Monday, March 29, 2010

Outcast actors and under privileged in Malayalam film industry

I have only heard about days when lower caste people will have to bow before upper caste land lords and  work hard for the pittance the land lord may give.Land lord will enjoy life like anything and all the toil and hardship are destined to be  the right of lower caste people.

Today there is actually no lower castes.Every one get equal opportunity to come up in life and the so called lower caste people get preferential treatment in admission to educational institutions and for jobs simply because their forefathers have struggled in their life.In fact upper caste people are the present day down trodden.

But look at Malayalam film industry.Capability has no place there.So called super stars even after crossing age of 60 continue to act as lovers to many teenage girls,crush every able bodied strong men with their difficult to move body movements and decide who should act in films.So whoever want to be in business should be willing to bow before them and  do anything and everything to please them.

They can get position of Lieutenant Colonel in Indian Army possibly through a a phone call.Padmasree  title is given based on  recommendations of political leadership.So there is no wonder they got it.A phone call to a political leader can give them Doctorate from Kerala Universities whatever may be their eligibility for it.In short they have made all these honors and titles meaningless by amassing them as they liked and they laugh at ordinary citizens of this country with  utter contempt.

An actor of the caliber of Thilakan does not need their certificate.But still they want him to bow before them.He was courageous enough to refuse to bow before film world gods like them.So he is not only out of Malayalam films for ever,but also from a Hollywood film which they could never ever dream of ,considering their pathetic capabilities.They buy unemployed youth to  sing hosanna to them when their ever repeated one story films start screening,in the name of fans association.

I have decided not to see films acted by these  crooks pretending to be anything and everything.I hope the ever intelligent malayalee will eventually show them the place they really deserve instead of all these purchased doctorates,Padmasree etc--the dustbin of history.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Flat roof or slope roof?

I have started this blog when an unseen client of me living and working in Canada suggested me to write on my experiences.Now I keep getting mails appreciating my blog entries which help a lot people who intend to construct a house in Kerala  and those who have already started building house.

Of late,I have even started getting suggestions on topic for my blog entries.Now I will write on advantages and disadvantages of going for flat roof or slope roof concrete and in general about flat roof and slope roof again based on request from a client.

Technically,flat roof is better as concrete can be laid on a flat roof with better perfection.You can use a vibrator to compact concrete laid on flat roof whereas in slope roof you cannot do that.While laying concrete on slope roof,workers in general intentionally reduce water content even to the extent of not getting a proper mix.Whatever they may say to please the client,workers always do work in a manner convenient to them rather than doing the work more correctly even at the cost of more labour and inconveniences to them.

After laying concrete with proper mix on a slope roof,concrete tend to fall down on a slope  roof.Workers are supposed to put dry cement mix and trowel the surface again and again to make surface of concrete even and finished.I have seen workers doing this years back.But now they do not bother to do it.Instead they reduce water content to ridiculous level to prevent concrete laid falling down.

After the concrete is laid,curing is easier in flat roof as you can put brick barriers in boundaries to store water for curing over concrete laid.In the case of slope roof,you cannot do that.You will have to put jute bags on top and sprinkle water every hour to retain wetness over concreted surface which hardly any one does.At the maximum,water will be sprinkled on concreted surface in the morning and evening and in the heat of Kerala,it does not serve much purpose.

On top of concreted surface,I suggest laying of clay tiles for both flat roof and slope roof.This will reduce heat inside rooms as clay tile will absorb much of the heat.It will also take away possibility of concrete roof leakage and definitely much cheaper than going for aluminum roof over concreted roof.

Then why slope roof ? Slope roof will definitely increase visual appearance of the building as slope roof with clay tiles laid over it will give you traditional Kerala building appearance thus increasing the aesthetic appearance of the building.As slope roof raises the roof level,ceiling height inside rooms will go up thereby giving you better ventilation inside rooms in addition to better appearance even from inside house .

House Construction-When you should start?

