Thursday, February 28, 2008

Bobby Jindal proves to be a doer...

A very nice article about Bobby Jindal and what he has accomplished
within a short period of time in the New York Times.

An excerpt --
"Six weeks into the term of Gov. Bobby Jindal, an extensive package of
ethics bills was approved here this week, signaling a shift in the
political culture of a state proud of its brazen style. Mr. Jindal,
the earnest son of Indian immigrants, quickly declared open season on
the cozy fusion of interests and social habits that have prevailed
among lobbyists, state legislators and state agencies here for
decades. Mostly, he got what he wanted."

More excerpts --
"I've talked to C.E.O.'s in New York, even the president of the United
States," Mr. Jindal said in an interview, and when "you ask them for
more investment, more help on the coast and other areas, their first
reaction always is: 'Well, who do you need to know? Who do I have to
hire? Is this money going to end up in somebody's pocket?' "
That had to change, the governor said, and he was using his "narrow
window" — his honeymoon at the Capitol — to do it.
The volume of grumbling suggested real change was afoot.
"This is huge," said D. W. Hunt, a veteran lobbyist at the Capitol.
"This is a sea change. This will seriously, dramatically change
things. The meta-theme is the transparency."
Barry Erwin, president of the Council for a Better Louisiana, a
good-government watchdog group, described the new bills as "a major
change in the culture."
"It's a world of difference, particularly on the disclosure side, and
the same thing with conflict-of-interest," he said."

Read the full article at--

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Mira Nair's Kosher Vegetarian

Mira Nair's has cast Irfan Khan and Natalie Portman in lead roles in
her new venture, a romantic comedy titled "Kosher Vegetarian" India
eNews reports. "Irrfan is ready to morph into a 'Gujarati' Romeo. 'But
no accent this time. I'm very clear about that,' laughed the actor,
who has just returned from Santa Monica in California after attending
the Spirit Awards," says India eNews. They also claim that this is
Irfan Khan's second movie with Mira, but according to the IMDB
database, this is her third with Khan, after Namesake and Migration.

According to IMDB Mira Nair has the follwoign movies in the works
1. Amelia (2009) (pre-production)
2. Shantaram (2009) (pre-production) -- with Amitabh Bachan
3. New York, I Love You (2008) (filming)
4. Migration (2007) -- also with Irfan Khan

Read the India eNews story at --

See Mira Nair's IMDB page at --

India is an emerging market to watch

Another columnist who reiterates that India is an emerging market that should be watched.
"India has been the second-biggest spender on infrastructure in Asia over the past year. The country was planning to lay long fixed-line telephone connections to rural communities when wireless and cell phone technologies flew right past them," says Bill Donoghue, on Dow Jones Marketwatch.
Read the full piece at--

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Fertility and Cell Phones!

A study conducted by co-author Ashok Agarwal, PhD, HCLD, the Director of the Clinical Andrology Laboratory and Reproductive Tissue Bank, and the Director of Research at the Reproductive Research Center, published in the journal Fertility and Sterility claims that men are courting infertility by talking for hours every day on the cell phone.

An excerpt from a USA today article--
"Agarwal's team studied 361 men under 40 who were being evaluated for infertility; men whose personal or family history might explain a low count or other sperm abnormalities were excluded.

The scientists divided the patients into four groups, based on how long they said they talked on a cellphone each day. Then they analyzed the men's semen and found a strong association between length of time spent on a cellphone and sperm count and quality. Those who talked more than four hours a day had lower counts and more poor "swimmers" and abnormally formed sperm."

Read the full article at --

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Increasing Number of Illegal Indian Immigrants

An opinion piece in the LA Times says that number of Indian illegal
immigrants are on teh rise and this will not improve unless there is
immigration reform.

