Archive for 12/01/2011 - 01/01/2012

While it's Raining Cats and Dogs in Chennai, it's Time to Visit Chennai Margazhi

A raging cyclone is crossing the Indian peninsula causing havoc and rain but that is no reason to miss a visit to the world’s only city with a season dedicated to music and dance. The Margazhi festival of Chennai in southern India is a unique opportunity to fill your holiday with an enchanting glimpse in to the rich culture, tradition and food of India.

Margazhi is a month in the Indian Tamil calendar covering December and January. But it is getting to be more associated with the unique carnatic music and dance festival being held in the city of Chennai since decades and evoke nostalgic and romantic feeling in many people, especially among the expatriates who wait for a whole year, yearning for an annual visit.

The best thing about the Margazhi festival is that each day is filled with many musical and dance events in several venues till late night most of which are absolute free with no tickets or entrance fees. The festival aims to promote talent and give an opportunity for the artists to perform in public attracting both professional and amateur practitioners of the arts from around the world.

If you are after a relaxing and fulfilling holiday, it is indeed great fun to hop in and listen to some invigorating music in the mid morning, spend some time on the beach or enjoy some really ethnic food, do some browsing or shopping for exotic jewellery or clothing in the afternoon and then return for more enjoyment of some exhilarating dance in the evening. You can do all of these in any order you like for several days non-stop if you wish.

The festival is in fact an amazing panorama of true Indian culture you can only remotely sense in the hype of “Incredible India”. The artistic intensity of vocal Carnatic and Hindustani music, exotic instruments and solo performances, and riveting dance performances by lone exponents and groups will leave indelible tracks on your memories to take home, unlike a normal holiday you will soon forget about.

What makes it even more interesting is the availability of really ethnic food at many venues during the season, which is normally served only in private homely functions,
thanks to the month of Margazhi, considered inauspicious for marriages and other functions. For connoisseurs, this wonderful treat for the palette is an added attraction of the festival pampering all of your senses.

If you seriously want a rejuvenating break and don’t know how to get that well deserved tranquilising change away from your world, then Margazhi in Chennai may be what you may be looking for.  

Is The Death Of The Lokpal Good Riddance To Bad Rubbish In Indian Democracy?

At last everyone can take a sigh of relief; democracy is safe, at least for now. The much debated Lokpal Bill has been literally, in fact actually torn up in the Indian Parliament! The Lokpal Bill was put to sleep at midnight.

Despite all the flak she is taking for her seemingly flip flop attitude to her coalition partnership of the UPA government, Mamta Banerjee, the maverick of Indian politics, must be credited with saving democracy in India this time around.

Another Acid Test For Democracy.

Barely noticed by the world, yesterday was an important day for democracy!
The world’s biggest democracy, which came under the threat of being usurped by populist and anarchists, aided by the frustrations of an urban middle class and hyped by eyeballs hungry media, showed the first signs of its inherent parliamentary strength and democratic will to fight back. After the cool breeze of Arab Spring, the tabling of the Lokpal bill in the Indian parliament turned out to be a respite for democracy shaken by the tremors of a harsh Indian summer!

Saturday, December 24, 2011
Posted by Sreedhar Pillai

I Just Called To Say I Love You May Be What You Want To Hear This Christmas!

It is that time of the year when you start looking for anything which makes you feel good and forget the misery of the year gone by. It is the time when you search for and dust off the covers of old audio and video cassettes, nuggets of nostalgia locked up in shelves and boxes because whether you like it or not, strains of Christmas music everywhere fondle the weakest corners of your heart and you slowly succumb to the euphoria of the festive season. 

Why Is Anna Hazare Fasting While India Is Sinking?

The politics of wrangling and bickering in the US and Europe is frustrating. The consolation is that the politicians don’t have a clue how to tackle the sinking economy and it is difficult to judge who is right. However the politics of obstruction which has led to contraction of growth in India, which till a year back maintained an impressive  rate, despite the banking crisis of 2008, is mind boggling.

“The industrial production saw a staggering decline in October, with a negative growth of 5.1 percent in output mainly owing to huge fall in manufacturing and mining sectors.”

Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Posted by Sreedhar Pillai

Why Is Anna Hazare Fuelling Wal-Mart Politics?

Wal-Mart, which symbolise capitalistic enslavement for the Indians, seems to be dividing India, world’s largest democracy, in the middle even as the Indian government is bravely defending its decision to allow Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Retail, a reform which opens a market worth billions of dollars the world’s major chains are desperate to enter.

The controversy is based on the perceived pros of the move, strongly supported by the government in need of urgent foreign investment to cover its budget deficit and maintain the growth rate of the country and the cons, put forth by an opportunistic and  motley combine of communists, communal parties and the women chief ministers of three states with over 30% of India’s population, who have no clue of the complexities of the issue or particular reason other than their bloated egos to object the move, claiming the government is only fooling people.

"To give an impression that FDI in retail will solve all problems like inflation, price rise and unemployment... whosoever is saying this is fooling people that FDI will get millions of jobs. It cannot happen."

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