Cover his Butt

In case you missed this, one of the news item last week was the massive attempt to cover John Abraham’s butt. With an insurance policy of a 100 million rupees! The Deccan Chronicle carried a note about a policy being worked out to support his back, but I think they missed the object of the policy. Or maybe that newspaper is modest. John may have to pay quite a packet as premium considering that he seems to have suffered a minor muscle pull recently. Maybe the sprain was to his back muscle or maybe the largest muscle in his body itself was pulled. Why do we think of buying protection only when we have a close shave with calamity?

One buys insurance cover to protect an ‘ass’et which is income producing such that in any unfortune eventually, if the asset stops productive work, its owner or it’s beneficiaries can receive some consideration. This clearly means that John intends to truly work his posterior out in the coming future.

His butt sits right on the top of the Bollywood apex. Ouch! Must hurt a bit. Some time back (in 2008?) he was placed at No. 7 amongst the World’s Top Sexiest Men. He rounded up his performance by topping the honours in a poll of Asian men that was conducted by a leading British Asian weekly and said,

“From being among the top in the world to top in Asia is superb. The air is really nice up here”.

The air is nice up where, I wonder. Bipasha Basu, in an interview during the launch of her Fondaish fitness video gave us a marketing lession. Move over 4 Ps – you’ve been Pissing around for too long. The three Bs of Bollywood that now ring up Business are: Beauty, Bosoms and Butt. And Bips, if I may add a 4th B or maybe an even bigger B to complete the quadrant? But there was something more she confided to us: that the whole world has seen John’s butt, but the butt that not many know about and is also nearly up there in the eyeball grabbing, high butt stakes (so high that the air is really nice up there) belongs to none other than Shahrukh Khan. And what about Salman Butt and Ejaz Butt? They might just become greater batting sensations if they take up John’s lead. The oppositions’ wicketkeepers field of vision might get blocked and they will just not be able to see which way things are swinging. 😉

I don’t watch much Hindi movies. It’s not that I get repulsed by butts but just because that’s way ‘behind’ in my list of priorities. But I am aware of the apperance of the biggest B in the movie No Smoking. I also heard it reappeared in Kabir Khan’s New York? Saw the former – John played a character called K – a chain smoker trying hard to stub his butt! And of course, Dostana. Most male actors are bending backwards and seem more than eager to unbutton their low waisted trousers after John’s success. Laxmi, the goddess of wealth seems to be making a backdoor entry for these gentlemen. Salman Khan will do it in his forthcoming film, Wanted Dead or Alive. Imran Khan and Ranbir Kapoor literally sprung into Bollywood on their respective butts. But the pioneer himself seems to be impressed with Aamir Khan’s body instead.

“I’m never ashamed of talking about my body. Though at times I do feel like a meat shop”.

It seems a young girl once came up to John and offered to bite into his butt. John said that he took no offence since he has to respect his fans. And maybe it is to target such fans that PETA had come out with a campaign on vegetarianism when they showed a poster of John wearing a skirt made of spring onions and decked in red chillies and peas. PETA must have seen red when John went on to acquire all that beef. All this seems to be before they discovered Sherlyn Chopra!

But it’s a good thing. Such creativity on part of our general insurance companies (it would not come under health cover, would it?) is good. The risk managers at the lucky insurer will be watching John’s butt very closely indeed.

What about you? Are you adequately covered? Like our hero I hope you treat insurance as an expense ONLY and not as an investment vehicle. Maintenance of our houses and cars are expense line items. Life cover should not be treated any differently. There are so many of us, highly educated and wise who get trapped by the relentless and crafty marketing messages and buy money back, guranteed returns, premium return kind of insurance policies. These help to fatten the wallet of the insurance agents and advisors. Stay away. Insurance companies sell insurance. These people are experts at macabre things like statistically analysing death and doom and gloom and selling probabilities. That’s their core competence. They are not investment managers. Best is to DIY – construct a combo of a term plan (cheapest cover for your life) and a small, well reasearched portfolio of Mutual Funds (or an Exchange Traded Fund). You’ll do better.

That’s about life. Regarding health, I am not so sure. I did mention in my previous post that for me, health is not wealth, though a lack of the former can sap the latter. The trouble is that most of us feel that since we are anyways covered by our employers, we do not need additional health cover. This may work if the cover provided by your company is adequate enough. Health covers provided by companies are linked to seniority and salary of the employee concerned. But the probability of health issues cropping up does not depend on seniority of the employee concerned. In that case, you should take out some additional health cover to protect yourself and your family (via a family floater plan). The thing that I am not perfectly clear about is that unlike life insurance where longer term cover can be purchased, I am not sure if such long tenured health covers can be purchased. This might be due to the fact that the Indian health insurance industry is not able to construct reliable statistical tables re health and disease data. Also the fact that inflation in medical expenses is very high may be preventing insurers to offer much longer term health plans (10 – 15 years). This means that one has to keep renewing health covers.

