Monthly Archives: January 2021


Deadly movie by Terrence Malik, Badlands (1973) starring Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek among others.

It is loosely based on the true crime spree by Charles Starkweather and his girlfriend Caril Ann Fugate in 1958. This one is more or less the same. Kit (Martin Sheen) is a garbage pick up worker and Holly Sargis (Sissy Spacek) a 15 year old girl in South Dakota living with her father.

Kit meets Holly and falls in love with her instantly. He meets up with her father and asks for favours. The old man refuses to have anything to do with him and tells him off. He returns later and kills her dad and they burn the house to look like an accident. Both Kit and Holly escape and their spree starts there, killing so many people wantonly.

Lot of rides later they end up in Montana and a deadly car chase follows in which Kit is caught, after Holly goes with the police. Dramatization of the story is quite superb, with awesome photography and cinematography, this one is a cult classic.

Both Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek lend credence to their roles quite admirably. Sissy Spacek lends her voice over to her part in the movie. Holly had his own sense of self importance in the world like the murders were a show off for his talents. In the end he gives away his various things like pen, and comb as souvenirs to the police officers.

Terrence Malik has kept the interest alive in the movie through his taut direction.

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What a brilliant western movie this one, Stagecoach (1939) directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Louise Platt, John Carradine, George Bancroft, Thomas Mitchell among others.

A rich star cast, superb direction, awesome camera work, beautiful cinematography, awesome story and screenplay make this a cult classic. A fine western movie as has been made any time – one of the all time great westerns.

Dallas (Claire Trevor) is a prostitute driven out of town by a Law and Order League of women of that town. Mrs. Mallory (Louise Platt) is pregnant and going to meet her husband who is a soldier in the army. They are all going in a stagecoach with Marshal Curley (George Bancroft) and Doc Boone (Thomas Mitchell) a sozzled doctor. Hatfield (John Carradine) a gambler tags along.

There is danger on the way from Apaches. Banker Henry Gatewood comes along after having embezzled from the bank and he is running away. Along the way Ringo Kid (John Wayne) joins in. He has broken from jail and on the lookout for Luke Plummer and his brother and father who were responsible for the murder of his brother and father. He has vowed revenge.

All this makes for a heady cocktail. There is romance brewing between Ringo and Dallas, there is the much pregnant Mrs. Mallory, the drunken doc, danger from apaches, hard country, hard riding all going into a tumultuous end. The horse riding scene with the apaches chasing them is quite spectacular. Would have been great to watch this scene on the big screen.

The movie is in black and white, still the cinematography is quite breathtaking by Bert Glennon. It would have been great to have this movie digitally converted into colour.

All the characters have acted quite superbly – from John Wayne, John Carradine, Thomas Mitchell as the drunken doc got the best supporting actor at the Oscars and George Bancroft whom we saw act quite brilliantly in Underground, is again very good here. All in all, a great western movie to watch.

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extension of due dates by MCA

MCA has issued a circular dated 28th January, 2021 wherein they have extended due dates for filing of forms AOC-4 and its variants – AOC-4 XBRL and AOC-4 CFS for the financial year 2019-20 accounts by a mere 15 days. This after much hand wrangling and blood pressure rising for professionals seeking to file the documents within impossible deadlines fixed by the government.

Already MCA site started misbehaving from two days previously itself by not loading, login not happening, frequent hanging up etc. MCA challans are not getting generated despite making the payments. So MCA has moved to a new technical partner and everytime that happens, the stakeholders have to suffer.

The new incorporation system, which is a cloud based system is a nightmare. There are lot of technical problems with the site, which the staff with limited knowledge at their call centre are not able to answer or provide solution to. Tickets are raised on the MCA site, which for days on end are in queue status.

Somebody said God save us, methinks even God will want to wash his hands off this disastrous system.

MCA circular is available at the MCA site for those who want to read it.

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grievance redressal mechanism in banks

RBI circular dated 27th January, 2021 on strengthening the grievance redressal mechanism in banks. Details are in the above circular.

Does’nt look like much because banks are being asked to give more disclosures on complaints against banks, recovery of costs from banks for the complaints received against them, undertaking intensive review of the grievance redressal mechanism and supervisory action against banks that fail to redress customer grievances.