An excerpt--
"The San Jose Mercury News notes that the fastest growing group of
illegal immigrants comes not from a Spanish-speaking country but
rather from India.... The Indian number may be small and out of the
public eye (at least until, say, a particularly heart-wrenching
deportation story, or until tech workers start standing around office
parks hawking consulting services), but these growth trends are likely
to continue as long as there's no immigration reform."

Read the full piece at--

Is a shift in global power not imminent?

"The continued rise of the emerging economies, particularly India and
China, is never far from the headlines. What impact these economies
will have on the twenty-first century is the subject of much debate,
with the possibility of a shift in global political power a recurring
theme. It is often assumed that the emerging economies are following
the same path to development that the established economic powers did
- but this assumption is worth questioning," says Stuart Simpson in a
very interesting essay on Spiked.

Read the full essay at --

Globalization of Business Education

Gobalization of Business education is not very new. But according to
this article in the New York Times, some SOuthern California
universities are taking this to a new level.

"SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA universities have long led the nation in the
number of students enrolled from other countries. Now the
universities' business programs are taking the globalization of
education to a different level, offering courses that go beyond dry
corporate case studies and broadening their collaboration with
universities and businesses abroad, particularly in Asia," reports the
New York Times in an article titled "Business Schools Break Tradition
in Global Education.

Read the full article at --

Friday, February 22, 2008

The "Giggling Guru's" Peace Palaces

Not one but about 100-200 peace palaces are being planned as centers
of Transcendental Meditation, in Parma, Ohio. "The Maharishi promised
that if just 1 percent of the world practiced TM, as it is known, then
"the Maharishi effect" would take over and there would be increased
coherence in the collective unconsciousness, and peace would prevail,"
reports the New York Times.

An excerpt from the Times article --
"The peace palaces are intended to be gleaming white, two-story
buildings, 10,000- to 12,000-square-feet, and to replace the typical
rented space where TM is now taught at more than 200 locations in the
United States.
Each is designed to be large enough to have dormitories, retail space
to sell TM's health products and clothing, and, most importantly,
space for TM classes that currently cost $2,500. (Instruction in yogic
flying costs an additional $2,000.)
They are being built to follow the Vedic architectural guidelines,
which, among other requirements, mean each building faces east to
greet the energizing morning sun.
The result is something like an Indian temple crossed with a Southern
plantation mansion, a look the organization hopes will become a visual
brand, much like the golden arches signify McDonald's the world over."

Read the full article at --

Arun Sarin's Bet on India

The Wall Street Journal reports that, "Thirty years after he left
India for a life in the U.S., Arun Sarin is counting on his native
country to revive his company."

Here is an excerpt --
"As chief executive of Vodafone Group PLC, Mr. Sarin is battling to
conquer India, one of the last big frontiers in the cellphone
industry. Vodafone's $10.9 billion investment in Indian cellphone
company Hutchison Essar Ltd., unveiled one year ago this month, was
the country's largest-ever foreign investment. Now, a raft of telecom
companies are eyeing India, including AT&T Inc., which recently
applied for a license to sell service in the country.

Mr. Sarin's move reflects a new development in the globalization of
India's economy. As Indian-born executives increasingly occupy top
positions in the West, some find themselves heading back into India to
expand their businesses. The hope is that they can bring with them an
insider's perspective, and a possible edge over global competitors."

Read the full article at --

How will a Democratic win affect India?

Interesting article in the American Chronicle on how a Democratic win
will affect India. An excerpt --
"On the short term yes a democratic washington will have a fallout in
India. Cause of the expectations that the administration will have as
a consequence of the Nuclear deal. India will be expected to play a
second fiddle in America´s foreign policy. Also Obama is still talking
about retaining union jobs and protecting the average american worker
and not the corporations. That translates to less outsourcing business
for India from a short term view. But on the longer run currency
stability will see more stable global indian companies emerge having
already seen the emergence of companies like Tata and Reliance."

Read the full article at --

Mallika Sherawat as an ascetic...

