Famous quotes

"Happiness can be defined, in part at least, as the fruit of the desire and ability to sacrifice what we want now for what we want eventually" - Stephen Covey

Friday, January 29, 2010

Federer comments before the Aus open final

If Federer showed at Melbourne Park just how classy he could be when he pulverised France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the last four, and he also demonstrated that he had a sense of humour when he wondered during the on-court interview whether Murray would be attempting to win Britain’s first grand slam singles title “for 150,000 years”.
He later moved on to the psychology of Sunday’s final. “The pressure is big on him. He’s in his second grand slam final now,” Federer said of Murray, the player he defeated in straight sets in the 2008 US Open final.
Unusual for the usually nice player Cant wait for the Final

Cricket Ad space in India in 2009

Came across an article in Television point which shed some light on the Cricket Ad space in the Indian television in India.
The total ad revenue in Sports sector is a whopping Rs 11 Billion in 2009.
Most of the revenue is attributed to the IPL.(around 50%) which is high for a 4 week extravaganza.No wonder that the channels and the franchises are ready to pay a heavy price in getting the share of the pie.Sony has predicted that they are expecting around Rs 7 Billion in Ad revenues for 2010 IPL (which is a 40% Jump).IPL has really arrived and here to stay,this is India's answer to EPL,NBA etc.An expected 85 Million watched IPL in 2009(around 26% watched it outside their homes).IPL will certainly have an effect on the GEC Space in India as well which have a downturn in their TRPs during the IPL season.Even Bollywood is getting scared about IPL and they are refraining from releasing any mivies during the IPL season. SRK was the first person who said even before the start of the IPL that no movies to be released during IPL(a true prophet indeed).Infact a lot of screens in India has decided to showcase LIVE IPL matches inorder to prevent the loss of revenue.The BCCI seeing an opportunity here has already sold the theatrical rights to a Dubai based Dar Capital for an undisclosed amount.Now it seems that they are looking for mobile partners as well for the IPL. I would really appreciate the fact the IPL is going to be telecast in Youtube,Being a frequent Youtuber like me that is an easy and userfriendly way to consume the excitement and theills of IPL.With a growing economy IPL will be expected to generate around a billion dollars of revenue each year.

NDTV signs consultancy agreement with Astro Awani

It seems that NDTV has a consulting arm NDTV worldwide that specializes in providing the following types of services
Market Trends and Business Planning
Manpower Planning
Creation of newsroom
They have also got a number of worldwide clients like FBNC(Vietnam) & MRTV3 (Myanmar) in addition to the agreement with Astro
NDTV was clearly in the forefront in the electronic news media burst in India.Theu certainly have the adequate experience and expertise to provide such services.
I'm not sure about the revenues that they are able to achieve or the future growth prospects of such an industry but I think that it only augurs well for our country if India starts providing services for other developing countries rather than the usual low cost service provider for developed countries.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Dexters Laboratory

Brings back old memories of this amazing tv series
Used to watch everyday after school

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Nice article in Trak.in about Indian corruption

We have been reporting from time to time on this blog about how corruption is widespread (as if I had to tell you that :) in India and who are the people who take maximum bribes.
However, I was not able to actually provide any numbers on the extent of corruption in India. Finally after some research, we have some numbers for you that can quantitatively measure the extent of corruption.
India Corruption & Bribery Report

What is the amount of bribes requested by people in India?

The above numbers clearly suggest that Bribery in India is at a grass root level with close 86% demands were done for $5000 or less (2,50,000 rupees or less, out which more than half were for $26 (Rs. 1300) or less.
Because, corruption takes place at such a grass root level, it is extremely difficult to contain it.
Having said that, 14 people out of 100 taking bribes are for amount more than $5000 (Rs. 2,50,000). Actually, if you look at the top officials are even more corrupt. I will tell you why I say that –
The number of big bosses is merely 1%-2% of all officials, yet according to the report 14% of bribes are of huge amounts, showing that big bosses are involved even more compared to low level officials who are taking bribes.
On a sidenote, China’s number is much higher with 24% of reported demands were for amounts between $5,001 and $50,000, 6% of reported demands were for amounts between $50,001 and $500,000, and 6% were
for amounts greater than $500,000. interesting…
• What is the nature of Bribe Demands in India?

