Thursday, November 25, 2010

RFQ floated for Kerala's mega-port!

The Request for Qualification (RFQ) for prospective developers of the Rs 6000 Crore Vizhinjam Deep-sea Port project has been floated, setting in motion the development process for the biggest greenfield infrastructure project in Kerala's history.

You can read more about the history of the project and every latest development here. Stay tuned, folks!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sting and Bod Geldof at Trivandrum

Here's the video of Sting and Bob Geldof at the Nishagandhi open-air theater in Trivandrum, at the closing concert of the Hay Festival.

Make sure you pass it on to everyone you know. Let the world know about the latest exciting international addition to Trivandrum's cultural calendar. And try to be next time, I know I will do my best to be!

Video Courtesy: The Telegraph, UK and Youtube

Monday, November 15, 2010

Awesome conclusion to the Trivandrum Edition of the Hay Festival!

The first edition of the Hay Festival in Trivandrum was wildly successful with enthusiastic and involved audiences at all the sessions. The organizers now plan it to be an annual event at Trivandrum. Not very surprising for a city which puts a different spin on the words "intellectual capital". Long the heart and soul of Malayalam cinema and the permanent home of the International Film Festival of Kerala, not to mention the preferred haunt of many of Kerala's literary greats, it looks like the capital city has yet another internationally-acclaimed addition to its annual cultural calendar.

And as if this was not awesome news in itself, get a load of how the finale to the event panned out, a packed concert at Nishagandhi with Irish music legend Bob better believe it, Sting!

Image Courtesy:

While the event garnered a lot of publicity in the National print and visual media, as well as in select international media, I wonder how well it was covered in the so-called "local" media. I wouldn't be surprised if many of the worthies who "report" for them haven't heard the word "sting" in any other connotation that the wrong end of a bee or, at best, the wrong end of Tehelka. Plus, I am sure there will soon be a bunch of loyal citizens calling for the Hay Festival to be parceled out across various towns and villages of Kerala. After all, we managed that with the IT revolution and the National Games, didn't we? I hope someone does the right thing and say "No" in this case at least!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hay Festival in Trivandrum!

No, I am not talking about an orgy of making cattle fodder here, but of the world-famous literary event that is currently being held in Trivandrum.

Some of the world's who's-who in the literary, arts and cultural spheres. Some of the attendees include Mani Shankar Aiyar, Rosie Boycott, Gillian Clarke, William Dalrymple, Tishani Doshi, Sonia Faleiro, Sebastian Faulks, Bama Faustina, Bob Geldof, Namita Gokhale, Nik Gowing, Sister Jesme, Manu Joseph, NS Madhavan, Jaishree Mishra, Anita Nair, Vivek Narayanan, Michelle Paver, Basharat Peer, Hannah Rothschild, K Satchidanandan, Marcus du Sautoy, Simon Schama, Vikram Seth, CP Surendran, Miguel Syjuco, Tarun Tejpal, Shashi Tharoor, Amrita Tripathi, Pavan Varma, Jorge Volpi and Paul Zacharia.

Impressive, eh?! Oh yes! Too bad that I am on the other side of the world but I hope those of you lucky enough to be in Trivandrum right now would spend some time listening to some really interesting people interact with each other and with the enlightened citizens of our city.

Trivandrum has had no peers in terms of cultural and intellectual achievement in Kerala, be it the printed word or the silver screen (IFFK is now widely considered as India's premier film event). The fact that the Capital City has been chosen to host such a prestigious event on an annual basis is yet another testimonial to how cosmopolitan the city has become, with its packed calendar of cultural events which have been drawing people from across the world.

The only thing I hope that the organizers mull about and modify next time is to brand the event as the Hay Festival, Trivandrum instead of Kerala. The folks in Trivandrum are happy to let their State benefit from the branding of most of the city's achievements. Sadly, not many other places are so broad-minded and it is high-time we learned how valuable geographic branding can be on a global scale.