From the New York Times --

"Mallika Sherawat, above, the actress known in some circles as
Bollywood's Bardot, has been cast as an ascetic who befriends Jesus of
Nazareth in "The Aquarian Gospel," a Hollywood film based on the
legend that Jesus visited India, Reuters reported. The $15 million
film, directed by Drew Heriot, deals with the life of Jesus between
the ages of 13 and 30, a period not documented in the Gospels, when
some believe he journeyed through India, Tibet and Persia. In a
statement released by her press agent, Ms. Sherawat, whose 17 kissing
scenes in her Bollywood debut, "Khwahish," created a stir, said: "I
find that in most mythological and spiritual film stories, women seem
to be lacking any true wisdom or a sense of humor. I look forward to
bringing both of those qualities to this character."

Also read at --

Rose, or is it Ramesh Venkatesan...

A new talk show on Vijay TV in Chennai, India titled "Ippadikku Rose"
features Ramesh Venkatesan as the transgender host. A huge leap ahead
for Indian television and more importantly the audiences. An excerpt
from an article in the New York Times --
"India's newest talk show host, billed as the local Oprah Winfrey,
hitched up her sari and looked for her stylist's approval. "Very
feminine. You look gorgeous, like a goddess," he said, smiling
reassuringly, as he braided a garland of fresh jasmine into her hair."

The show will certainly create an uproar and raise many eyebrows. It
will be interesting to watch how it is accepted and where this goes...
Another excerpt from the same New York Times article --
"The show's director, Anthony Thirunelveli, said the half-hour talk
show had been conceived as a program suitable for family viewing but
would discuss issues of sex and sexuality, confronting "hush, hush,
under the carpet subjects." The first nine episodes will tackle, among
other things, divorce, sex and relationships among the mostly young
employees in India's call centers, and sexual harassment.
The main attraction will be Rose herself, who now goes by only one
name. A poised, 28-year-old, American-educated former Web site
designer with a master's degree in biomedical engineering, she started
wearing women's clothes full time four years ago and is still waiting
for acceptance from her family and society at large.
If nothing else, the show will start to propel downtrodden groups of
transsexuals, or hijras, into the mainstream. Known as the third sex,
most are born male but see themselves as women."

Read the full article at--

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Gayathri Mantra goes pop-culture

Right in the middle of one of my yogasana's, during one of my Yoga
classes, I heard a westernized version of the Gayathri mantra, set to
serene Enya like music.

The Gayathri mantra is becoming very pop-culture. Here are some more
examples where it is used - An abbreviated form of the Gayatri Mantra
is sung in the opening theme for the TV show Battlestar Galactica; The
Treasure Quest video game soundtrack by Jody Gnant includes a song
entitled "The Gayatri"; Cher, in her 2002-2005 live performances on
Living Proof: The Farewell Tour; Deva Premal's album "The Essence"
includes two versions of this chant; and An abbreviated form of the
Gayatri mantra is chanted in the Bollywood film "Kabhi Khushi Kabhi
Gham"; it can also be heard during the credits of The Matrix

What is the Gayathri Mantra?

Om Bhur bhuvah svah, Tat savitur varenyam
Bhargo Devasya dheemahi, Dheeyo yonah prachodayaat

Hinduism considers this the supreme mantra, the king of all mantras.
This is believed to be the basis of all mantras and the essence of all
the Vedas. Those that chant the Gayathri mantra are protected from all

One interpretation of the meaning of the Gayathri Mantra is -- We
meditate upon the spiritual effulgence of that adorable supreme divine
reality, the source of the physical, the astral and the heavenly
spheres of existence. May that supreme divine being enlighten our
intellect so that we may realize the supreme truth.

It is said that young girls and women should not chant the Gayathri
Mantra. One of the beliefs behind this is that the chanting of this
mantra generates a lot of energy in the female's body, that which is
not conducive to girls/women of childbearing age. This not any
different from women not being allowed to chant many other mantras
from the Hindu Scriptures, such as the Rudram and Chamakam, etc.
Another belief is that chanting the Gayathri mantra gives tremendous
"Shakti" or strength, to one who chants it, since women are considered
an epitome of Shakti anyway, they need not chant it.