No guesses here – if you want to get your work done, bribe em’ ! thats what is quite clear and in line with the notion we have.
More than half of all the bribes were paid to get the work in time !
77% of all reported bribe demands in India are related to the avoidance of
harm, including securing the timely delivery of a service – which is actually a right of a person (such as clearing customs or having a telephone line installed) and receiving payment for services already rendered
Only 12% of the bribe demands were for gaining a personal or business advantage (including exercising influence with or over another government official, receiving inappropriate favorable treatment or winning new business).
One thing for sure, we are now used to this corrupt system and take it in our stride as part & parcel. We do not want to go extra lengths and take the easy way out. But this easy way out is actually the roots of corruption in India.

Who demand bribe in India?

No guesses here !
Whooping 91% of reported bribe demands originate from government officials in India.
The greatest sources of bribe demands, were from national level Government officials (33%), the police (30%), state/provincial officials and employees (16%), and city officials (10%) respectively .
Do you know which of the two Indian ministries ask for bribe more than other? – They are Customs office (13%) and Taxation and Water (9%).
China fares slightly well when it comes to Government officials taking bribe (85%) – Another major difference is that India Police (30%) are far more corrupt than their Chinese counterparts (only 11%).

What is the frequency of Bribe Demands in India?

Nearly 90% indicated being solicited for a bribe between two and 20 times.
Overall 60% people reported bribe demands of 5 times or lower from the same individual. However, 9% asked for bribes more than 100 times.
Compared to China, it differs significantly with 73% people indicating that they had received multiple bribe requests. Almost 20% of those individuals reported receiving more than 100 bribe demands in China.

In what form was the bribe requested?
Do you want any tips on how to give bribes? here is what our corrupt officials prefer..
If in doubt, give cash, as 92% of all bribes are preferred to be “cash or cash equivalent,” The next best thing is a “gift,” (5%) including requests for company products, jewelry and similar items. Less common still, at approx. 1% each, were requests for hospitality or entertainment items; travel for other than business purposes; and other assistance, such as
help with a visa, medical care, or scholarships.
Surprisingly, there were no reports in India of demands for “additional business” or “sexual favors.” In China, those demands accounted for a combined total of 7% of reported bribe solicitations.
So, there you have it – How, what, who and why of Indian Corruption.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Prospects for Boston Celtics in 2009-10 NBA Season

Just been following my favourite team Boston Celtics in NBA.
They have a decent start to the NBA Season and are sure to make the playoffs.
The ageing super "3" are still going strong
Paul Pierce is averaging around 19 Points per game
Kevin Garnett is not injured and had played in 30 games so far and averaging 8 rebounds per game
The induction of Rasheed Wallace has had impact on their offense as they are averaging around 100 points per game.
But the star of the season so far is "Kendrick Perkins" who is shooting 64% FG and also averaging 8 rebounds per game.
But im slightly disappointed that the team is not dominating the league as i had expected at the start of the season.They are behind Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern conference standings.
But what matters is how they perform in the Playoffs.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Nice article on Indophobia in Western Foreign Policy

All prejudices are unpleasantly alike on some level, but the prejudice that India and Indians face on a global scale has proven to be exceptionally resistant to change.

By Vamsee Juluri

In a week that saw innocent Indians being murdered and imaginary Indians being maligned on opposite ends of the Western world, Foreign Policy published an article that labels India a "global villain." It is time for a serious reality-check, and an even more serious attitude-check.

Let me start with the Foreign Policy article in question. Barbara Crossette, who authored the piece, formally worked at the New York Times, a publication, which has devoted entire editorials to its briskly exasperating civilizing mission vis-a-vid India. Now, Crossette writes about how annoying it is to deal with India on important global issues, such as trade and nuclear non-proliferation.

She begins with a pithy demolition of India's supposed good press in recent times (to which, one must note, a witty commentator has responded by asking the obvious: What good press?) only to go on to denounce India as a sanctimonious rogue among nations. The words that are used to describe India include "pious," "craving," "petulant," "intransigent," and "believes that the world's rules don't apply to it," all of which a student of postcolonial cultural studies would recognize as obnoxious cliches that have come to characterize Western discourse about the colonies for decades now. What else could be flashing in a writer's mind when the word "petulant" or "intransigent" is used but the belief that a a whole nation is infantile? What colonial image of a gaping-mouthed ragged supplicant must have inspired the use of a word like "craving" to describe India's goals?

