Anurag Jain's Blog
Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Kshamavaani Divas

It is Kshamawani Divas today in Jains' Das-Lakshani parv (10-day Festival of ten virtues). Just like the Thanksgiving Day in western context is meant for thanking for good things, Kshamavani (Kshama=forgive) Divas (=day) is meant for asking one and all for Forgiveness.

So, allow me to beg of you your pardon for any wrongs, excesses, sins, that I might have done onto you. This is one day when I take all the responsibility of any sorrow, pain, or anguish caused to you by me, and atone for the same. I wouldn't want to offend anyone in my life, and least of all, you. I, therefore, hope all my past sins are forgiven and that I can start afresh....

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Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Anant Chaudas, Das Lakshan Parva (Paryushan), Jainism etc.

Yesterday, I visited Jain temple(s) after a long time. This was on account of yesterday being Anant Chaudash, an important day in the ten-day festival of Daslakshan. I visit temples probably once in six-months or so. But thats not to say I am not religious. I am just a bit detached.

Talking about temples and Jainism, latest Indian census data paints a very healthy picture of Jain community. Incidentally, this is the first time Religion-wise data has been published by Indian census office. The numbers suggest that Jains are tops on pretty much all parameters. Sample some: Literacy-wise, Jains top the list with 94.1%. The national average for literacy is 64.8%. For female literacy, the national average is at 53.7%, and Jains again take the lead with a female literacy figure of 90.6%. The only sore point in the data is the scorching growth rate of Jain population which has been estimated at 26% in the last decade (as against 4% in the previous decade)! But Jain groups have contested that figure (Census results inaccurate: Jains).

I think all this has to probably do with the fact that we Jains are a minority community. We are 6 million (60 lakhs) out of 1 billion Indians (0.6%). Even though, people at large, often categorize Jains as Hindus, we are not. We have a separate religious and more importantly, cultutral, identity. In a sense, we can be compared to Jews: Small ethnic group, which excels at most activities that it touches.

A friend on a Jain yahoogroup sent these additional statistics on state-wise Jain population:
"
91.16% Jains live in these 8 states
State Jain Population % of Total Jains
Maharashtra 1301843 30.81
Rajasthan 650493 15.40
Madhya Pradesh 545446 12.91
Gujarat 525305 12.43
Karnataka 412659 9.77
Uttar Pradesh 207111 4.90
Delhi 125122 2.96
Tamil Nadu 83569 1.98
Total 91.16

Total of Jain population in these 8 states: 3851548
Total Jain population in India: 4225052

Thus 91.16% Jains live in these 8 states

In Gujarat, the growth of Jains in 1991-2001 was just 6.91%. This number is very low as the growth of Jains in all India was 26%. I think that Jain from Gujarat have written themselves as Hindus and not as Jains in the census. There is no other reason."

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International Conference on Rural Markets

Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Mysore in association with many other organizations is organizing the International Conference on Rural Markets from December 16 - 18, 2004. The details are available on Website.

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Mr. Strobe Talbott at IIMB

On the weekend, I attended a public policy seminar by Mr. Strobe Talbott, President, Brookings Institution, and former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State (during Bill Clinton administration). He spoke on Leadership in Public Policy: Integrating Good Governance with Good Business.

Mr Talbott and Bill Clinton shared the room at Oxford, and thats one of the reasons Clinton appointed Mr Talbott the Deputy Secretary of State. :)

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Saturday, September 25, 2004

I Do Not Play Dice

What are your favourite sig lines? I have earlier used in my mails/written communications:
# Hasta la victoria siempre. - Che Guevera's war-cry slogan, which roughly translated means 'Never stop until you're finished' or 'Fight till victory' -
# "Sometimes I think that the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." - Calvin and Hobbes -

These days I am using: I Do Not Play Dice. Am sure you would recall Einstein-ian connection immediately here as its a slight twist of the famous quote by the fampus scientist. A little more gyaan behind using this quote follows (mots of it put together from this brilliant PBS documentary: The Elegant Universe).

Well, you see, in 1920s, a new breed of physicists (Quantam Mechanics Physicists) led by Niels Bohr started looking at atomic behaviour in a very different, in fact, outlandish light. Quantum mechanics says that you can't know for certain the outcome of any experiment; you can only assign a certain probability to the outcome of any experiment. They essentially said that the atomic behaviour is 'random'. This new physics was in direct conflict to what the theories of the day including Einstein's, had preached so far. Einstein, of course, didn't like this. He never lost faith that the universe behaves in a certain and predictable way. The idea that all we can do is calculate the odds, that things will turn out one way or another was something Einstein deeply resisted. Yet, experiment after experiment showed Einstein was wrong and that quantum mechanics really does describe how the world works at the subatomic level.

So, in order to discredit this new stream of physics (Quantam physics), Einstein used to say "God does not throw dice" suggesting that atomic level behaviour is quite orderly (and not random) as encapsulated in his theories.

Guess, you can see now where I am going with the modification of this quote in my signature line now. ;)

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Friday, September 24, 2004

JAINA Shri V.R. Gandhi scholarship

"
Jai Jinendra

1.JAINA Shri V.R. Gandhi Scholarship

Objective: To promote and encourage studies in Jainism and thereby to spread Lord Mahavir’s message of universal love, brotherhood and nonviolence, a lifetime goal of Shri Virchand Raghavji Gandhi , to honor him and to commemorate his historical visit to the West in 1893, JAINA had established this scholarship in Fall, 1997. (Jain Digest Winter Edition 1997 pa.20.) This scholarship is being awarded to bright and needy students studying Jainism and/or pursuing doctorate and/or research studies in fields like Jain philosophy, Jain literature, Jain scriptures, Jain temple architectures at recognized Universities and Institutions.

To help Jain Sadhus/Sadhavis in their studies at accredited institutions by giving the cost of their books, tuition fees and misc. expenses.

Research studies in work of VRG’s unpublished literature

“Strangers In This Land” by E. Allen Richardson, Jain Digest Summer 2001 (Vol.18, No.2) issue and JAINA web site gives more descriptive details. Brochure and scholarship application forms are available on this JAINA web site.

