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World Food Crisis, The Great Australian Famine, The Rapid Development in Western China, The Changing Face of the Islamic Women and many more stories in pictures... Read Up!!!

Thank you -nil-

Click on the image to visit her profile: Thank You Nilanjana

Training and Placement

The climate in Kharagpur is cooling down, winter is coming here my friend. But there are smolders inside our campus, the Campus placement scenario is heating up in IIT Kharagpur these days. Many companies have started their pre-placement talks (PPTs) and quite a few have already started doling out pre-placement offers (PPOs).

The skies which are already getting rather congested with all the airlines, sick airlines, soon-to-be-launched airlines and Twitter users are getting murkier and this should be of concern. The new lot, leaving aside the chirping freaks from twitter, are getting a bit unruly, don't get me wrong, by this new lot I mean the different students who received their offers who are getting used to float around on their "cloud 9"s.

Festival of Lights

I am attaching two videos that I had recently made. "Festival of Lights" seems to perfectly capture their essence. The venue is IIT Kharagpur, a university in India. Every year almost unerringly a competition is held which is fought with much gusto and flair between the students of different "halls of residences". The competitions are called Illumination and Rangoli, more generally referred to as "illu" among us students here. Any Indian will quite clearly understand Rangoli, though for others, it is a bit of a work on my tiny little brain to come up with words to explain it.....why don't you google, or as the latest trend that is catching up, "bing" it? Illumination refers to the competition of lights, putting it as lighting earthen lamps (diyas) might sound a tad too easy. As you have already read untill this point why don't you have a look at these videos, I promise you they are fun!

Tagged - Innocent/Guilty

Tagged by Karthik
RULE 1- You can only say Guilty or Innocent.

RULE 2- You are not allowed to explain anything unless someone messages you and asks!

RULE 3- Copy and paste this into your notes, delete mine and type in your answers and tag your friends to answer this.

Let me begin…

Whats in a Name?

She was looking perfect, like an angel from heaven. The woman she was looking at. The woman in the mirror, herself. She just finished adjusting the kajal and the tilak on her face. She was wiping the kajal, she must be happy because this was the day that many girls long for. This was the day of her wedding. Not any kind of wedding, but it had nearly half of the city as guests. Her father was not taking any chances to make this wedding forgettable in any way. Not that she can be complaining, he had been consulting her for every tiny detail too to make this wedding "her" wedding.

Whimsical Cows (Holy Cow!!!)

The Holy Cows have been made "Front Page Popular" by our MoS - External Affairs, Mr. Shashi Tharoor via his tweeting on twitter.
This made me think.....I do feel like one!

India had been a poor country for the better part of the past two centuries. Atleast. I would not like to comment on the reasons, nor am I inviting any, for this just plainly is beyond the scope of my blog. You see, I am a simple guy, I can do well without any controversies.

Well, India had indeed been a really, REALLY poor country for the better part of two centuries. Many Indian families had been very much entirely dependant upon agriculture and/or textiles, artisan(-ry??), there was no IPL and cricket endorsements back then (DON'T BELIEVE LAGAAN!). But agriculture had been the silver-lining amongst them all. It offered very high returns and a good name in the immediate society. Though, being in the sub-continent, one does understand the importance of the monsoons and the high dependence of agriculture on  rainfall for irrigation and the high risk involved.

Of Cats and Dogs....!

I'm soggy and drippy,
drenchy and mulchy,
I've been sneezing with wheezing,
just for one late night's dining!

I've got to learn a big lesson today. One should start believing in the meteorology department. If you are anything like me, and think of them as buffoons running a total Farce, then you're in for shit, deep shit, like I was today, just a few minutes back!


Its a Mad World!!!

Had some doubts and views (not so brilliant, but hey, cut me some slack) during my Human Development class today.......

1. Why are all the countries striving to increase the life-expectancy of their populations?
Isn't there supposed to be a population explosion?

2. Who said that the world is biased towards men?
I see that the female life expectancy beats its counterpart's for any given age of a person! Isn't death considered the most intriguing awe-inspiring nerve-wracking and fear inducing of all the events in life?

Wake me up when September ends.....

