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Archive for the ‘India’ Category

Recently, I watched the much talked about Bollywood movie 3 Idiots, starring Aamir Khan.   This movie has been getting so much acclaim and buzz, that it was showing in one of the AMC Mercado 20 screens mainstream theater in Santa Clara, right next to the mega hit Avatar.   Of course, in the Bay Area, California, it’s not that difficult to attract a large Indian crowd for an Indian hit movie, but it is still very rare that a main stream theater will show a Bollywood movie and that movie would be generating most of their audience for those particular days. (more…)

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Recently, Devdutt Pattanaik, the Chief Belief Officer at the Future Group based in Mumbai, India, gave a TED presentation in Mysore, India.   This 19 minute lecture and presentation depicts some of the inherent differences between the views and values of Indians vs those of the west and how that manifests itself in business.   I would highly recommend investing the 19 minutes to watch this lecture if you are doing or have plans to do business in India or are just interested in learning more about what drives Indian beliefs.

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Earlier this week, I attended an enjoyable lecture by former Ambassador Teresita Schaffer about India- US relations at Stanford University.  Schaffer is currently the Director, South Asia Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies and formerly held a long diplomatic career which included serving as U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and as Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs.   In her role as Director, South Asia Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies, her regional expertise includes India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the rest of South Asia.  She is the author of the book, India and the U.S. in the 21st Century – Reinventing Partnership.

The lecture was co-sponsored by the India Community Center, Bay Area, The Center for South Asia Stanford University, The Asia Foundation & World Affairs Council of Northern California. (more…)

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Two recent fiction books set in and depicting life in India that have become internationally acclaimed are Shantaram and The White TigerShantaram, written by Gregory David Roberts, is a semi-autobiographical fiction book based upon some of Roberts’ real life experiences as a fugitive from an Australian prison who flees to Bombay in the 80’s and has a wide range of experiences there including living in a Bombay slum and a small rural village, joining the Indian mafia, fighting in Afghanistan against the Russians, and acting in Bollywood movies.   The White Tiger was written by journalist, Aravind Adiga, and tells a fictional story of a driver in modern day India who serves an upper class businessman and ultimately becomes a successful entrepreneur in Bangalore after escaping what he calls life in the Darkness through, what most would say, the worst way possible. (more…)

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In a previous posting, I wrote about my observations of China from my one week stay in Beijing.   Earlier in the year, I visited India after six years, spending time in Hyderabad and Kerala—you can read my observations from that trip here (or click on the links to the side under the heading India Trip Observations).    During my stay in China, I found that 1) my pre-conceived notions of what I expected China to be often was based on my experiences in India and 2) internally, I would often compare my China observations to my India observations for a particular attribute.    The reason for this is based on the parallels of significant growth that China and India have been both experiencing over the last decade, the wide media coverage of both of these countries which often compares them to each other, as well as their common status as the most populous countries in the world.

Given that, here are my armchair comparisons of India and China in a few areas and more specifically Hyderabad (population approximately 4 million and Beijing (population approximately 12 million (metro) , (more…)

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Tonight, I watched the movie, The Making of the Mahatma.  While the movie was released in 1996, thirteen years later I’ve finally gotten the chance to watch it.    This movie is completely focused on Gandhi’s 21 year stay in South Africa from 1893-1914, from ages 23 to 45.   It is here where he begun his methodology of satyagraha (devotion to the truth), or non-violent protest.   Jointly produced by South Africa and India, it isn’t as widely known as Richard Attenborough’s legendary 1982 movie Gandhi, but it is pitched as a more intimate portrayal of the beginning of Gandhi’s transformation into a force of social change. (more…)

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On Saturday evening August 8, I attended a concert called Explosion 2009 in Oakland, California which featured popular Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam.   Also included in the show were rising female singer Sunidhi Chauhan, rap group Hard Kaur, and a bhangra competition featuring California bhangra teams (primarily teenagers and twenty-somethings).    I thoroughly enjoyed the show—some of my highlights and lowlights were: (more…)

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