Aishwarya on Oprah

Just read /saw some excerpts from Aishwarya Rai’s appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show. She is a super ambassador for India and seems to have pulled off a great PR exercise for India.

One notable fact stated on the site is that “The movies made in Bollywood?India’s Hollywood and the film capital of the world?reach more than five billion people worldwide, twice that of Hollywood.”. The Oscars yet claim to award the best movies in the world and completley ignore Indian movies. The sorry part is that Indian producers keep running for recognition from the Oscars as if millions of Indian fans screming and cheering for them isn’t good enough.
Recently the Marathi movie Shwas was in the running for the best foreign film and so was Lagaan earlier. Both were good movies but the hype and drama surrounding their Oscar nominations was unbearable. The Govt. actually contributed lakhs of tax payer money to help them promote the movie.

If the Oscars really are fair awards, I wonder why the producers had to spend 1000s of dollars on introducing the movie to the jury and making them see it. Aren’t judges supposed to view all movies and judge based solely on the merits of the movie?

Harshad Number

I never knew that a particular type of numbers have been named after me.

A Harshad number, or Niven number, is an integer that is divisible by the sum of its digits in a given number base. The Niven numbers take their name from Ivan M. Niven from a paper delivered at a conference on number theory in 1997. All numbers between zero and the base number are Harshad numbers. Not that I understood much of this explanation, but it’s cool anyway 🙂 I haven’t as yet found the reason why these numbers as known as Harshad Numbers. Although my dad is very much a maths and stats person, as these numbers were discovered only in 1997, I can be sure that I wasn’t named after them. So I will presume that it’s the other way around 🙂

e-governance in India

I have spent most of Sunday trying to be a good citizen of Pune. I wrote to a newspaper about a few issues, I used the Pune Municipal Corporations e-governance site http://www.egovpmc.com to compain / suggest about a few other ones to the governing body and also tracked my earlier suggestion to the state government http://maharashtra.gov.in.

Most developing nations like India are attempting to implement e-governance however there’s still a long way to go. India might have the best IT talent in the world but unfortunately that talent is more available to the west than it is to India. Most govt. sites are rather crude as they are generally created and managed by the B grade of IT in India. Corruption, inefficiency and many other factors contribute to why private companies generally don’t want anything to do with govt. affairs. So it seems that most govt. websites end up either being created and maintained by some inefficient and outdated IT department or by some company that ‘managed’ to get the project. However there are exceptions. The Indian Railways for example is as sarkari’ a body as can be and yet they have a super online train tracking and reservation system at http://indianrail.gov.in. Millions of people use this site everyday and although it doesn’t look good and irritates you with a million popups, it does work well. Things will change as IT slowly trickles down to the millions in India. As of today maybe 2 % of Indians care about computers, internet and such stuff. For the rest food, water and shelter is all that matters. A long way to go, a lot of things to be done.

Just keep swimming!

The title to this entry comes from the movie Finding Nemo. Remember Dory?

I learnt swimming many years ago however I never learnt it properly or was good at it. I could swim about 25 meters. I have been planning to take up swimming training for quite some time but it never quite worked out.

Finally, a few months back, me and my wife, managed to enroll for swimming training at the Tilak Tank in Pune.

It’s now been about 3 months of regular swimming and I can now swim breast stroke about (21 meters x 40) = 840 meters at one go. I am still struggling a little with freestyle as I get exhausted in about 5 rounds. Freestyle is very fast paced and unless you consciously slow down, it is very easy to burn out. There’s no gliding in freestyle and so I end up doing the short sprint equivalent in the water.

My backstroke is ordinary and I haven’t yet tried out the butterfly. Butterfly is considered very difficult and exhausting but it is surely the best stroke to watch.

Swimming is a super sport as it gives you an entire body workout and is great fun. I hope to keep swimming regularly. Let’s see if things do work out that way. Check these links to get started with swimming or if you wish to improve your technique.

The comments to the articles are also useful.

  1. FreeStyle
  2. BreastStroke
  3. BackStroke