Monday, January 26, 2009

Jan 26, and my BIG Announcment

No, I am not getting married/engaged/lucky/whatever ;-).
No, I have not gotten an offer from ITBHU. Certainly not one with on-campus housing.

But today _is_ huge.. rather.. HUGE for me. And the fact that so many of you have asked about it makes it even more special.

Moving on, here is the deal [your patience is all I need]:

Background: During the mumbai incident of Nov 26, 2008, all [most?] of us felt "I need to do something about this".

So I started thinking as to what _I_ could do, given my constraint of not being in India, but having the skills that I have.

The more I thought, the more I became convinced that thing to do is to provide people a way to track the promises that their elected representatives have made -- think of it as a structured wikipedia.

The guiding principle are two: evaluatable promises [by the politicians], and verifiable references [by anyone posting content]. There is lots more detail at this page, and this PDF, which I had written during my travels in India, where I got to further polish my ideas using the wonderful feedback from you all.

The movement is young, but I have found some like-minded people in Pune [and Mumbai], and we had aimed for a Jan 26 launch.

And after an all-nighter fixing the cool google maps scripts, this guy who has not slept for the past 36 hours can happily say that as of 8:45pm IST, Jan 26, 2009, the site is already online at

And now, its your turn. What each of _you_ can do [please, pretty please :) ]:
  1. Let me know your comments on the PDF/website,
  2. Sign up for announcements using the textbox on the site,
  3. Forward to your close friends this announcement of Jan 26. This is a people's movement, and is nothing without people getting involved, and
  4. [optional: if you got the time] be a part of the initiative. We need writers, web developers, more contacts in cities, etc. Stuff we non-residing Indians can help with.

cheers, and looking forward to your responses.

P.S. For cool google map goodness, check this part of the website.

P.P.S. The journey has just begun, and will need a lot of effort. Hopefully I will be able to give at least that much for the motherland.

And you?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

of Slumdogs, Tweets and the coming Monday

Just came back from watching Slumdog Millionaire. Great movie. Well shot, well told, well acted.

'nuf said. Go watch it.

Also, you can follow me on twitter now. There is also a gadget for it on the right navbar on this blog.

And yes, about the BIG announcement on this coming Monday, Jan 26 -- the one that I have been preparing for some weeks now, the one that will definitely keep me occupied to a great deal for the forseeable future -- you will have to wait till Monday :).

That said, I deeply appreciate your comments/interest about it. Those on my twitter follow list will surely get the dirt first ;-).

enjoy the weekend, for next week, things will change a bit!
P.S. Those who are interested in getting an email update whenever I post a new blog post (I wonder why anyone would do that :-)), can now subscribe using the "follow my adventures" box on the right. Thanks to A for the idea.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bye Bye GWB

Yes, yes, change came to america [and to this website ref: Leesa] today, and I saw it live.

In case you missed what is to come, watch it here.

But today, I'd like to focus on what will _not_ be happenning anymore.

1. You'll never know D*ICK!

2. Colbert's tribute to Bush:

More tributes here and here.

But wait, there is one final thing... a last message from white house press secretary.

:-). Goodbye, W!

P.S. 5 days to Jan 26. A day I [and maybe you] will never forget!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Hamaara PM Kaisa ho? [How should be our PM]

N******a M**i jaisa ho!
[like N******a M**i]

I have heard this a lot from my friends who lean a bit [or a lot] to the right in the Indian politics.

Do I think this guy has done a lot for his state in his recent terms? Yes.
Do I think that he is amazingly media-savvy, what with all the wonderful youtube clips about him? Yes.
Do I think he is smart enough to court industrialists? Hell yes!

Do I think the above makes up enough to exonerate him from the blot that is Godhra, and clear up all accusations of his complicity in the allegedly state-supported riots?
um.. not really. Until he conducts a probe that explains the on-camera statement of the murderers, I will not be satisfied. He may not have given the orders, but it definitely happened under his watch, and he has some answers to give to the public.

I can go on and on, or I could do better. I could point you to this amazing news article that R sent me today, which pretty much says what I have been wanting to say for some time now.

So my answer to the question in the title? Well, for that, I would like you to read the last paragraph on the article.

P.S. psst.. There is something I have to tell you. Something big. But I cannot divulge a lot as of now. Just note that something big is going to happen on Jan 26 this year. more later.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

VM bats for J&K

The recently held elections in Jammu and Kashmir, and the rise to power of the young Omar Abdullah [amazing speech here, must-watch english language interview here] has definitely given me some hope for the populace of the beautiful state.

And to add to that hope, liquor and airline Baron Vijay Mallya today announced that he will have attractive tour packages for J&K from his Kingfisher Airlines.

from the article:
"I am excited at Omar Abdullah becoming the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir. My relationship with the Abdullahs is spread over three generations and I think better days are ahead for the people of the state under his young and dynamic leadership," Mallya told reporters.

He said the Srinagar airport had now all the facilities of an international airport and the time had come for direct international flights from here.

"My Kingfisher Airlines will announce additional flight schedules to increase connectivity between the three (Ladakh, Kashmir and Jammu) regions of the state and the rest of the country," he said.

This is what we need. A young and dynamic leader with a clean record, supported by an industrialist who is not afraid to put his money where his mouth is. The former gains re-election by helping development, and the latter makes money by the same. I personally have no issue with either, as long as the development gets done.

Here's to my tourism plans to J&K in the near future! :).

P.S. This OA guy is _good_. See parts 1, 2 and 3 of his interview.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

On Complicated Issues and Overachieving OverAchievers

[Will soon post travel notes and snaps, but first this!]

Now that I am back in Paris, it is time to catch up on the Daily Show, while I type away work stuff at my laptop :).

And true to my expectation, JS and his team have been at it in the new year.

First, I loved his segment on the recent crisis in the Gaza Strip. Please watch it till the end, all the way till Jon S's response to Mayor Bloomberg's analogy. Wonderful!

And moving on, Asif Mandvi is spot on regarding the standard desi reaction to the news of Sanjay Gupta potentially becoming the Surgeon General of the USA. Hilarious!

and now, back to work.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Back in Paris after a 28-day India trip that spanned 13 cities.


Need some sleep. off to bed.

P.S. It is -9 degrees celcius here in Paris!