Kamla Bhatt Show
Summary: Connecting the Indian diaspora across the world. It is all about life, people and ideas. Every week we speak to an interesting mix of people about business, technology, films, food, books and a host of other subjects. This is the place to come to listen to a stimulating conversation on India.
(http://kamlashow.com/podcast/wp-content/uploads/AAM-Yoga-Group-of-Fakirs-21s-EX-2014.2.1162.jpg)Yoga, Yogis, Fakirs, Magic & Films is the subject of a fascinating exhibit at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. In this interview Dr. Qamar Adamjee (http://arthistory.berkeley.edu/people/person/1798953-qamar-adamjee) walks us through a visually rich exhibit that traces yoga's 2,500 years old history. She is an associate curator for South Asia at the museum. Today, yoga is a multi-billion dollar (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/16/how-the-yoga-industry-los_n_4441767.html) business and is practiced by millions around the world. In today's world yoga is synonymous with exercise, specifically with various types of "asanas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_asanas)" (poses) like downward-facing tree, downward-facing dog, crane, bow, cobra and so on. And finally today yoga is also associated with various forms of breathing techniques or Pranayama (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pranayama). But,what do we know about the hidden history and evolution of how yoga started? How was it perceived by the west? How did technology help spread viral images of yoga, yogis and fakirs around the world? The "prana" or life of yoga started about 2,500 years ago in India. Over the course of centuries yoga evolved and went through different stages and it is this evolution and transformation that is captured through art, music, films and multimedia at the Yoga exhibit. This is the first major exhibit on yoga in the world and San Francisco is the second city to have this exhibit after Washington DC. Dr. Adamjee walks us through the exhibit and shares how yoga evolved and the landscapes where yoga was practiced by yogis. Think Mount Kailash which is located in the Tibetan plateau and is a holy pilgrimage place for Hindus. Yoga was embraced by Jains, Buddhists and other religious sects with in India. Perhaps one of the most fascinating aspects of the exhibit is how the west perceived yogis in the late 19th and 20th centuries. This is when knowledge about yogis and yoga spread through modern technology and communications like postcards and films. It appears that by mid-19thc the word "fakir" was used quite a bit when it came to describing yogis and the magical powers they possessed. For example, there is a fascinating 1902 silent film by Thomas Edison called "Hindoo Fakir (http://www.asianart.org/exhibitions_index/yoga)," that is basically a magic show of sorts by an Indian magician. It is only in the last 40 years or so that yoga has become synonymous with asanas or poses. You can discover the hidden and untold history of Yoga and how it was perceived by the rest of the world through the ages at the Yoga exhibit (http://www.asianart.org/exhibitions_index/yoga) (http://www.asianart.org/exhibitions_index/yoga)at the Asian Art Museum from Feb 21 to May 25, 2014. Photo credit: Asian Art Museum . AAM Yoga Group of Fakirs 21s EX 2014.2.116Group of Yogis, approx. 1880s, by Colin Murray (English, active 1871â??1884). India. Albumen print. Courtesy of Collection of Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck, 2011.02.02.004. Related Post: Koringa, The Only Fakir In the World by Dr. Qamar Adamjee
(http://kamlashow.com/podcast/wp-content/uploads/MasashiNiwano-CAAM1-150x150.jpg)Meet Masashi Niwano, festival and exhibition director of CAAM (https://caamedia.org)Fest 2014. In this interview he walks us through what you can expect to see in this year's annual festival of films, food, and live music organized by San Francisco-based Center For Asian American Media. Previously, the festival was called San Francisco's Asian American Film Festival. The 11 day festival is from March 13-23, 2014 in San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland. This year's theme is the bridge, which is a fitting one when you think what the festival tries to achieve. They try to connect and bridge the gap between various communities with films, food and music. The opening night film is a delightful Vietnamese-American film "How To Fight In SIx Inch Heels." This is the US premier of the film and will screen on Thursday, March 13, 2014 at San Francisco's Castro theatre. Kathy Uyen, who stars in the films is a local SF bay area native. She grew up in San Jose. " "Delano Manogs" is the closing night film that will show at Oakland's New Parkway on March 23, 2014. The film is about Larry Ltliong, a Filipino farm worker who helped form the United Farm Workers. Packed in-between the opening and closing night films are shorts, documentaries, feature films along with live music shows and conversations and meetings around food. There is also a special