As with many traditions and beliefs this one is meant to be broken as
well and many women chant this mantra in today's modern world, as they
do the Rudram, Chamakam and other "prohibited" mantras in Hinduism.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Bobby Jindal an unlikely running mate for McCain

While many speculate about who the Vice-Presidential candidates will
be and who the presidential candidates, Louisiana Governor Bobby
Jindal's name has been mentioned by Rush Limbaugh and other political
commentators. In an excerpt from an interview with Wolf Blitzer on
CNN's Late Edition here is what Jindal had to say --

"BLITZER: Rush Limbaugh, who is no great fan of John McCain's, as you
well know. He is a big fan of yours. He said this on February 8th. "I
am going to give you a name that would make me jump for joy -- Bobby
Jindal. I did an interview with Bobby Jindal. He is the next Ronald
Reagan if he doesn't change."

He was throwing out your name as a potential vice presidential running
mate for John McCain. What do you think about that?

JINDAL: Well, first, I'm obviously extremely flattered. Whenever
anybody puts your name in that kind of context, it's flattering. It
was very nice for Rush to do that.

The reality is, I've got the job I want. I've got an incredible
opportunity in Louisiana. We've got an historic opportunity to change
our state.

The storms caused massive destruction, but we had challenges before
the storms. We had challenges in health care, in our economy, in our
roads. We had challenges throughout our state. We now have a
once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fix our state.

BLITZER: Well, what if McCain asked you?

JINDAL: He's not going to ask me.

BLITZER: How do you know?

JINDAL: Look, he's not going to ask me. But, no, my focus is on
Louisiana. I've been elected. I've told the people of Louisiana, this
is our chance to fix our state, and I mean that. I don't think we'll
get this chance again in our lifetimes. So it is my responsibility to
work with the legislature and the voters.

We're in the middle of an historic ethics session. I promise your
viewers this -- we'll move Louisiana from the bottom five to the top
five when it comes to ethics and good government.

We have a second session coming up in a couple of weeks to cut taxes
on businesses. We have a third regular session coming up in March.
We'll revamp workforce training, revamp our health care systems.

This is my goal. What my contribution in public life and public
service is right now, my focus is making sure that people in Louisiana
can pursue that American dream without leaving the state."

Read the full interview at--

Indian Style Breakfasts...

The Sunday Boston Globe Cooking column by Adam Reid, featured Indian
breakfasts. Nice read and a good collection of recipes--

An excerpt --
"When I say, "A short stack, two eggs over easy, hash browns, toast,
bacon or sausage, coffee, and OJ," you know exactly what I'm talking
about: American breakfast, found at diners from coast to coast. Did
you ever wonder, though, what's served for breakfast in other
countries? Sure, we have a vague notion that the French start their
day with a croissant and strong coffee, but how about in Germany?
Mexico? China?"

For the full article and recipes go to --

Eco-tourism in Bangladesh

From Reuters --

A Peoples Phone

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Opportunities in the New World

An interesting column in the Toronto Star about globetrotters circling
the world for new opportunities -

An excerpt-
"The coming year or two is shaping up as a tale of two global
economies. One is characterized by slow and possibly "negative" growth
in mature industrial nations, the other by continued dynamic gross
domestic product growth in emerging-world economies. In 2007, for the
first time in history, China, India and Russia together accounted for
more than half of global economic growth."

Read the full article at --

Money, Money, Money...

Isn't it baffling how much money there is in Bollywood? Forget the
movie actors and actresses, the producers and associated media folks
are also very affluent and well to do.