For me, it looks like eyewash to fool the gullible public, because banks are totally insensitive to customer grievances. They just don’t care as long as their salaries are given to them.

In my office complex there is on ATM machine of Bank of Baroda, every time i go there to withdraw money, it asks for all the details including the PIN and the amount and then comes the message “unable to dispense cash now”. Bloody hell, if there is no cash in the machine, then why does it not pop a message immediately on inserting the card. Secondly i have tweeted against this to BOB and their MD numerous times, yet nothing seems to move them. They just don’t care.

Now after the merger of public sector banks, the internet banking portals of banks have gone haywire. Allahabad Bank has merged with Indian Bank. Post merger, i find the Indian bank site acting very funny, sometime it loads, and sometimes it does’nt login at all. After login the site hangs up frequently, and that too after entering the transaction password. How the hell are we supposed to do any digital transaction if such is the situation. The so called Digital India initiative of the PM is all crap. Backend infrastructure is all lousy. Again i have tweeted numerous times to the Indian with cc to RBI, but nary any action on this matter.

These are just two of the instances of rotten customer service by banks that come to my mind immediately. I am sure there will be many.

Its as we say in India, ram bharose zindabad!!

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The Day of the Jackal

Re-read “The Day of the Jackal” the brilliant cult classic book by Frederick Forsyth. I had read this way back in college days, and re-reading it bought back memories.

Jackal aka Chacal aka Charles Calthrop was a professional assassin hired by OAS to kill Charles de Gaulle, the then French President. This had Forsyth brilliance written all over it. Jackal is a thorough professional in all the preparations he makes and the back up plans he has in hand and his quickness and ruthlessness in executing a job were all brilliant. Claude Lebel the detective on the French side charged with the task of bringing Jackal to boot while there was a leak in his ministries.

Forsyth has not mentioned what happened to Jacqueline the mistress of one of the French government officials after her leak was discovered. Nor of the three OAS men who brought Jackal into the picture. So in the end nobody knows, not even the British establishment what was the real identity of Jackal. Goodreads 5/5

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This Island Earth

Science fiction movie directed by Joseph M. Newman and Jack Arnold and starring Rex Reason and Faith Domergue among others,

Dr. Cal Meachem (Rex Reason) is a scientist and when he is flying in his plane his controls fail but he is mysteriously rescued by a green glow. At the lab they find an unusual part for a substitute which they had indented. But they get some instructions and machinery to construct something.

When they construct it, a strange man appears on the screen and tells them they have passed the test and that Dr. Cal is supposed to fly to their facility to join their scientist team.

At the facility which is in Georgia, he meets an old acquaintance Dr. Ruth Adams (Faith Domergue) but she fails to recognize him. A lot more sinister things going at that facility they decide to escape, but they plucked alongwith their copter into a space ship.

Inside the spaceship they are told that they i.e. the strange people are from a planet called Metalunia and they are at war with another planet called Zagon which is destroying them. Metalunia needs unlimited supply of uranium which is where the scientists come in to help them generate uranium and nuclear energy to keep Metalunia afloat.

Not a very exciting science fiction movie, but am anyways not a big fan of science fiction movies. The special effects of the movie made in 1955 are quite good, they are some good sequences there. On the acting side, nothing much to recommend, both the characters are average so to say.

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Love Me Tonight

Lovely Hollywood musical “Love me Tonight” (1932) starring Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Myrna Loy among others.

Maurice (Maurice Chevalier) is a tailor to many in Paris including Vicomte Gilbert who owes Maurice lot of money for his outfits and that of other creditors like the hat guys, shoes, etc. His fellow creditors give him the news that Gilbert does not pay to anybody. Gilbert belongs to an aristocratic family and he has no say in the finances of his family.

Maurice sets off to Vicomte to recover his dues. On the way he espies Princess Jeanette (Jeanette MacDonald) who falls of her horse. Maurice instantly falls in love with Jeanette not knowing her real background. When he reaches the palace he is introduced by Gilbert as Baron Courtelin because Gilbert does not want the family to know he is indebted to Maurice.