It was a matter of great pleasure that the award of this scholarship was started in year 2001,VRG's death centenary year and 2600th birth year of Bhagvan Mahavir. Nonrefundable 16 scholarships up to Rs. 15,000 were awarded so far to the students studying Jainism. As planned after publication of Gujarati edition in 2001 at the time of Chicago convention in 2001, we had published English version book titled "GLIMPSES OF JAINISM AND BIOGRAPHY OF FORGOTTEN HERO: SHRI VIRCHAND RAGHAVJI GANDHI". 1,000 books were distributed free at wellset (with pictures, banner, etc.) convention 2003 JAINA VRG booth after due releasing ceremony at the hands of Guruji Shri Chitrabhanuji in convention opening ceremony.

What ever we have achieved is due to the support given by our member centers, JAINA Exc. Committee and Jain Community as a whole.If you have any question, kindly contact us.
"
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IIM-L student in webcam suicide

Shocking news. This is almost two years after a first year PGP student Prasenjit had committed suicide at IIMB.

From this news item in Hindustam Times.

IIM-L student in webcam suicide
HT Correspondent
Lucknow, September 22

A 22-year-old post-graduate student committed suicide at the Indian Institute of Management here by hanging himself in his hostel room on Wednesday evening. This is the first-ever incident of its kind at the institute.

While there was no suicide note recovered from the room, a webcam, probably set up by the student himself to record his suicide as it contained hazy pictures of the episode, was found from the room.

The student, Birkariya Sikri Handsdah, hailed from Orissa.

One of the victim’s freinds said though Handsdah was a good student, he was an introvert. They said Handsdah did not seemed to have any problems with his peers or even in his studies.

Station House Officer Madiaon A.K. Shahi told HT that the boy first seemed to have attempted to hang himself from the ceiling fan, but later he ran the nylon cord through the ventilator shaft grill and from there to the grill above the door.

On the boy's computer screen was found a website which featured various ways to hang oneself, the officer added.

Students told the police that Handsdah was last seen at 2 a.m. when he left his friend's room after watching a film on the computer. At about 5 a.m., when some of his colleagues called him on his mobile, they got no response.

They went to his room and on peeping through, saw a part of him. Suspicious, they broke open the door to find him Handsdah hanging.

The police have sent the body for a post-mortem and his parents have also been intimated.
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Thursday, September 23, 2004

Mentoring Clinic at TiECon Bangalore 2004

November is round the corner, and for Bangalore, November means Bangalore IT.com! In keeping with the tradition of the past many years, TiE Bangalore will host its Annual TiECon event along with Bangalore IT.com on 4th November, 2004.

Last year's TiECon saw the roll-out of TiE Bangalore's Mentoring Initiative, and over the past year, many entrepreneurs have taken advantage of being Mentored by seasoned Charter Members of TiE Bangalore and Silicon Valley Chapter. Very recently, we've expanded our Mentoring effort, and launched PAF (Potential Angel Forum). This is an initiative to link selected entrepreneurs (we have started with two such entrepreneurs) to potential angel investors in Silicon Valley, with a view to help them raise angel capital. Based on the feedback we gather, we intend to include more entrepreneurs in PAF over time.

The Mentoring Clinic at TiECon 2004 will build on the learning's of the past one year. The format this year is as follows:
# All interested entrepreneurs (existing and potential) will send in a 2-page (max!) exec summary of their business idea / plan by Friday, 15th October.
# An initial session (~15 minutes per entrepreneur) will be held thereafter (we will notify interested entrepreneurs of the date for this session) wherein Charter Members will guide entrepreneurs on the points they must come prepared for during the mentoring session. Some screening may also be done during this session.
# The 1-1 Mentoring Session will be held in the afternoon of 4th November at the West End Hotel. This will be conducted by Charter Members of TiE (Bangalore, Silicon Valley, and other chapters), as well as some invited professionals / entrepreneurs. This Mentoring session is FREE. However, it is open only to members of TiE Bangalore, or those delegates who have registered for the TiECon conference. Priority in selection will be given to TiE members who have registered for the conference. Given the huge demand, and limited capacity, interested entrepreneurs may find it useful to register for the TiECon.
The registration fee for TiECon (for different categories) is as below:
Individual - 2500/-TiE Members - 2000/-Students - 750/-There could be exciting prizes (including enrolment in PAF) for the best plans.

So, if you are interested in seeing your business benefit through seasoned advice; are interested in building valuable relationships; and are interested in building the next success story out of India, we invite you to participate in the Mentoring Clinic by sending a 2-page executive summary of your business plan / idea to alfio AT tiebangalore.org (by Friday, 15th October, 2004).

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About things that go round and round

On September 24th and 25th 2004, at Alliance Franciase de Bangalore at 7:30 PM, you could find yourself watching the masterpiece created by Badal Sircar. A play that narrates - your story, my story, his story, her story, their story, our story and so on and so forth.

‘‘Badalda changed the language and form of Indian theatre. His theatre that incorporated prototypes from ordinary lives crossed all regional boundaries. Indian theatre will always be indebted to Sircar,’’ says Amol Palekar, Film maker

From the makers of 'The Final Rehearsal' ACTor Company Theatre Invites you for the opening of Evam Indrajit - a play in English. Written by Badal Sircar Translated by Girish Karnad Adapted and directed by Pawan Kumar

Time: 7:30PM Date: 24 and 25 Sept 2004 Venue: Alliance Franciase, Bangalore

Visit http://www.theactor.angelcities.com/evamindrajit.htm to know more about the production

Tickets available at Alliance Franciase, Bangalore. Call 34025248 or mail letsact AT rediffmail.com

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Ramnarayan Chellaram Quiz

The 46th edition of the Intecollegiate (includes Std XI and XII ) quiz for the Ramnarayan Chellaram Quiz is being conducted by the Rotary club of Bangalore at 20,Lavelle Road (next to Hotel Rama).

The Preliminary written round is on Saturday the 25th of September 2004 at 10:00 a.m. sharp. The Finals will be held on Monday the 27th of September 2004.

Each team should be of two members and there is no restriction for the number of teams from each educational institution. ID cards are a must for the participants. There is no registration fees and there are very attractive prizes for the finalists.

For more details please visit :www.rotaryclubofbangalore.org/quizhtml

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Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Businessgyan: Corporate Simulation Part II.

