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Monday, July 6, 2009
HARD AT WORK
Indian football team trains in Dubai ahead of the Nehru Cup FREE CIRCULATION
Vol. 3 No. 125
Creative mothers are ﬁndings new ways to balance home needs and a business. Meet namma Chennai’s savvy entrepreneurs.
» PAGES 02 & 03
02 NAMMA CHENNAI
ERGO Monday, July 6, 2009
Is it free?
A senior state politician got some state-ofthe-art interior decoration done at his home sometime ago. The assignment completed by a private ﬁrm was worth a whopping seven-ﬁgure amount. Though thoroughly satisﬁed with the work, the political simply refuses to pay the bills, leaving the interior designers lamenting.
Meet these Chief
hen Bhavani Raman, a software engineer, gave birth to her ﬁrst child she opted for “ﬂexi working hours” so as to spend more time with her son Vikas. The company, HP, accepted her request, provided she completed her assigned duties. “Be it 11 a.m. or 11 p.m. I had to be present for the conference call as I was leading a team, which was a 24x7 support process.” Two years later, when the engineer was carrying her second child, she realised it was difﬁcult to juggle a corporate job and kids who tend to fall sick very often. She resigned to take a two-year break for her children, now aged three-and-a-half and one-and-ahalf years.
Adding fuel to the ﬁre
A senior police ofﬁcer was left stunned recently after some media persons informed him that he was being transferred out of Chennai. Agitated by the news, the ofﬁcer checked through his sources and found out that the transfer news was a hoax. He is known to have called the journos and told them, “Why are you adding fuel to the ﬁre? I’m already under immense tension.”
No cams watching roadies
Most of the CCTV cameras ﬁtted in trafﬁc signals in the city aren’t in working condition for months now. The reason – the contract with the agency that installed and operated the CCTVs had expired. The renewal of the contract is known to have hit a roadblock due a cold war between two decision-making ofﬁcers.
But it wasn’t an easy decision for Bhavani to leave her 10 years of corporate experience to devote herself full-time to her growing sons. “After returning from a stint in the U.S. we were in search of a CBSE school for my son, where my parents’ knowledge was outdated. Neither friends nor relatives could give me a concrete picture. That’s when I decided to connect with other moms through the virtual world,” she says about her enterprise. Bhavani channelised her software knowledge to start www.chennaimoms.com, where she is the product designer, administrator and manager. She only incurred the server cost, while the base was developed by her husband. “It is a different experience, though I miss my corporate job, the fat pay cheque, the perks and coffee breaks.” Like Bhavani, an increasing number of moms have taken to starting their own businesses, a majority of which are drawn from personal experience and are in
the children niche. Flexible working hours, support of family members, need-based investment and, above all, getting to spend quality time with their growing kids are some of the pros of being the mompreneur. And for many, a home-based venture is the ideal way to start off.
Yifat Agam along with Pindi Karra conceptualised Vanilla Children Place four years ago. “I was pregnant with a third baby. That gave us a lot of doubts, but we took a decision and trusted our instincts that this project would make a difference,” recalls the interior designer. Two weeks after her third daughter, Tsooﬁ, was born, the partners were at the site renovating. Today, the venture is one of the most happening places in the city, catering to the needs of parents, parents-to-be and children, with an environment for one to learn, play and shop. How has her experience been? “It is a constant
For the last one year I have also been learning the ropes of running a start-up. I am more inclined towards starting a pre-school and this exposure will help me
Jothi Priya with her children
Monday, July 6, 2009
What are we doing?
Now, follow First Innings on www.twitter.com/ﬁrstinnings.
Balancing babies and a business is not everybody’s forte, but these moms have been doing it with élan
challenge that keeps pulling you from heights of fulﬁlment and joy to moments of questioning whether it’s worth the sacriﬁce,” says the director. However, the major difﬁculty for Yifat was to cope with the basic needs of her children. “They want to see me at home when they are back from school; be like other moms, drop and pick them from friends’ homes or attend to school activities.” that one has to balance intelligently and smartly. Garima Agarwal, a self-made design entrepreneur, took around seven years before fulﬁlling her creative urge with a professional set-up, Peek-a-Book Patterns. “I wanted to enjoy my married life, plan my babies, send my children off to school and ﬁnd some breathing space before starting my venture,” says the designer. “A commitment is a commitment whatever be the nature of work. The biggest advantage I get here is freedom and the happiness that I have fulﬁlled my creative urge, plus get feedback from customers.” Bhavani will also vouch that running the business meant double the responsibility. “At HP, I had seniors who were ready to guide me when I go wrong. Here, I am on my own and all the decisions rest on me, though I am happy I found a playmate for my son from the next street and made many friends for myself, which I could never make in a fast-paced job,” says the 31-yearold mother. She next plans to introduce the concept – a platform that allows mothers to search, address, laugh or rant about anything concerning them – in Bangalore and Delhi. “I am looking at it going commercial.” Apart from being the chief family ofﬁcer at home, Jyothi takes care of her husband’s business as Managing Director of Ennovasys, an RFID technology business. “For the last one year I have also been learning the ropes of running a start-up. I am more inclined towards starting a pre-school and this exposure will help me,” says the mother of two. Above all, giving these ventures a backing is the support, trust and goodwill of the family. ■
This is a weekly column that celebrates the spirit of entrepreneurship
Sharing and learning
Jothi Priya was working as a teacher in the U.S. when the couple decided to return to India to bring up their growing children.
