Monthly Archives: March 2006

Mutiny to bring back the Mutiny

Dear reader

As youmay have realized, our beloved Sepia Mutiny has been hijacked. Reports are that this is the work of “terrorists who want to take away the freedom of the United States

You are urged to sign this Online Petition at the earliest.

There is also an obituary of sorts on Wikipedia

Sources inside the White House have informed that President Bush is looking into this. In a telephonic interview with PM Manmohan Singh, Bush assured him that the US will do all in its power to bring back the Sepia Mutiny.

Do your bit. Make your voice be heard. Attack with your mouse…..sign the petition

Indian Art is Hot in the US Market.

Today’s NYSun writes about how art collections from India & rest of Asia gets a fresh recognition at NY Auction Houses now.

Read on…

The other great economic success story on the continent is India.

Contemporary Indian art is attracting new buyers, both among nonresident Indians and collectors on the subcontinent. Traditional Indian art sales have remained steady, while 20th-century art has been picking up admirers.

Call it the attack of the billion-dollar global contemporary art market, or simply the recognition of the avant-garde’s originality by Asia’s nouveau riches.

Sotheby’s heavily emphasized its modern works in its sale of Indian and Southeast Asian art yesterday, which earned $13.6 million.This total was well above the high presale estimate of $10.7 million and set a record for the highest auction total ever for Indian and Southeast Asian art, according to the house.

The top lot of the Sotheby’s sale was Syed Haider Raza’s “Tapovan” (1972), which sold to an anonymous bidder for $1.5 million.The cover lot, Tyeb Mehta’s “Falling Figure With Bird” (1988), sold for $800,000, in line with its presale estimate. Mr. Mehta is one of the rediscovered stars of modern Indian art; his auction record of $1.6 million was set last fall at Christie’s sale of Indian art in New York.

“We’ve seen Indians buying more widely over several categories,” Sotheby’s head of Indian and Southeast Asian art, Robin Dean, said. In addition to an improving economy, they are being aided by a change in tariff law.In recent years, India has lowered its onceexorbitant import duties – to 15.5% from 40%, according to Mr. Dean – which has made buying pricey items overseas more attractive.

DesiCritic of the Day

Need I say more ???

Thank you desicritic Thank you !!

NYC: Best City in an Oil Crisis

Remember the transit strike in late december last year ??? It did get us all pissed and rankled. But the transit system itself is one of the many reasons that makes NYC the greatest city in the world.

CNN Money in an article titled: Best cities for an oil crisis states

New Yorkers may complain endlessly about the city’s public transportation system, but the network of subways and train lines may be the city’s saving grace in the case of an oil crisis. According to SustainLane, a Web site that promotes sustainable living, New York is the best city prepared for a surge in oil prices, largely because people there are committed to riding over driving.


Need I say more ???? You may leave the compliments in the comments section below. !!

Architecture Link Park

Brad Pitt is bringing his love of architecture to the public — public television, that is.

SOM Wins Design Competition for Sustainable Skyscraper in China

The house that the Central Artery built: Big Dig engineer turns highway refuse into a striking home for his family

The Mayor of Boxville: Laura Miller to homeless: Get out of downtown. Homeless to Laura Miller: We’ve got our own mayor.

A road by any other name : Naming streets in Chicago can be a politically perilous and often circuitous route

Best cities for an oil crisis: Dense metropolitan areas with low sprawl dominate

India Exports its Metro Cities

I stumbled upon a little known fact about how India has over the years exported parts of it’s four major metros to the USA. We do not only send our brains to the USA, we send the cities they stay in too.

This may seem startling:

There is one Bombay, Madras, Calcutta and Delhi in India.

On the other hand, there are 4 Bombays, 3 Madras’ , 4 Calcuttas and a whopping 12 Delhis in the USA

Just the state of New York has three of Indias major metros.

The table below indicates the states that these towns/villages/hamlets can be found. Each is a link to the Yahoo Maps site for that place.

If you live in any one of the undermentioned cities, I’d like to hear from you. If you know of any more cities with Indian names, here in the US, please let me know in the comments.

Bombay, MN Bombay, CA Bombay, NY Bombay, MI

Madras, GA Madras, OR Madras, TX

Calcutta, WV Calcutta, NY Calcutta, OH Calcutta, IN

Delhi NY Delhi CO Delhi CA Delhi GA Delhi TX Delhi IL Delhi IA Delhi MO Delhi LA Delhi OH Delhi MN Delhi OK New Delhi IL

Jimmy Carter on The Nuke Deal

Jimmy Carter the former US President wrote an Op-Ed piece on the recent nuclear deal with India.

The only substantive commitment among nuclear-weapon states and others is the 1970 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), accepted by the five original nuclear powers and 182 other nations. Its key objective is “to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology . . . and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament.” At the five-year U.N. review conference in 2005, only Israel, North Korea, India and Pakistan were not participating — three with proven arsenals. [link]

What he writes is his subjective opinion and I for one don’t care as to what he really says or feels. There is this unnerving shadow of former Presidents over all things in the political and public life of the US. In many a case they have axes to grind with the current President, and therefore their rationale gets diluted in this struggle.