I keep getting several mails from people who plan to build house in their native place in Kerala.Mostly they want to know how much it will cost to construct a house.If I tell a figure which they think is comfortable for them,they will start construction activities immediately.If I tell a higher cost figure,they will drop construction activities at least for the time being

To tell  possible cost of construction ,my knowledge in architecture,engineering and Vasthu will not be enough.I also will have to study Astrology.

To tell you frankly,one should start construction of house the moment you feel the need for a house in Kerala without waiting for some one to tell a lie about how much it will cost simply to make you happy.Without any data,no one can tell possible cost simply hearing possible plinth area of house you may simply guess.

I decided to construct a house for me in Cochin about seventeen years back.My Father wanted me to live in house which he built partially for me at native place,Cherthala.While working in Cochin,I was forced to move from one rented house to another after specific period of time ,packing and moving after a tiring search for house to meet my requirements and budget.

Finally when I decided to build a house,i was not an expert as I have never built another house.Just by being an Engineer you cannot build a house.Any Engineer friends of me will agree to it and that is why we have built maximum number of  houses for engineers.They at least know that an experienced Engineer in house construction is essential for building a house while many even now believe or are  forced to believe that a usual contractor is enough.

At that time even though I left comforts of my job and started our marketing company,I have not yet started construction company.

I kept searching for land by reading real estate ads in news papers and responding.In most cases I could not manage the amount of money required for buying the land even though some of the many plots seen were good enough ,if not bad.

One day I found an Ad in news paper for land in a good locality.I went and saw land just before 8 am on the day the advertisement came.I liked land at first sight itself.Price was reasonable.So no negotiation.I have given verbal commitment to the land owner who did not insist on an advance then and there.I only offered to buy  front portion of 15 cents of  land measuring about 6 cents.Later land owner told me that another person met him 15 minutes after me and offered to buy entire 15 cents and given a token advance of Rs.10,000/-Land owner being  a decent chap agreed to sell only balance portion keeping his word to me.

Now how will I manage money for buying land as I did not have that much money ? Next day I simply paid token advance of Rs.10,000/- without really knowing how I will arrange balance money.

Even though I never had the courage to ask my father for money,since I liked the land I took him to see the land.He also liked it.Then through my mother I made him agree to give a portion of money as loan.That was the best negotiating win of my life-making my Father agree to give me money even as loan.

Then I got a temporary Over draft from my banker using good performance figures of our marketing company and finally I managed to purchase that land even though the other portion was really sold  only after many months.

Again when I started construction,there was no money.My Father advised me to do construction later after saving enough money(Possibly to avoid me asking for more loan).But I was not willing to wait.I know very well that every passing day will push up cost of construction thereby pushing away from me my house construction.

For foundation work,I simply borrowed money from a private banker at high interest rates.After that money was over,I again went to another private money lender and got money at high interest rate.By that time I also managed to get housing loan from a housing loan company at lower interest rate.

As construction went on some what fast,I tried to minimise cost wherever possible without compromising on basic facilities needed and quality of work.

When the house construction was nearing finishing stage,there was no way to arrange money required.So I simply requested a supplier to our marketing company to extend credit period telling him frankly my need for money.As I had very good repaying records with the supplier he agreed with a condition that I should continue making payments even though amount of payment in each installment can be reduced.So his credit favour has helped me in bringing the house construction to finishing stage.

Finally when the house warming was going on I simply told to myself-“If only instead of presents these relatives and friends can pay in cash?”I was so badly in need of cash but no one was willing to help.

After building this house I realised the need for a professional agency to build houses as this field is full of cheats and crooks.That is how I entered into house construction and after building more than 200 houses I have lots and lots of people who value my services a lot and treat me like a family member for the rest of their life.

So my advise to you is simple.Do not wait for money to come to start building your house.Tomorrow will be too late as cost  can only go up to take away from you your dream house,possibly for ever

Friday, March 19, 2010

Is Vasthu owned by few persons?

