I have been at Delhi for the most part since coming to India, meeting people, developing project ideas, catching up…
The only breaks have been a short trip to Nagpur (to visit my in-laws) and, coming up, another short trip to Bhubaneswar (to visit my parents). In Delhi I have been staying with my cousin and her husband, Shweta and Sib. Shweta is a free-lance animator / illustrator. You can see her work by going to here. Sib is an architect doing some interesting work with folk artists and environmentally friendly architecture.
In Delhi I have been hanging out with my middle/high school friends, Hartosh Bal, Poonam Madan and Gaurav Bhatnagar. Gaurav works for Educomp, one of India’s largest technology driven education companies. Hartosh (of A Certain Ambiguity, fame and currently working for Mail Today) and Poonam (who works on the Editorial pages of Mint are journalists and through them I have been getting insight into the incestuous, gossipy universe journalists live in. Not that this is any different from academic gatherings!
Yesterday I got a chance to meet with Sachin Kalbag, digital editor for Mail Today. I got to know Sachin many years ago when he had interviewed me for a story on Ambigrams. We have kept in touch since then (I wrote a piece for Digit magazine on digital convergence, which I should post on this blog at some point). He is currently working very hard preparing for the launching of a new website for his newspaper. It is always great to talk with Sachin and get the latest on technologies and how they are changing the media and social landscape of India. We are discussing the possibility of my writing an occasional column for his newspaper (and website). I hope this pans out.
This meeting was followed by a phone meeting with Radha Ganesan and Aakash Sethi, with the QUEST alliance in Bangalore. QUEST promotes the effective and responsible use of educational technologies in order to enhance the quality and relevance of formal elementary education and employability training for disadvantaged children and youth. I had met Radha many years ago at the Vidyakash conference, when she was a graduate student at Syracuse. After her Ph.D. She came back to India and is currently working with the QUEST Alliance. We talked about a conference they are organizing on Educational Technology in India. It looks as if this will be a great meeting – with over 150 select people from NGOs, corporate sector, higher education, government and academia.
Finally, I gate crashed a book launch at the British Council. I don’t even know what the book was about, neither did I meet the author. I was there with Hartosh and Poonam and it was fun to partake of the free booze and get an inside look at Delhi’s media and creative crowd. Had some good initial conversations and hope to write an article on creativity and children for a parenting magazine.
All in all a busy and hectic day.