October 1, 2015

Dear Colleagues

Here is another round of random reflections for your perusal:

1. The electronic city Bengaluru celebrates every occasion with real gusto these days. On the occasion of Janmashtami (the birthday of Lord Krishna), pubs and lounges in Bangaluru were belting out Bollywood numbers like “Mohabatein…””ChuraLiyahaiDil…” in such devotion as to be paralleled only by similar devotional bhajans (songs) in Krishna temples in the city, or in far away Mathura. Times have changed indeed, but some things really have not.

2. The Mysore Palace is a wonderful sight at night when all lights are put on. That happens only for half hour every Sunday evening. Why such illumination is denied on other six days is anyone’s guess? Perhaps the costs of electricity? The Palace restricts visitors from using camera without paying for its charges (which are hefty); authorities seem to have not noticed that all Indian visitors (which any day outnumber foreigners) have a mobile phone with camera; and, mobiles are allowed inside free of cost. When will such mind-sets change?

3. The Rayalseema area of Andhra has been seriously drought-prone for decades; the drought conditions have worsened of late due to climate change. So, it was an unbelievable sight to the residents of Ananthapur when a dried up local river was suddenly full of gushing streams of water after some heavy rains. They flocked the bridge over this river to take pictures of the water in the river, a sight not seen for 7-8 years. Simple pleasures of life indeed!

4. Lucknow city is changing fast these days. A new metro is being constructed; high-rise apartment blocks are being inhabited; modern shopping malls have captured the skyline. But the traditional ‘tehzeeb’ (courtesies) of Awadh (the region around Lucknow) has largely disappeared. The musical culture of the city is drowned in shrill noises of petty politicians. And, the streets of the city are not safe for girls and women. Petty thieves have been ‘blessed’ by important people of the city.

5. The Indian Prime Minister’s recent visit to Silicon Valley has attracted much media attention last few days. The Digital India wave is now gathering momentum in the Silicon Valley. Global iconic new age companies, and Indian origin inhabitants of that region, are all agog with the possibility of digitalising India. Two pictures complete the story. Bangaluru, the Indian mirror image of Silicon Valley is having five hours power cut daily. How digital can India become when there is no electricity?

And, the front page photo of Indian Prime Minister with five other iconic leaders of IT giants of west coast of America shows only men. The steering wheel for Digital India is in the hands of its girls and women today!

All the very best

Sincerely

Rajesh Tandon