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Sunday, January 31, 2010


Dear (s)

The otherwise meek surrender by Bangladesh in the recently concluded 2 Test series was not at all surprising but in the second test, Rahul Dravid went down clutching his jaw hit by a Shahadat Hossain Bouncer. A bloody injury which will keep him away from the South African Test. A man known for his organized defence once had to bear the brunt. In the recent series, Ponting had one nasty blow from Kemar Roach, which perhaps raised his bid in the IPL auction.

Why is red cherry so dangerous !!! -

Cricket balls weigh not less than 5 1/2 ounces/155.9g, nor more than 5 3/4 ounces/163g, and shall measure not less than 8 13/16 in/22.4cm, nor more than 9 in/22.9cm in circumference. The red cherry hurled at 100 mph can be devastating as it gives less than a fraction for the batsmen to decide its trajectory, height and the length and react on whether to duck, defend or hook.

A cricket ball is a hard, solid ball made from a core of cork [Cork material is a subset of generic cork tissue, harvested for commercial use primarily from the Cork Oak tree], which is layered with tightly wound string, and covered by a leather case with a slightly raised sewn seam. The covering is constructed of four pieces of leather shaped similar to the peel of a quartered orange, but one hemisphere is rotated by 90 degrees with respect to the other. The “equator” of the ball is stitched with string to form the seam, with a total of six rows of stitches. The remaining two joins between the leather pieces are left unstitched. The manipulation of a cricket ball, through employment of its various physical properties, is the staple component of bowling and dismissing batsmen – movement in the air, and off the ground, is influenced by the condition of the ball and the efforts of the bowler.

The weapon of the fast bowler is the bouncer (bumper) a type of delivery, pitched short so that it bounces short of the batsman and rears up to the chest or head height. Good pacers drive the batsman to the backfoot and make them defend the ball improperly so that it would pop up in the air, setting up a catch in the close in fielding positions. Aiming at the batsman's head without bouncing on the pitch, known as a beamer, is illegal. Good pace bowlers were able to set up two players in the deep, bounce, have the batsmen go for the hook – ending up in the throat of the fielder stationed there for the miscued pull or hook.

A batsman may play a bouncer in either a defensive or an attacking way. Sunil Gavaskar was adept in playing a rising delivery with a soft hand making it fall dead in front and not carrying to the fielders. There were known good hookers like Vivian Richards, Gordon Greenidge, Kim Hughes, Mohinder, Kapil and our own Krish Srikkanth. Shorter batsmen like Sachin sometime have the advantage as they could harmlessly fly over or at times they will have to jump to defend. Modern batsmen employ shots playing them over the keeper and slips and sometimes in one dayers, they would even get into the line and swat it over the leg side.

Well – the bouncer is it savagery or an armour of the pacer. Cricket game is tough and many have had injuries struck on face, head, shoulder and hand by the red cherry. In 80s when the windies pace battery was at its savage best, many batsmen left the field bleeding through the nose !.

In 1976 the last test was almost forfeited by Bedi with more batsmen visiting the hospital than in the pitch felled by brutal Holding and Wayne Daniel, more as a retort for that loss in Port of Spain when Indians successfully chased 405 in the fourth innings. In 1983, Mohinder had his teeth falling on ground – yet displayed audacious courage in hooking Holding for sixers. Vengsarkar had his share. Later Srikkanth had his fore arm fractured by a rising Bishop delivery.

Way back in 1961, Charlie Griffith felled Nari Contractor by a bouncer and he battled for life. Ewan Chatfield was once struck by a bouncer and almost lost his life. Malcolm Marshall was fiery when he bowled round the wicket targeting the body more than the wicket and once Mike Gatting had his nose bruised. There are many occasions of Aussie pacers hitting the batsmen on head. Pakis were not far behind. In a friendly match in India, Miandad was hit by a Denniss Lillee bouncer and remained in the hospital not knowing the condition of the match. Justin Langer was struck on head by Ntini and Mcgrath felled Shivnaraine Chandrapal.

Fast leg theory, the deliberate and sustained bowling of bouncers aimed at the body, was a tactic used by England against Australia in 1932/33, dubbed the Bodyline series by the Australians. This controversial tactic caused the Laws of Cricket to be reformed to prevent any recurrence.

Generally there is an unwritten agreement that pacers do not hurtle bouncers at tail enders but all this would change depending on the desperation of the bowler and the fielding side.

The terrible fearsome Holding, Roberts, Crofts, Garner, Marshall, Bishop, Ambrose, Patterson all could hurtle at great pace and make the ball climb awkwardly not only from a short length but at times coil it up from close to good length, making the life miserable for batsmen.

