Sunday, February 16, 2003

K Logs


In the short time that I have been Blogging the most powerful utilization of this phenomenon would be Knowledge Management. KM is has been in the world for a long time and a lot of organizations have been working on building the systems and tools needed to make this happen. I was introduced into this world 2 years back from the website Brint.com.



Rajesh Jain has been writing about this in his Blog and through the blog I have been introduced to the concept of using Blogging as a tool for facilitating Knowledge management. He has been talking of a concept called Digital Dashboard. I will be providing a set of links to start understanding the way to go forward for Knwoledge management.


Links:
  • K-Logs - Knowledge Management Weblogs - in Yahoo Groups

  • Two artcicles on personal knowledge publishing by Sébastien Paquet, Université de Montréal. Part 1 and Part 2.



  • Friday, February 14, 2003

    Advertising - Kamasutra

    Kamasutra - the leading condom manufacturer in India ( exclusing the government distributed Nirodh) has been a kind of bold experimentor in Indian advertising. The ads sarted showing people having Sex and a lot of stuff was not correct for young children. But anyway it was direct and was also mostly right on what it wanted people to do - go and buy.

    But lately the company has strated making the ads very subtle and have taken a different kind of line.

    Sample:


  • A man and women sit in a restautant - and the womesn thighs are shown generously which the man is watching and the waiter is opening a bottle with a cork and the man starts getting ideas.

  • A second ad is based in the hospital where a man is on the bed and he is looking at a nurse who is repeatedly putting a pen inside its cap and removing it and the man is getting his ideas again.



  • Now the reason for me explaining these ads are that this is effecting childern more so. My wife teaches in a high school and she was explaining the other day about an incident in VIII standard where a child was imitating the second ad described above in the classroom. The child beside him was not comfortable and complained to the teacher. the teacher when faced with the confronting the child could not answer to him when he said what is that I am doing wrong, can you explain?

    This is tough to handle for the teacher and questions the ads. Is this the right kind of advertising. This kind of incidents are totally not expected and not wanted but should'nt we follow some kind of standards!!



    Thursday, February 13, 2003

    Love Is the Killer App


    Tim Sanders talks about love as the killer app in his new book for business. Fast Company.com has an article by Tim.


    From the Intro:

    If you want to fix your future, start by fixing yourself. In the face of war and recession, what the business world needs is less greed -- and more love. So says Yahoo senior executive Tim Sanders, who argues that now more than ever, the road to prosperity is paved with a commitment to generosity

    Global corporations, local standards

    Kanika Datta in Business Standard writes about the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) expose on bottled water industry.
    She focuses on the MNC's who provide the safe and pure drinking water but do not follow the standards which they follow in Europe and the US. Most of these companies always try to get away with just following within the local standards even when they have the best technology and standards in other parts of the world.

    This is a pity and the Indian and emerging markets should have tougher laws and work against these guys and the MNCs shouldstop advertising that they have the best products etc.

    Wednesday, February 12, 2003

    Warnie faces an unplayable ball

    Shane Warne, one of greatest cricketers especially a leg spinner is gone from the World Cup and may effect the chances of Australia winning the cup. All this because he has taken some "drugs" which is banned for weightlifters and reduces weight and water. This is most detrimental to cricketer who needs stamina and lots of water to turn off dehydration. The ICC has copied the Olympic assoications testing of all banned substances even though officially it says that the "drugs" checked for ar only which are beneficiely to cricket.



    Does the non-profit sector matter?


    Rajesh Tandon, President of PRIA in business standard writes about the non-profit sector in India. He presents some very interesting facts from a nationwide survey conducted by PRIA about the size and the scale of the non-profit sector in India and concludes that this sector as a whole is neglected by the government. Some excerpts:


  • The most significant findings of the study relate to employment. The survey estimates that nearly 20 million people work on a paid or volunteer basis in NPOs. Full-time equivalent paid employment in NPOs is nearly six million.

  • Just note that full-time paid employment in NPOs is nearly four-fifth of all central government employees. But is there a pay commission for NPO employees? NPO employees (full-time equivalent) constitute 25 per cent of all central and state government employees taken together and 14 per cent of employment in the organised private sector.

  • In Delhi, paid employees in NPOs constitute nearly a quarter of the relatively large non-agricultural employment

  • On the revenue front, the survey estimates that NPOs generated receipts of nearly Rs 18,000 crore in 1999-2000. More than half of these receipts were self-generated; government funds constituted a third, and the rest were private contributions.

