The tribes that created the West..

What strikes me about the sheer mediocrity of opinion being expressed about Donald Trump by the ‘mainstream’ is the singular focus on the man Trump & almost a total lack of observation on the distinctly larger theme at play.

Amidst all of the junk written on the subject, here is a thoughtful piece that attempts to understand the big picture.

A ‘powerful’ day

Interesting statistic for the day. The earth will need 30 terawatts of power by the year 2050. Which is actually nothing much since the sun gives us 120,000 terawatts of power. So, if we use just 1% of our land area to generate solar power at reasonable efficiency, we can get all out power needs from the sun.

My bet is this will happen to a reasonable extent, with India’s current massive thrust on Solar energy being a significant trigger. And if we do, the world will move to a long term trend of practically zero incremental cost for energy. (And Solar is not the only energy game where this seems to be happening).

Imagine a future in which practically all activities we do – from taking a flight to washing clothes to growing food – will have very little cost. It will be a different world.

A Bangladesh story

A very small child at the time in a faraway little town in India, I have had only a faint awareness of the Bangladesh war of independance of 1971 & its incredible human cost. Recently trawling through Youtube, I stumbled upon this compelling documentary of that event. In particular go to 10:51 of the video to watch the poignant story of one man, who as a young boy lived through the massacre of his family. Now I understand the burning desire in Bangladesh to bring war criminals of that time to justice.

Singapore Airlines in India

The Singapore Airlines group now has 5 brands in play in India, 4 of them for international travel & 1 (Vistara) for domestic travel. Here is a table that summarises my sense of their brand / offerings strategy for international flights:

Traveller From Metro city From Smaller city
Well heeled traveller Singapore Airlines Silk Air
Budget Traveller Scoot Tiger Air


HolidayIQ Awards

Sharing photos of an event I have wanted to do for a long time. Last month, HolidayIQ gave away the first truly Indian tourism awards. The best of Indian tourism chosen by millions of Indian travellers on the basis of their Ratings & Reviews on HolidayIQ. Union Minister, Dr Jitendra Singh was the Guest of Honour of the event held at the Taj Mahal Hotel in New Delhi & the awards were given away by some of India’s top travellers – people who have contributed the most number of reviews on HolidayIQ.


Benaras Hindu University

Spent a day with students at the wonderful campus of Benaras Hindu University yesterday – including eating the ultimate masala patty at one of the canteens & walking around a small part of the enormous 14km, green, wooded campus. Would certainly have loved to be a student here sometime in my life, what with so many extraordinary departments (the dept of fine arts being particularly interesting). In fact, BHU should be as much a tourism location as any other in Varanasi. I am convinced that the dream of people like Madan Mohan Malviya to create major centres of higher education excellence can indeed be achieved in India if we set our mind to clear priorities. Maybe this is a step in that direction.