go of our passion and dreams.

I am a narcissist, who doesn't believe in giving up on anything without a fair try people that I dream, therefore I am. I am a narcissist, who doesn't believe in giving up on anything without a fair

My family is extremely supportive in all that I do, with the underlying disclaimer that I should not call them from a police

November 2012 UNIQUE TIMES 29

and the refusal to progress irks me. Saying that however, someday I would love to write about the lost glory of the city that shaped my literary pursuits. Jodhpur, was an eye opener to the dreams I never thought I could harvest. It gave me the zeal to pursue my passion and stick to my goals. Jamshedpur, has left in me the traits of being a small town girl, who gets lost in a crowd, is not money minded and yes who enjoys little pleasures of life. Hyderabad has given me the bestest of friends ever and also made me believe in the power of facing the world confidently. I don't remember Jammu much, but yes I want to visit it one day, for it is the land where I was conceived and my mother says that she had the happiest pregnancy ever there - I want to know and thank the land that inspired my mother to beget me, gave me my first laughter and twinkle in the eye!

station in the middle of the night. I am known to be extremely passionate and stubborn and do a hundred things at a time, thus majority of the times they let me be. They are very proud of my passion for change, but scared of the struggle the dream endures. They do not agree to all that I do, but they let me do it, for they know that I refuse to learn from second hand experiences. What I love most about them is that I can share anything and everything with them and also choose not to fill them up on things I consider unimportant, they respect my decision of it being my life, the only one I am bestowed with and thus let me live it my way. What other books are you working on at the current time? Are you interested in writing more of fiction or non-fiction?

I have just published two of my short stories in 2 anthologies - one for the Chicken Soup Series and the other for the Collector's Edition of a Travelogue, called Celebrating India, which


UNIQUE TIMES November 2012

contains works of the likes of Gulzaar saab and Shashi Tharoor. I have just finished with the final edits of my first non-fiction compiled work - a legal book which has gone into print and shall hit the stands soon. After finishing with the research, I have started writing the second full length non fiction and also have other projects in my kitty - needless to say as always I have my platter full and I am loving the feel of living by the gush of adrenalin! You've lived all over the place from Kolkata to Jammu and Kashmir to Jamshedpur to Mumbai to Hyderabad, which place would you say is your favorite?

Each place has had a huge influence on me, but saying that I am biased towards Mumbai for the love for life it has infused in me. Calcutta, to me defines the roots, however unfortunately I cannot relate to it anymore. The unprofessional attitude of the people, the laid back mentality

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The long stretches of sun kissed mountains and vast spread meadows makes the uniquely beautiful land


ammu and Kashmir are really three regions: the foothill plains of Jammu; the lakes and blue valleys of Kashmir rising to alpine passes, the high altitude plains and starkly beautiful mountains of Ladakh, which lies beyond those passes. It's enough to move one to poetry. Srinagar is Kashmir's summer capital and Jammu, the winter capital. One of Kashmir's greatest attractions are the Dal Lake houseboats. The Mughal Gardens of Srinagar is another tourist haunt. Pahalgam, Gulmarg, near Srinagar are picturesque towns, the first a by-route to Amarnath, the second a premier skiing resort. The famous Shankaracharya temple is perched high on top of the valley. Jammu is a templed town. Ladakh, the land of high passes, draws tourists to its Hemis Gompa, Stok Palace and Museum. Srinagar, the capital, has a distinctly Central Asian look. It stands on the Dal Lake and the picturesque Jhelum River. Srinagar is also considered to be a small-sized Lake District. The massive Dal Lake, near the city and Nagin, the 'Jewel in the ring', a smaller lake, to the north, is dotted with water lilies. The lakes are mobile shops of moving shikaras. The old city has a labyrinth of alleyways and mosques. Srinagar is located in the

heart of the Kashmir valley at an altitude of 1,730 m above sea level. The changing play of the seasons and the salubrious climate ensures that the city is equally attractive to visitors around the year. The climate is one of opposites: while in summer time the heat builds upto breaking point in the foothills, people of Ladakh and Kashmir wait for the snow to melt.on the high passes. From October onwards, Jammu becomes a much more pleasant destination. However, the best time to enjoy vale of Kashmir and the adventures of Ladakh region is between the months of May and September. The people of Jammu and Kashmir are renowned for their warmth and hospitality. They are simple, hospitable people and being invited to a village wedding or into somebody’s house for a hot cup of tea is not surprising. Set like a jewelled crown on the map of India, Kashmir is a multi-faceted diamond, changing its hues with the seasons - always extravagantly beautiful. Two major Himalayan ranges, the Great Himalayan Range and the Pir Panjal, surround the landscape from the north and south respectively. They are the source of great rivers, which flow down into the valleys, forested with orchards and decorated by lily-laden lakes.