Version 1:

But first can you sing me a lullaby,
or else, do sprinkle the sleeping dust,
Oh please! do the thing you do best,
That magic of urs whatever it might be......

Version 2:

But first sing me a lullaby,
sprinkle the sleeping dust,
Oh please! do the thing you do the best,
That magic of yours, whatever it might be!

Cheers! This happens to be my first personal post on this blog that I created for this sole purpose. I have to thank Prashant of Tatsat, though, for because of him, did I start blogging after quite a while, again.

Now, the clock shows 3:38 AM and there is not even an ounce of sleep lurking in any corner of my head! Damn the Nestle company. They make such good Iced tea, gulped too much of it, and it's kicking in. So, what do I do? Start blogging!

Do tell me, which version sounds better?

Tatsat - A Scoially Conscious Store

A Socially conscious shop has been defined as one that sells sustainable, eco-friendly, recycled products. Being a socially conscious shop also means supporting the community, local artists, NGOs and Fair Trade Organisations.

With a focus on triple bottom line, Tatsat a retail store in Hauz Khas works as a bridge between marginalized producers and markets. Established as ‘Shop with a cause’ in Delhi, it offers most of the products sourced from either NGOs or fair trade organizations or green producers. Tatsat offers numerous alternatives to sweatshop production in pottery (glass, stone and ceramic), stationary (paper pulp, recycled paper, elephant poo), jewellery (glass beads, metallic, paper, wooden), and other miscellaneous products for office/ home use (banana fibre, jute, cloth) and handloom fabrics.

By procuring these products from NGOs, self-help groups, fair trade organisations and socially conscious companies, Tatsat offers customers an alternative to sweatshop production bringing them closer to nature and rural artisans. Every purchase you make improves the lives of poor artisans. Here is a list of the various suppliers of Tatsat: 

CFM - Community Friendly Movement. As a supply chain manager for many artisan communities CFM provides a one stop shop for retailers and wholesalers who are looking to source quality handmade products from India. They provide handmade jewelry and bags.  

AADI - Located at Hauz Khas, AADI works with disabled people. They provide handmade paper products.  

Prerana - Prerana is a brand of handicrafts and lifestyle products promoted by ESAF, a registered charitable society working to mainstream the marginalized people through micro-finance and enterprise development. They provide coir and banana fibre products

Himjoli - A Kumaon based NGO. Provides skin care products and other traditional products like terracotta diyas, terracotta trays

Mura - A collective that provides Shibori fabric, sarees, salwar kameez fabric duppattas and other textiles.  

Two Eco-friendly Companies:  

Haathi Chaap! - Provides Environment-friendly, organic and safe paper made from elephant poo

Green Somethings - Provides Plants and hand-made soaps. 

Here is a small video that gives you a walk-through of some of the jewelry that they have put up in their shop: .

Jewelry at Tatsat from Muralidhar Duvvuri on Vimeo.

If you have any interest or queries, please address you mails to

IMPORTANT **This post has been written by me for the Weblog, "Tatsat - People, Planet and Profits" in my capacity as a contributor to that weblog. This is just a reproduction. If you liked this post, then please visit and go through the whole blog.**

