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Desicritics Editors’ Picks – May 29- June 04

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We are the new kid on the block, and are in the process of getting there. So far, we have put up three weeks of editor’s picks. Notice the singular? Told you, we are getting there! So, yes this is subjective, though care has been taken. For instance, I refrained from selecting any article by the contributing editors. And there were a few good ones. Perhaps, as we make further headway, we will include them, too.

Here are the links for the first three weeks’ picks.

Desicritics Editor’s Picks – May 15-21
Desicritics Editor’s Picks – May 08-14
Desicritics Editor’s Picks – May 01-07

I have picked out some articles to highlight the past week. Nothing unusual in that. But what is unusual is that some of the writers have more than one entry. And two of them merited a third honorable mention.

If you are a contributor and do not find yourself here, please do not be unduly bothered. This list is arbitrary and subjective. Each contributing writer to Desicritics is a special writer. And do not pay heed to rumors that praising certain poems by a small time poet would get you here.

Any past writer who has been highlighted here can recommend one of their choice to me or one of the other editors to be included in the next selection.

Your suggestions are welcome too, specially for book/movie/music reviews. Here are this week’s selections:

Raw Materials by Vijay Iyer and Rudresh Mahanthappa May 29, 2006 – kamla bhatt writes:

A few months ago I met with Vijay and Rudresh in New York where we spoke about their upcoming album, what it was like growing up in the USA, and how they decided to make music their professional career. Both, Vijay and Rudresh had no role models when they made their choice to become musicians. Vijay in fact finished his PhD and then switched to become a jazz musician. Rudresh went to a music school and got his undergraduate and graduate degree in music.

The Struggle with Web 2.0: You Are Not Alone… May 31, 2006 – kamla bhatt writes:

Getting back to the struggle with these Web 2.0 applications here is what I have discovered in private conversations with fellow bloggers. They too go through similar experiences, but nobody talks about it. It is as though we have to suffer in silence and endure this whole Web 2.0 revolution that is unfolding. Creators of these wonderful tools and applications appear to forget that not everybody is a software engineer or a geek, and users do need a clear set of instructions. Many times the UI (User Interface) is so poorly designed that it makes it difficult to navigate. And, it seems like nobody is talking about it. Surely this whole thing is meant to be used by regular folks like us, users like us? If we don’t let these folks know, who will? How will they know there is a bug here, and that this UI is not intuitive?

And an honourable mention for this one also The Rahul Mahajan Case and Indian TV

…But Who are the OBCs? May 29, 2006 – madhukar writes:

It is surprising – or perhaps not so, given the “uneducated literacy” in the country – that a large number of people on either side of the reservation debate have little idea about the definition of OBCs.

This results in, e.g., a false debate on whether the reservations should be based on “economic criteria” or “caste”.

Is there Merit in Reservations? May 30, 2006 – madhukar writes:

Is there a merit in reservation? As many comments on the previous posts allege, the benefits of reservation are supposed to have been cornered by the “creamy layer” or by those who don’t actually fit into the criteria of being “backward”.

On the other hand, a nation cannot develop on a sustainable basis, unless certain radical reforms are implemented to tackle the issues of social disparity and unequal opportunities. The arguments on both sides (pro- and anti-reservation), however, are largely based on ideological or anecdotal evidence.

Fiction: Narendra Modi’s Little Saffron Book May 29, 2006 – Mayank ‘Austen’ writes:

Interview with the Saamna Newspaper (September 29, 2004).
“Without preparedness, a communal riot is not a real pogrom and there can be no final solution either. Having grasped this point, it is good to remember that while making a list of Mians and their Begums in their across-the-‘border’ Pakistani mohallas, care must be taken to accomplish the task without attracting much notice. The dogs must not be warned of their terrible ends.”

And Now Mr. Narendra Modi In His Own Words May 30, 2006 – Mayank ‘Austen’ writes:

“What should we do? Run relief camps for them? Do we want to open baby-producing centers? Hum paanch, humaare pachhees. [We five, our 25]”
This remark was made by Mr. Modi in a speech during his very well received Gujarat Gaurav Yatra in 2002. He was referring to Muslims. According to Mr. Modi, riot-scarred people of the minority community, surviving in refugee camps, were busy having sex. Paanch, pachhees is Mr. Modi’s pun on his version of an ideal Muslim family – one man with his 4 fertile wives.

Reading Shakespeare In Urdu also merits an honourable mention.

Sameer Patange: Master of Body Art May 30, 2006 – Sakshi Juneja writes:

How important is the hygiene aspect before and after getting a tattoo?
Hygiene is absolutely important before getting a tattoo, while getting a tattoo and after getting a tattoo. All the three aspects are very crucial. You have to see that it is done in a clean manner, it is kept clean after it’s done and it’s looked after as well. Things like cleaning it well after 3 hours of getting it done, keeping it away from water and dirt as much as possible, and using proper and good anti-septic ointment – all these factors play an important role in the end result of a tattoo.

So one really needs to take good care of it by following simple basic hygiene steps.

Badminton – A Dying Sport in India June 01, 2006 – Sakshi Juneja writes:

Some facts about Badminton worth knowing:

  • Badminton is the fastest racket sport in the world.

  • The game also dates back to ancient Greece and China as well, and was called battledore and shuttlecock.
  • Badminton was originally played as a cooperative sport, where the goal was mainly to keep a rally going as long as possible.
  • The shuttle-cock can travel off the racket at speeds up to 200 miles per hour.
  • Men’s and women’s singles, doubles, and mixed doubles have been Olympic sports since 1992.
  • More than 140 countries are now affiliated with the International Badminton Association.
  • The use of goose feathers in shuttlecocks has been stopped by the Indian government and they have been replaced with light-weight plastic shuttles. Though in top-level matches, the originals are used.
  • The game rules have changed this year – from a 15 point game, it’s now a 21 point game. Points can be scored irrespective of who is serving.

The Iraq War: The Haditha Massacre June 01, 2006 – Q Bit writes:

It appears that the President has expressed his genuine concern. But given the record of his administration, in particular the reluctance to function within the laws and constitutional premises, and living in a heap of lies which grows every day, I am skeptical.

Here’s hoping President Bush will walk his talk this time, because it’s never too late to do the right thing.

The Slick Emotional Porn Genre Of Story Telling – Example – Raincoat June 04, 2006 – bevivek

Imagine the audience delight if in Raincoat, instead of giving the expected ill affordable gift, the girl decides the best gift is to put the man out of his misery, shoves the body in one of the wardrobes littering her house and thoughtfully uses the money in the man’s raincoat to pay overdue rent and buy much needed provisions. Why, RG might start a new cinematic genre (well, at least in Tollywood).

Check out Desicritics for a different view of the world, and some fine writers on all things South Asian, and with a global South Asian perspective.

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  • Claire Hartman

    You reviewed my book: Shirlee Holmes, 221 Baker Street San Francisco…The Sutro Murder Case. I have just completed a sequel entitled: Shirlee Holmes The Catalina Casino Murder Case and Murder at the Hearst Castle. Would you review it for me? Thank you…very much.

  • Claire Hartman

    You are doing a great job………

  • Claire Hartman

    I have been trying to contact Anuradha Prasad but are having difficulty in getting an e-mail address. Can you help me? [Personal contact info deleted]