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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Another collision – Bunga Kelana & Waily

After my recent postings on collision at sea, read of one more accident at high sea threatening a huge oil spill involving an oil tanker and bulk carriers in the waters off Malaysia and Singapore on Tuesday (25th May 2010) morning,

Reuters reports of the oil spill of an estimated 2500 tonnes of oil still traffic in the shipping lane of Malacca strait not being affected. The tanker MT Bunga Kelana 3 is Malaysian built of 1998 having DWT of 105784 with Malaysian flag was carrying about 62,000 tonnes of light crude oil according to the reports and immediate clean up operations were on.

The Strait of Malacca is a narrow, 805 km (500 mile) stretch of water between /west Part of Malaaysia dnd Sumatra, named after an Empire who ruled in 15th century.

Oil spills are potential disasters for coast and sea – this one reported to be of 18000 barrels is very small as compared to 175000 spilled at Gulf of Medico following offshore explosion. For clean up operations, oil dispersants and containment booms.

The other vessel involved was a bulk carier MV Waily registered in St Vincent and the Grenadines, which suffered minor damage. The tank suffered a 10-meter gash on the left side.

Regards - Sampathkumar
(Source & Photos : Reuters)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

What is Implosion - What is covered by an Insurance Policy


In insurance parlance, many a times there would be technical discussions. The wording are sometimes complicated, tough to comprehend and very difficult to interpret or clear the intention behind formation.

To add to the woes of the Insurers, it is not alone the legal angle or the common (or uncommon) meaning of the terms and conditions, exclusions of coverage BUT the Insurer many times get dragged to explaining the physical properties of the subject matter, the perils – whether naturally occurring or chemical or biological or…….. the most unfortunate thing is to find a commonality in a vast and difference genre. To give a small examples, Electronic equipment policies would mention of computers, Winchester drives etc., everywhere though the coverage is not restricted to computers alone but could cover host of equipments fully electronic or having a substantial electronic component.

Recently a simple question popped up querying what we mean by IMPLOSION – A peril covered under our Policies. Certainly not a simple question - a simple explanation to state is that an explosion is a violent burst directed outward, while an implosion is a violent burst directed inward.

Our Policies (Standard Fire & Special Perils Policy) is a named peril policy and covers loss or damage to the property insured arising out of named perils of which Explosion / Implosion are amongst named perils.

As could be seen, the policy covers losses other than loss of, destruction of or damage to boilers, pressure vessels, machinery where steam is generated arising out of their own explosion / implosion. Thus machineries suffering damage by explosion / implosion as also caused by centrifugal forces are outside the purview of the policy BUT not the resultant damage to other insured property.

For our better understanding, explosion is a rapid increase in volue and release of energy, usually associated with high temperature and release of gases. Chemical explosives are common example where rapid and violent oxidation reaction produces burst of hot gas. Gun powder in arms is one such, dynamite is another. Other than chemical reaction, explosion can also be arising out of Electrical (high current electrical fault), excessive magnetic pressure, expanding vapour etc., also can cause explosion.

The general properties of explosion can be stated to be : Force, Velocity, and evolution of heat. It is the rapidity or sudden release which makes things explodes. A wood or coal on fire releases heat and formation of gases. The energy discharge is controlled in a battery but in a camera flash, it is all at once. When heat us generated in large quantity and released in rapidity, there could be explosive chemical reaction.

In any chemical explosive, upon application of heat or shock, decomposition or rearrangement with extreme rapidity, release of much gas and heat occurs. Thus there would be formation of gases, evolution of heat, rapidity of reaction and initiation of reaction.

Implosion as understood in common terms is a violent collapse inward, mostly caused by compression or by forces acting from outside against it causing it to fold inwards. Here we are not referring to the demolition of civil structures and buildings that occur by the weakening and breaking of structural members by explosives.

A more technical explanation could be description as a process in which objects are destroyed by collapsing on themselves. In some ways it is opposite of explosion as there would be concentration of matter and energy. Under water, the submarines could get crushed from the hydrostatic pressure of the surrounding water. As in the case of explosion, for implosion also the rapidity and strong increase in low pressure are ingredients, the activity forces could be brought about by the decline in heat.

Some examples could be those of the vacuum tube and massive stars imploding. Read that a fissile mass of uranium or plutonium or a combination surrounded by high explosives which compress the mass would also result in implosion. We do understand that suction could be more powerful than pressure. The latter would elicit resistance, former would result in general collapse

Certainly there is much much more than what I have tried to collate. Look forward to the views and explanations from learned friends.

Regards – S. Sampathkumar

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cyclone Laila - SYMA and temple tank

Cyclonic Storm Laila (JTWC designation: 01B) is the first tropical cyclone of the 2010 North Indian Ocean cyclone season and is the first cyclonic storm to affect India in May since the 1990 Andrah Pradesh cyclone. It is currently intensifying and tracking toward southeastern India. A cyclone warning (Red message) has been given.

According to IMD reports, the severe cyclonic storm ‘LAILA’ remained practically stationary and lay centred at 1730 hrs IST of today, the 19th May 2010 over westcentral and adjoining southwest Bay of Bengal near latitude 14.00N and long. 81.50E, about 150 km northeast of Chennai, 250 km south-southeast of Machilipatnam and 500 km south-southwest of Vizag. This is expected to intensify further and move slowly in a northwesterly to northerly direction and cross Andhra Pradesh coast between Kavali and Kakinada, close to Machilipatnam by afternoon/evening of 20th May 2010.

Before hurtling to Indian east coast, it had lashed Srilanka displacing lakhs of people, triggering floods, delaying flights and submerging many areas. In Tamil nadu, heavy rains battered the coastal areas and the Capital Chennai had incessant rain fall.

As you might recall, during Nov 2009, SYMA in coordination with Sri Parthasarathi Swami temple authorities taken up the cleaning of temple tank. For an Organisation to which cleanliness is close to heart, the effort in preserving the tank was an obvious task. There were years when drinking water became scarce and the citizens of Chennai woke up during nights running behind tanker lorries for their share of water. For a city which has no flowing rivers, storage of rain water is of great relevance. The mythological ‘kairavani pushkarini’ , a pond of lily and lotus was taken care of by SYMA who intensely implemented the rain water harvesting programme. This was the first step in augmenting the water table in the locality which has yielded handsome results. By the efforts of SYMA and with the active participation of Chennai Corporation, now all streets are connected to the temple tank and the rain water gets collected here.

The huge cement concrete slabbed tank over the past few years had accumulated lot of dirt and a massive cleaning campaign was undertaken during Nov. 2009. The entire water was drained out and tank was cleaned using giant machines.

The day’s rain has raised immensely the water level which was drying up due to the scorching heat that Chennai has been experiencing this summer, especially for the last fortnight. Water filling in is a great sight for the eyes and here are a couple of photos of the tank taken today by one of our members.