tribute to the famous Hong Kong filmmaker Run Run Shaw. He is often credited for the popularity of kung fu movies, a staple from the Hong Kong film industry. This year there are a handful of films by South Asian filmmakers from India, UK, Canada and the US. They include Mahesh Pailoor's "Brahmin Bulls" (US), Meera Menon's "Farah Goes Bang" (US), Richie Mehta's "Siddharth" (Canada), Amit Gupta's "Jadoo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=se7FtI_zrew)" (UK) and a retrospective of Ritu and Tenzing's (http://thesunbehindtheclouds.com/?page_id=17)films. Live performances include music from Korea, Vietnam and local artists from the San Francisco bay area. K-Pop's Lee X Stereo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHJziPsWHV4) and Glen Check (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAtN-BH7P7c) will perform on March 20the and Vietnam's Queen of Hip-Hop Suboi (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGobWn-2sGY) will make her US debut on March 22, 2014 in San Francisco. For tickets and information please check CAAM's festival (http://caamfest.com/2014/) site. Photo credit: Masashi Niwano
(http://kamlashow.com/podcast/wp-content/uploads/photo1-150x150.jpg)Oscar nominated "The Square (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twB2zAOzsKE)" is a powerful documentary that puts you right in the middle of the streets of Cairo- esp Tahrir Square, which was the epicenter of the Egyptian Revolution. Tahrir Square or the "maidan" is where director Jehane Noujaim and producer Karim Ame (https://twitter.com/Karim_Amer33)r spent many months capturing the unfolding of the revolution. "The film gods were looking after us," says Jehane. People were fighting for their basic rights like food point out the filmmakers. People found each other says Jehane and that is where the filmmakers found the people whose story they follow in the film. And Tahrir Square became "the battle of narratives," adds Karim. The filmmakers spent over 2 years of the revolution that saw the fall of one government and the installation of another and the fall of that government too. In Part-2 of our interview Jehane and Karim take you behind the scenes and share how they made this documentary. They also share how they re-cut the film and how their editor Pedro Kos (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1310430/) helped with that. "The Square" has won awards at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and the Toronto Film Festival. The film was acquired by Netflix, where it is available. You can listen to Part-1 (http://kamlashow.com/podcast/2014/02/20/the-filmmakers-of-the-square-jehane-noujaim-karim-amer/) of our interview in case you missed it. This interview was recorded in San Francisco in December 2013 and you have the option to watch the video interview with the filmmakers.
(http://kamlashow.com/podcast/wp-content/uploads/photo1-150x150.jpg)Jehane Noujaim & Karim Amer are the filmmaker of Oscar nominated documentary (http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/jan/20/square-egypt-documentary-oscars-nominee-noujaim) film "The Square (http://youtu.be/twB2zAOzsKE)." We bring you a 2-part interview with the filmmakers on how they made this film in Cairo, Egypt. In Part-1 Jehane and Karim take us behind the scenes and share how they made this very unusual documentary that traces the birth of the Egyptian revolution in Tahrir Square in Cairo. Sitting in the comfort of our homes, we watched the revolt unfold in Tahrir Square on our TV and computer monitors. We saw President Mubarak's government topple and a new one come in its place and that government also collapsed.But, ever wondered what was it like to be right there in the middle of Tahrir Sqaure? That is what "The Square (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/square-filmmaker-jehane-noujaim-leaks-676888)" is about. You are right there in the middle as the filmmakers take you through months of protest in Tahrir Square. How did the filmmakers find the people whose story they follow in "The Square"? "People found each other in the Square," points out Karim. Through the lives of a young activist, a Muslim Brotherhood member and other activists the film puts you at the heart of the agitation and gives you a close view of that tumultuous period in Egyptian history. People were fighting for their basic survival needs like bread explain the filmmakers. They also share how Netflix came to acquire their documentary. This is the first documentary Netflix acquired for its original content series and released it online in Jan 2014. "The Square" is up for an Oscar (2014) in the documentary category. Jehane Noujaim has been making documentary films for close to 10 years now. She directed the film and Karim Amer produced it. Pedro Ko (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1310430/)s is the editor of the film. We met with the filmmakers in December 2013 in San Francisco and recorded the interview. Watch a short video clip on how Netflix acquired the rights for "The Square."