Businessgyan is a nice business magazine published and run by an IIMB alumnus, Balaji Parsumarthy ('94 I think). Businessgyan has recently started case competition. This is the second contest in series.

Corporate Simulation - 2

This is a platform that businessgyan has created to facilitate industry and student interaction. By participating, students can take a fresh look at issues that managers and entrepreneurs face at work. Following is a caselette to which all MBA students in Bangalore can respond. The best 5 answers will be published in businessgyan and these students would get an invite to interact with top professionals during a Panel Discussion conducted by businessgyan. The caselette is given below.

Launching "Getting out of the rut"

"For the last 15 years, Anand's family has been manufacturing 'Ruby' Hawaii Slippers. The business has brought respect and status for them in a small town in Kerala where traditionally they had rubber plantations. 'Ruby', the brand, is recognized in their home state and is distributed throughout India through a network of distributors. In all the markets, 'Ruby' has a marginal share of less than 5%. It is priced on par with the leading brand but gives a premium margin to the distributors. The Hawaii slipper industry is crowded with a lot of players and Ruby at best is chugging along.

A sales analysis shows that most of the sales happens in semi-urban and rural markets. Even here there is constant threat from lower priced Hawaii slippers. Ruby has copied the complete range of what the leading brand offers. In all, Ruby has some eight sub-brands and only two of the brands actually make positive contribution. At the end of the day Anand and his family make just enough to clear the interest on the loans they have taken for the factory and meet their living expenses. Things seem to be in status quo but very uncertain. A lot of work needs to be put in for little result. Today a lot of changes are happening in consumer trends, preferences and new retail formats. Anand knows he needs to make changes but does not know in which direction to go. He needs an outsider's perspective on this. Anand has a 15 minute chat with you, what will you tell him?"

§ This caselette must be answered in 200 words.
§ Mail it to us at caselette AT businessgyan.net by Oct 25, 2004
§ Mention your name, college and the year.
§ The winners will be selected solely at the discretion of the judges.
§ Request for a soft copy of this caselette to be sent to caselette AT businessgyan.net

This is an initiative of businessgyan, business digest, which provides practical information required by managers across functional areas like HR, Marketing, Finance, Facility Management etc, and also industry verticals such as Biotech, Retail, IT, BPO, Manufacturing etc.

A Copy of businessgyan is available in your library.
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Intellectual Masturbation

I heard of the subject phrase in my first year at IIMB, from a Prof I would rather not name here. Anyhow, this article, Intellectual Masturbation Rubs Me The Wrong Way, is so true of any class where there are marks for Class Participation (CP). At least in b-schools classes, this is exactly what happens :) (Okay, okay, Exaggeration Detector got me.)

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Sanskrit Classes in the week ends

samskritena sambhaashanam kuru \ jeevanasya parivartanam kuru

A unique opportunity to learn Samskritam in a fun-filled setting...... and at convenient time !

Samskrita Bharati organises A Ten Weekend Samskritam Class

For the first time, Samskrita Bharati offers a sixty-hour intensive course dedicated to basic learners of Samskritam. This course especially addresses the needs of professionals who can spare time only during weekends.

Venue: "Aksharam", VIII cross, Girinagar II phase, Bangalore - 560 085
Time: 9 AM to12 Noon, Saturdays and Sundays , October 2 to December 5, 2004
Fees: Rs.500/- (including course materials)
Prerequisites: An open mind to learn Samskritam

Register over phone or e-mail
Surendra: 2672 1052, Jahnavi: 2672 2576, Satyanarayana: 31813501 , Shrikant Jamadagni: 98453 90879
Email: samskrit AT satyam.net.in

Seats are limited. Call early to reserve yours.

Samskrita Bharati is a voluntary, non-profit organization dedicated to bring Samskritam back to daily life.

jayatu samskritam \ jayatu manukulam


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Sunday, September 19, 2004

The Greatest Trade in the History ;)

As there are lots of exchange students in the campus these days, that particular episode of The Wonder Years comes to mind where they have Inga Finnstrom, a Swedish girl exchange student in the McKinley High School. You gotta watch it to see how funny it is. Uploaded here (2.9 MB). (If you have problem playing it, download divx codec [and/or player] from here).

If you can't, for some reason, watch it, here's the transcript (from here):

(Close shot of a girl's legs as she walks down the hallway, away from the camera. A guy walking up the hallway looks over his shoulder as she passes.)
NARRATOR:One of the major international events of 1972 occurred in the hallways of my alma mater. It was of course the recent arrival of...
(Another guy passes and looks.)
GUY: Oww!
NARRATOR:Inga Finnstrom, McKinley High School's first Swedish exchange student.
Cut to
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Int. Day - School Library
(Shot of Inga walking through the library. The camera rolls with her as she passes Kevin, Paul, and Ricky sitting at a table. The camera stops on them. Ricky smiles over his shoulder, while Kevin looks on blankly.)
("Wild Thing" fades.)
PAUL: Can you believe we sent Marvin Grotsky to Venezuela and got her back?
KEVIN: Unbelievable.
(Shot from the guys' perspective of Inga, as she looks around an aisle, then walks off.)
NARRATOR:It was the greatest trade in the history of the United States.
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Saturday, September 18, 2004

My Mumbai Trip: Part 2
New-Age of Indian Aviation: The Air Deccan Experience


On my mumbai trip mentioned in the last post, I booked tickets at the last minute (of course, I paid more than the Apex fares of other airlines!) and flew both ways by Air Deccan. Only later, I realized that they had started trunk-routes service, including Bangalore-Mumbai-Bangalore, on 25th August 2004 only! I must have been amongst their first few hundred customers on that route (I flew on 29th Aug and 31st Aug)! I had expected a small, turboprop, ATR plane. Instead, I found myself sitting in a brand-new, sparkling clean A-320 jet (registration # VT-ADZ). Apart from Air Deccan logo, the A-320 livery was adorned with huge logo of NDTV which almost made it look like belonging to NDTV rather than Air Deccan :) Advertising on planes is a real smart step Air Deccan has taken. I remember, earlier they had co-opted Sun and other IT companies for advertising on their ATR planes.

