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Mont Blanc's $23000 Mahatma Gandhi Pen

Mont Blanc's $24,763 Mahatma Gandhi Pen on Gandhi Jayanti

Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday celebration has reduced to  mere efforts to monetize . Mont Blanc has launched 241 limited edition 18k gold plated $24,763/ each  pens. The pen is engraved with Gandhi’s image and tricked out with a saffron-colored mandarin garnet on the clip and a rhodium-plated nib. A billboard put up this week over Mumbai’s teeming slums shows a gaunt Gandhi next to an image of the swanky pen, with golden threads woven around it to represent Gandhi’s spinning wheel. This one is oozing with irony! Gandhi who lived and preached life of minimalism, his name, today, is being used as a sales gimmick for the opulent and  could-not-care-less types. Mont Blanc got it all wrong.

Traffic moves past a billboard displaying a portrait of Mohandas Gandhi, the ascetic father of India's independence, besides an image of a Montblanc pen in India.

Traffic moves past a billboard displaying a portrait of Mohandas Gandhi, the ascetic father of India's independence, besides an image of a Montblanc pen in India.

gandhi09

Internet search giant Google paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on Friday on the 140th anniversary of his birth, replacing the ‘G’ in its colorful logo with a picture of the Indian independence hero.  Nice gesture.

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Recap the madness of last year (from the financial crisis to the Presidential election to Elliot Spitzer and Miley Cyrus) and then thank your lucky stars the year is over.

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Can you do it?

Driving On Indian Roads: Can you do it?

Indian road rules broadly operate within the domain of karma where you do your best and leave the results to your insurance company. Here is a funny, and sadly true account by Coen Jukens on driving in India.

The hints are as follows:

Do we drive on the left or right of the road? The answer is “both”. Basically you start on the left of the road, unless it is occupied. In that case, go to the right, unless that is also occupied. Then proceed by occupying the next available gap, as in chess.

  1. Just trust your instincts, ascertain the direction, and proceed. Adherence to road rules leads to much misery and occasional fatality.
  2. Most drivers don’t drive, but just aim their vehicles in the intended direction. Don’t you get discouraged or underestimate yourself. Except for a belief in reincarnation, the other drivers are not in any better position.
  3. Don’t stop at pedestrian crossings just because some fool wants to cross the road. You may do so only if you enjoy being bumped in the back. Pedestrians have been strictly instructed to cross only when traffic is moving slowly or has come to a dead stop because some minister is in town. Still some idiot may try to wade across, but then, let us not talk ill of the dead.
  4. Blowing your horn is not a sign of protest as in some countries. We horn to express joy, resentment, frustration, romance and bare lust (two brisk blasts) or just to mobilize a dozing cow in the middle of the bazaar.
  5. Keep informative books in the glove compartment. You may read them during traffic jams, while awaiting the chief minister’s motorcade, or waiting for the rain waters to recede when over-ground traffic meets underground drainage.
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Anthony Bourdain in India

Anthony Bourdain in India

Anthony Bourdain is well known for hosting travel and food show Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. He travels to cities worldwide where hosts treat him to local culture and cuisine.

He traveled to Kolkata , Mumbai, and the state of Rajasthan. The shows based on these travels was aired on May 29 and June 5, 2006.

Tony exposes you to diverse experiences in these cities that have been traveled many a times. He has successfully been able to present a diverse bouquet called India through these shows. Tony eats on the roadside dhabas as comfortably as he dines with the royalties. Gaj Singh, Maharaja of Jodhpur,  plays the royal host, cooks for Anthony Bourdain and also invited him to a royal wedding dinner!

But in his desire to explore the best of local cuisines he agrees to be a guest at a chef’s home. He lives the Indian life not as a tourist but as one of the crowd. He visits a fortuneteller, enjoys bhang in its various forms, rides the bus, and eats on the roadside. He loves Bollywood and just fits very well.

No Reservations at all.

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Fashion Designer Satya Paul has done it again. This time for designing a Google inspired saree called Ooogle / Oogle. Satya Paul has been known to be inspired by nature, people, and beautiful things around him.

Indian Actress Aditi Govitrikar, Mrs. World of 2001, modeled for (g)oogle saree in India Fashion Week 2007 under Pop Art Collection category.

Starting in the 50’s, Pop art is a reflection of popular culture in art. Pop art is neither praise nor condemnation but explores the everyday imagery that is so much a part of contemporary consumer culture. It often uses media, advertising, packaging, celebrity and comic book art styles to bring art closer to real life.

The fabric is georgette jacquard and it is a printed saree. Priced at affordable $ 299.88 (Rs. 11.950). The url in the web address bar on the saree, of course, points to Satya Paul’s online shop! Rest of the saree showcases the google search page.

Saree is available online as well as in malls in Delhi.

What are we going to see next- iphone lehnga or Microsoft Vista Punjabi suit? Not sure if Indian women would like the idea of being walking billboards.

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