The Great Indian Banks Robbery

Mohan’s Musings

The Great Banks Robbery for which NOBODY will be punished.

I am being ripped off. And I am not the only one. Everyone of you who has an account in any bank is the victim of this great robbery. The amount is Rs 1.10 lakh crore. It is my money. It is your money. But the banks have lent it to big borrowers without proper scrutinies, without proper checks, without mortgaging assets, without proper collaterals and without verifying the authenticity of their claims, the papers and certificates submitted by them.

And that entire amount has been written off.

My questions:

Have they seized or tried to seize the assets of the managing directors, chairmans, directors and major stake holders?
Have they taken over the assets of the sureties and signatories?
Has there been an auction of the apartments, properties and vehicles owned by them?
Have the banks got the accounts of these people frozen?
Have the bank officials who sanctioned these loans been hauled up, questioned, suspended and charged?
Have the names of the people who conned banks been disclosed to public?
Has a single MD or Chairman moved in the house of a friend or in-laws because his apartment / bungalow has been seized?
The answer to every question I raise is ‘no’.
How the banks loot us.

Despite RBI controls, most banks take full advantage of the monopoly like situation. It is like a cartel.

Take for instance:

1. While it take a bank clerk the same five minutes to prepare a pay order, and when the money is ours, the charges change with the amount. A pay order for Rs 50 lakhs may cost you Rs 15,000. Plain robbery. Even the Shikarpuris issuing hawala chits charged less.

2. Banks use buying and selling of foreign currency as a business like the money changers. Why they charge any arbitrary charges without any value addition to the transaction.

3. Many private banks have different rates for RTGS (Real time gross settlement) depending on the quantum of money being transferred. It doesn’t take longer to punch in a transfer entry of Rs.1 crore as compared to a transfer entry of Rs.3 lakhs. If RTGS has to replace cheques it should be free or close to free.

The banks may call it business, I call it unethical business.

Moreover, there is a lot of difference in treatment to a ‘small’ borrower and the ‘big’ borrower.. The banks can easily get a car picked up if a certain number of EMIs are not paid, may embarrass a middle class borrower and recover the loan yet they make it more difficult for him to borrow than for a big borrower. Yet, it treats the small borrower as of no consequence. The pygmy sitting behind the desk with some fancy label, would look down at the person applying for loan like some needless chore. His documents are scrutinised, salary slip is checked and a bank representative would visit the house, check the credit worthiness and all the bank statements, deposit receipts etc

The small borrower is made to feel, well, small!

There are scores of instance. The govt can make a law and impose a fine of Rs 1000 for charging more than MRP on the mineral water, for breaking a signal and for several small offences of the common citizen, the small man. But the banking lobby is too powerful for the government.

The banks often sanction loans of unusually large amount for the corporates without proper security, over-valuation of the assets (as happened with Vijay Mallya) and by ignoring the usual safety norms before parting with the funds.Those amounts are in hundreds and thousands of crore.

It is not unreasonable to assume that cuts and commissions reach to the highest echelons of the corridors of every bank which ‘lends’ such massive amounts.

It is not difficult to understand why these huge loans are written off without much effort to recover them. Just compare the wide coverage the media gave to a single defaulter called Vijay Mallya who was hounded for an amount of Rs 8000 crore and has absconded to London. Even as the banks try to auction his bungalows, fleet of expensive luxury cars and personal jet, we learn that everything was overvalued. The banks will find it difficult to recover even half of the amount loaned to him, forget the interest and penalty. But this amount is peanuts compared to Rs 1.10 lakh crore the others have borrowed and swallowed.

Using the banking jargon, the banks hide behind phrases like ‘settlement of NPAs is a time consuming process’, ‘involves labour’ and ‘judicial process’ and opt for write-off. Simply put, the banks say that they don’t have staff and legal advice to recover the money! What they are trying to underplay is that the money has been squandered or siphoned out and the assets pawned by the corporates are not worth the valuation.

