• India experienced a watershed moment when Ratan Tata fulfilled his promise with the launch of Nano, the most economic vehicle in the Indian market, and arguably, in the world. Ever since the launch of Tata Nano, the whole globe is behind the idea of cheaper wheels. Now, it's the turn of Maruti, who is seriously planning a car priced closer to Nano, and it could apparently be the Cervo, a compact five door mini that might put the other kids on the block in the shade.

    The Cervo looks like a smaller Chevrolet Beat with cues from Honda Jazz's design. The phenomenal fuel efficiency is one of the USPs of this car.

    Powered by Suzuki's 660cc engine — as against Nano's 623cc — the Cervo could be priced between 1.5 to 2 lakhs, a little higher than Nano. But Cervo looks too stylish and futuristic to be priced under 2 lakhs. So it's obvious that Maruti needs to delete some of the features available in the car, or use a cheaper material to make a potent contender to Nano.

    Inside, the dashboard of

    Read More »from Cervo: Maruti’s Answer to Tata Nano?
  • A recent study ranking the best Test batsmen of all time has placed Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid above  Sachin Tendulkar. The list prepared by two economists is based on criteria like the batsman's career average, value of runs scored to the team and his consistency.

    The scientific analysis puts Sehwag at sixth ahead of Rahul Dravid (10th) and Sachin (11th) for their value of runs scored for the team. As far as consistency goes, Sachin follows Rahul at fifth position. Sehwag takes the 12th position in the category.

    The list features only five Indian batsmen but what is more baffling is that Sachin Tendulkar has been ranked eleventh, much below than where he deserves to be. The fact that the late Sir Donald Bradman tops the list is understandable, but placing the God of Indian cricket below Sehwag for me is like injustice done to the legend, but my friend and colleague Bikash has a different take on it:

    Bikash's view:

    Even though Sehwag has yet to achieve legendary status

    Read More »from Who’s Better – Sachin or Sehwag?
  • I have a list of people I wish I had met, the kind who, when they leave this world, leave a huge sense of loss. Ustad Bismillah Khan is the first person on my list. On his fourth death anniversary, that feeling only intensifies.

    He passed away on August 21, 2006. It was a Monday. I was in the Production Control Room (PCR) of a news channel, keeping a track of the numerous monitors with live feeds coming in. Outside in the newsroom, all channels were covering Bismillah Khan's death, trying to get the first pictures. Strangely, I don't remember much of that particular day except a feeling of a void.

    What I remember more vividly of the Ustad was watching the BBC documentary on him a few years before his death. I don't remember every detail of the film. All I recall are the gullies of Benaras, the narrow winding roads that lead to the Ustad's ancestral home. It wasn't the kind of a house you'd imagine a legendary musician living in. It was evident that money wasn't abundant in

    Read More »from Remembering A Legend: Ustad Bismillah Khan
  • It was the biggest corporate heist in independent India and a blotch on India's corporate world and its governance. Now, nearly a year and half later, all 10 accused in the Satyam scam are out on bail, with the latest being the chairman and founder, Ramalinga Raju.

    After spending 19 months in jail, the former chairman of Satyam Computers has finally got bail but he may still not be a free man as he may have to remain in the hospital where he is undergoing treatment for Hepatitis C for the last nine months.

    Financial scams are not new to India as our financial markets are still plugged with loopholes for the lack of corporate accountability and proper punishment. Here's a brief on the top financial scamsters who have made a fortune by exploiting the loopholes in our financial system and the unbelievable losses investors have incurred because of them:

    Ramalinga Raju

    The former IT czar, who fell from grace after admitting to India's biggest ever accounting fraud, has been

    Read More »from Scamsters Who Brought Notoriety to India
  • The only thing about our independence I know is the struggle for it. Since I was born much after the Chinese occupation of Tibet, to be a citizen of an independent country is a feeling I'm not very familiar with.

    When we were younger, the small Tibetan community evoked patriotism by watching street plays that illustrated the hardships our fathers and their fathers suffered, crossing the Himalayas barefoot and fleeing the Chinese brutality. So to me, Independence equaled suffering, violence, deprivation. Worse still, it made us "identity-less", gave us the tags of exiles.

    During teenage years, my idea of Independence Day was the function at school, before classes — the day we dressed in our (or borrowed) Indian best. It was a day when we acknowledged the importance of the maintenance staff in our lives- in a residential school. Instead of the Principal, the Indian flag was always hoisted by a watchman, a cook or a sweeper.