November 2012 UNIQUE TIMES 33

HOW TO REACH other parts of India connect Srinagar, Jammu and Leh, some directly and some indirectly.

of Jammu and Kashmir are displayed in the Durbar Hall. The 120 kg solid gold throne made by Maharaja Hari Singh is the most spectacular possession of the museum.

By Rail - Jammu is connected to major


cities in India with regular rail services.

One of the holy Trinity, Shiva is a living God. the most sacred and the most ancient book of India, the Rigveda evokes his presence in its hymns. Vedic myths, rituals and even astronomy testify to his existence from the dawn of time. But Shiva, Destroyer, the mendicant, is undefinable : He is a great yogi. Legend has it that Shiva recounted to Parvati the secret of creation in a Cave in Amarnath. Unkown to them a pair of mating doves eavesdropped on this conversation and having learned the secret, are reborn again and again, and have made the cave their eternal abode. Many pilgrims report seeing the doves pair when they trek the ardous route to pay obeisance before the ice-lingam

By Air - Regular flights from Delhi and

By Road - Jammu is connected by road to Delhi and Jalandhar, Ladakh, Srinagar and a few more destinations. Srinagar is connected to Jammu while Leh- Ladakh region is connected to Srinagar and Manali.

Major Tourist Attractions Ainsa Monastery Ainsa Monastery is located on a hill at Panamik village in Leh District of Jammu and Kashmir. It is about 25 km from Sumur. This ancient monastery was built by Lama Changse Sherpa Zangpo, who was the disciple of Jamgon Tsonkhapa and the founder of the yellow sect. The remarkable feature of the Ainsa monastery is the right foot print of the great scholar Dachomba Nima Goon on the rock. Hot springs located near the monastery are considered to have healing power. Alchi Gompa Alchi is an ancient Gompa located 70 km from Leh on the banks of river Indus in Jammu and Kashmir. It is the only monastery on flat ground in Ladakh. The Gompa is taken care of by the monks from Likir monastery. Inside the Gompa, there are thousands of miniature-sized paintings depicting Buddha. Amar Mahal Palace Museum Amar Mahal Palace Museum is a beautiful red sand stone palace, it stands amidst the most picturesque surroundings of Jammu. The palace, planned by a French architect, resembles a French chateau despite the work of several Indian artisans. The Amar Mahal Museum has a rich collection of sculptures, paintings, inscriptions and books. Pahari paintings and family portraits of rulers 34

UNIQUE TIMES November 2012

Bagh-e-Bahu garden Bagh-e-Bahu is an extensive terraced garden built around the Bahu Fort in Jammu. This beautiful garden with its glittering waterfalls, artificial lake, lush green lawns, flower beds, fountains and big trees is a favourite picnic spot of the city folk and it also has a pleasant view of the city.The garden can be reached by mini-buses and auto-rickshaws from the Jammu city. Catholic Church Catholic Church is located in the heart of Leh city. The hexagonal church hall is painted with pictures of Christ and stories from Bible. A statue of Saint Thomas is located at the entrance. Chashma Shahi Gardens Chashma Shahi Gardens, also known as Royal Spring, is the smallest among the Mughal gardens, situated above the Nehru Memorial Park, in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir. The garden includes three terraces, an aqueduct, waterfalls and fountains laid right through the middle. Multiple kinds of

fruit and flower plants can be found in this garden. The fresh water spring in the garden is believed to have medicinal properties. The place offers magnificent views of the Dal Lake and the surrounding mountain ranges. The Dal Lake The Dal Lake is a famous lake in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu & Kashmir. Dal Lake is connected to a number of other lakes in the valley. 500 or more wooden house boats are plying to facilitate the needs of the tourists.Covered in 18 square km and divided into 4 basins (Gagribal, Lokut Dal, Bod Dal and Nagin). Rup Lank and Sona Lank are the islands.During the winter season the lake sometimes freezes over. The lake has some interesting flora and fauna. The flora include lotus flower, water lillies and water chestnuts. Notable birds are kingfishers and heron. Gulmarg Literally meaning “Medow of Flowers� is a hill station. It is a popular Skiing destination. A huge cup shaped meadow, lush and green with slopes where the silence is broken only by the tinkle of cowbells, Gulmarg looks like a fantasy set in a film.The valley of Gulmarg, a large meadow about 3-sqkms in area, stands at 2,730 metres, 56-km south west of Srinagar . The name means 'Meadow Of Flowers' and in the spring it's just that, a rolling meadow dotted with countless colourful Bluebells, Daisies, Forget Me Not's and Buttercups. The valley itself is about 3-km long and up to a km wide Gulmarg Gondola Gulmarg boasts Asia's highest and longest cable car project, the Gulmarg Gondola. The two-stage ropeway ferries about 600 people per hour to and from Kongdoori Mountain, a shoulder of nearby Afarwat Peak (4,200 m (13,780 ft)). The ropeway project is a joint venture of the Jammu and Kashmir government and French firm Pomagalski