The blame lies at the door of the banks and their staff (and outsiders) who over-valued the assets. And if the bank officers are whispering that they passed huge loans under pressure from the politicians, let them name them!

Let us know how much loan was approved under the pressure from UPA2 and how much loan was sanctioned under the unsaid orders of BJP government.

And let’s have the names.

*****

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Donald cooks his goose

 

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Mohan’s Musings

Donald Trump may lose this time but had it been any time before 1920, he would have won with thumping majority. Women didn’t have the right to vote.

Donald Trump may have lost his chance to become the President because of the cheap talk and comments about the women (he has even pointed out a 10-year girl who was with him and has said that he would be dating her after 10 years) and numerous complaints of groping from different parts of America. One of the complainants is 74 years.
Major names in Republican Party have withdrawn support and even some donors, who have paid tens of thousand dollars, have asked for a refund.
Hillary Clinton has more than 80 percent chance of moving into the White House.
Being labelled ‘sexist’ has finished Donald.

*****

According to a survey if only women voted Hillary would have got 458 against Donald’s 80 votes but
if only men voted, Donald would have got 350 votes against Hillary’s 188!
Clearly men look at groping differently. For them what Donald Trump said, recorded with or without his knowledge (he seemed least bothered), was simply reckless locker room talk and what he did and could get away with is the dream of most American men. They would love to be in his shoes or maybe, most are already in his shoes. We need to know how an average American male behaves with women.
Interestingly, had it been any time before 1920, Donald Trump would have won with thumping majority. Women didn’t have the right to vote.

*****

I have an image of a naked Bill Clinton walking across in White House as described in one of the books about Monica Lewinsky episode. There were others too. But Clinton continues to remain an attractive figure. So does John F Kennedy who needed women as ‘if I didn’t have sex I’d get backache’.
They have remained attractive figures to men and women equally. Their philandering haven’t affected their popularity.
Why the women hate only Donald Trump?
Could it be because ‘sexist’ is a dirty word only now. And the feminism is in today. The American women don’t give a fig to what Bill Clinton did over a decade early and Kennedy is ancient for a young American girl.
She hates a groper. She hates a sexist. She is not going to vote for him whether it is JF Kennedy, Bill Clinton or Donald Trump.

*****

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Russia = China? Raj Kapoor’s Awara remake.

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Mohan’s Musings

Russia = China?
Will Raj Thackeray object to a remake of Awara if India had a border skirmish with China?

India has inked a deal with China for the remake of Raj Kapoor’s ‘Awara’. Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) and China Shanghai International Arts Festival (CSIAF) have signed a memorandum.
In an ironic travesty of truth, a claim is being made that Raj Kapoor and his ‘Awara Hoon’ was hummed by the Chinese and the showman was loved by the Chinese.
Raj Kapoor was popular in Russia. He even visited the country where he was welcomed like a state guest and hordes of people did sing ‘Awara Hoon’ along with him. (Was it K A Abbas connection?)

*****

Forwards and memes plead with you to boycott Chinese products. China has come in the way of India’s bid to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). NSG is an elite group which controls transfer of nuclear technology in the world.
China also has used Veto power to come in the way of India’s efforts to get the high chair (read: Veto power) in UN.
This country has also has blocked Brahmaputra tributary, virtually squeezing India out of the water supply.
It’s support for Pakistan is already well known. We can say that China is a potential enemy.
Yet, Chinese goods are freely sold in India and because of the prices, give a tough competition to Indian manufacturers. Even our government trade with China.

A hypothetical question.
The deal is that the remake will be released by 2017-2018. What if there be a war between the two countries, or between India and Pakistan where China supports Pak? Will the politicians like Raj Thackeray allow the film to be telecast?
Why don’t they object now?

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Hands Off the National Anthem!

 

imageHere is the letter I have emailed and Tweeted to our Prime Minister to stop the efforts to remove ‘Sindh’ from the National Anthem.