A tank replete with water certainly augurs well for the residents.

In service to the society – Sampathkumar S (presently Secretary of SYMA)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

What Can the ATM dispense ??????


During the days when we grow up, most cinemas would have a scene – whether it was securing a kidnapped rich boy or running away from the Nation, illegal trading, smuggling or…………. – the villain group would carry a black suitcase. We would be told that it contains gold biscuits and hence of great value. It would fly around when hero fights – little did we thought of the weight of so many pieces of gold. It was fun !!!!!


Old order does not changeth all the time – the mad rush for gold continues. Average Indians attach great value for Gold – its richness is weighed in marriages – as the gift to the bridegroom and flaunted by ladies visiting the marriages. Most women are extremely fond of gold jewellery and the milling crowds at the Gold shops in T Nagar vouch for this. In the recent past, there is an added rage – buying gold (coins atleast) on the Akshaya Tritiya day.



 This year it falls on 16th May 2010. This day also known as  Akha Teej is a holy day falling on the third Tithi (Lunar day) of Bright Half (Shukla Paksha) of Hindu month of Vaishaka.  This day is connected with Parashurama and mythology has it that Tretha yug began on this day as also Ganges descended to the earth. The word "Akshaya" means the never diminishing in Sanskrit language and is believed to bring good luck and success.



I personally would advocate doing something good on this day rather than buying the yellow metal. However, beliefs are beliefs and every individual would have a different perspective.

From the traditional withdrawal from Bank standing in queue filling challans and always appearing bemused, automated teller machines (ATM) have changed the way of money transaction. All and sundry now flaunt no. of cards and allowing withdrawal from ATM of any bank has just added to the confusion. Still it is never to be understanding, as to why people should queue before ATM and how do people get change of small denominations ?

The yellow metal, GOLD is a chemical element with symbol Au (from Latinaurum, "shining dawn") and an atomic number of 79. From time immemorial it has more value attached than its intrinsic and utilitarian value. It is malleable and the ornaments are indeed attractive. Thousands of tonnes of gold continue to be mined. This article is about the innovative sale pitch of TG Gold Super Market.



Gold is a good thing to have in your pocket in these uncertain economic times, says Thomas Geissler, CEO of Reutlingen (Germany) based TG-Gold-Super-Market. To take his point further they have provided a new angle to Gold sale.



Ofcourse not everywhere – but some beginning at Airport in Frankfurt and a luxury hotel in Abu Dhabi where Vending machine gives you shining gold. It is not only shining luster looking machines ; they give out gold in the form of 1 gram, 5 gram, 10 gram and 1 ounce bars, and also Krugerrand, Kangaroo and Maple Leaf gold coins (individual machines may have custom settings). The bars and coins come in snazzy presentation cases but even so, they're said to cost about 20 percent less than what a German bank or other financial institution would charge.

TG Gold-Super-Markt installed their first GOLD To Go® vending machine in Germany's Frankfurt Airport last summer; sensing the increasing the demand, they have pursued expansion plan targeting other European cities and the oil-rich city states of the Middle east. This week a latest GOLD To Go® machine has just been installed in the lobby of Abu Dhabi's Emirates Palace hotel; it dispenses gold bars of only 1 and 10 grams, plus a series of gold coins displaying custom engraved designs.




The CEO says that he is yet to meet a woman who does not like a gift of gold !!




Good premium but risk potential is tough for the Insurer. The machines would be built like bank vaults and obviously the exposure would not be made public.

This concept might not click in this part of the World, as people would like to feel the gold before they purchase; ask for some reduction; the sales person would take it to his supervisor and announce a measly discount and finally you are handed over your purchase alongwith a small (many a times of no use and meaningless) gift.


May be it could end up becoming a sanctuary for small investors. This company had earlier created an online platform for trading precious metals. The CEO Mr. Geissler estimates the market in Germany alone at 150 tons of physical gold each year, the demand for various paper forms of it being even greater. His system allows prices to be updated every few minutes via a link to Ex Oriente Lux's online shop, and it has a camera to monitor purchases to confirm adherence to the law. The product is dispensed in a handsome box. Purchases can be made by cash or by credit card.

There was a poster which had sprung up – "After your purchase on Akshaya thritiya – have your investment gone up or the interest on the loan that you bought".

Regards – Sampathkumar S



The ever crowded T Nagar Ranganathan Street had another reason to be so :

Friday, May 14, 2010

J Friend collides with MSC Tomoko off Shantou

I had earlier posted an article on ‘collision’ of vessels. Driving in congested cities is becoming more and more difficult. Chennai roads, bylanes, autorickshaws, two wheelers all are unique – it is not steering a SUV in a free way. Chennai has place for everybody, the MTC buses, cars, variety of 2 wheelers, autos and rickety goods carrying vehicles – all respect each other providing some space ! – they jump signals with precision, as you near the signal and see red about to come, vehicles from behind would pass in a jiffy. If you are waiting patiently at a signal, the instant green is about to appear – many would zip past you at breakneck speed.
Overtaking of passing is the act of driving around another slower automobile on road. As a rule, vehicles are overtaken by driving past them on the right, after signalling them that you are about to pass by. On Air and at sea, things could be far different. Those highly sophisticated vessels are not dependent on the vision and manual skill – Navigation is more of the process of reading and controlling the movement by technological aids. The word navigate is derived from Latin. The word ‘Navi’ in Sanskrit means boat and ‘Gathi’ means direction.

Modern movement is with the help of gadgets. From magnetic compasses, things have moved a long way to Radio navigation – application of radio frequencies to determine a position on the earth. The basic principles are those of direction, distance, ranging, velocity etc., Marine radar systems provide very useful navigation information in a variety of situations. When the vessel is within radar range of land or special radar aids to navigation, the navigator can take distances and angular bearings to charted objects and use these to establish arcs of position and lines of position on a chart GNSS or Global Navigation Satellite systems is all about systems that provide autonomous geo-spatial positioning with global coverage. Electronic receivers determine the location by longitude, latitude and altitude with precision.


At Sea there are specified rules for ‘ Overtaking’ which specify that the vessel overtaking shall keep out of the way of the vessel being over taken; A vessel shall be deemed to be overtaking when coming up with another vessel from a direction more than 22,5 degrees abaft her beam, that is, in such a position with reference to the vessel she is overtaking, that at night she would be able to see only the sternlight of that vessel but neither of her sidelights.


With all this, it is extremely hard to collide at sea than on land, as there are no blind curves, things do not move faster than a bicycle but collisions are not rare.


