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New York, a melting pot of ethnicities, cuisines, languages, cultures and architecture, is possibly the world's most vibrant city. This space is intended to capture the city's heartbeat.

Tornado: a view from Oklahoma

by Shubham Pant
Thursday , May 23, 2013 at 16 : 55

After finishing medical school in Delhi, I moved to Oklahoma City in 2002 to pursue my residency. My only knowledge of tornadoes was the movie "Twister" that brought tornadoes to the big screen (incidentally the movie was based in Oklahoma). When I started living in Oklahoma, I realised that tornadoes were part of everyday life in the state. The first time tornado sirens went off, I was at work in the hospital. To my amazement, instead of running for shelter, some of my colleagues ran out to see if they could take pictures of the tornado (this is NOT recommended, though a lot of people still do head out to try and catch a glimpse).

Over time, I became used to the sires going off and became complacent myself as most of the devastation seemed to be in the rural areas, with...Read more...


Tiger back as number one

by Dr Karan Thakur
Tuesday , March 26, 2013 at 12 : 37

Tiger Woods has re-emerged as Golf's Numero Uno with his eighth win in the Arnold Palmer Invitational Tournament in Florida. In doing so, he has proven many critics wrong who had written a long obituary of the golfing great after personal troubles nearly sank the golfer three years ago. The combination of intense media coverage in his personal affairs, leaks of his private liaisons with mistresses and a steady hemorrhaging of support both from players and sponsors put the Tiger in the doghouse. What can only be a sign of greatness was his ability to use this time away from the initial media scrutiny to go back to honing his skills on the golf course. However, this story was not without its own twists and turns. It seems the harder Woods tried the lower he sank in the rankings. The harder he pushed his body, the more injuries...Read more...


Chavez and the post-American world

by Karan Thakur
Thursday , March 07, 2013 at 14 : 18

The death of the charismatic Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez was received with massive outpouring of grief on the streets of Caracas and elsewhere and with cautious responses from governments of the Western world. That Chavez polarised public opinion one way or the other would be an understatement, for Chavez came to define the new equalising world order in many ways. From his staunch socialist leanings to his outspoken style of operating on the world stage, one could disagree with Chavez but certainly not ignore him. His larger than life persona as the Commadante for his people and the larger Communist-friendly societies and countries was pitchforked against a more Western characterisation that portrayed a man out of tune with the economic realities of his country. But in many ways, Chavez was a brilliant strategist, both on the national and international stage, which came at a time when the world...Read more...


On President Obama's Leap of Faith

by Karan Thakur
Monday , January 14, 2013 at 15 : 33

US President Barack Obama fresh from his decisive election victory in November had tasks other than the looming "fiscal cliff" crisis to handle as he entered the New Year. His cabinet looked increasingly thin and weary with the departure of high profile appointees like CIA Director David Petraeus, retiring Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and other such redundancies like the appointment of a new US Ambassador to the United Nations. After careful deliberations, the Obama team decided to field veteran Senators John Kerry and Chuck Hagel for the position of State and Defense, while settling for an old CIA hand and national counter-terrorism expert John Brennan for the CIA.

The Obama administration timed the appointments and the selective leaks on the nominees to the press to perfection. Allowing just enough time for broad views to be elicited from...Read more...


Tech and education's state of grace

by Amrita Tripathi
Friday , November 16, 2012 at 11 : 55

I got a chance to listen to well-known economist Professor Jeff Sachs speak at The Asia Society in New York on education, the change that technology is bringing in its wake, and the need for that change. Sachs also said the US war on poverty ended 30 years ago, transforming somehow into a "war on the poor". In reply to a question, he said the crisis in the country won't be solved by the "ridiculous rebellion of the rich against paying taxes".

Also on the panel, an 18-year-old student at The University of Maryland, Zak Malamed, who commandeered everyone's admiration just for being so articulate, young, and passionate about the need for change in the education system.

I wouldn't agree with everything I heard (who does, these days?!) but I did come away thinking it is true that...Read more...