 

Honourable Prime Minister of India,
New Delhi-110011

Sub: Efforts to remove ‘Sindh’ from the National Anthem

Respected Narendra Modi Saheb,

Sir, once again some people have demanded that ‘Sindh’ be deleted from the National Anthem. Once again we, over 38 lakhs Indian Sindhis plead against it. We lost our motherland but retained our language and culture. Sindh in the National Anthem is our reward, our consolation.
In the wake of partition, during the largest mass migration in the human history, as a part of 14 million Hindu, Muslim and Sikh refugees, we came to India. Unlike the refugees from Punjab and Bengal, betrayed by Congress and even Mahatma Gandhi, we couldn’t retain any part of Sindh. The ratio between Sindhi Muslims and Sindhi Hindus was 78:22. Sindh was being governed by Muslim League. It was a state sponsored order to leave Sindh.
We came to India, surviving the massacre that killed upto 20,000,00 people.
The story of our growth is known to the world and to you.
Sindhis didn’t demand a state.
Sindhis didn’t ask for quotas, reservations and special categories. They grew and along with that grew the cities they occupied. Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Kolkatta, Bangalore…
We built schools, colleges and hospitals.
We didn’t ask for anything. We were happy that even if we didn’t have a state, the name of our motherland was a part of National Anthem.
It is a matter of pride for us.
There have been efforts to remove the name from the National Anthem but even the government has supported us.
In fact, there was a PIL that demanded to delete the word ‘Sindh’ from ‘Jana Gana Mana’
As the state was no longer part of the country after the partition. The Supreme Court issued a notice to the Centre.
In response the Home Ministry replied the anthem was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 24 January, 1950. At that time, Sindh had become a part of Pakistan and therefore the assembly was conscious of this fact.
“The word Sindh refers not merely to the province of Sindh but also to the Sindhi culture which is an inalienable part of the rich and diverse culture of India.”
HC and SC have rejected such a plea in the past.
I, on behalf of 38 lakhs Sindhis, plead with you that let ‘Sindh’ remain as a part of National Anthem.

With respect and hope,
Mohan Deep

Journalist-Author

The Prime Minister of India,
South Block, Raisina Hill, New Delhi-110011
Ph: 23012312

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Before you add Kashmir to National Anthem…

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Mohan’s Musings

The controversy that will never die

Did Rabindranath Tagore really wrote Jan Gan Man in honour of King George V?

Before I get into the flesh of the ‘Jan Gan Man’ controversy, let me say that this has been investigated a number of times and it has been clearly established that Rabindranath Tagore wrote it in honour of our motherland Bharat.
First, about the patriotism of Tagore. He was the one who wrote poems like ‘Where mind is without fear’ and Ekla Chalo Re. The massacre of Jallianwala Bagh so angered him that he renounced the knighthood in protest. The Knighthood was conferred on him by the same King George V after he received Nobel Prize Literature.
I have written this piece because it has been suggested that Kashmir may be added to the anthem. Some have gone as far as to suggest that Tagore’s Jan Gan Man may be junked.
Tampering with any creative work, specially of this caliber, is simply unacceptable.

It all started with two British papers (The Statesman and Englishman) who reported that Tagore recited Jan Gan Man in honour of King George V. Congress had invited the King to pledge its loyalty to the throne. (Remember this was 1911.)
Reporting the same event, Amrit Bazar Patrika had reported, “The proceedings of the Congress party session started with a prayer in Bengali to praise God (song of benediction). This was followed by a resolution expressing loyalty to King George V. Then another song was sung welcoming King George V.” (Dec.28,1911)
The Bengalee had recorded, “The annual session of Congress began by singing a song composed by the great Bengali poet Ravindranath Tagore. Then a resolution expressing loyalty to King George V was passed. A song paying a heartfelt homage to King George V was then sung by a group of boys and girls.”

Why the confusion?

