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Mall Road

Bus Addey, Maal Rode, Camp, Madal Toun, Ajadpur, Shalimaar...

Better late than never: Mall Road's mela is here


Please accept my apologies for the delay in putting up the mela. I won't offer any excuses. Better late than never. If your nomination couldn't be accepted, it is not meant to be a reflection on the quality of the post. There are several factors one may take into account while choosing a post.


The Mela

Yazad once wrote on his blog that too much is made of the blogosphere being a form of 'alternative media'. I then thought he was right, but reading through so many posts for the second blog mela at Mall Road, I think I disagree with Yazad.

Too many of us distrust mainstream media, and not without reason. I do think we are often very harsh on mainstream media: we can go on and on about how slimy the Slimes is, but we will not give credit to the media where it is due. The media did a very good job, for instance, in pressurising the Indian government to drop Jagdish Tytler from the cabinet and reminding the nation, and not least the political class, of the Congress-perpetrated riots against the Sikh community in 1984. Be that as it may, the blogosphere is the most honest possible indicator of public opinion - the public that has access to digital resources, that is. The 1984 pogrom recieved its fair share. One feels especially pained when public memory of such events gets linked to personal memory. For those born in 1984, like Prathamesh and me, the year means more than just the year of our birth. We are not Midnight's Children but those of Apocalypse. Amrit's account is particularly moving. The blogosphere is in no mood to forgive and forget: Ennis wants to know who gave the orders. CK2 has been counting historical wrongs that lead up to the carnage. Kuttan is right when he says the a mere resignation is not enough, but such are the times we live in that a great virtue is made out of resigning from the cabinet whereas the chap should have been in jail long ago. 'A Sikh Abroad' says he doesn't want the Advanis of the world to champion the Sikh cause. Swami thinks the '84 riots were a crime worse than Modi's, though I'm not so sure.

Annie (whose blog I enjoy more than anyone else's) takes a politically incorrect look at the tamasha that is Independence Day. I-Day Celebrations for me are a matter of popular culture: as crass by now as Bollywood. Newton's third law of motion - every action has an equal and opposite reaction - may have been rendered politically incorrect by Narendra Modi, but it stands. Like it happened with the India Shining campaign: the idea of celebrating the republic on an appointed day will inevitably lead many of us to find faults in the republic. So you have Deepalan asking if we should celebrate this Independence at all. And did you say you were proud of our heritage? For expats like Saswat Pattanayak, the I-Day experience tends to be a little different, tinged with inevitable exilophilia. Introspecting ideas of patriotism and nationalism, like Sanjay does, is always a good idea, but hey, make no mistake, the breed of die-hard patriots is still alive. Like Rajendra and Nirav.

I know hard news can be depressing after a while. Aparna Ray has mastered the art of taking a dig at the very idea of news by reducing every news item into a digestible limerick. Good job, Aparna. If the Supreme Court agrees with petitioner Ajay Goswami, then papers like the Slimes will have to stop publishing 'sexually explicit' content lest Indian kids get to choose which model is hotter than the other. Prithi Shetty thinks this is good news, but some say it's plain and simple moral policing. If Goswami's petition is successful, the papers may want to publish Aparna's limericks instead. No sex-vex Aparna, okay, the kids are reading! I'm sure Mr Goswami would be apalled at Saket's proposal to "corporatise" prostitution.

Greatbong has a lucid review of Dus, but the film that all of blogosphere's been talking about is The Rising, as also about Mangal Pandey the man. Lok-adhikar remembers the cause, Varun Singh has a review, and Deba couldn't have been more disappointed. Sepoy at Chapati Mystery does a fantastic job of narrating the story of Mangal Pandey in two parts and then reviewing the film. Thanks Sepoy, I dig it! Amardeep has an insightful post on the issue of language in the movie.

Amit Varma eavesdrops on a conversation between A Dog and a Blog. A rare post in India Uncut in that it does not have a link to a story in a mainstream media website. Dilip D'Souza is again playing the doubting Thomas of Indian reforms. Arzan celebrated the Parsi New Year, an event certainly more appealing to me than I-Day!

Navin has a post on India's oil security: the most neglected issue that is now haunting us all of a sudden. Water's going to be next. Anup has a detailed discussion on Kalam's warnings about energy security.

DoZ is getting nostalgic about his growing up years in Delhi.

Ujwal Gandhi has a new 'netfix' for India.

I loved Sakshi's post on living a dog's life(style). A picture is worth a thousand words, and she has so many pictures there. Really cool blog.

Anand has a great post on Sita's abandonment, and there's some very rich discussion taking place in the comments there. JK of Varnam has been busting some more myths.

Harini Calamur wonders why some people think they are above the law. I sincerely think most Indians, if not all, see the law as something malleable, something that is flexible to our needs. We think that is a legitimate thing to do, and does not necessarily amount to violating the law.
Gawker satirises satirises CNN's falling standards, saying a computer virus could be responsible for it. Trust internet viruses to be a source of humour.

