Commonwealth’s resounding success

I’ve been losing touch on news lately but one thing I did manage to follow and that was CWG. I am feeling f****** proud (I do always anyways) of India because it wasn’t easy and especially whole world was kind of waiting for one failure to pounce upon it. I know there are problems but they are everywhere and I despise people who are always badmouthing their motherland. This should be a lesson to them as well as orgs like BBC, Aussie media etc who are selectively critical of Indian success anytime and anywhere. This is in no way to encourage the kind of corruption Kalmadi and co. must have indulged in on the name of CWG but I would have been pissed if after eating all that money, they messed up the games. What’s truly heartening about CWG’s success is seeing public being mature about it. There has been lash on Indian media for questioning the games initially but I will give them the credit for following up on the important issues for if they didn’t, I doubt politicians would have taken significant actions. I heard Delhi is a changed place now (reminds me of my post on post Olympics China) from my cousin and I think we do deserve that modernization. I also feel proud about Ayodhya issue proceeding peacefully. These things do make me miss India more though!

The chronicles from India

Namaste (and this is the authentic one, not some oriental person trying some voodoo in Lost!) from India.

Every time I come to India, people scare me or warn me about vaccinations, water etc etc. I am yet to fall sick after eating roadside pani pooris. My immune system very sweetly supports every patriotic beat of my heart and I am very thankful for that!

I was as excited to see the great Rann of Kutch as I was for Grand Canyon and it was worth every minute I spent in heat standing on the sultry white salt under my foot. Walking on the Rann was like walking on a spongy water bed. The water would ooze out unabashedly as soon as I put a little more weight on my foot. The white salt glistening in afternoon sunrays kept me mesmerized till the heat broke my trance. I got to see a very small strip of Kutch but it was adequate to trigger my imagination into picturing the rest.

Long ago, the Rann was covered shallow with Arabian Sea but eventually water evaporated leaving behind a vast reservoir of raw salt – creating a huge salt-marsh. Kutch expands to tens of thousands of kilometers, even reaching out to the international boundary we share with Pakistan. Flooding easily in monsoons and cracking its heart open in dry summers, Rann could beat the best of natural wonders anywhere in the world.

Ghalib’s heritage endangered

Ghalibs haveli (src: flickr)
Ghalib's haveli (src: flickr)

Unfortunate is the land that can’t uphold it’s own legacy. To have been blessed with the affections of the peerless Mirza Ghalib is sufficient alone to make Delhi special but Delhi has decided to hand the honor over to the oblivion. In recent news article from TOI, the Delhi govt. or the archaeological department had no clue how Ghalib’s haveli was permitted to be used as a marriage banquet hall. Such incidences are not merely a proof of the corruption and govt’s incompetency but questions the level of awareness among the people themselves. A place that should be boasted off is left to decay. Thanks to some celebrities who are still proud of this Indian heritage such as Gulzar and Vishal Bharadwaj, the forsaken place was paid its dues in a candlelight vigil on the poets 212th birthday on 27th Dec. I know at least one place I have to visit when I go to Delhi this time before the haveli is reduced to a mockery of the value of art in India.
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CJR – World of Paine

Today’s feature-

If Thomas Paine were alive today, there’s little doubt you would find him blogging from, challenging concentrated power, conspicuous wealth, and a culture amusing itself to death. Paine would likely have cherished the chance to engage his readers in debate, and spur them to direct action for better government and a more equitable economy. When people pick up a newspaper or view it online, they need to feel that the multitude of voices within are devoted to them: a democratic people determined to stay that way. One man, with one voice, did that for the American colonies—and it changed the world.

No matter what form journalism takes in the coming years, it will only remain relevant if it follows Paine’s example and treats people like citizens worthy of serious conversations. The profession forgets this at its own peril. Or, as Paine would say: “Character is much easier kept than recovered.”

-Matthew Harwood

A good solid read at Columbia Journalism Review. The name ‘Thomas Paine’ has crossed my eyes much too often recently, no wonder since it’s his death anniversary week. But first things first- Who is Thomas Paine?

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Kudos to Slumdog, a look at its success at Golden Globes

the cast and crew at Golden Globes

Rahman wins the best music score, ‘Jai Ho’ indeed

Here’s the trailer

Also won Best Movie, Best Director and Screenplay (what else matters anyways!). A phenomenal run. Lets see how Academy treats it (the voting process is altogether different and over the years, the favorites at Globes are not necessarily the winners at Oscars).