  • The survey findings explode the myth of foreign funding too ? only 7.4 per cent of all receipts were from foreign sources.

  • Thus, the contribution of NPOs to the Indian economy is significant. Total receipts of NPOs are equivalent to 7.7 per cent of total central government expenditure on social services during 1999-2000.


  • And he raises some valid questions:

  • Do the state governments pay any attention to NPOs?

  • But is there a pay commission for NPO employees?

  • But is there a social security system for them?

  • But do national policy-makers, macro-economists or the Planning Commission care about the contributions of the NPOs to Indian economy?


  • The Not for Profit sector is one of the most important sectors in the country. After the Agricultural, Government and Coprorate sector this is the sector which has the most number of employees and due to its concentration on educational and health institutions, welfare organisations, cultural and sports organisations, research and training institutes, development organisations, etc makes it valuable for what human beings most care for. The sector also provides a lot of satisfaction and as Peter Drucker calls it a second career for many through volunteering and part time jobs.


    Taxes

    Dan Gilmore in an article on taxes explains the importance of paying taxes. He quotes Oliver Wendell Holmes :


    Taxes, Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote long ago, are ``the price we pay for a civilized society.'' Those words have been twisted by everyone on every side of a basic question -- namely, whether we pay too much in taxes -- but their fundamental truth remains unchallenged.

    He explains some of the reasons why we should be paying the taxes and why the government need them.

    First, government is not our enemy, at least not most of the time. We demand services, and eventually we have to pay for them.

    and adds some more. The rest of the article is more for the US but looking at the Indian perspective I feel that as a country we need to think and understand the importance of paying taxes. The kelkar report has generated the maximum reviews, opinions and debugging in the recent times. A recent article in the Business Standard provides some statistics vis-a-vis other countries in comparison to tax rates, tax slabs and tax payments.

    The Kelkar committee has recommended that the exemption limit be raised from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1,00,000. If we look at it from the point of view of subsistence-level requirements, then it is justifiable that at least Rs 1,00,000 a year should be tax-free so that an individual fulfils his minimum requirements.

    However, considering that currently only around three per cent of the population are taxpayers in India, as against 46 per cent in the US, 48 per cent in the UK and around 53 per cent in Australia, the ratio of individual taxpayers in India to total population, which is quite low, will drop further with the proposed increase in the exemption limit to Rs 1,00,000.

    The present exemption limit of Rs 50,000 is already more than the per capita GDP. If the exemption limit is raised to Rs 1,00,000, the gap between per capita GDP and exemption limit will increase. In the UK, US, Australia and even in Malaysia, the basic exemption limit is much lower than per capita GDP.

    As far as the personal income tax rate structure goes, these countries follow a progressive tax rate schedule. The number of slabs in general is four or more. Although the maximum marginal tax rate varies from 28 per cent in Malaysia to 47 per cent in Australia, the level of income at which the maximum tax rate is applicable in India is much lower than the level of income at which such rates apply in other countries.

    There are variations in the minimum tax rates as well, ranging from 1 per cent in Malaysia to 17 per cent in Australia. It appears that most countries have followed the ?ability to pay? principle. The Kelkar committee recommendation to raise the exemption limit from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1,00,000 and to reduce the number of slabs from three to just two does not fulfil either the ability to pay principle or the revenue consideration.

    The conclusion of the arcile makes most sense but it remains the toughest agenda for any government.

    Thus, the Kelkar committee?s recommendation to reduce the number of slabs from three to two does not seem logical. Instead of making the tax rate structure inequitable and inconsistent with the trend in other countries, the government should ensure better taxpayer compliance and create confidence among taxpayers that it will utilise the money for the welfare of the general public.













    Tuesday, February 11, 2003

    Radio Ujjas

    A very good article in The Nation. Radio Ujjas is a radio show produced by the people of Kutch (a desolate place of India near pakistan) which in three years has become a major sensation.

    It says:

    It is Radio Ujjas, and in the past three years it has transformed Kutchi village life. In their efforts to communicate with the thousand-some villages of Kutch, a rural women's group called Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan, or KMVS, hit upon the idea of radio. They got together with a collective of media professionals and taught themselves the ins and outs of radio production. Securing assistance from Gujarat's Indian Institute of Management, they got the show off the ground. Now the project is supported by the UN Development Program and the Indian government. They bought time from the state-owned All India Radio, which has an almost complete monopoly on India's airwaves but is willing to sell air and studio time as long as it can vet the content each week before a show airs. What emerged was a village radio show that uses local language, song and soap opera-style dramas to raise social awareness.