According to the New York Times, a duplex penthouse with two
43-foot-wide terraces at the Beresford, at Central Park West and 81st
Street, sold for $19 million. "It was one of four rarely sold
penthouses atop one of the most celebrated buildings on Central Park
West. The seller was Nari Hira, an Indian magazine mogul and movie
producer, who created a leading Bollywood news and gossip magazine,
Stardust. The listing, with Maria and Joanna Pashby of the Corcoran
Group, started out at $28 million last June," reports the New York

Read the full article at --

Off the beaten path...

These are not just your typical vacations to the Caribbean or to
Europe or to Las Vegas. These are very unusual trips off the beaten
path that sound fascinating and exciting. A great article in the New
York Times about Regent Seven Seas Cruises whose President Mark Conroy
says in the New York Times article, "It's all about creating memories
in many respects. Our customers always like to go back home and tell
their friends that they got to do something that most people haven't
had a chance to do."

Read the full article at --

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The dwindling tiger population

The tiger population in India, has always been a cause for concern.
With all the precautions that are being taken to care care of all the
natural resources and wildlife, one would hope that things are getting
better and looking up. Instead, Hari Kumar reports in the New York
Times that "A much-anticipated tiger census report found that their
numbers had dwindled to 1,411 from 3,642 in 2002, the last census
year. The report confirmed the fears of conservationists that India's
tigers are fast declining because of poaching and the loss of their
natural homes." A sad state of affairs indeed!

The marriage of Indian and Jazz music continues to be celebrated

There has always been a strong similarity between Indian music and
jazz music. Especially Carnatic music and jazz. This tradition
continues till date.

An article in the Boston Phoenix talks about Rudresh Mahanthappa's
Indo-jazz connection. An excerpt from tis article
"Mahanthappa, now 36, is one of the more celebrated young musicians of
his generation, a critics'-poll winner and Guggenheim fellow with an
original compositional style rooted in jazz and, yes, Indian music,
rich in rhythmic and melodic complexity, with an aggressive attack on
alto saxophone. His fat tone and fearsome articulation give his
improvisations a Coltrane-like sweep and grandeur. It's a trait he
also shares with one of his teachers from his days at Berklee, George
Garzone. Mahanthappa, who comes to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
with his quartet on February 21 (as a complement to the Gardner's
current Indian-themed "Luxury for Export" exhibit), tells a story
familiar to many first-generation children of immigrants. It's one of
musical and cultural crossover, and typically American."

An article in the Boston Globe says, "He's a self-described egghead, a numbers nut who could have become a mathematician or economist. He's a science-fiction fan who loves William Gibson's "Neuromancer" and is liable to zone out to sci-fi reruns on TV. But when Rudresh Mahanthappa takes the stage, it's with an alto saxophone, not chalk and blackboard, that he burrows into theorems and explores alternate planes, in a musical language so vivid and complex that hard-bitten jazz arbiters have dared to compare him to Ornette Coleman or John Coltrane."

Read the Boston GLobe article at --

Read the Boston Phoenix article at --

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Mills and Boon arrives in India...

All those Mills and Boons we used to devour when we where teenagers in
India. Whether we really liked them or not, peer pressure was in full
force, we had to read all the latest ones so we could talk about them
in college. We used to go to lending libraries and line up outside so
we could borrow the latest M&B's. Now they are moving to India. An
article in the Telegraph says - "Andrew Go, head of Indian operations
of Harlequin Mills & Boon, owned by Canadian giant Tristar, believes
that India could become its largest market. "

An excerpt from this aticle --
"A generation of urban, educated women have devoured Mills & Boon's
romantic fiction since the days of the Raj, but only through Indian
lending libraries and the limited number of titles exported here.

Now the publisher, which sells four books across the world every
second, has tied up with an Indian company to publish its novels here
and distribute them at supermarkets and newspaper kiosks for just 99
rupees (£1.30).

It also plans to launch an Indian series later this year — stories set
in India, about Indians, by Indians. The aim is to conquer the hearts
of 300 million English speakers with its romantic fiction."

