Why not ‘Made in India’?

China is the front runner in manufacturing and export of a wide variety of products. Where does India stand in this race? What does the future hold for ‘Made In India’ trend….

Can India replace China as world’s manufacturing hub?made-in-india
The question is often asked, but seldom answered. The reason: there is no good answer; no one knows if this is possible in the near future. There is a wishful thinking and a hope, but no clear proof so far.

China has established itself as a dominant force in the manufacturing arena. Chinese have experience, which is hard to replace or reproduce. They have infrastructure specifically designed for outsourced manufacturing and they have no shortage of labor. As a result, ‘Made in China’ is a world force to reckon with.
However, China may be reaching its capacity in manufacturing labor. The wages are going up, the labor market is becoming more demanding. There are only so many workers you can hire at the rock bottom wages.

Necessity is the mother of invention, they say. The western companies need to find an alternate to China; they need a back-up plan at the very least. That’s why more and more companies are looking towards Indonesia, Vietnam, and oh yes…India.

India is world’s second most populated country; no shortage of worker here. hence the question: Can India replace China as a manufacturing hub for the western companies? If you ask anyone including the Indian Government, the answer is Yes, with an ‘*’. Anything is possible, as they say and India has the size to stand against China. So what is the problem? Why India has not made much progress in this area?

Well, there are many ‘problems’, not just one. Continue reading “Why not ‘Made in India’?”

Indian Elections and the Change – Not so fast

The Indian election brings new slogans, new leaders with same old promises of better life for everyone. But for a common man, nothing changes. The corruption and other political evils are deep rooted; this culture cannot be changed overnight. Not the color of a party’s flag but the color of money drives India; and, lots of that money is still black….

They say, time changes everything. Now, how fast or how slow? – It depends on the time or the force of change!

The Indian elections bring one of the biggest change in the political scenery. The Congress Party – the ruling party for decades, has been voted out. The Gandhi dynasty is gone, for now. The Indian public have spoken, They wanted a change, and the change they got; at least that’s what they think!

However, lets be clear; BJP is the winner by default not by merit. People wanted congress gone, no matter who the opposition is. The change is more driven by the fact that Congress was dissed by the masses, not because BJP is embraced by everyone. In other words, the common man on the street was more interest in ousting the Congress party. As a result, BJP came out a winner in big way.

This is a major change in Indian politics after a long time. The majority of Indians are happy about the results. But, are they more hopeful for a better future, for a better India? Not necessarily, not if you look around. Nothing is changing in a hurry; there is nothing new on the horizon!

For example, take the case of common corruption. The corruption runs deep in India, it is an accepted way of life. When it comes to corruption and the common ailments of Indian society, the boundaries of political parties don’t matter. No matter who sits in the high office, the middle management is still the same. An honest police chief will be always honest no matter if congress ruled or BJP. A corrupt office will still be corrupt, even if there is s change in the political party. So, the things have hardly changed for the common man even though there is a major political change.

So what gives! The BJP promise of better days ahead – is it false? It may not be false, but it is not so true either. There is not going to a change overnight, let us be realistic. The web of Indian corruption and other political evils has deep roots, it cannot be eliminated by taking out the current ruling party. It is not so simple. It is not the color of a party’s flag but the color of money that drives India and the Indian infrastructure. And lots of that money is still black, no matter which party rules the high offices.

For an average man, there is hardly any change – nothing, nada, zero!!

So, are the better days ahead? Not in the near future, not for a common man. Continue reading “Indian Elections and the Change – Not so fast”

The Ant and the Grasshopper – The Indian Version

The old story: The Ant works hard and preserves food… the idle Grasshopper plays and waste the summer away. Come winter, the Ant is warm and well fed.. the Grasshopper dies out in the cold. Now, here is the Indian version…

An old story:ant_grasshopper

The Ant works hard in the withering heat all summer building its house and laying up supplies for the winter. The Grasshopper thinks the Ant is a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away. Come winter, the Ant is warm and well fed. The Grasshopper has no food or shelter so he dies out in the cold.

