Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hindi Urdu Flagship Austin Texas

Texas has long been a favored destination for Indian immigrants seeking to
become Doctors, Nurses, Businessmen, professionals in the fields of
Computer and Internet Technology, etc. And then there are those like

Arun Prakash, a Bellaire, Texas teacher whose labor of love has now come
to being in the form of 'Namaste Ji', the first-ever Hindi textbook for students
in the U.S.

The Houston Chronicle
reports, ' The novice teacher invented his own lessons,
writing them by hand until he got a computer equipped with a Hindi font...
as India becomes a bigger economic power, interest
in its native tongue
is growing and Texas state, with the fourth
largest Hindi-speaking population
in the US, is poised to become
a leader in Hindi instruction....''

Have to admire Arun Prakash for his ingenuity and steadfastness : it took
him eight years to get 'Namaste Ji' into the Hindi Urdu Flagship Program
at the University of Austin Texas, and now all he needs is some financial
momentum and the open hearts and voices of the governing boards.
From the look of things in the current US political climate, diversity of this kind
is not just an election issue but also at the root of a need for a deeper
understanding and knowledge of the world outside, post-9/11 and beyond.

Read the whole
Houston Chronicle article about Prakash here
and also check out the neat 8 min. video below. It gives a brief
glimpse into the University of Austin campus
and its beautiful surroundings,
the Program and the students.

Live and learn, and learn to live. A little at a time.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

TNT Mamas via Abduction

Here's a look at the results of the Mozilla Firefox Add-on called
Abduction. I was trying to spread the word about a group of runners
in my area: TNT Mamas.Org

and their noble cause but was stumped about what to say since I had already
blogged about it on MySpace earlier

Plus, I wanted to use some pics to dress up a plain but nonetheless very
serious bit of info about the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and
their connection to the Nike Women's Marathon.
Since I had just installed Abduction, no problem - all I had to do was
click on 'File' on the top left of my Browser and pick 'Save Page as Image'
and Voila ! I had not just a screenshot but a fine image saved in the
resolution of my choice. Now I had a pic that could be sent as an image/
attachment via email and the receiver could view it full size by clicking.
Click on the images above and see for yourself. It's more fun than just
sending a plain old link to a web page and your friends will love you for it.

The Official Nike Running Blog - where you can learn more about
running for a cause and other questions related to Blood Cancer.

TNT Mamas.Org
- the Clear Lake, Texas chapter of TNT
(Team In Training)
who need YOUR help to make it to San Francisco
for this year's Marathon.
If you can't donate, show some love and support
by posting a comment. It'll help them go the extra mile !

Natalie Portman-Devendra Banhart Masala

Bollywood claims another victory or victim, depending on your view.
Now it's talented Hollywood star Natalie Portman's

turn to take a stab. I think it's partly her boyfriend's fault she's getting all
mixed up, Bollywood-style in 'Carmensita'. Devendra Banhart is a
Venezuelan-American who first came to prominence in San Francisco, creating
music that perfectly reflected the local artsy mish-mash. From that cultural
stew emerged a sound and style that tangents the Blues, Brazilian pop, Acid
Folk-Rock Punk, Latin, Worldbeat and everything in between. A lot like
Bollywood's crazy-dazey take on life on another plane of consciousness.
Which is what you get in 'Carmensita'.

The way I see it, the result of her collaboration with Dev B. on this music
video has worked wonders for all concerned. By casting Natalie as
an Indian Princess her natural good looks are showcased as never before,
Devendra literally gets the girl (and her star power to boost his music project),
and Bollywood earns more buzz from international media - without being
directly involved in the project. Carmensita is weird and funny and cool and
just the kind of nutsy YouTube video you can expect me to share.

Thursday, July 17, 2008 is MySpace Lite ?

click to enlarge

U.K. member uses Summer Rickshaw for his profile.

Somehow I now find myself a member of more than one social networking
site. I had to join MySpace because my friend Madooo invited me and
I'm always glad to show support for family, friends and musicians. Although
I don't do much there thanks to this Blog, I have made some new and
interesting contacts and also hooked up with some old ones. But now that
I'm a member of I'll say unreservedly it seems somewhat more
sane and cultured than MySpace, which is often overrun with garish and
tacky template designs vying for your (short span) of attention. Blame it on
the vast majority of MySpace members who are 20-somethings and part of
the 'must-have-it-now' generation. Instant trashy webpages included. is an acronym for Where Are You Now and that's mainly what
makes it a different kind of social network : members' past, present and future
locations are pinpointed, tagged and tailored so deeply that you could plan an
entire trip overseas using this site. Let's use the picture above as an example
of (better) Wayn members' activities, like the Rickshaw Run adventure :

'Three wheels, half a horse power and more fun than any other vehicle on
earth the humble Rickshaw is undoubtedly the ultimate long distance,
off road
machine, despite being designed for short distances on road....'

'The Rickshaw Run is all about raising huge amounts of wedge for a great cause
or two, so each team has to raise a measly £1000 for charity....'

Visit The Adventurists where you can join in the 2009 Run which starts in
Pondicherry in South India and winds up in Shillong in the Northern state
of Assam. But first - see what fun they had in 2008.

Oh..... and don't forget to check out if any one of your Contacts is also secretly
a member of the laid-back Surprise them !

Monday, July 14, 2008

Outsourced: The Movie Is Out

Just got wind of this upcoming flick that's creating a buzz of sorts worldwide.
Already out in theaters in Europe and Australia, premiering in the USA on
July 11, but oddly won't reach India (where a major part of it was filmed) till
sometime in August.

the movie directed and co-written by John Jeffcoat
humorously tells about what happens when an American novelty products salesman
is forced to travel to India to train his replacement
after the entire department in his
Seattle, USA company is outsourced.

If you liked this trailer, why not just go to the source of 'Outsourced' now-
it's loaded with more clips and fun stuff like a chance to win a free trip to Goa !