    The article explains about a popular investigative program called "Parda Faash," which literally means "lifting the veil"--it explains the success of this program and says

    It continues:

    The program has gained such a reputation that sometimes when a reporter starts sniffing around a village, the problem will be cleared up before she can even come back to report on it. KMVS always follows up on its stories, and the staff answers every letter they receive.


    I have been listening to the Radio for sometime now. There are two reasons for this. First someitme back I remembered the Mahatma Gandhi and Swami Vivekananda who said that India lived in the villages. Secondly, I was reading the books of Peter Drucker and especially his commentry on how the world is changing. His analysis has made me look at the demographics of a country when trying to understand the society and its changes. The Radio programs provided a vital clue into the changes affecting rural India and understanding of the real issues. Once i got hooked into the programs and also the ads (this provides a very idea on what the rural people are looking for).

    One of the main ideas being promoted by the Andhra Pradesh government (the radio programs are broken up into national and regional ones and each of the states,mostly linguistic division have different programs) are on AIDS. The ideas are promoted directly through ads and small dialogue stories where the importance of understading the problem etc are shown. Apart from this there are programs concentrated on the villages which try to provide some limelight the issues and other comments and queries which the people have. This is also mainly concentrated by the goverment information.

    But, one thing is sure that radio is a powerful way to reach a mass audience and can definately as provided in the article in the nation is a "highly effective" one.

    I will talk about the Radio programs in the US and gulf.



    WiKi


    Saw this information on WiKi from VeerChand Bothra's Blog. This a very interesting concept and looks like the best way to have a page in which anybody can edit the informatioin. He provides a link to the article susning.nu's founder, Lars Aronsson summarizes the experience from the first nine months of operation of Sweden's biggest Wiki website. From the article

    A Wiki website is a hypertext on steroids. Any user can create or edit any page on the site using a simple web browser, and all information processing is done on the server side. Wiki sites are powerful tools for collaboration in closed work groups, but can also be used for the general public on the open Internet.


    The article provides a very good introduction and history to the WiKi movement.

    Sunday, February 09, 2003

    A Week in BlogWorld



    It's been just over a week since I have strarted writing my Blog. I read a lot of stuff everyday through the Net, Papers and magazines. I have always wanted a way to manage the stuff the read, go back to them whenever I can and also able to let others see that. A web page was a good alternative - and I have even tried making one- but that was not easy for me. And then I got a chance to look at blogging. This was made for me. it contained everything which I wanted and thanks to sites like Blogger and BlogSpot i am able to Blog for free.



    So what has been my experience in the past week.


    • I have started experiencing a new kind of Joy for the first time after many years

    • The ability to write about the various issues and subjects which I have read is very exciting and in the process I believe I will learn a lot about myself

    • I have strated learning HTMl - to make these bullets, titles etc

    • I have strated thinking about the various aspects of my life which are important and the way to achieve them

    • I have started to read other Blog's like Rajesh Jains' and in turn a lot of other people where I am able to read opinionated stuff rather than the massaged politicized news you get to read in magazines and papers




    I will continue to post and develop myself and in the future will develop a better site using may be Blogger Pro,
    Radio or a new software which is going to come called Text Pattern.



    And thanks to UT Austin the for the HTML I have learned.

    Friday, February 07, 2003

    Google + Blog = Personal Knowledge Management System

    Rajesh Jain on his blog www.emergic.org has written a fantastic piece on the means of maintaining a Personal KNowledge management system. He provides a combination of Google (search needs), Blog (tertiary memory), and the other Digital Dashboard components (RSS Aggregator, outlines, directories and filters).

    Also he talks about the the private blog


    What I would like is a private blog, which becomes a superset of the public blog and a part which I only keep to myself. This way, I can post all my notes, meeting summaries, etc. on this blog, knowing fully well that I can find them again (and get the context). Searching paper notes can be quite hard -- they become like a black hole, difficult to get anything out of them. So, now, I am using my notebook (the paper one) for doodling and thinking. When I am somewhat ready, I post on my blog (like I am doing now).


    And then the assimilation of the this information knowledge will hopefullly lead to new innovations and higher productivity.