The Indian Version:

The Ant works hard in the withering heat all summer building its house and laying up supplies for the winter. The Grasshopper thinks the Ant’s a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away. Come winter, the shivering Grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the Ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving. NDTV, BBC, CNN and other media outlets show up to provide pictures of the shivering Grasshopper next to a video of the Ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. The World is stunned by the sharp contrast – ‘How can this be that this poor Grasshopper is allowed to suffer! What an injustice!!’
So, Arundhati Roy stages a demonstration in front of the Ant’s house. Medha Patkar goes on a fast along with other Grasshoppers demanding that Grasshoppers be relocated to warmer climates during winter . Mayawati states this as `injustice’ done on Minorities.

Amnesty International and United Nations criticize the Indian Government for not upholding the fundamental rights of the Grasshopper. The Internet is flooded with online petitions seeking support to the Grasshopper, many promising Heaven and Everlasting Peace for prompt support as against the wrath of God for non-compliance.
Opposition MPs stage a walkout. Left parties call for ‘Bengal Bandh’ in West Bengal and Kerala demanding a Judicial Enquiry. CPM in Kerala immediately passes a law preventing Ants from working hard in the heat so as to bring about equality of poverty among Ants and Grasshoppers. Lalu Prasad allocates one free coach to Grasshoppers on all Indian Railway Trains, aptly named as the ‘Grasshopper Rath’. Continue reading “The Ant and the Grasshopper – The Indian Version”

Best Bollywood movies of 1960s

This a summary of the best Bollywood movies, the Hindi cinema from the 60s decade. The 1960s films are a reminder of brilliant acting, excellent music and new social themes. Here the the top Hindi movies from 1960 to 1969:

The top Bollywood films of the 1960s (1960 to 1969):

The decade of 1960s was unique for Bollywood in many ways. The legends like Dilip Kumar, Shammi Kapoor, Rajender kumar, Sunil Dutt, Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Dharmendra were the leading heroes. The beauty and acting of Saira banu, Sadhna, Vyajanti Mala, Mala Sinha, Sharmila Tagore, Waheeda Rehman, Asha Parekh and Mumtaz was at its prime, adoring the big screens. Madhubala1The color movies had started to replace black-and-white cinematography. Mohammad Rafi,Mukesh, Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle and Manna Dey were at the peak of their vocal magic….

The decade of 1960s delivered some of the ever-green Hindi films, supported by soulful music and memorable acting. Here are some of the top Bollywood movies from 1960s.

Mughal-e-Azam (1960): This is one of the all time greats and one of the most expensive Hindi movies ever made. The star cast is great: Prithviraj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, Madhubala and Durga Khote. The acting is very ‘real’. The dance sets are unparalleled for its time. Some of the famous dance sequences of Madhubala are filmed in the Shish Mahal -The Palace of Mirrors- in Lahore Shahi Qila.
Barsaat Ki Raat (1960): This is beautifully told love-story; another classic B/W of the 60s. The film starring Bharat Bhushan, Madhubala, Shyama, Mumtaz Begum and K.N. Singh in the lead roles. With lyrics from Sahir, the film is also popular for its qawwali songs, the likes of ‘Yeh ishaq ishaq’.
Chaudvin ka Chand(1960): Another great movie with equally great music. The film centers on a love triangle between Guru Dutt, Rehman and Waheeda Rehman. The ever-green songs are composed by Ravi and the lyrics by Shakeel Badayuni. Rafi delivered a very versatile vocal performance for the title song ‘Chaudhvin Ka Chand Ho’ and other songs like ‘Mili Khak Main Mohabbat’.
Junglee (1961): The film stars Shammi Kapoor, Lalita Pawar, Shashikala, Asit Sen in the lead roles, along with Saira Banu in her debut role. The movie is lighthearted musical; it established Shammi Kapoor’s as the youth icon of the times. The song ‘Yahoo’, sung by Rafi, became a symbol of Shammi’s wild (Junglee) and lover-boy image.
Dharmputra (1961): Directed by Yash Chopra, the film features Shashi Kapoor and Mala Sinha as the lead cast. The movie is based on the the partition of India and the Hindu fundamentalism at the time. The film deals with the issues of religious bigotry and fanaticism during the dark days of 1947. This was Shashi Kapoor’s first film as an adult actor. Film’s music is by N. Dutta with lyrics by the famous poet of the era – Sahir Ludhianvi.
Bees Saal Baad (1962): This is a brilliant suspense thriller; the spirit of a dead girl, who committed suicide after being raped, seems to avenge her rapist. The film stars Biswajeet, Waheeda Rehman and Madan Puri among the main actors. With lyrics from Shakeel Badayuni, and vocals from Lata and Hemant kumar’s, the movie has some of the most memorable hits songs, like ‘Bekarar Karke Hume…’. Continue reading “Best Bollywood movies of 1960s”

