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Aug 072010

Who’d have thought the U.S. government would draw upon the assistance of Indian software coolies to stem the inflow of amigos from across the Southern border.

Here, read this excerpt from the NYT:

A Senate bill approved Thursday night by unanimous consent would pay for more security along the Mexico border by raising fees for companies from India that operate in the United States and hire so many Indian workers that they have been criticized for violating the spirit of American immigration law.

The $600 million spending bill would send 1,500 more Border Patrol agents, customs inspectors and other law enforcement officials to the Southwest border, finance additional aerial drones to monitor remote desert regions and build two operating bases close to the border to help reduce illegal immigration and drug smuggling.

….Republicans had proposed paying for the beefed-up security by tapping into stimulus money. But Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, said his staff had come up with an alternative that would not hurt American workers: raising the visa application fees paid by any companies with more than 50 people in which more than half the work force has H-1B or L visas that are intended for skilled foreign workers.

Senate aides said four Indian companies would qualify for the significantly higher fees: Tata, Infosys, Wipro and Mahindra Satyam, all of which operate in the United States and are criticized as “body shops” because they provide outsourcing of Indian professionals to American companies. Large American high-tech corporations, which bring the bulk of the skilled immigrants into the United States, would not be affected since the vast majority of their work forces are made up of Americans.

India’s software association Nasscom is crying that it’s indirect protectionism and estimates the impact on Indian firms between $200 million-250 million per year.

Other than whining, can the Som Mittal-headed Nasscom really do anything about this coming hike in Coolie Visa fees?

Aug 072010

Now that we’ve turned off comments (Abhi, we’ll process your two pending comments) on this extraordinary blog to avoid distraction from the hoi polloi in our second shot at a short story, we find more time at hand.

So, what do we do?

Besides drinking more, of course (we’re already semi-high on a cocktail of Svedka Vodka and Deep Mango Juice, yes, available at your local Indian grocery store. Having finished one glass, we’re readying for the second. Alas, the juice is almost over so it’s a Bloody Mary this time round with Mo’pleez Agra Taj Dalmoth mixture on the side. ;)

Watch some movies (hopefully, nice ones).

As we were sorting through the sparse collection of DVDs at our local library yesterday, we stumbled upon the 2005 French movie Le Petit Lieutenant (The Young lieutenant).

We were quickly drawn to it for two reasons.

First, it’s a police story. This ex-Indian likey, mucho likey police movies.

Second, besides receiving favorable reviews from reputed avenues like New York Times, L.A. Times and People the movie has also won some decent awards.

A few nanoseconds ago, we checked out the movie’s fate on that ultimate arbiter of movies: Rotten Tomatoes.

Guess what?

Le Petit Lieutenant’s got a whopping 79% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Hey, feeling optimistic now.

You see, we were feeling quite low, really low, after seeing the twit sisters’ trashy Aisha earlier today.

We normally do only a brief update after we finish watching these late-night foreign films.

But this time – maybe, it’s the Bloody Mary we’re gulping down- we’ll do a full review of the movie.

By the way, Le Petit Lieutenant features Nathalie Baye, Jalil Lespert and Roschdy Zem and is directed by Xavier Beauvois.

The 110-minute movie is supposed to come with English subtitles.

So if you schmucks will please excuse us now, we’re gonna stagger to our home theater and watch this movie.

Folks, Le Petit Lieutenant is a lovely film that deserves all the encomiums heaped on it.

Set in Paris, the movie is actually three intersecting stories.

First, the story of an young lieutenant and recent recruit to the police force’s Detective Unit Antoine Derouere (Jalil Lispert); Second, the investigation of a murder and finally, the account of the police officer and former alcoholic heading the investigation Caroline Vaudieu (Nathalie Baye).

The three stories are neatly integrated and deftly shifts from one to the another without missing a beat.

Sure, as some of you whiners might say, it’s a routine police investigation story. Nothing fancy about it.

And by God, there’s none of the fancy (A)Singam or (Un)Wanted daredevil nonsense of a policeman single-handedly whipping 10 or more people that you routinely see in those ghastly Indian police movies.

But then life is for the most part handling routine chores. Unless you are one of those schmucks that believes all those stuff in the high-octane James Bond or Bourne movies are real.

The charm of the movie lies in the solid screenplay and the superb acting all the performers (mostly police officers in the Detective Unit) bring to their roles.

While Nathalie Baye has won awards for her performance as the head of the Detective Unit investigating the unit, others were no less impressive. Only that they had lesser roles. strongly recommends Le Petit Lieutenant.

If you live in the U.S., you can rent this movie from Netflix (also available on Instant play) or maybe, even get it from your county library.