The bold labeling of a sovereign, democratic nation as a "global evil" marks, I believe, a new low in what must be recognized as nothing less than Indophobia. If we have not heard that frequently enough before, it is not because it doesn't exist. Just like how the most effective propaganda is never called propaganda, but rather it is accepted as truth, the most insidious of prejudices seldom even get named as such (perhaps it is no coincidence that the phrase "elephant in the room," which means exactly that, is centered around the animal most closely identified with India). There are perhaps as many anecdotes about Indophobia at a personal level as there are Indians in foreign countries, but it is at a deeper cultural level that we need to face it first. The first sign of Indophobia many of us encounter is really its own ideological defenses; phrases which are used to preempt any discussion about it, like "Indian chauvinism," "Indian supremacism," "Indian exceptionalism," "Indian victimism," or just allegations of childish over-sensitiveness coupled with some sort of vague Eastern cultural fetishism pertaining to notions of honor (I have heard all of these sentiments informally or otherwise in my academic career from grad school until now). If we can get past these, perhaps we can see things more clearly.

India's role in the Western imagination has been a long and important one. Despite some reverential accounts of Indian civilization in the earliest days of the encounter between Europe and India, the image that has prevailed has not been a nice one, or even a truthful one. The present Indophobia has its origins in colonial Hinduphobia. Fuelled by the crazy stories of missionaries determined to rid the world of heathen Hindus and steeped in the ideologies of the colonizers' civilizing mission, Indophobia infiltrated popular, journalistic, political and academic thought. In the cold war period, some things improved, but in the great conversation of powers that Washington thought it was having, Pakistan would appear to it as a reliable favorite; tough, dependable, monotheistic, and anti-communist. India, on the other hand, was seen as too weak, too Hindu, too vegetarian, precariously past its Must Break Up By Date. At best, or worst, India was seen as "pious," with its Gandhian austerities and Nehruvian Non-Alignment dreams.

But it is the present, the post cold war, post 9/11, post outsourcing nature of Indophobia that we must return to, history in tow. The examples are many. Why is it that some Australians reacted to the beating and killing of Indian students with the odd retort that "this happens in Mumbai"? Why did NPR cheerily lend its audience to one man's claim that he saw an Indian get the Nigerian airline bomber on board? Why does Foreign Policy get to call India "evil" without a drop of concern for how it feels to Indian readers or how dangerous words like this were in the past for the colonized nations? Why does New York Times choose to show agonizing restraint when Pakistani terrorists massacre civilians in Mumbai and run screaming headlines naming the arrest of an "Indian" after Madrid? Why does Slumdog Millionaire, one of the most exhilarating movies of our time, depict the majority of Indian characters in it as irredeemably cruel and barbaric (not the nice Indian hero with the British accent though, of course not)? Why did the fictional slur "slumdog" and the image of poverty reportedly figure so often in the Australian attacks? Finally, why does Glenn Beck find the name of a life-giving sacred river similar to the name of a disease? I must admit though that the last case is less depressing because it is Glenn Beck after all and the problem must naturally lie not in the word 'Ganges' but really in his ears or what's (not) between them.

After a brief decade or so of somewhat unexpected "India Rising" stories, India-bashing is once again becoming fashionable. As a media studies teacher, I always wonder what it means when a particular way of looking at things suddenly becomes prevalent in history. What does it tell us about our times and who we are? In the past Indophobia was part of a colonial and then cold war mindset. Thinking of India as the very embodiment of wretchedness and poverty fit in with the western self-perception of the time. In recent times, things have improved at some levels. Racism is no longer legal and in many places no longer cool. With globalization and the economic success of India and Indians abroad, it is no longer possible to deny to India its talent, labor, and its contribution to the world. All should have been well, at least now. But Indophobia has found new reasons to resurface--and some of these reasons have less to do with India and more to do with where the United States sees itself in the world right now. The world's most powerful nation has been only minimally successful in its wars against its most formidable adversary. It is beset by doubts about the mortality of empires and such. It has swung from gung-ho bombs-away leadership to a low-bow bombs-away leadership. It has perhaps even painfully sensed the barb in the saying "with friends like these who needs enemies?" when it comes to the whole question of its cold war-era role in the creation of Frankenjihadis in South Asia. All of these have a bearing, directly or indirectly, on its present story on India.

The present wave of Indophobia, starting with the hate-call campaigns against Indian call centers a few years ago and culminating in the execrably immoral devaluing of Indian lives in recent times, may be at least in some parts the result of an overcompensation for a sense of imperial loss. The pinnacle of western power and prestige is no longer the only high rise in town (and I don't mean the Burj Dubai). Globalization has done to the world what it has done in India too--the days of single nation world dominance, like single party dominance in Indian politics, are over. Accepting this won't be easy for some because the culture has not found the will to change; at least not as far as India goes. The culture can grudgingly accept China as a rival. It can deem the whole of Islam as a civilizational rival. India's rise, though, is harder to accept. America is used to dealing with things on the grounds of toughness, force, power. Doing so on the grounds of smartness is new to it.