Hazratbal Mosque Situated on the western banks of Dal Lake, Hazratbal Mosque is in Hazratbal village of Srinagar District, Jammu and Kashmir. It is about 7 km away from Srinagar. The specialty of the mosque is that it is the only domed mosque in Srinagar. The reflection of the mosque from the lake with its background as the mountains is an enchanting view for the visitors. Jama Masjid Jama Masjid in Srinagar is one of the oldest mosques in Kashmir. The Jamia Masjid of Srinagar is situated at Nowhatta, in the middle of the old city. It was built by Sultan Sikandar in 1400 AD. Later, the son of Sultan Sikandar, Zain-ul-Abidin got the mosque extended. The attractions of the Jamia Masjid of Srinagar, Kashmir include beautiful Indo-Saracenic architecture, a magnificent courtyard and 370 wooden pillars Kailash Lake Kailash Lake, popularly known as Vasuki Kunda, is situated about 17 km from Bhadarwa in Jammu District. This is one of the major pilgrimage centers in Jammu and Kashmir. Visiting this holy place on the new moon after Rakhi Poornima is considered very auspicious. Visitors need to travel through an extremely steep lonely pass to reach here.

viewing is to take the right side. This approach offers less boulder fields on the approach, and the occasional goat/horse/cattle herder can be approached for cheese and Kashmiri tea on the way. Ladakh Ladakh is in Jammu and Kashmir and is composed of the cities of Leh and Kargil. It is the Coldest Desert in the world. It is the least most populated regions of Kashmir. With its Burning sun, freezing winds, glaciers, sand dunes Ladakh attacks travelers from all around the world to witness this battle between the elements. Ladakh is totally isolated from the modern world. An authentic land, it is faithful to ancestral customs where life is characterized by intense spirituality. It is the highest inhabited land in the world.

Jammu and Kashmir is an experience that will remain etched in your memory for quite long

Kolohoi Glacier Kolohoi Glacier, situated up the Lidder Valley, just below Mount Kolohoi, is currently a hanging glacier. It is basically hollowed out from global warming, the Asian brown cloud, and local environmental factors associated with mountain hydrology. According to the mountaineers from Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering (JIM)in 2008, the glacier has receded by half since 1985. The glacier is not safe to study because it is hollow and in places has 200 foot deep crevasses. The sounds of cracking can be heard from either side of the ice field, which indicates an imminent collapse. The preferred method of approach for

Leh Palace Overlooking Leh, Leh Palace is one of the major attractions in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir. This 9 storey palace was built in 17th century for King Singge Namgyal. Perched on the edge of a hill, it resembles a miniature version of the Potola in Lhasa, Tibet. Leh Palace was the home of the royal family until they were exiled to Stok in the 1830s. Today this palace is a branch of Indian Government"s archaeological conservation organization. There is a Victory Tower above the palace, at the top of the Namgyal hill.

River Lidder River Lidder is a snow-fed river which originates from the glaciers in the high mountains of Pahalgam, a town of Jammu and Kashmir. This river is the main source of water supply for the town of Anantnag and to its nearby areas. Some of tributaries of the River Lidder are the streams of Aroo and Chandanwari. The area situated on its bank is called the Lidder Valley, which includes the town, Pahalgam. This valley is surrounded by mountains and glaciers and is enriched by many streams. Martand Sun Temple The most memorable and beautiful work of King Lalitaditya is the construction of spacious Martand temple, which the emperor got built in honor of the Sun God or Bhaskar. Paldan Lumo Temple Paldan Lumo Temple is the highest temple situated on the hill top near the river Indus in Leh District of Jammu and Kashmir. It is in the Spituk Monastery, about 18 km from Leh. Paldan Lumo Temple is dedicated to Vajrabhairava. During the annual festival of January, the terrifying face of Vajrabhairva is unveiled to the public. Dating back to the 16th century, it houses articles of tantrik worship, strange looking images, antiques and arms. The temple also has a shield made of cane. The pillars of the temple are covered with the hides of tigers. The temple is the main attraction among the typical mixture of dusty, dimly lit prayer halls and vivid modern shrines in the complex. The Indian army personnel posted at Leh are the main worshippers at this shrine. Each and every of the tourist spots in the state of Jammu & Kashmir is unparallel in the scenic beauty. The panoramic view of the long stretches of sun kissed mountains and vast spread meadows makes the uniquely beautiful land of Jammu & Kashmir, a real Paradise for the tourists.Have a memorable trip.

November 2012 UNIQUE TIMES 35


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he Lehbrink-von Osterroth-Schlegelmilch team pairs the competence of accomplished motor sport journalists with a kindred view through the lens of a camera. This makes Ferrari a singular experience, both in terms of content and visually. More than 500 illustrations and impressive photography convey unforgettable insight into the fascination of Ferrari--suspended between technology, sport, and passion.