The modern day spectators watching on TV may never understand the  fear down the spine and the trouble of facing the pacer with a lengthy run up – early day Lillee, Thompson, Lever, Willis, Holding, Patterson, Imran Khan, Wasim Akram – when the batsmen had less of protective gear. Batsmen without helmet shuddered playing them on green top and could blows all over the body – that makes the efforts of Mohinders all the more gutsy. Gavaskar in the dusk of his career had a protective head gear. Legend Vivian Richards did not sport a helmet, still could swat the fastest ball gracefully or with brute power. In olden days, there were some batsmen who would withdraw towards the square leg umpire at the sight of a fast bowler.

For long long time, Indians were only at the receiving end, getting hit by bowlers. This happened even in Indian soil. Remember during 1978 when a depleted West Indian side toured India, in the chepauk test, Vengsarkar threw his bat in protest unable to hold on to the barrage of bouncers from Philip and young Marshall. Indian opening bowlers were primarily asked to take the shine off and were not expected to take wickets.

At Faislabad in 1978 something great happened – a gawky youngster burst short balls to Majid Khan and Sadiq Mohammed forcing them to call for helmet. Once worn, another bouncer screamed past and the next hit the helmet with a thud making the wicket keeper Kirmani and other close in fielders scream without belief.  An Indian bowler hurting the batsman with pace !! something not many even had dreamt of. The face of Indian cricket changed much after that with the advent of the great KAPIL DEV NIKHANJ – though he had to battle most of his career on lifeless tracks without much support from the other end. Now a days we have many like Srinath, Zaheer, Ashish Nehra, Ishant, Sreesanth bowling clocking 145 kmph at times and hurrying the batsmen with their well directed bouncers.

We still look to a day when an Indian bowler would bowl closer to the speed barrier of 100 MPH i.e., 161 kmph and harry the batsman.

If you liked this post, please do record your feedback here in the box.

Cricket lover : S. Sampathkumar.


Dear (s)

Here is the link to the issue : -  BLISS 012010

We have been celebrating Child Fest for nearly 2 decades now. The idea to do something to school students in making them develop competitive spirit and awareness made us initiate this. This has grown over the years and we have more than 100 schools participating with individual numbers going above 3000. Childfest has become an event wide talked about and winning prize in the competition certainly makes news in the school circle, promptly reported in their school magazines.

We have an exclusive event sponsor “Gold winner” this time. The Fete is on 6th & 7th of February and the venue is “The NKT National Girls High School” Dr Besant Road, Chennai, Triplicane, Chennai – 5. The invitation and details are available on page 3. All are cordially invited to attend. SYMA Members are requested to volunteer themselves for smooth conduct of the event.

This issue also contains something on :

• IPL Auction by Richard Madley.
• Derecognition of deemed Universitites and Delhi High Court introducing e court rooms.
• Some misconceptions on the Himalayan glacier melting
• Most of us have enjoyed playing cricket in the marina beach but by a stroke of a rule, Govt has banned play there. An article on cricket at Marina.
• January saw salaried individuals burdened with more tax with tax on benefits but a body generating so much of revenue tries to evade tax by taking cover under ‘ charitable activity’.
• Our monthly Q this time is about a Nobel laureate, nay not on DR Venkatraman Ramakrishnan but of somebody whom India could boast of as the first. Who was he ? What was the field of activity ?
• The Bhopal gas disaster was a catastrophe from which many are yet to come out but here in Chennai, the company which has so far not provided rightful compensation sponsored an cultural event. Some details of this.

All this more in our issue. As usual look forward to your feedback

With regards
S Sampathkumar (Editor – BLISS)

PS: For those of you new, SYMA is a social service organization of more than 3 decades of existence. BLISS is the voice of SYMA and yours truly has been the Editor since inception for more than 6 years now.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


As you travel by city transport corporation bus you would hear the conductor shout ‘icose’…. ‘aicose’  ~ ~  A popular Quiz Question is ‘ what is  the connection of Narendranath to Tudor ??’… !!!!

Narendranath Dutta was born on 12/1/1863 – he became the chief disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. He is best known as Swami Vivekananda – who introduced Vedanta & Yoga in Europe and America and is considered a major force in the revival of Hinduism in modern India. His inspiring speech at the Parliament of the World's Religions at Chicago in 1893 beginning with "sisters and brothers of America" would ever be remembered.

Frederic Tudor (September 4, 1783 - February 6, 1864) was known as Boston's "Ice King", and was the founder of the Tudor Ice Company. During the early 19th Century, he made a fortune shipping ice to the Caribbean, Europe, and even as far away as India from sources of fresh water ice in New England. The Tudor Ice Company harvested ice in a number of New England ponds for export and distribution throughout the Caribbean, Europe, and India from 1826 to 1892.

Tudor ice was harvested at various places. It would be too difficult to comprehend that in the 1790s only the elite had ice for their guests. It was harvested locally in winter and stored through summers in a covered well. Ice production was very labor intensive as it was performed entirely with hand axes and saws, and cost hundreds of dollars a ton. In later years ice was used to preserve food and began a commodity.