However, running an enterprise and a home is a tightrope
(From left) Garima Agarwal of Peek-aBoo Patterns, Yifat Agam and Pindi Karra of Vanilla Children Place and Bhavani with sons, Vikas and Dhayan
FILE PHOTO: R. RAGU
ERGO Monday, July 6, 2009
GDP rate:6.1% Food grain production:229.9 Million tones Industrial growth:2.6 Export growth:3.6% Import growth:14.4% Foreign Exchange reserves:252.0 Billion USD
End of load
With SEBI removing the entry load on mutual funds, you have just saved some money
1: What is the interest rate paid on Employee Provident Fund deposits? a) 8% b) 8.25% c) 8.5% d) 7.5% 2: The document presented a few days before the annual budget is called a) Monetary Policy b) Fiscal Plan c) Pre-budget Report d) Economic Survey
Send your answers to ﬁnergo@goergo.in or SMS your answers to 92813 98889. For example if you choose A as the answer to question 1 and B as the answer to question 2 type it as 1A2B and send it. Winner will be chosen by lucky draw from all correct answers.
investors who made investments directly with the fund houses should not be charged any entry load.
Answers for last week’s quiz: 1: 10% 2: Permanent Account Numb
News you can use
8.5% interest on PF deposits
The Employees Provident Fund Organisation, which held its meeting on July 4, has given positive news to salaried professionals. It has decided to keep the interest payable on Provident Fund deposits at the existing 8.5 per cent per annum. The news is positive as there has been widespread speculation that the government is looking at reducing interest rates on all small savings instruments.
n a drastic move the market watchdog Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has directed the mutual fund industry to do away with the practice of charging an entry load on investments made in any scheme, old or new. Any new investment into a mutual fund henceforth could give you a saving of 2.5 per cent. The board meeting held on June 18 issued the following directive: “There shall be no entry load for the schemes, existing or new, of a mutual fund. The upfront commission to distributors shall be paid by the investor to the distributor directly. The distributors shall disclose the commission or otherwise, received by them for different schemes/ mutual funds, which they are distributing or advising the investors.” Till recently, all mutual funds were charging a ﬂat fee of 2.5 per cent of the prevailing NAV on the day you make your investment. The current directive follows a similar directive given last year, in which SEBI had said that
Better advice at lower cost
The above directive will make the mutual fund industry competitive and services of distributors will be more professional and hopefully unbiased. Since the advisor’s (distributor’s) income will now come from the customer rather than from the company, there will be more focus on trying to give the product at competitive prices. Although price will be a major factor, customers will also look at returns and hence advisors would be forced to sell products, which are the best for customer rather than those that give them higher commissions. This could be the ﬁrst step in the direction of having more professional ﬁnancial planning professionals rather than vendors selling ﬁnancial products. ■
Car loan space gets hotter
The Car loan industry has seen some competitive moves during the past few months. If it was the PSU banks which reduced their rates in the last couple of months, it’s the non banking ﬁnancial companies’ turn to turn the heat on. Tata Auto Finance has reduced rates by close to 3 per cent to 12.5 per cent, Mahindra Auto Finance has reduced its rates by nearly 2 per cent to 12.5 per cent.
NRE rates hiked
Corporation bank has increased the interest rates payable on NRE accounts with effect from July 1, 2009. It has announced a rate of 3.36 per cent for 1-2 year deposits and 3.87 per cent for 3-10 year deposits. The rate of interest on domestic deposits is 8 per cent for investments below Rs. 15 lakhs for maturity period of eight years and above.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Business networking for the small player
MyTradeBook.com is a free B2B tool for SMEs, with 40 per cent of the registered users being Indians
If Twitter is increasingly gaining popularity on the Net as a business tool, MyTradeBook.com promises to show the way as an overall Internet marketing strategy for companies. The portal has amalgamated business networking and Business-to-Business (B2B) market place, where interest groups can buy, sell, network, recruit and partner with prospective customers. Anton Koulakovskii, Director and Co-founder of www.MyTradeBook.com, talks about its increasing reach among Indian SMEs and future plans. Excerpts from an email interview: Running a small business with a global appeal and limited marketing budget is tough. How does MyTradeBook come of help to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)? There are many small and medium businesses that have products and services with global appeal but are constrained with limited marketing budgets, which become even more pronounced in the current economic scenario. MyTradeBook.com is designed to cut through the clutter of the existing B2B marketplaces by offering users effective ways to reach out, collaborate and showcase their products and services in a much more targeted fashion. At the same time, users can advertise their products and services for free in the ‘Trade Pages’ section. These posted adverts can be linked to various interest groups and viewed by any visitor. It also allows users to share them with other social networking sites. In less than two months of its launch MyTradeBook has over 40 per cent users from India alone. What is the nature of business of these registered users and how is
The Indian SMEs are yet to take complete advantage of online marketplace tools as compared to the U.S. and the U.K.
the Indian community different from that of the U.S. or the U.K.? The nature of business spans across various segments like manufacturing, garments, handicrafts, gems and jewellery, machinery, etc. They are basically exporters and importers across business segments. We feel the Indian SMEs are yet to take complete advantage of online marketplace tools as compared to the U.S. and the U.K. Could you cite an example of a very rare business that an individual is promoting through the site?
