Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
The Fury of the Monsoons

A first hand photo essay of the Mumbai rains which furiously lashed the city late evening on 3 September 2012.

As rains lashed Mumbai on 3rd August, I had my first ever experience of the legendary fury of the Mumbai Monsoon which bring this busy metropolis to a grinding halt at least once or twice every season.  This time, it happened in as late as September – a record for Mumbai. 
The intensity of the downpour was increasing from 3 pm and by 5 pm we began to get reports that the usual trouble spots of Milan Subway at Santacruz, Hindmata theatre at Dadar and other low lying areas were flooded. We were warned that the intensity of the rains would increase and sure enough it decided to hit Mumbaikars hard when they were returning home. In fact, it really intensified only after 6 pm as we trooped out of office.
The flooding of Mumbai has a lot to with the tides and the good news was that the 141.8 mm downpour did not coincide with high tide. 
I got into a cab, and rain was pouring blindingly, I just got busy with my iPhone. The cab was crawling along slowly, but at least it was moving.  Then suddenly I rolled down my window and realised that water had reached the door level and was slamming the car.  On the one hand the cab seemed to float on water, on the other there was smoke curling out of the engine and it seemed ready to explode. I quickly paid off the taxi, rolled up my trousers and began to walk towards Bandra.
On reaching Bandra, I decided to go up to the Skywalk to get a view of the city struggling to cope with the fury of the rain gods! The city was busy and vibrant as usual. 

After a while it seemed as though the intensity had reduced and I joined the long march of people wading to their homes even as the water was slowly draining off.  While people kept moving, the cars weren’t all so lucky. I noticed a Honda Civic and a Toyota stranded in the middle of the road, adding to the chaos.  They were towed away after the water flooding St Paul Road at Bandra had receded. 
Three hours later… I was home, a distance that I usually cover in just over 30 minutes. It was a surreal experience and I couldn’t help but wonder what Mumbaikars must have gone through on 26th July 2005 when an intense cloudburst hit the city with deadly ferocity. 



Johnson Creado

5 years ago

Seven years back on that July evening, I was stuck in a BEST bus under the Kalanagar flyover at Bandra East. I, along with the other passengers, spent the night in the bus, which had water nearly up to the seat-level.
Passengers ventured out of the bus the next morning when the waters started receding. The WE Highway was full of stranded cars and people walking home. It was an experience to remember.

Tech Mahindra buys Hutch's BPO arm for $87.1 million

“The acquisition will provide significant enhancement of Tech Mahindra’s expertise in the customer management space and will be a key component of strategic plans going forward,” Tech Mahindra said in a statement


Software services major Tech Mahindra today announced the acquisition of Hutchison Global Services (HGS) for an upfront payment of $87.1 million (about Rs480 crore), reports PTI.
“Tech Mahindra announces the acquisition of 100% stake in Hutchison Global Services for $87.1 million, payable upfront,” Tech Mahindra said in a statement.

The acquisition will provide significant enhancement of Tech Mahindra’s expertise in the customer management space and will be a key component of strategic plans going forward, it added.
The deal will also enable Tech Mahindra to leverage the acquired capabilities and scale for expanding the scope of their existing services to other parts of the Hutchison group and to other customers and verticals, the statement said.
HGS, which provides customer lifecycle operations to clients in UK, Ireland and Australia, has over 11,500 employees. It operates out of Mumbai and Pune and is among the largest captives in the telecom domain.
“This acquisition is in line with our growth plans and is a logical next step in extending our relationship with Hutchison. We are committed to this opportunity and excited about the possibilities this acquisition opens up,” Tech Mahindra executive vice-chairman Vineet Nayyar said.
As part of the deal, clients of HGS have committed to procure services worth $845 million over a five-year period, and have agreed to HGS being their exclusive provider of certain agreed services in India.
“Hutchison’s focused service portfolio combined with our domain knowledge, geographic spread and execution excellence will help us become the undisputed leaders in this space, and extend these services to other verticals and markets,” Tech Mahindra managing director C P Gurnani said.