Tudor built a house in Chennai for preservation of ice in 1842 and this came to be know as “Ice house”. A prosperous advocate of Madras High Court Mr Biligiri Iyengar bought this property and renamed it ‘Castle Kernan’ – a famous Justice. Apart from being his residential quarters, this house served as a shelter for poor and educationally backward students.

At Parliament of Religions

When Swami Vivekananda returned from Chicago, he was given a rousing reception and Biligiri Iyengar being a disciple of Swami offered the house for the stay of Swami in 1897. Swami Vivekananda was taken there in a grand procession, and stayed there from February 6 to 14, 1897 and delivered seven electrifying lectures.

Swami’s disciples set up a permanent centre and mission activities continued till 1906 at which point of time, the property changed hands. In 1917, Ice House was acquired by the Government of Madras as part of their social welfare scheme after which the house functioned as training school for women and a hostel for widows.

the building - Vivekananda House / Ice house

Ice House was named Vivekanandar Illam by the Government of Tamil Nadu in 1963, the centenary year of Swami Vivekananda. On 6 February 1997, the Government handed over the Illam to Ramakrishna Math on lease to set up a permanent exhibition on Swami Vivekananda and the cultural heritage of India. The exhibition was opened to public on 20 December 1999.

A few years back there were reports that the Govt. was contemplating taking over the property perhaps for the Tamil Language centre. This was denied and subsequently it did come up in another place on the Beach road proximate to V House. The extended lease for 10 years was about to terminate and ending the uncertainty over the fate of the lease agreement of Vivekananda House, the Tamil Nadu cabinet recently approved the extension of the lease with the Ramakrishna Mission. The lease has been extended for another 10 years to 2020.

The Mutt authorities and followers of Swami Vivekananda are happy that the mutt activities could go unhindered for some more time. It is reported that the Mutt has so far spent nearly Rs 1 crore to renovate the building since it acquired possession, without altering the building’s architecture. A cultural exhibition is open to the public on all days here except Wednesday. Meditation and yoga classes are also held.

Happy to be in the land where Subrahmanya Barathi, Swami Vivekananda, Subramanya Siva, Tilak, VO Chidamabaram – Kappal ottiya thamizhan, C. Sathyamurthi and many eminent personalities resided /  visited.

A happy triplicanite
S. Sampathkumar.

Friday, January 29, 2010


In the recently concluded Second Test at Mirpur, Bangladesh flattered to deceive with a strokeful 151 by Tamim. At one stage they were one down for 220 + but catapulted to 312 all out with Zaheer finishing with 7 for 87. In the first essay, India declared at 544 for 8 aided by centuries by Sachin (143) and Dravid (111) before he retired hurt. From a position of relative strength to utter disarray in the space of half an hour - that was Bangladesh's story on the final day of the series in Mirpur. From 290 for 3, they lost six wickets for 14.

This win was 5th series win in a row since the loss at Lanka in July 2008 – since then we have beaten Aussie, England & Lankans at home ; Kiwis and Bangla away. Against Bangla, we have played 7 – won 6 – 3 of them by an innings + this one when two were needed.

Zaheer’s impressive 7 in an innings is the 9th instance of Indian fast bowlers taking 7 or more. The legendary matchless Kapil had done in 5 times while Lala Amar Singh, Javagal Srinath and Irfan Pathan have done it once each. Amar Singh had a stupendous 7 for 86 against England at MCC, Chepaum, way back in Feb 1934 in Test no. 232 which England won. Here is the list of best Indian bowling performances in terms of no. of wickets in an innings.

Now India braces up for match against South Africans at home. There will be 2 tests : 1st at Nagpur (Feb 6-10) & Second at Kolkatta (14-18) There also would be 3 One dayers : 1st at Jaipur on Feb 21; Second at Kanpur on 24th and third at Ahmedabad on 27th being a day night affair.

The Indian team has some surprises primarily arising out of injuries of Rahul, Yuvi, and Sreesanth. Tamilnadu batsman S Badrinath is virtually assured of a test debut as he is one of the only 6 specialist batsmen in the squad. Prasanna Wriddhiman Saha, the diminutive keeper comes in for Dinesh Karthik whilst the young Abhimanyu Mithun is in the national squad. Laxman perhaps is carrying an injury.

India squad for first Test: MS Dhoni (capt/wk), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, S Badrinath, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha, Ishant Sharma, M Vijay, Sudeep Tyagi, Abhimanyu Mithun, Wriddhiman Saha.

The long injury list meant the selectors picked the squad only for the first Test and would reassess the fitness of players and the performance of the replacements before naming the side for the second Test. Dravid fractured his cheekbone after getting hit by a Shahadat Hossain bouncer in Mirpur, was advised three weeks' rest and is out of reckoning for the second test also.