(http://kamlashow.com/podcast/wp-content/uploads/Halfdan_624-150x150.jpg)Every year Silicon Valley holds its annual Cinequest film festival (http://www.cinequest.org) that is a fusion of technology and arts. This year Cinequest is celebrating its 24th year in downtown San Jose from March 3-16, 2014. Our guest today is Halfdan Hussey (http://www.cinequest.org/bio/halfdan-hussey), co-founder and director of Cinequest Film Festival, who shares the highlights of this year's festival. Connect is the theme for the 2014 Cinequest. Connecting & discovering new worlds, artists and innovation is what the festival aims to do this year says Hussey. "The Grand Seduction (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dmpKXTeSaI)" is the opening night film. A Canadian comedy film it stars Taylor Kitsch, Brendon Glesson and is directed by Don McKellar. Director Joel Surnow's "Small Time (http://youtu.be/hurvmhuwa1k)" is the closing night film starring Christopher Meloni, Dean Norris, Devon Bostick, Bridget Moynahan, and Kevin Nealon. Surnow (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joel_Surnow) ("24" fame) and Meloni will attend the festival on the closing night. Marty Cooper (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6SQAMKwWao) "father of the cell phone" and actor Mathew Modine will be at the festival to receive the newly instituted Maverick Innovator's Award. Neil Gaiman, the sic-fi writer will be at the festival on March 9 to receive a Maverick Spirit Award. Gaiman is the author of the comic series "The Sandman." Cinequest (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=al_1S7Qb50g) is billed as one of the top 10 film festivals in the world points out Hussey and adds the festival has grown to become the second largest film festival in North America right behind The Toronto Film Festival (TIFF). For tickets and information go to Cinequest's (http://www.cinequest.org)website.
(http://kamlashow.com/podcast/wp-content/uploads/photo-11-150x150.jpg)Indian independent filmmaker Nishtha Jain's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nishtha_Jain) new documentary Gulabi Gang (http://youtu.be/AgnzWyiFmVQ) is a fascinating portrayal of one woman's dedication to help and empower women in her community. Gulabi Gang (http://www.gulabigang.in) (pink sari gang) is a grassroots woman's organization founded by Sampat Pal Devi in the Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh in India. Through the documentary you come to know and understand Sampat Pal, a plain-speaking, no-nonsese and savvy advocate for women's rights in her community. With barely any education or a family to support her Sampat Pal has fearlessly championed for the poor women in her neighborhood. Gulabi Gang is a powerful documentary that highlights how Sampat Pal is forging a new way of empowering women in her community in Bundelkhan. Women don't help other women points out Sampat Pal and she goes on to add that when a girl child is born into a family there is instant sorrow and unhappiness, but that is not the case if a boy child is born. And then when a woman marries and goes to her new family she is made unwelcome there and sometimes loses her life. There is no one to fend for women at times of crisis Sampat Pal adds. To help other women in crisis and to empower them Sampat Pal founded "gulabi gang," or the "pink sari," gang that rallies and helps women, and in some cases seeks justice if the woman dies under mysterious circumstances. Under Sampat Pal's leadership the organization has about 40,000 members. We spoke with Nishta Jain in San Francisco during the 3rd i South Asian Film Festival (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imVuIChhWWE&feature=share&list=UUg24IW2af8JjGE-DCbkPG0g&index=2)to find out what prompted her to make this film, and how she plans to distribute the film. We also find out more about Sampat Pal and her future plans, which apparently may include a foray into the world of politics. Gulabi Gang was shows as the 3rd i South Asian film festival in San Francisco and Palo Alto in November 2013. Related Link: Nishtha Jain (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imVuIChhWWE&feature=share&list=UUg24IW2af8JjGE-DCbkPG0g&index=2) video interview
