Showing posts from August, 2005

National Parks in India

One of the advantages of living near Washington DC is the proximity of the Shenandoah National Park and a host of other national and state parks. Shenandoah, as other National Parks in United States is maintained by the National Park Service. It is a very serene place with plenty of stuff to do. I have gone there repeatedly in all seasons and have always been amazed at the breadth of activities and the changes which nature throws back at me. It is truly amazing to have such an oasis so close to the nation's capital and yet find it so beautifully maintained. I have had the fortune of going to equally beautiful national parks like the Sequoia National Park in California and the Cape Hatteras National Seashore in North Carolina.While ruminating about the effectiveness of National Parks in providing a way to recharge your batteries, I was thinking about a trip I took to the Gir National Forest in India, the last abode of the Asiatic lion. Gir is one of the "better" maintaine…

"New" Netflix in India

Sounds familiar ???
Roomie 1. Arrgh, nothing to do on a Sunday afternoon
Roomie 2. Let us head to the Neighborhood Store (NB) to see if they have something new
Roomie 1. Naah, he has nothing new to offer.......In an age where everything is delivered direct to doorsteps,it is not surprising that a subscription service for Media would follow. Traditional video rental (both in India and United States), involves stores, manned by store employees and carry a certain number of titles. You pick up the an available title from a selection, pay the price and return it in the allocated time, else you are subjected to late return fine. A proof of identity is usually required, either through a Credit Card (CC) orHome Address (HA).

Brief Descriptionof how Netflix works
In the case of Netflix, for $19.95 per month, a member can get up to three titles at a time sent to his house through first class postal service, up to eight for a higher subscription rate. There are no late fees and no due dates. Membe…

Film Reviews on IndiaFM

The media manipulation with respect to movie reviews has already been well chronicled. It is a very well known fact that journalists covering movies are either in pro-director or anti-director groups. Consequently, you have well known reviewers like Roger Ebert giving thumbs up to movies which would not be worth even a first glance. These movies then go on to do a reasonable amount of business because people would think, "If Roger has endorsed it, we should go and check it out".

This trend is all the more amplified in Bollywood. "Journalists" like Taran Adarsh of IndiaFM fame routinely pan work other than that by either the Chopras or Karan Johar. Of course, any movie starring SRK gets the most favorable rating. While I doubt the real impact of his rating scale (after all, SRK has his die-hard fans, review or no review), it is his "negative shade" about other movies that makes people think and then Not see the movie. A case in point is the movie "Seha…

Ambassador Blackwill's Farewell Speech in India

An interesting speech by the outgoing US Ambassador to India.

Ambassador Robert D. Blackwill
A Luncheon Speech Sponsored By The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on July 29, 2003 in New Delhi, India."Throughout my two years in New Delhi, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) have been vital to the promotion of US-India relations. I especially salute FICCI's support in the establishment of the Indo-US Parliamentary Forum. This important body allows lawmakers from the world's two largest democracies to exchange views on a wide range of issues facing our countries.
I would like to thank all of you from FICCI for your extraordinary efforts and for inviting me here today.
Ten days ago, I gave my final policy speech as US Ambassador to India. Today, I shall share with you personal thoughts about how this country has shaped me during these past two years. Unlike Siddhartha, my meditations whi…

Tired @ Work ? Pump the volume !!

Frequently, most of us want to wind out either in-between a long day or at the end of a long day. I don't like to store my mp3 files and many people I know can't download anything on their office machines. How to listen to some randomly selected Indian music? The choice is to face some annoying pop ups from Raaga or Smash Hits or...........
Check out Desi Radio. My initial reaction is of guarded surprise, the collection is eclectic, there are no nasty advertising pop-ups and the collection seems to be pretty varied.
Desi Radio recommendation via Confusion Personified, a "blog" maintained by Aditya Parikh

Emerging 'isms' of the new economy

Really funny and interesting email forward from Alok Mehta