Mithun, had a sensational debut this Ranji season taking a hat-trick in his first match, led Karnataka to the final, and ended as the leading wicket-taker, scalping 47 at 23.23 apiece. Mithun started his cricket career rather late and has been a name in the domestic circuit troubling many batsmen with shortballs, slipping in Yorkers and generating some pace. He bowled extremely well in the semis against UP and in the finals against Mumbai.

Over the past decade, plenty of Indian quick bowlers have made their international debut but most have struggled to keep up their pace. It’s a long long time since we had a Kapil in our ranks – a great bowler even on unfriendly wickets coupled with poor catchers. He was the one who would earn his place in any team with his bowling alone and his hurricane hit was always a bonus. Sad India has not had an allrounder filling his boot after so many years of his hanging his boots.

Hope one day we have another gaggling youngster hurtling pace making the batsmen hurry and contributes with the bat also.

With regards – S Sampathkumar.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Dear (s)

At some point of time, you sure would have admired the pristine beauty of Marina beach – the sandy shore than runs from Fort St George to Besant Nagar. This beach has a long history. This was conceived in 1884 and christened by Mountstuart Elphinstone Grant-Duff, the then governor of Madras.

The beach was famed for its beauty, ambience and rich eco system but stands a lot polluted though a part of it has been beautified by successive Governments. Crowds throng the beach on holidays and in summer to enjoy the cool sea breeze.  On the road side, many stone statues, some of them installed during the Tamil World Conference adorn the area. Poets Kambar, Ilango, Avvaiyar, Thiruvallur, Bharathiyar, Barathidasan stand amidst Kannagi, Gandhiji, Kamarajar, Nethaji Subash Chandrabose, Annie Besant, Swami Vivekananda, actor Sivaji Ganesan along side the triumph of Labour.

It took great efforts on the part of an individual – a freedom fighter – a long drawn legal process to have the prestige regained for a place of monumental historic importance.

This is all about a Writ Petition filed under Article 226 of The Constitution of India praying to issue a Writ Mandamus filed by Freedom Fighter PN Srinivasan, Founder Trustee of Gandhi Darshan Kendra om the High Court of Judicature at Madras numbered WP 4609 of 2009 and MP 1 of 2008.  This writ petition was a Public Interest Litigation filed and the Honble Mrs Justice Prabha Sridevan & Mr Sathyanarayanan passed an order on 11/9/2009 directing the Govt. to install the plaque opposite the Presidency College near the historic place known as "Tilak Ghat" or "Thilagar Kattam".

“The historical significance of "Thilak Ghat” was well explained in the affidavit where the Tamil National poet Mahakavi Subramania Bharathi sang three National patriotic song to enthrall the audience of about more than 5000 people. This happened at Tilak Ghat at Triplicane. The silver bed of Marina Beach at Madras was the venue where the great national leaders like Balagangadhara Thilakar, Lala Lajpath Rai, Bipin Chandran Paul, Mahathma Gandhi, Subash Chandrabose, C.R. Doss, Mahakavi Bharathi, V.O. Chidambaram Pillai and others made their clarion call to the people of the land to raise against the British rules. In 1908, Subramania Siva, a core patriotic and friend of Subramania Bharathi have named this part of the Beach in Triplicane opposite to Presidency College as Tilak Ghat. The Government of Tamil Nadu has issued notification in the 40th Year of Independence in that, a special mention about the Thilakar Ghat has been made. Whenever Mahathma Gandhi visited Madras, he used to address big patriotic meeting at Tilakar Ghat. In 1919, March 18th and 20th, he delivered two speeches on his Sathiyagraha plans against British Government’s Rowlat Bill. Both the meetings were presided over by Shri S. Kasthuri Iyengar, Editor of the Hindu and Shri Vijayaraghavan, a leading lawyer. Due to Gandhiji’s ill health, his speeches were read by Mahadev Desai on both these occasions. In the same year, Gandhiji was invited to address a public meeting at "Thilakar Kattam" organised by Madras Sathiyagraha Sabha. During 1920, on August 12th, Mahathma Gandhi spoke on non−cooperation movement at the same venue, i.e., Tilakar Ghat opposite to Presidency College. The popular traveler and author Mr. A.K. Chettiar (1911−1983) Editor of Tamil Magazine "Kumari Malar", wrote several articles with the caption "Under the foot step of Gandhi Annal", where he has written about the meeting that had taken place at Thilakar Kattam. Tilakar Ghat is a place where great leaders have addressed meetings to attain independence. This place has a very great significance in our freedom struggle with a heritage value.”

The petitioner wanted this place to be declared a national monument and that monument to be erected at the same place so that the future generation would understand the sacrifices made by the forefathers for the freedom of the Nation. It was contended that it was at this very place in March 1819 Mahadev Desai read out the sterling message from Mahatma Gandhi calling upon the people to make sacrifices and made two promises, one of which related to the withdrawal of the Rowlatt Bill.

In 1987, on the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of India’s Independence, the Government of Tamil Nadu issued a Gazette Notification under the heading of "Tilak Ghat".

