Serial Bus

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Posts Tagged ‘India

Tintin in Tawang

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Tintin in Tibet

Tintin visited Tibet in 1958, about an year before the Dalai Lama had to flee in the wake of the Chinese invasion. Tintin loved the country and wanted to revisit. Upset by the title of his memoir published in 1960 (‘Tintin in Tibet’), the Chinese government banned Tintin and Snowy from traveling to Tibet through a special proclamation signed by the Chairman himself. In 2001, China allowed the publication of a Chinese-language version of the by-then famous book with a slightly different title – ‘Tintin in China’s Tibet’. Most Chinese came to love Tintin for his bravery when he traveled to Tibet in 1958 to save Chang Chong-Chen, his Chinese friend. Yet, the Party still held a grouse, for it was Tintin who popularized the word ‘Tibet’ across the world. Had it not been for him, China would have succeeded in its sinister plan to re-name Tibet as ‘The Liberated Land’.

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November 8, 2009 at 4:15 pm

Alas, MJ

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The famous guy who I shared (just) my initials with died last Thursday at 50. Michael Jackson enthralled the world for about 40 years before giving up the ghost. The death of any other singer of English songs would not have moved me so much – but MJ was a huge cultural cross-over. Outside of the US too, he was a childhood icon of many a non-English speaking people and a cool embodiment of all the razzle-dazzle that West represented for us.

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June 29, 2009 at 8:19 pm

Congress Landslilde: India’s Lucky Break

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Indians in the western hemisphere woke up this Saturday morning to the dreadful prospect of Mayawati being sworn in as the next prime minister of India. That calamity has been averted. Most pundits had forecast another hung parliament in the general elections; so hung that the regional parties would play haughty kingmakers and a Congress or a BJP would struggle in cobbling together their patchy umbrellas called UPA and NDA. Such worries have proven to be unfounded, thanks to another exit polls debacle. In practice, I don’t see much difference between Congress and BJP today – though BJP sprang upon the national scene due to its pursuit of right-wing Hindutva and Congress traditionally espoused sclerotic socialism, both the parties have followed a centrist agenda in the last two decades in the matters of economy, national security and foreign policy. Most significantly, Congress introduced market reforms in 1991 and BJP kept them on course in 1999. So, at this crucial time in India’s coming-of-age when a global recession is gnawing everywhere, Congress’ decisive victory provides India what it needs most i.e. stability without melodrama – and for that reason alone, I celebrate this outcome.

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May 17, 2009 at 12:56 am

Welcome to the Stone Age!

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According to the famous Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem that I studied as an economics undergraduate, for all ranked preference orders, no voting system can simultaneously comply with the criteria of unrestricted domain, non-imposition, non-dictatorship, Pareto-efficiency and independence of irrelevant alternatives. In simplistic terms, no voting method can ever be fair. Another famous voting paradox, this time by Condorcet, reveals that a minority can be an agenda-setter by casting the deciding vote if two groups of majority are tied. These theories perhaps best explain how  a small regional party like Samajwadi Party (Socialist Party) can hold the development of India to ransom in the context of the forthcoming General Elections. SP’s recently-released manifesto promises, amongst other equally ridiculous things, to fight against computers and English medium education in India. Welcome to the Stone Age!

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April 12, 2009 at 1:50 pm

Have I Been Spoilt by the US?

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Last week, I completed 2 years of stay in the US. Before moving to the US, I had always lived an itinerant life – never staying in one place more than a couple of years (although always somewhere in India). Sometime in 2008, Nidhi and I decided that we will not apply for a Greencard and that we will eventually move to India. We resolved that we will never become too comfortable to move elsewhere. I lived with this faith until our return from a recent trip to Morocco. That you start thinking of a place as home is  proven when you look forward to being back there. Undoubtedly, the trip to Morocco was spectacular in general but we faced a few incidents that shuddered us and perhaps increased the sense of belonging to the US. My apologies as I might be digging the dirty belly of Morocco in this post but there is no point in pretending some things never happened.

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April 5, 2009 at 3:36 pm

Posted in Anecdote, Living, Travel, USA

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Your Passports Will Be Mailed To You!

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Those are the magic words that my parents and didi (‘sister’) recently heard at the US Embassy in Delhi after their successful visa interviews that marked the culmination of months of careful planning. For Nidhi and me, getting a visitor’s visa for my folks has been like the all-important science project in school which has to be done with utmost care as it carries a double-digit weightage for the final exams. It all started with a simple notion i.e. how about getting my parents to travel to the US next year?

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December 14, 2008 at 5:15 pm

Jagriti Yatra: Five point something!

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If asked to recount 5 top events of my life, I will perhaps always include my participation in the Azad Bharat Rail Yatra (Free India Train Journey) in 1997-98. A chartered train with over 200 students cris-crossed India in an exciting journey that celebrated India’s 50 years of independence. The second edition of this journey, called Jagriti Yatra (Renaissance Journey), takes place this winter, 24Dec08-11Jan09.

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November 16, 2008 at 4:16 pm