When I was a schoolboy, Dhobi Talao in South Mumbai seemed like Ali Baba’s cave. I would gaze longingly at the cricket bats in the shop windows of the city’s sports goods hub, drawn there by my love for the game and the ache brought on by my lack of talent. The world seemed to … Continue reading The cricket store that’s a shrine to the game
As night crept across the winter sky a few weeks ago, the discussion on the Express Tower lawns warmed up. Steve Coll – two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, book author and dean of Columbia Journalism School – was the picture of pragmatism as he spoke about challenges journalists face in this age and what the future … Continue reading Media and big business: Happily ever after or nasty break-up in the offing?
Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote you a letter on Father’s Day. Because I enjoyed doing that so much and because you felt I’ve never done anything better for you, I thought I’d turn it into an annual affair. I know I’m a little late on it this year, but it’s worth doing anyway. … Continue reading Another Father’s Day, another letter for my daughter
When it comes to rural markets in India, size, potential and geographical expanse have been discussed ad nauseum. But what about their ‘qualitative’ aspect? Are consumers moving up the value chain? Is their aspiration set evolving? And why? According to the third edition of Accenture Research’s ‘Masters of Rural Markets: From Touchpoints to Trustpoints – … Continue reading Why the rural Indian market matters
Shonali Bose's tour de force, Margarita With A Straw, should be an interesting starting point for a debate on the sexual rights of the differently-abled. Interesting because the protagonist--played by Kalki Koechlin--shakes off social barriers by actually doing something about her desires. Not every person with disabilities is able to break through; social pressure to be asexual generally … Continue reading Let’s Talk About Sex–And The Differently-Abled–Baby
Education levels offer one of the starkest examples of gender discrimination in India - effective literacy rates (age 7 and above) in 2011 were 82.14% for men and 65.46% for women. Women’s empowerment cannot be achieved without commitment to the education of the girl child. UNICEF points out that even basic education can empower greatly, … Continue reading India needs to pull off a ‘class’ act for its girls
Every year as Budget season creeps in, familiar discussions on the fiscal deficit, taxes and reforms begin, reach a crescendo as the government tables the Finance Bill and then fade away. It wasn't different this year. And, like every year, the most critical priority area that needs structural reform -- the economic empowerment of women--was … Continue reading Want growth? Focus on women, Mr FM
As I posted a while ago, the best philosophy in India can be found on the backs of trucks. Here are a few truths I spotted whiled driving on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway a few days ago. Your favourite?
Yesterday, I visited two vastly different hangout spots - Kyani near Metro, just before my morning session at XIC, and Starbucks at Phoenix Mills in the evening. It was a wonderful walk down memory lane at Kyani; I used to visit it often when I was a student at XIC in 1994-95, gorging on the … Continue reading Kyani and Starbucks – ‘market’ forces at play
Koli fisherwomen at the Bandra fish market. They balance their formidability with a strong sense of humour, and affection for their families and customers. I've been going to the market since I was a child and many of them know me well. My visits to the market are always marked by hard bargaining, good-natured teasing … Continue reading Why I love the Kolis