Mon oncle Antoine

Award winning Canadian film “Mon oncle Antoine” (1971) directed by Claude Jutra and starring Jacques Gagnon, Lyne Champagne, Jean Duceppe, Olivette Thibault and Claude Jutra himself in a important role.

The film is basically set in Quebec in the 1940s in a small mining town. Antoine (Jean Duceppe) has a small general store in the town with his family staying upstairs. He is also the town’s undertaker.

Benoit (Jacques Gagnon) is a young 15 year old nephew of the Antoine and helping them in their daily chores. Also staying with them is Carmen (Lyne Champagne) who is taken care of by them but she has a family and her dad comes to collect her monthly earnings. Benoit is smitten by Carmen.

Aunt Cecile (Olivette Thibault) has her own issues as she is childless and devoid of love. They have Bernaud (Claude Jutra) working with them in the store doing the accounts and other things and he has a thing for Cecile. Its a story of a small town life and more specifically of Antoine and his family. There are poignant moments in the film such as when Carmen’s father comes to collect her earnings.

The harsh life of a mining town, conservative people, very little social activity, the only social occasions being the funeral of somebody and amidst all these, Antoine with his drinking. They are asked to carry a body of a young kid from other town but while bringing back the body, it slips from their carriage and they are unable to put it back due to the drunken state of Antoine.

The story is told from the point of view of Benoit who sees everything what is happening around him with his young impressionable eyes. It is rated as one of the best movies in Canadian cinematic history. The acting of Jacques Gagnon as the young Benoit and Jean Duceppe as the uncle Antoine is quite good. They are the two main characters in the movie. Direction and cinematography is quite brilliant. IMDB 7/10

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6.92 kms

A tough 6.92 kms in 49.44 mins in humid conditions. Have a great day folks.

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Khmer empire – Fall of the Gods

Absorbing documentary on the rise and fall of the Khmer Empire in present day Cambodia.

The empire comprising primarily of Hindu influence for the better part of its reign followed by Buddhist kings, first of whom was Jayavarman VII. His was under the Mahayana Buddhism which was more peaceful than the Thereavada Buddhism which was more energetic.

Their reign started from somewhere around 781 A.D. to ended around 1386 A.D. or so with a succession of internecine battles between family members. Those temples which are now in ruins in Angkor started their life somewhere around 900 A.D. when Yashovarman ascended the throne. Those temples were magnificent but now overgrown with banyan trees.

The documentary takes us through the lives of these kings and their battles and the growth of the great city of Angkor during that time. Angkor started losing its importance and died and inevitable death due mostly to the ravages of the climate i.e. successful heavy rains followed by long droughts completely collapsed its water body system.

The documentary is good in the sense that it is more in the narrative form with breathtaking visuals and videos of the areas, both close ups and aerial shots are quite stunning.

You can watch the documentary at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghmjIBD2Fd4

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incomplete GSTR-2B

update from GST portal

Incomplete GSTR-2B in some cases – regarding.

15/05/2022

1. It has been noticed that in a few cases, certain records are not reflected in the GSTR-2B statement for the period of April 2022. However, such records are visible in GSTR-2A of such recipients.

2. The technical team is working to resolve this issue for the impacted taxpayers and generate fresh GSTR-2B at the earliest.

3. In the interim, affected taxpayers interested in filing GSTR-3B are requested to file the return on self-assessment basis using GSTR-2A.

Inconvenience caused in this regard is deeply regretted.

Bloggers Note: This is such a pathetic state of affairs that such glitches occur repeatedly. In the new mca v.3 system, such things are a horror story. Even under the old system, we have had instances of technical errors which the back end team have not been able to rectify for weeks and months on end. And this, despite India being the software power house of the world.

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To Live

What an emotionally heart wrenching Chinese movie “To Live” (1994) directed by Zhang Yimou and starring Ge You, Gong Li among others.

The story is based from the period 1940s when the Chiang Kai Shek’s nationalist party was in power to the take over by the Red Army, the domination by Mao Zedong, the suppression of cultural rights and how one family is deeply affected by all these events.

Xu Fugui (Ge You) is a compulsive gambler and his wife Jiazhen (Gong Li) is pregnant with a child besides having a girl child already. They live in a mansion with his parents. He gambles away everything and loses his property and home. Jiazhen leaves him and Fugui comes on the street.

Knowing that Fugui has given up gambling, Jiazhen comes back to him and starts doing puppetry shows to make a living. But very soon Red Army takes over and he is forced to perform for the army. By the time he comes back his daughter Xu Fengshia becomes for some reason mute and partially deaf.

