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Showing posts from February, 2007

The Jubilee Disambiguation

Every fortnight, a new Comic Strip is sent to the members of the Arbit Choudhury Yahoo Group .We also try and make the e-mail (which goes along) informative and interesting, while also updating fans with the latest milestones achieved by the venture. This fortnight we were announcing about Arbit Choudhury Comics hitting the 75th Comic Strip mark. So, one of us suggested using the term 'Diamond Jubilee' for the same. Somehow, I remembered that 75 is associated with Platinum and not Diamond - so I went to Google/ Wikipedia and did some research only to discover the confusing world of 'Jubilees'. I first discovered that Diamond Jubilee is associated with 60 years by the British standards. So, I checked if using 'Platinum' would be correct to discover further that 'Platinum Jubilee' is associated with 70 years by British usage and with 75 years by South Asian (Read: Indian) usage. However to add to the twist on Jubilees, in the US "Diamond Jubilee&qu

An Aging World | India's demographic Future

The US Census Bureau and the National Institute on Aging (NIA) has released a report that says thats the world's population aged 65 and above is growing by an unprecedented rate of 800,000 people a month. Italy is the world's 'oldest' country with 18% population above 65. Indeed, this was possibly the most significant difference even I had noted while traveling outside India. In India we are so used to seeing young people, that the site of large number of old people on the streets looks uncanny. In fact, in India, due to our culture of children supporting their parents - an old person is usually accompanied by another younger person thus blurring the general visibility of old people in public. Hence, when I saw old people, supported on walking sticks, wheelchairs and golf carts - not out for a walk but in the market, shopping all by themselves - it felt strange. I guess this is just one of the signs of an aging world. Many other, invisible signs are revealed by stati

Black Friday

"When faced by injustice, most people sulk - only few do something about it." Referred to Tiger Memon, the above quote might seem overly positive - but it is all the truth! And the movie Black Friday draws home this fact very tactfully that the Mumbai Bomb Blasts were nothing but a personal revenge by Tiger Memon for a personal loss he suffered during the '93 communal riots. Many suffered loss in the riots - in both communities - and while the ISI would have been overly eager to take advantage of the situation in India - it is people like Tiger who directed the anger of few into an incident as chilling as the Mumbai Bomb Blasts. I have always wondered as to why the underworld got involved into these bomb blasts which were linked to communal violence. The underworld in India, has been quite 'secular' to use a political term - composed of players from all communities and working for only one common goal - Money. In light of this fact, it hardly makes sense that

The Good old Microsoft the Great

Amazing graphic to illustrate the power of Microsoft ...

Will Google Gobble up the net?

Google Devta - this is an internal slang we use among our group of friends. Indeed for some of us 'Google Fans' - Google is akin to God. It serves most of all online needs: want to surf the net - use Google Search, want to check email - use GMail, want to read blogs - use Google Reader, want to write a blog - use Google Blogger, want to find out how many INR is $1 - use Google Search [ Click to know how ] , need data from a French website - use Google translator, want to calculate "4 + 4" - use Google Search again! [ Click to know how ] But I am sure none of us is a freak enough to propound that Google can take over the internet. However, it seems there are much more die hard fans of Google on the net who feel this way . So much so that there are now debates hosted on popular blogs on this subject. I guess, such kinds of 'extremist' views have been propounded even in past but in this case they have been coming to light because of the easy accessibility of

The Political Party of the future

I wrote about making India the land of Opportunity in a previous post ... another related thought that has been revolving in my mind since a few months now, is the priorities which a 'new age' political party in India should have. Given that India is home to 1/5th of the world's population and host to the world's largest ever young population - I think a political party of India needs to have 'Human Development' on the top of its agenda. To detail the priorities should be: Healthcare and public hygiene - abundance of clinics - high regard for cleanliness and hygiene in public places Concern for environment - this is closely related to hygiene - this is also inline with 'Indian Culture' Human development infrastructure - Primary Schools - Secondary schools & colleges - Vocational training institutions etc Physical Infrastructure development - national and local train network - Highways & city roads - dams, canals, waterways The following posts