To put India in the same category as North Korea, is plain and pure bullshit. North Korea is the world’s only nation ruled by a despot leader. In the same group is Iran, who has a very rough history of democratic processes and who is a sworn enemy of the US. The feelings in the US vis à vis Iran are the same. And then of course there is Israel. The darling of the US crowd.

Jimmy does not have a problem when it comes to Israel. Israel has for years been the darling of the US. More aid, money and technology transfer flows to Israel than any other country. Israel has at best a dodgy record when it comes to international relations. By allowing its citizens to occupy Palestinian lands, it encourages and supports strife and terror in that part of the world. For some reason the US overlooks that consistently and allows it access to arms and ammunition technology.

Amongst the four nations mentioned, India is the only one who does not need the technology to safeguard its borders. We have that already. The use of nuclear technology for civilian uses seems such an alien concept to Jimmy Carter. This is because he sees everything through the myopic lenses of a Western critic, oblivious of the situations, political and otherwise in the benefactor country.

I hope that Jimmy Carter’s opinion is just that….his opinion and nothing more than that.

Will Lata Leave ?

Over the last few days there have reports of about the government finally moving ahead with the proposed Pedder Road Fly Over link

Talking to reporters at Vidhan Bhawan in Mumbai, Deshmukh said the proposed flyover ”is a necessity” and the government is in the process of ”obtaining necessary clearances” to begin construction on the project by this year-end. [ link ]

Lata_Mangeshkar.jpgOn the heels of that announcement comes another one. Firstly, for every newsworthy story in Bombay, there has to be a celebrity attached to the cause. And in this case it is India’s Singing Sisters.

In the past there were stories about how the sisters Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosale had threatened to leave Bombay for good if the fly over was built. They live on Pedder Road and they feel that the passing of the fly over from there will disrupt their neighborhood.

And because of their celebrity status, the politicians are out to appease them

Maharashtra Minister for Public Works (state public sector units) Anil Deshmukh will meet melody queen Lata Mangeshkar and her sister Asha Bhosale on Tuesday and convince them of the need to commence work on the Peddar Road flyover. [ link ]

Whether the fly over is a good idea or not is a completely different issue, and not the point of discussion of this post. It is in all respects a short term solution. This is typical of most infrastructure decisions taken in the country !! pedder%20road.jpg

Lata continues to say

the actual issue was being sidelined by the speculation on whether or not she would continue living in Mumbai.

“Whether I live in Mumbai or not is nobody’s business and it will certainly have nothing to do with whether or not the flyover is built here or not. I am being targeted as though I have committed a crime,” said an agitated Mangeshkar.

“Every resident of Pedder Road is scared. This is a proven seismological zone. If there is drilling on the road, the foundations of many buildings will be shaken.” [ link ]

Now the crux of this post is……Will Lata and Asha Leave ??

Do you think that they will stand by their word and leave the city for good ?? And do you think that the city will be better off with them leaving, rather than holding the citizenry ransom ??

I personally think that they wont leave. What do you think.

Do you want to put a wager on this ?? If you think she will leave, then how soon do you think they will leave after construction starts. In a month, six months, year, after completion ??

Comments are open. Speak your mind.

Less Song, More Movie

An interesting article that talks about the slow reduction of songs in mainstream movies and the rise of the MTVesque culture of music videos.

Changing India forces Bollywood to turn down volume

Sun Mar 26, 2006 8:03 AM IST

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Think Bollywood, and what usually comes to mind are kitschy, megawatt musicals with lavish song-and-dance sequences largely disconnected from the plot.

In a three-hour film — it could even be a grisly thriller — there may be as many as 10 songs with leading men and women strutting their stuff in

settings as diverse as idyllic mountain meadows and grimy city streets.

And every time the music starts, the storyline comes to a halt as the hero and heroine dance in gaudy attires that change with dizzying frequency.

The sophisticated decry them and Western audiences hardly know them, but for the vast crowds who pack the cinemas in India’s teeming towns and cities,… … and the travelling screens that take the country’s dream factory to its villages, the songs are the chief attraction.

But change is in the air for the country which leads the world in movie production, with a growing band of filmmakers replacing “interruptive music”with a soundtrack that blends with the plot rather than dominates it.

This REALLY ain’t Zarathustra anymore

Peter Schipperheyn, the sculptor shot into the Zoroastrian spotlight all of a sudden a few days ago because of his upcoming work

Amidst all the controversey and the mud-slinging, Peter was gracious enough to explain his viewpoint, elaborated here.

Today he has announced that

Name change, This sculpture will no longer be named as originally launched. All reference to the name “Zarathustra” will be erased from this sculpture. This decision has been arrived at after representation from and consultation with the Australian Zoroastrian Association of NSW.

I appreciate the man’s graciousness.

However a lot is left to be desired of the conduct of followers of Zoroastrianism, for their short sightedness, and ultra-conservative bent of mind.