(http://kamlashow.com/podcast/wp-content/uploads/fruchtman-lisa-01-150x150.jpg)Academy award winner Lisa Fruchtman (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisa_Fruchtman) has worked as an editor in Hollywood films and television. She has worked in such iconic films like Apocalypse Now (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snDR7XsSkB4), The Right Stuff (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsZIBS3ireQ), Children of A Lesser God, Godfather-3 among others. And recently she released her first documentary film Sweet Dreams (http://bit.ly/1gnWzx8)that she made with her brother Bob Fruchtman. Lisae got her start with Chicago-based Kartemquin Films (http://kartemquin.com)and then moved to San Francisco Bay area where she worked in documentaries and Hollywood films. In the 1970s and 1980s Francis Ford Coppola and Phil Kaufman made their iconic films from the bay area. n Part-2 of our conversation Lisa talks about how she began her career in the film industry as an editor and what it was like working with Coppola and Kaufman. For instance, they worked on Coppola's Apocalypse Now for over 2 years. Besides mainstream Hollywood films Lisa also worked on The Grateful Dead documentary. You can listen to Part-1 of our conversation with Lisa or watch a video interview where she talks about the making of her documentary Sweet Dreams. Photo credit: Sweet Dreams website
(http://kamlashow.com/podcast/wp-content/uploads/fruchtman-lisa-01-150x150.jpg)Academy award winner Lisa Fruchtman (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisa_Fruchtman) has worked as an editor in Hollywood films and television, and now has her first documentary out called "Sweet Dreams (http://www.sweetdreamsrwanda.com/filmmakers/)." She collaborated with her brother Rob Fruchtman in making this unusual film that captures the dreams, hopes and the healing of a group of women in Rwanda. Through "Sweet Dreams," the Fruchtmans' highlight how drumming and opening an ice cream shop helped a group of women rebuild their lives in post-genocide Rwanda. The 1994 genocide in Rwanda left the country badly scarred and battered with uneasy relationships between the various tribal groups in the country. Healing and rebuilding their lives was a major challenge for many, who had lost their family members. A group of women found their way to healing and happiness in an unusual way. They first created the first all-women drumming group and then went on to open an ice cream shop with the help of 2 New York entrepreneurs. In Part-1 of our interview we spoke with Lisa on how and why she got to make this unusual film set in Rwanda. "Sweet Dreams" has won a handful of awards in various film festivals and releases in San Francisco bay area on Dec 6, 2013. Lisa has worked as an editor in many well-known Hollywood films like "Godfather 3," "Apocalypse Now," "The Right Suff," and others. Photo credit: Sweet Dreams
(http://kamlashow.com/podcast/wp-content/uploads/IMG_0001-150x150.jpg)When you think of Americans in India in the early 20thc not too many names may come to your mind right? But, there was a small trickle of Americans who came to India in the early 20thc and one of them was Samuel Evans Stokes, who later was known by his Indian name Satyanand Stokes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satyananda_Stokes). He was a Quaker by heritage as his grand-daughter Asha Sharma puts it. In 1904 Stokes had just turned 21 years old when he made his journey from Philadelphia to India. That 1904 visit turned into a very long one and eventually Stokes settled down in India and raised a family in Himachal Pradesh. He was the American, who brought in a certain strain of apples (Delicious) into Himachal Pradesh and helped start an apple revolution in that state. Today, apples form a key cash crop of Himachal Pradesh. The story of Stokes is chronicled in An American in Gandhi's India (http://books.google.com/books?id=lIOpL6Fytx0C&pg=PR12&lpg=PR12&dq=an+american+in+gandhi's+india&source=bl&ots=3Y_w5PoMAo&sig=euv9242mlnZuNz1K04vL9sQLBzQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=08ycUv6OHKW-igKRoYC4Bg&sqi=2&ved=0CHQQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=an%20american%20in%20gandhi's%20india&f=false)by his grand-daughter Asha Sharma, who lives in the San Francisco bay area. We spoke with her about her American-Pahadi (pahadi means from the mountains) grandfather's journey to India. Stokes was the only American to go to jail for fighting alongside Mahatma Gandhi during India's freedom struggle. This interview was originally recorded for TV and aired in the SF bay area. You can watch the video (http://bit.ly/179X3kY) interview here. Photo credit: Asha Sharma
(http://kamlashow.com/podcast/wp-content/uploads/SushrutJain-PhotobyKamlaBhatt-e1385870208121-150x150.jpg)Los Angeles-based filmmaker Sushrut Jain's (http://www.cricketdocumentary.com/makers.html) new documentary is inspired by cricket. Cricket and films are his twin passions, and his documentary "Beyond All Boundaries (http://www.cricketdocumentary.com/about.html)" is a perfect reflection of his passions. Set against the 2011 Cricket World Cup (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Cricket_World_Cup) match in India, the film highlights the powerful influence that cricket has on millions of people in India and how it has changed their lives. The documentary traces the lives of 3 very different super fans, who are united in