They pass through 1950s into the 1960s when during the cultural revolution from 1966 he is forced to give up his puppetry shows as well because it violates the party diktat. His son dies from an unfortunate accident and both he and his wife are completely distraught.

The scene when Gong Li comes upon the body of her son reminds me of the scene when Karuna Banerjee narrates the news of the unfortunate death of her daughter Durga to her husband in Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali. Its completely breaks you down.

Their daughter then gets married to a Red Army officer who is lame but who is good to them. The daughter gets pregnant but since she is mute her mother is worried whether she will be able to cope with the pregnancy. The hospital has no doctors left in them, because all doctors have been arrested as reactionaries.

Very heart wrenching scene when the daughter starts bleeding due to post complications and there are no doctors to help them. Gong Li just breaks down completely as she was her last remaining child. That scene when Gong Li just completely shatters is absolutely heart breaking.

A not so subtle hint by director Zhang Yimou at the horrors of the cultural revolution due to which the movie was banned in China for many years. Very brave of Zhang Yimou to make this film. Both Gong Li and Ge You have acted so brilliantly as the long suffering parents whose lives and family gets uprooted for no reason of theirs, they have to suffer the consequences. The poor do not understand any isms as all isms whether be it communism or fascism or capitalism it all affects them badly.

Screenplay, camera work, art direction, cinematography are all excellent. Zhang Yimou has made a cult classic. IMDB 8/10

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Beau Travail

French movie “Beau Travail” (1999) directed by Claire Denis and starring Denis Lavant, Michel Subor, Gregoire Colin among others.

The story is set in Djibouti where the French has a troop stationed there, for god knows what. Adjutant Chief Galoup (Denis Lavant) has under his command about a dozen soldiers or legionnaires who keep doing one fitness activity after another to keep themselves fit (again for what we don’t know).

Anyway, there is a young officer by the name of Legionnaire Gilles Sentain (Gregoire Colin) who is an orphan picked up from the street and become a soldier. His perfect body sets the homosexual tendencies of Galoup ablaze. But he has a sadistic streak in him to punish the legionnaires for the slightest offence.

Sentain offers water to a legionnaire who is punished for deserting his duty for brief moment in order to take a leak. He is taken someplace else and made to walk only back to camp with his bag and compass in hand. The guy walks for some time and then collapses on the salty beach.

Nomads from the area find him and take him to be resuscitated. But the Adjutant Galoup faces disciplinary action including a court martial. The movie is not a linear one but a series of flash backs with the story being narrated by Galoup as his memoir.

Not much of a story there, but what is breathtaking is the camera work and cinematography, which is absolutely astounding. That’s what this movie is all about, fine production values. IMDB 4/10 (only for the camera work!!)

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8.48 kms

Squeezed in a 8.48 kms in deadly humidity and heat in Bombay. Absolutely dead weather with no breeze at all. Had to run on tired legs because i ran yesterday morning and walked yesterday evening as well. Have a great day folks.

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penalty on KEB Hana Bank

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed, by an order dated May 12, 2022, a monetary penalty of ₹5.9 million on KEB Hana Bank (the bank), for non-compliance with the directions issued by RBI on “Reserve Bank of India (Interest Rate on Deposits) Directions, 2016”. This action is based on the deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank with its customers.

Background

The Statutory Inspection for Supervisory Evaluation of the bank was conducted by RBI with reference to its financial position as on March 31, 2020, and the examination of the Risk Assessment Report and all related correspondences pertaining to the same, revealed, inter alia, non-compliance with the above mentioned directions to the extent (i) interest rates offered on deposits were not consistent and transparent, (ii) details of interest rates were not available in the Core Banking System for supervisory review and (iii) the interest rates offered were not uniform for all customers and were discriminatory in nature. In furtherance to the same, a notice was issued to the bank advising it to show cause as to why penalty should not be imposed on it for non-compliance with the RBI directions, as stated therein.

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3.42 kms

Finally a 3.42 kms run after a looong break of 13 days no running for one reason or another. Feels good to be back running. Running is the best destresser in the world. Enjoy running. Have a great day folks.

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Stalker

It is classified as a science fiction film, but it is anything but that “Stalker” (1979) directed by Andrei Tarkovsky and starring Alexander Kadanovsky, Anatoly Solonitsyn, Nikolai Grinko among others.

Its the slowest science fiction movie that i have ever seen. The camera moves ever so slowly and with a purpose. The Stalker (Alexander Kadanosky) takes people to a distant place where ordinary laws of physics do not apply and it was probably a site where a meteorite once fell. That is called the Zone and it is a difficult path to traverse.

