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Commonwealth Games 2010 saw a grand opening in Delhi a couple of hours ago. All the controversy that surrounded it was kept aside as people witnessed most spectacular show ever.

Here is a link to the spectacular live performance of  the CWG Theme song by AR RAHMAN-

And here’s a link to video of the opening ceremony-

For those of you who are outside India, you can watch live web stream here-

* India – Doordarshan, DD Sports
* Australia – Network Ten, Foxtel
* Fiji – Mai TV
* Canada – CBC, CBC Bold
* Cyprus – Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation
* Namibia – Namibia Broadcasting Corporation
* New Zealand – Sky Network Television and Prime (New Zealand TV channel)
* Nigeria – Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria
* Malaysia – Astro
* Seychelles – Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation
* Singapore – MediaCorp Channel 5
* South Africa – South Africa Broadcasting Corporation
* Tanzania – Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation
* United Kingdom – British Broadcasting Corporation
* United States – Video Sound Inc.

Here’s to next 13 days of rigorous games, fun, and party!


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President Obama makes a toast in honor of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

President Obama makes a toast in honor of India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. If you watch the you tube video here, it appears he actually said “Prime Minister Mohammad Singh”.  He welcomed all in hindi, “aapka suagut hai.

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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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Bunker Roy, Founder Barefoot College

Bunker Roy, Founder Barefoot College

Our job is to show how it is possible to take an illiterate woman and make her into an engineer in six months and show that she can solar-electrify a village.- Bunker Roy, Founder Barefoot College (Tilonia, Rajasthan).

The students are mostly women. Some are grandmothers. Hundreds have come through here from villages across India and a dozen other countries to learn how to install and maintain solar energy in rural areas. Even though it’s sophisticated coursework, the only pre-requisite for admission to the Barefoot College is that there are no pre-requisites, not even to speak the language.

Bunker Roy founded the Barefoot College in 1972. Projects have always compromised of basic underlying principle of sustainability or self reliance in all aspects of life. Bunker Roy believes,’Any technology that brings in dependency on anybody on the outside is not a technology that will work.’

Over the years Barefoot College has addressed problems of drinking water, girl education, health & sanitation, rural unemployment, income generation, electricity and power, as well as social awareness and the conservation of ecological systems in rural communities. The campus spreads over 80,000 square feet area and consists of residences, a guest house, a library, dining room, meeting halls, an open air theatre, an administrative block, a ten-bed referral base hospital, pathological laboratory, teacher’s training unit, water testing laboratory, a Post Office, STD/ISD call booth, a Craft Shop and Development Centre, an Internet dhaba (cafe), a puppet workshop, an audio visual unit, a screen printing press, a dormitory for residential trainees and a 700,000 litre rainwater harvesting tank. The College is also completely solar-electrified.

Today solar energy drives not just the equipment. This is a larger social experiment to improve the lives of some of the world’s poorest people. It begins in the classroom run by instructors who themselves have little or no formal education. Instruction is delivered with a mix of body language, a few essential terms in English, and lots of hands-on practice.

The students create an illustrated manual they’ll take home. It’s the closest thing to a diploma certifying their training as solar technicians. But just coming here is an unlikely achievement for students like 56-year-old Sarka Mussara, a widowed grandmother and many others who never attended school or even left her village.

Roy says a key to sustaining rural jobs and development is to use technology that can be managed by the local community, like solar lanterns and technology that’s more familiar, like rainwater collectors. All the roofs of this whole campus are connected underground to a 400,000 liter tank. We collect every drop of rain that falls on the campus.

These women, who come here to train themselves, are obviously going to have a very positive effect on the society. They are going to make sure that their daughters go to school or train themselves to be self reliant in life.

Barefoot College is not only a blessing for women of India, but even outside India. Women from Africa, Afghanistan,  and other under-developed parts of the world come here to get trained. Barefoot College has solar electrified some 350 villages across India and dozens more in sub-Saharan Africa and even war-torn Afghanistan.

Source: (1) Barefoot College in India, Article by Fred De Sam Lazaro of RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY (2) Website of Barefoot College India – http://www.barefootcollege.org/

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U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's sand sculpture made by an Indian artist Sudarshan Pattnaik, is seen at the golden sea beach in Puri, 67 kilometers (41 miles) away from Bhubaneswar, India, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009.

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's sand sculpture made by an Indian artist Sudarshan Pattnaik, is seen at the golden sea beach in Puri, 67 kilometers (41 miles) away from Bhubaneswar, India,

19AM EDT during the inauguration of President Barack Obama. The image, taken through high, whispy white clouds, shows the masses of people between the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial. (AP Photo/GeoEye Satellite Image)

This image provided by GeoEye Satellite Image shows Washington D.C.'s National Mall and the United States Capitol, far right, Washington D.C. on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009 taken at 11:19AM EDT during the inauguration of President Barack Obama. The image, taken through high, whispy white clouds, shows the masses of people between the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial. (AP Photo/GeoEye Satellite Image)