Read the full article at --

Food and Memories from India...

Todays New York Times magazine has a really nice article by Kiran
Desai, about nostalgic memories from India.

An excerpt from this piece--
"In the afternoons, as the rest of the family slept the sodden sleep
of a hot climate, I would tiptoe into the kitchen. Saratbhai would be
napping on the even hotter rooftop, among the rows of earthenware pots
he placed there to cool the concrete.

My mother was amused by this interest of mine. She preferred to spend
her time among her books, a collection that traveled all the way from
floor to ceiling. For an Indian woman, her lack of meddling in the
kitchen was remarkable and weird. Saratbhai boasted about it to the
others in the community of harassed, bullied cooks. It gave him
status. He was our kitchen deity.

But now his artistry was being snubbed by a child, by tastes from
abroad that he could not gauge or understand, gleaned from a book he
could not read. An uncertain world where Western was better than
Indian, where the young ridiculed the old — a world for which he
didn't have skills to cope might pour into his kitchen and undo our
home and his dignity within it."

Read the full article at --

The biggest American release ever for a Hindi film...

A nice article about Aishwarya Rai and her latest talked about release
"Jodhaa Akbar" in the New York Times.

An excerpt from this article by Anupama Chopra:
"Jodhaa Akbar" focuses on that quintessentially Indian subject:
arranged marriage. Set in the 16th century, it explores the marriage
between the great Mughal Emperor Akbar, a Muslim, and his Hindu wife

Historians have described the union as a political alliance, but in
the hands of Ashutosh Gowariker, the film's director, the story has
become "an epic romance with its share of battles, harem politics and
intrigue," he said in a telephone interview. Mr. Gowariker, whose 2001
period film, "Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India," was nominated for an
Oscar for best foreign film, isn't claiming factual accuracy but
insists that the film is "embedded in historical truth."

He cast Ms. Bachchan as the queen (a figure some Indian historians
dispute ever existed) because, he said, "Aishwarya is a comic book
princess with a certain dignity, elegance and sense of purity." For
the role of Akbar, Mr. Gowariker wanted someone with "the physique of
a warrior and the face of a romantic," and selected another Bollywood
superstar, Hrithik Roshan."

Read the full article at--

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Is Hillary Clinton the Asian American choice?

Interesting piece by Andrew Leonard in --

Hillary Clinton: The Asian-American choice

At the big Oprah-headlined rally for Barack Obama in Los Angeles on
Saturday, surprise guest Maria Shriver, California's first lady, cited
-- as one of a string of reasons why the state's Democrats should vote
for the senator from Illinois -- the fact that, like California, he
was "diverse."

In the wake of Super Tuesday, we've learned that such diversity
doesn't necessarily include Latinos, especially those older than 30.
But a self-congratulatory article in the India Express touting the
influence of Indian-Americans in the Democratic primary process
reveals even greater constraints on the appeal of Obama's diversity.
In California, exit poll data suggests that 69 percent of Latinos
voted for Clinton, while only 29 percent voted for Obama. But
Asian-American voters skewed even more sharply pro-Clinton: 75 percent
voted for her, compared to 23 percent for Obama. That's almost as high
as the percentage of the black vote (78 percent) that went for Obama.

Sen. Clinton has strong ties with Indian-Americans, and once joked at
a fundraising event that she was "delighted to be the Senator from
Punjab." Last June, Barack Obama stumbled into a storm of bad
publicity when his campaign released an ill-advised attack on Clinton
citing the Punjab joke and her ties to Indian outsourcing companies.

Despite the claims of the Indian press, the total numbers of
Indian-American voters in the New York and New Jersey primaries were
too small to significantly influence the overal results. (The total
Asian vote was too small for there to be any relevant exit poll data.)
A better case can be made in California. In Santa Clara County, where
there are some 115,000 Indian-American residents, Clinton cleaned up,
winning 54.8 percent to 39.3 percent -- better than her statewide
average. (Whereas just to the north, in San Francisco and Alameda
counties, Obama was the victor.)