The confusion had arisen because a different song, “Badshah Humara” written in Hindi by Rambhuj Chaudhary was sung on the same occasion in praise of King George V.

Years later when the National Anthem was being chosen, two songs, Tagore’s Jan Gan Man and Bankim Chandra Bannerjee’s Vande Matram made it to the finals. Vande Matram was unacceptable to the Muslim population. The government settled for Jan Gan Man.
However, the Hindu right wing was never happy with the rejection of Vande Matram. Even having Vande Matram as the National Song didn’t placate them.
Some of them chose to defame the national anthem and the poet who wrote it. Articles full of lies claiming that Jan Gan Man was composed to honour King George V were published. Memes and forwards have continued to spread the same lie.

Tagore’s clarification

Commenting on the controversy Tagore has written, “I should only insult myself if I cared to answer those who consider me capable of such unbounded stupidity as to sing in praise of George the Fourth or George the Fifth as the Eternal Charioteer leading the pilgrims on their journey through countless ages of the timeless history of mankind.” (Purvasa, Phalgun, 1354, p. 738.)

Tagore’s word should be enough. But the controversy has not died, will never die.
Fling dirt enough and some will stick.

*****

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Was Gandhi a racist?

 

Was Gandhi a racist? Are we Indians racists?

1700 signatures and copies of Mahatma Gandhi‘s writings where Gandhi described the Black South Africans as Kaffirs (a high offensive racist slur, the way Muslims referred to Hindus) was enough to persuade the Government of Ghana to remove the statue of Gandhi from the University of Ghana.
One of the quotes included a letter Gandhi sent to former Prime Minister of England Neville Chamberlain in May 1899, claiming that Indians were superior to “kaffirs,” an ethnic slur for black South Africans. Ironically, Gandhi was living in South Africa to fight anti-Indian discrimination at the time.
(This once again establishes that Gandhi, #Jawaharlal Nehru and even #Muhammad Ali Jinnah treated themselves as brown sahebs though Gandhi got rid of his western dresses in favour of a lion cloth.)
Ghana government and it’s people didn’t worry about causing annoyance to India and causing a diplomatic row.
In fact the petition by the Professors of the University read, “It is better to stand up for our dignity than to kowtow to the wishes of a burgeoning Eurasian super power”, and quoted passages written by Gandhi which say Indians are “infinitely superior” to black Africans.
I am not surprised!
Indians are racist and there is no doubt about it. The way our people refer to those they consider lesser has an interesting narration.
The North Indians are called Chinki and the girls from this part of India are considered of ‘dubious character’. The story behind is the traffic in Nepali women and the confusion between the Nepali girls (who were, once, described as foreigners!) and the girls from North East.
Police describe the tall Nigerian drug dealers and scamsters as ‘blacks’ with contempt though, at least Mumbai Police is physically no match for the tall and muscular #Nigerians.
Ask yourself: will you ever hire a Nigerian?
We don’t stop there.
Our rigid caste system in existence since before the term ‘Hindu’ was coined to describe all has the civilised world laughing at us. The petition too says, “The caste system in India is among the world’s oldest forms of surviving social stratification. The system divides Hindus into rigid hierarchical groups.”
Our elections are caste-oriented, and the candidates are allotted tickets on caste (or money) basis. We live in ghettos what with Parsis living in their baugs, Muslims in their clusters and Christians in their Gaothans. Why, even Sindhis, who don’t follow the rigid Hindu caste system, have their colonies!
And, as far the color goes, the tales of discriminations are too many to recount.
The fair and lovely gets to be posted in the front offices, get quicker promotions and raises in the salaries but the dark skinned are left behind, in the back offices away from the glares of the visitors.
Yes, we certainly are racists.