I keep getting suggestions from many of my clients that they think Vasthu is something which Kanippayur or some other person says.If Vasthu has got any scientific basis,just like any other science like Architecture or Engineering,it is not owned by any particular person or persons.Whatever a particular person says does not become Vasthu features or requirements.
There are books available on Vasthu detailing clearly why and how a particular arrangement will be beneficial or harmful to persons living in the house.If Kanippayur says something contrary to these accepted and proven facts of Vasthu it can only be wrong.
If as an Engineer I start telling that whatever I say is only correct Engineering,then everybody will undoubtedly say that something is wrong with me. On matters of Engineering I have to substantiate and prove  that whatever I say is correct.Similarly whoever claims to talk as authority on Vasthu has to substantiate and prove his suggestions and recommendations.
These people who claim to be sole authority on Vasthu  always insist on preparing a revised plan(Of course with charges) even when anyone  prepare a plan satisfying all Vasthu factors.If they say that everything is right, how can they charge customer for revised drawing?
Such blind belief in certain people going to the extent of saying whatever a particular person says only is Vasthu can only be termed as superstition

Thursday, March 11, 2010

For bad quality house built or bought-Whom should we blame?

If there is a house built,completely finished in all aspects where you simply have to move in with your personal belongings,it will be too good.
If that villa happens to meet all your requirements for the house,it will be good
If the house has the best design with professional involvement,good structural design,good workmanship,best materials used for each and every component of the house,it will be almost a dream come true.
But in reality such a dream never happens.Who build houses and sells?People who want to make money building and selling houses.If you do everything about house built correctly with the best design,best quality of materials and labour,may be you as a builder may not be able to compete in the market as your competitors are not much bothered about quality of work.When they offer a lower price,potential client who may not be able to judge superior quality of your work or design will naturally buy lower priced house.
So builder is left with no other alternative other than making compromises at least in areas where lower quality of work cannot be easily noticed.
Even when you are willing to build your house directly from the beginning with development of design,you look for cheaper alternatives.Rather than searching for the more capable designer with better creative talent,you look for some one who can draw plan of house free or with nominal fee.Then you search for a building contractor who quote lowest “square feet cost “knowing very well that the final cost may not necessarily be limited to that figure.
So when you buy a villa or when you construct a house with direct involvement,you are not keen on getting the best.When you really want the best(of course within your budget limitations),you will be willing to take professional guidance and assistance.Fees payable to a professional do not necessarily pull you back to have the house with many compromises on every aspect of construction.
At least you should not simply blame builder in either case.If builders are making compromises it is due to you forcing them to make compromises to remain in business.If you are willing to pay right price for the right quality,things will start improving on both ready built houses and custom built houses.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pains of missing parts of life

When I was a small child,I used to think about my Father as a tyrant,a man who simply cannot be soft ,loving or caring.As I grew up my fear for him has simply grown.I was always hesitant in asking for anything be it money or anything else from him.I had to bring up all my courage to make that request for a favour.I never ever remember him holding me close or motivating me to do anything.He always tried to make me feel that everything is difficult and beyond my capability.
When I was staying in hostel while studying for engineering,I used to keep his letters unopened for at least few hours to amass enough mental strength to read all those hard words and painful reminders.
Still when he was hospitalized and was undergoing a major operation later in my life,I felt as if a part of me is going to die.Possibility of his death was unbearable for me.I did everything within my capability to see that he survived.He did survive illness and major surgeries and after sometime again started finding fault with anything I do and continued to discourage me and make me feel incapable of doing anything right or properly.
Still I realized that he is a great part of me.My brothers used to tell me that I talk and behave exactly like him even though I do not think it is correct.
For so long in life I used to think that Father and mother are going to be there always at least as long as I live.Even though I know very well that it cannot be so ,that inner feeling of they being there always made me feel comfortable.
Even my mother was facing death I never thought her death as a possibility and when it  really happened for every living moment after that I feel as if a good portion of me is dead.When she was alive I never ever thought about she being an integral part of me.But when she left I started realizing how important she was for me and always feel bad to think that I never made her known the importance she had in me .Not only in my life but in every thoughts and feelings of me.
Parents are possibly parts of our life and we realise it only when we lose them.