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  • In the 1970-1980 decade, all audio-video media in India, were exclusively owned by the Government of India. Leaving aside 'Vividh Bharati' radio station, which broadcast mostly Bollywood films music, All India Radio and DoorDarshan TV channel used to broadcast every day and night, the programmes produced by Delhi mandarins all the time. These programmes were tedious and ill-famous for their irksome and boring content. Since there was no other alternative, people were forced to watch only those wretched programmes. The Bangladesh war was then just over and some cultural exchanges were taking place between India and that new born country. As a part of that cultural exchange, a famous Bangladeshi singer, Runa Laila, had then visited India. (more…)
  • On the east coast of India  it was a clear morning on Friday, 10th of February. Just after 10.10 AM, the Long Range Tracking Radars near Puri city on Orissa coast, picked up a warning of a hostile missile, coming in to attack. (more…)
  • Some of the programmes, broadcast on the Discovery TV channel, are my all time favourites. One such programmes is called 'American Hot Rod'. This programme shows the restoration work on the old cars by a California car shop located in a place called La Habre and owned by one Boyd Coddington. The programmes usually revolves around Boyd, his team and a car being restored at that time. This programme, first shown in 2004-2005 is still shown and I make it a point to see it again and again. (more…)
  • The greatest Maratha General, Baji Rao Peshava, had once commented that if you want to bring down a tree, cutting the branches is not of much use. What he advocated was striking the roots. “Strike, strike at the root and the branches will fall off themselves.” The verdict given by the Supreme Court of India, on 2nd February 2012, reminds me very much of this saying. (more…)

Old is Gold

New Delhi’s Nehru Place Electronics Market blacklisted by US

nehru place marketChandani Chouk Electronics market’ of 1960's and 70's has now shifted to Nehru Place in New Delhi. Out of some 10000 shops around this place, 3000 shops are dealing in electronics and specially computers, phones and their parts. This Nehru Place market has now the dubious distinction of receiving a new certificate of commemoration.(?) A US Government department known as U.S Trade Representative (USTR) has recently published on 20th December 2012, a world wide list of markets that have been blacklisted for trading in highest number of pirated goods. This list is being called as ‘ Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets,December 20, 2011′. This list includes, along with 14 other ill famous markets, Nehru Place electronics market also. The other markets in this list are Bahia Market (Guayaquil, Ecuador), China Small Commodities Market (Yiwu, China), Ciudad del Este (Paraguay), Harco Glodok (Jakarta, Indonesia), La Salada (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Lo Wu Commercial Center (Shenzhen, China), PC Malls (China), Petrivka Market (Kyiv, Ukraine), Quiapo Shopping District (Manila, Philippines), Red Zones (Thailand), San Andresitos (Colombia), Silk Market (Beijing, China), Tepito (Mexico City), Urdu Bazaars (Pakistan). USTR report about Nehru Place electronic market says that “ Like many other markets in all other major cities of India, Nehru Place market is ill famous for trading in pirated computer software, movies and music media, and smuggled or illegally procured electronics items”. Read More

India’s ancient gateway to central Asia

shahidula-post-2 Karakoram Pass lies exactly on the China-India border, just north of Aksaichin area, illegally grabbed by China in an military invasion carried out by her in 1962. The saddle shaped pass is at a height of 18172 feet and is 148 feet wide. This is the reason for which, this pass is called as the highest pass on any trade route in the world. What is surprising is the fact that in spite of being at such a height, it never snows heavily in this pass, even though extremely biting and piercing cold winds and snow blizzards are always experienced . The entire region in the vicinity of Karakoram pass is totally barren, bleak, desolate and devoid of any vegetation or grass any time of the year. Younghusband further describes the Karakoram scenario as “ It is a wonder that mountains at so great an altitude above sea-level and forming, as they do, a watershed between India and Turkistan, shall have no signs of snow upon them. The only reason I can think of to account for it, is that behind this range and between it and the ocean, from which the rain comes, are other far more lofty mountains which intercept the moisture and as there are no deep trough like valleys in which the little snow that does fall would collect and be present in form of the glaciers, but only little shallow valleys where the snow would lie, where it fell in thin coating over the surface of mountain and soon melt under the rays of Sun.” Read more

Zubeida’s crashed airplane

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I always consider, noted film maker Shyam Benegal’s 2001 masterpiece, ‘Zubeidaa’ as one of his best creations ever. The film has a powerful story, excellent production values and above all, sterling, once in a life time, performance of actress Karishma Kapoor, who has acted the principal role of ‘Zubaidaa.’ Many may think that this film story is an imaginary story or a work of fiction. But this may not be true. There was a real life Zubeida, and who did marry a Maharaja.
Real life Zubeida was very beautiful and was born into a Muslim family connected with the films. She always aspired to become an actress. However, her domineering father got her married into an unhappy marriage, where she had a son. After partition of India, the marriage fell through and Zubeida was divorced. She met Maharaja Hanuvant Singh of Jodhpur, who was a dashing man in his twenties and a keen horseman, hunter, pilot, and amateur magician. It is needless to say that being a Maharaja of the largest state in British India, he was stinking rich also. Read more

Visiting Bali

The flight to Bali is crowded with people from all corners of the world. I try to communicate with a German couple, sitting next to me. The attempt is largely unsuccessful as their knowledge of English and my knowledge of Deutsch are more or less at the same level. After finding out that I am from India, they immediately draw the conclusion that I must be a computer expert.

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