Monthly Archives: May 2011

Scary things are happening in the US

Over this past weekend, Sarah Palin rode into Washington DC on a motorcycle (!)  and of course the accomodating media captured it. Based on various activities over the past few days, it appears that Ms.Palin is readying herself to announce her candidacy to run for President in 2012. Stranger things have happened. Or have they?

The GOP is struggling to find the right voice and leader to take their party forward in 2012 by defeating Obama. It will be interesting to see if they consider her to be that right one.

Although dated, the picture below comes closes to capturing my sentiments about Ms.Palin.  I believe it depicts her quite appropriately; no issues at all with her being the chief guest at the Little Norway Festival. I especially love her Nordic costumed background players (although I honestly do wonder if she knows what and where Norway is).  But, President? Come on.

Don’t you look at me that way!  Over the past couple of weeks, it was reported that even Fox News (yes, FOX) Chief Roger Alies called Palin an idiot and “stupid” (see page 2).

All in all, it’s extremely difficult to grasp whether to laugh or cry at the incongruous prospect of people (including herself) actually considering her qualified of being the next President of the world’s super power. Is this even happening?  Or has some funky, new TV reality show in the US taken on an aura of reality?

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin speaking May 19, 2007 in Petersburg, Alaska, following the Little Norway Pageant at the Petersburg's 2007 Little Norway Festival.

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Photo: By Ryan McFarland from Petersburg, AK (http://zieak.com) [CC-BY-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Malls are Simply Bursting at the Seams

Ever been to a mall in India?   Try going to one on a Saturday or Sunday.

While America’s economy lies battered, and its people are learning how to save whatever they have, attempting to leave behind their uber-consumer personas of the past, something very different is happening here.   And, I mean, happening!

Today, America’s malls are more often than not empty, shops are closing or closed, and there is a general depressed mood in the air.  Malls in India, on the other hand, are vibrant beehives of activity and energy.  The picture below gives you an idea.  This is not just on special occasions, such as Christmas, either.   This is the scene every weekend!

Admittedly, the shops themselves are not bustling with the same level of activity.  The movie multiplex, the food court, the kid zones, the restaurants – that’s where you find the crowds, and I mean, crowds. During weekends, curiously more on Sundays than Saturdays, malls appear to have become the go-to place – especially for youngsters and young families.  Where else can you find air-conditioned comfort and clean, open spaces for virtually nothing?  Plus entertainment galore and a tasty bite or two at affordable prices.

No wonder then that there are more malls cropping up everywhere you look.  And each one boasts a title, it seems – largest in Mumbai/Chennai/Bangalore/…, largest in South/North/Eastern/Western India, largest in India, largest in Asia (I know of two malls in India that seem to be claiming this title).

It remains to be seen, however, just how sustainable they will be given that most people go there for cool air, comfort, food and entertainment, rather than for shopping and serious retail therapy.  But, after the increasingly slow pace of mall life in America, a weekend visit to a mall here can indeed be a sight for sore eyes!

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Photo: By ashwinrb (Flickr) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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