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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Death of a VCD Salesman

So there I was the other day, with solid time to kill before a movie. Thinking that it would be a good idea to buy some Mallu flicks to update my DVD collection, I walked into the Music Park outlet located at M.G. Road in Thrissur. Being familiar with the layout of the store* , I went directly to the DVD section of the store. I must have been browsing through their collection for some time as a salesman approached to help me. Now, I really am not aware if purchase of a DVD entails lower margin for the store (vis a vis VCD) or if this person was pushing the sales of VCDs, but he was giving me a load of arguments against purchasing DVDs. The conversation went something like this:
Salesman: There is no point in spending X additional amount on the DVD when you can buy the same thing on VCD for much less...
Me: ...But in a DVD the picture quality is better.
Salesman: These VCDs are as clear as the DVDs.....
Me:....But DVDs have a provision for 5.1 sound, it will be almost like watching the movie in a cinema hall.
Salesman: These DVDs do not have those features, although they may advertise so.....
(The salesman at this point is on cloud number nine, as he has countered all my arguments)
Me: Ok, but if I buy the DVD, I will only have to get up once to insert the DVD into the player!
Salesman: ???????
Me: :)
Last heard, there was a new posting on from a salesman, based in Thrissur, who would rather sell Ice to an Eskimo than push VCDs.

*-During College days, I used to spend countless hours checking out the latest Audio Tracks, before promptly downloading them of the net! Hence the familiarity with the layout of the store.

Friday, January 16, 2009

I can't see, I can't go, therefore i can't conquer

Aloha Readers*!

In between the threat of a nuclear war in the Indian subcontinent and companies that exist only on paper, we are facing a new evil. By we, I am referring to the whole Indian population, one nation under the hot sun and all that. The evil collectively refers to movies made by foreign directors, that negatively depict our glorious nation . As in the way slum dwellers are shown in "Slumdog Millionaire". As in the way prostitution is depicted in "Born into Brothel". Unfortunately, these are highly exaggerated accounts of the ground realities. I can state this truthfully as I have not witnessed any of these. Which must imply that it does not exist. For good measure I also have a lot of authoritative sources backing up my logic. Certain heavy weight bloggers have already informed us that they are not one bit happy with the makers of "Slumdog Millionaire" for showing India in a dark light. Our scissor happy censor board initially did not allow "Born into Brothel" to be released in India, for reasons only known to them. If you still are not convinced by my arguments, prepare to be fumbled by my twisty questions:
Why should we promote forms of art that show us in bad light? Why should we heed viewpoints that we don't subscribe to?
Which brings us to the other pressing question: Since there is nothing wrong with us, doesn't it imply that there is no scope for us to improve?
Which is probably why we are in this sorry state.

*-Although my blog has only 1 person following/reading my blog, I make it a point to use the third person plural: it soothes the ego!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Death of a pyramid scheme

The past few months have shown us that there is more than one way to kill the Financial System. A great number of humongous corporations are putting their best men to work towards this end (whatay pun!). I know for a fact that the readers of this blog do not take anything at face value, and will choose to disagree with me, due to which i will use clear cut examples, carefully gleaned over the centuries, to illustrate my points.
But first, let me give you a rundown of the story till now:
The organized financial system started when a snake gave away an apple to a lady named Eve, promising her that it will give her knowledge, compounded annually at 25% interest with absolutely no risk. A short period later, the first financial con was discovered. Seems that the fine print stated that the cost of the apple included giving up their prime piece of real estate and their eastern European lifestyle (no offense meant to my eastern European readers).
Much time has passed since the incident, but the basic premise of the financial con remains the same. Promise eye-popping returns (in the future obviously) in exchange for the meager little you have today.
Today we will concentrate on one such promise, the Pyramid Scheme AKA Ponzi scheme.
The name "pyramid scheme" comes from the fact that the Pyramids of Gaza were financed by poor souls who put their life savings into it. Once they could not pay the premiums, they were thrown into slavery and forced to work on the pyramids. This scheme has been improved by con artists over the decades. On going through the news over the past few days, I read about a guy who perfected this scheme to such an extent that he duped stock brokers, investment bankers, share traders, car loan salesman and even a couple of banks. This at a time when most of these astute investors where on the verge of limiting their daily bonuses to just 200% of their annual salary! Needless to say once the con was discovered, there were many broken dreams, including the new BMW roadster and the new A 380 for general sightseeing. This only goes to show us that there is no escape from these schemes. Like Air, it is omnipresent. It also shows us that since we are not in the bracket of the ultra rich, we can gloat at the ultra rich for the big money that they lost!
In this blog, I have only skimmed the surface of financial cons. Now that you are armed with knowledge you can defend yourselves in the big bad world of financial cons. Now I will be off to dream about the Hummer H3 and the Yamaha RX1, which I will shortly be buying as soon as I add 12435228 more suckers investors linked to me in SilverSearch!

Wishing each and everyone a prosperous and happy new year!