Think Global, Act Local

I came across this piece of reading in a Community Friendly Movement website.
Commercial supply chain dynamics do not by themselves address the challenges of third world employment and quality of life issues. However, it is apparent that global trade, essentially in the worldwide industries can either exploit for unilateral gain, or collaborate to "share gain" for overall development of work force.
Corporate Social Responsibility has become a major issue these days for the many major MNCs, who have been establishing in-house fund-managers and PR managers to mange their Brand Image both in the developing countries where they have their back-ends of their supply chains and also at the destination countries for their goods/services. . . . But then, such an arrangement which is dictated by the market forces cannot always be totally reliable. This is where the Government and the Community can get involved. Since last year a new debate had been cause for lots of firewood being burnt over various intellectuals meeting and discussing about the extent of involvement that the government should be undertaking in both the developmental activities as well as maintaing the economy from falling of a cliff. How much should a Government interfere, and at which segments of its peoples life can it interfere?? . I found this in a recent Swaminomics article, "Cash transfers better than drought relief works"
I became a journalist in 1965, when two successive droughts killed thousands and forced India to beg for US food aid. India's share of global food aid was so large then that a best-selling book claimed that India was unviable and should be left to starve, conserving food aid for viable countries.
A lot has changed since then, we're still being affected by droughts and as has been discussed in the above-mentioned article, the major difference since then till now is that, India has far less percentage of people who are starving. This is because of schemes like NREGS which provided the people in the drought affected regions some much needed purchasing power, this in-turn decreased the sufferings from mass-starvation, though probably not mass-hunger. Maharashtra was the first state to adopt this strategy and succeed. Government involvement in relief works has always proved very controversial, with the Prime Minister himself stating on one occasion that for every rupee that the government spends for the poor, they get the benefits of only 10 paise, the rest being eaten up by the mind-boggling numbered layers of middlemen. Even various Non-Governmental Organizations suffer from these middlemen, probably to different extents. This has been a major reason for the success of the NREGS(National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme) where apart from implementing various developmental programmes at the rural level, the purchasing power of the poeple is being increased and the choice is being left to the beneficiaries to utilize their earnings. The benefits can already be felt with various companies setting up shop in the semi-urban and rural areas and taking this segment of the population seriously as one of their major customer segments. Now this is Inclusive Development. The drought that is occuring this year might setback the pace of all these processes, but how the rural customer can overcome this time can determine how fast a domestic market can be nurtured and developed in India.

IMPORTANT **This post has been written by me for the Weblog, "Tatsat - People, Planet and Profits" in my capacity as a contributor to that weblog. This is just a reproduction. If you liked this post, then please visit and go through the whole blog.**

Breathe In, Breathe Out......

Video can be a very powerful tool to convey thoughts and ideas. Especially now-a-days with the information explosion, and the huge amounts of advertisements, catchy captions that are being put forward by one and all. A small video can help a long way in garnering the support from the segments of the populace who are traditionally supportive of your cause.

Here is a small video made by the Salvation Army.

This had been released in the "This Ad costs Nothing Campaign". They hit the bulls-eye with such a simple yet powerful way of waking both the sympathizers and the Not-for-profit Organization from their trance. Many NPOs had been sleep-walking where they had been spending insanely high amounts of money to advertise the Good work they are doing, in order to gain public support. YOU DON'T NEED LOTSA MONEY TO GARNER MORE SUPPORT.
For the general public, their view can be seen as a call for voluntary support which need not be financial.

I also wanted to share this video made by Greenpeace International. Another very simple, very small yet powerful video. Especially for this year, which can turn out to be a watershed for our future policymakers regarding Environmental Policy making.

Boasts more than 7 million views. Translated into more than 10 different languages. This 20-minute video has a dedicated website which provides the users with many resources, the interactive video being one among them. This video may not have been simple to make, nor that short, nor too cheap. But it is an educational video, which stresses on educating the viewer through a very novel and original animation and a narrator who takes over the issues regarding the over-consumptive attitudes that are beginning to plague a lot may people all over the world.

So, here, after a very, very boring day, I have come up with three distinct, yet similar, but thoroughly novel videos that can help any organization to gain insights into making a good video in order to convey their message in this ocean of multimedia information.


IMPORTANT **This post has been written by me for the Weblog, "Tatsat - People, Planet and Profits" in my capacity as a contributor to that weblog. This is just a reproduction. If you liked this post, then please visit and go through the whole blog.**

Paper from Poo!!!

Whats on your mind?
What's on your mind?

No, I am not talking in any way about "Winnie the Pooh", that is Pooh with a "h". Yes, you are seeing it right, there is no apparent problem either with your computer screen, with your eyes or with your spectacles. Now don't say "Eeeeeeeek!", that's very impolite :P

That was the cue for the "Oooooooh" to be said out aloud. Anyways, let me try to Ooh you with some more information about these environmental initiatives that have been started across the globe by a few people. Most of the information that I am sharing here has been lifted, filtered and supplied to you in brevity from the websites of PooPooPaper, Creative Paper, Mr. Ellie Poo and Haathi Chaap.

Did you know that just in 2005, the avergae consumption of paper across the world was 54.48 kg/person/year (Source: FAO). Staggering figures.