In the ﬁrst month of its operation MyTradeBook.com has already helped a number of website development companies generate new contracts from new customers. The platform has also helped small companies, like a business providing overnight proofreading services from New Zealand, get more publicity and generate new clients. What is MyTradeBook’s revenue model? We are going against the current marketing trend of falling advertising revenue and we make money from banner advertising. This is why we made www.My-
TradeBook.com completely free for all. So the more people use the site the better, as we can serve more page impressions. In the future there may be some additional paid-for services but the core functionality as it is today will remain free. What will be the future of banner advertising space online? Banner advertising space online has already picked up and is a stable revenue model for online trade marketplace tools. We see a rapid growing trend globally with regard to online advertising. Next plans?
Critical to the success of MyTradeBook.com is the connection with international markets. We initially launched in the U.K. and India and as part of our short-term business strategy, which means in a year or two we have plans to launch it in other English-speaking countries in a phased manner. As part of our long-term business strategy MyTradeBook has plans to develop a multi-lingual interface and establish easy collaboration between people speaking different languages from across various parts of the world. ■
Inmate robs jail
ERGO Monday, July 6, 2009
An inmate in a U.S. jail has increased his sentence by stealing a computer from the prison while he was being held there for another crime.
Wine cheaper than water in Australia
The unprecedented meltdown that Australia’s wine industry is facing has driven wine prices lower than bottled water. The price collapse and over-planting has forced Australia’s biggest winemaker, Foster’s, to sell 31 vineyards across the country. Major wine retailer Dan Murphy’s has started selling cleanskins for 1.99 dollars a bottle - cheaper than some bottled water, news.com.au reports. Thanks to the all-time low wine industry, some vineyard owners are leaving grapes to wither on the vine.
Rice designed to ﬁght allergies
Scientists in Japan have achieved a breakthrough in advancing towards the next generation of genetically-modiﬁed rice, which will ﬁght allergies instead of causing them. According to report in Live Science, the new transgenic rice has been designed to ﬁght a common pollen allergy that appears safe in animal studies. Fumio Takaiwa and colleagues note that the ﬁrst generation of genetically-modiﬁed crops was designed to help keep crops free of weeds and bugs. The next generation of transgenic crops is being developed to directly beneﬁt human health. This includes vegetables and grains that produce higher levels of nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, or even medicines and vaccines. The rice plant has been genetically engineered to ﬁght allergies to Japanese cedar pollen, a growing public health problem in Japan that affects about 20 per cent of the population.
Disney adds robotic Obama to attraction
An audio-animatronic model of US President Barack Obama, the most dynamic ﬁgure Disney has ever created, has made its debut in Orlando’s Disney World as part of American Independence Day celebrations. Obama is surrounded by his 42 predecessors at Walt Disney World’s newly-revamped ’Hall of Presidents’ in Orlando, Florida. “The magic of the show is actually being able to see all of the Presidents throughout history on this stage together,” CNN quoted Eric Jacobson, senior vicepresident of creative development at Walt Disney Imagineering as saying. The group travelled to Washington, D.C., to record Obama’s voice for the show. They also worked with White House staffers to make sure his wardrobe, hair and mannerisms were portrayed as accurately as possible.
Man kills wife over Facebook entry
A British man murdered his estranged wife after she changed her marital status on social networking site Facebook to “single”, a media report said on Sunday. Edward Richardson, 41, stabbed Sarah Richardson, 26, to death at her parents’ home in Staffordshire May 12, 2008, BBC News reported. Richardson, who tried to commit suicide after the attack, has been sentenced to life with a minimum of 17 years in prison.
Girls convey their anger through meanness
hile girls are often taught not to be aggressive, their hostility and anger are often expressed through meanness, says a researcher. “Girls are not brought up to be assertive. They’re raised to be nice and pretty and have lots of friends,” said Nicole Landry, a research coordinator with the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology in the Faculty of Medicine. In a society where being rough and tumble is regarded as an important part of being a boy, it is different for girls who are not taught to express aggression. They tend to bully by gossip-
ing, backstabbing, and excluding others from activities. “Kids are like little adults, but they don’t have the things that we have to give them status and power: a good job, a nice house, wealth. They use meanness as a way of negotiating their place in the hierarchy,” she said. During the study, Landry looked at 24 teen girls, aged eight to 11. She initiated discussion by showing movie clips and pictures and asking questions. Each of the girls was also asked to record her thoughts and feelings in a “reﬂection journal”. According to the girls, popularity is affected by class and race;
popularity, which is equated with power, is awarded to rich, white girls who can afford the coveted labels but also to white girls from less-well-off families as long as they are pretty. According to the girls, some of rules for popular girls include: “Always sass everyone;” “Get boys to like you;” and “Whenever you have a chance to make fun of someone else, do it.” The ﬁndings have been published in the book, The Mean Girl Motive: Negotiating Power and Femininity. ■
Monday, July 6, 2009
Police in Ohio got a shock while they were interviewing a suspect a baby squirrel climbed out of her top, much to the surprise of the ofﬁcers. But the woman didn’t explain the strange event - simply scooping the squirrel up and placing it back in her cleavage.
