Bharteeya Blog Mela: The Tsunami Memorial

(Welcome, Instapundit readers.
Get yourself a cup of coffee, and set aside some time for reading all these

It’s Blog Mela time again, as we present the best posts from Indians and
about India/Indians. This is also the first Blog Mela of the new year, which is
of course a meaningless statistic.

As you would expect, this week’s reading is heavy on Japanese 101, as the
word "tsunami" is introduced to thousands of people who had never
heard it before.

This past week, bloggers have supplemented the regular and mostly repetitive
news coverage with their own account of the disaster, and some of these have
been more revealing than what the newspapers dished out.

Sameer has an overview of what
a tsunami is

While we don’t typically accept whole blogs as nominations, Amit Varma’s India
has tons of reading, written while visiting the tsunami-affected

(Update: Amit is churning out reports faster than I can read them. Some outstanding writing there.)

Amit’s travelling companion, Dilip D’Souza, too has plenty
to report
. I recommend you set aside a big chunk of time to read everything
they’ve written.

Kiruba, who normally sticks to very "bloggy"
stuff on his site, changes gear to write long accounts of the relief efforts. He
also takes photos, which is helpful.

Suman Kumar, who has suffered a bandwidth
tsunami on his site due to being mentioned in the New York Times (with a little
help from yours truly), is trying to do his bit with the relief. He has a tsunami
site of his own

Alpha is upset over the
loss of life
, but is more upset at the lack of news coverage in the USA.

with Alpha. He thinks the media is being particularly insensitive
in its relentless display of dead bodies and suffering people.

Sandeep blames
the government’s apathy for the deaths in India. As did I earlier.


Rhyncus has a
strange rationalisation
of why God is needed because two tectonic plates
causing the earthquake is not satisfying enough as an explanation. In part
2 of his article
, he says he’s got a rock which he calls God, and it’s an
extension of his parents.

Yazad has some thoughts on depression
caused by the tsunami

Ramanand thinks the media
is being unfair
in its criticism of cricketers for supposedly not doing
enough towards the relief effort because they make an easy target.

And now, on to the non-tsunami stuff…

After the silly MMS "scandal" where Avneesh Bajaj was arrested by
for no fault of his, Sandeep
lashes out

Vivek draws some parallels
between Don Quixote and the Nasruddin Hodja
legends in the middle-east.

Sharma says
"A human edited product news feature is never going
to happen at Google" because he thinks Google is primarily a technology

A lady known only as "Medium Latte" says that she prefers
not to accept help
given just because she is a woman, although it’s

That’s it for this week, folks. I know some Hindi blog entries were
nominated, but I’ve left them out of this mela, not because I’m a snobbish
bastard, but because:

1) I studied Hindi for 10 years at school, and speak the language fluently, but haven’t read any big chunks of
Hindi since 1990. So my reading speed has reduced to a crawl.

2) The thin strokes of the text coupled with the low resolution of a PC
monitor made it even harder to read the entries.

3) Some of the spelling mistakes (mostly misplaced matras) didn’t help

My apologies to you all. Perhaps we should start a Hindi version of the Mela
soon. Shanti, what do you think?

I’d like to remind you that my web links blog, in addition to being on this
page, also has a separate page of its
. Even if I don’t write longer entries, the links blog is still updated
almost daily. Check back often.

The next Mela will be on

Blog Mela: Call for entries #2

Ladies and gentlemen, our beloved Yazad Jal, who blames the viruses for his inability to post his Blog Mela on time, has now created a cascading wave of schedule changes to the darn Mela (I think I won’t use the word “tsunami” at the moment.) Since his mela was a week late, my Christmas edition shall now be the New Year edition Blog Mela (apologies to Nilesh.)
I’m sure you’re familiar with the rules, but here we go anyway:

  1. Posts must either be made by Indians or must focus on India or Indians.
  2. Post permalinks to the individual blog entries, not the blog URL. If the permalink is not working, post the title and date of the blog entry.
  3. You can nominate your own posts or someone else’s
  4. You can submit any type of posts except personal journal entries. I am serious about this.
  5. The entries have to be dated between December 26-31.
  6. Last date for submission of entries is 01 January 2005.
  7. My own little rule: Entries written in SMS-lingo will not be considered, no matter how insightful.

C’mon folks, shake off that holiday lethargy and write something interesting.
The last mela was held at AnarCapLib and the next one will be at Nilesh’s weblog.

Bharteeya Blog Mela

Hello there. How are you? Take a seat, won’t you? The show will begin in a minute. How about a cup of virtual coffee? No? You’re sure? OK then.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages… MadMan’s Web is proud to present you with yet another weekly edition of the Bharteeya Blog Mela, our virtual showcase of insightful writing by Indians without any of the “I changed my toothbrush today” fluff.