In the North Atlantic Ocean, considered second biggest ocean, at an undisclosed depth, the British nuclear submarine Vanguard and the French nuclear submarine Le Triomphant ran into each other. Both boats were “boomers,” missile-firing submarines carrying sixteen ballistic missiles, each of which can deliver several nuclear warheads at intercontinental range. At vast expanse of sea, at low speeds with navigational aids – both erred. An active sonar device would detect everything on and below the surface for many miles around but perhaps they too could be detected. Collision unfortunately did occur.


This month in the Eastern Guangdong off Shantou bulk carrier J Friend (1984 built, 21456gt Hong Kong flag bulk carrier with container capacity, on a voyage from India) collided with a much bigger 94489 GT panama flagged container vessel 2006 built MSC Tomoko. J Friend was carrying 35000MT Iron Ore bound for Shantou, and her previous ports included New Mangalore, while MSC TOMOKO

had previously called at Long Beach, USA. The massive Tomoko at 332.40m length and 43.20m width, would displace 107,500 tons. Her MAN B&W 12K98MEC engine accelerates the ship to a maximum speed of 25.4 knots.


Due to the impact, water flooded into No.1 & 2 holds of J Friend but the bigger one die not suffer much damages and presently there is no mentions of containers damaged or falling over board. In many such situations, the services of Salvors are sought and there could be declaration of GA or for salvage charges.


For common consumption, The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972 (COLREGS) published by the International Maritime Organization(IMO) sets out the "rules of the road" to be followed by ships and other vessels at sea. Although rules for navigating vessels inland may differ, the international rules specify that they should be as closely in line with the international rules as possible. Rule no. 6 is about Safe speed which states that Every vessel shall at all times proceed at a safe speed so that she can take proper and effective action to avoid collision and be stopped within a distance appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions.

In determining a safe speed some of factors to be reckoned include : The state of visibility; the traffic density including concentrations of fishing vessels or any other vessels; the manoeuvrability of the vessel with special reference to stopping distance and turning ability in the prevailing conditions; . at night the presence of background light such as from shore lights or from back scatter other own lights; . the state of wind, sea and current, and the proximity of navigational hazards; the draught in relation to the available depth of water.


With regards – S Sampathkumar.


Courtesy : Collision news courtesy www.wecoxclaimsgroup.com; Photo courtesy : visualships.com

Collision at SEA

COLLISION : ‘when two elephants collide, it is the grass under which gets crushed’. . Here is something on collision.                            (An article shared in Feb 2009)
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Collision is the act of colliding; a coming violently into contact; crash. A collision is an isolated event in which two or more bodies (colliding bodies) exert relatively strong forces on each other for a relatively short time. Collisions involve forces and there is a change in velocity. In traffic such a collision can be between two vehicles, a vehicle and a person, a vehicle and an object, two persons or a person and an object (and more if an animal is involved). It is an accident or even a disaster.

As we travel on any highway, quite often we see ghastly signs of trucks colliding with one another causing damages and injuries. These are attributed to :- uncontrolled heavy traffic, mechanical failures especially of the breaking system, driver fatigue, poor visibility, judgmental errors, supremacy attitude of the driver, lack of patience, driving by persons not authorised and a host of other reasons.
For an Insurer, the collision hurts – the injuries / fatality would result in a claim (PA / MACT). There would be own damage claim for the vehicle and there would be claims for damages to the cargo carried in the vehicles. At sea it is much more serious – primarily due to the accumulated values of Hull, thousands of containerised cargo and freight not to speak of marine pollution, oil slicks…….

                                                              Collision damage to hull .

In Marine insurance , collision is a named peril in Inland transit basic cover and ‘Institute cargo clauses – C’.
At land vehicles colliding is understandable - but at sea ? Ocean is quite unfathomable. Steering (navigating) a ship is quite complex and different from the way we drive our vehicles on road. In earlier days, Explorers started their sojourns to unknown destinations with no idea what they would find along the way. Being stuck on a leaky, wooden boat for months with little or nothing to eat and drink was not much of fun. Disease, starvation and death faced them all. In those days, position, destination, and direction at sea was primarily determined by the sighting of landmarks, supplemented with the observation of the position of celestial bodies. The invention of the compass enabled the determination of heading when the sky was overcast or foggy. And, when the sun or other known celestial bodies could be observed, it enabled the calculation of latitude. This enabled mariners to navigate safely far from land, contributing to the Age of Discovery. The age old technique of celestial navigation was based on observation of the positions of the Sun, Moon, Planets and navigational stars.

A compass, the navigational instrument for determining direction relative to the earth's magnetic poles greatly improved the safety and efficiency. Then came the modern devices such as the gyrocompass and the Global Positioning System (GPS). Most modern navigation relies primarily on positions determined electronically by receivers collecting information from satellites. The Navigators frequently use charts. In the present era, electronic navigation through Radio waves, radar which determines the distance from or bearing of objects and satellite navigation rule the roost. When at Port, the big vessels are piloted into restricted waters. With all modern gadgets, accidents and collisions do occur.
This month a major collision occurred at Port of Dubai when the Maltese flagged MT Kashmir collided with container vessel MV Sima Saba. Thick black smoke billowed hundreds of feet in the air out of a gash in the hull of MT Kashmir.


The tanker was carrying about 30,000 tons of oil condensate valued at around $9 million. Onlookers saw viscous material pouring from the ship also burning on top of the water, as one of the 22 reservoirs on the Kashmir, all filled with liquefied gas, was damaged. The blaze was extinguished. The tanker had infact struck a feeder vessel engaged in shuttling cargo containers at about 5 miles from Jebel Ali. Investigations into the accident and thorough assessment of the extent of damage would take several days and all cargo will remain on board.

The container vessel Sima Saba was a relatively new one of 20250 DWT with capacity of 1440 TEU and can cruise at a speed of 18 knots. After the salvage operations, both the vessels stood safely anchored and no oil spill was reported.

                                                A container vessel on her better days………….


Collision liability also falls under the purview of Hull Policy and generally decided based on the responsibility for the accident attributed based on survey reports, eye witness accounts, crew testimony, police reports and other information gathered from various sources.

There was more serious news to follow as a Royal Navy nuclear submarine HMS Vanguard and a French vessel Le Triomphant were reported to have collided deep below the surface of the Atlantic ocean. Serious apprehensions were cast as both reportedly carried nuclear missiles. Defence communiqué of UK stated that two had collided in an extraordinary accident as they can’t see each other, raising questions about the sonar facilities.

After the accident, the French submarine returned to its base on L'Ile Longue, near Brest, under its own power and escorted by a frigate. Vanguard reportedly had visible dents on its hull and was towed home. All the crew of around 250 were reportedly safe.
It does appear that neither vessel knew where the other was because of the importance attached to remaining undetected. Whilst these nuclear weaponry are unlikely to have any insurance coverage, these high cost vessels are strategic crown jewels of the Nation and collision involving them has shocked the top military brass.

