Part of a Series. See here.
In January of this year, I had taken a friend to Mumbai. One of the places we went to was Lower Parel – I wanted to show him what I could of the Mills. You could still see the Mills then, if not in the same form. The same compounds now housed small galleries and boutiques. There were advertisements for a ‘mills culture tour’, sold as something in between a bar hop and an art gallery cruise. I knew big clubs had opened here, as had malls. Phoenix Mills was Mumbai’s version of Delhi’s DLF Emporio – all the major global brands were there. Even here, however, I remember laughing and pointing out to him that some of Bombay’s stubborn egalitarianism remained. Armani was next to Addidas. Rohit Bal next to a paper store. Unlike in Delhi where no non-hyper-elite brand could get near DLF Emporio, in Bombay, even Armani couldn’t buy space away from Adiddas.
Continue reading Creative Destructions
On another first day, with its inevitable attempts to divide things into new and old at the end of all the “rapid change” that the world apparently is going through at every second of every news channel’s life, a [to me, lovely] reminder that times have not changed all that much:
Google reports that urban Indians top “how to” search in 2008 was “how to lose weight.” But, at number two, shyly sneaking in was: “how to kiss.”
now there is something worth learning in 2009.
I was out all night in Oakland, California, last night. One of the most “dangerous” cities in the country, crime statistics say. Usually, that’s always code for historic black neighborhoods. This one is no different. Close to us are some of the districts and towns worst hit by the foreclosure crisis: one in three homes in parts of California are now owned by banks and not people. A generation of voters in this district remember what it was like not being able to vote because they were black. This is part of the America that has elected Obama. Continue reading A Letter from America