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Showing posts from June, 2005

Reliance XI vs Anil Ambani: A Clash Of Democracies

A Victor On The Road (pic courtesy:

At the end of it all, a young colleague had this to say, "I wish they had not seperated, its so sad." The emotion might sound a bit surprising for the longest and perhaps most bitter battle of its kind, anywhere. Whatever the feeling, at the end of it all, the nation, as represented by curious citizens, investors, politicians, suppliers present and potential, business partners and of course the media were heaving sighs of relief.

Who won ? Not an answer that will spring forth in a hurry. But for Anil Ambani, always a master in the art of perception management, its a battle he lost in the boardroom but won on the street and at home. Looking back, you could even term it the clash of democracies, the industrial-institutional versus the citzen-street vendor.

Journalists and camera persons flocking around the sturdy gates of Reliance headquarters Maker IV in Nariman Point, whose reputation must now equal that of Watergate, also…

A Dot-Com in 2005

Having reported quite extensively on the events (read madness) leading upto the bursting of the great dot-com bubble in 2000, it is with a combination of nostalgia and scepticism (a little of the former and large doses of the latter) that one regards any organisation with a dot com appended its name.

In the go-go years, as one wise man referred to them subsequently, it was the youth who ruled the roost. If you were older than 27, you were over the hill, if you hadn't spent the last few years in the US, preferably on the West Coast or referred to that $50 million valuation with the appropriate twang, then you were not all there. So on and so forth but this is not, one must hasten to add, a generalisation.

At a major aviation and travel exposition the other day in Bombay, it was with some interest that I shook hands with Navneet Bali,CEO & Co-Founder of Incidentally, its been a good five years since one's last dot-com encounter; most of the smart 27-year-…

A Room With A View

The Good Old Days..(pic courtesy:

Projector rooms in cinema halls used to be a mess. Cans of film, some open, would lie around the floor, the projectionist, a tired looking, pot-bellied man, attired in khaki trousers and a vest potters around, barking orders at a small boy who would be mounting a reel on a hand-wound spooler, pulling the loop of film, frantically spinning the handle and getting the film wound back for the next show.

On the screen below, a father-son shouting match is on, the mother is imploring the father to forgive the son for some misdemeanour, maybe daring to fall in love with a girl hailing from a dissimilar background. Like most high melodrama Bollywood scenes, from a little distance, the loud dialogue, backed by a orchestra of violins going berserk, sounds like pure cacophony.

The sounds and voices filter clearly through and can be heard above the projector's whirring noise. One, of a total of possibly 16 reels, is winding down on Projector 1. T…