Month: October 2010

On Social Media & Free Speech

I am a little flustered right now. My head is flowing with many thoughts, but I must start at the start. A month and a half ago (mid Sept), I had an unfortunate lunch-time experience at a restaurant I frequented. In a nutshell, a server spilled all kinds of food all over me and my clothes while I was eating, seated along the corridor, and the “service recovery” after that was excruciatingly bad; all in the middle of a work day! Expectedly, I was appalled by the experience, and also exhausted by the conversation I had with the restaurant manager. I resorted to HungryGoWhere, a popular Singapore-based site where I often review food joints. Here is my entire review on Zaffran, the restaurant in question. With little else to pacify myself, I moved on and went about my life as usual. Until a few days back, when HungryGoWhere’s moderator wrote to me the following message: To this, I immediately replied with my contact details, standing by the integrity of my review. Following 4 days of …

The Renaissance of Mercedes in India!

This is the story behind the story. Few people in Germany (and the world over) must’ve heard of the quaint city-town of Aurangabad in Maharashtra, before it became a gold mine for Mercedes. You heard it right, and here’s how I hear it happened. It started with a group of doctors with flourishing businesses in Aurangabad, consulting each other on which car to buy. Like most Indian households, the consideration set comprised Tata and Honda, until someone upped the notch a little and proposed buying a Mercedes. The closest Mercedes showroom was in Bombay, and as the docs prepped for their trip, word spread among their network of professionals. By the time the trip materialized, 75 doctors, lawyers & businessmen from Aurangabad had decided that it was time to buy a car! Can you imagine how the sales folks at the Mercedes showroom in Bombay must’ve reacted on hearing of a bulk purchase of 75 cars? Or better still, their headquarters in Germany, especially given that BMW lures a large majority of the elite car …

India Has Arrived, Indeed.

The Common Wealth Games 2010 have been an emotional journey for Indians – we’ve been anxious, enraged, desperate,ย doubtful, optimistic, surprised, awed, thankful, excited, nervous,ย exhilarated, proud, very proud. Just before the Games started, many of us were hanging on with dear life to the hope and fact that we wait until the very last minute to execute things, but with all the media bashing and the pessimism it created the world over, it was a long shot. Some of us logged out of Facebook, stopped buying newspapers, unplugged the TV and refused to talk about ‘it’ (think Gandhiji’s 3 monkeys)! Then the day came, and like a pre-mature baby, a tad too soon. We went to the newly-built stadium to cheer the Opening Ceremony, praying to all our gods that nothing will collapse. We tuned in to our TV broadcast, our nails bitten right up to the skin. We opened our Twitter streams, ready to defend our honor. We feltย like we feel on a Monday morning. But none of it lasted. We were awed by the …