From a customer's perspective, the flights were different from Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, and Air Sahara only in the following aspects:
* No eatables are served free on-board. However, there's a small menu from which you can choose snacks. Range: 15-45 Rs.
* In-flight entertainment: There are small screens (maybe 8" !) every four seats in both sides of the seat columns. However, to listen to what's going on the the screen, you have to buy the earphone for 30 Rs :)
* Free Seating: No seat numbers are alloted. You can sit wherever you can find a seat. (Also called 'cattle-call' by some? Read that in NUTS.)

Despite of all these 'new' ways of flying, I had a good time with Air Deccan except for the last point mentioned. Because of Open Seating (or Free Seating), people were hurrying up, sometimes even stepping on other's toes (I mean literally, as in a cinema ticket queue) to be ahead in the boarding queue, in the shuttle bus, and in the final boarding at plane ladder! I didn't like that very much. Especially, because I always prefer a window seat ahead of the wings - sitting anywhere behind wings, they obstruct the magnificient view. :) I think they should do something about that..

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My Mumbai Trip: Part 1

Recently (29th Aug - 31 Aug) went to Mumbai for Rakshabandhan (Aug 30). Jainism interpretation of this festival makes an interesting read. I had a great time, had a lot of fun with sister and family. My sister and family had shifted to Mumbai last year where they stay at Hiranandani, Powai and their flat offers full and fantabulous view of the Powai Lake.

During my stay there, the first night we went to Juhu beach and totally enjoyed in the fantastic breeze. Tried Kala Khatta chuski at a very dhinchak shop, where I discovered the song Janaabe Ali from movie Bardaasht. Also tried the world-famous Pav-Bhaji. Next day, we went for dinner at ITC Grand Maratha Sheraton. There were a lot of celebs, including Sanjay Dutt, Aftab Shivdasani, i-flex CEO, and some NDTV news anchor covering the Pakistan Food Festival. My niece shook hands with Dutt, and talked to Aftab (whom she kept calling 'hafta' later :-). Next day, went to see the new flat my sister and brother-in-law purchased. Very nice flat. On the main road, across the Powai Lake, it offers a nice view of the road and the lake :) Went to IIT Mumbai to meet some friends. In the evening went Go-Karting at Hiranandani tracks. By the time, I got the hang of it & was just gettin a-cruisin', trying to beat my nephew ahead of me, my 6 laps were over :(

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Friday, September 17, 2004

The SmarTest Intercollegiate Quiz

TVS Tyres presents SmarTest, a quiz exclusively for college students in Bangalore at the St. Joseph's Indian High School Auditorium (next to Mallya Hospital) this Sunday, September 19. Free registration for teams of two begins at 9.00 a.m, and twelve teams will make it to the semifinals from the written prelims.

Prizes -
Winner: Rs. 12,000 in cash
1st Runner Up: Rs. 8,000 in cash
2nd Runner Up: Rs. 4,000 in cash
Also, there are prizes for the audience and all qualifiers.

RJ Darius of Radio City 91.0 FM will be the Quizmaster, and the contents are researched by Quizician.

All are welcome to attend and watch the quiz.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Hogenakka Falls

I have posted my account of Hogenakkal Waterfalls trip here. You can also get to it via my travel page. Its nice to see the Hogenakkal trip page rank good in google within a week of posting.

Known as Niagra Falls of India, Hogenakkal is one of the best places I have been to!

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PhD and Corporate Career

Came across this neat stuff in Economic Times: The CEOs with the exalted Phd degree.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Fired for Blogging!

Red Herring is reporting on Joyce Park, who was fired for blogging about her company's slow servers. Her otherwise-personal blog, Troutgirl, has been a solid presence online for almost five years. Her case makes one wonder, how important is it to maintain anonymity online? And, does the employer have a right to sneak in on your online diary and take that as a basis of action against you? I have a job offer in hand and now I am thinking that maybe I made a mistake revealing about my blogging to an engineer at the future employer. Have you had any negative personal/professional experiences due to any particular disclosure(s) in your blogs?


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ShowCause (Delhi) Event

TUESDAY NIGHT MUSIC CLUB - III

The third TNMC will feature Basement Blues (intermittently known as SARSS & Defiance) and Descant (aka Endzville).

>>>> Basement Blues, a 4-piece band, plays most forms of rock music - rock n roll, blues rock, hard rock, metal and also blues!! Although each member has different influences, a few common influences, old and new, are Led Zeppelin, Sabbath, Deep Purple, Aerosmith and RATM. Formed in early 2002 in an unused basement somewhere in Delhi, the band has been through a lot of ups and downs including several line-up changes.

And after a self-indulged 'cleanship' drive, the bricks in the wall have finally been cemented. Now these guys wants to do more shows, eat more 'chicken' and have fun out of what they like most - rock 'n' roll. Expect to see a lot of blues-based jamming, with guest appearances by several young veteran musicians from the circuit.

>>>>

Descant is an outfit that transcends the limitations of thought, perception and emotion and brings to life the eternal religions of freedom, choice and originality through the elixir of Rock-n-Roll…

The five member act draws apt inspiration from original masters like Ozzy, Pearl Jam, and Van Halen, and had recently created a roar at Campus Rock Idols…

>>>>

So, to experience the rebirth of classics and evolution of cult originals, walk in to DV8 on the night of 21st September, 04.

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Evam Indrajit - a play in English

ACTor Company Theatre invites you for the premiere of EVAM INDRAJIT - A PLAY IN ENGLISH. Written by Badal Sircar; Translated by Girish Karnad; Adapted and Directed by Pawan Kumar

7:30PM, September 24 & 25, 2004

Alliance Francaise de Bangalore (near Cantonment railway station, Queens Road)
Tickets available at the Cafe Paradis at Alliance
(Contact 34025248 or mail to letsact AT rediffmail.com )

Click here to know more about the production.

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The Biggest Brand Summit in Mumbai!

The India Brand Summit, to be held during 30th Sept - 2nd Oct 2004, Hyatt Regency, Sahar, Mumbai, aims to bring together the brains behind some of India’s most successful brands. It will attempt to debate brand strategies for organizational growth and create a platform to provide world-class education at an affordable cost and a unique opportunity to network. Register here.

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'You must vote' advertising contest

In order to enhance voting, Ad Club Bombay is organizing a contest for the upcoming Maharashtra assembly elections.

