Goodbye is the saddest word in the world. You leave your country and settle in foreign climes

and goodbye is the last word you say (Cancao Do Exilo- the Exile song).

Goodbye is what you whisper in the ears of a dying love.

Goodbye to all that(Robert Graves). 

Goodbye to 2013. “The year is dying in the night;

Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.”(Tennyson)

Today is the last day of this blog.

As the Italians would say-ciao


Digital Dementia

South Koreans doctors have identified a cognitive disease associated with the use of smart phones over a long period of tiime.

It is called digital dementia.The country has one of the best developed and fastest

networks in the world with a very high rate of digital device usage. “Cases of “digital dementia” associated with smartphone addiction are characterized by memory deficits, attention disorders and emotional flattening among young people who spend too much time using a gaming device, web searching, texting, and multimedia on smartphones.” Clinics have been established to treat this dementia such as the Balance Brain Centre in Southern Seoul. People are writing about the digital invasion of our lives and urging us to step back from technology and get a life.

In 2012 a German neuro-scientist(Manfred Spitzer) published a book called Digitale Dementz and urged the banning of computers in the classroom.Avoid digital media,” Spitzer advises. “As shown here many times over, they truly do make us fat, dumb, aggressive, lonely, sick and unhappy.” The provocative psychiatrist compares teaching children to use online media to serving them beer, and providing computers in elementary schools to heroin dealers getting their users hooked.

On the other hand we have the “Flynn effect” named after the political scientist James Flynn who wrote “Are We Getting Smarter? Rising IQ in the Twenty-First Century,” which states that IQs are actually increasing with each generation

Aunty meets Beyonce

any times while writing this blog I feel like an aunty desperately trying to catch up

with popular culture. I grew up as Madonna and Cyndi Lauper hit the music scene and have

always felt just a little peeved that Madonna flourished and Cyndi fell to the wayside.”Girls just wanna have fun”

still speaks to me more than “Papa don’t preach”. 

Madonna identifies herself more with Lady Gaga in terms of ambition while Beyonce has  spoken of wanting

to set up a business empire just like Madonna. In the meantime Camilia Padlia exhorts Miley Cyrus to go back to school

and debunks any comparisons between Cyrus and the young Madonna by pointing out that Madonna is an artist while Cyrus is a wanna be.

Last year a South Korean song released on YouTube became a rage. Did anyone really understand what the song was about?

Now the success of that song is being studied as symptomatic of a convergent media culture where products emerge and fade away quickly

Life is a Cabaret

“What good is sitting alone in your room? 
Come hear the music play. 
Life is a Cabaret, old chum, 
Come to the Cabaret.”

Christopher Isherwood set his “Goodbye To Berlin” in the pre-Nazi Germany of 1931. The story captures the chilling slide from hedonism to Hitlerism. It inspired the play “I am a camera” and later the film and Broadway musicals Cabaret which gave Liza Minelli her most acclaimed role as Sally Bowles.

The German Kabarett was more than cabaret. It was political satire, with songs and scenes,balanced between sadness and humour

and best developed in East Germany/. It was initially influenced by the cabaret artistique of Paris but quickly grew a distinct German identity. Bertolt Brecht is one of the names associated with the art form and it has shown tremendous resilience, even thriving in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany.

 Life is a cabaret? It is chaotic, throws surprises is colourful, vivid and giddy.Dance while the music plays.

Football For Hope

The Vengaboys classic will be ringing in our heads as Brazil becomes the happening country for 2014.

John Clites calls Brazil “Sultry, Sexy and Shamelessly cheap” and lures us with pictures of its beautiful beaches

The FIFA world cup brings Brazil world centre stage in July. The world cup mascot Fuleco (an armadillo-

an endangered species, indigenous to Brazil.) symbolises a fusion of the words “Football” and “ecology”.You can catch a glimpse of him here

The FIFA trophy travelled to Calcutta for three days of football festivities attended by Sachin Tendulkar and Torres.

As the frenzy for football mounts FIFA will  be working towards using this great opportunity to espouse social concerns, promote innovations and propagate sustainable living.


In the 1970’s a movement directed against crimes against women began in the US. It was called Take

Back the Night and comprised of women-only marches in the night with candles to protest against the fact

that nights were considered especially unsafe for women. There can be no freedom of speech without freedom

of movement. 

In the light of the growing instances of cyber stalking and online harassment, a movement has been launched to create equal access to the internet and computing technology. In November over sixteen days women blog about issues related to violence against women. shows us the kind of harassment women face in Pakistan when they try to articulate feminist concerns.

Twitter, Facebook,Google- all the heroes and founding fathers of these new technologies have been male.Those who design and create ICT may not be sensitive to the specific needs of women.This has led to the “gender digital divide” and Take Back The Tech is a movement meant to empower women by storming the bastions of Tech access.

If more women are to enter the Tech work-force it may be necessary to look for the role models for women in Science and Engineering. Read about Ada Lovelace in the New Yorker

Would love to know more about women role models and high achievers in the field of Scien

This one is for the Harukists

Murakami was a front runner for the Nobel Prize in literature in 2013 but it eventually

went to Alice Munro, Now the online betting seems to have started again and he is a clear contender for 2014 Nobel Prize.

Ardent Murakami fans are called Harukists and they wait with champagne bottles before the announcement of the

Nobel Prize every year Steven Poole of The Guardian praised Murakami as “among the world’s greatest living novelists” for his works and achievements.

Three things that I find interesting about him>1. He runs marathons and has written a book about running and writing which I love.

2. He ran a jazz bar in Tokyo

3. He has a God like cult status in Japan

Remember you heard it here first- Murakami will win the Nobel Prize in 2014