*****

On the shutting down of a branch of ‘#Bru’

I was surprised to see the waiters who had served me my cuppa Latte for the last three-four years, packing the furniture.
Bru, Lokhandwalla Branch, downed the shutters.
I liked the coffee and sometimes, when the machine didn’t perform well, they would happily make another cuppa.
I liked the ambience. Inexpensive functional furniture that could be easily moved. The rickety chairs, the sockets to charge the mobiles and laptops – half of them dysfunctional  – and the little loo where the staff changed the uniforms making it difficult for the customers. The a/c didn’t always function.
All just right for the strugglers in Bollywood and some familiar faces from the industry. Every occupied table had energy around it, the energy that comes from positivity and optimism. Films were planned and made here, TV serials were conceived and scripts were written here.
Faces that became familiar to me, people who would greet me and always accommodate me on the same table…
I felt the energy, loved it.
I like strugglers, their optimism and the sparkle in their eyes. I love success oriented people and their drive.
Before Bru, I used to have my coffee at Barista and Cafe Coffee Day. It was the same Bollywood strugglers. Oshiwara has many. They go to the acting schools, get their portfolios made, go for auditions and wait patiently for the calls.
I see a lot happening here.
My last novel ‘Color Me Rich’ is set in Oshiwara and the story develops at Bru. It also has Adarsh Nagar which houses small producers, sound studios, editing rooms and costumes shops. You can get the entire technical support for making a film.
And on the main road in bigger buildings are located the big time producers and even the offices of some of the studios.
I compare Oshiwara with Hollywood. Here too strugglers get jobs as waiters and waitresses till they get a break in films. I don’t really know any waiter who has made it to the big screen. The only name I can recall is Smriti Irani. But I never saw her waiting tables. She worked in McDonalds and I don’t like the atmosphere there. I prefer eating at Indigo. Here you see the familiar faces from the big screen. Oshiwara has more hotels, restaurants and bars than any where else in Mumbai. And if you visit at night you can see a lot of familiar faces from films and TV serials. You’d recognise the film stars by their names and the TV stars with the names of the characters they play. The channels and producers neither give their names on the large hoardings nor in the credits. They don’t want them to become TV stars and have an identity of their own. The cleverer one indulge in brawls, get dragged to Oshiwara Police Station and find their names in the newspapers’ crime pages.
But to return to my cuppa, I’ll have to shift to #StarBucks. I love the Cappuccino of Starbucks whether at Oshiwara or at the Horniman Circle.
Why, I loved the Starbucks in Manhattan and London too, much more than the Starbucks in Mumbai. Mumbai has a way of Indianising everything, even Starbucks coffee.

*****

 

 

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… To be Continued (The story of serialised novels in India and abroad)

On every first Monday of the month, a group of friends who admired Charles Dickens would meet and read aloud the latest instalment of his ‘Dombey and Son’. This was one of the many groups of Dicken’s admirers who looked forward to his serialised novel. This was in the England of 1847. But even before, he had used this method to arouse interest in the readers when he serialised ‘Pickwick Papers’. While the readership for the first instalment was just 1000, the last instalment was read by 40,000 persons.

Dickens used this form all his life for all his novels. So did William Makepeace Thackeray for ‘Vanity Fair’ and Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock Holmes stories too were first published as serials.t The public response was so warm that there was a major protest in the form of fan letters when, tired of writing the series, wanting to write something else, Doyle ‘killed’ Sherlock Holmes. The writer had to resurrect his detective!

Serialising was popular in America too where Henry James divided his work into segments of similar sizes and let it first be published as a serial even when his story was already ready. Others, often, wrote the subsequent instalments even as the earlier one’s were in readers’ Often a novel would be read in instalments for as long as a year during which the authors would respond to the response of the readers. But in Russia, Leo Tolstoy‘s ‘Anna Karenina’ ran for four years!

As the world changed with the World Wide Web, a serial format on the net began when Stephen King wrote The Plant and many others did the same.

Websites like FanFiction.Net and web-based communities like LiveJournal, FictionPress and Fictionhub have even produced bestsellers that have overtaken the traditional novels.

