Rahul Bose See the link on Times TV
We spent the better part of our Sunday at an event organized by a bunch of 16 year old schoolkids from Mumbai, one of whom is Kumud’s nephew Raghav, reexamining the impact of the partition of India into India and Pakistan 63 years ago. What started as a relatively small and innocuous school project by Raghav and his friends a year ago turned into a full - scale function moderated by leading Indian actors and addressed by M.J. Akbar, a leading Indian intellectual, and Dr Indu Shahani, the Sheriff of Mumbai and the principal of H.R. College.
The organizers had managed to bring seven fellow students from a leading school in Pakistan to debate the day’s topics, participate in skits and fast forward 25 years. What will India and Pakistan’s relations look like then?
It was, as Rahul Bose so eloquently put it, awesome. Crispy samosas at 11.00 in the morning helped too.
10 rupees for light
Dr Shahani spoke with passion about a student at her college, Jyotirmoi Chatterjee (“JC” for friends) who has managed to jumpstart a campaign to provide solar powered lighting to villagers for 10 rupees ($0.21) a day, or Rs. 3,650 a year. The campaign (see the link to their Facebook page at the left) is expanding to the rest of Maharasthra and other parts of India. Apparently Rahul Gandhi, the heir apparent of the Congress Party, wants to meet JC to see how the campaign can be introduced in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state
Most of these villagers have never had electricity after sunset, 63 years of independence and economic growth notwithstanding. The biggest cause of mortality is snake bites, when villagers wander out of their huts in the dark.
Dear Diary, on a lighter note (ha ha, pun not intended), we have stopped going to Vijay Electricals for our haircuts, since Sanjay first mistook that establishment to be a barbershop. Even though the account of that visit led to much hilarity among the reading public, there is a limit to the sacrifices one can and should make. Our blog went viral, people started booking flights to Mumbai in the hope of catching a glimpse of my haircut, traffic came to a standstill, but I Claudius (speaking of bad haircuts) had had enough.
So we now visit Toni&Guy. Not quite sure where Guy is, probably putting the kids to bed, but Toni is a hulk of a man, with tattoos all over, bulging muscles and those horrendous ear - lobe expanding earrings that seem to be all the rage among the hair dressing community. What is it about Papua New Guinean fashion that makes anti - establishment types want to emulate them?
Anyway, Toni doesn’t have me fooled. HIs London accent notwithstanding, I know who he really is. He’s one of Slobodan Milosovic’s former henchmen on the run, masquerading as a froo froo hairdresser in SoBo (South Bombay) until the coast is clear.
Diwali is round the corner. On Chowpatty Beach they’ve started with performances of Ram Lila, the story of the Ramayana. People gather in the evenings to hear the actors recite large parts of the Ramayana verbatim.
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.