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Monday, September 13, 2004

ITC Business Plan Contest: Mera Gaon Mera Desh

ITC Ltd is conducting a "Creating Value for Rural India" theme Business Plan Contest which is open to students of premier Business Schools.
Event opens: Sep 15, 2004
Event date: January 15th, 2005

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Theatre events in Bangalore: September 2004

This info is from Ranga Shankara newsletter.

Theatre in Bangalore: September 2004

5th & 7/8th
Nataranga presents Kanooru Heggadthi (Kannada) at Ravindra Kalakshetra on the 5th and 7th and 8th at ADA Rangamandira.

10th to 12th Kimaaya Productions presents Rahee Dahake's Smell (English) , as Theatre at Home from 10th to 12th September. On Brunton Road , Old Madras Road and at Mahesh Dattani's Studio at J P Nagar. Those interested email: kimaaya AT yahoo.co.uk

20th Prayogaranga Presents Sripurandara (Kannada) at Ravindra Kalakshetra
24th & 25th Actor company theatre presents Bidal Sircar's Evam Indrajit (English) directed by Pawan Kumar, at the Alliance Francaise de Bangalore. Contact uandme AT hotpop.com

28th & 29th Benaka Presents Aakash Butti & Gokula Nirgamana. (Both Kannada)
29th Aneka Presents a new production(to be announced) in Kannada at ADA Rangamandira

Scheduled for September and October Theatre Labs production of Sanghmitra Mandanna's Sadako and a Thousand Cranes

Workshops in Bangalore: September 2004

Movement Workshop
Choreographer Madhu Nataraj Heri and Natya Stem Dance Company will conduct a Movement Workshop from the 10th September to the 30th September. Open to anyone above 18 years of age, the workshop will be specially beneficial to actors and aspiring actors as it will deal with the physical aspect of theatre. Only 12 participants will be admitted. For details contact: stemdance AT hotmail.com

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7th Global Textile Machinery Exhibition

The India International Textile Machinery Exhibitions Society is organising the 7th Global Textile Machinery Exhibition (INDIA ITME 2004) from 4-11 December 2004 at Mumbai, India. A four yearly event, the last exhibition (6th INDIA ITME) was held in 2000 in the same city. Details here.


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Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Delhi Event: Menwhopause & Trademark

Show Cause is organizing this event: Menwhopause & Trademark wil be playing at the second Tuesday Night Music Club at DV8, connaught place, (next to regal) 8pm onwards... FREE ENTRY.. HAPPY HOURS until 8pm, be there early....

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Sunday, September 05, 2004

Hogenakkal Falls

Yesterday I went on a day trip to Hogenakkal (also spelled as Hogenekal, Hoganakal, Hoganakal, etc) waterfalls. Believe me, there are no words to describe the experience. Still, I would try to capture it and post an account soon.

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Airplay for Bangalore's musicians.......Radioactive @101.3 FM every friday 10pm

RADIOACTIVE

What started as a 6-episode promotional radio show leading up to the very successful Freedom Jam 2004 has now become a weekly program dedicated to musicians and music listeners all over Bangalore! We are proud to bring you "Radioactive" every Friday, 10pm on 101.3 FM Rainbow. Hosted by RJ Abhi, this half hour radio program is dedicated to showcasing local talent and brings you the best original music from the Bangalore scene. So support your local music, stay in touch, get involved and let us know what YOU want to hear - we're listening!

The show is exclusively dedicated to playing music by bands from in and around Bangalore. We need your music! Give us your demos, albums and other radioworthy material. Requests have already been coming in for Bangalore bands whose music we still don't have. Get in touch with RJ Abhi (email abhi AT freedomjam.net) and bring your cds to the Sunday Jam this weekend.

* Song Requests - The best music to play is what the listeners want. Song requests can be made through the website. Go to www.freedomjam.net.
Click "RadioActive". Make an online request. You can do it, your friends can do it and their friends can do it. We will certainly play more music which is popularly requested.

* Promotion - Promotion for this show is going to be grassroots. Posters and stickers around Bangalore, press notes, and a few ads, for the non-FreedomJammers to find out about it. More importantly we need a dedicated community of listeners to listen to the show, get involved and spread the word. That community of listeners is you. Remember that the more the listeners for this show, the more YOUR music gets promoted. So tune in every Friday 10pm and spread the word...

Regards
From the Freedom Jam team
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IBAT's Future Organizations: Startegising Business

"The Institute of Business Administration and Training (IBAT), Bhubaneshwar is organizing the National Management Convention 2005 on "Future Organizations: Startegising Business" during February 4-6, 2005 at KIIT Campus, Bhubaneswar. Research Papers are invited on the following core areas of management: Marketing, HR, Finance, Operations, IT and Corporate Governance

For more details, you may please log on to the website:www.ibat.ac.in"

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Subroto Bagchi on Success

Yesterday, I got this in an egroup. This is the Address by Subroto Bagchi, Chief Operating Officer, MindTree Consulting to the Class of 2006 at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore on defining success (July 2nd 2004). I didn't know about this speech at all. Mr Bagchi must have delieved it at the orientation programme of the new batch this year. Quite a personal account of life, hardships, and success, its an inspiring read.

"I was the last child of a small-time government servant, in a family of five brothers. My earliest memory of my father is as that of a District Employment Officer in Koraput, Orissa. It was and remains as back of beyond as you can imagine. There was no electricity; no primary school nearby and water did not flow out of a tap. As a result, I did not go to school until the age of eight; I was home-schooled. My father used to get transferred every year. The family belongings fit into the back of a jeep and so the family moved from place to place and, without any trouble, my Mother would set up an establishment and get us going. Raised by a widow who had come as a refugee from the then East Bengal, she was a matriculate when she married my Father. My parents set the foundation of my life and the value system which makes me what I am today and largely defines what success means to me today.

As District Employment Officer, my father was given a jeep by the government. There was no garage in the Office, so the jeep was parked in our house. My father refused to use it to commute to the office. He told us that the jeep is an expensive resource given by the government and he reiterated to us that it was not 'his jeep' but the government's jeep. Insisting that he would use it only to tour the interiors, he would walk to his office on normal days. He also made sure that we never sat in the government jeep and we could sit in it only when it was stationary. That was our early childhood lesson in governance and a lesson that corporate managers learn the hard way, some never do.