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ontiac: The Performance Years represents a compilation of the best of three volumes covering the peak years of musclecar performance. The books were first published as part of the Quicksilver Supercar Series in the early 1980s. Out of print for decades, original editions of the books are coveted by collectors and rarely come up for sale. Not content to let collectors have all the fun, we’ve brought them back to provide a unique window into musclecar history. Pontiac is the brand that brought us the GTO in 1964 and created a whole new market segment: Supercars. First an option in 1964-1965 and then a full model line in 1966, the GTO was the first of the Supercar genre and was supported by incredibly creative marketing programs, in-yourface advertising, and almost endless option lists. Today we call vintage GTOs and competitive mid-size models with high-profile trim and large displacement, high-horsepower engines “musclecars.” Back then, though, it was the Supercar Sixties, and Pontiac started it all! Pontiac:

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The Hummer: Myths and Consumer Culture (Paperback)

by Elaine Cardenas (Editor), Ellen Gorman (Editor) Publisher: Lexington Books Price: Rs. 2010/-


he Hummer: Myths and Consumer Culture is a study of the notorious automobile/sports utility vehicle. Featuring more than fifteen essays, this collection analyzes the Hummer through a wide array of disciplines, including material culture, marketing and advertising, popular culture, military technology, urban planning, and political economy. It provides a complete overview of the vehicle: production, marketing aspects, and cultural significance.

Harley-Davidson (Paperback)


n the world of motorcycles, there is nothing like a Harley-Davidson. And there is no book like this one about America’s iconic bike. Celebrating the motorcycles that have made Harley-Davidson an American legend, this book showcases the standout models of the past 100 years. Period photographs and new color images feature the classic Harleys from Flatheads, Knuckleheads, Panheads, Shovelheads, Evolutions, and Twin Cams to Sportsters and the new V-rod. Lively text chronicles the company’s century, from the early years when HarleyDavidson grew from a backyard enterprise into the world’s biggest producer of motorcycles, to the Evolution revolution, which saw the company come back to self-management--and its greatest success ever. by: Doug Mitchel Publisher: Motorbooks International Price: Rs. 975

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es Renault Scala is a rebadged Nissan Sunny, as Renalut re-badged Nissan Micra to Pulse. Renault was planning to roll out five cars in fifteen months. This is how they have done it. Apart from Fluence Koleos and Duster, the two re-badged cars will fill the Renault arsenal for a while. The Scala, will be slotted in between the Pulse and the Fluence. The competition for Scala will include like the Volkswagen Vento, the Hyundai Verna and the Honda City. But Renault

The Renault special hexagonal bonnet grill and the redesigned bumper actually give Scala a very different look is optimistic about the Scala too are only that it will enable the company to offer more choice to its buyers, though there are going to be a few buyers that the Scala will poach from the Sunny. But design wise Scala looks prettier than Micra, thanks to the more comprehensive redesign. However, unlike the Pulse, which looked pretty much identical to the Micra if you ignored the bonnet grille and the badges, the Scala is a slightly more elaborate redesign attempt. And that is likely to work in its favour. Most of the design was done in the Mumbai design studio of Renault India.

Sunny. The Renault special hexagonal bonnet grill and the redesigned bumper actually give Scala a very different look from the front. The headlamps sport the same design as the Sunny’s, but they are given smoked style effect. One of the most prominent changes at the front in the Pulse was the hexagonal bonnet grille design. Unlike the Pulse, however, the hexagonal grille, together with the front bumper redesign in the Scala seems to actually lend more character and individuality to the new Renault sedan compared to its Nissan twin. Viewed from the side, the Scala’s profile is very clearly like that of the Sunny, but the stubby new front bumper also stands out as a differentiator. The headlamps support the same overall design as the Sunny’s, but within they now have a variation and the smoked style effect in the Scala headlamps also gives out a new vibe to the onlooker. The thick chrome strip that runs across the rear and merges with the lines of the redesigned tail-lamp combination gives the Scala’s rear an upmarket feel. Overall the Scala looks more upmarket than the Sunny. The posh feel does not end with the exteriors, the high end model of Scala gets leather seats, adjustable headrests, the interior colour scheme makes the Scala more luxurious than the Sunny. The cabin is big and airy like the Sunny.

The view from side is almost similar to November 2012 UNIQUE TIMES 41

The Scala’s suspension is the same set up as in the Sunny with McPherson struts at the front and torsion beam at the rear. The Scala is also offered with the same two motors that the Sunny is offered with. The 1,498cc petrol XH2 engine (in the Sunny it is called the HR15) produces an identical 99PS of peak power and a peak torque of 134 Nm. The engine will initially be offered with the same five-speed manual transmission that is currently available in the Sunny. The other motor Renault K9K diesel engine. This 1,461cc diesel power plant produces the offers 86PS of peak power and 200 Nm of peak torque (both same as in the Sunny). The fivespeed gearbox carried forward from the Sunny sports the same ratios too. Driving the Sunny like in the Sunny, the K9K engine in the Scala too suffers from a bit of turbo lag. But once the RPM needle crosses the 1500 mark, the turbo will kick in.


