Bombay

entrepreneurship : culture vs economy

Shweta writes :

I was talking to somebody yesterday, who recently returned from US, and he said that he expects to see more startups in India than in US, because it is so damn easier to survive here without earning.
That comment brought back to me something that happened on the last day of my job… I was retuning back in office sumo, and I saw people lined up for buses. I saw the typical long shirts wore on saggy pants, faces tanned by having to roam around in intense sunlight, and the sweat… I had the feeling I had when I talked to my parents about my decision to leave my cozy job. The feeling of being “ungrateful”.

I would liken the entrepreneurial spirit similar to the thousands of people who throng from rural India to Bombay in the hopes of making it big in Bollywood. Some of them are talented, some not, but every one of them arrives with a zealous ambition and hope, sacrificing social acceptance and the stability of daily life. I would like to believe that the appreciation for risk will slowly permeate Indian society. Call centers, telecom and technology companies have already affected many families. The parents don’t really understand what the son is doing or why he wears that eyebrow piercing, but the neighbor’s son just bought his dad a scooter and paid off the housing loan, so maybe this will work out for them too.

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Remedy for the forgotten generation

Rahul writes about the absence of an entire period of music from public radio:

So the teenyboppers have their Casio tunes, and our parents have Mohammad Rafi. Nothing for us. I think I belong to Bombay radio’s forgotten generation.

Rahul, you’re in Mumbai, where Go 92.5 exists — probably the only channel in India that played music I could tolerate. I’m not sure if they’ve changed their programming or target demographic since, but I really had withdrawal symptoms when I left Mumbai a couple of months back. Imagine yourself in Delhi — where you have the option of factory-processed hindi music on RadioCity, chirpy and mast hindi music on Radio Mirchi, or casual hindi music on Red FM.

Of course, Delhi does have a glimmer of hope in AIR‘s FM Rainbow which does play classics, but most of the Radio Jockeying would make even a six year old with speech impediments cringe.

While it seems Bangalore too has AIR FM Rainbow, the only thing people listen to here is the schizophrenic Radiocity 91, which has English-speaking RJs(Radio Jockeys) playing Hindi songs interspersed with Kannada advertisements. Not quite the thing for me, ya know.

My night in shining armor, comes galloping from the United Kingdom via the Internet: Virgin Radio UK generously provides Shoutcast streams that are make up most of my daily listening. Shoutcast is seriously a great source of free music; there are so many supercool radio stations; especially niche ones that cater to very specific audiences, like GothMetal Radio for all the pretty men and women wearing black mascara, for example. Plus Shoutcast is free. As opposed to WorldSpace, which is very nice, but costs a little more than free.