The driver of the jeep was treated with respect due to any other member of my Father's office. As small children, we were taught not to call him by his name. We had to use the suffix 'dada' whenever we were to refer to him in public or private. When I grew up to own a car and a driver by the name of Raju was appointed and I repeated the lesson to my two small daughters. They have, as a result, grown up to call Raju, 'Raju Uncle' and are very different from many of their friends who refer to their family drivers as 'my driver'.

When I hear that term from a school- or college-going person, I cringe. To me, the lesson was significant - you treat small people with more respect than how you treat big people. It is more important to respect your subordinates than your superiors. Our day used to start with the family huddling around my Mother's chulha -an earthen fire place she would build at each place of posting where she would cook for the family. There was no gas, nor electrical stoves. The morning routine started with tea. As the brew was served, Father would ask us to read aloud the editorial page of The Statesman's 'muffosil' edition -delivered one day late. We did not understand much of what we were reading. But the ritual was meant for us to know that the world was larger than Koraput district and the English I speak today, despite having studied in an Oriya medium school, has to do with that routine. After reading the newspaper aloud, we were told to fold it neatly. Father taught us a simple lesson. He used to say, "You should leave your newspaper and your toilet, the way you expect to find it". That lesson was about showing consideration to others. Business begins and ends with that simple precept.

Being small children, we were always enamored with advertisements in the newspaper for transistor radios - we did not have one. We saw other people having radios in their homes and each time there was an advertisement of Philips, Murphy or Bush radios, we would ask Father when we could get one. Each time, my Father would reply that we did not need one because he already had five radios - alluding to his five sons. We also did not have a house of our own and would occasionally ask Father as to when, like others, we would live in our own house. He would give a similar reply, "We do not need a house of our own. I already own five houses". His replies did not gladden our hearts in that instant. Nonetheless, we learnt that it is important not to measure personal success and sense of well being through material possessions.

Government houses seldom came with fences. Mother and I collected twigs and built a small fence. After lunch, my Mother would never sleep. She would take her kitchen utensils and with those she and I would dig the rocky, white ant infested surrounding. We planted flowering bushes. The white ants destroyed them. My mother brought ash from her chulha and mixed it in the earth and we planted the seedlings all over again. This time, they bloomed. At that time, my father's transfer order came. A few neighbors told my mother why she was taking so much pain to beautify a government house, why she was planting seeds that would only benefit the next occupant. My mother replied that it did not matter to her that she would not see the flowers in full bloom. She said, "I have to create a bloom in a desert and whenever I am given a new place, I must leave it more beautiful than what I had inherited". That was my first lesson in success. It is not about what you create for yourself, it is what you leave behind that defines success.

My mother began developing a cataract in her eyes when I was very small. At that time, the eldest among my brothers got a teaching job at the University in Bhubaneswar and had to prepare for the civil services examination. So, it was decided that my Mother would move to cook for him and, as her appendage, I had to move too. For the first time in my life, I saw electricity in homes and water coming out of a tap. It was around 1965 and the country was going to war with Pakistan. My mother was having problems reading and in any case, being Bengali, she did not know the Oriya script. So, in addition to my daily chores, my job was to read her the local newspaper - end to end. That created in me a sense of connectedness with a larger world. I began taking interest in many different things. While reading out news about the war, I felt that I was fighting the war myself. She and I discussed the daily news and built a bond with the larger universe. In it, we became part of a larger reality. Till date, I measure my success in terms of that sense of larger connectedness.

Meanwhile, the war raged and India was fighting on both fronts. Lal Bahadur Shastri, the then Prime Minster, coined the term "Jai Jawan, Jai Kishan" and galvanized the nation in to patriotic fervor. Other than reading out the newspaper to my mother, I had no clue about how I could be part of the action. So, after reading her the newspaper, every day I would land up near the University's water tank, which served the community. I would spend hours under it, imagining that there could be spies who would come to poison the water and I had to watch for them. I would daydream about catching one and how the next day, I would be featured in the newspaper. Unfortunately for me, the spies at war ignored the sleepy town of Bhubaneswar and I never got a chance to catch one in action. Yet, that act unlocked my imagination. Imagination is everything. If we can imagine a future, we can create it, if we can create that future, others will live in it. That is the essence of success.

Over the next few years, my mother's eyesight dimmed but in me she created a larger vision, a vision with which I continue to see the world and, I sense, through my eyes, she was seeing too. As the next few years unfolded, her vision deteriorated and she was operated for cataract. I remember, when she returned after her operation and she saw my face clearly for the first time, she was astonished. She said, "Oh my God, I did not know you were so fair". I remain mighty pleased with that adulation even till date. Within weeks of getting her sight back, she developed a corneal ulcer and, overnight, became blind in both eyes. That was 1969. She died in 2002. In all those 32 years of living with blindness, she never complained about her fate even once. Curious to know what she saw with blind eyes, I asked her once if she sees darkness. She replied, "No, I do not see darkness. I only see light even with my eyes closed". Until she was eighty years of age, she did her morning yoga everyday, swept her own room and washed her own clothes. To me, success is about the sense of independence; it is about not seeing the world but seeing the light.

Over the many intervening years, I grew up, studied, joined the industry and began to carve my life's own journey. I began my life as a clerk in a government office, went on to become a Management Trainee with the DCM group and eventually found my life's calling with the IT industry when fourth generation computers came to India in 1981. Life took me places - I worked with outstanding people, challenging assignments and traveled all over the world. In 1992, while I was posted in the US, I learnt that my father,living a retired life with my eldest brother, had suffered a third degree burn injury and was admitted in the Safderjung Hospital in Delhi. I flew back to attend to him - he remained for a few days in critical stage, bandaged from neck to toe. The Safderjung Hospital is a cockroach infested, dirty, inhuman place. The overworked, under-resourced sisters in the burn ward are both victims and perpetrators of dehumanized life at its worst. One morning, while attending to my Father, I realized that the blood bottle was empty and fearing that air would go into his vein, I asked the attending nurse to change it. She bluntly told me to do it myself. In that horrible theater of death, I was in pain and frustration and anger. Finally when she relented and came, my Father opened his eyes and murmured to her, "Why have you not gone home yet?" Here was a man on his deathbed but more concerned about the overworked nurse than his own state. I was stunned at his stoic self. There I learnt that there is no limit to how concerned you can be for another human being and what is the limi t of inclusion you can create.