                                                     A file photo of HMS Vanguard……..


Shared arising out of avid interest in Marine related matters and your valuable feedback is solicited


With regards -  S Sampathkumar

Contract of Insurance - Effect of Assignment (What is Novation, by the way !)

There will always be some fundamental issues on which clarity is required but there would be multiplicity of opinions. After years of experience, one could get stumped by simple basic things ! Have you heard of the term “Novation” used in contract law and business law ? If not, its time to have a refresher course on some founding principles of insurance.

Insurance is a contract between Insurers and Insured and the principles of law of contract does apply. A contract is an agreement between two or more parties that creates an obligation to do or not to do something. The parties to the contract are under an obligation to perform the terms and conditions as laid down in the contract. Thus a contract can confer rights or impose obligations arising under the contract on the parties to the contract. Third parties cannot be under such an obligation to perform or demand performance under a contract. This is referred to as Privity of contract.

The Indian Contract Act, 1872 codifies the methods of entering into a contract, executing a contract; rules to implement provisions of a contract and effects of breach of a contract. The provisions of the Act prevail over any usage or custom or trade however the same will be valid as long as it is not inconsistent with provisions of the Act. The practise of insurance is subject to certain fundamental principles arising under common law. The object of the Policy is to indemnify the insured against the loss of subject matter insured subject to insuring terms. A loss which is merely consequential on the loss of the subject matter is not within the scope of the policy.

Frequently, we come across assignment of policies – on some occasions, it is not the person named as assured who recovers under a policy and it is also stated that marine policies are freely assignable, which is loosely and wrongly interpreted on some occasions.

Insurance contract is entered into by the Insurer with a specific individual / Company and for transfer to another person would require the consent of the Insurer and could involve renegotiating the terms also.
Not so in case of marine policies, which are expressly assignable without the consent of the Insurers. (Only in Cargo Insurance and not in Hull) Here there is no need for a written notice (though it would serve them better to preserve the assignee’s priority over later assignees). Assignment cannot be done by a person who has no proprietary interest and who has not acquired insurable interest at the time of assignment. However, assignment after the loss is not prohibited provided it was agreed upon earlier.

‘ Assignment’ (Latin cessio) is a term used with similar meanings in the law of contracts and real estate. It encompasses the transfer of rights held by one party—the assignor—to another party—the assignee. The legal nature of the assignment determines some additional rights and liabilities that accompany the act. Significantly, a contract of personal nature of those involving personal skills where they are to be performed by the promisor himself will not be assignable. ( Eg., sculpting a statue where it is entirely dependent on the skill of a particular sculptor personally)

This principle of assignment is recognised under Indian Law. The word would mean transfer of rights or obligations held by one to another. Assignment of rights under a contract is the complete transfer of rights to receive benefits accruing to one party to that contract. Where a contract is not specific as regards the parties’ intention concerning assignment, one will have to rely on the provisions of the Indian Contract Act, 1872, and the principles of assignment enshrined therein.

Just as one would get the rights, the assignor could also remain liable unless there is an agreement to the contrary. An agreement must manifest intent to transfer rights, it may not necessarily be in writing, words will do, and the rights assigned must be certain.
The assignment must occur in the present. No specific language is required to make such an assignment, but the assignor must make some clear statement of intent to assign clearly identified contractual rights to the assignee. A promise to assign in the future has no legal effect.  If the contract specifically contains non-assignment clause, prohibiting the assignment of specific rights or of the entire contract, such contracts are not assignable.

Novation is a term used in contract and business law describing the act of either replacing an obligation to perform with a new obligation, or replacing a party to an agreement with a new party.  Assignment would be valid so long as the Assignee (person receiving the benefit) is given a notice; Novation would be valid only with the consent of all parties to the original agreement. Thus, instead of mere acceptance of assignee, the novation would be valid only when the Insurer consents to replacement of insured –  in simple terms novation requires consignment of all parties concerned. Consideration is still required for the new contract. The criteria of novation comprises of the obligee’s acceptance of the new obligor, the new obligor’s acceptance of the liability and the old obligor’s acceptance of the new contract as full performance of the old contract. Novation is also used in trading markets.

Coming back, assignments made for consideration are irrevocable i.e., the assignor permanently gives up the legal right to take back the assignment so made. Donative assignments are generally revocable either by assignor giving notice to assignee, taking performance directly from the obligor, or making a subsequent assignment of the same right to another.   Even a donative assignment cannot be revoked in the following :-
1. The assignment can not be revoked if the obligor has already performed
2. The assignment can not be revoked if the assignee has received a token chose (chose being derived from the French word for "thing", as in a chose of action) - a physical object that signifies a right to collect, such as a stock certificate or the passbook to a savings account.
3. The assignment can not be revoked if the assignor has set forth in writing the assignment of a simple chose - a contract right embodied in any form of token.
4. Estoppel can prevent the revocation of a donative assignment if the assignee changed their position in reliance on the assignment.

Finally, the death or declaration of bankruptcy by the assignor will automatically revoke the assignment by operation of law.

Now ending up with the common confusion on ‘free assignment’ of marine cargo policies. The policy would trace and pass on to the buyer with the insurable interest and does not require the consent of the Insurers provided it goes by the sale contract of other specific contract and further provided that it not expressly prohibited by the Insurer.

Marine Policies are assignable either before or after the loss, unless prohibited. The assignment is done by endorsement on the Policy / Certificate of Insurance or in any other customary manner. When the Policy is so assigned to transfer the beneficial interest in the Policy, the assignee is entitled to sue on it in their name and defendant is entitled to raise any defence arising out of the contract that they would have been entitled to raise, if the action had been brought by the person on whom the Policy was effected.

It is categorically clear that where an insured transfers or loses an interest in the subject-matter insured and does not, before or at the time of so doing, expressly or impliedly agree to assign the marine policy, no subsequent assignment of the marine policy is operative.

Hope this has generated some interest in the founding principles of insurance. Look forward to your feedback.

With regards – Sampathkumar S

Srilanka & India loses - WC T20 Semis Update

Contrary to (my) expectations, Lankan Lions did not roar. Lankans had entered Semis underlining their consistency in major tourneys, in the last few years. They are the finalists in last 50 over WC as also last T20 WC – hence thought, this finals also would figure them. England have a poor record of not appearing in the finals of major tournaments and expected them to choke. On their side, England have lost only match thus far, that too a rain marred one to WI.


Jayawardene  won the toss and elected to bat – with rain looming large and somewhat tricky surface – ideal conditions for bowlers; English men bowled professionally throttling the line up and wickets fell at regular intervals.