Websites of the day
Remember the pop legend: www.michaeljackson.com Get a new pet: www.pets4homes.co.uk
40 years ago man ﬁrst walked on the moon F
orty years ago on July 20, 1969, American astronaut Neil Armstrong realised the oldest dream of human civilisations when he became the ﬁrst man to walk on the moon. As an estimated 500 million people around the world waited with bated breath crowded around fuzzy television screens and radios, Armstrong stepped down the lunar module’s ladder and onto the lunar surface. “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” Armstrong intoned, his words slightly distorted by distance and communications equipment, in a phrase now etched forever into the history books. The excited crowds burst into cheers as he was joined by fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin who described the “magniﬁcent desolation” of the lunar landscape, never before witnessed in close up on earth. Only 12 earthlings have walked on the surface of the moon, the earth’s lone mysterious satellite, which has fuelled our dreams and imaginations since the earliest humans walked the planet. And the last moonwalk was already more than a generation ago in 1972. The Apollo program, which led
The space race became symbolic of the Cold War battle for dominance between competing ideologies and polarised world powers
This 21 July 1969 NASA photo shows the lunar module, with Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, approaches the Apollo 11 command module for a rendezvous with a half-earth in the background. Armstrong and Aldrin became the ﬁrst men in history to walk on the moon’s surface 20 July, 66 years after the ﬁrst powered ﬂight by the Wright Brothers.
FILE PHOTO: AFP/NASA
to six successful moon landings between 1969 and 1972, had begun eight years earlier in 1961 when then President John F. Kennedy threw down a bold chal-
lenge to Congress to put a man on the moon within the decade. But the Apollo program hit some setbacks. In 1967, three astronauts were killed in an acci-
dent on the ground. Then on July 16, 1969, Armstrong, the mission commander, Aldrin and Mike Collins settled themselves into the orbiting
command module Columbia on the Apollo 11, which was taken up into space perched on the Saturn V rocket. The huge rocket, towering some 111 metres high, lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center at 9:32 am (1332 GMT). Four days later, Armstrong manually manoeuvred the lunar module, dubbed “Eagle,” to land on the moon’s Sea of Tranquillity. “Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed,” he told mission control in Houston, Texas. At 22:50 pm (0250 GMT), the 38-year-old Armstrong left the module and stepped down a short ladder. With a small leap, he landed on the moon’s surface at 22:56pm and 48 seconds (0256 GMT). Twenty minutes later he was joined by the 39-year-old Aldrin. Together they spent 21 hours on the moon’s surface, planting the American Stars and Stripes and a steel plaque bearing a message of peace. They collected some 21 kilos of rocks and then returned to Columbia where Collins was awaiting them for a triumphal return to earth. They landed back on July 24, ditching into the Paciﬁc Ocean. ■
Costa Rica tops happiness poll
osta Rica is the happiest place on earth, and one of the most environmentally friendly, according to a new survey by a British non-governmental group. The New Economics Foundation looked at 143 countries that are home to 99 per cent of the world’s population and devised an equation that weighed life expectancy and people’s happiness against their environmental impact. By that formula, Costa Rica is the happiest, greenest country in the world, just ahead of the Dominican Republic. Latin American countries did well in the survey, occupying nine of the top 10 spots. Australia scored third place, but other major Western nations did poorly, with Britain coming in at 74th place and the United States at 114th. The New Economics Foundation’s measurements found Costa Ricans have a life expectancy of 78.5 years, and 85 per cent of the country’s residents say they are happy and satisﬁed with their lives. Sociologist Andrea Fonseca said Costa Rica gives its citizens the “tools” to be happy, but cautioned that happiness cannot be calculated just by looking at life expectancy and environmental practices. She added that the country’s rise to the top of the Happy Planet Index “has a lot to do with social imagination.” Costa Rica has a peaceful reputation because it does not have an Army, and is also known for its protected ecological zones and national slogan “pure life,” she said. ■
General view of the Arenal volcano at the back of La Fortuna church in La Fortuna, some 80 km northeast of San Jose, Costa Rica. PHOTO: AFP
ERGO Monday, July 6, 2009
SSP Chowrasia’s game came unstuck when it really mattered and the Kolkata pro stuttered to six-over 77 in his penultimate round to slip to the 77th place in the Open de France Alstom golf tournament. Lone Indian in the fray after compatriots Jeev Milkha Singh and Jyoti Randhawa failed to make the cut, Chowrasia turned in his worst card of the week so far to total an unﬂattering 219 that dashed his hopes of a top ﬁnish in the elite European Tour event.