But that's just one piece. In California, 8 percent of all Democratic
voters identified themselves as Asian -- a category that encompasses a
vast swath of cultures. Truly, California's diversity is
extraordinary. But it doesn't appear, so far, to translate into a
willingness to vote for a "diverse" candidate for president.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The struggle to educate...

I know several of my cousins, friends, relatives, who register with
Montessori's and kindergarden schools, as soon as they get married,
many even after their engagement. They don't have kids for over 5
years after, but they need to do this to ensure a seat for their their
3 year old child who will be born five years later. Seats for
elementary and middle school kids are at a premium as well,
"donations" for these seats are very high and recommendations to even
be able to pay these donations need to come from very high level
officials, or someone with a lot of clout. It is very hard for a
middle class person to afford and make happen.

As I had said on one of my earlier blogs, education in India is so
tightly tied to class, caste, money and not sufficiently associated
with merit. Here is an excerpt of and article about this in the New
York Times today --
" The anxiety over school admissions is a parable of desire and
frustration in a country with the largest concentration of young
people in the world. About 40 percent of India's 1.1 billion citizens
are younger than 18; many others are parents in their 20s and 30s,
with young school-age children.

Today, for all but the very poor, government schools are not an option
because they are considered weak, and the competition for choice
private schools is fierce.

The scramble is part of the great Indian education rush, playing out
across the country and across the socioeconomic spectrum. The striving
classes are spending hefty amounts or taking loans to send their
children to private schools. In some cases, children from small towns
are commuting more than 40 miles every day to good, or at least
sought-after, schools. New private schools are sprouting, as
industrialists, real estate developers and even a handful of foreign
companies eye the Indian education market.

That market is a lot like other things in India. Supply lags far
behind demand as cities grow, pocketbooks swell and parents who
themselves may have struggled in their childhoods want something
better for their offspring."

Read the full article at --

Sania Mirza -- You go girl!!!

It's about time some of these celebrities put their foot down, and
acted more aggressively. Is it just because she is a Muslim, or is it
because of schadenfreude? Why does everyone keep picking on this woman
who is bringing India to the forefront of women's tennis...

An excerpt from the New York Times article --
"Sania Mirza, the most successful tennis star in India, has announced
that she has no desire to play in her country any more after a string
of controversies that have exposed her to months of negative

"Every time I play in India, there is a problem," Mirza, ranked 29th
in the world and No. 1 in Asia, said Monday. "Considering all that, I
thought it would be better not to play in Bangalore," she added,
explaining her decision to boycott India's most prestigious
tournament, the Bangalore Open, in March. "In fact, I feel it would be
better if I don't play in the country for some time.""

Read the full article at --

Lighten up...

For years and years stereotypes are used to make ads, movies etc.
mostly with the intent of laughing together rather than laughing at
someone. In the US the swedish, germans, french everyone is
stereotyped, and have been for decades and decades. Accents are made
fun of by everyone. Everyone makes fun of the South Indian accent,
South Indians make fun of the North Indians accent. In the US we make
fun of the Bostonian accent, the southern accent, the list goes on and

I don't understand why the 2 superbowl ads featuring Chinese and
Indians have been drawing a lot of criticism. I personally thought
they were funny, and the the characters came across as smart and
proactive, acting quickly achieving their goals and becoming
successful. If the characters were portrayed as losers then it is
something else. All I can say is people lighten up... You don't like
it don't watch it. Stop making something of nothing, just because...

Read the full article about the "offensive" superbowl ads at --

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Mac or a PC? Which one do you plan to vote for?

Is it just me, or are there others out there who believe that this is
such an apt comparison of the two democratic contenders. I find this
slick and simple, yet has so much depth. This makes me wonder about
the South Asian angle, yes the South Asian angle I believe is that
South Asians are usually PC people, at least the ones that I know are
and I know a few of them. Personally I am a Mac person, or a
worshipper I might say. In fact that is what I am using to type this
blog item. BUT... that is not to say that is what my political slant
is... Like my 4 year old says, "that my friend, is a big secret!"