their love for the game. Two of the super fans are cricket players from Mumbai (Bombay), while the third is Sudhir Kumar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudhir_Kumar_Chaudhary) from Bihar, a huge fan of cricket, who travels around the country to show his support to the game. The young man lives almost a monk like existence in his single-minded devotion to the game. Lack of money does not deter him from traveling around the country and display his devotion to his favorite cricket played Sachin Tendulkar, who just retired from the sports a few days ago. The film shows you a very different picture of India and how cricket has inspired millions of Indians around the country. It is very rare to see a sport-related film on India, and Sushrat Jain does a brilliant job of capturing the other India that we barely get to see in films. We caught up with Sushrat Jain at the 3rd i South Asian International Film Festival in San Francisco and talked about how he switched his jobs and became a filmmaker and what inspired him to make this documentary. Trained as an economist from Stanford University, he worked as a consultant for a few years before he switched his career and became a filmmaker. His first short film was "Andheri (http://vimeo.com/76579992)." We also spoke to him about how Kunal Nayyar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kunal_Nayyar) of "The Big Bang Theory," fame teamed up with him to raise money via Kickstarter for "Beyond All Boundaries." The film is currently being shown at various film festivals.
(http://kamlashow.com/podcast/wp-content/uploads/scarflean-150x150.jpg)Americans in India go back a couple of hundred years ago - think 17thc when the British were establishing their presence in India. When you think of 17thc there are couple of names that come to mind: Elihu Yale (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elihu_Yale), President of Madras and Nathaniel Higginson (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nathaniel_Higginson), who was the first mayor of Madras in the 17thc. Yale University is named after Elihu Yale, who was born in Boston, but grew up in England. He was an Englishman. Nathaniel Higginson was born in Massachusetts, studied at Harvard and then went to England to work and from there made his way to India. But, that was in the 17thc. What about Americans in recent times? We talked to Deirdré Straughan (http://www.beginningwithi.com) of San Francisco, who share her story about studying in an American school that was founded in 19thc in a remote town in the Indian Himalayas. That school was Woodstock (http://www.woodstockschool.in) founded in 1854 in Landour, Uttarakhand (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uttarakhand) in India. The school was started by an American and a British points out Deirdré. Woodstock (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodstock_School)was originally started for girls, but today it is an international co-educational school with students from different parts of the world. But, why did the founders choose Landour, a remote Himalayan town for their school? During the 19thc hill stations were popular and noted for their relatively safety from a health perspective. The hill stations were far from the hot plains and far from mosquitoes. You have to think pre-antibiotics time points out Deidre and that may have colored the founders of Woodstock to establish the school at Landour. The school was originally meant for missionary children, whose parents worked in British India and neighboring states. By the time Deirdre came as a student to Woodstock in the mid-1970s the composition of the students had changed. Only a third of the students were missionary children, the others were a mix of students from around the world. Deirdre highlights an interesting cultural dimension about the students who study at Woodstock. These are kids who were born in one country, grew up in another and now live in a different country points out Deirdre. The term "Third Culture Kids," is used to describe these students, who learn to straddle different countries and cultures. Filmmaker and Woodstock alum Rahul Gandotra brilliantly captures this idea of "Third Culture Kids" in his film "The Road Home (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hxVWNsRXhA)." Gandotra's short film was a finalist in this year's Oscars. Tune in to find out more about this little bit of Americana in India tune in to find out what Deirdré has to say about being an American in India and its distinguished alumni like Tom Alter and his cousins and TED curator Chris Anderson (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Anderson_(entrepreneur)). This interview was recorded and broadcast on TV in the San Francisco bay area. You can watch the full video interview here (http://youtu.be/kzokqXuqsrc).