The 1996 WC saw the resurgence of Jayasuriya playing the first 15 overs of WC in a way none had dared earlier – turning the career of Defreitas and Manoj Prabhakar into spinning ways. Not any longer ……………. At 1.1 the ageing Jayasuriya, a pale shadow of himself departed; perhaps the last time in the international arena, though he had expressed to play in the next year WC – caught at second slip for 1; 2.6 – another yester star Dilshan went trying to hook, ending in sending the ball high, caught brilliantly by Wright of Bresnan. At 4.1 Jaywardene got out to Broad; the last ball of the 9th over of Swann – Sanga hit straight to the throat of Pietersen. Lankans struggling at 47/4 in 9. Angelo Mathews played another innings of character and scored 58 of 45; taking Lankans to a paltry 128 for 6.
For records the target never stretched the English men, who completed the victory in 16 overs losing 3 wickets with contributions from Kieswetter, Lumb & Pietersen.


For India, it was another blow as Indian women lost to Aussies in the semi finals. India scoring 119/5 could not halt the Aussies who scored the needed runs losing only 3 wickets. The Aussie captain
Alex Blackwell lead from the front scoring 61. For those who might have some interest, the inaugural edition of Women T20 was won by England last year beating New zeland at Lords on 21st June 2009.


With regards – Sampathkumar S

Thursday, May 13, 2010

the story of cash transportation by a Bank in Pondy to their Chennai RO

Dear (s)

All establishments handle huge amounts of cash – these could be cash drawn for payment wages, salaries, petty cash; business collections taken for depositing into bank and more. This is exposed to perils of fire, burglary, snatching, hijack, robberies, armed dacoity & more….

Remember Mani Ratnam’s hit film ‘the plot was the stealing of fresh printed bank notes of an incredible 1000 crores value from a train by the henchmen.’ ……….. Unlike movies, the money from establishments would be taken through bustling highways, crowded streets – may not always be in the best possible manner. Usually, the office peon takes them to the bank – in olden days in his bicycle and then in two wheelers, putting them in their side boxes – sporadically, loss of cash by diverting their attention, stealthily taking away from the box, snatching and even threat at knife point would get reported. Bigger companies would adopt professional security cover from Firms who have well trained staff, good fleet of vehicles, armed guards and so on, depending upon the amount involved.

There is one catch; sometimes, there could be un-accounted cash transaction, or purchases requiring predominantly cash. These firms could employ ingenuous methods. Quite often they say that employees of Gold & Diamond purchasers travel like common men in public transport carrying cash in traditional yellow cloth bags !

All Insurers have a Policy covering Cash – whilst inside the premises (in safe) and whilst in transit. Most well drawn policies would specify at least one end of coverage – could be from the premises to bank and vice versa; between various premises; from collection centres to premises and various other possible combinations. Besides, there could be singular transaction / movement of huge amount of money. Many a times, banks carry huge amounts of money from their chest to their branches and for replenishing ATMs

The Insurance premium would generally be calculated on the value of transactions throughout the year and would have a single carriage limit, mode, manner and some details of armed guards accompanying etc., Some suggestions on the precautions to be taken whilst transporting huge amounts of cash seem straight lift from a movie : Never go alone, never transport at night; never stop your vehicle for giving a lift to a passerby, use at least two people; don’t count the cash in open; be on the look out in the neighbourhood – the person cutting grass may not be all that innocent, as also the other man whose car has a flat tyre and requires help. Those who regularly transport huge money need to be procedural but should not be using the same method, way, route, drivers, accompanying persons - avoiding becoming regular and noticeable.    There are also other precautions like – plastic till guards, smoke and dye money packs, bullet resistant glass and smoke filled screens, time delay safes etc., - all come at a premium. But in our country, many a times caution is thrown to wind, as we have a pre conceived notion that it ' shall never occur to me ' .

I had earlier written about the experience of a Trichy based jeweller during Aug 2008. They were transporting 3.72 crores ($ 826666 @ 45); the vehicle was stopped in a place near Veppur by somebody posing as police cop; the occupants were forced to open the door, they were tied and pushed into the vehicle. Cash was shifted to another vehicle and assailants fled away. TN Police could break this case and arrest all the culprits involved (including two employees) and recovered 1.50 crores in a swift operation.

Recently, there was another incident reported (Times of India 12/05/10) when a cab driver drove away with 1 crore; Police were able to apprehend the vehicle and recover 80 lakhs of cash. A nationalised bank ws to transport cash from their Puducherry office and deposit it into their Regional office at Anna salai. They hired a car from a travels operator and got into a Tata Indica keeping the cash in the trunk. The driver aware of the money being transported, devised a plan, stopped the car abruptly enroute stating mechanical snag. The employees accompanying the cash got down to push the car and some passer by also lent helping hand. The car sped away, leaving behind the employees who lodged a complaint. The Neelankarai PS alerted the checkposts on ECR and a special team found the vehicle abandoned. Major amount of cash was recovered.; 20 lakhs was reportedly missing. The owner of the cab was taken into custody and interrogated upon.

The cab owner was taken into custody. He will be interrogated for information about the whereabouts of the driver. The balance might never get recovered.

Unlikely that this was insured as many a times Bankers do not opt for comprehensive coverage and singular transits of these nature generally go unreported. The ending may not always be happy as those affected would have found out.



With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Hazards of transporting Cash

Dear (s)                                                                                                               
(This incident occurred during Sept 2008 and was shared on e mal with my friends on 24/09/2008)


Transporting cash from one place to another is a hazardous activity and many traders do carry cash in huge quantity. Though plastic money, money transfer and so many other modes are available, business community do transact their business in cash. When organizations need to transport money in bulk quantity, they carry it in locked boxes in vehicles of Security agencies, escorted by armed guards. There are even armoured cars enabled with GPS that would facilitate remote locking of cash chest inside.

Not so safe all the time. For many a times, the money that is being moved may not be accounted at all or the transaction would require hard cash. The firms then employ ingenious methods in moving cash - quite often the person carrying would look innocuous and would
do without any accompaniment or security. There will not be insurance protection for such types of transporation, primarily because the parties would not want any record of the transaction involving movement of huge cash. Not a happy story all time and sometimes, they do land up in great trouble just as a Trichy based jeweller experienced recently. On Aug 10th, they were transporting 3.72 crores (approx -$885700) in hard cash from Trichy to Chennai, when the van was stopped in a place near Veppur by somebody posing as policeman. The occupants were forced to open the door, tied and pushed into the vehicle. They escaped after shifting the cash into their car. The van was abandoned near Trichy.