These are some of the companies that have taken upon themselves to make this globe a little more colder if not a little less warmer. They make paper from Elephant Poo, Sheep Poo and a company in Wales even claims to produce it from Rein Deer Poo, Ho Ho Ho.

1. This paper is organic.
2. It does not smell of poo (it would have been a stupid idea to sell a mishy-mashy product which stinks of poop and expecting you to actually write on that, no matter how a big a greenhead you are)
3. Lots of dung produced, dung full of fibre, paper production needs fibre taken traditionally from different waxes and saplings, Voila! imagine how much paper can be produced from all this dung produced. Imagine how many trees can be saved from being cut.
4. No artificial colours are generally used, these people are smart enough not to spoil the goodwill that they might be generating for the Organic-products lobbyists! though some of them did accept to trying various imaginative if not a bit eccentric feeding practices to induce more colour into the poop and so in the paper!

They don't just sell notebooks, rather they have a very large repertoire of goods that based on paper that they sell either online or through some specialized/environmentally conscious stores.

If you are staying at New Delhi and want to have a look at these products, the products made by Haathi Chaap can be bought from Tatsat at Hauz Khas.

IMPORTANT **This post has been written by me for the Weblog, "Tatsat - People, Planet and Profits" in my capacity as a contributor to that weblog. This is just a reproduction. If you liked this post, then please visit and go through the whole blog.**

Teej Bazar

Here is a short video (1:00 mins) on the recent event, "Teej Bazar" organized by Tatsat along with AADI.

Teej Bazar from Muralidhar Duvvuri on Vimeo.

There was a small problem with a few policemen who hassled the organizers in search of small bribes. But, it was sorted out, though they did not allow any part of the event to be organized out of the store at Hauz Khas. Guess who had the last laugh, Unfortunately!

Another event had been planned for the International Youth Day with a small street play by a group called "Khoj". Guess who is the party-pooper again, the local police wala. Unluckily the performing group is not ready to go through the process of getting a proper police permission, probably because of the immense amount of red-tape involved. Even a garden sale of books was planned for the International Youth Day, I will keep you updated about any more such plans.

P.S. If you have read this post, I would suggest that you better comment, It helps you in going a long way in garnering good karma in your life :D. So long!

IMPORTANT **This post has been written by me for the Weblog, "Tatsat - People, Planet and Profits" in my capacity as a contributor to that weblog. This is just a reproduction. If you liked this post, then please visit and go through the whole blog.**

Nano Indians?

Fevicol Bus Advertisement
"Fevicol Bus Advertisement"

What will the next generation of the upwardly mobile upper-lower classes and the middle classes be called? The Nano Indians?

I might be outrightly naive, I might be poking my eye with my own finger, but still I am going to safely stand by my prediction. The way this Tata's Nano story of birth is turning out to be resilient in the face of the various internal and external strife that it encountered, I am impressed, hopeful that this is going to be a new chapter in the country's way ahead.

The economic crisis, the oscillating global prices and even Mayawati have failed to deter its path towards salvation!

Well now into the serious matter of Tata Nano and the serious environmental implications that this might be holding for India in particular and the world, also in particular! Don't get me wrong I believe myself to be passionate about the environmental issues, but somehow I just cannot get myself to make Nano the burning effigy for all the internal rage that I might be building due to the global warming.

See the numbers.......gosh, I couldn't get my hands on any of the numbers!

Well leave the numbers, one thing that you will accept is going to increase the vehicle population drastically and so increase the greenhouse gases and thus further fuel global warming until the planet melts off.

But we are in India, let us start fine-tuning this doomsday prediction to make it insync with the reality that is India!

1. The lack of proper roads, and the already congested roads (thanks to all the auto bhai's and rickshaw pullers ou there, and then there are the private bus, semi-bus, big truck plyers). Enter Nano, 100 Nanos, 1000 Nanos, 1 million, don't you see that something smells wrong here, people will get over the new car syndrome when they take the car out for every small chore! Something's gotta give, either the roads or the Tata guys, who need to make adjustments so that the Nano can start flying and stop depending on these clogged arteries which identify themselves as roads. So the number of car users cannot keep on sweeling indefinitely, there will come a time when owning a is neither a luxury, nor a necessity, but is a headache!

