My childhood friend Rajeev Shorey is now President of NIIT University. Look up NIIT (www.niit.com). They made India’s I.T. revolution possible by training hundreds of thousands of young kids in sweat shops in the 1980s and ‘90s. By the time Y2K came around, India had thousands of young programmers who could handle the simple task of recoding the calendars in computers that ran the world’s airlines and banks. Business continued as usual, armageddon was avoided, and India’s I.T. industry was born.
Anyway, the founders of NIIT have, after 10 years of hard work, established a university in Neemrana, Rajasthan, called NIIT University (http://www.niituniversity.in/), and yesterday was their second annual lecture.
The speakers included Mr Gurucharan Das, the author ofIndia Unleashed and The Difficulty of Being Good. After a very succesful career in corporate life Mr Das is now known as one of India’s foremost thinkers, philosophers and ethicists.
The other speaker was Dr. Karan Singh, Sanskritist, Member of Parliament, Educator and the former Maharaja of Kashmir.
Public speaking in India as demonstrated by the likes of Mr Das and Dr Karan Singh is in a league of its own. People such as these bring erudition, insight and humour to bear on a variety of topics. At the end of the trip back and forth from Mumbai I was physically broken (up at 4 a.m., back at 10 p.m.) but intellectually enriched.
Kumud, Mira, Tarini & Rustom (and 2, 096,712 other people).
In separate news, scientists have proven (o.k. o.k., not scientists, a scientist) has proven that it takes Indians (o.k., so it wasn’t a scientist, it was a social researcher) approximately 11.3 months (BOY are you particular. So it was me, o.k.? Happy? I observed that..) to give a shiny gleaming building the look and feel of a railway platform. At least that’s what it felt like yesterday at Delhi Airport, with flights delayed due to congestions.
Delhi’s domestic airport, actually quite glitzy.
On the positive side, we don’t have the imbeciles of Homeland Security in the U.S. announcing for the 59th time in a day “The Threat Advisory Level has been changed to ... (pause for effect, allow millions of passengers to stop what they’re doing and gaze expectantly up at the speakers. Wait for it, here it comes...) ORANGE.
Btw, the banner photo was taken from our holiday home outside of San Gimignano at 6.20 am. What light! It lasted all of five minutes.