Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Brazilian football team in India

A team from Sao Paulo Football club is in India these days. They have already played two games in Assam and calcutta.

They will play in Delhi on 11 February at the Ambedkar stadium against East Bengal club.
what a pity.. I will be away on tour at this time.

Sao Paulo Club is one of the premier clubs of Brazil. They have been national and international champions in club tournaments. Of course, the team which has come to India does not have the star players. Still, they can teach the Indian teams a few lessons and the artistry of Brazilian football. Unsurprisingly they have won the two matches they played already.

Sao Paulo was my favourite team when I was in Brazil. I lived near the Morumbi stadium, the home turf of sao paulo team.

Their rival is Corinthians team. There is an amusing Brazilian movie called as " Romeo and Juliet" about the rivalry betwen the Sao paulinos and Corinthians. The story is about the family , supporter of sao paulo team, which refuse to accept the marriage of their daughter to a Corinthian fan.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Visit of Andres Oppenheimer- Latin America columnist of Miami Herald

Andres Oppenheimer( in the middle of the foto on top) is the latest Latin American visitor to understand and study the India story for its relevance to Latin America. He is going to write about India's education system and scientific and technological developments and business with Latin America in his columns in Miami Herald and his syndicated columns which appear in newspapers of Latin America.

He has visited China and written a book called as " cuentos chinos"- tales of china). He now wants to compare India vis-a -vis China from the Latin American point of view.

His visit is from 5 to 13 January. He has interviewed Ministers and visited IIT Delhi and JNU. He will be in bangalore on 11-12 january to see for himself the IT development there.

I hosted a lunch for him at Taj Mansingh Hotel on 5 january and introduced him to media persons, academics, businessmen and Latin American ambassadors.

Andres is an Argentinian settled in USA for the last thirty years. He has lots of jokes on Argentinians and other Latinos ! He is the key person in the organisation of the annual Latin America conference by Miami Herald in September. He has a vantage position from Miami, the other capital of Latin America, to watch and interact with the Latin American business, political and thought leaders.

Monday, January 01, 2007

The campaign - novel by Carlos Fuentes

This is the story of Baltazar Bustos, an Argentinian from the pampas, the land of gauchos who goes to live in Buenos Aires and is inspired by the ideals of Rousseau and Voltaire. He gets sucked into the independence fever of Latin America, after the Spanish kingdom is overtaken by Napoleon, in the period 1810-20. He is given a miltary rank and sent to fight in Peru and later to Chile. He is caught in the conflicts between the local Creole leaders and the impracticality of his ideals of equality and justice. His political story takes on romantic wings when he falls in love with Ofelia Salamanca, a Chilean femme fatale, married to the governor of Buenos Aires. She changes husbands, lovers and countries and goes from Argentina to Peru, Chile, Venezuela and Mexico. And he is on her trail through all the countries and finally encounters her in Mexico.

Carlos Fuentes has given a fictionalised version of Latin American history of independence in this novel. He has brought in Latin American heroes such as San Martin of Argentina and Simon Bolivar of Venezuela. He has highlighted how the Latin Americans were unprepared for the sudden and unexpected independence and the confusion and conflicts between the local Creole leaders, the situation of native Indians and the African slaves. He has brought out the point that the instability of the continent was inbuilt in the foundation of the new republics who were not ready or equipped for nation building.

Carlos Fuentes, who had raised my expectations after his other novel" the eagle's throne" has captured me as a fan after this novel. He has helped me in understanding Latin America as he did with the other book about mexican politics. His Mexican character Father Quintana calls the Argentinians as the children of Latin America, contrasting with the old civilisation inherited by Mexico. Fuentes has brought out vividly the Latin American characters such as the merchants of the port city of Buenos Aires, the free-spirited gauchos of the pampas, the high society salons of Lima, the brothels of Maracaibo and the revolutionary priests of Mexico.

The love story in this novel is as enigmatic and profund as in the Eagle's Throne novel. In both, the heroines are free spirited Latinas, who make use of the men for fun and politics.

The novel reminded me of the film " The motor cyclist's diaries " which tells the story of Che Guevara, the other Argentinian who travelled to Chile, Peru and other countries of Latin America for fun to start with and later to spread leftist revolution.

I am looking forward to the three more books of Fuentes i have just bought.