2. Yes, now that we put in some reality-check as to the swelling numbers, now with the increased car numbers. This will start putting pressure on the government and the people. On the government to set up a more reliable, stable and comfortable public transport infrastructure. On the people to first start egging the government to establish this infrastructure (it might even become a big electoral issue in the coming years.....the need for infrastructure development) and then to use the public transport and seeing the car as a means for only occasional family trips or likewise!

3. But when we are making all these assumptions, we just cannot forget about the alternative fuels for whose RnD, billions of dollars, rupees, yen, pesos, euros etcetera are being poured into. We might just get that dream car for an environmentalist or not. At the very least, we might hope for cars with much improved mileage.

But for now look at the accidents that can be avoided because of the Nano. Look at the hope it feels into the lives of the people offering them safer means to travel instead of those 4-seater-2-wheeler vehicles which are plying on the road. We need someting like the Nano, if not the Nano, and for now thats all we have got!

Epilogue: Like a friend of mine likes quoting all the time, Change is constant and we all have to change, we have to change in what we expect from the government, we just can't throttle innovation at every step but rather keep on fighting all the ill-effects that are threatening to choke our society, the country and the world!

Just pray for a stronger government which can stand tall on the promises that it makes to the people! A dialogue from Swades comes to my mind, where the farmer Haridas says to Mohan:"Sapne mat dikhaiye Mohan babu"

Well though my signing off statement is just going to be:"In a democracy, the Government can only be as good as its people!".

Let us all strive for a better country!
"Sapne Mat Dikhaiye Mohanbabu!"

IMPORTANT **This post has been written by me for the Weblog, "Tatsat - People, Planet and Profits" in my capacity as a contributor to that weblog. This is just a reproduction. If you liked this post, then please visit and go through the whole blog.**

Pandu, If only.........

A small boy who had no worries in his life, a small boy who kept on playing around with his old half broken cricket bat that Sanju bhaiyya had given him when he bought a new one. Anyway, this was already broken and Sanjay would never have found any use out of it. It cannot even be used as a runner's stick as it's size was too small and at the instant when he was about to throw it away after an evening's game while going to his home, when pandu, thats what the small boy was called, I recall it now. When pandu saw this, he had to beg for it. Sanjay was like any other young playful adolscent who after having his share of fun with pandu, he left his broken bat with him. Anyways he didn't care about it anymore.

Why Limericks?

Limericks have always fascinated me
So small yet very funny they can be
Make no sense mostly
Reason I like them partly
Thats why Limericks always fascinate me!

Prosody or Propreity, Limerick broke them all,
the nonsense verse by edward lear became popular,
the verse is indeed nonsense
that is the very reason for its dearness
Propreity and Prosody, Limericks never cared for them all

You can write a limerick, Yes YOU CAN
All it needs is some spirit, not the ones in a can
With a pinch of spice
you can get it right
Yes, anyone can write a limerick, why? ask why not! Yes We Can

A Limerick fan I have become
I feel its wonderful n awesome
To join your group
what should i do? drink soup?
Take me in ‘coz A Limerick fan I have become!

Got bored on a saturday afternoon and penned these aweful ones down!

The last one was a request I sent to a Yahoo Group called Limericks and Haiku.

IMPORTANT **This post has been written by me for the Weblog, "Tatsat - People, Planet and Profits" in my capacity as a contributor to that weblog. This is just a reproduction. If you liked this post, then please visit and go through the whole blog.**

This Feels Like a Dream....

I am just into my second post and it feels like I am already hitting my writer's block! Or has this become a cliche to put it by every aspiring writer who has got nothing to convey but is excited to do so......!

Why am I excited??

Cadbury has started a new This feels like a dream campaign. Cadbury Dairymilk has officially become Fairtrade certified. It has already started working with various NGO's and trusts in Ghana and also built 365 well inthe communities there. Trying to make a statement i guess.

