Showing posts with label Ganesh. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ganesh. Show all posts

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Ganesh in NY

Missing India, I dragged a friend today to Chennai Gardens, on 27th Street, for a veg meal of dosa, uttapam and a little halwah for dessert, Tamil Nadu style with almond and cardamom flavor.

Only in New York, it was kosher too. The neighborhood offers a tailor who will make jootis and a grocery with chai masala spices, rotis and packaged curries. Plus elephant-god Ganesh statues in brass for sale everywhere!

Even ABC Carpet & Home has gone Indian with a wall of Ganesh, remover of obstacles, in marble or wood, a floor-to-ceiling wall of fake-orange marigolds, stacks of hand-stitched Indian bed covers for $500 each and Indian jewelry (gemstones, gold and silver) at absolutely ridiculous prices.

I am thinking about Jaipur most. But I found a site where you can see its Rajasthani turbans, forts and even the Gem Palace in a Gem Palace video.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Hey, Ganesh!

Ganesh, the elephant god available in wood, bright orange, in all sizes, with several arms, is the subject of prayers for prosperity, and he wrote with part of his tusk -- so he's a patron for scribes too. Seems the invocations are working -- if you ignore the vast poor for a second -- because some businesses are growing exponentially. We toured 1298, an emergency ambulance service started by a handful of Indian MBAs who wanted to give back. They are growing from 10 private ambulances to 50, and they provide the service at low to no cost for people who need it. Wealthy going to private hospitals have to pay. Imagine: a country without ambulance service. The good news is, the constant two-tone whining of emergency vehicles so prevalent in Europe is totally absent here. But it is replaced with constant honking. Today, we visited Suzlon Energy, a fast-growing wind power company that recently acquired a German energy firm. It was in an office park, but I saw a man walking with a baby lamb on that was eating weeds growing between the sidewalk and fence guarding the complex. (see photo for the pedestrian-autorickshaw interface). They are selling turbines on the hope that wind power will be the solution to a 13% deficit in megawatts during peak usage. That's the reason for blackouts, which I experienced in Jaipur. And we also visited ICICI, where we heard from the leader of two funds being set up by ICICI, a big banking firm here, that is seeing outside investors to bolster the funds. The ultimate goal is to strengthen microfinancing of artisans, farmers and the poor with small loans. Roughly 60% of the population in India doesn't have access to traditional financing.