Maurice finds Jeanette inside the palace and continues to woo her. This is a lovely light hearted musical with lot of fun and joy in the movie. Both Jeanette and Maurice have done good roles and the music is quite fantastic.

Ending of the movie is quite good, but i do not want to spoil the fun for people watching it.

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Seventh Heaven

What a beautiful romantic movie, this one “Seventh Heaven” (1927) directed by Frank Borzage and starring Charles Farrell, Janet Gaynor among others.

Chico (Charles Farrell) is a sewer cleaner under the streets of Paris and yearns to be a street sweeper where he can be on the streets rather than under it. By pluck or say what, he gets a job as a street sweeper. Diana (Janet Gaynor) is a prostitute staying with her wicked sister. Both of them get the news that their long lost uncle and aunt are back in the city and ready to take them back. The aunt likes Diana but the uncle wants to know whether they are clean. When Diana says no, both uncle and aunt go back without their offer.

The sister becomes furious with Diana and starts whipping her in public. Upon which Chico seeing the commotion strong arms the sister and rescues Diana. When the police comes on a parade, Chico says that Diana is her wife in order to save her from detention. Diana then offers to stay in his house until the police comes and checks and goes away.

That happens but by then both Chico and Diana are in love with each other. War is called and Chico has to go away to fight in the war. The war lasts for four years during which time both Chico and Diana yearn for each other.

Judith Gaynor has performed her role as Diana magnificently for which she won the Oscars for Best Actress. Charles Farrell has also done a superb role. The direction is very good for a 1927 silent movie. The Director Frank Borzage also got the Best Direction award.

But the beauty of the movie is Judith Gaynor. She has put her whole heart and soul into the movie and despite being a silent movie one feel the power of her acting.

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Night of the Living Dead

The original one, the 1969 version directed by George Romero and starring Judith O’Dea, Duane Jones among others. Barbara (Judith O’Dea) and her brother are visiting their father’s grave and before even finishing her rituals, she is attached by a person walking in a strange manner. John then attacks that man and falls down in a scuffle. The strange man pursues Judith, who goes into a nearby house.

Inside the house Ben comes in also similarly escaping these creatures. He sets about boarding up the house with wood all over the place. Suddenly from the cellar three more people emerge and they have a kid there too having been bit by one of the ghouls.

These are apparently some newly dead people coming alive due to some radiation leak from a space station exiting from Venus. Radios and TVs announce a spate of violence in the area and apparently the only way to kill them is to shoot them in the head or set fire to them.

When the movie had come out in 1969 it must have been terrifying to the movie goers especially in the big screen those days. But nothing beats The Exorcist, the one released in 1973, the original story, in terms of horror content. That movie was undoubtedly and still is the greatest horror movie ever made.

Duane Jones has done a good role in the lead and so has Judith O’Dea.

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Young Mr. Lincoln

As fine a bio-pic as you can get of young Mr. Lincoln during his early lawyer days, before he entered politics. Director John Ford has directed a masterpiece with Henry Fonda in the lead role and a whole host of characters in supporting roles.

Abe (Henry Fonda) becomes interested in law when he chances upon a barrel full of books including some law books which he begins reading and becomes fascinated by it. He is in love with Ann Rutledge (Pauline Moore) but she soon dies.

Soon he sets up office as lawyer in partnership with John Stuart. When independence celebrations are going on in town including some local games, one Scrub White teases a lady and then later in the night, her husband and his brother get into a scuffle with this Scrub White which resulted in his death. The local mob gets furious and wanted to lynch two brothers, but somehow Lincoln controlled the mob.

Mary Todd (Marjorie Weaver) starts getting interested in Lincoln and asks him to dance at a ball, to which he agrees reluctantly, not being much of a dancer. His early love life with Ann holds him back.

Later the murder case goes into trail and despite being his first case Lincoln somehow feels confident of handling the matter on his own without getting any senior counsel advise.

Henry Fonda has done a wonderful job as young Lincoln. The bio pic concludes before his political career starts but in the last scene he is called upon the court window by hundreds of people to cheer him, the sort of adulation he gets from the people is tremendous. All other characters, Pauline Moore, Marjorie Weaver, Alice Brady (in her last role before her death) Arleen Wheelan, Dorris Bowden have done wonderful roles on their own right.

