this article is a must-read
Indiaís policy paradox - Stephen S. Roach, MD and chief economist, Morgan Stanley, visited India recently. In this report, he asks why India is obsessed with manufacturing -- Sidenote, Akshay reminds me that many of the issues raised here about India could also apply to America
Kaushal's uncle took us on a nature hike yesterday around some hills here in Pune. We heard many wild peacocks making loud calls that I had never heard before. It sounded like a cross between a cat's meow and a dog's beg. Totally alien.
CHINA GROWTH PATTERNS
video update from India
I'm going to try releasing these vidblogs on a ShareOrCareware license. Before downloading these clips:
Thanks! I'd hate for this blog to turn into a one-way street just because my comments are turned off.
Hello from Goa.... I thought that coming here would be very cliche and the city would be over-developed and everything would be a tourist trap, but thankfully this place seems fairly unspoiled. Meaning the roads are still terrible, the beach wasn't very crowded, there are decent shacks to rent for a few dollars a night, and a couple of cows roamed about while we threw a frisbee near the forest. I don't really deserve a vacation, so it is strange to look around this Indian beach paradise and say, "Wow, this place is really all that I heard that it was. I should come back here sometime when I want to get away from it all."
Does anybody read this anymore? I thought I would give a random update. I've been in Pune on my own since Sunday night, taking a leave from Bollywood so that Kaushal's brother Sagar can finish his college exams in peace. Pune is a smaller town than Mumbai, but still awfully crowded by my American standards. It's similar in physical size to, say, Winston-Salem or Cumming, but there are five million people here. When you think about how much more crowded the ground level of a city gets when there are no skyscrapers, hardly any cars and certainly no parking lots - it can be overwhelming to a first-time visitor.
It's important for me to figure out, when visiting a new country, what elements of my fascination are unique to the specific house, neighborhood, city, and state that I am visiting. So to initially say, "There are beggars everywhere in India!" after only visiting Mumbai would be incorrect. But to also say, "There were a lot less beggars in Mumbai than I had expected!", after only having a hotel in the Dadar area, would also be a false statement. Any suggestions on how to deal with this aspect of reporting? I probably just need to get moving and keep visiting new countries.
Two great comments heard in the Bollywood movie Bride and Prejudice last night:
in response to India being a slow, backwards country with little hope for growth-- India is still a young country after Her independence. At this time in America's history, you were killing eachother over slavery concerns.
in response to a male suitor's unsightly eating habits -- Watching him eat is like looking at a Jackson Pollack painting!
I've seen a lot of fascinating culture gems, but again, I don't want to single out the small fires in the streets, the donkeys eating garbage outside of my hotel or the huge sugar crystals that look like I'm pouring diamonds into my coffee. These are generally exceptions to the rule - but there aren't any rules here! Traffic is the best. I mean, it's f'king ridiculous to me, even more crazy than Bangkok. I'm used to waiting for a break in the line before even attempting to cross a street - you know the old adage, look left, then right, then left again before crossing? Well, there are simply no breaks in the traffic here. Bikes and motorcycles and rickshaws and pedestrians and cars and trucks are always flowing - it goes a lot slower (say, 20 to 40mph) - but it's always flowing. You just sort of step out into the street and carefully walk across, and traffic flows around you. Such a rush. This is probably more of a fascination with a congested urban environment than it is of speaking towards India. I've almost gotten hit a few times. Horns also seem to be used in an entirely different fashion. You could write a thesis on it so I won't even start.
Thanks for reading and to everyone who has e-mailed me. Let me know if you want more of these unprofessional and candid updates.