Sensex, Nifty yet to find direction: Tuesday Closing Report

The market has settled into a low-range trading


The market, which was in the negative for most part of the trading session, picked up momentum in post-noon trade and settled near the day’s high on select buying. Yesterday we had mentioned that the indices are presently directionless and a big move will help it find direction. We continue to maintain the stance. Although the Nifty covered more than yesterday’s loss, the index made a fresh low of the current downfall which began on 24th August. The benchmark moved in a narrow range today. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) saw a volume of 51.66 crore shares and the advance decline ratio was 945:696. 
The market resumed trade on a soft note as tracking the weak Asian markets in morning trade. The Nifty and the Sensex opened five points down at 5,249 and 17,379, respectively. Lack of any fresh domestic triggers kept the market sideways in the negative till the noon session.
Selling in select sectors saw the market fall to its intraday low at around 12.50pm. At this point the Nifty went down to 5,233 and the Sensex dipped to 17,308. However, the benchmarks recovered from the lows as buying in blue chips boosted sentiments.
The indices were firm in late trade as buying activity expanded, despite subdued trading in the European markets following Moody’s downgrade of the Eurozone rating outlook to ‘negative’.
The benchmarks hit the day’s high at the fag end of the session with the Nifty rising to 5,278 and the Sensex climbing to 17,453. The market closed near the high-point of the day. The Nifty gained 20 points to 5,274 and the Sensex added 56 points to settle at 17,441.
Among the broader indices, the BSE Mid-cap index closed 0.53% higher and the BSE Small-cap index gained 0.39%.
The top sectoral gainers were BSE Realty (up 1.59%); BSE Oil & Gas (up 1.19%); BSE Power (up 0.92%); BSE Power (up 0.92%); BSE Consumer Durables (up 0.89%) and BSE Metal (up 0.83%). The two losers were BSE IT (down 0.05%) and BSE Healthcare (down 0.04%).
Of the 30 shares in the Sensex list, 18 settled in the positive. The top gainers were GAIL India (up 2.60%); Jindal Steel (up 2.44%); Reliance Industries (up 1.87%); Tata Motors (up 1.71%) and Tata Steel (up 1.41%). The losers were led by HDFC (down 1.54%); Cipla (down 1.47%); Tata Power (down 1.28%); Bajaj Auto (down 0.98%) and Sun Pharma (down 0.61%).
The top two A Group gainers on the BSE were—Indiabulls Real Estate (up 7.61%) and Torrent Power (up 6.89%).
The top two A Group losers on the BSE were—AstraZeneca Pharma India (down 3.35%) and Castrol India (down 3.20%).
The top two B Group gainers on the BSE were—Nath Seeds (up 19.92%) and Shree Rama Multi Tech (up 19.87%).
The top two B Group losers on the BSE were—Riba Textiles (down 14.29%) and Sharon Bio-Medicine (down 13.82%).
Out of the 50 stocks listed on the Nifty, 32 settled in the positive. The top gainers on the Nifty were GAIL India (up 2.69%); Jindal Steel (up 2.47%); Jaiprakash Associates (up 2.41%); Reliance Industries (up 2.33%) and Tata Motors (up 1.95%). The key losers were IDFC (down 1.86%); HDFC (down 1.83%); Cipla (down 1.44%); Tata Power (down 0.97%) and Sun Pharma (down 0.79%).
Markets across Asia closed mostly lower on concerns about economic growth—both within the region and across the globe—as weak indicators recently showed. Downgrade of the Eurozone rating outlook by Moody’s also weighed on investors.
The Shanghai Composite declined 0.75%; the Hang Seng dropped 0.66%; the Jakarta Composite fell 0.31%; the Nikkei 225 lost 0.10%; the Straits Times slipped 0.19% and the Seoul Composite settled 0.29% down. On the other hand, the KLSE Composite and the Taiwan Weighted added 0.01% each.
At the time of writing, the key European indices were down between 0.29% and 0.76% and the US stock futures were mixed.
Back home, institutional investors continued to pull out funds from the equities segment on Monday, as well. Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of funds totalling Rs54.79 crore and domestic institutional investors were net sellers involving Rs160.70 crore.
State-owned NTPC is awaiting nod from the Arunachal Pradesh government for its proposed Rs1 lakh crore hydro power project, a top company official said today. As per its policy, the state government is believed to have asked NTPC to make an upfront payment of about Rs400 crore for setting up the project. The stock gained 0.80% to close at Rs170.15 on the NSE.
Elecon Engineering Company, a manufacturer of material handling equipment and transmission products, has received letter of intent from Tecpro Systems for the supply of equipment worth Rs26 crore for a project in Andhra Pradesh. The order involves design, engineering, manufacture and supply of equipment for Apgenco-Rayalseema Project-914. Elecon closed at Rs42.95 on the NSE, up 1.92%.
Shriram City Union Finance on Tuesday said it is planning to raise up to Rs500 crore through a public issue of secured non-convertible debentures. The NCDs are proposed with a face value of Rs1,000 each and the public issue opens on 12th September. The funds raised through the issue would be used for the company’s various financing activities and to repay their existing loans. The stock rose 0.45% to close at Rs765.55 on the NSE.


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