Flintoff let us down: Flower
Andy Flower has no qualms in admitting that Andrew Flintoff’s latest indiscretion has let the team down but the England coach made it clear that it’s “not the end of the world” for the talismanic all-rounder. Asked if he felt let down after Flintoff missed the bus for the team’s pre-Ashes bonding trip to the trenches near Ypres, Flower said, “Yes, (England captain) Andrew Strauss has made player responsibility a very big part of our game and we’ve come along very well in that regard.” Flower sought to put a lid on the episode and said, “This incident was disappointing but we’ve all made mistakes. It’s not the end of the world for Fred to make one. But it is important to learn from it. More importantly, Fred knows he made a mistake. It’s been handled in-house and we move on as a team,” he said. The former Zimbabwe batting mainstay revealed punctuality was a problem with a few others as well. “It’s not the ﬁrst time anyone running a team has had timekeeping issues ... Andrew Strauss as captain was supporting Andrew Flintoff. But you can’t keep on stepping over the line and still expect serious support,” he said.
Beckenbauer wants WC back in Europe
Franz Beckenbauer believes Europe should host the World Cup in 2018 after South Africa and Brazil stage the next two ﬁnals. The former World Cup-winning captain and coach with West Germany stopped short of endorsing any individual bids but said England would be capable of hosting the tournament. “It’s (the decision) too far away, it’s more than one year to go,” he said: “(But) It will be Europe’s turn (in 2018). As a UEFA member, I would like to see it in Europe but it is an open race as to which country might get it. England could host it tomorrow because they have the stadiums, the infrastructure, the fans, everything. But there are a lot of other different countries bidding. Let’s wait and see.” Beckenbauer is one of 24 members of Fifa’s Executive Committee that will decide which countries host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups at a meeting in December next year. FIFA have received nine bids for 2018 and 11 for 2022 although bids from the same continent as the successful host for 2018 would be ineligible for 2022. Beckenbauer said a country like Australia could be a strong candidate for 2022 if 2018 went to Europe.
FILE PHOTO: R. SHIVAJI RAO
Team India trains in Dubai as national coach complains about
Monday, July 6, 2009
I think if you hold three grand slam titles, maybe you should be number one, but not on the WTA Tour obviously. My motivation is maybe just to win another grand slam and stay number two, I guess. It is what it is. I’d deﬁnitely rather be number two and hold three grand slams in the past year than be number one and not have any.
Serena Williams expresses bemusement that winning a third grand slam title in 10 months will not be enough to take her to number one in the world
t lack of decent training facilities in the country
way from the criticism and ugly ground realities, the Indian football team is gearing up in Dubai for next year’s Asia Cup. The 10-day-long stint in Dubai will be followed by a month-long exposure trip to Barcelona for the “bhangra boys”. “Doing well in the Nehru Cup in August is our ﬁrst priority. And these two tours will help us ﬁnd our rhythm as a team,” national coach Bob Houghton said from Dubai. “It’s important for the players to get the right facilities to reenergise their batteries after a long domestic season. So we are mainly concentrating on physical conditioning for this camp in Dubai. In Barcelona we will play four to ﬁve practice games and also try working out different dead ball tactics.” India, the defending Nehru Cup champions, were forced to shift base to Dubai for training after Houghton complained of lack of decent training facilities here. “We would have trained in Goa, but the rains make it difﬁcult for us to train there now. The Emirates ground is as good as any in Europe and the players are making most of it,” Houghton said about the move. His players too tow the line. “If we had good training facilities in India we would stay at home. But the problem is we don’t have a training ground in India,” goalkeeper Subrata Paul said. “If we can train in India, it is better for us. We will feel at home in familiar surroundings. But we should get the facilities that are being offered to us here.” Skipper Baichung Bhutia, a touch diplomatic, felt the same. “While training you need all the facilities close at hand. Gym, swimming pool, good hotels and a proper training ground with ﬂoodlights and other amenities are difﬁcult if not impossible to ﬁnd in India. At times our hands are tied,” he said. “If you have the opportunity you should always settle for the best and not hold on to old sentiments.” The team, though, is happy with the sudden splurge of money by the federation and wants to hit back at their detractors with a good showing at the Asia Cup in Qatar. “Let’s be realistic about our chances at the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. We are up against the best. But the boys have the belief after recent successes, so let’s see how far we can go,” Houghton said with a word of caution. “Our idea is to have the team spend time together as much as possible.” Elaborating, he added: “Regional powerhouses like South Korea, Australia, Japan and, more recently, North Korea have kept their national teams together for long periods and reaped the beneﬁts. That is what we should do from next June till the Asian Cup in January. The AIFF acting president (Praful Patel) suggested that they stay together from now. The clubs had some problems though, so starting from next June will be a more realistic time.” During their time together as a unit, Houghton hopes to play at least three international friendlies every month. “We just can’t train but also need to test our skills against quality opposition,” the coach said. “Staying somewhere in Europe, like Portugal, will help because we will ﬁnd ample club teams to take on without travelling great distances.” With an elaborate and well thought-out plan for success all ready, Houghton now needs his federation bosses to get in the sponsors to make things a reality. The federation till now, although heavily burdened by the ﬁnancial meltdown, is conﬁdent of providing all necessary means to the team. “The team will get all the facilities they ask for. There may be a few budget constrains but we can tide over them soon,” All-India Football Federation vice-president Subrata Dutta clariﬁed. “We have reached a certain height and the players need all the encouragement to keep moving forward.” ■
ERGO Monday, July 6, 2009
Ritchie gets more eco-friendly with home
British ﬁlm director Guy Ritchie, once married to pop star Madonna, is getting more eco-friendly and wants to make his country home self-sufﬁcient. Ritchie has plans to grow fruit, vegetables and vines in an effort to turn his 9-million-pounds country home self-sufﬁcient, dailymail.co.uk reports.