 

Maybe you know all this but I can bet that you might just be undercovered. (I am not a peeping tom, but the odds are in my favour if you want to wager). You might have had John Abraham for company, but not anymore. Don’t remain naked. Cover up.

 

And BTW, in case you are wondering, the objective of this post was not to introduce more internet search friendly tags to trap unsuspecting eyeballs. If that were the case, I’d have used Katrina Kaif’s name in this post :). (most searched Bollywood personality apparently). You feel that I am misselling? Then what about those insurance agents that sell you investments?

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Rupee’s “stable” symbol

It was good to see our currency getting a formal symbol in the midst of all talk and nervousness about inflation. While D. Udaya Kumar scrawls himself into history’s books for designing the symbol, I have my own take on the symbol and what is symbolises. Some people felt that using Devanagiri script is anti-non Devanagiri India and I feel that they are loco. My problem is that Ms. Ambika Soni used the design to explain the underlying stability of the Indian currency. What stability? I am not able to understand. Inflation is running so very high and controlling the currency is like riding (and trying to tame) a wild horse. I am a bit slow in these things.

But what I do know is that some of the factors that determine currency stability are : A) enough liquidity and cushioning in the local banking systems, B) the accompanying political landscape is stable, C) inflation is under control, D) legal systems are strong. If these ingredients are not in synch, the currency may topple over. Since symbols represent the inherent qualities of a currency and since the currency is a barometer of the strength of an economy, let’s use reverse logic to check if the chosen symbol for the INR does indicate stability. Let’s at least check if the symbol chosen for the INR is stable in the first place. We’ll might also take a look at the stability factors of the major world currencies while we are at it.

The concept of center of mass, borrowed from physics indicates the center of any shape, however weird it may be. If you make a 3 dimensional solid out of any basic shape, such a shape should be able to spin around it’s axis – and keep spinning if friction were absent. In the real world, friction and restraining forces constantly act on physical bodies. Let’s examine each major currency symbol (click on symbol to magnify), as if it’s 3 dimensional figure were standing on the world platform and see how it respondes to forces of inter-country friction, asset bubbles, financial profligacy, etc – all being represented by the testing forces of friction (cost of being a world currency on the world platform) and gravity.

JPY GBP INR USD EUR
Stable. But one nudge and it’ll topple over left or right – i.e. to China or the U.S.A Very stable!! Stodgy and just may not budge. Won’t be able to withstand it’s own weight. Will topple over Stable. But one nudge and it’ll topple over. Already fighting it’s 200DMA Will fall down right. If only the horizontal railroads began from further left.

I recommend that you do not take such advise when initiating positions on currency movements! BTW, you don’t have to be a financial whiz kid or a professional trader to initiate positions in world currencies. Just your decision to take up a job in India’s software industry makes you terribly short on the INR. 

Anyway, I like the symbol – whether it is stable or not. I like it since the Big B has requested that it be featured in the logo of the next edition of his show – KBC. I like it despite the fact that it looks like a bastard child borne out of the union of the Devanagiri Ra and the Latin R. I like it despite the fact that it gave me a kink in the neck. I wanted to see if there is some Dan Brownish hidden symbolism in it’s meaning. I craned my neck up and down, held up my laptop at weird angles for that aha! moment but all I got was a sprain in my neck. See, there is massive hidden meaning in the symbol of the EUR. What happens when you tilt the EUR by 90 degrees? You get something similar to this! Hinting at the intrigue and various games that the continent has always been a stage for. Then there was that story of the WTC attack being foretold in a USD 20 dollar bill.

Actually, if you are lean that way and incline yourself physically that way as well, you might just spot this in our currency symbol. Hardly something to associate free capitalism with! 🙂

But considering the fact that cigarettes, tulips, spices, cows, et al have all served as good currencies in the past, I do not think we should have any problem with this tilted masterpiece.

Symbolism apart, the real concern that should play on the minds of our policymakers is the runaway inflation that’s on us at the moment. I was in Mumbai over the weekend and just could not believe the amount I had to pay for just 250 grams of okra, a kilo of tomatoes, a suspicious looking floret of cauliflower. Around a 100 INR! Prices of food and related stuff are increasing @ 20% per annum. So are costs of education and medicine. Eating out has become crazily expensive. So, what I am saying is that the INR is not fiat currency. Far from it. Just that inflation is making things difficult. Very difficult. And the people in charge need to change many more things than just the symbol of the INR.

Did you know that the Vietnamese currency is known as the Dong? And that frugal Vietnamese women really know how to stretch one to the hilt? 😐 The symbol for their currency looks a bit sexual as well.

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