My father died the next day. He was a man whose success was defined by his principles, his frugality, his universalism and his sense of inclusion. Above all, he taught me that success is your ability to rise above your discomfort, whatever may be your current state. You can, if you want, raise your consciousness above your immediate surroundings. Success is not about building material comforts -the transistor that he never could buy or the house that he never owned. His success was about the legacy he left, the memetic continuity of his ideals that grew beyond the smallness of a ill-paid, unrecognized government servant's world.

My father was a fervent believer in the British Raj. He sincerely doubted the capability of the post-independence Indian political parties to govern the country. To him, the lowering of the Union Jack was a sad event. My Mother was the exact opposite. When Subhash Bose quit the Indian National Congress and came to Dacca, my mother, then a schoolgirl, garlanded him. She learnt to spin khadi and joined an underground movement that trained her in using daggers and swords. Consequently, our household saw diversity in the political outlook of the two. On major issues concerning the world, the Old Man and the Old Lady had differing opinions. In them, we learnt the power of disagreements, of dialogue and the essence of living with diversity in thinking. Success is not about the ability to create a definitive dogmatic end state; it is about the unfolding of thought processes, of dialogue and continuum.

Two years back, at the age of eighty-two, Mother had a paralytic stroke and was lying in a government hospital in Bhubaneswar. I flew down from the US where I was serving my second stint, to see her. I spent two weeks with her in the hospital as she remained in a paralytic state. She was neither getting better nor moving on. Eventually I had to return to work. While leaving her behind, I kissed her face. In that paralytic state and a garbled voice, she said, "Why are you kissing me, go kiss the world." Her river was nearing its journey, at the confluence of life and death, this woman who came to India as a refugee, raised by a widowed Mother, no more educated than high school, married to an anonymous government servant whose last salary was Rupees Three Hundred, robbed of her eyesight by fate and crowned by adversity was telling me to go and kiss the world!

Success to me is about Vision. It is the ability to rise above the immediacy of pain. It is about imagination. It is about sensitivity to small people. It is about building inclusion. It is about connectedness to a larger world existence. It is about personal tenacity. It is about giving back more to life than you take out of it. It is about creating extra-ordinary success with ordinary lives. Thank you very much; I wish you good luck and Godspeed. Go, kiss the world."
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Friday, September 03, 2004

VIRTUAL COMMUNITIES AS AN ORGANIZATIONAL MECHANISM FOR EMBEDDING KNOWLEDGE IN DRUG DEVELOPMENT: THE CASE OF CHEMICAL BIOLOGY PLATFORM

Prof. V.K. Narayanan, Stubbs Professor of Strategy & Entrepreneurship, Drexel University, will be visiting IIMB on Friday, September 3, 2004. He will be giving a seminar talk as per the details below.

Time: 11.30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Venue: Committee Room, Director's Block

Abstract
In this paper, we document the lessons from the development of chemical biology platform in major pharmaceutical company, and the outcomes of the early phases of this experiment. Although the concept of chemical biology is not new, its evolution and deployment in the drug development process is relatively new. The present experiment thus has to deal with both the scientific novelty of chemical biology, and organizational challenge of embedding it in the ongoing process of drug development. The notion of virtual communities or platforms overlaid on the traditional matrix of drug development served to introduce the approach, with some remarkable outcomes.
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Pricing of Swing Options in Natural Gas Markets

Attended this research workshop yesterday by a fellow PhD student, Kapala Srinivas Rao. The abstract of the topis is here:

The Natural gas industry in US was regulated by regulatory agencies since 1930s.This regulation created distortion in natural markets and gas shortages were resulted in 1970s particularly in interstate markets of the natural gas industry. The gas shortages prompted the deregulation of the industry in order to promote efficiency in the industry. The process was launched by adoption of Natural Gas Act 1978 which partially liberalized the interstate markets. The complete deregulation of markets followed when FERC adopted order No.436 of 1985 and order No.636 of 1992 which introduced open access to interstate pipeline transportation, allowed gas marketing companies and unbundled natural gas sales from pipe line transportation. The deregulation has changed the structure of industry and has resulted in spot market at the wholesale level (Whole gas market). As spot gas prices become highly volatile in the open markets, participants in the spot markets face substantial price risks. So, the financial gas market had its beginning in 1980s and developed by 1990s to hedge this price risk.

Under deregulated environment, the pricing of the natural gas contracts has become an important issue since they have to be priced according to the financial risk. Contracts in natural gas markets usually are designed to provide flexibility of delivery with respect to both the timing and the amount of natural gas due to complex patterns of consumption of gas. These contracts are called as Swing contracts. Swings permit the option holder to repeatedly exercise the right to receive greater or smaller amounts of energy subject to daily as well as periodic constraints.

Researchers have suggested Binomial/Trinomial tree approach and Binomial/Trinomial forest approach (a multiple layer tree extension of the binomial/trinomial tree approach) to price swing contracts but the contracts are assumed to be simple and single period type. However, swing contracts are usually of multi-period type with additional provisions. So I will extend the Binomial/trinomial forest model suggested in the literature to price multi-period contracts with an additional provision called as make-up provision. There are three steps in pricing these contracts. The first step consists of empirical estimation of parameters of stochastic process that is assumed to be followed by underlying commodity price i.e. spot price of the Natural gas from the market data (NYMEX Futures data). The second step consists of building the trinomial trees to approximate the stochastic process and the last step consists of writing an algorithm for pricing a swing option. In the presentation, I will be emphasizing on the last step i.e. how the algorithm works.
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Global world of Performing Arts

Recently two interesting visitors, both from USA, came to my site. First is Mr. Bradley Litwin, a 1920s-1930s American Blues and Ragtime music artiste. Mr. Bradley would like to perform in India if there's an interest in this genre of music.

The second visitor is Ms Bobbie Goodrich. An artiste working on indigenious dances from various countries, Ms Goodrich would like to attend the Vasantahabba festival.