The green door

I followed her to the living room. There, in the middle of the fireplace mantel was a big picture of Parkash, smiling. It even had a garland of marigold flowers around it – just like in the movies…NRI story

I cannot believe he is dead!

He lived on the north side of my town, on Dorothy street. I used to pass by his house during my evening strolls. His house had an over-sized green door that did not seem to fit the neighborhood, just like him.

With a white beard and a grey turban; he was easy to spot from a distance. I always found him outside his house, gardening in the front-yard or just admiring the outdoor. As I would walk-by, I exchanged hello/hi with him. I was just being polite – out of respect for our elders. But over time, I made his acquaintance. He liked to talk, I found out pretty soon. Chatting with him became a part of my evening routines.
“Beautiful weather! Nice day for a walk!! Scattered clouds over there, look like a floating goat!!!” He would say random things with a chuckle. He laughed at his own jokes; that used to be a cue for me to laugh.

He was very fond – actually very proud, of India and all things Indian, I could tell. Not that I needed to know, but he often told me the virtues of Indian society, the pride of being Indian. He also reminded me how advanced Indian are, compared to the ‘white people’ as he would call them.

“I was the first Indian in this town” he mentioned one evening, “There were no Indian shops in this area!!”
“It must be hard back then”, I once asked; that was bad idea. For next 20-30 minutes, he told me all about the hardships of being an isolated Indian living amongst white folks.
“Many mornings I used to find eggs shells all over my new car in this driveway; these racist people, I tell you!….”

Sometimes, he complained, but he was not bitter. He told his past stories with the same braggadocio as a captain would shares his encounters with the rough stormy weather.

He was different. I enjoyed these brief daily encounters, and his stories from all over the places. He came across as a fanatic Indian; he never tried to hide his obvious bias for ‘the great India’. Without hesitation, he would share his thoughts about superior Indian culture, the sins of the western society…. But it was never monotonous; he always had new anecdotes.
I did not agree with many of his views, but I never argued with him either. When in serious mood, he spoke like a professor, like a preacher – as if never in doubt. I thought to myself – you cannot change the thinking of an old man, those outdated views….

I recall it was Friday; I did not see him outside his house that evening. It was strange, his absence. Then, even more disturbing, I did not see him for days, for weeks. I looked for him, I even waited and lingered around his house, but he was nowhere to be found. Continue reading “The green door”

A baby’s cry

She was tired, she was drained, she was not ready to take care of her first born. They buckled the baby in the car-seat and drove home – to their apartment in Mississauga… an NRI story

“Mom, it is a baby girl…,” her voice barely audible, she called her mother in India.
“Are you okay? Is the baby okay?” Her mom inquired, her voice nervous, but excited.
Sonya was too tired to respond, but that did not stop her mother from asking more questions, “When was she born? Who she looks like? Have you named her?…”
“Mom”, Sonya interrupted, “the nurse is here, I am very sleepy; will call you later..”
“Are you okay, is the baby okay?”
“yes mom, we are okay,” she said before ending the call.

The hospital discharged her along with the baby two days later. The nurse gave her a handful of literature, each pamphlet with a different title – ‘How to care for a new born’, ‘what to expect after a natural birth’, ‘Newborn feeding techniques’….
She was tired, she was drained, she was not ready to take care of her first born. The Nurse helped buckle the baby in the new car-seat and Raj drove them home – to their apartment in Mississauga.

