Monthly Archives: May 2020

Maha Govt. lockdown guidelines

The Maharashtra Government lockdown guidelines is out for the state of Maharashtra effective from 1st June to 30th June, 2020. I am sure you can view the detailed guidelines on the internet.

What has been allowed is outdoor physical activities like walking, running, cycling etc. with proper social distancing norms, masks etc. Solo running is allowed but not group activities

Activities related to self-employed people like plumbers, electricians, pest-control and technicians with social distancing norms and usage of masks and sanitization. (This should have been allowed long back considering the most essential nature of their service, anyways better late than never).

Garages to mend vehicles and workshops with prior appointments. – allowed (prior appointment is always taken when you take your car to the maruti service station for maintenance/ repair – this has always been the practice)

All the above are allowed from 3rd June, 2020

All markets, market areas & shops, except malls and market complexes, are allowed to function on PI-P2 basis (shops on one side of the road/lane/passage to be opened on odd dates while shops on the other side on even dates) from 9 am to 5 pm with following conditions. (not clear whether it includes hawkers as well but my gut feeling is that roadside hawkers will take a long time to come back to business – years even)

This is allowed from 5th June, 2020

All private offices can operate with up to 10% strength as per requirement, with remaining persons working from home. However all the employers will take sensitisation programs to educate the employees to take adequate precautions on returning home so that vulnerable group especially the elderly is not infected. (this is allowed from 8th June, 2020)

Intra district is allowed with 50% capacity which means BEST buses can take on general public to the extent of 50%

This is what has been changed from the last lockdown on 17th May 2020.

What is not allowed from the MHA order is malls, hotels, restaurants, places of worship, barbers, hair saloons, beauty parlours. Maha Govt is more conservative in that regard. But the government has said that they will take a call on these items and will issue guidelines separately. So we might see some relaxations even before 30th June, 2020 in these items.

Still the no. of active cases in Mumbai are exceeding 1400 per day, so the Govt. needs to be careful in that regard.

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Rear Window

Just now saw Rear Window by Alfred Hitchcock. What better movie to watch during lockdown than this classic masterpiece from Hitchcock where James Stewart is locked down in his own apartment due to a broken leg. He has a view of about 50 windows from his window and being a professional photographer has a keen eye for observing details in every household. Some are interesting like a girl pirouetting in her own room or a lonely woman seeking companionship or a sad man playing piano. But what catches his professional eye is some shady goings on in one window where the woman is apparently physically challenged and she and her husband are forever quibbling. Matters get out of hand and James suspects murder of the woman by the man on the basis of some tell tale observations. Grace Kelly as the muse of James Stewart plays a refreshing role, initially doubting his theories and then later actively taking part in his amateur investigations. The entire movie is shot from the window into other windows or into the room where Stewart is recuperating and watching. Must watch movie from the stable of Alfred Hitchcock.

Picture used above is for representational purposes only and not with an intention to violating its copyright.

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Ghashiram Kotwal

A cult movie based on a Marathi play written by noted playwright Vijay Tendulkar. It is a historical drama based on the life of Nana Phadnavis in the 18th century. Ghashiram is a police constable to whom Nana depends and on whom power has gone to his head. There are a whole lot of political machinations, subterfuge going on in those days to which Ghashiram is an acquaintance. The movie is not in a story form, it is narration and musical drama put together. So one has to understand the movie in that form. Nana was a kind of a king maker in those days, much like a power broker, arbiter, fund raiser of the kind we say in the political circle even these days. There is not much in the acting department to speak of in the movie. The movie works on two parallels in the sense that what is depicted in the 18th century Maratha kingdom is seen today’s times. In that sense it is a timeless movie.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghashiram_Kotwal

Wikipedia does not mention whether this movie has won any awards, but it did create a controversy at that time. It is a kind of cult movie that one has to watch in one’s lifetime, so better to do it during the lockdown period when one has ample time in hand.

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Do Bigha Zameen

A cult classic from Bimal Roy, this film is a story of a farmer trying his best to retain his small landholding in the presence of industrialisaton wave spreading India in the early 50s. Made in 1953, its a beautifully made movie where a farmer Shambo Mahto (Baljraj Sahni in an Oscar winning performance of his lifetime) wants to keep his small 2 acre land for which he is indebted to the local zamindar who virtually forces him to sell off his land for naught. Being idealistic Shambo travels to the city to earn some money (Rs.235 to be exact, which was a big sum those days) and in the bargain becomes a foot rickshaw puller which was in vogue in Calcutta of those days. Hardworking, dedicated, with lots of pride in himself, Shambo ultimately has to fall to the throes of the greed capitalist system. He has got a small family which is closely knit together and similarly idealistic, although the kid did stray occasionally this is probably one of the finest works of Bimal Roy. Beautiful camera work, cinematography and lilting music by Salil Choudhary but the movie marks Balraj Sahni as the finest actor of his generation,

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Jalsaghar

Jalsaghar directed by Satyajit Ray is a movie depicting the end of days of a decadent zamindar unwilling to change even when things around him are changing at a rapid pace. He is obsessed with his music room (Jalsaghar) where he invites people to play music and pays them handsomely. Music, drinks, horses, elephants are his life even while his family is withered away. Worth watching this drama epic once in your lifetime.

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Ustad Amjad Ali Khan

This is a brilliant documentary on the legendary sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, very beautifully made by Gulzar the legendary poet. This is produced by the Films Division of the Government of India. Sarod is a stringed instrument mainly played in the Hindustani Classical style of music. Ustad Amjad Ali Khan comes from an illustrious lineage of musicians going back to several generations of musicians, all one great after another. They came from Kabul and played the Rubab which is a modified version of Sarod. The music that comes out of sarod is very beautiful and melliflous and since it blends with the classical ragas, it makes for great listening. His father Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan was also a great musician.