A heist is a slang North American term for a type of robbery. One incident of notoriety was the robbery at the Lufthansa at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Dec 1978 when an estimated $5 million in cash and $875,000 in jewels were stolen touted as the largest cash robbery ever committed on American soil. In our own country, the Chelambra bank robbery in the Malappuram district of Kerala is considered to be one of the biggest and most sensational bank robberies in the crime history. During 2007, , the robbers made a hole in the floor of the South Malabar Gramin Bank and got away with 80 kilograms of gold and 2,500,000 rupees, a total value of 80 million Indian Rupees. In a swift operation the Kerala Police apprehended the culprits and recovered almost 80%


There were not many clues in the 3.72 crore robbery at Veppedu, near Villupuram but Police had a lucky breakthrough. The accused boasted of his new found wealth in a drunken stupor in a TASMAC (Govt. shop selling liquor) leading to the arrest of all the four culprits involved in the case. On Tuesday, the city police announced the arrests, including that of two employees of jewellery shop, for their involvement in looting the cash from the van. Police have recovered a Maruti Omni and Rs 1.50 crore. It is stated that the two employees had eavesdropped owner's conversation of shipping a huge amount to Chennai for buying gold jewellery. The two had
sought some financial help from their employer earlier and were angry as it was denied.

The recovery of Rs.1.50 cr should certainly bring lot of cheer to the owners and credit to the TN Police for this swift operation.


With Regards
S Sampathkumar

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

T20 WC 2010 - the semi finalists

The semi final line-up is clearly drawn and India cannot grudge. Indians have displayed unwanted consistency in losing.


In the second version at England, India lost all its matches in Super 8. India scored 153/7 and lot to West Indies (156/3); England scored 153/7 and Indians fell 3 short 150/5. In the third match of no significance, South Africans successfully defended a measly 130 and won by 12 runs. Indians returned home empty handed.

This time the result was the same; though the opponents and the host were different. India lost to Aussies, Windies and then caved to Lankans.

Humiliation awaited the Host as they flopped to 105 and crushed to a defeat. Clarke’s men did not need a win but were not prepared for any compromise. In the earlier match Lankans went for a win – though Jayawardene and Jayasuriya fell cheaply, Sanga set up the chase, Mathews took them closer and Chamara Kapugedera sealed with a six off the last ball. India started off well with 50 in 5.5 and second 50 followed in 38 balls; Gambhir scored 41 off 32 and Raina flourished to 63 off 47. In the end, score of 163 was not enough. Debutant Vinaykumar removed Jaya for a nought and Lankans needed 25 off last 8. Indians bowling attack has proved to be a weak link and today, it was the inexperienced Vinay who suffered, though he had bowled well till then. In the penultimate over, fifth ball was hit for a six by Kapugedera and the next was a four,reducing the equation to 13 off the last over bowled by Nehra. Mathews hit a six of the first ball; 3 off 2 and Mathews was run out at 19.5. last delivery went for a six taking away India’s pride. Earlier in 14th over Yusuf had been hit for two sixers

In the first Semis England would take on Lankans on May 13 & on May 14, Aussies play Pakistan.

With regards – Sampathkumar.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

WORLD CUP T20 - SEMI FINAL LINE UP ; WILL INDIA MAKE THE CUT ??

The T20 WC is interestingly poised; India has qualified for the Semis and would meet Aussie at Beausejour Stadium, St Lucia.


In Yesterday’s match – England sustained their winning momentum beating Kiwis. Chasing 150 for victory, England made it pretty easily edging Kiwis out in the process. Earlier Pak had ousted SA and England had assured place even before the match began. Pakis leapfrogged to next stage with a solitary win.


Pak made 148 /7 with Akmal brothers in a good partnership. Langeveldt was impressive with 4/19. SA made 137 for 7 – Ajmal took 4/19


Whether it was Pak’s ability to defend small totals or it was SA’s reputation of falling short in crunch matches, is very hard to fathom out. For a regular viewer, the way SA went about their task was too difficult to swallow. Kallis with all the big name in IPL plays abominably slower when the situation warrants and was one the main culprits. The on slaught was planned too late and hitter like Albie came in too late. AB devilliers shone with a four and two successive sixers in Rehman’s over raising hopes – a score of 47 in four was made inexplicably out of reach. He tried a scoop squatting on the ground and trying to hit the ball over his head, ended up hitting it slightly above Kamran. Johan Botha displayed great heroics but Boucher and Albie could not. Saeed Ajmal bowled the last over when 17 was required and Albit scampered for one off the first. It was a tale of failure by Smith, Gibbs & Kallis in consuming balls.


Strangely, Pak with only this win could still make it to the Semis. The position as of date is :


The tourney rules are as under :
In the event of teams finishing on equal points at the end of the Super Eight Series, the right to play in the semi-final will be decided in the following order of priority:
• The most wins in the Super Eight Series matches.
• If there are teams with equal points and equal wins in the Super Eight Series matches then in such case the team with the higher net run rate in the Super Eight Series matches will be placed in the higher position.
• If following the net run rate calculation above there are teams which are still equal, then the team with the higher number of wickets taken per balls bowled in the Super Eight Series matches in which results are achieved, will be placed in the higher position.
• If still equal, the team which was the winner of the head to head match played between them will be placed in the higher position.
• In the highly unlikely event that teams cannot be separated by the above this will be done by drawing lots.


Net Run Rate
A team‟s net run rate is calculated by deducting from the average runs per over scored by that team throughout the relevant portion of the competition, the average runs per over scored against that team throughout the relevant portion of the competition.
In the event of a team being all out in less than its full quota of overs, the calculation of the net run rate of both teams shall be based on the full quota of overs to which the batting team would have been entitled and not on the number of overs in which the team was dismissed.
Only those matches where results are achieved will count for the purpose of net run rate calculations.
Thus if India can beat Lankans by least 20 runs if they bat first or with 3 overs to spare on batting second will enhance their NRR as also their chance of qualifying. Again, it depending on Aussie handing out a defeat to Windies even by a run.
Now coming back to the first para, It is factual. Indian Ewes have qualified and the 1st Semi is at St Lucia on 13/05 (0130) against Aussie. The second match is between WI & Kiwis. Finals is to be played at Barbados on May 16.


India beat SL by 71 runs (India 144/3 ; SL 73/9) at St Kitts; Offie Diana Pilli David hailing from Chirala, Andhra with 4/12 was the player of the match.


Regards – Sampathkumar S

Monday, May 10, 2010

loving one's language and concept of mother's day


Dear (s)

There was some significance attached to 9th May 2010.   Aping Western culture, this day was sought to be celebrated as ‘Mother’s day’. Ascribing importance and significance to a day – attaching it to honouring  Mother is nothing wrong from one perspective. In another,  it is simply commercial exploitation of sentiments. Mother’s day is celebrated in various parts of the World on different days – though many countries celebrate it on the Second Sunday of May (9th May happened to be one)

In US, read that Mother’s day is an annual holiday that recognises mothers, motherhood and maternal bonds in general, as well the positive contributions that they make to society. Anna Jarvis of West Virginia is credited to founding this concept in USA.