UNIQUE TIMES November 2012

Scala will sport bigger tyres compared to the Sunny. The bigger wheels shod with 185/65 tyres will make a delightful difference to the ride quality. The ride is distinctly sportier and the Scala seems to feel more confident taking on turns at speed. Rear ride quality may not be very different from the Sunny, though a marginal increase in road feel cannot be ruled out. The Scala’s suspension is the same set up as in the Sunny with McPherson struts at the front and torsion beam at the rear. Renault Scala comes in following 4 versions with 2 engine and 1 transmission options. The Scala hasn't offered with a low-trim variant for the diesel, Prices range from 7.5 to 9.5 lakhs. Contact Renault Kochi for a test ride Mobile: 8129 11 8888

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UNIQUE TIMES November 2012

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November 2012 UNIQUE TIMES 45


htc X8 HTC's new signature Windows Phone will feature Beats Audio, a wide-angle front-facing camera (in addition to the 8mp back camera) with a physical shutter button, and a 4.3" screen with super-tough Gorilla Glass. Love it or hate it, there's no denying the 8X immediately grabs your attention. In fact, it practically begs to be looked at, and that's to HTC's credit. Carved out of the same polycarbonate that's given Nokia's Lumia line its signature look, the handset feels reassuringly solid in hand -- a sentiment reinforced by its unibody construction -- and fits comfortably while also making a design statement. It's that latter bit that's conspicuously intentional, as the OEM admits to hyper-targeting the style-conscious set with both the lower-end 8S and this premiere line


UNIQUE TIMES November 2012

Nokia Lumia 920 Nokia Lumia 920 is a smartphone by Nokia, running the Windows Phone 8 operating system. It was announced on September 5, 2012, and was first released on November 2, 2012. It has a 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Krait CPU and a 4.5" IPS TFT LCD display, and has a high-sensitivity capacitive touchscreen covered by curved Gorilla Glass. It supports inductive charging (it can be charged by being placed directly onto a charging pad) compatible with Qi Inductive Charging and features an 8.7 megapixel PureView camera with optical image stabilization for still images and videos. It comes with 32GB internal storage

November 2012 UNIQUE TIMES 47


Nokia Lumia 920 The iPad Mini It was announced on October 23, 2012, as the fifth overall generation of 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 Smart Cover, introduced with the iPad 2, is a screen protector that magnetically attaches to the face of the iPad. A smaller version is now available for iPad Mini. The cover has three folds, which allow it to convert into a stand, held together by magnets. Smart Covers have a microfiber bottom that cleans the front of the iPad, and wakes up the unit when the cover is removed. It comes in six colors of polyurethane, including the RED version, only available from the Apple Online Store. The iPad Mini is still not officially available in India.


UNIQUE TIMES November 2012

Life Management

Sheela Abraham

Smileoften and be stress free A smile has a tremendous impact on one’s attractiveness and personality. It is often considered that attractive people are more successful, intelligent, and friendly.

A smiling person would be more popular than a reserve one. That is because a smile is "contagious" or "infectious". There's a reason for this – when you smile, it tends to make others around you smile. Even in the most stressful times, Smile often and be stress free. A Real, Genuine Smile is an involuntary response. You can't fake a smile. A genuine smile removes discontentment from one’s heart and it gives him/her a positive feeling about others and give a very clear insight of life. It is received and understood before speaking to or greeting someone, and makes that person more at ease and open. A smile brings a sense of joy and it is amazing to see how Smiling (sincerely) can make any one feel better. Besides, smiling often leads to laughing, which results in a natural relief from stress? In fact, that is a simple, effective Stress Relief formula - Smile more and get rid of your stress.

While lightening the cigarette, the jailer looked at Saint Exupery who was smiling (without any reason). Even though, the jailor tried to be stiff, the smile of the Saint Exupery drew the jailor into conversation and he also laughed. Soon after that the jailor helped the saint to escape from the prison and saved him from death. Today, we all are familiar with laughter therapy which is now becoming very popular to cure many of horrible life threatening diseases. The research shows that smiling and being happy in daily life increase the immune system and the ability of body to fight with infections. Smile costs nothing, but brings many benefits. So smile heartedly and earn profits in real life.

Smiling more the time is not only gives your personality a new and fresh look but also put very good effects on your physical health. Moreover, being happy in daily life increases the immune system and the ability of the body to fight with infections.

But remember you have the power of smile and opportunities for smiling are all around you. Make the most of them and don't let the anger of others get you down.

Remember you have the power of smile and opportunities for smiling are all around you. Make the most of them

Smiles can brighten everybody's mood. However, “Laugh with a friend, but not laugh at a friend”. Never hurt

“What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life's pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.” Joseph Addison and don't let the anger of others get you down.

your friends with rude compliments. Your life is very precious and beautiful.

Smiles can brighten everybody's mood.

