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On 16 May 2014, the stock markets caroused wildly, expecting an exhilarating acceleration on a glistening expressway as the harbingers of "acchhe din", the BJP and Narendra Modi, overwhelmed political adversaries. Two years later, the slippery Sensex has reached rock-bottom , even crashing below the much-maligned "dismal last two years of UPA".
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The much heralded Make in India Week is due in February, wherein the leviathan propaganda machine of the BJP/NDA sarkar will be unleashed in all its razzmatazz and glory, befitting the rock-star imagery of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The celebrated Lion logo, paradoxically inspired by a Swiss bank emblem will walk majestically, never mind that manufacturing activity nosedived to a record 28-month low, exports tumbled down like Jack and Jill for 12 successive months and private investment remained as flat as a table-tennis table.
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Modi maybe falling woefully short on meeting the dizzying commercial expectations of Goldman Sachs and Moody's, but he is doing extraordinary well in creating a Hindutva infrastructure to the delight of his RSS commanders and over-zealous right-wing propagandists. He is scoring an A; for an A+, perhaps more will be required. One shudders to even contemplate that.
At Bishop's School in Pune, I initially felt like an outcast. It was truly an urban, cosmopolitan institution and had a diverse assembly of boys... Miss Fonseca was my favourite teacher and, I must confess, my first crush. She taught us music. I ensured that I stood in the front row and sang louder than others to demonstrate my enthusiasm.