“How is the baby doing,” he mom phoned again next morning.
“Esha is okay, she is sleeping now.”
“Beautiful name”, she paused, “How are you doing?”
“I am okay mom, I am very tired. the baby was awake all night.”
“Oh, where is Raj?”
“He is at work, I am home alone with the baby and I am worried”
“Worried about what, Sonya?”
“If the baby wakes up..” Continue reading “A baby’s cry”

Happy Lohri

Every year, January 13 marks the Lohri festival – the winter solstice, a popular celebration in north India. As the days get longer and the nights shrink, the festival marks the psychological fade of winter, a welcome sign of approaching spring in the coming weeks…

Kids of all ages gather in small groups, going from house-to-house collecting jaggery candies, peanuts, sweets and even cash…Small bonfires light every corner of the town, creating illusions of warmth in the shivering cold January dusk…. The sound of folk music resonate in every street as kids go door-to-door singing the folk songs of Lohri.

Every year, January 13 marks the Lohri festival – the winter solstice. It is a popular celebration in north India. As the days get longer and the nights shrink, the festival marks the psychological fade of winter, a welcome sign of approaching spring in the coming weeks.

And, yes, this is yet another excuse to celebrate and party, especially for the families blessed with newborns in the last year 12 months. Farmers pray for a prosperous year ahead; kids pray for tons of candy before the night ends. Continue reading “Happy Lohri”

Just a job

He had big dream; after all, nobody dreams small. Once in US, he was very optimistic about his career at first… then…the compromise…he needed a job….just a job.. a short story

“You can easily find an Engineering job in your field in America… no problem for a smart guy like you…”
“There is no shortage of work for Indian Engineers…this is just the fact…”
“You will find something – something good, no problem….”
….. Back home in India, just like any typical Indian family, everybody was full of advice. Everyone had told him that it was very easy to get an engineering job in America.

“You can make lots of money in a few years”, His future father-in-law told him at the time of his engagement 3 years ago. A year after that, he was married to Anu.
He used to be very optimistic about his career in USA, so was the rest of his American family – his in-laws.

He had big dream. After all, nobody dreams small.

Once in US, he was greeted by his wife and her family and they welcome him into their home. His old classmates, now living within driving distance, came to visit him.
He was treated like a guest for many months. However, he soon realized, you cannot be a guest for too long. He had to figure out the next step – the job. With all the expenses and cost of living, he needed a job soon. His parents and siblings back home were already calling to check on him; to see when he might send them some money, like every other NRI does.

After a few months, the tone of the advice changed:
“You just need to try a bit harder, maybe try something in lower pay scale to gain some experience…”
“Find a way to get your foot in the door…”
“My cousin started as a technician; now he is the director of engineering…but they are not hiring…”
“You cannot give up…We never give up…”
“You will find something – may be not that good but something… something good….” Continue reading “Just a job”

911 – The Emergency Call

The firm knock on the door made her jump. Even though she was expecting this knock, the police arrived much faster than she had imagined….She looked at her husband; he was pacing nervously in the far corner of the living room…..A short story

The firm knock on the door made her jump. Even though she was expecting this knock, the police arrived much faster than she had imagined.

She looked at her husband; he was pacing nervously in the far corner of the living room. They exchanged a brief glance – both of them nervous,… beyond nervous.

The officer knocked again, this time much harder. Unwillingly, she walked to the door and turned the knob without making a noise.

A tall RCMP officer in full uniform was standing at the door, with his hand cautiously placed on the gun holster.

“Mrs. Sharma?” The officer inquired.

“Yes… Yes!” She said twice; her voice barely audible..

The officer peeked inside the house before actually stepping in. He spotted her husband standing motionless in the far end of the living room.

“Ma’am, I am Officer Wilson; we are responding to the 911 call…the emergency call” He said; he turned his head and looked around the house, inspecting the premises while still standing at the door.

She did not say anything in response.

“Is that your husband? Mr. Sharma?” He looked at her husband with a piercing gaze.

She just nodded, without saying anything again.

“Anybody else in the house? Any kids?” Continue reading “911 – The Emergency Call”

How well you Know Anna Hazare? – A Quiz!

Anna Hazare has become a very popular Indian figure – home and abroad. How well do you know this man! Here is the quiz on this emerging leader of India:

Anna Hazare has become a very popular Indian figure – home and abroad. Until recently, very few people had heard of him.
How well do you know this man! Well, know it for yourself. Here is the quiz on this mysterious man:
Quiz 10:

Commonly known as Anna Hazare, his real name is:





Anna Hazare is:





Anna Hazare became famous for leading:





To exert pressure on the Indian government, main tool or method used by Anna Hazare is:





Anna Hazare received Padma Bhushan award for transforming this village to one of the model examples in the country:





During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Hazare was:





Anti-corruption social activists and Anna Hazare are proposing this Bill to deter corruption at all levels of government.





