Archive for india


Posted in Climbing, culture with tags on January 27, 2012 by bridbeast

Re-reading my last post, it is obvious that I need to Man the Fuck Up. And how better than an inspirational video? I think I have found just the thing (even if us goray are the badies).

However I don’t think I’ll be incorporating the “catch a chicken” exercise into my training plans just yet.



Flying chappatis.

Posted in culture with tags , , , on July 29, 2011 by bridbeast

Pure south Asian genius.

How wealthy is India?

Posted in current affairs, ramblings with tags , , on June 25, 2011 by bridbeast

The Economist did a really cool interactive map this week which is good for thinking about the aid to India debate.

One reason it chimed with me is that it compares Indian states to countries, something I’ve often thought about in terms of population. UP has around the same number of people as Brazil. The greater Delhi area has as many people as Chile. This is reflects what I’ve felt visiting India – many states and the biggest metros are so big they dwarf European countries.

But this map goes one further by comparing the states to nations in GDP and GDP per head. That’s when it gets really interesting. GDP wise plenty of states look like solid middle-income countries, and Maharashtra is as wealthy as Singapore, but GDP per head brings out a completely different picture. Huge swathes of northern India look like sub-Saharan Africa, and the poor bits too: Sudan, Benin, Eritrea. On this map Maharashtra is equivalent to Sri Lanka. The figures show better than any argument I’ve read why aid agencies continue to work in India, despite the existence of extremely wealthy people like Mukesh Ambani.

Of course there’s a positive spin too. With so much room for development in the Indian economy and a young, entrepreneurial population, the country should continue to grow strongly for a long time.

They did a similar map of China last year, which is interesting for comparison.

Regional Rivalries

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on April 19, 2011 by bridbeast

I’m from Yorkshire, so the phrase “wrong side of the Penines” trips of my tongue quicker than I can ask for a curd tart. A year of living in Preston did little to stop me believing that Lancashire, basically, is crap. Constant rain, run down towns, saying books so it rhymes with flukes. It’s just the almost-but-not-quite-like-Yorkshire-ness of the place.

Growing up with one of England’s basic regional animosities bred into me has made it surprisingly easy to pick up others. Five years ago I moved in with Lesh and her family. They’re Sri Lankan, and if there’s one thing that unites Sri Lankans, it’s this: a deep and abiding hatred of India.

The broad contours of this hatred will be familiar to any Brit who loathes Americans. Indians are loud, boorish and uncouth. Poorly educated, they know little beyond their own huge country. Their food is too greasy and they are prone to bouts of religious extremism.

The details are more subcontinental. Sri Lankans have the hottest food. Colombo’s beggars are fewer and less deformed than Delhi’s. Had the Indians lost the recent world cup final with Sri Lanka, enraged fans might have tried to burn the players’ houses down. That would never happen in Sri Lanka.

And as surely as I’ve learned to love rice, I’ve begun to pick up a little of this regional rivalry. I was eating dinner with an Indian friend in a Delhi restaurant. She ordered a plate of chillied prawns, ate a couple, and started fanning her mouth in desperation. We swapped plates.

“Not so bad,” I said. “Compared to our food.”