Proclamation of Emergency, as published in The Gazette of India 40 years ago

(This is the first in a series of posts on 40 years of Emergency) 40 years ago on June 25, 1975 that the President of India Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed toed the line drawn by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to sign the proclamation of Emergency and heap upon the democracy its darkest 21 months. This one-sentence [Read more]

India inflation adjustment calculator (1939-2013) at 2013 prices


A simple online Excel sheet to calculate the value of any amount of rupees from any year from 1939 to 2013 in 2013 prices. This calculator is based on the Indian Wholesale Price Index data from 1939 to July 2013. While 1939 is used as the base year to calculate the rate of inflation the [Read more]

1962: Newspaper front page from 50 years ago when China attacked India

It’s been 50 years since the ‘Himalayan Blunder’ of 1962 when the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) unexpectedly rampaged into Indian territory and reached the outskirts of Tezpur in Assam before making an unexpected retreat. The war was fought much before I was born, but being born into North East India, I heard a lot of [Read more]

Vintage photographs of Shillong from 1948 (also Vallabhbhai Patel calling people of Assam lazy)

Assembly House, Shillong (1948)

64 years later, Shillong is virtually unrecognisable. I could only recognise the Governor House on Bivar Road, then known as Government House, the characteristic Ward’s Lake and the Assembly House (destroyed in a fire on January 9, 2001). These photographs from Government of India’s Photo Division were taken when Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was on a [Read more]

Zeenat Aman is the classic Indian dark-haired beauty in 1970 Air India ad

“Memories of dark-haired beauties,” is what a traveller to India will bring back, promises a 1970 advertisement for Air India. “Long after you leave India, India will still be with you,” says the tag line. And that dark-haired beauty modelling for the ad is none other than Zeenat Aman (I did an image overlay check [Read more]

A Big Dose of India Versus Pakistan Cricket Stats

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Everybody and their mother-in-law is writing a blog post on the big cricket match on Wednesday. It does take a superhuman effort or an utter dislike or extreme disinterest in cricket for someone in the sub-continent to avoid expressing their opinion on the second semi-finals of the 2011 Cricket World Cup. I intend to do [Read more]

How Arrogant Apple Lost a Potential Fan

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That I am not an Apple fan, is because of Apple. Apple is itself responsible for not being able to turn me into an Apple aficionado (actually, they don’t seem to even want to). I don’t own any Apple device, though sometimes I wished I did. No, not even an iPod. And given Apple’s track [Read more]

The Logic Behind the New Rupee Currency Symbol

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Update: The symbol for the Indian Rupee has been officially included in the latest release of the Unicode Standard (ver 6.0.0) Got this via a tweet from @unnikoroth. This presentation by D Udaya Kumar, the man who designed the new symbol for the Indian Rupee, gives us a deeper insight into the idea behind the [Read more]

Download the New Rupee Symbol Font (and a Symbol for the Paise)

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Update: The symbol for the Indian Rupee has been officially included in the latest release of the Unicode Standard (ver 6.0.0) Though this is the FIRST font to support the new symbol for the Indian Rupee, I suggest that you also take a look at some of the other Rupee fonts available. Foradian Technologies has [Read more]

Against Terror. In all Forms

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It’s November 26. Said to be the day we commemorate what is often called India’s 9/11. The date-month order may be transposed, but even after that bloody (and live) 72 hours nothing much else seems to be. I still vividly remember the day and the ones following. Came home late, switched on the TV saw [Read more]