Barack H. Obama is sworn in as the 44th president of the United States as his wife Michelle Obama holds the Bible and their daughters Malia Obama and Sasha Obama look on, on the West Front of the Capitol January 20, 2009 in Washington, DC. (Chuck Kennedy-Pool/Getty Images)

Barack H. Obama is sworn in as the 44th president of the United States as his wife Michelle Obama holds the Bible and their daughters Malia Obama and Sasha Obama look on, on the West Front of the Capitol January 20, 2009 in Washington, DC. (Chuck Kennedy-Pool/Getty Images)

People gather for the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America on the National Mall January 20, 2009 in Washington, DC. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

People gather for the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America on the National Mall January 20, 2009 in Washington, DC. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama signs his first act as president, a proclamation declaring a national day of renewal and reconciliation and calling on Americans to serve one another, after being sworn in as the 44th President of the United States during the inaugural ceremony in Washington Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009. (AP Photo/Molly Riley, Pool)

President Barack Obama signs his first act as president, a proclamation declaring a national day of renewal and reconciliation and calling on Americans to serve one another, after being sworn in as the 44th President of the United States during the inaugural ceremony in Washington Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009. (AP Photo/Molly Riley, Pool)

U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Bill Mesta replaces an official picture of outgoing President George W. Bush with that of newly-sworn-in U.S. President Barack Obama, in the lobby of the headquarters of the U.S. Naval Base January 20, 2009 in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (Brennan Linsley-Pool/Getty Images)

U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Bill Mesta replaces an official picture of outgoing President George W. Bush with that of newly-sworn-in U.S. President Barack Obama, in the lobby of the headquarters of the U.S. Naval Base January 20, 2009 in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (Brennan Linsley-Pool/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama attend the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center on January 20, 2009 in Washington, DC.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama attend the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center on January 20, 2009 in Washington, DC.

Guests at the "Biden Home States Ball" record the moment as President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama dance at the Washington Convention Center in the nation's capital, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009.

Guests at the "Biden Home States Ball" record the moment as President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama dance at the Washington Convention Center in the nation's capital, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009.

Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill dance during the Commander in Chief's Ball at the National Building Museum in Washington January 20 2009 .

Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill dance during the Commander in Chief's Ball at the National Building Museum in Washington January 20 2009 .

In this handout photo provided by the White House, a folder for U.S. President Barack Obama (the 44th president) is shown, left for him by Former U.S. President George W. Bush on the Resolute desk in the Oval Office of the White House January 20, 2009 in Washington, D.C. (Eric Draper/The White House via Getty Images)

In this handout photo provided by the White House, a folder for U.S. President Barack Obama (the 44th president) is shown, left for him by Former U.S. President George W. Bush on the Resolute desk in the Oval Office of the White House January 20, 2009 in Washington, D.C. (Eric Draper/The White House via Getty Images)

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This is a scanned copy of the 69-page dossier of material stemming from the ongoing investigation into the Mumbai terrorist attacks of November 26-29, 2008 that was handed over by India to Pakistan on January 5, 2009.

Evidence 1

Evidence 2

Evidence 3

Some Of The Items Recovered

Some Of The Items Recovered

Conversation

Conversation

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Through his lens he communicates with space; light, texture and color are his friends. Together they create unique compositions and art that will seduce you. Sanjay Nanda captures the realities as well as absurdities of life in time and space through his lens which have taken the form of stunning pieces of art on many a walls.

From Varanasi Collection (Click on the Image for More)

Often times he treads out into the urbanscape and captures  the moments from everyday life which go unnoticed but are unique to their surroundings and strangely elegant.

Sanjay captures the moment while life and color are at play!

Still Life (Click on Image for More)

Sanjay shoots a variety of subjects. He looks for scenes that he can compose in a thought provoking way and colour combinations that somehow stir him without attempting to edit the work or discriminate when in the field. When he gets back to his studio, he sorts through his images, and then chooses the ones that have a staying power for him. He is not interested in merely reproducing a particular scene or image photographically; he is more interested in collecting the raw visual materials that allow him to explore the inherent dynamics and tensions of the picture plane.

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Life is trying to return to normal in Mumbai. But will all be the same as before… will this event be forgotten as if nothing had happened.

Mumbai attack has definitely left behind lot of bitterness, lot of unanswered questions, and lot of fear. People are no longer taking politicians on face value. They are not accepting pittance for the untimely death of their loved ones. They are no longer accepting condolences but demanding action and answers. Politicians responsible for Mumbai’s security have resigned. But is that enough for an answer?

“But after these recent attacks, people are saying let’s not pretend everything’s all right. We don’t need to make a show of the Mumbai spirit when what we need now is to make sure this will not be forgotten, all will not be normal again.”

After The Smoke Has Cleared Up- Click on Image for more

After The Smoke Has Cleared Up- Click on Image for more

India was warned by its own intelligence as well United States. Even before United States Secretary of States, Condoleezza Rice,  reached in India, former candidate for Presidency of US, John Mc Cain, has arrived in Delhi to empathise with India. John McCain along with two other senators, Joe Libermann and Lindsey Graham, will be in Pakistan this weekend.

President-elect Barack Obama along with his family has also sent his clear message of support to India.