Sunil Laxman finally knows what a long walk is like. Sujatha, on the other hand, has been walking the streets of Philadelphia.

Harini has been reading Narendra Jadhav's book, The Untouchable. Srini has a thought-provoking post on Prof Gopal Guru's Ambedkarite argument on Manmohan SIngh's I-Day speech.

I began this mela talking about blogs as alternative media. But if mainstream media needs mediwatch institutions, so perhaps does the blogosphere. Purvi has taken a well-meaning step towards creating such an institution in the Indian blogosphere. I found her first post rather promising.

To end the mela, I leave you with the week's best post: "30in2005" meets Sachin Tendulkar and is bowled over. Fantastic!



Thank you for nominating posts for this mela, for spreading the word about it, for linking to it, for reading it. If there are any mistakes, please do point them out.

Another mela, another blog, another week. The show must go on.

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-- Blogger shaun, 8/23/2005 07:24:00 pm

Just counted: 52 posts linked on this mela!    

-- Blogger Vulturo, 8/23/2005 07:33:00 pm

Excellently written. Great job!    

-- Blogger Purvi A, 8/23/2005 10:00:00 pm

Dear Mr Vij, thank you for linking to my post.    

-- Anonymous Anonymous, 8/23/2005 10:09:00 pm

Very well written. I love the way you wove the whole mela into a blog commentary.

It literally felt as if the links were just to support the matter written.

You raise the bar to a new high.

Way to go !!    

-- Blogger Ram, 8/23/2005 10:27:00 pm


Good Commentary and Great Blog!


-- Blogger amit varma, 8/23/2005 10:31:00 pm

Excellent mela, Shivam, both quality and quantity. Well done.

And, um, you mis-spell my name -- it's Varma, not Verma!

Once again, good show.    

-- Blogger gawker, 8/23/2005 10:36:00 pm

My link is incorrect : Here is the correct one. Apart from that, good job.    

-- Blogger Sujatha Bagal, 8/23/2005 11:45:00 pm

Lovely write up!    

-- Blogger Aparna Ray, 8/24/2005 12:08:00 am

Given the number of posts included, must have been quite a task to put up this mela. However, it has been very well written and made for a very interesting read.


-- Anonymous Anonymous, 8/24/2005 01:26:00 am

Good style. Easy to read.

Just one suggestion, it would help if all links opened in a new window so the reader does not have to hit the back button to come back to the mela.    

-- Anonymous Anonymous, 8/24/2005 02:16:00 am

wow my blog made it to the blogmela.    

-- Blogger Ram, 8/24/2005 02:45:00 am

waaaaah... and mine didn't :-(    

-- Blogger BeeDee, 8/24/2005 09:59:00 am

totally unrelated so feel free to delete this comment once u're done. my blog url has changed to www.baghaescup.blogspot.com and the old URL doesnt work any more. (someone poached it while i took it down for a few days and now its some reliance phone cards web site).


-- Blogger Sakshi, 8/24/2005 11:00:00 am

Thanks Arzan for nominating me..and thanks to BLOG MELA for acknowledging it.    

-- Anonymous Anonymous, 8/24/2005 11:06:00 am

Good job Shivam.

-- Anand (Locana)    

-- Anonymous Anonymous, 8/24/2005 11:22:00 am

really interesting blogmela. good reading all round.
well done shivam    

-- Anonymous Anonymous, 8/24/2005 05:00:00 pm

Shivam, great job. let me now get back to reading the posts... just took a break to tell you!    

-- Blogger shaun, 8/25/2005 03:16:00 pm

So much praise - thanks a lot! And you all were so polite in not pointing out the language glitches and typos - they stand corrected.

Amit and Gawker: apologies, the erorrs have been corrected.

Antara: I've changed your link in the blogroll.    

-- Blogger K, 8/25/2005 03:42:00 pm

Hmmm.... Lets just keep things anon, it helps when I get bitchy. But you can always email me at my name (a dot between first name and surname) at gmail.com.    

-- Blogger shaun, 8/25/2005 03:49:00 pm

He he, gotcha! Kkkkkkk....!    

-- Blogger K, 8/25/2005 07:23:00 pm

Wasn't too difficult was it? Too many hints, anon is in the eyes of the beholder.    

-- Blogger shaun, 8/28/2005 01:06:00 pm

Now that I told you how I found out, you can easily say it wasn't tough!    

-- Blogger 30in2005, 9/28/2005 06:29:00 pm

WOW! That is some summing up and a great way to introduce bloggers to other bloggers and blurkers! I really enjoyed the mela and hope there are more to come with bits and bits of indian bloggers and their interesting worlds!

Kudos Shivam Vij!!!    

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