Meet Draco Malfoy
Harry Potter’s nemesis revels in hard-edged new ﬁlm
ritish actor Tom Felton said he was relishing two violent dust-ups with Harry Potter when he resumes his role as the evil Draco Malfoy in the sixth ﬁlm of the boy wizard’s adventures. Audiences will see Felton, so often in the shadow of Daniel Radcliffe as Harry in the previous ﬁlms, occupy a central role in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which opens across the world from July 15. Having sparred with each other in the corridors of Hogwarts wizarding school for years, the clashes between Harry and Malfoy in the new ﬁlm have a harder edge in keeping with the overall theme of impending adulthood. “We have a few conﬂicts in the ﬁlm so it was great fun to ﬁnally get physical. I break his nose and he rips me open, so it was good to release some of the tension that we’ve been building up over the years,” Felton said in an interview with journalists in Paris ahead of Tuesday’s world premiere in London. Like Radcliffe and the other young Potter stars, Felton, now 21, has dedicated a substantial chunk of his childhood to the ﬁlms and done his growing-up on the set. Though still a pupil of Hogwarts, in the new ﬁlm Felton’s white-blond character is suited and booted in head-to-toe black while our trio of heroes – Harry, Hermione and Ron – are still wearing the jumpers of teenagers. Felton, who has grown tall and angular in the eight years since Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone kicked off the ﬁlm series in 2001, said he originally tried to get the part of Harry himself. “"I tried for Harry Potter and Ron, and ﬁnally Draco. My hair was dyed brown, ginger and then ﬁnally blond.” He admits though that he quickly settled into the skin of the brooding, threatening Malfoy. “I take great pleasure in being evil in the ﬁlm so I’m very grateful for playing Draco. A lot of kids that came on to the set were very keen on the idea of meeting Draco, but they were never keen to shake my hand, so I take that as a compliment. If I can terrify a little child then I’m assuming I’m paid for something!” Yet Felton admits that when Malfoy is given the opportunity to prove his true evil in the The Half-Blood Prince, he ﬁnds he might be out of his depth. “"I think he revels in this opportunity at ﬁrst and loves the idea of being the bad boy, but he quickly crumbles and realises he quite doesn’t have a heart the size of his young friend Harry.” Other roles are sure to follow for Felton when the series wraps up with a two-part adaptation of the ﬁnal book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which is currently in production. Yet the pride he derives from being part of the Potter phenomenon is clear. When the author of the Potter books, J.K. Rowling, wrote to say how much she liked the latest ﬁlm, the Felton household was bursting with pride. “That’s the ultimate compliment from her. I was amazed at receiving it. I had my mum crying within ﬁve minutes of receiving it so she was very proud,” he recalls. ■
Tom Felton attends the launch of the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince magical tour, held in Leicester Square, on June 19 in London, England. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
I tried for Harry Potter and Ron, and ﬁnally Draco. My hair was dyed brown, ginger and then ﬁnally blond
Monday, July 6, 2009
Mammootty’s website gets more
Actor Mammootty’s website is set to get a new look, have more interactive features and would include a blood bank service too. The veteran actor said it could now be called a portal and not just a website as www.mammootty.com is more exhaustive than before.
Marriage rumours worry Nayan’s parents
Right now Nayanthara is under parental surveillance, thanks to rumours of her marriage with Prabhu Deva. The actress is said to be so much in love with Prabu Deva that she has tattooed his name on her left hand. Nayanthara’s parents are now a worried lot and have told their daughter that they would accompany her everywhere. They have even told her that in case she didn’t agree to this, they would stop her from acting. The actress is, therefore, seen regularly with her parents on movie sets. She may not be enjoying their forced company, but the production executives of her ﬁlms are surely at the receiving end – they now have to look after the needs of Nayan’s parents as well, informed sources said.
Grint and bear it
Harry Potter star Rupert Grint complains of too much money
ctor Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasley in the superhit Harry Potter franchise, has more money than he knows “what to do with”. The 20-year-old star, who featured in Forbes magazine’s list of top earning young superstars in 2007, said he had no clue what to do with the money, reported Femaleﬁrst. “There was a moment where I remember thinking, ‘I have no idea what I’m going to do with all this money’” said the actor who shot to stardom at the age of 12 with the ﬁlm Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Despite his worries, the star has made every effort top put a dent in his wealth, buying a pick-up truck, ice-cream van, hovercraft and a home for his parents. The actor added that it was not money that he considered the best part about his fame. “Money isn’t the only good thing about the job. I’ve gotten to meet heroes like Robin Williams. Although, my grandfather spent the whole time doing Mrs. Doubtﬁre impressions,” added Grint. ■
No takers for Vishal
It seems there are no takers for Tamil action star Vishal in southern ﬁlmdom as his much-hyped home production, Thoranai, as a dud and the producer of his upcoming romantic ﬁlm Theeratha Vilaiyattu Pillai has backed out. The ﬁlm was to be made by Ramesh, who produced Pokkiri. Sources say Ramesh shelved the project after seeing the debacle of Thoranai. Unfazed by this, Vishal got in touch with a few production houses, but the response was said to be far from encouraging. Finally, he has decided to make Theeratha Vilaiyattu Pillai under his own banner,G.K. Film Corporation.