The entries below have been chosen both from reader submissions and from my own travels around the
Indian blogosphere. I have used editorial discretion when picking the posts and if yours hasn’t made it, I’m sorry. 

(This is the paragraph that’s supposed to start with the “without further ado”
clich? but I will not use it.)

Let’s jump right into it, eh? has some suggestions for online promotion of
Shwaas – India’s nominee to the Oscars. (Editor’s note: Have you noticed the media attention paid to
Shwaas compared to Lagaan?)

Dilip D’Souza has just adopted a baby and shares his experience as well as the neighbour’s reaction.

Ashish Hanwadikar pores over reams of data and concludes that failed economic policies are the only reason for India’s lack of economic progress.

Want another theory? Atanu Dey opines that Indians are getting left behind just because of ignorance and stupidity. Hopefully he will explain how in a future post.

In another
, Atanu posts Part 5 of a detailed proposal to get all of India educated by giving them a Rs. 5000 financial incentive to study. Will it evade the notorious Indian skill for finding loopholes in systems and abusing them? Read it and decide for yourselves.

Amardeep Singh explains how the Bush camp has turned the word “lesbian” from a value-neutral description to a slur.

Sandeep is furious that winners of the Nobel Peace Prize don’t seem to be particularly worthy; the latest being a lady who believes AIDS was a virus created by whites to wipe out blacks.

Alka Dwivedi laments the mindset of some men that causes operations like hymenoplasty (“repairing” the female hymen) to be offered.

Lazy Geek tells us about how Chennai is making preparations for the shopping season that is heralded by Deepavali.

The Acorn ridicules an NRI mgazine’s view that modern technology deployment should be withheld until intelligence agencies can catch up. 

Brooding Dude has a theory of why the British tolerated Gandhi’s non-violent protests for so long. He falls short, however, of explaining how this led to India getting freedom.

Feminine Mystique is a little overwhelmed by all the technology around us and thinks that things are hardly “simpler” as they were supposed to be.

Rajk takes an Indian friend to an Indian restaurant in UK where the conversation is not about the food but mostly about the cooler there.

Please visit these sites and whenever possible, leave a comment for the
author with your views.

I hope you enjoy this selection of articles. The next mela will be hosted by
young Aadisht Khanna. (A full hosting schedule
is available here


Blog Mela: Call for entries

Come one, come all to the next weekly Blog Mela, showcasing interesting writing from around the Indian blogosphere. This is your chance to nominate your Booker Prize winning, Arundhati Roy busting, golden prose. And even if the Booker is in your dreams, you can still find a place here. :)
Here are the rules:
a) Either you or your blog entry must have something to do with India. The entry must be made between 8 October and 14 October.
b) Don’t bother with the personal posts. We won’t carry them.
c) Send me a cheque for $10 as a nomination fee.
If I’m in a good mood, I might even waive the $10. Who knows…
The Mela will be posted on 14 October for the world to see. Post your nominations as a comment or send me a mail at madman AT madmanweb dot com.

Journalism or advertorial?

The latest issue of Outlook magazine has a piece titled The
Body Electronic
that I found… strange.

It masquerades as an article about exposing the Indian sex sites on the
Internet and how they’re hawking women to willing customers. If I didn’t know better, I’d call it an "advertorial" for the sites in
question. The writer goes all out to provide every last bit of contact
information for the people involved in this business.


"Business is good…. Earlier, we had services all over India…but
stock was proving to be a problem…we are looking for customers for a
lifetime…" ?Sameer, who claims to be an MBA with specialisation in
marketing, on the Mumbai mobile number 098216-86191., true to its name, is more pan-Indian, giving contact
details for most big cities.

In Mumbai, you can contact one Robert or Ashok, reachable at 09819437751,
who will do the needful. The duo has offices in Churchgate and Andheri (W).

A registration at the dating site in Kashyap’s name (Is
Outlook ready with my bail money?) led me to Arun, available at 098218-44021.
"I can sure provide the service in Delhi. Just call me two hours in
advance," he said. Based in Mumbai, he needs just an hour’s notice there.


The author concludes with:

My intention is not to raise awareness about Sameer, Arun, Purnima, Robert,
Ashok, or their websites. I wouldn’t dream of doing that in a magazine that’s
read by my mother. My honest intention is to make cyberspace a little more
worthy of our kids’ eyeballs. So I spoke to the cbi about it, whose
spokesperson expressed surprise and wanted the addresses of these websites.

Gee, by publishing it in a magazine read by thousands of people, he’s
certainly raised awareness. Just what we need – a journo on a moral crusade who
writes articles like advertorials. If he wanted only the CBI to investigate, he
could’ve given them the mobile numbers in question. What purpose did printing
them in the magazine serve?

Go read
the article
and tell me if you too find it stinks a bit.