Camera work and cinematography are outstanding. The print quality of this movie on youtube is perfect for a 1939 movie. John Ford has directed an outstanding movie for the ages.

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A 1927 gangster film in silent era “Underworld” starring George Bancroft, Clive Brook, Evelyn Brent, Helen Lynch and Fred Kohler, directed by Josef von Sternberg. Bull Weed (George Bancroft) is a notorious gangster robbing banks and a terror in the region. Once while robbing a bank, Rolls Royce (Clive Brook) catches him leaving the bank with the loot, but Royce is totally inebriated. In order to prevent any witness, Bull Weed takes him along and feeling pity on him rehabilitates him by giving him money.

Bull Weed has a girlfriend Feathers (Evelyn Brent) who falls for the rehabilitated Royce. Meanwhile another rival gangster Buck Mulligan (Fred Kohler) has a thing going against Bull Weed. There is an annual gangsters’ ball at which Buck Mulligan threatens to molest Feathers despite his girl friend Meg (Helen Lynch) protesting against it. In the shoot out that ensues Buck Mulligan is killed for which Bull Weed is caught and sentenced to hang until death.

As the hanging day approaches Feathers and Royce plan to get Bull Weed out of the prison using the hearse. A major shoot out ensues after Bull Weed escapes resulting in a resounding climax.

George Bancroft as the cruel, murderous, jealous gangster has done a wonderful role as has Clive Brook as the restrained friend of his. The girls Evelyn Brent and Helen Lynch (in her brief cameo role) steal the show with their beauty and determined acting.

This one for the connoisseur.

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Detour, a 1945 noir film starring Tom Neal, Ann Savage, Claudia Drake and Edmund McDonald and directed by Edgar G. Ulmer. Tom Neal is Al Roberts a dissatisfied pianist in a small night club in New York and in love with Sue Harvey (Claudia Drake) a singer in the same night club. Sue wants to make it big in Hollywood and leaves him to try her luck there.

Deeply anguished Al decides to reach California by some way, hitch hiking all the way because he had no cash for bus or train. In one such hitch hike he meets Charles Haskell (Edmund McDonald) who is also on his LA to try his luck at the race horses. Al drives during the night when it starts raining and Al decides to close the car top. When he comes around to Charles side to open his side of the car door, he slumps down to the ground and Al finds that he is dead.

In trouble Al decides to dump his body somewhere and take his clothes and money and car and ride out to LA to be with Sue. But a little later he meets another hitch hiker Vera (Ann Savage). Vera had earlier taken a hitch hike with Charles and knew all about him. From then it becomes a cat and mouse game between Vera and Al, with she blackmailing him and he trying to get out of it.

Things get more bitter, but then would not want to release the suspense. Its an out and out noir film throughout, with Al’s character being the moody, depressing one Vera a fighter to the core. Others don’t have any major roles in the film. Ann Savage has acted out of her skin in the movie as a vicious, scheming, diabolical lady out for her pound of flesh. Tom Neal has played his part beautifully as frayed young person caught in a maelstrom not of his making.

It was a much acclaimed and much talked about noir of that era.

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My Man Godfrey

What a rip roaring comedy this movie “My Man Godfrey” (1936) directed by Gregory La Cava and starring William Powell, Carole Lombard, Alice Brady, Gail Patrick among others. Irene Bullock (Carole Lombard in an adorable role for which she was nominated to the Oscars) and Cornelia Bullock (Gail Patrick) are sisters and they are playing a rich man’s game scavenger’s hunt, where they have to find somebody or something which nobody has seen before, like the forgotten man. Both of them stumble upon Godfrey (William Powell) living in a city dump with others. Godfrey pushes Cornelia into an ash pile but Irene cottons onto him as per prize.

Irene brings Godfrey to the stage with a promise of $5 but he is insulted there by the managers. Irene feels bad about it and offers Godfrey a job as her butler. Godfrey enters into a madcap house where everybody seems to be strange – their mother Angelica Bullock (Alice Brady) is one character straight out of the comic book, whereas their father Alexander Bullock (Eugene Pallette) is alarmed at his daughters’ propensity to spend enormous amounts of money, while he is going bankrupt.