ERGO Monday, July 6, 2009
Friday’s Query: What ﬁrst comes to your mind when you think about Michael Jackson - music, dance or controversies. And why?
■ His fancy outﬁts
Mukund SCB, Scope International
born with celebrities
■ His hairstyle bcoz his own style to the range of pop
Sivapriya Allsec Technologies
■ Michael jackson endrale dance than! Dance endrale Michael Jackson than
Baskar, Nanthakumar.G, TCS
■ The song "Blood on the Dance Floor". Very energetic song
Jerin Anand TCS
■ If break dance is the religion, then MJ is the God
Dhananjayan Scope International
Karthikeyan from Wipro Technologies has nominated his friends as Partners in Crime. This photo was clicked at Blackthunder.
■ The one and only black pop singer who changed the destiny of English albums all over the world. His mesmerising voice and his amazing dance cannot be replaced
■ His way of attracting people by dance and song. No one can beat him. Jackson rocks
Syed Ali Shell Transource, Saranya.M Cognizant
■ The ’dangerous’ performance n ’moon walk ’ bcoz doing it 1st n in best form makes him a real king
■ His famous toe standing position
■ His awesome and stylish dance movements
G.Sudha Cognizant, Pinky IBM, Prabhu.C Mphasis, Vijaykumar, Anu Allsec, Gerard Ajuba
■ Dance he is a king of pop and ﬁnder of moon walk. No one can ﬁll his place as a dancer
Rajeshkumar.D Allsec Technologies
■ Nature’s gift to the music world with summer cloud white face, winter cloud black hair, thunder voice and lightning speed
■ He rejuvenated the entire pop world with his unique way of dancing & music. No matter what kind of controversies he was in to
Gokuldass from Calsoft has nominated his friends as Partners in Crime. This pic was clicked near Vivekananda rock in Kanyakumari.
■ Music- awesome, dance-stunner, controversies -
■ Music, for his extraordinary work in ’little Susie, and ’stranger in Moscow’
Priyesh Anand Patni Computers
Today’s Query: Actor Vijay is rumoured to start a new political party. Help ’Ilaya thalapathy’ to coin a party name.
Rakhee from Wipro Technologies has nominated her friends as Partners in Crime. This photograph was taken at Besant Nagar beach
Monday, July 6, 2009
Peter Balaji has been nominated Ofﬁce Angel by his team members from ZOHO Corporation.
Peter is the most composed person in our team. Despite vast knowledge in his role, he has always had the attitude to learn at any point of time from even the junior-most team members. His sporty, athletic appearance and patience are his most admirable strengths. He is a kind-hearted person with a friendly nature.
■ Dear Kavitha, May each moment of your BIRTHDAY leave a memory to treasure, MAY A WORLD of happiness adorn your LIFE FOREVER. Have a wonderful BIRTHDAY
Best wishes from CC team Tata Consultancy Services
■ Hi Karthik KS May this special day be ﬁlled with sweet memories and happy hours. Wishing you all the fun and excitement that only birthdays can bring!
With Cheers, Human Resources, Coastal Training Technologies India (P) Ltd, Chennai
■ Dear Madhu (HERO MAMA) Wish your bike many happy returns of the day da. I still remember “once upon a time u use to do Wheeling but it become a circus, anyhow u Managed and say its style ma” wish you bike Dreams come true, pls atleast today put 1 liter Petrol da. ■Hi Arihann Ayyanar, Many more happy returns of the day and have a KEWL life ahead. have a wonderful and blasty year. i miss ur b’day this year. nzoy!!!
Your dhost, friends, nanban, Rajesh.P
■Dear Mr.Karthu Kandasamy, Many More Happy Returns of the Day May all your dream come true. Have a joyful and funﬁlled Birthday ■Dear Nithiya, There was a heavy rain when you were born not because the weather was bad, but reality is the sky was crying because it lost its most beautiful star. Fine.. Jokes apart.. This message has no Fat, No cholesterol and No addictive. This is all natural excerpt, with a lot of sugar. But it can never be as sweet as the one reading it. Happy Birthday Dear Nithiya. We love u a lot. Wish you a many more happy returns of the day. ■Dear All in all azhagu Rani, Before wishing you on ur birthday, thanks for reminding us to send the post Yenunga gounder amma Solla koodathu chumma Seekiram set aaganum mama Adhu varaikum kaathirunga aama Neenga illena naanga poiduvom koma Adhanaala team ku venum NEE ma Iniya pirantha naal nal vaazhthukkal Ramkumar K. of Changepond Technologies Ltd. doodled this. The sketch is of his colleague Vinod’s son, Vishal. ■Dear Rasgulla, On this wonderful day, We wish you ﬁne and simple pleasures. We wish you many years of laughter. We wish you all of life’s best treasures. May each new birthday be the best one ever for you; You deserve it! Happy Birthday Dear..
with love PraDz
From S & S Store Billing/Supply chain Billing Mphasis
With lots n lots of luv, Kirthi, Shyamala & Jaffe.