A part of India also follows the footstep. Some send gifts to their mother and send greeting cards to them. Whilst an individual’s way of celebration need not be commented upon, it is alien to our culture where we always respect Mother and most of us live united with our parents taking care of all their needs throughout the year and there is no show required on a given day.

Tamil literature is replete with respect and passion for one’s mother, mother language and mother country. Here is how Avvaiyar starts her ‘Kondrai venthan’.





Of late have been testing my skills in Tamil and understood that the basic foundation is not all that good. I have tried to refresh the basic of the language and its grammar, which is called very tough. Please do read my post below on tamil grammar and learning tamil.

Happy reading and look forward to your response.

Regards – Sampathkumar S

India crashed out of WC - news from West Indies

India in West Indies – seemingly not gelling together. In the ninth edition of the tournament, there were total 51 matches played and much before the real tournament began, Indians were knocked out of the tournament and had to pack their bags for home. The right to hold the tournament was gained through ICC’s rotational policy and the Cup tourney was being held for the first time in the Caribbean land.

The 16 competing teams, the largest ever contingent initially were divided into four Groups – India vied with Lankans, Bangladesh and new entrant Bermuda. (Australia, England, Newzealand, South Africa, West Indies, India, Pakistan, Sri lanka, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Canada, Kenya, Ireland, Nederlands, Scotland and Bermuda.

To wipe out your confusion, this is all about the 2007 ICC WC held between 13th March to 28th April 2007. India & Pak went crashing not even reaching the Sup 8 – Aussie, Kiwi, SL & SA clashed in Semis – Aussies defeated Lankans in the finals.

India’s disastrous campaign started on 17/3/07 at Queens Park Oval, Port of Spain when Indians succumbed to Bangla – all out for 191 and Bangla scoring them losing only 5 wickets. Against the little known Bermuda at the same venue, India scored 413/5 with century by Sehwag and getting them for 156. In the crucial match against Lankans, India chasing 254 were all out for 185 in 43.3 overs.

A similar fate beckons Dhoni’s men this time. For a semi berth, India lost to Aussie pretty badly and yesterday Chris Gayle went agonisingly short of scoring another ton but providing a tall score. Indians floundered against pace and short ball yet again.

For regular followers, the difference in standards between IPL and International was too obvious. Was there any difference in the attitude too would be a serious question to ponder !!!

After Gayle’s gale, the Windies pacers delivered barrage of bouncers; Darren Sammy & Dwayne Bravo discomforted them initially. Vijay looked out of sorts; Gambhir yet to rediscover his form. Rohit got a dubious decision and Indians were facing the wall again. Briefly a respite appeared on when Raina and Yuvi chased but not good enough. Yusuf continued to struggle and Dhoni was not elegant. The end was a 14 run defeat. Lack of quality bowler and planned batting was evident.

The victory augurs well for Windies but they still will have to bat Aussie to ensure a place in Semi. If Lankans win on Tues alongside Aussie, it would be those two teams for the next slot. The last tourney was marked by low spectator turn out due to various reasons – primer being the cost of the tickets. This time the turnout are much bigger. Though there could be theoretical hope with a win against the Lankans, the discomfort would end soon for the relief. Perhaps not the best of bowlers bowling at you (as was in IPL) is revealing the cracks in the armour. Time and again, playing overseas, the chinks become too evident.

In the second match Aussie displayed their class scoring 168/5 and beating Lankans by 81 runs. A resounding win brought about by Dirk Nannes and Johnson. Randiv bowled very well and but for a great knock from Craig White could have been in trouble. With another win of great force, Aussies are virtually guaranteed of a berth in Semis and perhaps the WC itself.

Regards – Sampathkumar.

Jelly Bean in Cricket

Dear Cricket lovers,                ( Aug 2007 incident at England)

Good news is that India won the Test convincingly but there were frayed tempers. Reports suggest that the Match referee Ranjan Madugalle would be speaking to the rival captains on several incidents of poor behaviour from both teams.

Madugalle told Press : "The most important thing is for the captains to realise their responsibilities and for that to cascade down to the rest of the team. People should remember the game for the quality of cricket that is played, that is the bottom line."

Nice words but when it comes to action, it is one sided; loaded heavily against the Asians (never mind even if you have an asian match referee)

Public memory is short lived. Please recall what Mike Denness did after the Second test against SA in Nov 2001 – disciplined 6 players including Sachin and banning Veeru for one match for dissent.

The win was overshadowed by the British Tabloid which underplayed the jelly bean prank, sledging but over played Sreesanth's shoulder-barging Vaughan. Sreesanth was duly fined 50% of his match fee. England down the barrel was not able to digest the nosedive and tried to steer the sour contest to sweetness by placing tiny nuggests of confectionery at the shortleg infuriating Zaheer. Only the subsequent bat waving made news. Just why the bean was deployed, and who was responsible, did not become the subject of debate as also the more serious continuous sledging by Matt Prior & team. Poor Khan felt the beans to be an insult - the sugar-laden confectionery perhaps was a pointed reference to his weight, a much-commented-upon subject among observers of the game!

The affair began after Khan arrived at the crease and edged his first shot through the slips for four, leading to further banter from England's close-in fielders. Zaheer claimed close fielders had deliberately strewn jelly beans around the crease. Even after he had started batting, he explained, they had continued to harass him by throwing more sweets towards the stumps. Wonder what this jelly bean is all about ??
Jelly beans are a type of confectionery that comes in many different (primarily fruit) flavors. They are small (the size of a red kidney bean or smaller) and usually have a hard candy shell and gummy interior. The confection is primarily made of sugar.

Jelly beans are a favourite among cricketers not only as an energy boost - they also help turn saliva sugary, which makes it easier to polish the ball.

With regards
S Sampathkumar

Friday, May 7, 2010

WC T20 - Super 8 : India in deep trouble against Oz

An India Aussie match and if India loses, the 21 year old Ravindrasinh Anirudhsinh Jadeja is most likely to be made the villain. 
Dhoni won the toss and decided to bowl stating that there would bit of swing for the fast bowlers at the early morning start. But India has gone in with only two pacers – Zaheer & Nehra.  Dhoni opened with Harbajan and the first over was a maiden.  Second one of Nehra went for 12; another tight one by Bhaji.  Fourth over Jadeja came to bowl – 4,5,6 all went for sixers by Watson.  He came back in the 10th over and the first three disappeared into the stands – now hit by Warner. His two overs costing 38. 
End of over 16 – Aussie cruising at 161/2 and score of 200+ was within the realms of possibility.  Yuvraj and Ashish Nehra bowled the death well and there were no sixes in the last four – Aussies finished with 184/5 –having conceded 16 in the first 16. 
At the time of posting this, India is looking down the barrel with 3 gone for 17 after 3.4 (Murali, Gambhir and Raina back in the pavilion) 
Regards – Sampathkumar.