Book review: Pax Indica by Shashi Tharoor

by Daaman Thandi
Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 16 : 32

The title Pax Indica, which literally translates into 'Indian peace,' borrows its title from the ancient Pax Romana and the more recent concept of Pax Americana and Pax Britannica. The book stipulates a similar grand strategy of relative peace and glory for India. Despite the grand title, this is not an attempt by Tharoor to write his magnum opus on India's Foreign Policy. Instead, as Tharoor puts it himself, "This book is a work of reflection, not scholarship." The title nonetheless is a misnomer and reflects Tharoor's overtly optimistic beliefs in India. The book at best provides a perfunctory overview of India's foreign relations and interactions without being overly critical of the government and bypasses analyzing diplomatic failures such as the IPKF in Sri Lanka.

The key limitation of the book is that Tharoor, former Minister of State for External Affairs of India and former Under-Secretary-General...Read more...


Binder's full of Obama voters and other online musings

by Daaman Thandi
Wednesday, November 07, 2012 at 15 : 37

'Binders full of women,' 47 percent,' 'Big Bird,' the three most popular online and offline phrases since the presidential debates is what remains of the legacy of the Romney campaign. Romney lost the election by more than a '47 percent' but some of his comments sure added spunk to the sometimes jaded rhetoric heard during the campaign:

Little Girl cries over Obama and Mitt Romney

Binders full of Women Meme to take over the world

Luckily for lil Miss Elizabeth the election is finally over. However, most people in this county were not apathetic towards the election.

Obama's sweeping win left...Read more...


TV news meets a New York Minute

by Amrita Tripathi
Saturday , October 27, 2012 at 13 : 31

It's hard to stand still in this city, buzzing as it is with a jolt of live adrenaline. And while I aim to be purposeful as the rest of them, it's a tough gig being a reporter slash producer, doing her own camera, while trying to break in. Running around to stay in the same place is what it often feels like for a journalist. The lone ranger nature of the foreign correspondent gig, is possibly its biggest drawback, though at least the title and location make up for it!

This is New York after all though, so take all the pontificating with a massive grain of salt. In fact, being part of an election tour to Hofstra University, to watch the second presidential debate let me see quite clearly, that I'm not alone. Most of the foreign press contingent feel exactly the same way...Read more...


Four thousand registered media people, a university campus in New York state that has already hosted a presidential debate, 80 undecided voters chosen by Gallup and 12 to 15 of their questions to be fielded by US President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney...the stakes can't get higher, with a race that's tighter than ever. Obama's had his schedule cleared for days of intensive debate preparation, and was quoted today as saying he feels fabulous. There is no doubt that he needs to go into this debate swinging... Hours to go now to the 2nd Presidential debate and there's a festive atmosphere here at Hofstra University, with debate watch parties on campus. Undoubtedly the debate will be keenly watched across the country...some faculty members at Hofstra University predict it will draw more eyeballs than the first (with an estimated 67 million viewers, not counting online).

Read more...


Counting down to the second presidential debate

by Amrita Tripathi
Tuesday , October 16, 2012 at 10 : 16

15/10/12, Hofstra University, New York:

The clock is ticking, the race is tight as ever, and it's going to come down to voter turn-out, we're told. The US presidential election is just 3 weeks away and it's just about time for the second presidential debate. (Cue Gong).

This one is a town-hall style debate, that made its debut back in 1992. The two rivals will be fielding questions from a group of undecided voters. The group comprises 80 voters chosen by Gallup, and about 12-15 questions submitted will make the cut - CNN's Candy Crowley is vetting and moderating. Fun fact number one - what networks have to cough up to broadcast debate proceedings live from the debate room? 6000 dollars!

US President Obama's been criticised across the board for a...Read more...



In this blog
Shubham PantShubham Pant
Tornado: a view from Oklahoma

After finishing medical school in Delhi, I moved to Oklahoma City in 2002 to pursue my residency. My only

Dr Karan ThakurDr Karan Thakur
Tiger back as number one

Tiger Woods has re-emerged as Golf's Numero Uno with his eighth win in the Arnold Palmer Invitational Tournament in

Karan ThakurKaran Thakur
On President Obama's Leap of Faith

US President Barack Obama fresh from his decisive election victory in November had tasks other than the looming "fiscal

Amrita TripathiAmrita Tripathi
Counting down to the second presidential debate

15/10/12, Hofstra University, New York:

The clock is ticking, the race is tight as ever, and it's going

Daaman ThandiDaaman Thandi
Binder's full of Obama voters and other online musings

'Binders full of women,' 47 percent,' 'Big Bird,' the three most popular online and offline phrases since the presidential