People's Priorities

While gazing around in the train back home today, I suddenly realized a striking difference between Mumbai local interiors and London Tube interiors. Apart from the more obvious differences was the kinds of Advertisements which are put up inside the coach. In London the most common advertisements inside trains were - Online Gambling/ Gaming, Tours & Travels and Mortgage & Loans - in that order. In the Mumbai local the common adverts are - Medicines, Spiritual (Baba X's or Amma Y's Adhiveshan) and Career - in that order. Speaks of the priorities of people in the two cities quite aptly ...

Super Power or Super Problem?

Fortune [link via Rakesh Jain ] writes: "India should put aside pride about its growing economy and concentrate on improving the lives of average citizens. India is not a superpower, and in fact, that is probably the wrong ambition for it, anyway. Why? Let me answer in the form of some statistics. 47 percent of Indian children under the age of five are either malnourished or stunted. The adult literacy rate is 61 percent (behind Rwanda and barely ahead of Sudan). Even this is probably overstated, as people are deemed literate who can do little more than sign their name. Only 10 percent of the entire Indian labor force works in the formal economy; of these fewer than half are in the private sector. The enrollment of six-to-15-year-olds in school has actually declined in the last year. About 40 million children who are supposed to be in school are not. About a fifth of the population is chronically hungry; about half of the world's hungry live in India. More than a quarter of

Emotional Mixture

Just back from Delhi after attending the wedding of two of my closest friends - M &A - to each other! As Shubham put it quite aptly on our way back from Chandigarh to Delhi – "Hamare jeevan ka ek aur parv sampann hua" ! Indeed, this wedding actually marks a ceremonial moment - not just for the couple - but for our whole group of friends, in the gradual transformation we all are going through. [In NITIE, we had christened our gang as G-7 (actually a gang of 8 – a counting mistake while choosing the Yahoo Groups identity of the group created this name!). Among G-7 – only I, Shubham and Sabyasachi now remain the un-married and/or un-committed ones!] Today, as I was returning through Saki Naka towards my home, a sudden feeling of nostalgia gripped me and left me wondering as to what the nostalgia was all about? These two friends of mine just got married, but they are not going anywhere, they are still going to be around! Then what was the nostalgia about? I guess deep insid

The land of opportunity!

If there’s anything that has been hard to come by in India – its opportunity! You have to fight out everywhere to get the ‘opportunity’. Whether it is a chance to speak out in the school assembly [ Ref: Turning Point ] , or to get entry to one of the top engineering or management institutes in the country! I recently heard from my cousin that even MBA training institutes are allowing students with interview calls from only top-10 institutes to participate in mock-group discussion sessions. The others must only watch! I have been a bit fortunate to have got a lot of opportunities early in my life in the area of personality development. My school provided lots of platforms – from the morning assembly to the school election – of public speaking, stage performance, and other personality development activities (like writing). Our local community (mohalla) too was an encouraging platform for such activities and we had a lot of enthusiastic people in there. However, apart from these, other

Sing Tata in C(h)orus

On my last day in the London, I was watching the morning breakfast news on BBC. In the LSE pre-opening briefing, the major item on agenda was the Tata’s Bid for Corus. The BBC report made me swell with pride wherein they called the Tata’s as one of the most respected companies worldwide and their compassionate attitude towards workers of Corus. They were termed as the best suitors among a plethora of multinational giants in fray then for Corus. So, when I read that the Corus auction on Tuesday night, I was anxious to know the results. When I woke up in the morning yesterday, my immediate instinct was to check the newspaper. But since the bid closed at 7 AM IST, there was no update in the newspaper. I immediately navigated to indiatimes.com through my mobile and literally jumped with joy on seeing the headline. Read: ' How financial Engineering made the deal possible ' The growth of the Tata’s is testimony to India’s attitude of embracing new cultures. It all began in the 17t