One more century recorded in T20 - WC 2010

Even those who closely followed IPL may not remember Umesh Yadav – lanky pacer from Vidarbha who played for Delhi Daredevils. Praveeen kumar has been injured and though this lad was not even in the panel of 30 probables, he reportedly is to fly to Windies as a replacement. His ability to hit 145 kmph and bowling Yorkers reportedly has clinched him this.
                                                      (courtesy : times of India)

I had written earlier of the fact that there were only two hundreds in 150 T20s and this WC has already seen the no. doubling. First Raina and then Mahela helped themselves to pleasing centuries and yesterday another one added up.


WC has moved to the next level – round prior to Semis played by 8 teams – In the first match England chasing 147/9 made by Pak, scored runs easily losing only 4 wickets. Pietersen displayed power hitting making 73 off 52. England were helped by some floppy fielding by Pakis. The match started with a six off Sidebottom who has been leaking runs, Pak off to a good start but fall of quick wickets put them on the backfoot. Afrid was run out in the first ball he faced. The fielding of England was also below standard.


In the other match, Albie Morkel slog raised the bar and New Zealand were beaten. He hit five sixes – 3 coming in a single over from Southee.


Not many would be following the Womens T20 happening at the same venues involving 8 countries: WI, SA, Aussie, Srilanka, Pak, England, Newzealand and India. India is in the half with NZ, SL & Pak. At St Kitts, India lead by Jhulan Goswami lost to NZ by 10 runs. Chasing 140, India ended up at 129 for 8. Mithali scored a lonely 44.
Photo courtesy : cricinfo


If you are wondering about the title still, Deandra Dottin of the West Indies became the first woman to score a Twenty20 century, making a whirlwind unbeaten 112 off 45 balls. Her century had come off 38 balls. Having come in the tenth over, she recorded the fastest century with her second fifty coming off 13 balls. Gayle & Brendon have achieved the men’s fastest 100 with 50 balls. She smashed nine sixes and seven fours. The target was a stiff 176, which the Proteas were not able to make, folding at 158.


Indian women have two more matches – against Pak (8th) and Lankans on 10th.


Regards – Sampathkumar S

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Getting entangled in the mire created by self - not the fault of yes men !!!

Dear (s)

Life has moved a longway away from villages, joint families, small industrial houses to a more complex Corporate Business houses and Multinationals spreading their tentacles into every nook and corner and trying to enter every sphere of activity whichever could generate some revenue.

Modern Companies have a documented set of broad guidelines formulated after an analysis of all internal and external factors that could impact their objectives – commonly known as Corporate Policy. This determines the strategy and directs its response to situations. This stems out of the fundamental drive to orient the actions to the Company’s goals.

In any Organisation, the talent and skillsets of individuals are different; there would always be different people (sometimes indifferent people), different learning styles; teaching styles; management styles; attitudes; communication levels. The Company is inanimate and functions through MEN at higher echelons who direct the Company and those under them. The growth as against the potential is directly dependent on the Organisation leaders. Modern leaders are quite ambitious and are open to ideas. Corporates spend huge amounts in researching and finding out the market trends, market opinion and some amount of it comes from within the Organisation as well. Men at top are good risk takers and keep looking for opportunities to excel.

Good bosses constantly keep all channels of communication open, receive loads of inputs and succeed by assimilating whatever is good for themselves and for the Organisation. All these sound good, but to make them happen, quality inputs from various knowledgeable sources are required; that would not happen when you have only ‘yes-men’ around. It is not their fault, but your fault for it reflects that you are not prepared to listen to anything bitter.


Great poet Valluvar says the world would abide by secure under the umbrella of a King who can endure words bitter to his ear.


With regards – S Sampathkumar.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Here is an interesting article of Devdutt Pattnaik read in Economic Times (23042010)/ Corporate Dossier - titled “Curse of Kingship” which stated that while leaders often dislike yes men, they forget that its their own behavious that prompts people to act in the manner they do.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Chandragupta Maurya once complained that he was always surrounded by liars and sycophants. How he wished to have honest people around him .His teacher ,Chanakya, laughed and said, Its the curse of kingship. A king has a sword in his hand and everyone who stands around him is acutely aware of the sword. No one knows how it will swing So to save themselves they end up lying and flattering the king. It is the fear of a kings moods and opinions that shapes the behaviour in court. Yes, you hate the liars and the sycophants ,but who created them You, only you, by simply being the king.


Thomas, an investment banker was preparing for his presentation late into the night .His wife asked, Why are you worried Are things looking up or down Thomas replied, The market is looking up and the company has nothing to worry about. I am worried about how to present it to my boss so that he does not think less of me. He is constantly judging me. If you present a growth rate more than what he feels, he will mark you as a dreamer. If you present a growth rate that is less than what he feels, he will mark you as unimaginative. Either way one is doomed. One is always defensive in front of him and has to always strategise what one has to say.


That very night, Thomas boss, Cyril, was telling his wife, People in front of me tell me what I want to hear. I want to hear the truth, what they actually feel about the market, their jobs, our work. But it never happens. Cyril does not even realise that he is influencing the scene before him. He is, inadvertently, the puppet master .He is the observer creating the observation.


In an apparently logical and rational world, we forget how the behaviour of people in power influence the behaviour of people reporting to them. We can make grand statements that we allow juniors to dissent but the juniors know that dissent rarely makes them popular. It takes a rare breed of people to be able to separate the issue from the person. Often the critic is a marked man. The marks appear in the appraisal.It is the king who created the yes man in court; it is the boss who created the yes man in the corporate world. We look down upon the yes man but his actions stem from fear. He is afraid that if he actually says the truth, his head will be chopped off. So he tailors his dialogue such that it pleases the boss.


A good leader has to be sensitive to the power he holds over his followers. How do they reflect his behaviour How he is, in a way, responsible for the way they behave If they agree with him all the time, it is more often than not an indicator that he does not like dissent. If they disagree with him all the time, it does not mean that they actually disagree with him; it can be that they have found he appreciates disagreement and so by disagreeing with him, they are simply trying to win his approval. He has to be able to create an atmosphere where the issue is being addressed and it is not the boss who is being managed.Perhaps that is the reason one often hears legends of Akbar and Birbal venturing out secretly in the city dressed as commoners to find out what was really happening; the Mughal Emperor clearly did not trust official reports. He knew they were influenced by fear of the kings sword. Even the gods often approach devotees in disguise. In the Maa Santoshi Vrat Katha, the goddess takes the form of an ugly ,old, diseased woman to check if the piety shown by her devotees is genuine or not. Even the gods know that the expressions and declarations made in the temple are not to be trusted.


The author is the Chief Belief Officer of the Future Group who decodes the wisdom of mythology for modern times.