India Uncut

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Friday, May 20, 2005

The Blog Mela (aka Discovery Channel)

Putting together a Blog Mela is tiring but rewarding. On both the occasions that I have hosted one (the last time was here), I have been astonished at both the variety and the quality of what is out there. My blogroll has expanded significantly, and though Bloglines is superbly user-friendly, I still have a hard time keeping track of so many good blogs. Anyway, let's roll...

All the nominations sent to me have been included, except in the case of multiple nominations from one blogger in one blog. (The guidelines were here.) Thankfully, none of the nominations were the nasty, personal type of posts that Mela hosts often have to filter out. The majority of the inclusions here, though, come from my own surfing of the net. It took a few hours, but it was well worth it. I've tried to make it user-friendly by forming loose categories. I have also kept editorial comment to a minimum; these posts cater to different tastes, and are all worth checking out.

Business and economics: Nitin Pai writes about how India awaits a Mahatma Gandhi of the free market. Gaurav Sabnis feels that it's time to say goodbye to khadi, the "fabric of the privileged". JK of Varnam finds one problem that supporters of globalisation can't wish away: traffic. Aadisht Khanna explains how BSNL is pulling a fast one on us, and proposes a solution. Ravikiran Rao defends libertarians against those who accuse them of paying "insufficient attention to unethical business practices". Rashmi Bansal writes about the cola wars. Sheetal Vyas offers a tribute to the Indian Railways. And Michael Higgins sees a wave of the future in "Earning in Dollars, Spending in Rupees".

Society: Arun Simha proves that feminism existed in India as far back as the 6th century. Yazad Jal ponders the significance of Burkha-clad ladies in an ice-cream parlour. Annie Zaidi muses on the difficulty of bringing about social change. Manish Vij deconstructs a crude parody of Indian television. Dina Mehta presents some images from an Indian village. Sunil Laxman has a tribute for a doctor who battled intense hardship early in his life, and now does the same for others. Huree Babu of Kitabkhana fame rounds up the news around India's disappearing tigers on a blog run by her and Uma Mahadevan-Dasgupta, Animal Right India. All the best to them. And speaking of Uma, she discovers something that "a globalising Bangalore can be proud of."

Films: Jai Arjun Singh remembers Robert Altman's M*A*S*H. The Great Bong writes about DDLJ turning 500. Varun Singh is skeptical about Amitabh Bachchan being "a beggar". Prahlad Kumar writes on Mira Nair's Gangsta Movie. Rahul Tyagi reviews Wong Kar Wai's In the Mood for Love. And on their film blog, Baradwaj Rangan and Samanth Subramanian discuss the hype around cinema, and the filming of books.

Literature: Amardeep Singh feels nauseous after reading Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast. Chandrahas Choudhury celebrates the genre-busting Jorge Luis Borges. J Alfred Prufrock 2 misses Sartaj Singh. Neha Viswanathan reproduces some Agam poetry. Nithiyanandan Bashyam reviews Kalki's novel Ponniyin Selvan. And Putu the Cat gives us a list of the 10 greatest comic-book authors.

Creative writing: If you're in the mood for some micro-fiction, you will find little better than my old pal Ammani's "A quick tale 19". (In fact, her entire series of Quick Tales features some lovely writing, life in miniature.) Avinash Tadimalla tells us a story about two dead boys who got up to fight. Rajesh Advani has a conversation with God. Abhishek presents an Ode to Frustration. TeeGee writes about about the magic of broken words. Bridal Beer tells us how cobras are like district magistrates.

Politics and foreign affairs: Primary Red of Secular-Right India worries about another Tiananmen Square. Patrix ponders the morality of legislation. Harini Calamur writes about the Pentagon's double standards. Sriram Rangarajan shares his thoughts on democracy. Vijay Kumar ponders Uma Bharati's choice of cuisine.

Cricket: aNTi writes an analytical post about the BCCI. Avinash Tadimalla remembers John Wright. And Tifoc explains why we are the most powerful nation in the world of cricket.

Technology: Kingsley Jegan is unhappy with Typekey. Saket Vaidya announces that Firefox has won the browsers war. Prasenjit Dutta writes about "Ajax and the browser of tomorrow". And Gaurav Bhatnagar tells us about a Spec-Writer's Block.

Places: Zainab Bawa hangs around at Marine Drive and tells us what she sees there. Suhail Kazi writes a tribute to Irani cafes. Vikrum Sequeira has an interesting encounter in Goa. Rahul Bhatia visits Un-Bombay. Sibyl tells us about the serendipity of an overheard conversation in Melbourne. Kumara Raghavan recounts a conversation he had with a Pakistani taxi driver in Sydney.

Miscellaneous: J Ramanand celebrates 3 years of blogging with a handwritten post. Anand of Locana writes about the Japanese puzzle Sudoku. Abinandanan examines the problems social scientists face. Suman Kumar tells us how he met Joe Satriani and got defrauded. S Jagadish writes about his experiences at the RTO in Indiranagar, Bangalore. Swaroop CH writes about creativity. Shrikanth K examines the nature of frustration. Niti Bhan writes about Newsweek's recent special issue on design, here and here. Charukesi Ramadurai asks, "Do you sumo on your blog?" And, to bring this Blog Mela to an appropriate end, here are a couple of elegies from Ramya Kannan.

Phew. That was worth it for me, and I hope you enjoyed it. If so, I recommend you blogroll all the bloggers among these that you like, and spread some good karma around. (I don't mean in the literal sense.) Or take your favourite blogger out to lunch and spread some good korma around. You get the drift. Enjoy.

Update: Shivam Vij is hosting the next Blog mela. Go here for details.
amit varma, 11:57 PM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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