In Mid August 2011, Hazare planned indefinite hunger strike. To avoid public gatherings and protests, the government went into action and:





To show their support for Hazare and anti-corruption movement, thousands gathered at:





Anna Hazare is:







There are many more quiz on this site including the ones on Bollywood; here are some of the links:

Other Quizzes:

Continue reading “How well you Know Anna Hazare? – A Quiz!”

The Indian Mangoes abroad

In India, mango is the king of the fruits! Chausa, Dasheri, Kesar, Langra, Haapoos – there is no shortage of mouth-watering varieties. The Indian mangoes are finally starting to break into the US stores. Many Indian and Pakistani shops are now selling this exotic fruit…

The Indian and Pakistani Mangoes in USA!!

In Indian continent, mango is the king of the fruits! Banganpalli, Chausa, Dasheri, Kesar, Langra and so on – there is no shortage of the different flavors and mouth-watering varieties as you move from one part of the country to another. This ‘fruit of the gods’ is taken for granted in India, Pakistan and neighboring lands.

From king of fruits to just an average fruit – mango is just another fruit in the western countries. As you step outside the Indian continent, you can still find mangoes. In USA, mangoes are sold in many fruit shops and grocery stores. However, these are not the mangoes that grow in the Indian orchards; these are not the same mangoes as the ones you once tasted on the roadside stalls in India. Yes, these are mangoes, but not your Chausa, Dasheri or Langra.

The most of the mangoes sold in US and Canada are locally grown or shipped from Mexico. Many of these local mangoes leave much to be desired. They don’t taste the same as the ones from India, unless you have never had Indian mangoes, or perhaps you forgot the taste of the years. The Indian mangoes are much sweeter, mush more richer in flavor and much more… umm… let’s just say ‘tastier’. There are some things that you cannot really describe. You won’t know the difference unless you try them for yourself. Continue reading “The Indian Mangoes abroad”

USA welcomes prospective students from India

Prospective students are encouraged to utilize the free resources offered by U.S. government and fully research the academic options. The free information allows students and families to research schools and to protect from visa frauds. All legitimate students have a fair chance to study in the U.S.

United States welcomes prospective Indian students
US Embassy Press release; July 28, 2011, New Delhi

“The United States is proud of its record of welcoming foreign students, and in particular the numerous Indian students who enrich America’s academic communities. The number of Indian students who have applied for visas to study in the United States increased by 20% over the same period last year. This increase is an indication of the dynamism of the Indo-U.S. partnership and the strong people-to-people ties between the two nations. It also reflects the desire of high quality Indian students to pursue a world-class education in the U.S.

Prospective students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the free resources offered by the U.S. government and fully research the academic options available to them. The Embassy is to provide accurate, free information that allows students and their families to research schools and to protect themselves from visa fraud rings. All legitimate students have a fair chance to study in the U.S.

As always, the U.S. government urges all prospective students to fully research their chosen educational institutes and have a firm grasp of what is and is not permitted under a student visa. In particular, all students must be aware that any of the following will result in an immediate violation of status:

  • Lack of physical attendance at classes (taking only online courses is not acceptable)
  • Failure to maintain a full courseload
  • Unauthorized employment

Violating the terms of a visa can result in deportation, arrest and even a bar on future travel to the United States. If any educational advisor or academic organization suggests that such actions are permissible under a student visa, we strongly recommend students contact the Embassy immediately in order to prevent committing visa fraud. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that he or she is in accordance with the law. Continue reading “USA welcomes prospective students from India”

Hinglish – Indian English idioms and phrases – II

The Indian English – combined with heavy influence of Hindi and other local languages – is called Hinglish. Here are some commonly used Hinglish words and phrases…

As mentioned in many previous posts, spoken English in India is very different as compared to the same language overseas. The Indian English – combined with heavy influence of Hindi and other local languages – is also called Hinglish. There are many related posts on this web-site on Hinglish usage and Hinglish words, and here is another one.