In the whole creation of God, man is the only who can smile. It is the gift given to man by God. If you see someone without a smile, give one of yours.Smiles can brighten everybody's mood. However, “Laugh with a friend, but not laugh at a friend”. Never hurt your friends with rude compliments. Your life is very precious and beautiful.

The smile did such a great things that it saved one person from death. During the Spanish civil war, Antoine de Saint Exupery was captured and sent to jail. His death was sure. Saint Exupery wanted to smoke, as he had no matches, he requested the jailer if he had matches.

A little smile makes it happier.

November 2012 UNIQUE TIMES 49

Ask the beauty expert

I have a lot of blackheads on my face. Is there any home remedy for it?

There is no home remedy besides steaming. You can use besan with lemon juice to scrub, but extraction will be required. So, I suggest you do a cleanup at a professional place.

& Tressa Varghese Director, Phoebe International 50

UNIQUE TIMES November 2012

“Whenever I try to pop a pimple, it ends up enflamed. Is there a safe way to pop a zit?”

Yes. Pimples are formed because the body is trying to push out infections. However, squeezing pimples actually causes more harm than good by destroying the tissue and causing inflammation. Don’t squeeze! Instead, clean a needle with heat or alcohol. Lance the pimples with the sterilized needle; while staying parallel to the skin pierce the raised white part of the blemish and pull up. You can then gently squeeze out the pus without causing more damage to your skin.

Ask the Smile Expert Dr. Thomas Nechupadam

Irregular teeth also can increase the chances of staining and has to be corrected for having a better smile.

Nechupadam Dental GCDA Complex, Marine Drive, Kochi - 682 031 Cont: 93872 77213 52

UNIQUE TIMES November 2012

faster. The reason for the stains could be intake of tonics or medicine that contains metallic ions or stains .Some people have chromogenic bacteria in their mouth which causes stains on teeth. Such people may need repeated cleaning and polishing of surfaces to reduce the staining. Irregular teeth also can increase the chances of staining and has to be corrected for having a better smile.

I have black stains on my teeth especially on the back side of my teeth. I am planning to get married soon. I do not smoke or drink tea. Why is it that I have black stains on the teeth. Is there any treatment for the problem?

Two of my teeth are smaller in size in the front upper row. This causes spaces between teeth. I had done filling to correct the size, but the filling now is broken and has become yellowish. Do you have a permanent remedy for this?

If you are having stains on the teeth, you need to clean them professionally with a dentist. This procedure could be done in many ways. Ultra sonic or piezoelectric scalers could be used to clean the teeth. The most effective is to use a prophy-spray where in the teeth are cleaned using high intensity water and abrasive spray. The teeth which are having scratches or cracks will stain

Composite fillings can be used to correct the size and shape of teeth but may fail in due course of time. They may chip off or get discolored. Ceramic veneers or crowns are a better option to correct such problems. Veneers are thin custom made ceramic flakes that can be attached to the tooth with special cements to correct tooth deformities.

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aran Johar takes the viewers for a fun filled journey for two and half hours. The Student of the Year is fast paced film and for a normal Bollywood fan it contains all the spices included, romance, fun, sentiments and drama. For most of the viewers who have seen earlier flick Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, a lot of similarities can be seen

Cast Sidharth Malhotra, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan Music: Vishal & Shekhar Director: Karan Johar Producer: Hiroo Yash Johar and Gauri Khan 54

UNIQUE TIMES November 2012

The movie set public school campus, with a lot of luxuries this musical, sports film and love story merged into one is about two friends whose ties of friendship are stretched to snapping point by the small matter of a shot at the student of the year trophy and a triangle love story embedded. The campus a little out of the world, a far cry from what you have seen. The students is with the latest gizmos, drives Ferraris and super bikes and sports the latest designer outfits. Even though it’s a school, there is very little academic activities going on. The screen is shared by Siddharth Malhotra and Varun Dhawan and their common interest Alia Bhatt.

One of the two guys, ambitious middle class boy Abhimanyu Singh competes Rohan Nanda, who has no interest in his industrialist-dad’s riches and wants to be a Rockstar. The latter’s childhood sweetheart, Shanaya Singhania, is a girl who is easy to fall in love with, the first-time actors are enthusiastic enough to make a fair fist of carrying the thin storyline forward without letting the effort weigh them down too much. The supporting cast, led by Rishi Kapoor as a gay high school principal who nurses a secret yearning for the school's married coach do their best to bolster this bubblegum romance. That is Student Of The Year for you. But if you like your entertainment to be served up with glitzy but pulpy garnishing, pirouette your way to the nearest screen by all means.


