Thursday, August 16, 2007

Indian Summers - John Wright

John Wright's Indian Summers with Sharda Ugra and Paul Thomas 

Heart warming, funny, and down-to-earth

I finished reading John Wright's Indian Summers last weekend. John Wright was the coach of the Indian cricket team for five years. The book is neatly divided into chapters that correspond to a tour or season of the Indian team. So, there is one chapter each on the Australian team's visit of 2001 (who can forget that!), India's tour of Pakistan in 2004, the England tour of 2002, the West Indies tour of 2002, the Australian tour of 2003-04, etc... Then there is a chapter on Wright's experiences with the selection system, its regional quota system, another one on the struggles that the aspiring Indian cricketer has to go through to make it, or not. Srinath, Kaif, Kumble, Yuvraj, Harbhajan and many more are covered...

A couple of points about the book - Wright almost never drops names, he writes about controversial topics without resorting to being sensationalistic (the Dravid declaration in the Multan test when Tendulkar was on 194* for example). The second point is that Wright ultimately comes across as a very decent man with a genuine love for India - which is very heartwarming indeed (contrast it with the rather disgusting 'In Spite of the Gods' by Ed Luce).

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Free enterprise near VT

Mumbai (formerly called Bombay) is a city of enterprise.
This is an image that has stayed with me... this person has found a need, namely, of cleaning people's ears, and has a mobile enterprise running out of a small pouch.
Consider this: VT (Victoria Terminus, now known as Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus and a UN World Heritage Site) is one of the busiest places on Earth: a few million people pass through this square every single day. More than twenty lakh people alight or board trains at VT. So this dude has got the location funda figured out pat. As have thousands of people who ply some trade or the other here.

© 2007, Abhinav Agarwal. All rights reserved. Reposted to this blog 2011.

Motilal Banarsidas

Motilal Banarsidas Publishers, MLBD as they are also known, are the oldest publishing house in India, established in 1903. They identify themselves as 'Indological publishers', with books on such categories as Advaita Vedanta, Ancient Indian history, Bhakti, Buddhism, and more. According to this article, MLBD was incorporated with a capital of Rs 27, in (then part of pre-partition India) Lahore. Motilal was the father, and Banarsidas the son (link). "When Banarsi Dass also died shortly after that in 1915, the responsibility for running the bookstore went to his younger brother, Sundar Lal Jain. Sundar Lal was soon joined by Shanti Lal, the only son of Banarsi Dass."
They moved to Patna initially, and then to Delhi: "The first branch of the business was established in Patna (Bihar) in 1937. After Partition in 1948, when the Jain family home and publishing house were burned to the ground during the riots, the Jains moved their headquarters to their branch office in Patna. Three years after that, they relocated to Varanasi. In 1958, they moved one final time to New Delhi."
 According to their managing director, they are the world's largest publisher of books on Buddhist teachings.
The point of this post is I discovered that they have a store in Bangalore, in Jayanagar! A month or two back I visited it for the first time, and then a couple of times more. On my last visit there I got permission to take some photos...

© 2011, Abhinav Agarwal. All rights reserved.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Widening of Hosur Road, Bangalore

 This below is a photo I took in November 2003 - at the time this BMW showroom was under construction.

And this below is a photo I took in December 2006 - you can see that the road widening project on Hosur Road has taken over the space at the side of the road.

© 2007, Abhinav Agarwal. All rights reserved. Reposted to this blog, 2011