Quite a few commonly used Hinglish words and phrases are listed in the article:Hinglish of India – Indian idioms and phrases. This is the follow-up, part II.

Adding to the previous list, here are some commonly used Hinglish words and phrases:

Equation has changed :- Relationship has changed, e.g. “My equation with my brother has changed.”
Road-side Romeo – Refer to a boys/man waiting near the street entrances to colleges and universities, or to those cruising the city streets in search of women to impress
Rubber :- Pencil eraser
Cent per cent :- 100 per cent
Where do you put up? :- Where are you currently staying?.
Wheatish (complexion) :- Light, creamy brown, or having a light brown complexion.
Flat :- Apartment
Shirt-pant or pant-shirt :- Shirt and Trousers
Tight slap :- Hard slap Continue reading “Hinglish – Indian English idioms and phrases – II”

20 Best English Movies from India – The Indian English films

There are so many English movies that come out of India every year. Some equally beautiful movies based on Indian culture originate from other parts of the globe. Here are 20 best stand-outs: Gandhi, City of Joy, Fire…

Best English Movies based on India or with Indian Themes

There are so many English movies that come out of India every year. Some equally beautiful movies based on Indian culture originate from other parts of the globe. Here are 20 best stand-outs:

1 Gandhi (1982): This Internationally acclaimed movie needs no introduction. The film stars Ben Kingsley as Gandhi, a brilliant actor by any measure. Amongst much recognition home and abroad, the film bagged the Academy Award for Best Picture, winning eight Academy Awards in total.

2. City of Joy (1992): The social drama is based on the life of a farmer who moves to Kolkata with his family and finds out that life is nothing but simple in the city. Patrick Swayze, Om Puri, Shabana Azmi and Art Malik lead the brilliant cast. This is one of best movies that use talents from India as well as Hollywood.

3. Monsoon Wedding (2001): Directed by Mira Nair, this is romance, comedy and drama – all together – depicting the lives of NRIs and the NRI weddings. An extravagant Punjabi wedding and the family traditions are beautifully depicted throughout this movie. Naseeruddin Shah’s acting is solid once more, and plays a father who is organizing an enormous, chaotic, and very expensive wedding that involves NRI families and joint families coming together from different parts of the world.

4. A Passage to India (1984): This classic drama is one of the most memorable English film based on the Indo-British relationship and their impacts on the day-to-day life during English Rule in India. Written and directed by David Lean, the screenplay is based on the 1924 novel by E.M. Forster. The acting, the direction and the beautifully landscaped scenes equally contribute to this masterpiece. The film has won various awards included Academy Awards and Golden Globe Awards. The brilliant acting comes from Judy Davis, Victor Banerjee, Peggy Ashcroft and James Fox in the key roles. Continue reading “20 Best English Movies from India – The Indian English films”

Plight of a woman in the NRI Marriages

A traditional woman from India wants to save her marriage at every cost, even when it is an unhappy marriage. In the NRI marriages, society abroad takes full advantage of a women’s desire to make things work. In the name of the compromises, in the name of the family pride, women overseas are suffering from this hidden but cruel treatment every day.

“Indian men are the most ugly men on this planet. Their hearts so ugly that u can not even imagine. I am Indian married to an Indian, the pain and the suffering he has given me and continues to give me, is crazy. Why?……. Indian men in India may be good, Indian men who come to the west are ugly ugly men…may god give me courage to remove this painful lump( my husband) out out of my life forever.. ” Says Katiyani while commenting on this article.

Many parents in India prefer to marry their beloved son or daughter to NRIs.  Their main hopes and wishes for their kids are to see them will settle abroad and prosper. A common man still looks up to the other countries as the ultimate salvation for their offspring.

Yes, arranged marriage is still the most common way to matrimony in India, especially when it comes to marrying abroad. With very little knowledge about a ‘funny dressed’ visitor from the west, people are willing to wed their son or daughter overnight. They don’t want someone else to steal their opportunity – the opportunity of a golden ticket to go abroad.

Marriage is supposed to be a sacred bond, based on mutual love and respect. However, NRI marriages are fundamentally based on greed. It is the greed that results into lifelong headaches for many couples, and heartaches along with it. Continue reading “Plight of a woman in the NRI Marriages”