The Government has indicated that it, "is striving to bring back the lost glory and beauty of Marina Beach and has taken a policy decision in this regard, to maintain the entire stretch of the beach without any structure or construction. Relentlessly this Gandhian has been knocking the doors of Court and in 2004 had filed a writ on which the Court directed the Chief Secretary of the State to dispose of the representation of the petitioner.

When no construction would be allowed to come up, the petitioner submitted for erection of a plaque visible to all.  The Govt. after careful consideration decided to declare the stretch of sands in front of Presidency college be declared as "Tilak Ghat" or "Thilagar Kattam", and to commemorate the 26th January 2010, the 60th anniversary of Republic by putting plaque at that place (in English & Tamil)

It is very gratifying to note that this has been complied and this plaque now adorns Marina.

All of us need to appreciate the untiring efforts of Gandhian PN Srinivasan and the decision of the State Govt.


With regards – S Sampath kumar.

Here are photos showing the installed plaque in English and Tamil

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Some time back in Dec 09 there was a news item of car going up in flames on GST road, near Chennai Airport. This had come to the airport for pick up but went up in flames. A case of self-ignition ; a peril covered under Motor Comprehensive policy.

Automobiles contains many types flammable materials, including flammable liquids like petrol and oil as well as solid combustibles such as upholstery. Fuel leaks from ruptured fuel lines also can rapidly ignite. An automobile has multiple potential sources of ignition including electrical devices that may short circuits, hot exhaust systems, and modern car devices such as air bag detonators. The car batteries also pose unique hazard.
A vehicle fire is not very common but once in a while there are reports of undesired conflagration / uncontrolled burning. When there is fire the obvious materials that burn are the wiring insulation, plastic and polymer materials, fibre glass, hydrocarbon fluids, rubber tyres etc.,
For a fire to occur there should be :
• Some material heated to its ignition temperature.
• adequate supply of oxygen (air).
• propagation path for the fire.

In the city of Chennai, of late vehicles going up in flames have been reported sporadically and this Monday morning (25/1/10) seven 2 wheelers parked in an apartment close to Sri Parthasarathi temple went up in flames.

The vehicles were completely gutted. The flames went so high that the walls were blackened and soot marks were visible everywhere on the three storey building. The gutted vehicles were removed immediately to avoid media glare. Police sources stated that the fire was sparked off by a short circuit in electric motor. It was reported that the residents had dumped waste papers near the motor and the vehicles were parked close to the motor. A spark due to a fluctuation in power could have ignited the papers and the fire could have spread to the vehicles, the police said.

The residents tried dousing the flame with sand and water and Fire service was also alerted but vehicles were gutted.

In a similar incident during Dec 2009, four vehicles, including a lorry, in the Whites Road area were damaged in fire – though the damages were somewhat restrained.  Many such incidents were reported in the areas of Kodambakkam, Vadapalani and North Chennai.

Quite often the short circuit is stated to be the cause of all fire incidents where the exact cause could not be zeroed in. But when this happens, the electricity supply gets stopped and there would not be lights or other appliances functioning. A short circuit is an abnormal low-resistance connection between two nodes of an electrical circuit that are meant to be at different voltages. This results in an excessive electric current of the rest of the network and potentially causes circuit damage, overheating, fire or explosion.

The cause of loss could also be malicious / arson. Arson is the crime of deliberately and maliciously setting fire to structures. There also a theory that this could be the handiwork of mendicants or deranged persons who freely roam around in the city. Some sources also say that these people get kick (another form of alcoholism) by smelling the petrol contained in the tanks and if they are also smoking a beedi or cigarette, the hazard is all the more dangerous.

Ensure that your place is free from all such hazards.

Regards – Sampathkumar S

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

PLATE GLASS INSURANCE - Simple Subject matter; - Complex Solutions

In modern construction, we often see buildings with façade of glass standing out impressively. These ‘glass houses’ have lots of plate glasses fixed on trusses which are exposed to the perils of breakage, especially by vandalism and wind related perils.

Plate glass by definition is - a strong rolled and polished glass containing few impurities, used for mirrors and large windows. This would include glasses ground and polished, clear glass in thick sheets used for shop windows, mirrors, etc.

By process, plate glass is a type of glass which is cast in a solid plate, typically through a roller process. The resulting glass is extremely flat and free of distortions. This type of glass is often used to make windows, and it is also utilized in the manufacture of mirrors, tables, and other objects which require extremely flat glass. There are a variety of different weights of plate glass available, ranging from incredibly thick and highly durable plate glass to more delicate varieties.

Initially we understood the subject matter only to be those glasses in the show rooms, display windows of shops etc., but now a days all sorts of glasses – tourniket doors, glass doors, big French type windows, glass panels facading building and a host of others are insured under this head.