The mobile devices too have made the serial format popular with JukePop Serials and the like promoting serialised novels.

India too has a similar tradition.

Bankim Chandra Chatterjee‘s ‘Anandmath’ was first serialised in his own magazine Bangadarshan (Bengali) in 1882. It was a heart warming novel about the Sanyasis who fought for the freedom of India. Bankim wrote the song ‘Vandematram’ for this novel. It was later published in book form.

‘Anandmath’ went on to get a cult status and Vande Matram ended up as the National song of India. Prathapa Mudaliar Charithram, a novel by Mayuram Pillai, written in 1857 was the first serialised novel in Tamil. Serialised novels with the freedom struggle, instilled patriotic pride in the people.

Krupa AJ Satthiananadan, considered the first Indian woman novelist writing in English. ‘Suguna’, her novel was serialised between 1887 and 1888 in Madras Christian College Magazine.

Chitralekha (Gujarati) often serialised novels written by Harkisan Mehta and Tarak Mehta. So did Sushma (Hindi) and Shamma (Urdu). I remember writing my first novel (‘Roop ain Sadhana’) for Jagruti, a Sindhi weekly when I was in my late teens. This is the only serialised novel in Sindhi. Writing a serialised novel is writing under a pressure. There always is a deadline though the magazines prefer to have at least one extra instalment in stock. But a deadline, more important, is in the head of the writer. He doesn’t forget his story and doesn’t part with his characters even when he goes to bed. There is a flow about it.

My friend, author and journalist Om Gupta has started his serials novel and seeing the first chapter I’m sure this is going to be a sure winner, an important step that would be noted as a part of the history of serialised novels. His link is profOmGupta.blogspot.blogspot.in
Om Gupta is a talented veteran. I look forward to his next installments.

*****

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Mahesh Bhatt on Mohan Deep

The launch of Color Me Rich just got over.
Filmmaker, writer and thinker Mahesh Bhatt launched it. After unwrapping the parcel, Mahesh Bhatt spoke about me. I’ll cherish these words forever.
He said, “As I was leaving my daughter Pooja‘s office at five to seven, making sure that I come here by 7:45 , she told me ‘I think Papa you’re doing the sweetest thing by going for Mohan Deep‘s book launch because he was the only guy who supported me when this controversy erupted about the body paint. So, when you burn into people’s memory, when they feel vulnerable, especially in the society which pretends to be very upright and very moral and it takes sadistic delight in kind of savaging you, you remember those few very brave people, in the media especially, who have the balls to stand up and protect you from the so called rot which is unleashed on you. So, on behalf of my daughter I thank you for what you did, Mohan. A good deed that is done always resonates through time.”
Mahesh Bhatt added, “Coming to your writing, I’m shocked to know that you wrote ten books. In this age and time when you are on Twitter, where you are limited to 140 characters, to sit down and write 500 words is a phenomenal task. So, anybody who puts pen to paper and writes is a most extraordinary individual. I think the most solitary of all acts is to write and I think our industry suffers from what is called ‘narrative starvation’ and that is because we talk about film stories. We don’t write stories. We talk about scripts. We don’t write scripts. So, I think Mohan has dared to excavate lives of icons in the past: Madhubala, Meena Kumari ji, rubbed Rekha ji the wrong way! I think you have always had this tendency to gravitate on the wrong side, as they say, of this field but that is what brings both of us together! So, I think this book obviously, when she was reading that strange name of the wine that even I struggled with, it indicates that you have really gone into the lives of the rich and the super rich and you have a good looking model on the cover and Color Me Rich has the fragrance of a blockbuster and it’s going to climb the charts higher and higher and higher. And we’ll make sure that every individual who walks out of here tweets about it and raves about it even if they’ve not read more than two lines in their bloody life! So I think, congratulations and it’s very heartening to see you still on the crease, daring, baring and saying, “I won’t stop as life doesn’t have a full stop, the spirit of Mohan Deep will not have a full stop! I’m certain about that! Well done, Mohan. Congratulations!'”
This has been a memorable launch for me for many reasons and these words certainly are one of them.