And to top it, the Teej Bazar at Hauz Khas is about to begin in less than 24 hours! For those who still have no idea about Teej Bazar, it is being organized by Tatsat, AADI and Ujala members. AADI is an NGO working with people with disabilities around New Delhi. There will be a SHRINGAAR (which is a henna and bangles event) and also a Painting Exhibition, "Monsoon Mystique" by Sanjay Biswal. Even if you cannot make it tomorrow that is the 23rd, not to worry, this even is on for two days. If you are in facebook, here is the link to the event and this is the link to the group Tatsat. We also have a fan page here.

Isn't it ironic that the country whose most famous icon had sung praises to the virtue of cottage industries is poised to leap into the stratosphere to find a place among the Titans. Isn't it even more ironic that like the classic tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, our country has two Indias. One India Shining....the India that is poised at the precipice of history, to grab the pen of fate to make its own history and share it with the rest of the world, and, the other India which is still coming to terms in living with this stark adversity in the rural areas, in some corners of the country where there isn't even electricity. Some of the parts have been unfortunately dealt by the hand of fate to be in the"epicenter" of terrorism as Mr. Chidambaram puts it. If not terrorism, there is naxalism or separatism or other kinds of desi-isms like (babudom, corruption and bribery) which have eaten into the dreams and aspirations of these people. I was going through an article from Times Of India where the person says to the journalist in question that he (read journalist) does not understand the life there (the village). How farther shall we go before we can unite again? This disparity exists even in the more developed regions of the country!

With such a scenario developing, it might actually turn out to be a blessing in disguise that the USofA sneeze has made the whole world to catch Swine Flu. The economic crisis which is decreasing the exports and foreign demand has forced the government to look into its largely untapped rural segment of the population which has also been dubbed as the Sleeping Tiger in an era of epithets where our erstwhile economy was compared to the Elephant compared to the chinese economy which was dubbed as the Dragon!.

So the world should be beware of the Tiger which is atop an Elephant! Hopefully the new Indian economy which rises by the time the crisis has been deemed over to make the new and real India to be poised not just to share a table with the titans but also to be one of them!

IMPORTANT **This post has been written by me for the Weblog, "Tatsat - People, Planet and Profits" in my capacity as a contributor to that weblog. This is just a reproduction. If you liked this post, then please visit and go through the whole blog.**

Hello world!

This is my first post for Tatsat. Well Hello World! Few things are better than doing what one likes to do! And probably this is how it feels when doing such things, that heady feeling of emotion, anxiousness and......and confounded speechlessness!

Now if you are an environmental person, one of the greenheads, this year should be an exciting time for you, even the economic crisis does not seem to hamper the governments which are slugging it out to arrive at an agreement that will have wide reaching and long ranging impact abour how our civilization is going to chart its growth on our planet. So Copenhagen we await!

And well even if you are not one of those damned treehugging greenheads, so what? You might still be having atleast a small bit of space in that rock called heart of yours which might think twice about the people who are being given exploited. Yes there is exploitation in India, atleast for sure in the unorganized sector where the victims are being given the short-hand probably because of their illiteracy or just probably as a result of the circumstances.

If so you should have heard about Triple Bottom Line...........

Errr whats that eh? Then Triple Bottom Line or TBL or 3BL is a ratification provided by the United Nations which measures the organizational and societal success (Source: Wikipedia): economic, ecological and social or better put as People, Planet and Profit. Corporate Social Responsibility is different again, don't get muddled up with all these names!

You can go through the article about Tatsat by Garima Vohra from the recent 16th July edition. If you are interested in art, then do visit the Teej Bazar on 23rd and 24th July at C-50, Shop no. 3, Hauz Khas, New Delhi - 110016. There is going to be a painting exhibition, "Monsoon Mystique", by Sanjay Biswal.

Hindustan Times Article dated 16th July
"Hindustan Times Article dated 16th July"

Teej Bazar by Tatsat on 23rd and 24th July
"Teej Bazar by Tatsat on 23rd and 24th July"

Fair Mart Exhibhition May 9-10th, 2009
"Fair Mart Exhibhition May 9-10th, 2009"

IMPORTANT **This post has been written by me for the Weblog, "Tatsat - People, Planet and Profits" in my capacity as a contributor to that weblog. This is just a reproduction. If you liked this post, then please visit and go through the whole blog.**