These are insured under various policies viz., Fire, Package Policies, Plate glass insurance policies etc., Quite often, at the time of a claim (i.e., after breakage of a glass) the question crops as to whether the indemnity should include various other expenses like transport costs, cost of fixing, labour charges etc., As these could exceed the value of the glass itself, there could be serious differences which lead to arguments and dissatisfied customer.

Of course there is clarity that wherever it is not specified, the glass is meant to be ordinary non embossed, non lettered ones and any special ones will have to be so described.

One interesting aspect found is that, this policy takes reference to the proposal in a very clear way. The operative clause of the common Plate glass Policy reads “ The Company agrees that if at any time during the Period of Insurance, there shall be any breakage (excluding damage by scratches) of any of the Glass in the Premises and specified in the Schedule, the Company will pay or make good to you the intrinsic value of the Glass up to the total value specified in the Schedule against each item respectively. An additional amount not exceeding 5% of the admissible claim will be payable towards boarding charges of the damaged area however this amount is subject to overall limit of indemnity laid down under the Policy.

It further adds that “This policy has been prepared in accordance with the answers given and the declaration on the proposal form signed by the Insured and any other information provided to the Company by the Insured.

The Policy, the Schedule, the Exceptions, the Conditions and Endorsements shall be read together as one contract and any word or expression which carries specific meaning shall bear such meaning throughout.” The Insured and the Company agree that the Proposal shall be incorporated in and be the basis of the contract”

So the first argument on coverage Vs non coverage of the extra expenses is dictated by the golden rule :


Now going back to the proposal, the details called for and proposed are that of “particulars and measurements” and hence generally represent the value of the glass only. Having proposed only the price of the glass, the indemnity should be limited to the price alone is a natural corollary. However, there are occasions where a thoughtful aided by a good Broker provides either the landed cost or the expenses for fixing the glass at the place sought to be insured, in which case, the indemnity should be considered accordingly.

INDEMNITY AS DEFINED IN THE POLICY: - the policy states expressly that “All salvage glass shall be the property of the Company, and must be carefully preserved. It shall be at the option of the Company either to pay to the Insured the amount of the intrinsic value in money or to make replacement with glass of a similar manufacture and quality.”

Though the option of providing replacement is never exercised and is frought with dangers, the value of a similar replacement is what is talked about. As could be seen the reference here is to the intrinsic value which should be the plain value of the glass. Intrinsic value is a Finance World term and relates to stocks - there it connotes the actual value of a security, as opposed to its market price or book value.

Perhaps the intention in insurance in relation to Goods / property being the subject matter insured could be that we are talking of its physical value and not any sentimental value that could be attached to it. We are perhaps trying to define the value of the product irrespective of the holder’s perception, which could be more relevant in case of curio.

Personally, I maintain that it should always the landed cost or the cost at the insured location which would include the transportation and handling costs and cost of fixation or labour costs wherever specifically included that should form the basis of indemnity.

The Policy is guided by General Exceptions of which some important are : : Breakage of Glass caused by Fire or Explosion; War invasion and like, STFI and convulsions of nature, breakage of cracked or imperfect glass, damage to frame work, cost of removal or replacement of any fitting or fixtures in order to replace glass.

Quite interestingly there could be claims for breakage of glasses arising out of "fluctuation in temperature". Quite understandably, in peak summer, Shops and Establishments do run their air conditioners to the maximum cooling the room internally. One side of the glass could be exposed to the heat and Sun light. There would be heat induction leading to expansion and possible compression due to cooling. Though shattering of glasses have not been regularly known to be reported, there could be one odd claim.

Though there is no intention to cover this vagary, it is unfortunate that the policy has no express exclusion on this aspect.

It is inappropriate that there is no express condition of average also – though this being a basic principle – is being applied at the time of claims.

As cited earlier, the policy provides for expenses upto 5% of the admissible claim towards boarding charges. What constitutes boarding is not clearly defined.

The reference to ‘ board and lodging’ is quite inappropriate here. In that context - lodging is a place in which someone lives or stays temporarily and board is the provision of regular meals when one stays somewhere, in return for payment or services. So, lodging is the place where you stay temporarily, and board is your food.

What is intended here besides the reimbursement of full replacement cost, the additional expense of repairing frames, installing temporary plates or boarding up openings of plate glass windows.

Hope you found this post interesting and informative. In case you have views to the contrary, please do share.

With regards – S Sampathkumar.

Monday, January 25, 2010


In this commercial world, people often get carried away by the advertisements. Quite often, we see products being endorsed by cine and sports icon and the market sales queering up. This form of communication in print and electronic media is a multi crore industry. The Advt. usually includes the name of the product or service and how it would be of service or benefit to the consumer. By branding and repeatedly flashing them on screen, Companies create an image that the product is far superior that others without having any scientific base to that claim.
While MNCs make money, the Prime Minsiter’s Office is embroiled in an controversy and had to apologise on a full page advertisement issued by the Women & Child Development Ministry. An internal inquiry stands ordered into the lapse.  "The Prime Minister's Office has noted with regret the inclusion of a foreign national's photograph in a Government of India advertisement," the media adviser to the prime minister said in a statement.

