Miscellaneous »

[2 Aug 2014 | No Comment | 52 views]
Major Design Update..

Dear Friends, at some point over the next few days, I will be making some major design changes to the blog and also upgrade the platform.
I hope the changeover will be smooth.
In case of any major hiccup (I hope not), please direct your browser to this URL: http://bshantanu.wordpress.com/ where I will post updates (only in an emergency).
Thank you for your patience and support – as always.
 

Current Affairs, Miscellaneous »

[27 Jul 2014 | No Comment | 487 views]

Alert Reader Chinmay has pointed out that almost all these pics (save one?) are of other railway lines…
This serves as a good reminder to me to be careful of what I read online..and to be sure about authenticity of pics/facts before posting them online…
I am going to let this post remain though – as a warning (to myself) of the perils of online information..
Thanks

Debates & Discussions, Indian Architecture & City Planning, Indian History, Medieval Indian History »

[19 Jul 2014 | 4 Comments | 505 views]
Re-examining History: The Gold Railing, The Leaks, The Palaces

…or was the Taj an extant structure prior to 1631?
*** CAUTION: Long Post ***
In the first part of this series, we noticed the wide discrepancy in historical accounts of the construction of the Taj which led us to “…wonder whether the brickwork of the central edifice, the foundations, the layout, indeed the entire structure, was already complete when Shah Jahan started to ‘build’ the Taj Mahal?”
What makes me think that? Is the fact of wide divergence in the accounts of construction of the Taj basis enough to conclude that the …

Development Related, Indian Economy, Politics and Governance in India »

[11 Jul 2014 | 3 Comments | 190 views]
A graphic illustration of the perilous state of Indian Economy

Some superb graphs courtesy this post by John Samuel Raja on the perilous state of India’s finances, following the excerpts:
What makes it worse for the government is the inelasticity on both the revenue and expenditure sides, which limits its options.
…The government is living way beyond its means. As much as Rs137.6 of this Rs157.6 is going towards meeting running expenses, as opposed to creating assets that deliver benefits in later years. And just five items—interest payments, defence spending, subsidies, salaries and pensions—account for Rs110.
…The biggest outgo on the expenditure side, …

Debates & Discussions, Indian Architecture & City Planning, Indian History, Medieval Indian History, ToI Columns »

[7 Jul 2014 | 4 Comments | 382 views]
Re-examining History: The Making of the Taj

*** CAUTION: Long Post ***
This article is the first in a series in which I intend to probe some of the odd “facts” about Taj Mahal – the iconic structure that has become symbolic of grandeur & beauty in medieval Indian architecture.  This series will largely draw on the seminal research and study of primary sources & contemporary accounts by Dr V S Godbole during the years 1981 – 1996, condensed in his book, “Taj Mahal: Analysis of A Great Deception”
In the first part, a closer look at the effort …

Miscellaneous, Personal »

[13 Jun 2014 | One Comment | 187 views]
Why I don’t do facebook…

2 separate incidents last week forced this update..
I missed a message in my facebook inbox from a close friend – and ended up not being able to see him even though we had not met in years.  The second was an email from another friend asking why I do not post anything on facebook. A few of you have commented on my “conspicuous silence” on fb in the past. I felt it was time to clear the air.
In spite of my fascination for all things tech (and a masochist tendency to try …