With luv, eBay - EDISTA Team
With Carts of Loads of Wishes, Senthil, Nisha, Bala, Nithya, Nitya, Yogitha, Ajanth, Lokesh, Kamal, Gopi, Matrum AHD 08 ILP Mates.
■ Dear Jeni, I am wishing you another year Of laughter, joy and fun, Surprises, love and happiness, And when your birthday is done, I hope you feel deep in your heart, As your birthdays come and go, How very much you mean to me, More than you can know.
G.Sathyaraj, HOV Services
One day a man went to a VCD shop and bought a Kadhal ﬁlm VCD and kept it in the fridge. Do you know why ? Because he wanted to see Jilunu Oru Kadhal.
Sudhakaran Congruent Solutions Pvt .Ltd
■Dear Er.Elavazhagan, May your day be ﬁlled with laughter On this your special day And may the ﬁnest things in life Always come your way. Hope this B’day is very Special for a good start..... All the Best for your Future!!!
with warm regards, Ambika KG,TCS-Chennai.
14 TRAFFIC JAM
Toad eats snake
ERGO Monday, July 6, 2009
A toad has turned the tables on its natural predator - the snake. A toad in China has been photographed munching on its natural enemy.
Reena Nagar from TCS E-serve shot this picture at Central Park, New York using a Sony DSCS980 camera. Hobbies: numismatics and photography
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Monday, July 6, 2009
A tiny Chihuahua in Australia has made an amazing recovery after being stepped on by her best mate - a massive Clydesdale horse.
Myomancy (mye-uh-man-see): divination by the movements of mice. Modern scientists probably study the movements of mice as much or more as the ancient myomancers ever did, and for ends that are not dissimilar.
ARIES MARCH 21 - APRIL 20
Ganesha says that, at the end of the day, you will be satisﬁed with whatever fruits have been reaped. No harm in asking your colleagues and seniors for help, if at all you feel the need. Don’tspend your precious time chit chatting away.
TAURUS APRIL 21 - MAY 20
Avoid the lesser walked upon path today, says Ganesha. You will deﬁnitely get what you deserve, provided you show patience while dealing with those who are superior to you. If you let success get to your head, the results will be terrible. The
GEMINI MAY 21 - JUNE 20
day will be spent obliging people since you’ll have to meet them and run a few chores out of compulsion but then, no better time to rise in their eyes. The day will end with your beloved giving you soothing and endearing company after a tiring day.
CANCER JUNE 21 - JULY 20
Ganesha says, today you will meet people with a lot of demands and unfortunately you will spend a lot of time fulﬁlling their expectations. Ganesha advices to have a large heart towards your partner since forgiving is the best way to avoid tiffs.
LEO JULY 21 - AUG 20
Lion that you are, you will never have one boring moment in life. The day will pass by packed with lots of activities. Today give yourself completely to your partner and make his/her day.
VIRGO AUG 21 - SEPT 20
WORKING IT OUT
Today will be a mixture of boring work like cleaning your desk and important tasks like attending an important client. But the evening will be exciting and the company of your beloved will make you look forward to the evening.
LIBRA SEPT 21 - OCT 20
Balancing home and work has always been tough and today will be no different. Still trying won’t harm you. Work will be affected since your mind will be elsewhere, so leaving ofﬁce early today will be a good option. Spend quality time at home.
SCORPIO OCT 21 - NOV 20
Work has never seemed as fruitful as it will today. Apart from appreciating your dedication to work, people will line up to consult you with trivial as well as important matter. Things at home will run smooth.
SAGITTARIUS NOV 21 - DEC 20
Deadlines have to be met today at any cost. But rest assured, Ganesha predicts that you will do that without putting in any extra hours. Today you might take up the topic of occult or philosophy with your beloved.
CAPRICORN DEC 21 - JAN 20
Today you will dominate the day with your charm and affability. Playing and being so good with words will come easily. Though the day will be occupied with developmental meetings, the evening will be relaxing and fun with your beloved.
PREVIOUS ISSUE’S SOLUTIONS
AQUARIUS JAN 21 - FEB 20
The morning may turn out to be a major headache. But as the day unfolds, luck will favor you. Trivial things may take up a lot of efforts. But the evening will be lined with maximum entertainment and ease with your beloved.
PISCES FEB 21 - MARCH 20
Morning will bring you a lot of luck but the rest of the day will be a bit tough minus any slogging. Some surprises are in the store for you which will thrill you immensely. Your family will praise you to no end today. All in all, a day to look forward to.
Predictions by Bhavesh N. Pattni
ERGO Monday, July 6, 2009
Beyonce performs during the 2009 Essence Music Festival at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans.
PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES/AFP
A model parades in a swimsuit during the New Silk Road Model Look China contest in Beijing.
The New York City skyline as seen in the distance as ﬁreworks explode over the Hudson River during the Macy’s ﬁreworks display in West New York, New Jersey.
PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES/AFP
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