Monday, June 21, 2010

Changing Face of Women in India…is it real?

She is an important part of everybody’s life. She functions on all kind of food, she is able to embrace several kids at the same time, gives a hug that can heal anything, she cures herself when sick and works for more than 18 hrs a day, she gives herself , so that her family can thrive and ‘SHE’ is the ‘WOMAN’. Woman has strength that amazes man. Woman THEN and Woman NOW!!!
There are many women who have made India proud….be it Indira Nooyi or Kiran Bedi or Chanda Kochar or Kalpana Chawla, the list would be endless…..As history bears the witness, there have been many famous and successful women… it India or any other part of this world..

The status of women has undergone a major change in the past few decades…and surely for the better. But this is not the happy ending of the changing story that began few decades ago. There are various issues that still need so much attention….No doubt that the position of women is definitely better than what it was then but women are not liberated completely. A majority of women end up as homemakers and they end up being referred to as Mrs X. Parents want their daughters to get modern education and at the same time they want them to follow the orthodox values. There are still so many cases pending on sexual harassment on women. Can justice be done to a woman who has undergone such a painful trauma?

Women have conquered all possible arenas in the world, be it being a bus conductor or an astronaut, women of today have been there and done that. Still somewhere down the line, there are many men who do not permit women to walk along with them. The age old tradition still persists, women changing their last name after the marriage, women going to husband’s house after marriage and many women bearing the burnt of the male dominated society. We all say dowry is illegal but there are innumerable people who take gifts informally from the girl’s side giving some other name to “dowry”. Strange but true….that is what is Indian tradition and culture.

Reservation for women, equal rights to women, providing women equal opportunity etc, the Indian government is doing every possible thing for the empowerment of women but that is not enough. The society also has to accept that any woman today is no less than a man. As Gandhiji has rightly said we must be the change we want to see. Wake Up, We are the “WE”.

Written by : Shruti Wadavi

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mumbai Indians most favourite team in IPL 2010

In an online research conducted by AZ Research, Mumbai Indians was the most favourite team in IPL 2010. It was the most favourite team for 54% of the followers. Its appeal, however was a little lower amongst women at 41% as compared to men at 58%. A significant percentage of women liked Chennai Super Kings most. In conjunction with this, Sachin Tendulkar was the most favourite cricket in IPL 2010 – liked most by 52% of the viewers. Like Mumbai Indians, appeal of Sachin is also higher amongst men at 56% and comparatively lower amongst women at 38%. Sachin is followed by MS Dhoni who is liked most in IPL 2010 by 14% of viewers – only 8% amongst men and 33% amongst women.
AZ research did an online research to assess viewer-ship and feedback to IPL 2010. This research was done amongst cricket followers, males and females in the age band of 15 to 50 years. Sample size of 1550 interviews was achieved in this research. This research brings forward some interesting findings about viewership and preferences of viewers regarding IPL 2010.

Appeal of Mumbai Indians is over powering and is impacting perceptions of all dimensions of appeal. It is also seen as the most stylish and most aggressive team. After MI, RCB has a clear lead on being the most stylish team. These are followed by CSK and KKR on being most stylish teams. MI leads on being the most aggressive team also. However, after MI, CSK has a clear lead on being the most aggressive team.

Since IPL is expected to be an amalgamation of cricket and glamour this research also asked the IPL 2010 followers on who was the most stylish team ambassador in IPL 2010. Expectedly Shahrukh Khan emerges as the most stylish ambassador for an IPL team. He is followed by Preity Zinta who leads over Shilpa Shetty and Deepika Padokone. Katrina Kaif also emerges almost at par with Preity Zinta. Nita Ambani and Vijay Mallya feature at position 5 on this – just ahead of Deepika Padukone.

Amongst the viewers of IPL 2010, DLF is the most recalled brand. Being the main sponsor for 3 consecutive years has given DLF a significant recall. On the top 10 recall positions, there are 7 brands which are either cell phone handsets or mobile operators. Recall of brands on top ten positions is detailed herewith.
Rank 1  -  DLF (78% recall)
Rank 2  -  Kingfisher (71% recall)
Rank 3  -  Aircel & Royal Challenge (both at 65% recall)
Rank 4  -  Idea (59% recall)
Rank 5  -  Vodafone (56% recall)
Rank 6  -  Nokia (51% recall)
Rank 7  -  UltraTech Cement (48% recall)
Rank 8  -  Hero Honda, Karbonn, Maxx (all at 45% recall)
Rank 9  -  Deccan Chronicle (43% recall)
Rank 10 - Videocon mobile (39% recall)
This research was conducted online and feedback was received from about 18 cities of India. 33% of the sample size was students while 67% was working class, mostly were middle level executives.

Contributed by : AZR Online

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Back to the future

We all hear it too often – how ‘advanced’ the next generation is! How ‘different’ they would be

Am sure most of us have heard our mother say “we didn’t have the guts to speak in this way with our parents… you do not respect elders”. Our parents thought that way about us, mothers today would think the same way about the next gen.

Is it really true? Is the next gen going old world norms as we call it or are we heading backwards albeit in our own fashion?

The other day during a casual discussion, someone pointed out how probably in the next few years to come kids would address their parents with their first name and ‘mom’ ‘dad’ would be passé. One of them retorted… How can they! Absolute disrespect… we are going the American way…! Surprise my friend... even my grand mother & her siblings used to call their parents by their first name! And I have heard that there were more like them in their day and age.