Everybody in the world has condemned these attacks.

Mc Cain with Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, Dec 2 2008

McCain with Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, Dec 2 2008

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Mumbai Attacks

Mumbai Attacks

Mumbai has been attacked once again. This time luxury hotels, hospitals, railway stations, and restaurants have been made target. More Americans and British than Indians. Again, lives have been lost.

Media, news channels, online news, bloggers, witnesses, and victims are now reporting this nightmare while military and commandos are trying to gauge the event.

The firing and bombing apparently started close to the Gateway of India. The gunbattle then moved on towards CST and raged on for over 45 minutes from 10 pm.  Gunfire has been reported from Nariman House, Cama Hospital, Metro cinema, Leopold Cafe. BP gas station blown up. Oberoi, Dadar stations evacuated, VT trains stopped. Terrorist gunfire also reportedly came from a Qualis van with police markings. 195 dead (updated) , scores injured.

Army Enters Oberoi Hotel

Army Enters Oberoi Hotel

Mumbai Under Alert

Mumbai Under Alert

Once again human life has been shaken with fear. Once again freedom has been challenged.

Tomorrow it will be forgotten.

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Outsourcing Child Care

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Ali Baba’s Password?

Simpu Singh Presents Jury Marksheet

Simpu Singh and Gabbar

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Obama is preferred over Mc Cain worldwideIndians want Obama as the new President of the United States. In India, Obama leads McCain by 33 to 28 percent, according to the survey by the Pew Global Attitudes Project. The survey covered 24,000 people in 24 countries between March 17 and April 21.

Mc Cain is not the preferred candidate in any country except for three where he matches Obama’s popularity- United States, Jordan, and Pakistan. In countries like France, Germany, and Spain Obama is heading with 88% popularity and confidence to do the right thing vote. Margins are narrower in Great Britain though.

Among the people who have been following the election, large majorities in France (68 percent), Spain (67 percent) and Germany (64 percent) say they believe that US foreign policy will improve after the election. This sentiment is also common in the African countries included in the survey – Nigeria (67 percent), South Africa (66 percent) and Tanzania (65 percent). However, in Jordan and Egypt people disagree.

Five years after the start of the war in Iraq, the image of the US abroad remains far less positive than it was before the war and at the beginning of the century. The survey also finds a widespread belief that U.S. foreign policy “will change for the better” after the inauguration of a new American president.

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Jeffery Archer In IndiaJeffrey Archer is in India on a eleven day six-city trip to promote his latest (14th) novel A Prisoner Of Birth, which he says is modern day version of The Count of Monte Cristo. (Click on the picture for the Video)

Undoubtedly Indian crowd has charmed him just the way he has charmed the Indian crowd. Many of us have grown up reading his novels. His fans in India affectionately call him Sachin Tendulkar of Books. Sachin Tendulkar he is indeed, after giving so many best selling and popular hits.

What does Archer wish from India? Well, he wants to be sold at traffic signals across India. “That’s where, I am told, the top selling authors are sold,” he says jokingly.

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112,000 broadband centres would be set up in rural areas across the country, within a year. The government Saturday announced a $2-billion public-private partnership to provide broadband and internet connectivity in country’s rural areas. Union Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia, speaking at Global Telecom Summit here, said that $1.5 billion for the project would be generated from the private sector and the balance would be funded from government sources.

The ministry of communication & IT is also expected to unfold its third generation of mobile phone standards and technology – 3G service – guidelines by June this year. The 3G services are expected to be rolled out by the end of current year. The aim of the these policies is to provide wireless telephone and mobile telephone to every household in rural India by 2010, said the minister.

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Arunadhati Roy\'s \'The Shape Of The Beast\'Eleven years after she won the Booker Prize for The God of Small Things, 14 conversations (2001-2008 ) with Roy on her social and political activism appear in a new book The Shape of the Beast.

Even before The God of Small Things hit the world of fame, this female Rushdie of India attracted lot of media attention when she criticised Shekhar Kapur’s film Bandit Queen, based on the life of Phoolan Devi, charging Kapur with exploiting Devi and misrepresenting both her life and its meaning. For sometime Roy was involved as film script writer as well. She even tried her hands at acting in films. Not many remember but Arundhati Roy played a village girl in the award-winning movie Massey Sahib.

(Click on the Image for a Video of an Interview with Arundhati Roy on The Shape of the Beast).

The Shape of the Beast finds Roy fulminating against the 2002 Godhra genocide, empathising with the adivasis of Dantewada in Chhattisgarh and venting against the military operations in Nagaland, Kashmir and Manipur.Through this book Roy has revealed both a personal and social journey.

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Mount Kailash Lingam

To the Hindus, the Himalayas are central to their cosmology. The peaks are the petals of the Golden Lotus which lord Vishnu created as a first step in the formation of the universe. On one of these peaks – Mount Kailash, sits Shiva in a state of perpetual meditation, generating the spiritual force that sustains the cosmos. Of the three worlds–patala (netherworld), prithvi (earth) and swargalok (heaven)–only Shiva lives on this planet and Mount Kailash is his abode.

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