About Mr Bradley's query, based on my knowledge though, I would hazard a guess that yes, there is an interest in 20s-30s Ragtime Blues in India but it would be limited to the hi-end settings/environments such as 5-star hotels clients and such. What I mean is that, to the best of my knowledge, there are not really any regular general public performances for that genre of music. Performances for such music are probably organized for niche, up-market audiences. Lemme know if someone knows it any different.


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Thursday, September 02, 2004

The 3-6-3 Club

I read this in a mail sent by a friend studying MBA at Columni Business School: Sandy Weill, the ex-CEO belongs to the 3-6-3 club (borrow money at 3%, lend it at 6% and arrive at the golf course by 3pm). Neat acronym, eh!

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Centre for the Study of Culture & Society Seminar

The CSCS Seminar on 'Cinema Studies and the Disciplines' hosts eminent filmmaker David MacDougall as the concluding session on the module on Anthropology and Film.

Schedule:
Tuesday, 7th September, 5 pm:
"Photo Wallahs" (60 mins), "Tempus de Baristas" (100 mins).
Saturday, 11th September, 4 pm:
"With Morning Hearts" (110 mins)
Saturday, 11th September, 5.30 pm:
Two-hour session with David MacDougall.

Film Synopses:

PHOTO WALLAHS
60 minutes. 1991
"Photo Wallahs" is a film about the varied meanings of photography. It is set in Mussoorie, a famous hill station in northern India, which has attracted tourists since the 19th century. In this setting photography has thrived. Without spoken commentary, the film discovers its subject in the streets, bazaars, shops, photographic studios and private homes of Mussoorie. In the process it compares the diverse work and attitudes of the local photographers -- Mussoorie's "photo wallahs." Although photography has developed certain culturally distinctive features in India, its many forms and uses there tell us much about the nature and significance of photography throughout the world.

TEMPUS DE BARISTAS
100 minutes. 1993
"Tempus de Baristas" explores the character and prospects of three mountain shepherds of eastern Sardinia. Pietro is seventeen. He loyally helps his father, Franchiscu, herding and milking their goats, but like other Sardinian youths he also goes to school, wears jeans and T-shirts and meets other teenagers at night in the village square. Their friend, Miminu, now in his forties, tends his family's large herd of goats virtually alone. He faces an uncertain future as commercial cheese-making and modern marketing increasingly displace traditional modes of pastoralism. Although born only about 20 years apart, each of these shepherds has grown up in a different world. For Pietro the lives of his father and Miminu are reference points against which to measure himself and consider his future. Filmed in an intimate style during the summer and autumn of 1992, this film by award-winning filmmaker David MacDougall offers some of the complexity of a contemporary novel - a quality rarely seen in today's documentaries. Winner of the 1995 Earthwatch Film Award

WITH MORNING HEARTS
2001. 110 minutes
A study of a group of 12-year-old boys during their first year at The Doon School, India's most famous boarding school. "With Morning Hearts" continues MacDougall's long-term study of an elite boys' boarding school in northern India. This film focuses on a group of twelve-year-olds during their first year in one of the "houses" for new boys. The film concerns their attachment to the house but, more importantly, their attachment to one another in a communal life. It follows, in particular, the experiences of one boy and several of his close associates, from their initial homesickness, to their life as members of the group, to their separation from the house at the end of the year. The title is taken from a school prayer:

Call us up with morning faces
And with morning hearts,
Eager to labour, eager to be happy
If happiness shall be our portion,
And if the day be marked for sorrow,
Strong to endure it

"Brings the viewer into the intimate world of adolescent boys from a variety of backgrounds, discovering and constructing themselves as they are being trained to become the future leaders of India. This is an extraordinary film for understanding how young men are being formed in everyday cultural practices and social aesthetics that reflect contemporary India as well as its colonial past. Made with extraordinary insight, sensitivity, and understated humour, this exquisitely made film - created by one of the leading figures in ethnographic documentary - is of great value for those hoping to communicate everyday realities about India, about education, about masculinity, and about film itself." Faye Ginsburg, Director of the Center for Media, Culture, and History, New York University.

Contact: Ashish Rajadhyaksha, Senior Fellow, Centre for the Study of Culture & Society, 466 9th Cross Madhavan Park, 1st Block Jayanagar, Bangalore 560011. Telephone: 91-80-2-656-2986. email: ashish AT cscsban.org


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Conference on Experiential Marketing Power

Conference on " Experiential Marketing Power" is scheduled on the 16th & 17th of September 2004 at ITC Grand Maratha Sheraton, Mumbai. For registration and details, contact: 022-569 26016 or info AT inconnectiva.com

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Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Model wanted for Antaragni

Raghupati Dixit of Antaragni is looking for a model for their upcoming video:

Hello!!! My band is looking for a fresh face who will fit into the role of a south indian village girl to model in our first video. The model should be pretty, with a naughty smile and eyes...acting and dancing ability definitely a must! Please email me if u have anyone in mind. Shooting starts early october. Thanks.

Contact info here.

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7th Annual Terry Fox Run, Bangalore

7th Annual Terry Fox Run is scheduled on Sunday, 26th September, 2004 in Bangalore. The run will start in Cubbon Park, Jalwahar Bal Bhavan. Runners are requested to assemble at 9 am. Details here.

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Chrysallis Performance Arts Centre

The Chrysallis Performance Arts Centre is now in Koramangala. And is happy to announce the opening of The Chrysallis Cafe - a space for young performers wanting to be heard, seen and recognized.

The only Theatre Café in the city
- With an informal performance space
- Chrysallis is planning weekly events in the arena of Singing, Acting, Movement, Original Writing, Arts - encouraging youngsters who would find it difficult to find a free performing space with an audience of at least 80 people.
- Competitions (with cash prizes) for the courageous and talented
- Performances by amateur groups - Readings and performances by budding authors and poets

THIS PERFORMANCE SPACE IS YOURS FREE OF CHARGE

All events will be supper evenings to raise funds for various Chrysallis Projects for the physically, mentally and socially deprived children. If you would like to be on our mailing list or want to organize an event:
email: chrysallisartscentre AT yahoo.com
113, 6th Block Koramangala Club Road
Phone 25506170 / 98861 12230
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