So the whole old repertoire of Indophobia returns; images of poverty and disease, allegations of corruption and piousness, insinuations about culture and religion. This time around though, there is less of the sort of restraint that existed in the past. Just as how some people think it is okay to be racist now because we have a black president, the new Indophobia deems it okay to spew nastiness because India has arrived too. But of course, post Mumbai and Slumdog the arrival story is also questioned. This is an old tired story too; of the romantic westerner eagerly turning to India despite their friends' counsel only to be tremendously disappointed that they didn't find nirvana, or even a nice airport terminal. That sort of backlash tends to get extra nasty, leaping into large scale generalizations. That is the pattern that seems to be playing out in the present India story. "You think you know India? You think India has got better/richer/nirvana?" The pitch inevitably starts (In Crossette's article this part runs with "internet entrepreneurs, hospitality industry pioneers and gurus"). "Nope," the anointed Western (and sometimes South Asian) expert gravely retorts. "Here's the real India and here are the real Indians. They are evil." At least Foreign Policy had the honesty to put that word up in lights.

As someone with an emotional stake in both India and the United States, I wonder whose loss will be greater in the end. The nastiness of Indophobia is of course bad for India in the first instance. It is young Indians who have been bearing the brunt, whether of American hate-callers or worse, of Australian murderers. But India is a survivor country; it has survived conquest, colonialism, and it survives its own chaotic self every day. America though is inexperienced on this count. It has just about started realizing, after much needless suffering of its own from blowback and backbite, that surviving the whirlwind of globalization takes smarts rather than brute force. I fear that the return of Indophobia may once again distract America from the right direction. When experts like Barbara Crossette heap sarcasm on "India's colorful, stubborn loquaciousness" they fail to see that the more we ignore this supposed "loquaciousness" the more we are signaling that the only language we recognize is that of brute force. There is no dearth of precedent on that. There is no dearth of possibilities that the future may be exactly that too, if old prejudices run unchecked.

But I cannot make myself leave on a pessimistic note. Indophobia can be fought, and I believe there is enough goodness in all communities to do so. First, I think the Indian community, in India and abroad, must get its own stories right. There has been a tendency to shy away from naming Indophobia as such because we think it affects our image of India Rising, which has been hard fought, no doubt. But there is a need to name bad stuff for what it is. To be fair, as always, we must continue our introspection into our own prejudices and shortcomings; after all, as Ramachandra Guha once wrote, 95% of blame for India's problems today lies with us and not the British. India needs a better India story too (Guha and Khilnani are the best place to start) and it won't be easy because of how diverse, divided, and indeed complicated we are. But that is our task, and indeed for those of us who have the privilege of living and writing in the Western world, indeed an important one. For our Western friends, especially those in positions of authority in the media, the task is more daunting. Your responsibility may not be towards Indian feelings, not at all. But you do have a responsibility in your profession towards Truth. As long as your Indophobia is acting up, you will remain clueless about it.

Friday, January 08, 2010


Just across this new game.Cant wait to watch the full walkthrough

What attracted me is that this game is from the creators of Devil May Cry.
If this was as exciting as DMC then this is a game to watch

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


This is an interesting and informative documentary on Vietcong

Amazing spy attack by Al Qaeda

Came about this article
about the suicide bombing by an Al qaeda double agent posing as an informant for CIA and killing 7 Senior CIA officials.This kind of stuff only happens in movies.This clearly shows that the Al Qaeda is alive and well in Afghanistan and Pakistan.No matter how many drone attacks the CIA is conducting in afghanistan it is only getting the backlash.This proves that the terrorists are clearly looking at new ways of attacking their targets.I dont know how prepared is the Indian intelligence network to preempt and safeguard against such sophisticated attacks.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Pakistan Vs Australia

It is nice to see Pakistan doing well in Test matches.Hopefully they will win this match in Sydney.Cause it will ensure that India's reign at the top will last longer.England did us a great help by beating South Africa.These two series has proved that India deserves the place at the top as both South africa and Australia are struggling at home against the fifth and seventh placed teams whereas India won comfortably against the then second placed Srilanka