The advt. reading "Where would you be if your mother was not allowed to be born?" - issued by the government's Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP) for the ministry on the occasion of National Girl Child Day had inexplicably included the photograph of former Air Chief Marshal Tanvir Ahmed, who was Pakistan's air chief 2006-2009, along with such national heroes as Kapil Dev, Virender Sehwag and Amjad Ali Khan. Ahmed had retired from PAF on March 18, 2009. With television channels playing it up, the government quickly ordered a probe into the faux pas.

But an unrepentant minister for women and child development Krishna Tirath defiantly refused to accept the blunder and accused the media of hair-splitting. She said the "message is more important than the image. The photograph is only symbolic. The message for the girl child is more important. She should be protected." She also claimed that the DAVP looks at advertisements minutely before release and that it was a photo of an officer in uniform and no name was mentioned.

Certainly we do not need any PAF Officer when we have meritorious and more handsome senior officers in IAF and other services. They could easily have used the photo of any of our Army Chiefs. Some say that this was a case of mistaken identity trying to place the photo of Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore of the Indian Army.
This certainly is a shame on the authorities and some head at a lower level would roll for this, whilst everybody else would go scot free and everything forgotten in a few days.

With regards – S Sampathkumar.

Saturday, January 23, 2010



India - the Maha Bharat  is a great Nation where humanity has lived since ages. The month of January creates an aura of patriotism as Republic Day falls in this month.
After independence, laws were based on modified colonial Govt. Of India Act 1935 – a draft Constitution was prepared by the committee and submitted to the Assembly on November 4, 1947. The Assembly met, in sessions open to public, for 166 days, spread over a period of 2 years, 11 months and 18 days before adopting the Constitution. After many deliberations and some modifications, the 308 members of the Assembly signed two hand-written copies of the document (one each in Hindi and English) on January 24, 1950. Two days later, the Constitution of India became the law of all the Indian lands. The Constitution of India came into effect only on January 26, 1950. Following elections on January 21, 1950, Rajendra Prasad was elected as the president of India. This was, in fact, a deliberate act, signing the constitution on January 26, to mark and respect the freedom fighters who wanted January 26, 1947 as India's initial Independence day.
Thus on 26th January, 1950 that Republic of India was formed and the Constitution of India came into force. Over these years India has come a long way in overcoming various obstacles and hurdles to rejoice in the moments of triumph, glory and the pride of being an independent nation. Republic Day reminds us of the fulfillment of the pledge that was made on the midnight of Independence as a "tryst with destiny". Republic Day is celebrated with much enthusiasm throughout the country. The patriotic fervour of every Indian on this day brings the whole country united. To honour the occasion, a grand celebration is held at New Delhi, the national capital. The celebrations begin with spectacular presentation projecting India's military prowess. The President of India - unfurls the National Flag, followed by the National Anthem. The different regiments of Army, Navy and Air Force march in-synchrony from Rashtrapati Bhavan, along the Rajpath and reach the India Gate saluting the President of India, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces. This is followed by a massive parade by other military troops including State Regiments and Paramilitary Forces of India. A spectacular presentation from different parts of the country representing different folk dances, festivals, historical locations is displayed next. Soldiers who have performed exceptionally are awarded the bravery medals: Param Veer Chakra, Veer Chakra and Maha Veer Chakra. National Bravery Awards are given to children who have performed outstanding deeds of bravery and selfless sacrifice. A streak of jet planes of Indian Air Force; leave a trial of coloured smoke, showering rose petals on the spectators marking the end of the grand day.
Every year we have a Head of another Country as dignified guest. This year 2010, it would be the President of South Korea – Lee Myung bak.
The festivity extends to State Capitals and all Administrative places where parades are held. In Chennai also the Republic day parade is a treat to the eyes. One would feel patriotic and very happy to see the jawans, naval cadets, air force, CRPF, coast guard, NCC and Police cadets marching past.
The real spirit behind such a grand celebration is not only to celebrate India's secularism and democracy but also to make every Indian feel proud of our rich culture, languages, dialects, traditions, customs and religions that makes India a marvellous multi-cultural country. Let's all come together and feel proud, identify ourselves as true Indians, and not to a particular religion or caste. Let's take a pledge deep inside our hearts to promote one feeling, one religion and one thought: of Being a true Indian.
Jai Hind
S Sampathkumar

Here are some photos showing the RD Parade preparations in chennai


Wednesday, January 20, 2010


We live in a civilized world – in a complex society characterised by International trade, urbanism and market capitalism. It is believed that there are powerful Governments in existence and that offenders are punished. Centuries ago, there was a Welshman – Bartholomes Roberts who captured or sunk over 400 ships.

