Mehekti Khushboo
Ideally, a musical biography will send you back to familiar recordings, to rehear them with fresh knowledge and insight. Such was definitely the case with me after I read Bollywood Melodies – A History of the Hindi Film Song by Ganesh Anantharaman. As a connoisseur of Hindi music I thought I had heard and read it all, over the years, as far as Bollywood music was concerned – right from listening to recordings of Mortal Men, Immortal Memories and reading of Yesterday’s Melodies, Today’s Memories. But this book was a revelation. The author has delved deep into the very evolution of the Hindi film song. His knowledge of Indian classical ragas has positioned him better to relate many of the songs to the correct raga, which was of great interest to me.
There are many fascinating details on quite a few of the great personalities that made interesting reading. Like Madan Mohan’s addiction to sophistication making him lose track of the appropriateness of the score he was composing for the film. This made his songs seem out-of-sync with the film’s storyline, though for sheer melody, they were a class apart. For instance, the song ‘Dil Jalta Hai’, sung by Mukesh, was not approved by the producer of the film Pehli Nazar. It was the singer who pleaded that if the audience rejected the song, he (the producer) could scrap it. The song created history and Mukesh emerged the winner after four years of struggle. Or for that matter Gulzar’s unusual lines that raised many a literary eyebrow when he wrote the song ‘Humne dekhi hai un aankhon ki mehekti khushboo’ in Khamoshi, a film that launched him as a lyricist. Dekhi hai…khushboo made little sense. Many more of such anecdotes are scattered in the book which make very interesting reading.
The author is in awe of most of his subjects and it shows. There are some interesting interviews with Dev Anand, Pyarelal, Gulzar, Lata and Manna Dey; the last named is characteristically blunt when he says that RD Burman was a more versatile and original composer and that many songs credited to SD were actually composed by RD. At most points, I was so elated reading it that I had a smile on my face. Overall, a must read and an extremely useful book as a reference. – Anand Desai
(The author is an investment banker who learnt the tabla for many years and is a great aficionado of Hindi film music.)
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Market Outlook_Issue 19th June
For several issues now, this column has warned that the rally we had seen would be a false one. This has been the case. In the issue dated 5 June 2008, when the short-term decline commenced, we said that the Sensex would fall and probably take support at anywhere between 16,370 to 16,400. At the time of writing this article, the Sensex stands at 16,348. This column makes its forecasts based on weekly charts and the week is yet to end. The index could close the week near the current levels as there is a good previous support here. If it declines further, the next support levels are 15,340 and 14,994. These are the likely short-term scenarios, but the long-term trend is still up.

India Foils
Market Price: Rs19
Target Price: Rs330 to 340
Period: 2-3 years
In 1990, India Foils traded at around Rs100. Since then, right until early 2000, it declined steadily and touched its lowest point in the period between mid-2001 and early 2003 when it formed a base at about Rs4.80 on the monthly charts. Since then, the stock slowly emerged from its lean years to make a peak of Rs20.45 on the monthly charts at the end of August 2005. This level had acted as a resistance once before and as a support level in December 1998 and October 1999. From the high of Rs20.45 at the end of August 2005, the stock declined again and formed a base of about Rs eight between 2006 and 2007. Thereafter, it rose to touch Rs20.65 at the end of December 2007. Here is an instance of long-term resistance lines holding up after which the stock declined to about Rs14.70 at the end of March 2008. Since then, it has risen to its current level of Rs19.55 and is poised to cross the resistance of Rs20.65 even on the weekly charts. This is a long-term rounding bottom play. The key to trading these patterns successfully is to be patient. The stock may rise to its previous all-time high of Rs100 when the entire rounding bottom pattern is completed. But this may take as much as three years.

Coromandel Fertilisers
Market Price: Rs129
Target Price: Rs190
Period: 3 months
This is a short-term play. Coromandel Fertilisers stayed flat until about mid-2003 when it came out of its base level of Rs12.70 to reach a high of Rs33.73 at the end of December 2003. The stock then declined to around Rs21 at the end of March 2004, after which it resumed its rise to reach Rs96.80 at the end of April 2006. Subsequently, it declined to Rs59.80 at the end of July 2006 and rose again to Rs89.80 at the end of January 2007. Note that it did not cross its previous high of Rs96.80, indicating a weakening of the uptrend. It declined to Rs65 at the end of March 2007. Here again the stock did not touch or cross its previous low of Rs59.80, indicating that there was a distinct lack of downward momentum.
The stock rose once again; this time, it touched a high of Rs120.95 at the end of September 2007 convincingly crossing its all-time high of Rs96.80. Joining the highs of its two previous peaks of Rs96.80 and Rs89.80 and its two previous bottoms of Rs65.00 and Rs59.80, we get a triangle, out of which the stock broke through to Rs120.95. From there, the stock declined to Rs105.85 at the end of October 2007. It rose again, but the rise was terminated at Rs128 at the end of February 2008. After declining slightly to Rs117.40, the stock climbed to a high of Rs135.05. The earlier rally from around Rs65, the subsequent decline in January-February and the rise thereafter to Rs135.05 makes this a ‘two-step rise’. The stock is now poised to start another rally that will complete this two-step rise. The rally should end at Rs180-Rs190 levels in about three months. – Anirban Banerjee

(The author invites your comments. Please mail him at:[email protected])

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Seductive Killer

Unit-linked Insurance Plans come in many varieties, like tulips, but could turn out to be weapons of mass wealth destruction. Debashis Basu and Shailendra Lotlikar expose the truth behind ULIPs

Mutual funds (MFs) aim to generate only returns, whereas a unit-linked insurance product (ULIP) offers insurance plus investment returns. What an attractive idea! Investors are putting thousands...

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