The other day I was watching Swami & amp; friends… the classic by RK Narayan... it was interesting that the story set in a small town in pre-independence era had a protagonist who can pass off as a kid of today with changes in his attire. Independent, individualistic (he refused to go to the school because his principal punished him… forced his parents to accept his decision – talk about pester power!), friends meant the world to him; image conscious (borrows a ‘topi’ from a friend because his upper class friend Rajam is visiting him) the list can go on… so are these values really ‘new age’?

Talking about kids... many people believe that today’s kids are smarter than their age… that they are, but mostly due to increased exposure that they have in today’s generation. Just look at the architecture our forefathers have come up with (without the help of technology which the new age architects have), most of today’s discoveries are some where based on and / or are possible because of our forefathers’ inventions.

Realization dawned on quite a few post the cult movie 3 Idiots, that one should follow ones heart / passion & not make a career of what their parents want them to do, the new age gyaani went on to say how its excellence that is to be pursued and not winning over others – and that’s the new gen moto? Well, following your passion or hobby is definitely an “in” thing today… but is it really a “new” thing? Though I wasn’t born then... I am not sure if in 50s and 60s… it was believed you need to be an Engineer to gain respect and status in society. What was revered was excellence in your field of choice – be it a scientist, an administrator, a politician or an artist… you had to be excellent and you would be revered for it. It was “excellence” and not “winning over others” that mattered then – isn’t this what most of us loved about 3 Idiots?

So does it mean times have not changed? It would be wrong to conclude that way… times have changed, and changing too. ‘Idealism’ has made way to ‘being practical’, ‘grey’ is more prominent than ‘black and white’… ‘Materialism’ has replaced ‘simplicity / simple living’. The articulations, definitions of all these terms and values have changed with time… but still this is the age where AOL is making waves (old wine in a new bottle, anyone?). May be that’s why wheel symbolizes time… ‘kaal chakra’ because it comes in a full circle.

So, leaving it open for discussions with a nagging question on my mind… in future will we see more of ‘new age values’… or will the ‘best of old world values’ get recycled?

Written by : Aruna Priyadarshini

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Birth of the Cinema

It is common knowledge that cinema was "invented" in 1895 and that the first cinema shows took place in that year. However, several persons have been credited with having invented the cinema. Edison in America, William Friese-Green in UK, the Lumiere brothers (Louis and August) in Paris, Skladanowsky in Germany. This should alert us to the fact that the concept of the invention of cinema is problematic. If there is no one inventor, was there an invention at all?

There is a story, probably apocryphal, that Louis Lumiere, the French inventor, was working on an apparatus which would take still photographs of phases of a movement at a certain speed and then would show those still photographs at the same speed so that an illusion of continuous movement is created in the mind of the viewer. Lumiere was not successful. Naturally it became a headache of sorts and he went out for a walk. He chanced to see a woman at her sewing machine. Lo and behold! The stop motion mechanism of the sewing machine would drive the cinecamera and the cine-projector. We may assume such anecdotes for Edison in New York and his fellow scientists in England & Germany too. To be precise, several people were working on a device to photograph and reproduce movement in and around 1895. The development of the cinecamera was a breakthrough indeed, but it was also the culmination of a long evolution. The urge to create a living image of reality was implicit in man's earliest magic and earliest art - and we can trace back the ancestors of moving pictures as we know them for more than a century before 1895.
Of course, from a certain approach to history, it is convenient to ascribe inventions to particular persons. This gives the impression of mastering history. Also, equating the "invention" of cinema with the development of the cinecamera makes it possible to assign a birthday to the cinema, an important element in history. This may appear innocent, but it isn't. For if the invention of cinema is limited to the making of a special apparatus to take and show photographs, that is, the cinematograph, then the cinema itself is reduced to a technical apparatus. But when we talk of cinema, we mean much more than just a machine. We do not go to a cinema hall to see a machine, nor primarily to experience optical tricks. We go, mainly, to see a story. And cinema turns out to be an art and a language. Based on an instrument, yet, much larger and complex than the instrument itself. Ask rather, "When was cinema language invented?"

Secondly, the cinema shows of 1895 were not the first shows of moving pictures. They were only more developed shows. From the end of the eighteenth century, and with the spread of the cheap printing, people increasingly came to look at images for their knowledge of life. The rational spirit of the age produced a passion for visual shows and exhibitions of all kinds. The ancient oriental shadow show enjoyed a great revival of popularity all over Europe in the 1770s and the 1780s. There was a great fashion for entertainments which combined painting, theatre, and light.

The association of cinema's birthday with the first film shows emphasizes the fact that, whatever else cinema could have been and hardly ever was, cinema happens to be a spectacle, an entertainment, and a business. Despite this, cinema manages to be an art. This suggests that, after all, technology, business, entertainment, and spectacle may not be as antagonistic to art as they are held to be. Moreover, since story telling started much before the so-called invention of the cinema, what was new when the cine-camera was perfected? It was a new manner of generating and conveying stories. And after the years 1895 to 1900, the real invention of the cinema took place, that is, the perfection of the skill to use the new apparatus to convey stories.

Wriiten by : Amit Patra