    Thursday, February 06, 2003

    Six degrees of separation

    Through just five or six intermediaries, you could be linked to millions of others. It is the notion behind what has been dubbed the small world effect. Robert Matthews explains how the theory affects us

    The article explains the experiments conducted by The US psychologist Stanley Milgram. It then goes on to explain the various conclusions from this and in the section They're everywhere the various examples of this rather bizzarre fact is used in movie business

    The world of showbiz is now recognised as a classic small world.
    That is, it is made up of lots of little cliques of actors, most of whom
    stay in their own patch of the industry, mixed in with a few highly
    versatile ones with random links right across the acting network ­
    who thus link every actor to every other via very few steps.

    and the "Germany's biggest firms actually form a cosy small world.".




    The Telegraph - Nissan man

    The most famous and one of the great automobile managers in recent times - Carlos Ghosn - of Nissan.

    "Such is Carlos Ghosn's reputation that analysts once joked that he could write his own pay cheque if he ever defected to the troubled Ford Motor Company. The billion-dollar boost to Ford's stock price that heralded his arrival would more than cover his remuneration. In Japan, where business leaders are revered, Ghosn is the subject of a Manga cartoon comic: The True Life Of Carlos Ghosn, a series that sold more than half a million copies per issue. He's even had a book written about him: TURNAROUND - How Carlos Ghosn Rescued Nissan, by David Magee. This is hagiography, and by the time you've read through all 240 pages you'd think Ghosn could turn base metal into gold. It does his burgeoning reputation no harm, however.

    How different it all was on October 19 1999, just seven months after Renault had taken a $56.4 billion (£34.3 billion), 36.8 per cent stake in the seemingly doomed Nissan company. The once high-flying Japanese car maker's stock was about to be reduced to junk bond status, its domestic sales share had fallen from 34 per cent in 1974 to just 19 per cent in 1999 and it was $22 billion (£13.5 billion) in debt."

    The results of Ghosn's revival plan are undeniable, however, and are now automotive legend. Operating costs slashed by one trillion yen (£5.2 billion), the number of suppliers halved, purchasing costs cut by more than 20 per cent, rising profits - $2.98 billion net (£1.82 billion) in 2001, up from a $5.7 billion (£3.42 billion) loss in 1999 - and debt cut to $3.48 billion (£2.21 billion); all a year earlier than planned

    The remarkable thing about all this is that Ghosn has done it all before, albeit on a smaller scale. At Michelin in Brazil and America, and then at Renault, this 58-year-old, Brazilian-born father of four has effected remarkable turnarounds with his evolving strategy of cross-functional teams, aggressive but precise targets, fact-based evaluation and empowerment of middle management. If his tactics of listening carefully, eschewing vagueness, working fast and improving transparency and communication across the company looks like common sense, it's the sort of common sense that is only referred to as common sense when someone's done it before.


    Sovereign risk rating systems

    The article in Business Standard raises the issue of the competency of the Moody's and other rating agencies in rating sovereign risk. It also provides valid points on how the rating agencies "which do not rate the US Treasury bonds and Bills and always assigns them AAA as they are backed by the full faith and credit of the US government which has the ability to raise taxes andpay the bonds" against using the same logic for the other sovereign agencies.

    Also, the author provides a valid framework for rating the sovereign debt which he says "The main lacuna in the rating agencies argument is that they have not distinguished between sovereign debt financed domestically and sovereign debt financed internationally"

    In all he questions the validity of the ratings as well as their downgrades and upgrades.



    How safe are NASA missions?

    A good article in the Business Standard about the safety of the NASA missions. The interesting part of the article is that

    In 35 years of manned NASA missions, there have been only three big disasters. On each occasion, NASA chose to disregard prior warning signs. In the 1967 Apollo 1 explosion, caused by an electrical short-circuit, NASA was indicted for poor workmanship.

    Tuesday, February 04, 2003

    Success

    I found this quote from Desh Deshpande (the co-brother of Narayana Murthy) on the blog site http://shrikant.emergic.org/

    At age 4, success is not peeing in your pants.
    At age 16, success is having a drivers licence.
    At age 20, success is having sex.
    At age 35, success is having a good job.
    At age 55, success is having money.
    At age 70, success is having sex.
    At age 80, success is having a drivers licence.
    At age 90, success is not peeing in your pants.

    Success is defined by oneself and it is upto us to fulfill it.

    I beleive is Success is realised when you gain satisfaction, add value, and be at peace with yourself after reaching it.

    Monday, February 03, 2003

    Sam's 10 Rules for running a Business

    “To fulfil a dream, to be allowed to sweat over lonely labour, to be given a
    chance to create, is the meat and potatoes of life. The money is the gravy.”

    Bette Davis
    The Lonely Life

    We will look at Sam’s 10 rules for running and businees. After every Rule I have tried to provide examples from his book Made in America and my opinions on these.