Excerpt from the NYT article --
" STYLES make fights — or so goes the boxing cliché. In 2008, they
make presidential campaigns, too.

This is especially true for the two remaining Democrats, Hillary
Clinton and Barack Obama. Reporters covering the candidates have
already resorted to traditional analysis of style — fashion choices,
manner of speaking, even the way they laugh. Yet, according to design
experts, the candidates have left a clear blueprint of their personal
style — perhaps even a window into their souls — through the Web sites
they have created to raise money, recruit volunteers and generally
meet-and-greet online.

On one thing, the experts seem to agree. The differences between and can be summed up this way:
Barack Obama is a Mac, and Hillary Clinton is a PC."

Read the full article at --

Monday, February 04, 2008

Another American of part-Indian origin who sets herself apart...

Kirin Kalia is the editor of Featured in
the New York Times this article about this magazine that has a "A Tiny
Staff, Tracking People Across the Globe."

An excerpt from this article --
Every moment has its magazine, and for the age of migration it is the
Migration Information Source, a weekly (more or less) online journal
followed worldwide by scholars, policy makers and the occasional
migrant in distress. "My soul's dying every moment," an Iranian asylum
seeker wrote last year in an e-mail message from Greece. "Give me an

Many readers discover the Source simply by googling the word
"immigrant" and finding a link to among the
millions of citations.

At the site's helm is an American-born editor, Kirin Kalia, 32, who
describes herself as "half Dutch, half Indian, 100 percent American
and total migration geek." Ms. Kalia thrives on hybridity — devouring
Indian-American novels and Dutch-Moroccan films — and finds no
migration topic too obscure. To know the fate of Latvian mushroom
pickers in Ireland is, for her, to glimpse the world in a grain of

"To move to a different country for whatever reason takes so much
courage," she said, interrupting an interview to play a song by a
British-Indian rapper, Panjabi MC, stored on her hard drive. "The fact
that so many people do it is just endlessly fascinating to me."

Read the full article at --

Friday, February 01, 2008

The Rise of Planet India

Read this doc on Scribd: Rise of Planet India TIA FJan Feb 2008

Will Wall Street's Flu Make India Sneeze?

From Tehelka --
As the fear of recession grows in the US, VISI TILAK, SHANTANU GUHA RAY and VIVEK SINHA examine the possible impact it will have on our economy

AN EARTHQUAKE with a magnitude of over 8 on the global economy’s equivalent of the Richter scale, a huge ebb in the largest economic ocean of them all — can a tsunami that could engulf most economies, wipe out many minnows and seriously damage others, be far behind?

As uncertainty grips the world, and the US economy flounders between the Scylla of the sub-prime crisis and the Charybdis of a credit crunch, economists and political leaders around the globe have been providing a plenitude of opinions, united only on one thing: everyone agrees a big storm is coming. Where they differ is on the intensity, the toll it will extract and which economies, if any, will be able to provide a safe port.

Already weakened by the dollar in decline, the sub-prime crisis and the credit market downturn hit the US amidships. While it’s too early to tell whether this collision was of the Titanic iceberg variety or whether the battered US economy will limp back to recovery, what is definite is the palpable list.

Consider just one comment from Bloomberg News: “US corporate profits are in a recession and the entire economy may not be far behind.” Hence the rushed repair job carried out by the Federal Reserve (75 basis points cut in interest rates) and the Bush Administration (a $156 billion stimulus package).

The result: Emerging markets, which, by definition, are provided ballast by the consumerist czar of the economic world, are bound to be buffeted about. The question is, by how much? More important, will the internal buoyancy in the Indian economy be enough to offset the global tempest unleashed by the US in crisis?

Read the full article at --