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The Brass Go-Between

The Brass Go-Between written by an American author Ross Thomas in his pseudonym Oliver Bleeck has an interesting theme. Phillip St. Ives is a professional go between the kidnappers or ransom seekers and their victims. All he has to do is follow instructions to the t and deliver the ransom and retrieve the kidnapped which could be person or goods. He becomes a go between in a robbery of an important brass belonging to an African country by the name of Jandola but there is a warring faction here in the form of a separatist Kamporean who is also wanting the brass as an important symbol to their country. One after another murders take place, the cops get greedy and involved and St. Ives is then left to solve the crime which is not exactly his forte. The narrative is pretty good and there is lot of action taking place in each page. Goodreads rating 5/5

Ross Thomas is an American writer (1926-1995) of crime fiction and has written quite a lot of books. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ross_Thomas_(author)

One of his book has been made into a movie St. Ives (1976) starring Charles Bronson, Jacqueline Bisset among others

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Ives_(1976_film)

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Ek Akar

Documentary on a revolutionary documentary film maker S. Sukhdev. This is a Films Division production, with a short narrative by Gulzar. Sukhdev was an award winning short film maker but this documentary does not do justice to him and his creative talent. It is just a montage of his photographs and a few of his films towards the end. There is no narration whatsoever to tell us what films he made and under what circumstances. Apparently some of his films shocked the conscience of the censors of that time and he had a running battle going on with them. There are photographs of him with the leading actors & actresses of his time and Prime Ministers and Presidents accepting various awards. This documentary could have been better made.

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The World’s Thousand Best Short Stories – V

Unarguably the greatest collection of short stories ever by anybody. This collection edited by Sir John Alexander Hammerton is a classic cult for the museum. There are about 29 volumes i found in goodreads library. Collection of short stories by masters of literature from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, America, Britain, Russia, Scandinavia, Dutch, Belgium – a colossal work of determination. This collection, which is volume V has short stories by French writers such Guy de Maupassant, Francois Coffee, Jules Claretie, Anatole France, Jules Lemaitre. Belgian writers such as Charles Decoster, Camille Lemonnier, Eugene Demolder and Swiss writers such as Solomon Gessner, Gottfried Keller, Konrad Ferdinand Meyer among others. Difficult to choose any one short story as the best one as all are too good. Most of the french writings have macabre endings, while the Belgian ones revolve around Christianity and Swiss ones are short stories of love, care & affection. These short stories are obviously written in their native languages, so wholehearted credit should go to the translators who have done such a wonderful job. The language is so rich in text belonging to that era you really feel great just reading the texts. Goodreads 5/5

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Import payments

RBI has issued a circular dated 22nd May, 2020 whereby they have allowed 12 months time for settlement of import payments as against the scheduled 6 months from the date of shipment. This applies to date of shipment made on or before 31st July, 2020. This is due to the Covid pandemic.

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Rabindranath Tagore

Documentary on India’s greatest writer and poet by India’s greatest film maker Satyajit Ray – this is absolutely rare gem. Its a Films Division production of 1961 and Satyajit has narrated his family lineage and story of Rabindranath right from his childhood. He has used some actual footage including a rare close up footage of Rabindranath – one footage of Rabindranath with Mahatma Gandhi – both did not see eye to eye on many things, yet the respect between the two was immense when in the footage it was Mahatma Gandhi who was falling at the feet of Tagore. This is a real gem of a documentary, quite brilliantly done by the master.

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Rock n’ Roll (Early Days)

Documentary on early days of rock n roll music, how it evolved, the early players, popularity of stars like Elvis Presley, Bo Diddley, Bill Haley, Jerry Jee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Little Richard etc. It was fascinating to learn of the struggle by black musicians to get accepted in early days in America in the 1950s. Chuck Berry it was who broke the water and emerged as a major star those days.

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All of Me

https://www.idfa.nl/en/film/63be9d35-7f21-4b9c-b785-d0accc5bcf9d/all-of-me

Dutch documentary film on a girl who is a psychic – she sees people and she has been seeing people since her childhood. She’s clairvoyant, in the sense that she sees only dead people. Only her parents know about it and then she decides to share it with her best friend Emma. The short film is all about it.

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Notice for rights issue

MCA has issued a circular dated 11th May, 2020 wherein it has exempted listed companies from sending notices for rights issues by post/ courier where the rights issues are upto 31st July, 2020. This is in view of the Covid situation wherein all businesses have been under lockdown for more than 50 days now. So non despatch of notices to shareholders will not be construed as a violation under the Act. But listed companies have to comply with SEBI circular dated 6th May, 2020 on the subject. This circular of SEBI basically says that intimations should be sent by e-mail with reminders by SMS and advertisement by the company in all digital channels – internet, television, including crawlers, etc.  The notice should be posted on the website of the company, lead manager, registrar & stock exchanges. The rights issue during this period shall be only in ASBA method.

https://www.sebi.gov.in/legal/circulars/may-2020/relaxations-relating-to-procedural-matters-issues-and-listing_46652.html

Click to access Circular21_11052020.pdf

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Minimum Public Shareholding

https://www.sebi.gov.in/legal/circulars/may-2020/relaxation-from-the-applicability-of-sebi-circular-dated-october-10-2017-on-non-compliance-with-the-minimum-public-shareholding-mps-requirements_46669.html

SEBI has issued a circular (as per above) dated 14th May, 2020 wherein those listed companies where minimum public shareholding requirements falls between March 2020 to August 2020 – any action taken against such companies shall be withdrawn or not initiated. 

 

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