One can’t go in a straight line and each step has to be carefully taken. The stalker takes two men – the Writer (Anatoly Solonitsyn) and the Professor (Nikolai Grinko) to the Zone. Inside the Zone there is a room where all your desires and wishes will be fulfilled. Its an allegorical film in the sense that to achieve such a state of consciousness that to achieve one’s desires, a person has to pass through many obstacles and difficulties and hardship.

The script is intellectually challenging because a whole host of philosophical questions are thrown at the viewer. The camera work is absolutely astounding, the art design showing the ruins and remnants of an industrial building including dirty water is breathtaking and stark. Cinematography as usual is quite good. Andrei Tarkovsky’s movies are difficult to follow yet there is something in it for the viewers, something deep and thoughtful that a viewer can relate to in his own life. IMDB 6/10

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accreditation agency

SEBI has approved NSDL Database Management Limited (NDML) as an Accreditation Agency under the respective SEBI (Alternative Investment Funds) Regulations, 2012, SEBI (Portfolio Managers) Regulations, 2020 and SEBI (Investment Advisers) Regulations, 2013. A framework for Accredited Investors was notified on August 03, 2021 to introduce such a concept in the Indian Securities Market.

Accreditation Agency will be that agency who shall shall issue Accreditation certificate to the investors seeking accreditation.

SEBI has received some applications for the Accreditation Agency, pursuant to which they have given recognition to NSDL Database Management Limited (NDML), a wholly owned subsidiary of National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) for a period of three years with effect from May 10, 2022. The
renewal of the recognition would be subject to satisfactory performance by NDML.

The procedure for accreditation of an investor and verification of accreditation status of an investor by investment providers (viz Alternative Investment Funds, Portfolio Managers and, Investment Advisers) and other modalities along with relevant circulars shall have to be displayed on the website of NSDL and NDML.

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foreign reinsurance compliance

IRDA has rationalised the compliance requirements of foreign reinsurance branches by doing away with some compliance requirements. For details read on:

The Authority has received representations on the rationalization of compliance requirements of Foreign Reinsurance Branches (FRBs) as they are not directly dealing with the retail customers. Further, representations have also been received from the non-life industry to dispense with the Form NL 40 on disclosure of Underwriting performance on their respective websites. Accordingly, the following requirements on Public Disclosures have been reviewed and modifications have been made as under:

2.    Publication in News Paper by FRB and Lloyd’s India:

FRBs and Lloyd’s India provide reinsurance support to the direct insurers and the insurers do conduct their due diligence on the FRBs while entering reinsurance contracts with them. The necessary information on financials is also made available through Public Disclosures on the respective website of the FRBs. Reinsurance business is B2B segment and the policyholders do not deal with the Reinsurers.

Accordingly, it has been decided that the FRBs and Lloyd’s India need not publish the half yearly and annual Revenue Account, Profit & Loss Account, Balance Sheet and Analytical Ratios etc. as mandated in the captioned circular in the newspapers. However, they may continue to publish a true and accurate abstract of the various returns for the purpose of publicity on a voluntary basis pursuant to provisions of section 25 of the Insurance Act, 1938.

3.    Stewardship Returns and Public Disclosure by FRB and Lloyd’s India:

Traditionally, the FRBs and Lloyd’s India do not invest in equity instruments and they mainly invest in G Sec and Debt markets. Based on the investment exposures of the Branches of Foreign Reinsurers and Llyod’s India are granted following exemptions –

The entities, whose investment policy does not permit the investment in equity are exempted from the application of Common Stewardship Code, disclosure

      i.        requirements and returns. The Public Disclosure may, accordingly, be shown as ‘Not Applicable’.

    ii.        The entities, whose investment policy allows equity investment but have not made any investment in equity – the Code is applicable. However, a NIL return will be a sufficient compliance for the same.

   iii.        Other entities have to comply with the prescribed requirements.

4.    Public Disclosure of Form – 40 on underwriting performance by the General Insurers, FRBs and Lloyd’s India

The Authority has received concerns regarding the uploading of NL-40 – Segmental Underwriting Performance on the respective website of the insurers under Public disclosures. Taking note of the same, it has been decided to discontinue the uploading of NL-40 as prescribed under the Public Disclosures. However, the above Insurers are advised to file the said format to the Authority by e-mail at finance-nonlife@irdai.gov.in.