(http://kamlashow.com/podcast/wp-content/uploads/photo-51-150x150.jpg)Meet Anjali Joshi, who has her eyes set on making a difference to people in the bottom of the pyramid in Karnataka, the state where Bangalore, "Silicon Valley" of India is located. Dhrishti (means vision), is a start-up she founded with Kiran Anandampillai, her techie husband. Dhristi's goal is is provide quality eye-care in underserved areas where people have far less income compared to their urban counterparts. Anjali and her husband worked for Infosys for many years, and went on to work for other companies. A couple of years ago the couple decided to do something different, where they could make a difference to people. After evaluating lot of options, they settled on eye care, an area where millions of Indians are still underserved and struggle to get effective and economical options. Healthcare costs says Anjali is one of the top reasons why the poor people get into debts in India. What is the number one reason for debt? Wedding expenses. The couple have teamed with Dr. Rajesh Babu, who brings in his medical expertise to Dhrishti. Dhrishti's initial goal is to test their business model in one district and turn into a viable and economical model and then scale it to different areas Karnataka (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karnataka) state. Currently they are testing their model in Devanahalli located right next to Bangalore, the IT and tech hub of India. Last year they raised an initial round of funding (http://www.medianama.com/2013/01/223-telemedicine-startup-drishti-eye-care-raises-funding-from-lok-capital/) from Lok Capital. In this interview recorded in Palo Alto Anjali talks about how they came up with the idea of Dhrishti, social entrepreneurship, their business model and future plans.
(http://kamlashow.com/podcast/wp-content/uploads/Gayathri-Krishna-150x150.jpg)Gayathri Krishna wants to bring Indian classical music and performing arts to folks around the world. "We are 50 events old," Gayathri points out. In less than a year she has brought performers to different cities in India, and travelled to China, Australia and the USA. Passion, vision and ambition is what drove her to found Bhoomija Trust (https://www.facebook.com/bhoomijatrust), a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) based in Bangalore. Bhoomija is a year old. Bringing Indian music and performance arts to a global audience sounds like a simple project. But, binging predictable, sustained programming to a global audience in their hometown is a challenging project. Perhaps, this is where her training in Information Tehcnology (IT) comes in handy. Gayathri has has over 20 years of experience working with a diverse set of clients. She was part of the early team at i-flex Solutions (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I-flex_Solutions), which was acquired (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oracle-pays-108-billion-to-boost-stake-in-indias-i-flex)by Oracle for close to a billion dollars. It was at i-flex Solutions that she cut her teeth working with an international customer base, and this is where she made some money that is fueling her current project -Bhoomija. She also got hands-on experience in developing sustained, predictable programs at Rangashankara (http://www.rangashankara.org/home/rangatest/), the well-known performing arts venue in Bangalore. She spent a few years as the head of programming at Rangashankara, and helped create a predictable calendar for its audience. Passion, vision and ambition is what drove her to found Bhoomija Trust (https://www.facebook.com/bhoomijatrust), a non-profit organization based in Bangalore. "We are 50 events old," Gayathri points out and the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) is just a year old. We met with Gayathri in Palo Alto, CA. She was here with the Indian classical singer Bombay Jayashr (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TTOjz0zpKQ&feature=c4-overview&list=UUg24IW2af8JjGE-DCbkPG0g)i, who