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by Denisha Sahadevan

Sanam Prasad

So who is this quiet young lady who has made her way onto the screens? 56

UNIQUE TIMES November 2012


graduate in Software Engineering, who had worked in U.K. until two years back, Sanam Prasad never meant to become an actress. As she had modeled for a few textile, and jewelry ads, it was by chance that a production company came across one of her ads presenting her with her first role in the Malayalam movie Cinema Company. Since then, she has acted in the movie Ambuli 3D which presented her with multiple roles at one time, giving her much exposure in the acting field, and her upcoming release Ravu directed by Ajith Ravi Pegasus. She has currently signed on two other projects, one of which is a Telgu movie which is to be released in December of this year. When it comes to music she's a fan of A.R.Rahaman, Ilaiyaraaja, Harris Jayaraj, and Adele. When it comes to movies "Notebook" would be one of her favorites, describing herself to be a "movie buff", because she enjoys watching movies in various worldwide languages. So who is this quiet young lady who has made her way onto the screens? We have a pleasant chat with her to find out more. Describe your first experience, and the obstacles faced in your first movie Cinema Company when it comparison to your experience with your current ongoing film Ravu?

Malayalam is a beautiful language. but for me it was as foreign as it could get. I'll be lying if I said I got it smooth,and easy, and that I didn't have cold feet. It was anything but. I really owe a lot to the director of Cinema Company, Mamaz, and the assistant director Soumya who took it as a challenge themselves to train me with my lines. There was no looking back ever since, and I've had a memorable time working, and learning through that movie. In comparison, Ravu was easier. I was more comfortable with the language, and the working style of Malayalam industry.

What do you find you love the most about acting?

Now that you ask, it really gets me thinking what I love about acting. Actually everything about it fascinates me just as much as it always did, before I became an actor. Its not any less interesting being within the industry. I love d fact that your skills are sought by a whole unit to portray a beautiful character, and to bring life to a beautiful story. As an actor you get to do so many different things which you can't imagine doing in the real mundane life. Specifically Indian cinema is full of color, and drama with over the top romances. Its so much fun doing these things, makes me feel alive, I couldn't have asked for a better way of expressing myself. You love watching movies in all languages, but when it comes to acting in certain languages do you have a preference?

Oh no, I've come to realize that language is never, and should never be a barrier. Language directly reflects a certain culture, and a certain sect of people. It would be my privilege to work in as many languages as feasible, and get to know and understand the true spirit of cinema and acting. I wouldn't even restrict my choices to Indian languages. Do you care to do negative or positive roles or is it all the same to you?

Negative roles sure have a lot more spunk, and spice doesn't it? Doesn't matter much if the role has shades of gray or all goody, it just needs to have justified character, and depth to it. It needs to be something I'd believe in. Are there certain preparations which you find you have to take in order to get into the character of the role which you are playing before shooting starts?

Spontaneity works best for me. I react to a particular situation as naturally as

possible, the way I imagine my character to. There are definitely inputs that are required to make the role more convincing in terms of body language, and speaking style which I work on. In life who would you say inspires, and motivates you the most?

Inspiration is something which I get in abundance, there is so much to learn from so many people in the daily walk of life, not just a super celebrity or a pop diva. At the end of the day its the spirit of being alive, the passion to pursue your dreams, to believe in one self despite all odds, and to keep trying to get what you truly desire for. These are the traits in people which inspire me immensely, and you can't taste success without these. Being part of an influential field such as the film industry, do you feel the pressures of a role model who the youth of today's society will look up too as your career continues?

Wow, the question itself puts pressure on me *smiles.* Well its true cinema is a powerful medium, and most people like me to get influenced, and would want to ape the real heroes, so yes we do have the responsibility of portraying constructive content, and that can sometimes be a challenge to the creative liberty of a movie maker. Its a fine balance which for decades has been managed beautifully, so I hope it continues the same way, and I don't in any way jeopardize that. Do you have any actors/actress or directors whom you wish to work with in the future?

That would be a long list. For starters I consider actress Sridevi as my greatest inspiration to acting, and I would jump on a chance to work with her. By the way, I'm immensely happy like her millions of fans that she made a come back with such a brilliant movie, English Vinglish. Mani Ratnam sir,

November 2012 UNIQUE TIMES 57

I do keep myself updated on the latest Indian

Gautham Menon Sir, K. Balachandarn sir, K. Raghavendra sir, Puri Jaganath, Shekar Kammula, these stalwarts of cinema are on my wish list of directors to work with. Aside from acting, what are your other interests?

Being a movie buff that I am its got to be watching movies, also traveling, cooking, reading mostly fiction books. Just finished reading a very intelligent, and captivating book called Chanakya Chants by an Indian writer Ashwin Sanghi. When it comes to sports, which ones are your favorite?

I'm not a very athletic person myself but I enjoy watching good old cricket. Are you a fashion follower or do you follow your own style?

I do keep myself updated on the latest Indian, and global trends, and try to apply it in my movies. Its refreshing how styles keep changing, and old styles revisit. Personally I always wear what suits my mood, the color choices especially keep changing.I just need to enjoy what I wear, not particularly in line with current trends..