    One of today’s most talked about success stories, is Wal-Mart. If Sam Walton (1918-1992) can do it, why not you? Here are Sam’s rules for building a business.

    Rule 1: Commit to your business. Believe in it more that anybody else. I think I overcame every single one of my personal shortcomings by the sheer passion I brought to my work. I don’t know if you’re born with this kind of passion, or if you can learn it. But I do know you need it. If you love your work, you’ll be there every day trying to do it the best you possible can, and pretty soon everybody around
    will catch the passion from you like a fever.

    Sam would always try to check out the competitors (small or big) and learn any new ideas he can from them. On his own account he has flown thousands of miles every year to visit as many stores as possible.


    Rule 2. Share your profits with all your associates, and treat them as partners. In turn, they will treat you as a partner, and together you will all perform beyond your wildest expectations. Remain a corporation if you like, but behave as a servant leader in a partnership. Encourage your associates to hold a stake in the company. Offer discount stock and grant them stock for their retirement. It’s the single best
    thing we ever did.

    This was something Sam learned from this wife. She questioned him anout why the wealth should not be created for everybody. The best part about Sam is that once he is stuck onto an idea then he is bent upon giving it his best shot. He provides sn example of a truck driver who after working for Wal mart for more than 14 years has more than $400,000 with him. Sam has created a very fair compensation system.

    Rule 3. Motivate your partners. Money and ownership alone aren’t enough. Constantly, day by day, think of new and more interesting ways to motivate and
    challenge your partners. Set high goals, encourage competition, and then keep score. Make bets with outrageous payoffs. If things get stale, cross-pollinate; have
    managers switch jobs with one another to stay challenged. Keep everybody guessing as to what your next trick is going to be. Don’t become too predictable.

    Sam was one of the most shrewd motivators. He was tough yes, but he also knew that only when people are put into the the toughest kind of roles they would give their best. Also, he is great believer of competition – internal and external. And one of the best things he has used is the ability to keep people guessing sbout his views, dislikes and likes. He never committed himself easily.

    Rule 4. Communicate everything you possibly can to your partners. The more they know, the more they’ll understand. The more they understand the more they’ll
    care. Once they care, there’s no stopping them. If you don’t trust your associates to know what’s going on, they’ll know you don’t really consider them partners.
    Information is power, and the gain you get from empowering your associates more than offsets the risk of informing your competition.

    He is a master communicator. I mean in terms of verbal communication with his employees – like investing millions of dollars in satellite technology and whenever necessary communicating with all his stores directly. But communication in terms of Information – performance information – sales, revenue, profits, inventory, successful plans etc, to the minutest level of detail and also being very open in sharing information with this employees. He ackowledges that this would provide a avenue for his competitors to know more about his company but the empowrement would more or less offset for this.

    Rule 5: Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. A paycheque and a stock option will buy one kind of loyalty. But all of us like to be told how much somebody appreciates what we do for him or her. We like to hear it often, and
    especially when we have done something we’re really proud of. Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They’re
    absolutely free – and worth a fortune.


    Rule 6. Celebrate your successes. Find some humour in your failures. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Loosen up, and everybody around you will loosen up. Have fun. Show enthusiasmalways. When all else fails, put on a costume and sing a silly
    song. Then make everybody else sing with you. Don’t do a hula on Wall Street. It's been done. Think up your own stunt. All of this is more important, and more fun, than you think, and it really fools the competition. “Why should we take those cornballs at Wal-Mart seriously?”

    Sam would appreciate everything he would get a chance to appreciate. Not only this he has institutionalized this in the company. The store managers, the department heads, the hourly employees all are encouraged to cheer – say by announcing in the public address system in the store about a new record, a milestone etc – but in having departmental and store competitions etc.


    Rule 7. Listen to everyone in your company. And figure out ways to get them talking. The folks on the front lines-the ones who actually talk to the customers-are the only ones who really know what’s going on out there. You’d better find out what
    they know. This really is what total quality is all about. To push responsibility down in your organization, and to force good ideas to bubble up within it, you
    MUST listen to what your associates (and customers) are telling you.

    This ability to Listen for me would be the single most important character of Sam. He was always ready to listen to everything. In fact he had the ability to listen so well that he would change his own opinion if he liked what he heard. In fact the famed Walmart distribution system was not Sam’s idea but it was implemented and successful because sam listened.