This plunderer was killed by the British and law restored.  When it comes to transporting material in huge quantities – it is the Ship and there are bulk carriers which transport material in bulk (unpacked). An oil tanker, also known as a petroleum tanker, is a ship designed for the bulk transport of oil. Oil tankers are often classified by their size as well as their occupation. The size classes range from inland or coastal tankers of a few thousand metric tons of deadweight (DWT) to the mammoth ULCCs of 550,000 DWT.

Early December 2009, another oil tanker on its way from Saudi Arabia to the US fell victim to Somalian Pirates – hundreds of miles off the coast of Africa. Here are some details of the Greek tanker Maran Centaurus

Ship Type: Tanker
Year Built: 1995
Length x Breadth: 332 m X 58 m
DeadWeight: 299900 t
Speed recorded (Max / Average): 14.1 / 14 knots
Flag: Greece [GR]
Call Sign: SXOT
IMO: 9073050, MMSI: 239696000

It was reported that a gang of nine pirates hijacked the Greek-flagged 300,000 tonne supertanker on Sunday 800 miles (1,287km) close to the Seychelles.

It is touted to be one of the largest vessels seized by Somali pirates, who regularly mount attacks on some of the 20,000 ships that pass through the Suez Canal between the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean each year. This attack prompted warnings that the seas from the Suez canal to the Seychelles would soon be too dangerous for insurers to underwrite cargoes passing through the area. The facility of this operation underlines the ease with which pirates can prey on ships far out to sea despite dozens of European Union, Nato and other warships.
Interestingly here is another view of piracy, though not entirely acceptable. It states that Piracy in waters off Somalia did not start with the influx of capital and ideas from a criminal organization, the first Somali pirates were satisfying a basic need. Fishermen faced with a dimishing fishery caused, in part, by pollution of the Gulf Of Aden started catching less fish. This was not the only motivation of early pirates. Supply and demand would have compensated for the decreased stock considering that Somalia currently has the 7th highest birth rate in the world but with grain subsidies to Africa driving down food prices throughout the continent, coupled with the increased cost, mostly fuel related, of operating a fishing boat, the Somali fishermen began having trouble meeting the most basic needs of their families. Soon a few turned to piracy and, once they proved it to be successful, then criminal organizations moved in. ofcourse there would never be any justification of adoption of unethical means even for just ends, and this is no article aimed at teaching ethics.

Worst was store for the owners and operators of the vessel as this vessel known previously as Astro Centaurus, could ill afford any fire fight. Pirates typically use guns and rocket-propelled grenades in their attacks and some vessels now carry private security guards, but according to experts it is not the practice in oil tankers where it is a case of a ship filled with flammable liquid and nobody wants somebody with a gun on top of that. It is feared that even a prolonged delay could cause loss of millions of dollars owing to volatile movement in prices.

Somalia, which has been without a functioning government since 1991, and has been a lawless State - Horn of Africa has become a haven for pirates and insurgents. They held another super tanker Sirius Star with 318000 tonnes was worth a fortune at $ 100 million approx and was released on para drop of reported $ 3 million. A boat filled with pirates capsized after they left the Sirius Star. Five reportedly drowned. One body washed ashore with a plastic bag containing $150,000 (close to 70 lakhs in Indian Rupees)in cash. There was another stash in MV Faina.

The recent one beats them all as a jackpot t with a reported ransom of record $6M . It is now reported in BBC and other media that the vessel Maran Centaurus alongwith its crew of 28 were released after the dropping of ranson on board the ship. The tanker was carrying about 275,000 metric tonnes of crude. At an average price of about $75 (£46) a barrel, the cargo is worth more than $20 million. 

These uncouth uneducated robbers operate purely business and not as any political movement and this multimillion dollar pay offs is turning out to be the most lucrative economic activity in Somalia. The pirates are turning more and more sophisticated, ruthless and hard bargainers. The range of the gangs is increased by the use of mother ships from which smaller, faster skiffs with outboard motors launch their attacks.   Just to strengthen their bargaining capacity, they use delay tactics and this vessel was released after 50 day ordeal despite reports of gun battles between factions over sharing the booty.

Though the actual amount would seldom be confirmed there are reports that the Greek warship FS Salamis monitored the situation and there were two helicopters which intervened the dispute between the pirates in sharing. Two planes delivered huge bundles of cash pushed out of the back of one with a parachute – though the brokers also use bank transfers or speed boats sometimes.

The tanker management Maran Tankers Management Inc stated that its crew os 9 Greeks, 16 Filipinos, 2 Ukrainians, and a Romanian — are safe and well. It is also reported that the tanker left Somalia escorted by a Greek frigate and headed towards Durban.

It does not augur well for the Shipping industry or the peaceful countries that the attacks in the region have significantly increased though there is false happiness that the success has gone down owing to strong presence of international forces.

With regards – S Sampathkumar.