UNIQUE TIMES November 2012

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UNIQUE TIMES November 2012


Shubha Phutela S

hubha Phutela, has passed away. She succumbed to her illness on 22nd October 2012. She was undergoing treatment in Appollo Hospital in Bangalore. She was an emerging star in the South Indian film industry. She was crowned Hair-o-max Miss South India 2010. She starred in the Tamil film Maalai Pozhudhin Mayakathilaey that released earlier this year. Shubha was born in Punjab and she relocated to Bangalore for her graduation. It is from Bangalore she was auditioned and selected for the prestigious Miss South India Contest. She won both the viewers and judges hearts as she was crowned Miss South India, 2010 which was conducted in Le Meridian, Kochi. Miss South India opened up many opportunities for her in modelling and films. She later acted in a Tamil movie, for which she won a lot of accolades. Chairman of Pegasus Event Managers, Mr. Ajit Ravi has expressed his grief at the untimely death of Shubha Phutela. He remembers her as a brilliant and enthusiastic young model, who was down to earth in her attitude. He also commented that her victory in Miss South India raised the benchmark for subsequent participants.

November 2012 UNIQUE TIMES 61

Tying the


UNIQUE TIMES November 2012


Golden Era of




As the story goes earlier this year Kristen Stewart cheated on Robert Pattinson with “Snow White and The Huntsman” director Rupert Sanders, who is model Liberty Ross’ husband, and “apparently” Pattinson, and Stewart have made up. However despite their reconciliation they will apparently be working on promoting their final “Twilight” movie “Breaking Dawn Part 2.” So now what’s new? Pattinson has been reportedly spotted at the New York City night club Electric Room in Manhattan with an unidentified blonde according to The photographs which were taken show them flirting, and according to the venu Pattinson was with the woman for hours and was reported to have put his arm around her. So is this mystery woman just a friend or something more?

One would think that the “golden era” of the Indian film industry existed during the time when Waheeda Rehman acted in some of the classic films such as “Guide” and “Kaagaz Ke Phool,” but according to Waheeda the golden era of Indian cinema is now. Because in today’s day, and time Indian cinema is getting world wide appreciation, though the only disappointing thing Rehman feels is that actors are burning out faster because of the various activities which they take up such as endorsements, stage performances, and so on. Having been in the film industry for over five decades, Waheeda feels that the Indian cinema scene has changed for the better as a lot of good changes have come way since her time.


Finally after five long years, Saif Ali Khan, and Kareena Kapoor tied the knot on October 16th afternoon. The register marriage took place at Saif's Bandra home. At the wedding which was a quite private affair Kareena’s sister Karisma, and her cousin Ranbir Kapoor were reported to be present with other close family members. From the bride's side, Kareena's mother and father signed as witnesses, and from the groom's side Saif's mother signed as a witness. Following the wedding a party for family, and friends was thrown where many of Bollywoods A-list celebs were spotted outside south Mumbai’s Taj Mahal hotel. Let's wish these newly wed a blissful married life for a lifetime!

Mike Tyson’s



Mike Tyson the 46 year old boxer turned actor is set to put into words to reveal all in his memoir “Undisputed Truth,” after having signed a deal with publisher Blue Rider Press. The book will tell all the details about his life from his career as a boxer to his personal life as he will be talking about his marriage to actress Robin Givens, and his jail sentence for rape according to Contactmusic. The book which is to be released next year will be written in collaboration with Larry “Ratso” Sloman who had worked on Howard Stern’s book “Miss America.”

An Indian



in the Future?

Finally after five long years, Saif Ali Khan, and Kareena Kapoor tied the knot on October 16th afternoon. The register marriage took place at Saif's Bandra home. At the wedding which was a quite private affair Kareena’s sister Karisma, and her cousin Ranbir Kapoor were reported to be present with other close family members. From the bride's side, Kareena's mother and father signed as witnesses, and from the groom's side Saif's mother signed as a witness. Following the wedding a party for family, and friends was thrown where many of Bollywoods A-list celebs were spotted outside south Mumbai’s Taj Mahal hotel. Let's wish these newly wed a blissful married life for a lifetime!

“Aiyyaa,” has finally hit theatres, and Rani Mukherjee is finding herself to be in much shock after seeing the final release of the film which she immensely dedicated her precious time too. Apparently the movie which was shown to the producers Viacom 18, and Rani Mukherjee and the film which was finally released in theatres were two different versions. It seems that director Sachin Kundalkar has had his way on the editing of the film which is a tsk tsk because in today’s Bollywood film industry the director no longer has the final say on how the film should be edited. The climax song which has been criticized to be very offensive was apparently never meant to be in the film, and situations which dragged on in the final release was all done without the knowledge or consent of the producers.

November 2012 UNIQUE TIMES 63

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Unique Times-November 2012  

Unique times Magazine is powrered as indian online magazine, online magazine india, online portal india, online fashion magazines and we has...

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Unique times Magazine is powrered as indian online magazine, online magazine india, online portal india, online fashion magazines and we has...