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Cultural Images

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Many of the stereotypes about India revolve around elephants, snakecharmers and monkeys. Modern India is quite different, particularly in the urban centers, home to millions, and often indistinguishable from their Western counterparts.

At the same time, India is a variegated whole, a cornucopia of visual and social richness. Pre-globalization, and before India defined it’s brand identity, I remember trite slogans like “Unity In Diversity” and “We Two Ours Two” (a transliteration of a family planning slogan). Modern India prefers ad campaigns like “India Shining”. It’s technological and BPO spheres are world class, while industries like textiles and film-making are large, global phenomena. While still grappling with difficult social and economic issues, India has been able to come to terms for the most part with its sources of tradition and globalization. It embraced globalization and liberalization in the early 1990s and has not looked back since.

I strongly believe that place determines identity – my local context assimilates me, and I assimilate it. Wonsaponatime, as the poet said, my village defined me, then it was my tribe, then my state, then my country. In the impermanent global flux, does it matter any more where I’m from, where I’m going? As Cory Doctorow has it, do we belong to where we are, or do we belong to Eastern Standard Tribe? Nowadays, who I am is related to where I am. My identity is formed by the history of my place of birth, and where I grew up, but my current location creates an affinity that I must adhere to, often at the cost of my place of naissance. To be on the web further dislocates the identity from the location. Everyman is everyplace. The reader can be in the mind, and in the place of the writer. Transnational perspectives are the only ones that apply any more.

While I do not visit India often now, I look forward to visual reminders of its’ identity, complexity, and well, wierdness. A few of these images were captured in a book, part of an excellent series I recently purchased. Street Graphics India, from Thames And Hudson joins their other volumes such as Street Graphics Tokyo, Cuba, London and New York. No other book however, provides such visual variety. While the book misses out much of the modern elements prevalent across India, choosing the oddball and unusual is part of its agenda indeed. A few images from the book with my comments, as well as a few others I have collected:

Pulp sci-fi, Indian style

Keeping in touch

What would he do?

A Claude Chabrol film, masked for local sensibilities

Local idioms

The future of technology

Sania Mirza, tennis Queen

Indian Industry, Shining

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  • archna

    please send me the email address of sania mirza the tennis star

  • shree

    sent me sania mirza email address

  • jagtap amit

    sent me sania mirza email address

  • Hi
    Sania How Are You ? i am Harsh From Indore M.P. India. I am Scocial Worker & I Hope You will be 1st Tennis Champion Girl of World. Here i am Collected Your News paper Clipings Record. & I Wanna Give You Suprice On Your Birth Day on 15 November. But I Haven’t Your Postal Address So Please Give Me Your Postal Address. So I Can Send You Suprise Gift On Your Birth Day.
    Ok Bye & Take Care.
    Harsh Dubey
    [Edited: No personal contact info, please]

  • Hi
    Sania How Are You ? i am Arjun From Ludhiana Punjab India. I am Student & I Hope You will be 1st Tennis Champion Girl of World. Here i am Collected Your News paper Clipings Record. & I Wanna Give You Suprice On Your Birth Day on 15 November. But I Haven’t Your Postal Address So Please Give Me Your Postal Address. So I Can Send You Suprise Gift On Your Birth Day.
    Ok Bye & Take Care.
    Arjun Khanna ( 19 years )

  • taskeen

    i am in search of sania miraza’s email. how can i get that. i am from Pakistan. i am her big fan. i am 19 years old. he who will send me her mail, will the greatest person for me. thanks

  • Eleas Auitizzha

    First i express my lot of thanks to my almighty Allah who make me able to see u. Tenis not my favourite game as cricket and football. I dont know much about tennis before seeing u i never watch tennis. One day i saw an unknown girl’s picture on news paper, i felt something special for her. the name of that girl mentioned below the picture and She was Sania. at present,in this world i love most my mother and my feelings was limited only for her. Now i feel my feelings for two women, of course first for my mother and then for Sania. i know well that my fellings have not any value to others. But i express my feelings only for expressing not for getting anything reply. I’m from Bangladesh, Dhaka.

  • nidhi b

    hi sania i am nidhi from bangalore.i am your biggest no 1 fan in the whole world . i have a full room filled with all of your posters and everything else .so can you give me your postal address so that i can give a surprise on your birthay . & good luck in your future matches

  • aishwarya

    Hello sania I am aishwarya and I live in bangalore [Edited]



  • Bappi

    Hi sania here is your biggest fan please give me your address

  • Ans…. Studying in 9 class in K.V

    Hi sania i love u and u r only mine.U r closesest 2 my heart,i only watch u nd no1 else

  • Ans… In K.V in jabalpur

    Darling sania i m living for u and wanna kiss u,i m your future husband so give your address.”Agar kise ne usko dekha to uske ‘maa ki’ “.

  • Xad.Egdgej

    Hi darling i like ur buttons and breasts

  • Shivankoo

    Hi, Sania you are the one who made me believe that life really is beautiful, wonderful and worth living! I like you…
    [Personal contact info deleted]

  • Siddharth Loves Sania Mirza

    Hi its Siddharth here.
    Myself the bigggest sania mirza fan here in every respect i am her biggest admirer n fan.
    The amnt of fotos n videos n other things of sania i have is not wid anyone ….

    my email id is

    …reply to my post n i will post then

  • Syed Ameen

    As-Salam Alikum wa Rahmat ullah
    Sania Mirza

    How r u Sania Mirza,I am syed from SaudiArab, working in Riyadh.I am originally from Hyderabad,did MBA from Osamnia university.I am feeling happy for sending this comment to you.

    Welldone for your sucess but please dont loose your identity as a muslim,means whenever you get the opportunity show the world that u r muslim girl.I want to make good friendship with you. Inshallah
    please send your views Thanks

  • S.Sabir

    Assalamo alaikum Sania,
    How r u .I m sabir shaikh from Dubai.I like your games.We mulslims are proud of u.Keep this spirit up.