*****

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What they say about ‘The Five Foolish Virgins’

It is always encouraging to find positive feedback for your work from friends and contemporaries.

Celebrated actor Raza Murad, who stands out with his voice, also has unique way of writing when he says:

My way of describing the five foolish virgins would be
Fantastic
Interesting
Vivacious
Entertaining

Fabulous
Outstanding
Overwhelming
Lovable
Inspiring
Sweet
Humorous

Vulnerable
Impish
Ravishing
Gorgeous
Inimitable
Noteworthy
Sensuous

Would like to salute my chronic and dear friend, Mohan Deep, for being brutally bold, forthright, hard- hitting and terribly entertaining. Would even like to possess the second / Kindle edition of this unforgettable and amazing novel.

*****

“The five foolish virgins” is an engrossing and a riveting novel. Funny, poignant and deliciously dark! Mohan Deep is known for his sensational, irreverent and acerbic writing and he makes full use of his talent in this book. Go for it!
A must read especially if you are the sixth virgin!”

Shekhar Suman
Actor, director and a standup comedian

*****

After the great George Bernard Shaw described “an Artist “, writer-novelist Mohan Deep goes one step ahead on the insight, describing the ARTIST in depth, true to its core. Page 107 of the book as written by the author is so true! And the credit goes to his past body of work, which speaks of his integrity and vast experience. Kudos to him. Surely worth reading.

Deepak Shivdasani
Film Maker

*****

“Mohan Deep’s The Five Foolish Virgins is a compelling thriller…I finished all 400 pages in three sittings spread over two days. Engrossing, succinct and entertaining narrative. A readymade material for a Bollywood multi-star movie. There are so many strong characters in the book that would attract both young and top ranking seasoned actors.”

Rasheed Kidwai
Author and Journalist

*****

‘The Five Foolish Virgins.’ is a fictionalized insider account of the world of Hindi cinema, a world Mohan is intimately familiar with.
Mohan Deep has written the book with his eye firmly trained on India’s growing young demographic, that consumes popular fiction about themes they understand readily. What is unusual about this book is that it is an insider account about facets of Hindi cinema which are not easily visible to those blinded by its glamour.
To his credit, Mohan has been known to shoot from the hip when it comes to deflating the massive egos that inhabit the Hindi movie world. This novel offers him one more platform to indulge in his favourite pastime. I suspect it might get optioned for a movie.

Mayank Chhaya
Author, painter

*****

Loved it, coming from a man, the insight into women’s minds is amazing. Interesting, pacy and extremely well written.

Kiran Joneja-Sippy
Actor, Director

*****

“The Five Foolish Virgins’ was a saga calling out to Mohan Deep to write it, a narrative that starts in pre-partition Sindh and straddles several decades in the hunting grounds of Bollywood, was inevitable.
Mohan Deep’s USP, even in his bios, is his heightened sense of visualisation and relentlessly incisive characterizations. Here too, one feels one is watching a movie as the story unfolds. One gets sucked into the vortex of dramatic lives, even as one enjoys the ticklish pin-points of “real” Bollywood personalities!!!
Is ‘The Five Foolish Virgins”, faction or fiction?
By the time you decide that in the last page, Mohan Deep leaves you panting for a sequel!

Nina Arora
Screenplay Writer

*****

‘Only an insider could write ‘The Five Foolish Virgins’. It is a saga of generations, juxtaposed beautifully with Bollywood as background. Glamour, affairs and many sordid tales – Mohan Deep tells it all. From casting couches to sabotaging a film everything makes a background for this most readable tale.
I have always loved Mohan Deep’s style of writing. I loved the plot and the characters and the way he brings the real Bollywood sans glamour to his readers.
Wish it was a bit longer. A must read!