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penalty on unimoni financial

https://www.rbi.org.in/Scripts/BS_PressReleaseDisplay.aspx?prid=53696

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed monetary penalty of ₹29,79,000/- (Rupees twenty nine lakh seventy nine thousand only) on Unimoni Financial Services Limited (the entity) for non-compliance with the instruction contained in paragraph 9.1(i) of the Master Direction on Issuance and Operation of Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPI MD) dated October 11, 2017 (as updated on November 17, 2020).

It was observed that the entity was non-compliant with the directions issued by RBI on small-PPI requirements. Accordingly, notice was issued to the entity advising it to show cause as to why penalty should not be imposed for non-compliance with the directions.

Bloggers Note: Is it not the regulators duty to give detailed description of the non compliances so that other players in the same sector take note and beef up their compliance accordingly. In my view, this is pathetic from RBI .

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Ayurveda regulations

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1824783

Ministry of Ayush and Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) under MoHFW, India’s apex body for food regulation has formulated regulations of safety & quality standards for food products under ‘Ayurveda Aahara’ category. This comprehensive initiative will ensure manufacturing of quality Ayurveda food products and help in expanding the international market for Make-In-India products. The Ministry of Ayush is confident these regulations will further strengthen India’s global positioning as a custodian of Ayush system. 

According to the regulation, manufacturing and marketing of ‘Ayurveda Aahara’ products will now adhere to strict Food Safety and Standards (Ayurveda Aahara) Regulations, 2022 rules and will be available in market only after license/approval from FSSAI. A special logo has been created for “Ayurveda Aahara” category, which will enable easier identification and reinforce quality in Ayurveda food products. 

The Ministry of Ayush with an understanding that food safety and quality is a shared responsibility between manufacturers, consumers and everyone has a role to play to ensure food we consume is safe and healthy. This has been further strengthened after resurgence of COVID-19 pandemic brought the focus on food, nutrition, health, immunity and sustainability.

According to the regulations, all food prepared in accordance with the recipes/ingredients/processes described in the authoritative books of Ayurveda will be considered as “Ayurveda Aahara”. Food recipes and ingredients for promoting health, specific physiological needs, and foods specified for consumption during or post specified diseases, disorders referred as Pathya in Ayurved are covered under these regulations.

The labelling of ‘Ayurveda Aahara’ shall specify the intended purpose, the target consumer group, recommended duration of use and other specific requirements. Health claims and disease risk reduction claims for the different categories of ‘Ayurveda Aahara’ and their approval process shall be in accordance with the requirements specified in regulations. However, ‘Ayurveda Aahara’ will not include Ayurvedic drugs or proprietary Ayurvedic medicines and medicinal products, cosmetics, narcotic or psychotropic substances and herbs. Further, Ayurveda Aahara is also not recommended to young children below age 2 years.

‘Ayurveda Aahara’ needs prior approval, the same shall be in accordance with the Food Safety and Standards (Approval for Non-Specific Food and Food Ingredients) Regulation, 2017. FSSAI shall constitute an Expert Committee under the Ministry of Ayush consisting of relevant experts including representatives of FSSAI for providing recommendation on approval of claims and products and the committee shall also empower to address concerns regarding registration or licensing or certification or laboratory accreditation or testing or quality issues related to “Ayurveda Aahara”.

Food business operator to adhere quality parameters for the ingredients as per the criteria defined under Food Safety and Standards Regulations, relevant BIS specifications.

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L’Atalante

Iconic French film “L’Atalante” (1934) directed by Jean Vigo and starring Jean Daste, Dita Parlo, among others.

Its a simple story of a captain of a barge Jean (Jean Daste) marrying his sweetheart Juliette (Dita Parlo) a simple village girl who has not seen the world. They decide to live aboard the cargo with crazy and cantankerous Pere Jules (Michel Simon) and the cabin boy. They decide to forego their honeymoon and go along with river on the barge.

They reach Paris and Juliette wants to see the city, but Pere Jules jumps them and goes aboard to see a fortune teller and later he gets drunk and comes in late. But Juliette still goes off to see the nightlife in Paris alone and upon knowing that Jean departs with the barge leaving her stranded.

She goes to the train station to buy a ticket to the next stop where the barge is headed but somebody steals her wallet. Without money, Juliette is forced to earn some money in order to meet the barge at its next destination. All’s well that ends well with Juliette getting onboard the barge and Jean welcoming her lovingly.

What we are seeing on you tube is a restored version. This movie is considered as one of the greatest movies in the history of cinema. Its a nice clean story with good camera work belonging to that era. Michel Simon is some character of sorts. IMDB 5/10

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