Thursday, April 27, 2006

April 27

Visited the Welwyn Garden City today. No it's not a quaint village by the sea in Wales. It's a half hour train ride from Moorgate. Created by Ebenezer Howard and visibly the intellectual ancestor of Milton Keynes, it's most disturbing feature is the mall centric lifestyle it seems to propagate. Nonetheless, it was nice to see a mall where the bookshop wasn't Borders, the Coffee Shop wasn't Starbucks and the Music Store wasn't HMV. (all favourites of mine, mind you!) Of course some of the usual suspects were there (Clarks, JJB, WHSmith, Boots et al).

Monday, April 17, 2006

April 17, 2006. Happy Easter, Shubho Nobo Borsho etc.

April 17 2006

Astoundingly, another quarter of a year has gone we’re rushing through the tunnel of our times. I hardly get time to stop and ponder the questions that come hurtling at me and vanish before I’ve had time to grapple with them with any sincerity. Questions across time and space and from my past and present.

Questions about the media mentality towards business schools, especially in India: Why do they still have asinine debates on whether the salary of the top earning person from an institute makes that institute great? Do they ever wonder if looking at Lakshmi Mittal, or Azeem Premji its okay to wonder how rich a country India must be? Do they even wonder why when the UK lists the top 50 Business Schools from where a work permit under the highly skilled migrant program is automatically awarded, not a single one is Indian?

Or questions about sport – and the injustice of power: Is it just me or is Kiran More really that stupid? When asked about Gambhir he said “he was given a chance but didn’t play well against England” and when asked about Ganguly he said “We don’t want to change a winning team”. What is annoying is not the ludicrousness of the statement but that it is expected that he will get away with such ingenuousness. Ganguly is perhaps history and Gambhir may never play for India again for all we know, but I fear Kiran More and his fellow decision makers are dragging us back to the old days of Indian cricket when selectorial merry-go-rounds shackled all talent from emerging.

Or questions about the ironies of fate: Why is there the word “Posterity” next to my face in my US visa?

Anyway, the Bangla New Year Collided with Easter and the weekend found us in Bath – amidst ruins, ruminations and resonances.

The ruins were … well ruins. Having been to Egypt 3 months ago, its hard to get excited about the Roman ruins. Plus I have discovered I have very reserved feelings about the Roman civilization – a people who effectively set civilization back by about 500 years or more. This is a moot point but everything I’ve read so far suggests that the Roman’s contribution to things not material or martial was passing or incidental at best. Nonetheless, the walk through the bath proved interesting – there is some wonderment to a hot spring that has been pouring out of exactly the same spot for 2000 years.

It was a warm experience to hear the Sunday sermon from the Bath Abbey from the sunlit courtyard outside the bath, to explore the Oil and Vinegar store and wander aimlessly over the cobbled streets. It was also exhilarating to walk up to the top of the hill and hear the rugby crowd roar across the valley, or see the balloons take off and gaze over the lush green and the picturesque and bustling town below.

Most importantly it was fun being with friends – arguing about diets and music and discussing everything from hair care to avian nomenclature. To get drunk together in the comfort and security of close friends and to just be oneself.