Sumeetha Manikandan
Author

*****

A fast-paced, slick Bollywood novel about love and revenge.

Deccan Chronicle

A master storyteller!
As you read, the entire story flashes in front of you.
The author’s command over various languages is amazing. Well etched characters become different individuals as they speak in different styles and accents. As you come to the end, you start wishing that the book had been longer.

Amandeep Kaur
Writer

*****

This book is a page turner. ‘The Five Foolish Virgins’ – the title is dicey but makes you wonder after reading two hundred pages where it leads to. The end, however, justifies the title.
Mohan Deep shows the intricacies and the cultural differences between the two communities (Sindhis and Punjabis) with a great finesse. The language and the culture of Punjabis have been well described- you can trust me on this because I myself belong to a Sikh Punjabi family. I cannot comment about the portrayal of Sindhis but that must be authentic too.
The novel is so engrossing that you tend to visualize the chain of events. If I were to direct a film this would be my inspiration. Recommended read.

Navdeep (Goldie) Sandhu
High Court Lawyer, Chandigarh

*****

‘The five Foolish Virgins’ by Mohan Deep, while a work of fiction, is as real as it gets about the world of Bollywood. We can clearly see the underlying real truth in the constants of Bollywood through decades of change. Greed for fame, greed for money, greed for power overpowers humanity. Mohan Deep’s fluid language and vivid descriptions make this an enjoyable journey and an instant classic.
Bina Lalan
A software professional

*****

“Finished reading ‘The Five Foolish Virgins’ (Mohan Deep). It was good reading. No elaborate descriptions to bore. Gives you all the behind-the-scenes stories of the film industry. The last 100 pages are really spellbinding.” Mohan, this is ad verbatim what my father Whatsapp’ed me last night :). Now I have to wait till I collect the book from him 🙂
Navin Dutt
Professional in MNC with passion for free lance writing

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Click here to Buy ‘The Five Foolish Virgins’

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If Narendra Modi was a gora we’d have crawled

Modi and Obama

Had the Prime Minister Narendra Modi been a Caucasian (white skinned man) all of us would have further crawled in front of him!
We are a nation of racists and there is no doubt about it!
Let’s begin with Giriraj Singh‘s statement.
He said, ‘What if Sonia Gandhi was a Nigerian? Would Congress have accepted Sonia as its leader if she weren’t an Italian and instead of African origin.
Amit Shah had rebuked Giriraj for what is being considered a racist remark and even the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has frowned on it. But they are just being politically correct.
Giriraj Singh makes a lot of sense. And he is not the first person to say it.
Journalist-columnist Tavleen Singh who made a career out of moving in the high places and even ‘married’ Aatish Taseer, the slain governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province, and had a son from him, has said the same thing in her book about Gandhis.
According to Tavleen, “Sonia Gandhi is revered simply because she is from Italy and is of white skin. She’s not articulate, she is not smart, she isn’t even well-read. In her own Italian surroundings, she might even be considered as “down-market”. But not in Delhi durbars where she can be the center of attraction mainly because of her skin and partly because she is the wife of one of the “princes” of India. People with white skin are considered gods and goddesses by Indians.”
Tavleen even mentions the servility shown by people in South to Sonia Gandhi; they create songs like “you have such white skin, you are a goddess.
I remember seeing the Chief Librarian of Asiatic library taking a gora visitor on the round of the library in a similar servile manner. The visitor wasn’t even holding some office of power!
You see this attitude in restaurants in Colaba (Leopold Cafe, for instance) and at in Goa. The waiters would give the firangis a royal treatment and ignore the locals. This may have to do with the tips they hope to get but not all goras are good tippers and not all Indians are frugal with tips.
It is the same whether you visit and art gallery or a shop.
And to come back to BJP, did you see how our Prime Minister flaunted his non-existing camaraderie with his friend the President of US Barrack Obama and flaunted being on first name terms with him? You can only imagine how he would have behaved if Obama had been a Caucasian!

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