Irene falls in love with Godfrey but he is the reticent proper butler, quite decent and not interested in her. The Bullocks throw a tea party, where Tommy Gray (Alan Mowbray) recognizes Godfrey as his friend from Harvard. Godfrey fends him off at the party, but meets him next day at lunch to reveal his true story.

Its an uproariously comic movie with some lovely dialogues, adorable characters in Carole Lombard, her mother Alice Brady and William Powell himself the archetypal English butler. Even Gail Patrick and Eugene Pallette and Alan Mowbray have played their parts delectably. Made way back in 1936 but still produces some really good laughs. It got nominated for a whole host of awards at the Oscars. Production values are outstanding for a movie made in that era.

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ICDR regulations amndmnts

SEBI has vide its notification dated 8th January, 2021 amended the SEBI (Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements), Regulations to the following extent.

Regulation 112 which pertains to requirement of minimum promoters’ contributions not required in certain cases. Regulation 112(b) has been amended as follows:

“(b) where the equity shares of the issuer are frequently traded on a stock exchange for a period of at least three years immediately preceding the reference date, and:
(i) the issuer has redressed at least ninety five per cent of the complaints received from the investors till the end of the quarter immediately preceding the month of the reference date, and;
(ii) the issuer has been in compliance with the SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015 for a minimum period of three years immediately preceding the reference date:
Provided that if the issuer has not complied with the provisions of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015, relating to composition of board of directors, for any quarter during the last three years immediately preceding the date of filing of draft offer document/offer document, but is compliant with such provisions at the time of filing of draft offer document/ offer document, and adequate disclosures are made in the offer document about such non-compliances during the three years immediately preceding the date of filing the draft offer document/offer document, it shall be deemed as compliance with the condition:
Provided further that where the promoters propose to subscribe to the specified securities offered to the extent greater than higher of the two options available in clause (a) of sub-regulation (1) of regulation 113, the
subscription in excess of such percentage shall be made at a price determined in terms of the provisions of regulation 164 or the issue price, whichever is higher.”

The earlier clause was that the equity shares of the issuer are frequently traded on the stock exchange for at least 3 years and the issuer has a dividend paying track record for at least 3 years. The earlier proviso was silent regarding the composition of the board of directors.

The proviso after regulation 115(c) has been omitted. Regulation 115 pertains to lock in of specified securities of promoters.

The proviso said as follows in its earlier avatar.

Provided that the excess promoters’ contribution as provided in the proviso to clause (b) of regulation 112 shall not be subject to lock-in.

Since the proviso to regulation 112(b) has been amended, therefore this proviso has been omitted.

A new proviso has been added to regulation 167(4) – regulation 167 pertains to lock in of specified securities of the promoters or promoter group. Regulation 167 pertains to Chapter V which is Preferential Issue.

The proviso is as follows:

“Provided that the lock-in provision shall not be applicable to the specified securities to the extent to achieve 10% public shareholding.”

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refund of security deposit

SEBI has vide its circular dated 6th January, 2021 laid down guidelines for refund of security deposit of trading members on surrender of their membership. The salient features are as follows:

  1. In this regard, following is advised to all exchanges regarding refund of security deposit on surrender of membership by Trading Members:
    A. On approval of application for surrender of Trading Member’s registration by SEBI, the Exchange shall release Security Deposit of the Trading Member (engaged in trading on behalf of clients) after the period mentioned at point a) or b), whichever is earlier:
    (a) Three years from the date of receipt of surrender application by Exchange from the Trading Member (in order to meet any investor claims), or
    (b) Five years from the date of disablement of Trading Member’s trading terminals by the Exchange.
    B. On approval of application for surrender of Trading Member’s registration by SEBI, the Exchange shall release Security Deposit of the Trading Member (engaged only in proprietary trading in last three years prior to the date of application) after the period mentioned at point a) or b), whichever is earlier:
    (a) one year from the date of receipt of surrender application by exchange from the Trading Member, or
    (b) three years from the date of disablement of Trading Member’s trading terminals by the Exchange.

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