had just performed at New York's Carnegie Hall and was gearing up for a performance in Silicon Valley. Jayashri is an Oscar nominated artist, who sang the opening song in Ang Lee's Oscar winning film Life of Pi (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nL1qTFSgcg&feature=c4-overview-vl&list=PL5-MJ__3JKHY0YZgo1ZsXwhBd2mkvUtkd). In this interview Gayathri talks about how got involved in the music and performing arts and her plans for Bhoomija. And yes, she still works in the IT industry. She works for IBM during the day and all her spare time is devoted to working with her team at Bhoomija
(http://kamlashow.com/podcast/wp-content/uploads/NIrupamaMenonRao-KamlaShow-150x150.jpg)This is a 2-part interview with Indian Ambassador to the US Nirupama Menon Rao (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nirupama_Rao). In Part-1 she talked about the opening up of the India-US relationship and how it has evolved over the years. In Part-2 Ambassador Rao talks about growing up in Bangalore, and her love for poetry, music and literature. She has written a book of poems "Rain Raising" that has been translated in Russian and Chinese. She also shares on how she got inspired to become a diplomat. And, she also discusses about how she started using Twitter, the powerful microblogging tool and how it has helped her reach out to people. "A citizen diplomat" is how she describes herself and is a big believer in reaching out to people, wherever she has worked. Ambassador Rao spent most of her early years in Bangalore, dubbed as the "Silicon Valley of India." After completing her undergraduate studies in Bangalore, she went to Aurangabad in Maharashtra to finish her Masters in Literature. While pursing her graduate studies, she simultaneously prepared for her Indian Civil Service exams. She topped the Civil Services exams and joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1973. She has worked all around the world including The People's Republic of China (PRC), Sri Lanka, Peru and the US. This current stint is her second one in the US. Her first stint in the US was in the 1990s when the Indian government had just started its economic liberalization process. Ambassador Rao was appointed as the Ambassador to the US in 2011 and she retires from the Indian Foreign Service on November 4, 2013. This interview was recorded in Bangalore in January 2013. You can watch Part-2 of the video interview (http://bit.ly/16TzHN9) with the Ambassador in our YouTube channel (http://bit.ly/1bKmxok). A special thanks to Taj West End (http://www.tajhotels.com/Luxury/City-Hotels/The-Taj-West-End-Bangalore/Overview.html)in Bangalore for their hospitality.
(http://kamlashow.com/podcast/wp-content/uploads/NIrupamaMenonRao-KamlaShow-150x150.jpg)Indian Ambassador to the US Nirupama Menon Rao (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nirupama_Rao) talks about the opening up of the India-US relationship and how it has evolved over the years. In Part-1 of our interview the Ambassador talks about the changing nature of the relationship. She talks about new opportunities especially in the education sector between the 2 countries. And when it comes to California she talks about the potential opportunities in the wine making industry. California is a leading wine producer in the US, and India's wine industry is still in its infancy. Ambassador Rao (https://twitter.com/NMenonRao) was appointed as the Ambassador to the US in 2011 and she retires on November 4, 2013. This is her second stint in Washington DC. Her first stint was during the the 1990s, when India had just liberalized its economy and the US-India business relations were starting to ramp up. This interview was recorded in Bangalore in January 2013. You can watch Part-1 of the video (http://bit.ly/Hzpyyk) in our YouTube channel (http://bit.ly/1bKmxok). A special thanks to Taj West End (http://www.tajhotels.com/Luxury/City-Hotels/The-Taj-West-End-Bangalore/Overview.html)in Bangalore for their hospitality.