Serial Bus

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Archive for March 2009

A Life-Defining Hurrah of An Adventure

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I come across countless stories of adventure all the time however none moved me as much as something that was recently accomplished by my friend, Astrid. She (along with Alex, her brother) recently walked along the Himalayas on a ten-month trek (check out their wonderful blog here). They started their trek at Dharamshala (Himachal Pradesh) and then continued through the arc of Himalayas, passing through Uttarakhand (my home province) and Nepal (the full length from west to east), finally concluding their journey in Sikkim. They did not know the local languages, there is very limited travel infrastructure in this region and good reliable literature is scarce. I really admire the duo’s zest for adventure and their love of the mountains. I also felt a sense of loss as I felt left out of adventure – not theirs but in general.

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March 29, 2009 at 4:32 pm

Predicting Flu, Recession and More….

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Today, I spoke with Nitesh, an old friend, after a long time. When New York catches a cold, Bangalore is one of the first cities to sneeze. So, being based there, Nitesh is witnessing the unraveling of the global economy from close quarters. As we got talking, one of the outrages that we shared was why nobody was able to predict its onslaught. While some players in the economy have a vested interest in not blowing the whistle, the same is not true of the numerous state and non-state agencies (starting with Uncle Ben) whose professed goal is to tell as they see it. Even Alan Greenspan seemed befuddled recently with his own lack of clairvoyance. Beyond what we have already heard and read, I do not have any insights into why the wise folks did not see this coming. Rather, I want to point out how Google has shown us an interesting way of doing what armies of analysts failed to do i.e. predicting recession.

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Written by serialbus

March 22, 2009 at 8:12 pm

Liberation from Serfdom?!

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Fifty years ago, the central government of China foiled an armed rebellion that started on March 10 by the Dalai Lama and his supporters to block reform of the feudal serfdom in Tibet and split the region from China. On March 28, 1959, a new local Tibetan government was formed, freeing millions of Tibetan serfs and slaves, who accounted for more than 90 percent of the population in the region at that time. The Dalai Lama and his followers, since their exile, have continued to pursue either disguised or undisguised activities to separate Tibet from China and restore feudal serfdom in the region.

Despite how ridiculous the above may sound, this is exactly what the Chinese government would like their 1.3Bn people to believe. The above extract is from Xinhua but all other media outlets in China are unsurprisingly consistent too. 

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March 15, 2009 at 6:59 pm

Our Time In Maghreb

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(I thank my co-traveler Nidhi for agreeing to guest-write this post for my blog.)

Sometimes I wonder how, in just 7 hours of flying, you can reach a place which is so different. For instance, my recent vacation to Morocco – or Maroc as French would say – or Maghreb as the Arabs once said. As he wrote in the previous post, Mohit had kept the destination a secret and he wanted me to find out when I reached the airport. I cooperated by not snooping around. Finally on 13th Feb, when I reached JFK, I was told that we were flying to Morocco and I was (to Mohit’s relief) pleasantly surprised. My first reaction was, “I don’t know a lot about it” and then, I was given a Rough guide to learn more about the country I would be spending the next 9 days in.

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Written by serialbus

March 8, 2009 at 11:14 am

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