Reem With A View

"Names and attributes must be accommodated to the essence of things, and not the essence to the names, since things come first and names afterwards." – Galileo

The rise and rise of Kareena Kapoor

If you are a movie producer and spending INR 40 Crore minimum on making the movie plus another INR 20 Crore on marketing the film, which Bollywood Star would you hire to ensure you get your Box Office returns?

If you analyze the  cast of the last 3 big budget Bollywood blockbusters which grossed the INR 100 Crore mark:  “3 Idiots”, “Golmaal 3” and “Bodyguard”, you find only one common factor: Kareena Kapoor 

She has become the only actor or actress to give 3 back to back movies which grossed  INR 100 Crore at the box office!

The only other actor who can come close is of course Salman Khan with  3 back to back box office successes in “Dabangg”, “Ready” and “Bodyguard”, but “Ready” didnt gross INR 100 Crore.

Small wonder that the trade press has coined her a new nickname in the industry:  “The 100 Crore Heroine”.

Kareena Kapoor in the "Chammak Challo" song for the movie "Ra One"

Kareena Kapoor dancing to “Chammak Challo” song from the movie “Ra.One”. Click to download the full wallpaper.

It is not surprising that Bollywood’s most expensive movie to date, “RA.ONE” has also ensured their marketing features Kareena Kapoor (the lead heroine in the film opposite Shahrukh Khan) prominently in the songs/item numbers which are now the defacto marketing tool for Bollywood movies  replacing the traditional “trailer” format nowdays on TV.

With India’s widest release in history at more than 3500+ screens, even a 70% occupancy on the opening weekend for Ra.One (which is a given for any “Khan” movie nowadays), will bring almost INR 120 Crore + collection, making it the FOURTH successive “100 Crore” movie for Kareena Kapoor, a record which is pretty difficult to break.

Watch the official video: Chammak Challo – Ra One – (Full Video Song) – ft. Akon “Shahrukh Khan” Kareena Kapoor

UPDATE 31-Oct-2011: Ra.One breaks BO record with Rs 170 cr collection (IBN LIVE).

The highly anticipated Diwali release triumphed at the box office with an incredible weekend gross collection of Rs. 137.25 crore (Net Collection of Rs. 96 crore) in India and Rs. 32.75 crore overseas.

This makes it Kareena Kapoor’s fourth successive  “INR 100 crore” film,  an enviable box office record for any actor or actress in Indian cinema.

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What do we want in 2009?

2008 is over… finally. One of the worst years in terms of the economy, terrorism and environmental pollution.

What shall we look forward to in 2009?

The pessimist will say 2008 Reloaded.

But I feel 2009 will be a the year which will decide the fate of the economy for the next decade.

The key is the U.S. Economy and how it plays out. 2008 has shown that what happens in U.S. now affects the world in much more severity than previously thought simply because of the dependency of both manufacturing and services export led nations like EU, China, Japan and India to the consumption hungry Americans.  Add Brazil, South Korea and energy exporters, and the American drama looks worse.

Americans have too much debt to “borrow” their way out of this mess.  What they need is:

Another  economic boom led by some industry sector. (Silicon Valley tech boom in the 90s followed 80s recession, and then the real-estate boom followed dotcom crash.) This time it must be more of  an tech-energy revolution, an engineering- tech innovation leading to drastically low dollar spending on imported middle-eastern oil and keeping those dollars in U.S.  which can create consumption (and more exports and so on). U.S. will gain at the cost of  terrorsim sponsoring middle-eastern oil havens which is good news for the whole world especially India, currently the no. 1 victim of terrorism.

Some more things to look forward in 2009 is the release of Windows 7.  Have great expectations from it and might kick-start a new cycle in I.T. spending.

What should India do?

Start a Wireless broadband revolution. Use tax payer money. Heck broadband will pay for itself more than building a dam does! We can live with a bad road, but cannot live with a bad net connection. Not anymore. Internet can fuel its own economy around it in India as the domain expertise is there amongst Indians and the cost savings for this country are massive. Where wires are defeated (landline phones), wireless ahs won (mobiles). Same logic for internet. Wireless broadband can lead to online innovation in servcies from banking, finance to even education.

Another “must do” for India is simple Tax Reform. Make Income tax FLAT 10% for ALL income groups, salaried, corporate, business. Whatever your salary, 10% is tax on it.  Remove all excise duties, octroi, import duties and instead levy a flat 2% Sales Tax on all goods  & services. Thats it. This will lead to a boom in consumer spending and unlock loads of money from the black markets to the open economy. After all, the effort to hide that 10% tax is more than simply paying that tax. This makes tax planning easy and the Govt. collects more in taxes this way. 

A third “must do” is opening up the Education sector. Allow foreign universities to freely start in India. No need for “government recognition” as industry recognition of recognized US, UK, Australian and European educational institutions is enough.

Is asking for 3 measly reforms too much? I think not. Lets see what 2009 brings in.

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