    Rule 8. Exceed your customer’s expectations. If you do, they’ll come back over and over. Give them what they want-and a little more. Let them know you appreciate them. Make good on all your mistakes, and don’t make excuses-apologize. Stand
    behind everything you do. The two most important words I ever wrote on that first Wal-Mart sign: “ Satisfaction Guaranteed.” They’re still up there, and they have made all the difference.

    From driving his pick up every week 10s of miles to get that extra penny saving which he can pass on to his customers in the early days of his retails life, Sam has always wanted to provide the best to the customer and in fact exceed his expectations.

    Rule 9. Control your expenses better than your competition. This is where you can always find the competitive advantage. For twenty-five years running, long
    before Wal-Mart was known as the nation’s largest retailer-we ranked number one in our industry for the lowest ration of expenses to sales. You can make a lot of different mistakes and still recover if you run an efficient operation. Or you can be brilliant and still go out of business if you’re too inefficient.

    Thrift. Thrift and Thrift. This was one of the most important competitive advantage. Sam worked hard and also made everybody else work hard to cut down costs – like cutting down on pilfretion, having a computerised inventory system, matching sales and projected sales to distribution, operating on less or zero debt.

    Rule 10. Swim upstream. Go the other way. Ignore the conventional wisdom. If everybody else is doing one way, there a good chance you can find your niche by going in exactly the opposite direction. But be prepared for a lot of folks to wave you down and tell you you’re headed the wrong way. I guess in all my years, what I heard more often than anything was: a town of less than 50,000 population cannot support a discount store for very long.” SAM WALTON.

    Yes, he went against the conventional wisdon but I believe this is because he knew that he was mostly right. He took his chances but the conventinal wisdom was wrong than he was against it.








    CoverStory: Innovative schools are gaining ground over formal schools. And kids just love them, Feb 9, 2003 The Week

    The latest story in Week is very informative. It is showing the silent revolution happening in 10s of small schools - the schools which are breaking the century long traditions of trying to make students who are in the Six Sigma quality range - all as same as the shoes they were, the books they read. The schools are trying to make Individuals out of them.

    The Mass customization of this era in manufacturing (dell for example) is needed in the schools. More importantly the schools are trying to prepare the students for the future - the skills needed to live and work. Sample this:

    "Instead of juggling with 40-minute periods like their contemporaries in formal schools, I-school students are allowed to plan their lessons for the day. The management spells out the syllabus at the beginning of the term, leaving the students to decide how they want to space their learning. Impromptu tests conducted by the staff show up the laggards. A word of encouragement here, a note of caution there, is all that is needed to spur them on."

    What might bother parents with children in I-schools is the child's adjustment to a formal setup in college. "Individual attention at a young age enables them to develop the qualities needed to cope with any environment," says Sheridan Wilson, secretary of the foundation that runs AMS. "When children from a very young age make their own decisions and plan their own activities and feel confident, this confidence lasts throughout their life."

    What prompts the rush to I-schools? "The promise of a strong foundation, emphasis on holistic development and individual attention," says Mallika whose son Arun studied at Headstart.

    I think the best would be this example of the Success of I-schools.

    At the graduation ceremony at AMS, children were asked to talk about their feelings on leaving school. One girl's presentation shattered hearts. She said: "I feel like a bride leaving her home." Such nostalgia needs to be earned.


    Tollywood Cup

    The Telugu filem industry (one of the big film language clusters in India) just celebrated a wonderful Sunday. The stars (consisting of 4 teams) and headed by 4 captains (Chiranjeevi, Balakrishna, nagarjuna and Venkatesh) - these are the heroes who have been ruling the film industry for the past 12-17 years or so - and followed by a huge number of youngsters who have joined the industry in the past 2 years. The starts have showed a wonderful togethernesss and there was a no hint of competiotion (these are the guys who fight at the Bix office records).

    Secondly, this was for two causes. One was to cheer and support the Indian cricket team in their endeavour to Win the world cup in South Africa. The second more practical and far more effective was an effort which collected a sum of Rs. 1 Crore (Rs. 10 million) which will earn an interest of Rs.90,000 every month and will help the poor film artistes (in this case the side actors, character artists, comedians etc) in supporting them economically. This is a wonderful act.

    Also, the cricket itlsef was competitive and played with a lot of high spirit and camaradrie. This event (one of a kind in India) will definately get unnoticed by the national media 9which are all based in the North or West). For them the film industry is bollywood only. Considering that Tollywood (telugu film industry) and Kollywood (the tamil film industry) produce more films than bollywood and also better films.

    I hope that this is a good beginning and the best thing would be oging forward we can have a match eevery year and we will sure will find a good cause once a year.