    In my early twenties, Independence Day was just

    Read More »from Chasing Independence

  • If you head to your local grocery store or a roadside fruit vendor, chances are you'll spot the ubiquitous 'Shimla Apple'.  A bite into the juicy, crunchy fruit transports you to the hills of Himachal where hundreds of farmers are busy harvesting the Delicious variety of the apple this season. The apple may seem synonymous to the hill state, but things weren't always like this. Around a hundred years ago, the only apples produced in the hills surrounding Shimla were the sour British variety which struggled for popularity and kept farmers of the area in the depths of poverty.

    In 1916, a man by the name of Samuel Evans Stokes Jr brought to present-day Himachal, a new strain of apples developed by the Stark brothers of Louisiana. Stokes distributed the apple seeds to farmers and helped them plant and nurture them. Orchards soon sprung up all over the area and it is these 'Delicious' apples that went on to transform the economy and much of the landscape of Himachal Pradesh.

    Not many people

    Read More »from An American in Khadi
  • At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom — Jawaharlal Nehru on 14 August 1947

    Cut to 63 years after freedom and we wake up to an India that our martyrs never dreamed of. Today, India has become a land of more wrongs than rights as our nation is symbolised by abject poverty, corruption, a huge population and lack of transparent governance, to name a few ills.

    India is free; so are we, but have we really valued the freedom that has been granted to us by martyrs who fought valiantly so that we could be born free? Do we think it's a part of our legacy that has been passed on to us through the years?

    Freedom is not about being free, it is a great responsibility. Freedom does not give us the right to misuse our rights, but it gives us the power to make better choices. This Independence Day, let us stay away from the usual festivities and pledge to free ourselves from the ills that exist in our society to build a better India.

    Read More »from Six Deadly Sins That Plague India
  • August 15th, 2010. India will be celebrating its 64th Independence Day. The radio will be blaring 'Aye mere watan ke logon'. TV channels will alternate between 'Roja', 'Rang de Basanti', 'Border' and 'Lakshya'. Schools across the country will compel their students to shed Sunday morning sleepiness and partake in flag-hoisting ceremonies. Milestones will be recounted, leaders glorified and saffron, white and green will dominate the landscape . Indians across the country will wear patriotism on their sleeve.

    But I've been wondering what are we actually celebrating? Are we rejoicing over how corrupt officials choose heftier bank balances over national pride? Or maybe we're happy about how our elected representatives decide to put the country's security at risk to further their own agendas.

    Let's sample a few headlines from this past week to determine whether 'tis the season to be jolly:

    The two biggest sports stories of the year haven't been those of individual excellence or

    Read More »from What On Earth Are We Celebrating?
  • India’s Signature Dish? Masala Dosa!

    What is made with ground rice and white split lentils batter, circular or oval in shape, golden brown on the outside, fluffy white on the inside, roasted to perfection on a griddle, with its inner white walls coated with a liberal dollop of garlic-red chilli chutney before a cup of boiled potatoes fried with sliced onions and slit green chillies is ladled onto the middle, then folded over into a perfect arc, a small tor on a plate or a nonchalant shape and served with a spoonful of butter on top and a cup of fragrant coconut chutney tempered with mustard seeds and curry leaves?

    Potato-filled South Indian crepes, as Epicurious labels it in its "Around the world in 80 dishes".

    We'll stick to the time-tested, easily rolled-off-the-tongue, pentasyllabic 'Masala Dosa' that doesn't need accentuation in the form of  carets or tildes, what say?

    This could be seen as a proud moment for South Indians who've long had to deal with well-meaning countrymen from north of the Hebbal

    Read More »from India’s Signature Dish? Masala Dosa!
  • Becks ‘A Little Too Old’?

    I hope David will be OK to come and play his last game at Wembley in the next friendly game to come and wave bye-bye to the crowd — Fabio Capello

    England has decided to bid farewell to its super-servant David Beckham. A veteran of three World Cups for England and remarkable stints with Manchester United, Real Madrid, AC Milan and LA Galaxy — David will surely be missed who just loves the game. Such is his passion in the white shirt that Beckham never complained being amongst the substitutes under Capello. He missed out on a fourth World Cup after injuring himself in March.

    I've always said I won't retire from playing for my country. If I never get picked again or whether I get picked again for one more game or 10 more games I'll be available, said a modest David Beckham before the 'probably a bit too old' news.

    David made his national debut during a World Cup qualifying match against Moldova in 1996 and since then has been the mainstay to England's plans. With 115 caps, the

    Read More »from Becks ‘A Little Too Old’?


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